Latest News & Events – Spring 2017

Latest News & Events – Spring 2017

Wider Distribution:

We’ve been working hard with our distributors to bring our quality meads to both Florida and Georgia. In Florida, you can now find our meads at finer vendors from the Panhandle right straight down to the Florida Keys. Of course, our flagship Key Lime Pie mead is a popular and natural fit to our region. With the help of Cavalier (Florida) and R&R Beverage (Georgia), our meads are reaching a thirsty market in bottles and on draft. If you’re interested in trying our meads, please click on this Where to Buy link to find a craft mead vendor near you.

New Meads:

Blueberry MeadNew meads this spring include our limited production fresh blueberry mead Lusca. Lusca has been aged for a few months with Caribbean dark rum infused French oak staves. This is a limited production mead with a very short availability time (mead whale) which we enjoy producing when the fresh blueberry crop comes in during the winter and early spring.

Tangerine DweebNext, we have our new hydromels on deck. What the heck is a hydromel you ask? Of European origin, a hydromel is a lower alcohol mead made with water (hydro) and honey (mel). Hydromels are easy drinking session meads that you can drink with less alcohol than a standard strength meads. They’re perfect for the hot spring and summer temperatures in the extreme southeast and will be available on draft and in twelve ounce bottles. The first hydromel we’re bringing to market is a Tangerine Ginger mead and the second is a Pineapple Mango mead. We will add them to our mead portfolio when they go on the market.

Special Events:

Riverside Craft Beer Festival:  Saturday, February 25th at 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 715 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville, FL. Located under the Fuller-Warren bridge at the Riverside Arts Market location, our mead will be available along with over 100 other brands on draft. Ticket price includes beer samples, live music from Grandpa’s Cough Medicine and food provided by Jacksonville’s finest food trucks (food not included in ticket price). This is a charity event with tickets available here. All proceeds will benefit: Community PedsCare® a nationally recognized program of Community Hospice which provides comfort, care, and support for children with life-threatening conditions, as well as the charitable causes of the Riverside Rotary Foundation.

Gastrofest 2017: Saturday, March 18, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Hemming Park Plaza, Jacksonville, FL. Gastrofest is Jacksonville’s premiere showcase of regional cuisine and beverages. Here, you will find a large assortment of tasty morsels and refreshing drinks to celebrate the tastes of the town. Educational classes for making your own fantastic treats and live music that will bring the house down, join us rain or shine in the park.  Admission is free but if you want to partake, cash is king. Don’t forget to hit up your local ATM for some folding money as vendors won’t accept credit cards.

Jacksonville Meadery Harris Meadery launches into the local market.

Jacksonville Meadery Harris Meadery launches into the local market.

Jacksonville Meadery: Harris Meadery in Business!

Jacksonville MeaderyOn Wednesday, August 24th from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Alewife Craft Beer Bottle Shop & Tasting Room will be tapping the first keg of mead commercially produced by Harris Meadery along the First Coast of Jacksonville, Florida. Harris Meadery is an independent, locally owned and operated meadery located in Orange Park. We hand craft our premium meads using locally sourced honey and support local farming whenever possible. We are proud to offer keg pours and large bottles of our famous Key Lime Pie Mead for your drinking pleasure. This premium sparkling honey wine is made with all of the ingredients you’d find in a delicious slice of Key Lime Pie and pairs well with seafood, Southern and Caribbean cuisine. At 12.5% Alcohol By Volume, please consume this adult beverage responsibly.

How can I try some?

key lime pie meadWe have bottles available for you to take home and try. A limited release of 750 ml. bottles of Key Lime Pie Mead are being sold during our initial launch in the Jacksonville, FL region as well as the Atlanta, GA market. You can see an updated list of our vendors in both markets by clicking here. If you would like to see our premium meads in your area, please request Harris Meadery meads through your local restaurant, bar, bottle shop, grocery store or wherever fine alcoholic beverages are sold.

Any other Events?

You bet! We will be having tastings and events all over Jacksonville. The best way to keep track of where we will be serving our meads next would be to follow us on social media. Please click on any one of our social media links and follow/subscribe to Harris Meadery for our latest happenings.

Do you have a tap room?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a tap room. As a true cottage business just getting off the ground, we have arranged with our town to have a production only building on our property. What this means is, we are allowed to manufacture our premium honey wines but we are not allowed to let anyone purchase nor consume our meads on the premises. Therefore, we invite you to search for our meads at the many fine vendors in the Jacksonville and Atlanta regional areas.

Harris Meadery Spring Update 2016

Harris Meadery Spring Update 2016

Spring Update: Where’s the Mead?

