• Adelbert’s Brewery Brings Home Two Gold Medals and Best in Show from 2016 Best Little Brewfest in Texas

    Adelbert’s Brewery Brings Home Two Gold Medals and Best in Show from 2016 Best Little Brewfest in Texas

    Craft Beer

    AUSTIN, Texas (June 22, 2016) – Adelbert's Brewery in Austin, Texas is excited to announce it has received two Gold Medals from the 2016 Best Little Brewfest in Texas for Travelin' Man and Dancin' Monks. In addition, Travelin' Man received Best in Show of the whole competition.

    The Best Little Brewfest in Texas is a 100% charitable beer festival and competition benefitting Cloud 9 Charities, specifically Alzheimer's Respite Care and Teen Suicide Prevention. The Best Little Brewfest in Texas exists to provide an opportunity to sample and learn about a variety of craft beer styles while making a huge impact in the community. The 2016 event included more than 100 breweries, nine distilleries and one winery.

    Travelin' Man, a Belgian IPA, is a deep golden ale possess an aromatic nose with floral and fruity notes. Its flavors are a blend of warm, soft biscuity malts followed by a complex, clean finish. It also holds a Gold Medal from Craft Beer Awards.

    Dancin' Monks, a dubbel, is a clean, malty ale with fruity, plum aromas and robust flavors. The carbonation balances the moderate sweetness from the malt, resulting in a dry and smooth finish. It also holds a Gold Medal from the Craft Beer Awards, Gold Medal from the Artisan Awards and Bronze Medal from the Commonwealth Cup.

    Earlier this year, Adelbert's also brought home three medals from the 2016 Commonwealth Cup including a Silver Medal for Philosophizer and Bronze Medals for Dancin' Monks and Naked Nun. With the addition of these medals, Adelbert's Brewery now holds 33 medals to date.

    About Adelbert's Brewery:

    Adelbert's Brewery is an award-winning microbrewery in Austin, Texas. The brewery believes excellent beer requires quality ingredients and hands-on brewing. We use non-GMO Bohemian floor malted barley, Noble hops, and fresh yeast propagated at the brewery. While brewing, we utilize a multi-temperature decoction mash to extract a more complex flavor from our grains. For more information, visit www.adelbertsbeer.com.

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    The post Adelbert's Brewery Brings Home Two Gold Medals and Best in Show from 2016 Best Little Brewfest in Texas appeared first on CraftBeer.com.

  • Das erste P(our)-Symposium in Paris

    Das erste P(our)-Symposium in Paris

    Craft Cocktail

    Mit großem Medienecho wurde von Branchengrößen das erste P(our)-Symposium angekündigt. Unser Team hat fast alle Vorträge besuchen können. MIXOLOGY-Herausgeber Helmut Adam versucht sich in einer Analyse.

    Ein Event, das sich dem Thema „Modern Bartender“ verschrieben hat. Ein Event, organisiert von mehreren absoluten Größen der Bartending-Welt. Eine Veranstaltung mit Alex Kratena, Simone Caporale, Monica Berg, Jim Meehan und Jörg Meyer als Köpfen und dazu noch gemeinnützig und nicht kommerziellen Interessen unterworfen? Die Nachricht schlug ein wie eine Bombe in den sozialen Medien der Bar-Welt, und auch alle möglichen Fachmedien beeilten sich, die Pressemitteilung 1:1 abzubilden.

    Die Vorschusslorbeeren waren groß, stehen hinter den Köpfen von P(our) doch epochale Barprojekte wie das mehrfach prämierte Artesian, das PDT und die Le Lion Bar in Hamburg. Konnte P(our) halten, was es versprach? Der Autor dieser Zeilen und MIXOLOGY-Chefredakteur Nils Wrage hörten sich bis auf einen Vortrag alle P(our)-Referenten an. Entsprechend meinen wir, einen einigermaßen vollständigen Überblick geben zu können.

    Das Ein-Bühnen-Symposium

    Zuerst einmal war P(our) keine eigene Veranstaltung, sondern vielmehr eine Bühne auf der Messe Cocktails Spirits, die vom P(our)-Team und den P(our)-Referenten bespielt wurde. Die Talks waren allesamt sehr gut besucht, manche sogar regelrecht überfüllt. Stilgerecht begrüßt wurden die Gäste der Bühne am ersten Tag mit einem Glas Champagner, bevor der erste Referent das Mikrofon übernahm. Und er enttäuschte leider prompt. Das Thema „Art & Beer“ drehte sich im Groben um Packaging und Etikettengestaltung. Auch wenn dies an sich ein präsentes Thema in der Barwelt ist, hatte der Vortrag keinen roten Faden und zündete nicht wirklich beim Publikum.

    Als nächstes erklomm Nick Strangeway die Bühne und erzählte den versammelten Barprofis von den 1990ern des vergangenen Jahrhunderts. Auch wenn der Vortrag leidenschaftlich vorgetragen wurde, fehlte ihm eine klare Struktur. Und die Botschaft, dass Bartender sich mit anderen Dingen als Bartending auseinandersetzen sollten, haben regelmäßige Messebesucher so oder ähnlich bereits mehrfach auf anderen Bühnen vernommen. Ich hätte mir gewünscht, dass Nick einen Weg skizziert hätte, wie die heutige junge Bartendergeneration den Bezug zu diesen von ihm gepriesenen Wurzeln erhalten kann. Denn auch ich war letztes Jahr schockiert, wie wenig Leute in der Branche beispielsweise noch etwas mit dem Namen Dick Bradsell anfangen können.

