Friday, October 23, 2015

1st Annual Craft Beverage Walk In Yakima, Washington-November 7th

November 7th is the Craft Beverage Walk in Downtown Yakima, WA. This first time event is a collaboration between the Downtown Association of Yakima and Craft Beverage Yakima and features producers of the Yakima craft beverage industry, sampling their product in various downtown business locations.

Yakima is one of only a handful of places that can claim to be growing and producing cider, beer, wine, and spirits,” said Thomas Hale, owner of Glacier Basin Distillery and President of Craft Beverage Yakima. “This is an opportunity for people to sample all of what the city has to offer.”
Producers include Tieton Cider Works, Yakima Craft Brewing Company, Hop Nation Brewing Company, Berchman’s Brewing Company, Bale Breaker Brewing Company, AntoLin Cellars, Kana Winery, Wilridge Winery, Naches Heights Vineyard, Gilbert Cellars, JB Neufeld Winery, Glacier Basin Distillery, and Swede Hill Distilling.

Participating businesses include 4th Street Theatre, Vintage Me, Leading Force Energy and Design, Fit Studio, Kameo Flower Shop, Yakima Maker Space, and Garden Girl.
“We wanted to showcase our city’s rich beverage industry while getting folks into downtown and checking out a business or two that they maybe haven’t been in before,” said Victor De Long, President of D.A.Y.

Tickets are $20 each and come with a commemorative sampling glass plus 5 beverage samples. Additional samples will be available on site for purchase. The event goes from noon to 5 PM and begins at 4th Street Theatre.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit:

Bale Breaker Brewing Co
Berchman's Brewing Co
Hop Nation Brewing Co
Yakima Craft Brewing Co
Wiley City Brewing Co

Tieton Cider Works

Glacier Basin Distilling
Swede Hill Distilling 

Kana Winery 
Wilridge Winery
Naches Heights Vineyard
Gilbert Cellars
Antolin Cellars
JB Neufeld

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pike Brewing Company Founders, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel To Be Honored By Pellegrini Foundation

Seattle, WA: Angelo Pellegrini was a champion for local and slow food long before those terms were common. Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl and Mario Batali all note Angelo, or Pelle as he is fondly called, as the person who inspired their focus on sustainable and good food. The Pellegrini Foundation carries on Angelo’s legacy by recognizing people who espouse his values of using fresh, local ingredients and gathering people at the table for meals that are both healthful and delicious. This year Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, Pike Brewing Company’s Founders and Owners, are being recognized for their decades long commitment to wine and beer, and pairing these with flavorful and locally sourced foods. The Finkels will be honored at the annual Pellegrini Foundation Award dinner on Saturday, October 24 at 7 PM at the Swedish Club in Seattle. 
“Charles and Rose Anne are iconic, national treasures,” notes Roy Breiman, Vice President of Pellegrini Foundation and Corporate Culinary Director of Cedarbrook Lodge. “Their commitment to their craft is unsurpassed, inspired and always delivered with a servant’s heart.  They truly embody the Spirit of Angelo Pellegrini whereas sharing with others what Angelo called “The Good Life” is a natural extension of their authentic spirits.  We are so blessed to have these wonderful people within our region making our community far richer because of their contributions to others.”

Both Charles and Rose Ann Finkel have deep roots in culinary and beverage communities. Charles was one of the first to introduce Americans to fine wines beginning back in the 1960’s. Rose Ann was born to East Coast parents in New Orleans, where she learned the pleasures of the table. To this day she still makes her Aunt Elaine’s spicy gumbo.  

Charles and Rose Ann’s first company, Bon-Vin was founded in 1969, and was the first to market Washington State vinifera table wines nationally under the Ste. Michelle brand. In doing so, they helped launch Washington State’s wine industry.

In 1978, they founded Merchant du Vin Corporation, the pioneer U.S. craft beer importer. They were the first to import Belgian beers to America and also specialized in craft beers from England, Scotland and Germany. Included in their portfolio was beer from family-owned American breweries including D.G. Yuengling of Pottsville, PA, America’s oldest brewer. They specialized in classic brewing styles, and in partnership with multi-generational family owned breweries in Europe, re-introduced styles that were no longer being brewed like oatmeal stout, porter and peach lambic. Together the Finkels created several iconic brands for the breweries they represented, and Charles designed labels for a wide variety of these beers. 

