Craft beer industry news, events, and jobs.2015-11-26T03:26:50Z Press Release <![CDATA[Dogfish Head Releases ‘Hoppiest Beer Ever Documented’]]> 2015-11-25T23:11:40Z 2015-11-25T23:11:40Z

Milton, DE – Dogfish Head has created another boundary-pushing off-centered ale. This time, it just so happens to be the hoppiest beer ever documented through scientific analysis. While the average IPA lands somewhere between 40-60 IBUs, this latest release clocks in at 658 IBUs (international bittering units). Hoo Lawd, as it has been affectionately named, comes from the sensation you get after you take your first sip.

“It’s abnormally intense enough that it immediately leads to the abnormal spelling of words.” Dogfish founder and president Sam Calagione says, “as in, Hoo Lawd I can’t seem to stop myself from taking another sip even though this is DEFCON-five-hoppy!”

Brewed with an experimental hop referred to as “Alpha Beast” along with Simcoe, Warrior and Amarillo hops in CO2 extract, Hoo Lawd takes dark IPA into an intergalactic black hole of hoppiness. Sam and Brewmaster Tim Hawn worked with Yakima Chief Hopunion to procure all of the hop varieties and formats for this beer. While other awesome, uber hoppy beers have claimed to achieve higher theoretical IBUs, Hoo Lawd has received scientific confirmation and documentation from two independent labs that this is, in fact, the hoppiest commercial beer ever brewed.

The beer will be available on tap at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in downtown Rehoboth Beach, DE on December 2 beginning at 5 p.m. for a happy hour featuring the Alstrom Brothers of BeerAdvocate fame. Sam will hand paint and sign 36 (32oz.) growlers of the beer that will be available to go on a first-come, first-served basis. There will also be a screening of Dogfish’s new web-series ‘That’s Odd … Let’s Drink It’ that showcases Hoo Lawd in an epic battle of man vs. lupulin with actors Ken Marino and Joe LoTruglio. The beer will also be available at Extreme Beer Fest, held in Boston this spring of which Dogfish Head has been the title sponsor for many years.

“We hope a bunch of fearless hop-loving brothers and sisters will join us December 2 to give it a try or check it out at EBF” Calagione says. “Hoo Lawd isn’t for everyone, but we’ve had a lot of fun and learned a lot about pushing the outer limits of hop dosing volumes and techniques with this experimental brew.”

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Dogfish Head is the first American craft brewery to focus on culinary-inspired beer recipes outside traditional beer styles and it has done so since the day it opened with the motto. “off-centered ales for off-centered people.” Since 1995, Dogfish has redefined craft beer and the way people think about beer by brewing with unique ingredients. Today, Dogfish is among the fastest-growing breweries in the country and has won numerous awards throughout the years. Dogfish Head has grown into a 200+ person company with a restaurant/brewery/distillery in Rehoboth Beach, a beer-themed inn on the harbor in Lewes and a production brewery/distillery in Milton, Delaware. Dogfish Head currently sells beer in 31 states.

Jane Lothrop <![CDATA[Last Call: Tito’s Vodka Embroiled in Legal Battle; Sierra Nevada Launches Rare Beer Club]]> 2015-11-26T03:26:50Z 2015-11-25T22:34:19Z

Tito’s Lawsuit Could Have Implications for Craft Producers

Here is a labeling case that craft producers should watch:

During a federal court hearing in San Diego last Friday, Judge Jeffrey Miller scrutinized the right of Tito’s Handmade Vodka to label itself as “handmade,” and questioned the TTB’s label approving system.

Fifth Generation, Inc., the maker of Tito’s, is currently being sued by consumer Gary Hoffman on the grounds of false advertisement, among other claims. Hoffman and his lawyers suggest Tito’s deliberately misrepresents itself as being handmade when in fact Fifth Generation produces the vodka brand at an industrial distillery, and uses a neutral-grain spirit that is manufactured off-site before being delivered to its facility.

But the question at hand Friday was not whether Tito’s had the legal right to label its product as “handmade,” however. Instead, the focus shifted to the legal gravitas of the TTB’s system for approving labels.

“A federal regulator’s actions create a safe harbor only… where the agency’s actions were the result of a formal, deliberative process akin to… an adjudicative enforcement action,” the Plaintiffs stated, arguing that the TTB’s label review process is too subjective and vague for approved labels to be treated as legally-binding statements.

“The TTB would tend to take the assertion [that Tito’s Vodka is handmade] at face value, because the system is an honor system, to a large extent, duct-taped together with a penalty of perjury,” wrote Robert C. Lehrman, the principal attorney at Lehrman Beverage, in a recent blog post.

He also noted, “I have been interacting with TTB’s label review system on a daily basis for more than 25 years now. It would be preposterous to claim that the system has been anything close to formal, deliberative, or similar to an adjudication.”

Given the types of descriptions and phrasing craft brewers use to market their own offerings, the proceedings of this case could have a major affect on what those producers are legally allowed to claim. A growing number of craft brewers routinely describe their products with broadly descriptive phrases such as “hand made,” “hand crafted,” and “hand brewed.”   

The case will also be important for companies introducing products with nutritional claims. More craft outfits are rolling out “gluten-free” and “gluten-reduced” beers and providing caloric information for products sold at restaurant chains. Indeed, if TTB approved labels are ruled as non legally-binding statements, all quality claims on products labels could be questioned.

Sierra Nevada Launches New Rare Beer Society

Following in the footsteps of smaller craft brands like The Bruery and Night Shift Brewing, Sierra Nevada this week announced the launch of a new rare beer club– the Alpha Hops Society.

For an annual $250 fee, members will have access to special experimental brews exclusively available in bottles. Every three months, a new set of products will be available for pick up at the brewery’s Mills River, N.C. and Chico, Calif. locations, as well as the Torpedo Room in Berkeley, Calif and only 300 memberships are available.

Sierra has been planning the club for three years in the hopes of giving their brewers a creative outlet, and rewarding their most loyal consumers.

“We wanted to find a way to make these cool beers available to people who really wanted them,” spokesman Bill Manley told Greenville Online. “We just don’t have enough of these beers to do more. It’s the ultimate way of playing around in our brewery and letting our brewers and blenders reflect their creativity.”

The first set of beers will include an American Red Wild Ale, a blended Scotch Ale aged in absinthe and bourbon barrels, and a strong Belgian “Pentuppel” blended with chillies. All three will be available in February.

Space in Alpha Hops Society is filling up fast, Manley told the outlet. More than 30 spots were claimed within minutes of the brewery’s initial announcement. For more information about the club, visit Sierra Nevada’s website.

Publix Looking to Educate Craft Drinkers

Publix Super Markets Inc. has implemented a new “shelf tag program” aimed at educating craft beer drinkers by breaking down attributes like bitterness and malt sweetness, company spokesman Brian West told the South Florida Business Journal.

“It’s a nice way to help customers expand their personal likes, without having to open the bottle,” West told the outlet.

The goal, he said, is to help shoppers identify comparable beers and encourage experimentation as consumers “wade into expanding their taste by looking for beers that are just slightly different.”

10 Barrel Brewing Founders Discuss Life After Acquisition

What did Jeremy and Chris Cox, the founders of 10 Barrel Brewing, do after selling to Anheuser-Busch InBev last year?

They booked an “acquisition vacation” to the Bahamas.

“We booked it out a year in advance, thinking, one, we’d be fired,” Chris Cox told the Bend Bulletin. “Or two, we’d quit because (AB InBev) didn’t follow through with what they said.”

One year later, both brothers are still employed, still running brewery operations, and still making innovative beers.

Among other highlights from the piece, the Bulletin notes that 10 barrel has added a quality control laboratory and is expanding production capabilities to 120,000 barrels.

You can read the feature, in its entirety, here.

