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Fat Tire and Lips of Faith coming to Florida in July

New Belgium Brewing Company

New Belgium Brewing Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though they are distributed in 32 states including Alaska, New Belgium has proven elusive to its many fans in Florida. Soon, though, the long wait for Fat Tire, Ranger and Lips of Faith will be over in the Sunshine stat as New Belgium announced today that they will open in Florida next month. Currently the plan is to roll 22-oz packaging of core brands as well as seasonal and Lips of Faith in July. Draft and 12-oz packaging will follow in September.

 

“Florida will be our 32nd state of distribution and it’s probably the one we’ve heard from most often about, ‘when are you all going to get here?’” said New Belgium Florida Sales Director, Jeff Sipes. “A lot of us have friends and family in state so it’s a bit of a homecoming that way. We’re excited.”

 

The news comes just months after the company announced plans to build its second brewery in Asheville, NC. The current time line has the new facility opening sometime in 2015. An 18-acre site at the former stockyards on Craven Road in West Asheville was chosen for its beauty and the company’s desire to make a difference in the neighborhood. The company actively sought out “brownfield” location – or previously developed sites that could be repurposed to spark renewed vitality. They also wanted to avoid taking agricultural land or natural habitat in order to become good neighbors to the community.

 

On the company’s website, Kim Jordan, CEO, said of the site, “There were easier sites to develop, but we chose this one because it’s beautiful, we think we can do a lot to restore it, and we believe that breweries, classified as light manufacturing, can revitalize a neighborhood, while provide great live-walk-bike opportunities for employees who in large measure, will come from Asheville.”

 

Florida distribution will be handled by seven distribution partners with plans to start selling beer in the state July 29th, 2013. Gold Coast Distributing, JJ Taylor, Florida Distributing, Cone Distributing, Goldring Gulf, and Champion Brands are all Miller Coors houses while Daytona Beverage is in the AB network.

 

New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews eight year round beers; Ranger IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Ale, Blue Paddle Pilsener, Rampant Imperial IPA, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel.

 

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2013 in Beer

 

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Jax qualifies for BeerCity USA, but the battle is not over yet

beercityIt was an epic battle; one that, though there were no real opponents, it looked as though we were not going to survive. At one point it looked as though we had already lost, then a reinterpretation of the rules took place and we ended up with two extra hours that we did not know we had. In those two extra hours we staged one of the most remarkable rallies ever witnessed on this field. In the end, we came out the other side as victors.

I refer to, of course, the quest for getting Jacksonville on the ballot for BeerCity USA. At times it looked as though there was no way we would make it. Our goal was to obtain 400 nominations by the close of the poll. With an hour to go we were still short over 60 nominations. But, through persistence and the help of other Jacksonville beer-lovers, we managed to cross the magic number of 400 with 13 minutes of poll time to spare. In the end, Jacksonville received 411 nominations, second behind Richmond, Va. which received 517.

But, the quest for BeerCity USA does not end there. Next week, beginning on Monday, May 13, we will have to rally our forces again for the actual voting on which city will be bestowed with the prestigious title of BeerCity USA.  In the running with us is the perennial favorite Asheville, NC. This passionate beer city has managed to win – or tie – for first place all four of the years the poll has been in existence. Our sacred quest now is to unseat the reigning champions and claim the title for our own.

Are we up to it? You bet!

Rally your friends, have them friend Springfield Brew Crew on Facebook, SprBrewCrew on Twitter, or follow this blog for updates. Then get them to vote. The rules are the same as for the poll: one vote per IP address. The city with the most votes will be crowned BeerCIty USA at the close of the poll on Saturday. May 18.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2013 in Beer, Beer News

 

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Highland brewery well worth a visit and a taste

Traveling up a winding road in the mountains of North Carolina is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Particularly when the trees begin their colorful fall foliage coloration and the air has a bit of a snap in it. But, if that road also leads to one of the region’s biggest and best craft beer breweries, it is hard to imagine a better day.

Highland Brewing Company is nestled just outside of Asheville, NC, the sleepy, Bohemian city that has a beer culture worthy of earning it the title Beer City USA for the past four years. On approach to the brewery the building seems unassuming and even a bit modest. But, once you pull around the front you notice the wooden deck in front of the doors and the elaborate decoration around them. This is a place that is, as the wording above the door says, “Just a Wee Bit Different.”

When you enter the Tap Room you are immediately struck by its cavernous size. To the left are several shipping containers that have been converted to offices, as your eye travels around the expansive room from left to right, you notice a large stage, more containers, and finally a long bar with many beer taps on the wall behind it. This is where we made our way to meet our tour guide, Kitty Price.

