Posted in Ballast Point Brewing, Headlines

Ballast Point will be Disneyland’s first on-site brewery

Ballast Point Brewing’s next build will be in “The Happiest Place on Earth”. The brewery has announced a new location in the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim California.

While Anaheim’s Disneyland Park is dry keeping in line with founder Walt Disney’s vision, the Downtown Disney District started serving alcohol since 2001. Ballast Point will be the first brewery in the district.

According to Ballast Point, it was that Disney approached them first about this opportunity.

Later this year, Ballast Point will open a 7,300 square foot tasting room, brewery, and kitchen. The brewhouse will only be 3 barrel R&D brewery (about 90 gallons per brew), but boast 100 taps for the 225-seat restaurant. Expect their flagship Sculpin IPA always on tap, as well as a plethora of limited edition beers.

Rendering of Ballast Point Disney, courtesy of Ballast Point

In 2015, Ballast Point sold to Constellation Brands for a record-breaking $1 Billion dollars.

The brewery currently operates locations in the Miramar, Scripps Ranch and Little Italy areas of San Diego as well as Long Beach, California and Daleville, Virginia.

Posted in Beer History, Cool Stuff, Headlines

The first beer can was sold on this day in 1935

Today is a big day in beer history. January 24th marks the anniversary of the first canned beer sold in the U.S. thanks to the American Can Company. It was their innovation that ultimately led to the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company releasing “Krueger’s Finest Beer & “Cream Ale” in a new steel can format (we were still years away from traditional aluminum). The New Jersey brewery test marketed 2,000 cans in Richmond, Virginia for the first time 83 years ago.

Interestingly, the American Can Company started this whole process back in 1909. Unfortunately, the 80 pounds of pressure per square inch need to maintain carbonation caused the first cans to explode. Despite American Prohibition, the company continued their research in hopes of the day beer was legal once again.

As crazy as it sounds now, the sale of beer in cans wasn’t easy. Adoption took time. Gottfried Krueger was founded in 1858 and was pretty set in their brewing ways and pretty much dismissed the idea of canning when American Can approached them in 1935. That was – until the canning equipment was offered for free.

As it turned out, Krueger’s Finest Beer and Cream Ale sales swelled thanks to the steel can sales, prompting Pabst, Schlitz, Stroh’s and Anheuser Busch to adopt canning just to regain market share.

Beer canning in the United States was put on hold for a few years due to resource strain during World War II. The heavy steel can only had a few years when canning resumed in 1947, the more modern aluminum can was ultimately introduced in 1958.

Here in 2018, the United States has swelled to a record-breaking 6,000+ breweries. According to 2016 IRI Worldwide Data, canned beer accounts for more than 50% of beer (all beer) sold in the United States. 

In the craft beer segment, Brewers Association Bart Watson has found a continued increase in market share by cans, seeing more craft breweries adopting at least a mix of cans and bottles.

To think Krueger turned down the idea. Within three months of the first release, Krueger’s newly adopted can format was in the hands of over 80 distributors (which was a lot back then).

Sadly, two years after Krueger’s 100th birthday, the company was sold and the Newark, New Jersey plant was closed.

Posted in Headlines, Smuttynose Brewing

Smuttynose Brewing Co. is slated for sale at auction, seeks immediate buyer

Smuttynose Brewing Company

24-year-old New Hampshire based Smuttynose Brewing Company will be sold at auction in March. The brewery is currently seeking a buyer.

According to a statement released today, Smuttynose is seeking an immediate buyer prior to a planned March 9th auction. The would include the LEED-Gold certified brewer on Towle Farm in Hampton, as well as the Hayseed Restaurant nearby.

“The company’s financial models were based on 20 years of consistent growth but the explosion of microbreweries has led to changing dynamics in the marketplace. This dramatic shift occurred just as Smuttynose committed to a major infrastructure investment with the construction of the new production facility. As the turmoil in the marketplace stabilizes, Smuttynose, a trusted brand with strong consumer loyalty, can regain its footing with a major infusion of capital.” – Smuttynose owner Peter Egelston

Smuttynose was founded in 1994, employs 68 people, and generates $10 million dollars in annual revenue. Over the past year, the brewery has been operating at 50% of its 75,000 barrel a year capacity.

