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April 21, 2015 - Victory Brewing Company Opens Kennett Square Brewpub
Victory Brewing Company (Victory) is pleased to announce the opening of Victory at Magnolia, the second brewpub for the Philadelphia-area based craft brewer. Located at 650 West Cypress Street in Kennett Square, PA, the seven-barrel brewery with a custom hop back and open fermentation will serve a rotating selection of Kennett Square-brewed beer on draft. The overall philosophy behind Victory at Magnolia mirrors the Downingtown location. It embraces the community with locally sourced ingredients, provides local jobs and maintains unsurpassed service standards and supports green initiatives.

Victory at Magnolia seats up to 220 guests for a la carte dining and will feature outdoor seating in late May. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm and Sunday 11:00 am to 10:00 pm. The retail store features a bevy of Victory beers for purchase as well as merchandise and beer infused food products.

Signature Victory items found on the chef-inspired menu include a hand-tossed Brewery pretzel served with spicy HopDevil beer cheese and Düsseldorf mustard ($5.00) and ‘Wings of Victory’ with house-made buttermilk bleu cheese dressing ($6.00). Kennett Square-inspired menu items include the Kennett Mushroom Sandwich - roasted portobello, spiced eggplant, tomato chutney, Boursin cheese and fresh sprouts on toasted ciabatta ($7.00) and the Kennett Burger - hormone and antibiotic-free certified Angus beef, pecan wood-smoked bacon, sautéed cremini mushrooms and melted Danish bleu cheese on toasted brioche ($7.00). Daily menu additions highlighting local, organic and seasonal ingredients will also be available.

Over 800 reclaimed mushroom boards were incorporated throughout the design of Victory at Magnolia as wainscoting and the custom designed bar that weighs in at 2500 lbs. A blazing Victory logo spans the 49 foot-long bar. Steps from the trailhead to Red Clay Creek, the scenic surroundings are highlighted in large factory-style windows, which usher in natural light through out the 8,134 square foot brewpub.

“We are personally thrilled to be welcomed into the Kennett Square community with the announcement of Victory at Magnolia,” said Victory’s President and Brewmaster, Bill Covaleski. “Our commitment and support of our local economy have created a dedicated following of fans we hope to have for generations to come.”

“This is such an exciting time for all of us,” said Diane Desiderio, Restaurant General Manager, Victory Brewing Company. “We look forward to infusing the Kennett Square area with the hospitality and quality we are known for.”

April 21, 2015 - New Belgium Will Enter Our Market on August 31
New Belgium Brewing has signed contracts with twelve distributors in Pennsylvania and is slated to open that market on August 31, 2015.

List of distributors and other information here

April 17, 2015 - Over 11,500 Brewing Professionals and Exhibitors Gathered in Portland for the 2015 Craft Brewers Conference
2015 Achievement Awards:

Three members of the brewing community were recognized and awarded for their dedication and service during the opening session.

Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing: Steve Dressler, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Brewers Association Recognition Award: Dave & Diane Alexander, Brickskeller, Washington, D.C.

F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award: Brook Bristow, South Carolina Brewers Guild

Other notable takeaways from this year’s CBC include:
Simon Sinek Keynote: In his address to CBC attendees, Sinek focused on themes from his most recent publication, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, which addresses how to create conditions where people can be creative and feel safe enough to take chances.

Introduction of Beer Server Training for Brewpubs: Developed by the BA’s brewpub server training manual subcommittee and collaborative author Laura Lodge, this manual focuses on best practices for developing a knowledgeable staff including hiring, training and retaining great people.

CBC Symposium Ales: The BA collaborated with the Oregon Brewers Guild on this year's commemorative beer. With Oregon home to so many craft breweries, the guild opted to brew six different commemorative beers representing the coast, central Oregon, the Willamette Valley, and Portland proper (with three from the latter). Each beer was a collaboration among breweries from the given area, while a variety of industry suppliers provided the ingredients and packaging.

Craft Brewers Reach Record Volume Share of Marketplace: CBC also saw the BA release a full, extensive analysis of 2014 data on U.S. craft brewing growth. For the first time ever, craft brewers reached double-digit (11 percent) volume share of the marketplace.

