Posted in Beer News, Headlines

Covid-19 cancels the Great American Beer Festival for 2nd year

America’s largest beer festival – The Great American Beer Festival has been officially canceled for the second year in a row.

The Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade organization announced today that despite vaccinations and the country re-opening, that health and safety concerns will still be too great to hold the 60,000 person indoor gathering in 2021. Instead, the Brewers Association plans to host GABF with in-person attendance for the event’s 40th anniversary in 2022.

RELATED: BREWERS ASSOCIATION RELEASES TOP BREWERIES (VOLUME) FOR 2020

Despite the in-person event cancelation, GABF and the Brewers Association will host the beer competition portion of the event, just like they did in 2020.

“We are disappointed to cancel the festival portion of GABF for the second year in a row. While we will miss celebrating with beer lovers and our craft brewing community, we are excited to continue with the GABF competition and national passport program this year. We look forward to convening in person for the festival’s 40th anniversary in 2022.” – said Bob Pease, president and CEO for the Brewers Association

Winners of the 2021 competition will be announced on  September 10, 2021, at the Colorado Convention Center. live-streamed from the Bellco Theatre on The Brewing Network.

In lieu of the in-person event, the “passport program” will return for a 2nd year, from September 17 through October 17, 2021. The Passport gives the holder exclusive deals at breweries across the U.S. More than 1,100 breweries from all 50 states were a part of the program in 2020. Brewery registration for the 2021 passport program opens June 29 at GreatAmericanBeerFestival.com.

In contrast, the Denver Beer Week, an annual event usually held coinciding with GABF will be held September 9-12.

Additionally, VISIT DENVER is hosting a nine-day celebration of craft beer Starting September 10th.

Posted in Don't Miss This

Breweries April Fool’s jokes were most about seltzers. These were some good ones.

April Fool’s Day is a big day for brewers. You finally get to drop that joke about a beer so ridiculous you have to know it’s a joke. Minus those brewers that shop the jokes for an actually good “next big thing.”

2021 was pretty heavy on the hard seltzer jokes. In true Stone Brewing fashion, instead of joking about a hard seltzer, they announced they are actually releasing one. You can actually hear the pain in Greg Koch’s voice from here.

In case you missed out of some of the jokes thanks to Instagram’s piss poor algorithm, here’s what yesterday looked like, complete with bad commentary.

Michigan’s Founders Brewing is threatening to make beers glittery again. The name is on point.

Everything Bagel Hard Seltzer from Funky Buddha. Honestly, since it’s Funky Buddha, there’s a 60% chance this bad breath maker is real. 75% chance they will make it this year. 99% chance I would drink it because I hate myself.

California’ Bear Republic’s “Bear Claw” Hard Seltzer. Comes in Plain, Hop Backward (Hop-Free), Mango (with no mango added), and Cherry (Not real cherries just additives). Next up, “Bear Claw” Pastry Stout that ships with a fork.

Old Town Glowstick Glowy IPA. Made with 300 lbs of fluorescent jellyfish. No word on what it does to your pee.

Alabama’s Trim Tab introduces the Brew Canoe 2-Pack made for you and your fellow paddler. Would be great for Valentine’s Day.

Crux Fermentation Project’s no alcoholic seltzer, Lacrux. The name wins.

Steve Austin and El Segundo Brewing is dropping the 2nd Steve Austin collaboration, a hard seltzer with bananas. 3.16% ABV. And that’s the bottom line…

New Holland is making sure the squirrels aren’t left out. Introducing the .6 ounce beer that’s a little nutty.

Mother’s Brewing Company is just asking to get sued by Amazon for their drone idea. The jokes on Mothers Brewing. They ACTUALLY pay taxes every year… #BezosPleaseStillDeliverMyShit

America’s #1 selling hard seltzer is creating cans that will tell fellow party-goers where you land on the 6 feet thing. In cinnamon, green apple, and all new hand sanitizer flavors.

Richmond, Virginia’s The Answer makes some really off-the-wall beers with weird shit. So much so, them making a Funyans beer could ACTUALLY be real. It’s only sold by the case at 1 am. It’s dosed with 500mg of sugar and extra yeast to make it EXTRA splodey. Pickups are by the dumpster.

Asheville, North Carolina will be home to Green Man’s new Peeps flavored IPAs. But then again, could be a hoppy, diabetic nightmare coming to actual taps soon.

We’ve drank with the guys that created 10 Barrel Brewing. It’s an aggressive experience. That’s why I would put money on the fact that someone at the brewery has actually made this punch before, and is still getting the puke stains out of the carpet.

AMF is a canned cocktail with vodka, gin, rum, tequila, sour mix, blue curacao, lemon-lime soda, and cherry juice. Just 22.3% ABV.

Let’s be real. One of y’all has actually made this before.