    Besser machte seine Sache Jim Meehan. Der begnadete Redner geißelte in seinem dreißigminütigen Vortrag den Sexismus der Branche, den allgegenwärtigen Kokainmissbrauch und das ungeschriebene Gesetz, dass man nur dazugehöre, wenn man mit den Kollegen nach getaner Arbeit oder auf Branchentreffen bis in die Morgenstunden Shots kippe. Diese Rede berührte viele Zuhörer, wie mir einige gestandene Barleute später im persönlichen Gespräch bestätigten.

    Nachhaltigkeit & Umwelt – ein großes Thema?

    Richtig spannend waren zwei Vorträge von Rednern, die nicht aus der Barindustrie stammten. Tracy Ging, Expertin für Nachhaltigkeit und eigentlich im Kaffee-Business beheimatet, referierte über das Thema Nachhaltigkeit und legte überzeugend dar, wie wenig sich das von Bars postulierte Umweltbewusstsein mit Craft Cocktails aus erlesenen, seltenen Zutaten für 15 Dollar oder Euro vertrage. Man hätte gerne noch mehr erfahren, leider war da aber schon wieder die Zeit um. Der zweite, ähnlich gewichtete Vortrag wurde von Douglas McMaster gehalten, Betreiber eines des Silo-Restaurants in Brighton und eines gleichnamigen Cafés in Melbourne, der sich dem Prinzip „Zero Waste“ verschrieben hat. Durch Betreiben einer eigenen Kompostieranlage und eigene Transportbehälter schaffen es diese Betriebe tatsächlich, das Müllaufkommen nahezu auf Null zu senken. Wenn es um Getränke geht, lässt sich dieses Prinzip aber leider nicht anwenden. Denn die Qualitätsweine bekommt man kaum im Fass. Entsprechend steht hier auch die Bar auf verlorenem Posten mit ihren wenigen organischen Zutaten und der Dominanz an in Einwegflaschen angelieferten Getränken.

    Wie viel hier der „moderne Bartender“ wohl mitnehmen konnte? Vielleicht setzt sich im kommenden Jahr ein P(our)-Workshop mit genau diesem Thema, der konkreten Anwendung von Müllvermeidung in der Bar, auseinander. Wünschenswert wäre es.

    cs3

    Eine andere Gewichtung hätte man sich auch beim Thema Connecting Dots des Designers Martin Kasner gewünscht. Dieser gestaltet neue Trink- und Essgefäße für die Spitzengastronomie. Auch ihm reichten die 30 Minuten Vortragszeit nicht. Und er kam zum Bar-Teil seiner Rede auch erst ganz zum Schluss. Sein Team steht hinter dem Infusionsgerät The Porthole, das für die Massenproduktion eine stattliche Summe auf Kickstarter einsammelte. Ich würde ihn gerne wieder treffen, dann allerdings ebenfalls in einem Workshop für konkrete Anwendungen in der Bar. Gerne mit Beispielen aus der Küche.

    Ein rundum gelungener Talk war der des Connaught Head Concierges Corrado Bogni über die Kraft des Willens in der Umsetzung einer Aufgabe. In diesem Zusammenhang ging es natürlich um das Erfüllen nahezu unmöglicher Gästewünsche. Der Zugang zu diesem Thema ist für Barleute natürlich automatisch gegeben aufgrund der Verwandtschaft der Berufe. Es war die Art inspirierender Vortrag, die jeder Veranstaltung gut tut.

    Mehr Mut und Fokus

    Zusammenfassend kann man sagen, dass die P(our) von der Resonanz in der Barszene ein voller Erfolg war. Inhaltlich voll überzeugen konnte die Bühne aber nicht. Ähnlich gewichtete Vorträge kann man so auch auf anderen Messen wahrnehmen. Auch das übergreifende Thema „Modern Bartender“, ist ein Begriff, der so oder ähnlich in der Bewerbung von zig Branchenveranstaltungen rund um den Globus benutzt wird.

    Sollte es zu einer Neuauflage von P(our) kommen, wünscht man sich da mehr Mut vom Veranstalter-Team. Auch passt der Charakter einer nichtkommerziellen Veranstaltung nicht wirklich in den Rahmen einer Messe, die zwangsläufig der Geschäftsanbahnung dient. Eine weitere Bühne der Cocktails Spirits etwa wurde von Schweppes bespielt und gesponsert, ähnlich wie dies von Marken auf den Demo Bars des Berliner Bar Convent gemacht wird.

    Messe und Symposium in Paris haben in Sachen Aufmerksamkeitswert garantiert voneinander profitiert in diesem Jahr. Cocktails Spirits platzte vor allem am zweiten Tag aus allen Nähten. Sollte sich das Symposium aber wirklich als ein solches etablieren wollen, wird es sich wohl aus dieser Umgebung lösen müssen. „Es besteht sonst die Gefahr, dass das als zu selbstreferentiell angesehen wird“, warnt ein Branchen-Veteran aus Großbritannien, den wir um seine Eindrücke baten.

