Submit Content

Your Beermonger: News and Notes, Notes and News

Your Beermonger logo

Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway).

There is a never-ending deluge of events and goings-on in the beer world and in trying to stick to one topic per week, lots of things slip through the cracks. With no one subject in particular dominating my thoughts this week, I thought I’d take the opportunity to hit on a few recent events that caught my attention that I think are worth sharing:

Founders’ huge growth extends to All-Day IPA packaging: 2013 was a gigantic year for Michigan’s Founders Brewing Company. With a major expansion finished, Founders experienced a massive jump in production; from 71,000 barrels in 2012 to 112,000 by the time 2013 was done. With new room to grow at their brewery, Founders is having some fun: very soon we’ll not only be seeing the beloved Centennial IPA in 12-pack cans, but the current All-Day IPA 12-packs will become 15-packs in March. Go ahead, have a gander; I’ll be here when you get back.

Ok, so how cool are those? I can see no practical reason to do this, which makes me love the 15-pack all the more.

New year-round releases in March: Besides the All-Day 15-packs, there are going to be some significant new year-round beers hitting the market this March. Allagash Saison 4-packs will be arriving; a smart addition to the Maine brewery’s lineup as the Belgian-style Wit segment becomes more crowded. If these 4-packs are priced anywhere even close to their Black Stout 4-packs, this will be one of the few year-round Saison-style 4- or 6-packs out there.

Perhaps the biggest of the newly-announced year-round beers is Stone’s new Session Ale, Go To IPA. Clocking in at 4.5 percent ABV, Go To is dry-hopped with Citra, Mosaic, and Cascade hops. If what I’ve heard so far about Go To pans out, this could be the bold, full-bodied Session hop bomb a lot of folks have been looking for.

Big Beer’s acquisitions continue: AB/InBev buys Blue Point: The middle of the week brought bombshell news as Long Island’s Blue Point Brewing Company was bought by Anheuser-Busch/InBev (ABI). I use the term “bombshell” because I hadn’t even heard a rumor about this deal being in the works, and this is one of the most gossip-riddled businesses out there.

What isn’t surprising is the buyout itself; with Blue Point in its arsenal of brands, ABI now has known “craft” breweries in two of America’s biggest cities/markets (New York and Chicago’s Goose Island). As craft beer sales rise and macro brands falter, ABI and SAB Miller will turn even more to the time-honored philosophy of the massive conglomerate — if you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em.

I’m not interested anymore in the arguments over what makes a beer “craft” as opposed to “crafty;” I choose to define it by the Justice Potter Stewart standard of knowing it when I see it. If you’re a Goose Island or Blue Point fan and it doesn’t bother you that they’re now made under ABI, I have no problem with that. If you don’t want your consumer dollars supporting such massive companies, you have plenty of options these days.

Neither of these purchases has affected me much personally nor professionally: I’ve never been a huge fan of either brewery save for a beer or two and outside of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Series and Blue Point’s Toasted Lager, I’ve never gotten anything approaching enough customer requests to carry either brewery. What I’m saying today is to watch how announcements like this become more common, and then keep an eye out for distributor acquisitions.

I think the next battle, the real battle, is when ABI or SAB-owned distributors start buying up smaller distributors with the same zeal they buy well-known regional craft breweries. Distributors control access to retailers, restaurants, and bars—everyone in Virginia who buys beer or wine buys the products of any specific winery or brewery from the same company. I worry that someone at Big Beer has gotten smart enough to realize that with strong enough distributors under their control, they won’t need to spend their money bringing in new brands with their own sets of employees to pay and beers to package and market — they can simply sweep them under the rug.

