Monday, August 22, 2016

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 31/32, 2016.

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundup
A bi-weekly, non-comprehensive roundup
of news of beer and other things.

Weeks 31/32
31 July - 13 August 2016

  • 13 August 2016
    'Craft' brewery Dogfish Head creates beer called "Beer For Breakfast," made with maple syrup, applewood-smoked barley, roasted chicory, milk sugar, coffee, and scrapple (seasoned pork scraps).
    —Via Beer Street Journal.

  • 13 August 2016
    Amid a pending deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev, Devils Backbone, the largest 'craft' brewery in Virginia, was "kicked out of its own festival."
    —Via Fritz Hahn, at Washington Post.

  • 13 August 2016
    French-born chef and restaurateur Michel Richard, whose career spawned the transformation of Washington, D.C. from a power-lunch town to a national culinary destination, has died at age 86.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 12 August 2016
    What do you do when your 'craft' brewery has been purchased by a much larger brewery? You buy a much smaller one.

    In 2002, John Cochran and "Spike" Buckowski founded Terrapin Brewing in Athens, Georgia. 14 years later, last month, Miller/Coors (via its 'craft' division, 10th & Blake) bought a majority interest in the brewery. Cochran left the brewery and has purchased Altamont Brewing, a 5-year-old brewery in Asheville, North Carolina, renaming it UpCountry Brewing. In the circle-of-brewlife, the owner and founder of Altamont, Gordon Kear, has left his brewery.
    —Via Asheville Citizen-Times.

  • 10 August 2016
    In July, the temperature hit 129.2 °F in Kuwait, the hottest ever recorded in the eastern hemisphere.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 10 August 2016
    A second brewery is slated to open in the old Pabst brewery grounds in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOT Pabst, but a 'craft' brewery called MKE Brewing.
    —Via On Milwaukee.

  • GBBF 2016
  • 9 August 2016
    A vanilla stout has won Champion Beer of Britain at the Great British Beer Festival.
    —Via YFGF.

  • 9 August 2016
    St. Louis Brewing has defeated a legal case by conservative political activist Phyllis Schlafly attempting to force her nephew Tom Schlafly —principal owner of the St. Louis, Missouri-based 'craft' brewery— from using the family name, Schlafly, for his beers.
    —Via St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

  • 8 August 2016
    Stock analyst thinks Boston Beer, maker of Sam Adams beer, has serious problems.
    It's time for the Boston Beer Company to rewrite its playbook. The company's internal efforts to generate growth aren't keeping up. I can understand the desire to stay true to the craft roots, but the company opted to play the perpetual growth game and went public. Shareholders demand profitable growth. It might be time to purchase a small rival brewer or two and plug them into the existing Sam Adams family. Until the company makes changes, it runs the risk of losing more market share and revenue to both larger and smaller rivals. At current valuations and with an anemic outlook, the Boston Beer Company looks overpriced to me.
    —Via Motley Fool.

  • 8 August 2016
    Pumpkin shortage threatens pumpkin beer supply. That's just too bad.
    —Via DRAFT.

  • 5 August 2016
    "IPA is shorthand for the American ['craft' beer] tradition."
    —Via Jeff Alworth, at Beervana.

  • 4 August 2016
    August 4th was #IPADay, as created by 'craft' beer writer and advocate Ashley Routson, aka the Beer Wench, in 2011.
    —Via CraftBeer.

  • 4 August 2016
    In 1975, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) invented the modern beer festival when it staged the Covent Garden Beer Exhibition, a five-day event with more than fifty beers, attended by forty thousand people. But before the festival evan began, it was nearly derailed, by an ill-placed suitcase; Fullers Brewery saved it. Today, the festival is known as the Great British Beer Festival.
    —Via Boak and Bailey.

  • 2 August 2016
    There has been significant consolidation in the hops industry—the number of commercial growers decreased from 378 in 1964 and 90 in 1987 to just 44 in 2015, according to Hop Growers of America. But new growers ARE coming online. In 2016, there are 53,213 acres of hops growing nationwide—the most acreage ever in production and an 18.5 percent increase over 2015. Almost all of the hops production is in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, but, in all, 29 states are registered to grow the crop.
    Without the advent of craft brewing, local, family owned hop farms would have gone bankrupt. It's saved the industry.
    —Via National Public Radio (NPR).

