MillerCoors specialty company swings into action

MillerCoors has announced that it will call its new company focused on craft and import beers “Tenth and Blake Beer Company.”

“This is a unique and exciting period in the beer business,” Tom Cardella, the company’s CEO, said for a press release. “With the added focus on our craft and import brands and the talent within our brewing network, Tenth and Blake Beer Company has the opportunity to make an impact and continue to help grow this segment. We’re made up of passionate brewers and merchants of the world’s finest specialty brews, and we look forward to celebrating the joy of beer with beer drinkers throughout the U.S.”

The press released explained the name was chosen because:

* The 10th Street Brewery in Milwaukee brews Leinenkugel’s and various specialty beers.

* Blake Street in Denver is home to the Blue Moon Brewing Company and Sandlot Brewery within Coors Field.

These facilities “will be primary sources of many of the company’s brews, while serving as incubators of ideas and future beers.”

The company list its current roster of beers on its Facebook page: Blue Moon, Leinenkugel’s, Pilsner Urquell, Peroni, Killian’s, Henry Weinhard’s, Grolsch, Tyskie, Lech, Cristal, Cusquena, Aguila, Batch 19, Kasteel Cru, AC Golden brands (Herman Joseph’s, Winterfest, Colorado Native) and Sandlot brands (Brewmaster’s Special, Ski Brews, Barmen, Championship Amber Ale, Right Field Red, Slugger Stout, Power Alley ESB).


As expected, Magic Hat & Pyramid sold

Announcing a deal that’s been rumored for a while, North American Breweries has acquired Independent Brewers United — the producers of the Magic hat, Pyramid and MacTarnahan brands. The acquisition is the fourth by NAB since its formation. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

A quick bit of backround: KPS Capital Partners formed NAB in February 2009 “as a North American platform for investments and growth in the beer and malt beverage industries.” NAB’s first three acquisitions were Labatt USA from a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev; substantially all of the assets of High Falls Brewing Company, (brewer of the Genesee, Honey Brown and Dundee family of beers); and a perpetual license for the Seagram’s Escapes and Seagram’s Smooth brands from Pernod Ricard USA.

NAB CEO Rich Lozyniak said the new brands add craft brewing credibility and variety to the beers currently offered by the company. “We are really excited to add Magic Hat, Pyramid and MacTarnahan’s beers to North American Breweries. All three brands have a rich history of craft brewing that helps us gain acceptance in that tight-knit community,” he said for a press release. “By having more beers to offer our customers, wholesalers and retail accounts, we can better compete with the multi-national mega brewers who dominate the U.S. beer industry.”

Lozyniak added, “The industry has taken a turn away from the mega brewers. We have a collection of regional and heritage brands that position us well among today’s beer drinkers. At a time when the overall beer industry is in decline, we’re growing across brands which essentially created a great opportunity to collaborate with some of the best craft brewers in the business.”

The new brands mean the addition of three new breweries to NAB, one each in: Portland, Oregon; Berkeley, California; and Burlington, Vermont. Magic Hat is the 10th largest craft brewery in the country, while Pyramid is the fifth largest.

Together Magic Hat, Pyramid and the Portland Brewing Co. (MacTarnahan’s) employ about 600 people. Currently, North American Breweries has approximately 500.


Former A-B Brewer To Open Craft Brewery in St. Louis

This is excellent news. I just got an e-mail from Florian Kuplent, one of my favorite brewers at A-B (including Mitch Steele, of course). His Bavarian Wheat beer is/was divine. Last week he left A-B and along with fellow ex-A-B employee David Wolfe to open a new craft brewery in St. Louis. The new brewery, Urban Chestnut Brewing, will be located at 3229 Washington Avenue, “in an old 1920’s garage that has been outfitted to accommodate our ‘new world meets old world’ brewery’ in a district of St. Louis known as Midtown Alley.”

