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Tuesday, September 28th 2010

Oskar Blues releases lineup of hot sauces made with 5 of their beers


Some like it hot!

I seriously want to try some of these brand new hot sauces from Oskar Blues! In fact, I want to make some wings with each of these and pair them with their respective beers. Call me OCD. Below is the press release I just received from the folks at Oskar Blues: 

LONGMONT, Colo. – Looking for the perfect  gift for those that like it HOT? Nothing goes down better with hot food than an ice-cold craft beer. For this reason Oskar Blues Brewery, producer of the number one craft beer in a can has created a line of beer infused hot sauces that include one of each of their craft beers. Enjoy your favorite Oskar Blues beer and choose from Old Chub Scotch Ale Hot Sauce, Dale’s Pale Ale Hot Sauce, Mama’s Little Yella Pils Hot Sauce, Gordon Hot Sauce and Ten FIDY Hot Sauce, to add to your meals.
 
Oskar Blues Rocky Mountain signature hot sauces are a collaboration created by the Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids and Solids restaurant head chef Jason Rogers and Danny Cash Hot Sauces.  These inimitable sauces are used in the Oskar Blues restaurants (Grill & Brew, Home Made Liquids & Solids, The Old Chub Way) great food. Home Made Liquids and Solids is known for their famous smoked wings and they also feature a Ten FIDY Ghost Wing Challenge. The wings are so hot and spicy that if guests can consume two pounds of wings and drink an Oskar Blues beer all within 15 minutes, they receive a special “Get Weaponized” ghost wing challenge t-shirt & the meal is on the house.
 
Box up the perfect gift with matching Oskar Blues beer and hot sauce, choosing from one of the following:
 
Ten FIDY Imperial Stout Hot Sauce: Holy Hot! Ten Fidy hot sauce, made with ghost chile. This one is for the very brave. Brewed in small batches just like the Oskar Blues cult favorite Ten Fidy.

Mama’s Little Yella Pils Hot Sauce: Hot Mama! Hot sauce made with Mama's Little Yella Pils and Serrano peppers.

Dale’s Pale Ale Hot Sauce: Chipotle hot sauce infused with Dale's Pale Ale.
Old Chub Scotch Ale Hot Sauce: Old Chub Scotch Ale blends beautifully with this cayenne hot sauce.

Old Chub Scotch Ale Hot Sauce: Old Chub Scotch Ale blends beautifully with this cayenne hot sauce.

Gordon Imperial Red Hot Sauce: Sweet and Hot, mango Habaneras hot sauce infused with Gordon. Great on shrimp or fish tacos.
 
Oskar Blues signature hot sauces are priced at $6 except for the limited edition Ten FIDY Hot Sauce, which is priced at $10. Sauces can be ordered online at: www.oskarblues.com
 
Set in the heart of Colorado craft beer country, Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons began canning its beers in November of 2002 with a hand-canning line in the 60- year-old barn next door to their funky little brewpub.  Although it’s now a full- throttle canning operation that is quickly expanding its cult-like following across the nation, Oskar Blues remains true to its original mission of simply blowing minds with what can come out of a can of beer.

 


 
ABOUT OSKAR BLUES - Three-dimensional brewing since 1999, Oskar Blues began the “Canned Beer Apocalypse” in 2002 when Dale’s Pale Ale became America’s 1st CANNED craft beer.   For additional info, interviews, images or samples please contact Chad Melis at chad@oskarblues.com, # 720.273.8888 or visit www.oskarblues.com

 


Posted by Russ



Monday, September 27th 2010

Breweries Canning by Year 2002-10
Canned Craft Beer Stats (1 of 5)

The above graph shows the number of American craft breweries canning their beer by year - starting with 2002 when Oskar Blues first canned their Dale's Pale Ale. Some craft breweries that once canned their beer have stopped doing so and others have unfortunately gone out of business. This graph should provide a good visual for just how quickly the canned beer revolution has taken off in recent years. 

This post is part one of a five part series documenting some facts and figures about American canned craft beer. Below you'll find links to the other parts of this series (as they are posted). Cheers!

 

Canned Craft Beer Stats - A Five Part Series

Part 1 - Breweries Canning by Year

Part 2 - Breweries Canning by State

Part 3 - Canned Craft Beers by Style

Part 4 - Brewed on Premise vs Contract Brewed

Part 5 - Canned Craft Beers by Packaging Format


Posted by Russ



Friday, September 24th 2010

BYOB (Bring Your Oskar Blues) Cans

BYOB (Bring Your Oskar Blues) TO HOLIDAY PARTIES 

LONGMONT, Colo. – What are you bringing to holiday parties this year? BYOB.  Next time you are in the liquor store shopping for a holiday party, remember BYOB (Bring Your Oskar Blues). BYOB, the number one craft beer in a can that is turning heads and blowing minds of what to expect from a craft beer in a can. BYOB and know that even the hardest to please wine drinking partier will go head-over-heals for one of Oskar Blues’ six taste bud tantalizing brews.
 
Dreading a holiday party?  Need a conversation starter?  Really looking forward to bringing something crafty to the party, BYOB. With conversation starting names like the Oskar Blues winter seasonal Ten FIDY Imperial Stout, Mama’s Little Yella Pils, or Old Chub Scotch Ale the conversations are sure to get groovy.
 
BYOB and be an Oskar Blues craft beer connoisseur with this brief and easy to remember history:
 
Set in the heart of Colorado craft beer country, Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons began canning its beers in November of 2002 with a hand-canning line in the 60- year-old barn next door to their funky little brewpub.  Although it’s now a full-throttle canning operation that is quickly expanding its cult-like following across the nation, Oskar Blues remains true to its original mission of simply blowing minds with what can come out of a can of beer.
 
This year the beer can turned 75 and is just beginning to see its success in craft beer. The success started when Oskar Blues purchased its first small hand-canning machine from Cask (www.cask.com) and then worked with Ball Corp (www.ball.com) to produce small batches of cans in order to make it economically viable to start the canned craft beer movement. At the time Oskar Blues had no idea that eight years later they would be one of 70+ canned craft beer brewers and would be such a driving force in the evolution of craft beer.


