Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Stone Brings the Bourbon Bastard


The Bastards at Stone Brewing Co. have released, to the wanting masses, a new addition to their boisterous lineage of beers. Their crowning achievement in bulk produced liquid arrogance has been sitting in Kentucky bourbon barrels for months and now it's so boozey, they can't stand to have it in the brewery any longer.

Sent out into to the world in both 22 oz. and 6-packs of malty hubris BBA Arrogant Bastard comes in at 7.9% ABV. Enough to get you to the beers namesake but not enough to make you pass out due to your tween alcohol tolerance.

This beer also comes, free of charge, the usual level of consumer facing aggressiveness on the label that you have come to expect from the Bastard line of beers.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Arrogant Bastard (BBAAB) is available in stores now and is waiting to make you feel bad about yourself. Either that or striving to push you towards that one unrealized "dare to be great" moment you have yet to achieve, like J.K. Simmons in Whiplash. Spoiler Alert...


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Oregon Garden Brewfest kicks off with 4th annual Brewer’s Tasting Dinner

SILVERTON, Ore. — The Oregon Garden will kick off this year’s Oregon Garden Brewfest, presented by Venti’s Café, with the 4th annual Brewer’s Tasting Dinner. The popular event will take place on June 18, the eve of the festival, at 7pm at the Oregon Garden Resort. There are a limited number of tickets available to the public at $50; tickets and more information are available at www.oregongarden.org.

The Brewer’s Tasting Dinner serves six courses, each featuring a small-plate paired with a unique beer from one of six selected breweries. This year’s featured breweries include Buoy Beer Co, Crux Fermentation Project, Ex Novo BrewingCo, Ecliptic Brewing, Vagabond Brewing and Wild Ride Brew.

Representatives from each of the breweries give a presentation about their beer during the dinner, which is attended by brewers participating in the festival, industry insiders and beer aficionados.

A special overnight package is available at The Oregon Garden Resort, a Moonstone Hotel Property located just steps away from the festival, that includes tickets to the Brewer’s Tasting Dinner and a three-day ticket to the Brewfest, starting at $239. Packages can be booked at www.oregongardenresort.com or by calling 503-874-2500.

Located in the historic town of Silverton, just an hour’s drive from the Portland metropolitan area, the Oregon Garden Brewfest will take place Father’s Day weekend, June 19 through 21 and will feature 70 breweries pouring 140 beers, ciders and meads from throughout Oregon and across the country. There’s also live music on two stages and a variety of food vendors. The festival is held indoors, but attendees are welcome to explore the 80-acre botanical garden with beer in hand.

The Oregon Garden Brewfest is for ages 21 and over on Friday and Saturday; minors are welcome all hours on Sunday. Admission ranges from $15 to $50; all admission packages include a souvenir tasting glass and a number of tasting tickets. Parking at The Oregon Garden is $5 per car; free shuttles are available from various locations in Silverton.

The Oregon Garden Brewfest is presented by Venti’s Café and sponsored by The Gallon House, The Oregon Lottery, Beer Connoisseur Magazine, The Beer Growler, Pepsi and The Oregonian/Oregon Live. For more information about the event, visit www.oregongarden.org/events/brewfest.

North American Organic Brewers Festival announces new dates

PORTLAND, ORE – April 23, 2015 – The world’s only organic brewers festival, the North American Organic Brewers Festival will celebrate its 11th years with a new date: the event has moved away from its traditional June weekend to August 13 through 16 at Overlook Park in North Portland. Event hours are Noon to 9pm Thursday through Saturday and Noon to 5pm Sunday.

“Another beer promoter chose to move his Portland beer festival to our June date,” explained event founder Craig Nicholls. “Since we share the same pool of volunteers, and in many cases attendees, we opted for another date to benefit both events. The good news is August gives us a much better chance of drier summer weather!”

The NAOBF encourages brewers and beer lovers to “Drink Organic, Save the Planet, One Beer at a Time.” Designed to raise awareness about organic beer and sustainable living, the festival serves up 50 organic beers and ciders from more than 30 different breweries. Some of the breweries are certified organic, but most brew a one-off organic batch just for the event. Styles run the gamut from Ambers to Belgians to Wild Ales, with a bit of everything in-between. (A complete list of participating breweries in included at the bottom of this release.) The event also offers live local music, organic food and sustainability-oriented vendors and non-profits in a beautiful park setting.

