Craft Brewers Conference '15 Commemorative Beers

  
The Craft Brewers Conference opening session was held today in Portland. Upon registering, attendees received to a goodie bag which among other things, included a Rastal Teku beer glass and a commemorative conference beer. However, since this is Oregon, just one beer won't do...

The Brewers Association worked with the Oregon Brewers Guild to develop this year’s commemorative beer. With the Beaver State home to so many breweries, the guild decided to make CBC history and produce six different commemorative beers representing the coast, central Oregon, the Willamette Valley and Portland proper, which is represented by three different beers. Each beer is a collaboration among breweries from the area and a variety of industry suppliers who provided ingredients and packaging.
Based on the luck of the draw, I received a bottle of (We Had to Do a) NW IPA when I checked in. This beer was a collaboration between Ninkasi, Caldera, Double Mountain, Falling Sky, Flat Tail, Fort George, Mazama, and Oakshire. I'm not sure exactly how they collaborated. Maybe they took turns dumping various hop additions into the brew kettle. Regardless, these breweries know a thing or two about IPAs, so I expect it will be good.
For more details about each of the six beers, check out the details below.


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As you might have suspected, that's not an IPA in the glass...

Chucklehead (Central Oregon)
5.2% ABV
“A beer for all you craft beer drinking chuckleheads. This collaboration brew takes inspiration from Berliner Weisse, but we rooted it down in Central Oregon.  We mixed up the malt bill with Great pilsner, wheat, rye, raw farro and locally grown hard red spring wheat from Mecca Grade Estate Malt in Madras, Ore. Tartness is provided from a lactobacillus fermentation, and lemony, floral and sweet hop notes come from healthy additions of Oregon Meridians and Crystals. Additionally, we infused the aroma of our landscape with juniper berries and evergreen tips.”
Breweries:
Deschutes Brewery (host)
McMenamins Old St. Francis School Brewery
Three Creeks Brewing Co.
Worthy Brewing Company



The Spirit of the 90’s (Portland Metro)
A modern Northwest amber ale.
Brewers:
Breakside Brewery
Gilgamesh Brewing
Hopworks Urban Brewery (host)
Laurelwood Brewing Co.
Portland Brewing
Standing Stone Brewing Company

(We Had to Do a) NW IPA  (Willamette Valley)
7.3% ABV
Northwest India pale ale.
Breweries:
Caldera Brewing Company
Double Mountain Brewery
Falling Sky Brewing
Flat Tail Brewing
Fort George Brewery
Mazama Brewing
Ninkasi Brewing Company (host)
Oakshire Brewing

Imperial Blitz  (Portland Metro)
6.5% ABV
“It tastes like the greatest cheap beer you’ve ever had in the 1980s. Brewed in honor of the men and women of Portland’s original brewery, Blitz Weinhard.”
Breweries:
Baerlic Brewing Co.
Base Camp Brewing Company
Burnside Brewing Co.
Ecliptic Brewing (host)
Gigantic Brewing Company
Lompoc Brewing
Old Town Brewing
Widmer Brothers Brewing

Gose  (Portland Metro)
ABV: 4.5%
“This Gose was kettle soured with Lactobacillus brevisfrom Wyeast Laboratories and then fermented with Occidental’s house Kölsch yeast strain, and and uses Oregon sea salt to mimic the water profile originally used to make this style of beer. A drinkable and refreshing beer, this collaboration captures the collective styles of the contributing breweries.”

Breweries:
Ambacht Brewing
The Commons Brewery
Occidental Brewing Co. (host)
Stickmen Brewing Company

Cascadian Dark Lager  (Oregon Coast)
6.2% ABV
“A robust, hoppy and highly drinkable dark lager.”
Breweries:
Buoy Beer Co.
Heater Allen Brewing
Two Kilts Brewing Co.
Pelican Pub & Brewery (host)


