21st Amendment finds San Leandro home

February 19th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Co-founders Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan have announced plans to for a new 21st Amendment production brewery, tasting room, restaurant and event space located in the former Kellogg Cereal factory building in San Leandro, Calif.

They expect the facility to open later this year and have an initial brewing capacity of 100,000 barrels (a barrel equals 31 gallons), and be scalable to over 250,000 barrels. The company expects to brew over 70,000 barrels in 2014.

“Since we began packaging our beer six years ago with our Minnesota partner brewery, we have never been able to keep up with demand,” Freccia said for a press release. “Building our own local brewery will allow us to continue to focus on improving quality and consistency, and to expand into new markets where our beer is in demand.”

O’Sullivan added, “Both Nico and I are excited about making more interesting beers with our unique packaging that craft beer drinkers have come to know and love. It’s every brewer’s dream to open their own brewery and this is truly a dream come true for us.”

The facility will include a tasting room and retail area as well as the company’s headquarters. Phase two will commence in 2015 and will include a full restaurant/pub, beer garden, event and meeting rooms and more.

21st Amendment will be installing a 100 barrel, four-vessel GEA/Huppmann brew house — engineered in Germany and made in the United States #151; with an initial capacity of eight brews per day.

The company plans to continue to also have beer made under contract in Cold Spring, Minn.

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TTB says 948 new brewery permits issued

February 12th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Number of active breweries in US

The Beer Institute reports the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) registered 948 new “permitted breweries” in 2013 and there are now 3,699 active.

Analysis by the Beer Institute showed that the majority of the new permits issued in 2013 went to brewpubs. It also found four states account for one-third of all breweries in the United States: California, Washington, Colorado and Oregon.

“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,” Chris Thorne, vice president of communications at the Beer Institute, said for a press release.

“There was a long period of consolidation in the industry, but during that same period, beer became the most popular drink in America. Thanks in great part to the small brewer tax credit, today we’re seeing more small brewers than ever before. But consumers are also increasingly less loyal to beer, and that is a challenge for every brewer of any size,” Thorne said.

More than 90% of permitted breweries produce less than 60,000 barrels annually.

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‘Brewed in Austin. Born in Detroit’

February 11th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Detroit’s Atwater Brewing has revealed a bold expansion plan that includes building two large brewing facilities far from its Michigan base.

Crain’s Business Detroit reports the Detroit company plans to open breweries in both Austin, Texas, and North Carolina in 2015. The Austin brewery, which will cost $15 million and have a capacity to produce 100,000 barrels, is in the final planning stages for construction. Mark Rieth, president and CEO of Atwater Brewing, told Crain’s the motto for the satellite facility will be: “Brewed in Austin. Born in Detroit.”

Rieth said he wants the brewer to grow in scale enough to become a mega-regional player.

“We have eight new markets ready to go as soon as product is available, with another five planned for 2016 and beyond,” Rieth said. “The additional operations out of state will allow the Detroit facilities to handle the local markets, which are, and always will be, our main priority.”

When Rieth took over Atwater in 2005, it brewed 800 barrels of beer a year. He predicts sales of 70,000 this year and 100,000 in 2015.

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Anheuser-Busch will buy Blue Point Brewing

February 5th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Anheuser-Busch today announced it has agreed to purchase Blue Point Brewing Co. in New York. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In 2013, Blue Point sold approximately 60,000 barrels, with 50 percent of the volume from its flagship brand, Toasted Lager.

Mark Burford and Peter Cotter founded the brewery 15 years ago in Patchogue, N.Y., where it will continue to operate. In a press release, A-B stated it plans to invest in the brewery to grow its operational capabilities and enhance the consumer experience over the next few years.

“We are deeply grateful to our family of loyal employees and customers. Our success was made possible by the hard work of good people and good beer in Patchogue,” Cotter said for the press release.

“As we welcome Blue Point into the Anheuser-Busch family of brands, we look forward to working with Mark and Peter to accelerate the growth of the Blue Point portfolio and expand to new markets, while preserving the heritage and innovation of the brands,” said Luiz Edmond, CEO of Anheuser-Busch.

Anheuser-Busch’s purchase of Blue Point is expected to close in early second quarter of 2014.

