CraftBeer was created to communicate the passion, authenticity, excitement, creativity, camaraderie, and joy of the craft beer community. It has been bringing the stories of America's small & independent craft brewers to life for beer lovers.
Spring is officially here! And Fiction Beer is releasing two NEW beers in 16oz cans for the first time. Join Fiction Beer on Saturday, March 24 at their taproom for the release of DDH Beta Capsule and The Flaconer.
‘Beta Capsule’, inspired by Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, is a double dry hopped New England Imperial IPA. The dry hops include nearly 2 lbs per bbl of Vic Secret as well as a bunch of Citra and Mosaic . A kung fu knockout of juicy tropical melon and citrus aroma with a soft, pillowy mouthfeel. Deceptively drinkable at 8.5% ABV
‘The Falconer’, inspired by Helen MacDonald’s H is for Hawk, is a traditional saison using a blend of yeasts to accentuate the fruit esters over the spicy phenolics. Complementing the natural fruit character from the yeast we added 2+ lbs per bbl of Motueka dry hops. Crisp, dry and full of amazing yeast character which is well complemented by the lemon and lime from our excessive dry hopping. A smooth 5.8% ABV keeps this beer crushable and perfect for the first warm sunny days of the season.
About Fiction Beer Company
Fiction Beer Company is a tale about a book dork and beer geek (and an awesome team of investors) who have decided to rewrite the Denver beer scene by combining the two wonderfully imaginative crafts of beer and literature together. Opened in September 2014, Fiction Beer is Denver’s first brewery located on Colfax Ave. The surrounding East Denver neighborhoods of Park Hill, Montclair, Stapleton, Mayfair, and Lowry have a brewery to call their own.
The Second Annual Mahomet Craft Beer Festival presented by JT Walker’s Restaurant and Brewery and the Mahomet Area Chamber of Commerce will take place on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 2 p.m.- 6 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Mahomet, Illinois. Admission is free. Tickets will be sold to purchase beer. Food and non-alcoholic beverages can be purchased using cash or credit.
The event will feature Illinois craft breweries, each pouring two or three different beers. Last year, light, spring-seasonal, citrus-based flavors and Northeast style pale ales (known for a cloudy or hazy appearance) were popular.
Throughout the festival, attendees can cast their vote for their favorite beer. Awards will be held at 5:30 p.m. Last year, Big Thorn Brewery won gold with their Wood Thyme Tart, (5% ABV, 0 IBU) a log-aged kettle-sour made bitter from two different variations of thyme. Can they defend their title?
Wine drinkers and designated drivers are welcome at the event. Wine from Alto Vineyards Champaign and craft root beer and soda from Homer Soda Company will be served. Food trucks will be available, including Chester’s BBQ Truck and Jenkins Catering. Project 47 Smokehouse and JT Walker’s will be open for business.
New this year is the Central Illinois BBQ Cookoff, sponsored by the Central Illinois Backyard Champion Circuit. The cookoff will have two categories: Chicken and Pork Ribs. The entry fee is $25 for each category, payable at the time of the event. Teams must arrive at 6:30 a.m. For further information, see the Guidelines and Rules. The cookoff tasting will take place at 4:30 p.m. Trophies and cash prizes are available for the top five teams. For more information, contact Lucas Schoonover at 217-202-5668. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout the event, acoustic musicians will play. After the festival, bands will play at JT Walker’s and Project 47 Smokehouse. If you are a musician who would like to play at the festival, call the Mahomet Area Chamber of Commerce at 217-840-2700.
The Brewers Association, publishers of CraftBeer.com and the trade organization to protect and promote small brewers, has released its 2018 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines. The release includes a trio of beer styles identified in the guidelines and Brewers Association competitions as “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA.” These styles represent what some beer geeks and brewers popularly refer to as New England IPAs or Hazy IPAs.
The addition of “Juicy or Hazy” ales are among several other updates to the 2018 Brewers Association’s Beer Style Guidelines. The annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF) 2018 competition in September will be the first national competition which will include the new style guidelines.
