Friday, September 28, 2012

Narragansett Beer Welcomes Fall With a Tallboy Tasting Flight Pack and Award-Winning Seasonal Fest


First-Ever Flight Pack Delivers an At-Home Tasting Experience of Four Beloved Brews

September 26, 2012; Providence, RI – Just in time for football tailgating and crisp fall evenings, Narragansett Beer is releasing its award-winning seasonal favorite, Narragansett Fest, as part of a new Tallboy Tasting Flight pack.

The brand’s first-ever variety pack presents four of ‘Gansett’s most popular brews in their signature 16-ounce Tallboy cans. Inspired by the ever-growing popularity of craft brews and pub tasting flights, Narragansett’s new Tasting Flight 12-pack features ‘Gansett’s popular seasonals Fest and Bock, and year-round favorites Cream Ale and Lager.

Announcement of the ‘Gansett flight pack coincides with the seasonal release of Narragansett Fest, a traditional amber-brown German Oktoberfest style beer.

Marking the third year for ‘Gansett Fest since the brewer’s revival in 2005, the craft offering has received much critical acclaim, winning silver at the Beverage Tasting Institute’s 2010 World Beer Championship and receiving a gold medal at the 2011 Great International Beer & Cider Competition in Providence, R.I.

Brewed with the highest quality German malt and hops, Fest is crafted in small batches under the supervision of award-winning Brewmaster Sean Larkin at Cottrell Brewery in Pawcatuck, Conn., and the award-winning High Falls Brewery in Rochester, N.Y. Vienna, Pilsner, Light and Dark Munich malts make up the backbone of the beer, and Northern Brewer and Tettnanger hops are added to give it a crisp but subtle hop flavor. Narragansett Fest recalls many tales of the brewery’s historic Oktoberfest celebrations. The can itself is emblazoned with an image of King Gambrinus, the Patron Saint of Beer, of whom a towering statue once stood on the brewery grounds watching over the festivities.

Priced at $14.99, the Tallboy Tasting Flight pack is available for purchase at leading package stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York City.

Offered as a standalone on draught and in the signature 16-ounce Tallboy cans, Narragansett Fest is available for purchase throughout all of New England, Southern New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin.

For more information, or to find a retailer near you, visit: www.narragansettbeer.com.

ABOUT NARRAGANSETT BEER:

Narragansett Beer…Brewed since 1890. ‘Gansett is a straightforward, quality beer that has been a New England tradition for generations, producing a classic family of award-winning American lagers & ales. Today, ‘Gansett is produced at top-rated breweries in Providence, RI, Pawcatuck, CT, Rochester, NY, and Latrobe, PA.

Narragansett is available for purchase in local restaurants, bars, and liquor stores throughout New England, Eastern Pennsylvania, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pelican Brewing to Expand


(Pacific City, OR) – The owners of Pelican Brewing Co., Mary Jones, Jeff Schons, Darron Welch and Ken Henson have entered into an agreement with Star Distributors, Inc. of Tillamook to lease the Star Distributor building on Stillwell between Front & First Ave. While it is not the same vision as the group had in mind for the Port of Tillamook Bay site, a location they considered last year, it’s the perfect size and shape for what they need to brew large quantities of world-class beer. No restaurant is planned for this site, but a tasting room may become part of the plan in the future.

Star Distributors, Inc. have owned the building and operated the business from that location for 60 years, retiring from the grocery business in 1999. They recently decided to look for a new tenant for the building and posted a “For Lease” sign. Jeff Schons, one of the owners of Pelican Brewing Co., called Pat and Don Kehr, President and General Manager, and negotiations began. “Pat and Don have been so great to work with; they really went out of their way to help us put together a deal that allows us to locate in Tillamook. It was clearly very important to them to do what they could to help the local economy and they worked very hard to accommodate our needs. Seeing their commitment to the Tillamook area was a real pleasure for us and gave us one more reason to locate in Tillamook.”

City Manager Paul Wyntergreen and Tillamook County Economic Development Director Dan Biggs have also been working diligently with the Pelican owners to help make this come about.

The production brewery will initially double the brewing capacity of the Pacific City based business, to about 9,000 barrels per year, with plenty of room for growth in the coming years.

Pelican Brewing Co. ales are currently distributed in the Portland/Vancouver area by Maletis Beverage, and in western Washington area by Noble Distributing. Pelican also self-distributes in central and southern Oregon; however, quantities available for distribution are limited by the small capacity of the Pacific City brewing location, on the beach at Cape Kiwanda. Master Brewer & Co-Owner Darron Welch says “We are very excited to become more widely available in all of the Northwest markets within the next few years.”

“The deal is contingent on appropriate funding commitments to purchase equipment and renovate the building, so we are working diligently on that part of the puzzle right now”, according to Mary Jones, President of Pelican Brewing Co. The target date for opening the new facility is June 1, 2013.



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dogfish Head Theobroma – The Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Inc - Rehoboth Beach, DE



I have to be honest here. I’m an East Coast kind of guy who has found a home on the West Coast. That said, I’ve been pretty much devoted to Dogfish Head here on the East Coast. They certainly do bring variety to their lineup, and most times, you know that you’re going to impressed by what they have to offer. That said…wait for it…I may be getting a little tired of them. Every time I crack open one of their artsy brews, I’m definitely hit with a plethora of flavors…but sometimes, you just want a good, well-made beer, and not art.

In Dogfish Head, I’m beginning to feel that their selections are maybe a little over-crafted. Is that even possible? I don’t know how else to say it. I’m definitely hit with tons of flavors, but could it be getting a little old? The answer is a resounding maybe. We shall see what The Theobroma has to offer. I do like Chocolate, so I’m anticipating something delicious…but will it be overdone like so many other offerings from these kings of Craft Beer. Let’s see what the web has to say:

THE BEER:

Availability:  Limited

ABV: 9.0
IBU: 8

Theobroma is a celebration of chocolate, the food of the gods.

