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Northern California Brewery Lagunitas Is Now Brewing Newcastle Brown Ale

One of the efficiencies in large brewery acquisitions that we always assumed was a factor was that large brands would start to be brewed at the acquired breweries — to make the distribution that much more efficient. In the latest example of that happening, Heineken owned Lagunitas has started brewing Newcastle Brown Ale.

Tip of the cap to them for acknowledging this brewing location right on the label. Some other large breweries could learn a lesson here.

In the future, when ordering a Newkie at a bar, feel free to complain that it shouldn’t be priced like an import since it’s brewed in the US now. But don’t expect that actually work to get a cheaper beer.

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GABF 2018 – It was huge, and it’s over.

The Great American Beer Festival just keeps getting bigger. More than 800 breweries poured more than 4,000 beers for approximately 62,000 people attending the festival last week in Denver. The enormous convention center setting took on an atmosphere of part circus, part beer-geek Disneyland and part over-sized carnival. Even the pretzel necklaces took it to a new level; instead of wearing a string of pretzels around their neck many participants had a large BAG of pretzels clipped to their necklaces.
For many brewers, particularly the winners, the highlight was Saturday when 280 breweries collected 306 medals in 102 categories. There were 8,496 entries from 2,404 breweries. View the 2018 winners or download a PDF list of the winners.

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Guinness debuts non-alcoholic lager

Guinness begins rolling a non-alcoholic lager in Ireland this month. Pure Brew has been developed at Open Gate, Diageo’s experimental brewery at St James’s Gate in Dublin. Pure Brew will be available in 250 pubs in Dublin to start, nationwide beginning in March.

Unlike other non-alcoholic beers, Pure Brew is a fully-fermented beer. Most others are full-strength beers with the alcohol eventually removed through evaporation, a process many maintian also removes flavor. Pure Brew is the result of two years of experimentation, has been developed using a special yeast strain so that it is a fully fermented beer.

“Consumers shouldn’t have to compromise on flavour just because they want to moderate,” lead brewer John Casey told The Irish Times. “With Pure Brew we wanted to give people a taste experience comparable to regular beer.”

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Goat’s Milk Champion Beer of Britain

A Warwickshire brewery, originally located in an old coffin shop, has won the Campaign for Real Ale’s Champion Beer of Britain award on the opening day of the Great British Beer Festival.

Church End originally brewed the bitter as a one-off for a local festival at the Goat pub, thus the champion’s name, Goat’s Milk. Head brewer Carl Graves said the 3.8% beer has a simple recipe of Maris Otter pale malt with a touch of crystal malt and malted wheat and is hopped with American Cascade and Chinook hops.

Final judging for the competition was held at the festival in London, which will attract 50,000 drinkers to sample from more than 900 beers, ciders, perries and wines.

The results:

Overall
Gold-Church End Goats Milk
Silver-Bishop Nick Ridley’s Rite
Bronze-Tiny Rebel Cwtch

Mild
Gold-Rudgate Ruby Mild
Silver-West Berkshire Maggs Magnificent Mild
Bronze-Winter’s Mild

Bitter
Gold-Church End Goats Milk
Silver-Bishop Nick Ridley’s Rite
Bronze-Triple fff Alton’s Pride and Sambrook’s Wandle Ale

Best Bitter
Gold-Tiny Rebel Cwtch
Silver-Blackedge Pike
Bronze-Surrey Hills Shere Drop and West Berkshire Good Old Boy

Golden Ale
Gold-Blue Monkey Infinity
Silver-Fyne Ales Jarl
Bronze-Oakham Citra and Ludlow Gold

Strong Bitter
Gold-Greytrees Afghan Pale Ale
Silver-Barngates Red Bull Terrier
Bronze-Salopian Automaton

Speciality
Gold-Saltaire Triple Chocoholic
Silver-Blackedge Black Port Porter
Silver-Cromarty Red Rocker

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Newest Game of Thrones beer called Valar Dohaeris

Games of Thrones Valar Dohaeris Tripel AleBrewery Ommegang has introduced the newest beer in its Games of Thrones series and will also bring back another. Valar Dohaeris Tripel Ale is the latest beer in the series, and will be available in a variety of different packages as well as alongside previously released sister-brew Valar Morghulis.

