• Stone Brewing Co. Heads to Richmond

    Stone Gargoyle Logo

    THERE’S A SAYING—a rising tide lifts all boats.

    For the Virginia craft beer scene, which is already making its own waves, that rising tide could be the arrival of San Diego’s Stone Brewing Co. to Richmond.

    The brewery announced plans last week to open an East Coast facility in Richmond by 2016 that will include a 250-barrel brewhouse production facility and eventually, a restaurant and gardens.

    Few craft breweries are in demand enough to need a production presence on the opposite coast. They just don’t distribute that far away from the actual brewery.

    But Stone’s investment in the city of Richmond, in the range of $74 million and at least 288 jobs, will bring a West Coast brewery to the commonwealth.

    Stone’s investment in the Virginia craft beer scene says something. It says that Virginia is serious about its craft beer and it will be able to sustain a major national brand.

    Richmond boasts about a dozen breweries already, becoming a major player on the East Coast’s beer scene.

    It’s even beginning to rival Asheville, N.C., another craft beer lover’s paradise tucked away in the mountains. Asheville will soon have major players New Belgium from Fort Collins, Colo., and Sierra Nevada from Northern California.

    The Fredericksburg region is a growing beer scene itself—with half a dozen breweries already open and another bunch in the works, with plans to open in the next year.

    Tim Bornholtz, one of the co-owners of Stafford County’s Adventure Brewing said Stone’s coming is fantastic.

    “It just shows that Virginia is a good place for beer, and people are interested in good beer,” he said.

    Stone will have a 250-barrel brewing system and will produce about 100,000 barrels of beer per year, and eventually, possibly a half-million barrels yearly.

    By comparison, Hardywood Park in Richmond has a 20-barrel system, and Devil’s Backbone has a 30-barrel system.

    Green Flash Brewing, which is planning to open a production brewery, tasting room and beer garden in Virginia Beach in 2016, is also from San Diego. It will also eventually produce 100,000 barrels.

    “I think people are going to hear more about Stone and what they are doing and hopefully bring more people into craft beer that aren’t necessarily aware of it,” Bornholtz said.

    Richmond already has one of the country’s top-rated beer bars, Mekong.

    Virginia has more than 80 breweries either opened, or in the planning stages.

    I’m sure that will only increase, with Stone coming and others around the country taking notice of Virginians’ growing interest in craft beer.

    It’s also good for Virginia, from a business perspective.

    “It’s a big win for the state of Virginia to show that Virginia is business-friendly and we can attract people from outside Virginia,” Bornholtz said.

    Source: http://news.fredericksburg.com/

  • Beerporn: Editor’s Choice

    Tuesday is Editor’s Choice award day on http://hashtagbeerporn.com.  We are giving out an Editor’s Choice Award each week to the picture we think best represents beerporn during that week.  As an ongoing feature on Indy Beers each week I’ll be posting the Editor’s Choice winner from #Beerporn.  Remember, anyone can join and post pictures of beer to http://hashtagbeerporn.com.

    This week’s winner is JD.  Great pun and use of the crushed can.

    http://hashtagbeerporn.com/2014/10/25/im-not-a-player-but-i-crush-a-lot-of-ipas-jailbreak-big-punisher/

    Big-Punisher-590x790

  • Lucasfilm Sues Brewery Over Star Wars-Inspired Beer

    empire_strikes_back_style_a

    An upstate brewery that serves “Empire’s Strikes Bock” beer is feeling the force of the Star Wars franchise, which is demanding it stop selling the suds.

    Fans will likely mistake Empire Brewing Co.’s German-style “bock” lager as an official Star Wars product, says Disney-owned Lucasfilm, which and filed a legal notice to stop the Syracuse-based brewery from using the name.

    The brewery had declared, “May the hops be with you,” in a description of Strikes Bock on its Web site and featured an ad proclaiming the brew a hit “across the Galaxy” in a scrolling font similar to the movies’ opening signature crawl.

    In a notice of opposition filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office on Oct. 15, Lucasfilm claims the brew’s name is too close to the title of its 1980 mega-hit, “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.”

    The name will “cause confusion” — especially because director and founder George Lucas already sells Skywalker-brand wine, named after the hero Luke Skywalker, the legal notice claims.

    The conflict bubbled up after the brewery — which has been making the beer for seven years — recently filed trademark papers for the malty lager, a source from the brewery said.