Here’s the latest news about Harris Meadery in our Spring Update for 2016. Good news folks, our brand new meadery has finished it’s construction. Located in Orange Park, our new meadery is a 900 square foot production only facility. This is where we will begin producing our flagship mead, Harris Meadery’s Key Lime Pie mead. Our Key Lime Pie honey wine is an award winning carbonated, dessert quality sweet mead and has been quite popular with mead beginners and experts alike. We will be packaging our meads in kegs and 750 ml. champagne bottles for your enjoyment. Expect to start seeing our meads this summer. Our meads will be found in finer bars, restaurants and bottle shops around town. Ask for us by name, and if you are a vendor looking for a quality local mead made from regionally sourced ingredients (whenever possible), please reach out to us.

Can we come visit the meadery?

Spring UpdateAs we are a production only facility, we do not currently offer a tap room. Visits to our meadery are strictly by appointment only.  Please know that while we love showing you around the meadery, we are such a small company that we would actually have to stop production in order to accommodate a tour. To avoid production down time, we need to schedule outside visitors to our meadery when it’s convenient to do so and won’t negatively impact our operations. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please click on this contact us link and we will get in touch with you to schedule a time for you to visit.  Please don’t assume you’re the exception to the rule and show up on our doorstep unannounced. You will be turned away. Please don’t test us on this. We have bee hives and we know how to use them!

Where can I try your mead?

Spring updates about a new meadery are always exciting times. We will be offering free mead tastings to our friends and local mead lovers throughout the year. Please visit our page often to learn more about where we’ll be raising our brand awareness by serving up our meads, or you can follow us on social media via the links on the left of this page. Once we have selected our distributor and our products reach the market, we will post a “find our mead” tab to the website. A launch party or two are also in the works. Please check back often for updates!

Fall Update: Harris Meadery Jacksonville FL

Fall Update: Harris Meadery Jacksonville FL

Let’s have an awesome fall, ya’ll.

Fall is finally here, and Harris Meadery is ready to pour samples for all of our friends. While we are currently involved in building the new meadery and working through the state and federal licensing process to bring our meads to a vendor or retailer near you, we are limited in our options to introduce you to our meads. We are allowed to give away limited amounts of our meads for free at organized events, tastings and contests but we are not allowed to sell it… yet. So, we’ve decided that our best course of action is to donate our time and meads to support great local causes, charity events and contests which not only raise awareness for the meads we make, but give assistance to organizations with causes we believe in. Here are a few of the organized events this fall where we will be giving away our meads.

Farm to Jax dinner

farm to jax dinnerThe Farm to Jax dinner is a fundraising event for non-profit community groups in the Springfield and San Marco areas of Jacksonville. All proceeds for this dinner are being donated in support of noble causes such as the Laura Street Community Farm Project. The Farm to Jax dinner is being hosted by the Kitchen on San Marco starting at 6:00 pm on Saturday, October 3rd, 2015. The Kitchen on San Marco is located at 1402 San Marco Blvd. The Farm to Jax dinner is a ticketed event, and you may purchase tickets by clicking here.

The Green Lion festival

Green Lion FestivalThe second annual Green Lion festival is a gathering of green initiatives, organizations, civic groups and businesses along the first coast. Sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council’s North Florida chapter, you will find groups such as the St. John’s Riverkeepers, Eco Relics, local artists, locally sourced food & beverage vendors and so much more. Last year’s festival was hosted by Aardwolf Brewing on their grounds and parking lot. The 2015 Green Lion Festival has grown to not only include Aardwolf Brewing, but also a small section of Hendrix Avenue for a true street festival. The 2015 Green Lion Festival will be held on Saturday, October 17th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm in the vicinity of Aardwolf Brewing (1461 Hendrix Ave.). Entrance into the event is free. Bring the whole family.

I can’t make it to these events, when can we buy your mead?

We’ve broken ground on our new meadery in Orange Park, Florida. God willing and if the creek don’t rise, we should be wrapping up construction on the new building by the end of the year. Once the building is complete, we can go ahead and have the building inspected and complete the licensing process. We anticipate being able to produce our first line of melomel meads (fruit meads) in the spring of 2016. At that time, our distributor will begin delivering our mead in bottles and kegs around the local Jacksonville market. All good meads require time and patience and we sincerely thank you for yours!

