Stone Brewing apologizes for ‘MustardGate’

Stone Brewing has revealed that mustards — Stone Cali-Belgique IPA Cali-Dijon Mustard and Stone Pale Ale Stone Ground Mustard with Chipotle Peppers — Stone and consumers thought contain its beer do not.

The San Diego area brewery offered a public apology for what it is calling “MustardGate”:

“We had no idea this was happening, and we immediately removed them from sale as soon as we learned of it last week. We work with Russ Bruhn, a local guy who owns a company called Carlsbad Gourmet to supply the mustards; Russ then contracts with another company to produce them. It is this company that we have found failed to put the beer in the mustard. What they did with the beer, we’re not sure. We sent them full kegs and they sent us back empty kegs . . . one can only imagine where it might have gone.

“It is important to note that all of our other sauces, including our hot sauces and grilling/BBQ sauces, which are made by a different local company, do in fact have our beer in them.

“We accept full responsibility for this misleading mustard and are committed to making it up to you if you bought it. If you come to the Stone Company Store with a jar of the above-mentioned mustards before September 1st, we’ll swap it for a 22oz. bottle of Stone Cali-Belgique IPA or Stone Pale Ale. If you can’t make it to the Stone Company Store, use the online coupon code mustardgate for 10% off any purchase from good through September 1st.

“Needless to say, the sham mustard isn’t going to hurt anybody, and frankly, it’s still damn tasty mustard. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of exchanging it, be confident in the knowledge that you can still safely and satisfyingly continue eating it. Or better yet, pour a dash of our beer in your mustard and enjoy it the way it was supposed to taste.”


Sam Adams honors ‘Perfect Pour’ bars

Perfect PourBoston Beer Company has begun a “Perfect Pour” program for bars that pour Samuel Adams beers to standards set by the company.

To earn “Perfect Pour” certification, an account must allow Samuel Adams sales people to educate the staff on beer and draft quality, serve Samuel Adams Boston Lager on draft, use the specially-designed Samuel Adams Boston Lager Pint Glass for all Boston Lager poured and consistently serve fresh, high-quality beer.

Company representatives will visit pubs to hold wait staff training sessions, demonstrate how to pour the perfect pint, and illustrate how to make sure beer is fresh and the draft lines are clean.

“The brewers at Samuel Adams want their drinkers to enjoy a perfect pint of beer every time. Recognizing bars and restaurants that strive to serve one every single pour helps drinkers find the best craft beer available,” said founder Jim Koch.

Certified bars will receive:

* A medallion to be affixed to Samuel Adams Boston Lager tap handles.
* A framed and personalized letter from Koch.
* Rights to feature the Perfect Pour medallion at point-of-sale.


Beer news: ‘Bend Ale Trail’ and more

Visit Bend has introduced the “Bend Ale Trail,” an interactive tour of the city’s craft breweries. “Bend’s craft breweries now rank among the favorite attractions of visitors to Central Oregon,” said Doug La Placa, president of Visit Bend, the city’s tourism bureau. “Bend’s world-class beer culture is an excellent complement to the region’s renowned outdoor recreation and highlighting it is the logical next step in diversifying our tourism offerings.”

A 2009 Bend tourism research project conducted by RRC Associates indicated that 28% of summer visitors to Bend visited a brewery during their stay – placing brewery visits as the fifth most enjoyed tourist activity behind hiking, dining, shopping and biking.

The Bend Ale Trail is a collaborative multi-faceted program between Visit Bend and eight of the region’s top craft breweries: 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Bend Brewing Company, Cascade Lakes Brewing Co, Deschutes Brewery, McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Silver Moon Brewing, Boneyard Beer and Three Creeks Brewing Co. The Bend Ale Trail will feature a variety of elements. Details.

  • Heineken is allowing drinkers Ireland to label their own bottles of Heineken. Drinkers have 42 different bottle designs to choose from and may add their own text in the online offer.
  • The Siebel Institute Advanced Homebrewing Course, held in Colorado in recent years, returns to Siebel’s home base of Chicago this year. Ray Daniels, Chris Graham, Randy Mosher and Chris White will once again lead homebrewers through five days of classroom instruction and hands-on activities July 26-30. Details.
  • archives

    New beers that ‘won’t let you down’

    Coming to a beer store or perhaps tap handle near you . . .

