Thursday, March 29, 2018

Small and Independent Brewers See Sustained Growth in 2017

Courtesy of the Brewers Association
Additionally, in 2017 the number of operating breweries in the U.S. grew 16 percent, totaling 6,372 breweries, broken down as follows: 3,812 microbreweries, 2,252 brewpubs, 202 regional craft breweries and 106 large or otherwise non-craft brewers. Small and independent breweries account for 98 percent of the breweries in operation. Throughout the year, there were 997 new brewery openings and only 165 closings— a closing rate of just 2.6 percent. Combined with already existing and established breweries and brewpubs, craft brewers provided more than 135,000 jobs, an increase of greater than 6,000 from the previous year.

“Beer lovers want to support businesses that align with their values and are having a positive impact on their local communities and our larger society,” added Watson. “That’s what small and independent craft brewers are all about. The ability to seek beers from small and independent producers matters.”

To educate beer lovers about which beers are independently produced, the BA launched the certified independent seal in June 2017. More than 3,100 independent brewers have committed to adopting it.

Note: Numbers are preliminary. For additional insights from Bart Watson, visit Behind the Data: 2017 Craft Brewing Growth Methodology” on the Brewers Association website. A more extensive analysis will be released during the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® in Nashville, Tennessee from April 30 – May 3. The full 2017 industry analysis will be published in the May/June 2018 issue of The New Brewer, highlighting regional trends and production by individual breweries.  
1An 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. Independent: Less 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.
2Absolute figures reflect the dynamic craft brewer data set as specified by the craft brewer definition. Growth numbers are presented on a comparable base. For full methodology, see the Brewers Association website.
3 Volume by craft brewers represent total taxable production.
About the Brewers Association
The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 4,000-plus U.S. breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the World Beer CupSMGreat American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food ExperienceHomebrew ConNational Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer® magazine, and Brewers Publications® is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the U.S.

Full Sail’s Grab ‘n’ Go-Go variety pack is brewed for adventure

Courtesy of Full Sail Brewing Co
Hood River, Oregon – March 27, 2018 – The new Full Sail Grab ‘n’ Go-Go variety pack - loaded with take-anywhere, 12 oz. cans of Blood Orange Wheat, Amber Ale, Citrus Maxima Pale Ale and Airstream IPA - is the perfect variety pack to Grab ‘n’ Go-Go, whether you’re searching for Sasquatch, hoofing it up Mt. Hood, hitching your hammock to a couple of Doug Firs, or even just cooking out in your own backyard.

“The Grab ‘n’ Go-Go has the best of everything, from our gold-standard Amber to our newest refreshing pale ale and balanced IPA,” says Full Sail Brewmaster Greg Doss. “Our new canning line really shines here, making this variety pack the perfect thing to grab and bring along for any adventure, indoor or out.”

Courtesy of Full Sail Brewing Co
The Full Sail Grab ‘n’ Go-Go variety pack contains three each of:

*Full Sail Blood Orange Wheat Ale, a refreshing wheat beer with a twist of citrus body. ABV 5.2% IBU 23
*Full Sail Amber Ale, the brewery’s flagship and Oregon’s original. ABV 6% IBU 31
*Full Sail Citrus Maxima, a balanced pale ale with tart and juicy tropical flavors of grapefruit and pomelo. ABV 5.7% IBU 38
*Full Sail Airstream IPA, a balanced, unfiltered, easy-drinking, Northwest-style IPA, perfect for stargazing, campfiring, spelunking, lake-jumping, or just toasting the end of a great day with friends.

The Grab ‘n’ Go-Go variety can 12-pack is available year round. Happy Trails!

About Full Sail Brewing Company
Perched on a bluff in Hood River, Oregon, overlooking the mighty Columbia River’s epic wind and kite surfing and the snow-capped volcanic peak of Mt. Hood, Full Sail is a true craft-brewing pioneer. Since 1987, Full Sail has been pouring pure Mt. Hood water, local ingredients and responsible processes into each and every pint. Full Sail’s brews and sustainable practices have garnered more than 300 national and international awards, including more than 200 gold medals and Beverage World’s “Craft Brewer of the Year” distinction. From Full Sail Amber and IPA to Session Lager and bourbon barrel-aged beers, Full Sail consistently strives to brew complex, balanced and ridiculously tasty beers. Learn more at