  • 4 August 2016
    The world’s two largest beer companies – Anheuser-Busch InBev and SAB Miller – are merging into one brewing company. The deal, which will be worth $107 billion, is expected to close by October 2016, at which point most global beer brands will be owned by five conglomerates: AB InBev/SAB Miller, MolsonCoors, Heineken, Diageo, and Carlsberg.
    —Via Visual Capitalist.

  • 3 August 2016
    Forty-three percent of Americans who drink alcohol say they prefer beer (the highest since 2002, when 44 percent said the same); thirty-two percent say wine; and 20 percent say liquor.
    —Via Gallup.

  • 2 August 2016
    Inconclusive yet tantalizing historical hints: before cream ale had there been cream beer (and then Kentucky Common)?
    —Via Alan McLeod, at A Good Beer Blog.

  • 2 August 2016
    Buying beer to-go at a brewery in Alabama? Showing proof of age won't be sufficient. The Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board wants the brewery to record your name, address, telephone number, and date of birth ... and it wants its agents to have the right to go to your home to confirm that you actually did buy that beer.
    —Via Free The Hops.

  • 2 August 2016
    Total U.S. beer shipments for the first half of year 2016 were up by 0.1 percent (while June's figures were down 0.2 percent over those of June 2015). 'Craft' beer, on the other hand, was up 8 percent over the same time period. Imported beer volumes increased by 7.1 percent in June, and was up 7.7 percent for the year.
    —Via Beer Institute: here and here.

  • 1 August 2016
    An infelicitous date, October 10 is announced as the official date for the completion of the merger of the world's second-largest brewing company, SABMiller, with the world's largest, Anheuser-Busch InBev. The name of the new mega-company to-be-determined.
    —Via Reuters.

  • 31 July 2016
    A 'craft' brewery and its town devasated by flash flooding in Maryland.
    —Via YFGF.

  • 31 August 2016
    2015 was Earth's hottest year since pre-industrial times, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in its report, State of the Climate in 2015.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 31 July 2016
    Good news for the U.S. hop harvest 2016:
    There is some concern about the effect of early bloom in some parts of Oregon and Washington, but, overall, [this year's hop] crop [in the Pacific Northwest] looks like a good one assuming weather conditions remain favorable and pest pressure is manageable.
    —Via YCH Hops.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pic(k) of the Week: How I didn't celebrate #IPADay.

Meet the Scofflaws

On 4 August 2016, I may not have 'celebrated' ‪#‎IPADay per se, but I did enjoy two IPAs from a new Atlanta-based brewery.

Looking at the photo after-the-fact, I like the (lucky) composition: beers poured, beers hoisting, conversations ongoing, mirth teeming, gadgets (of course) deploying, and representatives from Scofflaw Brewing displaying their colors.

At beer bar Hop City, in the re-purposed Krog Street Market of Atlanta, Georgia.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Virginia Craft Beer Cup 2016 Winners Announced

Virginia Craft Brewers Guild
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   

Virginia Craft Beer Cup 2016 Winners Announced

Virginia Craft Beer Cup Winners Announced at WestRock Tuesday August 16th
Richmond, Va. - The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild hosted the 2016 Virginia Craft Beer Cup Awards Tuesday August 16th at WestRock in Richmond, Virginia. There were more than 280 brewers in attendance to celebrate excellence in craft beer.

The Virginia Craft Beer Cup competition, managed by master Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) judge Tom Cannon, had 378 beers entered for review. The judging took place Saturday, July 30th at Fair Winds Brewing Company in Lorton, Virginia.

"The Virginia Craft Beer Cup recognizes outstanding beer made by some of Virginia's best independent craft brewers," said Brett Vassey, President & CEO, Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. "Congratulations to every competitor and this year's award winners."

