Browsing articles tagged with " beer festivals"
If you haven’t got your ticket to the new Summer Beer Festival then you will need to hurry, with all 300 expected to sell out well before the event on Saturday.
Dodson Street Beer Garden owner and festival organiser Dietmar Schnarre says that everything is in place for the celebration of good beer, food and wine.
“Everything is set to go and most of the tickets are sold already,” he says.
The new festival was announced in November last year, just after two Marlborough beer festivals, Blues, Brews and BBQs and Summer Beer Fest were canned.
While the new festival bears the same name, Dietmar has designed it to be more exclusive, and more about the beer and food combinations.
“I love these things, I love it when people get to try new flavours and experience how different food and beers go together,” he says.
Adding to this atmosphere of the strictly R18 event, will be live jazz band Mr Music Trio from Nelson.
“I want to combine good beer, with good food and good music, and I think jazz is the perfect music to go with it.”
Renaissance Brewing CEO Brian Thiel and head brewer Andy Deuchars will give a brewer’s talk in the Renaissance brewery next door to the beer garden. Dietmar hopes that the festival will be a platform for those new to craft beer to build an appreciation for the wide varieties on offer.
The festival will feature beer from not only Renaissance but fellow Marlborough craft breweries 8 Wired and Moa as well as 10 other craft breweries from around New Zealand.
“These will be the best beers that New Zealand has to offer,” Dietmar says.
Food will feature almost as prominently as the beer, he says, with a complimentary buffet of Mexican food as well as spit roast pork included in the $50 ticket price.
Ticket holders will also be greeted at the door with a complimentary pint of craft beer or glass of wine on arrival.
The festival will begin at 4pm and run until 11pm. Tickets may be difficult to get hold of but call 03 577 8348.
– The Marlborough Express
Any Portland beer fan should be able to find a festival to his/her liking on this fine Saturday…
The colorful Dave Fleming, fest organizer and veteran Oregon brewer…
COFFEE BEER INVITATIONAL
1-7 p.m. Saturday, Goose Hollow Inn, 1927 S.W. Jefferson St.; $12, includes a festival glass and six taster tickets.
It could be the Reeses’s peanut butter cup of beer fests — the Northwest’s two favorite brews brought together thanks to a dozen talented brewers who were selected to create freshly-brewed beer made with locally-roasted coffee. The emphasis is on flavors, and provocative and inspired combinations, says organizer and veteran Oregon brewer Dave Fleming. Participating breweries include 10 Barrel, Base Camp, Breakside, Burnside, Coalition, Fire on the Mountain, Grain Station, Lucky Labrador, Old Town, Pints, Three Creeks and Widmer. Fleming says that Burnside plans a coffee stout with Ristretto coffee and volcanic water, Coalition brewed an IPA made with Ristretto coffee and tropical type hops and that Pints will send a Berlinerweiss with coffee and maraschino cherry, so there should be some very interesting beers on tap.
The dear old Goose Hollow Inn— where once Bud Clark held court — is the perfect place and it’ll offer a special menu to complement the brews, and the Donut-O-Rama cart will be outside serving warm crème brûlée beignets. Also: live music throughout the day by The Austin Stewart Quartet and Whistle Trap Johnson and the Logger’s Daughter.
WESTMORELAND/SELLWOOD WINTER BEER FEST
Noon – 10 p.m. Friday Saturday, Portland U-Brew Pub, 6237 S.E. Milwaukie Blvd.; $10, includes logo glass and five taste tickets, additional tix $1 ea.
P.U.B.’s winter beer fest features live music both days, food specials and taps upstairs in the pub and downstairs in the brewery pouring winter beers from four local breweries and six P.U.B. winter beers, including Dark Star licorice imperial Stout; Black Ice Imperial Stout; Frosty’s Revenge Barleywine; Winter Solstice Citrus single hop double CDA; Magical Mystery Tour dark strong ale with candy canes and M Ms; and The Last Unicorn winter IPA.
2 – 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Bailey’s Taproom, 213 S.W. Broadway; free admission, 4- 10-ounce pours available.
