Left Hand Brewing establishes ESOP

July 1st, 2015 | Posted by Real Beer

Left Hand Brewing announced today it has established an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Under the Colorado brewery’s employee ownership plan, the brewery will contribute stock to the ESOP trust with each eligible employee receiving an annual allocation. “Our intent is to reward employees and foster an ownership mentality, encouraging team members to contribute to and participate in Left Hand’s long-term success,” Eric Wallace, co-founder and CEO, said in a company press release.

Several other breweries that started about the same time as Left Hand — which first brewed beer in 1993 — have established ESOPs, at least in part to assure the future independence of their companies.

Per the brewery’s vision statement and core values, the ESOP will help to cultivate long-term service, promote responsibility and trust in all relationships and create a sense of pride in the workplace. “It’s not about maximizing immediate financial return. We have a longer view. Money is only a tool to serve our greater mission,” states Wallace said. “Left Hand is about brewing great beer, giving back to our community, and perpetuating a participative employee culture. With the implementation of the ESOP, it is our resolve to keep our vision alive and prosperous.”

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Gambrinus chief donates another $1 million for beer education

June 15th, 2015 | Posted by Real Beer

Carlos Alvarez, founder and owner of The Gambrinus Company of San Antonio, Texas, announced a $1 million gift to the brewing science program at UC Davis.

The gift will fund new brewing and laboratory equipment at UC Davis to create the brewery of the future. Alvarez previously announced a similar gift, also worth $1 million, to Oregon State University.

“As an immigrant from Mexico, I have enjoyed the many opportunities I found in this country,” Alvarez said in a press release announcing the gift, “and I’m very happy that success in the beer business enables me to help in UC Davis’ efforts to educate future craft brewers.”

Brewing education at UC Davis dates back to 1959 when the Lucky Lager Brewing Company of San Francisco donated a small brewery and launched a teaching program with the Master Brewers Association of the Americas. As student interest grew, additional companies began supporting the program. In 2011 brewing science moved into the world-class facilities at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.

“This fantastic donation from Carlos Alvarez will allow us to develop our teaching and research capabilities in a way that surpasses anything I could have imagined when I first came to the university in 1999,” said Charlie Bamforth, Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences. “I salute Mr. Alvarez’s dedication to education and am thrilled of what we will deliver with his contribution.”

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BrewDog confirms it will build brewery in Ohio

June 10th, 2015 | Posted by Real Beer

Scottish-based BrewDog confirmed today that it will build a new brewery in Columbus, Ohio, with a plan to make it the base of further expansion into the U.S. market.

“Columbus has got a fantastic beer scene already, so it’s going to be fun to brew our beer in this vibrant Midwestern metro,” the company stated at its Internet web site. “We considered so many potential locations in the U.S. but eventually it was how much we loved the people of Columbus and how welcome they made us feel on our visits that put Columbus firmly at the top of our list.”

BrewDog has agreed to buy 42 acres of land to build a 100,000-square-foot “kick ass” craft brewery. It will have a 100-barrel brewhouse, as well as canning and packaging lines and a small bottling line for special edition brews. The site also will be home to the company’s U.S. headquarters, a visitor center, a restaurant and a taproom. The facility is expected to employ more than 100.

“We see the Columbus brewery operation as a sister brewery to our Aberdeen one with an interflow and exchange of knowledge, passion, people, expertise and beer flowing back and forth over the Atlantic,” the company stated.

A prospectus for European investors estimated the U.S. brewery cost at $4.6 million.

It isn’t necessarily a done deal. The company said incentives and site details need to be finalized. “But we are completely committed to making BrewDog Columbus a reality very, very soon,” the company wrote.

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Fuller’s Reg Drury dies

June 10th, 2015 | Posted by Real Beer

Reg Drury, the longtime leader of Fuller’s brewing and operations team in London, has died.

In the final years before he retired in 1999 and later as an ambassador for Fuller, Smith & Turner P.L.C. Drury was well known to American brewers and played a key educational role in the growing craft movement.

He was responsible for modernizing the brewhouse at Fuller’s, switching from open squares to conical fermenters. He was the first brewer to use such vessels for brewing ale – and today, the process is common place.

During his tenure, Fuller’s was awarded the Champion Beer of Britain prize five times with three different beers.

