Craft beer industry news, events, and jobs. 2016-12-03T22:24:54Z Press Release <![CDATA[America’s Beer Distributors Celebrate 21st Amendment Anniversary]]> 2016-12-03T22:24:54Z 2016-12-03T22:24:54Z

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On Monday, December 5, America’s beer distributors will celebrate the 83rd anniversary of the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution, which repealed Prohibition and established today’s effective system of state-based alcohol regulation. On December 5, 1933, Prohibition ended in the United States when 36 states (a three-fourths majority of the then 48 states) ratified the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment, ending 13 years of Prohibition, and granted each state the primary authority to enact and enforce alcohol laws consistent with the desires and needs of their citizens.

A video jointly produced by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and the Wholesale Beer Association Executives explains the history of America’s state-based regulatory system, the three-tier distribution system and the regulatory, economic and commercial value of independent distributors in promoting public safety and access to market for brewers of all sizes.

NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser issued the following statement:

“NBWA raises a glass in celebration of the 21st Amendment and its role in establishing the effective system that we have in America today. Because of state-based alcohol regulation, the three-tier system and independent beer distributors, the public can count on transparency and accountability while consumers enjoy unparalleled choice and variety.

“Today’s system has generated a Golden Age for beer. We are seeing unprecedented variety, offered by more than 4,000 breweries – compared to less than 50 back in the 1980s. Craft brewers continue to develop and expand, representing more than 10 percent of the overall beer market in the U.S. And imports continue to soar, offering consumers tastes and experiences from all over the world.

“America’s 3,300 independent, licensed beer distribution facilities – and the 130,000 men and women working in the industry – are proud to partner with states as part of this time-tested system.”


The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) represents the interests of America’s more than 3,000 licensed, independent beer distributor operations in every state, congressional district and media market across the country. Beer distributors are committed to ensuring alcohol is provided safely and responsibly to consumers of legal drinking age through the three-tier, state-based system of alcohol regulation and distribution. To learn more about America’s beer distributors, visit For additional updates from NBWA, follow @NBWABeer on Twitter, watch NBWA videos on and visit

Chris Furnari <![CDATA[Texas’ Deep Ellum Sells Stake to Storied Craft Breweries]]> 2016-12-03T03:43:30Z 2016-12-03T01:20:00Z

Deep Ellum Brewing founder John Reardon

Texas’ Deep Ellum Brewing has sold a majority stake to Storied Craft Breweries, an upstart growth capital group founded by the creators of Effen Vodka and led by beer industry veterans Steve Berg and Adam Lambert.

Under the deal, Storied Craft Breweries will acquire a 56 percent stake in Deep Ellum, one of the fastest growing craft breweries in Texas, at least in part by buying out more than 20 minority partners from earlier investment rounds. The brewery will also receive $8 million in growth capital.

In an interview with Brewbound, brewery founder John Reardon said the deal would enable Deep Ellum to “clean up” its capital structure, something he sees as necessary for growth. Reardon, who will stay on as the CEO, will simultaneously increase his stake in the business, he said.

“Back when we were just trying to get our doors open, we’d take a check from just about anyone,” Reardon said. “Now, I want to align myself with strategic partners who understand the long-term play of craft beer and can help me realize my goal of becoming a dominant brewery – not just in Texas, but also in the region.”

Reardon, who will now own 40 percent of the company, has also agreed to a long-term employment contract that includes early resignation penalties should he decide to exit the business within three years, he told Brewbound.

In addition to Storied Craft Breweries’ investment, Deep Ellum will also receive a new line of credit from Bank of America, which will purchase debt previously owned by Regions Bank.

As a result, the brewery will now be able to tap into more than $10 million worth of growth capital, which Reardon said would be used to further expand the Deep Ellum brand throughout Texas and beyond.

“This is the fastest, most entrepreneurial way to allow me to do what I want to do, remain independent, and build a brand,” he told Brewbound.

The deal is Storied Craft Breweries’ first since formally announcing its intent to invest in craft beer companies in October.

“Deep Ellum is exactly what we were looking for size wise,” said Steve Berg, one of the founders of Storied Craft Breweries. “It is a serious player in Texas already and there is tremendous growth potential in the state. And someone like John, who is passionate about what he is doing, he fits exactly what we have been looking for.”

Deep Ellum has made headlines in recent weeks as it awaits the final decision in a lawsuit it filed against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission last year over the constitutionality of a state law that prohibits licensed breweries from selling beer to go from the point of production.

The company expects to produce 33,000 barrels of beer in 2016 and is in the process of expanding operations its brewery in Dallas — installing a 60-barrel brewhouse. It also recently started contract producing kegs of its flagship Dallas Blonde Ale at nearby Grapevine Craft Brewery. It will soon have the capacity to produce as much as 90,000 barrels, Reardon said.

The deal with Storied Craft Breweries began taking shape seven months ago, Reardon added, noting that Craig Farlie of Farlie Turner & Co, a boutique investment-banking firm that specializes in middle market transactions, introduced the two companies.

On its website, Storied Craft Breweries describes itself as a company that can “help create efficiencies and scalability while supporting independent breweries through all facets of business,” including challenges in growth, distribution and marketing.

Berg – who held positions with Bacardi, Coors Brewing Company, G. Heileman Brewing Company and helped to launch the Effen Vodka brand in the early 2000s — declined to comment on how large his company’s fund was, saying only that a group of private investors, as well as friends and family, were backing the project.

Lambert, who joined Storied Craft Breweries in October, said the company has already engaged in conversations with other potential partners, and that it intends to make additional investments in the space.

“We’re constantly looking and there is a lot of stuff out there, but it has to make sense for us and the seller,” he said.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story suggested that Farlie Turner & Co. played a less active role in the transaction between Storied Craft Breweries and Deep Ellum Brewing. It has been edited to more accurately reflect the relationship the investment banking firm had with both parties. 

Press Release <![CDATA[Red Hills Brewing Company to Begin Distribution in Jefferson and Shelby Counties]]> 2016-12-02T22:49:47Z 2016-12-02T22:49:47Z

Birmingham, AL — Homewood’s Red Hills Brewing has announced plans to partner with International Wines & Craft Beer to make their beers available outside of the tap room for the first time beginning December 8, 2016.

Red Hills and International will offer Homewood Hefe, A Pound A Brown British Style-Mild, and Tribute Session IPA year-round. The initial launch will include their current seasonal IPA, Caught in the Rye, among other offerings.

Distribution area will encompass both Jefferson and Shelby counties with expansion plans for the rest of the state to be announced at a later date.

Launch events will take place throughout the distribution area the week of December 19th, 2016. Owner Joe Pilleteri and brewmaster Eric Baumann will be in attendance.  Event details will be available on International Wines & Craft Beer’s social media outlets over the coming weeks leading up to the launch.

Justin Kendall <![CDATA[Pabst’s Eugene Kashper Discusses M&A Strategy at Brewbound Session]]> 2016-12-02T22:15:01Z 2016-12-02T22:15:01Z

One day after naming Simon Thorpe the CEO of Pabst Brewing Company, chairman Eugene Kashper offered a window into the future of his company’s merger and acquisition strategy during Thursday’s Brewbound Session in San Diego.

Thorpe, known for his M&A work as the former CEO of Duvel USA, where he was instrumental in purchasing Boulevard Brewing and Firestone Walker, will be tasked with “fine turning and fixing” Pabst’s partner strategy, Kashper said.

“We’re on the same page in terms of finding the best fit to build the right portfolio over the never five, 10 years,” Kashper told Brewbound editor Chris Furnari. “We’re looking to build the right portfolio of brands breweries that are complementary.”

Kashper said he always anticipated splitting the roles of CEO and chairman but didn’t have “the right partner to take Pabst to the next level”

“Our ambitions are pretty significant,” he said.

However, when Thorpe became available, he made the call.

“He stood out as an industry visionary,” Kashper said. “He gets it.”

And now Pabst is actively seeking new craft partnerships.

“We’ve had plenty of conversations,” Kashper said. “We’re being a little more proactive now.”

Pabst’s offer to potential partners? The ability to grow by leveraging the company’s supply chain infrastructure, nationwide distribution network and strong retail relationships. Kashper said he’s seeking partners for long-term, “arms-length agreements,” similar to the company’s relationship with Vermont Hard Cider Company.

During the interview, Kashper also said he wanted to find the “right partners” within the “high-end space and maximize the potential of those brands.” In a potential deal, partners would retain control of their brand, oversee innovation efforts and, in some cases, not have to sell an equity stake in order to access additional production capacity or utilize Pabst’s sales teams.

“What we’re looking for are people who don’t want to sell,” Kashper said. “Our goal for a craft brewer would be to make several times what they would have made without us and for us to be profitable as well.”