    Wie von Mitorganisator Jörg Meyer vor der Pariser Veranstaltung zu erfahren war, existierte die Idee zu P(our) schon „seit zwei, drei Jahren“. Für ihn sei der Schlüsselmoment für die Initiierung von P(our) der „Besuch der Mad Conference“ von Noma-Gründer Redzepi vor zwei Jahren gewesen. Diese Konferenz habe er gemeinsam mit Alex Kratena und Jim Meehan besucht. Man sei froh, dass man als „Untermieter der Cocktails Spirits“ starten könne, da er das Vortragsprogramm der Messe auf der Bar Rouge Bühne seit Jahren bewundere und aufmerksam verfolge.

    Wohin die Reise gehe, sei noch nicht ganz klar. Man müsse „erst Mal anfangen“. Dieser Anfang ist gemacht. Wir sind gespannt, wie P(our) im nächsten Jahr weitergeht. Unterstützenswert ist so ein Vorhaben allemal. Auf die Gründer wartet eine Menge Arbeit, die sie neben ihren Tagesjobs, die zum Teil sehr Industrie-nah ausfallen, hoffentlich aufzubringen vermögen.

    Der Autor dieser Zeilen organisiert seit 10 Jahren das Vortrags- und Seminarprogramm der Messe Bar Convent Berlin mit und hat seinen ersten eigenen Vortrag in den Nullerjahren auf einer Barshow in Amsterdam völlig versemmelt.

    Der Beitrag Das erste P(our)-Symposium in Paris erschien zuerst auf Mixology.

  • Craft brewery count in California reaches 700, per California Craft Brewers Association

    Craft brewery count in California reaches 700, per California Craft Brewers Association

    Craft Beer

    [Press Release:]

    (Sacramento, CA) – The California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) today announced more than 700 craft breweries are now in operation across the state. The industry reaches this historic milestone during the early bird ticket sale for the CCBA's annual showcase of California's booming craft beer industry: the California Craft Beer Summit and Beer Festival. The three-day Summit includes 24 educational sessions, 60,000 feet of interactive displays, 450 beers, 160 breweries and unlimited tastings. The Summit takes place September 8-10, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif.

    “California continues to lead the nation's craft beer movement and the Summit showcases the wild success of a community united over a common passion: craft beer,” said Tom McCormick, executive director of the CCBA. “CCBA's signature event is the ultimate opportunity for craft beer enthusiasts to join the tribe, learn from brewers and experts across the Golden State and taste the creativity and passion that serves as the foundation of the industry.”

    Reigning as the largest California-brewed craft beer event of its kind, the 2016 Craft Beer Summit and Festival gives attendees a tasting tour through the state's craft brewing landscape.

    “At the Summit, beer lovers and brewers have the chance to experience wonderful techniques and ideas from the best of the industry,” said McCormick. “David Walker from Firestone Walker, Fritz Maytag, the founder of the American craft beer movement, the brewers and owners from AleSmith, 21st Amendment, Russian River Brewing Company, and many others will share their knowledge, history, expertise and passion with every person connected or passionate about the craft beer industry.”

    Educational highlights at the Summit include:

    How to start a career in craft beer from the hiring managers of Mikkeller Brewing San Diego, Russian River Brewing Co. and other growing breweries

    Advanced homebrew lessons, including how to go “off recipe” and explore yeast management, hosted by the homebrewers now running successful commercial breweries

    Mock judging at a “Taste Like a Judge” session teaching attendees how rate and taste beers

    The rise of sour beer as a style, including how to differentiate between sour beers and what you can expect in a wild ale versus a spontaneously fermented sour

    How to develop a beer list for taproom managers and beer buyers looking to advance their offerings in the craft beer sector

    “The Summit has become, in a very short period of time, one of the largest and most significant craft beer events not only in California but across the nation,” said Natalie Cilurzo, co-owner of Russian River Brewing Company and president of the CCBA Board of Directors. “The unique part about the Summit is the bringing together of brewers, retailers, wholesalers, suppliers, and consumers all in one location, something I have not experienced to this level at any other event. I'm proud to be a part of this incredible state trade association as well as the second annual Summit.”

    Early bird tickets, available at https://cacraftbeersummit.eventbrite.com through June 30, 2016, include: 25 percent off the Summit Beer Festival ($45 at early bird, $60 regular price), single-day Summit entry ($99 early bird, $119 regular price) or full weekend packages ($219 early bird, $239 regular price).

    About the California Craft Brewers Association
    The California Craft Brewers Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit trade association protecting the political and legal rights of the California craft brewing industry. The association was formed in 1989 and is the oldest state craft brewers' trade association in the country. To learn more about the craft beer industry in California, please follow California Craft Brewers Association on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

  • MIA Beer Co. Mourns Death of Brewer Piero Rodriguez

    MIA Beer Co. Mourns Death of Brewer Piero Rodriguez

    Craft Beer

    MIA Beer Co. in Doral, Florida, is mourning the loss of brewer Piero Rodriguez, who they call an “irreplaceable member” of their community and brewery. Rodriguez was killed in a car accident over the weekend.

    We have all been very blessed to know Piero,” the brewery writes on Facebook. “He was a loving person and free spirit that always made the best of every moment with his infectious smile and positive attitude.”

    There will never be another. We'll never forget that smile, that energy.

    A photo posted by Boxelder Craft Beer Market (@boxeldermiami) on Jun 19, 2016 at 2:38pm PDT

    As the brewery and community work to find strength in this time of sorrow, MIA will remain closed. Their focus will be to find a way to honor and celebrate Piero's life and set up a fund to help his son who has been left without a father.