“Adios motherf%$ckers!” – 10 Barrel Brewing

Champion Brewing channels either Clint Eastwood or Chewbacca with the beer can party sling.

Only sold at Spencer Gifts next to the Marilyn Manson posters.

Monday Night Brewing Narwater is a real hard seltzer line by the brewery. BBQ Ranch flavor is not…. yet. I mean… brewers have already used chicken wings, so why is this a stretch?

Charleston, South Carolina has a mega-merger by the sea. Holy City Brewing and Frothy Beard will now be known as Frothy City Brewing.

The best part of Hop Valley’s post? The hashtag. #PleaseDon’tMakeUsBrewThis

Indy Brewing Boner Emoji Beer. It’s a sour.

Three Taverns is Belgian-inspired. But apparently, they are pivoting to Italian. This is Prepastarous. (But it’s a lager, so it’s ok.)

Finally, the kings and queens of adjunct brewing in Georgia made the public statement they will stop putting candy fruit and lactose in their beers. This comes a week after announcing a 2nd location in the state, complete with a lactose silo.

Chances are, some of these will be actually released this summer. See you in line.

Posted in Don't Miss This, New Realm Brewing

New Realm Brewing’s new Alpha Water is a fresh take on hard seltzer

New Realm Alpha Water Cans Final

Face it, hard seltzer is here to stay. We almost dismissed it as an odd summer trend a few years ago, and now the seltzer industry is valued over $4 billion dollars. Alpha Water is one of the newest boozy water brands hitting the market and it’s worth checking out.

Atlanta-based New Realm Brewing opened in early 2018 with a state record-breaking 20,000 barrel annual capacity. That same year, New Realm purchased Green Flash Brewing’s Virginia Beach location, renovating as New Realm Virginia Beach early that fall. Within the first year, the brewery was operating at near capacity across the board.

Taking tanks away from beer to make anything else would have seemed like a bad business move, but you can’t ignore hard seltzer anymore.

“I didn’t know what the heck I was doing,” Mitch Steele, brewmaster & co-founder says, mid-chuckle.

That’s pretty much the response we’d expect from Mitch. His brewing has had such an impact on craft brewing in America and the last thing we thought we’d be asking him about is fermenting fruity dextrose water. The man literally wrote the book on brewing IPA.

New Realm Brewing’s foray into hard seltzer wasn’t just done because it’s a hot new trend.

“Demand for something that wasn’t beer was in high demand in the restaurant, but Georgia law prevented us from selling anything else but what we make,” Mitch says. Ultimately that means you have to make a cider or a seltzer.

So how do you switch gears from IPAs and pilsners to hard seltzers? Well, when Google didn’t help, Steele asked around. “One of our suppliers had an employee that worked in hard beverages in Wisconsin for years,” he tells us. “After a 2+ hour phone conversation with him, I had enough direction to get started.”

From there, it was test batch after test batch, trying to get the yeast right and the flavoring on point. Plus, figuring out what flavors to run with. All in all, New Realm tested over 15 different hard seltzer flavors. The most popular, which was the first chosen to be packaged, is Acai & Blueberry, along with Citrus Punch, Cucumber and Lime, and Black Cherry.

Lemon Hopburst, while loved by the brewers- apparently failed to impress amongst taproom attendees.

Unlike some seltzers, these flavors are quite memorable. The cucumber doesn’t walk a fine line with tasting like pickles, the blueberry aroma is fresh and bright, and the Citrus Punch over ice is simply a win. Honestly, that flavor could and should be in its own 12-pack.

Hard seltzers were a weird notion from the start, but as we have come to find out, are here to stay. Just like IPAs, hard the seltzer world is becoming the “wild west” of flavors.

Alpha Water gets it right.

Oh yeah, we took it to Vegas too. PICS: Beer Street Journal

New-Realm-Alpha-Water-Las-Vegas

Posted in Headlines

Brewers Association releases ‘Top 50’ list for dumpster fire 2020

Brewers Association Top 2020

The Brewers Association has released their ‘Top 50’ list for 2020, aka “the killer of business plans.”

As you can probably guess, any brewery in America that relied heavily on draft sales had an especially hard year.

New to the list this year, and now the second brewery in Georgia to break the Top 50 (craft in volume) is Athens, Georgia-based Creature Comforts Brewing Co. That’s possible thanks to a large scale production facility a few miles from their downtown location. That production boost, plus expanded distribution has pushed them into the 48th spot.

Another notable entry and re-entry to the Top 50 is Chicago area-based Kings and Convicts, which, after the acquisition of Ballast Point, puts Kings onto the list for the first time, and Ballast Point back into the Top 50. When Ballast Point was acquired by Constellation in 2015 for a whopping $1 billion dollars.

Overall in volume in the United States AB-InBev still leads in volume, followed by MolsonCoors and Constellation (Corona, Funky Buddha).

A media State of the Industry is scheduled by the Brewers Association for April 8th.

Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies

Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies

 

Posted in Beer News, Schlafly Brewing

Schlafly Hoptic Visions IPA Pack sees 2nd release with new beers

Schlafly Hoptic Visions IPA Pack

St. Louis, Missouri-based Schlafly Brewing is releasing Hoptic Visions, a variety pack featuring four different India pale ale styles.

This is the second release of the mixed pack, which includes three new Schlafly creations:

  • India Pale Ale (5.0% ABV): Schlafly’s sessionable IPA is a classic hop-forward, golden-hazed beer that features notes of citrus and tropical flavors.
  • Hazy Grapefruit IPA (5.0% ABV): This juicy IPA adds pounds of real fruit for an added complexity. Schlafly amplifies the grapefruit with complementing Cascade and Simcoe hops.
  • Low Cal IPA (ABV 4.0%): Clocking in at 110 calories, the new Low Cal IPA sways to the lighter side but is still packed with juicy hop flavor.
  • West Coast IPA (6.0% ABV): A throwback IPA that sparked the love of hops, Schlafly’s West Coast IPA packs a bitter citrus and pine punch.

The Low Cal IPA is Schlafly’s first foray into the lower-calorie IPA category, while the Hazy Grapefruit IPA is brand new for 2021.

The Schlafly Hoptic Visions IPA Pack is available at all brewery locations, across their distribution footprint for $17.99.

 

Topics: |
Posted in Coming Soon, Wild Heaven Craft Beers

Wild Heaven & Bulleit Bourbon partner again in 2021

While 2020 was basically a stopped-up toilet in a dirty truck stop for everyone, Atlanta-based Wild Heaven Beer and Bulleit Bourbon gave us something tasty to help us cope with the mess. It was the boozy goodness we needed to round out a weird year.

Since the beginning, Bulleit was stingy with their empty bourbon barrels, sending most, if not all, overseas to be repurposed for whisky. Craft brewers never had the chance to age their beers in Bulleit. All that’s changed now.

MORE: WILD HEAVEN’S BULLEIT COLLABORATIONS WERE WORTH THE WAIT

Building off of the success of two 2020 releases – 437 Miles South Imperial Stout, and 95 Shilling Scotch Ale will be two new Bulleit barrel-aged releases released by Wild Heaven this year. Brewmaster and co-owner Eric Johnson is going Belgian-style for these next two creations.

This month Johnson, along with brewer Josh Franks created the Belgian-style tripel, started aging in in wet 10-year Bulleit Bourbon barrels yesterday. “It came out a touch higher in ABV than I expected – 10.75% going into the barrels. So it will most likely be 11-11.25% coming out. But it already is pretty great,” says Franks.

Expect a Labor Day release for the first beer.

The second collaboration will arrive by Christmas, a quadrupel aged a blend of Bulleit Rye and Bulleit Bourbon barrels.

Both beers will be available in limited quantities in 16-ounces cans.

Wild Heaven Bulleit Barrels 2021

PIC: Beer Street Journal

Posted in Don't Miss This, Topo Chico Hard Seltzer Company

Topo Chico Hard Seltzer arrives with four flavors

Topo Chico Hard Seltzer Cans

Topo Chico Hard Seltzer has arrived.

While the mineral water from Monterrey, Mexico has been around for more than a century, the national obsession with it seems more recent. Bartenders love it for cocktail making (think Gin Fizz or Palomas), other folks swear it cures hangovers.

Topo Chico was always popular in border states like Texas, but distribution was unfortunately limited. All that changed in 2017, when soda giant Coca-Cola acquired Topo for $220 million. The rest of the United States finally got a taste of what the “extra bubbly” water was all about.

For those who love Topo Chico, but thought it lacked alcohol, your prayers have been answered.

Molson Coors Beverage Company has the production contract for Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, brewed under the “TC Hard Seltzer Company” out of Tempe, Arizona. Topo Chico states the hard seltzer is created with the same Monterrey water that has made the beverage so famous.

Four flavors are available on the official launch date of March 29th – Exotic Pineapple, Strawberry Guava, Tangy Lemon Lime, and Tropical Mango. Each 12-ounce can contains 2 grams of sugar and is 4.7% alcohol by volume. Additionally, 24-ounce cans will also be available at launch (which jacks your sugar content to a whopping 4 grams.)

When it comes to Topo Chico the flavor and bubbles it what sets it apart. The hard seltzer is no different. The flavor is bold and flavorful, finishing almost creamy. At times you almost forget it’s hard seltzer. Topo entering the seltzer market could have simply been a money-maker by putting the Topo name on the can, but as we’ve found – you get Topo and great flavors.

Topo Chico Hard Seltzer will be available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas, plus six cities, including Boston, Chicago, New York City, Northern New Jersey, Seattle, Washington, the District of Columbia and Vancouver, Canada.