When the folks at one of Portland’s best taprooms decide it’s time to clean out the cellar, Portland beer fans are the beneficiaries, because the Bailey’s cellar has some rare and wonderful beers…this is the fifth annual event and the list features more than 20 beers, such as ‘08 Alaskan Barleywine; 2010 Bend TNT Russian Imperial Stout; 2009 Block 15 Hypnosis; 2009 Deschutes The Abyss; 2009 Eel River Raven’s Eye Imperial Stout; 2010 Full Sail Top Sail; 2008 Laurelwood Old Reliable Barleywine; 2008 North Coast Old Stock Old Ale; 2009 Russian River Temptation Sour Blonde; ’09 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot; 2010 Stone Vertical Epic 10/10/10; and several more — big beers all.
Dave Fleming and Coalition owners Elan Walsky, left, and Kiley Hoyt, right.
COALITION RELEASES FIRST BARREL-AGED BEER
Saturday, Coalition Brewing, Southeast 28th Ave. and Ankeny St.;
Coalition Brewing releases the first of its Barrel Aged Series Saturday, January 25th at the pub: Bourbon Dog Imperial IPA. Coalition’s ever popular Imperial IPA “Double Dog Dare”, has been living in a 4 year Heaven Hill bourbon barrel for months, and is now ready to come out to play…tropical fruit and wood dominate the nose of this beer, giving way to flavors vanilla, oak, pineapple, and coconut. Bourbon Dog Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial IPA, 9.0 percent ABV 80 IBU
BIGGER BADDER BLACKER WEEK
Saturday,Belmont Station, 4500 S.E. Stark St.;
Import Day: You can’t go Bigger Badder and Blacker without enjoying some of the best from other parts of the world. The Biercafe will be pouring Struise Black Albert, Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Natale and Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break.
– John Foyston
I think it is wholly appropriate this month, to target my beery ramblings in the direction of the 10th Pendle Beer Festival.
It is a superbly organised three-day, real ale extravaganza, held at the Muni, Colne, from this Thursday to Saturday.
Oh, how times have changed since the first festival descended upon Colne’s main thoroughfare in Albert Road in 2005.
It was then an event mainly attended by mature, bearded, rotund, roly-poly males.
They were, in the main, wearing tweed jackets, Aran sweaters and carrying a Karrimor rucksack.
Now, you will witness a wider age range and a more modern attired individual at these temporary “Beer Meccas”.
There will be many women and younger folk also sampling the many ales and ciders on offer … although the friendly pogonophiles (beard lovers) will still be very much in evidence.
The festival has undoubtably grown at a remarkable rate over an amazing 10-year period.
So much so, it’s now one of the largest and most anticipated beer festivals in the national festival calendar – certainly one of the biggest and best in the north of England.
Organiser Martyn Pashley and his band of dedicated East Lancs CAMRA volunteers do a superb job for the locality’s beer lovers and local economy alike.
This year, there will be over 100 ales at the Pendle event.
And the event’s theme will be local brews – as it was at the first festival.
“Local” is defined as a beer brewed within a 30-mile radius of the venue, and the organisers will hopefully have 100 local beers for its customers to select from.
Of course, the East Lancashire area will be well represented at Colne.
We have a fantastic choice of real ales in the locality, from the “big boys”, Moorhouse’s and Thwaites, who are two of the main sponsors, to the smaller microbreweries, such as Reedley Hallows and Worsthorne, from Burnley, The Barlick Brewery in Pendle, Three B’s, Snaggletooth and Hopstar from the Blackburn area and the Bowland Brewery in Clitheroe.
The location is ideal.
It is just a two-minute stroll from the railway station – a five-minute stagger on the return! – it is on a main-line bus route and the bus stop is right outside the main door.
Those doors open at 5pm on Thursday and “kicking out” time will be 11pm.
On Friday and Saturday it’s 11-30am kick-off with the doors again closing at 11pm. Entry is £3 on all days, but it is a fiver after 6pm on Friday.
CAMRA members are well catered for too – it’s free entry, but don’t forget your membership card as the jolly, affable volunteers on reception will be requesting your name, number and squiggle!
The Muni is a fine, historic building.
It’s a spacious venue, and has the added attraction of balcony seating and “quieter areas”. The last time I was up there, Ken Dodd was waving his tickling stick at me!
What is also good about this three-day jolly, is that there’s always excellent live entertainment on the Friday and Saturday evenings. Crikey, there’s even free soft drinks available – with locally produced sarsaparilla and dandelion and burdock on hand pump.
