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Friday, May 22, 2015

Industry News: Importer Merchant du Vin announces promotions and new hires

Press Release

In response to continued success and sales growth, Rich Hamilton, President, recently announced the following key management changes: 
Kyle Skinner has been hired as Controller,  taking over from Tanya Yelkin, who will begin a long happy retirement in July, after 24 years at Merchant du Vin. Kyle, CPA and MPAcc, served as Senior Auditor with Merchant du Vin’s accounting firm Bader Martin PS before joining us, bringing broad knowledge of accounting and information systems.
John Staunton has been promoted to Eastern US Sales Manager. In this capacity, John will be responsible for overall sales activity in the eastern 22 states and Washington DC, working closely with our current sales staff.  John began working for Merchant du Vin as a Regional Manager ten years ago, after serving as sales manager for large regional brewer Great Lakes Brewing Company.
Jim Blockinger has been promoted to Western US Sales Manager. Jim will be responsible for overall sales activity in the western 28 states, working closely with our current sales staff. Jim started as an MdV Regional Manager in 2011, after selling many cases and kegs of Merchant du Vin’s beer at our wholesale partner Louis Glunz, Inc.
Ryan Maher has been hired to fill a newly-created role of General Manager, operating out of Merchant du Vin’s Seattle headquarters. In this capacity, his responsibilities will include overall day-to-day operations, with a focus on sales. Ryan entered the beer business as an intern at Brooklyn Brewery, and was the Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager for Merchant du Vin from 1997 to 2003. After that, Ryan’s career led him to national account sales for benchmark family-owned spirits companies: Ketel One, William Grant & Sons, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
Joe Lipa, longtime Merchant du Vin National Sales Manager, has decided that effective August 1, he will step back into a role that will allow him to spend more time at home and to make an attempt at pursuing a few leisure activities.  Joe has been a part of the Merchant du Vin success story for more than 30 years. We will continue to benefit from his unparalleled passion and determination in his new role as mentor and beer sage. He will also be responsible for a sales territory in western Massachusetts and upper New York state. Joe says, “The true visionaries in 1978 were Charles & Rose Ann Finkel, founders of Merchant du Vin, and Moe & Elise England, founders of Merchant du Vin East. I joined MdV in 1985 after being one of their first distributors, beginning my magical mystery tour selling the finest beer portfolio in the USA. Working alongside the most passionate and dedicated sales and support staff in the business is why Merchant du Vin is so successful. Longtime MdV President Rich Hamilton gave me the autonomy to help build a remarkable company. My baton is now passed to our new senior sales staff and MdV will be even stronger. Merchant du Vin is not a job - it is a lifestyle.”
Merchant du Vin imports Samuel Smith’s from England; Traquair House from Scotland; Ayinger and Certified    Organic Pinkus beers from Germany;  Lindemans lambics, Green’s Gluten-Free, Du Bocq, and the Trappist beers of Orval, Westmalle, and Rochefort from Belgium.

Brewery News: NW: "Zag On" with New Belgium through Labor Day

Press Release

Ft. Collins, Colo., May 22, 2015 – Now through Labor Day, New Belgium Brewing is highlighting stories of people who zag from the straight and narrow. The brewery’s Zag On campaign will spend the warm summer months rolling down life’s less-traveled avenues with films from inside the brewery, across the country and even to Belgium where the idea for New Belgium first began. The Zealots of Zag film series will include musician Johnnyrandom creating a concerto using only objects and equipment from the brewery, a group of storytellers in Richmond, VA and an artist in Cleveland who attempts to create a 10-person swing bike.     

Through the Zag On videos, story telling, contests and events, New Belgium is redefining “zagging” as playfully moving forward with a purpose and wants to highlight people living this way.

“At New Belgium, we often take a few turns from the norm, which has led us to our current culture of smart sustainability,” said Creative Director, Melyssa Mead. “Sometimes you have to challenge the status quo, question convention and veer from the straight and narrow to accomplish great things. This summer, we want to shine the light on people who zag through life.”

To join the digital beer banter for Zag On, tag videos and photos which showcase living in an unconventional purposeful way, with the hashtag #zagging. There will also be the chance to win a trip to Belgium by creating your own #zagging video with content from coworkers 5-year anniversary Belgium trip. All stories submitted may be featured on NewBelgium.com and the brewery’s Beer Mode App, as well as New Belgium’s social channels.

If you’d like to zag on in person with New Belgium, be on the look out for Rolle Bolle pickup games. There will also be a chance to win blockbuster giveaways like a trip to Belgium and a 2015 custom cruiser. Summer is going to be a fun ride!

