Hopworks' 2nd Annual Handmade Bike & Beer Festival

Hopworks' 2nd Annual Handmade Bike & Beer Festival opens tomorrow. Formally known as BiKETOBEERFEST, the festival was renamed last year when it began showcasing handmade bikes.

While there are countless beer festivals in Portland, this is one of my favorites because it's very family friendly. Check out the video I made at last year's event (posted below) to get an idea of what you can expect.

In addition to featuring offerings from many local breweries and cideries, Hopworks will serve many of their own beers, including one-off barrel aged versions. Here's the taplist of Hopworks beers.

  • Abominable Winter Ale – Our cult classic winter seasonal!
  • Cinnabom – Imperial Abominable aged on Cinnamon
  • Cedarbomb – Imperial Abominable aged on Cedar tips
  • Sour Belgian Pale Ale – Aged for a year in barrels, this is the first release from our new sour barrel program
  • B-Side EP – Sour Peach Ale collaboration with New Belgium
  • Fest of Fury – Fresh hop Märzen lager brewed with Salmon-Safe Willamette hops from Goschie Farms in Silverton, OR.
  • Nonstop Hef Hop – 3.9% session wheat beer with big hop aroma and flavor
  • HUB Lager – Our classic organic lager
  • Hopworks IPA – Organic IPA with massive NW hop character
  • Salt N Pepa – Szechuan peppercorn Gose with Jacobson’s cherrywood smoked salt
  • Pig War White IPA – Get a final look at our refreshing summer seasonal before it disappears for the year!
  • Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster – Galactic Imperial Red aged in Pinot Noir barrels
  • Big Poppa – Our Notorious F.I.G, a Belgian Strong Dark with figs aged in Woodford Reserve barrels
  • Under Pressure – Eis Eis Baby, an ice distilled Dopplebock, aged in Woodford Reserve barrels

For more details, including hours and pricing, check out the full press release below.

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Handmade Bike & Beer Festival Opens October 3-4

The Handmade Bike & Beer Festival is one of the most exciting festivals in the city of Portland. It is a weekend-long event featuring the renowned bike frame and parts builders living in our region, and the craft beer industry that makes Portland the best beer city in the country. This family-friendly festival runs October 3-4 in our covered, festival event space. 

Now in its second year, the fest is a mash-up of two of Portland’s favorite fall events – HUB’s Biketobeerfest and the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association’s (OBCA) Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show. 

The festival features over thirty custom bike-frame builders, local hand-crafted beer from a variety of breweries, excellent Hopworks’ food specials, and fun and games for all. Activities include the classic “Huffy Huck bike-throwing competition, New Birth Break Dancers, Flatlanders BMX stunt crew, and adult-sized trikes.

The Handmade BIke & Beer Festival takes place Hopworks Urban Brewery, at 2944 SE Powell Blvd.

Times of Festival:
October 3 | 12-9m
October 4 | 12-5pm

Purchase your tickets here: tinyurl.com/hbbftickets2015
$10 = Entry to the festival
$25 = Entry + commemmorative glass + 15 drink/food tickets
$40 = Entry + glass + 15 tickets + t-shirt
$45 = Date Night at HBBF – 2 entries + 25 tickets + 2 glasses
$10 = Packet with ten extra tickets

Kids 15 and under are free
A 4 oz. beer taste is 1 ticket, or 2 tickets for Imperial beer. A pint is 4 tickets and food items run between 1 – 8 tickets. We love our furry friends, but we apologize that dogs are not able to attend HBBF. Thanks in advance for your understanding.

Bike Builders and Vendors:
Bike Friday, Black Magic Paint, Breadwinner Cycles, Caylor Cycles Retooled, Cielo/Chris King Precision, DiNucci Cycles, Framebuilder Supply, Helavna Cycles, Henry James Bicycles, Hi Fi Sound Cycling Components, Igleheart Custom Frames and Forks, Karl Edwards Illustration, Machine Bicycle, Magic Cycle Werks, Mahall Bikeworks, Mjolnir Cycles, Muirandessi Cycles, Norther Cycles, Paul Component Engineering, Pioneer Bicycle, Portland Fender Company, Rain Bicycles, Risse Racing Technology, Rolf Prima, Strawberry Bicycle, Thursday Bicycles, Ti Cycles, United Bicycle Institute, Zen Bikes, and more to come.

