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    This is the Beer Yard news page, with brewing news from the Philadelphia area and beyond.
April 12, 2014 - Iron Hill Wins Five Medals, Small Brewpub Championship at 2014 World Cup
Boulder, CO • April 11, 2014—The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America's small and independent craft brewers—announced the results of one of the largest commercial beer competitions to date, the 2014 World Beer Cup Awards. The awards were presented at the conclusion of Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® in Denver, Colo.

Drawing the highest number of entries to date, this edition of the World Beer Cup saw 4,754 beers from 1,403 breweries representing 58 countries—a 21 percent increase in the number of entries from the 2012 World Beer Cup, which had 3,921 entries.

Complete press release here.

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant locations won five medals at the 2014 World Cup in Denver last night, including three Golds and two Bronze, and Iron Hill Media was named Champion Brewery in the Small Brewpub Category.

Other local winners were Bronze Medals awarded to Stoudt's Brewing Co. and Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery, a return to the winner's circle for the Pennsylvania's oldest modern day brewpub and a first step into the limelight for one the region's newest brewpubs.

Here's a complete list of all the 2014 World Cup Winners.

Update: Here is a list of the seven local award winning brews and brewers.

April 09, 2014 - Craft Beer Conference Opened Today, Draws Largest Crowd Ever
FROM BREWBOUND (by David Eisenberg and Chris Furnari):
Representatives from the Brewers Association (BA), alongside Colorado governor John Hickenlooper and other notable brewing industry professionals, addressed a standing room only crowd of brewers and distributors during this morning’s Craft Brewers Conference general session in Denver, Colo.

BA president Charlie Papazian asked brewers to continue improving various aspects of their businesses — urging attendees to focus on producing quality beer, continuing innovation, getting involved in legislative debates and promoting safety.

[ ... ]

BA director Paul Gatza and staff economist Bart Watson delivered a state of the industry presentation, which put that explosive growth into numerical perspective.

Fresh off a year (in 2012) where craft beer production reached an all-time high, 2013 volumes grew 18 percent. That growth came at a time when overall beer sales declined 2 percent, Watson said. Nevertheless, 15.6 million craft barrels were sold in 2013, an uptick of 2.3 million over 2012. Craft pricing also went up 2.3 percent, said Watson.

[BA Executive Director Paul] Gatza touched on a number of other concerns facing the industry, chief among them was what he described as a necessity to reform franchise laws and a commitment to producing quality beer....[I]t was quality beer that Gatza emphasized the most – he listed it as a concern three times in his presentation.

[ ... ]

Ron Extract, of Jester King Brewery in Austin, Texas, was given the FX Matt Defense of the Industry Award. Teri Fahrendorf, of Pink Boots Society, was given the Brewers Association Recognition Award. Lastly, the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation and Excellence in Brewing was given to Mitch Steele of Stone Brewing Co., of Escondido, Calif.

Much more in the complete Brewbound story here.

April 09, 2014 - Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Program Goes National This Summer
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has announced that it has invited every craft brewery in the country – more than 2,700 – to take part in a multi-weekend traveling beer festival this summer. Beer Camp Across America is a celebration for the entire craft beer community, bringing together brewers and the fans who have buoyed their success.

“We’re about to open a second brewery in North Carolina, and while that’s exciting for us, it’s an even greater reason to celebrate the future of craft brewers everywhere,” explained Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s founder. “We’ve watched and learned from each other for decades, and together we’ve seen tastes change and craft’s momentum snowball. Beer Camp Across America is our way of reflecting on this—with thousands of brewers, fans and great beers. It should be pretty fun.”

