Brewers Association Reports Annual Growth Figures for Small and Independent Brewers

The Brewers Association (BA), the trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers, today released 2014 data on U.S. craft brewing1 growth. For the first-time ever, craft brewers reached double-digit (11 percent) volume share of the marketplace.

In 2014, craft brewers produced 22.2 million barrels, and saw an 18 percent rise in volume2 and a 22 percent increase in retail dollar value3.  Retail dollar value was estimated at $19.6 billion representing 19.3 percent market share.2014_growth-600x375

“With the total beer market up only 0.5 percent in 2014, craft brewers are key in keeping the overall industry innovative and growing. This steady growth shows that craft brewing is part of a profound shift in American beer culture—a shift that will help craft brewers achieve their ambitious goal of 20 percent market share by 2020,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “Small and independent brewers are deepening their connection to local beer lovers while continuing to create excitement and attract even more appreciators.”

Additionally, the number of operating breweries in the U.S. in 2014 grew 19 percent, totaling 3,464 breweries, with 3,418 considered craft broken down as follows: 1,871 microbreweries, 1,412 brewpubs and 135 regional craft breweries. Throughout the year, there were 615 new brewery openings and only 46 closings.

Combined with already existing and established breweries and brewpubs, craft brewers provided 115,469 jobs, an increase of almost 5,000 from the previous year.


“These small businesses are one of the bright spots in both our economy and culture. Craft brewers are serving their local communities, brewing up jobs and boosting tourism,” added Watson. “Craft brewers are creating high quality, differentiated beers; new brewers that match this standard will be welcomed in the market with open arms.”

Note: Numbers are preliminary. The Brewers Association will release the list of Top 50 craft brewing companies and overall brewing companies by volume sales on March 31. Additionally, a more extensive analysis will be released during the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® in Portland, Oregon from April 14-17. The full 2014 industry analysis will be published in the May/June 2015 issue of The New Brewer, highlighting regional trends and production by individual breweries.

1 An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.
2 Volume by craft brewers represent total taxable production.
3 Figure derived from comparable data set based on 2014 update of craft brewer definition.

Contact: Abby Berman (on behalf of the Brewers Association), (646) 695-7044

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How to Store Your Home Brewing Supplies

How to Store Your Home Brewing Supplies

Over the past few years, home brewing has become a popular hobby as beer lovers everywhere are trying their hands at creating their own signature brews; in fact, recent research estimates that there are 1.2 million home brewers in the United States, and that last year there saw a 24% year-over-year increase in sales of beginner homebrew equipment kits.
Like following a recipe, brewing is simple in theory; however, it takes a lifetime to master, and a beginner brewer might run into issues when it comes to correctly storing their brewing supplies and ingredients. You might think that your basement is sufficient, or maybe a corner in your backyard shed; however, some ingredients and equipment for home brewing are delicate and require specific temperature and humidity conditions when being stored, whether in a freezer in your garage or in a dedicated storage facility.Malted grain and liquid malted grain should be stored between 50-70 degrees; climate controlledstorage is essential to prevent your ingredients from spoiling. Malted grain should be kept in an airtight, dry container that will keep out bugs and mice, which will keep uncrushed grain good for a year or crushed grain good for 2-3 months.Liquid malted grain, similarly, should be stored in the can in which it’s sold, following the expiration date on the can. If you open the can, the shelf life of liquid malted grain will be three months, but you can refrigerate the liquid malted grain in the smallest possible container to avoid oxidization, spoilage, contamination- and worst of all, “skunked” beer.

Hops are very delicate, and should be stored away from heat, light, and oxygen, making an air-tight container in the freezer your best bet. Stored carefully this way, hops can last up to a year, thanks to their natural preservative qualities.

Yeast, meanwhile, should be stored in the fridge within the manufacturer’s packaging and according to the manufacturer’s expiration date. If stored in poorly sanitized or damaged plastic containers, some bacterial buildup can lead to over-carbonation and enough pressure to create ‘bottle bombs’.

Even if you aren’t putting your equipment away for a hiatus, you can still improve your home brewing storage to help you focus on brewing crisp, delicious, and drinkable beers. Use hooks or a pegboard to hang small items like stirring spoons, racking canes, and bottle brushes. A file cabinet can be perfect for storing unused bottles, while plastic shelving is ideal for vertically storing larger elements, like fermenters. Compartmentalized toolboxes can be used for smaller items, like bottle caps and airlocks, and dry ingredients (like spices, Irish moss, gypsum, and Burton water salts) should be stored at room temperature in airtight bags.