This year’s event will also feature an exceedingly rare opportunity to sample draft beer from Pinkus, the world’s first certified organic brewery. Along with Pinkus Ur-Pils and Münster Alt on draft, the festival is introducing the Merchant du Vin Organic Bottle Garden, featuring 11 bottled beers and cider from Pinkus in Germany and Samuel Smith’s from Yorkshire, England.


“When Samuel Smith’s opened in 1758 and Pinkus in 1816, chemical fertilizers and pesticides didn’t exist – all beer was organic,” stated Tom Bowers, district manager at Merchant du Vin. “Viewing the beer world from this historic perspective, these brewers chose to become the trailblazers of organic brewing for the modern era. By including Samuel Smith’s and Pinkus in this year’s festival, NAOBF has expanded the opportunity for festival goers to not only experience amazing beers from the world’s original organic brewers, but to taste history.”
Admission into the NAOBF is free. The purchase of a $7 reusable, compostable cornstarch cup is required for tasting beer, as are tokens, which sell for $1 apiece. A full cup of beer costs four tokens and a taste costs one token; select beers and ciders may cost double tokens. Patrons receive an extra token with a validated Tri-Met ticket or a ticket from the Hopworks Bike Corral (one discount per person).


The NAOBF is a family friendly event, and minors are welcome with parents. A kids area offers art activities, face painting and a root beer garden with complimentary Crater Lake Root Beer for minors (and designated drivers).

The NAOBF is known as the most earth-friendly beer festival on the planet. Festival attendees sample beer from reusable and compostable cornstarch cups made from domestically grown corn by a zero-waste, solar-powered company. Electricity needs are met with biodiesel generators. Volunteers receive organic cotton t-shirts (returning volunteers can wear past T shirts and get extra tokens instead). Food vendors are required to employ sustainable practices, and onsite composting and recycling stations are provided for festival waste and are supervised by recycling czars.


The NAOBF encourages responsible drinking and urges patrons to take advantage of the MAX Light Rail; the Yellow Line Overlook Park Station is adjacent to the festival. Attendees can also take advantage of the Hopworks Bike Corral, where volunteers watch over bikes for free (donations are appreciated and support the BC to Baja Bicycle Odyssey).


Why brew organic? Today's agriculture relies heavily on chemicals and often causes erosion and depletion of soil nutrients through loss of biomass. Organic farming is a growing industry that reduces erosion, pollution, and water shortages by using natural methods to fertilize crops and to fight pests and disease. A well-established organic farm can often produce higher yields than a conventional farm. Organic farming is typically more labor intensive and provides more agricultural jobs per acre than conventional farming. Workers on organic farms are also safe from the health hazards of working with pesticides and herbicides. Using organic ingredients to make beer produces a beer with the highest possible purity and also supports the small but growing industry of organic farming.

For more information about the NAOBF, visit naobf.org.

2015 Participating Breweries

  • 13 Virtues Brewing Co.
  • Agrarian Ales
  • Alameda Brewing Company
  • Beau's All Natural Brewing Co
  • Bison Organic Beer
  • Coin Toss Brewing
  • Eel River Brewing
  • Falling Sky Brewing
  • Finnriver Farm & Cidery
  • Fish Brewing Company
  • Fort George Brewery
  • FOTM Brewing Co
  • Gilgamesh Brewing
  • Hopworks Urban Brewery
  • Kells Brew Pub
  • Lakefront Brewery, Inc
  • Lompoc Brewing
  • Loowit Brewing Company
  • McMenamins Concordia
  • McMenamins Crystal
  • McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse
  • McMenamins Edgefield
  • Natian Brewery
  • Nectar Creek Mead
  • Ordnance
  • Pinkus
  • PINTS Urban Brewery
  • Reverend Nat's Hard Cider
  • Riverbend Brewing
  • Samuel Smith’s
  • Thirsty Bear Brewing Co.
  • Two Kilts Brewing Co.
  • Uinta Brewing Company
  • Vagabond Brewing
  • Viking Braggot Company
  • Widmer Brothers Brewing

Friday, April 17, 2015

Craft Brewers Conference Wraps up with record attendance

Boulder, CO • April 17, 2015The Brewers Association (BA)the not-for-profit trade group representing America’s small and independent craft brewershas concluded the 32th edition of the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® (CBC) in Portland, Oregon.

