Lost Abbey adds 13th beer to Ultimate Box Set

Lost Abbey Box Set

Turns out that Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey has decided to make its Ultimate Box Set a baker’s dozen. The brewery announced that the suprise 13th beer, inspired by “Message in a Bottle” by the Police, will be available Dec. 1, along with a select number of Ultimate Box Set Collector’s Editions for purchase by the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Lost Abbey "Message in a Bottle"“When we began the Box Set releases last January our plan was to release a bonus track and make a number of complete sets available to the general public at the end of the year,” director of brewery operations Tomme Arthur said for a press release. “But as the months progressed we began to worry that the demand was beyond our production levels and we weren’t going to be able to deliver complete sets to both those who reserved them during the year and have some left for the public in December. As a result we opted to make the sets available only to those who reserved them.”

To reserve a complete box set, patrons had to purchase one of the 350 bottles in each monthly Track release. The purchaser’s names were placed in a lottery, 45 were drawn and received the option to purchase a complete box sets at the end of the year.

The Collector’s Edition Box Sets include all 13 beers released throughout the year, a hand-built and individually numbered Lost Abbey road case, and an album-style book created by Grammy award-winning designer Matt Taylor of Varnish Studio. The book includes detailed descriptions of each Track, album cover art for each beer’s label, “liner notes” from Arthur, and a faux The Lost Abbey vinyl record.

Individual bottles of Track 13 and the complete Box Set Collector’s editions will go on sale in The Lost Abbey tasting room at 10 a.m. Saturday. A total of 350 bottles of Track 13 will be available for purchase and must be consumed in the tasting room.


Rogue’s latest includes pages from ‘Moby Dick’

JohnMaier with Emily Michael PowellPowell’s Books and Rogue Ales & Spirits have collaborated to create Rogue’s latest beer – White Whale Ale.

White Whale Ale is infused, literally, with the spirit of the book “Moby Dick.” Michael and Emily Powell took pages from a copy of the book and, along with Rogue brewmaster, John Maier, added them to the brewing kettle at Rogue. “Moby Dick” has special meaning to Michael Powell, who was inspired to become a bookseller when he found a first edition of the novel in a box of books he’d purchased.

White Whale Ale was brewed in honor of Powell’s Books 41st Anniversary. Powell’s is the one of the world’s best known independent bookstores. Its flagship store in downtown Portland, Oregon, covers an entire city block and contains more than one million new and used books.


Goose Island founder to step down as CEO

Goose Island Beer Company founder John Hall will step down as chief executive officer at the end of the year. Hall started Goose Island as a brewpub in 1988 and it grew into a top-producing brewery. He will continue to own two Goose Island brewpubs in Chicago.

Hall sold the company to Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2011. Andy Goeler, who has been with A-B for 30 years, will take over as Goose Island CEO. Goeler recently has been in charge of the fast-growing Shock Top brand.

Anheuser-Busch has significantly expanded Goose Island distribution in the last 18 months, producing much of popular beers at A-B breweries in other states. Goose Island used the space this freed up to make more of high-end beers such as Bourbon County Stout and Matilda. According to the Chicago Tribune:

. . . in a phone conversation Friday, Goeler made clear that his focus is expanding Goose Island nationally with four core beers – 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Honker’s Ale, India Pale Ale and a rotating seasonal (Mild Winter, Summertime or Fall Harvest), all of which will largely be brewed at AB plants in Baldwinsville, N.Y. and Ft. Collins, Colo. Starting next week, Goose Island beer will be distributed in all 50 states, making it one of the few craft brands with a true national footprint.

The Tribune also reported, the brewpubs will “maintain their relationships with the AB-owned Goose. Goose will not only continue to produce high-end beers, Goeler said, their output will be expanded with (still more) space for barrel aging. And . . .

(Goeler) said staying true to the company’s history is vital to its expansion, and the fact that the company will continue to be run from Chicago, rather than St. Louis, seems to lend the thought credence.

“The roots of Chicago, to me, are so critical to the long term health off the brand across the country,” Goeler said. “If you lose that connection, you’ve lost the brand.”

Hall will join an “Anheuser-Busch Craft Advisory Board” that will help guide the brand.


Ommegang wins four European Beer Star medals

Brewery Ommegang captured four medals at European Beer Star awards. Judging was held last month and winners were announced Tuesday at Brau Beviale in Nuremberg, Germany.

Twenty-three America breweries won medals in the judging, which has quickly grown into one of the world’s premiere beer competitions. It attracted 1,366 entries from 45 countries this year, compared to 271 entries in 2004.

The Cooperstown, N.Y., brewery that is owned by Duvel in Belgium won a gold medal for Ommegang Gnomegang, a silver for XV Anniversary, and bronze for Rare Vos and Ommegang Ale.

Two American breweries won three medals (in both cases two gold and one silver): Deschutes Brewery in Oregon and Boston Beer, for its Samuel Adams beers.

Firestone Walker Brewing also won three medals, two golds in the judging (for Union Jack and Double Jack), and another gold from beer drinkers. The “Consumers’ Favourites” were chosen in public voting on the 50 gold medal winners.

