Finland is becoming famous for it’s quirky sporting events. Over the weekend, couples from all over the world competed in an international wife-carrying contest. What’s the draw? Well, the winner gets his wife’s weight in beer. Here’s more:
The Brewers Association, the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, reports America’s small and independent craft brewers are still growing (see Craft Brewing Statistics) despite many challenges and are continuing to provide jobs to the U.S. economy. Dollar growth from craft brewers during the first half of 2009 increased 9%, down from 11% growth during the same period in 2008. Volume of craft brewed beer sold grew 5% for the first six months in 2009, compared to 6.5% growth in the first half of 2008. Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first half of the year is an estimated 4.2 million, compared to 4 million barrels sold in the first half of 2008.
“At a time when many of the giant beer brands are declining, small and independent craft brewers are organically growing their share and slowly gaining shelf and restaurant menu space one glass of craft beer at a time,” said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association.
The U.S. now boasts 1,525 breweries, the highest number in 100 years when consolidation and the run up to Prohibition reduced the number of breweries to 1,498 in 1910. “The U.S. has more breweries than any other nation and produces a greater diversity of beer styles than anywhere else, thanks to craft brewer innovation,” Gatza added.
The “First Ever” short-film festival on the subject of BEER will debut at the Monterey Beer Festival on June 5th, 2010, from 12:30pm to 5pm. Do you love beer? Have you ever thought about being a filmmaker? Or perhaps you’re already a professional or even amateur filmmaker. If so, here’s your chance to showcase your talent with a short (3 minutes or less) film about beer. The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2010 and the form and rules can be found on the Night That Never Ends website. It’s free to enter your film.
There are four separate categories for you to submit a film under:
- Live Action Short Films
- Animated Short Films
- Music Videos
Organizer Jeff Moses expects lots of lighthearted looks at brew, including personal stories about drinking beer with friends or visiting breweries. He also anticipates a few entries by “serious brewers” who’ll reveal the exact steps to making beer. Moses says being a bona fide beer connoisseur isn’t necessary for the creative process — just having a “connection” to brew should suffice. He also suggests “filmmakers throw back brewskis after shooting and avoid keg stands so they’re actually able to finish their projects.”
The Short Pour Film Fest will take place on June 5th, 2010, during the Monterey Beer Festival (and is free to festival attendees) at the Monterey Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairgrounds Road, Monterey, California, 93940 and will be free of charge to Monterey Beer Festival attendees.
Short Pour Film Fest honors both individuals who have achieved excellence in short filmmaking and amateur filmmakers. This unique short-film festival showcases film making talent on the subject of BEER.
Films will be shown in the historic ”King City Room”, a 10,000 square foot building at the Monterey Fairgrounds (home to The Monterey Jazz Festival & The Monterey Blues Festival).
If you are headed to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival in September beer is probably your top priority, so first the news about a unique beer tasting.
More than 80 percent of the tickets for the Denver Rare Beer Tasting on Sept. 25 are already sold. The event in the afternoon at Wynkoop Brewing benefits Pints for Prostates, an awareness campaign aimed at encouraging men to have regular prostate health screenings and PSA tests.
Each brewery at the event will be pouring one unique beer, including some vintage aged beers and brews that were made in extremely limited batches as part of special projects. Ticket information can be found here (and a list of some of the beers that will be available at Wynkoop follows after the other news).
– The fourth annual Boulder County Brews Cruise will feature two bus trips that visit the original four Boulder County breweries – Avery Brewing, Boulder Beer Company, Left Hand Brewing Company, Oskar Blues Brewery – from the very first cruise. The trip begins at 8 a.m. Sept. 23 from downtown Denver.
The cruise includes seat on the bus, free samples at each stop, a light breakfast, lunch, and a commemorative T-shirt. Last year’s cruise sold out. Ticket information.
– The Simpsons are one of the sponsors of this year’s GABF. They are scheduled open each session of the festival with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Now back to beer, and some of those that will be at the Rare Beer Tasting:
Allagash Fluxus ’09: This saison from Maine is brewed with sweet potatoes and black pepper, weighing in at 8.3 percent alcohol by volume. Jason Perkins will represent the brewery.
Alaskan 1999 Vintage Smoked Porter: The last known draught keg of the 1999 vintage of Alaskan’s much decorated Smoked Porter. This beer will be served alongside a sample of 2008 Alaskan Smoked Porter for comparison.
Anheuser-Busch Pilot Batch: This is an experimental beer from Anheuser-Busch so rare that only brewery insiders and a few lucky beer journalists will ever get the chance to taste the brew. Get ready to be surprised. Kristi Saviers will represent the brewery.
