Anheuser-Busch acquires 10 Barrel Brewing

November 5th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Anheuser-Busch today announced it has agreed to purchase 10 Barrel Brewing Company, located in Bend, Ore.

From the press release:

“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.

“10 Barrel, its brewers, and their high-quality beers are an exciting addition to our high-end portfolio,” said Andy Goeler, CEO, Craft, Anheuser-Busch. “The brewery is a major contender in the Northwest, an area with a large number of craft breweries. We see tremendous value in the brewery’s unique offerings and differentiated style, which 10 Barrel fans know and love.”

In addition to the Bend brewery, the acquisition will include the company’s existing brewpubs in Bend and Boise, Idaho; and a Portland brewpub scheduled to open in early 2015.

Anheuser-Busch’s purchase of 10 Barrel is expected to close by the end of 2014. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Earlier this year Anheuser-Busch acquired New York-based Blue Point Brewing.

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Stone Brewing picks Virginia site for East Coast brewery

October 9th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

San Diego-based Stone Brewing Co. has announced it has signed a formal letter of intent with the City of Richmond, Virginia, signifying the company’s interest in building its East Coast facility in the city’s Greater Fulton Community. Subject to local approvals, Stone plans to invest $74 million to construct a production brewery, packaging hall, destination restaurant, retail store and its administrative offices. Construction of the facilities will occur in phases. The brewery is anticipated to be operational in late 2015 or early 2016, with Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens opening a year or two after that. Ultimately, the company will employ more than 288 people.

More details from a company press release:

“The search for our location east of the Mississippi River was no easy endeavor,” said Stone President and Co-founder Steve Wagner. “We received and reviewed hundreds of proposals, visited more than 40 sites, and received quite a bit of attention from communities and craft beer fans. The three finalist cities each provided diverse offerings, however, we decided to begin next-step negotiations with Richmond because of their ability to meet our extensive site requirements, subject to the city’s approval. We also feel that Richmond’s vibrant energy and impressive craft beer culture, along with the uniqueness of the property, will allow us to create a truly memorable Stone experience for our fans. We are honored by the amount of time and effort all the communities that submitted proposals put forth, and we want to specifically thank Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones for welcoming us.”

Adds Stone CEO and Co-founder Greg Koch, “A facility on the East Coast will allow us to meet demand for our beer, ensure we are providing our fans with the freshest beer possible and also serve as a distribution hub for states located east of the Mississippi. We look forward to becoming an integral part of the lively craft beer community in Richmond, the state of Virginia and the entire eastern U.S.”

Stone anticipates building a 200,000 square-foot production brewery and distribution facility on 14 acres of land. Equipped with a 250-barrel brewhouse, the brewery will produce year-round and special-release beers to be bottled, kegged and distributed, as well as enjoyed on-site. The company also plans to renovate a two-story, 30,000 square-foot building, transforming it into a destination restaurant spanning four acres and highlighting locally grown organic food, complementing the harmonious nature and seasonality of the location’s surroundings. The restaurant will feature beautifully landscaped gardens where visitors will be able to enjoy craft beer, dine and relax in an inviting atmosphere.

“Today’s announcement marks the fruition of months of partnership and aggressive efforts to show Stone Brewing Co. that Virginia is the best state for its new craft beer production and hospitality facility,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. “The company received submissions from more than 20 states, and the Commonwealth of Virginia was selected. This competitive, high-profile project really puts Virginia on the map and cements our standing as a serious player in the craft beer industry. In addition to Stone’s significant investment and more than 288 new jobs, the far-reaching economic benefits of this operation are innumerable. The City of Richmond offers the infrastructure, available site and building, and natural resources that will allow the company to thrive and grow, and we are confident that Stone will benefit from the Commonwealth’s excellent business environment for years to come. Today is an achievement of great magnitude, and we are excited to welcome Stone Brewing Co. to Virginia.”

“We are thrilled about Stone’s decision to choose Richmond as its East Coast production and distribution facility location,” said Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “After competing with 20 other states, we are so pleased that Stone has discovered those attributes that make Richmond a great place to do business. The fact that they have chosen a site in the Greater Fulton Community underscores their understanding of the rich history and natural assets that we have to offer. As they bring their unique craft beer and visionary business model here, I look forward to the many opportunities that lay ahead with Stone.”

