Tag Archives: craft brewers

Craft beer showing no signs of slowing down in popularity

Graph by the Brewers Association.

Graph by the Brewers Association.

The Brewers Association, a trade organization dedicated to supporting and supplying information about the craft beer industry, has released its mid-year report on the health of the industry. In the first half of 2015, American craft beer production volume increased 16 percent according to the group’s press release.

From January through the end of June 2015, approximately 12.2 million barrels of beer were sold by craft brewers, up from 10.6 million barrels during the first half of 2014.

“Industry growth is occurring in all regions and stemming from a mix of sources including various retail settings and a variety of unique brewery business models,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “The continued growth of small and independent brewers illustrates that additional market opportunities and demand are prevalent, although competition in the sector is certainly growing and the need for brewers to differentiate and produce world class high quality beer is more important than ever.”

In addition to the phenomenal increase in production, new brewery openings are occurring at a break-neck pace. As of June 30, 2015, 3,739 breweries were operating in the U.S, an increase of 699 breweries over the same time period of the previous year. Additionally, there were 1,755 breweries in planning. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 115,469 full-time and part-time workers, many of which are manufacturing jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.

“More and more Americans are discovering the joys of enjoying fresh beer produced by their neighborhood brewery. By supporting local, small and independent craft breweries, beer lovers are gradually returning the United States to the system of localized beer production that existed for much of our nation’s history,” added Watson.

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Posted by on July 27, 2015 in Beer


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Three-year battle over 64-ounce growlers all but over

all-growlers-clipped2It has been a long convoluted journey, but on Friday the Florida House voted unanimously to legalize 64-ounce growlers for tap room beer sales. The size, a standard in 48 of the United States, has long been a point of contention between craft brewers and some of the state’s distributors and macro-brewers.

“This day has been a long time coming,” House Majority Leader Dana Young, R-Tampa, said on the floor Friday. “It was a lot harder than it should have been, and a lot of you have lived through this craziness with me.”

The bill, now awaiting Gov. Rick Scott’s signature or veto, also allows breweries to open up to eight tap rooms for customers to purchase beer by the pint as well as fill growlers. Up to today, breweries have been using an exemption in state law meant to encourage tourism – and originally put in place at the request of Anheuser-Busch so that the company’s beer could be served at Busch Gardens in Tampa and Sea World in Orlando, which were owned by the beer giant at the time.

growlerFriday’s passage of the bill (SB 186) ends three years of arguments between craft breweries, mega-breweries and distributors. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, and in the House by Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, and Young.

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Posted by on April 24, 2015 in Beer News


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Brew Hub Announces Partnership with Cigar City, Orange Blossom Pilsner and BJ’s Restaurants

BrewHubIn an update on a story we brought you some time ago, Brew Hub, the regional brewery project led by former executives at ABinBev, has announced partnerships with several Florida breweries and a major beer-centric restaurant chain.

Read all the details in their press release below:

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Brew Hub, a company led by a team of beer industry executives and craft brewing experts, has announced partnerships with three award-winning craft brewers: Cigar City Brewing; Orange Blossom Pilsner; and BJ’s Restaurants (Nasdaq: BJRI).

Brew Hub will partner brew beer for all three companies at its new, state-of-the-art craft brewery in Lakeland, Fla. beginning May 2014. Brew Hub will brew a variety of beer brands for each company and distribute the beer throughout Florida and eventually other southeastern states.

Partner brewing is a process that allows craft brewers not only to brew their beer to exact specifications under the supervision of their own brewmaster, but also to package and distribute from the Brew Hub brewery and make their beer available for export to international markets. Partner brewing allows craft breweries to expand their distribution without the overhead costs of building a new brewery or transporting beer across the country. Brew Hub also offers services including sales, marketing, logistics, compliance and government affairs.

