The Brewers Association announced that craft breweries* produced 24.6 million barrels of beer in 2016, 6% more than in 2015. It was the smallest increase since 2008. Retail dollar sales grew 10% to $23.5 billion. Microbreweries and brewpubs delivered 90% of the growth.
“Small and independent brewers are operating in a new brewing reality still filled with opportunity, but within a much more competitive landscape,” BA economist Bart Watson said in a press release. “As the overall beer market remains static and the large global brewers lose volume, their strategy has been to focus on acquiring craft brewers. This has been a catalyst for slower growth for small and independent brewers and endangered consumer access to certain brands.”
Additionally, in 2016 the number of operating breweries in the U.S. grew 16.6%, totaling 5,301 breweries, broken down as follows: 3,132 microbreweries, 1,916 brewpubs, 186 regional craft breweries and 67 large or otherwise non-craft brewers. Small and independent breweries account for 99%t of the breweries in operation. Throughout the year, there were 826 new brewery openings and 97 closings. Combined with already existing and established breweries and brewpubs, craft brewers provided nearly 129,000 jobs, an increase of almost 7,000 from the previous year.
During on online press conference, Watson reminded reporters that 75% of the breweries in the country make less than 1,000 barrels annually. As the number of small breweries increases, he said, so does diversity of both business models and beers produced.
* The Brewers Association defines craft breweries as small, independent, and traditional. Some breweries once defined a craft no longer are, and the math behind the numbers can be complicated. Watson provides back ground in a post at the association website: Breaking down the craft beer numbers.
Sean Paxton, aka “The Homebrew Chef” joins me this week to discuss the pairing of beer and food and how he plans entire multi-course meals around various beers.
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Topics in This Week’s Episode (52:23)
- Today my guest is Sean Paxton, also known as “The Homebrew Chef”. Sean is a professional beer chef, author and runs a very nice food-beer pairing website at HomebrewChef.com. Sean joins me this week to discuss pairing food with beer.
- Sean tells us about some of his new projects including the building of his online cookbook/recipe site for beer at HomebrewChef.com
- We discuss the anatomy of a beer dinner and some recent examples Sean has been the chef for.
- Sean explains “The Paxton Project” which is a several year old Imperial Quad beer and how he got involved in the project with 10 barrel.
- We talk about his food pairing selection for an Imperial Quad (duck) and how he prepared that.
- Sean shares how he approaches pairing each course of the meal with beer
- We talk about how he tries to reflect the flavors in the beer rather than complementing them when building a meal.
- Sean shares why he likes to cook with beer and also the ingredients of the beer when building a meal.
- He shares his latest project – the online web site and offers a special code ‘beersmith’ you can use at HomebrewChef.com to get a discount on memberships.
- Sean provides his closing thoughts.
Thanks to Sean Paxton for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.
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Steady Growth for Small and Independent Brewers – Brewers Association Releases 2016 Statistics for Craft Category
(Boulder, CO) — The Brewers Association (BA)—the trade association representing small and independent (1) American craft brewers—today released 2016 data on U.S. craft brewing (2) growth. With over 5,300 breweries operating during the year, small and independent craft brewers represent 12.3 percent market share by volume of the overall beer industry.
In 2016, craft brewers produced 24.6 million barrels, and saw a 6 percent rise in volume (3) on a comparable base and a 10 percent increase in retail dollar value. Retail dollar value was estimated at $23.5 billion, representing 21.9 percent market share. By adding 1.4 million barrels, craft brewer growth outpaced the 1.2 million barrels lost from the craft segment, based on purchases by large brewing companies. Microbreweries and brewpubs delivered 90 percent of the craft brewer growth.
“Small and independent brewers are operating in a new brewing reality still filled with opportunity, but within a much more competitive landscape,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “As the overall beer market remains static and the large global brewers lose volume, their strategy has been to focus on acquiring craft brewers. This has been a catalyst for slower growth for small and independent brewers and endangered consumer access to certain brands. Small and independent brewers were able to fill in the barrels lost to acquisitions and show steady growth but at a rate more reflective of today’s industry dynamics. The average brewer is getting smaller and growth is more diffuse within the craft category, with producers at the tail helping to drive growth for the overall segment.”
