Little did Brian Chapin know in 1998 when he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he studied engineering, that his job 16 years later would be staging a monster beer festival in downtown Las Vegas.
But as founder and owner of Las Vegas-based Motley Brews, Chapin has retired his West Point grays and is focusing on assembling more than 80 craft beer companies, lining up sponsors and forging business alliances to put on the Great Vegas Festival of Beer on East Fremont, Sixth and Seventh streets.
Throwing a downtown Las Vegas beer bash on April 26 is a long way from his five-year Army hitch that took him from West Point on the Hudson River 50 miles north of New York City to military bases in South Korea, central Missouri and Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Motley Brews has carved out a growing niche — staging beer festivals in a market that is slowly coming of age when it comes to savoring the taste of craft India pale ales, brown ales, porters, stouts and lagers. He began putting on his signature beer festival at Tivoli Village off Alta Drive before moving it to Sunset Park off South Eastern Avenue in 2013 and now the downtown East Fremont district this year.
Chapin, a Buffalo, N.Y., native who lives in Summerlin, launched Motley Brews with less than $10,000 and a partner. He has three other full timers and will enlist several dozen part-time workers for the April beer festival.
After serving in the military, Chapin worked in real estate development but knew that he always had a passion for craft beer.
He figured out his business niche after putting on a happy hour beer tasting in Phoenix. He moved to Las Vegas in 2009 with the aim of starting Motley Brews.
“It was an untouched market when it came to the craft beer scene,” Chapin said. “It was night and day compared to how it is now.”
He held his first beer festival in 2010 at the Hard Rock, but said a few closed streets in downtown Las Vegas is the best place for a craft beer venue. “Downtown captures the spirit about us,” Chapin said.
Chapin envisions growing his business, with sights set on staging beer festivals in San Diego; the San Francisco Bay Area; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Asheville, N.C.
Chapin said he knew his specialty was putting together beer festivals, instead of working behind the scenes and brewing the suds.
“I’m pretty terrible at it,” Chapin said. “But I like to drink it.”
Question: Why do you want to get people excited about craft beer in Las Vegas?
Answer: Las Vegas is a relatively young, burgeoning craft beer market. We see one of our primary roles as a cheerleader for the great beer that exists right in our own backyard. Our festivals serve as a medium for local and regional breweries to show off their skills and establish face-to-face relationships with local consumers.
Our goal within the industry remains to be seen as a truly unique portrayal of what craft beer is all about. We host areas dedicated to beer-infused cuisine produced by renowned Las Vegas chefs. We’re developing instructional areas within the festival, but we’re keeping it light with classes like “Beer Sorcery.” We want to excite people with the innovations of the craft beer industry and we’re constantly reinventing ways to make it fun and accessible to the casual beer drinker.
Question: What’s the business strategy behind staging beer festivals to grow the craft beer scene in the Las Vegas area?
Answer: We’re big believers in building up local craft beer within Las Vegas to spur overall market growth. The craft beer industry is extremely collaborative and the local beer scene sets the tone in many markets around the country. The strategy goes beyond getting beer samples to the lips of our attendees. We see it as our responsibility to make sure they stay connected to craft beer postfestival as well. … We find it much more meaningful when we’re able to provide tools like mobile apps for our guests to seek out their favorite brews at their favorite on- or off-premise locations.
Question: Are you able to turn a profit on your beer festivals? What is the biggest challenge when holding a beer festival?
Answer: The biggest challenges recently for us have come as a result of growth with our festivals. Scaling festivals to accommodate more breweries and beer lovers while continuing to improve the event quality remains a main focus. We’re seeing overall profitability, but are investing in the long-term by focusing on guest experience to generate word-of-mouth buzz.
Question: What is your own personal favorite type of beer and why?
Answer: I’ve been religiously drawn to India pale ales for the better part of a decade. There are so many microcosms of varieties within this style and each is uniquely different. As a parallel, to me, crafting an IPA has become akin to creating a bold cabernet in the wine industry. Breweries are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with hops and having a blast doing it.
Question: What was it like launching Motley Brews? How much money did you have to invest to start the business?
Answer: It was a hell of a lot of fun, actually. We’re a pretty rambunctious group and none of us take ourselves too seriously, so we decided to make an effort to incorporate that style into parts of our festivals. We made a relatively modest investment to get a website going along with a few other startup expenses. We knew we had something when the first Great Vegas Festival of Beer sold out in 2011.