Is Chicago the U.S. “craft capital” of 2015?

A recent article in Crain’s Chicago Business has crowned Chicago as the reigning beer capital of the country. According to Crain’s, a 2014 report from Colliers International shows that Chicago has devoted an estimated 1.6 million square feet of commercial real estate to craft brewers – more than other city in the United States.

While Chicago is still second to Portland, Ore. in total number of breweries — 144 compared to 196 — it appears growth in the Windy City isn’t slowing any time soon.

Crain’s indicated that Chicago currently has 39 breweries-in-planning, good enough for fifth in the country.

What do you think? Is Chicago the new craft beer capital of the U.S.? If not, what city should hold the title?

Press Release <![CDATA[Washington’s Backwoods Brewing Company to Relocate in 2016]]> 2015-11-25T20:31:52Z 2015-11-25T20:31:52Z

Carson, WA — Backwoods Brewing Company will be moving its brewing facility to the port of Skamania, on the Stevenson, WA waterfront. The move, which will take place in January, 2016 is exclusively for the production side of the company, as the Backwoods Brew Pub will remain at its current location, in Carson, WA.

The principal reason for the move is the need for more space. Their current facility in Carson is approximately 2000 sq ft., whereas the new space they’ll be moving into is 8000 sq ft. In addition, the new building will offer higher ceilings (approximately 24 ft), a custom drainage system, and custom electrical.  Some of the immediate benefits are the ability to house their own canning line, add taller fermentors, store product more easily and have dedicated offices. The original brewery has been growing beyond the means of the building it currently occupies, and this added space will allow for increased efficiency and higher volume of output.

“We’ve experienced steady growth, especially in the last year, and we need a space that will accommodate that growth, with room for more expansion in the future,” said Kevin Waters, Brewmaster at Backwoods. “Having our own canning line in house, as well as bigger (80 bbl) fermentors, will help us with our turn-around time on beer and give us more freedom to work with the market’s growing demand.”

Tom Waters, brother of Kevin, and Head Brewer at Backwoods, added “This new facility is going to be prepped for a commercial brewery before we actually move in it, which is awesome. Our current building used to be a grocery store, so every time we added equipment, we had to knock out walls, dig out the floor, re-wire and re-pipe everything. It gets real old real quick! We won’t have that issue with the new space in Stevenson.”

About Backwood Brewing Company

Just an hour east of the Portland/Vancouver area, Backwoods was established in 2012 by the Waters family as a single barrel brewpub. It has grown since, moving to a 7-barrel, and now a 20 barrel system that it currently brews on. Their distribution serves all of Washington, NW Oregon and Boise, ID, including grocery stores such as Zupans, Whole Foods, New Seasons, Total Wine and most recently Fred Meyer. The brewery put out approximately 2200 barrels in 2014, and is projected to put out 5000-6000 barrels in 2015. It employs approximately 30 people.

Press Release <![CDATA[Southern Tier to Release Four Headed Wooly Mammoth]]> 2015-11-25T20:25:27Z 2015-11-25T20:25:27Z

We’re proud to announce that this January, we’re releasing Four Headed Wooly Mammoth, a Belgian Style Quad Ale as our first beer in the Cellar Vault Series.

Four Headed Wooly Mammoth, a massive 11% ABV Belgian Quad, is brewed with Dark Belgian Candi Syrup (Kandijstroop Donker) in the boil, which provides notes of anise, dark chocolate, caramel & toasted bread. Candi Syrup, a traditional brewing ingredient in Belgium, also adds a dark hue and a complex Belgian character to the brew, which is fermented with Belgian Abbey Yeast. Having taken more than a dozen trips to Belgium, Sean Lavery, our VP of Operations, yearned to brew one of the “treat” beers that he enjoys during his travels. This brilliant garnet-red beer is true to style with its warming 11% ABV, which is balanced perfectly with caramel, dark sugar & malty sweet flavors.

Quality Manager, Matt Dunn describes the Quad as a “big, bad brew in both alcohol content and flavor,” which is how the Cellar Vault Team came up with the beer’s unique title. “We wanted to brew something that we didn’t already make; something huge and unique. We wanted something we’d crave after our shifts. This Belgian behemoth checked all of those boxes, so we were psyched to get to work on it,” notes Lead Creative Brewer, Jason Hitchcock.

The Cellar Vault Series is described as “VERY rare.” CEO John Coleman states that these brands will be “very limited release and allocated to select markets on draught-only.” Also noting “They’re brewed in our 30bbl Pilot Brewhouse, by our Cellar Vault Team because we believe that ‘Craft is the Endless Pursuit of Creativity.’”

About the Cellar Series

The Cellar Vault Series concept was born out of a challenge from Southern Tier founder, Phin DeMink. Brewing, Cellar and Quality teams submitted recipe ideas for limited-edition, well aging beers they wanted to brew. In addition to Phin, the Cellar Vault’s first team includes Quality Manager Matt Dunn, Quality Lead Karen Stangl, VP of Operations Sean Lavery, Lead Creative Brewer Jason Hitchcock & Brewer Geoff Burgess. They’ll be producing five limited-release beers over the next 9-12 months and then handing the reigns to the next team. Their first beer: the Four Headed Wooly Mammoth. Their next beer: a Sour Ale brewed with Riesling grape juice.

Chris Furnari <![CDATA[Breakside Brewery to Open Third Location]]> 2015-11-25T20:19:55Z 2015-11-25T20:19:55Z

Portland, Oregon’s Breakside Brewery is growing once again and will add a third brewpub location in 2016, the company announced Monday.

Slated to occupy 5,000 sq. ft. of space in Portland’s “Slabtown district,” which is located in the Northwest part of town, Breakside said the new location would open next summer.

“We are really excited about this new project and to be a part of what’s developing in Northwest,” Scott Lawrence, brewery owner and founder said in a statement. “This next evolution for Breakside will give us the opportunity to get even more creative and effective with our beers, and have a glittering premier location we can share with more friends in Portland.

Breakside opened its first brewpub in 2010 in Northeast Portland and eventually added a larger, 30-barrel production facility and tasting room in Milwaukie, Ore., located nine miles southeast of downtown Portland.

Breakside said it expects to produce 15,000 barrels in 2015, up from about 8,000 barrels in 2014.

In a press statement, Breakside said it partnered with design-build firm Green Gables to create the new space. The new brewpub is also part of a mixed-use development project known locally as “The Block 296 Project.”

Press Release <![CDATA[Victory Brewing Releases Java Cask Stout]]> 2015-11-25T17:04:06Z 2015-11-25T17:04:06Z

Downingtown, PA – Victory Brewing Company announces the arrival of Java Cask, a coffee-tinged bourbon barrel stout available this holiday season while supplies last. Beginning Thanksgiving-eve, a celebratory day dubbed Dark Wednesday, by Victory Brewing Company, based on the frenetic level of pre-holiday purchasing of craft beer and hostess gift requirements, Java Cask marks the fourth beer that has specifically and traditionally been created with this day in mind. A collaborative effort commemorating the long friendship with the founders of Philadelphia’s popular Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda’s restaurants, bourbon barrel-aged Java Cask is infused with deliciously warming, hand-roasted JB’s Coffee.

A deeply complex chocolate malt-tinged stout, Java Cask was aged in bourbon barrels for six months, where it absorbed the blended flavors from the wood as well as the predecessor bourbon they once held. With rich body and hints of dark caramel, Victory partnered with William Reed of Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda’s, two iconic Philadelphia bars, to add toasty, roasted coffee flavors and aromas to the brew by infusing it with 240 pounds of JB’s hand-roasted coffee beans. Java Cask is sold in 750 ml bottles and with an ABV of 14.3%; this marks the highest-octane beer Victory has produced to date.

