Stone donates $100,000 in memory of brewer

March 10th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Stone Brewing is donating $100,000 to the memory of brewer Matt Courtright, who died following an accident at the brewery last year.

Stone recently released a beer it calls Matt’s Burning Rosids Imperial Cherrywood-Smoked Saison, based on one of his recipes. The $100,000 donation is made possible by proceeds from the sale of the beer.

The non-profits that will benefit are, which is devoted to meeting the architectural needs of developing communities around the world; and TKF – Tariq Khamisa Foundation, which is working to stop youth violence by educating, mentoring and making positive impacts on youths in high-risk communities. The Matt Courtright Memorial Brewing Scholarship is being administered through the Southern California District of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA), and will provide tuition assistance to one of the three brewing technical schools offered by the MBAA.

“All of Team Stone, especially the brew crew, was deeply saddened to lose a beloved and vital talent from our group,” Stone brewmaster Mitch Steele said for a press release. “As soon as I tasted the small batch Matt had made of Burning Rosids, it was decided without hesitation that this amazing recipe would be a wonderful way to pay tribute to all of the contributions he gave us, while also donating funds to causes he whole-heartedly respected.”

Courtright was operating a forklift at the brewery last August when the machine rolled over on him. He died from the resulting injuries.

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Brewers Association revises mission, craft brewer definition

March 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

The Brewers Association Board of Directors has approved changes to its statements of purpose, mission, core values and beliefs, as well as its definition of craft brewer.

“The changes to fundamental elements of our industry were undertaken with significant deliberation and consideration of many voices,” Paul Gatza, Brewers Association director, said for a press release explaining the changes. “In November 2013, at the board’s direction, the BA surveyed our voting brewery members regarding the ‘foundational documents’ of our association. The results gave us ample member input on these matters of critical importance as the Board headed into its strategic planning meeting.”

The press release outlined what has changed.


Slightly revised, the Brewers Association now states its purpose as: To promote and protect American craft brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.

“In spirit and action, our purpose remains unchanged,” said board chair Gary Fish of Deschutes Brewery. “Removing the previous reference to ‘craft beers’ — which the Brewers Association does not define, but rather leaves to the beer enthusiast — allows the focus to remain on the craft brewers the BA works to promote and protect.”


The Brewers Association mission now states:

By 2020, America’s craft brewers will have more than 20 percent market share and will continue to be recognized as making the best beer in the world. We will:
– Promote access to raw materials and markets
– Support research and advances in safety, sustainability, education, technology and raw materials
– Exercise political influence to secure fair legislative and regulatory treatment
– Foster the commitment to quality
– Educate consumers to understand and champion beer from craft brewers
– Cultivate new ideas and a commitment to a living and active beer culture among craft brewers, homebrewers and beer enthusiasts

“The 20-by-‘20 objective is an aspirational goal for our craft community, with an inspiring symmetry. I’m convinced this goal is within our reach if we, as an industry, continue to focus on our strengths and passions—making and delivering high-quality, innovative, full-flavored beer to craft beer enthusiasts,” Fish said.

Core Values & Beliefs

The Brewers Association core values & beliefs are now described as follows:

- Promoting and celebrating the small, independent, traditional and innovative culture of American craft brewers
– Vigorously defending our industry and providing craft brewers with a unified voice
– Fostering transparency within our own organization
– Supporting and encouraging the responsible enjoyment of beer
– Providing stewardship for 10,000 years of brewing history
– Educating brewers and consumers about the diversity, flavor and quality of beer
– Improving the economic health of American craft brewers
– Working to build a collegial community of brewers, homebrewers and brewing enthusiasts
– Promoting ethical and legal trade practices
– Building relationships and collaborating with our industry partners

Among the changes, the word “innovative” was added to the first bullet point.

Craft Brewer Definition

The three pillars of the craft brewer definition remain the same; however, under the BA Board’s direction, some elements of each pillar have been modified to reflect the evolution within the industry. Specifically, the craft brewer definition now states:

An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional.
– Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships.
– Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
– Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.


While the “small” component of the craft brewer definition previously encompassed the flavored malt beverage (FMB) exclusion—as FMBs are not beer—that language is now contained within the traditional segment of the definition, where it more appropriately applies. The update also added a parenthetical “(approximately 3 percent of annual U.S. sales),” which gives context to the small percentage that 6 million barrels or less of annual production represents vis-a-vis overall beer industry sales.


The revised language more tightly aligns with common beverage alcohol terminology used throughout the beer, wine, spirits and FMB businesses.


The revised definition recognizes that adjunct brewing is quite literally traditional, as brewers have long brewed with what has been available to them.

“The revisions to the craft brewer definition reflect the evolution in thinking regarding the elements of the definition. As the industry continues to rapidly advance, so must the framework that upholds and reflects it,” Gatza said.

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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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