From the press release:

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (UCBC), an unconventional-minded yet tradition-oriented brewer of craft beer, is excited to announce its plans to open a micro-brewery in the Midtown Alley district of St. Louis, MO. UCBC plans to brew and distribute its draught and bottled beers to local restaurants, bars, grocery and liquor stores and other retail establishments in the St. Louis area.

Scheduled to launch in late 2010, UCBC is operated by two former Anheuser-Busch employees: Florian Kuplent, UCBC’s brewmaster, and David Wolfe, UCBC’s marketing and sales principal.

Co-founders Kuplent and Wolfe believe their passion for craft beer coupled with their unique expertise in creating, brewing and marketing beer will bring a fresh approach to the local craft beer market in St. Louis. The pair also shares a passion for local community development. By using local ingredients in their beer and food offerings whenever possible, and by partnering with local businesses and non-profit organizations, UCBC hopes to contribute to St Louis’ progression as a strong and vibrant local craft beer community and community as a whole.

  • UCBC will look to distinguish itself from other craft breweries through its unique brewing philosophy, Beer Divergencya ‘new world meets old world’ brewing approach wherein UCBC contributes to the ‘revolution’ of craft beer through artisanal creations of modern American beers, and pays ‘reverence’ to the heritage of beer with classically-crafted offerings of timeless, European beer styles.
  • Their philosophy is shaped around co-founder Florian’s lifelong passion for the culture and tradition of brewing and his dedication to the art and science of brewing. A German-born and educated brewmaster, Florian brings two decades of brewing expertise to UCBC. His career in brewing has spanned small and large brewers in the U.S, Germany, Belgium and England and his beers have won awards at the Great American Beer Festival, the North American Beer Awards and SIBA Wheat Beer Challenge. Florian is active in the brewing community serving as a judge at national and international beer festivals, as a contributor to brewing publications and as a member of various brewing clubs. It is his passion for creating new, artisanal beers coupled with his background rooted in the heritage and culture of beer that has helped to form UCBC’s brewing philosophy Beer Divergency. “In launching UCBC, my vision is to delve into both th3 exploration of modern, American craft beer and the traditions of old world brewing, simultaneously. It is the fusion of these two brewing cultures, new and old, that has shaped our brewing philosophy of ‘Beer Divergency’— embracing the revolution of American craft beer, while simultaneously appreciating the heritage of European beer,” Florian shares.
  • UCBC will work to contribute to St. Louis’ evolution in local craft beer by adding to the number of small, local brewers who distribute their beer in bottles. The co-founders believe St. Louis is a burgeoning local craft beer community that unquestionably boasts a significant community of knowledgeable craft beer drinkers and has a proud and active base of small brewers. UCBC sees an opportunity to add to the overall growth of and appreciation for local craft beer, by bottling and selling their beer at establishments all over town. Wolfe, who grew up in St. Louis, comments, “As UCBC prepares to join the community of small, St. Louis area brewers who are already contributing to the culture of local craft beer, we are excited to begin packaging our beer in both bottles and kegs, and we look forward to collaborating with as many local merchants as possible to reach as many beer drinkers as we can.”

Beyond distributing their beer, UCBC will have a taste room and outdoor biergarten where guests can enjoy UCBC beers and other locally brewed craft beers accompanied by small food pairings. Wolfe remarks, “Our taste room & biergarten won’t quite be the traditional brewpub. I like to tell people, ‘think wine bar for beer’; a casual place to hangout and experience a selection of local craft beers accompanied by small plates of cheeses, meats, and other little eats that pair well with beer.” Kuplent adds, “It is my goal to bring a little bit of Bavaria to UCBC. While our taste room will have a touch of old-world feel, our biergarten is where we’re trying to create an authentic, German beer-drinking experience by importing biergarten tables from Europe and planting shade-giving chestnut trees.”

