Table of Contents
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January 1, 2012
Colorado Beer of the Day: Fat Tire from New Belgium | Bryan Boyle
Fat Tire was the gateway beer.
I remember my first taste with the crystal clarity of the powder-
blue skies that hovered over the rooftop patio that majestic
midsummer afternoon. I was visiting Colorado for the first
time as an adult, and already I was enchanted by scenery that
mocked my vocabulary. Then a buddy surfaced with the coup de
grace in a pitcher.
I was instantly mystified by the look of New Belgium’s Fat Tire
amber ale. Hailing from Georgia, I’d known pitchers to come in
only one form (plastic) as a vessel for only two beers (Bud and Bud Light). That pitcher of Fat Tire, however,
came served in thick-as-a-yoga-mat glass to showcase a beer of color theretofore unknown to a fella whose
previous interpretation of good beer was “cold.”
I took my first sip. I looked around. Everyone seemed to drink the stuff so casually; meanwhile, my palate lit up
like a pinball machine. I could only think in exclamations. Colorado! I moved there the next year.
I haven’t forgotten that day. ESPN even made a film about it: “June 17th, 1994.”
O.J.? White Bronco? Wasn’t the all-time best day ever for everybody.
Brewer:• New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins
Style:• Amber ale
ABV:• 5.2 percent
To the peepers:• With notably less carbonation than the industrial lagers that once entirely constituted
beer for me, I found the color of this beer to be a shade between copper and apple whiskey.
To the palate:• This beer comes across toasty and is balanced by an unobtrusive sweetness resembling
caramel. Pyrotechnics for the pedestrian palate.
This beer costs …• $8.99 per six-pack.
This beer goes …• potentially brewed beyond the borders of Colorado; Asheville, N.C., and Philadelphia
are on the shortlist.
This beer ranks …• first as the inaugural Colorado Beer of the Day.
The DP Top 25
Fat Tire, New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins1.
A buddy of mine once shared a business plan with me when we
were in high school. We would name our up-and-coming, rock-and-
roll band thusly: Free Beer.
Just envision the marquee, he said. “GEORGIA THEATRE: Tonight
— Free Beer, Doors at 9.” That would pack ‘em in, he said.
Nevermind that we had at the time neither a band nor facility
with musical instruments. Regardless, I determined to guard my
buddy’s brainstorm. I did this furtively for years until at long last I’d
found something of a band and facility. When that first gig neared, I
lobbied the dickens out of Free Beer.
Then I was told to google it. The idea had spread like kudzu. There
were more Free Beers out there than we had ditties.
Nevertheless, I will always cherish the lowercase concept of free beer. And as a token of gratitude for some
babysitting not terribly long ago, my wife and I were bestowed free beer in the form of a dozen Snow Days.
While I would have preferred the lowercase version of a dozen snow days, free beer still rocks plenty.
Brewer:• New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins
Style:• Winter ale
ABV:• 6.2 percent
To the peepers:• Whatever the shade of brown is just before black, that’s what this beer is; the head
pours at 1 inch with the topography of the Sangre de Cristo Range.
To the palate:• This beer tastes much like what I recently found at the center of an unconventional
wedding cookie: chocolate and caramel.
This beer costs …• $8.99 per six-pack.
This beer goes …• comfortably on a cold winter’s night with a Snuggie blanket and a Bed Buddy hot
This beer ranks …• in the upper half of four beers; New Belgium establishes itself early in the voting.
The DP Top 25
Fat Tire, New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins1.
Snow Day, New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins2.
Cinco, Del Norte Brewing, Denver3.
Coors Banquet, MillerCoors, Golden4.
January 4, 2012
Colorado Beer of the Day: Snow Day from New Belgium | Bryan Boyle
There are nearly as many breweries in Northern Colorado as there are Starbucks.
With 23 breweries in Northern Colorado either open or in the planning stages, the regional beer scene foamed
up last year.
Fort Collins craft breweries produced enough beer in 2011 to fill 35 Olympic-size swimming pools.
Longstanding breweries such as Fort Collins Brewery, New Belgium Brewing Co. and Odell Brewing Co. all
expanded in 2011.
Local brewers collaborated in 2011 to make a “Collusion Ale” together, and the country is taking note of the
beers produced locally.
In last year’s Great American Beer Festival, the largest commercial beer competition in the world held in
Denver, Fort Collins breweries took home five medals - four golds and a silver - and Loveland and Greeley
breweries also took home awards.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, New Belgium and Odell all made Draft Magazine’s list of best beers of the
And the breweries are rapidly becoming a major industry for the region. Breweries add $83.2 million to the
Larimer County payroll and support 938 direct jobs, according to a new study by Colorado State University’s
Regional Economics Institute and the Beverage Business Institute.
Paul Gatza, Brewers Association director, said in an email that one of the things he is seeing in Northern
Colorado, and throughout the country, is craft brewers are working to manage growth in demand by expanding
capacities for brewing, fermenting and packaging.
Gatza cited Odell and New Belgium’s growth last year. He also noted that Crooked Stave, Equinox and Pateros
Creek got on the radar screen of beer enthusiasts in 2010.
In 2011, Fort Collins had two brewers go pro. Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project and Pateros Creek Brewing
Company both launched last year. In 2010, Equinox Brewing and Funkwerks opened in Fort Collins. and Big
Beaver Brewing Co. and Grimm Brothers Brewery opened in Loveland.
All of the breweries report positive sales in their first year out. Many already are looking to expand or have
expanded in an effort to keep up with demand.
January 1, 2012
Year of the beer: Fort Collins breweries expand, earn gold
Equinox Brewing expanded production this year. Funkwerks is looking to expand early next year. Grimm
Brothers expanded production and added a new tasting room and bottling line. Big Beaver expanded into an
adjacent building, and Crooked Stave is looking to open a new brewery in Denver.
In addition to the new breweries opening there are four homebrewers looking to open their own breweries.
Loveland Ale Works in downtown Loveland owned by Nick Callaway looks to be the closest to opening. Last
week, he moved his brewing equipment in and plans to open to the public this spring.
Cactus Bend Brewery, Black Bottle Brewery and High Hops Brewing are looking to open this year.
And with the new breweries comes new bars to serve the craft beers they make.
In 2011, three new distinct bars opened that cater to craft beer drinkers. The Mayor of Old Town, Cranknstein
and The Forge all started pouring local and international beers finding their own niche.
The Mayor of Old Town, 632 S. Mason St., opened with 100 beers from across the globe on tap, with a focus on
specialty microbrews. Last week, it hosted a special pouring of complimentary glasses of its beer of the year:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.’s Double Jack.
The Forge Publick House at 232 Walnut St., an English-style pub, offers an extensive list of beers from around
the world, many bottled.
Cranknstein, a new bar, coffee and bike shop in downtown Fort Collins, opened in Old Town at 215 N. College
Ave. It has endeared itself to the brewing industry to the point that brewers gathered there this year to
celebrate the GABF victories.
And like new breweries, there are more tap houses planned.
The Tap & Handle is under construction at 307 S. College Ave. and will offer 74 specialty beers on draft, ranging
from local and U.S. microbrews to classics from around the world. It is expected to open mid-January.
Fort Collins Brewery encompasses the growth seen in 2011.
The brewery started the year off strong in its newly constructed, $4 million, 30,000-square-foot building at
1020 E. Lincoln Ave., right down the road from Odell Brewing Co. The new brewery includes a 5,000-square-
foot full-service restaurant and bar called Gravity 1020, the 17,000-square-foot brewery and a new tasting
FCB more than quadrupled its production size to start the year, with the addition of four new tanks to
accommodate the brewery’s growth. The brewery added four 100-barrel fermentation tanks, which brought
the brewery’s production from around 10,000 barrels per year to 60,000 barrels per year.
To end the year, the brewery added another two 150-barrel tanks, and in January will add one more 150-barrel
tank and a new filter to system.
On June 22, Odell added the first of two 200-barrel fermentation tanks at its brewery. Both tanks have a 6,200-
gallon capacity. Odell produces about 57,000 barrels annually, compared to 33,000 barrels in 2006.
New Belgium has grown by leaps and bounds over the year, with new canning and expansion of its distribution
into Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, making New Belgium’s beers available in 28 states plus
Washington, D.C. - and it’s eyeing the East Coast for further expansion. It is expected to announce a site this
month or next for a second brewery.
Longmont’s brewing industry continues to grow, with three breweries. In 2010, Oskar Blues considered
opening a combination restaurant and bar in Fort Collins at the former New Belgium Brewing Co. location at
350 Linden St. While Oskar Blues submitted a conceptual review application to the city, that was as far as it
went, as the brewery shelved plans based on economic reasons.
The growth is not limited to Northern Colorado. Nationwide, the craft industry has seen an increase in
In 2010, the craft brewing industry in the United States grew 11 percent by volume and 12 percent by retail
dollars. Overall, the U.S. beer market in 2010 declined 1 percent; however, craft beer sales in the U.S. increased
from 8,934,446 barrels in 2009 to 9,951,956 barrels in 2010, according to the Brewers Association.
January 4, 2012
Mr. Beer: Putting together a solid tasting lineup of winter brews
Whenever I have a vexing beer problem I turn to my Sultan of Suds, Chris Black, the
affable owner/host of downtown’s Falling Rock Tap House.
My problem this time: Putting together a tasting of winter beers that adventurous
lovers of big beers could try at home with their friends. We immediately eliminated
those Big Boys that hover around 10-11 percent alcohol (by volume) as a little
too overwhelming for a five-beer tasting.”These holiday beers tend be out of (the
brewers’) normal track,” Black reasoned, “but these are not too far out there.”
First, how to do it. All these beers are available in six-packs so, out of their sight,
pour each participant a two-ounce sample. Line them up (the beers, not the tasters)
in the order below and have them write down comments and their favorites. That’s
it; pretty easy, eh?
There are, of course, many, many winter seasonals to choose from. Here are five we like:
Isolation Ale1. , Odell Brewing, Fort Collins—Malty with a crisp hop finish, Isolation is relatively low in
alcohol among its holiday brethren at 6 percent (ABV).
Snow Day2. , New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins—Born in a 2003 blizzard, Snow Day evokes winter fun
with its chocolate and caramel flavors at 6.2 percent (ABV).
Old Jubilation Ale3. , Avery Brewing, Boulder—An English Old Ale made with black malt and two-row
barley with a touch of chocolate. Getting bigger: 8.3 percent (ABV).
Winter Warlock4. , Bristol Brewing Co., Colorado Springs—Made with 100 pounds of flaked oatmeal.
Winner of a silver medal at the 1998 Great American Beer Festival. 6 percent (ABV).
Hibernation Ale5. , Great Divide Brewing, Denver—A gold medal winner at the GABF in 1997 and 2006,
Hibernation, first produced in 1995, is a dry-hopped ale with plenty of malt. 8.7 percent (ABV).