Available in a limited run while supplies last, Java Cask can be purchased in bottle shops throughout Victory’s 37-state distribution footprint (with the exception of Ohio, New Hampshire, Alabama and Georgia due to ABV limitations) with a suggested retail price of $15.00.  Pricing will vary slightly based upon location. Use the beer finder application on Victory’s website to discover a nearby location, or download the free Victory Mobile app for Android or iPhone.

“Java Cask is a collaboration built on friendship. William Reed, and all our friends at Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda’s, have been terrific partners over the years and an integral part of Victory’s local success story,” said Victory’s President and Brewmaster, Bill Covaleski. “This is the perfect beer to share this holiday season, bringing friendships to life.

“I couldn’t be happier with this beer,” said William Reed Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda’s Co-Owner and longtime home brewer. “Java Cask is a complex beer with bittersweet dark chocolate notes and an intriguing coffee aroma.  Way smoother and more drinkable than the 14% alcohol would suggest.”

About Victory Brewing Company
Victory Brewing Company is a craft brewery headquartered in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Founded by childhood friends, Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet, who met on a school bus in 1973, Victory officially opened its doors in February of 1996. In addition to the original Downingtown brewery and brewpub, Victory recently opened a second state-of-the-art brewery in Parkesburg, PA to expand production capabilities and serve fans of fully flavored beers in 35 states with innovative beers melding European ingredients and technology with American creativity. To learn more about Victory Brewing Company visit us on the web at

Press Release <![CDATA[Green Man Releases Holly King Holiday Ale]]> 2015-11-25T16:34:07Z 2015-11-25T16:34:07Z

ASHEVILLE, NC – Rich and decadent, Green Man Brewery’s special holiday release Holly King is back for 2015.  This celebrated Holiday Ale is aged in barrels and carefully blended to create warm bourbon notes and tasty hints of toffee, vanilla, and tobacco.  With a score of 95 on, Holly King is one of Green Man’s most sought-after offerings.

For the third release of this beer, Green Man has commissioned local artist, Rob Hunt to design the label art. This ornate variation of the Green Man logo depicts one of the many interpretations of the Green Man in folklore. Holly King will be available in a new format this year; 12 oz. bottles in 4 packs.

To showcase Mr. Hunt’s artistry, there will be a pre-release art event at the Satellite Gallery, 55 Broadway in Downtown Asheville on December 3rd from 5-7 pm. The opportunity to purchase a signed archival print of the label art, a taste of 2015 Holly King, Rob Hunt’s artwork on display, and light snacks will be enjoyed at the event.

From 6-8 pm Bruisin’ Ales bottle shop, across the street from the Satellite Gallery at 66 Broadway, will be hosting a tasting of Green Man’s line up. The official bottle release for Holly King is on December 4th at retail outlets where great beer is sold.

About Green Man Brewery
The legendary Green Man has existed for centuries but it’s no myth that he’s been brewing great beer in Asheville since 1997. Green Man has been producing some of the beer scene’s most iconic ales for 18 years. The English style flagships are consistently recognized for quality, and the specialty and barrel-aged offerings are highly sought after.

Green Man is currently undergoing a 25,000 square foot expansion next to the current facility on Buxton Avenue in downtown Asheville.  It includes a state of the art Kaspar Schulz brewhouse, a packaging hall with a KHS bottling line and CombiKeg, an indoor/outdoor tasting room loft, and a retail shop. For information and tours, visit:

Chris Furnari <![CDATA[After 7 Years, Pretty Things Beer to Close Its Doors]]> 2015-11-25T03:07:00Z 2015-11-25T02:23:06Z

Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project, the beloved Boston-area craft beer company owned by Dann and Martha Paquette and known for its popular Jack D’Or saison, will officially close next month, the pair announced in a blog post.

“After seven years it’s time to draw the curtains and head off to a new adventure,” they wrote.

It’s not totally clear why Pretty Things has decided to cease operations, and the company’s blog post left few answers, but the decision to shut down comes about one year after Dann Paquette publicly protested illegal pay-to-play practices on Twitter, a moment that will forever be part of his legacy.

“Boston is a pay to play town and we’re often shut out for draft lines along with many beers you may love,” he tweeted at the time.

In those tweets, Paquette accused bar owners of conducting under-the-table transactions and accepting incentives from wholesalers and brewers in exchange for guaranteed placement.

Six months later, Massachusetts state regulators opened an official investigation and accused Craft Beer Guild LLC, Pretty Things’ wholesaler, of illegally inducing bar owners. The Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission would later uncover at least 15 instances where Craft Beer Guild had made payments of as much as $12,000 in exchange for committed tap lines.

That left Mr. Paquette, and the Pretty Things brand, in a difficult position; he’d just blown the proverbial whistle on the very same wholesaler responsible for selling the bulk of his beer.

Martha and Dann Paquette at Brewbound Session 2013

Paquette did not immediately return a request for comment, but it’s hard not to question whether the decision to speak out publicly on pay-to-play — a fairly commonplace albeit illegal practice in the beer industry — played a role in Pretty Things’ eventual decision to shutter the business.

At least one local retailer, Suzanne Schalow, the co-founder of the popular Craft Beer Cellar chain, sure doesn’t think so.

“Maybe it created some riffs that people were not aware of, but I didn’t feel it or see it,” said Schalow, who noted that Jack D’Or was the top-selling item in her Belmont, Mass. location. “I know the Craft Brewers Guild has an enormous amount of respect for Dann and Martha.”

If that’s the case, the respect appears to be mutual. In its post, Pretty Things thanked Craft Brewers Guild for distributing the brand over the last six years.

“We have the greatest respect for the reps who have pounded the street on our behalf. We are especially thankful to Craft [Brewers Guild] for never questioning who we are and who we want to be,” they wrote.

Was it Always Just “a project?”

News of the company’s closure shouldn’t come as a total shock to those who follow the brand closely. Dann Paquette has repeatedly cited the “project” component of the company’s namesake as evidence that he could, at a moment’s notice, shut everything down.

“When Pretty Things is over — which is when we retire or go out of business maybe — it won’t carry on in some other form,” he told Brewbound Session attendees in 2013. “When you end a project, you are just ending the project. You aren’t going out of business.”

Known for hand-drawn labels, distinctive style offerings and a whimsical brand identity, Pretty Things was founded on a shoestring budget of just $8,000. The company didn’t own its own brewing equipment and instead rented time and space at Buzzard’s Bay Brewing in Westport, MA.

In fact, Pretty Things’ success as a “gypsy brewer” helped to shed the stigma around contract brewing and ushered in a wave of similarly structured craft companies throughout New England and beyond.

“I hope they are applauded and respected,” said Schalow. “They had the balls to do contract brewing when nobody else would. They paved the way for contract brewing in the Northeast.”

Dann Paquette was known for spending long hours at the Buzzard’s Bay facility, brewing back-to-back batches in an effort to meet local demand. In addition to brewing every batch themselves, Dann and Martha Paquette also undertook a majority of the sales and marketing duties and could routinely be spotted sampling their products at craft beer bars and bottles shops in the Boston-area.

“They are good people,” said Jamie Walsh, the bar manager at Stoddard’s Fine Food & Ale in Boston. “Dann is one of the few guys who started pounding the local, craft beer anvil early on. He made the styles he enjoyed and was always doing something on his own terms. They were in my rotation a lot and I will miss them.”

But the pair always viewed Pretty Things as more of a creative outlet and not a business venture, refusing investment or loans to scale up or build their own facility.

“Not having capital has always allowed us to keep creativity way up on the list,” Martha Paquette said in 2013. “Because it is only our own money on the line and money that we’ve generated with the business, we can risk it. We can go out there and we can be really creative and quirky.”

Not accepting outside investment or selling a stake, Dann Paquette said at the time, allowed Pretty Things to “control its own destiny.” It also gave Paquette the option of ending the project without ever having to look for a formal exit.