The style additions come as the New England-Style IPA continues the popularity of the India Pale Ale or IPA. The so-called New England variation of the American IPA deemphasizes hop bitterness, a key trait of the American version, often showcasing hop flavor and aromas that can be reminiscent of tropical fruit juice. As a group, “juicy or hazy” beers often exhibit relatively low perceived bitterness, high hop aroma and flavor and a softer texture than other types of IPAs. The New England IPA versions often are highlighted by some level of visual cloudiness or haze which is an effect attributed by a multitude of different ingredients and brewing techniques.
As part of my role at the Brewers Association, I often get an up-close look at the labor-intensive work and spirited conversations that go into adding a beer style to BA Beer Style Guidelines. I played an advisory role in the development of these beer styles’ guidelines and wanted to bring you an inside look at how a beer style is born.
A Beer Style is Born
The Brewers Association received input from competition judges as well as brewers recognized for developing the style to help shape the framework for these categories. Each category presents technical specifications and sensory aspects that a judge may use in competition to evaluate entries.
The new styles make their debut at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival competition. (CraftBeer.com)
Initially, the Style Guidelines Committee had not considered three separate styles when considering the new style.
“What we discovered and verified was that there was a wide range of alcohol content for what was being perceived in the public as just one style,” explains style guide developer, Charlie Papazian. “After evaluating appearance, aroma, bitterness, hop characters, mouthfeel and overall balance these beers gave a consistent impression that helped frame the Brewers Association’s inaugural guidelines for three styles of Juicy or Hazy ales.”
Getting it Right
The beer style guideline document undergoes robust annual scrutiny and revision; the 2018 edition includes over 900 updates. But the addition of new categories is not done frivolously. Suggestions from judges and brewers are initial steps to explore the creation of a category. A new category that has evolved and enjoyed increasing commercial success presents a challenge to “strive to get it right,” says Chris Swersey, competition manager for the GABF and World Beer Cup; Swersey is part of the Brewers Association’s Style Guideline Committee.
Swersey and the rest of the committee were dedicated to delivering descriptions that accurately identify the style. The committee believed that the time was right to add the style, but fully understanding what these beers represent remained a significant challenge. Choosing the right words to clearly communicate sensory and qualitative outcomes to judges, and which terms accurately establish sideboards that reflect the huge range of beer brands in the marketplace, resulted in the descriptions included in the 2018 update.
“We never could have tackled these challenges without the willingness and eagerness of the brewers who want and need for us to get it right,” Swersey continues. “We could pour over pages of brewer’s analytics and responses about what the beer is and what the beer isn’t. But without knowledgeable brewer input, that goal would not have been possible.”
The beer world will witness the results of the committee’s efforts come September 22 when the opportunity to award bronze, silver and gold in each of the three categories during the Great American Beer Festival award ceremony arrives. Afterwards, the committee will begin their work again, evaluating changes to existing styles and considering new entries.
“Juicy Hazy ales are very complex styles,” says Papazian, “with the potential for continuing innovation and variation within the style. As with any nascent guideline, we expect to receive ample feedback from brewers and judges, which we’ll use to update and clarify the guidelines for the future.”
The mere mention of beer is often enough to get craft beer lovers to pour into a taproom. Twin Leaf Brewery, located in Asheville, North Carolina, strives to give beer lovers a reason beyond the taps to flock to the brewery. Hosting monthly Beer BeCause events, the brewery has a unique focus on the non-profits and projects it supports.
Twin Leaf’s philanthropic mission specifically focuses on organizations that support STEM programs, youth science education, environmental and conservation efforts. “Mission-based fundraising isn’t a new concept,” says Ashley Jones, Twin Leaf’s event coordinator. “However, we are simply embracing the concept with our own twist on how we promote our brand through fundraising.”
Jones also notes, “We live in a very beautiful part of the world and we want to work with those that want to preserve it for future generations.”
The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, Bee City USA and Friends of the Smokies are all among the conservation organizations the brewery supports. “All of the staff at the brewery are very active outdoors, from mountain biking and hiking to gardening and composting,” says Jones.
Making a Statement with ‘Mass Extinction’ Imperial Stout
Twin Leaf’s Mass Extinction Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout benefits the Asheville Museum of Science. (Twin Leaf Brewing)
Owner Tim Weber always has a hand in the selection of the Beer BeCause event organizations. His love of nature led him to the mountains of North Carolina six years ago in order to open his now 4-year-old brewery. One of Weber’s most anticipated events is the annual release of the Mass Extinction Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, a beer that benefits the Asheville Museum of Science. Weber specifically chose to create a beer to support the museum to further their efforts to in youth scientific exploration.
