Posted in Aquisitions, Bell's Brewing, Headlines

Bell’s Brewery sells to Kirin, joining New Belgium Brewing

Larry Bell, founder of Bell’s Brewery announced at noon today a sale to Lion, an Australian subsidiary of Kirin, which is currently New Belgium’s parent company. Upon this this announcement, Bell will retire. 

Bell framed the sell in his announcement as “joining forces with New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado (and Asheville, North Carolina). New Belgium Brewing sold to Lion almost two years ago this week in 2019. The sale includes Bell’s spin-off venture, Upper Hand Brewery in Escanaba, Michigan. 

“By bringing together two of the largest and fastest-growing craft brand families in the country and unifying our companies under a single business model, we’re creating one of the best and largest craft portfolios in the country. Under the terms of the deal, I am selling my stake in Bell’s to Lion, who acquired Colorado-based New Belgium in 2019,” says Larry Bell.

This sale will strip Bell’s Brewery’s “craft brewer” status definition set by the Brewers Association, who are currently ranked 7th largest craft brewery in the United States.

Larry Bell started Bell’s in his basement in 1983 on Wheaton Street, which then turned into a homebrew shop on Burdick Street in Kalamazoo. The brewery’s Two Hearted Ale has long been considered the India pale ale in America, in close contention with Russian River’s Pliny the Elder.

Bell says the day to day operations of the brewery and its nearly 550 employees will remain unchanged. Those employees join New Belgium’s 700 employees, for a combined brewery workforce of more than 1,200. 

Bell’s Brewery in on track to produce 500,000 barrels (15,500,000 gallons) of beer in 2021. Operations will remain in Kalamazoo County.

Financials of the sale have not been disclosed.

Developing story. Check back for more details as they become available. 

Posted in Headlines

Arby’s is releasing 80 Proof French fry flavored vodka

Arby's Vodka

Just when you think every weird alcoholic drink has been invented, think again. Here’s Arby’s Vodka, flavored like their French fries, debuts this month. 

Here’s the gist. In a week, Arby’s launches two vodkas that comes in two different flavors – Curly and Crinkle. A countdown is now live at ArbysVodka.com.

Arby’s, part of Georgia-based Inspire Brands, partnered with Tattersall Distilling in Minneapolis, Minnesota on spirit, which the distillery announced today on Facebook. 

The Curly Fry Vodka is distilled with cayenne, paprika, onion and garlic. The Crinkle Fry Vodka is apparently more subtle, made with kosher salt and sugar. 

 “Being a potato-based liquor, this limited edition vodka is infused with Crinkle and Curly Fry flavor so Arby’s fans who are of legal drinking age can responsibly enjoy our menu from bag to bottle.”  – Patrick Schwing, chief marketing officer of Arby’s.

Arby’s Vodka is part of a larger partnership with celebrity (and apparent Arby’s fan) Justin Sutherland, who has created two sBloody Mary recipes using both vodkas. These drinks feature other Arby’s menu items like Horsey sauce and Arby’s sauce. The bloody Marys are intended to be topped with mozzarella sticks or even more fries. An official announcement from Inspire Brands on the mixes are coming soon. 

These limited editions vodkas are 80 Proof each, and will be a available for $59.99 per bottle on November 18th

Surdyk’s Liquor will fulfill orders through ArbysVodka.com to residents in California, Connecticut, District for Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Posted in Creature Comforts, Headlines, Seasonal Return

For the hardcore Tropicalia fans: Creature Comforts Imperial Trop Haze returns

Creature Comforts Imperial Trop Haze Can

A spin on one of Georgia’s most popular India pale ales returns this month – Creature Comforts Imperial Trop Haze.

Tropicalia, Creature Comfort’s year-round IPA has truly made a name for itself in the southeast. Building on that popularity, the Athens, Georgia-based brewery has released a few variants – including Tropicalisma, and Double Dry Hop Trop into a small-batch “Trop” inspired family. Imperial Trop Haze is truly the icing on a very hoppy cake for Creature fans.

Trop Haze is built on the same hop base as Tropicalia, with Citra, Centennial, and Galaxy hops – but way hazier, and a much bolder 8% alcohol by volume. 

Creature Comforts Imperial Trop Haze is available in 16-ounce cans and draft, starting October 12th. 