Beer Freshness Advantages: Cans provide an environmentally responsible and superior package for craft beer.  They offer complete protection from the damages of UV light and create a superior seal compared to bottle caps.  The seal created between the aluminum can and aluminum lid allows lower levels of ingressed oxygen which increases shelf life and serves the consumer fresher craft beer.
 
Environmental Advantages: Aluminum is infinitely recyclable. Cans allow breweries to reduce their carbon footprint due to weight and volume shipping advantages. One hundred cases of cans can be shipped on a standard pallet versus sixty glass bottle cases which reduces fuel usage & keeps Mother Nature happy.  Consider the weight differences between an empty glass bottle and an empty can. 
 
Consumer Advantages: Cans allow consumers to experience craft beer wherever their next adventure takes them. Cans do not shatter when stressed or abused.  Unlike cans of old, there is no direct contact or flavor exchange between beer and the aluminum can.  Pack it in, Pack it out.
 


ABOUT OSKAR BLUES - Three-dimensional brewing since 1999, Oskar Blues began the “Canned Beer Apocalypse” in 2002 when Dale’s Pale Ale became America’s 1st CANNED craft beer.   For additional info, interviews, images or samples please contact Chad Melis at chad@oskarblues.com, # 720.273.8888 or visit www.oskarblues.com

 


Posted by Russ



Wednesday, September 21st 2010

Is the world ready for Hopolates?
Q & A with Phillip Green
(Founder of Hop Candy Inc.)


there is something VERY different about these chocolates...

Phillip Green is not your average beer lover. Sure he loves craft beer and has done some homebrewing but something about Phillip's love for beer sets him apart. You see, Phillip has done something a few of us out there may have pondered from time to time and made it a reality. He has combined the flavor of hops with the decadence of chocolate and captured the two in a fun beer-related shape that you can shove in your mouth and enjoy! Once I heard about Phillip's company, Hop Candy Inc., I felt compelled to learn more so I wrote to him with some questions...

 

(CC) Please provide a little background about yourself and your company.

(PG) My name is Phillip Green and I am an advocate of craft beer, good food and I love to travel. I reside in MD just a few minutes away from Flying Dog and Heavy Seas brewing. I started thinking about beer centric candies mid 2009, then began experimenting with hops in different types of food.

 

(CC) What made you decide to make hop-infused candies? Is any other company doing something similar?

(PG) I have been a chocolate lover since I was young. Some of my most enjoyable memories I have from my childhood, are visiting Hershey Park with my family and grandparents. I have always been interested in making candy, I learned how from my mom. Once I was legal, I discovered the world of craft beer; not that stuff they typically advertise on television. I had become enamored with companies like Dogfish Head, Stone, Goose Island, Founders, Victory, Troegs etc. These companies don’t make any sacrifices when it comes to flavor and quality ingredients. From my first taste of Dogfish 120 IPA, I knew really fell in love with the hop. It didn’t take long before I started looking for beer or hop flavored candies. To my dismay, none existed. I set off on a journey to create hop infused chocolate. I call it Hopolate.

I have searched the web and have not found anyone else making hop infused candies. There are a few companies using beer in pretzels and also cupcakes. I believe I am the first one to make beer or hop flavored chocolates.


chocolate cheers!

(CC) How much R and D went into this? What sort of hops do you use?

(PG) I spent a few months experimenting with multiple varieties of Hop and also several types of Chocolate. I found that Milk Chocolate was the best balance, according to friends, family, bloggers and even professional brewers. I then discovered how well Dark Chocolate brought the hop to the forefront of the candy.

 

(CC) What is involved in the process of making hops flavored candy?

(PG) Well, I use real hops, not flavorings or extract. The process is part of the ability for me to make the candy and I am looking to patent it. So the details are going to remain my secret. :-)

 

(CC) Do they really taste like hops? Maybe even a hoppy dark stout or porter?

(PG) Yes, the hops are quite evident. I did have attendants of GABF say things like "reminds me of an imperial stout" and "It's like a chocolaty IPA". So those types of comments confirm my feelings, that I have a fun, unique and tasty product to offer. I have even made some with malt and been able to mimic a pretty good beer flavor.

"It's like a chocolaty IPA"

 

(CC) Besides Hopolates, what other hops flavored candies do you make?

(PG) I have plans to make a Hop infused lollipop. It will be a hard candy and I plan to call it Lollihop!

 

(CC) Where would you like to see Hop Candy Inc 5 years from now?

(PG) I have already gotten requests to supply the candy to restaurants and brewpubs, for tastings and pairings. One person even wants to sell it at their brewery's storefront as a novelty item. I would like to become a one stop shop for beer flavored candies, on the web. I have plans to eventually open my own brewpub, so if Hop Candy Inc. takes off, it may very well fund my brewery.

 

(CC) How can people get their hands on your products?

(PG) Currently I am awaiting the launch of my online store, which will start off offering 2-3 items. For now, you can contact us through the comment section and I can make small quantities as needed.

If you'd like to learn more about Hop Candy Inc. be sure to check out their website:


Posted by Russ



Wednesday, September 21st 2010

Gandhi-Bot Double IPA (12 oz.)
(New England Brewing Company)


It's baaaaaack!!!!

It's back! It's back! It's back! Gandhi-Bot Double IPA is back in 12 oz. cans with that same old massive hop flavor. No longer packaged in the 16 oz. cans with the stickered label, these new cans look great and contain the same great beer. New look, same great taste! 

 

From the New England Brewing Co. site:

 

"Gandhi-Bot is an intensely hopped Double India Pale Ale brewed with a blend of three varieties of American hops. 85 IBUs, this beer is brewed for those of us who need an aromatic and flavorfully hopped beer.”


Here we go...