Yes, roll up, roll up to this beery bash at the Muni. A jolly, January jaunt it will be for me – and many others. Lots of quality quaffing, friendly social inter-action, slurring of words and fedora spotting.
It’s quite funny, when some have had the temerity to say that these type of events are on the wane. What unsubstantiated drivel – in my opinion.
The Pendle Beer Festival will no doubt have record attendances, and raise lots of money, for the local Pendleside Hospice – again.
Finally, I would like to sign off by thanking Martyn Pashley, “the gaffer”, the man at the helm, who has tirelessly grafted at this fine event for the last decade to make it one of the highlights in the Pendle social calander.
He steps down after this year’s event, and his successor will have a hard act to follow.
A happy retirement, MP. I’m sure everyone will echo those sentiments and wish you well.
Enjoy the festival – and long may it continue.
As Germany’s brewers bid to have their purity law enshrined on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, it seems that the influence of this historic rule – which stipulates only using water, malt, yeast, and hops in beer making – is shaping how beer is being consumed across Europe. And sticking to the rules doesn’t mean you have to check your creativity at the door.
In Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow, the only brewery in the UK to make beer according to this law is having to build a second brewery to cope with the huge local demand.
West Brewery was started almost a decade ago by Petra Wetzel, 39, of Bavaria. She is a staunch believer in the so-called Reinheitsgebot, Germany’s purity law for beer.
“I think it gives people a real belief that the quality of the beers we produce are like the best beers you can get in Germany and it’s almost like a stamp of approval by the consumer that we can say that our beers are brewed in accordance with the purity law,” she told DW.
Wetzel believes that West Brewery’s ethos has educated many about beer’s taste potential, and the craft beer scene which is now very big in the UK is promoting the smaller beers.
“We have a lot of young people who are very much following the UK and international craft beer scene, so they are much more adventurous with what they are drinking,” explained Wetzel. “The younger audience is slightly more adventurous. And the lovely thing is that women are now becoming more adventurous with beer.”
The brewery has just launched two new beers: a Weizenbock with seven-percent alcohol by volume and a steam beer that Wetzel says is a type of lager brewed with ale yeast.
Munich lager a favorite
Derek Hoy, 33, is one of the co-founders of Hippo Beers, Glasgow’s first specialty beer store. He and his business partner, Alec Knox, set up their shop after becoming “frustrated” at not being able to find the beers they wanted to drink.
“The beer scene has grown since we started. Before, you had maybe a few bars that were known for selling cask ale but there was the emerging, more modern craft beer scene that we’ve seen coming up in the last three or four years,” said Hoy.
Petra Wetzel is considering important her beer back to Germany
The German beers, especially the Munich lagers, are among the best-sellers at Hippo Beers, according to Hoy. “It’s maybe a nice entry level for people to start drinking something different. If anyone asks for a lager recommendation, the first place we go to is the German section because nobody else does it better.”
Hoy believes the purity laws matter more to what he calls “the hardened beer geeks” more than the general public. But he also says that you might be drinking more beer brewed according to the German purity law than you think.
“The thing about the modern craft beer scene is that the vast majority of the brewers will stick to the Reinheitsgebot anyway without saying that they do because the brewers are about keeping the beer pure and using the best ingredients,” explained Hoy. “They don’t necessarily say it; it’s just one of those things that comes with being a good brewer.”
Beer drinkers just want tasty beer
Craig Gibson, a beer enthusiast and writer for Glasgow’s daily Evening Times’ Pub Punter blog, says the trend towards craft beers in Glasgow may be growing, but that purity laws are not usually a factor in why people drink certain beers.
“People don’t necessarily know about the German purity laws but they know what beers they like,” he summed up simply. “The Campaign for Real Ale‘s popularity and the fact you can get a variety of good beers in Wetherspoons (a large UK pub chain) shows how tastes are changing. There are literally hundreds of beers and ales available now in most bars – you don’t have to look for them, but that hasn’t always been the case.”
Derek Hoy says people care more about good beer than about ingredient laws
The Campaign for Real Ale has become a popular movement in the UK, doing everything from promoting beer festivals to lobbying MPs on pub-related laws to monitoring trends. For the beer lovers behind the movement, it’s not only the ingredients that are crucial, as with the German purity law, but also the brewing process.