Kashper sounded committed to finding the right partner, one that fits in the right geographic footprint and that doesn’t compete with other potential partners. He said he’s looking for synergy — and a local brand that might grow into a regional brewery.

That said, Pabst’s heritage brand portfolio remains the company’s number one priority, Kashper said.

“That makes our business go,” he said.

Full video playback of Kashper’s conversation at Brewbound Session is available below.

Meagan McGinnes <![CDATA[Border X Brewing Wins Startup Brewery Challenge 7]]> 2016-12-02T22:20:18Z 2016-12-02T20:34:32Z

Border X Brewing used its Latino fusion flair to win the Brewbound’s Seventh Startup Brewery Challenge, held at the Paradise Point Resort in San Diego on December 1.

Brewery founder David Favela beat out five other participants with his true-to-brand story and logo, his strong connections to the Hispanic community, and his contagious passion for bringing Latino-fusion brews to San Diego consumers.

“It feels almost surreal,” Favela told Brewbound about his victory. “There is something about your roots, just like an Irish person walking into an Irish pub. There is a certain warmth to it even if you are second or third or fourth generation, and that’s the same thing we are doing here.”

Brewbound Session attendees also heard pitches from the owners at five other companies — Friends and Allies Brewing, Alamo Beer Company, M.I.A. Beer Company, Binghamton Brewing Co., and Shannon Brewing Co. — who presented during the bi-annual business pitch competition, sponsored by Craft Brew Alliance, which gives new beer companies an opportunity to showcase their business plans to five expert judges.

That panel of judges — Karmen Olson, senior manager of emerging business at Craft Brew Alliance; Amy Gutierrez, beer category manager at BevMo!; Daniel Lust, co-founder of Pints LLC; Tom Bleigh, innovation brewmaster at Craft Brew Alliance, and Stephen Bossu, co-founder of Hopewell Brewing Company and the winner of Startup Brewery Challenge 6 — also sampled one core product offering from each brewery and provided immediate feedback to the participants.

During his pitch, Favela described how the almost two-year-old brewery was created to serve the Latino community, one that he felt was going unnoticed by craft brewers, “especially in terms of our palette,” he said.

He also shared how Border X opened its first taproom on Logan Ave, one of the toughest neighborhoods in San Diego, and described how the tasting room also serves street tacos, a variety of beers, and regularly features live music. The brewery, he said, has helped to rejuvenate an economically depressed area of the city over the last two years.

Border X’s beer flavors are rooted in Latin American heritage with ingredients like agave, horchata, and hibiscus. Its logo also captures the spirit of the culture, combining the Aztec sun god with a graphic of hops.

“I like to think if there was an Aztec god of beer, this is what it would look like,” Favela joked during his pitch.

In describing why Border X was named the winner of Startup Brewery Challenge 7, Olson said Favela’s conviction for his story spoke to her on a personal level.

“It feels like a revolution,” she said. “It feels like I’m part of something really cool and I have a visceral, emotional reaction to what he’s trying to do. ”

“He’s put meat on the bones of this thing that he said he was going to do,” she added. “I’ve been noticing so much latin influence on brands, on beers, on packaging design… [and] I think a lot of people recognize that the latino population is growing, and they need to respond to that and want to be able to provide a space for them in the beer arena.”

Favela won a $5,000 grand prize, which will be used to fuel the growth of his emerging business, as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to Portland, Ore., where he’ll have the chance to meet with and learn from CBA executives.

Devon Ponds, of Friends and Allies Brewing Company, was the runner up in the competition.

Following the win, Favela said he planned to celebrate the victory with the people that made it all possible: his customers.

“I’m going straight to the tasting room right now,” he said on Thursday evening. “We have this thing called latin jazz jam and it’s going to be packed we have a great audience, so I’m going to go share this with them because they are the ones that made it happen you know?”

Border X is the seventh company to win the Startup Brewery Challenge, joining Hopewell Brewing, Wynwood Brewing Company, Braxton Brewing Company, CODA Brewing, Appalachian Mountain Brewery and 5 Stones Brewing.

Press Release <![CDATA[Rogue Releases Santa’s Private Reserve Ale]]> 2016-12-02T20:27:58Z 2016-12-02T20:27:58Z

Newport, OR — Rogue Ales & Spirits announces the release of Santa’s Private Reserve Ale just in time for the Holidays. Here are 10 things you might not have known about this Yuletide favorite.

1. It’s the only bottle featuring the real Santa Claus.

2. The beer is crafted without the use of twigs, spices or fruits.

3. Santa’s has won 10 awards, including three World Beer Championships gold medals.

4. Oregon-grown liquid Christmas, Santa’s is brewed with Rogue Farms grown hops and barley.

5. The bottle’s snowflakes glisten and glow in the dark.

6. It pairs well with Christmas cookies.

7. It’s been a seasonal favorite for 15 years and counting.

8. The recipe was inspired by the original St. Rogue Red.

9. The beer is double-hopped in the brew kettle.

10. gives it a style score of 98. Santa’s Private Reserve Ale is available now in 12-ounce bottles, serigraphed 22-ounce bottles and on draft.

Find Santa’s near you using Rogue’s own Beer Finder tool. For more information about the Revolution, visit

Press Release <![CDATA[Boulevard Brewing Veteran Neil Witte Starts New Business]]> 2016-12-02T20:21:42Z 2016-12-02T20:21:42Z

 Kansas City, MO – With almost 20 years of experience in the craft beer world, Neil Witte is pleased to announce the launch of a new company, Craft Quality Solutions. This business will be the first in the nation to provide scalable, market-based quality audits and services to the craft beer industry.

“Assuring the quality of beer from the time it leaves the brewery to the moment it gets to the consumer is widely recognized to be critically important, yet it’s often neglected,” said Witte. “Most craft brewers are concerned about maintaining the integrity of their beer through the distribution and retail channels, but many lack the resources to commit to a full-time field quality representative. Craft Quality Solutions aims to help fill that gap.”

Witte brings a wealth of knowledge to the new venture, spending 16 years overseeing field quality and training at Boulevard Brewing Company and Duvel Moortgat USA. In that capacity, he earned a reputation as an expert in draught beer system design and maintenance. Witte co-authored the Brewers Association’s Draught Beer Quality Manual, and is a skilled educator, working extensively with distributor teams on all facets of beer knowledge and field quality assurance. “Neil has been a valued asset to Boulevard and Duvel USA for nearly two decades,” said Jeff Krum, president of Duvel USA. “Though his knowledge and expertise will be sorely missed, we’re sure he’ll continue to be a tireless promoter of craft beer integrity.”

Witte is one of only 11 individuals in the world to hold a Master Cicerone® certification. The fourth and highest level accreditation of the Cicerone Certification Program, Master Cicerone recognizes an exceptional understanding of brewing, beer, and pairing, combining outstanding tasting abilities with an encyclopedic knowledge of commercial beers.

About Craft Quality Solutions
Craft Quality Solutions is the first company of its kind, providing market-based quality auditing and services to craft brewers, distributors and retailers. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter at 

Press Release <![CDATA[Catawba Brewing Celebrates Hooligan Scotch Ale’s 5th Anniversary]]> 2016-12-02T20:07:31Z 2016-12-02T20:07:31Z

Asheville, NC — Hooligan Scotch Ale returns a wee bit early this holiday season – just in time to leave its indelible mark on 2016. This robust, mahogany hued ale is brewed in the classic Scottish Wee Heavy style, featuring a profound maltiness with layers of rich caramel and toffee, and a restrained hop bitterness. To commemorate five years of Hooliganism, this limited release will graduate to 22oz bottles – Catawba’s first ever bottle release from its rotating series of seasonal beers. Look for Hooligan Scotch Ale in Catawba’s three tasting rooms, and in distribution in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee (beginning January 2017), and in select areas of Alabama.

For their special Hooligan beer release party at Catawba’s Asheville South Slope brewery (32 Banks Ave) on Thursday, December 15, wear your ugly holiday sweater to compete for prizes. Meanwhile, Catawba staff members will serve up chili to hungry hooligans, who will vote to crown the best chili chef. And while you’re there, pick up your special collector’s edition Hooligan 22oz bottles dipped in red wax and date stamped 2016. At 8% ABV, Hooligan will age well for vertical tastings in years to come.

Press Release <![CDATA[Catawba Brewing Expands Distribution in South Carolina]]> 2016-12-02T19:10:32Z 2016-12-02T19:10:32Z

Asheville, NC — After maintaining popularity among craft beer enthusiasts in the Upstate for many years, Catawba beers are now available statewide in South Carolina.  Catawba Brewing of Asheville and Morganton, NC is partnering with a network of nine distributors, including Crown Beverage (Florence, SC), Better Brands (Myrtle Beach, SC), H&S Wholesalers (Sumter, SC), Southern Eagle (Charleston, SC), and AB Bev (Aiken, SC).  The rollout began in September, and had effectively covered the entire South Carolina market by October 15th, with launch parties and special events taking place around the state.

