Now that our Northern California team has waded out of their post-California Craft Beer Summit comas, we can bring you all the fun goodies from this year’s CCBA! To kick the Summit off right there was a State of the California Craft Beer Industry session. Here we were shown the cold, hard, data facts of our State’s Industry—how craft beer is doing compared to other alcohols (spirits, wine) and who is drinking more craft beer (age wise), and also popular styles. It was awesome to see it broken down in such a way that everyone had their phones out to get photos of the slides! We left there pumped for what’s next and what our State is doing.
If you’ve been following the beer scene for more than a minute, you’ve probably have been disappointed and had one of your favorite beers has been discontinued, reformulated or may be moved to a limited release. If you’re a fan of Firestone Walker Brewing, there is no doubt that this has happened more than once over the last few years. Walker’s Reserve, Wookey Jack, Opal and Double Jack. This is a lineup of beers that most breweries would kill to have on their tap list. For Firestone Walker… discontinued, or have they been?
This time last year my wife and I were just settling into our new home in Sacramento. Being here only a few months, we had experienced quite a few of the craft breweries around the area, but hadn’t fully experienced all that the Golden State had to offer to the craft beer lover. Then we went to the Craft Beer Summit and we got the glimpse of the variety and quality of the craft beer in California.
If you met me about a decade ago, you’d never think “this girl is into craft beer.” I could be found with anything from Coors Light to Hypnotic in my hand; yes, I was obviously very cool. It wasn’t until I was introduced to Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale that I started to right my drinking ship and start learning about what craft beer really is.
My boyfriend’s parent’s always had a stocked beer fridge, hashtag goals, and would always have Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Bear Republic Racer 5, among other tasty beers. Trying new beers in a judgment-free atmosphere was great – no beer snobs to scoff at me for my current faves and describing beer in terms I understood.
This Saturday, Stone Brewing is throwing a party to celebrate its 22nd anniversary. And in addition to pouring Stone beer, Stone has hand-selected some of the best breweries in the world and invited them to join for an event with food, music, private tastings and the best place to drink beer in California this weekend. I’m making the pilgrimage from LA to San Marcos, and here’s all the information you’ll need to join in the fun.
Often when we find an inordinate volume of random beer news happening all at once, we’ll try to round them up as quick hitters to make sure to keep everyone in the loop. So in today’s edition of the roundup, we’ll touch on some bizarre decisions by Goose Island and Constellation, some release info as well as a great story on inclusion from an unlikely source.
We’ll kick things off with four equally bizarre moves from Constellation Brands, the beer conglomerate that owns Corona, Modelo, Ballast Point Brewing, Funky Buddha Brewing and the recently acquired Four Corners Brewing.
Last July, Lagunitas purchased 20% of Michigan-based Short’s Brewing Co. When it was announced, Short’s spokeswoman Emily Sullivan noted that the agreement was strategic and helped them grow their business through easier access to materials and packaging that a brewing behemoth like Lagunitas can offer. Now, we’re seeing the first real activation of the partnership, as brewers from both operations joined together for a Midwest meets West Coast collaboration: Passion Grass Session Ale made with passion fruit and lemongrass. The new creation is the first consumer-facing example of their partnership and is sure to appeal to beer geeks nationwide. Here are the details.
Anchor Steam®. Those two words serve as a metaphorical window into a world filled with a veritable wealth of American beer history.
To view Anchor Brewing is to observe three distinct stages of American brewing: 19th Century to Prohibition; the resurrection of American craft and the establishment of craft as a business worthy of significant investment. To drink the beer is to enjoy a historical brewing process that afforded West Coast brewers an ability to brew successfully without ice; it also helped remind later-twentieth-century beer drinkers that beer need-not be clearish-yellow and full of adjuncts.
Neither Vinnie nor Natalie Cilurzo are likely to read this piece about Russian River Pliny the Elder.
Not that it is anything personal; it is just that when you are in the nonstop process of brewing world-class beer while expanding from a 17,000 BBL system to a 70,000 BBL system, you tend to lack the time to Google yourself.
All the other “National ___ Day” celebrations can go home. I don’t need National Hot Dog Day or National Maple Syrup Day or National Hug a Cat Day (that’s a real thing and it’s June 4, by the way). What I need – what we all need – is National IPA Day. I plan on celebrating IPA Day with at least one of the two IPAs from Angel City Brewery, which is one of my favorite LA-based breweries and its IPAs are part of the reason.
