Beer Birthday: Evan Rail

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Today is the 44th birthday of Evan Rail, expat American writer living, and writing about beer, in Prague, Czech Republic. Evan was born and raised in Fresno, but discovered his love for beer while attending U.C. Davis as a French and German literature major. While there, he spent his time at the nearby Sudwerk Privatbrauerei brewpub, and counted among his friends several students in the Master Brewers program. That’s also where he began homebrewing in 1993. He also studied in New York and Paris, before making the Czech Republic his home in 2000. His move to Prague was meant to be for a single year, but he’s still there fifteen years later. Given that he met his wife there, and they’ve started a family, it’s likely he won’t be moving home any time soon. In addition to writing the Good Beer Guide to Prague and the Czech Republic, Rail’s also penned Why Beer Matters, In Praise of Hangovers and Triplebock, all Kindle singles. We finally had a chance to share a beer in person last year when he was in San Francisco for an event sponsored by Pilsner Urquell. Join me in wishing Evan a very happy birthday.

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Last year at event in san Francisco, where Evan was doing an event for Pilsner Urquell.

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Earlier this year in Copenhagen, along with, clockwise from left: Martyn Cornell, Jeff Alworth, Evan, me, Stephen Beaumont, Pete Brown, Stan Hieronymus and Ron Pattinson.

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Talking with Stan Hieronymus during a tour of the Carlsberg Laboratory.

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A Facebook cover photo of Evan (which is where I purloined it from, along with the next one, too).

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A screenshot from a video of Evan talking about Czech beer.

Historic Beer Birthday: Adolphus Busch

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Today is the birthday of Adolphus Busch (July 10, 1839-October 10, 1913). He was born in Kastel, Germany, and co-founded Anheuser-Busch, along with his father-in-law, Eberhard Anheuser. The twenty-first of twenty-two children, his family was in the wholesale business, specializing in winery and brewery supplies. Like all of his his brothers he was sent to college, and graduated from the Collegiate Institute of Belgium in Brussels.

He moved to St. Louis in 1857, when he was eighteen, and eventually got a sales job with Charles Ehlermann Hops and Malt Co. After a distinguished stint as a soldier during the Civil War, he returned to his brewery supply job and married Lily Anheuser, the daughter of Eberhard Anheuser. Together, they had thirteen children, including Adolphus Busch II and August A. Busch. After marrying Lily, he joined the family business, then known as E. Anheuser Co.’s Brewing Association, and eventually became a partner. When Lily’s father passed away in 1879, Adolphus took control of the business and changed the name to Anheuser-Busch.

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In St. Louis, Adolphus Busch was busy transforming his father-in-law’s (Eberhard Anheuser’s) once-failing brewery into a grand empire. Adolphus, perhaps more than any other brewer, became known for his flamboyant, almost audacious persona. Tirelessly promoting his Budweiser Beer, he toured the country in a luxurious railroad car immodestly named “The Adolphus.” In place of the standard calling card, the young entrepreneur presented friends and business associates with his trademark gold-plated pocket knife featuring a peephole in which could be viewed a likeness of Adolphus himself. His workers bowed in deference as he passed. “See, just like der king!” he liked to say.

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Adolphus as a young man, in 1869.

Here’s a biography of Adolphus Busch from the Immigrant Entrepreneur Hall of Fame:

A truly American tale. Freedom. Opportunity. Progress. Words that seized the imagination of people all over the world and brought them to the Land of Liberty. It’s a uniquely American story, told in chapter after chapter of hardship, hard work and hard-won success. The Budweiser story is no exception.

Photo of Adolphus BuschSo begins the tale of Adolphus Busch, the founder of Anheuser-Busch and creator of Budweiser beer, as stated on the Budweiser website. He was an immigrant who not only created personal wealth and success but also made a landmark contribution to American society.

Born the second youngest of 22 children in Germany, Busch was educated in Brussels and immigrated to the United States in 1857. Settling in St. Louis, he married Lilly Anheuser and had 13 children of his own.

After completing his enlistment in the Union Army during the Civil War, Adolphus joined his father-in-law in the operation of E. Anheuser & Co. Brewery. The company was later restructured with Anheuser as president and Busch as secretary. As full partner, Busch took on greater responsibility for the operation of the brewery. To recognize his efforts, in 1879 the company name was changed to the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association.

Busch was a man of many firsts. Apart from founding America’s first national beer brand, Budweiser, in 1876, he is credited with revolutionizing the shipment of beer (in refrigerated railway cars), being one of the first to bottle beer and implementing a method to pasteurize beer to keep it fresh.

Today, Anheuser-Busch captures the largest market share in the U.S. with 47.6 percent share of U.S. beer sales to retailers. It brews the world’s top-selling beer brands, Budweiser and Bud Light, at 12 breweries across the United States.

After he died while on vacation in Germany, his body was brought back to St. Louis to be buried. It was a fitting resting place for the man who created one of America’s most iconic brands.

Adolphus-Busch-photog

Busch married Elise “Lilly” Eberhard Anheuser, the third daughter of Eberhard Anheuser, on March 7, 1861 in St. Louis, Missouri. They had thirteen children; eight sons, including Adolphus Busch II, August Anheuser Busch I and Carl Busch, and five daughters. The Busches often traveled to Germany where they bought a castle. They named it the Villa Lilly for Mrs Busch. It was located in Lindschied near Langenschwalbach, in present-day Bad Schwalbach.

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And here’s his biography from the German-American Hall of Fame:

Busch, Adolphus
1839-1913
Inducted: 2007
Area of Achievement: Business & Industry

American businessman and philanthropist, b. Mainz, Germany. To U.S. (1857); joined St. Louis brewery of Eberhard Anheuser (1861); president of Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association (1879-1913); introduced Budweiser brand; pioneered in pasteurization of beer.

Adolphus Busch was born July 10, 1839 in Kastel (near Mainz, Hesse), Germany. He was second-to-youngest of twenty-two children of Ulrich Busch and Barbara Pfeiffer Busch.

In 1857, Adolphus Bush emigrated to the United States with no plans, no destination, and nothing but his own ambition and abilities. Three of his brothers had already headed for St. Louis, Missouri. His brother John had opened his own brewery in nearby Washington, Missouri.

Young Adolphus joined Ernst Wattenberg to sell equipment and supplies to breweries. This venture led him to forge several strategic partnerships. Most important, he met his future bride, Lily Anheuser. At the same time, his brother Ulrich became enamored with her older sister, Anna.

Their father, Eberhard Anheuser, a skilled St. Louis soap and candle-maker, had recently purchased the failing Bavarian Brewery in St. Louis. He reopened the brewery as E. Anheuser & Co.

On March 7, 1861, the Anheuser-Busch interests were formally joined, both professionally and matrimonially. Eberhard Anheuser escorted both daughters down the aisle in double nuptials to the two Busch brothers. At the time, Busch was working for Anheuser as a salesman. (The future malt mogul and his brother married his boss’ daughters.)

Eventually, Busch and Anheuser became partners and equals. It was the perfect match. Busch was the consummate marketer, and Anheuser was a skilled manufacturer. Working for his father-in-law, Busch developed pasteurization of beer and began marketing the Budweiser brand, which was named after Bmische Budweis, a town in his homeland of Germany. In 1876, Busch enlisted the help of his friend Carl Conrad (a liquor bottler) to develop this Bohemian-style pilsner beer.A fierce rivalry developed between Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser beer and an old Czech brand from Budejovice. Since the 16th Century, the Czechs had called their product “The Beer of Kings,” so Busch began marketing his as “The King of Beers.”

By 1879, Busch was president of the Anheuuser-Busch Brewing Association. He held this position for more than 30 years.