 

Pour - light amber or dark golden in color. Thick resiny, sticky foamy head on top that sticks inside the glass like honey on a bear's nose. Looks delicious and the smell that comes from that pour is heavenly.

 

Aroma - oh my goodness. The hop gods have truly blessed the contents of this can. Big, sticky green gobs of hop power has been given to this beer. Piney to the max with plenty of grapefruit sour/sweetness as well as some tropical fruit aromas. I can't help but think West Coast but hell this stuff is from right here in New England! Every ounce of aromatic hop potential has been captured and displayed beautifully, I like to think the can had something to do with that! 

 

Taste - one big mouthful and I can tell we've got a winner on our hands. This is hopped up like the best of them but so well balanced and almost deceivingly smooth. Tons of hop flower power, tastes almost wet hopped a bit, with some extreme citrus and pine as well as a bit of that danky resiny flavor that comes from all those hop oils. Its a little dry in the finish but that goes well with the crispness that this puts on your tongue. I feel assaulted in a good way. 

 

Overall - quality of this second batch is outstanding and right on par with the first batch. I was going to rewrite my review but as I drank this beer it read like a script. I am truly impressed yet again!

 

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. Keep it coming!

 

Note - New England Brewing ordered old tequila barrels with which they aged some Gandhi-Bot. Tequila barrel-aged Gandhi-Bot! Holy sh*t! I need to get some!



Hops Scale:
(See All Rated)
Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Gandhi-Bot Double IPA ~ 12 oz.
Style: Imperial/Double India Pale Ale
Brewery: New England Brewing Company
City: 
Woodbridge, Connecticut  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 8.8%
IBUs: 85
Date: September 22nd, 2010

Posted by Russ


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Tuesday, September 21 2010

CAN-gratulations GABF Winners!

This year's Great American Beer Festival has officially come and gone. Along with all those hangovers, empty kegs and new friendships made over a mutual love of beer comes the actual winners of what can be billed as the Superbowl of American beer festivals. 79 individual beer styles were judged. Winners were announced and many brewers went home with some hardware.

                  

The big winners, as far as canned craft beers go, were Steamworks Brewing Company's recently canned Colorado Kölsch which won a silver medal in the German-Style Kölsch category and Ska Brewing Company's ESB Special Ale which won a bronze medal in the Classic English-Style Pale Ale category. Both breweries are located in Durango, Colorado which seems to be a mecca for great canned beer. Congratulations! 

Along with these two winning beers there were also a number of breweries that can their beers that made their way to the podium in Denver last week. Below is a list of all the canning craft breweries that won medals at the Great American Beer Festival this year:

GOLD MEDALS

"Sandy Bottom" - American Style Wheat Beer
Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, VA 

"Point Horizon Wheat"- American Style Wheat Beer w/Yeast
Stevens Point Brewery in Stevens Point, WI 

"What in the Helles?"- Munich Style Helles
Steamworks Brewing Co. in Durango, CO 

"Hellats Good Beer" - Bock
Pug Ryans Brewery in Dillon, CO 

"Lumberyard Imperial Red"- Imperial Red Ale
Lumberyard Brewing Co. in Flagstaff, AZ 

"Backside Stout" - Oatmeal Stout
Steamworks Brewing Co. in Durango, CO 

 

SILVER MEDALS

"Mötley Brüe RyePA" - Out of Category – Traditionally Brewed Beer
Four Peaks Brewing Co. in Tempe, AZ 

"Colorado Kölsch" - German-Style Kölsch
Steamworks Brewing Co. in Durango, CO 

"Hop Crisis!"- Imperial India Pale Ale
21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco, CA 

"Golden Slumber" - Belgian Style Abbey Ale
Sun King Brewing Co. in Indianapolis, IN 

"Brother David’s Double" - Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale
 Anderson Valley Brewing Co. in Boonville, CA 

"Apricot Ale" - Fruit Ale
 Pyramid Breweries in Seattle, WA


BRONZE MEDALS

"Dominator Dopplebock" - German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock
Sun King Brewing Co. in Indianapolis, IN 

"Kolsch 151" - German-Style Kölsch
 Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, VA

"Ska Special" - Classic English-Style Pale Ale
Ska Brewing Co. in Durango, CO

"Lumberyard Extra IPA" - American-Style India Pale Ale
Lumberyard Brewing Co. in Flagstaff, AZ 

"Capital Weizen Doppelbock" - German-Style Wheat Ale
Capital Brewery Co. in Middleton, WI 

 


Posted by Russ


Labels:


Sunday, September 19th 2010

Sly Fox Oktoberfest
(Sly Fox Brewing Company)

The very first canned version of the Oktoberfest-style made available by a craft brewery here in the US. Sly Fox managed to get this one out just before Narragansett's Fest when it hit shelves last month. I've been looking forward to trying this and what better day than today since its officially the first day of Oktoberfest over in Munich. Prosit!

 

From the Sly Fox site:

"This traditional Oktoberfest beer celebrates the arrival of Fall. It is a medium-bodied, smooth and malty brew made with German Vienna malts and German hops."

Here we go...

 

Pour - dark golden in color with some reddish-brown hues. The head is only about a quarter of an inch in thickness and even that fades quickly. 

 

Aroma - malty, biscuity, apple blossoms, grainy and slight hints of lemons and cherries. 


Taste - slightly grainy, earthy, hints of Marmite, caramel, brown sugar, bread dough and orange peel. Mostly this is sweet and malty with a nice finish of caramel and brown bread. 

 

Overall - Not a whole lot of body or complexity here but it does make for a very sessionable beer. I could hoist a few liters of this without too much trouble. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - I might if I was bringing something to a fall barbecue or wanted to share the first craft-brewed Oktoberfest with some friends. 

Note - Sly Fox's Oktoberfest is the brewery's sixth canned release. The first was their Phoenix Pale Ale in 2006. 

