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BrewBround Session Notes

06-12-2015

 

 

In  #TBT fashion, we are spending this Thursday reviewing insights gained, trends examined and craft beer celebrated at last week’s Brewbound Session in Chicago. The guest list was impressive and the beer tasted delicious while the presentations and discussions delved into the development of craft beer, the current state of affairs and upcoming trends within the industry.

 

The much debated and feared issue of the craft beer bubble popped up throughout the day in various ways. The possibility of oversaturation is a common worry and breweries discussed ways to continue growth, maintain a steady level of success or break into such a fast-paced market as a new brewery. Growing the market share, overall, for beer was a popular strategy that many agreed with, including Andy Goeler from Anheuser-Busch, who referenced the increased popularity of table wines and whiskey potentially cutting into beer market share and the need to focus on increasing beer’s share overall. Baking a larger pie rather than scrapping over the slices showed the renowned communal attitude of the beer community at large.

 

The sheer momentum of the IPA category also came into play. With over 900 different IPAs on the market the question is what makes an IPA stand out at this point? Many breweries are sorting through that question individually, whether through recreating classics, experimenting with hop variants or abandoning the IPA train entirely in search of the next niche to be filled in beer. Whoever is able to find and fill the niche first can be sure to grab hold of a unique spot in beer, leading to increased sales.

 

In more than one panel discussion presenters grappled with the power of local, and now the rise of hyperlocal, breweries. Both a blessing and a challenge, the move towards local patronage has sprung new discussions for both breweries working towards regional distribution and breweries that are bunkering down in their supportive communities. The numerous breweries establishing themselves in neighborhoods, both in Beer City USA and throughout the country, was seen as a blessing by some, notably Alan Newman. The founder of Magic Hat and now of Traveler Beer praised local brew spots for their ability to introduce many to the beer scene by their accessibility as a local watering hole. This local beer experience can create excitement that induces the consumer to continue their beer journey and explore other beers.

 

 

Another strategy to cut through any market saturation is the power of the story. For a brand to be viable it requires a face, place and story in order to connect with their drinkers. In a world brimming with diverse and delicious beer options the “why” behind the brew can become just as important as the “what” of the brew. Breweries are now storytellers and are using marketing, specifically digital media platforms, to share that story directly with their fans while also honing in on their unique “it” factor that makes a truly successful brewery sticky, leading to loyal beer enthusiasts.

 

Mike Kaiser, founder of Good Beer Hunting, awed the audience with his presentation on building beer brands through storytelling. The need for a brewery to shape their story for themselves, rather than being steered by the perceived wants of the consumer, highlighted the need for a brewery to go beyond listing off their likes (bikes, water, bluegrass) and delve into their culture as a company. Dale Katechis, founder of Oskar Blues Brewery, underscored the importance of culture and its requirement to become from an organic source, primarily individual already committed to the company.

 

The value and high esteem held for brewery employees was clear throughout the presentations. Submissions for new brewery recipes, radical marketing ploys and the intangible “it” factor of each brewery came from the individuals who spent their days committed to creating the beer From marketing managers and brewers to founders of world-class breweries, all acknowledged the need to focus within on their company culture and the potential held by individuals working with them for continued success.

 

The single strain of thought prevalent throughout the day of conversation and presentations boiled down to the beer commumity’s determination to remain a place of artful creation, collaboration and cultivation. Brewbound Chicago Session showed that beer has no plans to divert from this method for growth. For Brewbound's own recap of the Chicago conference they've created a video highlighting the day. 

 

 

 

International #IPADay

08-07-2014

Happy International IPA Day! 

 

What better way to celebrate than with a handy bit of IPA knowhow, paired with a nice bitter pint (or two)? 

 

Arcadia Ales Rapunzel

07-09-2014

Beach, travel and beer – there’s a lot to celebrate in Michigan this month.

 

As the month rolls by, the pints will be pouring as the state celebrates its official craft beer month. One week has already passed us by – it’s time to double down on the craft beer celebrations over the next three weeks. To maximize on this state sanctioned time of drinking, check out the latest and greatest from Arcadia Ales.

 

 

Rapunzel is a tasty twist on the classic fairy tale. This time, instead of handsome princes falling from high towers your taste buds will fall in love with the wheat IPA. Brewed with Michigan hops, Rapunzel is a creamy wheat-based ale with notes of citrus and pineapple hops on the nose with a bit of bready malt sweetness when the liquid first hits your tongue. The bright hop profile adds a balancing bitterness towards the end, with a crisp and dry finish. This beaut clocks in at 5.8% ABV and is available in our Grand Rapids and Lansing locations, both on draft and in 12 ounce bottles.

 

 

Enjoy By IPA 02.14.14

01-14-2014

Stone Enjoy by IPA 02.14.14

 

 

The long-awaited day is here!

 

Starting tomorrow Grand Rapids and Lansing Michigan will be privy to the newest installment in the Stone Brewing Co. Enjoy By IPA series.

 

Let’s all take a moment to bask in the hoppy happiness that comes with that knowledge.

 

Brewed specifically to be big, bold and bursting with hop flavor this IPA is guaranteed not to last. In fact. as I type this you have exactly 31 days, 9 hours, 25 minutes and 7 seconds to guzzle down the beer before it’s gone or at least gone bad. In the age of collecting, cellaring and coveting beers to savor at our leisure, why make and make a beer that is designed to go against those hobbies? Well, Stone Brewing Co. is doing something fantastic for the craft drinkers out there – it’s creating a tangible and purposeful teaching moment, one pint at a time with Enjoy By IPA. This is the next level for beer drinkers out there that highlights the importance of pure freshness in a brew.

 

This Enjoy By IPA is made to be drank by February 14, 2014, which is a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in my opinion. It is a double IPA with a whopping hit of citrus and floral hops. Clocking in with 9.4% ABV and 88 IBUs it is a very dry and bitter brew that conveys a dank hoppiness in the head, with malts that on first sip smooth the way for a hop overload. It finishes dry and bitter, with a slight hint of alcohol warmth in the throat.

 

Find it. Drink it. Enjoy it. 02.14.14.

 

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Samuel Adams Rebel IPA

01-03-2014

 

 

From the brewery's name, that honors a historic figure from the American Revolution, to the brewery's own history, as a part of the craft beer revolution, Samuel Adams always has had a bit of rebellion in their nature. That is celebrated with their newest release, Rebel IPA

 

Rebel IPA is a West Coast style IPA brewed with all American hops. It pours a bright copper color with a heady grapefruit hop aroma, thanks to the doses of Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe and Amarillo hops that are in the brew. The classic, all-American style is well-balanced while still providing that hopped-up bitterness the style is renown for. At the same time, the beer rebels against the huge hop bombs that can leave the palette feeling assaulted. Rather, it highlight's the hop flavor while still retaining a smooth and crisp finish. Try one out and see if you're a rebel, too.  

 

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