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Beer culture


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

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Two Falconer brewing scholarships available

The Glen Hay Falconer Foundation and Seibel Institute of Technology are offering two full-tuition brewing education scholarships in 2012.

One scholarship is to the World Brewing Academy Web-based Concise Course in Brewing Technology from August to November 2012. The Concise Course is a two-week intensive program that covers every topic critical to successful brewery operations. The program is designed for brewers pursuing a wider knowledge of professional brewing standards and techniques in order to advance their brewing careers as well as individuals planning to enter the brewing industry.

The second scholarship allows candidates to apply for one of three two-week Web-based modules from the International Diploma in Brewing Technology Program. This specialty brewing scholarship is intended for those brewers who seek an in-depth understanding of a specific brewing discipline. Candidates must designate which module they wish to attend.

The Concise Course scholarship is open to individuals planning on entering the brewing industry and to professional brewers with no more than three years of brewery work experience. The specialty brewing scholarship is open only to professional brewers. Applicants must be from the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, and Hawaii and California’s northern geographic region (San Francisco Bay/Monterey Bay areas and north). The full application must be received no later than March 23. Complete details and scholarship applications are available at

The Glen Hay Falconer Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities for professional and aspiring craft brewers from the Pacific Northwest to further their knowledge and expertise. For more information on the Foundation please visit


Cicerone program celebrates with discounts

To celebrate issuing Certified Beer Server certificate number 10,000 the Cicerone Certification Program is offering special 10K promotions.

The move into 5-figures of beer servers comes just four years and 42 days after this first-level exam was first offered to the public in the early days of January 2008.

The special offers:

Certified Beer Server Exam: 1000 cents ($10) for 10 hours (normally $69.) A unique low-cost opportunity for anyone who ever wondered about their ability to pass but who did not want to smack down the dough to find out. This exam must be purchased and taken today (Feb. 15). Use this link.

Certified Beer Server Tutorial and Exam (with recorded lectures, study aids and self-assessment exams): $100 for 100 hours (Feb 15 through Feb 18. Regular price $149.) Buy during the promotional period and you will have 60 days to complete the program. Use this link.

Cicerone Brewing Process App: 99 cents for 101 hours (Feb 15 through Feb 18) This is good for both iPhone/iPad and Android systems. Normally priced at $5.99. For the iOS and Android apps, visit the app stores for those products and search for “Cicerone Brewing Process.”


New Belgium ‘Glass that Gives’ raises $9,000

New Belgium Brewing’s recently completed the “Glass that Gives” program raised $8,921 for four nonprofit organizations. During the campaign, New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale, sold nucleated glassware in a winterized two-pack gift box for $8.99, with $1 from each purchase going to charity.

Between November 1 and January 31, New Belgium sold 5,921 glass sets. In addition, 3,000 people uploaded photos of themselves with the glassware, which raised an additional $750 per nonprofit ($1 per picture, equally divided among the groups).

The nonprofits that benefited were: Water Keeper Alliance – $2,735, Organic Farming Research Foundation – $2,158, People for Bikes – $2,039, and Save the Colorado – $1,989.

“This program toasts the efforts of nonprofits that focus on themes everyone at New Belgium is passionate about – water conservation, bike commuting and sustainable farming,” said brewery spokesman Bryan Simpson. “We want to thank everyone who made a purchase or sent us a picture – we appreciate the support and so do our nonprofit friends.”


Beerdrinker of the Year finalists chosen

The three finalists for Wynkoop Beerdrinker of the Year have been chosen. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges (in traditional jurist wigs and robes) during public ceremonies that begin at 2 p.m. Feb. 25 a Wynkoop Brewing Co. in Denver. The finalists:

Warren Monteiro, a New York City freelance writer, beer traveler, homebrewer and BeerSensei columnist for Alestreet News. Monteiro has sampled beers in Europe, Central American, India, Sri Lanka, numerous other nations and throughout the United States. In 2011 he visited breweries and beer festivals in England, Belgium, the Netherlands and the US. He samples an average of 350 beers each year. His philosophy of beer drinking: “It’s not a habit, it’s a lifestyle. This is why I constantly travel – to get a taste of a new brew or one I’ve been missing, and to find a way to share it whenever possible. I consider creative beer drinking to be an essential part of the tapestry of art and fellowship contributing to a full life. The beauty of beer hunting now as opposed to the early ‘80’s is that I’ll never catch up!”