Alaskan Brewing Presents New Frontier Variety Pack

Courtesy of Alaskan Brewing Co
JUNEAU, Alaska (March 28, 2018) – Beer drinkers will soon see a new variety 12-pack from Alaskan Brewing, one which revolutionizes the sampler pack phenomenon. Take a peek inside the box with the Frontier Pack’s interactive window feature, which allows interested shoppers a chance to see, touch, turn – everything but taste the rotating beer styles inside the pack. These beer-viewing windows provide the opportunity for consumers to pinpoint exactly which rotating styles are included.
“Humans are curious by nature, and we’ve all really enjoyed working on a project and packaging that allows that curiosity and creativity to flourish,” said Tasha Heumann, Brand Coordinator at Alaskan Brewing. “The interactive nature of the window feature is super fun and cool, and definitely filled a need that we saw. People want to be able to see what beer they’re getting inside a variety pack, and it’s exciting and a lot of fun to get that interaction going before the beer has even left the store.” 

Each Frontier Pack will include staples Alaskan Amber and Icy Bay IPA, along with two other styles. The first, a limited-edition style, will be a limited release beer only available for a short time, and could be a fan favorite, a new style, or an experimental brew. What’s found in one pack may not be seen in the next due to the limited nature of these styles. The other, a brewers’ choice style, will be an exclusive brew selected by one of Alaskan’s team of brewers, who will handpick their favorite beer of the moment to be included in the pack. 

“We all love trying fun, different beers, and wanted to figure out a way to give people that variety that we love and make sure there’s something for everyone, while allowing the them more freedom of choice,” said Scott McHenry, Alaskan Brewer. “Putting limited edition beers in here means we get to be creative and play around with styles some, or bring back fan favorites from years past. Having a brewers’ choice beer in the Frontier Pack really gives people the chance to get inside our heads a little bit, to see what beer we’re all about right now. Every brewer has those beers that they’re totally crazy about, so this is a fun way to share a little window into who we are and what we love.” 

The Frontier Pack will be available in participating markets at the end of March.
For more information and updates, check out Alaskan Brewing Co. online at

pFriem Family Brewers Announces Spring Beer Releases

 Courtesy of pFriem Family Brewers
 New seasonal lineup features light yet complex flavors for Spring

March 29, 2018 – Hood River, Oregon – Excitement is mounting for the new Spring releases from pFriem Family Brewers on the heels of the brewery’s big wins at the Oregon Beer Awards. The brewery took top honors including “Brewery of the Year” in the large brewery category and “Best Brewpub Experience” for the fourth year-in-a-row. pFriem’s Spring seasonals are complex, light, and super flavorful: perfect for after mountain bike rides, hikes, gardening, and barbecuing. Cheers to the Spring season!
While pFriem will produce over 100 artisan beers in 2018, and release 15 beers in Spring, here are descriptions of some of this season’s highlighted releases: Bright Pale, Helles Lager and Saison.
Bright Pale – Building on an already great tradition of American Pale Ales, Bright Pale is bursting with fruity, tropical brightness. It has notes of white grapes, pineapple, and pine and tropical aromas of honeydew melon and passion fruit that lead you to a crisp, fruity, and clean finish. With Warrior, Simcoe, Calista and Hallertau Blanc hops, and Rahr Pale Malt, Gambrinus Pilsner and Carapils malts, this one comes in at 5% ABV and 33 IBUs. One sip will brighten anyone’s day!
Helles Lager - In 19th century Germany, pilsners were all the rage so Munchen brewers created a malty hoppy beer of their own called Helles. pFriem Helles Lager builds on that history with a toasty lager that’s savory and smooth with aromas of fresh bread and a hint of honey. So let’s toast this beer’s storied and delicious history with a hearty, “Helles Yeah!” With 4.8% ABV and 25 IBUs, this special brew features Weyermann Pilsner, Weyermann Barke Pilsner and Acidulated malts and Perle and Tettnang hops.
Saison- Back in the early 20th century, farmhouses in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium, would brew this beer in the winter, only to be consumed in the summer by their farm hands called Saisoners. These beers are known for being tart, lite on the palate, dry, fruity and complex. pFriem Saison is a fragrant ale ready to warm any palate with tropical notes of guava and kumquats. Featuring Gambrinus Canadian Pilsner and Gambrinus Wheat malts and German Tettnang, Sorchi Ace and Motueka hops, Saison has an ABV of 6.5% and 32 IBUs.

