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3 new Bold City brews you must try at downtown tap room

bold_City_DTWhen I talked to Brian Miller, co-owner of Jacksonville’s first craft brewery, Bold City Brewing Company a few months ago about the just-opened downtown brewery and tap room, he told me that his vision was to rotate his brewers through the smaller brewery and let them exercise their creativity. This weekend we will get to reap the fruits of Jeremy Baker’s, one of the Bold City brewers, labors.

Beginning at 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 26, Baker’s first brew — The George and the Dragon Oatmeal Stout — will be on tap. Then at 2:00 p.m., The Jam ESB will become available and finally, at 5:00 p.m., The Pryed of Frank and Stein Rye IPA will flow.

Inspiration for the new brews lean heavily towards Baker’s British roots. The name for his stout is drawn from visits to family in England as he grew up.

“The legal drinking age is lower there,”  Baker said in an email from Bold City. “So the first time I could legitimately drink a beer at a bar was just down the hill from my Grandparent’s house. The pub was named The George and the Dragon and George.

The combination of that early drinking experience and the fact that his grandfather’s name is George provided the inspiration for his rich, chocolate forward oatmeal stout. IN keeping with the U.K. theme of the beer, Baker utilized British Phoenix hops in this 5% ABV work of art.

For his 5.5% ABV The Jam ESB, Baker again turned to his British heritage by trying to create a traditional Engish-style pale ale. In this brew he balanced English two-row, mild malts and a touch of crystal/caramel malts with a variety English of hops.

“My goal with this one was to emulate what you would get if you were in an English pub and asked for a pint of bitter,” Baker explained. “This is one of the first styles of beer I fell in love with as a young man.”

The Pryed of Frank and Stein, Baker’s third beer to be released is an English-style IPA brewed with rye that clocks in at 7% ABV and has an American twist — he aggressively hopped the brew with a combination of spicy and earthy hops from the U.S. and Europe. Perhaps most interesting is the highlighted use of experimental hop, HBC 682 said to have a mild and pleasant aroma with herbal, floral and spicy characteristics. In addition, both English and American pale malts were sourced along with distinctive rye malt.

“The ingredients came from all over,” Baker said. “To create a Frankenstein of a beer.”

With Jazz Fest and the opening of Daily’s Place downtown this weekend, you may want to get to Bold City early to stake out a place and try all three of these new additions to the Bold City line up.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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Sam Adams invites you to Pour One Forward this Memorial Day

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Source: American Dream U

This Memorial Day weekend take a break from the beach, barbecues and gatherings to reflect on the sacrifices made by our nation’s military and first responders. To make it easier to show your appreciation for these amazing people, Sam Adams and American Dream U are sponsoring a campaign called Pour One Forward to help educate military members and their families as well as help military members find jobs and grow small businesses.

Pout One Forward is a program that allows you to purchase a Sam Adams Boston Lager for a military member this weekend. The concept is simple, the next time you are at a participating bar or restaurant that serves Boston Lager (use this handy map to find one) tell your server that you want to buy a Boston Lager for a military member. You will be given a voucher to fill out in the shape of a pint glass. Then, just leave the voucher with the server and they will give it to an active or veteran military member so they can enjoy a free beer on you.

In addition to providing free pints to service members, Pour One Forward provides a $.50 donation to American Dream U for each 12-pack of Boston Lager sold by participating retail stores. You can also text POURONE to 24587 and make a donation. Sam Adams will match all donations up to $10,000

The Pour One Forward campaign runs through July 5, 2017.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Beer, Beer News

 

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Hyperion opens to huge crowds, outstanding neighborhood support

IMG_8417 (1)Last week something wonderful happened in my neighborhood; with the opening of our first neighborhood craft brewery, hope and pride swelled to overflowing.

For longer than I have lived in the district, Main Street has been a source of frustration in its inability to attract consumers from other areas of the city. Uptown Kitchen made inroads, but it alone was not enough to provide the spark Main Street needed to truly start on the road to recovery.

Then, a few months ago, when Hyperion Brewing Company announced that it would be setting up shop in the Springfield National Historic District, the neighborhood lit up. The combination of Hyperion, the soon-to-open Crispy’s restaurant and bar and another brewery — Main & Six Brewing Company — seems to have reawakened interest in the long neglected heart of Springfield.

From the beginning, Hyperion’s mission was to open in an emerging neighborhood. The goal was to help in the renaissance of the area and to become a draw to bring more people into the area and bring vibrancy. After a long search, several false starts, and a bit of a rezoning fight with the city of Jacksonville, a location on Main Street in the Springfield National Historic District was chosen.

In a press release issued by Hyperion May 22, co-owner and CEO Alexandra McKeown estimated that more than 100 eager patrons attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening Friday, May  19. When I arrived I talked with numerous neighbors and others who were all excited for the new opportunities the brewery would bring to Main Street.