The Urban Chestnut name is also derived from its philosophy of “Beer Divergency”; Urban—a nod to the locales of the modern craft beer revolution and Chestnut—a symbol of the heritage and tradition of beer; the chestnut tree has been utilized by Bavarian brewers for centuries to give shade to their biergartens and bierkellers.

According to the website, they’ll be doing two series of beers:

Revolution Series: Our contribution to the renaissance of craft beer—brewing artisanal, modern American beers.

Reverence Series: Our celebration of beer’s heritage—brewing classically-crafted, timeless European beer styles.



Sierra Nevada partners with Trappist monks

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has announced a partnership with the Trappist-Cistercian Abbey of New Clairvaux to create a new brand of Belgian-inspired beers called Ovila.

A press release from the brewery states, “Sierra Nevada and the Trappist-Cistercian Abbey of New Clairvaux are working to bring this centuries-old tradition to America with Ovila — the nation’s only authentic Trappist-style Abbey ale.”

Each of three beers in a series will be available on a seasonal basis. The first is scheduled for release in March of 2011, a Belgian-style Dubbel. The second beer in the series, planned for July, will be a Saison, the traditional Belgian-style farmhouse ale. The third will be released in time for the holidays. It will be a “Quadrupel,” rich with dark fruit flavors and the unique wine-like characters of dark strong abbey ales.

Proceeds from this project will benefit the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux in their efforts to rebuild an architectural marvel — a 12th century, early-gothic Cistercian chapter house — on their grounds in Vina, California a few miles north of Sierra Nevada’s home in Chico.

The medieval chapterhouse — Santa Maria de Ovila — was begun in 1190, near the village of Trillo, Spain. Cistercian monks lived, prayed, and worked there for nearly 800 years. In 1931, California newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst purchased the abbey and shipped it to Northern California. Hearst’s plans were never realized, and the stones fell into disrepair. In 1994, the Trappist-Cistercian monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux, gained possession of the ruins, and began the stone-by-stone reconstruction of the historic abbey.


Nottingham’s Castle Rock brews Britain’s best

Britain’s Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Tuesday announced that Castle Rock Harvest Pale earned that title of “Best Beer in Britain” at the Great British Beer Festival in London.

Harvest Pale, 3.8% abv, is described in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2010 as “blonde and refreshing with distinctive citrus hop.”

The silver went to Timothy Taylor brewery’s Landlord and the bronze to Surrey Hills brewery’s Hammer Mild.

Overall winners
Champion Beer of Britain – Castle Rock, Harvest Pale (3.8% ABV, Nottingham, Notts)
Second – Timothy Taylor, Landlord (4.3% ABV, Keighley, West Yorkshire)
Third – Surrey Hills, Hammer Mild (3.8% ABV, Guildford, Surrey)

Mild category
Gold- Surrey Hills, Hammer Mild (3.8% ABV, Guildford, Surrey)
Silver- Greene King, XX Mild (3% ABV, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk)
Joint Bronze- Golcar, Dark Mild (3.4% ABV, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire)
Joint Bronze- Nottingham, Rock Ale Mild (3.8% ABV, Nottingham, Notts)

Bitter category
Gold- RCH, PG Steam (3.9% ABV, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset)
Silver- Moor, Revival (3.8% ABV, Pitney, Somerset)
Joint Bronze- Orkney, Raven (3.8% ABV, Stromness, Orkney)
Joint Bronze- Purple Moose, Snowdonia Ale (3.6% ABV, Portmadog, Gwynedd)

Best Bitter category
Gold- Timothy Taylor, Landlord (4.3% ABV, Keighley, West Yorkshire)
Silver- St Austell, Tribute (4.2% ABV, St Austell, Cornwall)
Joint Bronze- Evan Evans, Cwrw (4.2% ABV, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire)
Joint Bronze- Great Oakley, Gobble (4.5% ABV, Great Oakley, Northamptonshire)

