Sunday, July 14, 2013

Redhook, Hilliard’s Announce Release of Joint Effort Hemp Ale

SEATTLE—Redhook Brewery, the Northwest’s original craft brew, announced today the release of “Joint Effort,” a new hemp beer brewed in collaboration with Seattle’s Hilliard’s Beer that celebrates the legalization of marijuana in Washington State.*

The relationship between the two breweries began with a Ballard bar-hopping trip down memory lane for Redhook’s brewing team. The area where it all started for Redhook in 1981 has since become known as the “Redhook District” and is a haven for beer lovers with a number of notable breweries opening and thriving. Among those is Hilliard’s Beer, founded in October 2011 by Ryan Hilliard and Adam Merkl.

“We have a real appreciation for the brewing energy in Ballard right now. Thirty years ago Redhook was exactly where guys like Hilliard’s, Reuben’s Brews and Populuxe are today,” said Karmen Olson, Redhook Brand Manager. “We’re stoked to be working with our friends at Hilliard’s and to raise a pint to our Emerald City heritage.”

Joint Effort is a session ale brewed with hemp seeds. Dry-hopped with Zeus, Cascade, Summit hops, Joint Effort has a dank, resinous hop aroma balanced by nutty, earthiness from hemp seeds. It’s the perfect brew for hanging with your buds, grabbing some munchies and enjoying a beer. ABV 5.6%, IBU 25.

“We’re really excited to release Joint Effort with Redhook because we have a lot of respect for how they helped shape craft beer in Washington,” said Hilliard’s Beer co-founder Ryan Hilliard.  “It’s the first collaboration beer either of us has done with another brewery and it’s fitting they started in Ballard a few blocks from where we are.  Voting to legalize marijuana use in Washington is another example of the pioneering spirit that makes this state so great.”

In keeping with Redhook’s reputation for creating imaginative tap handles, Joint Effort will be poured by a handle shaped like a bright yellow bong. Joint Effort will be available on draught only beginning July 15th and will launch in 22oz bottles under the Blueline Series in late October. The beer will be available in Washington State only. Locations can be found using Redhook’s “Beer Finder” at

* Initiative 502, passed by voters in November 2012, legalized possession and use of moderate amounts of marijuana in Washington State.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Terrapin Brings Back Dos Cocoas

ATHENS, GA—In 2012, Terrapin Beer Co. offered up to their fans the chance to vote for their favorite retired Terrapin beer. After heated campaigning, the votes were tallied and, unlike some previous elections, the winner was clear: Dos Cocoas Chocolate Porter.

Dos Cocoas, which was originally released in 2008 as Side Project Vol. 4, didn’t need to rely on kissing babies to win votes. To promote the regional economy, cocoa nibs and shells were shipped in from Nashville, TN, chocolate maker Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co. Then Terrapin’s brewers were put to work creating a complex porter that will gain approval points across party lines. Dos Cocoas’ perfect mix of sweet, velvety chocolate and mellow roastiness provides the checks and balances needed to provide a quick stimulus to taste buds throughout the Southeast and East Coast.

Right or left, red or blue, this is one elected official that we all can agree on. Dos Cocoas will be packaged in 22 oz. bottles and available starting in mid-July within Terrapin’s ten-state distribution network.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Redhook Releases Game Changer Ale

SEATTLE—Redhook Brewery, the Northwest’s original craft brew, announced today that Game Changer Ale, a beer brewed with  wings and sports fans in mind, will be available across the United States beginning July 15. Game Changer will also be available at over 925 Buffalo Wild Wings™ restaurants.

“Wings and sports go hand-in-hand, and we know there is demand for a good, flavorful draught beer to complement the two,” said Andy Thomas, President at Craft Brew Alliance. “Redhook Game Changer was created for that purpose. It’s an approachable craft beer that’s not too heavy or too high in alcohol so people can enjoy drinking it responsibly over the course of a whole game. Game Changer’s unique story gives sports fans a new craft with the authenticity of a Redhook brew.”

Redhook Game Changer is a pale ale with a rich amber color. The flavor profile appeals to a broad audience, from light domestic beer drinkers to craft beer drinkers. It is perfectly balanced with a blend of caramel malts and American-grown hops so that it can stand up to hot, spicy wings without overpowering the palate. With an alcohol by volume of 4.6 percent, Redhook Game Changer is a sessionable beer that allows fans to stay in the game all game long.