“All of us at Hyperion Brewing Company are overwhelmed by and so thankful for the support we received from the Jacksonville community, and especially our Springfield neighbors, at our Grand Opening and first weekend open for business,” McKeown said. “We look forward to adding more brews to our selection in the coming months and offering our customers a great experience at [our] historic Springfield’s first brewery.”

The new brewery will serve a variety of beer styles, traditional and innovative, on a 32-gallon 1-barrel system, ensuring plenty of variety for patrons to sample. The opening of Hyperion marks the first true nano brewery in Jacksonville with the aim of creating a large variety of beers while avoiding — at least initially — brewing “core beers” that are always on tap. The larger selection of beers provides patrons with a constantly changing selection that is meant to expose them to many different styles of beer.

Over the course of the weekend, Hyperion estimates that they served more than 900 patrons. I personally visited several times to find the taproom full of excited, laughing patrons eager to support the new business. Many expressed their enthusiasm for the direction and tone set by Hyperion.

Based on the response, it is easy to see that Hyperion touched a nerve within the historic district. And, if one can predict the response other new Main Street businesses like Common Grounds coffee shop, Block Skate Shop, Crispies and the forthcoming Main & Six Brewing company can expect from the outpouring of enthusiasm heaped on Hyperion, Springfield is about to become the next great entertainment and shopping district in Jacksonville.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Beer, brewery

 

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Danish brewer goes from the pisser to the pint glass

mannekenpisBrewers like to make unique, memorable beers. In the past there have been beers made with yeast from a brewer’s beard, a pizza beer and a beer made from purified waste water. But, a brewer in Denmark may have gone too far by making a beer from human urine.

Nørrebro Bryghus, a Danish microbrewery located in Copenhagen, has gone to the toilet for their new “Pisner” beer.

According to Rueters, the brewery is using 50,000 gallons of urine collected from a music festival to brew the novelty beer. This begs the question, which came first the beer or the piss?

But, in case you just started feeling a bit queasy, the beer is not made from filtered urine. Instead, the urine was used to fertilize the barley used in the brewing process.

“When the news that we had started brewing the Pisner came out,”  said Henrik Vang, Chief Executive of brewer Norrebro Bryghus in the Reuters article. “A lot of people thought we were filtering the urine to put it directly in the beer and we had a good laugh about that.”

About 60,000 bottles of the beer are available to adventurous drinkers.

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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Beer It Forward this American Craft Beer Week

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Credit: Brewers Association

Monday, May 15 marks the beginning of American Craft Beer Week 2017. The week celebrates the diversity of the American craft beer scene and strives to educate the uninitiated to the many joys of craft beer. In addition, this year the Brewers Association
— the trade organization dedicated to supporting craft beer brewers — have launched a #BeerItForward campaign.

Simply put, Beer It Forward is a way to do something extra with beer. Its a means to make someone’s day, say thank you for a job well done or just an anonymous gesture that shares the craft beer love with someone else. Beering It Forward could be something as simple as buying a pint for a stranger while at a taproom, bringing a six-pack of special brews to a friend or including extra beer in a trade.  Anything that “pays it forward.”

When someone Beers It Forward to you, document their generosity on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and tag it with #BeerItForward.

Get more information about the concept in the infographic produced by the Brewers Association below.

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Credit: Brewers Association

 
 

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Beer taxation here to stay

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Credit: The Beer Institute

Alcohol, and beer in particular, has always had a target of sorts on its back. Historians note that the first records of taxes levied on beer date back all the way to the days of the Egyptians. German brewers in Hamburg were taxed so harshly in the 1600s that the number of breweries dwindled from over 1500 at the beginning of the century to only 120 by 1698. And, whoa be to the brewer who did not pay his taxes in Aix-la-Chapelle, France where the city council of 1271 mandated chopping off the brewer’s right hand should he fail to pay his taxes.

Yes, the taxman has not been kind to the poor brewer throughout history. And, in a startling case of history repeating itself, governments – local, state and national – have once again taken notice of the bustling beer industry and the tax dollars it can generate.

As it stands now, beer is federally taxed at $18 a barrel equating to about 58 cents per gallon according to the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association craft beer industry group. Extrapolating that out even further; that 12-ounce bottle of beer you enjoy so very much is taxed about 5 cents by Uncle Sam. But, that rate only applies to the largest of breweries that produce more than 60,000 barrels of beer per year. Smaller breweries that produce less than 60,000 barrels – and the first 60,000 barrels produced by larger brewers – pony up just $7 per barrel or about 2 cents per can or bottle. That may seem like a deal comparatively, but in a competitive market of more than 5,000 breweries, every penny counts. And, that is just the feds. You might be appalled at what brewers have to pay in state excise taxes.

Florida is middle of the road with their tax on beer at 48 cents per gallon, but try to peddle beer in Tennessee and you will have to pony up $1.29 per gallon between state excise taxes and wholesale taxes. That is nearly a whopping $40 per 31-gallon half barrel. Compare that with Wisconsin where beer is taxed at a mere two cents per gallon.