As with anything else you cook, bake, or brew, the quality of your final product will depend on the integrity of your ingredients, your equipment, and how you store both your ingredients and equipment, whether you keep them in a storage facility in Peoria or in your own garage. By storing your ingredients and equipment according to best practices, you’ll be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy your own delicious home-brewed beer.

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Oskar Blues is coming to South Louisiana this April


Good news on a Monday?! Yes! Oskar Blues, home of the original canned craft beer, will start distributing in South Louisiana in late April.

Find out more from the Oskar Blues press release below:

Longmont, CO & Brevard, NCOskar Blues Brewery, creator of the first American craft beer in a CAN, will keep cranking along with its strong expansion plans for 2015 with the April launch of the Southern Louisiana market. Oskar Blues has chosen Crescent Crown Distributing to cover the entirety of the southern part of the state from Lake Charles to New Orleans. The partnership marks the expansion of an already solid and productive relationship that has developed over the years with Crescent Crown Distributing of Arizona and Gulf Goldring/Gulf Distributing in Florida and Southern Alabama. 

“Crescent Crown is extremely pleased to continue our solid partnership with the Oskar Blues Brewery in the Bayou State from New Orleans to the Lake Charles markets. Oskar Blues is a proven and committed supplier partner that delivers innovative beer brands supported with industry leading marketing resources and tools that position them as a key supplier in any craft beer portfolio. With their affinity for good down home Southern food and music, the Oskar Blues brands will be a perfect complement not only to CCD’s robust craft portfolio but also to the ever-growing Louisiana craft beer industry with their unique entrepreneurial and charitable spirit,” says Bubba Moffett, President of Crescent Crown Distributing LLC.


Launching the Oskar Blues brands in Bayou country makes for an especially significant occasion in the history of Oskar Blues given the business’ deep Southern roots and auspicious start in 1997 as a Cajun-soaked bar, restaurant and music hall in Lyons, Colorado.


The launch will unfold throughout April, ramping up with a fully-loaded crew drive during the second week of the New Orleans Jazz Fest on April 27-May 1. Oskar Blues will initially be bringing the full line-up of its award-winning beers in CANS only to retailers and consumers in Louisiana and will roll with a full draft launch in the following weeks.


“The City That Care Forgot is about to get a big Mother FUH-CAN dose of OB. We are on a mission in 2015 and there is NO BETTA place in the world for that launch than NOLA. Whether you desire a can of Dale’s while stumbling around in the Quarter, sipping a Mama’s in the Garden District, or getting rolled in an alley behind AT2’s after one too many Deviant’s, OB is coming hard and correct to The Crescent City,” says Dale Katechis, CEO & Soul Founder of Oskar Blues Brewery.


The beer that started the craft-beer-in-a-CAN revolution, Dale’s Pale Ale, along with the rest of Oskar Blues line-up of year-round brews will be loaded up and truckin’ to the Bayou State from the Colorado brewery at the end of this month and the CANS will be ready for thirsty Louisianans to throw back soon after. This latest expansion move puts Oskar Blues beers into a total of 42 states plus the District of Columbia in the U.S. and three countries internationally. It marks the sixth new market launch this year and there are currently plans to launch 4 to 5 more states before the end of 2015.


More about Oskar Blues Year-Round Brews

Dale’s Pale Ale: As Oskar Blues’ flagship beer, this American Pale Ale delivers balanced rich flavors of malts and hops (6.5% ABV, 65 IBUs). The award-winning beer was named the “Top U.S. Pale Ale” by The New York Times and is the number-one selling pale ale in ColoRADo.

Pinner Throwback IPA: Crushable India Pale Ale with a delicate balance of citrusy, tropical hop aroma and a toasty, biscuit-like malt backbone (4.9% ABV, 35 IBUs). Oskar Blues newest brew.

Mama’s Little Yella Pils: This Bohemian Style Pilsner offers a refreshing balance of Saaz hops and specialty German malts while providing a gentle flavor (5.3% ABV, 35 IBUs). Like summer in your mouth.

