Posted in Headlines

Green Flash will build a 3rd brewery in Nebraska

San Diego, California based Green Flash Brewing will have a third location open by the end of the year. The new production facility will be based in Lincoln, Nebraska.

In a world of buy-outs and consolidations, Green Flash Brewing going a different way – expanding. The 10,000 square foot production facility, restaurant, and tasting room will be located within walking distance of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the downtown area.

“We will strive to offer the best possible guest experience and will cater to the community that surrounds us. This includes A/V provisions for Huskers sports during the season, allowing those in the immediate area to enjoy fresh Green Flash and Alpine beer both on and off premise.” Dave Adams, Vice President of Retail Operations for Green Flash Brewing Co.

2,000 square feet of the space will be dedicated to food and beer service, boasting around 100 seats. Expect “simple, well-executed simple dishes with suggested beer pairings.”

The production side will feature a brewhouse with a 10,000 barrel annual capacity, and will be under the direction of brewmaster Erik Jensen. The Nebraska facility will brew the Alpine Beer Co. lineup as well.

Green Flash is currently available in all 50 states, and celebrates their 15 year milestone this fall.



Posted in Headlines, New Belgium

New Belgium acquires Magnolia Brewing, with famed lambic producer

New Belgium Brewing Company has entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of San Francisco’s Magnolia Brewing Company, as a part of a bankruptcy proceeding. The majority stake will be owned by New Belgium, with minority stakes owned by Elysian Brewing founder Dick Cantwell and Belgian lambic producer Oud Beersel.

Magnolia Brewing will continue to operate at both locations, with all beer brands and staff intact. Cantwell will assume the role of head of brewing operations, working alongside Magnolia founder Dave McLean.

Cantwell left Elysian Brewing in April of 2015, shortly after the brewery sold to Anheuser-Busch InBev. The role at Magnolia Brewing is his first in the beer industry since leaving Elysian.

“I’m tremendously excited to be back in the beer business and looking forward to working with the team at Magnolia to develop new beers and new ideas. This project is the natural evolution of a longstanding strategy of collaboration between myself, New Belgium and Oud Beersel.” – Dick Cantwell

“Brewing with friends” is how New Belgium characterizes this new partnership. The goal is to bring fresh brewing experience into the fold at Magnolia and advance the brand, not turn these locations into New Belgium pubs. In time, new beers will grace Magnolia’s lineup.

“We’ve been looking for ways to diversify our assets and expand our community. These two tap rooms are right in the heart of historic San Francisco neighborhoods, a place Dick (Cantwell) and I call home. Magnolia makes excellent beer and plays an important role in the community. We’re excited about the possibilities and look forward to continuing our journey while honoring Magnolia’s history and presence.” – New Belgium co-founder and Executive Chair, Kim Jordan

Oud Beersel’s role will be interesting. Eventually, the famed lambic producer will ship containers of their spontaneously fermented beer to San Francisco to blend with Magnolia’s beers. Oud Beersel has already worked with New Belgium and Brouwerij Boon on Transatlantique Kriek, available from New Belgium. Expect New Belgium to involved in blending collaborations in San Francisco as well.

A coolship, along with new wood vessels (foudres, puncheons, etc) are already in planning for Magnolia in the near future.

To be called lambic the beer must be produced in Belgium, and by shipping lambic to San Francisco, the world’s first dedicated lambic blendery outside of Belgium will be established.

Magnolia Brewing was established by McLean in 1997. The brewery’s financial difficulties surfaced in 2015 after construction delays in the construction of Smokestack, a barbecue restaurant they opened attached to the 30-barrel brewery. Magnolia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2015.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in September 2017.

Posted in Funky Buddha, Headlines

Funky Buddha acquired by Constellation Brands

Rumblings of a potential Funky Buddha purchase have been rolling around for a while. Today the rumors are now fact – Constellation Brands has acquired Florida’s Funky Buddha.

Constellation made a splash in 2015 with the $1 billion dollar acquisition of Ballast Point. Today, Constellation’s Craft & Specialty Beer Group. gains offerings like Hop Gun, Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, and Last Snow.

We chose to partner with Constellation because we saw an alignment in vision and felt they gave us the greatest opportunity for growth and development. Constellation and Funky Buddha share a lot of the same ideals and passion for philanthropy, entrepreneurship and the art of craft beer. At the end of the day, we just really like the people we have met within the organization, each of whom share our dedication to making outstanding beer.” – Funky Buddha Head Brewer and President Ryan Sentz

Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery was started in 2010. Today their capacity hovers around 45,000 barrels annually.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed


Posted in Coming Soon, Dogfish Head, Headlines

“Blissfully inefficient” Dogfish Head Liquid Truth Serum IPA debuts in November

Dogfish Head Liquid Truth Serum IPA

Dogfish Head Liquid Truth Serum IPA will round out the Delaware brewery’s 2017 lineup later this year.

The makers of famed 60, 90 and 120 Minute IPA released coconutty hit Lupu-Luau this summer. This winter is looking hoppy as well. Dogfish Head Liquid Truth Serum first appeared as a brewpub exclusive back in 2016. The “blissfully inefficient IPA” is only hopped after the boil with Warrior, Simcoe, and Calypso hops, and then gets extra tropical thanks to Azacca, Mosaic, and Citra hops. This IPA is all about hop aromas.

As long as the recipe stays the same when it comes time to bottle this release, expect more of the same.

Truthfully hoppy without being deceptively bitter.

Dogfish Head Liquid Truth Serum IPA will be available in 12-ounce bottles and draft. Currently on the brewery’s calendar for November 2017.