This Ancient Ale is based on chemical analysis of pottery fragments found in Honduras that revealed the earliest known alcoholic chocolate drink used by early civilizations to toast special occasions.

The discovery of this beverage pushed back the earliest use of cocoa for human consumption more than 500 years to 1,200 B.C. As per the analysis, Dogfish Head's Theobroma (translated into "food of the gods") is brewed with Aztec cocoa powder and cocoa nibs (from our friends at Askinosie Chocolate), honey, chilies and annatto (fragrant tree seeds).

It's light in color, not what you expect from your typical chocolate beer (not that you'd be surpised that we'd do something unexpected with this beer!).

This beer is part of our Ancient Ales series -- along with Midas Touch, Chateau Jiahu, Sah'tea and Ta Henket -- so step back in time and enjoy some Theobroma.

We currently send Theobroma (when available) to our wholesale partners in the following states:

AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, VT, WA

To find where our wholesalers have delivered this beer in the past 60 days, check out the Fish Finder (you can search by beer and by zip). As a reminder, it is always best to call and confirm a retailer still has the beer before making any treks!

Original Release Date: 05/2008

Food Pairing Recommendations: Toasted nuts, roasted chicken, milk chocolate, brined olives, dates, licorice

Wine Comparable: Cabernet Franc

THE BREWERY:

The Dogfish Head Brewery
Ever since the summer of 1995, we have been brewing, cooking, selling and talking everything beer. It's our pastime, our passion, our life. Since the beginning, we have always wanted to bring original beer, great food and local music to the Rehoboth Beach area.

After a couple of years, no matter what we did, we could not keep up with the demands of our beer, our food and our entertainment. We built a bigger and better brewhouse (in Rehoboth Beach, DE - on the Avenue) and that's where Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats is housed! Yum!

With brewing, distributing, cooking, entertaining happening all in one building on the Avenue in Rehoboth, we eventually outgrew the brew house and moved the entire production brewery to Milton, Delaware. To keep things interesting and off-centered, we built a distillery in the upstairs of the Rehoboth Brewhouse so we could make vodka, rum and gin.

THE STORY:

The story of Dogfish Head began in June of 1995 when we opened Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, the first state's first brewpub opened in the resort beach community of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The plan was to bring original beer, original food, and original music to the area.

Not only was Dogfish Head Delaware’s first brewpub, it was the smallest commercial brewery in America. Our very first batch, Shelter Pale Ale, was brewed on a system, which essentially was three little kegs with propane burners underneath. Brewing 12–gallon batches of beer for a whole restaurant proved to be more than a full time job. When the doors to the pub first opened, we brewed three times a day, five days a week! The one benefit to brewing on such a small system was the ability to try out a myriad of different recipes. We quickly got bored brewing the same things over and over – that’s when we started adding all sorts of weird ingredients and getting kind of crazy with the beers!

The beer wasn't the brewpub’s only draw. The pub's menu is centered on a wood-burning grill. We soon became known as the place to enjoy fresh grilled seafood, burgers, pizzas and sandwiches. The wood–burning grill imparts a unique flavor to everything on the menu, whether it's a hearty sandwich, a delicate piece of fish or our signature pizza dough.

With the popularity of the pub growing, it was quickly apparent that the 12–gallon brewery would not keep up with demand. We built a new brewery and underwent a thirty-fold expansion of the brew house!

The reputation of Dogfish Head ales quickly grew beyond Delaware's borders. Calls from Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and beyond poured in, as thirsty restaurant patrons demanded their favorite beach beer at home. We began bottling our Shelter Pale Ale in 1996 and just 1 year later we expanded again – this time we separated the packaging operation from the restaurant, and kept on brewing! By 1999, we were up to five year–round bottled brands in about a dozen states.

We outgrew our distributing brewery in a couple years and in the summer of 2002; we moved our entire production brewery up the road to Milton, Delaware into a 100,000 square foot converted cannery. Around the same time (just to keep thing interesting), we built a distillery on the second floor of our Rehoboth Beach brewpub, so we could make vodka, rum and gin.

Thanks to all our employees and every one of our customers, Dogfish Head continues to grow today! We’re now up to nearly 20 styles of beer that are sold in more than 25 states, and a half–dozen kinds of hand–crafted spirits... and we still have some ideas in the back of our collective heads.

If you haven’t had the chance to taste Dogfish Head... find a beer, track down one of our spirits – or visit one of our restaurants! You will see why international beer writer Michael Jackson calls Dogfish Head "America's most interesting and adventurous small brewery."

THE WEBSITE:


THE REVIEW:

This is a well-made beer. Flavors pop, and the care and patience given to brewing this masterpiece are evident in every sip. The pour was clean…with perhaps a little too much carbonation, but overall very good. The head was tight and crisp. The flavor though is what truly takes you back. The chocolate overtones are apparent, but not overdone, and there was a certain degree of spice throughout the tasting. It is an excellent brew, but as I said before…it could be getting a little old. I would say that if you’re in the mood for something off of the beaten path, then this is a great brew for you, but if you’re just looking for something tasty that will cap the day off, you may want to try something a little less artsy.

RATING:

8.5/10 - Artsy


Episode V: The Beer Geek Strikes Back


With so many beer nerds and beer geeks causing a ruckus these days, it begs the question…will The Real Slim Shady please stand up? Lost in a sea of self-appropriation where craft beer knowledge often falls on untrained ears, there is a question of what terms like beer geek really mean. Craft beer is a world with vast exposure on a surface level, but one that takes time and some true digging to arrive at the cherry-filled center. But is there ever an arrival? 

Much like George Harrison sang in the Beatles hidden gem "The Inner Light:" The farther one travels, the less one knows. Brewers Association Craft Beer Program Director Julia Herz echoes this sentiment as she considers herself "a beer beginner on an unending journey to learn more about craft beer.”

We pledge to follow your lead master beer Jedi Herz. Let’s take the nerdiness to another level as we compare the tactics of a few intergalactic beer ninjas using analogies from Star Wars to discuss today's craft beer geek!