Old Chub Scotch Ale: Strong Scotch Ale, brewed with rich malts, specialty and smoked grains to deliver flavors of semi-sweet cocoa and coffee (8% ABV).

Old Chub NITRO: Old Chub, but on NITRO, which adds a creamy, velvety mouth-feel. And a little less ABV at 6.9%.

G’Knight Imperial Red IPA: The dry-hopped double-red IPA embodies a strong aroma and malty hopped flavors while providing a rich finish (8.7% ABV, 60 IBUs).

Deviant Dale’s IPA: American-style India Pale Ale, Deviant exemplifies aromas of citrus, grapefruit rind and piney resins to deliver a full-flavor (8% ABV, 85 IBUs).

About Oskar Blues Brewery

Founded as a brewpub by Dale Katechis in 1997, Oskar Blues Brewery launched the craft beer-in-a-can apocalypse in 2002 using a tabletop machine that sealed one can at a time. In 2008, the makers of the top-selling pale ale in ColoRADo, Dale’s Pale Ale, moved into a 35,000-square-foot facility in Longmont, ColoRADo. The brewery has since experienced explosive growth-from packaging 59,000 barrels of beer in 2011 to 149,000 barrels in 2014. In December 2012, Oskar Blues opened the doors to an expansion brewery in Brevard, North Carolina. Recently, Oskar Blues secured an additional 60,000 square feet at its Colorado location to expand its production footprint. Oskar Blues now distributes trail-blazing craft brews to 42 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., as well as parts of Canada, Sweden, and the U.K.
About Crescent Crown Distributing

Crescent Crown Distributing is one of the Industry’s largest distributors of beer and nonalcoholic brands with operations in Louisiana (New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Thibodaux) and Phoenix, Arizona, selling, marketing and distributing approximately 28 million cases to over 14,000 accounts annually. As an industry leader, Crescent Crown is dedicated to the development of the craft beer market by partnering with the highest quality local and national craft brands while establishing nationally recognized standards for all of its valued supplier partners throughout its territories.

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Bayou Teche Saison D’Ecrevisses


With the coming of warmer days South Louisianians herald the arrival of crawfish season. Mounds of the highly coveted crustaceans are poured onto tables along with piles of potatoes, corn, garlic and just about anything else a Cajun has the envie  to toss into the boiling pot. I usually opt for a run-of-the-mill domestic lager for the accompanying brew because, One: it’s usually abundantly available at the boil and Two: who needs fancy beer with crawfish?

Now, I’m rethinking that very mindset with the arrival of Bayou Teche’s Saison D’Ecrevisses. It’s a Belgian Saison brewed specifically for pairing with crawfish – it’s no wonder a brewery with crawfish ponds on its property would embark on such a noble endeavor.

You’ll notice a slightly sour nose, with a dry rye component that pairs perfectly with the spiciness of the crawfish. Think of it as an earthy (thanks to the Belgian yeast), hoppier (thanks to the French Aramis hops) version of a light beer whose sourness and pepperiness make it the perfect accompaniment to any seafood boil.

Only available while crawfish are – January through June – but get it while you can because it doesn’t stay on the shelves very long! You can find it at Cannata’s Family Markets.

Bon Appetit!

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Six Pack of questions with Parish Brewing’s Andrew Godley

Six pack of questions for Andrew Godley of Parish Brewing:

1) I’ve heard your background is in engineering. How did you end up becoming a brewmaster?
I was an LSU degreed Chemical Engineer and worked as one for 10 years before opening the brewery. I decided to start the brewery while getting my MBA and realized that being successful in business isn’t always about how smart you are or how much money you have but rather how hard you work and how tenacious you are. I saw the need for locally produced beer and got tired of the corporate lifestyle and the rest is history.
2)Ghost in the Machine has been called the best beer in Louisiana. What is your reaction to all the positive feedback?
We’re flattered and glad that folks appreciate what we are trying to do with our beers. We are addicted to the positive feedback and it makes us try hard to make every beer as perfect as we know how to make it, even if that means tweaking the recipe or trying something new. Maybe that’s a reflection of me and my competitive nature. We will admit we are still young and not 5th generation brewmasters with PhDs in brewing science but we are going to try harder than anyone else and always work to make the beers the best possible beer we know how to make. Also, the positive feedback tells us we need to brew more Ghost so that’s the plan!
3) Do you think the IPA bubble will bust soon? If so, what’s the “next big thing” in craft beer?
No, I don’t think the IPA bubble will burst soon. But at some point the supply of good hoppy beers will meet demand and then there will be another type of beer that isn’t meeting demand and it will become the “hot” item. That will probably be sours or wild ales since they are really hard and time consuming to make and the quantity produced will not meet the growing demand for them anytime soon.