    This tragedy is a stark reminder that life is fragile, precious and that our community – no community – is immune to the perils of life. On behalf of CraftBeer.com and the Brewers Association, we'd like to send sincere condolences to Piero's family, friends and the craft brewing community for which he touched.

    Please keep MIA Beer Co. in your thoughts and follow their Facebook for an update on how to help.

    The post MIA Beer Co. Mourns Death of Brewer Piero Rodriguez appeared first on CraftBeer.com.

  • AleSmith Brewing to Distribute Beers Throughout Michigan

    AleSmith Brewing to Distribute Beers Throughout Michigan

    Craft Beer

    California's top-rated brewery partnering with Imperial Beverage and Powers Distributing to offer its award-winning family of beers throughout The Great Lakes State

    San Diego, California (June 16, 2016) — Southern California's AleSmith Brewing Company is pleased to announce a pair of recent partnerships with Kalamazoo-based Imperial Beverage and Orion Charter Township's Powers Distributing to launch sale of its critically acclaimed beers throughout Michigan. Within the next month, AleSmith's diverse collection of ales will be available in 50 counties throughout The Wolverine State, a step made possible by the brewery's recent expansion into a 105,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art brewing facility capable of producing enough beer to supply territories it has heretofore been unable to service.

    “While there is no shortage of new beers being sold in Michigan in recent years, it is still a rare and exciting occurrence when a world-renowned brewery with over two decades of experience and history decides to come to our state,” says Imperial Beverage brand manager, Brice Dowling. “Few brewers can match AleSmith's track-record in producing consistently amazing beers, as the accolades over the past 20 years have proven. Now, we are thrilled to present this rich history of liquid excellence to our customers and beer-lovers across Michigan.”

    “There are exciting things happening on the craft-beer front all throughout Michigan. We've known for a long time that it's someplace our beers need to be and we are delighted to be able to make them a part of the equation for beer-enthusiasts throughout the state,” says AleSmith director of national sales James Valles. “We're ecstatic over the new bonds we've formed with Imperial Beverage and Powers Distributing to cover the majority of this expansive state, and are certain they will uphold our principles of quality, freshness and customer-service.”

    “AleSmith is a fantastic brewery that we have been seeking out for years,” says Powers Distributing co-president Robert Powers. “We can't wait for consumers in Oakland and Macomb counties to discover their award-winning beers.”

    Beer-fans can look forward to the arrival of core six-pack offerings such as AleSmith IPA, AleSmith Nut Brown and AleSmith Lil' Devil Belgian-style Pale Ale. Numerous other year-round, specialty and seasonal beers will also make their way to Michigan on a regular basis, beginning with spring-summer release AleSmith Double IPA, the quartet of high-gravity beers comprising the 2016 Vintage Series—including AleSmith Decadence Ale, an imperial California common ale debuting in July in celebration of the company's 21st anniversary—and variations of the world-renowned, coffee-infused AleSmith Speedway Stout. For more information on AleSmith and its line of beers, consult its official website, www.alesmith.com.

    ABOUT ALESMITH BREWING COMPANY: Forged in 1995, AleSmith has been recognized by consumers and critics alike as one of the world's foremost craft brewing companies behind accolades that include medals won at prestigious national and international beer competitions as well as being named Small Brewing Company of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival. AleSmith is on the verge of celebrating its 21st year in business and recently expanded, moving into a 105,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art brewery featuring a new 80-barrel brewing system that will allow the company to increase its production ten-fold. The expansion also included construction of the largest brewery tasting room on the West Coast (25,000 square feet) with an outdoor beer garden that will soon be joined by a second-story indoor-outdoor mezzanine, private rooms and a museum dedicated to San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn. AleSmith's line of acclaimed beers, which includes Speedway Stout, IPA, Nut Brown Ale, X Extra Pale Ale and Old Numbskull Barley Wine, is distributed in 23 U.S. states and five countries. The company's social media channels include Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@AleSmithBrewing), and its official website URL is—http://www.alesmith.com.

    ABOUT IMPERIAL BEVERAGE: Imperial Beverage is a long-standing member of the Michigan beverage-distribution community. Established in 1933 after the repeal of Prohibition and purchased by Kalamazoo's Cekola family in 1984, Imperial has grown from a one-county beer distributor to a top-ten statewide beer and wine wholesaler. With 315 employees and three locations in Kalamazoo, Livonia and Traverse City, Imperial provides statewide coverage that serves every Michigan county, every week, all year long. Our knowledgeable staff works with our customers to fulfill our passion statement “Helping people succeed,” by building profit and identity in their restaurants and retail locations through the selection of craft beers, fine wines, ciders, sodas and mixers from our diverse portfolio. For more information on Imperial, consult our website—http://www.imperialbeverage.com.

    ABOUT POWERS DISTRIBUTING: Powers Distributing was started in 1939, and is currently owned and operated by Robert and Gerald Powers. Powers Distributing is located in Orion, Michigan and services Oakland and Macomb counties. The company currently has more than 250 employees managing 43 different supplier relationships. Powers Distributing was named Craft Beer Distributor of the Year in 2011 by the National Beer Wholesalers Association/Brewers Association and the 2014 Beer Wholesaler of the Year by Beverage World Magazine. For more information about Powers Distributing, please visit http://www.powersdistributing.com.

    The post AleSmith Brewing to Distribute Beers Throughout Michigan appeared first on CraftBeer.com.