His extravagant spending and elaborate lifestyle have become American folklore. Busch owned an expansive St. Louis manor, plus two palatial homes near Pasadena, California. He also had a country estate and a hops farm near Cooperstown, New York (not far from the Baseball Hall of Fame), two country villas in Germany, and his own private railroad car. His landscaping was famous for its fairy tale figurines, as Busch was a fan of the famed Grimm Brothers.

In 1911, when Adolphus and Lily marked their 50th wedding anniversary, he presented his queenly with a diamond tiara. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, the emperor of Germany, and other world leaders sent lavish gifts as well.

He died October 10, 1913 near Langenschwalbach, Germany. His son August took the reins of the company until his death in 1934. The company has been headed by a family succession ever since.

Incidentally, the famous Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale horses did not join the clan until after his death. In 1933, at the end of Prohibition, a team of Clydesdales were hitched up to pull the first load of legal beer from the St. Louis brewery. Company President August Busch (Adolphus’ son) was so taken by the sight that the horses became a favorite company trademark.

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Adolphus later in life, around 1905.

And there’s a few more thorough accounts of his life at Encyclopedia.com, the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Historic Missourians, and and a four part story “originally published in The American Mercury, October, 1929,” entitled The King of Beer by Gerald Holland.

Lagunitas Announces Several Big Changes & New Ventures

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Damn. Go big or go home, I guess. Tony Magee never does anything small … or halfway. Today Lagunitas Brewing announced a number of big changes and new ventures they’ve undertaken. Here’s the first part of the press release, laying out the general idea.

The Lagunitas Brewing Company of Petaluma CA is excited to announce that we are expanding the way we participate in some of the great communities that have helped us learn and grow as brewers. We believe that beer is the original social media and we know that the best way to connect with beer lovers is face to face, over a beer.

Today we are announcing a set of intense local alliances with very special local brewers whose work we admire and are proud to partner with. They are four completely different partnering situations and in concert we will learn from one another and help build our breweries together culturally and geographically.

We don’t live in a world of either/or, our world is both/and. Drawing from the best of the best to find new possibilities is the most thrilling way forward.

The why and how differs from one cultural region to another but the intention remains the same: Connect with, learn from and support our communities. “We expect to be surprised by the things that we encounter as we grow these relationships. This will be a big learning experience for us” says Tony Magee, Founder of Lagunitas.

And here they are, though I’ve re-ordered them in order of importance to me personally. Not exactly scientific, but hey, this is a personal blog, so there you have it. By far, the most surprising, though exciting one, is a joint venture with Brian Hunt and his Moonlight Brewing Co.

Moonlight Brewing Company (Santa Rosa, CA)

We’re thrilled to be entering into a joint venture with Moonlight Brewing Company. We will work alongside Brian and his people to expand the reach of a genuine national treasure. Moonlight opened in 1992, (the year before Lagunitas) at a time when the term “craft” didn’t even exist. Over the years, we’ve long enjoyed a great friendship with brewer/owner Brian Hunt and have huge respect for is people, the beers he brews and the reputation he has created. We’re looking forward to learning together and having a blast doing it.

Brian Hunt (Moonlight)
Brian Hunt.

Independence Brewing Company (Austin, TX)

Lagunitas will combine resources with the great Independence Brewing of Austin TX to help them grow their brewing capacity and do more of what it is that they already do so well. Independence Brewing founders Amy and Rob Cartwright, along with their great people, will continue to lead their company and will help us deepen our own connection to Austin and the Lone Star State. We’re looking forward to learning from each other and sharing our local connections.

A Non-Profit Fund Raising Community Room #1 (NE Portland, OR)

On August 1st, Lagunitas will open the doors to our first Community Room, dedicated 100% to supporting non-profits with their fundraising efforts. The beer and the space will be completely donated to any bona fide Non-Profit organization so that they can focus on raising the funds they need to carry out their respective missions. A Lagunitas team and live music will be on-hand to ensure turnkey execution of the event and most importantly that all of their guests have a great time!

A 2nd Non-Profit Fund Raising Community Room (San Diego, CA)

Our 2nd Community Room will open January 2017. This space will also be made available exclusively to Non-Profit groups for fund raising.

A Lagunitas Taproom & Beer Sanctuary (Historic District Charleston, SC)

Lagunitas is under contract with the beautiful Southend Brewery and Smokehouse of Charleston, SC to convert the long time brewpub to a new Lagunitas Taproom and Beer Sanctuary in the heart of Old Charleston on famous East Bay Street. This turn-of-the-century landmark will be a cornerstone location for Lagunitas in the Southeast, offering small batch beers that are exclusive to the Charleston Taproom and brewed in the existing 10-barrel brewhouse. The Taproom also offers two different floors of event space which we will make available to local non-profits for their fundraising efforts. A Grand Opening party and more information to come in the near future.

Here, I’ll pick up with the remainder of the press release, giving more explanation.

This new thing for us represents our way forward into the brave new world of the brave new world of beer’s brave new world. I say brave thrice because it is exactly that; We don’t know exactly how this will unfold over time or what unforeseen paths forward it will reveal.

These new relationships will be learning experiences for all four of us. We all know that we love beer, we all know that we love brewing and the community that gathers around its fire. We all know that we all want to grow and make new connections. We know we all want to be productive and learn. We know we all want to earn a living and make a home for our employees who’ve put their chips down on the table alongside our own.

As we all learn and begin to grow together in this new paradigm I believe that we will find more partners in other parts of the country that we can also share with and cultivate regional relationships through. If we can get this first step right then it is just the beginning for all of us.

Lagunitas is the lead in the relationship because we gained adequate scale to be able to borrow the money it will take to be the lead and to help, but scale is not insight and money is not creativity. Insight and creativity are everything. They are the cornerstones of small brewing. That is the space where our four teams of brewers and marketers and managers are all standing eye to eye, playing together to try to make magic happen, and I for one am very sure it will. What form it will take will be ours to find out.

One thing is for certain, the future will not be like the past! Furthur….

Cheers all….!!

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And, of course, Tony weighed in with his own take on the changes, though this was originally meant to preface the above information, but I wanted to lead with the news first.

Greetings Fellow Travelers,

Over the last 23 years of running-off the mash and filling the kettle we have come to understand that the new world of small brewing is less a ‘thing’ than it is a ‘journey’. A point on a curve. Jack Joyce, founder of Rogue Brewing in Newport, once said that we’re not in the beer business, we are in the ‘change business’. Ask any brewer older than 5 years and they will tell you that in 2010 small brewing was a whole other place. Ask one older than that and they will tell you the same about 2005, and 2000, and especially 1995. And so it is that 2020 will be unrecognizable to the brewers of 2016.

One thing that hasn’t changed though is the personal connection that beer lovers want with the people that make the beer they take into their bodies in the hope it will thrill their tastebuds as it enters their blood enroute to their brains to make it do tricks. This is pretty personal stuff and as brewers our job is to make that connection.

Last September we announced our own way of relating to the world outside of the United States through a joint venture with the last of the largest family-controlled (meet Charlene De Carvalho-Heineken..!) brewer in the world. Most U.S. beer lovers don’t know too much about the family and I really didn’t either until I began to meet them and understand them and their company and grew to love them as people and a company.

There is an old expression friends sometimes use when the go to lunch, ‘Let’s go Dutch’, meaning let’s split the bill. That expression, I’ve learned, comes from a place and a people. You haft’a wonder how it is that a small, mostly flooded, lowland country ever became a global colonial superpower? Most know that New York was once called New Amsterdam but most also don’t know that Brooklyn and Bronx and other local names are actually Dutch names too. The answer to the question is pretty straightforward: The went Dutch. The cooperated, collaborated, shared risk, partnered, co-invested and joint ventured. This is what we built with Heineken, we are pulling on the rope together.

