Sage / tags / craft beer

Tagged with “craft beer” (4)

  1. Ep. 24: You Need to Spend a Week as a Carny – Its Friday Somewhere

    In Episode 24, Ed Grohl, Easy Pretzel, and Bearcat sit down with Boulevard Brewing Company’s Jeremy Danner to discuss his role as an Ambassador Brewer, Craft Beer Twitter, the Labor of Brewing and Ed… well Ed brings the house down once again. What Were We Drinking:Bearcat: Smokestack Series Whiskey Barrel Stout and Bourbon Barrel QuadDave: Boulevard Brewing Company…

    —Huffduffed by Sage

  2. Episode 39 — Costa Rica’s Craft Brewers — Good Beer Hunting


    • Mick Guttierez of Perro Vida Cerveza Artesenal

    • Ignacio Castro Cortiñas of Treintaycinco Fabrica de Cervezas

    - Chef Eric Saenz of El Gaff Gastropub

    - Alonso Brenes of Domingo 7 Cerveza Artesanal

    • Gustavo Arroyo of El Buho Cervecería Artesanal

    • Manuel Donarte of Café del Barista


    We were in Costa Rica with Tristan Coulter of Gaslight Coffee Roasters in

    Chicago, and Andres Araya of 5 Rabbit Brewery. We were there to see about

    some coffee. Tristan and Andres are making Yodo con Leche again, their

    imperial porter blended with cold brew and con leche, and this year they

    wanted to go to the source. I was fresh off of hosting my Uppers & Downers

    coffee beer festival, so this little tagalong seemed perfectly timed. We

    climbed high into the mountains, as high as 1,900 meters at one point,

    pulled fresh cherries off the coffee trees, and tasted through a myriad of

    impressive coffees in search of the beans for Yodo. 

    Along the way, we met home brewers, nano-brewers, and macro brewers around

    the city of San Jose, and some far out in the countryside who are working

    to get Costa Rica’s craft brewing scene off the ground. It’s very much in

    its infancy with only a couple of legitimate brewers producing any

    meaningful amount of volume. It’s a lot like the US 30 or 40 years ago as

    these men and women struggle to produce a quality, consistent beer, and

    then sell that beer into a monopolized distribution and retail system to a

    customer that doesn’t know what to think of it. But there’s another

    important factor in Costa Rican craft beer that the US didn’t have in the

    70s, namely, the US itself. Costa Rican’s are heavily influenced by what’s

    happening in the US right now. They see the styles we’re producing, the

    recipes, the beer flavors, and they’re working to get their hands on those

    things every chance they get. And that means that Cost Rican craft beer is

    in the earliest stages of Ken Grossman’s Pale Ale, combined with the 3rd

    wave of brewing ambitions. It’s a bizarre confluence of factors. 

    Most of the beers I had in Costa Rica that week were far off style, begging

    for fresh ingredients, and simply not fairing well in a hot climate with

    almost zero refrigerated infrastructure in distribution or even retail. But

    whatever they lack in ingredients, and infrastructure, these men and women

    make up for in ambition.

    —Huffduffed by Sage

  3. EP-078 Jim Koch of Boston Beer Company — Good Beer Hunting

    I feel like the past 18 months have been a sort of reconciliation for craft

    beer drinkers and brewers, with a lot of folks focusing on beers that are

    highly drinkable, or sessionable, but still quite flavorful, exciting, and

    ultimately easy to find.

    There’s been a surge in the market of craft Lagers, Pilsners, Session IPAs

    and Sours, along with some renewed appreciation for beers like Sierra

    Nevada Pale Ale. And in about a month we’ll be seeing an ode to Fat Tire in

    a collaboration 12-pack from New Belgium. So even as some craft brewers and

    their fans are finding more and more obscure, niche areas to explore, a lot

    of folks in craft beer are backing up a bit and asking themselves, "What’s

    good?" And, "Can we get more of that, please?"

    So with that kind of a swing back toward the middle, you’d expect a classic

    craft beer like Sam Adam’s Boston Lager to be in a bit of a resurgence. But

    as the nation’s largest craft brewer (right behind the recently

    re-defined-as-craft brewer, Yuengling), Boston Beer Company hasn’t been

    seeing the love—at least when you look at the numbers. 

    The numbers for Sam Adams mimics the glacial decline of macro lagers more

    than it does the consistent double-digit growth of smaller craft brewers.

    Is it just that Boston Beer has gotten so big that it simply isn’t part of

    the consideration set anymore? Maybe. Is the profile of Boston Lager

    outdated? Maybe. But I’d like to offer a different view—one that sets aside

    this specific beer for a second, and takes a look at the entirely of the

    Boston Beer business. 

    Boston Beer is so much more than Sam Adams. And its future seems geared

    toward diversity—not just a single beer they’ve been making since the


    In the past few years, they’ve taken a run at IPA with Rebel, and it

    instantly became one of the biggest launches in craft beer history. They

    followed that with a spread of different IPAs all playing off that


    They’ve recently introduce a series of nitro beers that are sure to get the

    word "nitro" on the minds of consumers in a big way for the first time

    since Guinness. 

    Boston Beer is also the owner of Angry Orchard, a cider company they

    started from scratch, and now owns about 60% of the cider market in just

    three years. And now makes more than a million barrels and growing. 

    Even before that, they launched Twisted Tea, a brand that sells 640,000

    barrels’ worth of booze a year. That’s nearly the volume of Lagunitas, and

    it’s still growing by double digits. 

    Through their Coney Island Brand, part of their Alchemy & Science wing,

    they entered the FMB space with a line of hard sodas. 

    They’ve also recently launched a line of alcoholic sparkling waters called


    All this to say, it’d be foolish to talk about Boston Beer as Sam Adams

    anymore. Boston Beer is a mature, well-diversified company that’s placing

    big bets on the next thing in alcohol that it feels it has the opportunity

    and expertise to pursue. Through that lens, they’re not the slow-moving,

    classic craft beer that we should all take pity on as it slowly loses

    share. Rather, they’re one of the leading companies in the U.S. when it

    comes to new alcoholic beverage entries. And by that account, they’re

    killing it. 

    Now, that might take some of the sheen off an idol for you—especially if

    you were holding up Jim Koch as some sort of purist in craft beer. Although

    I think he’s also that. But the larger view of Koch should certainly take

    an honest look at the things this guy—and his company, of which he still

    holds all the controlling shares—puts in to the world on a regular basis.

    So yeah, when it comes to something like Boston Lager, this guy is as pure

    as they come. And when it comes to new opportunities, new ventures, new

    ideas—this guy is as cunning as it gets. And you don’t really have to worry

    about reconciling all that, of course, because Koch is nothing is not

    indifferent to other people’s opinions. And I kind of love him for it.

    —Huffduffed by Sage

  4. Brewery start-ups: A real conversation about costs, wages, and growth. - Inside The Craft

    Four local San Diego craft beer brewers get together at SILO in Makers Quarter to discuss the finer points of what it takes to open and grow a brewery

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