Friday, January 30, 2009

The National IPA Championship is a back!

Join in celebrating March Madness with a single elimination bracket of 64 IPAs from across the nation going "head to head" to see who has biggest cone-jones!

The National IPA Championship (NIPAC) starts with the preliminary round on February 22rd in Syracuse, New York, and continues weekly up until the Final Four on March 21 in New York City.

Enter your prediction of each round on-line at to qualify for the 2008 NIPAC Winners Contest.

Visit the on-line Locker Room for full descriptions of each of the IPA competitors. After confirming your age, you will then be able to review the beers and then proceed to the contest. The deadline for your picks is Midnight, Saturday, February 21, 2009.

Want to know if your favorite IPAs advance to the next level? Follow their progress on-line using the link provided in the Locker Room. NIPAC winners are posted to the web site within 24 hours of each round.

Brewing News has posted a PDF Bracket on the site so that you can print it off and put in your office, beer bar, homebrew shop or bar. Set up your own pool!

Be sure to sign up for the Beer Brackets email newsletter to be notified when the NIPAC brackets are updated with the winners.

Good luck!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Zane Patrick's Day

As many of you know I have a fondness for Zane Lamprey and his show Three Sheets. Well, ole Zane may currently be networkless, but he's tirelessly filming the rest of season 4 of TS anyway, hoping that some forward thinking network will in fact pick up the show. He's also been rather busy with sundry projects, like the Save Three Sheets campaign and Zane Year's Eve. Now he has Zane Patrick's Day...


Zane Patrick's Day is not to be confused with St.Patrick's Day. Sure, they both pay homage to Ireland and it's culture. Yes, they do both involve a "fair amount" of drinking. Yes, both of them stoop to the level of celebrating gimmicky green beer. And they both involve singing Irish songs, dancing and good times.

And then there are the differences. One of us is not a Saint. As many of you know Sainthood requires that you perform THREE miracles. I have only accomplished two... Firstly, I was always told that I would never get anywhere drinking and being a wiseass. So, getting paid to host a show where I do just that, is miracle number one. The second miracle is actually keeping said job. To actually get the job was one thing, but to do a good enough job whereby you actually watch it, that's definitely miracle number two. So, one more miracle to go before the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day is called St. Zane's Day. But, as I believe you can't be living and be a Saint, I'm in no rush.

Additionally, Saint Patrick's Day can fall on any day of the week, whereas Zane Patrick's Day is on a Saturday. Other than that... Hmm... I guess it's the same thing. Sweet.

I don't know what you're doing on St. Patrick's Day, so I can't break down the 17th for you. But, I can break down your Zane Patrick's Day, if you're planning on being with me on the 14th...

My Zane Patrick's Day party is happening at The Knitting Factory in NYC
  • 12pm-2pm VIP Luncheon
  • 2pm-7pm Doors Open
Everybody gets:
  • OPEN BAR (including Guinness, Jameson's, Bushmills, Bailey's and Killian's)
  • ZANE! On the stage, in the crowd and in your photos
  • Music by the killer Irish band JAMESON'S REVENGE
  • A "performance" by STEVE MCKENNA (if you heard about him at New Years, you know he puts on quite a show. Unfortunately, it involves a bit of chest hair.)
  • Challenge JIM-THE-COP in a chugging contest. He'll set the time to beat. But you won't need the luck of the Irish on your side, because he's not very good...
  • Dave Hill, from MOJO's "King of Miami", will be doing his thang. Don't know what his thang is? Me neither. I'm frightened...
  • DJ SHAM-ROCK (aka DJ Merenda) mixing it up on the one's and two's.
  • Access to the GREEN ROOM for GREEN BEER! Awesome...
Three Sheets fans are the coolest people in the world. And I should know. I've met a lot of Three Sheets fans AND been around the world. All of the events I've had have been amazing, and many people have told me that they had "the best time ever". I can't wait!

