Category Archives: News

AT&T Park to Get Even More Beer-Friendly Thanks to New Anchor Brewery, Restaurant and Museum

Anchor Steam Beer at AT&T Park

If you read this blog, you know I’m a beer lover. What you might not know is that I’m also obsessed with baseball. I attend dozens of MLB games each year, and I always try to visit new ballparks during my travels. My favorite park is Fenway Park in Boston. But not too far behind Fenway is San Francisco’s AT&T Park, home of the Giants.

AT&T Park is far and away the most beer-nerd-friendly ball park I’ve ever been too. It’s easy to find a good selection of Anchor brews inside the park, which already gives it an advantage over many other parks that still focus mostly on Budweiser and Coors. And there’s even a top-notch beer bar inside AT&T Park called Public House that offers a very impressive lineup of craft beer drafts.

AT&T Park will increase its beer appeal even more in the coming years. Anchor Brewing Co. today announced along with Giants that it will begin construction in 2014 on a new brewing facility not far from AT&T Park, inside the Giants’ Mission Rock Development space. The new facility is expected to quadruple Anchor’s annual beer-production capacity from 180,000 barrels to 680,000 barrels, according to a press release from the Giants. And it will also include a new restaurant and museum, as well as a restored walkway that will let pedestrians see into the Anchor brewhouse.

From that release:

“Anchor will continue to operate its facility in Potrero Hill, but will greatly expand its operations with the development of the Pier 48 facility…Pier 48, the southern-most structure of the Port’s Embarcadero Historic District, will be fully rehabilitated and re-established as an industrial hub of the central waterfront…Anchor will offer tours of the facilities and educational seminars with a focus on the history of craft beer, the art of craft distilling and Anchor’s history in San Francisco. “

Though the new brewing facility isn’t actually inside AT&T Park, it’s within walking distance, and the brewery/museum will be a great place to swing by for a few brews before the baseball game. The actually facility won’t likely be operational until 2016 at the earliest, according to RealBeer.com, so it’ll be a while before Anchor opens the doors, but I look forward to checking it out as soon as possible.

UBN

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Boston Beer Co. Designs New Can for Its Samuel Adams Brew

Boston Beer Co. Samuel Adams prototype beer can

Traditional beer can and prototype Samuel Adams can (right)

Craft-beer watchers have seen numerous respectable breweries can their beers during the past few years, after Oskar Blues Brewing Co. proved that cans do not necessarily negatively affect the taste of beer. (Last month, I wrote about Ballast Point Brewing Co.’s decision to can one of my favorite IPAs, Sculpin.)

The Boston Beer Co. and its founder Jim Koch have strongly resisted the whole craft-beer-in-a-can movement, but the company has apparently come up with a brand new can design, and it will release Samuel Adams beer in cans “in time for beach cooler weather,” according to Boston.com.

From Boston.com:

“The two-year effort cost more than $1 million, including the hiring of a renowned design firm and professional beer consultants, as well as the purchase of expensive canning equipment…

“The hourglass curve [or the can] and wider lid deposits the beer further in the mouth so a drinker doesn’t have to tilt his head back…

“The bigger lid forces people to open their mouths wider, allowing more air to pass through and go up into the nasal passages. This increased exposure to the smells brings out the flavors of the beer — the hops, the grains, the fruitiness — earlier in the drinking experience, which is what consumers associate with a fresher beverage…the outward-turned lip pours the beer directly on the palate, maximizing the sweetness from the malt.”

Personally, I don’t really care if my beer comes in a bottle or a can because I don’t think cans affect taste. I also almost always pour my beer into a glass. But cans clearly have a number of advantages over bottles; they’re lighter; they don’t shatter or break; they’re easier to carry in bulk for recycling; and they take up less space and are stackable. These reasons and more are why so many brewers today are canning their beer instead of bottling. And its nice to see another craft-beer pioneer embrace aluminum cans because it means Sam Adams will be served in more places, in venues that may not welcome glass bottle, such as sporting arenas.

UBN

via Boston.com

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KegWorks.com Wastes Countless Man-Hours Sticking 60K Bottle Caps to a Wall

KegWorks.com, an online purveyor of “home and professional draft beer equipment, bartending tools, premium cocktail ingredients and novelty items, as well as high quality commercial restaurant and bar supplies and equipment,” recently built a big-ass wall of bottle caps in its New York office.

