The Fantasy Ohio Beer League is returning for a second year. If you recall, the Ohio Beercast, a podcast and blog in Cincinnati, launched the friendly competition last year to determine the best beer made in Ohio.
It assembled 32 beers and then pitted them against each other in a round robin format, allowing readers to determine which brew moved on. Blank Slate Fork in the Road took home the inaugural trophy.
The Ohio Beercast is now gathering another list of 32 beers and is asking for online nominations, which are due Aug. 15. The head-to-head competition begins Sept. 8.
For more details or to nominate an Ohio-made beer, click here.
Beer remains the preferred choice of alcohol in the U.S., a new Gallup poll says. Forty-one percent of U.S. drinkers usually opt for a beer, while 31 percent choose wine and 23 percent pick liquor.
The poll shows that beer is rebounding in popularity from its low point in 2005, when only 36 percent favored a brew. Back then, wine overtook beer. Gallup notes that the popularity of beer still is nowhere near as high as it was in the 1990s, when nearly half of Americans preferred it.
Gallup offered no theory on why beer is rebounding in its survey.
It should come as no surprise but men were mostly likely to choose beer (57 percent), while most women opted for wine (46 percent) as their favorite alcoholic beverage.
The poll also showed that 64 percent of U.S. adults drink alcohol. The remainder reported that they totally abstain.
Other interesting facts:
• 67 percent of respondents reported that they had at least one drink within the past week. Twenty-seven percent had a drink within the last 24 hours.
• Drinking spikes on the weekends.
• Americans consume about four drinks a week.
To read the full report and view more graphics, click here.
A Berliner Hopfen-Weiss. An English mild ale. A saison. A black India pale lager. And a grisette ale. Those are the five collaboration beers planned for Cleveland Beer Week, which runs Oct. 10-18.
Organizers announced the brews in a news release issued Wednesday. (July 23) All the beers are less than 6 percent alcohol by volume.
Each year, Cleveland Beer Week has showcased collaboration beers made by local brewers. This year, five local breweries were teamed up with award-winning breweries from out of state.
“Cleveland Beer Week is a celebration of all craft beer in Cleveland — local, national and international — and we are thrilled to pair renowned, out-of-state breweries with five of the best in Cleveland," John Lane, co-founder of the week and partner with Winking Lizard Tavern, said in a statement.
The teams and beers are:
-- Great Lakes and Oskar Blues: Yadig?, a Berliner Hopfen-Weiss.
-- Buckeye and Saugatuck: OH-MI!, an English mild.
-- Thirsty Dog and Brooklyn: Brooklyn Dog, a saison.
-- Fat Head's and Devils Backbone: Fat Devil, a black India pale lager.
-- The Brew Ketle and Full Pint: Full Kettle Dead Canary, a grisette.
To read the full news release and check out comments from the brewers, see below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Brewers Announce Collaboration Beer Styles, Names Beers will be featured during Cleveland Beer Week’s Opening Event
July 22, 2014—CLEVELAND, OHIO—Cleveland Beer Week officially opens on Friday, October 10 with Collaboration Kickoffs, a multi-neighborhood event featuring five custom-created, small-batch beers.
The collaboration beers will only be available together on draft for “Collaboration Kickoffs” and then singularly, in very limited supply, at the breweries and other retail locations including Heinen’s growler stations. This year, five northeast Ohio breweries are paired with five national breweries.
“Our patrons indicated a strong interest in new collaboration teams for this year,” says Christine Montague, Director of Cleveland Beer Week. “It wasn’t possible to scramble teams from years past due to distribution agreements, but we of course provide broad support to all local breweries for their own events and via participation in our other flagship events. The challenge to keep things exciting for our audience and brewers turned into quite an opportunity.”
John Lane, co-founder of Cleveland Beer Week and partner in Winking Lizard Taverns adds, “Cleveland Beer Week is a celebration of all craft beer in Cleveland — local, national and international — and we are thrilled to pair renowned, out-of-state breweries with five of the best in Cleveland.”
All collaboration beers are 6% or less alcohol by volume (ABV). The collaboration teams for 2014 are:
• Yadig?, a Berliner Hopfen-Weiss with 4.8% alcohol by volume (ABV) by Great Lakes Brewing Company and Oskar Blues Brewery of Longmont, Colorado.
“For a session beer, it will have a very complex malt profile,” says Tim Matthews, head brewer at Oskar Blues. Adds Luke Purcell, brewer at Great Lakes, “We are going to play with a bunch of specialty hops to add an intriguing flavor.”