For more info, or to buy your ticket, go to



Thursday, January 22, 2009

Karl Strauss Brewing Co. celebrates 20 years of beer in San Diego


San Diego, CA - January 21, 2009-1989 was a good year-Harry met Sally, a wall fell, the Simpson's invaded, and two college friends decided it was time to bring better beer to San Diego. Chris and Matt, along with help from world renowned Master Brewer Karl Strauss, realized their dream and opened San Diego's first craft brewery since Prohibition on February 2, 1989. Today, Karl Strauss Brewing Company is celebrating 20 years of craft brewing in San Diego. And the excitement is just beginning. They have recently completed their brewery expansion and new bottling line and will be releasing new packaging, a new beer, and celebrating this milestone throughout the year.

Karl Strauss' main brewery has been stationed in Pacific Beach for 13 years now and when it came time to expand, they didn't want to part from their converted greenhouse. Instead, they opted to find a way to make the existing foot print work. The result is an impressive use of
space-their new bottling line operates on two floors, and the brewery expansion equipment was completely rearranged to make room for 5 new 240 barrel fermenters and 2 new 120 barrel bright tanks. After adding a new energy efficient glycol chiller, boiler, lighting and an automated brewing monitoring system, the expansion was complete and the brewery is now capable of producing 60,000 barrels annually.

Coming off the new bottling line will be all new packaging, featuring handcrafted, sterile filtered beer. The new packaging includes hand sketched imagery in darker, muted colors, printed on natural craft paper with a look that is more in line with the company's culture and attitude. While they kept their iconic Red Trolley and Woodie Car, they also added a new brand to the mix-Tower 10 IPA.

Coming from a city known for hops, Karl Strauss thought it was time to release an American style IPA done their way. Tower 10 IPA features a blend of classic Centennial, Cascade, and Chinook hops for a bright, citrussy hoppiness. Coming in at 60 IBUS and just over 6.5%ABV, this beer is meant for those who appreciate hops. Named after lifeguard Tower 10 in Mission Beach where Chris and Matt first hatched their plans for Karl Strauss Brewing Company, it seemed fitting to name a beer coming out this year after the spot where it all began. Tower 10 IPA will be available on draft and in 12 oz bottles during the first quarter of 2009.

To celebrate their 20th Anniversary, Karl Strauss will be hosting a series of beer dinners throughout 2009 as well as releasing their 20th Anniversary beer-a Munich Dunkel-on tap mid-February. You can try their limited release 20th Anniversary Bourbon-Aged Trippel on cask at any one of their six brewery restaurants on February 5th until it runs out. The company will also be toasting their 20th at their annual beer and music festivals, Beach to Brewery and Karlfest. All proceeds will benefit the Surfrider Foundation and the Karl Strauss Brewer's Education Fund.

About Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Two college grads, a 75-year-old master brewer, and a passion for beer... when Karl Strauss Brewing Company started brewing full-flavored, quality handcrafted beer in 1989, it was the first craft brewery to open in San Diego since Prohibition. Today, you can enjoy our flagship beers, special releases, and seasonals at any of our six brewery restaurants or other fine drinking establishments throughout Southern California. For more information visit or call the brewery at (858) 273-2739.

Monday, January 19, 2009

2009 Beer Releases from Left Hand Brewing Co.

This just in from Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado... their list of '09 brew releases! Commence drooling!

Oak-Aged Imperial Stout
Available - MARCH

Our limited edition Oak-Aged Imperial Stout is back for the 1st time in 2 years, but with a couple of new twists - instead of being aged in French Oak Wine Barrels, we opted to age it this year in Heaven Hill brandy barrels from the hills of Kentucky. (And like all of our Big Mo Limited Edition releases, it's available in 22 oz. bombers now instead of the 750ml caged & corked Belgian beer bottle.) We racked Imperial Stout into the barrels back in June of this year, and will blend it with un-aged Imperial Stout to woody perfection. At 22 degree plato and 10.4% ABV, it's the perfect warmer for those cold February, early March nights. Enjoy the complex flavors revealing hints of raisin, black licorice, coffee, dark chocolate, and, of course, a hint of brandy. Order quickly - we've decided on our blend already, and we'll only be packaging about 150 barrels of it this time around. So, in other words, get it when you see it, b/c who knows what type of barrel we'll try again in '11.

