Karl Strauss’ New Packaging Unveiled

You can’t always judge a beer by its package, but Karl Strauss is betting that if you like what’s on the outside, you’ll love what’s on the inside. Karl Strauss Brewing Company is celebrating their 20th Anniversary with the debut of completely redesigned packaging to showcase their locally brewed and bottled beer. With the completion of their new brewery expansion and bottling line, the company felt the time was right to release new packaging that better reflected the pioneering spirit of San Diego’s first craft beer company.

Red Trolley

The new packaging takes the familiar images San Diego has come to know—the Red Trolley, the woodie car—and gives them new life with a sketched art look and subdued colors, on natural looking packaging. Karl Strauss went with the natural background, rather than the glossy/slick look, to stand apart from the big guys and stay authentic to who they are as a local San Diego brewery. They used recycled materials wherever they could, including six pack carriers that are made from 100% recycled paper. Even the design is more environmentally friendly using much less ink than traditional beer packaging. They had bold ideas of what they wanted their packaging to be and are very happy with how it all turned out.

Woodie Gold

The new designs were done all in house and feature more information about the beer. Delivered with a sense of humor, Karl Strauss demonstrates they know their beer, but aren’t afraid to have a little fun—after all, it’s beer!

Karl Strauss IPA

Another major change to the company’s packaging includes a new pry-off cap. The oxygen-absorbing, pry-off bottle caps help keep the beer fresher longer, and that means better tasting beer. And with all that goes into making a great beer, Karl Strauss believes in doing everything they can to keep it tasting that way.


All bottles coming off the company’s new bottling line at the main brewery in Pacific Beach will feature the new packaging. Six packs of Karl Strauss Amber Lager, Red Trolley Ale, Woodie Gold, and their latest release—Tower 10 IPA—are expected to hit shelves in supermarkets and liquor stores across Southern California in the first quarter of 2009.


Bipartisan Tax Relief Legislation For Brewers Introduced

The Beer Institute and the Brewers Association today applauded members of the United States House of Representatives for the introduction of H.R. 836 the Brewers Excise and Economic Relief (BEER) Act, which effectively returns the federal beer excise tax back to its pre-1991 level of $9 per barrel.

“There is strong, industry-wide support for this legislation, and we thank Congress for its bipartisan effort to institute tax fairness for one of the most productive sectors of the American economy,” said Tom Long, President and Chief Commercial Officer of MillerCoors, and Chairman of the Beer Institute. “We commend Reps. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and Tom Latham (R-IA) for their leadership on this important issue, and we urge Congress to help provide relief to low- and middle-income families and businesses in America’s brewing community by passing this legislation as quickly as possible.”

Today, there are over 2,053 brewing companies in the United States operated by national brewers, regional brewers, regional craft brewers, microbrewers, and brewpubs. These job-creating businesses are in every state in the nation. In fact, a majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a brewery. In addition to reducing the tax burden on large brewers and beer importers the legislation introduced today provides specific relief to small brewers by reducing their tax burden from $7.00 to $3.50 per barrel.

“This type of tax relief can act as a stimulus to America’s small breweries,” said Rich Doyle, cofounder of Harpoon Brewery and Chairman of the Brewers Association. “While our industry has been able to remain successful in the recent past, we’ve faced raw material cost increases that have reduced our margins and severely challenged our bottom line. This measure would go a long way toward sustaining our businesses and our employees, benefiting local communities in all 50 states.”

The 1991 doubling of the federal excise tax remains the only so-called “luxury tax” still in place. All of the taxes on luxury products such as yachts and jewelry that were increased that same year have since been repealed due to the devastating consequences they had on jobs, the economy and the industries impacted. Today, more than 40 percent of the retail price of beer is comprised of various taxes, and beer taxes at all levels of government add up to more than $36 billion annually.

“At a time when the economy is struggling and manufacturing jobs are being lost, America’s brewers, beer importers and suppliers stand out as a rare positive story of local businesses committed to good-paying jobs and contributing billions of dollars in economic activity,” said Jeff Becker, President of the Beer Institute. “This relief will preserve American jobs and help breweries -large and small- remain competitive now and in the future.”

