News and Brews

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New Sam Adams Rebel IPA – Juicier and Brighter than Old Formula

NEWS FROM: Samuel Adams 

BY: Zak Stambor, Chicago Tribune

It isn’t that Rebel IPA, Samuel Adams’ first flagship IPA, was a bad beer — it wasn’t — but it’s never been particularly interesting.

To me, Rebel IPA has always felt like a focus group-tested beer. Unoffensive, uninspired and unoriginal. Given that the Boston Beer Co. is a publicly traded company, Rebel IPA always seemed like something the suits ordered up. Even so, Rebel IPA was controversial from the get-go. Nearly as soon as the beer made its debut, it sparked a backlash from brewers like Lagunitas founder Tony Magee, who argued the beer was Sam Adams’ effort to take over the tap handles of Lagunitas and other West Coast brewers.

Samuel Adams is using a mix of seven hops in its reformulated Rebel IPA. (Samuel Adams)

After all, while Sam Adams has made its fair share of India pale ales over the years — from the West Coast-style Oregon IPA it produced in the ’90s to Latitude 48 IPA — IPAs were never a major focus for the brewery until it rolled out Rebel IPA in 2014.

We tried our share of unique twists on IPAs, which were cool, but we figured, ‘Why not do one straight down the middle?'” says Jim Koch, Samuel Adams founder and brewer.

Almost immediately the beer was one of the top-selling craft beers, despite middling scores on beer-centric sites such as BeerAdvocate and RateBeer.

Though Rebel IPA sold well, earlier this year it got a makeover to help it keep pace with a rapidly changing IPA landscape. “There are new hops coming out every year,” Koch says. “There are a number of hops available today that weren’t available four or five years ago. What was state-of-the-art five years ago seems boring today.”

Now I know there’s nothing more corporate than a manufacturer boasting “new recipe” or “new formulation.” But this one is worth trying.

Produced using seven hops — Mosaic, Cascade, Simcoe, Centennial, Chinook and two experimental varieties known as HBC 566 (which adds notes of orange, lemon/lime and eucalyptus) and HBC 682 (a bittering hop that adds an earthy aroma) — and Sam Adams’ two-row malt blend, the new Rebel IPA is markedly brighter and juicier, significantly less piney, with pronounced citrus and tropical fruit notes.

Read the full article, here. 

Michelob ULTRA Brings a Different Kind of Six-Pack to Amazon Alexa

America’s Fastest Growing Beer Brand Launches Anheuser-Busch’s First Ever Amazon Alexa Skill.

NEWS PROVIDED BY:  Michelob ULTRA

Michelob ULTRA today launched a free, dedicated skill on Amazon Alexa, called ULTRA 95, just in time for spring. This is also the first skill introduced by an Anheuser-Busch brand. Michelob ULTRA celebrates those who embrace an active, balanced lifestyle, and the ULTRA 95 skill taps into the cutting-edge voice recognition aspect of Alexa to deliver 12 customized fitness workouts to beer drinkers who enjoy staying active physically as much as they enjoy gathering with friends for a beer.

There are 12 different workouts on the ULTRA 95 Alexa skill, divided into three different categories: Strength, Conditioning, and Flexibility.

  • The Strength category includes four different workouts: Upper Body, Lower Body, Full Body, and Core.
  • The Conditioning category includes five different workouts: Fat Loss, High Intensity Interval Training, Cardio, Tabata, and Warm Up/Pre-Run.
  • The Mobility category includes Yoga, Stretch, and Warm Down/Post-Run.

ULTRA 95 is free to enable for anyone who is over 21 years of age and has an Alexa-enabled device such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap. Each of the 12 audio workouts are designed to be quick and efficient, burning approximately 95 calories (the same number that’s in every serving of a Michelob ULTRA) in 10 minutes or less without the need for specialized equipment.

“We recognize that the pursuit of fitness is unique to each consumer and we wanted to deliver a new fitness option that would give our drinkers the flexibility to continue their active, balanced lives,” said Azania Andrews, vice president, Michelob ULTRA. “Our ULTRA 95 skill on Amazon Alexa uses innovative speech recognition technology to provide consumers with easy, instantaneous-to-access workouts that help them stay fit, and have fun in the process, no matter how busy their lives get.”

Michelob ULTRA partnered with Rodale Inc., the global health and wellness content company, to tap leading fitness experts and certified trainers to design an array of custom workouts. ULTRA 95’s fast, effective workout programs deliver targeted results with cross-discipline instruction from BJ Gaddour, Fitness Director at Men’s Health, Jen Ator, Fitness Director at Women’s Health, and Budd Coates, Training Director at Runner’s World. Each workout can be accessed within seconds of enabling the skill on Alexa, and are designed to deliver a quick, effective, and challenging set of exercises perfect for those who prioritize staying fit.

