Beer Yard The Beeryard · 218 East Lancaster Ave · Wayne, PA 19087 · Tel 610.688.3431 · 
Monday - Thursday 10AM-10PM · Friday - Saturday 10AM-11PM · Sunday Noon-5PM · Holidays - call for hours  

October 20, 2018 -
September 22, 2018 - 2018 GABF Awards Results
PA: 2 for Root Down (one a Gold), the usual win for Iron Hill, 1 for Two Rivers and the fifth for Aurochs Brewing. Rock Bottom in Homestead is on the main winners list but not on the PA one at this time.
NJ: Slack Tide, Village Idiot & Kane.
June 10, 2018 - Craig LaBan's Philly Beer Week Choices
Check out the whole list...
May 05, 2018 - Local Breweries Win 8 World Beer Cup Medals Including Golds for Weyerbacher & Two Rivers [UPDATED]
See our website for all the WBC results
May 03, 2018 - Brewvitational 2018 voters named La Cabra Brewing's Peter Flemish Red top new beer of the year; Dogfish Head Sequench Ale voted best canned beer
Check out all the results and more Brewvitational news on our website
February 13, 2018 - Stone Brewing Files Lawsuit Against MillerCoors Over ‘Stone’ Trademark
BREWBOUND (Chris Funari)
Stone Brewing has filed a lawsuit against Molson Coors Brewing Company subsidiary MillerCoors, which makes and markets the “Keystone” line of beers, alleging that the multinational company infringed on the San Diego craft brewery’s “Stone” trademark.

According to the complaint, filed today in the U.S. district court of Southern California, Stone Brewing asserts that MillerCoors is purposely trying to “steal the consumer loyalty and awesome reputation of Stone’s craft brews” with its recently rebranded Keystone packages.

Introduced last April, the new Keystone cans and multi-packs were refreshed to more prominently feature the word “Stone” in capitalized letters.


February 09, 2018 - Yards Offered Free LOCAL Beer During Eagles Parade
The oldest brewery in Philadelphia gave out free beer of its own. Starting at 11:30 a.m., every customer who came by the brand new taproom at 500 Spring Garden St. received a Philly Pale Ale on the house.
February 06, 2018 - Brewers of Pennsylvania Elects New Board Members
At the association’s annual meeting on January 27 at the new Yards Brewing Company in Philadelphia, the Brewers of Pennsylvania (BOP), the state’s official brewers guild, elected new Board members to serve two-year terms.


January 06, 2018 - Brewers of Pennsylvania Elects New Board Members
At the association’s annual meeting on January 27 at the new Yards Brewing Company in Philadelphia, the Brewers of Pennsylvania (BOP), the state’s official brewers guild, elected new Board members to serve two-year terms.


December 28, 2017 - USA Today: Beers Americans No Longer Drink
Americans bought 210.5 million barrels of beer in 2016, up about 2% from a half-decade ago. Surely, beer is big business in the United States. The beer industry generated over $350 billion in economic output in 2016, or about 2% of total GDP.

Like many industries, the beer industry is subject to changing demographics and evolving consumer tastes. In recent years, Americans have been turning to craft beer, imports, cocktails, and wine as their alcoholic beverage of choice.

These shifts in consumer tastes forces can have major implications for beer makers, and some of the industry’s largest brands are losing market share year after year. For many of the beer industry’s most iconic brands — such as Budweiser, Bud Light, and Miller High Life — the best days may be in the past.


December 12, 2017 - Anheuser-Busch Launches New ‘Elevate’ Initiative
Anheuser-Busch InBev, via its “High End” craft division in the U.S., today announced the launch of a new initiative aimed at “building a better future” for the beer industry.

Called Elevate, the program is A-B’s effort to make its 11 U.S. craft beer and cider brands better stewards of the industry.

Speaking to Brewbound, High End president Felipe Szpigel said the new initiative would include commitments and investments into four key areas: beer, the environment, communities and the industry.


December 12, 2017 - So long, Bud — Sam Adams is the new official beer of the Red Sox
The King of Beers has been dethroned — by a beer named for an American patriot.

Samuel Adams is set to replace longtime sponsor Budweiser as the official beer of the Red Sox, after its brewer, Boston Beer Co., signed an eight-year deal with the team that will last through the 2025 season.

Plenty of Major League Baseball stadiums now offer craft beer, but Sam Adams appears to be the first craft beer to become the official brew of a ball club.


November 29, 2017 - Beer Soon to be Available at NCAA Sporting Events
The college hoops season is only just getting started, but if you prefer watching college basketball with a beer in your hand, you may want to start looking ahead to the Final Four… of 2019. Yes, next season’s Final Four is seen as the most lucrative prize after a recent NCAA rule change has opened the way for alcohol to be sold at NCAA championship events – including the association’s highest profile events, the men’s and women’s college basketball championship tournaments known as March Madness.

Late last month, the NCAA’s Board of Governors rescinded its policy banning alcohol sales at NCAA-sanctioned postseason events, instead choosing to let each collegiate division decide on whether to allow alcohol sales individually. Though Division II and Division III, the leagues which encompass smaller schools, have not shown any immediate interest in allowing the sale of beer and wine, Division I, where the biggest names in collegiate athletics compete, reportedly jumped on the opportunity. Read more.

October 08, 2017 - Gold Medals for Sly Fox & 2SP and a double win for Iron HIll Media at 2017 GABF
Breweries in the Beer Yard marketing region of the Delaware Valley are bringing home nine Great American Beer Festival Medals ths year, hearly double those won in 2016. Pennsylvania breweries overall accounted for 15 medals, returning the Commonwealth to the role of the East Coast's best beer producing state, a honor it used to win as a matter of course but which has not been achieved in recent years.

Sly Fox (Grisette Summer Ale) and 2SP (Russian Imperial Stout) each won a Gold Medal. Silvers went to Iron Hill Media for Solzhenitsyn Imperial Stout and Russian Imperial Stout and to Yards for ESA. Bronze medals were won by Dock Street's Man Full of Trouble Porter, Neshaminy Creek for Croydon Is Burning, Stickman for Cousin Stoopid, and Weyerbacher for Riserva. The ninth win for the Beer Yard market was a silver to New Jersey's River Horse for Tripel Horse.

Overall, 293 medals were awarded to 266 Breweries. Winners were chosen out of 7,923 competition entries from 2,217 breweries in 50 states plus Washington, D.C. (a 15 percent and 24 percent increase respectively from the 7,301 entries and 1,783 breweries in 2016).

October 07, 2017 - Excellent Showing for Local Brewers @ GABF 2017
First Impressions: It's like Old Home Week for local brewers at GABF today. Yards, Sly Fox, Dock Street, Iron Hill Media, Weyerbacher, 2SP, Neshaminy Creek, and Stickman all won medals. the first five of those are among the oldest breweries in our region. New Jersey's River Horse & Spellbound took medals as well.
September 26, 2017 - BREWBOUND: US Craft Beer Industry Contributes $68 Billion to Economy
Chris Funari

In just four years, the economic impact of small and independent U.S. craft brewers has doubled, according to an updated report issued by industry trade group the Brewers Association on Tuesday.

The study, which was based on two national surveys as well as other government and market data, found that the U.S. craft brewing industry, as defined by the BA, contributed $67.8 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016.

It was also responsible for more than 456,000 full-time jobs in 2016, the BA said, with breweries and brewpubs creating more than 128,000 of those positions.

“As consumers continue to demand a wide range of high-quality, full-flavored beers, small and independent craft brewers are meeting this growing demand with innovative offerings, creating high levels of economic value in the process,” BA chief economist Bart Watson said.

According to the organization, small brewers’ economic impact has increased 21.7 since 2014, when the industry contributed $55.7 billion to the U.S. economy and provided more than 424,000 jobs.


September 18, 2017 - Why We Love the NFL
The NFL’s return to the gridiron for its 2017 season is already providing a major boost to restaurants that sell beer, according to data from an industry monitoring service.

Total beer consumption rose 36.6% for the first Sunday of the NFL season compared to the same day one week earlier, said BeerBoard, which monitors draft beer lines at restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters. Sales volume was also 7.2% higher than on the first Sunday of the 2016 season.


August 28, 2017 - Beer Goddess Gifts 6-Pack Amid Hurricane Harvey News Coverage
While Dallas-based Fox 4 News reporter Casey Stegall was shooting coverage of the impending destruction brought forth by Hurricane Harvey on Friday, a Galveston woman appears mid-segment to present Stegall with a six pack of beer. In true welcoming committee fashion, she adds,“Got you guys some Galveston beer,”.

Upon further investigation it seems that the woman gifted the confused reporter a six-pack of Galveston Island Brewing’s TIKI Wheat. Galveston Island Brewing’s marketing director Charday Van Orstrand, has confirmed that woman in the video does not in fact work for the brewery, but rather displayed “southern hospitality at its finest.” Video here.

July 17, 2017 - Samuel Adams Collaborates with Five Breweries for Limited Release 12-pack
ALL ABOUT BEER (Boston Beer Press Release)
BOSTON–To celebrate the independent and entrepreneurial spirit of the craft beer industry, Samuel Adams has collaborated with five different breweries across the country to brew a limited release 12-pack for the first-time ever, aptly named The Brewing the American Dream Collaboration Pack. From bartenders to chefs, the collaborative spirit of “craft” is stronger than ever. No industry better exudes this spirit than the craft brewing community, where independent brewers put aside competition to collaborate creatively and challenge each other to push the envelope.

Unlike any other beer collaborations before, this pack features brewers who are part of Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, the brewery’s signature philanthropic program. Nearly a decade ago, Sam Adams created Brewing the American Dream to provide loans and coaching to craft brewers and small business owners pursuing their passions and the American Dream of starting their own business. All profits from this collaboration pack will be donated to non-profit program partner and small business lender Accion to support loans to food and beverage entrepreneurs nationwide.

The pack’s five brewers – Roc Brewing Co. (Rochester, NY), Bosque Brewing (Albuquerque, NM), ChuckAlek Independent Brewers (Ramona, CA), Woods Beer Co. (San Francisco, CA) and Brewery Rickoli (Wheat Ridge, CO) – have participated in the program and received a loan to kick start or grow their craft breweries. And most have participated in the Brewing and Business Experienceship, receiving individual coaching from the team at Sam Adams.

The pack, which contains five unique collaboration beers and Sam Adams’ flagship Boston Lager, hits stores nationally in late July.

Read more here.

June 27, 2017 - Brewers Association Releases Official Seal
When it comes to beer, independence matters. To help educate beer lovers, the Brewers Association (BA) today announced the launch of a new seal to designate beers that are produced by independent craft brewers.

Why now? When it comes to the origins of food and beverages, there is increasing public interest in transparency. Beer lovers are no exception. As Big Beer acquires former craft brands, beer drinkers have become increasingly confused about which brewers remain independent. They want to know who makes their beer. With the launch of this seal, the BA is making it easy to identify which beer is made by independent craft brewers.

What does the seal look like? Featuring an iconic beer bottle shape flipped upside down, the seal captures the spirit of how craft brewers have upended the beer industry, while informing beer lovers they are choosing a beer from a brewery that is independently owned.

How can brewers adopt the seal?: The seal is available for use free of charge by any of the more than 5,300 small and independent American craft brewers that have a valid TTB Brewer’s Notice; meet the BA’s craft brewer definition; and sign a license agreement. It is available to both member and non-member breweries of the BA.

When will beer lovers see the seal in the marketplace? In the coming weeks, months and years, beer lovers will see it on beer packaging, at retailers and in brewery communications and marketing materials.

June 03, 2017 - Anheuser-Busch InBev Buys Stake in RateBeer Website
Through its so-called “global disruptive growth group” ZX Ventures, Anheuser-Busch InBev has acquired a minority stake in RateBeer, one of the most popular and reputable beer ratings and resource websites in the world.

But the deal isn’t exactly new. In fact, it closed this past October following eight months of talks. It went unannounced, however—to both the public and RateBeer stakeholders—because the two sides wanted to get “points on the board” to prove the value of the partnership without the “disruption” of making it public. Today, though, AB InBev confirmed to GBH that it has, in fact, invested in the website. More...

May 24, 2017 - Iron Hill Will Open Rehoboth Beach Restaurant
The beloved local brewery and restaurant group will open Iron Hill Rehoboth Beach, marking the company’s long-anticipated expansion into Southern Delaware

Founders Kevin Finn, Mark Edelson and Kevin Davies are thrilled to announce that Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, the Mid-Atlantic region’s most-awarded and fastest-growing collection of brewpubs will open in Summer 2018 at 19791 Coastal Highway in Rehoboth Beach, just south of Tanger Outlets Rehoboth Beach. This will be the third Delaware location for the Wilmington-based company, and their 14th planned location on the East Coast. Since opening their original brewery and restaurant in Newark, DE in 1996, Iron Hill has remained dedicated to producing from-scratch food and hand-crafted beers in a warm and hospitable setting. Their 2016 equity investment from A&M Capital Opportunities positioned them to continue their plan for careful growth, with more brewer-driven locations expected to open over the next several years.

Finn, Edelson and Davies are viewed as innovative business leaders in their home state of Delaware and in the Mid-Atlantic region. They started Iron Hill at a time when small breweries were just beginning to gain mass appeal around the country and their forward-thinking concept – each individual location has their own head brewer – helped change overall perceptions about brewpubs. Delaware has seen a significant craft brewing boom in recent years and Iron Hill’s long-standing popularity among locals helped lead to the state tourism agency’s development of the Visit Delaware Beer, Wine and Spirits Trail in 2010. Iron Hill Rehoboth Beach will join fellow craft beer pioneer Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and six other breweries operating in Southern Delaware, one of the trendiest destinations for craft beer in the United States.

“As we continue to grow, we also wanted to deepen our commitment to our Delaware roots,” says President and Co-Founder Kevin Finn. “Our guests have long asked for us to open a location at the beach, and we are excited to join the thriving restaurant and brewing community in Rehoboth.”

May 19, 2017 - Brewbound: Castanea Partners Purchases Majority Stake in The Bruery
BREWBOUND (Chris Funari)
Popular southern California craft brewery The Bruery, which specializes in creating experimental sour and barrel-aged beer offerings, has sold a majority stake to Boston-area private equity firm Castanea Partners, Brewbound has learned.

In a conversation with Brewbound, The Bruery founder Patrick Rue, who launched the business in 2008 with his dad, Mike Rue, said the pair would retain a “substantial amount of equity.”

Patrick Rue will also continue to serve as the company’s CEO. “We chose to make Castanea a part of Famille Rue because of their talents and their appreciation and understanding of our vision, and because they want to contribute to our continuous improvement,” Rue wrote in a blog post on his company’s website. Read More...

May 18, 2017 - Brewers Association 2017 Beer Style Guidelines
The Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines are compiled for the Brewers Association (BA) by Charlie Papazian, copyright 1993 through and including 2017, with Style Guideline Committee assistance and review by Paul Gatza, Chuck Skypeck, Chris Swersey and suggestions from Great American Beer Festival® and World Beer Cup? judges.

Organizations or individuals that use the Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines (“Guidelines”) must be aware that they are updated yearly with significant changes including editing, deletion and/or addition of beer styles. Changes are not tracked from year to year.

You can see the 2017 guidelines here.

May 15, 2017 - Yuengling’s Lagers for Heroes Campaign Enters its Second Year to Support the VFW
D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. is pleased to announce it will enter its second year of support of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S through its “Lagers For Heroes” campaign.

D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. will recognize the sacrifices that America’s veterans have made with a significant donation to the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ assistance programs in the amount of $100,000. Yuengling, America’s Oldest Brewery began supporting the VFW through their “Lagers For Heroes” program in 2016. This year’s program runs May 29 to July 4, 2017 and promotes Yuengling Traditional Lager and Light Lager with the line “Grab A Lager & Toast A Hero.”

“We are thankful to the brave and dedicated service men and women who made tremendous sacrifices and served our country,” said Richard “Dick” Yuengling, President and Owner of Yuengling. “Generations of our family served, which reminds us today of the value and support VFW brings to our nation’s heroes.”


May 13, 2017 - Rumor: Conshohocken Brewing Coming to Phoenixville
Repeat: only a rumor; we will confirm when and if we can
May 11, 2017 - 2017 Brewvitational Results: A Tie & a Double Win
It was bigger. It was Brewvi-er. It was open to the public!

The Inquirer’s annual Brewvitational competition for local craft beer held its eighth edition Thursday, capped by its first-ever public event — Taste of the Brewvitational — at the Reading Terminal Market. Hundreds of revelers came to the historic Market to sip, taste and vote on the best flagship beers from dozens of local breweries.

But first, a group of 12 expert judges gathered earlier in the day for a private blind tasting to determine the region’s best new beer as well as the best lager entry, this year’s focused style category. It was the largest field in the competition’s history, with nearly 80 entries from 41 breweries in three states. With the thirsty crowd looking on, the top three winners in the two judged categories were announced and presented with their Tiffany crystal mug Brewvi trophies. But not without some drama.

More here.

April 29, 2017 - Brewbound: Heineken Completes Lagunitas Buyout
Chris Furnari
Less than two years after purchasing a 50 percent stake in California and Chicago-based craft beer maker Lagunitas, Heineken International today announced it was coming back for the other half of the fast-growing U.S. craft brewery.

Specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, however the remaining 50 percent stake could be worth about $500 million, based on a previous valuation of the Lagunitas business.

In August 2015, when Heineken acquired its initial 50 percent stake in the brewery, sources familiar with craft beer transactions told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Lagunitas’ hometown paper, that the deal could be have valued the company at $1 billion.

In a press release, Heineken said Lagunitas founder Tony Magee would remain “active” as the executive chairman of the craft outfit and become Heineken’s director of global craft.

“Our partnership with Lagunitas has been a great success and today’s announcement marks the next stage of an exciting journey,” Heineken CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer said via the release. “We look forward to accelerating the roll-out of the Lagunitas brand to many more markets, and sharing Lagunitas craft beer with many more consumers around the world.”

Magee, 57, also praised the transaction, saying: “During the 19 months of our partnership we have come to trust and truly believe in each other. Through that we have found ourselves aligned on how to bring the vibe of U.S. craft brewing to beer lovers everywhere. Only by fully committing to this relationship can we both respond to the historic opportunity that awaits us in all 24 time zones.”

More details here.

April 07, 2017 - Yuengling Is Sponsoring the Phillies
Pottsville, PA, April 7, 2017 – D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc., America’s Oldest Brewery, is pleased to announce a sponsorship agreement with the Philadelphia Phillies. This multi-year agreement with one of Pennsylvania’s Major League Baseball teams will feature Yuengling beer, which is the first new beer sponsor of the Phillies in nearly 40 years.

“Phillies Baseball and beer are two of my passions. So we are thrilled to partner with one of the iconic teams in our home state,” said Dick Yuengling, Owner and President. “Watching America’s favorite pastime while enjoying a Yuengling Traditional Lager from America’s Oldest Brewery is what brings fans together.”

“We are proud to welcome Yuengling to the Phillies family,” said Dave Buck, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Advertising Sales. “Like the Phillies, Yuengling has a long history in Pennsylvania. It’s a natural synergy – and a great addition to the ballpark’s off-the field lineup.”

Sponsorship with the Philadelphia Phillies includes an outfield wall sign, digital sign and in-stadium sign featuring the brewery’s flagship beer, Yuengling Traditional Lager.

The sponsorship, with the support of business partner Origlio Beverage, started on opening day on April 7, 2017.

April 05, 2017 - Speakeasy Signs Exclusive Brewing Contract with Shmaltz
BEWBOUND (Chris Funari):
In an effort to keep beer in the marketplace while a court-appointed receiver solicits bids for the Speakeasy Ales & Lagers brand and brewing assets, the San Francisco craft brewery has signed an exclusive contract brewing agreement with New York’s Shmaltz Brewing, Brewbound has learned.

The decision to outsource at least some of its production comes just two weeks after the company said it would resume manufacturing at its San Francisco brewing facility.

The arrangement with Shmaltz will include production of Speakeasy’s Big Daddy IPA, Prohibition Ale and Baby Daddy Session IPA, Brian Stechschulte, a Speakeasy spokesman told Brewbound.


March 17, 2017 - Yards Brewing Closes on Loan & Is On Track To Open New Brewery This Year
Work has begun on the conversion of a 70,000-square-foot portion of Destination Maternity Corp.’s former headquarters warehouse at Fifth and Spring Garden Streets into Yards Brewing Co.’s new brewery, event space and tasting room, which is on track to open before the end of the year.

Yards is moving from its current 38,000-square-foot brewery near the Delaware River at Poplar Street. The additional space at the new location will allow the brewer to boost output and add a canning line to the operation.

The project is expected to cost $19 million, with $6 million spent on construction and $13 million on new equipment. The new space should open between October and December, Yards said.

March 15, 2017 - BA Announces Top 50 American Breweries 2016
News Release Via THE FULL PINT
Boulder, CO) – The Brewers Association today released its annual lists of the top 50 craft and overall brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume. Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 40 were craft brewing companies.

“With such a broad range of brewers in today’s beer landscape, the leading small and independent producers have helped build the craft brewing industry to what it is today,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “Embracing their experience and ability to thrive and overcome challenges, the top producing craft brewers will continue to inspire, innovate and influence the future of beer.”

See the full list, with graphics.

Yuengling, Boston Beer, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium and Gambrinus held the top five positions. Locally, Artistanal Brewing Ventures (Victory & Southern Tier) was #13, Dogfish Head #14 and Troegs #38.

February 25, 2017 - Local Nonprofit Will Boost Beer Tourism in Philly
Beer lovers in Philadelphia can soon look forward to a steady stream of events to quench their thirst and taste for new suds.

A member-based network born out of demand, PLB will offer educational seminars, networking events, fundraisers, beer festivals, promotional support for their participants, and continue to expand beer’s imprint in Philadelphia.

Once up and running, the PLB website will provide an online home for local beer enthusiasts, regularly publishing beer news, features, events listings, and interviews with local brewers.

Read more

February 06, 2017 - Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant Will Open 13th Location in Center City Next Year
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant today announced that it has leased 8,450 square feet, becoming the newest tenant to join the transformative East Market project located in Center City Philadelphia owned by National Real Estate Development.

Scheduled to open in spring 2018, Iron Hill Center City (1150 Market Street) will mark the company’s highly-anticipated debut in a major metropolitan hub, setting the stage for further brand expansion along the East Coast.

he addition of Iron Hill to East Market will bring one of the most enduringly successful craft brewers in the United States just steps from the Pennsylvania Convention Center and Reading Terminal Market. It will also serve as one of only a handful of full-scale breweries within the city limits of Philadelphia.

“We’ve long wanted to join Center City’s exciting and diverse restaurant scene, but we wanted to be part of something from the ground up,” said Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant President and Founder Kevin Finn. "We look forward to opening our doors and raising a pint with our new neighbors and friends in spring 2018.”

More Here.

February 02, 2017 - Sly Fox To Be Recognized for Supporting Schuylkill River Trail
Pottstown, PA—February 2, 2017—Trail Angels are unknown hikers or people that live along a trail that leave help for weary thru-hikers in the form of food, water or gear. According to seasoned thru-hikers, Trail Angels' "gifts" appear when you least expect them and they're very much needed.

You can call Sly Fox Brewing Company trail angels, in a way, when they released a beer and helped support a beloved local trail.

[ ...]

The Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area (SRHA) has been an advocate and caretaker of parts of the Schuylkill River Trail, a projected 130-mile multi-use stretch that is part of the East Coast Greenway, since it opened for public use. SRHA depends on individuals, organizations and companies to support their efforts.

[ ... ]

Two years ago Sly Fox released SRT Ale, a lower-alcohol hop forward seasonal beer as a tribute to the Schuylkill River Trail. The creative product release was chronicled by two brewery representatives who traveled the entire trail on foot and using kayaks, bicycles and horses. Along the way they delivered the new beer to pre-planned party stops, and organized a series of group trail clean-ups. The successful event led to the SRT Spree, an annual SRT party that celebrates the trail and the Earth Day release of SRT Ale.

Read the complete news release here.

January 31, 2017 - Guinness To Build Version of Dublin's Popular Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Maryland.
Continuing the momentum from Diageo Beer Company USA's positive half year financial results, Diageo today announced its intention to build a US version of Dublin's popular Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore County, Maryland. As currently planned, the company would build a mid-sized Guinness brewery and a Guinness visitor experience with an innovation microbrewery at the company's existing Relay, Maryland site. This new brewing capability and consumer experience, combined with a packaging and warehousing operation, would bring the company's investment in Relay to approximately $50 million. The new brewery would be a home for new Guinness beers created for the US market, while the iconic Guinness Stouts will continue to be brewed at St. James's Gate in Dublin, Ireland. Visitors would be able to tour the working brewery, sample experimental beers brewed on-site at the taproom, and purchase Guinness merchandise at the retail store. While finalization of these plans is still contingent on reaching agreement on several considerations, the project would represent a significant investment in Maryland in terms of economic development, job creation and tourism.

"Opening a Guinness brewery and visitor center in the US will enable us to collaborate with fellow brewers and interact with the vibrant community of beer drinkers," stated Tom Day, President, Diageo Beer Company, USA. "Given the success of our Open Gate Brewery in Dublin and the popularity of beer tourism in the US, we are confident that Americans will welcome the opportunity to come experience Guinness brewing in Baltimore County. We appreciate the support we have received so far from state and local officials and look forward to continuing to contribute to the local community."


January 17, 2017 - Number of Permitted US Breweries Surpasses 7,000 in 2016
BREWBOUND (Chris Funari)
For the third straight year, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau issued more than 1,000 new brewery permits, bringing the total number of permitted U.S. breweries to a record high of 7,190 in 2016.

According to recent TTB data published by National Beer Wholesalers Association chief economist Lester Jones, the number of permitted U.S. breweries has tripled from 2,343 over the last six years.

The government agency issued 1,110 new permits in 2016, down slightly from the 1,142 new permits issued in 2015.

Permitted breweries include brick and mortar facilities and alternating proprietorships while excluding contract brewers. It also includes brewers who may have recently shut down their brewing operations but have not yet been “delisted” by the TTB.

As of December 31, 2016, California had the most permitted breweries in the U.S., at 927, and Washington, D.C., had the fewest with 13.

Read more here.

January 12, 2017 - Cape May Brewing Company Releases Commemorative Beer for Villanova University
Cape May Brewing Company is pleased to announce their latest creation, Demisemiseptcentennial Ale. Brewed as the official craft beer of Villanova University’s 175th anniversary, this exclusive brew is set for release in six-packs and on draft starting Wednesday, January 25th from their Tasting Room at 1288 Hornet Road in the Cape May Airport.

Cape May Brewing Company co-owners and Villanova alumni Ryan Krill and Chris Henke met as freshman in the fall of 2001. Quickly becoming friends, the two stayed close throughout their University experience and remained buddies in the years after.

“As we approached the University’s 175th anniversary, we wanted to plan a year-long celebration that was fun and engaging for all Villanovans,” says Villanova’s Director of Presidential Initiatives and Events, Christine Quisenberry. “Lots of activities are scheduled on campus, and we wanted to be sure to find ways to include our alumni throughout the region and around the world in this celebration, too. That’s where Ryan and Chris come in.”


“It’s a pretty big thrill to be asked to do this for our alma mater,” Krill says. “Villanova gave us a great education and lifelong friendships. Being asked to be part of this moment in the school’s history is both exciting and humbling. It’s great to have a chance to give something back to the school that gave us both so much.”

Read the complete news release here.

January 03, 2017 - 7 Stories That Shaped the Beer Industry in 2016
BREWBOUND (Chris Funari)
We said it one year ago and we’ll say it again: What an exhausting year.

Much like the 12 months before it, 2016 brought plenty of headlines about the continued evolution of the beer segment. Dozens of craft brewery owners sold all or parts of their businesses, key executives at many of the country’s top beer companies vacated their positions and taproom culture began to boom at a time when sales for some of the largest and most established players softened.

So, with another busy year in the books, let’s take a look back at some of the more noteworthy storylines in 2016.

Read all 7 stories here...

December 15, 2016 - Pabst Invests in New Holland Brewing
BREWBOUND (Chris Funari):
Pabst Brewing Company has inked its first official U.S. craft partnership, announcing plans today to invest in the marketing, sales and distribution of products from New Holland Brewing.

Specific financial terms of deal, which was signed this morning and is slated to begin during the first quarter of next year, were not disclosed.

Newly appointed Pabst CEO Simon Thorpe confirmed that his company would not be taking an equity stake in the Michigan-based craft brewery and said there were no “put and call” options in place.

For his part, New Holland president Brett VanderKamp said the deal with Pabst, which first began taking shape in April, would allow New Holland to “remain 100 percent independent with a completely separate ownership structure.”

The partnership — which Thorpe described as a “creative solution” and likened to the relationship importers have with foreign brands — will give New Holland access to Pabst’s nationwide distribution network and allow the small craft brewery to tap into the larger company’s robust sales organization in exchange for a percentage of sales profits.

“We have constructed an arrangement where we get compensated as sales and distribution grow,” Thorpe said.


December 05, 2016 - 5,000-Plus American Craft Brewer Count Is Highlight of Brewer's Association's ten-point State of the Industry Report as 2016 Draws to a Close

Brewery Count: Five thousand strong and growing, there are now 5,005 breweries in the U.S. compared to 10,000 wineries. Almost all (99%) are small and independent craft brewers.

Continued Growth for the Segment: By mid-year, small and independent breweries grew by eight percent, reflecting dynamism and a bright spot for the domestic beer market.

Never Go Out of Styles: IPAs continue to hop up, now accounting for roughly one-quarter of craft volume. More sessionable styles, including golden ales, pilseners and pale lagers, are up 33 percent, totaling nearly five percent of craft.

Freedom of Choice: As the world’s two largest brewers merged into a multinational conglomerate two and a half times the size of the U.S. beer market, the BA was at the center of the discussion, advocating for fair competition for the nation’s small and independent craft brewers and access to market ensuring beer enthusiasts get to continue to choose from a vast variety of options. Approximately 65 percent of craft beer lovers said they are drinking more craft specifically because it offers more variety.

Homebrewing Impact: The National Homebrew Competition continues to be the world’s largest beer competition with 7,962 entries. A recent measurement of homebrewing found that its 1.2 million participants created over 11,000 jobs, resulting in more than $1 billion in spending and over $700 million in revenues.

Beer Destinations: Recognizing a rising interest in beer tourism, Travelocity enlisted the expertise of the BA to find the country’s best beer destinations and create the very first Beer Tourism Index. Additionally, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA)—the leading community for homebrewers—unveiled a list of cities across the U.S. where homebrewing is on the rise.

American Craft Beer Abounds Abroad: Craft beer export volume increased by 16.3 percent, totaling 446,151 barrels and worth $116 million. More than 100 small and independent craft brewers export their beer internationally, spreading the culture and community of craft beer and a growing recognition and respect for American brewers.

Bipartisan Beer Support: With a craft brewery in nearly every congressional district in the country, more than half of the U.S. Congress now supports the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. The BA has been a key player in moving forward this bipartisan legislation that seeks to recalibrate the current federal excise tax structure for the nation’s brewers and reform burdensome laws regulating America’s brewing industry.

History Has Its Eyes on Beer: With support from the Brewers Association, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History announced that it will launch a three-year initiative to collect, document and preserve the history of brewing, craft brewers and the beer industry in America. The job posting for a Historian to study brewing history was one of the most viral beer stories of the year, an indicator of how much people care about this vital industry.

Perfect Pair: Beer and food continue to find harmony on plates and palates. Seventy-three percent of craft beer purchasers gave “complements my meal”as a very or somewhat important selection criteria in their beer choice when dining out. Sixty-three percent select beer based on the food item or meal they are planning to enjoy.

NOTE: Figures are a compilation of data provided by the Brewers Association, IRI Group and Nielsen and do not represent all craft beer sales. The Brewers Association will release a comprehensive annual analysis of craft brewer production in March of 2017.

November 28, 2016 - U.S. Hop Growers Post Record Year
BREWBOUND (Justin Kendall)
2016 was a record year for United States hop growers.

“We had more acres in production in the U.S. than at any other time in history,” said Bill Elkins, an account manager with Hopsteiner, a Yakima Valley-based firm that grows, trades, breeds and processes hops.

For the second consecutive year, the U.S. planted more hops (52,962 acres) than Germany (45,957 acres) as farmers expanded their operations to accommodate for increased hop production.

Since 2012, U.S. hop production has increased by 50 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The majority of the U.S. hop production comes from the Pacific Northwest, with 51,115 acres of hops planted in Oregon, Idaho and Washington, and a record-high 91.8 million pounds of hops are expected to be harvested from the region this year.

Those hops, most of which have already been purchased under contract by brewers, will find their way into thousands of different brews in 2017.


November 28, 2016 - Bella Vista Sells Wholesaler Side of Business to Origlio
Philadelphia's premier craft-only wholesaler, Bella Vista Beer Distributor, has sold its entire portfolio to the largest wholesaler in the city, Origlio Beverage. (The retail end is not in the deal.)

Bella Vista was not looking to sell its portfolio, a source told BBD, but two of its most prominent brands, Ballast Point and Cigar City, wanted to make a move over to Origlio to join their parent companies -- Constellation and Oskar Blues, respectively.

As we understand, the purchased portfolio is about 40% Ballast Point, with the remainder a bunch of long tail craft brands.

"We haven't really determined how we're gonna run that business," president Dominic Origlio told BBD. "But we may run it -- especially with that longer tail of smaller craft -- in a separate division." He said the brands don't represent very many CE's but are probably in the neighborhood of $3 million in gross profit.

When we last checked in on Origlio, back in 2014, the wholesaler was doing about 20 million CEs a year.

October 28, 2016 - New Yards Brewery & Tasting Room Gets Zoning Approval
Yards Brewing Co. has approvals in place for its move to the former Destiny Maternity Corp. warehouse property in Northern Liberties.

Northern Liberties Neighborhood Association zoning chairman Larry Freedman said Thursday that his group and the city's zoning board had cleared Yards' proposal to take space at the maternity apparel company's former headquarters building at Fifth and Spring Garden Streets.

Yards plans to occupy 70,000 square feet with a brewery, tasting room and event space at the site.


October 27, 2016 - Pa. Senate Passes Bill Permitting Sixpack Sales by Beer Distributors

More than two months after sweeping liquor reforms took effect, state lawmakers are looking to pass a bottle — or six — to beer distributors.

The state Senate on Monday passed a bill that would give beer distributors the ability to sell takeout beer by the six-pack, in growlers or any amount the beer distributor chooses.

[ ... ]

The beer-centric bill, which passed 48-0, was in direct response to the new state law, known as Act 39. That legislation largely left beer distributors out while many other retailers, including grocery and convenience stores, were allowed to sell takeout wine if they were already selling beer.

Beer distributors, who have been lobbying for expanded options to stay competitive, largely depend on case sales. Last year, smaller packaging options hit the shelves in beer distributors, with 12-packs being the lowest amount they could sell.


October 12, 2016 - Brooklyn Brewery Sells Minority Stake to Japan’s Kirin Brewery
BREWBOUND (Chris Funari)
Brooklyn Brewery said Wednesday it had struck a two-pronged deal with Japan’s Kirin Brewery that would include the sale of a minority stake and the establishment of a new joint venture in Japan.

As part of the two companies’ capital partnership, the Japanese beer company will acquire “an approximately 24.5 percent stake” in Brooklyn Brewery, according to a press release.

Read the complete story here.

October 12, 2016 - Goose Island Brewpub Coming to Philadelphia in 2017
PHILLY.COM (Michael Klein)
You can count on two major growth areas: One is the region's beer scene, as brewpubs and breweries are popping up all over. Two is the exploding development around Frankford Avenue and Delaware Avenue in Fishtown, as the Fillmore and SugarHouse have become a magnet for other entertainment destinations such as Revolutions, Punch Line, and the soon-to-open Philadelphia Distilling. (I'll also soon be telling you about a "man cave"-theme lounge on the way.)

Now, combine Fishtown and Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer.

Next year, a Goose Island brewpub is expected to open in a former dry-ice plant on Laurel Street, around the corner from the Fillmore and behind Punch Line. Word of the project trickled out in August, after a liquor license was posted on the building.

The project is a confirmed go. The lease was signed last week, reports Core Realty. Read More,

October 09, 2016 - GABF 2016: A Changing of the Guard & An Embarrassing Mistake
Pennsylvania breweries, which have been the most prolific winners among East Coast entrants at the annual Great American Beer Festival in recent times, recording double figure medals year after year, dropped back into the pack in 2016 judging, bringing home seven awards while Virginia breweries rolled out an impressive 14-win performance.

The seven wins tied Pennsylvania with Ohio for second place in the East, but the latter would have won the #2 spot all by itself if not for a stunning error by Brewers Association officials. Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon, which had won the Mid-Size Brewery of the Year Award was stripped of the title about an hour after judging concluded and the honor was then awarded to California's Karl Strauss Brewing. The official statement:

“During competition registration, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. self-identified their San Diego location as a Mid-Size Brewpub. After the award ceremony, GABF competition staff realized that this was inaccurate: this location is, in fact, a Mid-Size Brewing Company. Karl Strauss, while it operates brewpubs, is classified as a production facility by GABF competition guidelines.

That's a pretty embarrassing moment for a group which has run these competitions for 35 years.

Overall, winners were chosen from 7,227 competition entries (nearly nine percent more than the 6,647 entries in 2015 and surpassing all previous participation records) from 1,752 breweries hailing from 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

Six of Pennsylvania's medals were garnered by breweries in the Delaware Valley region, with 2SP Brewing (Gold - The Russian Imperial Stout, Bronze - Antonym - Belgian-style Ale),and Neshaminy Creek Brewing (Bronzes for Churhville Lager & Croyden Is Burning Smoke Beer) leading the way with two each; Two Rivers Brewing took Gold for Six Finger Sam Saison and the Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant Group kept its unbroken GABF streak alive with Bronze for Bridge Street Bock from its Phoenixville location. The overall total for the region was nine when two medals for New Jersey's Flying Fish are added in (Silver - RedFish Bitter, Bronze - Hop Fish IPA). Flying Fish has become a major player over the past five years, taking a total of seven medals.

The other Pennsylvania win went to Philadelphia's Yards Brewing Co. (Silver - Love Stout).

Of Note: The win for Churchville Lager was its second, following up on a Gold in 2013, and the 2SP wins marked the return of medal-machine Bob Barrar to the winner's circle after a hiatus during which he helped create 2SP as a part owner. The Gold Medal winning The Russian took top honors in a category in which Barrar was a recurring winner while at Iron Hill.

September 24, 2016 - Roy-Pitz Is Planning a Philadelphia Brewpub
PHILA INQUIRER (Michael Klein):
Roy-Pitz Barrel House, which Boxwood Architects is designing in 4,000 square feet, is on track to open in the first quarter of 2017. Roy-Pitz's Ryan Richards and Jesse Rotz, boyhood friends who later graduated from West Chester University and opened the company in 2008, will also barrel-age sour beers. The outside of the building will be planted with live hops that will grow vertically before harvested for use in brewing.


September 19, 2016 - Brewer of the Month Promo Returns to Red Owl Tavern
Philadelphia's Red Owl Tavern has relaunched its Brewer of the Month program after a summer hiatus. The Old City restaurant and bar's craft beer series featuring one craft brewer every month with select beers at a special price.

This month’s Brewer of the Month is Dock Street Brewery — with three beers offered for just $5 all month — one of which is exclusive to Red Owl Tavern. Guests can also enjoy Dock Street Rye IPA and Dock Street Bohemian Pilsner all month. along with Red Owl Red IPA, a medium bodied beer with a caramel sweetness and spicy and citrusy American hop characteristic which was brewed exclusively for Red Owl Tavern.

Brewer of the Month is the perfect opportunity for customers to sample craft beers at a price that go down as easy as these delicious brews.

The series will continue throughout the fall and winter.
October: Victory Brewing Company
November: Founders Brewing Co.
December: Sly Fox Brewing Company.

Red Owl Tavern also boasts one of the city’s largest selections of brown spirits.

September 08, 2016 - A-B InBev to Acquire Belgium’s Brouwerij Bosteels
Anheuser-Busch InBev has struck another high-end deal, this time purchasing the 225-year-old Belgium-based Brouwerij Bosteels.

American financial news and services website, citing Belgian press reports, pegged the deal at $225 million.

Bosteels, which is famous for its Tripel Karmeliet, Kwak and Deus brands, will join ABI’s “growing portfolio of European craft and specialties beer,” according to a company statement.

That portfolio, part of the company’s ZX Ventures division, already includes popular craft brands like Italy’s Birra Del Borgo, Camden Town from London, Cervejaria Colorado in Columbia, Cervejaria Wäls in Brazil and Cerveza Bocanegra in Mexico, among others.

The focus, according to Korneel Warlop, an A-B InBev spokesman, will be to grow Bosteels’ presence in European export markets while also continuing to export small volume to the U.S.

“With Bosteels already available in European markets such as France, the Netherlands and Italy, we will work together to continue offering its products at the pace of their brewery capacity while ensuring the highest quality of the beers,” Warlop wrote to Brewbound.

Backed by investments from Dutch private equity firm Waterland, Bosteels Brewery grew production to more than 145,000 hectoliters last year.

In a press statement, brewery chief Antoine Bosteels said he was happy for the opportunity to transfer ownership of the brands to another Belgian beer company. A-B InBev is based in Belgium but the ZX Ventures division operates out of a New York office.

Dutch brewer Heineken International was also reportedly interested in purchasing the brewery.

September 02, 2016 - Anticipated Hop Production to Increase by 13 Million Pounds
MOXEE, WA – After less-than ideal growing conditions last year in both the U.S. and in Europe, non-contracted brewers were left wanting a handful of new, highly demanded aroma varieties. This was despite an increase in overall U.S. production and a 10% increase of hops in storage, according to the USDA NASS Annual March report.

Now, U.S. hop acreage is in its fifth consecutive year of growth, up another 17% in the Pacific Northwest and 18.5% nationally – home to 40% of the global hop supply.

With the USDA estimating 13 million additional pounds of hops incoming, this would total a record 91.8 million pounds for Northwest producers who produce over 96% of the US crop, a 16% jump from 2015. According to the USDA-NASS report, “many baby yards in Washington and Idaho are exceptional, with production between 50 and 100 percent of mature yields expected.”

According to USDA-NASS in reviewing the 2016 Pacific Northwest climate, “unusually hot April temperatures encouraged substantial pre-training growth, and may result in some alpha varieties yielding below average. Temperatures were more normal in June and July. Water supplies are adequate.”

Last month the International Hop Growers Convention (IHGC) released a 2016 world hop crop projection of 221.7 million pounds, 15.7% higher than 2015 production. While some are rejoicing at the yet-again large increase and waiting with bated breath for Harvest 2016, many in the hop industry are celebrating cautiously.

IHGC experts last month urged caution as further expansion is considered, to avoid surplus production. The hop market will always remain cyclical, but timeframes are the unknown variable. For brewing years 2016 and 2017, global beer output is expected to decline 2 to 3%. Only strong growth in the craft beer segment will offset these losses. According to a recent release from Brauwelt International, American craft beer production volume increased 8% during the first half of 2016.

“We have seen the downside of this market before due to oversupply,” said Ann George, Executive Director, Hop Growers of America. “While we see a clear need, thanks to long shelf life, cost, and long-term commitment of growing hops, we encourage responsible contracting to ensure a stable market in terms of price and availability.”

August 09, 2016 - Gallup: Beer Still No. 1
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Beer remains the alcoholic beverage of choice among Americans who imbibe alcohol. While 43% of Americans who drink alcohol say they prefer beer, 32% say wine and 20% say liquor.

These results come from Gallup's 2016 Consumption Habits survey, conducted July 13-17. The 43% of U.S. adult drinkers who say they drink beer most often is the highest since 2002, when 44% said the same. At several points since 2005, wine and beer essentially tied as the preferred alcoholic beverage, but in the last three years beer has held firmly as the top choice.

Americans' drink of choice differs by gender, as it has since the 1990s. Half of female drinkers prefer wine, based on combined data from 2010 through 2016, while beer and liquor tie as their next-favored beverage (23%). Meanwhile, 54% of male drinkers name beer as their preferred drink, followed by liquor (22%) and wine (18%). These gender differences largely echo men's and women's alcoholic beverage preferences from the previous decade (2001-2009).

Complete story with more details, graphs, etc.

August 05, 2016 - Pennsylvania's Craft Beer Pride
The upcoming 2016 Olympics in Rio are about to evoke some serious excitement and national pride. Americans everywhere are looking forward to tuning in to swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball. For two short weeks, we will all look to the medal counts, feeling as if our success as a nation is in the balance.

Single-minded nerd that I am, my thoughts automatically turn to the medals won by American craft breweries at the large beer festivals and competitions. Does the community take pride in these medals, as they do in Olympic ones?

As a born-and-bred Pennsylvanian, I know that my state has a lot of conflict. Pennsylvania is itself a state divided. In the west, they wave the Terrible Towels at Steelers (AKA “Stillers”) games, drink “pop,” and say “yinz” (the plural of “you”). The east sings “Fly, Eagles, Fly,” drinks “soda,” and says “yous.” PA, as we like to call it, is home to both the City of Champions and the City of Brotherly Love. The two sides rarely see eye-to-eye, but both sides can brought together by our love for the Commonwealth’s craft beer.

According to the Brewers Association, Pennsylvania had 178 craft breweries in 2015 (the most recent year with complete statistics), which puts it in eighth place nationwide. Those breweries, however, produced more than four million barrels of craft beer, solidly securing first place in total production. That is nothing to scoff at.

Nothing says success like a trophy case full of awards, and PA’s breweries have brought home a LOT of medals from the Great American Beer Festival (225 Medals) and the World Beer Cup (51 Medals) over the years. The barley-fed contenders from Pennsylvania have helped their home state earn a reputation as a craft brewing powerhouse and serve as inspiration for all the young worts across the nation. Strike up the marching band and load the confetti cannons because it’s time to recognize the achievements of these champions!

Read the entire article.

July 29, 2016 - Did Brexit Destroy MegaBrew? [UPDATED]
UPDATE (Chicago Tribune)
Major SABMiller shareholders have signaled they favor Anheuser-Busch InBev's revised $102 billion takeover offer as the board prepares to meet in the coming days to vote on whether it supports the deal, according to people familiar with the process. Full update here.

REUTERS (Martinne Geller)
SABMiller (SAB.L) has told employees to pause the integration of its operations with those of Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR) as the brewer's board weighs its sweetened takeover offer, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The pause is not an indication of the board's thinking, said one of the sources, who declined to be identified as the matter is private.

Still, AB InBev's U.S.-listed shares fell 3 percent and shares of Molson Coors (TAP.N), which is set to take over SAB's U.S. operations, fell 5 percent on concerns about the fate of the $100 billion-plus deal, one of the biggest in corporate history.

The world's top brewers agreed to merge late last year and for months have been engaged in back-office preparations, the sources said, aimed at smoothing the combination that was expected to start in the second half of the year when the deal was due to close.

The deal, however, has hit the rocks in recent weeks amid investor dissent over an offer made less attractive by a sharp fall in the pound following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

In an effort to calm a stream of investor complaints, AB InBev sweetened its offer on Tuesday. That prompted SABMiller Chief Executive Alan Clark to call for a pause in "convergence planning workstreams," according to a company memo published on Wednesday by the Financial Times' blog Alphaville.

"There should be no contact with AB InBev with immediate effect, and all meetings and calls will be postponed until further notice," the memo said...

Read the complete story.

July 26, 2016 - Brewers Association Says Craft Continues to Grow
Craft brewers are still growing, according to new mid-year data released by the Brewers Association. American craft beer production volume increased eight percent during the first half of the year.

“While the craft brewing industry is entering a period of maturation, most markets are not near saturation,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “As craft’s base gets larger, as with any industry, it becomes more difficult for it to grow at the same percentage rate. Yet there is still tremendous dynamism reflected in eight percent growth for craft. Production growth of small and independent craft brewers continues to be one of the main bright spots for domestic beer in the U.S. Even in a more competitive market, for the vast majority of small and independent brewers, opportunities still exist.”

As of June 30, a record high of 4,656 breweries were operating in the U.S, an increase of 917 breweries over the same time period of the previous year. Additionally, there were approximately 2,200 breweries in planning. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 121,843 full-time and part-time workers in a variety of roles including many of manufacturing jobs, all of which contribute significantly to the U.S. economy.

“The opening rate compared to closing rate for breweries remains incredibly strong, with a historic number of breweries operating in the U.S.,” added Watson. “As long as there is growing consumer demand, beer lovers’ thirst will continue to advance the category of craft brewed beer from small and independent producers.”

July 21, 2016 - Victory Brewing Sponsors Watering Hole, a New Beer Garden at Philadelphia Zoo
the Watering Hole, Philadelphia Zoo’s new environmentally friendly and sustainable beer garden, opens to the public on Friday, July 22, 2016. Sponsored by Victory Brewing Company, the al fresco oasis, located at the southern-most tip of the Zoo, will enable guests to relax and grab a refreshing, local craft beer or glass of wine during their visit to the first zoo in the nation.

Designed in partnership with Groundswell Design Group, creators of some of the most popular beer gardens in Philadelphia, the beer garden features reclaimed conversation-style seating, brightly-colored fabric umbrellas, lush landscaping, environmentally-friendly LED lighting and terra-cotta mosaic décor. Entrance to The Watering Hole is included in Zoo admission; hours of operation are Friday – Sunday from 11-4pm.

Read the complete news release here.

July 20, 2016 - MegaBrew Approved: DOJ Clears the Way for $107 Billion Merger
BREWBOUND (Chris Funari)
The U.S Department of Justice today announced it has agreed to a settlement with Anheuser-Busch InBev that would permit the world’s largest beer company to “proceed with its acquisition” of the world’s second-largest beer company, SABMiller.

In an effort to move forward with the $107 billion merger, and as part of the consent decree, A-B InBev agreed to a number of conditions in the U.S., including the much anticipated divestiture of MillerCoors, as well as other requirements that could impact the way small and independent brewers and beer wholesalers operate.

“With today’s agreement, we have taken a significant step forward on the transaction, which will create the world’s first truly global brewer,” Carlos Brito, the CEO of A-B InBev said via the release.

For more details on what A-B InBev had to agree to, click here.

July 19, 2016 - Brewers of PA Announce Inaugural BrewPA
Celebrating Pa. brewers, the event will be a far cry from your typical beer festival. BrewPA will run an entire weekend and feature a unique community of 80 Pennsylvania-based brewers, who will personally discuss and pour samples of their finest crafts - from Pale Ales, Weissbiers, Stouts and Porters to Scotch Ales, Belgians, fruit beers, Barley wines and many more.

In addition to the beer tasting, festival-goers can choose from an array of entertainment and events to enhance their experience. A Friday evening Welcome Party will kick things off followed by a weekend of fun and engaging activities such as a VIP tasting and food pairing session, beer and waffle breakfasts, a “Meet the Brewers” dinner and live entertainment. The activities climax on Saturday evening with an exclusive 21 years and over, After Dark Waterpark Party in Camelback Lodge’s Aquatopia, the largest indoor waterpark in the Northeast, complete with craft tap takeovers.

BrewPA will also lay claim to a new annual beer competition, exclusive to Pennsylvania craft brewers. Brewers can enter their most prized beers to a panel of judges, who will determine the gold, silver and bronze medals that best represent each beer-style category and brewing excellence. One BrewPA brewer will be the recipient of the first annual Frederick Lauer Cup award, exemplifying Best in Show as selected by BrewPA attendees. Frederick Lauer was a 19th-century brewing pioneer who settled in Reading, Pa., and was the first president of the United States Brewers Association.

BrewPA 2016 is sponsored in part by Yuengling, America’s oldest operating brewery.

June 28, 2016 - Yards Brewing Finds Its New Home in Northern Liberties
Baby bumps are giving way to beer bellies in Northern Liberties, where Yards Brewing Co. plans to build its new suds factory in the warehouse that had until recently been home to Destination Maternity Corp.

Yards is under agreement to lease up to 85,000 square feet at the maternity apparel company's former headquarters building at Fifth and Spring Garden Streets, part of a plan to boost production beyond the capacity of its current brewery about a mile away, company officials said.

The owner of the Destination Maternity building, Bryn Mawr-based investment company Alliance Partners HSP L.L.C, presented details of the plan to the Northern Liberties Neighborhood Association Monday night. Larry Freedman, the group's zoning chairman, said the planners' request to allow manufacturing in an area that currently bars such uses is under review.

Yards' decision to relocate to the building makes good on the 21-year-old company's vow to remain in Philadelphia, and it could help invigorate an edge of Northern Liberties that's lagged the rest of the neighborhood's rapid revitalization.

Read the complete story here or on our Facebook page.

June 02, 2016 - New Jersey Breweries Dominate 2016 Brew-vitational Results
At The Inquirer's seventh annual Brew-vitational competition for local beers, our biggest yet with 64 entries from 35 breweries divided into two categories ("new" and "sour")...

Read all the details and results here.

May 24, 2016 - Ballast Point Will Build East Coast Brewery in Virginia
?Back in April, we reported that Virginia could be the site of an imminent East Coast brewery for Ballast Point, which Constellation management hinted at on the most recent call. By now, the brewer has confirmed plans to build in Botetourt County, Virginia.

They'll invest close to $50 million to build out the facility: Ballast has an agreement to purchase the 259,040 sq. ft. Lawrence Companies building located on International Parkway in Botetourt Center at Greenfield, where it plans to create 178 jobs in manufacturing and retail operations, per announcement.

"In our quest to provide the best quality, freshest beer to all of our customers, an East brewery started to make a lot of sense to us," said Ballast Point founder Jack White in statement. "We are excited by the opportunity we see in Botetourt County, and we're looking forward to getting to know the local community as we get established there."

Virginia has been actively attracting such businesses: Governor Terry McAuliffe met with brewery heads at their headquarters in San Diego during his September 2015 West Coast Marketing Mission. Local officials said they were able to move quickly by matching Ballast "with an available building and all the infrastructure to help meet their requirements." A special Western Virginia Water Authority partnership also helped secure the deal.

INCENTIVES. To snag Ballast Point, Botetourt County and the Roanoke Regional Partnership worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. The Roanoke Regional Partnership estimates the project will have an overall annual economic impact of $376,442,866 and spur creation of more than 540 secondary jobs.

Governor Terry McAuliffe approved a $2,400,000 grant from the Commonwealth's Opportunity Fund to assist Botetourt County with the project. (Recall that he announced a similar amount -- $3 million -- from the same fund to seal the recent Deschutes deal. That brewer will invest $85 million for its upcoming Roanoke, VA site.) The company will also be eligible to receive a $250,000 grant from the Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund. The county will provide $1,402,177 in tax incentives along with performance grants anticipated at $650,000, a potential AFID grant of $250,000, and permit fee waivers, per announcement.

May 24, 2016 - Carlsberg To Recreate 1883 Beer, "Forefather to Modern Lagers"
About a year ago, scientists at the Carlsberg Research Laboratory were rummaging around in the old cellars of Carlsberg in Copenhagen, Denmark and stumbled upon one the "one of the very first Carlsberg beers brewed with the original pure yeast from 1883," per company release.

It was an incredible find as this pure yeast "revolutionized the world's beer brewing in 1883" and is responsible for most of the lager beers in the world today. "Without it, we wouldn't have the type of beer that is now 90% of the world's market," said Britain's leading Beer Historian Martyn Cornell of the pure yeast.

The scientists have been conducting "intense research" since the discovery, and last week they were finally able to extract 133-year-old living yeast cells from the bottle.

With the yeast cells in hand, Carlsberg and its "leading brewing experts" are now using "'Jurassic Park'-style techniques," to rebrew a new/old beer "in the most authentic manner, using the original pure yeast and the exact same recipe, ingredients and brewing techniques as in 1883."

When Carlsberg makes the beer available, it will be "the first time in more than a hundred years," that consumers taste a brew that is "the forefather to most lager beers today."

May 07, 2016 - Local Brewers Win Ten Medals at 2016 World Beer Cup
With Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant leading the way, seven breweries in the Delaware Valley market won a total of ten medals at the 2016 World Cup last night; the award ceremony was the final event of the Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia this past week.

Iron Hill took home one Gold and four Silver medals:

Category: 62 Belgian-Style Tripel
Gold: Bedotter, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - Lancaster

Category: 79 British-Style Imperial Stout
Silver: Russian Imperial Stout, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - Media

Category: 29 Aged Beer
Silver: Solzhenitsyn, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - Media

Category: 11 Coffee Beer
Silver: Overload Stout, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - West Chester

Category: 91 Double Red Ale
Silver: Valentinus IPA, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - Wilmington

Three additional Gold medals were part of the total wins:

Category: 47 American-Style Dark Lager
Gold: Jump Seat Black Lager, Lancaster Brewing Co.

Category: 43 German-Style Bock or Maibock
Gold: Maibock, Stoudts Brewing Co.

Category: 3 Fruit Beer
Gold: Shady Spot, Susquehanna Brewing Co.

Plus another Silver and a Bronze:

Category: 69 Classic English-Style Pale Ale
Silver: Puddlers Row ESB, Conshohocken Brewing Co.

Category: 10 Chocolate Beer
Bronze: Kerplunk! Imperial Chocolate Stout, Spring House Brewing Co.

This year's World Beer Cup saw 6,596 beers from 1,907 breweries representing 55 countries—a 38.5 percent increase in the number of entries from the 2014 World Beer Cup, which had 4,754 entries. Entries were judged by an elite international panel of 253 judges from 31 countries. Judges awarded 287 out of 288 total possible awards (A gold award was not presented in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale category).

Pennsylvania's 11 medals (include one each won by Roundabout and Straub in Western PA) placed it fourth among the states which were home to an award winning brewery and tied for seventh among the nations which won medals.

May 04, 2016 - Smithsonian Announces New Initiative To Document Brewing History
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History announced today at the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America in Philadelphia that it will launch a three-year initiative to collect, document and preserve the history of brewing, craft brewers and the beer industry to explore how the beverage and brewing connect to larger themes in American history.

Part of the “Smithsonian Food History” project, this initiative is made possible through a donation from the Brewers Association of Boulder, Colo., the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers.

Museum staff have researched and documented American food and beverage history for more than two decades and will work with the Brewers Association, American brewers and beer historians to document and collect the stories and history of modern American brewing. Beer and brewing have been an important part of the American experience since before the nation’s founding and into the present day, and beer production for the past 30 years has been connected to significant social, cultural, economic and environmental movements across the country. The team will explore the unique connections between brewing and broader themes, including advertising, agriculture, industry, innovation, business and community life.

“Brewing has a long and deep connection to our country’s history, and the museum’s collections explore the history of beer from the late 19th to early 20th centuries,” said John Gray, the director of the museum. “The support of the Brewers Association allows our staff to collect the more recent history, including the impact of small and independent craft brewers who continue to advance the U.S. beer culture and inspire brewers worldwide.

The museum currently houses several small but important collections related to brewing and beer consumption in America. The bulk dates from the 1870–1960s, including the collection of former Brewmaster Walter Voigt of Ruxton, Md., which is composed of brewing instruments and tools, advertising materials, beer bottles, trays and taps, as well as technical papers, prints and photographs from Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New York and Pennsylvania. As American brewing continues to expand in scope, scale and impact, the museum is uniquely positioned to document the stories of American brewers and to collect the material culture of the industry for the benefit of scholars, researchers and the public.

“The craft brewing revolution in America has had a profound social, cultural and economic impact on this country,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association. “America is a beer destination. We are honored to support this effort and work with the National Museum of American History to chronicle and showcase the significant achievements small and independent brewers have made throughout this nation’s history.”

April 30, 2016 - Greg Koch's “True Craft” Alternative Craft Brewery Funding Option
BREWBOUND (Chris Funari)
Presenting to a group of eccentric innovators and entrepreneurs who gathered in Carmel, Calif. for the “e.g” conference, Stone Brewing co-founder Greg Koch revealed plans to launch a new $100 million fund for investing in “real” food and beverage companies.

Beginning with an industry he knows quite well, craft beer, Koch said he’s secured $100 million from a group of “independent investors,” that will be used to acquire “minority, non-controlling” stakes in craft breweries. Discussions with additional investors looking to help finance the new venture as also in discussion, Koch said.

Called “True Craft,” the new platform “allows craft breweries to stay craft breweries,” Koch told the crowd at e.g., which bills itself as a conference that is attended by “the most industrious and iconoclastic talents of our time.”

“They can make their own decisions about their future,” he said. “They can stay independent. They can get financing and flexibility that they need to flourish, while keeping their soul and control.”

It’s unclear exactly how the new venture, which Stone has described as a “craft beer investment company,” is structured or who its investors are, but Koch also said he was in discussion with a “small group” of craft breweries who are interested in joining the new consortium.

Describing the concept as an “alternative to being pushed out or bought out from the mega commodity world,” True Craft is Koch’s answer to “market forces that are beginning their march to recompress the beer industry,” he said.

“There is a squeeze coming in the craft beer world,” he said. “True Craft’s goal is simple: Give craft brewers another option than selling a majority interest to private equity or selling out to big beer.”

Read it all.

April 18, 2016 - Evil Genius Brewing Moving to Fishtown
We are more than excited to finally announce that Evil Genius Beer Company is coming to 1727 N. Front St. in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia. We started construction a few months ago on our 6,000 square foot 100 year old warehouse, and we anticipate opening in the 4th quarter of 2016. The building will be home to a small scale brewery and a large beer hall/tasting room for guests to enjoy house-made beer, as well as food provided by food trucks.

"We've been looking for a home for over 4 years now," said Luke Bowen, co-owner of Evil Genius Beer Company, "and we couldn't be happier to have found one here in Fishtown. The neighborhood is a diverse mix of down-to-earth people from all walks of life, and that's exactly who we wanted to surround ourselves with. We think bringing business up Front St. will help make this part of our neighborhood a safer, cleaner place for everyone to enjoy."

Evil Genius was founded in September of 2011 by Villanova grads Trevor Hayward & Luke Bowen. The beer is currently brewed at a satellite facility in CT and is distributed in 6 states and Washington D.C. "We've looked at a lot of properties" says Hayward "and for one reason or another they just didn't seem right. The moment we stepped foot into this building, we knew we found the perfect place to call home."

Once the locations opens, guests can come enjoy an eclectic selection of house-made beers in a truly Philadelphia environment - a beautiful old world industrial building with exposed brick and wood, massive ceilings, and just the right peppering of modernity. The location is also less then 2 blocks away from a train stop, providing easy and safe public transportation.

April 12, 2016 - Brewbound: Anheuser-Busch to Acquire Devils Backbone
BREWBOUND (Chris Funari)
Anheuser-Busch InBev today announced it would acquire Virginia-based Devils Backbone Brewing Company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed and the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.

The move is part of an ongoing march into the craft brewing world by the world’s largest brewery, which has acquired eight craft beer companies since 2011.

“While we are joining a creative group of craft breweries in the division, Devils Backbone will retain a high level of autonomy and continue its own authentic DNA within The High End framework,” brewery co-founder Steve Crandall said via a press release.

The latest craft brewery to join A-B’s growing portfolio of craft brands in “The High End,” Devils Backbone produced 60,000 barrels in 2015. The brewery expects to make about 95,000 barrels in 2016.


April 12, 2016 - Scranton Media Moguls Acquire Majority Interest in Flying Fish Brewing Co.
The Lynett and Haggerty families, owners of Times-Shamrock Communications, which publishes The Times-Tribune and The Citizens’ Voice, have purchased a majority interest in Flying Fish Brewing Co., a successful craft brewery based in Somerdale, New Jersey.

The family’s expertise in marketing, events and promotions will help the brewery continue to grow and expand its footprint, said Bobby Lynett, manager of L&H Brewing Partners, the entity that now holds a majority interest in Flying Fish. They declined to disclose the cost of their acquisition.

“Flying Fish is a nice brewery with good people and a great product,” said Mr. Lynett, a publisher of The Times-Tribune. “We want to help it grow.” The brewery currently employs 33 people who produce about 24,000 barrels of beer each year.

Gene Muller, founder of Flying Fish, said he began looking for new partners when some initial investors began to cash out on their investment in the company. He joked that the Scranton family emerged as a good fit “because they are Irish....There are obvious synergies.We saw an opportunity to inject some enthusiasm into the company and take care of our initial investors. The Scranton Guys are part of a 100-year-old company. They understand the long-term horizon.”


April 01, 2016 - Philly's Saint Benjamin Brewing Company Begins Ambitious Expansion
This spring, pioneering craft brewery Saint Benjamin Brewing Company will begin their most ambitious expansion yet: adding a new German brewhouse that will grow their production capacity from 440 barrels a year to 4,400. Owners Christina Burris and Tim Patton will also debut their first Canned Beers, in tandem with an expanded focus on 750-ml Bottles.

Together with Lead Brewer Andrew Foss, Sales Ambassador Jackie Cusack, Sales Representative Bob Weaver, General Manager Beth Fox and Assistant Brewer Josh Caputo, the St. Ben’s team is also working towards the opening of their on-site Taproom. The state-of-the-art facility, adjacent to the brewhouse, will serve St. Ben’s core and experimental brews alongside Pennsylvania-produced wines and ciders and a fresh, seasonal menu of beer-friendly fare.

St. Ben’s new brewhouse arrived in February, and has already allowed them to expand their brewing capacity to nearly 1,500 barrels in 2016:

Beginning in April, the brewery will begin canning their flagship beers, Inca (a West Coast-style India cream ale) and Wit or Witout (a traditionally spiced wheat beer). Foul Weather Jack and Junto will follow shortly.

The brewery will also expand on their popular Bonne Année 750-mL bottles, adding Liaison Saison (a lightly-hopped, dry saison with notes of peppercorn and a subtle lavender finish) and Saison Du Jour IX (a saffron and rosewater saison) to the large-format bottled line-up

In addition, Patton recently introduced his new Belgian series, Franklin’s Abbey, at the famed back bar at Monk’s Cafe, including: Franklin’s Abbey Pale Ale; Franklin’s Abbey Stout; Franklin’s Abbey Amber; and Franklin’s Abbey Tripel

St. Ben’s has also teamed with award-winning local brewer Scott Morrison on a collaboration Maibock beer that will debut during the Craft Brewers Conference in May.

April 01, 2016 - China Has Become the World's Largest Beer Market
The Chinese are officially guzzling down more beer than Americans—making them the world’s largest beer market. In 2015, they drank almost two times (about 25 million liters) the amount of beer than Americans, who downed about 18 million liters, according to a report by Euromonitor International, a market research firm.

However, it’s not just any beer.

“Studies show that from 2010 to 2015, craft beer in China has grown in market share by about 23 percent,” Donnie Everts, vice president of international development for World of Beer tells“The numbers by volume are huge, and as the craft beer movement is exploding globally, World of Beer feels like the timing for entry into China could not be better.”

The franchise is already in 20 states across the country, with Shanghai being its first International location. Cong Yin, a franchisee at World of Beer Shanghai, says they have plans to open at least three more locations in the next three years. “The craft beer movement is already happening in China - and the younger generation is demanding alternative options in beer choices. Also as a result of rising disposable incomes of the general population, premium brands are becoming much more popular and affordable,” Yin tells

Other big beer companies are taking notice to the growing market as well. In 2014, Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) acquired two Asian breweries; Jilin Ginsber Draft Beer and Jiangus Regal Beer. And according to the Euromonitor report, stout witnessed the fastest volume growth among all other beers in 2014, up by 85% -- this alongside the rising number of pubs, bars and Western restaurants in China.

Yin says Snow Brands, a joint venture between SABMiller and China Resources Enterprises, is the most prominent beer available in China and currently the best-selling beer brand in the world. “However, craft beer is now beginning to fill the narrow gap between selections that have been available in the past,” he adds.

World of Beer says after Shanghai, its next focus will be India and the Philippines. “There are areas that show terrific potential for the craft beer growth going on globally. South [America?] also shows a strong potential,” says Everts.

March 29, 2016 - BA: American Craft Beer Exports Top $116 Million
The Brewers Association today reported export growth data for the American craft beer industry in 2015. Supported by the BA’s Export Development Program (EDP), craft beer export volume increased by 16.3 percent in 2015, now totaling 446,151 barrels and worth $116 million.

Growth was seen in all major markets, most notably in Western Europe which saw a 33.4 percent increase. Ireland, the Netherlands, Thailand and Taiwan were the fastest growing markets in 2015.

Canada was again the leading international market for American craft beer, accounting for 51 percent of exports. Meanwhile, Sweden, Ireland and the United Kingdom each took a market share of approximately 10 percent. The top five was rounded out by Australia, which accounted for 4 percent of exports.

“Small and independent craft brewers are putting American beer on the global map,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association. “There’s a growing thirst from beer lovers in countries around the world for bold, innovative products from American craft brewers. As the demand for American craft beer continues to grow abroad, the Brewers Association is pleased to support our members by increasing their access to international markets.”

The EDP, which generates exposure for American craft beer through trade shows, festivals, seminars, media outreach and competitions, among other activities, was initiated in 2004 with funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Market Access Program (USDA MAP). There are now approximately 80 small and independent brewers exporting their beers from the U.S., by EDP estimates.

Complete release and growth data graphic.

March 24, 2016 - Yards Brewing Co. Launches Yards Good Fight with Chef Jose Garces and the Garces Foundation
Yards Brewing Company has announced the launch of their Yards Good Fight Program. As part of their 360 ° Brew Unto Others Brand Campaign, launched Thanksgiving Week 2015, Yards Good Fight focuses specifically on altruistic and philanthropic individuals and groups in the Philadelphia region. Those featured range from well-known members of the community to regular folks and under-the-radar charities doing their best to make their backyard a better place to live and work.

The Yards Good Fight program kicks off with a video, the first in an ongoing series, highlighting Chef Jose Garces, and his Garces Foundation. The Garces Foundation was created to support Philadelphia’s immigrant community through healthcare initiatives, English language courses and farm-to-school programs. The video was prominently played at the Garces Foundation’s benefit, Think Local Give Local, on Friday March 18, 2016, for which Yards donated the evening’s beer selection.

The 1:40 video shot in and around Garces’ own Buena Onda at 19th and Callowhill Streets in the Spring Garden section of Philadelphia features Chef Jose Garces as well as Yards Founder, President and Brewmaster, Tom Kehoe, and Yards Partner and COO, Trevor Prichett. Additional :30 and :60 second spots are rolling out on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

On the focus of the Yards Good Fight Program, Prichett explained, “For many years, we’ve been doing the best we can to give back to the good people of Philadelphia through charitable beer donations and financial contributions. It’s our hope that the Yards Good Fight program will raise significant awareness and support for the organizations in our community making a real difference in the lives of Philadelphians.”

Kehoe added, “Philly is our home. We owe it to our community - our own families, friends and neighbors - to give back. They’ve had our back for over 20 years and we’ve got theirs.”

Chef Garces summed up the Good Fight mantra by saying, “To be able to give back where you live really feels special to me. It’s essential for me to be able look at my employees and my family every day and say, ‘You know what? I’m doing the best I can to give back’.”

“Basically everything we do – working hard, having fun and caring as much about the quality of our product as our quality of life – that all comes through in the beer,” says Kehoe. “Once landing on the Brew Unto Others Brand Campaign, so many ideas opened up for the future, for new ways that we can share our beer and have some fun giving back. The Good Fight program is just another way we can do that,” he adds.

Announcements regarding the Yards Good Fight Program and upcoming events will be shared on Yards’ social media and at Little Baby’s Ice Cream, ActionAIDS, Tree Philly and Joe Hand Boxing Gym are among those taking part in the program’s development.

Yards partnered with EVERYBODY Brands, a Philadelphia-based full-service brand and creative agency, to develop the Yards Good Fight Program under the umbrella of their Brew Unto Others Brand Campaign. “While smaller than most would assume, Yards is a mighty force here in the community. The beer and the people are top notch,” says Louis Tumolo of EVERYBODY Brands.

March 23, 2016 - Brewers Association: Craft brewers continued to grow in 2015
The Brewers Association released 2015 data on U.S. craft brewing growth this week. With more breweries than ever before, craft brewers now represent 12 percent market share of the overall beer industry.

In 2015, craft brewers produced 24.5 million barrels, and saw a 13 percent rise in volume and a 16 percent increase in retail dollar value. Retail dollar value was estimated at $22.3 billion, representing 21 percent market share.

“For the past decade, craft brewers have charged into the market, seeing double digit growth for eight of those years,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “There are still a lot of opportunities and areas for additional growth. An important focus will remain on quality as small and independent brewers continue to lead the local, full-flavored beer movement.”

Additionally, in 2015 the number of operating breweries in the U.S. grew 15 percent, totaling 4,269 breweries—the most at any time in American history. Small and independent breweries account for 99 percent of the breweries in operation, broken down as follows: 2,397 microbreweries, 1,650 brewpubs and 178 regional craft breweries. Throughout the year, there were 620 new brewery openings and only 68 closings. One of the fastest growing regions was the South, where four states—Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Texas—each saw a net increase of more than 20 breweries, establishing a strong base for future growth in the region. Combined with already existing and established breweries and brewpubs, craft brewers provided nearly 122,000 jobs, an increase of over 6,000 from the previous year.

Graphs,charts and more here.

March 18, 2016 - Dick Yuengling, Jim Koch, and Ken Grossman Headline Meeting of the Malts V
The Brewers of Pennsylvania the state’s official brewers guild, is hosting MEETING OF THE MALTS V, the association’s popular annual event that gathers the most acclaimed breweries to discuss the state of the craft beer industry. Meeting of the Malts V will bring together, on stage for the first-time ever, three of the most successful brewers in the history of the United States - Dick Yuengling (D.G. Yuengling & Son), Jim Koch (Boston Beer Company, producers of Samuel Adams) and Ken Grossman (Sierra Nevada Brewing Company). The event’s main event, including presentations from Mr. Yuengling, Mr. Koch, and Mr. Grossman, will take place Thursday, March 24 from 7:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at Artsquest Center at SteelStacks, 711 First St., Bethlehem, PA.

“The Brewers of Pennsylvania is honored that these three powerful and respected industry icons will share the stage, providing their trusted insights and opinions on where our industry is, and where it is going,” said Dan LaBert, Executive Director of the Brewers of Pennsylvania. “Once all three committed to present, registration numbers increased dramatically. Their star-power in our industry is without question, and Meeting of the Malts V attendees are in-store for an experience they won’t forget.”

“Since our first Meeting of the Malts in 2011, we’ve continued to see the craft beer revolution spread across the country,” said Jim Koch, Founder and Brewer of Samuel Adams. “Today, there’s more than 4,500 breweries operating in the U.S. and more than 130 of those are in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. To stand alongside nearly 200 years of combined brewing experience with my long-time friends Dick Yuengling and Ken Grossman is a true honor. Together, we look forward to the future of American craft beer in Pennsylvania and beyond!”

The panel discussion will be emceed by beverage industry expert, Bump Williams. Prior to their on-stage presentations, Mr. Yuengling, Mr. Koch, Mr. Grossman will take part in a press conference on March 24 at 5:30 p.m. Joining them will be another industry leader, Bob Pease, President and CEO of the Colorado-based Brewers Association. Mr. Pease will also present that evening, sharing his thoughts on the status of craft beer in the U.S. along with a Craft Brewers Conference preview.

“The Meeting of the Malts is a great event to discuss firsthand what’s happening in the beer business, particularly how it impacts Pennsylvania,” said Richard “Dick” Yuengling, Jr., President of D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. “Having events like this, hosted by the Brewers of Pennsylvania is important, and I enjoy discussing the key issues facing the industry each year and getting unique perspectives from fellow iconic brewers like Jim Koch and Ken Grossman.”

The Brewers of Pennsylvania is a strong and influential organization that brings together Pennsylvania-based breweries. BOP members employ an estimated 10,000 employees earning $296 million in wages and generating $1.1 billion in direct economic benefits to communities throughout the state. Its signature event is Meeting of the Malts.

March 03, 2016 - Brewers Association and Brewers of Pennsylvania Team Up to Repair Historic Statue
The Brewers Association has donated $25,000 to the City of Reading, Pa. to restore the vandalized Frederick Lauer monument, an iconic statue of a brewing legend and the first monument ever constructed in the city.

The Brewers of Pennsylvania—the state’s official brewers guild—led the charge to collect donations to repair the statue of the pioneering brewer and the first president of the U.S. Brewers Association, which has stood over Reading for more than 130 years. The funds provided by the Brewers Association will support the restoration efforts to replace four bronze plaques that were removed by vandals from the side of the monument in April 2015.

“Frederick Lauer has a long and storied history in the brewing movement,” said Bob Pease, CEO and president, Brewers Association. “The American brewing community is hallmarked by support from individual brewers in addressing policy issues and establishing an industry reputation for quality products and corporate responsibility. Serving as the first president of a national association of brewers, Lauer is eternally a member of our community. We felt it was our duty to make sure this statue, which pays homage to Lauer’s legacy, was returned to its rightful state.”

Born in Germany in 1810, Lauer immigrated to the United States at age 12. He learned the brewing process at an early age from his father. By age 16, he was foreman for his family’s brewery, and at 25, he became the brewery’s proprietor. For decades to follow, through innovation, hard work and business savvy, Lauer established himself as a brewing pioneer not only locally, but throughout the country. Lauer is considered by many to be one of the early driving forces in establishing what would eventually become modern day brewing.

“Pennsylvania is home to more than 150 breweries, and Mr. Lauer has had an impact on each and every one in our state and across the country,” said Bill Covaleski, president, Brewers of Pennsylvania and president and brewmaster, Victory Brewing Company. “We’re grateful to the Brewers Association for its generosity and leadership in restoring this landmark.”

Lauer’s commitment to pioneering the brewing industry was matched by his devotion to Reading. As noted by the Berks History Center, Lauer was a key figure in changing Reading from the status of a borough to a city in 1847. He helped to organize the Berks County Agricultural Society and the Board of Trade. Lauer also helped finance the Reading and Columbia Railroad, and he was a member of several charity groups, including the Reading Dispensary, Reading Relief Society and Reading Benevolent Society. His dedication to civic involvement led him to donate part of his seven acre lot so that it could be made into a park for community recreation.

The Frederick Lauer monument restoration project is currently underway and slated for completion by the end of April, just prior to the start of the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® in Philadelphia. Additional donations for the restoration project can be made via the Brewers of Pennsylvania website. For further support, people are encouraged to use the hashtag #SaveFred.

February 24, 2016 - Guinness Dublin Porter and West Indies Porter Coming to U.S.

Since opening its gates, Guinness has been brewing up some of the best beers in the world for more than 250 years. For the first time in the U.S., the talented group of Guinness brewers is giving beer lovers a chance to taste a bit of the brewery’s history with Guinness Dublin Porter and Guinness West Indies Porter – two beers based on recipes found in Guinness brewing books from more than 200 years ago. The Guinness™ Dublin Porter and West Indies Porter were developed by The Brewers Project, a small group of talented Guinness brewers in Dublin charged with exploring and creating new recipes, reinterpreting old ones, and bringing exciting new beers to life.

“Each beer in this collection is telling part of the Guinness story, not just our beer but our people who made it, capturing the enterprising spirit and credible talent of our brewers then and now,” said Emma Giles, Brand Director, Guinness North America. “This is the first time the Dublin Porter and West Indies Porter will be available in the U.S. since their original incarnations more than 200 years ago. It’s a great example of what our brewers are capable of and shows how passionate they are about pushing boundaries and bringing quality brews to today’s beer lovers to enjoy responsibly.”

Previously only available in Ireland and the UK, Guinness is bringing these two porters stateside for the first time and offering American beer lovers a chance to experience how Guinness might have tasted more than two hundred years ago. Further capturing the essence of the historical recipes, each brew also features a stylized label modeled after the original bottle designs.

Guinness Dublin Porter (3.6%) was created in 1796 during a time when porters were all the rage in London, Guinness brewed up its own Irish version of the style at St. James’s Gate and shipped to England. While the porter originated in London, the Guinness brewer’s Irish take on the style proved quite popular with its earthy and lively flavor. Today, the Dublin Porter delivers a sweet, smooth beer with dark caramel and hoppy aroma notes with a burnt biscuit finish for a beer reminiscent of a different time.

Guinness West Indies Porter(6%) was created in 1801 as, while constantly pushing the envelope to showcase what its brewers could do, Guinness sought to create a porter that could maintain its quality taste and freshness aboard West Indies-bound ships across the ocean for more than a month. The brewers at Guinness rose to the challenge, developing a beer with higher hops and more gravity that didn’t just survive the journey, but offered a unique new beer. Today’s porter remains an immensely flavorful beer, with generous hops and notes of caramel-toffee.

February 19, 2016 - Now It's Iron Hill's Turn
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant has received an undisclosed amount from A&M Capital Opportunities, a Greenwich, Conn.-based private-equity firm, to help them expand into new Mid-Atlantic markets, per Philly.

"It allows us to grow the company in a way we feel comfortable with," Iron Hill cofounder Kevin Finn told the publication.

"The Iron Hill brand is uniquely positioned to appeal to a very broad customer base," AMCO co-founder and managing director Drew Baird said in the statement. "We plan to expand so even more communities have the opportunity to experience all that Iron Hill has to offer."

Drew and fellow AMCO co-founder Paul Lattanzio will both gain a seat on Iron Hill's board of directors, per report.

The regional brewpub chain based out of Wilmington, Delaware has 11 locations in across its home state and Southeastern Pennsylvania. Kevin hopes the boost from AMCO will allow them to "double in size over the next three to five years as it extends its reach from North Carolina to New England." The first markets on tap are New Jersey and Maryland, according to Kevin.

February 16, 2016 - Victory Brewing Co. and Southern Tier Brewing Unite Under New Holding Co.
Having just marked 20 years in the craft brewing industry, Victory Brewing Company (Victory) proudly announces a landmark alliance with Southern Tier Brewing Company (Southern Tier) under parent company Artisanal Brewing Ventures (ABV). As the first major transaction of 2016 within the rapidly evolving craft beer industry, this union presents a new model for craft beer partnerships by preserving brewery independence while pooling deep collective resources.

The new strategic framework between ABV, Victory and Southern Tier provides capital, security and vision for the future. ABV, formed to unify independent craft brewers and distillers, embraces the collaborative craft spirit while administering crucial growth resources. Arlington Capital Advisors acted as exclusive financial consultant to Victory.

Wells Fargo's Beverage Finance group provided capital to support the investment and continued growth at ABV. The transaction is expected to close within the next 60 days.

Under the umbrella of ABV, Victory and Southern Tier will independently operate their breweries, commanding a joint capacity of over 800,000 barrels of potential annual production. This alliance creates one of the largest brewers in the Northeast and ranks within the top 15 craft brewing companies in the United States according to Brewers Association criteria with combined 2015 shipments of over 250,000 barrels. With a world-class roster of complementary beer brands and an even stronger standing in the marketplace, ABV will shepherd Victory and Southern Tier in collaborative sales and marketing efforts to strengthen, support and expand its distributor and retail partnerships. Victory and Southern Tier brands will become increasingly available to loyal and new consumers across their combined markets as a direct result of this union.

“The craft beer community is at its most critical moment since its inception as larger brewing corporations have bought into our grassroots movement, irrevocably changing the marketplace. Like-minded brewers such as Victory and Southern Tier can preserve our character, culture and products by banding together,” said Bill Covaleski, Founder and Brewmaster of Victory Brewing Co. “Allied we can continue to innovate and best serve the audience who fueled ur growth through their loyal thirst.”

"Having gotten to know Phin, John and the whole management team, I am more excited than ever about the innovations that lie in our collective futures. One walk through their brewery and I knew that Southern Tier had the same belief in quality and excellence that has driven our culture for 20 years,” explains Ron Barchet, COO of Victory Brewing Co..

The Victory and Southern Tier leadership teams and employees will remain intact. Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet of Victory, who will become significant shareholders in ABV, will join the Artisanal Brewing Ventures’ Board of Directors. CEO John Coleman and CFO Bill Wild will lead ABV's management team.

“This is exactly the kind of alliance we imagined when we created Artisanal Brewing Ventures in 2014,” said Phin DeMink, founder of Southern Tier Brewing Co. and also a major shareholder in ABV. “This is a concept that was specifically designed by and for craft brewers, so we can focus on the things we’re best at while creating meaningful scale advantages. I’m proud to see this model validated and am grateful that my friends Ron and Bill have become our partners.”

“This is the ultimate craft beer collaboration. It is an honor to be associated with these pioneering entrepreneurs who have been contributing to the industry since craft’s early days,” said John Coleman, CEO of ABV. “I look forward to guiding these two truly great organizations forward as they collaborate, innovate and share best practices.”

“I believe this is a watershed transaction for the craft brewing world. This union of two great regional players preserves their independence and distinct cultures while sharing administrative and management functions to support deeper investment in sales, marketing and innovation,” commented Vann Russell, Managing Director and Founder of Arlington Capital.

Artisanal Brewing Ventures is located in Charlotte, NC and was formed by Phin and Sara DeMink and Ulysses Management LLC, a New York based family office, with the vision of creating a home for likeminded, best-in-class craft breweries in close partnership with their founders. Ulysses Management was founded 20 years ago by Joshua Nash as the successor firm to the pioneering investment firm Odyssey Partners, LP.

February 10, 2016 - Short's Brewing Co. Coming To Pennsylvania
Elk Rapids, Mich. – Short’s Brewing Company of Bellaire, MI starts distribution of their beer in Pennsylvania beginning this Friday, February 12th. Distributed by Bella Vista Beer Distributor, eastern Pennsylvania will be the first region outside of Short’s home state, Michigan, to receive shipments of Short’s brews.

Short’s, known widely for their flagship beers and experimental brews, prides themselves on producing fearlessly creative beers handmade by people who care in northern Michigan. The company plans to begin distribution in eastern Pennsylvania with flagship brands Huma Lupa Licious (India Pale Ale), Soft Parade (Fruit Rye Ale), and Space Rock (Pale Ale crafted to remove gluten). On premise and off premise accounts are currently being identified and launch event plans are in the works throughout Bella Vista’s distribution footprint.

According to Jordan Fetfatzes, Vice President of Bella Vista Specialty Beer Distributors, “Short’s Brewing beers will stand out in the competitive Pennsylvania market. We’ve known Scott Newman-Bale and the Short’s crew for over six years and are excited to finally be able to offer this fantastic portfolio of beers to our customers.”

February 09, 2016 - Sam Calagione Pens "Off-centered Leadership: The Dogfish Head Guide to Motivation, Collaboration & Smart Growth"
Dogfish Head founder and president Sam Calagione is at it again!

Releasing a new book with Wiley Publishing titled Off-centered Leadership: The Dogfish Head Guide to Motivation, Collaboration & Smart Growth, Sam explores the power of collaboration in the business world and what happens when companies and co-workers stop competing and start collaborating.

Off-centered Leadership includes practical information and tips for entrepreneurs and leaders in all industries to apply to their own professional journeys, giving insight into the methods and approaches Dogfish has used to develop a rich and diverse brand and leadership team. Throughout the book Sam candidly reveals the rewards and challenges of growing Dogfish over the past 20 years.

Like any growing business leader, Sam realizes he has much to learn in his journey so he shares insights from his fellow co-workers in leadership roles and many revelatory interviews on leadership and collaboration with a range of accomplished, thought-provoking visionaries including Terri Kelly, CEO of W.L. Gore & Associates, Nick Brayton, President & CEO of Woolrich, and even the artist Will Oldham.

“In business, I believe there is good karma that comes with focusing on collaboration instead of competition” Sam says, “both within the organization and externally in the marketplace.”

Full news release here.

February 04, 2016 - Victory Anniversary XX Imperial Pilsner Debuts This Month
Victory Brewing Company is ringing in its 20th year with the launch of Anniversary XX Imperial Pilsner, a deliciously drinkable beer that’s culturally inspired. Victory invites craft beer fans to join in the milestone celebration while enjoying the very best of German hops in one memorable concoction.

The anniversary label features a striking “XX” as its focal point so consumers know; Victory beer has been bold for 20 years and counting. Rich green and yellow imagery reflect the coming together of old-world Europe and new-era America to produce a brew that’s as full bodied with herbal hop notes, as it is deep malts. Craft-beer collectors will relish this unique packaging that embodies the past, present and future of Victory.

Anniversary XX Imperial Pilsner makes its debut mid-February and is available through April in a 750 ml bottle. This intense, yet soothing brew demonstrates the full character of the German noble hops which balances this substantial beer of 8.0% ABV. Pilsner malts band together with Tettnang, Spalt and Mittelfrueh hops to create a unique Imperial Pilsner style, which holds true to Victory’s renowned approach to craft brewing. For two decades, the brewery has tapped into its founders' roots in European brewing and this anniversary batch is no different.

Long before the anniversary celebration began, Victory had perfected their pilsner recipe. Most notably in Prima Pils, a brewery favorite, and strong, established brand with a loyal following of fans enamored by the compositions of malt and hops.

“Since Prima Pils has been one of our longest standing brands, it only makes sense that we debut this Imperial Pilsner in celebration of our 20th Anniversary,” said Victory’s President and Brewmaster, Bill Covaleski. “After twenty years of brewing, we’re proud to deliver Anniversary XX to craft beer fans as we look ahead to innovate on tradition for the next 20 years.”

January 22, 2016 - What Will The Bud Light Super Bowl 50 Ad Look Like?
The Bud Light Party steps onto the national stage today with a mission to unite modern beer drinkers. The new campaign from America’s most inclusive beer brand will celebrate bringing people together – for fun – over a beer. The Bud Light Party is the first campaign to bring to life Bud Light’s new “Raise One to Right Now” tagline, designed to provide a unique and light-hearted Bud Light perspective on timely cultural moments – starting with Super Bowl 50.

Right now there is nothing more timely or talked about than the presidential election. At a time when debates get heated and “unfriending” is at an all-time high, The Bud Light Party offers something everyone can agree on. A party that invites everyone. A party that knows how to party. A party that isn’t a political party at all.

Leading this humor-based campaign is comedic duo Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen – the faces of The Bud Light Party. Starting with a Super Bowl ad and continuing in national broadcast and digital creative throughout the year, Schumer and Rogen will rally beer drinkers to put their differences aside and agree to agree on Bud Light. Read more and see a teaser video for the 2016 ad here,

January 14, 2016 - First U.S. Trappist Brewery Opens a New Frontier
Last November, America's only Trappist brewery, Spencer Trappist Brewery at St. Joseph's Monastery, announced their intent to release some contemporary craft offerings. The tease came as somewhat of a surprise because their first and only beer at the time, the Spencer Trappist Ale, was supposed to be the lone beer in the portfolio "for another three to five years," per Wicked Local.

But the brewery quickly realized they needed to adapt in order to remain relevant with the promiscuous U.S. consumers.

"Most of the Trappist breweries in Belgium have one to three beers, and we thought we would follow that and we started that way," Rev. Isaac Keeley (Father Isaac) said. "We started running into a couple of issues. American beer drinkers want something new, a change over, specifically special releases."

So in November they launched their first new beer, the Spencer Holiday Ale, and their next new beer is hitting shelves this week - the Trappist Imperial Stout.

Spencer had to secure approval from the International Trappist Association to brew and roll out the stout. They're making history with the latest release as it is the first stout brewed by a Trappist brewery.

The Trappist Imperial Stout comes in at 8.7% ABV and is made with the same house yeast that the Spencer Trappist Ale is brewed with. The brew will be packaged in 750ml caged-and-corked bottles and sell for a suggested retail price of $11.99.

Spencer recently gained approval from the International Trappist Association to brew an IPA, as well.

Father Isaac admitted he was skeptical on sending another IPA into a marketplace teeming with them, but Spencer's distributor, Massachusetts Beverage Alliance, convinced him that they would be able to differentiate.

"My question was, does the world need a new IPA?" Father Isaac said. "Brian Murphy (of the MBA) said yes, if it's a good one." The IPA will be ready by the end of February.

Further on down the road this year, Spencer will start tinkering with a Pilsner brew. "It's a really nice, crisp light Pils," according to Father Isaac.

"The goal is to brew both traditional Belgian styles and more traditional styles." Adding, "We want to divide what we do with what we brew going down the road," he said. "So far the response has been quite positive."

January 08, 2016 - Yards Seeking Location To Build Larger New Brewery
PHILLY.COM (Joseph N. Destafano)
Yards Brewing Co. is selling enough beer -- nearly 42,000 barrels in 2015 -- that it is running out of space, with 22 200-barrel steel fermentors now crowding the tasting room-restaurant, office, warehouse and research lab at the 40,000 sq. ft. plant it opened on Delaware Ave. a few blocks north of the Ben Franklin Bridge in 2007.

Partners Tom Kehoe and Trevor Prichett tell me they are looking for an 80,000-100,000 sq. ft. new home, and want to remain in the city, close to its heaviest users. "We are scouting sites. We hope to start building in six to 12 months," and open by 2018, said Kehoe. He opened the original Yards in Manayunk, moved it to Kensington, then settled in the current larger site in 2007 after splitting with partner Bill Barton, who went on to cofound Philadelphia Brewing Co.

Unlike the factories and warehouses that continue to leave Philadelphia looking for cheaper space, labor and transport access, Yards is growing with its local customer base. "We would love to be as close to Center City as we can, and we would love to be in a neighborhood, and it's important to a lot of our employees to be able to bike to work," Kehoe told me.

Even on this frozen January morning several of the 70 plant employees have hung their commuter bikes on the pegged rack at the loading dock entrance... Read more here.

January 07, 2016 - IRI: Craft Sales Showed Modest Off-Premise Growth Last Year
BREWBOUND (Chris Funari)
Another year of double-digit craft beer growth is in the books.

According market research firm IRI Worldwide, craft volume sales in key U.S. retail channels grew 18.8 percent in 2015 while dollar sales grew 23.4 percent, to more than $2.9 billion.

Total category-wide beer sales, meanwhile, were up just 2 percent in 2015 while total MULC dollar sales eclipsed $33 billion, according to the firm.

Last year’s growth represents a modest uptick from 2014, when craft volume sales were up 17 percent and dollar sales grew 20.1 percent, in IRI’s off-premise multi-outlet and convenience store (MULC) universe, which comprises grocery, drug, Wal-Mart, club, dollar, mass merchandiser and military stores.

More here.

January 05, 2016 - Tröegs Will Expand Brewery To Add Cellar for Wood-Aged Beers
Tröegs Brewing will make a major expansion to its Hershy Brewery. The project will create a new cellar for wood-aged beers and a completion date is scheduled for mid-April 2016.

Tröegs founders Chris and John Trogner: "This new collaboration, called the Splinter Cellar, will create a dynamic area that adds needed fermentation space for wood-aged specialty beers and serves as the new entrance for our behind-the scenes guided tours. The room will feature glass exterior walls on the northeast side of the brewery, and three wooden fermenters (called foeders) that stand more than 23 feet tall.

"We’ve been making wood-aged beers in oak barrels almost as long as we’ve been brewing Scratch beers. Our first project, Splinter Gold (2009 release), used Scratch #3 as the base beer; since then we’ve released other Splinter beers periodically. About eight months ago, we installed three smaller foeders to ramp up the program. Our first large volume Splinter project features Mad Elf aged with more than 600 pounds of Balaton cherries we sourced from Peters Orchard in Adams County. The progress on this beer, soon to be known as Wild Elf, has been so promising we want keep it going, and the Splinter Cellar will give us that opportunity.

