Posted in Don't Miss This

Atlanta temporarily allows sales of beer & wine to-go during pandemic

Atlanta Beer & Wine To Go

On Thursday, Atlanta’s bars and restaurants were ordered to close in the wake of the spread of COVID-19. In hopes of maintaining a revenue stream for these many establishments, Atlanta has temporarily lifted restrictions on the sale of alcohol to-go.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has signed an order allowing the city’s restaurants to offer beer and wine to-go, strictly for”off-premise” consumption. The order is only valid for 60 days.

Unfortunately, this emergency order only covers closed beer and wine, not open containers or liquor drinks. (Sorry, no margarita pitchers to-go, or we’d be first in line.)

Across Atlanta as well as the state, breweries, bars, and restaurants have furloughed hundreds of employees. The establishments that remain open have transitioned to a 100% take out option. The addition of closed container beer and wine will hopefully increase the establishment’s revenue streams during the shutdown.

Texas and New York have made similar exemptions during this crisis.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said on Thursday he will not issue a state quarantine or force businesses to close.

Posted in Don't Miss This, Great Divide, New Releases

Great Divide launches Whitewater Craft Hard Seltzer

Great Divide Whitewater Hard Seltzer

Colorado’s Great Divide Brewing Co. is expanding its business model this week to include hard seltzer. Introducing Whitewater Craft Hard Seltzer.

It’s no secret that hard seltzer continues its sales domination into 2020. As major brewing companies jump in the game, America’s craft breweries continue to expand the portfolio. Great Divide has decided it was time.

Within the week, 12 packs of Whitewater will start hitting shelves everywhere Great Divide is sold. Initially, four flavors are available at launch – Mango + Ginger, Pomegranate + Lime, Ruby Red Grapefruit, and Wild Berry.

After months of in-house ingredient mixology, Great Divide Innovation brewer and team found the perfect blend of crispness and fruit.

“The timeline to dial in the production side of Whitewater, from fermentation through flavorings, was a meticulous process that our teams deliberated over. With it being such a neutral product like a pilsner, there is nothing to mask any unwanted flavors and no room for error. The end result speaks for itself: an incredibly clean and smooth beverage with potent, natural flavors shining,” says Rau.

Great Divide Whitewater Craft Hard Seltzer will be available year-round in 12-ounce cans. Additionally, Mango + Ginger in 19.2 ounces in late March.

Style: Hard Seltzer (w/ various fruit flavors)
Availability: 12oz Cans, 19.2oz Cans, Draft. Year-Round.

Debut: Late March 2020

?? ABV

Posted in Don't Miss This, Second Self Brewing Company, Three Taverns Brewery, Wild Heaven Craft Beers

Atlanta breweries and restaurants shutter taprooms, furlough employees due to COVID-19

Atlanta Potential Shutdown Header

Nationally, breweries around the United States are either being ordered to close their taprooms or making the choice to temporarily close in the wake of the Covid-19 virus outbreak. Most of these breweries are keeping on a limited amount of staff to cover beer and food to-go options

In the southeast, very few breweries and brewpubs have announced closures due to Covid-19 spread.

Atlanta, the most densely populated city in Georgia with a strong list of breweries, restaurants, and bars is expected to announce widespread citywide mandated closures across the city and Dekalb County.

Jason Santamaria, co-owner of Second Self Beer has been weighing the options for his brewery for days now. “We are already closing the brewery for St. Paddy’s Day, so we don’t inadvertently draw a large crowd,” he says. As of today, the brewery has shifted production to one shift, and closed the taproom, only offering curbside beer to-go.

Nick Purdy of Wild Heaven, which has a taproom in Avondale Estates, Georgia and a brewery/taproom on Atlanta’s Westside has been taking precautions but knew a government announcement was coming. Ahead of the city’s formal announcement, Purdy tells Beer Street Journal, “While we’ve been open with careful protocols, it’s not surprising that a temporary closing of gathering places would make sense. Wild Heaven has been preparing a new pickup option for our West End location, with food, beer, and coffee available. In Avondale, we’ll offer Beer-To-Go.”