Greg Nowatzki, a Las Vegas, Nevada accountant, home brewer and beer judge. Nowatzki has tasted over 13,600 beers from 84 different countries and all 50 states in the US. He has visited over 500 breweries in 32 different states and the District of Columbia, and attended over 150 beer festivals in 8 states. In 2011 he visited 16 beer festivals (including an 11th consecutive Great American Beer Festival) and visited over 100 different breweries in 7 states. His beer philosophy: “Everyone likes beer. Some just haven’t tasted enough to find the ones they like yet.”

J. Wilson, a Prescott, Iowa writer, homebrewer, beer judge and beer blogger. He has a 3-tap, 8-foot home bar supplied by a 10-gallon brewing system in his basement. An advocate for beer for 15 years, he organized numerous beer events in his hometown in 2011. The past year was highlighted by a research project in which he fasted for 46 days on water and a dopplebock he brewed with a local brewery. It became a book, Diary of a Part-Time Monk. His philosophy about beer: “Living life in search of brewvana (an ideal condition of harmony, beer and joy), I seek to educate and advocate on behalf of craft beer, folding good beer into a good life.”

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Anthony Stone wins Falconer scholarship

Anthony Stone of Boundary Bay Brewing has won the 2012 Glen Hay Falconer Foundation American Brewers Guild scholarship. This scholarship attracted a very strong group of highly qualified applicants from throughout the Pacific Northwest region.

Stone will attend the ABG’s Intensive Brewing Science & Engineering course. The course is designed for brewers and homebrewers who lack formal training in brewing science and covers all the fundamentals of beer production and quality assurance.

In making its final decision, the selection committee members were impressed by Stone’s work ethic, passion, and contributions to the broader brewing community. In the words of committee members, Stone “embraces his homebrewing roots in the truest sense, even teaching homebrewing at a local college.” Stone “continually demonstrates his hunger for knowledge” and “dedication to improving his knowledge base and to sharing this with others.”

The scholarship is a partnership between ABG and the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation, a non-profit organization created to commemorate and celebrate the life, interests, and good works of Glen Hay Falconer.


Belgian Coast to Coast Toast in one week

Beer importer Vanberg & DeWulf has organized a national Coast to Coast Toast celebration to mark its 30th anniversary. Thirty years in, the founders note, “Ever and always our mission has been to support independent, family-run breweries and indigenous beer styles that express the spirit of a place.”

The importer is best known for the Belgian beers it brings to the United States, although its portfolio also includes “Honorary Belgian Beers.” The full lineup will be on display across the country Nov. 15, next Tuesday, as 350 or so bars, restaurants and retail outlets throw special events.

– The list of participants continues to grow and is available at Eventbrite. These include everything from fundraisers to beer dinners, tutored tastings to new beer releases,

– Mobile web app will unveil a Belgian beer badge on Nov. 15. To earn the Belgian badge Untappers need to try at least one “related” beer and share it on Untappd. Starting Nov. 15 and for a month, the Belgian badge can only be earned by checking in with Vanberg & DeWulf’s beers. Aspiring badge-earners have the option to be entered into a drawing to win a trip for two to Belgium sponsored by The Belgian Tourist Office and Delta Airlines.

– The company has designated #C2CT at the Twitter hash tag for the event.

A story at Great Brewers includes both Vanberg & Dewulf’s history and why the importer remains relevant today.


Press release: Clips of Faith tour raises nearly $59,000

The press release:

Clips of Faith, New Belgium Brewing’s traveling philanthropic beer and film festival, recently wrapped up a record-shattering 18-city tour. The second-year festival outperformed last year, bringing out 11,000 people in cities across the U.S. for amateur short films, New Belgium’s esoteric Lips of Faith beers and food from local vendors. In total, Clips of Faith raised almost $59,000 for local non-profits. Over its two-year run, Clips of Faith has raised approximately $91,000.

At each Clips of Faith stop, all proceeds from beer sales benefitted local, sustainably focused nonprofit partners. Attendees help support local organizations while sampling hard-to-find New Belgium beers beneath the stars. Eighteen of the best Clips of Faith short film entries screen at every show. In addition, each event had a zero waste component, diverting, on average, 91 percent of the waste from landfills and encouraging alternative transportation.

“There is something extraordinary about bringing out a community to support the arts and their local nonprofit organizations,” said Christie Catania, Clips of Faith Manager-at-Large. “Watching inspired short films and sipping beer under the stars is a great way to spend a summer evening. This tour grew exponentially from last year, showing that people enjoy the concept as much as we do.”