Because they were receiving accolades for helping develop recipes, styles, labels. P.R. and other marketing for these breweries, as a part of Merchant du Vin, they decided to open a small brewery in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. There consumers could “meet the brewer” in The LaSalle Hotel building, once one of Seattle’s most infamous brothels. As lovers of local food they selected the Pike Place Market as the location for Pike Brewing Company because it is our country’s oldest landmarks dedicated to food. 

“Angelo’s life and books alongside his teaching define quite intensely the care and love of planting, of cooking, of eating and of drinking, and above all Sharing,” said Armandino Batali, a previous Pellegrini award winner and founder of Salumi.  “Charles and Rose Ann are everywhere sharing these values.  Charles with his profound impetus in the world’s beer scene.  Through their care and love for each other, they give so much of their time and sincere care  to every calling for help, the poor, to promote education, sharing their love of others and support to others concerns;  all with so great smiles and joy;  giving and teaching  with full hearts.” 

Limited tickets to the Pellegrini Foundation Award Dinner on Saturday, October 24 at 7PM at Seattle’s Swedish Club can be purchased at Brown Paper Tickets

Oskar Blues Brewery Takes Limited Release Death by Coconut National

Courtesy of Oskar Blues Brewery
Longmont, CO and Brevard, NC - Oskar Blues Brewery shakes up the fall craft beer lineup with a national limited release of its rebellious take on the traditional Irish Porter, Death by Coconut, starting this month and while supplies last.

Death by Coconut (6.4% ABV/25 IBUs) is a semi-sweet porter made from loads of dark chocolate and extra dark caramel malt. It pours a rich velvet black with a frothy head and exudes intense fresh cacao flavors swirled with popping coconut aromas. 

Death by Coconut is an easy-drinking, big-flavored beer that is reminiscent of sweet treats, which is no wonder given it is brewed with Cholaca out of Boulder, Colorado. Cholaca is a form of pure liquid chocolate that contains only three ingredients: cacao, water and coconut sugar. Cholaca adds a rich and smooth chocolate touch that makes this beer liquid perfection. Using only fair-trade cacao beans sourced from select farms in Ecuador and Peru, Cholaca gives it the most authentic flavor kick.

Death by Coconut, awarded the 2014 GABF Silver Medal in the Chocolate Beer category, hits shelves nationally in 4-packs of 12-ounce CANS and will also be available in 19.2-ounce cans in the Colorado and North Carolina markets. Look for it in limited release on tap starting in October as well. 

Release events are slated for end of October. Stay tuned for more info.

Courtesy of Oskar Blues Brewery
About Oskar Blues Brewery
Founded by Dale Katechis in 1997 in Lyons, Colorado, Oskar Blues Brewery launched the craft beer-in-a-can apocalypse with hand-canned, flagship brew Dale's Pale Ale. Today, Oskar Blues is one of the fastest growing independent breweries in the country and operates breweries in Longmont, Colorado and Brevard, North Carolina, producing more than 150,000 barrels in 2015. The original canned craft brewery currently distributes to 44 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., as well as parts of Canada, Sweden, and the U.K. 

In 2013, Oskar Blues founded the CAN'd Aid Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity that offers grassroots grants to those making a difference in the areas of community, the environment, music, and more. To keep up with all things Oskar Blues, visit

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ben & Jerry’s and New Belgium Brewing Toast to the Next Pint in their Partnership

Courtesy of New Belgium Brewing and Ben & Jerry's
 Beer and Ice Cream Focus on Climate Initiative to Benefit Protect Our Winters

Washington, DC. October 21, 2015 - If there’s one thing that socially responsible businesses have learned, it’s that they can’t go at it alone. Whether it’s implementing responsible sourcing initiatives or creating a positive corporate model to make an impact on sustainability, there is strength in numbers. So where did Ben & Jerry’s turn for help and inspiration for its latest ice cream flavor? Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing. Never has the phrase “polishing off a pint” been so perfectly poised in any partnership for a delicious double-entendre.