I have seen that one way they achieved their own goals of growing Heineken was and is now to co-invest in local brewers around the globe, not to ‘consolidate’ or dominate or reduce competition, but to expand and nurture the opportunities to the benefit of themselves AND their partners. They do this with big brewers and with brewers far smaller than ourselves in all 24 time zones.

If one were to take a line drawing of a map of the borders of the 50 United States and lay that line drawing over the continent of, say, Europe, it would look a lot like, well, Europe. There’d be spaces the size of France and the UK inside of Nevada and Illinois and there’d be a Rhode Island like there is a Monaco and so on. In Europe nationalism matters and each country has historically meaningful brewers that are important to those individual countries. All over the world, beer is local. It’s gradually becoming more so here too. But Americans still like to think of us all as Americans and we have liked having 50-state nationally distributed brewers.

In the past, before and just after prohibition this wasn’t really so, but it became that way over time. Now it is going back the other way. Small brewing has played a role in re-igniting regional pride the way music and locally-sourced food is doing the same.

Having said all that, it’s no secret that the U.S. is a whole lot of places stitched together by a constitution, right? I mean, good people from Florida are very different from good people from South Dakota and Oregonians would never mistake themselves for Texans. Even Wisconsinites sometimes call Illinoisans ‘Flatlanders’ while some Minnesotans still think that grave-robbing is called date-night in North Dakota (it’s an old Johnny Carson joke….all apologies to North Dakota). There will always be nationally distributed brands and I sincerely hope that Lagunitas can continue to find a place in peoples hearts irrespective of geography by working to be something close to the bone, rooted to a fundamental human experience that actually does cross borders fluidly. But local matters, and will matter even more in the future.

This is very cool actually, because it means that if we can be genuinely local we can be part of the future. When we became genuinely local in Chicago we found lots and lots of new friends that we might not have by just shipping it in from the Left Coast. We’re already feeling the same vibe in Southern California even as we construct our new brewery there. It’s a great thing to be able to do. However we can’t do that everywhere. But….we can go Dutch everywhere, and that’s exactly what we are doing right here right now.

America’s First Cookbook

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Today in 1796, American Cookery was published. It was the first cookbook published in America and written by an American, Amelia Simmons. Not much is known about her. She’s referred to as an “American Orphan” on the title page, which isn’t terribly helpful. The first edition was published in Hartford, Connecticut, so some speculate that Simmons may have been from the area. And it appears the very first edition may have been self-published. Feeding America explores many of the questions about Simmons, but has few answers.

It was printed and reprinted for 35 years, with several people stealing her work and putting their own name to it, with some adding additional material. If you read through her biography, it appears that was happening from the very beginning and over the course of its thirteen additions. It’s 220 years old today.

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It’s divided into six sections. First, there’s a Preface, followed by “Directions for Catering, or the procuring the best Viands, Fish, &c.” The chapters that follow include “2. Roots and Vegetables — Beans — Fruits,” “3. Receipts — [Meats] — [Pies],” “4. Puddings — Custards — Tarts,” “5. Cake,” and “6. Preserves — [Boiling], with a short “Errata” at the end. It’s in the public domain and you can get a copy for your eReader at Project Gutenberg.

Near the very end of the book, in Chapter “6. Preserves,” there’s a short recipe for Spruce Beer.

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And here it is reprinted in more modern English:

For brewing Spruce Beer.

Take four ounces of hops, let them boil half an hour in one gallon of water, strain the hop water then add sixteen gallons of warm water, two gallons of molasses, eight ounces of essence of spruce, dissolved in one quart of water, put it in a clean cask, then shake it well together, add half a pint of emptins, then let it stand and work one week, if very warm weather less time will do, when it is drawn off to bottle, add one spoonful of molasses to every bottle.

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Also, the very first recipe under Chapter “5. Cake” calls for a quart of “new ale yeast.”

Plumb Cake.

Mix one pound currants, one drachm nutmeg, mace and cinnamon each, a little salt, one pound of citron, orange peal candied, and almonds bleach’d, 6 pound of flour, (well dry’d) beat 21 eggs, and add with 1 quart new ale yeast, half pint of wine, 3 half pints of cream and raisins, q: s:

Historic Beer Birthday: William H. Biner

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Today is the birthday of William H. “Billy” Biner (April 16, 1889-January 5, 1953). Biner was a journeyman brewer who worked for numerous breweries over his

He was born in the Montana territory to Swiss immigrant parents. His father, Theophil Biner, knoew Leopold Schmidt and even worked at his Olympia Brewery. Biner sent two of his sons, including Billy once he’s finished with a career as a boxer, to brewing school in Milwaukee. Biner’s first brewing job was at the Phoenix Brewery in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1912. He then worked as brewmaster at at least eight more breweries, from Los Angeles to Canada. The breweries he worked at included the Mexicali Brewery; the Orange Crush Bottling Company in L.A.; the Mexicali Brewing Company again after it was rebuilt following an earthquake; then the Kootenay Breweries, Ltd. in both Nelson and Trail, in BC, Canada; followed by the Ellensburg Brewing Co. in Washington, and then in 1937 he founded his own brewery, the Mutual Brewing Company. But it didn’t last thanks to World War II and supply issues, and it folded. Afterwards, he moved on to both Sicks’ Century Brewery in Seattle and the Silver Springs Brewery in Port Orchard, Washington. Finally, he ran the East Idaho Brewing Co. in Pocatello, Idaho until 1946, when he retired from brewing and bought his own bar, the Leipzig Tavern in Portland, Oregon. He stayed there until a year before he died, which was in 1953.

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Here’s his biography from Find a Grave:

William Henry “Billy” Biner was born in Boulder, Montana Territory, on April 16, 1889. He was the fifth of nine children for Theophil Biner and Juliana Truffer, immigrants from Randa, Switzerland.

Theophil Biner was a builder and an acquaintance of Leopold Schmidt, founder of Olympia Brewery. He worked briefly for Schmidt in Tumwater, Washington from 1903-1905. Later in 1905 he purchased the Phoenix Brewery in the copper boomtown of Phoenix, British Columbia. Theophil became president of the company and his sons Albert and Dan ran it.

Younger son Billy became a boxer, eventually earning the title of welterweight champion of British Columbia. In 1911 Theo Biner sent his sons Billy and Gustave to the Hantke Brewery School in Milwaukie, Wisconsin where they graduated in 1912. Billy then became the brewmaster for the Phoenix Brewery and as an aspiring artist he also designed all of the beer labels. During this time he gave up boxing for curling where he found similar success.

Billy Biner married Harriet Lynch, the daughter of diamond drilling supervisor Dan Lynch in 1914. As prohibition approached Billy wrote articles for the local paper espousing the benefits of beer. But business declined in Phoenix and he moved south to Los Angeles in 1919 to work for the Canadian Club Bottling-Orange Crush Bottling Co.

From 1924 through 1929 he served as the brewmaster for the Mexicali Brewing Company in Mexicali, Mexico. In 1929 he returned to Canada and was a brewer in the towns of Merritt and Princeton, BC. From 1929 through 1936 he served as brewmaster for the Kootenay Brewing Company in both Nelson and Trail, BC.

In 1936 Biner moved to Ellensburg, Washington where he became brewmaster at the Ellensburg Brewery through 1942. After the Ellensburg Brewery closed Biner worked as a brewer at both Sick”s Select Brewery in Seattle and Silver Spring’s Brewery in Port Orchard, WA before moving on to Pocatello, where he ran the Aero Club Brewery until 1946.

He purchased the Leipzig Tavern in Portland, Oregon in 1946 and operated it until 1952 when he moved to Los Angeles to work for the North American Aircraft Company. He died of a heart attack on January 5, 1953.