To launch ULTRA 95, the brand is hosting a studio workout in New York City today, the first day of spring and the start of what’s often recognized as “workout season”, at Spring Studios. Attendees will go through the exclusive workouts developed for the ULTRA 95, and afterwards will have the opportunity to ice down with Michelob ULTRAs and take in the first sunset of spring.

For information on Michelob ULTRA, visit MichelobULTRA.com or the brand’s pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Budweiser Releases Locally-Inspired Team Cans to Celebrate America’s Hometown Spirit

Available just in time for Opening Day, Budweiser’s new team cans capture the localized pride and fandom of Major League Baseball

NEWS PROVIDED BY: Budweiser

This spring, the King of Beers is raising one to hometown fans, who embody the spirit of America’s favorite pastime. With the return of baseball season, Budweiser will introduce customized, specialty MLB team cans featuring unique designs created by local artists who each represent Budweiser’s values and celebration of the pursuit of the American dream. Budweiser’s limited-edition cans will arrive on Opening Day.

Designed in partnership with local artists and baseball enthusiasts, Budweiser’s MLB team design cans bring to life the true ambition and personality of each team and its hometown, featuring some of the most iconic elements of each city like the palm trees in Los Angeles to the Gateway Arch in Budweiser’s hometown of St. Louis. Each artist was hand-selected to create the unique, locally-inspired designs, based on their personal connection to their team’s ambitious history and the fans that support the home team. The cans will each be wrapped in one-of-a-kind, personalized artwork to celebrate Budweiser’s commitment to the game while offering fans a way to support their teams from the first pitch to the last out.

“Baseball and the culture it created is a true celebration of the American spirit,” said Ricardo Marques, vice president, Budweiser. “This year, we wanted to leverage our long-standing partnership with MLB to raise a toast to the fans by giving them a piece of their hometown to enjoy right in the palm of their hand with our MLB designed team cans.”

Budweiser’s support of Major League Baseball is engrained in the brand’s DNA, with a rich heritage and history of partnership spanning more than 30 years.

“Budweiser has been a great MLB partner for a long time and continually evolves its marketing connected to our sport,” said Noah Garden, MLB Executive Vice President, Business. “These custom-designed cans are another terrific example of Bud’s support and their ability to connect with our fans.”

Penn Brewery’s lagering caves very cool — 55 degrees to be exact

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON: TRIBLIVE.COM

WRITTEN BY: CHRIS TOGNERI 

In Penn Brewery‘s beer garden, there is a wooden door with large rocks piled against the base to keep people from entering.

That will soon change.

Because on the other side of the door is the brewer’s past and present, which they are almost ready to reveal: A series of lagering caves dug into the side of Troy Hill more than 150 years ago.

“They dug them out, blasted them — whatever technology they had in the 1860s for making deep caves,” says Corey Little, Penn Brewery’s chief technology officer, while standing in a cavern at the mouth of the cave system. “This could be attractive. Get this opened up, get lighting in — this could be a very cool space.”

The caves, which are a constant 55 degrees, were used to cool lagers before refrigeration made them obsolete. So far, Penn Brewery officials have found four main caves, stretching as much as 150 feet back. They twist, they dip, they interconnect and they spiderweb farther and farther into the underground.

But for decades they were sealed off, opened only, history shows, during projects when contractors would dump construction materials in them: walls, framing, doors, window — in short, a lot of junk.

So Penn Brewery decided to clean them out.

They brought in dumpsters and hauled the junk away. They cleaned out the entry cavern — which is bricked with an arched ceiling — then moved deeper into the cave system.

The opening cavern is almost ready for display. Sandy Cindrich, Penn Brewery’s co-owner and president, says the plan is to open up the cavern, at least for viewing, as soon as the beer garden opens.

As for the rest of the caves — “That’s hard hat territory,” Little says.

“This stuff,” he says, pointing to the walls of the entry cavern, “is very sturdy. We could have it to the point where an engineer would declare it structurally sound. But once you get past (the entry cavern), then we do have some concerns about what we could do. It’s natural stone, and natural stone cleaves, it falls. It would be great to give tours someday, but …”

But not yet. Cindrich says Penn Brewery is looking into grants from preservation groups including the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation and the Senator John Heinz History Center, to see what the options are. There are old lagering drums back there, and they would love to be able to showcase them and other brewing artifacts in a museum-like setting inside the caves.

“There are so many new breweries popping up, but this is something nobody else has,” Cindrich says. “It really highlights the tradition of brewing in Pittsburgh, and we’re just proud of the fact that we can still brew here where there is so much history. It’s something that makes us unique, and something we’d like to showcase.”

There could be more caves, Little adds. They just haven’t found them yet.

In other news at Penn Brewery:

• Anyone driving past the loading docks on Vinial Street will have noticed a fair amount of digging in recent months. Turns out, crews dug into the hill and built a massive retaining wall to the side of the brewery to give the operation space to expand. Right now, it’s being used for parking. But the plan, Cindrich says, is to eventually erect a structure there, likely for storage. That way, the brewery would no longer have to rent space in a Spring Garden warehouse.

