The Beer Nut: The Strongest Beer in the World Turns 10

Written by Norman Miller for GateHouse News Service and Norwich Bulletin

Note: Utopia is NOT the strongest beer in the world. That honor varies between BrewDog’s End of History, to a German brewer, and to Brewmeister’s Armageddon. The Professor is not quite sure where the record rests right now, but certainly NOT Utopia. But it is an interesting story otherwise.-The Professor

Typically, Samuel Adams Utopias is released every other year, but it was released off schedule to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this remarkable beer.

“The 10th anniversary release of Utopias is proof that extreme beers have earned a permanent and respected place in the beer universe, a world now constantly evolving with new craft beers and excited craft beer drinkers,” said Samuel Adams founder Jim Koch.
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Six Pack: Beer Buzz of the Week

Written by Tom Rotunnofor

Six things that have consumers buzzing in the world of beer, wine and spirits this week:

Tetra Images | Getty Images
1. Converting Consumers to Craft Beer:The craft beer segment is booming, but it still makes up a small part of the overall beer market at just 5 percent. A recent study looked at which craft brewers have the most success at turning consumers into repeat customers.

The study first looked at product availability, the obvious key to getting consumers to try a brand. According to the Consumer Edge Insight, Samuel Adams Boston Lager led all craft brewers with a product availability rating of 76 percent. Kansas City-based Boulevard Brewing was the least available craft beer at nine percent.

But despite its limited availability, Boulevard comes out on top in the study in terms of consumer conversion, with 19 percent of those who try the brand becoming regular users. Second place is a three-way tie with MillerCoors’ Blue Moon Belgian White Ale [TAP  43.46    -0.34  (-0.78%)   ], Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Michigan-based Bell’s Brewing, each converted 17 percent of triers into regular users. Coming in last in the study was Anchor Steam Brewery, converting triers into regular users at rate of just 6 percent.
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Craft Beer Takes Over NYC at the Craft Beer Festival

Written by Caitlin Colford for The Huffington Post

Craft beer festivals have been taking over event spaces nationwide, popping up year round to offer the palates of beer connoisseurs new and unique ales and lagers for sampling. An ever-expanding industry, craft beer has been rapidly making its way into beer lovers’ hearts and refrigerators over the past few years, replacing six packs of Budweiser with artisanal IPAs.

Come November 10th, 2012, the New York City Craft Beer Festival, Winter Harvest Edition, will take residence on Pier 57 to offer tastings of seasonal brews from nearly 75 breweries. Additionally, experts will be on hand to host seminars on topics such as beer and food pairings, just in time for holiday parties.

“We work to appeal to the serious beer nerd who wants to learn more about American Craft Beer,” Robert Howell Jr., the producer of the festival, states. “We stick to our NYC Craft Beer Festival mantra of ‘Seasonal, Unique, Limited Release.’ Our Holy Grail is if we can get all 3 of those characteristics in each beer.”
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Get A Beer And A Bride In Bellingham, Wash.

Written by Lanee Lee for The Huffington Post

“Stop the car!” I bellowed, jolting my beloved, Marc, out of his transcendental road trip trance (he loves road trips). His head jerked, eyes widening with worry as he said, “What’s wrong? You sick?”

Eighteen hours earlier, we had checked in to Tree Frog Night Inn, Bellingham, Washington’s only official eco bed and breakfast, and slept soundly in our Mediterranean-themed suite, awakening to chickens softly clucking and aromas of fresh seven-grain bread baking.

Keith Yandell and Kara Black, progressive Pacific Northwesterners and owners of Tree Frog Night Inn, have created a mini-sanctuary for guests to experience a slice of country living with a dollop of luxury. Amenities like an eco-friendly hot tub, dry sauna and Jacuzzi were appreciated.

But for an urbanite like myself, I was romanced by the simple pleasures: Wandering through the fuchsia pink fields of peonies, witnessing Kara (we called her the hen whisperer) cuddle with her pet chickens, soaking in the silence of rural living, and watching the star-studded night sky from the treehouse Keith had built.
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Changes to Boost New York’s Wine, Beer Industries

Visitors to the Executive Mansion sample New York state products after an earlier ‘Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit’ at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. The aim of the summit is to boost wine production and craft brewers, in part to spur job growth. / Associated Presss

Written by Jessica Bakeman for

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a number of changes Wednesday to help bolster the craft alcoholic beverage industry, saying the state will boost its advertising fund to as much as $3 million and remove some regulations.

“I think your industry has tremendous potential,” Cuomo said at the end of the Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit held near the Capitol. “First of all, the numbers in your industry are astronomical. The growth has just been staggering.”

At the Yogurt Summit in August, Cuomo announced that the state would relax environmental regulations on dairy farms. He made similar announcements Wednesday at the wine summit.

Cuomo said the Empire State Development Corp. would put $1 million toward advertising for the beverage industry, plus another $2 million if the industry can match it. The state had spent $700,000 for all staff and marketing efforts for the industry.
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11 “Beer City USA” Breweries Collaborate on The Grand Pumpkin, Hitting Taps in Grand Rapids

Written by Garret Ellison for

Harmony brewer Jackson VanDyke shows the Grand Pumpkin Saturday, October 20, 2012 at Harmony Brewing in Grand Rapids. Sally Finneran | MLive
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — It’s that time of year, when the color starts changing in the leaves and the beer.

In an effort to keep the mojo going from this year’s shared Beer City USA title, the brewers of greater Grand Rapids have cooked up a second collaboration beer that’s hitting tap handles around the area Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Eleven breweries this fall will serve their take on The Grand Pumpkin, a follow-up to this summer’s Beer City Pale Ale project, when 10 local breweries each made their version of a shared recipe ale as homage to Grand Rapids’ ‘Beer City’ title.

This time around, the rules were looser, allowing each brewer to be creative integrating pumpkin into the beer recipe, said Wob Wanhatalo, head brewer at the new Mitten Brewing Co. opening Oct. 25.

“It’s kind of everyone looking at one ingredient like you would with an ‘Iron Chef’ competition,” said Wanhatalo, who, until this month was brewing at The Hideout Brewing Co.

“What can I do with the beer that best represents that ingredient, but also trying to be different from everyone else?” he said.

The idea came from a Grand Rapids Society of Brewers meeting in August, where the group brainstormed ways to keep the energy in Grand Rapids beer heading into the next round of Beer City USA voting. Grand Rapids and Asheville, N.C. shared the 2012 title after voters in a nonscientific online poll started by homebrew pioneer Charlie Papazian bestowed the crown on the two cities in the spring.
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Fruit Beers for the Season

Image courtesy

Written by Johnathan Harder for Planet Weekly

(Note: when used in beer, pumpkin is considered a vegetable; entered in Category 21: spice/herb/vegetable-PGA)

You can brew beer with just about anything and as the craft beer movement progresses we will see more and more foodstuffs dropped into the fermentation tank to put a new spin on beer. Fruit in beer is nothing new but…..

You can brew beer with just about anything and as the craft beer movement progresses we will see more and more foodstuffs dropped into the fermentation tank to put a new spin on beer. Fruit in beer is nothing new but the skill with which it is being used is reaching a pretty nice level. I thought the warm weather was gone for good and we had moved solidly into fall…apparently not. So in the hopes that the cool weather returns I picked a pumpkin beer to review. Being the realist I am I know that the warmth could stick around for a bit longer so I also chose a nice tart cherry ale as well.
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