Billy and Harriet Biner had four children; Betty, Bill, Bob and Fredericka (Fritzi). Bill and Bob Biner both worked for their father in Ellensburg before becoming members of the US Air Corps during WW II. Together they flew over 100 missions and are the subjects of the book The Brewmaster’s Bombardier and Belly Gunner.

Although none of Billy’s children or grandchildren became professional brewers, his great-grandson, Charlton Fulton, is the brewer at McMenamins Mill Creek Brewery near Seattle, Washington.

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Biner with his sisters Julia and Mary Cecelia and his children Betty and Billy, c. 1925.

Phoenix Export Lager beer label
A label from his first brewery job, which he may also have designed.

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Silver-Springs-Table-Beer-Labels-Interstate-Brewery-Company

Aero-Club-Pale-Select-Beer-Labels-East-Idaho-Brewing-Company

The Top 50 Annotated 2015

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This is my ninth annual annotated list of the Top 50, skipping two years ago because the BA provided that information then, so here again you can see who moved up and down, who was new to the list and who dropped off. So here is this year’s list again annotated with how they changed compared to last year.

  1. Anheuser-Busch InBev; #1 last ten years, no surprise
  2. MillerCoors; ditto for #2
  3. Pabst Brewing; ditto for #3
  4. D. G. Yuengling and Son; Same as last year
  5. Boston Beer Co.; Same as last year
  6. North American Breweries; Same as last year
  7. Sierra Nevada Brewing; Same as last year
  8. New Belgium Brewing; Same as last year
  9. Craft Brewers Alliance; Same as last year
  10. Lagunitas Brewing; Up 1 from #11 last year
  11. Gambrinus Company; Down 1 from #10 last year
  12. Bell’s Brewery; Same as last year
  13. Deschutes Brewery; Same as last year
  14. Minhas Craft Brewery; Up 2 from #16 last year
  15. Stone Brewing; Down 1 from #14 last year
  16. Sleeman Brewing; Down 1 from #15 last year
  17. Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits; Rocketed up 20 from #37 last year
  18. Brooklyn Brewery; Down 1 from #17 last year
  19. Firestone Walker Brewing; Up 3 from #22 last year
  20. Founders Brewing; Up 3 from #23 last year
  21. Oskar Blues Brewing; Jumped up 9 from #30
  22. Duvel Moortgat USA (Boulevard Brewing/Ommegang); Down 4 from #18 last year
  23. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; Down 4 from #19 last year
  24. Matt Brewing; Down 4 from #20 last year
  25. SweetWater Brewing; Down 1 from #24 last year
  26. Harpoon Brewery; Down 5 from #21 last year
  27. New Glarus Brewing; Down 2 from #25 last year
  28. Great Lakes Brewing; Up 1 from #29 last year
  29. Alaskan Brewing; Down 3 from #26 last year
  30. Abita Brewing; Down 3 from #27 last year
  31. Anchor Brewing; Down 3 from #28 last year
  32. Stevens Point Brewery; Same as last year
  33. Victory Brewing; Up 2 from #35 last year
  34. August Schell Brewing; Down 1 from #33 last year
  35. Long Trail Brewing; Down 1 from #36 last year
  36. Summit Brewing; Down 2 from #34 last year
  37. Shipyard Brewing; Down 6 from #31 last year
  38. Full Sail Brewing; Up 5 from #39 last year
  39. Odell Brewing; Up 1 from #40 last year
  40. Southern Tier Brewing; Up 1 from #41 last year
  41. Rogue Ales Brewery; Down 3 from #38 last year
  42. 21st Amendment Brewery; Jumped up 7 from 49 last year
  43. Ninkasi Brewing; Down 1 from #42 last year
  44. Flying Dog Brewery; Same as last year
  45. Narragansett Brewing; Not in Top 50 last year
  46. Pittsburgh Brewing (fka Iron City); Down 1 from #45 last year
  47. Left Hand Brewing; Up 1 from #48 last year
  48. Uinta Brewing; Down 2 from #46 last year
  49. Green Flash Brewing; Not in Top 50 last year
  50. Allagash Brewing; Same as last year

Not too much movement this year, except for a few small shufflings. The top is virtually unchanged, with only numbers 10 and 11 switching places. And apart from those two small changes, the top 13 were all the same as 2014. The biggest jump came from Ballast Point, which leapt up 20 spots, while Shipyard slipped the furthest, dropping six slots. Only two new breweries made the list; Green Flash Brewing and Narragansett Brewing. Off the list was World Brew/Winery Exchange, a California contract label brewer making private label beers for retailers, and Bear Republic Brewing.

If you want to see the previous annotated lists for comparison, here is 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006.

Top 50 Craft Breweries For 2015

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The Brewers Association just announced the top 50 craft breweries in the U.S. based on sales, by volume, for 2015, which is listed below here. I should also mention that this represents “craft breweries” according to the BA’s membership definition, and not necessarily how most of us would define them, as there’s no universally agreed upon way to differentiate the two. For the eighth year, they’ve also released a list of the top 50 breweries, which includes all breweries. Here is this year’s craft brewery list:

2016_Top_50-craft

Here is this year’s press release. The last couple of years, the BA has helpfully annotated the list, saving me lots of time, since I’ve been annotating the list for the last eight years, but they’ve abandoned that practice this time around. So for the eighth consecutive year, I’ll also posted an annotated list, showing the changes in each brewery’s rank from year to year, but it will take me some time to put together so I’ll have that again later today.

The BA, this year, did create a map showing the relative location of each of the breweries that made the list.

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Craft Market Exceeds 12%

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The preliminary numbers for 2015 are out, and the news is again pretty damn good. The Brewers Association today revealed that craft beer’s share of market, which finally passed 10% last year, is now 12.2% of the total beer market, by volume.

From the press release:

In 2014, craft brewers produced 22.2 million barrels, and saw an 18 percent rise in volume and a 22 percent increase in retail dollar value. Retail dollar value was estimated at $19.6 billion representing 19.3 percent market share.

“With the total beer market up only 0.5 percent in 2014, craft brewers are key in keeping the overall industry innovative and growing. This steady growth shows that craft brewing is part of a profound shift in American beer culture—a shift that will help craft brewers achieve their ambitious goal of 20 percent market share by 2020,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “Small and independent brewers are deepening their connection to local beer lovers while continuing to create excitement and attract even more appreciators.”

But wait, there’s more.

Additionally, in 2015 the number of operating breweries in the U.S. grew 15 percent, totaling 4,269 breweries—the most at any time in American history. Small and independent breweries account for 99 percent of the breweries in operation, broken down as follows: 2,397 microbreweries, 1,650 brewpubs and 178 regional craft breweries. Throughout the year, there were 620 new brewery openings and only 68 closings. One of the fastest growing regions was the South, where four states—Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Texas—each saw a net increase of more than 20 breweries, establishing a strong base for future growth in the region.

Combined with already existing and established breweries and brewpubs, craft brewers provided nearly 122,000 jobs, an increase of over 6,000 from the previous year.

“Small and independent brewers are a beacon for beer and our economy,” added Watson. “As breweries continue to open and volume increases, there is a strong need for workers to fill a whole host of positions at these small and growing businesses.”

