New Book Honors Michael Jackson

Today is the late Michael Jackson’s birthday. He would have been 67 today, but passed away in August of 2006. To honor his memory and contribution to beer and whisky, a book was published today featuring new short works or essays by a baker’s dozen of beer and whisky writers. The new works were all donated by the authors and the proceeds of the book will be donated to the Parkinson’s Disease Society. I looks to be a worthwhile addition to your library. The authors are Stephen Beaumont, Dave Broom, Ian Buxton, John Hansell, Julie Johnson, Charles MacLean, Hans Offringa, F. Paul Pacult, Roger Protz, Lucy Saunders, Conrad Seidl, Carolyn Smagalski and Gavin D. Smith.

Beer Hunter, Whisky Chaser

And it’s for a good cause. I’d say buy it on Amazon, but it’s not showing as being available. So look for it at your local bookstore soon. It would also make a lovely gift, don’t you think?

From the publisher’s website:

Editor Ian Buxton, who conceived the project, said “Michael Jackson dominated the world of both beer and whisky writing for two decades and was hugely influential in both ‘real ale’ and single malt whisky. A complete generation of writers has cause to be grateful to him, not to mention countless brewers and distillers. This new book honours that legacy.”


Utah Legalizes Homebrewing

Yesterday, Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. of Utah signed into law legislation that makes homebrewing beer legal. The “Exemption for Alcoholic Beverage Manufacturing License” was sponsored by Representative Christine A. Johnson and made Utah the 46th state to legalize homebrewing. The US Government made homebrewing legal on a federal level in 1978. Since then all but four states; Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Oklahoma have made homebrewing legal.

Utah Homebrewing
From left: The Jamie Burnham, Beer Nut manager; Allen Sanderson, AHA member; Mark Alston, The Beer Nut Owner; Christine Johnson, Representative; Gary Glass, AHA Director; and AHA members Douglas Wawrzynski and Nicole Salazar.

“Home-brewing is a healthy and vibrant hobby in Utah as evidenced by the outpouring of support HB 51 received in the 2009 Legislature,” commented Rep. Christine A. Johnson. “Many thanks to the American Homebrewers Association for thorough education, great committee testimony and association members who flooded elected officials with emails of support.”

But it’s not just homebrewers who are excited about the change. Jennifer Talley, brewmaster for Squatters Pub Brewery/Salt Lake Brewing Co in Salt Lake City, says the relationship between professional and amateur brewers has always been a tight one and legalizing homebrewing will allow this relationship in Utah to evolve and grow.

“Homebrewing is truly an art and most professional brewers I know were once homebrewing in their kitchen. Utah beer enthusiast will now have the freedom to express their deepest beer desires through perfecting the craft of homebrewing in their own kitchens,” says Talley.

The American Homebrewers Association estimates that there are approximately 750,000 homebrewers in the United States, including 7,000 homebrewers residing in Utah. Utah is the only state to have legalized homebrewing in the last ten years.

“With the successful passage of HB 51, Utahns can confidently assemble into homebrew clubs and organize competitions,” states the Utah law student Douglas Wawrzynski, who launched this most recent attempt to legalize homebrewing. “Utah homebrewers are finally free to relax, stop worrying, and have a legal homebrew.”

“It has been an honor to work with the homebrewers of Utah to help legalize homebrewing in their state,” says Gary Glass, Director of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA). “I can think of no greater cause for the American Homebrewers Association to take on than ensuring all Americans can legally brew at home.”

There is currently an active movement to legalize homebrewing in Alabama, and the AHA has heard from homebrewers in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Oklahoma who are interested in starting movements in each of those states.


Falconer Foundation Brewing Scholarships Available

There’s still time, but not much, to apply for one of the Falconer Foundation Brewing Scholarships. Potential applicants have until April 20 to apply for one of two available scholarships.


In co-sponsorship with the Seibel Institute of Technology, the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation is offering two full-tuition brewing education scholarships in 2009.
One scholarship is for the World Brewing Academy Concise Course in Brewing Technology held at the Siebel Institute in Chicago in November 2009. The Concise Course in Brewing Technology is a two-week intensive program that covers every topic critical to successful brewery operations. The program is designed for brewers pursuing a wider knowledge of professional brewing standards and techniques in order to advance their brewing careers as well as individuals planning to enter the brewing industry.

