Browsing articles tagged with " Brewers"
updated: 5/24/2013 12:58:55 PM
The founder of a new craft brewery in Indianapolis says there is a “joint effort” by local artisans to expose more people to the emerging industry. Indiana City Brewing Co. owner Ray Kamstra says craft beer accounts for 3-7 percent of the market in Indiana, which puts the state at “just the beginning” of an international trend. He discussed the state’s brewing industry and his company’s grand opening during a Studio(i) interview.
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 10:58 am
Home brewing trip scheduled
OWOSSO — The Shiawassee County Area Brewers Society, in cooperation with Indian Trails and the Wrought Iron Grill announce the club’s third annual bus trip.
This year’s destination is Marshall and Dark Horse Brewery’s annual crawfish boil. The Indian Trails bus will depart Owosso at 11 a.m. June 8 and return at 7 p.m.
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Arts and entertainment
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 10:58 am.
REIDSVILLE — April is the inaugural North Carolina Beer Month and Eric Smith couldn’t be happier.
Smith, 38, is a home brewer — an excellent one at that — and a fan of beer. He’s doing his part to get the word out about craft beers and brewers in the state.
He has a blog — ncbeers.blogspot.com — that details his visits to craft breweries in the state. He participates in brewing demonstrations, attends beer festivals and anything else that will get others as excited about home brewing as he is.
He’s also celebrating beer month in an appropriate fashion.
“My goal for the month of April is to only drink North Carolina beer,” Smith said.Continue Reading
It all began for Smith with a simple beer kit, a birthday gift from his wife, Kelly, in 1996.
An untapped talent emerged.
Smith, after years of brewing, can break down the ingredients of any beer he drinks.
“I can taste a beer and tell you what hops were used and typically what malt was used and typically what yeast was used,” Smith said.
An impressive feat, but Smith said it’s something he picked up from years of tasting the ingredients while brewing beer. He tastes them before and during the process. Not many brewers do this, according to Smith.
He is also a talented brewer. Smith keeps several recipes on file and brews according to his mood. Sometimes he goes to a home-brew supply store and creates his recipe while he’s there. Other times, he drinks a beer he likes and he wants to recreate that taste.
He’s often asked why he doesn’t create his own brewery.
“I already turned one hobby into a job,” Smith said. “I don’t need two.”
His job as a welder is something he’s been doing since he was 10 while watching and learning from his father. Smith turned this hobby into a job after he was laid off from his airline job in 2002.
He is happy with welding as a job. Smith likes brewing, but he said he doesn’t feel like brewing every day. It will stay a hobby.
A hobby that still keeps him busy, even if he doesn’t brew every day.
Smith is in the opening stages of a project that will take him to every brewery in the state. It took a year to plan, and he hopes to finish his statewide tour by the end of the year or at least by March 2014.
His reputation as a brewer often precedes him, and he gets a more extensive tour than advertised. His wife often acts as his driver on these tours. It’s only fair since she’s the one who got him started in the first place.
When he’s not touring breweries and making beer, Smith said he will continue to encourage others to take up home brewing. Beer kits are inexpensive, and hobbyists can invest in as little a $100-150 for a top-of-the-line brewery system.
And it’s not hard to make the beer.
“If you can boil water, then you can brew beer,” Smith said.
Brewing is not the only thing on Smith’s mind. He is interested in several topics and enjoys sitting at a bar getting to know the person beside him.
“I don’t care what your religion is,” Smith said, “I don’t care how you voted. If you like to drink a good beer, then I’m going to sit down and drink a good beer with you.”
Just remember not to bet him in guessing what kind of beer you are drinking.
Contact Brad Kesler at 373-7060, and follow @Brad_Kesler on Twitter.
I BROKE into a loopy grin as a research scientist-turned-brewer slowly stirred the massive kettle of Munich, crystal and roasted malt, gently cooking it at precisely 154 degrees.
In about three weeks, this 300-gallon batch at Seattle’s Schooner Exact brewery will become Brave Horse IPA. I’ll greet it with love.
I’m not alone. About a quarter of the Seattle beer market is craft beer, quadruple the national percentage. It’s harder to find a Bud Light on tap here than it is a funky small-batch sour beer or a bourbon-barrel aged stout.
It is a homegrown beer mecca. But this artisan industry suddenly feels fragile.
Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee proposed extending and making permanent an expiring $23.58-a-barrel beer tax to fund education. That tax now just applies to mass-produced beers. His plan would, for the first time, also extend it to microbrewers, who currently pay $4.78 per barrel.