Collectively committed to making a better impact in their global communities, the two B Corp companies proudly introduce Salted Caramel Brown-ie Ale ice cream, which will be featured in Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops as well as in pints across the country as a Limited Batch flavor this fall (MSRP $4.89). The concoction consists of New Belgium Brown Ale Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Swirls and Fudge Brownies. The ice cream, arriving on shelves this month, was unveiled Wednesday evening at a Washington D.C. launch “Brew-Ha-Ha” in the confines of the historic Howard Theatre. The launch event was heralded as “a night of music, climate activism, beer, and ice cream.” Musicians Galactic and Dr. Dog performed at the unveiling of Ben & Jerry’s newest ice cream flavor to highlight climate activism.
Courtesy of New Belgium Brewing and Ben & Jerry's
New Belgium Brewing and Ben & Jerry’s jointly pursued a partnership with Protect Our Winters, an organization founded by pro-snowboarder Jeremy Jones, to bridge the gap between the winter sports community and the necessary action to address climate change. “We wanted to partner with a business that shared our progressive values, fun spirit, and desire to take action giving fans an opportunity to act on climate. New Belgium quickly became the perfect choice,” said Jay Curley, Senior Marketing Manager at Ben & Jerry’s. A portion of the proceeds from the ice cream and the beer will benefit Protect Our Winters. Attendees at the launch event were encouraged to request action via governors in their home states to embrace Protect Our Winters and the Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions.

Ben & Jerry’s and New Belgium combined forces on a Ben & Jerry’s-inspired beer as earlier announced by the brewing company in April 2015. Although the beer is just hitting markets now in October, the story made a springtime splash with the announcement of Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale New Belgium’s Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, a limited special release, is laden with dark roasted malts, chocolaty tones and hints of vanilla. Both the beer and ice cream will be available now through the holiday season while supplies last.

Courtesy of New Belgium Brewing

“We are incredibly excited to be working with a like-minded business, creating top-notch flavor sensations and leveraging our collective efforts to bring awareness to B Corps and climate issues,” said Bryan Simpson, New Belgium’s PR Director. “Beer and ice cream are a beautiful pair, and getting to turn folks onto the work of POW makes this collaboration that much more meaningful.”

Beer floats have never had a more perfect pairing… 

For more information about Protect Our Winters, visit
For more information about New Belgium Brewery, visit
For more information about Ben & Jerry’s, visit

Courtesy of Protect Our Winters

Protect Our Winters (POW) was started in 2007 by pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones who witnessed first-hand the impact of climate change on our mountains. After having been turned away from areas that had once been ride-able and seeing resorts closed due to lack of snow, Jeremy saw a gap between the winter sports community and the action being taken by us all to address the problem. Snow-based recreation in the United States is estimated to contribute $62 billion annually to the US economy and supports over 940,000 jobs.  So when we look at the cost of inaction, it’s serious business. We are the environmental voice of the global snow sports community, united towards a common goal of reducing climate change’s effects on our sports, our industry and local economies through education, advocacy and community-based activism.  POW was founded on the idea that the collective power of the winter sports community is massive, and if we can all work together, the end result can be revolutionary. Together We Can Protect Our Winters.

Courtesy of New Belgium Brewing Co
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews ten year-round beers; Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Slow Ride Session IPA, Snapshot Wheat, Shift Pale Lager, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Ale, Blue Paddle Pilsener, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel. Learn more at

Courtesy of Ben & Jerry's

As an aspiring social justice company, Ben & Jerry’s believes in a greater calling than simply making a profit for selling its goods. The company produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream, yogurt and sorbet using high-quality ingredients. Ben & Jerry’s incorporates its vision of Linked Prosperity into its business practices in a number of ways including a focus on values-led sourcing. In 2014 the company plans to complete its transition to using entirely non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) ingredients by source as well as to fully Fairtrade-certified ingredients wherever possible, which benefits farmers in developing countries. Ben and Jerry’s products are distributed in 35 countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Ben & Jerry’s became a certified B Corp (Benefit Corporation) in 2012. The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation’s employee-led grant programs totaled $2.5MM in 2014 to support economic and social justice, environmental restoration, and peace through understanding. For the inside scoop on Ben & Jerry’s visit