St. Vrain Tripel
Available - LATE MAY

Also back from a 2-year hiatus is our limited edition St. Vrain Tripel Ale. If you've been out to the brewery, you must have seen the 'raging' mighty St. Vrain Creek that churns due west of the brewery in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Named after Ceran St. Vrain, an early settler to the valley who built a trading fort in the area. A reflection of this dedicated spirit can also be found in the beers of Belgium, where brewers, often monks, developed beer styles over the past 900 years of distinctive character. At 20.5 plato, St. Vrain is a classic Belgian Style Tripel. It's beautifully light in color and lightly bittered with Spalt hops. A touch of sweetness from clear Belgian candy sugar tempers the warm spiciness hidden within beers of this gravity. To maximize authenticity, the entire brewing staff shaved their heads and bathed in baptismal ecstasy on the banks of the St. Vrain. 9.0% ABV, 20 IBU's.

Oktoberfest Märzen Lager

The beer pours an alluringly clear copper color, with a short white head and good lacing. The malt bouquet is accented by toasty, bready aromas. As you lift your stein in high anticipation, your palate is well rewarded for its patience. The sweetness of the German malts dominate upfront, while the noble pedigree hops allow for a proper dry finish, true to style. Medium-bodied, with the subtle elegance of a well-balanced beer. Clean and crisp, this Märzen Lager can easily become your session beer this Fall. 6.0% ABV with 27 IBU's. Beer Advocate Magazine said of it in their October 2007 issue: "We sized this one up and it came through like a champ. A complex but drinkable malt bomb on the taste buds."

Snow Bound Spiced Strong Ale
Available - OCTOBER

Brewed once a year to fight cabin fever, this spiced strong ale uses all natural ingredients, including crushed cinnamon, chopped ginger, orange zest, cardamom and cloves. The addition of locally harvested clover honey, coupled with the sparing use of hops and a malty foundation, creates the illusion of a liquid cake. Deep red in color, this medium-bodied beer is a winter warmer - enjoy on a cold night in front of the fireplace. 8.6% alcohol by volume, and available in 22 oz. bombers & kegs. Beer Advocate's issue last year said "this is a spiced ale done right, nothing light and dainty about this beer at all - just the way we like our winter warmers." And Celebrator's issue this month called it Exceptionally Great, big sweet, spicy nose with hints of ginger and other spices.

Warrior Fresh Hopped IPA
Available - OCTOBER

The vibrant aromatics and flavors that are derived from the use of exuberant amounts of fresh flower hops are what helps create and set apart this most unique beer. While the addition of locally grown hops from the brewery's own hop farm contributes to the bright floral hoppiness, the majority of the hop volume comes from the Warrior hops that are overnighted from Yakima, WA. Yet true to the brewery's fundamental belief system, the strong hop character is balanced by a strong malt foundation, allowing for an approachable, drinkable IPA that finishes amazingly clean. The beer is full-bodied, bronze in color, and tips the scales at 6.6% alcohol by volume and 60 IBU's. Available in 22 oz. bombers and kegs. Modern Brewery Age's December 2007 edition said "Warrior IPA takes no prisoners. It slays lesser brews.superb in every respect."

Oak-Aged Widdershins Barleywine

And rounding out our limited edition Big Mo' Series of Beers for the year is Oak-Aged Widdershins Barleywine. And, just like it's brother Imperial Stout, we'll be aging this big beer in the same Heaven Hill brandy barrels from the hills of Kentucky. We'll rack Widdershins into the barrels in April of this year, and will blend it with un-aged Widdershins to woody perfection. Counter clockwise to the traditional American style barleywines, we designed this beer to be rounder and smoother than some less refined versions. Full of caramel and malt flavors, yet balanced with a variety of hop varieties, all vying for your attention. Oak aging and sparing use of specialty malt add complexity to this already deep beer. Full bodied, copper in color, Widdershins tips the scales at 8.8% alcohol by volume. And, just like Imperial Stout, get it when you see it, b/c who knows what type of barrel we'll try again in '11.