Raising $127 million for kids is laudable. But how many fewer Brave Horse IPAs would be drunk if pints cost 50 cents more?
“The tax would just crush some brewers,” said Kendall Jones of Washington Beer Blog. Competition with Oregon, which was a $2.60-a-barrel tax, is fierce, and the cash flow of many brewers is too tight to absorb a steep upfront tax.
Washington has been beer-rich since homebrewers emerged from their basements with business plans in the 1980s. But Seattle is in a new age of brewing, Jones said, because 40-somethings like me grew up with choices other than Rainier’s Vitamin R.
Almost any night of the week, Chuck’s Hop Shop on Crown Hill is packed. Parents sip from 20-some exotic tap beers. Their kids eat ice cream. There’s a food truck outside. It’s beer-vana.
Most local brewers feeding those taps literally run mom-and-pop businesses, like Schooner Exact founders Matt and Heather McClung. They quit their teaching jobs just a few years ago, and produced about 85,000 gallons of beer in 2012.
Local brewers are friendly, said Heather. “It’s like, make good beer, convert the masses, and everyone shares in the pie.”
I asked Heather if she’d move brewing operations to Portland, as Redhook has suggested. She paused, and said she hadn’t thought about it before. But I could see wheels turning.
— Jonathan Martin
The craft brew craze is exploding in the U.S. and small brewers are popping up in towns across the country. But keeping track of the newcomers and knowing if any brewer is worth the trip can be hard to figure out.
Now, you can jump on one of the hoppiest, most tasteful road trips that cuts all the confusion – and best of all, you don’t need to worry about doing the driving. Beer Tours USA takes people on personalized tours of breweries around the country.
Beer tours operate like winery tours and they’re gaining in popularity as Americans discover their love for craft beers.
“As they start drinking that type of beer, there might be something else they might want to try,” said Robin Fuchs, founder of Beer Tours USA. “People have fun when they are going around.”
Fuchs, a financial adviser who lives in Springfield, Ill, started Beer Tours USA in 2011 after he discovered some small-batch brewers producing some big beers. Fuchs, who says he is currently in the planning stages for his 2013 beer tours, has a host of trips to choose from, including historical themed tours. Groups typically go to between 6 to 8 craft breweries and brew pubs to look at how the beers are made and to sample its products.
His tours, offered throughout the U.S., include hotel stays, a continental breakfast, and background information on breweries. No need to bring along a designated driver — because transportation to all of the breweries is provided by a chartered bus, so guests can enjoy every last drop of the many brews they will taste along the way.
Visitors can sample beers in tasting rooms, tour breweries, and check out the town. The two-day trips start at $179.
Here are some of Fuchs’ favorite beer tours:
Potosi Brewing Company
Founded in 1852 – but then abandoned in 1972. Locals came together and re-opened it as a non-profit in 2008. “This has got to be one go the best places in America to stop if you like beer and American beer history,” said Fuchs. The National Brewery Museum is on site. The brewery has a lagering cave that was to brew the beers before the days of mechanical refrigeration. “We still use the cave to age the barrel varieties that our brewer creates,” said Larry Bowden, member of the Potosi Foundation board of directors.
Great River Brewery
Desks turned to beer taps! The brewery was designed in what was once an old school in the Hawkeye state. Here they print their own labels on their cans allowing them to be more versatile with their products. It’s a friendly atmosphere. “We encourage social drinking and meeting new people through the art of conversation,” said master brewer Paul Krutzfeldt. Some of their brews include Roller Dam Red, 483 Pale, Farmer Brown, and Redband Stout all on tap at $4 a pint. Fuchs said the brewers know their products well. “A huge amount of talent and knowledge.”
Triumph Brewing Company
Located in the “old city” area of Philadelphia, this brewery is walking distance from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. An old building with a modern feel – “there are never-ending rooms and seating,” said Fuchs. The brewery opened its doors in 2007. Come hungry, because brewer Josh Gambrel said the tasting experience is delicious with the food they offer. “All the pairings and all the flavors,” he said. Popular on tap: The Amber and Bengal American IPA. Much of the décor came from scraps of the building renovation. Other locations are in New Hope, Penn. and Princeton, NJ.
Six Row Brewing Company
St. Louis, Missouri
Fuchs described this stop as “very small and charming.” The building was first used by the Falstaff Brewing Company, which opened in 1911. Here they offer 24 brews at a time. Brewmaster Evan Hiatt said “the tasting experience is much like you would taste a wine. We look at the color of the beer then the aroma and finally the flavor and tactile (feeling) of the beer.” They are also famous for their meatloaf. “Our main dining room is just small enough to get a pleasant aroma of good food cooking in the kitchen along with beer brewing in the kettle behind the glass curtain wall,” said Hiatt.