Catawba’s statewide availability in South Carolina is the latest in a series of expansions for the brewery, which has also seen Catawba beers reaching new markets throughout North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama.  “We spent around $2 million over the past year to expand capacity, which has allowed us to extend our market coverage throughout the Carolinas,” says Carolina owner Billy Pyatt.  “We’ve always felt at home in South Carolina, and we’re excited about the growing beer scene throughout the state.  We’re honored to be a part of it.”

Catawba will enter new markets with three of its flagship beers: White Zombie™, a Belgian Wit that is the brewery’s most popular beer; Mother Trucker™, an American-style Pale Ale generously hopped with Magnum and Cascade; and Farmer Ted, a refreshing cream ale that Catawba has been making since 2002.  These beers will be available in kegs and cans throughout the state.  Look for additional Catawba offerings to be introduced in early 2017.

About Catawba Brewing Company
Founded in 1999 by the Pyatt family, natives of Western North Carolina, Catawba Brewing operates a main production facility in downtown Morganton, NC at 212 S. Green St; a boutique brewery/tasting room in downtown Asheville, NC at 32 Banks Ave; and a tasting room in Asheville’s Biltmore Village at 63 Brook St. Catawba beers can be found in NC, SC, TN, and AL. Learn more at

Press Release <![CDATA[Maui Brewing Co. Launches Pog IPA in Cans]]> 2016-12-02T19:06:12Z 2016-12-02T19:06:12Z

Kihei, HI — It is well-known that Maui Brewing Company is “fiercely local”, and its beers that are infused with locally-grown produce, never extracts or artificial flavors, command some respect. The latest limited release, POG IPA, is brewed with Horizon hops to provide a clean bitterness.

A late whirlpool addition with a blend of locally grown passion fuit, orange, and guava, and a dry hop including El Dorado and Enigma hops provide tropical juicy aromatics and a slight citrus bite on the finish.

Brewing Supervisor, Matt Ponichtera will be speaking about this brew at the launch which begins at 5pm in the brewery’s Kihei Tasting Room. Per Matt, “Earlier this spring, when Brewmaster Jesse Houck informed me that we would put POG IPA into cans at the end of the year, I was super stoked. Sourcing enough of the three fruit varieties is the biggest challenge. On top of that, guava has a really short shelf life once picked. It really makes brewing this beer exciting, because all of a sudden when the farmer has the yield we need, it’s GO time!”

POG IPA, with its 7.1% ABV and 58 IBUs, will be available in the Kihei Tasting Room and the Lahaina Brewpub beginning December 2nd. It will be available in 4-pack cans and draft in all markets where Maui Brewing Company craft beer can be found.

Maui Brewing Company is on pace to brew 45,000 barrels in 2016. MBC is a fiercely local company and has remained steadfast regarding local production. The MBC team are stewards of their communities and the ‘aina, and curators of the craft beer way of life. Their beers have been recognized worldwide for quality and innovation. For more information, visit or follow @MauiBrewingCo on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About Maui Brewing Company
Founded in 2005, Maui Brewing Company is Hawaii’s largest craft brewery, operating 100% in Hawaii.  MBC is based on Maui, with its production brewery and tasting room in Kihei, as well as a brewpub in Kahana. Maui Brewing Co. is available in 20 states and 10 international countries with more markets to follow. 

Press Release <![CDATA[Joel Moore named Head Brewer of Big Storm Brewing Co.]]> 2016-12-02T19:02:23Z 2016-12-02T19:02:23Z

Clearwater, FL – Big Storm Brewing Company is pleased to announce that Joel Moore has been promoted to Head Brewer of all brewing operations. Joel joined Big Storm in December of 2015 and spent much of the year focused on research and development at Big Storm’s Odessa location. Joel is responsible for some of Big Storm’s more popular offerings in the taprooms like the Merchant Porter, the Belgian Quad and Quintuple and the Palm Bender Gulf Coast IPA.

Joel began his career in 2005 at a brewpub in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.  Working in the brewpub afforded him the opportunity to learn how to brew a wide range of styles and cultivated a love of Belgian-style and sour ales.  In 2011, Joel left the brewpub to pursue a formal brewing education. Joel received his diploma in Brewing Technology from the prestigious Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago and the Doemens World Brewing Academy in Munich, Germany.  After completing his education, he moved to Salt Lake City for a position of Head Brewer at Bohemian Brewery and focused on continental European-style lagers.

“This past year has been amazing at Big Storm, so has becoming immersed in the craft beer culture of Florida.  I look forward to leading our talented team of brewers in developing phenomenal craft beer and maintaining our standards of quality.” said Moore. Mike Bishop, founder of Big Storm Brewing, is delighted Joel will be taking the helm of the brewing team, “Joel’s passion and comprehensive knowledge of craft beer makes him a natural fit to lead Big Storm’s development and brewing lines.”

About Big Storm Brewing Co
Founded in 2012, Big Storm Brewing Co. was created to fill a void in the Tampa Bay local craft beer market ­ approachable beer, made with spirit, authenticity and quality that everyone could enjoy. From the quintessential beer nerd to the everyday beer drinker, Big Storm beers have earned the reputation for being exceptionally drinkable. Best known for their signature brands Arcus IPA, Wavemaker Amber Ale, Helicity Pilsner and Oats In Hose Oatmeal Stout, Big Storm is a true craft pioneer using locally sourced ingredients like wild flower honey to lend a subtle sweetness for a clean finish in its IPA. This award-winning brand is named after the common summer storms along the Gulf Coast of Florida. In early 2016 Big Storm opened their landmark 16,000 SF production brewery and taproom in Clearwater, FL and expanded the original taproom and brewery in Odessa, FL to 8,000 SF. Big Storm Brewing Co. is one to watch, producing beer that is artisanal, complex and catering to craft beer enthusiasts and regular beer drinkers alike. For more information, visit the website at 

2016 Florida Beer Championships – Professional Competition

  • Best In Show Champion – Oktoberfest Märzen Lager
  • Gold Medal  – Oktoberfest Märzen Lager
  • Silver Medal – Category 1 Belgian Single
  • Bronze Medal – Helicity Pilsner
Press Release <![CDATA[Portland Cider Company Releases Union Jack Limited Release Cider]]> 2016-12-02T18:56:57Z 2016-12-02T18:56:57Z

Portland, OR – Portland Cider Company announces the release of Union Jack, a limited release cider available in 750ml bottles at Portland Cider Co. taprooms and select stores throughout the Portland metro area. Union Jack is a truly authentic English cider made from traditional cider apples grown here in Oregon, cold fermented over months and aged for over a year. This still, dry cider is a balanced, complex array of fruit flavors with soft tannins that compliment, and not over power, giving it a rich body and dry finish.

“Union Jack is the best representation of the mission of Portland Cider Company – combining the tradition of English cider making with quality NW ingredients,” says Jeff Parrish, Owner of Portland Cider Co.

This very limited release cider will be available once a year, with a new batch already in production for 2017. Head cider maker Deron Davenport says “The aging process for Union Jack adds to the complexity of the flavors, while balancing the tannins for a beautiful cider that highlights the glorious cider apple fruit.”

To celebrate the release of this cider, along with three other specialty or limited release ciders, Portland Cider Company is hosting a Holiday Wassail Party at their Clackamas Cidery + Taproom on Friday, December 2, from 6-11pm.

Other ciders released at the Holiday Wassail Party include:

  • Holiday Juniper, a seasonal cider made for the Holiday Ale Festival featuring Oregon juniper berries and red plums
  • Imperial Winter Spice, a spin on a classic Portland Cider Co. seasonal made exclusively for the Wassail Party; and
  • ‘Oregon Wild’ Community Cider, the final product of our PDX Community Apple Collection.

The ‘Oregon Wild’ Community Cider will be available exclusively at both Portland Cider Co. taprooms starting Saturday, December 3. This delicious semi-sweet cider is made entirely of Portland Community backyard apples. 100% of the net proceeds are donated to Oregon Wild for every pint or growler fill sold, as part of Portland Cider Company’s partnership with the Oregon Brewshed Alliance.

About Portland Cider Company
The Portland Cider Company was started in October 2012 by an Oregonian and a family of British expats with the mission of bringing cider, handcrafted in the English tradition, to the Northwest. They have two taproom locations: Hawthorne, Portland Cider House (3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214) and Clackamas, Taproom & Cidery (8925 SE Jannsen Rd, Bldg. F, Clackamas, OR 97015). For more information, visit

Press Release <![CDATA[Bousa Brewing Company Launches First Beer in Distribution Partnership with Eagle Brands]]> 2016-12-02T18:52:28Z 2016-12-02T18:52:28Z

Miami, FL  – Bousa Brewing Company, the newest craft brewery in South Florida and Little River District’s first independent brewery, is pleased to announce the launch and distribution of its first flagship beer in partnership with leading wholesale distributor Eagle Brands. The brand will begin distribution to bars and restaurants in Monroe and Miami-Dade counties in December 2016.