Aren't You a Little Short for a Storm Trooper?

In the prequels of Star Wars, we learn the back story of Darth Vader. He was once a promising young Jedi that failed to assimilate, choosing to use his knowledge and power to alienate and harm the virtuous Jedi ways. Unfortunately, there are many similar stories in the craft beer world.

I recently came across a beer review from a “beer geek” that said something like this: “Wheat beer, ugh! Belgium yeast astringency, ugh! Bad beer.”

Well, it’s "Belgian" yeast, which tends to have lemony, apple or pear-like esters (fruity flavors), with black peppery phenols (spicy notes). Astringency is a dry or rough mouthfeel that in beer is generally associated with intense or harsh characteristics, while most hefeweizens are thought to be thirst-quenching. To quote my beer peer Jenner Costello, this beer geek's review sounds like “the Cascadian dark ale calling the black IPA black.”

These Are Not the Droids You Are Looking For

Too often there is the simple “good” or “bad” description of a craft beer. A beer Jedi more advanced than myself recently used the Force to inform someone: “Don’t say it’s a bad beer; say you don’t like it.” That’s a Jedi mind trick, son! Don't be a Beer Vader! The dark side only brings negativity and discord.

American craft beer is currently experiencing a huge surge, but a lot of us were raised in a post prohibition world where drinking anything besides an American light lager was unheard of for most of our lives.

Luke had to endure the backwards syntax of Yoda and get his arm chopped off by his evil dad before becoming a Jedi. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are beer geeks!

You've Never Heard of the Millennium Falcon?
 
As beer drinkers, we must be aware of our tone. I may or may not have heard someone once say: “I’m a total beer nerd. You talk to Bill Gates about computers; you talk to me about beer.”

Oh snap! That’s a Death Star beam of narcissism! Emperor Palpatine was a megalomaniac who made cat hissy faces while shooting lightning bolts from his fingers, estranging others as he attempted to take over the galaxy, but inside I’m sure the inner child of this lonely dictator was a sad panda.

Beer snobs are in danger of alienating people by flaunting their power as well. No one likes to be talked down to or made to feel dumb because of their lack of experience. It's important to keep in mind the regionality of craft beer—just because Russian River's Damnation Batch 23 is available at your local shop, doesn't mean that's the case for the majority of craft beer drinkers—take the opportunity to learn about someone else's regional favorites.

The Force is Strong in This One: Recognition of the Craft Beer Jedi

After Luke Skywalker defeated the Empire in laser tag and realized having a crush on his sister Leia was messed up, he has a vision of Yoda—the friendly ghost of his once evil dad Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker—while Obi Won Kenobi sheepishly smiles at him from the swinging bridges of Ewok Village. As younglings growing to use the craft beer Force, I’d like to offer up my version of who those three might be if pint glasses took the place of light sabers.

Ken Grossman as Obi Won Kenobi

The founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (SNBC) is a pioneer and legend in the American craft beer movement. Full transparency here—I'm a former SNBC employee—but to me, their Pale Ale is the quintessential American beer and a big reason IPAs are all the rage these days. Bigfoot, Celebration and their underrated Stout and Porter also existed in the 80s and were great contributors to what we know of American beer styles today. Sierra Nevada tied for the most medals at the 2012 World Beer Cup showing their great versatility, timeless relevance and
Mr.Grossman’s Obi Won Kenobi status.

Michael Jackson as Yoda

The smooth criminal? No, not that MJ...however this MJ was just as revolutionary as the moonwalk! The late beer writer Michael Jackson's books on beer in the 70s were a catalyst for the American craft beer renaissance that was soon to follow. Jackson's works on beer history, categorization of styles, and the ensuing inspiration caused Fritz Maytag (Anchor Brewing Company) to consider him the greatest influence on the world of beer since Louis Pasteur’s microbiology brought an understanding to fermentation. His books and videos sparked the interest of consumers and brewers alike, including this beer wookiee. I used to practice my crotch grabs and high pitched “woos” in the mirror, but now I want to be able to taste barley pops like this beer Yoda. 

Randy Mosher as Anakin Skywalker

There are many who could fill the Anakin Skywalker slot on the aforementioned hologram, but Randy Mosher fits the bill for me. His book Radical Brewing helped bring brewing methodology to the potential lawlessness of “extreme beers,” while Tasting Beer is a benchmark for terminology and taste buds. In addition, he is an accomplished graphic designer and his work has been visually telling the story of craft beer for over 20 years.

Others Worthy of Jedi Status

Garret Oliver | Brooklyn Brewery: he wears medieval fireman outfits and Jedi robes normally.

Fred Eckhart | beer guru and writer: possibly the best mustache in the business!

Charlie Papazian | founder of the American Homebrewers Association and Association of Brewers: a.k.a the gypsum god.

Fritz Maytag | Anchor Brewing Company

Sam Calagione | Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

Louis Pasteur | French chemist and microbiologist: the man wrote the book on fermentation, literally.

William IV | Duke of Bavaria: initiated the Reinheitsgebot (German Beer Purity Law) in 1516.

Ninkasi | Sumerian goddess of beer

Whether you claim beer geek, snob, connoisseur or otherwise, the words and humility of beer gurus like these should be your guide as you aspire to beer nerd status.

Ready are You? What Know You of Ready? - How to Train on Your Own

Yoda was the teacher Luke needed, but Luke trained extensively on Dagobah before a true Jedi he was. For starters, the authorities mentioned above have written many books to help establish a great foundation or take you to galaxies far, far away in the beer universe. Here are some programs and activities that could act as a good training ground as well:

Beer Judge Certification Program

The purpose of the Beer Judge Certification Program is to promote beer literacy and the appreciation of real beer, and to recognize beer tasting and evaluation skills. They certify and rank beer judges through an examination and monitoring process and have a great mobile app to help learn styles.