“You play that last concert, you make one last beer and you go off and you do the next thing,” he said in 2013, when asked if he would ever sell the brand.

As for Jack D’or, “He’ll be coming with us,” they wrote.

Jane Lothrop <![CDATA[New Belgium to Expand Reach on East Coast in 2016]]> 2015-11-25T00:46:44Z 2015-11-25T00:46:44Z

New Belgium Brewing today announced it would begin distributing in New Jersey next March, opening the new territory alongside previously scheduled rollouts in Hawaii and West Virginia.

In a press statement, the Fort Collins-based brewery said it has signed agreements with five different wholesalers for coverage throughout the state, including: Hub City Distributing, Kohler Distributing, Peerless Beverage Company, Shore Point Distributing Company (Coors), and Kramer Beverage Company (Coors).

The brewery plans make its Jersey debut by offering mainstays like Fat Tire, Ranger IPA, Side Trip Pale Ale, Citradelic IPA, Rampant, and Slow Ride Session IPA in a variety of draft and package options. A broader portfolio, including Lips of Faith, will roll out in the second quarter.

Distribution in New Jersey is set to follow the long-awaited opening of the company’s second production facility, in Asheville, N.C.. New markets paired with additional production capacity should help aid softening sales of flagship Fat Tire, which are down 2.8 percent through November 1, according to market research firm IRI Worldwide.

In an October interview with Shanken News Daily, newly-appointed CEO Christine Perich indicated that 2015 will likely be the first year of decline in company history.

“It’s probably going to come in around 930,000 barrels this year,” she told the outlet. “Last year, we grew substantially and it was semi-painful for us. We’re at maximum capacity in Fort Collins and we’re trying to get Asheville up and running so we’ve been very thoughtful about how we manage volume this year.”

New Belgium produced more than 945,000 barrels in 2014 and, while Perich claims 2015 is “a capacity-management year,” sales of the company’s seasonal offering are also down more than 11 percent through November 1, according to IRI.

“Beyond 2016, we’ll have the capacity in Asheville and the ability to ramp up that site. We can definitely hit our million-barrel goal,” Perich told Shanken News.

Capacity management notwithstanding, New Belgium has been steadily entering new markets over the last two years. New Jersey will mark the company’s tenth addition since brewery founder Kim Jordan said, in 2013, that New Belgium would be a nationally distributed brand by 2018.

Press Release <![CDATA[Utepils Brewing Announces Eric Harper as Head Brewer]]> 2015-11-24T21:44:18Z 2015-11-24T21:44:18Z MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Utepils Brewing today put an end to the suspense surrounding the identity of its head brewer and announced that Eric Harper will be assuming the role. Harper comes to Utepils Brewing from Summit Brewing Company and is well-known in craft beer circles, winning acclaim and World Beer Cup Gold and Silver medals as part of the Summit Brewing team. Prior to that, the University of Wisconsin graduate was the Brewhouse Team Leader at Wisconsin’s New Glarus Brewing Company, home of Spotted Cow.

Dan Justesen, founder and President of Utepils Brewing, said keeping Harper’s identity under wraps was both fun and challenging during the equity raise. Justesen said, “I promised investors that our head brewer, whom we were referring to as code name “Ewald”, had the perfect skill set and resume’ to brew the award-winning European-style craft beers that we aspire to create. For Eric, that style of brewing helped convince him to come over to us.”

Harper agreed. “The plan to brew styles I personally enjoy and the European feel to the brewery were big factors for me. When I imagine creating a brewery from the ground up for myself, Utepils Brewing is that place.”

Still, leaving an established and successful brewery like Summit wasn’t an easy decision, said Harper. “I love where I work and the people at Summit are awesome. Utepils was offering an opportunity to have a lot of creative control. One of the things that helped in my decision was Dan’s recognition of the importance of quality. He understood the need to include a sophisticated brewery lab in his plan, in addition to quality equipment and ingredients, in order to make great beers. I think the Utepils team that he’s built is the ultimate reflection of that. The strength of the team is really what gives me confidence in our future success.”

Harper completed his bachelor’s degree in German Culture at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He is also a graduate of the Master Brewers Program at University of California – Davis and has a Diploma in Brewing from London’s Institute of Brewing and Distilling.

For the past five years he has served on the board of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas St. Paul – Minneapolis District, holding roles of secretary, treasurer, and currently Vice President.

Below is a comprehensive list of awards Harper won as part of brewing teams at Summit and New Glarus:

World Beer Cup


  • 2014 Silver   Extra Pale Ale
  • 2012 Silver   Extra Pale Ale
  • 2010 Gold     Extra Pale Ale

Great American Beer Festival (GABF)


  • 2014 Bronze   Extra Pale Ale
  • 2013 Silver     True Brit IPA
  • 2012 Silver     Pilsener
  • 2010 Bronze   Extra Pale Ale

New Glarus

  • 2007 Bronze   Raspberry Tart
  • 2006 Gold       Belgian Red
  • 2006 Gold       Cherry Stout
  • 2006 Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year
  • 2005 Gold       Belgian Red
  • 2005 Gold       Cherry Stout
  • 2005 Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year

Last week, Utepils Brewing officially changed its name from Bryn Mawr Brewing. Utepils was the name of the holding company. The word “utepils” is Norwegian for the first beer enjoyed outdoors in the sunshine after a long, dark winter. The word “ute” means outside and “pils” means beer. The “utepils moment” is widely-anticipated and celebrated every Spring by Norwegian beer drinkers.

Utepils Brewing is steeped in the traditions of European brew masters, but will soon be available close to home in Minneapolis, with plans to distribute regionally and nationally. Construction is now underway for the full-production brewery and taproom being built at the site of the former Glenwood Bottling plant. Utepils Brewing is set to open in early 2016 and will specialize in classic European beer styles and also offer select, special edition seasonal brews.

Press Release <![CDATA[Stone Releases Graniac, Latest Stochasticity Project Beer]]> 2015-11-24T15:38:39Z 2015-11-24T15:38:39Z

ESCONDIDO, CA – The latest release from the Stochasticity Project incorporates newly developed forms of grain yet to be widely used in the brewing world. Malted buckwheat and malted millet were included in the grain bill to create this deep-red, hoppy ale with a unique malt character. Making its debut beginning this week, Stochasticity Project Grainiac will start arriving in 22-ounce bottles and on draft at select retailers nationwide.

Upping the hop factor is common practice for West Coast-based craft breweries, but this beer transpired from a different search, one that eventually led to a small malting facility in Wellington, Colorado. Here, Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele came in contact with Grouse Malting and Roasting Company.

“Earlier this year, we learned about Grouse Malting and their innovative take on these malted grains,” said Steele. “After exploring their unique offerings, we realized that the Stochasticity Project would be the perfect avenue to incorporate them into a recipe.”

With a malt bill composed of seven grains—2-row pale malt, malted buckwheat, malted millet, white wheat malt, CaraRye, flaked oats and flaked triticale—there are distinct nutty and cereal-like malt qualities in the flavor and aroma. Columbus, Chinook, Centennial and Cascade hops (aka the “4 C’s”) were added to balance out the intense malt backbone, resulting in a blend of spice, citrus and pine flavors.

After brainstorming concepts and deciding on the final recipe, what came about next for this multigrain ale was highly unexpected. But then again, that should be expected from the Stochasticity Project, a series of beers intended for exotic notions, ingredients and ideas. A daring, slightly controversial name was proposed by the brewing team that references the title of a Saturday Night Live commercial parody, “Colon Blow.” Stone CEO Greg Koch shut it down. Hard. More names were floated. For a while it was Multigrains of Truth. Then Let It Grain. Someone on the sales team spoke up: “But we LIKE the name Colon Blow. It’s…hilarious!” Since they would be the ones selling it, Greg gave in.