[ ... ]

Finally, we’re excited about some exterior changes. We’ll be building a courtyard and greenspace that runs along the building to create a dedicated pedestrian path separate from the parking area, and we will begin work on the parking lot upgrades with a long-term goal of increasing parking spaces. We’re looking forward to bringing this space to life, and then, we’ll tackle whatever comes next."

January 02, 2016 - Heavy Seas Introduces “Boatload IPA" Sampler
Heavy Seas Beer welcomes a brand new beer sampler, the Boatload IPA Sampler. This 12-pack collection of four different India Pale Ales is available in all 18 states where Heavy Seas beer is distributed.

The Boatload Sampler features Heavy Seas’ most popular offering, Loose Cannon IPA, along with its most recent new year-round offering, CrossBones Session IPA. This sampler also includes Double Cannon, a Double IPA transitioning from a seasonal to a year-round offering in Heavy Seas’ 2016 portfolio. Finally, Black Cannon IPA makes its only return in the Boatload Sampler. This Black IPA was last offered by Heavy Seas as a seasonal in 2014. Look for other exciting rarities and new editions to replace Black Cannon in future Boatload IPA Samplers.

December 26, 2015 - The Full Pint: Dogfish Head Will Release Six New Beers in 2016
Each December Dogfish Head announces the beer release calendar for the upcoming year. It ignites excitement throughout the craft beer community as beer fans begin marking the dates for particular bottle releases. This year Dogfish is bringing back a few old favorites while introducing six never-before-released beers.

Kicking off the new releases are two new fruit-forward IPAs: Romantic Chemistry and Flesh & Blood. Romantic Chemistry is the new spring seasonal made with mangos and apricots, while Flesh & Blood will feature the flesh of various citrus fruits and blood orange juice. Next are two spiced ales: Beer To Drink Music To and Bie?re de Provence. Beer To Drink Music To is a Belgian-style Tripel that serves as a liquid tribute to Record Store Day, while Bie?re de Provence is a saison with a healthy dose of lavender, sage, thyme, and other herbs. Rounding out the 2016 new releases are a pair of quintessentially off-centered brews: Seaquenchale and Beer for Breakfast. Seaquenchale is a refreshing, experimental beer that combines the three German styles of Kolsch, Berliner Wiesse, and Gose. Beer for Breakfast will debut as Dogfish’s new winter seasonal, brewed with all sorts of delicious breakfast- minded ingredients, including Delaware scrapple.

With a boatload of exciting new releases, Dogfish is also bringing back a few fan favorites. Squall IPA makes a return after being on hiatus since 2010 as well as Red & White, a beer- wine hybrid. 120 Minute IPA, the holy grail for hopheads is back, and the much-anticipated Punkin Ale appears this fall. Pennsylvania Tuxedo and World Wide Stout are both back by popular demand.

With these new additions and returning favorites also comes some goodbyes as Dogfish removes Sixty-One and Tweason’ale from its Year Round lineup.

See the complete release schedule here.

December 22, 2015 - Brewbound: Anheuser-Busch InBev to Acquire Breckenridge Brewery
BREWBOUND (Chris Funari)
Anheuser-Busch InBev is making its third craft brewery purchase in the last five days, today announcing the acquisition of Colorado’s Breckenridge Brewery. Specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed and the deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2016.

The news comes just one day after the company acquired London’s Camden Town Brewery, and four days after it said it would buy Arizona’s Four Peaks Brewing.

Breckenridge Brewery will sell approximately 70,000 barrels in 2015, the company said in a statement.

Read more.

December 22, 2015 - Victory Brewing Company Will Launch New Quarterly Beer Series in 2016
Victory Brewing Company (Victory) announces the launch of its Blackboard Series. The annual series includes a new creation every three months alternating between bottle and draft only releases. Much like restaurant blackboard specials are used to entice loyal patrons to veer off menu and try something interesting and new with market-fresh produce so does the Victory Blackboard Series.

The first special in the series, Agave IPA with Grapefruit, will be released on January 1, 2016 and is brewed with four variations of American hops that juxtapose strong and bitter aromas against agave and grapefruit additions to create a light, citric bite. The ale is fresh, crisp and bracing, reminiscent of a ripe, ruby red grapefruit. The sweet agave syrup provides a perfect foil to the tartness of the grapefruit resulting in a juicy winter fruit beer. Agave IPA with Grapefruit will be available from January through March and can be purchased throughout Victory’s 37-state distribution footprint.

As part of the series launch, all three Victory Brewpubs - Downingtown, Kennett Square and Parkesburg are fully ‘embracing the blackboard’ with culinary creations perfectly suited to, or using the ingredients found in, Agave IPA with Grapefruit to celebrate the launch of this series. Victory anticipates the alternating bottle and draft “beers du jour” will please and excite the palates of craft beer and brewpub fans alike.

The second beer of the series is certain to excite the funky and wild ambitions side of many craft beer fans. The Dry-Hopped Brett Pils will be available on draft from April to June 2016. The third offering, a Berliner Weisse with Elderflower, will be sold in 12 oz. bottles. The final introduction of the series is an Oatmeal Porter with Hazelnut in a draft format.

December 18, 2015 - Anheuser-Busch InBev Purchases Arizona’s Largest Craft Brewery
BREWBOUND (Chris Funari):
Anheuser-Busch InBev today announced it would purchase Arizona’s largest craft brewery, Four Peaks Brewing.

Specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed and the deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2016. First Beverage Group acted as the financial advisor to Four Peaks and Spencer Fane provided legal counsel.

Launched in 1996, the brewery produced about 60,000 barrels of beer last year and expects that figure to grow to 70,000 in 2015.

Read more here.

December 18, 2015 - Stickman Brews Opens in Royersford This Weekend
Stickman Brews in Royersford will officially open to the public this weekend, 1pm to 12am on Saturday & Sunday with six beers on draft and 15 very limited experimental batches in bottles. there will be food trucks on the premises as well.

Stickman is located in what was the brewery at the rear of Sly Fox Brewery & Restaurant on Lewis Rd.

Brewmaster Ethan Buckman, who made his bones at Church Brew Works and Hofbräuhaus in Pittsburgh, Mustang Brewery in Oklahoma and Perkasie’s Free Will Brewing, is using wild yeast and open fermenters to create a half dozen or more Farmhouse-style beers which will stand on their own or be combined in various blends to create 20 or 30 vintages suitable for barrel-aging, an ongoing series of Farmhouse Ales to pour on draft.

December 18, 2015 - New Belgium Brewing Reportedly Looking To Sell
Employee-owned New Belgium Brewing Company, which owns craft beer brand Fat Tire, is looking for a buyer that could the value the U.S. company at more than $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

A sale of New Belgium would be the latest in a string of deals in the craft beer industry. Big beer companies are increasingly looking to boost their business by acquiring upstart craft breweries to combat their own declining sales.

Advisory firm Lazard Middle Market is advising New Belgium on the potential sale, sources said this week. Lazard Middle Market declined to comment while New Belgium did not respond to requests for comment.

Read More.

December 02, 2015 - There Are Now 4,144 American Breweries
The total number of U.S. breweries reached a record level in 2015, according to a year-end review from the Brewers Association—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers. As of the end of November, there are now 4,144 breweries in the country, topping the historic high of 4,131 breweries in 1873.

“This is a remarkable achievement, and it’s just the beginning,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “Beer has always been a hallmark of this country and it is even more apparent today as America’s beer culture continues to expand.”

Of note in 2015:
Brewery openings now exceed two a day.
Fifteen states are now home to more than 100 breweries: California, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana.
IPA remained the top style sold by independent craft brewers, and continues to grow faster than the overall craft category.

Read the entire press release here.

November 24, 2015 - Victory Parkesburg Brewpub Now Open
Victory Brewing Company has opened the highly anticipated opening of Victory at Parkesburg, located at 3127 Lower Valley Road in Parkesburg, PA, the brewpub features self-guided tours of the EPA-Green Power Partnership accredited 160,000 square foot facility, giving fans a behind glimpse into the brewing process, bottling and packaging lines. The brewpub boasts a rotating selection of 30 Victory beers on draft, a double-headed growler machine, a crowler (custom can filling) machine and a menu inspired by local ingredients.

The Parkesburg brewpub has a seating capacity of 348, including a 1,000 pound authentic German stammtisch table. The second floor mezzanine boasts a relaxed self-service ordering process with high top tables made of reclaimed white oak. The menu will offer signature menu items; hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 11:00 am – Midnight and Sunday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm.

The multimedia, self-guided tours of the Parkesburg brewery are an explorative journey showcasing Victory’s top quality brewing process. Visitors will witness the step-by-step brewing process and experience Victory’s vision and philosophy. Viewing stations showcasing the equipment and ingredients are that constantly produce beloved Victory brands are located on the mezzanine level. The tour ends at the newly opened brewpub.

An onsite retail store offers a wide selection of year round and seasonal Victory beers. In addition, Victory merchandise ranging from eco-friendly water bottles to bike shirts and beer infused food products such as beef jerky, pickles and cheese will be available for purchase.

November 24, 2015 - Pints for Prostates Partners with 14 Craft Brewers to Launch Crowns for a Cure
Pints for Prostates is partnering with 14 craft brewers across the United States on a new program designed to start conversations when guys get together to catch a game or during holiday celebrations.

Pints for Prostates Crowns for a Cure is distributing 400,000 bottle caps – known in the beverage trade as crowns – to craft brewers around the country to use on beer they package during November and December. The crowns feature the Pints for Prostates logo on the outside and under the cap is the message, “Reaching men through the universal language of beer.”

“We are excited to be partnering with some great craft brewers on this first of its kind program that will put a reminder in the hands of men to take charge of their health,” said Rick Lyke, a prostate cancer survivor who started Pints for Prostates in 2008 after successful treatment for the disease. “We hope these bottle caps will start thousands of conversations and encourage guys to talk with their doctors about scheduling prostate cancer screenings.”

These craft breweries are taking part in the program:
Bell’s Brewing of Comstock, Mich.
Boston Beer of Boston, Mass.
Coronado Brewing of Coronado, Calif.
Elevation Beer of Poncha Springs, Colo.
Foothills Brewing of Winston-Salem, N.C.
Fort Collins Brewery of Fort Collins, Colo.
Laughing Dog Brewing of Ponderay, Idaho
New Holland Brewing of Holland, Mich.
Olde Mecklenburg Brewery of Charlotte, N.C.
Pike Brewing of Seattle, Wash.
Rogue Ales of Newport, Ore.
Saint Arnold Brewing of Houston, Texas
Schlafly Beer of St. Louis, Mo.
Wormtown Brewery of Worcester, Mass.

November 16, 2015 - BBD: Constellation Brands Buying Ballast Point
Despite California's fast-growing craft beer and spirits company Ballast Point having started the IPO process recently, news has just come down that Constellation will acquire them for about $1 billion. The transaction will be financed with cash and debt, and is expected to close by the end of calendar year 2015, subject to customary closing conditions.

[ ... ]

"We started this business nearly 20 years ago with a vision to produce great beer that consumers love and to do it the right way," said Ballast founder Jack White. "To achieve that vision, we needed to find the right partner. The team at Constellation shares our values, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for beer, and has a proven track record of helping successful premium brands reach the next level of growth and scale."

For their part, Constellation Brands CEO Rob Sands said they "believe in the vision that Jack and his team have created" and are "excited to welcome Ballast Point, one of the most respected craft brewers in the country, to the Constellation Brands family.

Here is the Constellation Brands news release.

November 11, 2015 - A-B InBev and SABMiller Reach $106 Billion Takeover Agreement
BREWBOUND (Chris Funari)\
After nearly two months of negotiations, extensions and industry speculation, global brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev said Wednesday that it had reached a formal agreement to acquire its largest competitor, London-based SABMiller, in deal valued at approximately $106 billion.

As part of the deal, dubbed MegaBrew, and in effort to appease U.S. antitrust regulators, the Belgium-based A-B InBev will divest its interest in MillerCoors, a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors. Molson Coors will purchase the remaining 58 percent stake of MillerCoors that it did not already own for $12 billion.

Both transactions are not expected to close until the second half of 2016.

Molson Coors’ acquisition of the MillerCoors joint venture is still contingent upon A-B InBev’s takeover of SABMiller, however, which could face regulatory scrutiny in places like China and South Africa. Some analysts have suggested that additional divestitures in China could also be required. SABMiller owns a 49 percent stake in CR Snow, the nation’s largest brewing company.

Once finalized, the combined A-B InBev/SABMiller entity would control roughly one-third of the world’s beer supply.

Read More Here.

November 05, 2015 - Belgium's Cantillon Endangered by Climate Change Impact
A leading Belgian artisan brewer said Tuesday he had been forced to temporarily halt production because of an unusually warm autumn, blaming climate change for his business losing its fizz. The Cantillon craft brewery in Brussels traditionally allows its spontaneously fermenting sour lambic beers to cool in the open from the end of October, but this year after a brief start they have had to stop again.

“We had to pour away three brews for today, Thursday and next Monday because the nighttime temperatures are currently at between 10 and 15 C (50 -59 F), which is far too warm,” boss Jean Van Roy told AFP.

Like many breweries in this beer-obsessed country, Cantillon, which produces around 400,000 bottles a year and receives 50,000 visitors, uses old-fashioned methods to produce its beers. Lambic spontaneously ferments in wooden vats and produces a very sour, flat beer that later acts as the base for a fizzier Gueze that ferments further in bottles.It is also used as the base for Kriek, the famed Belgian cherry beer.

Tradition dictates that the fermentation mixture must be left to cool “in the open air so that it is naturally infused with the wild yeasts present in the air”, said Van Roy, whose great grandfather founded the brewery in 1900.“Ideally it must cool at between minus 3C and 8C. But climate change has been notable in the last 20 years. My grandfather 50 years ago brewed from mid-October until May – but I’ve never done that in my life, and I am in my 15th season.”

The brewing period is getting shorter every year, he added.

Read online.

October 30, 2015 - Appalachian Brewing, Victory Brewing Garner 2015 Excellence in Food Safety Awards
The Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Excellence in Food Safety Awards. Now in its 13th year, these awards honor members who exceed the standards of food safety and sanitation.

“Food safety is of utmost importance to the foodservice industry,” said John Longstreet, president & CEO of PRLA. “This award recognizes our members who make the commitment, day-in and day-out, to go beyond the industry’s already high standards of food safety and sanitation.”

PRLA awarded the 2015 Excellence in Food Safety Awards at its industry awards gala on Monday, October 26 at the DoubleTree Hotel & Suites Pittsburgh Downtown.

October 29, 2015 - Philly Insider: Abington's Guild Hall Brewpub Is Closing
Michael Klein of broke the story this morning, reporting that Guild Hall will be shut down after closing time this Saturday night, certainly not a Halloween treat for fans of good beer.

Co-founder Owen Hutchins, who was the first head brew at the General Lafayette inn, told Mid-Atlantic Brewing News this summer that 148-seat restaurant, in an 80-year-old historic building which began life as a Rolls-Royce garage and for many years housed the Jenkintown Antique Guild, was doing well.

October 27, 2015 - USA Today Editorial: Proposed ABI - MillerCoors Merger "is the lesser part of Big Beer’s efforts to reduce competition and consumer choice."
The proposed merger of the two largest beer companies in the USA and the world, Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, is getting barrels full of attention. Perhaps too much. Most antitrust experts say the merged company would be required to preserve competition by spinning off SABMiller's American assets, including the Miller and Coors brands.

But in many ways, the proposed merger is the lesser part of Big Beer’s efforts to reduce competition and consumer choice. The larger but less publicized story has been how major producers, particularly Anheuser-Busch, have been trying to thwart the rapid advance of craft breweries, which have grown in recent years to account for 11% of the market.

Both MillerCoors, the domestic brewery 58% owned by SABMiller, and Anheuser-Busch have been snapping up craft brewers. And Anheuser-Busch has bought wholesale distributors that in most states are the sole means for brewers of any size to get their products to market.

In the past few months alone, Anheuser-Busch, which is by far the more aggressive of the two, has snapped up five wholesale distributors in three states. Those states — California, Colorado and New York — not coincidentally rank first, third and fifth, respectively, in craft breweries. The purchases were so unusual that the Justice Department is investigating, according to Reuters.

All of this behavior, but particularly the buying of distributors, shows how big brewers are trying to compensate for their inability to keep up with changing consumer tastes. In previous instances when wholesalers were bought, craft brewers reported a decline in sales, at least until they were able to find alternative distributors.

Big Beer's behavior also shows how the laws governing beer sales need to be reevaluated...

The complete editorial is here.

An opposing viewpoint offered by Anheuser-Busch’s vice president of business and wholesaler development Bob Tallett, also at USA Today.

October 21, 2015 - Ballast Point Will Go Public With $172.5 Million IPO
LOS ANGELES TIMES (Samantha Asunaga)
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits Inc. won over California beer aficionados with its Sculpin India Pale Ale, and now the San Diego craft brewer is betting that an even wider audience will want to try its hoppy beer.

[ ... ]

Part of the appeal of craft breweries is Ballast Point's specialty: India pale ales. “As we've seen the craft beer trend really go upward, IPAs have really led the charge,” said Nick Petrillo, an analyst for IBISWorld. “They're the complete antithesis of macro beer.”

Ballast Point produces more than 15 kinds of beer year-round, as well as seasonal beers and craft spirits, but the bulk of its sales comes from its Sculpin and Grapefruit Sculpin India pale ales. In its filing, the brewery said those beers probably will account for a large portion of revenues for the foreseeable future.

Read the entire story.

October 17, 2015 - Fingers, Wings & Other Things Celebrates Opening of New Conshohocken Bar
After four years of reimagining, Fingers Wings and Other Things is celebrating the grand opening of their new bar and event space in Conshohocken, PA located at 107 West Ridge Pike. Beginning the week of October 19, 2015,

FWOT will host a variety of events to launch the area’s newest bar. Owner Craig Flaxman, with the help from W.A. Staples Co. LLC, designer Voli Kriasris, and project manager J. Scott Crawford, brought to life the new 1,250 square foot bar space. The space combines tones of wood, warm colors and industrial elements for a unique and welcoming environment. The bar and event space offers 20 taps and over 100 bottles highlighting the best craft beer from around the country, hand selected by in-house Certified Cicerone, Samantha Seltzer. The space features a 14-seat bar, two large eight-foot community tables, high top and standard seating. Also a 90-inch LED television is featured, perfect for watching the best (and worst) of Philadelphia Sports.

The new bar and event space joins the current 1,000 square foot bar and additional patio space, which includes outside seating. Also available is a take-out beer section in which you can grab a ready-made six-pack, or create your own. FWOT’s daily food and beer specials include one of the area’s best football specials and highlight the best of craft beer.

Opening Week Events
Monday, October 19 Allagash Brewing
Thursday, October 22 Ballast Point Brewing
Saturday, October 24 Grand Opening Ultimate Draft List

October 13, 2015 - AB InBev & SABMiller Finally Agree on Takeover Terms
SABMiller said it had agreed "in principle" a £44-a-share offer, after four previous attempts from AB InBev...If the deal, worth about £70bn, goes ahead, the newly-created firm will make about 30% of the world's beer.

[ ... ]

AB InBev had made four previous bid approaches for SABMiller - at £38, £40, £42.15, and £43.50 per share - but they had been rejected by SABMiller, which argued they undervalued the company.

In a statement, the boards of the two firms said they had now "reached agreement in principle on the key terms of a possible recommended offer".

The two companies have not yet formally finalised the terms of an offer, but the latest development means they have extended the City deadline for a firm offer until 28 October.

Read More.

October 08, 2015 - BREWBOUND: SABMiller Rejects A-B InBev for Third Time
BREWBOUND (Chris Furnari
SABMiller, the world’s second-largest beer company, this morning rejected a third takeover bid, worth $104 billion, from the larger Anheuser-Busch InBev saying that the offer “substantially undervalues” the company.

After a meeting, SABMiller’s 16-member board, excluding three directors nominated by U.S. tobacco company Altria Group Inc., its largest shareholder, formally considered and rejected A-B InBev’s third proposal of 42.15 pounds per share in cash (USD $64.49). Two earlier offers, made privately and valued at 40 pounds and 38 pounds, respectively, had already been rejected by the board, the company said.

“SABMiller is the crown jewel of the global brewing industry, uniquely positioned to continue to generate decades of standalone future volume and value growth for all SABMiller shareholders from highly attractive markets,” Jan du Plessis, Chairman of SABMiller said in a statement. “A-B InBev needs SABMiller but has made opportunistic and highly conditional proposals, elements of which have been deliberately designed to be unattractive to many of our shareholders. A-B InBev is very substantially undervaluing SABMiller.”

In its own statement, A-B InBev called the third offer “compelling,” describing it as one that would be “highly attractive to SABMiller shareholders.” According to the company, the bid represents a premium of approximately 44 percent to SABMiller’s closing share price of 29.34 pounds on September 14.

Read more.

October 03, 2015 - What If We Lived In a World With Only One IPA Choice?
Victory Brewing Company (Victory) is hoppy to introduce Vital IPA, a sharp looking golden IPA with rich aromas of pine, and juicy tropical and luscious stone fruits in easily transportable 12 oz. cans. Victory’s newest addition to their family of popular brands is so satisfyingly jam-packed with freshly complex citrus and spicy flavors, the package confidently announces it’s ‘the only IPA you need’. Vital IPA is Victory’s first beer brand to be introduced exclusively in cans.

Victory’s Vital IPA commands attention with fruity notes forcefully driven by whole flower American hops and robust German malts. With an ABV of 6.5%, it is an IPA above all the rest that will satisfy the most die-hard fan. Whether you are looking to relieve a stressful day, toast to one of life’s many victories or just merely craving the delicious and expected hop forwardness of an IPA, this is the one to reach for that is Vital to all five senses in every sense of the word. Vital IPA is available year round throughout the brewery’s 36 state distribution footprint.

“In our never ended pursuit to create the ultimate beer, we challenged ourselves as brewers to identify the most Vital components and flavors that we think make up the perfect IPA. We raised the bar with Vital IPA, which we believe will become a singular, vital addition to beer lovers' refrigerators,” explains Bill Covaleski, President and Brewmaster of Victory Brewing Company.

October 01, 2015 - Saucony Creek Gold Medal Tops List of Local GABF Medal Winners for 2015
Seven breweries in the tri-county market served by The Beer Yard won medals during the 2015 Great American Beer Festival Awards Ceremonies in Denver this afternoon, including a Gold for Saucony Creek Brewing's X-Reserve Ale 05-15 Peach and Ginger in the Fruit Beer category. That Gold keeps alive a three year streak in which new breweries in the area have brought home a medal in its first time at GABF (following Neshaminy Creek in 2013 and Barren Hill Tavern in 2014).

Three other Eastern PA breweries brought home a total of four Silver Medals, including two for Iron Hill from its Lancaster location (Russian Imperial Stout, the IH beer that seems to attract them like a magnet) and its Philadelphia location (The Cannibal, the Belgian Strong Ale Specialty category). Those wins kept alive Iron Hill's perfect streak of winning at least one GABF medal every year since it opened its doors in 1994. A Silver for Sly Fox Grisette kept another streak alive; that beer has won Silver, Gold and now Silver again in the last three years. The fourth Silver went to Stoudts Brewing Co.'s Oktoberfest.

A Bronze went to Susquehanna Brewing Co., a first time winner, for its Goldencold Lager. New Jersey's Flying Fish Brewing won a Bronze for its Red Fish Bitter (which took Gold in 2014) and to bring the region's total to seven medals in all, a far cry from the 15 won at GABF 2014 or the 13 in 2013.

Other tri-state medals were won by New Jersey's Spellbound Brewing in Mt. Holly (Silver), Delaware's Mispillion River Brewing in Milford (Bronze), and two other Pennsylvania brewers, Bronzes by Pittsburgh's Church Brew Works and Bloomsburg's Marley's Brewery & Grill (beers from those breweries are not currently available in this market). Those wins make the overall tri-state record 1 Gold, 5 silver and 5 Bronze, a total of 11 in all. In 2014, breweries from the region came home with 18 medals in all.

Recent recurring GABF medalists which are missing among this year's crop include such familiar names as Troegs, Dogfish Head, Fegley's Brew Works and Yards.

September 29, 2015 - Beer Business Daily: Dogfish Head Gives NY Investment Firm 15% Ownership
Yesterday Dogfish chief Sam Calagione shared the following news with employees. They'll give New York-based LNK "a modest 15% ownership position." One more for the private equity succession plan camp.

"Today, I am excited to announce that Mariah and I added a new asset as external support to Dogfish Head - LNK Partners," he wrote. "You are likely thinking, who or what is that? Well, they are an incredibly smart and experienced group of people who have worked with companies of all sizes and styles like Levi's, Performance Bicycle, Gatorade and Calvin Klein [and Panera] to help those guys achieve their goals in their respective industries. LNK is making an investment to own 15% percent of our company." As we reported via large news outlets earlier this year, Dogfish has "accepted a number of meetings over many years in order to better understand the plays that other craft breweries could or would be making.

"But while these conversations happened, our talks have always been prefaced by our steadfast desire to remain a family-controlled and family-led company. We remained firm in that position no matter who was sitting at the other side of the table pitching us their deal and we still do today. We went into our introductory meeting with LNK as if it would be our only, but rather found that the result was a robust and thoughtful dialogue about Dogfish's solid and unique position in the craft beer industry. We walked out of the meeting thinking perhaps we should rethink those original assumptions. ..."

"THREE DEAL BREAKERS": "During the process of getting to know each other, the value in partnering with LNK became clearer, for while we have been approaching our world through the lens of craft, they could bring different exposures and experiences to help adjust that focus," Sam wrote. "In so doing they could provide the food for thought we had yet to sample. As the possibility of a partnership continued to crystallize for us, all that remained was their agreement around our three deal-breakers. 1.) acceptance that this would not be a path toward IPO, majority ownership or any other position that would be counter to our commitment to remain a family-controlled and family-led company, 2.) alignment in holding holy to our off-centered culture as an ideal to be treasured, and 3.) acceptance that we will always choose smart growth over fast growth. End of story. Not only did LNK get on board with our priorities, but they respected them; they were energized around them."

Bottom line, this means that at the "Dogfish Board of Directors level there will be one representative joining who will bring some diversity of thought and experience to that group. Additionally, they will be acting as thought partners for Mariah, Nick and I to challenge us, provide sounding board and offer other best practice advice. We contemplated whether filling our voids could be just as easily achieved through the work of a rock solid consultant but in the end Mariah and I agreed that allowing LNK to take a modest 15% ownership position would provide the skin in the game that would align us to winning."

David Landau, Managing Partner at LNK, said Dogfish is a "rare combination of a great management team and a great brand."

September 28, 2015 - Craft Business Daily: News from GABF Media Luncheon
Chief economist for the Brewers Association, Bart Watson, had big news to share at the annual media luncheon.

MORE THAN 4,000 BREWERIES IN THE U.S. The big announcement: The United States now holds more than 4,000 breweries: 4,011 to be exact (at last count). Right now, the U.S. is opening two breweries a day, and if that trend continues, Bart believes we will pass the nation's historical high of 4,131 breweries in 1873 "sometime late this year or early next year."

Of course, these numbers prompt a question of saturation. Bart said 'Do we have too many breweries?' is the most common question he receives. For Bart, the answer is always "no." He said there will always be ample opportunities for brewers "producing high quality beer" and "differentiating" themselves in the marketplaces.

CRAFT SHOULD END THE YEAR WITH A 12%-13% SHARE. So what kind of production figures are we talking with this immense amount of breweries? Well, according to Bart's calculations, craft brewers produced about 12.2 million barrels in this first half of the year and he expects total production to reach about 25 million barrels by year's end. This production growth should leave craft with a 12%-13% chunk of market share. Bart acknowledged that this growth (16%) is a "slight slowdown" from years past, but said it's largely due to craft's growing base.

September 28, 2015 - Paste Magazine Provides More GABF 2015 Data
California took home the most bling from the festival with a whopping 67 medals in the style categories, and four out of the seven champion brewery awards. The next closest state in the competition was Colorado with 36 medals, followed by Oregon with 19...

As it has been for every year since 2002, the American-Style India Pale Ale (IPA) category featured the fiercest competition with a total of 336 entries, which accounted for 5% of all submissions. The gold medal in that classification went to Revolver IPA by BNS Brewing & Distilling in Santee, Calif., which is quite an accomplishment for a brewery that’s just a shade over two years old. Fat Head’s Brewery in Middleburg Heights, Ohio took the gold for Imperial IPA (208 entries) with Hop Juju, while Nebraska Brewing Company won Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (179 entries) with Melange A Trois.

It’s worth noting that this year’s competition featured 38 winners from breweries that had never submitted an entry in the past...A total of 242 different breweries won awards.

Read It All.

September 26, 2015 - 242 Breweries Take Home Medals at 2015 Great American Beer Festival
The 2015 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 275 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals to teams of amateur brewers paired with professional brewers.

Presented by the Brewers Association, GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing excellence. In its 29th year, the 2015 competition surpassed all previous participation records, exceeding last year’s record-setting competition.

Award-winning brewers received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 92 beer categories covering 145 different beer styles (including all subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the country.

Winners were chosen from 6,647 competition entries (20 percent more than in 2014) from 1,552 breweries hailing from 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

This year’s GABF competition saw its biggest panel of judges ever, with 242 beer experts from 15 countries, including the U.S., and 155 competition volunteers. The panel also evaluated 91 Pro-Am entries.

Lots more statistics, brewery of the year results and all the medal winners...

September 25, 2015 - GABF Report: Boston Beer Goes Nitro
During its annual Beer Brunch at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver today, Boston Beer announced it will release draft versions of three new Nitro beers in January with 16 oz. 4-packs coming in February. The new offerings will be packaged with a widget similar to that used by Guinness.

The new beers are:
Nitro White Ale, brewed with coriander, orange peel and grains of paradise (5.5%)
Nitro IPA brewed with Zeus, Polaris, Galaxy, Amarillo, Centennial, Simcoe hops (7.5%)
Nitro Coffee Stout brewed with roasted barley and coffee (5.8%).

September 24, 2015 - Craft Business Daily: Oskar Blues To Build Brewery in Texas
Colorado-based Oskar Blues has just announced that they are headed south to Austin, Texas, as another place to call home. Musically inclined OB will open a brewery and taproom in the "Live Music Capital of the World" by April 20, 2016. The brewery will continue its tradition of "soul-savin' live music" with a music venue as part of the taproom. Recall that the brewer opened a facility in Brevard, North Carolina, a few years ago.

"North Carolina and Colorado are filled with amazing communities and experiences mingled with live music and Fuh-CAN great craft beer scenes. The passion and rebellious nature of Austin locals, along with the food, craft beer and live music scenes create a vibe that already feels like home," said OB founder Dale Katechis in official statement.

The brewery secured a 50,000 square foot brewery space, including a 5,000 square foot taproom/music venue location, at 10420 Metric Blvd. Oskar Blues will brew the full lineup of cans and draft with an initial capacity of 30,000 barrels per year there, with potential buildout capacity exceeding 100,000 barrels. Location is near the hot retail/residential area dubbed The Domain.

We asked why they picked the market, but we needn't have. The facts speak for the themselves: Texas is a top national market for beer sales that still underindexes in craft. Austin itself is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, attracting the young, high-tech type. Again, it's a hot music scene. And Oskar Blues has seen double-digit growth the last three years on both total portfolio and flagship Dale's Pale Ale in the state. They're trending up more than 21% this year, and up almost 38% the prior two years.

September 23, 2015 - Beer Business Daily: A-B Will Acquire Los Angeles Craft Brewery [UPDATE]
UPDATE: We have added an A-B video about the acquisition on our Facebook page. And also a interview by BBD's Harry Schuhmacher with Golden Road co-founder Meg Gill, who will stay with the company.
Anheuser-Busch has just announced it will acquire 2011-born, Los Angeles-based Golden Road Brewing. The deal will enable Golden Road to bring more of its fresh, canned beer to the brewery's local market and to introduce its unique hop-forward beers to more consumers.

A-B's partnership with Golden Road is expected to close by the end of Q4 this year. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The brewer did close to 30,000 barrels last year and has projected around 45,000 barrels for 2015....Core brands Point the Way IPA, Wolf Among Weeds IPA, Golden Road Hefeweizen and 329 Days of Sun Lager represent 95% of the brewer's volume. They also have a collection of rotating, seasonal and limited-edition brews, most notably the Custom IPA Series, a line-up of diverse, hop-forward IPAs....

"The energy and passion of the beer community is what drew me into this industry and with Golden Road we wanted to help develop the craft beer market in L.A.," said Meg Gill, ?president and co-founder at Golden Road Brewing. "Our team worked hard to build Golden Road from the ground up, and we are proud of the growth we've achieved in such a short time.

September 18, 2015 - Craft Brewers Weigh In on AB InBev’s Planned Takeover of SABMiller
BREWBOUND (David Eisenberg)
s reported earlier this week, Anheuser-Busch InBev has formally announced plans to takeover SABMiller, a transaction that would consolidate roughly one-third of the world’s beer supply under the parasol of a single manufacturer.

In response to the news, Brewbound reached out to a handful of brewers of various sizes, asking for their take on what a possible deal might mean for the American beer landscape, and how it would impact M&A activity and distribution. And while those interviewed offered varying opinions, they all shared in common a lack of concern.

Mike Stevens, co-founder and CEO of Founders Brewing, said that at that scale, the company would just be an entirely separate animal.

“I think they just become a whole different player on a level way out into the stratosphere that kind of separates us, I’d say, even further,” said Stevens. “I see it as kind of a non-impact factor to what we’re doing in the craft industry.”

By that, he believes the company would likely still dabble in acquiring craft breweries, but would also have to shift most of its focus away from the craft space and adopt a more global perspective.

“I think this now probably forces them to look at a business model that satisfies that entity,” he said. “How the craft industry plays into that model, I would say the scale and size and scope they’re looking at, it becomes even less and less significant.”

Founders, the nation’s 17th largest craft brewery by volume, itself sold a minority stake to Mahou San Miguel, the largest brewer in Spain, at the end of 2014.

Bill Covaleski, founder of Victory Brewing, echoed a similar lack of anxiety, arguing that today’s craft consumer base is too savvy and would actually be less likely to deviate from its craft-centric buying habits as a result of such a mega-merger.

“I kind of feel like when you create a behemoth company like that, there’s going to be a lot of people giving it the hairy eyeball who might not want to be involved with that,” he said. “I do feel there’s a very informed consumer out there these days and that consumer prefers not to do business with the largest entities. Given those trends, I would say there’s some really dark clouds ahead for a large entity like that.”


September 17, 2015 - BA Director Responds to News of AB InBev Plans to Acquire SABMiller
This post is not about whether it will happen, but about what can be expected here if it did. I find I have more questions than answers. I am focused on the U.S. picture and what it might mean for this market. I anticipate many interested parties will engage to help The Department of Justice (DOJ) evaluate concentration of market concerns. Regulators would be expected to require that the Miller component in the U.S. not be included in the deal for concentration of market concerns. DOJ didn’t allow the U.S. absorption of Modelo without a selloff (to Constellation Brands-Beer DivIsion), so it is hard to think that they would allow absorption of Miller. That means that Miller brands in the U.S. could be sold off to MolsonCoors or other large international entities inside or outside of the current beer universe. Constellation Brands—Beer Division, Heineken or Carlsberg could all have some interest. There may be large money interests looking to get into the beer space as well, as beer at that scale generates significant cash flow and profitability. My notes from Benj Steinman’s intro at the 2014 Beer Marketers Insights Spring Conference show that MillerCoors had an operating profit in the U.S. of just under $1.3 billion in 2013. That number will be very attractive to somebody. Who is willing to pay what to get it? I have also read today that Chinese regulators may have an interest.

There is always this tickler in the back of my mind when I think about MillerCoors that the companies involved entered into a 10-year joint venture in 2008. What are the details of that joint venture in the event of this potential deal? Does renewal of the joint venture become less attractive to MolsonCoors based on a new partner if they don’t get the Miller brands in the U.S.? Does a potential joint venture with a new partner potentially bring different international brands into the picture creating an even larger? What happens with non-Miller-branded products owned by SABMiller that are imported into the U.S.? What happens with a brand such as Leinenkugel’s, which was bought by Miller in 1988? Would the Leinenkugel’s brands be a required divestment or could that potentially become owned by Anheuser Busch-InBev?

Gatza's entire comments can be read here.

September 16, 2015 - AB InBev Wants To Take Over SABMiller
Brace yourself for a giant beer merger.

Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch InBev (AHBIF) wants to buy SABMiller.

A merger would create a "super brewery" with nine of the world's top 20 beers by volume, and annual sales of $55 billion. Shares in both companies shot up -- the combined group would be worth about $276 billion at Wednesday's prices...If the deal happens, it will be the biggest merger in brewing history, and could rank among the top 10 takeovers of all time, according to Dealogic and EY.

AB InBev, the world's biggest brewer by volume, has been interested in making a bid for SABMiller -- the world number two -- for a while. Sales of Bud, and Bud Light, have been waning for years, putting AB InBev in a tough spot...

Read the complete story here.

"At this point, there are no details on what the proposal could look like," per UBS note that just hit. Recall that in recent weeks, SAB reportedly hired firms to help fend off a bid.

"No proposal has yet been received and the board of SABMiller has no further details about the terms of any such proposal," SABMiller said in a statement, reportedly in response to looming Financial Times coverage. "There can be no certainty that an offer will be made or as to the terms on which any offer might be made," statement continued. "In the interim, shareholders are strongly advised to retain their shares and to take no action."

A-B confirmed the approach in its own statement, saying its "intention is to work with SABMiller's board toward a recommended transaction."

[ ... ]

...Molson Coors will likely take full ownership of MillerCoors at a discounted rate. Therefore, we expect continuity. Due to this continuity, we think the deal will have little effect on operations here in the U.S...

Financial Times had a handy roundup of analyst commentary, noting observations from Exane BNP Paribas that "if a deal doesn't happen soon, it may never happen" due to current favorable conditions in bond and currency markets.

September 10, 2015 - MillerCoors Acquires Majority Interest in California's Saint Archer Brewing Co.
BREWBOUND (Chris Funari)
Another California-based craft brewer has sold. Tenth and Blake, the craft and import division of MillerCoors, today announced it would acquire a majority interest in San Diego’s Saint Archer Brewing Company.

The transaction is expected to close in October 2015. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Saint Archer launched in 2013 and has grown rapidly in its short few years in business. It expects to sell 35,000 barrels of beer in 2015.

In a press statement, MillerCoors said Saint Archer’s management team will continue to lead day-to-day operations. The business will reportedly be run as a separate unit of Tenth and Blake.

Today’s acquisition marks the first craft-focused deal Tenth & Blake has made since it purchased Crispin Cider in 2012. It also owns 25 percent of Georgia’s Terrapin Beer Company.

Read More.

September 08, 2015 - Lagunitas Brewing Will Go Global in Joint Venture with Heineken
Lagunitas Brewing Co. announced a deal Tuesday morning to form a partnership with Heineken International, the world’s third-largest beer company, as it looks to take its hoppy craft beers and irreverent business ethos across the world.

Heineken will acquire a 50 percent stake in Lagunitas *(see NOTE below) in exchange for an undisclosed amount of cash and a structure that allows the fast-growing Petaluma brewer to utilize the Amsterdam-based company’s global production and distribution network, founder and owner Tony Magee said.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Lagunitas was likely valued at about $1 billion in the deal, according to people familiar with recent acquisitions in the craft beer industry.

Magee described the agreement with Heineken, a company established in 1864, as a 50-50 partnership. Heineken will have three seats on the Lagunitas board and the Petaluma brewery will retain three seats. Magee, who began the company on his kitchen stove in 1993, will remain chairman. The deal is expected to close in the early fourth quarter.

Magee said the partnership would not change the soul of the 730-employee company or diminish the quality of its beers, which have made Lagunitas the sixth-largest craft brewer in the United States.

Read More Here.

NOTE: The industry newsletters Beer Business Daily and Craft Business Daily explain further:

In the deal structure, Lagunitas will be peers with the operating companies. The relationship is 50/50; the board will be 3 and 3, and Tony will remain chairman.

Per Heineken note to distributor council partners this morning: "Lagunitas will remain a separate business entity, and as such will have no impact to our HUSA operations or ways of working. The Lagunitas portfolio of products will not be integrated into the HUSA portfolio and Lagunitas will continue to be led by Tony Magee, its founder and executive chairman, alongside the existing management team. Additionally, Lagunitas will continue to manage and partner with their own network of distributors in the U.S."

August 29, 2015 - Chatty Monk's Has Big Plans for Phoenixville
The Beer Yard has confirmed, in an interview yesterday with Rob Metzger, one of the founders of Chatty Monk's brewpub, that the Reading business is taking a giant step forward with plans to open a 15-barrel production brewery and large restaurant in Phoenixville next spring. The new enterprise will be housed in a 13,00o sq. ft. building on Main St. just off Bridge (behind Molly McGuire's Irish Pub) and the restaurant will have seating for more than two hundred guests.

Metzger said that demand for Chatty Monk's beers at its original location on Penn Ave. in Reading has become overwhelming and that brewer Norm Eaton is barely able to keep up on the 3-barrel system he has to work with. "Our plan was to open small, then open a couple of small locations to build our brand as step two. We've just jumped right over that to step three."

Phoenixville's thriving beverage culture already saw a new addition this summer with the opening of the Stable 12 brewpub across from Borough Hall on Bridge St. It is also home to Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery, the oldest surviving modern day brewpub in this region which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in December, and an Iron HIll Brewery and Restaurant. It also has Bluebird Distillery, the Sand Castle and Black Walnut wine tasting rooms and the Blue Marble Cysery.

August 23, 2015 - Dogfish Head Dodges Another Bullet, Gets Rehoboth Beach Expansion Plan Approved
For about two hours, the future of Dogfish Head in Rehoboth Beach was brought into question.

The country’s 13th largest craft brewing company, which opened its first brewpub in the town two decades ago, was at the final stage of approval to make its first renovation to the building since it originally opened.

BUT How the plan characterized the business’ distillery almost derailed the project altogether.

[ ... ]

By the end of Friday’s board of commissioners hearing on the project, the multimillion dollar rebuild received the board’s unanimous approval. But it came after a heated discussion of the application’s compliance with the city’s zoning code, which tugged at the brewing giant’s impact on the town and those who support it.

Read the complete story.

August 19, 2015 - Reuters: Some High Profile Craft Brewers Now Exploring Venture Capital or Sale
There are now more than a dozen craft brewers looking to sell all or parts of their businesses, according to a Reuters article that, citing unnamed sources, claims beer companies like Lagunitas, SweetWater Brewing, Ballast Point and even Dogfish Head* are exploring transactions.

One of those companies, New York City’s Brooklyn Brewery, has consistently turned down investments from private equity firms for more than 20 years, founder Steve Hindy told the news service. But with plans to construct a new $150 million brewery on the horizon, Hindy, 66, is now considering the sale of a minority stake in an effort to raise capital for the project and the continued growth of a Brooklyn brand that sold more than 250,000 barrels in 2014.

[ ... ]

Although Hindy said he hopes his company can remain independent, offers from institutional investors and strategic acquirers are pouring in. “In a two-week period, I had 17 different private equity firms that called,” he said.

That kind of interest from the financial world is not uncommon; just ask Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione, who Reuters incorrectly claimed was also exploring selling a minority stake.*

Read more here (story includes a link to original Reuters article).

August 18, 2015 - The "Next Big Thing" (i.e. another IPA-like explosion) Will Not Happen Anytime Soon
One of the most frequent questions I get, from brewers and media alike, is what’s the next IPA? In case you’ve spent the last decade on an arctic expedition looking for lost beer, IPAs are on a bit of a growth trend. Understandably, lots of people are interested in getting ahead of the curve for the “next big thing.”

So as not to bury the lede, I’ll cut straight to my first point: there isn’t going to be another success story like IPAs in the near future. Part of this is simply the sheer size of IPA’s success. In IRI scan data, IPAs accounted for less than 8% of the craft category in 2008 (note: scan data captures off-premise, and so may under represent smaller brewery trends). Today they are 27.4%. That type of share growth would be incredible in a static category, but craft brewing is on pace to have a total volume this year three times larger than it was in 2008. That means if IPAs can finish the year at 27.5%+ craft share, the category would have grown more than 10X its 2008 size, or more than 6 million barrels in absolute growth.

If anything, these numbers probably underestimate the effect IPAs have had on growth, since in addition to IPAs, we’ve seen a trend toward the IPA-ification of everything: hoppy wheats, hoppy browns, SMASH (single malt and single hop) beers, and more. American brewers seem determined to continually put hops where no hops have gone before. That also includes the fast growing extension to the IPA category, session IPAs. Because of all these new hoppy dimensions, I often respond to “what is the next IPA”, with “IPAs.”

However, once we accept that it’s going to be tough for any style category to add the kind of volume growth we’ve seen from IPAs, I do think there are a number of styles that have the potential to get much larger. While these styles/style categories may not be a “next IPA”, they certainly have the potential to drive volume growth in the coming years.

To see which styles Watson believes have significant growth potential, Click Here

August 15, 2015 - Brewpubs Are Us: The Second Wave

At Kennett Brewing Co., the lights are low, the tables are long, and the community, seemingly, is organic.

Owners Jossy and Mark Osborne - who live in Little Britain, Lancaster County, a dry town - said locals and friends pitched in to create everything from the company's signs to its bathroom sinks. The sociable spirit transferred to the pub, a cozy but warehouse-like space tucked off South Broad Street in Kennett Square.

Customers "say it's [like] coming into somebody's house or living room," said Mark Osborne.

The vibe appears to be paying off, even though the brewpub is the second to launch in the borough this year. Two months before it opened in June, Downingtown-based Victory Brewing Co. debuted its own brewpub in Kennett Square.

They are just two of six new brewpubs in Chester County - and more than a dozen across the Philadelphia suburbs - that have opened or been licensed since 2014. And that's only counting establishments licensed as brewery pubs with the state Liquor Control Board - not microbreweries and other craft beer makers.

One might call it a second wave, the way craft beer is currently sweeping the suburbs...In the last year and a half, 14 brewery pubs opened or were licensed in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties, according to Liquor Control Board records.

Read more.

August 12, 2015 - Delaware "Beer Bus" Promotes Beer Tourism
FOX NEWS (Patrick Clarke)
With renowned craft breweries setting up shop across Delaware, the often-overlooked state has become one of the must-visit destinations for alcohol tourists, or travelers seeking to taste and tour the industry.

This summer's launch of the Delaware Brew Bus, a licensed and insured limousine service, highlights the growth of alcohol tourism in Delaware.

On Sept. 19, the transportation company will offer its first public tour. From then on, the Craft Beer Lovers Tour will be offered on the first and third Saturday of every month, with the Taste of Delaware Tour being offered on the second and fourth Saturday of every month.

"People love touring these places, tasting all the great drinks and seeing how it all gets made," Delaware Brew Bus founder Ryan Graham told "The only problem is the driving. After you go to one or two, it gets a little unsafe and no one likes a DUI, especially the breweries, wineries and distilleries."

Although the Delaware Brew Bus exclusively targets fans of the craft beer, wine and liquor industry, it joins other businesses currently capitalizing on the explosion of the alcohol tourism segment through tours and other services.


August 10, 2015 - Legendary Beer Writer Fred Eckhardt has Died
Portland, OR "Beer Goddess" Lisa Morrison emailed tonight that "Just wanted to let you know that Fred Eckhardt died this morning. He had a few caregivers and they were by his side. He died peacefully in his sleep. Raise a toast to craft beer's muse tonight."

Along with the equally legendary British writer Michael Jackson, Eckhardt was a pioneer in beer writing. "Essentials" was one of the first, most useful books for anyone who really wanted to learn about beer and he was a major influence on every serious beer writer of the past quarter century.

We shall not see his like again.

August 05, 2015 - Origlio Beverage Announces Four Certified Cicerones
After six months of studying for the grueling exam, Origlio Beverage is proud to announce that four employees have passed the level two Cicerone exam. Craft and Specialty Account Managers, Jeff McCracken and Katie Woodson, as well as Corporate Communications Associates, Meredith Rebar and Julie Kovaleski are now Certified Cicerones®.

The Cicerone Certification program is the gold standard for professional skills and knowledge in the beer industry. Certified Cicerones® have in-depth knowledge of the many facets of beer production and retail sales including proper beer storage, beer styles, culture, tasting, flavors and brewing ingredients as well as beer and food pairing.

In a world where anyone can call themselves a beer expert, the Cicerone Certification Program offers detailed assessment and accreditation to industry professionals looking to distinguish themselves. The title Certified Cicerone® is trademark protected and may only be used by those individuals who have passed both the written and tasting portions of the exam. McCracken credits his success in passing the Cicerone exam in part to knowledge he learned in his previous position as a professional brewer. He explains, "Cicerone training has taught me how to utilize the knowledge that I obtained as a brewer to improve my skills as a salesman. The information I've acquired allows me to represent Origlio's extensive portfolio in the best way possible, which equates to more sales."

Tim Stammen, Craft and Specialty Import Sales Manager, discusses the impact of the training and certification on his team saying, "Certified Cicerone® training is important to Origlio's philosophy because we believe in the constant improvement of our team members. We strongly believe that developing our people through education and training greatly improves their confidence and job satisfaction, which in turn boosts morale. Training is a win/win. It improves employees skill sets and benefits the company by producing a stronger sales force. An educated, well trained and motivated team is an important and impactful resource. We are very proud and excited for our Certified Cicerones®. And I look forward to sharing their knowledge with the rest of the team."

August 04, 2015 - Reuters: Lagunitas Exploring “Strategic Options”
It seems there’s always another rumor of a top-50 craft brewery sale.

Today, Lagunitas made a Reuters headline that suggested the country’s fastest-growing craft brewery is currently exploring “strategic options, including the sale of an equity stake.”

Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the news outlet said the company is working with Wells Fargo & Co. and could be valued “around $450 million.” Those same sources also said a joint venture was being explored, adding that “there is no certainty that any deal will materialize.”

Reached briefly by phone, brewery founder Tony Magee wouldn’t comment on the story or speculation that his company was for sale. Certainly, a deal with a private equity firm for the purpose of raising growth capital would represent a major turnaround from Magee’s statements last year. During a Brew Talks meetup at Lagunitas’ Chicago brewing facility, held last September, Magee shared his views on M&A activity in craft, speaking specifically to private equity’s involvement in the space.

Read more here.

July 31, 2015 - Beer News of a Sort: Great Philly Beer Week Article, Best Session Beer List, Top 50 American Breweries List
This account of last June's Philly Beer Week is fantastically good and masterfully written. The author, from the UK, captures the ambiance of the event perfectly and is more than generous with her praise. It is a Must Read for local beer lovers...Go here to read.

Here's yet another Session Beer list by folks you don't know, basically 40 brews ranked by name and 50 just listed alphabetically. ABV was set at under 5% (i.e., 4.9% was highest permitted). Nice to see three local beers near the top of the list: Weyerbacher Tarte Nouveau (3.9%) #5 and two from Yards: Philly Pale Ale (4.6%) #8 and Brawler (4.2%) #16. See what you think... Go here to read.

Hey, guess what! There's a new Best Breweries list! Yay! This time, one of our own leads the pack of 50: Dogfish Head is ranked #1. Others on the list: Victory (#15), Troegs (#35) & Yuengling #46. Check it out. Go here to read.

July 27, 2015 - Brewers Association Reports Big Gains for Small and Independent Brewers
Boulder, CO • July 27, 2015—The craft brewing industry has continued a strong pace of growth in the first half of 2015, according to new mid-year data released by the Brewers Association. American craft beer production volume increased 16 percent during the first half of the year.

From January through the end of June 2015, approximately 12.2 million barrels of beer were sold by craft brewers, up from 10.6 million barrels during the first half of 2014.

“Industry growth is occurring in all regions and stemming from a mix of sources including various retail settings and a variety of unique brewery business models,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “The continued growth of small and independent brewers illustrates that additional market opportunities and demand are prevalent, although competition in the sector is certainly growing and the need for brewers to differentiate and produce world class high quality beer is more important than ever.”

The complete news release, with graphics, is here.

July 20, 2015 - Blistering Heat Threatens 2015 Hop Crops in U.S & Europe
The craft beer industry is on high alert as blistering heat is hitting key growing areas in the U.S. and Europe, threatening this year's hop harvest.

The state of Washington's Yakima Valley, the top producer of "aroma" hops used to flavor craft beers, experienced sustained temperatures above 100F over the past month. Germany and Slovenia, which are also large hop growers, have also been hit by hot weather.

"The heat is causing the plants to wilt," says Paul Corbett, managing director at Charles Faram, an international hops trader based in the U.K.

The extreme heat comes as producers are increasing the acreage of aroma hops to keep up with demand from the booming craft beer industry, prompted by a craze for beers made by small independent brewers.

Read the whole story here.

July 10, 2015 - Deschutes Looking at Potential East Coast Brewery
FROM BREWBOUND (David Eisenberg)
Deschutes Brewery has hired a new director of brewing operations who, among other things, will be tasked with assisting in the design, installation and launch of the brewery’s planned east coast facility. Karl Ockert, the industry executive who will fill the role effective August 3, discussed the company’s East Coast plans with Bend Bulletin’s resident beer business insider, Joseph Ditzler.

Ditzler asked, “How much appeal is there in helping establish a brewery on the East Coast for [Deschutes]?”

Ockert: “That was a big part of it, too. You know brewers in general… part of the thing that gives ‘em all goosebumps is building a new brewery from scratch, from a greenfield site, and that sounds like what’s going to happen, and that certainly is a big appeal for me at this stage in my career, to get something designed, built, get all the bugs ironed out and up and running.”

Ockert helped start BridgePort Brewing in Portland, Ore. He left the company in 1990, but returned in 1996 and was there until 2010. He’d also served as a brewing supervisor for Anheuser-Busch in between stints with BridgePort.

See original story here.

June 30, 2015 - Sierra Nevada Will Partner with 600-Year-Old German Brewery on New Oktoberfest Beer
On a trip to Germany this spring, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. finalized its inaugural partner, Augsburg’s Brauhaus Riegele, for a brand new Oktoberfest beer. Released each fall starting in 2015, the collaborative seasonal will feature a different German brewery every year. The partnership blends centuries of brewing tradition with modern spirit, giving craft drinkers the ultimate Oktoberfest, a Bavarian festival beer unlike any they’ve experienced in the US.

Family owned like Sierra Nevada, Brauhaus Riegele has brewed excellent craft beers since 1386, and more than 600 years later, its innovation earns accolades including 2015 Craft Brewer of the Year at the Meininger International Craft Beer Awards. Just as Sierra Nevada’s Ken and Brian Grossman lead as a father-son team, Brauhaus Riegele has a father-son duo at the helm. Its 27th generation Master Brewer Dr. Sebastian Priller-Riegele works alongside his son Sebastian Priller-Riegele, a World Champion Beer Sommelier, to brew a lineup of beers that together have earned more than 200 awards and medals stateside and abroad. Their brewmaster, Frank Muller, has won the German Government’s “Bundesehrenpreis” award for quality seven times—every year it’s been given.

“We’re honored that Brauhaus Riegele, a real cornerstone of German craft brewing, is kicking off this Oktoberfest collaboration with us,” said Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s founder. “We’re both family owned, our children are hands on, and we share a passion for great beer. We’re aligned in so many ways, and we’re excited about the outstanding beer that’s emerged.”

Complete Press Release here.

June 24, 2015 - Beer Industry Newsletter Reports That Dogfish Head Has Won Approval to Renovate the Rehoboth Beach Brewpub
After a second go-round that featured 90 minutes of new testimony, Dogfish Head persuaded the Rehoboth Board of Adjustment to let them renovate their brewpub on a vote of 4-1. You’ll recall the Board originally denied the brewer’s plans because the proposed plot was perceived to significantly surpass the zoning code.

The Delaware brewer felt that the current building was an “eyesore” and a renovation was necessary in order to be competitive. “I know for sure our building as it is right now is no national treasure,” chief Sam Calagione said. “It’s our goal to spend $4 million and make the building resonate with the people around the world the way our brand has resonated with people around the world,” per Delaware Online.

Sam and his wife Mariah believe the revamp will “benefit residential neighbors, other businesses and the more than 100 employees at the restaurant.”

Dogfish Head was able to sway Board members like Clifton Hilderly, who had previously suggested that the brewer seek a new spot out of town. His outlook on the matter sounded a bit different Monday night: “We should take into consideration the social aspects involved here,” he said.

Despite the majority of opponents coming around, Dogfish Head was not able to convince board member Charles Donohue, who cast the only ‘no’ vote. “We on this board are constrained by the laws, not the popularity of Dogfish Head or why it’s so important,” he said.

The game plan is to keep the brewpub open and renovate the facility in two stages, according to Mariah. But they still have a few hurdles before they can modernize the current brewpub. Sam noted that “a permit of compliance from the city commissioners” is still in order and they’re “a long way from shovels in the ground,” per Cape Gazette.

June 23, 2015 - A-B InBev Announces $1.7 Billion U.S. Investment
BREWBOUND (David Eisenberg
In an effort to support the growth of both its thriving and struggling brands, Anheuser-Busch InBev today announced it will invest more than $1.7 billion in its U.S. brewing, agriculture, packaging and distributing operations by 2018.

In a statement, the world’s largest brewer said it intends to spend $850 million on brewery and packaging expansions, $220 million on product innovation projects, and $720 million to increase footprint efficiency.

“Upholding our high-quality brewing standards requires significant financial commitment for equipment, technology and skilled people,” said Pete Kraemer, A-B’s vice president of supply, in a press statement.

The company currently has approximately $256 million tied up in a number of ongoing projects in the U.S., including brewery expansions in Fort Collins, Colo., Los Angeles, Calif., and Columbus, Ohio. This latest investment in the U.S. comes on the heels of A-B pouring $1 billion in U.S. operations over the three-year stretch ending in 2014.

Earlier this month, A-B InBev announced it would invest upwards of $328 million to construct a new brewery and can production plant in Yucatán, Mexico where Grupo Modelo, the company’s Mexican subsidiary, is based.

Original story here.

June 22, 2015 - Facebook: Pottstown Brewpub Finally Happening [UPDATED]
Steve Armstrong, who recently shuttered Armstrong Ales in Phoenixville due to irresolvable zoning issues with the local township, announced the new project with a Facebook post this morning:

>It's official, Adam Burke (of Lily's Grill) and I are going to open a brewpub together in Pottstown! We hope to be open by late spring/ early summer of next year! Stay tuned as we keep you posted on our progress.<

Burke is a partner/owner of Lily’s Grill on High St. in Pottstown and has more than 15 years experience in the food industry. Lily's, named after Burke's dog, specializes in farm-fresh local foods and has been been well reviewed in social media.

Steve Armstrong has provided the Beer Yard with an exclusive update:

"Adam Burke and I are set to open a brewery in Pottstown, 251 East High Street, two doors sown from the theater. We are going to use my current 1 barrel system there, and brew in the basement. The first floor will be the kitchen and the restaurant. It will sit 50 patrons, 15 of which will be seats at the bar. We plan on having 8 beers on tap, including having a constant supply of two IPAs and a Pale Ale. The others will rotate with the season."

June 18, 2015 - Russian River Pliny the Elder Tops Zymurgy Annual Best Beers List Again
For the seventh year running, Russian River’s well-known and beloved double IPA, Pliny the Elder, has been tapped for the top spot on Zymurgy magazine’s list of the Best Commercial Beers in America.

“I say it every year, but we really are honored and humbled. There are so many great beers out there,” said Vinnie Cilurzo, Co-Founder and Brewmaster, Russian River.

Members of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA)—the publisher of Zymurgy—voted for up to 20 of their favorite beers in an online poll. Members were able to choose any commercial beer available for purchase in the United States. More than 19,000 votes were received for almost 6,000 different beers from 1,763 breweries nominated in the poll. As in recent years, flavorful IPAs and double IPAs were crowd favorites, comprising eight of the top 10 beers.

Top-Ranked Beers:
1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
2. Bell's Two Hearted Ale
3. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
4. Stone Enjoy By IPA
5. Founders Breakfast Stout
6. The Alchemist Heady Topper
7. Bell's Hopslam Ale
8. Three Floyds Zombie Dust
9. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
10. Firestone Walker Wookey Jack

Top-Ranked Breweries:
1. Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, Calif.
2. Stone Brewing Co., Escondido, Calif.
3. Bell's Brewery, Inc., Kalamazoo, Mich.
4. Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.
5. Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, Calif.
6. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, Calif. and Mills River, N.C.
7. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Del.
8. Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma, Calif. and Chicago, Ill.
9. Ballast Point Brewing Company, San Diego, Calif.
10. Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Ore.

Top-Ranked Beer Portfolios (T indicates Tie):
1. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., 60 beers
2. Stone Brewing Co., 54 beers
3. Bell's Brewery, Inc., 52 beers
4. New Belgium Brewing Company, 47 beers
5. Avery Brewing Company, 39 beers
T6. Goose Island Beer Co., 37 beers
T6. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, 37 beers
T8. Firestone Walker Brewing Company, 35 beers
T8. The Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams), 35 beers
T8. The Bruery, 35 beers

Complete lists here.

June 10, 2015 - BrewDog Will Build 100bbl Brewery on 42 Acre Site in Columbus
Scottish craft brewery, BrewDog, has announced plans to take its craft beer revolution stateside, having provisionally agreed a deal to build a new 100,000ft2 state-of-the-art craft brewery on a new site in Columbus, Ohio. The new site will ensure the maverick brewery can deliver the freshest beer to its North American beer fans and continue its phenomenal international growth.

In addition to the 100-barrel brew house, the 42 acres of land will house BrewDog’s US offices, a visitor centre, a craft beer restaurant and a taproom, accessible by road and cycle path.

Once opened, BrewDog will be brewing its full line-up of beers such as Punk IPA, Dead Pony Club and Jackhammer, as well as small batch special brews unique to the US brewery. By brewing within the United States, BrewDog will be able to deliver the freshest craft beer to its American beer fans as well as minimising its overall environmental impact.

BrewDog plans to employ over 100 people at the new location, as well as sending brand ambassadors from its Scottish brewery for secondments at the new site. In addition, BrewDog is planning to launch five flagship bars in the country’s craft beer hubs such as the West Coast, the North East and Florida.

BrewDog will help fund its Columbus project through Equity for Punks USA, an American crowdfunding scheme which will launch later this year and give American beer fans the opportunity to invest in BrewDog USA Inc. Further details on the share offering will be announced in the coming months.

BrewDog’s international expansion is a core focus for the brewery this year. Last week it announced the appointment of Andrew Hatherell, as its first Head of International Sales.

James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog commented: “Since the dark days of prohibition, America’s epic brewers have led the craft beer charge and inspired a generation of UK craft brewers, not least ourselves. We are thrilled to finally be setting up a BrewDog home in the Land of the Free, and become part of this craft beer epicentre.

“Columbus has got a fantastic beer scene already, and the people have always been so welcoming to us, so we felt it would be the perfect location for our stateside operation. This is one of the most exciting projects we have ever embarked upon and we can’t wait to start brewing hardcore beer on both sides of the Atlantic.”

June 08, 2015 - BA's Bob Pease Advises Presidential Candidates on Breweries To Visit
NY TIMES FIRST DRAFT (Nick Corasaniti)
If early events are any indication, craft breweries are among the locations du jour this election cycle. So far, Mr. Bush visited Four Peaks Brewery in Arizona, and Mrs. Clinton swung by Smuttynose in New Hampshire.

Bob Pease, the chief executive of the Brewers Association, is particularly pleased.

“I think you always get a better turnout at a brewery,” Mr. Pease said with a laugh, while talking to First Draft at his group’s marquee event, Savor, in Washington this weekend.

While he has no preferred candidate yet, he can recommend some drinking spots in the three early voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

In Iowa, he recommends Peace Tree, in Knoxville, about an hour’s drive from Des Moines. The brewery began in 2009 in a former Nash Rambler car dealership and has grown to sell its beer across Iowa, and parts of Nebraska and Minnesota.

In South Carolina, Mr. Pease recommends Coast Brewing Company in Charleston, just off the old Navy base. And in New Hampshire, Mr. Pease believes Ms. Clinton has already visited the best brewery for political events in the Granite State at Smuttynose.

For Mr. Pease, it is a no-brainer for candidates to make breweries, which have become “a community hub,” he said, a part of the campaign.

“Everybody likes to go to a brewery,” he said. “There’s not a better place.”

June 03, 2015 - Levante Plans to Add New Brewhouse, Expand Tasting Room by Late Summer
PHILLY.COM (Nick Valdala):
Since it opened in February, West Chester’s Levante Brewing Company has been going big with multiple beer styles, a tasting room, and a seemingly ever-growing brewery.

But later this summer, it’ll really ramp things up with extended hours, a grand opening, and the christening of a newly installed 15-barrel brewing system — and co-founder Tim Floros wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We hope to continually improve and elevate the craft beer scene, as well as the local community, by producing great beer,” he says. “We're excited to switch up the scenery and keep things interesting.”

At Levante, that scenery switch-up revolves largely around its expanding brewhouse, which will give the fledgling brewery the ability to produce 15 barrels of beer in a batch. Its installation — in a former mushroom-growing facility, no less — is expected to be completed later this summer.

“Until then, we are a true nano-brewery, operating on a one-barrel electric pilot system,” Floros says.

Read the rest of the story here.

May 29, 2015 - PBW Collaborative Beer Destroyed in Shipping
Don Russell's story posted online this morning:
It looks like Philly Beer Week’s annual Belgian collaboration is a bust. Word is that 99 percent of it was damaged during transit. A couple kegs survived, but it’s likely undrinkable...

Read more here.

May 22, 2015 - Brewbound Breaks Down Brewers Association’s Top 50 List
BREWBOUND (David Eisenberg)
The final numbers are in. After announcing the top 50 craft breweries in March, the Brewers Association today released its 2014 sales figures, painting a much more definitive picture of last year’s winners and losers.

But first, some quick perspective on the influence this roster has on the overall landscape: Of the total nation wide output of more than 22 million craft barrels, 68 percent (or more than 15 million barrels) came from the top 50. Even of that volume, more than 8 million barrels came from the top five players, D.G. Yuengling & Son, Boston Beer Co., Sierra Nevada Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, and Gambrinus.

Much, much more.

May 22, 2015 - Heavy Seas and Yards Collaborate on Beer for Annual SAVOR Event
Heavy Seas Beer is excited to announce a collaboration beer with Yards Brewing Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philtimore, an English-style pale ale, will be brewed at the Heavy Seas brewery in Baltimore, Maryland for SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience happening on June 5th and 6th in Washington, DC.

Every SAVOR attendee will receive a bottle of Philtimore as they exit the event. A very limited amount of this beer will also be released after SAVOR in bottles and on draft.

According to Heavy Seas Brewmaster, Christopher Leonard, "I've known Yards’ Founder Tom Kehoe and Head Brewer Tim Roberts, for almost twenty years. I have always enjoyed their beer. The first cask ale I ever had was a Yard's ESA at the Artful Dodger in Philly back in 1994. It helped inspire me to become a professional brewer. When I moved back to Pennsylvania from San Diego in 1999, Tim's beer at Dock Street and then Independence was as good, if not better, than anyone else's in town. So getting to collaborate on a beer with them is very exciting for me personally.

For Heavy Seas, it is an incredible opportunity to work with a similarly sized brewery for which we have tremendous respect. Both breweries have strong ties to British brewing traditions, so it's a natural fit. The beer we are developing will draw on those influences while employing some American twists. It will be a Pale Ale, approximately 5.5% ABV, brewed with British malt and an English yeast strain, aged with some type of oak spirals in the fermenter and/or bright tank. It will almost certainly be partially or even exclusively hopped with American varieties.” According to Brewers Association Executive Chef Adam Dulye, “Philtimore, a collaboration by Heavy Seas and Yards Brewing, is an English-style pale ale aged with oak that uses Bravo American hops and a fruity English yeast. Both these ingredients will pop on the palate with the simple addition of some gentle salt from many food dishes. Look for cured meats such as prosciutto or coppa to bring out some of the earthy notes. For those wanting to explore the soft fruit yeast notes of apple and pear, look to grains such as farro with grilled pheasant, quail or chicken.” He also suggests a quick two course lunch with Philtimore: Brie and apples on toast with honey and thyme, and grilled quail with farro, English peas and pickled mushrooms.

Heavy Seas will also serve two limited release beers at SAVOR including Double Cannon, a Double IPA, and Blackbeard’s Breakfast, an Imperial Coffee Porter.

May 19, 2015 - Lehigh Valley Beer Week Homebrew Competition & Festival
Lehigh Valley Beer Week is happy to announce that our 3rd Annual "Be Our Brewer for a Day Homebrew Competition & Festival" is scheduled for Saturday, August 15th at the Allentown Brew Works from 3pm to 6pm.

We are presently accepting Homebrewer's applications (attached) until June 23rd. If you are not a homebrewer but know someone who is, please feel free to pass this along to them.

The winning Homebrewer will become LVBW's 'Brewer for a Day" and get to brew the winning libation to be the official beer of Lehigh Valley Beer Week 2016 alongside the brewery staff at Fegley's Brew Works in Allentown. Capping off their experience with a complimentary meal, memorabilia and beer tasting session at the Allentown Brew Works.

Festival attendees will vote for the winning beer. Tickets are on sale now online.

May 18, 2015 - USA Today: Lower-alcohol Beers in Session for IPA Lovers
Hop heads have a growing list of lower-alcohol options when they are craving a hit of flavor.

Nearly every major craft brewer now offers a session India Pale Ale that strives to deliver juicy hop aroma and flavor, but at often less than 5% alcohol by volume.

Session beers aren't new, but they seem to gaining in popularity, based on the shelf space they are earning in stores. Lew Bryson has been tracking them on The Session Beer Project blog since 2009. His definition of a session beer -- supported by Joshua Bernstein, author of The Complete Beer Course and Brewed Awakening -- is that the beer weigh in at 4.5% ABV or less, be flavorful and interesting enough to have more than one pint and be reasonably-priced.

Read more.

May 13, 2015 - Flood of Craft Deals Forthcoming
Here’s a bold prediction: 25 craft brewery transactions in the next 12 months.

At least, that’s what Bill Anderson, the founder and CEO of investment and advisory firm First Beverage Group, believes is the inevitable short-term future for craft.

Speaking to a room full of brewery executives, distributors and investment bankers who attended yesterday’s Beer Marketer’s Insights conference in Chicago, Anderson characterized craft beer as the “hottest category in CPG (consumer packaged goods)” and confidently stated that the pace of craft deals is about to pick up.

“I think there could easily be 25 more transactions in the next 12 to 15 months,” he said, adding that attractive multiples coupled with a growing pool of interested buyers and investors has led to “a huge acceleration of brewers” looking more seriously at the both exits and capital infusions from private equity firms, family offices and strategics alike.

Read the complete article.

April 30, 2015 - American Craft Beer Week Is May 11-17
From California to New York Island, from the redwood forest to the Gulf stream waters, beer lovers everywhere will celebrate the country’s small and independent craft brewery renaissance during American Craft Beer Week (ACBW), May 11-17. All 50 states will hold events including exclusive brewery tours, special craft beer releases, food and beer pairings, tap takeovers and more to honor the ever-advancing craft beer culture and unite tens of thousands of beer lovers nationwide.

“American Craft Beer Week has provided independent beer fans across the country a chance to support their local breweries since 2006,” said Julia Herz, publisher of and craft beer program director at the Brewers Association. “With celebrations happening in all 50 states, this is truly an annual national event that recognizes all those involved in making craft beer from small breweries in the U.S. such a success.”

Read more and see a cool interactive graphic here.

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 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 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.

[ --- ]

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."

March 31, 2015 - Brewers Association Lists Top 50 Breweries of 2014
This year's list is topped by Yuengling Brewing, which for the first time is considered a craft brewer under BA definition. Perennial #1 Boston Beer came in second. Minhas, also now considered a craft brewer under recently revised BA definition, is at number 10., while newcomers August Schell (27) and Narragansett (47) are also included for the first time.

Local brewers on the list include Dogfish Head (13), Victory (29) and Troegs (44). Troegs did not make the list last year.

The Brewers Association today released its annual lists of the top 50 craft and overall brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume. Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 42 were craft brewing companies.

“The companies on this list include the vanguard of the craft industry,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “They are exposing new beer lovers to craft, opening new markets and creating opportunities for the entire category. As they continue to grow, so will the availability of innovative and high-quality beers produced for all to enjoy.”

Here's the complete list.

March 24, 2015 - American Craft Beer Exports Near $100 Million
The Brewers Association today reported export growth data for the American craft beer industry in 2014. Supported by the BA’s Export Development Program (EDP), craft beer export volume increased by 35.7 percent in 2014, representing 383,422 barrels and an estimated $99.7 million.

In 2014, the fastest growing markets were Brazil, South Korea, Thailand and the United Kingdom. The strongest growth was found in Brazil, which was up 63.9 percent; Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan), up 38.1 percent; Western Europe, up 36.6 percent; Canada, up 32.3 percent; and Japan, up 31.7 percent.

The top five markets for American craft beer remained nearly the same in 2014, with South Korea surpassing Japan for fifth place. In terms of market share, Canada accounted for 53 percent of exports, Sweden for 12 percent, the United Kingdom for 10.7 percent, Australia for 5.1 percent, and Korea for 3.4 percent.

Complete Press Release.

March 18, 2015 - Brewers Association, Beer Institute & MicroStar Ask eBay To Stop Listing Stolen Beer Kegs
The Brewers Association led an effort with MicroStar Logistics and the Beer Institute today to request that eBay no longer allow the sale of used kegs without proof of sale. The letter on combined letterhead to eBay’s President John J. Donahoe starts: “On behalf of the members of the Brewers Association, the Beer Institute, and clients of MicroStar Logistics, we write to ask that eBay immediately stop facilitating the sale of stolen beer kegs by allowing unauthorized individuals to sell them using your service.”

The letter references 27 CFR § 25.141, which requires that beer kegs are to be permanently marked with the name of the owner.

The impetus behind the letter started in the Brewers Association (BA) technical committee. Staff brought the project to McDermott Will & Emery’s Art DeCelle who composed the first draft, and BA staff, led by Programs Manager Pete Johnson, incorporated input from the Beer Institute and MicroStar Logistics...

The letter was mailed on March 6...[and] also discusses the financial realities of keg loss to the companies that own them and the safety issues related to pressurized kegs, removal of keg valves or components and tampering. [It] includes an invitation to eBay: “We would be happy to collaborate with eBay to check lawful ownership of kegs, prevent the sale of stolen kegs and to restore kegs to their rightful owners.”

March 16, 2015 - Craft Brewer Volume Share of U.S. Beer Market Reaches Double Digits
The Brewers Association today released 2014 data on U.S. craft brewing1 growth. For the first-time ever, craft brewers reached double-digit (11 percent) volume share of the marketplace.

In 2014, craft brewers produced 22.2 million barrels, and saw an 18 percent rise in volume and a 22 percent increase in retail dollar value. Retail dollar value was estimated at $19.6 billion representing 19.3 percent market share.

“With the total beer market up only 0.5 percent in 2014, craft brewers are key in keeping the overall industry innovative and growing. This steady growth shows that craft brewing is part of a profound shift in American beer culture—a shift that will help craft brewers achieve their ambitious goal of 20 percent market share by 2020,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “Small and independent brewers are deepening their connection to local beer lovers while continuing to create excitement and attract even more appreciators.”

Additionally, the number of operating breweries in the U.S. in 2014 grew 19 percent, totaling 3,464 breweries, with 3,418 considered craft broken down as follows: 1,871 microbreweries, 1,412 brewpubs and 135 regional craft breweries. Throughout the year, there were 615 new brewery openings and only 46 closings.

Combined with already existing and established breweries and brewpubs, craft brewers provided 115,469 jobs, an increase of almost 5,000 from the previous year.

Complete News Release.

March 06, 2015 - PLCB Says Pennsylvania Beer Distributors Can Now Sell 12-packs
Beer distributors can now sell 12-packs in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

The PLCB’s Office of Chief Counsel issued a legal advisory today “informing brewers that they may sell ‘original containers’ as long as the container contains at least 128 fluid ounces — for example a 12-pack — to distributors that may be resold ‘as is’ to consumers.”

For years, beer distributors have been able to sell beer only by the case or keg, while groceries, bars and convenience stores have gained the ability to sell six-packs, 12-packs, and individual bottles for consumption on premises.

The Post-Gazette reported today that the PLCB was set to issue the advisory opinion in response to questions from two area beer distributors and an area brewer.

[ ... ]

Two local distributors have played a major role in forcing the PLCB to confront the case-size question. Pistella Beer Distributors in Friendship, owned by Frank Pistella — who also is the first vice president of the Malt Beverage Distributors Association of Pennsylvania — and Save-Mor Beer in Squirrel Hill sued the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board in the state’s Commonwealth Court last year. They also posed the question directly to the PLCB, as did Rivertowne Brewing, seeking an opinion on the case-size issue.

“It’s really the first real big change for us in 60 or 70 years,” said Steve Klein, owner of Sav-Mor. “It’s more variety for the consumer. People want the ability to buy different things.”

Read all the good news here.

Also read our Store Note on this breakthrough for more details.
March 05, 2015 - IPAs Continue Driving Craft Growth
Dan Wandel of IRI - a research firm that provides clients with consumer, shopper, and retail market information - recently provided data about how the IPA styles is leading beer sales growth. Sales of craft beers, as defined by the Brewers Association, were up 21.3% in 2015 in the outlets IRI tracks, which account for almost all off-premise beer sales. IPA sales accounted for almost half that growth.

Speaking to BA members via a conference call Wandel added that IPA sales were up 38% in supermarkets so far in 2015, increasing share of craft sales from 23% to 26%.

Among other details Wandel provided:
Los Angeles is now the No. 1 large city market for IPA. IPA sales were up more than 50% in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City respectively.
Craft accounts for 39.3% of dollar sales in Portland supermarkets and 35% in Seattle-Tacoma.
Samuel Adams Rebel IPA was the most successful craft brand rollout since IRI has been tracking sales.
Although Session IPA sales increased almost 300% last year they still account for only 3% of overall IPA sales.
Sierra Nevada sales are up 28% so far this year.
The fastest growing "up and coming brands" are, in order, Rhinegeist Brewery in Ohio, Griffin Claw Brewing in Michigan, Small Town Brewery in Illinois, Gilgamesh Brewing in Oregon, Exile Brewing in Iowa.

March 03, 2015 - Dogfish Head Deck at PPL Park Opens Saturday
Between offering more than a half-dozen craft brews on the concourse and Yards’ creation of a special Sons of Ben-themed ale last year, it’s clear that the Philadelphia Union are down with the craft beer movement. This season, that connection will deepen with the opening of the Dogfish River Deck.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery will take their off-centered ales to PPL Park at the start of the Union’s season this coming Saturday, March 7, to give the stadium a “destination beer garden.” The Union actually announced the move late last year, with news that Dogfish Head had joined the team’s list of corporate sponsors alongside the likes of Delaware Express and Musselman’s applesauce.

Now, though, the home opener is coming up, and PPL Park can hear thirsty fans fast approaching. For them, the stadium will provide Dogfish Head brews including Namaste, Aprihop, and their famous 60 Minute IPA alongside the standard options. What’s more, though, is that Dogfish will name an “Off-Centered Fan of the Match” for each home game, with winners taking home a Union/Dogfish Head goodie bag.

Read more here.

February 19, 2015 - Victory Brewing Co. and Michigan's Brewery Vivant to offer exclusive collaboration at Brewer's Plate
Downingtown’s Victory Brewing Company has teamed up with Michigan’s Brewery Vivant to bring us a taste of the good life in their upcoming collaboration beer, Bon Vivant. But, like an actual bon vivant, this one’s rare — so rare, in fact, that this year’s Brewer’s Plate event will serve as the brew’s only appearance on the East Coast.

“Back in Michigan, the brewery is always promoting what we call living the ‘Bon Vivant — the good life” Brewery Vivant President Jason Spaulding said in a press release. “This collaboration beer is a result of a vision that we share with Victory.”

Described as a “saison-style ale with a medium to light body,” Bon Vivant serves as Victory and Brewery Vivant’s first brew together, as well as a “creative resolution” to a “trademark conflict” over the Bon Vivant name. As it turns out, Victory has held a trademark on using the phrase for their beer since around summer 2012. Brewery Vivant, America’s first LEED-certified brewery, meanwhile, first opened its doors in 2010.

Read more here.

February 02, 2015 - Budweiser Super Bowl Ad Creates a Firestorm
FROM BREWBOUND (David Eisenberg)
Of all the made up beer recipes Anheuser-Busch InBev could have conjured up to poke fun at the craft beer movement as caricature in one of its three Super Bowl ads, it just had to be a “pumpkin peach ale” that the company greenlit.

The fictional brew featured prominently in the company’s “Brewed the Hard Way” spot when the following message flashed across millions of television screens: “Let them sip their Pumpkin Peach Ale. We’ll be brewing us some golden suds.”

[ ... ]

But as cosmic fate would have it, the potshot landed primarily on one of A-B’s newest business partners: Just last year, Elysian Brewing, the beloved Seattle outpost that the beer conglomerate acquired at the end of January, brewed a beer dubbed “Gourdgia on my Mind,” a peach pumpkin amber.

The ad left Elysian co-founder Dick Cantwell, who had ardently opposed selling to A-B, disillusioned and angry.

Complete Story here.

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]..

[ ... ]

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.

[ ... ]

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.

[ ... ]

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.

[ ... ]

“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 - 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 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 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.

December 30, 2014 - Brewbound: The 10 Stories That Defined Craft Beer in 2014
BREWBOUND (Chris Fumari):
2014 was another banner year for craft beer.

Industry-wide craft production volumes, as defined by the Brewers Association, will approach and perhaps even crest 20 million barrels this year. In fact, through Nov. 30, volume sales of craft were up more than 17 percent in IRI’s multi-outlet and convenience store (MULC) universe (which comprises grocery, drug, Wal-Mart, Club, Dollar, Mass-Merchandiser and Military stores).

Those figures are consistent with craft’s mid-year production growth numbers, which the Brewers Association pegged at 18 percent (and 10.6 million barrels) through the end of June. Underscoring that growth were a pair of high-profile craft acquisitions as well as a handful of notable investments from private equity and strategic partners alike.

[ ... ]

Without further ado, here are the top 10 stories that the defined craft beer industry in 2014.

Here's the entire list.

December 29, 2014 - Brewbound: Defining Craft in the Acquisition Age
FROM BREWBOUND (David Eisenberg)
On one side of the equation sit companies like Founders (Mich.), 10 Barrel (Ore.), and Blue Point (NY), all of which were bought out – in part or in whole – by larger, international beer companies. While those three brands will now be able to use the money and the distribution reach of their new investors and owners to grow, there’s a definitional downside: they’ve left the ranks of the craft realm, at least as established by the industry-representing Brewers Association.

Still considered craft breweries, however, are those that sit on the other side of the formula: those breweries that sold partial stakes to the private equity firms that have increasingly focused on craft beer, like Sweetwater, Southern Tier and Uinta.

All six companies brought in seven-to-eight figures of investment. So why does one type trigger praise and another expulsion?

Read more

December 17, 2014 - Founders Announces Partnership with Spanish Brewery
Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Co. plans to better access international markets as part of a deal announced today with a Spanish brewery.

In the deal, Founders Brewing will sell a 30-percent minority stake of the company to Mahou San Miguel, a family-owned company that operates seven brewing operations in Spain and one in India.

The partnership will allow Founders to “open new doors for growth as well as ensure our legacy for years to come,” CEO Mike Stevens said in a statement. The brand has been distributed internationally for years, but the deal will help Founders better access the growing global craft beer market, he said.

“We spent a long time determining who would be the best partner to help us grow Founders while staying true to our beers and our culture,” Stevens stated. “Mahou shares our family values and a commitment to their communities; they also believe in the importance of long-term partnerships.”

Read more.

December 17, 2014 - American Homebrewers Association Gives President Obama Gift Membership
Though beer has long been part of the country’s history and traditions, Obama made history when, as president, he purchased a homebrewing kit and then—alongside chef Kass— spear-headed the effort to brew White House Honey Ale, the first beer known to have been brewed in the White House.

“Homebrewing is a model example of a bipartisan, pro-community and pro-business activity that all kinds of people can be passionate about and enjoy. President Obama and chef Kass are among the nation’s 1.2 million homebrewers, which include both Republicans and Democrats,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association. “What better way to honor their enthusiasm for the hobby than to give them a lifetime membership to our community, which consists of many leaders, patriots and successful craft beer entrepreneurs.”

More details, including beer recipe and the official gift letters can be found here.

December 09, 2014 - The Year in Beer: 2014 Craft Beer in Review from the Brewers Association
s the year draws to a close, the Brewers Association looked back on how craft brewers fared in 2014.

“It’s remarkable to see how beer has evolved in the past century. Year over year we’re seeing tremendous growth in the craft beer sector and 2014 proved that craft beer is moving into the mainstream,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “Consumers are making a conscious choice to buy and try the plethora of options produced by small and independent craft brewers.”

Of note in 2014:

U.S. brewery count returns to historic levels. In November, the United States passed the mark of 3,200 brewers in the country and the number of brewery licenses reached the highest ever, topping 4,500 in the first sixth months of the year. Thirteen states (CA, CO, WA, OR, MI, NY, PA, TX, FL, WI, IL, NC, OH) now have more than 100 breweries each.

Breweries are opening at a rate of 1.5 per day. In addition, there are more than 2,000 breweries in planning.

Craft brewers were the growth point in the overall beer industry. Through June of 2014, craft brewers enjoyed 18 percent growth by volume. Numerous data channels are showing continuing double-digit growth for craft in the second half of the year.

India Pale Ales (IPAs) remained the most favored craft beer style. According to retail scan data, IPA is up 47 percent by volume and 49 percent by dollar sales, accounting for 21 percent volume share of craft and 23 percent dollar share of off-premise beer sales. Additionally, the style was the number one entered category at the Great American Beer Festival.

Variety packs had a strong year with craft beer lovers. Retail data also indicates that variety packs are up 21 percent by volume and 24 percent by dollar sales, equating to nine percent volume share of craft and seven percent dollar share.

Craft beer appreciators are becoming as diverse as craft beer itself. Data indicates that 38 percent of households bought a craft beer in the last year versus 29 percent in 2010. Additionally, women consume almost 32 percent of craft beer volume, almost half of which comes from women ages 21-34. Hispanic populations are demonstrating increased craft engagement as well.

“More and more breweries will spur innovation, meaning there will be even more offerings on hand for beer geeks and beginners to enjoy,” Watson added. “Not to mention more opportunities to explore and support local breweries, which has a profound impact on the economy at the regional, state and national level.”
November 26, 2014 - Just Announced New FDA Calorie Count Requirements May Impact Craft Beer
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruling that requires chain establishments with more than 20 locations to list caloric information on their menus may have left a significant gray area for craft beer.

The new ruling, announced Tuesday, affects both on-and-off-premise establishments, including chain restaurants, movie theaters, vending machines as well as grocery and convenience stores serving prepared foods. It is expected to take effect in Dec. 2015, meaning retailers will have about one year to comply with the stricter regulations.

Yesterday’s ruling reaches beyond food and requires chains to also issue caloric information for alcoholic beverages, which had been left out of earlier drafts of the proposal....[H] ow restaurant operators collect and display that information to consumers could vary greatly...some craft styles that carry a significantly larger calorie load compared with other styles may be listed according to a standardized measure for beer.

Read the complete story here.

November 24, 2014 - Americans Now Drink More Craft Beer Than Budweiser
Here's a very cool graph from today's Wall Street Journal that says an awful lot about America's changing taste in alcohol. Americans now buy more craft beer than Budweiser. (Not Bud Light, mind you. Just Bud.)

The complete article.

November 20, 2014 - Anheuser-Busch InBev Cuts Jobs in U.S.
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV confirmed Wednesday it is cutting jobs and consolidating its sales division in the U.S. after the world's largest brewer posted weak third-quarter results in its largest market.

AB InBev declined to specify how many employees are being laid off. The job cuts affect salaried employees in divisions ranging from marketing and procurement to sales and brewery operations, according to people familiar with the matter. One person estimated hundreds of jobs could be eliminated.

The brewer has about 15,000 employees in the U.S., where sales volumes of key brands like Budweiser and Bud Light have been declining for years. The company reported last month that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the U.S. fell 2.1% in the first nine months of 2014.

Anheuser-Busch Vice President, People Jim Brickey said in a statement that the layoffs follow a "detailed business review" and reductions "were minimized as much as possible." He added, "These are always difficult decisions, but are important in evolving our business and improving our competitiveness.":

Read the whole story.

November 13, 2014 - California Drought Forces Bear Republic to Retreat from Key Markets
It was Halloween, and Bear Republic CEO Richard Norgrove was flying to Boston to deliver grim news to Atlantic Imports, the company’s distributor in the Massachusetts market: he was going to stop shipping beer to the Bay State, its fifth largest market, beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

It was no trick, though: the California drought is taking its toll on the top-50 craft brewer, forcing it to pull distribution.

“The impact the drought has caused has been enormous,” Norgrove told Brewbound during a phone conversation. “We have been impacted more because we are in a small town that doesn’t have major capacity for water. We have made every possible effort, through conservation, having designed and built a wastewater treatment system, but we can only do so much.”

More here.

November 08, 2014 - Annual Philly Beer Week "Win a Trip to Belgium" Raffle Set for Dec. 9
On Tuesday, December 9 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., Philly Beer Week (PBW) 2015 will host their annual Win a Trip to Belgium Raffle at City Tap House Logan Square (2 Logan Square, 215-587-9040). Guests will have an opportunity to select their favorite local brewer, ballot style, upon purchasing a raffle ticket. Participating breweries will also be on hand to answer questions while showcasing some of their extra special beers.

One lucky winner will travel to Belgium with his or her favorite to help brew Philly Beer Week’s annual Belgo Collaboration beer, this year with Head Brewers Andre Janssens and Dries Janssens, from Brouwerij Hof ten Dormaal, a nearly 100% self-sustaining brewery located in Tildonk, Belgium.

Raffle tickets can be purchased for $5 apiece -- or you can buy a pack of five for $20 -- at the event or online before the event at starting on Friday, November 7. Raffle tickets may also be purchased at the following PBW-friendly events and venues in the coming weeks.

“Our annual trip to Belgium -- amazingly now in its fifth year! -- is certainly one of the highlights of the offseason for us,” says PBW Executive Director Kristine Kennedy. “This year’s Belgo Collaboration is going to be even more extra special since half the batch will be on tap in June 2015, while the other half will be barrel-aged and released six months later.”

The PBW 2015 Collaborative Brew will be created in cooperation with Brouwerij Hof ten Dormaal and imported by Twelve Percent Imports, the raffle’s official sponsor. The lucky raffle winner will select their brew partner from a distinguished list of local brewers...The package will include: two roundtrip, coach class plane tickets and two nights of hotel accommodations (winner + brewer). Winners will purchase tickets ahead of travel dates, with Twelve Percent Imports submitting reimbursements within 30 days after travel.

November 05, 2014 - Anheuser-Busch and 10 Barrel Brewing Announce Purchase Agreement
ST. LOUIS and BEND, Ore. (November 5, 2014) – Anheuser-Busch today announced it has agreed to purchase 10 Barrel Brewing Company, located in Bend, Ore. One of the country’s fastest-growing and most innovative breweries, 10 Barrel was one of only four U.S. breweries to win three medals and tied for most medals won at this year’s Great American Beer Festival, the largest beer competition in the world.

“For the past eight years, we’ve been brewing beer, drinking beer and having fun doing it.” said co-founder Jeremy Cox, who will continue to lead 10 Barrel along with his partners, co-founder and brother Chris Cox, and Garrett Wales. “We are excited to stay focused on brewing cool beers, get our beers in more hands, and make the most of the operational and distribution expertise of Anheuser-Busch,” said Cox.

10 Barrel expects to sell approximately 40,000 barrels of beer in 2014. Apocalypse IPA, the brewer’s most popular beer, accounts for nearly half of the company’s total volume.


November 01, 2014 - Iron Hill Ardmore Plans to Open in December
Some essential items were delivered to Iron Hill Brewery’s newest location in Ardmore Tuesday.

Those would be the seven fermenters, eight serving tanks and brewhouse equipment that arrived on two trucks at the restaurant under construction at 60 Greenfield Ave. in the Ardmore Plaza Shopping Center.

Once those elements are installed and permitting completed, the brewing will start, in advance of an early December opening. Company President Kevin Finn, who was on site for the process, said the target date is Dec. 12.

Read the rest.

October 31, 2014 - A Changing Brewpub Scene in Philadelphia
Last week, Curt Decker, co-founded of Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant on Sansom St. posted some sad news on Facebook:
It is with tremendous excitement, and a little bit of sadness, that I announce the moving of Nodding Head. After a rather prolonged period of unsettledness with one of my two landlords, I decided that the best course of action was to relocate. Locations were scouted and scenarios played out, and late last week a deal was put in place that will have us leaving Center City and opening in a to-be-named-later neighborhood in the city...
Nodding Head will shutter at the close of business tonight. The new location has not been announced and is likely to take some time to be ready to open.

Meanwhile, the site of the Triumph Brewing Co. pub on 2nd St. in Old City is now home to 2nd Story Brewing, a brewpub headed up by former homebrewer John Wible.

The times they definitely are a-changin'.

October 21, 2014 - Professional Golfers Introduce GolfBeer
ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Three of the top names in professional golf are now in the beer business. Freddie Jacobson, Keegan Bradley and Graeme McDowell will launch a series of easy-drinking craft beers through their new company, GolfBeer Brewing Co. The move marks the first time professional golfers have started their own beer company and have been associated with craft beer.

"Our lives have always revolved around golf, but we also are passionate about great beer, so we're really excited about this," said Freddie Jacobson, a founding partner of the GolfBeer concept. "I was first introduced to the idea of brewing a beer after a conversation I had with my friend and business associate Patrik Waxin. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to combine three of my passions: golf, beer and building a business. After doing my research and assembling a team of brewing experts, I reached out to my fellow players Keegan Bradley and Graeme McDowell to join me in this venture. Not only do they share my love of great beer, they also have an interest in building businesses and careers which transcend the golf course. Together we created refreshing and drinkable craft beers you can enjoy, whether you are on the course, at the 19th hole with friends, or at home watching a tournament on television."

The beers were created to meet each golfer's preference and taste profile...

Read more.

October 18, 2014 - November 1st Is Learn to Homebrew Day
On November 1st, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) celebrates the 15th annual Learn to Homebrew Day. The day provides an opportunity for homebrewers to draft their non-brewer friends and family to learn one of the most rewarding and emergent hobbies: homebrewing.

Through beer making, demonstrations, tastings and other educational efforts, participating in Learn to Homebrew Day is as easy as finding a local event on the AHA website. Individuals can also organize their own event, register it online, invite friends and brew at home. This year, over 300 events are expected to take place at homes, homebrew shops, breweries and club gatherings both in the U.S. and abroad.