Cicerone Certification Program

The Cicerone® Certification Program was established by all-around beer veteran Ray Daniels, covering five major categories in beer. The word Cicerone has been chosen to designate those with proven expertise in selecting, acquiring and serving today’s wide range of craft beers, much like a sommelier is to wine.

Homebrewing

Learning the steps and science of designing beers, dedicating the time and space for the hobby, and making sense of the minutia and care needed to make even a decent product, brings a unique understanding to craft beer. The American Homebrewers Association is a great starting place for anyone interested in in the hobby.

May The Force Be With You
 
None of the above makes you the end all be all when it comes to craft beer, and I say all of this knowing that I have been that divisive snob too many times already.
Becoming a beer geek is a journey, not a destination, and there is probably always someone who knows more than you. Connoisseur status doesn’t happen with a few mix six-packs from the supermarket, but that's a sip in the right direction.

Worst of all, claiming to be a beer nerd and looking down your nose at others does nothing to promote the product, culture and craft breweries we love! Otherwise, we are in danger of going to the dark side and banishing others to the desert of lite beer with our condescending fingers.

The words “geek” or “snob” imply some haughty, contemptuous angle out of the gate. What if we called ourselves beer “lovers” or “enthusiasts” or “enjoyers” instead? I’m am personally guilty of thinking too much about a beer while I’m drinking, but beer is a social beverage meant to be enjoyed in the company of others, not constantly analyzed and inspected.

There is a time to discuss IBUs and ABVs, but recognizing when to pull the back the reigns and just be a fan will help the industry and our beloved craft beer move forward. Just as Han Solo once advised a droid on a scheme that would benefit the good of the whole by saying, “I suggest a new strategy, R2. Let the wookiee win.” May the Force be with you on your craft beer journey!

---------------------

Full disclosure to close this out…I did not write this article. It was however written by a fantastic beer man named Kellan Bartosch. Kellan is a Certified Cicerone® with 5+ years experience in the beer industry split between a distributor and craft beer pioneers Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. The article focuses on beer geeks, and I loved it so much, I had to repost it here. An article like this one demands a wider audience. The original, if your so inclined to check it out, can be found at http://www.craftbeer.com/pages/stories/craft-beer-muses/show?title=episode-v-the-beer-geek-strikes-back






Monday, September 24, 2012

New Jersey Governor Signs Small Brewery Bill


The Support Your Local Brewery (SYLB) Action Alert network was activated several times over the last 7 months in order to help the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild in their efforts to pass small brewer legislation in New Jersey. After passing both chambers of the legislature, Assembly Bill 1277/ Senate Bill 641 moved to Governor Chris Christie who signed it into law on Friday, September 21. This bill permits limited breweries (production microbreweries) to sell and distribute their products to consumers on the licensed premises of the brewery:

For consumption on the premises only in connection with a tour of the brewery
In an amount of up to 15.5 fluid gallons for consumption off the licensed premises
For sampling if properly permitted

Licensees are prohibited from selling food or operating a restaurant on the licensed premises. In addition, the quantity of malt alcoholic beverages that a restricted brewery (brewpub) may annually produce increases from 3,000 to 10,000 barrels. Finally, the bill allows a restricted brewery to sell its products to licensed wholesalers and acquire up to 10 restricted brewery licenses (currently capped at 2).

With this adjustment to New Jersey law, craft breweries will be able to expand, allowing for local economic growth and job creation. The Brewers Association would like to thank the New Jersey Support Your Local Brewery members who took action to help the Garden State Craft Brewers Association.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Harpoon Octoberfest - Harpoon Brewery - Boston, MA


I love this time of the year. Oktoberfest means that we get to sample some of the best seasonal brews out there. These days, it seems like every brewer out there is producing some sort of Oktoberfest brew. This is great news for a guy like me, who truly enjoys sampling a wide variety of beer, but it’s also good news for the everyday beer drinker. That person gets a little lightning thrown at their palate, as they taste a bit of history, as the weather changes, and winter quickly sneaks up on us. Today, we’re checking out what The Harpoon Brewery has to offer. Here’s what the web had to say about Harpoon’s Octoberfest:

THE BEER:

Octoberfest beers are brewed with festivals in mind, and Harpoon Octoberfest is no exception.  The Marzen style dates back to the days when refrigeration did not exist, making brewing in the summer impossible.  The term Marzen refers to the month (March) when the last beer was brewed before summer.  This beer would be lagered (stored) in ice caves until brewing resumed in the cool air of October.  At this time, kegs of Marzen were tapped and enjoyed at harvest festivals.  In 1810 at the wedding of Bavarian Crown Ludwig to Princess Theresa von Sachsen-Hildurghausen, the entire city of Munichcelebrated with Marzen beer and the Octoberfest tradition was created.

BEER CHARACTER

The character and complexity of Harpoon Octoberfest comes from the malt and hops.  When looking at a freshly poured Harpoon Octoberfest, you will notice the garnet-red color with a firm, creamy head.  The beer’s color is from a blend of Munich, chocolate, and pale malt.  The thick head results in part from wheat malt added to the grist.  The hop aroma of this beer is not overpowering but it is present.  Tettnang hops add a subtle spice nose that blends with the malt character.  This beer is full-bodied, smooth, and malty.  Willamettehops are used to provide a gentle bitterness and to balance any residual sweetness present from the malt.  The finish is soft and malty with a mild bitterness.
 
The overall character is a rich, full-bodied, maltiness whose sweetness is balanced by generous use of hops.

AVAILABILITY - August to October

THE BREWERY:

(An open letter to customers of Harpoon products)

Dear Friends of Harpoon,

The Harpoon Brewery
We started the Harpoon Brewery in 1986 because—like today—we loved beer and wanted more good choices.  While traveling in Europe after college, we drank many wonderfully diverse, fresh, local beers.  We also saw firsthand how important local breweries were to their communities.  After our travels, we asked each other, "why not bring great beer and that sense of community to New England?"  That was the genesis of the Harpoon Brewery.