Style: IPA
Hops: Azacca, Mosaic, Citra, Warrior, Simcoe, Calypso

Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft.
Debut: November, 2017

7.2% ABV

Posted in Headlines

Anchor Brewing acquired by Japan’s Sapporo Holdings

121-year-old Anchor Brewing has been acquired by Japan’s Sapporo Holdings LTD.

Anchor Brewing was established in 1896; most well-known for their Anchor Steam Beer. By 1965 the brewery was nearing bankruptcy when it was purchased by now craft beer pioneer Fritz Maytag for a modest few thousand dollars.

Since then, Anchor has surged, leading the craft brewery boom. Anchor even touts Liberty Ale as one of America’s first modern India pale ales.

In 2010, Maytag sold the brewery to Greggor and Tony Foglio.

According to Sapporo, the deal has been in the works over a year. Sapporo Holdings LTD. now fully owns Anchor Brewing and will continue operations at the Potrero Hill brewery for the time being.

This acquisition comes just a week after Heineken acquired a small stake in Michigan’s Short’s Brewing, and San Francisco neighbor 21st Amendment and Colorado’s Funkwerks, sold equity to Brooklyn Brewery.

The amount of the deal has not been disclosed.


Posted in Headlines

U.S. breweries hit 5,562

Brewers Association Brewery Count June 2017

As June 2017 draws to a close, the operating brewery count has hit 5,562. That’s an increase of 906 breweries during the same time period last year according to the Brewers Association.

Bart Watson, chief economist for the not-for-profit trade association states the growth pace for small and independent brewers have stabilized, but at a rate that still reflects progress in a more mature beer market.

The beer world is highly competitive and there is certainly a mixed bag in terms of performance. Some breweries are continuing to grow, whereas others are having to evolve their position and nurture new opportunities to ensure they keep pace. Many brewers are benefiting from on-premises and taproom sales, and recent state-based reforms have the potential to help brewers in new regions capitalize on this growth.”

Basically, don’t judge the overall growth of the beer market based solely on openings and closings. While there are 2,739 breweries in planning, many of the curret 5,000 are growing in maturing in other ways, especially in states that have amended laws to favor brewery growth.

An example of this can be found in the state of Georgia. The state will finally allow tap room sales for the first time, which will have a positive financial impact on the state’s small and independent brewers.

Those breweries meeting the Brewers Association’s definition of small/independent/craft contribute an estimated 128,768 full and part-time jobs – a number that continues to grow.

Posted in Headlines

21st’s Amendment’s co-founder talks new partnerships & the future

Nico Freccia, the co-founder of San Francisco’s 21st Amendment didn’t go looking for a new partnership with Colorado’s Funkwerks, and New York’s Brooklyn Brewery. Like some of the best ideas in life, it grew organically.

The beer business is changing rapidly. Big beer companies like Anheuser Busch and Heineken are buying American craft breweries, and with that comes extra capital and big resources. There’s a battle for shelf space, raw materials, and consumer attention, and Freccia knew a change in strategy would be needed to keep up. “If you’re a small brewery, the local demand helps you survive. If you’re a big brewery, you have the cash to weather the storm. If you’re mid-size like us, the waves seem to hit harder,” he said.

Looking at the beer landscape, Freccia needed feet on the street. 21A is in 24 states with 20 representatives. Plus, they recently built a shiny new 500,000 barrel a year brewery to help handle current demand, but also future needs. “It’s time to secure our future,” he stated.

“Craft breweries are inherently inefficient. If we share resources, brain power, and industry knowledge, we can succeed.”

“Brooklyn Brewery comes from an iconic American city and brews iconic beer. Plus they have some of the best international partnerships of any craft brewery,” Freccia said. Brooklyn Lager, a Vienna lager, leads their portfolio. 21st Amendment hails from San Francisco with an all-can line up that leads with a west-coast IPA. “We have complimentary lineup synergies.”

“Funkwerks is a great, niche piece of this puzzle,” Freccia said. “Their lineup of saisons, sour, and American wild ales really create a complimentary portfolio across the three companies.”

Joining forces in order to better compete is not a new idea. Someone just needed to run point on the plan. Brooklyn has the much-needed experience to assume the role.

Whereas 21A has 20 sales reps for the U.S., Brooklyn touts 15 just for New York alone. Funkwerks sells in 7 states, but only has 2 salespeople and they are both in Colorado. As of January 1st, 2018 that all changes. All the sales reps will now work for Brooklyn Brewery.

Pretty much overnight, Brooklyn will have a west coast presence, and 21st Amendment will have access to brewery’s rep army in New York. Funkwerks will soon become a national name also, once the trio forms an incredibly robust network.

As far as 21A and Brooklyn are concerned, they are already 70% aligned with the same distributors in states to which they ship already. “It’s all about finding better efficiencies in each other, not forcing changes.”

Brooklyn is a minority investor in both 21st Amendment and Funkwerks. Freccia tells Beer Street Journal that the cash infusion will serve two purposes: pay down debt and make capital improvements at the San Leandro facility.

Don’t go looking for a new holding company, or new company name. You’ll see all three logos on business cards. “They all look great together,” he said.

21st Amendment has one customer now instead of 100+ distributors across the country – Brooklyn Brewery. Brooklyn will handle the clerical work and the beer orders.

21A built in extra capacity at the San Leandro facility, so you might see Brooklyn Brewery or even Funkwerks being brewed on the west coast, and vice versa.

“This an elegant solution that solidifies our independence,” Freccia said. “Together we are stronger. Together we can succeed.”

Background Image: Carolyn Fong