PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) — There’s no “peak beer” or “beer bubble,” but it’s getting crowded in the craft beer world.
Word from the Beer Institute beer industry lobbying group in Washington, D.C., is that the U.S. now has a record-high 3,699 active “permitted breweries” overseen by the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. According to Beer Institute analysis, the majority of the 948 permits issued in 2013 went to brewpubs. That’s great if you’re up for a beer and a burger, but even a modest uptick in production breweries makes a big difference.
Just from a historic perspective, those 3,699 breweries are no small deal. That’s well ahead of the 2,722 total presented by the Brewers Association craft beer industry group at the end of last year. That group noted that 1,744 breweries were in the planning stages at the end of December, though. The TTB’s total would not only exceed 2,685 breweries that appeared on the Register of United States Breweries in 1876, but surpass the 3,286 that existed in 1870.
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The beer flows freely in Nashville, and Gallup polling just placed Tennessee in the nation’s top 10 most religious states, but those two facts tend not to overlap. A growing exception: an interdenominational Beer and Hymn Sing group that first met in November to do exactly what its name says and nothing else. They don’t talk doctrine. There’s no prayer or Bible study. Once a quarter, they pack the dark upstairs bar at MadDonna’s in East Nashville to sing centuries-old favorites. The last one kicked off with “Amazing Grace,” ended with “Go Now in Peace” and featured classics such as “How Great Thou Art” in between. The organizer, Geoff Little, said he got the idea from seeing soccer fans in London and Dublin pubs switch seamlessly from singing fight songs to singing “Be Thou My Vision.” He believed it would be a way to draw Generation X and Y friends to a religious gathering outside the classic venues for those. Want to read more? Please click…
For those who are unfamiliar, Ellicotville Brewing has two locations: Ellicotville, NY and Freedonia, NY.
Here is what Ellicotville says about this beer…
Stainless Steel Obsession
7.0 ABV | 77 IBU
Stuffed with hops, this flagship IPA pays homage to the material all beer is born in–Stainless Steel. Combining a traditional pale malt bill with a modern and aggressive hop profile, this new age American IPA is carrying EBC into the future.
Profiled by Maria Devan for PGA
Pours a beautiful amber with good clarity and a head of loose but creamy foam that falls fast. Nose is enticing with a light sweet grain , a touch herbal and grass, plus a bit of light citrus faintly in the background. The taste is darn good. This beer has a mouthfeel that is light and thin but a flavor that is very full. The citrus stays int he background and the bitterness from the grass is light. The sweet grain comes close to caramel but stops appropriately and stays a crisp and very clean lager. Sweet, grassy and light with plenty of flavor. You could drink this all day.
Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”
Maria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is frequent reviewer of beer and a beer lover deluxe.
Poland. Not a country as strongly associated with the brewing of beer as Germany, Belgium or the UK, although you know there must be Polish-brewed beer, right? And if there is, wouldn’t there be some Polish beer styles? I freely admit that I wasn’t aware of any until a short while ago when I started seeing the name ‘Grodziskie’ here and there on beer-related websites and in forums. After a little bit of research I realised there’s something really quite interesting here – a unique beer style that is undergoing a small but noticeable renaissance.
Disclaimer: I’ve had to use a lot of Polish documents and .pl websites in researching this piece. Google translate/Chrome will only get you so far, so apologies in advance for any inaccuracies or missing information.
Piwo Grodziskie has three things in common with the Czech beer Budweiser Budvar. Firstly they’re both named after a town – Grodzisk Wielkopolski and České Budějovice respectively. Secondly, both towns were, at one time or another, occupied by Germany and given German names (Grodzisk/Grätz and Budějovice/Budweis), which leads to the third commonality – both beers have also been known by two names (one native and one German): Grodziskie/Grätzer and Budějovický Budvar/Budweiser Budvar. The similarities, however, end there. Apart from anything else, Grodziskie is a style and Budvar a brand.
Grodziskie/Grätzer is a top-fermented, low alcohol, wheat-based, pale-coloured, hoppy, slightly tart, smoked beer, and when I say wheat-based I mean there’s no barley in it. Seriously. No barley.
Grodzisk Wielkopolski has a history of brewing going back at least 700 years, and as with so many other brewing centres around the world it’s largely because the water there is very good for making beer. In 1601 a statute formalising a brewers guild was enacted and by the late 1700s there were 53 breweries operating in the town.
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