Samuel Adams winners: Wheat, hops and strawberries

Boston Beer founder Jim Koch announced Friday that Connecticut homebrewer Zack Adams and James Schirmer from California won the national Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest. They will have their beers brewed by Boston Beer and distributed along with a beer from Samuel Adams employee homebrewer Dave Anderson. LongShot six-packs will include two of each winning beer.

“America’s passion for homebrewing and craft beer is at an all time high, making this year’s competition more competitive than ever,” Koch said. “This year, even the President of The United States is homebrewing at the White House. As a homebrewer for more than 25 years, I know it’s a great hobby – but it can also be a launching pad into a career or a start-up a business. I’m proud to help these winners achieve the ultimate homebrew dream by making their beer available to drinkers across the country.”

Schirmer’s beer is an American-style wheat beer called Beerflower Wheat, while Adams’ is an Imperial American IPA brewed with seven American hop varieties and thus called Magnificent Seven. Anderson made his beer with fresh strawberries, simply naming it Strawberry Lager.


Craft breweries pump $3 billion into California economy

The California craft brewing industry generated approximately $3 billion in total impact to the state’s economy, a press release from the Craft Brewing Association revealed. Citing a 2012 study sponsored by the CCBA in conjunction with the University of California, CCBA president Steve Wagner of Stone Brewing said:

“The craft brewing industry is thriving in California, generating approximately $3 billion in total economic impact and creating 22,000 jobs in 2011 despite being on the heels of the most significant recession since the Great Depression. The California craft brewing industry is an integral part of the state’s economy – making up more than 1.5% of total economic output.

“California’s craft brewers have prospered through difficult economic times, but the industry remains dependent on the support of the state’s leadership to ensure these small and independently owned businesses have the freedom necessary to expand while adding jobs and supporting their communities.”

CCBA Executive Director Tom McCormick added:

“As the craft brewing industry continues to grow – adding more jobs and generating more tax revenue – so will its positive impact to California and the local communities that are home to our craft brewers. California’s craft brewers generated approximately $400 million in local, state and federal tax revenue in 2011 while the industry grew by 13% in production and 15% in dollars compared to 2010.”


Deschutes Red Chair ‘World’s Best’ (again)

Deschutes Breery’s Red Chair NWPA (Northwest pale ale) has won the title of “World’s Best Beer” in the World Beer Awards competition, an honor the beer also won in 2010.

Red Chair emerged from four rounds of judging, all of them based on blind tasting. The competition begins with judging in three regions — Asia, Europe, and the Americas — with the winners advancing to more judging in England. There the “World’s Best Beers” are chosen according to style, and one single winner eventually emerges. This year, the competition also included an award for best label, which went to Le Trou Du Diable, Schieve Tabarnak.


World’s Best Dark Beer
Het Anker, Gouden Carolus Classic

World’s Best Flavoured Beer
TSA Co., Double Espresso

World’s Best Lager
Waldhaus, Spezial Gold

World’s Best Pale Beer
Deschutes, Red Chair NWPA

World’s Best Speciality Beer
Fujizakura, Rauch

The complete results, including best in each category and all the winners in the regional rounds.


Samuel Adams simultaneous stein host Saturday

Boston Beer Co. has brought back the Samuel Adams National Stein Hoisting Competition to celebrate Oktoberfest (or OctoberFest, in the case of the Samuel Adams beer) season. The brewery also will attempt to set a world record for the largest, simultaneous stein host tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 22).

Participants can raise a record-setting stein at one of our four simultaneous Samuel Adams Oktoberfest Celebrations in Boston, Cincinnati, Denver and Chicago. They can also participate from home, watching the event live from Cincinnati at 8 p.m. (Eastern) on the Samuel Adams Facebook page.

Boston Beer founder Jim Koch will lead the hoist from the host site – Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati.

Drinkers also have the opportunity to compete National Stein Hoisting Competitions between now and Oct. 15 in local bars and at festivals. Participants will be timed as they hoist one liter of OctoberFest in an official Samuel Adams beer stein.