As the largest industry gathering, CBC brought together more than 11,500 brewing industry professionals and some 600 exhibitors in one of the biggest beer cities for discussion and dialogue surrounding America’s craft beer culture. Themes included unity, quality and safety.

Highlights from the 2015 conference include:

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 state of the industry presentation is available in the CBC Media Kit. The full 2014 industry analysis will be published in the May/June 2015 issue of The New Brewer.


The 2016 CBC will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from May 3-6, in conjunction with the 2016 World Beer Cup®.

Widmer announces final two beers in the 30 beers for 30 years series

PORTLAND, Ore. – April 17, 2015 – Widmer Brothers Brewing today announced the last two beers in the 30 Beers for 30 Years Series: Kill Devil Brown Ale, which represents the year 2012, and Massive Upheaval IPA, representing 2013 in the brewery’s 30-year history. The two beers mark the conclusion of the ambitious year-long small batch series.

The 30 Beers for 30 Years Series began one year ago on Widmer Brothers’ 30th Anniversary, April 2, 2014. Every month throughout the last 12 months, Widmer Brothers brewed significant recipes in small batches at the innovation pilot brewery at the Rose Quarter, each representing individual years in the brewery’s history.

Each beer also features unique label art from 30 different artists and graphic designers from the Portland area; each artist chose a beer, learned about its origins, and created their own graphic interpretations in the form of a bottle label.

In total, thirty different beers were brewed and bottled at the brewery’s 10-barrel pilot brewery. 30 artists were commissioned, creating 30 unique pieces of art. Bottles were released monthly in batches of two to four, and 30 cases of each beer were distributed in the Portland area only from April 2014 to April 2015.

“It is bittersweet to see the 30 Beers for 30 Years Series come to a close,” said Kurt Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers Brewing. “Initially Rob and I were hesitant to have a big anniversary celebration, but I’m glad that we did the series. On one hand it was a lot of hard work and coordination for the team, but on the other hand, it was a really fun trip down memory lane, and a huge honor to see the vision come to life. We are proud that our team accomplished such an ambitious undertaking.”

For the last two releases in the series, Widmer Brothers brewed two of the biggest beers in the series. Kill Devil Brown Ale – a rum-barrel-aged imperial brown ale brewed with palm sugar, two kinds of molasses, and Calypso hops – was originally released as part of the Brothers Reserve Series in 2012.

Massive Upheaval IPA is the last beer in the series and the second series release that wasn’t previously brewed and distributed in some fashion. Massive Upheaval is a look to the future as Widmer Brothers took the recipe for Upheaval IPA, which was developed in 2013 and released in the year-round lineup in February of 2014, and brewed a bigger, imperialized version for the 30 Beers for 30 Years Series.

Samuel Robinette of Accidental Color created the Kill Devil Brown Ale label, and John Fish of This is Folklore created the Massive Upheaval IPA label. The two labels, and all label art from the series, can be found at 30Beersfor30Years.com.

CBC WRAP PARTY

Widmer Brothers is hosting a wrap-up party for the 30 Beers for 30 years Series today at the White Owl Social Club in southeast Portland. The party will go from 3:00 p.m. to close, and will feature beers from the series and displays of all label artwork. Many of the artists will be in attendance, as will various brewers from Widmer Brothers. Kurt and Rob Widmer will make an appearance, as well.

For more information on Widmer Brothers Brewing, please visit widmerbrothers.com or see what the brewery is up to on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the Beers

Kill Devil Brown Ale – 2012
Whiskey barrel aging had become commonplace by 2012, so we looked to the next frontier and did some extensive digging to acquire used rum barrels from Puerto Rico. We decided to play off the theme of rum and brew a big brown ale using two different types of palm sugar, and two types of molasses, Black Strap and Sweet Barbados. The name refers to a historic term for rum, Kill Devil. 9.5% ABV

Massive Upheaval IPA – 2013
In 2013, we began brewing an unfiltered, unexpected, unapologetic and uncompromised IPA called Upheaval IPA. We’ll be launching this beer in early 2014. For the 30 Beers for 30 Years project, we’ll brew a bigger, bolder, badder version of Upheaval to celebrate the launch of this new year-round IPA.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Stone announces spotlight series winner with the release of Mutt Brown Ale

ESCONDIDO, CA (April 13, 2015) – To “spotlight” its brewing team’s creativity in 2014, Stone Brewing Co. introduced the Stone Spotlight Series, an annual internal competition celebrating what craft beer is all about: Ingenuity. Exploration. Fun. Ten teams of two vied for the chance to have their beer recipe brewed, packaged and distributed on a national scale. Starting today, Stone is proud to release the champion entry from this year’s competition—Stone Spotlight: Imperial Mutt Brown Ale. Fans may purchase the limited-release beer in 22-ounce bottles and on draft at retailers in select markets where Stone beer is sold.

