Heineken rejects SABMiller takeover offer

Heineken has turned down SABMiller’s offer to acquire the its company and said it intends to remain independent. SABMiller’s bid was rejected by the family that controls Heineken, Bloomberg News reported. The offer, made in the last two weeks, would have made the family one of the combined company’s largest holders, one source said.

“For SAB, a way of preserving their independence is to buy Heineken,” Matthew Beesley of Henderson Global Investors Ltd. told Bloomberg News “It’s easy to underestimate the desire for management teams to be in control of their own destiny rather than to sell their business at a very high price.”

SABMiller has been the subject of speculation that AB InBev will attempt to take it over. Acquiring Heineken would help assure its independence as well as adding more than $25 billion in sales and bolster its presence in emerging markets such as Africa and Mexico.


Bob Pease promoted to Brewers Association CEO

The Brewers Association announced today that Bob Pease has been promoted to Chief Executive Office from Chief Operating Officer of the not-for-profit trade organization.

A press release states that the “transition to CEO formalizes much of the responsibility that Pease has already progressively adopted. Pease holds responsibilities in the areas of personnel administration, government affairs, export development and oversight of all financial/fiduciary, operational and functional areas of the BA. He will serve as the Association’s key liaison to its board of directors.”

Pease began working for the association in 1993 as customer service manager. He later became operations direction, then vice president in 1999 and COO in 2010.

“I’m honored to receive this promotion,” Pease said for the press release. “And I am excited to lead the Brewers Association forward, continuing our efforts to accomplish key objectives on behalf of our members.”

Charlie Papazian — founder of the American Homebrewers Association and the Association of Brewers (subsequently merged into the Brewers Association) — remains BA president. “Since 1978, I have enjoyed championing the interests of craft brewers, homebrewers and their beers. And I have been fortunate to have a dedicated, talented colleague in Bob Pease, sharing those efforts with me for many of those years,” Papazian said.


Brew Hub announces St. Louis brewery

Brew Hub has announced plans to build its next brewery in Chesterfield, Mo., just west of St. Louis. The brewery will be Brew Hub’s corporate headquarters and the second in a network of five state-of-the-art breweries the company is planning to build. Brew Hub’s first brewery opened last month in Lakeland, Fla.

Brew Hub had introduced what it calls “partner brewing.” It allows craft breweries to brew their beer to exact specifications under the supervision of their own brewmaster, and to package and distribute from Brew Hub. Brew Hub also offers its partners services including sales, marketing, logistics, legal, and government affairs.

“The announcement of our second craft brewery is a huge milestone for Brew Hub, and it’s a reflection of the incredible growth of craft beer over the past several years,” said Tim Schoen, founder and CEO of Brew Hub. “Our objective from the beginning was simply to help craft brewers grow by offering the facilities, brewing and beer industry expertise they need. Our St. Louis brewery is going to allow many more craft brewers to benefit from our model.”

The St. Louis brewery will be located off I-64 in Chesterfield, and will have an initial brewing capacity of 75,000 barrels and the potential to expand its capacity to 200,000 barrels annually. Brew Hub plans to begin construction of the St. Louis brewery by the end of the year and open the brewery in early 2016. The agreement to build Brew Hub’s St. Louis brewery is contingent upon the approval of state and local tax incentives.

“Brew Hub’s decision to build their second craft brewery in Chesterfield is a huge economic win for the entire St. Louis region,” said Denny Coleman, CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.

The brewery will feature a 3,000-square-foot tasting room and biergarten. The brewery also will offer merchandise and free brewery tours. Brew Hub will employ approximately 55 people at its St. Louis brewery in brewing, operations, front office and its tasting room.

“We have had meetings and are negotiating partnerships with some of the top craft breweries in the Midwest,” said Schoen. “Our St. Louis brewery is going to allow these brewers to expand to new states and grow their brands like never before, and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Brew Hub currently has partnerships with several breweries, including Cigar City Brewing, Orange Blossom Pilsner, Green Man Brewing and BJ’s Restaurants. Brew Hub brews beer for all four companies at its brewery in Lakeland and is in discussions to begin brewing their beer at the St. Louis brewery when it opens.