Twenty years later we still revel in making great beer and sharing that joy with our friends and neighbors.  The success that we have had running Harpoon is due entirely to the wonderful employees who brew, package, warehouse, sell, deliver, and market our beer and you, the people who drink Harpoon.  We hope that our sense of gratitude is reflected in both the quality of the beer and the spirit of fun and enjoyment surrounding our beer and breweries.

Harpoon Founders Dan Kenary (left) &  Rich Doyle
At Harpoon, we have always worked hard at two things:  brewing great beer and welcoming our customers to our breweries.  Our beer styles were created to provide you, our beer-drinking friends, with fresh, fun and interesting choices.  We draw on numerous brewing traditions to make our beers, but we always add our own “interpretation” of how the styles can be best matched to our – and your - tastes.

We invite all of you to visit our Boston brewery, where it all began, and our beautiful brewery in Windsor, Vermont.  You will see a commitment to brewing excellence and receive a warm greeting.  In addition, please visit us during one of our seasonal brewery festivals – which have grown very popular since we held our first Octoberfest in 1990.  Directions to both breweries, schedules of tastings, and festival information can be found in other parts of this website.

Thank you for appreciating great beer and for your continued support.

Cheers!
 
Rich and Dan

The History of Harpoon

The Early Years, 1986 to 1990

Harpoon was officially born on June 19, 1986 when the Mass Bay Brewing Co. was incorporated, though its origins preceed the actual date.  Rich Doyle wrote the business plan for the Harpoon Brewery during his second year at Harvard Business School.  At that time, he was unable to find the variety of beers that were available in Europe, nor the rich beer culture he had enjoyed there.  Breweries in the U.S. had changed from being a part of the local community to remote facilities serving national markets.  The craft brewing revolution had yet to bloom.  Rich teamed up with Dan Kenary and George Ligeti, who also shared a passion for local brewing, to form a company.

The U.S. Craft Brewing Revolution, 1991 – 1996

Harpoon was an early participant in what would become a major resurgence in local, craft brewing in the U.S.  Small breweries were sprouting up, particularly in the Northwest and in New England, eventually giving the U.S. more breweries than any other country.  The Harpoon Brewery enjoyed this surge in interest, during which time annual production increased nearly 8 times, going from 7,200 barrels to over 55,000.

Brewing Capacity Continues to Expand, 1997 to 2003

In 1997, Harpoon installed a state of the art bottling and substantially increased its production capacity.  With a line-up of beers that now included UFO Hefeweizen, Harpoon continued to grow.  When the former Catamount Brewery went up for sale in 2000, Harpoon purchased the brewery in Windsor, VT and began brewing in October of that year.  The tradition of festivals was continued in Vermont, with two annual events held in the fields surrounding the brewery.

Harpoon Approaches its 20th Anniversary, 2001 to Present

The steady growth of Harpoon, along with an abiding commitment to quality, led to further changes to the brewery in Boston.  Starting in 2002, fabrication of a new brewhouse began in Germany.  It was later transported to Boston via containers and installation began in late 2002.  2003 saw the first brews from a new, state of the art brewhouse.  Having become the largest craft brewer in New England, Harpoon took a page from its early days with the launch of the 100 Barrel Series.

THE ENVIRONMENT:

Harpoon and Our Environment

Here at Harpoon we have an ongoing commitment to being a good neighbor.  To us that includes making sure we are using our natural resources responsibly and making environmentally sound decisions.  We have an obligation to our community – today and in the future – to do what we can to make our breweries in Boston, MA and Windsor, VT more sustainable and earth friendly.  Below is a summary of our current sustainable practices here at Harpoon.  Check back often, as we anticipate this list will continue to grow.

Current Sustainable Practices at Harpoon

Production:
Recycling paper, glass bottles, cardboard from packaging
Sell spent grain to farms for animal feed
Treating brewery wastewater on-site
Installed movement-sensing lights to save electricity in brewery
Installed Freeaire keg cooler system in both breweries
Wort cooling water returns to hot tank for future use
Recapture condensate from kettle to save on heating hot water
Participating in EnerNOC demand response program
Installing new, more energy-efficient chiller; process-monitoring of fermenter  temperatures
Identifying ways of using less cleaning and sanitizing chemicals by reusing solution where possible

General Office/Sales/Marketing:
Encouraging brewery visitors to ride a bike (bike rack)
Paper and cardboard recycling
Participating in EnerNOC demand response program
Lights off when not in use

THE WEBSITE:


THE REVIEW:

I love a good Oktoberfest brew. They combine a nice malt character, with a good amount of spice and creaminess. Harpoon combines the best of these. The pour was clean, producing a nice creamy head, with a lot of character. The taste immediately presented a nice degree of spice and malt, all the while emulating the boldness associated with Oktoberfest brews. This is probably one of the best Oktoberfest beers that I have ever tasted.

THE RATING:

8/10 - Nice



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron - Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Inc. – Milton, DE


As most of you know, my return to the West Coast is all but imminent. That said, I intend to sample as many East Coast Breweries as I can, simply because I have no clue when I’ll be able to sip these fantastic brews again, once I land on the Left Coast.  

Of the East Coast Breweries that I’ve simply fallen in love with, Dogfish Head leads the pack. Their Craft brews embody the exact essence of what a “Craft” Brewery should be. It should be one that experiments, tinkers and creates. 

Every one of their selections has a character of its own, and all of them mean something special to me. Tonight, we’re sampling the Palo Santo Marron, one that promises wooden brewing vessels, a high ABV and plenty of flavor. Here’s what the website had to say:


THE BEER:

Availability:  Year Round

An unfiltered, unfettered, unprecedented brown ale aged in handmade wooden brewing vessels. The caramel and vanilla complexity unique to this beer comes from the exotic Paraguayan Palo Santo wood from which these tanks were crafted. Palo Santo means "holy tree," and its wood has been used in South American wine-making communities.