Question: What’s the biggest expense in staging beer festivals and what’s the biggest thing you have learned from holding these kinds of events?
Answer: Most of our event venues start as a blank, outdoor canvas in which we provide every piece of the puzzle. That in itself is an expensive proposition but allows us ultimately to be much more creative. Las Vegas is a tricky market for beer festivals — we always thought that if we just curated an immaculate beer list that the crowds would come pouring in. What we learned is that the beer list is one part of the overall formula. We’re focused on creating something truly immersive and memorable for our guests and try to outdo ourselves with each subsequent event.
Question: What’s your favorite beer city in America and why?
Answer: There’s so many great ones out there now. I’d say that San Diego ranks among my favorites; there’s an energy among the breweries that’s absolutely insane to be around. I feel like a kid in a candy store when I visit. A lot of the San Diego breweries see success for one local brewery as success for all local breweries. That collaborative spirit combined with the beachside makes for an amazing beer haven.
Question: What do your former West Point cadet pals say to you when they find out you’re in the craft beer festival business?
Answer: Typically they say, “Dude, send me beer.” I’ve been an alumni beer pimp for quite some time now.
One hasn’t really tasted craft beer until they’ve tasted cask conditioned or “real ale,” unpasteurized, unfiltered beer that comes out of a firkin.
Normally, beer is fermented and passed through a filter, permanently stopping fermentation and removing the yeast and other proteins that can cause cloudy beer. It is then pumped into kegs, force carbonated and delivered to a pub, hooked up to the tap system, and served to the customer.
Cask-conditioned ale is put through an entirely different process that allows it to remain a living product with yeast that is still active or in suspension from the time it is made to the time it is drunk. After the beer’s initial fermentation, this beer, unfiltered and unpasteurized, is dosed with a bit more sugar, and pumped into smaller stainless steel or wooden casks called firkins where the yeast begins a secondary fermentation process consuming the new sugars, excreting CO2 and carbonating the beer in its container.
Unlike modern kegging systems, these firkins are simple uncomplicated barrels with no internal plumbing or valves. The firkin simply has two holes, a bung to which a faucet will be attached for pouring, and a shive where the beer is pumped in and later will act as a regulator allowing air to pass into the keg during serving.
Before industrial processes were applied to beer, this was how all beer was packaged and served. Brewers would simply pour their beer into barrels, deliver the barrels to publicans who would place the beer in their cellars, let the yeast finish its job and when the publican deemed the beer ready, he’d roll the barrel onto the bar, hammer in a faucet, loosen the bung and letting gravity do the work, he’d pour his customer’s pints.
Today the gravity faucets used to pour cask-conditioned beer have largely given way to a hand pump called a “beer engine.” The hand pump literally pulls the beer from the firkin into the glass, agitating the naturally carbonated, unfiltered beer as it comes out to create what I would describe as a whipped, cloudy and denser beer that is smooth and has a much fuller body and feel than a normally kegged beer.
What’s more, these beers are traditionally served at cellar temps (50-55º F), opening up the beer’s complex aromas and full flavors. This way, hops become more pronounced and the bready, biscuity, sweet flavors of the malt are more evident. The still live yeast and other particulates give the beer a yeasty bite and add even deeper layers of complexity offering up flavors that go missing in cold and filtered beers.
Because it’s a live product cask-conditioned ale allows little in the way of consistency of flavor from pint to pint or firkin to firkin. Nor does the beer have the consistent effervescent carbonation that many beer drinkers expect from modern beers that have been subject to the brewing processes that lead to a consistent product. Real ale is fragile and doesn’t travel well. It has a relatively short shelf life, and is best served fresh; the longer it sits or the more it’s subject to the jostling of shipment the more oxygen the beer is subjected to and the higher the risk of it developing off flavors.
The brewer thus takes a lot of risk introducing the beer to the things they usually try to avoid, and those who do offer their beer in firkins will do so only in limited runs making a firkin of beer a rare treat and one that all beer drinkers should seek out.
Craft brewers, however, serve the needs of the local community and their commitment to and engagement in the local community means they can afford to provide the neighborhood pub or their tasting room customers with a firkin or two of real ale. In this case, smaller is better and craft brewers are better able to serve such a fragile product to a local market. As such some craft beer geeks have become quite accustomed to cask-conditioned ale and make pilgrimages to bars that serve it.