Galena Brewing Company
The small town of Galena had 9 breweries in the 1800s and the last one closed in 1938, according to Warren Bell, owner of the Galena Brewing Company. “(We’re) unique in connecting Galena residents and visitors with Galena’s rich brewing history.” They opened their doors in 2010. “This place explodes with fun and charisma!” said Fuchs, who complimented their live entertainment. “Walk the streets till late, and you’ll always find something fun going on.” Tastings are also included in their tours. Their Nutbrown Ale won a silver award at the 2012 World Beer Cup.
Patrick Manning is part of the Junior Reporter program at Fox News. Get more information on the program here.
SHERMAN, TX – Some big changes could be coming for the beer industry in Texas. Several bills are making their way through the Senate that could directly effect the way all breweries do business.
As Jeremy Roberts looks at all the progress he’s made moving towards opening his craft brewery in Sherman, there’s a fear in the back of his mind that he can’t quite shake.
“Should we even do this, should we even open the brewery in Texas?”
Five bills making their way through the Texas Senate could change the beer industry across the state.
“My worst case scenario is, we may not be able to make a profit, and if we can’t then 903 Brewers may not exist in the next few years,” said Roberts.
The bill causing a lot of controversy is Senator David Carona’s SB 639, which looks to change current law relating to the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages.
Roberts says the it would allow distributors to control the price of his product.
“They’re gonna tell me what I can sell my beer for as well as if I’m only going to be able to sell my beer for a certain amount, I’m not going to be able to make the quality of beer that I want to make.”
It’s a change, Roberts says will make it nearly impossible for his business to grow, and bring jobs to the community.
“That’s what’s been going on for a long time now, our Government is hurting our small people.”
“Sounds a little bit like controlling the price, I mean ya know someone have control they don’t need.”
But progress was made on Tuesday, as a spokesman for Senator Carona tells us.
”Senator Van de Putte, Senator Eltife, and Senator Carona all worked to bring everybody to the table and work together and work through everybody’s concerns and it’s clear that not everybody got everything they wanted, but everybody comes out of this in a much better position,” said Director of Senate Business Commerce Committee, Steven Polunsky.
Tuesday all five bills included in what’s known as the “Craft Bills Package” were passed by the Business Commerce Committee, but they still have a long way to go, starting with a pass through the full senate.
Distributors and beer makers were at odds this morning over a bill that would have barred brewers from having a financial interest in a licensed wholesaler’s business.
The bill’s sponsor, Jeremy Pisca, executive director of the Idaho Beer and Wine Distributors Association, squared off with Jim McClure, a lobbyist for beer conglomerate Anheuser-Busch, through testimony before this morning’s meeting of the Senate State Affairs Committee.
“The State of Idaho is not alone in trying to close down this loophole. There are many states trying to close down these loopholes,” Pisca told the committee.
Pisca described Idaho’s three-tier system, which separates beer makers from distributors and purchasers to ensure a balanced, fair market. He described the bill as codifying the status quo by preventing any plans brewers like Anheuser-Busch might have to snap up wholesalers.
McClure disagreed, and claimed Pisca’s attempts were not to protect the three-tier system, but to give wholesalers an advantage.
“Anheuser-Busch opposes this legislation,” McClure told the committee. “I hadn’t, frankly, realized until Mr. Pisca’s presentation to you that Anheuser-Busch’s business practices would be the focus of this panel.”
McClure said his client has no plans to purchase distributors in Idaho, and that Pisca’s bill is not about preserving Idaho business or jobs, but about barring a distributor from selling to whomever the distributor chooses. McClure called the bill an unnecessarily broad “protectionist” piece of legislation.
“We’re not here to sort out an industry fight between Anheuser and distributors, we’re here to set public policy,” Idaho Falls Republican Sen. Bart Davis told the two men.
When the time came for a motion to approve or deny the bill, the committee remained silent. Chair Nampa Republican Sen. Curt McKenzie declared the bill dead in committee.
First launched in February 2012, the premium Keurig® Vue® system allows users to customize the strength, size and temperature of each beverage. Paired with a variety of more than 60 coffee, tea and specialty beverage Vue® packs, including café-style beverages like lattes and cappuccinos, Vue® maintains the simplicity and convenience of the Keurig® K-Cup® single cup brewing system with added adjustable features, according to the company. In addition, Vue® packs can be recycled wherever polypropylene/#5 plastic is accepted, currently in approximately half of U.S. communities.
