That’s one of the findings from the Cask Report, launched to coincide with Cask Ale Week, which kicks off today (27 September). The Report found that pub-goers are turning to cask ale in search of flavour, natural ingredients and craft production methods.
“There has been a sea-change in attitudes towards cask ale over the past few years,” said Pete Brown, author of the Cask Report. “This explains why it’s now out-performing the beer market by 6.8 per cent.
Cask-conditioned beer, also referred to as real ale, is served from a cask without additional nitrogen or dioxide pressure. Sixty-three per cent of licensees say the drink is attracting younger customers into their pub and a similar number say that more women are drinking it.
“More people see it as crafted product made from natural British ingredients and like the fact that it’s available only in the pub,” added Brown. “This is great news for all those who care about the future of the British pub since it helps guarantee a new generation of drinkers who will help keep pubs relevant – and open.”
Brewing up a storm
The Cask Report also refers to Britain’s brewery boom, highlighted earlier this month by the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) in its 2014 Good Beer Guide.
One hundred and eighty-four new breweries have opened during the past year; some microplants in the brewhouses of regional brewers and others in pubs or converted buildings, on industrial estates or in the heart of the countryside.
Cask Ale Week is running for the next seven days under the theme of The Great Big Taste Challenge
“People love the opportunity to support local breweries,” said Brown. “But they aren’t looking exclusively for beers from their own region. In fact, 70 per cent of drinkers would like to try beers from different parts of the country more often. This provides a great opportunity for pubs to diversify their range – and for the country’s 1,150 breweries to sell beyond their own doorstep.”
Brown concluded that cask ale’s image was further modernised by the hosting of beer festivals by over 10,000 pubs in 2012. “With all the extra beers on offer in each of those pubs during the festivals, that’s not only a lot of sales generated; it’s also a good illustration of why the market is fragmenting and new breweries are opening,” he said.
Cask Ale Week, which runs from 27 September to 6 October, sees a range of activities taking place from master classes in ale tasting to beer quizzes, meet the brewer evenings, beer festivals, sampling and free pint offers. The theme for the Week is ‘The Great Big Taste Challenge’. For more information, visit www.caskaleweek.co.uk
Pete Brown is an author, consultant and broadcaster specialising in beer and pubs. He is the author of five books and was named Beer Writer of the Year in 2009 and 2012. Read some of his columns in our sister title, the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, here.
click to enlarge
- Courtesy photo
- Breweries will offer beers that pair well with bacon at the Bacon Brew Festival in San Mateo on Saturday.
Spin! Pizza has signed a franchising agreement to open five outposts in San Mateo County within the next seven years. Founded in 2005, Spin! currently has five locations around Kansas City and recently opened its first restaurant in Orange County. The Spin! founders and owners also launched the nationally successful Einstein Bros. Bagels chain of delis. Spin! is best known for preparing everything by hand in-house daily, from the three types of pizza crust to the mozzarella and blood-orange sangria. There’s no word yet on exactly where and when you’ll be seeing this Midwestern pizzeria opening on the Peninsula. Stay tuned.
Close out September in style with two fascinating food and drink festivals on the Peninsula on Saturday. From noon to 6 p.m. in Central Park is the San Mateo Bacon Brew Festival. Yep, everyone’s two favorite things in life pair up for an exciting afternoon. Local breweries, including Devil’s Canyon and the new Warfighter in San Carlos, will provide the suds to pair with the likes of bacon baklava and bacon-wrapped scallops. In case you get tired of bacon (editor’s note: not possible), several local restaurants, including Three and Claudia’s Pastes Empanadas, will also be on hand.
Central Park, Fifth Avenue and El Camino Real, San Mateo; (650) 401-2440, SanMateoChamber.org/bbf. Admission is $10 and includes a free drink.
For those who prefer spice over swine, the sixth annual Redwood City Salsa Festival is being held in the city’s Courthouse Square from noon to 8 p.m. A salsa tasting area is the festival’s main focus, along with various salsa-themed competitions featuring amateur and professional chefs. Wash it all down at a tequila tasting and a craft brew tasting. The salsa theme also extends to music performed on the two stages.
Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City; RedwoodCity.org/events/SalsaFest.html
You don’t have to travel from University Avenue anymore for shrimp ceviche tostadas and tortas. Palo Alto’s main drag now has a Mexican restaurant again: the new Sabrosa Taqueria. Tacos with an assortment of meat options such as grilled chicken and chorizo figure prominently on the menu, along with a carrot-pineapple-arugula salad or sizzling beef fajitas. Nachos and burritos fill out the rest of the offerings. Nearly everything outside of the fajitas is less than $8, a bargain rarity in these parts. Plus, in a nod to the Persian restaurant Thyme to Eat that used to be in the space, Sabrosa’s making a “falafelrito” — a falafel burrito.
448 University Ave., Palo Alto; (650) 853-1450, Sabrosa.us
The greatest vacation I never had came around this time of year nine years ago.
Only months out of graduate school, I didn’t have the money to fly halfway around the world to a friend’s wedding in Munich. Which means, I also missed celebrating with him inside a tent packed with thousands of people who’d come there to do one thing: drink German lagers.
It still hurts, knowing that I was oh-so close to attending Oktoberfest, the largest beer festival on the planet. Held during the final two weeks of September and first few days of October, the festival has existed for more than 200 years and attracts 6 million people to Munich every year. Many more than that attend the countless other beer festivals around the world that have sprung up in tribute to the original.
Indeed, I’m aware of at least two O’fests happening soon in the Upper Valley, both very different from the original and distinct from each other, but nevertheless offering the chance to join friends and drink some good beer.
The first, and newest, will be in Hanover the evening of Oct. 4. This is the inaugural year for the “Upper Valley Oktoberfest,” to be held at Dartmouth College inside the Top of the Hop.
The Hanover Lions Club is organizing the event. Lions Club member Cam Rankin said he hopes it will become a replacement for the now defunct auto show that used to be the group’s largest fund raising event of the year.
“We’re hoping this is going to be a home run for us,” Rankin told me last week.
Rankin confessed he’s more of a wine drinker, but said the Lions are trying to seize on the surging interest in craft beer, particularly among the younger 20-somethings in the Dartmouth community.
The Upper Valley Oktoberfest will be a more modest affair than other celebrations, and certainly smaller than the one in Munich. Still, there will be 17 breweries in attendance, nearly all of them from Vermont or New Hampshire. The $35 admission buys you 12 tickets, each good for a 4-ounce sample, plus there’s food and live music.
There are a few newer breweries attending, including the year-old Henniker Brewing Co. and also Portsmouth-based Great Rhythm Brewing Co. They’ll be joined by local establishments here in the Upper Valley, such as Norwich’s Jasper Murdoch’s and Seven Barrel Brewery in West Lebanon, as well as Long Trail and Harpoon.
Harpoon will be hosting its own “Octoberfest” the same weekend in Boston, but will bring the party to the Upper Valley a week later at its Windsor brewery.
Harpoon’s outdoor festival is among my favorite annual events, and it’s not just because of the beer. There’s sausage, an oompa band, chicken dancing, keg bowling, and a 3.6-mile run that kicks my butt every year, but makes me feel like I’ve actually earned my two pints that day.
There won’t be the variety of brewers like at the Lions Club event, as Harpoon serves only its own beers during the festival. There’s still variety, including the malty Octoberfest, the UFO series’ hefeweizen and “white,” flagship India Pale Ale, the spicy Rich and Dan’s Rye IPA, Harpoon Dark and even two hard ciders.
Don’t expect to find much authentic German tradition in either of the Upper Valley festivals. Oh sure, there will be people wearing lederhosen and dirndls that will most likely be recycled for Halloween two weeks later. Bratwurst will be consumed and funny dancing will be in abundance. But I doubt the Munich party has a Cajun band, like the one the Lions booked, or includes a road race that starts you out on a wicked hill, like Harpoon.
The beers that will be served are certainly different, as the Munich Oktoberfest allows only breweries located inside the city limits, according to the Oxford Companion to Beer.
