Don’t Miss This

Posted in Don't Miss This, New Realm Brewing

Fall Kickoff: Georgia Tech Athletics now have their own beer

New Realm HelluVienna Lager

Thanks to Atlanta’s New Realm Brewing, Georgia Tech Athletics has its first official beer. The beer launches today ahead of Tech’s first football game against Clemson. 

New Realm Helluvienna Lager debuts today, an amber lager suitable for mass consumption at tailgates, at home or bars during any and all of Georgia Tech’s sports programs. The launch of this beer on the first day of Tech’s football season was intentional, according to New Realm’s co-founder and CEO Carey Falcone. “We have enjoyed the support of the Georgia Tech community since we opened in 2018. “We are looking forward to being on-campus and a part of Tech history,” Falcone says. “From our first meeting with Angel Cabrera (GT President), Todd Stansbury (GT Athletic Director), and the leadership team at GT, it was clear that this was much more than a sponsorship, it was a partnership,” Falcone adds.

“The style of beer that comes to mind when we think sports is a lager,” Jeff Chassner, the brewery’s Chief Sales Officer tells Beer Street Journal. “We’ve brewed a lot of German-style beers over the last two years, so an amber lager similar to our Bavarian Prince festbier was pretty much where we wanted to be,” he adds. ” New Realm sent a few beers over to their friends at Tech to try, and the Vienna lager won hands down. 

READ MORE: NEW REALM & BLACKBERRY SMOKE TEAM UP

Helluvienna Lager features pilsner, Vienna, German Munich, and Carared Malts, along with German Hersbrucker hops making it about much of a European -style beer as possible, minus the location. As for the name? Helluvienna Lager is a play on the (I’m a) Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech” fight song. Interestingly, that fight song started as a Scottish drinking song in the late 1800s. Naturally. 

Here in the 21st Century, this New Realm/Georgia Tech collaboration hits shelves this week in 16-ounce cans and draft. It’s already on tap at Atlanta-area Taco Macs, and on shelves at Total Wine, Tower, and Mac’s Beer and Wine.  Over the next few weeks – metro Atlanta QT, Kroger, and Publix locations.

Tonight the #4 ranked Clemson Tigers travel to Atlanta to play Georgia Tech for a rare Monday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Clemson is favored by 22.5 points.  This beer might go from “fun” to “medicinal” quickly. Let’s hope New Realm brewed enough of it. 

Style: Vienna Lager
Hops: Hersbrucker

Malts: Pilsner, Vienna, German Munich, Carared Malts

Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft. Year-Round
Debut: 9/5/22

5.2% ABV

Posted in Don't Miss This, Pabst Blue Ribbon

PBR releases the 1,844 pack, 68 more than last year

Pabst Blue Ribbon has unveiled the 1844 case of beer. That’s a full 68 cans more than the 1776 pack they unveiled last summer. 

The year 1844 and fighting inflation. 

Why 1844? That’s the year Pabst was founded. Considering the financial challenges we’re facing here in 2022, Pabst wants to help. Every day in July, the brewery is giving away $1,844 to help offset the rising costs of basically everything you touch. (That’s a grand total of $57,164.) Need gas too? Once in July and once in August, Pabst is giving away 1,844 gallons of gas. Consumers can enter the sweepstakes online starting July 1st. We’re assuming you don’t have to show up to the brewery with your own tanker truck to get it. 

250 of the 1844 packs have been sent around America. Good luck track them down.

We have no idea how much the 1844 pack will cost, but you better have some thirsty friends. 

Posted in Don't Miss This, Orpheus Brewing

Orpheus Brewing appoints new CEO

Orpheus Brewing CEO

Atlanta, Georgia-based Orpheus Brewing has appointed Abby McLocklin Cheng as the brewery’s new Chief Executive Officer. She will assume the role immediately.

We’ve been in the unique position to have seen Cheng’s career flourish, first meeting her at Total Wine more than 10 years ago. At that time she had recently finished multiple degrees at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. She was a heavy foodie and I mistakenly took her as someone that was just into French reds, and hated on new world wine. There was so much more there than that. She also had a desire to work in beer and explore the craft beer industry. As with everything she does, it didn’t take long for her to fit into the industry successfully, many if not all of your favorite Founders beers on tap in the Atlanta area are thanks to her. 

On both personal and professional levels we are happy to announce that after only a few months at Orpheus Brewing they have realized the value of having Cheng run more integral parts of the Brewery as CEO. Her aims are to bring additional leadership and focus to a brewery that she feels passionate about.

