|San Diego Craft Beer News Snippets plus a Year in Review by the Brewers Assn.|
Favorite News Snippets from 2014:
From the staff of West Coaster Craft Beer Magazine and website
(www.westcoaster sd.com) and other sources:
ALESMITH’s Tony Gwynn tribute beer is reaching all time highs in popularity. The beer, San Diego Pale Ale .394, references Gwynn’s career-high batting average in 1994. After a few tasting sessions and meetings earlier this year, the Baseball Hall of Famer and his family decided they wanted Peter Zien and his crew to create a hop-forward beer with light body and color. AleSmith first released the beer to the public on June 6 at Padres Beerfest, ten days before Mr. Padre passed away.
A portion of the proceeds goes to the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation, created in 1995 — the same year as AleSmith — to improve the lives of local children through social, academic, and economic programs.
Because of the beer’s popularity — 119 six-packs were sold quickly during San Diego Beer Week — AleSmith will continue ramping up its production. The beer has been on tap consistently at The Bar Key in North Pacific Beach, and according to TapHunter, it’s on at Brothers Provisions as well.
FAMILIAR FACE BACK TO BREWING
By Mike Shess, publisher, West Coaster Craft Beer Magazine:
Long time head brewer for Rock Bottom La Jolla and former President of the San Diego Brewers Guild Marty Mendiola is setting off to start Second Chance Beer Company. Opening in 2015, the brewery will be located in the Rancho Bernardo area of San Diego County and feature his English Brown, Irish Red and Robust Porter recipes.
Under the auspices of Rock Bottom, Marty’s earned a hearty share of accolades from the two major brewing competitions: the annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and the bi-annual World Beer Cup (WBC). His Longboard Brown won Gold at the 2012 WBC and 2009 GABF, Silver at the 2010 WBC and Bronze at GABF 2013. Moonlight Porter earned Gold medals at GABF 2013 & 2011, and a Silver award in 2010. Two different Red recipes: Rudolph’s Red and Ragtop Red won as well, with a 2010 Gold World Beer Cup award and two GABF Bronze medals (2013/10), respectively.
Three World Beer Cup awards and seven Great American Beer Festival medals is a very respectable amount of hardware for a small brewpub brewer. Larger breweries tend to hold the recipes of their brewers as proprietary. Even if Marty’s beers aren’t the exact same as his Rock Bottom recipes, it’s a safe bet that the beer brewed at Second Chance will be world class.
As San Diego County nears 100+ breweries, Marty and his business partner, Curtis Hawes, are optimistic in regards to over-saturation and competition. “Marty has been brewing in San Diego since before brewing was cool,” says Hawes. “He has over 15 years’ professional experience here, he attended the UC Davis Master Brewers Program…If you look at places like Denver and Portland, you see there is always will be room for another great brewery…” Marty adds, “[the] Carmel Mountain / Rancho Bernardo area is far from saturated.” Keep an eye on Second Chance’s Facebook page for updates.
Track active and in-planning breweries on West Coaster’s Brewery Watch list.
HOT NEWS IN 2014--(L-R):
Chuck Silva, Green Flash brewmaster,
Alpine’s Pat McIlhenney and
Green Flash co-owner Mike Hinkley
toast the merger of these two icon
San Diego County craft beer brands.
Each company will remain independently operated and maintain its distinct brand and culture. Pat will remain Alpine’s President and Brewmaster to oversee all operations of Alpine Beer Company while also ensuring Alpine beers continue to meet his unwavering standard of quality, whether brewed at the Alpine or Green Flash facilities. The most notable change will transpire over the next several years, as Alpine beer will become available to their legions of fans from across the country who have only experienced the greatness of Alpine beers while visiting California.
NATIONAL CRAFT BEER REVIEW-- As the New Wear arrives, let’s take a look back on how craft brewers fared in 2014.
“It’s remarkable to see how beer has evolved in the past century. Year over year we’re seeing tremendous growth in the craft beer sector and 2014 proved that craft beer is moving into the mainstream,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “Consumers are making a conscious choice to buy and try the plethora of options produced by small and independent craft brewers.”
· U.S. brewery count returns to historic levels. In November, the United States passed the mark of 3,200 brewers in the country and the number of brewery licenses reached the highest ever, topping 4,500 in the first sixth months of the year. Thirteen states (CA, CO, WA, OR, MI, NY, PA, TX, FL, WI, IL, NC, OH) now have more than 100 breweries each.
· Breweries are opening at a rate of 1.5 per day. In addition, there are more than 2,000 breweries in planning.
· Craft brewers were the growth point in the overall beer industry. Through June of 2014, craft brewers enjoyed 18 percent growth by volume. Numerous data channels are showing continuing double-digit growth for craft in the second half of the year.
· India Pale Ales (IPAs) remained the most favored craft beer style. According to retail scan data, IPA is up 47 percent by volume and 49 percent by dollar sales, accounting for 21 percent volume share of craft and 23 percent dollar share of off-premise beer sales. Additionally, the style was the number one entered category at the Great American Beer Festival®.
· Variety packs had a strong year with craft beer lovers. Retail data also indicates that variety packs are up 21 percent by volume and 24 percent by dollar sales, equating to nine percent volume share of craft and seven percent dollar share.
· Craft beer appreciators are becoming as diverse as craft beer itself. Data indicates that 38 percent of households bought a craft beer in the last year versus 29 percent in 2010. Additionally, women consume almost 32 percent of craft beer volume, almost half of which comes from women ages 21-34. Hispanic populations are demonstrating increased craft engagement as well.
“More and more breweries will spur innovation, meaning there will be even more offerings on hand for beer geeks and beginners to enjoy,” Watson added. “Not to mention more opportunities to explore and support local breweries, which has a profound impact on the economy at the regional, state and national level.”
Note: Figures are a compilation of data provided by the Brewers Association, Symphony IRI and Nielsen. The Brewers Association will release a comprehensive annual analysis of craft brewer production in March of 2015.
Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com and about homebrewing via the BA's American Homebrewers Association. Follow us on Twitter.
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