The second scholarship allows candidates to apply for one of three two-week modules from the International Diploma in Brewing Technology Program held at Siebel’s Chicago campus in September/October 2009.   This specialty brewing scholarship is intended for those brewers who seek an in-depth understanding of a specific brewing discipline.  Candidates must designate which module they wish to attend.

The Concise Course scholarships are open to individuals planning on entering the brewing industry and to professional brewers with no more than three years of brewery work experience.  The specialty brewing scholarship is open only to professional brewers.  Applicants must be from the Pacific Northwest (including Alaska and Hawaii) and Northern California regions (San Francisco Bay/Monterey Bay areas and north).  Each scholarship includes a $750 stipend to help offset travel and lodging expenses.

For more details and information on how to apply, visit the Siebel Institute website.

Falconer Foundation


The Glen Hay Falconer Foundation is a non-profit organization created to commemorate and celebrate the life, interests, and good works of a well-loved and leading Northwest brewer.

The Foundation is supported by donations from the annual Sasquatch Brew Fest that takes place in Eugene, Oregon every June and by donations from participating pubs in the Sasquatch Legacy Project where scholarship recipients join together each year to brew a specially crafted beer.  Private donations and fundraisers also support the Foundation’s brewing scholarship program.

The Foundation produces the Sasquatch BrewAm, a golf tournament pairing all levels of golfers and beer lovers with celebrity brewers.   The fifth annual Sasquatch BrewAm will be held at McMenamins Edgefield on July 24, 2009 concurrent with the Oregon Brewers Festival in Portland, Oregon.  Don’t miss the opportunity to play a fun-filled round of golf with brewing luminaries.  For more information on all these events, please visit

Glen Hay Falconer


Passion, dedication, and creativity defined Glen Falconer’s beers and his entire approach to life.

Glen began his brewing career as an avid homebrewer and dedicated member of the Cascade Brewers Society, a clan of skilled homebrewers based in the Eugene/Springfield, Oregon area. As a professional brewer, Glen continued to support the craft of homebrewing by providing access to brewing ingredients, procedures and unique beer recipes.

In 1990, Glen followed his dream and pursued a professional brewing career, beginning at Steelhead Brewery in Eugene. Glen completed the Siebel Concise Course in Brewing Technology in 1994. Glen then refined his skills at the renowned Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon, working side-by-side with his close friend and mentor John Maier.

In 1996, Glen became head brewer at the Wild Duck Brewery in Eugene, providing six regular beers on tap as well as a wide variety of specialty ales and lagers each season. Glen continued as head brewer at the Wild Duck until his untimely death in 2002.

Enlarging on the tradition of brewing, laughing heartily and embracing adventure fully represented Glen’s life. While Glen won numerous professional craft brewing prizes and accolades, perhaps his finest accomplishment was the back-to-back Gold Medals received posthumously for his Auld Gnarly Head Barley Wine at the 2002 and 2003 Great American Beer Festival.


Full Sail Drags Out Keelhauler

Full Sail Brewing is set to release a new beer in their Brewmaster Reserve line-up for 2009, Keelhauler Scottish Ale. Keelhauler is a full bodied rich ale with slight notes of caramel and cocoa and a strong malty flavor. The hop character is spicy and earthy with a nice finishing hop flavor. “With this style we embark on a trip across the pond. Keelhauler, a nautical term, refers to a form of punishment one might get for treachery on the high seas, but there’s no punishment here, we just thought it was a great name for a beer. Scottish Ale’s are widely interpreted between sweet and roasty. We go for the balanced side, using imported Crystal and Amber malts with imported Challenger, American Willamette, and Sterling Hops to bring this Scottish Ale to life, said Full Sail Brewmaster, John Harris. ABV: 6.8% IBU: 48

Full Sail Keelhauler

Keelhauler is part of our rotating selection of Brewmaster Reserve Beers. Every ten weeks we come out with a different beer that show cases the brewer’s art. We began the program back in 1998 as a way of celebrating our independence and creativity,” added Full Sail’s Founder and CEO, Irene Firmat.