“These guys know what they are doing, and I am excited for the opportunity to be able to grow Cigar City Brewing without sacrificing quality or compromising the brewing process,” said Joey Redner, Cigar City Brewing founder and CEO. “When you combine Brew Hub’s experience with a new state-of-the-art craft brewery in our home state of Florida, we knew this partnership could help us get more Cigar City beer into the hands of people who love it.”

“The partnerships we’ve formed with Cigar City, Orange Blossom Pilsner and BJ’s Restaurants are exactly why we formed our company,” said Tim Schoen, founder and CEO of Brew Hub. “All three brew amazing craft beer, but they simply can’t meet the overwhelming consumer demand. Partnering with Brew Hub will allow these award-winning craft brewers to brew more beer and increase their distribution which will allow them to grow much more quickly.”

Brew Hub will brew approximately 40,000 barrels of beer for the three partners combined. The Lakeland brewery will have an annual capacity of 75,000 barrels, or one million cases. The Florida brewery will be the first of five breweries Brew Hub plans to open across the country. All will allow craft brewers the opportunity to partner brew their beers on site.
“With these three agreements in place we are sold out for 2014, and we couldn’t be happier,” said Schoen. “Our focus will now be on expanding our brewing capacity at our Lakeland brewery, and announcing the next two breweries we plan to open.”
The Lakeland brewery is located in Interstate Commerce Park off the I-4 Corridor. The brewery will also feature a 3,000-square-foot tasting room where consumers can enjoy the beers being brewed by any of Brew Hub’s partners. The site’s central location will allow the company to efficiently distribute beer to wholesalers throughout Florida and the Southeast.

Brew Hub brewing operations will be led by Chief Brewmaster, Dr. Paul Farnsworth, who is overseeing all aspects of design, layout, construction and day-to-day operation of the new brewing, production and warehouse facility in Lakeland, Florida. Farnsworth earned a bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of London and has been instrumental in the startup or operation of over 100 breweries in 10 countries.

Brew Hub was founded by a team of beer industry executives led by Tim Schoen, CEO, and Jerry Mullane, president. Brew Hub’s financial sponsor is a private investment firm, The Yucaipa Companies

Brew Hub plans to open four additional breweries over the next five years. Specific markets will be determined based on demand, but the company is considering strategic locations in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Texas and West Coast. This network of Brew Hub facilities will allow craft brewers from across the country to enter new markets.

About Cigar City Brewing
Cigar City Brewing was founded with two goals in mind: first, to make the world’s best beer; second, to share with people near and far the fascinating culture and heritage of the Cigar City of Tampa. From its past as the world’s largest cigar producer to its Latin roots and the many other diverse cultures that call it home, Tampa draws on many sources to develop its unique culture. We use the highest quality ingredients we can lay our hands on, and that is not just marketing jargon. If it makes better beer, we use it. We also strive to use local ingredients when and where we can. Not only do fresh, local ingredients help us make better beer, it helps us make beer that reflects the culture and heritage of Tampa. Learn more at

About Orange Blossom Pilsner
Orange Blossom Pilsner was first brewed in 2001 as one of Florida’s first craft beers, and the company has been brewing award-winning beer ever since. Orange Blossom Pilsner, made with orange blossom honey, is the company’s flagship brand, was awarded a bronze medal at the 2003 Great American Beer Festival. Today the company brews Orange Blossom Pilsner, Orange Blossom Squared and Toasted Coconut Porter and will begin releasing more fun, new beers in 2014.