Bold Monk Brewing, a beautiful new brewpub on Atlanta’s Westside, along with sister brewpub Max Lager’s and White Oak Kitchen have closed their doors for the time being and furloughed 170 staff members. Owner John Roberts told us that he’s working on a beer and food take out plan.

Decatur, Georgia’s Three Taverns Brewery has shuttered their beer parlour only offering to-go beer, as well as Monday Night Brewing (both locations), and Atlanta Brewing. Northeast in Athens, Terrapin Beer Company and Creature Comforts have both closed their taprooms as well.

Famed beer bar Brick Store Pub has closed, evaluating a reopening day by day. The owners have set up GoFundMe account to help the staff that isn’t working right now: https://www.gofundme.com/f/brick-store-pub-staff.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has not issued a mandate that the state’s bars and restaurants should close, as of Monday evening.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has signed an executive order that limits occupancy of restaurants, bars, gyms, cinemas, clubs, and other public gathering spots to no more than 50 people.

Atlanta is home to thousands of bars, restaurants, and coffee shops, and nearly 20 craft breweries.

Posted in Headlines

Brewery taprooms, events suspended nationwide as COVID-19 cases grow

COVID-19 Headliner

America’s 8,000+ breweries are quite popular places to gather with friends. Last week, we were flooded with emails from breweries outlining their enhanced sanitation efforts in order to keep their guests safe.

The next steps were inevitable – full taproom closures.

Last evening, California Governor Gavin Newsome requested that breweries, brewpubs, wineries, and bars close at the end of business hours on Sunday night, March 15th.

According to the California Craft Brewer’s Association, this is how breweries will operate after the mandatory shut down:

  • Breweries are NOT required to stop production or cease off-site sales. Breweries are still allowed to continue to manufacture beer, self-distribute beer, conduct off-site sales (to-go orders from the brewery) and deliver beer direct-to-consumers.
  • While the Governor used the term “brewpub” to broadly describe breweries with on-site sales, he was likely referring to breweries with only a tasting room. “Brewpubs” are breweries with restaurants.
  • While we are s­till seeking clarity, based on the recommendations of the Governor regarding restaurant operations, CCBA’s understanding is that brewpubs will be allowed to stay open with the directive to maintain “deep social distance” between patrons and reduce capacity by 50 percent to accommodate this.

Since the announcement, The Bruery will only be open for online beer order fulfillment and orders to-go.

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee announced a temporary statewide order to shut down restaurants, bars, entertainment, and recreational facilities statewide due to the coronavirus. Restaurants can only operate in take-out, grab and go, and delivery capacities. Kent, Washington based Airways Brewing’s Bistro & Beer Garden is now only open for to-go orders.

New York City’s bars, theaters, and concert halls are officially closing, with restaurants going to to-go and delivery only.

Illinois, Ohio, Washington, and Massachusetts are also closing bars, restaurants, and theaters. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has closed all bars and restaurants for at least a month, excluding takeout and delivery.

All taprooms in Connecticut are closed until further notice, only selling crowlers and beer to-go.

Other prominent breweries are making business changes at least in the short term. Boston Beer has closed their taprooms and tour centers for a week. Dogfish Head, which is also part of Boston Beer, has canceled all events for the month of March, as well as closed their retail locations for seven days.

Colorado’s Avery Brewing announced today that they have closed their taproom and restaurant until April 5th, which might be subject to change.

Modern Times, Almanac Beer Co, pFriem Family Brewers, Map Brewing, Terrapin Beer Company, Jackalope Brewing, Yards Brewing, Bozeman Brewing, Ratio Brewworks, Brewers Art, Ardent Craft Ales, Virginia Beer Company, Interboro Brewing, Treehouse Brewing, Phillipsburg Brewing, and Port City Brewing have also closed their on-premise locations, only staffing for to-go beer purchases.

Founders Brewing has closed both their taprooms and will continue to pay their employees during the shutdown.

Some of the largest beer releases/festivals across the U.S. are postponing or canceling their events completely. This past weekend’s Hunaphu Day at Cigar City was completely scrapped, bottle pick up extending until June.