It is also good to serve these with cheese (brie or gouda work well) as accompaniments.
Warning from our legal department: Do NOT be pouring full glasses of each of these beers; the alcohol ranges
from 6 to 8.7 percent, not a good thing for motoring around town.
All About Beer
The Denver Post has launched a blog devoted to beer and its many charms. Wish I’d though of that.
Post staffers Jessica Fender, Jeremy Meyer, Steve Raabe, Eric Gorski, John Hendrickson and Barry Osborne have
plunged into the beer pool with views and news and interviews on “First Draft.” You can join them, tell ‘em
what you think, at blogs.denverpost.com/beer.
Go big in Vail
Adam Avery (Avery Brewing) and Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head) are featured speakers at the 12th annual Big
Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa Thursday through Saturday (Jan. 5-7).
The festival, one of the state’s most popular held in a spectacular mountain setting, features tastings, seminars,
and a homebrew contest.
The brewmasters’ dinners are sold out but tickets remain for the seminars and other events. Ticket info
available from Laura Lodge at email@example.com.
More big beers: Falling Rock rolls out its annual celebration of barleywines (go big or go home), starting Feb. 8.
About 20 barleywines, including some that are five years old, will be available.
The long-loved Herman Joseph from Coors is available in bottles for now at area liquor outlets. ... Oskar Blues
and Blue Sky Ridge raised more than $30,000 to fight child abuse. ... Must-see TV?: Budweiser launching a
social reality show, “Bud United Presents: The Big Time,” on ABC. It’s all about videos from fans hoping to make
their dreams come true. Look for it early this year. ... Bull and Bush in Glendale to boost their capacity with a
new set of fermenting tanks. ... Rocky Mountain Brewing News reports that Twisted Pine Brewing in Boulder
to start their Artisan Ale Seriesthis month. The series features 12 labels — one a month — using artwork from
local artists. ... Quotable: “In Colorado, you’re not on the map unless you have a brewery in your town.” — Ken
Jones, head brewer, Glenwood Canyon Brewing.
January 5, 2012
Salud! Sample wintry brews while waiting for snowflakes | Rob Thomas
Snow lovers, take heart. It may look disturbingly snow-free out there, the few flurries vanishing almost as
soon as they hit pavement, a thin crust of frost and ice the only evidence that we’re in the thick of a Wisconsin
But there are places in Madison where snow is bountiful,
where the roofs of storybook cottages are covered in thick
white flakes, where Alaskan huskies frolic in snowy fields,
where the boughs of trees hang heavy with snow.
I’m talking, of course, about the artwork on beer bottle labels
at your local store. Just because the snow hasn’t quite made
its appearance here doesn’t mean the winter beers, many with
names and designs that evoke a snowbound paradise, aren’t
gracing the shelves. Beers we tried are available at most stores
with extensive beer selections, including Steve’s, Woodman’s
and Metcalfe’s Sentry.
First off, New Glarus Brewing Company has brought back its popular Road Slush oatmeal stout, named for the
really heavy stuff you have to shovel out of the driveway and knock off the underside of the car. “This dark
stout is a hearty and satisfying reward for those of us who embrace the frozen tundra,” the brewery says in a
The House that Spotted Cow Built is known for drinkable beers, so it’s no surprise that, for a dark stout, Road
Slush is pretty approachable. It has a nice head and a smoky undertone, but the flavor is quite smooth for
a stout. While some hardcore beer lovers online have pooh-poohed Road Slush as a lightweight stout, it’s a
worthy reward for a cold afternoon spent shoveling a corner lot.
But if you’re looking for a more substantial stout, try Satin Solstice, made by Central Waters Brewing Company
in Amherst. Sporting a Cubist illustration of a Wisconsin winter on the cover, it’s very smooth and thick, with
heavy coffee notes. It’s the kind of beer that feels like it ought to be served in a mug next to a roaring fire
rather than in a glass.
Of course, not all winter beers are necessarily stouts. New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colo., invokes a
Snow Day with its winter ale, a deep brown ale that splits the difference between the chocolate taste of a stout
and the hoppier aspects of a lighter beer.
A little lighter is Smuttynose Winter Ale out of New Hampshire, which is a mellow and drinkable brown ale. It
also boasts my favorite artwork of the bunch, an old photo of what looks like the brewmaster’s mom standing
grinning in a snow-covered driveway.
Utah’s Wasatch Brewing Company also makes a Winterfest ale that’s deep amber in color. But it’s strongly
hoppy for a darker winter beer, and was more of an acquired taste.
The Boulder Brewing Company’s Cold Hop beer isn’t technically a winter ale; rather, it’s a British-style ale that
pours a light caramel color in the glass. The taste is hoppy with a citrus accent, a good break from the darker
beers. You’ve heard of summer “lawnmower beers”? File this as a “snowblower beer.”
We also tried Santa’s X-Mas Ale, a small-batch “Christmas flavor-infused” beer made by Woodman Brewing at
the Whistle Stop Restaurant and Brewery in Woodman, which lies about 10 miles east of Prairie du Chien.
In the glass, it looks almost as red as St. Nick’s nose. And, while we’re receptive to adventurous flavors in beer,
the taste was so overwhelmed by “Christmas flavor” — holly, juniper, spices? — that it tasted like elves had
been bathing in it. The novelty factor wore off before the bottle did.
Finally, we couldn’t pass up a bottle of Alaskan Winter Ale, which not only boasts a picture of a snow-covered
spruce tree on the front, but claims that the beer is actually brewed with the tips of spruce trees.
While drinking it may sound like the equivalent of getting blitzed at a Christmas tree farm, it’s actually a pretty
mild beer with a subtle wood flavor, which must be those tips.
So, while the snow may have stubbornly refused to blanket Madison properly so far this winter, we can still
cozy up to a winter-themed beer and wait for the first proper snowfall to hit.
January 6, 2012
Craft Beer of the Day: Mirror Pond Pale Ale by Deschutes | E. D. Kain
Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon exists “to profitably deliver the finest
beers in the world and cultivate extraordinary experiences” according to
their website. With their marvelous pale ale, Mirror Pond, they do this just
Mirror Pond is my standby pale ale much as Fat Tire, from New Belgium, is
my standby amber ale – and for many of the same reasons.
At 5% ABV it’s not a particularly strong brew – nowhere near as radical as
something like Dogfish Head’s 90-Minute IPA. But you just can’t drink a 90-
Minute IPA every night, especially if you happen to enjoy drinking more than
one beer at a time.
Something like Mirror Pond is much friendlier.
Can a beer be smooth and grainy all at once? This beer can.
It’s just hoppy enough to give it an edge but not so hoppy that it stops you in
your tracks. With a nice apricot color and a sweet, balanced aroma, Mirror
Pond manages just the right blend of light, citrusy hops and bready malts.
It pours with moderate carbonation and just enough head. It’s crisp and light and very, very drinkable. Overall a
simple, straightforward pale ale that gets everything just about right. The sort of beer you can drink night after
night without getting bored or overdoing it.
It’s the sort of pale ale that people who don’t normally drink pale ales will enjoy – and I mean that in a good
way because it’s a beer that hardcore pale ale drinkers will also enjoy.
It’s a beer for all seasons, really.
January 14, 2012
Beer Baron: New Belgium has just the beer for a long-awaited snow day | Chris
So, this is what happens when you meet deadlines: It snows all
As written earlier this week, before Thursday’s snowstorm hit or
even was forecast, this column was a rant against this slow-starting
Apparently that snow dance didn’t need to be published to
work, because Wisconsin’s vapor-locked winter finally roared to
life. Now we beer geeks can enjoy our hearty winter seasonals
without constantly thinking that something seems wrong. Drinking
a Christmas ale on the snowless deck in just a sweatshirt is for
Tennesseeans, not Wisconsinites.
And it wasn’t just the beer.
When it’s mid-January, I don’t want to watch an NFL playoff game in Denver and covet their snow cover. I don’t
want to break a sweat on a coat-free neighborhood walk (as nice as it was). I don’t want to wonder whether I
need to mow the lawn one last time.
I live in Wisconsin because I love the seasons, and winter is the bittering hops needed to balance that sweet
malt of summer.
So let’s celebrate these metaphorical hops with some literal hops and this snow day with a Snow Day.
Style: American black ale.
Brewed by: New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colo.
What it’s like: Here in Wisconsin, we’ve seen this style in the likes of New Glarus Black Top and Lakefront IBA.
Where and how much: New Belgium beers have been easy to find since debuting in Madison in May 2009. My
sixer of this winter seasonal was $8.99 at Riley’s Wines of the World on West Gorham Street.
The beer: The cola-colored Snow Day pours a medium, easy-drinking body with an aroma of cacao and moist
Drink it: Dark chocolate toys with bitterness from the roasty black malts (including a touch of wheat) and
three-hop blend before finishing cleaner than a beer with that much flavor should.
Booze factor: Among craft beers, its 6.2 percent ABV is middle of the road.
The buzz: This is a relatively new and trendy style, and there has been some debate over what to call it. I’d like
to lodge a complaint against one prevailing option: black IPA. These ales don’t taste of the resinous or citrusy,
herbal hops that make regular India pale ales so popular.
Though Snow Day does use the Cascade and Centennial hops featured in the classic American IPAs, its
bitterness tracks closer to the dark, roasted malt you’ll find in porters or dry stouts. It’s not my favorite style,
but Snow Day is a good iteration of it, suitable for whiling away these short winter days.
Bottom line: 3 stars (out of four)
January 25, 2012
Craft brewer picks NC for plant while Fat Tire maker considers area, too
The premium beer maker Sierra Nevada will be building a brewery in
North Carolina, creating about 100 jobs just as another upscale brewer
is considering the state for a plant.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., an independent, family-owned pioneer in
craft brewing, will locate a brewing facility and restaurant in Mills River,
the firm said Wednesday.
New Belgium Brewing, known for its tasty Fat Tire beer, is also
considering the Asheville area for a possible plant. New Belgium
recently toured the Western NC area for possible sites.
Both brewers want to expand beer output and to cut shipping costs
with East Coast plants.
“Asheville and Philly are leading our short list of sites,” New Belgium
spokesman Bryan Simpson told the Denver Post last month.
New Belgium also told the newspaper it could announce the site by
Sierra Nevada, given a $1 million incentive package from NC, plans to
create 95 full-time jobs as part of the grant and invest $107.5 million
during the next five years in Henderson County.
The company expects to hire another 80 part-time employees and expects to create about 60 construction and
mechanical jobs during its 24-month building phase.
These jobs will be created in gradual phases starting in mid to late 2012 and continuing through 2013.
North Carolina is home to more craft breweries than any Southern state – 21 brewpubs and 28 production
breweries – with western North Carolina being particularly strong. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is one of
America’s first craft breweries and helped to popularize the bold and flavorful beers that are the hallmarks of
the craft beer industry.