This highly roasty and malty brown ale clocks in at 12% abv. A huge hit at our Rehoboth Beach brewpub when first released in November 2006, Palo went into full production at the end of 2007.

At 10,000 gallons, our Palo tank is the largest wooden brewing vessel built in America since before Prohibition (and we have two same-sized oak tanks right next to it).

We currently Palo Santo Marron to our wholesale partners in the following states:

AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, VT, WA

Original Release Date: 12/2007

Food Pairing Recommendations: Steak, chorizzo sausage, cajun cuisine, farmhouse cheddar

Glassware Recommendation: Pint

Tasting Notes: Caramel, vanilla, Paraguayan palo santo wood

Wine Comparable: Oak-aged cabernet

THE BREWERY:

The story of Dogfish Head began in June of 1995 when we opened Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, the first state's first brewpub opened in the resort beach community of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The plan was to bring original beer, original food, and original music to the area.

Not only was Dogfish Head Delaware’s first brewpub, it was the smallest commercial brewery in America. Our very first batch, Shelter Pale Ale, was brewed on a system which essentially was three little kegs with propane burners underneath. Brewing 12–gallon batches of beer for a whole restaurant proved to be more than a full time job. When the doors to the pub first opened, we brewed three times a day, five days a week! The one benefit to brewing on such a small system was the ability to try out a myriad of different recipes. We quickly got bored brewing the same things over and over – that’s when we started adding all sorts of weird ingredients and getting kind of crazy with the beers!

The beer wasn't the brewpub’s only draw. The pub's menu centered on a wood-burning grill. We soon became known as the place to enjoy fresh grilled seafood, burgers, pizzas and sandwiches. The wood–burning grill imparts a unique flavor to everything on the menu, whether it's a hearty sandwich, a delicate piece of fish or our signature pizza dough.

The Dogfish Head Brewery
With the popularity of the pub growing, it was quickly apparent that the 12–gallon brewery would not keep up with demand. We built a new brewery and underwent a thirty-fold expansion of the brew house!

The reputation of Dogfish Head ales quickly grew beyond Delaware's borders. Calls from Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and beyond poured in, as thirsty restaurant patrons demanded their favorite beach beer at home. We began bottling our Shelter Pale Ale in 1996 and just 1 year later we expanded again – this time we separated the packaging operation from the restaurant, and kept on brewing! By 1999, we were up to five year–round bottled brands in about a dozen states.

We outgrew our distributing brewery in a couple years and in the summer of 2002; we moved our entire production brewery up the road to Milton, Delaware into a 100,000 square foot converted cannery. Around the same time (just to keep thing interesting), we built a distillery on the second floor of our Rehoboth Beach brewpub, so we could make vodka, rum and gin.

Thanks to all our employees and every one of our customers, Dogfish Head continues to grow today! We’re now up to nearly 20 styles of beer that are sold in more than 25 states, and a half–dozen kinds of hand–crafted spirits... and we still have some ideas in the back of our collective heads.

If you haven’t had the chance to taste Dogfish Head... find a beer, track down one of our spirits – or visit one of our restaurants! You will see why international beer writer Michael Jackson calls Dogfish Head "America's most interesting and adventurous small brewery."

Our People

There are more than 100 of us now.... So lots of people all work together make Dogfish Head a huge success. Here's a little bit about a few of us ... to meet more, come for a visit!

Sam Calagione | Dogfish Head Founder & President

Sam Calagione is the founder and President of Dogfish Head. Sam got the brewing bug back in the early 1990s while working at a bar in NYC that featured microbrewed beer. After a number of homebrew batches, Sam put his English degree to the test while writing the brewpub business plan. Sam is the brainchild behind all the wacky things that happen at Dogfish Head. He's often on the road promoting Dogfish Head through beer, song, dance and words!

Mariah Calagione | Dogfish Head Vice President

Mariah is more the right-side of the brain inside the workings of Dogfish - she is also Sam's wife. After supporting her husband with an actual paycheck for the first few Dogfish years, Mariah came on board fully in 1997. Mariah works with our  marketing, web, merchandise, tour and community teams.

Nick Benz | Chief Operating Officer

Nick is the Chief Operating Officer at Dogfish (geez, that sounds kinda official huh?!). He works with all our co-workers on a day-to-day basis to make sure things are moving in the right (meaning slightly off-centered) direction.

Cindy Dunson | Human Resources

Cindy is the lady to know if you are looking to become part of the team Dogfish Head. Cindy is our HR Director. She is always looking for fantastic, fun, hard-working folks to join our slightly off-centered team of co-workers. Whether you are looking for opportunities at our Rehoboth Beach brewpub/distillery or the Milton, DE brewery, she's involved!

Adam Lambert | Brewery VP of Sales

Adam Lambert is the Vice President of Sales at Dogfish Head - that means he works with our entire Sales team to make sure we get as much Dogfish beer to you as we possibly can! Adam joined our team in 2008.

Jason Weissberg | GM of Rehoboth Brewpub

Jason is the General Manager at the Rehoboth Beach brewpub/distillery. Jason and the great team at the pub are there to provide an off-centered, tasty time when you come by and visit.

If you need to contact any one of the above folks (or anyone else here for that matter!), please shoot an e-mail to: info@dogfish.com and indicate where it should be forwarded. Cheers.

Our Environment

What's it like to work at Dogfish?

Well, we're a crazy, kooky bunch of somebodies... but we work hard and get the job done. Within our work environment, we try to keep the day-to-day activities light and fun. Not everything has to be so serious. We are serious about our jobs and our company, don't get us wrong, but we still like to keep the group dynamics a bit crazy and off-centered.

Even though we use the term "off-centered" alot, it really does describe our work philosophy. I mean, seriously, we have a pseudo-urinating statue in our brewery, we sell a belt buckle that doubles as a bottle opener and have our own bocce courts at our Milton brewery. Sound a bit unconventional to you? Yea, we thought so...