• OH-MI!, an English Mild Ale with 4.5% ABV by Buckeye Brewing and Saugatuck Brewing Company of Douglas, Michigan.
“The English really nailed session beers. They are deceptive with dark, malty flavors,” notes Garin Wright, head brewer at Buckeye Brewing. “We’re using Ringwood yeast, which is typical for the style and adds quite a bit of fruity, complex character,” adds Jon Cole, district sales manager for Saugatuck Brewing Company.
• Brooklyn Dog, a Saison with 4% ABV by Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. and Brooklyn Brewery of Brooklyn, New York.
“This collaboration allows us to create an inspired beer flavor that exemplifies both of our styles and histories. I grew up in Ohio and am thrilled to come back and brew”, says Andrew Ety, assistant brewer at Brooklyn Brewery. Adds John Najeway, partner at Thirsty Dog Brewing Co., “Cleveland Beer Week continues to offer a unique niche for brewers. We’re making a traditional Saison with a Brooklyn style that will leave you a thirsty dog wanting another!”
• Fat Devil, a Black India Pale Lager (IPL) with 6% by Fat Heads Brewery and Devils Backbone Brewing Company of Roseland, Virginia.
“This beer really plays to our combined strengths. My specialty is lagers and Matt is the master of hops,” says Jason Oliver, brewmaster at Devils Backbone. Adds Matt Cole, head brewer at Fat Heads, “We have wanted to brew together for awhile—we tease that we will learn a lot from each other. We know we’re going to wet hop the beer, so it will be very hop forward.”
• Full Kettle Dead Canary, a Grisette Ale with 4% ABV by The Brew Kettle and Full Pint Brewing Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“The Grisette style is a variation of Saison Farmhouse Ales and used to be brewed for coal miners,” says Jake Kristophel, brewer at Full Pint. Adds Jack Kephart, head brewer at The Brew Kettle, “Hops and a blend with sour is our vision for a Grisette that will be tart-n-hoppy.”
Collaboration Kickoffs takes place at 7pm on Friday, October 10 and features all five collaboration beers on draft in area neighborhoods including East 4th, Tremont, Lakewood, and Ohio City. In the Cedar/Lee neighborhood only, “Collaboration Kickoffs” will run instead on October 11 in partnership with Heights Music Hop. Patrons purchasing tickets for any neighborhood—at $25 each and on sale by the first week of August—will receive a passport that includes tastes of all five collaboration beers.
For information and tickets, visit www.clevelandbeerweek.org.
Collaboration Kickoffs is sponsored by Heinen’s.
Anybody working in downtown Cleveland today (July 23) may spot an intriguing sight. Two 600-barrel fermenters will be trucked from the Port of Cleveland to Great Lakes Brewing Co. starting around 1 p.m. Another two tanks will make their way from the port to the brewery on Thursday.
All four fermenters, which were made in Germany, will be lifted by crane into Great Lakes' production brewery on Carroll Avenue on Thursday.
The brewery is making about $7 million worth of capital improvements this year to expand its brewing capacity by about 20 percent. The new fermenters are the second part of a two-phase expansion. Two 600-barrel bright tanks were installed earlier this month.
Great Lakes, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, has reported that beer shipments climbed 22 percent to 142,673 barrels last year. The brewery is the 20th largest craft brewery in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association.
Here are some interesting beer stories:
-- The Seattle Post Intellingencer reports on 10 emerging craft beer towns in the U.S. Coming in at No. 10 is Columbus, Ohio. "... Ya got a crazy-promising culture that’s only getting better, year by year, new brewery by new brewery," the website concludes. By the way, the top spot? Tampa, Fla. To read the full report, click here.
-- Drink Up Columbus reports that the community is really trying to get Stone Brewing Co. to select Columbus as the site of its new East Coast brewery. There's the new Twitter handle @stonecbus and "Tap a Stone Day" set for Aug. 2. To read the full report, click here.
-- WCPO recommends nine Cincinnati-area summer beers to sample. The list includes MadTree Sol Drifter, Rhinegeist Zen and Blank Slate Out and About. To read the full story, click here.
-- The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports on the collaboration beers being planned for Cleveland Beer Week. To read the full story, click here.
-- The Examiner.com reports on Stone Brewing Co.'s announcement to open a brewery in Germany. “This is a historic moment for Stone,” Stone CEO and co-founder Greg Koch said in a prepared statement. “I’ve wanted to say these next words for many years now: We’re coming to Europe. We’re coming to Germany. We are coming to Berlin!” To read the full report, click here.