Founded in 1980, Sierra Nevada continues to be recognized for the use of only whole-cone hops and for the
quality and craftsmanship of their products. Sierra Nevada currently employs in excess of 500 dedicated
employees and is the second largest privately held brewery in the United States.
“After carefully looking at more than 200 sites east of the Mississippi, Sierra Nevada is pleased to locate our
second brewery in Henderson County,” said Sierra Nevada CEO Ken Grossman.
“We are very grateful to the officials in Mills River, Henderson County and the State of North Carolina whose
time, effort and commitment were instrumental in making this happen. We are proud to be associated with
the many fine breweries that call North Carolina home.”
The project was made possible in part by a $1.025 million grant from the One North Carolina Fund.
According to Grossman, an expansion to the East Coast was a responsible decision.
“The original brewery in Chico is reaching capacity, and the demand for our beer continues to increase,” he
explained. “We felt the most responsible thing to do was to build a brewery on the other side of the country,
to lessen our impact on the environment while continuing to place great craft beer into the hands of our
Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $41,526 plus benefits.
The Henderson County average annual wage is $32,240.
“Sierra Nevada knows that North Carolina is a place where the business climate will help them grow and
thrive,” said Sen. Tom Apodaca, of Hendersonville. “I’m sure my sons are looking forward to buying some of
the first bottles brewed here.”
“This terrific news is a perfect example of leaders at the state and local level, and from different political
parties, working together to bring jobs to the people of North Carolina,” said Rep. Chuck McGrady of
For more information about Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. including job opportunities, please visit SierraNevada.
January 30, 2012
DC Brau turns spent grains into bread for the poor | Greg Kitsock
Every work week Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock of DC Brau shovel about 1,500 pounds of soggy grain out of
their mash tun. Left to itself, this used-up barley (it resembles “dehydrated oatmeal,” according to Skall) would
begin to fester, turning sour and smelly in a day or less.
None of it goes into the city’s sewer system, assert Skall and Hancock. Their usual modus operandi is to donate
their leftovers to local farmers, who use for it for composting or, more commonly, for livestock feed. (“Cows are
number one,” says Skall, but goats and poultry like it as well.)
To celebrate Martin Luther King Day, the partners set their sights a few links up the food chain and decided to
turn their waste into bread for the city’s indigent population.
The day after the holiday, Skall and Hancock sealed five gallons of spent grain in a food-grade plastic bucket
and rushed the grain, still warm from steeping in hot water, to Pizzeria Paradiso, which turned it into loaves at
its kitchens in Dupont Circle and Old Town.
“It was kind of fibrous and a little dry,” commented Ruth Gresser, owner and head chef of Pizzeria Paradiso.
She kneaded one part spent grain into four parts regular bread dough, adding a little clover honey for
sweetness. All together, the collaboration produced 65 loaves, which were donated to Bread for the City, a
Washington-based organization that provides food and other services to thousands of families.
The group was grateful, mentioned Skall. “Usually, they get bread discarded by food stores. It’s very rare they
get fresh-baked bread.”
None of the loaves remained for this reporter to sample. “They had a whole-grain taste, a real richness,”
reported Skall when I caught up with him last week at the Pizzeria Paradiso in Old Town, where he was
celebrating the reintroduction of DC Brau beers into Northern Virginia. “We’re toying with the idea of doing a
beer dinner with spent-grain pizza dough,” chimed in Greg Jasgur, the pizza chain’s executive bar manager.
Skall is hatching plans not only for new beers (an imperial IPA called On the Wings of Armageddon will debut in
February) but also to ramp up his philanthropic activities.
Specifically, he’d like to partner with other D.C. breweries and about 8 to 10 local restaurants to produce 500
loaves of beer bread each month, to be donated to charity. “We want to be a catalyst for something that
wouldn’t happen otherwise,” Skall says.
Betting the farm(house ale)
Steve Hindy, president and founder of the Brooklyn Brewery in New York City, will likely watch Super Bowl XLVI
sipping a glass of his Sorachi Ace. This saison-style ale, now available in draft as well as 750-milliliter bottles, is
named after a Japanese hop variety noted for its distinctive lemony flavor.
As you read this, Anchor Brewing Co. in San Francisco should also be pouring Sorachi Ace in its taproom. And
it’s being dispensed by staff clad in New York Giants jerseys. That’s because Anchor president John Dannerbeck
lost a bet with Hindy regarding the outcome of the Giants vs. 49ers NFC championship game.
Hindy has a similar bet going with Dan Kenary, president of Harpoon Brewery in Boston, over the outcome
of the Super Bowl. If the Patriots win, Brooklyn Brewery must clothe its staff in Patriots jerseys and dispense
Harpoon IPA for a week. If the Giants are victorious, Harpoon’s tour guides will wear the Giants’ colors and
serve Brooklyn Lager for a week.
Although Harpoon’s Liz Melby characterized the wager as “good fun,” Hindy seemed to take it a little more
seriously, commenting in a press release, “It is difficult to calculate the shame that accrues to a brewery that
must pour its competitor’s flagship beer through its home taps. And wearing the opposition’s jerseys — you
take your life in your hands when you wear a Boston jersey here in New York.”
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has made it official, spurning Virginia and Tennessee and choosing a site along the
French Broad River in North Carolina, 12 miles south of Asheville, for its planned East Coast brewery.
Interestingly, New Belgium Brewing Co. has been eyeing that same area for an East Coast branch of its
own. “Right now, Asheville and Philadelphia top our short list. No exact locations to report, but we hope to
announce some time in February,” reported New Belgium’s media relations director Bryan Simpson.
February 2, 2012
Books: Renier, Tour De Fat And Quitting Money | Brendan Leonard
“The Challenge of Rainier, 40th Anniversary: A Record of the Explorations and
Ascents, Triumphs and Tragedies on the Northwest’s Greatest Mountain,” by
Dee Molenaar’s book “The Challenge of Rainier” has long been the best way to
experience Seattle’s famous mountain without actually climbing it — and flat-
out one of the best books about a mountain or mountains, period, covering
the human history of the mountain, drawing from Molenaar’s 70-plus years
of experience on it as a climber and guide. For the book’s 40th anniversary,
Mountaineers Books has published an updated edition with restored illustrations
and historic photos, as well as updated route information and accident statistics
through 2010, and a foreword by Ed Viesturs.
$25 paperback, $20 ebook at mountaineersbooks.org.
Books: “2011 Tour De Fat Photo Book,” by New Belgium Brewing Company
Perhaps you recall a time when a small mountain town near you rated high enough on New Belgium’s scale of
bike-town worthiness to warrant a stop by the traveling circus of
beer and bikes known as the Tour de Fat. Having outgrown these
roots, the tour now travels to metro areas across the nation,
spreading its message of beer, love and bikes. To commemorate,
New Belgium Brewing has released a book that attempts to
capture the burlesque cacophony of bicycle zaniness that the
tour has delivered in its eleven years of rambling across the land.
Thumbing through the book, which is presented in a coffee-
table format, (think coffee table book hip enough to not freak
out your friends), it appears that the tour and its message have
remained as close to the heart of the organization as the beer
they produce. Like the event it represents, each page is a giggle
unto itself. Altogether, the “Tour de Fat” book is an excellent
companion to a fine pint of craft-brewed beer in a comfortable old chair.
Books: “The Man Who Quit Money,” by Mark Sundeen
Think about the last time you bought something. Whether it was a new car or a pack of gum, it was probably
earlier today, or some time in the not-too-distant past. Now think about this: Daniel Suelo, the subject of
Mark Sundeen’s “The Man Who Quit Money,” has not earned or spent so much as a single cent since 2000.
He refuses to accept food stamps, welfare or any other form of government aid, lives in a cave outside Moab,
Utah, and not only survives, but thrives, completely without the use of money.
Suffice it to say that this is a book that begins with a lot of questions. For
starters, is it even possible to live without money these days? Apparently, it is
— in addition to recounting Suelo’s tumultuous life story, Sundeen (whose first
published story appeared in MG more than a decade ago) shows that Suelo is
anything but a lazy freeloader. And he’s no hermit either — quite the contrary.
He volunteers at a local women’s shelter, maintains a popular blog and is often
asked to housesit by his friends. In fact, his story serves as much a history of the
people and places he knows as it is a chronicle of his own turbulent journey to
leave the monetary system behind.
Not everyone can live like Daniel Suelo. “The Man Who Quit Money” is not
an instruction manual for leaving behind material wealth. The moral of Daniel
Suelo’s story is not about emulation, but inspiration. Inspiration to live with less,
to give more and in the end, to be happier. And who couldn’t use some of that?
February 6, 2012
9 Chocolate Beers to Drink for Valentine’s Day | Roxanne Webber
Here’s an idea. Forget about truffles for V-Day, and instead consume chocolate in beer form with a loved one.
We’ve been noticing a lot of chocolate beers coming to market, some brewed with actual chocolate (like cocoa
or nibs) or “chocolate malt,” a dark-roasted malt that tastes a lot like chocolate. Or both. We blind-tasted nine
chocolate beers, and were pleasantly surprised that we liked something about each of them (especially after
our gluten-free beer taste test was such a bust). Full disclosure: Some of these beers were mailed to us by the
breweries, but we promise it didn’t bias us!
Sonoran White Chocolate Ale
Zach Schroeder, the brewmaster of this Scottsdale, Arizona, brewery, is allergic to chocolate.
Instead, he brews this filtered American wheat ale with vanilla. By far the lightest beer of
our tasting (which was dominated by stouts), it was balanced, with a strong vanilla smell
that had a hint of Nestlé Quik milk chocolate–y sweetness. A few tasters
found it too light for their liking (“Watery,” said one), while others liked
its easy-drinking quality and 4.7 percent ABV.
Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock
This chocolate bock was a favorite for its balanced toasty malt flavors
with a hint of molasses and caramel. Dark amber in color with a relatively
light 5.8 percent ABV, it’s made with roasted malts and German hops,
then aged with cocoa nibs, including some from San Francisco small-batch chocolate maker
Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
This British stout is extraordinarily smoky, calling to mind a German rauchbier. Almost
black in color, it’s brewed with both chocolate malt and actual chocolate. Despite its hearty
roastiness, it won’t knock you out with its 5.2 percent ABV.
Rogue Chocolate Stout
This deep, dark stout was first released in the U.S. in 2001 for Valentine’s
Day. It’s brewed with “natural chocolate flavoring,” but the chocolate
smell and flavors are pretty subtle compared to the toasted malt and hop
flavors. Some tasters appreciated that it was “bitter, dry, not sweet!,”
while others found its bitterness off-putting, calling to mind burnt coffee.
Bison Organic Chocolate Stout
The only organic beer in our tasting, this Berkeley, California, brew was
much lighter in body than other stouts in the tasting, with a strong
aroma of Nestlé Quik. But the flavor was all about dark roasted malt,
rather than chocolate.