Craft Brewing Update (5/15/2015)

Craft Brewing Update (5/15/2015)

Things happen fast in the craft brewing world. Click here If you missed our last update. Here’s the latest weekly Craft Brewing Update on what’s happening in our region and the craft brewing scuttlebutt and goings on around the country:

Florida/Regional

Jacksonville Craft and Import Beer Festival:

Jacksonville craft and import beer festivalJacksonville, FL: The Jacksonville Craft and Import Beer Festival is today, Friday May 15th, 2015. The festival runs from 6:00pm to 9:00pm for general admission at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Featuring over 40 breweries serving approximately 350 different and unique beers and local food vendors, patrons are given a tasting glass and given the opportunity to sample some of the best craft and import beers in the United States today. Admission to the event cost $45 for general admission tickets and $60 for VIP tickets. For the VIP perks, you’re granted an extra two hours of access to the event (an hour before and an hour after, 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm), access to the exclusive VIP lounge pouring special beers and access to exclusive food vendors. Always a good time on a Friday night, if you’d like something to do in Jacksonville tonight and love love love craft beer, this is it. Click here to purchase tickets and see more information.

National

green man maceoGreen Man Brewing bottling Maceo.

Asheville, NC:  Winner of the coolest brewery logo in all of (h)asheville, Green Man Brewing company is currently bottling up their latest Barrel Aged sour called Maceo. Maceo will be for sale on May 24th at 2:00 pm at the brewery tap room. Mmmm, summer sours… Tis the season.

De Garde Brewing special release party schedule announced!

Tillamok, OR: De Garde Brewing has released the dates for it’s upcoming release parties for the next rounds of De Garde beers. These two dates are August 29, 2015 and November 21st, 2015. More details about what will be released for each event will be forthcoming. Typically, De Garde does an online reservation system for bottle sales in which you have until the following release to pick up your bottles. Stay tuned to find out more.

Kane Brewing launching their new canning line for fall.

Ocean Township, NJ: Bringing further proof that East Coast IPA’s are second to none, Kane Brewing will be bringing it’s famous Head High IPA to distribution in 16 oz. cans this fall. Head High IPA is their flagship East Coast style IPA filled with mighty amounts of hops and a heap of grain juice to balance out the goodness that is hops. Look for Head High IPA to start hitting the shelves sometime in the early fall of 2015. If you like IPA’s, you want this beer.

Toppling Goliath bottles King Sue.

king sue IPADecora, IA: Toppling Goliath brewing is currently bottling up King Sue for release. King Sue is Toppling Goliath’s Imperial IPA that’s usually quite good when it’s fresh. I really like the people that run Toppling Goliath and they’ve always been approachable when i’ve run into them during Florida beer events. I hope that their latest batch of King Sue helps them overcome some consistency issues but the reviews from the locals I know near their tap room say this batch is on the money. Don’t wait, buy now.

On Our Radar:

  • Jester King: Jester King will begin selling Funk Metal today at 4:00 pm at the tap room. Limit 2 bottles per day.
  • Pizza Boy: Pizza Boy has released 3 sours, Black Sour, Raspberry Sour & Blackberry Sour. Beg your PA friends.
  • Cigar City: Three “keg only” beers released, Pour Over Brown, Grand Dix Ale & Outskirts BA Imperial Porter.
  • Clown Shoes: Josh the Revelator coming to Texas, and only Texas. Fuck you Texas.
  • Surly & Amager: Todd the Axeman IPA is coming to 16 ounce cans. Should be good.
  • Green Bench: Florida Poster Girls wild fermented ale available today at the tap room reach in.
Harris Meadery supports local Craft!

Harris Meadery supports local Craft!

Harris Meadery Supports the Jax Beer Society

Jacksonville MeadOrange Park, FL: Harris Meadery has announced it’s launch during the first brewer sponsored event of the Jax Beer Society. The event was held from 6:00 pm through 9:00 pm at Brewer’s Pizza located at 14-B Blanding Blvd. in Orange Park. As a special perk for signing up for membership in the Jax Beer Society, patrons were granted a free taste of local Florida mead including our wonderful melomels such as our award winning Key Lime Pie mead as well as our new Strawberry Key Lime Pie mead and Cherry Raspberry Currant mead. Our whole crew was on hand to answer questions about what it takes to start up a new meadery in Florida and what our future plans are for establishing our business.

What the heck is mead anyway?

Mead VikingMaybe you’ve heard about it but never have really known what mead is. You’ve seen it featured in television (ahem, Game of Thrones, ahem), seen it in movies or maybe considered it some sort of exotic, mysterious beverage that’s consumed by the gallon by Vikings before laying siege to the rest of the world. Mead is quite simply an alcoholic beverage where the majority of the fermentable sugar content is honey based. Honey + Water + Yeast = alcohol. It’s the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage with it’s earliest origins dating from the African continent from 8,000 b.c., likely from a spontaneous fermentation where a honey bee hive was flooded with rainwater. Well, somebody decided to taste that wildly fermented honey mead and the rest is history. The oldest archaeological fragments of purposeful mead production date from 6,500 b.c. in Northern China. In Europe, mead has been made since at least 2,800 b.c. and was considered the favorite drink from Ancient Wales in the west to Japan in the east, Scandinavia and Russia in the north to the southern tips of Africa, India and Indo-China.

