Saturday, March 31, 2012

Anchor Plaza Debuts At AT&T Park

 Opening day of baseball season is April 13, and over at AT&T Park there's a new beer garden and Anchor Brewing concession opening this year called Anchor Plaza. The plaza includes an Anchor Taproom as well as new ballpark food options. Anchor Steam beer has of course always been a staple at the Giants' home stadium, but now there's a whole Anchor-sponsored hangout for beer fans with more varieties of Anchor brews.

It looks like it could be a great place to get away from the crowds for a spell, and enjoy an Anchor Steam Beer. There are large screen televisions back there so you won’t miss the game while you sip your beer.

I love the fact that Major League Baseball is turning to small independent Breweries to provide their fans with the best possible experience at the ballpark. It shows an appreciation for the best of everything, ad a willingness to provide the same for the fans..

You can get a sneak peek of the changes at the stadium on April 2 when the Giants begin playing a few pre-season games with the Oakland A's.

8th Annual Blue Point Cask Ales Festival


Long Island’s oldest and most award-winning craft brewery, Blue Point Brewing Company, will host more than 30 brewers with 100+ casks at the 8th Annual Cask Ales Festival on Saturday, April 14, 2012. What started out years ago as a party with some fellow brewers in the parking lot has turned into one of the most popular cask ale events in the entire region.

“This event is so special to us because it gives craft beer fans the opportunity to sample beer in its most pure form and we're able to raise a glass, or several, with fellow brewers from near and far," said Mark Burford, Brewmaster at Blue Point Brewing Company.

Confirmed for the event’s largest ever turnout are Long Island favorites, Black Forest Brew Haus, Blind Bat Brewery, Great South Bay Brewery, Greenport Harbor Brewing, John Harvard’s Brew House, Long Ireland Beer Company, Southampton Publick House, and newbies Port Jefferson Brewing and Spider Bite Brewing Company. Also in the lineup are: Bronx Brewery (NY), Butternuts Beer & Ale (NY), Cape Ann Brewing (MA), Captain Lawrence Brewing Company (NY), Cigar City Brewing (FL), Cricket Hill Brewery (NJ), Defiant Brewing Company (NY), Empire Brewing Company (NY), Flying Dog Brewery (MD), Keegan Ales (NY), Lagunitas Brewing Company (NY), Peekskill Brewery (NY), Sixpoint Brewery (NY), Sly Fox Brewing Co. (PA), Smuttynose Brewing Company (NH), Southern Tier Brewing Company (NY), Squirrel Tail Brewing Co. (NY), and Stone Brewing Company (CA). The Brewers East End Revival (B.E.E.R.), Long Island Beer and Malt Enthusiasts (LIMBE), and The Brewer's Collective will be representing Long Island’s homebrew clubs.

This year Blue Point will be hosting the festival with more than 20 cask versions of their popular brews including: Ghost in the RastafaRye, toasted marshmallow Oatmeal Stout, Zythos dry hopped Hoptical Illusion primed with cotton candy and Syrah oak aged Sour Cherry Imperial Stout.

The Blue Point Cask Ales Festival takes place rain or shine from 2-6PM at the brewery in Patchogue, NY. Tickets are $47 ($15 for designated drivers) and can be purchased at  www.BluePointBrewing.com or in the brewery tasting room at 161 River Avenue, Patchogue, prior to event day. Local favorites Bobbique and Lumpy's Food Truck will be selling good eats throughout the day and there will be live music with House of Waters. Blue Point Brewery’s Facebook and Twitter followers can also enter online for a chance to win a ride to and from the event with S&G Limousine, Inc. This event will be supporting Long Island Cares - The Harry Chapin Food Bank with a can drop at the brewery on the day of the event and everyone is encouraged to bring any non-perishable food they can donate. Only those 21 and over with valid photo ID will be admitted to the event. No children or pets permitted.

Blue Point Brewing Company | Curt Potter | curt@bluepointbrewing.com | www.bluepointbrewing.com

Beerathon bummer: Drinking marathon canceled due to legal issues


DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — The 26-stop beer-drinking marathon planned for Saturday in Downtown is now canceled due to a legal issue with the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC).

The main dispute with the ABC revolved around the idea that the beer consumed at the event was "free" -- and although Beerathon organizers offered a multitude of explanations and alternatives, "a particular inspector at the ABC was already 100 percent committed to shutting down the event," according to the event's Facebook page.

For the reported 4,000 brew-lovers who already bought $55 tickets for the event, full refunds will be provided from the event's organizers.

The course map for the Beerathon is already published and organizers are encouraging people to still go, drink and be merry.

"Have fun out there," organizers wrote. "We will be with you all in spirit. Please don't let us down."

Participating venues will still have specials on beer and food as well as offering entertainment, and organizers reiterate that the day's not "canceled" but they are merely "removed from the equation."

Friday, March 30, 2012

Seattle's Top 5 Trader Joe's Beers


If you’ve ever been to one, then you surely realize the value in the Trader Joe's food and wine departments, but beer may be where they showcase their best deals of all. TJ's price point for a six pack comes in around $2 less that other grocery chains and they are also one of the few retailers who stock their own "store brand" ales, giving them the ability to stay very competitive. They sell their beers individually as well, so you can do a broad yet affordable taste tests of your own for under $15.

Thanks to Damon of Trader Joe's Queen Anne for his informative help in choosing a selection of best sellers and staff picks exclusive to the Joe's franchise.