Spring 2018 Bottle Releases
  • IPA
  • Pilsner
  • Belgian Strong Blonde
Spring Classic
  • Bright Pale
  • Down Under IPA
  • Helles Lager
Select Spring
  • Saison (Mar-Apr)
  • Lemon Zest Farmhouse Ale (May-Jun)
NOTE: Limited will come available throughout the season April-June
Classic Limited
  • Kolsch
  • Wit
Barrel Aged Limited
  • Abrikoos
  • Peche
  • Bosbessen
  • Flanders Red Kriek
  • Fraise
  • Barrel Aged Saison II
  • Sauv Blanc Barrel Aged Golden Ale

About pFriem Family Brewers
pFriem Family Brewers (pronounced “freem”) is a Northwest and Belgian inspired 15-barrel brewery and tasting room in Hood River, OR. Founded in 2012 by Josh pFriem, Ken Whiteman and Rudy Kellner, pFriem has experienced incredible growth in its short five years and has earned prestigious awards, including multiple medals in national and international brewing competitions. Best known for artisanal beers influenced by the great brewers of Belgium while staying true to homegrown roots in the Pacific Northwest, pFriem craft brews are unmistakably unique in both flavor and balance. Visit pFriem online at, or onsite daily at 707 Portway Ave., Suite 101, Hood River, OR 97031.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Pyramid's Curve Ball Blonde Ale is back for baseball season

Courtesy of Pyramid Brewing Co
SEATTLE (March 26, 2018)Pyramid Brewing Co. announced today the arrival of the brew made for baseball, Curve Ball Summer Blonde Ale. Pyramid’s summer seasonal, available from April to July.

Curve Ball signals the warmer and sunnier months of the summertime. Back just in time for the opening day of the Seattle baseball season on March 29, fans can cheer on their local team with a northwest brew in hand.

Curve Ball Summer Blonde Ale is brewed with the baseball stadium atmosphere in mind. This ale is the perfect beer to enjoy during the summer months with its bright, crisp and golden flavor profile. Malted Wheat and 2-Row Pale Barley malts are combined with Vanguard and Perle hops to make a thirst-quenching brew that is sure to satisfy in the summer heat.

“Our Curve Ball Summer Ale is supremely satisfying for summer adventures inside and outside of the ballpark,” said Head Brewer Ryan Pappe. “We created this brew for baseball fans to enjoy while cheering on their favorite team, along with great company. It’s a light and refreshing beer you’ll want thrown your way.”

Curve Ball Summer Blonde Ale is available in 6- and 12- pack bottles as well as 22 oz. bottles at local grocers throughout the Pacific Northwest, and of course, the Pyramid Alehouse in SoDo. Please share and enjoy Pyramid beers responsibly. For more news and events, follow Pyramid Brewing Co. on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @pyramidbrew and share your adventures with #findyourpyramid. 

About Pyramid Brewing Co.
Born in the Pacific Northwest, Pyramid Brewing Co. crafts some of the PNW’s favorite brews from its year-round ales and lagers to the seasonal and Brewer’s Reserve series. In 1984, Pyramid discovered a new way of crafting beer, bringing together adventure, friends and bold new flavors and innovation. Today, Pyramid shares this spirit through its craft beers, and at its breweries and alehouses in Seattle and Portland. Pyramid Brewing Co. is part of the North American Breweries (NAB) family of breweries and brands with a purpose. To find your Pyramid,

New Belgium Brewing Announces the Release of The Hemperor HPA

Courtesy of  New Belgium Brewing Co
New Belgium Brewing’s The Hemperor HPA Blends Hops and Hemp for a Sensory Revelation 
Latest year-round beer release inspires brewer toward hemp modernization effort

(FORT COLLINS) The next big thing in hoppy beer is here. Say hello to The Hemperor HPA. New Belgium Brewing’s new year-round release offers a mystical marriage of hops and hemp that fills the senses with a ground-breaking blend of herbal olfactory like no other beer on the market. 

“Let’s face it, brewers have been trying to get cannabis-like aromas from hops for years, but it’s always missing a certain something,” said Ross Koenigs, New Belgium’s Research and Development Brewer. “The Hemperor HPA is possibly the first beer to deliver meaningful hemp flavors and aromas.”

The Hemperor HPA showcases the game-changing union of hops and hemp, plants genetically related that produce similar organic aromatic compounds known as terpenes. This ale is brewed with hemp hearts (the meat of the seed, minus the shell) and dry-hopped with Simcoe and experimental HBC 522 hops to create a dank, pungent hop aroma balanced by a sweet, mildly bitter finish. Federal law prohibits brewers from using hemp leaf and flower, so New Belgium brewers found a creative solution using other natural plant materials that perfectly emulate those hemp terpenes. The Hemperor HPA contains no THC or CBD.

