Press Clips: EPA Water Rule Conflicts Brewers; Shmaltz Expands

EPA Water Rule Leaves Brewers Conflicted

A number of craft brewers, including stalwarts Sierra Nevada and New Belgium, are rallying behind new regulation put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency they say will ensure the availability of clean water for their beers.

Opponents argue the rule, meant to clarify the EPA’s authority over small bodies of water, is an “overreach” of power that could lead to further, more onerous, regulation. More specifically, farmers that supply brewers with other beer ingredients such as hops, wheat, and barley worry it could cut production on their lands and ultimately hurt brewers.

All this has left the beer industry conflicted.

“Obviously, water is a major element of beer, but barley and hops are pretty darn important as well,” Bob Pease, CEO of the Brewers Association, told The Hill. “A decent number of our breweries support itÔǪ But there are always competing interests, and we want to better understand where that opposition is coming from.”

Shmaltz to Expand Clifton Park Brewery

As Brewbound reported earlier this summer, Shmaltz Brewing is still very much in the process of building out its new brewery that opened last July in Clifton Park, N.Y. Currently, the company is getting set to add four 200-barrel fermenters to the mix to boost ultimate capacity to nearly 40,000 barrels per year.

Checking in on the company this week, the Albany Business Review had founder Jeremy Cowan expound a bit on the motivation behind the latest expansion. Specifically, Shmaltz is hoping to dig deeper in its newly established home market and brand its Judaic lineup of beers as local to the Albany area.

“We’re kind of doing it backwards. Most people start local and grow to a larger market,”Cowan told the website. “At the very beginning, I knew I didn’t have enough market making a funny beer with a dancing rabbi on it. By its nature, it’s going to be a niche within a niche. I knew I had to spread the beer all over the county.”

Central Michigan University Unveils Brewing Program

Central Michigan University will offer a certificate program in fermentation science beginning with the fall semester of 2015.

According to the Battle Creek Enquirer, the program will entail a number of courses in biochemistry, chemistry and microbiology, laboratory work, and require all students work 200 hours in a production-scale brewery.

“The undergraduate certificate in fermentation science will fill a need in the state and across the region for students to learn the science and technology underlying brewing,” Cordell DeMattei, CMU director of fermentation science, told the website. “This opportunity expands CMU’s leadership in the sciences and provides the training needed by future leaders of the craft brewing industry.”

The Fall of Watch City

After 18 years of operating in Waltham, Mass., Watch City Brewing closed its doors for good this past July. Even before the brewery’s fate was sealed, there were rumors that in-house turmoil was threatening the business, despite ownership’s sunny facade. Having been closed now for two months, dug further to find out just “how a local brew pub dies.”

The reasons are lengthy and complex, but to sum, Watch City’s demise was ultimately brought about by “a financial situation that spiraled out of control, growing tensions between ownership and workers, and complicated dealings with [Boston Beer Works],” according to the article.

There was really just a litany of problems. Employees were taking “temporary lay-offs” and having their checks bounced, debt was piling up and eventually it all just became too much for the iconic brewpub.

New Albion Brewing Teams Up with Platform Beer

New Albion Brewing has teamed up with Cleveland’s newly launched Platform Beer Co. to re-release the latter’s namesake Ale, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Last released by Boston Beer in early 2013, New Albion Ale is set to reemerge on the market this October, available on draft exclusively at Platform. For those uninitiated, before Boston Beer re-launched the brand last year, it hadn’t been brewed in 30 years.

Now, DeLuca added, the hope is to brew a few batches every year.

The beer, New Albion president Renée DeLuca told thewebsite, will be “as close to what we brewed with Boston Beer as possible.”