Brew Hub plans to open three more breweries during the next five years. Specific markets will be determined based on demand, but the company is considering strategic locations in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Texas and West Coast. This network of Brew Hub facilities will allow craft brewers from across the country to enter new markets.


Law will let California host 2015 homebrewers conference

California governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that will will allow the 37th National Homebrewers Conference to be held next June in San Diego as scheduled.

Last year, an amendment added to Assembly Bill 1425 (AB1425) was passed and effectively banned homebrewing organizations — including the AHA and the California Homebrewers Association (CHA) — from hosting events centered around their favorite hobby. As a result, the 24th annual 2014 CHA Southern California Homebrewers Festival was canceled.

The new law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, puts the Southern California Homebrewers Festival and the NHC back on the calendar.

“California has been central to the growth of homebrewing — as a hobby, a business and a community,” said American Homebrewers Association director Gary Glass. The AHA organizes the National Homebrewers Conference. “The passage of AB2609 provides homebrewers the opportunity to continue innovating, learning and sharing their craft through events organized by homebrewers for homebrewers. We’re thrilled to be able to bring the 2015 National Homebrewers Conference to San Diego.”

The AHA and CHA mounted a campaign for the passage of AB2609, with more than 150 individual homebrewers from across California submitting letters to the state government in support of the measure. The bill unanimously passed both the Assembly and Senate.


Timothy Taylor’s Boltmaker British champion

Timothy Taylor’s Boltmaker has been crowned the “Best Beer” in Britain at the Great British Beer Festival, which opened today in London. Citra from Oakham Ales won the silver and Salopian’s Darwin’s Origin capture bronze.

“I’m speechless. We work very hard to produce great beers and we really believe this is the best beer we can brew – so to have it acknowledged in such an important competition is absolutely fantastic,” head brewer Peter Eells said after the awards were announced.

Gold – Timothy Taylors, Boltmaker
Silver – Oakham, Citra
Bronze – Salopian, Darwin’s Origin

Gold – Bank Top, Dark Mild
Silver – Branscombe Vale, Mild
Bronze – Castle Rock, Black Gold

Gold – Timothy Taylor, Boltmaker
Silver – Mighty Oak, Captain Bob
Joint Bronze – Flowerpots, Flowerpots Bitter & Sambrook’s Wandle Ale

Best Bitters
Gold – Salopian, Darwin’s Origin
Silver – Red Willow, Directionless
Joint Bronze – Purity, Mad Goose & Langton, Inclined plain bitter

Golden Ales
Gold – Oakham, Citra
Silver – Hawkshead, Cumbrian Five Hop
Bronze – Salopian, Hop Twister

Strong Bitters
Gold – Church End, Fallen Angel
Silver – Blue Monkey, Ape Ale
Bronze – Loch Ness, HoppyNESS

Speciality Beers
Gold – Saltaire, Triple Chocoholic
Silver – Offbeat, Way Out Wheat
Bronze – Peak Ales, Chatsworth Gold

Champion Bottled Beer
Gold – Marble, Chocolate Marble
Silver – St Austell, Proper Job
Bronze – Spire, Prince Igor Imperial Russian Stout


Stone Brewing announces plans to build Berlin brewery

Stone Brewing Co. has announced plans to open a production brewery and expansive destination restaurant in Berlin, Germany. Stone is making an initial investment of more than $25 million to renovate a historic gasworks complex in Marienpark Berlin, a two-acres (9,290 square meters) of indoor and outdoor space. Stone Brewing Co. – Berlin will encompass three components: a brewery and packaging hall, a Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens restaurant and a Stone Company Store. It is expected to open in late 2015 or early 2016.