Here are the top five notables:

Simpler Times Pilsner- $3.99- 

Ah, Memories. Do the pressures of adult life have you longing for a much "simpler time"? Simpler Times will have you remembering that magical era when you were young; full of hope and seven dollars was way too much to spend on a sixer.

I have to imagine that somewhere between here and California there is a can monument to this easily drinkable pilsner currently occupying valuable real estate in a dorm room. At around 66 cents a can, you don't have to be an Economics major to see it is a great deal.

Oranjeboom Imported Premium Lager- $7.49- 

If ever a "Dinner Beer" was invented, this is it. Smooth and unique its suggested pairing is with chicken, but would serve as a great accompaniment to any hardy meal. Oranjeboom's packaging reeks of class and would make a lovely gift at your next housewarming party.

Trader Jose Imported Premium Lager -$5.99- 

Yes this is a Corona knockoff-- but who cares? It's light, refreshing and serves as nicely as the original when you need a "back" with a shot of that other Jose from Mexico.

Hofbrau Bock Golden Bock Beer-$5.99- 

Bock fans rejoice! Joe's Hofbrau serves as an affordable alterative to some of those other Bock wallet busters. It has all the flavor you'd expect in a golden Bock without being overwhelming. Its price and quality make it the perfect "cooler filler" for a BBQ. So much so, in fact, TJ's makes Hofbrau Brats to go right along with it.

Black Toad Dark Ale-$5.99- 

This dense, frothy sipper is impressive on its own as it has a deep, enjoyable flavor. BTDA would also be great in a chili, Irish stew, or any other meat and beer-centric recipe.

Desperate To Turn Sales Around, Anheuser-Busch Tries New Beers And Bullying Wholesalers

Wow...it seems that desperation has really fueled the latest tactics over at Anheuser-Busch. Now, the Mega-Brewery intends to force distributors to chose sides in the Beer Wars, by flooding the market with their inferior products. Check out the article below to get the skinny on this SPEC OPS Branch of the Mega-Brewery.


Anheuser-Busch InBev is desperate to turn its sales around. Sure, it's still the biggest beer company in the US, but shipments have fallen for three straight years, thanks to the growing popularity of small, independent craft brewers.

But this year Budweiser's got a plan, president of North American operations Luiz Edmond tells the Wall Street Journal: It's going to produce more beers, while leaning on distributors not to carry the competition.

Anheuser will introduce 19 new products this year, its biggest rollout since the InBev merger.

Some will aim to compete in the craft market, like additions to its Shock Top line, or boast higher alcohol content, like the 6% Bud Light Platinum, which Edmond calls a "game changer."

Still others, like Bud Light Lime-a-Rita, will be malt beverages bearing little resemblance to beer. At the same time, Bud has urged 500 wholesalers to distribute fewer rival beers, warning that it will act against those who don't.

An unapologetic Edmond says wholesalers must pick sides, and show "loyalty" to InBev.

REPRINTED fromhttp://www.businessinsider.com/desperate-to-turn-sales-around-anheuser-busch-tries-new-beers-and-bullying-wholesalers-2012-3?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+businessinsider%2Fwarroom+%28War+Room%29

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival starts Friday


What: The Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival

Where: Atlantic City Convention Center

When: Friday 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday noon to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Cost: Tickets are $55 at the door, if available, and $50 in advance. The festival site has ticket information.

The Skinny: The festival, now in its seventh year, is a chance to sample craft beer from over 80 different breweries and hang out with other beer aficionados in a festival atmosphere.

Representatives from breweries will be on hand to answer questions and offer insight into their products. Brew houses from New Jersey and across the country will be represented. For a list of the beers, check out the festival website.

This year, organizers have added music to the festival. Indie bands will be showcasing their original music, including punk rock icon Marky Ramone, featured Friday evening, along with other artists from across the country. Full lineup appears on the website

This event does sell out, so get your tickets in advance.

The festival offers a “Designated Driver” price of $10 per ticket (available at the door). In the past, many attendees stay at a local hotel and take advantage of the Atlantic City jitneys and cabs waiting outside the convention center. Jitneys are $2.25 and travel up and down Pacific Avenue and out to the marina. Cabs have a maximum rate of $13 anywhere inside the Atlantic City limits   

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nashville Craft Beer Week: March 26-31


Rhizome Productions is proud to announce that the inaugural Nashville Craft Beer Week will take place March 26-31, culminating with the grand finale, the East Nashville Beer Festival, located at East Park. With many breweries slated to open in Nashville in 2012 and beyond, this week will satisfy your hunger for craft beer!

Nashville Craft Beer Week will offer various events throughout Nashville the entire week, including beer dinners, brewer meet and greets, in-store tastings and other opportunities to sample unique craft beer.

Currently there are over 35 events across Nashville with a few more to be added in the coming days," said Matt Leff of Rhizome Productions. "Other than the festival at the end of the week, I'm most looking forward to the City House Mystery Beer Dinner."

Public response has been strong but limited as we are handing this years Craft Beer Week from a very grass roots perspective.  here are posters up around town and Yazoo Brewing Company has made special pint glasses for the week that will go out to participating venues.

Keep up with all of the Nashville Craft Beer Week happenings on the Facebook page and NashvilleCraftBeerWeek.com for all details. Rhizome Productions would like to thank Ajax Turner, DET, Limpan Brothers, Bounty Bev and all participating Nashville businesses for their continued support.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Beer and wine by glass at Wegmans in Syracuse? It's done in Virginia and elsewhere


Syracuse, NY — As Wegmans Food Markets Inc. has grown its chain footprint into other states, there’s been cross-pollination.