If you’d like to join the club, Greg Nagel, beer writer at OCBeerBlog.com has organized Firkfest (firkfest.com), the first all cask ale beer festival in Orange County. On March 22 at Farmers Park in the Anaheim’s Packing District (400 S. Anaheim Blvd.), the festival will feature more than 30 Southern California breweries who will each bring a firkin or two of their wares. For $50 (proceeds go to Inspire Artistic Minds) guests of the festival will be treated to unlimited 4 oz. pours of these delicious cask-conditioned ales.
The festival is generating a lot of buzz, according to Nagal, who said, “With Firkfest, I have breweries nagging me… It’s weird to have a brewery wait-list.”
Nagel said he organized Firkfest because he wanted to bring a fresh approach to beer festivals, one that “focus on unique nuances of modern craft beer.” He added that he hoped Firkfest would be the first of many festivals in Orange County that highlight the region’s growing craft beer culture.
If you can’t make it to Firkfest, there is always your local craft beer pub. Beachwood BBQ on the Promenade downtown always has at least one beer on cask, as does Congregation Ale House. If you’re willing to travel to the South Bay, Smog City and Monkish often offer their beers straight from the cask, and The Bruery in Orange County celebrates what the call “First Firkin Friday,” on the first Friday of every month, where they feature one or two of their beers on cask often adding fresh fruit or other exotic ingredients to the cask.
Sean Smith is an award winning homebrewer, historian and writer. You can find more of his writing at JustAnotherBeerBlog.com.
Hawkshead Brewery ‘Spring Beer Festival 2014′
4:47pm Friday 7th March 2014 in News
FESTIVAL TIME: The beer hall at Hawkshead Brewery
Beers from some of the most exciting new craft breweries in the country will be on tap at the 7th Spring beer festival at The Beer Hall at Hawkshead Brewery, Staveley.
Over March 14 and 16, over 60 beers from 13 breweries, all young independents, will be exhibited, including a mystery beer, The Illusionist.
This is a collaboration between Magic Rock Brewing and Hawkshead, and the reigning CAMRA champion beer of the North West, Hawkshead’s Cumbrian Five Hop.
Hawkshead head brewer, Matt Clarke, said: “Our beer festivals have become a north west institution, which we change every year in line with the rapid pace of change in the British brewing industry.
“There are now more breweries, more beer styles more flavours than ever before and we try to reflect that.”
Birds of a Feather in second series
Osbourne mansion ravaged by floods
Dannii and Kylie had Voice marathon
Goulding: No need for skimpy frocks
Parker Jr: Hollywood star ‘unreal’
Goodness Gracious Me cast reunites
Craft brew and bacon aficionados take note: The first annual D.C. Bacon and Beer Festival will take place next month.
On April 12 at Penn Social, the first annual festival—presented by Eat Boston, a Boston-based event dining production company—will feature bacon-inspired dishes and snacks from a variety of local restaurants, as well as craft beers on tap from a host of local and regional breweries. The event will benefit Food Friends, a D.C.-based organization that provides free, home-delivered meals, groceries, and nutrition counseling to people with life-challenging illnesses.
Participating restaurants include Art Soul, Bar Pilar and Boundary Road, while DC Brau and Three Stars are on the brewery side. Here’s the full list of participating restaurants and breweries:
Tickets for the festival cost $45, while “baller tickets” — which are “exactly like a regular ticket, but it costs a little more and you get to call yourself a baller” — cost $60, a release states.
Recently, Eat Boston held Bacon and Beer festivals in Philly and Boston, both of which sold out in minutes. So yeah, you might want to jump on tickets if this is something you’re into. They go on sale March 13 at 11 a.m.
“I’ve been going to D.C. since I was 4 years old and I’ve always loved it,” Eat Boston founder Aaron Cohen said in a release. “More recently, I’ve been loving D.C.’s exciting restaurant scene. So it was obvious where we should host the next Bacon and Beer Festival.”
Give the Joy Formidable Beer, or It Gets Angry
The North Texas region has become a national hot-bed of craft breweries and general good-times which circle around sudsy concoctions. Aside from the growing numbers of top-notch brewers and hops-focused gastropubs of the Metroplex, the burst of can’t-miss beer festivals has been as enjoyable of a benefit of the beer-boom as anything else around these parts over the past two or three years.