Stone Brewing Supervisor Drew Neldon and Brewer Steve Via joined forces to develop the award-winning beer. When brainstorming recipe ideas, Neldon wanted to brew an altbier, while Via was interested in exploring brown ales. (Before crafting this beer, Via felt he’d never had a brown ale that synced with his palate.) Rather than focus on a single beer category, the duo decided to combine the best qualities of both styles by using four different malts to make a unique mongrel, hence the name: Imperial Mutt Brown Ale.

“With such talented and inventive brewers on our team, each installment of the Stone Spotlight Series has had very stiff competition,” explains Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele. “During the judging session earlier this year, we were most impressed by the English notes coming from Drew and Steve’s beer. After brewing their recipe on our 120-barrel systems, the character of the English ale yeast really shines, along with the interesting blend of malts used.”

The beer’s grain bill is made up of Victory, chocolate wheat, Vienna and Honey malts. Fruity and bread-like aromatics are joined by subtle coffee notes. Mild roast and coffee traits carry over to the flavor, followed by hints of toffee and molasses. Magnum and East Kent Golding hops offer a restrained, balancing bitterness to a strong malt backbone. When all these qualities combine, the result is a full-bodied, malt-driven beer that’s smooth and easy to drink.

Stone Spotlight: Imperial Mutt Brown Ale is ready to be enjoyed fresh or may be aged for months or several years at proper cellaring conditions (55°F or lower). Although Drew and Steve’s Imperial Mutt Brown Ale will be available in limited quantities, fans can look forward to a new winning beer every year from the Stone Spotlight Series that showcases Team Stone’s brewing talent.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Cascade Brewing announces Sour and Wild Invitational During Craft Brewers Conference


PORTLAND, Ore. – In celebration of the national Craft Brewers Conference taking place in Portland this month, Cascade Brewing will be hosting the inaugural Sour and Wild Invitational from April 14 to 18 on the production side of the Cascade Brewing Barrel House, 939 SE Belmont St.

The Sour and Wild Invitational will feature a number of exclusive Cascade blends alongside unconventional – and in some cases rare – sour and wild beers from breweries around the country. There will also be a limited food menu available, as well as a merchandise and bottles sale station. Hours for the event are 3pm to 11pm April 14-16,3pm to Midnight April 17 and Noon to Midnight on April 18. There is no admission to attend the event. Admittance will be limited to ages 21 and over.

The event will sell 8-oz pours of the specialty beers; payment is by cash or credit. The lineup will rotate throughout the five days. Following is an ever-growing list of guest breweries/beers that are scheduled to appear:

