Trillium Miles Away
This release is actually the second of three installations in an on-going collaboration with Blackberry Farm. The base beer is a saison brewed with North Carolina barley and spelt, Saphir hops, and fermented on a mix of Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus bacteria.
Secrets are hard to keep and jealousy has no bounds. Part 2 of the story told with our good friends at Blackberry Farm Brewery is a mixed-culture saison make with NC barley and spelt, hopped with Saphir hops and aged with Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus.
Burial Beer Jealousy & Murder is available at the brewery starting September 30th. Limited distribution to follow.
Style: American Wild Ale
Availability: 750ml Bottles
Almost overnight, Scofflaw Brewing has taken Atlanta by storm. This month the brewery happily filled their first printed cans of Basement IPA. No more stickers. This beer is here to stay. It’s been a crazy first year.
We are sitting at a table on a hot Georgia afternoon waiting for the canning line to crank up. Minutes later a fresh can of Basement IPA is in our hands and co-founder Matt Shirah sits down on the bench.
“Well? How is it?” he asked. Despite telling him it’s fantastic, Shirah states “It’s good, but it needs to be fucking better. I’m never done with it.”
That never satisfied attitude is probably what made Scofflaw a household name among beer drinkers in Georgia so quickly.
Shirah and co-founder Travis Herman started Scofflaw Brewing in his mother-in-law’s basement. (If you haven’t figured it out by now, that’s where Basement IPA gets its name.) “She thought we were fucking nuts with what we were doing down there, always wondering if she was going to go to jail for all the beer in her basement.”
The basement setup was a far cry from a few carboys too. The setup entailed five 1-barrel tanks (160 gallons) full of test batches of Basement. Over time Basement IPA came into its own and really started speaking for itself. Shirah was leaving growlers of the IPA for his neighbors to try. Soon, the neighbors came knocking looking for more. Today they still do.
Basement IPA commercially turns one this month; now over 60% of the brewery’s sales. The first weeks and months of Basement IPA were brewed at a 7 barrel pace. These days Herman is brewing it at 200 barrels a week. Less than 100 independent stores in Georgia receive shipments of Basement IPA. “We could brew more, but we have other beers we want make too. I get hate mail all the time about it.” Shirah added.
Despite adding fermentation tanks over the past year, the big move is coming at the end of the year. Scofflaw has ordered a new 50-barrel brewhouse. The goal is to be ahead at home in Georgia. “Not California or Texas,” he says.
“We want to be Atlanta’s beer. I love the community connection when I walk into a local bar. It’s not just beer, it’s a connection to people.”
Right now, Scofflaw’s biggest challenge is maintaining batch consistency. They’ve been buying “spot hops” on the open market to keep up with demand. The brewery’s hop contracts finally kick in in 2018, which is great timing considering the bigger brew setup.
At the one year mark, Shirah has learned a lot of lessons. The hardest – holding back from “going big”. “That wouldn’t have worked for us. It’s ok to grow slowly and at your own pace.” With Scofflaw’s 1st anniversary party looming, Shirah and Herman have stayed true to their original vision.
Basement IPA is designed for a broad audience, not a select few. Shirah believes the beer’s approachability is how it became so popular. “I didn’t need it to be something people had to stand in line for,” Shirah said.
While “hype” might be helping Scofflaw grow, neither Shirah or Herman wanted it that way. The brewery does very little marketing, simply letting the beer speak for itself. “Folks feel a part of the brewery, instead of it being pushed off on them.”
The tasting room was expanded earlier this year, helping Scofflaw financially break even. Georgia laws haven’t always been in favor for craft breweries, so financially selling tours has been a big help. Every weekend the team looks out over hundreds of locals drinking at the source. The community has embraced Scofflaw, and vice versa. “It’s a great feeling,” says Shirah.
The future is indeed looking bright at year one. On September 1st, Georgia will finally allow breweries to sell beer directly to their patrons. That ability will give Scofflaw some financial breathing room. The first 365 days saw a little over 20 different beers, and Herman says they have 20+ more rolling around in their brains. After collaborating with nearby Monday Night Brewing on Westside Funk, a brettanomyces heavy IPA – a wild ale program isn’t out of the question either. “Unfortunately, there’s no place for funk in this brewery right now.” says Shirah.
Scofflaw’s expansion will take them to 25,000 barrels annually. Shirah is really excited and hopeful to find a Georgia home for their current brewhouse, stating he wants It to be a Georgia heirloom. Right now he seems more excited about finding it a home then the new system.
Besides fresh Basement IPA in painted cans, look for a experimental honey beer, a few collaborations, and barrel-aged releases in year 2. You’ll finally be able to buy a pint at the brewery starting September 1st. Probably from Shirah’s mother-in-law who works the door every weekend, and constantly gives Herman and Shirah advice.
