Sierra Nevada honored for recycling efforts

The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) has recognized Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. as a “Friend of Glass” for its achievements in making significant and innovative efforts to promote or participate in glass container recycling for bottle-to-bottle use. Sierra Nevada is one of seven “Friends of Glass” recognized by GPI during Recycle Glass Week (Sept. 21-27).

“At Sierra Nevada, recycling and reducing consumption are fundamental parts of our operation. We strive for the highest recycled content in our packaging materials and rely on quality glass packaging for our product. Maintaining a clean and high quality stream of cullet helps to increase the amount of recycled content we are able to maintain. We are honored to be recognized as a Friend of Glass and look forward to helping increase and promote glass container recycling,” Cory Ross, packaging manager at Sierra Nevada, said for a press release.

Sierra Nevada uses glass packaging and kegs for its line of craft and specialty brews. In 2008, Sierra Nevada diverted a total of 638,082 pounds of glass from entering a landfill.

“We believe that partnerships with ‘Friends of Glass’ like Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. are imperative to facilitating better collection and recycling processes for glass bottle-to-bottle recycling to help save energy and our environment,” said Joseph Cattaneo, president of the Glass Packaging Institute. “The glass container industry thanks our 2009 ‘Friends of Glass’ for their work on behalf of glass container recycling and encourages other communities and organizations to follow their lead.”

Sierra Nevada’s recycling program goes beyond just glass containers. The company has reached a 99.5% diversion rate – sending less than 1% of its total solid waste to landfill – through creative recycling and composting efforts. Sierra Nevada collects and recycles cardboard, shrink wrap, paper, cans, bottles PET strapping, wood, food scraps from break rooms, and much more.

Recycle Glass Week is an awareness event aimed to educate consumers about the environmental benefits of and to encourage participation in glass container recycling to help save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and facilitate the industry’s nationwide goal of using 50 percent recycled content in the manufacture of new glass bottles and jars by 2013.


Reunion ’09: A Beer For Hope

Now in its third year, Reunion – A Beer for Hope has welcomed four regional breweries as production partners for 2009. Bison Brewing, headquartered in Berkeley returns for its third year. Joining Bison are Terrapin Brewing in Georgia,
Pizza Port Brewing in Southern California, and Elysian Brewing in Seattle.

The original idea behind the Reunion beer is a colleague of Pete Slosberg, founder of Pete’s Wicked Ales, and Alan Shapiro, a former employee of Pete’s (and who now owns SBS Imports), developed a type of cancer known as Myeloma that affects the bones. Pete and Alan, along with Dan Del Grande of Bison Brewing, created a special beer to help riase money for The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research . Sadly, Virginia MacLean passed away in June of 2007, but the search for a cure goes on, as does the Reunion beer project.

The 2009 Reunion beer is a Double Wheat Ale with a hint of lemon, based on the original Pete’s Wicked Summer Brew. The recipe for this year’s brew was conceived by Pete Slosberg and Brian “Spike” Buckowski of Terrapin. Each brewer has adapted that recipe to meet the requirements of their production facility and place their individual stamp on the beer. It is available in draft only.


Bison President and brewer Dan Del Grande describes their version of Reunion as hazy golden with a pronounced citrus nose. Fruit and subtle spice notes dominate the pallet, with a rich, soft finish. It is brewed with Pale Malt Torrified Wheat, Accidulated Malt, Weyerman Wheat and Great Western White Wheat. It is bittered with Sorachi Ace hops and spiced with orange peel, lemon grass, rhubarb root and coriander. The beer is 7.2% a.b.v.

“I am thrilled to have Bison return as a brewing and fundraising partner for 2009,” noted Reunion co-founder Alan Shapiro. “Since we created this project in 2007 they have been an enthusiastic partner and I look forward to tasting another fantastic Bison beer.”

“As in the past two years, Pete’s original recipes inspired me to brew some exceptional beers in tribute to Virginia and all those who battle cancer. It is my pleasure and honor to add in this small way to the cause.” added Del Grande.

Reunion Double Wheat Ale will be sold at on draft only at approximately 15 pubs and bars in the Bay Area. Bison will be making a donation to IMBCR for every keg sold. As these locations are confirmed they will be posted online.

For additional information on Reunion-A Beer for Hope please visit the Reunion website.


