Organic Hops: Could A Change In Rules Give Beer A Boost?

Written by Shannon Dininny for Huffington Post

Not necessarily an example of a "new" hop-PGA
TOPPENISH, Wash. — Call it a hops revolution.

Northwest farmers have begun planting new varieties of the key flavor ingredient in beer and working with researchers to develop ways to grow the crop without pesticides. The movement stems from a federal decision last year requiring brewers who label their beer as organic to use organic hops beginning in 2013.

Some say the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new rule could force organic craft brewers to tweak longtime recipes. Others believe the change will spark even more creativity among producers of organic beer, an industry that continues to gain speed.

Ultimately, it should mean that people who want to buy organic beer will find more choice in the beer aisle, though they might have to pay a few cents extra per bottle.

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Invitation: Hungarian Craft-Beer Festival, Budapest, 6 – 9 October

Now all you have to do is GET there!- The Professor

“We are proud to announce our second FÅ‘zdefeszt, Hungarian Craft-Beer Festival: 6-9 October, on Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 12h – 24h, on Sunday from 12h – 18h, in Budapest, VIII. Palace-district, off Kálvin tér (LÅ‘rinc Pap tér – Krúdy Gyula utca – Mikszáth Kálmán tér – Szabó Ervin tér – Kálvin tér). First Hungarian Craft-Beer Festival rolls again. The entry to the festival is free.

No author mentioned. From

By 2010, Hungarian Beer was almost a thing of the past, while 90% of Hungarian beer-drinkers did not even know what they were missing. We – beer-bloggers, journalists, craft-brewers – were determined to turn around the disreputable image of beer in Hungary, with the ultimate selfish goal of making good, real beer available generally. So we organized Főzdefeszt – First Hungarian Craft Beer festival in May, 2011.

After the spectacular success of that first festival, the hidden popular interest in Hungarian Craft Beer became evident. Our goal was to bring together all the people interested in the future of beer in Hungary – we did that and did something more: kickstarted something like a beer-revolution: in one season half a dozen quality beer-festivals sprung up, new breweries were founded, and more than 20 new brews were born to meet the demands outlined on our spring festival.

Continue reading “Invitation: Hungarian Craft-Beer Festival, Budapest, 6 – 9 October”

Blue Moon’s Brewer

Note: the Professor renamed this article because he felt “Blue Moon adds Craft Brewery Dimension to MillerCoors” was problematic. The Professor has several problems with this article, starting with calling Blue Moon, “craft beer.” It’s like calling Caddy “a small, inde, car company.” But it does provide some insight into Miller/Coors attempt to slice into the craft market, and how media sometimes backs them up. The history is interesting too, as well as some of the brewer’s comments. The Professor decided to let you decide.- The Professor

Written by Royal Blonde-Griggs for

Keith Villa is the brewmaster of Blue Moon Brewing Company, a craft brewery that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MillerCoors. The company actually started well before the merger of Miller and Coors. Villa is also the creator of Blue Moon Belgian white, the brewery’s flagship beer, as well as several other beers.

Villa says there is a very friendly marriage in Belgium of beer and cuisine, and this had a big effect on him as a brewer. After starting Blue Moon, Villa traveled the United States on an education campaign to tell people why they should drink a cloudy beer like his – and later to explain how his beer can best be paired with numerous kinds of food.

“The Blue Moon Belgian white is the single largest craft brand in the United States. Sam Adams is bigger when all brands are counted, but as a single brand, Blue Moon is the largest. People now will often say (of Blue Moon), ‘Oh yeah, that’s that big beer,’ but in the early days, it was tough. I traveled all over the country to educate people about cloudy beer. It wasn’t until about 2003 that people started to get what Blue Moon was all about. Prior to that it was a lot of hard work,” says Villa.

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Edwinton Brewing to Break 50-year Dry Spell in Bismarck-Mandan

Written by Shawn McKenna for

(Photo by Matt Bunk) Devon Waldron and David Nelson work on the brewery vats in preparation for the launch of Edwinton Brewing Company's first beer.
As the owner of Downtown Bismarck’s Peacock Alley, Dale Zimmerman hears many requests for new menu items. Unfortunately, the one item request he hears most often is something he hasn’t been able to offer: beer brewed in North Dakota.

“Local beer is our number one requested item, next to Sunday brunch.” Zimmerman says.

The problem is simple, yet it belies a long-held stereotype: There are no fully operational breweries in North Dakota, which is a bit odd considering North Dakotans reportedly drink more beer than their counterparts in 47 other states.
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It’s a Beer Recession

Written by Jack Ewing for The New York Times

Declining beer consumption may be contributing to the European debt crisis — at least according to a study commissioned by those who brew it.

The conclusion is not as preposterous as it might sound. Europeans are saving money by drinking at home rather than in pubs, which is costing jobs in the hospitality industry and depressing tax revenue, according to the study by Ernst & Young, which was paid for by the Brewers of Europe, an industry group.

The shift to home consumption has a disproportionate effect on unemployment, because 73 percent of jobs associated with the European beer industry are outside breweries. They are found instead in bars, hotels and restaurants.

‘‘Obviously, the crisis has had an effect,’’ said Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, secretary general of the Brewers of Europe.

Beer consumption in Europe fell 8 percent from 2008 to 2010, the period covered by the study. But employment in the beer industry fell by 12 percent, or 260,000 jobs, the study said. That compares with a 2 percent decline in employment for Europe as a whole.

