Portland, Oregon’s Hair of the Dog Brewing, one of America’s oldest craft breweries will close sometime this summer. Founder Alan Sprints announced this week he will retire from the industry. The brewery opened in 1993.
Sprints gave the brewery fans a bitter Valentine’s Day gift when he posted his retirement video to the brewery’s Facebook group page on Monday.
Hair of the Dog has long been known for barrel-aged and strong ale offerings. Sprints went the strong beer route because he never liked feeling full on beer, saying on numerous occasions he wanted to drink two beers that make you feel like you’ve had six. His success is hard to argue, as some of Sprint’s creations e sold for hundreds, and in rare cases- 1000’s of dollars in the secondary market over the years. “I was making barrel-aged beer when folks thought it was weird to do so,” Sprints once told Beer Street Journal.
The brewery was originally built near the Brooklyn rail yards in 1993. In 2010, the brewery moved to Portland’s southeast industrial warehouse district, making Hair of the Dog more accessible to visitors and residents alike.
Even as the brewery winds down operations near the 3-decade mark, Hair of the Dog still only produces just shy of 600 barrels (18,600 gallons) annually in a 4-barrel brewhouse. Sprits is still one of the smallest craft brewers in America.
“Beer has been very very good to me, I feel so fortunate to have been able to spend over half my life doing something I love so much,” Sprints said in his announcement video. A specific closing date was not announced, other than summer 2022.
Additionally, Sprints said he is open to collaborating with other breweries in the future. Hair of the Dog itself will not be sold.
Signing off, Sprints invites the public to come through before the taproom closes. “Please plan on coming down in the next few months, and help us celebrate the diverse world of beer that exists today.”
If you think the beer industry has cycled through every weird style trend or odd business acquisition, think again. Monster Beverage Corp, makers of Monster Energy Drinks has acquired CANarchy, the craft beer collective. CANarchy includes Oskar Blues, Cigar City Brewing, Perrin Brewing, Deep Ellum, and Squatters and Wasatch Brewing.
It had been heavily rumored that Monster Beverage had intended to enter the alcoholic beverage industry as early as pre-pandemic 2019.
The $330 million all-cash deal sees Monster gaining the 6th largest craft brewing company in the United States, with an annual beer volume of nearly 500,000 barrels. In addition, the beverage company gains instant access to all brewery infrastructure, employee expertise, and distribution channels.
In a press release, vice chairman and co-CEO Hilton Schlosberg of Monster stated, “The acquisition will provide us with a fully in-place infrastructure, including people, distribution, and licenses, along with alcoholic beverage development expertise and manufacturing capabilities in this industry.”
In 2020 it was also rumored that Monster wanted to make their mark in the hard seltzer market, competing with Coca-Cola’s Topo Chico, and Pepsi’s Hard Mtn Dew, a collaboration with Boston Beer that debuts in the spring. Additionally, Monster was in talks with Constellation about a potential merger as well last year.
With the purchase of CANarchy, Monster Beverage picks up nationally distributed Wild Basin Hard Seltzer, Cigar City Limeade Seltzer, Ellum Ranch Hard Seltzer, and Rewired Hard Seltzer by Perrin Brewing.
Monster plans to roll out new beverages later this year, testing them regionally before ramping up to national distribution.
CANarchy will continue to operate independently of Monster Beverage Corp.
UPDATE: The Brewer’s Association, the not-for-profit trade organization representing the craft brewing industry, has issued a statement surrounding the purchase of CANarchy this afternoon.
The Brewers Association (BA) is aware of CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective’s pending sale to Monster Beverage. Based on our current information, CANarchy meets the Brewers Association’s craft brewer definition under the ownership of Monster Energy as presently constituted. In this instance, Monster is not a beverage alcohol industry member, so this new ownership structure does not affect CANarchy’s independence in regard to the beverage alcohol industry. The Brewers Association defines small and independent craft brewers as:
- Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to rules of alternating proprietorships.
- Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
- Brewer: Has a TTB Brewer’s Notice and makes beer.
Atlanta, Georgia-based SweetWater Brewing has acquired the Mira Mesa, California-based Green Flash Brewing, and Alpine Beer brands.
SweetWater is not acquiring the facility or brewing equipment, that will apparently remain with current owners to be put up for sale or other entrepreneurship opportunities.
Green Flash and Alpine beer production will move to SweetWater’s newly opened Fort Collins, Colorado facility.
Just over a year ago, SweetWater Brewery was acquired for $300 million dollars by Aphria, a Canadian-based cannabis company. The deal in part due to the brewery’s successfully ‘420 Strain’ of beers created using cannabis terpenes (organic smell compounds).
Financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
SweetWater Brewery is ranked 11th overall in annual production according to the Brewer’s Association.
Developing story. Check back for more details.
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.
We are committed to keeping Bell’s strong and stable for generations to come, providing world-class beers to our fans every day. Our partnership with @newbelgium New Belgium will allow us to do that.
— Bell’s Brewery (@BellsBrewery) November 10, 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
Latest Return: 10/12/21
PIC: Beer Street Journal
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.