Currently, the brewery and restaurant are open as usual, and no employees have been eliminated.


Posted in Bell's Brewing, Coming Soon, Headlines

Celebrating diversity, Bell’s Sparkleberry Ale will debut in June

Bell's Sparkleberry Ale cans

Bell’s Sparkleberry Ale is slated for 16-ounce cans in June 2018.

This fruit-forward release first debuted in 2013 in honor of the Kalamazoo, Michigan Pride Festival. Bell’s Brewery was a presenting sponsor. Since then, the beer has been made more widely available on draft, plus a few 750-milliliter bottles at Bell’s General Store.

This summer, Bell’s Sparkleberry Ale will debut in 16-ounce cans for the first time.

The brewery continues to maintain their partnership with Kalamazoo Pride, a fundraiser for OutFront Kalamazoo.  The Kalamazoo Gay-Lesbian Resource Center, OutFront Kalamazoo, continues to serve the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community of greater Kalamazoo, its friends, and allies.

“Our celebration of diversity is no secret, but this can says it front and center. No matter who you are or who you love, all are welcome at Bell’s.”-  Laura Bell, CEO of Bell’s Brewery

Bell’s Sparkleberry Ale will be canned and available in June.

Style: Fruit Beer (w/ Raspberries)
Debut: June 2013
Can Release: June 2018

9% ABV

Posted in Dogfish Head, Headlines, New Releases

Aged on wood & year-round: Dogfish Head Wood-Aged Bitches Brew

Dogfish Head Wood-Aged Bitches Brew

Dogfish Head Wood-Aged Bitches Brew is now available year-round. 

In 2010, Dogfish Head released Bitches Brew, a new imperial stout created to honor the epic Miles Davis album by the same name, released in 1970. The album, deemed unconventional by many at the time, is considered the progenitor of the jazz-rock genre.

Much like the album’s composition, the imperial stout blends carefully selected components in its creation. The original release was created out of threads of an imperial stout, and imperial stout brewed with gesho root and honey.

Dogfish Head Wood-Aged Bitches Brew adds a new element – wood. The beer has been aged and blended in the giant oak tanks that Dogfish Head uses to age their Pale Santo release. This “deeper cut” is a fusion of three threads of imperial stout aged on oak, and one of the Tej, an African honey beer, aged in the 10,000 gallon Palo Santo tanks.

Dogfish Head Wood-Aged Bitches Brew is available this month in new 12-ounce/6-packs year-round.

Style: Imperial Stout (w/ Honey)
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. Year-Round
Release: January 2018

9% ABV

Posted in Beer News, Headlines

Untappd suspends check-ins for Dystopian State Brewing in wake of public backlash

Dystophian State Brewing Logo

Popular beer check-in and rating app Untappd has suspended check-ins and comments following social media failure by the Tacoma, Washington based brewery.

You’ve got to have some thick skin to be a brewer. Especially in a social media-driven world. Everyone’s opinions regardless of how expert or novice, can be thrown out at near the speed of light, thanks to the magic of the internet and smartphones.

Of the hundreds of brewers we’ve interviewed here at Beer Street Journal, most take the critiques with a grain of salt. Some folks can be really hurtful, and most are smart enough to let it go. The owner and head brewer of Dystopian State Brewing Company did the opposite. Dare we say – completely off the rails.

A brewery visitor by the name of Gus Erikson was not a satisfied drinker of Dystopian State. He voiced his opinion on Facebook: “Only place I have spit beer back into a glass.

This is where the story would have ended if owner and head brewer Shane McElwrath and co-owner Lana Adzhigirey had just let that comment go and moved on with brewery operations.

They didn’t.

Co-owner Lana Adzhigiery didn’t take to kindly to his thoughts on their beer and voiced them immediately (She called him a fucktard in one of the exchanges). McElwrath privately messaged Erikson a string of expletive-laden comments that of course, didn’t stay private very long. Erikson shared the exchange and the social media backlash has been strong.

Members of the Untappd community started logging .25 stars on Dystopian State beers and destroying the brewery in the comments. Untappd has disabled check-ins and comments as of 1 pm this afternoon.

