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January 30, 2015 - Bob Barrar Leaves Iron Hill to Become Founding Partner in 2SP Brewing Co.
If you type the name “Bob Barrar” into Google, your browser will aut­ofill to “Bob Barrar beer” before you finish typing. The very first link will direct you to an article titled “Meet the Medal Machine.” Published in a 2012 issue of Philly Beer Scene, the pro­file of Barrar lists his brewing accom­plish­ments, which seem almost impos­sible for one indi­vidual: 14 Great American Beer Festival medals (that number is now 19) and ten World Beer Cup awards [for the Iron Hill Brewery & restaurant group with locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey & Delaware]..

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And now, after nearly 15 years with Iron Hill, he is part­nering with sev­eral heavy hit­ters in the local craft beer scene to bring his beers to a much wider audi­ence. This month, he will offi­cially join forces will an all-star cast to form a new pro­duc­tion brewery in Aston, Pa.

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The brewery, 2SP Brewing Company, is a joint ven­ture between Barrar and an entity that arguably has trans­formed the area’s craft beer landscape—The Two Stones Pub restau­rant group.

The 10,000-square-foot 2SP pro­duc­tion facility includes a 20-barrel brew­house with 200 bar­rels of cel­laring space. By May, it will be sup­plying fresh craft beer to Two Stones’ three area loca­tions. The facility ini­tially will dis­tribute in Delaware and Pennsylvania, and a tasting room will be added by this fall. A bot­tling and can­ning oper­a­tion will likely be in place by next year.

Read the entire story here.

January 24, 2015 - Sly Fox Earth Day New Release Will Benefit Schuylkill River Trail
he Schuylkill River Heritage Area is pleased to announce its collaboration with Sly Fox Brewing Company, Pottstown, Pa., on the release of a new canned beer that benefits and celebrates the Schuylkill River Trail.

SRT Ale, due to hit local distributors in cans on Earth Day, is brewed specifically for craft beer fans who also love the outdoors of southeastern Pa. Sly Fox’s SRT Ale is a golden, delicious, hop-forward American Pale Ale, and at 4.7 percent alcohol by volume, it’s designed to be the perfect post-activity beer.

The latest Sly Fox beer is also a tribute to a beloved recreational resource. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of SRT Ale will be donated to improve and maintain the 130-mile Schuylkill River Trail that meanders near the brewery in Pottstown, Pa., as well as Sly Fox’s original Brewhouse & Eatery in Phoenixville, Pa. The beer’s launch will take place over several days as it journeys down the southeastern Pennsylvania trail from Pottsville to Philadelphia.

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The SRT Spree will follow a Sly Fox launch team over the course of four nights and five days as they trek from Pottsville to Philadelphia with a larger-than-life SRT Ale can, welcoming beer and trail lovers to join in along the way. The team will travel by kayaks, road bicycles, trail bikes, horseback, recumbent trikes and on foot to advance the giant can to the final destination. Each day the Spree will stop along the trail for an organized trail cleanup and recognition of a local beer purveyor that will introduce SRT Ale to the public. Area businesses and community organizations will be invited to join this movement as it draws awareness to the trail – and the ale.

There's lot's more. Read the entire news release here.

January 23, 2015 - Another Shoe Drops: A-B buys Elysian
A-B has just purchased 20-year-old Seattle brewer Elysian, per company statement. The deal should close in Q1 2015.

Elysian sold more than 50,000 barrels of beer in 2014, with Immortal IPA accounting for more than a quarter of the company's total volume.

"For two decades, we've welcomed guests into our brewpubs and served them creative and impeccably crafted beers," said Joe Bisacca, Elysian CEO and co-founder, in a statement. He will continue with Elysian along with his partners, Dick Cantwell and David Buhler. "After a lot of hard work, we've grown from one Seattle brewpub to four pub locations and a production brewery. With the support of Anheuser-Busch, we will build on past successes and share our beers with more beer lovers moving forward."

here is The official announcement by Anheuser-Busch.

January 20, 2015 - Iron HIll To Expand "House Beer" Line-up at All Locations
On Monday, February 2, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant will debut a new house lineup of fresh craft beers, available on draught and for growler fills, at all 11 locations throughout the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware region.