  • AleSmith Brewing Co. launching in Michigan within the next month

    AleSmith Brewing Co. launching in Michigan within the next month

    Craft Beer

    Press Release:

    (San Diego, CA) — Southern California's AleSmith Brewing Company is pleased to announce a pair of recent partnerships with Kalamazoo-based Imperial Beverage and Orion Charter Township's Powers Distributing to launch sale of its critically acclaimed beers throughout Michigan. Within the next month, AleSmith's diverse collection of ales will be available in 50 counties throughout The Wolverine State, a step made possible by the brewery's recent expansion into a 105,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art brewing facility capable of producing enough beer to supply territories it has heretofore been unable to service.

    “While there is no shortage of new beers being sold in Michigan in recent years, it is still a rare and exciting occurrence when a world-renowned brewery with over two decades of experience and history decides to come to our state,” says Imperial Beverage brand manager, Brice Dowling. “Few brewers can match AleSmith's track-record in producing consistently amazing beers, as the accolades over the past 20 years have proven. Now, we are thrilled to present this rich history of liquid excellence to our customers and beer-lovers across Michigan.”

    “There are exciting things happening on the craft-beer front all throughout Michigan. We've known for a long time that it's someplace our beers need to be and we are delighted to be able to make them a part of the equation for beer-enthusiasts throughout the state,” says AleSmith director of national sales James Valles. “We're ecstatic over the new bonds we've formed with Imperial Beverage and Powers Distributing to cover the majority of this expansive state, and are certain they will uphold our principles of quality, freshness and customer-service.”

    “AleSmith is a fantastic brewery that we have been seeking out for years,” says Powers Distributing co-president Robert Powers. “We can't wait for consumers in Oakland and Macomb counties to discover their award-winning beers.”

    Beer-fans can look forward to the arrival of core six-pack offerings such as AleSmith IPA, AleSmith Nut Brown and AleSmith Lil' Devil Belgian-style Pale Ale. Numerous other year-round, specialty and seasonal beers will also make their way to Michigan on a regular basis, beginning with spring-summer release AleSmith Double IPA, the quartet of high-gravity beers comprising the 2016 Vintage Series—including AleSmith Decadence Ale, an imperial California common ale debuting in July in celebration of the company's 21st anniversary—and variations of the world-renowned, coffee-infused AleSmith Speedway Stout. For more information on AleSmith and its line of beers, consult its official website, www.alesmith.com.

    ABOUT ALESMITH BREWING COMPANY: Forged in 1995, AleSmith has been recognized by consumers and critics alike as one of the world's foremost craft brewing companies behind accolades that include medals won at prestigious national and international beer competitions as well as being named Small Brewing Company of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival. AleSmith is on the verge of celebrating its 21st year in business and recently expanded, moving into a 105,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art brewery featuring a new 80-barrel brewing system that will allow the company to increase its production ten-fold. The expansion also included construction of the largest brewery tasting room on the West Coast (25,000 square feet) with an outdoor beer garden that will soon be joined by a second-story indoor-outdoor mezzanine, private rooms and a museum dedicated to San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn. AleSmith's line of acclaimed beers, which includes Speedway Stout, IPA, Nut Brown Ale, X Extra Pale Ale and Old Numbskull Barley Wine, is distributed in 23 U.S. states and five countries. The company's social media channels include Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@AleSmithBrewing), and its official website URL is—http://www.alesmith.com.

    ABOUT IMPERIAL BEVERAGE: Imperial Beverage is a long-standing member of the Michigan beverage-distribution community. Established in 1933 after the repeal of Prohibition and purchased by Kalamazoo's Cekola family in 1984, Imperial has grown from a one-county beer distributor to a top-ten statewide beer and wine wholesaler. With 315 employees and three locations in Kalamazoo, Livonia and Traverse City, Imperial provides statewide coverage that serves every Michigan county, every week, all year long. Our knowledgeable staff works with our customers to fulfill our passion statement “Helping people succeed,” by building profit and identity in their restaurants and retail locations through the selection of craft beers, fine wines, ciders, sodas and mixers from our diverse portfolio. For more information on Imperial, consult our website—http://www.imperialbeverage.com.

    ABOUT POWERS DISTRIBUTING: Powers Distributing was started in 1939, and is currently owned and operated by Robert and Gerald Powers. Powers Distributing is located in Orion, Michigan and services Oakland and Macomb counties. The company currently has more than 250 employees managing 43 different supplier relationships. Powers Distributing was named Craft Beer Distributor of the Year in 2011 by the National Beer Wholesalers Association/Brewers Association and the 2014 Beer Wholesaler of the Year by Beverage World Magazine. For more information about Powers Distributing, please visit http://www.powersdistributing.com.

  • Want to Introduce Dad to Craft Beer? Start Here

    Want to Introduce Dad to Craft Beer? Start Here

    Craft Beer

    CraftBeer.com has talked about the best styles for beginners, as well as mistakes we all make when we're introducing people to America's small and independent brewery scene. But how do you approach the subject with someone who is probably a little more set in his ways — especially when that person is your dad?

    Before we get to which beers may work best for dad, let's talk about your approach. First, as CraftBeer.com contributor John Mitchell suggests, don't “over geek” it. IBU, mouthfeel, SRM, fretting over the right serving glass, yeast strains … it can all be overwhelming for a first timer. Education is essential to the process, but help dad discover and acquire new tastes first, and then ease into the characteristics of why he's enjoying that beer.

