Great Lakes Brewing News June/July 2015 : Page 1
Best if Read by June/July 2015 Volume 19 Number 3 GOI NG IN STYL E hese are exciting times in craft brewing, with new breweries opening at a steady pace, and new beer—new styles, variations of styles, and combinations of styles— showing up everywhere. The creativity, imagina-tion and resourcefulness exhibited by today’s craft brewers is astounding, and unprecedented in brewing history. It’s also pretty awesome if you happen to like great beer. Today’s drinkers are often looking for something new, or something unusual to try, and Brewers are only too happy to oblige. There are regional favorites the likes of PawPaw beers in the mid-west, maple sap ales in the east, and seasonal favorites— from honey ginger ales to fruit beers to See Style p.3 By Mark Garland By Karen Bujak, The Muse of Brews B reweries are opening across the Great Lakes states an unprecedented pace, in many cases due to favorable changes to state laws. Ohio represents a perfect example what is going on, in most cases, all around you. There is a beer explosion happening in Ohio, in the number of breweries, the focus of those brew-eries, and in many cases the creative diversity. There are well over 125 total breweries now, with 33 of those starting up in 2014, a few in 2015, and another 30 or so have license appli-cations pending with the Ohio Liquor Control Board. The country as a whole has seen an increase in craft beer sales and breweries, and Ohio is no exception. In 2011, Rick Armon (writer for the Akron Beacon Journal) pub-lished a guide to Ohio breweries, and there were just fifty brewer-ies at that time. Three years later that number has more than doubled, and that pace is not slowing. We have the Ohio legislature to thank for making the climate more favorable to craft brewing. In 2002, the maximum alcohol by INSIDE Event Calendar .....................2 Beer Beacon .........................8 Homebrew ............................. 10 Beers To Us! .......................25 Map/Directory................ 18-23 State by State News Pennsylvania . 12 Ohio ............... 13 Michigan ........ 14 SW Michigan . 15 SE Michigan .. 16 Indiana .......... 24 Illinois ........... 26 Chicago ......... 26 Wisconsin ..... 28 N Wisconsin .. 29 Minnesota ...... 30 Ontario .......... 32 New York ....... 34 Tanya Brock, head brewer, sparging her mash the old way at the Carillon Brewery in Dayton, OH. PHOTO BY KAREN BUJAK See Ohio p.6
Going In Style
These are exciting times in craft brewing, with new breweries opening at a steady pace, and new beer—new styles, variations of styles, and combinations of styles— showing up everywhere. The creativity, imagination and resourcefulness exhibited by today’s craft brewers is astounding, and unprecedented in brewing history. It’s also pretty awesome if you happen to like great beer.
Today’s drinkers are often looking for something new, or something unusual to try, and Brewers are only too happy to oblige. There are regional favorites the likes of PawPaw beers in the mid-west, maple sap ales in the east, and seasonal favorites— from honey ginger ales to fruit beers to beers brewed with nearly every spice in the pantry. Tried that “peaches, dates, Agave, wine-barrel aged Belgian bubble wheatwine” that just went on tap? You know you want too.
As new hops and malt varieties continue to become available, brewers are using them, creating beers that could never have existed before. This is at least in part why there are countless variations of IPAs and pale ales, for example, and why most breweries have more than one pale ale, and more than one IPA to choose from—variation and innovation.
Size matters, too. Double, triple, quadruple and imperial versions of familiar beers, as well as new creations, are everywhere. Traditional lines of style have been crossed in all directions, whether its new or unusual ingredients, or new combinations, newly available yeast strains or process, the rules really don’t apply.
But the traditional styles, the classics, mostly European in origin, can still be found. Many are styles we are more familiar with, but other, often more subtle beers, and in some cases beer nearly lost or forgotten, are alive and well today thanks to craft brewers. Traditional styles are easier than ever to find, and many are being brewed to perfection. From national brewers like Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada to a long list of regional brewers like Saranac, Ithaca, Schells, Summit, Bell’s, New Glarus, Goose Island, Leinenkugel, Fat Heads, Thirsty Dog and more, it’s now common to find classic styles on the shelves or on tap at brewpubs, local breweries and even the smallest nano breweries.