Of the several festivals dotting the ale-stained D-FW map, there isn’t one that blends a uniquely pieced together musical bill with a carefully curated brewers roster than Spune Productions annual Untapped Festival. For the festival’s second Fort Worth installment (Dallas, Houston and Atlanta have hosted Untapped Festivals also), taking place this Saturday at Panther Island Pavilion, along the banks of the Trinity River, the Joy Formidable, Allen Stone, People Under the Stairs and Quaker City Night Hawks, among some others, will jam while thousands guzzle, we mean, sample, from a selection of a couple hundred craft brews from over 60 hand-picked breweries, including the best of the local brands.
Since beer is a big deal here now, and pairing beer with chef-inspired menus has become quite the trend, too, we are here to offer you an Untapped Beer-Band Pairing Guide for this Saturday’s guzzling, we mean, sampling and educating.
The Joy Formidable (London) with Peticolas Brewing Royal Scandal (Dallas): It might seem a tad lazy to pair this London-based band with an award-winning English Pale Ale, but it makes sense. The Ritzy Bryan-led trio will almost certainly offer the fest’s most energetic, almost violent set, and Royal Scandal’s 6.5% ABV packs a mid-size punch so that you may take the pounding from the stage, not from the usually much higher alcohol content that other Peticolas brews offer. If you’re not in a beer mood at that point of the night, hit up Angry Orchard for a cider. Cider’s have long been staples in European pubs and the term “Angry” will certainly fit what Bryan will act like by the time the group’s set closes when she bangs instruments and makes mean faces at everyone.
People Under the Stairs (Los Angeles) with Stone Brewing Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale (San Diego): This Black IPA is deceptively smooth for a hoppy brew with an 8.7% ABV (basically twice the strength of a Miller Lite). And given the laid-back nature of the SoCal duo’s songs, which sometimes discuss weed and beer (“Acid Raindrops” is a great example), what better brewery than one that has loved putting sweet-smelling buds (of hops) called Stone to offer up a fine liquid companion to Double K’s and Thes Ones’ rhymes.
Quaker City Night Hawks (Fort Worth) with Martin House Brewing Gateway XPA (Fort Worth): The band on this bill with the sweatiest swagger requires the most easily swigged brew the festival offers, which happens to come from their hometown. Perfect. In an area where there are many southern rock groups melting faces, QCNH are the most searing. The criminally crisp and please-chug-me nature of the Gateway XPA (Extra Pale Ale for those cheap American lager-lovers) is the perfect beverage to hoist high when Sam Anderson and crew bust out with their barn-burning, butt-shaking “Fox in the Hen House.” Want something a touch stronger, but want to keep it local and still pair well, Lakewood Brewing’s Vienna Lager (Garland) is bold, as is the band, and ready to be hoisted, as well.
Allen Stone (Chewelah, Washington) with Full Sail Brewing Amber (Hood River, Oregon): Stone, a self-described RB hippie just might be the personification of mellow. But don’t mistake that for a lack of fun, as his music has a great deal of joy, even if he isn’t terribly bombastic about it all. The same description can be made for not only the Full Sail Amber (which comes in at a manageable, but not boring 5.5% ABV), and the Hood River region it’s brewed in. The workers at the Full Sail brewery go kite-surfing on their freaking lunch breaks. It’s not unthinkable that some Allen Stone, their neighbor just to the north a tad, is on the stereo when they return from their chill, hazy smoke breaks, either. Oh, and Stone’s long, hippie hair is kind of amber colored, so there’s that.
Before I go on my statewide search for Michigan’s Best Doughnut, I will take some time to check out this weekend’s annual Brew-Ski Festival at Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs.
A list of participating breweries is attached at the bottom on this story.
While I was doing some research (on the beer festival, not doughnuts), I stumbled upon several events celebrating Michigan craft beer culture.
Remember, if you’re bar or restaurant manager, and you have a special event coming up, please let me know via email at email@example.com or use the comments section below.
And I also want to hear from the breweries, too. No event is too big or too small.
Michigan Beer Events:
Schmohz Brewing Beer Dinner at Gipper’s, 2929 Kraft Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
The dinner begins at 6 p.m. and features Chef Lance and Schmohz Beer Engineer Chas., who have teamed up to offer a special beer dinner. On the menu:
Roasted Brussel Sprouts Bleu Cheese Aperitif – Amber Tease
Braised Pork Osso Buco – India Pale Ale
Mixed Green Baby Salad – Razzmanian Devil
Cashew Encrusted Chicken Sauté – Zingiberene
Grilled Flank Steak Chimichurri – Treasure Chest
Butter Scotch Float – Miracle Off 28th Street
Tickets are $25 and available at Gippers. Call (616) 551-0841 to make a reservation. More on GR’s Schmohz at schmohz.com.