Directly and indirectly, the beer industry contributes approximately $190 billion annually to the U.S. economy and provides more than 1.7 million jobs with wages and benefits of nearly $55 billion.

“Many small breweries are family-run operations situated in small towns and communities across the country,” added Charlie Papazian, President of the Brewers Association. “These are exactly the types of small businesses that provide important local jobs and need tax relief in this struggling economy.”

Approximately 50 percent of all beer purchased in the United States is by consumers with household income of $50,000 per year or less. That means the relative impact of beer excise taxes on households in the lowest income brackets is 6.5 times greater than those with the highest incomes.

Companion legislation is expected to be introduced in the United States Senate in the coming weeks.


Bay Area Beer Writer Bill Brand Hit By Train

A reporter friend (thanks Brent) just sent me this terrible news. Bill Brand, longtime Bay Area beer writer and reporter with the Oakland Tribune, was critically injured last night when he was struck by a Muni train near Pac Bell Park south of 21st Amendment in San Francisco where he had just left to catch a ride to BART. The following information was posted on his Bottoms Up column in the Oakland Tribune. The only information we have at this point is that he is currently in a coma at San Francisco General Hospital.

Bill Brand

Bill Brand was in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital after he was hit about 9:10 p.m. Sunday, family members said.

He was was walking near Second and King streets when an N-Judah train struck him, according to the San Francisco Municipal Railway.

In his career with the Tribune, Brand covered a host of topics for the newspaper, including crime and science. After leaving the paper in July, he continued to write a regular beer column titled “What’s on Tap” and contribute to the Bottoms Up blog.

At Bottoms Up, they’re asking to hear from “blogging buddies, commenters and community members in the comments section so they “can pass your best wishes as soon as we’re able to share them.” Let’s do our part to inundate him well wishes.

Bill is a terrific person and an asset to the Bay Area’s beer community, a tireless champion. I’ve been with him at events three out of the last four days, so I can hardly believe this news. With everyone here in the Bay Area for SF Beer Week, let’s all stop for a moment tonight, say at 7:00 p.m. and drink a toast to Bill and especially for a speedy recovery.

UPDATE: Bill is reported this morning to be in stable condition, which is good news.


Anchor To Release New Barrel-Aged Beer

Anchor Brewing is set to release a very special, limited edition, beer they’ve been working on for a long, long time. Dubbed “Our Barrel Ale,” (an homage to their Christmas beer, “Our Special Ale“), it’s a blend of at least three of their beers. While just a guess, the three are possibly Liberty, Porter and Old Foghorn. All we can say for sure is it’s not Anchor Steam. The individual beers were aged in Anchor’s own used Old Potrero rye whisky barrels for at least six months, then blended together to create OBA. Only 100 cases of magnums will be available for sale when it’s released in mid-February. And you can only buy them at the brewery. The price will be $30.

Anchor's Our Barrel Ale

We had an opportunity to try OBA last night at Anchor Brewery, at an event to launch SF Beer Week, a ten-day series of over 150 beer events in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’d say they nailed it out of the gate. The flavor imparted from the barrel aging is present, but is never overpowering, and the blend — whatever it turns out to be — works. It’s malty, sweet with an underlying hop character that is all integrated together so that nothing really dominates. This gives it a very smooth mouthfeel and nice complex flavor profile, exactly what a blended beer should be — something greater than the sum of its part. This is going to go fast, so get yourself a bottle or two before it’s all gone.


Colorado breweries call for help in distribution battle

Please note: The date for the hearing has been changed to Feb. 25.

Support Your Local BreweryThe Colorado Brewers Guild has asked brewing enthusiasts to rally to their support in opposing a law that would restrict their distribution. The press release from Support Your Local Brewery:

“House Bill 1192 (the grocery store bill, a measure that will limit access to market for small Colorado craft brewers) has been scheduled for its first hearing in the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee. Your presence is requested at the State Capitol in Denver on Wednesday, February 25th at 1:30 in the Old Supreme Court Chambers (this room is located inside the State Capitol building in Denver, Colorado).