Friday, January 16, 2009

New Belgium Releases its First-Ever Sustainability Report

We've talked about New Belgium's environmentally friendly footprint on Beer Tap TV many times in the past. Well, they're serious about being environmental stewards and have just released a comprehensive document that defines the brewery’s commitment to operating a sustainable business. Check out the Press Release, which only scratches the surface. Be sure to check out their website, which is loaded with tons of other facts (like the"Life Cycle Assessment of a Fat Tire 6-pack), figures and suggestions on how you can help.


Ft. Collins, CO, January 15, 2009—New Belgium Brewing, the nation’s third largest craft brewer, recently unveiled its first-ever corporate sustainability report—a revealing look at the progress and challenges of operating a sustainable business.

The 2007-2008 report outlines New Belgium’s “Triple Bottom Line” approach to business, measuring the environmental, economic and social effects of the brewery. It also highlights several of the brewer’s unique environmental initiatives—from a decade-long commitment to using wind energy to a greenhouse gas life cycle assessment (LCA) of a six-pack of Fat Tire beer. The full report is available at .

“Environmental sustainability has always been a core value at New Belgium, so we felt it was time to take a measure of our progress,” said Jenn Orgolini, New Belgium’s Sustainability Director. “While it is gratifying to know that we have made great strides in our environmental performance, this report will help us set goals and make plans to help us close the gap in areas where we could stand to improve.”

The report looks at New Belgium’s corporate, environmental and social performance, using metrics and data gathered over a five-year period. Among the highlights of the report:

  • New Belgium’s five-year Compounded Annual Growth Rate was 13.4 percent, beating the craft brewing average of 8.1 percent—proof that doing the right thing pays, both financially and otherwise.
  • Through a mix of green power from its local utility, Community Energy wind RECs, and its own Process Water Treatment Plant (PWTP), 100 percent of New Belgium’s electricity comes from renewable resources.
  • On the energy conservation side of the equation, New Belgium’s investment of more than $1 million in energy-sparing equipment, as well as process changes related to cooling the beer, helps cut the electricity used to produce its beer.
  • New Belgium’s new packaging hall, completed in 2007, incorporates several green building and energy conservation measures, including: skylights, solar tubes and windows for daytime illumination; an HVAC system that features displacement-ventilation technology and direct/indirect cooling and is Freon free; and numerous water conservation elements including landscaping that utilizes xeriscape principles.
  • Tour de Fat, New Belgium’s event celebrating all things bicycle, also includes a car-for-bike swap, where people commit to live car-free for a year. In exchange for their vehicle, the Car-for-Bike Trade participants receive a hand-built commuter bike. By pledging to bike instead of drive, the volunteers commit to pedaling to work, out to dinner and even to get groceries. To see the Car-for-Bike Trade ceremonies from Tour de Fat stops and read and watch swapper applications, go to Visitors to the site can join New Belgium’s Team Wonderbike – a bike commuter program that encourages members to Bike More – Drive Less.

The Sustainability report will be produced regularly, with the next report to be released in May.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This Flying Dog's bark is as bad as its bite

I've forgiven Flying Dog for pulling up stakes here in Colorado a year ago and moving everything to its modern, cutting edge facility in Maryland. Their CO location was old and needed some serious renovations. One of the "fun" things that the Frederick, MD, facility afforded that the CO plant didn't was the ability to put brew in different sized bottles.

Given that... Flying Dog Brewery is introducing their Canis Major Mixed 8-pack in puppy sized 7-ounce bottles. The Canis Major line consists of: Gonzo Imperial Porter, Horn Dog Barley Wine, Double Dog Double Pale Ale, Kerberos Tripel. All four are high-gravity beers with a serious bite to them. Gonzo is a "mild" 7.8% ABV, Kerberos sits at 8.5%, Horn Dog wags your tale with a hefty 10.2%, and the Double Dog will claw your eyes out at a whopping 11.5%. Needless to say, you may not want (and certainly don't need) to drink a full 12-ounces of these beers to get to a state of tail chasing.

Who let the dogs out!?

The mixed 8-pack comes with two of each of these Canis Major style and is now available at better beer stores. If they're not, tell your favorite retailer to get them ASAP or you'll sick Michael Vick's pooches on him.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Odell Brewing Company Releases an American-Style Red

From PR release:

Beer Enthusiasts See Red

On February 2nd, 2009 beer lovers can climb to new heights with the release of Odell Brewing Company’s Red Ale, an American-style red with generous hops for an extra kick.