What does mead taste like?

Just because mead has a honey base, doesn’t necessarily mean that it tastes like a spoonful of sue bee honey. Mead can be very dry like a dry beer, semi-dry like a white wine or sweet like a dessert wine. Mead comes in three standard strength levels which have to do with how much alcohol is in them:

  1. Hydromel: More water than honey. These are “sessionable” meads that are generally between 3% and 6% alcohol by volume (ABV). The alcohol level here is comparable with the majority of craft ales and lagers.
  2. Standard: Equal parts honey & water: These are average mead strengths in the 7%-14% ABV range. They pack about the same amount of punch as an Imperial ale or a glass of red wine.
  3. Sack: More honey than water. Sack meads are strong alcohol meads in ranges from 15%-20% ABV. These are generally strong drinking meads that are best sipped and savored in small servings and are close to being comparable with a shot of fortified wine or liquor without the fortification or distillation.

Now that we have strength out of the way and have investigated the gamut of dry to sweet meads, here’s a list of the most common varieties of meads and what flavors you can expect:

  • Melomel: A Melomel is a catch-all name for any mead flavored with fruit. Strawberry mead, peach mead, citrus mead and prickly pear mead are all examples of Melomels.
  • Cyser: A mead made from Apples.
  • Braggot: A mead made with added grains, like barley malt, rye or oats.
  • Methlegin: A catch-all name for meads made with spices, like cinnamon, star anise, hops or vanilla.
  • Pyment: A mead made with grapes.
  • Bochet: A mead made with burnt honey, giving it a marshmallow flavor.

So, meads can taste a lot like honey, or just about anything that has flavor that you can mix into it. They can taste like beers, wines, or something completely different from both. I like to think about meads as an intermediary between the flavors of a beer and wine.

Mead sounds pretty cool, when/where can I try some?

Florida MeadAt Harris Meadery, we’re working hard on our federal and state licensing requirements at this time. If everything goes as planned, we will begin contract brewing our meads at Pinglehead Brewing in Orange Park by the end of 2015. At that time, we will be offering our meads into distribution for retail sale all around the north Florida area. Until then, under the Federal Homebrew Law of 1974, we’re obligated to give away everything that we’re brewing for free. Please watch this website or click one of our social media links to the left of this post to see where we will be serving up our meads next (especially Facebook). Rock on mead drinkers. Rock on.

Craft Brewing Update (5/1/2015)

Craft Brewing Update (5/1/2015)

Things happen fast in the craft brewing world. Click here If you missed last week’s update. Here’s the latest weekly Craft Brewing Update on what’s happening in our region and the craft brewing scuttlebutt and goings on around the country:

Florida Regional:

Green Room Brewing’s Tequila Barrel Aged Quetzalcoatl

green room brewingJacksonville Beach, FL: Green Room brewing is releasing it’s much coveted Tequila Barrel Aged Quetzalcoatl today, Friday the 1st of May, 2015 and tomorrow, Saturday the 2nd of May, 2015. Quetzalcoatl is an Imperial Red ale brewed with cassava root, chiles, vanilla and cocoa nibs. This marks the second year that Green Room has released a tequila barrel aged version of Quetzalcoatl and it’s absolutely the best tequila barrel aged beer this author has ever tried. With a limited bottle release of approximately 200 750ml bottles, expect this beer to go fast. Green Room’s mug club members have the opportunity to purchase their bottles tonight while general sales to the public begin tomorrow (Saturday) at 12:00 pm. Last year’s price was $15.00 a bottle and this year’s price should be in that $15-$20 range. With such a limited bottle amount, you might want to line up early for this one. Click here to get Green Room Brewing’s details/address.

Cigar City, So Hot Right Now…

Beer named sueTampa, FL:  Cigar City Brewing has released another El Catador perk for El Cat 2.0, T-Shirts. There’s a pre-order for the latest designs of El Catador 2.0 t-shirts and work shirts right now through May 12th on the main Cigar City Brewing website. Cigar City’s latest beverage releases include:

  • Cigar City Cider & Wine’s Orange Blossom Mead. A semi-sweet 100% orange blossom mead that’s 13% abv.
  • Cigar City’s Jolly Ollie IPA, a 7.8% fresh hopped IPA.
  • Cigar City’s A Beer Named Sue commemorative prickly pear Florida-weisse (releasing today). Brewed in collaboration with Cycle Brewing, J Wakefield Brewing and 7th Sun Brewing to commemorate the life of Tampa beer icon Sue Muntner.