It took the company just under two months. Forty-three staffers—who apparently had nothing better to do—helped position the caps. The wall takes up roughly 459 square feet of space. KegWorks used about 60,000 bottles caps, most of which were sent in from customers and brewers. (The first cap stuck was from Dogfish Head and the last was from Harpoon.) Magnetic sheeting was applied to the wall before the bottle caps, and the magnets hold the caps in place.

I admit, the wall looks pretty cool. But the beer-snob in me sees lots of caps from shitty beers like Labatt Blue Light and Molson Canadian. That would piss me off every time I walked by. I guess the company is getting some publicity out of the wall—it made a fancy YouTube video, after all.

I can’t help but wonder just how many man-hours were wasted over two months sticking fucking bottle caps to a wall. And what happens if you accidently bump into the wall and shift a bunch of the caps? Spend another day repositioning them? Ah, time well spent.

UBN

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Dogfish, Sierra IPA Glass Looks a Hell of a Lot Like Riedel’s Red + White Wine Tumbler

Dogfish Sierra Spiegelau IPA Glass and Riedel Wine Tumbler

UPDATE: Dogfish commented on the similarities between its new IPA glass and Riedel’s Red + White wine glass on a related post on A Good Beer Blog. Here’s what it had to say:

“Hi, all. Wanted to share some background on the development of the new IPA glass.

“At the earliest design and tasting workshops, Sam and Mariah from Dogfish, Ken and Brian from Sierra, and Georg Riedel sampled from dozens and dozens of glasses from Spiegelau/Riedel’s huge library. (You wine lovers out there know that Spiegelau has been around for more than four centuries, so there were a lot to choose from.)

“Traits of various glasses that boosted the hop aromas and flavors of IPAs helped inform the direction of our glass, but the final design came from carefully refining eight original hand-blown glasses. This wasn’t plucked from a shelf.

“The Red and White glass did stand out in workshops — but for all the wrong reasons initially. Our whole panel chuckled at the odd-looking base. However, after much testing it became obvious the function of the rolling base outweighed its fashion. The friction and surface area of those ridges aerate beer on its way in and out of the glass. Each member of our panel, voting without knowledge of anyone else’s opinion, favored the base.

“In later workshops we learned that the upper bowl of the Red and White glass was not best-suited to IPAs, so several one-off molds were made featuring different bowl geometries and dimensions on the rippled base. We labored over the right bowl diameter and flare angle to best direct and contain aroma for the drinker and finally came to agree on an ideal design. At that point, Spiegelau literally broke the mold. They no longer make any glass with the rippled base other than the IPA glass.

“We all agreed that the IPA glass also had to hold a larger volume, too. At 19 ounces, it not only accommodates a 12-ounce pour at home, but also a 16-ounce bar pour with plenty of head. The bigger volume dictated a thicker base, which also houses laser-etched nucleation. The CO2 rising from Dogfish’s tiny shark and Sierra’s hop boosts the aromas of IPAs and helps sustain head.

“We took our 50 collective years in craft beer, heeded the experience of a premier glass manufacturer, and created what we feel is an exceptional glass to enjoy IPA. We don’t expect everyone to love it, but wanted you to know that it’s not ‘off the shelf.’

“Cheers to those inspired to give it a try!”

This is a solid response from Dogfish. It was open and honest about using the Red + White glass design as inspiration, and it explained the subtle differences between it and the IPA glass. Again, the brewer initially represented this glass as something entirely new and different, and it clearly is not. I wouldn’t necessarily expect Dogfish or Sierra to explain that they got the design from an existing wine glass in their promotional blog post but some background information on the design process, like the information they shared above, would have been helpful and could have been posted on their online stores.

As I wrote in my post, this glass really does enhance the IPA-drinking experience, if for no other reason than it’s a high-quality glass that makes drinking an IPA feel more special. I like mine a lot. So it’s a good thing for beer drinkers willing to spend $9, plus shipping, on experimental glassware, even if Dogfish, Sierra and Spiegelau were a bit misleading when they introduced it.

Last week Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and specialty glass-maker Spiegelau released a fancy new glass, which Dogfish called “a new standard for IPA glassware.”

Well, the glass may be a new standard for IPA glasses, but its design apparently isn’t original at all. In fact, it looks remarkably similar to Riedel’s O Wine Tumbler Red + White wine glass.