A Sampler Pack
There are far too many classics, and outstanding examples of them, to cover here, so here are just a few of the high points you may not have considered in a while, or tried yet.
A prime example getting renewed attention lately is the classic pilsner. This is a style that took quite a beating at the hands of the mega-brewers over the years. The market was awash in colorless, flavorless, bodiless beers from Bud, Miller Coors, Pabst and many Canadian brewers. Your choices for a true pilsner were limited to a few imports in most places. But you can now find some of the best pilsners ever brewed, crisp and clean, perfectly hopped and readily available throughout the region. If you’ve abandoned “lagers” and “pilsners” as a category, try Sierra Nevada’s new Nooner Pils, Summit Pilsner, Saranac Summer Pils or Wild Hop Pils, Tröegs Sunshine Pils, Schell's Pilsner or Sam Adam’s Noble Pils. Or try local pilsners in dozens of brewpubs, like Sacket’s Harbor Brewing’s German Pils, Old First Ward Brewing Company’s St. Patrick's Pilsner, Lakefront Brewing’s Klisch Czech style pils or Thirsty Pagan’s Old World Pils. (“Oh, so that’s what it’s supposed to taste like.”) And that’s just a sip of the pilsners.
There are many other styles being brewed to perfection, wherever you find yourself. Terms like Dunkel, Schwarz, bock and hefeweizen have all been reintroduced to American beer drinkers by craft brewers. Some favorites? There are plenty of great Kölsch beers out there now, like New Holland’s Full Circle Kölsch, Flying Bison 716 Classic Kölsch, Harpoon Summer Kölsch or Dark Horse Brewing’s Kmita Kölsch.
Traditional lagers, primarily Vienna style lagers, are a treat, like Schell’s gold medal winning Firebrick, or Southern Tier Hotter than Helles, or Sierra Nevada Vienna Lager. Looking for a dark lager, another style nearly lost to history? Saranac Black Forest is a good start, or Capital Brewery’s Capital Dark, or Harpoon’s Harpoon Dark. A style that could only be found in Germany just a few years ago is the old ale, or alt bier. Creemore Springs Alt Bier will do nicely if you’d like to try one, or Metropolitan Brewing’s Iron Work Alt. And while we’re in the neighborhood, Dortmunders are another style getting justice these days, like Minneapolis Town Hall's Dortmunder, or Great Lakes Brewing’s award winning Dortmunder Gold.
The hefeweizen is one of the most popular styles being brewed today. Nearly every brewpub and craft brewery makes a hefe. Fat Head's Goggle Fogger, for example, is a fantastic Bavarian style hefe. But a Belgian beer not too far from the hefe is the witbier, or white beer. Pierre Celis brewed his first US batch of witbier in 1966, and today, true witbiers can be found across the region. This style has been the focus of numerous variations, from orange wits to double white IPAs, but there are many worthwhile examples of the original style; try Brewery Ommegang Witte, Harpoon’s UFO White, Allagash White or Unibroue’s Blanche De Chambly.
New ale, Alt ale
Ale has been brewed in Europe since the time of Charlemagne, but the British Isles are where you will find the origins of many of the world’s great ales—ales brewed in North America by craft brewers. Stouts and porters are easily found, they are more popular than ever, and come with infinite variation, but the basics still work. Bell's Kalamazoo Stout, Summit Oatmeal Stout (draft only), Sullivan’s Stout from Horsehads Brewing and Empire Brewing’s Black Magic Stout are a good start—Original Gravity’s Primordial Porter provides a robust experience par excellence, or try Middle Ages Duke of Winship porter, Anchor Porter or Great Lakes Porter. Brown ales are becoming an overlooked style, but the best ones have a lot to offer, like Custom Brew Crafter’s Whale, a superb brown ale due to the complexity in the malt, Saranac Brown Ale or Brooklyn Brown, a classic.