Simon Emeny, Chief Executive, said: “Reg was a true gentleman and he will always be synonymous with Fuller’s,” said Simon Emeny, Fuller’s chief executive. “He was a legendary brewer, a great statesman and a fantastic mentor and will be greatly missed by those that knew him.”

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Karl Ockert to oversee brewing at Deschutes

June 4th, 2015 | Posted by Real Beer

Deschutes Brewery has announced hiring of Karl Ockert as Director of Brewery Operations. A press release states hewill use his 30-plus years experience in the brewing industry to oversee and guide all functions and activities related to brewing, cellaring, packaging, safety, continuous improvement, maintenance and quality control. Ockert, who spent a total of two decades with Bridgeport Brewing Company, most recently served as an independent consulting brewmaster and the technical director for the Master Brewers Association of the Americas.

“Karl’s extensive experience in the craft industry and his incredible technical expertise will help us through a critical growth phase as we look to expand production and bring on a second brewery,” said Michael LaLonde, president of Deschutes Brewery. “He’s a great cultural fit for our team as a whole and we look forward to his guidance and input as we continue to grow.”

Ockert was the original brewmaster for Bridgeport Brewing Company in the 1980s, and after stints at some other breweries (small and large), he returned there in the mid-90s as brewmaster and general manager.

Ockert said, “Deschutes has been a respected cornerstone in the craft brewing world for more than 25 years, due to their consistent quality across the board, along with their ongoing experimentation with new styles, processes, ingredients and more. I’m excited to join their team as the company continues to innovate, expand and break new ground.”

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Drinkers to decide which retired Sam Adams beers to resurrect

May 11th, 2015 | Posted by Real Beer

Boston Beer Co., brewer of Samuel Adams beers, plans to bring back some retired favorites this year and next, and is letting drinkers determine just what those favorites are. Through online and in-person voting, drinkers will determine which two brews will emerge from the Samuel Adams “vault” for national distribution in early 2016. The choices include beers included more than 20 years ago, including Cherry Lambic.

Here’s how it works:

– Starting today, drinkers can visit the Samuel Adams website http://www.samueladams.com/drinker-favorites to select four beers (from 16 offered) they would like to see back on shelves. Drinkers can return once a day to vote for their favorites.
– After voting closes May 25, Samuel Adams will tally the votes and brew the four beers that get the most votes.
– The four finalist brews will be poured in July and August at the Boston Brewery and select beer festivals nationwide, and a final round of online voting will take place during the summer, where drinkers can vote for the two final winning brews.
– The two beers that get the most votes will be declared winners and re-released in the January 2016 Samuel Adams Variety Pack.

“We’ve been brewing boundary-pushing beers for over 30 years, but with innovation comes the inevitability of having to tuck away the recipes for some our favorite brews to save for another day,” Boston Beer founder Jim Koch said. “We hear from our drinkers nearly every day asking us to re-release their favorites, so we’re excited to make these brews available once again on a national level.”

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Brooklyn, Carlsberg to partner with Norwegian brewery

April 27th, 2015 | Posted by Real Beer

Brooklyn Brewery and Denmark’s Carlsberg have announced another brewing collaboration, this time with Ringnes in Norway.

The three companies will a new brewery with pub, restaurant, conference facilities and visitor center established at the existing Ringnes E.C. Dahls brewery site in Trondheim, Norway. The brewery will produce both popular local Dahls beer and new beers that take inspiration from both Norwegian and US craft brewing traditions.

E.C. Dahls is the second brewery collaboration between Carlsberg and Brooklyn. One year ago, Carlsberg and Brooklyn opened a brewery in Stockholm – the New Carnegie Brewery – a revival of Sweden’s Carnegie Brewery.

“This is great news for the E.C. Dahls brewery, and great news for beer lovers in Norway and beyond,” said Jørn Tolstrup Rohde, senior vice president for Western Europe at Carlsberg Group. “Carlsberg’s collaboration with Brooklyn continues to explore new possibilities in craft brewing. Carlsberg started its life as a small brewery in Copenhagen back in 1847, and thanks to the resurgence of craft brewing in recent times, more and more people are getting interested in the world of beer. We think that’s very positive.”

Brooklyn brewmaster Garrett Oliver, is a frequent visitor to Norway and will help develop a new line of beers for Norwegian beer drinkers. “The new E.C. Dahls will celebrate the great tradition of Dahls and bring the brewery and its portfolio into the world of craft beer,” Oliver said. “Norway already has a great beer scene, and we’re really excited to be part of it.”

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