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Brewers Association Reports 2011 Mid-Year Growth For U.S. Craft Breweries


Brewers Association Statisitics

Dollar growth up 15% in first six months of 2011; U.S. sees rapid growth in breweries in planning

Boulder, CO – The Brewers Association, the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, has released strong mid-year numbers for America’s small and independent craft brewers¹. Dollar sales were up 15 percent in the first half of 2011, excluding brewers who left the craft segment in 2010². Volume of craft brewed beer sold grew 14 percent for the first six months in 2011, compared to 9 percent growth in the first half of 2010.

Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first half of the year are an estimated 5.1 million barrels. Despite many challenges, the mid-year numbers show signs of continued growth for craft breweries. The industry currently provides an estimated 100,000 jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.

“Craft brewers continue to innovate and brew beers of excellent quality,” noted Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. “America’s beer drinkers are rapidly switching to craft because of the variety of flavors they are discovering. And they are connecting with small and independent craft brewers as companies they choose to support.”

The U.S. now boasts 1,790 breweries—an increase of 165 additional breweries since June 2010. The Brewers Association also tracks breweries in planning as an indicator of potential new entrants into the craft category, and lists 725 breweries in planning today compared to 389 a year ago. Additionally, the count of craft brewers was at 1,740 as of June 30, 2011.

“There is a growing interest in establishing new breweries,” Gatza added. “It seems like every day we are hearing about a brewery in planning. Will they all make it? No, but many will if they produce high-quality, interesting craft beers and can get them to market through self-distribution and beer wholesalers and beer retailers.”

2 comments 08.08.2011 |

Don Julio 70 Añejo Claro to Release This Fall


Don Julio 70

This fall, Don Julio will release a tequila unlike anything ever seen before. The tequila, Don Julio 70 Añejo Claro, is being launched to honor the 70th anniversary of the year Don Julio González began creating tequila at the very young age of 17.

What makes it unique? It’s a clear añejo. To be considered an añejo, or aged tequila, the tequila by law must spend a minimum of one year in oak barrels and no more than three years. During this time, the tequila pulls flavor and color from the barrel. In contrast, a blanco (“white”) or plata (“silver”) tequila is a clear tequila that spends little or no time in stainless or oak, no more than 2 months. Because of spending so little time in barrels (or none at all), the tequila remains clear.

With Don Julio 70 Añejo Claro, Don Julio Master Distiller Enrique de Colsa is able to get the rich, complex flavors of a traditional añejo in a liquid that is filtered to become a clear spirit. It spends 18 months in reclaimed American oak before being filtered, giving the tequila its unique clarity. In order to return Tequila Don Julio to a clear silver color, the aged liquid is filtered using a special process where electronically magnetized particles are added to the aged liquid. The free radicals in the particles bond to the coloring. After a certain period of time passes, the particles containing the color molecules are filtered out, producing a clear Añejo tequila.

Tequila Don Julio 70 will be available at participating stores nationwide, in Mexico and at Duty Free stores beginning in fall 2011. The 750ml bottle has a suggested retail price of $70.

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Bacardi Enters Spiced Rum Category with Bacardi OakHeart


Bacardi OakHeartAlready a leader in traditional and flavored rum categories, Bacardi will soon enter the spiced rum category and it’s set to be one of their biggest launches in 15 years. This September, Bacardi will launch OakHeart, their answer to what’s currently on the market and to Barcardi loyalists who have requested this for quite some time.

Co-developed by over 4,000 consumers and hundreds of bartenders, Bacardi OakHeart takes their traditional Bacardi Superior and blends it with Bacardi Gold, giving it the perfect mixability of Superior and the smooth finish of Gold. This gives it the perfect base for them to add their blend of spices which includes maple, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, vanilla and caramel before being filtered. The end product is “slightly peppery, with a noticeable rum-kick, BACARDÍ OAKHEART is a spirit with a vibrant amber hue and taste that is distinctly its own” and with a nice smokiness lent from the double charred barrels it was mellowed in.

Bacardi recommends making an Oak & Coke, which I’m sure you can figure out is a rum and Coke, and it looks like the two may be sold in the same packaging with a bottle of Bacardi OakHeart and a 2-liter bottle of Coca-Cola. Rum and coke not your thing? It’s great over ice too.

Pricing is suggested at $12.99 and will release nationwide beginning in September.

3 comments 08.05.2011 |

Mollydooker Wines ‘Label Our Lefty’ Contest


MollyDooker Wine

Want to win a trip to Australia? It’s never been easier. All you have to do is submit a name for Mollydooker’s newest wine and you might find yourself on a flight to down under, where there have been rumors of sightings of Mutineer Magazine’s Alan Kropf in recent months.

See below for more information on the Mollydooker contest.

