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American Homebrewers Association releases recipe guide containing instructions to make iconic brews

American-Homebrewers-Association-LogoEveryday I receive emails from around the beer world that keep me informed on what is happening within the industry. From time to time I come across a story that I share with you, my faithful readers. Today, I came across a press release from the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) touting its inaugural 50-State Commercial Beer Clone Recipes Guide.

Now, I know there are a few homebrewers out there that have always wanted to try their hand at cloning some of the countries most iconic craft beers like Pliney the Elder from Russian River Brewing, Two-Hearted from Bells Brewing or Belgian Red Ale from New Glarus. Well, the AHA guide supplies the recipes to these and 47 other brews scaled down to five- to 10-gallon batches.

“With both the craft beer industry and the hobby of homebrewing continuing to expand nationwide,” said Gary Glass, Director, American Homebrewers Association in the press release. “These recipes offer beer lovers the opportunity to make their favorite local brews at home.”

The AHA reached out to breweries across in every state across the country and asked them to contribute a recipe for the guide. The result was a collection of iconic and up-and-coming recipes ready for homebrewers to create on their next brew day. Among the recipes collected is Unholy Trippel for Florida’s own Coppertail Brewing Company.

See the entire guide at the link below.

50-State Commercial Beer Clone Recipes Guide

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Posted by on July 19, 2017 in Beer, Beer News

 

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American Homebrewers Association names Best Beers in America 2017

best_beers_2017The American Homebrewers Association’s (AHA) member magazine, Zymurgy, has released it annual Zymurgy’s Best Beers in America list for 2017 and for the first time since 2008, Russian River’s Pliney the Elder is not at the top of the list. This year, the survey that polls readers of the magazine named Bell’s Two Hearted as the number one beer in the land. Pliney slides to second and Founders Breakfast Stout takes the third place position. Bell’s also took the top spot for best brewery.

“As homebrewers, Zymurgy readers have more refined palates than most for tasting beer,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association in a press release. “The Best Beers in America survey reveals which beers are leaving the biggest impression on the minds—and mouths—of these discerning beer drinkers.”

Bell’s Brewing Company began when Larry Bell brewed his first commercial batch of beer 32 years ago in Kalamazoo, Mich. Using a 15-gallon soup pot, Bell coaxed 135 barrels of beer from his makeshift system by 1986, just one year after beginning his new venture. Just three years later, the brewery was producing 500 barrels of beer per year. In the years since then Bell’s has grown to add additional breweries, a 200-barrel brewhouse, a cafe and an additional brewing company.

“This is an incredible honor for us. We got our start as homebrewers—that’s how my dad got going—so we really identify with the homebrewing community,” said Laura Bell, CEO, Bell’s Brewery, whose father, Larry, started the brewery in 1985 in Kalamazoo, Mich. “We take a lot of that spirit into what we do today.”

Each year, for the past 15 years, Zymurgy has asked its readers to provide a list of their top 20, commercially available beers. The magazine then uses that information to compile rankings for top beer, top brewery, top imports and brewery with best overall portfolio.

The survey results read like a dream shipping list of highly-coveted beers, heavy on IPAs, but with stouts and a few other styles sprinkled in. Notable among the non-IPA and non-stout entries are Boulevard’s Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale a fruity, complex saison with a peppery, dry finish and Odell’s 90 Shilling a lighter, smoother version of a traditional Scottish ale. California breweries dominate the top 10 breweries list taking seven spots with breweries like Sierra Nevada, Stone and Firestone Walker. Not surprisingly Belgian or Belgian-style beers controlled the top import list with Canadian brewery Unibroue’s La Fin Du Monde. Top portfolio honors went to Stone Brewing Company with 31 highly-regarded brews.

To see all the winners go to the Best Beers in America page on the American Homebrewers Association website at: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/news/2017-best-beers-america-results/.

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2017 in Beer, Beer News

 

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Great American Beer Festival tickets to go on sale next week

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Photo credit: greatamericanbeerfestival.com

It is the time of year when all beer-lovers begin thinking about heading for the mountains. No, not the mountains referred to in the slogan for the famous macro-lager, the mountains of Denver, Colo. for the annual Great American Beer Festival. Now in its 34th year, the festival is considered by many to be the greatest in the world and with nearly 3,500 beers to taste from over 800 breweries, it is not hard to see why it has this distinction.