    Kevin Griffin, a manager at Empire Brewery, claimed the fight was just a misunderstanding.

    The beer, he said, is actually just called “Strikes Bock,” with the word “Empire” referring the only to its maker.

    “I don’t see why they would have any objection. It’s not like we’re using images of Star Wars on the bottle or on our Web site,” Griffin told The Post.

    “As a Star Wars fan boy, I’m a big dork. I’d love nothing more than to be the trilogy’s official beer, but I don’t think there’s any chance of people actually interpreting it that way.”

    Empire recently made a push to sell the beer at venues outside its brew pub in Syracuse.

    Pub owner David Katleski says Empire can’t afford to wage a war with the Hollywood powerhouse.

    “It’s kind of a ‘big dog against small dog’ thing,’’ he told the Syracuse Post-Standard.

     

    Source:  http://nypost.com/

  • Beerporn: Editor’s Choice

    Tuesday is Editor’s Choice award day on http://hashtagbeerporn.com.  We are giving out an Editor’s Choice Award each week to the picture we think best represents beerporn during that week.  As an ongoing feature on Indy Beers each week I’ll be posting the Editor’s Choice winner from #Beerporn.  Remember, anyone can join and post pictures of beer to http://hashtagbeerporn.com.

    This week’s winner is Tom.  After a few weeks absence from the EC award, Tom is back with a great fall shoot.

    http://hashtagbeerporn.com/2014/10/17/slyfox-oktoberfest/

    IMG_1718

  • Legal Marijuana Could Provide a Buzz to Beer

    Pot

    © Steve Dipaola/Reuters The legalization of medical marijuana has helped beer sales, contrary to previous research that pointed to a decline, according to a note from Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Trevor Stirling. Recreational pot use in Colorado and Washington, the two states where it’s legal, has so far not had a “significant impact” on beer, he said.

    Beer has no need to fear weed.

    The legalization of medical marijuana has helped beer sales, contrary to previous research that pointed to a decline, according to a note from Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Trevor Stirling. Recreational pot use in Colorado and Washington, the two states where it’s legal, has so far not had a “significant impact” on beer, he said.

    “The average blue-collar Bud drinker is less likely to be smoking pot,” Stirling said. “As far as medical marijuana is concerned, it does not appear to be a big threat to the beer industry.”

    The research could relieve one concern for beermakers Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and SABMiller Plc, which have seen U.S. volume decline over the past five years due to high unemployment and a shift to spirits like bourbon and gin. Twenty-three states have allowed medical marijuana and about a dozen, from Florida to Alaska, are considering legalization in some form.

    Per-capita beer drinking had a one-time increase of about 0.5 percent in the 10 largest states that have legalized medical marijuana, the Bernstein analyst found. While beer consumption later declined in those states, the rate of decline slowed to become more in line with the national average.

    More Beer

    “There may be a ’constrained budget’ effect for some consumers, but legalized recreational weed is likely to lead to lower prices in the long term, potentially freeing up more cash either for more weed or more beer,” Stirling said.

    Bernstein’s research contrasts with an October 2012 study by professors at Montana State University, the University of Oregon and the University of Colorado Denver. It found that alcohol sales declined about 5 percent in states that legalized medical marijuana, “suggesting that marijuana and alcohol are substitutes,” especially among young adults, the authors said.

    States that have legalized weed in some form including Colorado also have the highest rates of craft beer production, Stirling said, and some craft brewers have “whole-heartedly embraced the weed counter-culture.” One brewer, Oskar Blues Brewing Co. of North Carolina, indicates on some of its beer cans where they might be punctured in order to turn the can into a bong for smoking cannabis.

    A Pew Research center survey published in April shows 75 percent of the population thinks marijuana’s sale and use will eventually be legal nationwide. Legalized weed could also be a boon for restaurant chains including Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., Dominos’s Pizza Inc., and Yum! Brands Inc., Bernstein said.

    Source: http://www.msn.com

  • Beerporn: Editor’s Choice

    Tuesday is Editor’s Choice award day on http://hashtagbeerporn.com.  We are giving out an Editor’s Choice Award each week to the picture we think best represents beerporn during that week.  As an ongoing feature on Indy Beers each week I’ll be posting the Editor’s Choice winner from #Beerporn.  Remember, anyone can join and post pictures of beer to http://hashtagbeerporn.com.