-- ThisWeek reports on the Winemaker's Shop in Clintonville as it celebrates 40 years in business. In the beginning, the shop offered one hop style and two malts. "There was no business because the yeast I had was bad and the hops came in bricks wrapped in paper that sat on a shelf," co-owner Scott Francis says. To read the full story, click here.
-- Fox17 reports on Dark Horse Brewing in Marshall, Mich., getting a reality show on the History Channel. The show premieres July 29. To read the full story, click here.
-- Paste Magazine reports on 15 "awesome vintage" beer cans. "Beer cans have a storied history of sporting some pretty alluring designs, which has solidified their status as sought-after collector’s items," Chris Powers writes. "To give a little taste of that history, we’ve assembled 15 of the coolest, most engaging can designs in the history of beer — many from now-defunct breweries." The list includes Michelob, Tiger Beer and Big Cat Malt Liquor. To see the full slideshow, click here.
-- The Indianapolis Star reports on the new Star Trek-themed beer Klingon Warnog, which will be released this week. To read the full story, click here.
-- CNNMoney reports on a new wave of Latino craft brewers who are using ingredients like honey, citrus, cherry and passion fruit. "There's not too many beers out there in the country or even the world that incorporate those fruits but they are ingredients that really resonate with Latinos, especially from the Caribbean," says Juan Camilo, who started the Dyckman Beer Co. in New York City. "That's our biggest differentiator from other beer companies." To read the fulll story, click here.
-- The Washington Post reports on an assistant manager at Goose Island Beer Co. who brews by day and advocates for protecting water at night. “Beer is a powerful tool,” Ian Hughes says. “You sit a beer in front of someone? They listen to you. About anything. It’s like magic.” To read the full story, click here.
-- The Burlington Free Press reports on a mobile canning business in Vermont. "Cans are a great package to have craft beer in," Otter Creek brewmaster Mike Gerhart says. "It's taken a long time for cans to shed the stigma that cans are only meant for yellow fizzy juice, which is what we collectively refer to the mass produced light-colored lagers of this country." To read the full story, click here.
Barley's Brewing Co. and Studio 35 Cinema & Drafthouse in Columbus are once again teaming up for a movie and beer tasting event. Studio 35 will show Spaceballs at 3 p.m. Aug. 10, pairing the movie with Barley's beer.
The tasting will feature Barley's Scottish Ale, Blood Thirst Wheat, Point of Origin, Barley's Centennial IPA, Two Tones, Infinity, Barley's Barleywine, and Tobias, a collaboration blend with Seventh Son Brewing Co.
Tickets are $25.
They also will take part in a ceremony Sunday (July 27) with Columbus Distributing to hand out a $5,000 educational scholarship to a Columbus-area military family, on behalf of the Folds of Honor Foundation, Budweiser and the Budweiser wholesaler network.
The horses make hundreds of appearances each year and this is the 81st anniversary for the Budweiser Clydesdales, which debuted on behalf of Anheuser-Busch on April 7, 1933 when they delivered a case of Budweiser to the White House to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition.
Christopher Rivers Jr., son of U.S. Army veteran Sherneatha Gray, will receive the Folds of Honor scholarship in honor of his mother, who was injured while preparing to report for Operation Desert Storm. The presentation is set for 1 p.m. at the Budweiser Clydesdale tent south of Cardinal Gate, Gate 1.
Columbus Distributing donated $10,000 this year toward Folds of Honor scholarships. The Rivers scholarship is one of 600 that Budweiser and its wholesalers will fund through a $3 million donation to Folds of Honor this year. Beer drinkers can do their part by entering an online code found in specially marked packages of Budweiser to trigger a $1 donation that will provide scholarships to families of military killed or disabled in action.
Budweiser and its wholesalers have raised nearly $10 million for military families since partnering with the Folds of Honor Foundation in 2010.
Add another big beer event to an increasingly crowded festival schedule in Cleveland. The Cleveland Metroparks has announced Beer at the Pier from 3 to 7 p.m. Aug. 9 at Edgewater Park.
The event, which supports the Cleveland Metroparks Trails Fund, will showcase Ohio-made craft beer and include live music and food.
Fat Head's Brewery and Great Lakes Brewing Co. are helping put together the festival. The brewery lineup also includes some breweries not available in Northeast Ohio: Cellar Dweller, MadTree and Fifty West, all three from the Cincinnati area. Others rounding out the offerings are: Black Box, The Brew Kettle, Buckeye, Cellar Rats, Columbus, Cornerstone, Franklin, Jackie O's, Little Mountain, Main Street, Market Garden, Ohio, Portside, Rivertown and Willoughby.
