Today is the 55th birthday of Mark Edelson, a co-founder and the managing partner of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, a small brewpub chain that operates eleven brewpubs in the tri-state area of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mark’s been a vocal and active member of the brewing community, especially around his mid-Atlantic home but also through the BA, too. Join me in wishing Mark a very happy birthday.
Today is Sam Calagione’s 49th birthday. Sam is the owner and marketing genius behind Delaware’s successful Dogfish Head Brewing. Sam’s also a great guy, and a (former?) rap singer of sorts, with his duo (along with his former head brewer Bryan Selders) the Pain Relievaz. See the bottom of this post for a couple videos of him singing after hours at Pike Brewery during the Craft Brewers Conference when it was held in Seattle. Join me in wishing Sam a very happy birthday.
This first video is “I Got Busy with an A-B Salesgirl,” the Pain Relievaz’ first hit single.
The second video is “West Coast Poseurs,” a smackdown to the hoppy West Coast beer and brewers.
In an exclusive this morning, Brewbound is reporting that Fireman Capital to Purchase Cigar City. According to Brewbound, “Cigar City, a leading independent brewery based in Tampa, Fla., has agreed to sell controlling interest to Boston-based private equity firm Fireman Capital Partners, which already owns majority stakes in Oskar Blues, Perrin Brewing and the Utah Brewers Cooperative outfit that includes the Wasatch and Squatters brands.”
The overall entity created by Fireman Capital for their brewery acquisitions is United Craft Brews LLC, incorporated in Delaware. The SEC Form D lists Fireman Capital’s address is Waltham, Massachusetts, but information on OpenLEIs lists a registered address in Delaware, but Oskar Blues’ Longmont address as Headquarters for United Craft Brews. Last year, Westwood was still asking Does Oskar Blues Still Own Oskar Blues? This will undoubtedly continue to muddy the waters surrounding the answer to that question.
Rumors had been swirling that ABI was considering Cigar City as their next target for acquisition, and founder Joey Redner confirmed that he’d gotten as far as signing an LOI. But ABI let their exclusivity period pass without executing a formal purchase agreement, leaving Cigar City free to entertain other potential buyers.
Cigar City’s website posted a joint press release about the transaction:
Oskar Blues Brewery Rolls up a Cigar City Blunt
Longmont, CO, & Tampa Bay, FL — Oskar Blues Brewery announced the acquisition of Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing. Putting months of acquirement rumors to rest, the decision is driven by mutual irreverence, respect and desire to stay true to craft beer roots.
The combination stems from the want to take risks, sniff out bullsh*t and grow against-the-grain in an era of increasing competition within craft beer. The collaboration will match years of large-scale growth, expansion expertise and resources of Oskar Blues with the strength of Cigar City’s local following to help both breweries strengthen their future position. Similarly to Oskar Blues, Cigar City’s award-winning brews are well known and respected within the craft community.
“Cigar City is facing next-level challenges and we needed to develop next-level skills and resources to meet them. But, we got into beer out of passion and an unwavering desire to travel our own path. We didn’t want to just shove our round peg into some f*cking square hole and hope for the best. Florida craft beer drinkers want something they can proudly stand behind. These guys get that. They wrote the book on keeping it real,” says Joey, founder of Cigar City Brewing. Joey will remain as CEO of Cigar City following the transaction.
Since 2009, Cigar City Brewing achieved a near constant growth pattern reaching nearly 60,000 barrels in 2015, placing the Tampa Bay area and the state of Florida on the craft beer map. The partnership will provide additional investment for Cigar City’s infrastructure growth within Florida.
“What Cigar City has done for the community of Florida craft beer is impressive. It’s important for our culture to do business with people we want to hang out with and Joey and the gang fit,” Dale Katechis, Soul Founder of Oskar Blues, stated about the new partnership.
Oskar Blues Brewery is the funky brewpub that started brewing beer in 1999 in the small town of Lyons, CO and is responsible for starting the craft beer in-a-can movement in 2002 with Dale’s Pale Ale. In 2008, the brewery expanded down the street to Longmont, CO. and added an additional brewery in Brevard, NC in 2012. Oskar Blues brewed 192,000 barrels in 2015 and announced another brewery in Austin, TX scheduled to open in May of 2016.
Terms of the acquisition are not disclosed.
Here’s a fun little video from Dogfish Head about pairing winter beers with seasonal food.
I know it’s a good thing when celebrities drink craft beer, because people tend to copy their behavior. So the more celeb’s drinking good beer, the more some people might pick it up, too. But I can’t help but find it a little sad, too. I just don’t find all the minutiae about famous people very interesting. It’s just not my thing, though I have friends and loved ones who feel otherwise, so I do tend to find out about these gossipy items anyway, sometimes whether I want to or not. Case in point, I just learned that actress Charlize Theron served Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA at her house in Los Angeles during the Super Bowl. And that’s great, don’t get me wrong. Charlize Theron was, at one time, on my list of five (married men will know what I’m talking about here) so I’m certainly glad to know she has good taste in beer.
The whole thing was captured in nauseating detail in the U.S. Showbiz section of the UK’s Daily Mail in an article titled — believe it or not — We’re in for a Super night: Charlize Theron hardly breaks a sweat as she carries a case of beer to a Super Bowl party. They have five, count ’em five, photos of Theron carrying the beer from her car to the house. The running commentary is hilariously absurd, though I couldn’t help but hear it in my head as if being read by Robin Leach from Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous.