The new Vue® V500 will be available beginning April 2, 2013. The Vue® V500 brewer marks the third addition to the family of Keurig® Vue® at-home models, joining the Vue® V700 and V600 brewers. In September 2012, GMCR also launched its first Keurig® Vue® commercial model, the V1200 with innovative My Brew™ technology engineered by Keurig® to deliver an optimally prepared beverage to office users who might not be familiar with the Keurig® Vue® single cup brewing system by signaling the brewer to default to expertly selected settings for the chosen beverage based on a RFID (radio frequency identification) technology “recipe” tag.
As a college student in Ohio, Greg Akins grew accustomed to the scent of beer wafting through his window from a nearby Budweiser plant.
It’s now the same aroma that fills his Scottdale home when he’s brewing beer — a hobby that he took up two years ago.
“I love the smell of it,” said Akins. “I lived in Columbus, Ohio — pretty close to the Budweiser brewery. It (my house) smells like that brewery does, all the time.”
The aroma of his most recent beer — a stout, which can be compared commercially to a Guinness — filled his home in early January when he began the process of brewing a new batch.
According to the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), a national organization that provides information about the homebrewing process, Akins is one of an estimated one million Americans who brew their own beer at home. The hobby was federally legalized in 1978 for the first time since prohibition made it illegal in 1919.
Information on the AHA website indicates that the history of homebrewing can even be traced back to the dawn of agriculture. In colonial times, homebrewing was a common household practice, typically performed by women. According to the AHA, many of the nation’s founders, including George Washington, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, were homebrewers. Alabama and Mississippi are the only two states that have not yet legalized homebrewing, the AHA reports.
“Homebrewing has become more popular I think because of the availability of the ingredients, and the ability for people to learn how to do it,” Akins said.
Locally, the Three Rivers Association of Serious Homebrewers (TRASH), provides opportunities for those who join.
“I get to take my beer to those meetings and share my beer with the other brewers,” Akins said. “There are people that you know have tried a lot of different brews … and know what certain things should taste like. I get better quality feedback from them.”
For Matt Lukowsky of Connellsville, beer brewing gives him the ability to experiment with a variety of different tastes. To him, it’s a more creative process than making wine, which is a hobby he took up about 12 years ago before homebrewing caught his eye.
“I like good wine and good beer and I thought, well, it sounds like a lot of fun. It sounds creative, “ Lukowsky said. “I finally got up enough courage to try it, and I was pleased with the first batch I made.”
Lukowsky said he hasn’t been pleased with every single batch, but he does not try to get too caught up in the complexities of the process.
“There’s a lot of people who will tell all about the science of brewing, and tell you there are specific ways you must do something,” he said. “You can get wrapped up in all the technicalities of brewing, and make yourself sick about it — I used to do that, and there was no benefit in it because it’s supposed to be fun.”
Carling Black Label is Lukowsky’s favorite brand of beer, but he said he has never tried to copy the recipe.
“Focus on the style, not necessarily a brand,” he said. “That’s the biggest advice I can give to anybody who gets into homebrewing. If you get too wrapped up in making a specific clone of a brand, you could miss the possibilities of enjoying something that’s much better.”
Wes Patton of Scottdale is also trying to provide resources to those who might be interested in giving this hobby a try.
A manager at Brilhart Ace Hardware in Scottdale, Patton has been carrying homebrewing equipment, kits and ingredients in the store since April 2012. His love of beer brewing has driven him to share his craft with others.
“There are a lot of people interested in making beer, but they are a little scared to go about it,” Patton said.
Patton, like other homebrewers, started brewing beer at home with a process called extract brewing — a process that is implemented by using homebrewing kits.
But he recently began what is called “all-grain” brewing, a process that provides a homebrewer with more opportunity to create and experiment.
“Extract brewing is easiest for a beginner because it comes with raw grains, it comes with a syrup, and the syrup is all the sugar the beer needs to ferment,” Akins said. “You cook that for a while, you add the hops and that’s pretty much it. It’s really simple, and less time consuming — it’s the easiest way for a person who’s new to brewing to get started.”
Last year, Patton asked a fellow homebrewer to provide an all-grain demonstration in the store, and he’s hoping to do that again this year.
“This will give people the incentive to try it,” he said. “It will show them that there’s not really much to it.”