Beer and Cider:
Breweries and Cideries include Base Camp Brewing, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Laurelwood Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, pFriem Family Brewers, Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, The Commons Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Worthy Brewing, and more to come.

Kells' Third Anniversary and New Bottled Beers

Kells Brew Pub just announced some exciting news! First, they're celebrating their 3rd anniversary on Saturday, September 19. You can enjoy $3 Kells beers all day at their Northwest Portland pub. Even more exciting, is the news that they'll begin to release their three flagship beers in bottles. You'll soon enjoy 12 oz. six packs of Kells Irish Red, Kells Irish Lager, and Kells IPA. For all of the details, check out the news release below.

Congrats to the Kells crew on these big milestones! Sláinte!

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Image courtesy of Kells Brew Pub

Kells Brew Pub marks third anniversary with daylong celebration; announces bottling of flagship line of beers

PORTLAND, Ore. – Kells Brew Pub is observing its third anniversary in Northwest Portland this month and the pub and brewery is marking the occasion with a daylong celebration on Saturday, Sept. 19 from Noon to Midnight.

The event will feature $3 Kells beers all day, including its three flagship beers – Kells Irish Red, Kells Irish Lager and Kells IPA – as well as its stout on nitro and current seasonals. To complement the beer, head chef Travis Stark has created $3 Kells bites for the day: a stuffed lamb slider, a falafel slider and meatballs topped with Kells stout sauce. 

The celebration will feature live music by Bridgid's Cross from 6 to 8 p.m. and local favorite Sami Rouissi from 9 p.m. to Midnight. There is no cover charge. At 7 p.m., owner Gerard McAleese and lead brewer and pub manager Garrett McAleese, will raise a toast in honor of the occasion.

The event will also serve as the release party for the brewery’s newly bottled beers. For the first time since its inception, Kells is bottling three of its products: its Red, Lager, and a rotational IPA (the initial version is dry-hopped). The brewery will bottle 20 bbls of its Lager, 10 bbls of its Red and a pallet of IPA on Sept. 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Going into retail is a big shift for us, but one we’ve always had our eye on,” explained Garrett McAleese. “Our brewery has grown since day one and demand for our draft beer has always kept us busy, but we decided it was time to take the next step.”

With a motto of “Irish Roots, Oregon Brewed,” the labels feature traditional Irish imagery, including a shamrock for the IPA, the Tower of Kells for the lager, and a red hand for the Red; a nod to the Northern Irish heritage of the McAleese family. The Red Hand of Ulster is a symbol used to denote an Irish tale in which a Viking longboat war party, closing in on the shores of Ulster, promised the first man to touch land full possession of the territory. On board was an Irish mercenary who severed his hand with his sword and threw the bloody hand ashore.

Kells will be bottling every quarter; the brewery will likely add seasonals to the rotation next summer. The brewery will sell its brown longneck bottles in crafted six-packs that will retail for $11.49. Garrett McAleese noted that if the brewery keeps growing at its continued pace and the retails takes off, a production brewery will be inevitable.

Located at 210 NW 21st Ave., Kells Brew Pub is open to all ages from 11:30 a.m. to close Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to close on weekends. For more information, visit www.kellsbrewpub.com or call 503-719-7175.

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Willamette Week's Pro/Am

Willamette Week is hosting its 3rd Beer Pro/Am. This unique festival pairs 20 professional and home brewers who partner to create a festival full of unique, one-of-a-kind beers! The $27 entry fee includes admission, a pint glass, samples of ALL the beers, plus a Chipotle burrito!

The event will be held from 1-6 pm on Saturday, October 3. For more details, check out the event Facebook page and the news release below. Click here to purchase tickets.

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Not Your Typical Beer Festival
Willamette Week's Beer Pro/Am

Willamette Week's Beer Pro/Am returns for year three! Professional brewers and home brewers team up to create never-been-brewed beers and vie to win People's and Judge's Choice Awards. Guests taste 20 beers (at one price with no cumbersome token system), meet the brewers who made them, groove to music byDJ Short Change, network at vendor booths and enjoy good company under the roof of The North Warehouse (723 N Tillamook, previously Metalcraft Fabrication). Not to mention the fun addition of the Retro Gaming Lounge Presented by Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade and Portland Retro Gaming Expo!