The two hoisters who hold up the longest – one male and one female winner – will be crowned the Samuel Adams National Stein Hoisting Champions and will receive a trip for two to the 2013 Oktoberfest celebration in Munich. Oktoberfest began in Munich, Germany more than 200 years ago and has since become the largest public festival in the world.

Consumers can visit the Samuel Adams website for national event listings and full rules and regulations.


Study find OBF adds $30 million to Portland economy

A study conducted by an Eastern Oregon University political science class estimates the 2012 Oregon Brewers Festival added $30 million to the local economy.

Prof. Jeff Dense and his students administered 680 on-site interviews at Tom McCall Waterfront Park between July 26 and July 28. Dense then utilized IMPLAN (IMpact Analysis for PLANning), a data and software package, to estimate the economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival on Multnomah County. He determined that the 2012 OBF generated $21.15 Million in direct and $8.87 Million in indirect economic output.

“The Oregon Brewers Festival has a profound impact on the local economy,” said for a press release. “Although the tourism industry is the primary beneficiary of the OBF, a wide range of local industries economically benefit from the country’s largest outdoor beer festival.”

Findings of the study include:

* The $8.9 Million indirect economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival affects 91 local industry sectors more than $10,000.
* More than 350 jobs were created as a result of the OBF.
* The 2012 OBF generated a total added value of $11.8 Million.
* Visiting OBF patrons spent an average of $649.
* Accommodations ($9.31 Million) and food and drink ($7.96 Million) accounted for the majority of OBF visitor expenditures.
* The majority of OBF patrons were out-of-town visitors.
* Nearly a third (30.3%) of OBF attendees participated in beer tourism during their visit, visiting area breweries and brewpubs.
* More than half of OBF patrons (52.1%) were attending the festival for the first time.
* Women accounted for a significant percentage (33%) of OBF attendees.
* While 21-29 year old attendees constitute the largest age demographic (30.2%) of OBF patrons, the 50-plus crowd has a significant presence (26%) at the festival.


New book explores every aspect of IPA

 IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale AleWhat should “the authoritative guide to the brewing techniques and history behind” India pale ale include?

– A complete and accurate history of the style, one that addresses the various myths. Check.

– Plenty of historic recipes. Check.

– Lots of recipes for modern day versions, including many variations, and details about ingredients and process. Check.

– All the data beer and brewing geeks could ask for, packed into handy appendices. Check.

– An author who knows a little about brewing IPAs. Check.

The book is IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale and the author is Mitch Steele, head brewer at Stone Brewing Company.

A press release from Brewers Publications has more details:

“Arguably one of the leading authorities on hoppy beer, Steele is currently Stone Brewing Co.’s brewmaster, and his brewery experience ranges from the small-scale San Andreas Brewing Co. to the Anheuser-Busch specialty group. In this new book, he explores the evolution of an influential beer style, India pale ale. IPA covers techniques ranging from water treatment to hopping procedures, including 48 recipes ranging from historical brews to recipes for the most popular contemporary IPAs made by craft brewers such as Deschutes Brewery, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Pizza Port Brewing and Russian River Brewing Company.

“In addition to brewing techniques and recipes, Steele also explores the real history of IPA. Matt Brynildson, of Firestone Walker Brewing Company, explains: ‘Mitch has [written] an engaging and eye-opening history of IPA blended with immensely technical brewing information. He not only debunks the classic story of what the first IPAs really were and how they were made, but also chronicles the tragic account of ale’s rise and fall over the last three centuries. This book should sit on every brewer’s bookshelf.’ ”

More, including details about ordering.


New York brewers seek support for tax credit

New York small brewers are asking beer consumers to support their efforts to to pass Senate Bill 7344 and Assembly Bill 10181 to create a Beer Production Tax Credit. These bills would allow New York’s craft breweries to remain competitive by utilizing a tax credit of 14 cents per gallon of beer produced in New York State for the first 200,000 barrels of beer. The fate of this important bill now lies in the hands of the Legislature and the Governor.

The legislative session has been extended through June 21 and brewers ask consumers to phone and email Assembly Speaker Silver, Senate Majority Leader Skelos, and Governor Andrew Cuomo, in addition to the Assembly Member and Senator for their own district, and ask them to vote “yes” immediately on S. 7344 and A. 10181.