According to Akins, homebrewing requires a basic investment of $100 to $200.
His initial investment increased to about $500 when he began the all-grain process.
“My friend and I as we were making beer, we were really impressed with ourselves early on,” Akins said. “I think one of the things that’s appealing to me about beer is that you can get complicated — you can make sophisticated beers, you can make mistakes making beer, but the basics of making beer are pretty straight forward.”
One of his beers, which he titled Mouth of Madness after a John Carpenter horror film, earned him the Judge’s Choice award at the Tangled Up in Brew 2 homebrewing competition that was held in October at Connellsville’s Yough River Park.
The competition provided homebrewers the opportunity to share their recipes with others. Attendees were able to sample and judge each beer.
There are 23 major beer classifications, with numerous subcategories within those styles.
In addition to Akins’ favorite beer, a stout, there are light and dark lagers, India pale ales, porters, Pilsners, fruit beers, amber hybrid beers and German wheat and rye beer, just to name a few.
“Eighty percent of the beers I’ve made have turned out as good as something I’d buy off the shelf. For me, that’s great,” Akins said. “I love the feedback I get when I give my friends a gift and it’s something they enjoy. That’s cool because it’s good, positive feedback for me. It’s a boost to my ego when someone takes one of my beers, and says, ‘wow, that’s really good.’”
Bobby Mullins, Tait Lifto, John Reardon, and Yianni Arestis (photo by Ariel Gonzalez)
The story of Armadillo Ale Works begins with a happenstance meeting between Bobby Mullins, his ex-girlfriend’s dog, and an armadillo.
We’re sitting inside Deep Ellum Brewing Company in roundtable fashion, and a very reluctant Mullins is hesitant to answer my question, “Why Armadillo?” He’s trying to change the topic. For the past ten minutes, he and his partner, Yianni Arestis, have been telling me about their big dreams of opening the first craft brewery in Denton. It’s going to be called Armadillo Ale Works. In the last couple of years, Arestis and Mullins have been selling artisan sodas, and now they’re putting that on hold so they can focus all their efforts on beer.
Here’s where our beloved DEBC comes in. Enter John Reardon (owner) and Tait Lifto (brand and sales ninja) of Deep Ellum’s craft brewery. They’re two really cool, chill guys. One day, they’re hanging out at this event for brewers called Brews Cruise before the North Texas Beer Festival, and the next day, they’ve taken a liking to the Armadillo boys. “These guys are in it for the right reasons,” says Reardon. He can practically see their honest beer hearts poking through their shirts. The DEBC team decides to adopt the Armadillo men, and thus, a symbiotic friendlationship is born.
Taitface and John Reardon (photo by Ariel Gonzalez)
Ever since then, Reardon and Lifto have been teaching Mullins and Arestis how to brew beer, how to run a business, and everything about the beer world from the ground up.
“I’ve never heard of [this relationship] being done before. It’s this whole synergy and bringing things together,” says Reardon.
It’s true. You’d think that the DEBC boys would say ‘hell, naw’ to helping their future competition out, but they just don’t see it that way. They’re brewery brothers. They’re little guys against the “big guys.” (“Big guys” referring to non-local, massive beer companies like Budweiser.)
Armadillo Ale Works will be brewing their stouts at DEBC, and DEBC will help with the whole distribution process. Before this summer, Armadillo Ale Works will be releasing its Greenbelt Farmhouse Ale (a wheat beer made with grapefruit peel and coriander) and Quakertown Stout (oats, brown malt).
But back to the armadillo story. Mullins is trying, but I cannot be persuaded to change the topic. I ask Mullins if he’s ever had a weird encounter with an armadillo. He laughs nervously. ”Yes, several, actually.”
“Can you tell me some of them?”
“Are they going to be included in the story?”
“Yes, they will be.”
“Okay, no. No. They’re all irrelevant.”
“Irrelevant is good!”
“When I was in college, the girl I was dating… one of her dogs attacked an armadillo, so I had to go and save it.”
Well, there you have it, folks. Mullins pried the armadillo out of the dog’s jaws and saved it. (It had to be put down later, but that’s irrelevant, right?) I’m rather impressed. If the Armadillo guys can save armadillos, I’m pretty sure they’ll brew great beer. Great logic, I know.
Where the magic happens
If you really want to, you can see Bobby Mullins lying through his teeth in this DEBC video at the 3:27 mark, right after Tait Lifto asks him if he has any interesting stories with armadillos. Note to self: Don’t play mafia with Mullins. What a terrible liar.