With IPAs American pale ales topping the popular categories everywhere you look, many of them imperials, it is worth noting that you can still enjoy a nice, flavorful mild (the original light beers), or dark mild, or an English bitter, if you look. Like Right Brain's Willpower, or Granite Brewery in Toronto, where they make “one of the best cask bitters on the continent,” according to one customer. Summit's EPA (English Pale Ale) is another example, or Goose Island Honkers Ale, Minneapolis Town Hall's West Bank Pub Ale.
The facts are that traditional styles are being given the care and attention they deserve by brewers across the continent, and down the street at your local craft brewery. And the best part is, you don’t have to choose between 15% abv quadruple IPAs and an English Mild, or a Czech-style pilsner, you can have them all.
Read the full article at http://archive.brewingnews.com/article/Going+In+Style/2027970/261447/article.html.
OHIO's Exploding Beer Scene
Breweries are opening across the Great Lakes states an unprecedented pace, in many cases due to favorable changes to state laws. Ohio represents a perfect example what is going on, in most cases, all around you. There is a beer explosion happening in Ohio, in the number of breweries, the focus of those breweries, and in many cases the creative diversity. There are well over 125 total breweries now, with 33 of those starting up in 2014, a few in 2015, and another 30 or so have license applications pending with the Ohio Liquor Control Board. The country as a whole has seen an increase in craft beer sales and breweries, and Ohio is no exception. In 2011, Rick Armon (writer for the Akron Beacon Journal) published a guide to Ohio breweries, and there were just fifty breweries at that time. Three years later that number has more than doubled, and that pace is not slowing.
We have the Ohio legislature to thank for making the climate more favorable to craft brewing. In 2002, the maximum alcohol by volume was changed from 6% to 12%. This was a big deal for existing craft breweries, but it was not enough. In the fall of 2013, Ohio laws changed to allow small breweries (less than 31 million gallons annually) to pay less for their permits, and to allow for on premise retail consumption. This new permit also allows small brewers to sell to retail and wholesale permit holders. Yes, they could now self-distribute. The same law (Ohio SB 48) forbids large breweries from owning distributorships. So, go from $8,000 for permits to brew and serve on premise to $1000 for the same thing, it you make Ohio fertile ground for new breweries to sprout.
This has led to not only new breweries, but to a remarkable variety of new breweries. For example:
Phoenix Brewing in Mansfield is one brewery that might not exist if not for the changes. Owner Duncan MacFarlane saw Rick Armon on his book signing tour in May of 2012 and Armon spoke about the upcoming proposed changes. This planted the seed and started him thinking and planning. A year later he had is business plan in place and was searching for a location. A year later, in April 2014, they opened. The brewery is located in the former Schroer Mortuary on 131 North Diamond Street in downtown Mansfield’s Carousel District. The five barrel brewhouse, located in the old embalming room, brews 6 standard offerings, plus seasonals and what they call the Cemetery Series (high gravity beers.) A renovated chapel serves as the tasting room. There is an adjoining brick patio area open during the warm seasons. Food trucks are available, and patrons can order from the local pizzeria, or bring takeout in with them. At the recent Winter Warmer Fest in Cleveland, they were showcasing their Surly Gnome (winter spiced ale), Black Aggie (Russian imperial stout) and Santa Muerte (pepper-spiced chocolate imperial milk stout).
