Save The Bees, Save The Beer

Beer, of course, is an agricultural product, two of its main ingredients are very dependent on a good harvest. Both hops and barley (and other grains such as wheat and rye) grow best when they’re planted in the right place and the conditions are present to encourage their best selves. I received an e-mail a few days ago with the intriguing message. “Bees pollinate 1/3 of our food, including the hops used to make beer. Save the bees, save the beer.”


The e-mail was about an Indiegogo campaign to create a “community open to anyone who cares about bees, the environment and food,” called BeeWithMe, which will consist of “a dynamic new website that teaches people how easy and fun it is to raise a diverse range of gentle bees.” Unless you’ve been cryogenically frozen recently, you no doubt have heard that bees are disappearing from our environment, which could have devastating consequences for our food supply and our life cycle more generally. Find out how to participate at You Can Help Save the Bees, which begins:

Imagine a world without bees. There would be no blueberries, no cherries, no pumpkins – not even beer.

Here’s the problem: Most farmers depend on a single type of bee to pollinate our food and that bee, the honey bee, has been struggling.

You can be part of the solution and protect our food supply by raising gentle, native bees in your backyard or supporting someone else who does.

Keep your favorite foods on the table by contributing today and joining the BeeWithMe network that will collaborate to raise more native bees and grow more food.

Most of the pledge levels involve getting your own bees, some to simply release in your back yard, up to everything you need to raise your own bees. There are also teacher’s packages for classrooms and levels for entire garden clubs and communities. Please bee generous. And remember, save the bees, save the beer.


Dinner In The Beer Garden: A New Cookbook Needs Your Support

My good friend Lucy Saunders, the beer cook, has a new cookbook on beer and food, Dinner In The Beer Garden, that’s she hoping to publish through Kickstarter. Like everything she does, it looks awesome. For as little as $15, you can get a copy of it as an e-book, and for a mere $25, you can be one of the very first on planet beer to put her recipes to the test with your favorite beers, using your own paperback copy of the book. For higher pledges, there’s even more cool stuff you can get, like t-shirts, signed copies, hoodies, and for the Pièce de résistance pledge, she’ll come and cook five of the recipes in the book for you and 12 guests.

[The book itself is] about pairing craft beer with plant-based recipes, enjoyed outdoors in gardens and other social spaces. This isn’t about traditional biergarten food like ham hocks and bratwurst. It’s a cookbook for people who like carrots and kale — as well as butter, fish, cheese and chocolate! Profiles of gorgeous brewery gardens, a chapter on the history and design of beer gardens, and juicy color photographs of recipes turn the book into a tasty read. Recipes are both original and contributed by home cooks and chefs in the craft brewing community.

Most of the hard work is already done; most of the recipes have been created and tested, photographs taken, and discussions with the printer — one she’s used for previous projects — have begun. All she needs is a little help from her friends to make her new cookbook appear in all of our hands, and the recipes inside filling our stomachs with deliciousness. If you love great food and beer, please consider pledging to become a backer of Lucy’s book at whatever level you feel comfortable.

Lucy showing off one of her other cookbooks, “The Best of American Beer & Food” during GABF in 2007.

Pine Street Brewery Needs Your Help

One of San Francisco’s newest beer companies, Pine Street Brewery, is building its own brewery and trying to expand its business. One of things they’re in desperate need of is tap handles and kegs. So they’ve turned to Indiegogo (a crowdfunding website similar to Kickstarter) to help raise the funds they need to grow. They’re offering various tchotchkes for different levels of financial support, as detailed in the Indigogo Pine Street Brewery web page.

With our recipes perfected and a commercial brewing space secured, we need tap handles and kegs to keep up with growing demand in San Francisco! With your help we can provide our city with enough green PSB handles to have our beer in every neighborhood.

We’ve brainstormed hard to come up with great incentives for your donations – just a small token of how much we appreciate your generosity. (Check the gallery for photos of the prizes:…). Your contributions will help us establish our presence in the city, and we hope you’ll be proud to say you helped make it happen!

The Pine Street Brewery founders.

The Pine Street Brewery Story

Our Story – Pine Street Brewery from Pine Street Brewery on Vimeo.

Hog’s Apothecary In Oakland Looking For Founding Members

The Hog’s Apothecary, located in Oakland at 375 40th Street, is looking for founding members on the crowndfunding website Indiegogo. With less than 36 hours to go, they need just $3,000 to complete their vision of bringing an American-style beer hall to Oakland. Check out all of the details on Indiegogo or their Facebook page and support their efforts if it looks good to you. Here’s their pitch:

The Hog’s Apothecary is an American-style beer hall and gastropub brought to you by Bradford Earle and John Streit set to open this summer in Oakland’s Temescal District. The Hog will feature 32 American Craft brews and 4 local wines on draft, weekly firkin selections, a selection of craft bottles and a menu of artisanal sausages and roasts, a selection of charcuterie, appetizers and well composed salads, all crafted onsite.

