It is still the biggest news to come out of the craft beer industry this year: Boston Beer Company purchased Dogfish Head Brewery for a reported sum of $300 million. The move merges the two brands under the collective roof of Boston Beer Company bringing together the 2nd (Boston Beer Co.) and 13th (Dogfish Head) biggest producers of craft beer in the U.S. It’s a massive move that caused shockwaves throughout the craft beer industry and beyond. Craft beer is no longer in its startup phase: It is big business, which sometimes warrants massive moves that can shift the entire trajectory of the market with it.
Of course, Boston Beer Company bringing the Dogfish Head brand onboard also comes with the totemic leadership of its founder, Sam Calagione, who will sit on Boston Beer Company’s Board of Directors. Calagione has always been an outspoken and vibrant voice in the craft beer community who frequently zigs where others zags and takes pride in the innovative spirit on which Dogfish Head has built its market share. With the new merger comes a new role for Sam and a new path for Dogfish. In the days following, beer drinkers have voiced valid concerns that the Dogfish brand might get diluted or complacent post-acquisition. True to form, Calagione thinks otherwise and is rather bullish on what the merger can do for his brewery.
I asked Sam five questions about what life looks like for Dogfish Head in a post-merger world, what beer fans can expect from the brewery, the collaboration opportunities that are now available with Boston Beer Company and more. Here’s what he said.
As a New Englander, born and bred, it might be in my blood to be drawn towards lighthouses. With their metaphorical meanings and physical presence, there’s just something incredibly fascinating about them. Between Allagash’s rich history of great craft beer and my soft spot for all things nautical, their recent release of Two Lights had my attention.
Folksbier Brauerei opened in early 2017 on a quiet street in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens neighborhood, just a stone’s throw from Other Half Brewing Company. While Other Half has had explosive growth with their constantly changing list of hazy IPAs, Folksbier’s model is quite different with a more consistent lineup focusing on traditional ales and lagers. This is not necessarily keeping up with the latest trends, but maybe that’s changing slowly.
Richmond, VA is known to some as a mecca for craft beer in the state for lovers. Ardent Craft Ales was originally started as a cooperative of homebrewers who wanted to get out of their kitchen and brew a little more seriously. To do so, they rented out a garage with a half-barrel system and started brewing every Sunday in said garage located in the Churchill region in the eastern side of the city.
The craft beer explosion in unique to everyone depending on location. Once the contracts are signed, state distributors awash the bottle shop shelves with rows of new possibilities. These beers become exciting mysteries; sold as 1 to 2 bottles per customer to get everyone’s attention to the hot new kid on the block. Years will go by, some breweries will go away, but others stay thanks to their long lasting quality. Maine Beer Company fits all these descriptors when it arrived in my state years ago.
With the 2019 release of Summer Landscape, Industrial Arts Brewing Company moves into the second year of its Landscape Series. These seasonal beers are meant to highlight New York State ingredients, and are entirely produced with materials grown within the state. This latest version is another success for the brewery.
When I moved to Los Angeles to attend college, one of the first and most common questions I was asked was “Where are your from?” My response would be “New York.” That would typically be followed up by something like, “Oh, I love the city! Which borough are you from?” Which would prompt me to clarify that I was from Upstate NY. This would bring about the question, “Oh, so like Buffalo?” Nope. That’s about six hours away. I would then tell them I was from the Albany area, hoping they learned their state capitals in primary school. Sometimes, I’d even have to use my hand as a makeshift map of the state, pointing out the various cities they’ve heard of to identify the Albany area.
In the heat of the summer, a beer ideally hits on three marks: refreshing, light, and delicious. Sometimes there are exceptions, like when a somewhat seasonal style–for example, a Stout–can’t be left alone for several months out of the year. Guilty. Similarly, nobody will blame you for drinking your wheat or sour beers throughout the entire year, either.
The Pinelands National Reserve, or Pine Barrens, crosses seven counties and encompasses a total of 22% of New Jersey’s land area with 1.1 million acres of National Reserve. More than 400,000 people live within 60 miles of the pines, as well. In fact, the area is so much more environmental and culturally diverse than the northern part of the state that people jokingly say it’s a different state entirely. The lush forested area creates a different way of life and Pinelands Brewing Company is located here in Tuckerton, New Jersey. Tucked within a vast line up of beers at PInelands Brewing is the always awaited, and incredibly popular, release of Paradise in the Pines.