Three new styles of beer will be added to the everyday lineup, including: White Iron Wit, a pale unfiltered Belgian-style wheat beer, light-bodied and very refreshing featuring complex orange and spice flavors; Ore House IPA, a golden American IPA, with a balanced hop bitterness and wonderful citrus and pine aroma and flavor; and Witberry, a classic unfiltered Belgian-style wheat beer, brewed with a touch of raspberry and complex orange and spice flavors.

Ore House IPA is the culmination of a company-wide collaboration project between the brewery’s staff and Director of Brewery Operations Mark Edelson after each head brewer was asked to create a different IPA in celebration of National IPA Day in 2014. Afterward, the beers were sampled, critiqued and eventually voted on, based on the most popular from the brewers’ taste panel. Ore House IPA, first brewed at Iron Hill Maple Shade, is named in honor of Ore House Amber, one of Iron Hill’s original house beers when the brewpub opened in 1996.

“Ore House IPA is an ode to our humble beginnings as a small brewpub in Delaware, but it is also shows how far we have come as a brewery and restaurant as we approach our 20th anniversary,” says Edelson. “Watching all of our extremely talented head brewers really let their creativity shine and fully embrace the collaborative spirit of the project, was the most rewarding part – and maybe the most fun I’ve had during my time as head of brewery operations.”

January 20, 2015 - Sierra Nevada Founder Grossman Becomes Third Member of Craft Brewer Billionaire Club
“It’s been a pretty phenomenal last 30 years for the American craft beer industry,” said Grossman in a July interview at his Chico, California, headquarters. He’s gone from storing beer in his grandmother’s fridge to the head of the country’s second-largest craft brewery, becoming a billionaire in the process, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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“I didn’t get into the business to try and make a ton of money and I’ve made enough money that I am totally comfortable and don’t want for anything,” he said. He plans to let his son and daughter Sierra, 37, run the company when he’s done.

Grossman is the third beer billionaire to recently emerge in the U.S. Jim Koch, founder of Sam Adams parent Boston Beer Co. has a net worth of $1.3 billion. Dick Yuengling, the owner of Pottsville, Pennsylvania’s D.G. Yuengling & Son, who doesn’t identify his company as craft, has a $2.6 billion fortune.

Read the complete Bloomberg News story written by Brendan Coffey.

January 09, 2015 - Hartranft/Maida/Kelly Will Open Coeur at 8th & Christian in September
Leigh Maida, Brendan Hartranft and Brendan Kelly, the trio behind Local 44, Strangelove's and the forthcoming Clarkville in West Philly have just signed a lease at 8th and Christian — the space that formerly housed The Mildred, and James before that. (Maida and Hartranft also own Memphis Taproom.)

A classic, back-to-basics menu a la Montreal in a cozy and casual neighborhood setting is the plan and both craft beer and wine will flow from the taps. The name of the spot will be Coeur—in honor of the classic/hearty/causal neighborhood bistro menu being planned and the heavy dedication to the craft beer scene — the heart of what Maida, Hartranft and Kelly are best known for.

Of the space, Hartranft says "I want this to be the kind of place that local couples frequent regularly and wind up saying to each other 'Did you ever notice that we always go home and have sex whenever we eat there? Weird, right?'"

Cozy, intimate, friendly and warm are the buzz words surrounding this project — just in time to usher in fall with a September 2015 opening.

Coeur will be located at 824 S. 8th Street (at Christian)

January 09, 2015 - Congress Reintroduces Bill to Promote Small Brewery Job Creation
Boulder, CO • January 8, 2015 – It’s the first week of the 114th Congress, and Republicans and Democrats have already found two areas of agreement: beer and taxes. The Brewers Association is pleased to announce the reintroduction of the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act (Small BREW Act) in the House of Representatives. The bipartisan legislation was reintroduced by Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) and Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.).

The Small BREW Act seeks to recalibrate the federal beer excise tax that small brewers pay on every barrel of beer they produce. An earlier version of the bill, H.R. 494, was introduced in 2013 during the 113th Congress and also enjoyed significant bipartisan support, with a total of 182 Republican and Democratic supporters.