  • 7venth Sun Brewing, Dunedin, FL: Watermelon Berliner, Square Peg & Round Hole
  • Allagash Brewing Co, Portland, ME: Resurgam & Golden Brett
  • Almanac Beer Co., San Francisco, CA: Farmer’s Reserve Strawberry & Rum Barrel Peche
  • Beachwood Brewing, Long Beach, CA: Tart Simpson
  • Block 15 Brewing, Corvallis, OR: Peche & Golden Canary
  • Crooked Stave, Denver, CO: Motif & Nightmare on Brett
  • de Garde Brewing, Tillamook, OR: Special Rouge & Saison Deuxieme
  • Epic Brewing, Salt Lake City, UT: Old Sage Brett & Golden Brett
  • Green Bench Brewing, St. Petersburg, FL: Push It & Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Sour Stout
  • Jester King Brewery, Austin, TX: Ol' Oi & Nocturn Chrysalis
  • Logsdon Farm Brewery, Hood River, OR: Seizoen Bretta & Cerasus
  • New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO: Love Blackberry Oscar & Love Cherry Felix
  • Night Shift Brewing, Everett, MA: Ever Weisse & Orion
  • Perennial Artisan Ales, St. Louis, MO: TBD
  • Real Ale Brewing, Blanco, TX: Tenebrae Aeterna & Imperium
  • Russian River Brewing, Santa Rosa, CA: Supplication & Beatification
  • Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, Capitola, CA: Cellarman & Palimpsest
  • The Bruery, Placentia, CA: Befuddlement & The Wanderer
  • The Commons, Portland, OR: Citrus Myrtle
  • The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, CA: Framboise de Amorosa & Cuvee de Tomme
  • Trinity Brewing Co, Colorado Springs, CO: Koelorado, 365 Day & Red Swingline
  • Upland Brewing, Bloomington, IN: VinoSynth White, VinoSynth Red, Dantalion & Permission Slip
  • Wicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, NC: Red Angel, Medora Blackberry Raspberry Sour & Genesis Blonde Sour
Cascade Brewing, which is known worldwide for its NW style sour ales, will be featuring dozens of its sour beers; some of the highlights include Cheri d’Amour, Cherry Bourbonic, Hibiscus Rose, Honeycot, Mad Mango, Manhattan 2013, Melon Melange, Pineapple Wheat, Shrieking Violet, Vintage 2011 Elderberry, Vintage 2012 Frite Galois and Vintage Blackberry 2009.

Cascade will also be selling vintage bottles of past favorites, including, but not limited, to Apricot 2012, Bourbonic 2011, Figaro 2012, Kriek 2012, Sang Noir 2012, Strawberry 2012, The Vine 2012 and Vlad the Imp Aler 2011.

The Cascade Brewing Barrel House will be open regularly scheduled hours and will operate independent of the Sour and Wild Invitational. For more information, visitwww.cascadebrewingbarrelhouse.com or call 503-265-8603.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fort George latest brewery to be involved in an InBev buyout

Fort George Looks to Purchase Anheuser-Busch InBev
Search for Investors in the Preliminary Stages

Fort George Brewery announced today that is has begun the process of gathering investors to purchase Anheuser-Busch InBev.  For more than 160 years, Anheuser-Busch, with its flagship brewery still operating in St. Louis, MO, has had a dominant presence on the American beer landscape.

“We have no plans to move brewery operations away from St. Louis at this time,” said Fort George co-owner Chris Nemlowill.  “Anheuser-Busch has time-honored traditions passed down through generations of brewmasters and employees. We see this more as a partnership. Their recipe of hard work and branding has served them well, and we’d like to continue to see what they can do independently.” AB InBev Currently holds a 47.2 percent share of the U.S. beer market. “I am looking forward to trips to Belgium, however,” Nemlowill added.

“Bud Light Lime-A-Rita would definitely fill a niche Fort George does not serve,” explains Jack Harris, co-owner and brew master at Fort George. “Straw-Ber-Rita, Raz-Ber-Rita, even Mang-O-Rita, we don’t make anything like that. Fort George definitely does not have a Rita-style beer.”

Other than ownership, no major changes are in store for Budweiser and its affiliated brands.  Bud drinkers will still be able to enjoy that great beechwood aged flavor they have come to know.  “The recipes and the message will remain the same,” explained Nemlowill. “You can still look forward to all of those heartwarming dog and horse commercials on Super Bowl Sunday.  In fact, maybe even more of the
same.”

“I’m up for whatever,” Harris agreed. “And you can hashtag that.”

Although just in the preliminary stages, Fort George is looking to secure the capital to close this purchase by the end of 2017, or when their gofundme goal of $250 billion is reached.  In addition to its U.S. operations, the acquisition would include all of AB InBevs worldwide holdings.

About Anheuser-Busch
Anheuser-Busch is the U.S. arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev and operates 15 breweries, 17 distributorships and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities across the United States, representing a capital investment of more than $15.5 billion. Its flagship brewery remains in St. Louis, Mo., and is among the global company’s largest and most technologically capable breweries. Visitor and special beermaster tours are available at its St. Louis and four other Anheuser-Busch breweries. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.

About Fort George Brewery
Locally owned and operated in historic downtown Astoria, Oregon, Fort George crafts original beers available only in the Pacific Northwest.  Whether in cans or kegs, at the pub or on your front porch, Fort George beer brings people together inaromatic headiness and lupulin ecstasy. For more information about Fort George, go to www.fortgeorgebrewery.com or follow them on Twitter and Instagram