About BJ’s
BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. currently owns and operates 144 casual dining restaurants under the BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, BJ’s Pizza & Grill brand names BJ’s Restaurants offer an innovative and broad menu featuring award-winning, signature deep-dish pizza complemented with generously portioned salads, appetizers, sandwiches, soups, pastas, entrees and desserts, including the Pizookie dessert. Quality, flavor, value, moderate prices and sincere service remain distinct attributes to the BJ’s experience. The company operates several microbreweries in addition to using independent third-party brewers to produce and distribute BJ’s critically acclaimed proprietary craft beers throughout the chain. The company’s restaurants are located in California (63), Texas (29), Florida (15), Arizona (6), Colorado (5), Nevada (5), Washington (4), Ohio (4), Oklahoma (3), Oregon (3), Kentucky (2), Indiana (1), Kansas (1), Louisiana (1), New Mexico (1) and Virginia (1). Visit BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. on the web

About Brew Hub
Brew Hub was founded in 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri by a team of beer industry executives and craft brewing experts led by Tim Schoen. “Where Craft Brewers Go to Grow,” Brew Hub provides full brewing, packaging, distribution and selling services for craft brands that are capacity, geographical, or capital constrained. The company plans to have five breweries located throughout the country that will cater to craft breweries. Each facility will allow craft brewers to partner brew their beers on site.
Learn more about Brew Hub at:

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Posted by on December 6, 2013 in Beer News


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Innovation the key to keeping the craft beer world fresh

Boilers at the Samuel Adams brewery in Boston,...

Boilers at the Samuel Adams brewery in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The term “Indy” has become a hot topic lately. The eBook revolution, Indy music, craft beer – they all hold true to the roots of independent creating and a dedication to doing things their own way. The craft brewing world has certainly come a long way since it started growing several years ago and throughout it all many breweries have managed to not only find success, but to grow despite the ongoing economic problems. How have they managed to do that? It’s by keeping things fresh. Not necessarily the beer, though that’s fresh too, but by implementing innovation in their operations and keeping their brewery fresh in the minds of beer drinkers. What kind of innovation is going on in the craft brew world?Interesting Ingredients

One of the ways in which brewers are capturing and holding the attention of drinkers is by using unique ingredients to give their brews a flavor that really stands out. While a wide range of spices, herbs and other additives have been used in brewing historically, most American beers are pretty plain. To ramp things up a bit, craft brewers are increasingly using additives to promote different flavors and tempt your taste buds.

What are brewers putting in their recipes? You’ll find things like rye used in conjunction with wheat, coriander, orange peel and even mint. Innovation is all about finding a nice balance between “unique” and “good taste”, and brewers are definitely not afraid to experiment.

Aged Beer

Wine is aged before it’s consumed, but beer usually only ages long enough for the fermentation to complete and the liquid to clear. However, many brewers are finding that aging their beer has some pretty interesting results, both in terms of flavor and in terms of sales. While aged beer really only appeals to a small segment of the market, that innovation still helps brewers to identify themselves as innovators and creative artists not afraid of trying something new.

Beer is usually aged in oak barrels – used barrels at that. The barrels once held whisky, or even wine. Why bother with that? Using these casks allows the beer to absorb different flavors from the alcohol-permeated wood. It also allows the beer to add extra strength, body and flavor. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a glass of aged beer, and you’ll find that several breweries are taking to this method.

Collaborative Brewing

Around the world, most brewers hold tight to their recipes and their brewing traditions. For instance, the brewing industry in Belgium is all about tradition and keeping secrets from your competition. Here in the US, things are a little bit different. There is a spirit of creativity and collaboration here not found elsewhere. That leads to some interesting pairings between breweries.

Of course, there has been bad blood between some craft breweries, and litigation has ruined some perfectly good relationships. With that said, more and more breweries are finding that joining forces for collaborative brewing projects has some serious benefits. What might they gain?

Obviously, two heads are better than one as the old saying goes. By joining forces even for a short time, brewers are able to benefit from the experience, knowhow and imagination of the other. This comes out in some interesting ways – unique beer types are born all the time. Each of these collaborations also helps to spread both breweries’ reputations with a market segment that might be unfamiliar with their offerings.