• Inside the brewery, work recently was completed on the installation of a new small batch brewing system. Head brewer Nick Rosich says the system will help with research and development. Under the existing brew system, the smallest batch he can make yields 300 cases of beer, which is not ideal, given the hit-and-miss nature of experimentation.

“With this system, before we move something over (to the main system), we can fine-tune the product,” Rosich says.

The first batch will be brewed next week: A Scottish wee heavy that will be named “Wee Jags.” A session IPA is also planned.

Of course, Penn Brewery’s staple products will remain its lineup of lagers.

But the small batch system “gives us the flexibility we didn’t have before to try new things,” Cindrich says.

Chris Togneri drank a Penn Dark after exploring the lagering caves. Seemed appropriate. Reach him at ctogneri@tribweb.com or on Twitter @ChrisTogneri.

Yuengling Simplifies Packaging for a More Modern Look

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON: BREWBOUND.COM 

BY: JUSTIN KENDALL 

America’s oldest brewery is evolving to a more modern look.

D.G. Yuengling & Son today announced that, after three decades, it is updating the packaging for its Traditional Lager as well as Light Lager and Black & Tan porter brands.

Despite a newer, more simplified look, the refreshed packaging maintains the feel of a heritage brand and prominently features the Pennsylvania brewery’s eagle and barrel icons while calling out its roots as “America’s oldest brewery.”

“We’ve improved the shelf pop with the elevated imagery that better communicates the authenticity and craftsmanship of America’s oldest brewery,” Yuengling director of marketing Tyler Simpson told Brewbound.

Highlighting the eagle and barrel symbols is a callback to Yuengling’s genesis in 1829 as the Eagle Brewery, Simpson added.

One of the goals of the redesign was to “better align our packaging across our three core brands,” Simpson said, and the new packaging does create a more unified shelf set. It also simplifies what was once crowded messaging on labels and packaging. It’s a case of addition by subtraction with a simplified message, color palette and font choices.

The woodcut-style design with an engraved-style of eagle will be a “powerful and distinct” differentiator from other packaging in the category, Simpson said.

“We are confident this will have an impact from sales perspective and an image and equity perspective as well,” he said. “This is really an opportunity for us to stand out from elevated image standpoint.”

Yuengling’s 99-calorie Light Lager brand also got a makeover. The new blue, cream and white color scheme for Light Lager is intended to reposition the beer as “a refreshing sessionable light beer alternative,” Simpson said. In the past, the brand had a much darker and heavier cream and red look.

“We think it better communicates the refreshing taste appeal of Light Lager,” Simpson said. “We’re super excited about that brand going forward.”

The new designs are Yuengling’s response to an increasingly crowded and competitive marketplace. Simpson said the company decided to evolve based on wholesaler and consumer feedback to “premiumize” and “clean up” the look of its products.

“That was one of our objectives: strengthen through simplification,” Simpson said. “In the past, we had so many different messages and elements on the packs. We thought there is power in simplifying.”

The rebranding effort, led by the brewery’s internal design team with support from Pennsylvania-based Bailey Brand Consulting, was more than a year in the making, Simpsons said.

“This is something that we championed ourselves,” he said. “The Yuengling family are firm believers in the upgrades we’re making.”

The new packaging is slated to hit store shelves next month with the launch of Yuengling’s beer in Indiana via Monarch Beverage, Indiana Beverage and Five Star Distributing. Other markets will begin receiving the new packages as retailers deplete their inventories, Simpsons said.

Simpson wouldn’t put a dollar figure on the rebranding effort, saying only that “a significant investment” was made to replace printing assets.

Yuengling ranked as the No. 1 craft brewery in U.S. last year, according to the Brewers Association. The company also grew dollar sales 7 percent in grocery, convenience and multi-outlet stores, according to market research firm IRI Worldwide. Its Traditional Lager offering finished the year up 7.4 percent, with dollar sales in excess of $295 million, and Light Lager ended the year up 6.2 percent with more than $54 million in sales, according to IRI.

Read the full article, here. 

Rhinegeist Now in Western PA

Rhinegeist is headed to the Steel City! We’re excited to partner with Rhinegeist and help them expand their distribution to Pittsburgh and across Southwestern Pennsylvania. Draft brews are currently available, with cans arriving in May.

They’ll be kicking things off with a jam-packed launch week starting Monday, 3/20. To peruse the full slate of events, as well as an info-filled press release, cruise over to our official Pittsburgh launch page, here or view below. 

