Part I of today’s double batch of beer notes. New limited releases of interest in the Carolinas and troubling signs for New Belgium?
New Belgium: The Coloradoan had a fact-filled piece today on the brewery boom in Fort Collins. Despite the article’s headline, the most interesting tidbit that I picked up was that New Belgium, the fastest-ever growing U.S. craft brewery ever (to my knowledge), is on pace to have the softest year of growth in the company’s 20-year history. David Young reports that the brewery is on pace for 675,000 barrels this year which would be just a 2% uptick from 2010.
The reason? Perhaps its flagship brand, Fat Tire. While sales of fellow category leaders like Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Shiner Bock are all growing (and dollar sales are outpacing volume sales to boot), the latest IRI numbers show that Fat Tire sales actually declined 3.7% during the last month of spring. Dollar sales decline is outpacing volume sales decline at 4.1%.
Entry into those new eastern markets can’t come fast enough.
Foothills Brewing: Per Twitter, “July 16 10 am release of Barrel-Aged Sexual Chocolate. August 13 @ 10am release of Olde Rabbit’s Foot.” Here’s more background on Sexual Chocolate and Olde Rabbit’s Foot if you’re not ‘in the know.’
Coast Brewing: Per the blog, “The second Boy King batch of the year will be coming out very soon and this time around will also be bottled in 22’s! [...] Barrel Aged Blackbeerd is also about to be bottled. Excuse our lateness on this one, time got away from us.” Label artwork was done by Fuzzco.
Pipeworks Brewing: Per the Pipeworks blog, “We are very pleased to report that we have found Pipeworks a home: 1675 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 in the Bucktown area. Close to I-94, Wicker Park, and the Armitage Blue-line El-stop!” More from the Chicago Tribune.
Heavy Seas Beer: The latest newsletter indicates that Davy Jones Lager is coming soon. “Fermented using lager yeast at ‘ale’ temperatures, then slowly lowered down to ‘lager’ taking the yeast from the top down to Davy Jones Lager. Our Mutiny Fleet beers showcases the creative talent of our entire brew team. This first time recipe was written by one of our newest crew members, Kevin Ashford. Celebrate the Baltimore release of this first time brew on July 12 at JD’s Smokehouse.”
Cigar City Brewing: Just released…Puppy’s Breath Porter. “This special release, an English Style Robust Porter with forward notes of bittersweet chocolate, moderate notes of caramel and toffee, and a gentle hop bitterness is sure to please. Available for a limited time only, find it on tap in the tasting room and accounts around Tampa Bay.”
Ballast Point Brewing: Today’s newsletter reads, “It might be the coolest thing we ever made. It might be an abomination. In any case, tomorrow will be your first opportunity to sample The Tongue Monster! (tasters only) We blended our Sea Monster Imperial Stout with Tongue Buckler Imperial Red Ale and aged the resulting strong ale cocktail in a bourbon barrel for 8 months.”
Note I: d.b.a. New York Owner, Ray Deter, was riding a bike without a helmet when he was hit by a car, according to Gothamist. The bar’s Facebook page has not updated since yesterday so the latest is still that he is in critical condition. d.b.a. is a popular beer bar with another location down in New Orleans.
Note II: The fight in Wisconsin over recent, controversial budget provisions affecting small breweries is not over. Two representatives plan to propose legislation that will repeal the Governor’s budget changes. Here is some local news coverage as well.
Note III: The New York Times’ Eric Asimov talks Kölsch.