Additionally, this gives brewery founder Jason Pellett the opportunity to step back into his much more familiar creative role,

She’s already assumed the CEO role, and we’re looking forward to seeing the direction she takes Orpheus in the future.

Posted in Don't Miss This, Wild Heaven Craft Beers

Wild Heaven Sunburst IPA is a juicy year-round addition

Wild-Heaven-Sunburst-IPA-Cans

Wild Heaven Sunburst IPA launches this, marking just the third year-round IPA the brewery has released in 12 years. 

More than a decade ago, Wild Heaven launched with just two beers – Ode to Mercy (Imperial Brown Ale with coffee) and Invocation (Belgian Golden Strong Ale). An IPA release by the brewery was years away from being brewed, even with strong consumer demand. According to co-founder Eric Johnson at the time, “we’ll make one when I think there is a recipe good enough.” 

Finally, in 2016, Wise Blood IPA hit the lineup year-round. A year later, and 100 test batches and water chemistry adjustments, their first imperial IPA – Good Vice hit taps. Wild Heaven initially intended it to be year-round, but the brewery’s passion for that recipe faded fast. Then came Altair IPA in 2018.  Each beer was a stop on a hoppy journey to now.

Wise Blood and Altair are now ghosts.

Here at the brewery, the canning line is busy filling cans of Sunburst IPA – a new and now only year-round IPA the brewery will have for the foreseeable future. It’s aptly named. Sunburst is every bit bright and juicy as it’s billed. A big flavor departure from the brewery’s IPA predecessors, it’s looking to be one of the premier southern IPAs.

That spawned a debate with Josh Franks, head brewer at Wild Heaven. Could Southern IPA be a thing? India pale ale is undoubtedly the style juggernaut of the craft beer world. Going back about 15 years ago you’d find popularity with the English IPA. Soon to be taken over by West Coast IPA. Then a steady sequence of hoppy variants- the Belgian IPA, the Black IPA (aka the Cascadian Dark Ale), the New England IPA, and lactose heavy milkshake IPA. Should The South have its own? 

Maybe they already do. 

It’s not an official style but perhaps it should be. Think of an IPA that’s hoppy and bright. Juicy like a hazy IPA but still fairly clear, still holding on to some West Coast IPA bitterness. A subtle hybrid of two dominant styles. Creature Comforts Tropicalia and Scofflaw Basement IPA would be great examples. A (highly theoretical) southern IPA would be bright and sunny. Just like the sun-soaked, pollen heavy, 3 weeks of cold weather region they were born into. 

Wild Heaven Sunburst IPA hits retailers this week year-round in 12-ounce cans and draft.  

Style: IPA 
Hops: Citra, Talus, Galaxy, Mosaic, Cascade, Chinook, Amarillo

Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. 
Debut: 3/24/22

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Posted in Don't Miss This, Firestone Walker Brewing

Firestone Walker Invitational returns after 2 years, sold out

Firestone-Walker-Invitational-2022

The Firestone Walker Invitational is a pretty epic festival, held in June each year. It sold out in 2020, and ultimately was canceled due to the growing pandemic. 

After two years, Firestone Walker is ready to host the festival once again, announcing the brewery lineup as well as a own “Ultimate Firestone Walker Experience”

A few brewery attendee highlights include  FrauGruber Craft Brewing from Germany; Brouwerij ‘t IJ from Amsterdam; Casey Brewing from Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Schönramer from Germany; Cerveza Antares from Argentina; Bale Breaker Brewing from Yakima, Washington; Cervejaria Bamberg from Brazil; Cloudwater Brew Co. from England; Urban Roots Brewing from Sacramento, California; Omnipollo from Sweden; There Does Not Exist and Liquid Gravity from San Luis Obispo, California and Great Notion Brewing from Oregon.

Ultimate Fan Experience

The brewery has announced the “Ultimate Firestone Walker Experience” sweepstakes, which is new for 2022. The winner receives two tickets to the Invitational, private tours of both the Venice and Paso Robles breweries,  three nights hotel stays and lunch and dinner at the brewery taprooms.

Fans can submit their entry via the Ultimate Firestone Walker Experience sweepstakes page, now through April 3rd.