Wanna join us? If you are interested in finding out about the current job opportunities here at Dogfish, just click the Jobs link right here in the Community section of our website.

THE WEBSITE:


THE REVIEW:

Now that is a lot of flavor. The moment that you crack this one open, the aroma just knocks you back a few steps. The smell of wood and hops, along with the unmistakable smell of alcohol take you by surprise. The pour was slick and syrup-like. It’s almost as if you were pouring molasses. The head was thick and stuck around for a while. As for the taste, well you immediately taste the wooden vessels that were used in the brewing process, and the high ABV means that you have to take it slow. But as you sip it, you begin to appreciate it like a fine wine. It was outstanding.

RATING:

9.5/10 - Outstanding



Red Robin Introduces Samuel Adams Octoberfest Milkshake


GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO – As Oktoberfest celebrations come to a head this fall, Red Robin’s new shake will leave beer enthusiasts and dessert-lovers alike craving a cold one—a cold beer milkshake, that is!  Now through Nov. 11 (or until supplies last), Red Robin is featuring the Samuel Adams® Octoberfest Milkshake – a unique 21 and over milkshake made with creamy soft serve ice cream, Samuel Adams® Octoberfest draft, vanilla and caramel.  A sip of this one-of-a-kind shake will rouse a round of toasts and solve one epic food dilemma, right up there with coffee or tea, onion rings or French fries, and soup or salad.  The Octoberfest Milkshake offers a sweet solution – a milkshake and beer – in, one satisfying drink.

“Nothing says Oktoberfest better than a beer, so I incorporated the fun spirit of Red Robin into this innovative milkshake,” said Donna Ruch, master mixologist with Red Robin.  “Now, our guests don’t have to choose between a beer or a shake to go with their burger. They can have the very best of both in our new Octoberfest Milkshake.”

Along with the Octoberfest Milkshake, Red Robin has drafted the perfect appetizer as a complement to the shake—Warm Pretzel Bites.  Reminiscent of fall days and tailgating, these warm, soft pretzel bites served with Merkts® beer cheese dip and tangy beer mustard are sure to tickle the taste buds.  While the taps are flowing, guests can also enjoy the Tavern Burger, Pub Crawl Style.  This new pub-inspired burger is topped with Wisconsin’s famous Merkts beer cheese spread, beer mustard-onions and bacon.

The Gourmet Burger Expert has crafted other seasonal delights, available for a limited time only, including:

- Oktoberfest Burger – This creative and craveable Oktoberfest-inspired burger is back by uber popular demand!  With a toasted pretzel bun slathered with beer mustard, topped with a fire-grilled beef patty, melted Swiss cheese, beer mustard sauteed onions, Black Forest ham and green leaf lettuce, this burger will have guests raising their steins in approval.

- St. Louis Butter Cake –For this fall treat, warm caramel apples paired with rich, buttery cake is served over vanilla ice cream and topped with caramel drizzle and whipped cream.  Now that’s YUMMM-y!

- Honey Bourbon Lemonade – This twist on Red Robin’s classic lemonade has a little kick to it.  The adult-only lemonade is a refreshing blend of Red Stag® Honey Tea Bourbon and Minute Maid® lemonade, shaken with fresh mint and agave nectar. This cocktail is sure to quench any thirst.

“We wanted to capture the flavors of fall to craft savory and sweet dishes for our guests,” said Dave Woolley, executive chef of Red Robin.  “The variety of seasonal ingredients, like beer cheese, mustard spreads and caramel apple flavors, promises to bring the spirit of Oktoberfest to every table.”

For more information on the Oktoberfest menu or to find the restaurant location nearest you, visit www.redrobin.com.

About Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRGB):

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (www.redrobin.com), a casual dining restaurant chain founded in 1969 that operates through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Red Robin International, Inc., is the gourmet burger expert, famous for serving  more than two dozen craveable, high-quality burgers with Bottomless Steak Fries® in a fun environment welcoming to guests of all ages.  In addition to its many burger offerings, Red Robin serves a wide variety of salads, soups, appetizers, entrees, desserts and signature Mad Mixology®Beverages.  There are more than 460 Red Robin® restaurants located across the United States andCanada, including corporate-owned locations and those operating under franchise agreements. Red Robin… YUMMM®! Connect with Red Robin on Facebook and Twitter.



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2012 Oregon Brewers Festival Generates $30 Million for Local Economy


PORTLAND, Ore. – Sept. 12, 2012 – A recently completed study estimates the economic impact of the 2012 Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF) on the local economy at $30 million. This was the second year that Jeff Dense, Professor of Political Science at Eastern Oregon University, and his Politics and Beer class conducted a survey on the grounds of the festival.

Dense and his students administered 680 on-site interviews at Tom McCall Waterfront Park between July 26 and July 28, 2012. Dense then utilized IMPLAN (IMpact Analysis for PLANning), a data and software package, to estimate the economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival on Multnomah County.  He determined that the 2012 OBF generated $21.15 Million in direct and $8.87 Million in indirect economic output.

“The Oregon Brewers Festival has a profound impact on the local economy,” explained Dense. “Although the tourism industry is the primary beneficiary of the OBF, a wide range of local industries economically benefit from the country’s largest outdoor beer festival.”

Respondents were queried on demographic factors, along with estimates of OBF related expenditures in tourism-related categories, including transportation, lodging, meals, gasoline purchases, non-beer related recreation, beer purchased to take home, and expenditures at OBF.