Tickets are $35 and include 25 two-ounce samples. VIP tickets, which get you in at 2 p.m., are $50.
For more details, click here.
The third annual Chardon BrewFest will feature its first 5k Run for Suds this year.
The race and beer festival are set for Sept. 13 in Chardon.
The cost of entering the race is $15 in advance or $20 on race day. The top three finishers in the male and female divisions will receive cash prizes.
The Chardon BrewFest takes place from noon to 5 p.m. It will feature 24 brewers and more than 70 beers from Northeast Ohio and surrounding states. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. They include 15 tastings and a souvenir mug.
In addition to the beer, the event features food and live music.
For more details, click here.
To read a full news release from the group, see below:
Chardon Tomorrow Gears Up for Third Annual BrewFest and Race for Suds
Chardon OH – Beer lovers will have the chance to sample more than 70 craft brews from some of Ohio’s finest breweries during the third annual Chardon BrewFest to be held on Saturday, September 13.
The event, organized by Chardon Tomorrow, will feature 24 microbrewers from across northeast Ohio and neighboring states.
The festival, sponsored by Lake Health, will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on the grounds of the Eltech Building, 100 7th Ave, located off State Road 44 six miles south of I-90. Live music will be provided by Elm Street Blues, Stray Louie and Tyrone’s Blues Sinsation. Food will be available from five Chardon restaurants. Corn hole, a 50-50 raffle and other entertainment will also be featured.
Advance admission is $25 and includes 15 tastings and a mug. Price is $35 day of the event. Designated drivers are $5 and receive a mug and unlimited soft drinks.
The event kicks off with the first annual Chardon BrewFest 5k Run for Suds which begins at 10:30 am. Race day registration is from 8-10 a.m. at Chip’s Clubhouse located at 214 Fifth Avenue. The run will wind through downtown Chardon and end near the BrewFest site. Cost to enter the race is $15 in advance and $20 on race day. A combined run and BrewFest ticket is $25 in advance and $30 on race day.
For tickets and more information about the race and BrewFest information go to www.chardontomorrow.org or call 440-273-3077. Proceeds benefit Chardon Tomorrow, a civic organization dedicated to the historic preservation and development of Chardon.
Additional sponsors include Red Wine & Brew, Bean’s Coffee Shop & Bistro, Heinen’s, Universal Disposal, Clemson Portable Restroom Service, Seventh Avenue Management and Chardon BrewWorks.
The Lorain Growth Corp. and Franklin Brewing Co. are launching a beer festival in downtown Lorain next month. Called the Waterfront District Brewfest, it will run from noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 23 on Seventh Street.
“The point is to get some people in downtown Lorain,” said Howard Ross, who’s helping to organize the event and is co-owner of Franklin Brewing in Elyria. “A lot of times, people think Lorain isn’t a great area, which is not really true. They’ve done a lot of development and there are a lot of neat things going on there like Black River Landing.”
Ross is still nailing down which breweries will participate, but he said the focus will be on Ohio-made craft beer. In addition to the beer, there will be live music and food trucks. Tickets are $25 and will include 15 tasting tickets and a souvenir glass. There will be only about 500 tickets sold.
For more details, click here.
Four years ago, Chardon BrewWorks offered LeBron James free craft beer for life if he decided to stay in Cleveland. Well, as we all know thanks to "The Decision," the best basketball player in the world took his talents to South Beach and never got a chance to cash in on the offer.
But now that he’s returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Geauga County nanobrewery says it’s letting bygones be bygones and the offer for free beer still stands. Owners Mike and Donna Nedrow penned an open letter to James this week letting him know: “Any time, buddy. Call or text. Or just show up. Your mug is waiting.”
“Forgive and forget,” Mike Nedrow said Thursday in a telephone interview.
He admitted that he doesn’t know whether James will take him up on the offer or not, but he’d love to sit down and have a beer with King James.
Read the full letter below:
Monday, July 14, 2014
BREWWORKS TO LEBRON:
“YOU'RE BACK — AND NOW YOU'RE BACK ON!”
Greetings from Chardon BrewWorks in lovely Chardon, Ohio! I'm sure you remember our offer of free beer for life here if you had stayed in Cleveland in 2010.
This offer, I'm sure, almost swayed you to stay. After all, did South Beach give you free craft beer, beer made with homegrown Northeast Ohio hops?
You left. But we need you to know: We're over it. And, more importantly:
YOU'RE BACK ON, LEBRON!