“We need to have as many homebrewers and beer enthusiasts as possible come down, testify or simply be present in the committee hearing room. We will also be holding a press event before the committee meeting. Additionally, if you are able to attend or not, please contact the members of the committee to express your opposition (see contact information below).

“Click on to learn more about why this bill is bad for Colorado craft beer! Please show your oppostion to HB 1192.

“Again, please attend this rally to preserve the beer culture of Colorado. Thank you.

“Cheers to Colorado Beers,
John Carlson
Executive Director
Colorado Brewers Guild”

Contact information for the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee:

Rice, Joe
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2953

Casso, Edward
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2964

Balmer, David G
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2935

Bradford, Laura
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2583

Gagliardi, Sara
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2962

Liston, Larry G
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2965

Priola, Kevin
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2912

Ryden, Su
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2942

Scanlan, Christine
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2952

Soper, John F
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2931

Stephens, Amy
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2924


Wynkoop Beerdrinker finalists chosen

Wynkoop Brewing in Denver has announced the finalists for 2009 Beerdrinker of the Year. Included are two former finalists and an Wynkoop regular. They are, from the press release:

J Mark Angelus, a Nehalem, Oregon semi-retired prosecutor, avid beer drinker and 2008 Beerdrinker of the Year finalist. In 2008 Angelus sampled 1,029 beers, visited 93 breweries (in four States and three nations) and sampled 244 Oregon beers at eleven beer festivals in his home state.

His philosophy about beer: “While I never take myself seriously, I take my beer seriously. I have found no greater beer experience than to drink great beer at the place where it is rooted with the people who are an integral part of that beer’s culture.”

Cody Christman, a Denver software engineer, beer educator and avid homebrewer and beer lover. In 2008 Christman began teaching a Beer 101 course to friends and family in his home bar. The basement bar features a 15-foot bar, seven taps and three refrigerators. He has tasted beer in 19 countries and visited over 200 breweries.

His philosophy about beer: “Everything I do, and every decision I make revolves around beer. I am a tireless advocate of beer culture and the brewing industry. Beer is my passion. It is the most diverse and complex drink known to man.”

Phil Farrell, a Cummings, Georgia commercial pilot, homebrewer, beer judge and 2007 finalist. He has tasted beer in every country in Europe, 1000 of the world’s pubs and 400 brewpubs. His basement beer pub features six taps, two refrigerators, and a 15-gallon brewing system.

His philosophy about beer: “Beer is first and foremost a social drink. It is the most flexible and universally affordable fine beverage there is. Every social gathering and every food item is enhanced with beer. Beer is the greatest gift ever given to the human race and meant to be shared with others.”

The finalists will be grilled on Feb. 21 by a panel of previous Beerdrinker of the Year winners and national beer experts. The winners receives free beer for life at the Wynkoop Brewing, $250 worth of beer at their local brewpub or beer bar, and clothing proclaiming them the 2009 Beerdrinker of the Year.


Rogue Jazzes It Up

World class jazz calls for world class beer. So for the fourth year, Rogue Ales has produced a limited edition Jazz Guy Ale bottle for the Portland Jazz Festival. The Portland Jazz Festival has been named one of the top five jazz festivals by Jazz journalist Magazine and Jazz Guy ale is a six-time World Champion amber ale. The festival will bring top national and international acts to venues throughout Portland during its 10-day run, February 13-22.

Rogue Jazz Guy

Jazz Guy Ale will be available on draft and in custom 22 oz. serigraphed bottles starting Feb. 1. Jazz Guy Ale 2009 is part of a collectible series of Jazz Guy ale bottles that changes yearly. The Jazz Guy Ale bottle will be featured at a VIP kickoff reception Feb. 13 at Pioneer Courthouse Square and will be available at all Rogue pubs on draft and in bottles throughout the festival. As part of the festival, Rogue will host three nights of jazz at the Rogue Distillery & Public House: John Stowell, Jeff Johnson and John Bishop on February 13th, Eddie Parente Gypsy Jazz on February 14th, and Mood Area 52 on February 21th. Dan Balmer will also play on February 20th at Rogue’s sister pub, the Green Dragon Bistro & Brewpub. And when the musicians pack their bags and leave town, Jazz Guy ale will follow them to jazz venues and festivals across the country. Jazz Guy ale will be available in New Orleans, San Francisco, Boston, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Seattle and Chicago.