Mollydooker WineMcLaren Vale, Australia, August 1, 2011— What’s in a name? You tell us. Mollydooker, the fun-filled Australian winery, is on a worldwide search for the perfect name for its newest wine. The winning name will forever be displayed on the label of their new Sparkling Shiraz and will become part of the flavorful family of award winning Mollydooker wines.

“Four years ago we asked our friends to help us name our charity wine”, said Sarah Marquis, who with her husband Sparky, founded Mollydooker. “The winners (who suggested ‘Sip it Forward’) came to our USA release parties as our guests, and we all had a ball.”

“This time we want to make it even more special, so we are opening the contest up world wide, and we will fly the winner and a guest to visit us at the winery in Australia.”
“The new wine is going to be a partner to The Boxer Shiraz, which is our most popular wine,” explained Sarah. “We have kept a tankful of Boxer at the winery, and we will be re-fermenting it to make a Sparkling Shiraz. At $25 it is going to be lots of fun – a wine full of rich, long lasting fruit flavors and tiny fizzy bubbles. We see it as an ideal companion for a party, a BBQ, or any kind of celebration. All we are missing is the name, and we are asking for help with that.”

“We are really looking forward to bringing the winners to Australia,” added Sparky, “we’ll be taking them through the winery and showing them how we make the wine, and they will get to walk in the vineyards where the wine they named was grown. If they come during harvest, they will even be able to sit under the gum trees with us, hand crushing grapes and tasting the juices, and helping us decide when to pick. We live in a beautiful part of the world, and we are looking forward to sharing it with them.”

Contestants can find the guidelines and enter their name suggestions online at online, the contest closes on September 4, 2011 and the winner will be announced on September 15, 2011 (International Mollydooker Day) at the Mollydooker Winemaker’s Dinner at the Palomar Hotel, Washington D.C.

Comments Off on Mollydooker Wines ‘Label Our Lefty’ Contest 08.04.2011 |

Stone Brewing Co. debuts “Quingenti Millilitre” series


Stone Brewing Co. debuts "Quingenti Millilitre" seriesAs we reported in May, Stone Brewing Co. had planned to start releasing barrel aged beers in bottles in their newly found Quingenti Millilitre series. A couple months later, the first beer in the series is just about ready and raffle tickets can be purchased for your chance to win one of the 500 or so bottles in this release. Read below to learn more about the release.

Escondido, CA | Aug 03, 2011 — Stone Brewing Co. is launching a new series of specialty beers dubbed Quingenti Millilitre. These limited release beers will be featured in cork-finished 500ml bottles, and will present a new tier in Stone’s award-winning lineup, encompassing beers that have been barrel aged, dry hopped, or otherwise made extra, extra special. First up? Ken Schmidt / Maui / Stone Kona Coffee Macadamia Coconut Porter Aged in Bourbon Barrels.

When San Diego homebrewer Ken Schmidt won the Stone March Madness Homebrew Competition & AHA Rally back in 2009, he was brought in to brew a scaled up batch on the Stone Brewing Co. system, along with Garrett Marrero of Maui Brewing Co. Unbeknownst to the world, the wizards at Stone had something else up their sleeve: the brewers squirreled some of the resulting beer away in bourbon barrels from Heaven Hill Distilleries. Now, some two years later, they are ready to unleash it in all of its glory.

The only problem? There’s not very much of it. As a result, Stone is initiating a drawing to impartially decide who can get their hands on a bottle. Starting today and continuing through August 16, fans can purchase $1 tickets—the proceeds of which will be donated to two local charities, the Escondido Creek Conservancy and Interfaith Community Services—which will enter them into a raffle for a chance to buy one of the 500 or so bottles that Stone is expecting the barrels to yield.

The lucky folks that are randomly selected at the end of the drawing will then have until September 18th to purchase and pick up their bottle in person from the Stone Company Store in Escondido. Full details of the drawing and tickets are available at here.

*Thanks to Brown Paper Tickets for agreeing to waive their processing fees to allow the chosen charities to receive the maximum benefit!

Future Quingenti Millilitre releases are slated to include:

  • Dogfish Head / Victory / Stone Saison du BUFF Aged in Red Wine Barrels
  • 2010 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Aged in Bourbon Barrels, the release of which will be tied to the forthcoming book, The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance (Ten Speed Press, 10/2011)
  • Green Flash / Pizza Port Carlsbad / Stone Highway 78 Scotch Ale Aged in Scotch Barrels
  • 21st Amendment / Firestone Walker / Stone El Camino (Un)Real Black Ale Aged in American Oak Barrels

…and plenty more.

1 comment 08.03.2011 |

California Governor Signs Brewery Tasting Room Bill


Beers from Stone's Sour Fest

California doesn’t seem to go out of their way very often to make things easier for craft breweries or those wanting to try new things in the beverage industry, but for once, they have eased the burden on many up-and-coming craft breweries.