Our offer still stands. Free beer for life! Any time you're thirsty, come over for a cold Pride of Geauga Maple Porter, Donna Do Ya Wanna Hefeweizen, Ironworker IPA — and I'm buying!
Heck, Christmas in July is on the way. Celebrate your return with a Third Gift Christmas Ale, brewed right here in Chardon with the finest Northeast Ohio water and ingredients.
Any time, buddy. Call or text. Or just show up. Your mug is waiting.
Mike and Donna Nedrow
The National Association Breweriana Advertising — also known as NABA — will hold a free brewery collectibles show in Toledo in August as part of its 43rd annual convention.
The show, which is open to the public, is set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Grand Plaza Hotel & Convention Center downtown. It will include breweriana for sale and appraisals for people wondering how much their beer items are worth. There will be about 200 tables filled with brewery items, including trays, labels, signs and cans.
NABA President George Baley said he expects about 500 people to attend the show, especially with renewed interest in the hobby thanks to the growth of the craft beer industry.
There had been quite a lull when no new breweries were opening, he said. But the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colo., has estimated there are more than 3,000 breweries in the U.S. today, the most since the 1800s.
The only problem for the hobbyists is that the new wave of craft brewers don’t devote a lot of money to promotional materials, Baley said. But it’s still easy for new collectors to snap up coasters, signs and glasses.
“There’s a hope they will move on to more sophisticated collectibles” to keep the hobby alive, said Baley, 72, of Indiana.
He has been collecting for 40 years, starting out with beer cans. He now specializes in bar back beer figurines, also known as statues that were put on display in bars. Baley has written two collectible books: Bar Back Beer Figurines and Vintage Beer Tap Markers: Ball Knobs, 1930s-1950s.
The NABA, founded in 1972 in Milwaukee and now boasting more than 800 members, is the oldest national association for brewery and beer advertising collectibles. The annual convention begins July 29 and will include seminars, beer tastings, tours and sales for members only.
For more details about the group, click here.
Here are some interesting beer stories:
-- Hoperatives.com reports that Christian Moerlein Brewing and Rhinegeist Brewery won medals at the recent Indiana Brewers' Cup at the Indiana State Fair. Christian Moerlein received a gold for Se7en hefeweizen and two bronze medals for Lager House Helles and Barbarosa. Meanwhile, Rhinegeist won a gold for Zen and a silver for Truth. To read the full report, click here.
-- The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports on the rise of the Waterloo Arts District, which will include Waterloo Brew. The brewpub will feature indoor bocce courts. To read the full story, click here.
-- WCPO reports on the Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. brewing a special beer for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. “This was a really fun experience to work with and help brew the Moerlein LumenoCity Pale Ale at Cincinnati’s own Christian Moerlein Brewery in Over-the-Rhine,” Music Director Louis Langrée says. To read the full story, click here.
-- Columbus Alive reports on the incredible growth of the craft beer industry in Columbus and Ohio. “In earlier decades, there was a certain level of ‘fad’ with craft brewing. But now, it’s a lifestyle brand,” Eric Bean, Columbus Brewing Co. brewmaster and owner, says. “We can’t supply Columbus with enough beer.” To read the full story, click here.
-- Drink Up Columbus reports that Seventh Son Brewing has started canning. A limited amount of Humulus Nimbus and Seventh Son American Strong Ale is available. To read the full report, click here.
-- Money reports on five beer stories you'll be reading about this summer: the new Dogfish Head hotel, the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp tour, Trappist monks brewing in the U.S., sour beers and the decline of light beer sales. To read the full story, click here.
-- Graphic designer and JerseyBites.com craft beer editor Peter Culos writes about why people drink what they drink. "In the craft beer world, when people try to explain why anyone would drink mass produced corporate beer, they generally conclude 'It’s all marketing,' " he writes. "So why is the craft beer segment experiencing double digit percentage increases in market share every year while overall beer consumption decreases? Same answer. It’s all marketing." To read the full essay, click here.
Here are some interesting beer stories:
-- The Dayton Daily News reports that 16th annual AleFest Dayton is changing venues. The event will be held Aug. 23 at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark instead of Carrillon Park. To read the full story, click here.
-- Paste reports on its 10 most favorite beers of 2014 so far. The list includes House Beer, Green Flash Road Warrior and Stone Go-To IPA. To read the full list, click here.
-- The Colorado Springs Gazette raises the question: What is craft beer? "From boardrooms to corner bars, the definition of 'craft' is fluid," author Stephanie Earls writes. To read the full story, click here.