Under construction since November, The Hog’s Apothecary is a locally owned operation. Owners Bradford and John are local residents, excited to make a lasting contribution to our neighborhood. We love Oakland and we could not be happier to be opening our first restaurant in the East Bay. We invite you to be part of speeding us to our grand opening and to making The Hog the place for you to hang out in the East Bay! We hope that you’ll become a Founding Member and feel that The Hog’s Apothecary is as much yours as it is ours.

We can never have too many good beer bars as far as I’m concerned. I wish them the best of luck.


CrowdBrewed: A Kickstarter For New Breweries

Here’s an interesting development. In hindsight it’s probably inevitable, especially given the sheer number of breweries in planning. There’s a new crowdfunding website that just launched. It’s called CrowdBrewed, and as its name implies, it’s specifically aimed at helping potential brewers and brewery owners raise the money they need to get started. It appears to work like Kickstarter, just with an emphasis on breweries.

Personally, I love Kickstarter. So far I’ve backed well over 100 projects through the crowdfunding website, and a few more on other similar ones. I find the idea of crowdfunding appealing, though I’ve spoken with plenty of people who feel otherwise, and they’re welcome, of course, not to participate. But if you like helping others or feeling like a small part of something you find worthwhile, take a look. Kickstarter is the king, at least for now, but there’s also Indiegogo, RocketHub, GoFundMe and many more.

As for beer, searching for it on Kickstarter reveals 311 results, so there’s certainly a ready base of potential folks for CrowdBrewed. I’ve sponsored more than a few brewery and beer-related projects, and since I’m drawn to them, it might be nice to have a single place to see what people are trying in the world of beer. Will it work, catch on, and help get some breweries started? Only time will tell.


Beer Flow Chart

Todays infographic is currently being pitched on Kickstarter, and was created by Dallas, Texas graphic designer Jason Haynes. His Beer Diagram Poster has eight days to go, and so far he’s raised 21 times the amount he needs to get his poster printed. It’s available in three sizes, and you have about a week to pledge if you’d like to get one of his posters, too.

You can see it larger on the Kickstarter page.

Don’t Fear The Beerd

My friend and new neighbor Fred Abercrombie is even more of a graphics nerd than I am, but then he does it for a living. For his day job, he runs his own ad agency, while at night — after donning cape and cowl — writes at his beer blog Ünnecessary Ümlaut. He noticed one day that no one has really taken a look at all the beards, mustaches and facial hair that grace so many of the beer labels we see dotting the craft beer landscape. Sensing a hole in our deeper understanding of the world, he decided to do something about it. And so began Craft Beerds, subtitled “a well-groomed collection of craft beer labels.” Fred researched, photographed and laid out his hirsute book, but after it ballooned to 300 pages with over 175 breweries represented, he realized that he could no longer afford to publish it on his own. Undaunted, he turned to Kickstater (I love Kickstarter!) for a little help from his friends — or at least other like-minded whackadoodles.
With 19 days to go, he’s raised over half of the $8,000 he needs to print the book. The minimum to get a hardback copy of the book is a mere $25. For higher pledges, there are cooler rewards, such as getting your name in the book, t-shirts, prints and a signed copy of another book, The Facial Hair Handbook by two-time World Beard Champion, Jack Passion.

Below are some sample pages from the book:

Shmaltz Brewing’s Coney Island Human Blockhead.

And FullSteam’s Certificate of Awesome and their Liborius Gollhardt Southern-Style Sour Rhubarb Ale.

So I would encourage every lover of beer and every lover of beerds to help ensure this book gets printed and published. Check out the Kickstarter page and see if you can help. Here’s more reasons why you should:


Printing. Every single cent. The project grew from something cool that we could afford to self-publish, to something really cool we really need your help on. Really. Turns out, printing an almost 300-page hairy book is kinda expensive.

We’ve already collected, photographed and laid everything out. It looks beautiful — and handsome — but it needs your help to live the printed dream.


  • Because no one’s paid a tangible tribute to all the killer art and packaging from the recent craft beer explosion. (There’s enough to fill a book)
  • Because it’ll give exposure to many breweries you already love and want to succeed further.
  • Because it’ll give exposure to many local, regional breweries you may not even know you love. Yet.
  • Because we’ve broken the book into themed chapters that keep it fresh, every time you pick it up—Devilish Beerds, Royal Beerds, Side-Beerds and of course, Red Beerds, to name a few.
  • Because craft beer and facial hair are a natural combo. Ever been to a beer fest? You can’t swing a growler without grazing a beard.

Go ahead, pledge. You know you want to. Even if you don’t want to, you really do. You just don’t know it yet. Check out the Kickstarter page and see all the potential rewards and good karma you could receive. Then try to resist. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

And finally, here’s two pirate-themed bearded beers.