“Homebrewing is at the very heart of the craft beer revolution,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association. “Learn to Homebrew Day encourages people everywhere to be a part of the ever-growing movement and become familiar with the brewing process—the basics of which are much simpler than many think.”

The AHA offers a variety of tools to help people of all skill levels begin brewing:

Let’s Brew: Replete with brewing tutorials, tips on making better beer and tasty recipes.

Zymurgy: An Introduction to Homebrewing: Request copies of the AHA’s guide for the new brewer, or access it online.

Homebrewopedia: A wiki-style website containing an extensive library of recipes, a glossary of brewing terms, homebrew club resources and much more.

“This hobby is as gratifying as it is delicious,” added Glass. “The AHA offers knowledge, resources and a community that make it easy for anyone, anywhere to get involved.”
October 09, 2014 - Stone's East Coast Brewery Will Be Built in Virginia
A three-way battle among Norfolk, Richmond and Columbus, Ohio, for a new Stone Brewing Co. production facility has ended in Richmond's favor, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The newspaper reported Wednesday that Stone has settled on Virginia's capital city for its first eastern U.S. brewing location. It said an announcement was planned for today and attributed the information to "multiple sources close to the discussions."

Aides to Gov. Terry McAuliffe declined to discuss the issue Wednesday. The governor's calendar for today, however, includes a "major economic development announcement" at 2 p.m. in the Executive Mansion.

Read the complete story.

October 08, 2014 - Four Brewmasters To Discuss PA's Lager Heritage at "Meeting of the Malts" Panel
Every year a group brewmasters from some of the region's most acclaimed breweries gather together to present an open panel discussion that is widely anticipated by all craft beer aficionados. They call it the Meeting of the Malts and this year the round table will convene at Sly Fox Brewing Company's production facility in Pottstown.

The topic of this year's Meeting of the Malts will be Pennsylvania Lagers, new and old. The panel will engage one another in a conversational dialog about the popular beer style that was born in Pennsylvania.

[ ... ]

The panel includes Sly Fox's Brian O'Reilly, Victory Brewing's Bill Covaleski and Lancaster Brewing's Bill Moore. The distinguished panel will also feature a special guest of honor. legendary, fourth-generation brewmaster, Bill Moeller.

Moeller has been both actively and peripherally involved in the brewing industry for some 64 years. He will speak about his extensive history in the industry as well as his family's involvement in a fascinating part of many local breweries.

Read more here.

(See the Beer Yard Calendar for more information)
October 06, 2014 - GABF 2014 Summary
Quick Overview (from Craft Beer Daily):
This year the festival saw 1,309 breweries in the competition from all 50 states plus Washington D.C. It boasted more than 3,500 beers, accounting for the largest selection of beer ever served. About 6,900 kegs would move through the hall in three days, according to Julia. This massive amount of brew fell into 90 commercial categories and 145 different styles for the 222 judges from 10 different countries to evaluate over the weekend.
Fun Facts:
Half of the 268 medals awarded went to breweries on only five states: Californiia 46, Colorado 39, Oregon 22, Texas 16 and Pennsylvania 12. New Jersey had the best winners/submissions ratio in the nation, earning three medals from 16 entries.

The Official Brewers Association Post Festival News Release
Boulder, CO • October 4, 2014—The 2014 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 268 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals. Presented by the Brewers Association, GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing excellence. In its 28th year, the 2014 competition surpassed all previous participation records.

To accommodate growth, this year’s GABF competition saw its biggest panel of judges ever, with 222 beer experts from 10 countries evaluating 5,507 commercial entries, plus 89 Pro-Am entries, with assistance from some 150 competition volunteers. Award-winning brewers received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 90 beer categories covering 145 different beer styles (encompassing subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the U.S. Winners were chosen from 5,507 competition entries (16 percent more than in 2013) from 1,309 breweries, hailing from 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

Read the rest.

October 05, 2014 - Breweries in the Philadelphia Region Brought Home 15 GABF Medals for 2014, Including Six Golds [updated]
2014 GABF Gold medals were won by Earth Bread + Brewery (Perkuno's Hammer), Fegley's Brew Works (Arctic Alchemy), Flying Fish (Hop Fish), Sly Fox (Grisette), Tröegs (Tröegenator) and Victory (Golden Monkey).

Iron Hill won a Silver and a Bronze at its Media location and a second Bronze at its Voorhees (NJ) location to account for three medals in all, and both Fegley's and Flying Fish each added a Bronze; those three were the only multiple winners in the region. Other Bronzes went to Barren Hill, Dogfish Head, Triumph (New Hope) and Yards.

Overall, breweries in the tri-state area won 18 medals in Denver, as North Jersey's Kane Brewing won a Gold and both Western Pennsylvania's Four Seasons Brewing and Delaware's Old Dominion Brewing brought home Silvers.

Look for a more extensive look at GABF results here this coming week.

October 02, 2014 - "Festival Set to Celebrate Craft Beer's Ascendance"
USA TODAY (Mike Snider)
DENVER — The craft beer movement continues its healthy buzz.

While overall beer sales have been essentially flat in recent years – and overall production has fallen slightly – craft beer continues to grow. Craft beer's share of the nearly $100 million U.S. beer market rose to 14% in 2013, up from 10% two years ago, while total sales have stagnated.

And interest in beer is overflowing, too. Sales of tickets for the annual Great American Beer Festival, which kicks off here Thursday and runs through Saturday, sold out in 32 minutes when they went on sale in July.

In all, about 49,000 attendees will descend on the Colorado Convention Center to taste — and serve — a festival record 3,500-plus beers from more than 700 breweries.

Read the complete article.

September 25, 2014 - Belgium's Brouwerij De Halve Maan Plans a Beer Pipeline Beneath Bruges
FROM REVIEWED.COM ( Daniel Wroclawski)
Pipelines are a vital part of our modern world. They transport vital fluids like water, gas, and oil from refineries to shipping depots and power plants. But the geniuses at Belgium's Brouwerij De Halve Maan have decided to build a pipeline for another vital fluid: beer.

According to Flanders News, the booze tube will be built in the city of Bruges, connecting the brewery to its bottling plant by way of a pipe that can handle 6,000 liters of beer per hour.

[ ... ]

The pipeline will run three kilometers from the brewery in the city center to the bottling plant on the outskirts, giving the beer a 10 to 15 minute thrill ride.

Read the whole story.

September 24, 2014 - Victory Brewing Announces Canning Line for Parkesburg
DOWNINGTOWN, PA, September 23, 2014 – In response to consumer demand and much online speculation, Victory Brewing Company® (Victory) is pre-announcing installation plans of a canning line in their new, Parkesburg facility slated for 2015. Summer Love Ale is the first beloved Victory brand tentatively scheduled to make its aluminum debut. Victory believes offering strategic brands in a can format will meet the growing fan demand and introduce their beer to a larger audience.

“The Parkesburg facility was built with the idea that it would enable us as creative brewers to expand our brand in a way our thirsty fans would appreciate. It only seems to make sense that the first Victory brand to be found in a can should be Summer Love Ale since it embodies all the fun and freedom summertime has to offer and a can is fitting for so many outdoor activities that come with that time of year,” says President and Brewmaster, Bill Covaleski.

September 23, 2014 - Sly Fox Kan Jam Tourney This Weekend Is the World's Largest
One thing almost as popular as Sly Fox Brewing Company's delicious portfolio of authentic and original beers is Kan Jam™. Kan Jam is an outdoor game for four players that is sweeping the nation with weekend warriors voraciously playing pick-up games on suburban lawns, parking lot tailgates and anywhere else they can find room.

In 2011, the southeastern Pennsylvania brewery held their first Kan Jam Tournament, and, on September 27 they will host 120 teams at the brewery in Pottstown, PA as part of the 2014 Can Jam Free Music Festival.

[ ... ]

Kan Jam is played much like horseshoes with teammates on either end of the court; pins are replaced by 2' tall, open-topped cans (kans), and instead of shoes players toss a flying disc. The main difference, though, is that teammates help one another score points by deflecting the disc into the kan....Sly Fox has modified Kan Jam's official rules to include the provision that participants can only use one hand to deflect, and must always play with a can–preferably a Sly Fox beer can–in their hands.

Read he entire news release.

September 18, 2014 - "Meet Anne-Françoise Pypaert, the First Female Trappist Brewmaster"
But at the top of the brewery ladder, there has never been a women in charge as brewmaster at any Trappist brewery. Until last year, that is. In late October, 2013, Jean-Marie Rock, celebrated brewmaster at Brasserie d’ Orval, at l’ Abbaye Notre Dame d’ Orval, retired. His replacement had been named some months earlier: Anne-Françoise Pypaert, Director of Quality Control since 1995, and second in command to Mssr. Rock.

Entire story with lots of photos here.

September 18, 2014 - Irony, Thy Name is Pabst
Both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are reporting that Pabst Brewing Company – the Los Angeles-based producer of heritage beer brands like Pabst Blue Ribbon, Lone Star and Olympia -- will be sold for upwards of $750 million.

Russian brewer Oasis Beverages and TSG Consumer Partners, a New York-based private equity firm that invests in middle-market consumer brand, are partnering to purchase the Pabst Brewing Co., according to multiple reports citing sources familiar with the transaction.

Complete story is here.

September 15, 2014 - Yuengling Expands Distribution to Connecticut
Pottsville, PA, September 2014 – D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc., America’s Oldest Brewery, is pleased to announce that it is expanding the distribution of its highly sought-after brands to the state of Connecticut.

Four wholesalers have been selected to distribute the brands throughout the state....

The initial rollout, targeted for late September and early October, will include Yuengling’s flagship beer, Traditional Lager as well as its award winning Yuengling Light Lager and Black & Tan brands.

Read the complete news release.

September 10, 2014 - Dogfish Head Will Add Distillery to its Production Brewery
Back in 2002, in a rural Delaware scrapyard, Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione picked up a little stainless steel feed bin that he had big plans for.

Sam worked with engineers and welders to reshape the tank in the form of a pot still – lovingly named ‘Frankenstill’ – and Dogfish Head’s days of hand-distilling gin, rum and vodka began.

For a dozen years, Dogfish’s little “distillery that could,” perched on the second floor of our Rehoboth Beach brewpub, has been putting out an extremely limited selection of rum, vodka and gin. Most has been sold right out of the pub and at select retailers in Delaware. But now, after an expansion at our nearby Milton brewery, we will have the space to kick our distilling up a notch (or three).

“Dogfish Head’s distilling roots run deep,” says Sam. “We’ve been putting our off-centered thumbprint on the distilling world for over a decade, and I’m excited that we’re now able to take this project to the next level by broadening production and distribution.”

Read More.

September 09, 2014 - Brewers Association Brings "Beer Geeks" Program Back for GABF 2014
FROM BREWBOUND (David Eisenberg)
Hoping to provide knowledgeable support for the volunteers that keep the beer flowing at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), the Brewers Association (BA) has announced the return of its ‘Beer Geeks’ program.

Consisting of 100 homebrew club members and other so-called ‘beer geeks,’ the program, which was introduced last year, aims to provide volunteers with access to “core brewery and brand information” about the beers they’re pouring so as to better serve and educate festivalgoers.

Beer Geeks stems from the demands of both brewers and volunteers alike that have clamored for additional support, say show administrators.

Read more.

September 03, 2014 - Victory To Open Fourth Brewpub in Virginia
Victory Brewing Co. is expanding its footprint outside of Pennsylvania for the first time, with plans of opening its fourth location in Virginia in 2016.

The brewpub, called Victory at Courthouse Square, will span three floors of the Leesburg, Va. building, which is expected to break ground later this year, according to Loudoun Times.

The fourth location will feature a 300-seat restaurant and upper-level terraces for outdoor dining...

Read the complete story here.

August 28, 2014 - Bella Vista Will Bring California's Heretic Brewing To Philly in September
Jordan Fetfatzes: "We are officially announcing the distribution agreement that has been signed a couple weeks ago between Bella Vista Beer and Heretic Brewery from Fairfield, CA. Heretic was started by famous home brewer turned pro, Jamil Zainasheff, and has been turning heads with their beers from day one. We expect beers to be pouring from taps in better beer bars in the next few weeks from Heretic Brewing. Another fantastic California brewery hits eastern PA soon!
August 25, 2014 - BREWBOUND: Craft Brewery Expansions Are Changing the Industry
FROM BREWBOUND (David Eisenberg)
As the craft category continues to grow at a double-digit clip — dollar sales are up nearly 23 percent in the latest IRI scans — brewers across the country, in an effort to keep up with growing demand, are investing heavily in facility expansions.

A crop of mid-size and regional craft breweries located in the eastern half of the U.S. recently announced multi-million dollar expansion efforts which will enable those companies to not only expand production capabilities, but in some cases distribution footprints as well. Here are a few updates:

Read the whole story.

August 19, 2014 - Boulevard Brewing Will Enter Philly Market in September
One of the country’s most respected craft breweries, Boulevard Brewing Co. of , Kansas City, MO; 816-474-7095), announced today that its award-winning craft beers will soon be available year-round across the Greater Philadelphia Area.

Boulevard, one of the most recognizable brands in the Midwest, has partnered with Muller, Inc. to distribute its line of beers in the city and surrounding Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties.

“Boulevard is producing some of the highest quality beers in the entire country, not just in the Midwest, so we felt compelled to help bring them to America’s Best Beer-Drinking City,” says Muller Vice President of Sales John Houck. “We couldn’t be more proud and honored to be working with Boulevard on this launch and welcoming them into our bars, restaurants and homes.”

To celebrate the new partnership and launch, representatives from Boulevard will organize a week-long series of tastings and events in and around Philadelphia in October; more details will be made available in early September.

Boulevard beers, available in bottles and on draft, will include Single-Wide IPA, an American-style IPA boasting a heady combination of six varieties of hops; Unfiltered Wheat, Beer, an easy drinking American-style wheat beer and Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, a Belgian-style farmhouse ale from the brewery’s popular and critically-acclaimed Smokestack Series.

“We are very excited to be expanding our reach to more markets in the Northeast, including Philadelphia,” says Boulevard’s Vice President of Sales Steve Mills. “The city is home to savvy craft beer enthusiasts, and we’re looking forward to introducing them to Boulevard’s lineup.”

Boulevard Brewing Company was founded in 1989 in a turn-of-the-century building on Kansas City’s historic Southwest Boulevard. From that location, Boulevard founder John McDonald grew the company into one of the largest breweries in the United States before selling the facility and brewery operations to Duvel Moortgat in 2013. Boulevard’s sister, and Duvel Moortgat’s other US-based brewery, Brewery Ommegang, of Cooperstown, NY, is also distributed by Muller.

August 13, 2014 - Sales of Craft Beer To Top $20 Billion in 2014?
Sales of craft and craft-style beer will likely eclipse $20 billion in 2014, according to a new report from market research firm Mintel. Of the $20.4 billion in craft sales that Mintel has predicted for this year, the firm believes more than 84 percent ($17.2 billion) will come from Brewers Association-defined craft brewers.

Mintel had originally forecasted that craft beer sales could exceed $18 billion by 2017, but now believes that figure could actually double in the next five years. Citing consistent year-over-year growth trends, an improving economy, product innovation and an engaged consumer base, the firm said that combined sales of craft and craft-style beer could surpass $36 billion in 2019.

Read the whole story.

August 07, 2014 - Serious Eats Website Cites Stoudts Gold as a "Must Try" Beer
10 MUST-TRY AMERICAN-MADE LAGERS (Anne Becerra, Beer Writer)
Lagers outsell ales in the US by a landslide, but most folks are still a bit hazy on exactly what makes a lager, well, a lager. We are currently in a golden age of American-made lagers—and your local shop is packed full of delicious options—but let's back up a bit and give you a little background. [ --- ]

Stoudts, located in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has been brewing German inspired beers for almost 30 years. Their take on a Munich-style Helles (a less hoppy, softer pale lager brewed originally to compete with pilsner) really knocks it out of the beer garden. Fresh malt flavor is the star of the show here, and the bready sweetness will remind you of a really good fresh dinner roll. Earthy and floral hops make their presence known, but this is a malt-driven beer that's perfect for taming spice.

See complete story and list of beers here.

July 28, 2014 - Craft Brewer Sales Showed Solid Growth in First Half of 2014
Small and independent craft brewers enjoyed continued growth in the first half of 2014, according to new mid-year data released by the Brewers Association (BA), the not-for-profit trade association that represents the majority of U.S. breweries. American craft beer production volume increased 18 percent during the first half of the year.

From January through the end of June 2014, approximately 10.6 million barrels of beer were sold by craft brewers, up from 9.0 million barrels over the first half of 2013. (Note: The 18 percent growth rate is based on the updated craft brewer definition and derived from comparable barrel total from the first half of 2013. Mid-year figures first reported in 2013 were based on the previous craft brewer definition).

“The sustained double-digit growth of the craft category shows the solidity of demand for fuller flavored beer in a variety of styles from small and independent American producers,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “Craft brewers are providing world-class, innovative products that continue to excite beer lovers and energize the industry.”

Complete news release with more details, charts and graphs is here.

July 25, 2014 - Did Prohibition Make the Craft Beer Boom Possible?
American craft brewing is flourishing, and Prohibition is partly to thank.

Led by brewpubs and microbreweries, the number of U.S. breweries has doubled since 2007 to roughly 3,000, according to the Brewers Association, with hundreds more under construction. There were as few as 93 breweries countrywide in the early 1980s.

Big brewers are still dominant — craft beer accounts for only 8 percent of total volume, and two companies, Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, hold roughly three-quarters of the market. But craft brewing is steadily gaining.

Craft brewers chalk up their success to a sea change in Americans’ tastes.

[ ... ]

Consumers may be driving the surge, but the craft beer industry wouldn't have been able to respond without changes to the regulation of alcohol. After all, during Prohibition, there were no legal breweries, despite the pent-up demand for beer.

Read the complete story right here.

July 22, 2014 - Green Flash IPA, Brewed by St-Feuillien, Will Expand Brewery's European Footprint
Mike and Lisa Hinkley, Co-Founders of California-based Green Flash Brewing Co. and Dominique Friart, CEO of traditional Belgian-based Brewery St-Feuillien are excited to announce news about the evolution of their ongoing, cross-continental brewing alliance.

These innovative breweries have made the strategic decision to advance their relationship from creatively collaborative “sister-breweries” to pioneer new territory as production partners in Europe. After a year of top-secret planning, St-Feuillien and Green Flash are executing plans based on a handshake agreement whereby the legendary Belgian operation will brew, bottle and ship the San Diego craft brewery’s flagship beer, West Coast IPA® for broad distribution throughout Europe. Green Flash is thrilled to be the first American craft brewery to bring the freshest available American IPA to market in the region. The first 240 hectoliter batch of West Coast IPA in bottles and kegs is currently shipping from St-Feuillien in Belgium to a hand-selected network of distributors and importers in the UK, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, The Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Germany and France.

“We’ve been pursuing European distribution of West Coast IPA for some time, however the obvious challenges in delivering fresh IPA to the region have been a huge roadblock,” says Mike Hinkley. “After testing various export scenarios on a small scale, it became apparent that the quality of our IPA when transported to Europe was not ideal and cost-prohibitive for consumers. We were not satisfied with the customer experience and felt we had to come up with a better solution.”

[ … ]

“As brewing partners, we have always been humbly enthusiastic to learn from one another,” says Green Flash Brewmaster Chuck Silva when describing the evolution of his rapport with St-Feuillien Brewmaster, Alexis Briol. “This mutual respect allows us, as international counterparts, to find common ground and we have worked very closely on our latest endeavor. I have complete faith in Alexi and his team to consistently brew the highest quality West Coast IPA in Europe, hopefully for years to come and will continue overseeing the process as needed.”

For many Europeans, the notoriously hoppy beer style from Green Flash will be a new discovery, but for the growing segment of craft beer lovers in the market, the opportunity to find super-fresh and high-quality American Craft beer from Green Flash will be an exciting prospect. Green Flash is honored to be joining forces with the world-class Belgian brewers at St-Feuillien to satisfy this rapidly growing thirst for specialty craft beer from the US. Both breweries are looking forward to continuing to work on collaborations including production of West Coast IPA and other beers, for many years to come.

The full press release is available here.

July 19, 2014 - USA Today: Stone Brewing Plans to Open a Brewery in Berlin
Stone Brewing is taking its craft to Germany, a country with some of the deepest brewing roots in the world.

The Escondido, Calif.-based Stone, which is ranked No. 10 in sales volume among U.S. craft breweries, plans to open a brewery in Berlin within the next two years. The move makes it the first American craft brewer to independently own and operate a brewery in Europe.

Plans were announced Saturday during an event at the planned site in Berlin. Construction is likely to begin in the coming months, aiming for an opening in late 2015 or early 2016, says Stone CEO Greg Koch.

He and Stone President Steve Wagner, who co-founded the original California site in 1996, began talking about European expansion five years ago....

Read the rest of the story here.

July 11, 2014 - Sly Fox To Move Bock Fest & Goat Races to Pottstown [UPDATED]
UPDATE: It's now official that the move will be made and that East Pikeland asked Sly Fox to find a new home for the Bock Fest per a news release just received.
POTTSTOWN — If Jixxer hopes to repeat as Sly Fox Goat Race champion or Spartacus wins legitimately, it appears that it will have to be done in Pottstown, not East Pikeland, next year.

Sly Fox has let borough officials in Pottstown know of plans to move the annual spring Bockfest to Pottstown’s Circle of Progress from its traditional location in Phoenixville.... Read the whole story here.

July 10, 2014 - Harpoon Brewery Will Become Employee-Owned
Twelfth-largest craft brewer Harpoon Brewery has just announced that it will become an employee-owned company as of August 1. The existing shareholder group transferred 48% of Harpoon's shares to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), which will "ensure the brewery's independence and preserve Harpoon's culture."

As for other major changes: co-founder Dan Kenary will assume the role of CEO from co-founder Rich Doyle, who will reportedly maintain part-time status at the brewery, focusing on marketing and sales and new business development. No other changes in management are reported so far.

"This is a big transition for the company and for me, but it feels like the right thing at the right time," Rich said in a statement. "I have enjoyed my 28 years working here and building a first-class brewing company from idea to reality. The ESOP will really fit the culture here since Harpoon has always been a very team-oriented place. Dan and the Harpoon team will continue to do an excellent job."

For his part, Dan said that "employee ownership is the embodiment of what Harpoon stands for. ... Our success as an independent craft brewer is attributed to our outstanding employees and the wonderful culture we have at the brewery. The ESOP strengthens our commitment to our employees, our culture, and to making and sharing great beer."

The Harpoon Brewery was founded in 1986 on the Boston waterfront by Dan Kenary and Rich Doyle. It has since grown to be the 12th largest craft brewery in the US and currently has 187 full-time employees between its Boston, MA and Windsor, VT brewing facilities.

The announcement of the ESOP was made to Harpoon employees at a special mid-year meeting on the evening of July 9th.

June 27, 2014 - Reading Eagle: Geemacher Brings Beer Keg Production Back to U.S.
Evan Jones, writing in the Reading Eagle on June 15 reported:
Geemacher Holdings LLC, which has been manufacturing beer kegs in China since 2007, is putting the finishing touches on an onshore facility.

When it's running at full capacity, between 100 and 150 stainless steel kegs per shift will roll through an assembly line in the 30,000-square-foot factory at 31 Robinson St. in the Tri-County Business Campus. Machines will bend the steel, and workers will weld them together. Eventually, Geemacher will employ 30.

The business is a natural fit for company President John Giannopoulos, who also runs Sly Fox Brewing Co. and the Manatawny Still Works, which are in the nearby Pottstown Airport Business Campus. Geemacher is also a family business, as Glenn Giannopoulos is the company's vice president of operations.

"This shows that manufacturing is alive and well in Pottstown," said Steven Bamford, executive director of Pottstown Area Industrial Development Inc. "This is the Giannopouloses' third venture in Pottstown and with it you have a theme. The area is becoming an epicenter for craft brewing and distilling. We're excited to be a part of that."

Geemacher is filling a gap, as it's the only company making steel beer kegs in the U.S. Spartanburg Stainless Products Inc. in South Carolina had produced them before selling that part of the company to a Swiss-based Franke Beverage Containers in 2006. Franke eventually shut down its American operations.

June 23, 2014 - Homebrewers Name Russian River’s Pliny the Elder "Best Commercial Beer in America" 6th Straight Year
The American Homebrewers Association's members voted Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder the “Best Commercial Beer in America” for the sixth year running. This is the 12th year that AHA members voted for up to 20 of their favorite beers in an online poll. The poll is conducted annually by Zymurgy Magazine, the journal of the AHA.

The ten top-ranked beers were, in order: Russian River Pliny the Elder, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, Bell’s Hopslam, The Alchemist Heady Topper, Lagunitas Sucks, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Stone Enjoy By IPA, Founders Breakfast Stout & Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. Two other Dogfish Head beers made the list , 120 Minute IPA (#27) and 60 Minute IPA (tied for #34), as did Troegs Brewing Co. Nugget Nectar (tied for #39).

Russian River was also the top ranked of the 1,600 breweries included in the poll, with five beers listed, followed by Bell, Stone, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Victory Brewing Co. was ranked #19.

The Best Portfolio of Beers award went to New Belgium Brewing Co., which had 60 beers receiving votes in the poll. The remainder of the top five portfolios were: Boston Beer Co., Sierra Nevada, Dogfish Head and Stone.

June 23, 2014 - U.S. Beer Market Driven by Consumer Choice, Says Boston Consulting Group Report
The U.S. beer market is open, freely competitive, and driven by consumer choice. Brewers who capture the hearts of consumers are the most likely to succeed. Those who miss shifts in consumer identities, norms, attitudes, and tastes will suffer.

The success of small brewers making craft beers is proof of these points. Despite fears that small brewers can’t compete against the scale and reach of large, mass-market brewers, the opposite has proved to be true. The popularity of craft beers supplied by small brewers has exploded, rising on the strength of consumer demand. Ironically, small brewers’ ability to reach more drinkers has been enabled by the open U.S. beer-distribution system—a system that was once thought to lock out smaller players.


Our findings have implications for all U.S. brewers...

Read the complete report.

June 16, 2014 - Brewers Association Revises GABF Brewery Registration System
The Brewers Association (BA) has streamlined the registration process for this year’s Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in hopes of avoiding a repeat of a debacle that made securing a spot at the event difficult in 2013.

Last year, brewers flooded Ticketmaster in an attempt to register, which resulted in the festival selling out in half an hour. But not all beer companies were able to sign up and additional “technical problem[s]” on Ticketmaster’s servers, as outlined in an apology issued by the BA at the time, left nearly 400 brewers shut out.

This year’s registration opens to BA members on Tuesday and, to ensure that brewers aren’t excluded from participating, the organization said it plans to accept every applicant wishing to submit products for judging — unless more than 1,400 companies apply.

But while the amount of breweries able to participate in the medal competition has increased, the number of beers a company can enter for judging has not. That number will depend upon the total number of brewers competing, the BA said.

Read more here.

June 10, 2014 - Dogfish Head Founder Will Celebrate First Brewery-themed Inn With Port-to-Port Beer-Dinner Series
In late June, Dogfish Head Founder and President Sam Calagione is embarking on a 600-mile boat journey to celebrate the opening of the Dogfish Inn and raise money and awareness for The Nature Conservancy.

At five stops along the way – Atlantic City, Manhattan, Block Island, Boston and Portland – Sam will host multicourse beer dinners at some of his favorite restaurants.

In the spirit of the adventure, Dogfish Head and the host restaurants will donate $2,000 for each stop to The Nature Conservancy, a million-member nonprofit dedicated to conserving "the lands and waters on which all life depends."

Read the rest.

June 09, 2014 - Beer Camp Across America Update
More than three dozen Pennsylvania breweries have signed on to join fellow brewers and beer lovers at Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp Across America, an unprecedented traveling beer festival that will take place later this summer. Nearly 700 craft brewers from around the country have already signed on for the multi-weekend event; anticipating more than 1,300 total craft beers on tap, collectively representing almost every state in the union, Beer Camp Across America promises to be the largest craft beer celebration in history

Pennsylvania breweries have signed on in droves to take part in the historic event. The following will make the trek to the Mid-Atlantic edition, taking place August 2 at Penn Treaty Park in Philadelphia: HiJinx, The Colony Meadery, Roy-Pitz, Spring House, Neshaminy Creek, Old Forge, Marzoni's, Weyerbacher, St. Boniface, South County, Battlefield, Tröegs, Naked, Golden Avalanche, Saucony Creek, Barren Hill, Lancaster, Round Guys, Elk Creek, Prism, Free Will, 2nd Story, Boston Beer, EARTH, Nodding Head, Philadelphia, Dock Street, Yards, Susquehanna, Sly Fox, ShawneeCraft, North Country, Sprague Farm, Ship Bottom, Evil Genius, Vault & Liquid Hero.

Beer Camp Across America Schedule
• 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 Civic Center 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.

June 09, 2014 - South Carolina Modernizes Beer Laws, Hopes to Attract Stone Brewing
Greensboro is on the short list with five to six other cities to host Stone Brewing Co.'s East Coast brewery and distribution hub, Mayor Nancy Vaughan told the Triad Business Journal Friday.

[ ... ]

Stone Brewing would need a 15-acre site for its brewery, a facility which would create 328 jobs during three years, Vaughan said. The facility could represent an investment of $20 million, according to sister paper the Charlotte Business Journal.

Vaughan added that Stone has a "very aggressive" timeline and would look to open within the next 18 months. The company's next step will be to cut its shortlist down to two to three cities, Vaughan said.

More here.

South Carolina lawmakers in both the House and Senate adopted what has become known as the Stone Bill this afternoon, effectively loosening restrictions on how brewers in the Palmetto State do business.

[ ... ]

The bill will allow brewpubs to apply for brewery licenses, which will enable them to serve food while producing an unlimited amount of beer. An earlier version of the bill sought instead to amend the brewpub definition by stretching the state’s production cap of 2,000 barrels up to 500,000.

Brook Bristow, a lawyer with Bradford Neal Martin & Associates who provides general counsel to the South Carolina Brewers Association, said the vote marks a “new day in our state for craft beer.”

“It’s written in a way that benefits our existing craft breweries, but it tells the Stones of the world, the Deschutes of the world, and whoever comes after them, that our doors are open for business,” he said. “We support craft breweries. That’s something we want in this state.”

May 29, 2014 - Craft brewing pioneer Jack Joyce, Co-Founder of Rogue Ales in Oregon, Has Died
Jack Joyce, a co-founder of Oregon's Rouge Ales in 1988 who was one of craft beer's pioneering legends, died tis week at age 71. Rouge opened its first brew pub in 1989 and today has pubs in Oregon, Washington and California. The company eventually expanded into distilling spirits and now has micro distilleries in Portland and Newport.

Steve Marks, executive director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, told the Oregon Statesman Journal which noted that "Jack was a daring pioneer in Oregon's craft brewing and distilling industries," Marks said. "As Rogue Ales and Spirits co-founder, he took a risk to start a business from the ground up with ingredients harvested from Oregon soil. His dream grew into one of Oregon's most successful breweries and distilleries."

Jack Joyce is survived by his son Brett, his daughter Anna Joyce, and his wife, Joan Joyce, the children's step-mother. Brett Joyce summed up his father's career and accomplishments:

Yesterday the Rogue Nation and Family lost our co-founder, leader, friend, and father as Jack Joyce passed away at the age of 71.

Following a career as both a small town attorney and Nike executive, Jack and some friends founded Rogue in 1988 in Ashland, Oregon. From the outset, Jack set Rogue on a path of innovation, creativity, and rebellion.

Rogue made hoppy, flavorful beers and was told that no one would drink them. Rogue made a wide range of beers and was told no one wanted variety. Rogue sold 22oz bottles of beer and was told no one would pay a premium for a single serve beer. Rogue opened multiple pubs and breweries and was told that it would be wise to follow a more efficient and logical business plan.

Rogue took the road less, or perhaps never, travelled.

Rogue was the first U.S. craft brewer to send beer to Japan. Rogue won 1,000 awards for product and packaging excellence. Rogue worried about getting better, not bigger. Rogue began distilling. Rogue began farming. Rogue remained dedicated to its small town roots and made sure to give back to its local communities. Rogue started a Nation.

This was all vintage Jack.

He was the true Rogue and will be missed by us all.

May 28, 2014 - Phila. Inquirer "Brewvitational" Winners Announced
The full results of the annual Philadelphia Inquirer Brewvitational judging will be in tomorrow’s edition, kicking off Philly Beer Week. The judges tasted 52 beers from 28 breweries and these are the big winners, the three best New Beers of the year past and the three Best Saisons.

New Beers

1. Nihilist Russian Imperial Stout (new in 750 ml bottles) (9.5%) 90 IBU, Sly Fox Brewing Co.

2. LaGrave, Triple Golden Ale (8.0%) 31 IBU, Tröegs Brewing Co.

3. Fear of a Brett Planet, Pale Ale with brettanomyces, (5.1%) 45 IBU, Round Guys Brewing Co.

Saison Division

1. HandFarm Four-Grain Saison aged in Chardonnay barrels (5%) 15 IBU, Tired Hands Brewing Co.

2. Saison Wood, Saison (7.0%) 30 IBU, Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant (Maple Shade)

3. Solaire, Grisette/Saison (5%), Forest & Main Brewing Co.

Details and more results will be in tomorrow's edition.
May 21, 2014 - Philly Beer Scene Magazines Awards 2014
And the winners are….

Brewer of the Year: Jeremy Myers, Neshaminy Creek

Brewery of the Year: Victory Brewing Company

Brewpub of the Year: Iron Hill Brewery

Philadelphia Bar of the Year: Monks Cafe

Suburbs Bar of the Year: The Hulmeville Inn

DE/NJ Bar of the YEar: The Pour House

Best New Bar: Strangelove’s

Philadelphia Beer Distributor of the Year: Bella Vista Beer Distributor

Suburbs Beer Distributor of the Year: The Beer Yard

DE/NJ Beer Store of the Year: Joe Canal’s West Deptford

Philadelphia Bottle Shop of the Year: Bottle Bar East

Suburbs Bottle of the Year: The Loft at the Iron Abbey

Beer Writer of the Year: Joe Gunn

Best Bar Food: Standard Tap

Best Bar to Watch the Game: City Tap House

Beer Event of the Year: Friday the Firkinteenth

Beer Festival of the Year: Sly Fox Goat Races

Pale Ale of the Year: Troegs Perpetual IPA

Imperial Pale Ale of the Year: Victory DirtWolf

Dark Beer of the Year: Yards Love Stout

Strong Dark Beer of the Year: Iron Hill Russian Imperial Stout

Lager of the Year: Victory Prima Pils

Fruit/Spice Beer of the Year: Troegs Mad Elf

Belgian-Style Beer of the Year: Weyerbacher Merry Monks

Barrel-Aged Beer of the Year: Weyerbacher Heresy

Wheat Beer of the Year: Troegs Dreamweaver

Homebrew Shop of the Year: Keystone Homebrew

Beer Gives Back Award (Humanitarian of the Year): Tom Kehoe -Yards Brewing Company

Brewery Rep of the Year: Ryan Vaughan -Shawnee Craft

Wholesaler of the Year: Origlio Beverage

Philly Tap Finder Award (most searched local beer): Troegs Mad Elf

May 15, 2014 - Eight, Count 'em, Eight, Collaboration Beers Set for Philly Beer Week
Justin Low, Head Brewer at Dock Street, and Anne-Catherine Dilewyns, of Brouwerij Dilewyns, will debut the official collaboration beer of Philly Beer Week 2014 on opening day, May 30. Philly Tripel, a Belgian Abbey Tripel brewed with organic acacia honey from Belgium is a limited release brewed exclusively for PBW and imported to the United States by Vanberg & DeWulf,

Philly Tripel will be available at Opening Tap, in the PBW Beer Garden and at Dock Street Brewery, which will be hosting an exclusive Brew Day with Anne-Catherine starting at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 3.

The Philly-Belgo collaboration began this past February when Low and “Win a Trip to Belgium” Raffle Winner Daniel Neuner, a 24-year-old home brewer and fine art photographer from Cherry Hill, NJ, traveled to Dendermonde, Belgium, for a hands-on collaboration with Anne-Catherine Dilewyns, Belgium’s youngest brewer and one of three rising female brewers in the world.

Philly Tripel, which clocks in at 8.5% ABV, will be sold in 11.2-ounce bottles and available at many participating PBW bars and restaurants.

In addition, seven other special collaboration beers will debut and be available throughout PBW, including the latest installment of Brotherly Suds. This year’s edition, Brotherly Suds V, was brewed at Victory Brewing Company, with Flying Fish, Yards Brewing, Sly Fox, Iron Hill, Nodding Head and Earth Bread + Brewery participating in the brewing process.

Other collaboration beers include:

Free Will and Full Pint teamed up on Mango Habanero IPA

Free Will also worked with Philly Philms, the production company behind the movie “Beeradelphia,” to create Dry Irish Stout “William”

Nodding Head and Fat Head’s are working together on “something hoppy”

Standard Tap and Sly Fox combined forces on a German-style pilsner

City Tap House and Yards introduced Just Off Walnut, a Belgian Brown Ale

Monk’s Cafe and Dogfish Head Brewpub collaborated on Blood Moon, a pleasantly smoky, rye red ale.

May 13, 2014 - Hop Prices Rising, Highest Since 2007-08 Shortage Crisis
An ice-cold craft beer has become part of the uniform for self-respecting hipsters from Brooklyn in New York to the London borough of Hackney. Now the craze for the microbrews made by small independent brewers has led to a scramble for hops, the key ingredient used to add flavour and bitterness.

In the US, where the movement was born, the $14bn craft beer industry has seen annual double-digit production growth over the past few years. This has doubled the price of the specialist aroma and flavour hops favoured by craft brewers to about $7 to $10 a pound over the past five years – the highest since 2007-08 when the market was hit by a severe drought.

[ ... ]

"I've been buying hops for 30 years. It's more challenging now than just about any time in my career," says Steve Dresler, brewmaster at California-based Sierra Nevada, a leading craft brewer started by homebrewers in the late 1970s.

Read more here.

May 08, 2014 - Virginia "Farm Brewery" Blue Mountain Will Enter Local Market
Blue Mountain Brewery was founded in 2007 by Taylor and Mandi Smack, Matt Nucci and a group of fearless shareholders. Together, they introduced the concept of the rural brewery to the East Coast's beer scene and set the standard for great beer in Virginia.This "farm brewery" is complete with its own hop farm. Planted in 2006, it now boasts 500 hills of Cascade and Centennial hops. All of Blue Mountain's ales and lagers are produced onsite using water from a 300-foot well fed by an old spring which flows beneath miles of untouched forest watershed. Their beers are inspired by thousands of years of tradition, but not limited by convention.

Blue Mountain garnered 6 medals at the 2013 Virginia Craft Brewer's Festival and has received many awards at regional festivals and in various categories at esteemed industry events, including:
Silver Medal for Blue Reserve at World Beer Cup 2012
Gold Medal for Summer Lovin' at Great American Beer Festival 2011
Silver Medal for Blue Reserve at Great American Beer Festival 2011
Gold Medal for Sandy Bottom at Great American Beer Festival 2010
Bronze Medal for Kolsch 151 at Great American Beer Festival 2010
Silver Medal for Rockfish Wheat at World Beer Cup 2010

Blue Mountain focuses on balance and accessibility in their core line of beers and seasonals. They are well-balanced interpretations of classic styles, or fresh takes on emerging styles. Their Barrel House Series explores lesser known, more niche styles of beer. It gives their brewers the chance to play around and experiment with new techniques and styles. Blue Mountain aims to create a beer for every style of drinker and for every occasion.

May 07, 2014 - Garrett Oliver Wins James Beard Foundation Award
Brooklyn Brewery's Garrett Oliver was awarded the James Beard Award as the 2014 Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional this week. He won over Dogfish Head's Sam Calagione, who was a nominee for the award for the fourth straight year.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and cover all aspects of the industry—from chefs and restaurateurs to cookbook authors and food journalists to restaurant designers and architects and more. They are considered the highest honor for food and beverage professionals working in North America.

JBF awards are presented each spring at Lincoln Center in New York City and nominees and winners are fêted at a weekend of social and gastronomic events.

May 06, 2014 - 40 Breweries Confirmed for PBW 2014 Opening Tap
PHILADELPHIA, PA – On May 30, from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m., Philly Beer Week™ (PBW) 2014 officially kicks off with Opening Tap, presented by Interstate General Media, parent company of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and, in its new home at the 23rd Street Armory (22 South 23rd Street). Tickets for the event are currently on sale and can be purchased here. Forty breweries, both local and national, have confirmed their participation in the most-anticipated event of the 10-day celebration of beer throughout Philadelphia and its suburbs.

In addition, the route of the annual Hammer of Glory (H.O.G.) Relay leading up to Opening Tap has been announced. Every year, the official keg mallet of PBW, affectionately nicknamed the H.O.G., travels across the city from bar to bar, tapping kegs and eventually making its way to the Opening Tap, where Mayor Michael Nutter wields the H.O.G. for the first official tap of PBW. At each location, the H.O.G. gets a different means of conveyance – from kinetic sculpture to wheelbarrow to SEPTA train to the Philly Roller Girls.

“The H.OG. is the quintessential symbol of PBW, and witnessing its zany travels throughout our fair city is something that must be witnessed live,” says PBW Executive Director Kristine Kennedy. “Every year we try to outdo the previous year’s voyage, so this relay is no different. Be prepared for anything, from race cars to roller skates!”

Doors will open at 7 p.m. for general admission tickets and cost $45 per person. VIP tickets ($90 per person) will include early entry, starting at 6 p.m., along with a tasty array of catered food, a special assortment of craft beers hand-picked by selected brewers and exclusive access to the VIP Lounge. Designated driver tickets will be available for $25. Opening Tap is presented by Interstate General Media, in partnership with SEPTA, Philadelphia Weekly and Drink Philly. There will be a limited number of walk-up tickets available on May 30. Live music will be performed by The York Street Hustle, a 10-piece 1960s-style soul ensemble band.

Participating breweries for Opening Tap include: 2nd Story Brewing, Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery, The Boston Beer Company, Conshohocken Brewing Company, Dock Street Brewery, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Doylestown Brewing Company, Evil Genius, Evolution Craft Brewing, Flying Fish Brewing Company, Free Will Brewing, Home Sweet Home Brew, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Keystone Homebrew Supply, Lancaster Brewing Company, The Lion Brewery, Manayunk Brewing Company, Naked Brewing, Neshaminy Creek Brewing, Nodding Head Brewery, Philadelphia Brewing Company, Philly Homebrew Outlet, Prism Brewing Company, River Horse Brewing Company, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Round Guys Brewing Company, Saint Benjamin Brewing Company, Saint Boniface, Saucony Creek Brewing, ShawneeCraft Brewing Company, Sly Fox Brewing Company, Spring House Brewing, Stoudt’s Brewing Company, Susquehanna Brewing Company, Troegs Brewing Company, Twin Lakes Brewery, Victory Brewing Company, Weyerbacher Brewing Company, Yards Brewing Company and Yuengling.

May 05, 2014 - Sly Fox Reverses Bock Fest Winner
PHOENIXVILLE, PA May 5, 2014 - It's always unfortunate when human error enters into athletic competition but, the reality is, during the course of an event, contest or game occasionally judges, referees and officials can determine the difference between euphoric championship glory and dejected defeat.

Such was the case yesterday, May 4th, at the Sly Fox Brewing Company's Annual Bock Festival and Goat Races ,where the final heat came down to a photo finish between four goats.

The call on the course based on limited photos available at the time, was that Spartacus, a sizable athlete from Pottstown, PA, had won, and the crowd went wild. Even after the line official conferred with the benefit of video replay, the call stood Spartacus was the champion!

[ ... ]

Spartacus, a five-year-old, 75 pound runner entered by Frank Smith Beverages in Pottstown, PA, was handled by Mia Lucchesi and Jeremy Woodside. This was Spartacus' shot at redemption having been disqualified in 2013 due to inept handling. The entire team erupted with joy when Spartacus was named the winner of the closest final heat in recent memory.

There was just one problem, Spartacus lost by a hoof.

[ ...]

The actual winner of the 2014 event is Jixxer, a recused Alpine four-year-old weighing 132 pounds. Owned and handled by Rob Detwiler, this was Jixxer's second goat race....

The entire statement can be read here.

April 24, 2014 - Three Floyds Is Planning a $10 Million Expansion
FROM BREWBOUND (David Eisenberg)
The only thing worse than running into one zombie would be crossing paths with 100,000 of them. Unless, of course, we’re talking about the undead that adorn the labels of Three Floyds’ revered pale ale, Zombie Dust. Beer lovers would probably like to see more of those around.

In that regard, they’re in luck. The Munster, Ind.-based craft brewery is planning a $10 million expansion, which would double the size of its facility and nearly triple production to 100,000 barrels annually.

The project calls for a new bottling and packaging line, additional warehouse and basement storage space, a tasting room, a carry-out counter and other employee amenities. On top of that, Three Floyds plans to add a distillery to begin producing spirits.

Read the complete story here.

April 18, 2014 - Belgium's Beer Heritage May Be Dying
DWORP, Belgium — The ruby lettering on the front of the old corner pub “In de Welkom” has peeled almost beyond recognition. Owner Leza Wauters, a tough 87-year-old, is holding on to her business but can’t say how much longer. Sooner or later, yet another bar with a warm “Welcome” will be gone.

Serving local geuze, triples and pils beers for generations, the pub has embodied what the drink means to Belgians — bringing together families and friends with cheers of “sante” and “gezondheid,” gulping down tasty suds before ordering more.

Now, the tables are often empty, a sign of the hard times many pubs have fallen upon as Belgians have stopped drinking beer like they used to. The beer industry, meanwhile, has increasingly relied on exporting the world-class beers to far-flung markets.

Not good, they say here.

Read the entire story here.

April 18, 2014 - Beer News You Can Use. Or Not.
Munster, Indiana's Three Floyds' proposed $10 million expansion, recently secured through local bank money, calls for doubling the size of the microbrewery, and producing craft spirits. "In three years time, [CEO Nick] Floyd says the expanded brewery -- complete with a German-made, robot-run 'Porsche of bottling lines' -- will nearly triple its production to 100,000 barrels a year and get your favorite beer to your favorite bar in half the time," per DNAinfoChicago. The expansion includes plans for a five-story craft spirits distillery with room to quick-age whiskey ("at Texas temperatures"). They plan to use their beer mash to make "Indiana whiskey" and also distil their popular but rare imperial stout, Dark Lord, "into a unique high-quality spirit that appeals to both beer and whiskey drinkers."

The first 750-barrel batch of Lagunitas IPA was mixed a few weeks ago, and is now getting into bottles and labels at the new Chicago brewery. "Other batches of IPA are right behind as production begins to ramp up," per Crain's Chicago Business. "The Chicago brewery is set to start making Little Sumpin' Sumpin' beer next month." Chicago will help alleviate the Petaluma facility, currently brewing at 94% of capacity.

New Belgium Brewing has announced it will officially break ground and start construction on its second brewery, a 133,000 square foot brewery and tasting room in Asheville, at the beginning of May. At full buildout, New Belgium will brew 500,000 barrels annually and support upwards of 140 jobs at the new site. The groundbreaking includes a private ceremony on May 1 and a public celebration on May 2. New Belgium worked with North Carolina's brownfield program to invest in and remediate the site and improve the tasting room area, a brownfield site.

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 - 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.

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.

March 28, 2014 - When Titans Gather: Dogfish Head, Boston Beer & Yuengling Honchos Speak Out
Boston Brewing founder Jim Koch likens the evolution of the craft beer industry to the "Star Wars" movie trilogy.

The 1990s represented "Star Wars: The New Hope," as craft brewers proliferated like the scrappy band of rebels battling Darth Vader triumphed over the Empire, Koch said. Then, the Empire struck back and the nation's big brewers drove a majority of craft brewers out of business, he said.

[ ... ] Hotel Bethlehem tonight hosted the Brewers of Pennsylvania trade association and three industry heavyweights to discuss craft brewing's history and growing future.

Joining Koch at the dais for a panel discussion were fifth-generation brewer Dick Yuengling and Sam Calagione, founder of the innovative Delaware-based craft brewer Dogfish Head Brewing.

The whole story is here.

March 27, 2014 - Virginia's Devils Backbone Brewing Plans Major Expansion
FROM BREWBOUND (David Eisenburg)
Looking to become a “significant regional player,” Virginia-based Devils Backbone Brewing Co. is setting its sights on the 100,000-barrel club.

In the next 18 months, the company — which only began bottling and kegging its products for regional distribution in 2012 — will install a 120-barrel brewhouse by next summer in an effort to accommodate rapid growth. The expansion project will increase Devils Backbone’s theoretical production capacity to about 100,000 barrels and the brewery is capable of being scaled to 275,000 barrels, said brewery COO Hayes Humphreys.

“We intend to fill that capacity,” added Humphreys. “We’re going to be a pretty big player on the east coast.”

Read the entire story here.

March 24, 2014 - BA Reports Increase in Craft Exports
The Brewers Association today reported that, based on results from a recently-completed industry survey, craft beer export volume increased by 49 percent in 2013, representing 282,526 barrels and an estimated $73 million.

Canada remained the industry's largest export market, with shipments increasing 92 percent by volume (up to 131,511 barrels) in 2013. Sweden (15.5 percent) and the United Kingdom (7.9 percent) remained the next two largest markets, with Australia (5.4 percent) and Japan (3.2 percent) following.

In total, shipments to Asia Pacific (non-Japan) increased by 73 percent and accounted for 44,228 barrels. American craft beer exports have increased substantially in the Asia-Pacific region largely due to emerging markets such as Singapore (up 379 percent), Hong Kong (up 150 percent) and Thailand (up 99 percent).

"Exports of American craft beer continue to expand in the international market, reflecting craft brewing’s overall success as an industry. New distribution agreements for U.S breweries throughout Europe and Asia are helping to grow exports,” said Bob Pease, chief operating officer, Brewers Association. “This sustained growth is a testament to the innovation of small and independent American craft brewers and the enthusiasm of beer drinkers internationally. With more beer exported around the world, the challenge now is to ensure that beer quality is preserved in all cases, so consumers are assured a positive experience. This is an area of focus for the Brewers Association and the Export Development Program.”

The BA supports exports through its Export Development Program (EDP) which was initiated in 2004 with funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Market Access Program (USDA MAP). The EDP generates exposure for American craft beer through trade shows, festivals, seminars, media outreach and competitions, among other activities.

“Expanding the footprint of American craft beers internationally is an important goal for small and independent craft brewers. We are thrilled to see the increasing appreciation of and demand for American craft beer in markets outside of the U.S.,” added Eric Wallace, president and co-founder of Left Hand Brewing Company and chair of the BA’s Export Development Program committee. “The EDP will continue to promote American craft beers through its focus on quality and diversity to ensure they flourish abroad over the long term.”

March 23, 2014 - Beverage Media Group 2014 Beer Market Forecast Shows Craft Impact
For American beer lovers, the coming year looks to be positively sunny, with more astounding styles flowing from taps, bottles, barrels and cans than ever. For suppliers, however, it looks like marketers and resellers are in for strong tradewinds—in multiple directions.

The U.S. craft beer category—now comprised of almost 3,000 artisanal brewers in all 50 states—is so hot that it surprises no one that some crafties are now receiving takeover offers from overseas as well as at home.

Read the whole story.

March 19, 2014 - Could Stone Brewing's New East Coast Brewery End Up in Bethlehem?
Celebrity chefs from around the world. Concerts with headliners from Selena Gomez to Motley Crue. The world's largest gaming operator at the Sands casino. A luxury outlet mall. Perhaps a Bass Pro Shops store.

So what's on tap next for the former Bethlehem Steel plant? Maybe Stone Brewing Co., a rising West Coast craft brewer well known to hops lovers. The original developers behind the redevelopment of the former Bethlehem Steel plant on South Side have answered Stone Brewing Co.'s call for proposals on where it could build its first East Coast facility.

The plan envisioned for Bethlehem would, appropriately, place Stone Brewing in an old stone building, the former Iron Foundry, in the nearby Carpenters Shop and in what city officials call "the ruins," the Bessemer complex of the Bethlehem Iron Co., Steel's predecessor.

The $20 million first phase of the project would start by year's end, with an expansion that could lead to a $60 million investment, company officials said.

Read the complete story.

March 19, 2014 - Tired Hands Will Open Second Ardmore Location
Tired Hands Brewing Company in Ardmore has anNounced they are expanding with a new production facility at 35 Cricket Terrace next to Schauffele Plaza.

The site will be capable of supplying 10,000 barrels of beer per year plus a new brewcafe according to a post made on Instagram:.

"It is with great pride and humble excitement that I present to you the next chapter in the life of Tired Hands," reads the Instagram post. "Located at 35 Cricket Terrace in our fair town of Ardmore, this beautiful building will serve as our production facility (capable of producing up to 10,000 barrels of our Strange & Beautiful beer per year) as well as a secondary brewcafé (focusing on a very different culinary theme than our existing café).

Both establishments will offer wildly different draft offerings as well (we will soon have room for hundreds of oak barrels). While we don't have a proper name for our new facility just yet, we are all unbelievably excited to increase our contribution to the blossoming Philadelphia brewing scene. Thank you all for your love and support throughout the past (almost) two years of operations. Stick with us... We are just getting started."

No further details, including an estimated date of opening, are currently available.
March 17, 2014 - Brewers Association Releases Preliminary 2013 Stats
The Brewers Association (BA), the trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers, today released 2013 data on U.S. craft brewing¹ growth. As a primary driver of growth in the beer industry, craft brewers saw an 18 percent rise in volume², representing a total of 15.6 million barrels, and a 20 percent increase in retail dollar value.

In 2013, craft brewers reached 7.8 percent volume of the total U.S. beer market, up from 6.5 percent the previous year. Additionally, craft dollar share of the total U.S. beer market reached 14.3 percent in 2013, as retail dollar value from craft brewers was estimated at $14.3 billion, up from $11.9 billion in 2012.

“With this stellar year, craft has now averaged 10.9 percent growth over the last decade,” said Bart Watson, staff economist, Brewers Association. “Beer drinkers are excited about what small and independent brewers are offering and that is evidenced by the rising production and sales of the craft segment.”

Read the entire news release.

March 15, 2014 - Recalcitrant Bottling Line Hindered Victory's First Days in New Brewery
Victory Brewing Company hit the ground running in February with the launch of its second brewery, but in recent weeks, the installation of a used bottling line has proved a royal aggravation.

“Last week was extremely painful,” said brewery co-founder Bill Covaleski. “This 12-year-old piece of equipment has worked great for 12 years. You assemble it in a new location and [stuff] doesn’t want to work.”

Everything else, he added, from brewing clarification to fermentation has been going perfectly. But for the first three weeks of January, Victory was without bottling capabilities. It’s better now, but still not perfect.

[ ... ]

DirtWolf, which was released last October, has thrived for a couple of reasons. For starters, it’s a double IPA. It’s also the company’s first foray into 4-packs, which it now offers as a sort of recognition of the craft consumer’s brand promiscuity.

Here's the complete Brewbound story.

March 12, 2014 - Total Beverage Solution Acquires Rights to Vanberg & DeWulf Portfolio
Total Beverage Solution (TBS) and Vanberg & DeWulf are pleased to announce that TBS has acquired the exclusive rights to the Vanberg & DeWulf portfolio...

Writing from Belgium, Vanberg & DeWulf co-founders Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield explain, “We feel this is the right move at precisely the right time with exactly the right team. Our brewers and their beers are in capable hands.”

Here's the entire news release.

March 10, 2014 - Stone Brewing Is Latest West Coast Brewery To Seek East Coast Location
This winter, Stone Brewing Co. subtly announced through a Request for Proposal (RFP) that it would like to open another brewery, ideally, East of the Mississippi River. The company also released a second open-ended RFP indicating that it would like to open more Stone Company Store locations around the U.S...

Read more here.

March 03, 2014 - Brewers Association Board Makes Strategic Changes
At a two-day meeting held February 26-27 in Boulder, Colo., the Brewers Association (BA) Board of Directors introduced changes to the association's foundational framework to better serve the not-for-profit trade group's membership of small and independent American craft brewers.

"The changes to fundamental elements of our industry were undertaken with significant deliberation and consideration of many voices," said Paul Gatza, Brewers Association director. "In November 2013, at the Board's direction, the BA surveyed our voting brewery members regarding the ‘foundational documents' of our association. The results gave us ample member input on these matters of critical importance as the Board headed into its strategic planning meeting."

Gary Fish, chair of the BA Board of Directors and president of Deschutes Brewery, added: "The Board takes seriously its duty to help the association evolve with the dynamic industry it represents. The Board worked to provide forward-looking leadership, recognizing our role as elected decision makers while taking into account the variety of views expressed by the Brewers Association's diverse membership."

The rest of the story, including full details of all the changes and the revised craft brewer definition.

February 28, 2014 - Can the Big Brewers Make Light Beer Work Again?
MillerCoors LLC and Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI), after years of focusing on craft ales, ciders and imports, are paying more attention to the working man’s drink of choice: cheap beer. The two brewers, which account for three-quarters of the U.S. beer industry, will boost marketing this year for economy brands such as Keystone Light and Busch Light.

During the televised Nascar race on March 2, MillerCoors will begin airing the first national advertising for Keystone Light since 2011. A similar campaign for Miller High Life, which calls itself the “champagne of beers,” starts in April. AB InBev will expand its marketing for Busch to year-round and has introduced a fuller flavored version called Busch Signature Copper Lager.

“Regular guys like to drink beer, there’s no doubt about it,” MillerCoors Chief Marketing Officer Andy England said in an interview. “We’ve struggled with those brands a little bit.”

As persistent unemployment after the recession left blue-collar workers with less money for beer, brewers shifted resources to higher-margin brands such as MillerCoors’s Blue Moon and Leuven, Belgium-based AB InBev’s Bud Light Lime. As the economy rebounds, companies are racing to win with a crowd that is among the most loyal and thirsty of beer drinkers.

the whole story.

February 25, 2014 - There Will Be a Beer Garden on Independence Mall Starting This Summer
Imagine people eating and getting their drink on, just steps from Independence Hall. It happened in the 18th century, and it will happen again this summer.

Chef/restaurateur Michael Schulson has secured a deal with the owners of One South Independence Mall West - the landmark Rohm & Haas building and now the home of Dow Chemical at Sixth and Market Streets - to create an outdoor beer garden across from the Liberty Bell.

Schulson, who owns Sampan, The Saint James, and Atlantic City's Izakaya, will control a staggering 30,000 square feet around the building as Independence Beer Garden, which they hope to open July 4. Plan is to run it seven months a year.

Read the whole story.

February 25, 2014 - Brewers Confronted by California’s Water Crisis
Along with California’s water supplies and public health, the ongoing drought in the state may have yet another victim to claim: beer.

Lagunitas Brewing Company — one of California’s biggest craft breweries — told NPR last week that the drought is threatening the Russian River, where they get the water for their beer. Such sources play a key role in the brewing process — as NPR notes, producers like Coors and Cold Spring Brewing Co. tout their use of water from the Rockies and a Minnesota natural spring, respectively. But if the drought forces Lagunitas to switch from the river to groundwater for its supplies, the heavy minerals in the latter won’t go well with the beer.

“It would be like brewing with Alka-Seltzer,” Jeremy Marshall, Lagunitas’ head brewer, told NPR.

“In some [of the region's wells] there are taste and odor issues,” added Jay Jasperse, chief engineer with the Sonoma County Water Agency. “You have high nitrate concentrations in places, from agricultural industries, and iron and manganese.”

Read the whole story.

February 16, 2014 - Victory Brewing Co. Wins State Sustainability Award
On Saturday, February 8, Victory Brewing Company® (Victory) was awarded the 2014 Sustainable Agriculture Business Leadership Award by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA).

Presented as part of the PASAbilities Leadership Award Series at PASA’s 23rd annual Farming for the Future conference, the honor recognizes Victory’s long-standing commitment to sustainability, innovation and environmental leadership within the community.PJL_1443

“When we joined PASA many years ago, we recognized the group as a sort of refuge of like-minded individuals,” said Bill Covaleski, President and Brewmaster of Victory Brewing Company. “At the time, local production and consumption were strange ideals to many, so we felt the need to band together with this group."

Read the whole press release.

February 15, 2014 - Historic Columbia House in Phoenixville To Become Newest Great American Pub
The family that owns the Great American Pub has put the Columbia House in Phoenixville, Pa., under agreement with an eye toward bringing the popular eatery to the Chester County borough.

The Hemchers anticipate closing on the Victorian building at 148 Bridge St. in a month and has plans to spend roughly $500,000 to renovate the structure on the inside and out.

The 13,555-square-foot property, a landmark in Phoenixville, was put up for sale last year as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding filed by an entity that owned it. The property was initially listed for $1.8 million and then lowered to $1.6 million. The asking price was dropped to $1.4 million and the Hemchers are reportedly paying close to that amount.

Th complete story is here.

February 13, 2014 - Number of US Breweries Reaches All-Time High, Says Beer Institute
The United States saw an ever-higher number of new breweries enter the market in 2013, with a record-high 3,699 active ‘permitted breweries’ overseen by the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). An analysis by the Beer Institute showed that the majority of the 948 new permits issued in 2013 went to brewpubs.

“We have tracked the industry since our preceding trade association was first founded in 1862, and there’s a story in these numbers. Beer is constantly evolving in the U.S., with more small brewers than ever before, more brands being introduced by national brewers and growing interest in imports,” said Chris Thorne, vice president of communications at the Beer Institute.

Read the entire press release.

February 09, 2014 - Anheuser-Busch InBev Is Purchasing New York's Blue Point Brewing Company
Anheuser-Busch InBev, the country’s largest brewer, has agreed to buy the Blue Point Brewing Company in a move that could help it capitalize on the popularity of craft beer.

The deal, announced on Wednesday, would bring a Long Island beer company with a devoted following into a family of brands that includes Budweiser, Stella Artois, Beck’s and – as of last year – Corona. Blue Point, which calls itself “Long Island’s oldest and most award-winning brewery,” is known for its creativity and independent spirit.

Terms of the deal between Blue Point and the United States arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev were not disclosed. It is expected to close in the second quarter.

Read the whole NYT story here.

While there was some outrage in the craft beer community, overall reaction was calm and responsible.

The times, they are a'changin...

February 04, 2014 - Fox News: The Next Beer Snob You Meet Just Might Be a Robot
A team of Spanish researchers from the Autonomous University of Barcelona have created an electronic "tongue" that can tell the difference between beer varieties and the amount of alcohol each variety contains.

The discovery, published last year in the journal Food Chemistry, states that the robotic tongue is accurate 82 percent of the time.

The futuristic tongue was able to tell the difference between Schwarzbier, lager, double malt, Pilsen, Alsatian and low-alcohol beer.

Read the whole story.

February 04, 2014 - Cicerone Certification Program Launches in Canada
In February, the US-based Cicerone Certification Program is launching a version of their materials fully adapted to the Canadian market. The new version makes it easier for Canadians who sell and serve beer for a living to join the ranks of more than 30,000 individuals who have earned the respected Cicerone credentials.

While Canadians have been participating in the Cicerone program at all levels since it was launched in January of 2008, the Cicerone organization has adapted the program to the Canadian market based on input from Canadian brewers, bar owners and educators. Changes affect both the syllabi and exams for the first two levels of the program: Certified Beer Server and Certified Cicerone®. Changes from the US versions include things like drinking age, alcohol distribution and some aspects of beer style descriptions.

“People who live in nearly a dozen countries have earned Cicerone credentials, but the extensive participation in Canada led us to make it our first official international program,” said Ray Daniels, Cicerone Certification Program’s founder and director. “Toronto beer expert and Master Cicerone® Mirella Amato has been instrumental in helping us adapt the program.”

As Canada’s second Certified Cicerone (certified in 2009) the founder of, Steve Riley has found participating in the program lends more credibility to his business. “Having a career in the beer industry, I found the accreditation extremely valuable as it has given me credibility as someone who understands beer,” Riley said. “As the certification is difficult to obtain, it also proves that graduates have made the commitment to improving their beer education.”

At Toronto’s craft beer-focused bar WVRST, beverage manager Pat Thomson requires the bar staff to attain Certified Beer Server certification within three months of hire. “As a modernized beer hall specializing in craft beer, it's paramount that our staff not only enjoy beer, but truly understand it as well,” Thomson said. “The comprehensive Certified Beer Server Syllabus has given our staff the tools and information they need to become knowledgeable and confident beer servers.”

January 31, 2014 - Triumph Brewing Old City Pub Will Be Sold, Reports Michael Klein
The days appear to be numbered for Triumph Brewing Co.'s Old City location, at 117 Chestnut St. FROM MICHAEL KLEIN'S "THE INSIDER":
Paperwork filed with the Liquor Control Board and Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau shows that a partnership has applied for licensing at the brewpub, which opened about seven years ago.

The potential buyers will call the operation Second Story Brewing Co., a play on both the second-floor brewhouse in Old City and the new industry of the investors.

Read the full story, including a guess as to who will be in the brewhouse.

January 31, 2014 - Draft Magazine's America’s 100 Best Beer Bars 2014
Teresa's was the only suburban venue among the honorees and the Hartranft/Maida group hit a double with both Memphis Taproom and Strangeloves being chosen.

Read the complete story here or just the Northeast listings here

January 28, 2014 - Victory Brewing Co.: How It Started & Where It's Going
A little more than two years ago, two men walked unannounced into the West Sadsbury Township building. Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet had a question: How would the small, semi-rural Chester County community feel about hosting Victory Brewing Company’s latest venture. “I just about jumped across the table and kissed the two of them,” recalls Frank Haas, chairman of the township’s board of supervisors.

Friends since fifth grade, Covaleski and Barchet have overseen the Downingtown microbrewery’s unlikely success story. Back in 1985, just out of college, Covaleski began tinkering with his dad’s home-brewing equipment. That same year, he gave Barchet his own kit for Christmas, and things snowballed from there. Ditching their corporate jobs, they dove into the suds industry, working for Baltimore Brewing Company and Virginia’s Old Dominion before officially opening Victory on Feb. 15, 1996.

Eighteen years later to the month, they begin full-scale production at their newest brewery.

Read the whole story here.

January 28, 2014 - West Flanders Brewing & Elysian Brewing Brewpubs Make Super Bowl Wager
(Boulder, CO) – In advance of the upcoming Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, West Flanders Brewing is entering into a “we’re going to win!” wager with its brewpub peers at Seattle, Washington’s revered Elysian Brewing Company.

The terms of the wager are significant.

The head brewer for the brewpub of the winning city’s team will be flown to the losing team’s city, at the loser’s expense. The winning brewer will take over the losing brewery’s equipment and staff and brew a beer of their choice on that brewery’s equipment.

To raise the stakes even higher, on tapping day the host brewery must fly the Denver Broncos, er, winning team’s flag for two weeks or until the beer is gone, whichever comes first.

“My suitcase is packed and I already have the Broncos flag folded up for the trip,” says West Flanders head brewer Brian Lutz. “The Seahawks are a great team, but Manning and the Broncos are going to stampede to victory in New Jersey.”

Lutz says he is compiling a list of premium Colorado-grown ingredients to use in the beer he intends to brew in Seattle. “The beer’s gonna be delicious,” he says, “but it may leave a bad taste in the mouths of Seahawks fans.”

"I cannot wait to see the Seahawks flag raised in Colorado" says Elysian co-founder David Buhler. "The NFL's top-ranked defense against the top-ranked offense makes this one of the most epic Super Bowl games ever. But the ‘hawks secondary is going to dismantle Manning and our offense will be in Beast mode"

West Flanders co-founder Mark Heinritz is not worried about such predictions. “The state of Washington,” Heinritz says, “has excellent breweries, incredible hop fields, and the second-best football team in the NFL. The Broncos will win.”

January 28, 2014 - Craft Brew Alliance CEO Comes out Swinging at Beer Summit: "Don’t Bash Beer"
In a powerful speech, Andy Thomas, the newly-minted CEO of Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), used this year’s annual Beer Summit as a platform to fire specific and cutting remarks at the Brewers Association, the chief representative of the craft brewing movement and one that has tried to classify his products and others as something less than craft.

Taking the stage in front of 300 beer industry professionals and saying he intended to “go back to when we were younger and weren’t afraid to speak our minds,” Thomas leveled a series of charges against high school-style cliques and labels in the beer industry, and instead suggested that brewers worry more about their companies than what they are called by others.

[ ... ]

He emphasized his point, over and over again.

“Don’t bash beer,” he said. “Don’t bash craft beer. Don’t bash crafty beer. Don’t bash domestic beer. Don’t bash imported beer. Don’t bash light beer. Don’t bash brands. Don’t bash brewers. Don’t bash beer consumers. Don’t bash retailers or wholesalers. Don’t bash beer — celebrate beer.”

Read the entire article here. It's worth the time.

January 27, 2014 - Brewbound Reports Sierra Nevada’s 2014 Strategy
Sierra Nevada Brewing had planned to brew one million barrels in 2013. The company had also planned to open its new brewery in North Carolina and grow production more than four percent.

It’ll have to wait a little while.

Sierra Nevada sold 985,000 barrels in 2013 — just shy of the one-million it was hoping for — as growth was stunted by capacity constraints at Sierra’s home base in Chico, Calif....

Read all about Sierra Nevada's plans for the coming year here.

January 24, 2014 - Philly Beer Week Names New Executive Director
Philly Beer Week has a new executive director.

Kristine Kennedy replaces founder Don Russell, who resigned in December. Kennedy made it onto the board's radar because of her work with Fishtown's Penn Treaty Park.

The complete original report is here.

January 17, 2014 - Victory Sends Beer Lover on World Wide Craft Tour
Victory Brewing Company has teamed up with some of the world’s leading craft breweries to send one lucky beer lover, Jordan Flinchum of California, Kentucky, on a beer trip of a lifetime, touring six of the world’s best craft breweries across five countries in four weeks.

Jordan, who won the trip after receiving the most fan votes in a social media contest orchestrated by Victory, as well as 4 Pines Brewing Company (Sydney, Australia), Feral Brewing Company (Perth, Australia), Good George Brewing (Hamilton, New Zealand), Meantime Brewing (London, England) and The Brew (Shanghai, China), will be flown craft beer class (economy) on a round-the-world ticket, stopping at each participating brewery....

Read the complete news release here.

January 15, 2014 - US Brewery Number Climbs Over 2,700
At the end of 2013, the number of breweries in the United States reached the highest level seen in the country since the early 1870s. At the end of December, the Brewers Association counted 2,722 brewing facilities in the US, an increase of almost 400 from the end of 2012.

This brewery count is the number of breweries in operation at the turn of 2014. The number of operating breweries for the calendar year will be somewhat higher to account for breweries that operated for some of the year, but closed during 2013. The operating breweries figure will be released later this winter.

These breweries broke down as follows (for more on these definitions see market segments):
Regional breweries: 120
Microbreweries: 1376
Brewpubs: 1202
Large breweries: 24

Read the complete story here.

January 14, 2014 - Victory Brewing Company Introduces 1337 Ale
Victory Brewing Company is pleased to announce a special beer release, 1337TM Ale, to hit retail shelves along the East Coast in late-February 2014. Scheduled for release around Victory’s 18th anniversary, 1337 Ale is a salute to the legislation that legalized homebrewing with a throwback recipe from co-founders Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet’s early days as homebrewers.

Signed into law in 1979, H.R. 1337 made home-brewed beer for personal or family use exempt from taxation and ignited a movement that led to the birth of a now thriving craft beer industry. At that time, Bill and Ron were more focused on street hockey and Star Wars than hops. However, six years later, armed with a home brew kit, the pair developed a passion for the hobby that would lead them to abandon their corporate jobs to pursue the craft and eventually start Victory Brewing Company.

Now, as Victory continues its expansion into a second full-time production brewery in Parkesburg, Pa., this limited and commemorative ale, packaged in 22 oz. bottles and kegs, also celebrates the brewery’s future.

“Thankfully, 1337 Ale will have more maturity and complexity than we did as a 16-year olds,” laughs President and Brewmaster, Covaleski. “This was a fun beer to dream up; it took Ron and me on a nice walk down Memory Lane, while at the same time, celebrates the next phase of our journey as we head into our 18th year with two breweries and soon-to-be second brewpub under our belt. Hopefully our fans have enjoyed the ride as much as we have.”

January 10, 2014 - The First U.S. Brewed Trappist Brewery Born in New England
With only nine Trappist breweries in existence, beer brewed by monks carries with it high expectations. For a time, Westvleteren XII, a beer brewed by monks at the Abbey of Saint Sixtus in Belgium, was rated as the number one beer in the world on Beer Advocate’s website. The beers from Chimay Brewery, perhaps the Trappist brewery with the biggest footprint overseas, are marketed as premium products in this country.

The monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey were aware of those lofty goals when creating their recipe. Many commercially successful Trappist beers are big, boozy Belgian Tripels or Quadruples; Westvleteren XII is 10.2 percent alcohol by volume. Spencer Brewery settled on what it’s calling a “refectory ale,” named for the dining hall in which the monks take their meals. At St. Joseph’s, the monks will be allowed to drink the beer with Sunday dinner.

The beer is a simple Belgian Ale of 6.5 percent alcohol by volume...

Read the whole story here.

January 09, 2014 - Philadelphia Brewing Co. Embraces Bitcoins
Philadelphia Brewing Company will be the first brewery in the United States to accept the crypto-currency Bitcoin as payment for both retail and wholesale purchases effective immediately.

Retail customers will be able to purchase the popular brewery’s full assortment of beers and ciders, as well as company T-shirts, bottle openers, and other merchandise at their retail outlet on Frankford Avenue, in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Brewing Company, which has been brewing and delivering fresh beer daily since 2007, decided to accept Bitcoin because it is a simple, efficient way to accept electronic payment....

Read the complete story at Brewbound.

January 03, 2014 - Weyerbacher, Sly Fox Achieve Regional Brewery Status
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. in Easton produced 17,352 barrels of beer in 2013, while Sly Fox Brewing Co. in Pottstown turned out 16,070 barrels.

Those production levels put both companies over the arbitrary 15,000 barrel mark which the Brewers Association has set as the point where a Microbrewery becomes a Regional brewery. Weyerbacher cross that line in mid-September, sly Fox in early December.

Both companies came online in 1995, Weyerbacher in the basement of an old livery stable in August and Sly Fox as a neighborhood brewpub in a small shopping center in December. Both have earned awards and recognition for various beers produced over the years.

January 01, 2014 - Why Philadelphia Brewing Co. Is Cooler Than You Think
When lunchtime comes for the people who brew Kenzinger beer, Walt Wit Belgian-style white ale and others, they don't have to leave the Philadelphia Brewing Company. The owner, Bill Barton, makes lunch for his employees almost every day.

Read the entire story and watch the video here.

December 20, 2013 - Red Owl Tavern Revamps Beer List to Feature Craft Beers
Red Owl Tavern, a modern American tavern located at the cross roads of history on Independence Mall, has revamped its beverage program with an all-domestic craft beer menu featuring interesting craft brewers from the Philadelphia area and beyond. Red Owl Tavern also recently launched its Featured Brewer of the Month program with additional menu offerings and special prices on select cans, bottles and drafts. This month’s selected brewer hails from Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains with Shawnee Craft Brewing Co.

Starting this week and running through the end of the month, Red Owl Tavern will feature Shawnee’s Apiarius Dry Pale Ale, a crisp ale brewed with local honey, on draft for $6 {$4 during happy hour} and Shawnee’s Session Porter, a rich and dark beer with chocolate and black currant overtones, in 500ml bottles for $14.

“Shawnee is a very small production brewery and they’re new,” says Red Owl manager David Lash. “But the main reason we chose them for our featured brewer this month is that they’re making really outstanding beers. Shawnee brews with all-natural ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible and they use old-style recipes interpreted for today’s craft beer market, which is something that we value at Red Owl. ”

Other craft beers currently on tap at Red Owl Tavern include:
Philadelphia Brewing Co. Walt Wit (PA)
Victory Prima Pils (PA)
Left Hand Milk Stout (CO)
River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale (NJ) Long Trail Hibernator (VT)
Brewer’s Art Ozzie Ale (MD)
Troegs Mad Elf (PA)

The Featured Brewer of the Month will be something to look forward to each month at Red Owl Tavern, with careful selections from each brewery. Look for more beer-related news to surface from Red Owl Tavern as they expand their well-considered all-domestic beer program and continue to explore the craft beer scene.

Featured Brewer of the Month in January will be Sly Fox Brewery of Pottstown, PA. Red Owl Tavern will offer Helles Golden Lager by the can for $3 and Route 113 IPA on draft for $4.

December 18, 2013 - Don Russell Quits Philly Beer Week Position
(read the original article by Danya Henninger here.)
Big Philly Beer Week news: Don Russell has stepped down from his position as executive director of the popular beer festival. The immensely popular citywide festival is gearing up for its seventh year (it runs May 30-June 8, 2014) and Russell (aka Joe Sixpack of the Daily News) has been involved since its inception.

We reached out to Philly Beer Week chairman of the board of directors William Reed (who is also co-owner of Johnny Brenda’s and Standard Tap) and to Don Russell himself to find out what led to the split. It appears Russell and the board couldn’t come to terms on salary.

“I’m totally proud of Philly Beer Week,” Russell told us. “I loved all the work I did to build it into what it became - an unprecedented event! But over time, specifically the past couple of months, it became clear to me that the majority of the board of directors didn’t share my vision for PBW - specifically, that they didn’t value my time or work that reflect my degree of expertise and the effort I put into it.”

For Russell, Philly Beer Week was a fulltime job. He isn’t quite sure what he’ll be doing next (other than enjoying the holidays with friends and family), but he did want us to make sure to stress that his Daily News column will continue. “Joe Sixpack has been around for 17 years and it’s not going anywhere.”

Here’s what Reed told us:

Don was part of PBW from the beginning. His collaboration with Bruce Nichols and Tom Peters helped launch what is the first and best Beer Week celebration. It's been ripped off, err... emulated a hundred times over, across the country and abroad.

"Philly Beer Week is the work of many people, and Don was always a big part of the leadership and vision. His role of Executive Director was the sole paid position of what's essentially a grassroots, volunteer-run organization.

"The board of directors and Don couldn't agree on fair compensation for the coming year and I believe Don felt his work undervalued.

"It's a big loss to us at PBW. Don has been a friend to most of us on the board for many years. He's earned my respect and admiration on a professional level and I'm sorry to see him resign.

"The board is currently searching for a new executive director, but there’s no need to worry, beer lovers: Philly Beer Week will continue to be as awesome as ever. As Reed says, “There are so many talented people and too many years of building up the beer community in Philadelphia to let this be a problem.”

December 17, 2013 - Craft Brewers’ Economic Contribution Reaches $34 Billion
According to a new analysis by the Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade association that represents the majority of U.S. breweries—small and independent American craft brewers contributed $33.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012.

The figure is derived from the total impact of beer brewed by craft brewers as it moves through the three-tier system (breweries, wholesalers and retailers), as well as all non-beer products that brewpub restaurants sell.

“With a strong presence across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, craft breweries are a vibrant and flourishing economic force at the local, state and national level,” said Bart Watson, staff economist, Brewers Association. “As consumers continue to demand a wide range of high quality, full-flavored beers, small and independent craft brewers are meeting this growing demand with innovative offerings, creating high levels of economic value in the process.”

In addition to the national impact, the BA examined output of the craft brewing industry by state, as well as the state economic contribution per capita for adults over 21.

Top Five States (2012)
1.California - $4.7 billion
2. Texas - $2.3 billion
3. New York - $2.2 billion
4. Pennsylvania - $2.0 billion
5. Colorado - $1.6 billion

December 12, 2013 - Manatawny Still Works Craft Distillery Set to Open in Early February
Have you ever asked yourself, “What if ?” That’s exactly what founding partners John Giannopoulos, Jeff Vaughan, Paul Czachor, Al Matarazzo and Derek Menaldino asked themselves when they first discussed opening a craft distillery in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Fast forward twelve months from that casual conversation and Manatawny Still Works, the first craft, small-batch distillery in Montgomery County since 1969, will be opening to the public in February, 2014.

The 7,500 square foot facility is located behind the Pottstown Municipal Airport in the Circle of Progress Industrial Park on the banks of Manatawny Creek.

Manatawny Still Works (MSW) has entered into a working relationship with their neighbor on the Circle, award-winning craft brewery Sly Fox Brewing Company. The brewery will be producing the wash– the first step in whiskey production– from their state-of-the-art brewhouse.

MSW distiller Max Pfeffer, formerly lead brewer at Sly Fox Brewing Company, will run the day-to-day operations at the new distillery. "To make great whiskey, you have to start with great beer," says Pfeffer who is working on the installation of the company’s new still. "By focusing on the best ingredients, you’ve got a head start on bottling great spirits. Pfeffer studied Chemical Engineering at Penn State University before completing the prestigious, Master Brewer Program at UCDavis in California. He honed his skills and furthered his passion with stops at Victory Brewing Company and Sly Fox before accepting responsibility of operating Manatawny Still Works’ brand new, Italian-made,1,200 liter still from Barison Industry.

"There is a lot of history with liquor and spirits in Pennsylvania, says Pfeffer. "Not only will we concentrate on the more traditional spirits like vodka, rum, and whiskey but we’ll do some seasonal small batches that will only be available in our tasting room at the distillery. Max isn’t revealing too many of his secret recipes but he says, "I’ve got a few things up my sleeve, so stop in, get a tour of our facilities and taste the difference."

The barrels are stacked and awaiting the first batches to come off the stills. MSW will launch with an un-aged white whiskey aptly named, Virgin Whiskey and a light rum called Sedition; whiskey fans will have to wait two years for the new distillery’s signature spirit, Pennsylvania Whiskey.


Manhattan Still Works (320 Circle of Progress Drive, Suite 104 Pottstown, PA 19464 484.624.8271 is a new distillery bottling the highest quality hand-crafted spirits in small batches. The distillery is situated in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania on the banks of Manatawny Creek -whose Lenape name literally means, "the place we meet to drink."

December 11, 2013 - Philly Beer Week Raffle Event Postponed
PHILADELPHIA, PA – We know Philly beer drinkers are hearty souls and willing to trudge through snow for their favorite pint. Still, we think everyone will have a better time if they don’t have to worry about getting home after a fun night at the taps. With that in mind, we cancelled the original raffle date scheduled for December 10, at 7 p.m and rescheduled it for Saturday, December 21 at 2 p.m., Philly Beer Week (PBW) will host their annual Win a Trip to Belgium Raffle at Field House (1150 Filbert Street, 215-629-1520).

Online ticket sales will continue through December 20 – and, because we are so sorry to disappoint you, additional prizes have been added: an expenses-paid pub crawl with Joe Sixpack for two guests, including a chauffeured trip to the best bars in Philadelphia; a full case of Philly Beer Week’s 2014 collaborative brew; and various merchandise and gift cards from our favorite participating breweries and restaurants.

Guests will also have an opportunity to mingle and “vote” for their favorite local brewers. The grand prize remains unchanged as one lucky winner will travel to Belgium, courtesy of importer Vanberg & DeWulf, with his or her favorite brewer and consult on Philly Beer Week’s annual Belgo Collaboration beer, this year with Belgium’s youngest female brewer, Anne Catherine Dilewyns of Brouwerij Dilewyns.

Raffle tickets are $5 each, or 5 for $20. They can be purchased online before the event at ( Secondary prizes, including baskets of cheer, gift certificates from local bars and restaurants, and event tickets, will also be awarded.

The PBW 2014 Collaborative Brew will be created in cooperation with Brouwerij Dilewyns and imported by Vanberg & DeWulf, who will provide the winner’s and brewer’s airline tickets and hotel rooms for the whirlwind expedition, and previously partnered with PBW and Brasserie Dupont in 2012.

December 09, 2013 - Victory Brewing Co. Expanding National and International Distribution Footprint
Victory Brewing Company is pleased to announce that it will expand its national and international distribution footprint to include Idaho, Arizona and Kentucky, as well as the United Kingdom, Cayman Islands and Sweden. The brewery also has realigned and expanded its current distribution partners in Oregon and Washington state.

Beginning this month, Victory’s beer will be available in Oregon, Grand Cayman Island, Sweden and the UK. In January, Arizona, Idaho and Kentucky will be added to the fold.

“Many fans in these markets have long-awaited this news and we’re excited to finally make it official,” said Steve German, vice president of sales and distribution. “We're looking forward to working with our new partners, and of course, excited by the opportunity to introduce our brand to new fans in states and countries around the world.”

Victory will launch in these markets first with year-round brands: HopDeviI IPA, Headwaters Pale Ale, Prima Pils, Golden Monkey, DirtWolf and Storm King. The brewery will look to add its seasonal lineup over time.

With the addition of these new territories, Victory’s national distribution footprint will include 34 states as well as the District of Columbia; the brand will be available internationally at select locations in seven countries around the world.

"For more than 17 years, Victory has maintained a commitment to crafting delicious, full-flavored beer," German continued. "With great beer now flowing from our second brewery in Parkesburg, we're excited to share these unique flavors and recipes that our longtime fans have supported with a wider audience of craft beer lovers."

Once fully operational, the new Parkesburg brewery, which is located just 17 miles from the Downingtown brewery and headquarters, will double Victory’s production capacity.

December 04, 2013 - End of an Era: Sugar Mom's Turns Out the Lights
One of the pioneer good beer bars in Philadelphia is done. Sic transit Gloria...

FooBooz has the story

November 21, 2013 - On-Premise Beer Sales Evolving Rapidly; Craft Beer Is a Critical Factor
Food industry consulting firm Technomic released a study today showing that craft beer selection alone is enough to draw 49 percent of consumers to a restaurant.

Additionally, more than half of those surveyed agreed a wide variety of craft beer is an important factor in getting them through the door of any licensed establishment, whether it’s a casual dining stop or a high-end craft beer bar.

More details and the Technomic news release here.

November 17, 2013 - More Than 1 Million Homebrewers Brew 2 Million Barrels Yearly
Boulder, CO • November 12, 2013 – The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) released results of a first-ever nationwide homebrewer survey today, a break-down of demographics, brewing habits and shopping behaviors of American homebrewers.

According to the survey, there are an estimated 1.2 million homebrewers in the United States, two-thirds of who began brewing in 2005 or later.

“The homebrewing community is in every corner of the country and highly engaged in this hobby,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association. “From the amount of money spent on supplies to the sheer number of homebrewers, it’s clear this is a growing trend and people are incredibly interested in learning about and making their own brews at home.”

Survey results include:

· Demographics: The average homebrewer is 40 years old, with most (60 percent) falling between 30 and 49 years old. The majority of homebrewers are married or in a domestic partnership (78 percent), have a college degree or some form of higher education (69 percent), and are highly affluent—nearly 60 percent of all homebrewers have household incomes of $75,000 or more.
· Location: Homebrewers are fairly evenly spread across the country, with the slight plurality congregated in the West (31 percent), followed by the South (26 percent), Midwest (23 percent) and the fewest in the Northeast (17 percent).
· Production: In terms of brew production, homebrewers mainly stick to beer—60 percent of respondents only brew beer at home, compared to wine, mead or cider. AHA members and people affiliated with the AHA on average brewed nearly 10 batches of beer per year, at 7 gallons a batch, which is 15 percent more batches and nearly 30 percent more volume than homebrewers who were not affiliated with the AHA. Collectively, homebrewers produce more than 2 million barrels of brew a year, which represents a small but sizeable portion (1 percent) of total U.S. production.
· Retail: Nearly all homebrewers (95 percent) shop in two local homebrew stores eight or nine times a year, while a majority (80 percent) also shops in three online stores five times a year. On average, homebrewers spend $800 a year—about $460 on general supplies and ingredients, and $330 on major equipment.
The survey was completed by more than 18,000 homebrewers via an online survey from July 30 to September 3, 2013. Of the respondents, 65 percent were members of the AHA, and 35 percent were unaffiliated homebrewers
November 15, 2013 - PUC Grants Victory Brewing Discounted Wastewater Treatment Rate in Parkesburg
Hoist one for the Victory Brewing Co.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday approved a discounted wastewater treatment rate that should save the Downingtown craft brewer about 21 percent on its monthly sewer bill at its new facility in western Chester County.

The Pennsylvania American Water Co. asked the PUC to approve the special bulk rate now given to Arcelor Mittal, which operates a steel mill in Coatesville. The brewer will save about $1,836 off its estimated monthly sewer bill of $8,695 under the typical industrial rate.

The utility argued that the addition of the brewery on Lower Valley Road in West Sadsbury Township "will provide economic benefits to the Coatesville area and help bear the current and future costs of providing wastewater service for all customers of the Coatesville operations," according to the PUC staff recommendation.

Victory built the brewhouse in an existing 212,000-square-foot building near Parkesburg. Initial production is expected to be 225,000 barrels a year....

Read more here.
November 13, 2013 - New Website Helps Beer Lovers Plan Their Ultimate Tasting Trip
FROM THE NEWS RELEASE:, the ultimate compilation of brewery information, has gone online and promises to make beer tourism a one-stop planning experience.

According to the Brewer’s Association, there are 2,538 breweries and brewpubs operating in the country (the most since the 1880s) Brew Trail compiles every brewery and brewpub in the country – over 2,500 - allowing beer lovers to quickly and seamlessly plan their ultimate tasting trip. Tour schedules, tasting room hours, fees and other info is all available on one site for the first time ever.

With Brew Trail’s Trip Planner, aficionados can plot out a multi-state tour or simply check out some new breweries in town, easily incorporating each brewery’s schedule to cover ground most efficiently. It’s all free, and it’s optimized for mobile devices. From pilsners in Portland to stouts in St. Louis, Brew Trail will help plan a fantastic expedition along America’s beer trail.

“It’s been a true labor of love. A very, very detailed labor of love,” said Brew Trail co-founder Chris Margonis. “Why did we start the site? My buddy and I love beer, it’s as simple as that. And when we realized there weren’t any sites like this – a one-stop spot for all the brewery details along with brewery tour and tasting room times, we devoted ourselves even more to our hobby.

"We want Brew Trail to be seen as a promotional asset for all craft breweries - to help them level the playing field and gain recognition among the big boys. And we think Brew Trail also has the potential to become an excellent tool for state and local tourism boards as more and more localities launch their own beer trails.”

November 13, 2013 - Sam Adams, Ted's Cigars Will Create Beer-Infused Cigar
Ever wanted to smoke your beer and drink it too? Sam Adams is partnering with Ted’s Cigars to create a sweet and spicy beer infused cigar.

“Aficionados of both cigars and beer know that subtle flavors and delicate touches can elevate the drinking or smoking experience tenfold,” announced Ted Jackson, president of Ted’s Cigars. “It’s exciting for us to work with such an innovative brewery to create these one-of-a-kind cigars.”

Sam Adams’ limited release Utopia brew, a non-carbonated beverage with vanilla and maple flavors, will lend its signature flavor to the cigar. Only 15,000 bottles of Utopia will be released during the 2013 season. At $199 a bottle, it may be more economical to sample the beverage by smoking it.

Ted’s Cigars, a major wholesale and online distributor of cigars, carries several booze-infused blends on its roster including Maker’s Mark bourbon and Patron Anjeo tequila. The new Sam Adams cigars are hand rolled in the Dominican Republic, then shipped to Ted Cigars’ Louisville headquarters to receive their custom ale infusion.

Some might find this culinary combo unusual but Jackson thinks the new mix will be a delectable fit. “Cigars and craft beer, particularly a complex brew like Utopias, have more in common than most people would imagine and complement each other quite well.”

November 08, 2013 - You Can Win a Trip to Belgium with a Local Brewer
PHILADELPHIA, PA – On Tuesday, December 10 at 7 p.m., Philly Beer Week (PBW) 2014 will host their annual Win a Trip to Belgium Raffle at Field House (1150 Filbert Street, 215-629-1520).

Guests will have an opportunity to mingle and “vote” for their favorite local brewers. One lucky winner will travel to Belgium with his or her favorite to help brew Philly Beer Week’s annual Belgo Collaboration beer, this year with Belgium’s youngest female brewer, Anne Catherine Dilewyns of Brouwerij Dilewyns.

Raffle tickets are $5 each, or 5 for $20. They can be purchased online before the event at ( Secondary prizes, including baskets of cheer, gift certificates from local bars and restaurants, and event tickets, will also be awarded.

“Our annual trip to Belgium is one of the high-water marks of the pre-PBW season, and we look forward to another great turn-out for this exciting event,” says PBW Executive Director Don Russell. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, both for the lucky winner and for the brewer chosen to accompany him or her, and every year we look forward to offering them this chance – and to reaping the delicious benefits when we unveil their special beer at Opening Tap.”

The PBW 2014 Collaborative Brew will be created in cooperation with Brouwerij Dilewyns and imported by Vanberg & DeWulf, who will provide the winner’s and brewer’s airline tickets and hotel rooms for the whirlwind expedition, and previously partnered with PBW and Brasserie Dupont in 2012. This year’s participating breweries and representatives are:

Scott Morrison of Barren Hill ·
Jason Kohser of Boxcar ·
Justin Low of Dock Street ·
Tim Hawn of Dogfish Head ·
Mark Braunwarth of Evil Genius ·
Josh Bushey of Fegley’s Brew Works ·
Barry Hosten of Flying Fish ·
Matt “Lothar” Knuttel of Naked ·
Jeremy Myers of Neshaminy Creek ·
Gordon Grubb of Nodding Head ·
Ben Schamberg of Philadelphia Brewing ·
Rob DeMarian of Prism ·
Chris Rakow of River Horse ·
Scott Rudich of Round Guys ·
Tim Patton of Saint Benjamin ·
Matt Lindenmouth of Saucony Creek ·
Chris de Gasperis of Shawnee Craft ·
Brian O’Reilly of Sly Fox ·
Brett Kinzer of Stoudt’s ·
Guy Hagner of Susquehanna ·
Josh Gambrel of Triumph ·
John Trogner of Troegs ·
Jordan Sunseri of Victory ·
Tom Kehoe of Yards

NOTE: Recent winners Iron Hill and Weyerbacher are sitting out of this year’s raffle.

At the raffle event, guests will have the chance to mix and mingle with the participating brewers, and enjoy specialty brews from each. The Field House will serve its popular menu of beer-friendly pub fare, along with 40 local draughts.

Philly Beer Week 2014 will be held from Friday, May 30 until Sunday, June 8. Established in 2008 as a celebration of America’s Best Beer-Drinking City, PBW is the largest beer event of its kind in the United States, featuring hundreds of festivals, dinners, tours, pub crawls, tastings and meet-the-brewer nights throughout greater Philadelphia. PBW highlights the region’s diverse beer scene – its world-class breweries, neighborhood taverns, trend-setting restaurants and rich beer culture and history.

For more information about Philly Beer Week, including the ever-expanding schedule of events both during PBW and throughout the year, a list of participants and other details, please visit, follow us on Twitter (@PhillyBeerWeek) and like us on Facebook.