“Science teaches critical thinking, problem-solving and a respect and love for nature,” says Weber. “Coming from an engineering and science background I strongly feel that science literacy is something that is really missing in this country. It’s just magical to watch children get excited about science!”
The museum houses many interactive educational experiences for youth including a replica of the Mars Rover, a hurricane simulator and a STEM lab for daily classes.
“Mass Extinction is a statement on the massive loss and die off of the plants and animals that is happening now,” adds Weber. “With nature and science appreciation, hopefully our future generations will recognize the beauty of nature and the importance of saving what we have now.”
The interactive children’s museum boasts an awe-inspiring fossilized Teratophoneus Curriei that served as the inspiration for the beers label and name.
“STEM education brings the fun back into science with hands-on learning and fun, and I want to support that in the biggest way I can.” Tim Weber, Twin Leaf Brewing
“All kids are born natural explorers and scientists and at some point they lose that interest when science becomes books, memorization and testing,” says Weber. “STEM education brings the fun back into science with hands-on learning and fun, and I want to support that in the biggest way I can.”
Twin Leaf’s ‘Bee Beer’
The love for science and nature goes beyond fundraising efforts. Weber and assistant brewer Jose Busto also work with local farms and maltsters to craft the many beers that are created in the brewery. Some of the seasonal favorites include the Rosemary IPA, the Fleurs du Soleil, Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Stout, and a range of lagers and Belgian-style ales.
The Fleurs du Soleil, or commonly called the “Bee Beer,” is created each year to benefit Bee City USA, which was founded to create awareness about the importance of protecting the habitats of our pollinators.
“Fleurs Du Soleil is made with black tea and honey from Twin Leaf’s very own bee yard. The Rosemary IPA uses rosemary that was handpicked the day it went into production for the beer. We use local pumpkins for the chocolate beer and even roast them on the farm where they were grown,” says Weber. “It’s the best thing about being and staying a small brewery. Since we are not required to brew the same beer over and over for distribution like many larger breweries, we have the ability literally hand-pick many of the ingredients that make our beer so amazing.”
You can visit Twin Leaf at 144 Coxe Avenue on the South Slope in Asheville, North Carolina.
Pelican Brewing Company beer cuisine—already rooted in the fresh produce and seafood indigenous to the Oregon Coast—welcomes the inventiveness of another beach-born culinary phenom, Dan Micolino.
Micolino joins Team Pelican as its new research and development chef where he leads the design and refresh of Pelican menus, Brewers’ Dinners and special events. He brings a contemporary perspective on how Pelican’s award-winning beer is both incorporated into its dishes and paired with meals.
Micolino, who trained with celebrity chef Brian Malarkey at the renowned Burlap (now Searsucker Del Mar) and Herringbone restaurants in San Diego, offers a deep passion for bringing the same focus on flavor, aroma, texture and experience that the brewery brings to every beer it crafts. Micolino boasts an extensive resume in the food industry including leadership roles at the famed Barbarella’s in La Jolla, Amaya at the Grand Del Mar, which earned a 5-star Forbes rating under Micolino, and most recently at Yosemite Valley Lodge.
Micolino, who grew up with a chef father and a mom who worked in restaurants much of his childhood, holds a BS in economics from the University of California San Diego as well as a Culinary Arts degree from the San Diego Culinary Institute.
“Dan has a GREAT palate—his use of ingredients, his reverence and care for fresh local produce are really creating some dynamic and unique flavors across the menu,” says Ken Henson, co-owner and director of restaurant operations at Pelican Brewing Company. “Dan knows how to seamlessly translate his elegantly-honed fine dining techniques to Pelican’s more laid-back, casual beach dining experience without losing its brilliance.”