If you’re curious how those numbers are calculated, BA economist Bart Watson posted an explanation of the 2015 Craft Brewing Growth by the Numbers.

growth infographic

GABF Winners 2015

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Yesterday, the winners of the 34th Great American Beer Festival were announced. A record 6,647 beers were judged in 92 categories by 242 judges, of which I was again privileged to be one. Some more factoids on the results and the festival:

  • Category with the most entries: American-style IPA: 336 entries (279 last year; #1 since 2002)
  • Top 5 Categories: IPA (336 entries); Imperial IPA (208); Wood- & Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (179); Session IPA (161); and American Pale Ale (160)
  • Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 72 (61.2 last year)
  • 1,552 breweries in the competition from all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. (1,309 last year)
  • 38 first-time breweries won medals (52 last year)
  • 4 breweries tied for most medals won, with three apiece; Firestone Walker Brewing, Sun King Brewing, Port City Brewing, and Left Hand Brewing.
  • 750 breweries in the festival hall (710 last year)
  • Over 3,800 beers served at the festival (3,500 last year)
  • 60,000 attendees (49,000 last year)
  • New Categories This Year: Chili Pepper Beer, Session IPA and Mixed Culture Brett Beer.

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Medals Won by State:

  1. California = 67 (46 last year)
  2. Colorado = 36 (39 last year)
  3. Oregon = 19 (22 last year)
  4. Texas = 15 (16 last year)
  5. Washington = 13 (9 last year)
  6. TIE:
    • Indiana = 10 (4 last year)
    • Ohio = 10 (5 last year)
  7. Virginia = 9 (7 last year)
  8. TIE:
    • North Carolina = 8 (6 last year)
    • Pennsylvania = 8 (12 last year)
    • Wisconsin = 8 (7 last year)
  9. Minnesota = 7 (6 last year)
  10. Michigan = 6 (6 last year)
  11. TIE:
    • Missouri = 5 (4 last year)
    • Nevada = 5 (3 last year)
    • New York = 5 (3 last year)
  12. TIE:
    • Arizona = 4 (1 last year)
    • Illinois = 4 (9 last year)
    • New Mexico = 4 (8 last year)

Untitled

The 2015 Great American Beer Festival Winners

Category 1: American-Style Wheat Beer, 58 Entries
Gold: Super 77 Wheat, Wiley Roots Brewing Co., Greeley, CO
Silver: Whacked Out Wheat, Telluride Brewing Co., Telluride, CO
Bronze: Mogabi, Elevator Brewing Co. – Production Facility, Columbus, OH

Category 2: American-Style Wheat Beer With Yeast, 41 Entries
Gold: The Big O, O’so Brewing, Plover, WI
Silver: WeldWerks Hefeweizen, WeldWerks Brewing Co., Greeley, CO
Bronze: Boulder Bend Dunkelweizen, Fish Brewing Co., Olympia, WA

Category 3: American-Style Fruit Beer, 87 Entries
Gold: Chchchch-Cherry Bomb, Melvin Brewing, Jackson, WY
Silver: Rasplendent, Mazama Brewing Co., Corvallis, OR
Bronze: Apricot Blonde, Dry Dock Brewing Co. – Production Facility, Aurora, CO

Category 4: Fruit Wheat Beer, 69 Entries
Gold: Magnolia’s Peach, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery – Chandler, Chandler, AZ
Silver: You’re My Boy, Blue!, Brew Bus Brewing, Tampa, FL
Bronze: Purple Line, Smylie Brothers Brewing Co., Evanston, IL

Category 5: Belgian-Style Fruit Beer, 63 Entries
Gold: X-Reserve Ale 05-15 Peach and Ginger Saison, Saucony Creek Brewing, Kutztown, PA
Silver: Kumquat Saison, Smog City Brewing, Torrance, CA
Bronze: Cherry Busey, Sun King Brewing Co., Indianapolis, IN

Category 6: Pumpkin Beer, 56 Entries
Gold: No Medal
Silver: Pumpkin Grinder, Mankato Brewery, Mankato, MN
Bronze: The Great Pumpkin Ale, Great Basin Brewing Co. – Sparks, Sparks, NV

Category 7: Field Beer, 52 Entries
Gold: Beets, Rhymes and Life, Fonta Flora Brewery, Morganton, NC
Silver: Window Seat Coconut Almond Porter, Baxter Brewing Co., Auburn, ME
Bronze: Coconut Porter, Broken Compass Brewing, Breckenridge, CO

Category 8: Chili Beer, 79 Entries
Gold: Fire Tiger, Lander Brewing Co., Lander, WY
Silver: Heir Apparent, Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, Goochland, VA
Bronze: Ballast Point Pale Ale with Serrano, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits – Scripps Ranch,
San Diego, CA

Category 9: Herb and Spice Beer, 142 Entries
Gold: Garden Party, Free State Brewing Co., Lawrence, KS
Silver: Allergeez, Panther Island Brewing Co., Fort Worth, TX
Bronze: Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ale, Aftershock Brewing Co., Temecula, CA

Category 10: Chocolate Beer, 65 Entries
Gold: The Velvet Hog, TAPS Fish House & Brewery – Corona, Corona, CA
Silver: El Toro Coco Chocolate Stout, El Toro Brewing Co., Morgan Hill, CA
Bronze: Wonka Bar, Mispillion River Brewing, Milford, DE

Category 11: Coffee Beer, 149 Entries
Gold: Zumbar Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout, New English Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Silver: Mocha Machine, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Long Beach, CA
Bronze: Bacon and Eggs, Pizza Port Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA

Category 12: Specialty Beer, 59 Entries
Gold: Hog Cabin, Great South Bay Brewery, Bay Shore, NY
Silver: Hazelnut Brown Nectar, Rogue Ales, Newport, OR
Bronze: Pack Dog Peanut Butter Ale, Marley’s Brewery & Grille, Bloomsburg, PA

Category 13: Rye Beer, 84 Entries
Gold: Blitzkrieg Bock, Fat Head’s Brewery – Portland, Portland, OR
Silver: Concrete Dinosaur, Right Brain Brewery, Traverse City, MI
Bronze: Pt. Bonita Rustic Lager, Headlands Brewing Co., Mill Valley, CA

Category 14: Honey Beer, 52 Entries
Gold: Electric Stinger, The Tap Beer Co., Bloomington, IN
Silver: Honey Chamomile Wheat, Nexus Brewery, Albuquerque, NM
Bronze: Spring Fever, FiftyFifty Brewing Co., Truckee, CA

Category 15: Session Beer, 44 Entries
Gold: BJ’s LightSwitch Lager, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery – Temple, Temple, TX
Silver: MCA, 21st Amendment Brewery Cafe, San Francisco, CA
Bronze: Guillaume, Pizza Port Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA

Category 16: Session India Pale Ale, 161 Entries
Gold: The Coachman, Societe Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Silver: Size 4, Steel Toe Brewing, St. Louis Park, MN
Bronze: Nose Candy, Noble Ale Works, Anaheim, CA

Category 17: Other Strong Beer, 43 Entries
Gold: Ursa Minor, McCoy’s Public House, Kansas City, MO
Silver: Humboldt Brownie, Mad River Brewing Co., Blue Lake, CA
Bronze: Take Back the Streets, Piece Brewery, Chicago, IL

Category 18: Experimental Beer, 85 Entries
Gold: Mystery Airship Imperial Chocolate Porter, New Helvetia Brewing Co., Sacramento, CA
Silver: Melt My Brain, Short’s Brewing Co., Elk Rapids, MI
Bronze: Ramjet, Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales, Denver, CO

Category 19: Fresh or Wet Hop Ale, 34 Entries
Gold: Acequia IPA, Bosque Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
Silver: Fresh Hop Superpower IPA, Comrade Brewing Co., Denver, CO
Bronze: Melvin IPA, Melvin Brewing, Jackson, WY

Category 20: Historical Beer, 40 Entries
Gold: Black Eagle Gratzer, Platform Beer Co., Cleveland, OH
Silver: Dortmunder Adambier, Blue Pants Brewery, Madison, AL
Bronze: Snow Drop, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Loveland, CO