About Brouwerij Dilewyns: Founded in the 1800s, Brouwerij Dilewyns endured the loss of their copper brewing kettles to ammunition plants during the two World Wars and was reopened by contemporary founder Vincent Dilewyns in 1999. Though he began by brewing beers for his own personal consumption, demand quickly expanded and Brouwerij Dilewyns has grown exponentially since then, from moving to a new brewery in 2011 to Vincent passing along his brewing tradition to his daughters, Anne-Catherine and Claire. They are best known for their Vicar Tripel, an easy-drinking tripel with good balance between hops and malt that pairs beautifully with seafood and shellfish.

About Vanberg & DeWulf: Following a three-year stay in Belgium, founders Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield formed Vanberg & DeWulf more than 30 years ago. Considered pioneers in bringing Belgian beer styles to the American market, Vanberg & DeWulf introduced Americans to Duvel, Rodenbach, Frank Boon’s lambics and many other now-well-known Belgian imports. Today, they work exclusively with independent, family-run and artisanal breweries and are dedicated to educating beer enthusiasts about the rich and varied beer culture of Belgium.

November 01, 2013 - A Taste of History: the Return of Dock Street Amber Ale
On Tuesday, November 26, Dock Street Brewery is re-releasing the Amber Ale, one of our award-winning classics - and the beer that started it all. One of the first microbreweries in the USA, Dock Street opened in 1985 with one beer that set the bar high for the new wave of American brewing.

Today, our iconic Amber Ale is still brewed with Cascade Hops and Two Row Pale and Caramel malts, and is then dry-hopped lending a bright, crisp hoppiness to a remarkably complex and balanced brew. Dry-hopping this classic top-fermented ale is an homage to the style’s traditional recipe, and adds layers of hop nuances that is a staple of American Craft Brewing.

In the past two decades, we’ve expanded our repertoire with countless new favorites, limited release collaborations with the likes of Four Seasons and Whole Foods, and plenty of groundbreaking experimental styles.

But, since reopening in West Philadelphia in 2007, we have never brewed our original Amber Ale - until now! We’re revisiting an old favorite, and it’s too good not to share.

October 23, 2013 - Learn To Homebrew Day on Tap for Nov. 2
Boulder, CO • October 16, 2013—On November 2, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) celebrates the 14th annual Learn To Homebrew Day. The annual global event provides the opportunity for people to learn how to brew or teach others how to make beer.

Participating in Learn to Homebrew Day is as simple as finding a local event on the AHA website. There are more than 80 events taking place at homebrew shops, breweries and garages across the nation. Many local homebrew clubs, breweries and shops will have demonstrations and classes for beginners. Individuals can also organize an event, register it online, invite friends and brew at home.

"Learn to Homebrew Day shows people that homebrewing is an easy and fun hobby that anyone can pick up and enjoy," said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association. "The homebrewing community has added many new enthusiasts over the past decade-some of whom found their passion for making their own brews at a Learn to Homebrew Day event."

There's more. Read the complete news release.

October 17, 2013 - Duvel Moortgat to Acquire Boulevard Brewing
Duvel Moortgat, the Belgian owners of Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, N.Y. will purchase Boulevard Brewing Company of Kansas City, Mo. in a deal that will combine one of the country’s largest craft breweries with the domestic and import branches of a high-end international brewing conglomerate in a separate holding company focused on U.S. sales.

The deal, announced Thursday afternoon, is expected to close before the end of the year. While terms were not disclosed, industry sources have estimated its value as at least $100 million.

Michel Moortgat, the chief executive officer of Duvel Moortgat, said the acquisition is initially being financed with bank debt that the company plans on reimbursing with cash flow from the parent company’s international business.

Boulevard, which sold 173,793 barrels of beer in 2012, and Brewery Ommegang, which sold 37,800 hectoliters (approximately 32,200 barrels), will be rolled into a holding company that will also control all of Duvel Moortgat’s import brands in the U.S. In 2012, the company sold a combined 63,200 hectoliters (about 53,800 barrels) in the U.S.

[ ... ]

The deal will comprise the first major craft brewery acquisition since Goose Island was purchased by Anheuser-Busch InBev in March 2011, for $38.8 million.
Read the whoe story.

October 13, 2013 - Neshaminy Creek, Stewart's, Tröegs, Sly Fox & Yards Pace Local GABF Results
Led by Gold Medals for Neshaminy Creek Brewing, Stewart's Brewing and Tröegs Brewing and double wins by Sly Fox Beer, Troegs and Yards Brewing, Philadelphia regional breweries earned 13 medals at yesterday's Great American Beer Festival Awards Ceremony in Denver. Four medals won by other Pennsylvania breweries brought the tri-state region's total to 17.

Tröegs Tröegenator Double Bock took its 4th Gold Medal since 2006 (it also won two Silvers during that stretch) in the Bock category and the brewery also took Bronze for Sunshine Pils in the German-style Pilsener category. Sly Fox Grisette took a Silver (Belgian and French-Style Ale) and Oktoberfest won Bronze (Vienna-Style Lager). Yards Brawler earned Silver in the English-Style Mild grouping and Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce got Bronze in the Indigenous Beer category. Neshaminy Creek's Gold Medal was for Chuchville Lager (Vienna-Style Lager) and Stewart's Gold was for Stumblin' Monk (Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Beer).

Silver medals were won by Dogfish Head Midas Touch (Specialty Honey Beer), Flying Fish OktoberFish (American-style Amber Lager), McKenzie Dark and Stormy (Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer), Iron Hill Russian Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout) and Rock Bottom KOP The Hammer (Baltic Porter).

Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, Erie's Lavery Brewing Liopold Ior took Gold (French-and Belgian-Style Saison), Bloomsburg's Marley's Brewery and Grill Pack Dog Peanut Butter Ale earned a Bronze (Specialty Beer), Pittsburgh's Penn Brewing Chocolate Meltdown won Bronze (Chocolate Beer) and Meadville's Voodoo Brewing Big Black Voodoo Daddy won Silver (aged beer).

252 medals were awarded, chosen from 4,809 competition entries from 745 breweries, hailing from 49 states, plus Washington, D.C.

A final note: for the last several years, Pennsylvania has always been the largest medal-winning state in the East, but its total of 14 for 2013 was matched Virginia, due primarily to six wins by the incredible Devil's Backbone Brewing Co. Base Camp and three by Port River Brewing.--JACK CURTIN

*Beer Yard GABF statistics differ from the official ones posted by the Brewers Association every year because we assign wins to the actual location the beers were brewed rather than the corporate headquarter address of multi-location brewers. For more about that and additional GABF commentary, go to Jack Curtin's Liquid Diet Online.

October 13, 2013 - 252 Medals Awarded, 230 First-Time Participants Compete @ GABF 2013
Boulder, CO • October 12, 2013—The 2013 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 252 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, including GABF Pro-Am medals. Presented by the Brewers Association, GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing excellence. In its 27th year, the 2013 competition surpassed all previous participation records, setting the bar high.

To accommodate growth, this year's GABF competition saw its biggest panel of judges ever, with 201 beer experts from 11 countries evaluating 4,809 entries, with assistance from more than 130 competition volunteers.

Award-winning brewers received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 84 beer categories covering 138 different beer styles (encompassing subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the U.S. Winners were chosen from 4,809 competition entries from 745 breweries, hailing from 49 states, plus Washington, D.C.

2013 Brewery and Brewer of the Year Awards

Very Small Brewing Company and Very Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year: Baker City Brewing Company, Marks Lanham and Eli Dickison

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year: Devils Backbone Brewing Company - Basecamp, Jason Oliver

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year: Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Matt Brynildson

Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year: Sandlot; John, Tom, Bill & Addison

Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year: Gella’s Diner & Lb Brewing Company, Gerald Wyman

Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year: Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Julian Shrago and Ian McCall

Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year: Pelican Brewing Company, Darron Welch and Steve Panos

Brewpub Group and Brewpub Group Brewer of the Year: Rock Bottom Brewery, Team Rock Bottom

Overall Competition Highlights:
Reflecting craft brewing's increasing popularity nationwide, across state and regional borders, overall competition highlights include:

Twenty-four first-time entering breweries won awards. During the registration process, 230 breweries self-identified as first-time entrants.

There was a tie for most gold medals won, three each for Left Hand Brewing Co. (Longmont, Colo.) and for Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (Paso Robles, Calif.).

New Jersey topped the list of ratio of medals to entries by state, with one medal won among seven entries, a 14.3% ratio. Delaware had a 13% winning ratio, with three medals won among 23 entries. California, the state with the highest number of beer entries—at 885—won 52 medals for a 5.9% ratio of medals to entries.

Style Categories
Since 2001, the most-entered category has been American-Style India Pale Ale (IPA), which saw 252 entries in 2013. The top five entered categories were:
American-Style India Pale Ale (252 entries)
Imperial India Pale Ale (149 entries)
Herb and Spice Beer (134 entries)
American-Style Pale Ale (124 entries)
American-Style Strong Pale Ale (120 entries)

2013 Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition:
Gold, silver and bronze medals were also awarded in the GABF Pro-Am competition, which pairs amateur brewers with professional brewers, who scale up the award-winning homebrew recipes. The medal winners, including the winning professional brewers and American Homebrewers Association (AHA) member homebrewers were:

Gold: Poblano, Cigar City Brewing Brewmaster: Wayne Wambles, Cigar City, and AHA member Jeff Gladish

Silver: Charlie’s Brown, New Belgium Brewing Co. Brewmaster: Peter Bouckaert/Grady Hull, New Belgium Brewing Co., and AHA member Mike Formisan

Bronze: Oatmeal Stout, Upslope Brewing Co. Brewmaster: Alex Violette, Upslope Brewing Co., and AHA member Derek Ordway

2013 Great American Beer Festival Statistics: 624 breweries in the festival hall, More than 3,100 beers served at the festival, 49,000 attendees, More than 2,800 volunteers,
745 breweries in the competition from 49 states, plus Washington, D.C; 4,809 beers judged (includes 100 Pro-Am competition entries), a 12 percent increase over 2012; 84 style categories judged, plus the Pro-Am competition; 201 judges from 11 countries
Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 51; Category with highest number of entries: American-Style India Pale Ale: 252.

October 10, 2013 - Government Shutdown Slows the Pace of Craft Growth
As pundits on the Potomac continue to bemoan the government shutdown and tourists squint at national monuments and parks from a distance, craft brewers are also being affected by the ongoing furloughing of federal employees.

Like the rest of the nation’s federal workers, operations at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), have stalled. This means that no new breweries, products or labels can be approved by the TTB, preventing them from legally entering the marketplace....

Aside from mandating rules and regulations for the beer industry, the TTB also conducts daily reviews of permits for new business proposals and new products, including package labeling. Until the government returns to standard operations, the TTB won’t respond to any kinds of inquiries, according to a notice on its website.

The entire article is here. And here's another take.

October 04, 2013 - Beer Executives Meet in Las Vegas
Five of the beer industry’s top executives, all staunch competitors, agreed on one thing at the 76th annual National Beer Wholesaler’s Convention: continued, overall volume declines of the category are cause for serious concern.

So on Tuesday, when a panel featuring Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione, Anheuser-Busch president Luiz Edmond, Crown Imports president Bill Hackett, MillerCoors CEO Tom Long and Heineken USA CEO Dolf van den Brink took the stage to address thousands of U.S. beer distributors, it was with an eye toward ways to lessen the bleeding.

“Volume concerns are a real issue,” said Long. “Our aim in putting together MillerCoors was to grow the size and value of the entire beer category. We are doing a good job of driving the value of the business but the volume has been down.” <

Overall beer volumes have been in decline throughout the year. Industry-wide sales are down 2.1 percent and domestic brewery depletions are down 3.3 percent through August, according to trade publication Beer Marketer’s Insights.

Although total beer volumes increased from 205 million barrels to 207 million barrels in 2012, most industry professionals will claim that it was an anomaly and note the three previous years of declines. If this year’s trends continue, the industry will lose about 10 million barrels alone in 2013.

So what’s to blame? Large domestic brewers have pointed out poor weather, the loss of drinking occasions to wine and spirits and the growing consumer shift towards higher alcohol craft beers.

While that shift has helped Calagione, he said that he’d still like to see overall beer consumption improve. >p>“The craft beer community recognizes that we do need to see overall beer trends return to the positive,” he said. “We are hopeful that we can start getting some of that share back from liquor and wine.”

Read it all, including Sam's surprising argument, here.

October 01, 2013 - Jurado Will Join Abita
Jaime Jurado will become Director of Brewing Operations for the Abita Brewing Co. in New Orleans in November.

Jurado sent 15 years with The Gambrinus Company breweries and held that same title when he left to help build and launch the Susquehanna Brewing Co. in January 2012. He announced he was leaving that company this past August.

September 27, 2013 - BA Economist Says No Reason to Fear Craft Beer "Bubble"
One of the most frequently asked questions surrounding the craft brewing industry these days is: “are we in a bubble, and if so, when will it pop?” I’ll cut straight to the chase and give the short answer: I see little to no evidence that craft is in a bubble. Now for the longer answer…

First, let’s define a bubble. A bubble is a period of overinvestment where asset prices aren’t aligned with reality. In other words, people are betting on a future that won’t exist. Sadly, too many Americans now understand this all too clearly, having invested in a housing market that they assumed could only go up. What evidence is there that craft is in a similar situation; that brewers and investors are betting more than they should on a future that won’t exist?

[ ... ]

How long can craft keep gobbling up share points at the rate of 1 or 2 points a year? The answer: as long as the consumer demand for full-flavored beer continues, and it shows no signs of slowing. The craft revolution isn’t just built on innovative businesses, it stems primarily from a changing set of consumer preferences away from light adjunct lagers and toward full-flavored beers for more occasions. Some of this demand is being met by new brands from large brewers, but market statistics continue to show that the vast majority is being met by local craft brewers.

Read the entire blog post.

September 20, 2013 - Dogfish Head Is Opening a Hotel
Here at Dogfish Head, we have places to eat, places to drink and places to play. The missing link? A place to stay.

We're fixin' to change that. In late spring of 2014, the 16-room Dogfish Inn will open in downtown Lewes, Del., at what is now the Vesuvio Motel.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of craft beer fans from around the world make a pilgrimage to Dogfish Head’s coastal Delaware brewpub and brewery. For nearly a decade, we've helped host some of these folks at the Dogfish Head Brewmaster's Suite at the lovely Inn at Canal Square. Our migration a few boat-lengths down the canal will give us a bigger home base dedicated to exploring all of the off-centered opportunities in this beautiful part of the state....

Read the full story.

September 19, 2013 - Saison de Rose Debuts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Philadelphia, PA—To help raise funds and awareness for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the brewers at Free Will Brewing Co. partnered with some of Philly’s top female beer personalities for an inspiring pink beer collaboration in support of Penn Medicine’s Rena Rowan Breast Center. The charitable brew, Saison de Rose, will hit the Philadelphia craft beer market late September 2013 with an official Saison de Rose Release Party & Free Will Weekend at Devil’s Den the weekend of Friday, October 4 through Sunday, October 6.

When Free Will Assistant Brewer David Wood and Philadelphia craft beer bar owner Erin Wallace [Devil’s Den, Barren Hill Tavern, Old Eagle Tavern] worked together during a Philly Beer Week event, little did they know that it would be the precursor to a charitable collaboration between Free Will and four of the best female beer personalities in Philadelphia. Wood brought the idea of brewing a special charitable pink beer for breast cancer awareness month to the rest of the brewers at Free Will, while Wallace gathered a group of female beer experts like herself.

That group includes Wallace; Marnie Old, sommelier, author, and Cheap Buzz columnist in Philadelphia’s Daily News; Tara Nurin, Ale Street News columnist, Pink Boots Society historian, and Cicerone Certified Beer Server, and Carolyn Smagalski, an international freelance beer journalist, Certified International Beer Judge and Cicerone Certified Beer Server.

Their goal was to brew a beer for October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month and they came up with Saison de Rose (season of pink), a true collaboration developed after many batches and flavor adjustments from the women’s expert palates.

Saison de Rose will be available at Devil’s Den in South Philly, Old Eagle Tavern in Manayunk, and Barren Hill Tavern in Lafayette Hill, as well as numerous other craft beer destinations throughout the city. Saison de Rose will also be featured at the Midtown Fall Festival, Sunday, October 6. Every keg and every bottle bought by bottle shops and bars will benefit Rena Rowan Breast Center. $1 from every pint sold will benefit the charity with an estimated donation of $10,000 from the entire Saison de Rose project, plus additional donations from participating bars.

September 18, 2013 - Barren Hill Tavern Head Brewer Scott Morrison Announces His Beers
Lafayette Hill, PA—While owner Erin Wallace is transforming the old General Lafayette Inn into Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery, Head Brewer Scott Morrison has started the brewing process.

Head Brewer Scott Morrison has announced a list of the first beers coming from Barren Hill Tavern— beers that steer away from the conventional or expected. The beers are a sampling of global styles, experimenting with water variations, doubles, triples, different barleys and hops, and original hybrid creations.

Currently in the tanks and the first anticipated taps will be Double Berliner Weisse—a 6% ABV wheat beer; and Burton IPA—an English style IPA, dry hopped with English East Kent Golding and brewed with water that Morrison manipulated to recreate this famous water in Burton Upon Trent, a town in England straddling the River Trent, known for breweries.

The next brews to debut will be German Imperial Pilsner—stronger than an ordinary pilsner, dry hopped with Hallertau Hersbrucker hops; and Triple—Belgian/Down Under, using Belgian Malts and Belgian yeast, but added Pacific Rim hops, Pacific Jade and Pacific Gem.

Having just returned from a trip to France, Morrison is planning the French version of Oktoberfest, Biére de Octobre—a French style bière de garde, made using lager yeast; and Baltic Porter—a smooth lagered porter that’s typically made in Finland. This porter is quite different and stronger than an English-style Porter at 7% ABV because it is lagered for six weeks.

Additionally, as Barren Hill Tavern opens, Morrison’s list of beers to expect include:

Single Hop-Amarillo Pale Ale – single hopped ale brewed using exclusively Amarillo hops, which are flavorful and yield a flowery, spicy and citrus-like aroma.
Pilsner IPA – a hybrid between a German Pilsner and American IPA with additional German Hops.
Edelhelles – a helles (light) brewed with exclusively German Noble Hops.
White IPA - a hybrid style American IPA with wheat and unmalted wheat to give the beer a “white” beer character.
Amer-Belgo Black IPA – a dark version of American IPA; Belgian yeast gives this beer “Belgo” character.
American Triple – A Belgian style triple with all American hops.
Vanilla Baltic Porter – a traditional Finnish Baltic Porter aged on Tahitian and Madagascar vanilla beans.
Prohibition Pale Ale - pale ale brewed with cherry and oak chips.
Scotch Wallace Ale – Traditional Scotch Ale brewed with “optic” barley, a common ingredient in Scottish Peated Whiskey.
German Hefe-Weiss – a German Wheat Beer.
Imperial Milk Stout – English Stout that uses lactose, 9%ABV.
Oatmeal Extra Stout – English Style Stout with oats.
Head Brewer Scott Morrison and Owner Erin Wallace have big plans for the Lafayette Hill brewpub and this first round of brews indicates a style that promises to be experimental, refined, and surprising. More details about Barren Hill Tavern’s opening will be coming soon.
September 18, 2013 - New York Marketers Hope to Turn Old Neuweiler Brewery in Allentown into Contract Brewing Plant
Aiming to capitalize on the growing demand for craft beer and an increasing need for commercial brewing space, two New York City-based entrepreneurs are planning to redevelop the defunct Neuweiler Brewery in Allentown, Penn. and turn it into a new contract brewing facility.

Josh Wood and Alex Friedman, co-founders of technology and marketing firm Ruckus Marketing, have established what they’re calling “a new way to contract brew.” The Brewers Consortium, as the pair has named it, will inhabit and revitalize the historic brewery space with the goal of producing 100,000 barrels of contracted craft beer, energy drinks and soda.

The plan, for now, is to give small craft breweries and non-alcoholic beverage startups the ability to produce their products, under contract, at the facility. The group also hopes to provide contracting beverage companies access to cheaper ingredients and packaging supplies, said Justin Tripodi, the vice president of strategy and development for both Ruckus Marketing and The Brewers Consortium.

“We are still ironing out all of the details, but our goal is to provide a consistent, reliable and quality experience for our brewing partners,” he said. “We would like to be able to secure economies of scale for ourselves and our tenants and nothing is off the table.”

Dubbed the “Brewers Hill” development project, the $30 million, 200,000 sq. ft. space could also include a restaurant, event center, commercial office space as well an incubator area for enterprising entrepreneurs.

Initial brewing capacity will be about 50,000 barrels and is contingent on how many contract agreements the company is able to secure prior to a projected opening date of September 2014.

“Should the demand for space necessitate quicker growth, we will reevaluate our plan,” said Tripodi. “We recognize that the craft brewing industry is burgeoning and we want to meet that demand with quality supply.”

In addition to established East Coast contract brewers like F.X. Matt and the Olde Saratoga Brewing Company, The Brewers Consortium will have to compete with a number of large-scale East Coast contract facilities like Two Roads Brewing, Brew Hub and Paragraph 11, all of which have either opened or are planning to launch by 2015. But Tripodi said he’s confident that enough demand for contract brewing space still exists.

“We have secured adequate initial interest in tank space,” said Tripodi.

The Consortium project will also allow Ruckus to increase the production of its own beer brand by the same name (Ruckus Brewing), which last year totaled approximately 1,000 barrels.

“We have an opportunity now to create more styles and offer our wholesaler more ammunition for growing the brand,” said Bradley Mines, the vice president of operations for Ruckus Brewing. “My focus going forward will be on growing our existing markets and catching up with the industry by adding seasonals and potentially even some barrel-aged offerings.”

Mines said he hopes to grow the Ruckus brand to 5,000 barrels in the next two years.

Tripodi could not disclose specific investment details on the redevelopment of the Neuweiler Brewery space but noted that a portion of the financing will come from state and local tax credits.

“There is about $1 billion of investment happening in Allentown over the next 24-36 months,” said Tripodi. “A $275 million waterfront project that includes apartments, offices and retail space is also being built. Part of the plan calls includes a pedestrian walkway along the waterfront that would lead to our facility.”

Tripodi said he expects to hire upwards of 50 new employees to run day-to-day operations at the brewery.

September 12, 2013 - Tröegs Will Introduce Canned Beers in October
Troegs Brewing Co. is added a canning line to its packaging system. The manufacturer of the new equipment, which is expected to fill 177 cans per minute, is CFT Packaging, the Italian company which also manufactured the brewery's recently installed new 12/22oz and 375/750ml cork & cage bottling lines.

the first releases are expected to hit the market by mid-October, beginning with 4-packs of 16oz Tröegenator Doppelbock cans and 12-packs of 12oz Perpetual IPA cans.

Co-founder and head brewer John Trogner noted that "Perpetual IPA is our #1 brand at the moment so 12-ounce seemed the perfect size for that, and whenever I drink a bottle of Tröegenator, I always want a little bit more, so this is a package with a little bit more.

What beers might next show up in cans? "We'll be taking it slow to start," Trogner said. "We'll do more as feel the market and see where we want to be. I used to joke that cans were for soup, but with all the new technology out there, cans are definitely for beer as well."

September 11, 2013 - If It Wasn't Called IPA, Would Anyone Buy It?
Would an IPA by any other name still taste as hoppy? And more, if it weren’t labeled as an IPA, would anyone buy it?

It’s a question many craft breweries are exploring and some, it seems, are banking on the continued growth of the style and the name, which is a shorter version of India Pale Ale. The country’s leading craft beer style, IPA dollar sales of $128,005,155 are up 35.7 percent in U.S. supermarkets through July 14, according to data from IRI, a Chicago-based research firm.

The growth of the IPA, with its distinct, hoppy flavor, has coincided with the growth of influential California breweries like Stone, Lagunitas, and many others, and it the popularity of the style seems to have pushed craft’s largest players, like Boston Beer Company, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium are answering the call by brewing up even more hop-forward variations.

Read the entire article.

September 10, 2013 - American Beer Revolution Will Be Showcased at Great American Beer Festival
Boulder, CO • September 10, 2013—As the nation’s brewers continue to revolutionize the American beer scene, beer lovers from around the world will descend upon Denver for the 32nd annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF). Presented by the Brewers Association from October 10-12, GABF represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served in a public tasting event, alongside one of the most prestigious beer competitions and judging panels in the world.

Since the first GABF in 1982, the event has synchronously evolved with the American brewing community. In 1982, the GABF played host to 800 attendees, sampling 40 beers from 22 breweries. Comparatively, in 2013, 49,000 attendees will be offered over 3,100 beers from 624 breweries in the festival hall. Additionally, 210 judges will assess 4,875 beers in the GABF competition, which represents a 12 percent increase in entries from last year.

“Bringing together brewers and beer lovers of all shapes and sizes, the Great American Beer Festival is a wonderful representation of just how far the U.S. brewing community has come,” said Nancy Johnson, event director, Brewers Association. “As the demand for festival tickets has grown, the number of breweries interested in participating has likewise skyrocketed. We worked diligently to ensure that breweries who wanted to participate could do so in some capacity. America’s brewing landscape will truly be displayed in the festival hall.”

Inside the tasting hall, this year’s GABF also pays homage to the growing trend of brewpubs and craft beer and food pairings with the expanded Brewpub and Farm to Table Pavilions. Of today's roughly 2,500 breweries, 1,100 are brewpubs. This year’s Brewpub Pavilion features 36 breweries, chosen by lottery, representing all regions of the country—a 50 percent increase from the 24 breweries showcased in 2012. The Thursday and Friday night Farm to Table Pavilion reprises its place at GABF, offering attendees an opportunity to experience top-notch craft beer and food pairings designed and prepared by chefs from around the country.

Tickets for the GABF sold out in a record 20 minutes during the public ticket sale.

September 03, 2013 - Victory Brewing Co. Invited To Join Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. For 2014 Nationwide Collaboration, Release Tour
Victory Brewing Company has been invited by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. to join 11 other craft breweries in a celebration of craft beer called Beer Camp Across America. Inspired by Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp® program—multi-day beer-making workshops—Beer Camp Across America comprises the creation of a variety 12-pack—one beer per brewery partner—to be released in summer 2014 preceded by a multi-weekend, west-to-east tour of regional festivals that highlight each locale’s craft beer community. The journey will culminate in Mills River, North Carolina, where Sierra Nevada will open the doors of its new East Coast brewery.

Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman and his son, Brian, co-leader of Sierra Nevada’s North Carolina brewery, personally reached out to founders Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet to invite them to join the lineup.

“Ken, Brian and the entire Sierra Nevada team are once again demonstrating what leadership means in this craft beer world by inviting brewers and consumers to actively participate in their new brewery opening,” said Bill Covaleski. “It’s an honor to be a part of this project.”

“We have two huge advocates of whole-cone hops coming together here,” said Ken Grossman. “Victory knows how to highlight distinct hop flavors and aromas. We strive for the same at Sierra Nevada, so this tag team has lots of promise.”

Opening a second brewery is no small feat for Sierra Nevada, but the Grossmans are adamant about highlighting the greater momentum of craft beer, not just their own next step.

“We’ve been in the game for a while, but we don’t reach a milestone like this without our peers,” said Ken Grossman. “We support each other and we challenge each other. Why not celebrate that spirit and what it’s done for craft beer across the country?”

The specific travel path for festivals is a work in progress, but in early 2014, Covaleski and Barchet will visit Chico, Calif., to brew alongside:
• Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME
• Ballast Point Brewing Company, San Diego, CA
• Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI
• Cigar City Brewing, LLC, Tampa, FL
• Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA
• New Glarus Brewing Company, New Glarus, WI
• Ninkasi Brewing Company, Eugene, OR
• Oskar Blues Brewing Company, Longmont, CO
• Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA
• Three Floyds Brewing, LLC, Munster, IN
• Local brewing community in Asheville, NC

Beer Camp Across America will also support hops and malt research as well as champion the PA craft beer community through the Brewers of Pennsylvania.

Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp program started in 2008 when a group of distributors wanted to visit Chico and learn how to brew beer. It evolved into a national contest where winners from all over the country head to Chico for a two-day, hands-on brewing session. Sierra Nevada recently reached Beer Camp number 100.

“There are no reins in Beer Camp,” said Ken Grossman. “We typically bring a dozen folks in who don’t know a ton about beer and let them have at it. This time we‘ll be brewing 12 beers with as many pros. It has potential to be epic.”

“This is a great moment for American craft beer,” said Bill Covaleski. “And Ron and I are psyched to brew a great American craft beer with our friends at Sierra Nevada.”

September 03, 2013 - A Farewell to Tired Hands Farmhands Saison
A few months ago, we received a Cease & Desist notice from lawyers representing Brewery Vivant from Grand Rapids, Michigan over our use of the name FarmHands (one word, plural), because they brew a beer called Farm Hand (two words, non-pluralized). The C&D stipulated that we were to no longer use the name FarmHands, or we would be sued for millions of dollars.

Generally speaking, Saison is a style of beer with roots firmly planted in the fields of Northern France and Belgium, a beer which was primarily brewed and consumed by… you guessed it, Farmhands. That’s why the name is so intuitive (not to mention beautifully in line with our identity as a small business: Tired Hands, HopHands, FarmHands… you get the picture). Go ahead, search for “farm hand” on No less than three other breweries are currently using some combination of those two words to identify one of their beers… Some even distribute in America. As educated beer consumers, you would not have any trouble distinguishing one beer from another (not to mention the fact that none of these beers are available in the same geographic location). Marketplace confusion sucks, but we have never had that problem in our industry, because what we sell is necessarily unique to the producer. We’re not making widgets here, we are crafting an organic product that has inherent value beyond “branding.”

As an industry, we are heading down a gnarled and paranoiac path that will only serve to isolate our customers by truncating the creativity of fellow beer producers; effectively losing sight of what made this industry so great when I entered into it nearly a decade ago… Collaboration, camaraderie, and a sense of infinite exploration.

We have had an absolutely killer first year of business, and are deeply thankful to all of you who have helped make Tired Hands what it is today. That being said, our money is better spent paying our employees (20 and counting!) and brewing killer beer. That’s not to say that we didn’t spend any cash on this engagement; we spent almost $5,000 on defending our FarmHands.?? We exist for one very simple reason; to produce the best beer in the area. Localization still guides all that we do, which is why we are continuing to invest in our community via the construction of a new production brewery that will (hopefully) meet the local demand for our strange and beautiful beers of distinction and valor.

In the end, we will be retiring FarmHands on September 26th, 2013 to avoid a lawsuit from Vivant. Not the recipe, nor the fact that it is one of our most beloved house beers, just simply the name: FarmHands. We will be renaming it something… Not sure what yet, but it will be good and jive well with our identity.

Please join us on Thursday September 26th to celebrate the life of FarmHands and see it through to it’s next stage of existence. We’ll be selling pints of (the newly renamed) FarmHands for $3.33 (half the price of the Beast) from 4-8pm. Get out here and drink one of the most accurate representations of Saison in the area and mourn/celebrate with us. Thank you all for your continued support.

August 22, 2013 - Russian River Brewing Maxes Out But Has No Intention of Expanding Capacity
The beer is only available in three states — California, Colorado, and Oregon — along with a few bars in the beer-mad city of Philadelphia. There is a years-long waiting list for restaurants and beer stores to get their hands on anything from Russian River.

[ ... ]

[Owners Natalie Cilurzo] and brewer husband Vinnie have no plans to expand the brewery. They have nearly paid off their initial investment, she said, and they have been gradually buying out the original investors to consolidate the privately-held company in their own hands.

“People can't understand why we don't want to grow our brewery,” she said, “That's the American way.”

Lots more here.

August 14, 2013 - Weyerbacher Brewing Creates Special Beer to Ease Financial Burden for Breast Cancer Victims
The team at Weyerbacher Brewery in Easton is showing its support for area breast cancer patients by brewing a special beer in time for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October.

“We want to give back to the community,” says Dan Weirback, president of Weyerbacher Brewery. “Since beer-making is our business, we have started brewing a new Belgian-style dubbel with plums and will direct donations from its sale to the Pink Ribbon Patient Assistance Fund.”

[ ... ]

It was the patients and their needs that inspired Natalie DeChico, regional sales manager for Weyerbacher, and her colleagues to name the microbrew Althea. “It means healing in Greek,” DeChico says. “For every bottle of Althea that’s sold, we will donate $1 to the Pink Ribbon Patient Assistance Fund.”
The complete Lehigh Valley Health News story is here.
Weyerbacher website story (with photos) is here.

August 12, 2013 - Victory Brewing Announces Two New Beers
DOWNINGTOWN, PA – Victory Brewing Company is pleased to announce several additions to its lineup of packaged beers hitting the market this fall, including a new year-round offering, DirtWolf Double IPA, and holiday seasonal ale, Winter Cheers. The brewery also will return an old fan favorite to the market, Old Horizontal, after a hiatus in 2012 and 2011.

[ ... ]

Wildly assertive, intentionally untamed and dangerously satisfying, DirtWolf Double IPA is the culmination of Victory’s double IPA series experiment with whole flower American-grown hops. With two-row German malts and a well-balanced combination of whole flower Citra, Chinook, Simcoe, and Mosaic hops, this 8.7% ABV brew blends the powerful citrus aroma and fruity flavors, with the piney, earthy and mildly floral characteristics found in these intriguing hop varieties. Replacing Victory’s Hop Wallop Ale, which will take a hiatus from the market for the time being, DirtWolf Double IPA will launch the brewery’s entry into four-packs when it begins to hit markets in October.

“So a wolf and a prospector walked into a bar...,” joked President and Brewmaster, Bill Covaleski. “No, in all seriousness, Hop Wallop will be missed, but isn’t necessarily gone forever. We developed that brand 10 years ago as our flavorful response to the hop-bomb vogue of the time. But as brewers who enjoy experimenting with beer styles and ingredient varieties, we looked for the opportunity to do other interesting recipes as time passed. Making the decision to put Hop Wallop aside for a few years allows us to bring this delicious new double IPA, DirtWolf, to the market in bottles.”

Light in body with a soothing texture, Winter Cheers is a stark contrast from the pungent punch of DirtWolf. A wheat ale, combining German wheat and barley malts, oats, torrified wheat and whole flower Tettnang and Citra hops, this fruity and warming holiday brew delivers a refreshing finish, with spicy hints of banana, clove and citrus. At 6.7% ABV, this beer will fuel “festive times and chase winter’s chill,” and will be available in 12 oz. bottles (six-packs) and on draft, beginning distribution in October as well.

Barleywine fans also will enjoy the return of Victory’s Old Horizontal, hitting shelves again in November of this year, this time in 22 oz. bottles. With floral, fruity aromas and lingering sensations of candied and citrus fruit, the late warming effect of this 11% ABV brew delivers a harmonious finish.

“Our fans have spoken, and we were listening,” Covaleski continued, addressing demand for the return of Old Horizontal by many Victory-faithful. “As we look toward the completion of our second brewery in Parkesburg, fans can expect several of our vacationing brands to make a return, along with many new and exciting recipes and styles.”

Other notable fall releases from Victory include:

Victory Festbier, the award-winning malty Märzen style fall seasonal, making its way into markets now, in 12 oz. bottles and on draft.

Red Thunder, the returning wine barrel-aged Baltic Thunder hitting the market in mid-August. Available in 750 ml bottles and on draft.

Storm King Stout, repackaged and available in four-packs and on draft in October.

August 12, 2013 - Despite What Gallup Says, Beer Remains Our Favorite Beverage
Sensationalized [Gallup Poll-inspired] headlines could have easily (and truthfully) been replaced by the following: "Beer Remains America's Preferred Alcoholic Beverage" and "Young drinkers still prefer beer over wine and spirits." Summarizing the 2013 data, Gallup even states: "Despite these changes, beer remains the preferred beverage of 18- to 29- and 30- to 49-year-olds. Wine continues to rank as the top choice of those 50 and older." The survey found that 41 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds prefer beer, versus 24 percent for wine and 28 percent for spirits.

This type of survey data released by Gallup provides little evidence of what is really going on with consumers in the beer category. The truth is that the end is not even close for beer. If anything, we're in the throes of the greatest beer renaissance since before Prohibition. There are now more breweries in the U.S. (2,538 as of June 2013) than at any point since the 1870s.
The whole analysis is here.

August 11, 2013 - Guy Hagner Takes Brewmaster Post at Susquehanna Brewing as Jaime Jurado Moves On
Guy Hagner, 52, of Fairview Township, has spent the past year and a half as the company’s assistant brewer and head of packaging and quality assurance. He replaces Jaime Jurado, a 1990 Wilkes University graduate and Forty Fort resident, who has left the company to pursue other opportunities.

Jurado was hired in 2011 when the company was still months away from assembling its brewing equipment in its sprawling facility off of South Main Street in Jenkins Township. He came to the company from The Gambrinus Brewing Co. in San Antonio, Texas, the nation’s sixth-largest brewer, with the goal of helping to get Susquehanna Brewing running and on the right path to success.

More than a year after brewing began, company owners, Ed and Fred Maier and Mark Nobile, said Jurado has done what he was asked and has left on good terms.
Here's the Times Leader story.

August 08, 2013 - A Dogfish Head Sitcom Is In the Works
While taking a quick read of Twitter earlier today, I saw a Tweet that mentioned that Fox was looking to develop a show based on the life of Sam and Mariah Calagione, the founders of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales.

Intrigued, I wanted to find out if this is true, so I shot an email out to Sam Calagione. He said the planning is in the early stages, but did share a note he sent to the brewery staff about the show. sam-brew-masters-280x192

The show will use Calagione’s book, “Brewing Up a Business” and the story of Dogfish Head’s early days as the back-story for a Fox Network sitcom.
Read the whole story.

August 07, 2013 - Duvel Moortgat Plans To Buy U.S. Craft Breweries
Over the years, Duvel Moortgat has grown through international acquisition.

[ ... ]

Now, however, the Belgium-based brewing company is looking to strengthen its position in the U.S. craft beer market by purchasing other American breweries.

“We would like to acquire two or three U.S. craft breweries over the next five years,” Simon Thorpe, the president and CEO of Duvel USA and Brewery Ommegang told “We’re looking to the U.S. to be the engine of our group growth over the next 10 to 20 years. Part of that will be achieved by growing the Ommegang and Duvel brands but part of it will also come by finding other breweries that fit our portfolio.”
Read the whole story.

August 03, 2013 - Houston Beer Can Home Is a Local Landmark
A child of the Great Depression, John Milkovisch didn't throw anything away — not even the empty cans of beer he enjoyed each afternoon with his wife.

So, in the early 1970s when aluminum siding on houses was all the rage, he lugged down the cans he had stored in his attic for years, painstakingly cut open and flattened each one and began to wallpaper his home.

[ ... ]

Determined to preserve this accidental piece of folk art, local nonprofit Orange Show Center for Visionary Art bought the property about 10 years ago, began a careful restoration of the house and opened it to the public.

See the whole story with photo here.

July 30, 2013 - Victory Brewing Announces New Brewpub in Kennett Square
DOWNINGTOWN, PA – Victory® Brewing Company (Victory) is pleased to announce that it will extend its craft beer experience in Chester County, signing a lease with Kennett Square Realty and committing to develop an upscale brewpub, with on-premise brewing and a takeout beer component, in Kennett Square, Pa.

“The announcement is a culmination of nearly a year’s worth of planning and effort, and we couldn’t be more excited than we are today to finally confirm for our excited fans, who have been asking, that yes we are in fact headed to Kennett!” said Matthew Krueger, Vice President of Retail Operations.

The nation’s 26th largest craft brewery, Victory’s second brewpub location will occupy all 8,234 square feet of the bottom floor of a four-story, luxury apartment building in Kennett Realty Group’s latest upscale townhome, apartment and retail community, Magnolia Place. Kennett Realty is owned and operated by the Pia Group, who also own Kaolin Mushroom Farms Inc. and South Mill Mushroom Sales.

“We could not have found a better partner than the Pia family, a group that shared—and are now helping us realize—our vision to bring Victory to Kennett,” Krueger continued, a sentiment echoed by Mike Pia, Jr., developer with the Kennett Realty Group. z

“Victory’s mission to provide high quality food, a family-friendly environment, and of course, delicious craft beer, all with a focus on community, ethics and environmental stewardship, made them an ideal partner for this project,” said Pia. “We’re looking forward to the exceptional experience they’ll bring to the community of Magnolia Place and the greater Kennett Square area.”

Called Victory at Magnolia, the location will accommodate a 250-seat restaurant with space for outdoor dining, and boast a chef inspired menu, featuring some of the company’s signature dishes, including their Hand Tossed Pretzel and Wings of Victory. The space also will be equipped with a five-barrel brew house to keep new, site-specific brews—along with Victory’s existing lineup of world-class ales and lagers—flowing.

Victory at Magnolia is targeted to open in the second quarter, 2014. The brewery also is finishing construction on its second production brewery in Parkesburg, Pa., expected to be operational this fall.

July 29, 2013 - Brewers Association Reports Continued Growth for U.S. Craft Brewers
Boulder, CO • July 29, 2013—The steady and sustained growth of American craft brewing continued during the first half of 2013, according to mid-year data released by the Brewers Association (BA). The not-for-profit trade association, which represents the majority of U.S. breweries, announced that during the first six months of 2013, American craft beer dollar sales and volume were up 15 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Over the same period last year, dollar sales jumped 14 percent and volume increased 12 percent.

During the first half of 2013, approximately 7.3 million barrels of beer were sold by small and independent1 craft brewers, up from 6.4 million barrels over the first half of 2012. American craft beer continues to grow despite decreased overall beer sales, which were down two percent through the first six months of the year.

“Demand for beer produced by small and independent brewers has never been higher, as evidenced by increased production and the hundreds of new breweries joining the playing field each year,” said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. “Beer drinkers nationwide are responding positively to high-quality, full-flavored, diverse offerings from American craft brewing companies that continue to innovate and push the envelope.”

There are 2,538 breweries operating in the U.S. as of June 30, 2013, an increase of 446 breweries since June 2012. The BA also lists an additional 1,605 breweries in planning at the year’s midpoint, compared to 1,252 a year ago. As of June 30, 2013, the count of craft breweries was at 2,483, showing that 98 percent of U.S. brewers are craft brewers. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 108,440 full-time and part-time workers, many of which are manufacturing jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.

“More breweries are currently operating in the U.S. than at any time since the 1870s.” Gatza added. “With each new brewery opening, American craft brewers are reinforcing the U.S.’s position as the world’s most diverse brewing nation. It’s a very good time to be an American beer lover.”

See the news release with graphs included here.

July 27, 2013 - Philadelphia Magazine Names Bill Covalelski to "20 Best Philadelphians" List
From Jack Curtin's Liquid Diet blog:
In its annual Best of Philly issue which hits the stands next week, Philadelphia Magazine names Victory Brewing’s Bill Covaleski one of the 20 Best Philadelphians, a group defined as “innovative, impactful and generally interesting people who are changing our lives–and our city–for the better, right now.”

Now that is impressive....
Read about other beer-centric honorees for 2013 here.

July 26, 2013 - Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing Taking Over Original Flying Fish Brewery
From Beer-Stained Newsletter:
A year after Flying Fish Brewing left its founding Cherry Hill location, another brewery tenant has signed up for the place.

Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing finalized its lease in early July for the 13,500-square-foot business park unit on Olney Avenue in Cherry Hill. The company will take over the premises on Sept. 1.

Founder Jamie Queli says Forgotten Boardwalk will produce about five ales for distribution, brewing on a 30-barrel Criveller system. The company plans to use a 1- to 2-barrel pilot system to produce another 50 to 60 beers – think experimental brews – for cycling through the taps of a planned 2,500-square-foot tasting room to be tricked out in a turn-of-the-20th-century-boardwalk theme. The beers themselves (for instance, their names) will share in the throwback boardwalk theme.

Read the whole story.

July 23, 2013 - Largest Craft Brewers Embrace Broader Distribution
With capacity constraints now in the rearview mirrors at many top-50 craft breweries, there’s a bit of land grab occurring amongst the country’s largest producers.

In the last month, breweries like Dogfish Head, New Belgium and Victory Brewing have announced plans to expand their distribution footprints. All three breweries also recently added new capacity, enabling them start venturing into new markets.

This week, another crop of established craft breweries said they are looking to grow. San Diego’s Green Flash Brewing announced its intent to become a national brand by 2014.

“For the most part it looks like we will be national before the end of the year,” said Jim Kenny, Green Flash’s vice president of sales.

The brewery will look to enter all 50 states with the exception of Hawaii — and Kenny said the company is even evaluating ways to ship a consistent supply of fresh, refrigerated beer to the islands.

“With the addition of new fermentation space, we can now produce at a 100,000-barrel rate and that allows us to enter these states and start seeding our brand,” he said.

Kenny said a second production facility located in Virginia Beach is scheduled to open in January, 2015 and will help support the growth of the brand.

Fresh off its own brewery expansion, Stone Brewing also announced plans to expand its footprint into Nebraska next month. Stone — the country’s tenth largest craft brewery — will enter the cornhusker state on August 20 with four distributors: Double Eagle Beverage, Eagle Beverage, H & H Distributing and Quality Brands of Omaha.

“Nebraska has long been a state that has expressed interest in having our beers available in their local establishments,” Jason Armstrong, Stone Brewing’s director of national sales said in a press statement. “Our Nebraska fans have been very active on social media and telling us at beer festivals how much they want Stone beer in their state.”

Also expanding its reach later this month is Atlanta-based Sweetwater Brewing. The company will enter Northern Kentucky on July 31 with Kentucky Eagle Distributors as its wholesaler partner in Lexington, and Chas. Seligman Distributing Company in Northern Kentucky. It’s the first new state the company has opened since 2008 and comes on the heels of a $19 million expansion.

“It has been incredible to see our brand resonate and gain traction in an organic footprint over the last several years, but now that our brewery expansion is complete, we’re kicking off some major growth into new states and we’re excited that Kentucky is among the first,” Dave Guender, Sweetwater’s director of sales said in a press release.

July 18, 2013 - Dock Street Will Celebrate 6th Anniversary with Special Beer Release
On Thursday August 22nd, 2013 join us in celebration of our 6th Anniversary in the big old firehouse on 50th & Baltimore in West Philly. In honor of our birthday, we are premiering the very special Trappist IPA and re-releasing Firehouse Saison.

Dock Street Brewery is celebrating 6 years in our beautiful brewpub in the firehouse and over 25 years in the craft brewing industry. It’s a very special occasion and we want to share the mirth with our Dock Street Bohemians. We are offering drafts at half price from 4-6pm. The first 25 guests will receive a souvenir gold logo tulip glass. We’ll also be putting a few special beers on tap for the first time ever or in a long while.

Trappist IPA was brewed in collaboration with past Dock Street Brewer Scott Morrison, George Hummel of Homesweet homebrew and Tom Peters of Monk’s Café. The beer they created is inspired by Orval. Brewed with saccharomyces and brettanomyces for a moderate sour character. Citrus, grassy notes from Sonnet and East Kent Goldings hops. This collaboration is a rare thing, obviously the beer is limited.

Firehouse Saison is a favorite recipe of DS Head Brewer Justin Low. This saison is brewed with a small percentage of smoked malts. The flavor delivers a low-key chewy flavor of smokiness balanced by the fruity saison yeast.

Join us in the celebration of 6 years of making award winning beer and pizza in West Philly. Special beers on tap, half priced drafts, souvenir glass! See you Thursday Aug 22.

Go West of Center. Cheers!

July 17, 2013 - Sly Fox Enters Maryland; Virginia and DC Next
Sly Fox Brewing Company of Pottstown, PA announced today that it would begin selling its beer in the Maryland market immediately and that the move would be marked at a celebratory party at Frisco Taphouse & Brewery in Columbia tonight. A brewery representative will be on hand and there will be 16 Sly Fox beers on tap and two cask-conditioned firkins on the bar. A similar event is planned for Max’s Taphouse in Baltimore for next Thursday, July 25th.

“We are delighted to announce our partnership with Bond Distributing Company in Baltimore,” said Director of Sales Patrick Mullin, “and equally pleased that we can finally satisfy the demand for Sly Fox beers in the state of Maryland. We were very impressed with Bond’s commitment to the craft beer category and their execution with their present portfolio. We’re really looking forward to working with them.

“Bond will be handling our products in Baltimore, Howard, Carroll, Harford and Cecil counties as well as in Baltimore City. Other parts of Maryland will be added to our distribution footprint in the near future. We are sending our entire portfolio of year-round and seasonal beers in cans, 750ml bottles and on draft to Maryland starting today.

“We are thrilled and honored to add Sly Fox into our Bond Craft portfolio,” said Matt Crow, Director of Craft & Import Sales. “Sly Fox fits perfectly into our strategy of Maryland/Regional Craft offerings as well as select National Craft Brands.” Sly Fox joins Bond's Craft portfolio which includes Boston Beer, New Belgium, Shiner, Harpoon, Boulevard, Terrapin, Yards, and Maryland Breweries Flying Dog, DuClaw, The Brewers Art, and Peabody Heights.

In addition to expanding farther into Maryland, Sly Fox plans to open the Virginia and Washington, DC markets as well by the end of the year," Mullin added. “When we built our new brewery in Pottstown, we committed to growing our distribution area,” he said, “and the clear demand for our award-winning beers in this exciting regional market was a major factor in the decision to increase our production.”

When this latest expansion is complete, Sly Fox beers will be available in six states and the District of Columbia.

July 17, 2013 - Victory Brewing Opens Alabama
Victory® Brewing Company (Victory), will expand its national distribution footprint to include Alabama, beginning at the end of July. Taking the brand statewide by the end of August are distributors Allstate Beverage Company, of Montgomery, AL; Gulf Distributing Company of Mobile, AL; and International Wines & Craft Beer, of Birmingham, AL.

“We're excited to finally sell in Alabama,” said Steve German, vice president of sales and distribution. “The craft beer fans there were passionate enough to fight and change certain laws in order to have the right to enjoy full-flavored, delicious beer in their home state. And what better way to celebrate a win, than with a Victory.”

Marking the 30th state, in addition to the District of Columbia, within Victory’s national distribution footprint, the brewery will launch in the Alabama market first with core brands—HopDevil IPA, Headwaters Pale Ale, Prima Pils and Golden Monkey—and look to add their strong seasonal lineup over time.

“Our thirsty fans have been asking us for more,” said Bill Covaleski, Victory’s president and co-founder. “And that is exactly what we’ll be able to deliver with the completed construction of our new, state-of-the-art brewery in Parkesburg. As we grow into that facility, there will be plenty of headspace to continue the delicious experiments and seasonal offerings that our longtime fans have enthusiastically supported.”

The new brewery, located just 17 miles away from the Downingtown brewery and headquarters, will double Victory’s current production capacity, once fully operational later this fall.

Covaleski continued, “This is just the first of a few exciting announcements fans in states where Victory beer is not currently available, can expect from us, and we couldn’t be more excited.”

July 12, 2013 - IPA Day Set for August 1
Founded in 2011, IPA Day is a universal movement created to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers and brewers worldwide.

IPA Day is opportunity for all breweries, bloggers, businesses and consumers to connect and share their love of craft beer. It is an opportunity for the entire craft beer culture to combine forces and advocate craft beer through increased education and global awareness.

Complete news release is here.

July 11, 2013 - New Belgium Plans to Become a National Brewery Within Five Years
After addressing its capacity in Fort Collins and re-configuring the construction timeline for its new plant in Asheville, NC, New Belgium CEO and co-founder Kim Jordan said the brewery has turned its attention to distribution.

The company currently sells beer in just 31 states and its products are not available beyond U.S. borders.

Red the whole story.

July 10, 2013 - Dick Yuengling talks about the future of America's oldest brewery
Work hard and surround yourself with good people.

Be determined and don’t always listen to what people tell you (including your own father).

And, of course, throw in a pitcher of luck.

That’s the formula for the wildly successful career of Dick Yuengling, owner of D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. in Pottsville, one of the nation’s top-selling beer makers.

Read the complete interview here.

July 02, 2013 - TV Series Brings Famed Scottish Brewers to Pottstown for July 4 Filming
This new program will premier on the Esquire network, set to debut in the USA in September as part of a line up of shows which celebrate the interests, passions and aspirations of men today. How did this all come about? You might say that Philadelphia’s loss is Pottstown’s gain.
Pottstown Mercury story here.
Show details here.
July 01, 2013 - Brewery to Open in Kennett Square Late This Year
NEWS RELEASE: Historic Kennett Square has announced that a new business, Kennett Brewing Company, will be settling in on South Broad Street.

Kennett Brewing Company was started by two couples who share a passion for well-crafted inventive beers. The company motto is “Kennett Brewing Company believes that everyone deserves extraordinary beer.”

The founders Chris and Jen Braunstein and Mark and Jocelyn Osborne have spent years pursuing excellent traditional and inventive beers and soon realized that to savor the best beer all the time they would have to brew it themselves. According to their website, “Together they dedicated over 15 years of research, practice and achievement to develop their own beer to the category of extraordinary.”

Kennett Brewing Company will take over the space at 109 S. Broad Street on the lower level. They will brew their beer on site and plan to offer their extraordinary beer with a limited menu that will offer traditional taproom fare.

A full menu of traditional beer styles will be brewed, as well as, several unique offerings.

“We are really excited to bring some historical English ales and new flavors to Kennett. Everyone from those new to craft beer, to the real hopheads out there have something to get excited about. Kennett is a second home for us, and we can’t wait to contribute to the historic downtown and the community at large. This is as much Kennett’s brewery and dream, as it is ours. Together we are going to have an extraordinary brewery in this extraordinary town,” said Chris Braunstein.

Look for the opening of Kennett Brewing Company in late 2013. To keep updated on their progress “Like” Kennett Brewing Company on Facebook.

June 28, 2013 - Iron Hill Phoenixville Announces BLOB-Fest Plans
NEWS RELEASE: On Saturday, July 13 beginning at 2 p.m., Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant (130 East Bridge Street, 610-983-9333) will host their annual BLOB-Fest, celebrating the Phoenixville-filmed horror classic The BLOB. The film, which will be shown at nearby Colonial Theatre (227 Bridge Street, 610-917-0223), is the inspiration for Head Brewer Tim Stumpf’s Red Cherry BLOB witbier, as well as fun menu of BLOB-y beers, snacks and plates and a tin foil hat contest.

“Each year, Phoenixville celebrates the cult-classic movie The BLOB and just keeps getting better and better, so we’re thrilled to be a part of the fun,” says Stumpf.

The featured beers will include: Red Cherry BLOB, a dark imperial witbier brewed with sweet Oregon cherries; Dirty Weisse, a wheat beer blended at the tap with a touch of Lindeman’s Framboise, a sweet-and-sour Belgian-style raspberry beer; Monster Barleywine is a traditional brown, English-style Barleywine with intense, complex malt sweetness and a sherry-like quality, full-bodied with balanced bitterness and a warm finish; and Bridge St. Bock, a traditional full-bodied, amber German lager with distinct malty and bready characteristics in aroma and flavor with a clean and dry finish.

The beers will pair beautifully with the BLOB menu items, will include: BLOBster Bisque with inside-out lobster raviolis; Bloody Mary Blob Salad with mesclun greens, candied bacon, celery sticks, carrots avocado, bell peppers and served with a blue cheese dressing; Macaroni and Cheese Blobs, fried macaroni and cheese, applewood smoked bacon, served with a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce; Beer Braised Meatblob, fettuccini pasta, parmesan cheese, spinach and served with a Vienna-tomato sauce; Pan Roasted Salmon served with a cauliflower cream blob, charred scallions and saffron-almond sauce. Grilled New York Strip Steak TV Dinner with a cheddar laced potato croquette, buttered sugar snap peas, horseradish infused cream sauce and a lemon bar. Dishes will range in price from $6.50 to $28.95.

As part of a long-standing tradition during Phoenixville’s BLOB fest, Iron Hill invites all customers to bring their best Tin Foil Hat creations (to wear in order to ward off any aliens trying to read their minds) for the chance to win a $100 gift card. The contest kicks off at 7 p.m.

June 27, 2013 - Deschutes Brewery Celebrates 25th Anniversary by Entering Greater Philadelphia Market
NEWS RELEASE: Today, Thursday, June 27 is the 25th Anniversary of the country’s fifth-largest craft brewery Deschutes Brewery (901 SW Simpson Avenue, Bend, OR; 541-385-8606). To celebrate its silver anniversary, Deschutes Brewery is thrilled to announce that for the first time, its award-winning craft beers will be available year-round across the greater Philadelphia area. Deschutes Brewery has partnered with Muller, Inc. to distribute its line of beers in the city and surrounding Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. It is Deschutes Brewery’s first distribution to the East Coast.

“For the past four years, beer lovers have only been able to experience Deschutes Brewery beers during Philly Beer Week, but now they can enjoy these world-class beers every day,” says Muller Vice President of Sales John Houck. “We couldn’t be more proud and honored to be working with Deschutes Brewery to bring their amazing beers to the region.”

Deschutes Brewery beers, available in bottles and on draft, include: Mirror Pond Pale Ale, with a whole flower Cascade hops, complex aromas and multi-layered flavor, available both in bottles and on draught; Black Butte Porter, the brewery’s flagship brand, a smooth porter with slight hop bitterness, distinctive chocolate and roasted finish and creamy mouthfeel; and the 2012 number one selling new craft brand Chainbreaker White IPA, brewed with wheat, pilsner malt and Citra hops for beautiful citrus aromas and thirst-quenching flavor.

In addition to these iconic brews, Deschutes Brewery will also be sending the city bottles of the brand-new Fresh Squeezed IPA, part of the brewery’s experimental Bond Street Series; Inversion IPA, a big, bold IPA with intense multi-hop kick ideal for discriminating hop heads; and Deschutes River Ale, a session beer built with craft soul resulting in a perfect balance of hops and malt for a subtle, refreshing flavor. A variety of seasonal and small-production beers will also be offered throughout the year depending on availability and the brewers’ latest inspirations.

“Philadelphia is a craft-savvy market that has welcomed us with open arms and gives us a perfect launch pad for our first distribution area on the East Coast,” said Deschutes Brewery’s President Michael LaLonde. “We’re excited to work with Muller on a full-time basis and to fill the demand that the past years of participating in Philly Beer Week have created for our beers.”

Representatives from Deschutes Brewery, including a brewer, will celebrate the launch with a week-long series of tastings and events in and around Philadelphia in early November; more details will be available later in the summer at

June 25, 2013 - American Craft Continues to Grow on International Scene
"Global demand for American craft beer is at an all-time high, as evidenced by small and independent brewers in the U.S. exporting their products to new markets around the world at a growing rate," says Brewers Association CEO Bob Pease. Included in the summer schedule are festivals and conventions in Brazil, Germany and Great Britain.
Read more here.
June 21, 2013 - U.S. Brewery Count Passes 2500
Current trends indicate that the total will reach 3000 at some point in 2014. "I wouldn't expect the rate of opening to continue at over two new breweries per day on average," BA director Paul Gatza writes on the BA blog.
Read the whole blog post..
June 17, 2013 - Homebrewers Do Love Themselves Some Hops
FROM THE NEWS RELEASE: The American Homebrewers Association’s (AHA) members like their beers bitter and once again voted Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder the “Best Commercial Beer in America” for the fifth year running. The poll is conducted annually by Zymurgy magazine—the journal of the AHA.

This is the 11th year that AHA members voted for up to 20 of their favorite beers in an online poll. Members were able to choose any commercial beer available for purchase in the United States. As in recent years, flavorful IPAs and double IPAs continue to outshine the rest, and comprised eight of the top 10 beers.

The top-ranked beers include:
1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
2. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
3. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
4. Bell’s Hopslam Ale
5. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
6. Founders Breakfast Stout
7. Stone Brewing Co. Arrogant Bastard Ale
8. Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA
T9. Lagunitas Sucks
T9. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
T9. Stone Brewing Co. Ruination IPA
(T indicates tie)

More than 1,100 breweries were represented in this year’s poll, and the top-ranked brewery is Stone Brewing Co. (Escondido, Calif.), who had five beers in the top 50. Russian River Brewing Company (Santa Rosa, Calif.) took second with five beers as well, followed by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Chico, Calif.), in third with four beers making the list.

Additionally, the Best Portfolio of Beers was awarded to the Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams), which had 40 beers receive votes in the poll. The top contenders in the category include:
1. The Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
2. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3. Avery Brewing Co.
4. Cigar City Brewing
5. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

As was the case in 2012, no beers produced by breweries outside of the U.S. made the top 50. The two top vote-getters among foreign breweries both hailed from Belgium—Orval and Saison Dupont tied for first place.

June 13, 2013 - Time Magazine Reports "Beer Bellies Are a Myth"
According to University of California Davis food science professor Charles Bamforth, the colloquial notion of the beer belly — that beer somehow uniquely targets the gut – doesn’t jibe with medical science. The main source of calories in any alcoholic beverage is alcohol,” Bamforth told Popular Science. “There’s nothing magical about the alcohol in beer, it’s just alcohol.”
Read it all here.
June 11, 2013 - AHA Survey Shows 26% Growth in 2012 Homebrew Sales
Reviewing data from 275 shops spanning 47 states-a 32 percent increase in participants from last year's survey-the survey found that on average, participants saw gross revenue increase by 26 percent in 2012. For shops that primarily sell homebrew supplies, gross revenue increased on average by 29 percent. This is 2 percent higher than last year's results and 10 percent higher than results from the first AHA supply shop survey conducted in 2009.
Read more here.
June 06, 2013 - For Homebrewers, The Final Triumph
As reported by the newslettter:

For the first time since the end of Prohibition - and a mere 35 years after President Jimmy Carter legalized homebrewing at the national level - it will soon be OK to homebrew in every state in the nation.

Alabama governor Robert Bentley has signed legislation that allows residents to homebrew limited amounts of beer, wine, mead or cider. Although the Alabama legislature was the last to approve a bill legalizing homebrewing the state is not the last where it's officially legal. Mississippi lawmakers approved homebrewing first, but the law doesn't go into effect until July 1.

We have no doubt local homebrewers are waiting patiently before they fire up their kettles. Of course, thousands of people in Alabama have been homebrewing all along; often unaware they've been breaking the law, in fact committing what legally was a felony. The new Alabama law is more restrictive than many. It limits production to 60 gallons of beer, wine, cider or mead in a calendar year, compared to 200 gallons in some states. Those who live in dry counties or cities cannot homebrew at all.

Yeah, right.

June 06, 2013 - Weyerbacher Wednesdays Off to Smashing Start
Weyerbacher Wednesdays kicked off June 5 at the market in Centre Square. The new weekday market sponsored by Weyerbacher Brewing Co. is scheduled 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through September. The brewery will help promote the market at its South Side visitor center and offer free samples at both the Wednesday and traditional Saturday markets.
Complete story here.
May 26, 2013 - Garden State Anticipates a Host of New Craft Breweries
About two dozen new craft entities are in various stages of planning around the state, looking to join the 25 already in operation, according to records kept by the Brewers Association. The growth the result of to a recent overhaul of the state’s Byzantine brewery rules. Last fall, Gov. Chris Christie signed a measure to give craft beer makers a greater opportunity to sell to the general public.
Long and informative story here.
May 25, 2013 - Beer Yard Voted Best Suburban Beer Distributor [UPDATED]
Voters in the annual Philly Beer Scene magazine "Best of" awards chose The Beer Yard as the best beer distributor in the Philadelphia suburbs. The trophy was awarded at the awards event at World Cafe Life on May 22.

Several members of the Beer Yard staff were in attendance, led by owner Matt Guyer and right-hand man Mark Sauerbrey.

UPDATE: Complete list of winners.

May 24, 2013 - Easton Farmers' Market to begin "Weyerbacher Wednesdays" on June 5
Twenty vendors will offer their local produce, flowers, herbs, dairy products, meats and eggs. Weyerbacher will also be present, offering samples of its craft beers.
May 21, 2013 - Magic Hat vs. West Sixth Brewing in Trademark Squabble
The lawsuit argues that designs and trade dress by West Sixth are similar enough to those associated with the Magic Hat #9 brand to confuse buyers. The logos of the two brands are “confusingly similar,” according to the Magic Hat filing.
Read the story here.
May 21, 2013 - Philly Beer Week Features Collaborative Brews
FROM THE NEWS RELEASE One such special beer, brewed in Brussels, Belgium during PBW's annual "Win a Trip to Belgium" event for local beer lovers, is Manneken-Penn, a Belgo-American Dubbel. This past winter, raffle winner Matt Hohorst, along with head brewer Chris Wilson of Weyerbacher and Tom Peters of Monks Café traveled abroad to brew with Yvan De Baets at Brasserie de la Senne. Manneken-Penn will be available for the first time on Friday, May 31, at Opening Tap (click for tickets).

"Collaboration beers are a huge part of what makes PBW special: brewers coming together and pushing each other to do ever more outrageous and delicious things," says PBW Executive Director Don Russell. "As always, we're very excited to see what amazing new beers they've created - and to raise a pint to 'America's Best Beer-Drinking City'."

Manneken-Penn is a 7.5% Belgo-American Dubbel whose name and label art were inspired by Philadelphia's famed William Penn statue above City Hall, and Brussels' landmark Manneken Pis sculpture of a playful naked boy - ahem - relieving himself. Manneken-Penn was made with oats, molasses and a combination of American Calypso hops and European Slovenia, Aurora and Styrian Goldings hops. It is imported for PBW by Shelton Brothers and will be available both on draft and in 11.2 oz bottles.

Throughout the 10 days of PBW, beer drinkers will be able to enjoy other collaborative brews including:

Brotherly Suds 4, an English summer ale with a zesty citrus hop, brewed this year at Yards by Tom Kehoe, Bill Covaleski of Victory, Gordon Grubb of Nodding Head, Mark Edelson of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant and Gene Muller of Flying Fish;

Dock Street Trappiste Pale, a Trappist-style IPA inspired by Orval, brewed by Dock Street, Scott Morrison, Tom Peters and George Hummel, fermented with saccharomyces in the primary fermentation and brettanomyces in the secondary fermentation for a moderate sour character, plus Sonnet and East Kent Golding hops for grassy, citrus-y flavor, available in 750 mL bottles from Dock Street exclusively during PBW;

Johnny Berliner, brewed by Dock Street and Johnny Brenda's, a Berlinerweiss German-style sour beer that is clean, refreshing, distinctly tart and low in alcohol (4% ABV), making it perfect for summer;

Standard Pale, the sixth collaboration between Sly Fox's Brian O'Reilly and Standard Tap's William Reed, an American pale ale brewed with new hop varietal Calypso, which will be tapped by the HOG when it makes its way past Standard Tap on the HOG Relay, en route to Opening Tap, and poured for free until the firkin is empty;

DNA UK, from Dogfish Head and Charles Wells, a transatlantic collaboration that brings together the "DNA" of Dogfish Head's famed 60 Minute IPA and a strain of yeast from Brit brewer Wells. DNA is making its debut at PBW;

Brewvolution II, a collaboration between Prism, Evil Genius and Boxcar that is a hard root beer drawn from Lancaster County's Amish community and infused with root herbs and spices for all the character of a root beer with none of the saccharine sweetness.

May 14, 2013 - The Big Shift: Germany Is Importing U.S. Beers
Almost 65 years after Allied planes flew Western supplies into blockaded Berlin, a new American import is arriving by air: craft beer. The beer is being flown in as part of a new surge of German interest in American brewing, upending a centuries-old relationship in which German beer defined the golden standard for brewing and Americans emulated it... German consumers, intrigued by unfamiliar flavors, are purchasing more imported beer and are increasingly copying American efforts with their own small-scale brewing operations.
Read the whole story.
May 10, 2013 - Flying Fish Hurricane Sandy Relief Beer Will Return
FROM A FLYING FISH NEWS RELEASE: After many, many requests asking us to re-release the beer for the summer, we're going to brew one batch of Sandy in kegs and then about 1,000 cases in the 750 ml champagne bottles that the Exit series beers come in. We will continue our fundraising efforts by earmarking a portion of these proceeds to add to the $45,000 we've already donated to the rebuilding efforts.

Kegs of this wheat pale ale will be heading out in time for Philly Beer Week in June. We're hoping to get the bottles out in mid- to late-June. Stay tuned.

And if you can't wait that long, the last keg of the original FU Sandy is being tapped on May 15 at Natirar Ninety Acres. In the meantime we are featuring the very cool FU Sandy glassware and t-shirts.

If you were wondering were those donations went so far, read all about it here.

May 08, 2013 - And Now There Are 50: Alabama Is Final State to Approve Homebrewing
Homebrewing became federally legal in 1979, though the 21st Amendment predominantly leaves regulation of alcohol to the states. "Homebrewing has been an integral part of the history of America, so it's thrilling to know that soon all 50 states will support this growing hobby and long-standing tradition," said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association.
Read more here.
May 06, 2013 - Three-Legged Goat Wins Sly Fox Goat Race
Fan favorite Peggy the Three-Legged failed in her effort win her third straight title at the 15th annual Sly Fox Bock Fest & Goat Race in Phoenixville yesterday, being eliminated in the semi-finals.

Instead, the honor of having the 2013 Maibock named in his honor went to Simon, a first time contender who also has had a leg amputated (Peggy a rear leg, Simon a front one). Both goats are owned and cared-for by veterinarian Christina Vittoria and Weyerbacher brewer Colin Presby,

Thousands of revelers filled the parking lot in front of the Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery. A new twist this year was the addition of a large video screen on which the entire crowd could see the races as they happened rather than only the few hundred who secured a place along the racing path.
Here is the story covering the event from this morning's Pottstown Mercury.

May 02, 2013 - Iron Hill Planned Ardmore Location Still In Dispute
Board President Liz Rogan said the restaurant chain had granted an extension until June 20 for the board to vote on a resolution approving or denying approval of the inter-municipal transfer from a business in another part of Montgomery County. The postponement is the second in recent weeks on the application, which has sparked controversy in the residential neighborhoods near the shopping center on Greenfield Avenue. Read more here.
April 29, 2013 - Founders Brewing Co. Reveals PBW Schedule
Topping the list is an All-Star Road Show event on Sunday, June 2, from 4-11pm at World Cafe Live. “All-Star” refers to both the draft lineup and the FBC All-Stars, the official brewery band, who will be playing a live show that evening. Read more here..
April 18, 2013 - Once He Was Wicked, Now He's Merely Session-able
Earlier this year Slosberg began crafting Mavericks beer, a line of session offerings that clock in at less than 4 percent alcohol by volume. The new line is an extension of products already available from Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. When the owners of the Coastal California brewpub wanted to begin outside distribution of its beer, they asked Slosberg for assistance.
Read more here.
April 16, 2013 - Boston’s Craft Beer Community Rallies to Support Marathon Victims
Members of New England’s craft beer community are coming together and organizing community events to help victims of yesterday’s attack on the Boston Marathon.
Details here.
April 15, 2013 - Head Brewer Casey Hughes Is Leaving Flying Fish
Casey Hughes' Facebook post this afternoon:
Well big news Monday! After 10 years with Flying Fish I will be leaving for the Sunshine State to start a brewery! Thanks to Gene and everyone here, its been a great 10 years!
April 12, 2013 - US Craft Beer Has inspired British Brewers
"Somehow, beer from the United States has become not just widely respected, but achingly fashionable," say a a BBC story. "An explosion in independently-run microbreweries producing lovingly-created, strong, pungent, flavour-rich ales has transformed the reputation of the product."
Much, much more here.
April 10, 2013 - Brewers Association's Top 50 Breweries of 2012
Local craft beer folks wiill be delighted to see that Troegs (#50) has joined Dogfish Head (#13) and Victory (#26) among the Top 50. "In 2012, craft surpassed six percent of the total U.S. beer market, with volume and dollar sales reaching record levels,” said Paul Gatza, director, Brewers Association.
Complete list and more information here.
April 04, 2013 - Coors Launches "Craft Collection" in Ireland
The UK debut of The Craft Collection is due to take place later in 2013. Ireland was selected as the launch country for The Craft Collection due to the explosion of the craft beer market here, both in terms of the availability of craft beers and the establishment of a growing number of dedicated craft beer pubs.
More here.
April 03, 2013 - Susquehanna Ale Trail Welcomes Seven New Establishments for April Passport Event
The Susquehanna Ale Trail, a collection of breweries in central Pennsylvania committed to creating good times and great beer will welcome seven new partners to the Trail for this year's Second Annual Passport Event happening April 12-14 and 19-21.

For $15, beer enthusiasts can purchase a passport online or at one of the participating establishments, which grants them access to 13 breweries and one distillery for all event weekends. Not to mention, the purchase of a passport entitles participants to special brewery tours, three to five craft beer tastings, a 10% discount on merchandise and a souvenir Susquehanna Ale Trail mug! In addition to the standard passport, designated driver passports are also available for $5.

The Susquehanna Ale Trail has doubled in size since the first Passport Event last spring and includes breweries, brew pubs and brewing outlets in York, Lancaster, Dauphin and Franklin counties:

The latest brewery to hit the York craft beer scene is Liquid Hero Brewery, a small- scale microbrewery devoted to bringing the flavor back to beer. Friends Matt, Christian and Josh started producing beer out of a garage in York in 2008 and have been mastering the art of brewing ever since. Pull up a stool in the brewery's cozy tasting room and sample a pint of American Hero - an amber-colored American ale and the frontrunner of all four flagship beers.
Housed in a 100-year-old renovated factory building in downtown Hanover, Warehouse Craft Brewing Company, is the brainchild of local businessman Keith Stambaugh. After spending years perfecting small batches of home brews for friends and family, Stambaugh opened the microbrewery in November 2012. Stop in to taste a variety of ales, pilsners and porters with creative names like Warehouse Passive/Aggressive Pale Ale or Leggy Blonde Imperial Blonde Ale.
Starting on a small 3 bbl system in 2000, brewer Scott Bowser had no idea that Swashbuckler Brewing Company, located on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, would take off with such smashing success. After just one season, the small brewery was insufficient at keeping up with Faire patrons' requests for hand-crafted ales and lagers, and expanded to a much larger system offering everything from a light German style-Kolsch ale to a Belgium-style dubbel ale.
Taste everything from a citrusy IPA to a robust Stout at Central Pennsylvania's first nano-brewery, Rumspringa Brewing Company, located in the Lancaster Beer & Wine Gallery. Relax in the Barn Café and sample one of Rumspringa's four signature beers, or choose from two rotating seasonal brews.
Named for the patron saint of brewers, Saint Boniface Craft Brewing Company in Ephrata offers more than six varieties of beers. Friends Mike and Jon combined their brewing expertise to create rich, tasty brews.
In Chambersburg, raise a glass at "America's Freshest Brewery," Roy-Pitz Brewing Company! Passionate brewmasters Jesse and Ryan refer to their beer as "liquid art" and strive to create a product that reflects both imagination and skill. Learn about the brewery's 16 beers on the facility tour, and afterwards sample the likes of Chicken Leg Stout, Old Jail Ale or Lone Soldier Sour Ale.
Nestled in the picturesque town of Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania, Old Republic Distillery specializes in hand-crafted, small-batch spirits made with only local produce. This limited distillery is the first of its kind in York County and produces top-of-the line fruit liquor with tempting flavors like apple and blueberry pie.
In addition to the seven new partners, the Susquehanna Ale Trail also includes Bube's Brewery, Holy Hound Taproom, Lancaster Brewing Company, Mr. Steve's Homebrew Supply, Mudhook Brewing Company, Stoudt's Brewing Company and Tröegs Brewing Company. For more information: go here or call 888.858.YORK.
April 03, 2013 - SAVOR Moves to NYC for 2013
Presented by the Brewers Association, SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience is the premier beer and food pairing event in the U.S. The event comes to NYC after five consecutive years in the nation’s capital. Attendees will enjoy beers from 76 small and independent U.S. breweries, hailing from 31 different states and representing all regions of the country. Along with tasting some of the finest craft beers, attendees will enjoy a diverse array of food pairings designed by Chef Adam Dulye, co-owner/chef of San Francisco’s The Monk’s Kettle and James Beard Award-semifinalist Abbot’s Cellar, in collaboration with a panel of chefs and Cicerones®. Sonnier & Castle will serve as the event caterer.

SAVOR sets itself apart by bringing the notable personalities behind craft beer brands to the front lines to serve guests. Attendees also have an opportunity to interact with brewers during private salon tastings throughout the two nights.

Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15, 2013 7:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Altman Building and adjoining Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street New York, NY 10011. Tickets and more information here.

March 29, 2013 - 30th Annual Craft Brewers Conference Concluded Today
Boulder, CO • March 29, 2013—The Brewers Association (BA) —the not-for-profit trade group representing America’s small and independent craft brewers—has concluded the 30th edition of the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) & BrewExpo America®.

As the largest industry gathering, CBC brought together some 6,400 brewing professionals and approximately 440 exhibitors in the nation’s capital for conversation and collaboration about America’s ever-growing craft beer culture.

Highlights from the 2013 conference include:
2013 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: Peter Bouckaert of New Belgium Brewing Co. was honored with the Russell Schehrer Award for implementing the biggest barrel ageing operation in the country. Brewmaster for the past 10 years, Bouckaert makes all kinds of experimental beers, many of which are released under New Belgium’s “Lips of Faith” series. The award is given annually to honor Schehrer's contributions to the brewing industry. Schehrer was a founding partner and original head brewer at Colorado's first brewpub, Wynkoop Brewing Co.

Brewers Association Recognition Award: Art Larrance of Cascade Brewing/Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub received the Brewers Association Recognition Award for his innovative and award-winning beers. Larrance has been in the industry since the early 1980s and opened Cascade Brewing in 1998. Each year, BA members nominate candidates for this award and the BA Board of Directors votes to determine the most deserving brewer.

F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award: David Katleski, president of the New York State Craft Brewers Guild and owner of the Empire Brewing Co., received the F.X. Matt Award for his tireless efforts to make regulatory reform possible and change legislation. Katleski operates a small brewpub in Syracuse and is constantly working to help the local craft market. This past year, he had five major pieces of reform legislation passed in New York. The award is given in honor of a champion of small brewers, F.X. Matt, president of the F.X. Matt Brewing Co. in Utica, New York from 1980-1989 and chairman from 1989-2001.

Other notable takeaways from this year’s CBC include:
Craft Brewers Hill Climb: A record 233 small and independent American brewery owners and brewers, representing 215 craft breweries and 46 states, climbed the steps of the United States Capitol. They met with Congressional staff to tell their success stories and discuss legislative issues of concern to the craft brewing industry.

Kim Jordan Keynote: New Belgium Brewing co-founder and CEO Kim Jordan welcomed attendees as this year’s keynote speaker. Jordan presented the keynote at CBC in New Orleans in 2003, where she famously called for craft brewers to aspire to reach 10 percent of all U.S. beer sales. A decade later, Jordan returned to discuss issues ranging from technical brewing considerations to the industry’s collective spirit and future.

Leadership Recognition Awards: The Honorable Peter DeFazio (D-OR) was presented the Brewers Association Achievement Award in appreciation of his five years of leadership in the House Small Brewers Caucus. DeFazio was recognized for his evergreen commitment to supporting America’s small and independent brewers and for his personal passion and enthusiasm for craft beer and homebrewing.

Sustainability Manuals: With increasing numbers of craft brewers prioritizing sustainability issues, the BA officially unveiled three new manuals for craft brewers: BA Water and Wastewater: Treatment/Volume Reduction Manual; BA Solid Waste Reduction Manual; and BA Energy Usage, GHG Reduction, Efficiency and Load Management Manual. Each contains multiple levels of solutions for different size breweries and a toolbox including guidance, checklists and Excel-based tools.

New Records in Craft Beer Growth in the U.S. and Abroad: CBC also saw the BA release a full, extensive analysis of 2012 data on U.S. craft brewing growth. In a year when the total U.S. beer market grew by one percent, craft brewers saw a 15 percent rise in volume and a 17 percent increase in dollar growth, representing a total barrelage increase of almost 1.8 million. The BA also recently reported that the American craft brewing industry set new records for exports in 2012. Craft beer export volume increased by an astounding 72 percent compared to 2011, with a value estimated at $49.1 million. The full 2012 industry analysis will be published in the May/June 2013 issue of The New Brewer.

Next year’s conference will be held in Denver, CO from April 8-11, 2014, in conjunction with the 2014 World Beer Cup®.

March 27, 2013 - Brewers Association and Beer Institute At Odds Over Proposed Tax Legislation
The Beer Institute, which includes member companies such as Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, plans to “actively oppose” the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce, or Small BREW Act, this year. The Brewers Association — essentially the trade group for craft brewers — is lobbying for the bill, which would reduce the federal excise tax on beer from small producers.
Much more right here.
March 27, 2013 - Craft Brewers Conference Keynote: Honesty, Identity Will Determine Craft’s Fate
Jordan’s tone, while hopeful, was still cautionary. Her keynote speech addressed a variety of industry concerns including product quality, sustainable business practices, finite resources and even brewery expansion projects.
Lots more here.
March 26, 2013 - The $338 Million Powerball Beer Run
Pedro Quezada , a 44-year-old bodega owner who heads to Eagle Liquors to buy a few bottles of Corona and a lottery ticket after work every day made the best purchase of his life last Saturday The Dominican-born Quezada beat the 175-million-to-1 odds when he bought the winning ticket; using the Quick Pick option, he hit all five numbers and the Powerball.
Entire story here.
March 21, 2013 - Sly Fox Announces Release of Helles Golden Lager in Cans..and a New Style Can To Boot
Sly Fox Helles Gold Lager in a new "360 can" which allows the drinker to remove the top completely and use the can as if it were a glass will be introduced into the local market in April.

Additionally, Sly Fox's award-winning flagship beer, Pikeland Pils, will also be sold in the new cans at the ballpark during all Phillies home games in 2012.

A photo of the new can and a link to today's "Joe Sixpack" column about it and other canned beers in the Philadelphia Daily News can be found here.

March 19, 2013 - Online Weekly "Flying Kite" Celebrates Earth Bread + Brewery's Commitment to Being Green
Traditionally, restaurants are huge producers of waste. Earth's steadfast commitment to composting food scraps makes a significant difference on trash day. They generate only five household-sized cans of trash per week -- a minuscule amount for a large restaurant.
Read the entire article here.

Editor's Note: To the delight of its many fans, EB+B now has weekend lunch and brunch hours, rectifying the brewpub's only serious fault.

March 18, 2013 - Brewery Ommegang Announces Second Annual Philly Hop Chef Competition
NEWS RELEASE: On Tuesday, April 23 at 7 p.m., some of Philadelphia’s most talented young chefs will compete in Brewery Ommegang’s second-annual Philly Hop Chef for a chance to represent the city in a cook-off at the brewery’s annual Belgium Comes to Cooperstown event.

Six chefs will each create one dish showcasing their imaginative beer and food pairing skills, based on five principles of pairing. The dishes, all paired with Ommegang beers, will be served to a panel of judges and to all attendees; each chef will be given 15 minutes to describe and defend his dish to the judges.

Co-sponsored by the prestigious food magazine Saveur, Philly Hop Chef will be held at Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden Street, 215-232-2100) and tickets are $53.50 per person, with a portion of proceeds going to support the Mural Arts Program and Groundswell.

“Beer and food belong together – whether as a thoughtful beverage pairing or as an ingredient – and this competition brings some of Philly’s best and brightest young chefs into the kitchen with our beers,” says Megan Maguire, Ommegang Market Manager. “Last year’s dishes were inspired, and the playful rivalries that developed between the chefs drove each of them to work harder and to create even more exciting and interesting dishes and pairings.”

The outstanding line-up of competing chefs includes: Yun Fuentes of JG Domestic; Lucio Palazzo of La Calaca Feliz; Nick Macri of Southwark; Pat Szoke of The Industry; Eli Kulp of Fork; and Mike Deganis of Alla Spina. The chefs will be judged based on five pairing principles: Simple Pairing, a direct interaction between food and beer; Incorporation, utilizing beer in the cooking process; Mimicking, matching the flavor profile of a dish with the flavor profile of a beer; Story Telling, tracing the history of the dish and the beer; and Experimental, making beer the star of the dish.

“Our Great Beer Deserves Great Food and Hop Chef programs further the very Belgian idea of food and beer pairing – that there is a beer for every dish. Starting this year’s competition off in Philadelphia is fitting as Philly is one of the centers of beer culture in the U.S. and it also has a booming restaurant scene with high quality food, both local and ethnic” said Phil Leinhart, Ommegang’s brewmaster.

The Hop Chef Competition is part of the Ommegang program known as Great Beer Deserves Great Food®, a national initiative dedicated to the idea that fine beer deserves its rightful place at the table with fine foods. The Philadelphia event is the first in a series of chef’s cook-offs across the U.S., including other semi-final competitions in Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; and Albany, NY, culminating in a Grand Hop Chef cook-off at Ommegang’s Belgium Comes to Cooperstown festival August 2 to 4 at the brewery. In 2012, Philadelphia’s own George Sabatino won the national Hop Chef title in Cooperstown. He serves as the local Hop Chef Culinary Ambassador for this year’s competition.

March 18, 2013 - Brewers Association Releases Craft Beer Data for 2012
With production at 13,235,917 barrels in 2012, craft brewers reached 6.5 percent volume of the total U.S. beer market, up from 5.7 percent the previous year. Small breweries created an estimated 4,857 more jobs during the year, employing 108,440 workers, compared to 103,583 the year prior.
More details here.
March 14, 2013 - Green Flash Will Build New Brewery in Virginia Beach
The San Diego-based company said it will break ground on a $20 million, 58,000 sq. ft. Virginia Beach, VA location later this year. Green Flash co-founder and CEO Mike Hinkley first announced his intent to build a secondary, East Coast production brewery last June...
More details here.
March 12, 2013 - American Craft Beer Exports Set New Records in 2012
Canada remained the industry's largest export market, with shipments increasing 140 percent by volume (up to 68,180 barrels) in 2012.
More details here.
March 06, 2013 - Flying Fish Special Brew Raises $45,000 to Benefit Hurricane Sandy Victims
Habitat for Humanity, the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey were the beneficiaries. “New Jersey is one tight-knit state, and our fans and friends proved that with their overwhelming response to this special beer,” says Gene Muller, Flying Fish founder and president. “From our wholesalers to the local bars and restaurants that made sure no keg went unsold to the dedicated drinkers who nominated our three exceptional beneficiaries, it’s obvious that NJ residents are committed to bringing their communities back, better than ever, after the storm.”
Learn more about the F. U. Sandy campaign here.
March 05, 2013 - US Beer Sales Picking Up After Four Years of Declines
The 2012 increase in beer sales wasn't huge -- only about 1.4%.A few other factors helped sales last year, including cheaper gas, plenty of leap-year partying and a warm, dry winter in parts of the country.
Full story here.
February 28, 2013 - Lab Tests Show Budweiser Beers Meet Their Advertised Strength
Anheuser-Busch has been accused of misleading beer drinkers about the alcohol content of Budweiser and other products, in a series of class-action lawsuits filed in federal court. Tests conducted on Budweiser, Bud Light Lime, and Michelob Ultra this week by San Diego's White Labs found that "the alcohol percentages inside the cans were the same as what was stated on the can," says analytical laboratory specialist Kara Taylor.
More details here.
February 27, 2013 - Lawsuit Claims Budweiser Waters Down Its Beer
The suits, filed in Pennsylvania, California and other states, claim consumers have been cheated out of the alcohol content stated on labels. Anheuser-Busch InBev called the claims "groundless" and said its beers fully comply with labeling laws.
Read the story here.
February 26, 2013 - Scott Morrison To Leave Dock Street in May
The news was reported yesterday morning. Assistant brewer Justin Low will take over to top spot at Dock Street, which released this statement earlier today:
Scott Morrison’s Task is Complete! This coming spring, Scott Morrison is off to uncharted territory. As Head Brewer, teacher and consultant, Scott and Dock Street had an amazing year. We garnered two Great American Beer Festival Medals and a World Beer Cup medal. We made a slew of delicious brews, continued our beer collaborations and had lots of fun.

After a longstanding relationship as head brewer and consultant which began with the installation of the brewery at 50th & Baltimore, Scott will hand over the reins to the protege that he so assiduously trained, Justin Low. Dock Street is proud of the time spent with Scott while he filled the role as Head Brewer and equally supportive of Scott’s new venture.

If you're bound to be movin' on, it's surely nice to have some kind words and the wind at your back.--JACK CURTIN
February 23, 2013 - Major Hotels Hotels Embracing Craft Beer
From two beers in bottles to more than a 100, hotels are embracing craft beer and building partnerships and promotions to quench consumers’ growing thirst for it. . The Four Seasons Philadelphia has also embraced craft beer in its local community. In 2011, the hotel partnered with Dock Street Brewing Co. to brew beers only available at the hotel’s Swann Lounge.
Read more here.
February 21, 2013 - InBev, Justice Department Talking Settlement
AB InBev wants to buy the 50 percent of Modelo it does not already own for $20.1 billion.The Justice Department says the company's moves to meet anti-trust concerns are inadequate and filed a lawsuit on January 31 to stop the transaction.
Read the whole story.
February 19, 2013 - Anchor Brewing To Build Second Brewery on San Francisco Waterfront
The production facility that Anchor Brewing plans along the city's waterfront will also include a restaurant and museum."This is big news for us. We can now further expand our domestic market (Anchor is sold in every state) and open up new international markets," said CEO Keith Greggor....
Read more here.
February 18, 2013 - Boston Beer Company Will Can Boston Lager This Summer
After years of refusing to put his beer in cans, Jim Koch believes he’s finally found a package worthy of his brewery’s flagship offering, Boston Lager. Boston Beer spokeswoman Jessica Paar said the new can design is patent-pending and that Koch hasn’t decided if he’ll license its use to other craft brewers....
Read all about it.
February 15, 2013 - Anheuser-Busch InBev Will Sell Off Corona Distribution Rights To Salvage Modelo Purchase
Corona importer wins big in beer deal redo . Under the old deal, the catch was that ABI could reassess its import deal every decade and terminate it at its leisure, which made the brewer the target of a Justice Department antitrust suit.
The full story is here.
February 12, 2013 - American Craft Beer Week Set for May 13-19
For the eighth consecutive year, the Brewers Association has declared a week-long a celebration of U.S. craft brewers. Last year, ACBW was celebrated by breweries, brewpubs and retailers in all 50 states with over 1,300 official events.
Read all the details here.
February 12, 2013 - Dogfish Head And Sierra Nevada Help Design A Beer Glass Just For IPAs
Iconic drinks come in signature glasses, like the sombrero-shaped margarita glass, the balloon-esque brandy snifter, and the flared martini glass... The rise of artisanal craft beers has given Americans a new appreciation for the vessels in which their beers are served.
Read more here.
February 11, 2013 - Weyerbacher Brewing Co. Production Grew 38 Percent in 2012
The Easton brewery produced a total 13,700 barrels — 27,400 kegs — which represents a 38 percent growth over 2011.“We believe that with this success comes a responsibility to give back to Easton, the city that helped us to become such a successful business,” said the Brewery’s Office Manager Bill Bragg.
Read the compete story here.
February 08, 2013 - Brewers Seeking Tax Break in Proposed Small BREW Act
The Brewers Association applauded the introduction of the bill. It’s the third time that Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa) and Richard E. Neal (D-Mass) have introduced the legislation, House Bill 494, the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce (Small BREW Act).
Read the story here.
February 07, 2013 - Flying Dog Introduces Stove Topper Homebrew Kits
Giving homebrewers a chance to brew Flying Dog beers at home, Maryland's largest brewery is launching Stove Toppers - a line of clone homebrew kits. Stove Toppers are all-grain kits designed for advanced homebrewers that include the brewery's exact ingredients and brewmaster's recipe, all scaled down to a 5-gallon home brewery.
Read more here.
February 05, 2013 - Brewers Association Honors Two Congressmen With Legislator of the Year Awards
Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) and Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) were recognized for their stewardship of the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act.
Read the story here.
January 31, 2013 - Justice Department Sues To Stop ABI From Taking Over Corona
The Justice Department filed the lawsuit today. Federal authorities allege that Anheuser-Busch InBev's $20.1 billion takeover of Grupo Modelo, announced in June, would "substantially lessen competition in the market for beer in the United States as a whole" and result in consumers "paying more for beer and having fewer new products from which to choose."
Read the whole story here.
January 28, 2013 - Brewers Association Launches
From the Official Press Release: The Brewers Association today launched, a site that provides tools to help consumers, homebrewers, retailers, wholesalers, brewers and scrap yards redirect kegs back to the breweries that own the kegs.

Kegs are always the property of the brewery which purchased them and filled them with beer. Many kegs disappear as a result of accidental mishandling, while others go missing due to intentional misappropriation. offers a convenient way for kegs to get returned to their proper owner.

“Craft beer sales have grown tremendously over the past decade, which means the number of kegs owned by brewers has increased as well,” said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. “Keg disappearances and the resulting profit loss are hindering opportunities for craft brewers. We must ensure kegs are returned to their owners, it’s the right thing to do.”

According to the Brewers Association, keg loss costs craft brewers between $0.46 and $1.37 per-barrel of annual keg production. Assuming 2011 craft beer sales of 11.5 million barrels, that is a total direct capital charge to craft brewers of $5.3 million and $15.8 million annually. Lost kegs act as an enormous additional and unintended tax on beer, ultimately having a direct impact on job growth and profit reduction for brewers, wholesalers and retailers.

“Understanding the issue at hand is a vital part of finding a solution,” said Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and BA Technical Committee chair. “The online resource at allows people to contact the brewery or their local distributor to return kegs back to the brewery to be filled again with beer. We call on beer lovers and people in the trade to help reunite kegs with their owners.”

January 28, 2013 - State Budget and Finance Committee Reports on Brewing Industry Economic Impact
A recently complete report by the Pennsylvania Senate's Legislative Budget and Finance Committee detailed the economic impact of the brewing industry in the state and offered recommendations for legislation which would promote industry growth.

Among the findings:

As of December 31, 2011, over 100 breweries were licensed and operating in Pennsylvania and there were, as of that date, breweries in 34 of the state's 67 counties;
Pennsylvania breweries had an estimated direct economic impact of $1.1B in 2011. This figure was calculated using an agreed upon percentage of the data from the Beer Institute to identify the direct impact of only the product produced and sold in Pennsylvania;
Based on the responses to a survey of all breweries licensed and operating in Pennsylvania in 2011, as of December 31, 2011, capital investment in plant and equipment has grown 318% over the previous 5 years with investments and other expenditures by the breweries totaling $782M over that period. Breweries responding to the survey employed approximately 1,900 full-time and 760 part- time workers as of the end of 2011; employment grew 10% annually over the five year period;
Pennsylvania breweries, brewpubs, wholesalers and distributors paid the state an average of $41M a year over that period in malt beverage and business taxes (taxes are not solely the result of beer produced in PA). Fees collected by the Commonwealth from breweries and brewpubs averaged $116K over the last 3 fiscal years covered by the report.
The committee recommended that the General Assembly consider amending the Liquor Code as it pertains to malt and brewed beverages to address the Granholm decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in a 5-4 decision that laws in New York and Michigan that permitted in-state wineries to ship wine directly to consumers, but prohibited out-of-state wineries from doing the same, were unconstitutional) as it relates to malt and brewed beverages.