Here are photos taken at the announcement.

And here are the details from a press release:

“This is a historic moment for Stone. I’ve wanted to say these next words for many years now: We’re coming to Europe. We’re coming to Germany. We are coming to Berlin!” said Stone CEO and co-founder Greg Koch. “It has been a long time coming and I couldn’t be more proud to say that we are finally on our way to being the first American craft brewer to own and operate our own brewery in Europe. Once open, we will bring Germany and the rest of Europe a taste of our craft beer vision, and look forward to sharing the unique beers that we have spent the last 18 years brewing.”

“Stone’s future European home will serve as the company’s international hub; a central location promoting goodwill and quality craft beer spanning the globe,” said Stone president and co-founder Steve Wagner. “With this expansion comes our commitment to brewing bold, aggressive, hop-forward beers in a country with a long history rooted in the art of brewing.”

The company will transform the setting into a one-of-a-kind destination that includes:

– A spectacular, historic, red brick main hall built in 1901 measuring 43,000-plus square feet (3,994 square meters), featuring a vaulted ceiling that will house a custom-built, stainless steel brewhouse, an eclectic farm-to-table restaurant, and retail store featuring specialty Stone beers and merchandise.

– A second 20,775-square-foot (1,930 square meters) building that will be utilized for brewing operations and house fermenters, bright tanks, and packaging equipment and materials. Ultimately, the company’s signature ales will be packaged and distributed throughout Europe from the facility.

– A third 1,300-square-foot (120 square meters) building, situated in what will be the expansive gardens, to be utilized as event space.

The property’s brewhouse will produce year-round and special-release Stone beers to be packaged, kegged and enjoyed on site and eventually distributed. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Berlin will highlight locally grown, organic food that complements the harmonious nature and seasonality of the location’s surroundings. As proud supporters of the international Slow Food movement, Stone will ensure that every dish is made from ingredients adhering to Slow Food’s principles of good, clean, fair food. An ambassador of the craft beer movement, Stone will serve an extensive array of exceptional craft and specialty beers from other breweries in Germany, Europe and across the world, both on tap and in bottles.

Additionally, the company launched an Indiegogo crowd-participation campaign today, so fans can participate in the venture by purchasing special collaboration beers to be brewed with award-winning, renowned craft brewers from around the world at Stone Brewing Co. – Berlin once the facility is operational.

The announcement, and particularly the crowd-funding campaign, created multiple conversations at Facebook, on Twitter and other virtual locations where people gather.

archives archives

Top homebrewers honored at national conference

Arizona homebrewer Jeremy Voeltz won the coveted Ninkasi Award and Robert Hilferding of Zephyrhills, Fla. was crowned Homebrewer of the Year when the results of the National Homebrew Competition were announced as the conclusion of the National Homebrewers Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich.

More than 2,700 homebrewers attended the conference in “Beer City USA,” listening to presentations from 75 speakers, sharing beers, and compiling wish lists at a trade show that featured a dazzle array of brewing equipment.

More than 200 judges evaluated beers, meads and ciders in Grand Rapids. They advanced from 12 first round judging sites, where 8,172 beers were entered, more than in any other beer competition in the world.

Hilferding won best of show with an entry in the Scottish and Irish ale category. The Meadmaker of the Year award was presented to Matthew Weide of Minneapolis, Minn. for his melomel, and Edward Walkowski from N. Abington Twp., Pa. won Cidermaker of the Year.

New in 2014, the Radegast Club of the Year award was presented to the AHA-registered club that made the most exceptional and positive impact on its local community. The Carolina BrewMasters of Charlotte, N.C. earned that honor by developing close connections with their local community through tremendously successful charitable donations, which amounted to $77,500 in 2013. A total of 25 homebrew clubs were nominated for the Radegast award.

The complete results can be found here (choose 2014 and Final Round).