Golden Ale category
Gold- Castle Rock, Harvest Pale (3.8% ABV, Nottingham, Notts)
Silver- Marble, Manchester Bitter (4.2%, Manchester, Gtr Manchester)
Bronze- St Austell, Proper Job (4.5% ABV, St Austell, Cornwall)

Strong Bitter category
Gold- Thornbridge, Jaipur IPA (5.9% ABV, Bakewell, Derbyshire)
Silver- Fuller’s, Gales HSB (4.8% ABV, Chiswick, Gtr London)
Bronze- Beckstones, Rev Rob (4.6% ABV, Millom, Cumbria)

Speciality Beer category
Gold- Amber, Chocolate Orange Stout (4% ABV, Ripley, Derbyshire)
Silver- O’Hanlon’s, Port Stout (4.8% ABV, Whimple, Devon)
Bronze- Breconshire, Ysbrid y Ddraig (6.5% ABV, Brecon, Powys)

Winter Beer of Britain winner (announced in January 2010)
Elland, 1872 Porter (6.5% ABV, Elland, West Yorkshire)

Bottled Beer of Britain winners
Gold- St Austell, Admiral’s Ale (5% ABV, St Austell, Cornwall)
Silver- Pitfield, 1850 London Porter (5% ABV, Epping, Essex)
Bronze- Great Oakley, Delapre Dark (4.6% ABV, Great Oakley, Northamptonshire)


Craft beer sales surge in 2010

The Brewers Association reports that growth of craft beer sales accelerated in the first half of this year.

Sales volume increased 9% in the first six months of 2010 compared to a 5% increase in 2009. The income from sales was up 12% in the first six months, better than 9% growth the year before.

“While craft brewer sales volume climbed 9 percent in the first half of 2010, overall U.S. beer industry volume sales are down 2.7 percent so far,” Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, said for a press release. “There is a movement by beer lovers to the innovative and flavorful beers created by America’s small and independent craft brewers. More people are starting to think of craft-brewed beer first when they buy in restaurants, bars and stores.”

The BA also counted 100 breweries that have opened in the last year, boosting the national total to 1,625.

“Entrepreneurs across the land are creating jobs by opening new microbreweries and brewpubs, and we are also seeing many homebrewing hobbyists going pro by starting what have been referred to as nanobreweries,” Gatza said.


A-B InBev can’t get EU trademark for Budweiser

The European Court of Justice had rejected Anheuser-Busch InBev’s request to register its Budweiser beer brand as a European Union wide trademark.

The Dow-Jones news wire characterized this as the “final blow in AB InBev’s decades-long battle with Czech competitor Budejovicky Budvar to gain control of the Budweiser name in Europe.” AB InBev had sought to have an earlier decision by the European General Court overturned.

Both Anheuser-Busch, which was acquired by InBev in 2008, and Budejovicky Budvar have used the Budweiser name dating back to the late nineteenth century.

AB InBev already uses the Budweiser, or Bud, name in 23 of 27 European countries, including the United Kingdom, where courts have ruled both companies can call their beer Budweiser. However, Budvar retains exclusive control of the name in Germany.


Monstre Rouge, Stingo and other new beers

Shmaltz Brewing is set to release the third incarnation of Rejewvenator, brewed with organic Concord grape juice and this year to a new recipe described as “half dopplebock, half Belgian-style Dubbel hybrid lager/ale – a truly unique brewing performance.” The beer checks in at 8.2% abv. The official Bay Area launch of Rejewvenator will take place July 29 at Bender’s Bar & Grill in San Francisco.

Black Is Back– San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery has released Back in Black, the first black IPA in the USA in a can. “Our Black IPA (6.8% abv, 65 IBU) is a declaration of Independence from the tyranny of the expected,” co-founders Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan said for a press release. Black IPA is the newest official style in American craft beer, recently recognized by the Brewers Association with its own category for the upcoming 2010 Great American Beer Festival. The can is decorated with a modern-day Paul Revere bellowing out his call from the seat of a motorcycle. Alongside the graphics, the copy reads, “Inspired by Paul Revere’s midnight ride we rebelled against the British style IPA, embraced the more aggressive American version, then recast it in bold, brave defiant black.”

