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Firestone Walker Announces 18th Anniversary Ale Blend


Firestone Walker XVIII Anniversary

A highlight for many beer enthusiasts each year is the release of Firestone Walker Brewing Co.’s anniversary ale. The beer, which was first created to commemorate their 10th anniversary, brings together over a dozen Central Coast vintners to blend a beer that, this year, consists of over 227 oak barrels and nine different beers.

“These winemakers are practicing experts in the art of blending, so it makes perfect sense to seek their counsel,” Firestone Walker’s brewmaster Matt Brynildson said. “It’s like bringing in the ninjas.”

The winemakers are paired off and given the gamut of barrel aged component beers that can be used for the blend, which are then presented to the group, blind tested, and voted on. The beer with the most votes becomes that year’s anniversary ale. The blend chosen to create Firestone Walker XVIII was created by Russell From and Philip Muzzy of Herman Story Wines. See the full post »

1 comment 10.27.2014 |

5 to Try: Fresh Hop Beers


Terrapin So Fresh & So Green, Green

Hops are a pretty fickle component in beer. Once picked they are typically kiln dried as whole hop cones or formed into pellets. The hops, which are around 80% moisture, are reduced to around 9% to preserve them. Too little moisture and they oxidize. Too much moisture and they’ll mold and create off flavors. But because these hops lose their flavor and aroma compounds so quickly and easily and since they are harvested just one time per year and brewers need a supply of hops year round, this is the best option. Dried hops pack the flavor and aroma you’d expect to find in hops, but often lack the depth and complexity of fresh hops.

However, during the harvest period, around late August to early October depending on the varietal and location, brewers have access to beautiful, fresh hops to create beer with. These beers, called fresh hop beers, also known as wet hop, green hop, or harvest beers, use the freshest hops imaginable. The hops are picked and delivered via the fastest methods available to the brewery and are often used in a beer within 24-48 hours of picking. Much longer than that and they’ll start deteriorating. Some brewers working with local hop sources get these hops into their kettle within hours of being picked. Due to the high moisture content of fresh hops compared to dried hops, brewers often use five times more fresh hops for these beers than they would in dried form. See the full post »

Comments Off on 5 to Try: Fresh Hop Beers 10.21.2014 |

David Chang Hates Fancy Beer; Garrett Oliver Hates Crappy Beer


Garrett Oliver

Earlier this month, acclaimed James Beard award winning chef David Chang made a bolt statement on GQ: “I hate fancy beer.”

Chef Chang can deal with cheese snobs, and he can deal with wine snobs. While it’s foreign to him, he can even deal with coffee snobs. But beer snobs? The ones who comb out their neck beards while arguing about hop varieties? They’re “the worst of the bunch,” he claims.

It’s important to note that Chef Chang does like how “fancy” beer tastes, it’s just that what he wants more often than not is something that is the “lightest, crappiest beer” available, and even suggests that’s how he orders his beer at a restaurant, often met with a dumbfounded look from the waiter or sommelier though he is very much serious. See the full post »

Comments Off on David Chang Hates Fancy Beer; Garrett Oliver Hates Crappy Beer 10.17.2014 |

Winners of the 2014 Great American Beer Festival


2014 Great American Beer Festival

Photo © Brewers Association

The 2014 Great American Beer Festival has officially come to a close. The event, which drew 49,000 beer lovers to Denver, Colorado, is the largest commercial beer competition in the world. The event, which is presented by the Brewers Association, awarded 268 medals to some of this country’s best breweries, as well as three medals to Pro-Am entries.

This year’s event saw its biggest judging panel, consisting of 222 beer experts from 10 countries evaluating 5,507 commercial entries, plus 89 Pro-Am entries, for a total of 90 beer categories and 145 beer styles. Entries increased by 16% over 2013 and entries were seen from 1,309 breweries nationwide.

Below are the 2014 Brewery and Brewer of the Year awards.

Very Small Brewing Company and Very Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group (BSG)

Draught Works
Draught Works Brew Team

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by O-I

Marble Brewery
Team Marble

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Microstar Keg Management

Devils Backbone Brewing Co.—Outpost
DB Brewery Team

Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Beer Institute

AC Golden
AC Golden Brewing Team

Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.