 

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Sly Fox Oktoberfest Lager
Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest
Brewery: Sly Fox Brewing Company
City: 
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: German Vienna
Hops: German hops
ABV: 5.8%
IBUs: 25
Date: September 19th, 2010

Posted by Russ


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Saturday, September 18th 2010

Cantoberfest:
Prosit! Now available in a can!


Prosit! (now available in cans)

Oktoberfest officially begins today and this year marks the 200th Anniversary of the first event originally held in Munich on October 18th back in 1810. Over those past two centuries the human race has whole-heartedly embraced the event with Oktoberfest celebrations being held in hundreds of cities and towns all over the world.That makes for a lot of years of celebrating a wedding whose bride and groom we never knew. 

The dark, sweet lager that many of us know as the Oktoberfest-style, or Marzen, is also brewed throughout the world (BeerAdvocate lists 586 examples). It usually hits the shelves and taps in August and sticks around until the darker, stronger winter brews takeover.


Old School Oktoberfest Beer Cans

This year happens to mark a first for the the style when it comes to the modern craft brewery. While Oktoberfest beers have been canned by American beers before, 2010 marks the first time a craft-brewed Oktoberfest-style beer was canned here in the US.

Sly Fox Brewing of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania goes down in the books as the first to offer that canned Oktoberfest. Their Sly Fox Oktoberfest hit the shelves last month. Narragansett's Fest Lager debuted in can this month for a close second. Santa Fe Brewing Company's canned Oktoberfest should be out soon as well. This will make for a nice trio of canned Oktoberfest beers available for the 2010 celebration and we will certainly be seeing a lot more canned versions of this style in 2011!

 

Also of note:

SurlyFest, while classified as a "Rye Beer" and not an Oktoberfest, is their fall seasonal release and with it comes the annual SURLYFEST event (which is actually taking place TODAY at the Surly Brewery). This is the third year Surly's hosted the event which features bands, food and of course lots of great Surly beer!


Posted by Russ


Labels: Cantoberfest


Saturday, September 18th 2010

Narragansett Fest
(Narragansett Brewing Company)

The second craft-brewed Oktoberfest to hit the market (Sly Fox's Oktoberfest beat it by a month). Narragansett's Fest is "crafted in small batches at Cottrell Brewery in Pawcatuck, CT" as well as being brewed by the big boys over in Rochester, New York. Fest is one of three seasonal beers released by Narragansett. All three are all-grain brews that are brewed at Cottrell Brewery (CT), Trinity Brewhouse (RI) and/or High Falls Brewery (NY). Prosit!

 

From the Narragansett site:

"Gansett Fest is a great example of a traditional amber-brown German Oktoberfest style beer. It is perfectly balanced with four varieties of malts and two styles of hops. This is an extremely easy drinking autumn seasonal beer, but one you will want to savor as the rich malt profile complements the crisp, but not overpowering, hop flavor perfectly."

Here we go...

 

Pour - dark chestnut, auburn in appearance with a big fluffy white head. Nice clarity and carbonation. Not a whole lot to take in but still its not a bad looking beer.

 

Aroma - malty, grainy, caramel, slight citrus along with some nice toasty/bready smells.


Taste - toasty, malty, sweet and bready. Plenty of biscuity notes and a sharp finish with hints at citrus. A lot of those aromas play out on the tongue. Very easy drinking and smooth with the carbonation providing a refreshing finish. Not super rich in flavor but I don't mind that. It actually keeps it from being too sweet. 

 

Overall - solid brew. I really enjoyed this beer and felt it does its duty as a traditional Oktoberfest. Its light bodied and plenty smooth enough to enjoy over several rounds. Well done Narragansett, well done. I look forward to trying your other seasonal releases.

 

Would I buy more of it? - I would. A six-pack of 16 oz. cans is going for about $8 here in New England. Very affordable for a quality brew.

Note - Narragansett releases two other seasonal beers. One is their Porter which is a winter release and the other a Bock in the spring. I'm wondering if a summer release is coming as well...hmm....

 

       


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Narragansett Fest Lager
Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest
Brewery: Narragansett Brewing Company
City: 
Providence, Rhode Island  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Vienna, Pilsner, Light and Dark Munich
Hops: Northern Brewer & Tettnanger
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: 22
Date: September 18th, 2010

Posted by Russ


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Thursday, September 16th 2010

CANNING in the YUKON:
Q & A w/Yukon Brewing's Bob Baxter

Yukon Brewing Company was the first craft brewery in North America to purchase a canning line from the folks at CASK Brewing Systems. They started canning their beer even before Oskar Blues, something many folks can hardly imagine. Something else that might be hard to imagine is the fact that Yukon Brewing sits above the 60th parallel which has led to their slogan, "Beer Worth Freezin' For!". I wanted to know more about Yukon Brewing Company, their history and the town they call home so I wrote to Owner Bob Baxter. Bob was beyond generous with his time and provided a ton of information in his answers to my questions. 

 


Brewers and canners of "Beer Worth Freezin' For"

 

(CC) Can you give us a little bit of the background/history behind yourself and Yukon Brewing?

(BB) Yukon Brewing started making beer in February 1997, initially under the name Chilkoot Brewing.  The Chilkoot Pass in the Yukon was the way that most miners came to the Yukon during the 1898 Gold Rush...a famous name here but not so famous outside the Yukon. As a result, we began marketing under name Yukon Brewing Company in 1999, as our exporting became more serious.  The company was started by two partners, Alan Hansen and Bob Baxter, but the idea was conceived like so many Yukon babies...around a campfire on a canoe trip.  After a painful year or two or trying to raise the money, a brewery was finally born.

"the idea was conceived like so many Yukon babies...around a campfire on a canoe trip."

(CC) When and why did you decide to give cans a try? What was the first beer you canned and how was it accepted by the local beer drinking population?