Not that this matters. The “real” Oktoberfest has evolved from its origins. It began as a two-day event with free food and beer in 1810 to celebrate the wedding of the Bavarian king’s son, Crown Prince Ludwig, a fact that I wonder if many festivalgoers in Germany could recite.
Traditions evolve. Oktoberfest began as a celebration with beer and has become a celebration of beer. With so many good options in the Twin States, we should be celebrating too. Prosit — to your health.
Valley News staff writer Chris Fleisher is a beer judge and the founder of the website BrewsReporter.com. He can be reached at 603-727-3229 or email@example.com.
Buffalo’s affinity for beer, dating from its earliest days, has fostered a growing trend: craft brewing using local ingredients.
As the region celebrates Buffalo Beer Week, The Buffalo News’ Brian Meyer sat down with the chairman of the 10-day event, Willard Brooks, who talked about some of the activities and looked back on Buffalo’s beer heritage. Here is a summary of their conversation, part of the weekly “In Focus” series. Watch the full interview above.
Meyer: How do you think our brewing history has shaped the region?
Brooks: Fundamentally, Buffalo is a beer town. It has been probably since the beginning of its history. In the late 19th century, there were 38 breweries at one point in time open simultaneously. There was a rich history of malting, as well. There were several malting facilities in Buffalo Niagara. This is part of our DNA, it seems. It’s now coming back. History seems to be repeating itself right about now.
Meyer: What has triggered this craft beer phase?
Brooks: People demand beer with great flavor. I think that is the fundamental thing that’s shifting it in that direction. Also, there’s a demand for a locally made product, which is also happening. … There are local hops farms. … In Batavia, there’s a new malt factory opening. We have breweries – two new ones – and several new ones on the way. … Within a few years, I think there will be 15 or 16 breweries.
Meyer: Is it kind of piggybacking on this whole locally grown craze for vegetables and all kinds of other things?
Brooks: I think it is part of that wide trend. However, beer is a beverage that people in Buffalo have a great deal of passion for. It’s hard to find any public event that doesn’t have beer involved in it. Going back to the 19th century, Buffalo was a city that had a tremendous number of beer gardens, with our German-American brewing history. It’s just somehow part of our culture here.
Meyer: Let’s compare the craft beer trend here in Western New York with other cities. Where are we in comparison?
Brooks: Most people would say that we’re a little bit behind, but I believe that we’re catching up quite quickly. The craft beer revolution, as many people call it, sort of began back in the 1980s. At a low point in the United States, there were about 90 breweries in the early ’80s. And now there are 2,500 breweries.
Meyer: Beer Week aims to try to capitalize on that and expand this trend. … The organizers of the event are doing anything but telling people to stay inside, grab a six-pack and enjoy a good football game, right? You’re saying, “Come on out.”
Brooks: (Laughs) Come on out. We have over a hundred events all across the region. We have events with breweries. We have events at pubs. We have beer festivals. We have films. We have beer tastings.
Meyer: How did Beer Week come about?
Brooks: Beer Week started about 10 years ago in Philadelphia. That’s the original and the largest Beer Week in the country. There, they have something like a thousand events across their 10-day celebration. That’s become a trend across the country. There are now several cities across the country that have rather large beer weeks, such as New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco. … They coincide with a trend … where cities sort of adapt to a brewing culture as a way to develop their economy.
By Lauren Blake | Photography by Sean Pressley
Posted: Friday, Sep. 20, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. — To celebrate the end of the pacific northwest’s hop harvest, Oakshire hosted the inaugural Single-Batch Fall Bierfest featuring some of the rarest brews produced this year.
Oakshire’s pub manager Dan Russo said their menu featured 40 different beers contributed by breweries across the northwest. Most were harvest and fresh-hopped beers that were only made in small quantities.
“Generally beer festivals showcase a brewery’s regular lineup,” said Russo. “It’s a celebration of special beers… beers that brewers are only going to make once. So only a few people are ever going to drink them.”
With some many rarities to choose from, beer enthusiasts like Andrew Oslovar had to come up with a strategy when approaching the tap list.
“We just put a check mark next to all the beers we wanted to try and we’ve been just gradually making our way through them,” said Oslovar. “I may not be capable, but I’m very, very willing.”