Employees have transferred. Some food products, once only regional favorites, have been shared and sold at Wegmans stores elsewhere (yes, even in barbecue-crazed Virginia, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que products are available at Wegmans and Virginia peanuts are here). Ideas have been transferred from north — Wegmans’ home market is Rochester — to the South, and South to North.

One implemented idea working in stores such as this 128,000-square-foot tri-level Wegmans in Fairfax, Va., in the Washington, D.C. metro area, is the sale of beer and wine by the glass to diners eating in Wegmans’ Market Cafes.

Wegmans would also like that to happen at its giant DeWitt store, the flagship in this market, and carried out to events in the adjacent patio area.

"Wegmans representatives recently met with the town of Dewitt to discuss our proposal to sell wine and beer in designated portions of our Market Café and outdoor patio at our Dewitt location. Their decision regarding our proposal is on hold at this time,'' said Evelyn Carter, Wegmans’ Syracuse consumer affairs manager. "During this period, we will revisit the details and design of our proposal.

In addition, we received information from the New York State Liquor Authority regarding our liquor licensing application. We are in the process of reviewing their comments.''

It’s done in Fairfax and at other Wegmans supermarkets, including Potomac and Fredericksburg.

The Fairfax Wegmans has a self-serve and prepared food café that is long and deep, including a buffet with regional foods and a wide array of ethnic and vegetarian foods.

On a recent tour of the café and the attached wine shop — more on that below — store manager Bob DiTullio said the sale of wine and beer by the glass has been popular with customers at his Fairfax store and Wegmans supermarkets in neighboring towns and cities.

“They can order here,” DiTullio said while standing next to an elegant new Chinese noodle bar, “or they can take it to any of the high-top tables nearby or at café seating on the third level. They have to stay within a certain proximity.”

DiTullio said in nearby Leesburg, Va., a seafood bar is popular, with customers ordering beer or wine by the glass.

That Wegmans also has an outdoor patio area where customers can wine, dine and socialize, said DiTullio, who is also a product of Wegmans’ cross-pollination: He’s from Massena and went to SUNY Morrisville.

The patio areas raise the fun factor said DiTullio. And the sale of wine and beer has not been a negative issue.

“We’ve never had issues with people getting out-of-hand,” said DiTullio. “It’s not a sports bar atmosphere.”

In the lower level of this triple-decker Wegmans, there’s a Wegmans-run wine shop, with a wide assortment of wines and some craft beers. There’s a six-stool beer-tasting bar that on this March day, had Sam Adams and Dogfish ale on tap. A wine-tasting bar is on the other side of the wine shop, which is attached to a two-level parking deck.

Unlike in New York state, Virginia allows wine to be sold by the bottle in supermarkets.

That won’t be happening at the DeWitt store, though Wegmans has a work-around: In the same plaza is Liquor City, and although it’s not, by law, part of Wegmans Food Markets, it’s in the Wegman family. The owner is Christopher O’Donnell, who is the husband of Colleen Wegman, the president of Wegmans Food Markets Inc.

Carter said as soon as Wegmans gets the go-ahead from the town and the state, they’ll move ahead with selling beer and wine by the glass at the DeWitt store.

Wegmans will see how that goes before considering rolling it out to other Wegmans in the Syracuse market, including the Fairmount store, which will also offer outdoor patio seating at its Market Café.

REPRINTED from http://blog.syracuse.com/storefront/2012/03/beer_and_wine_by_glass_at_wegm.html

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Move over martini: Beer-based cocktails kick up a froth



If you’ve ever had a Red Eye — beer mixed with Clamato juice — on a bleary morning after, consider yourself ahead of the curve. Beer-based mixed drinks are a fast-growing trend.

Most of the beer cocktails popping up in bars and brew pubs around Vancouver are considerably more sophisticated than the post-bonspiel hangover cure that was traditional in my family and many thousands of others across Western Canada.

Vancouver’s beer cocktail evangelist Trevor Kallies has been experimenting with beer cocktails over the past five years, ever since being challenged to create a cocktail using Guinness by another uber-mixologist, Jay Jones of Market at the Shangri-La Hotel.

Kallies’s creation, consisting of Famous Grouse Whisky, maple syrup, chocolate bitters and Guinness, shaken over ice and served in an Old Fashioned glass with a rim of crushed walnuts, is pretty sophisticated stuff.

As the beverage director of Donnelly Group’s eight Vancouver pubs, few have done more than Kallies to spread the gospel of beer cocktails in this market. Kallies has created and promoted original beer cocktails for pub openings and for serious competitions.

He recently returned from France, a trip he won in the Annual Craft of Cointreau bartending competition last fall with a beer cocktail, the Orange Popsicle, which included Cointreau and Driftwood Brewing’s Fat Tug IPA.

All the Donnelly pubs carry beer cocktails as part of their regular menu, including two introduced last year for brunch menus called BBC1 and BBC2, for Breakfast Beer Cocktail. Nice that the beer-for-breakfast tradition is still alive and kicking.

“Customers really loved it, and both sold really well,” said Kallies.

Kallies is bullish on the beer cocktail for 2012.

“You’re going to see a lot more people do them on their full-time menus,” he said. “The beer cocktail has been around for a while but it is growing and growing really fast.”