This is not your typical beer fest. WW's Beer Pro/Am is a chance to try experimental and unique brews you can't get elsewhere. Join us for one of Portland's most creative beer events.

Want to volunteer? State your interest in a quick note to beer@wweek.com.
Want to sponsor? Email sbarnhart@wweek.com. Limited spots remain!


Saturday, October 3, 1:00 - 6:00 p.m.
The North Warehouse, 723 N Tillamook Street
21+ only, $27

Brewer Roster:
Tracy Hensley with 10 Barrel (Whitney Burnside)
Bill Schneller with 13 Virtues (David Vohden)
Beau Evers with 54-40 & Vertigo Brewing (Bolt Minister)
Paul Key with Baerlic Brewing Co. (Ben Parsons & Rik Hall)
Larry Clouser with Breakside (Ben Edmunds)
Alex Graham with Buckman Botanical (Danny Connors)
Tony Coulombe with Buoy (Kevin Shaw)
Cullen Conway with Coalition (Elan Walsky)
Jim Sullins with Culmination (Tomas Sluiter)
Chad Graham with Ecliptic Brewing (John Harris)
Dean Ehnes with Ex Novo (Jason Barbee)
Josh Huerta with Fat Heads (Mike Hunsaker)
Jackie Dodd with Fort George (Jack Harris)
Martin Cizmar & Parker Hall with Lompoc (Bryan Keilty)
Matt Dinsmore with Montavilla Brew (Michael Kora)
Simon Hannes with Pints (Alan Taylor)
Aaron Hill with Unicorn Brewing Co. (Jay Webb)
Ritch Marvin with Upright (Alex Ganum)
Warren Holmes with Uptown Market Brewery (Tyler Staples)
Mike Whitmarsh with Widmer (Ben Dobler)

33 Bottles of Beer: Lunar Eclipse Special Edition

On Thursday, September 27, we'll be treated to a full lunar eclipse. It's a special event that calls for a special beverage. Dave Seldon wants you to have a beera very dark beer. One that's black as night.

Dave Seldon is the founder of Portland-based 33 Books Co. Dave launched his company with 33 Bottles of Beer, a pocket-sized beer tasting journal. It was a successful idea that exploded in popularity. In addition to beer, 33 Books has published tasting journals for a wide variety of artisan food and beverage categories including wine, cigars, chocolate, scotch, cheese, coffee, champagne, oysters, hot sauce, and wait for it—doughnuts! I hope and pray that 33 Slices of Bacon will soon come to fruition!

Anyway, in honor of the upcoming lunar eclipse, Dave is releasing 33 Bottles of Beer: Lunar Eclipse Special Edition (only 500 sets were printed). I'll let Dave explain...

Black as Night. Black as Stout.

A total lunar eclipse visible from the Western Hemisphere will take place on September 27, 2015, the last we'll see in many moons. In honor, I recommend drinking something dark. 

I've been aging these limited-edition books in a beer barrel that was originally used to age American whiskey. The books have a pronounced aroma that I think you'll find goes particularly well with big stouts and the movement of celestial bodies.

Yes, the books do actually have a light aroma of whiskey. Dave's suggestion sounds like a great one! I think the total eclipse will be the perfect opportunity to unearth an imperial stout from my crawlspace. I think a bottle of The Abyss '11 from Deschutes will be an excellent choice to break in my Lunar Eclipse Special Edition.

To learn more about 33 Books Co. and to see the full line of tasting journals, maps, and other goodies, please visit the 33 Books website.

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Ninkasi's Hop Harvest Tour at Sodbuster Farms

Hop harvest season is in full swing! Beer lovers in the Northwest should be proud to know that most of our nation's hops are grown in Oregon and Washington. Two weeks ago, Ninkasi Brewing Co. invited me to join them on a tour of Sodbuster Farms, in Salem. Sodbuster grows twelve varieties of hops and has been family-owned and operated for five generations!

As part of the harvest process, hop bines (which grow up to 25 feet high in a single season) are first cut down. Next, the hops are mechanically separated from the bines, dried and packaged. In order to harvest at the peak of ripeness, hop growers run their operations around the clock during the short 4-5 week season.

During the past four years,  I've made annual visits to local hop farms during harvest. The sights, sounds, and especially the smells never get old! I think the pictures explain why, so I'll let them do the talking...