(BB) Initially our beers were available in bottles or kegs. That was the way things were expected to remain - cans were not on our mind at all. However, as the company struggled to grow and generate revenue, we began to eye up that large piece of the pie that we were not serving. In the Yukon, about 60% of beer is consumed from a can...we were not playing in that arena, and so we started to look into the possibilities that we could. We found that canning equipment was either ridiculously large and fast, or ridiculously small and slow. The first scenario was not an option, so we bought a two can filler and one head seamer, and put our flagship lager, Chilkoot Lager, into cans in 2001, in a ridiculously small and slow way. Uptake by the public was great, we finally were putting beer out in a container that people preferred.


Yukon's flagship Chilkoot Lager

(CC) What kind of canning line do you use?

(BB) As noted, calling our canning line a 'line' is being a bit kind to it...it is really a canning spot.  For 10 years now we have filled cans with a two head filler (made by Cask) and a single head seamer (made by Dixie Seamer).  We are currently investigating the options of how we can improve this, hopefully before next spring when the summer beer season gets rolling full steam.


(CC) Which beers do you currently can? Any plans for more in the future?

(BB) For quite some time Chilkoot Lager was the only beer that we put into cans. We had the idea that only a 'mainstream style' lager beer would be appreciated by canned beer drinkers. It finally dawned on us that this might not be the case...perhaps people would drink more flavourful beers from a can. Maybe canned beer need not have a mainstream lighter flavour. So, in June 2005, we put our second product into cans - Yukon Gold, an English Style Pale Ale. Within a couple of years it was selling as much volume as Chilkoot Lager, and we decided that the experiment was a success, and more of our beers belonged in a can. Our limiter was the equipment - how many beers could we have in cans as long as we were filling them and seaming them one at a time? Finally, this past summer, we decided to go whole hog, putting two more beers into cans, Yukon Red and Ice Fog IPA. We did this because we are committed to the purchase and installation of a new canning line this coming winter. We figured that one summer of the slow method with four brands was okay, but not a second summer. No point in growing the market if we cannot serve it.

We currently produce 8 brands of beer in bottles, and 4 of them are now in cans. Will the other 4 eventually be canned? Possibly, or perhaps we will try a brand that launches in cans instead of bottles. Much depends on the equipment that we are going to find this winter.

 


Yukon's cans currently outsell their bottles in the Yukon

(CC) Since you put your beers in both cans and bottles how do the two compare as far as sales go?

(BB) As mentioned, two of our four canned products are new this year, so are still on the gradual upslope of finding customers, or having customers find the cans. Even so, to this point in the current year, cans are outselling bottles in our Yukon market about 51% to 49%. We sell bottles in BC and Alberta as well, but no cans there. Of course, once our canning equipment can cope with increased demand, it is possible that our cans will leave the Yukon.


(CC) What is your best selling beer in cans, bottle and draught?

(BB) Our best selling product in cans remains Chilkoot Lager, although Yukon Gold is fast catching up (about 82% caught up).  In bottles, Yukon Gold is the top seller, followed by Yukon Red.  With the Yukon Red and the relatively new Ice Fog IPA newly in cans, we expect these products to slope up quickly in sales. Yukon Gold is our top selling draught beer - in fact, it is the top selling draught beer in the Yukon, period. More than any Molson product, more than any Labatt product. As an interesting aside, we have such a loyal population base in the Yukon that our draught beers outsell Molson and Labatt draught beers, combined.


(CC) What are the advantages that canned beer presents in the far north? (shipping, packaging, portability?)

(BB) Cans in the north are like most things, a bit of a double edged sword. Before we got into cans we asked customers about why cans outsell bottles 2:1 in the Yukon, thinking perhaps we could overcome some of those with bottles. We were told they were better in the outdoors (which is why we are all up here, after all) since they crush for hauling out, they get cold quicker, they fit in the fridge better, and - in typical Yukon fashion, we were told that a 355 ml can held more beer than a 341 ml bottle, and that adds up. Listening to these answers, we concluded pretty quickly that cans were around for the long term and, if anything, were going to grow. So, from a sales perspective, cans make perfect sense.


Yukon Gold is an English-style Pale Ale

(CC) Where do you distribute your beer?

(BB) We distribute bottled beer in the Yukon, BC, Alberta, and the NWT. We distribute draught beer in the Yukon and Alberta. And, we distribute cans only in the Yukon.


(CC) Which of your beers is your favorite? Which canned craft beer would you most like to try?

(BB) The favourite beer that we make is the one in the glass in front of me...really now, I like them all. Sometimes one is preferred over another, given my mood, but I really do like them all.  The canned craft beer that I have never tried, but want to, is totally hard to say. There are so many out there, and so many have a great reputation, most of which we can't buy here, that quite frankly (short of seeing my weight climb up and my liver cave in) I would like to try them all, at least once.

 


Yukon Brewing's newest canned offerings


(CC) How have Yukoners embraced Yukon Brewing Company and your beers? How about your two new canned offerings?

(BB) Yukoners have totally embraced our beers. As mentioned, we outsell the big boys combined in draught beer. Our market share of bottled beer is nearly 25% and climbing...as we expand our offerings of canned beers, and people have the chance to find them, we totally expect our canned market share to get up there as well.


(CC) If I was in Whitehorse for a weekend what would you tell me to do (after I visited Yukon Brewing Company of course)?

(BB) If you were in Whitehorse for the weekend, after visiting the brewery you would most definitely do something outside. If it was winter, you would downhill ski or snowboard, or cross country ski, or snowmobile, or skate, or ???  If it were summer, you would camp or hike or canoe or fish or ??? After all, none of us are here for the shopping.

Yukon Brewing Company Media Resources


  


Posted by Russ



Tuesday, September 14th 2010

Get ready for CANFEST 2010
Tickets are now on sale!

Taste the canned beer revolution at Reno’s Oct. 9 CANFEST
Tickets are on sale now for the 2nd annual international canned beer festival

RENO, NV (September 10, 2010) — You may have heard whispers about the canned
beer revolution — a burgeoning legion of bottle-free brewers who are packaging their
craft beers in aluminum cylinders — but if you want to taste, see and feel the canned beer revolution, you need to be in Reno on October 9.