Michelob releases Rye India Pale Ale

Michelob Rye-PAMichelob Brewing Company put a new beer in its Fall/Winter Sampler Pack released today — a Rye India Pale Ale.

The Rye P.A. and Michelob Bavarian Style Wheat, first introduced in 2006, are available only in the sampler pack, which comes in 12- and 24-bottle sizes. They are joined by Michelob Pale Ale and Michelob Porter.

Michelob, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, has handed out samples of both Rye P.A. as well as Tomahop Double Rye-PA (with 97 International Bitterness Units) as beer festivals across the country. “We crafted Michelob Rye P.A. using feedback on many versions of the recipe that we shared . . . ” said Michelob brewmaster Adam Goodson. “Rye is a challenging grain to use in brewing and adds considerable malt flavor complexity compared to barley alone. Michelob Rye P.A.’s intense hop flavors and dry-hopped aromas complement the rye’s spicy undertones.”

The Rye P.A. is 5.9% abv and 50 IBU.

Every sampler pack includes a flighting sheet with tasting notes and a summary of each beer’s ingredients to reveal how the brewmasters’ recipes impact the colors, aromas and flavors found among the different styles. The packs will be available through February 2010.


Chess and Beer

While many sports and games are invigorated by adding a few tasty beers, such as poker or ping pong, not all of them are so enhanced. Take chess, for example. It seems self-evident that clouding one’s mind with alcohol would take the the much-needed edge off your game. But I guess it’s not as obvious I might have supposed.

Reuters is reporting that French Grandmaster Vladislav Tkachiev, the 58th highest ranked player in the world, showed up drunk earlier today to play a match at an international chess tournament in Kolkata, India. According to Reuters, eleven moves into the game, “he could hardly sit in his chair and soon fell asleep, resting his head on the table.”

India’s Praveen Kumar was awarded the win on technical grounds, as Tkachiev was “unable to complete his moves within the stipulated time of an hour and 30 minutes.” I guess it’s hard to play chess when you’re passed out asleep. Although reprimanded for his, uh, performance, he will be allowed to complete the tournament.


Contest To Win Internship at Full Sail Brewery

Oregon Bounty, which promotes travel to Oregon and specifically its local food and beverages, is sponsoring a very cool contest. They’re offering seven “cuisinternships” to local artisan businesses. You can be an intern chef, cheesemaker/choclatier, distiller, fisherman, rancher, winemaker, or — the coolest of the seven — craft brewer. Winners get an all-expenses paid trip to Oregon which includes round-trip airfare, six-nights lodging, and $1,000 cash spending money. You’ll then intern for five days.

You can enter online with a two-minute video and/or your 140-character essay on why you deserve to win an Oregon Bounty Cuisinternship. That’s basically a twitter post; a tweet. The deadline to enter is coming up; it’s Friday September 18. There’s also an FAQ if you have any questions about the contest.

The brewery Cuisinternship is with Jamie Emmerson at Full Sail Brewing in Hood River, Oregon. I’ve known Jamie for a long time now, and he and the staff of Full Sail couldn’t be nicer people. Plus, Hood River is an absolutely gorgeous part of the world.

Here’s a sample of what you’ll be doing if you win: Tour the Great Western Malting and Hop Farm, learn about mashing and the mash tun, learn about sparging and the lauter tun, understand the spice of the beer and the contributions of the hops and kettle, pitch the yeast (the magic ingredient), look under the microscope in the lab, partake in bottling at 500 beers per minute, fill kegs, and — most importantly — taste the rewards of your hard work. Whew, that doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Here’s how the website describes it:

Along the shores of the mighty Columbia River Gorge, get a week-long lesson from some of the country’s craft brewing pioneers. From the hop farm to the mash tun to the microscope, you’ll feel, smell and taste beer from beginning to end. If you can tear yourself away from the tasting table, explore the charming town of Hood River, unofficial U.S. capitol of windsurfing, beer drinking and hanging out.

I’ve also been asked to judge the submissions and help pick the winner, so be sure to answer the question. “Why do you deserve to win?”



In other words, they spit in the beer

A New York Times writer ventures to Delaware to help Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery make a batch of chicha, a traditional Latin American corn beer.

And in order to follow an authentic Peruvian method as closely as possible, the corn would be milled and moistened in the chicha maker’s mouth.

In other words, they spit in the beer.