Rogue Jazz Guy ale is made with 9 ingredients: Harrington and Klages, Cara Vienna, English 115 & 135 Crystal Malts; Cascade and Kent Golding Hops; Rogue’s proprietary Pacman ale yeast & free range coastal water. No chemicals, additives or preservatives. It is tawny in color with a coffee aroma, tight head and a delicate roasted malt accent. Celebrating its second century, Rogue ales is an Artisan Varietal Brewery founded in Oregon in 1988, as one of America’s first 50 microbreweries. Rogue has 600+ awards for taste and quality and is available nationally and in 20 countries.


Wind-Brewed Beer Brewery Raising 1st Generator Next Tuesday

The full name of Dave Anderson’s new farm/brewing venture in Wilson, Wisconsin is “Dave’s BrewFarm Brewery on Little Wolf Farmstead.” In part, that’s because he’s also planning to grow hops on the farm, too. But he’s also planning on making his own power using wind technology. If you’d like to help (or just watch, I suppose) here are the details.

Please join us for the raising of what will be the start of Wisconsin’s Wind-Brewed Beer on Dave’s BrewFarm, a sustainably-based craft brewery in Wilson, WI. On February 3, 2009, at approximately 9:00 a.m., we’ll be putting up a Jacobs 31-20, a 20kW wind generator on a 120-foot tower to harvest the bountiful winds on the northern ridge of Wilson. The generator is projected to provide up to 50% of the needed electricity for the brewery/residence.

The wind generator is but one component of the sustainable aspect of the BrewFarm project, with geothermal heating/cooling and solar thermal rounding out the renewable energy mix. Greywater recycling will handle the brewery’s wastewater, which will be used in the hopyard and orchards of Little Wolf Farmstead, the agricultural component of the project.

Dave's BrewFarm

The BrewFarm is an innovative demonstration project showcasing the latest in renewable and sustainable business practices, and rural development. Our hope is that through “leading by example” other businesses will adopt these (and other) sustainable strategies, realizing that every effort helps the planet – and the bottom line.

Be sure to dress warm, as this is an outdoor event – and may take some time given the variable conditions of the day. It “usually” takes about a half hour for the crane to lift the tower – the crane is scheduled to arrive at 8:30 a.m. and will take a half hour (+/-) to get set-up.

Sounds like it should be educational as well as entertaining.


Marin Brewing Takes Top Honors at Three At Five Pairing Event

Beer loyalists can celebrate a victory in the world of pairing food and beverage as Arne Johnson, Brewmaster at Marin Brewing took home top honors on January 20th, 2009 at the 3rd Annual Three on Five event in San Francisco. The brain child of Emily Wines, master sommelier at the Michelin rated Fifth Floor restaurant, in San Francisco, CA, Three on Five pits a sommelier against a beer professional and an expert in an alternative alcohol beverage category in a tantalizing competition to see who can pair his or her beverage of choice best with the pre-selected five course menu. Each menu item is paired with a wine, beer and mixed concoction and the diners in attendance rate each pairing on a 1-5 scale. The 2009 Three on Five contributors included two-time champion Emily Wines, Brewmaster Arne Johnson and in a new-this-year beverage category, sake guru Beau Timken, owner of the True Sake store and author of Sake: A Modern Guide.

Fifth Floor

Arne Johnson took top pairing honors in 3 out of the 5 courses. Emily Wines took top honors in one course, as did Mr. Timken. The first course was Aligot, consisting of fresh dug potato soup, truffled brie, celery and truffle, with which participating diners preferred the Orval Trappist Ale from Belgium. Second course was Crevettes, a wonderful combination of black tiger shrimp with chermoula vinaigrette, crystal lettuce, spinach and pine nut pistou, with which the favored pairing was with the Bon Muroke Nama Genshu, sake from the Fukui Prefecture. The third course was Loup de Mer, consisting of pan seared wild striped bass with scallops, kalamata olives, baby artichokes and caper berries with lemon mousseline, with which Russian River Brewing Company’s’ Temptation Ale was named the favorite.

