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SweetWater 420 to be served on Delta flights to NYC

Photo courtesy of: alesharpton.blogspot.com

Photo courtesy of: alesharpton.blogspot.com

If you are flying from the Southeastern United States to just about anywhere else chances are you will have a stop at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Located seven miles south of downtown Atlanta, Hartsfield has had the distinction of being the busiest airport in the world since 1998. Nearly 95 million people pass through the concourses of the airport every year to board nearly 1 million flights. By any accounting, that is a lot of traffic.

Hartsfield-Jackson is also the central hub for one of the nation’s largest airlines; Delta. With almost 1,000 flights per day Delta ushers over 59% of their passengers through the airport. And it is because of those numbers that Delta’s new partnership with another Atlanta icon; SweetWater Brewing Company.

In an announcement made through Facebook in Thursday, March 27, SweetWater announced that cans of their flagship 420 Pale Ale will be stocked on all Delta flights bound for LaGuardia Airport in New York beginning April 1, 2014.

Prior to just a few months ago, it was impossible for SweetWater’s beers to be made available on flights because they were only packaged in glass bottles. With the higher precautions do to the events of 9/11, glass and airplanes just doesn’t mix. But, cans are perfectly acceptable for aircraft.

420 is one of the first craft beers to make it on to Delta’s in-flight menu and the brewery could not be happier. In an article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, SweetWater founder Freddie Bench said, “Our new cans eliminate the glass restrictions that previously held us back from offering our beer in great spots like airplanes, stadiums, beaches and more.”

In March, the brewery began canning 420 using a special can-conditioning process that produces a stable beer with a longer shelf life. The process is similar to the used by many brewers to “bottle-condition” beers. A small amount of sugar and yeast is added to the bottle before it is sealed, as the yeast eats the sugar it also removes any oxygen that may be in the can. By removing oxygen, the bane of all beer, the brewery extends the beer’s shelf life.

Delta will also serve SweetWater 420 on flights from Atlanta to Denver April 7-9 during the Craft Brewer’s Conference.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Beer Cans, Beer News

 

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SweetWater ends 2013 on high note, details plans for 2014

imageSoutheastern United States regional powerhouse brewer SweetWater Brewing Company announced their numbers for 2013 and plans for 2014 in a press release this morning. Just a year after completing a $19 million expansion, the brewery has plans to grow its regional distribution, release several new beers and begin offering existing brews in cans.

SweetWater ended 2013 with a 32-percent increase over 2012, largely due to growth in current markets amounting to approximately 75-percent with the rest coming from several new markets. The brewery’s top two sellers were 420 Extra Pale Ale and IPA with 22 and 46-percent growth respectively.

Market expansion plans for 2014 include Virginia in late January followed by Mississippi, Ohio, and Texas later in the year. With the addition of these states the brewery will expand their market reach to 12 states

After the addition of a new high-speed can filler from Krones, SweetWater plans to debut two of their top-selling beers in both 12-oz and 16-oz cans. The two brews to get the full metal jacket treatment are 420 Extra Pale Ale and IPA. Atlanta beer lovers will see the new cans in late March along with coastal communities. The rest of SweetWater’s markets will follow.

Finally, the brewery has plans to introduce several new beers throughout 2014 including an already released collaboration ale brewed with juniper berries to benefit The Giving Kitchen called Second Helping IPA. This limited-release brew was launched on January 14 only to the Greater Atlanta area. But, for those not in the immediate Atlanta area, SweetWater promises a special edition brew for its 17th anniversary in February. In addition, with the newly expanded brewing system operational, brewers have plans for several high-gravity beers from the Dank Tank series. The first of the new Dank Tank beers is due mid-April and is called Hop Heads.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2014 in Craft Beer Brewery

 

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More Dank tank goodness coming soon from Sweetwater

SweetWater Logo JPGOne of our favorite regional brewers, Sweetwater Brewing Company in Atlanta, has been very busy lately brewing up a new Dank Tank beer, appearing on national television, creating a new web video series and breaking into new markets. Just what is to be expected by a brewery that encourages its followers by saying, “Don’t float the main stream.”