It’s a great story, if not a great beer. Reporter Joyce Wadler even found some experts to taste the final product.

The musicians of Agua Clara, an Andean band whose members come from Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Japan (hey, it’s New York), were asked to weigh in. They were playing in Times Square on a hot day last week. They smiled broadly as the cool chicha was poured. Then they tasted it and three made faces.

“This is not chicha,” Angel Marin (Ecuador) and two others said, almost simultaneously.

“It tastes like beer,” said Yanko Valdes (Chile).

“It’s supposed to be sweeter,” said Martin Estel (Peru). “It’s not bad though.”

Asked about the chewing and spitting method, Mr. Marin said that it was “old school — in the jungle.”

He also made a suggestion: “You want chicha, you should go to Queens, or any Peruvian or Chilean restaurant.”

And you don’t have to wonder whose mouth the ingredients have been in.


Samuel Adams offers ‘beer finder’

Boston Beer has added a “beer finder” to its Samuel Adams website.

The bad news is that this link won’t get you all the way. You’ll have to stop and show an ID to get in.

The good news is that it works. Type in a ZIP codes and you get a list of places that sell Sam Adams beers. You can even specify a particular brand.

(And here’s a secret: Lots of stores, bars and restaurants that sell Sam Adams also sell other beer you might want to drink.)


OBF: More Than Just Another Beer Festival

This may be hard for some of you to believe, but sometimes there’s more to a beer festival than just the beer. I return to the Oregon Brewer’s Festival every year. The beers change and there’s plenty of great (and some not-so-great) brews to dissect and discuss. But in a town as big and beery as Portland why limit yourself to a few acres of Willamette River bank for the entire time? With a little digging I discovered an impressive list of fun peripheral events open to beer lovers during the festival week.

OBF 2009

This year, during the Oregon Brewer’s Festival week, I attended several beer-themed meals, marched in a beer parade, tasted a mind boggling number of craft beers, and attended my first-ever beer-themed golf tournament … the 5th Annual Sasquatch BrewAm. That barely scratched the surface of what was available.

The evening before the Oregon Brewer’s Festival opened I attended the Annual Brewer’s Dinner at Tom McCall Park. There the general public (that had the forethought to buy a ticket) can rub elbows with brewers, founders, and writers of microbrew legend.

OBF 2009

The food (choice of pork or salmon dinner) was pretty good. The beer selection, 26 beers provided by Northwest breweries (many of which were not available at the festival) was stellar. The most memorable was 10 Barrel’s Sinister Black Ale. Why? After trying over half of what was available, I’m not sure if it was the name or the taste that burned it into my top-of-mind-awareness. I believe I was impressed by both. Proceeds from the dinner go to the Oregon Brewer’s Guild. If you plan to attend, buy your tickets 3-4 months ahead of time.

Opening day of the Oregon Brewer’s Festival begins with a big brunch (which, like the brewers dinner the night before, sells out every year.). Full Sail’s Brew Crew was leading the parade that kicked off the 22nd Oregon Brewer’s Festival so this year the brunch was held at Full Sail’s downtown tasting room and McCormick & Schmick’s Harborside Restaurant at 307 SW Montgomery which is just a hop-skip-jump-stagger-stagger up river from the main event.

OBF 2009

After an exceptional brunch (not easy to do in mass food preparation) all the usual suspects assembled outside with Art Larrance and Full Sail’s Brew Crew with the ceremonial cask. (The parade is open to anyone who’d like to join in.)

OBF 2009

This year’s official band “the Transcendental Brass Band” kicked us off with a lively tune and we set out for Portland City Hall where Mayor Sam Adams would join the parade.

OBF 2009

This was the first year the mile-long parade actually had a parade permit so we weren’t restricted to the sidewalks and had the Portland police controlling traffic on the parade route.

OBF 2009

With the city police running interference, it didn’t take long for the parade to arrive at the seat of Portland’s power. Unfortunately, Mayor Adams’ meeting ran a little over, leaving several hundred festively clad constituents, with their own band, standing in front of city hall like some sort of well-organized public revolt. If I’d thought of it I would have started the chant, “We Want Beer! We Want Beer!” that would’ve given the media something to talk about. But before I could come up with something that clever Mayor Sam Adams and a small entourage came bustling from the building and we were off again.