Harpoon Chocolate Stout
This writer’s favorite of the tasting smelled distinctly like chocolate-
covered banana, or as another taster put it, “glorious chocolate banana
bread.” The Boston brewery makes this limited-edition beer with dark
malts and some actual chocolate, which tasters felt really came through
in a “chocolate egg cream” or “hot fudge in my beer!” way.
New Glarus Chocolate Abbey
This small Wisconsin brewery with a major cult following makes this
chocolate beer similar to an abbey-style double. Unlike any other beer
in the tasting, this “very limited edition” brew’s flavor comes from its (Belgian) yeast, which
was spicy and aromatic and, as one taster put it, “delicious with complex vegetal notes.”
Chocolate notes were subtle and well balanced. One of the favorites of the tasting.
Lips of Faith Series Cocoa Molé
This Mexican hot chocolate–esque beer from Fort Collins, Colorado’s
New Belgium is brewed with cocoa, cinnamon, and three types of chile
peppers: ancho, guajillo, and chipotle. It had a definite earthy, savory
dried-chile aroma and flavor. The chile heat threw some tasters, who
found it “medicinal.” Others enjoyed this 9 percent ABV ale for its hint of brown sugar and
“nice, weird, savory” quality.
Sam Adams The Vixen
Another chocolate-chile combo, this beer from Samuel Adams is
actually based on the chocolate bock previously described here. For the
limited-release Vixen, which comes in a 22-ounce bottle, the company
added cinnamon along with smoky ancho and chipotle chiles. It tasted
noticeably sweeter and more alcohol-y than the other beers (not surprising given its 8.5
percent ABV) and reminded tasters of a sweet Belgian double or imperial-style dark ale.
People liked its “mildly tingly, soft feel.” Definitely a sipper for dessert, not a quaffer.
February 7, 2012
Five Colorado beers to drink right now | Jonathan Shikes
It’s not easy to keep up with Colorado’s brewers.
It seems like they release a new beer -- or two or
three -- in bottles or cans almost every week. And
as soon as you think you’ve caught up on the new
ones, you find a couple that you’ve missed. So if
you want to get up to speed, you need to drink
these five beers right now.
No, seriously. Stop reading and go out and buy
them -- because the first four are quick-hit beers
that will be gone within a few weeks and may
never be back. And there’s an entire lineup of
ever newer ones just around the corner. Cheers!
Upslope Foreign Style Stout (six-pack cans)
This beer has been such a hit in Upslope’s taproom
that the brewery decided to release it in cans
-- even though it will only be available for a short
time. The beer is black and roasty as you might
imagine a foreign-style stout would be, but with
a dry, snappy flavor and feel and a hint of sweet
smokiness that gives it some
New Belgium Cocoa Mole (22-ounce bomber bottle)
I don’t always like chile beers. It seems to me that beers should be used to cool the heat
caused by spicy foods -- not start the fire in the first place. But New Belgium’s Cocoa Mole,
part of its renowned Lips of Faith series, is like no chile beer I’ve ever had. The sweet
chocolate flavors combine with cinnamon and spice to create a cold, carbonated version of
Mexican hot chocolate. It tastes good by a fire and actually made me crave something even
spicier. The burn is slow and pleasant, and, yeah, I drank a whole glass. Get it soon, though:
New Belgium releases two Lips beers during each quarter of the year, and when they’re gone,
Dry Dock Tripel (22-ounce bomber bottle)
Anyone can brew a hefeweizen or a double IPA or a Belgian-style tripel, but not everyone can achieve
brilliance. That is what has set Dry Dock Brewing apart. Each of its beers -- even the styles that you think you’ve
had before -- are created with such a balance of flavors and textures that drinking one is like a brand-new
experience. The same is true for the Tripel, a style of beer that is difficult to do because triples can be cloyingly
sweet or overwhelmingly yeasty. This one achieves a beautiful mixture of clove and banana nuances combined
with a pleasant sweetness that doesn’t overwhelm. Its perfect level of carbonation and gorgeous color don’t
hurt, either. Dry Dock releases four seasonal beers a year, so this one will disappear from the shelves by spring.
Odell Saboteur (750 ml bottles)
Like a lot of wild beers, Odell Brewing’s Saboteur is an incredibly complex creation with flavors and aromas
that constantly change and shift as you drink it. The dark red-brown beers tastes at first like a standard brown
ale, until you start to sense the brettanomyces yeast. As you drink it, and as the beer warms, different layers
unfold, releasing notes of vanilla, woodsy oak and a sweet, almost fruity character. Drink it slow.
Wynkoop B3K Black Lager (six-pack cans)
I have liked the Wynkoop’s B3K schwarzbier since the brewery first began making it a few years ago. It has
roasty flavor notes right out of a bag of malt, and a light touch that makes it a perfect alternative to most
boring lagers. The canned version, B3K Black Lager, isn’t quite as good as the draft beer for some reason, but
it’s still enjoyable.
February 7, 2012
20 Top Selling Craft Breweries: Business Is Booming | Alicia Ciccone
Beer, brewski, liquid courage -- whatever you may call it, beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the
U.S. And while the big players like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors have seen consistent declines in their
billion-dollar sales, regional craft breweries continue to attract a growing fan base of quality, small batch
In 2011, all top 25 craft breweries experienced increases in revenues. Craft breweries recorded 15 percent
growth in volume of barrels shipped, compared to a 1.5 percent decrease in the beer industry overall,
according to industry estimates from Beer Marketer’s Insights. Currently, 1,900 craft breweries are in operation
across the nation, with an additional 900 in the planning stages, making great beer a more accessible treat for
the 95 million beer lovers in the U.S.
Craft brewers, defined by the Brewers Association as breweries that produce 6 million barrels of beer or less
annually, often use traditional methods to create malts and incorporate unique adjuncts to enhance flavors.
“A light American lager no longer satisfies every taste,” said Julia Herz, the craft beer program director at the
Brewers Association. “Americans have developed a discerning palate, so if it’s not world class quality, it won’t
survive.” In an age where the majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a brewery, Herz points out that a
great shift in the industry has been the localization of beer, creating a greater following for businesses heavily
involved in their communities.
While rich lagers and unique brands characterize the craft scene, the true ambassadors are the passionate
brew masters behind these small businesses, many of whom started home brewing in their basements. “They
are carving out their version of the American dream,” Herz said. “Where there’s a cause, there is a great
willingness to roll up their sleeves and start a business.”
According to industry estimates from Beer Marketer’s Insights, here are the top 20 craft breweries in the U.S.
#3 New Belgium Brewing
Location: Fort Collins, Colo.
Barrels Sold in 2011: 713,000 -- 7.9 percent increase since 2010
Popular Brands: Fat Tire, Lips of Faith
The partnership between chocolate and beer is often an intense one.
The pairing, usually in the form of porter or stout, is heavy with creamy, sweet richness--
more a meal than a beverage.
Now, thanks to the ever inventive New Belgium Brewing in Colorado, chocolate has
fused with suds in a new and fresher way: Meet Cocoa Mole Ale ($9 for 22 ounces).
The latest offering from the Lips of Faith series, this ale balances the richness of dark
cocoa with a lion’s share of spices and chiles: Guajillo, chipotle, ancho and cinnamon
brighten the brew.
Our enjoyment of this beer was brought on as much by our nose as by our taste buds.
The beer’s intoxicating scent is pregnant with fire and a dusty-sweet acidity.
And this preamble makes no false advertisements. The brew’s taste is quite similar to its smell, with a
moderate, smoke-laced heat rounded out by the sweeter notes of chocolate. Best of all, the Cocoa Mole’s dry,
silky body means that the beer is perfect on its own or with food.
Bloated, no more.
February 8, 2012
She’s So Heavy
Facebook fans really “like” New Belgium beer -- so much so that they account for half the brewery’s annual
While it’s tough for brands to value Facebook fans, the No. 3 U.S. craft brewer has a pretty good idea: It
estimates its Facebook fans are responsible for $50.7 million in yearly sales. That’s why the Fort Collins,
Colo.-based brewer goes the extra mile when it comes to social and event marketing. It has made a notable
investment in its Facebook presence, enlisting local salespeople (called “Rangers” in company parlance) to
update 38 local pages across 28 states and Washington, D.C., and investing in custom apps and experiences. It
also strategically targets Facebook ads to existing fans of its main page -- now 211,000 fans strong, compared
with 138,000 and 134,000 for the No. 1 and No. 2 in the craft-beer category, Samuel Adams and Sierra Nevada
-- to drive them to local pages for their region.
February 13, 2012
New Belgium Toasts to Its Facebook Fans | Cotton Delo
Since the market for craft beer is inherently regional, New Belgium considers
Sam Adams to be less of a competitor than much more obscure breweries in
its local markets. This is where a regional Facebook presence comes in handy --
especially when New Belgium is eyeing new markets like Michigan, where it will
begin distributing this summer.
“With these pages that essentially become Ranger blogs, we’re really able to
talk about what we’re doing locally,” said Adrian Glasenapp, New Belgium’s
director-advertising and social media. “They highlight the fact that we have sales
reps who live in these communities and work with local nonprofits [offering
Rangers aren’t required to follow a content schedule, Mr. Glasenapp said, with
the exception of certain national-level content like an interview with Kim Jordan, New Belgium’s charismatic
CEO. Updates to Facebook can be done at their discretion and veer away from the topic of beer. For example,
recent posts on New Belgium’s Missouri page, 2,000 fans strong, include a status update addressing Missouri’s
recent win over Kansas in college football and an Instagram photo of an early-blooming flower in a St. Louis
“We want to use everything we do to brand nationally, but then activate it locally,” said Greg Williams, media
director for Backbone Media, New Belgium’s agency that helped it conceptualize its social-media strategy
three years ago, when it set the goal of attaining 100,000 fans. He noted that the local pages are supported
with contests and custom Facebook apps such as “Catch a Foodbuzz,” which helps users discover food pairings
for New Belgium beers.
New Belgium now has 42,000 local fans in 38 markets and 400,000 across all of its Facebook pages, including
107,000 for Fat Tire, its best-known beer. It set out to figure out how valuable they are this fall by asking
Facebook fans to fill out a survey, which nearly 3,000 completed.
Based on the findings, they concluded that the typical fan bought $260 worth of New Belgium beer per year,
assuming that respondents drank 10 beers a week and that New Belgium made up 25% of their consumption,
which adds up to $50.7 million spent yearly by unique Facebook fans.
New Belgium committed roughly $235,000 to its social-media presence last year that was mostly dedicated to
Facebook, including both app development and advertising. However, most of its marketing budget still goes
to print buys in national titles such as Wired, Rolling Stone and Men’s Journal; niche publications dedicated to
topics like cycling; and alternative weeklies and other regional titles.
“Traditional paid media is still super-important in terms of scalability and acquiring new customers,” Mr.
