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
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
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON ANHEUSER-BUSCH.COM
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
In need of some luck? No need to go searching for four-leaf clovers or carrying around a rabbit’s foot. Flying Dog Brewery’s “Lucky SOB” will be hitting shelves again. If you haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying this brew before you should know a bit about it. First and foremost it has slight aromas of sweet bread, followed by rich malt flavors and subtly of hops. Whilst temperatures are moving from Winter to Spring this is the perfect treat to pair with any of your favorite Irish fares. Cheers to the the Irish or Leprechaun in all of us!
May the luck be ever in your favor!
Courtesy of Brewery Ommegang
ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON THRILLIST.COM
WRITTEN BY: CIERA VELARDE
It’s been more than six long, cold months since the epic Game of Thrones Season 6 finale. With no definite premiere date for the seventh season, fans can at least drink away their anxiety: Brewery Ommegang has announced a new official Game of Thrones beer called Bend the Knee golden ale.
The 9% Belgian-style golden will come in 750ml bottles featuring the sigils of the Stark, Targaryen, and Lannister houses. It’s set for release on Memorial Day. That might seem like a long wait, but given that three months is the time it takes author George RR Martin to write half a page, at least it’s something fans are used to.
This is the eighth beer in Brewery Ommegang’s collaboration with the HBO show, which began in 2013 with the aptly named Iron Throne blonde ale. Other brews include the Take the Black Stout, Three-Eyed Raven saison, and Valar Dohaeris tripel ale. Alas, it never launched its Joffrey gose, mainly because nobody would have liked it.
Courtesy of Pixabay.com
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MOTHERJONES.COM
When hunter-gatherer tribes began to stay put and focus on growing crops, starting around 13,000 years ago, things didn’t begin promisingly. The fossil record suggests the switch to farming made us shorter and triggered widespread malnutrition and dental problems. And yet, the agricultural revolution ultimately brought forth cities, writing, and what we know as civilization. So what saved the day?
The answer might well be beer, which is really just what happens when you sprout a bunch of grain, thus releasing its sugars, and then grind it into a mush with water, exposing it to those ubiquitous single-cell microbes we call yeasts. Here’s a fascinating National Geographic piece on humanity’s long-standing need for a stiff drink:
Indirectly, we may have the nutritional benefits of beer to thank for the invention of writing, and some of the world’s earliest cities—for the dawn of history, in other words. Adelheid Otto, an archaeologist at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich who co-directs excavations at Tall Bazi [an archeological site in northern Syria], thinks the nutrients that fermenting added to early grain made Mesopotamian civilization viable, providing basic vitamins missing from what was otherwise a depressingly bad diet. “They had bread and barley porridge, plus maybe some meat at feasts. Nutrition was very bad,” she says. “But as soon as you have beer, you have everything you need to develop really well. I’m convinced this is why the first high culture arose in the Near East.”
Fermentation—the process by which yeasts consume sugars—doesn’t just generate alcohol and carbon dioxide. It also delivers “all kinds of nutrients, including such B vitamins as folic acid, niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin,” the author, Andrew Curry, notes. Even the alcohol would have been useful to these early settlements, beyond the gift of a buzz—it’s toxic to many microbes, helping alcohol-tolerant yeasts colonize the resulting brew and pushing out pathogens that make use sick. And that effect “explains why beer, wine, and other fermented beverages were, at least until the rise of modern sanitation, often healthier to drink than water,” Curry writes.
That doesn’t mean you should replace your daily water intake with beer. Most—not all—Americans have access to clean water, and we have a better variety of nutritious foods available to us than those early agricultural societies seemed to. And of course, we now know that tippling excessively courts other problems, including liver disease. And besides, all of these B vitamins “would have been more present in ancient brews than in our modern filtered and pasteurized varieties.”
Still, as Curry notes, emerging research suggests that enjoying a bit of alcohol may be part of what makes us human—and it didn’t just help us through the agricultural revolution:
To our fruit-eating primate ancestors swinging through the trees, however, the ethanol in rotting fruit would have had three other appealing characteristics. First, it has a strong, distinctive smell that makes the fruit easy to locate. Second, it’s easier to digest, allowing animals to get more of a commodity that was precious back then: calories. Third, its antiseptic qualities repel microbes that might sicken a primate. Millions of years ago one of them developed a taste for fruit that had fallen from the tree. “Our ape ancestors started eating fermented fruits on the forest floor, and that made all the difference,” says Nathaniel Dominy, a biological anthropologist at Dartmouth College. “We’re preadapted for consuming alcohol.”
So wine (fermented fruit juice) got our evolutionary predecessors down from the trees, and beer (fermented grain mush) got our early farming ancestors through an extremely rough transition. Sounds like something to ponder over a beer—preferably, an unfiltered, unpasteurized one.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and if you blink too quick you might miss it. Hold your breath, while many of us might be actively avoiding the dreaded lover’s holiday, there isn’t any reason that you can’t celebrate being single. Cozying up next to a loved on with a beer or simply just cozying up next to a beer can be the perfect way to spend your evening.