The Craft Brewer’s Conference that was to be held in San Antonio, Texas in April has been canceled, as well as Firestone Walker’s from May 2020 to June of 2021.

Ed Note: We at Beer Street Journal want to keep our thoughts and prayers with families affected by COVID-19, either through illness or loss in income through these quarantine requirements. It is important that we keep in mind that this is a very short period in our lives that will be affected by these closures as opposed to the lifetime effect of a lost family member or friend from contracting COVID-19.  Please keep this in mind and follow all guidelines recommended by the experts leading us through this crisis.

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

Dogfish Head Utopias Barrel-Aged World Wide Stout gets a release date

Dogfish Head Utopias Barrel-Aged World Wide Stout

When Dogfish Head and Boston Beer merged last year, it was nothing short of 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.

This, on the other hand, is pretty freaking crazy. 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.

Utopias is a blended strong ale that comes from a plethora of barrels, hovers around 27% alcohol by volume, and runs more than $200 dollars a bottle.

These two big beers have come together in something boozy, rare and special. World Wide Stout rested for 7 months in freshly emptied Utopias barrels.

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

That’s one hell of a way to intercompany collaborate.

Dogfish Head Utopias Barrel-Aged Utopias World Wide Stout will be available throughout the brewery’s home state of Delaware in limited quantities on March 27th, in 12oz/4 packs

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

17.3% ABV

 

Posted in Catawba Brewing, Don't Miss This, Seasonal Return

“PB & J in a glass” Catawba Peanut Butter Jelly Time returns with new variants

Catawba Peanut Butter Jelly Time WM

Catawba Peanut Butter Jelly Time is like drinking a piece of your childhood. If you haven’t tried this beer, another opportunity is rolling around this week.

Brewed with raspberries and aged on peanuts, this beer takes you back to a simpler time. A time before bills, complicated relationships, acne breakouts, and hangovers. As anyone that has made a PB&J sandwich, the ratio of peanut butter to jelly is paramount. Catawba knows this too and it shows in this alcoholic sandwich of a beer.

Does it really taste like the sandwich? Pretty much. Brewing with peanut butter and a jelly sugar blob isn’t the greatest of ideas. To get around serving up a greasy glass of nasty, Catawba created a base roasty brown ale, aged for weeks on fresh raspberries and peanuts. When this beer is colder, it tastes like peanut butter. Warmer, more sticky jelly notes to surface. Because Peanut Butter Jelly Time is a brown ale instead of a stout, it’s more approachable to those that might be turned off by dark beer. It should be served in a lunchbox between math class and recess.

Last year, the brewery canned a variant – Strawberry Rhubarb which returns again this year in cans only to be found in the taproom.

New for 2020, are two new additional brewery only variants – PBJT! Peach and PBJT! Red Currant.

Catawba Peanut Butter Jelly Time! is available in 16-ounce cans in the taproom starting March 6th, available in Catawbas’s five-state distribution area in the following days.

Style: Brown Ale (w/ Raspberries, Peanuts)
Hops: Magnum, Fuggle
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft.
Latest Return: March 2020

5.75% ABV

PIC: Beer Street Journal. 2020 can art is seen below. 

Catawba-Peanut-Butter-Jelly-Time-2020

Posted in Distribution Expansion, Yazoo Brewing

After years of waiting, Yazoo Brewing finally launches in Georgia

Yazoo Brewing Georgia Launch

Fans of Yazoo Brewing in Georgia have been wondering when they would the brewery on shelves in the Peach State. Hell, we’ve been asking founder Linus Hall when that would be, and all he’s ever said is “soon.”

After 5+ years of “soon,” we now know when that is. March of 2020.

Yazoo has signed a distribution deal with Georgia Crown Distributing Co. The launch lineup includes Hefeweizen, Hopry Hazy IPA, and a Beer Street Journal favorite – Gerst Amber Ale.

Additionally, select beers from the Embrace the Funk, the brewery’s sour and wild series will appear throughout the year.

Yazoo Brewing opened its doors in 2003.  After flourishing in Nashville’s “Gulch” area, the brewery recently moved to a new 6.5-acre campus just north of downtown.