The 2016 Virginia Craft Beer Cup winners are as follows:
Best of Show
First Place Best of ShowJames River BreweryRiver Runner ESB
Second Place Best of ShowOld Bust Head Brewing CompanyOktoberfest
Third Place Best of ShowBackroom BreweryLemon Basil Wheat Beer
Light American Beer
FirstBeer Hound BreweryOlde Yella
SecondWolf Hills Brewing CompanyCarry on Wheatward Sun
ThirdBeer Hound BreweryTeddy
Czech Lager
FirstPort City Brewing CompanyDownright Pilsner
SecondLost Rhino Brewing CompanyRhino Chasers Pilsner
ThirdLickinghole Creek Craft BreweryPony Pasture Pilsner
Munich Lager
FirstFair Winds Brewing CompanyHells Navigator
SecondThree Notch'd Brewing CompanyBrew Betties Maibock
ThirdSouth Street BreweryMy Personal Helles
FirstMad Fox Brewing CompanyKolsch Ale
SecondOrnery Beer CompanyKolsch
ThirdBull and Bones BrewhausKolsch
German Pils and International Lager
FirstSunken City Brewing CompanyDam Lager
SecondBack Bay Brewing CompanyGringo
ThirdEscutcheon Brewing CompanyJohn Riggins' 4th & 1 Pilsner
Marzen and Vienna Lager
FirstOld Bust Head Brewing CompanyOktoberfest
SecondStarr Hill BreweryJomo
ThirdCaboose Brewing CompanyCrossroads Vienna Lager
German Wheat Beer
FirstLost Rhino Brewing CompanyFinal Glide HefeWeizen
SecondStarr Hill BreweryThe Love
ThirdRiver Company BreweryFarmhouse Hefeweizen
British Bitter
FirstJames River BreweryRiver Runner ESB
SecondLake Anne Brew HouseLord Fairfax English Pale Ale
ThirdPort City Brewing CompanyMonumental IPA
Old Ale and Wee Heavy
FirstBackroom BreweryThe Ferminator
SecondHeritage Brewing CompanyKing's Mountain
ThirdRedbeard Brewing Company221B Baker Brown
Darker European Beer
FirstArdent Craft AlesSchwarzbier
SecondBig Ugly Brewing CompanyGhost Rider Porter
ThirdBull and Bones BrewhausAppalachia Alt
British Dark Ale
FirstPleasure House BrewingNo Waves
SecondMidnight BreweryNot My Job
ThirdThree Notch'd Brewing CompanyNo Veto Brown Ale
Irish Red Ale
FirstDirt Farm BrewingRed Merl
SecondPale Fire Brewing CompanyRed Molly
ThirdCapitol City Brewing CompanyIrish Red Ale
Irish Stout
FirstBackroom BreweryOatmeal Stout
SecondFinal Gravity Brewing CompanyIrish Goodbye
ThirdOld 690 Brewing CompanyOld 690 Chocolate Milk Stout
American Blonde and Brown Ale
FirstCaboose Brewing CompanyCaboose Brown Ale
SecondCastleburg Brewery and TaproomBishop's Brown Ale
ThirdLegend Brewing CompanyBrown Ale
American Pale Ale
FirstPro Re Nata Brewing CompanyOld Trail Pale Ale
SecondThree Notch'd Brewing CompanyGhost of the 43rd Pale Ale
ThirdBeltway Brewing CompanyRain or Shine
American Amber Ale
FirstFinal Gravity Brewing CompanyFire Station 5
SecondO'Connor Brewing CompanyRed Nun Red Ale
ThirdLake Anne Brew HouseReston Red
American Dark Ale
FirstOld Ox BreweryBlack Ox
SecondSunken City Brewing CompanyThe Columbian Coffee Stout
ThirdPort City Brewing CompanyPorter
American IPA
FirstThe AnswerLarceny
SecondFair Winds Brewing CompanyHowling Gale IPA
ThirdOld Ox BreweryHoppy Place
Specialty IPA
FirstSunken City Brewing CompanyRed Clay IPA
SecondLost Rhino Brewing CompanyDawn Patrol Session IPA
ThirdParkway Brewing CompanyFactory Girl Session IPA
Double IPA
FirstFinal Gravity Brewing CompanyVenus Rising
SecondPale Fire Brewing CompanyVillage Green
ThirdFinal Gravity Brewing CompanyThe Message
Strong Ale
FirstLickinghole Creek Craft BreweryVirginia Black Bear
SecondTriple Crosssing Brewing CompanyBlack Dolphin
ThirdStudio BrewCzardust
Belgian Blond and Saison
FirstThe Bold Mariner Brewing CompanyScurvy Dog
SecondThe Virginia Beer CompanySaison Tournante
ThirdHardywood Park Craft BrewerySingel
Sour European Ale
FirstStrangeways BrewingUberlin Berliner Weisse
SecondOrnery Beer CompanyGo Go Gose
ThirdCorcoran BrewingLife Gose Round
Belgian Wit, Pale Ale, and Biere de Garde
FirstStarr Hill Brewing CompanySublime
SecondBull and Bones BrewhausSun Lit Wit
ThirdReaver Beach Brewing CompanyFull Broadside