“We are extremely excited to be part of South Florida’s surging craft beer scene and introduce the community to our first IPA beer. During the past year, we have worked on developing and perfecting our craft beer recipe and resolving logistics to get to the point where we can supply it to the community of South Florida and that moment has finally arrived. We are sure that our partnership with such a respected distributor in the beer community as Eagle Brands will provide us with a strong foundation to solidly enter the beer market in South Florida,” said Bousa Brewing Company co-founder Juan Pablo Vergara.

The brand’s flagship medium body IPA features a delicate balance of malty and hoppy-citrusy notes. The team describes it as a friendly, introductory beer that will attract diners to try Bousa for the first time.

“Eagle Brands Sales is excited to announce our newest Miami Craft Beer partner Bousa Brewing Company. We look forward to bringing Bausa’s high quality craft beers to beer lovers throughout Miami-Dade and Monroe counties,” said George Halper, General Manager at Eagle Brands.

Bousa’s mission is to bring back simplicity to beer and to life. The brand slogan, “Simply Good Beer”, embodies a straightforward, less-is-more spirit that is free of superlatives and grandiose claims to focus on serving authentic, quality beer that stands on its own.

“We believe less is more and have transmitted this mantra to our beer. There’s a diverse amount of beer on the market, but our approach is different. We want to be accessible to people who don’t know about beer yet but be interesting for people who do already know and have strong opinions about beer,” said Bousa Brewing Company co-founder Enrique García.

Bousa beer is expected to show up on draft lines starting December 8, followed with the rollout of beer cans projected for 2017.

In the meantime, the Bousa team is also constructing a 11,250 SF brewery and taproom in Miami’s booming Little River District neighborhood. When complete, the facility will have an initial capacity of 4,000 barrels/year, expandable up to 60,000 barrels/year.

The opening of Bousa’s first taproom is planned for the first half of 2017. Additional information will be announced as details become available at and on Bousa’s social media accounts.

Releases and Events
The public will get their first chance to sample Bousa’s flagship IPA at Art Beat Miami in Little Haiti starting on Thursday, November 30th through Sunday, December 4th.

Flagship Beer Details

There is a yeasty bread sweetness right at the start that quickly moves on to the more intense citrus peel and earthy pine of the hops. The bitter is equivalent to fresh coffee with a hint of mocha added. It contains the subtly sweet aroma of floral infused pineapple and grapefruit citrus with pine resin. [ABV 6.2%]

About Bousa Brewing Company
Bousa Brewing Company is an independent craft brewer located in Miami’s Little River District. Founded by two friends who are die-hard craft beer aficionados, Bousa’s mission is to bring back simplicity to beer and to life. Their first beer launches in December 2016 in bars and restaurants across South Florida. More information on our beers can be found at For ongoing updates as we count down towards the grand opening of our first taproom follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

About Eagle Brands
Founded in 1984, Eagle Brands is the descendant of a family-owned business built from the ground up by enterprising, visionary Cuban immigrants. The mission of Eagle Brands is to develop and implement the most effective distribution of malt beverages, maximizing long-term market share and customer satisfaction. A leading wholesale distributor in South Florida, Eagle Brands distributes more than 7.25 million cases of beer, wine, cider and non-alcoholic products annually to nearly 4,500 retail customers in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, with annual sales in excess of $120 million. 

Justin Kendall <![CDATA[Brewbound Session: Craft Challenged By Marijuana, Wine, Women]]> 2016-12-02T00:52:29Z 2016-12-02T00:52:29Z

Legalized marijuana is burning the craft beer business, according to Vivien Azer, Cowen and Company’s managing director and senior research analyst specializing in the beverage, tobacco and cannabis sectors.

Speaking at the Brewbound Session today, Azer’s was just one of several voices that discussed a craft beer business that has experienced a decade of wild growth but has slowed in the past 18 months.

Marijuana, which is now legal for recreational use in eight states and available for medical use in many more, was the most-discussed challenge, and the one Azer focused on. But speakers also pointed to aging consumers and other obstacles throughout the day. In states where marijuana has been legalized, use increases, especially in the 26 and older age group. And even more so among men. Meanwhile, alcohol usage decreases, she said.

Azer suggested brewers “double down” on Hispanics and women, who show lower use of cannabis — especially women — to win their business. Other speakers pointed to those demographic groups as being underdeveloped markets for craft as much as they might be for marijuana.

“You have to embrace female consumers, and how you talk to her,” Azer told a room of about 200 industry professionals. “It can’t be the bikini-clad girl from the 1980s. That doesn’t work.

“You guys are going to have to figure out a way to make up with disenchantment that some bigger players made in the 1980s,” she added.

Azer pointed to styles that are easier on the palate and more fruit forward as ways to reach female drinkers.

Lester (left) and WatsonLester (left) and Watson

In a separate presentation, Brewers Association chief economist Bart Watson agreed that women provide a key to growth strategies for breweries. Watson provided a potential roadmap to a new growth strategy that would reach female drinkers, a group that indexed better than men in four styles of beer: sour/American wild ales, fruit/vegetable/pumpkin; herb; and shandy /radler.

“Engaging new people is going to require thinking about styles in different ways and engaging people in new ways,” Watson.

Watson and NBWA chief economist Lester Jones discussed the maturing craft beer industry that’s experiencing a natural slow down.

“We are moving to a period of slowing growth,” Watson said. “But even flat markets still have growth.”

“It’s just a slow, gradual maturation of the industry,” Jones added. “The craft index is still positive; it’s just not as strong as it was in the past.”

Of note, craft beer orders peaked in July 2015, with only a little rebound in the first half of 2016. However, the higher levels couldn’t be sustained, and that has signaled concern.

Also changing, and affecting the numbers because it’s harder to track: Where people are drinking craft beer. More people are drinking outdoors, at beer festivals and while visiting breweries. Meanwhile, drinking in bars, restaurants and clubs is on the decline.

“People are more likely to buy beer once they’re offered tours,” Watson said. “So invest in your tours, invest in your tasting experiences. I don’t think you’re going to drive people back to the old way.”

Taproom business continues to be a bright spot for breweries. Through the first three quarters of the year, breweries had already surpassed 2015’s total of barrels for use by the breweries themselves, Watson said.

“It’s quite possible we will get to 2.5 million barrels sold directly at breweries and brewpubs,” Watson said.

Brewery tours are also leading to better consumer engagement.

“You can’t fight what people want,” Watson said. “So think less about driving them back to the bar and create brand engagement where people are drinking now.”

Another positive for the beer industry: Shrinking household sizes, an aging population and the decrease in the birth rate.

“That’s why it’s going to be a good time to be in the beer industry in the next five years,” Jones speculated of a generation with more disposable income to spend on luxuries such as beer, wine and chocolate. The numbers were slightly different, however, with regard to age cohort consumption. While wine use remains consistent across age group, beer usage tends to decline as consumers get older. It remains to be seen if the millennials drinking craft beer now will stick with it, Watson said, wondering, indeed, if those times that they have children might even drive them back to light beer as calories become a concern.

But Azer reminded the audience that legal marijuana, which by 2026 could be a $50 billion business in sales alone, remains the biggest threat. Support for legalization is growing: 58 percent of the country supports recreational use, according to Azer. And the drive for legalization isn’t about to end.

“The consumer and voter will continue to drive momentum, and the legislatures will catch up,” she said.

So what does that mean for beer?

“I think it will negatively impact alcohol consumption,” Azer said, to laughs from the room.

Press Release <![CDATA[Bevmo Partners with Saucey to Deliver Beer, Wine & Spirits in Under an Hour]]> 2016-12-01T15:53:41Z 2016-12-01T15:53:41Z

Los Angeles, CA — Saucey, the premier alcohol delivery e-commerce company, today announced its partnership with retail giant Bevmo!. Under the terms of the partnership, Saucey will be the preferred delivery partner for beer, wine, spirits, mixers and more. Bevmo! customers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sacramento (as of Monday Nov 28th) can now order thousands of items from every beverage category and have it delivered in under an hour. Saucey also announced that Alan Johnson, former CEO of Bevmo!, and Patrick Steele, former CIO of Albertsons, have joined its Board of Directors. Both Steele and Johnson bring years of experience to Saucey and will work with the executive team to expand Saucey’s offerings and dominance in the space.