Ommegang Three-Eyed Raven: Game of Thrones Beer #5


Game of Thrones fans have anxiously been awaiting tomorrow night's premiere of the 5th season of HBO's hit series. Brewery Ommegang has been producing a line of limited release Game of Thrones beers. Three-Eyed Raven, a Dark Saison, is the fifth and latest in the series. 
 "Push through the thick brambles and present yourself to the Three-Eyed Raven. Abiding in the shadows of the Three-Eyed Raven lies this deceptive Dark Saison. The ominous Three-Eyed Raven inspired us to brew a Dark Saison ale, a hybrid style open to brewer’s imagination. In the end it is neither a pure saison nor your typical dark beer, but instead a delectable blend that both deceives and thrills the senses." —Brewery Ommegang
I doubt they drink saisons in Westeros, but I expect this beer will be a fine accompaniment for watching tomorrow night's premiere.
My local Costco is selling bottles (750 ml) for $7.99. While tempting, I didn't buy one as my beer fridge is fairly well stocked. Instead, I think I'll pair the premiere with a nice imperial stout.
Enjoy the new season. I know I will!
 


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Ninkasi's Ground Control: Fermented with Space-Traveled Yeast


It seems like craft breweries are constantly trying to outdo each other and produce beers using new and unusual ingredients. With the release of Ground Control, I expect Ninkasi is the first on planet Earth to feature a beer made with "ale yeast sent into space."

The beer, an Imperial Stout made with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise, and cocoa nibs sounds pretty good on its own. But when you consider the space yeast, I expect this beer will be an out of this world experience.  Yeah, I had to do that...

Look for Ground Control beginning Monday, April 13. For more details, check out the news release below.


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NINKASI BREWING COMPANY INTRODUCES GROUND CONTROL, IMPERIAL STOUT FERMENTED WITH SPACE-TRAVELED YEAST
Ground Control Available in 22oz. Bottles at Select Retailers April 13, 2015


EUGENE, Ore.—March 17, 2015—Seven years after Ninkasi Brewing Company, an independent craft brewery based in Eugene, Ore., opened its doors, the brewery decided the sky was not the limit. In 2014, the brewery’s co-founders embarked on a new kind of mission – the Ninkasi Space Program (NSP), with one ultimate goal: send brewer’s yeast to space, return it to Earth and use it to brew delicious craft beer. After a successful rocket launch in October 2014 from Spaceport America, Ninkasi is proud to introduce Ground Control, an Imperial Stout brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise and cocoa nibs and fermented with an Ale yeast that survived a trip to space and back. Ground Control will be available April 13, 2015, in limited edition 22-ounce bottles at select retailers across the country.

“After almost two years of research, development, lab time, and two separate rocket launches to garner space yeast, we have finally completed our mission,” says Nikos Ridge, Ninkasi CEO and co-founder. “It was a project born out of passionate people coming together to try something new and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

In July, 2014, Mission One of NSP took flight as a rocket launched by the Civilian Space eXploration Team (CSXT) and Team Hybriddyne made its way to space, carrying 16 vials of brewer’s yeast. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the payload of yeast remained lost on the desert floor of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for 27 days, leaving the yeast not viable for brewing. In October, 2014, a second opportunity presented itself for Mission Two with private spaceflight corporation, UP Aerospace Inc.. This time, six vials of brewer’s yeast traveled 77.3 miles in altitude aboard a rocket, and returned safely to Earth. The result: healthy, hungry and viable yeast, ready for brewing. The yeast was cold-transported back to Ninkasi’s lab in Eugene, where it was propagated and tested before being used to ferment its first beer, Ground Control.

“This is all about exploring the future of brewing,” says Jamie Floyd, Ninkasi founding-brewer and co-founder. “While these groups are working to push the boundaries of access to space, we are hoping that our missions will help propel the brewing industry forward – well into the future.”

Ninkasi worked hand-in-hand with gig poster artist, Neal Williams to create the key art that inspired the label and special edition packaging for Ground Control. The Eugene-based illustrator and screenprinter whose works include concert posters for Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Matthew Band, Interpol, and The Head & The Heart, drew from his own fascination with space, sci-fi and retrofuturism to create the art behind the beer. Williams’ artwork will be featured on Ground Control merchandise, including limited edition serigraph posters, hand numbered and signed by the artist, available for purchase online.

Ground Control Stats: Ground Control boldly combines local and out-of-this-world ingredients. This rich, complex Imperial Stout is brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise and cocoa nibs, and fermented with an Ale yeast that survived a trip to space and back. Mankind will enjoy the sweet finesse of this beer that only fares better with time.