Category 21: Gluten-Free Beer, 24 Entries
Gold: Watchstander Stout, Ghostfish Brewing Co., Seattle, WA
Silver: IPA No. 5, Ground Breaker Brewing, Portland, OR
Bronze: Ghostfish Grapefruit IPA, Ghostfish Brewing Co., Seattle, WA

Category 22: American-Belgo-Style Ale, 71 Entries
Gold: Le Freak, Green Flash Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Silver: Summer Saison, Blackberry Farm Brewery, Walland, TN
Bronze: Salad Days American Saison, Pale Fire Brewing Co., Harrisonburg, VA

Category 23: American-Style Sour Ale, 86 Entries
Gold: Savant Blanc, Perennial Artisan Ales, Saint Louis, MO
Silver: Ensorcelled, The Rare Barrel, Berkeley, CA
Bronze: Apropos of Nothing, The Rare Barrel, Berkeley, CA

Category 24: American-Style Brett Beer, 85 Entries
Gold: (512) Wild Bear, (512) Brewing Co., Austin, TX
Silver: Red Swingline IPA Primitif, Trinity Brewing, Colorado Springs, CO
Bronze: 2015 Golden Ale, New Glarus Brewing Co. – Hilltop, New Glarus, WI

Category 25: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer, 69 Entries
Gold: Wild Warehouse, Wander Brewing, Bellingham, WA
Silver: Palo Santo Aged Porter, Spellbound Brewing, Mount Holly, NJ
Bronze: Barrel Aged Brown Ale, Twin Peaks Brewery, Irving, TX

Category 26: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer, 179 Entries
Gold: Melange A Trois, Nebraska Brewing Co., La Vista, NE
Silver: Batch 666: Sympathy For The Devil, Sun King Brewing Co., Indianapolis, IN
Bronze: Ska Face, SKA Brewing, Durango, CO

Category 27: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer, 128 Entries
Gold: Ctayt, AC Golden Brewing Co., Golden, CO
Silver: Sherry Ink, Rhinegeist Brewing, Cincinnati, OH
Bronze: Dosvidanya, DESTIHL – Champaign, Champaign, IL

Category 28: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer, 137 Entries
Gold: Veritas 015, The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, CA
Silver: 24 Frames Per Second, Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew, Denver, CO
Bronze: Sour Opal, Firestone Walker Barrelworks, Buellton, CA

Category 29: Aged Beer, 38 Entries
Gold: Big Deluxe, Ritual Brewing Co., Redlands, CA
Silver: Sasquatch 2014, 903 Brewers, Sherman, TX
Bronze: Old Diablo, Morgan Territory Brewing, Tracy, CA

Category 30: Kellerbier or Zwickelbier, 45 Entries
Gold: STS Pils, Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, CA
Silver: TAPS Kellerbier, TAPS Fish House & Brewery – Brea, Brea, CA
Bronze: Fargo Original, Fargo Brewing Co., Fargo, ND

Category 31: Smoke Beer, 57 Entries
Gold: Smoked Märzen, 49th State Brewing Co., Denali National Park, AK
Silver: S.S.A., Titletown Brewing Co., Green Bay, WI
Bronze: Smokie Robbins, Lager Heads Brewing Co., Medina, OH

Category 32: American-Style or International-Style Pilsener, 51 Entries
Gold: Rocket 100, The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., Austin, TX
Silver: Mexican Logger, SKA Brewing, Durango, CO
Bronze: Amend This!, TAPS Fish House & Brewery – Brea, Brea, CA

Category 33: German-Style Pilsener, 100 Entries
Gold: Pivo, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA
Silver: Pilsner, pFriem Family Brewers, Hood River, OR
Bronze: Pilsner, Dry Dock Brewing Co., Aurora, CO

Category 34: Bohemian-Style Pilsener, 62 Entries
Gold: Shower Beer, Champion Brewing Co., Charlottesville, VA
Silver: Bohemian Pilsner, von Trapp Brewing, Stowe, VT
Bronze: Peacemaker Pilsner, Pug Ryan’s Brewing Co., Dillon, CO

Category 35: Munich-Style Helles, 55 Entries
Gold: Bucket Seat Blonde, Garage Brewing Co. & Pizzeria, Temecula, CA
Silver: Long Goodbye, Ahnapee Brewery, Algoma, WI
Bronze: Goldencold Lager, Susquehanna Brewing Co., Pittston, PA

Category 36: Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest, 48 Entries
Gold: Oktoberfest, Fort Collins Brewery & Tavern, Fort Collins, CO
Silver: Longboard Island Lager, Craft Brew Alliance – Kona Brewery, Kailua Kona, HI
Bronze: Helles Lager, Lucky Envelope Brewing, Seattle, WA

Category 37: American-Style Lager or Light Lager, 55 Entries
Gold: Coors Banquet, Coors Brewing Co., Golden, CO
Silver: Lone Tree Mexican Lager, Lone Tree Brewing Co., Lone Tree, CO
Bronze: Southern Girl Lager, Sycamore Brewing, Charlotte, NC

Category 38: American-Style Cream Ale, 56 Entries
Gold: Rainier Lager, Pabst Brewing Co., Los Angeles, CA
Silver: Olympia, Pabst Brewing Co., Los Angeles, CA
Bronze: Nuff, Dale Bros Brewery, Upland, CA

Category 39: Vienna-Style Lager, 46 Entries
Gold: Vienna Lager, Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Outpost, Lexington, VA
Silver: Oktoberfest, Stoudts Brewing Co., Adamstown, PA
Bronze: Firebrick, August Schell Brewing Co., New Ulm, MN

Category 40: German-Style Märzen, 65 Entries
Gold: Oktoberfest, Rahr & Sons Brewing Co., Fort Worth, TX
Silver: Antonius 1742 Oktoberfest, Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Co., Indianapolis, IN
Bronze: Duck-Rabbit Märzen, Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, Farmville, NC

Category 41: American-Style Amber Lager, 48 Entries
Gold: Auburn Lager, Mad Anthony Brewing Co., Fort Wayne, IN
Silver: Karbachtoberfest, Karbach Brewing Co., Houston, TX
Bronze: St. Florian’s Brewery California Common, St. Florian’s Brewery, Windsor, CA

Category 42: European-Style Dark/Münchner Dunkel, 34 Entries
Gold: Gigi, Exile Brewing, Des Moines, IA
Silver: Fearless Youth, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Loveland, CO
Bronze: Chuckanut Dunkel, Chuckanut Brewery, Bellingham, WA

Category 43: American-Style Dark Lager, 21 Entries
Gold: Lagerithm, Bottle Logic Brewing, Anaheim, CA
Silver: Lighter Than I Look, Figueroa Mountain Brewing – Arroyo Grande, Arroyo Grande, CA
Bronze: Black Diamond, Bend Brewing Co., Bend, OR

Category 44: German-Style Schwarzbier, 37 Entries
Gold: Lobo Negro, Pedernales Brewing Co., Fredericksburg, TX
Silver: Black Knight, Fat Head’s Brewery – N. Olmstead, North Olmsted, OH
Bronze: Eastside, Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee, WI

Category 45: Bock, 38 Entries
Gold: Break Line Bock, Rip Current Brewery, San Marcos, CA
Silver: Rock Out with Maibock Out, Hailstorm Brewing Co., Tinley Park, IL
Bronze: A Cart Ride to Mexico, Red Eye Brewing Co., Wausau, WI

Category 46: German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock, 25 Entries
Gold: The Regulator, Rahr & Sons Brewing Co., Fort Worth, TX
Silver: Procrastinator Doppelbock, Fitger’s Brewhouse, Duluth, MN
Bronze: Hot for Teacher Ms. Doppelbock, Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Co., Indianapolis, IN