The retail alcohol industry sells more than $113 billion per year in the U.S. but as an industry it has been almost completely untouched by technology. Saucey doesn’t charge retailers any fees, and Saucey is the only alcohol e-commerce delivery company to professionally handle all the delivery using its network of more than 1,500 couriers. This gives Saucey the unique ability to enable any given retailer to instantly scale their business beyond what they could ever handle themselves. Whether a store receives 20 orders or 200 in a day, Saucey instantly scales up its trained and certified courier network to accommodate volume. Other delivery apps require the retailers handle all the delivery, logistics and customer support themselves, plus pay a commission-based fee to the third party.

“Saucey is capturing more incremental occasions and therefore purchases per customer than any brick and mortar retailer I’ve seen,” said Alan Johnson, former CEO of Bevmo! and Saucey board member. “While the average brick and mortar retailer captures less than six purchases per year per customer, Saucey is capturing on average 23 purchases per customer annually, almost 4X the purchasing behavior. It’s not that people are drinking more, it’s that Saucey has consolidated a customer’s shopping behavior to one platform, instead of across five or six traditional retailers throughout the year. I’ve seen the other players in this space, and Saucey is the most reliable and professional delivery service available to retailers today. Saucey has professionalized alcohol delivery, from their custom built ID verification process, to inventory management and handling of all delivery, they’ve set the bar for retailer relationships and customer experience in this industry.”

Today, Saucey helps retailers solve the primary purchasing behavior in off-premise alcohol, which is convenience/impulse driven buying. With more than 80 percent of wine being consumed within hours of purchase, and the majority of all alcohol being consumed within one to two days, delivery solves the primary consumer use-case in retail alcohol. Saucey subsequently helps retailers capture more occasions and sales from any given customer, giving them more buying power, and more complete data around the full lifecycle of a shopper.

“When we launched Saucey we wanted to offer the best and most professional solution to retailers while providing fast and reliable delivery to customers,” said Chris Vaughn, CEO and co-founder, Saucey. “Our strategy to build a sophisticated logistics platform was more difficult than building an ordering portal, but our commitment to quality has enabled us to offer a platform that scales with demand, offering reliability to both consumers and retailers. We’re excited to be the preferred delivery partner of Bevmo!, the number one West Coast alcohol retailer, and are looking forward to expanding to additional markets.”

Launched in 2014, Saucey’s goal is to be the leading alcohol delivery e-commerce company in the largest retail alcohol markets in the U.S. This starts with California, the largest retail alcohol market in the country. Unlike many services that have launched in as many cities as they can, Saucey is focused on making a true impact on the core markets for this industry. With the Bevmo! partnership, Saucey’s selection has grown from an average of 950 products in any given delivery area, to more than 9,500, giving Saucey customers the best consistent selection across its serviced cities. Included in this diverse offering is a Buy One Get One (BOGO) wine section, with more than 90 highly rated wines where customers can purchase one bottle and get the second for a dollar.

Vaughn continues, “At Saucey, our differentiator is our efficient delivery platform that handles more orders per hour per courier, gives couriers the ability to make more money, and in turn makes Saucey more money. Not only are we generating positive unit economics across all our markets as a seed stage company, but our platform enables us to get alcoholic beverages to our retailers’ customers quickly, safely and most importantly reliably. We’re happy to have taken the time building a scalable platform that truly supports our partners in their growth.”

About Saucey
Saucey is a technology platform powering the future of retail in the $113 billion per year retail alcohol industry. The company provides customers with the easiest and most reliable way to shop for alcohol or cocktails from their iPhone, Android or Online, and have it delivered within the hour. The platform empowers a network of more than 1,500 couriers to ensure that customers have the best possible experience. Launched in May, 2014, Saucey is currently serving Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and Chicago. For more information please visit and follow @SauceyApp on Instagram and Twitter.

Press Release <![CDATA[Yards Brewing Company’s Chocolate Love Stout Returns]]> 2016-12-01T15:46:50Z 2016-12-01T15:46:50Z

Philadelphia, PA — Yards Brewing Company today announced the launch of a winter favorite, the limited release Chocolate Love Stout, available now through February 2017. Traditionally available starting in January, Chocolate Love Stout hits shelves and taps a month early this year to give fans more time to enjoy this sensual brew throughout the winter months.

“Chocolate Love Stout is a complex, yet inviting beer. We brew it with over 200 pounds of pure, 100% cacao Belgian dark chocolate and chocolate malt,” says founder and brewmaster Tom Kehoe. “This dark, aromatic beer is perfect to cozy up with for the holiday season.”

Each sip of this English stout bursts with chocolate goodness that warm the soul. With hints of vanilla and caramel, it’s the perfect pairing for anything ranging from a juicy burger to a heaping scoop of ice cream.

This year, Chocolate Love Stout will be available in 12-ounce bottles sold in 4-packs and newly available 12-packs. It will also be offered on draught in ½ and ? kegs throughout Yards’ distribution footprint. This black beauty finishes irresistibly smooth at 6.9% alcohol by volume. This winter, ditch the hot cocoa and curl up beside the fire with Chocolate Love Stout instead.

Show us how you’re celebrating this holiday season with #ChocolateLoveStout on social media. Stay up-to-date on the latest Yards news – Sign up for the Yards Newsletter and follow @yardsbrew on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the Yards Beer Finder to find a location that serves or sells Chocolate Love Stout near you.

About Yards Brewing Co.
Yards Brewing Company been proudly brewing Philadelphia’s hometown beer since 1994. The regional craft producer has grown from a garage-sized operation in the Manayunk section of Philly to a 38,000 square foot facility along the city’s Delaware River waterfront. Philadelphia Pale Ale and Brawler, both nationally recognized ales, lead a balanced portfolio of quality, handcrafted beers including eight year-round offerings and several seasonal and limited releases. Founder, Tom Kehoe, and the Yards crew share a commitment to supporting the good people and organizations making their backyard a better place to live and work. It’s all about working hard, having fun and giving back. Drink local. Brew Unto Others.

Press Release <![CDATA[Full Sail Brewing’s Annual Session Fest Czech-Style Lager is Here to Save Christmas]]> 2016-11-30T23:05:08Z 2016-11-30T23:05:08Z

Hood River, OR – It’s not a fest until it’s a Session Fest. One of Full Sail Brewing’s annual favorites, gold-medal winning Session Fest is a holiday beer that comes in a stubby little bottle, makes a great stocking stuffer, and is the perfect beer to leave by the fireplace for Santa or to share with friends and family who may appreciate an approachable, yet flavorful holiday beer.

“When we decided to brew a special Session for the holidays, we knew right away what color it had to be: Red (and full-bodied),” says Full Sail Brewmaster Jim Kelter. “Next, we considered what kind of head it should have. Bright white was the obvious answer. And as for the label? Gotta be green, right? So, there you have it. A Session all decked out for holidays, ready to spread joy and cheer. Happy Holidays to one and all! And have a good Session.”

“Session Fest is a Czech-style strong lager (gotta love the Czechs!) called polotmavé or literally ‘light dark or semi-dark,’” according to Full Sail Executive Brewmaster Jamie Emmerson. “Brewed with 2 Row Pale malt, Munich malt, Caramel malt and Wheat malt, and hopped with a blend of Glaciers and Cascades, Session Fest has a medium-to-full body, balancing candy caramel and full malt flavors that are underscored by a spicy hoppiness that provides a nice perfume with citrus and pine overtones and a long clean finish.”

When Full Sail launched the Session brand over 10 years ago, it quickly became the hottest new craft-beer brand on the market, which has since brought home 100 medals, including 40 golds. Session’s not a micro, a macro, or an import, but in a way, it’s a little bit of each. You see, virtually everyone who likes beer likes Session. It’s a brand that’s accessible without being ordinary. Totally drinkable, but never at the expense of character. And now, just for the holidays, there’s Session Fest. Taste for yourself why the World Beer Championships has awarded Session Fest a gold medal in the Vienna-style lager category in 2011, 2013 and, for this year’s batch, in 2016.  6.2% ABV, 26 IBUs.  Available September to December in 12-packs, Session Mashup Variety Pack and draft.

About Full Sail Brewing Company
Perched on a bluff in Hood River, Oregon, overlooking the mighty Columbia River’s epic wind and kite surfing and the snow-capped volcanic peak of Mt. Hood, Full Sail is a true craft-brewing pioneer. Since 1987, Full Sail has been pouring pure Mt. Hood water, local ingredients and responsible processes into each and every pint. Full Sail’s brews and sustainable practices have garnered more than 300 national and international awards, including 150 gold medals andBeverage World’s “Craft Brewer of the Year” distinction. From Full Sail Amber and IPA to Session Lager and bourbon barrel-aged beers, Full Sail consistently strives to brew complex, balanced and ridiculously tasty beers. Learn more at 

Justin Kendall <![CDATA[Press Clips: TABC Appeals Ruling in Favor of Craft Brewers, Rogue Rebrands Green Dragon, Off Color Opening Second Brewery]]> 2016-12-01T05:32:12Z 2016-11-30T22:03:13Z

State of Texas Fights Ruling Allowing Craft Breweries to Sell Their Territorial and Distribution Rights

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is striking back against a ruling that had granted craft brewers the right to sell their distribution and territorial rights, according to the Dallas Business Journal.