CANFEST, the world’s first international canned beer festival, is a proclamation that
canned beer is no longer about mass brewed beer. Craft brewers like event organizer
Buckbean Brewing and others such as Anderson Valley Brewing and 21st Amendment
are reclaiming the can, proving to the public that some of the world’s most unique
pairings of hops and malts can now be found in the next generation of canned beer.

CANFEST will showcase the heavy hitters of canned microbrewing at the Grand Sierra
Resort and Casino’s Silver State Pavilion for the second straight year on October 9th.
Tickets are on sale for the event now.

With each $30 ticket, attendees will received unlimited tastings from dozens of brewers including 21st Amendment Brewing Co., Uncommon Brewers, High Noon Saloon and Brewery, Maui Brewing Co., Mammoth Brewing Co., Anderson Valley Brewing Co., Mudshark Brewing Co., Caldera Brewing Co., Buckbean Brewing Co., Four Peaks Brewing Co., Capital Brewery, Northwoods Brewing Co., Rochester Mills Brewing Co., Surly Brewing Co. and MillKing It Productions.

“CANFEST gives beer lovers the chance to jump between tasting Minnesota IPAs, West Coast unfiltered Porters and Hawaiian blonde ales made with Munich malts — all under one roof,” said Doug Booth, co-founder of Buckbean Brewing, which is organizing the event. “And once people learn that all of that beer comes in a can, people’s perception of canned beer will be blown apart.”

The beer fest is made possible by event sponsors That Can Holder, Hi-Cone/Mumm Products, Ball, Digiprint, Wild 102.9, Abbi PR, and Bourns Productions. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit The Nature Conservancy and the Great Basin Bird Observatory.

CANFEST will feature Buckbean Brewing’s newest promoters, the beautiful and knowledgeable Noddy Girls, and a raffle will award prizes such as a can of beer from every brewery represented at the festival and a That Can Holder beer holder.

Buckbean Brewing, the largest production microbrewery in Western Nevada, founded CANFEST last year to celebrate the benefits of canning beer. Long regarded as a symbol of inferior beer, the can has come into its own in recent years as beer drinkers realize that cans offer superior protection from sunlight and oxygen infiltration, and the containers are much more portable and environmentally friendly than their glass counterpart. In 2002 the first microbrewery began canning craft beer; today over 52 microbreweries offer their brews in a can, according to the Brewers Association.

Buckbean started canning unique microbrews in Reno in 2008. Their beer — from a crisp, dark German Schwarzbier called the Black Noddy Lager to the summertime favorite Original Orange Blossom Ale — represents co-founders Doug Booth and Dan Kahn’s outside-of-the-box thinking on everything from brewing ingredients to the container the beer is packaged in — 16-oz. beer cans.

Tickets purchased online prior to the event are $30, tickets purchased at the door will cost $35. To purchase tickets online go HERE!

For more information on CANFEST contact Constance Aguilar from Abbi Public
Relations at constance@abbipr.com or by calling 775.323.2977. For more information
on Buckbean Brewing visit www.buckbeanbeer.com.


Posted by Russ



Monday, September 13th 2010

Surly announces new canned release
Hopheads get ready for WET!

Adam over at Beernews seriously has his finger on the beer pulse. He recently posted about Surly's announcement (Friday) via Twitter that they will indeed be releasing another canned offering this fall. That release will be called WET and its brewed with both citra (hells yeah!) and simcoe hops.

The label reads:

 “You are about to drink a wet hop beer- brewed with American hops so fresh they’ve never had the chance to dry out. Day 1: picked. Day 2: shipped. Day 4: tossed in the brew. The only delay from the field to your glass is the time it takes for fermenting. The hop varieties vary, but you can always expect the intense resinous character that only comes from the fresh hops. This ain’t a beer for aging. The beer quickly loses its aromatics. So invite your friends over and enjoy this West-Coast style IPA…now.”

Wow, I seriously can't wait to try this beer!

 


Posted by Russ



Saturday, September 11th 2010

Design-A-Can Contest Entries!


Hitachino Nest White Ale and Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
Can art submitted by Tim Farthing

 

 


Mill City Summer Lager and Dodgertown American Pale Ale
Can Art submitted by Roger and Christy Patrick 

Thanks for the entries! If you're interested in entering our Design-A-Can contest go HERE for details!


Posted by Russ


Labels: Contests


Friday, September 10th 2010

Tallgrass IPA
(Tallgrass Brewing Company)

Tallgrass' IPA has such an awesome design for the style! I am a total sucker for great marketing and I was definitely drawn to this one almost immediately. I bought this particular can of IPA on a recent trip out to the hometown of Tallgrass so I know its fresh and I'm really looking forward to diving in! 

 

From the Tallgrass site:

"Tallgrass IPA, is an India Pale Ale that is rich, complex, and flavorful. We are proud to be the first brewery here in the Great Plains to have the first brewed, bottled, and draft IPA out on the market!"

Here we go...

 

Pour - bright and shiny orange with some yellow and golden highlights as well as a perfectly formed inch of super white head.

 

Aroma - lemons, limes, plenty of maltiness and graininess as well as some caramel and chocolate covered oranges.


Taste - spicy and citrusy but not over the top grapefruit or pine. This is a much more balanced IPA, almost leaning towards being the pale ale that isn't in the Tallgrass lineup. Plenty of maltiness that really has the flavor of the brewhouse with a more subdued hop presence. 

 

Overall - If you want mouth numbing hops you need to crack open a can of their Oasis. This IPA is a nice, smooth bodied ale with a great balance between citrusy hops and caramel malt. Its not going to clear your sinuses or burn the enamel off your teeth, but it will go down smooth and make you happy.

 

Would I buy more of it? - sure thing. Its a solid enough brew and I'd be happy having a four-pack around a campfire anytime.

Note - Tallgrass had some slick looking labels for their bottles before they started canning all of their beers but the IPA didn't feature the elephant. Personally, I think it was a great decision to rebrand and start canning. From what I gather, its done a lot for Tallgrass.