I’m hoping for the best; but I have some experience with what happens when I do that, so watch the news, everyone. On that happy note, let’s quickly run through…

What I’m Drinking This Week

Omnipollo Nathalius: An odd beer from a brewery with a purity of vision that stands out even among the so-called “gypsy” brewers. Swedish brewer Henok Fentie visited the U.S. last year and spent some time at Of Love And Regret, the Baltimore bar of fellow “gypsy” brewer Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales. Inspired by Stillwater’s Premium and Classique beers (which were in turn inspired by the most old-school of old-school Baltimore Lagers), Henok went back and brewed up this 8 percent IPA with the same corn and rice adjuncts found in Strumke’s homage to National Bohemian. The hops clashed pretty intensely with the malts, etc., in the bottle I tried a few days ago and to call the finish ‘bitter’ is understating things just a bit. Despite that, the beer is just so damn interesting I couldn’t help but get into it. I’d love to try a very fresh bottle and see the differences.

10 Barrel OG Wheat IPA: A customer brought this back from a trip to Bend and was kind enough to share. This is the first 10 Barrel beer I’ve tried, aside from last year’s collaboration Suede Porter with now-former Bluejacket brewer Megan Parisi at Stone Brewing. OG pours just a gorgeous fiery orange color, and has a great bitter streak all the way through. The malt character is simultaneously bright and clean, with an odd sweet note that pokes its head out here-and-there, which I found distracting. Overall, very good and now I’m looking to try more from 10 Barrel. Until next time!

Nick Anderson maintains a blog at www.beermonger.net, and can be found on Twitter at @The_Beermonger. Sign up for Arrowine’s money saving email offers and free wine and beer tastings at www.arrowine.com/mailing-list-signup.aspx. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Community discussion guidelines: Our sponsored columns are written by members of the local business community. While we encourage a robust and open discussion, we ask that all reviews of the businesses — good or bad — be directed to another venue, like Yelp. The comments section is intended for a conversation about the topic of the article.

Recent Stories

The Arlington County Fair is set to kick off this Wednesday and run through Sunday, Aug. 21. As usual (though it was not without some debate) the fair is being…

Hundreds of K-5 students at Oakridge Elementary School packed 200 gift boxes to seamen and Marines serving on the USS Arlington. The boxes sent to those aboard the 684-foot-long amphibious…

Meet Cannoli, the Arlington Pet of the Week who loves chewing his many bones and playing chase with friends.

When Marine veteran Brendan McElroy started working on the sales side of the consulting industry, he quickly realized that although he enjoyed the more interactive part of his job, he did not like the “typical consulting-sales model.”

15 year old Australian Shepherd went missing from her yard in Waycroft-Woodlawn on the evening of August 8.

A pet tracker hasn’t been able to find her, and despite roaming in a busy area, there have been no reported sightings. She is microchipped, and her information is up to date. It’s most likely someone has picked her up. If found, or if there is any information, please contact the Animal Welfare League of Arlington or her owner at 571-510-0508 or [email protected]. If spotted, please don’t approach or call to her, but take a picture and call her owner.

Submit your own Community Post here.

As the summer winds down, it’s a great time to look forward to a creative fall! Art House 7 has a terrific selection of classes, for preschoolers to adults. Our fall session, starting September 6, offers painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, ceramics (including the wheel) and sewing. We have specialty classes such as Suminagashi, the ancient art of Japanese water marbling.

If you’re looking for a shorter commitment, we also have a full schedule of workshops, Art Nights, and Morning Art Socials. If you haven’t discovered Art House 7, please check us out! We offer classes throughout the year, taught by a range of fantastic teachers. You can buy art supplies next door. We’re near the Lee Harrison shopping center, and free parking is outside our door.

Art House 7
5537 Langston Blvd.Arlington VA 22207
https://arthouseseven.com/

Submit your own Community Post here.

Rental Property Investing: Part One

Have you ever considered purchasing a rental property but weren’t sure where to start? This free webinar will go over the basics of how to invest in real estate, how to choose rental properties, and a market overview. Our Director

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Todd Riley (Comedy Central)

A night of live standup comedy, with some of the best comedians from the DMV and beyond!

Todd Riley – Headliner

From the moment Todd Riley stepped onto that stage in 2008, he knew comedy is what he wanted to

×

Subscribe to our mailing list