The TABC is reportedly appealing an August ruling that sided with three craft breweries in overturning Senate Bill 639, which required craft breweries to pay to use distributors and sell their beer for the same price throughout the state. The court had found those requirements unconstitutional, siding with Peticolas Brewing Co., Revolver Brewing and Live Oak Brewing Co.

The case now goes to the Third Court of Appeals in Austin, according to Austin 360.

“The trial court correctly saw that this law was written by distributors to do one thing: enrich themselves at the expense of craft brewers,” the breweries’ attorney, Matt Miller, said in a statement. “That is unconstitutional, and we are confident the appellate court will agree.”

Rogue Rebranding Green Dragon Pub

Rogue Ales & Spirits is rebranding Portland, Oregon’s Green Dragon Bistro and Pub as the Rogue East Side Pub & Pilot Brewery, according to the Willamette Week.

The revamped space is slated to open by the week of December 11.

Rogue has owned the Green Dragon since 2008. Why change now? In a FAQ page, Rogue wrote that “we decided the time was right to bring the full Rogue experience to the east side of Portland.”

Rogue will offer 35 of its beers on tap and 19 taps for “independent breweries” in the revamped space.

Meanwhile, the Green Dragon Brew Crew — a collective of homebrewers — will continue to release new beers every Wednesday.

Off Color Brewing Opening a Second Brewery and Taproom

Citing increasing volume demands and space limitations, Chicago’s Off Color Brewing has announced plans to open a second brewery and taproom in Lincoln Park.

“We wouldn’t have said anything yet but some of you like to look at liquor license application filings and ask a bunch of pesky questions,” Off Color wrote in an email to fans on Wednesday. “We would have gotten away with it too! If it wasn’t for you meddling reporters!!”

The original Logan Square brewery will continue operations, brewing year-round core offerings and seasonals, while the new space, at 1460 North Kingsbury, will have more of a focus on sours.

“The new space will focus on the more finicky, unpredictable wild beers, foeder and barrel fermentation, and fruit processing that throw a wrench in production scheduling, gobble floor space, and make a huge mess — tricky stuff that keeps us on our toes,” Off Color wrote.

In addition to the second brewery, Off Color is adding a taproom that that is slated to open by the summer of 2017, depending on licensing through the city of Chicago.

“The 8,000 odd sq. ft. of interior space are divided between brewery space, a larger, louder area for serious drinking, and a quieter front space to contemplate what, why, and how alongside barrels doing the same,” Off Color wrote. “A front patio will let us get some sun in the warm months and parking (parking?!) to make the colder months a little more manageable.”

In February, Off Color opened 300 sq. ft. bottleshop to sell core offerings and brewery-only releases as well as offering Saturday brewery tours.

Wayne and Cindy Seltzer Invest in Iron Fist Brewing Company

Vista, California-based Iron Fist Brewing Company has taken on new investors in Wayne and Cindy Seltzer, according to the West Coaster.

Iron Fist, a 6-year-old family-owned brewery, added the Seltzers, who come with experience in the food-and-beverage industry having owned the Seltzer Companies nutritional solutions business for three decades before selling it for $105 million to Glanbia PLC in 2006. The Seltzers are also part of the ownership group of the San Diego Padres.

Iron Fist co-owner Eve Siemenski told the West Coaster that the Seltzers’ involvement puts the brewery in a better position for future growth as well as improving its business operations.

“We feel we are better positioned to implement our long-range strategies for growth in the highly competitive craft beverage industry,” she reportedly said.

Braxton Brewing Company to Double Capacity for 2017

Braxton Brewing Co. is doubling its capacity for 2017 with the addition of two 120-barrel fermenters, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier.

The $100,000 investment in the tanks will push the Covington, Kentucky-based brewery’s output to 20,000 barrels in 2017. (Braxton produced about 9,000 barrels of beer this year.)

“When we set out at the beginning of this year, we had one goal: make sure we can open up distribution to the entire state of Kentucky. And we’ve done that,” Braxton co-founder Jake Rouse told the Business Courier. “Looking at next year, we didn’t have the fermentation to meet all that demand.”

With its added capacity, Braxton, the 2015 winner of Brewbound’s Startup Brewery Challenge, will reportedly expand its barrel-aging program and look to add to its distribution footprint to the suburbs north of Cincinnati. Braxton is also planning to add a centrifuge, a malt silo and a quality-control lab with a microbiologist and a chemist.

“I’d say the lab is just as big for us as the fermenters,” Rouse told the Business Courier. “Quality is one of the most important things to us. We analyze all of our products.”

New Belgium’s Kim Jordan Talks The Woods, CEO Departure and Sale Rumors

Kim JordanKim Jordan

Earlier this week, the Denver Post profiled New Belgium CEO Kim Jordan as her brewery turns 25 years old. Of note, New Belgium is opening a brewery dedicated to sour and barrel-aged beers called The Woods next year in Denver’s River North neighborhood.

Jordan also touched on the departure of Christine Perich, who stepped down as CEO earlier this month.

“We were sad and surprised by that,” Jordan told the Post of Perich’s departure. “And at the same time, you know we have a lot of really competent and dedicated people, and that sort of broadly shared engagement that we have both with management and also all of our employee-owner coworkers really suits a situation like this well.”

And about those rumors of a sale, it’s not happening anytime soon.

“Our focus as a brewery was on going out into the industry all around the world and talking to brewers large and small,” Jordan told the paper. “And in the end of that, we decided that we really wanted to continue to be independent,” she said.

Read the full profile here.

D.L. Geary Brewing Co. Struggling as Other Portland, Maine, Breweries Thrive

Portland, Maine’s first craft brewery, D.L. Geary Brewing Co., is struggling as the city’s beer scene booms. A profile in the Portland Press Herald noted the brewers struggles, with the brewery’s production reportedly dipping 34.5 percent in 2015 from 2011, according to the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations.

“It’s certainly a lot more crowded than it used to be,” D.L. Geary told the Press Herald. “We’re up to 75 breweries in the state. The number of out-of-state brands in the state has more than doubled in the last few years. And it’s a zero-sum game. … There aren’t more beer drinkers now.”

That means Geary’s is getting fewer tap handles at bars and restaurants, and its flagship beers aren’t selling as well at retail locations.

What’s a struggling brewery to do? Innovate. Geary’s reportedly added a pilot system to make small-batch beers.

“We’re experimenting with different grains, different strains of yeast and the results have been very well received,” Geary told the paper. “We can’t just say, ‘OK, we’ll make this beer,’ and sell it because our small system is 24 barrels, and that’s an awful lot of kegs.

“So what we’re able to do (on the pilot system) is innovate on a small scale, invite our customers and friends into the tasting room to try them, and that way, if we get enough interest, we will be able to do the larger system and have the beer be pre-sold, which our distributors love.”

Mitch Steele Says Hop Usage has Peaked

Former Stone brewmaster and godfather of the IPA Mich Steele believes hop usage has peaked

Steele told Australian Brew News that brewers are now pushing the limits by adding pounds of hops to their beers, which creates “diminishing returns” due to the expense of the hops and high hop usage causing beer loss.

“If we are talking about bitterness, there is a ceiling,” he said. “The solubility of iso-alpha acids is dependent on Gravity and pH, and the upper limit for bitterness in wort is about 130-150 IBU, and in beer is 100-110 IBU in a high gravity beer.Human beings can’t perceive changes in bitterness when IBUs are higher than 80, so it’s kind of silly to reach for IBUs above 100, though it’s a cool marketing tool.”

Domestic Tax Paid Beer Shipment Volume Decreases by 7.3 Percent in October

October was a rough month for the beer business. The Beer Institute released its October 2016 domestic tax paid estimate, which showed a 7.3 percent decrease in domestic tax paid beer shipment volume for the month, with one fewer selling day.

The decline was the biggest year over year, with an estimated volume change of 1,036,000 barrels. (An estimated 13,159,000 barrels were shipped in October 2016 as opposed to 14,195,000 barrels in October 2015.)

For the year, domestic beer shipments are down 1.2 percent through October — and down 1.3 percent over the last 12 months.

Driving the decline, according to Beer Institute Chief Economist Michel Uhrich, is beer’s off-premise consumer price index, which increased by 1.4 percent in October. Compare that to the 1 percent increase for hard liquor and a 0.2 percent decrease for wine.