The only differences between the two that I can see are the capacities—the Spiegelau IPA glass holds 19 ounces, and the Riedel glass holds 17 ¼ ounces. And there’s a “laser-etched logo on the bottom of the bowl to sustain carbonation and head” on the Spiegelau glass that isn’t found on the Riedel version. The Riedel version also costs about twice as much as the Spiegelau glass, at least on Amazon.com. (Dogfish and Sierra are selling single glasses for $9 plus shipping; Amazon.com has a set of two Riedel wine tumblers for $39.99 plus shipping.) And, of course, the Riedel version doesn’t have a Dogfish or Sierra logo on its side.

It’s also worth noting that Riedel owns Spiegelau. In 2004, Spiegelau was purchased by Georg Riedel, the owner of Riedel Glass Works, and it is now part of the Riedel/Nachtmann/Spiegelau Group. So Riedel owns Spiegelau, and it’s feasible that they would share glass designs.

I really like the Dogfish/Sierra glass, because it’s made of high-quality glass, and it’s different than any other beer glass I have. But I admit, I feel kind of misled by Dogfish and Sierra, who seem to have positioned their IPA glass as an original design. They never really came right out and said that, but they certainly implied it.

In the end, none of that really matters; the glass enhances the IPA experience, so it’s good for craft beer and craft beer drinkers. But something about how Dogfish and Sierra presented the new glass rubs me the wrong way.

UBN

A Good Beer Blog via BeerPulse.com

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Markets for Stone Enjoy By 04.01.13 IPA

Stone Brewing Co. Enjoy By IPA Logo

UPDATE: Hours after I published this post, Stone officially announced Enjoy By 04.01.13 IPA. And BeerPulse.com’s report on the markets that will get the latest Enjoy By batch was mostly accurate, with the exception of one market. North Carolina will also be getting Enjoy By 04.01.13, and I added that market to the list below. (In bold.) Hit Stone’s website for the official details. Can’t wait to get me a couple of bottles of Enjoy By 04.01.13.

Yesterday, brew news site BeerPulse.com posted what it claims are the markets for the next version of Stone Brewing Co.’s Enjoy By IPA. I’m a bit hesitant to post this information here, because it hasn’t been confirmed by Stone—in fact, Stone hasn’t even announced the next Enjoy By IPA at all. And there was also a bit of confusion on my blog regarding the last version, Enjoy By IPA 02.15.13. But BeerPulse.com is generally reliable, so I’m listing the following alleged markets for Enjoy By 04.01.13 with the caveat that they are not official at this point. (Note: I love Enjoy By IPA. Read this to find out why.)

Here we go:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan (Detroit & Ann Arbor)
  • New York (NYC & burbs)
  • Northern California (Bay Area)
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
  • Southern California
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Vermont

If the information turns out to be accurate, Stone is sending Enjoy By back to a number of markets that already got earlier releases of the beer, in some cases because those markets showed the most support on social media channels including Twitter and Facebook. Texas, Massachusetts and Missouri showed the most social support for Stone Enjoy By 12.21.12, and the brewer said at the time that it would be sending more Enjoy By to these areas, so it certainly stands to reason that Enjoy By 04.01.13 is headed to these markets—especially since Enjoy By 02.15.12 was not shipped to Texas, Massachusetts or Missouri.

BeerPulse.com says Stone should start shipping the beer in the coming week or two for late February availability, and if this holds true, Stone should announce the beer in the near future. I’ll confirm—or correct—the details here as soon as I can.

UBN

Via BeerPulse.com

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Beer Advocate 2013 Extreme Beer Fest (EBF) Rescheduled for March 15/16

Beer Advocate Extreme Beer Fest Ticket

Last weekend, Beer Advocate’s Extreme Beer Fest in Boston was cancelled due to the massive winter storm Nemo. Boston was an absolute mess, with all public transportation shut down and an active driving ban punishable by a big fine and even jail time. It was necessary to postpone the event. But the organizers just sent out a message with the new dates for the 2013 Extreme Beer Fest.