    The key to successfully introducing dad to craft beers will be the flavor profiles you bring to the table. While IPAs are America's most popular craft beer style, it's definitely not the beer we suggest you first give to dad.

    Craft brewers put a lot of thought into creating gateway beers that will get people in the door.

    “There are so many extreme styles out there, but a lot of them are not a great starting point into the world of craft beer,” says Micah Niebauer, CEO and co-founder of Southern Pines Brewing in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Southern Pines' most popular beer in the taproom is Duck Hook Cream Ale, and that's not by mistake. Niebauer and his co-founders wanted a flagship beer that could win over people who have been drinking mass produced lagers for decades.

    We've got a Duck Hook sighting just off the coast of Puerto Rico! Salud! #NCBeer #CraftBeer

    A photo posted by Southern Pines Brewing Company (@southernpinesbrewing) on Jul 26, 2015 at 1:06pm PDT

    “We wanted to brew a light, refreshing beer that was similar in flavor to the domestic lagers that the majority of people drink,” explains Niebauer. “We liked the concept of a cream ale, not only because of its historical significance as an American beer style, but also because it is similar enough to what people are used to drinking, but with a bit more flavor.”

    Keep that approach top of mind as you consider those introductory craft beers for dad. Here are a few beer styles to add to your shopping list.

    Pilsener

    Mama's Little Yella Pils | Oskar Blues Brewery | Longmont, CO

    Here's a Bohemian-style Pilsener that'll show dad what he's been missing. OB's easy-drinking spin is made of 100 percent pale malt, German specialty malts and Saaz hops. OB's beers also come in cans, which makes them totally totable to the golf course, lake or wherever your dad plans to spend time this Father's Day.

    The #MamasLilYellaPils summer countdown… @davidsavoie_

    A photo posted by Oskar Blues Brewery (@oskarblues) on Feb 16, 2016 at 12:41pm PST

    Other Pilseners to try:

    STS Pils | Russian River Brewing Co. | Santa Rosa, CA
    Rocket 100 | Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. | Austin, TX

    Cream Ale

    Farmer Ted's Cream Ale | Catawba Brewing Co. | Asheville, NC

    Farmer Ted's Cream Ale makes this list as a product of personal experience. I pulled dad around Asheville on my birthday. He was an amiable sport all day, sipping beers I knew he wasn't totally sold on. We got to Catawba's South Slope location long after the sun fell. Maybe it was the band playing 50s/60s that helped, but after one sip of Farmer Ted's, dad turned to me and said, “Now THIS is a beer!”

    Other cream ales to try:

    Duck Hook Cream Ale | Southern Pines Brewing Co. | Southern Pines, NC
    Spotted Cow | New Glarus Brewing Co. | New Glarus, WI

    Belgian-Style Witbier

    Allagash White | Allagash Brewing Co. | Portland, ME

    If dad already has an appreciation for a shandy or a big beer Belgian wit, the coriander, orange peel and spices of the Allagash White would be a great next step bringing him into the world of fuller flavored beer.

    Goodbye snow. Hello sunshine.

    A photo posted by Allagash Brewing Company (@allagashbrewing) on Apr 30, 2016 at 3:17pm PDT

    Other witbiers to try:

    White Rascal | Avery Brewing | Boulder, CO
    Optimal Wit | Port City Brewing Co. | Alexandria, VA

    Schwarzbier (Black Lager)

    Baba Black Lager | Unita Brewing Co. | Salt Lake City, UT

    Yes, you'll probably hear the line, “I don't like dark beers,” as you pour Baba Black Lager for dad, but once he tries it, he'll realize what he's been missing in well-crafted black lagers. This award-winning German-style schwarzbier is full of flavor, but not at all heavy like he'll be expecting.

    Other black lagers to try:

    Full Sail Black | Full Sail Brewing Co. | Hood River, OR
    Dark Helmet | Westbrook Brewing Co. | Mt. Pleasant, SC

    An Approachable IPA

    Fresh Squeezed IPA | Deschutes Brewery | Bend, OR

    If you're a renegade and come hell or high water you're going to get dad to like an IPA, then start here. Fresh Squeezed IPA is what Deschutes Brewery describes as their most “approachable” IPA, and one that people who swear they don't like IPAs realize “Oh….” The blend of Citra and Mosaic hops gives Fresh Squeezed such a juicy profile, maybe you can talk dad into swapping it in for the morning OJ with his bacon and eggs.

    Happy Fresh Squeezed Friday! How will you celebrate?? Photo: @thatsimaklife #freshsqueezedfriday #freshsqueezed #ipa #tgif

    A photo posted by Deschutes Brewery (@deschutesbeer) on May 13, 2016 at 12:18pm PDT

    The post Want to Introduce Dad to Craft Beer? Start Here appeared first on CraftBeer.com.

  • Join Us for the Renaissance: An Invitation from CraftBeer.com Editor in Chief, Jess Baker

    Join Us for the Renaissance: An Invitation from CraftBeer.com Editor in Chief, Jess Baker

    Craft Beer

    What we're witnessing right now in American brewing is a comeback nearly a century in the making.

    “There's a beer renaissance in this country that's been driven by the small and independent craft breweries,” Brewers Association CEO and President Bob Pease said at the Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia in May.

    “In our minds, small and independent breweries saved beer in this country,” Pease said. “Beer didn't used to look like this. It kind of all looked the same. It looks a whole lot different now and we want to preserve that.”