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Craft brewers boost US economy by $33 billion

December 16th, 2013 | Posted by Real Beer

2012 craft beer impact

The Brewers Association announced that by its calculation 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,” BA staff economist Bart Watson said. The BA is a non-profit organization that most of the 2,000-plus craft breweries in the country belong to.

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)

State 2012 Output
California $4.7 billion
Texas $2.3 billion
New York $2.2 billion
Pennsylvania     $2 billion
Colorado $1.6 billion

Top Five States in Age 21+ Output per Capita (2012)

State 2012 Output/Capita
Oregon $448.46
Colorado     $436.50
Vermont $418.57
Maine $324.36
Montana $315.37

For some or all of 2012, 2,347 craft breweries operated in the U.S., comprised of 1,132 brewpubs, 1,118 microbreweries and 97 regional craft breweries. During this timeframe, craft brewers sold an estimated 13,235,917 barrels of beer, with a retail dollar value estimated at $11.9 billion* The industry also provided more than 360,000 jobs, with 108,440 jobs directly at breweries and brewpubs, including serving staff at brewpubs.

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Brew Hub will brew (some) Cigar City beer

December 5th, 2013 | Posted by Real Beer

Brew Hub, the largest of recently opened operations that will brew beer for other companies, has announced the first clients that will have beer made in its Florida brewery. They are Cigar City Brewing; Orange Blossom Pilsner; and BJ’s Restaurants.

Brew Hub will brew a variety of beer brands for each company at its Lakeland facility and distribute the beer throughout Florida and eventually other southeastern states. First beers are expected to be shipped in May.

The company refers to this as “partner brewing” — a process that allows craft brewers not only to brew their beer to exact specifications under the supervision of their own brewmaster, but also to package and distribute from the Brew Hub brewery and make their beer available for export to international markets. Brew Hub also offers services including sales, marketing, logistics, compliance and government affairs.

“These guys know what they are doing, and I am excited for the opportunity to be able to grow Cigar City Brewing without sacrificing quality or compromising the brewing process,” Joey Redner, Cigar City Brewing founder and CEO, said for a press release. “When you combine Brew Hub’s experience with a new state-of-the-art craft brewery in our home state of Florida, we knew this partnership could help us get more Cigar City beer into the hands of people who love it.”

“The partnerships we’ve formed with Cigar City, Orange Blossom Pilsner and BJ’s Restaurants are exactly why we formed our company,” said Tim Schoen, founder and CEO of Brew Hub.

Brew Hub will brew approximately 40,000 barrels of beer in 2014 for the three partners combined. The Lakeland brewery will have an annual capacity of 75,000 barrels (one million cases). Brew Hub plans to open four additional breweries over the next five years.

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New Belgium doubles wood beer capacity

November 21st, 2013 | Posted by Real Beer

New Belgium Brewing is set to double its wood beer capacity with the addition of 32 new French Oak foeders (large wooden casks for conditioning sour beer) that will bring their total foeder count to 64. Space has been allocated, reinforced concrete flooring has been poured, and the first 12 foeders will be put in place this week.

The expansion will allow New Belgium to double its wood beer production in coming years. The Colorado brewery began began its wood beer program in 1998 and installed its first foeders in 2000. Brewmasteer Peter Bouckaert, who joined New Belgium in 1996, previously worked at Rodenbach in Belgium, famous for its sour beers, themselves aged in massive foeders.

“With this expansion, we’ll get so close to that feeling I had the first time I walked through the forest of foeders at Rodenbach,” said New Belgium’s wood cellar manager/blender, Lauren Salazar. “Just knowing they’re all full of souring beer – ALL of them – is exciting. It’s a destination. Something you have to experience first hand.”

New Belgium has been experimenting with lighter and blended sour beers through its Lips of Faith program since 2003. The brewery will use this expansion to bring Lips of Faith offerings like Tart Lychee and Eric’s Ale into year round production by 2015. The newest set of oak foeders are 130 hectoliters each and come from Sterling vineyards in California. After the initial installation of 12 this month, 20 more foeders will be placed in December. Once rehydration is complete, sour beer from the current wood cellar will be used to inoculate the barrels with resident souring bacteria and wild yeasts. The beer will then age up to two years before it is blended.

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