For more information on the Zag On campaign and New Belgium, visit NewBelgium.com. Check out the brewery’s FacebookInstagram and Twitter accounts to follow featured #zagging stories. 

About New Belgium Brewing Company 
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews ten year-round beers; Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Slow Ride Session IPA, Snapshot Wheat, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Lager, Blue Paddle Pilsner, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel. Learn more at NewBelgium.com.

Brewery News: OR: Portland: Hopworks Urban Brewpub announces HUB Hard Cider

Press Release

Portland, Ore - May 20, 2015 - Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) today announced the release of HUB Hard Cider in 16 oz. cans and on draft. Beginning June 1, the cider can be found throughout HUB’s distribution networks in Oregon and Washington, with a wider distribution beginning in the summer. In Portland, the release of the cider is celebrated with three release parties at local taprooms.

Nearly two years in the making, HUB Hard Cider represents HUB’s first packaged departure from beer. Receiving a winery license in August of 2014, HUB immediately began honing in recipes and testing them at both Hopworks’ brewpubs.

As brewers we have had a lot of fun crafting this delicious cider with the local bounty of the Pacific Northwest,”  said HUB Brewmaster and Founder, Christian Ettinger. “We use our beer brewing experience and knowledge to bring a fresh approach to cider making. Our cider is simple and delicious and we are proud to serve it alongside our organic beer.”

With a goal of making a year round cider with high-organic content, HUB Hard Cider is proudly made from 60% organic apple juice concentrate and 40% fresh pressed apple juice. The cider juice is sourced entirely from the Northwest.

HUB Hard Cider is a semi-dry hard apple cider, straw colored with fresh apple aromas. Slightly tart with a Champagne-like acidity, HUB Hard Cider finishes slightly sweet and fruit-forward. The cider is naturally gluten-free and is 6.8% ABV. HUB will also offer HUB Hard Cider in 22 oz. bottles this summer.

HUB Hard Cider Release Parties
To celebrate the release of HUB Hard Cider in cans, Hopworks is throwing three release parties in Portland. Each party will have games, giveaways, and cider on tap.

  • Mon. June 1, 5:00pm - 9:00pm, at Produce Row Cafe - 204 SE Oak St., Portland
  • Wed. June 3, 5:00pm - 9:00pm, at Roscoe’s - 8105 SE Stark St., Portland
  • Tues. June 9, 5:00pm - 9:00pm, at Hop & Vine - 1914 N. Killingsworth St., Portland

About Hopworks Urban Brewery
Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB), a certified B Corporation, strives to revolutionize and inspire the brewing industry with practices that drive quality, protect the environment and improve the community we live in. Utilizing organic malts and a combination of locally-sourced organic and Salmon Safe hops, the company’s 20-barrel brewery produces 16,000 barrels of beer a year for HUB’s two brewpubs and for distribution throughout the Northwest. In 2015 Hopworks expanded its range of sustainably-made offerings with HUB Hard Cider and will open its third pub at the Pine St. Marketplace in Downtown Portland. HUB is 100% renewably powered and “cradle to gate” carbon neutral. Visit Hopworks online at hopworksbeer.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Brewery Release: NW: Get It Now ... New Belgium Pear Ginger Beer

Press Release

image courtesy New Belgium BrewingFt. Collins, Colo., May 14, 2015 – New Belgium Brewing is shaking it up this summer, giving beer and cocktail lovers a chance to mingle over an adventurous new libation. Pear Ginger Beer is New Belgium’s latest Lips of Faith offering, updating the Victorian-era ginger beer with whimsical additions of lemon peel and pear. The result is a zesty, refreshing drink that can be enjoyed on its own or mixed into a cocktail.

Warm, spicy ginger punctuates a lively wash of sunny lemon, sweet pear and bready white wheat for a delightful first tongue tingle followed by just the right amount of heat. Pear Ginger Beer pairs perfectly with gin, rum, tequila or rye whiskey for a ready-for-anything cocktail, but can also be enjoyed all on its own.

“The only thing I love as much as an amazing craft beer is a rye whiskey and ginger beer,” said Lauren Salazar, New Belgium’s Wood Cellar Blender and Specialty Brand Manager. “More and more, great beer and cocktail bars now participate in Beer Mixology – the art of crafting amazing beer cocktails. It’s truly where the science of brewing and the art of cocktails meet. So we decided to create a beer that is wonderful on its own and doubles as a great cocktail mixer.”