LAUNCH WEEK EVENTS

Monday, March 20th

PORK & BEANS | 4pm-7pm
136 6th St Pittsburgh, PA 15222

HOUGH’S | 7pm-9pm
563 Greenfield Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15207

MEAT & POTATOES | 10pm
649 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Tuesday, March 21st

THE URBAN TAP | 5pm-7pm
216 S Highland Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15206

FUEL & FUDDLE | 5pm-8pm
212 Oakland Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15213

HARRIS GRILL | 7pm-9pm
5747 Ellsworth Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Wednesday, March 22nd

BACON, BOURBON & BEER | 6pm-8pm
1000 Park Place Drive Washington, PA 15301

MAD MEX – SHADYSIDE | 5pm-7pm
220 S Highland Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Thursday, March 23rd

BLUE DUST | 7pm-10pm
601 Amity St Homestead, PA 15120

INDUSTRY PUBLIC HOUSE | 5:30pm-8pm
4305 Butler St Pittsburgh, PA 15120

THE BEERHIVE | 5pm-7pm
2117 Penn Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Friday, March 24th

SIENNA MERCATO | 4pm
942 Penn Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Saturday, March 25th

WHOLE FOODS MARKET | 12pm-2pm
Wexford Plaza, 10576 Perry Hwy Wexford, PA 15090

GIANT EAGLE SETTLERS RIDGE MARKET DISTRICT | 1pm-3pm |100 Settlers Ridge Center Dr Pittsburgh, PA 15205

GIANT EAGLE SHADYSIDE MARKET DISTRICT | 2pm-4pm
5550 Centre Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15232

WHOLE FOODS SOUTH HILLS | 1pm-3pm
111 Siena Dr, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241

 

YEAR – ROUND OFFERINGS

 

Truth

(7.2% | 75 IBU)

Available in 1/2 bbls & 1/6 bbls draft (cans in May)
Truth is an intensely hopped, dry IPA, with Centennial, Citra, Amarillo, and Simcoe hops.

 

 

 

Cougar

(4.8% | 20 IBU)

Available in 1/2 bbls & 1/6 bbls draft (cans in May)
A bright blonde ale with light honey cereal tones, Cougar is hopped with Crystal and Bravo for notes of mandarin and citrus.

 

 

 

Knowledge

(8.5% | 98 IBU)

Available in limited 1/6 bbls draft (cans in May)
Intense and refined, Knowledge delivers notes of resinous pine, dank sap, pithy grapefruit, and ripe pineapple. Bone dry, lightly-colored and slightly hazy, this brew is a hop head’s dream.

 

 

 

Semi Dry Cider

(6.2% | 0 IBU)

Available in 1/2 bbls & 1/6 bbls draft (cans in May)
Cider fermented to amplify the fragrance and essence of the apple whilst achieving a delightful, lip smacking dryness.

 

 

Bubbles

(6.2% | 0 IBU)

Available in 1/2 bbls & 1/6 bbls draft (cans in May)
A bright and dry Rosé cider, Bubbles is packed with notes of peach and cranberry. It’s a tart and juicy brew built for springtime that pours a brilliant reddish-pink.

 

 

CURRENT SEASONAL AVAILABLE 

 

Mosaic

(5.6% | 45 IBU)

Available in 1/2 bbls & 1/6 bbls draft (cans in May)

This single hopped pale ale detonates upon the palate with a brilliant array of dank, tropical fruit, grapefruit blossom, mandarin orange, and blueberries.

Available from March through May.

 

Whole Foods Wexford Pub 1 Year Anniversary

 

On Saturday, March 18th from 12-2pm, come celebrate the one year anniversary of Whole Food Wexford’s Pub! The beloved brew pub has become a haven for beer lovers of Western PA so they clearly have something to celebrate. With the introduction of Rhinegeist to Pittsburgh markets, this could be one of your first tastes of the brew. 

In addition to Rhinegeist’s “Truth IPA,” “Mosaic” and “Semi-Dry Cider” Whole Foods Wexford Pub will have some of their other favorites on tap. Sierra Nevada Trip Woods Biere de Garde, Lagunitas High Westifield BA Coffee Stout and Deschutes 2016 Abyss BA Stout, just to name a few. 

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Specials

Looking for the best bar specials on Parade Day, Saturday, March 11th? We’ve got you covered! 

Carnegie

  • Riley’s Pour House specials: Guinness, Harp and Smithwicks

Cheswick

  • Allegheny 6 Pack & Doghouse: $6.50 Guinness drafts and a shot of Jameson

Downtown

  • Wingharts- Market Square – Parade Day special:  Guinness and Sweetwater 420 cans
  • Pork & Beans Parade Day special: Coors Light Green Beer and Guinness drafts
  • Beer, Lime and Sunshine: Coors Banquet 24oz Cans – 2 for $5 and 12 Pack 12oz cans for$12.00.