Thanks to Ninkasi and Sodbuster Farms for a great day—and plenty of delicious beer!

Jubilant Jamie Floyd, Ninkasi Co-Founder and Brewmaster

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McMenamins' Edgefield Blackberry Cider

In addition to beer, McMenamins also produces wine and hard cider. I knew of their wine, but I wasn't aware of their cider until they invited me to pick up a sample mini-growler of their seasonal Edgefield Blackberry Cider.

While I enjoy ciders, I like them fairly dry. So I'm always a bit leery of fruit flavored ciders because they tend to veer towards the sweet side. Here's McMenamins' description:

"As the seasons change, so does our specialty cider, crafted at Edgefield Winery. Dark garnet in color, the aroma of fresh blackberry bursts from the glass. The tart blackberry component is balanced out by a small amount of residual sugar, with a hint of apple as well."

I was pleasantly surprised by what I tasted. While it was sweet, as expected, it was nicely balanced by a near mouth puckering tartness. McMenamins' description of this cider is spot on. It has loads of blackberry aroma and flavor. It doesn't taste like an apple cider with blackberry. Instead, it's more like a blackberry cider with a bit of apple.

If you're a fan of blackberry, you should give this a try. It's available now through the end of October at McMenamins' pubs and restaurants.

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Ninkasi Fall Releases

Fall is quickly approaching and Ninkasi is preparing to release two beers that are perfect for the season. First up, is Noir, a coffee milk stout made with cold brewed coffee and lactose, which adds a creamy mouthfeel to the beer.

Next up is Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh'r. It's an amped up version of Sleigh'r, a perennial wintertime favorite, with the addition of organic pumpkin and brown sugar. I wrote about Sleigh'r a few years ago, and think it will be the perfect canvas for a pumpkin beer. I also expect this beer will age quite well!

The autumn beer season is short, so be sure to check these out soon!  For more details, check out Ninkasi's news release below.

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NINKASI BREWING COMPANY announces NEW fall Special Release and Rare & Delicious Beers
Noir Coffee Milk Stout and Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh’r, In Bottles and On Draft This September

EUGENE, Ore.—Aug. 26, 2015—Ninkasi Brewing Company crafts up two new releases to help welcome the cooler months, capturing favorite flavors of the season. This September, craft beer drinkers will find Noir, a Coffee Milk Stout, and Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh’r, a Dark Doüble Alt Ale with pumpkin and brown sugar, in bottles and on tap.

Featuring two distinct brews of the Pacific Northwest, Ninkasi introduces Noir, a Coffee Milk Stout to its Special Release Series. “I have been brewing beers with coffee since the mid-nineties and have always loved the rich creaminess milk sugar imparts on beers and how it melds with coffee,” says Jamie Floyd, Ninkasi founding brewer and co-founder. “Last year, we collaborated on a Coffee Milk Stout with Sierra Nevada and enjoyed the beer so much, we decided to brew one of our own.” 

Brewed with rich, roasted malts and blended with smooth cold brewed coffee from Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters, this beer is a satisfying take on a Milk Stout. “The cold brew process allows this beer to have a delicious coffee flavor without the added acidity,” adds Floyd. Noir can be found in 22-ounce bottles, Ninkasi’s 12-ounce Variety 12-Pack, and on draft September through December. 

For the pumpkin beer lovers, Ninkasi introduces Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh’r to its Rare & Delicious Series. Serving up a fall-time rendition of the brewery’s winter seasonal, this Imperial Dark Doüble Alt Ale is brewed with 300 pounds of organic pumpkin and a generous helping of dark brown sugar.

“Last year we brewed Imperial Sleigh’r and quickly realized it would be the best base for a pumpkin beer,” explains Floyd. “This beer is bigger and bolder with the addition of organic Willamette Valley-grown Pumpkin from Stahlbush Island Farms and a dose of brown sugar for caramelization to round out the flavors.” Featuring artwork by Ninkasi’s Artist in Residence, Neal Williams, Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh’r will be available in exclusive 22-ounce bottles and on draft starting in September.


Noir blends two signature brews of the Pacific Northwest: coffee and beer. This coffee milk stout combines roasted malts with smooth cold brewed coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters. A subtle sweetness from milk sugar (lactose) makes this beer reminiscent of the most satisfying cup of joe; distinctive and delectable.