Veterans United Brewing Hop Banshee hits distro!

veterans united brewingJacksonville, FL: Veteran’s United brewing in Jacksonville, FL has released it’s new IPA, Hop Banshee, to distribution. Hop Banshee is available in 12 ounce cans and in six packs. Hop Banshee is a West Coast Style American IPA made with four C-hops (Cascade, Centennial, Chinook & Columbus). At 6.5% abv and a generous golden malt structure to support the 66 IBU’s, Hop Banshee is a delight for the hops obsessed. Ask for Hop Banshee at a quality store, restaurant or bottle shop near you.

National Brewing News:

Sun King Afternoon Delight, it certainly is…

Sun King BrewingIndianapolis, IN: Sun King Brewing has released it’s next beer in it’s reserve series: Sun King Afternoon Delight. Sun King Afternoon Delight is a Bourbon Barrel Aged Doppelbock. This beer was a winner at GABF in 2013 in the wood and barrel aged strong beer category and a gold medal winner in 2012 & 2013 for the barrel aged classic style category in the Festival of Barrel Aged Beer. Available in 2 packs @ $22.50 per pack, this beer is definitely one that’s worth acquiring. I’ve had the pleasure of trying some of Sun King’s beers. You want this. The beer was released yesterday.

Highland Park Brewery presents Cherry Spazz.

Highland BrewingLos Angeles, CA: Highland Park Brewery in Los Angeles, CA is unveiling it’s latest installment of Cherry Spazz. Cherry Spazz is a dry, tart, funky Berliner fermented with Lacto and Brett. With over 2 lbs. per gallon of sour cherries thrown into the mix, Cherry Spazz is sure to be an over the top cherry delight for the sour beer lover. Quaffable at a sensible 4.3% abv, Cherry Spazz is available via Eventbrite pre-sale only. Order your bottles for $15 a pop (plus eventbrite fee) for a 500 ml. bottle by clicking here. Arrange for pickup at the brewery in person. No word on mules or bottle limits.

Burnt Hickory Brewing takes the cake with Courageous Conductor.

burnt hickory brewingKennesaw, GA: Burnt Hickory Brewing is poised to unleash their Red Velvet Cake Porter beer called Courageous Conductor. Courageous Conductor is an Imperial Porter (7.8%) flavored with red velvet cake natural flavors. This beer will be available in 22 oz. bottles and will more than likely be a brewery release. Keep a watch on this beer to hit the craft beer world sometime in May. No word yet on prices or bottle limits.

On Our Radar:

  • Prairie Artisan Ales: Prairie Artisan Ales new beer Prairie Elizabeth midwest farmhouse ale has hit distribution.
  • Funky Buddha: Funky Buddha Blueberry Cobbler is coming to distro in 12 oz. bottles. Yea!
  • Toppling Goliath: Toppling Goliath is bottling Xhops in bombers as we speak.
  • Two Roads Brewing: Two Roads Brewing Roadsmarys Baby Pumpkin Ale is coming in 12 ounce cans. Up yours InBev.
  • Heavy Seas: Heavy Seas is releasing Blackbeards Breakfast BA Imperial Coffee Porter May 13th.
Craft Brewing Update (4/24/2015)

Craft Brewing Update (4/24/2015)

Things happen fast in the craft brewing world. Click here If you missed last week’s update. Here’s the latest weekly Craft Brewing Update on what’s happening in our region and the craft brewing scuttlebutt and goings on around the country:

Harris Meadery Launch Party:

Harris MeaderyOrange Park, FL: Harris Meadery will be holding their business launch party at the Jax Beer Society’s first event on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Brewer’s Pizza (14-B Blanding Blvd., Orange Park, FL). Fresh from Harris Meadery’s recent wins at the Green Lion Festival and Gastrofest 2015, John Harris will be on hand serving tastings of his award winning Key Lime Pie mead and new Cherry Raspberry Currant mead to Jax Beer Society members. John will be discussing his meads as well as his future plans for the first meadery in the Jacksonville area.

portuguese dark lord3 Floyds Brewing Emergency Alert:

Munster, IN: EMERGENCY! Drop what you’re doing and get over to 3 Floyds Brewing today at the kiosk. Today only, 2014 Portuguese Brandy BA Dark Lord is on sale. 1 bottle per person limit. GO!!! GO NOW!!!! GET TO THE CHOPPA!!!