A second recommendation was that the General Assembly consider amending provisions of the Liquor Code related to franchise agreements to reflect the change in the industry due to the growth in the number of smaller craft manufacturers.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded here.

January 23, 2013 - Market Research Firm Projects Craft Beer To Be $18 Billion Market By 2017
"“Unlike its domestic and imported beer counterparts, craft beer has been able to defy overall beer market trends and continue expansion." Despite declining performance for domestic and imported beer, the craft beer market has risen strongly and appears poised for even greater heights...
Read the story here.
January 19, 2013 - New Flying Fish Beer in February Will Benefit Superstorm Sandy Victims
Flying Fish Brewing Co. will debut Forever Unloved (F. U.) Sandy, a hybrid wheat-pale ale, in Feburary. 100% of the proceeds from sales of the draught-only brew will go to New Jersey victims of 2012’s Superstorm Sandy. F.U. Sandy will be available throughout the New Jersey and Philadelphia region.

"At Flying Fish, we proudly hail from the great state of New Jersey, so when tragedy struck, we knew immediately that we wanted to do something to help," Flying Fish founder Gene Muller explained. "Every single aspect of this beer, from the man-hours spent brewing it to the hops used to season it to the kegs that will contain it, has been donated so every cent brought in goes to Superstorm Sandy victims."

The brew will produce approximately 100 kegs of beer, with sales expected to generate $50,000. The recipient of those funds will be a grassroots NJ-based charitable organization dedicated to Superstorm Sandy relief and chosen by Flying Fish fans via social media. To nominate a charity, visit the brewery on twitter @jerseyfreshale and on Facebook.--JACK CURTIN

January 15, 2013 - New Belgium Brewing Now Completely Employee-Owned
New Belgium announced the milestone Tuesday, a day after its 456 employees got the news at their annual winter retreat. The nation's third-largest craft brewer and has been partly owned by its workers since 2000, but co-founder Kim Jordan and her family held a controlling interest until now.
Read the story here.
January 12, 2013 - Weyerbacher's Chris Wilson is going to Belgium
Weyerbacher head brewer Chris Wilson was chosen the lottery drawing this afternoon to brew the 2013 Philly Beer Week collaborative brew at De La Senne.
January 11, 2013 - Dan Weirback Is the Man
Verboten Brewing tells a craft-beer trademark story with a happy ending Verboten Brewing, which will open its doors this weekend, takes its name for the German word for "forbidden," and is a reference to German beer-purity laws, or Reinheitsgebot, which forbade brewers in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries from using anything but water, barley and hops in their beers. But Verboten's owners...discovered that their chosen name nearly ran afoul of another set of United States trademark law....Weyerbacher Brewing owns the nationwide rights to the name because it trademarked the name of its Belgian-style pale ale, Verboten....
Read the whole story here.
January 10, 2013 - Mahar's, a haven for beer-lovers, taps out
It's news that broke the hearts of beer lovers throughout the Capital Region Mahar's Public Bar is closing. Jim Mahar's watering hole, preferred by many craft beer enthusiasts, will be shutting its doors at a yet-to-be-determined time this year, to be replaced by a new pub owned by someone else. Read the whole story here.
January 08, 2013 - Memphis Taproom, Local 44, Resurrection Ale House and now...
Another scoop. The Inquirer's Michael Klein has good news for Philadelphia beer lovers.
Read the whole story here.
January 08, 2013 - Anheuser-Busch to unveil new beer at Super Bowl
Bud Black Crown Is Coming. The new beer is scheduled to be on sale nationwide by Jan. 21.
Read the story here.
January 04, 2013 - Brooklyn Brewery Opening New $5 Million Facility in Sweden
Brooklyn Expands Overseas Footprint “This is a project that takes us deeper into the Swedish market with a local brewing presence and allows us to get into the fabric of the Swedish brewing culture,” [Brooklyn COO Eric Otrtoway] said. “It will give us the flexibility to do small, locally produced batches where we collaborate with local brewers and chefs in a way we can’t currently.”
Read the whole story here.
January 03, 2013 - The Craft Beer Black Market
Would you spend thousands of dollars for a rare bottle of beer on eBay? "Having covered the craft beer industry worldwide since the 1990s, I thought I’d seen it all—but then I saw beer’s black market in action. At New York’s Blind Tiger bar one late afternoon last March, a slight, unsmiling young man in a dark windbreaker ordered several pints of beer from the bar, transferred them one by one to a canteen, then slipped away. “He’s going straight home to resell that on eBay,” muttered a patron standing nearby. The perishable beer in question was brewed by Shaun Hill at Hill Farmstead brewery in Vermont, which is currently rated the sixth best brewery in the world by the users of RateBeer."
Read the whole story here.
January 02, 2013 - Philly Beer Week Will Send Another Lucky Brewer to Belgium in 2013
On Saturday, January 12 from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., Philly Beer Week (PBW) 2013 will host their annual Win a Trip to Belgium Raffle at Field House (1150 Filbert Street, 215-629-1520). Guests will have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for $5 per ticket or 5 for $20, and at 2:30 p.m., a drawing will be held to determine the winner. That local beer lover will then be invited to choose a brewery from among a list of PBW participants and will travel, along with the representative from their brewery of choice, to Belgium in March 2013 to partner with Bernard Leboucq and Yvan De Baets of Brasserie de la Senne in crafting the 2013 PBW Collaborative Brew.

The PBW 2013 Collaborative Brew will be created in cooperation with Brasserie de la Senne and imported by Shelton Brothers, who will provide the winner’s and brewer’s airline tickets and hotel rooms for the two-night whirlwind expedition. This year’s participating breweries and representatives are:

Boxcar Brewing – Jason Kohser
Dock Street – Scott Morrison
Evil Genius – Mark Braunwarth
Flying Fish – Casey Hughes Free Will – John Stemler
Manayunk – Doug Marchakitus
Neshaminy Creek – Jeremy Myers
Nodding Head – Gordon Grubb
Philadelphia Brewing – Ben Schamberg
River Horse Brewing – Chris Rakow
Round Guys – Scott Rudich
Shawnee Craft – Chris DeGasperis
Troegs – Andrew Dickson
Victory – Kevin McGovern
Weyerbacher – Chris Wilson
Yards – Tom Kehoe

NOTE: Previous winners Sly Fox and Iron Hill are prohibited from winning this year’s raffle.

At the raffle event, guests will have the chance to mix and mingle with the brewers, who must be present in order to be selected to join the winner overseas. The Field House will serve their all-new menu of beer-friendly pub fare, along with their 40 local draughts, many from participating breweries.

Philly Beer Week 2013 will be held from Friday, May 31 until Sunday, June 9.

December 28, 2012 - The Makers of Woodchuck Have Been Acquired for $305 Million
C&C Group Completes Acquisition of Vermont Hard Cider. "Vermont Hard Cider will join an impressive C&C portfolio that already includes brands like Magner’s and Hornsby’s. The company is on pace to ship just under 4 million cases in 2012, representing 25 percent growth year-to-date."

Read the complete article.

December 28, 2012 - Excellent Reasons to Win the Nobel Prize
Danish Brewery rewarded prize winner 90 years ago."[A]fter [Niels Bohr] won the Nobel Prize in 1922, the Carlsberg brewery gave him a gift – a house located next to the brewery. And the best perk of the house? It had a direct pipeline to the brewery so that Bohr had free beer on tap whenever he wanted."

Read the whole story here.

December 18, 2012 - News From Around the Internets
Yuengling Brewing valued at $1.8 Billion: "Based on the company’s stated 2012 production of 2.9 million barrels and the enterprise value-to-earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization multiple of Boston Beer, closely held Yuengling is valued at $1.8 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Enterprise value is defined as market capitalization plus total debt minus cash. "
Read about it here.

The battle for the name Budweiser goes on: "[S]ettlement talks between state-owned Budejovicky Budvar and Anheuser-Busch, a U.S. company now part of AB InBev, have collapsed, according to Budvar's director general, Jiri Bocek."
Read about it here.

December 13, 2012 - Brewers Association: When is "Craft" Not Craft?
"In an editorial broadside launched both in print and online, the Brewers Association lashed out at “crafty” beers produced by international brewing conglomerates yesterday as part of what the BA promises will be a long battle to increase consumer awareness of the definition of craft beer.... Read about it here.
December 11, 2012 - Philly Beer Scene Magazine To Expand Distribution, Digital Offerings
Philly Beer Scene, which has established itself as "the" local beer publication in the Delaware Valley in its almost four years in the market, has some big plans brewing for 2012. This information was extracted from a long email editor and publisher Mat Falco sent to advertisers in early December and has been slightly edited:
"[I]n 2012, we...started distributing the magazine throughout York and Lancaster Counties as well as started a more significant push in North Delaware... Because of these growths, we are now printing 24,000 copies of each issue. Starting with the February/March issue, an additional 2,000-3,000 copies will be printed [and] will be available for sale on newsstands throughout the entire states of DE, NJ, and PA. The plan is to start out with Barnes & Nobles, Wegmans, and Whole Foods.

"Another new expansion for us in 2013 will be in the digital version... Starting very soon, an interactive digital version will also be available for free on iTunes. This version should hopefully be available any day now or with the February/March issue at the latest.

"Lastly, the National Homebrewers Conference is coming to Philadelphia at the end of June this year, and we are getting as involved as possible. We have already signed up as a premier sponsor and will running the hospitality suites all three nights. This will be a great night to show off how great the Philly beer culture is as we will have the focus of most everyone attending the festival.

"Also coming up in 2013, we have a few large events. The first will be Band of Brewers on February 10th. Six local breweries have each put together a band and will battle it out on stage in a battle of the bands type event. This is solely a charity event, and we are looking to raising over $12,000 through it. Following that will be the return of the Best of the Philly Beer Scene Awards Show...

"[W]e also just kicked off our 2nd Annual Battle of the Homebrew Shops. This is a two-round contest. In round one we pick a single winner from each of the 10 area shops. For round two, the winner must collaborate with the shop they won at to brew a 15 gallon batch to age in a freshly emptied barrel from Dad's Hat Rye, who is our sponsor this year. The winners will be announced at an event in our hospitality suite during the National Homebrewers Conference."

December 02, 2012 - Rogue Ales and Famed Oregon Bookstore Combine to Brew White Whale Ale
PRESS RELEASE - Powell’s Books and Rogue Ales & Spirits, two unique Oregon businesses, have collaborated to create a beer that’s dedicated to everyone with a thirst for books and artisan craft beer – White Whale Ale.

White Whale Ale is infused with the sea-faring spirit of Moby Dick. Michael and Emily Powell took pages from a copy of the book and, along with Rogue brewmaster, John Maier, placed them into the brew kettle. Moby Dick is especially meaningful to Michael Powell, who was inspired to become a bookseller when he found a first edition of the novel in a box of books he’s purchased.

White Whale Ale was brewed in honor of Powell’s Books 41st Anniversary. Powell’s Books is the one of the world’s great independent and family run bookstores. Its flagship stores in downtown Portland, Oregon, covers an entire city block and contains more than one million new and used books. It also serves customers worldwide through

White Whale Ale is available at Rogue Hall in the heart of the Portland State University campus and the Rogue Distillery & Public House located in Portland’s historic Pearl District, just blocks from Powell’s Books on Burnside. Commemorative bottles may also be purchased online at

November 20, 2012 - Narragansett Porter Is Back
NEWS RELEASE: The Famous Narragansett Beer announces the return of its winter craft brew, Narragansett Porter. A brand staple since the early 1900s, Porter has received a number of industry accolades, including a silver medal at the 2012 Great International Beer Competition following a bronze medal win the year prior, and a silver medal at the 2011 World Beer Championships.

Narragansett Porter is brewed under the supervision of award-winning Brewmaster Sean Larkin at Trinity Brew House in Providence, R.I., and High Falls Brewery in Rochester, N.Y., with chinook hops for bitterness, simcoe hops for aroma, black malt, pale malt, chocolate malt, munich malt, crystal malt, roasted barley, and ale yeast. An American-style porter, this winter brew has a deliciously mild chocolate flavor with a hint of smokiness and hops to balance out the finish, making for a robust yet extremely approachable craft experience. Narragansett Porter is 7% Alcohol by Volume and 28 IBUs.

Narragansett Porter dates back to 1916 when it was first brewed, and when Prohibition struck down breweries across America in the 1920s, the Narragansett Brewing Company was one of just six given a patent by the U.S. government to continue brewing beer for medicinal purposes, based largely on the belief that porter had healing properties. Narragansett Porter was prescribed by doctors and distributed throughout New England to patients suffering from a variety of ailments, particularly blood-related illnesses like anemia. After Prohibition was repealed in the early 1930s, Narragansett Porter became a favorite of New Englanders from Fall River, Mass., to Falmouth, Maine, and was often referred to as “‘Gansett Dark.”

In 2012, Narragansett expanded distribution of their winter craft brew to District of Columbia and Wisconsin, adding to a list of markets added in 2011, including Southern New York, North Carolina, East and Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Narragansett Porter arrived at the Beer Yard packed in 16oz cans this week.

November 12, 2012 - Brewer Scott Morrison Wins Charity Raffle at Monk's Cafe
Tom Peters of Monk's Cafe announced last week that a popular local brewer was the winner of a charity raffle run by the popular Philadelphia tavern:
We ran a Breast Cancer Charity Raffle that ended last night. The lucky bastard who won the custom Ribbecke Guitar raffle is...Scott Morrison, aka The Dude, head brewer at Dock Street Brewery.

Scott had a pretty good month...he also was awarded two medals at the Great American Beer Festival a few weeks ago. A Silver Medal for his Saison collaboration with Daniel Thiriez and a Bronze Medal for his Abt 12.

Congratulations Scott!

We far exceeded our goal of raising $10,000 for the Breast Cancer Charity. We were able to send a check for $15,000 this year. Two years ago we sent a check for $2,000, last year a check for $5,000. Thanks to all of you that helped us raise this much needed money.

Peters also included news of the next charity which will benefit from Monk's series of charitable events:
The next charity we'll be working on is Alex's Lemonade Stand, the locally based children's cancer charity. We will have occasional fund raisers over the next few months with our big event being tied to the annual February release of Russian River Pliny the Younger. Last year we donated a total of $20,000 to Alex's. Our goal for 2013 is $25,000. Get ready to dig deep my friends. Alex's is worthy of large donations from all of you. Once again, we will have crazy good vintage beer raffles.
November 12, 2012 - Victory Brewing's Parkesburg Project Carries $33.1 Price Tag
NEWS RELEASE: First Niagara today announced it served as lead arranger and administrative agent in a $33.1 million financing package for Victory Brewing Company. The$33.1 million is being used to finance the build-out of a second brewery, located in a 212,000 square foot building in Parkesburg, Pa. The new brewery will feature a brewhouse capable of producing ten, 200-barrel brews per day, a 50,000 square-foot distribution center with increased efficiency and safety features, and 1,000-barrel fermentation tanks.

"We have a long-standing relationship with First Niagara, and they understand our business objectives," said Ron Barchet, Brewmaster and CEO. "They were able to customize a financing solution that will allow us to successfully grow our business and meet the demand for the Victory brand."

"From the beginning, we recognized something very special about this organization," said Robert Kane, regional president at First Niagara."Not only do they have a solid business plan, they also have a passion for their business. As bankers, we know it takes both to thrive in today’s competitive business environment."

October 23, 2012 - Captain Lawrence Is Coming
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. of Pleasantville, NY is expanding into Pennsylvania and Northern New Jersey as well as expanding its territory in Northern New York State following its move to a new location in Elsmford, NY.

The brewery and founder/brewer Scott Vaccaro won Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals at Great American Beer Festival In Denver earlier this month for Golden Sour, Golden Delicious and Barrel Select Sour in that order.--JACK CURTIN

October 14, 2012 - Tröegs Takes Three Golds, Is Named Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year at 2012 GABF
Tröegs Brewing Co. won three Gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival Awards Ceremony in Denver yesterday afternoon, earning the Hershey brewery the distinction of being named the Mid-Sized Brewing Company of the Year and head brewer John Trogner the Mid-Sized Brewing Company Brewer of the Year. The Medals went to HopBack Amber Ale, Dreamweaver Wheat and Sunshine Pils.

The Iron Hill Brewery Group won the most medals among local entrants, four in all, including a Silver for Rauchtoberfest (Lancaster) and Bronzes for Black IPA (Wilmington), Roggenbier (Phoenixville) and Russian Imperial Stout (Media).

The other multiple medal winners locally were from Philadelphia, Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant and Dock Street Brewery.

Nodding Head took Silver for George's Fault (specialty beer) and Bronze for George's Funk (sour and barrel-aged beer). Both are collaborations between brewmaster Gordon Grubb and Home Sweet Homebrew's George Hummel (Home Sweet Homebrew is the city's oldest homebrew shop).

Dock Street took a Silver for Dock Street/Thiriez Table Saison, a collaboration between head brewer Scott Morrison and French brewer Daniel Thiriez, and a Bronze for Abt 12.

Rock Bottom King of Prussia won the region's fourth Gold for The Hammer (Baltic-style Porter) and Philadelphia's Yards Brewing Co. won its first GABF medal, Bronze for Yards Brewing Co.'s Extra Special Ale (ESA).

Flying Fish Brewing Co, of Cherry Hill won New Jersey's only GABF medal, a Bronze for Exit 8 Chestnut Brown Ale. In addition to the Iron Hill Wilmington pub, Delaware had Silver for Stewart's Brewing Co's Oyster Stout and a Bronze for Old Dominion Brewing Co's Oktoberfest.

Pennsylvania finished fourth among the states in total medals with 17, including four by Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh (Gold, Silver and two Bronze, earning it Large Brewpub of the Year with Steve Sloan as Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year) and a Bronze for Full Pint Brewing Co. in North Versailles.--JACK CURTIN

October 14, 2012 - GABF 2012 Was Largest Ever in Entries and Attendance
Paced by 12 medals from breweries in the Philadelphia region (see previous story), Pennsylvania brought home 17 medals from yesterday's Great American Beer Festival in Denver, finishing fourth among the states behind California (49), Colorado (35) and Oregon. The East Coast did not have a strong showing overall in 2012, with only New York (4), Massachusetts and Delaware (3 each), New Jersey and Washington DC (1 each) also claiming wins.

There were 254 medals awarded overall 84 beer categories covering 134 different beer styles. Winners were chosen from 4,338 competition entries from 666 breweries, hailing from 48 states, Washington, D.C. and Guam. It was the largest field of entries to date. The most popular categories were American-Style India Pale Ale (203 entries), Imperial India Pale Ale (128 entries), Herb and Spice Beer (114 entries), American-Style Strong Pale Ale (111 entries) and American-Style Pale Ale (109 entries).

GABF is conducted by the Brewers Association and is the largest commercial beer competition in the world.--JACK CURTIN

October 13, 2012 - BREAKING: Troegs Comes Up Big at GABF
There will be a complete GABF roundup here tomorrow, but the big news is Troegs. Iron Hill (4) and Nodding Head (2) also won multiple medals and both Yards Brewing and the new incarnation of Dock Street Brewing in Philadelphia earned their first ever GABF medals.

Other local winners: Flying Fish, Stewart's and Rock Bottom KOP (the region's fourth Gold). Pennsylvania garnered 16 medals in all as well as Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year and Large Brewpub of the Year (Church Works in Pittsburgh) honors.--JACK CURTIN

October 04, 2012 - Brews Coming Soon to a Farmers Market Near You?
The story, as reported in today's Pottstown Mercury:
HARRISBURG - Proposed legislation that would allow craft breweries to sell beer at Pennsylvania farmers' markets and food festivals passed the state House by a majority vote of 175 to 20 on Tuesday.

State Rep. Dante Santoni Jr., D-126th Dist., introduced the bill, House Bill 2429, on June 4. He is the Democratic chairman of the House Liquor Control Committee.

The bill moves on to the state Senate for consideration.

Further information from the Main Line Times:
[W]ith appropriate permits, craft breweries would be able to offer tasting and sales of their products for off-premises consumption. The permits would be similar to what’s now offered to wineries: $30 per day for each day of permitted use, not to exceed 30 days, Santoni said. The total number of days for all special permits could not exceed 100 days in a calendar year.

The special permits would be available only to those craft breweries that annually produce less than 25,000 barrels of beer.

This could make Saturday morning shopping one of the high spots of the weekend.--JACK CURTIN
October 02, 2012 - Great American Beer Festival Set for Denver, Oct. 11-13
The Great American Beer Festival 2012 will be held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver Oct. 11 -13. A total of 110 breweries will be pouring on the convention floor, a 23% increase over 2011. In addition to the public tasting, conducted in four sessions (Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday afternoon and evening), the results of the private judging of submitted beers which is conducted earlier in the week will be announced during the Saturday afternoon session as the highly sought after GABF medals are awarded, Gold, Silver and Bronze in 84 categories 84 categories covering 135 beer styles.

A new addition in 2012 is a Brewpub Pavilion in the central area of the festival hall in which approximately 24 breweries representing all regions of the country will showcase their wares. "Brewpubs are worthy of celebration as they make up about half of U.S. breweries, numbering well more than 1,000 across the country," according to the Brewers Association, which runs the GABF.

All 49,000 tickets to the three-day event were sold out in 45 minutes after the public sale began at 10am on August 2. That shattered the previous record-a week-set last year.--JACK CURTIN

September 14, 2012 - Yuengling Provides Free Beer for Philly-wide Lager Toast on Sept. 28
America’s oldest and largest American-owned brewery, Yuengling Brewing Co. of Pottsville, sill celebrate those distinctions on Friday, Sept. 28 in Philadelphia. Sept. 28 is National Drink Beer Day and, according to press release, "Yuengling wants to thank the city that has played the most significant role in supporting the brewery, generation after generation, with a free lager and a sincere thank-you. At precisely 6:30pm, Philadelphians 21 and older are invited to one of more than 250 bars, both in the city and the suburbs, to receive a free bottle of lager and a personal `thank-you' from 5th-generation brewery President and owner Dick Yuengling.

In partnership with distributor Origlio Beverage, Yuengling will supply more than 10,000 bottles of free beer to those bars across the five-county Greater Philadelphia region. One of Dick Yuengling’s daughters, Jennifer Yuengling, the brewery’s shipping manager, will make a special appearance at Chickie’s & Pete’s on Packer Avenue in South Philadelphia to join in the celebration. Philadelphians are encouraged to tune their TVs to Comcast SportsNet at 6:30 to watch a special toast to Philly from Dick Yuengling, directly from the historic Pottsville brewery, and join in the citywide toast. There is no cost or cover to get in. Free Lagers will be distributed as supplies last.

Yuengling credits some family traditions to the company’s success story. "At the end of the day, what matters most is my family’s aggressive commitment to producing an original quality product that people love. Our distribution network is strong, and it’s our dedicated team of employees, our family values, and, of course, loyal Lager drinkers, that have led to that growing network."

A list of participation locations is available on the brewery website.--JACK CURTIN

September 06, 2012 - Northern Brewer Homebrew Supply Releases White House Beer Kits
Northern Brewer Homebrew Supply has released kits containing all the ingredients needed to make White House Honey Ale and White House Honey Porter less than a week after the White House made the recipes public.

For the first time in history, homebrew is coming directly from the White House itself," says a company statement. "Like all great homebrew recipes, this one is adapted from a fairly standard recipe, then tweaked with special ingredients for greater consensus – in this case, the White House used honey sourced locally, from the First Lady’s bee hive on the South Lawn. While our honey comes from non-partisan sources, Northern Brewer’s exclusive White House Homebrew recipe kits make it possible to brew just like they do at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue...without leaving the comfort of your own home."

While the White House recipes use extracts and so do the Northern Brewer kits, Michael Dawson, a senior product developer at Northern Brewer. Since the White House brews were both extract recipes, as are the Northern Brewer kits, there are reports that the company is creating all-grain versions for sale to more serious homebrewers.--JACK CURTIN

September 04, 2012 - White House Beer Recipes [UPDATED]
The White House has released their beer recipes. You can check them out and watch a video of the beer being brewed here.

[ORIGINAL STORY 8/22/2012]
Fox News, of all places, is reporting that Americans want the White House to release...

Not tax returns....

Not birth certificates....

Not academic reports.

No, what they are demanding are the recipes for the famous White House homebrews.

From the story:

The White House has made no secret that it churns out brews that include Honey Porter and Honey Blonde Ale, made with the honey from Michelle Obama's White House garden and equipment the Obamas bought with their own money. But ever since President Obama last week admitted he was traveling with a stash of White House-brewed beer on his campaign bus, beer enthusiasts want to know how it's made.

Individuals calling themselves “homebrewers across America" filed a petition on the White House website demanding that the Obama administration cough up the recipe for the special suds.

“In keeping with the brewing traditions of the founding fathers, homebrewers across America call on the Obama Administration to release the recipe for the White House home brew so that it may be enjoyed by all,” the petition reads.

One user on the social media website Reddit took the more formal move of submitting a Freedom Of Information Act request for the White House brews.

“Disclosure of the requested information to me is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in my commercial interest,” read the request.

You can read the entire report here.--JACK CURTIN
August 27, 2012 - Historic Breweriana Collection To Be Auctioned in September
One of the most remarkable single-owner collections of breweriana and beer cans ever will be auctioned off by Morphy Auctions in Denver, Penna. on Sept. 21-22.

The Adolf Grenke collection, which was created over more than four decades, contains approximately 4,000-pieces including 400 beer taps and about 500 antique and vintage beer cans, many of which are exceedingly rare. "A few key examples are expected to exceed $50,000 each," Morphy Auctions CEO Dan Morphy told Among other high ticket items are rare Apache Export can from Arizona, "a very desirable low-profile cone-top can with Native American imagery," one of only five or six known to still exist, expected to go for $25,000-$35,000 at auction.

The Grenke collection also includes 19th and early 20th-century atwork and signs, including an Anheuser-Busch Bock Beer elves lithograph, estimated to sell at $25,000-$45,000. amd a corner sign from Buffalo's Iroquois Brewery estimated at $20,000-$40,000. "The last one that appeared at auction was made of composition and sold for $55,000. This sign, which is made of porcelain, is expected to fly," said Morphy.

A reports notes that "a special attraction within the antique advertising section is the 40+ illuminating reverse-on-glass, porcelain-enameled signs made by Gillco, Philadelphia. Gillco signs are coveted by breweriana collectors because of their outstanding quality and the fact that manufacturing runs were so low--sometimes limited to only 10 to 25 signs per design."

Auction sessions at Morphy Auctions on both days will begin at 9am. Internet live bidding will be available through CURTIN

August 22, 2012 - Beer Yard, Tröegs Brewing and Teresa's Next Door Team Up To Support SPCA
Once again, The Beer Yard, Tröegs Brewing and Teresa's Next Door are offering their customers and fans a chance to enjoy great beer and food at a Saturday afternoon celebration benefiting the local SPCA, held in the Beer Yard parking lot. The event runs from 1-4PM on Saturday, Sept. 1.

Attendees will enjoy a wide variety of Tröegs beers a tasty treats from the grill set up by Teresa's Next Door. A free logo-ed pint glass (while they last) will accompany every case of Tröegs sold and $5 from every case sold throughout the entire weekend will go to the Delco SPCA. That same deal applies to every check at TND for the weekend on which a customer writes "SPCA," so it's a party that just keeps on keepin' on right through Labor Day.

You'll be proud to tell your canine companions you fact, they're invited as well , just so long as they are on leashes). It's going to be a barkin' good time.

August 06, 2012 - Craft Beer Sales up 14% in dollars, 12% in volume for first half of 2012
The Brewers Association has released strong mid-year numbers for America’s small and independent craft brewers1. Dollar sales were up 14 percent in the first half of 2012, while volume of craft brewed beer sold jumped 12 percent during that same time period.

Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first six months of 2012 are an estimated 6.0 million barrels. Despite a number of challenges, including decreased overall beer sales, the mid-year numbers show signs of continued growth for craft breweries. The industry currently provides an estimated 104,000 full-time and part-time jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.

“Generally, most craft brewers are continuing to see strong growth in production, sales, brewing capacity and employment, which is to be celebrated during challenged times for many of today’s small businesses,” said Paul Gatza, director, Brewers Association. “Plus it’s a fact that beer drinkers are responding to the quality and diversity created by small American brewing companies. India pale ales, seasonal beers, Belgian-inspired ales and a range of specialty beers are just a few of the beer styles that are growing rapidly.”

The U.S. now boasts 2,126 breweries—an increase of 350 additional breweries since June 2011. The BA also tracks breweries in planning as an indicator of potential new entrants into the craft category, and lists 1,252 breweries in planning today compared to 725 a year ago. Additionally, the count of craft brewers was at 2,075 as of June 30, 2012 showing that 97 percent of U.S. brewers are craft brewers.

“Beer-passionate Americans are opening breweries at a rate faster than at any time since the day Prohibition ended for the beverage of moderation,” Gatza added. “There is nearly a new brewery opening for every day of the year, benefiting beer lovers and communities in every area across the country.”--BA PRESS RELEASE

July 25, 2012 - Weyerbacher's Last Chance IPA Supports Animal Rescue
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.s' new Last Chance IPA (which replaced Hops Infusion on the schedule when it was released in May), has contributed almost $5,000 to animal rescue organizations in its first two months on the market.

Weyerbacher contributes a portion of monthly sales income, based on wholesale receipts, to a different group or organization each month. The brewery awarded $1,224.50 to The Center for Animal Health & Welfare, Easton for May sales and sent $2,593.00 to MaPaw Siberian Husky Rescue in Boyertown for June. Those results were based on draft sales only; bottles were released in July.

"At the end of each month we tabulate and issue a check the first week of the new month based on the previous months sales," says brewery founder Dan Weirback. "We've received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from consumers, account and wholesalers on this beer with a great mission. We're very happy to be giving back to the community that so enthusiastically supports us."

Last Chance is a 5.9% West Coast-style IPA brewed with a combination of Centennial, Cascade, Simcoe and Columbus hops. Its name reflects their commitment of the management and employees of the brewery to help small, regional animal rescue organizations give rescued dogs, cats and other pets one last chance to find a new home. Employees have a say in where each month's donation goes.--JACK CURTIN

July 19, 2012 - Homebrewers National Conference Comes to Philly in June 2013
The American Homebrewers Association will hold its National Homebrewers Conference in Philadelphia June 27-29 next year. The event is an educational gathering designed to enhance homebrewers’ brewing skills and knowledge and celebrate homebrewing camaraderie. Special seminars and events are offered to cater to beer enthusiasts and amateur brewers of every level.

Opening night will be a special Pro-Brewers Night, according an AHA press release, during which conference attendees a private beer festival along with professional brewers from across the country.

The AHA us a division of the Brewers Association dedicated to promoting the hobby of homebrewing which has an estimated 750,000 enthusiasts.--JACK CURTIN

July 17, 2012 - Shipyard Brewing Adds Cans
Maine's Shipyard Brewing Co., the 16th largest craft brewery in the country, has released its flagship Shipyard Export Ale in 12oz cans this month and will also can its popular fall seasonal, Pumkinhead.

The decision to can was made primarily to meet the needs of the outdoor living styles (boating, golfing, hiking) of New Englanders, said the brewery, adding that the growing demand for pumpkin beers also influenced the second canning.--JACK CURTIN

July 17, 2012 - Dogfish Head, Sly Fox Make Men's Journal "Top 25 Beers" List
Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA (#18) and Sly Fox Pikeland Pils (#23)were the only two Philadelphia regional beers to make Men's Journal's list of the "25 Best Beers in the World" in its current issue. Here it is online.

About 90-Minute, they wrote: "t should be impossible for a beer that's been hopped for 90 solid minutes (an average IPA gets 60) to be delicious; in fact, each sip should be like snorting aspirin. This, however, is brewmaster Sam Calagione's specialty, and this confoundingly pleasant "extreme" beer is the purest expression of his skill."

On Sly Fix Pikeland: "A canned beer should be one that you want to string along beside the canoe and then crack open on a 95-degree day – which is why the aluminum-sheathed Sly Fox pilsner, a refreshing yet substantial straw-colored, artisanal-quality beer, gets our vote for the best damned can in the land."

The list was compiled based on interviews with "craft-brew luminaries" according to the story.--JACK CURTIN

July 12, 2012 - Second Time Is the Charm for Sly Fox Tastin' Room
The Tastin’ Room at the Sly Fox Brewery in Pottstown opened to the public on Thursday, July 12, at 11:30am.. The brewery is located at 331 Circle of Progress Drive at the Pottstown Airport.

The new pub is open Wednesday through Sunday at 11:30am every week , closing at 8pm on Sunday, 9pm on Wednesday and Thursday, 10pm Friday and Saturday.

There are 30 taps (not all active all the time), seating for 100 at the bar and long communal tables, plus a small patio our front. It's a self service menu featuring pizzas, BBQ pork sandwiches, roast chicken, sliders and a salad plate..--JACK CURTIN

June 26, 2012 - Green Flash Also Coming East
It's definitely a pattern at this point, not merely a trend.

San Diego's Green Flash Brewing Co. told the Craft Business Daily online newsletter today that they intend to build a 100,000-barrel brewery on the East Coast, to open January 2015.

Company founder Mike Hinkley told CBD that the brewery expects to max out its current capacity in San Diego by that date and that Green Flash currently sells 40% of its beer in the East. He said the new plant will as identical as they can make to their existing one and that they are currently considering "three coastal cities" for the site.--JACK CURTIN

June 19, 2012 - Boston Beer Enters Craft Spirits Market
Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Inc. and Boston Beer Company, brewers of Samuel Adams ,officially announced a multi-year collaborative project project to distill two world-class craft beers into a pair of never-before-tasted spirits tis week.

Flagship Samuel Adams Boston Lager and smoky, complex Samuel Adams Cinder Bock will both be triple-distilled at BMD’s distillery in Great Barrington, Mass., then barrel-aged in wood.

Noting that the aging of whiskey is a very complex and multi-faceted process which makes precise dating difficult, BMD said that that the two whiskies should be ready for release by 2015. It will be a limited edition offering of only 1,000 barrels.

The new creations will feature the Samuel Adams brand name on the label will retail above the $40 range.--JACK CURTIN

June 19, 2012 - Six Local Chefs Will Compete in Brewery Ommegang's Philly Hop Chef Competition on July 10
Six of Philadelphia’s most talented young chefs will compete in Brewery Ommegang’s Philly Hop Chef for a chance to represent the city in a cook-off at the brewery’s annual Belgium Comes to Cooperstown event in a competition to be held at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on July 10.

The competing chefs--Joe Cicala of Le Virtù, Jon Cichon of LaCroix at Rittenhouse Hotel. Jason Cichonski of Ela, Nicholas Elmi of Rittenhouse Tavern, George Sabatino of Stateside and Scott Schroeder of South Philadelphia Tap Room and American Sardine Bar--will each create two dishes showcasing their beer and food pairing skills. The 12 dishes, all paired with Ommegang beers, will be served to a panel of judges and to all attendees (tickets here).

The chefs will be judged based on five pairing principles: Simple Pairing, a direct interaction between food and beer; Incorporation, utilizing beer in the cooking process; Mimicking, matching the flavor profile of a dish with the flavor profile of a beer; Story Telling, tracing the history of the dish and the beer, and Experimental, making beer the star of the dish.

The Hop Chef Competition is part of the Ommegang program known as Great Beer Deserves Great Food®, a national initiative dedicated to the idea that fine beer deserves its rightful place at the table with fine foods. The Philadelphia event is the final in a series of chef’s cook-offs across the U.S., culminating in a Grand Hop Chef cook-off at Ommegang’s Belgium Comes to Cooperstown festival on August 4, 2012.--JACK CURTIN

June 15, 2012 - Terry Hawbaker Leaves The Farmer's Cabinet.
Terry Hawbaker is leaving The Farmer’s Cabinet in Philadelphia and going to Al’s of Hampden in Harrisburg as of August according to a report from Lew Bryson on the internet this afternoon.

Hawbaker is the third Philadelphia brewer whose move to a new job became public this week. Earlier, it was announced that Mike Fava, assistant brewer to Gordon Grubb at Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant, is heading north to work at Oxbow Brewing in Newcastle, Maine. And, as of this past Monday,Jon Defibaugh, formerly at Earth Bread + Brewery in Mt. Airy left to become part of Tired Hands in Ardmore.

Other local changes have apparently also occurred recently but none of these have so far been announce and confirmed.--JACK CURTIN

May 23, 2012 - Beer Yard Named Best Suburban Beer Distributor in Annual Philly Beer Scene Voting
The Beer Yard was named the Best Beer Distributor in the suburbs for the third straight year at the Philly Beer Scene Awards celebration at Philadelphia's World Cafe Live last night.

Weyerbacher Brewing Co.'s Chris Wilson won the big prize of the night, Best Area Brewmaster, while Victory Brewing Co. was named Best Area Brewery.

Weyerbacher's Mike Lubieski was chosen as Brewery Rep of the Year and the Easton brewery also had the Best Barrel-aged beer (Insanity) and Best Belgian-style Beer (Merry Monk's Ale). Victory added wins for Best Stout/Porter (Storm King) and Best Lager (Prima Pils) to its total. Tröegs Brewing Co. won the most awards of the night: Best Seasonal and Beer Most Searched For Online (Nugget Nectar), Best Wheat Beer (Dreamweaver) and Best Label Art.

The Sly Fox Bock Fest and Goat Race was selected as the Best Beer Event, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant Group the Best Brewpub and Lew Bryson the Best Beer Writer.

The winners are selected by online voting at the Philly Beer Scene website. A complete list of all of them is available here.--JACK CURTIN

May 23, 2012 - Iron Hill To Open in Voorhees, NJ, Next Winter
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant will open its tenth location, and second in New Jersey, Voorhees Town Center in late 2012 or early 2013. The first Garden State location for the award-winning company opened in Maple Shade in 2009.

"We were looking for a place with a vibrant community where we could become a part of a great neighborhood, and Voorhees Town Center is exactly that," says Iron Hill founding partner Kevin Finn, who along with co-owners Kevin Davies and Mark Edelson, have continuously sought out thriving locations for their award-winning concept. All three partners are New Jersey natives.

Iron Hill was named the Small Brewpub of the Year at the Craft Brewers Conference earlier this year.--JACK CURTIN

May 22, 2012 - Victory Brewing Expands Headwaters Grant
Victory Brewing Company announced this their Headwaters Grant to the Guardians of the Brandywine,launched in 2011 following the release of Headwaters Pale Ale to support the groups working hard to protect vital water sources, would b extended for an additional year and that grant funding has been increased award a second grant to the Brandywine Valley Association.

The Guardians of the Brandywine used their initial grant to initiate multiple education programs encouraging individuals to take ownership of clean water issues. The Brandywine Valley Association plans to use their grant to restore Little Buck Run, a stream in Parkesburg near Victory’s recently announced expansion site.

The new awards fulfill a promise the brewery made in 2011 that, as the popularity of the Headwaters Pale Ale increased, so would the size and reach of the grants awarded each year. "When we made the decision to expand our brewing operations to a second location, water quality was of utmost importance to us," said Victory president and co-founder Bill Covaleski. "The pure water available at both locations contributes so much to the character of Victory beers. It is an obvious time for us to increase our funding to give back to the natural resources which so generously provide to us."--JACK CURTIN

May 08, 2012 - Iron Hill Media Wins 2012 World Beer Cup Small Brewpub & Brewmaster Honors [UPDATED 5/8/2012]
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Media and head brewer Bob Barrar were named the World Beer Cup Champion Small Brewpub and Brewmaster at the 2012 World Beer Cup ceremonies which closed out the Craft Beer Conference in San Diego last night after winning Gold Medals in the British-Style Imperial Stout category for Russian Imperial Stout and in the Old Ale category for Old Ale.

Iron Hill's Newark, Del. location, the original pub in the group, won a Bronze for Grodzinski in the Smoke Beer Category; Justin Sproul is head brewer there.

Three other regional breweries won Bronze Medals: Hershey's Troegs Brewery and brewmaster John Trogner for Troegenator in the Traditional German-Style Bock category; Philadelphia's Dock Street Brewery and head brewer Scott Morrison for Prisoner of Hell in the Belgian-Style Strong Pale Ale category; [UPDATE] Dogfish Head Red and White won a Bronze Medal in the Experimental Beer Category.

A Silver Medal for Pabst Brewing Co. in the American-Style Cream Ale or Lager category is credited to Allentown in the official awards list but that is presumably an error since that plant is now owned by Boston Beer Co.--JACK CURTIN

May 06, 2012 - And the Maibock Shall Be Called Peggy. Again.
Peggy, the three-legged goat who became a local beer celebrity last June when she nipped two-time champion Dax at the finish line to win the annual Sly Fox Bock Festival Goat Race , repeated as the winner this afternoon in a photo finish before the largest crowd ever to attend the 14-year old event.

The 2012 Maibock will be named in her honor and her owner received a $75 Sly Fox gift card.--JACK CURTIN

May 01, 2012 - Victory Brewing Company Launches "Find Your Summer Love" Sweepstakes
As Victory Brewing Co.'s popular Summer Love Ale hits shelves across the country this month, consumers see signage that reads, "Find Your Summer Love." By simply scanning a QR code found on various posters, coasters and across the web, Victory drinkers and the general public will be entered to win summery items from the brewery.

"Victory Brewing Company has always looked for ways to give back to beer enthusiasts," said company spokesperson Karen Noonan, "and through this contest we can do just that, while simultaneously advertising Summer Love Ale.?

More than 500 winners will be randomly selected over the course of the summer. Prizes will include summer-themed gear like Frisbees, lip balm, beach balls and more. Victory will select multiple winners every month from May through August and notify them via email, phone or USPS. All winners will be notified no later than September 14, 2012.

In order to comply with various state regulations, this contest will be voided where prohibited. Anyone may scan the code and complete the information required to enter. No purchase necessary. Alternative methods for entering include, visiting here or sending a note card with name, birthday and mailing address to Victory Brewing Company, ATTN: Find Your Summer Love, 420 Acorn Lane, Downingtown, PA 19335.--JACK CURTIN

May 01, 2012 - Weyerbacher Will Release Last Chance IPA, Benefiting Animal Rescue
Last Chance IPA, so-named because a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each bottle or keg will be donated to an animal rescue organization, will be the new kid on the block in Weyerbacher Brewing Co.'s beer portfolio.

The new beer is brewed with Centennial, Cascade, Simcoe and Columbus hops and comes in at 5.9% abv.The date of its release has not yet been announced.

Last Chance is the result of Weyerbacher's IPA Project, a series of six new hoppy beer recipes released over the summer of 2011. They were available draft-only at selected restaurants and bars and a the release of each included a public voting component. "We decided that the west coast-style IPA we called `Crimson' was the best of the new brews as it delighted even the most faithful of Hops Infusion fans," said a brewery spokesperson.

The beer's name and the donation for each sale are "a nod to something held very close to the hearts of many of the employees at Weyerbacher Brewing Company: Animal Rescue," according to a company press release. Individual brewery employees will select a rescue organization for each month.--JACK CURTIN

April 28, 2012 - The (Beer) Weeks of Our Lives
American Craft Beer will will be celebrated across the nation from May 14-20 with events in all 50 states. The Brewers Association calls this annual country-wide party "the Mother of All Beer Weeks."

This will be seventh annual ACBW, during which beer lovers come together to show appreciation on a local level for the more than 1,900 small and independent craft brewers responsible for the steadily advancing American craft beer culture. "This year’s celebrations will once again provide an opportunity for small brewers, enthusiasts and the community of better beer retailers to celebrate this growth and the progressively popular craft beer culture in the US. The thousands of scheduled events nationwide underscore the grassroots nature of the craft beer movement."

Less than two weeks after the final ACBW event, Delaware Valley residents will begin celebrating their own local beer culture as the fifth annual Philly Beer Week kicks off on June 1. Since this was the first Beer Week, the one that inspired similar 10-day "weeks" of beer worship across the nation, Philadelphians might be excused if they call it "the Father of All Beer Weeks."

The official opening, as always, will be Opening Tap, held at the Independence Visitor Center. This signature event sells out ever year and this year has been expanded to include a special one-hour VIP session starting at 6:30pm; the doors open to the public at 7pm. The seminal moment will come when Mayor Michael Nutter once again slings the Hammer of Glory (HOG) to tap the first keg of Brotherly Love, the annual collaborative beer for PBW. The journey of the HOG all across the local beer landscape during the afternoon to be delivered to the Visitor Center has itself become one of PBW's most popular events.

"Philly Beer Week has developed a well-deserved national buzz. It has one of the most respected celebrations anywhere, spotlighting our brewers, great bars and restaurants throughout the region," said Mayor Nutter.

Opening Tap attendees will also have the first taste of Dupont Speciale Belge, a Belgian ale brewed at Brasserie Dupont in Belgium by master brewer Olivier Dedeycker and Iron Hill Maple Shade head brewer Chris LaPierre exclusively for PBW 2012. The collaborative beer is a first for 167-year-old Brasserie Dupont and was organized by its American importer, Vanberg & DeWulf.--JACK CURTIN

April 17, 2012 - Dogfish Head and Victory Listed Among Nation's Top Craft Breweries
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery of Milton, Del. is #12 on the Brewers Association's just-released list of the nation's Top 50 Craft Breweries and Victory Brewing Co. of Downingtown, Penna., comes in at #27. The list is based on 2011 sales volume. In the overall listing of American breweries, Dogfish Head was #19 and Victory was #39. Thirty-six of the companies on that broader list are considered craft brewers.

"In the last 15 years, craft brewing has gone from one percent of the overall beer market to almost six percent in 2011,” said Paul Gatza, director of the BA. “We attribute a large part of that growth to the many talented brewers who are providing beer lovers with more beer style and flavor choices than ever before.”

The top five in the craft rankings were Boston Beer Co., Boston, Mass.; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, Calif.; New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colo.; The Gambrinus Company, San Antonio, Tex. and Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Ore.

April 10, 2012 - American Craft Beer Exports Increased by 86 Percent in 2011
Based on results from a recently-completed industry survey, the Brewers Association today reported record exports of American craft beer in 2011. American craft breweries exported over 110,000 barrels of beer in 2011, valued at an estimated $23.4 million—a dramatic increase of 86 percent by volume and 97 percent by dollars over 2010 exports. Export statistics have been compiled by BA for nine years and each year a new record has been set.

Canada is the industry's largest export market, with shipments increasing 127 percent by volume (up to 27,976 barrels) in 2011, largely as a result of increased demand in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. The United Kingdom and Sweden are second and third; exports to both countries totaled approximately 13,065 barrels. Regionally, Western Europe is the largest destination for American craft beer exports with shipments increasing 52 percent in 2011 for a total of more than 51,613 barrels.

Total American craft beer exports are up by approximately 500 percent since the BA Export Development Program was initiated in 2004 with funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Market Access Program.--JACK CURTIN

March 30, 2012 - Weyerbacher's Merry Monk's Ale, Victory Brewing, Monk's Cafe Are Philly's Drinker's Choice Winners
Weyerbacher Brewing Company's Merry Monk['s Ale., a Belgian style Tripel, was named Philadelphia's Best Beer in the 2012 Drinker's Choice Awards voting. Victory Brewing Co.'s Headwaters Pale Ale took second place and Flying Fish Brewing Co.'s Exit 4 was third.

Victory Brewing was selected as the top brewpub, with Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant second and the Yards Brewing Co.' s Tasting Room third.

Monk's Cafe was voted the Best Beer Bar, with The Farmers' Cabinet second and Khyber Pass Pub third.

The voting was conducted by the Drink Philly website.--JACK CURTIN

March 26, 2012 - Craft Brewers Grew by 13% in Volume, 15% in Sales in 2011
Boulder, CO • March 26, 2012 —The Brewers Association (BA), the trade association representing small and independent brewers, today released 2011 data on U.S. craft brewing1. Craft brewers saw volume2 rise 13 percent, with a 15 percent increase in retail sales from 2010 to 2011, representing a total barrel increase of 1.3 million.

In 2011, craft brewers represented 5.68 percent of volume of the U.S. beer market, up from 4.97 in 2010, with production reaching 11,468,152 barrels. Additionally, the BA estimates the actual dollar sales figure from craft brewers in 2011 was $8.7 billion, up from $7.6 billion in 2010. Increased retails sales represented 9.1 percent of the $95.5 billion dollar U.S. beer market.

"While the overall beer market experienced a 1.32 percent volume decrease in 2011, craft brewing saw significant growth, surpassing five percent total market volume share for the first time," said Paul Gatza, director, Brewers Association. "It’s becoming increasingly clear that with the variety of styles and flavors to choose from, Americans are developing a strong taste for high-quality, small-batch beer from independent brewers."

With 250 brewery openings and only 37 closings, the BA also reported that 1,989 breweries were operating in the U.S. in 2011—an 11 percent increase from the previous year. Small brewers employed approximately 103,585 workers in the U.S in 2011.

"We saw rapid growth in brewery openings last year, particularly with microbrewery start-ups, and these numbers are poised to rise even more in 2012," added Gatza. "In February 2012, we already topped 2,000 operating breweries—a truly remarkable milestone. We look forward to even more success and the continued expansion of the craft beer market."--JACK CURTIN

March 20, 2012 - Victory Brewing To Expand to Parkesburg in 2013 [UPDATED]
Victory Brewing Company will open a second brewery in Parkesburg, Penna. ( target date summer 2013) because the original brewery in Downingtown will reach its capacity this year. The new brewery location was chosen because of its similarities to the current site, according to a company press release.

The Downingtown location is situated a mere 14 miles from the headwaters of the east branch of the Brandywine Creek and the Parkesburg brewery will be just 17 miles from the headwaters of the west branch. Environmental impact and water quality were major considerations for this expansion, according to the release, which noted that "nearly eight months of water-quality research found that the mineral composition of the west branch water is nearly identical to the east branch."

"Growing into a new facility will have some growing pains," according to a statement from Ron Barchet, Victory's CEO and co-founder, "but once we are up and running, it will allow us endless opportunities to experiment with new flavors and re-create old favorites."

More details to come.--JACK CURTIN

UPDATE: The food, drink & gossip website FooBooz reported this afternoon that "Ultimately, most of the flagship brewing will be moved to the Parkesburg facility and the Downingtown brewery will specialize in limited-edition and experimental beers."

March 07, 2012 - Stoudt's To Celebrate 25th Anniversary
Stoudt's Brewing Co.,the first brewpub in Pennsylvania when it opened back in 1987, will celebrate its 20th Anniversary in May with a party in its Adamstown Beer Garden on May 11. It will be a non-profit event supporting the local library and will also showcase two special anniversary beers being released as a part of the anniversary celebration.

Amber 25 is a light bodied, refreshing beer brewed with a small amount of caramel malt to give it a nice amber color with a hint of sweetness. 5025 s a full bodied and tart brew started with the brewery's Quad recipe and aged in red wine barrels for 17 months. The barrel-aging is a first for Stoudt's.--JACK CURTIN

March 03, 2012 - Two Rivers Brewery and Pub Will Open in Easton This Summer
Easton appears to be where the craft brewing action is these days. In addition to the $1.1 million expansion announced by Weyerbacher Brewing Co. last Monday, news broke in the Morning Call yesterday that Two Rivers Brewing Co. will covert a long-vacant building adjacent to the original Weyerbacher site on Northampton St. into a brewery and brewpub which hopes to be open by July. Work has been going on at the site since last summer.

Principals in the endeavor are Troy Reynard, owner the Cosmic Cup coffehouse in the city, his wife Kathy and partners Brad and Judy Nelson, operating at Vagabond Properties. The building is an historic landmark which hs been a boarding house, hotel, bar and restaurant and perhaps even a brothel.

Ironically, part of their funding is a $450,000 grant from the Easton Redevelopment Authority which was originally intended for the ill-fated Victory Square project which would have included a brewpub operated by Downingtown's Victory Brewing Co.

Renard told Morning Call write JD Malone that Two Rivers' flagship beers would be Pine Street Blonde, Banker's Brown Ale and Guetter Island Pale Ale. "The beer has been featured at several viral happy hours around Easton, and at a fundraiser for the Main Street Initiative last week," Malone reported.--JACK CURTIN

February 27, 2012 - Weyerbacher 7500 Sq. Ft. Addition Scheduled To Complete is September; Tasting Room Planned For Early 2013
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. will add a 7500 sq. ft. addition to its Easton brewery, a $1.1 Million expansion which is expected to be completed next September. A pub will be added in January 2013 according to current plans.

"This will triple our capacity to 30,000 barrels," Dan Weirback told The Beer Yard in an exclusive interview this morning. "We have to make this move to keep up with demand. We grew by 34% in 2011 in both barrelage and dollars, amounting to $3.6 million in sales. And in the first two months of 2012 sales are up 51%."

Fermentation, bottling and kegging operations will be moved into the new space. Four 80-barrel fermenters are already on order and should arrive in late March. "We will have to cram them into the existing area to start," Weirback said, "because we need that capacity online as soon as we can get it, the long-range plan is to phase out all the existing 20 and 40 barrel tanks and replace them with more 80-barrel ones. That's how we will get to 30,000 barrels."

Weyerbacher has steadily been adding to the three vessel, 25-barrel brewhouse it bought from Victory Brewing Co. They added a 40-barrel batch kettle with an internal calandria a few years back, upgraded to a 45-barrel whirlpool two years ago and will be purchasing a new mash tun and lauter tuns to handle the 40-barrel batches in the next year or two.

The proposed pub will be built in the current part of the building once all the fermenters have been relocated into the new space. "It will be more of a tasting room that a true pub," Weirback said. "It won't be a restaurant but there will be one snack item of some sort to comply with the law. It will probably only be open from 11 to 6 Tuesday through Saturday. We don't want to take business away from the restaurants in the ares which have supported us by putting our beers on draft."

A significant part of Weyerbacher's growth has come in its home market, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, "but we have about five states in which we are seeing dynamic growth of 20-30%. The good news is that we don't have some increase we must meet to make this expansion feasible. Our 2011 sales already reached a level of profitability to cover the rent on the space."--JACK CURTIN

February 22, 2012 - Victory's "Brewer for a Day" Raffle Raises Funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Matt Krueger, General Manager for Victory Brewing Company's restaurant, Matt Krueger, is campaigning to be named Man of the Year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Inspired by Victory’s Berry Woodrow McLaughlin’s campaign last year, Matt decided to join her mission to raise funds and defeat blood cancer.

Last year, Matt supported Berry’s campaign and watched as she put her heart and soul into raising more than $60,000 for LLS. Even after observing the time and dedication required of the campaign and has now taken up the task himself, setting a goal of raising $100,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. "This is not just about raising money and securing an impressive title," says Matt. "This is about saving lives and making a difference right now."

Victory Brewing Company has joined his mission by signing on as the Presenting Sponsor of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2012 Man & Woman of the Year, says brewery co-Founder and President, Bill Covaleski. "The energy required to run our busy restaurant makes Matt the perfect candidate for this campaign. We admire his desire to help beat this disease and we embrace the opportunity to support his mission."

Victory has set up a raffle to help raise funds. The winner gets to be "A Brewer for a Day," taking part in the creation of a beer with the Victory brewing team. All the details can be found here.--JACK CURTIN

February 22, 2012 - Sly Fox Will Sponsor May 26 ODDyssey Half Marathon in Philadelphia
Sly Fox Brewing Co. of Pottstown is the official beer sponsor of the May 26 ODDyssey Half Marathon in Philadelphia. The event, in its third year, had 2,000 participants in 31 states and three countries in 2011 and is described on its website thusly:
[A] serious endurance race, this half marathon is coupled with optional twists and turns throughout the course for runners who want to have a little fun. The race includes costume contests and unique obstacles to make it a race you will never forget."
Sly Fox is asking all runners to help select which Sly Fox beer will be the official post race beer with a free beer tasting at the Endurance Sports Expo in Oaks on February 25-26, 2012. Runners will be able to taste two select Sly Fox beers and vote for which one would be the most refreshing beer to drink after a beautiful 13.1 mile run. The winning beer will be the Official Beer of the ODDyssey Half Marathon.

The ODDyssey Half Marathon is Philadelphia’s spring half marathon. It boasts a USA Track and Field certified course, professional photography, cash prizes and the most sophisticated timing system in the world - allowing runners to cross the finish line and immediately look up their results on touch screen kiosks. You can register and/or get more details about the race or the beer here.--JACK CURTIN

February 06, 2012 - Bavarian Barbarian Brewery closes
Bavarian Barbarian Brewing Co. in Williamsport is closing after four years. Founder Mike Hiller announced the shut down on the brewery website late last week.
"I am profoundly sad to report that Bavarian Barbarian Brewing Company is closing. We have worked extremely hard for the last four years to make the Barbarian a thriving, dynamic brewery and we owe whatever success we've enjoyed to our friends, family, bar and restaurant friends, wholesale partners and all you Barbarians out there.

"My wife, Kira, and I want to thank you all for the support, encouragement and enthusiasm that you've shown us. We both regret that we will not be able to spend time with you in our tasting room, see you at the festivals and share our beers with you. Indeed, one of the most rewarding and fulfilling aspects of our Barbarian experience has been meeting and building friendships with so many awesome people. We put a lot of love into our beers and our business and we're grateful for the love we got in return.

"While our enterprise is ending in disappointment, I am still very proud of what we've been able to accomplish. From the thrill of seeing our beer being poured for the first time in a bar four years ago to the delivery of pallet-loads of beer to our wholesalers just weeks ago, I am happy to report that in between we've seen many more ups than downs.

"We take great pride in being successful in the one thing that was most important to us: that you all enjoyed our beer in good times and with good friends. We're happy we could be a part of your lives, if even for just a short time."

"Thank you and we wish you all the best!"

January 30, 2012 - Boston Beer Will Expand Lehigh Valley Brewery in 2012
Boston Beer founder Jim Koch says the company is committed to investing millions of dollars to expand its brewery in Breinigsville, Penna. This year to expand its capacity, accord to the Allentown Daily Call.

Koch told reporter Tyron Richardson last Thursday that the plant is “central to the success of our company and we are committed to that brewery, We are continuing to invest millions and millions to upgrade it and expand capacity." A spokeswoman added that about $50 million will be invested by the company this year, most of it at Breinigsville.

Boston Beer produces 5,000 barrels a day of Samuel Adams beers at the location, accounting for two-thirds of its total annual production. It has smaller breweries in Boston and Cincinnati.

The makers of Sam Adams acquired the Pennsylvania brewery from Diago PLC in 2008.—JACK CURTIN

January 27, 2012 - Sierra Nevada Will Build East Coast Brewery in North Carolina
Sierra Nevada Brewing announced on Wednesday that its long anticipated East Coast brewery will be built in Mills River, N.C. . The 50-acre site will be at the Ferncliff Industrial Park near the Asheville Regional Airport.

There are currently more than a dozen breweries in and around Asheville, making it one of the hottest regions in the East for craft beer.

The new Sierra Nevada location, a project estimated to cost between $70 and $100 million, is expected to include a restaurant, tasting room and music venue in addition to the brewing and bottling operations.

"We are thrilled to have found an ideal location in western North Carolina for our second brewery," says Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada, in a company news release. "The beer culture, water quality and quality of life are excellent. We feel lucky to be a part of this community."

Grossman said that expansion in the East made sense, not only from an economic standpoint by reducing cross-country shipping costs, but also with regard to the company's carbon footprint. Sierra Nevada has earned numerous accolades over the years for its environmental sustainability practices.

New Belgium Brewing Co., which also is looking to build an expansion plant on the East Coast, has likewise been looking in the Asheville area, as well as in the Philadelphia region. A spokesman for the brewery has told reporters at least twice that Asheville and Philadelphia are at the top of their list.--JACK CURTIN

January 27, 2012 - Just-Released "Best" Lists Include Several Local Names
There are several local aspects the 2012 RateBeer 2012 "Best" awards which were announced today.

The website takes the 3.5 million-plus reviews posted by its members and and tallies them for the results of what it calls "the largest beer competition in the world. [M]ore than 140,000 beers from over 12,000 brewers worldwide were tallied. A particular emphasis was placed on tastings made in the last twelve months. Additionally, brewpubs, bottle shops, restaurants and bars from around the world were awarded prizes."

Three Delaware Valley breweries were listed among the 100 Best Brewers: Weyerbacher Brewing Co. #47, Victory Brewing Co. #49 and Tröegs Brewing Co, #50. Weyerbacher was also #9 among the best breweries to visit in America.

Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA was the only beer from the region among the top 100 in the U.S., coming in at #46. Among specific styles of beer it was #8 in the Double IPA category. Sly Fox Standard Pils (#5) and Victory Prima Pils (#7) were among the top selections in the Pale Lager category, while Troegs Nugget Nectar was #8 in Double IPAs.

Selin's Grove Brewing Co. (#12) And Victory Brewing Co. (#24) were among the top brewpubs. Capone's (#5) and Teresa's Next Door (#19) were on the Best Beer Bars list and the Best Beer Restaurant list included #18 Hawthorne's Cafe, #21 Isaac Newton's, #28 TJ's Restaurant and Drinkery, #29 Iron Abbey and #34 Union Jack's Inn on the Manatawny.

Industry professionals generally advise that results garnered from beer rating websites should be evaluated by the proverbial "grain of salt" standard.--JACK CURTIN

January 15, 2012 - Yuengling is #1
D.G. Yuengling and Son is now the largest American-owned brewery.

The Pottsville, Penna. family-owned brewery which is the oldest in the nation passed Boston Beer Co., makers of Samuel Adams, in 2011 sales.

Yuengling was up 70% i in the month of December, leading Harry Schuhmacher, publisher of the respected industry newsletter, Beer Business Daily, to write "I've never, in my entire 20 year beer industry career, seen a brand gain so much volume in such a short amount of time. It truly is something to behold."

Dick Yuengling, the company's fifth-generation owner, told a newspaper reporter that "it just floors me that so much of our beer industry is owned by foreign concerns, We were not in any race to be the largest domestically owned brewer, but it's a tremendous honor for us."

Everything changed in 2008 after Anheuser-Busch when Belgium's InBev bought it for $52 billion to create Anheuser-Busch InBev. Coors and Miller were already in the hands of Miller Coors, whose ownership interests are located in London and Canada. Yuengling and Boston Beer were neck-and-neck in the race for top American-owned brewer until Yuengling entered Ohio.

Pennsylvania's can take particular pride in all this. Yuengling is, of course, headquartered in the state and one of Boston Beer's largest plants is located in Breinigsville.

For a period during 2011, it appeared that the third-largest American brewer, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., might build its planned East Coast brewery in the state as well, but that appears to be unlikely at this point.--JACK CURTIN

January 09, 2012 - Kona, Goose Island Coming To Market
The local beer scene just keeps expanding. Beers from Hawaii's Kona Brewing Co. will be introduced into the Philadelphia market before the end of this month in both bottles and draft. "Interest in Kona has been growing for a long time among East Coast craft beer drinkers," says Kona chief Mattson Davis. "Now we’ll be able to serve these and surrounding markets our craft beers from the northernmost tip of the eastern seaboard in Maine to the Florida Keys." Kona began brewing and packaging beer in February 1995 and production has increased every year by a total of 585 percent. Also, beers from Chicago's Goose Island Brewery, which was acquire by Anheuser-Busch/InBev last spring, are scheduled to come into the the local market in draft this March and bottles by late May.--JACK CURTIN
December 15, 2011 - Victory Beer Hall To Be Part of New Philly Sports Complex Entertainment Facility
The biggest news for lovers of good craft beers in today's announcement that XFINITY Live!, a massive new entertainment facility which will open on the former site of the Spectrum in the South Philadelphia sports complex on April 5, 2012, was that one of the centerpieces of the project will be the Victory Beer Hall. From the news release:
In partnership with Philadelphia’s Victory Brewing Company, the Victory Beer Hall will be an unrivaled social experience, featuring elongated, beer hall style tables, a stage for live indoor entertainment, and a 2,000 square-foot patio complete with a fire pit and a unique panoramic view of the Philadelphia skyline. The Victory Beer Hall's signature will be its celebration of craft beer, featuring an eclectic selection of regional Philadelphia brews as well as national brands.
Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider sais that "this magnificent facility, which now includes the NBC Sports Arena with one of the largest and most incredible indoor TV screens in the nation, will provide an unbelievable, state-of-the-art fan experience for our guests. There will be nothing like it anywhere."--JACK CURTIN
December 01, 2011 - Chris LaPierre Will Brew 2012 Philly Beer Week Collaboration Beer in Belgium
Iron Hill Maple Shade head brewer Chris “Lappy” LaPierre is the local brewer who will go to Belgium to brew a special collaborative beer to be released during Philly Beer Week 2012.

LaPierre was named on the winning raffle tick drawn at City Tap House last night submitted by Vince Masciandaro of Marlton, NJ, a member o South Jersey’s largest homebrew club, Barley Legal. Over 1,000 ballots were cast. in the raffle which supports PBW.

The prize is an-all expense paid trip to Belgium to brew with Olivier Dedeycker of Brasserie Dupont. The beer that is created on this trip will be bottled and distributed throughout Philadelphia, with a debut in June during PBW.

Earlier this year, in the first such collaboration, Sly Fox Brewing's brewmaster Brian O'Reilly, selected by raffle winner Jason Kramer in November 2010, brewed at De Proef with Dirk Naudts.--JACK CURTIN

November 29, 2011 - Philadelphia on Short List for New Belgium East Coast Expansion
Craft Business Daily, an industry newsletter, broke the news late yesterday afternoon that Philadelphia and Asheville, N.C., were the top choices for a new East Coast plant which Colorado's New Belgium Brewing Co. plans to build.

Today, reported that two other locations, so far unnamed, are also in the mix:

New Belgium Brewing Co. has revealed it is considering Philadelphia, Pa., Asheville, N.C., and two other cities for its new East Coast brewery and has announced two new beers in development.

For the past year, New Belgium, known for such beers as Fat Tire and Sunshine Wheat, has been exploring locations for a second brewery to keep up with recent growth.

New Belgium previously named Asheville, N.C., as an option, and on Monday, spokesman Bryan Simpson said Philadelphia is also on a short list of four potential locations.

Simpson declined to name the other two cities under consideration but said the brewery hopes to make a final decision by the end of the year.

Philadelphia's "world class Belgian beer bars" were cited as an important factor in its inclusion on the list.--JACK CURTIN

November 21, 2011 - Philly Beer Week Will Send a Brewer and a Beer Fan to Belgium Again in 2012
Earlier this year, the Philly Beer Week organization set up a raffle which sent Sly Fox brewer Brian O'Reilly and the entrant who selected him on his raffle ticket to Belgium to collaborate on a special Saison with brewer Dirk Naudts of De Proef.

This year they're offering the same basic opportunity, with the local guy getting to brew with Olivier Dedeycker of Brasserie Dupont.

The winner will be announced at an event at City Tap House on November 30th. Interested parties can get all the information here.--JACK CURTIN

November 19, 2011 - Jaime Jurado Will Be Susquehanna Brewing Co.'s Master Brewer
Jaime Jurado, whose brewing roots include a stint at The Lion Brewery in the 1980s, will join the about-to-open Susquehanna Brewing Co. as operations partner and Master Brewer on January 1, 2012.

Jurado left Northeastern Penna. in 1990 to brew abroad and has been Director of Brewing Operations for The Gambrinus Co, in San Antonio, Texas, the 6th largest beer company in the country, since 1997. The company consists of Spoetzl Brewery (Shiner Bock) in Shiner, Texas; Bridgeport Brewing Co., Portland, Ore., and Trumer Brauerei, Berkeley, Calif.

Susquehanna, which was announced last spring, is located in Jenkins Township at 635 S. Main St, Pittston, and is owned by Ed Maier, his son Fred Maier and Mark Nobile. The site was former warehouse of United Beverage, a beer wholesaler owned by the elder Maier and Nobile which shut down in August 2010. The Maiers are descendants of Charles Stegmaier, who brewed the first lager beer in Northeastern Pennsylvania in 1851. Ed Maier, who was the one who closed the original Stegmaier Brewery and sold the brand to The Lion in 1974.

"We’ve known Jaime for years, and have seen how he has grown and gained impressive depth, which is attributable to The Gambrinus Company. He comes to us with best wishes of Gambrinus, and no hurdles," says SBC President Ed Maier. He noted that Jurado has been part of Susquehanna's planning from the start. "He pointed us to our key brewing and packaging hardware vendors." In the same press release, Jurado said that he has known the partner families for years. "Ed was once my top distributor and Mark was a close second and I love reconnecting with them."

A new 50-barrel BrauKon brewhouse will be the brewery centerpiece and it will be the new-brewhouse installation of PDX wort boiling, an energy saving heating system, in he country. Susquehanna expects to begin distributing in Northeastern Penna. early next year.--JACK CURTIN

November 17, 2011 - Can Lew Bryson Become the George Cooney of Craft Beer?
American Beer Blogger, a proposed half hour television series dedicated to all facets of the craft beer world hosted by local drinks writer Lew Bryson, is currently being offered to investors by a unique internet financing program called Kickstarter.

Founded in 2009, Kickstarter facilitates obtaining money from the general public rather than the traditional means of investment. Project owners choose a deadline and a target minimum of funds to raise. If the chosen target is not gathered by the deadline, no funds are collected. It takes 5% of the funds raised and claims no ownership in the projects it supports. Sponsors are advised to use their own judgment on supporting a project.

The man behind this offering is Easton resident Rudy Vegliante , a 1986 graduate of New York City's School of Visual Arts and owner of Green Leaf Productions.

According to the online prospectus, "viewers will experience the very best of the craft beer culture. In each episode, Lew will visit a different brewer, each of which has their own sets of quirks and ways of doing things. Lew will talk to these brewers, get to know them, will show us first hand the various methods and techniques used in creating a craft beer."

A preview of the show and more information can be found here.

November 14, 2011 - Yards Jumps Into Regional Brewery Ranks
Yards Brewing Co. is no longer considered microbrewery by the Brewers Association; the Philadelphia brewery topped the 15,000-barrel mark in production in early September and is now defined as a Regional Brewery. Brewery spokesperson Steve Mashington reports that Yards is on pace to reach 20,000 barrels by year's end.

The original Yards brewhouse, which was recreated inside the current 50,000 barrel brewery, has been put to use recently, Mashington also reported. "We brewed an Imperial Stout on the system, a throwback to the mid-90’s if you will. We later blended this with Brawler to recreate the Entire Porter which was one of the original beers we brewed. We will have a limited amount on draft at certain bars and in the tasting room. We also put some Imperial Stout in kegs for events and the tasting room." He noted that a Belgian Dubbel on the brewery's pilot system and "it should be popping up in a few places in early December."

Olde Bartholomew, Yards' bi-annual barleywine, will be available at the brewery starting on December 19 and released in the city and suburbs in 12oz bottles (for the first time) after January 1.

The brewery has been expanded with additional 200 barrel fermenters which went into operation in September, with another one on order along with an additional 200 barrel bright tank. "We are hoping to have them in house mid-December," Mashington said. --JACK CURTIN

November 13, 2011 - Weyerbacher To Release Idiot's Drool At Brewery November 17
The latest brewery-only, barrel-aged beer from Easton's Weyerbacher Brewing Co. will be available at the brewery on Thursday, Nov. 17, from 5 to 8pm, brewery founder Dan Weirback told The Beer Yard late last week.

"We call it Idiot's Drool and it is our Blithering Idiot Barleywine which was aged in bourbon barrels for four-and-a-half years and then in 750ml cored and caged bottles for six months<' Weirback said. Head brewer Chris Wilson, who brought home a Gold Medal from the Great American Beer Festival this year, added that "it's a five-year old beer which is really complex and interesting, with notes of vanilla and and oak and sherry."

The entire supply of Idiot's Drool is expected to see out quickly and customers will be limited to a six-bottle total. Because of Pennsylvania law, buyers will have to buy a 12-bottle case, selecting the other six bottles from such styles as Rapture American Wild Ale, Merry Monk's Ale and Double Simcoe IPA.

Details are available on the Weyerbacher website.--JACK CURTIN

November 07, 2011 - Brewery Updates: Everybody's Getting Bigger
The late October opening of Troegs Brewing Co.'s spectacular new brewery in Hershey is about as clear a sign as anyone might want that the great success of craft beer in recent years is manifesting itself in the Delaware Valley.

The popular Brew Lounge website has the story and also lots of photos.

Consider that a harbinger. There's a lot more to come.

Both New Jersey's Flying Fish Brewing Co. (here) and western suburb's Sly Fox brewing Co. (here) will open new 50-barrel breweries early in 2012 and major player Victory Brewing Co. in Downingtown is already talking about expansion in 2013.

Are we having fun yet?--JACK CURTIN

November 04, 2011 - Patrick Mullin will become Director of Sales for Sly Fox Brewing Co. in January
Patrick Mullin, area sales representative for Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, will join Sly Fox Brewing Company as Director of Sales in January, his arrival essentially coinciding with the opening of the new brewery in Pottstown.

Mullin joined Sierra Nevada in January 2008, following a nearly ten-year stint as general manager for Drafting Room Exton. In a statement released exclusively to the Beer Yard and the blog Jack Curtin's Liquid Diet, he wrote:

I am extraordinarily grateful that I have had the opportunity to work for a world class organization like Sierra Nevada. They are an exemplary employer, corporate citizen, and environmental steward. I’m fortunate to work in a segment of the beer industry that allows and even encourages praise and camaraderie amongst its many diverse producers. I have always been and will remain a dedicated consumer and strong vocal supporter of Sierra Nevada.

My new position at Sly Fox will allow me to further my personal development by experiencing the challenges of directing the growth of a promising, smaller producer. I’ve been a fan of Brian O’Reilly’s beers since his time at New Road and the Giannopoulos family has treated me wonderfully since my early days managing The Drafting Room. I look forward to helping them grow into their new facility.

Mullin's resignation is effective Nov. 18. After that, he will take off the rest of the year before starting at Sly Fox.--JACK CURTIN
November 01, 2011 - Victory Will Not Brew Old Horizontal in 2011; Dark Intrigue Release Set for Nov. 23
Victory Brewing Co.'s popular Old Horizontal Barleywine will not be brewed this year. "Our beloved barleywine will be sleeping its way through 2012," Victory co-founder Bill Covaleski announced today.

He said that the brewery's "incredible growth and impressive demand for products" is the culprit. "[That] has forced us to make some tough decisions. In order to keep up with the demand for our core brands like HopDevil, Primal Pils, Golden Monkey and Headwaters Pale Ale, we have to take a pass on brewing Old Ho."

Covaleksi pointed out that the barleywine is both time-consuming and expensive to produce. "We have to brew twice as much in order to make half the yield of a 'regular' Victory beer. With our brewhouse running at peak capacity, we literally can’t afford the time" to make it in 2011, then noted that not all is lost. "We’ve got a few kegs of vintage Old Horizontal still hanging out in our warehouse. Over the course of the year, Old Ho will wake up and make an appearance on draft here at the brewpub. Keep an eye on our draft list."

Meanwhile, Dark Intrigue (Bourbon-age Storm King Stout), a beer first brewed last year and resulted in an immediate sellout and wild goings-on during the day of its release, will debut for 2011 on "Dark Wednesday," the day before Thanksgiving (Nov. 23). The beer will go on sale when the brewery's retail shop opens at 11:30am and will be priced at $15 a bottle, $180 for a case, with a limit of one case per person. There will be some draft available at the pub, but no growler sales.

Customers will also have an opportunity to buy the Jim Bean and Heaven Hill bourbon barrels where Dark Intrigue was aged. The barrels will cost $40 each, cash only and anyone can buy as many barrels as can fit in their vehicle. "You cannot pay for the barrels at the same time you pay for your Dark Intrigue," says a brewery website post. "We will have a separate station for barrel purchases set up outside. If you want to purchase a barrel on Dark Wednesday, please e-mail to reserve yours. You will have to pay and pick up the barrel on Dark Wednesday."

Oh, by the way...

Victory says this will be the last-ever release of Dark Intrigue.--JACK CURTIN

October 29, 2011 - Allentown Nanobrewery Takes Advantage of Creative Funding Source
Kickstarter, the world's largest funding platform for creative projects, is currently funding nine new breweries, among them HiJinx Brewing which will open in Allentown soon In today's difficult economic environment, several start-up breweries have discovered that Kickstarter,a service that makes it possible for individuals to invest money into breweries for a reward other than equity in the business. Nine breweries are currently being funded by the site, to the tune of $224,000.

Founded in 2009, Kickstarter facilitates obtaining money from the general public rather than tradition means of investment. Project owners choose a deadline and a target minimum of funds to raise. If the chosen target is not gathered by the deadline, no funds are collected. It takes 5% of the funds raised and claims no ownership in the projects it supports. Sponsors are advised to use their own judgment on supporting a project.

Among the nine breweries currently being funded is HiJinx Brewing, which founder Curt Deck plans to open in Allentown before year's end. HiJinx has received $14,439 from the program. Keck was an Assistant to the Brewmaster at the defunct Old Lehigh Brewing Company in Allentown during the mid-1990s and senior brewer at Weyerbacher Brewing Company until he dropped out of the professional brewing ranks in 1999.

More details about HiJinx and Deck's plans for the company will be reported here soon.--JACK CURTIN

October 07, 2011 - There Will Be No Beersgiving
Beersgiving, the seasonal food and beer fest planned for the Sunnybrook Ballroom in Pottstown on November 19, has been cancelled. Festival organizer Dan Bengel posted this message at the fest's website earlier today:
The last two days have been as strange as it gets and I will have a better story about all this craziness over at the other blog , maybe Monday. But for now, I need your utmost attention. This is part of the e-mail I received last night from Sunnybrook.
We had a board meeting this afternoon, and have decided that it is in the best interest of Sunnybrook to cancel this event.
If you have purchased a ticket for this festival, go back to where you bought it and get a refund. Do not take it anywhere else. Only the place you bought it from can refund your money.

With only 40 some days left, the possibility of moving it to somewhere else is slim to none at this point.

October 04, 2011 - Sly Fox Pikeland Pils Named National Grand Champion in USBTC Summer Competition
Sly Fox Brewing Company's Pikeland Pils was chosen Grand Champion in the Pilsner category in the recently completed United States Beer Tasting Championship Summer Event. It was the second national title for Pikeland Pils in three years in the competition. The beer was, by default, the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast regional champion as well.

Victory Brewing Company won two Mid-Atlantic/Southeast regional titles, for Headwaters Pale Ale in the Pale Ale category and for Yakima Twilight in the new Hoppy Brown/Black IPA category. Weyerbacher Brewing Company triumphed with Riserva in the Sour Beer category and Yards Brewing Company earned the top spot in the Bitter/ESB category with Extra Pale Ale.

Victory HopDevil Ale earned an Honorable Mention in the IPA category and Weyerbacher Double Simcoe dod the same in the Imperial IPA/Red Ale judging. Lancaster Brewing Company was an Honorable Mention in the Kolsch judging.

The USBTC judged a total of 447 beers from 171 breweries split into 15 different beer categories for the summer event.--JACK CURTIN

October 04, 2011 - Ben Potts Joins Dogfish Head as Rehoboth Beach Brewer
Ben Potts is the new brewer at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach, Del. He officially takes over there on the last day of October.

Potts, who was the head brewer at Philadelphia's Dock Street Brewery up until last August, shared the story with The Beer Yard in an email tis morning:

As of yesterday I am officially the new brewer for the Dogfish Head Brewpub in Rehoboth Beach. I'll be starting on the 31st of this month. I'm super excited to be joining the team and to be a part of all the greatness that is Dogfish Head.
October 03, 2011 - Gold Medals for Tröegs and Weyerbacher Pace Regional GABF Performance
Breweries in the Philadelphia region won 11 medals at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival in Denver on Saturday, paced by Gold Medals for Tröegs Brewing Co.'s Tröegenator (a perennial GABF winner) in the Bock category and Weyerbacher Brewing Co.'s 16 in the Specialty Honey Beer category.

Tröegs added a Silver Medal for its Sunshine Pils in the German-style Pilsener category. Other Silvers were taken by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery's Chateau Jiahu (Specialty Beer category), Stewart's Brewing Co.'s Maibock (Bock category), Rock Bottom King of Prussia's Nevermore (German-style Schwarzbier category) and Iron Hill Media's Russian Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout category).

Iron Hill added two Bronzes, the North Wales pub for Grand Inquisitor (Wood and Barrel-aged Stout category) and the Maple Shade (NJ) pub for Vienna Red Lager (Vienna-style Lager) and Dogfish Head took Bronze for Midas Touch (Specialty Honey Beer), Fegley's Brew Works took home another Bronze for Arctic Alchemy (Old Ale or Strong Ale category).

Three additional medals, a Silver and a Bronze won by Pittsburgh's Penn Brewing Co. and a Bronze for Erie Brewing, brought Pennsylvania's total wins to ten, one less than in 2010.

In other news, wholesaler Gretz Beer Company received the Craft Beer Distributor Recognition Award.--JACK CURTIN

NOTE: Beer Yard methodology credits Iron Hill medals to the locations where they were brewed while GABF records them all for Delaware, where the company is registered, so our totals for those two states differ from the official record
October 03, 2011 - East Coast Breweries Win 27 Medals at GABF 2011
East Coast breweries brought home a total of 27 medals from the Great American Beer Festival this year, continuing a decline in overall performances which began last year, when breweries from Maine to Maryland won 30 medals. The region recorded 40 wins in both 2008 and 2009.

As noted in an earlier story here, Beer Yard statistics show a total of 10 wins for Pennsylvania based brewers (including Iron Hill locations in Media and North Wales which the GABF attributes to Delaware), making it once again the leading eastern state.

New England brewers accounted for seven of the remaining total, four of those (Gold, Silver, two Bronze) going to Boston Beer Company of Massachusetts. Cambridge Brewing Co.'s Bronze gave the state a total of five. Maine's Allagash Brewing Co, and New Hampshire's Smuttynose Brewing Co. each won a Gold for their states.

Delaware, New York and Maryland each accounted for three medals and New Jersey one. The Delaware winners, as reported in that earlier story, were Dogfish Head (2) and Stewart's Brewing. In New York, Ommegang won a Gold and Silvers went to Great Adirondack Brewing Co. and Ithaca Brewing Co. Maryland's winners were a Gold for Flying Dog Brewery and Bronzes for Rock Bottom Bethesda and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Rockville. Iron Hill Maple Shade's Bronze was the New Jersey winner. (The latter three wins are credited by GABF to Colorado, Tennessee and Delaware respectively).--JACK CURTIN

September 28, 2011 - Remember the Hops Crisis? A Barley Version May Be On the Way
Key growing regions in Western Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Canada and Australia have reported that weather damages and a rise in competing crops have reduced the quantity and quality of malting barley this year and reports from the U.S. aren't much better.

It all adds up to potential problems for smaller brewers.

The USDA Crop Production Report says the total barley acreage harvested as of mid-September was down 3% from actual yields in 2010, a trend which the Brewers Association says could lead to "the smallest harvested area since 1881." Craft Brewers Daily, the industry newsletter, wrote that "The USDA Weekly Crop Report says the barley crop quality in five key growing states (Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Washington) is down from previous years, with 65% in the 'good to excellent' category, 'down from 72% on August 2, 76% on July 3, and 86% from same time last year.' The USDA's Annual Grain Planted Acreage Report says 2011 Total US actual barley acres planted were down 2%, mostly due to weather."

Schafly Brewing's Dan Kopman told CBD that "small brewers are behind on the decision making process. We still don't have what's going to be among the worst crops in history in the bin yet. And the barley farmers have already made the decisions about what's going to get planted in 2012." The implication is that, with economics for barley looking bad, farmers might be inclined to only plant enough to meet their contracts with the big mainstream brewers, leaving very little available to craft brewers.

The U.S. Farm Bill, the primary agricultural and food policy tool of the federal government, is a comprehensive omnibus bill which deals with agriculture and all other affairs under the purview of the United States Department of Agriculture, creates price guarantees for crops like barley, allowing farmers to borrow against those guarantees and decide what what to grow. It is renewed every five years or so, and the next revision is due in 2012. In an interview earlier this summer, the BA's Paul Gatza told this writer that "we want a strong guarantee for barley. If corn gets it and barley doesn't, that could be a problem."

The CBD article noted that while hops growers are reluctant to switch crops because of the investment in posts and wires and the like, barley farmers are more flexible and willing to change over to take advantage of higher pricing.--JACK CURTIN

September 09, 2011 - Yuengling Will Expand into Ohio Next Month
D.G. Yuengling & Son released the long-awaited official statement today that the company is expanding distribution into Ohio, the only state bordering on Pennsylvania in which its beers have not previously been sold. Twenty two wholesalers will distribute the brewery's products in the state.

The initial rollout of the Yuengling Lager, Light Lager, and Black & Tan brands will occur in two stages. The northeastern portion of the state, including Cleveland and Columbus, will begin receiving beer in October; the remainder of the state, including Toledo and Cincinnati, will follow in November.

Capacity was added to Yuengling’s Mill Creek Brewery in order to accommodate the expected demand in what will be the 14th state in which it sells beer.--JACK CURTIN

August 30, 2011 - Susquehanna Brewing Co. Expects to Start Making Beer in November
Fred Maier, great great great grandson of Charles Stegmaier, who brewed the first lager beer in Northeastern Pennsylvania 160 years ago, is one of the principals in Susquehanna Brewing Co., a production brewery in Pittson, Luzerne County, which was announced last spring. He told the Beer Yard today that extensive renovations and improvement on the site, which was the former warehouse of wholesaler United Beverage, should wrap up by the end of next month, just in time for the arrival of a 50bbl BrauKon brewhouse from Germany.

Maier, his father Ed and partner Mark Nobile are making an $8 to $10 million investment in the new plant. Ed Maier and Mobile owned United Beverage, which they close in August 2010. The elder Maier was the one who closed the original Stegmaier Brewery and sold the brand to The Lion in 1974.

If things go as scheduled, Susquehanna will begin making beer in November and starting selling it in December. The partners say it will be "a German-style brewery." They plan to produce five year round beers as well as seasonals. Plans are to start with distribution in Northeastern Pennsylvania and expand from there. A brewer has been offered terms of employment and they are awaiting his signature on the contract. "He is still gainfully employed elsewhere," Fred Maier explained.--JACK CURTIN

August 11, 2011 - Head Brewer Ben Potts Gone From Dock Street Brewery & Restaurant
Ben Potts is out as head brewer at Dock Street Brewery & Restaurant in West Philadelphia and industry veteran Scott Morrison, who has been consulting and sometimes brewing for Dock Street since the doors opened in August 2007, is currently manning the kettles along with with assistant brewer Justin Quinlan.

The story was confirmed for the Beer Yard this afternoon by Dock Street owner Rosemarie Certo and Potts in separate emails. Both sides indicated that, while the rumors of tension between brewer and owner were accurate, the split-up was amicable. As for Morrison being in the brewhouse, Certo said "As you know, Scott is a brewer who wants to and will make his own beer. I'm just happy he is at the helm brewing at Dock Street for . We've worked together for almost five years now and we'll probably work together in some capacity for a long time."

This is the second time in recent weeks that Morrison's name has been linked to brewing jobs. In a story posted online at on July 23, it was reported that he would be the brewer at Al’s of Hampden in Central Pennsylvania producing beers for the newly formed Pizza Boy Brewing. That too, he says, is currently only a consulting gig, helping owner Albert Kaminski develop his recipes and beers.--JACK CURTIN

August 08, 2011 - Brewers Association Says Craft Beer Up 15% in Dollars, 14% in Volume for First Half of 2011
Craft brewers showed a 15 percent in dollar sales and a 14 percent increase in volume sales for in the first half of 2011 according to figures released by the Brewers Association today. The estimated total 5.1 million barrels sold is impressive; craft recording compared to 9 percent growth in the first half of last year.

The mid-year numbers reflect the strength of craft in the overall beer industry as the segment continues to grow despite the nation's economic woes.

Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, attributes this ongoing growth to innovation and quality. "America's beer drinkers are rapidly switching to craft because of the variety of flavors they are discovering," he said, "and they are connecting with small and independent craft brewers as companies they choose to support."

The U.S. now boasts 1,790 breweries—an increase of 165 additional breweries since June 2010. The BA also tracks breweries in the planning stage and lists 725 breweries preparing to enter the market today compared to 389 a year ago.

"It seems like every day we are hearing about a brewery in planning," Gatza said. Will they all make it? No, but many will if they produce high-quality, interesting craft beers and can get them to market through self-distribution and beer wholesalers and beer retailers."--JACK CURTIN

August 05, 2011 - Yards Reigns Supreme in WIP "Beer Brawl" Judging
Yards Brewing Co. was the big winner in the WIP Beer Brawl finals last night at Chickie's & Pete's in South Philadelphia, taking three of the four awards given, two of them for its Philadelphia Pale Ale, which won the Listen's Choice vote from the 500 attendees and was named best light-bodied beer by a celebrity panel of judges.

Yards Saison was named best seasonal brew and Nodding Head Grog won the other top honor of the night, being chosen best full-bodied beer by the panel.

Rick Kocher of Limerick, a member of the Bruclear Homebrewers Club, was awarded a trophy as the winner of the homebrewing segment of the event, which was conducted by Glen Macnow and Anthony Gargano, WIP's midday hosts (10am-3pm).--JACK CURTIN

July 18, 2011 - Two Rivers Brewing Bound for Easton
Troy and Kathy Renard, who own the popular Cosmic Cup Cosmic Cup Coffee Co. at 520 March Street in Easton, plan to open a brewpub at the site of the early 1800s Mt. Vernon Ale House at the corner of S. 6th, Walnut and Northampton streets according to a comprehensive and well-illustrated post by Noel Jones at the Neighbors of Easton website last Thursday.

The Reynards and partners Brad and Judy Nelson will call the new business Two Rivers Brewing Co. They hope to open by next spring. There's a complete report, with many photos, here.--JACK CURTIN

July 12, 2011 - Stone Brewing Co. Collaboration Beer Benefits Japanese Tsunami Relief
Stone Brewing Co. has collaborated with Ishii Brewing Co. of Guam to make Baird/Ishii/stone Japanese Green Tea IPA to help with Japanese earthquake recovery efforts. All proceeds (minimum $50,000) from the new beer, released this week, will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

"Toshi Ishii—former Stone Brewing intern cum brewer (’98-’01) and now owner of Ishii Brewing Co. in Guam—got in touch with Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele shortly after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster with a proposal to make a beer that could help with recovery efforts<: said a Stone news release. "Bryan Baird of Baird Brewing Company in Numazu, Japan was brought on board and ideas were soon flying."

To embrace the Japanese spirit, the brewers decided early on to use green tea in the recipe. "We decided to brew an IPA to accentuate the tea’s herbal character, said Steele. "But this isn't the typical, citrusy West Coast IPA flavor. We’re using Sorachi Ace, a variety of hops originally developed in Japan, as well as Pacifica, Crystal, Warrior, and Aramis, a brand new cultivar from the Alsace region of France."

"A collaboration beer like this is a great way to demonstrate to Japan that they’re not alone," Baird noted. "They have friends, supporters, and empathizers all around the world."--JACK CURTIN

July 12, 2011 - Beer Brand Registration Reformed in Pennsylvania
When Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed House Bill No. 148 into law on June 28, he made life a lot better for small Pennsylvania brewers. This post from Dan Woodske of the Beaver Brewing nano on sums up the big change in the legislation, which is now known as Act 11 of 2011:
"Owning a nanobrewery I can tell you firsthand that PA's brand registration was one of the least friendly in the US for small batches and nanobrewers. With Act 11 it is now one of the friendliest. [Before]it was $75 per each brand you offered. I wanted to do several 150 bottle releases at Beaver Brewing Company but I'd have to charge .50 a bottle just to register [the beers]. Now it's only $150 a year for up to 20 brands. In short, I am sure you will see more nano-breweries and more small batch releases in PA coming this fall. This seems like a small step (and for larger brewers it really means nothing), but for nano-brewers this is a HUGE deal and I am very excited."

The new brand registration procedures should preclude anything close to the "unregistered beer" raids which embarrassed Philadelphia around the nation in March 2010.

This is the specific language in the bill:

Effective immediately, if a beer manufacturer fails to register a brand in Pennsylvania before importing it into Pennsylvania, the beer will no longer be confiscated but will be left on the licensed premises until the manufacturer registers the brand or the licensee holding the illegal beer can return it to the manufacturer and be fully reimbursed. Effective on August 27, 2011, additional changes will occur to brand registration. It will be made clear that the annual filing fee for registration of a brand is seventy-five dollars ($75.00). However, up to twenty (20) different brands may be registered for a single annual fee of one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) if the manufacturer produces one hundred (100) barrels or less of each brand per year. Beer that is not ready for sale will be registered at the time it is offered for sale. A new law effective on August 27, 2011 will require the Board to hire a malt beverage compliance officer whose duties include reviewing label registrations and investigating reports of unregistered brands. If the compliance officer determines that a licensee is selling unregistered beer, he/she is required to give the manufacturer notice that is has ten (10) days to register the beer with the Board. During that ten (10) day period, the unregistered beer will remain on the licensee's premises, unsold. If the manufacturer fails to register the beer during the period, it will be required to remove the unregistered beer from the licensee¡¦s premises and reimburse the licensee for those unsalable products.

Another new law effective on August 27, 2011 will require the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, upon becoming aware of a potential violation of the beer registration laws, to give written notice to each licensee who might be in violation. If the beer is registered within ten (10) days of receipt of this notice, no further action will be taken against the licensee. If the beer is not registered within the ten (10) days, the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement will proceed with the citation process.

July 12, 2011 - Longer Happy Hours, Open Containers for Take-Out Beer Now Permitted in Pennsylvania
Changes in state beer laws under Act 11 of 2011, signed into law by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett on June 28, will also allow expanded Happy Hours in retail establishments and allow those establishments to sell take-out beer in open containers. As of late August, wholesalers will also be allowed to maintain a satellite distribution warehouse as well as its main distribution center, which should speed up deliveries to accounts located farthest away from the main center and insure fresher beer in most instances.

Here's the official language:

Happy Hour Discounts. A new definition has been added to the Liquor Code, and the period of time that a licensee may hold a happy hour has been expanded. "Happy Hour" is now defined as the period of time during which a licensee discounts alcoholic beverages. Currently, a retail licensee is limited to one (1) two (2)-hour consecutive period per business day when it can discount one, some, or all of its alcohol. Effective on July 28, 2011, a retail licensee can hold happy hours up to four (4) hours per day and up to fourteen (14) hours per week. Thus, while the maximum period remains fourteen (14) hours per week, licensees will be able to adjust the length of their daily happy hours to take advantage of slow/busy days, as long as the maximum limits are not exceeded. The hours need not be consecutive, but the prohibition against giving discounts between midnight and closing remains intact, as well as the other discounting provisions in section 13.102 of the Board¡¦s Regulations, including the daily drink special. A notice of all happy hours must now be posted on the licensed premises seven (7) days prior to each happy hour.

Beer Sales by Retail Licensees. Effective immediately, hotel, restaurant, or public service (railroad/pullman/steamship company) liquor licensees and malt beverage eating place licensees may now sell beer-to-go in either open or closed containers, as long as the municipality in which they are located does not have an ordinance restricting open containers in public places. The maximum limit of one hundred ninety-two (192) fluid ounces in a single sale to one person remains, as does the prohibition regarding clubs selling beer-to-go.