8th Annual Suds Snow Micro-brew Festival, Timber Ridge Resort, Traverse City
Our friend Paul Starr of I’m a Beer Hound said he plans to attend this annual festival, which includes 12 Michigan breweries, including Bell’s, Cheboygen Brewery, Terra Firma, Shorts, Arcadia Ales, Right Brain, Schmohz, Jolly Pumpkin, North Peak, Beggars Brewery, Natural Northern Cider House and Ferment.. The event is from 1:30-6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person, and includes commemorative pint glass to the first 500 event ticket purchases, two 8 oz. tastings and trail pass and live music. More info at TimberRidgeResort.net or call (231) 947-2770. Timber Ridge Resort is located at 4050 Hammond Road East in Traverse City.
Tapistry Brewing Beer Dinner at Electric Cheetah, 1015 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids
Great food, great beer. Electric Cheetah recently posted a mouth-watering photo of its upcoming Tapistry dinner’s second course: Arquebus English IPA paired with chicken fried oyster, served on butter toast and topped with pickled onion, honey mustard and micro herbs. Yum. Other beers from the Bridgman, Michigan brewery: Rye as Kite Rye Ale, Happy Colored Marbles Oatmeal Stout, Hypnotist Imperial Dark Saison and a Dubble Standard Belgium Dubble, paired with lime curd mousse for dessert. Tickets are $50 per person. Spots are still available. Call (616) 451-4779. More info on Electric Cheetah on Facebook; more on Tapistry Brewing at tapistrybrewing.com.
The Blackout Diaries at Perrin Brewing, 5910 Comstock Park Drive NW.
An official part of Laughgest, this interactive comedy features a Chicago-based troupe that tells a few drinking stories. Show creator Sean Flannery (Comedy Central, NPR) introduces each act and moderates a QA session. The tapas-style menu, inspired by Perrin beers, features:
Spinach Artichoke Dip
BBQ Pork Short Ribs
Beet, Grapefruit and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad
Fried Brussel Sprouts
Zucchini and Carrot Fritters With Lemon Herb Yogurt
General admission tickets are $30 and include two beer tickets, food and the show. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The show begins at 8 p.m. Details at laughfestgr.org.
The Big Lebowski Beer Tour, 2 p.m., begins at the Central City Tap House, Kalamazoo
This bus tour is just what you would expect — bowling, beer and that cult classic movie from 1998, “The Big Lebowski,” starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi. This inaugural event, presented by West Michigan Bus Tours, is a four-hour celebration of Michigan beer and a trio of stops all connected with the film. It begins at 2:30 p.m. March 29 for happy hour food and beer specials at Central City Tap House, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall.Stops include Airway Fun Center, Alamo Drafthouse and Latitude 42 Brewing Co. Cost is $48 per person. More info at westmichiganbeertours.com.
As I said, I’ll be at the Brew-Ski Festival this weekend! It’s a little different compared to other festivals.
Admission is free and tickets are available for purchase to sample beers (four-ounce pours). The tent area is open from 12-5 p.m. to those ages 21 and older.
Beer is served up on snow bars by brewery reps. Live music will be provided by The Galactic Sherpas.
More details at BOYNE.com or call 800-462-6963. Special
Beers on Tap at the Brew-Ski Festival, March 8, at Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs
Founders Brewing Co.
Dark Horse Brewing Co.
New Holland Brewing Co.
Keweenaw Brewing Co.
Superior Lakes Mead
Arbor Brewing Co.
Magic Hat Brewing Co.
Saugatuck Brewing Co.
Boston Beer Co.
Cheboygan Brewing Co.
North Peak Brewing Co.
New Belgium Brewing
Goose Island Beer Co.
Kona Brewing Co.
Mt. Pleasant Brewing Co.
Tri-City Brewing Co.
Vermont Hard Cider
Atwater Block Brewery
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Stone Brewing Co.
Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Rogue Brewing Co.
Finch’s Beer Co.
Ace Hard Ciders
Left Hand Brewing Co.
Victory Brewing Co.
Big Sky Brewing Co.
Greenbush Brewing Co.
Short’s Brewing Co.