The creative team at New Belgium Brewing reviewed and selected the films that went on tour and picked three filmmakers to visit New Belgium for the Ft. Collins screening. Those honorees were “Bottles” by Colorado resident Geoff Maddaford; “Tiny Day in Jackson Hole Backcountry” by Wyoming’s Tristan Greszko; and “Assisted Migration” by Dusan Harminc of Wisconsin. Honorable Mentions were: “BLOB,” Trevor Hawkins, Missouri; “The Millionaires Club,” Sam Nuttmann, Washington; and “Ski and Chalk,” Chris Dickey, Wyoming.


Trumer program supports local artists

Trumer Brauerei in Berkeley, the maker of Trumer Pils, has begun a search to find the next Trumer Featured Artist. This program is rooted in Trumer’s longstanding appreciation for art, and designed to support and promote Bay Area artists.

“We are proud to produce our craft pilsner in Berkeley and appreciate being surrounded by the local art scene,” brewmaster Lars Larson said. “Our Featured Artist program allows us to give back to the community and help create awareness for local artists.”

The Trumer Featured Artist program dedicates an entire month to one local artist. Trumer Pils works to promote all aspects of the artist’s work by publicizing it in the following ways: sponsored gallery events, after parties at Trumer-partner venues, artwork on display throughout the brewery, social media awareness on Facebook and Twitter and a biography page with photos on the Trumer Pils website.

Recent Trumer Featured Artists include Adam Friedman, Brion Nuda Rosch, and Joey Piziali. December’s featured artist will be Brice Frillici. Artists interested in being featured are encouraged to contact the brewery by phone at 510-526-1160. More information is available at the Trumer website.


Reunion Ale ’11 an Imperial Brown Ale

Terrapin Beer Company, Schmaltz Brewing and Alan Shapiro of SBS Imports has released Reunion Ale ’11: A Beer for Hope, this year an Imperial Brown Ale.

Now in its fifth year of production, Reunion is brewed annually in memory of Virginia MacLean, a dear friend of Shapiro and Pete Slosberg’s (creator of Pete’s Wicked Ale) and a dedicated cancer research supporter who lost her own battle with Multiple Myeloma in 2007. It was her wish to raise funds and awareness on behalf of the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research, and a portion of the proceeds from Reunion Ale ’11 is donated directly to the IMBCR.

Reunion Ale ’11 is available in 22-ounce bottles and a limited amount of draft in the nearly 40 U.S. states that receive distribution from Terrapin and Shmaltz, and in Western Canada through Shmaltz’s distribution network.

Inspired by a delicious dessert at MacLean’s favorite restaurant, Reunion Ale ’11 is a dark Imperial Brown Ale brewed with vanilla, chili peppers, and cocoa nibs from Nashville, Tennessee’s Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Company. Brewmasters Spike Buckowski (Terrapin Beer Co.), Pete Slosberg, Paul McErlean (Shmaltz Brewing Co.), and Shmaltz Brewing proprietor Jeremy Cowan designed this year’s recipe to combine sweet and spicy aromas with complex malt flavors and decadent vanilla and chocolate overtones.

Reunion was conceived initially by Shapiro, MacLean and Slosberg – who all met during the early days of Pete’s Brewing Company – as a way to increase awareness of myeloma and bone cancer and raise donations for the IMBCR. Although MacLean passed away just four months after the release of Reunion 2007, the Reunion project has carried on the vision of these three friends, raising more than $130,000.


Jolly Pumpkin beer benefits Pints for Prostrates

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales of Michigan and The Rare Beer of the Month Club are teaming up on a special limited release beer to benefit the Pints for Prostates campaign.

Jolly Pumpkin Lúpulo de Hielo was brewed with pumpkin, cacao and spices, then aged in oak barrels. Brewed by Jolly Pumpkin to help raise awareness about prostate cancer and generate funds for the Pints for Prostates campaign, it will be featured in The Rare Beer of the Month Club in October. Shelton Brothers, one of the leading craft beer distributors and importers, handles Jolly Pumpkin and is donating its services.

“Lúpulo de Hielo – ‘Ice Hop’ — is a hoppy sour beer that was aged for about a year in oak and blended with our sour white, Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca,” said Ron Jeffries, president of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. “We are excited to once again be involved with the Pints for Prostates campaign in reaching men through the universal language of beer.”

The beer will feature the Pints for Prostates logo on its label, which includes the blue ribbon to remind people of the ongoing search for a cure to prostate cancer, a leading cause of death among American men. A donation from every 750 milliliter bottle of Lúpulo de Hielo sold will be made to the Pints for Prostates campaign.

