I ask some local professionals to chime in on the Brewers Association Independent Craft Brewer Seal, the Tehachapi Mountain Beer and Wine Fest gets you out of the heat, two Firestone Walker Steal the Glass events, Dirty Hippie is back, and more On Tap This Week.
On Tap This Week
A look at the future, one week at a time.
Wednesday 7/12 – Wednesday is Flights and Bites night at Moo Creamery. The pairing starts at 4 pm and goes until 9 pm. $32
Friday 7/14 – Wine Me Up! is hosting a beer tasting featuring Stone Brewing Company this Friday. From 6 – 8 pm taste a lineup of Stone beer’s that hasn’t been finalized yet. While supplies last you get to take home a can style logo glass. $15
Saturday 7/15 – This year’s Tehachapi Mountain Beer and Wine Fest is this Saturday, July 15th from 4 pm – 8 pm at Benz Visco Sports Park. Craft beer from over 58 breweries, wine, live music (Mento Buru and The Tracy Peoples Project), food from Gabby's , Red House BBQ, Big Papa's Steak House, The Shed, The Garden Spot Cafe, Bootleggers, P-Dubs, yard games, and a cool breeze are featured at this event. There are still some general admission tickets available online. $55
Drink like a Local
Catching up with our local breweries.
Dirty Hippie Imperial Red Ale is back on tap and in bottles at Kern River Brewing. The Re-release party with live music and a tie-dye booth for shirt customization was today at the brewery. Fresh Just Outstanding IPA cans should be on local shelves now.
Local Craft Beer Tehachapi is bottling It’s Hyuge NE TIPA on Tuesday and will have it on tap at the brewery that day as well. Snobs IPA is in the fermenters. Kegs of The Hype is Real DIPA will be filled this week for distribution. Also in the fermenters is a new beer called UBI oreZ. This is Tyson’s version of a “zero” IBU NE DIPA.
Local Thoughts on the Brewers Association Independent Craft Brewer Seal
On June 27th the Brewers Association launched a seal exclusively for independent craft brewers.
You can read the press release here.
From the press release above, here’s a statement from Bob Pease, president & CEO of the Brewers Association regarding the implementation of the seal:
“Independent craft brewers continue to turn the beer industry on its head by putting community over corporation and beer before the bottom line. They continue to better beer and our country by going beyond just making the beverage. These small businesses give back to their backyard communities and support thousands of cities and towns across the U.S. As Big Beer acquires former craft brands, beer drinkers have become increasingly confused about which Brewers remain independent. Beer lovers are interested in transparency when it comes to brewery ownership. This seal is a simple way to provide that clarity—now they can know what’s been brewed small and certified independent.”
The seal will be available free of charge for member and non-member independent craft brewers who meet the following criteria: Brewer must meet the BA’s craft brewer definition, have a valid TTB Brewer’s Notice, and sign a license agreement.
Anheuser-Busch InBev’s “The High End” division released a response video featuring brewers from AB InBev owned breweries such as Wicked Weed, Elysian and 10 Barrel expressing their opinions regarding the seal, its implementation, and the perceived impact on the beer industry as a whole. Check it out below.
I reached out to some local industry professionals for their thoughts on the seal and its impact on the industry and for the most part the responses were positive.
Kyle Pittser, Dionysus Brewing Company Co-Owner, and Brewer
“We strongly support the position of the BA and helping consumers identifying between independent and not. Our goal is not to sway people and force them to buy independent but rather help those that want to support independent breweries but have a hard time seeing through the disguising from corporations like ABinBev!”
Brian Avery, Bravery Brewing Company Co-Owner, and Brewer
“The Beer industry is in a very volatile period, there are many strong opinions, and frankly a lot of misinformation out there that's impacting both the casual consumer as well as the connoisseur, so anything that promotes transparency and spares us from libel and hyperbole is ultimately in everyone's best interest. I appreciate that the "Independent Craft" seal is a wholly voluntary initiative and is really up to the individual brewery to decide how or if they'll implement it. Similar to attendance to the Craft Brewers Conference, it's simply a resource that is at our disposal to engage or ignore as we please.”