Ecliptic Brewing Announces New Distribution Markets

Courtesy of Ecliptic Brewing
Portland Brewery Continues growth into N. Oregon Coast, Idaho, Colorado, Northern Washington and North Carolina 

PORTLAND, Ore. (October 21, 2015) – Ecliptic Brewing announced today that its beers will be available on the Northern Oregon Coast, Northern Idaho, Colorado, Northern Washington and North Carolina effective immediately.  The Portland, Ore.-based brewery from beer icon John Harris is partnering with Fort George, Click Distribution East, Crooked Stave Artisan, Dickerson Distributors, Inc. and Freedom Beverage Company, respectively, to distribute its beers.

“We’re delighted to add these five new distribution partners and markets to our lineup,” said owner and brewmaster John Harris. “This is an exciting time for the brewery and we’re looking forward to making our beer available to more fans.”

Widening its distribution footprint continues a growth trend for Ecliptic. The brewery installed three new fermentation tanks earlier this year, which doubled the brewery’s total production capacity and put it on track to brew 2,600 barrels by the end of the year.

In each market Ecliptic Brewing will be distributing its year round  beers -  Spica Pilsner, Orbiter IPA and Capella Porter - as well as its Seasonal Series, Special Releases, Collaboration Series and Reserve Series.

Ecliptic Brewing is located at 825 N Cook St. For more information about Ecliptic events, beers or the brewery, please call 503.265.9002 or visit

About Ecliptic Brewing
Ecliptic Brewing is a venture from John Harris, an Oregon beer icon whose background is steeped in the state’s rich craft brewing history. The name Ecliptic unites Harris’ two passions: brewing and astronomy, and as such, the brewery celebrates the Earth’s yearly journey around the sun through both its beer and restaurant menus. Executive chef Michael Molitor rotates his seasonally inspired menu every six weeks in accordance with the old world calendar. Harris’ signature beers include Spica Pilsner, Procyon Pale Ale, Phobos Extra Single Hop Red Ale and Orbiter IPA. In 2014, Ecliptic Brewing was voted best brewpub by Northwest Brewing News readers, and the brewery’s Filament Winter IPA was named favorited winter ale by Oregon Beer Growler. For more information, visit:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

ManCan Partners with Pink Boots Society to Raise Money Through Sale of Limited Edition WoManCan

Courtesy of ManCan
Denver (October 20, 2015): ManCan, a keg-style growler system that keeps your favorite beer delicious and fresh, presented a $500 check to Pink Boots Society. The Pink Boots Society brings awareness to equality and support for women professionals in the beer industry. Launched on Kickstarter in early 2015, ManCan offered a limited edition WoManCan with the Pink Boots Society logo. Ten percent of the proceeds from the WoManCan sales went to benefit Pink Boots Society, a non-profit organization that empowers women beer professionals to advance their careers in the industry through education.

Courtesy of ManCan 
“It was an honor for the ManCan team to be able to help support these awesome female role models in the beer industry,” said Chris Mueller, CEO of ManCan. “We wanted to provide the ManCan Tribe with the opportunity to support a great cause. The partnership with Pink Boots Society is a perfect fit.”

Pink Boots Society’s Executive Director, Emily Engdahl, and member, Laura Ulrich, accepted the donation on behalf of Pink Boots Society. “We are grateful to ManCan for donating to Pink Boots Society," said Engdahl. "It is inspiring to see companies like ManCan reaching out to further our goal of advancing women’s beer careers.
Pink Boots Society’s Executive Director, Emily Engdahl, and member, Laura Ulrich and
Chris Mueller, CEO of ManCan
The ManCan 128 launched on the Kickstarter funding platform in May and raised $320,986 (458% of their original $70,000 goal). The newly patented technology holds carbonation pressure, locks out air, and keeps beer brewery-fresh much longer than traditional beer storage methods. The original 64 oz keg-style growler has been on the market for over three years and has become a popular alternative to the traditional growler. The ManCan 128, which carries a full gallon, is launching through the mancan.BEER online retail store in November.