Key Points

  • An unexpected and significant tax burden has recently been placed on New York State craft brewers, which will have a serious impact on the ability of these small businesses to add jobs, expand and keep prices down. Previously, an excise tax exemption was granted for the first 200,000 barrels of beer produced in New York, but a recent settlement by the state struck down the exemption.
  • Senate Bill 7344 and Assembly Bill 10181 would create a Beer Production Tax Credit that would allow New York’s craft breweries to utilize a tax credit of 14 cents per gallon of beer produced in New York State for the first 200,000 barrels of beer.
  • This is a jobs creation bill that will allow small brewers the ability to grow their business through increased access to market. This will benefit both small brewers and beer drinkers.
  • The small brewing industry pumps more than $200 million in sales into the state’s economy and accounts for around 3,000 direct jobs – and nearly 100,000 indirect jobs when positions that rely on this industry such as wholesalers, retailers and suppliers are also included.
  • Without this tax credit, New York’s more than 90 craft breweries will face severe budget shortfalls and could be forced to raise prices up to $1 for a pint and six pack.
  • archives

    Deschutes, Pelican Pub champions in Australia

    Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery and Pelican Pub & Brewery captured Champion Large International Brewery and Champion Small International Brewery respectively at the 20th annual Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA).

    The United States was a standout, winning four trophies; New Zealand breweries claimed two and Belgium, Brazil, Germany and Norway achieving one each.

    AIBA committee chairman and chief judge, Peter Manders, said the awards draws international recognition from the beer industry and showcases the commitment to excellence from brewers.

    “Now in its 20th year, the AIBA continues to attract a remarkable number of high calibre entries from international and Australian breweries, with a record 1,344 brews entered from 41 countries this year, an increase of 10 per cent on last year’s,” Manders said.

    The trophy trophy winners:

  • Champion Large Australian Brewery – Feral Brewing Company, Western Australia, Australia
  • Champion Large International Brewery – Deschutes Brewery, Oregon, USA
  • Champion Small Australian Brewery – Wig & Pen Brewery & Tavern, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • Champion Small International Brewery – Pelican Pub & Brewery, Oregon, USA
  • Best New Exhibitor – Cervejaria Bodebrown Ltda, Paraná, Brazil
  • Best International Lager – Hahn Super Dry, Tooheys, New South Wales, Australia
  • Best Pilsner – Croucher Brewing Pilsner, The Croucher Brewing Co, Rotorua, New Zealand
  • Best Amber / Dark Lager – Weltenburger Asam Bock, Klosterbrauerei Weltenburg, Kelheim, Germany
  • Best International Pale Ale – Hop Hog, Feral Brewing Company, Western Australia, Australia
  • Best European Style Ale – Koelsch, Illawarra Brewing Company, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
  • Best IPA – Caldera IPA, Caldera Brewing Co, Oregon, USA
  • Best Amber / Dark Ale – Doryman’s Dark, Pelican Pub & Brewery, Oregon, USA
  • Best Porter – Akkevit Porter, Haandbryggeriet Brewery, Drammen, Norway
  • Best Stout – Stout, 4 Pines Brewing Company, Manly, New South Wales, Australia
  • Best Wheat Beer – Redback Pale, Matilda Bay Brewing Company, Victoria, Australia
  • Best Beligan & French Ale – Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel, De Halve Maan, Brugge, Belgium
  • Best Scotch & Barley Wine – Razorback, Feral Brewing Company, Western Australia, Australia
  • Best Speciality – Summer Sommer, Garage Project, Wellington, New Zealand
  • archives

    BA selects American Craft Beer Ambassador

    The Brewers Association (BA) and its Export Development Subcommittee have selected Andreas Fält to cover Europe as an American Craft Beer Ambassador within the BA’s Export Development Program (EDP).

    Fält responsibilities include educating the beer community and media in Europe about the availability and quality of American craft beer. As an independent contractor, he will continue to serve as a consultant at Blue Yellow Media in the UK. He has previously held sales manager positions at Vertical Drinks, also in the UK, and Invicta Import and More Import in Sweden.

