Brew Republic Bierwerks | Pints and Quarts Ep.095

Beer Republic Bierwerks - Opening September 24, 2016

Beer Republic Bierwerks – Opening September 24, 2016

That’s right, a new brewery is hitting town.  Well, if you live in Woodbridge, Virginia, that is…

Later this month, Beer Republic Bierwerks is opening in Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge. They are throwing open their doors and inviting all “citizens” to participate in the democratic process of selecting a hand-made, craft beer and sharing some time with your fellow citizenry.

This past week, we had two of the Head’s-of-State on a hangout with us to discuss their vision for a greater Northern Virginia.  We are convinced that Prime Minister, Jeff Frederick and Minister of Operations, Ryan Heisey, are the future of this great Nation. Check out the video below, or find the Pints and Quarts podcast to get all of the governmental details.

Freedom to the People!

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Aslin Beer Company Announces Expansion Plans

 

aslin

Many of the folks that follow us here at Craft Beer Nation know how much we love what Aslin Beer Co. is doing with their limited capacity up in Herndon, Virginia. After months of selling their supply of turbid IPAs and clean and inventive Berliners out each weekend, they are finally going public with their plan to meet some of the demand.

Last night, we invited two of the co-founders at Aslin to share the details with us on our YouTube channel via a live stream. We had Kai Leszkowicz and Andrew Kelley spend some time with us. The video has more information, but here are some quick details:

The new brewing equipment will be 10 hectolitres on the hot side (oversized a bit to be about 8.5 bbl in capacity), and then starting with four 20 hectolitre fermenters. They are also going to hold on to a few of their 4 barrel fermenters that have been serving them so well.

In addition to the new brewing capacity, they are going to start bottling some releases. They are installing a 4-head filler, and will release in the 500ml and 750ml sizes. They will still have their Crowler machine running, and will fill growlers, but the bottles will make for much easier management of releases.

The new equipment is being installed this fall, and they expect to be brewing their first batches on it around Thanksgiving time.

In the meantime, they are in the midst of working on a run of great sounding collaborations. You can watch the video for more specifics, but several of our moderators at Craft Beer Nation are attending Snallygaster in DC in September, and we can’t hide our excitement about getting to taste the collaboration Aslin is doing with Triple Crossing Brewing Company out of Richmond, VA. This pair of brewing greats are making a double IPA called “Form and Void”, and will be pouring it at the one-day festival on September 17th at The Yards in DC. If tickets are still available, you shouldn’t miss this great fall beer fest. Comment if you are going, and we can share a pretzel necklace!

Here is the video of the full interview:

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New Belgium Doubles Down on Craft Beer at CSU

NewBelgium__Graphic.03

In the news this past week New Belgium Brewing issued a press release announcing a donation of $4.3 million dollars to Colorado State University. The money is going to build a beer garden at the football stadium.

This will be the first facility of it’s kind in college sports stadiums, and we in the Nation are hoping it sparks a trend. Well, a trend for infrastructure investment that is. As for educational investment, this is the second time in two years that New Belgium has granted some money to CSU.

In the Spring of 2015, CSU was the recipient of a million-dollar gift from New Belgium Brewing and it’s then CEO, Kim Jordan. That was to bolster their fermentation sciences degree program. Craft Beer Nation interviewed CSU’s Director of Industry Outreach, Jeffrey Callaway on an episode of Pints and Quarts in April of 2015. Here is the video from that:

Maybe we should get Jeff back on the show to see how things are going with that program…

 

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Reason to Drink – Nov. 6th, 2014

Marooned Without a Compass Day. Seriously, look it up. It is a day, and that day is today!

I can’t help but find myself dreaming about being stranded on a desert island in the South Pacific. strandeddesertislandNot in the creepy, “Lost” kind of way, but more of the isolated, survivalist, “Cast Away” type of deal.

I imagine digging through those undelivered packages strewn across the beach. Of course, I would first try to find some companionship in the form of a sports ball with a bloody hand-print, but after that I would focus my efforts on finding those packages marked as “olive oil” or “yeast samples”. Yes, that is a sure sign of a decent beer trade.

Maybe I would find a shipment of the expensive Reserve Club from The Bruery. Maybe I would find a few shipments of homebrew that are headed for judging at a competition. Best yet, maybe I would find a box from one “Whalez Hunter” to another. That would certainly make being stranded a little easier to take.

Of course, I would have to hope that someone was shipping a solar-powered refrigerator too, because I am sure those beers would be less than optimal at tropical temperatures. Yeah, or something packed in dry ice would do (that guy didn’t really need that kidney, right?).

Besides being delicious, I could use the nutrients from the beer to sustain me until I had discovered the natural resources of the island. Also, it takes a few growing seasons to get hops to produce a nice yield…

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Reason to Drink – October 30, 2014

Everyone is gearing up for Halloween parties this year. Rightly so, as Halloween did us a favor by landing on Friday night. But, for those of us that need a reason to celebrate on Thursday, October 30th, let me help you out: National Candy Corn Day.

candy-corn

There isn’t much evidence that this holiday was ever sanctioned on the National level, but card makers and writers have been celebrating this confection’s day for some time. The candy itself dates back to the 1880’s when George Renninger first created it for Philadelphia sweet’s maker, Wunderle Candy Company. The treat has evolved over time into the Halloween staple we know and love.