    This week’s winner is JD. Old Leghumber with the dog in the background.  Nice.

    http://hashtagbeerporn.com/2014/10/06/hmmm-old-leghumper-in-the-basement-kel400/

    Leghumber-590x442

  • German Beer Goes American to Regain Buzz in Oktoberfest Home

    octoberfestIn Germany, home of Oktoberfest and a five-century-old brewing law, beer consumption has been on an unstoppable decline, prompting Europe’s biggest producer of the beverage to turn to an unlikely place for help: the U.S.

    Oliver Lemke has been making trips to Colorado, New York and California, learning how craft brewers grabbed a sizable portion of the U.S. market. Lemke, who says his American counterparts have taught him to be bolder and experiment with new categories, is now expanding his Berlin brewery as the trend reaches Germany, where the number of micro breweries has increased by more than 30 percent since 2005 to about 670.

    “We Germans were convinced we’re making the world’s best beer but meanwhile, beer diversity suffered,” Lemke said while sipping his newest creation, an India Pale Ale with a hint of grapefruit and mango. “Craft brewing is a lucrative and interesting niche and it was a mistake not to do it earlier.”

    Germany, home to the world’s oldest active brewery started by Bavarian monks a thousand years ago, is synonymous with beer and the country’s 8 billion-euro ($10 billion) industry. Yet consumption and output in Germany — which has beer gardens in cities such as Munich that can seat 8,000, and more than 1,300 breweries — has declined for the past seven years.

    Instead, Germans are sipping more wine, Italian-style coffee drinks and summer cocktails such as Aperol Spritz, made with red liquor produced by Davide Campari-Milano SpA. The latest hit is a drink called Hugo, mixed from sparkling wine, seltzer and elderberry syrup and topped with mint leaves.

    U.S. Boom

    In response, German breweries are looking to put the buzz back in beer by following the lead of the U.S., where Boston Beer Co Inc, which sells the Samuel Adams brand, was one of the instigators of a craft beer boom that started in the late 1970s and picked up steam in the past five years.

    Craft brewers accounted for 14 percent of the $100 billion U.S. market last year, according to the Brewers Association, an industry group based in Boulder, Colorado. While U.S. beer sales fell 1.9 percent last year, domestic craft beer sales grew 17 percent, the group said.

    In Germany, craft beers have been long absent from the market that’s dominated by pilseners — until now.

    “Craft beers are a new trend in Germany that is growing rapidly,” said Elisabeth Meyer-Renschhausen, a sociology professor at Berlin’s Free University who specializes in the history of eating and drinking. “It’s highly popular especially with young urban consumers who value the local footprint of these products.”

    Purity Law

    One reason Germany has been slow to embrace something that’s well-established elsewhere may be the country’s Reinheitsgebot, or “purity law,” drafted in 1516 and the oldest food law still enforced. To this day, a brewer can’t call his product beer if he doesn’t adhere to it.

    While foreign producers can add ingredients such as rice or sugar, Germans must make beer with just four items: malted barley, hops, water and yeast. Most craft brewers in Germany, including Lemke, produce their drinks after the purity law.

    With a wider choice of other beverages to buy, beer has lost some of its status. Former Berlin beer halls have been turned into upmarket cocktail bars, and even a construction worker toy by German brand Playmobil now has a pushcart with bricks and tools instead of the beer case he used to carry.

    The average German drinks about 107 liters (28.3 gallons) of beer a year, down from more than 140 liters in 1991, according to the Barth Group. That puts the country third in the world, after the Czech Republic and Austria. Americans drink about 75 liters a year.

    Changing Perceptions

    German brewers — who are currently celebrating Munich’s Oktoberfest, the industry’s highpoint of the year — are hoping specialty beers can help change perceptions and lure back buyers year round.

    Radeberger Gruppe AG, Germany’s largest producer, has begun selling craft beers with price tags that can reach 24.99 euros a bottle, such as the dark-brown 17th Anniversary Ale, a cuvee made of 7 different ales matured in oak. The Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, the world’s oldest brewery started in 1040, now markets ‘Infinium,’ a beer developed in cooperation with Samuel Adams sold in a black champagne bottle.

    You can go even more individual than that. Holger Wirtz in May started Bierzuliebe, “beer to love,” a website where you can create your own beer — with your own preferences for hops intensity, alcohol level, liveliness and color — have it brewed and shipped to you in a champagne bottle within a week. You can also order Bierzuliebe’s house creations such as “Kehlenglueck,” or “Throat Joy,” for 9.95 euros.