“Community drives us and inspires us. Atlanta’s Westside neighborhood is a strong part of our success. Always surround yourself with the best people.”
We’ll drink to that.
The Bruery Mash & Coconut was once only available to those individuals in the brewery's "Reserve Society" and those lucky friends they shared it with. This latest batch of the coconut heavy barleywine now available to the public. Because good beer is meant to be shared.
In the process of upscaling this recipe, the brewing team was blown away at how much more coconut flavor and depth came from toasted coconut instead of flaked coconut. The next step? Renting commercial ovens to toast 1000s of pounds of the tasty, tropical flakes.
All in all, 400 pounds of in-house roasted coconut went into each batch of Mash & Coconut. Beer Street Journal was on site in Placentia, California when the barrels were emptied in July. You'll see bits of the barrel char and even some coconut chunks on the floor of the brewery in the images below. The smell of coconut and oaky bourbon was delightfully inescapable. Every breath made your mouth water. Back in the taproom, our clothes still had faint hints coconutty oak on them.
The Bruery Mash & Coconut is a limited release, in 750-milliliter bottles.
Image: Beer Street Journal
New York based Brooklyn Brewery has taken minority stakes in both San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery (21A) and Fort Collins, Colorado’s Funkwerks. The trio is creating a combined sales team.
The baseline purpose of this deal is competition. The beer industry in the United States is rapidly changing as big beer companies, like Anheuser Busch InBev and Heineken, are purchasing craft breweries, plus the growth of private equity-backed breweries.
Rather than shop for a buyout, it is time to join forces.
Brad Lincoln, co-founder of Funkwerks tells Beer Street Journal that their brewery only has two salespeople, both in Colorado, yet ships to seven states. “We can’t afford more employees to compete in the markets that sustain us,” he said.
It’s a known fact that sales generally increase in distribution territories that have salespeople. 21A ships to 24 states, and boasts a 20 person sales team. Brooklyn touts nearly that many for just New York City.
The search for a solution rather than a cash-out led Lincoln to his close friend Dave Duffy, who is the vice-president of business development at Brooklyn Brewery. “Brooklyn is seasoned in brewery partnerships both here and abroad. They understand the challenges,” Lincoln said.
Yesterday, Michigan’s Short’s Brewing announced Heineken backed Lagunitas is buying a minority share in their brewery for similar reasons. Both Lincoln and Scott Newman-Bale of Short’s said nearly the same thing about their new financial associates: “They are a partner that will leave us alone and let us be us.”
Per Lincoln, “This is how we grow, fight, and compete, and eventually – grow.”
Throughout the rest of 2017, Brooklyn, 21st Amendment, and Funkwerks will be hard at work creating a national sales platform, slated to go live in January 2018. The idea of sharing brewing operations (ex. 21A brewing at Brooklyn) has been thrown out there, but no immediate plans to do so.
The equity percentages or value of Brooklyn’s financial investment were not disclosed.
Rosedale, Maryland based DuClaw Brewing is seeking an investor or new owner. The brewery recently hired Equity Partners to assist with the search.
Dave Benfield, a Maryland native, founded the brewery as a brewpub in 1996. Since then, the brewery has expanded into a full production facility and distributes in 13 states.
It is important to note that this sale or investment opportunity is to help manage and assist the strategic growth of the brewery.
Questions to DuClaw Brewing were not immedately returned.
Delaware based Dogfish Head will be among the first breweries in the U.S. to adopt the “Independent Craft” seal on their packaging.
Today, the Brewers Association, a not-for-profit trade group operating in the interests of small and independent craft breweries, announced a licensed “seal” designating a brewer’s independent status. If a brewery meets the BA’s definition of craft, they can obtain a free license to place on their packaged products.
Among the first will be Dogfish Head. The brewery’s founder Sam Calagione made a statement on the company’s website today, applauding the Brewers Association’s efforts.
Today, I’m happy to announce that as a proud, independent brewery ourselves, Dogfish Head is joining the Brewer’s Association in this effort. I am hopeful there will be thousands of other craft breweries from across the country that will join us in this effort to make it easy for consumers to know which beers are brewed by an independent craft brewer. We think this is important because the identity and integrity of the craft brewing community have come under attack in recent months and years as certain global brewing conglomerates attempt to influence and blur the lines between their brands and those that continue to deliver innovation, imagination and community investment here in America. – Sam Calagione
The seal is a response to decreased transparency in ownership by some of America’s breweries, brought on by brewery acquisitions by major companies like Anheuser-Busch.
Expect Dogfish Head’s packaging to reflect the new seal in the coming months.