Storage for Importing Distributors. Effective on August 27, 2011, importing distributor licenses will be permitted, upon Board approval, to maintain one (1) additional storage facility anywhere within the franchise territory in which the importing distributor is located. Franchise territory is defined as ¡§the geographically contiguous area in which an importing distributor has been giving rights for the sale or resale of malt or brewed beverages.¡¨ Sales to other licensees will be permitted from this storage facility; sales to the public will not be permitted. This location is in addition to any existing cold storage facility already maintained by the importing distributor.

July 08, 2011 - Victory Announces Summer Video Contest
Victory Brewing Company this week invited its customers to "Submit a video up to two minutes in length featuring your favorite Victory beer, and showing us the fantastical feats that those special suds inspire. Does Victory spark you to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Speak in verse? Bust a move? Release your inner Golden Monkey? Do a backflip without spilling a drop of beer? Whatever it is, we want to see it and be inspired by you."

Videos must feature at least one brand of Victory beer, be no longer than two minutes in length and include only people 21 years of age and older. Videos will be posted on a special page on the Victory website and be eligible to win $500.

Winners will be selected by a panel of Victory judges but comments and popularity of eqch video will be considered when selecting the winner. Submission deadline is Monday, July 25, and judging/commenting will run through Wednesday, Aug. 24.The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

Here are the complete rules.--JACK CURTIN

July 06, 2011 - Why This Day in 2001 Was The Most Important Date In Beer Ever.
Ten years ago today, July 6, 2001, the Beer Yard website went live with a listing of new beers in stock. The first event listing came four days later; it was for a "Tom's Favorite Beers" dinner at Monk's Cafe on July 10, celebrating American Beer Month.

The first news story ran on July 12:

Red Bell Announces Brewpub
Red Bell Brewing Company announced on July 12 that a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company has completed an agreement to acquire the assets of 4421 MAIN ST., Inc. and that Red Bell will develop and operate a 3,650 sq. ft. Red Bell Brewery & Pub at 4421 Main Street in Manayunk.

Red Bell President Jim Bell said that renovations would begin immediately and be completed "for a late September Grand Opening,"

Then again, Red Bell announced a new brewpub for State College, Pa. well over four years ago. We all know how that worked out.

For the record, neither the Manayunk nor the State College pubs ever opened. We had it right; the Philadelphia Inquirer continued to be a stenographer for Red Bell press releases right to the bitter end. And that's why you love us, right?--JACK CURTIN
July 02, 2011 - Tired Hands Brewing Coming to Ardmore
The Main Line's blooming craft beer scene has been lacking a brewpub since John Harvard's in Wayne closed in August 2008. That situation is about to be rectified.

Tired Hands Brewing Company will open at 16 Ardmore Ave. in Ardmore by the end of this year. The purchase of the property was completed yesterday afternoon and demolition of most of the interior of the two-story building began this morning.

Tired Hands is owned by Jean Broillet IV, currently an assistant brewer at Iron Hill West Chester, and his wife Julie, a law student. Joining them as managing partners will be Collin Farrell, who was an assistant brewer at Iron Hill Lancaster for a while, and "another person with close ties to the local brewing industry" who's name Broillet is not yet able to reveal.

When completed, the site will have the brewhouse, kitchen and a small bar, seating 15-18 people plus a few tables on the first floor and a cafe area on the second. An eight-person bar will pour beer up there. All the beers on tap will be poured directly from serving tanks.

On the Tired Hands website, which has been recording the steady progress toward creating the new business, Broillet says that his beers will be Belgian-stye farmhouse ales and "hop-forward" American ales. Food service will be relatively simple, focusing on made-on-premises bread, cheeses and meats. "Charcuterie would be the sophisticated term," he told The Beer Yard this morning.--JACK CURTIN

July 01, 2011 - Ray Deter, RIP [UPDATED]
Posted this afternoon on the dba East Facebook page:
Thanks so much for everyone's kind words and support for me and the boys....Ray will no longer be with us after this weekend, but we hope our loss will give life to others. Please celebrate Ray as he passes on. Love to you all, Catherine, Jake & Maxwell xxxx
Ray Deter, the well-known and much loved New York publican, was seriously injured when a Jaguar struck him at at the intersection of Canal Street and West Broadway during rush hour around 5:30 p.m. yesterday. He was on a bicycle and turning onto Canal from West Broadway when he was hit.

Tom Peters of Monk's Cafe was a good friend of Deter and has posted this message on the Monk's website:

Ray Deter is in critical condition from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident near his famous New York City beer bar, dba. Please direct your positive thoughts and vibes for our good friend's recovery.

Ray is a beer pioneer…dba was one of the first real beer bars on the East Coast. Ray and his business partner, Dennis, offer an amazing selection of beer, tequila, mescal, whiskey, bourbon and wine at this downtown haunt. This place is no one-trick-pony if you are a drinker of good stuff.

I remember sitting on dba's back patio one early Fall evening a few years ago with Ray, Dennis and beer writer, Michael Jackson. We were discussing jazz, beer, wine, and of course, talking some smack about Philly vs New York as the better beer town. Ray has always been delusional in thinking that New York has it going on beer-wise. Michael and I felt that Philly was the ultimate beer town in the US.

Ray is the consummate host. He makes everyone feel at home, from the casual beer drinker to the most obsessive beer geek. I had the great pleasure of sharing a dinner with him at Monk's Café during Philly Beer Week in early June. Ray is a great dining companion. He appreciates great food, along with stellar libations.

Ray was beer before beer was cool. We developed a great friendship over the past 20 years, traveling together to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival, to Antwerp for the 24 Hours of Beer Festival, to The Night of Great Thirst in Eizeringen, Belgium, and to other great beer events held around the world. He is a man dedicated to bringing his guests the best beers in the world.

Ray and Dennis operate three dba's: the original, and closest to my heart, at 41 First Avenue in NYC; the music & beer-centric dba in New Orleans; & the newest one in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Ray has plans to open a few more dba outposts in, as he says, "cities I want to hang out in". Ray, I'm looking forward to sharing many more great beers and great times together. Get healthy, my friend.

Please do not phone any of the dba's. They are overwhelmed right now. The family also asks that you do not try to visit Ray in the hospital. This should be private, family time. Please respect their wishes.

June 14, 2011 - Sly Fox Announces New Brewery, Sale of Royersford Restaurant
Sly Fox Brewing Co. will shifts its production brewery to a 30,000 sq. ft. building at 331 Circle of Progress in the Pottstown Airport Business Center before the year is out.

The new brewery, in a building which has served as Sly Fox's corporate offices and warehouse since January, will include a 50-hectoliter BrauKon brewhouse, vastly increased fermenting space and a new rotary canning line. The new facilities will triple beer-making capabilities from a current 50 hectoliters per day to 150 hectoliters per day.

As a first step in what managing partner John Giannopoulos called "a major step forward," the restaurant side of Sly Fox Brewery & Restaurant at 312 N. Lewis Rd. has been sold to current general manager Stacey Hebert and her husband. The Sly Fox name will remain on the property until the liquor license is transferred and the current brewery will continue to operate at the site until the new location is ready. The brewhouse, several smaller fermenters and the existing canning line will then be sold.

The new canning line will in fact go into operation in Royersford in July; it has a capability of 60 cans per minute as opposed to the current line's 28 cans per minute. It will be moved to the new brewery--which already has a 2,500 sq. ft. cold box in place and where the roof has been raised to accommodate new 150-hectoliter fermenting tanks--when it goes online. The brewhouse is expected to arrive in November.

More details can be found here.--JACK CURTIN

June 09, 2011 - Breaker Brewing Has a New Home
Chris Miller and Mark Lehman of Breaker Brewing Co., the Wilkes-Barre nanobrewery which started up in April 2009, have purchased the former St. Joseph Church property at 783 E. Northampton St. in Wilkes-Barre Township, just about a mile down the road from the well know Elmer Sudds beer bar. They will move their brewery from Miller's garage to the new location, which is 2.5 acres and has the church, attached rectory and old brick school building on site. The deal was closed this afternoon.

Once they are up and running later this year, the school building will house their 4bbl system, on which they normally do 3.4bbl brews, and a anew tasting room. Miller says they will replace the current 3bbl fermenters with 6bbl ones and push the system until they have maxed it out. They currently have 28 regular accounts and brew six standard beers and several seasonals.

"We hopped right onto the property even before it really went on the market," Miller told The Beer Yard this week, "but it's taken about nine months to get the deal done. We have zoning approval already and have purchased a couple of walk-in coolers."

The brewpub, which currently has parking for 70 or so cars, will be a longer term project. Miller says the building is ideal for the purpose. "You would even know it had been a church if not for the steeple. It's basically a big rectangle with a peaked ceiling. We will add a kitchen up front and there is already a commercial oven and refrigerator and a big stainless sink there; we just have to relocation them a bit."

While Breaker is almost all draft, the partners have done a few small hand bottlings, including 10 cases of a saison in 750ml bottles which was bought up almost immediately by a local deli. "We will be able to do more of that sort of thing when we relocate," he promises. "There just wasn't room in my garage for a pallet of bottles waiting to be filled. Selling all we can make, everything we do goes out, 28 bars dealing with, aren't pursing more because we have this move coming up.

Breaker's lineup includes Lunch Pail Ale (their biggest seller), Anthracite Amber Ale (a hoppy interpretation), Goldie's Blond Ale, I-Love-PA, Olde King Coal Stout, Malty McGuire (a maltier Amber), 5 Whistle Wheat (which is new this summer) and seasonals such as the Saison, Pumpkin and Christmas Ales and a Double IPA.--JACK CURTIN

June 09, 2011 - Popularity of Headwaters Pale Ale Puts Pressure on Victory Brewing
In a move which is in some ways a miniature version of the market withdrawals by several large craft brewers across the country in recent months, Victory Brewing Co. is "keeping our thumb over the hose" on distribution of its new Headwaters Pale Ale, co-founder Bill Covaleski told The Beer Yard today.

He said that Headwaters Pale is selling almost as fast as the brewery's flagship HopDevil Ale, which is to say, very rapidly indeed. The potential problem is that the centerpiece of the beer is Citra hops and, due to its contracts with suppliers, Victory cannot obtain more of those before next October. "We still have some Citra in house, but less than we wish we had. We've made all the inquiries that we could think of to try and get more, but to no avail."

Covaleski said that "on paper, it doesn't appear that we actually will run out of Citra, but the only way to make sure of that is to release the beer judiciously. What we will not do is change the recipe and use other hops, so we're just going to have to ask people to be patient with us." He added that Victory is hopeful that the recent release of Summer Love Ale, another hoppy ale which is is very popular, will alleviate some of the pressure and demand for Headwaters over the next few months.--JACK CURTIN

June 01, 2011 - Victory Brewing Co. gives initial Headwaters Grant to the Guardians of the Brandywine
Victory Brewing Company was purposefully opened in Downingtown less than 14 miles from the pristine headwaters of the Brandywine Creek because of the important role water plays in the production of quality beer. Now the brewery has initiated The Headwaters Grant as a way to give back to the groups working hard to protect the natural resource.

In mid-February, Victory launched a new beer brand, Victory Headwaters Pale Ale, whose name pays homage to the water with which is it brewed, and a penny from every bottle sold is collected and distributed to the recipient of Victory’s Headwaters Grant.

On May 17, the Guardians of the Brandywine received the first Headwaters Grant.

“The pure water flowing from the East Branch of the Brandywine Creek has contributed so much to the character of Victory Brewing Company,” said Victory Brewing Company/ “Therefore, it was an obvious step for us to give back to the creek which has so generously provided to us.”

Headwaters Pale Ale is Victory’s fastest growing brand. As the popularity of the beer increases, so will the size and reach of the grants awarded each year.

The initial grant will assist The Guardians’ mission of achieving Exceptional Value designation for the upper reaches of the East Branch of the Brandywine, as well as to fund The Guardian’s program, “My Creek.” This outreach program aims to educate individuals to take ownership of clean water issues.--JACK CURTIN

May 27, 2011 - Philly Beer Week @ [UPDATED}
The scope of it all is almost beyond comprehension: Philly Beer Week, the grandaddy of all the beer weeks which have sprung up across the nation, will begin its fourth go-round on June 3 and we've tried to simplify things here because, quite simply, our calendar and site capabilities are not up to dealing with everything in its entirety.

With one or two exceptions for major events, the Beer Yard calendar will list only local events separately, along with a daily "Philly Beer Week" post which will be updated each morning to link to the official PBW calendar for that day (right down at the bottom of this page under "Events").

Earlier posting...

The official Philly Beer Week website, where you can track things by date, event names, venues, brewery, distributor and more is your best guide for seeing everything that is available.

And here's Don Russell's overview of the some of the major events during the week.

Finally, check out the useful, straight-forward spreadsheet created every year by Brian Kolesar of The Brew Lounge (and, for good measure, Brian's posting of the Hammer of Glory parade route which unofficially begins PBW throughout the day on Friday, June 3, starting with a televised kickoff on Channel 29.

Enjoy. No other beer event in the nation can match the number of events, the wide range of beers and the enthusiasm which is the signature of the 10-day party created to celebrate "America's Best Beer Drinking City." This is the sine qua non, the one that started it all and it just gets better every time.--JACK CURTIN

May 17, 2011 - Canned Beer Emerging as a Craft Superstar Package
News about the vitality and impact of the canning revolution that has swept across the craft brewing landscape over the last 18 months or so just keeps coming. And it is all good.

In the May 16 edition of Craft Business Daily, the Monday through Friday email newsletter than was introduced by publisher Harry Schuhmacher as a companion piece to his the long running and highly respected Beer Business Daily at the beginning of this year, editor Jenn Litz writes that "if your editor were to open a brewery tomorrow, she would give serious consideration to cans. Sure, the liquid itself would have to be great. But given that, these days, guessing whether a BA-defined craft brand is experiencing single or quadruple-digit growth can almost always be reasoned backward by looking at one factor: Does it come in cans?

"The craft can landscape has changed dramatically in the last 2.5 years alone. Speaking of quadrupling, that's almost what 6-pack 12 oz. craft cans have done, going from a bit over 25,000 case sales at the end of 2008 to over 88,000 for the current 52 weeks ended April 17 in the FOOD channel alone. The case for 12-pack cans is even more dramatic, going from a bit over 10,000 to almost 106,000 over the same time span, per the lovely people at SIG. That's as total cans have declined, from 47 million to 41 million total 12 oz. 12-packs. Same story for 6-packs."

Litz notes that the Brewers Association shows canned beers as only about 3% of craft sales at the moment but suggests that 10% seems easily attainable, and writes that "craft cans currently represent about 60 styles of beer, according to, an oft-updated craft cans stats site. IPA is the hottest, in terms of number of brands. The second most canned craft style is American Pale Ale, followed by the slightly more sessionable American amber. Around 10 craft can brands are German Pilsners, and only two are light lagers." There are over 120 craft brewers now canning at least one beer and the number is rising steadily. The package is most popular in areas where outdoor living styles predominate with Colorado leading the pack and California second. The three through five states--Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan--are less "outdoorsy," suggesting the overall appeal of cans.

many of the fastest-growing craft breweries are canning, according to the story. "In fact, we know of no can-centric craft breweries that aren't experiencing phenomenal growth," Litz concludes.--JACK CURTIN

May 12, 2011 - Added Production Reported by Three Area Breweries
Major expansion news from three area breweries was reported in yesterday's Allentown Morning Call by reporter Tyrone Richardson:
On Wednesday, the Allentown Brew Works installed two new fermenting tanks, adding 2,400 gallons of capacity and increasing production by about 50 percent, co-owner Mike Fegley said. The brewery also recently hired two new workers, bringing its total to seven in the space it shares with the Brew Works restaurant in downtown Allentown.

"This is huge for us," Fegley said. "We're very proud of the fact that demand has dictated that we would need to expand."

Craft beer producers, a segment that includes brewers such as Samuel Adams, are defined as those with 2 million barrels or fewer sold per year. Brew Works has teamed with Shangy's in Emmaus and other distributors to expand its beer sales roughly 100 miles from Allentown, reaching restaurants in regions such as Harrisburg, Philadelphia and parts of New Jersey, Fegley said. Brew Works also has increased production of 12-ounce bottles to reach the shelves of more beer distributors, six-pack shops and grocers such as Wegmans, Weis Markets and Whole Foods, he added.

Weyerbacher's sales have increased 27 percent compared with a year ago, owner Dan Weirback said Tuesday.

The company's facility on Easton's Line Street added an employee this month, bringing employment to 14 full-time workers, Weirback said. He added that the company has installed three new fermenters, increasing beer production by about 35 percent. Other equipment, including new bottling machines, will be added this year.

[ ... ]

Victory Brewing Co. of Downingtown, Chester County, is on track to have a "record-breaking year," company spokeswoman Karen Noonan said.

She said sales were up 30 percent in April compared with the same month a year ago. The company has also expanded distribution to Florida and recently added about 10 workers at its Downingtown brewery.

May 04, 2011 - Yuengling Eyes Ohio
D. G. Yuengling Brewing is in the "infancy stages" of conducting due diligence on expansion into the state of Ohio, a brewery spokesperson has confirmed to Craft Business Daily, an industry newsletter. "Unless something drastic occurs," he said, a formal announcement is expected in the next few months.

CBD first reported the possible move on Monday, using information from the brewery's own Twitter account. The newsletter says that an expansion project at the Mill Creek Brewery in Pottsville has been completed and gives them the capacity to expand beyond the existing 13 states and DC. --JACK CURTIN

May 01, 2011 - Three-Legged Goat Wins Sly Fox Race
It was one of those stories which you see in movies and on TV, a handicapped underdog triumphs over the arrogant, seemingly unbeatable champion as the crowd cheers. They almost never happen in real life.

But sometimes they do.

It happened today at Sly Fox Phoenixville when Peggy, a three-legged goat, beat out Dax, the only repeat champion in the 12-year history of the annual Bock Fest & Goat Race, to earn the distinction of having the 2011 Maibock bear her name. It was very close, with Dax stumbling just before the finish line.

Peggy, who suffered a major injury in her youth which required the amputation of her left leg, raced for the first time last year and her return in 2011 made her a folk hero on the Sly Fox Facebook page. She is owned by Colin Presby, a brewer at Weyerbacher Brewing Co., who re-entered her this year and assured one and all that she would win over Dax, whose owner/handler Karl Lorah has made a practice of rubbing his New York Giants fandom in the face of fans of the Philadelphia Eagles.

And win she did.

The three-year old pygmy-mix beat out Dax by a stride at the finish line in the largest field yet in what has become one of the premier events on the local beer scene. Today's crowd appeared to match or surpass last year's record attendance.--JACK CURTIN

April 28, 2011 - The Trapp Door Coming to Emmaus
TheEl Vee, a website devoted to food and drink in the Lehigh Valley, is reporting that a new restaurant will soon replaced the suddenly and shockingly closed Tap & Tap in Emmaus.
Thankfully those who loved Tap & Table won’t be without a beer bar for long. We received a tip that the former owner of Magnolia’s Vineyard in Orefield, which closed last fall, will be renting the spot and opening a bar called “The Trapp Door." They’ll featuring a similarly huge beer selection and we can’t wait. We’ll be speaking with the owner next week about details.
April 26, 2011 - Evil Genius Hopes For June Debut
Trevor Hayward and Luke Bowen, who announce the creation of Evil Genius Beer Company a year ago this month, said today that their first beers will appear in the market this summer, perhaps as early as June (with the usual caveat about licensing and paperwork).

They will do three styles to begin with, Good 'n Evil, a German-style Kolsch, Witty Will, a Mandarin Wit, and Evil EYE PA, a West Coast rendition.

"All of our beers will be brewed in South Bend, Indiana by Four Horsemen Brewing Company, a start up themselves," Hayward told The Beer Yard. "We've built a great relationship with brewer Stephen Foster out there. Mark Braunwarth, formally of Swashbuckler, who is currently at Marley's Brewery & Grill in Bloomsburg, was a consultant to us in formulating our beers. We have plans for several other seasonals, as well as for developing a large standard line. We'll be available on draft to begin with, but 12oz bottles will follow very soon after. We're still working on the distribution side of things."--JACK CURTIN

April 25, 2011 - Victory Brewing Raffles "Brewer for a Day" To Support Victory Over Cancer
Berry Woodrow McLaughlin, an administrative assistant in Victory Brewing Company's sale and marketing departing, is seeking to be named the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society "Woman of the Year" title, a campaign which is a 10-week fundraising program and nominees are chosen because of their contributions to that organization and campaign for the title by garnering donations. Every dollar they raise is counted as a vote and the winner will be crowned on May 5.

McLaughlin is a cancer survivor who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at age 25 and underwent and was checked in to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to begin her three-year stint of chemotherapy at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She has been in remission for 12 years. You can read about her and the campaign to on the Victory blog.

To support her selection, the brewery is sponsoring a raffle which offers the winner and a friend the opportunity to spend a day at Victory brewing one of their beers with brewer and Quality Control Lab chief Whitney Thompson. Each donation of $20 (as may as you like) provides you with a ticket in the raffle. Tickets can be purchased at the Victory retail store or online,--JACK CURTIN

April 22, 2011 - Congressman Gerlach Will Visit Iron Hill Phoenixville Monday To Discuss Small Brewer Legislation
Congressman Jim Gerlach (R-PA), who represents Pennsylvania's 6th District in the House of Representatives, visit the Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant on Bridge St. in Phoenixville on Monday, April 25, to tour the facility and speak out in support of a bill he co-sponsored, H. R. 1236, the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce (BREW) Act, which seeks to reduce the Federal Excise Tax on beer for America’s small brewers.

If passed, the resolution, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA),would put an estimated $27.1 million back in the hands of brewers, supporting job creation with much-needed capital that groups such as Iron Hill could use to expand their businesses. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate by U.S. Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).

"The Small BREW Act is a visionary piece of legislature that would put critical funds back where they belong: with the small-business professionals who need them to continue to grow their breweries," says Iron Hill Director of Brewery Operations Mark Edelson. "We’re thrilled to welcome Rep. Gerlach and show him just how much this measure means to brewers like us."

April 19, 2011 - Michele Notredame Dies in Belgium
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports this morning that Michel Notredame, "the restaurateur who helped introduce Belgian dining and drinking to Philadelphia," died at a hospital in Ostend, Belgium, on March 21. He was 61 years old.

Notredame, a native of Belgium, owned and opeated Cafe de Paris, in Middelkerke, a town outside Ostend, in the '70s and '80s. He arrived in Philadelphia in 1982 and worked in the restaurant industry in various positions until he became the manager of Bridgid's, in the city's Fairmount neighborhood in 1991. He and made it the city's first Belgian-themed restaurant. After he left there in 1995 after a dispute with the owners, he opened Cuvee Notredame, at 17th and Green Streets in Spring Garden, in 1996.

As today obituary notes:

Mr. Notredame had a flair.

For Bastille Day, July 14, in 1999 and a few years after, he set up tables outside his restaurant, with serving dishes for diners' dogs.

"In France," he explained, "it's OK to bring your dog to a restaurant. So that's why I do it."

In 1998, he organized a street party outside Cuvee, including pony rides and a medieval buffet, to honor Brussels-born painter Pieter Bruegel the Younger (1560s-1630s).

Cuvee Notredame closed its doors in September 2002, due to economic woes, and Notedame returned to Belgium. He lef to work in Vietnam from 2002 to 2006, before coming home for good.

The complete obituary can be read here.--JACK CURTIN

April 19, 2011 - Tap and Table, Fork and Barrel Shuttered as Farmer's Cabinet Opens
The local beer and restaurant community was shaken this morning when rumors surfaced overnight about the closing of Tap and Table in Emmaus and Fork and Barrel in Philadelphia, both of which turned out to be true.

Both are owned by the same people, who will opened The Farmer's Cabinet in center city Philadelphia this month. A third location, the Speakeasy Bookstore in Bethlehem, which was said to be closing in the original rumor, will remain open.

A statement released by owner Matt Swartz has been published here. --JACK CURTIN

April 18, 2011 - Philly Brewpub To Release Amber Ale Brewed with Gryphon Coffee
Earth Bread + Brewery, the Mt. Airy brewpub, will debut its new Coffee Amber Ale, brewed with coffee from Wayne's GryphoneCafe tomorrow evening.

This is from EB+B's weekly email newsletter:

There is a lot going on in the local coffee scene these days. New shops are popping up everywhere, everybody is doing pour-overs and single origins, and all of the sudden La Colombe isn't the only coffee in the city. These better coffees are exploring realms of flavor similar to those of hand crafted beer, and people are beginning to take notes and develop their palate for coffee. A well brewed cup of coffee can be just as complex and flavorful as your favorite craft beer.

We asked our friends at Gryphon Cafe in Wayne to help us out with our newest beer - a coffee amber. It is a medium bodied toasty English-style ale with an earthy, citric hop bite. We added Burundi coffee, specifically roasted by Gryphon Cafe for this project, to the serving tank. The coffee is fruity, sweet, bright and clean, and marries perfectly with the subtle and balanced flavors of our amber ale. We are excited to be tapping this later in the week - debuting Wednesday -so stop in and try some!

Earth Bread + Brewery is located at 7136 Germantown Avenue; the doors open at 4:30pm daily.--JACK CURTIN
April 12, 2011 - Triumph Brewing Creates ODDyssey Half Marathon Recovery Ale
Triumph Brewing Company has partnered with the ODDyssey Half Marathon, an annual spring event, to introduce the ODDyssey Half Marathon Recovery Ale. Head brewer Brendan Anderson created the beer.

A news release from ODDyssey noted that "in 2007, researchers at Granada University in Spain, headed by medical professor Manuel Garzon, found that the sugars, salts, and bubbles in beer cause a pint of beer post-workout to be better at rehydrating the human body than water. Because of their great devotion to science, health and beer, Triumph Brewing Company and the ODDyssey Half Marathon have joined together to develop the first ever official post race beer."

Every runner over the age of 21 will receive a free beer at the end of the ODDyssey Half Marathon to toast their triumph. Runners are invited to the official release party for the ODDyssey Half Marathon Recovery Ale on May 1, 2011 from 11:30-4:00 after the Broad Street Run. They can register and get more details about the race or the beer here.--JACK CURTIN

April 10, 2011 - Pierre Celis Is Dead
The note from Christine Celis arrived last night with its sad news and rapidly spread across the internet. It read:
Today on April 9th, my father passed away at 8PM in Belgium. The funeral is on Saturday at 10AM in Hoegaarden and afterwards he will be cremated.

He was the best father everybody can wish for, great mentor and definitely he had an enormous amount of passion for beer.

I will miss him enormously!

Here's the obituary that appears online today at
Beer brewer Pierre Celis has passed away at the age of 86 in Tienen (Flemish Brabant). Pierre Celis was the man who relaunched the Hoegaarden White Beer in the sixties, at a time when the beer was poised to disappear, giving the white ale world-wide fame.

Pierre Celis was introduced in the world of brewing by his neighbour at a young age. At that time, his neighbour was the only man who was still brewing the white ale. In 1965, Mr Celis decided to "revitalise" the so-called Hoegaarden Witbier. Belga

He turned his father's cow shed into a brewery. However, after a heavy blaze, the brewery called De Kluis was involved in a takeover by a company which is now known as AB Inbev.

The beer giants' decision to stop the production in Hoegaarden in 1995 and to transfer it to Jupille in Wallonia to cut costs, was a heavy blow for Mr Celis. However, Inbev reversed its decision after heavy protests. Specialists claimed that the taste of the beer which was produced in Jupille was not exactly the same as in Hoegaarden. The Hoegaarden White Beer has a unique taste, they pointed out.

In the mean time, Pierre Celis had also launched the Hoegaarden beer in the United States. He started his own brewery in Texas, where he made Celis White Beer. At the end of 2009 he returned to Belgium, after selling his American business. The past few years, he stayed in an old people's home.

The relaunch of Hoegaarden White was surely one of the signal moments in the modern day history of brewing and a cornerstone on which craft beer built its steady rise to popularity.--JACK CURTIN
April 05, 2011 - Craft Beer Growth Continues Abroad
2010 U.S. Craft Beer Exports Increased 28 Percent Over 2009, the Brewers Association reported today, with some regions seeing export increases of more than 90 percent.

The BA’s recently-concluded annual export survey showed that for the eighth consecutive year (representing all years for which data has been collected), U.S. craft beer exports amounted to more than 1.8 million gallons of beer. "The increase reflects the increasing consumer thirst across the globe for the world class beers that U.S. craft breweries are creating," said Brett Joyce, CEO of Rogue Ales and chairman of the BA Export Development Program steering committee.

The EDP began in 2004 with a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture's Market Access Program. To date, the program has successfully promoted its members’ beer in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, China, Japan, Brazil, Philippines, Singapore and Australia.--JACK CURTIN

March 30, 2011 - Yuengling Acquisition of Memphis Brewery Falls Through
The deal announced last Fall in which Yuengling Brewing Company would purchase the former Coors Brewery in Memphis, now the Hardy Bottling Facility, as part of an expansion westward, is no more.

It was revealed today Blues City Brewing, a subsidiary of Wisconsin brewing company City Brewing, now has signed a purchase agreement with Hardy Bottling owners, Chism Hardy Enterprises.

The Beer Yard reported the story last November.

The new deal will consist of an $41 million total capital investment: $30 million for building and equipment and $11 million in real property improvements. City Brewing will spend $3 million in improvements the first year and then $2 million each year until it reaches $11 million in improvements, reports the Memphis Business Journal, according to Beer Business Daily.--JACK CURTIN

March 28, 2011 - Anheuser-Busch Will Purchase Goose Island [UPDATED]
Goose Island Beer has just announced the appointment of Brett Porter as the successor to Greg Hall as brewmaster, effective May 1, 2011. Porter has been the head brewer at Deschutes Brewery for the last five years, where his beers earned more than 150 awards. Previous to that, he was head brewer of Portland Brewing from 1993 to 2005.

From Chicago Breaking Business this morning:

Goose Island Beer Co., the Chicago-based brewing powerhouse, announced this morning that it will be taken over by Anheuser-Busch for $38.8 million.

Goose Island, legally Fulton Street Brewery LLC, is selling a 58 percent stake in the company to Anheuser-Busch for $22.5 million. The Craft Brewers Alliance, in which A-B also a 32 percent holds a stake, owns the remaining 42 percent of the company.

The company also announced Brewmaster Greg Hall will be stepping down.

The Craft Brewers Alliance, which also distributes Widmer, Redhook and Kona beers, has agreed to sell its Goose Island stake to A-B for $16.3 million.

We'll have more details and industry reaction when we get them.--JACK CURTIN
March 28, 2011 - Brewers Association Announces 2011 Achievement Award Winners
Three members of the brewing community were recognized and awarded for their dedication and service before a packed room at the Craft Brewers Conference opening session last week. These details are from the official press release:
Jennifer Talley of Squatters Pub Brewery/Salt Lake Brewing Co. won the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing. As the first woman to ever win this award, Talley was clearly honored and ecstatic to be recognized alongside the 13 other accomplished brewers who previously won the Russel Schehrer Award. She has been brewing for over 20 years, winning numerous awards and accolades along the way.

"Jennifer has won countless awards at the Great American Beer Festival® and World Beer Cup® against other beers that are of higher alcohol content in styles where alcohol is a key thread to carry the flavor of the beer," explained John Harris of Full Sail Brewing Co. "She has all of the character of previous winners of this award—a passion for beer, passion for our industry and passion for expanding her and her fellow brewers' knowledge."

The Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing was first given in 1997 to honor Russell Schehrer's contributions to the brewing industry. Schehrer died in 1996 at 38 years of age and was a founding partner and original head brewer at Colorado's first brewpub, Wynkoop Brewing Co. He was also one of the first brewers to produce mead, doppel alt, cream stout and chili beer.

BA brewery members submit nominations every year for the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing. Previous award winners vote to choose the honoree from the slate of nominees.

The Brewers Association Recognition Award went to John McDonald of Boulevard Brewing Co. In 1989, McDonald founded the brewery and began hand-delivering Boulevard beer to local restaurants in his own pick-up truck. A longtime Brewers Association (BA) member—since the early 1990s—McDonald's brewery now employs over 90 people and has a capacity of approximately 600,000 barrels per year.

"John pioneered craft beer in a part of the country that did not have a lot of other active small brewers," said Rich Doyle of Harpoon Brewery. "He was a missionary of sorts and has built a great brewery, brand and business. He is also a very good guy."

BA members nominate candidates each year for the Brewers Association Recognition Award, and the BA Board of Directors votes to determine the winner.

Lastly, the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award went to Dan Kopman of St. Louis Brewery/Schlafly Beer. It is difficult to speak of Kopman and his brewery without noting that he has always worked in the shadow of Anheuser-Busch, also based in St. Louis. Nevertheless, his recognition at this year's CBC has much more to do with his leadership within the craft brewing industry and his work to ensure that his fellow brewers, and his 20 year-old brewery, are treated fairly by federal regulations. Dan has devoted countless hours and significant energy to promoting legislation that would recalibrate federal excise taxes for small brewers.

"Dan deserves this award for his dedication and leadership on the excise tax bill," remarked John Pinkerton of Moon River Brewing Co.

The F.X. Matt Award is given in honor of a champion of small brewers, F.X. Matt (1933-2001), president of the F.X. Matt Brewing Co. in Utica, New York from 1980-1989 and chairman from 1989-2001.

This was the largest CBC ever, with 3,900 attendees and over 50 different seminars.--JACK CURTIN
March 23, 2011 - Appalachian Brewing Coming to Collegeville in May
Appalachian Brewing Company of Harrisburg plans to open its third satellite pub in Collegeville as early as this May if licensing and other factors go as scheduled. The pub will be on the second floor of Collegeville Station on W. 3th Ave., which was the location of the ill-fated New Road Brewhouse a decade ago.

In addition to its main plant in Harrisburg, ABC has locations in Gettysburg and Camp Hill. "We are excited to more toward the Eastern part of the state," Customer Relations Manager Artie Tafoya told the Beer Yard this afternoon.

The entire second floor is being refurbished, Tafoya said, including a new bar. The brewhouse will be a small 5.5bbl system as is the case in the other two satellite locations. "We make specialty beers at the pubs and our flagship beers will be brought in from Harrisburg. We brew specialties in each location and then transfer them back and forth among all the locations so that we can have as many as 15 beers on at the same time. That way we get to do all these great beers that we can't do on the big system."--JACK CURTIN

March 21, 2011 - Brewers Association Reports 11 Percent Volume Growth for Craft Brewers in 2010
The official number is in.

The Brewers Association today released 2010 data on the U.S. craft brewing industry which showed an 11% increase in volume and a 12% increase in retail sales over 2009. Those figured add up over 1 million additional barrels, equal to more than 14 million new craft cases.

The Association also reported a significant increase in the number of U.S. breweries, with eight percent more breweries than the previous year. In 2010, there were 1,759 operating breweries. Craft brewers produced 9,951,956 barrels, up from an adjusted3 8,934,446 barrels in 2009.

"Prohibition caused a dramatic decline in the number of breweries in the United States, but the number of breweries is now at an all-time high," said BA director Gatza in a press release. "With well over 100 new brewery openings in 2010, plus 618 breweries in planning stages, all signs point to continued growth for the industry."--JACK CURTIN

March 18, 2011 - Weyerbacher Brewing Announces IPA Project
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. of Easton announced a new, six-month "IPA Project" on its website yesterday.

Company founder Dan Weirback wrote

Every brewery seems to have an IPA of some sort. Some breweries have several. We currently sport two year-round IPAs in our line-up: the “Crotch Grabbing” Double Simcoe IPA and our Hops Infusion single IPA. Well, the time has come for us to mix things up a bit. Behold: The IPA Project.

Our plan is to create a new sessionable IPA to join our year-round portfolio and [gasp!] replace Hops Infusion. Yes, I actually wrote that. “How can you do this?!?” cry the masses! Well, for starters, we think you’re really going to like what we’re doing because YOU get to help us out! And don’t worry; there is PLENTY of Hops Infusion to keep you happy for the time being. NO, you may NOT hoard it. BAD! BAD DRINKER! You already know that Hops Infusion is best fresh and fortunately we know you need to be weaned… so here’s your sixish to nineish month warning.

Weyerbacher will release six monthly "test" IPA batches beginning next week and continuing through August.They will only be available in selected bars and restaurants in Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley and New Jersey. Each will be different and drinkers will be asked to offer their opinions either on the Weyerbacher website or on via tear-off cards located at each participating restaurant and bar.

Local venues participating in the IPA Project include Craft Ale House, Spinnerstown Hotel, Capone's, Hulmesville Inn, Isaac Newton’s, Sidecar, Standard Tap, Kraftworks, Johnny Brenda's, Varga Bar, Jose Pistole’s, London Grill, Kite and Key & South Philly Tap Room.--JACK CURTIN

March 15, 2011 - Weyerbacher Brewing Is Getting a Facelift
Easton's favorite brewery will have a new look soon. Working with the consulting/design firm SSM Creative of Greenville, PA, Weyerbacher Brewing Co, is doing a complete redesign of the Weyerbacher brand including a new logo, new packaging, tap handles and point-of-sale materials.

Company president and founder Dan Weirback told The Beer Yard today that it will likely be the end of the year before new packaging is seen in the marketplace but a new corporate logo could be introduced earlier.

"We've been well aware there is a lack of professional design skills evident in our graphic imagery," Weirback admits. "Our image no longer reflects the quality and reputation we have in the marketplace and a lot of friends and customers have made us aware of that over the years.

"We are nearly finished the first stage of our rebranding, developing a brand document which defines the story we have to tell and acts as a guideline for the creative people who will come up with a new logo. If things go well and that is done within the next few months, we might get it out there early. Label designs will have to approved by various agencies and in different states, of course, but since we do so many one-off beers, we are very familiar with the process and don't expect that to slow us down that much."

He said that the year-round beers will all be submitted for label approval up front and that seasonals will be done as they are scheduled for release. The iconic jester's head which was introduced on Blithering Idiot barleywine back near the turn of the century will likely remain part of the Weyerbacher identity in some form, "although it will be redone and updated."

Depleting existing packaging inventory will also ber a consideration. "My heart is green," Weirback said, "and I certainly want to avoid throwing good, usable materials away. This is a big project, it will take some time but we're going to do it right."--JACK CURTIN

March 15, 2011 - Dogfish Head Cuts Distribution to Four States, Canada and the UK
Delaware's Dogfish Head Brewing Co. had cut distribution from four states, Canada and the United Kingdom because demands for its beers are outstripping supply by wide margins. Other craft brewers are in the same position but none has drawn as much attention as the DFH decision.

This is from the announcement on the DFH website:

[D]emand so far in front of our supply has gotten a point where we need to makes some changes, as we are not even close to meet the requests from our fantastic distributors. This is frustrating to them... and to our retailers and to you, the Dogfish drinker...

In the past few months, we've alerted our wholesale partners in both the U.K. and Canada that we do not expect to be able to support any export in 2011. We need all the beer were brewing right now for the U.S. market. But realistically, we weren't sending much there anyway, so we need to make even more changes. It is tough to hear from retailers across the country that they aren't getting all the Dogfish they think they could sell, but without drastically changing our company and the way we operate, we cannot satisfy that demand.

So it is bittersweet for us to announce that we are pulling out of, or limiting some of our core beers from, a number of states...This decision will allow us to still get many different, exotic, Dogfish specialty and seasonal beers into our slightly smaller footprint. It will also ensure that more cases and kegs of our core, year-round beers will be available closer to home. The distributors in the states we are pulling distribution from (Tennessee, Indiana, Wisconsin and Rhode Island) have already been notified of our decision. If your favorite pubs and beer outlets are no longer able to obtain Dogfish products, we are sorry that we are no longer able to supply them. Thanks for understanding and we are hopeful for your ongoing support.

All four states have been in Dogfish Head's distribution markets since 2003-04. The brewery has expanded into 23 sttes since 2002.--JACK CURTIN
March 15, 2011 - Philly Beer Week 2011 Will Again Showcase a Collaborative Brew
The fourth-annual Philly Beer Week (PBW) 2011 will kick off on Friday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m., in the Independence Visitor Center (6th and Market Streets) and will begin with the ceremonial ‘first tap’ using the official Philly Beer Week keg mallet (affectionately known as the Hammer of Glory, or HOG)/

The HOG will be used to tap Brotherly Suds 2, the local collaborative beer of Philly Beer Week 2011. A special Lager, to be crafted at Stoudt’s by brewer Brett Kintzer along with Yards’ Tom Kehoe, Victory’s Bill Covaleski, Troegs’ John Trogner and Nodding Head’s Gordon Grubb, will have a unique nod toward Philadelphia's brewing history.

From the press release:

"The lager will be fermented with the same strain of yeast originally used by the late, great Schmidt's brewery of Northern Liberties in its original premium lager of 1860. At one time, nearly two-thirds of the beer served in Philadelphia taverns came from the iconic brewery, making their signature yeast strain a perfect standard-bearer for PBW 2011’s signature brew.

Tickets and more information available online.--JACK CURTIN

March 10, 2011 - Iron Hill To Open In Chestnut Hill Late This Year
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant will open their ninth location at 8400 Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill. The new restaurant will mark the group’s first foray into Philadelphia’s city limits and their second new location in three years. It is expected to open in late 2011.

“We’ve wanted to join Philadelphia’s restaurant scene for a long time, but we were looking for a place with a vibrant community where we could become a part of a great neighborhood, and Chestnut Hill fits that perfectly,” says Iron Hill founding partner Kevin Finn Along with co-owners Kevin Davies and Mark Edelson, Finn has continuously sought out thriving locations for their award-winning concept, beginning in Newark, DE in 1996. Finn, Davies and Edelson enlisted Philadelphia based Sandvold Blanda Architecture + Interiors, who have designed each of their 8 other locations, to create the welcoming atmosphere for the 250 seat restaurant which will feature comfortable dining areas, an open kitchen, an exposed microbrewery and a bustling bar area.

“Chestnut Hill is very happy to welcome Iron Hill to Germantown Avenue and as Ben Franklin said, ‘Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy," says Seth Shapiro, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Chestnut Hill Business Improvement District.--JACK CURTIN

March 06, 2011 - Stegmaier Great Great Grandson Announces New Brewery
Reporter Denise Allabaugh of Times-Shamrock Communications in Scranton reported today that Ed Maier, the great-great grandson of Charles Stegmaier, his son Fred and partner Mark Nobile plan to make an $8 to $10 million investment to create a new brewery in Luzerne County to produce craft beers.

Susquehanna Brewing Company will be located at 635 S. Main Pittston, Jenkins Township ,in a former warehouse used by United Beverage, a large beer wholesaler which shut down last August. United Beverage was owned by Maier and Nobile.

Maier told Allabaugh that the new enterprise will be "a German-style brewery" and that he hopes to be brewing by October. He said the company will employ 15 people and produce five year round beers as well as seasonals. Plans are to start with distribution in Northeastern Pennsylvania and expand from there.

Charles Stegmaier brewed the first lager beer in Northeastern Pennsylvania in 1851 and he and his father-in-law George Baer founded the Baer and Stegmaier Brewing Company of Wilkes-Barre in 1857. Stegmaier also operated the Susquehanna Brewing Co. in Nanticoke until it closed in 1920 due to prohibition. Ed Maier closed the original Stegmaier Brewing Company in Wilkes-Barre and sold its labels to the Lion of Wilkes-Barre in 1974.Fred Maier will become the sixth generation of the family to brew beer if Susquehanna Brewing Company comes to fruition.--JACK CURTIN

March 05, 2011 - Lancaster Brewing Adds Second Canned Beer; Sierra Nevada to Can Pale Ale
Lancaster Brewing Company, which entered the world of canned beer with its very popular and highly praised Kolsch last Summer, will release its second canned product, Rumspringa Golden Bock, late this month or early April.

Like the Kolsch, the beer will be brewed and packaged at The Lion in Wilkes-Barre, which added a state of the art canning line lat year which is capable of producing roughly 1,100 12-ounce cans a minute.

In other canning news, Sierra Nevada revealed last month that it will put its signature Pale Ale in cans later this year; cans will not replace the standard 12oz bottles but be an additional offering from the Chico, CA brewery.--JACK CURTIN

February 18, 2011 - Craft Beer Growth Continued at an Impressive Pace in 2010
A presentation hosted by the Brewers Association yesterday showed that craft beer sales were the #1 category in the beverage-alcohol industry in 2010, up by 14.1%. The news was released during a BA teleconference presented by Symphony IRI, which tracks beer sales in various channels.

Craft grew in every packaged sales category and gained over a share point of beer category sales. Craft's dollar share of the beer category has gone from 5.4 in 2005 to 9.4 in 2010. For years, 10% share has been something of a holy grail for craft brewers, but it appears that once seemingly unattainable benchmark will almost certainly be toppled this year.

An interesting sidelight is that, within craft, both large and medium sized brewers were down slightly but small brewers took up the slack, gaining a 1.5% share. That probably reflects a market which is constantly seeking the newest next best thing; on a broader scale, this was reflected by the impressive performance of new IPAs from Sierra Nevada (Torpedo), Boston Beer (Latitude and New Belgium (Ranger).

Not surprisingly, Imperial IPA was the strongest growth style in craft sales.

The other big news, which should be obvious to anyone walking into a beer retail shop, is that cans are hot. Craft can sales dollar sales in supermarkets alone have gone from from $832k in 2007 to $5.8 million in 2010. In 2007, there were 17 craft brewers offering 28 SKUs (distinct items) in cans; last year 30 craft vendors sold 65 SKUs in cans.

For the industry as a whole, there is a disturbing trend of losing share to wine, which outpaced beer for the second year in a row. Wine volumes were up 2.6% while beer volumes were down 1.7%.

Official BA figures for the industry, which include sales in bars and brewpubs, are expected to reflect similar overall growth, will be released later in the year.--JACK CURTIN

February 16, 2011 - Yuengling Wants to Hear Customers' Classic Lager Tales
Yuengling Brewing Company is asking Fans of the brewery’s iconic Yuengling Lager to share their stories about the popular beer online. encourages fans to submit their own stories and to read and listen to stories shared by others. Yuengling’s official blog, Eighteen Twenty Nine named for the year the brewery was founded, has been revamped and is housed on the same site. The blog will offer reviews of select classic lager stories and also include discussions of Yuengling events, brewery history and general beer knowledge and facts.

"For almost as long as we’ve been making beer, people have shared stories with us involving Yuengling beer. This campaign is inspired by those stories," said Yuengling Marketing Manager Lou Romano. "Lager might not be our oldest offering, but it's already grown into a classic beer with a rich history. This campaign is designed to capture some of that history, one story at a time."

Yuengling began brewing its signature Lager in 1987. Today, Lager is the best selling beer in the company’s line-up.--JACK CURTIN

February 09, 2011 - Second Philly Group Bound for Sierra Nevada Beer Camp
A second team of local beer luminaries will head out to Chico, CA for a Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. "Beer Camp" March 3-4, following in the footsteps of the original Philadelphia contingent in March 2010. This camp will not be exclusively Philadelphia-oriented this time; the chosen six will share the event with a group from Seattle, WA.

The 2011 attendees are Casey Parker (José Pistola’s), Terrance Leach (Time Restaurant), James Fernandez (Grace Tavern), Will Pumphrey (City Tap House), PJ McMenamin (McMenamin’s Tavern) and Andy Jarin (B&B Beverages).

Each Beer Camp group gets to design and make its own beer and all members receive a share of the brew to be sold at their own establishments. Last year's ExPorter was a featured release during Philly Beer Week.--JACK CURTIN

February 02, 2011 - Sic Transit Gloria Pete's Wicked
Gambrinus, the San Antonio-based beer company which bought Pete's Brewing Company, makers of Pete's Wicked Ales, from founder Peter Slosberg, informed wholesalers this week that the Pete's Wicked brand will be discontinued as of March 1, 2011.

Pete's Wicked Ale, the company's signature product, is considered the beer that established American Brown Ale as a commercially viable product after it was introduced in 1986.

Pete’s was a major player in the late '80s and early '90s and second only to Boston Beer Company, makers of the Sam Adams line of beers, when Gambrinus bought it for $69 million in 1998. Sales had climbed to $5.5 million in 1992 and the company made an initial public offering of stock in 1995, debuting at $18 a share and reaching a high of $26.50. But the company struggled during the collapse of the microbrewing boom in the late '90s.--JACK CURTIN

January 31, 2011 - Victory To Celebrate 15th Anniversary With Brand New Beer
Victory Brewing Co. will celebrate its 15th Anniversary in February by releasing a brand new 5% abv Pale Ale which will be added to the year-round production list.

Headwaters Pale Ale is hopped with Citra and Simcoe and will be available on bottles (12oz) and draft beginning mid to late February. It marks the addition of what was, before the reign of IPAs began, the most popular craft beer style, one that Victory has never had on its lists until now.

The brewery says that its new beer is a tribute to one of the basic ingredients in the brewing process. "Malted barley, hops and yeast are the building blocks of beer. But none of these elements would exist without water, the essence of life. The waters that feed our brewery begin just over a dozen miles away, making for spectacularly pure and vital water for brewing. Having worked with watershed advocacy groups since our inception, we value our headwaters, our source, in many ways."

Headwaters Pale Ale will be officially introduced at Victory's 15th Anniversary Celebration on February 15.--JACK CURTIN

January 31, 2011 - Terry Hawbaker to Brew at The Grainery in Downtown Philadelphia
Philadelphia is about to get a new downtown brewery/restaurant called The Grainery and it's getting award-winning brewer Terry Hawbaker with it.

People who have been wondering what the Fork & Barrel team has planned for the site they leased at 11th & Walnut need wonder no more. Hawbaker will brew onsite and the concept is reported to be "Fork & Barrel meets Bookstore/Speakeasy with an on-site artisanal brewery."

The news of Brubaker's resignation as head brewer at The Bullfrog in Williamsport was broken by Lew Bryson at his Seen Through a Glass blog this afternoon; a few hours later, filled in the rest of the story. Hawbaker confirmed the story for The Beer Yard this evening.--JACK CURTIN

January 31, 2011 - Don Younger Dead at 69
Don Younger, the legendary founder of the Horse Brass Pub in Portland, Oregon, died this morning from multiple health problems that developed after he slipped and fell last week, breaking his shoulder. He had been unconscious since and on a respirator in the cardiac intensive care unit at a local hospital. he was 69 years old.

The Horse Brass Pub is one of the most famous and beloved beer venues in the world. This is the story of its founding,taken from the pub website:

"It was a dark and stormy autumn afternoon in 1976 when Don Younger sat with a friend in an obscure South East Portland tavern waiting for his car to be fixed. Don was a devout Blitz drinker at the time and this tavern with 6 taps (2 wits, Lowenbrau, Whatney’s Red Barrel, Guinness and Blitz) was the closest place to while away the afternoon. Day turned to night and while the details of that evening remain vague, we do know that Don met with owners Jay and Jay.

The next morning Don met with his brother and business partner Bill and invited him to have a drink. Bill knew something was up. When they got to the tavern Don began to show him around, then Don pointed to the top of a wooden keg hanging on the wall that read “William Younger’s Tartan Bitter” and said, I bought this for you but I didn’t know how to wrap it and since it doesn’t come off the wall we got the whole kit and caboodle”. Bill was not happy. They didn’t have any money. (Truth be told, Don saw the bill of sale when he woke up and had no idea how it happened.)

Together they scrounged up the money and on November 1, 1976 the two Younger brothers who had never stepped foot in England and had no idea what a pub was became the proud owners of what would soon become the world famous Horse Brass Pub.

Over the 34 years since that less than auspicious beginning, Don Younger became famous for doing things his way. "More than anybody I've ever known, he lived life exactly as he wanted to," Carl Singmaster of Belmont Station,a Portland bottle shop he owned with Younger, told The Oregonian. The Horse Brass became a mecca for beer travelers, all of them hoping to hear Younger issue his famous pronouncement: "It's not about the beer, it's about the beer!"--JACK CURTIN

January 26, 2011 - Local Production Breweries Thrived in 2010 [UPDATED]
Philadelphia area production breweries recorded some impressive increases in output in 2010.

Yards Brewing Co. of Philadelphia led the way with 15,000bbls, a 40% increase over 2009. Sly Fox Brewing Co. of Royersford jumped up 27%, producing 8,533bbls. Weyerbacher Brewing Co's 6,965bbls represented a 19%. New Jersey's Flying Fish Brewing Co. did not release its 2010 barrelage but reported a 20% increase in beer shipped. "We probably could have done more," said FF founder Gene Muller, "but we just don't have the capacity at this point.

Victory Brewing Co. of Downingtown and Philadelphia Brewing Co. did not respond to the Beer Yard's inquiry.

Outside the immediate region, Dogfish Head Brewing Co. of Milton, Del., said its production went from 96,000bbls sold in 2009 to 120,000bbls last year, a 25% increase, and Troegs Brewing Co, of Harrisburg did 29,077bbls in 2010, 23.5% above its 2009 output.

In the brewpub category, Fegley Brew Works reported 1832bbls sold out of its Allentown location last year, a 66% increase over 2009.

UPDATE 28-Jan-11: Victory Brewing Co. announced in an online "State of the Brewery" presentation last night that it sold 58,828bbls in 2010, an 18% increase over the previous year.--JACK CURTIN

January 17, 2011 - Beer News & Notes
Best Philly Beer Bars.Seven bars in and around Philadelphia are on Draft Magazine’s listing of "America’s 100 best beer bars: 2011." They are Eulogy Belgian Tavern, The Farmhouse, Grey Lodge Pub, Memphis Taproom, Monk’s Café, Tria and Union Jack’s Inn on the Manatawny. You can see the complete list here.

On the Radar. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, will introduce its Ovila Abbey Ale Series this yar, bginning with a Belgian-style Abbey Dubbel in March, followed by a Saison in July and an Abbey Quadrupel in November. They will be packaged in 750mL cage-and-cork bottles featuring artwork inspired by the historic Santa Maria de Ovila monastery. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these beers will go toward the restoration of the historic Ovila chapter house building on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux in Vina, California, just a few miles north of Sierra Nevada's home in Chico.

Wild Goose Redux? Logan-Shaw Brewing Co., a planned nanobrewery in the Baaltimore areas that won't even be functioning until the middle of next year, has purchased the Wild Goose brand from Flying Dog Ales and is looking for regional brewers to brew the discontinued 21-year-old beer brand. Logan-Shaw is seeking brewers in Maryland, Delaware or Virginia to continue making Wild goose Amber Ale and Wild Goose IPA starting as early as February or March, when the beer's last batches are expected to run out.--JACK CURTIN

January 07, 2011 - Clivendon Trust Homebrewers, EB+B Collaborate on New Beer
Cuvée de Cliveden, a collaborative brew, will debut at Mt. Airy's Earth Bread + Brewery on Thursday, January 13. Collaborative beers are all the rage these days, but this one is something different.

Cuvée de Cliveden is the product of Clivendon Brewers and the EB+B brewing team. Clivendon Brewers is a homebrewers group formed at Cliveden, the National Trust historic site, two years ago.

The beer, described as a rich mahogany black beer with a hint of raisins, coffee and plums, will be available at an opening reception from 4:30 to 10pm at EB+B next Thursday. A special Cliveden Brewers' glass will be offered $9, which includes both the beer and the glass. Each purchased glass will help to support new educational programs at Cliveden addressing history and racial equality.--JACK CURTIN

January 04, 2011 - Fork & Barrel Team Signs Center City Lease
The team behind Fork and Barrel, the new beer hot spot in East Falls, has signed a 5,700 square foot lease at 1111-13 Walnut St. in Philadelphia. It will be the first center city location for partners Matt Scheller and Matt & Colleen Swartz who also own Tap & Table in Emmaus and The Bookstore Speakeasy in Bethlehem. They also have said they will be opening Bahnhof, an authentic German-style beer hall in Bethlehem--JACK CURTIN
January 03, 2011 - Reading Premium Returns to the Market...Again
Reading Premium, the beer that will not die, is back in the market.

Brought back by the revived and short-lived Legacy Brewing Co. in Reading a few years back, the classic old brand disappeared into limbo when Legacy, so quietly that nobody could confirm it, shut down last year, presumably forever.

Enter Josh Wood, chief executive of Ruckus Marketing Co. and the new Ruckus Brewing Company Co. in New York. the marketing company did the branding and packaging design for the beer and the brewing has acquired the brand from Legacy.

The beer is being brewed at the Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre is currently available in 12-ounce bottles, in both six packs and 24-bottle cases. "In the next couple of months, we'll be moving into drafts, and in April, there'll be cans, for the summer months," Wood said. "Winter's not really a can market."

Wood noted that his company has tripled the product's territory and that it is available in most counties in Pennsylvania after an expansion in September opened up Pittsburgh and the western part of the state, and that "we're also in Massachusetts. We have a big following up there." He added that the ultimate goal is to distribute the product throughout a triangle bounded by Boston, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh.

Next year will be Reading Premium's 125th anniversary. To celebrate that milestone, "we're planning on re-releasing some of the old labels in limited-edition packaging," Wood said. "It's going to be some pretty neat stuff."--JACK CURTIN

January 03, 2011 - BA Redefines "Small" in Craft Brewer Definition
Coming to grips with the reality that Boston Beer Company, makers of Samuel Adams, will exceed two million barrels in annual production in the near future and thus no longer fit the Brewers Association definition of a "craft brewer," the BA's board of directors today announced that, on further consideration, the word "small" in the original definition now means something else than it once did.

From the press release: "In the BA's craft brewer definition, the term 'small' now refers to any independent brewery that produces up to 6 million barrels of traditional beer. The previous definition capped production at 2 million barrels."

The loss of Boston Beer Company's production in craft brewing industry statistics "would inaccurately reflect on the craft brewing industry's market share," the BA explained, noting that "the current growth trajectory of other sizable BA member breweries places them on a course approaching the two million barrel threshold in the coming years." Craft beer currently has a market share approaching 5% in the overall U.S. beer industry.

"With this change to the craft brewer definition and BA bylaws, statistics will continue to accurately reflect the 30-year growth of market share for craft brewed beer," said Nick Matt, the BA board chairman and CFO of F.X. Matt Brewing Co. in New York. "Brewers Association statistics on craft brewers will continue to keep pace with the growth of the industry. Rather than removing members due to their success, the craft brewing industry should be celebrating our growth."--JACK CURTIN

December 30, 2010 - Huge Fire Damages Rochefort Brewery
Beer websites are all a-twitter about a fire which broke out at St Remy-Rochefort, the monastery which produces Rochefort beer. The fire apparently happened last night while the monks were at dinner.

The amount of the damage and how it affects the brewery is not yet clear, with some reports saying production can resume in a matter of days and others saying it was a "big disaster" and the brewery was totally destroyed.

Here is a report from the BBC (with video) which gives a few sparse details and quotes the local mayor saying beer production can begin "within a few days."--JACK CURTIN

December 29, 2010 - At Victory, the Beer's Getting Greener
Victory Brewing Company has installed 345 photovoltaic panels, a system will generate approximately 82,000kWh of clean, green electricity each year. The solar panel installation was done by SunPower Builders of Collegeville and started in May after Victory had worked with SunPower to design the 69kW system.

The amount of power produced by this system will not rely on solar module efficiency alone. "As a design consideration, the angle at which SunPower installed the solar modules was set to maximize efficiency of the system. Efficiency of the system is also dependent on sunlight," according to a Victory press release. "Though here in Pennsylvania twice as much sunlight will strike the panels in summer months over winter months, the modules’ efficiency typically drop due to higher ambient temperatures in summer. Overall, the solar electric system should only show a 2-3% difference in output between winter and summer months, demonstrating that solar power generation is viable in most climates."

Adam Garber of PennEnvironment says that "Victory's solar electric project shows that businesses continue to turn to clean, renewable energy to protect the environment and reduce their costs. We congratulate them on their continued commitment to Pennsylvania's environment, which is only matched by their commitment to making award winning beer."

Victory founders Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski have environmentally responsible actions ever since they opened their plant in a former Pepperidge Farm factory in February 1996. In 2004, they upgraded their brewhouse with a system capable of recovering much of the primary energy fueling it. A third of the natural gas burned to heat and boil beer is no longer lost, but retained in the system for heating purposes, enabling Victory to reduce their CO2 emissions. And in 2009 and 2010, the brewery installed a total of 12 thermally-protected, energy efficient fermenters whose cooling and temperature monitoring will now be powered with photovoltaic electricity.

A system monitor installed in Victory's brewpub and restaurant will display live data regarding the system's energy generation for patrons to witness. An official ribbon cutting ceremony initiating this solar energy generation system will be held on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm at the brewery.--JACK CURTIN

December 23, 2010 - Third Partner Joins West Philly's Local 44
Brendan Hartranft and Leigh Maida may not have added a new location to their beer bar empire in Philadelphia in 2010, nor a second child, but their two-year record of progress did bring in a new face. Brendan Kelly, who has been the "face" of Local 44 in West Philadelphia, the second location opened by Hartranft/Maida after their flagship Memphis Taproom in Fishtown (with partners Ken Correll and Paula Decker, will become a full partner in Local 44 as of January 1, 2011.

"I worked with Brendan at Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant," Kelly told The Beer Yard today, "and when they were opening Local 44, he approached me to see if I would be interested in running the place along with him and Lee. I We agreed that it would be a sweat equity deal, I was building up an interest in the business, so I knew this was coming. I'm there all the time and while they both are in and out, I'm the guy regulars know, for better or worse."

"he's a well known industry guy and an awesome dude," Maida told the Beer Yard earlier in the week. "He's the one who has really been running that show, and he does an amazing job of it."

Three bars (the third is Resurrection Ale House on Grays Ferry Avenue), a baby and now a new partner in a little over two and a half years. Hartranft/Maida are definitely setting the bar high.--JACK CURTIN

December 21, 2010 - Iron Hill St. James Brown Ale Salutes Local Church
The greatest beers in the world, by general consensus, are made in breweries associated with and sometimes operated by Trappist Monks. Yet it was still a surprise to some, said Intelligence Journal/Lancaster New Era staff writer Cindy Stauffer in a November 11 news article, when St. James Episcopal Church in Lancaster gave its blessing to St. James Brown Ale, a special release from Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant. But the story began earlier than that, with a homebrew.

"It has the blessing of the church's rector, the Rev. David Peck, a native of England, where churches and beer have had a friendly relationship for centuries," she wrote. Peck was later quoted: "Good food and drink provide the opportunity to build friendships and community, which are an invitation to encounter God."

"The beer [was] the birthchild of a professional brewer and a home brewer, both of whom attend St. James," said Stauffer. That duo,Chad Rieker and David Rutledge, were inspired by the fact that many church members were fans of craft beers and that St. James sometimes served beer at church committee meetings or gatherings, both in the church and in members' homes. They decided to brew an English brown ale "because their church is Anglican." The homebrew was greeted with rave reviews when served at a church committee meeting.

The beer found a wider audience when Rieker got a job as a brewer at Iron Hill. When head brewer Paul Rutherford asked him to make beer of own, Rieker suggested St. James Brown and met with an enthusiastic response. The new beer debuted at Iron Hill in mid-November and a fundraiser for the church was held at the restaurant on Nov. 29. Iron Hill donated 20% of food sales to the church from people who present a special coupon.--JACK CURTIN

December 07, 2010 - No Victory for Easton
The Victory Square project in downtown Easton, which would have centered around a brewpub managed by Downingtown's Victory Brewing Company, first announced in March 2009 and beset by problems ever since, has fallen apart.

Edward Sieger of the Easton Express-Times reported yesterday that plans to convert the Weller Health Education Center into a brewpub have fallen through and the proposed management team has disbanded. Victory would have been a partner in the venture with Arthur Schmidt, co-owner of Emmaus-based Farmhouse restaurant.

"The project has not died, only the location," Sieger quoted Mayor Sal Panto Jr., who maintains that a downtown brewpub is still a strong possibility. However, Victory will no be longer involved with the project, according to company spokeswoman Anne Shuniak.--JACK CURTIN

December 05, 2010 - Bruce Nichols, RIP [Updated]
UPDATE: A Memorial Service for Bruce Nichols has been scheduled for late January.

Bruce Nichols, a co-founder of Philadelphia Beer Week and one of the important figures in craft beer history in Philadelphia, died early today of Leukemia. He was president of Museum Catering Company and the man most responsible for famed beer writer Michael Jackson's long relationship with the city of Philadelphia.

Nichols, Tom Peters of Monk's Cafe and beer writer Don Russell organized the first Philly Beer Week in 2008, laying out a framework which has since been copied, but never matched, by over twenty other cities around the nation. In 1991, he invited Jackson to hold a tutored beer tasting at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology as part of the city's ten-day The Book & The Cook celebration of food and drink, creating a tradition that lasted until Jackson's death in 2007. More recently, Nichols was part of a partnership that opened The HeadHouse in Society Hill early this past summer. It faltered and closed within a month but, as of last month, was relaunched by his former partner, Madame Saito.

The original Jackson appearance at the Museum, which he often said was the most difficult of his life, was held outdoors in a tent under terrible weather conditions. Nichols would tell stories of how they went back to his place, where Jackson was staying, afterwards and Michael lay down on the floor in front of the roaring fireplace and said "bring me wine." Bruce got him a glass and Michael replied, "I meant the whole bottle." Nonetheless, that first tasting and drew the largest crowd of the entire ten days and Jackson returned thereafter every year until his death and continued to be the B & C's greatest draw.

"Bringing in Michael began the real emergence of the Philadelphia beer culture," Peters told the Beer Yard. "Bruce really helped push the boundaries of beer culture in Philadelphia. We are all thankful and grateful for all that he did for us."--JACK CURTIN

November 20, 2010 - A brewpub for Overbrook?
Tired Hands Brewing Company is Jean Broillet's vision for the next stage of his brewing career. The assistant brewer at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant's West Chester location announced his plans to create a "brewcafe" of that name on his new website earlier this week.

Broillet wrote:

Tired Hands Brewing Company will operate on a six barrel brewhouse and will focus intensely on two very broad styles of beers that hold a special place in my heart: Belgian/French farmhouse ales and American hop-forward ales. We will be a "Brewcafe" (yes, I know a strange term, but one that best fits my vision), bake our own bread on site, and serve food (cheese, charcuterie, and other simple & satisfying foods) all sourced from within 100 miles of our brewery. With any luck we will set up shop in our hometown of Overbrook or somewhere close in the surrounding suburbs within the next 12-18 months. We own all of our brewing equipment, and are now looking for a home.
Broillet began working in the craft beer industry at the Victory Brewing Co. pub in Downingtown and moved on to Easton's Weyerbacher Brewing Co. before joining Iron Hill.--JACK CURTIN
November 19, 2010 - Brew Masters Debuts on Discovery Channel Sunday
Brew Masters, a new TV series about the world of craft beer featuring Sam Calagione and Delaware's Dogfish Head Craft Brewing will premiere on The Discovery Channel this Sunday at 10pm EST.

The show's camera crews have been filming at the Milton brewery all summer and traveling with Calagione to Peru, Egypt, New Zealand, Italy, Maine & Washington DC among other locals in search of the ingredients and stories behind DFH beers. The first episode tells the story behind the Miles Davis-inspired Bitches Brew.

Brew Masters is aiming for a wide audience rather than merely the folks already committed to craft beers.. "You don't have to come to this with a hardcore beer geek background to appreciate it,” Calagione told an interviewer. “It demystifies the brewing process so a total beer neophyte can gain confidence and buy something out of their comfort zone.”

The show will focus on DFH's creation of adventurous beers using unique ingredients, and it will follow Calagione's travels to source ingredients from around the world. It is the biggest television exposure for craft beer since Michael Jackson’s Beer Hunter series aired in 1989-90.

Brew Masters first season is four episodes long, airing on Nov. 21 & 28 and Dec. 5 & 12.--JACK CURTIN

November 19, 2010 - Brian O'Reilly Selected to Brew Philly Beer Week Beer at De Proef
Sly Fox brewmaster Brian O'Reilly's name was on the winning ticket submitted by beer drinker Jason Kramer in a drawing held at McGillin's Olde Ale House Wednesday night to win an all expense trip to Belgium for both. They will help brew a Philly Beer Week 2011 collaborative beer with world-renowned brewer Dirk Naudts of De Proef Brouwerij.

Kramer had an option of 13 local brewers to select from. Entrants paid $5 per ticket or five for $20, with the money benefiting PBW. George Hummel, proprietor of the city's well known Home Sweet Homebrew, pulled Kramer's entry out of an estimated 1000 tickets shortly after 8:30pm.

The winners will fly to Belgium early next year to make the beer which will be released on draught and in 750ml bottles during PBW next June. The beer,a porter, will be released nationally as part of SBS-Imports' De Proef Brewmaster's Series in July.

The annual series is a collaboration between Naudts and a selected American brewer. The four previous U.S. brewers were Tomme Arthur of Port Brewing, Jason Perkins of Allagash Brewing, John Mallet of Bell's Brewing & Brian "Spike" Buckowski of Terrapin Brewery.

PBW collaborative brews are nothing new to O'Reilly; he already done an annual release each year with William Reed of The Standard Tap and was one of the five brewers who created Brotherly Suds, the official PBW beer in 2010, brewed at Sly Fox's Royersford brewery. This step up onto the national and international stage, however, has to be seen as something special.--JACK CURTIN

November 13, 2010 - D.G. Yuengling Looks West
News that D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. signed a letter of intent in October to purchase the former Coors brewery in Memphis, Tenn. means that, if it goes through, America's oldest brewery will more than double overall capacity, allowing them to expand distribution into multiple states beyond the 13 in the East it has already opened.

There's a price tag of $20 million for the proposed purchase, not to mention the cost of new equipment, and Dick Yuengling, the fifth generation owner of the brewery, told the Wall Street Journal, "If this deal goes through, we are going to grow very slowly and methodically. We are around for 181 years and we're in no hurry."

Slow and methodical has served them well so far. The Brewers Association lists Yuengling as the fourth largest brewery in the nation based on 2009 sales volume. It produced over 2 million bbls last year and is in a back-and-forth tussle with Boston Beer for the title of largest American-owned brewery. As for expansion, COO David Casinelli has already said Yuengling might be able to move into Ohio even without a new plant.

Yuengling is a Pennsylvania treasure. In a recent, as yet unpublished interview, Lew Bryson, author of Pennsylvania Breweries, just released in its 4th edition, says that "The major factor that sets Pennsylvania apart, is Yuengling. As Scoats [Mike Scotese, owner of the Grey Lodge Pub and the new Hop Angel Brauhaus in Philadelphia] said, when an amber lager from an old regional brewer is one of the best-sellers in the market, that's kind of cool, and I think we tend to overlook how amazing that is these days. Yuengling breaks up the macrobrewery mindset, opens people to choice; that's something we have that other places don't."--JACK CURTIN

November 02, 2010 - The Return of the Khyber Pass
It's back to the future for one of Philadelphia's historic craft beer bars.

The Khyber at 56 S. 2nd St. in Old City, is reclaiming its original name as Khyber Pass (officially Khyber Pass Pub) and is reasserting its claim to the throne of Philadelphia’s Best Beer Bar," according to a press release today. . Back in the early days of the craft beer revolution, and even prior to that, the original Khyber Pass was arguably the city's best known beer bar and hip musical venue.

There will be 20 taps and two beer engines when the doors open on November 9, as well as coolers "stocked with a huge selection of bottles."

Hours will be from 11am – 2am. A Grand Opening celebration is planned for November 18.--JACK CURTIN

October 28, 2010 - Verboten Now Year-Round from Weyerbacher
Weyerbacher Brewing Co will add Verboten Belgian-style Pale Ale to its year-round offerings in November.

The official Nov. 12 release date will be marked by a special event at the Easton brewery at which 2010 Riserva American Wild Ale will also be released and the latest release in Weyerbacher's ongoing "Brewer's Select" one-off series, November, will make its debut. this one is a 7.8% Imperial Brown Ale which is infused with a dark roast gourmet blend from a local coffee roaster. Tiny Belgian Strong Ale, which is brewed on an occasional basis, will be available that evening as well.

The event will run from 5-7pm. The beers will also be available at the brewery the following day from Noon to 3pm.--JACK CURTIN

October 27, 2010 - Philly Beer Week To Send Local Beer Drinker & Local Brewer to Belgium
One regional brewer and one local beer drinker and will get a chance to win an all expenses paid trip to Belgium to help brew a Philly Beer Week 2011 collaborative beer with world-renown brewmaster Dirk Naudts of De Proef Brouwerij.

The two lucky winners will be chosen at a raffle conducted at McGillin's Olde Ale House in center city on Wednesday, Nov. 17. Entrants name a brewer on their tickets ($5 per ticket or 5 tickets for $20) and a drawing at 8:30 will determine the winner.

The winners will travel to Belgium this February and brew with Naudts to produce a special porter that will be unveiled during Philly Beer Week, June 3-12, 2011. The porter will be part of DeProef’s ongoing Brewmaster’s Collection series.

Each year since 2007, Naudts has collaborated with a highly regarded American brewer to create a series of one-of-a-kind ales. The four beers in the series so far include Signature Ale with Tomme Arthur of Port Brewing (2007), Les Deux Brasseurs with Jason Perkins of Allagash Brewing (2008), Van Twee with John Malle of Bell’s Brewing (2009) and Monstre Rouge with Spike Bukowski of Terrapin Brewing this year. The beers are distributed nationally by SBS-Imports of Seattle, Washington.

A partial list of participating breweries includes Dock Street Brewing Co., Dogfish Head, Flying Fish Brewing Company, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Lancaster Brewing Company, Manayunk Brewpub, Nodding Head, Sly Fox Brewery, Stoudt’s Brewing Company, Twin Lakes Brewing Company, Troegs Brewing Co, Victory Brewing Company, Weyerbacher Brewing Company and Yards Brewing Company. Brewers will be on hand for the drawing.

McGillin’s Olde Ale House, the city's oldest continually operating tavern, is located at 1310 Drury St.--JACK CURTIN

October 24, 2010 - Lew Bryson & Pennsylvania Breweries on the Road
Lew Bryson is coming to a bar or tavern near you. "How do you know a writer has a new book out?" goes the old joke. "Because suddenly he's everywhere."

The 4th edition of the local drinks writer's Pennsylvania Breweries was released a few weeks ago and beer venues all over the state are lining up to schedule a signing, often combined with a special draft lineup (all Pennsylvania beers on tap appears to be the most popular) or some other attraction to set their event apart from the others. Those are nice touches, but it is the author himself, loud, opinionated and eminently comfortable in the limelight, who is the major attraction.

The new edition is 360 pages long and details the history and brews from 72 breweries/brewpubs, a significant jump from the 48 beer venues covered in 206 pages in the first edition, released way back in 1998 when the local craft beer culture was still nascent and the whole concept was nearly invisible to the great majority of beer drinkers. As has been the case from the start, the beer focus is enhanced and given perspective by informed listings of local attractions and lodging in the immediate area of each locale.

Bryson says that the quality of Pennsylvania craft beer has grown as strongly as has its availability. "The beer's much, much better. That can't really be overstated, and I think it's greatly under-appreciated. So many people have just started drinking a wider variety of beer in the past five years or so. But the most significant aspect of the change is the explosion of craft brewers in the hinterlands. In that first book, almost all the breweries were either in Pittsburgh or south and east of the front ridge of the Appalachians. Bullfrog and Erie were two exceptions. Today the busiest places in the state are the arc from State College to the Delaware Water Gap, and the I-79 Corridor from Pittsburgh to Erie. Williamsport has three breweries. The beer bar scene in the Wyoming Valley has grown incredibly. There are still large areas of Pennsylvania that don't have a brewery or beer bar…but there aren't too many people there, either."

Bryson says that roughly 90 percent of the latest edition is new material--"I revisited most of the breweries for each edition, and I revisited all of them for the 4th. Rewrites vary according to change, or if I just feel like I didn't do a good enough job before"--and that claims that "I'd happily put our brewing up against any other area, without question. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia's beer bar density and quality are the equal of almost any place — the only ones I know of that come close are Chicago and Portland, maybe Seattle, and New York is coming along fast - and we have craft in many `non-beer bar' settings. The major factor that sets Pennsylvania apart, of course, is Yuengling [which] breaks up the macrobrewery mindset, opens people to choice; that's something we have that other places don't."

Signed copies of Pennsylvania Breweries will be available at The Beer Yard beginning on Wednesday, October 27.--JACK CURTIN

October 19, 2010 - Two New/Old Beers on Victory Fall List
Two of Victory Brewing Company’s best-known beers will have new identities this fall.

Victory Brewing Company’s popular Yakima Twilight Black IPA has been rechristened Yakima Glory, a name which the brewery believes more accurately sums up its appeal.

Storm King Stout will be released as a bourbon barrel-aged version, bottle-conditioned in 750ml size ,under the name Dark Intrigue (presumably this fall, although no release date has been specified).

Here’s how the Dark Intrigue label explains the project:

“Since its arrival in 1997, our Storm King Stout has enticed folks to ‘discover the dark intrigue’ as its label suggests. While enjoying that great imperial stout, we have been intrigued by the myriad of flavors it exhibits, and encouraged to test the limits of perception and pleasure by adding to the rich experience of Storm King Stout. So here you have such a exploration, involving Storm King Stout aged in oak barrels that once matured Kentucky bourbon. Blended to perfection, this one is surely dark and intriguing!”
October 11, 2010 - Yards Expects to Expand Production by 60% with New Tanks
According to a story in the Philadelphia Business Journal this past Friday, Philadelphia's Yards Brewing Co. plans to expand its beer production by 60 percent by year’s end.

Founder and owner Tom Keho told the PBJ that 2010 sales are expected to top $3 million, up from $2.2 million last year and nearly double sales of 2007. As a result, Yards is investing $100,000 in two new tanks, at a cost of $50,000 apiece. Each tank will produce 4,000 barrels of beer annually. The brewery will be in a position ot produce 24,000bbls in 2011; the current capacity is 15,000bbls. There is room available to add an additional seven tanks, Kehoe said.

Annual sales oy Yards beers split 60-40 packaged over draft.--JACK CURTIN

October 09, 2010 - New Prism Brewery Begins Production
Roughly one year after they entered the local market with beers contract brewed at the now closed General Lafayette Inn & Brewery, Prism Brewing Company is making its first batch of beer on October 9 in its new East Norriton brewery. The initial. brew is Prism's fall seasonal, Vampire’s Kiss, an Irish Red Ale brewed with spices.

The brewery is located at at 810 Dickerson Rd. in North Wales in an old industrial building and covers 5.500 square feet spread over two floors. A taproom in front of the brewhouse is planned for some time in the future. The location will also be home to Copper Crow Brewing Company, a new venture with former General Lafayette assistant brewer Russ Czajka as president and majority owner and form General Lafayette owner Chris Leonard as brewmaster.

A very happy owner and founder Rob Demaria told the Beer Yard that the process of opening Prism "has been one helluva learning curve."--JACK CURTIN

September 27, 2010 - Copper Crow Beer Company Born as General Lafayette Inn & Brewery Closes
Chris Leonard announced today that he has an agreement of sale in hand for the restaurant site of the General Lafayette Inn and that business is now closed, pending completion of the sale and reopening. Meanwhile, he and assistant brewmaster Russ Czajka have formed Copper Crow Beer Company, which will make beer at both that location and at the about-to-open Prism Brewing Company plant in North Wales.

“This is a fantastic thing for us," Leonard told The Beer Yard. We’ve been trying to get out of the restaurant business for nearly a year now. TTB and PLCB license applications have already been filed for Copper Crow to operate at Prism and we will function as an 'alternating brewery' there. We will also be consulting with and helping owner Rob Demaria, and I’ll be serving in a quality control capacity as well.”

All beer from both companies will be draft to start but the original General Lafayette bottling line has been moved to North Wales and packaged beers are planned.

The official statement released this afternoon by Leonard can be found here.--JACK CURTIN

September 25, 2010 - Sly Fox, Weyerbacher Win USBTC Summer Session Regional Honors
Sly Fox Brewing Company of Royersford took top honors in three categories for the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast Region judging in the United States Beer Tasting Championship Summer Competition and Weyerbacher Brewing Company of Easton won two others.

Sly Fox was cited for its Pikeland Pilsner, Rt. 113 IPA and Saison Vos. Weyerbacher's honors went to Blanche Wit and Riserva (fruit beer).

The only other local brewery to score in the competition was Victory Brewing Company of Downingtown, which earned Honorable Mentions for Prima Pils, Victory Lager and St. Victorious Doppelbock.

A total of 416 beers from 136 breweries were examined across 14 different beer categories for the summer event.--JACK CURTIN

September 21, 2010 - GABF Final Roundup
The Great American Beer Festival, already the largest commercial beer competition in the world, grew even larger in 20101 with 3,523 beers vying for medals, compared to 3,308 entries in 2009.

This year's competition attracted 151 beer judges from 10 countries. There were 79 beer categories covering 133 beer styles. The largest, also a new record, was 142 entries in the India Pale Ale judging.

California breweries took home the most medals, 56, following by Colorado with 42 and Oregon with 19. BA statistics show Michigan fourth with 10 medals, followed by Pennsylvania with nine. According to Beer Yard scoring, which credits Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant beers to the site where they were brewed rather than to Iron Hill's corporate headquarters in Delaware, Pennsylvania had 11 medals for fourth place.

Four of the five GABF Major Awards went to California breweries:

Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Blue Moon Brewing Company, Denver, CO
Dr. David Ryder

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Utah Brewers Cooperative, Salt Lake City, UT
UBC Brewers

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Mad River Brewing Company, Blue Lake, CA
Mad River Brewing Company

Brewpub Group and Brewpub Group Brewer of the Year
TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Brea, CA
Victor Novak Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Pizza Port Carlsbad, Carlsbad, CA
Pizza Port Brew Guys

Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Pizza Port San Clemente, San Clemente, CA
Noah Regnery

The complete list of GABF 2010 winners is here.--JACK CURTIN

September 20, 2010 - East Coast Breweries Bring Home 30 GABF Medals
East Coast breweries won 30 medals at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival this weekend, a 25% drop from the previous two years when they took 40 both times.

Pennsylvania led the way with nine medals plus two for Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant which are credited to IH's Delaware headquarters by the Brewers Association but which Beer Yard methodology credits to actual pub at which they were brewed, in Media. The combined total of 11 is three less than in 2009.

Ten Pennsylvania medals were won by breweries which are major players in the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley market. Iron Hill's two Golds, for Pig Iron Porter and Russian Imperial Stout, were brewed by perennial medalist Bob Barrar. Tröegs Brewing Co., on a long medal-streak of its own with Tröegenator Doppelbock (marketed as a Double Bock but always entered in the Bock category), won three: Gold for The Flying Mouflan Barleywine, and Silvers for Tröegenator and HopBack Amber Ale.

A Gold for Ryan Michaels' Saison Vautour from McKenzie Brew House should firmly establish that beer in the local pantheon; the Gold was the second straight and the third overall. A fourth Gold went to Brett Kintzer at Stoudt's Brewing Company for Heifer in Wheat. Patrick Jones, who recently severed his relationship with Triumph Brewing Company, went out with a pair of Silvers for Kellerbier and Dunkel Lager. Weyerbacher brought home its first ever GABF medal, a Bronze to head brewer Chris Wilson and his team for Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

The final Pennsylvania medal was a Bronze for The Jaspers, brewed by Terry Hawbaker at The Bullfrog in Williamsport.

Thirteen medals from resurgent New England included five in Massachusetts, a Gold and Silver to Haverhill Brewery, a pair of Bronzes to Boston Beer Company and a Pro-Am win for Wormtown Brewing Co. with homebrewer Keith Antul. Maine and New Hampshire added three each, a trifecta of Gold, Silver and Bronze for Allagash Brewing Co, in the first case, and a Sliver and Bronze for Portsmouth Brewery and Bronze for The Prodigal Brewery in the latter. Rhode Island (Bronze to Trinity Brewhouse) and Vermont (Gold to The Alchemist) completed the total.

New York won four medals: Gold for Ithaca Beer Company, Silver and Bronze for Great Adirondack Brewing Co, Bronze for Brewery Ommegang. Clipper City Brewing Co, added two Bronzes for Maryland, for Heavy Seas Marzen and Heavy Seas Gold Ale. --JACK CURTIN

September 18, 2010 - Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Tröegs Brewing Pace Region to Ten GABF Medals
Six breweries in the local market accounted for all nine medals won at the 2010 Great American Festival in Denver.The awards were announced this afternoon.

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant won Gold Medals for Pig Iron Porter and Russian Imperial Stout ; both were brewed by Media head brewer Bob Barrar, who has now taken 14 GABF medals since 2002, ten of them Golds.

McKenzie Brew House and brewer Ryan Michael won Gold for Saison Vautour, the beer's third Gold and second in a row. Stoudt's Brewing won Gold for Heifer in Wheat.

Tröegs Brewing took Gold for its Flying Mouflan Barleywine and Silvers for Tröegenator (a perennial medal winner) and HopBack Amber.

Triumph Philadelphia and former brewer Patrick Jones won a pair of Silvers for Kellerbier and Dunkel, matching its two-medal performance in 2009, and Weyerbacher Brewing Company took a Bronze, its first GABF medal, for Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

CAVEAT: This report might be incomplete as the computer feed from Denver was erratic today and lost for several intervals.

Look for a more complete story here Monday with all the results broken down. First impressions are that the East Coast did not fare nearly as well as in recent years.--JACK CURTIN

September 13, 2010 - Three Delaware Valley Beers on Men's Journal Top 25 List
Sly Fox Pikeland Pils at #9 led three local beers onto the Men's Journal "Top 25 Beers of the World" list for 2010.

Victory Helios Saison was #16 and Dogfish head 90 Minute IPA #21.

The complete list:
Rochefort 10
Russian River Pliny the Elder
Nogne O Porter
Hopworks Urban Brewery Organic Larger
Jolly Pumpkin Oro De Calabaza
Mikkeller Since Single-Hop IPA
De Ranke Brewery Saison De Dottignies
Helles Schlenkerla Lagerbier
Sly Fox Pikeland Pils
Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen-Weisse
Sinebrychoff Porter
Hitachino Nest Beer XH
Kostritzer Schwarzbier
Ninkasi Total Domination IPA
Samuel Adams Noble Pils
Victory Helios Ale
Brasserie De La Senne Taras Boulba
Allagash Curieux
Dieu Du Ciel! Peche Mortel
Russian River Supplication
Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
Olympia Beer
Peak Organic Pale Ale
21st Amendment Back in Black IPA
Sierra Nevada Kellerweis --JACK CURTIN

September 12, 2010 - Bahnhof Beer Hall Scheduled to Open in Bethlehem This October [UPDATED]
The Beer Yard has received exclusive information that the Tap and Table partnership has added a new restaurant at 4213 Ridge Avenue, site of the Pour House Tavern, to its plans. More details when they become available.

[Original Story - 3 September 2010]

Partners Matt and Colleen Swartz and Matt Scheller, who have brightened the Lehigh Valley beer scene considerably over the last 18 months by opening the Tap and Table Gastropub, a European-style venue with a candlelit atmosphere (candles in wrought iron chandeliers hung from high ceilings over long wooden communal tables) in Emmaus on April 2009 and The Bookstore Speakeasy, a 1920s-'30s themed cocktail and beer bar locate behind a small fake bookstore in Bethlehem last October, are at it again.

Next month the trio will launch Bahnhof, an authentic German-style beer hall in an old train station in Bethlehem ("banhof" means "train station" in German). Meanwhile, just to keep busy, they opened the Atlantic Jazz Yard in Rehoboth Beach last May; it's a seasonal venue less than two blocks off the beach which features live jazz in the courtyard which makes up most of its space and has a cocktail and beer program similar to that at The Bookstore, only "less intense," according to Scheller, who is the beverage guy in the partnership.

Tap and Table has six taps and "between 150 and 200 bottles of world-class beer, plus three handpumps," Scheller says. "We do beer dinners every six weeks or so (the most recent featured brewer Terry Hawbaker and his beers from the Bullfrog in Williamsport; the next one, in November, will be hosted by the brewer and chef from the famed Schlenkerla brewery in Bamberg, Germany). At the Bookstore, we focus more on cocktails and have done a few cocktail dinners, five course, five cocktails designed for us by top mixologists. I'd like to do a beer vs. cocktail dinner there one of these days."--JACK CURTIN

September 08, 2010 - Beer Yard/Tröegs Event Garners $1091 for Delco SPCA
The four-day Labor Day weekend at The Beer Yard featuring the beers of Harrisburg's Tröegs Brewing Co., food by Teresa's Next Door and pretzel samples from Famous Kirby's resulted in a $1091 contribution the Delaware County SPCA.

That amount includes $6 each for 96 cases of Tröegs sold, $5 per case split between the Beer Yard and the brewery; $1 per case from an anonymous Beer Yard customer, and the remainder from food sales.

"I cannot say enough about our wonderful customers," says Beer Yard owner Matt Guyer, "or the cooperation and help we received from Nick Johnson of Tröegs and Andy Dickerson of Teresa's. The craft beer community is filled with good people and it's always very satisfying to get together with them in support of a good cause and then see the people who make our business possible make it all worthwhile with their generosity."

Photos of Saturday's main event are linked in our Store Note below.--JACK CURTIN

September 05, 2010 - Monk's Front Bar Re-Opens
From the Monk's Cafe website late last Sunday night:
WE'RE OPEN - the entire restaurant now! Monday, September 06, 2010

Whoo Hoo!

We just received permission to open the entire restaurant. YEA!! You can now enter through the front door. Actually... where the front door will go when it is installed next week. The entrance hall is a bit rough looking, but a crew will be working on it over the weekend - so we may need to use the service alley again for short periods of time. It will probably take a full month before the entrance is finished, but you're not coming in to hang our there anyway.

An enthralled local beer community now holds its breath to see what will happen next August....JACK CURTIN
September 02, 2010 - Tröegs & Beer Yard Team Up for Labor Day Weekend Benefit for Delco SPCA [UPDATED]
Tröegs Brewing Company of Harrisburg will join with The Beer Yard in Wayne on Saturday, September 4, the heart of the Labor Day Weekend this year, for a special afternoon event on the Beer Yard premises to benefit the Delaware County SPCA.

From 1-4pm, Tröegs award-winning beers will be available for sampling in front of the Beer Yard. The beer samples will be accompanied by a variety of tasty food treats from Teresa's Next Door, the popular Belgian-themed bar located on North Wayne Avenue. Famous Kirby's will also be on hand with samples of their popular pretzeis.

Every case of Tröegs beer sold ALL WEEKEND (Friday through Monday) will benefit the Delco SPCA to the tune of $6 .00 (this includes $5 per cans pledged by The Beer Yard and Tröegs Brewing and $1 just pledged by an anonymous customer---anyone else wanting to add a matching pledge is more than welcome to do so; just email us).

All profits from the food menu, which will feature $1 hot dogs as a specialty, will also go to that worthy cause. Additionally, every customer buying a case of Tröegs will receive a free logo-ed pint glass.

"We will be pouring our year-round beers, several seasonals brews and maybe even a few surprises that will make you scratch, but not from the fleas," says Nick Johnson, regional sales representative for the brewery.

Matt Guyer, owner of The Beer Yard noted that "while you don't have to be here Saturday afternoon o make a contribution--just buy a case of Tröegs any time this weekend, we sure hope you'll come by, say hello and enjoy the party."--JACK CURTIN

August 29, 2010 - Craft Beer Sales Growing in Every Region of the Country
The good news about craft beer growth just keeps coming.

According to an online presentation last week by Dan Wandel, senior vice-president of the Symphony IRI Group for members of the Brewers Association, U.S. craft beer sales were up 11.9% for the first half of 2010 on track for their sixth straight year of 10%-plus growth.

Among the most interesting data he had to offer: craft sales are growing in every region in the country, eight of the top 15 new craft brands this year are IPAs, New Belgium the growth leader among top craft brewers, up 28% in dollars year to date and Sierra Nevada Torpedo is fastest growing of the top 15 craft brands. up more than 200% versus last year.

Symphony IRI figures account for sales at retail outlets and do not include draft sales.

Evaluation of other date by The Beer Yard shows that the growing canning trend in craft brewing is another aspect of the segment's growth. The websites and are each reporting that roughly 80 US craft breweries are currently canning or contract canning at least one of their beers and dam Nason of the latter says that "at least 20 of those breweries began canning this year." Canning breweries are located in 34 states, a number could approach 40 by year's end.--JACK CURTIN

August 25, 2010 - John Frantz Joins Staff of Mid-State Wholesaler
Former Lancaster Brewing CEO and VP of Sales John Frantz has joined the staff of Westy Beer Distributor, Inc, the mid-state beer distributor located in Camp Hill,just outside Harrisburg.

"‘Adding John Frantz makes Westy a better company for our customers and suppliers." said Westy GM George Bradley. "He is an industry pro and is well-liked by accounts in our territory. We’re excited to have him on our team."

Frantz was considered instrumental in the rapid growth of Lancaster Brewing Company and its business in the local market over the past several years. His involvement with Lancaster Brewing Company ended in January 2010 in a surprise dismissal of him and brewmaster Christian Heim by a new management team. He will begin his work with Westy next week.--JACK CURTIN

August 22, 2010 - Recent Craft Brewing Consolidation a Peek into the Future?
On the heels of the Brewers Association announcement that craft beer sales volume increased 9% in the first six months of 2010 compared to a 5% increase in 2009 and income from sales was up 12% in the first six months, better than 9% growth the year before, the industry also saw some signs of the increasing level of consolidation that has been predicted by many observers.

In the East, the big news was that North American Breweries has acquired Independent Brewers United, producers of the Magic Hat, Pyramid and MacTarnahan brands. The acquisition is the fourth by NAB since its formation in 2009. NAB owns Genesee Brewing Company, one of the largest and oldest continually operating breweries in the United States, and is the exclusive marketer and seller of Labatt brand beer and Seagram's Escapes in the United States. NAB CEO Rich Lozyniak said the new brands add craft brewing credibility and variety to the beers currently offered by the company. "We are really excited to add Magic Hat, Pyramid and MacTarnahan’s beers to North American Breweries," said NAB CEO Rich Lozyniak. " All three brands have a rich history of craft brewing that helps us gain acceptance in that tight-knit community, By having more beers to offer our customers, wholesalers and retail accounts, we can better compete with the multi-national mega brewers who dominate the U.S. beer industry."

Out west, Portland-based Craft Brewers Alliance Inc. struck a deal to purchase Hawaii's Kona Brewing Co. Craft Brewers was formed with the merger of Portland's Widmer Brothers Brewing and Washington-based Redhook Ale Brewery in 2008. Under the agreement, Kona will become a wholly owned subsidiary of CBA, which also distributes the beers of Chicago's Goose Island Brewery. CBA has been brewing and distributing Kona beers on the U.S. mainland for nine years. "This is a way to expand and strengthen our portfolio to wholesalers and retailers, because the more diverse your portfolio is, the better your chance of getting great beer to beer drinkers," said Kurt Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers. "This will enable us to take the Kona brand to more places in the country, primarily beyond the Northwest." CBA was formed with the merger of Portland's Widmer Brothers Brewing and Washington-based Redhook Ale Brewery in 2008.

