Commercial Beer

Alesong Brewing & Blending Fall 2018 Bottle Release

Brewpublic - Wed, 10/31/2018 - 12:38pm
Still riding high winning three medals at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival, Alesong Brewing & Blending is preparing for its forthcoming Fall 2018 Bottle Release. In less than two weeks the Eugene based brewery will host its Fall 2018 Bottle Release for Raspberry Parliament, Four Merchants, Rhino Suit 18, and Farm Fresh. The bottle […]
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Hopvemberfest and why IPA still matters in the world of craft beer

Washington Beer News - Wed, 10/31/2018 - 9:07am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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The folks at Beveridge Place Pub get it. Sorry hop haters, but during November West Seattle’s beloved beer haven celebrates Hopvemberfest, a month-long festival of IPA that helps the pub determine what beer reigns as the house IPA for the coming year. For IPA aficionados it’s a glorious time of year.

For the first two weeks of November they’ll rotate through a selection of 48 Washington-brewed IPAs, with 24 on tap at any given moment. Along the way, pub patrons cast ballots for their favorites. The second half of the month sees the top eight vote-getting beers compete tournament-style until a champion is determined.

The winning beer will become the always-on-tap IPA at the pub for the coming year. It’s a lucrative contract/prize for the winning brewery: a year’s worth of guaranteed sales that can amount to as many as five kegs per week. Like I said, serious business.

And speaking of business, let’s have a frank discussion about the important role of IPA in the craft beer industry. If you openly despise the stuff, and I know there are beer geeks out there who do, then you need to check your attitude. If you are one of those IPA-contrarians who thinks that IPA’s popularity is interfering with your ability to drink other, more adventurous styles of beer, think again. You might have that exactly wrong.

THE ROLE OF IPA IN THE BEER INDUSTRY

In 2017 consumers spent just under $1.3 billion on IPAs, which marked a 16 percent increase from the previous year. As a result, IPA accounted for 31.7 percent of all off-premise craft beer dollar sales, based on IRI data. Basically, grocery store sales. There are dozen of different styles of craft beer, yet IPA accounted for nearly a third of all sales.

It should be noted that IPA is all over the map these days. A Milkshake IPA is nothing at all like a Brut IPA, a Hazy IPA is quite different than a West Coast IPA, and so on. This variety within the style may help account for its increasing popularity.

So who is drinking all of this IPA?

NOT YOUR GRANDPA’S CRAFT BEER 

A recent article in The New Brewer* focused on an emerging and important breed of craft beer consumer, the “IPA-centric drinkers.” In identifying and researching this new subspecies of beer drinker, Mike Kallenburger learned some interesting things. For instance, he learned what does and does not matter to the IPA-centric drinker. If you’re reading this now, it is very unlikely that you fit into this new category of consumer. Your interest in this blog probably disqualifies you.

Cooper’s Alehouse, one of Seattle’s original craft-focused beer bars, celebrates IPA with a three-week event each April. (Picture circa 2015.)

The IPA-centric drinker bucks a stereotype. “Adventurous drinkers,” as Kallenburger refers to us, tend to focus on the newest thing and the wildest flavors. We go to special tasting events, visit breweries, talk to brewers, and read magazines. It’s not enough to simply drink and enjoy a beer, we want to know details and we want to challenge our palates to accept new things. We are still an important part of the craft beer marketplace, but it seems we’re not as big a part of the craft beer marketplace as we once were. The audience has grown, but not exclusively with hardcore beer aficionados like us. I think we all recognize this intuitively.

“Most craft drinkers are fairly eclectic when it comes to styles, although of course there are exceptions,” says Kallenburger. “But IPA-centric drinkers seldom venture to other styles. (In fact,
we might even call them “IPA-myopic.”)”

It should be noted that plenty of IPA drinkers are beer nerds to some extent. They know the difference between the various types of IPAs and are often well-versed when it comes to hop varieties, for instance. The IPA-centric drinkers are a subset that is even more focused on IPA than typical hop-head beer nerds.

Published earlier this year, Dick Cantwell wrote a book for adventurous IPA drinkers and brewers: Brewing Eclectic IPA.