Kitty immediately offered tastes of the brewery’s fine brews and we accepted gratefully. The first taste offered was of Thunderstruck Coffee Porter. As we sipped the rich, coffee and bitter chocolate brew, Kitty explained that they use coffee beans roasted by Dynamite Coffee Roasters in nearby Black Mountain. The flavors were strong, yet pleasant with a nice shot of hops at the end. A fitting way to begin a visit and, for those in need of caffeine, a nice boost.

Next, we were offered several Belgian-style brews, Belmont Abbey Dubbel and Tripple at 7% and 9% ABV respectively. Both brews were fine examples of their respective styles with the banana and citrus as well as the Belgian yeast funk we all know and love. Kitty explained that Highland’s head brewer John Lyda was at one time studying to be a monk. So, in a nod to his past and at the request of an abbey in nearby Charlotte, Lyda brewed the excellent duo of beers.

But, the visit was not restricted to tasting alone. Kitty was quick to point out that Highland is committed to being as green as it can be by recycling nearly everything. By doing this the brewery is able to restrict the waste that must be hauled to a landfill from the brewery to less than a single dumpster a week. They restrict the amount of water they use in brewing to about 2.5 barrels per barrel of beer opposed to the typical brewery’s seven barrels. Spent grain is given to local farms for feed as well.

Highland Brewing Company was founded by Oscar Wong who, after retiring from a career as a successful civil/structural engineer, landed in Asheville in 1994. He started Highland Brewing “as a hobby” in the 3,500 square foot basement of Barley’s Taproom in downtown Asheville. Over time his brewing ambition grew and the brewery moved to its current location. The brewery operates from a 50 barrel main brewing system and a 3 barrel pilot system that is used for special projects and test batches. In a typical week the brewery cranks out 500-700 barrels of delicious beer that translates to over 30,000 barrels a year.

A walk through the brewing floor revealed the great pride and tongue-in-cheek whimsy the brewery has for its product. Above an office in the front of the building is a huge statue-like edifice of a bagpiper that would be familiar to anyone who has seen Highland’s packaging. Elsewhere in the brewery are row upon row of room center of the room. The cavernous cold room was piled high with keg after keg of the finished product ready for shipment to eagerly waiting customers.

With a line-up of quality brews like Gaelic Ale, Kashmir IPA, and St. Therese’s Pale Ale and specialty and seasonals like Razor Wit, Thunderstruck Coffee Porter, and Cold Mountain Winter Ale Highland is sure to remain a regional favorite throughout the Southeast. And, as a destination while in North Carolina, the Highland Brewery is well worth an afternoon. Not only are the beers the freshest and tastiest you will be able to find, but the staff – like Kitty – are full of wonderful stories and brewing knowledge.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Beer, Craft Beer Brewery

 

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Sierra Nevada Decides on East Coast Brewery Location

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Image via Wikipedia

As I mentioned in my article about the future of craft brewing in 2012, Sierra Nevada has been looking for an east coast home for its second brewery. Well, according to the below press release, they have found it and it is Beer City USA, Asheville, NC.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CHICO, Calif. — Jan. 25, 2012 —Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is pleased to announce that it has chosen a site in western North Carolina for the future home of an East Coast brewery. The site, approximately 90 acres in the Henderson County Town of Mills River— along the French Broad River, 12 miles south of Asheville — will be home to the new production facility, as well as a proposed restaurant and gift shop. “We are thrilled to have found an ideal location in western North Carolina for our second brewery,” says Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada. “The beer culture, water quality and quality of life are excellent. We feel lucky to be a part of this community.”

The new facility will add much needed capacity for Sierra Nevada, and will allow for the quick shipment of brewery-fresh beer to consumers in the east. The East Coast brewery will start with a capacity around 300,000 barrels, with room to grow. The added barrelage will accommodate wider production of the myriad of seasonal beers and bottled specialties Sierra Nevada has produced in recent years, as well as an expansion of the brewery’s well‐known flagship product: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Sierra Nevada began the search for a new location several years ago. The brewery looked at hundreds of potential sites, eventually narrowing the search down to a handful of locations. The list of criteria was long and included quantifiable factors such as ease of shipping and water quality, as well as quality of life issues for its employees. Sierra Nevada has a reputation for a laid-back brewery culture and a love of the outdoors, and the new facility will retain this same tone. The Asheville area offers Sierra Nevada Brewing the perfect confluence of community, recreation and craft beer culture.

Sierra Nevada’s eastern brewery site is expected to employ approximately 90 workers, with additional staff in the restaurant to follow. The brewery anticipates being operational by early 2014.

About Sierra Nevada Founded in 1980, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is one of America’s premier craft breweries, highly regarded for using only whole-cone hops and ingredients of the finest quality. Sierra Nevada has set the standard for artisan brewers worldwide as a winner of numerous awards for its extensive line of beers including the flagship Pale Ale, Torpedo, Porter, Stout, Kellerweis, four seasonal beers, Estate Ale, Harvest Ales, Ovila Abbey Ales and a host of draught-only specialties

 

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