Style: Imperial Stout Brewed with Oregon Hazelnuts, Star Anise, Cocoa Nibs, and Ale Yeast Sent Into Space
Available: April 13, 2015
ABV: 10.0%
IBU: 80
OG: 1100
Malt: 2-Row Pale, Black, Chocolate, Munich, Crystal, Honey, Special Roast, Peated
Hops: Apollo, Bravo, Comet
Packaging: 22oz. Bottles
Distribution: Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Nevada; Oregon; Washington; Vancouver, British Columbia; and select retailers across the country.

Stay informed about the release of Ground Control by visiting nsp.ninkasibrewing.com or following @NinkasiInSpace on Twitter.

About Ninkasi Brewing Company: Founded in 2006 by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge, Ninkasi Brewing Company continues to grow from its first batch of Total Domination IPA, to two brewhouses, a 55-barrel and a 90-barrel brewhouse, located in Eugene, Ore.  Ninkasi’s Flagship beers—Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, Dawn of the Red IRA, Lux Helles Lager, Oatis Oatmeal Stout, and Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout—are sold throughout Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Nevada; Oregon; Utah; Washington; and Vancouver, British Columbia. The brewery remains privately-owned and is committed to community support and giving. Ninkasi’s Beer Is Love program offers in-kind donations and support for organizations throughout its footprint.
 
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The Commons Brewery Releases Maybelle


The Commons Brewery recently moved to its new brewery and taproom at 630 SE Belmont. Here are a few pictures from opening day.

If you haven't seen the new location, this is a great weekend to visit because The Commons is releasing Maybelle, a farmhouse ale aged in wine barrels with brettanomyces. I contacted Josh Grgas, Commons Brand Manager, to learn more about the beer's third release.

Q:  How does this year's version of Maybelle differ from previous releases?

Josh Grgas: This is the 3rd release of Maybelle. Each vintage has had a stronger brettanomyces profile - dry, earthy with a noticeable funkiness reminiscent of Drie Fonteinen beers.  #1 was clean, with light acidity and a touch of tropical fruit, #2 had a touch more acidity and a nice stone fruit brettanomyces profile. This year's is the most complex, with flavors ranging from oak to fruit to the aforementioned funk. 

Q:  How have previous releases evolved after spending time in the cellar?

JG:  The main difference I have noticed in cellaring Maybelle has been a tightening, or winding together, of the flavors. In this beer, time doesn't necessary create boldness, it just refines the flavors, similar to wine drinkers hope for cellared wine.

Sounds good to me. Pick up a bottle and give it a try!


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The Commons Brewery Releases Maybelle

Portland, OR – The Commons Brewery will be releasing it's first bottles at their brand new tasting room and brewery in Southeast Portland. Maybelle, farmhouse ale aged in white wine barrels with Brettanomyces, will be released as part of the Beetje Series on Saturday, April 11th, 12:00pm.

Brewed in August 2013 and initially fermented with our house farmhouse ale strain, Maybelle then spent 14 months in Adelsheim Vineyard white wine barrels with Brewing Science Institute Brettanomyces Bruxellensis variant Drei. The resulting beer is dry, with a soft acidity and complex brettanomyces aromatics. The flavors in this beer will continue to develop with cellar time.

Maybelle will be available in 750ml capped bottles for $10 per bottle and will be available on draft in limited quantities the weekend of the release. The beautiful label art was once again created by Adam Burke, brother of Head Brewer Sean Burke. More information about Adam Burke’s art can be found at: http://www.nightjarillustration.com.

The Beetje Series is a celebration of The Commons Brewery’s nano roots. First brewed in 2010 on a one-barrel system in Mike Wright’s garage, these small batch beers pay homage to the rustic brewery that continues to inspire us.

The Commons Brewery opened in December 2011 and crafts small batch, approachable and balanced beers inspired by European brewing tradition and Northwest-grown ingredients. The tasting room is located at: 630 SE Belmont St. Tasting room hours are Tuesday through Sunday, Noon to 10pm. For more information, contact Josh Grgas at josh@commonsbrewery.com.

Cascade Brewing's Sour and Wild Invitational

 
Next week, the Craft Brewers Conference will be held in Portland. This event is expected to bring more than 12,000 industry professionals to town. It will be an amazing week for beer in Portland. Actually, every week is amazing for beer in Portland, but this will be extra special.