Bastone Brewery
Rockne Van Meter

Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year
Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group (BSG)

Brasserie Saint James
Josh Watterson & Matt Watterson

Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Country Malt Group

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
Julian Shrago & Ian McCall See the full post »

Comments Off on Winners of the 2014 Great American Beer Festival 10.06.2014 |

This Just In: Beer contains water, barley malt, corn, yeast and hops



To everyone’s surprise, the Food Babe [who purposefully isn’t being linked] has just uncovered one of the greatest mysteries known to man: what exactly is in beer? In a stunning revelation that has been on everyone’s mind for three decades, she was able to figure out in just 24 hours what the secret ingredients in beer were. When the Food Babe coerced MillerCoors to divulge their secrets, I couldn’t believe what we learned, that beer is made with water, barley malt, corn, yeast and hops.

Adding credibility to her groundbreaking detective work was Alex Jones’ INFOWARS, as she went on his show two days ago demanding answers from big beer. He agreed with her investigation, saying, “Anheuser-Busch isn’t even beer, for about 15 years now it’s a chemical syrup. Folks needs to understand the reason that I don’t drink American beer anymore unless it’s from a microbrewery is because it’s not beer. You drink German or Mexican, because they follow the old brewmaster things of England and Germany.” Ah yes, those famous “old brewmaster things of England” that Mexico is so well known for strictly adhering to.

Thankfully these secrets are now out of the closet and once and for all we know exactly what is in beer…and it only took her 24 hours to figure it out. The cat is out of the bag now, MillerCoors.


It’s shocking, I know. Next I hope she tackles the special sauce at McDonald’s or peanut butter.

For more reading on this topic, visit the here and here

Comments Off on This Just In: Beer contains water, barley malt, corn, yeast and hops 06.13.2014 |

Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America and Collaboration 12 Pack


Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp Across America

Chico, California’s famed craft brewery Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has recently announced their newest adventure: Beer Camp Across America. Beer Camp Across America is a 7-city traveling beer festival and every craft brewer is invited.

It starts in Chico, then onto San Diego, Denver, Chicago, Portland (Maine), Philly, and ends in Mills River, NC, home of the new east coast Sierra Nevada brewery. Along the way, every US craft brewery is invited to pour two of their beers.

Tickets, tour dates, and more can be found here.

Equally exciting is the Sierra Nevada collaboration 12 pack. Sierra Nevada teamed up with 12 of America’s most iconic craft breweries to make a collaboration 12 pack unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Those beers are:

Yvan the Great: Belgian-Style Blonde
Brewed in collaboration with Russian River Brewing Company.

Chico King: Pale Ale
Brewed in collaboration with 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Double Latte: Coffee Milk Stout
Brewed in collaboration with Ninkasi Brewing Company.

Myron’s Walk: Belgian-Style Pale Ale
Brewed in collaboration with Allagash Brewing Company

Torpedo Pilsner: Hoppy Pilsner
Brewed in collaboration with Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Tater Ridge: Scottish Ale
Brewed in collaboration with Asheville Brewers Alliance

Maillard’s Odyssey: Imperial Dark Ale
Brewed in collaboration with Bell’s Brewery.

Canfusion: Rye Bock
Brewed in collaboration with Oskar Blues Brewery

Ale Route: Altbier
Brewed in collaboration with Victory Brewing Company.

Yonder Bock: Tropical Maibock
Brewed in collaboration with Cigar City Brewing.

There and Back: English-style Bitter
Brewed in collaboration with New Glarus Brewing Company.

Electric Ray: India Pale Lager
Brewed in collaboration with Ballast Point Brewing Company.

Look for the collaboration 12 pack mid-July.

Comments Off on Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America and Collaboration 12 Pack 05.02.2014 |

2014 World Beer Cup Results


World Beer Cup 2014

Photos © Brewers Association

The World Beer Cup, held in Denver, Colorado on April 11, is the world’s biggest stage for honoring the craft of beer. 4,754 beers from 1,403 breweries representing 58 countries competed for medals this year.

Below are the brewery and brewmaster awards, as well as some of the popular categories (in terms of numbers of entries). No surprise that American IPA had the most submissions.

To see the full list of winners, click here.

Brewers Association World Beer Cup 2014 Champion Brewery and Brewmaster
Small Brewing Company

Pelican Brewery, Pacific City, OR
Darron Welch & Steve Panos

Brewers Association World Beer Cup 2014 Champion Brewery and Brewmaster
Mid-size Brewing Company

Coronado Brewing Company, Coronado, CA
Coronado Brewing Company

Brewers Association World Beer Cup 2014 Champion Brewery and Brewmaster
Large Brewing Company

Coors Brewing Company, Golden, CO
Dr. David Ryder

Brewers Association World Beer Cup 2014 Champion Brewery and Brewmaster
Small Brewpub

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Media, Media, PA
Iron Hill Brewery Team