Additionally, in 2016 the number of operating breweries in the U.S. grew 16.6 percent, totaling 5,301 breweries, broken down as follows: 3,132 microbreweries, 1,916 brewpubs, 186 regional craft breweries and 67 large or otherwise non-craft brewers. Small and independent breweries account for 99 percent of the breweries in operation. Throughout the year, there were 826 new brewery openings and only 97 closings. Combined with already existing and established breweries and brewpubs, craft brewers provided nearly 129,000 jobs, an increase of almost 7,000 from the previous year.
Note: Numbers are preliminary. For additional insights from Bart Watson, visit “Breaking Down the Craft Growth Numbers” on the Brewers Association website. A more extensive analysis will be released during the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® in Washington, D.C. from April 10-13. The full 2016 industry analysis will be published in the May/June 2017 issue of The New Brewer, highlighting regional trends and production by individual breweries.
(1) – An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.
(2) – Absolute figures reflect the dynamic craft brewer data set as specified by the craft brewer definition. Growth numbers are presented on a comparable base. For full methodology, see the Brewers Association website.
(3) – Volume by craft brewers represent total taxable production.
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(Fort Bragg, CA) – Just announced by North Coast Brewing Co. in the company’s email newsletter. More below.
Introducing Our New Seasonal Sour Beers!
North Coast Brewing Co. has embraced the centuries old Berliner Weisse style, debuting a new, special release brew this week.
Just in time for the season, Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse is soured using traditional spontaneous lactic fermentation and infused with the juice of Montmorency cherries sourced from orchards in central Michigan.
We just had to put it in a clear bottle to show off its springtime blush!
“Champagne of the North”
The late author & leading authority on beer Michael Jackson described “Berlin White Beer” – known to Napoleon’s troops as “The Champagne of the North” – as having an “insistent sparkle, a fragrant fruitiness in the nose, a sharp, dry palate, and a frisson of quenching, sour acidity in the finish.”
Look for North Coast Brewing Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse at better beer stores near you.
And stay tuned for our summer and fall Berliner Weisse style releases, Peach-Passionfruit and Cranberry-Quince!
(Salt Lake City, UT) – Epic Brewing’s mad fermentationists are at it again, and this time their evil plan is to sour your spring!
They have been plotting with their “bugs” all winter and starting this April they will unleash four sour beers in 40 days. Three of the four will come from the Oak and Orchard Series, and one is the return of the Sour Brainless On Peaches, our most ruthless version of this beer yet!
Oak and Orchard Syrah, Release No. 2, ~8.5% ABV, 661 cases- This time around we went with a little less funk and a lot more fruit. We loaded one of our Napa Valley foeders with our sour saison and so much blueberry, boysenberry and black currant that it was practically bursting at the seams, resulting in a beer that explodes with huge, fruity, wine-like notes. Available starting the first week of April with a release in Salt Lake City on April 14.
Oak and Orchard Dark Sour with Plum, Release No. 2, 654 cases, ~7.5% ABV – The second packaging of this trip to the dark side is finally being released beyond the breweries’ walls. This Dark Sour has spent most of it life brooding in retired whiskey barrels before being finished with plum puree. Aromas of dark fruit, plum and fig fade into faint notes of earthy funk. Hitting markets around the country the second week of April.
Oak and Orchard Pinot, Release No. 2, 650 cases, ~8.5% ABV – this is the second release of this extremely limited sour. This sour saison was fruited to mimic Pinot Noir (with blueberry, boysenberry, cranberry strawberry, plum) and aged in oak for months until it reached the peak of puckering perfection. Available at the end of April.
Sour Brainless on Peaches, Release No. 3, 800 cases, ~7.5% ABV – She smells like a peach, but packs a cruel, puckering punch! This is our most sour version of this beer yet, but it still retains beautiful notes of peach skin, citrus and a dose of barnyard funk. Available in the beginning of May.
We also have big news! We have added another two foeders to the family, which brings it to a total of 14 vessels and more than 1,000 BBL of total foeder capacity. When combined with the 3000-plus individual oak casks in our barrel-aging warehouses that makes us one of the largest wood-aged beer producers in the West. These new, 68 BBL wooden beasts were recently retired from Heitz Cellars in Napa Valley. This all means larger and more frequent releases of these unique beers are on their way!
