Craftbeer.com unveils Great American Beer Bars for 2019

What distinguishes a good bar from a great one? CraftBeer.com, the Brewers Association’s website for beer lovers, released its annual list of Great American Beer Bars, celebrating establishments across all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico, that readers voted as outstanding for imbibing independent beer.

“CraftBeer.com’s mission is to tell stories about the people, communities and businesses who are the heartbeat of small and independent craft brewing in the U.S.,” said Jess Baker, editor in chief, CraftBeer.com. “We’re excited to shine a spotlight on the beer bars who prominently feature U.S. craft breweries and create memorable beer experiences. They are part of the awesome independent beer community we celebrate. Cheers to the winners on this year’s list.” Methodology: CraftBeer.com readers were asked to nominate their favorite craft beer bar in their state. Beer bars recognized as Great American Beer Bars were selected by popular votes and asked to provide information on their beer bars to confirm their intent to be listed. Nearly 7,000 votes were cast during December 2018. The annual list has been a CraftBeer.com staple since 2012. Visit CraftBeer.com to find your Great American Beer Bar. Photo: Brewers Association

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Brewers Association seats 2019 board of Directors

The Brewers Association (BA) - the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers—announced its 2019 board of directors, adding three new representatives to the 19-person board.

Eric Wallace, co-founder and president, Left Hand Brewing Co. (Longmont, Colo.), continues as board chair for a second term. He has served on the board in various capacities since 2011. Newly elected brewpub representative Leah Cheston, co-owner of Right Proper Brewing Co. (Washington, D.C.), joins re-elected packaging brewery representatives Leslie Henderson of Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co. (Kiln, Miss.), and Garrett Marrero of Maui Brewing Co. (Kihei, Hawaii). New board member Jill Marilley was appointed by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) governing committee to fill the second of two AHA board seats, vacated by term-limited director Chris Frey. New board member Kevin Blodger, co-founder and head brewer at Union Craft Brewing (Baltimore, Md.) and Larry Chase (brewery in planning) were appointed by the BA board of directors as at-large representatives. They replace outgoing board members Jim Koch (Boston Beer Co.) and Tom McCormick (California Craft Brewers Association). “These are exciting and evolving times for craft brewers,” said Wallace. “Our job as board members is to ensure we’re recognizing the opportunities and tackling the challenges facing the industry with a strategic and unified voice. Each of us is honored to serve this community we’re so proud to be a part of and look forward to working on behalf of our members to provide them with the tools they need to succeed.” More information: www.brewersassociation.org Photo: Brewers Association

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THC-Infused Cannabis Beer

Flying Dog Brewery is partnering with Green Leaf Medical Cannabis on a plan to release Maryland’s first THC-infused beer in 2019.

The beer, a non-alcoholic India Pale Ale named Hop Chronic, /Polyvinylpolypyrrolidon PVPP.txt will serve as a medical delivery system to provide Maryland medical cannabis patients with therapeutic cannabinoids including CBD, CBG and THC without the patient having to smoke or vape the cannabis. Hop Chronic, brewed by Flying Dog in partnership with Green Leaf Medical, will be Maryland’s first THC-infused beer and is slated to be released this year. Hop Chronic IPA will only be available at licensed dispensaries and only to people who have a medical recommendation for the use of cannabis. Hop Chronic IPA will be available in a variety of THC and CBD potencies. “We see a lot of interest in cannabis from the craft beer community, and we jumped at the opportunity to partner with Green Leaf on a product that captures the passion and energy you see in fans of both craft beer and cannabis,” states Flying Dog CMO Ben Savage. “There are definitely similarities between the natural flavor profiles we extract from hops and the terpenes and cannabinoids found in Cannabis.” As the fastest growing regional medical cannabis provider, Green Leaf was a perfect fit for Flying Dog. Both entities headquarters are located less than a half-mile from each other in Frederick, Maryland, and both Green Leaf and Flying Dog see many future opportunities to partner on products beyond the release of Hop Chronic this summer. “In a way, the cannabis industry is a lot like the craft beer movement was a few decades ago,” Green Leaf CEO Phil Goldberg said. “We have to educate people and change the overall perception of what cannabis is, what it could be, and how it might benefit people. Partnering with Flying Dog seemed like another great way to get more people interested in cannabis.” Goldberg also stressed that using cannabis-infused non-alcoholic beer as a drug delivery system is a great way to allow cannabis patients to reap the medical benefits of cannabis without having to smoke or vape the cannabis flower. Green Leaf anticipates that its beer partnership with Flying Dog will continue the momentum they’ve built over the past four years. The cannabis provider has raised $23 million since its inception in 2014 and expects to raise an additional $20 million, through its recently-released Series E round of fundraising, to help fuel the acquisition of additional dispensary assets and production resources in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Flying Dog will also be working with Green Leaf on developing specific beer-inspired proprietary cannabis strains, as well as cannabis strain-inspired beer recipes and other products in 2019. Source/Photo: brewbound: http://bit.ly/brewbound_flyingdog www.flyingdog.com

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Sierra Nevada acquires Sufferfest Beer Co.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Chico, CA) announced to acquire 100 percent of Sufferfest Beer Company of San Francisco. The breweries spoke of shared values, commitment to innovation and common goals as basis of the partnership.