Pelican enjoys a solid history of sold-out Brewers’ Dinners and a reputation for some of the most creative beer cuisine available. The brewery looks to Micolino to amplify that reputation and bring out the best from its kitchens and how its extraordinary beers work with its specialties. Just some of the spring specials Micolino has created for Pelican brewpubs include:
Spicy Tsunami Stout Oysters
Pacific Northwest Cured Salmon Flatbread
Shrimp and Dungeness Crab Escabeche
Beer-brined and House-Smoked Pelican ‘Beakburner’ Chicken Wings
Micolino also created the theme for the Pelican’s 2018 Brewers’ Dinners—Past, Present and Future. He was inspired to tell the story of Oregon’s rich culinary history and relationship to the land and bounty of the sea. With sights set on eco-friendly and sustainable fresh foods, for the January dinner Micolino considered the past: what were the practices of our forefathers, who lived off the land? What did they eat, and why? and how was it prepared?
Next up, Micolino creates the dishes and pairings for the Spring and Fall Pelican Brewers’ Dinners which focus on sustainable, eco-friendly Oregon Coast cuisine presently and in the future:
The Present Brewers’ Dinner takes place at the Pacific City brewpub on April 21st, 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and will celebrate the current local foods, produce and suppliers we love here and now! How did our current brewpub fare evolve from yesteryear? What’s all the rage at Pelican brewpubs? What beers is Pelican pouring with its fare? Any seasonal beers to taste? The six-course dinner will feature thoughtful beer pairings for each item.
The Future Brewers’ Dinner on Saturday, October 20th features an exploration of future food trends—what will be central to our diets as we navigate sustainability and local production? How will culinary science and technology shape what is on our plates? And how might we pair beers with such future fare?
“I’m a beach kid at heart and I couldn’t wait to get back to my roots on the west coast—Pelican offers the perfect fit. Today on the Oregon Coast we are so lucky to be able to source great quality, eco-friendly seafood and locally-harvested fresh produce—and Pelican has access to all of it,” says Micolino. “Working in this incomparable culture has inspired me to consider new and unique creations—and just in time for some fresh Spring surprises that pair beautifully with the perfect Pelican beers.”
As a tribute to the NC Moonshine of the mid 1800s and as a nod to the connection of Eastern NC’s Nash County and Western NC’s Ashe County, Gary Brown, founder and head brewer of Boondocks Brewing in West Jefferson, NC (Ashe County) and Cameron Schulz, founder and head brewer of Hopfly Brewing Company in Rocky Mount, NC (Nash County) joined forces in February to create an Apple Pie themed American Strong Ale. This unique hand crafted collaboration of only 5bbls was aged on French and American Oak Chips that had been conditioned with authentic Apple Pie Brandy Moonshine. This special treatment imparts well rounded boozy notes that balance out the sweetness of the apples and the slight bite of the spices used. A solid malty backbone provides for a solid 8.5% American Strong Ale.
A limited number of 22oz Bombers and 32oz Cans will be packaged in addition to kegs and will be available mid-April at Boondocks Brewing in West Jefferson and Hopfly Brewing in Rocky Mount.
It’s time to welcome another delicious installment to our Lee Hill Series – Volume 15, our Dry-Hopped Brett Saison. This new style drops Thursday, March 22nd at our Lee Hill Release!
Release: Thursday, March 22nd (5-9 pm) at our Lee Hill tap room. Be the first to try this one on tap or snag a can for your cellar, or both!
Raffle: Buy a full pour or a can of our guest of honor (Dry-Hopped Brett Saison) and receive a raffle ticket to enter in to win a pair of VIP passes to our 5th annual Upslope Get Down!
*Must be present to win. Announcing winner at 8pm*
Food:Samples Longmont food truck will be on site slinging some tasty food to pair with your beers!
19.2 ounce cans will be available for $10 (limit 6 per person). Price goes up the next day, so be sure to snag ’em early!
About the Beer
Last summer, we stashed away our Champagne Saison into an assortment of freshly emptied wine barrels and pitched Brettanomyces Claussenii yeast. After aging in the barrels for seven months, this funky Saison was dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin hops and naturally carbonated with champagne yeast inside each can. The Dry- Hopped Brett Saison’s crisp malt character and tight tannins complement its notes of pear, white wine, and pineapple
Lee Hill Series
Named after our original North Boulder brewery, the Lee Hill Series is our tribute and continued commitment to experimenting and crafting small batches of beer for YOU, our awesome, craft beer-loving fans.
This quarterly, limited release series celebrates experimentation and creativity. Served up in 19.2 ounce cans, the Series offers new and innovative styles that are sure to be cellar keepsakes!
