The Brewers Association issued a statement today after the announcement that Monster Beverage Corp., makers of Monster Energy Drink acquired CANarchy Craft Beer Collective.
Monster Beverage is a multi-billion dollar mainstream company, boasting more than 3,000 employees and $4.6 billion in revenue in 2020. Does this acquisition strip the 6th largest craft brewery (collective) out of their craft brewer/independent designation?
According to the Brewers Association (BA), the answer is “no.”
The designation of “craft brewer” and its ever-changing perception lies in the hands of the BA, a not-for-profit trade organization that represents America’s craft and independent breweries.
While the definition has been tweaked over the years, today the BA clarified. “Based on our current information, CANarchy meets the [Brewers Association’s] craft brewer definition under the ownership of Monster Energy as it is presently constituted,” the association said in a statement.
This determination is based on the fact that Monster was not previously an alcoholic beverage industry member, so this new ownership doesn’t affect how the BA views CANarchy’s independence.
CANarchy does not exceed 6 million barrels (the association’s defined cut-off) in annual production, which is currently shy of 500,000 barrels annually, as well as meeting the criteria that less than 25% of the ownership or controlling interest is by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
CANarchy and the breweries operating as a part of the collective – Oskar Blues, Cigar City, Perrin Brewing, Deep Ellum, Wasatch, and Squatter’s will all maintain “Independent” and “craft” designations by the Brewers Association.
Most recently, Bell’s Brewery was sold to Kirin which previously acquired New Belgium Brewing. Both breweries lost or will lose the craft brewer status according to the BA. Bell’s production numbers will be included in 2021 ranking reports, but not considered for 2022.
Asheville, North Carolina’s Hi-Wire Brewing will soon have a new home in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The brewery has selected a 20-acre redevelopment on the former site of the US Playing Card factory in Norwood dubbed Factory 52. The 5800 square foot taproom will be the first of its kind for Hi-Wire, spanning three different floors. The first floor will be home to a 24 tap bar and large patio, the 2nd floor will have a secondary 12-tap bar, with a third-floor rooftop deck. Family-friendly games including soccer pool, table tennis, and foosball will be found throughout.
In addition to Hi-Wire Brewing, the Factory 52 campus will house a food hall, boutique retail shops, residences, a dog park, the newly-announced Aces Pickleball complex, and a large public courtyard.
Construction on Hi-Wire Cincinnati has already started, with a target opening date of Fall 2022.
Hi-Wire currently has taprooms across North Carolina (Asheville, Durham, Wilmington, Charlotte) as well as Knoxville, Tennesee, and Louisville, Kentucky.
Baltimore, Maryland-based Guinness Open Gate Brewery has a new seasonal imperial stout ahead of the holidays – Guinness Mint Chocolate Stout.
The imperial stout is brewed with dried mint leaves, then conditioned on pure cacao (chocolate), then aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels.
“Chocolate and mint are a classic flavor combination, and the way those flavors interact with the bourbon character leads to something really special. It’s the perfect beer to sip on after a solid meal with family and friends over the holidays,” says Open Gate head brewer Sean Brennan.
Guinness Mint Chocolate Stout also compliments recently returning Gingerbread Stout, also brewed in the Baltimore brewery.
Mint Chocolate Stout is available in 11.2-ounce bottles for a limited time.
Founders Frootwood debuted in 2017. For the first time since its release, Frootwood returns to the brewery’s taproom this month- nationally in January 2022.
The beer was a big hit amongst the brewery’s barrel-aged beer fans. Frootwood is a cherry ale, aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels. As you might recall, one of the Founder’s most requested beers is also aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels – Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS).
A flavor Battle Royale.
From the moment this story hit Beer Street Journal 2017, the readers were worried the beer would have too much cherry. Or even worse, being too sweet or too boozy. The result was actually a “Battle Royale” of flavor. Each sip pulled you three ways. The main contenders are bourbon, cherries, and maple syrup – each fighting for dominance. When you hear someone say a beer is “all over the place,” Frootwood is a great example of just that. We hope the latest release is just the same.