The next creation to emerge from the Dank Tank is The Gimp. In their typical, cheeky fashion the folks at the brewery have created a whole campaign around this brew that may remind you of a character in a recently re-released Quentin Tarentino movie that made everyone aware of the Royale with Cheese. While the brew does not contain essences of the quintessential burger, the brewers do promise that, after a short period of maturation, the brew should provide, “sweet scents of caramel and toffee, and warming sensations of alcohol and malt balanced with hops.” This is a big brew, too. It hits the palate at a whopping 10.3%, so watch how much you drink lest you have to call in a “cleaner.” Sweetwater hopes to have The Gimp on shelves by the end of December.

Cameras have been a common sight in the brewery over the past few weeks.

First, you may have noticed a video segment during the recent SEC Championship game on ESPN. The brewery was featured during what is known as a “bump shot.” That is the video played while announcing sponsors before breaking away to a commercial break. The idea was to focus on iconic places in Atlanta that make the town memorable. Sweetwater was an obvious choice for that honor.

The other video project you may have seen featuring Sweetwater is YouTube series called “Fish Tales” that will feature video articles on all the happenings at the Sweetwater brewery. The first installment of the series, which has its own YouTube channel, focuses on the recently released Festive Ale. As is typical with this group of creative and, well let’s just say it, whacky brewers, the video features a character named “Big Jewish Santa,” describing the winter brew.

And, because you just can’t keep a good brewery from spreading joy and beer, Sweetwater is continuing its expansion across Florida with its launch in the Orlando area. Last week both 420, IPA, and Blue were rolled out in bottles as well as 420 on draft. The brewery is also busy rolling out in Rock Hill, SC, and in Cooksville and Clarksville, TN.

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

 

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Intuition mentioned on Sports Illustrated website

If you had any doubt that Intuition Ale Works in Jacksonville, Fla. was a world class brewery, those doubts should be put aside in light of Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column yesterday, Aug. 6. King is a sports columnist on Sports Illustrated magazine’s website SI.com and is known for occasionally ending his columns with a tidbit about his coffee and beer infatuations. On Aug. 6 he lamented the lack of a Starbucks in downtown Jacksonville and mentioned that Intuition’s brews gave Sweetwater 420 a real run for its money.

King’s said in his column, “The Beer of the Week (and trust me, there was a lot of competition, particularly from Intuition Brewery in Jacksonville) is Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale, which made me think I was back in Seattle. Really crisp and wonderful on the palate.”

But, for locals, Intuition’s People’s Pale Ale takes the top honors. One needs look no further than beer rating website Beer Advocate for confirmation. On Beer Advocate, users are allowed to provide a short review of beers they have tasted and then assign the beer a rating in five different categories; appearance, smell, taste, mouthfeel, and overall impression.

On the site both beers fare well and fall in to the good category. Local drinkers of People’s may disagree with that assessment and find the beer to more than merely good, but that is the rating on the site. Commenters said the brew was, “Surprisingly hoppy for a PA (Pale Ale),” and “A nice hoppy aroma with obvious citrus and piney notes.” Others thought that the brew was closer to an IPA than a Pale Ale with a nod towards big Pale Ales such as Oskar Blues’ Dale’s Pale Ale. Overall the beer earned an 83 out of 100 average score from reviewers.

Sweetwater 420, a regional beer brewed in Atlanta, Ga., also rated an 83 from site users; however the site’s originators and top tasters known as “The Bros” rank the brew an 80, giving People’s a slight edge. Reviewers said 420’s aroma “is more English hop than the pine/fruit west coast hops,” and its flavor was “All malt taste with a minimal amount of hop flavor, just mildly spicy.”

Whichever way you look at it, though, both brews are quality beers just made in different sub-styles. Where People’s is a true west coast Pale Ale with it big, near IPA hoppiness, 420 is a milder less hoppy Pale Ale more reminiscent of an English style. Jacksonville, locals will likely line up on the side of People’s while Atlanta beer-lovers are sure to stand behind their local favorite 420. And that is as it should be, locals sticking up for their home-town favorites.

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Beer, Local Brewery

 

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