Style: Imperial IPA
Hops: Citra, Centennial, Galaxy
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft. Limited Release.
Debut: 10/12/18
Latest Return: 10/12/21

8% ABV

PIC: Beer Street Journal

Posted in Coming Soon, Dogfish Head, Headlines, Sam Adams

Dogfish Head Utopias Barrel-Aged World Wide Stout will return

Dogfish Head Utopias Barrel-Aged World Wide Stout

When Dogfish Head and Boston Beer merged, it was big news. After the dust settled, we were left wondering what’s next. Will it just be Sam Adams and Dogfish Head, independently but together? The sales team for Dogfish Head grew by more than 400%, and there was talk of seeing the Boston Beer logo on Dogfish Head, and vice versa. All that is just boilerplate business stuff.

Then this surfaced –  Dogfish Head Utopias Barrel-Aged World Wide Stout.

The combination of those two things might make you a little dizzy. Besides 120 Minute IPA, World Wide Stout is one of Dogfish Head’s strongest beers.

Sam Adams Utopias is a blended strong ale born and blended from a plethora of barrels, hovers around 27% alcohol by volume, and runs around $200 dollars a bottle. 

Dogfish Head rested World Wide Stout for 7 months in freshly emptied Utopias barrels. Combining these two beers creates something boozy, rare, and special. If you missed the first release in March of 2020, the brewery has bottled another round. 

Utopias Barrel-Aged World Wide Stout, a jet-black, rich and roasty beer with balanced notes of espresso, cocoa, sherry and vanilla.

Like we said last year, it’s one hell of a way to intercompany collaborate.

Dogfish Head Utopias Barrel-Aged Utopias World Wide Stout will be available again soon, an actual release date hasn’t been announced yet. 

Style: Imperial Stout (Barrel-Aged)
Availability: 12oz Bottles. Limited Release, Delaware Only.
Debut: 3/27/20
Latest Return: Fall 2021

17.3% ABV

Posted in Headlines, Terrapin Beer Company

Terrapin hosts sunset beer tours of the Atlanta Braves ballpark

While the Atlanta Braves head into fall trying to stay on top of the NL East, there’s something else going on at the Braves Stadium worth checking out.

Beers at sunset.

In 2017, the Atlanta Braves left Turner Field just south of downtown Atlanta and headed north to Cobb County. Regardless of where you land on that move, Truist Park and surrounding Battery Atlanta is new fun-land of restaurants, shops and apartments, plus a full distillery and a brewery- specifically Terrapin Beer Company. If beers, baseball and sunsets is something you crave, this is a unique ballpark experience you need to scratch off your list.

There are fewer ballpark breweries than you have fingers on one hand. Terrapin isn’t resting on that fact alone, and neither is Truist Park. So when the team is on the road, you can wander the home of the Atlanta Braves in a way you couldn’t any other time.

Terrapin’s co-founder “Spike” Buckowski randomly calls me sometimes to talk chat beer industry stuff, but on this particular day he wants us to come take the first look at a new Terrapin/Atlanta Braves fan experience that will be held on non-game days.

So just before magic hour, we meet Spike at the Terrapin’s taproom the park. We have a couple of pre-tour beers and head out on this “Twilight Tour.”  Here’s the gist if you don’t have it yet – the tour is a behind the scenes look at the stadium, with beers, as the sun sets.

It may be the hottest part of summer in Atlanta right now, but 3 or 4 Terrapin Los Bravos Lagers really help take your mind off of it. It’s summer in the south after all.  

Naturally the whole thing kicks off with a look inside Terrapin’s ballpark brewhouse. Next you head to the top of right field for a birds-eye view of the field as the evening irrigation kicks on. Oddly- even though there’s no game you still somehow smell hotdogs and popcorn. A short walk around to home plate side is a stop in the press box. We crack the tab on another beer and watch the sunset from here. 

This next destination we didn’t expect. A stroll onto the the actual field. Today there’s no threatening security guard, or streaking required to do it. We walked freely onto the warning track and right up to first base, beer in hand. If you’re so inclined, you can step down into the Braves dugout. There’s always a new place to drink a beer and MLB dugout is a new one for us.

There is a piece of baseball history that makes the tour alone worth it – Hank Aaron’s actual 715th home run bat, touched by the god himself . Sadly we lost “Hammerin’ Hank” this year. The bat is currently on loan to the ballpark.

Now swanky club suites might not be your thing, but you still get to see where the high rollers hang out. Some suite holders maintain personal wine cellars for game-day consumption. There was a lot of Napa Valley locked up there. 