  • Style: Milk Stout with Cold Brewed Coffee
  • Available: Sept. – Dec. 2015
  • ABV: 7.6%
  • IBU: 60
  • OG: 1082
  • Malt: 2-Row Pale, Munich, Chocolate, Crystal, Brown, Black, Rice Hulls
  • Hops: Nugget
  • Packaging: 22oz. Bottles, 12oz. Variety 12-Pack, Draft
  • Distribution: Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Nevada; Oregon; Texas; Utah; Washington; Vancouver, British Columbia.

Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh’r

The wicked stepbrother of Sleigh’r hits the town this fall. A burly 300 pounds of organic pumpkin and an ample helping of dark brown sugar were added to each batch, creating a sweet aroma, smooth mouthfeel and a warm finish plus all the toasted malt complexity Sleigh’r is known for. The legend of Sleigh’r lives on!

  • Style: Imperial Dark Doüble Alt Ale with Pumpkin and Brown Sugar
  • Available: Sept. 2015 – Depletion
  • ABV: 9.0%
  • IBU: 70
  • OG: 1089
  • Malt: 2-Row Pale, Crystal, Munich, Carahell, Roasted Barley, Chocolate
  • Hops: Nugget
  • Ingredients: Organic Pumpkin Puree, Dark Brown Sugar
  • Packaging: 22oz. Bottles, Draft
  • Distribution: Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Nevada; Oregon; Utah; Washington; Vancouver, British Columbia.

Learn more about Ninkasi’s full lineup of beers atwww.ninkasibrewing.com/delicious/beers.

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; Texas; 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.

For more information, call 541.344.2739 or visit www.NinkasiBrewing.com


Ninkasi & Maletis' Funds For Firefighters

Drink beer, support a great cause! Does it get any better than that? Ninkasi and Maletis Beverage are teaming up for an awesome fundraiser during the entire month of September. For every keg of Ninkasi beer sold in Portland and surrounding areas, Ninkasi and Maletis will donate $5 to Portland Firefighters Association, Local 43.

So how can you help support this great charity? Just order some Ninkasi beer on tap at your favorite bar, taphouse, or growler fill station during the month of September! For more details, check out the news release below.

Cheers to the firefighters who risk their lives everyday to keep us safe!

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During the Month of September, $5.00 of Every Ninkasi Keg Sold in Portland and Surrounding Areas will be Donated to Portland Firefighters’ Association, Local 43

EUGENE, Ore.—Aug. 25, 2015—Ninkasi Brewing Company has teamed up with Portland-area wholesale partner, Maletis Beverage to offer a month-long give-back program in support of Portland Firefighters’ Association, Local 43, called “Funds for Firefighters.” For every Ninkasi keg sold in Portland and surrounding areas during the month of September, five dollars will be donated to support the work that Local 43 does to serve its community.

“It is an honor to be given the chance to partner with the Local 43 and to bring community together in support of the men and women who watch over us,” says Ryan Brentley, Ninkasi Portland Market Manager. 

“We are thrilled to be working with two great companies,” says Alan Ferschweiler, President of Portland Firefighters Association, Local 43. “The donations will go directly into our charitable fund which helps us to comfort families of fallen firefighters, provide children in need with warm winter coats and help our members actively participate in our communities we serve when a need arises.”

“Maletis Beverage is privileged to champion Ninkasi’s efforts in supporting Local 43; we are very proud to assist in the initiative,” adds Tim Kennedy, VP of Craft/Import and Wines Sales for Maletis Beverage.

To participate in the program, beer drinkers are encouraged to order Ninkasi on-tap during the month of September throughout the greater Portland area. Locations that serve Ninkasi can be found by visiting: http://www.ninkasibrewing.com/delicious/beer-finder.html.

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. 

For more information, call 541.344.2739 or visit www.NinkasiBrewing.com


Afternoon at the 11th Annual NAOBF

Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I took our two boys to Overlook Park to attend the 11th Annual North American Organic Beer Festival. It has become an annual tradition for usand for many families. This year, I noticed what seemed to be an even larger number of families with young children. It's easy to understand why.