New Belgium is looking to up its spending on digital in 2012, and its four seasonal beers that used to rely
heavily on print will now be advertised exclusively on digital and social channels. It’s also shifting resources into
digital for the planned April 1 launch of a new beer, Shift, and broadening its focus beyond Facebook. Upward
of $1 million is going into the launch, with 19% allocated to digital and social. That includes mobile ads and
$10,000 to $15,000 in 10 different markets for a branded Pandora “Shift” station with a selection of music to
play during and immediately after work.
Mr. Glasenapp says New Belgium will also invest more in custom Facebook apps, since “content is the driving
force” for the brand’s success on the platform.
In this age of Facebook and Twitter, capitalizing on new media is both an opportunity and a conundrum for
many companies. Social media can be a great way to connect and stay top-of-mind with consumers, but how
can you really quantify what a “like” on Facebook is worth?
This is a question the country’s No. 3 craft brewer recently set out to answer, and it now says it’s determined
what its Facebook fans mean to its bottom line.
According to Ad Age, Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing recently
commissioned a survey of its Facebook followers in which it determined
the average New Belgium Facebook fan spends $260 per year on the
brand. That translates to $50.7 million annually — or roughly half the
brewery’s sales each year.
Not a bad return on what New Belgium tells Ad Age was a $235,000
investment it made on its social-media presence last year “mostly
dedicated to Facebook, including both app development and advertising.”
This year New Belgium is planning on upping the ante. They’re rolling
out a new beer in April and have set aside $1 million towards the launch, with almost 20 percent set aside for
digital and social media.
New Belgium has a total of 400,000 Facebook fans across all of its Facebook pages. In terms of just the main
page, New Belgium, it has managed to best the larger craft brewers with 211,000 fans. Not bad for a brew that
is available only in 28 states and Washington, D.C.
It’s fan base compares with 138,000 for Boston Beer’s [SAM 100.10 1.97 (+2.01%) ] Sam Adams, and
134,000 for Sierra Nevada, both of which have national distribution.
While New Belgium may be tops in the number of main page Facebook fans, its not alone in using Facebook
to connect with its fans. Last month Boston Beer released the “Crowd Craft Project” Facebook app, which lets
fans choose a beer’s characteristics: color, clarity, body, hops and malt. The most popular attributes will be
used to brew a Sam Adams-branded “collaborative ale,” which will debut at the South by Southwest Interactive
Festival in Austin, Texas, in March.
February 13, 2012
Craft Brewer Has 50 Million Reasons to ‘Like’ Its Facebook Fans |Tom Rotunno
Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewery combines craft beers with craft films for its annual “Clips of Faith”
tour, which brings homemade films to outdoor venues throughout the country in the spring and summertime,
including a stop in Boulder on June 29.
Above is an example of one of those films shown last year — a short documentary about a Seattle street band.
The brewery is putting out a call for films for this year’s 18-city tour. People with films can submit them here.
At the showings, the brewery will have plenty of beer available in 3 ounce and 12 ounce pours, including the
rare “Lips of Faith” beers, as well as the brewery’s traditional beers.
All proceeds from the events will benefit local non-profits.
Since its inception two years ago, the tour has raised more than $91,000 for local philanthropic organizations
and has shown nearly 40 amateur films.
“We really enjoy working with all the creative folks in our community of beer drinkers to bring the event
together,” said Christie Catania, Clips of Faith Manager-at-Large in a press release. “The whole evening is a
remarkable collaboration of passions – hand-made films with hand-made beer.”
Over the last two seasons, New Belgium has received nearly 200 film submissions, with approximately 20
selections making each tour. This year, all selected entries will
receive a custom gift from New Belgium and screenings in 18
Guidelines include: The film must be no more than seven
minutes long; filmmakers must be at least 21 years old; the
film can cover any subject/genre, but extra points go to films
that include a New Belgium folly: craft beer, sustainability,
whimsy, adventure or culture; and they should be “clean.”
Filmmakers must secure rights for all elements included in
In 2010 and 2011, some of the selected storylines included a paddling trip through whaling waters, a talking
beer bottle sketch comedy and an absurdist spaghetti western.
Film genres ranged from comedic shorts, animation and environmental documentaries to tales about the
February 21, 2012
New Belgium seeking film submissions for its annual Clips of Faith tour | Jeremy
Here is the 2012 Clips of Faith schedule; venues will be announced at a later date.
St. Louis, MO – Friday, May 18
Kansas City, MO – Thursday, May 31
Bloomington, IL – Friday, June 8
Des Moines, IA – Friday, June 15
Madison, WI – Thursday, June 21
Boulder, CO – Friday, June 29
Flagstaff, AZ – Thursday, July 12
Santa Cruz, CA – Friday, July 20
Seattle, WA – Friday, July 27
Portland, OR – Friday, August 3
Davis, CA – Friday, August 10
Missoula, MT – Friday, August 17
Asheville, NC – Friday, September 7
Atlanta, GA – Friday, September 14
Athens, GA – Friday, September 21
Charleston, SC – Thursday, September 27
Charlotte, NC – Friday, October 5
Knoxville, TN – Friday, October 12
February 22, 2012
Ten Canned Beers to Drink Now | Mark W. Byrne
It’s been 75 years since the world saw its first beer can. Now, led by can-only breweries, we’re seeing a
renaissance for brews that are colder, brighter, hell, more refreshing. Here are 10 that prove that.
Fat Tire Amber Ale
In Fort Collins, Colorado, the new New Belgium brewery began canning its
famous ale last summer, and it was just in time. In a can, Fat Tire tastes crisper,
and you start to notice things about it, like its hint of sweet caramel, that
explain why it’s so popular.
February 22, 2012
365 Beers in One Day
We drank a year of beer and built a monument
to our achievement: the world’s craziest
The question: Could we drink a different beer
each day for a year? The answer: Yes, we
can—in cans! No offense to bottles, but cans
are better bouncers for flavor-killing light and
oxygen. So we assembled a holy mountain
of delicious, bubbly, and—once in a while—
downright horrible aluminum beauties. And as
we stared at the pile, we thought, Screw one a
day—let’s drink ’em all at once!
21ST AMENDMENT BREWERY ALLIES WIN THE
Props for the most balls-out crazy craft-can designs go to the Frisco-based 21st Amendment Brewery, which
coats its creations with historical drawings. Drink while wearing a patched tweed jacket and instantly look
BEER CITY OF THE YEAR: WASHINGTON, D.C.
This year’s winner is the home of Congress, a giant Abe Lincoln idol, and some of the laxest beverage laws in all
Wondering why your town has no good beer bars? Blame the distributors! Thanks to old-timey laws, they’re
the ones who decide what brews your local bar
can get its frothy hands on. But not in D.C.! In the
anarchic, Mad Max–like District, a bar can act as
its own distributor, giving it free rein to pluck the
best beers from this fair, suds-filled Earth.
Before 2011 it had been 50 years since a
commercial brewery operated in D.C. Today
there are two full-scale shops (and a handful of
brewpubs), with at least two more scheduled
to pop open this year. The biggest and best of
the bunch is D.C. Brau, which fills mugs at 175
bars in the city and promises to begin shipping
elsewhere in the U.S. by year’s end.
Churchkey, 1337 14th Street, NW
Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Hearts Club, 1103
Bladensburg Road, NE
Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar, 1104 H
Meridian Pint, 3400 11th Street, NW
Pizza Paradiso, 2003 P Street, NW
R.F.D. Washington Brewery, 810 7th Street
NW D.C. Brewers: D.C. Brau
Chocolate City Beer
Yes, we drank all these beers.
Miller Lite • RPM IPA, Hilliard’s Amber Ale, Steel Reserve 211 • Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Allies Win
the War Ale, Joe’s American Pilsner, SanTan Hefeweizen, Hop Slayer Double IPA, Pearl-Snap Pilsner, 113 IPA,
Stevens Point Oktoberfest • Old Milwaukee N.A., Taiwan Beer, Porkslap Pale Ale, Jeremiah Weed Roadhouse
Tea, Old Chub Scotch Ale, Sankaty Light Lager, Blue Moon Belgian White, Triangle White Ale, Stevens Point
Amber Classic, Maui Mana Wheat • Guinness Draught, Okocim O.K. Beer, Golden State Ale, Boddingtons Pub
Ale, Crabtree Oatmeal Stout, Crank Yanker IPA • Belhaven Scottish Ale, Deviant Dale’s IPA, Tule Duck Red,
Miller Highlife, Uncommon American Special Bitter, Tallgrass Oasis • Bud Select, Sapporo Reserve, Bud Ice,
McKenzie’s Hard Cider, Tilt Piña Colada, Modelo Especial, Natty Daddy, St. Ides High Gravity, Colt 45 Grape
Blast, Sapporo, Genesee Ice, Iron Mike Pale Ale • Joose Lime Malt Beverage, Bud Chelada, Joose Mas Mango,
Keystone Ice, Tilt Red, Colt 45 Raspberry Watermelon Blast, Schlitz Malt Liquor, Bud Light Lime, Dog Bite High
Gravity Lager, Dundee Honey Brown Lager, Tilt Purple, Labatt Ice, Jeremiah Weed Spiked Cola, Busch, Colt 45
Strawberry Lemonade Blast • Boxer Lager, Ska True Blonde Ale, SlyFox Dunkel Lager, Natural Ice, O’Doul’s, Big
Sky Moose Drool, Triangle Golden Ale, Morning Wood Wheat, Baxter Amber Road, Paddy Pale Ale, Anderson
Valley Winter Solstice Ale, Golden Trout Pilsner, Skol Brasil, Firewater IPA, Bomb Lager, Wild Onion Pumpkin
Ale, Crazy Mountain Amber Ale, Tailgate Hefeweizen • McKenzie’s Black Cherry Cider, Colt 45 Blueberry
Pomegranate Blast, Gubna IPA, Rumspringa, Pamola Xtra Pale Ale, Hop Crisis IPA, Farmer Ted’s Farmhouse
Cream Ale, Colt 45, Harpoon Summer Beer, Mustang Golden Ale, Colorado Kolsch, Mountain Crest Lager,
Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Maui Coconut Porter, Caldera Pale Ale, Third Eye Pale Ale, Tribute Sunbru, Butternuts
Heinnieweisse, Annie’s Amber Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Joose Lemonade, Beck’s • Viennese Lager, Pako’s
IPA, Coors Light, Newcastle Brown Ale, Natural Light, Immersion Amber Ale, Snapperhead IPA, Nectar Del
Razo Pulque, Avalanche Ale, Desert Magic IPA, Lancaster Kolsch, Copper Bell Lager, Snake River Pale Ale, SoDo