This is the second expansion announcement Stone has made this year. In July, the company unveiled it will become the first American craft brewer to independently own and operate a brewery in Europe with the opening of Stone Brewing Co.—Berlin.

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Beer writers honored

October 7th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

The North American Guild of Beer Writers (NAGBW) has announced winners in its 2nd annual competition for writers, bloggers and broadcasters.

Best Beer and Food Writing
1. John Holl, “Roast Masters: Exploring the Art of Brewing Beer with Coffee.” All About Beer Magazine.
2. Evan Rail, “Where What Is Brewing Is a Recipe.” The New York Times.
3. Mark Dredge, Beer and Food. Dog ‘n’ Bone Books.

Best Blog
1. Oliver Gray, “Literature and Libation.” Literatureandlibation.com
2. Bryan Roth, “This is Why I’m Drunk.” Thisiswhyimdrunk.wordpress.com
3. Jessica Miller, “Hey Brewtiful.” Heybrewtiful.com

Best Book
1. Patrick Dawson, Vintage Beer. Storey Publishing.
2. Tim Webb/ Joe Stange, The Good Beer Guide to Belgium. Campaign for Real Ale Ltd.
3. Evan Rail, Beer Trails: The Brewery in the Bohemian Forest. Self-published.

Best Brewspaper/Free Zine Writing
1. Ken Weaver, “Getting Hopped Up — Again.” Bohemian.
2. Jonathan Shikes, “Avery Brewing’s got good taste — and the science to back it up.” Westword.
3. Randy Clemens, “Mark Jilg: The Craftsman.” West Coaster.

Best Magazine Writing
1. Evan Rail, “Born Again in Berlin.” All About Beer Magazine.
2. Joshua Bernstein, “Of a Certain Age.” Imbibe Magazine.
3. Aleszu Bajak, “Stemming the Rise of Barley Disease.” Beeradvocate Magazine.

Best Newspaper Writing (Paid Circulation)
1. Ronnie Crocker, “Crafting a Houston Icon.” Houston Chronicle.
2. William Bostwick, “Build a Beer Collection.” The Wall Street Journal.
3. Tom Acitelli, “Rising Hop Prices Make Craft Brewers Jumpy.” The Wall Street Journal.

Best Online Magazine Writing
1. Gerard Walen, “The Death of Hunahpu’s Day.” All About Beer Magazine (online).
2. Austin Ray, “Headbanger’s Brew: A History of Heavy Metal and Craft Beer Collaborations.” First We Feast.
3. Christian DeBenedetti, “A Brief History of Sour Beer.” The New Yorker (online).

Best Podcast
1. Strange Brews Podcast. Strangebrewspodcast.tumblr.com
2. Tales from the Cask. Talesfromthecask.com
3. What’s on Tap. Kprcradio.com/media/podcast-whats-on-tap-whatsontap

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GABF by the numbers

October 6th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

The Great American Beer Festival concluded Saturday in Denver. Earlier in the day the winners of the commercial competition were announced. A complete list of the winners is here. The Brewers Association has compiled plenty of facts and figures about the competition and the festival.

– The 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.

– Winners in 90 categories were chosen from 5,507 competition entries (16 percent more than in 2013) from 1,309 breweries.

– Fifty-two first-time entering breweries won awards.

- Top three states by ratio of medals to entries by state:
* New Jersey: 19% with 16 entries and three medals
* Alaska: 13% with 16 entries and two medals—tied with federal district Washington, D.C.: 13% with 8 entries and one medal
* New Mexico: 10% with 84 entries and eight medals

Style Categories
Since 2002, the most-entered category has been American-Style India Pale Ale (IPA), which saw 279 entries in 2014.
The top five entered categories were:
1. American-Style India Pale Ale (279 entries)
2. Herb and Spice Beer (150 entries)
3. American-Style Pale Ale (145 entries)
4. American-Style Amber/Red Ale (140 entries)
5. Imperial India Pale Ale (135 entries)

More numbers:
– 710 breweries in the festival hall
– More than 3,500 beers served at the festival
– 49,000 attendees
– More than 3,200 volunteers
– 222 judges from 10 countries
– Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 61.2 (excludes Pro-Am beers)

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Russian company buys Pabst

September 19th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Oasis Beverages, a Russian food and beverage company owned by Eugene Kashper, announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Pabst Brewing Company. TSG Consumer Partners, an investor in growth-oriented consumer brands, will acquire a minority stake in Pabst as part of the transaction.