DENVER – Combine your love of craft beer with a great cause at the second annual Hops for Home on Saturday, May 12th from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at Great Divide Bottling Hall (3403 Brighton Blvd., Denver CO 80216) benefitting Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. In partnership with 30 local craft breweries, Hops for Homes will raise funds for the 2018 House That Beer Built. All ticket sales will directly support Habitat’s partner families in the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea, and Westwood neighborhoods.
“The mission of this project is to bring the collaborative spirit of the craft brewing community together to do something great,” said Samantha Temple of Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. “Last year was a huge success and we are thrilled to do it again.”
Hops for Homes brings the collaborative spirit of the brewing community together to help raise funds to support local families through affordable homeownership. More than 800 beer lovers and Habitat supporters will come together with a goal to raise $30,000. This goal was created after the program raised $20,000 in last year’s inaugural Hops for Homes festival. The House that Beer Built has an overall goal to raise $60,000 in 2018 through festival ticket sales and other promotional events over the summer taking place in each partner taproom.
Brewery partners seek to give back to the community they serve by donating both time and resources to Habitat for Humanity. Breweries will host additional events throughout the summer to help reach the goal.
Participating breweries include: 4 Noses Brewing, Baere Brewing, Boggy Draw Brewing, Chain Reaction Brewing, Colorado Cider Co., Dead Hippie Brewing, Declaration Brewing, Diebolt Brewing, Dry Dock Brewing & The Brew Hut, Epic Brewing, Fiction Beer Co., Goldspot Brewing, Great Divide Brewing, Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project, Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery, Launch Pad Brewery, Little Machine Beer, Mockery Brewing, Odyssey BeerWerks, Our Mutual Friend Brewing, Peak to Peak Tap & Brew, Ratio Beerworks, Resolute Brewing Co., Seedstock Brewery, SomePlace Else Brewery, Spice Trade Brewing, Station 26 Brewing, Stem Ciders, Two22 Brew, Westfax Brewing Co., and Woods Boss Brewing Co.
“Denver has some of the most generous, collaborative and philanthropic local breweries who have been perfect partners to help us make an impact in the community” said Temple.
Sponsors for the event include: The Brewtography Project, DJ Connection, Molly’s Spirits, and Shirts on Tap, Renewal by Anderson Windows, High Point Artisan Brands, Alamo Drafthouse
Ticket packages for the event range in price from $10-50 and each package has a different set of perks. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.HabitatBeerBuild.org.
Photos can be downloaded here. Photo credit goes to Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver.
About Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver
Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization that seeks to build strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable homeownership. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver has served more than 800 families throughout its 39-year history in Denver. To learn more, visit www.habitatmetrodenver.org.
Due South Brewing Company is announcing that beginning in March, all packaged beer from the Boynton Beach brewery will be produced in 16 ounce cans. The move comes after months of successfully canning smaller runs of limited release beers in 16 ounce cans. This transition will include all year-round brands that were previously sold in 12 ounce packaging: Caramel Cream Ale, Category 3 IPA, Category 5 IPA, and Citrafied® Pale Ale.
The new packaging format coincides with a brand refresh featuring more prominent colors, silhouetted graphics, and brighter and cleaner white backgrounds. “These refreshed cans have been brought up visually to the same level as the awesome beers we make every day,” said Doug Fairall, Due South’s Brand Marketing Manager.
The veteran owned and operated brewery has been canning beer in 12 ounce packaging for years – producing over 2 million cans since 2014. Now, after improvements across the brewery, the opening of a new on-site air conditioned taproom, and the introduction of the easy-drinking Coastline Lager, the brewery felt prepared to create a branding refresh on their package.
“We’ve been working hard to get these prepared for our growing Florida market, and have been met with incredible support and optimism by our customers, as well as our distribution and retail partners,” said Fairall. “We are excited to be able to offer the experience of a full pint of our beer from a can.”
“Our fans will continue to be able to bring canned beers to the places their adventures take them across Florida.”
Consumers will be able to expect 16 ounce four packs to begin taking the place of previous 12 ounce can package as they get depleted at local stores.
The move also coincides with the establishment of new distribution partners across western Florida. Due South is excited to be partnering with Pepin Distributing, Great Bay Distributors, Gold Coast Eagle, Coastal Beverages, Peace River Distributing, and Suncoast Beverage.