Epic Brewing Company, LLC was opened in May of 2010 in Salt Lake City and expanded to Colorado in 2013. Epic is known for its passion for style and currently offers over 40 distinctly different beers. Epic is distributed in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia & Washington D.C., Washington, Wisconsin & Wyoming.
(Tampa, FL & Asheville, NC) – Tampa, Florida’s Cigar City Brewing is proud to announce the addition of North Carolina to the brewery’s distribution network. This is the second new state to receive deliveries of Cigar City Brewing’s award-winning beer in over four years. CCB will be partnering with numerous distribution partners to cover the state including Skyland Distributing Co., United Beverages of North Carolina, R.H. Barringer Distributing Company, Long Beverage Inc., Carolina Distributing LLC, Healy Wholesale Co Inc., Atlantic Shores Distributors, Coastal Beverage Co. and City Beverage Co Inc. Twelve ounce cans of Jai Alai IPA, Maduro Brown Ale, Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale, Invasion Pale Ale and Tampa-style Lager can currently be found in this new market with draft beer to follow shortly behind.
Market launch events will be taking place across North Carolina from March 21st thru March 29th with numerous Cigar City Brewing representatives present, including Cigar City Brewing’s El Lector Neil Callaghan and Brand Manager Lucas Widrick. These events will be incredible opportunities for North Carolina’s craft beer fans to enjoy some of the first CCB beer to be shipped to the state and to learn about Cigar City Brewing’s brand and it’s award winning beer from the people who know it best.
Cigar City Brewing’s official North Carolina Launch Party will be taking place at Oskar Blues’ Tasty Weasel Taproom in Brevard on Saturday, March 25th beginning at noon. This event will feature specialty Cigar City Brewing taps, a Jai Alai-infused food special from the Oskar Blues CHUBwagon food truck and live music from South Carolina rockers The Excons from 6-8pm.
Cigar City Brewing’s beer, including award-winning Jai Alai IPA, is now available in eight states encompassing Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Tennessee and North Carolina. Cigar City Brewing’s ales and lagers are also exported to the country of Denmark.
Cigar City Brewing’s North Carolina Launch Events
Week of 3/20 – Brevard
3/25: Launch party at Oskar Blues Brewery’s Tasty Weasel Taproom in Brevard
Week of 3/27 – Asheville
3/27: Barley’s (Asheville)
3/28: Creekside Tavern
3/29: Black Rose (Hendersonville)
Week of 3/27 – Charlotte
3/28: Brawley’s Beverage
3/29: Duckworth’s (Huntersville)
3/30: Pub Crawl — Harris Teeter #11, Growler USA, Kit’s Trackside Craft, The Fillmore Charlotte (for The Flaming Lips show)
Visit Cigar City Brewing’s website [www.cigarcitybrewing.com] to find the CCB beer closest to you.
About Cigar City Brewing:
Cigar City Brewing, makers of Jai Alai and Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, was founded in 2009 by Joey Redner with the goal of creating quality beer that reflected the flavors and history of the Tampa region. This unique perspective resonated with the local and national markets alike and the brewery has quickly grown from 1,000 barrels of beer in 2009 to an excess of 65,000 barrels produced in 2016. The 2016 partnership with Oskar Blues of Lyons, Colorado ushered in a new era of growth for this Florida-based organization, with new markets and technologies on the horizon.
Fegley’s Brew Works will release their long-awaited specialty stout and host their annual Chocolate Festival in April 2017
(Allentown, PA) – Fegley’s Brew Works, an award-winning brewery and restaurant serving craft beer, has released their Bourbon Barrel Imperial Coffee Stout for online pre-order on April 2nd. Then, on April 22nd, their annual Chocolate Festival will take place at Fegley’s Allentown Brew Works.
Brewed with 160 pounds of coffee and aged in freshly dumped Woodford Reserve barrels, Fegley’s latest beer release is a stout lover’s dream. You can expect to taste a dark, silky-smooth espresso coffee flavor with a bourbon kick that finishes with a satisfying warmth from the 13% ABV. A limited amount of this beer is currently available for online pre-orders, for in store pickup only on April 2nd.
If you are interested in reviewing the beer prior to the launch on April 2nd, please contact us.
