Tuesday, March 17, 2015

4th Annual Houston Press BrewFest

The 4th Annual Houston Press BrewFest takes place on Saturday, May 16th from 3pm ~ 7pm at Silver Street Station (the same location as previous ones).  Over 100 beers will be available (beer list available soon) as well as food trucks and live music. It's a great festival for trying a variety of beer styles in one place as well as an opportunity to try some of the new craft breweries that are not widely available. If you want to see what it's all about, check out the video from last year's BrewFest.

General Admission and VIP ticket options are available and both include eight 3oz sample cards (additional cards will be available for purchase). VIP tickets include early admission at 2pm to begin your sampling one hour before the General Admission ticket holders as well as in-and-out access to a VIP area with additional specialty beers and complimentary appetizers. Tickets officially go on sale to the public at noon on March 21st with early bird pricing (GA $30, VIP $55) before increasing to regular prices (GA $35, VIP $60) on April 28th. If you're a procrastinator, there may be some remaining tickets at the door (no guarantee), but for a much higher prices (GA $45, VIP $70), so you may as well go ahead and grab a couple tickets now for cheap. And if you're really excited about it, you can get in on a special pre-sale starting today by going to this link and entering promo code ALLGOOD15 to unlock the purchasing options.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Craft Brewing Industry Reaches New Levels in 2014

The Brewers Association has released the 2014 data on craft brewing growth and for the first-time ever, craft brewers reached double-digit (11%) volume share of the marketplace.

In 2014, craft brewers produced 22.2 million barrels, and saw an 18 percent rise in volume and a 22 percent increase in retail dollar value. Additionally, the number of operating breweries in the U.S. in 2014 grew 19 percent, totaling 3,464 breweries, with 3,418 considered craft broken down as follows: 1,871 microbreweries, 1,412 brewpubs and 135 regional craft breweries. Throughout the year, there were 615 new brewery openings and only 46 closings.

Note: Numbers are preliminary and the Brewers Association will release the list of Top 50 craft brewing companies and overall brewing companies by volume sales on March 31. Additionally, a more extensive analysis will be released during the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® in Portland, Oregon from April 14-17.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Texas Debut of Alpine Beer Company

Another week, another out of state brewery makes its debut in Texas. This time it's Alpine Beer Company from Alpine, California (sort of).

Alpine was founded in 1999, but initially had their beers contract brewed at AleSmith Brewing Co until they opened their own brewery in 2002. Alpine's beers have been highly regarded, particularly their IPA's, but were difficult to find as they had a maximum production of around 1500 bbls a year and distribution didn't reach far from home. But that started to change in November 2013 when Green Flash Brewing Co. began brewing some of Alpine's beers (Nelson, Hoppy Birthday and Duet) at their facility in San Diego.  The increase in production and sales of Alpine beers would help raise capital that Alpine desperately needed in order to expand. Apparently that relationship worked out pretty well because in November 2014, Green Flash bought the Alpine Beer Company. And with the production capabilities and resources of Green Flash, beers from Alpine are now finding their way to Texas.  The Flying Saucer in Downtown Houston is tapping a different Alpine beer every night from March 9th to the 13th, including the highly sought after Nelson (apparently the Flying Saucer is the only location in Houston to receive a keg). The following is the tapping schedule:

Mon, March 9: Duet
Tues, March 10: Hoppy Birthday
Wed, March 11: Alpine Ale
Thur, March 12: Nelson
Fri, March 13: Irish Red

I'm happy to see that Alpine was able to find help from within the craft brewing industry.  I'm sure we'll be seeing more mergers and takeovers in the future as the older craft breweries continue to expand and seek new markets and revenue streams.  And this is definitely preferred over a takeover by ABImBev.