The full 2014 industry analysis will be published in the May/June 2015 issue of The New Brewer.
April 15, 2015 - Craft Beer Conference 2015: Papazian Encourages Self-Reflection, Looks to Future
FROM BREWBOUND (David Eisemberg)
Addressing thousands of beer industry professionals this morning at the convention center in Portland, Ore., Charlie Papazian, the president of the Brewers Association, detailed the significance of craft brewery self-reflection.

Kicking off this year’s Craft Brewers Conference, Papazian expressed the importance of brand development, cultivating an image and “knowing who you are and why you do the things you do” in order to succeed in a crowded marketplace that shows no imminent signs of plateauing.

“Never ever under-estimate the importance of defining yourself, your company, your brand and your uniqueness as a group of small and independent brewers,” he said. “Don’t let others define you.”

The BA, for its part, actually does define craft brewers. By their standards, a craft brewer must be small (producing less than 6 million barrels per year), independent (less than 25 percent owned by a company that is itself not a craft brewer) and traditional (the majority of a brewer’s total beverage output is comprised of traditional or innovative brewing ingredients).

While last year’s opening session focused heavily on maintaining quality, this morning, Papazian, alongside other BA executives, focused on the future, discussing not only identity building, but also legislative initiatives and the sudden influx of private equity money infiltrating the space.

Read the complete Brewbound story.

April 13, 2015 - Elysian’s Dick Cantwell Resigns From A-B InBev
FROM BREWBOUND (Chris Furnari):
Just three months after the brewery he helped start was acquired, Dick Cantwell has resigned from Elysian Brewing and Anheuser-Busch InBev, Brewbound has learned.

“I am a craft brewer, however you cut it,” he wrote to Brewbound in an email. “A-B has been extremely courteous through all of this, presenting exciting opportunities to me and my brewing folks, but I can’t do it.”

It makes for a quick end to a union that had been shaky from the start: when the acquisition of the 20-year-old Seattle based brewery was announced in January, Cantwell expressed his opposition to striking a deal with the world’s largest brewer.

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In the months since the deal was announced, the relationship between Cantwell and Elysian’s two other founding partners — Joe Bisacca and David Buhler — deteriorated to the point where there was little, if any, communication, Cantwell said.

Read the complete Brewbound story here.

April 07, 2015 - Former Harpoon CEO Doyle Launches Private Equity-Backed Craft Venture
Less than nine months after selling at least a 40 percent stake in Harpoon Brewery, the country’s 15th largest craft beer company, co-founder and former CEO Rich Doyle is back in the game.

Backed by an investment from San Francisco-based private equity firm Friedman, Fleisher & Lowe (FFL), Doyle has launched Enjoy Beer LLC, a consortium aimed at providing back-office support to independent craft brewers.

According to a company statement, “Enjoy Beer will create partnerships with additional top craft brewers who wish to preserve their local independence, while gaining shared resources in areas such as marketing, sales, purchasing, logistics, and finance in order to compete with large-scale corporate competitors.”

[ ... ]

According to Doyle, Enjoy Beer President and Founder, “As the craft brewing industry continues to evolve, there is enormous pressure on brewers to compete against the big breweries. Local brewers like David Blossman at Abita, have been committed to innovation and finding new opportunities to compete while ensuring the company’s independence and local roots.”

Enjoy Beer will create partnerships with additional top craft brewers who wish to preserve their local independence, while gaining shared resources in areas such as marketing, sales, purchasing, logistics, and finance in order to compete with large-scale corporate competitors.

The complete Brewbound story.

April 02, 2015 - Craft Beer Keeps On Keepin' On
"IRI to March 22 just hit. Overall, craft is up 20% YTD in dollars at the largest channel universe, multi-outlet and convenience ("MULC"); 27% in c-stores; and 18% in food, where it's gained almost 2 dollar share points of the category vs. year ago. In all of these channels, craft's gain is close to domestic premiums' share losses..."

"While there wasn’t much eyebrow raising movement amongst craft’s more popular styles, there was one shocking statistic: the 180 degree turnaround of the pilsner category. At this time last year, sales of craft pilsners were down 5.4 percent in MULC. Fast-forward 365 days and sales are now up more than 100 percent. Pilsners are now 1 percent of all craft beers sold, according to IRI."