Fans of Game of Thrones know that “Valar Morghulis” means “All Men Must Die” in High Valyrian and is traditionally answered with the phrase “Valar Dohaeris,” which means “All Men Must Serve.” Label art for both bottles features the two-headed coin, given to Arya Stark by Jaqen H’ghar, which gained her passage to Braavos at the end of Season 5. Arya spent most of Season 6 in Braavos training to become a faceless assassin, making the naming of the latest beer and the decision to re-release Valar Morghulis a no-brainer.

“Of the classic Belgian styles, the dubbel and the tripel are two of our favorites to brew, and both are styles we’re particularly well known for,” Ommegang brewmaster Phil Leinhart said for a company press release. “I love the idea of releasing them together side-by-side. It is such a great way to experience them. They are also pretty hearty and should age nicely over time, so fans can stock up to last them through the winter and to fill the void until next season.”

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A-B shopping spree continues with Breckenridge acquistion

Anheuser-Busch today announced it will acquire Colorado-based Breckenridge Brewery. Breckenridge Brewery is the seventh craft brewery to join The High End, Anheuser-Busch’s business unit of craft and import brands. Goose Island Beer Company, Blue Point Beer Company, 10 Barrel Brewing, Elysian Brewing Company, Golden Road Brewing and Four Peaks Brewing Company are the others.

A-B announced that it has acquired Four Peaks only Friday, and in the interim A-B InBev bought Camden Town Brewery in London.

“We’re excited about the partnership and have been encouraged to continue on our path and become more innovative moving forward,” Breckenridge president Todd Usry said in a press release. “I’m a believer in what The High End is focused on accomplishing and we are flattered that our team was chosen to help guide that journey. We’re looking forward to utilizing resources like decades of research and brewing expertise as we continue to create new beers.”

Available in 35 states, Breckenridge Brewery will sell approximately 70,000 barrels of beer in 2015. The partnership includes the company’s new production brewery and Farm House restaurant in Littleton, and original brewpub and current innovation center in the mountain town of Breckenridge.

The current management group, Breckenridge-Wynkoop, will continue to own and operate its remaining businesses including: Ale House at Amato’s in Denver; Breckenridge Ale House in Grand Junction; Breckenridge Colorado Craft in Denver; The Cherry Cricket in Denver; Mainline in Fort Collins; Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. in Colorado Springs; and Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver.

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Royals’ stadium upgrades beer lineup

The Craft & Draft experience has replaced the .390 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, where the Kansas City Royals play their home games. The new space is the result of an expanded partnership with Boulevard Brewing Company and their wholesaler, Central States Beverage.

“We’re excited to be joining with the Royals and Central States in bringing more craft beers to Kauffman,” said Jeremy Ragonese, director of marketing for Boulevard Brewing. “The organization has demonstrated a clear commitment to creating a welcoming new space that will feature a wide assortment of specialty beers. It’s a big win for fans of Boulevard, craft beer, and the team.”

In addition to Boulevard’s Unfiltered Wheat Beer, Single-Wide I.P.A., and Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, an assortment of beers from Brewery Ommegang, Lagunitas, Founders, Mother’s Brewing Company, Santa Fe, Breckenridge, and many others, will also be available.

Craft & Draft is located in the left field corner of Kauffman Stadium.

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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.

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

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

Bitters
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

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Goose Island puts the black in Black Friday

Chicago-based Goose Island Beer Co. once again plans to help make Black Friday, the day otherwise known as a grand shopping event, more beer friendly.

The brewery will release several varieties of its Bourbon County Brand Stouts nationwide and hold special events in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Austin.

Looking for beer gift ideas for the holidays? Visit the Real Beer Guide.