Perhaps most the most interesting aspect fo the latter acquisition is the rumor that Anheuser Busch, owns 35% of CBA might be moving toward buying the remaining 65%. As reported in Beer Business Daily, Bryce Peterson of Washington Street Investments, a hedge fund which owns 2.5% of CBA, told that A-B "might think it's smart to buy a strong brand in the craft area and use its incredible distribution and marketing strengths to grow the acquired business, even though A-B already has a distribution deal with the brands."--JACK CURTIN

August 17, 2010 - Victory Brewing Intros "Brewpub on Wheels"
Victory Brewing company has created a "brewpub on wheels" to serve customers who want to build an event around their popular beers. The brewery's new catering trailer made its debut on Saturday, August 7, at the Victory Summer BrewBQ event at the Twin Brook Winery.

With a kitchen, capacity for 16 cold kegs and 16 taps, the mobile unit can serve BBQ and brews for up to 1,000 people.

Several photos and reservation information are available here.--JACK CURTIN

August 13, 2010 - Dock Street Brewers From Across Two Decades Collaborate
The past and present of Philadelphia's Dock Street Brewing will get together in Bellingham, Washington this week as current head brewer Ben Potts travels west to brew with Dock Street’s first brewer Will Kemper at Chuckanut Brewery.

Kemper was the original brewer for Dock Street Brewery and Restaurant at 18th & Cherry St. in 1990 and helped launched that legendary venue. His relatively new Bellingham pub won four Great American Beer Festival medals in 2009. earning Chuckanut Small Brewpub of the Year honors.

Potts began brewing in 2003 with the purchase of a few simple kits from a homebrew store. After a brief stint at art school, he began volunteering at Dock Street and eventually took the position of Head Brewer.--JACK CURTIN

August 06, 2010 - Sierra Nevada To Brew Authentic Trappist Style Ales with California Abbey
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. announced a partnership today with the Trappist-Cistercian Abbey of New Clairvaux to create the only authentic Trappist-style Abbey ales in America. They will combine to produce Ovila, "America's only authentic Trappist-style Abbey Ale."

Ovila is series of three Belgian-style Abbey ales is made in accordance with the centuries-old tradition of the monks. From the press release (slightly edited):

Each beer will be only be available for a limited time and will rotate through the seasons. The first beer in the series, scheduled for release in March, will be a Belgian-style Dubbel brewed with authentic Trappist yeast. The second beer in the series, scheduled for release in July, will be a Saison, the traditional Belgian-style farmhouse ale made in honor of the Monk’s dedication to labor in the fields surrounding their abbey. The third, to be released later in the year, will be a Trappist-style Quadrupel.

Proceeds from this project will benefit the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux in their efforts to reconstruct a 12th century, early-gothic Cistercian chapter house on their grounds in Vina, California a few miles north of Sierra Nevada’s home in Chico. The medieval chapterhouse—Santa Maria de Ovila—was begun in 1190 in Spain and Cistercian monks lived, prayed, and worked there for nearly 800 years. In 1931, California newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst purchased the abbey and shipped it to Northern California. Hearst’s plans were never realized, and the stones fell into disrepair. In 1994, the Trappist-Cistercian monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux, gained possession of the ruins, and began the painstaking stone-by-stone reconstruction of the historic abbey.

Located in Vina, California, the Abbey of New Clairvaux is a Cistercian Abbey of Strict Observance (Trappist). The abbey was founded in 1955 on 590 acres of Leland Stanford’s famed Vina Ranch. The monks follow the Rule of St. Benedict—Ora est Labora (Prayer and Work) and spend their days in prayer, meditation, and tending to the labor of the working farm located at the abbey.

August 04, 2010 - Is Craft Brewery Consolidation the New Trend?
Beer industry consultant Bump Williams recently told industry newsletter Beer Business Daily current conditions offer an opportunity for craft brewers: "[A]re these guys going to get together and take advantage of the hot hand they’re being dealt right now? I think they’s time for the craft brewers to talk about how to get to a ten share. The time is now."

That would suggest more consolidation and joint ventures among craft brewers and there is evidence this week point to just that starting to happen.

Portland-based Craft Brewers Alliance Inc. said yesterday that it will pay $13.9 million for Hawaii's Kona Brewing Co., cementing what had been a nine-year partnership. Under the agreement, Kona will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Craft Brewers, which also distributes the beers of Chicago's Goose Island Brewery. Craft Brewers Alliance was formed by merger of Widmer Brothers Brewing and Redhook Ale Brewery in 2008.

Kona beer for mainland distribution is already, and will continue to be, brewed by Widmer and Redhook.As part of CBA, Kona will be able to expand its brand and distribution while maintaining its craft brewery operations in Hawaii, said Kurt Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers. "This is a way to expand and strengthen our portfolio to wholesalers and retailers," said Widmer, "because the more diverse your portfolio is, the better your chance of getting great beer to beer drinkers. This will enable us to take the Kona brand to more places in the country, primarily beyond the Northwest."

Kona's flagship beer is its Longboard Lager, and it brewed 113,000 barrels of beer (3.5 million gallons) of beer last year, making it Hawaii's largest brewer and the country's 13th-largest craft brewery, a distinction it will apparently have to relinquish. CBA is one of the larger brewing groups in the country but doesn't qualify as a craft brewery under the Brewers Association definition Because InBev Anheuser-Busch has an ownership stake in both Widmer and Redhook.

Meanwhile, All signs point toward a second major purchase on the East Coast, where it appears that both Magic Hat Brewing C. and Pyramid Brewing Co. will be bought out very soon by North American Breweries of Rochester. Those two breweries merged as Independent Brewers United in 2008 and the pair currently rank an impressive #5 and #7 overall in terms of sales volume. They sold almost 350,000 barrels in 2009, making IBU the eighth largest entity among all regional breweries (craft or non-craft).North American Breweries owns the Genesee Brewing Company and Dundee Ales & Lagers and is the primary U.S. distributor of Labatt beers and Seagrams coolers.--JACK CURTIN

August 02, 2010 - Craft Beer Maintains Its Growth Pattern Even Though industry Overall Is Down
There is good news for craft beer makers and drinkers in figures released today by the Brewers Association for the first six months of 2010.

Dollar sales were up 12 percent in the first half of the year, compared to 9 percent growth during the same period in 2009. Volume of craft brewed beer sold grew 9 percent for the same period, compared to 5 percent growth last year.

"While craft brewer sales volume climbed 9 percent in the first half of 2010, overall U.S. beer industry volume sales are down 2.7 percent so far," noted Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. "There is a movement by beer lovers...more people are starting to think of craft-brewed beer first when they buy in restaurants, bars and stores."

The U.S. now boasts 1,625 breweries, an increase of 100 additional breweries since July of 2009. It is the highest number in 100 years. A century ago in 1910, consolidation and the run-up to Prohibition had reduced the number of breweries to 1,498.--JACK CURTIN

July 27, 2010 - New Fermentation Tanks Raise Victory Capacity to 100,000bbl
Victory Brewing Company will add eight 440bbl fermenters to its plant in early August, joining the four that were installed just 10 and a half months previously, a response to customer demand that has Victory's wholesale shipments for 2010 currently standing 24% higher than the same point in 2009. The new fermenters are capable of boosting Victory's beer production capacity by 50%, or 33,000 barrels per year. This sets total capacity at approximately 100,000 barrels.

Co-founders Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski noted that major expansion is always a risk but one which needs to be taken to maintain growth. "We needed four tanks immediately, but market conditions made buying the eight together, an undeniably smart deal." observed Barchet. "We remain confident in both our established customer loyalties and exciting new opportunities that we continue to create," Covaleski added.

Covaleski pointed to the recent success of Summer Love Ale, a joint venture initiated by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation to create a flavorful new ale to offer as a tourism draw, as an example of unexpectedly large demand. Summer Love Ale production was doubled over its initial expectation and has garnered the attention of Food & Wine, Washington Post online, and Modern Brewery Age, he said.--JACK CURTIN

July 20, 2010 - Philly Beer Week 2011 Will Be Held the First Week in June
Philadelphia Beer Week 2011 will be held Friday, June 3 through Sunday, June 12.

The dates were announced this afternoon in a press release sent out by the organizers. The event was held June this year after the first two were held in March. A June date was expected again despite the call by by several publicans for a return to the original March schedule at a series of meetings held for participants to express their views in recent weeks.

PBW Executive Director Don Russell, in the news release:

"Since PBW was founded, more than 25 other U.S. cities have put on beer festivals of their own, but ours remains the biggest and the best And we’re thrilled to announce the dates for PBW 2011: Friday, June 3 through Sunday, June 12, 2011. Based on extensive surveys of this year’s participants, we’re excited to begin working to make PBW 2011 every bit as successful as this year’s event. We encourage previous participants to join us once again, and we can’t wait to welcome first-timers to PBW, as well."

PBW 2010 had 193 official participants and more than 1,000 events.--JACK CURTIN

July 11, 2010 - Prism Brewing Will Open in North Wales
Prism Brewing Company hopes to open its new brewery at 810 Dickerson Rd. in North Wales in August, owner and founder Rob Demaria told The Beer Yard late yesterday afternoon. The usual caveat--"depending on how the licensing paperwork work goes"--accompanied the announcement.

A 20bbl DME brewhouse is already in place, Demaria said, along with three 20bbl fermenters. He purchased the brewhouse from the defunct--never opened, actually--Virginia Brewing Company in Winchester. "I'm in the process of looking for a couple more fermenters and two brite tanks as well," he said, adding that a bottling line would be added in the near future and "we will be bottling this fall."

Prism's space in an old industrial building is 5,500 square feet spread over two floors. A tap room in the front of the building is planned at some point in the future and the space has already been set aside for that addition.

Prism introduced its first beer, Bitto Honey IPA, into the local market last fall, contract brewing at the General Lafayette Brewery and Inn with brewmaster Chris Leonard. A second contract brew, Tea Party Pale Ale, has recently been released. Both are draught only, available at the General Lafayette and select accounts.

Those two beers and Death March Porter (a "hopless" porter brewed with star anise) will be the year-round beers brewed, along with a rotating seasonal. "Depending on when we get open, that will be either the summer beer, our Belgian White, or the fall one, Red October Ale," said Demaria. "The winter seasonal will be our Bacon Chocolate Stout."--JACK CURTIN

June 30, 2010 - Sam Calagione, TV Star
From this morning's edition of Harry Schuhmacher's Beer Business Daily, a beer industry newsletter:
This is good for craft beers in particular and beer in general.

Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewery is to star in a new Discovery Channel show called BREWED, which will be "exploring the culture, history and variety of beer."

Sam will join archeologist and beer expert Pat McGovern as they travel to recreate the recipes of "ancient ales" that have been discovered at sites around the world from Egypt to Peru. He'll go to Rome to research old Italian beer recipes as inspiration for a new restaurant in New York with Mario Batali. A visit to New Zealand introduces the idea of making the "first tomato based beer," and so on.

Clearly this will give craft beer some great publicity.

"Beer has always been my passion. It is so much more than what you see in the glass. I'm excited to share the diligence, daring and creativity that we pour into our work," said Sam.

BREWED is produced for Discovery Channel by Zero Point Zero Productions, which produced "No Reservations" and "Diary of a Foodie."

No word on when the show will begin airing.--JACK CURTIN
June 25, 2010 - Tröegs To Build New Brewery in Hershey
Chris and John Trogner, founders of Tröegs Brewing Company, announced today they have reached an agreement to open a new craft brewery in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Construction on the existing facility, located at 200 E. Hershey Park Drive, will begin immediately with a projected completion date of Fall 2011.

“This is an exciting new chapter for Tröegs Brewery,” said Chris Trogner. “When John and I started planning the brewery in 1995, we didn’t even know if we would ever make it to the actual brewing stage. Since opening in 1997, we have been fortunate to grow the Tröegs brand and increase our distribution into eight states. This new location will allow us to maintain our commitment to Central Pennsylvania and continue pursuing our brewing dreams in a state-of-the-art brewery with an expanded tasting room to give our customers an even greater beer experience.”

“Hershey is a special place, not just for people who call it home, but for the millions who come to visit each year,” said John. “We want to create an experience that compliments the other Hershey attractions, creating an even more vibrant and exciting destination for all visitors,” added Chris.

As part of the new facility, Tröegs Brewery will be installing a new brewhouse, fermenters and a kegging line. Once the new brewery is operational, all equipment will be moved from the Harrisburg plant to Hershey with no interruption to the beer production schedule. “Running two facilities simultaneously will create a series of challenges,” said John Trogner. “But we need to continue producing beer in our current location until the new location is completely operational.”

The Hershey facility will feature 5,000 square foot tasting room with the new brewhouse as the focal point of the room. The tasting room will open onto an outdoor seating area. “Visitors in our tasting room will be sitting literally in the middle of the brewhouse, said Chris Trogner. “They will be able to watch our brewers in action.”--JACK CURTIN

June 18, 2010 - Victory Brewing Teams Up with Philadelphia Tourism Office for Summer Love Ale
Amidst all the new beers introduced for Philly Beer Week, the one with perhaps the greatest impact and importance for the craft beer scene in the Delaware Valley was somewhat under the radar because of all the excitement.

Victory Brewing teamed up with the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) and its "With Love, Philadelphia XOXO" campaign to release Summer Love Ale, a brand-new brew which made its debut on June 4 at the Opening Tap event.

Summer Love Ale features a "super adorable, super fun label" says Caroline Bean of the Philadelphia Tourism Office. "We’re in the second year of the With Love initiative and we’ve always promoted Philadelphia’s beer scene as part of why the city is a draw for visitors, so the Summer Love Ale is a perfect fit."

Victory’s Bill Covaleski reports that "Summer Love starts with an all-German malt base upon which we overlaid crisp German hops for that familiar, import quality that some many beer drinkers find attractive and comfortable. Then we put bright, lemony Citra hops, grown here in the US, into the mix for an exciting aroma to start and refreshing and enduring finish."

Summer Love Ale will be available at locales throughout the region and also in Victory markets across the country.--JACK CURTIN

June 17, 2010 - ExPorter Will Return Next Year (in Barrels)
It turns out that Sierra Nevada Exporter, the "Ball Tic" Porter brewed at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, California last April and released during Philly Beer Week last week, will make an major return to the local market at some point in the undetermined future, this time as a barrel-aged version aged by Vinnie Cilurzo at Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa, California.

A band of 12 local beer elites traveled to Chico April 15-16 to concoct and brew the special one-off beer. They included Philly Beer Week honchos Tom Peters of Monk's Cafe, Bruce Nichols of the HeadHouse and beer writer Don "Joe Sixpack" Russell, the PBW executive director; publicans Fergus Carey (Monk's Cafe, Fergie's Pub), Brendan Hartranft (Memphis Taproom, Local 44, Resurrection Ale House), Terry McNally (London Grill), Andy Dickerson (Teresa's Next Door), Mike "Scoats" Scotese (Grey Lodge Pub) and Brad Martin (Isaac Newton's); retailers Matt Guyer (The Beer Yard) and Greg Ramirez (Exton Beverage), and beer writer Lew Bryson.

News of the barrel-aged version, a well kept secret for a while, first came in a comical posting on the beer menu at Teresa's Next Door during PBW (that text can be read here).

"We brewed four 10 barrel batches of the ExPorter at Sierra Nevada," Peters explained to the Beer Yard earlier today. "It was the largest batch they ever produced for a Beer Camp. They must like us guys from Philly. They kegged 25 of those barrels for consumption this year---it went to the 12 miscreants who attended beer camp and some for their brewery-attached restaurant." The remaining barrels are being sent to Russian River next week for a year of barrel-aging.

The original idea was to do the barrel aging at Sierra Nevada, Peters said. "The barrel part was fine with everyone, but having brettanomyces in their brewery gave some people pause, understandably so. After a day of discussions, Terence Sullivan (Sierra Nevada's brewmaster) offered the idea of sending it to Vinnie. I, of course. loved the idea, but we wanted to be sure that the focus of the project remained on Sierra Nevada and told Terence to sleep on the idea just to be sure that everyone at SN was cool with the concept. Terence phoned me the next day and said that Ken Grossman thought it was a great idea. Sold!"

The day after brew day, Peters and Carey drove to Santa Rosa and the Russian River brewery. "Vinnie and I discussed what type of barrel to use and the first thought was to employ a used Supplication barrel, but Vinnie thought the beer might take on too much of a Russian River character," Peters said. "We all wanted to keep the focus on Sierra Nevada, so we went to another building to look at some of Vinnie's recently arrived wine barrels. He thought the Syrah barrel might be good, but I thought it had too much of a black pepper aroma. then he fired up the fork lift and brought down some DuMol barrels---Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir barrels had a great aroma that I thought would really work well and after Vinnie looked at the the ExPorter recipe, he agreed they would be perfect."

Cilurzo will decide what "special little critters" will be added to the barrel and at what point in time, Peters concluded. "He is a master at that, you know."--JACK CURTIN

June 14, 2010 - The HeadHouse Opens in Society Hill
It wasn't a Philly Beer Week event per se, but it certainly made the week for one of the PBW founders.

Bruce Nichols, who created the ten-day event with Monk's Cafe's Tom Peters and beer writer Don Russell three years ago, joined with established restaurateur Madame Saito to debut The HeadHouse at 122 Lombard Street in historic Society Hill on Thursday, June 10.

The new venue will carry more than 100 bottled beers and have 20 taps. It will feature "beer-friendly cuisine," Nichols said. "Beer is truly one of my great passions, and I am thrilled to open The HeadHouse to share that passion."

Nichols, who also owns Museum Catering, says he first fell in love with beer while hosting tutored tastings with the legendary Michael Jackson every March for 18 years, until Jackson’s passing in 2007. Drawing from his personal knowledge and top-level industry sources, Nichols created The HeadHouse’s beer list with a core focus on local craft beers and a variety of other selections from around the world.

The HeadHouse will be centered around a distressed copper bar and feature rust-colored tiling to create an old-is-new feel. The second floor will include a versatile private event venue, including an additional 12-tap bar.

Museum Catering was created in 1989 and has handled events both at the Penn Museum and other exclusive venues across the region. Madame Saito is a recognized master of Japanese, Thai and French culinary techniques and has owned Le Champignon de Tokio, which features both French and Japanese cuisine, for 30 years. The HeadHouse is located next door to Le Champignon in a building she owns.

More information can be found here.--JACK CURTIN

June 04, 2010 - Philly Beer Week, June 4-13, 2010
Philly Beer Week 2010 officially opens tonight at 8pm when Mayor Michael Nutter taps the initial keg of BS1,a special beer created for the event by "Brotherly Suds," consisting of brewers from Sly Fox Brewing, Stoudt's Brewing, Troegs Brewing, Victory Brewing and Yards Brewing, five of the area's top breweries.

But the fun will begin long before that as venues all across the Delaware Valley offer the first of what the organizers say will be 1000 events at 195 different venues before it's all over.

The success of the initial Philly Beer Week in March 2008 has inspired similar celebrations in more than a dozen other cities around the nation but none of them are anywhere near the scope of what goes on locally. Industry observers credit an infrastructure of neighborhood bars and taverns and the region's vibrant and knowledgeable beer culture for a record of success which has made PBW a major attraction for the area and reaped it extensive coverage in mainstream media both locally and nationally.

An example of the impact that Philadelphia's self-proclaimed reputation as "the nation's best beer-drinking city" has had on both the economy and local pride is the recently announced joint effort by Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. and Victory Brewing to create With Love Philadelphia XOXO Victory Summer Love Ale.

A complete schedule for PBW events can be found here. It can be personalized in various fashions and an iPhone app is available which will allow users to plan activities, follow specific brewers or beers or merely keep up with what's happening.

And, come to think of it, that last is probably the strongest indicator of all that PBW is the largest celebration of beer in the U.S.--JACK CURTIN

May 26, 2010 - Pabst Finds a Buyer
C. Dean Metropoulos, the former chairman and chief executive officer of New Jersey-based Pinnacle Foods, which he sold last year for more than $2 billion, is reportedly paying $250 million to purchase Pabst Brewing Company, says the Wall Street Journal. MillerCoors will presumably continue to brew the beers, since their contract isn't up for renewal until 2015.

Pabst Brewing Co. is currently owned by the non-profit Kamanovitz Trust, which the IRS declared repeatedly since 1996 couldn't own a for-profit business. The IRS continued to grant extensions until this year, when they finally said no more. The Trust originally asked $600+ million for the company,with no takers.--JACK CURTIN

May 24, 2010 - Sly Fox Will Release Oktoberfest Lager in Cans
Sly Fox Brewing Company announced today that it will release its Oktoberfest Lager in cans for the first this August. It will be sixth canned beer offered by Sly Fox and the second this year. Rt. 113 Ii3 IPA debuted in cans in April.

Last week, the Sly Fox brewery in Royersford completed another brewing first, a run of The Brewer's Art Resurrection Ale in cans for the first time. The Brewer's Art brews its packaged products under contract in Royersford, all them in 750ml, corked and caged bottles until now.--JACK CURTIN

May 21, 2010 - Beer in Cans: A Beer Yard Special Report
The only craft beers in cans on the Beer Yard shelves at the end of 2009 were those from Oscar Blues Brewing Co., Sly Fox Brewing Co., Butternuts Beer & Ale and 21st Amendment Brewery. Since then, Anderson Valley Brewing Co., Breckenridge Brewing Co., Caldera Brewing Co., Central City Brewing Co and Cisco Brewing Co. have all joined the ranks of U.S. craft breweries canning one or more of their beers and sending them our way (among the latter will be a new Lancaster Brewing Kolsch).

Indeed, it seems likely we will christen 2010 The Year of the Can in craft brewing.

When Sly Fox Brewing began packaging its beers in 2006 and chose 120z cans as the primary package, it was something of a shock to the sensibilities of some local dedicated beer geeks who had always associated canned beer with the mass market bland brews of Anheuser-Busch, Coors and Miller, and especially with some of the cheaper alternatives to same. Yes, Colorado’s Oskar Blues had introduced Dale’s Pale Ale in cans back in 2002 and there was nobody saying anything bad about that beer, but still….

It all seems a long time ago now, doesn’t it? Dale’s Pale Ale was named the "Top American Pale Ale" by the New York Times in 2005 and has been chosen as the "World’s Best Canned Beer" by Details magazine. Oskar Blues Gordon, a canned Imperial Red Ale, won a Word Beer Cup Bronze Medal in 2008. And Sly Fox Pikeland Pils became the first craft beer in a can ever to win a Gold Medal at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival. Sly Fox beers are regularly listed among the best in the Delaware Valley.

The first canned beer appeared in 1935 when German immigrant brewer Gottfried Krueger released Kreuger’s Special Beer from his Newark, NJ brewery. He did a test run involving 2000 drinkers two years earlier and was worried that the packaging might damage the image of his brand. His worries proved unfounded; Kreuger Brewing sold 200 million 11oz cans of beer by the end 1935. The next year, the canning concept took hold in Europe and by 1937 there were 23 breweries in England alone canning their beers.

The primary argument against canned beer is that the can imparts a metallic taste. This was true of the original tin cans of our grandfathers’ and fathers’ era, but the modern can is made of aluminum and the insides of most cans and lids used for high-end craft beers have a sprayed coating, ensuring that there is absolutely no contact between the beer and the aluminum. Still not convinced? Think of it this way: draught beer is housed in a metal keg and a can is but a mini-version of same.

the arguments for cans are numerous. Cans completely block out sunlight and artificial light, both of which erode a beer's flavor; they don't take up much room and are easy to stack in the refrigerator; they don't break; they can go where bottles cannot, such as golf courses, beaches, concert venues, beaches and swimming pools; they are ideal for backpacking, fishing, hiking, camping, rafting and other outdoor activities; cans are just plain cool, retro outside and craft inside.

More than 80 American breweries offer at least one beer in a can today, breweries with respected names like Avery, Brewer’s Art (brewed and canned at Sly Fox), Boulder, Breckenridge. New Belgium and Harpoon are among them, or soon will be. Banning the can from your drinking options, as the kids say, is so 20th Century.—JACK CURTIN

May 21, 2010 - Nine Major Festivals Featured During Philly Beer Week
As noted in one of our Store Notes, keeping up with the 850 and counting (!!) events for Philly Beer Week is beyond our limited resources, but we will do the best we can, mostly during PBW itself on a daily basis.

With that in mind we are doing something very rare, posting a (relatively) unedited news release from the PBW organization, as a service to our readers. It lists several of the major events of the 10-day celebration.

PHILADELPHIA, PA The third-annual Philly Beer Week (PBW) which celebrates the region's vibrant beer culture has just announced this year's list of beer festivals nine in all from June 4 to June 13. New this year is The Forum of the Gods, a spirited afternoon of beer talk, beer drinking and big names in brewing, with all proceeds going to benefit PBW. Over 180 bars, restaurants and breweries will host over 865 events during Philly Beer Week 2010.

The Forum will be held on Thursday, June 10 from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. at Johnny Brenda's (Frankford and Girard Avenues). Tickets are available now online at and are $25 per person, which includes beer from each of the four participating speakers. The panel will include: Jim Koch of Boston Beer and Samuel Adams; Phil Markowski of Southampton Publick House; Tom Kehoe of Yards Brewing and Wendy Yeungling of D.G. Yeungling & Son. The forum will be moderated by PBW Executive Director Don 'Joe Sixpack' Russell.

Other major events will include:

Friday, June 4: Opening Tap: The kick-off to Philly Beer Week. The best and only way to experience the region's incredibly diverse beer-drinking culture in one place at one time; representatives from 31 area breweries will showcase their best offerings and beers made for Philly Beer Week. $40 per person; 7:30 p.m.; Independence Visitor Center, 6th and Market Streets.

Saturday, June 5: Philadelphia Global Beer Expo: Featuring a host of great beers from around the world, the global beer expo brings the best of non-local beers to Philadelphia. $45 per person; 12 noon to 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Simeone Automotive Museum, 6825 Norwitch Drive.

Saturday, June 5: International Great Beer Expo: An international beer tasting event that highlights some 50+ brewers and 100+ beers from such diverse countries as Belgium, Japan and the United States. $45 per person in advance; $60 per person at the door; 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Philadelphia Cruise Terminal at the Navy Yard; 5100 South Broad Street.

Saturday, June 5: German Bierfest: A family-friendly day of outdoor beer tasting with a host of German and German-style beers. $30 per person; 12 noon; German Society of Pennsylvania; 611 Spring Garden Street.

Sunday, June 6: Smoke 'Em if You Got 'Em: An indoor/outdoor beer-and-BBQ extravaganza hosted by Yards Brewing Company, with 30+ smoked beers, food from 15 amateur BBQ chefs and additional catered goodies from Tommy Gunn's and Percy Street Barbecue. The Jazz Horses and the Kevin Hanson Trio will provide musical entertainment. $50 per person; 1 p.m.; Yards Brewing Company; 901 North Delaware Avenue.

Thursday, June 10: Forum of the Gods: An informal panel discussion featuring some of the biggest names in beer culture. $25 per person; 3 p.m.; Johnny Brenda's Upstairs; Frankford and Girard Avenues.

Friday, June 11: East vs. West Exotic Beer Tasting: A sampling event that pits East Coast and West Coast breweries against each other, with limited vintage aged brews and brewers' favorites featured. Live music and hors d'oeuvres will round out this once-in-a-lifetime event. $60 per person; 7 p.m.; Stoudt's Brewery; 2800 North Reading Road, Adamstown, PA.

Saturday, June 12: 20th Annual Michael Jackson Tutored Tasting: This year's "Beer as Art"-themed tastings will be led by renowned expert Randy Mosher and will include a one hour tutored tasting followed by open sessions with 50+ beers. $50 per person; 12 noon 3 p.m., 4 p.m. 7 p.m., 8 p.m. 11 p.m.; HeadHouse restaurant; 122 Lombard Street.

Sunday, June 13: 2nd Annual Zythos America: Belgium's greatest beer event comes to Philadelphia for the second year, with more than a dozen of that country's top brewers scheduled to appear. $65 per person; 12 noon 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. 7 p.m.; Penn Museum; 3260 South Street.

PBW is an annual celebration of beer culture that includes tastings in cozy neighborhood taprooms of locally crafted brews, educational offerings such as guided tastings and lectures and prix-fixe beer-pairing dinners across the region. The largest event of its kind in the nation, it was spawned a host of similar events across the country and remains, in its third year, the premier beer festival in America, set in "America's Best Beer-Drinking City."--JACK CURTIN

May 17, 2010 - American Craft Beer Week Celebrates Fifth Birthday May 17-23
Somewhat lost in all the local attention devoted to the forthcoming first-ever Philly Beer Week in June is the fact that May 17-23 is officially American Craft Beer Week.

Beer lovers, craft brewers, homebrewers, beer distributors, retailers and even U.S. Congress are all doing special things during the week, which was organized by the Brewers Association. It is the largest national effort focusing on American craft brewers every year.

A House of Representatives resolution, H.R. 1297, was introduced on April 22 to recognize and support the goals and ideals of American Craft Beer Week, highlighting the role that craft brewers play in their communities,including the estimated 100,000 jobs in the industry–and the resurgence in a rich brewing culture not seen since before Prohibition.

American Craft Brew Week was created in 2006 and more than 200 breweries formally participated last year.--JACK CURTIN

May 09, 2010 - Philly Beer Week 2010 Aims To Set A New Standard
The schedule of events to be held during the third annual Philly Beer Week, which has been moved to June after two spectacular showings in March, indicates that the the June 4-13 celebration of "America's best beer-drinking city" will set the bar even higher for the 20-plus Beer Weeks around the nation which were inspired by their initial venture in 2008.

The excitement starts, as it should, with beers.

A special PBW beer has been brewed for the first time, done at Sly Fox Brewery in Royersford by brewmaster Brian O'Reilly, Stoudt's Brett Kintzer, Troegs' John Trogner, Victory's Bill Covaleski and Yards' Tom Kehoe. BS1 is a hoppy 6% ESB-style beer and will be be tapped at the June 4 Opening Tap event by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and then be available at various venues throughout the week. Another new beer with a local touch to be released during the week will be the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Baltic Porter created by 12 local beer celebrities in April (see story below). The city's famed gastropub, The Standard Tap, will again release its annual Standard Ale (a Porter this year) on opening night; the beer is brewed by The Tap's William Reed and O'Reilly at Sly Fox and is cask only.

Yards will be bringing back Grodziski, a rarely brewed Polish Wheat beer which it introduced last year, and there are tentative plans for Kehoe and former partner Jon Bovit to brew a batch of the original Yards ESA on the original 3bbl brewing system which has been rebuilt in a corner of the new brewery.

Saturday, June 5, will center around two events with very similar names, The Philadelphia Global Beer Exposition and the International Great Beer Expo, happening at the same time. The following weekend will feature the three-session Michael Jackson Tasting, hosted by Randy Mosher, which will be cut back in size this year because of a smaller venue, and the second Zythos America at the University of Pennsylvania, bringing a facsimile of Belgium's best beer festival to these shores.

In addition to all the locals, there will be a slew of visiting brewers in town, including at least a dozen from Belgium. A bit of history will unfold at Monk's Cafe on June 8, which will have Frank Boon of Boon, Armand Debelder of Drie Fonteinen, and Jean Van Roy of Cantillon as guests for an all-Lambic beer dinner featuring their beers; Brian Morin of the beerbistro in Toronto will fly down to assist in the kitchen. Three days later, Marco Passarella from Brouwerij St. Bernardus, Nathalie Eloir from Brasserie des Rocs (one of two female brewers in Belgium) and Michael Pelsser, marketing director Abbaye du Val Dieu, will be the same venue at noon for a cash bar event.

Out in the suburbs, the Phoenixville Pub Crawl, which filled the streets of that very beer-savvy town and was probably the largest PBW event outside the city proper last year, will be back on June 5; that same, Kennett Square will be holding a Beers on Broad Street Festival, hoping to attract the same masses who attend its popular fall beer fest every year.

Teresa's Next Door in Wayne will have daily events of various sorts, including the Friday night return of Chimay's legendary beer rep, Luc "Bobo" Van Mechelen, on June 11, who has become one of the PBW legends. TJ's Restaurant & Drinkery in Paoli also has a full schedule, with one highlight being the June 12 appearance of James Watt, owner of Scotland's BrewDog. They will be pouring Bashah, an American Strong Ale created and brewed by BrewDog with Stone Brewing.

And across the Delaware River in New Jersey, the emerging beer scene in the wake of the opening of the eighth Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant location last summer has inspired a Haddon Township Pub Crawl to eight locations on June 5.

All these merely touch on the surface of what is the largest beer event in the country, involving dozens of venues and hundreds of event. Look for further updates here and on the Beer Yard calendar.--JACK CURTIN

May 03, 2010 - Dax Repeats As Winner of Annual Sly Fox Goat Race
Dax became the first two-time winner of the annual Sly Fox Bock Fest Goat Race yesterday at the relocated Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery in Phoenixville's Maple Lawn Shopping Center in front of a record crowd that Pete Giannopoulos, who founded the pub in 1995, estimated at "more than 5,000 people."

The winning goat, owned by Tana Goodshall and raced by Karl Lorah, firmly established himself in Sly Fox lore, not only because he is the first repeat winner (in nine races), but because he now has the distinction, likely never to be duplicated, of winning the last race at the former location in Pikeland Village Square and the first one in the new location.

As is the tradition, the 2010 Sly Fox Maibock was named in honor of the winner and tapped at race's end. Dax received a Gold Medal to wear around his neck; his owner's received a $75 gift card which is good at the pub and also Sly Fox Brewery & Restaurant & Royersford.

Raul, a perennial contender, took the Silver Medal and Huxley, a stablemate of Dax, won the bronze. Actually, "stablemate" is a misnomer, says Lorah, since the pair are "free-range goats." About the only negative of the unseasonable hot and sunny afternoon for many local attendees was that Lorah, as he had last year, sported a New York Giants shirt.

Perhaps as impressive as Dax's performance was the fact that Sly Fox managed to put together the complex event and races in little over a week after opening at the new location. "The brewery's not even fully hooked up yet," laughed brewmaster Brian O'Reilly, "and we're still figuring out where to put things, but there was no way we were not going to hold the festival and run the goats."--JACK CURTIN

April 30, 2010 - Philadelphia Magazine Cites Beer Yard, Local Venues in "City of Brotherly Brew" Article
The May 2010 issue of Philadelphia Magazine which will hit the stands next week cites The Beer Yard as one of the five "Best Bars for Unusual Finds" (noting that it is not a bar, but...) in "The City of Brotherly Brews," an article about the local beer scene.

The Drafting Room in Exton joins the Beer Yard on the "Unusual Finds" list; Craft Ale House in Limerick and Capone's Restaurant in West Norriton are on the list of five under "Best Bars for American Craft Ales," and Teresa's Next Door of Wayne and TJ's Restaurant & Drinkery in Paoli are two of five "Best Bars for International Brews."

The main story features "The Founders" and lists Monk's Tom Peters, the HeadHouse's Bruce Nichols and beer writer Don Russell as "the Organizers;" Yards Tom Kehoe as "The Brewmaster;" Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda's William Reed as "The Bar Owner;" Suzanne "Beer Lass" Woods as "The Blogger," and Victory Brewing's Ron Barchet & Bill Covaleski as"The Brewmasters."--JACK CURTIN

April 28, 2010 - Drafting Room Spring House Closes, Chain's Tax Payments Under Investigation
The poor economy has claimed another victim, a popular craft beer bar in Montgomery County.

The Drafting Room in Spring House, which has served beer lovers for ten years, has shuttered its doors. The original Drafting Room in Exton and the Brick House Grill in Eagleview remain open for business.

Meanwhile, the Daily Local News of West Chester is reporting this morning that Andrew Weintraub, corporate officer of Drafting Room Inc., has been charged by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with "failing to remit sales taxes collected and employee income taxes withheld at his businesses."

That news story can be read here.

April 26, 2010 - Sly Fox Completes Move, Opens New Phoenixville Brewpub
No sooner had the final permit been put into his hands by local officials last Friday afternoon than co-founder and owner Pete Giannopoulos looked around the room as said, "we're open."

With that, Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery completed its move across Rt. 113 to its brand new location in the Maple Shade Shopping Center. The first beers were in the hands of eager regulars within minutes; many had been stopping by every day since the original location shut down at the close of business on Sunday, April 18, to begin the transfer to the other side of Rt. 113.

The new Sly Fox has 20 taps, three handpumps, a larger bar with an automated growler filler and a lot of additional space all located on one level and will be much more efficient, Giannopoulos said. The first order of business is to get that growler filler operating and the relocated brewery all hooked up, says Brewmaster Brian O'Reilly.

Sly Fox will christen its new home this Sunday, May 2, with one of its--and the region's--major annual beer events, the Bock Festival and Goat Race which marks the release of its Maibock, the name of which is taken from the goat who wins the race. That will begin at 11am with the races starting at 2pm and the Maibock tapped immediately after the championship heat.--JACK CURTIN

April 26, 2010 - Fritz Maytag Sells Anchor Brewing to Griffin Group
San Francisco's Anchor Brewing Company, the entity that Fritz Maytag saved from closing back in 1965 and which became the de facto first craft brewery in the United States, has been sold.

The Griffin Group, an investment and consulting company focused on beverage alcohol brands, announced today its acquisition of Anchor Brewing Company which includes its portfolio of craft beers and artisan spirits, including the award winning Anchor Steam Beer. The Griffin Group is led by beverage alcohol veterans, Keith Greggor and Tony Foglio, two longtime San Francisco residents who have been working with Anchor Brewing Company’s owner, Fritz Maytag to maintain the iconic brewery and distillery in San Francisco.

"Anchor Brewing Company has a long history in San Francisco and The Griffin Group is ushering in an exciting era while maintaining our proud, time-honored history," said Fritz Maytag. "Combining Keith and Tony’s passion for the Anchor Brewing Company, their industry experience and expertise only means that Anchor will be enjoyed in San Francisco for generations to come."

"Since 1896, Anchor Brewing Company has been an icon of San Francisco’s history and culture," stated Greggor. Anchor Brewers & Distillers intends to establish a “Center of Excellence” in San Francisco for craft brewers and artisan distillers from around the world. "San Francisco is the perfect place to establish this center," said Foglio. Continuing the Anchor heritage, Mr. Maytag has been named Chairman Emeritus of Anchor Brewers & Distillers.

The Griffin Group operates as both boutique merchant and investment bank for premiere craft beers and artisan spirits. In addition to the Anchor Beers, The Griffin Group will assume control of the spirits brands including Old Potrero Whiskey, Junipero Gin and Genevieve Gin through the acquisition of Anchor Brewing Company. Additional affiliated companies to be held under Anchor Brewers & Distillers include Preiss Imports, a leading US specialist spirits and beer importer, and BrewDog USA, LLC, the US division of the leading UK craft beer.--JACK CURTIN

April 21, 2010 - $450,000 Grant May Be Breakthrough for Proposed Victory Brewpub in Easton
The Easton Express Times reported last week that state funding is likely to help the long delayed Victory Square Brewpub in Easton get rolling again.

A story by reporter Edware Sieger said that the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Financing Authority awarded a $450,000 grant to the Easton Redevelopment Authority a week ago today that will be used for the proposed pub at 325 Northampton St., the former site of the Weller Health Education Center.

Emmaus restaurateur Arthur Schmidt is partnering with Chester County-based Victory Brewing Co. to develop a roughly 300-seat brewpub in the Weller Health Education Center in the 300 block of Northampton Street. Raising private financing has proved difficult in the current economic climate, wrote Sieger, "in part, because the brewpub is considered a start-up business despite Schmidt’s and Victory’s experience. The low-interest $450,000 loan is expected to help secure private financing.--JACK CURTIN

April 21, 2010 - New 60-Tap Venue Coming to University City
City Tap House will open at 3925 Walnut Street in University City on May 10 and will offer the region’s largest selection of draught beers – 60 taps in all – and a menu of American pub fare. It will feature extensive open-air seating on two terraces and a row of five stone fire pits overlooking Walnut Street combined with the rich, rustic feel of a mountain lodge.

The new venue is owned by Gary Cardi, Chris Coco, Brian Harrington and Frank Falesto and will be located on the second level of The Radian, a pristine new landmark building just steps from the campuses of the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University.

The restaurant will feature a large island bar with all 60 taps, a 120-seat dining room, an open kitchen and two expansive outdoor terraces. There will also be two semi-private dining grottoes, and an elevated semi-private lounge with up to 12 dedicated taps from the adjacent walk-in keg cooler.

The restaurant’s draught beer list will include a large number of seasonal choices, selected to complement the menu while turning guests on to what might be their new favorite brew. A host of local brews, including hard-to-find, limited-production ales and lagers, will be the heart of the seasonal beer menu.--JACK CURTIN

April 18, 2010 - Dogfish Head, Victory Again Ranked Among Top 50 US Craft Breweries
Dogfish Head Brewing Co. was 16th and Victory Brewing Co. was 30th on the list of America's Top 50 Craft Breweries in 2009 which was released by the Brewers Association last week.

The rankings marked the upward trend of both breweries: DFH was listed 22nd in 2008 and Victory was 35th. Among the Top 50 Breweries overall in 2009 , DFH was listed 24th and Victory 41st.

The top five craft breweries according to the list were, in order, Boston Beer Co,, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., New Belgium Brewing Co., Spoetzl Brewing Co. (Shiner) and Pyramid Breweries Inc.

D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc. finished fourth on the overall list, just ahead of Boston Beer, making it the largest American-owned brewery based on 2009 beer sales.

You can find both lists in their entirety here.--JACK CURTIN

April 14, 2010 - Sly Fox Announces Closing of Old Location
In a Newsletter sent out today, Sly Fox Beer announced that Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery, located in Pikeland Village Square on Rt. 113 just outside Phoenixville proper will shut down at the end of business on Sunday night, April 18.

The business will reopen on a yet unscheduled date--pending inspections, permits and a Certificate of Occupancy--in the near future in the Maple Shade Shopping Center on the other side of Rt. 113. The brewery itself has already been moved to the new site.

Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery opened in late December 1995 and has grown to one of the region's most successful and popular breweries, including a production brewery and restaurant which opened in Royersford in 2004.

The final weekend of business at the present location will be a long "farewell party," representatives of Sly Fox say. Details will be forthcoming.--JACK CURTIN

April 12, 2010 - Grey Lodge Pub founder buys the Blue Ox Bistro
Mike "Scoats" Scotese, the guy who turned a blue collar neighborhood tappie into a craft beer destination that was cited by Esquire Magazine as one of the 50 best bars in the United States a few years back, is expanding his craft beer presence in Philadelphia's Northeast section.

The popular owner of the Grey Lodge Pub on Frankford Avenue has purchased the Blue Ox Bistro at 7980 Oxford Avenue in the Fox Chase section. Papers sealing the deal were signed this afternoon and he will reopen the site as the Hop Angel Brauhaus late this summer.

The purchase was for the business only; the building is owned by Tekla Grund, who, with her late husband Walter, ran the Blue Ox Brauhaus there for decades, and dates back to 1683, making it one year younger than the city itself. The location was noted for German beer and food for over a century. Phil Magee and a partner acquired the business in 2006, renaming and Americanizing it and keeping just a smattering of German items on the menu. That effort struggled from the start and the doors closed roughly two months ago.

"We've been looking at this since last November and originally considering buying into Phil's business but that didn't work out," Scoats told The Beer Yard late Sunday night. "We will be respecting the heritage of the location with a German menu and a beer list which is heavy on German style beers, whether from Germany itself or the U.S. I'm very comfortable with that. We've done a series of 'Munich in Mayfair' events at the Grey Lodge and the German specialties on the menu for those have just flown out of the kitchen and the beer sales were excellent."

The new location has seating for 150 as opposed the 90 seats at the Grey Lodge. "Given the added space, I'm pretty sure we will be doing some beer and food events there eventually," Scoats promised.

The move takes inventive publican five miles deeper into the Greater Northeast, perhaps Philadelphia's last remaining craft beer wasteland. Changing that dynamic might be difficult ,but it's probably not wise to bet against the guy whose inspired beer-centric celebrations such as Friday the Firkinteenth and the annual Groundhog Day Hawaiian Shirt Beer Breakfast/Lucky Cat Day Beer Prognostication have become actual holidays for local beer aficionados.--JACK CURTIN

April 11, 2010 - 2010 World Cup Was Largest Commercial Beer Competition Ever
The 2010 World Cup proved to be the largest commercial beer competition ever as 642 breweries from 44 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states vied for awards with 3,330 beers entered in 90 beer style categories. The record numbers topped those of the Brewers Association's own Great American Beer Festival. There were 3,308 entries judged in the 2009 GABF, compared to the 2010 World Beer Cup's 3,330 entries judged.

Entries in each category were eligible for gold, silver and bronze awards. Judges presented a total of 268 awards. Ten of those awards and Large Brewpub of the Year honors went to Delaware Valley brewers ( see previous story during last night’s announcements of the winners.

The United States had the most entries (2371) and won the most medals (204). California with 395 entries and 45 medals was the leading state. The largest category for entries was Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer with 115.

The World Cup is held every other year in conjunction with the annual Craft Brewers Conference. This was the eighth bi-annual competition. A complete list of winners is online.——JACK CURTIN

April 10, 2010 - Iron Hill Named World Beer Cup Large Brewpub of the Year
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant won two Gold, a Silver and two Bronze medals in the World Beer Cup judging in Chicago yesterday to garner recognition as the Brewers Association World Beer Cup 2010 Champion Brewery and Brewmaster in the Large Brewpub category.

Iron Hill took Gold for its Raspberry Torte (American-style Sour Ale) and Russian Imperial Stout (British-style Imperial Stout); Silver for Crazy Ivan (also British-style Imperial Stout), and Bronzes for Abbey Dubbel (Belgian-style Dubbel) and Lambic de Hill (Belgian-style Sour Ale).

Troegs Brewing added a third Gold to the awards for Delaware Valley breweries with Troegenator (German-Style Bock), while Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant took a Silver for Ich Bin Ein Berliner Weisse (German-Style Sour Ale).

Three other local breweries earned Bronze medals: Yards ESA in the Extra Special Bitter or Strong Bitter category, Weyerbacher Merry Monk’s Ale in the Belgian-Style Tripel category and Dogfish Head Red & White in the Experimental Beer category.

The complete list of winners can be found here.—JACK CURTIN

April 08, 2010 - Brewers Association 2010 Achievement Award Winners Announced in Chicago
Larry Bell, Ken Grossman and Steve Hindy were recognized with awards for their dedication and service to the industry at the opening session of the Brewers Association's annual Craft Brewers Conference in Chicago today.

Bell,who founded Michigan's Bell's Brewery in 1985, won the BA Recognition Award; Bell's was the earliest craft brewery in the eastern half of the United States. "Larry is a leader in our industry known for his innovative beers and the passion he brings to craft brewing," said Brewers Association Board of Directors Chair Nick Matt, CEO of Matt Brewing Company. The winner of the Recognition Award each year is made by the board of directors voting on nominees suggested by the membership.

Grossman, who founded Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. 30 year ago, was presented the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing, honoring his leadership in technical brewing science for craft brewers. He is still deeply involved in technical brewing projects at Sierra Nevada and has led numerous initiatives in the area of sustainability and beer quality. This award was first given in 1997 to honor Russell Schehrer, who died in 1996 at 38 years old, for his contributions to the brewing industry. Schehrer was a founding partner and original head brewer at Colorado's first brewpub, Wynkoop Brewing Co. BA brewery members submit nominations every year and the winner is chosen from the slate of nominees by a vote of the previous award winners.

Hindy, co-founder of Brooklyn Brewery, was given the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award. Hindy recently testified in a Congressional hearing to communicate how state franchise laws can hinder the ability for small brewers to grow their businesses and how self-distribution is important to many small brewers to develop their access to market. The F.X. Matt Award is given in honor of a champion of small brewers, F.X. Matt (1933-2001), president of the F.X. Matt Brewing Co. in Utica, New York from 1980-1989 and chairman from 1989-2001.--JACK CURTIN

April 06, 2010 - Evil Genius Brewing Will Enter Local Market This Summer
A pair of grad students pursuing their MBAs at Villanova University will also be pursuing their niche in the local beer market in the near future.

Luke Bowen of West Grove and Trevor Howard of Dublin, Ireland, who met on the Main Line campus, plan to launch Evil Genius Brewing Company this summer. Their first beer will be a 4.5% Kölsch, contract brewed at Swashbuckler Brewing Company in Manheim.

They expect to begin construction of their own production brewery near West Chester shortly and are purchasing a 30bbl brewhouse and bottling line capable of handling both 12oz and 22oz bottles.

”We’re both homebrewers who love craft beers and have been working on this business for about eight months now,” Bowen told The Beer Yard this afternoon. “We’ve done a lot of research and Mark Braunwarth, the brewmaster at Swashbuckler, was particularly helpful and helped us develop some recipes.”

They will add new beers and a series of seasonals once that plant is up and running and will self-distribute to start but are already in discussions with wholesalers, Bowen explained. The target market will be not only craft beer drinkers but also “mainstream drinkers who are looking for a bit more flavor, young professionals who are drinking Amstel Light and looking for something better.”

Evil Genius has adequate funding in hand and is awaiting licensing approval, Bowen said. “Once we have that, we plan to do a huge launch party at one of the bars in West Chester and launch our website.”—JACK CURTIN

April 02, 2010 - Philly Beer Week 2010 Will Begin With Traditional Opening Tap Event on June 4
Details of the the third-annual Philly Beer Week are beginning to be revealed.

The first two Beer Weeks took place in March, essentially filling the slot held for nearly two decades by The Book and The Cook, but PBW 2010 will kick-off on Friday, June 4, in the Independence Visitors Center (6th and Market Streets) with the traditional Opening Tap event, featuring more than 25 regional breweries whose beer helps make Philadelphia "the best beer-drinking city in America."

As it has in previous years, Opening Tap will be marked by opening remarks by Mayor Nutter and the ceremonial first tap using the official Philly Beer Week keg mallet (affectionately known as the Hammer of Glory). That will be followed by a strolling beer tasting on two levels. "This is a one-of-a-kind event featuring our local breweries and their beers, as well as the men and women who create them," says Don Russell, Executive Director of PBW. "It's only fitting that we kick off a celebration of America's best beer-drinking city in the shadow of the birthplace of America."

Several other major PBW events, some which were held previously at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, will apparently now be held at a new venue at Fifth and Fairmount named the Philly Beer Week Circus (at least for the 10 days of the event). These will reportedly include the new Philadelphia Global Beer Expo, the 20th Annual Jackson Tutored Tastings and the 2nd Annual Zythos America .

The Jackson Tastings, hosted by beer expert and writer Randy Mosher, were original scheduled for this past March at the Museum but canceled and moved to June. They have also been reduced from three sessions to two according to listings at CURTIN

April 01, 2010 - World’s Oldest Beer Discovered For Umpteenth Time
Scientists and historians around the world were stunned last week by a bombshell announcement from Biomolecular Archeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania.

McGovern, author of Uncorking the Past and a frequent collaborator with Dogfish Head Brewing Company in recreating ancient beverages, revealed that he had discovered residue of “the world’s first beer” at an undisclosed location which he said had been the site of the Garden of Eden. Furthermore, he argued, one of the basic tenets of the world’s oldest story seems to have been distorted over the years.

“Based on my evidence,” McGovern told his peers at a professional gathering, “the serpent did not tempt Eve with an apple but with a bland and tasteless macro-lager. Adam and Eve had been having a fine old time just lounging around naked and drinking this good craft beer before that; once she had the macro, she became ashamed, started wearing clothes and everything went downhill from there.”

Eve’s donning of clothing was “apparently a sad moment,” McGovern added. “We also managed to piece together fragments of Adam’s diary and he described her as a real fox. The again, he could have just been wearing beer goggles.”

Dogfish Head will attempt to recreate the ancient beverage as they have earlier McGovern discoveries. Owner Sam Calagione admitted that “we will only be able to produce about a single growler because of the rarity of the ingredients, so virtually no one will ever get to taste it. But this is not just a publicity stunt, as I will explain in my book and video about the project.”

Calagione also announced that he hoped to brew the new/old beer in collaboration with the Original Brewer. “We’re in negotiations,” he acknowledged. “The big hang up seems to be whether we’ll do it at our place or His.”—NUNTU CERTIN

April 01, 2010 - PLCB Bans "Beers With Difficult Names” From PA Shelves
A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board said this morning that “brewers have been abusing the registration system by coming up with names that are too hard for us to deal with” and that a new directive will be issued to solve the problem.

Arguing that the PLCB was blameless in recent raids on Philadelphia taverns and wholesalers wherein beers which were on the registration list were seized nonetheless “because it was just too confusing,” the spokesperson told a Harrisburg radio station that “brewers have an obligation to give their beers clear, simple names that our inspectors have heard before and can figure out, preferably names of one syllable or less.”

Starting in April, he said, the PLCB will reject registration for any beer that doesn’t meet that standard. “If we can’t spell it, we don't want in Pennsylvania. Why are brewers making so many beers anyway? What about the children?”

Asked how beers from other countries would be treated under the new standards, he added that “actually, we’re also going to be banning foreign beers pretty much across the board. If beer was meant to come from places like Belgium, Germany and England, that would have been written into the original law.” –BRAIN HURTIN’

April 01, 2010 - History Repeats Itself: Weyerbacher Again Sued for Beer Name
When Dan Weirback walked into his office last Friday, he found a note on a scrap of paper which had slipped under the door. It was a Cease & Desist order similar to one he’d received back in February from lawyers for Belgian brewer De Halve Maan, although this one was written in pencil and contained several misspellings.

The author, Blithering Idiot, is suing Weyerbacher, claiming that the use of his name on their barleywine has damaged him socially and economically and is likely to undermine his planned political career. “I is running becauze theirs always room for another blithering idiot in Congress,” the note explained.

The brewery will settle the case out of court, Weirback said. “Even though we’re pretty sure the name is both generic and used commonly, we don’t want to risk this becoming a class action suit on behalf of all the blithering idiots out there.” He said that the barleywine will be relabeled with “a name which captures the same essential meaning.” It will now be called “Dan's Beer.”—ZACK MURTIN

March 17, 2010 - Local Publicans, Retailers & Writers Will Attend Sierra Nevada Beer Camp in April
A baker's dozen of Philadelphia's craft beer elite are heading to Chico, CA April 15-16 to participate in a Sierra Nevada Beer Camp.

The group includes Philly Beer Week honchos Tom Peters of Monk's Cafe, Bruce Nichols of the forthcoming HeadHouse and beer writer Don "Joe Sixpack" Russell, the new PBW executive director; publicans Fergus Carey (Monk's), Brendan Hartranft (Memphis Taproom, Local 44, Resurrection Ale House), Terry McNally (London Grill), Andy Dickerson (Teresa's Next Door), Mike "Scoats" Scotese (Grey Lodge Pub) and Brad Martin (Isaac Newton's); retailers Matt Guyer (The Beer Yard) and Greg Ramirez (Exton Beverage), and beer writer Lew Bryson.

The original concept for the Beer Camps was to invite personnel from major on-premise accounts around the country to go and spend a couple of days at Sierra Nevada. The first day was spent exploring the brewery, sampling beer, and learning about the history and future of Sierra Nevada,the second meeting one with the brewers in Sierra Nevada's research and development brewery, coming up with a recipe that the group wanted to brew and brewing the beer. Howard Weintraub of the The Drafting Room participated under those rules in August 2009.

While details are not yet available, the concept appears to have been broadened to include beer figures other than publicans and to now be focused on a particular city or region for each session. Previously, When the camp beer was ready, kegs were shipped back to the establishments involved and released there. Presumably, that will be the case for the Philadelphia contingent, or at least for those participants with outlets to sell the beer to be created this April.--JACK CURTIN

March 14, 2010 - Sly Fox Oktoberfest Named Grand Champion in USBTC Winter Judging
Sly Fox Oktoberfest was named the Grand Champion Vienna/Marzen Lager in the United States Beer Tasting Championship(USBTC) recently completed the Winter Competition of its 16th annual competition and Sly Fox Christmas Ale the best Spiced Ale in the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast region.

Other local Mid-Atlantic/Southeast regional winners from the Delaware Valley were Victory Twelve in the Belgian-Style Ale and Victory Old Horizontal in the Barleywine category; Weyerbacher Blasphemy in the Barrel-Aged Beer category and Weyerbacher XIII in Belgo-American category, and McKenzie Wee Heavy in the Scottish-Style Ale category. General Lafayette 275th Anniversary Ale took Honorable Mention in Barleywine for its 275th Anniversary Ale and Lancaster Winter Warmer an Honorable Mention in Strong/Old Ale.

USBTC officials noted that Sly Fox's Brian O'Reilly is now the top brewer in two of the USBTC five lager categories.

This was the 16th annual USBTC competition. A total of 360 beers from 116 breweries were examined across 14 different beer categories. Within each category, the USBTC determined both a Grand Champion and the best entry from each of six U.S. regions: Northeast, id-Atlantic/Southeast, Midwest, Rockies/Southwest, California and Northwest/Pacific.

Sequential field trials are conducted in the competition wherein judges evaluate beers and select the best to advance to subsequent rounds. This allows beers to be judged in relatively small flights while ensuring that the best beers are still determined through head-to-head competition. All beers were tasted blind.--JACK CURTIN

March 10, 2010 - Fire at De Dolle Brewery
Belgium's De Dolle brewery,located in Esen in West Flanders, was struck by a fire this morning and one worker was injured.

Details are sketchy, but it appears the fire was in the basement where a hot water tank caught fire. Part of the structure was burned out and there was also damage to a new roof.

Bottling and brewing are okay, as well as the tank room. The brewery's bar suffered smoke damage and has been relocated to the former brewhouse.

The fire will delay bottling of Oerbier and Arabier. De Dolle Bos Keun and Oerbier Reserva are already bottled.--JACK CURTIN

March 10, 2010 - In Romania, They Tell It Like It Is
Straight talkers, those Romanians.

The Times of London is reported that new road signs have been out up warning drivers that intoxicated people may be in the road in an effort to reduce the number of accidents.

"Go Slow?" "Pedestrians Ahead?"

Nope. The signs read "Attention — Drunks" and show a inebriated lad crawling along with a bottle in his hand.

The story quotes Petru Antal, the Mayor of Pecica: "We are a border town and have lots of cars thundering through here all the time. But we also have a very vibrant nightlife and the two don't mix. We have to target the drivers because by the time they get to this state the pedestrians are beyond caring."

Now that's good old common sense.--JACK CURTIN

March 08, 2010 - Craft Beer Sales Grew 7% in 2009
The Brewers Association announced today that, in a year when other brewers experienced a slowdown in sales, small and independent craft brewers saw sales dollars increase 10.3 percent and volume increase 7.2 percent2 over 2008, representing a growth of 613,992 barrels equal to roughly 8.5 million cases.

Overall, U.S. beer sales were down approximately 5 million barrels (31 gallons per U.S. barrel) in 2009.

In 2009, craft brewers represented 4.3 percent of volume and 6.9 percent of retail dollars for the total U.S. beer category. With the total U.S. beer industry representing an estimated retail dollar value of $101 billion, the Brewers Association estimates the actual dollar sales figure from craft brewers in 2009 was $7 billion, up from $6.3 billion in 2008.

The total number of U.S. craft brewers grew from 1,485 to 1,542 in 2009, and they produced 9,115,635 barrels, up from 8,501,713 barrels in 2008. Overall U.S. beer sales fell from approximately 210.4 million barrels to 205.8 million barrels.--JACK CURTIN

March 05, 2010 - PLCB Seizes "Unregistered" Beers at Three Philadelphia Taverns
Memphis Taproom, Local 44 and Resurrection Ale House, the highly praised Philadelphia mini-chain created by Brendan Hartranft and Leigh Maida over the past two years, was visited by the State Police yesterday afternoon and dozens of bottles of beer were taken on the grounds that they are not licensed for sale in the state by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

Maida has released a statement to the local beer blogging community offering up the owners' side the story. It can be read in full here.--JACK CURTIN

March 04, 2010 - Victory, Dogfish Head & Stone Collaborate on Saison du BUFF
Two local breweries, Victory Brewing Co. of Downingtown, PA and Dogfish Head Brewing Co. of Milton, DE are collaborating with California's Stone Brewing Co. to produce Saison du BUFF, a beer named after Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor, an organization formed in 2003 and virtually moribund ever since.

Because the three breweries do not share common distribution around the county, the special beer is being brewed three times, once at each brewery. The first brew was done yesterday (March 3) at Stone's brewery in Escondido by Victory's Bill Covaleski, DFH's Sam Calagione and Stone's Greg Koch. It will be released in late April. The Victory and Dogfish Head brews will take place during Philly Beer Week in June and be released in July and August respectively.

Saison du BUFF is the sixth beer in a tri-brewery collaboration program begun at Stone in 2008.--JACK CURTIN

March 04, 2010 - Tröegs Makes Javahead Year-Round, Drops Rugged Trail
Tröegs Brewery has added its Javahead Stout, introduced last year in 22oz bottles, as a year-round 12oz release; the first of those are expected to hit the market in late March or early April. Javahead Stout is based on Tröegs original Oatmeal Stout which was retired several years ago and is made with coffee beans from St. Thomas Roasters of Harrisburg.

At the same time, the brewery announced that it has ceased production if its Rugged Trail Ale. The final batch, brewed in February, has been shipped to market. "We looked at numerous options to try to keep Rugged Trail in the picture," said Chris Trogner in a news release, "but we just couldn’t make it work with the other beers we are producing."

Another change from Tröegs is a new variety case called Anthology which replaces case. It will come in two versions, roughly summer and winter releases. Anthology Series No. 1 will feature Hopback Amber Ale, Tröegs Pale Ale, Dreamweaver Wheat and Sunshine Pils from April until Septemver. Anthology Series No. 2 will replace Sunshine Pils with Javahead Stout and be available from September until March.--JACK CURTIN

March 02, 2010 - Weyerbacher's Zotten Gets New Identity
In the wake of the "cease & desist" agreement Weyerbacher Brewing Company made with Belgian brewer Bruges Brewery De Halve Maan last month over the use of the brand name "Zotten," a new identity has been created for the Easton brewery's Belgian-style Pale Ale.

"The beer will now be called Verboten," Weyerbacher's Dan Weirback told the Beer Yard. "It is the German word for 'forbidden' and also exists in Flemish as 'Verboden,' with the same meaning."

Weirback said that, while the word's meaning might be seen by some as a comment on the brief legal confrontation, it also appeared in the original Weyerbacher press release about Zotten, noting that the name rhymed with the German word.

"The thing to remember in this story is that we first brewed this beer two years ago to launch our Brewer's Select Series of one-offs," He added, "and called it Alpha. We had no intention whatsoever to infringe on De Halve Mann's U.S. copyright and prior use of the name."--JACK CURTIN

February 22, 2010 - Original Honey Brown Lager Goes Back to the Future
Dundee Ales & Lager's Original Honey Brown Lager, one of the first commercial beers to add honey to its ingredients, will try to recapture its glory days when it relaunches today with its iconic original label and packaging and, perhaps most important of all in the current economy, lower prices.

First introduced in 1994 and widely popular in the late 90s, Honey Brown is brewed with clear water, barley malt, hops and pure Manitoba White Clover honey. "It developed somewhat of a cult following," says brewmaster John Fischer. "Sixteen years ago, it was a very new idea among American craft brewers to use honey as a beer ingredient and people loved it."

Sales quickly peaked to 250,000 barrels, but the brewery started going through hard times in the late '90s and it pulled back its support for the brand. When sales dipped, repackaging the beer, hiking up the price and putting it in the craft brew section of grocery stores didn’t work, as distribution lagged and sales slumped further. The beer lost virtually all of its panache in recent years.

Going back to basics will make Honey Brown more recognizable and the price drop (in most markets) will keep it competitive among specialty beers, company officials believe, stressing that affordability was a key part of the beer’s original success. Brand manager Jason Drewniak explains that "back in the late 90s, the brewery failed to recognize they had a hit on their hands. The great recipe remained the same but the changes to the packaging made it hard for people to find, I couldn’t be happier to get back to our roots and tell consumers that Original Honey Brown is back. And it looks just like they remember."--JACK CURTIN

February 20, 2010 - U.S., Italian Craft Brewers Will Collaborate on Rooftop Brewery in New York
A quartet of two Italian and two Italian-American craft brewers is joining forces with B&B Hospitality’s Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich and New York Italian food emporium Eataly to open a brewery-pub on a rooftop with breathtaking views of the Flatiron and Empire State Buildings.

The first floor of the building at 200 5th Avenue will house Eataly, an epic Italian specialty foods market and multiple restaurants which pair gourmet foods with artisanal beers and wines. Additionally, there will be an 8,000 square foot rooftop brewery and restaurant operated by B&B Hospitality’s Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich.

"The idea is to create an artisanal, old world Italian craft brewery that just happens to be located on a rooftop in Manhattan," says Sam Calagione of Delaware's Doggish Head Brewery, one of the four breweries collaborating on the project. The others are Vinnie Cilurzo of California's Russian River Brewery and two Italian craft brewers, Teo Musso, Brewmaster of Birrificio Le Baladan, and Leonardo Di Vincenzo of Birra del Borgo.

The rooftop bar and restaurant will house a copper-clad brewing system and the four brewers are working together on recipes for Eataly’s house beers which will feature Italian and American ingredients. The beers will be unpasteurized, unfiltered, naturally carbonated and hand-pulled through traditional beer engines. The four individual brewers will also occasionally brew beers under their own names on site. The brewing quartet met in Boston this week to brew the first test batch of Eataly beer, an English Mild fermented with Italian chestnut powder.

The rooftop restaurant project will pair artisanal rustic, homemade beers with the artisanal, rustic cooking of Chef Mario Batali. Additional Italian and American regional craft beers will be served both at the rooftop bar and within the downstairs restaurants.

Plans call for Eataly New York to open late summer 2010.--JACK CURTIN

February 18, 2010 - Weyerbacher Zotten Pulled From the Market, Will Return Under New Name
Dan Weirback has answered the question everybody has been asking since this news broke this morning with a post at BeerAdvocate:
"We do plan to re-release this beer under a new name in May of this year. Of course the name and label design will have nothing to do with jesters, fools, or anything of a nature that would infringe on De Halve Maan's trademark. We actually already have a name in mind, but need to check it out thoroughly (for obvious reasons), thinking that we'll be able to announce it in 1 or 2 weeks time."
There's bad news for fans of Weyerbacher Brewing's Zotten Belgian Pale Ale this morning: it has been pulled from the market as part of an settlement between the Easton Brewery and Belgium's Bruges Brewery De Halve Maan.

The point of contention was a similarity to the name Bruges Zot de Halve Mon which is protected by international copyright. Bruges Zot went on the market in 2005. The settlement was said to be "amicable."

The story was broken by Todd Alström at, the popular craft beer website that he and his brother Jason founded and operate. Alström received an alert from a BA member in Belgium.

Zotten was first released last year and was scheduled to come back for a second round this spring. Weyerbacher's Dan Weirback had said in an interview that plans were to make it part of the regular Weyerbacher lineup, perhaps as early as this summer.--JACK CURTIN

February 13, 2010 - DFH, Victory, Weyerbacher & Troegs Make RateBeer 100 Best Brewers List
Four Delaware Valley breweries earned a spot on the top 100 Best Brewers in the World list in the Best 2010 competition. the results were released in late January.

Dogfish Head Brewery of Milton, DE finished 28th, Victory Brewing Company of Downingtown, PA was 33rd, Weyerbacher Brewing Company of Easton, PA was 48th and Troegs Brewing Company of Harrisburg, PA was 85th.

The top five breweries in the world according to reviewers are, in order, Three Floyds Brewing Company, Munster, IN; AleSmith Brewing Company, San Diego, CA; Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, FL; Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, and Bells Brewery, Kalamazoo, MI. The first brewery from outside the US on the list is Montreal's Dieu du Ciel in 7th place, while the first overseas brewery, in 10th place, is Brouwerij de Molen in The Netherlands.

Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA was the only local beer to make the Top 100 Beers list, coming in at #61. In the Top Beers by Style top five listings, DFH Indian Brown Ale finished 5th in its category. The Pale Lager style category was dominated by locals, Victory Prima Pils finishing second and Victory Saphir Pils finishing fifth. Sly Fox Brewhouse and Eatery Keller Pils was third.

DFH 90 Minute was 45th on the list of the top 50 US beers. In the Top Brewpub listings Selin's Grove of Selinsgrove, PA was 10th, Victory finished 28th and Otto's Brewery & Pub in State College, PA was 49th.

Capone's Restaurant was 9th on the World's Best Beer Bar list and Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia was 29th. Isaac Newton's of Newtown, PA was #9 and Eulogy Belgian Tavern, Philadelphia, #18 on the Best Beer Restuarant list. Best Breweries to Visit included Weyerbacher (#), Pittsburgh's East End Brewing (#11) and Troegs (#43).

The Beer Yard came in 30th on the Best Beer Retailers list.--JACK CURTIN

February 13, 2010 - Sly Fox Brews One-Offs For Upstate NY Wholesaler, Two RochesterTaverns
Sly Fox Brewing Company has turned out a trio of exclusive one-off beers for accounts in New York over the past three weeks. All of them will also show up with limited availability at either or both Sly Fox locations.

On January 22, the brewing team at Royersford, with Steve Jacoby at the kettle, turned the awkwardly-named TeRYEdactALE (Rye Pale Ale, 5.3% abv) for TJ Sheehan Distributing, the brewery's upstate NY wholesaler, with the help of Sheehan's craft beer sale force. "The head of TJ Sheehan's Craft Division has this horrendous laugh," says Sly Fox brewery operations manager Tim Ohst, "so his sales team calls him 'Pterodactyl.' I joked to some of the guys that they should call the beer pterodactyl ale. The next day during the brew they realized they could alter the spelling as it now appears on the website."

The other two brews were for a pair of well known Rochester taverns. Foxy Lady Kolsch (4.6% abv) was brewed in Royersford this past Monday, with Jacoby at the kettle again, for Lovin'cup Bistro & Brews, also with representatives from the pub help out. The next day, Brian O'Reilly took the brewing platform in Phoenixville to make McBane's SlyPA for Rochester's Tap and Mallet. This one is a 6% IPA brewed with Sorachi Ace ace hops from Japan. T&M's Joe McBane and a traveling crew were on hand for that one.

All three beers will be sold through TJ Sheehan in New York, the TeRYEdactALE to select accounts, the other two exclusive to the two pubs. --JACK CURTIN

February 07, 2010 - Victory Announces Alternative Energy Installation & Collaborative Beers for the 2010 Craft Brewers Conference
It's going to be a Big April for Downingtown's Victory Brewing Company.

Victory will install a photovoltaic system on its roof that month because "it's just part of being a modern, responsible business," co-owner Ron Barchet told the Philadelphia Inquirer today. The project is being done under Pennsylvania's $100 million Pennsylvania Sunshine Rebate Program. The $415,000, 66.6-kilowatt system is expected to offset 5 percent of the brew pub's electricity use, reduce Victory's monthly electric costs by $1,000 - nearly 10 percent - and pay for itself in five years, Barchet explained.

Victory also announced last week that, for the fourth straight year, its brewers will once again collaborate with with Brewmaster Eric Toft of Schönrammer Brauerei in Germany and the German Hops Growers Association to produce five special beers to be poured at the annual Craft Brewers Conference, which will be held in Chicago, also in April.

This year's beers:

Saphir Tripel Ale – Belgian-style Tripel
Belgian Pale Ale brewed with Smaragd Hops
Belgian Pale Ale brewed with Hallertau Hops
Belgian Pale Ale brewed with Hersbrucker Hops
Bavarian Pale Ale – details still being formed
The Tripel will come in around 9% ABV while the others are expected to hit 6%. --JACK CURTIN
February 05, 2010 - Strengthened Pint Glass May Cut Down Violence in British Pubs
The kerfuffle in Great Britain a few months back about "beer mugs as weapons" will apparently be resolved in reasonable fashion rather than some of the more outlandish concepts initially suggested, including "soft" glasses and oddly shaped ones.

A new strengthened beer glass appears to be the answer, according to health authorities who claim that roughly 87,000 "glass attacks" in Britain cost the nation an estimated 2.7 billion pounds ($4.3 billion) annually.

The traditional British pint glass has been redesigned so it is harder to smash, said Design Bridge, the company behind two prototypes. "And even if the new models are smashed, the dangerous shards of glass are held together by a layer of resin," according to a spokesperson.

Talks are currently under way with pub chains about trying out the glasses and a pilot scheme will be launched within a year as things now stand.--JACK CURTIN

January 28, 2010 - Sly Fox Will Add Rt. 113 IPA to Canned Beer Releases
Sly Fox Brewing Company will add a fifth beer to its canned beer portfolio this spring when Rt. 113 IPA, available only in 22oz bottles previously, will be released in the 12oz package.

Rt. 113 joins Pikeland Pils, Phoenix Pale Ale, Dunkel Lager and Royal Weisse in the can lineup. It will be a year-round release and eventually be part of a variety 12-pack, along with the also year-round Pikeland and Phoenix, as well as standard cases. The othetr two canned beers are seasonal releases.

Until now, Rt. 113 has only been packaged in 22oz bottles. "The bottles will stay in the portfolio, at least for now," promises brewmaster Brian O'Reilly. "They're selling better than ever, just not as fast as do the canned beers. So long as sales hold up, we'll be happy. I really like the 22oz size, but it's a little tougher sell in a case state like Pennsylvania. On the other hand, we've just reopened the Pittsburgh market and that should help maintain and probably grow sales levels."

Rt. 113 IPA has been beer most requested to be made available in cans by customers, O'Reilly said.

A photograph of the new can can be seen here.--JACK CURTIN

January 28, 2010 - Tuppers' Hop Pocket Ale Returns
Tuppers' Hop Pocket Ale is back.

The cult favorite beer, created by Bob and Ellie Tupper, disappeared from the market two years ago when the Old Dominion Brewing Company, which had contract brewed Hop Pocket since 1994, was sold. The new brewer is St. George Brewing Co. of Hampton, VA and they are fermenting the beer in the same tanks as previously, tanks they bought when Old Dominion went out of business.

Hop Pocket is brewed with four separate additions of hop pellets and fermented atop a bed of hop cones for three weeks. It was one of the first big, hoppy beers which have become a trademark of the craft brewing industry.

The Tuppers are well known in the beer community, not least for their personal tasting log that now numbers more than 18,500 brews sampled and recorded.--JACK CURTIN

January 28, 2010 - TJ's Embraces Drink Local Concept
It was a "stolen" idea that led Jeff Miller to establish the new Drink Local campaign at TJ's Restaurant and Drinkery in Paoli.

Miller has dedicated a separate space on the chalkboard and website of his popular venue---which appears regularly on those lists of best places to drink craft beer in the region which pop up every now and then---to five to seven local beers which are featured on tap.

The idea, Miller says, is to escape from the "unsustainable business model" of always chasing the next hot and difficult to get beer. "this is a way to show how much the regions local breweries have to offer at the same time boosting the bottom line. These beers are easily attainable and reasonably priced. I can't take credit for the idea, though. I stole it from Arthur Etchells at his permission---after I read a comment he posted at Brian Koelsar's website."

Miller says he contacted brewers within a two and a half hour drive of his restaurant and asked them to provide him with two or three sixtels each month of their freshest beers and he would showcase them. The program began during the first week of January.

"Sly Fox, Yards and Stoudt’s were the first shipments. Those stocks were supposed to last through the month but have already been depleted and re-stocked. We just got in a shipment from Troegs, Flying Fish, Dogfish Head, Heavy Seas, Philadelphia Brewing Company & Lancaster. In all, besides what is currently on tap, there are about 35 sixtels waiting in queue for the rotation. At the rate we’ve been going through them that should take us only to the end of February."

Miller says the program is also helpful in introducing novices to the world of craft beer. "When someone new to the beer revolution looks at a chalkboard with 24 names they’ve never heard of before. it can be daunting. Local beers are recognizable for even the newest craft beer drinker. It makes a decision easier for them."--JACK CURTIN

January 20, 2010 - PBW Co-founder Bruce Nichols Will Open The Headhouse in Society Hill
As revealed in Don "Joe Sixpack" Russell's website and confirmed in Michael Klein's "Insider" column in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday, a new beer and dining venue is coming to the closed Zot location at 122 Lombard St. in Philadelphia's Society Hill neighborhood.

The Headhouse will be a new venture for Bruce Nichols of Museum Catering Company in partnership with landlord Madame Saito Ai. The space has 20 taps on two floors and they're looking at a March opening.

Nichols, a founder of Philly Beer Week together with Monk's Cafe's Tom Peters and Russell, was instrumental in making the late Michael Jackson a fixture in Philadelphia every March for the long-running The Book & The Cook, bringing the famed beer writer in to host a series of tutored beer tastings at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology for 18 straight years.

That popular event, always sold out, will be reinvented this March, by the way, with U.S. beer writer Randy Mosher as the tutor.--JACK CURTIN

January 16, 2010 - EB+B Raising Funds To Help Free American Hikers Detained in Iran
Earth Bread + Brewery, the Mt. Airy brewpub operated by Tom Baker and Peggy Zwerver, is conducting a month-long fund raiser for the families of Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, three Americans who have been detained in a prison in Iran since July 31, 2009.

The trio was detained after, according to news reports, hey accidentally crossed an unmarked border during a hiking trip in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. The peaceful region is increasingly popular with Western tourists. MOre details can be found here/

Josh Fattal graduated from Cheltenham High School and his parents live in Elkins Park, explains Baker, "and his mother approached us and said that good friends of Josh come into Earth regularly and maybe we could help get the word put about the efforts to get him and his friends freed. I figured we could do something more than that, since they and the other parents have a lot of expenses involved with their efforts. We want to raise some money to help with that."

The next beer in the EB+B pipeline was a tank of Scotch Ale, originally to be named Velvet Underdog ("A great beer name," says Baker). It has been renamed Free The Hikers Ale and $1 is being added to the prices of 12oz glass, %.50 to the price of a 20oz glass until the tanks is kicked. Those additional amounts are customers' contributions; EB+B will add one-third of the total sale amount for the tank to the total. "It should work out to about $2500 to $3000 that we raise," according to Baker.

In other EB+B news, Baker says that assistant brewer Jon Defibaugh, who also doubles as a baker for the pub, has created his first beer, a Saison which he brewed with the help of EB+B regular Ryan Michaels, head brewer at McKenzie Brew House, who contributed DuPont yeast and some herbs to the project. --JACK CURTIN

January 03, 2010 - Bill Moore Named Brewmaster at Lancaster Brewing Company [UPDATED]
UPDATE (4 Jan 10): Former brewmaster Christian Heim and sales manager John Frantz are no longer with Lancaster Brewing Co. . The changes were announced to Moore and the staff last Wednesday and apparently reflect a whole new management team for the brewery.

ORIGINAL STORY: Industry veteran Bill Moore has been named Brewmaster at Lancaster Brewing Co. and will oversee all brewing operations, the company announced on Dec. 31.

"I am proud to be leading brewery operations," Moore was quoted in the news release. "Brewing exceptional craft beers is what I live for, and being able to do it here is really something special."

Moore has worked in the craft brewing industry for over 20 years, starting at Stoudt's Brewing in the late 1980s. The brewery garnered 14 GABF medals, seven of them Golds, during his tenure. He left Stoudt's in 1994 to a partner, with Bob Connor, in the new Independence Brewery in Philadelphia.Independence's big, beautiful plant proved to be too large for the company to support and a series of bad decisions and acquisitions doomed the enterprise from the start. The doors shut in 2000.

After an interim stint at Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery, he began brewing at the brewpub at the historic Sunnybrook Ballroom in his home town of Pottstown. He went fulltime at the latter in 2001. When that business collapsed, he brewed for the management team which ran the operation for the bank and then for Henry Ortlieb, who bought the place in 2003 and created Ortlieb's Brewery & Grille. That constantly struggling business shut down for good after Ortlieb's death in a boating accident in the summer of 2004. Moore began contract brewing beers for the new Legacy Brewing Company in Reading at Ortlieb's during that final year. He signed on as brewer at Lancaster in 2005.

Also joining the LBC team as Marketing Director is Patrick Casey, who brings over 25 years of advertising, sales and management experience to the LBC family. "I look forward to growing sales and building the brands for the brewery. They have an impressive line of craft beers and a strong number of loyal fans including myself," said Patrick.

Irene Keares, President of the company stated her objectives for the brewery’s future growth in the release. "My mission is as much about creating the best team as it is about brewing the best beer and that is why I am honored to have Bill and Patrick on the LBC team. Both are key to the brewery’s future success and our ability to grow to the next level."

LBC currently produces four flagship beers year round (Hop Hog IPA, Milk Stout, Strawberry Wheat, Amish Four Grain Pale Ale), along with popular seasonal beers including Oktoberfest, Winter Warmer and Rare Rooster Rye Ale, all available in bottles and kegs. The brewery also produces twenty different styles of craft beer throughout the year in kegs only. --JACK CURTIN

December 28, 2009 - Stone Brewing Considers Opening Brewery in Europe
San Diego's Stone Brewing Co. is considering opening a brewery in Europe according to co-founder Greg Koch.

The brewery is preparing a request for proposals to get ideas and bids for where to place the brewery or refurbish an existing brewery, Koch said, stressing that the project was only in the investigative stage at present.

"This decision is in line with the Stone's philosophy of ensuring fresh beer in the marketplace, and reducing their carbon footprint for distribution," he added. "To the best of our knowledge, Stone is the first American craft brewery to consider opening a brewery in Europe."

Stone sold 99k barrels in 2009 and is currently distributed in 34 states in the US. The brewery has averaged a 49% average annual increase in production since it was founded in 1996 and has limited distribution overseas to Japan, England and Sweden at present.--JACK CURTIN

December 14, 2009 - Sierra Nevada Will Celebrate Craft Beer Pioneers As Part of Its 2010 30th Anniversary Party
Sierra Nevada's planned yearlong celebration of its 30th anniversary in 2010 is more and more beginning to look like something trulys special. For one thing, SN is teaming up with other craft beer pioneers--including the elusive Jack McAuliffe of New Albion Brewery--to benefit select charities and beer drinkers across the country.

In March, 2010 the brewery will release the first of four beers in a series of collaborative projects with Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing; McAuliffe, and authors, homebrewers, and beer advocates Fred Eckhardt, and Charlie Papazian. "Together, this group is credited as `the men who launched a thousand breweries'" and without them, our current day craft-beer-renaissance might never have happened," SN said in a press release.

"We wanted to pay tribute to the original pioneers who helped me and hundreds of others get started," said Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman in that release. "Few people in the craft-brewing world have accomplished more than these guys, and we thought it might be fun to get the original crew together and make something special."

The project will begin where craft brewing started, at Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco; Anchor's purchase of that business in 1965 is consider by many to be ground zero for the craft beer revolution in America. In December 2009, the four pioneers gathered at Anchor to catch up, reminisce about craft beer’s beginnings, and share their vision for the project. "I feel honored to sit at the table with these guys," wrote Grossman. "Without them, who knows what American beer would be today?"

The beers will be released periodically throughout the year, starting with the first release in March, and continuing until Sierra Nevada’s 30th Anniversary on November 15. These limited-release 750ml cage-and-cork bottles will be available at select retailers and beer-centric bars. Proceeds from the project will go to benefit select charities chosen by the four pioneers.

You can follow this collaboration of pioneering brewers online.--JACK CURTIN

December 04, 2009 - Glissade Golden Bock To Debut As Sierra Nevada Spring Seasonal In 2010
Sierra Nevada will replace ESB with Glissade Golden Bock as its spring seasonal release, maintaining its steady recent expansion of its packaged portfolio.

Glissade (6% abv) is hopped with German Magnum & German Perle (bittering) and German Spalter, Slovenian Aurora & Styrian. Malts used in the brew are Two-row Pale, Europils, Munich and Crystal. It will be be available in 6-packs, 24-ounce bottles and on draft starting in January, 2010.

"We have been making versions of bock beers for our local fans for years, and with every release we get people clamoring for us to make it more widely available. Spring for us is the season for bocks, so we finally decided to do it," said brewery founder Ken Grossman in a press release. "Glissade is something new for us—and something different from the other bock beers out there. We’re using the best German malts we can find, together with interesting and flavorful European hops."

Sierra Nevada will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year and is planning to mark the occasion with several special events and specialty beer releases.--JACK CURTIN

December 04, 2009 - Cartoon Christmas Trio To Appear At All Iron Hill Locations in December
All eight Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant locations (five in Pennsylvania, two in Delaware, one in New Jersey) will celebrate the holiday season through out December with a series of performances by The Cartoon Christmas Trio, a musical group that performs authentic arrangements of musical selections from the classic holiday TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Originally aired in 1965, the special created by Charles Schulz has become among the most popular holiday programs in television history. The music, written by acclaimed jazz pianist and composer Vince Guaraldi, is the best-selling Christmas recording of all time. The Cartoon Christmas, formed in 1995, performs each song from that classic TV special, using the exact instrumentation Guaraldi specified in his original compositions, to transport listeners back to the nostalgic world of Charles Schulz’s beloved cartoon. Throughout the month of December, the group will perform at each of Iron Hill’s eight award-winning locations. Performances will begin at 7pm and run approximately two hours. The schedule is as follows:

Iron Hill Newark on Tuesday, December 15

Iron Hill Lancaster on Wednesday, December 16

Iron Hill Phoenixville on Thursday, December 17

Iron Hill North Wales on Friday, December 18

Iron Hill Media on Sunday, December 20

Iron Hill Maple Shade on Monday, December 21

Iron Hill Wilmington on Tuesday, December 22

Iron Hill West Chester on Wednesday, December 23

Finally, the Trio will return to Iron Hill Newark on Sunday, December 27 for its first-ever post-Christmas performance.--JACK CURTIN

December 04, 2009 - Sly Fox Hop Project Day On December 11 Will Be Final One
In its December Newsletter, Sly Fox Brewery announced that next Friday's Hop Project Day, the sixth in the series celebrating a year-long varietal brewing program, will be the final one in the series. The event, held the second Friday of every December, will be replaced with an Anniversary Day celebration marking the opening of Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery in Phoenixville.

One of the factors in making the changes is that the Phoenixville location will be celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2010, wrote brewmaster Brian O'Reilly. The primary consideration, however, was to maintain better control of the Sly Fox brewing schedule.

"We're not cutting out the Hop Project so we can make less beer; we're cutting it out so we can make more beer." he said. "To make the Hop Project work, we had to commit to have 12 beers (the varietals and Odyssey) available for release at exactly the same time every month. That meant that sometimes we couldn't do other things because we had to be sure we had the kegs and the tank space ready at just the right time. We often had to push the filtering and packaging of other beers back a week as a result. It was a monthly roadblock we had to work around."

O'Reilly also cited the planned move of the Phoenixville pub to a new location across Rt. 113 from its current one as a reason for creating the new Anniversary Day event, noting that "our need to make this change to improve our brewery operations ties in nicely with our history."

Hop Project Day, which is also the day Sly Fox releases its Odyssey Imperial IPA, has become something of a beer holiday for both local and traveling beer aficionados. The series began in 2004 with the brewing of single-hop IPAs and continued that series through last year; varietal Pale Ales were the focus this year.

The complete Sly Fox Newsletter, which went out today, is now available online.--JACK CURTIN

December 04, 2009 - Dogfish Head & Victory Both Make Wine Magazine's Top 25 Beers List
DogFish Head Festina Peche and Victory Festbier were each named on Wine Enthusiast magazine's selection of the Top 25 Beers of 2009, finishing in the 23rd and 25th spots respectively, each with a total of 90 points. the magazine introduced its first Beer Buying Guide in its June issue and the idea of a Top 25 list grew naturally out of that.

Here's what writer Lauren Buzzeo had to say about DFH Festina Peche:

An unbelievably refreshing Berliner Weisse-style beer fermented with fresh peaches, this tart expression is somewhat difficult to come by with only a handful of producers still making the style. Beautiful aromas and flavors of fresh peaches, sour Granny Smith and hints of resiny oil promise pure refreshment. The vibrant acidity and effervescence only further compliment the palate, resulting in a wonderfully crisp and enlightening drinking experience.

And here are her thoughts on Victory Festbier:

A golden russet color with a frothy toffee colored head. The nose offers aromas of cream, sweet bread, lime pith and roasted nuts. The mouth is medium-weight and malty, with subtle coffee notes, floral hops, and notes of cinnamon. A balanced brew with a long, lingering finish that veers towards hoppy bitterness.
The top five beers in on the list, in order, are Captain Lawrence Rosso e Marrone (95 points), Unibroue Maudite (94 points), The Bruery Orchard White (93 points), Avery The Maharaja (93 points) and Southern Tier Imperial Pumking (94 points). It is not clear how that selection and the sixth one on the list, Rochefort 8, could each have one point more than the third and fourth place beers.

Perhaps surprisingly, as shown by the two local selections, the list is not dominated entirely by high alcohol beers, since conventional wisdom holds that those are what attract the wine crowd. Ten of the beers listed have an ABV under 6% and about half of those would qualify as session beers in most estimations.

The beers were apparently chosen only from those tasted by the magazine in 2009 and other considerations beyond just quality played a role in the final decision. Wrote Buzzeo in her introduction:

The beers listed here represent the most diverse and dynamic offerings that were tasted this year. They are beers that offer extraordinary quality at prices that still represent affordable luxury. In compiling this list, I had to go beyond simple evaluation of numeric scores and pricing and also consider availability, buzz and balance. With so many selections currently available to the American beer consumer, it was important to showcase a wide range of styles produced in various countries and regions at all price points.

One might argue with "buzz" and "pricing" as standards, but the real message here is that this is yet another indicator of the growing interest in craft beers by wine enthusiasts.

The complete list is available here.--JACK CURTIN

December 03, 2009 - Dogfish Brewery & Bella’s Cookies Collaborate on Dogfish Dog Bark
Dogfish Brewery & Bella’s Cookies Collaborate on Dogfish Dog Bark

Putting its spent grain to good use is a green initiation which craft brewers take great pride in, but leave it to Delaware's Dogfish Head Craft Brewery to expand the possibilities by barking up a different tree.

DFH and Bella’s Cookies, both located in Milton, are teaming up to create Dogfish Dog Bark, a healthy dog treat which uses the spent grain. Until now, nutrient-rich byproduct has been given to local farmers to use as feed for their cattle.

"Brewery employees spent lots of time testing the treats with their dogs," explained Dogfish Head’s Mariah Calagione, "and one hundred percent of the feed-back was tail-wagging."

Dogfish Dog Bark is also made with eggs from Delaware hens, organic flour, and all-natural peanut butter. it will be available at the brewery in Milton and Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach, online from both companies and a select few local pet shops.--JACK CURTIN

Otto wants some samples--MATT GUYER

December 03, 2009 - McKenzie Brew House Announces Belgian Homebrew Competition
McKenzie Brew House is offering homebrewers a chance to compete in a Belgian-style "Best of Show" competition in which the prize is to brew the winning recipe along with McKenzie brewers Ryan Michaels and Gerard Olson on the 10bbl system at the chains Glen Mills location (the second McKenzie's is located in Malvern).

" Beers will be judged on the subjective flavor criteria of our panel of judges, rather than how well they fit to style," says Olson. "Entries should be limited only in that the brewer would describe them as Belgian. In fact, 'Out-of-style' Belgian Specialty ales are highly encouraged."

Deadline for submissions is February 15, 2010. Submission must be accompanied by an entry form and delivered to the pub at 451 Wilmington West Chester Pike/Rt. 202. Olson said that entries forms and more information will be available soon on the McKenzie website and that interested homebrewers can call him at 610.361.9800 with questions if need be.--JACK CURTIN

November 19, 2009 - New Study Touts Health Benefits of Half A Dozen Beers Daily
You know how various scientific studies routinely show that beer is as efficacious as, perhaps even more efficacious than, wine in terms of good health? And how the stories about these findings always stress "moderate" consumption?

Well, the definition of "moderate" just became a lot more realistic.

This is the opening sentence of a story in the The Independent of London yesterday, written by Health Editor Jeremy Laurance: "Drinking a bottle of wine a day, or half a dozen beers, cuts the risk of heart disease by more than half in men, it has been shown."

It appears under this headline, "Drink half a dozen beers every day and have a healthier heart," and this subheading, "Teetotallers more likely to have heart attack than drinkers, study shows."

The study was conducted by researchers from the public health department of the Basque government in San Sebastian, "a region with one of the highest drinking rates in Europe," and as conducted among 15,000 men and 26,000 women aged from 29 to 69 who were followed for 10 years. There is the usual caveat, of course--"alcohol caused millions of deaths a year around the world from other causes and their findings should not be taken as a licence to drink to oblivion"--and various British scientists disagreed with the conclusions, saying the work was "biased" or overlooked other alcohol-related diseases which might occur.

Researchers said that their results showed that "those who drank a little--a glass of wine or a bottle of beer every other day--had a 35 percent lower risk of a heart attack than those who never drank. Moderate drinkers, consuming up to a couple of glasses of wine a day or a couple of pints of ordinary bitter, had a 54 per cent lower risk...The surprise was that heavy drinkers consuming up to a bottle of wine or six pints of ordinary bitter had a similar 50 per cent reduction in risk of a heart attack to moderate drinkers. Those drinking at even higher levels were still half as likely to suffer a heart attack as the teetotallers."

It should be noted that they were talking about 5% or lower ABV beers, not higher alcohol styles.

You can read the entire Independent story here.--JACK CURTIN

November 02, 2009 - Philadelphia's Green Business Excellence Award Goes to Yards Brewing
Philadelphia Yards Brewing Company has been named the city's 2010 Green Business of the Year by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. The official ceremony will be held at 27th Annual Excellence Awards Honoring the Region’s Small Businesses dinner on Thursday, November 5.

The Green Business award, sponsored by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), will celebrate the accomplishments of Yards and nine other Excellence Award winners. "While the winners’ business models may vary, they share a similar passion, determination and drive to succeed, Yards’ story is an excellent example of that formula," said the Chamber in a press release.

Tom Kehoe and then-partner Jon Bovit founded Yards Brewing Company in 1994 and it has grown from a garage-sized brewery in Manayunk that produced 30 kegs a week into its current 26,000 sq. ft. location in Northern Liberties, capable of producing 70,000 kegs a year. Since moving into its new plant on Delaware Avenue last year, Yards has made serious effort to to become a model of efficiency and sustainability.

Among other features, the brewery integrates natural lighting, recycled concrete floors, waste water management, water and heat reclamation. Cardboard and glass are recycled through Pedal Co-Op — taken to the local recycling plant by bicycles with trailers. Even its spent grains are reused as feed for local livestock. And, in January, Yards became the first brewery in Pennsylvania to run entirely on wind-power.

A new tasting room also follows a sustainable model, with a bar top made from old bowling alley lanes, floors treated with a sustainable soy compound, and walls coated with an earthen clay layer that is sustainable and eco-friendly.--JACK CURTIN

October 25, 2009 - Sly Fox Pikeland Pils Named USBTC Grand Champion Pilsner
Sly Fox Brewing's Pikeland Pils was named National Grand Champion in the Pilsner category at the recently completed 15th annul United States Beer Tasting ChampionshipTM (USBTC) Summer Event of its 15th annual competition, and Sly Fox Saison Vos won the Belgian/French Specialty category in the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast region in which seven other local breweries were also honored.

