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Helping brewers for almost 20 years, Florida Brewers Guild holds first conference

For updates and information from the Florida Brewers Conference, keep an eye on the Folio Weekly Pint-Sized Facebook page.

brewers_Guild_conferenceThe art of brewing beer is more than just combining a few ingredients, boiling them at the proper temperature for the appropriate amount of time and allowing the resulting liquid to ferment. Brewing requires knowledge of what is legally allowed to be brewed, of who can supply ingredients and packaging and how beer can be distributed. In addition, brewers must be savvy small businessmen with a handle on how to keep books, how to manage employees and who to turn to for legal assistance.

That is where the Florida Brewers Guild comes in.

“The Guild,” explained Florida Brewers Guild Executive Director, Sean Nordquist. “First and foremost, exists to help support Florida brewery’s rights and interests.”

Formed more than 20 years ago by Tampa area brewers, the Florida Brewers Guild is the trade organization for the state’s breweries. They exist to help brewers by promoting and sponsoring events, educating consumers and insuring the Florida legislature hears craft brewery’s voices over the thunderous din of macro-brewers, distributors and other special interest groups.

In a time when some experts and industry insiders are opining that the breakneck speed of craft beer’s growth is beginning to slow, Nordquist remains optimistic.

Statistics compiled by the Brewers Association, the national trade organizations that represents craft brewers, show that Florida is 10th in the nation for number of breweries, but only 43rd in breweries per 100,000 persons. That gap, Nordquist believes, leaves a lot of room for more breweries to open and thrive in the Sunshine State.

“We are going to continue to see new breweries popping up seemingly every week,” Nordquist enthused. “Some will make it, some will not. It’s going to come down to those that have a combination of a great product, good business practices and local consumer support.”

He also sees a trend for hyper-local nano-breweries like the recently opened Hyperion Brewing Company and the soon-to-open Main & Six Brewing Company, both in the Springfield National Historic District.

“If you are not packaging, your tasting room is your bread and butter,” Nordquist said of the nano trend. “You have to have a great product. And that extends to making community an extension of the brand. It brings in more local consumers who may not ordinarily go to a brewery by making it a local gathering place.”

This year, for the first time, the Guild is hosting a conference August 7-9 to bring the state’s brewers together in Orlando for three days. Activities include panel discussions on topics ranging from brewing with Florida ingredients to trademark law, guest speakers like Garret Oliver of Brooklyn Brewing Company and Jim Koch of Samuel Adams Brewing Company and mingling with industry leaders in an expo hall filled with more than 30 vendors.

“Breweries in the state have grown exponentially,” said Nordquist of the conference. “Just a few years ago Florida only had something like 40 breweries. Now we have over 200. We want brewers to learn from each other, to learn about services that are out there and to have an opportunity to meet with their peers.”

Nordquist expects the Conference to draw as many as 300 attendees drawing brewers and others like distributer representatives, suppliers, legal and other allied brewing services.

“I think you’re going to see more companies wanting to do business with Florida brewing,” he says of what he expects to see after the conference. “I also hope we will see breweries taking the things they learn at the conference and adopt them to make better beer.”

That is a sentiment we can all get behind.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2017 in Beer, Beer Industry

 

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Applebee’s honors American Craft Beer Week with special Happy Hour

bdg_ACBW2016_lgAmerican Craft Beer Week is upon us and the number of activities to show your support is nothing less than amazing. One event that you may not have heard about, but should definitely look in to is the Craft Beer Happy Hour at Applebee’s in Bartram Park.

The Happy Hour will feature craft beer from “down the block, around the corner and across the country.” Guests will have an opportunity to choose from a range of beers from local breweries such as Bold City Brewing Company, Veteran’s United Craft Brewing and Intuition Ales Works in addition to brews from regional and national breweries like SweetWater Brewing Company, Sam Adams Brewing Company and Terrapin Beer Company.

Along with the great beer, guests can expect a DJ to be spinning tunes on the patio and opportunities to win fun beer-centric swag. In addition, representatives from Bold City Brewing Company will be on hand to talk about their beers and answer questions.

The Happy Hour takes place Thursday, May 19 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at 14560 Old St. Augustine Road.

 

 

 

 
 

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Innovation the key to keeping the craft beer world fresh

Boilers at the Samuel Adams brewery in Boston,...

Boilers at the Samuel Adams brewery in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The term “Indy” has become a hot topic lately. The eBook revolution, Indy music, craft beer – they all hold true to the roots of independent creating and a dedication to doing things their own way. The craft brewing world has certainly come a long way since it started growing several years ago and throughout it all many breweries have managed to not only find success, but to grow despite the ongoing economic problems. How have they managed to do that? It’s by keeping things fresh. Not necessarily the beer, though that’s fresh too, but by implementing innovation in their operations and keeping their brewery fresh in the minds of beer drinkers. What kind of innovation is going on in the craft brew world?Interesting Ingredients

One of the ways in which brewers are capturing and holding the attention of drinkers is by using unique ingredients to give their brews a flavor that really stands out. While a wide range of spices, herbs and other additives have been used in brewing historically, most American beers are pretty plain. To ramp things up a bit, craft brewers are increasingly using additives to promote different flavors and tempt your taste buds.