“Pabst Blue Ribbon is the quintessential American brand – it represents individualism, egalitarianism, and freedom of expression – all the things that make this country great,” Kashper said for a press release. “The opportunity to work with the company’s treasure trove of iconic brands, some of which I started my career selling, is a dream come true. It will be an honor to work with Pabst’s dedicated employees and partner distributors as we continue to build the business. We intend to invest meaningfully in the organization, to continue strong marketing support for PBC’s unique brands, and to drive new product innovations and renovations, such as the recent launch of Ballantine IPA.”

Kashper will serve as the CEO of PBC and the company’s headquarters will remain in Los Angeles, California.

Brian Krumrei, managing director at TSG, said “Pabst has a strong portfolio of authentic American brands including Pabst Blue Ribbon, Rainier, Lone Star, Old Style, Schlitz and National Bohemian, among others. We’re excited about the partnership with Eugene and the outlook for Pabst going forward.”

Dean Metropoulos announced in March he was seeking a new owner for Pabst, and hoped to sell it for between $500 million and $1 billion, according to some estimates. Terms of the transaction were not announced.

Pabst was founded in Milwaukee in 1844 by Jacob Best and later sold to beer tycoon Paul Kalmanovitz. The company was later left in a charitable foundation after Kalmanovitz’s death until a judge declared that it had to be sold. Metropoulos, who works with his sons Daren and Evan, bought Pabst from Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation in 2010 for $250 million.

Kashper, a graduate of Columbia University, began his career in the beer industry in 1994 with The Stroh Brewery Co. Since then, he has managed brewing companies in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. He founded Oasis Beverages in 2008 and currently serves as chairman, according to a company biography.

Pabst Brewing’s portfolio includes such brands as Pabst Blue Ribbon, Lone Star, Rainier, Ballantine IPA, Schlitz, Old Style, Stroh’s and Old Milwaukee.

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All About Beer Magazine sold

September 17th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Daniel Bradford, owner of All About Beer Magazine for 22 years, has sold Chautauqua, Inc. to a North Carolina company led by Christopher Rice.

“I’m excited about the energy and resources Chris and the All About Beer team will bring to both magazine and festivals,” Bradford said for a press release. He purchased the company in 1992 and created the first World Beer Festival in Durham in 1996, later adding otherse at multiple locations.

The newly formed company, All About Beer, LLC, will retain its headquarters in Durham, N.C., and maintain editorial offices in New York and San Francisco. Rice previously was vice president of Chautauqua, Inc., helping forge the direction of both the magazine and World Beer Festivals. He was co-founder of Carolina Brewing, serving as president for eight years beginning in 1994.

“I have been delighted to participate in Chris’ vision,” Bradford said. “With his creativity and business acumen, he is poised to increase the presence of these products in this new imaginative beer world.”

“I have been a loyal follower of All About Beer Magazine’s work during my 20 years connected to the beer industry,” Rice said. “It has a substantial position not only as the best-selling beer publication in the U.S. and Canada, but also telling great beer and brewing stories since 1979. Like so many of the brewers we have promoted and supported for the past 35 years, All About Beer Magazine has a strong history and standing in the beer industry. Daniel built great strength in these brands in his time as publisher, and I am very excited about the opportunities we have in front of us.”

Bradford — former director of the Great American Beer Festival, former president of the Brewers Association of America and former marketing director of the Association of Brewers — will continue in an advisory role.

“We have seen such a tremendous period of growth in beer appreciation, quality and awareness,” said Rice. “All About Beer Magazine has helped to greatly generate this awareness over the years. We are very excited to evolve our support for the industry’s beers and the brewers that make them, evolving uniquely just as the industry has done for the past 35 years.”

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Oktoberfest in Munich begins Saturday

September 16th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Oktoberfest at a glance

Graphic courtesy of HomeBrewWest.

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