“This beer has been over two years in the making, most of the time spent learning and reacting to laws that really suppress this crop’s usage,” Koenigs said of the beer that is currently banned in Kansas. “Flavor-wise, this the beer we wanted to make, but due to misinformed laws governing the use of industrial hemp, we had to take a creative and long-winding road to get to this point. We’re happy with where we landed, and we’ll be working to change federal regulation so that one day we can brew The Hemperor HPA with hemp flowers and leaves as we originally envisioned.”

The restrictive regulatory process around brewing The Hemperor HPA gives New Belgium the opportunity and platform to raise awareness around the social, environmental and economic benefits of industrial hemp. Beer drinkers will be encouraged to learn more and take action at New Belgium is also partnering with GCH Inc, the company founded by Willie Nelson and family to build brands inspired by his journey as an artist and advocate, in supporting the national campaign, Hemp 4 Victory, One dollar from every barrel of The Hemperor HPA sold will be donated to Hemp 4 Victory in support of its mission to raise awareness and promote pro-hemp bills in the House & Senate.

“Hemp has such a diverse set of benefits to the environment, to industry and to American farmers,” said singer-songwriter Micah Nelson. "This campaign will bring attention to the spectrum of products and businesses that will improve when industrial hemp is free to thrive in the US.” Micah Nelson, Willie Nelson’s youngest son, serves on the advisory board for the Hemp 4 Victory campaign, and has served on the board of directors for the National Hemp Association.  

“We’re incredibly excited to be working with New Belgium and GCH, Inc. - Willie Nelson’s family of brands - to raise awareness around this wrongfully marginalized and highly sustainable crop,” said Hemp 4 Victory Advisor and former Bernie Sanders’ Deputy Campaign Manager, Rania Batrice. “We’ll be asking legislators to work toward hemp modernization throughout the year. Staying engaged and taking action is the best way people can help the cause.”

The Hemperor HPA is available on draft beginning April 2, with 12 oz. bottles arriving across the nation on May 21st.

The HemperorTM HPA®

Malts: Pale, White Wheat and Midnight Wheat

Hops: Nugget, Cascade, HBC 522 and Simcoe
Yeast: Ale

Color: Light golden

Aroma: Herbal cannabis in a big way

ABV: 7%
IBU: 55

Special ingredients: Hemp hearts and natural flavor

For more information about New Belgium or any of its beers, visit

Facts About Hemp

Hemp is a sustainable and beneficial crop for many reasons:

  • Hemp is a low-impact food and fiber crop, requiring less acreage and fewer herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers than most commercial crops.
  • Uses 1/5 the water of cotton.
  • Repairs contaminated soils while producing a revenue-generating harvest
  • Generates higher revenue per acre for farmers. Farmers can sell various parts of single crop (stalk, flowers, and seeds) to multiple customers.
  • If hemp laws are modernized, the U.S. will realize an estimated multi-billion dollar industry.

Hemp played a major role in American history:  

  • Federal government called on American farmers to grow hemp for World War II supplies with the Hemp for Victory campaign. More on hemp’s history in U.S.:
  • The First American flag was made from hemp
  • Early paper money in the US was made from hemp
  • Wagon trains heading west were covered by hemp canvas
  • Hemp sails carried our first Navy ships through sea
  • George Washington grew hemp
  • Henry Ford's first Model-T was designed to run on hemp fuel.
  • Henry Ford created a vehicle prototype that used bioplastics (including hemp and other fiber crops like wheat, cotton, soy, and corn). It was deemed successful, but shortly after WWII ended and steel moved back in.

Hemp has many uses, some of which are restricted by outdated laws

  • Fabric – clothing, canvas, rope
  • Food – Omega 3 oils replace fish oils & reduce overfishing, flour, milk, seeds, protein powder, animal feed
  • Beer – as a compliment and alternative to hops for unique flavor
  • Soil health – extracts contaminants from the soils, adds nitrogen
  • Health & Beauty – cosmetics, etc.
  • Other – plastic, hempcrete alternative to sheet rock, lubricants, erosion control alternative to coconut matting

About New Belgium Brewing
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work, one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses and tops Bicycling Magazine’s Best Companies for Cyclists. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale, New Belgium brews fifteen year-round beers: Citradelic Tangerine IPA, Fat Tire Belgian White, Voodoo Ranger IPA, Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA, Voodoo Ranger 8 Hop Pale Ale, Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA, Sour Saison, Honey Orange Tripel, Dayblazer Easygoing Ale, Tartastic Fruit Beer Series, 1554 Black Lager, Bohemian Pilsner, Abbey Belgian Style Ale, Trippel and a gluten-reduced beer, Glutiny Pale Ale. To learn more, visit and follow the brewery on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.