Stay-at-home dad earns brewing scholarship

A stay-at-home dad is the first recipient of a brewing scholarship established to honor brewing legend Karl Strauss. Karl Strauss Brewing in San Diego estblished the Brewer’s Education fund in 2009. Now it is partnering with the UC San Diego Extension Brewing Program to fund an annual scholarship. “Karl was passionate about education and he believed that brewing was a delicate balance of art and science — and only when you mastered the science could you indulge in the art,” said Karl Strauss brewmaster. “I attended the Brewing Science Program at UC Davis and I am stoked that we can pay it forward by helping others achieve their dreams to be part of our thriving brewing industry.”

Seguar announced Frank Yepiz, Chula Vista resident and lifelong San Diegan, will be the first to use the scholarship. “Frank has an amazing story that immediately resonated with us,” Segura said. “Here’s a guy who wants to make a life change and we have the unique opportunity to make that dream come true.”

A stay-at-home dad to two young daughters, Frank was pursuing his undergraduate degree in physics at UCSD before making the decision to be at home with his girls. Frank stumbled into the world of beer via bread baking — he wanted to provide healthier food for his family and began baking his own bread and eventually propagating his own yeast cultures.

The world of fermentation quickly expanded into homebrewing and Frank knew he wanted to be part of the local craft beer industry. “I heard about the Karl Strauss scholarship on the radio and I applied. I never thought I would actually get it, so I didn’t even tell my wife I applied. I am so grateful and excited to have this amazing opportunity,” Yepiz said.

The company will offer a second brewing scholarship this fall, and a subsequent annual scholarship beginning in 2015. For more information about the Karl Strauss Brewers Education Fund, visit


Rogue Ales founder Jack Joyce dies

Jack Joyce, who co-founded Rogue Ales, died Tuesday at the age of 71.

Joyce, a former executive at Nike, and friends opened the Rogue Public House, also known as Rogue River Brewing Co., in 1988 in Ashland, Oregon. The next year they moved the brewery to Newport, hired John Maier as brewmaster, and not long after established the Rogue Nation as a sovereign entity.

Rogue president Brett Joyce, Jack’s son, issued this statement today:

“Yesterday the Rogue Nation and Family lost our co-founder, leader, friend, and father as Jack Joyce passed away at the age of 71.

“Following a career as both a small town attorney and Nike executive, Jack and some friends founded Rogue in 1988 in Ashland, Oregon. From the outset, Jack set Rogue on a path of innovation, creativity, and rebellion. Rogue made hoppy, flavorful beers and was told that no one would drink them. Rogue made a wide range of beers and was told no one wanted variety. Rogue sold 22oz bottles of beer and was told no one would pay a premium for a single serve beer. Rogue opened multiple pubs and breweries and was told that it would be wise to follow a more efficient and logical business plan. Rogue took the road less, or perhaps never, travelled. Rogue was the first U.S. craft brewer to send beer to Japan. Rogue won 1,000 awards for product and packaging excellence. Rogue worried about getting better, not bigger. Rogue began distilling. Rogue began farming. Rogue remained dedicated to its small town roots and made sure to give back to its local communities. Rogue started a Nation. This was all vintage Jack.

“He was the true Rogue and will be missed by us all.”

Pertinent reading:

Q&A, Jack Joyce.
Rogue of the month: Jack Joyce.
Rogue is different.
Rogue and the business of art.


Garrett Oliver wins James Beard drinks award

Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, has won the 2014 James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence in the category of “Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional.”

This is the first time a beer professional has won the award since the James Beard Awards were established in 1990.

“This is my 20th year at Brooklyn Brewery, and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate a banner year,” Oliver said. “Chefs are the closest peers of the modern craft brewer, so the culinary side of brewing has always been very important to me. I have a lot of friends in this room. This is a great honor, and I think it signals the fact that real beer is back where it belongs – at the table.”

Oliver began brewing professionally at Manhattan Brewing Company in 1989, then went to work at Brooklyn Brewery in 1994.

