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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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HefeWheaties – trend or gimmick?

A Minneapolis brewery has partnered with General Mills to create a limited edition beer called HefeWheaties. Not surprisingly it will be a German-style hefeweizen.

General Mills stated in a press release that the beer will not actually contain Wheaties cereal, but will be representative of the Wheaties brand.

Fulton Brewery plans to release the beer Aug. 26 and only in Minnesota.

“We’ll see how people react to it,” said Fulton co-founder Ryan Petz. “If it’s something everybody loves, we’ll obviously consider doing it again in a bigger and more widely distributed way in the future.”

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Drinkers to decide which retired Sam Adams beers to resurrect

Boston Beer Co., brewer of Samuel Adams beers, plans to bring back some retired favorites this year and next, and is letting drinkers determine just what those favorites are. Through online and in-person voting, drinkers will determine which two brews will emerge from the Samuel Adams “vault” for national distribution in early 2016. The choices include beers included more than 20 years ago, including Cherry Lambic.

Here’s how it works:

– Starting today, drinkers can visit the Samuel Adams website http://www.samueladams.com/drinker-favorites to select four beers (from 16 offered) they would like to see back on shelves. Drinkers can return once a day to vote for their favorites.
– After voting closes May 25, Samuel Adams will tally the votes and brew the four beers that get the most votes.
– The four finalist brews will be poured in July and August at the Boston Brewery and select beer festivals nationwide, and a final round of online voting will take place during the summer, where drinkers can vote for the two final winning brews.
– The two beers that get the most votes will be declared winners and re-released in the January 2016 Samuel Adams Variety Pack.

“We’ve been brewing boundary-pushing beers for over 30 years, but with innovation comes the inevitability of having to tuck away the recipes for some our favorite brews to save for another day,” Boston Beer founder Jim Koch said. “We hear from our drinkers nearly every day asking us to re-release their favorites, so we’re excited to make these brews available once again on a national level.”

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Homebrewers Association gives Obama lifetime membership

The American Homebrewers Association has given special lifetime gift memberships to President Obama and outgoing White House chef Sam Kass.

The president made history when he purchased a homebrewing kit and — along with Kass — headed the effort to brew White House Honey Ale, the first beer known to have been brewed in the White House.

“Homebrewing is a model example of a bipartisan, pro-community and pro-business activity that all kinds of people can be passionate about and enjoy. President Obama and chef Kass are among the nation’s 1.2 million homebrewers, which include both Republicans and Democrats,” AHA director Gary Glass said for a press release announcing the gifts. “What better way to honor their enthusiasm for the hobby than to give them a lifetime membership to our community, which consists of many leaders, patriots and successful craft beer entrepreneurs.”

President Obama and Kass were mailed the letters below from Glass on behalf of the organization.

To President Obama:

Dear Mr. President:

As one of the nation’s 1.2 million homebrewers, we would be honored to provide you a complimentary lifetime membership to the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), an organization dedicated to promoting the country’s ever-growing community of homebrewers.

Since its founding in 1978, the AHA has worked to educate Americans about the country’s longstanding tradition of homebrewing. Your participation in homebrewing has elevated national awareness for the hobby and has inspired the country’s homebrewers, many of whom have become successful craft beer entrepreneurs.

We thought this membership, which we have also given to chef Sam Kass as he completes his tenure at the White House, would be a fitting and timely holiday gift. Homebrewing is an activity that everybody—regardless of their background or politics—can bond over and enjoy. As part of your holiday celebrations this year, we hope you will brew a batch of the White House Honey Ale or Honey Porter, the brews that have drawn such great national attention to our favorite hobby.

We look forward to you becoming a member of the American Homebrewers Association.

Happy holidays, and cheers to homebrewing.

Yours truly,
Gary Glass
Director
American Homebrewers Association

To chef Kass:

Dear Chef Kass:

As you complete your tenure at the White House, we wanted to send a thank-you gift for all the contributions you have made to the country, and, in particular, to the advancement of our favorite hobby: homebrewing.

