Law will let California host 2015 homebrewers conference

August 27th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

California governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that will will allow the 37th National Homebrewers Conference to be held next June in San Diego as scheduled.

Last year, an amendment added to Assembly Bill 1425 (AB1425) was passed and effectively banned homebrewing organizations — including the AHA and the California Homebrewers Association (CHA) — from hosting events centered around their favorite hobby. As a result, the 24th annual 2014 CHA Southern California Homebrewers Festival was canceled.

The new law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, puts the Southern California Homebrewers Festival and the NHC back on the calendar.

“California has been central to the growth of homebrewing — as a hobby, a business and a community,” said American Homebrewers Association director Gary Glass. The AHA organizes the National Homebrewers Conference. “The passage of AB2609 provides homebrewers the opportunity to continue innovating, learning and sharing their craft through events organized by homebrewers for homebrewers. We’re thrilled to be able to bring the 2015 National Homebrewers Conference to San Diego.”

The AHA and CHA mounted a campaign for the passage of AB2609, with more than 150 individual homebrewers from across California submitting letters to the state government in support of the measure. The bill unanimously passed both the Assembly and Senate.

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Timothy Taylor’s Boltmaker British champion

August 12th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Timothy Taylor’s Boltmaker has been crowned the “Best Beer” in Britain at the Great British Beer Festival, which opened today in London. Citra from Oakham Ales won the silver and Salopian’s Darwin’s Origin capture bronze.

“I’m speechless. We work very hard to produce great beers and we really believe this is the best beer we can brew – so to have it acknowledged in such an important competition is absolutely fantastic,” head brewer Peter Eells said after the awards were announced.

Overall
Gold – Timothy Taylors, Boltmaker
Silver – Oakham, Citra
Bronze – Salopian, Darwin’s Origin

Mild
Gold – Bank Top, Dark Mild
Silver – Branscombe Vale, Mild
Bronze – Castle Rock, Black Gold

Bitters
Gold – Timothy Taylor, Boltmaker
Silver – Mighty Oak, Captain Bob
Joint Bronze – Flowerpots, Flowerpots Bitter & Sambrook’s Wandle Ale

Best Bitters
Gold – Salopian, Darwin’s Origin
Silver – Red Willow, Directionless
Joint Bronze – Purity, Mad Goose & Langton, Inclined plain bitter

Golden Ales
Gold – Oakham, Citra
Silver – Hawkshead, Cumbrian Five Hop
Bronze – Salopian, Hop Twister

Strong Bitters
Gold – Church End, Fallen Angel
Silver – Blue Monkey, Ape Ale
Bronze – Loch Ness, HoppyNESS

Speciality Beers
Gold – Saltaire, Triple Chocoholic
Silver – Offbeat, Way Out Wheat
Bronze – Peak Ales, Chatsworth Gold

Champion Bottled Beer
Gold – Marble, Chocolate Marble
Silver – St Austell, Proper Job
Bronze – Spire, Prince Igor Imperial Russian Stout

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Stone Brewing announces plans to build Berlin brewery

July 20th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Stone Brewing Co. has announced plans to open a production brewery and expansive destination restaurant in Berlin, Germany. Stone is making an initial investment of more than $25 million to renovate a historic gasworks complex in Marienpark Berlin, a two-acres (9,290 square meters) of indoor and outdoor space. Stone Brewing Co. – Berlin will encompass three components: a brewery and packaging hall, a Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens restaurant and a Stone Company Store. It is expected to open in late 2015 or early 2016.

Here are photos taken at the announcement.

And here are the details from a press release:

“This is a historic moment for Stone. I’ve wanted to say these next words for many years now: We’re coming to Europe. We’re coming to Germany. We are coming to Berlin!” said Stone CEO and co-founder Greg Koch. “It has been a long time coming and I couldn’t be more proud to say that we are finally on our way to being the first American craft brewer to own and operate our own brewery in Europe. Once open, we will bring Germany and the rest of Europe a taste of our craft beer vision, and look forward to sharing the unique beers that we have spent the last 18 years brewing.”

“Stone’s future European home will serve as the company’s international hub; a central location promoting goodwill and quality craft beer spanning the globe,” said Stone president and co-founder Steve Wagner. “With this expansion comes our commitment to brewing bold, aggressive, hop-forward beers in a country with a long history rooted in the art of brewing.”

The company will transform the setting into a one-of-a-kind destination that includes:

– A spectacular, historic, red brick main hall built in 1901 measuring 43,000-plus square feet (3,994 square meters), featuring a vaulted ceiling that will house a custom-built, stainless steel brewhouse, an eclectic farm-to-table restaurant, and retail store featuring specialty Stone beers and merchandise.

– A second 20,775-square-foot (1,930 square meters) building that will be utilized for brewing operations and house fermenters, bright tanks, and packaging equipment and materials. Ultimately, the company’s signature ales will be packaged and distributed throughout Europe from the facility.

– A third 1,300-square-foot (120 square meters) building, situated in what will be the expansive gardens, to be utilized as event space.