His first book, “Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food,” won the 2004 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Book Award and was a finalist for the 2004 James Beard Foundation Book Awards. His most recent book is “The Oxford Companion to Beer.”


World Beer Cup by the numbers

Breweries from five continents won awards in the 2014 World Beer Cup, collecting their commemorative plaques when the winners were announced in Denver. The competition drew 4,754 entries from 1,403 breweries in 58 countries.

“Brewers from around the globe participate in the World Beer Cup to win recognition for their creativity and brewing skills,” said CharliePapazian, president of the Brewers Association, which organizes the bienniel event.

The complete list of winners is available from the Brewers Association. Here are some of the highlights:

Chances of winning
The proportion of winning breweries winning one or more awards was 18 percent, compared to 27 percent in 2012. There was a 75.6 percent increase in breweries competing this year versus 2012, which had 799 breweries that entered beers in the competition. A total of 253 breweries took home awards in 2014, a 16.6 percent increase over 2012.

U.S. breweries accounted for 72 percent of the entries (3,403) and won 73 percent of the medals (205) — meaning 6 percent of entries won medals. German breweries entered 249 beers and won 27 medals (11 percent). El Salvador (4 entries/2 medals) and Tawain (2/1) had the best entry-to-medal percentages.

A panel of 219 judges from 31 countries participated in this year’s competition, working in teams to conduct blind tasting evaluations of the beers and determine the awards. Drawn from the ranks of professional brewers and brewing industry experts, 76 percent of the judges came from outside the United States.

Category Trends
* The average number of beers entered per category was 50, up from 41 in 2012.
* The category with the most entries was American-Style India Pale Ale, with 223 entries.
* The second most-entered category was American-Style Pale Ale, with 121 entries.
* The third most-entered category was Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer, with 111 entries.

Award Highlights
The 281 awards were won by 253 breweries.
* 226 breweries won one award.
* 26 breweries won two awards.
* Coors Brewing was the only brewery to win three awards.


Achievement Awards honors BA members

Teri Fahrendorf

The Brewers Association honored its own during the opening session of the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver, handing out its annual Achievement Awards.

The F.X. Matt Defense of the Small Brewing Industry Award is presented each year to those who have given aid and support to the causes of small, independent brewers and by doing so supported the Brewers Association’s goal of vigorously defending our industry. This year, Jester King Brewery outside of Austin was presented with the award for working to create craft-friendly legislation in their home state.

The Brewers Association Recognition Award was given to Teri Fahrendorf (pictured above). In 1989, Fahrendorf became the second woman brewmaster at a craft brewery in the U.S. She is the founder of the Pink Boots Society, an organization that works to empower women beer professionals to advance their careers in the beer industry through education.

The Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing was presented Mitch Steele of Stone Brewing Company. Steele began his brewing career at a very small company, San Andreas Brewing, worked for the world’s largest brewing company, Anheuser-Busch, and since 2006 has been at Stone. He also wrote “IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale,” published in 2012.


Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America goes on tour

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is inviting every craft brewery in the country to take part in a multi-weekend traveling beer festival this summer, featuring both the 12 beers in its Beer Camp Across America project and local ones on each stop.

“We’re about to open a second brewery in North Carolina, and while that’s exciting for us, it’s an even greater reason to celebrate the future of craft brewers everywhere,” Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman said for a press release. “We’ve watched and learned from each other for decades, and together we’ve seen tastes change and craft’s momentum snowball. Beer Camp Across America is our way of reflecting on this—with thousands of brewers, fans and great beers. It should be pretty fun.”

