Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sweetwater unleashes new Dank Tank DIPA called Johnny Hash!


I dig Double IPAs and this one's made with Citra hop hash!

SweetWater has their ongoing one-and-done potent Dank Tank series poppin' regularly and they get quite experimental with them. Well my homey, Head Brewer Nick Nock, and the rest of the 'Water posse showed off with this one! At 8.5 percent and ingeniously using Citra hop hash, "...a pure, concentrated form of hop resin scraped straight from the belly of Yakima Valley hop pelletizers," I was not mad at it all! 
To fully flex their creative muscle, SweetWater's artwork did a play on music legend Johnny Cash's name and gangster photo of him flippin' the bird during a concert in 1969 at San Quentin prison in Cali by photographer Jim Marshall. It was a picture for the warden. Word! This is it:
As for the beer which is just as rebellious, Slick Nick says, “Johnny Hash is a unique IPA for hop lovers. Using hop hash was uncharted territory for us and we didn’t know exactly what we were going to get from it. We kept the grain bill pretty basic and used a limited amount of traditional hops, then beefed up the hop hash to a pound per barrel to really pack a punch and best allow its flavor to come through.”

Photo by SweetWater
I was really pleased by this joint and would love to see what you have to say about it. It's in stores now. Remember two things:
  • IPAs are supposed to be consumed as fresh as possible in order to deliver the best aroma and tasting agents brewers intend for us to experience.
  • This will never be brewed again so grab one before they are ghost!
Oh yeah, and SweetWater has the 10th Annual SweetWater 420 Fest is popping this weekend featuring Steel Pulse on Friday and crazy events throughout the weekend. Here is the schedule.
Keep sippin'!
Ale



Saturday, April 12, 2014

Check out the winners from the 2014 World Beer Cup!

I was there in spirit!

So even though I couldn't attend the 2014 World Beer Cup and Craft Brewers Conference in Denver due to one of my best friends getting married (congrats Wade and Niki!), I still wanted to be on point with posting the winners of the invaluable awards that were handed out. So without further ado, my homies—Brewers Association (BA)—sent me the results of “one of the largest commercial beer competitions to date, the 2014 World Beer Cup Awards.” The always descriptive press releases they dish out provide the pertinent information we beer enthusiasts need to supplement our sipping sessions at craft beer bars around the world. Here it is below.
And congrats go not only to the winners, but also to the participants—all 4,754 entries from 58 countries—who make beer the shizznit. Here is the complete list of World Beer Cup winners.
Keep brewin’ and sippin’!
Your homey,
Ale
-------------------------
 
Shout out to the picturesque Pelican Brewery for winning the Small Brewing Company category.
Diverse Winners Emerge From Largest-Ever World Beer Cup
2014 competition saw 4,754 entries from 58 countries
Boulder, CO • April 11, 2014—The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America's small and independent craft brewers—announced the results of one of the largest commercial beer competitions to date, the 2014 World Beer Cup Awards. The awards were presented at the conclusion of Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America in Denver, Colo.

Drawing the highest number of entries to date, this edition of the World Beer Cup saw 4,754 beers from 1,403 breweries representing 58 countries—a 21 percent increase in the number of entries from the 2012 World Beer Cup, which had 3,921 entries.

Brewers from five continents earned awards from an elite international panel of judges at this tenth biennial competition, with brewers from 22 countries—ranging from Australia and Brazil to Taiwan and the United Kingdom—honored. Judges awarded 281 out of 282 total possible awards, reflecting the chance for one gold, one silver and one bronze award in each of 94 beer style categories.

Coronado got the "medium Size" brewery joint.
This year’s event was particularly competitive; the proportion of winning breweries winning one or more awards was 18 percent, compared to 27 percent in 2012. There was a 75.6 percent increase in breweries competing this year versus 2012, which had 799 breweries that entered beers in the competition. A total of 253 breweries took home awards in 2014, a 16.6 percent increase over 2012.

A detailed analysis of the entries and awards can be found in the 2014 World Beer Cup Fact Sheet.

“Brewers from around the globe participate in the World Beer Cup to win recognition for their creativity and brewing skills,” said Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewers Association. “For a brewer, a World Beer Cup gold award allows them to say that their winning beer represents the best of that beer style in the world.”