Le Roar GrrrzBullfrog Brewing Announces Le Roar Grrrz beers sale:

Williamsport, PA: Bullfrog brewing is releasing 5 new beers on May 9th: Le Roar Grrrz Kriek, Le Roar Grrrz Berry, Le Roar Grrrz Apricot, Le Roar Grrrz Aardbei Strawberry and Crime of Passion Barrel Aged Sour. All 750 ml bottles. $30 for the Grrrz variants, $25 for the Crime of Passion.

avery twenty twoAvery announces Twenty-Two:

Boulder, CO: Avery Brewing Company has announced the imminent release of it’s 22nd anniversary beer, Avery Twenty Two. This beer is a Brett fermented wild ale and will be available in 22 oz. bombers this June, 2015. No specific word on an exact release date or a bottle price/limit yet.

alesmith brewingAlesmith Brewing’s Hall of Fame series going strong:

San Diego, CA: Alesmith brewing is releasing the next beer in it’s Hall of Fame series, Tony Gwynn Imperial .394 San Diego pale ale. This is a nod to Tony Gwynn, the Padres baseball Hall of Famer with a portion of the proceeds of the sale of each bottle going to support the Gwynn foundation. This beer is a 6.8% straight up pale ale and will be available in large format bottles. We’re not sure what exact size yet but certain to be above 12 ounce (it looks like 750 ml. but don’t hold us to that).

On Our Radar:

  • 3 Floyds: Dark Lord Day is tomorrow. Everybody stock up on the diabetes because it’s great.
  • Avery Brewing: Avery’s raspberry sour hits distribution starting now. Look for it.
  • Lawson’s: Sip o’ Sunshine and Triple Sunshine are currently shelf turding up in New England. These IPA’s > Yours.
  • Great Raft: Just released Barrel Aged Old Mad Joy Baltic Porter.
  • Oxbow Brewing: Oxbow is offering up it’s Crossfade, a funky bottle conditioned hoppy blond saison.
  • Bells Brewing: Next in it’s Solar System series, Bells Saturn, has hit. Rumor is this one is actually good.
Craft Beer Update (4/17/2015)

Craft Beer Update (4/17/2015)

Things happen fast in the craft brewing world. Click here If you missed last week’s update. Here’s the latest weekly Craft Brewing news on what’s happening in our region and the craft brewing scuttlebutt and goings on around the country:

The Brew Bus comes to Jacksonville!

The brew busJacksonville, FL: The brew-venture is here! Jacksonville is host to the latest expansion of Brew Bus USA. Billed as the ultimate craft brewing experience, Brew Bus USA is launching it’s operations in our fair city next week. The Brew Bus is an industry leading craft beer tour company that hosts public and private chartered events, tours, bachelor parties and things to do in and around Jacksonville, Florida. Beginning in Tampa, Florida,  the founder Anthony Derby has grown and expanded his business to include the south Florida area in and around Miami. What could be better than to park your vehicle at a convenient location in the city and ride in air conditioned style and comfort from brewery location to location to tour and sample the greatest and freshest local craft beer offerings. The Brew Bus also offers it’s own line of fresh brewed beers available in the better bottle shops all around the first coast. I can’t think of a better way to spend your time than cruising in air conditioned comfort from beer spot to beer spot.

Please come and visit the launch parties of Brew Bus Jacksonville starting this Wednesday evening (April 22nd, 2015) at 6:00 pm at the World of Beer on Southside boulevard (near Tinseltown) and again at Engine 15 on Beach Boulevard on Thursday night (April 23rd, 6:00 pm). If you would like to book a Brew Bus tour, please click here to surf over to their Jacksonville area website. The premiere special launch tours are starting Friday night at 6:00 pm, April 24th and Saturday day at 11:00 am, April 25th, departing from Engine 15 Brewery on Beach Blvd. Come and check out The Brew Bus! Courtesy Brew Bus USA.

Nudist beer event in the Poconos of Pennsylvania? Hey now.

naked beer festivalPalmerton, PA: The fine folks at the famous Sunny Rest nudist facility in the heart of the Poconos of Pennsylvania are daring to drink craft beer and host their Bare Beach Beer Blast on June 26th to the 28th. A clothing optional wonderland, Sunny Rest will provide entertainment, food and fun for the whole naked family. Imported and domestic craft beers from all around the world will be served up in the buff. Be sure to bring plenty of sun block and don’t forget to lay down a towel wherever you sit. If you’re fortunate enough to attend, I wish you more awe than eww. Courtesy Sunny Rest.

 Releases:

OEC Experimentalis with Meyer Lemon…. mmm-Meyer…

oec brewingOxford, CT: OEC brewing is approaching their release date for their second batch of Experimentalis, a Meyer Lemon brewed ale aged for 16 months in Ransom spirits pinot noir/gin barrels. This is a limited run of 350 bottles that will be 750ml for $22.00 a pop. Bottle limits are 3 per person.  For those of you that don’t know, Meyer lemons are a cross between a tangerine and a Spanish lemon. They have a blended fresh sweet orange and tart lemon flavor combined in one. This should be a beer worth seeking out. Courtesy OEC brewing.

