“AP–Robert Spencer, a tall former college basketball player, looks up from his table in a busy Charleston, SC, restaurant.”
“‘Do you have any Mobius beer?’ he asks, but only gets a quizzical look from the waitress. Spencer, who began selling his new ‘energy beer’ earlier this month, isn’t fazed. ‘In a year,’ he says, ‘I think we’ll be worldwide.'”
Profile for Mr. Spencer…
“Job Description: Founder of Mobius Beer, the company that produces and distributes the first ‘energy-infused’ microbrew, containing taurine, ginseng, caffeine, and vitamin B1.”
Here are excerpts and links to several articles on contract brewing…
“Some companies called beer marketing companies are not breweries at all but contract out all their brewing operations. They have no formal corporate facilities beyond an office, if that, but present themselves as a traditional brewery like any other. Examples of these marketing companies are Peteís Wicked and Pabst Brewing; there are no longer any physical breweries for these companies.”
“For many brewers, contract brewing is a means to establish a brand and actually generate revenue before embarking on a fundraising and building program for a new brewery. With a larger brewery handling the brewing labor as a fee service, the brewery-to-be can better test the market and attract investors before committing hundreds of thousands of dollars to a new building or renovation program.”
“For some brewers, it is simply a logistical necessity. Hawaiiís Kona Brewing finds it more cost-effective to contract their U.S. beers on the West Coast rather than ship everything produced from the islands. For others, it is a legal requirement: Due to a hindrance of Texas state law, Houstonís Saint Arnold Brewing brews all the beers for the Texas locations of Californiaís brewpub chain BJís Restaurant & Brewhouse.”
“Homebrewers are a lot like amateur musicians. Sooner or later, they begin thinking how much fun it would be to take their hobby to a professional level.”
And finally with a Beer Wars (the movie) twist…
“It turns out that New Century is based in Boston, but contract brewed by Lion in Wilkes Barre PA (nothing wrong with contract brewing per se, Sly Fox brews some fantastic beers for Southampton). New Century makes two beers, Edison, is a 4% ABV light lager sold in clear bottles and Moonshot Ď69 a caffeine infused golden lager (which has a 1.44 score on Beer Advocate). Are these really great examples of ‘creative and passionate’ craft beer? I have nothing against a light/crisp lager on a hot summer day or a rich caffeinated coffee stout on a cold winter night, but a light beer in a (skunk prone) clear bottle and a pils with 69 mg of pure caffeine added? Come on.”
This column is dedicated to things The Professor discovers along the way to researching other things related to beer. It will appear randomly, depending upon when material presents itself.
Slo Brewing: you may remember quite a while ago this was distributed throughout the U.S. One of the major styles disributed at the time was Blueberry Ale. What you may not have know it that it was contract brewed by†August Schell, also out of New Ulm. It also seems to have a connection with Downtown Brewing: a small chain of brew based pubs in California.
Perhaps our California-based writer, Mr. Becham might enlighten us regarding the confusion here?
If you spend time on the net researching this you’ll find it quite confusing. Apparently Schell was contracted to brew Slo which has somehow, sort of, yet sort of not, morphed into Downtown. The Slo brand hasn’t been seen on the east coast for quite some time. Mr. Carman, one of our writers, informs us he has one of the Blueberry Ale bottles in his collection and remembers it being good, but not outstanding by any means. Here’s a quote he sent The Professor…
“Somewhat unremarkable base with a decent amount of blueberry juice or extract. Compliments must be paid since blueberry is one of the harder fruits to keep in the bottle until it’s poured. But the base could have been more substantial, and less of a slightly fizzy blueberry quaffe. No hops, but few expected, blueberry being the focus.”
Apparently Schell does other contract brewing, as other breweries do or have done in the past, including (But by no means limited to…) F.X. Matt, St. Croix Brewing Co., Shipyard (which has also had their beer contacted brewed in the past) and Lion. This doesn’t even cover the major brewers who sometimes brew under labels under than their own as if they were micro-brewers or brewpubs packaging their own product. There will be more on contract brewing in the next post.