To honor the special day, one can stroll into the Public House and order its DIPA and, as part of the celebration, get it in cans on August 6. (A few days late, but isn’t every day National IPA Day?)
Amongst the haze craze that has taken over the beer world this past year, I find myself gravitating towards sour ales more often than not; they are tart, refreshing, packed with flavor and tend to run a little lower in ABV—okay, I also don’t feel like I’m weighed down by tons of sugar! Don’t get me wrong, I love me some hazy IPAs but… when the temperatures are creeping up to 100 degrees I can’t pass up a sour beer!
Drake’s Brewing Co. was founded back in 1989 by Roger Lind in what was half of an old Chrysler Dodge factory powerhouse in San Leandro, CA. Back then, the brewery was named after Lind, Lind Brewing Company, and he brewed English-style ales. Lind built the original gravity-fed brewing system himself (10 barrels) but he left the brewery in 1998. Drake’s was owned by JBR Coffee Company from 1998-2008 and then John Martin, who Lind used to previously work for at Triple Rock Brewery, purchased Drake’s in 2008.
Burning Barrel Brewing is the vision of a father/son duo; Jack and Duncan Alexander. Jack, a longtime homebrewer, and Duncan are leading the way on the build-out of the brewery located within the Barrel District of Rancho Cordova, a city just east of downtown Sacramento. Rancho Cordova has embraced the “Maker Spirit” by creating its Barrel District, streamlining the process of opening a brewery — and more. The Barrel District currently includes six breweries, two distilleries, and one meadery.
Los Angeles-based Three Weavers Brewing has announced today that it will be joining Oskar Blues Brewing Company under the Fireman Capital-backed Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective. Today’s news comes less than a week after the announcement that Dallas-based Deep Ellum Brewing would also be joining the CANarchy family.
It’s not any sort of industry secret that Lagunitas Brewing Co. has been known to have an affinity for dankness. The Petaluma, CA-based brewery has had a storied history combining hops and cannabis into beer, which makes their recent announcement that much more exciting. Lagunitas has decided to take their groovy talents to the booming sparkling water market, with the introduction of their Hi-Fi Hops sparkling beverage. The new carbonated water drink is IPA-inspired and blends together hops with both THC and CBD, two chemical compounds found in cannabis.
It almost feels strange to discuss a beer that’s been around for more than a year, but who says beer writers must concentrate solely on new releases? So, as summertime reaches its apex, it seems fitting to discuss 21st Amendment Brewery (21A) Watermelon Funk.
Anyone that’s familiar with the craft beer scene knows that San Diego is one of the best places in the country to go for a beercation. The official number of breweries constantly fluctuates, but there are approximately more than 150 operational breweries in San Diego County. That number doesn’t count the numerous satellite taprooms that many breweries have around town.
One thing that’s great about the San Diego area is that with the seemingly endless amount of breweries there isn’t a bad place to start your brewery tours, regardless of where you’re staying. Many breweries you probably already know, such as Modern Times, Coronado, Karl Strauss, Stone Brewing, Pizza Port and, well, there are so many it’s hard to name them all. San Diego offers several, diverse beer experiences. For instance, North Park has smaller, cozier taprooms and Miramar has larger (and sometimes massive) production breweries. So, here is a quick guide to just a small number of the area’s numerous breweries — some you know, some that may be new to you. We hope it helps you when you visit San Diego.
If you were to ask someone in the Sacramento area if they’ve had a chance to visit a new brewery lately, you would most likely get the response, “Which one?” The rampant growth in U.S. breweries has not been lost on Sacramento. At last count, there are more than 70 breweries, tasting rooms and/or brewpubs open or in planning in the greater Sacramento area. You’ll get thirsty just trying to keep track.
There comes a time where something light is needed. Something airy for lakeside Saturdays or something just enough to take the edge off a stressful Wednesday without incidentally starting the weekend early. With the latest boom of IPAs, a sessionable IPA typically comes to mind. However, on my most recent Taco Tuesday outing, I decided to return to the first style of beer I eventually fell in love with: a light, golden lager. Or in this case, El Sully, the Mexican-style Lager from 21st Amendment Brewery.
I just got back from a weekend of epic proportions. World class beer, informative talks, great music, new friends, and an impressive brewery tour. The Firestone Walker Invitational is definitely the ultimate beer festival every beer fanatic should experience. While …