    “Andreas’ appointment comes at an exciting time for American craft beer export market growth,” said Bob Pease, chief operating officer, Brewers Association. “Overall craft exports increased in record numbers in 2011, and regionally, Western Europe was the largest destination for American craft beer exports. Andreas will serve as a valuable bridge-builder to educate the growing audience of American craft beer lovers abroad.”

    Globally, American craft beer exports increased 86% in 2011, with craft breweries exporting more than 110,000 barrels of beer, valued at an estimated $23.4 million.


    Keg explodes, kills Redhook brewery worker

    A brewery worker died from injuries received during an explosion of a beer keg Tuesday at Redhook Ale Brewery in Portsmouth, N.H.

    The employee was identified as Newington resident Ben Harris.

    Assistant Fire Chief Steve Achilles said the brewery employee had been pressurizing a keg by filling it with air as part of a cleaning process to remove residual beer.

    “The keg failed and exploded, and he was injured by parts of the keg,” Achilles said.

    Andy Thomas, vice president of Redhook’s commercial operations, said the Redhook organization is “saddened by the tragic event that occurred at the Portsmouth brewery this morning, resulting in the death of one of our employees.”

    “Our deepest sympathies go out to his family,” Thomas said. “We are doing everything in our power to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragic accident and have closed down all non-essential operations at the Portsmouth brewery, including the pub, while the investigation continues.”


    Samuel Adams expands its ‘American Dream’

    The Boston Beer Company has announced the national expansion of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program. With a focus on helping small businesses related to food, beverage, craft brewing and hospitality, Brewing the American Dream provides loans and industry-specific coaching, mentoring, and educational resources to business owners who find it difficult to access the capital and guidance needed to sustain and grow their businesses.

    While in the past only a handful of regions had access to the program, today’s national expansion of Brewing the American Dream will target at least $1 million in new loans, expanded for the first time to recipients across the country, with significantly increased access to its high-impact one-on-one mentoring and coaching activities. Additionally, the nationwide program includes the introduction of the new Brewing the American Dream Online Community, the first online resource to provide small business owners in the food, beverage, and hospitality sector with a comprehensive platform of tools to help their businesses succeed.

    Working in partnership with Accion, the country’s only nationwide microlender, Brewing the American Dream has already provided more than $1 million in micro-financing to close to 150 businesses, and created or saved nearly 1,000 jobs. Since it began a few years ago the program has offered one-on-one coaching and advised nearly 3,000 small business owners in the food, beverage, craft brewing, and hospitality industries throughout New England, New York, Chicago, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

    “What differentiates Brewing the American Dream is the combination of loans and hands-on education,” said Boston Beer founder Jim Koch. “Working with Accion, we identify small business applicants who are often viewed as too risky by traditional banks – yet at the forefront of job creation and growth within their local communities – and where a relatively modest loan can have a meaningful impact. From there, we get down in the trenches with them through one-on-one mentoring and coaching to help them grow their businesses.”


    White Labs opens tasting room

    White Labs, a yeast and fermentation supplies company, has opened of a tasting room at its San Diego headquarters. White Labs Brewing Co. held a “quiet opening” of its tasting room on March 22. A full grand opening, with expanded hours, is scheduled in June.

    The White Labs Tasting Room, located at 9495 Candida St., offers a continuously-rotating menu of 35 taps pouring experimental beers brewed on site. White Labs may feature ten different pale ales simultaneously, brewed to the exact same recipe except for the yeast. The following week, beers on tap might include a similar number of stouts, pilsners or IPAs.

    The beers will change regularly as the experiments continue. Each beer served comes with a complete analysis report so that tasters can learn where the flavors come from. The initial opening beers were brewed by a team of White Labs employees led by general manager Johnny Oliphant, former head brewer at Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown San Diego.

    The newly-designed White Labs Tasting Room will introduce new small-batch beers brewed on-site many times per week.