As part of this great beer gathering, Cascade Brewing is partnering with the nation's leading producers of wild and sour beers to bring us the Sour and Wild Invitational on April 14-18.

Don't miss this opportunity to sample rare and limited release beers and blends. Many of these releases are not usually available in Oregon. For more details check the news release below.


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Cascade Brewing Announces Sour and Wild Invitational During Craft Brewers Conference


PORTLAND, Ore. – In celebration of the national Craft Brewers Conference taking place in Portland this month, Cascade Brewing will be hosting the inaugural Sour and Wild Invitational from April 14 to 18 on the production side of the Cascade Brewing Barrel House, 939 SE Belmont St.

The Sour and Wild Invitational will feature a number of exclusive Cascade blends alongside unconventional – and in some cases rare – sour and wild beers from breweries around the country. There will also be a limited food menu available, as well as a merchandise and bottles sale station. Hours for the event are 3pm to 11pm April 14-163pm to Midnight April 17 and Noon to Midnight on April 18. There is no admission to attend the event. Admittance will be limited to ages 21 and over.

The event will sell 8-oz pours of the specialty beers; payment is by cash or credit. The lineup will rotate throughout the five days. Following is an ever-growing list of guest breweries/beers that are scheduled to appear:

  • 7venth Sun Brewing, Dunedin, FL: Watermelon Berliner, Square Peg & Round Hole
  • Allagash Brewing Co, Portland, ME: Resurgam & Golden Brett 
  • Almanac Beer Co.San Francisco, CA: Farmer’s Reserve Strawberry & Rum Barrel Peche
  • Beachwood Brewing, Long Beach, CA: Tart Simpson 
  • Block 15 Brewing, Corvallis, OR: Peche & Golden Canary 
  • Crooked Stave, Denver, CO: Motif & Nightmare on Brett 
  • de Garde Brewing, Tillamook, OR: Special Rouge & Saison Deuxieme 
  • Epic Brewing, Salt Lake City, UT: Old Sage Brett & Golden Brett 
  • Green Bench Brewing, St. Petersburg, FL: Push It & Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Sour Stout 
  • Jester King Brewery, Austin, TX: Ol' Oi & Nocturn Chrysalis
  • Logsdon Farm Brewery, Hood River, OR: Seizoen Bretta & Cerasus
  • New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO: Love Blackberry Oscar & Love Cherry Felix
  • Night Shift Brewing, Everett, MA: Ever Weisse & Orion
  • Perennial Artisan AlesSt. Louis, MO: TBD
  • Real Ale Brewing, Blanco, TX: Tenebrae Aeterna & Imperium
  • Russian River Brewing, Santa Rosa, CA: Supplication & Beatification 
  • Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, Capitola, CA: Cellarman & Palimpsest 
  • The Bruery, Placentia, CA: Befuddlement & The Wanderer 
  • The Commons, Portland, OR: Citrus Myrtle 
  • The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, CA: Framboise de Amorosa & Cuvee de Tomme 
  • Trinity Brewing Co, Colorado Springs, CO: Koelorado, 365 Day & Red Swingline 
  • Upland Brewing, Bloomington, IN: VinoSynth White, VinoSynth Red, Dantalion & Permission Slip
  • Wicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, NC: Red Angel, Medora Blackberry Raspberry Sour & Genesis Blonde Sour
  • Cascade Brewing, which is known worldwide for its NW style sour ales, will be featuring dozens of its sour beers; some of the highlights include Cheri d’Amour, Cherry Bourbonic, Hibiscus Rose, Honeycot, Mad Mango, Manhattan 2013, Melon Melange, Pineapple Wheat, Shrieking Violet, Vintage 2011 Elderberry, Vintage 2012 Frite Galois and Vintage Blackberry 2009.
  • Cascade will also be selling vintage bottles of past favorites, including, but not limited, to Apricot 2012, Bourbonic 2011, Figaro 2012, Kriek 2012, Sang Noir 2012, Strawberry 2012, The Vine 2012 and Vlad the Imp Aler 2011.

The Cascade Brewing Barrel House will be open regularly scheduled hours and will operate independent of the Sour and Wild Invitational. For more information, visit www.cascadebrewingbarrelhouse.com or call 503-265-8603.

