Founders Brewing has received an additional boost from the state of Michigan to help expand its production facility, this time in the form of a $250,000 performance-based grant. According to MiBiz.com, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation approved the grant last week to assist the brewery in its effort to build out a $40.4 million expansion. Additionally, the article adds, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved approximately $4.2 million in school and local tax capture to “support demolition, site preparation, infrastructure improvements and streetscaping,” for the brewery’s expansion.
Trinity Brewing Returns Festival Medal
Trinity Brewing recently won a silver medal for its Swing Se Pilsner in the Wild/Brett category at Chicago’s Festival of Barrel and Wood Aged Beers. The problem? The beer didn’t fit the guidelines for the competition as it’s made with Lactobacillus, not Brettanomyces. Jason Yester, of Trinity, told the Denver Post the mistake came down to a shipping error on his part; the brewery had intended to submit Easy Swinger, a low ABV Brett IPA, and not the Lacto brew. As a result, Trinity is returning the medal, which will now, by default, be awarded to the Bronze winner, Oakshire Brewing. Questions have arisen over the mix-up, however, as competition director Janna Mestan said that the judges should have been able to detect those differences when tasting the beer. “This is a pretty substantial and inexcusable miss on their part,” she wrote in an email to the Post. “We will continue to investigate the judges in question and work to further improve the judge selection process, so we can ensure incidents like this do not occur again.”
Microbreweries Alter Europe’s Beer Landscape
At a glance, the numbers look grim: Europeans are drinking 8.5 percent less beer than before the recession and, since 2008, production has fallen 6 percent, according to FT.com. In spite of that that, the report adds, the number of European breweries has skyrocketed by 73 percent over the last five years, now totaling more than 5,600. That’s because, like in the U.S., small and artisanal is winning out over mass-produced brews. Evin O’Riordain, owner of London’s Kernel Brewery, goes as far as to cite his time in New York as an influence on his own affinity for craft beer. “I’d never had an experience in a pub where someone encouraged me to try something new,” he told the site. “It blew my mind. When I came back, searching for good beer in London was not that easy. So I took up home brewing in the garden.”
The exclusive club of Master Cicerones just welcomes two new members in Patrick Rue, owner of California’s The Bruery, and James Watt, the Scottish owner of BrewDog. Together, they make only the eighth and ninth people to go through the Cicerone Certification Program to earn the highest possible title of Master. To put its exclusivity into perspective, more than 45,000 people have passed the first level of the program to become Certified Beer Servers. Rue and Watt were two of 11 to take the October exam, though the only two to pass, according to a statement from the Cicerone Certification Program. In all, 49 people have taken the exam (since its founding in 2007) — for a combined 74 times — with only nine passing.