Lock your lips with Atwater Brewing’s Cherry Stout appropriately named “Lip Lock.” Like any passionate kiss, this beer is full and dark with complex malts and a tartness from Michigan Cherries. Pulling the flavors together is the fully fermented fruit and nutty malts that give off a cherry wood aroma at the finish.
Clocking in at 6.00% ABV and with an IBU of 16, this stout will leaving you feeling warm and romantic.
Cooperstown, NY — Brewery Ommegang is proud to announce the release of Sirens’ Song, a dark ale brewed with figs and raisins and the brewery’s latest limited edition offering. Named for the enchanting melodies that fabled sirens used to lure in weary sailors, 9% ABV Sirens’ Song will draw in beer fans to explore uncharted imbibing territory.
“Belgian-style dark ales are a treat to drink,” says Ommegang’s Innovation Manager Justin Forsythe, who developed the recipe. “Sirens’ Song is brewed with dark Belgian candi syrup to impart decadent notes of dark fruit and burnt sugar, and also brewed with raisins and figs in order to compliment the rich, fruity character of this dark ale. It’s a wonderful wintertime treat, or a beer to age for years to come.”
The mahogany colored ale has with a thick, creamy tan head and distinct lacing. Aromas of roasted malt and dark fruit are pronounced. The flavor begins with sweetness and caramel notes and finishes smooth with lingering hints of caramelized sugar and balanced bitterness.
Brewed with pilsner, midnight wheat, and soft red wheat malts,Sirens’ Song is hopped with noble varieties for balanced hopping. The figs and raisins used in brewing not only add to the complexity of the beer but also represent cargo lost to the sea because of the bewitching sirens’ songs.
Pairing suggestions include grilled meats and BBQ, smoked salmon or trout, and rich cheeses like blue cheese and cheddar. Available soon for a limited time in 12 oz. four-packs and on draft.
ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON: GreentechMedia.com
WRITTEN BY: Katie Fehrenbacher
About 50 miles north of San Francisco, a brewery is quietly using a new type of technology, originally created to be used on a space station, to clean 50,000 gallons of dirty wastewater a day and generate energy in the process.
At the back of the brewery of Lagunitas Brewing Company, in Petaluma, Calif., three large shipping containers house an unusual design of electrically charged microbes that consume pollutants in beer wastewater and generate usable biogas. The technology was created by an MIT spinout called Cambrian Innovation, which is beginning to grow its customer list considerably in Northern California.
On Tuesday, the Boston-based startup announced that it will build one of its water-cleaning, and energy-generating, systems for its first winery: Napa Valley’s Rombauer Vineyards. The winery, famous for its chardonnays, will use the tech to treat all of its wine-making wastewater while also generating 30 kilowatts of electricity and heat.
Wineries and breweries have long been some of the earliest adopters of new energy and water technologies, as their vast water and energy use can cost them a lot of money. Many wine and beer makers in Northern California are also focused on building brands with environmental leanings. Some of the earliest customers of Tesla’s stationary batteries have been wineries and breweries.
While Cambrian Innovation doesn’t quite have the allure of the Tesla brand just yet, its technology is becoming attractive because it’s returning customer investment in as little as two to three years. That’s thanks to the high costs associated with wastewater and energy for breweries and wineries, as well as some state and utility incentives.
Since the company has routinely been able to do this — it has systems installed or under construction in eight locations — it is now able to offer its technology to its customers as a service, with no money down and a monthly fee, backed by a $30 million fund. Lagunitas is using the service option to build another Cambrian system at a new brewery in Southern California.
The same service-based business model innovation unlocked the solar industry years ago. Will it do the same for clean water systems for industry?
Bugs in a box
From the street, the silver tanks and metal pipes at the Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma look like any standard, large brewery. Walking closer, the classic brewery smell of malty warm hops pervades the air.
But weave behind the tanks and enter one of the shipping containers marked “EcoVolt” and you’ll see, and smell, something pretty different. Brian Hemphill, Cambrian Innovation’s senior director of operations, leads me into a shipping container that acts as the control room for Lagunitas’ water cleaning system.
On a screen he points out how much methane is coming off of the reactors — called EcoVolts — and the pH levels. Instead of hops, the smell inside the container is more like decaying matter. Hemphill, who joined the company several months ago, says the technology inside the containers made him realize that “wastewater is a form of energy.”
Inside the EcoVolt treatment containers live two types of microbes which are coated on anodes and cathodes. One of the bugs, called an“exoelectrogen,” eats the organic pollutants in the wastewater and generates electricity. The other microbes consume the electricity and carbon dioxide and produce biogas (also called methane). The process bears the rather daunting moniker “electromethanogenesis,” and it’s the core innovation that drives the company’s technology.