Job losses can exacerbate the debt crisis because unemployed people typically collect benefits rather than pay taxes. When beer consumption declines, governments also collect less sales tax on beer sales. Continue reading “It’s a Beer Recession”

AB Inbev Brewing Up Mega Deal for Sabmiller

Now for the bad news: big beer is about to get bigger.-PGA

From Reuters. No Author Credited

In a global brewing industry marked by huge consolidation over the last decade, bankers are hopeful of an $80-billion (£51.5-billion) plus deal to end all deals between the industry’s two giants, Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller .

If AB InBev buys SABMiller it could be the biggest cash takeover in history and would create a group brewing a third of the world’s beer. Analysts and bankers suggest 2013 as a likely time frame for a takeover that is seen as the final play in deal making in big world brewing.

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Beer Gift-Giver Apologizes to Firefighters

The Professor posts this only because it shows ov er reaction when it comes to beer can be very anal, and idiotic: reacting first, investigating second-PGA

Author not credited. From

It was meant to be a token of thanks and appreciation. But now that a friendly case of beer has gotten some local firefighters in trouble, the D.C. man who gave the gift wishes he could take it back.

Clem Cypra took the case of beer to Engine 9 on U Street to thank the firefighters for putting out an air conditioner fire at his home. That beer was found in the firehouse fridge Thursday. Chief Kenneth Ellerbe shut down the station for hours and ordered firefighters undergo breathalyzer tests. All of them passed, but Ellerbe says it’s still against department policy to have alcohol on the premises.

Cypra says the firefighters had refused to take the beer, but he insisted, and now feels terrible.

“The last thing in the world I wanted to do was cause anybody problems,” says Cypra. “It was a gesture of thanks. And it turns out to cause them potentially any problem, that’s a little bit of a fiasco and an unintended consequence of doing the right thing.”

The station’s command staff is expected to face disciplinary action.

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Craft Brewers Plan Major Expansions to Help Meet Demand

Written by Harold Brubaker for

Small craft brewers have defied the nation’s stubborn economic slump, unable to meet growing demand despite a pullback by consumers overall.

Several brewers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are out to fix that supply problem by building new facilities, doubling and even tripling capacity to produce lagers and ales, and adding small numbers of jobs along the way.

Flying Fish Brewing Co. in Cherry Hill has paid $750,000 in deposits on equipment for a planned move to Somerdale that will triple its maximum capacity from the current 14,000 barrels a year.

Sly Fox Brewing Co. is planning to triple its current 10,000-barrel capacity when it moves from Royersford to Pottstown next year.

And last week, Tröegs Brewing Co., now in Harrisburg, was running tests at a new brewery in Hershey, Pa., that will double its capacity from 60,000 barrels, or 1.86 million gallons, a year from 30,000 barrels right out of the gate.

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The Beer Nut: Pennsylvania Brewing Company Back in a Big Way

Written By Norman Miller for GateHouse News Service

The Pennsylvania Brewing Company almost died in 2008.

Founder Tom Pastorius sold the Pittsburgh brewery to a private equity firm. Instead of keeping the small brewery and brewpub open, they fired the whole brewing team and closed the brewery and restaurant and paid another brewery to brew the beer at a much lower quality and price.

But Pastorius and three new partners bought the business back in 2009 and reopened in 2010. Now the Pennsylvania Brewing Company, which is also known as the Penn. Brewery, is now distributing its beers.

“When Tom retired, they kind of ran us into the ground,” said brewer Andy Rich. “It’s been an uphill battle, and we’re gaining ground. There have been some growing pains, but we’re getting there.”

That’s good news for lager lovers because the Penn. Brewery specializes in German-style lagers.

“We’ve always done German-style lagers,” said Rich. “(Pastorius) worked over in Germany, loved the beer, and really couldn’t find something of that quality over here.”

So instead of trying to find imported beers, Pastorius started brewing his own beers in 1986. They were the first-brewery in the Pittsburgh area. They are still one of the few U.S. breweries that brews mostly lagers.

“We’re definitely a unique part of the craft segment,” said Rich. “People are doing more ales. That’s kind of unique. It’s a more expensive way of doing beer because you have to pay for all of the cooling costs. There aren’t a lot of people doing that kind of thing.”

Penn. Pilsner is the brewery’s flagship beer. It’s a 4 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) Vienna-style lager (the same style of beer as Samuel Adams Boston Lager).

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Hold the Wine, Bring Me a BEER!

Written by Michael Bauer for

A selection of beers at Leopold’s. Alex Washburn/The San Francisco Chronicle

Beer is quickly becoming as popular as wine in San Francisco –not surprising, given the city’s distinguished brewing tradition. Earlier this year, Travel and Leisure readers ranked SF as the ninth in America’s Best Beer Cities.

And beer’s popularity is on the increase at at some of the city’s best restaurants. There have always been places like Toronado that features about 50  brews, and  the Monk’s Kettle that has 25  on draft and even more bottles. But you know there’s something brewing when mainstream hotels like the Palomar  (above Old Navy,  on Market and Fourth streets), creates a “Local Brew for Two Package” to lure people to the city.

The special room package starts at $229. Guests receive a mini-fridge filled with Anchor Steam beer, and warm pretzels from the Fifth Floor restaurant in the hotel, sent to the room on request. The press release also mentions the restaurant’s $25 burger, bourbon and beer promotion, where diners in the bar get a thick burger and fries, a shot of bourbon and a pint of artisan beer that change seasonally.

Other restaurants have also beefed up their beer offerings. Here are a few that stand out:
Continue reading “Hold the Wine, Bring Me a BEER!”