Marin Brewing Company’s gold medal winning Pt. Reyes Porter was the favored selection for the main course consisting of wild boar “pot pie,” wild mushrooms and celeriac remoulade. Rounding out the evening was a Poire et Citron created with sable breton, caramelized pears, citrus gelée poire william-caramel sauce and huckleberry sorbet, and participants chose Ms. Wines selection of a 2003 Doisy Vedrines Sauternes as the favorite.

Mr. Johnson’s overwhelming victory supports the growing trend of pairing beer with food. It is clear; beer is no longer just for BBQ’s and ball games. For more information about events like Three on Five, Arne Johnson or his beers visit


Karl Strauss Celebrating 20 Years

Karl Strauss Brewing Company has completed their much anticipated brewery expansion and new bottling line just in time for their 20th Anniversary. With the recent brewery expansion and bottling line in place, the company has doubled their capacity from 31,000 barrels to 60,000 barrels and now has the flexibility to bottle their core beers, seasonals, and special release beers in both 12 and 22 ounce bottles.

Karl Strauss

Wanting to stay in their converted greenhouse in Pacific Beach, Karl Strauss had to get imaginative with the limited amount of space. The company embraced the challenge with its standard creativity. After consulting with several different design firms, the company selected San Diego-based Public Architecture Firm for their own distinctive vision and bold ideas. Public’s plans included a two-story bottling line in order to maximize space and create a unique viewing opportunity for a more tour-able facility.

As the footprint was being established, Karl Strauss Brewing Company began assembling the necessary pieces of the bottling line. The company purchased a double pre-evac, 32-valve Meyer filler rated at 350 bottles per minute. After bottles are filled, they will go through the new sterile filtration system to maintain a fresh flavor and the handcrafted characteristics of their beer. A Krones labeler—considered by many in the industry to be the premiere labeler—glues on newly designed labels to each bottle, and a date code is added to ensure freshness and quality in the market. The cases then get stacked to be shipped out to retailers across Southern California.

Karl Strauss Bottling

In order to keep up with demand and to supply the new bottling line, it was necessary for Karl Strauss to expand their brewery. The company was able to reconfigure their current set-up to make room for the addition of five 240-barrel fermenters, two 120-barrel bright tanks, a new Velo diatomaceous earth filter, new sanitary floors, and a new energy efficient glycol chiller, boiler, and lighting. The Quality Control Lab is excited about the new BrauMat computer system by Siemens that allows the temperature of each tank to be monitored and controlled, helping ensure quality and consistency from batch to batch. The brewery expansion will allow Karl Strauss to not only expand distribution, but also experiment with more seasonal and specialty beer offerings.


Pike Brewing Kicks Off 20th Anniversary Year By Release Old Bawdy Barley Wine 2008

Old Bawdy Barley Wine is Pike’s most extreme beer. With a high, starting gravity of 1.096 Old Bawdy has 10% alcohol by volume. The color, like a shiny new penny has amber highlights and a nose that is floral and sensual, like a bouquet of freshly picked flowers. Old Bawdy was brewed by Head Brewer Drew Cluley, second Brewer Dean Mochizuki and the Pike team of brewers and brewsters. The grist blend is made with enormous quantities of the finest biscuity malts. Pike Old Bawdy 2008 is sweet and earthy with the flavor of pale, crystal and wheat malts playing off of one another like sunshine on a field of barley. Balancing this liquid bread are incredible quantities of an herbal blend of Columbus, Magnum, Chinook and Centennial hops, all from the Yakima Valley. On the palate Old Bawdy is powerful, rich and complex with a smooth, full round mouth-feel and a fine balance of sweet and bitter, drinking as if it were much lighter in alcohol. The finish is long and satisfying with a slight essence of grapefruit.