New Castle

  • The Crane Room in New Castle specials: $2.75 22oz Coors Light Green Cup Special (keep the cup)

New Kensington

  • Gunny’s in New Kensington specials: $2 Coors Light drafts and $4 Guinness drafts

North Hills

  • Cenci’s – 2 locations Wexford & Cranberry Twp-$3.50 22oz Coors Lights/$4 Guinness
  • Perrytowne Draft House special: $3 Guinness drafts

  • Shenanigan’s Babcock Blvd specials: $3 Coors Light 22oz. drafts, $5 20 oz. drafts

North Shore

  • Mcfaddens specials: $3 Coors Light and Guinness

Oakland

  • Garage Door in Oakland specials: $9 buckets of Coors Light (5 bottles)

Shady Side

  • William Penn Tavern specials:  $2.50 Coors Light bottles all day 

South Hills

  • Bee’z Bistro & Pub: $3.50 22oz Coors Lights
  • The Wheel Bar & Grille: $3 22oz Coors Lights
  • Hot Shots South Park Saloon: $3 22oz Coors Lights
  • Getaway Cafe: $2.50 Coors Lights/$5 Guinness
  • Shawn Ryan Pub: $3.00 22 oz Coors Light Green Cup

South Side

  • Wingharts Parade Day specials: Guinness and Sweetwater 420 cans
  • Claddagh Specials: Guinness drafts, Harp drafts , Smithwicks drafts
  • Marios South Side: $4.00 22 oz Coors Light Green Cup
  • The Flats special: $4.00 22 oz Coors Light Green Cup
  • Tweleve on Carson special: $3.00 22 oz Coors Light Green Cup

Station Square

  • Hard Rock Cafe Pittsburgh specials: on Coors light, Guinness , Harp, Smithwicks drafts

Strip District

  • Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle Parade Day celebration

Verona 

  • Eagles Club in Verona specials:  $3.75 Guinness cans $2.25 Coors Light 16oz aluminums

#BeerOfTheWeek | Atwater Brewery’s Whango Mango Wheat

Where are all the wheat beer lovers? In era of IPAs, wheat beers rarely get the credit or the prestige the deserve. Atwater Brewery acknowledges this need for a seriously good beer. Following the trend of seasonal fruit beers, we’re excited to feature “Whango Mango Wheat” from Atwater Brewery. This American-style wheat beer don’t stray far from the malt bill of their German Weizen cousins, but have much less of a “yeasty” characteristic. 

With a cloudy blonde color, it has a sweet and crisp scent thanks to the mango. Don’t fret, the taste isn’t overwhelmingly mango. It has a mildly-sweet flavor that is actually quite refreshing. It is a the perfect beer to enjoy when you’re looking for something light and fresh with a bit of excitement. 

ABV: 4.9% | IBU: 14

Rhinegeist Comes To Pittsburgh!

As you may have already heard, Cincinnati-based Rhinegeist Brewery will be expanding into Pittsburgh and across Southwestern Pennsylvania. This is will be first time that the brewery crosses state lines to the Keystone State, with drafts officially being tapped on March 6th, 2017, 12oz six and four pack cans will be available widespread in May. Some of their most popular beers include: Truth (IPA), Cougar (Blonde Ale), Knowledge (Imperial IPA) and cider options–Semi Dry, Dry Hopped and Bubbles (a delicious Rosé Cider). As a consistently adventurous and innovative brewery they offer a slew of limited release seasonal specials. 

Craft beer enthusiasts will be elated with their first sip of Rhinegeist, typically, crisp and refreshing, it pairs well with just about anything and will be sure to start popping up on menu’s all over the city. Until then, find it on tap in the coming weeks.

Monday, March 20th
PORK & BEANS | TBD
136 6th St Pittsburgh, PA 15222
HOUGH’S | 7pm-9pm
563 Greenfield Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15207

Tuesday, March 21st
THE URBAN TAP | 5pm-7pm
216 S Highland Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15206
FUEL & FUDDLE | 5pm-8pm
212 Oakland Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15213
HARRIS GRILL | 7pm-9pm
5747 Ellsworth Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Wednesday, March 22nd
BACON, BOURBON & BEER | 6pm-8pm
1000 Park Place Drive Washington, PA 15301
 
Thursday, March 23rd
BLUE DUST | 7pm-10pm
601 Amity St Homestead, PA 15120
INDUSTRY PUBLIC HOUSE | 5:30pm-8pm
4305 Butler St Pittsburgh, PA 15120
THE BEERHIVE | 5pm-7pm
2117 Penn Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Friday, March 24th
SIENNA MERCATO | 4pm
942 Penn Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Saturday, March 25th
WHOLE FOODS MARKET | 12pm-2pm
Wexford Plaza, 10576 Perry Hwy Wexford, PA 15090
GIANT EAGLE SETTLERS RIDGE MARKET DISTRICT |12pm-2pm | 100 Settlers Ridge Center Dr Pittsburgh, PA 15205
GIANT EAGLE SHADYSIDE MARKET DISTRICT |2pm-4pm
5550 Centre Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15232
 

Shock Top Brews Up First Major Brand Refresh

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON ANHEUSER-BUSCH.COM

Brand Unveils Optimistic Look and Refreshing New Citrus Line Up, Toasting to a Bright Future

NEW YORK, NY (Feb 27, 2017)Shock Top is shaking things up this month as it rolls out its first major brand refresh in its history. The brand will introduce an entirely new look and feel that still embodies the carefree spirit that is authentic to Shock Top, but with a fresh, youthful optimism. The changes will be reflected in everything from its brand’s voice to product selection and most notably the creative, which will include a new logo, packaging, website and a new marketing campaign that will kick off this summer.