For several months, Odell brewers crafted different varieties of red ales on the brewery’s five barrel Pilot Brewing System. The test batches were served in the Odell Brewing Tap Room and evaluated by the entire brewery staff. The selected brew features aggressive American hops delivering a robust hop aroma and flavor.

Red Ale follows Odell Brewing’s winter release, Isolation ale, as part of the brewery’s new rotating seasonal lineup that will replace its Single Batch Series. The rotating seasonal lineup will also include a new summer brew currently in development on the brewery’s Pilot Brewing System.

“Making this beer was a true collaboration of efforts and creativity,” said Odell brewer Brent Cordle. “The Red Ale has some serious hops, but it’s well-balanced and very drinkable.”

Red Ale is available through May. Six-packs will retail for approximately $9.49 - $9.99.

Odell Brewing is a proud sponsor of the Cicerone Certification program and an award winning brewery, nationally and internationally: 2008 North American Beer Awards – gold medal for 5 Barrel Pale Ale. 2008 World Beer Cup® – gold medal for IPA, silver medal for Double Pilsner, silver medal for Cutthroat Porter. 2007 Great American Beer Festival® – gold medal for IPA, silver medal for Easy Street Wheat, bronze medal for Extra Special Red. 2007 Stockholm International Beer Festival – bronze medal for 5 Barrel Pale Ale. 2007 Australian International Beer Awards – silver medal for 90 Shilling, silver medal for Cutthroat Porter, silver medal for Easy Street Wheat and bronze medal for 5 Barrel Pale Ale.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Karl Strauss Brewing Co. is committed to giving back

From Press Release:

San Diego, CA - January 8, 2009 - Karl Strauss Brewing Company has a long tradition of supporting the local community, and 2008 was no exception. Despite a turn for the worse in the economy, the company made the commitment to increase their charitable contributions from the
year before.

This last year, Karl Strauss participated in 284 events throughout Southern California, donating the equivalent of 3,264 cases of beer! For the second year in a row, the company donated 1% of their total beer sales, which amounted to more than $63,500 in donated beer-an increase
of $8,500 over 2007.

At its own fundraising beer and music fests, Karl Strauss raised support and awareness for the Surfrider Foundation. Last May, the company hosted Beach to Brewery and raised $17,000 for the San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. Louis XIV headlined and over 3,000 San
Diegan's turned out to support their local beaches. Going beyond a monetary donation, Karl Strauss worked with Surfrider to address important issues such as implementing a new recycling plan for the event which diverted over 50% of the waste to recycling and featuring 100%
organic event shirts. Beach to Brewery also rallied employees behind a company-wide beach clean-up.

The love spread up the coast in October when the company brought Karlfest to Costa Mesa. Having partnered with Surfrider for over 5 years in San Diego, Karlfest was the perfect opportunity to expand the relationship to the Orange County chapters of Surfrider. The first OC
Karlfest was a huge success with a packed house, four guest breweries from around Orange County, live music, and a first-time donation of $2,500 to the South Orange County and Newport Beach Chapters of Surfrider. The company looks forward to building on that momentum in 2009.

It's a company core value to care for others, the community, and the environment. Donating to local non-profits and hosting fundraising events are a tangible way to live out that core value. Karl Strauss Brewing Company, being passionate about local brewing, is able to combine this core value with its passion for local brewing through the Karl Strauss Brewers Education Fund. In honor of the late Master Brewer Karl Strauss, the fund was established to help finance education and training for aspiring brewers in Southern California. To celebrate Karl's birthday in October, the brewers created an Imperial Amber Lager with proceeds from each pint sold going into the Fund. Imperial Amber Lager drinkers helped add $3,000 to the fund. Cheers to that.


About Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Two college grads, a 75-year-old master brewer, and a passion for beer... when Karl Strauss Brewing Company started brewing full-flavored, quality handcrafted beer in 1989, it was the first craft brewery to open in San Diego since Prohibition. Today, you can enjoy our flagship beers, special releases, and seasonals at any of our six brewery restaurants or other fine drinking establishments throughout Southern California. For more information visit or call the brewery at (858) 273-2739.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Magic Hat Brewing wants you to come to Vermont for Mardi Gras

For beer geeks like myself Magic Hat Brewing Company, all the way on the upper east side of the US in lil ole Vermont, is famous for not just it's beers... but for it's zaniness. Continuing in that spirit they are holding a Mardi Gras contest. Well, Mardi Gras in Vermont that is.

Before you stop reading check out the details and tell me if this prize ain't worth winnin'!?

  • Roundtrip airfare to Burlington for Winner and three of your closest friends
  • Two rooms double occupancy for two nights
  • 4 VIP tickets to the Disco Biscuits show on Friday Night
  • VIP tour of the Magic Hat Brewery
  • Ride on the Magic Hat Float
  • Dinner for 4 on Saturday night
  • Sunday Recovery Brunch for 4
  • Two additional round-trip flights anywhere JetBlue flies
  • And... a year's supply of Ben & Jerry's ice cream

Ya, that's what I thought! But you have to enter to win! I already did cuz I really, really want that Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Kidding. I want their beer! We can't get any of it here in the Napa Valley of the Beer World.

Good luck!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Now that's pounding some beer!

DAS BOOT 2 Liter Beer 48 Seconds - Click here for more home videos

My good buddy Dieter, co-owner of Edelweiss German Restaurant (which I named in my Southern Colorado Beer Examiner column as having the Best German beer selection in Southern Colorado) sent this video to me. It's a clip of a guy drinking a 2-liter (68 ounces) Das Boot in a mind blowing 48 seconds. Check it out. I give this guy mad props. That's not something I'd want to try.

As I told Dieter... my forte is drinking large quantities, but not in a minute. See, I have somewhat of a reputation at Edelweiss. At their Rathskeller grand opening party I consumed nearly 7 liters of German beer (Franziskaner and Erdinger) while remaining rational, talkative, and coherent.

I've now amazed Germans and Bostonians alike for the amount of their respective beers (Hefe and Guinness) I can consume in one sitting while remaining upright and breathing. I'm Croat and Russian, what do you expect? And yes... I am boasting about my drinking prowess. Remember, I'm in training for THE Oktoberfest in Munich. I have legitimate reasons to drink that much beer. I must represent the good ole USA when I'm over there. I can't very cave in after one measly liter!

Edelweiss has a massive 5-liter stein that I'd love to go up against. Sadly, it's cracked and can't be used. However, they do have a 2-liter, and I've tackled that a time or two. The 1-year anniversary of Edelweiss' Rathskeller is right around the corner....

I hear Das Boot calling me.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Win a pair of Icelantic skis from Tommyknocker

Gear up for Tommyknocker Brewery's 2nd annual Icelantic Ski Giveaway!

Those little mining rascals in Idaho Springs, Colorado, are giving away 2 pairs of Icelantic skis this year. One pair will be given away to the lucky person who is in attendance at the brewery the night of the giveaway (Thursday, March 5 ). Another winner will be selected for the second pair... which you do not have to be present for. They'll call you if your name gets drawn. However, you still have to stop in and sign up at the brewery.

What: 2nd annual Icelantic Ski Giveaway
Drawing: Thursday, March 5, 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Requirement: Sign up at the bar located at 1401 Miner St., Idaho Springs, CO

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Win a custom made Dale's Pale Ale Unity Snowboard

Dale's Pale Ale Snowboard Giveaway

Oskar Blue's wants you to ride the slopes in style - with a custom Dale’s Pale Ale snowboard made by Unity Snowboards!

How can you score the board? All you have to do is write a stirring testimonial (250 words or less) on why your favorite canned beer (that would of course be any one of Oskar's great brews) makes a great addition to boarding.

The gang at Oskar's will select their favorite entry on Saturday, February 28th, during the 7th annual Boulder Strong Ale Festival. They will post the winning composition on their website and contact the winner via Email.

Entry is easy: send your write-up via Email to (be sure to include your real name).

Good Luck!