At seven percent ABV and 10 IBUs, Pear Ginger Beer is an adventurous beer for the summer. Drink it straight, no chaser, or put a new spin on a classic gimlet. Pear Ginger Beer is available in 22 oz. bombers and on draft. Pricing varies by location.

For beer-cocktail recipe ideas, check out http://bit.ly/1FmUA9D. To find Pear Ginger Beer near you, use the New Belgium Libation Location tool: NewBelgium.com/Beer/Finder.
For more information about New Belgium Brewing, visit NewBelgium.com. You can also follow New Belgium on Facebook at Facebook.com/NewBelgium.com and Twitter @NewBelgium.

About New Belgium Brewing Company 
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews ten year-round beers; Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Slow Ride Session IPA, Snapshot Wheat, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Lager, Blue Paddle Pilsner, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel. Learn more at NewBelgium.com.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pairing Preview: WA: Bellingham: Schooner Zodiac Announces Ales N' Sails Dinner Cruise in Partnership with Boundary Bay Brewery

Press Release

image courtesy Schooner ZodiacBELLINGHAM, WASH., May 5, 2015—The Schooner Zodiac, the Bellingham-based tall ship is announcing a beer pairing dinner sail in partnership with Boundary Bay Brewery. The “Ales n’ Sails” dinner will take place from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 13. The Zodiac docks at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal.

This 3.5 hour cruise includes a four-course dinner prepared aboard the ship, three courses by the Zodiac’s chef and one special guest course by Boundary Bay Chef Matt Hansen. The courses are paired with four Boundary Bay beers specially selected by Certified Cicerone brewer Bryan Krueger. Bryan will discuss how each beer and course pairing complements each other. Prior to enjoying the dinner and brews, passengers will be encouraged to assist the crew in raising and maneuvering the ship’s sails. This cruise is part of a series of beer related sailings in 2015 including a San Juan Islands Brewery Tour in July and a Bellingham to Seattle Brewery Tour in August.

Tickets for the dinner sail are $85 per person and reservations can be made by calling
 (206) 719-7622. More information can be found at schoonerzodiac.com.
The Zodiac is a classic, 160-foot U.S. Coast Guard certified vessel, operated by a licensed captain and experienced team of volunteer crew members. She departs her Bellingham homeport for a variety of public and private charters, as well as day and evening sails from spring through fall, exploring the pristine anchorages of the San Juan Islands and Canadian Gulf Islands. Zodiac also is an ideal setting for company events, wedding receptions and gatherings of family and friends.

Book Release: The Umami Factor by Robert Rivelle George

Press Release

image sourced from Schiffer Publishing, Ltd

You’re about to be introduced to the umami factor: the secret to sensational custom-made beverages, including spirits, wine, beer, soft drinks, and more. Chances are you have never heard of umami, the taste impression created by certain amino acids in a food or beverage. This book reveals the wonders of umami to beginner and expert alike, starting off with a thorough understanding of “full-spectrum” fermentation theory, then dives into the various preparation techniques and shows how umami-producing ingredients create beverages with sensational balance and roundness on the palate, tongue, nose, and even throat. More than 75 recipes, sharp insight, and handy tips help both amateur and professional fermentation chefs conquer the next frontier in beverage science.

Size: 7″ x 10″ | 242 color photos | 272 pp
ISBN13: 9780764348761 | Binding: hard cover

Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. is a family-owned, independent publisher of high-quality, nonfiction books. Since 1974, Schiffer has published thousands of titles on the diverse subjects that fuel our readers' passions. From our traditional subjects of antiques and collectibles, arts and crafts, and military history, Schiffer has expanded its catalog to publish books on contemporary art and artists; architecture and design; food and entertaining; the metaphysical, paranormal and folklore; and pop and fringe culture, as well as books for children.

Visit www.schifferbooks.com to explore our backlist of 5,000+ titles and learn about Schiffer's exciting new releases. Whatever your passions are, Schiffer Publishing welcomes you to find your niche and scratch it with books from our catalog of specialized titles.

Brewery News: WA: Bellingham: Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen celebrates Summer with new hours.

Press Release

Skit [sic] to Sea Weekend (Memorial Day Weekend as well) is always the perfect time to get together with family and friends. If you’re looking for the great place to meet with delicious food and beverages you’ll find it at Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen, 601 W. Holly St, Bellingham. Open all weekend May 23-25, the Kitchen will be ready for you regular hours starting at 11 am each day. All ages are welcome in the dining room and if the weather cooperates the patios too. Chuckanut has a waterside patio during the day and a covered back patio where the sun shines late in the day and early evening. Call to make reservations for parties of six or more people and your table will be ready when you arrive.

