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A Press Democrat Blog

Beer Country

A digest about that other famous beverage

Marin Brewing releases 3 Flowers in bottles

Marin Brewing is releasing its popular, but previously tap-only, IPA known as 3 Flowers in 22 oz bottles. The rye IPA weighs in at 6.5 percent alcohol by volume and is hopped with the three flowers that give it the name: Citra, Cascade and Chinook hops. The brewery developed the beer in 2011 and it took gold that same year at the Great American Beer Festival and a silver medal at the 2012 World Beer Cup. The brewery says this… Read More »

Sonoma County Beer, Cider, and Spirits conference takes shape

Lineup set for first ever conference on Sonoma County’s booming artisan beverage industry.… Read More »

Humboldt Brewing reborn, sorta

Another great brewing name from the past is making a comeback. Nectar Ales is changing its name back to Humboldt Brewing Company to honor the outfit that developed the brews back in 1987. But it will be “Humboldt” in name only for the moment, since it will continue to be brewed in Paso Robles at Firestone Walker Brewering, as it has been since 2000. The company started out back in 1987 in Arcata, one of the new generation of breweries… Read More »

The story behind the Heritage

In the wake of their win at the Great American Beer Festival this month, Bear Republic is rightfully crowing about taking a Bronze home in the Scotch Ale category for their beer Heritage. (The only other Sonoma County winners were Third Street Aleworks, which took two medals, and Russian River with one. Nearby Moylans also picked one up). This week,  the brewery sent out a little essay explaining the name and the beer, which is in a malt-centric style that… Read More »

North Coast celebrates a quarter century

  Another Beer Country pioneer is celebrating an anniversary, with North Coast Brewing in Fort Bragg marking 25 years of beer, with the Twenty-fifth Anniversary Ale. The beer is a “Belgian-inspired session beer,” made with the same yeast strain used to make the Le Merle Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale. The beer weighs in at just 4 percent alcohol by volume, a mild drinker the brewery describes as “designed to promote a festive mood while minimizing the consequences of overindulgence.” The… Read More »

Beer for the next generation?

The sale this week of Kansas City standout Boulevard to a Belgian firm (no worries, purists – this Belgian firm is Duvel, not InBev) has raised once more the question of what happens next for the early generation of breweries who led the craft beer revolution in the 1980s and ’90s. Already, we’ve seen Fritz Maytag sell his Anchor brewery, and New Albion founder Jack McAuliffe is long retired. Goose Island‘s John Hall decided to sell his Chicago brewery to… Read More »

Beer fun for the weekend

If you haven’t gotten your tickets for Sierra Nevada‘s outstanding-looking Single, Fresh, Wet & Wild festival on Saturday, forget it. The brewery says all tickets are sold out. Same with the 10th annual Brews on the Bay in San Francisco. If any of you are going to either of these events, tweet me some pictures and I will pass them along, since I can’t make either one in person: @beercountry. But if you can’t make it either, that doesn’t mean… Read More »

Marin Brewing Blood Drive on Saturday

  Marin Brewing is teaming up with Blood Centers of the Pacific for their semiannual blood drive on Saturday. The bloodmobile will be at brewpub in Larkspur, 1809 Larkspur Landing Circle, from noon to 5 p.m. Donors will receive a free meal from the brewpub, they say. This is the 10th time Marin has joined with the Blood Centers since 2007 and they have collected about 450 pints of blood. The Blood Centers folks ask that donors sign up in advance,… Read More »

Charbay celebrates 30 years

  1983 must have been a great year in the area, because here we are celebrating yet another 30th anniversary – St. Helena-based brandy and spirits-maker Charbay is marking the successful end of its third decade by releasing the Alambic Collection, seven recent and vintage spirits produced over the years on the company’s copper Alambic Charentais Pot Stills, housed at their distillery up in Ukiah. That’s master distiller Marko Karakasevic up there with the stills, installed by his father Miles, who… Read More »

More questions than answers on cider

Once in a while, reporters just have to admit what they don’t know. In a story out this morning, we explore a peculiar little bill that zipped through the California legislature earlier this year and was signed into law by the governor. It makes a change to the state’s liquor licensing to allow large brewers to make cider without applying for a separate license, despite the fact that cider is defined as wine in both state and federal law. The… Read More »

Great American Beer Fest winners

The 2013 winners for the Great American Beer Festival, just wrapping up in Denver, are out and our big winner locally was Third Street AleWorks, with two awards, including a gold. Russian River, Moylan’s and Bear Republic each picked up one award. Here’s the complete list for your reading pleasure, but I’ll pull out our local friends for simplicity: GOLD – Third Street AleWorks for Blarney Sisters’ Dry Irish Stout in the Classic Irish-style Stout category. SILVER – Russian River… Read More »