Concoctions of dark beer and rum have been around for centuries and the Shandy — lager and sparkling lemonade or ginger ale — has been a pub staple in the U.K. for decades. Ditto for Black and Tan, a mix of stout and pale ale.

Purists might argue that a proper cocktail must include spirits, but the beer world doesn’t seem to care what purists think.

The crucible of the modern beer cocktail is — predictably — Portland, Ore., where craft beer culture always seems to be one step ahead.

Kallies helped host the one-night Brewing Up Cocktails event last May for Vancouver Craft Beer Week with Portland’s Ninkasi Brewing, Portland bartender Ezra Johnson-Greenough and Portland beer store proprietor Yetta Vorobik, which helped pollinate the Vancouver market with beer cocktail culture.

Surrey’s Central City Brewing Co. has introduced a half-dozen beer cocktails to its regular bar menu, according to bar manager Eugene Mow.

“We looked at how popular [beer cocktails] are down the Oregon Coast and that’s why we started doing them,” said Mow. “We didn’t think we’d get a huge response, but it has really taken off.”

Central City puts its roster of beer cocktails on special Saturday nights, where they enjoy brisk sales.

Mow designed the brew pub’s cocktails, taking inspiration from the flavours inherent in the beer itself and choosing adjuncts to enhance those flavours.

“Our stout has a coffee-chocolatey flavour and we put Triple Sec with that for that classic chocolate-orange flavour,” said Mow.

Gastown’s toney Bitter Tasting Room has a roster of five beer cocktails on the menu, ranging from the traditional Shandy to the Bitter Chill, flavoured with tequila, ginger, lime salt and pepper, and a root beer float for grown-ups made with Hermannator Ice Bock, Root liqueur, Valdespino sherry and whipped cream.

Mission Springs Brewing Company is also trading on a classic chocolate and fruit combination with its Chocolate Raspberry, a blend of Fat Guy Stout and Lindeman’s Framboise.

Rogue Wetbar on the edge of Gastown introduced a trio of beer-based cocktails this month: the Gastown Panhandler, the Beerlini and the Michelada.

For a surprising twist, try Big Ridge Brewing Co.’s Porter Float, a dessert cocktail made with Sullivan Porter.

Romer’s Burger Bars serve up a Beerita, made with Russell Pilsner, Olmeca tequila, triple sec and lime juice.

rshore@vancouversun.com

Trevor Kallies, beverage director of Donnelly Group’s eight Vancouver pubs, created these recipes:

Breakfast Beer Cocktail No. 1

A dark espresso and chocolate blend comes together in a take on the original “flip” cocktail style. The whole egg adds texture and body.

1 ounce (30 mL) Maker’s Mark

0.25 ounce (7 mL) Fernet Branca

0.75 ounce (22 mL) Kahlua

1 egg

2 ounces (60 mL) Phillips blue buck

In a cocktail mixing glass, crack 1 egg and discard shell.

Add Maker’s Mark, Fernet Branca, Kahlua. Dry shake.

Pour pale ale into drink.

Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 45 seconds.

Strain contents into snifter glass.

Garnish with 3 coffee beans.

Makes 1 serving

Breakfast Beer Cocktail No. 2

Light, aromatic and citrusy, this is the little brother to No. 1 when it comes to breakfast cocktails.

1 ounce (30 mL) Tanqueray

1 ounce (30 mL) Cointreau

¼ ounce (7 mL) Orgeat (almond syrup)

2 dash orange bitters

2 ounces (60 mL) Kronenbourg blanc

In a cocktail mixing glass pour Tanqueray and Cointreau. Add Orgeat, orange bitters and Kronenbourg blanc. Fill mixing glass with ice and shake and strain into martini glass.

Makes 1 serving

Orange Hop-sicle

This award-winning creation blends the bright orange peel flavours of curaçao and balances them with intense citrusy hops.

2 ounces (60 mL) Cointreau

2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

½ ounce (15 mL) simple syrup

3 ounces (90 mL) Driftwood Fat Tug IPA

In a cocktail mixing glass, add Cointreau, Peychaud’s Bitters and simple syrup. Fill mixing glass with ice and shake and strain into wine glass. Top with Driftwood Fat Tug IPA.

Makes 1 serving

Baverniess (Bah-ver-nee-ess)

Bourbon and Amaro come together with a stout dating back 253 years to create a cocktail that is both bitter and herbal.

1 ounce (30 mL) Maker’s Mark Bourbon

1 ounce (30 mL) Averna Amaro

3 dashes angostura bitters

½ ounce (15 mL) Maple syrup

1 orange wedge

3 ounces (90 mL) Guinness

In a cocktail mixing glass add Maker’s Mark Bourbon and Averna Amaro. Add 3 dashes Angostura bitters and squeeze 1 orange wedge into drink. Discard orange wedge.

Add maple syrup and Guinness.

Fill glass with ice and shake and strain into a martini glass.

Makes 1 serving

*

Donnelly Group beverage manager Trevor Kallies penned this nugget to introduce his staff to the beer cocktail concept:

One of the first written records of mixing beer into a “cocktail” was in the late 1600s and it took the form of a flip. In 1690 a popular saying ran around early America’s taverns:

‘The Days are short, the weather’s cold

By Tavern fires tales are told.

Some ask for dram when first come in.

Others with flip and bounce begin.’

After two decades the Flip’s popularity bordered on mania and would remain for more than a century.