Upland Brewing Lottery: 3 Beer Trifecta.

upland brewingBloomington, IN: Upland brewing will be continuing their lottery events with a new lottery for three beers. The beers in question are Upland’s Persimmon Lambic, Upland’s Paw Paw sour ale and Upland’s Peach Lambic. The sign up for the lottery will begin on Thursday, April 23rd at noon central time to noon on Thursday, April 30th. Only one entry allowed per person (multiple entries will be invalidated) with winners notified of their option(s) to purchase on May 4th. Pickup location must be specified upon entry (no shipping) and bottles must be picked up between May 13th through May 27th. Proxies are allowed but must present a copy of a legit photo ID of the winner to pick up. Prices are $25.00+tax per 750 ml bottle. Winners will be limited to 2 peach, 1 persimmon and 1 paw paw. Sign up for the lottery by clicking here. Courtesy Beer Served Rare.

Bells Brewing Extends Middle Finger to Ab-InBev.

pumpkin peach aleKalamazoo, MI:  In the latest annals of bad Budweiser PR, Bells happily extends a direct middle finger at the huge corporate beer conglomerate InBev over it’s infuriating Bud Superbowl ad. Bells brewing is bringing it’s version of the pumpkin peach ale to 12 ounce cans to directly compete with the legendary Budweiser six pack. Inspired directly from the ad itself, pumpkin peach is sure to be a delight on the tongue and something worth fussing over and dissecting for years to come. Bells pumpkin peach ale is brewed the easy way by hand (not the hard way, by computer…. whuuut?) by serious brewers with actual beer knowledge. Look for this wonderful pumpkin peach nirvana anywhere Bells beer is distributed. Courtesy Bells Brewing. 

On Our Radar:

  • Ecliptic Brewing & Cigar City Collaborate: Wayne Wambles and John Harris (unfortunately, not me) are collaborating on a white wine version of Illuminating the Path.
  • Pipeworks Brewing: Pipeworks is getting closer to canning their latest installment of Ninja vs. Unicorn DIPA. These will be in 16 oz. cans.
  • BCBS: Not that anyone cares, but BCBS will be served up at Chicago Blackhawks and Bulls games. Way to make a great product that much more mediocre, InBev.
  • Trillium Sleeper Street: Trillium brewing has released Double Dry Hopped Sleeper Street IPA in bottles and for growler fills in their tap room.
  • Prairie OK-Si: Prairie brewing releases OK-Si Imperial Stout today in 12 ounce bottles. Look for it in a bottle shop near you.
Craft Brewing Update (4/10/2015)

Craft Brewing Update (4/10/2015)

Things happen fast in the craft brewing world. If you missed last week’s Craft Beer Update, click here. Here’s the latest weekly Craft Brewing Update on what’s happening in our region and the craft brewing scuttlebutt and goings on around the country:

Outsourcing Bottle Releases, Practical or Problem?

Hunahpu Day Refund

A disturbing trend has surfaced at many of the biggest bottle release events across the nation. Many breweries have introduced daily bottle limits on the sales of their limited release beers in the hopes that more people will be able to try them. By limiting the sales of new release bottles, breweries can help ensure that everyone in line will hopefully get at least one bottle. That is, until the supply runs out. With limited production runs of special release beers, the one-per-person rule has been adopted as an industry standard to help the multitude of beer fans get at least a small chance at purchasing a bottle.


Seems fair, right? Unfortunately, this has had some unintended consequences in the craft beer community. As breweries have grown their fan bases, there is more and more demand for high quality beers that they produce. Often, fans of these breweries do not live locally to the breweries themselves and are either forced to travel long distances for a chance at a bottle (not usually guaranteed) or forced to solicit the help of friends, family and trading partners that live in the same area as the brewery in question. High demand and a desire to satisfy one’s friends and family has created a mentality of greed, in which fans of the brewery waiting in line are attempting to use any means at their disposal to get around the bottle limits and purchase as many as possible.

cigar city grandmuleThis is actually a good problem to have for the brewery as it helps ensure that all of the limited release bottles will indeed sell out quickly. This means less storage time for the breweries and more of a profit margin when the beers don’t have to go into distribution where distributors and retailers take their cuts of the profits. Many breweries actually embrace the ingenuity and guile of craft beer hoarders that will stop at no means to acquire extra bottles. For example, Cigar City Brewing, having a simultaneous love & hate relationship with the behavior of some of it’s fans, has both embraced and attempted to thwart bottle hoarding at it’s releases. On the one hand, they’ve released beers such as Grandmule that celebrate the idea of bringing friends and family to purchase limited release bottles, while at the same time condemned the same behavior at past Hunahpu releases. In fact, the owner of Cigar City, Joey Redner, had threatened to completely shut down the event. This was until the Cigar City staff took the advice of it’s fans and tightened up security at Hunahpu releases for a much more organized and tightly ordered bottle release in 2015.  This schizophrenic behavior on behalf of the breweries just adds to the belief that selling out of a particular limited release beer due to demand outstripping supply is a good problem to have.