4) What advice to you have for the aspiring home brewer?
Home brewing is a wonderful thing and I encourage everyone even thinking about it to give it a shot and don’t be afraid of the seemingly complicated process. The best beer anyone will every taste will be when they try their first home brewed beer! I always recommend folks read John Palmer’s “How to Brew”. It was the first book I read before brewing my first batch in the garage and it came out perfectly delicious, it was an extra pale ale brewed with Cascade hops.
5) Are you working on any new brews right now?
We aren’t working on any new recipes now but we do have a few new beers coming out soon like the Bourbon Barrel Aged Grand Reserve vintage 2014 which we will sell alongside the 2015 regular Grand Reserve later this year.

6) Where do you see the Louisiana craft beer scene in 5 years?
The market share of craft beer here in LA will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. It’s the natural state of things to have more diverse selection of beer products rather than less. Its a great time to be brewing (and drinking) locally brewed beer in Louisiana!
Parish Brewing - Broussard, LA
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Firkin Night January 16th at Which Craft?



Join us Friday, January 16th for “Firkin Friday” at Which Craft in Houma, LA!firkin-night

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An Instructional Guide To Building a Kegerator

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Craft Beer Reaches New Depths As Mainers Brew A Batch From Seaweed : The Salt : NPR

More craft breweries are using exotic ingredients in their creations these days. There are ales made with all kinds of fruit, beers infused with coriander and other spices, stouts brewed with oysters — even beer made from yeast scraped off 35 million-year-old whale bones. But what about a beer made with seaweed?

At Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. on the Belfast, Maine, waterfront, new beers begin their journey into draft lines and pint glasses inside two large tanks. Marshall Wharf has a reputation for making some unconventional beers — a stout with locally sourced oysters, for example, and a wheat-infused kolsch with jalapeno and habanero peppers. A few years ago, David Carlson, the brewing companys owner, discovered a beer from Scotland, called Kelpie, made with seaweed.

“If theres seaweed in Maine and its a good product,” he says, “why not try putting it in the beer?

“Few if any U.S. breweries have tried making beer with seaweed.


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Stone Enjoy By 08.16.14 IPA Hits The Streets July 12th

Stone Enjoy By 08.16.14 IPA Hits The Streets July 12th


(Escondido,CA) – Stone Enjoy By 07.04.14 is now history, but not to fret, a new batch is in the tanks and ready to hit the streets July 12th. This will be called Stone Enjoy By 08.16.14 IPA.

From our preliminary info, this will have the same hop blend as the past few batches:Ahtanum, Super Galena, Simcoe, Amarillo, Delta, Target, Calypso, Cascade, Citra, Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin, Motueka and Helga.

While a few batches have been limited to a few markets, we believe this to be another national release like the 07.14.14 batch.

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Celestial Suds: Bell’s Brewery Introducing ‘Planets’ Beer Series


Bell’s Brewery is introducing a series of seven beers based on the planets of the solar system (except Earth). The first release is expected in August 2014. Credit: Bell’s Brewery

In the universe of Bell’s Brewery, Mars is a strong beer, Uranus a crafty potion mix and Mercury — that lightfooted messenger — a nimble brew.

Such is the thinking behind “The Planets” series of beers that Michigan-based Bell’s is pioneering this August, with a limited-edition set based on the famous orchestral suite by English composer Gustav Holst.

New offerings will be released every two months through July 2015, based on seven of the planets in our solar system (Earth was excluded from Holst’s piece, which was written between 1914 and 1916). They will be sold in both six-pack and draft in Bell’s current distribution area, which includes 20 states as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Inspiration came from a lifelong love of Holst that began when Bell’s founder Larry Bell was in high school, playing percussion for the “Mars” and “Jupiter” portions of the suite. At age 18, he purchased a record of the suite directed by composer Leopold Stokowski.

“I think that vinyl is just about worn out,” Bell told

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