About ManCan Universe LLC
ManCan Universe LLC is changing the way people drink craft beer at home and on the go. The indestructible 64 oz and 128 oz keg-style growlers hold carbonation pressure and lock out air to preserve craft beer (and other beverages) longer than traditional packaging. For more information on ManCan, visit and become a fan on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

McMenamins 30th Anniversary Of The First Beer Brewed At Hillsdale Brewery

Hillsdale Brewery Copper Kettle - Courtesy of McMenamins
On October 25, 1985, McMenamins' first beer was brewed in a small copper kettle at Hillsdale Brewery. It was a liquid malt extract brew, highly hopped for the era, brewed by the Hillsdale's first brewer Ron Wolf and dubbed "Hillsdale Ale." Falling loosely in the ‘Special Bitter' classification of beer styles, Hillsdale Ale became McMenamins first bona-fide company standard beer, pre-dating Terminator, Hammerhead and Ruby.
The significance of that first attempt can’t be overstated. - See more at:

The significance of that first attempt can’t be overstated. - See more at:
The significance of that first attempt can't be overstated. Today McMenamins has created, brewed and kegged more than one million kegs.

In celebration of three decades of small batch brewing for one day only across the land a 30th Anniversary commemorative batch of Hillsdale Ale will be poured at every McMenamins location. This re-boot is based on careful studies of the original brewing records from Hillsdale and Cornelius Pass Roadhouse as it evolved during its short 13 month run. It has been parsed and adjusted with enough poetic license to translate what was historically a malt extract brew to a modern all-grain interpretation. We believe that what the original concept of that first company standard was hoped to be can now be poured into your pint on this special release date. 

On October 25th stop by, raise a pint to our pioneer beer! $4 all day, $8 growler fills and a special stamp for your passport. And keeping the cosmos in proper alignment and bringing the narrative full circle, the Hillsdale Brewery will even be brewing Hillsdale Ale in its magnificent new copper kettle that day.

Vintage label for Hillsdale Ale - Courtsey of McMenamins

Some Fun Factoids:
– Hillsdale Ale was brewed 29 times at the Hillsdale and 14 times at Cornelius Pass Roadhouse between 10/25/1985 and 11/28/1986.
– Both locations brewed their final batches of Hillsdale Ale on November 28th, 1986. The last batch at CPR was brewed by John Harris and the last batch at Hillsdale was brewed by McMenamins 1st female brewer, Alex Farnham.
– The brewers of the Hillsdale Ale were: Ron Wolf, Conrad Santos, Mike McMenamin, Brian McMenamin, John Harris, Scott Barrow and Alex Farnham. 30th Anniversary

Version Specifications: Malts: Great Western Malting NW Pale Ale Malt, Great Western Malting Munich Malt, Great Western Malting Dextrapils
Hops: Centennial (Bittering), Brewer’s Gold (Flavor & Aroma), Tettnanger (Flavor & Aroma)
OG: 1.045 TG: 1.010 ABV: 4.51 IBU: 38 SRM: 4

Deschutes Brewery’s Street Pub Sets Up Shop in Sacramento

Courtesy of Deschutes Brewing Co
“Crafted for Community," this one-day-only event will raise money for local nonprofit, Runnin’ for Rhett