We would be honored to provide you a complimentary lifetime membership to the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), an organization dedicated to promoting the country’s ever-growing community of homebrewers.

Since its founding in 1978, the AHA has worked to educate Americans about the country’s longstanding tradition of homebrewing. Your enthusiasm for the craft, and your initiative in experimenting with and sharing the White House’s delicious homebrew recipes have been wonderful—and we are deeply grateful.

We thought this membership, which we have also given to President Obama, would be a fitting gift for the holidays. As part of your holiday celebrations this year, we hope you will brew a batch of the White House Honey Ale or Honey Porter, the brews that have drawn such great national attention to our favorite hobby.

We look forward to you becoming a member of the American Homebrewers Association. We hope this membership will allow you to continue to engage in the hobby as you embark on your next endeavor.

Cheers, and happy holidays.

Yours truly,
Gary Glass
Director
American Homebrewers Association

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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 www.SierraNevada.com/BeerCamp.

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)

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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.

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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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Pumpkin brewers hold carving contest

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales carved pumpkin

Voting has begun in The Big Craft CarveOff organized by New Belgium Brewing. The Colorado brewery and seven others have put their carving skills on display and consumers may vote for their favorites at Eater.com. New Belgium will donate $5,000 to a charity of the winner’s choice. Voting ends Oct. 15.

New Belgium’s carved entry celebrates its current seasonal release, Pumpkick Ale. Pumpkick is brewed with cranberries as well as the other ingredients association with pumpkin pies.

Other breweries participating in the carving contest include: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Brooklyn Brewery, Cigar City Brewing, Cambridge Brewing Company, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales (pictured above), Saint Arnold Brewing and Saint Louis Brewery/Schlafly Beer.

“It was a little tricky for some breweries to find pumpkins this early in the season, so we actually had to ship some from Fort Collins,” said New Belgium spokesman Bryan Simpson. “The results speak volumes as to how many creative folks we have in our industry. Pretty inspiring.”

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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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Saint Arnold to host GABF weddings

Weddings aren’t exactly new to the Great American Beer Festival. In one of the better known ones, Dave Keene of the Toronado Pub and Jennifer Smith got married in 2010.

However, Saint Arnold Brewing in Texas wants to take it to a new level, constructing a chapel at its booth at this year’s GABF and inviting couples to use it. A Saint Arnold employee who has officiated weddings in the past will preside over the nuptials dressed as Saint Arnold of Metz, the patron saint of brewers.

“One of my favorite toasts is, ‘May your heart always be full and your glass never empty,’ and I expect to hear that toast a lot at the GABF weddings,” said Saint Arnold director of marketing and events, Lennie Ambrose. “Saint Arnold is closely associated with the legend of the miraculous mug that never ran dry, so I expect he will be right at home at GABF.”

Saint Arnold will also perform civil ceremonies and vow renewals.

“This will be a lot of fun and we expect there will be no shortage of people taking advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share the love with thousands of fellow craft beer enthusiasts,” said Ambrose. “While it is a relatively simple process to get married in Colorado, a Colorado marriage license is required, so this will require a little planning for those wishing to wed. Fortunately, the Denver Office of the Clerk and Recorder, which provides marriage licenses, is conveniently located within four blocks of the chapel we’re planning to build at GABF.”

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Arcade games and beer taps, oh my!

Kegerator Pro 60The press release from Dream Arcades says “no quarters needed,” but that’s only after you pony up $5,000 for the Kegerator Pro 60. Nonetheless, we couldn’t resist posting a picture of this arcade machine with a 60 inch HD screen, three taps and a built in fridge.

The unit comes loaded with over 140 classic arcade games, including Ms. Pac Man, Centipede, Galaga, Street Fighter, and, well, to many to list. There are also other add-ons, but really, we’re interested in the taps and the games. Maybe a suggestion about what beers to pair with what games would be nice, but we can figure that out.

More infomation is available at DreamArcades.com.

