Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Victory Brewing Company’s Releasing Java Cask

Courtesy of Victory Brewing CO
Downingtown, PA - Victory Brewing Company (Victory) announces the arrival of Java Cask, a coffee-tinged bourbon barrel stout available this holiday season while supplies last. Beginning Thanksgiving-eve, a celebratory day dubbed Dark Wednesday, by Victory Brewing Company, based on the frenetic level of pre-holiday purchasing of craft beer and hostess gift requirements, Java Cask marks the fourth beer that has specifically and traditionally been created with this day in mind. A collaborative effort commemorating the long friendship with the founders of Philadelphia’s popular Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda’s restaurants, bourbon barrel-aged Java Cask is infused with deliciously warming, hand-roasted JB's Coffee.

A deeply complex chocolate malt-tinged stout, Java Cask was aged in bourbon barrels for six months, where it absorbed the blended flavors from the wood as well as the predecessor bourbon they once held. With rich body and hints of dark caramel, Victory partnered with William Reed of Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda’s, two iconic Philadelphia bars, to add toasty, roasted coffee flavors and aromas to the brew by infusing it with 240 pounds of JB's hand-roasted coffee beans. Java Cask is sold in 750 ml bottles and with an ABV of 14.3%; this marks the highest-octane beer Victory has produced to date.

Available in a limited run while supplies last, Java Cask can be purchased in bottle shops throughout Victory’s 37-state distribution footprint (with the exception of Ohio, New Hampshire, Alabama and Georgia due to ABV limitations) with a suggested retail price of $15.00.  Pricing will vary slightly based upon location. Use Victory’s Beerfinder to discover a nearby location, or download the free Victory Mobile app for Android or iPhone.

“Java Cask is a collaboration built on friendship. William Reed, and all our friends at Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda’s, have been terrific partners over the years and an integral part of Victory’s local success story,” said Victory’s President and Brewmaster, Bill Covaleski. “This is the perfect beer to share this holiday season, bringing friendships to life.”

“I couldn't be happier with this beer,” said William Reed Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda’s Co-Owner and longtime home brewer. “Java Cask is a complex beer with bittersweet dark chocolate notes and an intriguing coffee aroma.  Way smoother and more drinkable than the 14% alcohol would suggest.”

Courtesy of Victory Brewing CO
About Victory Brewing Company
Victory Brewing Company is a craft brewery headquartered in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Founded by childhood friends, Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet, who met on a school bus in 1973, Victory officially opened its doors in February of 1996. In addition to the original Downingtown brewery and brewpub, Victory recently opened a second state-of-the-art brewery in Parkesburg, PA to expand production capabilities and serve fans of fully flavored beers in 35 states with innovative beers melding European ingredients and technology with American creativity. To learn more about Victory Brewing Company visit us on the web at

The Year in Beer: U.S. Brewery Count Reaches All-Time High of 4,144

2015 Craft Beer in Review from the Brewers Association
Reveals Historic Number of Breweries in U.S.; Most Since 1800s
Boulder, CO  December 2, 2015—The total number of U.S. breweries reached a record level in 2015, according to a year-end review from the Brewers Association—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers. As of the end of November, there are now 4,144 breweries in the country, topping the historic high of 4,131 breweries in 1873.

“This is a remarkable achievement, and it’s just the beginning,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “Beer has always been a hallmark of this country and it is even more apparent today as America’s beer culture continues to expand.”

Of note in 2015:

· Brewery openings now exceed two a day.
· Fifteen states are now home to more than 100 breweries: California, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana.
· IPA remained the top style sold by independent craft brewers, and continues to grow faster than the overall craft category.
· Data shows that “locally made” is important to over half of craft beer buyers.
· Similarly, knowing that the beer is made by a small and independent brewery is important to a majority of craft drinkers in their purchase decision.

“Craft breweries are a part of their communities, operating in neighborhoods and towns, returning us to a localized beer culture,” added Watson. “There are still thousands of towns currently without a brewery--but with populations potentially large enough to support one. With beer lovers continuing to desire more full-flavored, innovative options from small and independent local breweries, ample opportunities exist for well-differentiated, high-quality entrants in the marketplace.”

Note: Figures are a compilation of data provided by the Brewers Association, IRI Group and Nielsen. The Brewers Association will release a comprehensive annual analysis of craft brewer production in March of 2016.  

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 CupSM, Great 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.

20th annual Holiday Ale Festival Starts Today And Runs Through The Weekend

Courtesy of the Holiday Ale Festival
Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW Sixth Ave, Portland

Dec. 2 through Dec. 6
11am to 10pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 11am to 5pm Sunday

Despite being held outdoors during one of the coldest months of the year, nearly 14,000 festival attendees stay warm and dry over the five-day festival under clear-topped tents that cover the venue. Gas heaters create a cozy ambiance beneath the boughs of the region's largest decorated Christmas tree. In addition to beer tasting, the festival also features meet the brewer events, a root beer garden, food vendors, self-guided beer pairings with cheese, event merchandise and a coat/bag check and raffle that raises funds for the Children’s Cancer Association. The event is for ages 21+.