Odd Side Ales
Vander Mill Ciders
Michigan Hop Alliance
Bad Teacher Brewing Supply
For some members of the Beer Alchemists of Coastal Carolina, brewing beer is more than a hobby — it’s a culinary experience.
Gunnery Sgt. James Lafferty, the unofficial leader of the Jacksonville-based homebrew club said brewing beer should be “an enjoyable experience, not just something to drink to be inebriated.”
The Beer Alchemists of Coastal Carolina, or BAC², serves as a gathering place for beer-enthusiasts to fraternize and is also an educational tool for members, some of whom wish to make brewing an occupation one day.
Club members typically meet from 2 to 5 p.m. the first Sunday of every month at the Fermentation Station located at 216 Henderson Drive in Jacksonville. There are no dues to join the club, according to Gunnery Sgt. Ian Peterson, who is one of the club’s unofficial leaders along with Lafferty.
“It’s literally just show up and bring beer,” Peterson, who has been brewing for nine years, said.
Each month, the club focuses on a different style of beer and members are encouraged to brew a beer in that particular style for the meeting. Then they bring samples for other members to taste, and the leaders bring some commercial brews as examples of the style, Peterson said.
“For those who didn’t get it quite right, we give pointers on how they can better their beer for that style,” Peterson said.
Meetings encompass different activities, too, not just tasting. Peterson said they do brewing demonstrations, beer and food pairings and more.
“We get pretty geeky, very technical sometimes,” Lafferty said. “We educate people on what they should be smelling and tasting.”
One of the club’s newest members, Greg Campbell, will be opening the first brewery in the Jacksonville area. Campbell’s brew pub, the High Tide Brewing Co. is located at 1002 Henderson Drive, Suite A in Jacksonville, and is currently under construction, but Campbell said they are slated to open in a couple of months.
Lafferty said the club is helping Campbell get the business up and running, by providing brewing tips. Campbell, who has been brewing for 15 years, said he has been working with the club on recipes. Their local expertise has been invaluable in knowing how to modify the area water to ensure the best flavors in his brews.
“The minerals in the water and their chemical makeup need to be modified or augmented or reduced depending on the type of beer that you’re brewing to make the flavors better,” Campbell said.
Once High Tide Brewing Co. opens, Campbell said they will serve light food fare including appetizers, paninis, and desserts, Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in addition to having four to eight hand-crafted beers made on site on the tap at all times. Four beers – an IPA, porter, pale ale and blonde ale – will always be on tap, according to Campbell.
High Tide will also sell growlers, or 64-oz. jugs, for $4 and $12 can fill them up with beer. Customers who clean out and bring back their growlers for refills only have to pay the price of beer. High Tide will also have a tap room attached to the brewery, which will allow customers to purchase beer in pints, sampler flights and growlers.
Phillip O’Hara first joined the BAC² in November 2012 as a way to learn more about making whiskey and beer in preparation for starting a distillery business.
The owner of Diablo Distilleries LLC, located off Ramsey Road in Jacksonville, O’Hara, who already has his federal and state licenses to distill, bottle and distribute his liquor, is currently in the process of getting product approval from the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission to sell North Carolina corn whiskey under the name Hell Hound Shine in liquor stores.
O’Hara said “hell hound” is the term originally used by the Germans to describe Marines in World War I. The term was later translated to Devil Dog, which is a common name for Marines today.
According O’Hara, 10 percent of the net profits will be donated to the Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior project and other organizations which get veterans outside participating in activities.
Initially, the distillery will make the moonshine product, but O’Hara said he plans to open a brewery a few years down the road.
O’Hara said since he joined the club, his beer has noticeably improved.
“Instead of reading a book on brewing, you can show up to the club and learn just as much,” he said.
In addition to becoming better brewers, he said the club helps members learn how to taste different ingredients in the beer and teaches them what types of beers pair up best with different foods.
“It is a great way to expand your palate,” he said.
For those who do not know how to brew but are interested in learning, O’Hara said brew days offer a great start.
“On brew days, you can learn a tremendous amount in a few hours time,” he said, adding that coming to a meeting and gleaning information from the leaders of the club is a faster way to learn than trying to do it all on one’s own with a homebrew beer kit.
The club teaches members about all different types of beer. As an added bonus for O’Hara, he said he has hopefully found some “potential guys to hire in a couple years” when he starts up his brewery.