  • MateVeza promises its new Organic Black Lager — containing yerba mate, the South American caffeinated herbal tea — “won’t let you down.” The yerba mate in the lager provides an amount of caffeine equivalent to one half cup of coffee per twelve-ounce serving. It is sold in 22-ounce bottles throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Colorado, with a limited supply of draft beer in select markets.
  • Boulevard Amber

  • Boulevard Brewing has released its new Amber Ale on tap in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska, and in its 12-Pack Samplers. The beer’s future in other markets and packaging has not been decided. Munich and crystal malts give the 5.1% abv beer a sweetish, nutty malt richness that is balanced by subtle but persistent hops (24 IBU), adding fruity and spicy notes.
  • Fuller’s Organic Honey Dew is expected in August. Fuller’s originally tried to launch Organic Honey Dew in the U.S. for the summer of 2008, but it took two years to get the organic honey, imported from Argnetina, certified as organic. Honey dew is the best-selling organic beer in England. It will be available in 500ml bottles and on draft.
  • Minott Wessinger, great-great grandson of brewing pioneer Henry Weinhard, has re-introduced Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager to the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. First brewed in Montana in 1995, Black Star has been on hiatus from the market for the past seven years. Black Star is a double hopped (dry-hopped) golden lager based on traditional European pilsner beers made with both Bavarian Mittelfrüh and Czech Saaz hops. Black Star is available in both 12-ounce bottles and cans.
  • archives

    Massachusetts brewer wins Noonan scholarship

    Benjamin Howe of Allston, Mass., has won the inaugural Greg Noonan Scholarship for an intensive class at the American Brewers Guild.

    The scholarship was created in memory of Greg Noonan, who died last fall. Noonan opened Vermont’s first brewpub in 1988 and two others after that but his influence was far wider. His 1986 book “Brewing Lager Beer: The Most Comprehensive Book for Home- and Microbreweries” became a guidebook for those opening small breweries in the 1980s and ’90s.

    The winning candidate was chosen by a panel of experienced brewmasters from across the country. The panel consisted of: Dan DelGrande, brewmaster and owner of Bison Brewing Company, Oakland, Calif.; Russ Fitzgerald, brewmaster with Vermont Pub and Brewery, Burlington, Vt.; Nick Funnell, brewmaster with Great American Restaurants a chain of brewpubs in Northern Virginia; Brandon Greenwood, brewmaster with Mark Anthony Brewing in Rochester, N.Y.; and Scott Shirley, brewmaster with Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, Vt.

    Howe impressed several of the panel with his motivation and approach to getting into the industry. One member of the panel said, “He forced his way into a brewing job by volunteering and taking whatever opportunities came his way, however menial. This is the old school way of doing it and we don’t see this much anymore.”


    2010 REUNION beer Belgian-style Scotch

    2010 REUNION BeerolaREUNION – A Beer for Hope, now in its fourth year, will be a Belgian-style Scotch Ale for 2010. Bison Brewing in California and Terrapin Beer Company in Georgia are the brewing and fundraising partners.

    The beer will be released this month in both 22 ounce bottles and draft in 14 states (California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Minnesota, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama New Jersey and Pennsylvania). Information about special events later this month is available at the REUNION website.

    REUNION Beer is the inspiration and collaboration of Alan Shapiro, president of SBS Imports, Pete Slosberg, creator of Pete’s Wicked AleT, and Virginia MacLean, long time friend and colleague, as a way to raise awareness of and donations for The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research. All met during the early days of Pete’s Brewing Company. Virginia passed away from complications from Multiple Myeloma in June 2007, four months after the initial release of REUNION. To date REUNION has raised in excess of $130,000 for The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research ( via profits from beer sales, retailer fundraising events, and private donations.

    This year’s beer was developed in concert by brewmasters Spike Buckowski of Terrapin, Dan Del Grande of Bison, and REUNION co-founder Pete Slosberg. It is a Belgian-Style Scotch Ale – a nod to Virginia’s heritage. It is brewed to an original gravity of 1078 using 5 different malts and hopped with East Kent Goldings to 35 IBU. It is fermented with a high gravity Trappist yeast and is 7.0% alcohol by volume.


