When you can beat them, buy them

When you can beat them, buy them. It’s official, Anheuser-Busch has bought another craft brewery. 10 Barrel Brewing in Bend, Oregon, has received large criticism for making this business move, but they feel it was in their best interest. Co founder Jeremy Cox had this to say about First Beverage Financial, the investment banking arm of First Beverage Group:

“First Beverage did a great job of understanding our brand and it was clear that they had our best interests in mind throughout the process,” Jeremy Cox said. “They have a very talented team and we feel very fortunate to have worked with them on this project.”

What are you thoughts on craft beer being bought out?

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San Diego Beer Week

Colorado beer week was a lot of fun this summer, but I have to say San Diego blows it out of the water. It’s two weeks long. You read that right, TWO WEEKS. From brewer’s dinners, to festivals, paddle boat races, 5k’s, and of course, beer, San Diego Beer Week is something I wish I wasn’t missing out on. If you want to get the insider’s guide to the week, check it out here.

It originally started in 2003, with Karl Strauss Brewing Company’s cofounder starting it up. He didn’t think it would catch on, but obviously two whole weeks of local beer celebration means those breweries are doing something right!

25 Years of Odell Brewing – Individual Reporting Project

In 1989, the first brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado opened, Odell Brewing Company. The original brewery opened in an old converted grain elevator after Doug and Wynne Odell with their 18-month-old daughter moved to Fort Collins, CO. Doug had won two gold medals in a homebrew competition and saw that as blinking sign to do what he loved. With his 90 Shilling recipe perfected, the trio opened Odell’s Ales (later renamed Odell Brewing Company). Over the years, Odell has grown to employing over 100 people and several brewery expansions, including a new brewing system and fermenters allowing them to produce 100,000 barrels of beer a year.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 7.45.50 PMIt just so happens that another brewery opened a day earlier than Odell in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Company. With both breweries hitting their silver anniversary so close to each other they decided to brew a collaboration beer aptly named Silver Anniversary Ale. This golden copper ale celebrates 25 years of brewing with an body full of caramel – toffee malt balanced by piney hop notes. It’s a toast to working hard and sticking with it.

Boulevard-Silver-Anniversary-AleFour times a year, then entire company gathers and does whatever a brewery does. But for this last gathering, they threw the largest tap take over in Colorado at Tap and Handle. If I were to throw a  25 year celebration of opening a brewery, this is the way I’d do it too. Odell brought 58 different beers to tap and serve in Fort Collins and held a  private event for all employees. There’s the year round lineup, special releases, and some never before seen beers hiding away in their cellars that they graciously dug out. It would have been a truly terrible thing to miss, so of course, I stopped by the day after they were all tapped.

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Russian Pirate was a beer I was not expecting in the least from odell, as a rum barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout clocking in at 10% abv. Barrel Thief was a truly tasty surprise as I hold a loose belief that barrel-aged IPA’s are wrong. Somehow Odell won me over with their oak aged double IPA, it helps that Mercenary IPA is a top beer of mine. Friek 2013 and 2014, duh. Sour beers are the largest part of my personal cellar and they only get better, don’t miss this year’s that was just released. The last one you should absolutely seek out, as the style it isn’t seen often by any brewery, is Amuste.  An Imperial Porter aged in oak wine barrels accented with juice from Tempranillo grapes grown on the Western Slope of Colorado, the flavors are quaffable. You can check out the entire lineup here.

Brewed in Chicago: Play a Game, Make a Beer

Craft Your Beer is a new indiegogo campaign for an online game concept that will crowdsource great beer ideas. So how does it work?

A web page on will take players through a 4 step process:

  • Choose from many different styles of beer to brew
  • Select from common ingredients, optionally add unique flavors
  • Create a unique name for your beer, and choose the label design
  • Promote your beer so it becomes one of the most popular

So how does the your beer get made?

Four times a year, they plan to choose the most popular beer ideas. Breweed on a seasonal basis, they look at the highest rated beer ideas submitted through the game. Ratings are based on votes or “likes” received through our web site at brewedinchicago.com. If you don’t live in Chicago, this probably isn’t cool for you. I still like it.

Craft Your Beer Online: Get it Brewed in Chicago from Brian on Vimeo.

2 New IPA’s for Green Flash Year Round Lineup

Green Flash Brewing, known for their extreme hop approached IPA’s, is released two new year-round IPA’s to their line up. Maybe you’re asking yourself, “How many IPA’s can you make?” The answer is never enough. The new releases are in the style of popular new IPAs: soul and session. I lied about the first one, “soul” is not a beer style but it should be! Sour Style IPA “refers to the grace of the rarely seen, soul style surfer who leans way back on the board, making each difficult maneuver appear effortless” Though with using Citra, Simcoe and Cascade hops, I’m not sure what this IPA will offer from other’s out there.

Jibe Session IPA is a real style. Session means lower ABV with all of the bitter, citrus taste of a normal IPA. “Green Flash set out to produce the lowest ABV possible and still achieve bold, complex IPA flavor and body.” At 4% ABV, I think it is the most sessionable IPA out there.

From Home Brew to a Top 5 Craft Brewer.

By now you’ve heard of Lagunitas Brewing, if you drink craft beer. If you’re a home brewer, then you have definitely heard of them. If there’s one dream every home brewer has these days, it’s opening a brewery. Just over 20 years ago, Tony Magee decided to found a brewery. Since 1993,  Lagunitas Brewing Co. has grown from a shoestring, one-man operation based in Petaluma, Calif., to the fifth largest and fastest growing craft brewer in the United States with a newly opened second brewery in Chicago. Magee has written a  memoir, So You Want to Start a Brewery? The Lagunitas Story, which is his no-bones-about-it account of his gut-wrenching challenges and unexpected successes as founder and CEO. This behind-the-scenes Lagunitas roller coaster ride, equal parts memoir, narrative and business story is Magee’s honest and hilarious account of his journey that starts with a home brew kit and culminates with the success of one of America’s most popular craft beer brands. Check out the book if you think you’re wanting to start your own brewery.

Bell’s Brewery and Proper team up to fight cancer with beards, mustaches and beer

For the month of November, Bell’s Brewery, Inc. in partnership with The Proper Possible Movement (Proper) and other Kalamazoo area businesses are teaming up to raise awareness and money to help fight cancer. There will be two events, coinciding with No-Shave November, a non-profit organization devoted to preventing the disease, saving lives and aiding those fighting the battle. Bell’s said that all money raised during these events will go to the West Michigan Cancer Center.

The kick-off party, “Shave the Date”, will be held in downtown Kalamazoo on Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. The party will offer participants an old fashioned clean shave while enjoying cans of Winter White and Two Hearted Ale. Victor Vague Photography will shoot “before” tin type portraits and a DJ will also perform. A complimentary shuttle service will transport guests from Urban to Bell’s Eccentric Café, courtesy of Maple Hill Auto Group.  I wish I could go, but I would only be enjoying the can of delicious ale. Check out the “Shave the Date” video.