Only a handful of the club’s members compete in competitions, including the Carolina Brewer of the Year circuit, which puts on six or seven competitions in North Carolina and South Carolina throughout the year. Other major breweries in the state also put on competitions which these members compete in.
Peterson said the club also puts on a “very small” competition quarterly throughout the year, which mainly involves club members.
In February, Lafferty said the club brewed a beer with Beer Army Combat Brewery based out of Trenton. The robust porter called Port Arms, will be released soon, according to Lafferty, and will appear at the Beer Army Outpost and other select locations.
“As a club though we’ve had a booth at several beer festivals around the state,” Peterson said. Members who want to participate donate five gallons or more for tasting, and Peterson said the festivals are a chance to showcase more experimental beers – in the past they have showcased flavors such as a prickly pear hefeweizen, a mango habanero beer and a strawberry rhubarb blonde.
Typically at the brew festivals the club brings on average approximately 10 different beers in flavors “from mild to wild” which are on tap for people to taste, according to Peterson.
But more than anything, members come to gatherings to enjoy a passion with like-minded people.
“Part of it is just the camaraderie,” O’Hara said.
To learn more about the club and when it meets, visit the BAC² Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/193300487373317/ or the club’s page on BeerArmy.com at http://beerarmy.com/group/bac2?.
Join the club’s mailing list by calling the Fermentation Station at 910-455-7309 or contact the club on the Facebook page.
To learn more about the High Tide Brewing Co. and to keep updated when it will open, visit the company’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HighTideBrewing?ref=br_tf.
To learn more about Diablo Distilleries, visit diablodistilleries.com or visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/diablodistilleries.
Contact Daily News reporter Katie Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
William Dade saw the first Stars of Craft Brewing Festival through beer goggles — literally.
Fellow craft brew connoisseurs at the festival at the State Theatre in Easton complimented the Clinton man on the beer-mug
sunglasses he wears to all the festivals he attends. A string of beads
with a man holding a beer mug adorned his neck.
Dade goes to many beer festivals, including one in Philadelphia that
draws thousands of people. But the short lines and diversity of brews at
the Easton festival today pleased him, he said. Easton seems like it’s
becoming a “beer mecca,” he said.
About 500 people meandered through two floors of the theater sampling beers from more than 26 brewers from around the country. The festival comes just after the conclusion of Lehigh Valley Beer Week. Tickets sold out in three weeks, proving the local demand for such an event, organizer Stephanie Altieri said.
“I love craft beer, and I felt it was lacking in the Lehigh Valley — a true, boutique craft beer fest,” said Altieri, senior marketing consultant and events coordinator for 99.9 The Hawk. “Obviously, there was a need for one.”
Edward Ponikvar, of Easton, said it was nice to see Stars of Craft Brewing in the city. He especially enjoyed a beer from Funk Brewing Co. in Emmaus and the opportunity to learn more about new beers from the brewers, he said. The festival boasted a good variety of brews to try, Ponikvar said.
“After this winter, it’s nice to get out and enjoy a few beers,” he said. “There’s always something you want a taste of before you order a whole pint in a restaurant.”
Staff from Stockertown Beverage and Shangy’s – The Beer Authority hand-picked which craft beers would be on tap, Altieri said. They chose beers that aren’t typically featured at a local beer fest, she said.
A brewer said the event was a success, too. Sly Fox Brewery’s Odyssey Imperial IPA, a citrusy beer with a floral aroma and smooth malt body, appealed to the crowd, Director of Sales Patrick Mullin said. The Pottstown, Pa., company’s operators wanted to expose their products in the Lehigh Valley, he said.
Sure enough, festival-goers engaged more than the people with whom Mullin interacted at similar events, he said.
“The atmosphere is much nicer. The crowd seems more interested,” Mullin said. “Some beer fests seem like frat parties. This one is not.”
Organizers wanted everybody to have a good time but be safe, Altieri said. Security double-checked ID cards, and guests could purchase a $5 designated driver ticket that earned them free water and soda, she said.
Regular beer fests at Chelmsford pub
3:00pm Sunday 2nd March 2014 in Countywide news
Regular beer fests at Chelmsford pub
A RENOWNED real ale boozer in Chelmsford is launching a series of bimonthly mini beer festivals.
The Alehouse, in Viaduct Road, will host the first of the events over four days starting on Thursday March 27 before holding them every two months.
During the festival, 12 guest beer barrels will be rolled into the bar to sit alongside the dozen already on offer to punters.