Much like the Oktoberfest getting underway in Germany, the Fall Bierfest has a beer garden that offers live music and food. Russo said that the festival runs at their public house on Madison until 10 p.m. Saturday.
WARREN, MI — It’s about 9:45 p.m. Thursday as a crew of journalists, including MLive entertainment reporter John ‘Gonzo’ Gonzalez and Amy Sherman of Great American Brew Trail, enter Dragonmead Brewery in Warren for some taste testing.
From the depths of the long, medieval-decorated bar situated at 14600 E. 11 Mile comes a smiling man in a yellow golf shirt, jeans and leather thong flip-flops.
It’s Bill Wrobel, 53, who founded the brewery with his father-in-law, Earl Scherbarth; and best friend Larry Channell, in 1997. They’ve come a long way from the personal do-it-yourself brews that launched their fermentation experimentation in the 1980s.
Dragonmead produces Final Absolution, an 8.5 percent alcohol Belgian trippel that is one of the most sought after microbrews in Michigan.
Wrobel wraps Sherman with a familiar and genuine hug. They previously met when Sherman produced her statewide tour of breweries, which is available for purchase on DVD.
Before sharing the tale of how he morphed from a nerdy at-home beer scientist working in corporate America to the co-owner of one of the best-known breweries in Michigan, Sherman wastes no time taking his visitors behind the scenes to the inner-sanctum of his creation.
A door to the rear of the bar leads into a large production area lit with bright lights that reflect off the countless stainless steel brew kettles, mash tuns and fermentation tanks.
Wrobel heads for section of newly added brew equipment that will allow Dragonmead to increase its productions from about 2,500 barrels per year to 10,000 barrels, the equivalent of 3.3 million 12-ounce glasses of beer.
“You’re looking at, when you take into account all the building changes and everything, $1.5 million,” Wrobel says with pride before offering a quick brewing education.
“Did you retire yet?” asks Sherman.
Wrobel shakes his head
“I also work at Chrysler,” he says, “so usually about 5 a.m. I go to work and come here in the evenings.”
Back in the bar at a table near a full suit of knight’s armor, Gonzo and Sherman are presented wooden platters, each containing five small glasses of Dragonmead concoctions.
Jerry Parks, the brewery’s bearded mead maker and a server, drops off a basket of pretzels with two types of dipping mustard. The 42-year-old, an employee of Dragonmead since 1997, then joins the table while another server brings a five-glass soda sampler for the MLive photographer and designated driver Fritz Klug. Klug notes that the black cherry is his favorite.
Sherman and Gonzo, on their sixth brewery stop of the day, begin with Angry Dragon, a pre-Prohibition-style lager and conclude with Final Absolution — that is, until Wrobel orders up three more brews he insists they try.
Jon Piepenbrock, the director of marketing at the Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. in Warren, where Gonzo and Sherman stopped prior to Dragonmead, has accepted an invitation to join the taste test that has quickly evolved into a small party of eight.
“I got the Russian Imperial because I was told that I should drink it,” says Piepenbrock after warmly greeting Wrobel. Despite operating competing breweries, they are friends and have worked side by side at Michigan beer festivals.
Pulled to the side of the noisy conversation, Wrobel answers the question most want to know: How does one get to the point of owning a lucrative business that allows unfettered access to tasty beers?
For Wrobel, his connection with beer and bars began in childhood. The Detroit native lived in a Polish enclave in southwest Detroit near Michigan and Livernois.
On either end of the block were two belly-up neighborhood bars, Abicks and Cozy Cove, situated near a train yard.
“Mom would say, ‘It’s time for dinner, go get your dad,’” he says. “I still remember going in… and seeing all the crusty railroad guys in there cashing their checks and drinking boombas.”
Wrobel graduated University of Detroit High School in 1977 and attended the University of Michigan Dearborn Campus where studied computer science and met another person crucial in his eventual ascent to becoming a brewer, his wife, whom he married in 1984.
Wrobel said his father-in-law, Scherbarth — now his business partner — liked beer, namely Busch and Busch Light because they were cheap, so Wrobel decided to buy him a home-brew kit for Christmas of 1989.