To be fair, I’ve posted a photo of television celebrity Nathan Fillion drinking a Drake’s IPA through a curly straw, that my wife took during an L.A. Browncoats convention a few years ago, but somehow that seems different. Or maybe I’m just fooling myself. What I really wanted to know from the article is why she chose that beer, and how she and her guests enjoyed it. Now that I’d find far more interesting than how she managed to carry it a few feet without breaking a sweat.
- Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats
- Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
- Evolution Craft Brewing Company
- Fordham Brewing
- Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
- Old Dominion Brewing
- 16 Mile Brewing
- Stewart’s Brewing
- Twin Lakes Brewing
Delaware Brewery Guides
Guild: Delaware Craft Brewers Guild
State Agency: Delaware Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement
- Capital: Dover
- Largest Cities: Wilmington, Dover, Newark, Milford, Seaford
- Population: 783,600; 45th
- Area: 2489 sq.mi., 49th
- Nicknames: First State / Diamond State / Blue Hen State
- Statehood: 1st, December 7, 1787
- Alcohol Legalized: December 5, 1933
- Number of Breweries: 10
- Rank: 40th
- Beer Production: 723,426
- Production Rank: 44th
- Beer Per Capita: 25.7 Gallons
- Bottles: 35%
- Cans: 54.7%
- Kegs: 10%
- Per Gallon: $0.16
- Per Case: $0.35
- Tax Per Barrel (24/12 Case): $4.85
- Draught Tax Per Barrel (in Kegs): $4.85
Economic Impact (2010):
- From Brewing: $23,500,426
- Direct Impact: $189,852,007
- Supplier Impact: $71,835,338
- Induced Economic Impact: $124,430,536
- Total Impact: $386,117,881
- Control State: No
- Sale Hours: On Premises: 9 a.m.–1 a.m.
Off Premises: 9 a.m.–1 a.m. (Mon.–Sat.)
noon–8 p.m. (Sun.)Municipalities with a population over 50,000 persons may impose stricter hours of sale by local ordinance.
- Grocery Store Sales: No
- Notes: For off-premise consumption, alcohol may only be purchased in liquor stores, taprooms or brew pubs that have an off-premise license. No person under 21 may enter a liquor store or taproom for any reason even for the intent of purchasing only tobacco or lottery tickets. No sales of alcohol by liquor stores or taprooms are permitted during designated holidays.
Data complied, in part, from the Beer Institute’s Brewer’s Almanac 2010, Beer Serves America, the Brewers Association, Wikipedia and my World Factbook. If you see I’m missing a brewery link, please be so kind as to drop me a note or simply comment on this post. Thanks.
For the remaining states, see Brewing Links: United States.
In honor of the debut of Sam Calagione’s new Discovery Channel series, Brew Masters, Anat Baron (the director/writer/producer of Beer Wars) posted this short video of Sam and his Dogfish Head Craft Brewery that was originally shown at the “Alamo Draft House in April 2008 as part of the Dogfish Head Off-Centered Film Festival.” In the post, A Star Is Born, Anat reminisces about her first meeting Sam and working with him on her movie. Thanks for sharing, Anat.
One really fun event I attended during GABF this year, was the Brewer’s Feud, a beer-twisted version of the game show, the Family Feud, created by the Brewing Network. Instead of blood relatives, each side was made up of families of breweries. The first contest was east vs. west: 21st Amendment Brewery of San Francisco against the Iron Hill Brewpubs of Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It’s only about half an hour long, but great fun throughout. I won’t give away who wins, you’ll have to watch it to find out. Enjoy.
If you can’t see the video embedded here, try viewing it on Justin.TV.
Shaun O’Sullivan and Nico Freccia on stage for the Brewer’s Feud.
The new beer by Dogfish Head is described as “a bold, dark beer that’s a fusion of three threads imperial stout and one thread honey beer with gesho root, a gustatory analog to Miles’ masterpiece.” It also features the “the album’s iconic artwork, created by the late Mati Klarwein, on its label, Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew will be unveiled at Savor, An American Craft Beer & Food Experience tonight at the National Building Museum, Washington DC. The beer will be bottled in 750ml bottles and released through Dogfish’s distribution network in late August.
From the press release:
The newly created ale is designed, according to Dogfish founder and president Sam Calagione, “as the ultimate partner for chili or spicy curry chicken” and best enjoyed “sipped cool, not cold, from a snifter or red wine glass while listening to the Bitches Brew album.”
Calagione was drawn to the alchemical spirits in Bitches Brew right out of college, acquiring a copy of the album “within months of the first time I brewed a batch of homebrew in my apartment in New York City. I listened to it when I was writing my Dogfish business plan. I wanted Dogfish Head to be a maniacally inventive and creative brewery, analog beer for the digital age. You could say that my dream was to have Dogfish Head, in some small way, stand for the same thing in the beer world that Bitches Brew stands for in the jazz world. You can imagine how excited we are to be doing this project 17 years after I wrote that business plan.”
“There’s a spirit of innovation, of creativity and individuality, that’s at the core of Miles’ music,” said Adam Block, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Legacy Recordings. “Sam and Dogfish Head approach their art from the same place and consequently the marriage is an easy and cool one.”
Later this year, on August 31, an anniversary edition of the recording — two, actually: a Legacy Edition and a deluxe Collector’s Edition — will be released on CD.