To make this drink, a tavern keeper started with a larger pewter pitcher or vessel, then filled it with 2/3 strong beer or mead, and added some kind of sweetening agent — molasses, sugar, dried fruit or pumpkin (or whatever else was at hand). Then came a healthy dose of rum (5-10 oz.). This mixture was neither stirred nor shaken. They would take a loggerhead (a long steel rod with a ball on one end that resembles a trailer hitch) that was heated to be glowing red hot. The loggerhead would normally be used for heating tar or pitch, but this application was only slightly different. It would be directly taken from the coals and placed directly into the liquid mixture. The whole thing would boil and hiss and foam and then settle into a mighty head. The flip would result in a bitter, slightly burned taste.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Less water. More beer. Win-win situation


World Water Day - La Brasserie Labatt innovates, saving enough water at its LaSalle brewery to fill 591 Olympic-sized pools

LASALLE, QC - Labatt is taking advantage of World Water Day to highlight the contributions of its employees in implementing water conservation measures.

In just a few years, the brewery has reduced the amount of water required to produce one bottle of beer by more than half.

"We care about water at Labatt," explains Jennifer Damiani, the brewery's manager of communications. "Because it's a precious resource, and because it's also critical to our beer-making process, we're constantly seeking opportunities to reduce our usage through innovation."

Tangible reduction measures

In recent years, Labatt employees in LaSalle have taken the initiative, getting creative to identify and implement water-saving opportunities, in the process reducing consumption by 57 percent - enough to fill 591 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

"Today, United Nations World Water Day, we are proud to celebrate that achievement," Ms. Damiani said.

For example, the brewery has switched to a more efficient hot-water rinsing method that uses a by-product of another process so as not to have any impact on energy consumption.

It also reclaims water for use in cooling and rinsing, and implemented regular microbiological tests to allow cleaning as and when required.

These three innovations have saved 1.05 million hectolitres of water per year.

The LaSalle brewery is also the only one in the country with its own water treatment plant, which processes water drawn from the St. Lawrence River. 

This enables perfect control of the quality of water used.

Actions all across Canada

Employees of Labatt's six breweries across Canada (in Creston, B.C., Edmonton, Alta., London, Ont., Montreal, Que., Halifax, N.S., and St. John's, Nfld.) are taking part in the company's water-use reduction efforts.

The overall result is that in just three years, they have implemented 815 innovative water conservation ideas and reduced consumption by 41 percent.

About Labatt Breweries of Canada

With a proud Canadian heritage going back to 1847, Labatt employs more than 3,000 people and operates six breweries that deliver over 60 quality brands to consumers.

Budweiser, Bud Light, Labatt Bleue and Keith's are among the most popular products brewed by the company nationally and regionally.

Labatt has owned a facility in LaSalle since 1956 and operates some 20 distribution centres in Quebec.

As an integral part of AB InBev, the world's leading brewer, which produces more than 200 fine beers, Labatt also makes world-renowned beers like Stella Artois, Brahma and Beck's available to customers across Canada.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Deschutes Brewery Pledges One Billion Gallons of Water to its Namesake: The Deschutes River


Bend, Oregon–Good water and good beer go hand in hand, right? That’s one reason why Deschutes Brewery has recently made a one billion gallon annual water restoration commitment through one of its local non-profit organizations, the Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC). This donation marks the DRC water leasing program’s largest private donation to date, and actually equals 14 times more water than Deschutes Brewery and all of its suppliers use per year.

Through the water leasing program, local farmers are paid for the lease of their irrigation water and then that water is legally protected instream at the brewery’s namesake waterway—the Deschutes River. By doing this, stream flow and water quality is increased in the river, creating opportunities for life to flourish.

“We’ve always been avid supporters of the DRC and its mission,” said Michael LaLonde, chief operating officer for Deschutes Brewery and a board member of the DRC. “By creating this new partnership, we are able to give back to the river in a significant way, preserving the lifeblood of the Central Oregon region.”

Over the past six years, the brewery has supported the DRC through both monetary and beer donations for the non-profit’s various fundraising events.

Tod Heisler, executive director for the DRC, said, “By making this commitment to the river, Deschutes Brewery has made a strong investment in the future of our region. Water is one of Central Oregon’s primary resources and partnerships like this ensure the consistency and sustainability of our mission to restore water to our river.”

In the spring and summer, water flows are greatly decreased in the river due to irrigation withdrawals. By increasing flows in the Deschutes River through the leasing program, fish habitat is revitalized and water quality is improved. Other benefits include overall enhanced ecosystems for plants and animals, while also improving recreation and tourism opportunities.

About the Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC)

The DRC is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation that was founded by the Environmental Defense Fund, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation and local irrigation districts. In the past sixteen years, the DRC has built a strong foundation for collaborative work in the Deschutes Basin. The organization’s mission is to restore streamflow and improve water quality in the Deschutes Basin. The DRC objectives are to meet or exceed state water quality standards and to restore the natural hydrograph to the extent environmentally, socially and economically feasible in the Deschutes River and its tributaries. The Deschutes River Conservancy is a nationally recognized leader in river restoration and has set the bar for achieving results through collaboration. www.deschutesriver.org

About Deschutes Brewery

Located in beautiful Bend, Oregon, Deschutes Brewery is in the business of daring people to expect more from their beer. That's why we started off in 1988, on the banks of the Deschutes River here in Bend, Oregon, by selling Black Butte Porter at a time when others were sure a dark beer would never catch on. Our brewers love to push the envelope, especially if it makes someone nervous.  But for us, the highest praise is a raised glass and a toast of "Bravely Done!"  For more information about Deschutes Brewery and our courageously crafted beers, please visit www.DeschutesBrewery.com

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Whether it's upcoming Festivals, or hooking up with one of the fastest growing sports in North America, the Craft Beer world never seems to slow down

Major League Sports Deal Scores Winning Goal for Boulevard Brewing Co.