“The vast majority of real ale in the UK is produced by microbreweries that can more easily experiment with different styles of beer and exciting new hop varieties,” said Gibson. “This, combined with an increase in people drinking real ale, has led to an explosion in the variety of different beers available to drinkers – from hoppy Golden Ales and IPAs to rich, roasted Imperial Stouts and Porters – styles which were at one point on the brink of extinction.”
Exporting German-inspired brews to Germany
West Bewery’s beers are proving so popular, that after expansion it could even start exporting its brews – produced according to German purity laws – to Germany.
Petra Wetzel recalled her sending a keg of St. Mungo lager, West Brewery’s house beer, to her parents’ in Bavaria who were throwing a big party last summer. “The reception we got was outstanding,” she said.
If the right partner came along, she added, she would be more than open to exporting her products to Germany. Wetzel’s brewery is upping their capacity so much in 2014 that they would have the capacity to sell beer to many parts of the world that they previously wouldn’t have imagined.
“So, for example, we’ve had an inquiry from India to sell Scottish premium lager to Mumbai and that is very exciting,” said Wetzel.
By the time Minnesota became the nation’s 32nd state, in May of 1858, Yoerg Brewing Company had been turning out brews in downtown Saint Paul for nearly a decade. Like other young Midwestern states with robust German immigrant populations, the Gopher State embraced brewing with gusto during the second half of the 19th century. By the late 1880s, Minnesota was home to more than 110 breweries.
The good times didn’t last, of course. As the temperance movement picked up steam, dozens of outstate counties went dry. Minnesota’s own Andrew Volstead played a crucial role in the passage of the 18th Amendment. One after another, storied breweries—Gluek, Schmidt’s, even beloved Hamm’s— scaled back their operations, accepted buyouts from larger competitors, or closed altogether.
The tide began to turn in 1986, when Mark Stutrud and his co-founders took a chance on craft beer and launched Summit Brewing Company near Saint Paul’s riverfront. Enthusiastic startups like Brau Brothers Brewing Company in Lucan, and the Brooklyn Park-based Surly Brewing Company followed. The floodgates opened with the 2011 passage of the taproom-friendly Minnesota Pint Law or Surly Bill.
The Surly Bill didn’t singlehandedly create the seemingly insatiable demand for quality local brews, but it certainly facilitated the demand. Like the long-gone drinkers who turned Schmidt’s and Hamm’s into household names, the region’s beer enthusiasts put a premium on quality ingredients, expert craftsmanship, and a local pedigree. It’s worth spending $2 or $3 extra for a pint or six-pack, the thinking goes, when the product you’re paying for is the fruit of a local craftsperson’s labor. It doesn’t hurt that the Twin Cities, like many other craft beer meccas, have a robust economy that’s powered by entrepreneurs and knowledge workers with ample disposable income.
Few organizations have done more to connect locally minded craft-beer enthusiasts with the startups that drive Minnesota’s resurgent brewing industry—and the food-truck operators, homebrewers, and other entrepreneurs who benefit from its growth—than the Beer Dabbler. The Saint Paul-based company sells branded merchandise, publishes a popular trade magazine called The Growler, and is holding its annual big event, Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival, this year on January 25.
This year’s event promises to be a doozy. Having outgrown its former home at the Lowertown Farmer’s Market, the Carnival is moving to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The organizers expect 10,000 attendees and more than 100 breweries to show up at this year’s event.
Beyond “yellow fizzy water”
How did The Beer Dabbler become the region’s premier thrower of craft beer-themed parties? After a “false start” as a promotional firm that would connect rural beer enthusiasts with the nation’s best craft beer brands—“We quickly realized that the idea of a rural tour was perhaps a bit ahead of its time,” says Growler editor and Beer Dabbler project manager Joe Alton—the Dabbler made its name by organizing and promoting a series of increasingly successful beer festivals. Founder Matt Kenevan leaned on wife Jeannie’s work as a sales manager for Summit, and Alton’s experience as a B2C marketer and beer list curator.
The company’s inaugural event was a 450-person shindig in a windswept parking lot at the Burnsville Mall, but lucrative partnerships with Highland Fest and the Saint Paul Winter Carnival soon followed. The Growler launched in mid-2012, and the Beer Dabbler Store on West 7th Street has collected a formidable lineup of beer-themed apparel, hardware, and knickknacks.
