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These Brewers Are Fermenting Beer in Giant Concrete Eggs

Steve Rosenblatt, founder of Sonoma Cast Stone, a California-based manufacturer of concrete tanks, says brewers are experimenting with concrete as a way to innovate and create distinctive new beers. “The interest started with sours, ambers and dark beers, but brewers have found even more distinction with lagers and IPAs,” he says. “There does seem to be a considerable distinction over brews fermented in stainless steel and even wood.”

Via oct.co

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What Is the Solera Brewing Method?

Imagine barrels of beer, stacked as far as the eye can see, row upon row of wooden casks tenderly nurturing their contents as they age over years. It’s a lovely image, isn’t it? Now imagine that–every once in a while–your friendly neighborhood brewer cracks open the eldest barrels of their generation, drains portions of their liquid bounties, and then tops them off with beer from the adolescents of the bunch. The drained beer is bottled. The elder barrels get a shot of youthful vigor in the arm. The adolescent barrels get a top off from the older barrels. The brewer’s thirsty patrons top off their glasses. The circle of barrel-aging beer life continues. Everybody’s happy.

Via www.hopculture.com

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Last Second Beer Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide

This isn’t your traditional gift guide for beer lovers filled with things like crazy expensive growlers that look way better than they work, IPA scented beard wax, or a bluetooth enabled cooler. No, not at all, these are things that beer lovers will really love and really use. So, better late than never, here’s our super awesome last second holiday gift guide for the beer lovers on your list.

Give the gift of beer!

What a novel idea, giving beer to a beer lover! But, be warned, beer lovers are a picky bunch. There are a few beers that anyone would love to get, but there’s also a better idea, let them choose their own beer.

Tavour Gift Card [$25-$1000]
I’m a big fan of Tavour over traditional beer clubs. Tavour doesn’t just send a box of random beers out every month but lets the subscriber pick which beers they want or pick no beer at all. They offer multiple new beers released just about every day that can be added to the subscriber’s box. This means the beer lover only pays for and gets what they really want. Once a month has gone by, the selections are boxed up and packed very well then sent off for a flat shipping rate. A great gift if you aren’t really sure what the beer lover on your list is craving.

Magnum of Anchor Our Special Ale
This beer is brewed to a slightly different recipe every year and has been for 44 years. But in recent years it’s been an interesting and slightly spiced brown ale that just happens to go great with turkey. Anchor’s Our Special Ale is my go to beer to bring along to holiday parties. If you want to make an extra special splash, bring along the magnum — a huge 1.5 liter bottle is sure to impress and it won’t break the bank.

Anchor Our Special Ale is available just about everywhere, but not all liquor stores carry it. Use this Anchor Beer Finder to find where you can get it near you.

Give the gift of Beer Knowledge!

Once a beer lover passes into the world of true beer geekdom, they start searching for more and more information about beer. Giving books is a great way to give them that information. Brewers Publications produce some of the very best books on beer. They also offer an eGift Card if you aren’t sure what to get.

Cicerone study materials are a great way to get more information as well. Especially if that beer lover want to be the go to resource for beer knowledge. The downside is that they will never look at a bartender pouring a beer without wanting to point our three things they did wrong.

Best yet, for that last minute gift, head to your local brewery or brewpub and pick up something there — a t-shirt, bottle opener, or even beer to go. Local is always better.

Happy Holidays from everyone at Real Beer!

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Brut IPA: How Ancient Techniques Are Driving the World’s Trendiest Beers

Unless you’ve been living under a beer-repellant rock, you’ve likely heard the word “brut” thrown around the beer world lately. This is mostly due to the recently emerged, rapidly spreading brut IPA category.

But “brut” is not new to brews. Brewers have been experimenting with the sparkling-wine-inspired method for at least a decade. Called bière brut, or bière de Champagne, bottle-conditioned, effervescent beers are are produced in, or inspired by, the méthode Champenoise (Champagne method). The ancient technique is also known as the méthode traditionelle or méthode originale.

via Vinepair

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A Legal Beer Made With Marijuana? Well, sort of….