A total of 379 beers from 137 breweries were examined across 14 different beer categories in the judging. The USBTC determined both a Grand Champion and the best entry from each of six U.S. regions: Northeast, Mid-Atlantic/Southeast, Midwest, Rockies/Southwest, California and Northwest/Pacific.

Weyerbacher Brewing matched Sly Fox with double wins for its Double Simcoe IPA (Imperial IPA/Red Ale) and Riserva (Fruit Beer), while McKenzie Brew House took top honors for its Wicked Will's Pale Ale in that category and an Honorable Mention for its Wit (Belgian Wit). Top regional honors also went to Victory Brewing's HopDevil Ale in the IPA category and The Lion Brewery in Golden Ale/Kolsch for Liebotschaner Cream Ale. Barley Creek took an Honorable Mention for its Navigator Golden Ale in that latter category and Stoudt Brewing Gold Lager won Honorable Mention in the Dortmunder/Helles category.

The USBTC competition is held in multiple stages. Sequential field trials are conducted wherein judges evaluate beers and select the best to advance to subsequent rounds, allowing beers to be judged in relatively small flights. All beers were tasted blind.--JACK CURTIN

October 12, 2009 - AB InBev One Step Closer To Paying Off Acquisition Loan [UPDATED 10/15/2009]
Anheuser-Busch InBev's announcement last week that it will sell off its theme parks, including the three SeaWorlds and two Busch Gardens across the country, to private equity firm Blackstone Group for at least $2.3 a major step in allowing the world's largest brewery to pay off the $45 billion of loans that funded InBev's $52 billion takeover of its U.S. rival last November.

The sale of its SeaWorlds and Busch Gardens to Blackstone, part of an ongoing process of shedding assets, brings the company's divestments to some $6.5 billion, well within range of the $7 billion ultimate target. Financial analysts suggest that just one further sale should allow them to get there, the most likely being divesting itself of 11 breweries in seven central and eastern European countries.*

Those same analysts also expect AB InBev to forgo making any further takeover forays in the near future in order to focus on integrating their company, squeezing out costs from Anheuser operations and increasing the dividend.

* UPDATE: From today's New York Times: "Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest beverage company, said Thursday that it would sell its operations in eastern and central Europe to the private equity firm CVC Capital Partners in a deal that may be worth more than $3 billion..." Full story here.--JACK CURTIN

October 09, 2009 - Philadelphia Brewing Co. Moves Into Pittsburgh Market
In a move which may be unique and is without a doubt unusual, Philadelphia Brewing Company has entered the Pittsburgh market by establishing a warehouse in that city, manned by its former operations manager.

"Matt Nienhuis had been our operations manager in charge of distribution since 2004," co-owner Bill Barton told the Beer Yard, "and when he got married and had a child, he and his wife decided to return to her home town of Pittsburgh and both we all saw an opportunity there.

"All breweries in Pennsylvania are automatically licensed for two additional facilities anywhere in the state as part of their licenses, and we decided one of ours would be in Pittsburgh. I don't know if anybody's ever done this before, but when we filed the paperwork, I was told by a guy handling it that he'd never seen this kind of move in 20 years on the job.

"We bought Matt a truck and rented space in the old Dusquesne brewery, which is owned by a company called U.S. Cargo. They ship the beer our from here every week from their facility in Plymouth Meeting."

PBC brands became available in Pittsburgh last month, sold and distributed by Nienhuis.

"Young single guys who live around the corner start working here, then they get married, have a kid and move away," laughs Barton. "It happens all the time. This time, that turned out to be a very good thing for both parties."--JACK CURTIN

October 04, 2009 - East Coast Breweries Win 40 Total Medals at 2009 GABF
East Coast breweries won a total of 40 medals at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival and were again paced by Pennsylvania (14), New York (9) and Maryland (7). The latter's Flying Dog Brewing Company had the biggest day in the region, winning three Golds and a Sliver.

As detailed in our earlier Delaware Valley report, 13 of the Pennsylvania medals came from the Philadelphia area, with Troegs Brewing Co. winning three. Fegley Brew Works, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant and Triumph Brewing Co. garnered two medals each, while McKenzie Brew House and Stoudt's Brewing Co. each took one. Erie Brewing Company's medal completed the state's total. That same story noted other Delaware Valley wins: three Delaware medals, all by Dogfish Head Craft Brewing, and two in New Jersey for Flying Fish Brewing Co. A third NJ medal was taken by Long Valley Pub & Brewery in North Jersey.

New York's nine medals included two Gold, three Silver and Three Bronze, with double wins for Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., Great Adirondack Brewing Co. and Saranac/FX Matt Brewing Co., and singles for Blue Point Brewing Co., Brooklyn Brewery and Southampton Publick House. In Maryland, in addition to the impressive Flying Dog performance, single medals were won by Brewer's Alley Restaurant & Brewery, Clipper City Brewing Co. and DOG Brewing Co.

Boston Beer Company and Harpoon Brewery each won a medal in Massachusetts, while Allagash Brewing Company and Cambridge House Brew Pub medaled in Maine and Connecticut respectively.

Finally, in an update to this earlier story, the National Beer Wholesalers Association reported post-GABF that Gretz Beer Co., Philadelphia's third major distributor, was also a finalist in the national awards given annual by NBWA and GABF in which Origlio Beverage took top honor and Muller Inc. was third. Three wholesalers in the top five in the country is about as clear evidence of the vitality and professionalism of the local beer scene as you're like to find.

Details on these and all the GABF results around the country can be found here.--JACK CURTIN

September 26, 2009 - Dogfish Head, Troegs Lead Delaware Valley Region to 18 Medals at GABF in Denver
Delaware's Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Harrisburg's Troegs Brewing Company each won a Gold, Silver and Bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver today, to lead nine Delaware Valley Breweries to an impressive 18-medal performance.

Triumph Brewing was the only local brewery to achieve double Gold, for Philadelphia's Patrick Jones in the Session Beer category for KinderPils and New Hope's Brendan Anderson for Hefeweizen in the German-style Wheat Ale judging.

DFH won Gold for Chateau Jiahu and Silver for Palo Santo Marron in the Specialty Beer Category and Bronze for Midas Touch in the Specialty Honey Beer Category. Troegs took Gold for Troegenator in the Bock category, Silver for Dead Reckoning Porter in the American-style Stout category and Bronze for Sunshine Pils in the German-style Pilsener category. That last win marked the third straight year a local pils, each from a different brewery, has finished in the top three.

Other Golds were won by Casey Hughes at New Jersey's Flying Fish Brewing Co. for Exit 4 in the American-Belgo Style Ale category; Tim Stumpf at Iron Hill Phoenixville for Schwarzbier in the category of the same name (his second straight), and Ryan Michaels at McKenzie Brew House for Saison Vautour in the Belgian-style Saison category, a second gold for that beer.

Beau Baden at Fegley's Allentown & Bethlehem Brew Works, who is becoming a regular in the winner's circle, won a Silver for Bagpiper's Scotch Ale in that category and Bronze for Rude Elf's Reserve in the Herb and Spiced Ale judging. And Iron Hill added a second medal, a Silver for its Raspberry Torte, an American style Sour Ale brewed in its Media pub by perennial medal winner Bob Barrar. Gordon Grubb at Philadelphia's Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant completed the region's Silver haul with George's Fault in the Specialty Honey Beer category (a second for that beer) to go along with a Bronze for Phruit Phunk, a wood and barrel aged sour brew.

Additional Bronze medals were won by Flying Fish Hop Fish (Classic English-style Pale Ale) and Stoudt Brewing Company's Stoudt Kolsh (German-style Kölsch). In all, the region won seven Golds, five Silvers and Six Bronzes. Thirteen of the medals came from Pennsylvania (which won a 14th with Erie Brewing's Railbender Scotch Ale). DFH accounted for Delaware's three wins, while Long Valley Pub & Brewery brought NJ's overall total to three, adding a Bronze for Lazy Jake Porter to the pair of Flying Fish wins.--JACK CURTIN

September 26, 2009 - Major Brewery Awards at GABF 2009
Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Chuckanut Brewery, Bellingham, WA
Will Kemper

Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Pizza Port Carlsbad, Carlsbad, CA
Pizza Port Brew Guys

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Dry Dock Brewing Company, Aurora, CO
Dry Dock Brewing Team

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, MD
Robert Malone

Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Coors Brewing Company, Golden, CO
Dr. David Ryder

September 26, 2009 - Philadelphia Wholesalers Honored at GABF
Philadelphia's two major beer wholesalers, each of which has made a major expansion into the craft beer segment in recent years, were honored at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver today for those efforts.

Origlio Beverage, founded in 1933, was named Wholesaler of the Year, based upon its 35% growth in the craft area and its many promotional efforts aiding in the marketing of crafts.

Muller Inc., founded in 1938, received the Recognition Award for its 25% growth in craft sales.

The awards are given annually as a joint recognition by the Brewers Association and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.--JACK CURTIN

September 16, 2009 - Three Main Line Taverns Make Foobooz Top 50 Bar List
Foobooz, the Philadelphia-based food and booze quide, asked "writers, bloggers, drinkers, commenters and chefs to give us their top bars in the Philadelphia area. We aimed to present a good cross-section of people that we consider typical Foobooz readers. And in keeping with Foobooz’s pillars of food and booze, it is apparent that both food and booze played a part in the rankings."

The top ten bars in the ranking, in order, were: Standard Tap, P.O.P.E. (Pub on Passyunk East), Monk's Cafe, Southwark, Good Dog Bar, Grace Tavern, South Philadelphia Taproom, Sidecar Bar & Grille, Tria Washington Square West, and Royal Tavern.

Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, the top suburban location chosen, was #32. The Flying Pig Saloon in Malvern was #45 and TJ's Restaurant & Drinkery in Paoli came in at #47.

The entire list is here.--JACK CURTIN

September 15, 2009 - Beer Yard Grown Hops Shine in Iron Hill Ryesing
The Beer Yard not only sells some of the world's finest beers, sometimes it plays an active role in making them.

In 2008, General Lafayette Inn owner and brewer Chris Leonard used the hops he picked to make a low alcohol seasonal beer; this year it was Iron Hill's turn.

Iron Hill brewer Jean Boillet told the story on the Iron Hill West Chester blog:

The first round came from our friend, Matt Guyer, over at the Beer Yard. Behind his store grows a surprising amount of wild hop vines. They have been happily growing there for as long as he can remember, which is great for us, as they are well-established and literally dripping with sticky lupulin magic.

About two weeks ago, I arrived at his store early in the morning, yanked all of the vines down and tossed ‘em in the back seat of my car. Once loaded up, I drove straight to the brewery, where a team of eager servers helped us separate the hop cones from the vine. My car was drenched in grassy, floral hop aromas; sure glad I didn’t get stopped by the fuzz on the drive back.

All day, we yielded a bit more than two pounds of bright green hoppy love, and within hours, we had filled 4 firkins of our Ryesing (Yye Pale Ale) with half-a-pound of fresh hops shoved into each cask.

Broillet says the pub flew through the first three firkins of Ryesing faster than ever before. use the link above for more of the story and photos.

The final firkin will be tapped at Teresa's Next Door on Friday, September 25, as part of its Rare Keg Night. See the Beer Yard Calendar for details.--JACK CURTIN

September 13, 2009 - Resurrection Ale House To Open Wednesday
Resurrection Ale House will open it's doors for business on Wednesday, September 23 at 5pm. This is two weeks from the planned opening on September 9; the pub was ready but the requisite paperwork had not yet been approved.

Resurrection Ale House, located at 2425 Grays Ferry Avenue (Corner of Catharine & Grays Ferry) in Philadelphia, is brought to you by Brendon Hartranft and Leigh Maida, the couple who founded both Memphis Taproom in Kensington and Local 44 in West Philly over the past 18 months.

The new pub will feature 12 drafts beers, one beer engine, and about 40 bottled beers.

Starting Thursday, September 24, the full kitchen menu will be available. Hours of operation will be Monday-Friday from 12noon to 2am, Saturday and Sundays from 11am-2am. Weekend brunch will be served from 11am-3pm. --JACK CURTIN

September 04, 2009 - Monk's Cafe Reopens
Co-owner Tom Peters called at 11:40 today to say that the doors have just been opened.

"The front two rooms only," he noted. "The back bar will reopen next week."

As of today, when Monk's will reopen remains unknown. Promises of today or tomorrow seem optimistic in light of news stories which suggest a longer term needed to deal with the building's problems.

ORIGINAL STORY 30 Sep 2009] A man died and his female companion is in critical condition after they fell from a fire escape balcony four stories above Monk's Cafe at 3am Sunday morning.

According to news reports, a rusted out railing gave way and they plummeted to the sidewalk. Other reports say the building already has several other fire safety violations.

City authorities have vacated the building and Monk's sent all its employees home this morning.

[UPDATED 2:50 pm]
Tom Peters of Monk's has informed the Beer Yard via email that the restaurant part of the building is structurally okay and has no problems and that, at the landlord's discretion, the Cafe will reopen as early as Monday or Tuesday.--JACK CURTIN

August 26, 2009 - MillerCoors, A-B Say They Will Raise Prices Soon
MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch said yesterday that they planned to raise prices, according to a story by Jerry Hirsch in this morning's Los Angeles Times.

Details were sketchy, with a MillerCoors spokesman saying that "beer is a pretty good value right now, and we think we can raise prices on a market-by-market basis," and an A-B statement noting that "the markets have been assessed, and we'll be acting on a by-market, by-brand and by-package basis." The two brewing giants control 80% of the U.S. beer market.

Beer Business Daily, the industry newsletter, opined that the increases are profit driven rather than to protect market share and said that increases will certainly be passed on to consumers in this economy, with retailers unwilling to absorb them.

In another development, Jeremy Mullman of Advertising Age noted that when InBev acquired A-B, they "regularly cited the global potential of Budweiser as a key rationale for its takeover...last summer, noting that the potential value of creating a Coca-Cola-scale brand in beer would make the $52 billion in debt that financed the deal worthwhile." That process may be in the works and observers will be watching to see if the effort cheapens the brand identity or builds it.

Another thing to watch will be how this affects the craft beer segment, which remains the only part of the industry which is growing and has been able to maintain that growth and its pricing even in difficult economic times, with the people who want to save money but still cling to the major brands shifting to cheaper priced labels. Craft strength has finally caught the attention of the wine industry; the Oregon Wine Board says they'll be targeting beer drinkers to combat slow sales, perhaps not fully recognizing that some of that decrease is the result of wine consumers discovering high-end craft beers as a better value for the price.

We live in interesting times.--JACK CURTIN

August 22, 2009 - "Yes We Can" Says Colorado Company Servicing Craft Brewers
We are not very far removed from a time when the idea of craft beer packaged in cans was still seen as daring by much of the intended audience for same and indeed still hear the generally refuted complaint that "the beer tastes funny" from some. But the idea has caught on across the the country.

Now, in Colorado at least, craft brewers can can their beers without going to the expense and bother of buying a canning line or pre-ordering the massive quantity of cans necessary to meet most minimum requirements.

Yes We Can, a new company in that state, provides mobile canning for craft brewers, using a mobile trailer which houses an automatic Cask canning system with pre-ordered aluminum cans and labels. The company supplies the canning, cans, labels, and labor, all on-site. The service includes the pre-rinse, fill, seam, and labeling and requires assistance from two brewery staff.

The Yes We Can system can fill and seam up to 30 cans per minute or 600 cases a day. It can accommodate larger or smaller can sizes (only one can size per machine) and consists of a core conveyor with motor drive, four control panels, a five head filler, a can lid dispenser, Pre-rinse and a heavy duty can seamer, all mounted on a stainless steel frame.--JACK CURTIN

August 17, 2009 - Mid-Year Figures Show Continuing Strength of Craft Beer
Just released figures from the Brewers Association for the first half of the year show that dollar growth from craft brewers from January through June increased 9%, down from 11% growth during the same period in 2008 but still impressive in this economy.

Volume sold sold was up 5% during the same period. compared to 6.5& growth in the first half of 2008. Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first half of the year is an estimated 4.2 million, compared to 4 million barrels sold in the first half of 2008.

The number of US breweries is the highest it has been in 100 years. The nation now boasts 1,525 breweries, the highest number since consolidation and the run up to Prohibition reduced the number of breweries to 1,498 in 1910. "The U.S. has more breweries than any other nation and produces a greater diversity of beer styles than anywhere else, thanks to craft brewer innovation," said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association.--JACK CURTIN

August 12, 2009 - Victory, Troegs Announce New Releases
Two of the area's most popular breweries are introducing new products, or repositioning current ones, to help fend off impending end-of-summer blues for beer lovers.

Victory Brewing Company has made its Hop Wallop Imperial IPA (8.5%) a year-round release and replaced it in the seasonal lineup with Yakima Twilight, a slightly bigger (8.9%) dark Imperial IPA. Yakima Twilight was introduced as a limited release in late 2008 and received almost universal rave reviews. It is now on tap at the brewery's Downingtown brewpub. The initial batch was draught only; full production of 12oz cases should begin this fall as brewery capacity permits. The current draught release will be widely available off-premises.

Victory has also ceased the release of Victory Saison in 750ml bottles, reformulated it with a new Belgian yeast strain and renamed it Helios. It is packaged in the increasingly popular 22oz size and should reach the market in a week or two.

News about both these new releases first appeared on My Beer Buzz, a beer blog focused on Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Farther west, news that Troegs Brewing will add a new bourbon-barrel-aged series in very limited release leaked out yesterday on Beer Advocate.

In a posting in that thread, Troegs' Ed Yashinsky explained that the new series will be available only at the brewery, in the same fashion as the Scratch Beer series. "Splinter is a brewery-only series, very limited," he wrote. "There's approximately 300 bottles of the first two and two more to be packaged. Labels just approved by feds and waiting on [printed] labels. We will announce all details closer to release dates for each one in the series."

The first two barrel-aged beers in the series are reportedly Mad Elf and Scratch #3, a tripel.

Troegs has already announced another new beer, Java Head Stout, a coffee-based beer in 22oz which is currently available for pre-order from the Beer Yard.--JACK CURTIN

August 09, 2009 - Prism Brewing Plans to Enter Philadelphia Market This Fall
There's a new brewer in town...or at least there will be if everything goes as Robert Demaria expects it to.

Demaria of East Norriton says he will be introducing the first beers from his new Prism Brewing Company into the Philadelphia market this fall. The initial releases, an IPA and an Irish Red Ale, will be draught only and contract brewed at General Lafayette Brewery & Inn; the inn's owner and head brewer Chris Leonard will create the beers based upon recipes developed by Demaria.

Each of his beers is "made with twist," he says. "I don't mimic any beers out there. HIPA is an IPA made with about 25% honey malt to offer some sweetness as well as hop bitterness. Red Rocket is an Irish Red Ale brewed with pharmaceutical grade caffeine, taurine and vitamin B, which are used in energy drinks, and is looking to be the younger beer drinker's Red Bull and Vodka, if you will. A third beer we will add next year, a Belgian White, is brewed with chives."

Demaria, who is Director of Enterprise Learning Strategies and Innovation for Merck, says he has already laid a lot of the ground work for launching his brand. "I'm talking with one distributor to see what we can work out but plan to self-distribute the initial batches. We don't have an established brand so it is going to require at lot of personal attention and hand-selling. I have a sales rep already hired who will help with that.

"We've registered the business and the Federal license is in process. Once that's completed, I just have to submit it for the State license. Since there are no labels involved and I don't have to submit brewery plans or anything like that, I hope that will all go smoothly and quickly. My goal is to be ready to start marketing the beers in September or so."

He has one account for sure. "Chris will be putting the beers on at General Lafayette," Demaria promised.--JACK CURTIN

August 05, 2009 - Victory HopDevil, Teresa's Next Door Are "Best of Philly"
The beer which might fairly be considered the first true "breakout" beer of the Philadelphia craft beer revolution which began in 1995. Victory HopDevil IPA, has been named Beer of the Year in the annual Philadelphia Magazine "Best of Philly" awards, a perennial feature in every August issue.

HopDevil turned up on many taps around the area in those early days, the one craft beer that a lot of old-line bars and taverns were willing to pour.

Another beer citation in this year's Best awards went to Teresa's Next Door, the N. Wayne Ave. Belgian-themed restaurant whose menu and notable beer list continue to draw attention both locally and nation-wide. TND was selected as the Best Beer Bar in the region.--JACK CURTIN

July 21, 2009 - Yards Selected as Official Beer Sponsor for Philadelphia Folk Festival
Yards Brewing Company has been named as the Official Beer Sponsor for the 2009 Philadelphia Folk Festival at the Old Pool Farm near Schwenksville on August 14-16. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend this year's Festival, with over 5,000 of those being campers

The Philadelphia Folk Festival is a three-day festival of folk music that has been held in Schwenksville since 1962, following a brief run in Paoli. It is conducted by by the non-profit Philadelphia Folksong Society.

Tom Kehoe, Yards co-founder and brewmaster, said that "it is an honor to be taking such a prominent role at this event. I feel very privileged that we'll be able to share our craft with many of the country's most recognized musicians as well as the Festival's loyal followers."

"We will be pouring Philadelphia Pale Ale, Brawler, ESA and IPA," said brewery operations manager Steve Mashington. "Last year was the first time the festival allowed beer sales. We contacted them about being a part of the event, but they had already lined up Victory as the only brewery at the festival/ This year they contacted us and informed us that they were interested in working something out with respect to being a beer sponsor/vendor and told me that according to their surveys, our beer was the most requested. We've negotiated a good working partnership that we hope will continue on for several years."

Yards Brewing Company is also taking a less official but equally important role at the event, working with event organizers to ensure the Festival is as environmentally responsible as possible. All of Yards beers will be draught only and concertgoers will be encouraged to reuse their cups as much as possible or risk additional charges. Yards will also be managing its own recycling efforts throughout the weekend.

"We're really trying to lead by example. Everything we're doing is just a common sense way of showing or respect for our planet and environment," said Mashington, noting that Yards is Pennsylvania's first 100% wind-powered brewery Yards is working with the Philadelphia Folksong Society to curate a number of concerts to be held at the brewery later this year. The first of those concerts will be held on August 2, featuring several bands from the festival. Details should be announced later this week.

"Our new brewery wasn't built simply to increase production," said Mashington. "We wanted to create a venue for community, where people can come together and have a good time. We'll be hosting music, movies…it's going to be really exciting." -JACK CURTIN

July 17, 2009 - Great Lakes Brewing About to Enter Delaware Valley Market
Great Lakes Brewing Company, whose presence in Western Pennsylvania but not the Delaware Valley has been a source of frustration for local beer lovers for years, is about to rectify that situation.

The Cleveland brewery reached a final agreement today with Origlio Beverage to distribute its beers throughout the five-county Philadelphia market. The first beers will be released on Monday, July 27. Their five year-round beers are Burning River Pale Ale, Commodore Perry IPA, Dortmunder Gold Lager, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter and Eliot Ness Amber Lager. Popular seasonals include Blackout Russian Imperial Stout, Nosferatu Stock Ale and Glockenspiel Weizenbock.

Great Lakes Brewing was established in 1988 and was Ohio's first microbrewery. It is now the heart of an historic six-building complex which includes the brewery, a brewpub, banquet facilities, and gift shop. Great Lakes, which produces 70,000bbl annually, is considered one of the nation's foremost environmentally and socially brewers.--JACK CURTIN

July 16, 2009 - The Return of Collaborative Evil
Nine breweries, mostly from the Midwest and West Coast, will attempt to create a collaborative beer to be introduced at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival, using a shared recipe in which each brewery adds an unique ingredient to differentiate its beer from all the others.

The concept, named Collaborative Evil by founding brewers Zac Triemert of Lucky Bucket Brewing Co. La Vista, NE, Matt Van Wyk of Flossmoor Station, Flossmoor, IL and Todd Ashman of FiftyFifty Brewing, Truckee, CA, was first tried in 2008 by the three of them.

The base style for this year is a Belgian-inspired Strong Pale. The six new participants include Valley Brewing, Stockton, CA.-- Steve Altimari, Brewmaster; Sacramento Brewing, Sacramento, CA.-- Peter Hoey, Brewmaster; Fatheads Brewery and Grill, Cleveland, OH. -- Matt Cole, Brewmaster; Flossmoor Station, Flossmoor, IL -- Bryan Shimkos Brewmaster; Oakshire Brewing, Eugene, OR -- Matt Van Wyk Brewmaster; Silver Peak Brewing, Reno, NV -- Brandon Wright, Brewmaster, and Speakeasy Brewing Co., San Francisco, CA.-- John Gillooly, Brewmaster.

"Each brewer is asked to create a beer based on the style and then make it uniquely their own within the parameters of Belgian-inspired Strong Pale," explained Ashman. "This was important because it demonstrates what people think of when you mention a style. Because one of the things we focus on in Collaborative Evil is entering the respective beers in the Great American Beer Festival, and since entry guidelines forbid entering the same beer, we took the approach of creating a theme and allowing each brewer participating to spin-off his own beer based on our base style."--JACK CURTIN

July 16, 2009 - GABF Expands Floor Space, Expects More Than 2100 beers
When beer lovers from around the world convene at the 28th annual Great American Beer Festival at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver On September 24-26 they will find that the operative word is "more."

More beers (2,129 are expected, an increase of about ten percent). More people (ticket sales will be increased slightly). And offsetting that last increase, more space. GABF floor space will expand by 33%, providing more elbow room.

The total number of breweries participating will be about the same as in 2008, somewhere over 450 of them.

As usual, a sellout is expected. Ticket sales are strong, according to Cindy Jones, Brewers Association Marketing Director. "We've sold twice as many tickets in comparison to where we were last year this far out from the fest."--JACK CURTIN

July 11, 2009 - Difficult Economy Threatens Survival of General Lafayette Inn & Brewery
In a open letter sent members of the craft beer press and various beer bloggers yesterday, owner and head brewer Chris Leonard revealed that the General Lafayette Inn & Brewery and its Guest House are in danger of closing.

“Stiff competition, limited resources, and the failing economy have contributed to a steady decline in revenues over the past 16 months,” Leonard wrote. “While beer sales have remained relatively stable, our food, wine and liquor sales have decreased to the point that we can longer maintain operations. Past due mortgages, property taxes, payroll taxes, and accounts payable to vendors have pushed the General to the precipice. Unless we raise significant funds in the next two months - to get current with our debtors, improve facilities, increase wholesale beer production, and increase our marketing efforts – closure is imminent.”

In his letter, he talked about offering stock options and minor partnerships and the formation of “The Friends of the General Lafayette Inn Society,” 150 members paying $1,000 each for $275 house accounts for the next five years. In a separate email to The Beer Yard, he wrote that “we do not intend to close, do not want to close, are not currently being pressured to close, do not want to sell, etc... We continue to do everything possible to carry on.”

The General Lafayette is the fifth oldest tavern in the U.S. and was taken over by Leonard and his family in 2004, following the death of the original owner. Leonard was the brewer there at the time.

Leonard’s open letter can be read here.—JACK CURTIN

July 06, 2009 - Beer Writer & Cancer Survivor Rick Lyke Named to International Panel
North Carolina beer writer Rick Lyke has been named to a panel discussing "the stigma faced by people treated for cancer" by the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

The panel, moderated by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN and a practicing neurosurgeon, will also include participants from South Africa and China.

The event, which be held in Dublin, Ireland, August 23-26, will include government agencies, advocacy grouns and individuals from around the world.

Lyke is the founder of Pints for Prostates campaign which uses "the universal language of beer to reach men with an important health message regarding the need for regular prostate health screenings and PSA blood testing." The campaign was founded in 2008 after Lyke had successful prostrate cancer surgery.

You can get more information about Pints for Prostates at here.--JACK CURTIN

July 03, 2009 - Resurrection Ale House Will Be Third Hartranft/Maida Tavern in Less Than Two Years
Brendan Hartranft and Leigh Maida, who opened both the Memphis Taproom in Port Richmond and Local 44 in West Philadelphia during 2008. must have gotten bored.

The enterprising and energetic duo will sign a lease today for a new venture on the site of the former Yello Bar at the corner of Grays Ferry Avenue and Catharine Street and hope to renovate and redecorate for a September opening.

The name will be Resurrection Ale House and, Maida told the Beer Yard early this morning, "we're focused (as always) on a stellar craft beer list, but we're equally focused this time on the dining side of things as well. For now we're sort of working under the term 'beer bistro' as a guiding principle, for the menu, the decor, the over-all vibe of the place. We're hoping for the same kinds of laid back, food and beer savvy, mixed-bag of cool guests that we get to meet at Memphis and Local 44."

If nothing else, three new locations in less than two years ought to earn then a place on everybody's publicans of the year lists...maybe even of the decade.--JACK CURTIN

July 02, 2009 - Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery to Move...Across the Street
While no official announcement has yet been made, the rapidly leaking news that Sly Fox Brewing will leave its original brewpub site in Pikeland Village Square to a new location across Rt. 113 in the Maple Lawn Village Shopping Center became fact today.

The original brewhouse will be moved to the new site, which will feature three handpumps pouring real cask ale and an automated growler filler which should insure perfect fills and longer shelf life in customers' refrigerators.

No date for the move has been set but "three months or so" are what insiders told The Beer Yard today.

Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery opened in December 1995 and is operated by the Giannopoulos family. Sly Fox also owns a restaurant and production brewery in Royersford, established in November 2004.--JACK CURTIN

June 23, 2009 - Yards Brewing to Open New Jersey Brewpub?
"Yards Brewing is close to taking a giant step across the Delaware, with a new brewpub in the Camden County borough of Merchantville, N.J.

"The brewery, Philly’s largest, is in talks with the borough to open the pub in the old PNC Bank building (below) at 9 S. Centre St. The borough purchased the 80-year-old building earlier this year through a $1.2 million bond issue, and holds a liquor license for the property.'

So says "Beer Radar," the blog of local beer writer Don Russell, best known for his "Joe Sixpack" weekly columns in the Philadelphia Daily News, this morning.

Negotiations are still underway to make the deal official, Russell writes, noting that "The big plus is that the borough holds the necessary liquor license, which is always a huge impediment for would-be restaurant and tavern developers."

For Yards, which doesn't even distribute in the Garden State at the moment, this would be a massive step in terms of growth and local identity.--JACK CURTIN

June 11, 2009 - Look! Up in the Sky! It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Yuengling!
Yuengling Lager, Light Lager and Lord Chesterfield Ale are now available to USA3000 Airline passengers for $5 each. The airline offers service from Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, St. Louis, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to destinations in Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico. It has a fleet of 11 planes.

"Many of our customers have requested Yuengling beer on board," reported Bill Grobasky, the airline's director of sales.

The new venture gives Midwesterners who live outside Yuengling's normal distribution area the chance to sample the beers. "For people flying out to the tropics, drinking one of our beers will be their last taste of home. And on the way back, it'll be their first taste," says Lou Romano, the brewery's marketing manager.

Romano added that taste may be all they'll get for now yet, stressing that while "we're still opening up our market on the East Coast, including parts of Georgia and West Virginia," expansion beyond that is not in the cards."Our growth is controlled and disciplined because owner Dick Yuengling will not contract out to have our beers made. Because we make all of our own product, our capacities in Pottsville, and at our Florida brewery, limit us."--JACK CURTIN

June 08, 2009 - Genny (the Brewery) Is Back
The new owners of High Falls Brewing in Rochester plan to make a major investment in the company and return it to its original name, Genesee Brewing Company. The name was changed to High Falls in 2000 after a $26 million buyout by management.

North American Breweries of Canada says it will pour $10 million into the brewery on repairs and new equipment this year and next. NAB will also embark on a big marketing push for Genesee, Genny Light, and Genesee Cream Ale in the Northeast and Midwest, where Genny has traditionally had a stronger presence.

From the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle yesterday:

"When we do blind taste tests (against other beers), we win," said North American CEO Rich Lozyniak. "We just have to get people to try us. We have a great product, but we have to reposition it."

[ ... ]

The $10 million will pay for mechanical upgrades in the steam house and packaging area and in process controls that will help with waste reduction and quality issues, Lozyniak said. According to North American, the company expects to save upward of $1 million annually on its electricity and water bills.

North American and its parent company, New York City investment firm KPS Capital Partners LP, continue to look for other regional beer brands or breweries for purchase, Lozyniak said. KPS formed North American in February after purchasing High Falls; Labatt USA, the Buffalo-based importer of Labatt beer for the U.S. market; and the rights to the Seagram's Escapes line of wine coolers. With the purchase, KPS instantly became one of the nation's larger brewers. High Falls in 2008 was the ninth-largest U.S. brewery based on sales.

The regional focus is a wise course for brewery turn-arounds in the eyes of most industry observers.--JACK CURTIN
May 28, 2009 - Zotten Rollout Shows Weyerbacher Commitment to New Summer Seasonal
The folks at Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton have high hopes for their new summer seasonal release and are giving it a massive roll-out on Wednesday June 3. Zotten, a Belgian-style Pale Ale, will be released simultaneously at over 40 different bars in four Mid-Atlantic states and 12oz bottles in 4-packs will ship to wholesalers at the same time.

Head brewer Chris Wilson says, "this is a very significant release for us as well as the beer community out there," says head brewer Chris Wilson. "Zotten is very sessionable beer with significant flavor, complexity and hops to satisfy the most discriminating palate."

The new beer (the name rhymes with verboten) is bottle-conditioned, has a small amount of yeast sediment and carries the distinctive flavors of the house abbey yeast strain that Weyerbacher uses for its Merry Monks' Ale.

Zotten is Flemish for "fools." The name originates from a time several hundred years ago when an Austrian king, visiting Brugge, Belgium witnessed a parade through town to honor him. Many were dressed as court jesters and king was heard to say, "Brugge is a town full of zotten." An earlier version of the 6% brew was released in June 2008 under the name Alpha; it was the first beer in the brewery's ongoing Brewer's Choice series of small match one-offs.

In the Lehigh Valley, PA, Weyerbacher's home, Zotten will debut on draft at Pearly Bakers' Ale House, Porters' Pub, Starters Riverport, Liberty Street Tavern, Tally Ho, Blue Monkey and Bear Creek on June 3. In the Philadelphia market, it will pour at Craft Ale House, Theresa's, TJ's, Capone's, Spinnerstown, Ortino's, The Belgian Café, South Philly Tap Room, Johnny Brenda's, Standard Tap, Grey Lodge, Brigid's, Hulmeville Inn, Old Eagle Tavern and Race Street Café.

Zotten will also be available at all four Sharpe Edge locations in Pittsburgh, seven pubs in Baltimore and three in Washington, DC.--JACK CURTIN

May 27, 2009 - Hail Storm Damages European Hops Crop
Severe thunderstorms and hail Monday evening and Tuesday morning have apparently done serious damage to the Hallertau and Tettnang hop growing region in Europe.

The staff at Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephaner (Home of the famed the German brewing school) report the complete destruction of hop fields in the region. Reports from other areas are not nearly so back, some saying that only 25% of their region were damaged.

In an email to Bill Covaleski of Downingtown's Victory Brewing, which has exclusive contracts with several German brewers, Thomas A. Seton of Simon H. Steiner, an international hops dealer which has been in business for almost 165 years,reported

On 26th May gale-force winds and hailstorms caused serious damage to the Hallertau and Tettnang hop growing regions. This is our damage estimate, based on the information currently available:

Hallertau: the storm hit the southern part of the Hallertau, especially affecting the Pfaffenhofen, Au and Nandlstadt areas. Affected acreage: 3500-4000 ha (approx. 25% of the total acreage), 1.000 ha of hops have been completely destroyed. We estimate a shortfall of approx. 116.000 ztrs., roughly equivalent to 19% of a normal crop.

Tettnang: Affected acreage: 500 ha (40% of total acreage). We estimate a shortfall of approx. 8.500 ztrs., roughly equivalent to 25% of a normal crop.

Covaleski told The Beer Yard that one of their hops suppliers reported that nine cows were killed by hail in Tettnang and that his partner, Ron Barchet "has been in conversation with our growers and they promise to meet our contract obligations to the extent possible."

He closed with a gloomy prediction for brewers and beer lovers alike: "Prepare for a spike in pricing for German hop varieties."--JACK CURTIN

May 27, 2009 - Martin N. Friedland, RIP
Martin N. Friedland, one of the area's pioneer beer distributors, died on Friday, May 24. Funeral services were today.

Marty Friedland was the first US importer on the East Coast to bring Bass Ale and Guinness to the market and specialized in imports when few other distributors did. He was the founder of Edward I. Friedland, which became Philadelphia's craft beer specialty house in the '90s. In 1994, he decided to devote his time to his other enterprise, EFCO Importers, and Edward I. Friedland was operated by his wife Edith and son Ed from then until its purchase by Kunda Beverage in 2007.

Friedland's acquisition of distribution rights for Yards ESA in late 1995 and its role in the subsequent placement of British beer engines (hand pumps) throughout the area were major factors in local crafts getting a foothold in the region. The company was also the original distributor for Victory, Dogfish Head, Weyerbacher and other now familiar brands and an early source of Belgian beers for what was to become the best U.S. market for those brands.

Origlio Beverage acquired the Friedland brands in January 2008 through its purchase of Kunda. Both Eddie Friedland and his daughter Katie, Marty's granddaughter, are currently part of Origlio's craft beer team.

Contributions in Martin Friedland's memory may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.--JACK CURTIN

May 18, 2009 - The play's the thing. Or maybe it's a movie.
Tröegs Brewery will host the kick-off event for the 12th Annual ArtsFest Film Festival in Harrisburg this Friday, May 22, with a free outdoor screening of Strange Brew, the 1983 cult classic highlighting the adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie and their love of beer, back bacon, jelly donuts and all things Canadian.

The movie stars Second City TV alums Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis and is loosely based on Shakespeare's Hamlet, with the McKenzie Brothers taking the roles of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

The event is BYOC (bring your own chair) and there should be space for about 400 people. Seating begins around 6pm and seating will be closed when the site is filled. The movie will projected on the side of the building starting around dusk (approximately 8:15) and runs for 90 minutes. The first 100 attendees will each receive one free jelly doughnut. There will be popcorn, food and beer concessions available from 6pm until the end of the movie.

The 12th Annual ArtsFest Film Festival, free to all audiences, will draw thousands of film enthusiasts to multi-genre film screenings at multiple venues around the capital city of Harrisburg. It runs May 22-25.--JACK CURTIN

May 13, 2009 - Maine Beer Trail Celebrates the State's Craft Beer Industry
Cities all over the country have begun emulating Philly Beer Week, creating a structure to celebrate craft beer and the people who make it and drink it.

Up in Maine, the most cantankerous of states, they've gone one better and upped the ante to a state-wide effort.

The Maine Restaurant Association and the Maine Brewers’ Guild announced the creation of the Maine Beer Trail this week, to "spotlight the high quality and creative diversity of fresh, hand-crafted, Maine-made beer. The purpose of the Trail is to attract visitors to Maine to enjoy the vibrant micro and craft brewing industry found throughout the state."

According to the Brewers Association, Maine ranks fourth in the nation for the number of breweries per capita, with one brewery for every 42,000 residents. The state is home to New England’s first microbrewery, D.L. Geary Brewing (1986) and Gritty McDuff’s, the first brew pub to open in Maine since prohibition (1988). The industry has grown to include dozens of breweries and brew pubs statewide.

"From The Shipyard Brew Pub in Eliot, to Atlantic Brewing Company in Bar Harbor, to Kennebec River Pub & Brewery in The Forks," said a news release, "visitors are attracted to fresh, locally brewed beer and the Maine Beer Trail provides an easy to follow brochure that can be used throughout the state to find nearby pubs and breweries."

The Maine Beer Trail brochure is a guide to more than a dozen of the state’s breweries and brewpubs; it will be available at state Visitor Center and participating breweries and pubs and can be download Brochures can be downloaded from the Maine Brewers’ Guild website Main Brewers' Guild website.--JACK CURTIN

May 13, 2009 - Dixie Brewing, Which Has Been There, Sends Beer to Fargo Flood Victims
Dixie Brewing Company is sending 1000 cases of beer, 24,000 individual bottles,to Fargo, ND, in the wake of the recent flooding there so that Mayor Dennis Walaker can keep his promise to buy everyone in a town a beer in a post-flood party.

Dixie owners Joe and Kendra Bruno know about floods.

Hurricane Katrina seriously damaged the historic old Dixie plant in New Orleans in 2005 and looters did the rest, stealing anything that wasn't nailed down in the aftermath of that tragic storm. Dixie beers are now contract brewed in Wisconsin and there is serious doubt that the original brewery will be rebuilt, even though the Brunos pledge that it will. Someday.--JACK CURTIN

May 13, 2009 - Dunkel Berliner Weisse? Say what?
One thing that has become obvious about head brewer Ben Potts at Philadelphia's Dock Street Brewery since he took over the post several months back is his willingness to push the envelope.

In what might be his riskiest and most intriguing experiment to date, Potts has introduced Dunkel Berliner Weisse, a hybrid of two traditional German styles.

Berliner Weisse, a rarely brewed style which has come back into favor in U.S. brewpubs (inspired, it should be noted, by its reintroduction a few years back at Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant) is a light colored, high carbonated beer fermented with Lactobacillus bacteria to give it refreshing acidic tartness. To create a Dunkel (or "dark") version, Potts replaced the usual pale pilsner malts with darker ones, including chocolate and carmelized malts. The beer was fermented with Dock Street's house yeast.

The result, according to a news release from the brewery, "is a beer that harkens back to the rustic early days of brewing. It presents delicate aromas of earthy hops, raw wheat, dark fruits, figs, berries, currants and cocoa. The flavor follows suit – earthy and spicy hops, bready malts, raw grain, apple pie and currants, with hints of cocoa. It has a clean lingering acidity - all at a modest 3.85% abv."

Dunkel Berliner Weisse is a available on draught at the West Philadelphia brewpub and selected other locations in the city.--JACK CURTIN

April 29, 2009 - Philly Beer Week Moves to June in 2010
Philadelphia Beer Week will move to June in 2010 and be held June 4-13.

The news was announced today on the website of Don "Joe Sixpack" Russell, one of the founders of the ten-day celebration of craft beer (with Tom Peters of Monk's Cafe and Bruce Nichols of Museum Catering Company).

Russell cited conflicts with other events, ranging from the Philadelphia Flower Show and the Zythos Festival in Belgium to St. Patrick's Day and the "Erin Express" (massive pub crawl on that date) as reasons for the move. He also noted that better weather would be a significant benefit and open the possibility of more outdoor events.

You can read his full posting here.

Philly Beer Week was begun in 2008 and has become one of the major beer celebrations in the nation and been imitated by several cities across the country.--JACK CURTIN

April 28, 2009 - Victory Prima Pils Tops New York Times American Pilsner Tasting
Prima Pils, the flagship brew of Downingtown's Victory Brewing Company, was award three-and-half stars and first place in a recent American Pilsner tasting conduced by New York Times wine columnist Eric Asimov, matching a similar top finish for the same beer four years earlier.

Penn Brewing Kaiser Pils, Troegs Sunshine Pils, Sly Fox Pikeland Pils and Stoudt's Pils also finished in the top ten in the judging.

Prima Pils, which the panelists described as "Crisp, floral and wonderfully refreshing with a lively, lingering bitterness," just nudged Kaiser Pils, which also receive three-and-a-half stars. Sunshine Pils earned three stars and was third in the judging, while the beers from Sly Fox and Stoudt's were given two-and-a-half stars and finished seventh and eighth respectively.

Asimov has been conducting regular beer tastings for the last few years, with panels consisting of him and NYT food writer Florence Fabricant, together with guest panelists. --JACK CURTIN

April 13, 2009 - Weyerbacher To Intro New Belgian Pale Ale in June
Zotten, a 6% abv, bottle-conditioned Belgian Pale Ale, will be introduced by Weyerbacher Brewing Company in early June with a major rollout campaign, Dan Weirback told The Beer Yard this morning. It will be available in 12oz bottles and on draft in all Weyerbacher markets.

"We will do a Debut Draft Night in the five-county Philadelphia market and in the Lehigh Valley at a whole bunch of places," Weirback said, "and possibly in Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Boston as well. We're still in the process of setting all that up. The reason we're doing all this is that we think this can be a very important brand for us going forward and we want to give it a good solid launch."

Zotten ("fools" in Flemish) was originally released in June 2008 as the initial beer in Weyerbacher's ongoing Brewers Select series of one-offs, under the name "Alpha." It is the second one-off to became a part of the brewery's standard portfolio, joining "Charlie" from September 2008 which was released as Fireside Ale, Weyerbacher's new January seasonal earlier this year. While the new Belgian Pale is being released as a June seasonal at this point, Weirback and his team clearly have hopes that it can grow in something more than that.

The recipe for Zotten was developed by assistant brewer Jeff Musselman.--JACK CURTIN

April 04, 2009 - Dogfish Head To Expand Milton Brewery
Dogfish Head Craft Brewing has received approval from town officials in Milton, Delaware for a two-phased expansion of its 100,000 square foot plant there.

The Dogfish Head application argued that steady sales growth averaging 40% since the Milton brewery went online in 2002 means that they need additional tanks and more office space.

Phase 1 plans, presented by Dogfish Head brewery Chief Operating Officer Nick Benz,are for a two-story wood, glass and metal office space which will have a visitors center and tasting bar on the first floor similar to the current facility.The new second floor would have space for administrative, marketing and executive offices and overlook an outdoor pedestrian plaza.

Plans for Phase 2 would include plans for adding six of an eventual 18 fermentation tanks, each 46 feet high, which would line the front of the new facade.

After a three-hour discussion, the local zoning commission unanimously approved preliminary site plans under the condition that seven-foot tall leyland cypress trees would be planted on the property to help shield a neighboring residential neighborhood before expansion begins.

The brewery currently produces 75,000bbl annually and employs 70 people, including 26 added this year.--JACK CURTIN

April 03, 2009 - Flying Fish Releases "Exit Series," Honoring NJ Turnpike Exits
Cherry Hill's Flying Fish Brewing Company is flaunting its home-state pride with its Exit Series of Big Bottle Beers.

The series, the brewery's first major release of 750ml bottles, is a tribute to the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State. The first in the series, Exit 4 American Trippel, a Belgian-style bottle conditioned ale, has just been released. It is named for the exit nearest Flying Fish Brewing Company’s headquarters. The bottle-conditioned ale will be available in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Future Exit Series Big Bottles will be named for other exits, chosen based on videos, photos and testimonials submitted to Flying Fish by fans. Submissions can be made here. The series will continue with three or four beers a year and eventually encompass all turnpike exits.

"We were among the first craft breweries to commit ourselves to using the Internet to build and enhance our business, and this new site allows us to reach out to our fans in a tangible way," says brewery founder Gene Muller. "New Jersey is great because the people here are great, and we want to make sure that they can participate in this special series of beers."

Flying Fish was one of the first craft brewers to create Belgian-style brews. Casey Hughes is head brewer.--JACK CURTIN

April 03, 2009 - Philadelphia Brewing Co. Will Be First Participant In General Lafayette "Brewer Residency" Program
Chris Leonard has created a Brewer Residency program at General Lafayette Inn & Brewery.

the program is seasonal and "residency" applies to beers not the actual brewer. There will be rotating brews from a visiting brewery on tap, as many styles as possible, and maybe some bottles as well. During rhe residency there will a beer dinner with beers from the General and the visiting brewer and/or a Meet the Brewer night, And a collaborative beer will be creates.

"The way the economy is going, I believe that anything we can all do as a community to help promote each other, the better it will be for everyone," Leonard explained. "I don’t see any reason we can’t keep that great feeling of Beer Week going all year long."

First one in the barrel is Philadelphia Brewing Company, running from April 2, when Walt Wit and Newbold IPA went on the draft lines. Their collaborative beer will honor the Art Museum residency with GLI/PBC Paul Saison. The beer will be brewed this month and available in May. Dates for the dinner and other promo events will be announced later.--JACK CURTIN

April 02, 2009 - Lancaster Brewing Wins Atlantic City "People's Choice Award, Hires Philly Sales Rep
Lancaster Brewing Company won the People's Choice Award at last weekend's Atlantic City Brew Fest.

In addition to being honored as the best of all the breweries present, Lancaster also took three medals in the Friday night judging.

Hop Hog won its second straight Gold Medal for best IPA and Bronzes for Strawberry Wheat (in the Wheat Beer category, having won Gold in the Specialty category in 2008) and Milk Stout, which won Gold in 2008 in the Porter Stout category.

Lancaster's John Franz, after passing on the Atlantic City results to the Beer Year today, added that he was equally excited to report that "we've hired a new sales rep at last, who will cover Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley, Delaware and New Jersey." Actually, the "hire" is more a shift in responsibilities since Angela Bauman is already employed by Lancaster. The 24-year old Millersville graduate is relocating to Philadelphia,her primary market area, in what Franz calls "a big step for Lancaster Brewing and one that is long overdue."

Lancaster's sales were up 36% in 2008 and Franz is projected 30% growth this year, "even in this economy. The economy will not affect us adversely at all, that's my vow." He said Lancaster will settle on the 90,000 sq. ft. building which will be the site of its new production brewery "in roughly six weeks. Then we start gearing up to buying equipment and setting things up. I'd guess it'll be another two years before we're operational."--JACK CURTIN

April 01, 2009 - Wegmans Buys Beer Yard, Will Open First "Mini-Wegs" and Sell Only Beer
In a surprise move dictated in part by the economy and in part by Pennsylvania's arcane beer laws, Wegmans, the rapidly expanding supermarket chain, has purchased the tiny building behind Starbucks on Lancaster Avenue which has been home to The Beer Year for more than a decade and will refurbish the site into the first of its new Mini-Wegs stores.

"This is something we've wanted to do for a while now and when we found a location as perfect as this one and then saw the magnificent structure, we knew this was the time and the place," said a Wegmans spokesperson.

In a sense, nothing will change as Mini-Wegs are designed solely for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and will only sell beer. "It's such a pain in the veggie aisle to get through all the red tape in this state just to sell beer that we decided to cut out everything else and go with the flow," the spokesperson continued. "By shrinking down to a smaller size and a single product line, we save more money than most of you will ever see in your lives. And by buying what is essentially a turnkey operation--I mean, this place rocks, from the lighting to the decor to the simple yet elegant presentation--we can just walk in and start doing business."

Beer Yard owner Matthew J. Guyer would not reveal how much he was paid for his business (he just laughed and laughed when asked), but acknowledged that he had signed a non-compete contract with Wegmans (laughter again) and was also on retainer as a consultant. "I promised to stop by whenever I'm in town for drinks at Teresa's," he said.

Guyer's right hand man, Mark Sauerbrey, has opted to stay with the new owners as director of customer service and will also be in charge of the weekly Friday Night Samplings which will continue under the Wegmans' banner. "I wouldn't have stayed if they had given me Friday nights," Sauerbrey admitted. "They've always been the highlight of my week, talking seriously about beer with people who are really serious about it and sharing my serious thoughts with them."--ZACK HURTIN

April 01, 2009 - Brett Pack Movie Announced
Tomme Arthur. Adam Avery. Sam Calagione. Vinnie Cilurzo. Rob Tod.

You know their names. You love their beers. And soon you'll be able to revel in their adventures on the big screen.

Mountebank Productions, a consortium of independent Hollywood producers who all started out as homebrewers, has purchased the movie rights to "The Brett Pack," a treatment and screenplay submitted by the pseudonymous "Joe Sixpack" and will rework it into a high budget action film for release in 2011.

In what is planned to be the first in an ongoing series of thrillers, the Brett Pack will battle their deadliest enemy, a fifth column which has infiltrated the United States brewing industry and calls itself Super Extraordinary Special Spies in our Nation (S.E.S.S.I.O.N.).

"Hey, we'd really like to respect the work of the writer," said C. B. DeShill, leader of the consortium, while explaining the revisionist tale, "but the truth about these fellas, except for that Calagione guy and the Avery one now and then, just don't cut it. I mean, they got wives or business plans or both. Boring. We need some juice here so we turned them into a band of international adventurers out to spread the cause of truth and justice and maybe a little hops here and there."

No actors have been cast for any of the roles as yet because there is strong consideration being given to a major change for some of the characters. "You gotta have a broad or two," DeShill explained, "so maybe we play a little switheroo and there's a Tammy Tod or a Teri Arthur on the team, we dunno yet."--HACK MURTIN

April 01, 2009 - Berwick Beer Week Will Feature Every Brewery in Town
Guy Hagner opened his One Guy Brewing in Berwick, a small borough in Columbia County, southwest of Wilkes-Barre, on January 26, 2008. "I have a two-barrel system and a simple dream," he said of his aptly named endeavor, "to make as much good beer as one guy can make and to sell it all right here."

As a guy who had brewed at The Lion in Wilkes-Barre and Dixie Brewing in New Orleans, not to mention two weeks or s at the short lived Franconia Brewery in Mt. Pocono (1999-99), however, Hagner has found it difficult to keep his dreams simple.

Once you've seen the lights of the big city...

It was announced today that One Guy will be the host brewery for Berwick Beer Week, April 17-26. It will in fact be the only brewery participating, after a rumored partnership between sandwich shop kings Five Guys and Downingtown's Victory Brewing Company, under which the latter would operate "a really small brewpub" inside a new Five Guys store on the site of an historic old barbershop downtown, fell through when an unnamed investor in the brewery filed suit claiming "it's just too damned far for me to drive every day." The details became known when that same investor spammed 42,873 people with a copy of his complaint along with three links to videos making fun of women drivers.

One Guy will maintain its regular Thursday-Sunday schedule during the big celebration, but will add several "Meet Guy, the Brewer" sessions each day, as well as "Dinner with Guy," pairing One Guy beers with pizza, hot dogs and potato chips on both weekends. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Hagner will "do some stuff at the gas station and the hardware store, maybe bring some growlers to a few folks at their homes."

Hagner also said that famed beer writer Lew Bryson, who does wild game dinners during Philadelphia Beer Week, would do the same on Wednesday night of Berwick Beer Week, beginning with hunting and killing the meal earlier that day, then skinning and cooking it outside the Berwick Theater, which will have a special showing of "some movie with a lot of beer in it."

"We don't know how many people will come to town for this," Hagner admitted, "but I'm confident it will all work out. And next year I hope to spread out to the suburbs, maybe Helms or Mifflinville, or even Hazelton and Bloomsburg." --LACK CERTIN

March 24, 2009 - Brewer Dean Browne Creates the Philly Beer School
Dean Browne, a long-time brewer and peripatetic figure on the Philadelphia brewing scene, has created The Philly Beer School as an adjunct of the Wine School of Philadelphia, which was founded in 2001 by winemaker Keith Wallace. Classes are conducted at the Wine School's two-building complex at 2006-2008 Fairmount Avenue.

Browne said this week that h he is working closely with Wallace on the new venture. "Our plan is to offer two or three themed beer tasting and homebrewing classes of varying technical depth each month initially, then build that up to more in-depth brewing and beer sommelier training."

Four classes have already been conducted, three during Philly Beer Week, and the next one, "Belgian Beer & Brewing Class," will be held on Thursday, March 26.

Browne, a native of Toronto, has been brewing professionally for 20 years. He began as a homebrewer in his home town because the price of beer on the shelves was higher than he was willing to pay. He worked at Yards Brewing for several years after coming to Philadelphia, When owners split up in late 2007 opted to stay with Bill and Nancy Barton and their new Philadelphia Brewing Company.

Three years ago Browne also took on the job of head brewer at the Porterhouse Brewpub and Restaurant in Lahaska, a post he still holds.--JACK CURTIN

March 23, 2009 - "Declaration of Beer Independence" Creates American Craft Beer Week Controversy
America's craft brewers will celebrate American Craft Beer Week, May 11-17. The annual event might is somewhat controversial this time around due to the Brewers Association's urging consumers to
"declare their independence by supporting breweries that produce fewer than 2 million barrels of beer a year and are independently owned...[by signing] a Declaration of Beer Independence."

The BA is asking brewers to encourage craft beer enthusiasts to sign to the document online and to post copies in their brewpubs for patrons to sign.

Among others, New England beer writer Andy Crouch was struck by some of the terminology in the document. He was especially curious about a line in the document which reads...

"I declare to practice the concept of ‘Informed Consumption’ which has me deserving to know if my beer comes from a small and independent brewer or if it is owned by a mass production brewing company.
...arguing that the concept was part of an ongoing "definitional war" being waged by BA against the mass market brewers and even craft brewers which are partially owned by larger interests.

The contretemps is similar to one which developed a few years ago when the BA created a new definition for "Craft Beer" which eliminated some breweries from the category.

BA officials say that knowing who makes a beer, where it is made and who owns the company is important information which cannot always be found on beer labels. The fundamental counter argument is that the various rules about size and ownership create unnecessary distinctions and conflict and focus on extraneous matters rather than the quality of the beer itself.

The Declaration of Beer Independence can be found here.

Crouch's column on the issues, plus comments by readers, can be found here.--JACK CURTIN

March 15, 2009 - Proposed Victory Pub in Easton Now Appears Ready to Happen
According to a story posted on the website of the Easton Morning Call by reporter Michael Duck late this afternoon, that long-awaited brewpub venture between Victory Brewing Company and the owners of The Farmhouse in Emmaus is going to happen, possibly as early as the fall.

The new venture will not be in the former Pomeroy's department store as original planned but will be opened across the street in former Weller Health Education Center. Both sites are located on Northampton Street adjacent to Easton's Centre Square.

From Duck's story:

The brewpub "really fills a niche that's not there right now" in Easton's growing restaurant scene, Mayor Sal Panto Jr. said, adding that the establishment would be aimed at young professionals and the thousands of young families that visit the nearby Crayola Factory.

Art Schmidt Sr., co-owner of the Farmhouse, said plans to put the establishment in the Pomeroy's building evaporated months ago because the project had stagnated. The Weller building will also require much less renovation than Pomeroy's, which has been vacant since 1977...

The brewpub's backers envision it as a 300-seat restaurant offering pub food as well as pool tables, shuffleboard tables and a video arcade. The $3.5 million project could be completed as soon as this fall, said Farmhouse co-owner Art Schmidt, Jr.

Here's another story posted on CURTIN
March 13, 2009 - First Phoenixville Pub Crawl Celebrates Philly Beer Week Tomorrow
Phoenixville will add to its growing reputation as a good beer town on Saturday, March 14, when the first-ever Phoenixville Pub Crawl is held.

Participating locations include Pickering Creek Inn, 101 Bridge Restaurant, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Columbia Bar & Grill, Molly McGuire's, P J Ryan's, all located on Bridge Street, and the Epicurean Restaurant & Bar and Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery on Rt. 113.

Fergal Murray, brewmaster at Ireland's famed Guinness Brewery, will be at Molly McGuire's 1-3pm, followed by Victory brewmaster Bill Covaleski 3-5pm.

Weyerbacher Brewing's Chris Lampe, Southampton Publick House's Spencer Neibuhr and a brewer from Manayunk Brewery & Restaurant will be on hand at Pickering Creek and a brewer from Stoudt Brewing Southampton will appear at 101 Bridge. Resident brewer Tim Stumpf and some of of his fellow Iron Hill brewers will be at Iron Hill Phoenixville. Lancaster Brewing's Bill Moore will hold court at the Columbia Bar & Grille and a brewer from Troegs Brewing and Drew Perry of Flying Fish Brewing will be at P.J. Ryan's.

Brewers from Dogfish Head Craft Brewing and Yards Brewing will be at Epicurean Restaurant & Bar, while William Reed of Philadelphia's Standard Tap, who formulated and helped Sly Fox brewmaster Brian O'Reilly brew their annual Philly Beer Week release, Standard Ale, will be at Sly Fox.

Beers from the participating breweries will be on tap at the venues where they appear.--JACK CURTIN

March 02, 2009 - Yards, Iron Hill Combine To Make Rare Polish Beer for Philly Beer Week
Steve Mashington of Yards Brewing Company and Justin Sproul of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant's original Newark location have joined forces to brew Yards Smoked Polish Wheat, a Grodziski-style beer for Philly Beer Week.

"As far as I know, this style has never been brewed in this country before," says Mashington, "and it is all but forgotten in its native land, Poland, as well. There are maybe one or two producers left in that country."

Mashington's desire to brew the beer, which he describes as a "smokey, slightly tart wheat beer of very low alcohol," was part of the inspiration for the Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em smoked beer event at the Yards Brewery on Friday, March 13. He read about Grodzizkis in a Michael Jackson book and originally planned to brew it on the original small Yards brewing system which will be set up in a small corner of the new Delaware Avenue brewery for just such small-batch projects but when it became clear that setting up the mini-brewhouse was at least a year in the future, he shelved the idea.

"Then, when I was at the Iron Hill Newark Cask Ale Event earlier this year, I started talking to Justin about it and how cool it would be to resurrect a dead style of beer. He got all excited and said `Let’s brew it here!' And that's just what we did."

Both brewers began researching the style, determining that no one has made it since the early 1990s. Mashington found a recipe in a home brewing book by Randy Mosher, who provided further information that he had and confirmed that NO ONE had ever commercially produced a Grodziski in the USA.

The original recipes we could find called for almost 100% smoked wheat malt," Mashington says. "Since we didn't have the time or resources to smoke 500lbs of wheat malt, we had to sort of reverse engineer this beer. Beechwood smoked malt, wheat malt and some acidulated malt highlighted the grain bill. We elected for a Kolsh/Alt yeast thinking that was probably the closest thing to a yeast strain you would find in Poland at the time. Since this beer should not be hoppy, we figured on Northern Brewer and Saaz, but in very small quantities."--JACK CURTIN

February 27, 2009 - Philadelphia Brewing Company's Fleur De Lehigh Now Officially a Seasonal Release
Philadelphia Brewing Company's Fleur de Lehigh, a smash hit as a one-off release last year, was brewed for a second time yesterday and today at the Kensington brewery and will be added to the PBC portfolio as a summer seasonal.

"We expect to release it on draft in early April," brewer John Rehm told The Beer Yard today, "and we're working labels right now to release it in bottles when we get approval, that will happen in May or June if we're lucky."

The initial release of Fleur de Lehigh was "crazy," He noted. "I didn't even get to try it on draft. We had some bottles we did by hand here, a couple of cases, and that's all I had. It was out and gone in two weeks." That success is what inspired the brewery to bring the beer back.

Fleur de Lehigh will only be in variety cases this year, Rehm said, with no plans for stand alone cases at this point. It is a Saison-style beer, depending on herbs and spices more than hops for its character. This batch was made with fresh ginger, rhubarb, lemon grass and cardamon, and brewed with PBS's Belgian yeast (La Chouffe) combined with its ale yeast.

"Light and easy to drink," Rehm summed up, "with subtle herbal notes."--JACK CURTIN

February 27, 2009 - Philadelphia Brewing Goes to the (Shacka) Maximum for Philly Beer Week
Philadelphia Brewing Company will introduce Shackamaximum Imperial Stout at the celebration of its first birthday at its Kensington brewery on Saturday, March 8, in conjunction with the ten-day craft beer extravaganza known as Philly Beer Week.

The beer, says PBC head brewer John Rehm, is a classic interpretation of the style,"only less roasty and more chocolate-y. It's about 8% abv, not overwhelming, sos it won't knock you over or anything. It had a really big OG (Original Gravity), so it has plenty of body like a good stout should."

Brewing a big stout was a trip into the past for him and fellow brewer Josh Ervine, Rehm added. "I took things from some of my old recipes at John Harvard's and Josh's old recipes from Dock Street. Actually, it was at those previous jobs that either of us had made a stout like this. In the end, we just blended all the ideas we had together and came up with what is a typical Imperial Stout.

"We used lots of malt, a high mash temperature for lots of body and stuffed as much grain as we could into the mash tun as we could for a single batch of beer. And we aged the beer since the beginning of January on French oak chips to give a special character."

The brew produced 30bbls, and the beer will be release on draft only. It will introduced at PBC's first anniversary party at the Kensington brewery on March, Look for it at various PBC appearances throughout Philly Beer Week and at the Real Ale Festival at Yards Brewery on Sunday, March 15.

After that? "I just filled a whole bunch of firkins and pins and they'll turn up where anybody wants them if any are left after Philly Beer Week," Rehm laughed.--JACK CURTIN

February 27, 2009 - Yuengling Brews a Classic Bock to Mark Its 180th Anniversary, Philly Beer Week
Every special beer which will be pouring during Philly Beer Week, March 6-15, has its own story, of course. For D.G. Yuengling & Son of Pottsville, that story is all about its storied history and tradition.

Yuengling Bock is the first seasonal release from America's oldest brewery in over three decades and a celebratory brew marking the brewery's 180th anniversary.

It doesn't get much more traditional and historical than that.

"We convinced Dick (Richard L. Yuengling, Jr., fifth generation owner of one of the nation's longest surviving family businesses) that our 180th birthday was good enough reason to bring back what used to be our Lenten season release," said marketing manager Lou Romano. "He remembered his father and uncle brewing a bock back in the early '70s."

The beer was formulated by Jim Helmke, plant manager at the Yuengling brewery in Orlando, Florida, and brewed by brewmaster John Houseman. Helmke stressed that he worked at the Pottsville plant and lived locally from 1996 to 2002 and that Houseman is a native Philadelphian who started his career at Ortlieb's to clarify their Philly bona fides.

"We wanted create a beer with the authentic characteristics of a beer which Yuengling would have brewed from the 1930s through the post-war era," he said. "We didn't have the original recipe, but we went through a lot of other old recipes and, adding in our knowledge of the way Yuengling brewed beer back then, came up with something we thought was pretty close.

" When we had a sample with the right bitterness, aroma and color--this is a dunkel bock, darker than many people are used to--we send it up to Pottsville. The marketing people made a few minor tweaks to bring it in line with modern tastes and we had our beer."

The first production batch came out of the Mill Creek plant in Pottsville and a second was done in Orlando. The beer is expected to be available for ten weeks in all of Yuengling's markets (although only in the Savannah area in Georgia).

"It's a very traditional and distinctive beer for our portfolio," Helmke said. "Both John and I are very pleased with it."--JACK CURTIN

February 24, 2009 - Is That an Echo I Hear? Weyerbacher Plans Philly Beer Week New Release
As many local breweries began embracing the concept of creating a new beer to be released for Philly Beer Week, Weyerbacher Brewing Company found itself perfectly positioned to join in the fun because of its ongoing Brewers Choice series of one-off releases.

While not on the brewing schedule for the series released by Dan Weirback last December, Echo, a Rye-PA whose malt profile includes Pale, Crystal, Carapils and 30% Rye (along with Simcoe and Centennial hops), will be released the opening weekend of PBW and be featured at Weyerbacher events in both the city and suburbs over the ten-day celebration.

Echo will be a draught-only release except for a limited number of cases of 12oz bottles available at the Easton brewery itself, beginning Saturday, March t. It and will be distributed throughout the Delaware Valley five-county market as well as in Western Pennsylvania, Boston, New York City and parts of Florida.

"We're calling it a Winter IPA," said head brewer Chris Wilson. "I wanted a version of the style which was a little darker than our Hops Infusion and Double Simcoe and it ended up a nice deep copper color." He noted that "it is particularly difficult to make a beer using that much rye. We did a Rye Barleywine which was 50% rye for our 12th anniversary beer and that was a nightmare to make; brewing Echo was pretty close to that same experience."

So the brewing staff isn't hoping that this release catches on with the public and ends up a part of the regular rotation? "Hey, if it catches on, it catches on," Wilson laughed. "We'll make it with no complaints if that's how it goes. We're in the business of making beers that people like."--JACK CURTIN

February 24, 2009 - Sip Safely With SEPTA Passes a Real Boon for Philly Beer Week Attendees
One of the really good new aspects of Philly Beer Week 2009 in its second year is Sip Safely with SEPTA, a collaboration between PBW organizers and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority which offers attendees a safe and affordable way to travel safely during the ten-day party.

Sip Safely with SEPTA offers travelers a unlimited, bus-trolley-rail pass which is good for travel on all SEPTA-operated services all day long after 9:30am.

Passes cost $9 a day and are now available for purchase online and at most SEPTA locations.

Ticket purchases and more information are available here or by telephone at 215.580.7800.--JACK CURTIN

February 21, 2009 - Phoenixville Plans "Meet the Brewer" Pub Crawl March 14
Brewers and representatives from 12 different breweries, one of them traveling across the Atlantic from Ireland, will be appearing at eight Phoenixville restaurants at a "Meet the Brewer" Pub Crawl on Saturday afternoon, March 14.

The event is sponsored by Main Street Phoenixville, the local business organization and will run from 1-5pm.

Participating locations include Pickering Creek Inn, 101 Bridge Restaurant, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Columbia Bar & Grill, Molly McGuire's Irish Restaurant & and Pub, P J Ryan's, all located on Bridge Street, and the Epicurean Restaurant & Bar and Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery on Rt. 113.

Fergal Murray, brewmaster at Ireland's famed Guinness Brewery, will be at Molly McGuire's 1-3pm, followed by Victory brewmaster Bill Covaleski 3-5pm.

Weyerbacher Brewing's Chris Lampe and a brewer from Dogfish Head Craft Brewing will be on hand at Pickering Creek and Southampton Publick House's Spencer Neibuhr will appear at 101 Bridge. Resident brewer Tim Stumpf and some of of his fellow Iron Hill brewers will be at Iron Hill Phoenixville. Lancaster Brewing's Bill Moore will hold court at the Columbia Bar & Grille and a brewer from Troegs Brewing and Drew Perry of Flying Fish Brewing will be at P.J. Ryan's.

Brewers from Stout Brewing and Yards Brewing will be at the Epicurean Restaurant & Bar, while William Reed of Philadelphia's Standard Tap, who formulated and helped Sly Fox brewmaster Brian O'Reilly brew their annual Philly Beer Week release, Standard Ale, will be at Sly Fox.

Beers from the participating breweries will be on tap at the venues where they appear.

Pub Crawl organizers Mark Edelson, director of brewing operations for Iron Hill, and O'Reilly say they hope to make the event an annual affair and add shuttle transportation between the various locations in the future.

"Phoenixville has built up a great reputation as a destination town for beer lovers," said O'Reilly, "probably the best local in the region outside of Philadelphia itself. We want to build on that and and continue to draw in visitors to support our local merchants."--JACK CURTIN

February 20, 2009 - The Flying Mouflan From Troegs Will Be Introduced During Philly Beer Week
Add Tröegs Brewing Company to the local breweries which will be introducing new beers during Philly Beer Week, March 6-15.

Intriguingly, that new beer already has a Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal to its name from its previous one-off appearance and a provenance which stretches back to before Troegs even started.

The Flying Mouflan was #4 in the "Scratch Beer Series" begun by John and Chris Trogner and their brewing staff in 2007, producing one-offs based on recipes the brothers developed in the mid-'90s when they were considering opening a brewpub rather than a production brewery. The medal-win in Denver last October convinced the brothers to make the barleywine-style ale the first beer to come out of the Scratch program and be added to the production roster.

"It has a nonsense name, a creature we just made up," said John Trogner, talking about Flying Mouflan's initial incarnation, "reflecting that we weren't quite sure exactly what style beer it was. It was fresh and delicious when we released it and when we opened some year-old bottles when we sat down with the brewers to choose what to send to Denver, we unanimously agreed it had aged into a classic barleywine."

Chris Trogner added that "after it won the bronze medal John and I felt it was important to release this beer. It is the first release in what will become a new Troegs line of 22-ounce seasonal brews."

The Flying Mouflan (9.3%) will make its first appearances at numerous events during Philly Beer Week, the brothers said, and be available in 22oz bottles at bars and retail stores in mid-March.

"We classify this beer as pushing Nugget Nectar off the side of a cliff," said John Trogner. "It is bold and intense--think hops dipped in candied sugar and rolled in dark chocolate nibs. Put away and allowed to over time, it transforms into lush raisin and chocolate overtones as the hops subside and the rich barley flavors come out in the beer."--JACK CURTIN

February 11, 2009 - Victory to Release Wild Ale Version of HopDevil IPA to Mark Philly Beer Week
Victory Brewing Company will release a Belgian-style, year-round "wild ale" version of its most popular beer, HopDevil Ale, at the The Brewer's Plate on March 8 in conjunction with Philly Beer Week 2009.

WildDevil Ale first appeared, draft only, in a test batch when Victory reopened its expanded and refurbishing Downingtown brewpub in May 2008. It was a major success, says brewery co-founder Bill Covaleski. "Given that HopDevil is 40+% of our overall sales, we were nervous of our loyal audience’s reaction," he admitted. "Fortunately, our local audience has a great capacity to appreciate the nuanced flavors we create here and they embraced WildDevil with great enthusiasm."

WildDevil is fermented with Brettanomyces and brewed with the same American hops that give HopDevil its grapefruit, citrus and pine flavors. The addition of a signature Belgian yeast strain contributes a funky, sharp tang to produce a more worldly ale, in which German malts, American whole flower hops and Belgian yeast combine.

Brettanomyces (or Brett) yeast strains are completely separate species from the Saccharomyces yeast strains used to brew most beer and are thought to be closer to strains found in the wilds of nature. Of the several Brett strains that Victory had to choose from out of its arsenal of yeast strains, the particular one used for WildDevil was chosen due to its unique characteristics in relation to this recipe, according to a company press release.

"This strain produces a spicy complexity that interplays profoundly with the intense hop character of the HopDevil recipe," Director of Quality Assurance Dr. Tim Wadkins is quoted. "It sits somewhere near the middle of the range as far as the funkiness it can produce, giving the final product a surprisingly refreshing and unique imprint on the palate."

The Brewer's Plate, to be held at the University of Pennsylvania Museum for the first time, is considered Philadelphia prime-time beer and food pairing event and is one of the headlined showcases of Philly Beer Week. It is a more than appropriate venue to release a new Victory beer since Covaleski is the person credited from creating the event four years ago, as a fundraiser for Fair Food, an organization dedicated to bringing locally grown food into the Philadelphia marketplace and promoting a humane, sustainable agriculture for the Greater Philadelphia region.

Following its debut, WildDevil will be available throughout Philly Beer Week (March 6 – 15) at various locations throughout the city and the suburbs, both on draft and in 750mL bottles. Thereafter it will be available year-round in 750ml corked bottles. Kegs will also be available during the initial release. --JACK CURTIN

February 10, 2009 - Equity Firm To Acquire High Falls Brewing
KPS Capital Partners LP, a private-equity firm which specializes in turnarounds, is acquiring High Falls Brewing Co., the closely held maker of the Genesee and Dundee beer brands.

KPS is also is among the final bidders for Labatt USA; Anheuser-Busch InBev has been ordered to divest itself of that importing firm by the Department of Justice. A sale is expected soon. C2 Imports, a small importer led by former A-B exec Charlie Cindric, is also bidding for Labatt.

KPS hopes to combine High Falls and Labatt USA, both based in upstate New York, and explore other transactions in the industry, which is undergoing rapid consolidation.--JACK CURTIN

February 04, 2009 - The Beer Yard One of World's Best Beer Retailers, RateBeer Members Say
The Beer Yard was selected the sixteenth best beer retailer in the world and fourteen in the United States in the just-released 2009 Best Awards compiled by the website. It was the only Pennsylvania retail outlet on the list.

This was the ninth awards listing from RateBeer, the result of what the site claims is "the largest beer competition in the world--over 1.97 million reviews of 91,000 beers from over 8700 brewers worldwide. A particular emphasis was placed on tastings from the last year's performance. Additionally, brewpubs, bottle shops, restaurants and bars around the world were awarded prizes."

The RateBeer judgments are not based on any formal event and are determined by a compilation of reviews by the site administrators, so there are no set standards against which beers and beer locations are judged and the results are essentially based upon the opinions of a wide range of participants with varying degrees of beer knowledge. "RateBeer is now home to the most experienced beer critics in the world," the site claims. "with three master beer tasters having over 11,000 documented beer ratings. Additionally, over 2700 RateBeer members have over 100 ratings each." The report summary notes that 90% of the top ten raters are from outside the United States. The list of Top Brewpubs had Victory 21, Dogfish Head 25, Stoudt Brewing Company 40, Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery 45 and Triumph Brewing's Princeton location 50. Eulogy Belgian Tavern in Philadelphia was tenth on a list of Best Beer Restaurants. The complete results are available here. --JACK CURTIN

January 28, 2009 - Memphis Taproom Seeks Vintage Beer Collectors for Sales Event
The Memphis Taproom is looking for help from sellers of memorabilia for a Philly Beer Week event on Sunday, March 15, the final day of the the ten-day celebration of all things beer.

Beer memorabilia, that is.

"I'm trying now line up vintage beer or breweriana collectors who might interested in selling items such as signs, coasters, vintage beer or bottles, whatever they have," says Leigh Maida, who operates the popular new Kensington pub with husband Brendan Hartranft. "We want to make the event as large as possible."

The event will run from Noon to 3pm in the lot adjacent to the Taproom. There is no fee for sellers to participate but space is limited so interested parties should contact her soon, Maida said, adding that "This is a chance for seasoned collectors to buy/sell/swap treasures and an opportunity for the rest of us to try to get hold of rare or never seen beer and beer related stuff."

Madia can be contacted via email here.--JACK CURTIN

January 26, 2009 - "Sip Safely" Travel Option for Philly Beer Week Offered by SEPTA
In a collaboration sure to delight many prospective attendees, Philly Beer Week 2009 is joining with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in Sip Safely with SEPTA, an unlimited, all-day, bus-trolley-rail pass that will be sold for $9.00, valid any one day between March 6 and March 15.

The pass will be sold at most SEPTA locations starting January 30. A complete list of sales locations, including the opportunity to purchase, is available here (click on travel).

The pass is valid for unlimited rides, all day long, until the end of service, and will feature a festive, specially designed PBW 2009 logo to signify SEPTA’s partnership with Philly Beer Week and their unified commitment to the safety of participants. Passes are not valid on Regional Rail Trains arriving in Center City before 9:30am, nor for travel to or from stations in the State of New Jersey.

"We are delighted to be able to offer this affordable, convenient alternative to driving to ensure that Philly Beer Week is not only fun but also responsible," sais PBW co-chair Don (Joe Sixpack) Russell.--JACK CURTIN

January 22, 2009 - Weyerbacher, Dogfish Head Beers on Draft Magazine Top 25 List
Weyerbacher Blasphemy and Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron are the only beers made in the Delaware Valley to appear on a list of the Top 25 Beer of 2008 compiled by the staff of Draft Magazine which is currently available online and appears in the January/February issue currently on the newstands.

There is no indication that the order of the list has any significance but the Weyerbacher beer was listed fifth and the Dogfish one was seventeenth, for what it's worth.

This what was written about each:

Blasphemy by Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Belgian specialty ale

Blasphemy is appropriately named: The brewers took their rich, complex QUAD beer and aged it in American bourbon barrels. Experimental, fringe and, yes, even blasphemous, it doesn’t really matter; this beer is unforgivably delicious.
Tasting Notes: This is a full-bodied brew with a modest alcohol presence in the aroma and flavor. The barrels impart subtle notes of vanilla and orange to an already complex beer with fresh cracked pepper spice and bold caramel sweetness.

Palo Santo Marron by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Brown ale

Dogfish Head is proud of its off-kilter ways and big beers with a lot of attitude. In 2008, the brewery installed the largest wooden vats in the nation since Prohibition, made from a hardwood most people associate with flooring, then aged this impressive brew inside. The results were amazing, as these potential floorboards lend an excellent flavor addition to a big ABV beer.
Tasting Notes: The beer has a sharp wood character that tastes like new American oak, only stronger. Layers of malt sweetness and a peppery hop presence balance the flavor.--JACK CURTIN

January 13, 2009 - Local Artist's Work To Be Featured at Opening of Dawson Street Pub Back Room Gallery
Local artist (and neighbor) Trish Siembora will open a new artists’ space, The Back Room Gallery at the Dawson Street Pub, 100 Dawson St. in Manayunk, on Saturday, January 31.

Siembora is the first to showcase her art work at the new venue at the recently renovated Dawson Street Pub. The space was the former home of the "infamous" Cloak and Dagger Room murals created by Washington D.C.-based artist Mark T. Smith but will will now feature a rotating collection of work by local artists.

The Back Room Gallery Opening will run 1-6 p.m. A craft show will be held in conjunction with the opening, featuring jewelry, screen printed tee shirts, bags, wire glass art, hats, scarves, mosaics, frames, magnets, votives, books and more.

"Bring your appetite and thirst; savory delectables and seasonal beverages are available at the Pub," says owner Dave Wilby in a news release today.--JACK CURTIN

January 09, 2009 - Bourbon Barrel Aged Beers Featured at Iron Hill During February
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant will feature Beers from the Barrel, a celebration of bourbon barrel-aged beers, throughout the month of February all all seven of its locations in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

All month, each Iron Hill location will spotlight two house brewed beers that celebrate this uniquely American style of beer.

"In the past, our bourbon barrel- aged beers have only been available sporadically and in small quantities," Director of Brewing Operations Mark Edelson explained. "With this month-long event, guests will experience a variety of these special beers on draught as long as supplies last."

The Iron Hill program include bourbon barrel renditions of Pig Iron Bourbon Porter served on nitrogen, Russian Imperial Stout, Barleywine, Tripel, Wee Heavy, Baltic Porter, and Dubbel.

American brewers started aging beers in bourbon barrels in the early 1990s. Bourbon can only be aged in new oak barrels by law and then the barrel must be put to other use or destroyed. Often, other alcohol producers, including brewers, use those barrels to add a special character to their products.

The aging process gives beer a distinct flavor of bourbon, oak and vanilla and is ideal for adding depth of character to heavier brews.--JACK CURTIN

January 04, 2009 - Craft Ale House, Local 44 Open as Scheduled
As reported here last week, The Craft Ale House on Ridge Pike in Limerick, created by Gary and Melissa Fry, opened on Monday, December 29 at 11am, and Local 44 at the corner of 44th & Spruce Streets in West Philadelphia, the new enterprise by Brendon Hartranft and Leigh Maida, of Memphis Taproom in Kensington, opened at 5pm on New Year's Day.

From early reports, both enterprises have been welcomed by steady streams of local craft beer fans.

The website for Craft Ale House (at least for now) is located here and includes contact information, hours and an updated on tap list.

The website for Local 44 is located here and includes the same information (you'll have to click various links to get it).

Both sites have been favorably reviewed by local beer writers. Lew Bryson visited Local 44 on opening night and recorded his impressions here and my own Liquid Diet report on opening day at the Craft Ale House are here. --JACK CURTIN

January 03, 2009 - Allentown Brew Works Will Celebrate Obama Inauguration January 20
One of President-Elect Barack Obama's stops during the Pennsylvania Presidential Primary which got a lot of attention was his visit to Bethlehem Brew Works where he sampled Fegley ESB and proclaimed ""Now thats' good beer! That's Good Stuff!"

For craft beer lovers, regardless of politics, that was a golden moment.

And that moment and the beginning of the Obama Presidency will be marked at Allentown Brew Works on Inauguration Day with both a Buffet Luncheon and evening Inauguration Party ( see the Beer Yard calendar for details and a link).

Beer was a factor throughout the 2008 election campaign, with sen. John McCain's wife Cindy being the owner of one of the nation's largest Anheuser-Bush distributorships and sen. Hillary Clinton doing shots and beers in Indiana.--JACK CURTIN

December 22, 2008 - Local 44 in Philadelphia, Craft Ale House in Limerick Will Both Open Next Week
The Craft Ale House on Ridge Pike in Limerick, created by Gary and Melissa Fry, will open for business on Monday, December 29 at 11am.

Local 44 at the corner of 44th & Spruce Streets in West Philadelphia, the new enterprise by Brendon Hartranft and Leigh Maida, of Memphis Taproom in Kensington, will open for business at 5pm on New Year's Day.

Both locations will feature local and national craft beers and quality imported brands and have been eagerly anticipated by the local beer community.--JACK CURTIN

December 10, 2008 - No More Dock Street Amber in Bottles
In the late 1980s, Dock Street Amber Ale was the first Philadelphia craft beer in a packaged market in which the other new craft offerings were Sam Adams Lager, New Amsterdam Ale and Stoudt's Gold and Fest. The contract-brewed beer was selling 5,000bbl annually at its peak in 1990, the year that brand co-founders Jeff Ware and Rosemarie Certo opened Dock Street Brewery and Restaurant in center city.

The pub flourished (a case be made that it was the first "extreme" brewpub ever with its wide range of styles) and the Amber continued as a contract brew, along with the popular seasonal Illuminator Doppelbock.

The beers disappeared for a while at the turn of the century as a result of the collapse of Ortlieb Brewing, which had licensed the rights to the brand when Ware and Certo sold the brewpub to investors in 1998 (it closed in 2001). Certo resurrected the brand in 2004 after re-acquiring rights and then opened Dock Street Brewery, a West Philadelphia brewpub, in August 2007.

For now at least, however, Dock Street will cease making a packaged beer. After struggling to find a niche in a changed and much more competitive and crowded market, Dock Street Amber will no longer be contracted, Certo told the Beer Yard last night.

"I hope we can bottled our RyePA ast some point in the future as part of a bigger Dock Street future than I can foresee," she said, "but until then we will be concentrating on the brewpub and draught distribution in the Philadelphia area."

RyePA has been the breakout beer at the new brewpub, a hoppy IPA (described as a Pale Ale on the pub website) made with 20% rye, It will be joined by three new brews from recently appointed head brewer Ben Potts for the holiday season, Certo added.

"Man full of Trouble Porter, a nod to the only pre-revolutionary tavern still standing in the city, is brewed with old-world style in mind. It's brewed with black and chocolate malts and a blend of American Centennial and English Fuggles hops," she said. "Our Prince Myshkin’s Russian Imperial Stout (9.5%) is brewed with a large percentage of roasted and chocolate malts and then aged on oak chips for added depth and complexity. And finally, Hop Garden Double IPA (9%) is based on Ben's 'Best of Show' award winning homebrew recipe and contains 12 different hop varieties; it is also dry-hopped in the bright tank with a special blend of hops."

Man Full of Trouble Porter will join the basic Dock Street lineup while the other two beers will be rotated in the specialty beer lineup.--JACK CURTIN

December 09, 2008 - Weyerbacher Announces 2009 Seasonal Releases, Will Hold the Line on Prices
Dan Weirback of Easton's Weyerbacher Brewing Company today released the brewery's 2009 seasonal beer release schedule to the Beer Yard:

January will see the release of the new Fireside Ale (a 7.5% dark ale made with 10% smoked malt which was part of the 2008 one-off "Brewers Choice" series, and two barrel-aged perennials, Heresy and Insanity, will be the February releases (no Blasphemy in 2009). Slam Dunkel, now in 12oz four-packs rather than large bottles, will be released in March.

April will see Blanche and May's release will be Muse, both standard spring seasonals, while June will be marked with another new beer coming out of the one-off series, a 6% Belgian Pale Ale as yet unnamed. The 14th Anniversary Beer will be released in July (not yet determined). Autumnfest and Imperial Pumpkin will come out in August as usual, while Harvest Ale, introduced last year and brewed with hops grown on the Weirback farm, will return in September. "We will brew enough this time to serve all our markets," Weirback stressed, "all 14 states."

Winter Ale will be the October beer, Quad will come out in November and a December beer is still undecided.

At least four different Brewers Choice one-offs will be made in 2009, Weirback added, "draught to a few additional markets as well as those from last year and a limited supply of bottles at the brewery. We will also have about 300-350 cases of Riserva, our Brett beer, in 2009, in 75oml, corked and caged bottles, released somewhere between April and June. Plus we did our Merry Monk's Ale in the 750 size last year and will do some other beers in the size, maybe an unfiltered version of Double Simcoe IPA and possibly Blithering Idiot or Quad."

Welcome news for consumers was part of Weirback's message as well. "Our dollar sales were up almost 30 percent this year and unit sales about 15 percent. Given that, and since we took our big hit on hops prices in 2008 and weathered the storm, we will be holding the line in 2009. Our prices will not change at all next year."--JACK CURTIN

December 09, 2008 - Sierra Nevada Adds Torpedo Extra IPA To Year-Round Beer Releases
Is it mere coincidence that shortly after former Drafting Room Exton general manager Patrick Mullin joined Sierra Nevada as a sales representative the brewery announced the first addition to its year-round sales line-up since the company was founded in 1980?

The jury is still out on that one, but Mullin did tell the Beer Yard from his office this morning that "we are indeed releasing Torpedo Extra IPA early next year as a 12oz, year round, bottle only product. Although it will be released from the brewery on January 15, it is not expected to be available in this market until Monday, January 29."

He added that "Torpedo Ale has been available seasonally on draft for the last four years and the recipe has changed slightly with each release. The new bottle format will brewed according to yet another new, unique recipe. No one outside of the brewery has tasted this new recipe yet."

Packaged Torpedo Extra IPA is brewed with a new hop varietal called Citra, which is said to have a strong fruit flavor and aroma profile "leaning toward pineapple, mango, papaya and other tropical fruit."

It has been a popular misconception that Torpedo is a different version of Celebration. In fact, the beer's name comes from a cylindrical stainless steel vessel packed full of whole cone hops used for dry-hopping which brewery co-founder Ken Grossman and the brewers came up with several years ago. The device harnesses the essential oils and resins in hops, without extracting bitterness and was originally used to dry-hop Celebrator. Sierra Nevada has since gone back to traditional dry-hopping methods for that brew. --JACK CURTIN

December 09, 2008 - Bethlehem Brew Works Plans To Reopen This Weekend Following Kitchen Fire
Bethlehem Brew Works, shuttered since last Saturday evening due to a small grease fire which started in the kitchen, expects to be open again for business by this weekend, with full bar service and limited food service.

The two alarm fire apparently started in the kitchen of the restaurant, and made its way into the duct work in the ceiling and upper floors of the building. The cooks extinguished the original fire but the fire in the duct burst a sprinkler in the offices above and the rain began to fall through the dining room down into the Steelgaarden.

Everything has been cleaned up and is ready for some minor repairs to the Steelgaarden and some major repairs in the kitchen, according to the Bethlehem Brew Works website.

The building was safely evacuated and no one was injured in the fire.--JACK CURTIN

November 30, 2008 - Bell's John Mallet Will Be Third American Collaborator With De Proef
SBS Importers announced today that Bell's Brewery of Michigan will be the American partner in the 2009 De Proef Brewmaster's Collaboration Series in which a U.S. brewer collaborates with Belgian brewery Dirk Naudts.

John Mallet, production manager for Bell's, will travel to De Proef in Lochristi, Belgium, in March to brew the as-yet-to-be determined beer in March. It will be released to the USA market in September 2009.

The initial beer in the series was Signature Ale in 2007, brewed by Naudts with Tomme Arthur of Port Brewing/Lost Abbey. Jason Perkins of Allagash collaborated in 2008 on Les Deux Brasseurs. Both beers have been exceptionally well-received by beer enthusiasts. Signature Ale has since been released a second time, a solo brew by Naudts.

"Each year it is my pleasure to invite a noted American brewer to participate in this series," noted SBS Founder Alan Shapiro. "I am thrilled that John Mallet & Bell's have agreed to be the 2009 partner." Mallet noted that "I am really looking forward to this project. I have several family ties to the area which makes this invite to brew with Dirk Naudts at De Proef even more special."

De Proef Brouwerij of Lochristi, Belgium was created in 1996 by Naudts, a highly regarded brewing engineer and professor, Dirk Naudts. The ultra-scientific brewery blends modern equipment and technologies with both traditional and new world brewing techniques. SBS Imports was created in 2002 by Shapiro, a specialty beer industry veteran. In addition to the DeProef brands, SBS represents Aspall Cyders from Suffolk, England and Batemans beers from Wainfleet, England.--JACK CURTIN

November 19, 2008 - Ithaca Brewing Offers Unique Promotion in Philadelphia Market
Ithaca Brewing Company, in conjunction with the Ithaca/Tompkins County Tourist Bureau and I-Town Records, is initiating a unique promotion in the Philadelphia market which offers consumers a sampler of the brewery’s best beers, a CD showcasing Ithaca’s homegrown music scene and an open invitation to visit the artsy Finger Lakes community.

"The unlikely partners realized by working together, they could affordably promote their town, its sound, and their favorite brew to an important audience," according to a press release from the tourist bureau.

"Philly is an incredible market for us to test something like this," said Dan Mitchell, president of Ithaca Beer. "It’s one of the smartest beer towns in the country, there’s an incredible music scene and Philly consumers are passionate about what they like. We know if we make it in Philly, we can make it anywhere."

The heart of the promotion is "14 Reasons," a CD that includes new songs by roots-rockers Donna the Buffalo and The Horse Flies, along with an eclectic mix of tunes from another dozen Ithaca-based artists. The disk is inside specially marked variety packs of Ithaca Beer, the brewery’s most popular product. "We never heard of anyone trying anything like this before," said Fred Bonn, director of Ithaca’s visitors bureau. "We’re able to really engage people at a sensory level—see it, taste it, hear it. That’s pretty cool, especially in a big market like Philly."

The Ithaca variety case includes Nut Brown Ale, Pale Ale, Gorges Smoked Porter and CaskaZilla Red Ale. Ithaca Beer was voted New York’s top craft brewery at the 2008 Tap NY Festival. I-Town Records, A cooperative label, has produced quality independent music since 1996.--JACK CURTIN

November 19, 2008 - Iron Hill Will Release Four Award-Winning Lambics in Bottles
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant will release four of its most acclaimed beers in bottles at Kick-Off Tastings at its Media and Wilmington locations on the first two Saturdays in December, offering local aficionados an opportunity to catch up with these often difficult to find award-winners.

Kreik de Hill, Framboise, Cassis and straight Lambic are Iron Hill’s most awarded varieties. The Lambic won Gold medals in 2003 and 2008 at the Great American Beer Festival, Kreik won a Gold in 2005 and a Bronze in 2007, while the Cassis took a Bronze in 2008. Framboise also won Bronze in the 2004 World Beer Cup.

"It takes three to four years to make one batch of lambic beer," explained Director of Brewing Operations Mark Edleson, "and in the past we’ve only offered these beers at special events for the most part. We are excited to now be able to make them available to everyone who appreciates these great beers."

The first release party will be at Iron Hill Wilmington On December 6, 2-5pm, where Brian Finn will have all four of the beers available for sale in 750ml bottles. The following Saturday, December 13, 2-5pm, at Iron Hill Iron Media, brewer Bob Barrar will have the Lambic available for sale in 750ml bottles and Kreik and Framboise in a smaller, 375ml size.

The 750ml bottles will cost $24.50, while the 375ml bottles will cost $13. The lambics will only be available in those sizes and will be sold only at those two locations. Supplies are limited.--JACK CURTIN

November 07, 2008 - Appalachian Brewing Company will introduce Pennsylvania's first "Certified Organic" beer on December 1
Harrisburg's Appalachian Brewing Company will introduce Pennsylvania's first "Certified Organic" beer on December 1.

"ABC's Trail Blaze Brown Ale is now certified by PA Certified Organic and USDA Organic for production in our Harrisburg brewery," reports new Sales & Marketing Manager Brian Whetstone.

"We installed a separate organic ingredient handling system and brewed the first batch of Trail Blaze in October. This fine bee