With the warm weather and later sunsets summer hours will begin starting June 1st. Summer hours will be in full effect on June 1st with food service Sunday through Thursday until 9:30 pm and Friday and Saturdays until 10 pm. If you are planning a special summer event call Allison at the Kitchen 360-752-3377 to find out more information on how you can hold your summer party at Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen.

Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen, located at 601 West Holly St, Bellingham was awarded the National Small Brewpub of the Year 2009 at the Great American Beer Festival and Small Brewery of the Year 2011 at the GABF. The full service “Kitchen” serves from 11 am every day with an eclectic fresh local menu for all ages. Monday $3 Pint Night, Kolsch Night Tuesdays, Taco Tuesdays, Liter Fridays are some of the extra activities offered at the “Kitchen”. Check out more about Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen at www.Chuckanutbreweryandkitchen.com

Book Release: Coming Soon ... "Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader" by The Bathroom Readers' Institute

Press Release

image courtesy Portable Press

For more than 25 years, Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader has helped readers learn amazing things they didn’t know (and amazing things they didn’t know they didn’t know). Now, Uncle John’stackles one of the world’s best loved and—fastest growing interests—beer.

What makes ale different from a lager? What are the origins of microbrews?  What are some silly craft beer names?  Pull up a stool and chug a pint of Uncle John’s Beer-Topia: A Heady Brew & Beer Miscellany, a rich, deep-bodied keg of beer knowledge, beer trivia, beer history, and beer fun. In recent years, beer has evolved from the swill your uncle drank at the bowling alley to the explosively popular microbrew culture. From drinking games to the science behind hangovers, there’s a lot to explore about the beer phenomenon, and Uncle John’s Beer-Topia will plumb the depths.

What’s on tap:• The histories and origins of all the different styles of beers
• Interesting (and weird) beer flavors
• The science of beer, and how it’s made
• Crazy beer-related news stories
• Beer terminology
• Funny microbrew names
• Drinking games

About the Author:
The Bathroom Readers' Institute is a tight-knit group of loyal and skilled writers, researchers, and editors who have been working as a team for years. The BRI understands the habits of a very special market—Throne Sitters—and devotes itself to providing amazing facts and conversation pieces. They are based in Ashland, OR, and San Diego, CA.

Portable Press (May 30, 2015)
ISBN: 978-1-62686-359-0

Brewery Pairing: OR: Portland: Lompoc Brewing reminds all to visit "Sidebar" for a beer & chocolate pairing, May 23rd

Press Release

PORTLAND, Ore. – Beer and chocolate go hand in hand every day: whether roasty and smooth, puckering and butter, dark or bright, chocolate and beer often share similar taste profiles that pair exceptionally well. To showcase this,Lompoc Brewing has partnered with The Meadow for a Beer and Chocolate Pairing event on May 23 from 4 to 6pm at Sidebar, Lompoc’s barrel tasting room at 3901 N Williams Ave. Admission is $10 on-site, which includes the following three pairings:

Pairing #1: Proletariat Red & Pump Street Bakery Sourdough & Sea Salt Chocolate
The Beer: Deep chestnut in color, this beer has a toasted malt quality with biscuit undertones leading to notes of caramelized pear and cinnamon. This complex brew ends with sweet malt flavors that mellow into a mild hop finish. 6.2% ABV

The Chocolate: From Pump Street Bakery in Suffolk, England, this chocolate features a unique combination of two signature products: dark chocolate and sourdough. Sourdough crumbs and a touch of sea salt add crunch and a smooth, malty flavour to Venezuelan chocolate.

Pairing #2: Cherry Bomb Smoked Red Ale & Askinosie White Chocolate with Nibs
The Beer: A collaboration for International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day with Burnside Brewing, 10 Barrel and Heater Allen, this red ale is crimson in color with a strong smoked flavor and aroma. Cherry smoked malt was used in the mash and in-house smoked dried cherries were added to the bright tank. There is a mild hop profile. 3.7% ABV

The Chocolate: Askinosie Chocolate in Springfiled, MO, handcrafts this single origin white chocolate with 34% cocoa butter, which Askinosie presses themselves from cocoa beans sourced directly from farmers in Davao, Philippines. This single origin cocoa butter is integrated with certified organic cane sugar and goat’s milk powder to create real, bean-to-bar white chocolate. Roasted cocoa nibs are then added to the back of the bar. The cocoa nibs are from the same batch of beans used to make the bar itself, so in just one bite you can taste the entire story—from sourcing to production.

