Another year is about to go into the books. For craft brewing, 2010 turned to be an eventful year indeed. Some highlights:
It’s been a great year for Sierra Nevada Brewing Company CEO Ken Grossman. His company turned 30 years old, and gained the beer world’s attention with a series of high-gravity beers made in collaboration with craft brewing legends.
Now comes news that Grossman’s company has been honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which named it the Pacific Western Division’s Green Business of the Year. Sierra Nevada keeps 99.5 percent of its solid waste out of landfills through such means as recycling and composting, and gets 85 percent of its electricity from renewable power.
If you love beer and writing about it, then you should take part in The Session. It’s a monthly event in which beer bloggers host a topical discussion. The series was started by Jay Brooks of the Brookston Beer Bulletin and Stan Hieronymus of Appellation Beer.
Session number 47, Cooking With Beer, will be hosted by David Jensen of Beer47.com. (Did we mention that you can take part in with discussion? Consider yourself invited.)
To get the ball rolling, Jensen offers some ideas for posts:
You can contribute a post until Friday, January 7. Afterward, Jensen will write a brief wrap-up of what was posted.
During the dot-com stock bubble, it seemed that every bar had the television tuned to CNBC and half the clientele looked like they’d skipped work to play the stock market. Then the bubble burst, and the TVs went back to ESPN. But in Michigan, the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange has put quotes back on the big screen. Not for stocks, but–pun intended–more liquid assets. Here’s how it works:
Let’s say that one of those beers is a pint of Bell’s Amber Ale for $3. Depending on what the demand is for a pint of Short’s, the price could shoot up to 15 percent of the average price per pint or drop up to 50 percent. The prices, displayed on several large monitors around the dual-level bar, change every 15 minutes.
Once in a while, the Exchange’s owner, Jim Flora, announces a market crash with an ear-splitting blast from an air horn. For five minutes, customers can buy their favorite beer at its all-time low price.
Paul can’t help himself. He wonders if a doppelbock called Speculator is on the beer list.
“Almalkin,” a member of the BeerAdvocate.com community, tipped us off to a new brewing reality show, which premieres on The History Channel Saturday, December 26, at noon Eastern time.
Here’s how The History Channel describes it: “Watch today’s best home brewers battle to fill your glass with a beer that made history!”
A British commercial for Grolsch beer features the “Swingtop Philharmonic Orchestra” playing Oh Christmas Tree with Grolch’s swingtop bottles. Enjoy!
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company hosts Beer Camp, where industry people–distributors, retailers, and even the occasional beer blogger–spend two days at the brewery’s pilot brewhouse. Each group of campers gets to brew their own small batch of beer. One of those batches, released for this year’s San Francisco Beer Week, served as the prototype for Hoptimum. It’s an imperial IPA brewed with whole-cone hops. Jay Brooks of the Brookston Beer Bulletin tried some at Beer Camp last week, and came away impressed. The rest of the country will have to wait until January 1 to get their Hoptimum.
Gerard Walen of RoadTripsForBeer.com has compiled a a list of top ten beer trips, but this one has a twist. Five of the trips were taken by Walen himself, the other five suggested by his readers.
If you didn’t get out as much you wanted in 2010, fear not. A new year is almost upon us, and you’ve got lots of ideas to kick around.
It’s been more than three years since Appalachian State University beat Michigan in football. It was one of the biggest upsets in sports history, and Wolverine fans are still crying in their beer over it.
Speaking of beer, ASU operates the Ivory Tower Brewery, a small non-profit facility operated by professors who teach an honors class in brewing. Up to now, the beer was made strictly for research and educational purposes. But the university has applied for state and federal permits to sell it at the on-campus Broyhill Inn and Conference Center as early as next summer. It’s also a step in a continuing effort by ASU to offer more classes in wine- and beer-making and, eventually, a four-year degree program in fermentation sciences.
Last month, Coloradans voted to send John Hickenlooper, the founder of Denver’s Wynkoop Brewing Company, to the governor’s mansion. He’ll be sworn in on January 11, and beer will have a starring role in the festivities. Not only will Wynkoop’s Hickenlooper’s InaugurAle be on the beer list at his inaugural ball, but products of at least 16 other Colorado micros will also be served to party-goers.
If any state deserves to have an ex-craft beer pioneer as governor, this is it. Colorado ranks third in the country in the number of breweries, and first in breweries per capita.