Category 47: Baltic-Style Porter, 35 Entries
Gold: Cobaltic Porter, Bottle Logic Brewing, Anaheim, CA
Silver: Double Porter, Bemidji Brewing Co., Bemidji, MN
Bronze: Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter, Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, Farmville, NC

Category 48: Golden or Blonde Ale, 107 Entries
Gold: Sunlight Cream Ale, Sun King Brewing Co., Indianapolis, IN
Silver: Boxcar Blonde Ale, Heroes Restaurant and Brewery, Riverside, CA
Bronze: Alpine Gold, Tied House Cafe & Brewery – Mt. View, Mountain View, CA

Category 49: German-Style Kölsch, 111 Entries
Gold: Chuckanut Kolsch Style, Chuckanut Brewery, Bellingham, WA
Silver: Colorado Kölsch, Steamworks Brewing Co., Durango, CO
Bronze: Friar Chuck, Black Bottle Brewery, Fort Collins, CO

Category 50: English-Style Summer Ale, 38 Entries
Gold: Beaverton Blonde, Golden Valley Brewery and Pub, McMinnville, OR
Silver: Cream Ale, Newburgh Brewing Co., Newburgh, NY
Bronze: Lonely Blonde, Fulton Beer, Minneapolis, MN

Category 51: Classic English-Style Pale Ale, 46 Entries
Gold: Mr. Kite’s Pale Ale, Social Kitchen & Brewery, San Francisco, CA
Silver: India Pale Ale, Arcadia Brewing Co., Kalamazoo, MI
Bronze: PBW Pale Ale, Paducah Beer Werks, Paducah, KY

Category 52: English-Style India Pale Ale, 42 Entries
Gold: Shanghai’d IPA, Old Town Brewing, Portland, OR
Silver: Monumental IPA, Port City Brewing Co., Alexandria, VA
Bronze: Hammersmith IPA, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA

Category 53: International-Style Pale Ale, 75 Entries
Gold: Mai Tai P.A., Alvarado Street Brewery & Grill, Monterey, CA
Silver: Rain Delay IPA, JAFB Wooster Brewery, Wooster, OH
Bronze: San Diego-Style IPA, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. – La Jolla, La Jolla, CA

Category 54: American-Style Pale Ale, 160 Entries
Gold: Monterey St. Pale Ale, Central Coast Brewing Co., San Luis Obispo, CA
Silver: Hoppy Palm, Track 7 Brewing Co. – Natomas, Sacramento, CA
Bronze: Featherweight Pale Ale, Cannonball Creek Brewing Co., Golden, CO

Category 55: American-Style Strong Pale Ale, 134 Entries
Gold: Ratchet Strap IPA, Barley Brown’s Beer, Baker City, OR
Silver: Via Chicago, CODA Brewing Co., Aurora, CO
Bronze: 3C India Pale Ale, Triple C Brewing, Charlotte, NC

Category 56: American-Style India Pale Ale, 336 Entries
Gold: Revolver IPA, BNS Brewing & Distilling Co., Santee, CA
Silver: Pernicious IPA, Wicked Weed Brewing – Candler, Candler, NC
Bronze: White Rajah, The Brew Kettle Taproom and Smokehouse, Strongsville, OH

Category 57: Imperial India Pale Ale, 208 Entries
Gold: Hop JuJu Imperial IPA, Fat Head’s Brewery, Middleburg Heights, OH
Silver: Eazy Duz It IIPA, Laurelwood Public House and Brewery, Portland, OR
Bronze: Teahupo’o, Breakwater Brewing Co., Oceanside, CA

Category 58: American-Style Amber/Red Ale, 94 Entries
Gold: Immersion Amber Ale, Two Beers Brewing Co., Seattle, WA
Silver: Proletariat Red, Lompoc Brewing – The 5th Quadrant, Portland, OR
Bronze: Sharkbite Red, Pizza Port Bressi Ranch, Carlsbad, CA

Category 59: Double Red Ale, 71 Entries
Gold: Bone Head Imperial Red, Fat Head’s Brewery, Middleburg Heights, OH
Silver: Toaster Pastry, 21st Amendment Brewery, San Leandro, CA
Bronze: GRAMBO, Pizza Port Solana Beach, Solana Beach, CA

Category 60: Imperial Red Ale, 35 Entries
Gold: reDANKulous, Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, MI
Silver: Wreak Havoc, Bootstrap Brewing Co., Niwot, CO
Bronze: Imperial Red Ale, Marble Brewery, Albuquerque, NM

Category 61: English-Style Mild Ale, 40 Entries
Gold: Mild, Brothers Craft Brewing, Harrisonburg, VA
Silver: Summer Porter, Fort Point Beer Co., San Francisco, CA
Bronze: Mamoot, Logboat Brewing Co., Columbia, MO

Category 62: Ordinary or Special Bitter, 43 Entries
Gold: DBA (Double Barrel Ale), Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA
Silver: Spitfire Best Bitter, Flyers Restaurant and Brewery, Oak Harbor, WA
Bronze: Sawtooth Ale, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, CO

Category 63: Extra Special Bitter, 67 Entries
Gold: The Guilty Party, Gibb’s Hundred Brewing Co., Greensboro, NC
Silver: 14° ESB, Bent Paddle Brewing Co., Duluth, MN
Bronze: Red Fish, Flying Fish Brewing Co., Somerdale, NJ

Category 64: Scottish-Style Ale, 52 Entries
Gold: Copper John Scotch Ale, Madison River Brewing Co., Belgrade, MT
Silver: Cold Smoke, KettleHouse Brewing Co., Missoula, MT
Bronze: Barrio Rojo, Barrio Brewing Co., Tucson, AZ

Category 65: Irish-Style Red Ale, 70 Entries
Gold: TAPS Irish Red, TAPS Fish House & Brewery – Corona, Corona, CA
Silver: Johnny Blood Red, Titletown Brewing Co., Green Bay, WI
Bronze: Hooligan’s Irish Red Ale, Montana Brewing Co., Billings, MT

Category 66: English-Style Brown Ale, 72 Entries
Gold: Red Hydrant Ale, Big Dog’s Brewing Co., Las Vegas, NV
Silver: No Name, Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co., Glenwood Springs, CO
Bronze: Rogue River Brown, Rockford Brewing Co. – Rockford, Michigan, Rockford, MI

Category 67: American-Style Brown Ale, 85 Entries
Gold: 1623 Brown Ale, 7th Settlement Brewery, Dover, NH
Silver: Rapture Fusion Brown Ale, Rabbit Hole Brewing, Justin, TX
Bronze: Restraint, Institution Ale Co., Camarillo, CA

Category 68: American-Style Black Ale, 54 Entries
Gold: Midnight Moonlight, Fat Head’s Brewery – N. Olmstead, North Olmsted, OH
Silver: Singularity, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. – Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa, CA
Bronze: King Ink, Denver Beer Co. – Canworks, Denver, CO

Category 69: German-Style Sour Ale, 111 Entries
Gold: Gose, Reuben’s Brews Taproom, Seattle, WA
Silver: Volkssekt, Bend Brewing Co., Bend, OR
Bronze: Cucumber Crush, 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Bend, OR

Category 70: German-Style Altbier, 49 Entries
Gold: Copper Alt, Zipline Brewing Co., Lincoln, NE
Silver: Generation Alt, Flix Brewhouse – Indy, Carmel, IN
Bronze: Altbier, Liquid Mechanics Brewing Co., Lafayette, CO

Category 71: South German-Style Hefeweizen, 95 Entries
Gold: Weißbier, Prost Brewing, Denver, CO
Silver: Wild Wapiti Wheat, Elk Mountain Brewing Co., Parker, CO
Bronze: Windansea Wheat, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., San Diego, CA