About Cascade Brewing
Established in 1998, Cascade Brewing is a pioneer of the Northwest style sour beer movement. Under the ownership of Art Larrance and the direction of brewmaster Ron Gansberg, the Portland, Ore. brewery eschewed the “hops arms race” of the Northwest and instead chose to focus on sour ales, employing local fruit and barrels from the region. Today it has grown from several oak wine barrels to more than 1,400. It also produces a number of non-sour beers in its SW Portland brewery. Cascade Brewing has two pubs, the Raccoon Lodge and Brew Pub in SW Portland and the Cascade Brewing Barrel House in SE Portland. The brewery currently distributes its bottled sour beers in California, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and British Columbia. For more information, visit www.cascadebrewing.com


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Portland Cider Company Opens Portland Cider House

 
Is Portland becoming Cidervana? In another great development for cider lovers, Portland Cider Company is opening a new taproom in SE Portland on Hawthorne Blvd. The Portland Cider House will feature 28 taps and will be family friendly. The grand opening is on Friday, April 10. I can't wait to check it out!


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Portland Cider Company Announces Grand Opening of Hawthorne Public Taproom

Oregon City, OR – The Portland Cider Company today announced the grand opening of “The Portland Cider House,” at 3638 Hawthorne Blvd on Friday, April 10th.

The 1300-square-foot location features 28 taps, offering Portland Cider Company ciders, along with select ciders from other regional craft cidermakers. All ciders are available in half pints, pints, flights and growler fills. 

The Portland Cider House is open to patrons of all ages and while it features a limited food menu, patrons are encouraged to bring in food from any one of the many of the excellent restaurants in the area.

The Portland Cider House is a follow on to the company’s tasting room at their production facility in Oregon City. “We have enjoyed a great deal of interest in our ciders at our Oregon City tasting room,” says Owner and Master Cider Maker Jeff Parrish. “It has been our desire from day one to open a unique public taproom devoted to promoting not just our ciders, but all the excellent craft ciders being produced in the northwest.  We are very excited about the results of our hard work.

The Portland Cider House feels like a step into a rustic, farmhouse cidery.  The décor features a bar and tables made from reclaimed wood out of a century old mill with cedar planking lining the walls. Original works from local artists are featured along with many cider related novelties that lend to a fun light hearted atmosphere. 

The Portland Cider House will be open daily at 11:00am.

About Portland Cider Company – The Portland Cider Company was started in October 2012 by an Oregonian and a family of British expats with the mission of bringing cider, handcrafted in the English tradition, to the Northwest. For more information, visit www.portlandcider.com



Costco's New Kirkland Signature Craft Beers

  
Costco has distributed their own line of Kirkland Signature Craft Beers for several years.  I recently learned that Costco is giving their private label craft beer a reboot. Their new variety pack will feature Pale Ale, dry-hopped IPA, Brown Ale, and a Blonde Ale.

Depending on where you live, you'll see "New Yorker Brewing Co." from Utica, New York or "Hopfen und Malz Brewing Co." from San Jose, California listed on the label as the brewery. TTB filings shows that New Yorker is really the F.X. Matt Brewing Co. and Hopfen un Malz is actually Gordon Biersch Brewing Co. Matt brews the Saranac line of beers. I profiled a Saranac winter beer variety pack a few years ago.

The Brown and Blonde Ale appear to be new to this incarnation of the variety pack. IPA and Pale Ale are included in the current pack, but these may be different recipes. I can't say for sure. I've reached out to Costco in the past to learn more about their beers, but they have historically declined to comment.

If you see these on Costco shelves in the future, give 'em a try and let me know what you think.


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Oregon Garden Brewfest Moves to June

  
The Oregon Garden Brewfest, now in its 11th year, is back! Traditionally held in April, the festival is moving to June 19-21, which happens to be Father's Day weekend. So consider this a great gift experience for the beer-loving Dad in your life!

Also returning is the Brewers Tasting Dinner, a six-course meal that pairs small plates with craft beer. To get an idea of what you can expect, here's my recap of last year's dinner.

For all the details including pricing for the festival, hotel packages, and the dinner, check out the news release below. Tickets for the tasting dinner are limited, so if you're interested, don't wait. I'm attending the festival and dinner again this year, as a guest of the OGB, and can't wait! It's always a great time and The Oregon Garden is always a stunning backdrop for the event!