“While still in its infancy, Sufferfest is at the front of the wave of ‘functional’ alcoholic beverages,” said Sierra Nevada President and CEO Jeff White. “By joining with Sierra Nevada, Sufferfest will be better positioned to grow and continue to lead the way in a rapidly growing and highly competitive space.” “Sierra Nevada is the perfect fit,” explained Caitlin Landesberg, founder and CEO of Sufferfest. "Sierra Nevada is a family-owned and operated business that isn’t driven by shareholder pressure to meet quarterly numbers,” she continued. www.sierranevada.com. www.sufferfestbeer.com Photo: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

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USA: Farmers criticize Bud Light’s Super Bowl commercial

U.S. farmers are criticizing Anheuser-Busch, AB InBev’s U.S. American arm, for one of its commercials for Bud Light aired during yesterday’s Super Bowl. The brewer declares in a 60-second spot called "Special Delivery" that ran in the first quarter of the most-watched TV show of the year that its products were "brewed with no corn syrup."

The ad that is set in the "Game of Thrones"-inspired medieval world shows a giant barrel of corn syrup being erroneously delivered to the Bud Light castle before it's diverted to Coors Light and Miller Lite castles, which both use corn syrup. "To be clear, Bud Light is not brewed with corn syrup, and Miller Lite and Coors Light are," Bud Light added on Twitter. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which is made from corn starch is widely used as an artificial sweetener in the US food industry. Critics of HFCS refer to studies that show that the ingredient leads to obesity and diabetes epidemics. "America’s corn farmers are disappointed in you," said the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) online, shortly after the Super Bowl advert aired. The organization which represents 40,000 corn farmers nationwide and its members are upset that corn is advertised “in a way that insinuates that corn is bad when in fact it isn’t.” As of this month Anheuser Busch as the first beer company in the U.S. lists the ingredients for Bud Light on its packaging which isn’t required for alcoholic beverage. “We think it is good for the beer industry as a whole to be transparent about what’s in your beer,” says Andy Goeler, Vice President of Marketing for Bud Light. “Just as important as what’s in is what’s not in our beer. … No corn syrup, no preservatives, no artificial flavors.” In marketing it's unusual for a bigger brand to target smaller competitors; typically, the smaller challengers try to tweak the bigger brand. The reason for this unusual behavior of Bud Light seems to be the steady decline of the brand. Shipments of Bud Light which is still by far the market leader in this segment fell 6.7 percent last year, its largest annual percentage decline on record. Miller Lite which ‘only’ fell 3.8 percent last year commented the commercial as follows: “Hey Bud Light, thanks for including us in our first Super Bowl ad in over 20 years. You forgot two things though... we have more taste and half the carbs!” “At MillerCoors, we're proud of our high-quality, great-tasting beers. We're also proud that none of our products include any high fructose corn syrup, while a number of Anheuser-Busch products do. And Miller Lite has fewer calories, fewer carbs and more taste than Bud Light.” Source: www.inside.beer (tinyurl.com/y9jok4ps)

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Dogfish Head and Brouwerij Rodenbach

Dogfish Head announces the partnering with Brouwerij RODENBACH of Belgium for a one-of-a-kind collaboration - the first in 200-year history of Rodenbach!

What happens when the leading brewer of oak-aged mixed fermentation ales dating back to 1821 collaborates with a brewery known for iconic and off-centered ales? You get a beer, centuries in the making. “This is an historic moment for our brewery,” says Rudi Ghequire, Master Brewer of RODENBACH Brewery. “Not only is the time right for this partnership as sour beer has become more popular than ever before, but we found an incredible partner and kindred spirit in Sam Calagione and the Dogfish Head brewing team." “I have been a huge fan of RODENBACH beers since the early 2000’s when legendary beer writer, Michael Jackson, turned me on to them at the Brickskeller in DC. RODENBACH are the global pioneers in sour and wild beers production. So we have a lot to learn and explore together,” says Dogfish Head founder & CEO. The plan is to brew and blend the beer in the brewery of Dogfish Head in 2019, with availability for American consumers to enjoy beginning early 2020. Following this, the both breweries willl also explore a release of the beer in Belgium, where RODENBACH is widely sold. More information: http://bit.ly/dogfishandrodenbach Photo by Dogfish Head and Brouwerij Rodenbach

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