The rapidly growing store is handling all the merchandising for the January 25 event. Attendees who pay an extra $15 will receive a T-shirt in addition to their complimentary tasting glasses. The company is also working with dozens of local breweries and artists to sell branded shirts, cold weather gear, merchandise, and beer-themed prints.
The Beer Dabbler is just one of the startups that has capitalized on Minnesota’s craft beer boom. The Winter Carnival is showcasing the talents of dozens of young entrepreneurs, including some who will be reaching potential customers for the very first time.
Take Minneapolis-based Lake Monster Brewing. Fresh off its first commercial keg sales, in late September of 2013, Lake Monster has yet to slap labels on its first bottled brews. “We realize, as a brand-new outfit, that most consumers in the Twin Cities have no idea that we exist,” says founder Matt Lange. “So events like this give us a chance to get a bunch of people to try our beer.”
Bartley Blume of Bent Brewstillery (which just merged with Pour Decisions Brewing Company), another brand-new Twin Cities outfit that’s making its first appearance at the Winter Carnival, is just as enthusiastic. “If it weren’t for the brave entrepreneurs that [stepped up] to create new businesses in a budding industry, there would be no festivals like this,” says Blume. “The craft industry is built by its fans.” Although there won’t be any spirits at the upcoming festival, it’s worth noting that Bent is the first local outfit that distills small-batch whiskeys alongside its craft beer offerings.
The Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival will also host the festival debut of Saint Paul-based Burning Brothers Brewing—“the Midwest’s first entirely gluten-free brewery,” says Alton.
Maybe because Kenevan, Alton, and company remember their own not-too-distant startup days, the Beer Dabbler takes pains to accommodate first-time exhibitors. Every participating brewery, from veterans like Summit to newbies like Lake Monster, must bring a special brew that isn’t part of its regular lineup.
“The Beer Dabbler…makes every effort to target its events to true beer enthusiasts who are looking to try new things and enjoy great beer,” explains Lake Monster’s Lange. “Some other beer festivals [are just] excuses for people to get drunk.”
Future stars may be on display as well. Fifty amateur brewers will have the chance to strut their stuff in a homebrewing contest that’s judged in strict accordance with Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines. The contest is open to anyone, but there’s a separate category for first-time entrants. Alton doesn’t know of any previous contest participants who have gone on to start taprooms or breweries of their own, “but it’s certainly possible,” he says.
Alton stresses that the Beer Dabbler welcomes brewing enthusiasts who want to get input from someone other than family and friends, and see how their creations stack up against the BJCP’s protocols. It never hurts to try: The three new brewers at this year’s festival, for instance, all started out as passionate hobbyists.
Dabbling, dining, dancing
Hungry Winter Carnival attendees will come across another crop of local entrepreneurs. More than a dozen food-truck owners—who, whether because they regularly congregate outside individual breweries (Fulton and Harriet are particularly welcoming), or attend beer-soaked blowouts like the Minnesota Food Truck Fair—have grown along with the local craft brewing industry.
With a Southwestern-tinged menu that’s big on fresh, locally grown ingredients, Fork in the Road—or Big Orange, as the truck driven by owners Amy Frechette and Kari Offerdahl is affectionately known—has been a perennial favorite at Beer Dabbler events since its late-2010 founding.
Minneapolis-based Potter’s Pasties is newer on the scene: The 2013 Winter Carnival was among the first large-scale events in which founder Alec Duncan participated after hitting the road in late 2012. Since then, he’s been tooling around the metro region with a rotating lineup of English-style pasties—flaky pastry pockets filled with spiced and sautéed meats, cheeses, and veggies. For meat-free festival-goers, Potter’s offers plenty of vegetarian options.
One of the Winter Carnival’s most visible partners doesn’t make anything edible at all. Drink and Drive Intelligently (DDI), a new Saint Paul company that offers subscription services and one-off deals to revelers who want to be driven home in their own vehicles, sends designated drivers to every Beer Dabbler event. DDI gives about 250 rides per week, up from around 50 five years ago.