By Ken Carman
Looking for homebrewing supplies? With 90% of their business shipped out all over the world, you might want to try Rebel Brewer.
In a short while the Huntsville Malt Mashers will receive some Red Beavers. Yes, “Red Beavers.” These are brew kits from Rebel Brewer that they will use to compete with each other to see who can make those kits into the best beer. “Red Beaver” is a Rebel Brewer brand. The style: Red. They will be brewing Mississippi Red.
This, and Rebel Brewer, are the brainchild of Tom Gentry…
Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All”
“There is a new beer from Japan that is brewed in Hokkaido. Itís quite unusual because it is a low-malt beer that uses milk. In fact, it might be something that U.S. milk producers should consider. Having too much leftover milk with no good way to use it, one Japanese farmer convinced a nearby brewery to make milk beer. It is appropriately called Bilk. Because a full one-third of the brew is milk, it uses a surplus that otherwise might be destroyed. The taste is fruity and said to complement sweet foods.”
“Champagne Lager is what could probably be called a hybrid. Thatís because it does the unthinkable and combines grapes and hops in the same beverage. The cross-beer has met with approval at beer festivals. In the United States it is distributed by the name Champagne Beer.”
The full story mentions beer made out of…
A species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a grass. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach and tumbleweeds. Its leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is currently limited.”
Note: quinua seems to be a slight variant of the same plant… quinoa.
Reviewed by Ye Olde Scribe
YOS has been somewhat nasty as of late when reviewing beer. But LOOK! The sky is clearing! The birds are chirping. Quick, go get the blunderbuss! We’ll have a feast. And once we’re done we can crack open a bottle of Maredsous Annaye-Abdi Tripel.
Continue reading “Beer Profile: Maredsous Abbaye-Abdij Tripel”
“Liquid barf in a bottle!”
Barrelhouse Red Leggs Ale: An All American Deep Red Ale
Damn those infernal Commie Red Ales. If this bottle were truly representative of the best Americans can do we’d be speaking Russian, Scribe doesn’t do other languages well. Someone would have to LENIN him a hand.
But he doesn’t blame the brewer…
Continue reading “Ye Olde Scribe Presents: Anatomy of a REALLY Bad Beer”
Hello Fellow Home Brewers,
The 14th Annual Music City Brew Off – ‘ New Face, New Place’ has concluded and a great number of firsts for our annual event. Our first ever hotel event went off with great success and want to thank our special guest John Palmer, all the volunteer judges, stewards and staff, all the regional clubs who came for the club crawl and especially our very generous sponsors who made our raffle the best yet. We had a record number of entries this year at 401 including 7 HopGod Challenge Entries, up 155 over last year. We judged 45 Flights and awarded 28 Ė 1-3 in 24 BJCP Categories and awarded as follows:
By Ken Carman
Stand amongst the mess that two lazy people can make when they don’t throw much away, you will see on my walls, surrounding you, thousands of bottles all through the house. I started unintentionally collecting in the early 70s. When I knew I had a choice either to tear off paneling and then replace the Southern humidity/mold rotted 1X3’s modulars used to be made from, or cover them up, I realized I would have a lot to write about… From the Bottle Collection.
SOMA Lemon Herbal
(I tried to find a jpeg. I’ve had better luck with ales that disappeared 20 years ago!)
I hardly remember this one and I always remember malt beverages when they’re really good, or really, really bad. I do have a vague memory of a lemon non-alcohol that was unimpressive, so maybe that was SOMA.
Bit of a Gruit, going back to when the Catholic Church pushed hops because some were putting aphrodisiacs and psychotropics in beer. Soma wasn’t that, but with no hops and plenty of spices: the moniker is a bit apt. I’m surprised it didn’t leave a lasting impression. It wasn’t all that long ago either: 2000 according to press releases I’ve found.
Continue reading “From the Bottle Collection”