October 20, 2015 – Bend, Oregon – Deschutes Brewery is excited to bring their pop-up pub of epic proportions to Sacramento on Saturday, November 14.  The ultimate craft beer block party, this 402-foot custom bar will be pouring beers from 40 taps in midtown Sacramento. At each of its national stops, Deschutes Brewery donates 100 percent of the proceeds from Street Pub to local nonprofits and so far has raised close to $300,000 in 2015. In Sacramento, Deschutes Brewery has teamed up with Runnin’ for Rhett, a non-profit foundation inspiring people to Move Into Life by nurturing a healthy community through fitness and nutrition.
Not only will there be a huge selection of Deschutes Brewery beers flowing from the Street Pub’s multitude of taps, but there will be great food to pair with it. Deschutes Brewery’s corporate executive chef, Jeff Usinowicz, will be teaming up with local Sacramento Chef Brock MacDonald of Block Butcher Bar and Chef Wesley Nilssen of de Vere's Irish Pub to create some dishes that complement the many beers being served (think everything from the easy-drinking Mirror Pond Pale Ale all the way to the big and bold flavors of The Abyss).
This family-friendly event will also feature activities for the kids, special samplings and an amazing live, local music lineup that includes Humble Wolf, Hans & the Hot Mess and Drop Dead Red.
Deschutes Brewery Street Pub’s grand opening is also its final night, so make sure to be there for this one day only event! 
When: Saturday, November 14th, 2-10pm
Where: Midtown Sacramento: Capitol Ave. from 17th to 19th St.
Admission: Free for all ages
For more information on each stop visit or follow the conversation at #StreetPub.
Calling all volunteers! We need your help to make this event a success and be able to raise the most money possible for our charity partner. All volunteers will receive Deschutes Brewery swag, food, and, of course, beer for those that are of age. Interested? You can find details and sign up here:
About Runnin for Rhett 
Runnin’ for Rhett is a non‐profit foundation that was founded on December 7, 2007, in memory of Rhett Seevers who passed away unexpectedly in 2004 at the age of seven due to complications from cerebral palsy. His mom Beth, used running to help her get through the grief of losing her son. She ran a ½ marathon on the 1‐year anniversary of his death, crossing the finish line she embraced her family & friends asking each of them to “Run for Rhett” too. By nurturing healthy communities through fitness and nutrition, the foundation’s mission is to inspire people to Move into Life, just like Beth did. In both the spring and fall, Runnin’ for Rhett provides adult and youth fitness programs throughout the Sacramento‐area. Learn more at
About Deschutes Brewery
Named as OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work in both 2013 and 2014, Deschutes Brewery was founded in 1988 as a brew pub in Bend, Oregon. Still family and employee owned 27 years later, the brewery is known for brewing a diverse line-up of award winning beers including the popular Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Pale Ale. From the beginning, the focus has been on crafting the best beer and food using only the finest ingredients.  In 2008, the brewery opened a second pub in Portland’s Pearl District. Deschutes Brewery now ships beer to 28 states, the District of Columbia, and around the world from its main brewing facility located on the banks of the Deschutes River.  To find out more, visit Enhances Beer 101 Course

Courtesy of
Online Introduction Class Becomes Even Easier & More Engaging

Boulder, COOctober 20, 2015As the beer culture in America continues to grow and beginners attempt to crack the craft code,—the Brewers Association (BA) website for beer lovers—presents an updated version of the popular Beer 101 Course. The course is designed for anyone who works in retail sales, the restaurant industry or is simply a burgeoning craft beer enthusiast seeking a quick and reliable introduction to the beer universe.
Beer 101 covers the history of beer; brewing ingredients and processes; vital statistics: ABV, SRM, IBU, gravity; styles; tasting; glassware; and pairing beer and food. The course is narrated and includes multiple videos. Now there is also a downloadable worksheet that serves as a helpful study guide later on. The course concludes with the Beer 101 Quiz, a 21-question test which must be completed in 20 minutes. A printable certificate of completion is available for download.
“Beer beginners are thirsty for craft beer knowledge,” said Julia Herz, publisher of and Brewers Association craft beer program director. “As the leading voice of small and independent U.S. craft brewers, we are pleased’s Beer 101 Course has become a quick and easy introduction for so many budding beer enthusiasts.”
More than 6,000 people have taken the Beer 101 Course since its launch in 2010. The course takes about one hour to complete and costs $20.  Those that don’t pass the course with 75% or more can retake the quiz for a full year before having to reregister for the course.
A leading resource on craft beer, provides a number of other educational tools for beer lovers and professionals including the free Beer & Food Course, Beer Styles Guide, Cooking with Beer Recipe Database, Beer Glossary, Craft Beer Seminars and more.
Courtesy of the Brewers Association
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 CupGreat American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, AHA National Homebrewers Conference, National 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 and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association. Follow us on Twitter.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Firestone Walker Brewmaster Throws Curveball To Winemakers

Courtesy of Firestone Walker Brewing Co
Firestone Walkers XIX Anniversary Ale Blended with Un-Hoppy Twist

Paso Robles, CA: An annual rite came with a twist this year when local winemakers once again joined Firestone Walker’s brewing team for the blending of the next Anniversary Ale—only to discover that hoppy component beers had been taken off the table.