It’s a win-win for everyone involved. The Beer Dabbler and the Minnesota State Fair mitigate their parking woes, and festival attendees can confidently sample as many beers as they like. “One of the major reasons a person feels the need to drink and drive is to get their car home,” says owner Brian Peters. “Our drivers eliminate that need.”
Along with providing a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity, the Winter Carnival also has a stellar music lineup and a new, novel multimedia event called the “silent disco.”
“It’s a silly opportunity to dance to your own rhythm—literally,” says Alton. “There are 30 pairs of wireless headphones with multiple channels of different music streaming through each set. Which means you can participate in (or spectate) a really funny dance party—especially after folks have had a couple brews.”
The Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival is the latest in a long line of beer-inspired Minnesota get-togethers, but it’s not only about the suds. From a homebrew contest that draws some of the state’s most talented amateurs to a food-truck lineup that’s all things to all eaters, the event celebrates the creative, entrepreneurial energy that makes the Twin Cities distinctive.
Brian Martucci is The Line‘s Innovation and Job News Editor.
Two Tacoma charities disappointed by the promises of Tacoma beer festival organizers will split roughly $17,500 from a holiday fundraising campaign.
The two jilted charities — YWCA Pierce County and the Emergency Food Network — thought they would raise thousands of dollars after sponsoring separate beer festivals in Tacoma through a company called Union House Productions.
Instead, the charities saw very little return — or nothing at all.
Officials at The Ram Restaurant and Brewery heard about the plight of two charities and vowed to match all community donations, up to $10,000. Wednesday afternoon, company representatives will make good on that promise. They plan to hold a ceremony at the Lakewood Ram Restaurant and Brewery to deliver the proceeds from the company’s holiday fundraiser. The community raised roughly $7,500 for the cause, and the company will donate $5,000 to each charity.
“We also had a successful food drive for both organizations during the holiday and hope to have a total of those donations collected to announce later this week,” said Ram spokesman Mark Schermerhorn in an email.
Representatives of every other nonprofit organization that obtained a liquor license for Union House’s Tacoma beer festivals in the last five years said they received far less than promised or nothing.
Miriam Barnett, CEO of YWCA Pierce County, said she and others at the organizations are thrilled. It “restored our faith in humanity,” she wrote in an email.
Union House Productions organized the Tacoma Big Beer Festival and the Tacoma Craft Beer Festival, which held its fifth festival last year. However, only nonprofit organizations can obtain liquor permits from the state Liquor Control Board for public events that include alcohol.
YWCA Pierce County, which aims to help victims of domestic violence was told the Big Beer Festival in February 2013 would net the charity $13,000. But charity officials waited for months for a check. Finally in September, a check arrived — for $1,078. Emergency Food Network received about $400 for its staff time during a September beer festival last year.
Union House Productions’ state business license is inactive, according to state records.
Kate Martin: 253-597-8542 firstname.lastname@example.org @KateReports
It’s already well-established that Portland’s a pretty great
place to drink beer. It’s a malt mecca, a hop heaven, if you will, for beer
enthusiasts and casual imbibers alike. And while Portland already has something
like an average of two-and-a-half beer
festivals a month, what’s one more?
Joining the scene this weekend is the Big Woody Barrel Aged Beer and Whiskey
Festival. The judged festival
will bring together experimental barrel-aged beer from around the region, as
well as a few whiskeys for good measure.
“Portland is clearly the beer capital of the U.S., so we
need to have the premier wood-aged beer festival in the U.S.” said Lee Perry,
director of Big Woody. He said the Portland event is an offshoot of Little
Woody, an annual non-judged tasting event in Bend at the end of the summer.
For the new event, organizers are bringing in 18
breweries from Oregon, Washington and Northern California. There will be
porters, stouts and sours, but Perry said the beer all falls under the
“experimental” category. Because barrel aging beer takes months to make, every
batch is naturally something of an experiment.
“Regular beer you can put in a keg and it’s pretty much
ready to go. With barrel aging you’re really fine tuning the taste of that
beer,” Perry said. The flavors usually end up more subtle and refined, not
unlike that of good whiskey. But greater rewards often require greater risks,
so making barrel-aged beer something of a crapshoot. “It takes a good six to nine
months to get a really good barrel-aged beer,” he said. “You can’t just throw a
beer in a barrel and expect it be something spectacular in a month.”