Tickets for the festival have sold out in minutes for each of the last six year, so organizers suggest you make your ticket-purchasing plans early. Tickets are priced at $80 for the general public and $75 for Brewers Association or Homebrewers Association members. Tickets for the members only session on Saturday, September 26 are $65. Member ticket sales begin Tuesday, July 28 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Public ticket sale begins Wednesday, July 29 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Those seeking to attend this year’s festivities are instructed to go directly to Ticketmaster.com to purchase tickets and expedite the sales process. It is also suggested that ticket-seekers log in to Ticketmaster early as tickets will undoubtedly go fast.

The festival is to be held at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver on:

Thursday, September 24: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Friday, September 25: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 26*: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

*Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association members-only session

Saturday, September 26: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

This year the event is expanding by an additional 90,000 square feet to allow for greater attendance and an enhanced experience. New this year is a Meet the Brewers area with breweries that have commited to have brewery staff manning their booths for the entire festival. In addition, with more space, more breweries and more chefs in 2015, GABF’s Farm to Table Pavilion is getting a new name: paired. paired will feature 21 chefs from nine states, including five James Beard Award nominees and two Food and Wine Best New Chefs, each personally plating their dishes for guests and talking about their dynamic pairings. In addition, the exclusive craft beers served in paired are available only in this pavilion and not in the festival hall.  As in previous years, a separate ticket ($145) is required for entrance. paired tickets are available exclusively to members of the American Homebrewers Association and the Brewers Association and as such, can only be purchased during the members only sale on July 28.

General admission tickets entitle guests to:

  • Commemorative tasting cup
  • One-ounce samples of your choice of more than 3,500 beers
  • Festival guide and free app to help attendees navigate the festival hall
  • Access to attend dozens of educational seminars across all four sessions, focused on beer appreciation

For more information visit: www.GreatAmericanBeerFestival.com

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2015 in Beer Festival

 

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Robot brews beer in your own home

zymaticJanuary in Las Vegas means the Consumer Electronics Show and plenty of interesting new products to keep gadget nuts entertained. From Ultra-HD televisions to beer-brewing robots there is something for everyone. Yes, you read that correctly, this year there is a vendor hawking a robotic beer brewing device that automates the homebrewing process. The machine, dubbed the Zymatic, connects to the Internet, downloads a recipe and, after you add the required ingredients, brews 2.5 gallons of tasty, satisfying beer.

The machine was developed by two brothers who were frustrated with the hassles inherent in the homebrewing process. The brothers, Jim and Bill Mitchell, formed Picobrew, Inc. and set out to refine the process and create a device that would brew quality, all-grain beer with a minimum of fuss. Each brother brought different skills to the table, but both of their skill sets complimented the process. Jim was a food chemist & physicist, with a desire to incorporate more control in the process of beer brewing on a small scale. Bill, was skilled in building software, boards, and appliances. The two joined with Avi Geiger, an engineer with 24 US Patents under his belt, and set out to build a better machine.

After two years of tinkering, trial and error, the group finally had a product that did indeed solve the age-old problem of how to brew beer easily and with fewer headaches. With the robot created, the group needed a collection of recipes to use with it. They enlisted the help of Master Brewer Anne Johnson — the first woman to receive the American Homebrewer Association’s prestigious Homebrewer of the Year award — who created dozens of recipes for the system. The company has over 100 recipes available to brewers or ambitious hobbyists can formulate their own concoctions.

“Our mission,” said Bill Mitchell, PicoBrew CEO. “Is to get the whole world brewing great craft beer, and realizing that goal calls for a lot of product innovation.”

The hard work put in on the project paid off when Picobrew was named a 2015 CES Innovation Awards Honoreen for the Zymatic. The prestigious CES Innovation Awards are sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, the producer of the International CES, the global gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technology. The CES has been recognizing product design and engineering achievements since 1976.

The system costs $1699 by itself or $1799 with one keg. Systems can be ordered directly from Picobrew at their website: http://www.picobrew.com.

You can also learn more about the system in the video below from Fox News.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/3978292771001/brew-your-own-craft-beer-in-your-house/?#sp=show-clips

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2015 in Beer News

 

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American Homebrewers Association Big Brew aims to educate

American-Homebrewers-Association-LogoEvery year the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), an advocate group focused on issues that affect home brewers with roots going back to 1942 in Chicago, holds a national event they call the Big Brew. The aim of the event is to familiarize people with the art and craft of brewing beer. This year the event takes place at Intuition Ale Works.

