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Oskar Blues GUBNA switching to draft only

hand-picking-hops-for-oskar-blues-gubna-imperial-ipa-craft-beerWhen GUBNA first came on to the beer scene in 2011, it quickly became a sensation with its in-your-face wallop of hops. Since then the annual release has been something that many hop heads look forward to with great anticipation. In the past, cans of the pungent brew were available in most markets served by Oskar Blues. But, this year the brewery is changing things up and only making it available on draft in most markets. Cans will only be available at the brewery’s taprooms in Colorado and North Carolina.

Learn more about this year’s incarnation of GUBNA in the official press release below:

 Longmont, CO, Brevard, NC, & Austin, TX – Oskar Blues Brewery’s GUBNA Imperial IPA is back in the mix for year six with an emphasis on the sticky-icky and a hop punch-in-the-mouth.

Every year Oskar Blues’ eccentric fellowship of deranged brewers work with hop growers to seek out the most potent, unique and mind-bending hop varietals of the season. By annually altering the hop bill, GUBNA continually reinvents itself while letting the best and brightest of these powerful flowers flourish. This year’s disestablishmentarian dankness comes from a blend of Azacca, Sterling, and Crystal hops hand-selected by sensory panels at each of OB’s three breweries.

“The traditional hops beat out some newer, experimental varietals this year, which surprised many of us  here at OB,” said Tim Matthews, Head of Brewing Operations. “But the hops just spoke to the nearly 100 employees that participated in GUBNA hop selection and we must obey the rub.”

GUBNA clocks in at over 100 IBUs and at 10% ABV it’s a beer that you better sit down to drink before it sits you down. Expect big zesty lime and orange flavors, with a spicy/herbal sweet aroma and all the dank you’d expect from the intense hop load. The GUB, as always, sits on a base of Rye, North American Pale, and Munich malts, which offers a smooth and flavorful backbone to support the gargantuan load of hops.

In an effort to preserve GUBNA’s finest quality, the freshness of its hops, the imperial IPA, previously featured nationally in cans, will switch to a draft-only offering across the country. 12 oz. cans will only be available for to-go purchase in the Colorado and North Carolina Tasty Weasel taprooms.

Free-flowing GUBNA goodness will be available nationwide on draft in bars from March to May while supplies last. Use our Beer Finder at http://www.oskarblues.com/beerfinder to load up.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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Oskar Blues sees year of milestones in 2016, Dale’s Pale Ale becomes #1 craft can 6-pack

dalesLongmont, CO, Brevard, NC & Austin, TXOskar Blues Brewery, the innovators behind the craft beer-in-a-can apocalypse, finished 2016 strong eclipsing 200,000 barrels shipped with several significant milestones achieved throughout the year including the addition of a brewery in Austin, several new SKUs, expansion of its barrel-aging program and the completion of its U.S. footprint. Flagship brew Dale’s Pale Ale became the bestselling craft can 6-pack in total U.S. Food.

In August of 2016, Oskar Blues’ brewery and live music venue opened its doors in Austin, TX while a 21,000 square foot expansion took place in its Brevard, NC brewery raising the potential capacity amongst all three breweries to 500,000 bbls and adding 43 jobs. The brand also completed its 50 state U.S. footprint with distribution in Montana and further expanded internationally with the addition of Australia, the Netherlands, and Belgium, totaling nine international markets.

Oskar Blues continued to push innovation through new beer offerings and packaging.  The Can gROWLER (CROWLER®) from Ball Corporation and Oskar Blues grew to over 1,000 installations to date.  Many of the last year’s installations were due to new locations choosing aluminum over glass for their growler choice and many established locations discontinued offering glass growlers altogether.  CROWLER® has quickly shown how far cans have come and how beneficial the evolution of CROWLER® cans are to the growler customer.

The brewery launched four new SKUs, including year-round offerings BEERITO Amber Mexican Lager and Priscilla White Wit Wheat, while launching limited release cans of Passion Fruit Pinner IPA and Hotbox Coffee Porter. The expansion of its barrel-aging program resulted in national distribution of Barrel-aged Ten FIDY Imperial Stout in 19.2 ounce, single-serve cans and limited taproom-only releases of rum barrel-aged Death by Coconut, rum barrel-aged Ten FIDY and Java Ten FIDY. The team at Oskar Blues didn’t stop there, recently launching Pinner Throwback IPA in new packaging – resulting in the first American craft beer 16-pack**.

Ancillary brands also saw growth, including four new flavors of B. Stiff & Sons Old Fashioned Soda Pop and the launch of new Oskar Blues Fooderies concepts in its home market of ColoRADo, which includes a CHUBurger/Hotbox Roasters Café brick and mortar location in the RiNo district of Denver.