Keelhauler will be available in 22oz bottles and on draught in specialty beer stores and pubs throughout the Pacific Northwest from Mid-March until June. Full Sail will follow-up Keelhauler with Grandsun of Spot India Pale Ale due out in June.


Mama’s Little Yella Pils From Oskar Blues

Oskar Blues Brewery is now releasing Mama’s Little Yella Pils in sixpacks of cans. Cans (and kegs) of the beer are now appearing at beer retailers in Colorado and the brewery’s other 22 states.

This new canned beer from the pioneering microcanner is a delicious, small-batch version of the beer style that made the city of Pilsen (in Czech Republic) famous.

Mama’s is made with hearty amounts of pale malt, German specialty malts, and a blend of traditional (Saaz) and 21st century Bavarian hops. Unlike mass-market pilsners, Mama’s is made of 100% malted barley and no corn or rice.

“There are very few all-malt pilsners made in the US anymore,” says Oskar Blues founder Dale Katechis. “And the concept of ‘America-made pilsner’ has taken a beating over the past few generations. Especially when it comes to pilsners in cans.”

Mama's Little Yella Pils

“We’re going to use Mama’s to help the style recapture its glory,” Katechis adds. “We want to give ‘canned pilsner’ the same good reputation we helped create for canned beer in the US. It’s a new frontier for us.”

Oskar Blues’ first canned lager, Mama’s Little Yella Pils is fermented at cool temperatures with a German yeast.

It sports the trademarks of a classic pilsner: aromas of grassy Saaz hops and pale grains, flavors of pale malts backed by subtle Euro-style hopping, followed by a crisp and refreshingly hoppy finish.

While it’s rich with Czech flavor, Mama’s gentle hopping (about 35 IBUs) and 5.3% ABV make it a satisfying but lower alcohol beer (by Oskar Blues standards) that’s perfect for warm-weather drinking.

Since its start, Oskar Blues has blazed its microcanning trail with higher-strength, assertive-but-elegant beers that stretch beer boundaries. But Mama’s Little Yella Pils allows the brewery to highlight its skills in making a more subtle version of great beer.

“You can’t hide flaws in a pilsner,” Katechis says. “With this beer our brewers get to showcase their expertise at making an unforgiving, classic style of beer.”


Great Divide Creates Espresso Version Of Yeti Imperial Stout

Two of Denver’s most highly acclaimed craft beverage companies, Great Divide Brewing and Pablo’s Coffee, have entered a partnership to create a new seasonal beer, an espresso-infused version of Great Divide’s Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout.

Great Divide Brewing brews some of the globe’s most balanced yet assertive and flavorful beers. In 1994, Brian Dunn set up shop in an abandoned dairy-processing plant at the edge of downtown Denver and began brewing the beers that would eventually carry Great Divide to its status as one of America’s most decorated microbreweries and would help transform Denver into an international destination for beer lovers.

Great Divide Yeti

Espresso Oak Aged Yeti “is a beer we’ve wanted to do for a long time,” says Dunn. “Imperial stouts already tend to have undertones of coffee, so the infusion of espresso makes for a perfect complement to Oak Aged Yeti’s complex character. We’ve been playing around with the beer for a long time, trying to get the right balance of espresso to beer. Once we got it ready for commercial release, we knew we wanted to partner with a local supplier for the espresso. Pablo’s makes the best coffee in Denver, so the choice was easy.”

Located on East Sixth Avenue in Denver’s Alamo Placita neighborhood, Pablo’s Coffee, “A Worldwide Chain of One,” has served Denver’s finest coffee since 1995, roasting all of its beans in-house and serving as an antidote to the deluge of multinational coffee chains.