Strong Belgian Ale
FirstApocalypse Ale WorksBrohead Fred
SecondGarden Grove Brewing CompanyDeath
ThirdChaos Mountain BrewingAgents of Chaos
Wild Yeast Specialty Beer
FirstTriple Crossing Brewing CompanyBrett Saison Annivesary Ale
SecondReaver Beach Brewing CompanyReaver's Salvation
ThirdReaver Beach Brewing CompanyReaver en Noir
Fruit Beer
FirstThe AnswerMami Cereza
SecondMidnight BrewerWatermelon Lime Kolsch
ThirdBig Ugly Brewing CompanyMango Rockers IPA
Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer
FirstBackroom BreweryLemon Basil Wheat Beer
SecondBeer Hound BrewerySnots
ThirdSteam Bell Beer WorksTiramisu Stout
Specialty and Experimental Beers
FirstParkway Brewing CompanyFloyd Fest Hi-Test
SecondSouth Street BreweryPeanut Butter Cup Soft-Serv
ThirdFair Winds Brewing CompanySirens Lure
Smoked or Wood-Aged Beer
FirstLegend Brewing CompanyBourbon Barrel Brown
SecondAdventure Brewing Company2nd Anniversary Barleywine
ThirdArdent Craft AlesBoubon Barrel Aged Honey Ginger
The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild is a coalition of independent, small and commercial breweries dedicated to growing the craft beer industry in the Commonwealth. 

James River Brewery wins Virginia Craft Brewers Cup 2016.
(left to right) James River Brewery's Blake Sherman (brewer), Shannon Brown (owner), and Carlean Stevens hoist the Craft Brewers Cup.
Photo courtesy Lee Graves.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 29/30, 2016.

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundup
A bi-weekly, non-comprehensive roundup
of news of beer and other things.

Weeks 29/30
17 - 30 July 2016

  • 29 July 2016
    SABMiller buys its second 'craft' brewery in as many weeks, Hop Valley Brewing, in Oregon. (On 20 July, it acquired a majority interest in Georgia-based Terrapin Beer Company.)
    —Via Brookston Beer Bulletin.

  • 29 July 2016
    Goodbye, Alfred E. Newman. Jack Davis, illustrator for Mad Magazine, dies at 91.
    —Via New York Daily News.

  • 29 July 2016
    In November 2015, San Diego, California-based 'craft' brewery Ballast Point was puchased by drinks conglomerate Constellation Brands. Eight months later, Ballast Point's founder Jack White Jr., its brewer/distiller/chief operating officer Yuseff Cherney, its president/chief executive officer, and its chief commercial officer all have 'resigned' during the same week. It's "business as usual," Constellation observed. —Via Brewbound.

  • 29 July 2016
    While the number of small and independent breweries keeps climbing [a record high of 4,656 breweries were operating in the U.S. as of June 30] and the number of SKUs those breweries make continue to rise, breweries are met with a decreasing number of distributors to sell those products. [SKUs, or “stock keeping units," are the manner in which individual products are differentiated within a store.] According to the National Beer Wholesalers Association, a vertical trade organization for beer distributorships, the number of traditional beer distributors has fallen from 4,595 in 1980 to around 3,000 in 2015. In 1996, the typical distributor delivered 190 unique SKUs. In 2015, the average was 981 SKUs.
    —Via Craftbeer.