Judges
A panel of 219 judges from 31 countries participated in this year’s competition, working in teams to conduct blind tasting evaluations of the beers and determine the awards. Drawn from the ranks of professional brewers and brewing industry experts, 76 percent of the judges came from outside the United States.

Category Trends
·         The average number of beers entered per category was 50, up from 41 in 2012.
·         The category with the most entries was American-Style India Pale Ale, with 223 entries.
·         The second most-entered category was American-Style Pale Ale, with 121 entries.
·         The third most-entered category was Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer, with 111 entries.

Award Highlights
The 281 awards were won by 253 breweries, with very few breweries earning more than one award.
·         226 breweries won one award.
·         26 breweries won two awards.
·         One brewery won three awards.

Competition Manager Chris Swersey commented, “This is the most diverse set of winning breweries in any World Beer Cup.”

The non-U.S. entry rate and winning rate tracked very closely in the 2014 competition, with 28 percent of beers entered coming from outside the U.S., and 27 percent of awards going to beers entered from outside the U.S.

Champion Brewery/Champion Brewmaster Awards
The competition also bestows Champion Brewery and Champion Brewmaster awards in each of five brewery categories based on the awards won by each brewery. Coronado Brewing Company and Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant are first-time champion breweries in their categories.

The five Champion Brewery/Brewmaster award winners are:

Small Brewing Company Category
Pelican Brewery
Darron Welch and Steve Panos

Mid-Size Brewing Company Category
Coronado Brewing Company
Coronado Brewing Company team

Large Brewing Company Category
Coors Brewing Company
Dr. David Ryder

Small Brewpub Category
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - Media
Iron Hill Brewery team

Large Brewpub Category
Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant
John Dean

The complete list of award winners is available for download.




Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Showing Athens, Georgia love: Part 1

Pictured: Richard Miley of Catch-22; the "$22 Burger" at Catch-22; Creature Comforts owners Adam Beauchamp and David Stein
Check out my FirstWeFeast.com article Georgia's other A-Town!

Basically, I have developed a love for the city of Athens, Georgia especially within the past two years, and I am proving it. Due to its burgeoning beer scene, close proximity to my hometown of Atlanta, and the overall extra cool folks who have laid out the red carpet for me during my visit, it is only right. Well here is the first installment in a series of posts demonstrating my appreciation! 
And to all my cherished readers, if you haven't been there or choose to revisit this city, let me know what you think about who I featured and new gems I should discover via Twitter or in the comment section below! 
In the meantime, I have my photos of the gangster bottle share I did with Catch 22 Gastropub's Richard Miley (who I featured here), and Southern Brewing Company's Brian Roth, plus this one linking you to what I did with FirstWeFeast.com, a division of the kickass Complex Magazine based in New York. 

Cheers!
Ale

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Brewers Association Lists Top 50 Breweries of 2013!



One of my bottles share featuring some of the best craft breweries in U.S. listed below. Duvel Tripel Hop got some love too.
Congrats to all of these U.S. breweries! Keep it flowin!

Cheers Fellow Craft Beer Sippers!
One of my favorite news sources, the Brewers Association, just sent me their annual list of the top 50 craft brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume. There was also a list of the top 50 overall brewing companies. I loved seeing that 38 of them were small and independent craft brewing companies.Oh! And BA hooked me up with their official definition of a “craft brewer.” 

Here is the Brewers Association’s definition of a Craft Brewer:
An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional.
  • Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships.
  • Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
  • Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.
 - Brewers Association

And now, the list of the top 50 craft brewing companies and top 50 overall brewing companies. Again, cheers all of them! Keep bringing us that liquid mastery!

Holla!
Ale

Monday, March 31, 2014

Whoa! At midnight, Argosy is tapping Founders' 2014 KBS Imperial Breakfast Stout!

Photo by Ale Sharpton
When the clock strikes twelve, be in beer heaven!
Yo!
Plain and simple, go to the Argosy in East Atlanta tonight and get a taste one of the best beers in the world, the Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout), brewed with coffee and chocolate. It's simply gangster at 11.2 percent ABV of liquid bliss. See you there! Here is the info below:

See you there!
Your homey,
Ale