Tyson of Local Craft Beer Tehachapi made a good point about how a lack of participation could potentially adversely affect the effectiveness of the seal.
Tyson Southworth, Local Craft Beer Tehachapi Co-Owner, and Brewer
“I think the independent logo is a good idea. So that when somebody picks up my beer and a bomber of Blue Moon right next to it they know which ones really craft beer. The only issue is I noticed a very similar logo on a six pack of Zima in Walmart, a Miller product. And if every single independent brewery doesn't use it then it's a moot point. So we have turned in our application to get licensing for the logo to use it. Maybe it sticks and consumers use it as a way to differentiate or maybe it's just a big fat waste of time we can't tell unless we all participate.”
Supporting independent breweries is certainly a noble cause. Most of you reading this blog are presumably very conscious of what you are drinking and who you are supporting when buying beer but the vast majority of beer drinkers are not. Will the seal help inform those consumers to make purchases that support independent breweries? Will they even notice the seal?
James Hernandez, Advance Beverage Craft Brands Manager
“I think it’s a very useful tool for any consumer looking for a true independent craft brewery to support. Most beer drinkers will probably overlook the seal or not specifically search it out. But the small number of those who want to know who and what they are supporting will find it very useful and if that gains a handful of new drinkers then mission accomplished.”
Will the seal change the landscape of the industry? How will it translate into new marketing for bars and retailers?
Brian Avery, Bravery Brewing Company Co-Owner, and Brewer
“There are some notable beer bars that only serve California brewed beers, there are bars in San Diego that only sell beers brewed within the SD County limits, there are bars that only serve European-brewed or stylized beers, etc. When the wave of Craft-buyouts started building steam, many Craft-only bars chose to say goodbye to formerly regular tap handles. I could see a new trend of bars touting only "Independent Craft" beer handles.”
“Liquor stores, bottle shops, grocers, big boxes routinely make displays to promote new and exciting products. Imagine a cooler door or display featuring only beers that proudly display the "Independent Craft" Seal on their packaging. This could be an interesting way to encourage regular craft beer consumers to try a beer they haven't noticed before, or could even start the discussion with a newcomer who was unfamiliar with the Independent Craft v. Corporate Beer in the first place.”
The Brewers Association is well respected in the craft beer community and serves as a great resource for independent craft breweries. This seal is another resource offered by an organization devoted to this segment of the industry.
Brian Avery, Bravery Brewing Company Co-Owner, and Brewer
“The Brewers Association has been nothing but an absolute resource for Bravery Brewing these past 5 years; starting as nearly a nano-brewery (3bbl brewhouse with only 20 bbls of fermentation capacity) and growing to a 15bbl brewhouse with 146 bbls of fermentation capacity. Informative emails, literature, craft brewers conferences, the Great American Beer Festival and active pro-small brewer lobbying are some of the resources that the BA has provided us with over the years.”
All of the local breweries I got responses from confirmed they will be implementing the seal into their logos. The timing of implementation depends on logistics. Don Bynum, CEO of Temblor Brewing Company said they have signed up to use the seal and are about 2 -3 months out from new labels. Bravery Brewing is expecting to have it on labels by the end of the year. Kern River Brewing estimates late August for the seal to be incorporated into their labels. Local Craft Beer Tehachapi and Dionysus Brewing Company are both on board as well with no time frame stated yet.
Once I get more info on local implementation of the seal from other breweries and more thoughts from locals on the program I’ll post about it.
Drink all the beers, four ounces at a time.
The First Annual Rockin River Beer and Music Festival is October 21st in Kernville at Rivernook Campground. Benefiting local nonprofit, Keepers of the Kern, the festival has a respectable initial line up of breweries including all of our locals, some representation from the surrounding counties, and a few that aren’t common at our local festivals such as Arrow Lodge Brewing, Bitter Brothers Brewing, Three Weavers, and more. They are still announcing breweries so expect more surprises. The event is scheduled from 1 – 5 pm with VIP getting in an hour early and will have music from Lonely Avenue, Weedpatch Carnival, Stoneflys, and The Usual Haunts. Tickets go on sale August 1st on Eventbrite. $25DD/$55GENERAL/$75VIP
Beer For Your Ears
Podcasts are the future of entertainment (said someone in 2004).