Brewers Association World Beer Cup 2014 Champion Brewery and Brewmaster
Large Brewpub

Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant, Topeka, KS
John Dean

Category 6: Herb and Spice Beer, 101 Entries
Gold: Mango Magnifico con Calor, Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, MI Silver: Bitterama, Kamala Brewing at the Whip In, Austin, TX
Bronze: Señorita, Elevation Beer Co., Poncha Springs, CO

Category 8: Coffee Beer, 109 Entries
Gold: Big Shot Espresso Stout, Twisted Pine Brewing Co., Boulder, CO
Silver: Panama Joe’s Coffee Stout, Il Vicino Brewing Co. – The Canteen, Albuquerque, NM Bronze: Mocha Machine, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Long Beach, CA

Category 21: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer, 112 Entries
Gold: 1314, Black Tooth Brewing Co., Sheridan, WY
Silver: Cockswain’s Courage Double Barreled Edition Porter, Garage Project, Wellington, New Zealand Bronze: Bourbon Barrel Aged Mountain Man, Verboten Brewing, Loveland, CO

Category 55: French- and Belgian-Style Saison, 91 Entries
Gold: Saison, Aspen Brewing Co., Aspen, CO
Silver: Temporis, Croce di Malto, Trecate, Italy
Bronze: TAPS Saison, TAPS Fish House & Brewery – Corona, Corona, CA

Category 85: American-Style Pale Ale, 122 Entries
Gold: The Weight, Piece Brewery, Chicago, IL
Silver: Knotty Pine Pale Ale, Lumberyard Brewing Co., Flagstaff, AZ Bronze: Featherweight Pale, Cannonball Creek Brewing Co., Golden, CO

Category 87: American-Style India Pale Ale, 224 Entries
Gold: Hop, Drop ‘n Roll, NoDa Brewing Co., Charlotte, NC
Silver: Head Hunter, Fat Head’s Brewery, Middleburg Heights, OH Bronze: Citrus Mistress, Hop Valley Brewing Co., Eugene, OR

Comments Off on 2014 World Beer Cup Results 04.15.2014 |

Innis & Gunn and Stone’s Stochasticity Project Announce New Beers


Innis & Gunn Oak Bottled Beer

Two new beers have conveniently been announced today. One comes from Scotland’s Innis & Gunn, and the other from Stone Brewing Co.’s Stochasticity Project.

Innis & Gunn, the Scotland brewery known for oak aging all of its beer, has announced a beer that is oak aged via the very bottle it is packaged in. Its flagship beer, Original, will be bottle in sold oak bottles.

“It was quite incredible,” said CEO Dougal Sharp. “In that moment, I knew exactly what I needed to do – it was a calling. We’re exploring new frontiers here, going where no other brewer has gone before: putting our best-selling beer in solid oak bottles and letting it mature on shelf! To be honest, anyone these days can release a beer matured in oak barrels, so this is really ground-breaking stuff.”

Back on California’s West Coast, Stone Brewing’s innovative Stochasticity Project was brewing up something unique with their Cr(He)am Ale. Beer is regularly brewed with carbon dioxide and nitrogen and looking to push the limits, the team at Stone turned towards helium.

Stone Quality Assurance Supervisor Rick Blankemeier first came up with the idea for a helium-infused beer after playing around with nitro beers and thought, “What would happen if helium was added to a beer?” The idea was presented to Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele, who at first assumed it couldn’t be done. After a brief science lesson from Rick, Mitch decided it was worth a try and the beer would be perfect for the Stone Stochasticity Project.

“I think Mitch thought I had been drinking too much of the beer when I went to him with my idea of a helium ale,” said Blankemeier. “I’m really pleased with this beer. The hop aroma punches you in the nose and there is a slight tingle in the back of the throat that is unique to this brew. The ale provides the drinker with a distinctive sensory experience.”

“This beer is tasty and very strange, but in a good way,” explains Steele. “I’ve never experienced the tingly feeling in the back of my throat that the helium addition provides. I think our fans are really going to like this, and we look forward to brewing other unique beers for the Stochasticity Project.”

Name: Stone Stochasticity Project Cr(He)am Ale with Helium
URL: http://www.stochasticity.com/beers/crheam
Stats: 4.1% ABV, 75 IBUs
Availability: Limited 16-ounce cans, beginning April 1
Hops Bill: Willamette and Fuggles, dry-hopped with Helga
Special addition: Helium
Distribution: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, and WA

Comments Off on Innis & Gunn and Stone’s Stochasticity Project Announce New Beers 04.01.2014 |

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