Sunoco Gas Stations Serve Craft Beer in Buffalo

Posted by Chris Furnari at

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Drivers over the age of 21 in Buffalo can now fill up their growlers after they’re done filling up their gas tanks.

Sunoco Inc. rolled out a pilot program at the end of June entitled the “Craft Beer Exchange,” in an attempt to capitalize on the growth of the craft beer market.

“Through looking at market data and evaluating offerings, I think it’s clear that there is an interest in craft beer versus larger national brands, especially with the younger beer drinking demographic,” said company spokesperson Joe McGinn. “We are trying to meet that demand by providing craft beer at our APlus convenience locations.”

The program has installed up to 12 tap lines, operated by Sunoco employees, at 12 APlus accounts in Buffalo. If successful, the company plans to extend the program to other APlus accounts across the state of New York.
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The Beer Nut: After an Epic (Brewing Co.)

Written by Norman Miller for GateHouse News Service and

Like many stateside beer fans, I discovered New Zealand’s Epic Brewing Company through the “Brew Masters” television show.

On an episode featuring Dogfish Head owner Sam Calagione, he and brewers from Epic worked together to brew a beer for the Brewers Guild of New Zealand awards competition.

The beer turned out to be Portamarillo, a smoked porter made with tamarillos, an edible fruit native to the Andes of South America that’s also called a “tree tomato.”

“The theme (of the contest) was, ‘Let’s Go Native,’ so you had to use a native ingredient in the beer,” said Epic founder Luke Nicholas. “Sam asked what fruit we could use. Only fruits available at the time of year we proposed brewing was either kiwi or tamarillos. Tamarillos aren’t native to (New Zealand) so we had to come up with a native ingredient. Sam suggested we smoke it with a (New Zealand) wood, so I picked Pohutakawa as it was a sacred tree.”

Portamarillo became a somewhat sought-after beer after the show, and when it showed up in a couple of stores near me for the first time recently, it sold out quickly.

Thankfully, Epic is not a one-trick pony. The brewery has other great beers, all seemingly brewed with inspiration from the United States. As a matter of fact, Nicholas said his inspiration comes from the West Coast of the U.S.

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Brewer Q&A: Justin Hawke of The Moor Brewery

Interview with a British brewer has some interesting results-PGA

Written by Ben McFarland for


Old enough to have an aching back and wish I could start counting backwards, young enough to still look roguishly handsome

How did you become a brewer?

I got the inspiration to home brew from one of my career advisers at West Point. Up until that point I thought beer just got magically made in the heavens. I never considered I could aspire to more than drinking and appreciating it. When we moved to San Francisco I got into the home brew scene and stuck my nose into some breweries that my friends worked for. One of them told me I should open my own brewery rather than work for someone else as there was no money in being a brewer. What he didn’t realise was that there is less money in owning a brewery than working for one!

When did you have your beer epiphany?

My dad gave me a sip of Paulaner Dunkel and I instantly loved it. Then he introduced me to real ale as a teenager when we visited England. It was in a Samuel Smith’s pub and if memory serves me well was Museum Ale. It’s been all downhill from there.

Who has been your brewing inspiration?
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Craft Beer Drinkers, Start Your Thirsts

Written by Greg Kitsock for

This week is shaping up to be a busy one for beer events. Birch and Barley/ChurchKey will tap beers from two breweries new to the Washington area: Tonight, the Logan Circle establishment will bust out eight ales from Loupe Rouge, a tiny French-Canadian microbrewery, and then on Tuesday, it’ll open five ales from California craft brewer, Black Diamond Brewery. (See the restaurant’s events calendar.)
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Brew Biz: Werts and All

Wormtown Brewery
455 Park Avenue
Worcester, MA 01610

Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.

Brew Biz is a column written by Ken Carman for Professor Goodales

I have spent a lot of time over the years touring New England as an entertainer. That has given me the delightful opportunity to interview some great brewers, sip beer as I watch sailboats float in and out of Kennebunkport from up high: Federal Jacks, and rave about David Wollner’s beer at Willimantic in Connecticut. One such experience was at least 10 years ago: I went to a “new” brewpub in Worcester, Mass… don’t ask me how “Worcester” is pronounced; I’ve asked residents in the past and I’ve heard at least three variations. Maybe you won’t even have to ask: they’ll just correct you with whatever version you don’t use.

Main Street was impressive: a bit too much for downtown Worcester: a city not exactly in that great economic shape at the time… but I admit maybe no place might have been that good. Huge brewery and bar downstairs, concert hall second floor, huge pool room and a walk around to see it all from on high? Trust me: these folks really over built. Ever since Main Street’s passing I have whispered to the beer Gods, over and over, how much Worcester really, really, really, really, really needed a new brewpub type restaurant. And they answered with Wormtown.