Mash Time – A Brewing Podcast – A local station for discussing home brewing and craft beer, hosted by Stuart Hoetker and John Agee out of Bakersfield CA. Episode 20 see’s the triumphant return of co-host John and special guest, Sean Vansickel a local home brewer, adept in the art of bottle conditioning for his second appearance on the show. Stuart juggles mic work and brewing duties as they attempt a stout with bananas in the mash.
IPA Today Podcast – A local podcast critiquing beers and wasting time. Hosted by Kenny and Richie with frequent appearances by Uncle Frank and Joey. Episode 48 is part two of talking with Joey and drinking his haul from Manrock Brewing in Grover Beach.
I’m Not Kevin Podcast – A podcast with a focus on stories and random talk with friends and family hosted by Shawn, an average guy from California. They usually drink beer and occasionally talk about beer. Check them out and give a listen. Episode 20 and Episode 21 are parts one and two of a joint podcast with IPA Today’s Kenny featuring Instagram Beer Sensation Lysander Ramos (L.A. Ramos).
Tune in for some beer talk and lots of inappropriate stuff.
The Perfect Pour Podcast – Check out this Fresno-based craft beer podcast that recently hit 200 episodes. Hosted by Nick, Matt, and Mikey with bumper music by Sunburns, their content certainly has a Fresno focus but there’s lots of relevant beer talk, beer tasting, beer news, listener voicemails, and the occasional beer celebrity guest. It’s a well-executed, organized podcast that is entertaining and informative. Episode 207 talks about the High-End response to The Brewers Association Independent Craft Brewer Seal, Draft Magazine’s top 50 IPA list, beer delivery, and more.
Bakersfield Beer Blogging
An elite society, currently consisting of three.
The Local Mash – A blog about the Author’s adventures in fermentation, beer brewing, and commercial beer reviews. Follow him on Facebook for updates. Check out The Local Mash on Instagram and the new Suggested Links section. He recently reviewed three beers from Track Seven Brewing out of Sacramento, Disposable Heroes Pale Ale, California Kids Double Milkshake IPA, and Left Eye Right Eye DIPA. The beers were featured at a recent Imbibe Wine and Spirits tasting event.
L.A. Ramos – Follow this local beer drinker on Instagram. His recommendation vids are short, entertaining, and informative. His enthusiasm for the beer he’s drinking is infectious and makes you want to run out and grab one. A good portion of the beers he’s reviewed are available locally so it’s certainly a good resource. Check out L.A. Ramos and his nice wood fence. A Recent recommendation from L.A Ramos: Libertine Brewing Rhine Me Up American Wild Ale. Thanks for “getting us faded”!
Bottles and Cans (Just Clap Your Hands)
Pictures of packaged beers in their natural habitat from the last week.
Short and Sweet (or Sour)
All the stuff I didn't include above.
During a recent trip to Pismo, I finally had a chance to visit Manrock Brewing in Grover Beach (thanks for the recommendation Joey and IPA Today). It’s easy to find right off the 101 in between Pismo and Arroyo Grande in a nondescript strip mall. Inside is a section with tables with a view of the brewing area and bar across from the taps and menu. They have a wall of personalized mugs for members and a couple TVs on the walls. In the back is a nice sized beer garden with tables and cornhole. They do flights every day but Wednesday (the day I visited) and serve food. The bartender we had was knowledgeable and friendly. I had their Slow Life IPL that was nice and hoppy and a great representation of the style. The other beer I tried was Reaper’s Creepers Pale Ale on Nitro that certainly was interesting. I always have a hard time with pale ales on Nitro but this one went down easy. Unfortunately, this was our second beer stop and we were on a schedule so I couldn’t try more of their beers this time. Manrock warrants a second more in-depth visit. When in the five cities area make this brewery a priority destination.
I’m sure there is plenty more to talk about that I missed. Send me a message if you have something that needs to be included next week or have a beer related event you want to promote.