Brooklyn Wild 1: This beer started off as a batch of the popular bottle-conditioned Brooklyn Local 1 farmhouse ale, then spent nine months in Bourbon barrels and then it was bottle conditioned with Belgian re-fermentation yeast and a strain of Brettanomyces bruxellensis. Only 80 cases were made for consumption by Brooklyn Brewery staff. Garrett Oliver will represent the brewery.
Deschutes Black Butte Porter XX: Brewed in 2008 to celebrate Deschutes’ 20th anniversary, this 11 percent alcohol by volume beer was pulled from the brewmaster’s private library. This beer starts off as a Double Black Butte Porter, has cocoa nibs and Bellatazza Coffee Roasters’ Sumatran and Ethiopian beans added, then it is aged in ex-Bourbon barrels. Brett Porter will represent the brewery.
Dogfish Head 2006 Raison D’Extra: This is a super charged 18 percent alcohol by volume version of the popular Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre. The brewery has not made this brew for the past two years.
Foothills Barrel Aged Total Eclipse Stout: One of only 10 kegs of this beer in the world. This North Carolina brewery took its award winning stout and aged it for three to four months in ex-whiskey barrels that previously held 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon. Jamie Bartholomaus will represent the brewery.
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Glacier Harvest ’09 Wet Hop Ale: The 28th edition of Harpoon’s 100 Barrel Series, this deep copper colored beer is made using fresh Glacier hops. Todd Charbonneau will represent the brewery.
Highland Big Butte Smoked Porter: Winner of the Highland Cup homebrewing completion and based on a recipe created by Alex Buerckholtz, this beer is only available for a very limited time in North Carolina. Features smoked German malt and Fuggle hops. John Lyda will represent the brewery.
New Glarus Golden Ale: This Belgian-style ale is the first of the Wisconsin brewery’s R&D Series and previously was only available at the brewery. The 7 percent alcohol by volume beer is bottle fermented with Brettanomyces yeast. Dan Carey will represent the brewery.
Reunion – A Beer of Hope: This Double White Ale was collaboratively designed and brewed by four brewers across the U.S.: Bison Brewing and Pizza Port Brewing in California, Elysian Brewing in Washington and Terrapin Brewing in Georgia. This Belgian-style witbier uses sweet orange peel, coriander, lemongrass and rhubarb root. Sales of the beer support The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research. Daniel Del Grande and George Allen from Bison Brewery represent the brewers.
Rogue John-John Hazelnut Dead Guy: Named for Rogue Brewmaster John Maier and Rogue Master Distiller John Couchot, this brew starts off with Rogue’s famous Dead Guy Ale that is aged in Rogue Hazelnut Rum barrels. Brett Joyce will represent the brewery.
Saranac Imperial IPA: Part of the New York brewery’s limited release High Peaks Series this ale features 10 different hop varieties and 10 different malts.
Stone 2008 Old Guardian Barley Wine Aged in Red Wine Barrels: This 95 IBU barley wine has a massive malt character that is made even more complex thanks to the barrel aging. Greg Koch and Mitch Steele will represent the brewery.
Stoudt 2007 Barrel-Aged Reserve Old Abominable Barleywine: This vintage barleywine from Pennsylvania was aged for 10 months in oak whiskey barrels before being keg conditioned. Carol Stoudt will represent the brewery.
Wynkoop 2008 Barrel Aged Berserker Mead: This 11 percent alcohol by volume mead was made using Colorado wildflower honey and has spent about 20 months in barrels that were formally the home of Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. C. Andrew Brown will represent the brewery.
Newcastle Brown Ale has announced the launch of the Newcastle DraughtKeg.
It uses the same technology originally created by Heineken USA, aimed to provide freshness and portability through a pressurized draft system that utilizes a patented internal CO2 system with a mini tap. This feature is intended to keep the beer fresh for up to 30 days after tapping and delivers the same taste experience as a pint of Newcastle poured in a pub.
“The launch of the Newcastle DraughtKeg is a milestone event for the brand, offering access to the one and only Newcastle on tap at fine establishments everywhere, including your home,” Colin Westcott Pitt, brand director of Newcastle, said for a press release. “The fact that it’s portable gives you the opportunity to share the pub experience with friends wherever you are. You become a handyman of sorts, providing instant home improvement by bringing the Newcastle DraughtKeg into someone’s house.”
The kegs holds 1.33 gallons (5 liters) of Newcastle, about 10 pints of beer. The Newcastle DraughtKeg is also compatible with the Krups BeerTender, an appliance designed exclusively for the DraughtKeg.
If you liked Greg Koch’s video I Am A Craft Brewer from April, you’re going to love this one about homebrewers, too.