Category 72: German-Style Wheat Ale, 35 Entries
Gold: Saint Arnold Weedwacker, Saint Arnold Brewing Co., Houston, TX
Silver: Weizenbock, Kansas City Bier Co., Kansas City, MO
Bronze: Monkey Business, New Bohemia Brewing Co., Santa Cruz, CA

Category 73: Belgian-Style Blonde Ale or Pale Ale, 47 Entries
Gold: Bear Hair, Logboat Brewing Co., Columbia, MO
Silver: Bleek Worden, Prison City Brewing, Auburn, NY
Bronze: Belgian Style Pale Ale, Aardwolf Brewing Co., Jacksonville, FL

Category 74: Belgian-Style Witbier, 82 Entries
Gold: Allagash White, Allagash Brewing Co., Portland, ME
Silver: White Rascal, Avery Brewing Co., Boulder, CO
Bronze: Optimal Wit, Port City Brewing Co., Alexandria, VA

Category 75: French- and Belgian-Style Saison, 132 Entries
Gold: Siren’s Lure, Fair Winds Brewing Co., Lorton, VA
Silver: Daily Wages, Brasserie Saint James, Reno, NV
Bronze: Saison, URBN St. Brewing Co., El Cajon, CA

Category 76: Belgian- and French-Style Ale, 47 Entries
Gold: Vintage Monks, Adelbert’s Brewery, Austin, TX
Silver: Grisette, Sly Fox Brewing Co., Pottstown, PA
Bronze: Petite Classique, The Commons Brewery, Portland, OR

Category 77: Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale, 78 Entries
Gold: Turbulent Consequence, Peche, Block 15, Corvallis, OR
Silver: Feral One, Firestone Walker Barrelworks, Buellton, CA
Bronze: Viejo Rojo, Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co. – Truckee, Truckee, CA

Category 78: Belgian-Style Dubbel or Quadruple, 60 Entries
Gold: Sanitarium, Bier Brewery and Taproom, Indianapolis, IN
Silver: Dubbel Entendre, River’s Edge Brewing Co., Milford, MI
Bronze: Qualified, Taxman Brewing Co., Bargersville, IN

Category 79: Belgian-Style Tripel, 52 Entries
Gold: Wild West Tripel, Chicago Brewing Co. – NV, Las Vegas, NV
Silver: Allagash Tripel, Allagash Brewing Co., Portland, ME
Bronze: Millennium Trippel, Church Brew Works – Lawrenceville Brewery, Pittsburgh, PA

Category 80: Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale, 65 Entries
Gold: Van Dammit, Jailbreak Brewing Co., Laurel, MD
Silver: The Cannibal, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA
Bronze: Quad Damn It, Chicago Brewing Co. – NV, Las Vegas, NV

Category 81: Other Belgian-Style Ale, 45 Entries
Gold: Spangalang Table Beer, Spangalang Brewery, Denver, CO
Silver: Summer Rye Ale, Mayflower Brewing Co., Plymouth, MA
Bronze: Witty Moron, Stone Brewing World Bistro, Liberty Station, San Diego, CA

Category 82: Brown Porter, 57 Entries
Gold: Disaster at Meux, Lion Bridge Brewing Co., Cedar Rapids, IA
Silver: Peter Brown Tribute Ale, Bear Republic Brewing Co. – Factory 5, Cloverdale, CA
Bronze: Black Jack Porter, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, CO

Category 83: Robust Porter, 102 Entries
Gold: Recalcitrant Dockhand, Black Star Co-op, Austin, TX
Silver: Porter, Port City Brewing Co., Alexandria, VA
Bronze: Night Watchman, City Star Brewing, Berthoud, CO

Category 84: Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout, 36 Entries
Gold: Stearns Stout, Figueroa Mountain Brewing – Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
Silver: Dragoon’s Dry Irish Stout, Moylan’s Brewery & Restaurant, Novato, CA
Bronze: Dry Stout, Reuben’s Brews, Seattle, WA

Category 85: Export Stout, 39 Entries
Gold: Fade to Black, Volume 1, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, CO
Silver: Black Rock Stout, Crossroads Brewing Co., Athens, NY
Bronze: Z-man Stout, Pizza Port Carlsbad, Carlsbad, CA

Category 86: American-Style Stout, 39 Entries
Gold: Disorder Stout, Barley Brown’s Brewpub, Baker City, OR
Silver: Black Cliffs, Boise Brewing, Boise, ID
Bronze: P2P, 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Bend, OR

Category 87: Sweet Stout or Cream Stout, 75 Entries
Gold: West O CocO, West O Beer, West Okoboji, IA
Silver: Chocolate Milk Stout, Boxing Bear Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
Bronze: The Husstler, Huss Brewing, Tempe, AZ

Category 88: Oatmeal Stout, 73 Entries
Gold: R & R Oatmeal Stout, Beaver Street Brewery, Flagstaff, AZ
Silver: Scripps Pier Stout, South Park Brewing – CA, San Diego, CA
Bronze: Scaredy Cat, Vintage Brewing Co., Madison, WI

Category 89: Imperial Stout, 80 Entries
Gold: Double Negative, Grimm Artisanal Ales, Brooklyn, NY
Silver: Russian Imperial Stout, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Lancaster, Lancaster, PA
Bronze: The Miller’s Toll, Raleigh Brewing Co., Raleigh, NC

Category 90: Scotch Ale, 55 Entries
Gold: MacPelican’s Wee Heavy Ale, Pelican Pub & Brewery, Pacific City, OR
Silver: Black Lagoon Scottish Strong, Rip Current Brewery, San Marcos, CA
Bronze: Real Heavy, Real Ale Brewing Co., Blanco, TX

Category 91: Old Ale or Strong Ale, 39 Entries
Gold: Old Scrooge, Silver City Brewery, Bremerton, WA
Silver: Innsmouth Olde Ale, Narragansett Brewing Co., Providence, RI
Bronze: MASSIVE! 2013, Gigantic Brewing Co., Portland, OR

Category 92: Barley Wine-Style Ale, 56 Entries
Gold: Fat Hog, Ritual Brewing Co., Redlands, CA
Silver: Statik, Brewery Rickoli, Wheat Ridge, CO
Bronze: Old Skook, Three Magnets Brewing, Olympia, WA

2015 Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition, 91 Entries
Gold: Muscat Love, Great South Bay Brewery; Bay Shore, NY
Brewmaster: Great South Bay Brewery Team, AHA Member: Brian Giebel

Silver: Atahsaisa, Odd13 Brewing; Lafayette, CO
Brewmaster: Ryan Scott and Brandon Boldt, AHA Member: Mike Froehlich

Bronze: Citra IPA, FATE Brewing; Boulder, CO
Brewmaster: FATE Brewing Company Team, AHA Member: Ryan Lotter

The 2015 Great American Beer Festival Brewery & Brewer of the Year Awards

Very Small Brewing Company of the Year
Rip Current Brewery; San Marcos, CA
Brewer: Paul Sangster and Guy Shobe

Small Brewing Company of the Year
Port City Brewing; Alexandria, VA
Brewer: Port City Brewing Team

Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year
Firestone Walker Brewing; Paso Robles, CA
Brewer: Matt Brynildson & the Firestone Walker Brewing Team

Large Brewing Company of the Year
Pabst Brewing; Los Angeles, CA
Brewer: Gregory Deuhs

Small Brewpub of the Year
Melvin Brewing; Jackson, WY
Brewer: Kirk McHale and Jeremy Tofte

Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year
TAPS Fish House & Brewery; Corona, CA
Brewer: TAPS Fish House & Brewery Team

Large Brewpub of the Year
Titletown Brewing; Green Bay, WI
Brewer: David Oldenburg