Additionally, the brewery’s Facebook rating was 4.8 stars and as the comment string and fall out started to build, that rating had dropped to 2.1. McElwrath has been suspended from his duties at Dystopian State. The brewery posted this on Monday evening stating they have been in contact with Gus Erikson over the messages:

“We really screwed up. We lashed out to one of our customers who made a negative comment about our beer on a beer group on social media. We made it personal. And have sent him messages in very poor taste. This is unacceptable and it was wrong.

“This is unprofessional and we take full responsibility. Gus Erickson – thank you for giving us a chance and please accept our deepest apology for sending you hateful messages.

We would also like to reassure you that we accept people from all walks of life, any and all sexual orientation, color, gender, opinion.”

Safe to say,  this is the very definition of a brewery’s public relations nightmare.

Ed. Note: An email to Dystopian State Brewing Company was not immediately returned. 


Posted in Headlines, New Realm Brewing

A new level for Georgia Beer. New Realm Brewing opens this month

Carey Falcone got his start in the beer business nearly 30 years ago while working for his family’s distributor. “I worked just about every job in that place over the course of 17 years, from sales to marketing, revenue management and logistics.”

It was the logistics aspect of the job that brought Falcone to Atlanta, working for Americold Logistics. “Basically, I got a great offer and I couldn’t pass it up so my family flew south.”  As Carey is explaining his background to us, the smile on his face faded at the mere mention of leaving the beer industry. It’s obvious where his heart is.

“After so many years in the beer business, things just didn’t feel right. It’s not as sexy. It’s not as fun. I had to go back,” he says.

Eight years ago, that fire for beer manifested itself into the form of a business plan that would lead to New Realm Brewing.

Thanks to the logistics game, Falcone had traveled the world. That means a lot of beer stops along the way. “I hit Belgium breweries really hard. I saw amazing rooftop beer garden concepts in London, Berlin, and Munich,” he said. “What if the best of these concepts were put under one roof? Why not Atlanta?” The business plan had really started taking shape.

Carey has known his co-founder Bob Powers for nearly 25 years. They worked together at Americold, at an equity firm after Americold, and now together at New Realm Brewing.

“For us it was about doing something different. It was about taking 3 guys who spent their lives in the beer business and making it their life’s work,” Carey says with the biggest smile of the day on his face.

Taking the ideas from some of the best breweries and beer gardens in the world, Falcone and Powers created a massive strategic plan, partnered with the right financial backers, and got to work.

The duo found a building that wasn’t even publically listed for sale, right on the Atlanta Beltline, turned the 20,000 square foot space into 40,000 square feet with rooftop bars, two event spaces, and a nearly 500 seat restaurant. They turned an old industrial building into a work of art, with exposed steel and iron, and a brewhouse that is already the envy of their Georgia neighbors. Every bit of this build is bold, beautiful and aggressive, but the boldest flourish of New Realm Brewing is not the architecture – it lies in the brewmaster.

This shiny new monument to beer lacked a brewer. One evening over a few too many beers, Falcone and Powers made a power list of America’s best craft brewers. “The list really was an all-star list, but one floated to the top – Mitch Steele,” Falcone said. “The more I thought about it, he really did complete the puzzle.”

Mitch Steele is undeniably one of the best brewers in American craft. He studied at the University of California Davis, wrote “Authoring IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale,” and most famously, the brewmaster for Stone Brewing. India pale ale in America has only improved with Steele at the kettle. So Falcone flew to California, took Mitch out for beers and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. New Realm Brewing now has their very own hoppy rockstar. Sound ballsy? We think so too.

On January 8th, New Realm Brewing will open their doors for the first time, with a true west coast brewer at the helm. The 20,000 barrel annual capacity facility is not only highly anticipated but sets a record for the largest single brewery opening in Georgia history. Every bit of Falcone’s creation is about to pay off. He’s checked all the major boxes, from porches, skyline view, and it’s even on the Beltline. The multi-million dollar operation is nothing short of incredible.

“Georgia is home. We really wanted to give an experience to the craft beer community here in Atlanta. We’ve missed out on so much thanks to restrictive laws. Now it’s our turn.”