-- NPR reports that the Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. in Maine is making a beer with seaweed. "If there's seaweed in Maine and it's a good product, why not try putting it in a beer?" owner David Carlson says, To read the full story, click here.
-- Reuters reports that Kirin Holdings Co. plans to be the first of Japan's biggest brewers to make a major push into craft beer. Japan's second biggest beer maker will open microbreweries in Tokyo and nearby Yokohama in March, with on-site pubs each year offering nearly 20 types of beer, the news service says. To read the full report, click here.
-- The Idaho Statesman reports that 2013 was a great year for barley growers in Idaho. "Growers planted more of the crop and took home more money for the fourth straight year - a decade-high $337 million," author Zach Kyle writes. To read the full story, click here.
Hudson’s Restaurant in Hudson will host a four-course beer dinner with Deschutes Brewery at 7 p.m. July 31. The dinner will showcase Black Butte Porter paired with French onion soup, Hop in the Dark with beef pasta, Mirror Mirror Oak Aged Barley Wine with grilled skirt steak and Inversion IPA with cheesecake.
Mirror Pond Pale Ale also will be served when guests arrive.
Tickets are $40. Reservations are required and can be made by clicking here or calling 330-650-1955.
The Beer Baron Ball, a fundraiser for the Cincinnati Brewing Heritage Trail, will return Sept. 12 to Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati. Last year's event was attended by more than 800 guests and raised more than $60,000.
The event features dining, dancing and a silent art auction. Tickets are $150.
The Brewing Heritage Trail is part of the Brewery District's master plan to revitalized the community's brewery district. Those plans include expanding tours with signage, urban art and virtual experiences.
For more details about the event, click here.
Here are some interesting beer stories:
-- WMFD in Mansfield reports on the official ribbon cutting for Phoenix Brewing Co., which is located in a former mortuary. To watch the video, click here.
-- WCPO in CIncinnati reports that Brew Ha-Ha is expanding to three days this year. The headliners this year will be Bobcat Goldthwait on Aug. 21, the Sklar Brothers on Aug. 22, and David Alan Grier on Aug. 23. To read the full report, click here.
-- The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports on the local chapter of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America's 29th annual summer show and sale held in Brecksville. "Sports and micro-brews are popular," Henry Senyak says. "I'm hoping that gets people into the hobby." To read the full story, click here.
-- The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that analysts believe Anheuser-Busch InBev may be preparing to buy rival SABMiller. “I think that we’ve come to a break point, a decision point,” Tom Pirko, president of Bevmark, says. “I think that we’re close now.” To read the full story, click here.
-- KSDK in St. Louis reports that the University of Missouri St. Louis is starting a brewing class this fall. The school says it's a good way to get students interested in chemistry. To read the full story, click here.
-- The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports on the popularity of homebrewing. “It's the difference between going to the grocery store and buying store-bought cake, or making one from scratch at home," Tim Jordan says. To read the full story, click here.
-- USA Today reports that Brasserie Cantillon is aging its lambics in a bomb shelter. "The idea to start this project came to me when I visited a Champagne house," brewmaster Jean Van Roy says. "They had great cellars, with bottles aging in beautiful conditions. I wanted to do the same with Cantillon." To read the full story, click here.
-- World Record Academy reports that the Stodd Fold Brewing Co. in Britain has set a world record by pouring the largest ever glass of beer at 3,664 pints. The stunt was done to celebrate the Tour de France. To read the full report, click here.
-- The Associated Press reports that craft beer is reaching for the skies -- as in being served on airplanes. “We already had our drinkers on airplanes, we just didn’t have the beer,” Jim Koch, co-founder of the Boston Beer Co., says. “They want to drink in the air what they’re drinking on the ground.” To read the full story, click here.
-- Fox News reports on 10 great summer beers, including Stone Old Guardian, Bell's Oberon and Abita Spring IPA. To see the full list, click here.
-- Outside Magazine reports on the best sour beers in the country. The rundown includes New Belgian La Folie and Allagash Interlude. To see the full list, click here.
Here’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that from my four-hour bar crawl in Athens on Sunday for the ninth annual Ohio Brew Week. I made the three-hour drive from Akron for a little sampling and then made the three-hour drive home that same day. It was a whirlwind:
Hoppin’ Frog B.O.R.I.S. the Crusher was a major attraction for The Pub. Other bars were reluctant to sell the award-winning brew from Akron because of the high cost of a keg.
Big mistake. The Pub owner Tom Van Dyke reported that the beer sold out in two days.
Another fan favorite at The Pub is Blueberry Light from Rocky River Brewing Co.
