Liquor stores, beer distributors challenge Florida brewery licenses

Bad news for small breweries…
479402581.jpgTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida liquor stores and beer distributors are challenging the way the state issues licenses allowing craft breweries to sell their products in tasting rooms, a move that brewers say could put dozens of breweries out of business or, at the very least, halt rapid growth in the industry.

The Florida Retail Federation is suing the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and the associations that represent Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors distributors have asked to intervene in support of the suit. Separately, the Florida Independent Spirits Association filed a challenge with the agency. The association includes ABC Fine Wine & Spirits chain, which is the state’s largest liquor store chain.

The groups said they aren’t trying to shut down the brewery tasting rooms, but rather to clarify the law that allows the brewers to serve draft beer to drink on site and cans and bottles to take home.

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Biotech yeast company to open Asheville lab, hire 65

Perhaps one of our writers can visit and do an interview in the future? The Professor

Chris White, founder of White Labs, a San Diego-based

ASHEVILLE – Executives of a California biotech company that makes yeast for alcoholic drinks plan to open a 26,000-square-foot combination laboratory and tasting room on South Charlotte Street.

The San Diego-based White Labs will hire 65 people and invest $8.1 million in the facility during the next five years, Chris White, the company’s founder, president and CEO, said Thursday.

“We’re excited. We hope to add to Asheville’s community of craft (beer) brewing,” White said.

The Asheville Brewers Alliance boasts 36 member organizations.

Wages for White Labs jobs will range from about $15 an hour for shipping and tasting-room positions to roughly $60,000 a year for microbiologists, White said.

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The “Against Hoppy Beer” Debate: A Whine That’s Aging VERY Badly

TPFFor reasons known only to God and the little man in Nebraska who runs the internet, a post from 2013, from one of my favorite general interest websites,, suddenly rose from the dead and dragged its putrid corpse back into wide readership. The post  –  entitled “Against Hoppy Beer: The craft beer industry’s love affair with hops is alienating people who don’t like bitter brews.” (and which seems to have another sub-head, contained in the link: hoppy beer is awful or at least its bitterness is ruining craft beer’s reputation“) was written by a woman named Adrienne So, a young writer from Portland, Oregon, who appears to be about 30-something and whose Slate oeuvre consists of two articles on beer, out of maybe 20 total. She writes about a wide range of subjects and, as her resume says, “pitches” articles to a list of editors, which basically means that, when she gets something to say, she uses it as a way to get assignments. And, of course, the way that the publications gauge the effectiveness of a writer is to count the number of clicks and/or page hits that the post generates.

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Is Iceland’s Fermented Shark Meat Really The Most Disgusting Food In The World?

Sharkshack resized

Driving around Iceland in winter, you wonder how anyone could have settled such a barren* island before the invention of greenhouses and electricity and reliable international trade. I knew the sun-deprived December landscape would be misleadingly gloomy during my brief visit — they get a concentrated summer full of sun, after all — but Iceland sure doesn’t look like a place conducive to salads and fruit smoothies. (*Fun fact: you wouldn’t know it now, but the island used to be covered in trees. Humans just broke them all, as we do. Currently, however, Iceland is making up for tree genocide by planting more per person than any other country). Clearly, the diet of such a place was always going to consist largely of meat, fish especially. But even off the snowy glaciers and volcanic highlands, the extreme conditions around the island are gonna make fishing excursions in the dark of winter fairly treacherous. Like any culture around the world — those in equally inhospitable climates and those not — early Icelanders developed methods for preserving precious food through hard times. And mostly, that means fermentation.

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Five Ways to Become a Better Drinker in 2015

Written by Franz Hofer for Tempest in a Tankard

A belated Happy New Year to all ye faithful Tempest readers! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season filled with plenty of good cheer.

It’s been a few weeks now, but I’m back at it after my Kentucky adventures tracking the shy and retiring Pappy and the increasingly elusive Weller.IMG_2231 For this, my first post of 2015, I’m going to share some tips that have helped me become a better drinker over the years. No, not the “Dude! I just slammed ten tequilas and I’m just getting started” kind of drinker, but a more informed and engaged beer enthusiast.

Tasting beer, wine, saké, and spirits is one of life’s more enjoyable rituals, but it’s also an aptitude you can hone with a bit of practice. True, some people have a keener sense of smell than others, and some people have a more refined palate. But despair not! A modicum of attention to what you’re drinking and how you’re drinking it cannot help but enhance your enjoyment and appreciation of what’s in your glass.