Pike Old Bawdy

Pike Old Bawdy, brewed only once a year, was first introduced in 1991. As the beer has been brewed through the years an evolution in taste has occurred as we strive to create a classic, particularly one that is a great accompaniment to food. Since The Pike Brewery was founded in the LaSalle Hotel one of Seattle’s most infamous bawdy houses (brothels), the Old Bawdy label features a red light bulb in reference to “Naughty Nellie,” the beautiful madam who converted an old seaman’s hotel into a luxurious home away from home for gentlemen visiting Seattle’s historic Pike Place Public Market, America’s oldest. Though strong beers called barley wines had been brewed in Great Britain for centuries, by the late 1970s most were no longer being produced. At the time that Old Bawdy was introduced under Head Brewer Fal Allen, it was among the first of a new breed of hand crafted American barley wines and was an immediate success. Pike Old Bawdy was brewed from 1991 through 1997 at which time Pike founders, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, sold the brewery and the beer was discontinued. The Finkels re-acquired The Pike Brewing Company in 2006 and in restoring and re-organizing the brewery, unearthed a treasure trove of the elixir from earlier vintages in both kegs and bottles. Earlier vintages, like 1996 and 1997 had matured beautifully. The 2006 vintage was lovingly brewed and released in early 2007. By contrasting this vintage with significantly older ones, the potential for aging was evident and the decision was made to establish a library of each year’s beer. Customers look forward to experiencing each vintage.

2009 marks Pike’s 20th Anniversary. To celebrate, special events will be held throughout the year culminating in a week-long celebration leading up to our actual birthday, October 17, 2009. On Sunday, February 8, 2009 Pike’s Microbrewery Museum will be the venue for A Vertical Tasting of 1994, 1996, 1997, 2006, 2007 and 2008 Old Bawdy Barley Wines. This event will be limited to 100 people; we recommend reservations. If you live in the Seattle area and want to attend, here are the details:

Pike Brewing Vertical Old Bawdy Barley Wine Tasting
1994, 1996, 1997, 2006, 2007 and 2008 Vintages
Sunday, February 8, 2009
2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
$18.00 per person
$15.00 with WABL (Washington Beer Lover’s) passport

Pike Microbrewery Museum
1415 1st Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
R.S.V.P. to Michael St. Clair
(206) 812-6613


Full Sail Strikes Black Gold

Full Sail Brewing has announced the special release of Black Gold Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout 2009. This
highly anticipated release from Full Sail’s vintage barrel series has been a Full Sail brewing tradition since 1998. Every year since, Full Sail’s talented team of brewers brew an Imperial style dark ale and fill roughly sixty oak bourbon barrel casks, then age them in their cellar for about a year.

“Wood and barrel aging is an art form that takes dedication, patience and care. We brew this special beer in small batches, that’s why it is available in very limited quantities. You should get some while you can,” explained Jamie Emmerson, Full Sail’s Brewmaster.

Full Sail Black Gold

The beer will be released in early February. According to Emmerson, it was initially brewed in February 2008, and released as Full Sail Imperial Stout. A portion of the batch was reserved and aged for almost a year in Bourbon casks from Kentucky to create Black Gold. “This extended aging presents hints of vanilla and allows the Stout to pick up the flavors of the wood, bourbon and oak. The aging combined with the robust character of the Imperial Stout make for an extraordinary and wonderful taste experience. It has a strong roasted malt character and a full body. Chocolate and caramel nuances blend with the hops for a smooth Imperial Stout,” described Jamie. “It cellars well, if you store a few bottles in a dark, cool place and be patient – you will be rewarded for your effort and restraint,” To help the beer aficionados that have the self-discipline to cellar this beer, Full Sail marks the bottle label with the reserve year. Black Gold will be available in 22 oz bottles and on draught. (ABV 10.5%, IBU 65)

If you’re near the Mt. Hood, Oregon, area, Full Sail is planning a special event to celebrate the release of Black Gold. The brewery will be pouring three of their wood-aged beers including bourbon-barrel-aged 2002 and 2008 Top Sail Imperial Porter, and 2009 Black Gold Imperial Stout. The special tapping will take place at 5 p.m., Monday, February 2nd at Full Sail’s River place Brewery in Portland, Oregon and at 5 p.m., Thursday, February 5th at the Full Sail Tasting Room and Pub in Hood River. For more information call the Full Sail River place brewery at 503-222-5343 or the Full Sail Tasting Room and Pub at 541-386-2247.