“Shock Top is known for its laidback, carefree vibe, but this year, we’re growing up without letting go of being young. We’re turning up the volume with a vibrant, new energy and look that’s ready to shake things up,” said Jake Kirsch, Vice President of Shock Top. “Across every touchpoint with our brand, fans will experience a more upbeat Shock Top, coupled with some incredible new seasonal brews that embrace citrus in every sip like never before.”

Introducing a Vibrant New Look

As part of the refresh, Shock Top will get a full makeover, and the changes will be reflected across all brand assets and activations. Moving away from its irreverent roots, the brand will take on a more inspiring, uplifting approach. Its packaging will feature a dynamic look sporting a fresh new logo, hand-drawn graphics and a reinvigorated Wedgehead. Shock Top’s artistic new designs will be carried through all consumer-facing activations including advertising, in-store, on-premise and online.

Brews Take Citrus to a “Holy” New Level

Shock Top will continue to offer its signature Belgian-style wheat ale, Belgian White, along with its popular Lemon Shandy, coupled with an exciting new lineup of invigorating new seasonals packed with tons of citrus. Launching in stores late February, Shock Top’s first new seasonal release will be its Citrus Variety Pack featuring Belgian White and Lemon Shandy, alongside two entirely new flavors – Holy Citrus and Ruby Fresh.

These new flavors are perfect examples of how Shock Top is infusing unique ingredients into its brews, giving fans a whole new experience. Holy Citrus is brewed with Buddha’s Hand, one of the oldest citrus fruits often described as “lemon with fingers” and is treasured for its sweet floral fragrance and mild zest. Ruby Fresh is a brew that puts the flavor in refreshment by balancing the delicious sweetness and tartness of the perfect grapefruit. And these are just the start for Shock Top with a number of new citrus flavors brewing up to launch in its seasonal variety citrus packs for summer, fall and winter.

Shock Top will also be taking its 25oz can national this year following exceptional consumer response and interest in 2016, making it easier now than ever to bring Shock Top anywhere.

Cheers to What’s Ahead

In the coming months, Shock Top will unveil a new marketing campaign embracing the freedom of summer and bringing unique experiences to consumers, including the revival of its hugely popular Camp Shock Top, an adults-only summer camp in partnership with Camp No Counselors. Kicking off this summer, Shock Top promises to deliver new experiences that embody its new tagline, “Cheers to what’s ahead.”

For more information about Shock Top or to see its new look, visit www.shocktopbeer.com.

About Shock Top

Founded in 2006 with the release of its signature Belgian White ale, Shock Top Brewing Co. creates high-quality, unfiltered Belgian-style wheat ales for people who want a great laid-back beer they can count on for flavor and taste without pretense. Quality ingredients and creativity drive the Shock Top Brewing team to craft unique twists on beer styles. The Shock Top family includes Shock Top Belgian White and Shock Top Lemon Shandy, as well as Shock Top Ruby Fresh, Shock Top Holy Citrus, Shock Top Citrus Pearl, Shock Top Sunset Orange and Shock Top Inner Beauty, offered seasonally and in variety packs. For more information, please visit www.ShockTopBeer.com.

#BeerOfTheWeek | Southern Tier Brewing Company’s “Imperial Cherry Gose”

As we move into Spring, our tastebuds are yearning for something a bit lighter than the stouts and porters that have been keeping us warm all winter. Luckily for us, Southern Tier Brewing Company is helping pull us into Spring with their Imperial Cherry Gose. This sour beer turns heads and leaves a memorable taste in our mouths making it our #BeerOfTheWeek.

Based in New York, Southern Tier Brewing Company is utilizing their surrounding resources. NYS ranks 4th for production of tart cherries in US. Having access to this “super food” always the brewery to produce a bright color, clean and juicy aroma and flavor that is accentuated by the fruit’s natural acidity. 

Using 3 types of malts, coriander, pink Himalayan Sea Salt and a generous amount of New York State Tart Cherry Juice, the beer provides bright acidity with strong flavors of tartness and a clean salty finish. The IBU for this beer comes in quite low at only 7 IBU. ABV comes in a bit higher at 8.3%.

Pair this beer with grilled fish, eggs Benedict or ceviche to get the full experience. 

Fruit Is Attracting New People to Craft Beer

ARTICLE PUBLISHED ON VINEPAIR.COM

WRITTEN BY: ERIN PETERS

There was a time where I cringed at the sight of a raspberry wheat or berry blonde beer. I just thought it was too dainty and affected, and frankly, not worth purchasing. But when you start with a great beer, if done right, fruit in beer can be refreshing and flavorful, and a perfect sipper during the warmer months.