Former brewmaster Greg Hall made first by Bourbon County Stout in 1992 to mark the 1,000th batch of beer brewed a what was then a brewpub. At the time, no other commercial brewery in the country was aging beers in bourbon barrels with the intention of extracting some of the remaining flavors. Now breweries around the world put beer in used spirits barrels.

Friday, Nov. 29, Goose Island will release:

– Bourbon County Brand Stout, an imperial stout, that at 14.5% ABV lives up the the name. It is sold in four packs of 12-ounce bottles.

– Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, brewed using coffee roasted from Intelligentsia Coffee, which is next door to Goose Island’s Fulton Street production brewery. 14.3% ABV and also sold in four packs.

– Bourbon County Brand Barleywine, which is new in 2013 and is aged in the third-use barrels that were once home to Kentucky bourbon and then Bourbon County Brand Stout. 14.2% ABV and sold in four packs.

– Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout, also new for 2013. Aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels with fresh mulberries, marionberries, and boysenberries. This one is sold in 22-ounce bottles.

– Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout,a small batch brewed exclusively for Chicago. For 2013, it was aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels with coconut toasted by hand by the Goose Island brewers. Sold in 22-ounce bottles.

This is the fourth year Goose Island is releasing Bourbon County Brands on Black Friday. More than 400 people lined up in Chicago last year for the special releases, and the company expects similar excitement in other cities this year. To learn more about the events visit the brewery’s Facebook page.

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Budweiser Project 12 offers more ZIP code beers

Budweiser’s Project 12 – the program that produced Budweiser Black Crown – returns with three new ZIP code beers this month.

This is the second year that Anheuser-Busch has packaged three beers that are named for the ZIP codes of the breweries where they were created. Each is fermented with the same yeast strain Budweiser has been using since Adolphus Busch founded the brewery in 1876. The beers are sold in a 12-pack that includes:

Batch 94534 (Fairfield, Calif.): Brewed with a of Northwest American hop varieties, including Cascade and Palisade. 5.5% ABV.

Batch 23185 (Williamsburg, Va.): Aged on a bed of bourbon barrel staves and vanilla beans. 5.5% ABV.

Batch 43229 (Columbus, Ohio): Brewed with chocolate and caramel malts and finished on Beechwood chips. 6% ABV.

Budweiser served the beers last week at the Great American Beer Festival.

“We think of Project 12 as the innovation arm of Budweiser,” Brian Perkins, vice president, Budweiser, told CNBC. “We see it not as a competition but a collaboration among our brewers.”

Budweiser has offered samples of the beer at the Made in America Music Festival on Labor Day each of the last two years. “Last year at the Made in America Music Festival, 85 percent of the people that tried the Project 12 beers had a higher perception of Budweiser than they did before they tried those beers,” Perkins said. “This year 93 percent of those that tried the Project 12 beers had a greater appreciation for Budweiser. That’s huge for us.”

Last year, Budweiser introduced Budweiser Black Crown – originally known as Project 12’s Batch 91406 – as a permanent Budweiser brand during Super Bowl XLVI. Perkins did not rule out the possibility of a similar brand extension based on this year’s beers, but said that was not planned currently.

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A ‘pumpkin beer like no other’

Once in a very rare while a press release shows up that simply must be run in it’s entirety. Witness:

He Said let’s brew a dark beer with pumpkin and spices and put it in a light colored can. He Said let’s brew a light beer with pumpkin and spices and put it in a dark colored can. So they did both and produced a pumpkin beer collaboration like no other: two black pumpkin beers and two white pumpkin beers, together in one box.

Brewing up a pumpkin collaboration beer should be a piece of cake for Dick Cantwell, the pumpkin king at Elysian Brewing and a slam dunk for Shaun O’Sullivan, the 21st Amendment Brewery brewmaster who brought the world Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer. In truth, brewing up He Said wasn’t that hard. What proved to be more difficult was getting their story about its inception straight.

Here, straight from the mouths of the pumpkin king and one of the watermelon guys, is exactly what He Said:

Shaun: “I met Dick in 2010. He walked into our San Francisco pub, came over to Nico and me and said he’d always wanted to meet the watermelon guys.”