The property’s brewhouse will produce year-round and special-release Stone beers to be packaged, kegged and enjoyed on site and eventually distributed. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Berlin will highlight locally grown, organic food that complements the harmonious nature and seasonality of the location’s surroundings. As proud supporters of the international Slow Food movement, Stone will ensure that every dish is made from ingredients adhering to Slow Food’s principles of good, clean, fair food. An ambassador of the craft beer movement, Stone will serve an extensive array of exceptional craft and specialty beers from other breweries in Germany, Europe and across the world, both on tap and in bottles.

Additionally, the company launched an Indiegogo crowd-participation campaign today, so fans can participate in the venture by purchasing special collaboration beers to be brewed with award-winning, renowned craft brewers from around the world at Stone Brewing Co. – Berlin once the facility is operational.

The announcement, and particularly the crowd-funding campaign, created multiple conversations at Facebook, on Twitter and other virtual locations where people gather.

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GABF tickets on sale July 29

July 14th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Great American Beer Festival tickets go on sale July 29 for members of the American Homebrewers Association and Brewers Association.

The general public sale begins (and ends) the next day. Remember, the festival has sold out each of the past six years, and in a matter of minutes in 2013.

Sales begin each day at 10 a.m. Mountain time (noon Eastern, etc.).

More information.

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Top homebrewers honored at national conference

June 15th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Arizona homebrewer Jeremy Voeltz won the coveted Ninkasi Award and Robert Hilferding of Zephyrhills, Fla. was crowned Homebrewer of the Year when the results of the National Homebrew Competition were announced as the conclusion of the National Homebrewers Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich.

More than 2,700 homebrewers attended the conference in “Beer City USA,” listening to presentations from 75 speakers, sharing beers, and compiling wish lists at a trade show that featured a dazzle array of brewing equipment.

More than 200 judges evaluated beers, meads and ciders in Grand Rapids. They advanced from 12 first round judging sites, where 8,172 beers were entered, more than in any other beer competition in the world.

Hilferding won best of show with an entry in the Scottish and Irish ale category. The Meadmaker of the Year award was presented to Matthew Weide of Minneapolis, Minn. for his melomel, and Edward Walkowski from N. Abington Twp., Pa. won Cidermaker of the Year.

New in 2014, the Radegast Club of the Year award was presented to the AHA-registered club that made the most exceptional and positive impact on its local community. The Carolina BrewMasters of Charlotte, N.C. earned that honor by developing close connections with their local community through tremendously successful charitable donations, which amounted to $77,500 in 2013. A total of 25 homebrew clubs were nominated for the Radegast award.

The complete results can be found here (choose 2014 and Final Round).

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Stay-at-home dad earns brewing scholarship

June 7th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

A stay-at-home dad is the first recipient of a brewing scholarship established to honor brewing legend Karl Strauss. Karl Strauss Brewing in San Diego estblished the Brewer’s Education fund in 2009. Now it is partnering with the UC San Diego Extension Brewing Program to fund an annual scholarship. “Karl was passionate about education and he believed that brewing was a delicate balance of art and science — and only when you mastered the science could you indulge in the art,” said Karl Strauss brewmaster. “I attended the Brewing Science Program at UC Davis and I am stoked that we can pay it forward by helping others achieve their dreams to be part of our thriving brewing industry.”

Seguar announced Frank Yepiz, Chula Vista resident and lifelong San Diegan, will be the first to use the scholarship. “Frank has an amazing story that immediately resonated with us,” Segura said. “Here’s a guy who wants to make a life change and we have the unique opportunity to make that dream come true.”

A stay-at-home dad to two young daughters, Frank was pursuing his undergraduate degree in physics at UCSD before making the decision to be at home with his girls. Frank stumbled into the world of beer via bread baking — he wanted to provide healthier food for his family and began baking his own bread and eventually propagating his own yeast cultures.

The world of fermentation quickly expanded into homebrewing and Frank knew he wanted to be part of the local craft beer industry. “I heard about the Karl Strauss scholarship on the radio and I applied. I never thought I would actually get it, so I didn’t even tell my wife I applied. I am so grateful and excited to have this amazing opportunity,” Yepiz said.

The company will offer a second brewing scholarship this fall, and a subsequent annual scholarship beginning in 2015. For more information about the Karl Strauss Brewers Education Fund, visit www.karlstrauss.com.

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Rogue Ales founder Jack Joyce dies

May 28th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Jack Joyce, who co-founded Rogue Ales, died Tuesday at the age of 71.

Joyce, a former executive at Nike, and friends opened the Rogue Public House, also known as Rogue River Brewing Co., in 1988 in Ashland, Oregon. The next year they moved the brewery to Newport, hired John Maier as brewmaster, and not long after established the Rogue Nation as a sovereign entity.

Rogue president Brett Joyce, Jack’s son, issued this statement today:

“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.”

Pertinent reading:

Q&A, Jack Joyce.
Rogue of the month: Jack Joyce.
Rogue is different.
Rogue and the business of art.

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