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Oregon Garden offers perfect Father’s Day Gift, changes date of 11th annual Oregon Garden Brewfest to Father’s Day weekend
Tickets are on sale now for the Northwest’s most scenic beer festival

SILVERTON, Ore. — The Oregon Garden has announced a new date for its popular Oregon Garden Brewfest, presented by Growl Movement. The 11th annual event, traditionally held in the spring, will take place June 19 through 21 this year, coinciding with Father’s Day. The popular Willamette Valley festival will feature 130 handcrafted beers, ciders and mead from more than 65 different breweries from across the nation. Event hours are Noon to 11 pm Friday & Saturday, and Noon to 5 pm Sunday.

“We have moved Brewfest to June in hopes of better weather and to more fully showcase the beauty of the Garden,” said Brittney Hatteberg, regional marketing manager for The Oregon Garden. “We encourage guests to grab a beer and take it with them as they explore our 80-acres, and by mid-June the Garden will look spectacular.”

Located in the historic town of Silverton, just an hour’s drive from the Portland metropolitan area, the Oregon Garden Brewfest also features live music from a dozen regional bands on two stages, local food, and a Brewer’s Tasting Dinner. The Oregon Garden Brewfest is for ages 21 and over on Friday and Saturday; minors are welcome all hours on Sunday.

Admission ranges from $15 to $50, but all admission packages include a souvenir tasting glass and a number of tasting tickets; see ticket pricing and purchase in advance at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/oregon-garden-brewfest-2015-tickets-13448706443.

A full glass of beer costs four tickets, and a taster costs one ticket. Additional tasting tickets may be purchased for $1 apiece. Designated drivers pay a cover charge of $5 and receive a bottle of water. Parking at The Oregon Garden is $5 per car; free shuttles are available from various locations in Silverton.

The fourth annual Oregon Garden Brewer’s Tasting Dinner will take place on the eve of the festival, June 18 at 7 pm. This six-course dinner, which features small plates paired with local beers from six area breweries, is attended by participating brewers, industry insiders and a few lucky beer aficionados; a limited number of tickets will be made available to the public this spring.

The ideal way to enjoy the Brewfest is to book a room at The Oregon Garden Resort, a Moonstone Hotel Property located just steps away from the festival. Brewfest Packages starts at $239 and include accommodations, two 3-day admission passes to Brewfest (each pass includes a tasting glass and five tasting tickets), a food voucher for the Oregon Garden Resort’s food booth, a continental buffet breakfast and admission to The Oregon Garden. Packages can be booked at www.oregongardenresort.com/Packages.htm or by calling 503-874-2500


The Oregon Garden Brewfest is presented by Growl Movement and sponsored by Venti’s Café, Wave Broadband, Pepsi and The Oregonian/Oregon Live. For more information about the event, visit www.oregongarden.org/events/brewfest/.

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Top 50 Breweries of 2014, by Sales Volume


The Brewers Association just released its list of of Top 50 Breweries of 2014, based on sales volume. The list comes in two flavors (both shown below in their entirety).  The first list is for craft brewers only. To be clear, that is "craft" as defined by the Brewers Association.  See footnote 1 for the definition. The second list shows all brewers (including non-craft).

While the list is always interesting, the changes from the previous year are most intriguing. Here's what I observed when comparing (the craft list) from last year:

  • Last year's list showed how each brewery changed in rank vs. the prior year. This Rank Change metric was omitted this year.
  • D.G. Yuengling and Son, Inc. sits atop the craft brewers list. How did they perform last year? They weren't even on the list! How did that happen? It has to do with changes in the definition of craft. If you want more details, read Jason Notte's explanation
  • Notable Gainers in '14 vs. '13:
    • 21st Amendment  (+9)
    • Allagash  (+5)
    • Founders  (+9)
    • Long Trail (+8)
    • Stevens Point  (+9) 
    • Uinta  (+8)
  • Notable Decliners in '14 vs '13:
    • Abita  (-6)
    • Breckenridge  (-10)
    • Full Sail  (-8)
    • Lost Coast  (-6)
    • Ninkasi  (-6)
    • Rogue  (-5)
    • Shipyard  (-11)
    • Summit  (-5)
  • New to the list in 2014:  Minhas Craft Brewery, August Schell, Green Flash, Narragansett, Craftworks Restaurants & Breweries
  • Gone from the list in 2014:  Cold Spring Brewing Co., Blue Point (assimilated by AB), Sixpoint, BJ's Brewery, North Coast.