As of March 17, soccer fans in Kansas City, Mo., have the opportunity to cheer on the local soccer team with a locally-made beer. A unique marketing partnership recently established between Sporting Kansas City and Boulevard Brewing Company aims to connect each organization’s strong community ties through a variety of co-branded marketing initiatives around the theme: “Hometown Team-Hometown Beer.”
"Boulevard Brewing Company is extremely excited to forge ahead with a much anticipated hometown partnership with Sporting Kansas City,” Boulevard Brewing Company Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Bob Sullivan, said. “Our two brands have tremendous synergies and we look forward to a long term relationship that mutually extends our brands to both a local and regional audience."
Boulevard beers will be available on tap and in bottles throughout the stadium for the first time since opening in 2011. The brewery and soccer team will also partner on a variety of marketing initiatives throughout the season, including the coordination of seasonal beer release events, bar promotions, packaging inserts, and viral marketing efforts.
Sporting Kansas City ended its 2011 regular season as the top team in the league’s Eastern Conference. As the division’s top seed, the club advanced past the defending MLS Cup champion, the Colorado Rapids, before falling 2-0 at home to the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup Playoffs. The 2012 season marks the team’s 17th year in MLS.
About Boulevard Brewing Company
Boulevard Brewing Company has grown to become one of the largest specialty brewers in the Midwest, dedicated to the craft of producing fresh, flavorful beers using traditional ingredients and the best of both old and new brewing techniques. Boulevard beers are distributed in 21 states. For more information, visit www.boulevard.com, facebook.com/Boulevard, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Boulevard_Beer.
Boulevard Brewing Co. | Julie Weeks | jweeks@boulevard.com | www.boulevard.com

New Orleans International Beer Festival pours more than 150 brews

Grabbing a beer at Champions Square doesn’t sound like news. But on Saturday, March 24, the suds selection will be remarkable at the inaugural New Orleans International Beer Festival. More than 150 craft and imported beers will be served in two-ounce pours.
Courtesy of Red Mountain Entertainment, The team behind the New Orleans International Beer Festival previously produced Top of the Hops on the north shore.
“The rock star of the event is the beer,” said Jay Wilson of Red Mountain Entertainment, which produced the festival. “We spent a lot of time challenging the distributors to make it unique.”
Regional offerings include the full range of Abita beers, NOLA Brewing’s collaboration with California’s Stone brewery, and a preview of Parish Brewing, a well-regarded newcomer in Broussard that has yet to enter the New Orleans market. An entire tent will be devoted unique casks. Other noteworthy beers include half-dozen Belgian brews, a beer by Mikkeller with 19 different hops and the fiery Ghost Face Killah brewed with six hot peppers.
Classes and seminars will also be held throughout the day, including a talk at 2:30 p.m. by NOLA Brewing’s Kirk Coco and Stone’s Jason Armstrong about their collaboration on the Pour Me Something Mistah porter.
The festival will also have a raffle to benefit the Hartley's Hearts foundation, a Mandeville-based non-profit that funds pediatric heart surgeons' mission trips to South America.
Red Mountain Entertainment previously produced the Top of the Hops beer festival on the north shore. They expect that 2,500 to 3,000 people will attend the new festival.
The New Orleans International Beer Festival takes places at Champions Square (La Salle St. across from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome) from 2–6 p.m. Tickets are $40 in advance, which includes unlimited samples. Designated driver tickets available for $20. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.neworleansinternationalbeerfest.com

Inaugural Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week

The Pittsburgh Craft Beer Alliance is pleased to introduce Pittsburgh’s First Annual Craft Beer Week (PCBW), slated to run from April 20-28, 2012, here in the ‘Burgh.  Local breweries, distributors, bars & restaurants, and other passionate fans will be teaming up for numerous events during PCBW to spread the gospel of all things craft beer.
“Other cities across the country have had craft beer week celebrations for many years, but this is the first time we’re taking the plunge here in Pittsburgh,” said Andy Rich, Chairman of the Pittsburgh Craft Beer Alliance and Head Brewmaster at Penn Brewery.
“Our goal is to educate Pittsburghers about craft beer and help them appreciate the vibrant scene that’s right here in their own back yard.”
Among other events, PCBW will feature beer tastings, beer pairing dinners at local restaurants, and “Meet the Brewers” sessions.  A special highlight will be the unveiling of three “collaboration” beers that will be made by mixed teams of brewers from various local craft breweries.  The collaboration brews will include Cheeky Yinzer, a British IPA made at Penn Brewery; Inaugural Ale, a sour mash red ale made at Church Brew Works; and Home Opener, an American Kölsch-style beer made at Rock Bottom Brewery.  These will be served on draft at participating bars and restaurants during Craft Beer Week.
Event planning is underway, and a calendar of activities for the week is listed on PCBW’s website, www.pittsburghcraftbeerweek.com.  The list of events continues to grow as additional bars, restaurants, and breweries sign on to participate.
PCBW is being funded via paid sponsorships from local businesses involved with the craft beer industry. More information on sponsorships is also available on the PCBW website.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Brewfest at The Oregon Garden Hosts 45+ Breweries April 27-28


Silverton, OR— More than 45 breweries will descend on The Oregon Garden for the 8th annual Oregon Garden Brewfest on Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28, from noon to 11 p.m. each day. The event will be held indoors, at the Garden’s J. Frank Schmidt Jr. Pavilion, where attendees will enjoy flagship beers, seasonal beers, live music and hearty fare.