Of the partnership with Great Divide, Pablo’s founder Craig Conner says, “We have very similar business models—our companies are both committed to quality over quantity, and to serving our local communities in a way that large corporations are unable to do. And just as in the beer world, most of the best, most award-winning coffee comes from small roasters like us.” The company’s small size and proximity to Great Divide allowed it to custom-roast the espresso beans at the last minute possible so that they were as fresh as possible and at just the right specifications to make them perfect for the beer. “We couldn’t be more pleased,” says Conner, “to be partnering with another great local business like ours to create something special.”

The espresso—sourced through direct relationships with farmers in three different countries—combines with Oak Aged Yeti’s vanilla oak character, intense roasty maltiness and bold hop profile to create a truly heady experience. Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout will be available in 22-ounce bottles and on draft through mid-April.


Vegas Bartender Wins Top U.S. Honors

It’s a competition that starts with a “Purification,” includes a “Sacrifice,” “Beheading” and “Judgment; and for Las Vegas bartender Greg Black, it ended with a “Championship.” A bartender since 1997, Black, best mastered the nine-step Belgian beer pouring ritual Tuesday night to win the Stella Artois Draught Master Competition held at Lavo Nightclub.

Black will now represent the U.S. against more than 30 other countries at the World Draught Master Competition in Leuven, Belgium this October.

“Cracking open a can or popping the cap off a bottle is easy, but preparing a beer following the strict standards of the Belgian Pouring Ritual takes a lot more care and attention to detail,” said Black. “At the Draught Master Competition you know every step of the pouring ritual will be highly scrutinized. To be named champion and able to represent the U.S. in Belgium is incredible.”

The Draught Master Competition recognizes the best bartenders for their ability to adhere to the Belgian Pouring Ritual – a nine-step process that includes “purifying” the glassware; “sacrificing” the first beer poured and “beheading” the beer for the perfect head of foam. The timed competition took place in front of a panel of four judges as well as a large audience of consumers and industry experts.

Greg Black

Judges graded the competitors on their ability to pour a perfect glass of Stella Artois and Hoegaarden from draught. Competitors also were judged on how well they opened, poured and served bottles of Stella Artois, Hoegaarden and Leffe Blonde. Judges were looking for the perfect pour as well as a showcase of skills, style and personality.

“The Belgians have mastered the art of the perfect pour, which not only ensures the utmost enjoyment of the beer, but also showcases the pouring process itself,” said competition judge Cian Hickey, vice president of draught, Anheuser-Busch InBev. “The pouring skills on display in Las Vegas Tuesday were near perfection and would make any Belgian beer drinker proud. The strong competition also will prepare the U.S. champion to take on the best from around the globe at the World Draught Master finals.”

In 2008, U.S. champion Anthony Alba finished fourth in the World Draught Master finals. It was the highest finish for an American since 2005 when Jessica Waltz took first.


A Pint At the End of the Terminal

If you love beer and do any amount of traveling by plane, you’ll be happy to know that has just published a guide to beer at airports available for free as a pdf.

Airport Guide

The guide includes a look at sixteen U.S. airports, including most of the major one. The guide tells you what type of beer you can find along with the exact terminal and/or concourse where it’s located.


Sierra Nevada To Release Kellerweis

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is set to release Kellerweis Hefeweizen, their newest year-round beer. This is their second year-round release this year, and a great addition to their lineup of world-class beers.

The name Sierra Nevada is synonymous with hops, and lots of them. Kellerweis is an exception to that rule, but fortunately, no less exceptional. Several years ago, the brewers began working with a unique Bavarian hefeweizen yeast strain unknown in this country. This amazingly flavorful yeast was so exciting that they began working on a recipe for a traditional German hefeweizen with the Sierra Nevada twist. Traditional hefeweizen is a style that seems deceptively simple, but in reality is devilishly complex. For years the brewers weren’t satisfied with the beer; something was missing. In a flash of inspiration, an epic trip was arranged. The brewers took a whirlwind tour through the legendary Bavarian wheat breweries to see what they were doing. It was there they realized the advantages of making wheat beer using the traditional system of open fermentation.