Other America breweries winning two medals including Oskar Blues, Pelican Pub & Brewery, Odell Brewing, and FiftyFifty Brewing.

The complete results.


SAVOR heads to NYC in June

The Brewers Association has announced that SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience will be held June 14-15 in New York City this year.

Washington, D.C. hosted the event the last five years. SAVOR will return to D.C. in 2014, on May 9 and 10.

“Part of our mission as a national, industry association is to promote small and independent craft brewers and their craft brewed beers to audiences around the country,” said Sam Calagione, chair of the Brewers Association’s board of directors. “Moving SAVOR to New York City, the culinary capital of the world, in 2013 is an incredible opportunity to showcase craft beer from a diverse sampling of small U.S. producers who have helped shift the perception of beer from something predictable and homogenized into the dynamic, flavorful, food-friendly beverage it is recognized as today. Craft brewers, beer lovers and foodies who attend SAVOR contribute to a historic localization of beer and a shift in the culinary arts world.”

Tickets go on sale to the public April 17, and association member pre-sale takes place April 16.

Seventy breweries served beer at SAVOR in 2012, paired with food prepared to match the beers. The SAVOR website summarized what attendees could expect:

– Craft beer and food small plate pairings—a variety of food items and two-ounce tastings of craft beer specifically paired to illustrate how well craft beer and food complement one another
– Unlimited non-alcoholic beverages
– Educational and tasting salons. Seating for those is limited and requires purchase of a separate ticket
– A variety of artisan cheese samples provided by members of the American Cheese Society
– A variety of oysters on the half shell provided by The Choptank Oyster Company
– The opportunity to meet and talk with the owners/brewers of the breweries participating in the event
– A commemorative tasting glass
– An event program with room for tasting notes
– An exit gift


New Belgium, Stone raise nearly $1 million for charities

New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat traveling show raised more than $500,000 for local nonprofits this year, and Stone Brewing announced it has contributed more than $400,000 to charities.

Now in its 13th season, Tour de Fat broke the $2 million mark in total funds raised since its inception. The money from each stop goes to nonprofit organizations, generally in the world of bike advocacy, with money spent in a wide variety of ways, including trail maintenance, safety education, lobbying for better bicycle communities and a wide variety of other impactful initiatives.

Each stop includes a costumed bike parade and bike-themed activities, complemented by live entertainment, New Belgium beer, local food, art bikes and more. Tour de Fat traveled to 15 cities between June and October, attracting a total of 74,400 festival attendees and 47,150 parade cyclists (up 4,850 attendees and 6,000 riders from 2011). In addition, the festival had an impressive 86% diversion of waste from landfills.

Stone Brewing, based in Southern California, held multiple events and contributed to multiple charities. Notably, Stone donated $86,373.61 to ReBuild Waterbury and $30,000 to Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund for efforts to restore Waterbury, Vermont, a community that was damaged by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. The proceeds are from the sale of the collaboration beer, The Alchemist/Ninkasi/Stone More Brown Than Black IPA, brewed in December 2011 with Ninkasi Brewing Company in Oregon and The Alchemist Pub and Brewery of Waterbury. The Alchemist Pub and Brewery was one of the unfortunate casualties of Tropical Storm Irene.

“Every year we strive to donate to charities that enhance the communities they serve,” said Stone CEO Greg Koch. “2012 was no different and we are proud to have contributed more money to deserving charities than we did in 2011. But the real praise goes to the people working for these charities that continue to improve our communities and provide services to individuals and families. Cheers to them!”


Abita co-founder Jim Patton dies

Jim Patton, one of the founders of Abita Brewing Co. in Louisiana, died last month of unknown causes. He was 59.

Patton helped start the brewery in the town of Abita Springs in 1986, the first “craft brewery” to open in the south and one of the first in the United States.

“The first night we rolled out with a beer, we had one bar in New Orleans and one bar in Mandeville that carried it,” Patton told the Miami’s New Times newspaper last month. “We got some of the local television media in there, and they had some pictures of people dancing on the bar, and you just can’t buy that.”

Abita made 1,500 barrels of beer its first year. It now produces more than 125,000 barrels annually. Patton sold his stake in the company in 1997.

After leaving Abita, Patton helped start Zea Rotisserie & Brewery and did the initial brewing. Later he brewed at Key West Brewery in Florida, and recently became involved with the launch of Wynwood Brewing Co. in Miami.


Scientists find yeast gene linked to beer foam

Scientist in Spain and Australia say they have identified the yeast gene which helps produce the proteins needed to create beer foam — which creates the head on beer when it is poured and sometimes leaves lace on the side of a glass.

“This novel protein is responsible for beer foam stabilization,” the researchers wrote in a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. “This report represents the first time that a brewing yeast foaming gene has been cloned and its action fully characterized. . . Foam quality is an important organoleptic property of beer that directly correlates to consumer appeal.”

The gene is called CFG1, which stands for Carlsbergensis foaming gene, said scientists from the University of Santiago de Compostela and University of Burgos, both in Spain, and the University of Sydney in Australia.

Similar fermentation genes have been discovered for wine and sake.