Unlike beer aficionados who happen to drink IPA, the IPA-centric drinker does not care about any of the details. They don’t care about who owns the brewery, what kind of hops were used in the recipe, or any of the other things that matter so much to adventurous beer drinkers. They drink what they like and that’s their only concern. They are not necessarily brand loyal in the same way your grandfather was loyal to Rainier Beer or Blitz Weinhard, but evidence does suggest that they are loyal to the style.

“For them, IPAs (but not craft beer more generally, at least not yet) have become ubiquitous and familiar enough that they can and do drink the style exclusively as part of their desire for what’s safe and predictable,” says Kallenburger.

Photo circa 2009, when a side-by-side IPA tasting was a novel event. Now it’s just another night at the pub.

I have several friends who fall into this category: they drink nothing but IPA. One very positive attribute of my IPA-centric friends, and I don’t know if this is common among all IPA-centric drinkers, they are fiercely loyal to craft beer. If there were such a thing as Budweiser IPA, my IPA-centric buddies would not drink it. They recognize the value of independence. In part, that’s because of me.

“Play Some Skynyrd, Man!”

For whatever reason, IPA strikes a chord with a growing portion of the beer-drinking public. We may never understand why. It could be argued that the rising popularity of IPA drove the brewery boom of the past ten years. Or vice versa. It’s a chicken-or-egg thing.

In the past decade the number of breweries in Washington has grown from about 100 to over 400. At the same time, growth across the nation has outpaced even those remarkable numbers, from about 1,500 breweries in 2008 to about 6,700 breweries in 2018. In the same time span, IPA has also skyrocketed in popularity.

Whatever the case, if you’re an adventurous beer drinker—as people like you and me have now been labeled—you should appreciate the contribution of the IPA-centric drinkers to the craft beer industry. Don’t mock them or begrudge them. They are not the majority of craft beer drinkers yet, but along with the throngs of adventurous beer drinkers who often lean toward IPA, they are paying the bills these days. Remember, there are dozens of different styles out there, but one out of every three craft beers sold is an IPA.

I would never dream of telling someone how to operate their business, but if I owned a brewery I would never run out of IPA, and especially not in my own taproom. I wouldn’t want to disappoint such a large segment of the audience. Imagine going to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert and the band doesn’t play Free Bird. Likewise, if I owned a bar, I would welcome these IPA-centric drinkers with multiple IPA options and gently nudge them towards a higher level of beer geekery.

We adventurous beer drinkers need to recognize that West Coast IPAs, Hazy IPAs, Imperial IPAs, Brut IPAs, and Newfangled Whatchamacallit IPAs just might be the funding mechanisms behind a brewery’s other, more creative endeavors. As for me, I like it all. More IPA, more adventure. Bring it on.

 

*The New Brewer, the journal of the Brewers Association, is published bi-monthly. The New Brewer (and additional copies for staff) is included with a paid Brewers Association membership.

 

 

 

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For the latest news and information about beer in and around Washington, visit Washington Beer Blog.

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Bear Republic Brewing Releases Drift Racer Hazy Double IPA

Brewpublic - Wed, 10/31/2018 - 3:00am
On the heels of Thru the Haze IPA, Bear Republic Brewing Co. has recently released its follow up, Drift Racer Hazy Double IPA. Expect a more pronounced juicy, fruit forward flavor profile and a smooth mouth feel with just enough bitterness on this one. Drift Racer Hazy Double IPA showcases some of the hottest new hop varieties […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Worthy Brewing Craft Beer, Cheese, Charcuterie & Dessert Pairing

Brewpublic - Wed, 10/31/2018 - 2:00am
The pairing of craft beer, cheese, charcuterie and desserts returns to Worthy Brewing in Bend, Oregon. This edition of this pairing will take place on Friday, November 9th from 5:00-6:30pm. Guests can expect to have their senses dazzled by a Certified Cicerone beer presentation that compliments various types of local, artisan cheeses and select meats. […]
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Aslan Brewing 2018 Fall Beer Releases – The Duke, Inside Voice, and Ashes in the Fall