“We can’t get enough of it,” Van Dyke said. “It’ll be gone by the weekend.”
In past years, the bar has actually hauled empty kegs back to Rocky River, a mere three-and-a-half hour drive away, to get them refilled.
Van Dyke has learned to ration the beer. It’ll be on tap for a few days and then he’ll take it off, just so that it doesn’t run out too quickly.
As several people were walking out of the bar, Van Dyke attempted to stop them and encourage them to go on a bar crawl with RateBeer.com founder Joe Tucker.
“It’s Sunday. Drinking for Jesus,” he yelled. “I’m going to get hit by lightning one day.”
Ohio Brew Week, which kicked off Friday, is off to a solid start.
“It’s been a great success,” Director Weston Lombard said while waiting for Tucker to show up for the bar crawl. “Record numbers at our events so far.”
Asked to recommend a beer, Lombard freely admits that he’s putting on his politically correct hat. Then he suggests the Paw Paw Wheat at Jackie O’s — the local brewery.
Pressed a little harder, he mentions that he likes Mt. Carmel Amber Ale. He also has enjoyed MadTree Brewing and Listermann Brewing, both from Cincinnati.
“The variety and creativity of MadTree and Listermann is pretty impressive,” he said.
SPEAKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS
I made sure to put some other folks on the spot as well, asking them to give me the name of a beer or brewery that has stood out for them. There are about 240 Ohio-made beers, ciders and teas being served around town.
Brady Duncan, co-founder of MadTree: Wheat’s Up from Jackie O’s.
“I like everything Yellow Springs does,” he added.
Jason Brewer, who does just about everything for Listermann: “The [barrel-aged] Salazar from MadTree is pretty bitchin’,” he said.
Gin BA Salazar is a kolsch aged in Watershed Distillery barrels and made with juniper and ginger.
Brewer also recommended the PawPaw from Buckeye Brewing.
Fred Karm, owner and brewer at Hoppin’ Frog Brewery in Akron: MadMann Blackberry Gose. In case you couldn’t guess it, MadTree and Listermann collaborated on the beer.
“I like that style now,” Karm said. “It’s light as hell. It’s salty with a dash of fruit in it.”
Jacob Fischer, a senior at Ohio University and Bowling Green resident: Willoughby Nut Smasher.
“I really enjoy that one,” he said while at Courtside Pizza.
He’s working his way through all the beers.
“I imagine that it’s the easiest way to drink your way through Ohio,” he said about the week.
RateBeer.com founder Joe Tucker is the big Ohio Brew Week celebrity this year. In addition to delivering the keynote speech and helping judge the homebrew competition, Tucker spent Sunday afternoon on a bar crawl.
While sampling at the J-Bar — and being encircled by a small crowd of brewers and craft beer fans — Tucker praised Ohio’s craft beer scene, saying that Ohio’s ratings “have been significantly above the world average” on his website.
“Ohio beer has come out of the gate,” he said. “It’s just this passion for great beer that’s here and it’s been consistent from when we started to now.”
When asked to name an Ohio-made beer that he was looking to sample, Tucker politely side-stepped the question. Instead, he said he wanted to try everything.
“I’m always interested in feeling out the edge,” he said. “What’s popular and what’s not popular.”
“I think he meant to say Listermann,” Brewer joked.
QUIP OF THE DAY
At every bar in Athens, you’ll find a pamphlet with a “Brew Tasting Checklist” that provides a rundown of every beer, cider and tea being served and where you can find it.
“If we check off all these, do we win a new liver?” asked Todd Schwartz, who came in for the week from Washington, D.C., to visit and drink with his son John, a soon-to-be senior at OU.
While in Athens — again for a mere four hours — my friend and drinking partner Duane Lawrence and I stopped by The Pub, J-Bar, Casa Nueva, Courtside Pizza, Crystal, CI, Cat’s Den and Jackie O’s. Not bad for the short time we were there.
We sampled, in no particular order: Rocky River, MadTree, Listermann, Fifty West, Findlay, Seventh Son, Weasel Boy, Granville, Homestead, Rhinegeist and Portsmouth. We gravitated toward anything we couldn’t buy in the Akron area.
Duane’s top pick? Rhinegeist Truth. He’s an IPA fan.
Mine? I’ll go with three: MadTree Rounding Third, Listermann Rummy and Granville Betrayer.
Ohio Brew Week continues through Saturday. For more details about all the events, click here.
SweetWater Brewing Co. made it official today (July 11), announcing that the Atlanta brewery will enter the Ohio market in September.