Overlook Park has huge, wide open spaces for kids to play. The vibe is anther reason. This is the most relaxed beer fest I've ever attended. Everyone just chills. Oh yeah, free Crater Lake Root Beer and Orange Cream Soda (new this year) are sure to lull your kiddos into a sugur-induced euphoria! This year, festival organizers placed plenty crayons, playing cards, and games in the table tent. It was great to see people enjoying those, rather than glaring at their phones.

Also new this year is the Merchant du Vin Organic Bottle Garden, where a variety of bottled Samuel Smith's and Pinkus organic beers are being served.

I tasted 15 different beers, ciders, and a braggot during my visit. I'd like to give a special shout-out to McMenamins for two of their barrel aged beers. Oaken Tower Barrel-Aged Ginger Beer from Crystal Brewery and Double Barrel-Aged Pavol the Collector (Baltic Porter) from Edgefield Brewery are exceptional! They're each just a single token, so don't miss them! You can view or download the full event program and beer list here.

The rain is now gone, and the forecast is perfect for the rest of today and tomorrow. Don't miss it! Visit the festival website for more details.

What were your favorites from NAOBF '15?

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Craft Production Volume and Brewery Growth: Trouble Brewing?

If you're a beer geek, you're well aware that the craft beer industry continues to boom across the country. New breweries continue to open at breakneck pace. Every day new taprooms, brewpubs, and growler fill stations are serving the insatiable demand. The Brewers Association recently released data that shows the extent of the growth in the craft beer market (see the end of this post for the BA definition of "craft").

Production Volume:  Total mid-year craft production volume grew to 12.2 million barrels. This represents a 15.1% increase from last year.

Brewery Count:   699 new breweries opened their doorsa whopping 23% increase from last year! This is an incredible figure, especially if you consider that the growth rate has been accelerating for the past four years. In addition, 1755 breweries are in the planning stages.

Not So Professional Analysis:  This data released by the BA shows incredible growth. But is volume growth strong enough? If you look at the data in a slightly different way, it reveals a fact that may cause concern from some brewers. According to my simple math, comparing 2015 to 2014, each brewery (on average) is making 6.4% less beer.

In addition, consider that fact that 1755 new breweries are in the planning stages. That's a huge number! If they all open, it implies a total of nearly 5,500 breweries, or a 46% increase from current levels. We don't know when (or if) these breweries will eventually open, but if we assume a flat 2015 level of production (3,263 barrels per brewer), the market would have to grow to 17.9M barrels just for each brewery to maintain production at 2015 levels.

In closing, it's important to point out that there is no average brewery. Some produce more volume, some produce less. Some make amazing beer, and othersnot so much. Can the market sustain all of these new breweries? Time will tell. Regardless, if you're a consumer, I believe this data means good things for you and your beer glass. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. I'll look forward to revisiting this analysis next year...

What are you thoughts on the BA's data, or my interpretation of it? For more details, please review the BA's full press release below.

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Brewers Association Reports Big Gains for Small and Independent Brewers
Mid-Year Measurements Reveals Sustained Craft Brewing Industry Growth

Boulder, CO • July 27, 2015—The craft brewing industry has continued a strong pace of growth in the first half of 2015, according to new mid-year data released by the Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American craft brewers.American craft beer production volume increased 16 percent during the first half of the year.

From January through the end of June 2015, approximately 12.2 million barrels of beer were sold by craft brewers, up from 10.6 million barrels during the first half of 2014.

“Industry growth is occurring in all regions and stemming from a mix of sources including various retail settings and a variety of unique brewery business models,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “The continued growth of small and independent brewers illustrates that additional market opportunities and demand are prevalent, although competition in the sector is certainly growing and the need for brewers to differentiate and produce world class high quality beer is more important than ever.”

As of June 30, 2015, 3,739 breweries were operating in the U.S, an increase of 699 breweries over the same time period of the previous year. Additionally, there were 1,755 breweries in planning. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 115,469 full-time and part-time workers, many of which are manufacturing jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.

“More and more Americans are discovering the joys of enjoying fresh beer produced by their neighborhood brewery. By supporting local, small and independent craft breweries, beer lovers are gradually returning the United States to the system of localized beer production that existed for much of our nation’s history,” added Watson.
Craft brewer definition: An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Small: Annual 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. Traditional: A 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.
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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. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®Great American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®SAVOR℠: An American Craft Beer & Food ExperienceAHA National Homebrewers ConferenceNational Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association. Follow us on Twitter.