Hops Scale:
(See All Rated)
Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Tallgrass IPA
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: Tallgrass Brewing Company
City: 
Manhattan, Kansas  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 6.3%
IBUs: 60
Date: September 10th, 2010

Posted by Russ


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Friday, September 10th 2010

Steamworks to release Colorado Kolsch in cans

Kris over at Steamworks sent this along announcing their newest Colorado-only offering. Man, I need to get out to Colorado again soon! Love the design on these cans and I'm guessing that the beer inside isn't half bad either! Prosit!


Posted by Russ



Friday, September 10th 2010

21st Amendment Releases Artwork for Fireside Chat

21st Amendment recently recently released the can graphics for their upcoming winter seasonal, Fireside Chat. The beer which 21st Amendment described previously as a slightly spiced winter ale will hit shelves in mid-October. 

21st Amendment added the following about the can art in a recent Facebook post:

Fun facts about this art and the reason why we did this:

-Art is titled - FDR “Beer Geeking” with an elf!

-On March 12, 1933 FDR conducted his first "Fireside Chat". This was a series of thirty evening radio speeches given by FDR between 1933 and 1944. These Chats were a way to communicate to the American public many things, along with how the country was going to recover from the great depression. “After the first Fireside Chat,” writes Alter, “Roosevelt relaxed in his office with Howe and Rosenman, his two top aides. At about 11:30 p.m. he said: ‘I think it’s time for beer.’ Preparations for a bill to speed the end of Prohibition began that night.”

-On March 22, 1933 FDR signed a bill legalizing 3.2% beer.

-This was accomplished by Rewriting the Volstead Act to categorize "nonintoxicating" beverages as ones containing up to 3.2% alcohol

-FDR was in office when the 21st Amendment was passed (December 5th, 1933). Utah was the final state to come on board and make the 21st Amendment official.

-Fireside Chat will be available for 3 months this October 15th. It's dark in color and big in flavor.

 


CraftCans.Com mock-up


Posted by Russ



Thursday, September 9th 2010

Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale
(Blue Mountain Brewery)

I recently paid a visit to Blue Mountain Brewery, had a great meal and picked up a six-pack of Full Nelson. Its the only beer they are currently canning and its brewed entirely with cascade hops grown on the premises. They had just harvested their hops a few weeks before I was there so I missed seeing an absolutely stunning little brewery look even better with all those hops.

 

From the Blue Mountain site:

"Bursting with local hop flavor, our flagship Virginia Pale Ale features our own farm-grown Cascade variety hops as one of the key ingredients. A strong malt backbone gives this ale a rich taste and vibrant copper color, while the generous addition of hops contribute a pronounced bitterness and floral, citrus aroma.."

Here we go...

 

Pour - deep golden to auburn in appearance with plenty of bubbling action and a half inch of wispy, white head.

 

Aroma - very citrusy, lemons and oranges, a little spicy, a little sweet and definitely a good deal of malt balancing things out. The aroma just sucks you into the glass.

 

Taste - orange peel, lemon zest, earthy, spicy, tangy and a little dry in the finish. Plenty of flavor and definitely some terroir, as they say, from those cascade hops growing in the mountains of Virginia. 

 

Overall - a gorgeous brew from a gorgeous brewery. Love the local element and all the flavor that is packed into this beer. Definitely worth the trip to the brewery to pick some cans up from the source!

 

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. I'd love to go back to this brewery and try some more of their beers on tap and time my visit for when they are harvesting all those hops!

Note - when I visited Blue Mountain Brewery they had a fresh hop pale ale on tap that had been brewed with their own cascade hops right after they had been picked. It was heavenly. You can learn more about their hop farm HERE.


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
Brewery: Blue Mountain Brewery
City: 
Afton, Virginia  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: Virginia-grown Cascade Hops
ABV: 5.9%
IBUs: 60
Date: September 9th, 2010

Posted by Russ


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Labels: Pale Ales


Thursday, September 9th 2010

Tallgrass Brewing Company
(Manhattan, Kansas)

 

A couple weeks ago I made a trek out to Manhattan, Kansas and paid a visit to the folks at Tallgrass Brewing Company. I was shown around the brewery by Kyle Corbett, their Marketing Manager and "Propogandist". Kyle, Jeff Gill (owner of Tallgrass) and the whole crew at Tallgrass were great and I really had an amazing time. I even got to see their canning line in operation and try my hand at packing some fresh Oasis cans into four-packs! The Tallgrass family really showed me what its like to enjoy where you work and what you do for a living. 

 


trying my hand at packing up some fresh Oasis!


Tallgrass recently switched over from 12 oz. bottles to 16 oz. cans this year and business has been booming. They've expanded their distribution into places like Minnesota and Missouri and are doing a brisk trade in their home town of Manhattan (home of Kansas State University). Personally, I think they've got some of the best looking cans on the craft beer market and the fresh can of Oasis I had at the brewery was absolutely outstanding! Cheers!

 

Here is a little more information about this brewery and their canned offerings:

 

Brewery Name - Tallgrass Brewing Company

 

Location - Manhattan, Kansas, USA

 

Year Brewing Began - 2007

 

Annual Beer Output - @ 4,500 bbls

 


taking a much needed break

 

History - Jeff Gill was already an award winning homebrewer when, in 2006, his wife posed the question, "What would you do with your life if you could do anything?". Like many homebrewers and beer lovers before him, Jeff set his sights on opening a brewery. In 2007, after lots of planning, Jeff quit his job and set up shop in a warehouse and Tallgrass Brewing was born. They now brew, can and keg 5 different brews and distribute in six states. Congrats Jeff for taking a risk in order to do what you love. To read the whole story about how Tallgrass Brewing Company came to be go HERE!