OBF 2009

The OBF parade follows a different route each year, exposing beer culture to a new audience of bewildered residents who are drawn from homes and business’ to see what the hubbub is all about. Full Sail’s Brew Crew threw Mardi Gras beads to them (without requiring the traditional New Orleans anatomy reveal) and many joined the procession.

OBF 2009

By the time we reached Tom McCall Park, our numbers had swelled into the hundreds. It was then, as happens every year, a misinformed security detail became a bottle neck when they tried to check ID’s on hundreds of people attempting to get out of the street and through the entrance to the festival. As also happens every year, our numbers won out and security finally threw up their hands and let everyone in (most had been checked and tagged at the brunch anyway).

OBF 2009

After a brief opening ceremony where the official OBF Mallet was passed from Jamie Emmerson of Full Sail Brewing Co., to Gary Fish of Deschutes Brewing Co., next years lead brewery, it was time to tap the opening cask. Mayor Adam’s nervously took the mallet and tap. He lined the tap up with the keystone, gave it a mighty whack, and to the horror of all of those watching, promptly broke the ceremonial mallet. Luckily he did drive the tap in with sufficient force and no precious beer, or blood, was spilled.

OBF 2009

The opening cask beer this year was Full Sail’s barrel aged Bourbon Amber Ale which I found to be a delicious beer with strong bourbon influence and notes of vanilla and caramel; perfect after a filling breakfast and a brisk march through the streets of downtown Portland. See Oregon Brewer’s Parade Pictures here.

Attendance at this years Oregon Brewer’s Festival supported Art Larrance’s Statement “Beer is recession proof!” which correlates with my own hypothesis “When times are good, folks drink beer. When times are bad, folks drink more beer.” Despite temperatures in the 90’s, pretty warm by Oregon standards, this year’s 22nd annual event enjoyed record attendance of 72,500. OBF offered 81 different craft beers from 15 states across the country. Like past years, the fruit beers were the top sellers, and I found more than a few that meshed perfectly with the hot day.

OBF 2009

Without breaking this down into a long litany of tasting notes let me simply mention a few of the beers that hit the spot on those hot summer days: Alaskan White Ale, Kona Coconut Brown Ale, 21st Amendment Hell or Highwater Watermelon Wheat, Moylan’s Pomegranate Wheat, Cascade Brewing’s Raspberry Wheat, Bear Republic Crazy Ivan, Caldera Hibiscus Ginger Beer, Rogue Latona Pale Ale, Pyramid Haywire Hefeweizen, and Oakshire Overcast Espresso Stout.

OBF 2009

The Oregon Brewers Festival began in 1988 with the purpose of exposing the Portland public to microbrews from the then fledgling American craft brewing industry (There were only 124 craft breweries across the US). 13 breweries participated that first year, with a total of 16 beers on tap. An expected attendance of 5000 bloomed to 15,000 and OBF was born. Today, there are more than 1,400 craft breweries in the US and Oregon has 73 brewing companies operating 96 brewing facilities. There are 30 breweries operating within the Portland city limits, more than any other city in the world; the Portland metro area boasts 38 breweries, more than any other metro area in the world.

OBF 2009

See Oregon Brewer’s Festival Pictures here. For more information, visit the Oregon Brewers Festival website.

Sasquatch BrewAm 2009

The wee hours of the second day of the Oregon Brewer’s Festival found me in a strange land where blackberry bushes fenced the fairways and giant banana slugs snarled from their thorny depths. It was my first time at the Sasquatch BrewAm, a golf tournament where you can play a round of golf with a celebrity brewer, sort of like the ProAm, because they use golf clubs and a ball, but that’s where any similarity ends.

OBF 2009

The tournament commemorates and celebrates the life of Glen Hay Falconer (aka Sasquatch) a famous and infamous Northwest brewer.

In short, here is how it worked; 105 brewers and enthusiasts gathered at McMenamin’s famous Edgefield Resort distillery where the west course 20-hole pitch and putt waits to make you cry like a little girl.

OBF 2009

Mixed teams of beer industry professionals and enthusiasts are created and sent to different holes to begin playing some of the worst golf seen since Scottish cave dwellers began smacking rocks with crooked sticks.