Oskar Blues Holding Company, a strong group of craft brewers, including Wasatch Brewery, Squatters Brewery and Perrin Brewing furthered its mission to maintain symbiotic partnerships with like-minded craft brewers across the country with the addition of Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing. While Dales Pale Ale is the bestselling craft can 6-pack in the U.S., Cigar City has the number two spot, with Jai Alai IPA.  Oskar Blues Holdings grew collectively to nearly 350,000 barrels and is the number two overall craft can vendor and number 15 overall in total U.S. Food.  That’s a particularly good spot to be in, as craft cans have been up 55% over the last 52 weeks.

Oskar Blues continued to spread do-goodery with its nonprofit arm, CAN’d Aid Foundation. In 2016 alone, the organization raised $768,000, built & donated nearly 600 bikes to underprivileged children, put 100 instruments in budding musician’s hands, recycled 155,000 lbs. of waste through its #CrushItCrusade and donated 330,000 cans of drinking water to areas in need including Flint, Michigan during its water crisis. Soul-founder of Oskar Blues Dale Katechis founded CAN’d Aid in 2013 following the Colorado flooding that devastated Oskar Blues Brewery’s hometown in Lyons, Colorado. To date, over $2.6 million has been raised to support its efforts.

As for 2017, Oskar Blues has already set its sights on further growth, celebrating the 20th year of what started as a funky little brewpub in Lyons, CO in 1997. International markets to launch distribution in include Brazil and Japan. The brew team, not to be outdone by 2016, has announced the limited release of Hotbox Coffee IPA cans in March as well as a CANspiracy rare beer club at the North Carolina and Colorado Tasty Weasel Taprooms.  The Oskar Blues Fooderies restaurant group has already announced a Colorado Springs, CO location that will expand its footprint to over nine locations in 2017.  – stay tuned for more details at  www.oskarblues.com.

 **Data Source & Set IRI Data, 2016 52 WEEKS TTL US FOOD.
 
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Posted by on January 20, 2017 in Beer, Beer News

 

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Craft Beer Mergers

Over the past 10 years craft beer has been experiencing an incredible renaissance. The beers that were once novelty items relegated to obscure shelves at the local grocery or liquor store now occupy an entire section of the beer section at many stores. But, just like in the stock market, with such phenomenal growth comes the inevitable correction. That means that, because of economic factors some breweries will likely close or seek out other options to remain viable. Today, it is quickly becoming the norm for craft brewers to form coalitions, merge with other breweries or get bought by the big breweries.

Greg Koch, the outspoken craft beer advocate and owner of Stone Brewing Company in San Diego, Calif., secured $100 million in April from a group of “independent investors,” that will be used to acquire “minority, non-controlling” stakes in craft breweries. His finance platform called “True Craft,” is designed to help craft breweries avoid being bullied into selling to the big breweries.

“They can make their own decisions about their future,” Koch said in an article in industry magazine Bevnet. “They can stay independent. They can get financing and flexibility that they need to flourish, while keeping their soul and control.”

In March, Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewing Company used a similar tactic to add Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company to their portfolio. Through a Boston private equity firm called Fireman Capital Partners, Oskar Blues has been able to bring Cigar City under the same umbrella as Perrin Brewing, and the Utah Brewers Cooperative outfit that includes the Wasatch and Squatters brands. The coalition strengthens each brewery individually and allows them to retain their own unique presence while providing an influx of financial security and access to surplus production facilities at Oskar Blues’ Colorado and North Carolina breweries.

In February of this year, two prominent East Coast breweries, Southern Tier and Victory announced that they were merging breweries under the title Artisanal Brewing Ventures. Under the new arrangement, both breweries will retain their own identities and creative control, but will join forces for marketing and distribution.

“Like-minded brewers,” said Victory Brewing founder, Bill Covaleski in an interview on TapTrail.com, “Such as Victory and Southern Tier can preserve our character, culture and products by standing together. Allied we can continue to innovate and best serve the audience who fueled our growth through their loyal thirst.”

Finally, there is a growing presence of the big beer brewers in the world of craft beer. And this is a point of much consternation to many craft beer drinkers who fear that “Big Beer” will ruin the innovation and imagination found in many craft breweries. Breweries that do sell to Big Beer are often reviled by many in the craft beer community. But, despite the shouts of “Sellout!” that permeate the Internet when another craft brewery sells, beer connoisseurs still line up for beers such as Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout. Goose Island sold to Anheuser-Busch/InBev in 2011. Since then there has been a slew of craft brands bought by non-craft breweries such as Constellation Brands’ purchase of Ballast Point Brewing, Heineken’s purchase of a 50% stake in Lagunitas Brewing Company and, most recently, MillerCoors’ purchase of Terrapin Beer Company in Athens, Ga.

How will all this buying and selling within the confines of craft beer affect the overall industry? The jury is still out, but for the short-term it does mean that brands will be more available to more beer-lovers. And, how could easier access to good beer be a bad thing?