– The latest collaboration between an American brewer and De Proef in Belgium has arrived in the United States: Monstre Rouge. Terrapin’s Brian “Spike” Buckowski and De Proef Owner-Brewmaster Dirk Naudts brewed the beer this past March at De Proef in Lochristi, Belgium. Monstre Rouge (Red Monster) is loosely based on Terrapin’s Big Hoppy Monster with a Belgian twist. It is an Imperial Flanders Red Ale of 8.5%, fermented with brettanomyces and aged with toasted American oak. The malt profile includes a range of crystal malts, Munich and Terrapin’s signature Rye. A blend of American hops results in 55 bittering units. SBS Imports of Seattle, Washington imports the annual collaborations that began in 2007.

– The 2010 edition of Samuel Smith’s Stingo should be hitting beer shelves beginning next week. The 9% abv beer is brewed from British malts and multiple hop varieties, Stingo is fermented in Smith’s famous open-topped stone Yorkshire Squares, then aged over a year in oak barrels that previously held cask-conditioned ale. Supplies will once again be limited.


BridgePort’s Ockert leaves for MBAA post

Karl Ockert, the original brewer at BridgePort Brewing in Portland is leaving the Oregon brewery to become the technical director for the Master Brewers Association of the Americas.

The MBAA Technical Director selection committee is pleased to announce that Karl Ockert has accepted the position of Technical Director for the Master Brewers Association of the Americas and will start on September 1, 2010. Karl will be expanding the role of MBAA Technical Director from its current part-time duties to a full-time role. He will assume full responsibility as Technical Director when Ray Klimovitz, current MBAA Technical Director, retires in December 2010. Karl Ockert has been the brewmaster of the BridgePort Brewing Company in Portland, OR, which he helped found and build, since 1984. He earned his B.S. degree in fermentation sciences from the University of California at Davis in 1983. Karl’s brewing career has covered the spectrum of brewing plants, from brewpubs to the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Newark, NJ.

Long active in the MBAA, Ockert has served as chair of the MBAA Technical Committee and editor of the MBAA Practical Handbook for the Specialty Brewer series – books that occupy shelves in small breweries across the country.

Oregon Live
offered this email from Ockert:

“The new job will run the educational programs at the MBAA, editor of the Technical Quarterly, some new book writing projects, and their new outreach on-line programs we are working on. It will be a lot of fun and after almost 30 years of running breweries, I am ready for something new. I will be commuting all the way downstairs to my home office and making the occasional trip to run classes or go to meetings, but I do get to stay in Oregon which was an important consideration. I will still be involved in the Oregon beer scene but in a ‘non-denominational’ role.”


Rogue breaks ground on own floor maltings

Rogue Ales will soon be able to produce its own malt from barley grown on its own farm. Or as the company puts it in a press release: “The Rogue Nation Department of Agriculture has broken ground on the Rogue Malt Floor located on the Rogue Micro Barley Farm in Oregon’s Tygh Valley Appellation.”

The Malt Floor will be a Heritage-malting operation in which Rogue Farm barley will be soaked, floor-germinated, hand-raked on the malt floor, roasted in a brick hearth, and bagged in small batches. Rogue brewmaster John Maier plans on developing four to six varieties of floor malt that will be used in the brewing and distilling of Rogue beers and whiskies.

More from the press release: “Floor malting began in the 19th century but was gradually replaced by automated equipment that helped reduce labor costs. With the establishment of the malt floor, Rogue joins a select handful of floor maltsters in Germany, England, and the Czech Republic that continue to carry on the heritage malting method.”

The Malt Floor will be complete and operational in August — in time for the Rogue Farm barley harvest.


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.”