Pairing #3: 2011 Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Tavern Rat & Francois Pralus Cuba
The Beer: A dark amber colored barleywine that was brewed in 2011 and aged for two years in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels. 9.4%

The Chocolate: This chocolate comes from François Pralus, a master chocolatier and one of the few in France to manufacture his own chocolate. His Cuban chocolate is spicy, with a hint of licorice, slightly peppery, and long on the finish. Cuba is known for being a colorful island. Think about its coffee, cigars, rum and music, then try this Cuban chocolate; you will understand its beauty and the complexity of its aromas. 

About Lompoc Brewing
A long-time Portland craft beer fixture established in 1996, Lompoc (pronounced Lom-Pock, not Lom-Poke) creates seven flavorful year-round beers, plus a ridiculous number of seasonals. You can find Lompoc in 22 oz bottles and on draft at locations around town, and at its five neighborhood pubs: Fifth Quadrant and Sidebar in North Portland, Hedge House and Oaks Bottom in Southeast, and the Lompoc Tavern in Northwest. Learn more at www.lompocbrewing.com.

About The Meadow
The Meadow specializes in artisan salt, the world’s great chocolate bars, bitters and other gourmet items for the bar and kitchen; it also carries a close selection of Oregon and European wines and vermouths. The Meadow has a shop on N MIssissippi Ave and NW 23rd Ave. Learn more at www.atthemeadow.com.

Festival Preview: OR: Eugene: Preview "Sasquatch Brew Fest" beers at Hop Valley, June 6th

Press Release

Eugene, Ore. – The annual Sasquatch Brew Fest will offer a select batch of unique beers to taste on Saturday, June 6, 2015 in the Hop Valley parking lot, located at 990 W 1st Ave. in Eugene, outdoors in the Whiteaker Neighborhood.

Tickets to the Sasquatch Brew Fest will be available when the gates open at
 12 p.m. for $10. Entrance includes a commemorative glass, two taste tickets and live music. Additional taste tickets will be available for purchase throughout the festival grounds for a dollar. The beer festival is open to everyone 21 years of age and older. Last call will be announced at 10:30 p.m.
The craft-beer festival will feature live music by The Sugarbeets, Mexican Gunfight, Halie Loren Quintet, and the Douglas County Daughters.
“We love hosting the festival outdoors again,” said Steve Ditmar, an event organizer and president of the Northwest Legends Foundation, the nonprofit foundation that produces the annual beer bash.

“The festival revolves around the beer, music, and bonding with a community of revelers with cheers to an awesome gentleman, Glen Falconer, who made us all aware that ‘beer is love,’” Ditmar said.

Besides featuring an opportunity to taste unique, craft-brewed beer, some batches brewed specifically for the festival, the Sasquatch Brew Fest will also feature food booths, a silent auction, raffles, a beer dinner, and a home brew contest administered by the Cascade Brewer’s Society and sanctioned by the American Homebrewer’s Association and the Beer Judge Certification Program. Winner of Best of Show will be announced during the Sasquatch Brew Fest.

For more information about the Sasquatch Brew Fest and the Northwest Legends Foundation, please visit
Produced by the Northwest Legends Foundation, the Sasquatch Brew Fest is dedicated to the memory of Glen Hay Falconer. Born during a celebration of life of Falconer, a popular and leading Pacific Northwest professional brewer, the Sasquatch Brew Fest is dedicated to Falconer’s love of the rich beer and brewing culture in the Pacific Northwest. Falconer was the skilled head brewer at the now-closed Wild Duck Brewery in Eugene as well as a mentor and resource for home brewers and professional brewers until his untimely passing in 2002.

Proceeds will benefit the Northwest Legends Foundation, a non-profit organization designed to produce the annual festival, as well as area non-profits dear to Glen Falconer, and the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation, a non-profit organization set up and maintained by Glen’s brother, Quentin Falconer. The Glen Hay Falconer Foundation provides opportunities for professional and aspiring brewers to further their knowledge and expertise in the field by awarding brewing school scholarships to worthy candidates each chosen by a committee.

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In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the affiliated companies mentioned have not paid me for my opinion unless explicitly mentioned within the post. All products reviewed are freely purchased by the author unless otherwise disclosed.

The Northwest Brewery Guide™, The NW Brewery Guide™, Brewery Guide Northwest™, and Brewery Guide NW™

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