Under current federal law, brewers making less than 2 million barrels annually pay $7 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels they produce, and $18 per barrel on every barrel thereafter. The Small BREW Act seeks to establish a new rate structure that is reflective of the evolving craft brewing industry. If enacted, the rate for the smallest brewers and brewpubs would be $3.50 on the first 60,000 barrels. For production between 60,001 and 2 million barrels, the rate would be $16.00 per barrel. For production over 2 million barrels, the federal excise tax would not change from its current $18 rate per barrel. Brewers with an annual production of 6 million barrels or less would qualify for these tax rates.

“The rise in the popularity of craft brewing is a quintessential American success story,” said Congressman Paulsen. “Many of these brewers start out enjoying a hobby, but end up growing businesses that create jobs and provide a product that people enjoy. The tax code needs to catch up to the nature of the brewing industry and not penalize the nation’s small brewers.”

Read the complete news release.

January 09, 2015 - Urban Chestnut Will Open Small Brewery in Hallertau, Bavaria Later This Year
Urban Chestnut Brewing Co., a craft brewer located in St. Louis, MO has purchased a small brewery in Florian Kuplent’s (Urban Chestnut’s Co-Founder & Brewmaster) homeland of Bavaria and plans to brew small batches of their beers in Germany.

Bürgerbräu Wolnzach, a small brewery located in the town of Wolnzach, Hallertau, recently closed its doors which provided Urban Chestnut the opportunity to do something they had always hoped was possible…own and operate a brewery in Germany. Wolnzach, which is situated in the world’s largest producing region of hops, Hallertau Bavaria, is also the home of The German Hops Museum. "Since my apprenticeship as a teenager at Erharting Brauerei, "I’ve always dreamed of owning my own brewery in Bavaria," said Kuplent. I’m thinking we might be a little crazy opening our third brewery in 5 years, which is much sooner than we planned, but the Wolnzach opportunity was too good to pass up."

Urban Chestnut, founded in 2011, has been exporting small quantities of beer to Germany since 2013. Kuplent is a German born and trained brewmaster with extensive experience at both small breweries, worldwide, and with the world’s largest brewery, Anheuser-Busch. Wolfe is a 25-year beer industry member, who was also with Anheuser-Busch, prior to joining Kuplent in founding Urban Chestnut.

Wolfe believes the marketing opportunities the new brewery provides are very substantial. "In considering different ways to grow Urban Chestnut in Germany and in Europe as a whole, we believe the U.S. craft beer model of ‘local’ is a more than viable strategy. Actually owning and operating a brewery in Bavaria will provide us with a solid platform for growth via direct interaction with local beer drinkers and with beer drinkers visiting the Hallertau region during their beer pilgrimages."

Urban Chestnut plans to open the brewery in Wolnzach a bit later in 2015. And while the new brewery will be the smallest of the three UCBC breweries, it will carry a big load. The Wolnzach operation will be utilized to brew beers to distribute in Europe as well as to brew unique, German-brewed beers to export to the U.S. It will also act as the central point of operations for the importing/exporting of raw materials, beer, and other goods to and from the U.S. Urban Chestnut currently receives weekly container shipments of raw materials, their standard .5L Euro bottles, and other goods from Germany.

"I’m really looking forward to the synergies we will realize and the fun we will have importing & exporting beer back and forth from the U.S. and Germany…I’m more than anxious to get the Urban Chestnut Brauerei up and running!" exclaimed Kuplent.

January 06, 2015 - Craft Ale House Owners to Open Fork and Ale in Douglassville
Gary and Melissa Fry, owners of the popular Craft Ale House in Limerick, will open a new venue, Fork and Ale, in nearby Douglassville this spring. "We are closing the deal this Thursday," Fry told The Beer Yard this afternoon, "and hope to be open by April."

The site on Rt. 724 between Douglassville and Birdsboro has been home to Tim's Ugly Mug Bar & Grill since 2003 and will have the same "good beer" concept as Craft Ale House but also have a full liquor license. "We hope to add local wine on tap as well," said Fry.

The Craft Ale House opened in December 2008 and has become a destination venue for beer lovers in the western suburbs.