Here’s the message Beer Advocate sent out to folks with EBF tickets:

Extreme Beer Fest: Rescheduled Dates

New Dates: March 15 & 16, 2013 in Boston, MA

Unfortunately, Extreme Beer Fest (February 8 & 9, 2013) was postponed due to severe weather conditions that forced the city of Boston to close all transportation. As EBF (and the storm) landed on a weekend, our efforts to reschedule had to wait; however, first thing Monday, we began coordinating with the venue to secure new dates and are pleased to announce that Extreme Beer Fest #10 will occur on March 15 & 16, 2013 at The Cyclorama in Boston, MA.

Options and information for existing ticket holders are also included below.

New Dates/Times

Night of the Barrels @ Extreme Beer Fest

Friday, March 15, 6pm-9:30pm

Extreme Beer Fest

Saturday, March 16, 1pm-4:30pm (Day Session)

Saturday, March 16, 6pm-9:30pm (Night Session)

Held at The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts.

Previous Tickets

Existing, non-refunded tickets are valid and will be scannable. Optional: Those who purchased tickets via Eventbrite may also re-download their tickets with the new dates; see http://help.eventbrite.com.

Tickets that have been refunded will not be valid and will be refused at the door.

Refunds

We’ll be waiving our “no refund” policy and will honor refunds to all Eventbrite ticket buyers who file their requests by February 19, 12am EST. Please see the instructions below.

Refund Instructions

If you’d like a refund, please email ebfrefunds@eventbrite.com withonly the order ID number in the subject line. You can find your order ID number on your confirmation email from Eventbrite.

Deadline

As a reminder, refund requests will be accepted up until February 19, 12am EST, based strictly on the instructions given above. Any refund requests beyond this will be dealt with on a case by case basis, but we cannot issue refunds outside of the instructions prior to the deadline or guarantee refunds past the given deadline.

Secondhand Purchased Tickets

If you purchased your tickets from a non-authorized reseller or individual, you’ll need to contact the original re-seller to confirm that each of your tickets is still valid.

All Eventbrite ticket buyers will be alerted of the new dates and options via email.

We can’t even to begin to put into words the collective disappointment shared amongst the BeerAdvocate team, attendees, brewers, vendors, volunteers and everyone else involved, but please know that we’re truly saddened by the inconveniences that this situation has caused, and we appreciate your patience and continued support.

Please see the Extreme Beer Fest website and this forum for future updates.

http://beeradvocate.com/ebf/

Sincerely,

Jason & Todd
Founders, BeerAdvocate

I’m real psyched to see the event reschedule so quickly, but I still feel for all the brewers and beer enthusiasts who came to Boston only to have their EBF plans fucked up by mother nature. I’ll definitely be attending one of the Saturday sessions next month.

UBN

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Maine Beer Company’s New Lil One Ale

Maine Beer Co. Lil One Ale

UPDATE: I added Maine Beer Company’s official description of the beer below. (In bold.)

Regular readers of this blog know I’m a big fan of Maine Beer Co. I have never had a Maine Beer brew that I did not thoroughly enjoy.

So I’m psyched to see that the brewer released a new brew, Lil One ale. I don’t have too much information on this one yet, and Maine Beer Co.’s website is down as I write this. But I reached out to the company via Twitter requesting specifics, and I will update this post if I get any more details worth sharing.

All I know right now is that Lil One is a rather “big” beer with 9.1% ABV, making it Maine’s highest-alcohol beer to date, not counting any limited releases I may not be aware of. I also know that I will be purchasing a couple of bottles of Maine Beer Co. Lil One ale as soon as possible. Lil One should hit beer-store shelves soon. (I’m also anxiously awaiting the release of Maine Beer’s “Dinner” double IPA.)

From Maine Beer Company:

“Some may call this a malty double IPA, some a hoppy barley wine.  We prefer that it not be classified.  We think of it, simply, as our strong winter ale.  Intense hop aromatics and flavor (think pine, candied orange) blended with just enough malt sweetness to balance out the palate.

Malt – American 2-Row, Marris Otter, Victory, Carapils, Caramel 80, Midnight Wheat

Hops –Centennial, Simcoe, Cascade, Falconer’s Flight”

Unfortunately, Maine Beer’s brews are only distributed to nine U.S. states at this point: Maine; Massachusetts; New York; New Hampshire; Maryland/DC; Philadelphia; Rhode Island; Vermont; and Virginia. But hopefully that changes soon.