Given the rapid growth in craft beer, I expect breweries need to maintain strong growth just to maintain their positions on the list. It's a good time to be in craft beerhowever you define it!


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Brewers Association Lists Top 50 Breweries of 2014

Boulder, CO •March 31, 2015—The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers—today released its annual lists of the top 50 craft and overall brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume. Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 42 were craft brewing companies¹.

“The companies on this list include the vanguard of the craft industry,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “They are exposing new beer lovers to craft, opening new markets and creating opportunities for the entire category. As they continue to grow, so will the availability of innovative and high-quality beers produced for all to enjoy.”  

Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewing Companies
(Based on 2014 beer sales volume)

Rank
Brewing Company
City
State
1
D. G. Yuengling and Son, Inc
Pottsville
PA
2
Boston Beer Co
Boston
MA
3
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co
Chico
CA
4
New Belgium Brewing Co
Fort Collins
CO
5
Gambrinus
Shiner
TX
6
Lagunitas Brewing Co
Petaluma
CA
7
Bell's Brewery, Inc
Galesburg
MI
8
Deschutes Brewery
Bend
OR
9
Stone Brewing Co
Escondido
CA
10
Minhas Craft Brewery
Monroe
WI
11
Brooklyn Brewery
Brooklyn
NY
12
Duvel Moortgat USA
Kansas City & Cooperstown
MO/NY
13
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Milton
DE
14
Matt Brewing Co
Utica
NY
15
Harpoon Brewery
Boston
MA
16
Firestone Walker Brewing Co
Paso Robles
CA
17
Founders Brewing Co
Grand Rapids
MI
18
SweetWater Brewing Co
Atlanta
GA
19
New Glarus Brewing Co
New Glarus
WI
20
Alaskan Brewing Co
Juneau
AK
21
Abita Brewing Co
Abita Springs
LA
22
Anchor Brewing Co
San Francisco
CA
23
Great Lakes Brewing Co
Cleveland
OH
24
Oskar Blues Brewery
Longmont
CO
25
Shipyard Brewing Co
Portland
ME
26
Stevens Point Brewery Co
Stevens Point
WI
27
August Schell Brewing Co
New Ulm
MN
28
Summit Brewing Co
Saint Paul
MN
29
Victory Brewing Co
Downingtown
PA
30
Long Trail Brewing Co
Bridgewater Corners
VT
31
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
San Diego
CA
32
Rogue Ales Brewery & Headquarters
Newport
OR
33
Full Sail Brewing Co
Hood River
OR
34
Odell Brewing Co
Fort Collins
CO
35
Southern Tier Brewing Co
Lakewood
NY
36
Ninkasi Brewing Co
Eugene
OR
37
Flying Dog Brewery
Frederick
MD
38
Uinta Brewing Co
Salt Lake City
UT
39
Bear Republic Brewing Co
Cloverdale
CA
40
Left Hand Brewing Company
Longmont
CO
41
21st Amendment Brewery Cafe
San Francisco
CA
42
Allagash Brewing Co
Portland
ME
43
Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe
Eureka
CA
44
Troegs Brewing Co
Hershey
PA
45
Karl Strauss Brewing Co
San Diego
CA
46
Saint Arnold Brewing Co
Houston
TX
47
Narragansett Brewing Co
Providence
RI
48
Green Flash Brewing Co
San Diego
CA
49
Craftworks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc
Chattanooga & Louisville
TN/CO
50
Breckenridge Brewery
Denver
CO


Top 50 Overall U.S. Brewing Companies2
(Based on 2014 beer sales volume)