I’m clearly not the only one who thinks so. The “tropical-flavored” IPA sales increased by 250 percent year-on-year within the IPA category, according to the Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia in May 2016. In 2010, 15 percent of the new beers introduced were flavored beers, according to the market research firm Mintel. In 2015, that number had doubled; 27 percent of new beers that came onto the market that year were flavored varieties.

But you can already see that fruit won’t just be relegated to IPAs. Brewers are infusing pale ales, IPAs, saisons and even stouts with fruit from the farm to intensify their inherent flavors of grapefruits, oranges, lemons, and limes. Brewers are even developing styles that are better able to carry the fruit. Some of these new juicy beers are a result of experimental hops with aromatic qualities.

Take San Diego’s Ballast Point Pineapple Sculpin, for example. Since its purchase by Constellation, they are even more widely available – and this is a good thing. In the summer of 2014, the company released Habanero Sculpin and Grapefruit Sculpin. Or take New Belgium Citradelic Tangerine IPA, launched in January 2016, another fruit-forward beer that is widely available.  The sweeter and tangy orange character intertwines with the hops very nicely. This beer is jammed with Citra, citrusy Mandarina Bavaria, tropical Azzaca, and fruity Galaxy hops. On top of all this, they add tangerine-infused orange peel.

Fruit Is Attracting New People to Craft Beer
 

I spoke with Chris Anderson from Coachella Valley Brewing, who is not only an award-winning brewer, but also started out as an executive chef at Alaska Pacific University. Anderson was the executive chef at Moose’s Tooth and Café Europa in Anchorage. He also headed culinary operations for the Tatitlek Corporation for seven years.

“I’ve seen more and more brewers using locally grown fruits, and fruits indigenous to their local areas,” Anderson tells me. “Fruit beer is certainly becoming more popular. It used to be said that it was a ‘chick beer.’ At CVB, we sell a ton of fruit beers and fruited sours to men.”

These better fruit beers have played a role in bringing more non-traditional beer drinkers to the table. “I think you will see that bringing newbies to craft for sure,” Anderson says. “Customers are continually looking for variety; brand loyalty is a thing of the past. Fruit beers are in the footbridge realm for many non-craft beer people. These folks might find a banana hefeweizen or passion fruit farmhouse ale more inviting than a fresh double IPA.”

Hopped-up beers with lemon zest Sorachi Ace and grapefruit-hinted Cascade, IPAs are perfectly primed for fruit additions, according to Anderson. “I think just about any beer can work fruited as long as it marries and doesn’t conflict,” he says.

2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series PreGame

NHL Stadium Series™ title partner, Coors Light, will be giving fans 21 years and older the refreshing reward of a cold Coors Light in the Coors Light Beer Garden at The PreGame. Penguins and Flyers alumni will be at the Coors Light Beer Garden on Feb. 25 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. ET to help fans join the Coors Light sustainability mission by taking their best shot at the Coors Light Slap Shot.

Fans also have the opportunity to join thousands of people making the pledge to never drive drunk and always have a designated driver with Coors Light – the Official Beer of the NHL – and TEAM Coalition. Those who make the pledge will receive a souvenir photo and be entered to win a NHL prize pack.

THE PREGAME – THE OFFICIAL TAILGATE PARTY OF THE 2017 COORS LIGHT NHL STADIUM SERIES

WHAT: The PreGame
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 24: 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET (Parking Lot Only) & Saturday, Feb. 25: 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET
WHERE: Stage AE Outdoor Music Stage & Parking Lot

The National Hockey League (NHL) and a dozen of its corporate partners will entertain hockey fans in Pittsburgh with The PreGame, the official tailgate party of the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ – the highly-anticipated, regular-season outdoor game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers at Heinz Field on Feb. 25. Held at Stage AE’s outdoor music stage and parking lot across from Heinz Field, the two-day hockey-themed, family-friendly festival will be free and open to the public and feature live music, special appearances, and food and hockey attractions, including the NHL Centennial Fan Arena. An interactive traveling experience honoring a century’s worth of extraordinary players, teams, remarkable plays and unforgettable moments, the NHL Centennial Fan Arena will also feature the most revered trophy in all sports — the Stanley Cup®.

The PreGame will be open to the general public on Friday, Feb. 24 (in the parking lot only) and Saturday, Feb. 25 from 3:00-8:00 p.m. ET each day. A ticket will not be required for access.

Fans who visit The PreGame will gain access to the NHL Centennial Fan Arena during its stop in Pittsburgh as part of its visit to all NHL markets across North America in 2017. Created with NHL players and fans at the center of the experience, the NHL Centennial Fan Arena includes an innovative museum truck with 1,000-square-feet of interactive digital displays and historical memorabilia, a one-of-a-kind virtual-reality Zamboni® game, and the Stanley Cup. Penguins fans will get their first chance to see the Stanley Cup engraved with the names of the 2016 Stanley Cup Championship team.