What makes this festival standout from other events is the beer selection: the festival works with every brewery involved to make sure they send a beer that has either been made or blended specifically for the event, or is a rare or vintage beer that isn’t commonly tapped in the state. More than 50 beers and ciders will be in main lineup; a list of breweries and beer descriptions is available at

To enter and consume beer, the purchase of an entry package is required. Advance general admission packages cost $35 and include the 2015 tasting glass and 14 taster tickets, plus expedited entry all five days. General admission at the door is the same price, but includes only 12 tickets and no expedited entry. Advance VIP packages cost $100 and include the tasting glass, 30 taster tickets, special VIP beer lines with little to no waiting, exclusive VIP only vintage beers, bottled water, and express entry all five days. Advance tickets may be purchased at

Once inside the festival, a full beer costs four taster tickets, and a taster costs one ticket. Certain limited release and special tappings may not be available in full pours, or may cost double tickets. Additional beer tickets can be purchased for $1 apiece. Previous years’ mugs will not be filled. Express re-entry requires a wristband and the 2015 tasting glass, and is subject to the festival’s capacity.  

Designated drivers in a party of two or more may purchase a designated driver wristband for $15, which includes Crater Lake Root Beer or bottled water for the duration of the stay; the festival will match all Designated Driver tickets sold as well as root beer sales and donate all the proceeds to the Children’s Cancer Association.

CONTACT, @HolidayAleFest on Facebook and Instagram and @HolidayAle on Twitter

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Redhook Brewery Celebrates Its 35th Anniversary With New Seattle Brewpub Opening On Capital Hill In Fall 2016

Pike Motorworks building where Redhook’s Capitol Hill brewpub will be located, fall 2016

SEATTLE, WASH. –December 1, 2015 – The granddaddy of Seattle craft beer — Redhook Brewery — will celebrate its 35th anniversary as the Emerald City’s original craft brewery in 2016 with a new brewpub in Capitol Hill. The brewpub will be located in the distinctive Pike Motorworks building at 714 E. Pike Street. 
From its humble beginnings in a Ballard transmission shop to its beloved Trolleyman brewpub in a former Fremont trolley barn, Redhook newest brewpub will be located in a building on Capitol Hill’s historic auto-row, continuing the brewery’s reputation for transforming historic Seattle sites into popular destinations for beer lovers.  The new brewpub will reflect the spirit of Redhook’s beginnings and create a unique opportunity to experience some Redhook classics such as ESB and Ballard Bitter, alongside innovative small-batch brews, some of which will be available exclusively at the new brewpub location. 
Redhook Brewery’s original Seattle roots in a Ballard transmission shop (1982
“I’m looking forward to my first ESB in the new brewpub on Capitol Hill,” said Paul Shipman, co-founder of Redhook Ale Brewery. “This new location is a perfect opportunity for Redhook to brew great-tasting, local craft beer in one of Seattle’s most vibrant neighborhoods and to help celebrate Redhook’s 35th anniversary since it first introduced Seattle to craft beer in 1981.”
The Capitol Hill brewpub will feature a 10-barrel brewery where Redhook brewers will brew beer exclusively for the pub and the City of Seattle. Construction is in process, and the new brewpub is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016, just in time to celebrate Redhook’s 35th anniversary. 
Courtesy if Redhook Brewery
“The Redhook brewing team is thrilled to celebrate our 35th anniversary with a new brewpub in the heart of the Emerald City,” said Nick Crandall, lead innovation brewer for Redhook Brewery. “I can’t wait to begin brewing new, creative and experimental beers at the new Seattle brewery. We’re also looking forward to the opportunity to connect with the community and continue partnering with great local businesses like Caffe Vita. Creating distinctive collaborative brews such as Double Black Stout ties all the goodness of Seattle together. This is what makes being a craft brewer so great – working with great people who really love what they do every day.”
Courtesy of Redhook
About Redhook Ale Brewery
Redhook was born out of the energy and spirit of the early 1980s in the heart of Seattle. While the term didn’t exist at the time, Redhook became one of America’s first “craft” breweries with its focus on creating “better beers” for beer lovers. From a modest start in a former transmission shop in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard, to its Trolleyman brewpub in a Fremont trolley barn, to its current breweries in Woodinville, Wash. and Portsmouth, N.H., Redhook has become one of America’s most recognized craft breweries. In celebration of Redhook’s 35th anniversary, 2016 will see Seattle’s original craft brewery increase its commitment to the Emerald City with a new brewpub in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

While Redhook has “grown up” over the past 30 years, one thing has never changed — Redhook is still brewing great beers like ESB, Long Hammer IPA, Pale Ale and a variety of seasonal beers. Most importantly, Redhook has fun doing it. Redhook beers are available on draught and in bottles and cans around the country. For more information, visit

Twitter and Instagram: @Redhook_Brewery

Oskar Blues Brewery And Hotbox Roasters Collaborate On Coffee-Infused Limited Release

Courtesy of Oskar Blues Brewery

Longmont, CO. and Brevard, N.C. - Oskar Blues Brewery and Hotbox Roasters have collaborated to introduce a national, limited release brew that packs a roasted coffee punch - Hotbox Coffee Porter. 