Photo credit: Katie Fehrenbacher
Originally the technology was developed with a grant from NASA, by co-founders and MIT researchers Matt Silver and Justin Buck, to help create a system for reusing water and reducing energy consumption in an environment in space. “The challenges associated with maintaining life support on a space station are very similar with environmental sustainability on earth,” said Silver in an interview.
Cambrian was officially founded in 2006 with funding from various grants, but it wasn’t until 2010 that the technology became more established at a commercial scale and fully envisioned as a product. The company has raised seed and Series A rounds, and is considering a Series B.
The Lagunitas site, one of the first for Cambrian, was installed in 2014 and expanded shortly thereafter. The biogas generated by the EcoVolt’s microbes is piped to two compact turbines that produce 90 kilowatts of energy that is used by the brewery.
The EcoVolts clean the dirty water, which the industry calls “high-strength” wastewater. It’s commonly created by industrial processes and contains more organic components than typical wastewater generated by a household.
But companies like Lagunitas also produce “low-strength” wastewater, which is more similar to the dirty water from a home. At the Lagunitas brewery, that less-dirty waste water is cleaned by standard off-the-shelf tech that Cambrian also installs in its system.
There are commonly two types of ways to clean water using microbes — anaerobic systems that don’t use oxygen and aerobic systems that do use oxygen. Cambrian’s EcoVolt’s are like a next-generation anaerobic digestor.
The technology used to clean the low-strength water consists of standard aerobic digestors and occur in large tanks exposed to the air. During a tour of the brewery, we stand on a railing inches above tanks filled with swirling, warm, brown wastewater.
Overall, the Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma is decreasing its water footprint by 40 percent and lowering its transportation costs of its former wastewater considerably. Between 60 percent and 70 percent of the water in the brewing process is being reused. And there’s significantly less wastewater that the city has to deal with.
For its brewery to be built in Azusa, Calif., Lagunitas hopes to save $22.5 million in water costs over the life of the plant. It’s the first company to take advantage of Cambrian’s water-as-a-service business model. Financier Generate Capital invested in Cambrian’s $30 million service-model fund (Generate Capital was co-founded by Jigar Shah, who pioneered the solar-as-a-service business model).
Cambrian’s Western Regional Manager, John Garn, thinks the service model will take off in a big way. “No one wants to be the first, but everyone wants to be the second,” says Garn. The company plans to eventually expand beyond the beverage industry to other food processing, industrial processes, industrial dyers, and oil and gas.
As part of Flying Dog Brewery’s single hop series, the brewery is trying different rare hops in this four-part limited release/distribution series. This go around, the brewery is focusing on Denali hops in this Imperial IPA. Masterfully merged with malts of pale, rye, carapils and biscuit this beer has a hop bitterness of 75. Citrusy flavors of pineapple, pine and citrus combine to give you a refreshingly hoppy IPA.
Be on the look out for this limited release as you browse your beer options.
As we’ve all probably heard, Southern Tier Brewing Company is opening its first satellite brewpub right here in Pittsburgh. While the brewery puts on its finishing touches, plenty of beer lovers in the ‘Burgh have been early awaiting what could potentially be their new second home. In anticipation for the grand opening and welcoming our newest neighbor, Pork & Bean graciously hosts Southern Tier Brewing Company on Monday, January 30th at 6:00PM for a five course beer dinner at Pork & Beans. Southern Tier is closed for service on Mondays, so join them for a private, curated dinner with Southern Tier representative, their chef team & beer master.
Oyster Stew – braised celery/burnt onion/potatoes/bacon/tarragon
pair with Eurotrash Pilsner, pilsner lager 5.2%
Stuffed Collard Greens – dirty rice/pig trotter/confit pork belly/stewed tomatoes
pair with Cellar Vault #4: Hot Mess, saison 9%
Cornbread Stuffed Quail – gumbo/shrimip/andouille/crab/Carolina gold rice/okra
pair with LIVE Pale Ale, citrusy session pale ale 5.5%
Smoked Beef Cheeks – grilled marrow
pair with 2XOak’d IPA, double IPA, 8.2% brewed with maple syrup & fermented oak chips
Watchamacallit – marshmallow rice crispy/chocolate cake/peanut butter icing/candied peanuts/chocolate sauce
pair with Choklat Imperial Chocolate Stout, 10%
To purchase tickets ($85.00/each) to this exclusive beer dinners click here.
Southern Tier has big releases and openings for 2017! The first satellite brewpub is opening soon on the North Shore and the Lakewood, NY native beer company will be launching new lines this whole first quarter. Join Southern Tier at Pork & Beans to hear these news first hand and perhaps get to sample a few of the new beers to the popular Southern Tier line up!
Menu crafted by Chef & BBQ Pit Master James Ciminillo & Chef Joe Kierfer with beer pairings by our Beer Master, Riley Snyder.