For those who have a sweet tooth, Fegley’s Chocolate Festival will take place on April 22nd, 2017 at Fegley’s Allentown Brew Works. Attendees can sample chocolate creations from a chocolate-centric menu featuring Chocolate Mousse Shooters, Chocolate Porter Brownies, Chocolate Dipped Bacon and Chocolate Truffles. There will also be a Chocolate bar featuring chocolate liqueurs and cordials, Chocolate wines, Chocolate beer from local and national breweries.
Tickets to Fegley’s Chocolate Festival are available online for $30, a limited amount will be available at the door for $35.
About Fegley’s Brew Works:
Fegley’s Brew Works includes two environmentally conscious award-winning breweries and restaurants located in the Lehigh Valley. Family owned and operated since 1998, Fegley’s serves craft microbrews and sustainable, locally sourced foods powered by 42-Kilowatt solar array and 100% green energy sources, Fegley’s proudly anchors Allentown and Bethlehem with multilevel restaurants, outdoor dining, festivals, banquets, and events. To learn more about Fegley’s Brew Works, visit http://thebrewworks.com/.
Dunkel Bock brewed with chestnut flour will be on draft at all six Barcade locations, starting with an exclusive Sly Fox multi-tap event in Philadelphia
(Philadelphia, PA) – On Thursday, April 6, at 4 p.m. Sly Fox Brewing Company will debut Chest Bockwell, a German-style lager brewed with real chestnuts, at Barcade (1114 Frankford Avenue) in Philadelphia’s popular Fishtown neighborhood. Chest Bockwell, affectionately named after John C. Reilly’s fictional crime-fighting character in the movie Boogie Nights, is a traditional Dunkel Bock, with chestnut flour added to the mash, drawing on rich Vienna, Munich, caramel and roasted malts from Bavaria for a toasted flavor profile.
Barcade’s management staff visited Sly Fox in Pottstown, PA on February 8 to brew this special collaboration beer weighing in at 7.4% ABV; originally, they wanted to use whole chestnuts in the mash – until Sly Fox head brewer Brian O’Reilly warned of “evil forces” being locked inside the chestnuts. The two sides compromised and used chestnut flour, perfectly balancing the sweet and savory nuisances of the delicate fruit.
“Barcade has been a champion of craft beer for more than a decade, way before craft beer was cool, and brewing a beer for them is an honor,” says O’Reilly. “When we started discussing the brew with the group, the idea of a Chestnut Bock stuck out to me. It was a challenge bringing an unusual ingredient like chestnuts into such a traditional style, and I am proud to say we pulled it off. The chestnut flour really added an interesting depth to this malt-forward beer in a balanced and delicious way.”
In addition to Chest Bockwell, Barcade will be pouring a slew of Sly Fox drafts at the release party, including: 360 IPA, Helles Lager, Ichor, Odyssey, O’Reilly Stout, Phoenix Pale Ale, Pikeland Pils, Royal Weisse, Route 113 IPA and Saison VOS. Chest Bockwell will be available at all six Barcade locations throughout the region (Philadelphia, PA; Jersey City, NJ; Chelsea, NY; St. Mark’s, NY; Brooklyn, NY and New Haven, CT).
“We’re very happy to announce this collaborative beer, Chest Bockwell,” says Barcade President & CEO Paul Kermizian. “We have been great fans of Sly Fox for years, and have been talking about working on an exclusive with them for some time. We really enjoy traditional German-style lagers, but also beers with unusual ingredients. Here, we balanced those conflicting interests and developed a truly flavorful beer.”
Sly Fox is the latest craft brewery to collaborate with Barcade’s extremely limited one-off series, a project dating back to 2010. Over the years, Barcade has proudly served the following beers as part of their series (click here for complete list): Shmaltz Pastrami Pils, Captain Lawrence Simpsons Did It! IPA, Smuttynose Coily, Greenport Harbor Goth Logger, Climax Barcade Anniversary Abbey, Fisherman’s Pepper II, Captain Lawrence Black and White IPA, Victory Fall Bockwards, Harpoon Sriracha Blonde, Fisherman’s Clam Porter, Climax Bavarian Dark, as well as beers from the Sixpoint-Barcade Beer Project.