“While on a recent tour through Ohio, I could feel the energy and excitement throughout the state surrounding craft beer,” Jeff Chassner, director of new market business development at SweetWater, said in a news release. “We feel now is the perfect time for us to tell our story and bring our award-winning brands to the Buckeye State to further complement their already established craft lineup.”
SweetWater, which has won numerous medals at the Great American Beer Festival, is the 19th largest craft brewery in the U.S. Its brands include 420, IPA and Blue.
To read the full news release, see below:
SWEETWATER BREWING COMPANY BRINGS AWARD-WINNING CRAFT BEERS TO OHIO
Southeastern craft brewery announces distribution launch to roll out this September
ATLANTA (July 2014) – SweetWater Brewing Company is movin’ and shakin’ with plans to launch brews in the Buckeye State, its northern-most distribution point to date, late this summer. Following the brewery’s recent $19 million expansion, SweetWater – ranked as one of the nation’s top 20 craft breweries by sales volume according to the Brewer’s Association – plans to bring its lip-smackin’ lineup to Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo, Akron, Youngstown, and Canton starting this September.
SweetWater expanded brewing, packaging and shipping operations in 2012, quadrupling its overall capacity. In early 2013, SweetWater announced plans to flow into three new states for the first time since 2008, including Kentucky, Louisiana and Virginia.
SweetWater currently distributes its notoriously hoppy and aggressive ales throughout a total of nine U.S. states across the Southeast. The distribution extension into Ohio, along with movement into Mississippi and Texas also this year, will bring SweetWater’s availability to 12 total states by the end of 2014.
Although decisions on distribution partners for the markets are still being confirmed, Ohio locals can look forward to spotting the brewery’s iconic rainbow trout tap handles and packaging throughout the area in upcoming months, along with local launch events and brand details to come.
“While on a recent tour through Ohio, I could feel the energy and excitement throughout the state surrounding craft beer,” said Jeff Chassner, director of new market business development at SweetWater Brewing Company. “We feel now is the perfect time for us to tell our story and bring our award-winning brands to the Buckeye State to further complement their already established craft lineup.”
To keep up-to-speed on SweetWater’s launch into the Ohio area, follow SweetWater’s Ohio Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SWHeadyPeddlersOH or on Twitter at @SweetWaterOH. To learn more about SweetWater Brewing Company and its full lineup, visit www.sweetwaterbrew.com.
ABOUT SWEETWATER BREWING COMPANY
Living by the motto “Don’t float the mainstream,” SweetWater Brewery has been blazing its own path in craft beer throughout the Southeast since its inception in 1997. With a brewer calling the shots, quality of beer—and life—are always most important in crafting a lineup of lip-smackin’ brews. Widely known for its flagship 420 Extra Pale Ale and recent Great American Beer Fest gold medal winner LowRYEder IPA, SweetWater also serves up an ever-evolving Catch & Release seasonal lineup of brews and an off-beat, one-off Dank Tank series. SweetWater invites folks to join them for tours and tastings of their Atlanta brewery every Wednesday through Sunday. Visit www.sweetwaterbrew.com for more info about SweetWater, or hang out with your social thang out by following SweetWater on Twitter/Instagram @sweetwaterbrew, or on Facebook at facebook.com/sweetwaterbrew. And always remember; drink ‘em if you got ‘em!
Volksfest -- a two-day beer festival showcasing Cincinnati-area brews -- returns to Listermann Brewing Co. on Aug. 1 and 2. The annual event focuses on low-alcohol and session beers.
"The word Volk in German means people, and Cincy’s brewers have decided to come together once again to show our customers just how much they mean to us," the brewery said in a news release today. (July 11)
The festival will feature: Blank Slate, Fifty West, Christian Moerlein, Rock Bottom, Rivertown, Mt. Carmel, MadTree, Cellar Dweller, Widemann, Quaff Bros., Rhinegeist, Triple Digit, Bad Tom Smith, Eight Ball and Listermann. Some of the breweries will make beer exclusively for the event.
There also will be live music and food vendors.
The festival is free to attend. People just pay for what they eat and drink. It runs from 5 p.m. to midnight Aug. 1 and noon to 11 p.m. Aug. 2.
Listermann also is teaming up with Cincideutsch to host the event. The group will bring an authentic German feel to the festival, as well as booths, banners and parades to talk about their respective clubs, the brewery said.
The ceremonial keg tapping of Listermann Volksfest Lager will be held at 4 p.m. Like the Oktoberfest and Starkbier Fest, the festival is family and dog friendly.