Fan Contests

Indy marketing has long relied on getting your audience involved. That holds true with pretty much any independent endeavor, whether it’s craft brewing, web comics or independent authors self-publishing their works. By involving your fans, you are able to achieve a number of goals:

  • You make the fans feel as though they are part of the process – you’re giving them a chance to make an impact.
  • You make the fans feel as though they have a stake in the finished product.
  • You help spread the word via each fan. They tell their friends and family and then those people do the same. Word of mouth marketing is still one of the most  effective tools out there.
  • You leave a lasting imprint in your customers’ minds.
  • You provide something fun and enjoyable for your fans/customers to do other than consuming your products.
  • These are only a handful of the benefits found when you are able to bring your customers into the production process in any way. How are breweries doing that, though?

One of the most common options is a “name the beer” contest. Fans are able to vote (usually through social media outlets like Facebook) on the name that they like best for a new brew. In some instances, the brewery also lets fans suggest their own names and then chooses the most popular to grace the bottle’s label.

Other contests have involved deciding on the next type of beer to be brewed, choosing ingredients and selecting recipes. There are tons of options in this vein, all of which will help a brewery ramp up their marketing and boost customer loyalty.

Why Does Innovation Matter?

So, why has there been so much focus on innovation? There’s plenty of good reasons to be innovative, particularly in the world of craft beer. The sheer growth of the industry has made it essential that breweries find a way to stand out from the crowd. While brewing super-strong beer or using unique packaging options can help do that, there are many other was to achieve better recognition with consumers.

Another reason that innovation is so important is that it keeps alive the spirit of creativity that has so far been one of the major hallmarks of the craft brew industry in the US. Without creativity comes stagnation and an adherence to “tradition” – something that would turn craft beer into the same thing as what major beer producers put out. That’s never a good thing. Hopefully, the drive to innovate will never leave the craft brewing scene.

Poto Cervesia,
Dustin Canestorp

Dustin Canestorp is the Founder and General of the Beer Army. Join the ranks of the Beer Army at Take a stand and let the world know your position. If you are going to drink, drink BEER!

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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Beer, Beer Education


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Jupiter Beer Festival kicks off 2013 Florida beer festival season

Jupiter_Craft_Beer_Festival_2011The 2013 craft beer festival season officially kicks off next week with the Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival Saturday, Jan. 26. Now in its seventh year, the festival will feature over 200 beers from 73 breweries. But, if you plan to attend, you may want to plan on arriving at Roger Dean Stadium early since all 1,500 online tickets are sold out and only 1,500 additional tickets will be available the day of the event at the door.

Created in 2007 by Fran Andrewlevich the head brewmaster of Brewzzi a duo of American-Italian eateries in South Florida, the focus of the event is on brews from Florida. That is not to say that some of your other favorites will not be there – Blue Point, Dogfish Head, Brooklyn, and Highland will all be there. But, so will Florida brewers like Bold City Brewing from Jacksonville, Cigar City Brewing from Tampa, and Swamp Head Brewing from Gainesville.

Attendees at the festival will also enjoy entertainment from local musicians and the return fo the popular Silent Disco.

In addition to the beer festival, the organizers will feature for the second year Craftoberfest a German-themed celebration of beer, food, and music that will take place across the street from the main event. So, if you are not able to score tickets to the Festival, take heart. You can still attend the party at Craftoberfest for free. The event will feature a pay-per-beer beer tent, live oompah music from Sonnenschein Express, and German-style food. The festivities will take place at the Abacoa Theater from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The festival is actually the culminating event for the annual South Florida Craft Beer Week that features beer dinners, tap takeovers, and plenty of tastings. Beer Week events are spread out from Jupiter to Miami and there is sure to be something that will catch every beer-lover’s attention. For an updated list of all the events going on, follow this link.

Tickets for the Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival are $35 at the door and will go on sale shortly before the gates open tot he event. All attendees must prevent a valid, government-issued ID for admission to the event. The festival hours are 1:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Keep up to date on all the beer happenings and news going on in town at the ALL NEW

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Posted by on January 18, 2013 in Beer, Beer Festival


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