Even though marijuana is legal in many states and countries, it’s still illegal to use as an ingredient in alcoholic beverages since the production of alcohol is controlled by the federal very anti-marijuana government. It’s a conundrum for breweries that want to experiment with the flavors and, ahem, effects of marijuana, a cousin of the hop plant.

The Washington Beer Blog brings us news that a few breweries got together in Washington and have found at least one way around the federal restrictions:

Wingman Brewers of Tacoma, Trap Door Brewing of Vancouver and Boundary Bay Brewery of Bellingham joined forces with Green Rose Gardens of Omak to create a beer that includes cannabis terpenes as an ingredient. Because the terpenes were extracted from the plant, and because the resulting compounds contain no TCH or CBD, this marijuana beer is entirely legal. That is, none of the psychoactive properties, but plenty of the aromatic, flavor properties.

Mighty HighPA is described as, “A smooth light bodied beer featuring Denali and Meridian hops along with Blue Dream terpenes.” The beer has already been released, but the official release party is scheduled for Friday, October 19th at Trap Door Brewing in Vancouver. The band Mighty High will perform at the event. The beer is available in 16-ounce cans at select retailers and on draft in limited supply.

via http://www.washingtonbeerblog.com/local-brewers-produce-a-marijuana-beer-that-is-100-percent-legal/

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Hoppy Read: “The Complex Case of Thiols”

Editor Emeritus Stan Hieronymus has an article over at Beer&Brewing Magazine on Thiols – one of the compounds in hops that are responsible for those crazy hot tropical flavors.

Thiols, also known as mercaptans, are sulfur-containing organic compounds with a sulfur atom bound to a hydrogen atom. Thiols make up less than 1% of the essential oils in a hops cone but might hold a key to the fashionable in-demand tropical flavors.

Read at Beer&Brewing Magazine

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Busch Heir Calls Cannabis The Future

Adolphus Busch V — great-great-grandson of Adolphus Busch, otherwise known as the original Busch in Anheuser-Busch — is launching ABV Cannabis, a Colorado-based startup that sells marijuana vaping pens. “I saw that cannabis is the future,” Busch told The New York Post. He’s the latest heir to an American business empire to turn to weed. In June, Ben Kovler, a descendant in line for the Jim Beam whiskey fortune, took his Chicago-based cannabis cultivator, Green Thumb Industries, public in Canada. “It’s not a coincidence,” John Kaden, chief investment officer of weed-focused hedge fund Navy Capital, told The Post. “Alcohol is the most immediately affected” as marijuana gets legalized by states. T! he U.S. cannabis industry is expected to grow to $75 billion by 2030, according to research from Cowen. By comparison, U.S. alcohol sales totaled about $180 billion in 2017.

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Brewers In Their Own Words – Brewers Survey Results

Beer writer Jeff Alworth recently surveyed brewers to learn more about how they are compensated, and how they feel about that compensation. He concluded his three-part report (the link is to the third, but read them all) with a balanced overview, letting the participants do the talking. One example: “As long as I am here I know I will never get a single paid day off, livable wage, sick day, 401k or any kind of health benefit and that is insane to me but I enjoy working in the industry and I am learning fast. I just want to learn as much as I can, as fast as I can, so I can move on to a place that actually takes its employees lives seriously.”
But there are also great places to work: “You have a job, full-time, until you decide to leave. Time off and sick leave aren’t tracked too heavily unless it seems someone is taking advantage of them. In slow seasons management finds hours for all employees so there is no seasonal drift in employment. Promotion from within is the norm, management will work to progress you on whatever career path you want within the brewery.” Read all the responses.

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Homegrown Distribution

Homegrown Distribution, a new distribution company spun off from Massachusetts Beverage Alliance, will begin operations next week. The spinoff will handle distribution for brands including Brewmaster Jack, Grimm, Captain Lawrence, Slumbrew, Lone Pine, Foley Brothers, King’s Highway Fine Cider, and Vermont Craft Mead in Massachusetts. Homegrown will also distribute beers from beyond the Northeast, such as Almanac, Brauhaus Riegele, Coronado, DC Brau, and others. The new distribution company is based out of Massachusetts Beverage Alliance’s 40,000-square-foot facility in Bellingham, Mass.