For pairing purposes, we could go the obvious route and pair with something with a corn adjunct, but my tastes prefer to pair the sweets with a nice big, full-bodied stout. In the last few weeks, Founders released a new batch of their awesome Breakfast Stout. Perhaps that coffee and oatmeal infusion of deliciousness would be the perfect choice. I will personally be giving this one a try this evening. What would you pair it with?

Breakfast-Stout-Hero

 

Photo credits:  Candy Corn from www.huffingtonpost.com and Breakfast Stout from www.foundersbrewing.com

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Legislative Trolling Level: Stone

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I have had some mixed emotions over Stone’s announcement of coming to the east coast. I love that they are expanding, but I quickly grew tired of every ZIP code east of the Mississippi cluttering up social media with pleas for the craft beer giant to settle in their town. Like anything that gets hyped to that level, I am usually ready for it to go away as soon as it appears.

I don’t think Stone could have reached the level they are at without being smart. They are going to build where the highways meet to minimize transportation expenses. They are going to build where there is sufficient population to staff the brewery jobs with quality people that are willing to work. They are going to build where the disposable incomes of the people that live there can support regular crowds at their classy beer garden and restaurant. I don’t think they are going to merely rely on a Facebook page with 500 likes to make their decision:  “Well, this town doesn’t fit our model and they don’t have any land….but there is this guy with a lot of passion that roped 500 people into clicking a thumb icon. Let’s go there!”

This week though, I had an epiphany. I had been spending significant effort being annoyed with the attention-grabbing mayhem. Then, in a moment of clarity–the kind of clarity that can only be achieved when one spends 30 minutes in a hot shower drinking a cold craft beer–it hit me. Perhaps that is exactly what they wanted.

Stay with me on this. You don’t have to do too much Googling to find that the legislative gears are cranking wildly to pass laws that make Stone’s picking their region an attractive option. As we rebound off of the economic bust of the last 7 years, getting some fresh investment in a growing industry looks pretty attractive to most states. I think Stone is talking about a $30 million investment here. That gets the elected officials all kinds of excited and willing to move on changes to the laws (even in an election year).

All of this deregulation might be trying to influence Stone’s decision, but it is having the side effect of making a more beneficial environment for ALL craft breweries in their jurisdictions. The ramifications of these new laws will be felt long after the fact. I will leave the discussion about what impact these laws will have (I know the law in South Carolina is getting some heat from both sides of the argument) for a different day, but make no mistake, the changes could be significant. There is a broad range of states and municipalities that are anxious to get a piece of the growth in the market, and none seem to be to worried about some archaic laws getting in the way of that.

If my presumption is correct, I applaud Greg Koch and his folks for playing their hand brilliantly. Since you can’t get congress to act without dangling a wad of cash in front of them, we can leave this one hanging out there for a good bit longer to see what else we be accomplished.

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SlyFox – 360 Top

slyfox-360-top
I bumped into a regional rep for SlyFox at my local bottle shop in Virginia this week. We had a great conversation, and he was nice enough to share with me a can of their Helles Golden Lager in their special 360 Top can. Here are my thoughts:

The beer.  It is a better-than-average representation of the style. It is crisp and well carbonated. The earthy malts balance nicely with the grassy hops. The aroma suffers from the lack of head, as there was no real release of CO2 when I opened the top (like you would get when you pour out into a glass).

The can. I am not totally sold on it. I love the concept. I love the progressive take on developing novel ways to get non-lightstruck beers to the consumer, but there are a few draw backs to this.

First, from a purely beer snob perspective, I like beer from a glass. I like the presentation of a lager in a tall slender glass. The stream of bubbles making their way to the top gives me a zen-like sense of refreshment (all those years of being exposed to television ads, I guess).

Second, a logistical quandary. The area from the edge that touches your lip to the inner ring of where the top is removed from the can is pretty significant. Not so much that it makes a mess, but enough that there is a waterfall effect when the beer comes out of the can to your lips. This effect creates a lot of air being taken in with the beer. The only way to compensate for this (and really, I only had this one can to experiment with), is to stick your tongue out to connect with the inner ring to take the beer in before the waterfall. That edge is sharp, and I was constantly worried of a cut while drinking.

Interestingly, I was told by the rep, that you won’t be seeing these cans distributed any time real soon as Pennsylvania is the only state they are allowed to sell these in. The reason?  If you can believe it….the litter laws. Yes, the tab detaches all the way from the can, and that is a littering risk that other states won’t permit. I am not sure fighting city hall for a waiver is really worth the fight for deliver system that stops at being novel, and never really passes to being fully-functional.

Overall, I think the beer is worthy of seeking out of Munich Helles is your thing. As for the canning process, you don’t have to spend a lot of energy coveting Pennsylvania’s littering laws. Only Jimmy Buffett would lobby for the change in those. He would love his his hit song to be relevant again:  “Stepped on a pop top. Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home…”

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