Beer Camp Across America will feature seven stops—in cities with thriving craft beer cultures—moving geographically west to east, much like the craft movement has historically spread. Each tour stop will feature that city’s local and surrounding regional brewers. The festivals will appropriately begin and end at Sierra Nevada’s two brewing locations, kicking off in Chico where it took root in 1980, and culminating in Mills River, NC for the grand opening of its East Coast brewery. The festival schedule is as follows:
* Sat, July 19th: Northwest Edition at Sierra Nevada Hop Field in Chico, CA, 12-5 p.m.
* Sun, July 20th: Southwest Edition at Embarcadero North in San Diego, CA, 1-6 p.m.
* Fri, July 25th: Rocky Mountain Edition at Sculpture Park in Denver, CO, 5-10 p.m.
* Sun, July 27th: Midwest Edition at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL, 12-5 p.m.
* Fri, August 1st: New England Edition at Thompson Point in Portland, ME, 5-10 p.m.
* Sat, August 2nd: Mid-Atlantic Edition at Penn Treaty Park in Philadelphia, PA, 12-5 p.m.
* Sun, August 3rd: Southeast Edition in Mills River, NC, 1-6 p.m.

Each festival will feature up to two beers per brewery, food vendors, and live music by the MarchFourth Marching Band spectacle. Tickets are limited to 5,000 per venue. Tickets cost $65 for general admission, which includes a tasting glass and unlimited tastings (in most locations, see the website for full details). A designated driver ticket is available for $30. Ticket prices are exclusive of taxes and fees, which will vary according to location.

In conjunction with the festivals, Sierra Nevada has partnered with a dozen exceptional craft breweries to create 12 different beers for one mixed 12-pack – including 10 bottles and two cans – another first in the craft beer world. The Beer Camp Across America 12-pack will be available throughout the U.S. this summer, and the dozen brewing partners will join selective legs of the festival tour. Craft drinkers can explore all 12 beers and purhcases tickets online.

Beer Camp Across America is also a giveback program: proceeds will go to the state brewers guilds in the festival host states and to hop and barley research to foster the development of new types of hop varieties and barley crops to fuel the pursuit of new flavor experiences for the ever-expanding tastes of craft drinkers.

April 02, 2014 - Airlines Are Adding Craft Beers to In-flight Offerings
Attention passengers, craft beer has reached 35,000 feet.

As the airline industry works to improve its food and beverage options, a new trend has emerged -- airlines adding craft beers to their in-flight offerings. The assumption is that as more drinkers switch from mass market beers to specialty brews, they'll be happier if they don't have to give up the good stuff when they're in the air.

"We already had our drinkers on airplanes, we just didn't have the beer," says Jim Koch, co-founder of the Boston Beer Co., maker of Sam Adams. "They want to drink in the air what they're drinking on the ground."

It's another sign that airlines are getting better at responding to changing consumer tastes...

[ ... ]

Reasons for the surge include the craft beer industry's new preference for cans over bottles -- which are lighter and easier to store on drink carts -- as well as greater availability of the beers.

Read more here.

April 01, 2014 - Boxcar Brewing to Open West Chester Brewpub
Today we formally announced our plans to establish Boxcar’s very own brewpub in the heart of West Chester, Pennsylvania, aimed at providing locals and beer fanatics alike with quality crafted beer and locally grown food and ingredients.

"The inspiration for the brewpub is rooted in our desire to create a living, breathing space where our passion for beer and the arts can integrate with our community in a meaningful and lasting way,"said Kymberly Robinson, co-owner of Boxcar Brewing Company as well as Stratus Interactive, a West Chester based full service marketing and website development firm.

Read it all.

April 01, 2014 - Brewers Association Lists Top 50 Breweries of 2013
The Brewers Association HAS released its annual lists of the top 50 craft and overall brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume and the craft brewer definition in 2013.

Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 38 were small and independent craft brewing companies.

“In 2013, craft breweries reached new all-time highs in production volume and dollar sales,” said Bart Watson, staff economist, Brewers Association. “Beer lovers continue to demand high-quality, fuller-flavored and local beers from small and independent craft breweries.”

Complete news release and list of top 50 breweries.