What are brewers putting in their recipes? You’ll find things like rye used in conjunction with wheat, coriander, orange peel and even mint. Innovation is all about finding a nice balance between “unique” and “good taste”, and brewers are definitely not afraid to experiment.

Aged Beer

Wine is aged before it’s consumed, but beer usually only ages long enough for the fermentation to complete and the liquid to clear. However, many brewers are finding that aging their beer has some pretty interesting results, both in terms of flavor and in terms of sales. While aged beer really only appeals to a small segment of the market, that innovation still helps brewers to identify themselves as innovators and creative artists not afraid of trying something new.

Beer is usually aged in oak barrels – used barrels at that. The barrels once held whisky, or even wine. Why bother with that? Using these casks allows the beer to absorb different flavors from the alcohol-permeated wood. It also allows the beer to add extra strength, body and flavor. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a glass of aged beer, and you’ll find that several breweries are taking to this method.

Collaborative Brewing

Around the world, most brewers hold tight to their recipes and their brewing traditions. For instance, the brewing industry in Belgium is all about tradition and keeping secrets from your competition. Here in the US, things are a little bit different. There is a spirit of creativity and collaboration here not found elsewhere. That leads to some interesting pairings between breweries.

Of course, there has been bad blood between some craft breweries, and litigation has ruined some perfectly good relationships. With that said, more and more breweries are finding that joining forces for collaborative brewing projects has some serious benefits. What might they gain?

Obviously, two heads are better than one as the old saying goes. By joining forces even for a short time, brewers are able to benefit from the experience, knowhow and imagination of the other. This comes out in some interesting ways – unique beer types are born all the time. Each of these collaborations also helps to spread both breweries’ reputations with a market segment that might be unfamiliar with their offerings.

Fan Contests

Indy marketing has long relied on getting your audience involved. That holds true with pretty much any independent endeavor, whether it’s craft brewing, web comics or independent authors self-publishing their works. By involving your fans, you are able to achieve a number of goals:

  • You make the fans feel as though they are part of the process – you’re giving them a chance to make an impact.
  • You make the fans feel as though they have a stake in the finished product.
  • You help spread the word via each fan. They tell their friends and family and then those people do the same. Word of mouth marketing is still one of the most  effective tools out there.
  • You leave a lasting imprint in your customers’ minds.
  • You provide something fun and enjoyable for your fans/customers to do other than consuming your products.
  • These are only a handful of the benefits found when you are able to bring your customers into the production process in any way. How are breweries doing that, though?

One of the most common options is a “name the beer” contest. Fans are able to vote (usually through social media outlets like Facebook) on the name that they like best for a new brew. In some instances, the brewery also lets fans suggest their own names and then chooses the most popular to grace the bottle’s label.

Other contests have involved deciding on the next type of beer to be brewed, choosing ingredients and selecting recipes. There are tons of options in this vein, all of which will help a brewery ramp up their marketing and boost customer loyalty.

Why Does Innovation Matter?

So, why has there been so much focus on innovation? There’s plenty of good reasons to be innovative, particularly in the world of craft beer. The sheer growth of the industry has made it essential that breweries find a way to stand out from the crowd. While brewing super-strong beer or using unique packaging options can help do that, there are many other was to achieve better recognition with consumers.

Another reason that innovation is so important is that it keeps alive the spirit of creativity that has so far been one of the major hallmarks of the craft brew industry in the US. Without creativity comes stagnation and an adherence to “tradition” – something that would turn craft beer into the same thing as what major beer producers put out. That’s never a good thing. Hopefully, the drive to innovate will never leave the craft brewing scene.

Poto Cervesia,
Dustin Canestorp

Dustin Canestorp is the Founder and General of the Beer Army. Join the ranks of the Beer Army at BeerArmy.com. Take a stand and let the world know your position. If you are going to drink, drink BEER!

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Beer, Beer Education

 

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Samuel Adams’ Beer Glass Explained

Samuel Adams (beer)

Samuel Adams (beer) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wednesday evening, a group of beer-lovers gathered at Pele’s Wood Fire in Riverside for the Samuel Adams Tap Takeover. While tasting some of the fantastic, surprising, and very rare brews, a question was posed: “Why is the Sam Adams glass so special?”

Fortunately, Blake Skebe, Samuel Adams Brewery representative, was there with an explanation. The distinctive Samuel Adams pint glass is narrow at the bottom and flairs out into a bowl-shaped top with a turned out lip. But, instead of relating the information to you in the written format, view the video for an explanation in Blake’s own words.

 

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