  • 28 July 2016
    California-headquartered, 'craft' brewery, Stone Brewing releases its first Berlin, Germany-brewed beers.
    For generations, America was considered the laughing stock of the world when it came to beer, and while that old image is now decades out of touch, the former low opinion of American beer still survives in Europe. Stone is proud to be able to demonstrate to Europeans that American craft beer is now a proud and mighty part of our culture in the U.S., which is light years beyond the industrialized beer that Americans were subjected to for so very long.
    —Via BeerPulse.

  • 27 July 2016
    After shareholders complained that they hadn't been compensated enough for the pound’s recent plunge after the U.K's vote to leave the European Union, SABMiller managers told employees to halt work knitting together the company with Anheuser-Busch Inbev, thereby threatening the proposed $207 billion merger of the the globe's two largest brewing companies.
    —Via Bloomberg.

  • 26 July 2016
    As of the end of June 2016, there were 4,656 breweries operating in the United States, and 2,200 more in planning.
    —Via [U.S.] Brewers Association.

  • 25 July 2016
    The gorgeous soprano voice behind the camera: Marni Nixon has died at 86.
    —Via [U.S.] New York Times.

  • 25 July 2016
    Bye, bye, Yahoo! Verizon to buy most of pioneering internet 'portal' company Yahoo for $4.3 billion. Verizon to combine Yahoo's search, email, messenger, and advertising technology assets with its AOL unit, which it bought last year for $4.4 billion.
    —Via Reuters at Yahoo! News.

  • 22 July 2016
    He wasn't a P.T. Barnum writing on the 'art' of the deal but a scientist who investigated the science of the deal. Howard Raiffa, economist who made a science of decision-making, dies at 92.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 20 July 2016
    Anheuser-Busch InBev NV wins U.S. antitrust approval from the Justice Department for its takeover of SABMiller Plc, after the maker of Budweiser agrees to give up ownership of the Miller brand and open the door to greater competition from craft beers.
    • —Via Bloomberg.
    • Statement from the [U.S.] Brewers Association on the ruling: trust but verify.
      While we continue to believe that the merger of the world’s two largest brewers is bad for both the beer industry and consumers, the DOJ’s significant requirements, including the termination of incentive programs such as the Voluntary Anheuser-Busch Incentive for Performance Program (VAIP), a cap on ABI’s self-distribution volume, and other measures to protect distributor independence, appear to address some of our major apprehensions with the merger. With effective enforcement of these provisions, small brewers can rely on their independent distributor partners to access the market. [...] The Brewers Association will closely examine the consent decree and compliance with its provisions, as well as monitor ABI’s actions, specifically with regard to the acquisition of independent craft brewers.
      —Via [U.S.] Brewers Association.

  • 20 July 2016
    In 2014, U.S. hops acreage grew 10.2%; in 2015, 15.4%. For 2016, hop acreage is up by 18.5%, with 53,213 total acres planted, the most since 1915.
    —Via YFGF.

  • 20 July 2016
    MillerCoors purchases Terrapin Brewing, a 'craft' brewery in Athens, Georgia.
    —Via The Full Pint.

  • 17 July 2016
    Three police officers shot and killed by single gunman in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The incident comes less than two weeks after Alton Sterling’s shooting death by Baton Rouge police officers on July 5, sparking both local and national protests.
    —Via The Atlantic.

  • 17 July 2016
    Despite one-third of Austria's grape harvest in 2015 being lost to hail, its 2015 white wines are "among the best in the world in terms of value and quality."
    —Via Dave McIntyre at Washington Post.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Pic(k) of the Week: In front of Ale Asylum

In front of Ale Asylum

Now, that's a home for a brewpub: Ale Asylum, of Madison, Wisconsin, in panoramic view, on 24 July 2016, as an early evening sun brought a warm glow to it all.

Successful enough of a brewpub, Ale Asylum, in 2012, would move out of its original digs into this much larger space —complete with three grain silos— and begin packaging its beer for sale off-site.
Ale Asylum. Brewed and bottled in Madison. Fermented in sanity.