“This is a rare beer that delivers an important message. We want men to take charge of their health and get screened for prostate cancer,” said Rick Lyke, a prostate cancer survivor who founded Pints for Prostates after successful prostate cancer surgery in April 2008. “We’re thrilled that Jolly Pumpkin, The Rare Beer Club and Shelton Brothers are supporting the campaign in a way that will catch the attention of men needing to hear our message. We want to engage men in a conversation that might just save their lives.”


GABF Rare Beer Tasting almost sold out

More than 90 percent of the tickets for the Denver Rare Beer Tasting III on Sept. 30 in Denver have already been sold, even as organizers work to finalize what beer will be served.

Here is a partial list of confirmed participants and beers: Alaskan Brewing 2009 Baltic Porter with Cherries and Vanilla Beans; Avery Brewing Dihos Dactylion Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel-Aged Sour Ale; Big Sky Brewing 2006 Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Belgian Triple; Brooklyn Brewery Cuvee de la Crochet Rouge; The Bruery The Wanderer Dark Sour Ale; Cascade Brewing Borbonic Plague; Cigar City Brewing Neilsbohrium Imperial Raisin Sweet Stout Rum Barrel-Aged; Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Olde School Vintage 2004; The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery The End of Reason; Foothills Brewing TBD; Highland Brewery PSA Pilsner; Laughing Dog Brewing St. Benny’s Labby Ale Bourbon Barrel-Aged; Left Hand Brewery Fade to Black Vol. 1 (2009); Lost Abbey/Port Brewery Deliverance; New Belgium Brewing Leopold Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged Sour Beer; New Holland Brewing Rum Barrel-Aged Pilgrim’s Dole Wheatwine; Rogue Ales Charlie 1981; Samuel Adams Utopias; Sierra Nevada Brewing 30th Anniversary Rum Barrel-Aged Fritz and Ken’s Stout; Stone Brewing 2010 Stone Imperial Russian Stout Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Barrel-Aged; Wynkoop Brewery Metacool Maltuwanna Imperial Amber Ale.

“The breweries represent a slice of America’s finest craft beer makers and each will bring a rare, limited release brew to the Denver Rare Beer Tasting,” said Rick Lyke, founder of the Pints for Prostates campaign. “The brewers understand the reputation the first two Denver Rare Beer Tastings created and they will pour incredible, exotic brews. This is a special day for true beer fanatics.”

Tickets for the Denver Rare Beer Tasting are $80 and include unlimited samples of 28 hard to find brews, hors d’oeuvres, a commemorative tasting glass, event program and the chance to meet the men and women who created the special beers. The tasting place at Wynkoop Brewing on 18th Street in Denver on Sept. 30 from 1-4 p.m. Only 500 tickets will be sold for the event.


Tour de Fat 2011 schedule announced

New Belgium Brewing has announced the schedule for the 12th season of Tour de Fat. As the press release says, “Tour de Fat is more than an event; it’s a rite of passage that includes a costumed bicycle parade, New Belgium beer, eye-popping entertainment, local food, bizarre bike contests and much more.”

A highlight of Tour de Fat is the annual car-for-bike swap. At each Tour de Fat stop, one person will hand over his or her car keys and commit to one year of living car-free. Tour de Fat is now seeking volunteers to accept the swapper challenge. Each car-for-bike swapper will receive a hand-built Black Sheep commuter bike in return for their car.

Volunteers may submit an application to for the swap at the New Belgium Tour de Fat Facebook.

“The car-for-bike swap epitomizes Tour de Fat, wherein one brave soul makes the commitment to live car-free while inspiring others to think about driving alternatives,” said Bryan Simpson, spokesman for New Belgium. “We’re building a network of folks who originally said they’d leave their car behind for a year, but are still living car-free today.”

Tour de Fat kicks off in Durham, N.C., on June 25 and wraps up in Austin on Oct. 22.

It is free to attend, but beer and merchandise proceeds go to local cycling non-profits. During its lifespan, Tour de Fat events have raised more than $1.75 million for philanthropy. Last year Tour de Fat raised $331,428.

Tour de Fat 2011 will cycle through each of the following cities:

June 25 – Durham, N.C., Diamond View Park
July 9 – Nashville, Tenn., Centennial Park
July 16 – Chicago, Palmer Square
July 23 – Minneapolis, Loring Park
July 30 – Milwaukee, Humboldt Park
August 20 – Boise, Idaho, Ann Morrison Park
September 3 – Ft. Collins, Colo., Civic Center Park
September 10 – Denver, City Park
September 24 – San Francisco, Golden Gate Park
October 1 – San Diego, Balboa Park
October 8 – Los Angeles, L.A. Historic Park
October 15 – Tempe, Tempe Town Lake
October 22 – Austin, Fiesta Garden