“I made it known that, hey, I’d kind of like one of these too,” Wrobel says, but it became evident by the time he opened his final present that Christmas morning his subtle hint fell upon deaf ears.
The next day, Wrobel purchased an exact duplicate of Scherbarth’s kit and the brew wars began.
They’d decide on a type of beer they wanted to make, head to their respective homes and begin the process. When completed they’d meet up and critique each others batches.
“We kind of graduated to working together,” Wrobel said. “I still remember our first all-grain brew. It took us like 12 hours, we had nothing to drink, we’re cranky and we came up with 10 gallons.
“We’re like, this sucks, so we went through and we came up with the design that our (current) equipment is modeled after… On the day we implemented that, we brewed 50 gallons of beer… we were drunk on our ass and we just had a great time.”
Now enters the medieval influence.
At the time, Channell, the best man in Wrobel’s wedding, hosted annual medieval-themed birthday parties.
“So we would brew beer and mead for his party and people just started raving about it,” says Wrobel. “They were like, ‘no, I’d pay for this; this is really great.’”
The friends worked and carpooled together to Chrysler daily. We “didn’t really like corporate life” but “it was a necessary evil” at the time, says Wrobel. They began churning entrepreneurial ideas.
On the drive to work one day, Wrobel proposed the idea of a brewing company after reading a story about a man’s “religious experience” after visiting Belgium to find the Affligem Brewing Company.
“I read him this article and I still remember as we pulled into work he said, ‘This is the single dumbest idea you have ever had,” Wrobel said.
That same day at lunch they ate at a bar and began asking the bartender questions about the the imported beers and how much they sold.
Within three months, they had a business plan in place and later opened in 1997.
“We started her with eight beers on tap,” said Wrobel. For the next decade they didn’t take a pay check and reinvested every dollar of profit back into the business.
On Thursday, the bar had 43 beers on tap, in addition to offering 13 meads and 13 different wines.
Three of them, Bill’s Witbier, Larry’s Lionheart pale ale, Earl’s spit stout, are named after the owners who transformed a dream into reality.
Gonzo and Sherman will travel throughout the state from Sept. 16-22 checking out what Michigan’s most popular breweries have to offer.
MLive took nominations from readers for what breweries should be included in the Metro Detroit poll, and a dozen breweries in eight cities were nominated.
The winning brewery for the statewide competition will be announced Sept. 24.
Check back each day for more information on MLive’s search for Michiganâs Best Brewery.
When it comes to organizing the beer options for the Ballpark Brew Bash, Consumer’s Beverages art and media director Chris Groves has a few major advantages.
He’s admittedly a long-time veteran of craft-beer festivals—from Boston to California—so he’s witnessed the success and failure of others, storing tips along the way.
Through his job at Consumer’s—which boasts 17 locations and Western New York’s most comprehensive selection of craft beer—Groves has created an expansive network of brewers and both small and large distributors, allowing him to have his finger on the pulse of the craft-beer wave.
Groves and Rob Free, the director of food service operations at Coca-Cola Field, will collaborate on the fourth annual Ballpark Brew Bash between 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday at Coca-Cola Field, 275 Washington St, Buffalo.
Tickets are $35 pre-sale and $40 day-of for general admission, while a limited number of VIP passes run for $75. You can wrangle tickets at any Consumer’s location.
Admission entitles the attendee to 20 tasting tickets, a program and a 3 oz. sampling glass. So, unless you purchase extra tickets for $1.00 apiece, you’ll end up with almost four pints of beer in your system. Don’t fret, because your craft-beer buzz doesn’t have to be tempered—designated drivers can attend the event for $5.
Fifty-eight breweries will all serve at least two beers, but Groves has a bit of a stipulation that will set his festival apart from others.
“We didn’t want the breweries to bring their core beers,” said Groves, who also noted that at most local beer festivals, the vendors choose which beers they’ll bring. “Those [more common] beers can be left for another festival; we want to be a second-level beer festival.
“Sometimes it’s a challenge to get them on board,” he admitted. “They’ll say, for example, ‘But our porter and pale ale make us the most money!’ We wanted to make this different by choosing the beers ourselves, making it an elite event.”