The judges will decide which local brewers have the chops
and which do not this weekend. You can judge for yourself, of course, as all 18
breweries, as well as a handful of whiskeys, will be on tap for tasting all
Big Woody is taking place this Friday and Saturday, Jan. 17 and 18, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Leftbank Annex. Tickets
are $40 for a single day of tasting, which gets you a solid 20 drink
tokens. Extra tokens are $1 apiece. Designated drivers get in for $20 and get
free non-alcoholic drinks all night, but if you don’t have a DD, consider grabbing the streetcar, only about
a block away.
Marietta Brewing Co. isn’t exactly a household name when it comes to craft beer in Ohio. But the brewpub along the Ohio River is intent on raising its profile this year around the state.
“We’ve been kind of laying low,” owner Tony Styer admitted.
But he said the quality of the beer has improved under brewer Chris Hopkins, who also brews at the North End Tavern Brewery in nearby Parkersburg, W.Va. “He’s been doing a great job of getting our beer rep back up locally,” Styer said.
In the past, the brewpub also has been so busy keeping itself stocked, it didn’t worry that much about distributing elsewhere. But that attitude has changed.
So how is Marietta going to raise its profile? Styer wants to show up at more beer festivals across Ohio and distribute more to growler shops.
One of its first public appearances outside of southeast Ohio will be at the Grandview High Gravity Hullabaloo on Feb. 1 in Columbus. Marietta will serve its Super Cooper’s Imperial Copper Ale, which clocks in at 10.2 percent alcohol by volume. The brewpub also will be at Ohio Brew Week in Athens and has always been active in the annual River, Trails Ales Festival in Marietta and Ohio Pawpaw Festival in Albany.
Styer said he’s looking into participating in other events such as The Big Tap In in Boardman, Jungle Jim’s International Beer Fest in Cincinnati, Cleveland Beer Week in Cleveland and Columbus Summer Beerfest in Columbus.
The brewpub also has been on draft at The Ohio Taproom in Columbus and Styer wants to continue that relationship. He said the brewpub’s three most popular beers are: Buck(I)PA, Cooper’s Copper Ale and Raspberry Wheat.
Big Brew, a week-long celebration of craft beer at the George R. Brown Convention Center, was announced Jan. 14 by Food Vine Time Productions, Inc. and Houston First Corporation, which operates the convention center.
Big Brew kicks off Oct. 20 with events around the city, followed by larger events Oct. 23-26 at the GRB. Designed for beer lovers in Houston and across the nation, participants will enjoy more than 1,000 featured beers, meet the best and brightest brewers in the craft beer industry, and quench their thirst on never-before-tasted brews and rare finds.
Mayor Annise Parker was on hand for the announcement at the GRB.
“A destination event like Big Brew spotlights Houston’s role as a leader in the craft beer industry,” Mayor Parker said. “We look forward to welcoming craft beer lovers to Houston this fall.”
Offerings for the week-long event include VIP experiences, pub crawls, craft beer dinners, food and beer pairings, beer education seminars, intimate meet-and-greet opportunities, a Best in Texas event focused on Texas offerings only and two grand tasting sessions. The festival is sponsored by Spec’s Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods.
“Spec’s is thrilled to be a part of this citywide craft beer event,” said Lisa Rydman, third generation Spec’s family. “We’ve long focused on making available hard-to-find craft beers, especially those produced in Texas, and on providing products and craft beer education for enthusiasts as well as those just joining the craft beer movement. It’s an exciting time for the craft beer industry.”
Excitement for events like Big Brew is growing.
“Part of our long-term strategy for growth downtown is to develop events that generate business for hotels and restaurants,” said Dawn Ullrich, president and CEO of Houston First Corporation, which operates the GRB.
“Looking at the success that other cities have had with craft beer events, we believe Big Brew will be a home run for Houston, especially in light of the fact that Texas is the third fastest growing state for the number of small, independently owned craft breweries,” Ullrich said.
“We are so excited to be partnering with the GRB to bring Houston and the region a week-long celebration focused on the craft brewing industry,” said Food Vine Time Productions Co-Founder Clifton McDerby. “We’ve watched the industry grow exponentially since we launched BrewMasters in Galveston five years ago. The demand for craft beer continues to explode across all socioeconomic groups. This event gives beer lovers the opportunity to meet the brewers in person, taste beers they’ve never tasted before and learn more about their favorite beers. We’ve long admired other world-class beer festivals and felt that Houston, with its incredible craft beer scene, should also have a festival building toward that scale,” McDerby said.