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Sierra Nevada had been making a portion of their beer using the difficult and labor-intensive technique of open fermentation for years. Most modern brewery fermentation takes place in closed, stainless-steel tanks; this method is efficient, quick and clean. In closed tanks, however, the yeast doesn’t have the opportunity to coax as much complexity from the fermenting beer. Using shallow open fermentation, the yeast has space to build layers of flavors and aroma that would otherwise be impossible.

After seeing the technique in use in Germany, the inspiration to make Kellerweis in the open system took hold. The name is an homage to the German Keller, meaning cellar—the name breweries give to their fermentation systems, and weis, or weiss—the German name for “white” or wheat beer, hazy with suspended yeast.

Kellerweis is a light and refreshing beer with deep complexity of flavor. The yeast provides hints of fruit flavors and spices, including ripe banana and clove. This hazy-golden beer glows with suspended yeast creating a velvety texture; perfect for a sunny California day. Sierra Nevada’s Kellerweis Hefeweizen will be available in 6-packs starting in early summer 2009.


Beer: An American Revolution

In 1920, the National Prohibition Act destroyed the beer industry in the United States, putting some 1,500 breweries out of business. When the “noble experiment” was repealed in 1933, beer lovers rejoiced, and the beer industry staggered back to its feet. The industry had lost much of its diversity, however, and the emergence of national brands in the 1950s and 1960s led to industry consolidation and fewer choices for American beer drinkers. By 1980, there were less than 50 breweries in the U.S.

By the 1980s, American beer had an international reputation as weak and watery as a case of Hamm’s. Most breweries only produced American-style lagers, a light and inexpensive style of beer typically made with rice or corn adjuncts in addition to barley, hops, yeast and water. In 1982, Monty Python’s Eric Idle famously quipped, “We find your American beer is a little like making love in a canoe. It’s fucking close to water.”

What American beer lovers didn’t know at the time was that a revolution was imminent. In 1979, a clerical error in the 21st Amendment was corrected, and for the first time in nearly 50 years it became legal to brew small batches of beer at home. Home brewers who had little interest in cutting costs or making beer with mass appeal began brewing big, flavorful beers in a wide range of styles. Many of these home brewers decided to turn their passion into small businesses, and microbreweries began popping up all over the country.

Today, although mainstream beers still dominate the market, more than 14,00 breweries in the U.S. produce more styles of beer than anywhere else in the world, and American beers routinely dominates international beer competitions.

So the next time you’re at your favorite brewpub, hold your glass up high and celebrate the American beer revolution.

Now playing, on Reason TV:

“Beer: An American Revolution” was written and produced by Paul Feine. Alex Manning was the director of photography and Nick Gillespie is the narrator. Approximately seven minutes.


Killing the Golden Goose: Oregon’s Proposed 1900% Beer Tax Increase Would Decimate Industry

Killing the Golden Goose — The 1900% Beer Tax Hike would be a knife in the heart of Oregon’s Craft Beer Industry.

I recently made a trip up to Portland to attend the “No New Oregon Beer Tax Rally” at the Green Dragon. What I found out about the tax hike proposed by Oregon House Bill 2461 shocked me and left me worried for the future of Oregon’s world famous craft brewing industry. HB 2461 was sponsored by five Oregon Legislatures (Representative CANNON, Senators DINGFELDER and MORRISETTE; Representative DEMBROW, and Senator ROSENBAUM) who will be referred to from here on as the “Fab-5” for purposes of brevity.

Rally Poster

I wonder if the Fab-5 ever heard the old adage “Every solution presents a whole new set of problems”? I’m don’t believe the Fab-5 really bothered to look at the problems their “solution” for funding additional state mental health, drug, and alcohol treatment programs would create when they sponsored HB 2461 which proposes a 1900% increase in the barrel tax on beer in Oregon. That’s not a typo! They would like to raise the tax on a barrel of beer from $2.60 per barrel to $52.21 which is a 1900% increase.

They downplay the bill as a reasonable and minor tax increase needed because Oregon’s beer tax, ranked 47th in the nation, is too low. Huh? Let me get this straight. Your main argument for raising the tax I pay on a pint of beer 1900% is “Well the tax hasn’t been raised in a long time.” Not because it is right or fair, or because there is a demonstrable cause and effect between beer and these programs they seek to fund with this tax, but simply because the tax hasn’t been raised since 1977.