Hotbox Coffee Porter (6.4% ABV/30 IBUs) has a malted base extracted from English and German roasted and caramel malts, and is comprised of flavors like roasted nuts, crème brûlée, cocoa and caramel. Hotbox Roasters then crashes the party and infuses potent, cold-extracted coffee from Burundian and Ethiopian beans and deals old flavors and aromas of dark plums, chocolate and hints of blueberry. Hotbox Roasters is a spin off of Oskar Blues' coffee addiction that took off earlier this year.

Hotbox Roasters is a craft coffee roaster specializing in the highest quality, fair-trade coffee beans available to coffee fiends in Colorado as well as nationwide via a tiered subscription service ( The company currently produces three different roasts from Kenya, Bolivia and Indonesia and will be adding premium beans from other regions over time.  Hotbox Roasters cans its freshly roasted beans using the Oskar Blues & Ball Corporation Crowler™, a one-use, recyclable can that is filled and seamed right on location at the Hotbox Roasters Dock in Longmont, ColoRADo.

Brought to you by the original craft beer in a can, Hotbox Coffee Porter is set to release nationally in 12 oz. cans from November through January (while supplies last, so get it while you CAN), with limited draft as well. 

ColoRADoans should also keep their eyes peeled for a custom can inspired by Oskar Blues' own Old Man Winter Bike Rally event set to hit the road, gravel, dirt and snow on February 7, 2016. Register to participate in the ultimate winter adventure at

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 breweries in the country and operates breweries in Longmont, Colorado and Brevard, North Carolina, while approaching 200,000 barrels in 2015. The original canned craft brewery continues to stay innovative with releases like The Crowler.  Oskar Blues Brewery currently distributes to 44 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., as well as parts of Canada, Sweden, and the U.K.  To keep up with all things Oskar Blues, visit
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

Alaskan Founder Geoff Larson Recounts Start Of Winter Ale

Courtesy of Alaskan Brewing CO
Obstacles and Inspiration Marked the Invention of the Spruce Tip Beer Now in Stores

JUNEAU, Alaska  – Alaskan Winter Ale is once again in stores in all 17 states  where Alaskan Brewing Company distributes, and will be available through the rest of 2015. Alaskan
co-Founder Geoff Larson recently sat down for a few questions about the inspiration behind the beer he first brewed nearly 20 years ago.

So what was the inspiration to put Sitka Spruce tips in a beer?
Geoff: The historical inspiration behind Winter Ale came from Captain Cook. He had 14 separate references in his logs about Spruce and Beer. Not all the references were positive – at first he added full boughs of spruce, bark and all, and then wrote of a “mutinous crew”— so that batch was not appreciated! Then he wrote about adding only the new growth of the spruce, new shoots, and said this was an especially fine brew and this seemed to go over well with his crew.

Was Spruce an ingredient you had heard about before reading the accounts of Captain Cook?
Geoff: There was an awareness of spruce as an ingredient – homebrewers had been using spruce essence for years. But to me those always tasted piney and tarry – not hedonistically pleasurable, which is what I look for in beer! Things like jellies and spruce syrup which are pretty unique to this area of the world, caught the character of the spruce I was after – that berry-like quality with tartness and a high aromatic character – very different from the spruce essence beers I had tried.

Once you had brewed a beer with Spruce tips, what did it take to put it into production?

Geoff: A big hurdle was picking the tips – getting enough and at the right time. To make beer in the volumes we need – that’s a lot of tips. Marcy (Co-Founder and Geoff’s wife) hit on the idea of using Pep’s Packing out in Gustavus because they do food packing and processing out there and can handle that end of it, and they end up coordinating getting essentially the whole town of Gustavus out picking spruce tips right when they first bud out in early spring – which here in Alaska is beginning of June. Pep’s perfected the packing – there are a number of steps including a process of aerating the tips once they’re packed – we found out that freezing and vacuum packing needs to be done in the right order or the tips can spoil.

Does that process, picking them locally in one small town, affect the quality of the Spruce tips?

Geoff: It does in a very positive way that we didn’t anticipate. Because the people in Gustavus get excited by the prospect every year of picking this “cash crop,” they end up picking them quickly when they first bud, so during the “first flush” when the buds are being infused with that first flow of sugar-rich sap to promote the new growth. As a result, our tips benefit from being particularly tart and packed with flavor.

Why did you choose the base style of Olde English Ale?
Geoff: We actually first used spruce tips in our Old Growth Barleywine. I thought it was potentially how Capt. Cook might have brewed beer – in the method of creating “threads” on one brew – so the higher gravity first part of the mash was used for Barleywines, and then an Old English Ale, and then perhaps something with even less alcohol. After we did that Barleywine, I thought a nice cold-weather beer would be something fairly warming, but also mellow enough to have a couple with dinner. The Olde English Ale fit the flavor I was hoping to get and seemed like a likely style that Captain Cook would have been brewing.

To find Alaskan Winter Ale, use the Beer Finder on Alaskan Brewing’s website at