Findings of the study include:

- The $8.9 Million indirect economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival affects 91 local industry sectors more than $10,000.
- More than 350 jobs were created as a result of the OBF.
- The 2012 OBF generated a total added value of $11.8 Million.
- Visiting OBF patrons spent an average of $649.
- Accommodations ($9.31 Million) and food and drink ($7.96 Million) accounted for the majority of OBF visitor expenditures.
- The majority of OBF patrons were out-of-town visitors.
- Nearly a third (30.3%) of OBF attendees participated in beer tourism during their visit, visiting area breweries and brewpubs.
- More than half of OBF patrons (52.1%) were attending the festival for the first time.
- Women accounted for a significant percentage (33%) of OBF attendees.
- While 21-29 year old attendees constitute the largest age demographic (30.2%) of OBF patrons, the 50+ crowd has a significant presence (26%) at the festival.
- The recent study replicated the 2011 Oregon Brewers Festival analysis, which estimated the estimated economic impact of the festival at $23.2 Million. A series of methodological adjustments – including moving Southern Washington out of the local category – along with the full implementation of the IMPLAN software, provided a more robust and accurate estimate of the economic impact of this year’s festival.

The OBF always takes place the last full weekend in July, and annually draws 80,000 visitors from around the world.  The 26th annual event will take place July 25 through July 28, 2013. For more information, visit www.oregonbrewfest.com.

Widmer Brothers Falconer’s IPA Returns


(Portland, OR) – For the next installment in its Rotator IPA series, Widmer Brothers Brewing is bringing back one of its most popular limited edition ales: Falconer’s India Pale Ale. 

Brewed and introduced for the first time a year ago, Falconer’s IPA is the only Rotator IPA series beer to make a comeback thus far and is the sixth release to date. Crafted with a proprietary Falconer’s Flight™ hop blend that honors the late Glen Hay Falconer, Falconer’s IPA is a testament to the brewer’s legacy and dedication to supporting aspiring brewers.

“Glen Hay Falconer was an incredible individual who inspired brewers—from the novice to the pro—in all corners of the country, not just the Northwest,” recalled Kurt Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers Brewing. “His contributions will never be forgotten, and we’re proud to be part of continuing his legacy.”

In addition to brewing the commemoratory beer, Widmer Brothers will donate $5,000 with the release of Falconer’s IPA to the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to commemorate and celebrate the life, interests and good works of Glen Hay Falconer. Contributions will help fund brewing scholarships for current or aspiring brewers, providing the education and foundation for success. In addition, a portion of the proceeds from sales of Falconer’s Flight Hops will be donated to the foundation.

“The Rotator IPA series is all about experimenting within a specific beer style and sharing new and unique interpretations with beer lovers,” said Ben Dobler, Widmer Brothers brewer. “While we didn’t plan on repeating beers in the Rotator IPA Series, every once in a while we come across a recipe that is too good to brew only once. We think Glen would agree, and it’s fitting that Falconer’s IPA is the beer to buck tradition.”

The Rotator IPA series features an ever-changing offering of IPAs handcrafted by the Widmer Brothers brewing team. This year, Falconer’s IPA follows on the heels of Shaddock IPA, released in May, and Spiced IPA, released in January. The series launched in 2011 with X-114 IPA, followed by Falconer’s IPA and O’Ryely IPA. Each new release is brewed in limited quantities, and until this release, once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. This second release of Falconer’s IPA offers beer drinkers another chance to enjoy the legacy of a brewing legend.

About Falconer’s IPA

Falconer’s IPA is a bright, moderately bitter IPA with stone fruit aromas and a strong malt backbone. The IPA is brewed with Falconer’s Flight™ hop created by Hopunion, LLC, a Pacific Northwest-based company with hop growers in Oregon and Washington. Falconer’s Flight™ hop includes a blend of many of the Northwest’s most unique hop varieties. Each hop was hand selected for its superior aromatic qualities, imparting distinct tropical, citrus, floral, lemon and grapefruit tones.

Flavor Points
· Significant but smooth bitterness
· Caramel malty sweetness helps balance the palate
· Bright fruit aromas such as citrus, peaches and apricots

Ingredients
Malts: 2-Row Pale, Caramel 40L, Honey Malt
Hops: Bittering – Alchemy
Aroma – Falconer’s Flight™

Profile
Original Gravity: 15P
Apparent Extract: 2P
IBU: 65
Color: 16 SRM
Alcohol by Volume: 7%

Falconer’s IPA is available in limited quantities on draught, in six-packs, 12-packs, and in 22-ounce bottles at select retailers nationwide. Falconer’s IPA has a suggested retail price of $8.99 for six-packs and $15.99 for 12-packs.

About the Rotator IPA Series

Widmer Brothers brewers’ recipe book is full of IPA recipes. Rather than just pick one, the brewers wanted to share as many of these unique brews as they could with beer lovers everywhere. As a result, Widmer Brothers created the Rotator IPA Series, an ever-changing offering of different IPAs. The series was created to showcase the brewers’ penchant for experimentation and exhibit their freedom for innovation within the broad IPA style. The return of Falconer’s IPA is the sixth beer in the brewery’s Rotator IPA Series, and was preceded by X-114 IPA, the first release of Falconer’s IPA, O’Ryely IPA, Spiced IPA and most recently Shaddock IPA. The Rotator IPA Series beers are only available while supplies last.

About the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation

The Glen Hay Falconer Foundation is a nonprofit organization created to commemorate and celebrate the life, interests and good works of a well-loved and leading Northwest brewer. The mission of the foundation is to contribute to the Northwest craft brewing community by providing opportunities for professional and aspiring brewers to further their knowledge and expertise.

About Widmer Brothers Brewing

What started out as a dream for two ordinary brothers who just loved beer has now become a reality for two ordinary brothers who still just love beer. Kurt and Rob Widmer helped lead the Pacific Northwest craft beer movement in 1984 when, in their twenties, they dreamed of brewing American interpretations of authentic European-style beers. In 1986, Widmer Brothers Brewing introduced the first American-style Hefeweizen; today, the unfiltered cloudy beer is the company’s signature brew and one of the best selling wheat beers in the country. Based in Portland, Ore., the brewery currently brews a variety of beers including Drifter Pale Ale, Nelson Imperial IPA, Rotator IPA Series, Drop Top Amber Ale and Pitch Black IPA. For more information about Widmer Brothers Brewing, visit www.widmerbrothers.com.