 

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2016 in Beer, Beer News

 

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Oskar Blues releases new summer refresher

unnamedOne of my favorite style of beer for a hot summer afternoon is a Belgian Wit. But, had it not been for a Belgian milkman named Pierre Celis. By 1960, the beer, which had once been immensely popular in eastern Belgium, had disappeared from production and was essentially extinct.

Celis, who lived in Hoegaarden, Belgium, was not about to let his beloved witbier vanish from the face of the earth so he purchased some used brewing equipment and began producing the beer himself in 1966. Within just a few years, other brewers again began brewing the style and one of beers greatest comebacks was completed.

The beer is characterized by its hazy white appearance and the spices used to flavor it. Brewers use a melange of spices like chamomile, anise, grains of paradise, peppercorns, ginger and orange peel in the brewing process to give the beer its unique flavor.

American craft brewer Oskar Blues has produced its version of the refresher for years but, until now, it had only been available on tap at the company’s tap rooms and restaurants. That changes this month when Priscilla White Wit Wheat will  be released in cans across the country.

Read all about the brew in the press release below:

Longmont, CO & Brevard, NC & Austin, TXOskar Blues Brewery, the brewery that launched the craft beer-in-a-can apocalypse in 2002, announces the national launch of an AmeriCAN take on the Belgian Classic Wit, Priscilla White Wit Wheat. It’s a Belgian White, Belgian Wit, Belgian Wheat…it’s a White Wit Wheat (5.2% ABV, 20 IBUs).
The beer, which features orange peel and coriander spice, emanated from the basement blues music legacy Dave McIntyre (18 year Oskar Bluesologist) built at the original Oskar Blues Grill & Brew in Lyons, CO. On draft for over a decade, Priscilla’s zesty citrus and light fresh baked bread aromas mix with spicy, fruity fermentation. Light bodied with a subtle savory spice accent and a dry, lightly tart finish you can nearly feel the flicker of the neon and sounds of the King. White Wit Wheat.
“Priscilla is a beer steeped in Oskar Blues’ music history,” said Chad Melis. “A longtime Oskar Blues favorite, we’ve decided its time to bring this amped up, electric brew from the basement and to the masses.”
Oskar Blues, named “The hottest place to be on a Saturday night in Colorado” by Rolling Stone because of its roots in the Colorado music scene, will brew its first batch of Dale’s Pale Ale at their new brewery and taproom in Austin, TX today. The brewery will continue its tradition of soul-savin’ live music with a music venue as part of the Austin taproom.
Priscilla White Wit Wheat will launch throughout the month of June in all 50 states where Oskar Blues is sold and will be available in 12oz. 6-packs and draft.
 
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Posted by on June 2, 2016 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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3 Things Cigar City’s sale to Oskar Blues will mean

CigarCityBrewingSo, a few days have passed since the beer world was rocked with the news that Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company sold to Longmont, Colo. based Oskar Blues itself patially-owned by capital finance firm, Fireman Capital LLC. The sale reportedly was worth $60 million and came just two days after Cigar City’s uber-popular Hunahpu’s Day Release party.  But, what does the sale mean to the Florida brewery that has built a reputation for brewing high-quality and sometimes irreverent brews?

The first thing it will mean is an influx of capital and savvy. With nearly 20 years of beer brewing and marketing experience, Oskar Blues is poised to help Cigar City grow in an ever-expanding craft beer landscape.

“Cigar City is facing next-level challenges,” Said outspoken Cigar City founder and CEO, Joey Redner. “And we needed to develop next-level skills and resources to meet them.”

Oskar Blues brings the knowledge, skill and mindset that fit nicely with Redner’s way of seeing things.

“We got into beer out of passion and an unwavering desire to travel our own path.” Redner explained. “We didn’t want to just shove our round peg into some f*cking square hole and hope for the best.”

Secondly, by partnering with a like-minded brewery, Redner seems to ensure Cigar City’s spirit of adventure will continue while locking down solid production and marketing processes.

“What Cigar City has done for the community of Florida craft beer is impressive.” Said Dale Katechis, Soul Founder of Oskar Blues. “It’s important for our culture to do business with people we want to hang out with and Joey and the gang fit.”

In its seven years of existence, Cigar City Brewing has shown near constant growth reaching a production level of nearly 60,000 barrels in 2015, placing the Tampa Bay area and the state of Florida on the craft beer map.

The third thing this new partnership brings is the stability and infrastructure to insure Cigar City will be around to continue producing its outstanding brews and remain in Florida for years to come.

“Florida craft beer drinkers want something they can proudly stand behind.” Redner continued. “These guys (Oskar Blues) get that. They wrote the book on keeping it real.”

Redner will remain CEO of Cigar City after the merger

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2016 in Beer, Beer News

 

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