“Over built?”

Not Wormtown.

Though nothing in life is ever perfect, they do seem to be doing it right, proving there’s an obvious value to growing with demand instead of over building in advance. But I do wish it was more visual on the south side Route 9 coming out of Worcester. Easy to miss traveling east to west. From the west: headed into Worcester, it’s fine. I tell you this because I really would rather no one miss this fine jewel.

I saw the ad in Yankee Brew News and decided to swing by. It’s on Park Ave.: the part Route 9 headed West towards Spencer and Ware. (“Ware?’ ‘Ware.’ ‘Ware?’ ‘Ware…'” Abbott and Costello missed a great addition to the baseball routine.) On my first visit neither Ben: brewer and owner, or Tom: manager and owner of the restaurant, were there.

Small, little, place. No over build here.

I had a drop dead beautiful unto the taste buds Barleywine, and I’m rather critical of Barleywines, having sat through many a late night session of Big Bob’s Barleywine Bash in Pensacola Beach, and also as a winner of the “coveted” Big Bob Barleywine award. I bribed him, I admit, bringing lots of 10% and over quaffers each year.

Ben’s Barleywine would be perfect as is, but he went one better by added a touch of the oak cask during fermentation. Amazingly taste-rrific.

Damn. I knew I had to meet this brewer.

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Minnesota Survives A Cold Near-Beer Experience

Written by Scott Simon for NPR

The Ugly Mug restaurant and bar in Minneapolis displays a few of its MillerCoors products. (Jim Mone/AP)
Cold beer is on tap in Minnesota this weekend. But it was almost the casualty of the two-week shutdown of the state government that may have come to an end.

MillerCoors, which holds “brand label registrations” for 39 beers, including Miller, Coors, Blue Moon Pale and Hamm’s — almost 40 percent of the beer sold in Minnesota — sent in its renewal notice on June 15.

But the state Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Agency said that MillerCoors overpaid its registration fees and refused to stamp the paperwork.

MillerCoors sent another check immediately. Julian Green, director of media relations for MillerCoors, pointed out that beer is its business. “We don’t take securing our licenses lightly.”

But the state agency didn’t process the check by the time the state government shut down on June 30. Its employees were shut out. Hundreds of taverns and restaurants also worried that they could not sell alcohol because their license renewals were just piling up like wet coasters in state offices.
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Are We in a Craft Beer “Bubble”?

Source of graph: Brewers Association and

Written by Tom Becham for Professor Goodales

Let me begin this article with a complete non-sequitur. Americans seem to be able to accept even the harshest of criticisms if they come from people with British accents. Whether it be Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, Simon Cowell or even the Supernanny, it seems to go over better when delivered with a “BBC Standard” intonation, or even an East End London working class accent. So, while you’re reading this article, pretend that I sound like I’m from Cambridge. Or even the slums of Manchester. Chances are, being Americans, none of us will know the difference anyway.

I believe we may be in the middle of a “craft beer bubble” similar to the dot com and real estate bubbles. I don’t have anything other than circumstantial evidence and intuition to support my assertion. I also admit that there are certain factors which might mitigate against my conclusion. I certainly hope I’m wrong. But don’t be entirely surprised if I’m not. In short, I think we will soon witness another large contraction of the craft beer industry, as was witnessed in the ’90s.

Why would I say that?
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A Look at American vs British Home Brewing

Note: The Professor, being a bit anal, did correct a few minor spelling and capitalization errors: hopefully they weren’t culturally based. And this may seem an odd entry: but think only 20 or so years ago how far behind we were compared to the Brits when it comes to beer. A bit of perspective on how much things have changed provided from across the big pond.

Posted by Neil at

Recently I read a forum post on the brilliant Jims Beer Kit Forum about the differences between American vs British Home Brewing. It’s something I have thought about a bit so I wanted to write a post here inspired by that forum topic.

Let me clear up something straight away, I am British, so naturally my point of view is as a British home brewer. I picked up a few key points from the discussion and want to add my view about them below.

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Lawyer Brews Craft Beer to the Extreme

Written by Katherine Scarrow for

It’s paradoxical, but the global economic crisis of 2008 may have been the best thing ever to have to happened to lawyer-turned-brewery-owner Dimitri van Kampen.

“I had lost all of my clients overnight. Lehman Brothers, Merill Lynch all went away and I’m sitting there, with no much to do, and I started thinking what I might’ve done with my life if I hadn’t gotten into law,” he says.

Mr. van Kampen, who refers to himself as a “refugee of the credit crunch,” was always a beer hobbyist, but it was time spent in U.K. pubs that deepened his love affair with bold English ales.

“It was a real eye-opener for me about what beer could be, so I started thinking why can’t I start a brewery?”
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