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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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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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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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Craft beer production up 16%

The craft brewing industry has continued a strong pace of growth in the first half of 2015, according to new mid-year data released by the Brewers Association. American craft beer (as defined by the BA) production volume increased 16% during the first half of the year.

From January through the end of June 2015, approximately 12.2 million barrels of beer were sold by craft brewers, up from 10.6 million barrels during the first half of 2014.

“Industry growth is occurring in all regions and stemming from a mix of sources including various retail settings and a variety of unique brewery business models,” BA economist Bart Watson said in a press release. “The continued growth of small and independent brewers illustrates that additional market opportunities and demand are prevalent.”

As of June 30, 2015, 3,739 breweries were operating in the U.S, an increase of 699 breweries over the same time period of the previous year. Additionally, there were 1,755 breweries in planning. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 115,469 full-time and part-time workers.

“More and more Americans are discovering the joys of enjoying fresh beer produced by their neighborhood brewery. By supporting local, small and independent craft breweries, beer lovers are gradually returning the United States to the system of localized beer production that existed for much of our nation’s history,” Watson said.

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Economic impact of brewing in New York

The numbers aren’t quite up to date — and given recent growth they would likely be even more impressive — but the growing economic impact of brewing in New York’s state economy is apparent.

Impact of craft beer in New York state

The New York State Brewers Association (NYSBA) &#151 whose motto is “Think New York, Drink New York” — found that in 2013 the impact of craft beer on New York State to total $3.5 billion (up from $2.2 billion in 2012). The figure takes into account the number of full-time jobs generated by the local beer industry (11,366 jobs); wages ($554 million paid); state and local taxes paid ($748 million in taxes); and craft beer tourism ($450 million in tourism dollars).

“When the NYSBA was founded in 2003 there were only 38 breweries in the state, today there are over 200,” David Katleski, NYSBA co-founder David Katleski said in a press released. “Through years of relationship building in Albany, we were able to help craft legislation that laid the foundation for the growth we are seeing today. New York State is certainly on the national radar as a brewing powerhouse, and these numbers show the results of a craft beer friendly New York State.”

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St. Louis newcomer already plans 2nd brewery

Only two years old, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company in St. Louis has announced plans to open a second and significantly larger production brewery in the city.

The new facility will immediately increase UCB’s annual brewing capacity to about 15,000 barrels. The project, expected to cost about $10 million, will add approximately 10 full-time and 30 part-time jobs within the next two years. Projected to open in early 2014, UCBC is partnering with Green Street St. Louis (Green Street), an real estate firm recognized for the sustainable redevelopment of underutilized St. Louis-area commercial properties into LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings.

UCB co-founders Florian Kuplent and David Wolfe worked with Green Street for over a year to identify a suitable property. They chose the former Renard Paper Company at 4465 Manchester Ave., which will become a 70,000 square foot production brewery, packaging facility, warehouse and indoor/outdoor retail tasting room. Beyond embracing the principles of environmental stewardship and social responsibility by seeking LEED certification, UCBC & Green Street also plan to modify the façade of the current city-block long warehouse to visibly and physically integrate it into the already vibrant “The Grove” neighborhood.

“People might ask why open a second facility and also locate it in St. Louis? Well, first and foremost 95% of the beer we sold last year was in St. Louis, and like Schlafly and many of the other small, local brewers, we’re dedicated to the evolution of St. Louis as a craft beer destination,” Wolfe said for a press release.

Kuplent, who oversees the brewing said, explained that the original facility would soon be at capacity. “We never imagined we’d grow this fast,” he said for the press release. “Essentially it means we’re going to run out of the space to add further capacity at our current location sometime this year . . . and we mostly have St. Louis beer drinkers and our retail partners to thank for that!”

Operationally, Urban Chestnut plans to brew, package and sell beer at both locations:

– The current 20-barrel brew house, tasting room and biergarten, located at 3229 Washington Ave. in Midtown St. Louis, will remain open and will be utilized to primarily test, brew, and package smaller batch beers.

– Initially the new brewery will have an annual capacity of approximately 15,000 barrels using a 60-barrel brewhouse, with the space to expand to 100,000 barrels.