Rank
Company
City
State
1
Anheuser-Busch, Inc (a)
St. Louis
MO
2
Miller Coors (b)
Chicago
IL
3
Pabst Brewing Co (c)
Los Angeles
CA
4
D. G. Yuengling and Son, Inc
Pottsville
PA
5
Boston Beer Co (d)
Boston
MA
6
North American Breweries (e)
Rochester
NY
7
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co
Chico
CA
8
New Belgium Brewing Co
Fort Collins
CO
9
Craft Brew Alliance (f)
Portland
OR
10
Gambrinus (g)
Shiner
TX
11
Lagunitas Brewing Co
Petaluma
CA
12
Bell's Brewery, Inc (h)
Galesburg
MI
13
Deschutes Brewery
Bend
OR
14
Stone Brewing Co
Escondido
CA
15
Sleeman Brewing Co (i)
LaCrosse
WI
16
Minhas Craft Brewery (j)
Monroe
WI
17
Brooklyn Brewery
Brooklyn
NY
18
Duvel Moortgat USA (k)
Kansas City & Cooperstown
MO/NY
19
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Milton
DE
20
Matt Brewing Co (l)
Utica
NY
21
Harpoon Brewery
Boston
MA
22
Firestone Walker Brewing Co
Paso Robles
CA
23
Founders Brewing Co
Grand Rapids
MI
24
SweetWater Brewing Co
Atlanta
GA
25
New Glarus Brewing Co
New Glarus
WI
26
Alaskan Brewing Co
Juneau
AK
27
Abita Brewing Co
Abita Springs
LA
28
Anchor Brewing Co
San Francisco
CA
29
Great Lakes Brewing Co
Cleveland
OH
30
Oskar Blues Brewery
Longmont
CO
31
Shipyard Brewing Co (m)
Portland
ME
32
Stevens Point Brewery Co (n)
Stevens Point
WI
33
August Schell Brewing Co (o)
New Ulm
MN
34
Summit Brewing Co
Saint Paul
MN
35
Victory Brewing Co
Downingtown
PA
36
Long Trail Brewing Co (p)
Bridgewater Corners
VT
37
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
San Diego
CA
38
Rogue Ales Brewery & Headquarters
Newport
OR
39
Full Sail Brewing Co
Hood River
OR
40
Odell Brewing Co
Fort Collins
CO
41
Southern Tier Brewing Co
Lakewood
NY
42
Ninkasi Brewing Co
Eugene
OR
43
World Brews/Winery Exchange (q)
Novato
CA
44
Flying Dog Brewery
Frederick
MD
45
Pittsburgh Brewing Co (r)
Pittsburgh
PA
46
Uinta Brewing Co
Salt Lake City
UT
47
Bear Republic Brewing Co
Cloverdale
CA
48
Left Hand Brewing Company
Longmont
CO
49
21st Amendment Brewery Cafe
San Francisco
CA
50
Allagash Brewing Co
Portland
OR

The Association's full 2014 industry analysis, which shows regional trends and sales by individual breweries, will be published in the May/June issue of The New Brewer, available in May 2015.

For additional statistics, see the Brewers Association’s craft brewing statistics for 2014.

1 An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. SmallAnnual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. IndependentLess than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. TraditionalA brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.

2 Top 50 U.S. Overall Brewing Companies notes: (a) includes Bass, Beck’s, Blue Point, Bud Light, Budweiser, Busch, Goose Island, Landshark, Michelob, Rolling Rock, Shock Top and Wild Series brands. Does not include partially owned Coastal, Craft Brew Alliance, Fordham, Kona, Old Dominion, Omission, Red Hook and Widmer Brothers brands; (b) includes A.C. Golden, Batch 19, Blue Moon, Colorado Native, Coors, Keystone, Killian’s, Leinenkugel’s, Miller and Tenth & Blake brands; (c) includes Pabst, Schlitz and 28+ other brand families; (d) includes Alchemy & Science and Sam Adams brands. Does not include Twisted Tea or Angry Orchard brands; (e) includes Dundee, Genesee, Labatt Lime, Magic Hat and Pyramid brands; (f) includes Kona, Omission, Red Hook and Widmer Brothers brands; (g) includes BridgePort, Shiner and Trumer brands; (h) includes Bell’s and Upper Hand brands; (i) includes Sleeman and Sapporo brands; (j) includes Mountain Crest and 10 other brand families; (k) includes Boulevard and Ommegang brands; (l) includes Flying Bison, Saranac and Utica Club brands; (m) includes Casco Bay, Sea Dog and Shipyard brands; (n) includes James Page, Point and Whole Hog brands; (o) includes Grain Belt and Schell’s brands; (p) includes Long Trail, Otter Creek, The Shed and Wolaver’s brands; (q) private label brands, primarily for grocery store chains; (r) includes Iron City and 17 other brand families.

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About the Brewers Association
The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S.