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Brew Biz: Werts and All

A Brew Biz Brewery Alert
Re: Grayton Beer Company
217 Serenoa Road
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Phone: (850) 231-4786

Taproom Hours
Thursdays: 4 – 7 p.m.
Fridays: 4 – 7 p.m.
Saturdays: Noon – 5 p.m.

Written by Ken Carman

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

 It was Christmas time: 2014. Millie and I sat at the sampling bar in a huge room filled with brewing equipment and busy elves helping Santa Shank brew liquid presents for thirsty souls. But how did I end up at Grayton Beer Company a few weeks ago? Well, being a musical storyteller by trade, I at least have to give the short story version, so let’s go back a few years…
  I started touring as a children’s entertainer and educational service provider in 1988. By 1989 my tour reached Florida. In 91, sitting a director’s office, just north of Tallahassee, the director said, “I hope this won’t take you away from us: we enjoy what you do. But I really feel you’d do well in Pensacola.” So by 92 I extended my tour from Tallahassee to Panama City, Pensacola and beyond.
  Meanwhile, being a homebrewer since 79, and loving craft beer, I had made a habit of stopping by the few brew businesses around. There weren’t many. The Mill in Tallahassee, McGuires in Pensacola and Abita in Abita Springs were pretty much it. There are a handful of other brew ghosts left from those days that still live on only in my head: brief brewpubs in Panama City Beach, a far, far, far better than The Mill pub in Tallahassee, Fort Walton, Slidell, Louisiana, Ft. Walton Beach. But west of Panama City to Pensacola there still wasn’t much of anything, and I don’t mean just brew-wise. Even Destin and Ft. Walton were mostly just sleepy villages. Head north of the beach area and there was even less… a military base and, otherwise, infinitesimally small hamlets and woods, scrub, ponds, lakes.
  Boy have things changed. Some changes not so hot: condos blocking my cherished view of jewel-like blue green waves crashing gently on snow white beaches. But some changes have been for the better, like Grayton Beer Company.
  I had to ask where it was first at the McGuires in Destin. One of their brewers: Tom Anderson, gave me rough directions, while Tom’s fellow brewer, Gary Essex, chuckled. Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All”

Craft Brewers Are Running Out Of Names, And Into Legal Spats

beer-final_wide-f27ca638d8cc312bd41c4b0de847264b286a01f5-s800-c85Columbia? Taken. Mississippi? Taken. Sacramento? El Niño? Marlin? Grizzly? Sorry, they’re all taken.

Virtually every large city, notable landscape feature, creature and weather pattern of North America — as well as myriad other words, concepts and images — has been snapped up and trademarked as the name of either a brewery or a beer. For newcomers to the increasingly crowded industry of more than 3,000 breweries, finding names for beers, or even themselves, is increasingly hard to do without risking a legal fight.

Candace Moon, aka The Craft Beer Attorney, is a San Diego lawyer who specializes in helping brewers trademark ideas and also settle disputes. Moon tells The Salt she has never seen a brewery intentionally infringe upon another’s trademarked name, image or font style. Yet, with tens of thousands of brands in the American beer market, it happens all the time.

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Why these craft beer pioneers hate snobs

When Widmer Brothers and Deschutes first started brewing in the mid- to late-1980s, craft beer didn’t exist, never mind a community built around it.

The term “craft beer” didn’t show up until Vince Cottone put it in his book “Good Beer Guide: Breweries and Pubs of the Pacific Northwest” in 1986. That was about two years after Kurt and Rob Widmer began setting up their Portland, Ore., brewery. Even when Gary Fish opened Deschutes Brewing Co. as a brewpub in Bend, Ore., in 1988, what is now known as craft beer was still being referred to as “specialty beer” or “microbrew.”

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5 Ingredients to Use in a Randall


In 2002, the off-centered folks at Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales unveiled a unique apparatus that is now known as the “Randall.” A Randall connects to the tapping system of keg allowing ready-to-drink beer to flow through a vessel holding ingredients which infuse flavors and aromas in the beer just prior to drinking. While the device was originally created to add fresh hop flavors, it has since been used to infuse everything from strawberries to bacon.

The January/February 2015 Zymurgy magazine (access this issue instantly online starting 12/23/14!) walks homebrewers through the process of making their own Randall at home. We took a look at a few ingredients that can be added to your Randall to bring the homebrew experience to the next level!

1. Hops

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