Groves’ preexisting relationships certainly helped sway the decision of breweries, however, and he highlighted a few of the vendors he’s most excited for:
**Brooklyn Brewery: You may have seen the Brooklyn Lager in your craft-beer travels, but the NYC brewery will offer Mary’s Maple Porter, a product of brewer Mary Wiles, who will also direct one of the festival’s four breakout sessions.
The owner of a 500-acre maple farm, Wiles wove her locally produced maple syrup together with her passion for brewing, resulting in a product that is as popular as it is rare. Here’s the Brooklyn Brewery rundown:
Mary’s Maple Porter is a rich, dark ale featuring a large portion of her maple syrup in the kettle. After fermentation by our house ale yeast, the syrup is no longer sweet (yeast likes to eat maple syrup too), but the maple flavor shows through in a complex interplay with caramel, chocolate, and coffee flavors from our blend of roasted malts. An earthy hop note rounds it all out.
These sessions will provide a little more context and history behind the beverages you’re sipping.
**Green Flash’s Green Bullet: A very recently released Triple-IPA from San Diego, Calif., a keg of Green Bullet—the first our area has seen—will arrive at Coca-Cola Field for a 6 p.m. timed tapping.
**The Bronx Brewery: Groves notes that the Bronx Brewery is using the Ballpark Brew Bash as its debut into the Western New York market, and the newcomer’s lineup of pale ales is pretty impressive—a Bronx Pale Ale and Bronx Rye Pale Ale sound ticket-worthy to us.
**Local breweries: Just because Groves has invited brewers from Colorado, Michigan, Vermont, Illinois, California and so forth doesn’t mean he’s omitting local participants. While Flying Bison, Pearl Street and Community Beer Works’ presences will surprise few, the Consumer’s Beverages host adds that Hamburg Brewing Company will bring three beers and Wilson’s Woodcock Brothers Brewery will be on-site as well.
Both hosts noted that the craft-beer vendors will be organized by their home location—Western New York and Central New York beers will find themselves on Coca-Cola Field’s warning track, for example.
While general admission allows visitors to sample these beers and enjoy live entertainment, a full pig roast from Blasdell’s BW’s Smokin’ Barrels Barbecue, a hot sauce challenge from Headstone Heat, local specialties from Charlie the Butcher, Zetti’s and Wardynski’s, VIPs receive even better treatment.
Housed in Pettibones Grill—which overlooks Coca-Cola Field—the VIPs will be treated to even more obscure beers than what’s allotted for general admission, as a variety of rare one-offs—usually in firkins—will be present for sampling. The VIP area has a 200-person limit, and full food stations and 20-25 beers—never before seen in Buffalo, Free said—will be in tow.
For Groves, a barrel-aged Ommegang keg as well as Crooked Stave’s product—certain beers do improve with age, he affirms—are two of the several highlights and surprises to be enjoyed exclusively by the VIP ticket-holders.
If there’s an authority on American craft beer in Western New York, it’s probably the folks at Consumer’s Beverages—who, along with Coca-Cola Field’s staff, are excited to introduce a next-level craft-beer extravaganza for advanced beer lovers.
“We’re in the position and have the expertise to take risks with our beer list,” Groves said firmly. Enjoy the Ballpark Brew Bash on Saturday evening.
(Photos are courtesy of former Buffalo.com freelancer Carrie Scoma from last year’s Ballpark Brew Bash—see the gallery here).
Therefore, be it resolved that the Legislature of Louisiana does hereby designate the week of September 23 through 29, 2013, as Louisiana Craft Brewer Week in recognition of the aforementioned contributions by Louisiana craft brewers to the state.” (House Concurrent Resolution No. 106, by Rep. James Armes and Sen. Elbert Guillory, June 6, 2013)
With this resolution, the Louisiana craft brewing industry took a huge step forward in legitimacy and statewide support.