Brown Ale, Lion Stout, Pikeland Pils, Epicenter Ale, Yuengling Black and Tan, Harpoon IPA, Hookiebob IPA, ESB
Special Ale, Silverback Pale Ale, Phoenix Pale Ale, Rocket Girl Lager, Happy Camper IPA, Lucky U IPA • Coors,
Olde English 800, Wild Onion Summer Wit, Cornstalker Wheat Ale, Cherry Bock, Old Milwaukee, Amstel Light,
Hop Knot IPA, Magic Hat #9, Peacemaker Ale, G’Knight Red Ale, Corona Extra, Avery IPA, Fireside Chat, White
Zombie Ale, Ellie’s Brown Ale, Rail Yard Ale, Simpler Times Lager, Aooni IPA, Saranac Pale Ale, Sunny Haze Ale,
Tokyo Black Porter, Festie Amber Ale, Bud Light, Lazy Daze Lager, Sunken Island IPA, Mudshark Full Moon Ale,
Mt. Livin’ Pale Ale, Santa Fe Oktoberfest, Yuengling, Kirin Ichiban • Budweiser, White Rascal Ale, Lift Bridge
Brown Ale, Tecate, Back in Black IPA, La Playa Lager, Ashland Amber Ale, Stowaway IPA, Yona Yona Ale, Nola
Blonde Ale, Mucho Aloha IPA, Fat Tire Amber Ale, Hazed & Infused Ale, Lionshead Pilsner, The Public Pale
Ale, Northern Lights IPA, Boont Amber Ale, Dale’s Pale Ale, Persnickety Pale Ale, Before Noon Stout, Summer
Solstice Cerveza, Fire Eagle IPA, Lord Chesterfield Ale, Moo Thunder Stout, Prescott IPA, Mustang Washita
Wheat, Snake Handler Double IPA, Hop Shock IPA, Scape Goat Pale Ale, Chupacabras Pale Ale, Whale’s Tale
Pale Ale, Second Wind Pale Ale, Pali Pilsner • Crazy Stallion Malt Liquor, Tilt Green,
Brew Free or Die IPA, Good People IPA, Jack Stout, Crow Peak Porter, Bear Ass Brown, Shiva IPA, Cascade
Pale Ale, Panorama Wheat Ale, SlyFox Royal Weisse, Hop Ottin’ IPA, 11th Hour IPA, Olde Ore Dock Scottish
Ale, Jeremiah Weed Lightning Lemonade, Czech Pilsner, Buried Hatchet Stout, Caldera IPA, Westbrook IPA,
Epic IPA, Maui Bikini Blonde Lager, Yuengling Light, Wheach Peach Wheat Beer, Kilt Lifter Ale, Rolling Rock,
Evolutionary IPA, Wittekerke Belgian, Oregon Trail Raspberry Wheat Ale, Modus Hoperandi IPA, Pick Axe
Blonde Ale, Labatt Blue • Labatt Blue Light Lime, Heneken Light, Rheingold, Mexican Logger Lager, Heineken,
Hell or High Watermelon, Prescott Amber Ale, Halcyon Wheat, Stevens Point Special Lager, Tailgate Blacktop
Blonde, Resurrection Ale, Bomb Lager, Devil’s Ale, Golden Frau Honey Wheat, Trailhead ISA, Flagship IPA,
Bombshell Blonde, Trout Slayer Wheat, Oskar Blues Gordon Red, Milwaukee’s Best, Genesee, Freestyle Pilsner,
Red Jacket Amber Ale, Genny Cream Ale, Good People Brown Ale, Big Swell IPA, Sky Blue Golden Ale, Schaefer,
Shock Top Belgian White, Brooklyn Lager, Ska Euphoria Pale Ale, Westbrook White Thai, Name Tag Lager, Skilak
Scottish Ale, Corona Light, Michelob Ultra • Foster’s Premium Ale, Murphy’s Stout, Double Haul IPA, Pine Belt
Pale Ale, Konig Pilsener, Baltika 7, EB Pils, Sparks Plus Malt Beverage, Furious Beer, Triomphe IPA, Righteous
Ale, McKinney Eddy Amber Ale, Old Speckled Hen Ale, King Cobra Malt Liquor, Stella Artois, Bitter Brewer Beer,
Original Orange Blossom Ale, Narragansett Lager, Surlyfest Lager, Blackthorn Cider, Cornerstone IPA, Bengali
Tiger Beer, Cynic Ale, Baltika 3, Farm Hand Ale, Coffee Bender Beer, Keystone Light, Daisy Cutter Pale Ale,
Native Amber Ale, Obolon Cerveja, Solitude Ale, Pilsner Urquell, Buffalo Sweat Stout, Obolon Lager, Sparks
Orange Malt Beverage, Strongbow Cider, Bender Beer, Flaming Damsel Lager, Dortmunder Lager, Rhtaphoe
Beer, Eclipse Black IPA, Over Ale, Zywiec, Heady Topper Double IPA, Asahi Beer • Molson XXX, Karpackie
Mocne, Grand 95 Ale, Tetley’s English Ale, I. C. Light, Velvet Rooster Ale, Kpenkoe Beer, Cold Smoke Scotch Ale,
Iron City Lager, Baltika Grade 9 Lager, Golden Wing Blonde Ale, Bacon Brown Ale, Uncommon Golden Pale Ale,
Louie’s Demise Ale, Bitburger, Sir Perry Pear Cider, Narragansett Summer Ale, Sixpoint Sweet Action, Eddy Out
Pale Ale, Black Noddy Lager, Sixpoint Crisp, Narragansett Light, Sixpoint Diesel, Uncommon Baltic Porter, Sparks
Lemon Stinger, Surly Hell Lager, Narragansett Fest Lager, Yossamer Golden Ale, Ballantine XXX, Siamese Twin
Ale, Horny Toad Cerveza, 7 Seas Pale Ale, Brik Red Ale, Surly Abrasive Ale, Surly Wet, Cut-Throat Pale Ale, Pabst
Blue Ribbon, AXL Pale Ale, Missouri Mule IPA, Okocim Malt Liquor, Golden Pheasant Beer, Hollandia Lager,
Foster’s • Guinness Draught • Pug Ryan’s Morning Wood Wheat • Sixpoint Sweet Action • Narragansett Lager •
Blue Moon Belgian White • Pabst Blue Ribbon • Whale’s Tale Pale Ale • Corona Extra • Heineken • Surly Coffee
Bender • Oskar Blues Imperial Ten Fidy Stout • Maui Brewing Co. Coconut Porter • New Belgium Fat Tire
Amber Ale • Avery Brewing’s Ellie Brown Ale ••••••
Businesses trying to establish their products or services as “green” often make a potentially lethal mistake:
They think their target market is “green consumers.” Those people who seek out eco-friendly products, shop at
Whole Foods and drive Toyota Priuses. They play up the eco-friendliness of their product or service in hopes it
will reel in customers.
The problem is, studies find that only a small portion of U.S. consumers make purchasing decisions based
primarily on environmental reasons. And those who do have very diverse reasons: Some buy environmentally
products for health reasons, while others hate wasting resources. This article on Harvard Business Review on
the different types of green consumers and what they look for further explains.
February 23, 2012
The Dangers of Wooing the Green Consumer | Kelly Spors
What ultimately happens is a business chases all
sorts of green consumers and loses its focus, its
edge. It spends so much time worrying about its
green benefits that it forgets about more important
aspects of its products such as quality, value and
attractive design. More consumers buy products for
these reasons than they do environmental ones.
Some companies, think Method cleaning products
and New Belgium Brewing, have done a good job of
being known for their sustainability efforts without
letting it overshadow the brand.
Here are some tips for pulling it off:
Focus on product first: It’s great to be an environmentally conscious brand, but that’s not usually enough to
get people to buy. To really compete, your products need to be just as good, effective and beautiful as your
competitors’ products – preferably more so. Once you’ve nailed down the things that actually sell products and
services, then think about how you can make it green.
Know your customers: What kind of green consumer buys your products and why? Do they buy them because
they want to conserve resources, protect wildlife or for health reasons? Understanding who is buying your
product and for what reason can help ensure you’re putting out effective messages and marketing.
Don’t overstate the environmental benefits: Consumers are becoming leerier of green marketing and it can
create backlash if they realize they’ve been misled. It’s better to focus your marketing on your products’ other
benefits. Then explain how the environmental benefits make your them even better. It also helps your green
strides feel more authentic.
Fort Collins, Colo.-based New Belgium Brewing Co. says
it’s adding two electric plug-in Nissan Leafs to its delivery
fleet and making its two on-site electrical charging stations
available to the public for free.
The charging stations were donated by Schneider Electric.
New Belgium sustainability specialist Katie Wallace says
even charging a vehicle with power generated from coal-
fired plants emits fewer greenhouse gases than an average
The maker of Fat Tire and other beers says electric vehicle
drivers from the public who check in at the company’s reception desk can charge their vehicles for free from 10
a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
New Belgium also is working to replace its entire local delivery truck fleet with hybrid vehicles starting this
February 29, 2012
New Belgium adds electric car charging stations
This story was syndicated by the
Associated Press and was picked
up in 83 other publications.
March 1, 2012
The Craft Beer Universe | Christian DeBenedetti
First brewed by the British for countrymen in India, IPAs are higher ABV, citrusy and hoppier.
New Belgium, maker of the smash Fat Tire Amber Ale, is the third-largest craft brewer in the U.S. Ranger IPA,
with its resinous, juicy flavor, is the brewery’s first major effort in this style, but it’s blowing up across the
country. (6.5% ABV)
21ST AMENDMENT BACK IN BLACK
U.C. Davis brewing-science students Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan are pioneering the “black IPA” style,
combing the evergreen pine of hops in classic IPAs with darker malts, cocoa and coffee flavors. (6.8% ABV)
Stone has a thing for extreme hop bitterness, but what makes this IPA great is its relative restraint. Thanks to
dry-hopping (adding whole, grapefruity-tasting hops to the beer after fermentation), its malty body hangs in
admirable balance. (6.9% ABV)
It’s been more than 100 years since 15,000
women marched through the streets of New
York City demanding shorter hours, better pay,
and voting rights, but how much progress have
women really made in the workforce?
First, the tough news: Although women make
up 49% of the total workforce, they represent
59% of low-wage workers. That number is down
from 63% a decade ago, but research from the
Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR)
shows that it will take until 2056 for women and
men’s earnings to reach pay parity--if the wage
gap continues to close at the same pace it has for the last 50 years.
Another sobering statistic is from a study by Grant Thornton International on the status of women in leadership
roles at top private companies worldwide. In 2011, only 20% of those at the helm were women--down from
24% the year before.
March 5, 2012
What Glass Ceiling? Killer Advice From Women Who Lead By Example | Lydia
The world’s largest economies--the G7 nations, which include the United States--lag further, with an average of
16% women leaders. In the U.S., only 3.6 percent of of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. And the recession may
have brought the glass ceiling down a bit further as companies attempting to reverse the “mancession” hired
Instead of bemoaning the numbers, though, Kathy Cloninger, former CEO of Girl Scouts of the U.S., is calling
on all women to raise awareness and push back. As such, Girl Scouts is spearheading a nonprofit-sector
celebration of 2012 as the Year of the Girl. “But what we really need is a Decade of the Girl, because we need
to take a giant step, and we need more than a year to do it,” declared Cloninger in her book Tough Cookies:
Leadership Lessons from 100 Years of the Girl Scouts.