About Sly Fox Brewing Company…Since their inaugural brew in 1995, Sly Fox has crafted more than 100 different top-notch craft beers. Their critically acclaimed year-round line-up and highly anticipated seasonals are available in their brewpubs in Phoenixville and Pottstown, as well as top bars and restaurants in PA, CT, NJ, NY, MD, VA and Washington, DC. They were the first craft brewery in the mid-Atlantic to put in a canning line, adding it to their facility in 2006, and with it, earned the first-ever Great American Beer Festival (GABF) medal awarded to a canned craft beer, in 2007. They have earned GABF medals virtually every year since, and are widely recognized as among the region’s best and most enduring craft breweries.
(Houston, TX) – Saint Arnold Brewing Co. fans will be able to have their dessert and drink it too, with the newest Bishop’s Barrel release next week.
Bishop’s Barrel No. 17 is an Adambier aged in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels for 11 months. The Adambier was previously released as Divine Reserve No. 16 last year. The brew pours a brownish color with ruby highlights. It is a slightly hazy beer with pronounced toffee and honey aromas, and chocolate when it’s cold. The smoke from the base beer is subtle, and as it warms up, it becomes more in balance with the rest of the flavors. The wood character blends well with the smoked malt.
The whiskey plays the supporting role in this beer. At first sip, the honey and chocolate are well balanced, with the whiskey finishing it off. The smoke provides just enough to balance the sweetness. This is the tenth Bishop’s Barrel series beer to age in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels from Versailles, Kentucky.
“Bishop’s Barrel No. 17 pairs perfectly with a bar of chocolate smothered in toffee and honey, next to the fire while wearing your finest velvet smoking jacket,” said Brewery Wood Cellar Manager Aaron Inkrott.
The Bishop’s Barrel series began in 2012 with an Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels. The barrels for this series have been chosen to enhance and complement the characteristics of the underlying beers. The beers may be something brewed regularly or may have been brewed solely for the purpose of putting into a barrel. Aging times can range from a few months to well over a year.
While these beers can be aged, they have done a fair amount of aging in the barrels and are designed to be enjoyed soon after bottling. If you are going to age these beers, it is best done in a refrigerator, not at room temperature. Upcoming Bishop’s Barrel brews include an Oat Wine aged in WhistlePig rye whiskey barrels and Christmas Ale aged in Chardonnay barrels with brettanomyces.
Bishop’s Barrel No. 17 Specifications:
Date Brewed: February 4, 2016
Date Barreled: March 10, 2016
Date Bottled: February 16, 2017
Type of Barrel: Woodford Reserve bourbon barrel
Original Gravity: 1.100
Final Gravity: 1.023
Alcohol: 10% ABV (pre-barrel) 13.2% ABV (post-barrel)
Bitterness: 30 IBU
Image available for download:
The following events are planned for the release of Bishop’s Barrel No. 17:
Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel No. 17 Release and Divine Reserve No. 16 at Hop Scholar, Spring, Monday, March 27 at 3PM
Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel No. 17, Raspberry AF, Icon Green – El Dorado IPA and Pub Crawl Pale Ale Tap Takeover at Valhalla, Monday, March 27 at 4PM
Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel No. 17 Release and Movie Night featuring Life of Pi at Axelrad, Houston, Monday, March 27 at 7PM.
Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel No. 17 at Beer Market Co., Wednesday, March 29 at 5PM
Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel No. 17 and Divine Reserve No. 16 side-by-side with Brewery Wood Cellar Manager Aaron Inkrott at Spec’s Smith St., Wednesday, March 29 at 6:30PM
Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel No. 17 and Divine Reserve No. 16 side-by-side at Hops Meet Barley, Thursday, March 30 at 7PM
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About Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Saint Arnold Brewing’s 11 year-round beers, seven seasonals and three special series – Divine Reserve, Icon and Bishop’s Barrel – are made and sold by the company’s staff of 80 dedicated employees. Saint Arnold beers have won 21 medals at the Great American Beer Festival. The brewery on the north side of downtown Houston was listed by Thrillist among the best breweries in America for eating, and Smart Meetings magazine named it among the top breweries to host an event. Saint Arnold is located at 2000 Lyons Avenue and its beer hall open at 11 A.M. Monday through Saturday. For more information, visit www.saintarnold.com.