Dick: “I met Shaun in 1999. He walked into my Seattle pub, came over to me and said he’d always wanted to meet the pumpkin king.”

Shaun: “Later on, while I was knocking his block off at Rock’em Sock’em Robots, Dick mentioned his little pumpkin fest and suggested we attend.”

Dick: “Later on, while hatching a plan to colonize a planet entirely devoted to watermelons and pumpkins I invited him to my massive pumpkin fest.”

Shaun: “One year later, Dick asked me again. Then he kicked me in the shins until I said yes.”

Dick: “Ten years later, Shaun asked me if the invitation still stood. I punched him in the ribs and said yes.”

Shaun: “After drinking the pumpkin elixirs, I told Dick we should do a pumpkin collaboration sometime.”

Dick: “After some cajolery, Shaun and Nico begged me to do a pumpkin collaboration as soon as possible. I said we should brew a pumpkin beer like no other. A Baltic Porter with caraway and cinnamon in a light colored can. Courage!”

Shaun: “I said we should brew a pumpkin beer like no other. A Belgian Tripel with spices in a dark colored can. That’s as big time as it gets.”

He Said is a white Belgian-Style Tripel ale brewed with pumpkin, tarragon and galangal. He Said is also a black Baltic-Style Porter lager brewed with pumpkin, Vietnamese cinnamon and ground caraway. Both beers have an ABV of 8.2%.

Try them both. Two 12oz cans of each version of He Said will be packaged together in a pumpkin-colored carrier that features the likenesses of the two brewers, each telling his side of the He Said story.

Shaun O’Sullivan, Brewmaster and Co-Founder of 21st Amendment Brewery, said, “Last year I attended Elysian’s Great Pumpkin Beer Fest – and this is the truth as it happened – I lobbied Nico hard for us to brew a pumpkin ale and release it in a can.”

Nico Freccia, Co-Founder of 21st Amendment Brewery, said, “I agreed to the endeavor, but only if we could collaborate with the pumpkin king, himself: Dick Cantwell of Elysian.”

Dick Cantwell, Founder of Elysian Brewing and the Elysian Great Pumpkin Beer Fest, said, “Well, it went something like that. In the end, we decided that it would be fun to brew two unusual types of pumpkin beers – a dark and a light – and package them together. And that’s how it happened.”

He Said, part of 21st Amendment Brewery’s Insurrection Series of once-in-awhile four packs, will be available in four-packs and on draft starting in late September.

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Great American Beer Bars honored

CraftBeer.com — the Brewers Association website for beer lovers — has announced the winners in voting for “Great American Beer Bar.” Readers selected their favorite bars in each of five U.S. geographical regions as well as picking overall winners.

Great American Beer Bars

Overall Winners
First Place: Mekong Restaurant, Richmond, VA
Second Place: HopCat, Grand Rapids, MI
Third Place: Cloverleaf Tavern, Caldwell, NJ

Regional Winners
South
First Place: Mekong Restaurant, Richmond, VA
Second Place: The Thirsty Monk, Asheville, NC
Third Place: Oak St. Drafthouse, Denton, TX

Mountain West
First Place: Falling Rock Tap House, Denver, CO
Second Place: Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids, Longmont, CO
Third Place: Tap & Bottle, Tucson, AZ

Pacific
First Place: The Bier Stein, Eugene, OR
Second Place: Toronado, San Francisco, CA
Third Place: Prospectors Historic Pizzeria & Alehouse, Denali National Park, AK

North Central
First Place: HopCat, Grand Rapids, MI
Second Place: The Bavarian Lodge, Lisle, IL
Third Place: Ashley’s, Ann Arbor, MI

Northeast
First Place: Cloverleaf Tavern, Caldwell, NJ
Second Place: ChurchKey, Washington, DC
Third Place: The Farmhouse Tap & Grill, Burlington, VT

This is how the winners were chosen: CraftBeer.com asked readers to nominate their favorite craft beer bars in the country, and received over 5,000 nominations. Site visitors than coast their votes (more than 37,000) for the 10 most nominated bars in each of the five regions.