IPA continues to be the biggest seller for craft brewers thanks to the focus and innovation U.S. craft brewers have put on the style and the fanaticism of the general craft beer drinker for the hoppy liquid. Drinking an IPA now is way different than it was a decade ago, primarily because there are so many different versions of it. The resinous and bitter West Coast-style has led to the New England-style, Brut and Milkshake styles—and everything in between. While many of the primary styles that appear in today’s craft beer lexicon stem from the east and west coasts, there is a new version of an IPA that could take the style to new heights—pun intended. Call it gimmicky, a marketing ploy or something in between but the Mountain-Style IPA has arrived.
Maine, the easternmost state in the United States, is commonly known for its rocky coastline, fresh lobsters, and, more recently, its booming craft beer industry. Portland, the state’s largest city, is home to many of the area’s most popular breweries. However, just over the bridge, nestled in a quiet residential neighborhood, lies Fore River Brewing Company.
While most of craft beer’s largest watershed moments have involved Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (ABI) acquisition of an iconic, previously independent craft brewery, yesterday’s merger between Boston Beer Company and Dogfish Head Brewery marked an equally resonant moment for the industry, that didn’t directly involve its biggest player.
It’s safe to say that 2019 will be a year that changed craft beer forever. Today Boston Beer Company, known for their iconic Sam Adams brand, and Dogfish Head Brewery, two of the country’s largest independent craft breweries, have announced …
After 24 years of production, Weyerbacher Brewing Company has announced the sale of 55 percent of the brewery to 1518 Holdings LLC, a Philadelphia-based private investment group, and has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Weyerbacher Brewing Company is best known for their high gravity beers. The brewery has a seasonal and year-round lineup that includes heavy hitters like Insanity at 13.3% ABV, Quad at 11.8% ABV, and TINY at 11.8% ABV, as well as more sessionable options like Last Chance IPA at 5.9% and Mellow Monks, a Belgian-style golden ale, at 4.5% ABV.
As a beer drinker, you’re familiar with wild ales. You’re familiar with saisons, too. But wild American saison may be new territory for you. For those unfamiliar to the term, it’s open to a lot of interpretation. This is where Art Dekkera from Springdale comes in. Springdale, an experimental offshoot of Jack’s Abby Brewing in Framingham, MA, is known for its wide variety of beers that range from IPAs to sours. So when they announced a new wild American saison, the style certainly sounded like a beer they would brew.
Strong as an ox.
Solid as a rock.
These phrases perfectly describe an up-and-coming brewery, Wallenpaupack Brewing Co. It’s situated in Hawley, PA, close to the third largest lake man-made lake in Pennsylvania; follow the coast and its 52 miles of shoreline will lead you to some fantastic beer. Lake Wallenpaupack is a major recreational destination in the Pocono Mountain region. However, it was lacking a place that brewed some solid brews. Siblings Becky and Christopher Ryman noticed the need for a brewery around the lake and decided to get to work on offering the area something unique.
I had the good fortune of recently visiting New York City for work. A place that I had not visited for more than ten years, when I was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed high school graduate. New York has been on my mind frequently over the last few years. One could argue that there is no better place to eat or drink in the world than New York – and thanks to our wonderful Northeast team feeding us a wealth of information of how to experience the craft scene in the city, I was in awe of my good fortune. I was finally going to be able to sip my way through the Big Apple properly for the first time.
Let me be clear: There is nothing fancy about this beer. No foraged fruit from the wooded land out back; no rare yeast secretly used; no pungent ingredients to overpower the palate. Plain and simple, the clean and crisp Low Bridge Lager is a delicious combination of the four essential elements of beer that Root Down Brewing Company let shine in this brew.
Pretty soon the days will become even longer and the temperatures will continue to get hotter. If you live in the mid-Atlantic, you also understand the oppressive humidity. Some of us are lucky enough to be born into this swamp state with a huge shoreline while others flock here in the summer. To battle the upcoming season, you’ll most certainly need a beer; I’d recommend Forgotten Boardwalk 1916 Shore Shiver.
After a few months of colder weather, are you longing for those warm, summer days with that delicious summer beer in hand? Well, Other Half‘s Mmn…Fruit Dream (Blackberry, Boysenberry, and Raspberry) will take you back to those warm summer months. Not to mention, if you’ve never tried one of Other Half’s beers and you’re a fan of Berliners, this series is one that you have to add to your list to try.