TTB 23

Starting next year, The TTB (Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau) will be on the lookout for a pair of items that will affect breweries.

  1. Change of ownership will need to be disclosed in a timely manner or penalties will accrue. Might not be a big deal for many but needs to be watched out for.
  2. Pay your taxes or they will hold up any expansion plans to other locations that you have in mind.

Both scenarios could come into play if you do not keep up to date with everything so get your paperwork ducks in a nice row.

R.I.P. – MacLeod Ale Brewing Company

There were some troubling signs from MacLeod Ale Brewing Company in recent days but today the hammer came down as they announced the closure of both the original Van Nuys brewing operation and the just recently opened satellite pizza and bar in Highland Park.

The reasons cited for the closures:

1] We’re over budget in several categories
2] We have too much debt due to expansion
3] Sudden crash of sales [down 15% in Oct, 21% in November! Bad timing!]
4] Our 2nd location opened too late and is underperforming.

You have to be a risk taker to brew beer commercially and you also need angel investors to backstop when good bets go wrong. Hopefully a new chapter can emerge from the brewery and it employees.

Novak & Fig

Figueroa Mountain Brewing has added some firepower to their brewing team  Victor Novak of Taps fame has returned to the craft beer conference to be the Innovation Director/Head Brewer for their three Los Angeles outposts at UCLA, Ventura Boulevard Lagerhaus and the Pico Boulevard Agua Sante Cerveceria.

That means some high quality tasty and small batch beer is coming.

Give and Get

I am a day late but you can be not a dollar short if you do a simple thing from now through December 15th.

In the spirit of giving, this holiday season, the American Homebrewers Association is launching a Give Back program where the organization will donate $5 to one of three nonprofits for every one- or three-year AHA membership purchased. This applies to all new and renewing memberships.

The three nonprofit organizations to choose from this giving season are:

  • Beers 4 Boobs: Beers 4 Boobs collaborates on unique beers and events to further generate awareness and funding for breast cancer and cancer patients. 
  • Soldiers’ Angels Hops for Heroes: Soldiers’ Angels Hops for Heroes™ is an annual campaign that rallies the support of craft breweries to support U.S. service members, veterans, and their families. 
  • Michael James Jackson Foundation for Brewing & Distilling: Michael James Jackson Foundation for Brewing & Distilling funds scholarship awards for technical education in beer and spirits production for people of color in the brewing and distilling industries.

2 to 4 and 6 to 8

Normally, when a politician posts something on social media, I groan and flip past as fast as I can. But in the case of Assembly Bill 2307 and Assemblyman Marc Berman, I paused and read.

2397 increases the number of satellite locations that a brewery can have from six to eight. Of the six, only two of those locations can be a full restaurant kitchen Berman’s bill raises that cap to four.  

Kudos to the California Craft Beer Association which keeps pressing for brewers across the state.

To the Land

I should start posts with the “Steal This Idea” name, The Oregon Agricultural Trust (the aptly named OAT) has partnered with nine Oregon breweries on the Cheers to the Land beer series.  Each of the new beers are made with Oregon-sourced ingredients. The goal is to safeguard Oregon’s farm and ranch lands from development.

Here are the murderers row of breweries and the beers that will donate part of the sales proceeds to OAT….

  • Barley Brown’s Brewing – Pale Ale brewed with barley grown in Enterprise and malted at Gold Rush Malt in Baker City, Mosaic and Citra hops from B&D Farms in St. Paul, Oregon and a blend of other Northwest hops.
  • Block 15 Brewing – West Coast India Pale Ale featuring Gold Rush Malt from Baker City, OR and Zappa and Comet hops, both grown at Crosby Hop Farm in Woodburn.
  • Gorges Beer Co. – Golden Ale fermented on 120 pounds of apricots from an orchard in The Dalles. Aged for two months till perfection.
  • Falling Sky Brewing – Cascadian Dark Ale with Oregon-harvested spruce tips, Salmon-Safe malt from Goschie Farms in Silverton, and Salmon-Safe hops from Crosby Hop Farm in Woodburn.
  • Ferment Brewing – Hoppy Pale Ale brewed with Mecca Grade malts from Madras, oats, and hops grown on Oregon trellises.
  • Fort George Brewing – Double India Pale Ale utilizing Salmon Safe Hops and Grain. This beer pushes ABV and flavor profile all while using responsibly grown Oregon ingredients.
  • ForeLand Beer Co. – Dry-hopped Pacific Northwest lager with Salmon-Safe Lorien and Sterling hops, and Oregon-grown Salmon-Safe malt from Mainstem Malt.
  • Pelican Brewing – A 503 Pale Ale with ingredients grown entirely on Goschie Farms — Pilsner Wintmalt and Willamette, Fuggle, and Santiam hops.
  • Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery – Mixed culture rye pale ale made with Oregon-grown Mecca Grade malt, aged in casks with Willamette Valley Robada apricots.

Onto the Next Lupulin Rush

I am going to drop a couple hop names your way for you to file away for later. Luminosa (a daughter of Sorachi Ace) and HBC 586 (which will probably get a fancy name later).

These are two to be on the lookout for in future IPA’s and pale ales.  Will either be a breakout star like Citra or Strata?

A New Sticker

As far as radical label re-designs go, Westvleteren has probably caused a stir by simply adding labels on all of their bottles.

Why? It is for the first time in 75 years. Personally, I think the round splash of color is distinctive and classy and different from bottles out there.

I wonder the reaction if the ever decide to can Westy 12.

Documentary Conditioned

Beer documentaries are always welcome to me which is why I hope the year in a Lambic life movie, Bottle Conditioned is on my list to find. Below is the blurb from the production…

“This film chronicles an entire year of lambic production, while getting to know the brewers and blenders in the Zenne River Valley of Belgium. Bound by a common passion for lambic beer, their approach and ideologies differ when it comes to upholding traditional methods of brewing and protecting this heritage. Moreover, with the recent rush in demand for this beer, new lambic brewers and blenders are emerging- something inconceiveable ten years ago- and they’re pushing the bounderies of tradition. This leaves the question: what does the future hold for this community, in a region defined by its traditions?”


NEWBrew from Singapore has a new blonde ale. How is that news, you say? It is brewed using recycled sewage.  You read that correctly.

It is a joint effort between Brewerkz, a local craft brewery, and Singapore’s national water agency.

To keep the all caps NEW going, NEWBrew uses NEWater. According to an article at FoodBeast, “NEWater is made using ultraviolet light to disinfect sewage followed by passing the liquid through advanced membranes and removing contaminant particles. What remains after the process, the brand asserts, is simply clean water.”

Considering that many breweries alter water based on their supply or a particular beer style, if this NEWater is neutral and has proof of no other issues, it might be worth trying.