As many of our reviews begin, here is another story about a brewery that began with two home brewers a long time before it became the norm. In 1979 home brewing was legalized in Oregon and Kurt and Rob Widmer began brewing beer for themselves, their family and friends. A few short years later in 1984 they quit their jobs and embarked on the journey of starting their own brewery.
Hops & Grain Brewery is doing something very interesting with its IPA program, the Austin, Texas-based brewery changes its recipe every month. Spawned out of its Greenhouse program, which is their experimental beer line, the Greenhouse IPA cahnges the hops used in the dry-hopping process every month. They only produce 300 cases of each recipe a month, so it’s a frequently evolving, ever changing beer.
Long before home brewing was something that you regularly heard about, decades before the internet as we know it had entire brewing kits available with just a couple of clicks, and certainly quite a few years before the craft beer scene really exploded into existence, Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi were brewing beer at home and running a homebrew equipment store.
When you look at the beer market, there is an enormous range of brewery sizes—from the smallest brewpub only serving their beer at that one location all the way to the giants of the industry shipping their beer around the globe. Then, somewhat outside of that range, you have the gypsy brewer.
As Jacobim Mugatu from Zoolander would say - That Bourbon Barrel-Aged, he’s so hot right now. And it’s true, everybody seems to be jumping on the bourbon barrel-aging train, and though it’s not a new concept it certainly seems to me that beers finished this way have really permeated the market this year. So today we’ll be looking at one of those beers, this time the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard Ale.
Dogfish Head is probably one of the more recognizable names in the craft brew industry, not to mention one that is constantly coming up with innovative and fun new beers regularly. Likewise, Miles Davis is not only one of the most recognizable names in jazz music, but music in general. One of Davis’ most influential and innovative albums was Bitches Brew, not only changing the Jazz scene, but influencing other genres of music outside of Jazz as well. In 2010 when Sony released the 40th Anniversary edition of Bitches Brew, they collaborated with Dogfish Head to brew a special edition beer to coincide with the release of the album.
Oskar Blues Brewery has an interesting past with some interesting accomplishments, culminating in our review today of a crowler of Four Roses Barrel-Aged GUBNA, but before we get to that lets rewind the clock just a little bit. Founded in 1997 by Dick Dale Katechis, Oskar Blues Brewery was originally Oskar Blues Grill & Brew Restaurant located in Lyons, Colo. After doing the restaurant thing for a year, they started brewing their own beer in the basement and took home a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival for their beer The Reverend Sandi’s Sinful Stout.
Started in 1987 with a small 10 barrel brewhouse, Anderson Valley Brewing Company has grown extensively over the past two decades. Having expanded its production capabilities just a little bit in the past two decades, they now have a wide distribution and name recognition that they might not have had even 10 years ago. Having seen it on the shelf but never having tried it myself, jumping into its lineup with the brewery’s new seasonal barrel-aged pumpkin ale, Pinchy Jeek Barl, sounded like as good a way to start off as any.
In the beginning of 2013 Brewery Ommegang released the first beer in their Game of Thrones line. The partnership between brewery and HBO so far has produced four different beers, with each release being named after an element in the show. Three of the beers have been released to date with the fourth going on sale Oct. 1, 2014.
When you hear the name Samuel Adams you might not think “craft brewery” or even a brewery that pushes boundaries with new things that we haven’t seen in beer before, but the reality of it is that they are some of the “O.G.’s” of the craft brewing scene and have been pushing boundaries for decades. Founded in 1984, The Boston Beer Company (or as it’s more commonly called, Sam Adams) went from producing 63,000 barrels a year in 1986 to 1.2 million ten years later, which was still a veritable drop in the bucket compared to the big breweries like Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing. Craft breweries however were exploding onto the scene in the 90s, with over 500 breweries opening their doors by 1995 and double that by 1996.