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West Yorkshire porter champion at GBBF

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, announced that Elland 1872 Porter has been crowned the “Best Beer” in Britain at the Great British Beer Festival in London. And for the second year in a row the Champion Winter Beer winner also won Champion Beer of Britain at the GBBF.

Competition chair Colin Valentine said: “It was a really tough decision but Elland 1872 Porter is a fantastic beer and a well deserved winner.”

Elland head brewer Michael Wynnyczuk said: “I’m utterly shocked. It’s a great beer but after we won the Winter Ales competition you wonder about it in the summer GBBF competition, as people may prefer different styles of beer in warmer weather. But we know it’s a great beer and we’re really proud to be crowned Champion Beer of Britain.”

Overall winners
Gold – Elland – 1872 Porter (West Yorkshire)
Silver – Buntingford – Twitchell (Hertfordshire)
Bronze – Fyne Ales – Jarl (Argyll)

Mild category
Gold – Great Orme – Welsh Black (Conwy)
Silver – Cotswold Spring – Old Sodbury Mild (Gloucestershire)
Bronze – Fernandes – Malt Shovel Mild (West Yorkshire)

Bitters category
Gold – Buntingford – Twitchell (Hertfordshire)
Silver – Moor – Revival (Somerset)
Bronze – Surrey Hills – Ranmore Ale (Surrey) and Butcombe Bitter (Somerset)

Best Bitters
Gold – Mordue – Workie Ticket (North Shields)
Silver – Surrey Hills – Shere Drop (Surrey)
Bronze – Purple Moose – Glaslyn (Gwynedd) and Woodfordes – Nelsons Revenge (Norfolk)

Golden Ales
Gold – Fyne Ales – Jarl (Argyll)
Silver – Buntingford – Polar Star (Hertfordshire)
Bronze – St Austell – Proper Job (Cornwall)

Strong Bitters
Gold – Beeston – On the huh (Norfolk)
Silver –Marble – Dobber (Greater Manchester)
Bronze – Castle Rock – Screech Owl (Nottingham)

Speciality Beers
Gold – Growler Brewery, Nethergate – Umbel Magna (Suffolk)
Silver – Saltaire – Triple Chocolate (West Yorkshire)
Bronze – Conwy – Honey Fayre (Conwy)

Champion Winter Beer of Britain
Elland – 1872 Porter (West Yorkshire)
Bartram’s – Comrade Bill Bartram’s EAIS Stout (Suffolk)
Kelburn – Dark Moor (Old Ale/Strong Mild) (Glasgow)
Hog’s Back – A over T (Barley Wine/Strong Old Ale) (Surrey)

Champion Bottled Beer of Britain
Gold – Molson Coor’s – Worthington White Shield (Burton on Trent)
Silver – St Austell – Proper Job (Cornwall)
Bronze – Harvey’s – Imperial Extra Double Stout (East Sussex)

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Post office would like to deliver beer

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says the U.S. postal service would like to get into the business of shipping beer.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Donahoe said Thursday delivery of alcoholic beverages is on his wish list as the agency considers ways to raise revenue and save money after losing $16 billion last year.

Donahoe said delivering alcohol has the potential to raise as much as $50 million a year. Donahoe said his agency has looked at the possibility of using special boxes that would hold two, four or six bottles and ship for a flat-rate anywhere in the country.

“There’s a lot of money to be made in shipping beer, wine and spirits,” Donahoe said. “We’d like to be in that business.”

Mailing alcoholic beverages is currently restricted by law, but the Senate passed a postal reform bill last year that included a provision allowing the agency to deliver alcohol. The bill required that such shipments would have to comply with any state laws from where the shipment was originated and delivered. The measure also said the recipient had to be at least 21 years old and would need to provide a valid government-issued photo identification upon delivery.