To do this, Girl Scout’s current CEO Ana Maria Chavez advocates leading by example. “Girl Scouts was founded
100 years ago. We need to update the organization and our model, or else we’re going to lose people.” From
using mobile payment technology to boost sales of those cookies (which totaled $700 million last year) to
holding virtual troop meetings via web-conferencing, the organization is furthering its mission to train young
girls to be entrepreneurs, managers, and leaders.
Here’s a look at what other female leaders had to say about breaking down barriers and achieving success,
whether you’re clicking into a conference room in Louboutins or pounding the pavement in your Danskos.
Don’t Take Your Foot Off The Gas
Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, gave a now-famous TED talk on why we have too few
women leaders. As a mother of two, she is sympathetic to women feeling like they have to choose between
career and family, so she offers this: “Don’t leave before you leave. Stay in. Keep your foot on the gas pedal,
until the very day you need to leave to take a break for a child--and then make your decisions. Don’t make
decisions too far in advance, particularly ones you’re not even conscious you’re making.”
Ellen Kumata of Cambria Consulting says, “Women tend to think more broadly about business issues on
both the business and the people sides, including the long term. But they are not thinking broadly about
themselves. They do not see their own potential; they do not fully comprehend the politics.”
Women who get into and are successful in the C-suite realize that it is perfectly okay to work the high-end
corporate politics in order to pull the top team together in ways that advance them to the benefit of the
Go Where the Opportunities Are
Alice Korngold, founder of Korngold Consulting, points out that on nonprofit boards, the person who raises her
hand and offers to spearhead an initiative often gets to do it. “There are an abundance of boards with no glass
ceilings,” she says. “Consequently, nonprofit boards provide extraordinary opportunities for women to engage
at the highest levels of leadership--including as board chairs, vice chairs, secretaries of the board, treasurers,
and committee chairs.”
Cofounder and president of thatgamecompany Kellee Santiago has proven that her David-sized business is
more than worthy of taking on the lumbering corporate gaming Goliaths. Her games Flower and flOw both
achieved commercial success and critical acclaim with nary a weapon or zombie corpse warlord in sight. Flower
is all about flow--the concept, not the game--which is based on a psychological theory of engagement that’s
gaining traction in design circles. “When I was at the USC School of Cinematic Arts media program, we were
taught a process that focuses on starting with the emotion, as opposed to the mechanics,” says Santiago.
Don’t Be Afraid To Scrap
Linda Chavez-Thompson, former executive vice president of the AFL-CIO, was called many names in her 30-
year tenure in the labor movement--and “pushy broad” was one of the nicer ones. “I wear it like a badge of
honor. Back in Texas I’d be in meetings where I’d cuss like a sailor. I didn’t have a choice: How much you could
take and dish out was the measure of others’ respect for you. Remember, I was dealing with six-foot-tall, 250-
pound Texans who smoked big cigars. I couldn’t let them push me around. While a few of my union brothers
didn’t like me, they sure did respect me.”
Take Charge of Office Politics
Kimberly Davis, president of JPMorgan Chase Foundation, finds that niche cultures within the overall corporate
culture can be pockets of innovation, if you play your cards right, in this 30 Second MBA video.
Get in the Trenches
Pat Button doesn’t ask anyone on her team to do anything she wouldn’t do herself. The chief nursing officer of
Zynx Health admits she’s very self-motivated but she also enjoys working as part of a team and tends to hire
people who have expertise she lacks. “I have very high standards from how the content is developed to how
the muffins are baked. What people have said about me very consistently is that I have high expectations, but
they are reasonable and they are clear. For me, it is important for people to know where they stand but to do
that in a thoughtful way.”
Take Care of Your People
Eve Blossom started Lulan Artisans as a for-profit, social venture to helps artisans sell their expertise, textiles,
and other goods. Not only does the company teach their artisan partners how negotiate fair trade prices for
their work and how to stay successful in business long-term, Lulan also implements tailored benefits programs
for each community where it partners with artisans. Whether artisans need education in their communities or
eye care, Lulan finds a way to help.
Just Say No
There is one little word that packs a big punch, but many women have a hard time deploying: No. Yet
entrepreneur and CEO Margaret Heffernen says almost any communication--however negative--is preferable to
silence. “However unpleasant the information or feedback may be, it allows others to make informed decisions
in their own time. Silence, by contrast, leaves them stuck, unsure when or whether to move, unclear whether
action is needed or not. What I learned from my television days is that when you tell people the truth, in a
timely fashion, you show them respect. And that’s how you earn it too.”
Separate Public and Private Life
In an age of chronic oversharing on social media, it’s hard to know where to draw the line. Amber Mac admits
it’s still hard to refuse a “friend” invite that makes its way to her personal Facebook account.
She strikes a balance by never sharing any photos on that page she wouldn’t be comfortable showing publicly.
“I also refuse to broadcast my phone number or address with anyone, and I more or less just assume that
privacy settings won’t help me that much if someone in my network decides to breach my trust.”
Kim Jordan, cofounder, CEO and president of New Belgium Brewing Company, offers this bit of advice on when
to take the lead and when to let someone else bear the risk.
March 7, 2012
As New Belgium grows, company true to environmental roots
Denver’s channel 9 did a story about New Belgium expanding its canning line and getting ready to
announce where its second brewery will be located.
Full video available on the CD at the back of this clipbook.
Nine times out of 10, when I reach for a beer it’s
something dark, hoppy and (lets be honest) packed with
calories. For me, beer is a treat—something to enjoy
instead of dessert after a long day of work—and I want
one with enough flavor to leave me satisfied. But every
once in a while, the thought of something lighter just
sounds perfect. It’s not that my taste suddenly changes,
it’s just that the situation does; you know, if you’re
already enjoying pizza or chips, it’s probably a good time
to cut back on other extra calories.
For all those situations, I’ll definitely think about reaching
for the winners in EatingWell’s Light Beer Taste Test. We
took a look at light craft beers from breweries that also
make the dark-as-molasses pints I usually favor and found
out which ones made the grade, taste-wise.
The findings were interesting. The first thing I was
intrigued to learn was that while “light” beer is the
fastest-growing beer category in the U.S., that designation doesn’t actually mean anything. Since the Food
and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate alcohol labels, “light” means pretty much whatever a brewer wants
it to. Calorie counts can range from a slim 64 to a bloated 175. Yikes! Now, without further ado, here are our
favorites, in no particular order:
*Nutrition information is for a 12-ounce bottle. | ABV = alcohol by volume
Michelob Ultra Amber
ABV 4.0%, 95 calories,
3.2 grams carbohydrate
Tasting notes: Dark golden color and malty, sweet flavor.
Sam Adams Light
119 calories, 9.6 grams carbohydrate
Tasting notes: Crisp, malty and smooth.
March 9, 2012
Light Beer Taste-Test Winners | Matthew Thompson
7.4 grams carbohydrate
Tasting notes: Nicely balanced beer was the most mild of the batch.
New Belgium Brewing Skinny Dip
7 grams carbohydrate
Tasting notes: Bright golden color and delicious citrus notes.
Denver may get the bulk of culinary accolades for its restaurant
scene, but Aurora is crammed with foodie finds as well.
“Yum: A Guide to Ethnic & Locally Owned Independent Eats in
Aurora,” a joint venture between the city of Aurora and Visit
Aurora, is a new guidebook to hidden dining gems.
The map-sized brochure, written by freelance writer Rebecca Caro,
tracks roughly 200 independent eateries and markets in 22 ethnic
categories, ranging from African to Vietnamese.
”This was probably one of the best things I ever worked on,” said Caro, who researched all the listed eateries
and ate at most of them. “I was so amazed to find all these great little places, and see all these different
immigrants who have come to pursue their version of the American dream. Food is a huge connector of
Kim Stuart, spokeswoman for the city of Aurora and the project’s creator, said Yum’s purpose was threefold:
“To provide residents with a listing of all the independent restaurants, to make metro residents aware of them
and to create a list for out-of-town visitors to give them one-of-a-kind dining options.”
The guide has been distributed to roughly 15 city-owned facilities as well to 90,000 households in Aurora,
Denver and Centennial through The Denver Post last week.
Stuart invites Yum users whose favorite haunt was left out to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org so it can
be added to the online version at auroragov.org/thingstodo/dining.
Plugged in. You may get a charge out of drinking New Belgium Brewing products, but now the public can get a
charge for their electric cars too.
March 11, 2012
Parker: “Yum” steers foodies to Aurora’s indie gems | Penny Parker
When the Fort Collins- based brewer added fully electric plug-in Nissan Leafs
to its delivery fleet, the company opted to make its on-site electric charging
stations open and free to the public.
The two on-site charging stations were donated by Schneider Electric,
headquartered in France. Electric-vehicle drivers can fill up for free during New
Belgium’s tasting hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday by
checking in at the reception desk.
New Belgium, known for its Fat Tire beer and bicycle label, also will replace its
local delivery truck fleet with hybrid vehicles starting in the spring.
Tax free. Goodwill’s Career Connection Center, in partnership with the Internal
Revenue Service and Frontier Asset Building, is offering free tax- preparation
Taxpayers can choose to use the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program or the self-service e-filing option.
The VITA service — for individuals who make $49,500 or less annually — is available from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Fridays through April 13 at 15425 E. Iliff Ave., Unit C, Aurora.
The self-service option, where clients file taxes online from career-center computers, is open from 1 to 4 p.m.
Mondays and Wednesdays through April 11. More information: goodwilldenver.org/taxdeductions.
National nomination. 5280 magazine is the first city and regional publication to
become a finalist for a National Magazine Award for Digital Media.
The nomination from the American Society of Magazine Editors is for The
Saddlemaker, a video about Jesse W. Smith, who’s been making saddles in
southeastern Colorado for 47 years. It was created by Jefferson Panis.
Other finalists in the video category are GQ, New York Times Magazine and Slate.
Winners will be announced
March 20 at the Grand Hyatt New York.
EavesdroppingA group of women at the Fort Collins Cat Rescue’s Whiskers n’
“I am in semi-formal dress. I’m wearing a bra, and it doesn’t get any more semi-
formal than that.”
March 12, 2012
Low-alcohol beers: Take a walk on the mild side | Greg Kitsock
Our Beer Madness panelists this year occasionally
expressed dissatisfaction about the beers being a
bit heavy-handed. “Very intense — punched in the
mouth!” wrote pastry chef Agnes Chin about the
aggressive hop and citrus flavors of Flying Fish Exit
4, our returning champion.
“Could pour this on pancakes,” Komi sommelier
Kathryn Bangs groused of the Dogfish Head Burton
Baton (at 10 percent alcohol by volume, our
That’s the rationale behind the “Crisp” category we
added this year: There is a place for lighter, more
delicate, refreshing beers that you can down from a
mug and not a thimble.