In 1988, May 7 was announced before Congress as National Homebrew Day. The AHA created AHA Big Brew as an annual event to celebrate National Homebrew Day around the world. AHA Big Brew is held each year on the first Saturday in May.

Members of Jacksonville’s homebrew club Cowford Ale Sharing Klub (CASK) will be setting up in the Intuition Ale Works courtyard for a day of brewing. Those interested in learning to brew are encouraged to come out and observe, ask questions and even lend a hand.

The 2013 AHA Big Brew statistics prove that home brewing is not just a passing fad. Across the United States and throughout the world groups gathered and produced over 17,000 gallons of beer in 2,200 batches. In the United States, 49 states participated in the event. Around the world, 14 countries joined in the fun with over 8,500 fellow brewers worldwide.

AHA Big Brew takes place Saturday, May 3 in the courtyard at Intuition Ale Works, 720 King Street in Riverside. Brewers will begin at 10:00 a.m. Admission is free.

More information about the AHA Big Brew, including where the nearest demonstration is located, can be found at the AHA Big Brew webpage: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/aha-events/national-homebrew-day/.

To learn more about home brewing visit the AHA webpage: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Beer Education

 

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Big beer vs. craft beer, a David and Goliath story

BA_logoThe Brewers Association, a non-profit organization that acts as an advocate for small brewers and brewing enthusiasts, fired shots across the bow of the mega beer producers of the nation yesterday, December 12. Charlie Papazian, president of the organization along with Bob Pease, the groups COO, and Dan Kopman who serves as a member of the Brewers Association Government Affairs Committee and is CEO of Schlafly Beer in St. Louis, authored an opinion piece that ran in yesterday’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch. While on the same day, the Brewers Association website published a similar piece.

The articles call out the likes of SABMiller, A-B InBev, and Heineken for jumping on board the craft beer band wagon and producing brews like Shock Top and Blue Moon. The op-ed says, “…they don’t label these faux-craft beers as products of A-B InBev and MillerCoors

In the article on the Brewer Association’s website, it is said, “The large, multinational brewers appear to be deliberately attempting to blur the lines between their crafty, craft-like beers and true craft beers from today’s small and independent brewers.”

Papazian has long been known as an advocate for small, craft beer producers. In 1978 he founded the American Homebrewers Association as an education and advocacy group for home beer-making enthusiasts. His group later merged with the Brewers Association and he became president. The group is well-known for its very visible festivals such as the Great American Beer Festival and Savour as well as its lobbying activities on behalf of small brewers.

In an article on the beer news website Beer Pulse, Tom Cardella, president and CEO of Tenth and Blake Beer Company, which markets brands like Blue Moon, Leinenkugel’s and Crispin Cider, responded:

“Anyone who visits Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin will understand the blood, sweat and tears that went into building that brewery, and they’ve continued brewing amazing beers for 145 years. And anyone who spends time chatting with Blue Moon Brewing Company founder and brew master Keith Villa will understand the passion and creativity that has gone into developing his Artfully Crafted beers for 17 years. To question the quality of these beers due to their size or success is doing a disservice to the entrepreneurs who created them, and to beer drinkers who love them. Most beer drinkers don’t get hung up on industry definitions, which often change. They just enjoy drinking great beer. Whether people call them craft or some other title is fine with us. We’ll just keep brewing great beer.”

Even Fortune magazine has taken notice of the actions of the big brewers. In an article that ran on their website November 15, the magazine says, “What’s noteworthy about these forays into the craft segment is the way these brands are purposely distanced from their Big Beer parents. You won’t find the Coors name on a bottle of Blue Moon. Rather, you see the name Blue Moon Brewing Company. The same goes for a bottle of Anheuser-Busch‘s Shock Top.”

To many, the actions of the large beer producers are signs that they are worried about the future of their brands. Indeed, over the past few years brands seminal brands like Budweiser and Coors have seen significant drops in their sales and market share. Research released by the Brewers Association shows that the overall beer industry was down 1.3 percent by volume and domestic non-craft was down 5 million barrels in 2011.

At the same time as the large American lagers have been seeing declines, the craft industry is experiencing unprecedented growth. Craft beer grew by 13% in 2011 and by an additional 12% in the first half of 2012.