0 Staff <![CDATA[Startup Brewery Challenge 7: Meet the Players]]> 2016-11-30T22:33:11Z 2016-11-30T21:34:24Z

We’re less than 24 hours away from the 2016 Brewbound Session in San Diego, and it’s time to introduce our presenters and judges for Startup Brewery Challenge 7, our on-of-a-kind business pitch competition presented by Craft Brew Alliance.

Six craft brewery entrepreneurs who have been on the market for two years or less will take the stage tomorrow to show off their business plans, sample one core product offering and receive immediate feedback from a panel of five expert judges.


The six brewery owners competing in the Thursday afternoon showdown are:

  • Devon Ponds, CEO, Friends and Allies Brewing Company
  • Eugene Simor, Founder and President, Alamo Beer Company
  • Eddie Leon, Co-Founder & CEO, M.I.A. Beer Company
  • Kristen Lyons, Owner, Binghamton Brewing Co
  • David Favela, CEO, Border X Brewing
  • Shannon Carter, President, Shannon Brewing Co.

During the competition, which is scheduled to begin at 1:35 p.m. PST, our industry veteran judges will evaluate Startup Brewery Challenge finalists and critique contestants on their elevator pitch, branding & packaging, marketplace potential and product quality.

Judging this year’s competition are:

  • Karmen Olson, Senior Manager of Emerging Business, Craft Brew Alliance
  • Amy Gutierrez, Category Manager — beer, BevMo!
  • Daniel Lust, Co-Founder, Pints LLC
  • Tom Bleigh, Innovation Brewmaster, Craft Brew Alliance
  • Stephen Bossu, Co-Founder, Hopewell Brewing Company (Startup Brewer Challenge 6 Winner)

The brewery owner with the best overall pitch and product will receive $5,000 to be used to fuel the growth of their emerging business. The winning brand will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Portland, Ore., where key members will meet with and learn from Craft Brew Alliance executives, take an extensive tour of the company’s production brewery, participate in Widmer Brothers’ daily taste panel and receive business coaching from the CBA team.

Past winners of the Startup Brewery Challenge include Hopewell Brewing, Wynwood Brewing Company, Braxton Brewing Company, CODA Brewing, Appalachian Mountain Brewery and 5 Stones Brewing.

In 2014, as a direct result of participating in the Startup Brewery Challenge, Appalachian Mountain Brewery and CBA formed a strategic partnership. That partnership has evolved into a master distribution arrangement and a commitment from CBA to market, sell and distribute AMB products exclusively throughout its wholesale network.

Register for Brewbound Session San Diego >>>

About Brewbound Session:

Focused on the business side of craft brewing, Brewbound Session events offer an unmatched strategic learning opportunity for beer industry professionals by combining the best in business information and networking. The full-day program features a hand-selected roster of industry experts and leaders who, through presentations and panel discussions, will touch on topics including investment, emerging trends, distribution strategies and more. Marketing, merchandising, and the overall state of the craft market are looked at as opportunities for brewers to improve revenue and profitability, and to build the capital structure that will allow them to weather any future storms.

Press Release <![CDATA[He’brew Beer Releases Four Limited-Edition Offerings for Chanukah 2016]]> 2016-11-30T21:08:22Z 2016-11-30T21:08:22Z

Clifton Park, NY — When people hear the word ‘Score’ they likely picture their favorite sports team or a piece of music that touched their hearts, or perhaps a shady back alley deal from days of youthful indiscretions. For the finale of 2016 and at this significant milestone of maturity, Shmaltz Brewing Company looks at the word Score in a more expansive sense — Biblical (Psalm 90), Presidential (4 score and 7 years), Historical (‘I Have a Dream’). The Score defined for Shmaltz’s Anniversary marks 20 years.

20 Years — celebrating being the largest, the smallest, the most award winning, and astonishingly still the only Jewish celebration beer in the country. And also 20 years as a complex borscht of much more as well — creating brands, selling brands, acquiring brands. Reinventing the company to reflect the new brick and mortar facility. Transforming from exclusively contracting brewing with another producer to now being a contract brewer itself for other respected regional beer companies.

Born in San Francisco, raised in Brooklyn and New York City, and now based in Upstate New York, Shmaltz more than ever reaches beyond its niche to the ongoing revolution of craft brewing succeeding across the globe.

Created as an experiment for Chanukah in 1996, Shmaltz owner/founder, Jeremy Cowan, gathered a small tribe of friends to hand squeeze pomegranates to add to the first batch of He’brew Beer’s Genesis Ale. Hand bottled, hand labeled, and delivered by the founder in his grandmother’s Volvo (and 5 cases by Cowan’s mother as well), He’brew became the Chosen Beer for a generation of those taking their first steps into the artisan world of craft beer.

Leap forward 20 years later, Genesis 20:20, a mighty barrel-aged tart barleywine percolates from a 40,000 square feet brewery and travels to nearly 40 states across the country. Over 30 professional tribe members comprise the Shmaltz efforts, continuing to amass over 40 awards and counting. Through this trek, Shmaltz maintains its enduring sense of shtick that paved the way to this milestone.

Shmaltz isn’t going through this Score alone, but joins an illustrious lineup of fellow Class of ’96ers across the US. For Chicago Beer Week, the 20th anniversary festivities kicked off with Three Floyds Brewing at Northdown Taproom, pouring a all-star lineup of Shmaltz’s Goliaths, such as She’Brew Triple IPA, R.I.P.A. on Rye Barrel-Aged Rye Double IPA, and the preview cask of Genesis 20:20. In San Francisco, Shmaltz teamed up with ThirstyBear Organic Brewery for its own 20th anniversary jubilee and raised a pint to where it all began. In Denver at GABF, Shmaltz joined Bear Republic, Coronado, and Ballast Point at iconic Falling Rock Tap House. Most recently at The Well in Brooklyn, NY, Shmaltz founder/owner Jeremy Cowan hosted a special “Beer School” for attending craft beer enthusiasts, launching Jewbelation 20, The hoopla continues nationwide with fellow “Class of ’96” breweries throughout the holidays. And what would a true celebration be without the proper beers to mark this epic occasion?

New Releases

Genesis 20:20 — Barrel-Aged Tart Barleywine
Flowing from the bottle or tap, a rich beautiful mahogany glows deeply with a dense silky lace head. Aromas of currant, raisin, and toffee waft from the heavenly concoction, leaning towards port, sherry or cognac. The velvety mouthfeel of this burly beer collides on the tongue with pronounced flavors of dark chocolate and heavy fruits — figs, dates, and ripe plum. Tart notes and a hint of wood emerge from the barrel aging process — 10 months ensconced in the rye and bourbon barrels that also create Shmaltz’s acclaimed sour blend, Funky Jewbelation. A glorious opus.

Chanukah, Hanukkah…Pass the Beer — Golden Strong Ale with Cocoa Nibs
Candles won’t be the only thing getting lit this year, with this bright caramel colored, golden strong ale. The fluffy white head releases notes of honey, chocolate, and harkens back to memories of Holiday gelt coins. 8 malts & 8 hops balance biscuit and toast with light peach smoothly dancing with the chocolate from the cocoa nibs and a hint of vanilla on the finish. The 8% ABV warms up both the season and this luscious libation.

Jewbelation 20 — Dark American Strong Ale
Mazel Tov — it’s a big beautiful bouncing barelywine! Shmaltz’s Jewbelation series vaults into adulthood with the 13th version of its acclaimed seasonal Anniversary offering. Not intended as an imperial porter or stout, Jewbelation 20 essentially stands as a triple brown ale. Pouring a dense mocha head, the color spans deep maroon to dark ruby. Flavors of this massive complex malt bill overflow with dark fruits — bing cherry, raisins, currants, and figs. Pronounced notes of pumpernickel and dark chocolate, coffee roast and cherry wood dance with pounds and pounds of hops leading with citrus and stone fruit up front melding into a grassy earthiness on the finish. Rising to a beefy 16.8%, the alcohol feels more warming and welcoming than its percentage might suggest. A very complex anniversary ale worthy of being part of the Jewbelation family. A new Shmaltz score is born.

Shtick in a Box — Holiday Variety 12-Pack
There’s no junk in this box! Just in time for the holidays, Shmaltz releases the award winning Shtick in a Box Holiday Variety 12-Pack. Shmaltz has somethin’ real special to give you inside this package. Craft beer lovers will find three Shmaltz favorites and all World Beer Championship Gold Medal winners, Hop Manna IPA, Slingshot American Craft Lager, and Messiah Nut Brown Ale, with a gift of the 2016 version of Chanukah, Hanukkah…Pass the Beer. You won’t even need to wrap this platinum award-winning package, unless it’d be for safety.