    Hours (to be expanded in June):
    Wednesday – Friday: 4 to 8 p.m. (tours available at 5:30 p.m. both days)
    Saturdays: Noon to 8 p.m. (tours available at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays)


    Craft brewery exports grow 86%

    The Brewers Association reports record exports of American craft beer in 2011. American craft breweries exported more than 110,000 barrels of beer in 2011, valued at an estimated $23.4 million — an increase of 86% by volume and 97% by dollars over 2010 exports.

    Canada remained the industry’s largest export market, with shipments increasing 127% by volume (up to 27,976 barrels) in 2011, largely as a result of increased demand in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.

    U.S. Craft Beer Exports

    Additionally, the United Kingdom and Sweden remained the next two largest markets. Exports to both countries totaled approximately 13,065 barrels. Regionally, Western Europe is the largest destination for American craft beer exports. Shipments to the region increased by 52 percent in 2011 and now surpass 51,613 barrels.

    “The growth in international sales is remarkable in light of the lingering global economic recession. Despite decreasing purchasing power, consumer demand for American craft beers has remained strong and importers have continued to expand their portfolios of American craft beer brands, even in emerging markets, like Brazil and India,” said Bob Pease, BA chief operating officer. “These export figures speak for themselves. They are a testament to the innovation of small, independent American craft brewers and their focus on creating products of value to the consumer.”


    Mississippi boosts alcohol limit for beer

    Mississippi beer drinkers celebrated Monday when governor Phil Bryant signed into law a bill that raises the alcohol-by-weight limit in beer from 5% to 8%.

    Senate Bill 2878, effective July 1, will expand the variety of beers sold in the state, especially craft beers. After the new law goes into effect, about 70 of what he called the top 100 brands in the world could be on shelves and on tap, said a thrilled Butch Bailey, founder and president of the nonprofit group Raise Your Pints. Currently 15 on that list are.

    “It’s a great day to be a Mississippian!” Bailey exclaimed Monday on Twitter.

    Bailey said the new 8% alcohol-by-weight limit translates to about 10.% alcohol-by-volume. Mississippi and Utah are the only two states that measure alcohol content by weight.

    Mississippi still has the lowest beer alcohol content compared to neighboring states. Alabama has a 13.9% alcohol-by-volume cap, while Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee have no caps.

    “The current law really hampers Mississippi and restricts Mississippians’ access to gourmet products,” said Bailey, who has sought the new law for the past five years. “We are thankful to the governor for recognizing this is a good bill for Mississippi.”

    Monday was the deadline for Bryant to act or do nothing, allowing the bill to become law unsigned.

    Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, who authored the new law, said the measure paves the way for job creation and more “cottage” and home-based industries like Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co. in Kiln and up-and-comer Lucky Town Brewing Co. in Gluckstadt.

    “Sometimes it takes five years for a measure to catch on and get accepted, and that was the case with this particular measure,” Horhn said. “The craft beer community was better organized this year than ever before.”


    New Belgium will build 2nd brewery in North Carolina

    New Belgium Brewing announced today that Asheville, N.C., has been selected as the new location for a second brewery. The 400,000-barrel brewery and packaging facility will provide New Belgium with additional capacity, allowing the Colorado-based brewer to expand into new areas of distribution. Upon completion in 2015, the facility will initially create 50 new jobs in the Asheville area with more than 100 positions expected at full buildout.

    “After several years of searching, we are incredibly excited to have landed in Asheville,” said Kim Jordan, CEO and co-founder of New Belgium. “From the deep sense of community to the rich natural environment and the opportunity to revitalize a brownfield site near a vibrant downtown, Asheville has everything we’ve been looking for in a location for our second brewery.”

    The 17.5-acre site located in the heart of the River Arts District will accommodate a 150,000 square-foot facility. The brewery will feature a 200-barrel brewing system, a tasting facility, and a process wastewater treatment center on-site. Tours will be available to the public. Total cost projections are over $100 million.

    “Today’s announcement by New Belgium will enhance the craft brewery cluster that is growing in North Carolina,” said Gov. Bev Perdue. “The jobs and investment the company is committing will be a major boon for the region and for the state.”

    Construction is expected to begin in early 2013 with beer rolling off the line in early 2015.