Ultimately, the federal government nixed the name when it was submitted for approval, citing a perceived suggestion of health benefits. Um, OK. Plan B then: Grainiac.

This one-time limited release should be enjoyed fresh in order to fully experience the generous dose of hop character. The story of Stochasticity Project Colon B…errr…Grainiac will live on inside the brewery’s halls and on the back of every bottle.


Stochasticity Project Grainiac

  • Name: Stochasticity Project Grainiac
  • URL:
  • Alcohol/Volume: 8.5%
  • Bitterness: 60 IBUs
  • Hops: Columbus, Chinook, Centennial, Cascade
  • Malts: 2-row pale malt, malted buckwheat, malted crystal millet, malted roast millet, white wheat malt, CaraRye, flaked oats, flaked triticale
  • U.S. Distribution: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA and Puerto Rico
  • International Distribution: Australia; Alberta and British Columbia, Canada; Japan; Korea; Singapore; Sweden; Thailand; and United Kingdom
  • Find Beer:

Tasting Notes

  • Appearance: Deep amber with a light-tan head.
  • Aroma: Aroma starts off with a nutty, spice note from the malts, then slowly evolves into a citrus and resin hop character
  • Taste: Nice blend of maltiness and hoppiness. Unique nutty and cereal-like malt flavors at the start, then the hops come through with a classic American Amber Ale hop profile, with elements of citrus, pine, and hop resin.
  • Palate: Full bodied (not sweet) and smooth with a lingering bitterness.
  • Overall: This beer gave us a neat opportunity to use some grains we had never used before in brewing a beer. We recently learned of Grouse Malting and Roasting Company in Colorado, and as I explored its website and catalog of malted grains, I realized that our Stochasticity Project series would be a perfect place for experimenting with these. We combined malted millet and malted buckwheat from Grouse with barley malt, rye malt, wheat malt, oats and triticale to make a true multigrain ale. Hopped with the classic “4 C’s” this beer is reminiscent of many amber ales I have brewed over the years, but with a slight twist on the malt character.

About Stochasticity Project

There is no happenstance or coincidence. Dumb luck is a fallacy and randomness a commonly accepted mistruth. Much of what seemingly falls into place yet seems so natural is a result of Stochasticity, a concept embraced and exalted by this special and unpredictable series of beers where exotic notions, ingredients and ideas coalesce at an interesting and often unexpected endpoint.

For more information on Stochasticity Project, please visit

Press Release <![CDATA[Cleophus Quealy Debuts Sweet Henrietta]]> 2015-11-24T14:47:20Z 2015-11-24T14:41:14Z

San Leandro, Calif. – Cleophus Quealy Beer Co. is happy to announce that on December 5, 2015 their highly anticipated coffee milk stout will return as a regular brew in their lineup under the name Sweet Henrietta.

Since opening, co-founders Peter Baker and Dan Watson have opted to number their beers by batch order instead of naming them.

“Naming something makes it permanent,” says Baker, and their batch number system has given the freedom to experiment and introduce guests to new beers and styles.

Persistent popularity and repeated requests for the original incarnations of this coffee milk stout, Batch 12 and Batch 19, marked this recipe as a clear favorite amongst taproom visitors. Baker and Watson strive to include the San Leandro community in their endeavors, whether that means incorporating a customer’s homegrown ingredients into a new brew or looking to taproom visitors for feedback on which beers to re-visit.

“We want to build a place where folks in the area can enjoy beer that is tailored to their tastes,” says Baker.

Like its predecessors, Sweet Henrietta Coffee Milk Stout (3.6% ABV) combines a rich, lactose-sweetened milk stout with local cold-pressed coffee. East Bay roasters Highwire Coffee will provide the beans for this caffeinated collaboration.

Cleophus Quealy will celebrate the release of Sweet Henrietta at their first anniversary party in the brewery’s tasting room. The brewery’s birthday bash will feature a day of live bluegrass tunes, games, and mouth-watering bites by CK BBQ as new and regular guests alike are invited to toast the first of many anniversaries. Festivities will kick off at noon and continue through closing at 10pm, and children and dogs are all welcome.

Sweet Henrietta will be available on tap at Cleophus Quealy’s tasting room through the spring, and can be taken home by the growler in addition to being enjoyed on site. A select number of restaurants, taprooms, and bars in the Bay Area will receive kegs as well.

About Cleophus Quealy Beer Co:

After years of homebrewing the European low country classics to perfection, Dan Watson and Peter Baker founded Cleophus Quealy in San Leandro. This family and dog friendly tasting room opened its doors in December 2014 and has since offered unique beer styles, from barrel aged Berliner Weisses to Belgian stouts. Between small batch brews, local food truck fare, and live bluegrass, CQ aims to create a cozy and inviting space for the community to share good times over great beers.

Press Release <![CDATA[River North Brewery Releases Barrel Aged Avarice]]> 2015-11-23T23:46:00Z 2015-11-23T23:46:00Z

Denver, Colo. – River North Brewery’s most revered beer release of the year, Barrel Aged Avarice, will land on Colorado store shelves starting today.

A Belgian-style imperial stout aged in whiskey barrels, Barrel Aged Avarice always serves as the brewery’s last release of the year. Copious amounts of dark roasted barley and chocolate malt lend a jet black liquid canvas, while Belgian yeast keeps the beer dry and quaffable. A full year’s rest in freshly-emptied barrels elevates Barrel Aged Avarice to a whole new level of decadence.

“Our fourth vintage of Barrel Aged Avarice sets a new bar for my favorite beer of the year,” River North Founder and Head Brewer Matt Hess said. “It is the perfect beer to share with family and friends during the holidays.”

River North bottled 180 cases of the 2015 vintage, which arrive at Colorado stores the week of Thanksgiving. Since the brewery is still building its new taproom at 6021 Washington Street, it will not host a release party, but will sell bottles during a loading dock sale on a future date to be announced.

In the meantime, fans of this once-a-year specialty brew can stock their cellars now, and join River North at events around town. Check the blog page at for details on tappings throughout the month of December.


Matt and Jessica Hess opened the award-winning River North Brewery in February 2012, focusing on Belgian-style and barrel-aged beers. In October 2015, the brewery was ousted from its namesake neighborhood to make way for luxury apartments. River North is currently working to open a new production facility and taproom at 6021 Washington Street Unit A, with a separate new RiNo taproom to follow. Named the 2015 Brewery of the Year by the Best of Craft Beer Awards, you can keep up with brewery happenings by following River North on Twitter/Instagram (@rivernorthbrew) and liking the brewery on Facebook (

Press Release <![CDATA[Bell’s Brewery to Debut Oarsman Ale in Cans in 2016]]> 2015-11-23T23:42:48Z 2015-11-23T23:42:48Z

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Beginning in March, Bell’s Oarsman Ale will be available exclusively in 12 oz. cans, packaged in six-packs, and on draught.

Available year-round, Oarsman (4% ABV) is a bright tart, refreshing, and drinkable Wheat Ale that was first released in 2010.

“Since this beer is so versatile, canning this beer made a lot of sense and will allow it to be enjoyed in a wider variety of locations. It’s perfect to enjoy outside, but this beer is ideal in any situation and perfect for a wide variety of tastes,” Laura Bell, Bell’s Vice President, said.

Oarsman Ale grew out of a desire to explore the tradition of session beers with the idea to trade intensity for finesse. It is not a Berliner Weiss, but its acidity and tartness is influenced by a classic German technique and developed naturally in our brewhouse.

Citrusy hops lend bright notes to its aroma while its signature tartness adds another level of complexity to this beer.

That tartness takes on a palate-cleansing role, making it perfect for pairing with any menu whether it be in a fine dining restaurant or at home in your kitchen.

Oarsman cans will ship to all 23 states Bell’s distributes to in addition to Washington DC and Puerto Rico.