Washington homebrewers can use our help

Support Your Local BrewerySupport Your Local Brewery has issued an E-Action Alert for Washington, to help legalize homebrewing.

There’s the news:

The American Homebrewers Association has been working with the Washington Homebrewers Association (WAHA) to modify Washington’s regulations (RCW 66.28.140), which currently prohibit transportation or sharing of homemade beer and wine outside of the house of production, with exceptions only for competitions or exhibitions at which only “judges” can sample the products. The largest volume that may be transported is 1 gallon. Thus serving homebrew at homebrew club meetings or even at the house of a friend or family member is currently prohibited.

Senate Bill 5060 would allow for serving homemade beer and wine in amounts up to 20 gallons for meetings, events, etc., is currently scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Labor, Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee on Tuesday, January 20th at 1:30 pm in Olympia (date is subject to change due to the Presidential Inauguration).

What is needed now is for people to contact the members of the Senate Labor, Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee to ask for them to support Washington’s brewing and winemaking communities by supporting Senate Bill 5060. Personal contacts with state legislators will go a long way in ensuring the success of this bill.

Senate Labor, Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee Members:

Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles: (360) 786-7670

Senator Karen Keiser: (360) 786-7664

Senator Janea Holmquist: (360) 786-7624

Senator Rosa Franklin: (360) 786-7656

Senator Jim Honeyford: (360) 786-7684

Senator Curtis King: (360) 786-7626

Senator Adam Kline: (360) 786-7688

All of the information you need, updates and background material for this effort can be found at

Thanks so much for your support of Washington’s homebrewers!


Despite Softening Economy, Magic Hat 2008 Numbers Remain Strong

The Magic Hat Brewing Company & Performing Arts Center has announced sales results for the 2008 calendar year, and the numbers show that the brewer continues to perform well despite a shaky American economy and the rising prices in production costs.

Magic Hat enjoyed a 26% growth in sales in 2008, with December sales up 40% from the previous year. Debuts in several new territories, including Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta, as well as continued double-digit sales growth in mature markets, helped Magic Hat’s flagship beer, #9, enjoy a 14th consecutive year of double-digit growth. Sales for the not quite pale ale were up 33% in 2008.

Magic Hat

Alan Newman, president of Magic Hat Brewing Company, commented, “Our 26% increase in depletions in 2008 is a testament to the growing demand for full-flavored craft beers, and the strength of the Magic Hat brand in this industry. We’ve gone from making kegs for a few Burlington bars to being the 12th largest brand in the country. People have really flocked to our beer, and become devoted when they do. It just goes to prove that if you put out a quality product, have fun doing it, and respect your customers as you go, the universe will deliver the rest.”

With Magic Hat’s brewery expansion nearly complete, the brewer expects to put out 165,000 barrels in 2009, a significant increase over the 127,586 barrels brewed in 2008.


Full Sail Releases Slipknot Imperial IPA

Full Sail Brewing Company recently released the first beer in their Brewmaster Reserve line-up for 2009, Slipknot Imperial
IPA. This annual favorite and gold medal winner at the 2008 World Beer Championship will be available January to mid March. “As the name implies, every aspect of this American style IPA is amplified – from the up-front hop aroma and bitterness to the big malt body,” said Full Sail’s Brewmaster, John Harris. (ABV: 7.8% IBUs: 80)

Full Sail Slipknot

“Slipknot 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.” said Full Sail’s Founder and CEO, Irene Firmat.

Slipknot will be available in 22oz bottles and on draught in specialty beer stores and pubs throughout the Pacific Northwest. In March, Full Sail will follow-up Slipknot with Full Sail Imperial Porter. New beers in Full Sail’s 2009 Brewmaster Reserve line-up include Keelhauler Scottish Ale, due out in Mid-March, and Grandsun of Spot IPA, due out in June.