It’s like the old Schaefer slogan: “the one beer to
have when you’re having more than one.”
And the market is responding.
Boston Beer Co. is releasing a new beer, Samuel Adams Belgian Session, as part of its summer variety pack
due out in April. This hazy, amber-colored ale has a gentle toffee flavor up front and finishes with the sharper
herbal and citrusy notes of a saison. The alcohol content by volume is a mere 4.3 percent.
Could this be a shot across the bow of New Belgium Brewing Co. and its flagship Fat Tire Amber Ale? New
Belgium has announced plans for an East Coast branch brewery, to be located in either the Asheville, N.C. or
Philadelphia areas. A decision on the site could come as early as next month.
New Belgium has a few tricks up its sleeve, including the April 2 release of a new year-around, nationally
marketed brand: Shift, a pale lager in a 16-ounce can. The press release describes this average-strength beer (5
percent alcohol by volume) as “easy to drink, crisp and congratulatory.” It’s hopped with Nelson Sauvin, a New
Zealand variety known for its light, fruity flavors, sometimes likened to gooseberries or white wine grapes.
The idea behind the name is that “you punch a clock at the end of your shift” and relax with a pint, says Bryan
Simpson, New Belgium’s media relations director. But he acknowledges that a shift in direction, towards more
sessionable beers, would be a valid interpretation as well.
Two local breweries are taking a walk on the mild side, too. DC Brau teamed up with Baltimore’s Pratt Street
Ale House to brew Burial at Sea, an English-style dark mild ale with soft biscuity and chocolate flavors.
The draft-only beer was brewed in both Baltimore and Washington. Pratt Street’s version finished up at 4.3
percent alcohol, while DC Brau’s batch measured 4.5 percent, a discrepancy that DC Brau CEO Brandon Skall
chalked up to different efficiencies in their respective brewhouses. Regardless, it’s the lowest alcohol beer he’s
brewed yet, says Skall.
The new beer was previewed on March 3 at the Brewer’s Ball, an annual fundraiser for cystic fibrosis research.
The official Washington premiere took place on March 8 at Meridian Pint. This is a limited, one-time release,
with just 25 half-barrels and 20 sixtels released, notes Skall.
Meanwhile, cofounder and head brewer Favio Garcia of Lost Rhino Brewing Co. in Ashburn is fermenting a
helles, a malt-accented, golden, Bavarian-style lager, to be released in a couple weeks. Garcia expects the
alcohol to clock in at under 5 percent. He hadn’t named the beer as of press time, but noted the possibilities
for puns (Helles or High Water?) were almost limitless.
Finally, Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, Mich. has come up with a kinder, gentler India pale ale, dubbed
All Day IPA. Formulated for “optimal aromatics and a clean finish” (so says the Web site), the beer measures a
respectable 42 international bitterness units but only 4.7 percent alcohol. Alas, it’s being marketed at present
only in Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and the Chicago area.
The beer to have when you’re having 32?
Our Beer Madness panel would have appreciated that one.
March 14, 2012
Top 10 North American Beer Festivals | Kate Siber
Tour de Fat
Fort Collins, Colorado
September 1, 2012
New Belgium Brewing, the makers of Fat Tire Amber
Ale, are serious about not taking themselves too
seriously. A case in point is the Tour de Fat (Free,
newbelgium.com), an annual series of bike parades
and events that’ll hit 15 cities this summer. The flagship
event is still in the brewery’s hometown, Fort Collins,
Colorado, where some 20,000 cyclists have turned
out for a gigantic beer-soused bike parade. (Costumes
encouraged.) There are also vaudeville acts,
March 25, 2012
Light Beer Fights for Life as Craft Brews Invade Shelves | Duane Stanford
At a beer industry summit last month, Ed McBrien, distribution chief for MillerCoors, compared himself to a typewriter
salesman in an iPad age.
McBrien was sketching out plans to resurrect light beer, a $50 billion market battling to stay relevant as makers of
craft beer, wine and spirits increasingly steal customers from Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TAP), SABMiller Plc (SAB) and
Anheuser-Busch Inbev NV. (ABI)
Light beer is ceding ground as cabernet-loving baby boomers and
millennials weaned on exotic cocktails seek more complex flavors in their
brews. High unemployment among light beer drinkers also has prompted
some to drink less or switch to cheaper brews. In a bid to return the froth
to light beer, the U.S. joint venture between Molson Coors and SABMiller
last week unveiled new advertising for a key brand, Miller Lite.
If the companies can’t revive the brand, “we’ve got big trouble ahead
of us,” said Bump Williams, whose Stratford, Connecticut-based BWC
Co. advises more than 100 beer retailers and distributors. “Light beer has
become a commodity.”
The new Miller Lite ads will revive the brewer’s classic tagline, “It’s Miller Time.” Aimed at men in their 20s and 30s,
the campaign will tone down outdated talk of carbs and calories in favor of a “brewed for brotherhood” theme. The
brand will spend 50 percent more on media during the crucial summer selling season.
“Miller Time is all about real friends getting together over a real beer,” MillerCoors Chief Marketing Officer Andy
England said in an interview. “We’re going to articulate that with a kind of Midwestern grit that can only come from
Light beer, an American invention, took hold in 1975, when Miller Brewing Co. became the first to distribute a low-
calorie beer nationwide. Now four of the five best-selling suds in the U.S. are light beers, including Leuven, Belgium-
based Anheuser’s Bud Light and MillerCoors’ Coors Light.
Still, as consumers turn to more exciting alternatives, U.S. beer sales volumes have dropped for three straight years,
including a 1.5 percent decline in 2011, according to the Beverage Information Group, a Norwalk, Connecticut-based
yo-yo performances, bands, slow-riding contests, and, of course, plenty of New Belgium brews. The Tour is
free, and proceeds from beer sales go to bike-related charities. Over the past 12 years, New Belgium has raised
nearly $2 million. Cheers to that.
Stay: The Armstrong Hotel (from $129; thearmstronghotel.com), in downtown Fort Collins, has 43 bright, funky
rooms with vintage furniture and hardwood floors. Bikes are complimentary and pets are welcome.
researcher. Coors Light -- the only Top 5 U.S. beer still growing -- posted a 1 percent increase last year, the same as in
The shift has retailers stocking more wine and spirits. Beer lost 2.3 share points of display space during the past five
years as spirits and wine gained, according to Nick Lake, senior director of category management for Heineken NV
(HEIA) in the U.S. in Atlanta, who cited Nielsen data.
“Our competition has convinced retailers that their categories are providing more value and have more relevance with
the consumer,” Lake said at an industry conference hosted last month by Beer Business Daily in San Diego.
Miller Lite has always sought broad appeal, with early television ads featuring athletes pitching the brew as
“Everything You always Wanted in a Beer. And Less.” New York Yankees baseball legends George Steinbrenner and Billy
Martin later argued over whether it was better to say the beer “tastes great” or was “less filling.”
By the mid-2000s, craft beer’s rise made it harder for light beers to make a case for taste. They tried anyway. In 2008,
Miller Lite brought back the “Great Taste, Less Filling” idea in its advertising amid falling sales. Anheuser-Busch went
with the tagline “Drinkability,” a brewer’s term used to describe beer that goes down easy.
The following year, Miller Lite advertised itself as “triple hops brewed for great pilsner taste,” as more Americans
discovered more heavily hopped craft beers such as New Belgium Brewing Co.’s Fat Tire. Miller followed that up with
its “Taste Greatness” campaign. Sales didn’t recover.
Coors Light has grown while largely staying away from taste claims, focusing instead on what it calls “Rocky Mountain
Cold refreshment.” Coors Light used special ink on cans to show when the beer was at its optimal temperature.
The industry also has attempted to juice sales with packaging innovations, such as wide-mouth screw top cans,
aluminum bottles and wide-mouthed vented cans. Now Anheuser is turning to higher alcohol content with the
January introduction of Bud Light Platinum, featuring 6 percent alcohol, compared with 4.2 percent for regular Bud
Miller Lite will ship new cans by Labor Day that have darker, more masculine blue graphics. Other cans will have a
perforated second opening that will have to be punched out with a tool of the drinker’s choice, because millennial
guys “like to tinker,” England said. The opening will allow the beer to flow more like a glass, he said.
Miller Lite focused on its buddy theme after research revealed that sociability was high on beer drinkers’ minds.
England said the campaign will go beyond Bud Light’s more generic “here we go” advertising, by focusing on close
friends, not just acquaintances.
“We’re going to kill it,” England said. “Obviously, I’d like to see some immediate results, but what’s more important is
I like to write about social media. I also love craft beer. It’s rare when these passions collide but in the case of
what New Belgium Brewing is doing on social media, it’s too cool to avoid. The individuals most responsible
for the New Belgium brand on social media — self-proclaimed Social Networking Nerd Michael Bussmann and
Brand Activities Manager Adrian Glasenapp — were kind enough to share their brand driven insights with us.
Disclosure: I drink a lot beer including many New Belgium brews (my personal favorite is plain ol’ Fat Tire). Not
sure how this could color my insights but I thought you should know. Cheers!
You said recently that even though New Belgium is the 3rd largest craft brewer, your competition is less the
bigger fish like Samuel Adams and Sierra Nevada and more niche regional brews. How has social media been
helpful at the local level?
Michael Bussmann: Social media allows us to have a large and small presence at the same time. Our regional/
city-specific Ranger Facebook pages help us stay relevant in local markets. On the local pages we speak to local,
on-the-ground consumers in a way we cannot from the main page. Local events get listed there and the admin
at the helm of the local page gets to answer the local drinkers’ questions. What is relevant in the St. Louis beer
scene might not make for good content on the broader, main page. Our Rangers that are running these pages
live in these markets, so they get to have a strong, localized voice, and speak to their friends, neighbors and
You have your main Facebook page as well as 38 local pages across 28
states that are maintained by your “Rangers.” Tell us how you handle
ceding some of the control over your brand.
Michael: We give the Rangers control. There are a couple/few admins of
the main NBB and Fat Tire pages. These couple admins are also admins on
the Ranger’s pages, but the content on the local pages is controlled by the
Ranger living in that market. They know the region/city better than we do,
so it is better that they contribute the regular content. We do have (and
are working to improve) a content calendar for things that are nationally
relevant: new beer releases, national events, significant NBB cultural
happenings, etc. But for the most part the Rangers are handed the keys and
told to get after it.
You also have a Facebook page for your most well-known beer, Fat Tire. How do you determine what merits
its own social presence and what doesn’t?
Michael: Honestly, the Fat Tire page started very organically, and on its own. That page was created by a fan
and it grew and grew. Facebook has a regulation that states if a product based page reaches 30,000 fans the
brand behind that product has to become involved. So we got involved. The fan that created the page is still an
admin and regular contributor, but at that 30,000 fan mark we had to join up with him.
March 26, 2012
New Belgium Brews Community with Social Media (Interview) | Nick Westergaard