“We went back to the basics this year,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “We offered the winemakers a smaller number of barrel-aged beers to work with, and we eliminated the option of blending in our hoppy stainless steel finished beers. They were surprised at first, but it resulted in a rich and complex beer that is centered on barrel-aged flavors.”

In the past, as many as nine component beers were incorporated into the final Anniversary Ale blend. However, this year’s Anniversary Ale—called XIX—is comprised of four beers: Parabola, Stickee Monkee, Bravo, and Velvet Merkin.


In recent years, Brynildson found that hop-driven component beers such as Double Jack and Wookey Jack were becoming increasingly influential in the final blend. “In a blending session, the palate can easily gravitate to hops, because they are assertive and seductive,” Brynildson said. “I was concerned that hoppiness might begin to encroach on the intended style of the Anniversary Ale, so I eliminated the temptation.”

He added, “In many ways, this latest beer reflects more of what a typical wine blend would be in terms of the number of components and how those components can work together. I believe it truly embodies what this project is all about.”

Grapes to Grains

“Our winemaker friends are practicing experts in the art of blending,” Brynildson said. “Their input is invaluable when it comes to blending a seamless beer from widely varied components.”

As always, the XIX blending session was both friendly and fiercely competitive. A total of 13 winemakers participated. The winemakers were paired off and presented with the component beers. The pairs were tasked with creating their own preferred blends from among the components. The preferred blends were then presented to the entire group and blind tasted. Individual votes were cast, and the blend with the most votes became the basis for XIX.

Sherman Thacher and Daniel Callan of Thacher Winery are credited with creating the winning blend that became XIX, granting them possession of the coveted cardboard crown that is awarded to the winning team each year.


“We blended together 235 oak barrels and four different beers creating something truly complex and exceptional.” Brewmaster Matt Brynildson                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Parabola / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 33.33% of Final Blend
-Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout

Stickee Monkee / Aged in Bourbon and Whiskey Barrels / 33.33% of Final Blend
-Central Coast Quad Brewed with Belgian Candi and Mexican Turbinado (brown) Sugar

Bravo / Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels / 16.6% of Final Blend
-Imperial Brown Ale

Velvet Merkin / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 16.6% of Final Blend                 
-Traditional Oatmeal Stout
XIX ABV: 13.8%


XIX is the 10th release in Firestone Walker’s anniversary series, dating back to the release of the inaugural anniversary release called “Ten” in 2006. Over the ensuing years, Firestone Walker has developed one of the craft beer industry’s most extensive barrel aging programs, spanning upwards of 1,500 barrels. Brewing beer with oak barrels has been a pioneering focal point for the brewery since its founding in 1996.

XIX will be available in select markets across the United States starting in November. The suggested retail price is $23.99 for an individually boxed 22-ounce bottle.


“As a finished beer, XIX is a rich, chocolaty, chewy brew with brandy-soaked raisin and holiday fruitcake flavors. The blend is anchored by equal parts Stickee Monkee and Parabola, which combine to create a dense chocolate truffle-like base. Velvet Merkin and Bravo lend their spicy oak, leather and fruity accents to complete the brew. The beer is unfiltered and unfined so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XIX is best enjoyed poured carefully into a half-filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. As the beer sits and breathes in the glass the true complexity of this blend is revealed, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. I suspect, like our other Anniversary offerings, that this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come.”


“These are my friends and brothers in fermentation science, and practicing experts in the art of blending.” Brewmaster Matt Brynildson

·         Sherman Thacher and Daniel Callan – Thacher Winery (Winning Blend)

·         Matt Trevisan – Linne Calodo

·         Stephan Asseo – L’Aventure

·         Steve Martell – Kaleidos

·         Eric Jensen and Connor McMahon  – Booker

·         Terry Hoage – TH Estate Wines

·         Russell From and Cameron Stoffel – Herman Story

·         Kevin Sass and Molly Lonborg – Halter Ranch

·         Scott Hawley –Torrin Vineyard

Also thanks to friends Arie Litman, Pete Slosberg and Bobby Fox for lending their expertise to the blending session. 

Courtesy of Firestone Walker Brewing Co