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Italian Craft Beer Comes to Philadelphia

5 Apr

alla-spina-italian-craft-beer-bar

The craft beer movement is mostly an American phenomenon, though it’s only a matter of time before craft breweries start popping up overseas.  One country that has caught on to the emerging market of quality brew is Italy, and now you can have a taste of what they have to offer if you find yourself in Philadelphia.  Alla Spina, which means “from the tap” in Italian, is a craft beer bar and restaurant that opened in March and offers 20 beers on tap and 50 by the bottle.  While most of their selection is from the bigger Italian breweries, a good portion (6 of the draft beers) are from Italian microbreweries that are striving to create complex and delicious craft beer.

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Craft Beer Now on Deck at Baseball Stadiums

5 Apr

baseball-craft-beer-stadium

Ordering beer at a ballpark used to mean paying a huge premium for a watered down domestic that left your wallet aching and your mind wondering how you got robbed.  Fortunately concession managers around the nation are wising up to the craft beer revolution and 2012 will see more stadiums with craft beer on hand than ever before.  The high prices will certainly remain but it’s certainly much easier to justify a $12 IPA than a $10 Bud, and it certainly gives us more of a reason to get out to the ballpark and watch a game or two.  Check out the list below to see which stadiums are serving up the craftness.

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Sonoran Brewing 7 Wives Saison

7 Mar

7 wives saison

Collaboration brews are gaining some serious popularity as of late, and what is typically a partnership between breweries has naturally evolved into one brewery’s inclusion of a renowned chef to help bring together new ingredients to form a unique Saison.  7 Wives Saison from Sonoran Brewing Company is the first beer in an exciting seasonal series that features local ingredients from Arizona and is brewed with the help and creativity of a distinguished chef.  7 Wives was brewed with input from Jeremy Pacheco, chef at Lon’s at the Hermosa, and includes wheat from Pacheco’s father’s Marana farm, fennel from his garden and McClendon’s Select Organic Farm in Peoria, mesquite syrup from Cotton Country Jams in Phoenix, and fresh pink peppercorns from Singh Farms in Scottsdale.  Saison is a style that should lend itself well to these earthy and peppery additions, especially with an accomplished chef giving the final word on how it should taste.  Look for the collaborated brew where Sonoran beer is sold (Arizona).

Dogfish Head Positive Contact

5 Mar

dogfish head positive contact deltron

The collaboration brew is nothing new to the craft beer industry.  Brewers will often share ideas and ingredients with one another to create something new and typically experimental, but Dogfish Head is trying a new type of collaboration beer by teaming up with none other than hip-hop artist Dan the Automator from Deltron 3030.  Positive Contact is the new creation that will be a beer/cider mix, featuring some of Dan’s favorite ingredients: Fuji Apples, Cayenne Peppers, roasted Farro, and Cilantro.

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Beijing Begins Brewing Craft Beer

27 Feb

slowboat brewery great leap brewing

Americans aren’t the only people with a craving for great craft beer.  The citizens of China have been showing a huge increase in demand for American ales with their strong economy on the rise giving people the means to afford better tasting, though more expensive, imported beer.  American craft beer exports have increased five-fold over the last five years (though the total sales in 2010 was still a meager $600,000) which has spurred the opening of two craft breweries in Beijing.  Great Leap Brewing and Slowboat Brewery are looking to take advantage of the emerging market with two different brewing styles.  Great Leap which opened in 2010, crafts beers from local ingredients, using Chinese hops as well as locally sourced honey, pepper, coffee beans, and teas while Slowboat imports hops and grains from the typical American farms located in the Pacific Northwest.   “It’s comforting for local Chinese to know the ingredients aren’t Chinese, because of all the food scandals,” said chief executive Chandler Jurinka.  Although the two Beijing breweries are following different strategies, both are pursuing the same goal: to create great tasting beer; and in a huge, emerging market of beer drinkers with extra yuan in their pockets, it’s a recipe for success.

The Brew Exchange

20 Feb

the brew exchange logo

Craft beer bars seem to be popping up on every corner in cities like New York, Seattle, Houston and anywhere else with a decent beer community.  Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to see some bars with unique twists to draw customers (though, craft beer should be enough of a draw in itself).

One such example is The Brew Exchange in Austin, TX which opened its doors on February 16 with a pricing format that’s one of a kind.  The 72 beers on tap are all subject to The Brew Exchange’s pricing software that causes each beer to fluctuate somewhere between deeply discounted special offers and the typical six dollar pint.  The prices all move up and down throughout the day, allowing customers to get a premium pint for as little as $2 if the “market conditions” are favorable.  The dynamic prices also allow for certain brews to go on sale all day, simulating a market crash.  Each beer is dependent on the prices of the other beers though, so for example, if a Stone Pale Ale sees a 25% price drop, then the beers that are in that same category will rise by 25%.

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Video: The American Beer Revival

20 Feb

Check out this fantastic video by visual.ly about the fall and rise of American craft breweries over the last 100 years.  Enjoy!

Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale

16 Feb

shiner wild hare pale ale

Spoetzl Brewery, better known as Shiner to most, is breaking its 102 year-long streak of producing only lagers with the release of its very first pale ale.  Wild Hare Pale Ale is now available in select locations across the United States and will be a traditional pale ale brewed with Munich and Caramel malt and over one pound of Goldings and Bravo hops per barrel.  The result is a comparatively low 4.3% ABV with “crisp bitterness and an assertive fresh hop fruit and floral aroma.”

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Places to Taste Pliny the Younger in So Cal

14 Feb

Pliny-the-Younger-locations

Head on over to Taste Terminal to check out the dates and times when the highly coveted (and highly limited) Pliny the Younger will available at bars across Southern California.  Some have presale tickets available but you’re limited to only one 8 oz. pour.  Still, most locations only received one or two 5-gallon kegs so it will go fast.  Follow the link below to find where the triple IPA will be poured.

http://www.tasteterminal.com/2012/02/14/more-places-to-get-a-taste-of-pliny-the-younger-in-southern-california/

Craft Beer at Your Doorstep

10 Feb

beerjobber craft beer

Beerjobber is the new player in the online craft beer game, set to open to the public on February 13 (previously invite only), the site picks up the beer “fresh from the brewery and deliver[s] it straight to your door.”  Having the ability to pick up and ship straight from the brewer means you’re likely to find a new or seasonal beer that isn’t distributed to your state but can be shipped through beerjobber, which allows for breweries to distribute to a wider area without having to deal with postage headaches or finding new distributors.  There are several other online beer stores across the web (links below), but beerjobber’s niche is fresh beer straight from the brewery itself, ensuring you get the best tasting, freshest craft beer from brewers all over the country.

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