Beer Camp Across America will include seven stops as it travels west, beginning at Sierra Nevada’s California brewery and ending at its new North Carolina facility. The schedule:

* Sat, July 19: Northwest Edition at Sierra Nevada Hop Field in Chico, CA, 12-5 p.m.
* Sun, July 20: Southwest Edition at Embarcadero North in San Diego, CA, 1-6 p.m.
* Fri, July 25: Rocky Mountain Edition at Sculpture Park in Denver, CO, 5-10 p.m.
* Sun, July 27: Midwest Edition at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL, 12-5 p.m.
* Fri, Aug. 1: New England Edition at Thompson Point in Portland, ME, 5-10 p.m.
* Sat, Aug. 2: Mid-Atlantic Edition at Penn Treaty Park in Philadelphia, PA, 12-5 p.m.
* Sun, Aug. 3: Southeast Edition in Mills River, NC, 1-6 p.m.

Each festival will feature up to two beers per brewery, food vendors, and live music by the MarchFourth Marching Band spectacle. Tickets cost $65 for general admission, which includes a tasting glass and unlimited tastings, and are limited to 5,000 per venue. They are on sale at

At a press conference announcing the festival, Sierra Nevada also revealed the full lineup for its Beer Camp Across America 12-pack, a dozen collaboration beers. The brewing partners will join selective legs of the festival tour and the 12-pack will be available in stores nationally. The partners and the beers:

* Allagash Brewing Co, Portland, ME (Myron’s Walk Belgian-Style Pale Ale)
* Asheville Brewers Alliance, Asheville, NC (Tater Ridge Scottish Ale ~ 7% ABV ~ 35 IBU)
* Ballast Point Brewing Co, San Diego, CA (Electric Ray India Pale Lager ~ 8.5% ABV ~ 70 IBU)
* Bell’s Brewery, Kalamazoo, MI (Maillard’s Odyssey Imperial Dark Ale ~ 8.5% ABV ~ 40 IBU)
* Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, FL (Yonder Bock Tropical Maibock ~ 7.7% ABV ~ 45 IBU)
* Firestone Walker Brewing Co, Paso Robles, CA (Torpedo Pilsner ~ 5.2% ABV ~ 45 IBU)
* New Glarus Brewing Co, New Glarus, WI (There and Back English-Style Bitter ~ 5.6% ABV ~ 40 IBU)
* Ninkasi Brewing Co, Eugene, OR (Double Latte Coffee Milk Stout ~ 7.6 ABV ~ 60 IBU)
* Oskar Blues Brewing Co, Longmont, CO & Brevard, NC (CANfusion Rye Bock ~ 7.2% ABV ~ 45 IBU)
* Russian River Brewing Co, Santa Rosa, CA (Yvan the Great Belgian-Style Blonde ~ 6.3% ABV ~ 50 IBU)
* Three Floyds Brewing, Munster, IN (Chico King Pale Ale ~ 6.5% ABV ~ 45 IBU)
* Victory Brewing Co, Downingtown, PA (Alt Route Altbier ~ 6.6% ABV ~ 50 IBU)


Oregon Brewers Festival adds European breweries to mix

The Oregon Brewers Festival has invited 11 breweries from the Netherlands plus one from Germany to add their beers to the already imposing lineup for the 27th annual event July 23-27 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland.

The European breweries will serve their beers in the festival’s Specialty Tent, an area where an additional four dozen vintage, barrel aged, blends and esoteric one-offs are offered.

Dubbed NL to PDX (#NLtoPDX), the program started when festival director Art Larrance learned that Portland has a Friendship City relationship with the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Upon visiting, he discovered a growing craft brewing movement that reminded him of the Northwest craft beer industry in the 1980s. “Featuring international brewers is a natural extension for the OBF,” Larrance said in a press release. “We want to develop a long term cultural exchange and share our passion, knowledge and friendship with these brewers as part of a collective celebration of great craft beer.”

Eighty-six breweries from around the country will serve beer in the main tent.

Admission into the festival grounds is free. Those who want to drink beer must buy a 2014 souvenir 12.8-ounce tasting glass for $7. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens, which cost $1 apiece. Patrons pay four tokens for a full glass of beer, or one token for a taste. There are no advance tickets sold to the festival; all purchases are made on-site.