Also supporting the craft beer industry are culinary legends Robert Del Grande, Michael Cordua and Randy Evans. The superstar chefs co-chair a culinary committee that will enrich Big Brew with crafted beer dinners and food pairing experiences.
“Gone are the days when meals are paired with wine alone. Craft beer, with its range of tastes, has a place at the table, and we’re looking forward to showcasing food and craft beer in unique and delicious ways,” said Evans.
Another important component of Big Brew will focus on the burgeoning home brewing segment, offering home brewing seminars and demonstrations. Many craft brewers started as home brewers before embarking on a full-scale brewing operation. Big Brew gives participants the opportunity to hear more about how home brewers got their start and hear tips on creating their own home brews.
Tickets for Big Brew go on sale on Feb. 17 and start at $45. For events, tickets and all things Big Brew visit www.bigbrewhouston.com. Big Brew benefits the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College, a leader in hospitality education.
The founders of the new nonprofit Grandview Craft Beer Alliance are looking to raise a glass to and raise the profile of the burgeoning craft-beer movement in Grandview and central Ohio.
The alliance, founded by Grandview residents Jamie Gentry and Laura and Doug Oldham, will hold its first event, the Grandview High Gravity Hullabaloo, on Feb. 1.
The event will offer samples of strong beers from about a dozen local craft breweries.
“The popularity of craft beer is really on the rise,” Gentry said, adding Grandview has become an epicenter of the movement.
About five craft breweries are located in the Grandview area alone, Doug Oldham said.
“We want to help promote the craft-beer movement and help make sure that after its wave has crested, that these beermakers can stay in business,” said Gentry, who makes his own beer as a hobby.
Craft beers are becoming increasingly popular because of their high-quality ingredients, he said.
“We don’t want to say that other (mass-produced) beers like Budweiser are bad, but there is definitely a higher-quality ingredient that sets craft beers apart,” Gentry said.
“The people who make craft beers are not some faceless corporation,” Doug Oldham said. “You can meet them and you’ll find their personalities are reflected in their beer.”
The Hullabaloo event will feature beers with an alcohol by volume of 8 percent or higher, Laura Oldham said.
Only 200 tickets will be sold to ensure attendees won’t have to endure long lines to enjoy their samples, she said.
Participating breweries include the Actual Brewing Company, Barley’s Smokehouse, Catawba Island Brewing Company, Elevator Brewing Company, Four String Brewing Company, Hoof Hearted Brewing, North High Brewing, Seventh Son Brewing, Wolf’s Ridge Brewing and Zaftig Brewing Company.
“Zaftig is a brand-new brewery and they will be offering samples of their beer for the very first time at our event,” Doug Oldham said.
Along with the beer, the Hullabaloo will include roasted pig from Barley’s Smokehouse, appetizers from Matt the Miller’s Tavern and pies from Honeykiss Bakery as well as a DJ and free retro arcade games from Arcade Super Awesome.
The event will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. Feb. 1 at 925 W. Burrell Ave., a former warehouse space near the Grandview Yard development.
“We tried to include things we liked from other beer festivals we’ve attended,” Laura Oldham said. “We wanted to make it small so people wouldn’t have to wait in long lines to sample the beer.”
“We wanted to start small and get our feet wet for our first event,” Gentry said.
Tickets for the event must be purchased in advance and cost $50. All-you-can-eat food, arcade games, a collectible glass and commemorative T-shirt are included.
A designated-driver ticket costs $20 and includes a special T-shirt, collectible pint glass and samples of Actual Coffee and Rambling House soda.
Tickets can be purchased at grandviewcraftbeer.com/hullabaloo.
“We’re getting close to selling out,” Laura Oldham said. “There is a small but loyal base of craft-beer lovers in central Ohio.”
Parking will be available in the Grandview Yard parking garage and the Hyatt Place shuttle will provide transportation to 925 W. Burrell. The shuttle also will offer to take guests anywhere within two miles of the event to help make sure attendees arrive home safely.