2022 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest: Attending Breweries

3 Floyds
Alvarado Street
Bagby Beer
Bale Breaker
Balter
Beachwood Brewing
Beavertown
Blackberry Farm
Boneyard
Boulevard
Brouwerij ‘t IJ
Casey Brewing
Cellarmaker
Cervecerìa Antares
Cervejaria Bamberg
Chuckanut
Cigar City
Cloudburst
Cloudwater
Creature Comforts
Crooked Stave
Faction
Firestone Walker
Firestone Walker Propagator
Fonta Flora
FrauGruber
Garage Project
Gigantic
Great Notion
Green Bench
Green Cheek
Half Acre
Highland Park
Humble Sea
Kern River
La Source
Liquid Gravity
Monkish
Odell
Ommegang
Omnipollo
Other Half
Pinthouse Brewing
Pizza Port
Private Landbrauerei Schönram
Revolution
Russian River
Sante Adairius
Side Project
Sierra Nevada
Surly
The Bruery
The Lost Abbey
The Veil
There Does Not Exist
Thornbridge
Topa Topa
Urban Roots
Wayfinder
WeldWerks

Posted in Don't Miss This

Russian sounding vodkas get dumped across America in Ukrainian solidarity

Russian Vodka Dump

Americans are glued to their newsfeeds right now, as Russia continues to invade Ukraine. For most of us, there’s not much we can do, unless you own a bar and have “Russian” vodka sitting on the shelf. Your instinct is to pour down the drain in protest. 

Over the weekend bars did just that. Even state governors of Ohio, Texas, Utah, and New Hampshire got into the action, ordering state retailers to pull Russian-born vodka from the shelves. 

Stolichnaya (aka “Stoli) was a big target this weekend. 

In a video that has since gone viral, the owner of Pine Tavern Restaurant in Bend, Oregon is seen dumping Stoli Vodka down the drain. It’s easy to understand the sentiment as a form or protest. There’s a catch though – Stoli isn’t Russian. It’s produced in Riga, Latvia. Furthermore, Stoli is headquartered in Luxembourg. While Stolichnaya was a Soviet Union-era brand, Russian-born Yuri Shefler who owns SPI Group that owns Stoli moved to Luxembourg when Putin came to power. Shefler was protesting Putin years before Crimea or Ukraine happened.

Smirnoff hit the drain too. 

A good bit of Smirnoff hit the sewers recently too. Smirnoff was founded in Moscow in the 1800s. This popular vodka brand does have Russian origins, but yet again, is no longer Russian. Diageo owns the brand now, and a good bit of the brand is produced in Illinois. 

All in all, true Russian vodka, is a much smaller target if you’re wanting to drain pour any of it. Russian Standard Vodka is actually produced in Russia and is one of the most popular Russian-made in the United States. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine specifically requested Russian Standard Vodka as well as Green Mark Vodka to get pulled off the shelves in Ohio. That number according to the governor is around 6,400 bottles across Ohio’s 487 retailers. 

These nationwide pour protests are largely symbolic, unfortunately, and won’t hit any Russian vodka companies bottom lines. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, vodka sales in America hover around $7 billion dollars annually. True Russian vodka imports, accounts for less than 1.5% of those sales. 

So say you’ve dumped all your Russian-sounding vodka, or better yet, you’re hoping to show your distaste for Russian vodka after the actions of late. There are a few Ukrainian-made vodkas, including Kozak and Nemiroff that are available in small quantities stateside. 

Headline Image: Screengrab from Pine Tavern Restaurant’s Facebook vodka protest, February 24.

Posted in Don't Miss This, Modern Times Beer

Modern Times Beer closes 4 taprooms this week

Modern-Times-Downsizes

San Diego-based Modern Times will close four satellite locations by the end of the week citing ongoing financial issues. 

“We wish that there were another way to resolve the financial issues we now face, but we have been put in a position – by the pandemic and global declines in the craft beer industry – from which this tremendously difficult path is the only way forward for us,” Modern Times stated in a blog post. 

After new leadership stepped in over the past few weeks, the financial state of the company is unsustainable. Per the brewery, “We’ve arrived at this current moment as the result of a combination of factors: four straight years of rapid, costly expansion followed by an unforeseen and financially devastating global health crisis, and an industry-wide decline in sales. Taken together, these factors have stretched our finances and company culture to a point that is simply no longer sustainable.”

This means closing Modern Times Portland, Oakland, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles locations by February 19th. The Point Loma, North Park, Encinitas, and Anaheim locations will remain open. 

Smaller, Smarter, Faster.

That’s Modern Times Beer’s approaching in their own words going forward. No more building and expanding what the brewery can’t afford. Distribution will be focused again on Southern California and the southwest. An east coast distribution will wind down immediately. 

To read the brewery’s full letter, click here