More than 45 breweries are currently participating, including The Pelican Pub & Brewery, Alameda Brewing Co. and Seven Brides Brewing. The Oregon Garden Brewfest will also offer 16 live bands on Friday and Saturday, on two stages including Portland’s Blitzen Trapper, Denver, The Dimes, Quiet Life, Weinland, Tango Alpha Tango and Violet Isle, along with Salem’s The Ty Curtis Band, Matthew Price and Jamalia, and Silverton’s Ben Rue and Tiffany Kuenzi.

The event’s $15 admission includes entrance to The Oregon Garden and to the Brewfest, a commemorative beer mug and five tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets may be purchased for $1 each. Tickets can be purchased online in advance, and include a separate entrance line at the event.

"Our Brewfest has become so popular that last year we expanded the event, and included a large event tent, which enabled us to have two entertainment stages and welcome more breweries and beer enthusiasts than ever before," said Brittney Hatteberg, marketing manager for The Oregon Garden. "For the 2012 event, we are continuing that expansion, and will again offer live music in the tent, as well as exciting new activities, games and even beer tasting lessons."

Also new this year, a reservation-only “Brewers’ Tasting Dinner” featuring small-batch beer and food pairings will kick-off Brewfest, on Thursday evening, April 26. A limited number of tickets will be available to the public for $40 and can be purchased online. Friday, from noon to 2 p.m brewers and brewing reps will also be available from each brewery to talk with the public about their special brews, brewing history and future inspiration.

Homebrewers will also be honored throughout the weekend. Those interested in entering the amateur homebrewing competition are encouraged to contact the event coordinators.

The Oregon Garden also seeks individuals interested in volunteering at the Brewfest. “This event would not be possible without the more than 500 volunteers who offer their time throughout the event,” said Hatteberg. “We have started looking for volunteers for the 2012 event.” Volunteers enjoy perks such as free admission, snacks, a festival t-shirt and tasting mug.

For general information as well as details on lodging, the Brewers’ Tasting Dinner, volunteering and the homebrew competition, visit oregongardenbrewfest.blogspot.com.

The Oregon Garden is an 80-acre botanical sanctuary that showcases the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest with more than 20 individual themed gardens and related attractions. The Oregon Garden is located in the historic town of Silverton just 45 miles south of Portland. www.oregongarden.org

Nike puts foot in it with 'Black and Tan' trainers


Just in time for St Patrick's Day, Nike dubbed its new Dunk Low sneaker the "Black and Tan" in a nod to Ireland's great export – Guinness. The beer-themed trainer has a black-leather upper with tan elements, creamy swoosh and an image of a pint inside.

But Nike had put its foot in it. The name conjures bitter memories for the Irish, Black and Tans being the violent British paramilitary unit, the Royal Irish Constabulary reserve force, that conducted brutal reprisals during the early 1920s Irish Independence Wars, including the atrocities of Bloody Sunday. One Irish-American commented that it was like calling a shoe "the al-Qaida". They were so called for their distinctive mixture of army khaki and police tunics – like a "pack of hounds", according to some accounts. Much of Cork was destroyed by the Black and Tans and a local cardinal described them as, "a horde of savages, some of them simply brigands, burglars and thieves." Nike has since apologised.

But this isn't the first time a huge company has neglected to do a simple Google search. Ben & Jerry's released a "Black and Tan" ice-cream in 2006, Reebok's Incubus trainer for women shared the same name as a sexually assaulting demon, and there was fury when Umbro named a trainer Zyklon – recalling the substance used in the Nazi gas chambers.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Samuel Adams Dark Depths - The Boston Beer Company - Boston, MA

Ok, here we go...this is the last in a series of reviews, focusing on beers that I picked up while attending my son's Hockey Tournament in Buffalo, NY. The trip was good, and the beer selection was awesome. It's trips like this that I try to take advantage of, and pick up some beers that I just can't get here in Northern, NY. The ironic part of the trip, is that although I had access to just about every brew under the stars, I managed to gravitate back towards familiar names that have kept me warm all winter...and the Dark Depths is no exception. Sam Adams, for all its Macro Beer appeal, still puts out some fine brews, and I was pretty stoked about their Baltic IPA. Here's what the website had to say:





THE BEER:

Flavor: This beer has a lot of hop complexity with notes of orange citrus as well as earthy, herbal, and floral flavors and a big spicy character.
Color: Dark mahogany, 60 SRM
Original Gravity: 18.5 ° Plato
Alcohol by Vol/Wt: 7.6% ABV – 5.9%ABW
Calories/12 oz.: 254
IBUs: 55
Malt Varieties: Two-row Harrington, Metcalf, Caramel 60, Munich, Carafa I
Hop Variety: Zeus, Ahtanum, Saaz, East Kent Goldings, Topaz, and SimcoeÒ hops
Yeast Strain: Samuel Adams lager yeast
Availability:  Limited Release
First Brewed: 2011

Dark, and fierce, this English porter was transformed, from mild ale to a dark and complex lager that confounds definition.   Immersed in dark, roasted malts and a bold citrus hop character, these big and contrasting flavors are brought together with the smoothness of a lager for a brew that’s rugged, mysterious, and full of flavor.