 

Distribution - KS, OK, MO, MS, LA and MN

 


Number of Beers Canned - 5

 

Ale - "Tallgrass Ale is the flagship beer of Tallgrass Brewing Company, and we think it will be your new favorite beer! Truly a craft beer, the recipe was first brewed by Jeff as a 10-gallon batch of homebrew. Of all his homebrew recipes, Jeff chose Tallgrass Ale as the flagship beer because of the beer’s surprising light body, extraordinarily smooth and balanced profile, great taste, and clean finish."

 

IPA - "Tallgrass IPA, is an India Pale Ale that is rich, complex, and flavorful. We are proud to be the first brewery here in the Great Plains to have the first brewed, bottled, and draft IPA out on the market!"


Köld - "Köld is a crisp, easy-drinking lager with a traditional Pilsner malt aroma and subtle notes of honey and citrus. Köld is brewed using the finest German malts and hops, making it reminiscent of German-style lagers."

 

Buffalo Sweat - "What we really like about this beer is the smoothness that brewing with cream sugar brings to the palate. This smoothness balances out the copious quantities of roasted barley used in the brewing process to create a rich, complex, and delicious beer. If you have not been a stout drinker in the past, give this beer a try. It might just change your mind about how dark beers should taste. It tastes so rich, but is surprisingly easy to drink!"

 

Oasis - "Oasis is a Double ESB/IPAish beer that came about from playing around with one of Jeff’s favorite homebrew recipes.  Here at Tallgrass we love malt and we love hops, and this beer has both of them in record quantities; well, at least records for our baby brewery...We think that once you taste the over-the-top hops and surprisingly sturdy malt backbone you will realize why it’s worth it."


 

 

Tallgrass Brewing Company Media Resources


  


Posted by Russ



Monday, September 6th 2010

Four Peaks Brewing Company
(Tempe, Arizona)

Arizona is truly craft can crazy these days. I blinked and two more breweries sprung up that can their beers for a total of eight in the state. Four Peaks is one of those that just started putting some of their beers in cans this year. Kiltlifter and Sunbru were the first of their beers to hit shelves earlier this summer with more canned offerings to come in the future! I'll drink to that!

 

Here is a little more information about this brewery and their canned offerings:

 

Brewery Name - Four Peaks Brewing Company

 

Locations - Tempe and Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

 

Year Brewing Began - 1997

 

Annual Beer Output - @20,000 bbls 

 


photo: Four Peaks Brewing Company

 

History - A great interview with Four Peaks brewer/owner, Andy Ingram, can be found HERE! Not only does it cover the history but everything else you'd ever want to know about the brewery. 

 

Distribution - Arizona


Number of Beers Canned - 2

 

Kilt Lifter -"Our award-winning Flagship ale is now in bottles!! This is an ale made in the tradition of the great strong ales of Scotland. Amber colored, malty sweet with underlying note of smokiness."

Sunbru- "A very light golden ale that is malty sweet, almost honey-like in the nose. This ale has a light to medium body and a very delicate flavor. Easy drinking, it has very low bitterness and a soft dry finish. 5.2% alcohol/volume. This style originates from the city of Cologne, Germany where all twenty eight breweries are dedicated to brewing only Kölsch"

Four Peaks Brewing Company Media Resources

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Posted by Russ



Friday, September 3rd 2010

5 Beers We'd Love to See in Cans

A plethora of beer styles, from a ton of craft breweries, can now be found in cans from very approachable amber ales to complex Belgian Dubbels and Russian Imperial Stouts. Its a certainty that the options will continue to grow and we thought it would be fun to showcase 5 beers we'd love to see get canned.

 

5. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is one of the most drinkable and well known craft brews on the market. Imagine how great being it would be to be able to take a 12-pack of these on a camping trip! I can't help but think its only a matter of time...

 

4. Three Floyds' Gumballhead is consistently rated as one of the best beers of its style (Pale Wheat Ale). Smooth, light-bodied with lots of flavor. An excellent choice if Three Floyds ever had to choose only one of their beers to put in a can. 

 

3. Troegs Brewing's Nugget Nectar, an "Imperial Amber Ale", is ridiculously hoppy but at 7.5% ABV its well worthy of being canned and sold in four-packs. Imagine how fresh those hops would taste even in the off-season. 

 

2. Terrapin's Rye Pale Ale not only has one of the greatest labels but its also a hell of a session-able brew. The rye adds some spiciness to this very solid pale ale. Put it in cans and you've got an extremely practical and transportable beer. All you folks in Georgia would love it (even more)!

 

1. Bear Republic's Racer 5 IPA is pure hop heaven. I can't tell you how many times this has been my go to beer at the beer bar just because I am craving a heavy dose lupulin goodness. This was left off my initial list until some good beer-loving soul mentioned it. I had totally forgotten, shame on me.

 

Wild Card - Russian River's Temptation, a blonde ale aged in oak barrels, would really turn some heads if it was canned. Talk about challenging the beliefs of many a beer geek. I say, why not? Pour it into a glass, like any other can of craft beer, and you've got yourself something amazing (regardless of its packaging)!

What beer would you love to see canned? If you've got some artistic talents enter our
"Design a Beer Can and Win a Beer T-Shirt of your Choice Contest"!

 


Posted by Russ



Wednesday, September 1st 2010

Brooklyn Brewery hints at more canned beers in the near future


Look for cans of Brooklyn Summer Ale in Summer '11

In a response to Gizmodo.com's post entitled, "Canned Beer is the Future of Good Beer", Brookyln Brewery announced very subtly in their blog post, "The Argument for Cans", that they have plans to put their Summer Ale in cans next year. Is this just the first of more of their beers to become canned? It could be. We'll have to wait and see.

Brooklyn Brewery started off contract brewing their lager at FX Matt (Saranac) in the Upstate town of Utica before they built an actual brewery in Brooklyn. They still utilize FX Matt's canning line (as do a few other craft brewers) to put their ubiquitous lager in both 12- and 16 oz. cans.  Its a good idea to start with their Summer Ale, see how it sells, and go from there. Who knows, maybe they'll get a canning line set up in Brooklyn in the not too distant future. Monster Ale in a can anyone?

Viva la CAN!


Posted by Russ