Oarsman is the seventh beer in the Bell’s portfolio to be canned.

Two Hearted and Bell’s seasonal offerings (Oberon, Best Brown, Winter White and Smitten) are packaged in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans. Two Hearted (year round) and Oberon (March – August) are also available in 12-packs of 12 oz. cans. Hopslam will be available exclusively in cans when it’s released in January.

More details will be available on Bell’s social media sites and at as they become available.


Bell’s Brewery, Inc. began in 1985 with a quest for better beer and a 15 gallon soup kettle. Since then, we’ve grown into a regional craft brewery that employs more than 400 people over a 23 state area, in addition to Puerto Rico and Washington DC. The dedication to brewing flavorful, unfiltered, quality craft beers that started in 1985 is still with us today. We currently brew over 20 beers for distribution as well as many other small batch beers that are served at our pub in Kalamazoo, the Eccentric Cafe. Our ongoing goal is to brew thoughtfully, creatively and artistically. We strive to bring an authentic and pleasant experience to all of our customers through our unique ales and beers. For more information, please visit

Press Release <![CDATA[Ace Cider Launches ‘Space Bloody Orange’ Offering]]> 2015-11-23T23:38:48Z 2015-11-23T23:38:48Z

SEBASTOPOL, CA — Just in time for the latest installment in the Star War’s saga, ACE Premium Craft Cider’s newest flavor, “SPACE,” made with blood orange and tart, refreshing apple cider.

Founded more than two decades ago, ACE is the largest and oldest craft cider-maker on the West Coast. The brand is leading an explosion in popularity of hard apple cider with inspired flavors like SPACE, which pairs real blood orange juice with fresh-pressed apple cider to create an entirely new flavor sensation.

“In the Seventies my wife, Angela, appeared as an extra in the iconic bar scene in the original Star Wars movie, and I created this new flavor in her honor, and because we both love the Star Wars franchise,” said Jeffrey House, ACE’s founder and an early visionary in the hard cider market. “Blood orange and tart apple is an other-worldly flavor combination, so it’s a perfect tie-in to the new film.”

Made with hard apple cider and a puree of fresh blood orange to create a vivid orange color, House recommends Space as an alternative to the traditional mimosa. Space is available in supermarkets, natural foods grocers, and beverage retailers in markets across the United States. The product is unfiltered and gluten free and is available on draft and in 22-ounce bottles. The suggested retail price for the bottles is $5.99 to $6.99.

ACE is widely recognized as an innovator in the hard cider category, a reputation it earned with such flavors as Ace Perry, Apple Honey Cider, Pineapple Cider, and Pumpkin Cider, among others. ACE is also known for its efforts to preserve Sonoma County’s traditional apple-growing economy with its “Blackjack 21” hard apple cider, made from 100% Graventstein apples grown in Sonoma County.

For more information about ACE Premium Craft Cider, visit

Press Release <![CDATA[Surf Brewery Releases Latest Scientific Series Offering]]> 2015-11-23T23:32:33Z 2015-11-23T23:32:33Z

Ventura, CA —  Surf Brewery, a small craft brewery, open since 2011, with an onsite tasting room and homebrew shop, and only Southern California distribution, announced they are releasing another barrel – aged beer today in time for the Thanksgiving Holiday, under the Scientific Series label.

Scientific Series ™ is going bold. This silky black beauty of an American Oatmeal Stout has complexity to spare. A deep malt backbone is present with roasted coffee and chocolate flavor layers, all coming solely from a complex specialty grain bill. A liberal dose of flaked oats produces a smooth, silken mouthfeel that does not abate.  As if this weren’t enough… the Scientific Series™ masters slipped this brew into Belle Meade™ Straight Bourbon barrels only days after being emptied.  Years of caramel and vanilla bourbon flavors extracted from the American oak barrels give this beer amazing depth and true winter warmer characteristics.  Additional aging could certainly benefit this stout…but you may not want to wait.  Bottle conditioned, some amount of yeast settling is normal.

ABV: 11%

Bitterness (IBU): 43.5

Color (SRM): 23

Doug Mason, co-founder, and barrelmeister, mentions, “This is our first bourbon aged beer and it turned out fantastic!  Thanks to our friends at Enegren Brewing for the barrel connection.  This beer would be a great compliment to any Thanksgiving meal with a lot of flavor to be thankful for.  Look for one more Scientific Series™ before the end of the year.”

About Surf Brewery:

Ventura County, long known for world class surf spots like Rincon Cove, C-Street and Silver Strand, now has a world class craft beer presence. Surf Brewery, located minutes from Surfer’s Point in beautiful Ventura, is riding the wave of California’s vibrant beer history and tradition of making craft beers.  Founded in June, 2011, by home brewers and surfers with a passion for beer and a commitment to create only the finest brews using the highest quality ingredients.

Chris Furnari <![CDATA[Hard Soda Wars? Maybe, as Big Players Pounce on Opportunity]]> 2015-11-23T23:24:41Z 2015-11-23T23:26:30Z

Brace yourselves. More hard soda is on the way.

The country’s two biggest hard root beer producers — Pabst Brewing and Boston Beer Company — have simultaneously announced the national rollout of more soda-inspired ales, albeit with very different marketing messages.

In a press release, Coney Island Brewing Company, a Boston Beer subsidiary and part of the company’s Alchemy & Science innovation group, announced the nationwide release of two new hard soda offerings: Hard Ginger Ale and Hard Orange Cream Ale.

Meanwhile, Pabst, via its own Small Town Brewery brand, will follow-up the wildly successful Not Your Father’s Root Beer with the launch Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale in 40 states. Nationwide coverage is expected in early 2016.

But the two companies are taking decidedly different approaches to marketing their new products.

While Boston Beer seems content to play on consumer curiosity by leveraging Coney Island’s circus sideshow identity, Pabst appears to be angling for a more craft-savvy consumer, calling its new product a “gruit-inspired botanical beer brewed with ginger.”

“We’ve worked hard to create this gruit-inspired brew that pays homage to the classic taste Americans know and love,” Small Town front man and founder Tim Kovac said in a press statement.

As described by Kovac, the new ginger ale has “a high intensity of ginger and lemon, a tinge of black currant, and a light sweetened flavor with woody attributes.”

That line of messaging is consistent with comments Pabst owner and CEO Eugene Kashper made at the Beer Marketer’s Insights conference, held earlier this month in New York City. The goal for Small Town, he said, is to “become America’s Gruit brewer.”

Meanwhile, Boston Beer opted to go all-in on the Coney Island shtick, noting that its newest hard soda will give drinkers “all the thrills of a roller coaster ride, without the price of admission.”

“Coney Island Brewing Company is a virtual funhouse when it comes to experimenting with ingredients and its latest bevvies are no exception,” Boston Beer wrote in a press release.

The biggest question for both companies, however, is whether or not hard soda is here to stay. MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch will both introduce their own offerings in 2016 — Henry’s Hard and Best Damn Root Beer — and MillerCoors believes that flavored beer and “malternatives” could get to 6 percent of total beer category sales within the next 3-5 years.

Those projections are likely based off the successful launch of Not Your Father’s Root Beer, which rolled out nationally in June. Since, it has surpassed stalwart craft brands like Boston Lager, New Belgium Fat Tire and even darling Lagunitas IPA, in dollar sales — generating $75 million through November 1, according market research firm IRI Worldwide.

Currently, the “progressive adult beverage” category, which includes products like Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Twisted Tea, is about 3.25 percent of total beer sales, according to IRI.

Press releases from Pabst and Boston Beer are included below.

Small Town Brewery Announces National Roll-Out of Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale

WAUCONDA, IL (Nov 17, 2015) — Small Town Brewery (“Small Town”) officially announced today that it will launch Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale, a gruit-inspired botanical beer brewed with ginger. Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale is expected to hit store shelves in 40 states next week, with full nationwide distribution by February 2016.