“We’re all about Wings. Beer. Sports. And we are always looking for new offerings to enhance the Guest experience at our restaurants,” said Kathy Benning, Buffalo Wild Wings™ executive vice president – global marketing, brand and business development. “Our Guests, above all, are sports fans, and they’re looking for that social environment to enjoy the game with their friends.  We’re excited to offer them Redhook Game Changer knowing that it was created with them in mind.”

Whether the game’s coming down to the wire or the starters have made way for the bench warmers, Redhook knows sports and knows what sports fans like to drink. Redhook Game Changer Ale joins a roster chock-full of sports centric brews from newcomers like Audible Ale and ECS No Equal Amber Lager to classics like Redhook ESB and Longhammer IPA. Redhook also serves as the official craft brew of hometown University of Washington Athletics.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fourth of July Beer Sales Expected to Top $1 Billion

WASHINGTON, DC—If you are reaching into a picnic cooler for an ice cold beer this Independence Day holiday, you are in good company. More than 99 million Americans drink beer responsibly, making beer the top choice over wine and hard liquor for celebrating occasions like the Fourth of July – America’s top beer-selling holiday.

In the two weeks ending on July 7, 2012, beer was the largest selling category of all food and beverage categories in Nielsen measured channels, with sales reaching $1.36 billion. This year, brewers and beer importers hope to see beer again be the top choice for Americans celebrating the occasion.

This week also marks the release of a new analysis of state-by-state beer consumption data from the Beer Institute, the national trade association representing America’s brewers, beer importers and industry suppliers. The annual ranking can be found in its entirety below and online. The analysis found that the five states that consumed the most beer per capita in 2012 were:

1.    North Dakota
2.    New Hampshire
3.    Montana
4.    South Dakota
5.    Wisconsin

Overall, beer consumption rose 1.5 percent in the United States in 2012 as the economy began to come back after the recession and above normal winter and spring temperatures helped boost beer sales. This means that, on average, each American over the age of 21 drank a little less than one 12 ounce beer per day in 2012. That equates to about 300 beers per year.

There’s another reason to feel good about drinking a beer in salute to America’s birthday. The U.S. brewing and beer importing business puts more than two million Americans to work, from barley farmers to shopkeepers and truck drivers. And with the taxes levied on all aspects of brewing, importing, trucking and selling beer, American beer drinkers contribute significantly to local, state and federal government — $49 billion in 2012, according to a recent economic study. In fact, more than 40 percent of the retail cost of beer paid by consumers goes toward taxes, on a national average, making taxes the most expensive ingredient in beer.

“From hops producers to can and bottle makers in communities across the country, beer is an economic engine that contributes more than $246 billion to the U.S. economy,” said Joe McClain, president of the Beer Institute. “As folks raise a beer this July Fourth in backyards, on front porches and at holiday celebrations, I ask that they salute the millions of Americans who worked to get that beer from grain to glass.”

For more information about the economic impact of beer in the United States, including state and Congressional district data, please visit

Wynkoop Brewing Releases Colorojo Imperial Red in Cans

DENVER—Wynkoop Brewing Co. is now releasing Colorojo Imperial Red in hand-labeled cans.

The beer is a luscious extra-strength amber ale made with hefty amounts of malts and specialty grains, and a blend of four American hops.

These hops are used in six different hop additions during the brewing process, including a massive dose of post-boil hops (in our “Hopinator” hopback) and a jumbo dose of dry hops.

A tea-colored beer with a dense latte-like head, Colorojo has a boozy nose of pine, orange marmalade and turbinado sugar. These aromas arrive atop flavors of caramel, alcohol, a note of chocolate, and more resin and citrus flavors.

A slow-fading hop bite in the beer’s finale balances Colorojo’s residual sugars and velour mouthfeel.

Colorojo is 8.2% ABV and has 65 IBUs.

Head brewer Andy Brown developed the beer’s recipe. “I like this style of beer,” Brown says, “because it gives you a firm malt backbone to balance the rather intense hop profile. The elevated alcohol content also helps extract more aroma during the dry hopping process, which we do for up to 3 weeks with this beer.”

First brewed last year as an experimental beer, the beer has steadily become a hit at Wynkoop Brewing and a small number of Denver establishments that featured the beer on draft.

Colorojo is now available in select Denver area stores in fourpacks of hand-labeled 12-ounce cans. Its suggested retail price is $8.99/fourpack.

This is the second beer in Wynkoop’s “Even Smaller Batch” series of seasonal and limited-release canned beers. The first was Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, which made its debut in cans in March.
The beers in this series are packaged in blank, unprinted aluminum cans on which Wynkoop staffers apply a two-part label akin to those used on glass bottles. This method enables Wynkoop to produce super-small batches of canned beer and avoid the 95,000 can minimum for painted cans from its can supplier.