A craft brewer, as defined by the Brewers Association, is a brewery that produces less than 6 million barrels of beer per year and is less than 25% owned by a national or multi-national adult beverage company. Meaning that brands such as Sierra Nevada, which produced approximately 724,000 barrels of brew in 2011, and Samuel Adams maker Boston Beer Company, which produced approximately 1.9 million barrels are considered craft breweries. By comparison, Anheuser-Busch produced a staggering 340 million barrels of beer last year.

The battle of David and Goliath between the big brands and craft breweries was made even more apparent in 2011 when a bill passed in Texas allowing small breweries to sell beer directly to consumers who toured their facilities. An article in the Houston Chronicle tells of A-B executive Mark Bordas appearing before the Texas senate committee that the bill discriminates against his company because it is tailored to breweries producing fewer than 75,000 barrels per year. Because of this, it appears that AB InBev is very concerned about the competition even the smallest of brewers introduces in the market.

Add to this that the major producers have been busily snapping up smaller breweries, and it is very apparent that craft beer is a force that big business wants to control. Just last year, AB InBev purchased popular Midwest producer Goose Island and has been rolling the brand out nationally. Other brands that have been folded into the big boys include Henry Weinhard, as well as large stakes in Red Hook, Kona, and Widmer Brothers.

In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek Kopman said that all brewers should label their products so consumers aren’t mislead about a beer’s origin. “We definitely need to discuss this as an industry,” he said. “We need to have an agreed-upon standard for transparency where you are a multinational or an independent.”

And that is the true contention between the craft beer industry and the large producers. The mass producers seem to be trying to masquerade as craft brewers while the true craft brewers struggle to scratch out an existence among the heavily marketed and financed big boys. The Brewers Association ended their article by simply asking that beer-drinkers educate themselves on the beer they are drinking.

Keep up to date on all the beer happenings and news going on in town at the ALL NEW www.JaxBeerGuy.com.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Beer, Beer News

 

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Just Brew It to host National Learn to Homebrew Day

Logo of the American Homebrewers Association f...

Logo of the American Homebrewers Association featured in 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If beer is known as a social drink, then brewing beer should be known as a social activity as well. Interest in learning to homebrew beer has exploded along with the craft beer industry. Luckily for those who want to learn to brew, this Saturday, Nov. 3, has been designated National Learn to Homebrew Day by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), a division of the Brewers Association (BA). The event, which was established in 1999, will be observed in Jacksonville by Just Brew It at 2670 Rosselle Street.

Members of the Cowford Ale Sharing Klub (C.A.S.K.) – a local Jacksonville homebrewing club – will be setting up their rigs and putting on brewing demonstrations in the parking lot of Just Brew It for anyone interested in the craft. In addition, if you want to try your hand at brewing your own beer, you can purchase equipment and ingredients at Just Brew It and receive expert advice from the store staff and from the brewers outside. You can even set up and brew a batch with the rest of the brewers if you desire.

The AHA was founded in 1978 by Charlie Papazian in Boulder, Colo. Since its humble beginnings, the association has grown to more than 30,000 members and employs a full-time staff dedicated to assisting homebrewers through education and representation. The association produces its own magazine called Zymurgy that is devoted to informing advancing the skills of the homebrewer.

Homebrewing has a long and storied tradition in the United States. In colonial times, homebrewing was common and many of our founding fathers including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin were all homebrewers. Back in those times, water was not always safe to drink because it contained bacteria and microbes that could make people sick. Beer was brewed not only for flavor and enjoyment, but also to provide a safe alternative to hydration.

Today homebrewing is a fun activity that yields a final product the brewer can be proud of. Many who begin brewing enjoy it so much that it becomes a regular activity. Clubs, such as C.A.S.K. have sprung up around the hobby and sponsor frequent interclub competitions.

Walter Rasko of Just Brew It says that National Learn to Homebrew Day is, “Basically some guys doing both all-grain and partial-mash batches. It’s a watch and learn type day.” Rasko, a long-time brewer himself, went on to say that attendees can, “Expect 10 to 15 guys from C.A.S.K. to be brewing. We will probably brew a kit, as well to show how easy it can be.”

Those interested in learning more about homebrewing can visit the AHA’s website at: www.homebrewersassociation.org.

For information about meeting and how to join C.A.S.K. visit their website at:  www.thecask.org.

Brewing at Just Brew It begins at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.

Keep up to date on all the beer happenings and news going on in town at the ALL NEW www.JaxBeerGuy.com.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Beer, Beer Education

 

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