Times like These
Dayton is home to another unique brewery, the Carillon Brewing Company, which claims to be the only brewery housed in a museum. It is an 1850s style brewery that is part of a 65 acre open air history museum. The beer is made using copper kettles, wooden barrels, and charcoal fires and served by staff wearing period costumes. Their ales use grain that has been floor malted just as it was done in the 19th century, and when available, Ohiogrown hops; all brewed in open copper kettles, fermented in oak barrels, and unfiltered. The original idea came from Dayton History’s president, Brady Kress, as a way to tell an unknown story about Dayton’s past while also providing a new model for connecting visitors to history through a unique sensory experience. History education is the main focus, and the act of brewing, the beer and the food they serve are methods for delivering that education to their guests. These two breweries bring to 13 the number of breweries in the Dayton area where two years ago there were none.
The Dayton area is also home to another creative new concept, the nation’s first (and only?) Brewery and strip club. Pinups and Pints is now open, and serving Pinup Pale is their first beer offering. They advertise “Beer, breasts and Bombshells.” They offer “high quality decor, attractive & enthusiastic entertainers and a fully stocked bar centered around our house brewing.” They recommend you try the Thigh HighPA, 6.5% abv and 55 IBUs.
Changes are Coming
Ohio is also seeing an increasing number of locations expanding their operations to include distilling and/or wine, or vice versa.Maize Valley Winery in Hartville started with making wine and they are now also brewing beer. Nauti Vine Winery in Akron is now also home to Mucky Duck Beer. Portside Brewery is also a distillery, brewing 5 regular and several seasonal beers, and making rum, including a hopped rum and a vanilla maple. Market Garden Brewery has plans for a distillery. Another variation is the Tremont Tap House, which has long been a good beer bar; they now also have a license to brew. They are owned by the same Cleveland Brewing Company that owns the relatively new Butcher and Brewer restaurant and brewery in downtown Cleveland. This unique variation on the brewpub theme “encourages interaction and a sense of community” through a variety of means, like public house seating, shared plates, and what they call “progressive dining.” They not only have their own chefs, they have an in-house butcher and charcutier. They offer “a farmhouse-inspired menu drawing on local ingredients, ethnic flavors, and artisan products.” The brewery makes ten traditional an unusual one-off beers year round, including a red, two IPAs and Albino White Stout.
Nano Boom, and the 21%
We’ve also seen a number of nanobreweries startups, many of which likely could not have afforded the high fees to start a brewery, but most new breweries interviewed say it was serendipitous. Land Grant Brewery in Columbus opened in October of 2014. They started their planning over 4 years ago, and would have opened a brewery with or without the law changes, thought it would have taken longer. Quintin Jesse, a co-owner and assistant brewer said, “The changes were beneficial, and it was huge to be able to add a tap room.”
That was a recurring theme, Brick and Barrel (Cleveland), Franklin Brewing (Elyria) Canton Brewery, and Brickoven Brewpub in Akron, all said pretty much the same thing. The changes in the Ohio laws sped up the process and made it easier to open sooner, or jump-started them to get moving and get in gear. At Yellow Springs Brewery, Nate Cornett, owner/brewer, said it was a happy accident that they lowered the fees, “but it also allowed us to expand the brewery sooner.” Yellow springs brewers American, Belgian, British and seasonal beers, and bills itself as a creative, community brewery.
More expansion lies ahead, it seems, with at least as many new Ohio breweries as last year and probably more. There is still at least one law that brewers would like to see changed. Fred Karm of Hoppin’ Frog Brewery says, “Does it make sense that I need to buy a full license ($3906) to carry other peoples’ beer? It’s fun to be us, but I wouldn’t want to live without other peoples’ beer.” Then there is that 12% abv cap. Most brewers would like an increase in the alcohol percentage cap to 21% (the current limit on wine and retail store sales of any alcoholic beverages). Some speculate that when Stone Brewing was considering Columbus for another brewery, the ABV limit caused them to look elsewhere. Maybe so, but it really doesn’t make sense that you can sell wine at 21%, but not beer. They might get what they want. Like the other Great Lakes states, changes are coming, and they are coming fast.
Read the full article at http://archive.brewingnews.com/article/OHIO%27s+Exploding+Beer+Scene/2027972/261447/article.html.