For beer lovers outside of the Denver area, a limited amount of the beer will be available later this month through the web site.

The beer is hand canned at Wynkoop Brewing on a table-top canning machine from Cask Brewing Systems.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Homebrewing is Legal in All 50 States Thanks to Mississippi

(Boulder, CO) – Today, homebrewers can legally brew in every state in the country, as recently passed homebrewing legislation takes effect in Mississippi, according to the American Homebrewers Association (AHA).

Homebrewing was federally legalized in 1978 for the first time since Prohibition made it illegal in 1919. However, regulation of alcohol is predominantly left to the states. In 2013, Mississippi and Alabama—the last two states remaining with laws against homebrewing—passed legislation to permit beer brewing at home. Alabama’s law went into effect immediately after the Governor signed the bill on May 9.

“Homebrewers are deeply dedicated to their craft and the AHA is thrilled that homebrewers in all 50 states can now legally take part in that passion,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association.

While homebrewing is now legal in all states, existing statutes in some states prevent homebrewers from removing homebrewed beer from their houses, effectively restricting interactions with the rest of their local homebrew community, including club meetings, festivals and competitions.

“Sharing and community interaction are key ingredient of homebrewing,” added Glass. “We will continue to work to protect and advance the rights of homebrewers to share their unique creations.”
The hobby of homebrewing in the U.S. has seen exponential growth in recent years. With more than 38,000 members, the AHA estimates that more than one million Americans brew beer or make wine at home at least once a year.

For a complete list of federal and state homebrewing laws, please visit the AHA website.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Woman Wins Homebrewer of the Year Award

PHILADELPHIA—More than 3,400 homebrewers and beer enthusiasts gathered at the 35th Annual National Homebrewers Conference presented by the American Homebrewers Association(AHA) this weekend at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, where they attended seminars, bonded over brews and had their beers judged in the world’s largest beer competition.

The last time a woman was named Homebrewer of the Year at the AHA National Homebrew Competition, Ronald Reagan was president, Toto won a Grammy and M.A.S.H. aired its final episode. Flash forward to 2013, and Annie Johnson earned the Homebrewer of the Year award with her Lite American Lager.

Tavish Sullivan won the Cidermaker of the Year award with his Common Cider, and Mark Tanner won the Meadmaker of the Year award with his Strawberry, Rhubarb and Blackberry Mead. Local homebrewer David Barber won the Ninkasi Award as the winningist brewer in the competition. He won gold medals in the Strong Ale and German Wheat and Rye Beer categories; his homebrew club, Lehigh Valley Homebrewers also won the Gambrinus Club Award.

“Homebrewing is growing fast and attracting a more diverse following,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association. “I’m pleased see a woman win the Homebrewer of the Year Award, and it’s impressive that she did so in a lager category. Lagers are difficult to brew well, which shows how homebrewers are more technically proficient than ever before.”

The National Homebrew Competition recognizes the most outstanding homemade beer, mead and cider produced by homebrewers worldwide. This year, there were 7,756 entries from 2,187 homebrewers located in 49 states and the District of Columbia, U.S. Military APO, Puerto Rico, three Canadian Provinces and Belgium, entered in the first round of the competition.

The first round took place at 11 regional sites in the United States, with each sending on the top three entries from 28 style categories to the final round of competition at the National Homebrewers Conference, where 894 entries were evaluated by some of the top beer judges in the country. Over its 35-year history, the National Homebrew Competition has evaluated 103,075 brews. The first competition, held in 1979 in Boulder, Colo., judged 34 beers.

A complete list of winners of the 2013 National Homebrew Competition can be found on

In addition to the competition, the conference provided attendees the opportunity to enhance their brewing skills through seminars such as “Yeast Culturing 101,” “Practical Malting” and “Alternative Wood Aging Techniques,” while increasing their homebrew knowledge through sessions such as “Beers of our Founding Fathers” and “Biochemistry and the Mash.”

Conference-goers also enjoyed a series of events where they sampled each other’s brews and commercial craft beers. The Homebrew Expo & Social ClubPro-Brewers Night and Club Night were opportunities for participants to try craft beers and meads from homebrew clubs and breweries across the country, while making new brew-savvy friends.

Tickets for the 2013 National Homebrewers Conference went on sale Feb. 5 and sold out within 20 hours. Next year’s event heads to Grand Rapids, Mich., June 12-14.