Brewpublic - Wed, 10/31/2018 - 1:00am
With the Fall season fully upon us Aslan Brewing from Bellingham, Washington has a few new 2018 Fall Beer Releases hitting the marketplace. Aslan Brewing has released The Duke (Ordinary Bitte), Inside Voice (Brown IPA), and Ashes in the Fall (London Export Stout). Here’s a rundown on all three beer releases with descriptions provide by […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Jellyfish Brewing opens its taproom this Saturday in Georgetown

Washington Beer News - Tue, 10/30/2018 - 12:28pm

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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By now you may have heard of Jellyfish Brewing and/or enjoyed their beers. The company began brewing almost two years ago at their facility in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. This Saturday, November 3rd at 11:30 A.M. they will at last open the taproom at 917 S. Nebraska Street. The celebration will last all month.

The taproom is kid-friendly. Dogs are welcome outside on the patio. In the coming days we will have more details about the taproom, including pictures. Keep an eye on the company’s website and Facebook page.

Here’s what to expect on Saturday. “We’ll feature all of our core beers, including Smack IPA, Planktonic Red, Hydra Pils, Saison Memoir, Cannonball Oatmeal Porter, Sour Suzie Kettle Sour and Tickle Monster Imperial Stout,” the company said in a press release. “We’ll also open with three of our favorite seasonals: Mandatory Fun Fresh Hop Pale, Winter Fix Winterfuit IPA, and Cerveza de los Muertos.”

The celebration continues through the month of November with more special beer releases:

Week 1: November 3rd-11th
Birra Chiara – Barrel fermented Blonde Ale with honey.
Party on Garth – Barrel fermented Sour Red
Cerveza de los Muertos ‘Mole’ – Strong Ale with chocolate, chilis, raisins, pepitas & sesame

Week 2: November 12th-18th
Funky Fresh – Fresh Hop Brett IPA with Chinooks
Date Night – Wine barrel aged Porter with chocolate
Cerveza de los Muertos ‘Reposada’ – Strong Ale infused with tequila oak chips & pink pepper.

Week 3: November 19th-25th
Dry-Hopped Selavtica – Barrel aged Wild Ale with Simcoe, Citra & Chinook hops.
Oh My Figgin’ Quad – Whiskey barrel aged Belgian Quad with mission figs
Cerveza de los Muertos ‘Mexican Coffee’ – Strong Ale with additions of coffee & cinnamon.

Week 4: November 26th-Dec 2nd
Seattle Sunburn – Barrel aged Red Saison
Sour Suzie 2 – Barrel aged with Brett & Blackberry
Cerveza de los Muertos ‘Coconut Pecan’ – Rum soaked oak chips

Jellyfish Brewing
917 S. Nebraska St.
Seattle, WA 98108

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For the latest news and information about beer in and around Washington, visit Washington Beer Blog.

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Beer List Revealed for the 23rd Annual Holiday Ale Festival

Brewpublic - Tue, 10/30/2018 - 11:30am
In just four short weeks the 23rd Annual Holiday Ale Festival will return to Pioneer Courthouse Square from November 28 – December 2, 2018. Held outdoors each year under heated tents just below the Portland Christmas Tree, the 2018 Holiday Ale Festival will once again bring in over 50 breweries pouring notably higher alcohol beers. […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Central Oregon Homebrewers To Host Learn to Homebrew Day – Saturday, November 3, 2018

Brewpublic - Tue, 10/30/2018 - 10:59am
Bend, OR – October 29, 2018 – On November 3, Central Oregon Homebrewers Organization (COHO) is hosting an American Homebrewers Association® (AHA) Learn to Homebrew Day event. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at Monkless Belgian Ales. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Learn to Homebrew Day […]
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Beer Release – Battle Axe Bavarian Lager, Gig Harbor Brewing

Washington Beer News - Tue, 10/30/2018 - 9:06am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Gig Harbor Brewing announces the release of Battle Axe Bavarian Lager. Here are the release notes from the brewery.

Battle Axe Bavarian Lager

Gig Harbor Brewing Releases New Märzen Lager

Debuting on tap this week at Gig Harbor’s Tacoma Taproom and Brewery, is their new fall seasonal Battle Axe Bavarian Lager. This märzen lager style has its origins in Bavaria and was traditionally kept in the cellar until late in the summer, and remaining bottles were served at Oktoberfest.