The whole tour runs about two hours, and honestly it’s pretty damn cool. It’s a fun behind the scenes tour of the park, and you get to drink beer while you’re doing it.  The Twilight Tour is a new way to connect the team and the brewery, or simply baseball itself as the sun sets over the city. It’s more than just the 82 at home. 

Baseball and beer go well together. Win or lose. 

Click here for a list of upcoming Terrapin Twilight Tours

Posted in First Line Brewing, Headlines, New Realm Brewing

Two breweries leave 13 beers on reserved tables for service members killed in Afghanistan

At least two breweries – New York’s First Line Brewing and Georgia/Virginia’s New Realm Brewing have left tables set and poured beers for the 13 U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan during a terrorist attack this week. 

On Friday, First Line Brewing posted to their Facebook Page a reserved table with 13 beers for those that will never return. The brewery even re-poured the beers throughout the night to make sure they were fresh and cold, as if they were about to sit down. 

“13 glasses will sit un touched at this reserved table all night for the 13 American troops who were killed in Afghanistan on August 26th. These brave courageous individuals paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” the post from First Line Brewing says. Additionally, First Line intends to make a donation or donations on behalf of the 13 service members. 

Additionally. New Realm Brewing in Atlanta, their distillery in Savannah, as well as their brewery in Virginia Beach set tables for the fallen. 

This table will be reserved all night for the 13 military heroes we lost at the airport in Kabul, along with a round of beer for each of them.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families. In humble gratitude, we honor the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country, New Realm said in an Instagram post. The brewery set full dinner places in their Atlanta barrel room. 


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A post shared by New Realm Brewing Co. (@newrealmbrewing)

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families. In humble gratitude, we honor the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country,” New Realm writes, echoing First Line Brewing’s sentiment – ” God bless their families and loved ones. God bless the United States of America.”

The observance is also known as the “Missing Man Table,” a memorial that is set up during US Armed Forces official dining functions. The table is a focal remembrance of those that have fallen, or missing in action. Many restaurants across the U.S., especially by those owned by veterans, maintain such a table year-round. 

After this article was published, we’ve seen even more tributes in the same manner. Readers also pointed out Rustech Brewing, Catawba Island Brewing, and even the Atlanta Braves. 

The names of the 13 killed in the attack: 

Maxton Soviak, 22, Navy – Berlin Heights, Ohio

Kareem Nikoui, 20, Marines – Norco, California 

David Lee Espinoza, 20, Marines – Laredo, Texas

Rylee McCollum, 20, Marines – Bondurant, Wyoming

Jared Schmitz, 20, Marines – St. Charless County, Missouri 

Hunter Lopez, 22, Marines – Indio, California

Daegan W. Page, 23, Marines – Omaha, Nebraska 

Ryan Knauss, 23, Army – Knoxville, Tennessee

Darin Taylor Hoover Jr., 31, Marines – Midvale, Utah

Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, Marines – Lawrence, Massachusetts 

Humberto Sanchez, Marines – Logansport, Indiana

Nicole L. Gee, 23, Marines – Sacramento, California

Dylan R. Merola, 20, Marines – Rancho Cucamonga, California


Ed Note: If there are other breweries that have paid tribute in similar fashion, let us know.

Posted in Headlines

Things we didn’t need. Flamin’ Hot Mountain Dew

Earlier this month PepsiCo announced they would be releasing an alcoholic version of Mountain Dew next year – Hard Mtn Dew, with the help of Boston Beer Co. Let’s just say the reactions we saw were… mixed. 

If you’ve ever been worried someone is out to kill you, maybe you’re right. It’s PepsiCo. While you wait for alcoholic Mountain Dew, on August 31st you can order Flamin’ Hot Mountain Dew. Yes, like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. 

If we are imagining this right, you’re taking a soda that looks like a blend of antifreeze and Lemon-Lime Gatorade, and combining it with red hot Cheeto-like flavor. It could only result in something blood red. Like you colon will be after consumption. 

According to a press release, the flavor is touted as  “the sweet, citrus DEW with a new spicy goodness.” (Followed by a E.R. visit.)

If this isn’t enough, Moutain Dew has partnered with clothing brand Broken Promises, creating an “Flamin Hot” apparel line for the occasion, which includes sweatpants. OBVIOUSLY. 

Flamin’ Hot Mtn Dew is non-alcoholic, and only available on August 31 at Mountain Dew’s virtual Dew Store. 

Still. We’d try it.