    So how did we get here? How did America get to a place where we now see the number of operating breweries reaching historic territory? It's a little about the beer, but it's an awful lot about community and camaraderie.

    I am joining CraftBeer.com as Editor in Chief because of those very things. There's a romance to this story of small and independent brewers in America. The men and women who built this industry didn't start here: they left Corporate America; they came over after retiring from the Armed Forces; they're homebrewers who started in their garages on Sundays. They cashed out retirement savings, built business plans, schlepped beers into banks hoping to get a small business loan, and then prayed, because they believed so much in making a difference in their communities and ultimately producing a product that exists to make people happy.

    I'm convinced their story is the new version of the American Dream, and those are exactly the stories I want to tell as we grow here at CraftBeer.com.

    Maybe you're new to exploring craft beer, and you landed on CraftBeer.com via our interactive style guide while you were trying to decipher a beer label. Maybe you're a few years into your journey, and you find yourself scouting new breweries and brewpubs when you go out of town (which either annoys, or if you're lucky, delights your significant other). Or maybe you've been following indie brewers for decades, and what used to be your favorite quiet places to find gems from small and independent breweries aren't quite a secret anymore.

    No matter where you are in discovering craft beer, there's a good chance you have felt what Brewers Association Director Paul Gatza calls a “unique camaraderie” between small and independent breweries and their customers. Think about it. A very real bond exists between the breweries you love and you. In a way, supporting and investing in America's craft brewers makes this your success story, too.

    The story isn't all good. Real threats exist. Beer mergers and acquisitions could hurt small breweries. A former colleague of mine outside the industry — a smart scientist in his own right — often plays devil's advocate, quipping, “If the big companies buy craft beers … as long as it's the same beer, who cares?” The problem, my friends, is those mergers and acquisitions could eventually change your beer, as well as your access to it. As Pease said at CBC, the proposed big beer merger could “tilt the playing field,” and could result in reduced access to shelf space and ingredients, and ultimately fewer choices for you.

    Our mission at CraftBeer.com is to share the stories of the small and independent American breweries you love, as well as the ones you haven't heard about yet. We want to celebrate the successes, while being honest and open about the challenges indie breweries face. Come join us for the renaissance.

    Cheers,
    Jess Baker
    CraftBeer.com Editor in Chief


    Jess Baker is a 15-year media vet whose credits include tv producing, digital storytelling and overall social media magic-making. Enamored by the personalities, dedication and entrepreneurial spirit of America's small and independent brewers, she brings their stories to you as Editor in Chief of CraftBeer.com. She's a runner, an aunt, a big fan of beercations and also a die-hard Springsteen fan. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @craftcurious.

    The post Join Us for the Renaissance: An Invitation from CraftBeer.com Editor in Chief, Jess Baker appeared first on CraftBeer.com.

  • Stone Brewing Co. announces True Craft

    Stone Brewing Co. announces True Craft

    Craft Beer

    (Escondido, CA) – Stone Brewing announces True Craft, a company established to invest in craft breweries which are dedicated to remaining true to the definition of craft beer. Representing camaraderie in the industry, True Craft will make minority investments in craft brewers while allowing those breweries to retain their independent soul and control.

    “Some people start companies to sell out. Some start companies because they are compelled to follow their passion. True Craft is for the latter,” said Greg Koch, Stone CEO & co-founder. “Craft beer needs an alternative model to the one that requires founders to sell their company in its entirety. In a world in which there are constant forces toward homogenization and fitting in, I specifically want to foster a world of uniqueness, depth and character.”

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow8oWdh90Vg&w=560&h=420]

    Outspoken about their commitment not to sell out to Big Beer, the co-founders of Stone have been investigating an alternative that would provide financing and operational guidance to small brewers who might otherwise have few options to protect the passion, heart and soul of their company. A year and a half in the making, Stone will be participating in True Craft as a founding member. The new venture has received an initial $100,000,000 brought forth from an investor group committed to the long term model. True Craft will welcome a handful of the best craft brewers in the business alongside Stone Brewing. Each brewery may participate in True Craft and in turn the company will provide minority investments to its members with minimal stipulations. All breweries will be aligned in the philosophical mindset of banding together to preserve craft while retaining full soul and control of their businesses for years to come.

    “This is about setting up a consortium so we can not just survive, but continue to thrive in a world in which craft is being co-opted by Big Beer,” said Steve Wagner, Stone President & co-founder. “This allows companies like Stone to follow an ethos that involves independence and passion for the artisanal. By investing in True Craft now, we can be confident that our vision is locked in beyond our professional lifetimes and we feel privileged to help others in our industry do the same.”

    True Craft's detailed structure is still in formation and will be announced at a later date.

  • Alaska’s Wild Beer Culture

    Alaska’s Wild Beer Culture

    Craft Beer

    The prevailing notion is that the wild beauty of Alaska turns sharply into a barren wasteland come winter. Daylight is sparse with temperatures dropping below what most would consider comfortable.

    There's a nugget of truth in all this. Yes, thanks to its position on the globe and the way the Earth rotates around the sun, Alaska does experience fleeting daylight come January, and naturally it does get a bit colder. But that's where popular perception leaves reality because Alaska is neither barren nor a wasteland in the winter. Those landscapes that can bring a tear to the burliest of hardened lumberjacks are still out there. The very essence of what makes Alaska its own world still exists.

    In many respects, Alaska thrives in the winter. One such example is Anchorage's Great Alaska Beer and Barleywine festival in January, which is the state's premier craft beer festival.