“The Ginger Ale was a logical next step for us. Alcoholic ginger beer — just like alcoholic root beer — was known as ‘small beer’ and enjoyed great popularity in colonial America,” said Tim Kovac, founder and Master Brewer at Small Town. “We’ve worked hard to create this gruit-inspired brew that pays homage to the classic taste Americans know and love. It has a high intensity of ginger and lemon, a tinge of black currant, and a light sweetened flavor with woody attributes. We are very proud of the finished product — it really delivers on the taste profile that people crave in a ginger ale.”

Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale is Small Town’s second nationally distributed product after the roll-out of Not Your Father’s Root Beer last spring. Sales of Not Your Father’s Root Beer have exceeded expectations, with NYFRB becoming the #1 craft SKU in the United States.1 Just like Not Your Father’s Root Beer, Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale is inspired by the gruit brewing tradition. Gruit is German for “herbs” and is an ancient way of bittering and flavoring beer using roots, spices, flowers, and berries.

“We’re finding that consumers are looking for new and innovative brews within the craft beer category,” said Etienne Houseknecht, Marketing Director at Small Town Brewery. “Gruit-inspired ales are Small Town’s answer to this market need, and we are proud to be leading the creation of a new botanical craft beer segment.”

The idea for Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale came from Kovac’s memories of his grandfather, who brewed ginger beer when Kovac was a boy. To appreciate the authentic flavor and high-quality ingredients used, Kovac recommends drinking the ale chilled and over ice. Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale is also ideal for mixing classic ginger-flavored cocktails like the Moscow Mule or the Dark and Stormy.

Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale will be available in both six-pack bottles and cans and will retail for around $10.99.

About Small Town Brewery

After home brewing for over two decades, Tim Kovac founded Small Town Brewery in 2010. Kovac’s brewing focus developed as he unearthed his unique family brewing history, which dates back to the 17th century. His ancestor’s brewing practices — which included gruit-based recipes that use herbs, flowers, roots and berries — have inspired Small Town’s innovative offerings that pay homage to the roots of modern brewing. Small Town uses unique ingredients to create specialty beers with an unmistakable taste of nostalgia.

For more information on Small Town Brewery and Not Your Father’s availability, please visit us at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

A Trip to the Boardwalk: Coney Island Brewing Company Rolls Out Hard Ginger Ale & Hard Orange Cream Ale

Brooklyn, NY (November 23, 2015) – Coney Island Brewing Company, the brand that brought you Coney Island Hard Root Beer earlier this year, is rolling out two new soda inspired ales nationwide: Hard Ginger Ale and Hard Orange Cream Ale.

Coney Island Brewing Company is a virtual funhouse when it comes to experimenting with ingredients and its latest bevvies are no exception. Coney Island Hard Ginger Ale, enhanced with exotic West African ginger, and Hard Orange Cream Ale, with its notes of orange, vanilla and spice, are deviously delicious. The new beverages will give you all the thrills of a roller coaster ride, without the price of admission.

“Coney Island Hard Root Beer, which we launched this summer, has been a huge hit,” said Chris Adams, brewery operations manager. “We wanted to tap into that same magic with our newest products: crafting delicious, nostalgic beverages that put people in a Coney Island boardwalk state of mind, wherever they are, all year long.”

Coney Island Brewing Company’s Hard Ginger Ale and Hard Orange Cream Ale have an ABV of 5.6 and 5.0% respectively, and will be available in bottles nationally. To find where Coney Island’s Hard Ginger Ale and Hard Orange Cream Ale are available near you, visit

About Coney Island Brewing Company:

The mission of Coney Island Brewing is to brew craft beer that captures the spirit, flavor and romance that is Coney Island. For more information, visit us online at:, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @coneyislandbeer. Coney Island Brewing Company is an Alchemy and Science brand, a subsidiary of the Boston Beer Company.

Bill Cotter <![CDATA[Fireman’s Brew Expands Arizona Distribution]]> 2015-11-23T23:28:13Z 2015-11-23T23:23:44Z

Three years after launching in Arizona, Los Angeles-based Fireman’s Brew has announced a new Arizona distribution partnership with six MillerCoors distributors: Crescent Crown Distributing, Canyon Distributing, Finley Distributing, III Counties/Southern Distributing, Nackard Distributing, and Northland Distributing. Crescent Crown Distributing, which purchased the rights to the brand from Alliance Beverage Distributing, will take on the majority of the Arizona distribution.

Fireman’s Brew, founded 10 years ago by two thirsty firefighters, has enjoyed a slow and controlled burn, but it appears the company is accelerating the pace of expansion. In 2015 alone the company broadened distribution of its three beers Blonde (pilsner), Brunette (German doppelbock), and Redhead (red amber ale) — into Louisiana, West Virginia, Ohio, as well as international markets like China and Panama.

“The good thing about [entering a lot of new markets] is we’ve been able to see what works and what doesn’t,” Fireman’s Brew COO David Johnson told Brewbound. “In the past we launched in the market with one distributor that covered a small piece of the state. It’s hard to gain momentum when you’re covering 12 counties of a small state and don’t have any coverage anywhere else.”

Johnson believes that partnering with a network of full-time beer distributors will allow the company to push much deeper into the Arizona beer marketplace than they could have with a wine and spirits wholesaler like Alliance.

Still, Johnson understand the inherent challenge of working within large a distributor outfit like Crescent Crown is mindshare.

“Our feeling is that a distributor is going to care about your brand as much as you do,” he said. “We feel like if we create a solid partnership with [Crescent Crown] from the get-go, we can overcome some of the hurdles of being a small brand in a big house.”

Crescent Crown’s craft portfolio in Arizona includes Blue Moon, Shiner Bock, Fat Tire, and Breckenridge Brewery’s Vanilla Porter.

Fireman’s Brew plans to support the move with bigger marketing and sales investments into the marketplace.

Additional details are included in the press release below.

Los Angeles-craft beer company founded by firefighters teams up with network of six MillerCoors distributors to expand availability of its award-winning beers statewide

LOS ANGELES – November 18, 2015 – Fireman’s Brew, a Los Angeles-based craft beer company founded by two firefighters, today announced that it will team up with a network of MillerCoors distributors to expand availability of its three award-winning beers in Arizona.

“We’ve experienced tremendous success in Arizona over the last few years and are looking forward to further expanding our reach by partnering with six key MillerCoors distributors,” explained Rob Nowaczyk, founder of Fireman’s Brew. “We can’t wait for more beer lovers in Arizona to get their first taste of our blonde, brunette and redhead ales created using only the finest of all-natural ingredients.”

Fireman’s Brew will tap the power of six MillerCoors distributors, including: Crescent Crown Distributing, Canyon Distributing, Finley Distributing, III Counties/Southern Distributing, Nackard Distributing and Northland Distributing to bring its line of premium micro-brewed beers to a variety of on premise and off premise locations throughout the state. The company previously worked with Alliance Beverage Distributing when they first expanded into the state in 2012.

Crescent Crown Distributing, a full-service, direct store delivery distributor of beer and non-alcohol beverages in both Arizona and Louisiana will now handle the majority of Fireman’s Brew’s distribution in Arizona.

“As one of the top ten largest beer distributors in the country, delivering more than 28 million cases of beer annually in their Arizona and Southern Louisiana markets, Crescent Crown offers unparalleled expertise and we are honored to have them lead the majority of our distribution efforts in Arizona,” stated Roger Baer, Chief Executive Officer of Fireman’s Brew.