OBF 2009

Each team member pitches for the green. The closest ball to the pin sets the putting distance for the team to the hole. Best score is recorded for the hole. Sounds easy enough until you factor in a few variables. Due to the previously mentioned blackberry briars and saber-toothed banana slugs, if you get more than a few feet off the green or the fairway, chances are you won’t find your ball. The good news is if you are brave enough to stick your hand into the thorny thickets, you’ll probably find someone else’s ball, or several someone else’s balls.

OBF 2009

Another variable is the course itself, if you have a classic parkland-style golf course featuring lovely tree-lined fairways, undulating bent grass greens, and strategically situated ponds and bunkers in mind forget it. This 20-hole course is built into the steep, briar lined sides of a hill that gently rises up at approximately a 45 degree angle from the Columbia river valley up up up to the edge of the resort’s property. Part of the course description says it “offers stunning views while you work on your short game.” It should also offer free oxygen at the upper holes.

OBF 2009

Okay what have we covered here…stickers, slugs, steep terrain…oh yeah, mustn’t forget the beer stations. Because when you’re trying to catch your breath as you contemplate an 80 foot hole with a 60 foot drop in elevation, you really should have a beer in your hand. Beer stations where strategically located throughout the course to insure no one gets too dehydrated, or serious, or sober, during this Northwest shank-fest.
Finished or not, everyone was called into the resort just after twelve o’clock to determine the winners, award prizes, and get some food in our bellies.

OBF 2009

Who won? The low score winner was a group from Lompoc but some say their score sheet was a work of fiction that would have made Stephen King proud. But the great thing about the BrewAm…No one cares! All in all, it was a lot more fun than I anticipated and I plan to make the BrewAm a regular part of my OBF celebration week. See Sasquatch BrewAm Pictures here.

If you’d like to join in next years fun, visit the Glen Falconer Foundation website.

This is just a snapshot of my 4 days in Beervana. If you plan to attend the Oregon Brewer’s Festival next year, do your research on peripheral events and make a plan, buy your tickets early, and come prepared to have lots and lots of fun … see you there!


California State Fair 2009 Winners

The awards for the 2009 California State Fair and the California Commercial Craft Brewers Competition were handed out at a ceremony last weekend. Below is a list of all the winners.

Amber Ales

  1. Imperial Red by Lagunitas
  2. Red Horse by Sacramento Brewing
  3. Green Lake Organic by Deschutes

Light Ales

  1. Emma by Lock Down Brewing
  2. Kolsch by Brew It Up!
  3. Cascade by Deschutes

Specialty Category

  1. Apple Cider by Samuel Adams
  2. Orange Cider by Two Rivers
  3. Boysendberry Cider by Two Rivers

American Pale Ales

  1. Pale 31 by Firestone Walker
  2. Tipperary by Moylan’s
  3. New Dog Ale by Lagunitas

English Pale Ales

  1. Twilight by Deschutes
  2. Double Barrel by Firestone Walker
  3. Churchills by Brew It Up!

India Pale Ales

  1. IPA by Sacramento Brewing
  2. Indica by Lost Coast
  3. Inversion by Deschutes


  1. Stout by Sierra Nevada
  2. Obsidian by Deschutes
  3. Luck o’ the Irish by Blue Frog


  1. Helles by Sudwerk
  2. Dark Lager by Primator
  3. Boston Lager by Samuel Adams

Wheat Ales

  1. Kellerweiss by Sierra Nevada
  2. Imperial White by Samuel Adams
  3. Haywire by Pyramid

Brown Ales

  1. Downtown Brown by Lost Coast
  2. Hemp Ale by Humboldt

Fruit Beers

  1. Raspberry Brown by Lost Coast
  2. Audacious Apricot by Pyramid
  3. Cranberry Wit by Samuel Adams

Strong Ales

  1. Abyss by Deschutes
  2. Hop Stoopid by Lagunitas
  3. Brussels Blonde by Sacramento Brewing

Best of Show

WINNER Helles by Sudwerk
First Runner UpPale 31 by Firestone Walker
Second Runner UpIPA by Sacramento Brewing

archives archives

Craft Beer Continues To Sell

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.

100 Year High

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.


Short Pour Film Fest: Call For Submissions

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:

  1. Live Action Short Films
  2. Animated Short Films
  3. Music Videos
  4. Commercials

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.”

Short Pour Film Fest

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).


Rare tasting tickets going fast and more GABF news

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 rolls out a new beer barrel

Proper glasswareNewcastle 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.