Conrad Rolling, the director of the Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild, says that though the legislation specifically indicates this year’s dates, the guild plans to hold Louisiana Craft Brewer Week during the end of September every year. The Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild, a nonprofit organization that represents the interests of the seven Louisiana production breweries, drafted the bill and brought it to the Legislature in partnership with the Beer Industry League of Louisiana, which represents the state’s beer distributors. “The week itself is a celebration of Louisiana breweries, brewers and beer,” Rolling says, “Our goal is to promote the great beer that our state’s breweries have to offer and bring awareness to the incredible people who brew it.”
Andrew Godley, founder and head brewer for Parish Brewing and president of the guild, says, “This isn’t another week to showcase craft beer in general, but instead to showcase and promote our great Louisiana breweries and beers.” The state has become an attractive market for nationally recognized brewers and there are more out-of-state craft beers available in the growing beer market. “We don’t want to lose focus on why locally produced beer is so important,” Godley says.
Godley says there is excitement about the legislation and the activities during the week itself. NOLA Brewing is releasing its collaboration with New Belgium, Swamp Grape Escape, to coincide with Louisiana Craft Brewers Week. Debut events are scheduled at bars throughout the area, including The Avenue Pub, d.b.a., Bulldog locations, The Barley Oak and The Irish House. Samplings from special cask versions will showcase the diverse flavor aspects of this Belgian single style brewed with local muscadine grapes. Godley himself will release Dr. Hoptagon, Parish’s black IPA, during the week as well.
Staff from New Belgium brewery will attend the release party Monday, Sept. 23 at The Avenue Pub. The Pub also will feature local brewery Bayou Teche on Sunday, Sept. 22, when it serves jambalaya and two new brews: Hop-Olousas IPA and Miel Sauvage, a honey beer that is barrel-aged for 100 days.
Craft Brewer Week coincides with one of the state’s most popular and largest beer festivals. Now in its fourth year, New Orleans on Tap was conceived by the owners of the Bulldog. They teamed up with the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA) to create a dog-friendly charity event that features craft beers from all over the country. It’s best known, however, as being the place to sample beer from breweries that aren’t open yet, including Gnarly Barley, Mudbug and Cajun Fire. These breweries use the event to test their beers and establish their names in local markets.
Abita, Bayou Teche, Chafunkta, Covington, NOLA Brewing, Parish and Tin Roof all have events scheduled, and there are beer tappings, cask sampling, beer flight tastings, dinners, giveaways and more (for a list of events, see Fork + Center, right column).
”Obviously, this is the first year, so we don’t know what to expect as far as support and participation from retailers and consumers,” Godley says. “But hopefully, for every year after this, the turnout and impact gets greater and greater to benefit our important local industry.”
Smoke in the Valley proudly announces its 2013 music lineup bringing together national and local touring acts and exciting newcomers to the stage.
The festival once again invites area residents to come and experience a craft beer and chili event like no other in the state. The annual event will take place Saturday, October 5 in downtown Seymour.
Music Director Matt Bronson unveils a lineup that follows the contour of previous festivals celebrating the best in local talent to match national acts otherwise reserved for ticketed events.
New for 2013 local favorite Kung Fu will headline as part of their current fall regional tour. Other main stage headliners include Hubinger Street, fresh off appearances at this year’s Soupstock and SoNo Arts Festivals in addition to Massachusetts jam band Roots of Creation who are currently wrapping up their national tour.
Performers at this year’s festival also include Shameless, Charlie Don’t Surf and New Haven favorite IndiGroove performing on the Bridge Stage.
Established in 2010, the Smoke in the Valley Festival has grown organically into one of Connecticut’s leading independent craft beer festivals.
The festival has earned its reputation by attracting premier breweries, small and large, local and internationally. The festival’s music, beer and chili means there is something for everyone. Our craft beer offerings will be larger than ever with over 70 breweries pouring.
This compliments annual staples such as the Homebrew Competition and the 3rd Annual Chili Cook-Off. Information regarding submissions to both can be found by visiting the festivals website below.
Proceeds will benefit Seymour Tradition, whose goal is to raise money for Seymour Youth Sports programs, as well as Seymour fire and EMS companies. Seymour fire and EMS are all staffed by volunteer members.
For more information log on to www.smokeinthevalley.com or join us on:
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