UBN

Image via Instagram user David Preston

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Dogfish Head Releases Fancy New Spiegelau IPA Glass

Dogfish, Sierra Nevada SpiegelauIPA Glass

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s A Hop Eclipse Now promotion, as part of which it will release two new IPAs and a fancy new beer glass. Today the brewer took the wraps off the glass, which is made by German-glass manufacturer Spiegelau, and it’s calling the glass “a new standard for IPA glassware.”

Dogfish apparently worked along with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. on the glass design.

“I’ve been a longtime believer in the importance of using quality glassware to enhance the enjoyment of quality craft beer,” says Dogfish Head Founder and President Sam Calagione. “The process of collaborating on the design of this hop-centric glass takes this concept to the next level.”

Dogfish, Sierra Nevada and Spiegelau IPA Glass

From Dogfish.com:

“Calagione, his wife, Mariah, and Sierra Nevada’s father-son team of Ken and Brian Grossman worked hand-in-hand with Spiegelau to bring this glass to life. Through a series of design and tasting sessions, the team created a glass with:

  •     Thin, round walls to maintain proper temperature longer.
  •     A slender, bowed shape to amplify hop aromas.
  •     Wave-like ridges to aerate beer on its way in and out of the glass.
  •     A wide mouth, allowing drinkers to comfortably nose the beer.
  •     A laser-etched logo on the bottom of the bowl to sustain carbonation and head.”

The glasses are available now online for $9 each at Dogfish.com and at the brewer’s Delaware brewpub. I’m a huge fan of all three parties involved. I own a set of Spiegelau Beer Connoisseur glasses, and I love them.  And I already ordered a pair of these new glasses.  To be honest, they’re kind of awkward and ugly looking. But I’m a beer-glass nerd on top of being a regular beer nerd, and I these new glasses will be a nice addition to my glassware collection. Can’t wait to fill ’em up with some Rhizing Bines IPA.

UBN

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Dogfish Head Sixty-One is Part IPA, Part Red Wine

Dogfish Head Sixty-One IPA label art

I was extremely busy last week with work writing—you know, the kind I actually get paid for—so I missed some significant news from one of my favorite U.S. brewers: Dogfish Head announced a brand new “core” beer called Sixty-One, which will be available in four packs starting in March. And it’s the first new core beer, meaning it will be available year round, from Dogfish since 2007.

Sixty-One is a blend of Dogfish’s most popular beer, its 60 Minute IPA, and syrah grape must from California. Dogfish’s founder Sam Calagione has apparently been mixing red wine and IPA for years, and he enjoyed the product so much that he decided to bottle it.

Dogfish Head Sixty-One IPA bottle

From Dogfish:

“The name Sixty-One is a reminder that this beer is Dogfish Head’s best-selling 60 Minute IPA plus one new ingredient: syrah grape must from California.”

Sixty-One is 6.5% ABV, and it will be available in the 27 U.S. states in the Dogfish distribution network.  (Thankfully Massachusetts, which I call home, is one of them.)

Dogfish has certainly been busy in recent days. Last month it announced its A Hop Eclipse Now promotion, as part of which Dogfish will release a new signature beer glass and two new IPAs. It released a brand new Ancient Ale. Dogfish is collaborating with the Grateful Dead to make its American Beauty ale. And its latest Life & Limb collaboration with Sierra Nevada, Rhizing Bines, is expected to release later this month.

Read more about Dogfish Head’s new Sixty-One IPA syrah-grape concoction on the brewer’s website.

UBN

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Untappd Beer App Coming Soon to Windows Phone

Untappd Beer App Supporter on Android

I told you last month that Untappd, one of my favorite beer-related mobile applications and services, was coming soon for BlackBerry 10 devices, and today the developers officially announced the release of a native BlackBerry 10 app. (Untappd is also available for iOS and Android devices.)

I’ve been using the BlackBerry 10 Untappd app for about a week now, and it’s solid. The native BlackBerry Untappd app doesn’t support older versions of Research In Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry OS , so those users have to access Untappd via a Web app. That means they don’t get the full set of features available to iOS and Android users. But new BlackBerry 10 users are in luck.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform doesn’t currently have a native Untapped app either, but Untappd also announced today that it’s working on a Windows Phone app, and it should be available in the first quarter of 2013.

If you’re not familiar with Untappd, I strongly suggest you check it out. Here’s why.

UBN

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