In Arizona, Fireman’s Brew signature beers will be distributed in 12 ounce bottle six-packs, twelve-pack samplers and kegs including:

  • Fireman’s Brew: Blonde (Pilsner-style Lager; 5 percent ABV)
  • Fireman’s Brew: Brunette (German-style Doublebock; 8 percent ABV)
  • Fireman’s Brew: Redhead (Amber Ale; 5.5 percent ABV

“With their firefighter roots, Fireman’s Brew offers a compelling brand story paired with exceptional tasting craft beer,” said Joe Cotroneo from Crescent Crown Distributing. “We’re excited to help them continue to solidify their footprint in Arizona by distributing these great brands to our valued retail customers across the Valley of the Sun.”

Conceived by two Los Angeles-based firefighters after extinguishing a brushfire in the local mountains, Fireman’s Brew grew out of their vision to create a premium line of handcrafted ales and lagers that would quench their thirsts after an exhausting day on the firelines.  Fireman’s Brew collection of micro-brewed beers are created using only the finest of all-natural ingredients to deliver bold, full-flavored, traditional tastes and easy drinking refreshment.  In addition, the company is committed to giving back to the firefighter community upon which it was founded by donating a portion of company proceeds to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation – the nation’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to honoring fallen firefighters and providing assistance to their surviving families.

For more information on Fireman’s Brew visit

About Fireman’s Brew:

Extinguish Your Thirst! with Fireman’s Brew, a premium line of micro-brewed beers created by two Los Angeles-based firefighters. Based in Canoga Park, Calif., Fireman’s Brew has quickly become one of the fastest growing craft beer brands in California and beyond.  Created using only the finest of all-natural ingredients, Fireman’s Brew offers a selection of three microbrewed beers for off-duty refreshment. Originally created by firefighters for firefighters, Fireman’s Brew is committed to giving back to the firefighter community and donates a portion of its proceeds to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation in Emmitsburg, Md.

About Crescent Crown Distributing

Crescent Crown Distributing is a full-service, direct store delivery distributor of premium alcoholic and non-alcohol beverages throughout the states of Louisiana and Arizona. Crescent Crown delivers over 28 million cases annually throughout their distribution territory, making them one of the TOP 10 largest beer distributors in the country. Crescent Crown Distributing, LLC’s mission is to always perform as a nationally recognized leader, establishing the standards by which others are measured. Crescent Crown holds themselves accountable to these standards with the utmost integrity, pride, professionalism and enthusiasm and strive as a team and individual to be the best distributor in the market. For more information, please visit:

Press Release <![CDATA[Intervolve to Distribute eoStar Route Accounting Software to A-B InBev Wholesalers]]> 2015-11-23T14:31:11Z 2015-11-23T14:31:11Z

RALEIGH, NC, – Intervolve Inc. (Raleigh, NC) and Rutherford & Associates (Holland, MI) announced today that Intervolve will distribute Rutherford’s eoStar® ERP Route Accounting Software, primarily to wholesalers of products distributed by Anheuser-Busch InBev.

With over 15 years’ experience providing software solutions to the beer industry, Intervolve is recognized as the leading provider of sales analytics software to beer distributors and the beverage industry.  With over 25 years’ experience providing quality software solutions to the beverage industry, Rutherford has emerged as the leading provider of state-of-the-art route accounting and warehouse management systems to distributors of beer and other beverages.

This agreement brings together the software tools beverage distributors need to simultaneously optimize their most important functions—sales and operations.  Effective immediately, Intervolve will market and distribute the eoStar product together with itsDSX Analytics™ sales execution solution primarily to distributors who are striving to grow revenues and profits in the increasingly more complicated and more competitive beverage market.

Paul Rutherford, President of Rutherford & Associates, said, “I am extremely pleased that we have found a partner with extensive experience servicing distributors of A-B InBev to help us enter that market with our eoStar product which has a large installed base of satisfied MillerCoors JV distributors.  We anticipate that Intervolve will allow us to achieve similar success in serving A-B InBev wholesalers.”

“We are very excited by this opportunity to market the best-of-breed eoStar route accounting software together with Intervolve’s best-of-breed DSX Analytics sales execution solution.  Intervolve will now be the one source for A-B InBev wholesalers to license all of the industry-leading software solutions required to improve the profitability and effectiveness of their operations”, explained William Kaluza, President & CEO of Intervolve.

Former Region Sales Vice President for Anheuser-Busch and current Vice President of Corporate Development for Intervolve, Tom Marx, commented, “A-B InBev wholesalers have consistently demanded quality in all aspects of their businesses.  The eoStar Route Accounting, Warehouse Management, and Delivery products, combined with our industry leading DSX Sales and Execution Analytics, now gives them access to the best ERP combination available in the beverage distribution business.  The marketplace continues to evolve at an extraordinary rate and when combined with the determination of A-B InBev wholesalers to exceed their sales, share, operational, and financial goals, the absolute best ERP system is required.”

About Rutherford & Associates Inc.

Rutherford, based in Holland, Michigan, has over 25 years’ of experience delivering quality service and route accounting software to beer, wine, and other beverage distributors. Rutherford is dedicated to keeping beverage distributors running at full-speed with a support group that is committed to answering calls courteously, promptly and professionally. For more information, visit

About Intervolve Inc.

Intervolve provides modern business intelligence and sales execution systems to beverage wholesalers and suppliers. Intervolve is dedicated to building technology solutions that align with the strategic initiatives of A-B InBev, MillerCoors JV, and other beverage suppliers.  For more information, visit

Chris Furnari <![CDATA[Constellation Brands to Borrow $400 Million for Ballast Point Transaction]]> 2015-11-21T00:18:58Z 2015-11-21T00:18:58Z

Constellation Brands will borrow $400 million to help finance the $1 billion purchase of San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewing, the company said in a statement.

The cross-category beverage alcohol producer has tapped a banking syndicate that includes Bank of America Merrill Lynch, J.P Morgan Securities, Rabo Securities, Wells Fargo Securities, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Scotia Capital, Barclays Capital and BBVA Securities.

Constellation Brands will pay a 4.75 percent interest rate on a semi-annual basis (June 1 and Dec. 1), according to filings, and it has until 2025 to repay the loan.

In the statement, the company said it also expects the acquisition of Ballast Point, announced Monday, to close on Dec. 4.

One financial advisor Brewbound spoke to noted that the total $1 billion price tag and the $400 million of bank financing aren’t particularly large sums relative to industry norms, despite the fact that Ballast Point’s 2015 earnings are only expected to hit $32 million.

“I would say that 40 percent of the total acquisition price is a fairly light debt load,” said Matt Franklin, a principal at advisory firm Zepponi & Company, a beverage alcohol advisory firm. “You usually see these companies borrow even more than that. I wouldn’t say that it is an overleveraged deal, especially if they are able to realize growth prospects.”

Indeed, Constellation is betting on its ability to scale Ballast Point as well as a vast nationwide network of wholesalers that already sell two of the top 10 beer brands in the country — Corona Extra and Modelo Especial are part of the Grupo Modelo portfolio, the rights to which Constellation owns in the U.S.

“This will allow Constellation to go and map out the remaining distribution network for Ballast Point across the U.S.,” said Franklin. “I think it will be a great fit for them. They have long-term aspirations to be a big player in the U.S. beer market and now, with Ballast Point, they can go out and be an international player too.”

Wall Street appears to be buying in too. Since the news was first announced on Monday, Constellation’s stock has traded up and had at one point hit a lifetime high of $139.50 per share on Friday morning.

“The banks are buying into the fact that the business is growing significantly and that Constellation will be able to continue to dramatically grow Ballast Point’s business,” said Craig Farlie, an investment banker with knowledge of the craft beer business.

Nevertheless, Constellation’s decision to spend $1 billion on Ballast Point shows that buyers are betting on the continued growth of craft and indicates how competitive the landscape has become.

“I’ve seen the questions and concerns out there about the level of debt,” said Franklin. “They were looking for something like this, they felt compelled to make this acquisition and I think they are going to be able to do really well with it.”