    ‘Brewing the American Dream’ honored (again)

    Boston Beer Co. continues to win accolades for its Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, started in 2008 to aid low to moderate income small business owners in the food and beverage industry.

    Last week the the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) presented its Founder’s Award at the 10th Annual Excellence Awards in Corporate Philanthropy to Boston Beer. The Founder’s Award recognizes a corporation with revenues less than $5 billion that has exhibited outstanding leadership in its category, demonstrated a commitment to innovation, and set benchmarks for measuring the outcomes of its partnerships.

    Boston Beer created a partnership with ACCION USA, a pioneering nonprofit micro-lending organization, to establish the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program. This program provides small business owners in the food and beverage industry with the tools they need to help them become financially independent, including access to capital. Senior management and employees from Boston Beer host events and share their expertise and insights to provide these entrepreneurs with mentoring and coaching, while ACCION USA provides financial education and manages the loan program funded by Boston Beer.

    “When I started The Boston Beer Company I couldn’t get a bank loan or find capital, plus there was so much I didn’t know about starting a small business,” said Boston Beer founder Jim Koch in accepting the award. “As the company grew and became more successful, we naturally identified with other ‘little guys’ who benefited from a leg up to help achieve their dreams. It became important to me to find a way to give back to other start-ups like mine and create opportunities for them to get funding and advice. I know how useful that would have been in starting Samuel Adams 25 years ago.”

    Since its inception two years ago, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream has provided loans to more than 40 businesses and has helped create or save nearly 300 jobs in New England.


    Oskar Blues to host ‘Burning Can’ festival

    Oskar Blues Brewery will host Burning Can: The Canned Beer Ragbag in Lyons, Colorado, June 26.

    The brewery expects 15 or so others breweries that also can their beer to participate in the festival. Nashville band Bonepony will provide the music. Beyond beer and music, the event will feature beer can art and beer-infused dishes (including beer can chicken). Keeping with the environmental spirit of packaging in cans Eco-Cycle will also be on hand.

    Proceeds will benefit the Colorado Brewers Guild.

    The first craft brewery to can its own beer on premise back in 2002, Oskar Blues has been joined by about 75 other small breweries (so far) in canning their own beer. The company continues to operate its original brewpub in Lyons, where it first canned beer, but has since expanded into a production brewer in nearby Longmont.


    Bitches Brew From Dogfish Head

    Dogfish Head Craft Brewery today announced the release of Bitches Brew to commemorate the original release of the milestone jazz album, Bitches Brew, by jazz legend Miles Davis.

    The new beer by Dogfish Head is described as “a bold, dark beer that’s a fusion of three threads imperial stout and one thread honey beer with gesho root, a gustatory analog to Miles’ masterpiece.” It also features the “the album’s iconic artwork, created by the late Mati Klarwein, on its label, Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew will be unveiled at Savor, An American Craft Beer & Food Experience tonight at the National Building Museum, Washington DC. The beer will be bottled in 750ml bottles and released through Dogfish’s distribution network in late August.


    From the press release:

    The newly created ale is designed, according to Dogfish founder and president Sam Calagione, “as the ultimate partner for chili or spicy curry chicken” and best enjoyed “sipped cool, not cold, from a snifter or red wine glass while listening to the Bitches Brew album.”

    Calagione was drawn to the alchemical spirits in Bitches Brew right out of college, acquiring a copy of the album “within months of the first time I brewed a batch of homebrew in my apartment in New York City. I listened to it when I was writing my Dogfish business plan. I wanted Dogfish Head to be a maniacally inventive and creative brewery, analog beer for the digital age. You could say that my dream was to have Dogfish Head, in some small way, stand for the same thing in the beer world that Bitches Brew stands for in the jazz world. You can imagine how excited we are to be doing this project 17 years after I wrote that business plan.”

    “There’s a spirit of innovation, of creativity and individuality, that’s at the core of Miles’ music,” said Adam Block, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Legacy Recordings. “Sam and Dogfish Head approach their art from the same place and consequently the marriage is an easy and cool one.”

    Later this year, on August 31, an anniversary edition of the recording — two, actually: a Legacy Edition and a deluxe Collector’s Edition — will be released on CD.