To pair with all of these momentous anniversary and holiday beers, the brewery invites craft beer tribe enthusiasts to join the festivities across the country:

*Wednesday, November 30 @ Grinders Stonewall (10240 Pflumm Road, Lenexa, KS): Shmaltz hosts a Chanukah Celebration featuring Chanukah, Hanukkah…Pass The Beer, Jewbelation 20, Wishbone Session Double IPA, and Slingshot American Craft Lager.

*Thursday, December 1 @ Grinder’s Pizza (417 E 18th Street, Kansas City, MO): Shmaltz hosts a Chanukah Celebration featuring Chanukah, Hanukkah…Pass The Beer, Jewbelation 20, Hop Manna IPA, Slingshot American Craft Lager.

*Friday, December 2 @ MacGregor’s (300 Jefferson Road, Rochester, NY): Shmaltz hosts a Chanukah Launch Party for Jewbelation 20, and also pours Jewbelation 19 (2015) and Chanukah in Kentucky in July (2016).

*Friday, December 2 @ Public at the Brickyard (129 North Rock Island Road, Wichita, KS): Shmaltz hosts a Chanukah Celebration featuring Chanukah, Hanukkah…Pass The Beer, Jewbelation 20, Genesis 20:20, and Slingshot American Craft Lager.

*Saturday, December 3 @ The Anchor (1109 E Douglas Ave, Wichita, KS): Shmaltz hosts 8 Crazy Flights to celebrate the 8 nights of Chanukah featuring 8 of the brewery’s biggest and boldest beers.

*Tuesday, December 6 @ The Saint Catherine (660 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY): Shmaltz Tap Takeover with Hop Manna IPA.

*Wednesday, December 7 @ Roux (10-01 Vista Boulevard, Slingerlands, NY): Shmaltz hosts a Chanukah Beer Dinner featuring their latest holiday releases.

*Friday, December 9 @ Excelsior Pub (54 Phillip Street, Albany, NY): Shmaltz hosts Battle of the Holiday Beers featuring their latest holiday releases.

*Tuesday, December 13 @ The Saint Catherine (660 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY): Shmaltz Tap Takeover with Hop Manna IPA.

*Thursday, December 15 @ The Old Toad (277 Alexander St, Rochester, NY): Shmaltz hosts its ultimate throwdown Chanukah vs Christmas: The Battle Royale of Beers with Southern Tier.

*Thursday, December 15 @ Pittsford Pub (60 North Main Street, Pittsford, NY): Lake Beverage Tap Takeover featuring Chanukah, Hanukkah…Pass The Beer and Jewbelation 20.

*Thursday, December 15 @ City Beer Hall (42 Howard Street, Albany, NY): Shmaltz hosts its ultimate throwdown Chanukah vs Christmas: The Battle Royale of Beers.

*Friday, December 16 @ Barcade (388 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY): Shmaltz hosts its ultimate throwdown Chanukah vs Christmas: The Battle Royale of Beers.

*Friday, December 16 @ Spuyten Duvil (359 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY): Shmaltz hosts its ultimate throwdown Chanukah vs Christmas: The Battle Royale of Beers.

*Friday, December 16 @ Quencher’s (2401 North Western Avenue, Chicago, IL): Shmaltz hosts a Chanukah Celebration featuring their latest holidays releases.

*Saturday, December 17 @ The Hungry Monk (1760 West Chandler Boulevard, Chandler, AZ): Shmaltz hosts Jewmas with 20 kegs.

*Monday, December 19 @ Steinbeck’s Ale House (659 East Lake Drive, Decatur, GA): Shmaltz hosts its ultimate throwdown Chanukah vs Christmas: The Battle Royale of Beers.

*Tuesday, December 20 @ The Saint Catherine (660 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY): Shmaltz Tap Takeover with Hop Manna IPA.

*Wednesday, December 21 @ The Perch (232 South Wall Street, Chandler, AZ): Shmaltz hosts its ultimate throwdown Chanukah vs Christmas: The Battle Royale of Beers.

*Wednesday, December 21 @ Flying Saucer Draught Emporium (900 Spruce Street, St. Louis, MO): Shmaltz hosts its ultimate throwdown Chanukah vs Christmas: The Battle Royale of Beers with a Dreidel vs. Cathedral Tournament and other fun games!

*Thursday, December 22 @ Joe’s Wine Cellar (2180 West Division Street, Chicago, IL): Shmaltz hosts a Festivus Party.

*Friday, December 23 @ Yaquis on Cherokee (2728 Cherokee Street, St. Louis, MO): Shmaltz hosts a Chanukah Holiday Party with Latkes and Chanukah, Hanukkah…Pass The Beer.

*Friday, December 23 @ Ale Mary’s (316 Main Street, Royal Oak, MI): Shmaltz hosts 8 Ways From Sunday with a different feature every day until Sunday.

*Saturday, December 24 @ Atomic Liquors (917 Fremont Street, Las Vegas, NV): Shmaltz hosts a Chanukah Kick-Off Party with 6 different Shmaltz beers on tap.

*Saturday, December 24 @ Archie’s (2600 West Iowa Street, Chicago, IL): Shmaltz hosts a Festivus Party: Bartenders Roast Regulars.

*Saturday, December 24 – Saturday, December 31 @ Flying Saucer (111 East 3rd Street, Fort Worth, TX): Shmaltz hosts a Chanukah Celebration featuring their latest holiday releases.

*Sunday, December 25 @ The Tower Bar (4757 University Avenue, San Diego, CA): Shmaltz hosts 8 Crazy Flights to celebrate the 8 nights of Chanukah featuring 8 of the brewery’s biggest and boldest beers with a special party on December 25th!

*Monday, December 26 @ The Doghouse (1415 Palisade Avenue, Teaneck, NJ): Shmaltz hosts a Chanukah Party at this Kosher sports bar with vintage beers on tap and several of their latest holiday releases.

*Tuesday, December 27 @ The Saint Catherine (660 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY): Shmaltz Tap Takeover with Chanukah, Hanukkah…Pass The Beer and Hop Manna IPA for a special Jewish Trivia Night!

*Thursday, December 29 @ The Playhouse (820 South Clinton Avenue, Rochester, NY): Bobcat’s Golden Birthday/Chanukah Celebration with a Dreidel Tournament and Messiah Nut Brown Ale, Genesis 20:20, Jewbelation 19 (2015), Jewbelation 20, and Chanukah in Kentucky in July (2016) on tap.

*Sunday, December 25 – Saturday, December 31 @ The Ruck (104 3rd Street, Troy, NY): Shmaltz hosts a Tap Takeover.

*Sunday, December 25 – Sunday, January 1 @ Buzzworks (365 11th Street, San Francisco, CA): Shmaltz hosts a Chanukah Party with Jewbelation 19 (2015) and Jewbelation 20 on tap all week.

The grand finale is upon us — The opus, the grand slam, the kind, the Score. With brewery favorites, Hop Manna IPA, Slingshot American Craft Lager, Messiah Nut Brown Ale, and Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA, over a dozen seasonals, special releases and collaborations, and now the lineup of behemoth anniversary beers, Genesis 20:20 and Jewbelation 20, the culmination of Shmaltz’s 20th year overflows with unforgettable fermentables.

Turning 21 in 2017, Shmaltz is poised to pair its unique shtick with a diversified business model including innovative He’brew creations, the acquisition and expansion of its regional Alphabet City brand, the re-introduction of its hyperlocal upstate 518 & 838 series, as well as expanded contract brewing for respected regional producers.

Cheers to the first Score, and maybe 3 more and 7 years, of Shmaltz being true to its roots and singular in its niche — the largest, the smallest, the most award winning, and still the only Jewish celebration brewery in the country — and so much more. To Life… L’Chaim!

About Shmaltz Brewing Company
Founder and owner Jeremy Cowan established Shmaltz Brewing in San Francisco in 1996. The first 100 cases of He’brew Beer were hand-bottled and delivered throughout the Bay Area from the back of his Grandmother’s Volvo. Shmaltz Brewing now sells He’brew Beer across 35 states, through 40 wholesalers and in nearly 5,000 retailers.

After 17 years of being an outspoken cheerleader for contract brewing, Cowan and staff opened their own New York State production brewery in 2013 in Clifton Park, 10 minutes north of Albany. Shmaltz’s home boasts a 50-barrel brewhouse with 30,000 barrels of annual capacity and packages a diverse and tasty variety of core and seasonal favorites in 12 and 22-ounce bottles and kegs. The Shmaltz Tasting Room is open five days a week (Wed-Sun) and offers tours, barrel-aged previews, beer-to-go, and special releases. ranked Shmaltz as one of the “Top 100 Brewers in the World” in 2013, and the brewery brought home 10 gold and 6 silver medals from the World Beer Championships in the past several years.