    Micro Breweries

    “Beer has great untapped potential,” Wirtz said in an interview. “We want to make a premium product that people enjoy and celebrate instead of downing in a few gulps.”

    Gaining traction with craft beer may still be an uphill struggle. Micro breweries currently produce 1 percent of German output, according to the DBB, the German brewers’ association. While that may grow to as much as 3 percent, the craft beer boom won’t reach U.S. proportions because German consumers already get their beer, even if mostly pilseners, from small- and medium-sized breweries that often sell locally, said Stefan Huckemann, a Munich-based partner in the consumer business at consultancy Deloitte.

    “The craft beer trend comes from the U.S., which didn’t have the variety that markets like Germany and Belgium had for many years,” Huckemann said. “It’s nevertheless positive for the German market, which has been suffering from price pressure, as it will increase the perceived value of beer.”

    Lemke, who started making craft beer in 1999, is adopting a more American-style logo for his Berlin brewery, where he’s produced about 40 brews over the years. While Germany back then wasn’t ready for his pale ales and stouts, it is now, he said.

    “We waited 15 years for craft beer to take off,” he said. “It’s a trend I believe will stay around.”

    Source: http://www.msn.com/

  • Beerporn: Editor’s Choice

    Tuesday is Editor’s Choice award day on http://hashtagbeerporn.com.  We are giving out an Editor’s Choice Award each week to the picture we think best represents beerporn during that week.  As an ongoing feature on Indy Beers each week I’ll be posting the Editor’s Choice winner from #Beerporn.  Remember, anyone can join and post pictures of beer to http://hashtagbeerporn.com.

    This week’s winner is Vampkel.  This the season for pumpkin beers, and this does look like Heaven to me.  I can count about 30 different pumpkin ales in that picture.

    http://hashtagbeerporn.com/2014/09/29/kel400-is-in-pumpkin-heaven/

    SavedPicture-2014929194844

     

     

  • Beerporn: Editor’s Choice

    Tuesday is Editor’s Choice award day on http://hashtagbeerporn.com.  We are giving out an Editor’s Choice Award each week to the picture we think best represents beerporn during that week.  As an ongoing feature on Indy Beers each week I’ll be posting the Editor’s Choice winner from #Beerporn.  Remember, anyone can join and post pictures of beer to http://hashtagbeerporn.com.

    This week’s winner is Fall is always a good time to have a pumpkin beer.

    http://hashtagbeerporn.com/2014/09/25/its-beer-season-cracknpunknand-postn/

    IMG_1188

  • Beer Pipeline To Be Built Under Historic Bruges

    map_of_belgium

    An underground beer pipeline is to be installed beneath Belgium’s medieval city of Bruges to dramatically cut the number of lorries clogging its cobbled streets.

     

    The 3km (1.86 mile) pipe linking the De Halve Maan brewery to a bottling plant will be capable of carrying 6,000 litres an hour.

     

    The pipeline, given the go-ahead by the city council, is set to take about 500 tankers off Bruges’ roads each year.

     

    Brewing has been carried out almost continuously on the current site for more than five centuries, and the firm wants to continue this tradition.

     

    While a new processing plant was opened on the Waggelwater industrial estate in 2010, every litre of the famous ‘Brugse Zot’ beer continues to be brewed at De Halve Maan on the Walplein.

     

    The pipes will be made from high-quality plastic – polyethylene – and will be primarily installed using advanced computer-guided drilling techniques – avoiding roadworks.

     

    The brewery’s CEO Xavier Vanneste told Belgium’s Het Nieuwsbladsaid: “The beer will take 10 to 15 minutes to reach the bottling plant.

     

    “By using the pipeline we will keep hundreds of lorries out of the city centre.

    “This is unique in the brewing industry with the exception of one German brewery that has installed a similar system.”

     

    The cost of the project has not been revealed, but the bill will be footed by the brewery, which welcomes up to 100,000 tourists each year.

     

    Bruges’ Alderman for Spatial Planning, Franky Demon, said: “In time, this innovative investment plan would reduce the amount of transport by heavy goods vehicles by 85%.

     

    “It is a win-win situation for everyone.

     

    “Moreover, the city has received a guarantee from the Halve Maan that all costs relating to the pipeline – both for installation and for any necessary repair works – will be met in full by the brewery.”

     

    Construction is expected to start next year.

    Source: http://news.sky.com/

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