Sorry that’s not a good enough reason to damage the states beer industry and the Oregon microbrewers that have grown into a vibrant Oregon success story that creates roughly 15,000 direct and indirect beer industry related jobs in this state. Not only does Oregon’s craft beer fill our pint glasses with world-class artisanal brew, it has created a “beer tourism” draw that many peripheral Oregon businesses’ benefit from.

You’re probably wondering “Since this tax is levied on all beer consumed in Oregon, why does it impact our craft brewing industry more than other states selling their beer here?” Though this tax is on all beer consumed in the state, Oregon Craft Breweries biggest market is Oregon. In 2008, 36% of the beer made by Oregon Craft Breweries was sold in Oregon. Out of all the beer consumed in the state, 11.4% was Oregon Craft Beer. This means our craft brewing industry, as a group, will be impacted most by the proposed 1900% tax increase.

If the Fab-5 insists on looking back to 1977, let’s take a look at how many barrels of beer were being consumed in Oregon then. Numbers are hard to come by but I did discover a study on Oregon’s bottle bill that puts the consumption in 1973 at roughly 1.5 million barrels (By the way, Blitz-Weinhard was the only brewery in Oregon back then). Using that as a starting point, the taxes generated by those sales were approximately $3.9 million. Last year Oregonians consumed 2.72 million barrels of beer, resulting in over $7 million in revenue from the current tax. Whereas the Fab-5 keeps waving the “no increase since 1977” flag, they seem to have completely missed the fact that tax revenues from beer have increased about 56% in that same time-span.

Of course that doesn’t add in the revenues they reap from having close to 90 breweries here in the state, providing jobs and paying business, property, and income taxes. They wouldn’t want to muddy the water with a bunch of facts that don’t support their position.

The other major point pushed by HB 2461 is these additional taxes are needed to pay for additional state mental health, drug, and alcohol treatment programs. Out of $155.8 million in net revenue from alcohol excise taxes in 2008 only $7.9 million was targeted to those programs. I do not dispute the fact that these programs are important, I do however wonder why these important programs are being so woefully underfunded and why Oregon’s beer drinkers are expected to shoulder the entire burden. Oh, and one other thing…Um…this may seem like a silly question, but that $155.8 million is NET revenue not gross revenue, could you tell me exactly where the other $147.9 million dollars you collected went?

Passage of HB 2461 would add another $135 million in Oregon alcohol excise tax revenue to the state coffers, effectively doubling Oregon alcohol tax revenues on the back of beer alone whose contribution would be $142 million at current consumption levels. Of course that won’t be the cost to the Oregon consumer, oh no. The Fab-5 keeps saying the new tax will only add an additional 15 cents per 12 oz. onto the cost of beer. It’s a good thing they’re in government because they’d never survive in business. Anyone who has been in business is familiar with the concept of acceptable profit margins a business needs to maintain to stay in business. If they aren’t they probably are no longer in business. (They’re most likely now working in government) Maintaining profitability margins through the system for all the players involved from brewery to glass puts the actual impact of that 15 cent increase at the wholesale level at a $1.50 per pint when it finally reaches the consumer. The overall impact on Oregon beer drinkers will be about $315 million at current consumption levels.

2010 Prices

This will be a boon for our border states who will see a dramatic increase in sales to Oregonians who will jump state lines to purchase their beer in bulk, or patronize pubs where they can purchase beer at a much lower price (even Oregon beer).
Those who follow the beer industry are aware the last two years have been extremely difficult due to shortages and huge price increases in the costs of raw materials. Those price increases have already negatively impacted the profit margin on each barrel of beer nationwide and resulted in increases in beer prices. What a great time to slap a hefty increase on the industry.