Gig Harbor’s take on this classic style has a medium dark golden color, nice malty flavor, and clean dry finish.

Only a small 10bbl batch of the Battle Axe Bavarian Lager was brewed and it is currently available only in Gig Harbor’s Tacoma Taproom & Brewery on S Tacoma Way, but should be available in their Harbor Taproom along the Gig Harbor waterfront in the next few days.

 

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For the latest news and information about beer in and around Washington, visit Washington Beer Blog.

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Culmination Brewing & Outrage eSports Bar Extra-Life Fundraiser

Brewpublic - Mon, 10/29/2018 - 9:33pm
Culmination Brewing will partner with Outrage eSports Bar and Doerenbecher Children’s Hospital at OHSU on their Extra-Life Fundraiser. This event that will bring eSport gamming to Outrage for a 24-hour gaming marathon that will take place on Saturday, November 3, 2018. This fundraiser will include video games, board games, or any other sort of game! […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Three Creeks Brewing 2018 Fall Brewers Dinner

Brewpublic - Mon, 10/29/2018 - 9:14pm
On Thursday, November 1st, Three Creeks Brewing will host its 2018 Fall Brewers Dinner at its brewpub in Sisters, Oregon. This annual dinner will pair Three Creeks’ beers with a four course meal created by the pub’s culinary team. The dinner will begin at 6:00pm will full details below. Three Creeks Brewing 2018 Fall Brewers […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Samuel Adams Honors the 2018 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox with Damage Done Double IPA

Brewpublic - Mon, 10/29/2018 - 4:04pm
On Sunday night the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the 2018 World Series to become the 2018 World Champions. To honor this occasion Boston Beer Co. and Samuel Adams is honoring the Red Sox with its very own beer, Damage Done Double IPA. Earlier this year it was […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Washington beer? There’s an app for that

Washington Beer News - Mon, 10/29/2018 - 10:08am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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As I talk to people around Washington about beer, it surprises me how many local beer lovers are unaware of the Washington Beer App. When the Washington Beer Commission introduced the Washington Beer App some time ago, it was not without its bugs, but the new version of the app works quite flawlessly.

Why does Washington beer need an app? Well, because there are over 400 breweries in the state, the Commission hosts official Washington beer festivals just about every month, and because you need easy access to information about Washington beer. The free Washington Beer App is available from whatever App Store you use. Just search for “Washington Beer.”

The Washington Beer App is especially valuable for WABL members. If you’re a WABL member (why wouldn’t you be?), the app serves as your digital passport and allows you easily earn rewards for doing something that you already do: visit breweries and drink Washington beer. You get points for each brewery you visit. There is even a leader board so you can see how you stack up against other WABLs.

In case you’re unaware, WABL (Washington Beer Lovers) is basically like the Washington beer fan club. There is a fee to join, but the cost is outweighed by the benefits. Seriously, the first two things on the list below are easily worth the $30 fee.

  • A WABL t-shirt that lists all of the breweries in your region
  • Special benefits at Washington Beer Commission festivals which may include a special WABL beer that is served only to members, extra tasting tokens, a special WABL glass, or WABL-only member lounges
  • Access to the Washington Beer Mobile App, which is now the preferred way to collect WABL passport stamps. Start collecting digitally and never miss a stamp. (Note – the app is available to all, but only WABLs can access the Passport feature and earn rewards.)
  • Great prizes for collecting 20 stamps and 50 stamps in your mobile passport. This year you will receive a WABL hat for 20 stamps. Collect 50 stamps and your next year’s membership is free.
  • A monthly newsletter with event information, WA beer news, upcoming beer releases, and WABL discounts
  • A Free annual subscription to Sip Northwest Magazine

Visit 20 breweries (some of you do that in a weekend), check in at each brewery using the App, and get a hat. Before long, they’ll come up with a new reward. Keep on collecting, keep on earning free stuff for something you already do.

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For the latest news and information about beer in and around Washington, visit Washington Beer Blog.

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

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