We took a crisp, light-bodied cherry ale and hid it away in oak barrels that held both bourbon and maple syrup. After a lengthy sting, it emerged a changed beer, blanketed in notes of warm vanilla and earthy sweetness. The wood proves itself the star of this beer, adding depth and taming the tart cherry while the maple imposes a velvety texture that lingers for not a moment too long.
Founders Frootwood is a 12-ounce bottle release, as well as draft. Estimated retail $15.99 4/pack.
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Spoetzl Brewery, makers of Shiner Beer has one of the weirdest hard seltzer flavors for you yet – dill pickle flavor.
In August of 2020, Shiner debuted their Straight Shooter lineup of hard seltzers, with your standard fruit flavors like raspberry, peach, and grapefruit. However, if you want to stand out, especially in the seltzer category, you have to do something unique. So pickles it is.
Something we’ve learned over the years, pickles are pretty polarizing. They are in the same category as raisins, peas, or mustard. There is no “pickle” middle ground. So already, a dill pickle flavored hard seltzer is a challenge.
Shiner Juicy Dill Pickle Hard Seltzer is actually made with real pickles, incidentally the brewery’s 6th brewmaster Jimmy Maurice’s family recipe. The brewery says the final flavor is a blend of sweet and sour dill pickle, with notes of dill, coriander, and spice.
Let’s get weirder.
Each can of the special edition seltzer has a QR code that takes the drinker to picklemode.com where they will find a “magical, animated pickle” that will tell you your future. Yes, the Oracle Pickle to help you make life decisons.
Incidentally, November 14th is National Pickle Day. There really is a day for everything these days.
Shiner Juicy Pickle Hard Seltzer is available in 12-ounce, 6-packs for $7.99 for a limited time. It should pair well with a Jameson shot.
Debut: November 2021
Terrapin Wake-n-Bake, aka W-n-B, is making a seasonal return to the Athens, Georgia based brewery’s seasonal lineup.
2021 marks the 17th release of Terrapin Wake-n-Bake, an oatmeal stout brewed with a special blend of coffee from Athens local Jittery Joes Coffee.
Black as night, this coffee stout is thick, rich and full of real coffee flavor. Brewed with a special blend of beans from all over the world developed and roasted specifically for Terrapin by our friends at Jittery Joe’s Coffee right here in Athens, GA.
In 2014, Terrapin invested in a canning line, and started transitioning their entire lineup from bottles to cans. W-n-B was one of the first seasonals to make the change back in 2016. If you like a bold stout with coffee and hints of creamy chocolate, this seasonal favorite does not disappoint.
Terrapin Wake-n-Bake is available in 12 ounce cans and draft across the brewery’s distribution network in November 2021.
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft.
Can Debut: November, 2016
Latest Return: November 2021.
PIC: Beer Street Journal
It’s always nice to see a venerable beer like Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA still able to stir up some excitement. The brewery posted a picture of Celebration cans ready waiting to be filled, and fans re-professed their love for this seasonal beer all over again. Celebration IPA is an absolute seasonal classic, akin to Bell’s Two Hearted, or Russian River’s Pliny the Elder. Only, you can only get it as the year wind’s down.
Later this month, Celebration Ale will hit shelves once again.
Sierra Nevada has been brewing this fresh-hopped India pale ale since 1981, just one year after opening in 1980. While craft beer’s #1 selling style [IPA] has seen a lot of trends, Celebration Ale has remained steadfast in simply staying as-is. Perhaps that mix of quality and reliability is what makes it so popular – a fact proven by the overwhelming reactions from Celebration fans after the brewery posted the above photo this week.
Celebration Ale follows Oktoberfest in the brewery’s seasonal series of releases. Expect 12-ounce cans to hit stores for the first time this month in 6, 12, and 24 packs.
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft.
First Release: 1981
Latest Return: October 2021
Ed Note: A previous version of the article erroneously stated cans are new in 2021. Image: Sierra Nevada