Was the Fab-5 paying attention during the recent gas price crisis? It’s simple economics. This is how it worked, the more the consumer was charged for gas, the less they purchased. The less they purchased, the less tax per gallon was collected for the Oregon coffers. What did this lead to? A state government proposal to raise the gas tax. If the HB 2461 tax increase impacts the industry in the same way, and many believe it will, then it will result in reduced beer, and more importantly to our states craft beer industry, drastically reduced craft beer consumption. What will the state do when this tax doesn’t achieve its goals because of reduced consumption? Hmmmm, history indicates they’ll probably vote to raise it again to make up the deficit. This will create a hostile tax environment for craft breweries and spell the beginning of the end for growth of the craft brewing industry in Oregon.

A timely article in the March 4th Guardian discusses the woeful impact of 2008’s 18% beer tax increase in the UK. To date “A record 2,000 British pubs have closed with the loss of 20,000 jobs since the chancellor, Alistair Darling, increased beer tax in the 2008 budget.” “A separate forecast by Oxford Economics that 75,000 more jobs in the drinks industry are at risk.”

The proposed 1900% increase HB 2461 mandates would make Oregon’s Beer Tax the highest in the good old USA. 37% higher than the current number one state, Alaska. (Yea for us, we’ll be #1!) Are Oregonians so prosperous the state government leeches need to bleed us of our excess income? Well let’s evaluate how Oregon ranks compared the other states.

The first category is, of course, number of craft breweries. We are rightly proud of the number and quality of craft breweries in our state but we are not number one. We are in the top 5, and 6 of the country’s top 50 craft breweries are here in Oregon, but this year Colorado opened its 101st brewery, taking the number one spot. Oregon has roughly 88 craft breweries. Except for a select few, most of the craft brewery owners I know aren’t making much more than a living wage from their business. A common adage in the craft beer industry is “If you’re getting into brewing beer to get rich you picked the wrong business.”

So what other categories does Oregon rank so high? There must be something that flips a switch in a lawmaker’s head to go down this road to ruin. Let’s see, could it be our personal tax burden is too low? No, looks like we’re 5th highest in the nation so that’s not it. What about our economy, are we on fire and need some additional taxes to slow it down and get our expansion under control? No, that’s not it either, the Oregon economy is ranked 35th. In case your calculator isn’t working, that means 34 states are in better economic shape than good old Oregon.

We do have the auspicious honor of being the nations 5th highest in unemployment, a number that I’m sure will climb towards that coveted #1 spot as our pubs close and our microbreweries move to other states with the passage of this poorly thought out legislative solution. If you agree this is a bad idea send Oregon Legislators a message through the Oregon Brewer’s Guild at


Karl Strauss Introduces Tower 10 IPA

Hop Heads rejoice! There’s a new IPA in town. Karl Strauss Brewing is excited to introduce Tower 10 IPA—a bold, flavorful American-style IPA and the latest addition to their core lineup. San Diego is well known for their IPA’s, and as a San Diego native, Karl Strauss wanted to release their version of what a great American IPA should be.

Tower 10 IPA is brewed with a blend of caramel and pale two row malts and large amounts of classic Pacific Northwest Cascade, Chinook, and Centennial hops. After fermentation, over a pound of Cascade and Centennial hops are used to dry hop the beer for extra citrus aroma and flavor. Tower 10 IPA comes in at 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs. “We’ve got a few hopheads around here and we wanted to brew an IPA that we were proud of. Tower 10 IPA is bigger and bolder than our previous IPA, and if you like hops, you’re going to love this,” said Brewmaster Paul Segura. The company announced that it will be replacing their Stargazer IPA, an English-style IPA, with Tower 10 IPA.

Karl Stauss Tower 10

Karl Strauss decided to name their new IPA after lifeguard Tower 10 in Mission Beach where founders Chris Cramer and Matt Rattner began drafting their plans for the brewery back in 1989. 20 years later, Tower 10 is still standing and the company thought it was a fitting name for a bold new release making its debut 20 years after the original idea for the company.

Tower 10 IPA is available on draft at all 6 Karl Strauss Brewery Restaurants as well as bars and restaurants throughout Southern California. Beginning in the first quarter of 2009, Tower 10 IPA will be available in six packs at supermarkets, liquor stores, and other retail accounts throughout Southern California.