Pittsburgh’s own My Hero Zero will perform on Stage AE’s outdoor music stage on Saturday, Feb. 25. Additional entertainment will be announced at a later date.

For more attractions and information, click here.

Putting The Perfect Craft Beer On Tap

ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON BEVSPOT.COM

WRITTEN BY:  ANDREW TURNWALL 

From local love and nostalgia to gastronomic science, tapping the perfect craft beer is an art that we’re here to help with.

What’s on draft? Ostensibly, this is a question you’ll be hearing from thirsty and inquiring patrons. The question really begins with the bar manager. What a bar manager or beverage director puts out on their bar’s draft makes a statement about the type of bar they want to run, from sports bar to grungy dive to the high-end taproom.

In any bar, a healthy selection of carefully considered craft beer goes a long way, and, to get it right, an astute bar manager must master the art of selection. Here are some of the basic tips and tricks for putting together a great craft beer program.

Pick For The Pairing

A great way to pick which craft beers is to match them with the food menu you serve. Different foods will react differently with different beers, and some types of beer pair more naturally than others with specific food flavors. You can go even further by choosing pairings that will enhance flavors, complement one another, or cleanse the palate between courses. Here’s a (very) basic rundown of types of beer and how you can pair them with your food offerings:

IPA: Luckily, the best selling craft beer in America is also the most versatile. For the adventurous type, the Indian Pale Ale will increase the intensity of anything spicy. It will sit well with and complement most seafoods and burgers, and many types of smoked barbecue. It will also lighten the weight of heavier fare, mostly foods high in salt or fat from fries to steaks, cleansing the palate and readying customers for another round. The IPA is the swiss army knife of the craft beer arsenal.

Wheat Beer: Light and refreshing, this category covers everything from witbier to hefeweizen. Patrons looking to eat healthier, from salad to chicken to fish, will find the wheat beer to be a satisfying and refreshing choice.

Amber Ale: A perfect blend of malt and hops, the amber ale works equally well with the time tested soup and sandwich. Or, during the big game, it can act as a great complement to pizza and wings.

Porter, Stout, and Dark Ale: The beers at the dark end of the SRM (Standard Reference Method) chart are known as dessert beers for good reason. The traditionally heavier, sweeter beers match well with chocolate and coffee, especially since many contain hints of those very items. This is especially true of the porter and doubly so for the stout, as the richer malt taste will sit heavier in mouth. These heavier beers match well with heavier meals; barbecue, steak, ribs, mashed potatoes.

Tapping the right beer to accentuate your menu will present a consistent theme to satisfied patrons.

A Reason For Every Season

Another important detail to keep in mind as you assign taps is the weather and climate in your locale. Is it summer? Or are you located in a place with traditionally warm weather? You’re looking at guests who will be likely expecting a fruity or lighter wheat beer like a saison or hefeweizen.

Fall can bring a drop in temperatures, a crispness to the air, and the changing colors of leaves. A craft cider, whether served cold or hot or mulled, fits perfectly with the season.

In winter and colder climates, beers with a higher SRM like stouts and porters work best. They serve as a heavier choice with a likely higher ABV that causes people to feel warm. A rotating seasonal tap will keep things interesting for patrons, and allow you to see what fits best with your establishment and sells the quickest. We like to fall back on this prescient advice from the fine bartenders of JP Fitzgerald’s in Hamburg, New York:

“Its pretty hard to sell someone on a fruity, mango-infused beer in the middle of January.”

Go Local

Times being what they are, odds are your town has a local brewery (or seven of them). It likely has a community of people that are part of the resurgent craft brewing scene around the country. Even if you don’t brew in house, featuring local brews on tap is a great way to connect with the community show your support for local businesses.

This is especially true for limited run and small batch brews, rather than just the beers that craft breweries offer all year long. Hosting a small batch on your taps now means that your establishment is part of an event, and gives people a reason to visit in a timely manner, lest they miss out on something that will soon be gone, perhaps never to return.

This isn’t to say that year-round brews don’t deserve a spot on your tap as well. As previously mentioned a craft beer can buck conventions of what certain types of beer are supposed to be, offering a unique, more complex experience for the discerning or adventurous drinker every time they visit your bar.

The aforementioned JP Fitzgerald’s sits less than twenty miles from no more than a dozen breweries, and has taken full advantage of the locale, filling their tap with eight drafts from seven different local craft breweries.

“Local sells really well with us. Local is big, the seasonal brews are big, and from there it all goes back to consumption.”

Whether your bar features three taps or thirty mapping out each and every one perfectly is key. There is no better way to create a unique, satisfying, and memorable experience than with a well-curated selection of craft beer. A discerning bar manager will know not only how each draft they select will impact their menu, but what will best represent the community they call home. And like at JP’s, a terrific taste that piques consumer interest will always speak, and definitely sell, volumes as well.

Read the full article here. 


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