Local brewer Dave Hewitt from Hewitt’s Brewery, based in Marconi Road, Chelmsford, will talk with drinkers on the first night about the beers they make.
Live music will also be part of the festivities on the final day.
Dave Gentry, one the bar’s owners, said since opening two years ago the business has done great and now they want to spread the world of beers even further.
Mr Gentry said: “We provide more beers and real ales here than anywhere else in Chelmsford, but we felt we could be doing more to promote ales locally so we decided to do these mini festivals.
“Originally when we opened, I thought the clientele would be the stereotypical old men beer drinkers.
“But I’ve been surprised by the amount of young people we get in and hopefully these mini festivals will help spread the word more.”
Organising the festival at the venue is joint-manager Alex Maclean, who said staff are already getting excited about the event.
“Beer festivals are always fun to be a part of,” he said.
“This is the first one I’ve organised and what has been challenging is finding new and interesting beers to keep people enthusiastic, particularly seeing as this will be held every two months.
“We are getting all these breweries popping up everywhere and a lot of customers in their early 20s coming here regularly, so these festival should help raise real ale’s profile locally.”
Bussell: I don’t miss ballet at all
Katy B expected career as teacher
It’s a boy thing for Gwen and Gavin
Worst-actor Razzies for Smith duo
Slave sweeps Spirit Awards
Collins, 80, ‘will wear bikini’
Carving a lucrative niche
Though much of the success of craft breweries (which are technically defined as those that make less than 6 million barrels per year) and microbreweries (which make less than 15,000 barrels) can be credited to shifts in public taste, those in the industry say they’ve learned a few truths along the way that have aided in their success.
First, don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to distribution. Craft beer might be growing, but the category still holds just 7 percent of the overall beer market. To help grow that, many microbreweries have put off plans to bottle or can their beer and compete for grocery-store shelf space, focusing instead on winning over the taps of bars and restaurants.
Many brewers also take part in regional beer festivals to raise awareness of their brands. (Several of those will be held the week of May 12–18, which the Brewers Association has dubbed American Craft Beer Week.)
Meanwhile, liquor laws among states vary wildly. Some states, for instance, allow beer sales at grocery stores and convenience stores, while others do not. And any alcohol in Utah with a greater than 4.0 percent alcohol by volume, must be sold in a state-run store.
That confusion—or hassle, to use the term many brewers favor—has prompted some brewers to begin exporting their product beyond U.S. shores as an expansion method.
“It’s easier for me to sell my beer overseas than it is across state lines,” said Brendan Moylan, proprietor of Marin Brewing Co. and Moylan’s Brewing and Restaurant, both based in California. Moylan ships his products to 25 states and seven different countries, including Chile, Brazil, Italy, England, Japan, Australia and Canada.
(Read more: A wine forecast the industry can toast—for now)
Also, establish a strong local customer base before thinking of expanding. Finding a local craft-focused distributor isn’t particularly challenging these days, given the growing demand for craft beer among restaurant and pub patrons. And even Budweiser’s distribution arm is now including craft beers from other breweries.
Again, local beer festivals have been helpful in building interest in the beers, but many craft and microbreweries are becoming gathering spots of their own.
- albuquerque street food
- austin food carts
- beer festivals
- best food carts
- best food carts in portland
- charlotte street food
- chicago food carts
- chicago food trucks
- chicago street food
- columbus street food
- dallas street food
- dc food trucks
- dc street food
- detroit street food
- food and wine events
- food cart
- food carts miami
- food carts portland oregon
- food events
- food festivals
- food truck festival
- food truck la
- food truck miami
- food truck nyc
- food trucks
- food trucks chicago
- food trucks in los angeles
- food trucks la
- food trucks las vegas
- food trucks nyc
- food trucks orange county
- food trucks seattle
- gourmet food truck festival
- gourmet food trucks
- hot dog cart
- hot dog carts
- hot food carts
- los angeles food carts
- los angeles food truck
- louisville-jefferson county street food
- memphis food trucks
- memphis street food
- Mobile Cuisine
- mobile food truck
- new york food carts
- nyc food trucks
- oakland street food
- philadelphia street food
- phoenix street food
- portland street food
- seattle food carts
- street food
- street food cart
- street food chicago
- street food dc
- street food in china
- street food in italy
- the green truck
- vending food carts
- virginia beach food trucks
- virginia wine festivals 2011
- wine festivals