Enter Task Rabbit:

The next new trend in beating the system at limited release bottle shares has come in the form of hired hands. Small organizations of bottle traders, individual small companies and well-to-do individuals have long hired people to purchase bottles for them at limited release events. Going one step further, cyber-for-hire companies such as task rabbit have offered the services of it’s members to stand in line and purchase bottles on an hourly basis. Now, anyone with the cash can hire a line squatter to line up and purchase beers at a bottle release event. I would expect to see people taking advantage of this social media work phenomenon more and more often as bottles of rare beers become more scarce and increase in value on the secondary beer market. Outsourcing bottle releases may be here to stay.

task rabbit skip the lineMy advice to breweries is this: When you do a limited release, pre-sell the tickets and limit them to one ticket per person. Make them physical tickets with the names and addresses of the purchasers clearly embossed on them. Add an anti-counterfeiting holographic sticker and make sure the names on the tickets match the ID’s of the customers. I am afraid that this will be the only way that you will be able to control the number of bottles per person.

Will the individual breweries do this? Some will, and some like Cigar City, Founders and others have already implemented this tactic for annual release rare beers. Will every brewery do this? Probably not, as again selling out of your limited release beers is a good problem to have. That is, until the outrage coming from their own fan base forces them to take more and more drastic control measures. Right Jester King?

Bottle Releases:

Smog City Brewing bottling Cuddlebug

smog city cuddlebugTorrance, CA: Smog City Brewing is now bottling it’s latest peach sour ale for bottle release. This one is called Cuddlebug and will be peach sour beer available in what looks like 375 ml. wine bottles. No information on a release date, limits or a price yet. I’ve never once had a smog city beer and I think it’s time we change that.  Courtesy Smog City Brewing.

philly tacoPerennial & Cigar City team up for Philly Taco:

Philadelphia, PA: Just in time for Philadelphia Beer Week, a collaboration between Perennial Artisan Ales and Cigar City Brewing will make it’s way to the general public. Philly Tacos are a drunken street food tradition in Philadelphia in which a Philly Cheese steak sandwich is wrapped inside of a pizza. Philly Taco is a Belgian style brown ale brewed with Brett for a funky flavor. This beer is clocking in at 7% abv and hopefully will be as funked out as a Philly Taco itself. Courtesy Philly.com.

El Coco beer5 Rabbit Cerveceria & Cigar City release El Coco:

Bedford Park, IL: Five Rabbit Cerveceria of Illinois and Cigar City Brewing of Florida have teamed up again to bring you El Coco. El Coco is an ale brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, toasted coconut and dulche de leche. This beer reportedly tastes like alcoholic flan. It has simultaneously hit both breweries tasting rooms and retails for $10 a bottle with a one case limit per person in effect. Courtesy Cigar City Brewing.

leuven on a prayerFree Will brewing and Brouwerij Hof ten Dormaal brew is Metal:

Perkasie, PA: Free Will Brewing and Belgium’s own Brouwerij Hof ten Dormaal have teamed up to produce a Belgian dark farmhouse ale called Leuven On A Prayer. This beer is a quaffable 7.2% ABV and will be available in 12 oz. bottles. This beer will also be released during Philly Beer Week, so keep your eyes open for it around Free Will’s distribution areas. I said it was Metal, but as it’s based on a Bon Jovi song, it’s probably more like late-80’s hair Metal. Rock on. Courtesy Free Will Brewing.

commons maybelleThe Commons Brewery releases Maybelle:

Portland, OR: The Commons Brewery out of Portland, Oregon is releasing Maybelle, a farmhouse ale aged in white wine barrels and brewed with Brett. This funky white wine beer will be available this Saturday, 4/11/2015 in their tap room at $10 each. This will be Commons Brewery’s first bottle release in their new tasting room. This is an age worthy beer and will do nicely over time in your cellar. Courtesy Commons Brewery.

On Our Radar:

  • Great South Bay is set to release  Bourbon BA Marauder Scotch Ale this Saturday in their tap room.
  • Troegs Brewing is testing their latest batch of Troegenator for maturity. Could be close to bottling time.
  • Spiteful Brewing releases God Damn Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter this week. Treat Yo’ Self.
  • Lawsons Finest Liquids is set to release Triple Sunshine on 4/18/2015 for their Anniversary Event. Yum!
  • Side Project Brewing will be bringing Saison Du Fermier to market on 4/24/2015.