    Bitten By the Craft Beer Bug

    I came into Anchorage with a couple of days to spare before the festival itself, allowing me ample time to do what Alaskans do in the winter, like go fat tire cycling on a frozen river, snowshoeing at the nearby Alyeska Resort, and, of course, sample local brews after earning the calories in the outdoors. In all, there are 27 craft breweries in Alaska. That might sound modest at first for an entire state. After all, Alaska could swallow Texas and have room for dessert. But the state isn't all that crowded. Far from. Looking at it in those terms, Alaska actually ranks eighth in breweries per capita in the U.S.

    Truth is, brewing has been at the very core of Alaska since American settlers first started traveling to the former territory — something Bill Howell knows a thing or two about. Howell is an Alaskan transplant and author of several books that look at the history of beer in various corners of the state. He first came in 1996 and admits he “fell in love with the place.” After living in London, Hawaii, Florida, and Virginia throughout his 20-year career in the Navy, he decided Alaska was where he was going to retire.

    By the time Alaska came around, Howell had already been bitten by the craft beer bug and homebrewing since 1989. When he relocated to the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage (150 miles by road, 40 as the crow flies), he started to take a stronger interest in the local craft beer scene and eventually started his own blog, Drinking on The Last Frontier.

    The blog snowballed into a monthly column in the paper and a gig as the Alaskan correspondent for Northwest Brewing News. Naturally, the increased exposure and attention on Alaskan beer led to an onslaught of emails from readers looking for recommendations on craft beer.

    “After the fifth or sixth email I said, ‘screw that' and wrote the book,” Howell says.

    Howell can rattle through Alaskan beer history like Bruce Springsteen singing “Born To Run.” What's perhaps most interesting is the role brewing played in the territory's early years.

    “Brewing was critical in the founding of Alaska,” Howell explains. “Between about 1880 and 1918, breweries were one of the primary mainstays of towns. The joke is, and it's only partially a joke, you knew a place was going to be a town and not just a trading post when the three B's moved into town: a bakery, a brewery and a brothel.”

    By Howell's math, there were 34 different breweries in 15 different Alaskan towns between 1880 and 1918 when prohibition came to Alaska (earlier than the rest of the country). Today, however, craft beer is again a veritable force in the state.

    Pride

    Denali Brewing Co. and Baranof Island Brewing Co. are just two examples of Alaskan breweries enjoying the craft beer boom that's firmly settled itself into the state.

    “We're super proud to be involved in the craft beer scene in Alaska,” says Sassan Mossanen, founding partner and General Manager at Denali Brewing Co. “We [brewers in Alaska] tend to make, due to our climate, more robust, flavorful beers than what you'll find in other places. Sometimes they follow with some higher ABVs.”

    Mossanen's excitement is clear in his voice as he continues, noting his pride to be part of the innovative, unique brews coming out of Alaska. Rick Armstrong, president and founder at Baranof Island Brewing Co. and president of the Brewers Guild of Alaska, lavishes similar praise over the state's brewing scene, noting the state brewed approximately 200,000 barrels in 2014 — a substantial number considering the population. And it's breweries like Armstrong's and Mossanen's that continue to grow, thanks to the boom and continued interest in drinking local.

    After starting the brewery in 2009 in downtown Talkeetna, Mossanen saw steady growth that warranted building another brewing facility with a 30-barrel system.

    “It's just been fast and furious,” he says. “We've had five expansions in four years. We're very fortunate that we're making beer in a community and place so supportive of us.”

    Armstrong launched Baranof Island Brewing Co. shortly after Denali in 2010. Calling it a “garage hobby gone wild” that started on a half-barrel system, Armstrong notes similar expansion over the years and he continues to eye new opportunities.

    “Now I hope to get it up to a 30-barrel brewhouse.”

    #baranofislandbrewing

    A photo posted by Tyson Truex (@tystoned_outta_hismind) on Jan 6, 2015 at 12:59am PST

    He's also excited about working hand-in-hand with state lawmakers on scrapping outdated alcohol laws and rewriting the book, which naturally makes for an especially interesting time in Alaskan brewing.

    Great Alaska

    All things beer in Alaska come to a head at the annual Great Alaska Beer and Barleywine Festival in Anchorage. Before heading over, I made a stop at the Glacier Brewhouse just down the street from the festival. At a quick glance, it appeared to be one of the larger brewhouses and restaurants I've ever seen. Besides the beer, their popularity could also be attributed to their longevity. Glacier Brewhouse was established in 1996 when craft beer was just getting its footing in the United States.

    Most everyone dining that night had other plans after dinner. Like me, they were heading down to the William A. Egan Convention Center to enjoy the fruits of the state's brewing labor. Indeed, it was a celebration of all things Alaskan beer with Alaskans crowding into their statewide section of the festival. Sure, there were a number of guest breweries around, but the difference was stark. Let's just say there was a bit more walking room in the out-of-state corner and fewer men dressed in lederhosen.

    For Howell, scenes like that of the Great Alaska Beer and Barleywine Festival with locals and transplants alike supporting and spending money on an Alaskan product is another point of pride.

    “People come up here and make their fortune then leave. That's the state's history,” he says, alluding to the gold rush. “So a nice thing about the growing brewing industry here is that it's a value-added product. We can consume it ourselves and have money come the other way for a change.”

    The post Alaska's Wild Beer Culture appeared first on CraftBeer.com.

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