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Denver Rare Beer lineup; you may want to look

This is not intended to be mean, but the brewery and beer list just showed up for Denver Rare Beer Tasting V. Unfortunately, the fundraiser for the Pints for Prostates campaign Oct. 11, is sold out.

At total of 41 brewers are scheduled to take part in the event, which will be held at the McNichols Civic Center Building.

The confirmed brewery list and beers expected to be poured include:

Alaskan Brewing, Juneau, Alaska, 2002 Smoked Porter
AleSmith Brewing, San Diego, Calif., Barrel-Aged Wee Heavy
Avery Brewing, Boulder, Colo., TBD
Big Sky Brewing, Missoula, Mont., 2012 Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout
Boston Beer, Boston, Mass., TBD
Boulevard Brewing, Kansas City, Mo., Tripel Julep
Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, N.Y., Black Ops LBV 2007 & Cuvee Crochet Rouge Riesling
The Bruery, Placentia, Calif., Confession
Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, Fla., ll0k + OT Batch #6
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer, Denver, Colo., WælzBlood
Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Ore., Black Butte XXII
Devils Backbone Brewing, Lexington, Va., Wood-Aged Dark Abbey
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Del., 2011 120 Minute IPA
Drake’s Brewing, San Leandro, Calif., Reunion Barleywine
Elevation Beer, Poncha Springs, Colo., Boom! Brandy Barrel Quadruple
Fort Collins Brewery, Fort Collins, Colo., Roasted Pumpkin Seed Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing, Paso Robles, Calif., Bravo & Lil’ Mikkel
AC Golden Brewing, Golden, Colo., Blueberry Colorambic
Goose Island Brewing, Chicago, Ill., Napa County Stout
Great Divide Brewing, Denver, Colo., Barrel-Aged Cuvee Syrah #1
Great Lakes Brewing, Cleveland, Ohio, Jabberwocky
Hardywood Park Brewery, Richmond, Va., TBD
Laughing Dog Brewing, Sand Point, Idaho, 14 Dogs of the Apocalypse
The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, Calif., 2008 The Lost Abbey’s Angel’s Share
Melvin Brewing/Thai Me Up Restaurant, Jackson, Wy., Kirk McHale & Melvin IPA Rum Barrel-Aged
New Belgium Brewery, Fort Collins, Colo., New Belgium/Avery Sour Collaboration #1 & #2
NoDa Brewing, Charlotte, N.C., Rum Barrel-Aged Imperial Coco Loco & Hot Pistol
Odell Brewing, Fort Collins, Colo., Foot Print
Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Charlotte, N.C., Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter
Perennial Artisan Ales, St. Louis, Mo., Barrel Quad
Prairie Artisan Ales, Krebs, Ok., Bomb De Balcones
River North Brewing, Denver, Colo., J. Marie Barreled and Bretted
Rogue Ales, Newport, Ore., Class of ’88 Barley Wine
Sierra Nevada Brewing, Chico, Calif., Barrel-Aged Narwhal
Smuttynose Brewing, Portsmouth, N.H., Apple Brandy Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
Stone Brewing, Escondido, Calif., 2007 Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Russian Stout & 2004 Old Guardian Barley Wine
Sun King Brewing, Indianapolis, Ind., TBD
Surly Brewing, Minneapolis, Minn., Misanthrope
Terrapin Beer, Athens, Ga., Barrel-Aged Moo-Hoo Chocolate Stout
Weyerbacher Brewing, Easton, Pa., Millennium Falco
Wicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, N.C., Black Angel Cherry Sour

“Thanks to the generosity of the brewers who donate these great beers, we have featured some amazing brews during the first four Denver Rare Beer Tastings. The list this year is impressive by anyone’s standards,” said Rick Lyke, founder of Pints for Prostates. This year the 650 tickets available sold out more than 10 weeks before the event.

All net proceeds from Denver Rare Beer Tasting go towards the awareness mission of Pints for Prostates and help to fund the education and support programs of the Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network.