Fortunately, there is a group in Washington that wants to see some of these taxes reduced on the federal side at least. The Beer Institute, an industry lobbying organization, and the Brewers Association rolled out the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA). The goal of the act is to reduce the federal excise tax on the first 60,000 barrels a brewery produces in a year from $7 to $3.50 as long as the brewer produces less than two million barrels annually.

In a statement made after the bill was introduced, president and CEO of the Beer Institute Jim McGreevy said, “Today, the beer industry supports more than 1.75 million U.S. jobs and generates nearly $253 billion in economic activity, which is equal to about 1.5% of the U.S. GDP.”

If passed, the legislation would represent a savings to America’s brewers of $131 million as estimated by the Brewers Association using 2015 figures.

While the federal bill will not affect how states levy taxes, it could provide a welcome respite to brewers besieged with taxes. But, in the end, short of a Boston Tea Party style revolt, beer is going to be taxed. Whether the rate equates to an arm (or hand) and a leg will depend on where you buy the beer you enjoy. And, I for one do not plan to stop enjoying a cold one because of a few pennies in taxes.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Beer, Beer Industry

 

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Miir introduces better, redesigned growler

blacknewgrowler_10c65d85-5517-449f-8d8d-8e3e4a50c908From time to time companies that have beer-centric products reach out to me and offer to send me samples. Whether these items are beer, accessories or books, I sometimes accept their offers when the product is of particular interest to me. That said, a few months ago I received an email from Jam Collective a public relations firm representing Miir Labs. The email introduced me to Miir’s recently updated growler.

Fast forward to this week when a box appeared on my front door step from Miir. Eagerly I opened the box to find that the beautiful matte black growler I had requested arrived.

The first thing I noticed about the growler was the construction. Made of 18/8 medical grade stainless steel, the growler was sturdy yet relatively light-weight – far lighter than a typical glass growler. Next I noticed the sturdy and convenient handle, perfect for easy pouring. Finally, the buckle seal on the mouth impressed me with how securely it held the lid closed. An added surprise was the lid lock that holds the lid open while either pouring or filling the growler. The handle, buckle closure and lid-lock are all new features over Miir’s previous product that they call the Heritage growler.

In comparison to more traditional growlers – of which I own many – the new Miir Growler has several advantages.

Wide Mouth

Anyone who has poured beer from a growler without a handle knows how awkward that can be. The mouth on most growlers is narrow causing beer to “chug” when it pours making it hard to pour beer without spills. The Miir growler has a two-inch opening that minimizes the chugging effect.

Large Handle

The typical glass growler has a tiny loop for a handle that usually can only accommodate a finger or two – that is, if it even has a handle, many do not. The Miir growler has a long, comfortable handle similar to what you would find on a pitcher. The handle makes it much easier to transport the growler and provides greater control when pouring to avoid spillage.

Buckle Closure 

Most growler have either a screw on lid or a swing-top – a looped wire that holds the lid in place – these types of closures can get lost in the case of the lid or bent in the case of the swing-top. In addition, the seal made by either of these types of closures can weaken over time allowing for carbonation to be lost or air to get in to the growler. In either case, the beer in the growler can easily be ruined. The Miir growler has a very solid buckle that hooks on to the lid and snaps in place for a tight air and leak-tight seal.

Lock Back Lid

Filling a growler with an attached lid can be a hassle. Often the lid gets in the way and the bartender has to hold it back. The Miir growler has a lid the swings back and then locks preventing it from swinging forward until intentionally moved.

In addition to these features, the Miir growler employs a double-walled vacuum insulation technology called Thermo 3D. This breakthrough insulation keeps cold liquids cold for more than 24 hours without refrigeration and hot liquids hot for 12 hours.

To test the growler, I filled it with ice water and left it sitting on my kitchen counter for a full 24 hours. When I returned, the growler had not sweat on the counter. As I picked it up I could hear that it still had ice in it. Before I opened it, I gave it a good shaking to see if it would leak. Not a drop came from the seal. When I finally did open the growler, the water inside was still ice cold after 24 hours.

Miir uses a crowd-funding model that helps determine the products to be produced. Prototypes are placed on Miir Labs, the company’s crowd-funding platform where they are discounted 25% for a limited time. If the product meets its pre-determined funding goal, it is manufactured and delivered to investors before going to retail.

Miir also guarantees a portion of every purchase is given to clean water and health initiatives worldwide. Customers can track the impact of their purchase via a “Give Code” included with each purchase. In the case of the growler, 5% of each sale goes to Splash in Kolkata, India. This initiative ensures clean water, clean hands and clean toilets for students in 10 schools.

The Miir growler holds 64 ounces (1/2 gallon) of fluid, is available in four colors (black, white, blue and stainless steel) and retails for $59 and can be purchased at: https://www.miir.com/collections/growlers.

Disclaimer: I received a growler from Miir to evaluate. I was under no obligation to write this review nor will I make a commission off any sales generated by the above link.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2017 in Beer, Products

 

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