Baltic Porters date back to 18th century when the English style was exported along the trade routes of the Baltic Sea.  However, the beer that took hold there was different than its English original.  The new Baltic Porter retained the dark roasted malts but was higher in alcohol and used lager yeast, common to the region from other beer styles.  India Pale Ales have a similar history as they took the basis of English Pale Ale and were strengthened and fortified for the journey to India.

In creating Dark Depths we began with the idea of the Baltic Porter, using dark roasted malts like Munich and Carafa that added a deep espresso character.  To this base we added the bold and citrusy hop character of an IPA.  The combination of American, Australian, English, and German hops gives the beer a layered hop complexity with notes of grapefruit, orange, floral, and earthy pine.  The lager yeast and cold fermentation brings together the rich malt and spicy hop flavors and adds a smoothness and balance to the brew.

THE BREWERY:

For the first 35 years of his life, Jim Koch's family history and his future career lay in the attic of his parent's house. Jim's father Charles Koch, a fifth generation brewer, had left the business but kept the old family beer archives upstairs in an old trunk. The recipes hadn't been used since the Louis Koch brewery closed during Prohibition and when American tastes went away from full flavored beers.

Jim left for college believing that for the first time in 150 years the eldest Koch son would turn his back on beer. After college and graduate school Jim began a promising career in management consulting. Even though he followed that path for several years, he always kept an eye on the beer business. In 1984 his instincts told him it was time to make his move; people were starting to crave something different in their beer.

In 1984, the American landscape was vastly different from what it is today. The only options for domestic beer were pale lagers from the mass-market brewers. To find a flavorful, "better beer", there were only a handful of imports like Heineken and Beck's that were thought of as the only option for quality beer. American craft beers were virtually non-existent, or still in the basements and kitchens of a few spirited brewers. There were virtually no widely distributed micro brewed beers.

While Charles thought his son's plan was crazy, he picked out his favorite family recipe, one that Jim's great-great grandfather, Louis Koch, had made at his brewery in St. Louis, Missouri in the 1870s. The following spring, Jim Koch filled his old consulting briefcase with bottles from his sample brew and started going door to door asking Boston bars and restaurants to serve the beer that he had named Samuel Adams Boston Lager®.

He chose that name because Samuel Adams was a Boston firebrand, a revolutionary thinker who fought for independence. Most importantly, Samuel Adams was also a brewer who had inherited a brewing tradition from his father.

In April 1985, when Samuel Adams Boston Lager made its debut in about 25 bars and restaurants in Boston, the company had no office, no computers, and no distributors.

Jim Koch and his partner, Rhonda Kallman, were the only employees. They spent most of their time going bar to bar just trying to sample people on this different kind of beer. The beer caught on faster than anyone expected. By the end of the year sales of Samuel Adams beer had reached 500 barrels, and distribution had expanded from Massachusetts to Connecticut, and a place where great beer is revered, Germany.

It was beginning to look as if Jim's instincts were right. If you offered people a better beer, they'd be thirsty for it.

While it didn't have the trappings of a company that was about to change the industry, Samuel Adams had two key things in its favor: a full flavored, quality beer, and an incredible passion for that beer.

Drinkers quickly learned about Samuel Adams and shared that passion. Sales were brisk, by 1988, we were able to build a small brewery in Boston, sold 36,000 barrels, and were able to make the beer available on both coasts.

The expansion wasn't just geographic, however. We also began introducing new beer styles – like Boston Ale, Cream Stout, and Double Bock, as well as a line of seasonal beers.

The success and rapid growth of Samuel Adams soon became a catalyst to other small brewers, and the microbrew revolution began to take hold. By 1995, there were hundreds of small, local, and regional breweries sprouting up all over the country. It was a great time to be a beer lover in America.

Never satisfied just to make our own version of existing beer styles, in the early '90s we began our exploring the limits of the known beer universe. We began with Samuel Adams Triple Bock® to experiment with barrel aging beer and extended that new found knowledge to create Millennium. We pushed our ideas further and work with aging, materials, and vintage blends to create Samuel Adams Utopias®, the strongest beer in the world. We continue to experiment and push the expectations of beer to create new complex and flavorful tastes.

Today we're a team of about 750 people with our breweries are in Boston, Cincinnati, and Pennsylvania. Our family of beers includes over 30 different beer styles that are ever changing. Samuel Adams beers are now available in all 50 states and more than 20 foreign countries. We're proud that our beers are recognized for awards all over the world, including in the style's country of origin. Over the years our beers have won more awards around the globe, more than any brand in history.

But what we're most proud of, and passionate about, is still the beer itself. From the first days in Jim's kitchen through today, the mission at Samuel Adams hasn't wavered or compromised, we're still focused on making the best beer possible and we can't wait for what's to come.

THE REVIEW:

This Baltic IPA was not quite what I expected. I was looking for a strong IPA, but in the Dark Depths, it seemed that the fruit and flowery overtones were just too overpowering for it to be JUST an IPA. This one was so much more. The pour was solid, and syrupy. The Head was strong, tight and thick. It dissolved of so slowly, leaving a ring of goodness to frame your brew. Upon first taste, you’re hit with a citrus-like bitterness, combined with the heavy Hops of an IPA. The whole brew is a bit of an adventure, as flavors keep changing, introducing you to new layers of flavor. This is a pretty busy beer, that it sure to impress even the most difficult beer drinker.

RATING:

8.5/10 - Impressive