ProBrewer and the MJF have combined forces to help bring diversity to American brewhouses. And thanks to the generosity of Brooklyn Brewery, donations received through May 1st will be matched in full by the brewery, up to $100,000. Please help us make the most of this challenge grant by donating to the MJF in the run-up to this year’s BA Craft Brewer’s Conference in Minneapolis.
What’s this “challenge grant”?
The Brooklyn Brewery has offered to fund a permanent endowment for the MJF with a dollar-for-dollar match on all donations made in the run-up to the Craft Brewer’s Conference (May 2nd – 5th, 2022). For every dollar you donate, Brooklyn Brewery will match your donation up to $100,000. This means that if you donate $25, the MJF receives $50; if you donate $2,500, the MJF gets $5k, etc. It’s really that simple… but it’s a challenge grant, so we only get these funds if the industry steps up to support us. We’re especially grateful to ProBrewer for partnering with us on this amazing opportunity to double the value of your donation. We can only do this with the support of people like you!
A diverse, inclusive and equitable brewing industry is a healthy brewing industry, and it’s what we all want to see. So please join ProBrewer and the MJF as we work with Brooklyn Brewery to help make this industry the kind of inviting place we always wanted it to be.
Molson Coors joint venture unveils cannabis drinks
Truss Beverage Co, a joint venture between Molson Coors and cannabis company Hexo Corp, has unveiled a line of cannabis-based non-alcoholic drinks in Canada.
Via The Drinks Business
Vinepair’s Best Virtual Tours of Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries
Close to 300 million Americans are currently in stay at home mode.
These measures have left many of us seeking new and novel forms of entertainment. Some enjoy virtual happy hours with friends, while others have elevated those experiences by introducing virtual drinking games to new and old friends. Pretty much all of us are drinking more, with many taking advantage of alcohol delivery services for the first time. But while physical travel is impossible right now, you can escape your four walls via virtual tourism.
Via VinepairVia VinepairVia Vinepair
In the era of social distancing, many drinkers are leaning into technology to stay connected with friends and loved ones. From virtual happy hours to online wine classes, and teleconferenced game nights to an Instagram Live nightclub, we’re finding new ways to socialize over a glass (or two) with our social circles even when we can’t be in the same place.
Paste Magazine has an interesting article up. If you’ve noticed an uptick in the number of bad “hazy” IPAs, this article discusses the reasons why. Blindly brewing juicy / hazy beers, and doing so badly, has caused an increase in “hop burn,” via Paste:
And that’s a problem, because the simple truth is that there does exist a point of diminishing returns, when it comes to simply adding more and more hops to a brew kettle, fermenter or brite tank. These aren’t one-to-one correlations, as much as we’d like for them to be. “Twice the Citra” doesn’t necessarily mean “twice as juicy,” in terms of the consumer’s perception of the eventual flavor of that beer. In fact, it might even mean the opposite.
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.”
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.