With the signing of AB 1014 by California Governor Jerry Brown, breweries are now exempt from having to follow the unnecessary and burdensome building requirements designed for food facilities for their tasting rooms, where only beer will be poured. Previously, breweries wishing to have a tasting room at their brewery would be required to follow the same requirements which would often lead to tens of thousands dollars worth of improvements such as installing several industrial sinks and redoing electrical wiring and plumbing.

The Lost Abbey brewery in San Marcos, California ran into this very issue last year when the Health Department handed them a cease and desist order to stop tasting room operations. The Health Department told them they had been operating illegally for the previous four years without the required health permit, while the Alcohol Control Board said they were 100% in compliance with the license they were issued four year prior. Luckily for The Lost Abbey, the Health Department would either receive a lot of complaints about their targeting of the tasting room or realize they don’t know what they’re doing (or both) and dropped their cease and desist, just days before The Lost Abbey began cutting concrete and making the necessary changes to be in “compliance”.

Back to AB 1014, “This bill will relieve craft brewers from the unnecessary burden of installing restaurant grade equipment that simply isn’t needed to pour a taste of beer,” said Tom McCormick, Executive Director of the California Small Brewers Association. “This is a common sense law that garnered bipartisan support at the Capitol. Yet another example that good beer brings people together.”

The bill, authored by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego and Assemblyman Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata, passed both the Senate and Assembly floor votes unanimously.

“We are an industry the state can be proud of,” said McCormick. “Craft brewers by nature tend to have environmentally sound practices, we employ a lot of people and we give back to our communities in many ways.”

7 comments 08.02.2011 |

The Cocktail Spirit With Robert Hess: How to Make a Piña Colada


This week’s installment of The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess brought to you by the Small Screen Network brings you the Piña Colada. According to Robert Hess, “It was on August 15, 1954, that Ramon “Monchito” Marrero Perez first introduced the Pina Colada to the customers of the Beachcomber Bar at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is said that he spent three months working on it until he finally felt he had captured ]the sunny, tropical flavor of Puerto Rico in a glass.'”

With summer in full swing and Tales of the Cocktail just getting wrapped up which included the USBG Bacardi Pina Colada Competition, what better way to celebrate Tuesday than with a Pina Colada?

Piña Colada

  • 2 oz Bacardi Superior rum
  • 1 oz Coco Lopez Coconut Cream
  • 1 oz heavy cream
  • 6 oz pineapple juice
  • 4-6 oz ice


  • Blend all ingredients in a blender
  • Garnish with a speared cherry and pineapple chunk

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Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. launches ‘Wild Rivers’ Campaign Aug. 1


Sierra Nevada / Western Rivers Conservatory

As if it’s a surprise to anyone that knows Sierra Nevada Brewing and the monumental steps they take to minimize their impact on the environment and be a sustainable brewery, well, they are at it again. From the same people who were named ”Green Business of the Year” by the EPA, they happily announce the launch of their third annual “Wild Rivers” campaign. See below for the press release.

Chico, CA – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. — a pioneer in sustainability and craft brewing—announced today the launch of the third annual “Wild Rivers” campaign. Wild Rivers is a campaign dedicated to helping preserve vital waterways across the country.

For every 12-pack of Pale Ale and Sierra Nevada seasonal beer purchased in the U.S. from August 1 through September 10, Sierra Nevada will donate a portion of proceeds to river conservation-focused partners across the country, including Western Rivers Conservancy, a non-profit based in Portland, Oregon.

“Great water is essential to making great beer,” said Ken Grossman, Founder and President of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. “We are committed to preserving natural waterways both in the Sierra Nevada that offer our inspiration, and across the nation.

“We measure the success of our business not only on the quality of our beer, but also our contribution to a healthy environment,” Grossman said.

The “Wild Rivers” partnership, which will be visible at retailers across the nation, aims to raise awareness and increase stewardship of rivers that sustain our communities and ecosystems. Since the program’s start in 2009, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has donated more than $170,000 to its partners to help preserve vital waterways across the country. A portion of these proceeds have supported Western Rivers Conservancy’s work to create parks and protected natural areas along rivers like the Klamath in California, the John Day in Oregon, the Hoh River in Washington, and the Gunnison River in Colorado.

“Sierra Nevada has blazed a trail of environmental stewardship,” said Phil Wallin, President of Western Rivers Conservancy. “We are proud to partner with such a great company to advance our mission to protect the great rivers of the West.”

Besides Western Rivers Conservancy, the 2011 Wild Rivers campaign will support the Ohio River Foundation, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, The River Project, and the Southeast Watershed Forum.

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