Year in Beer – 2012

December 18, 2012 – BREVARD, NC–Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard now has North Carolina-brewed Dale’s Pale Ale in the fermenter, a mere seven months after announcing the plan to open a brewery in Brevard, North Carolina.

“It’s been an insane six months!” says Noah Tuttle, head brewer in Brevard. “From moving the family across the country, working on the OB Brew School, and helping get this brewery up and running, it’s been crazy times. But that’s how we roll at Oskar Blues, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Oskar Blues founder Dale Katechis has had a mountain bike parked in Brevard for many years.

“This is a magical place,” Katechis says. “There’s inspiring bike riding in the hills and a supportive small-town mountain community that’s a lot like our home in Colorado.”

About 80 friends, family, local brewers and media visited the new brewery on the historic day for barbecue, beer and a chance to get up close and personal with some shiny new fermenters.

“We’re all enthusiastic to welcome Oskar Blues to Western North Carolina,” says John Lyda, president of the Asheville Brewers Alliance and head brewer at Highland Brewing Company. “Having these folks as part of the brewing community here is gonna be a lot of fun.”

The brewery includes a taproom overlooking the brewery floor that’s open to the public daily and serves Oskar Blues beers on tap and by the can (of course). Special release and one-off beers brewed on the small pilot system will be tapped regularly there.

Oskar Blues Brewery Brevard Taproom is open daily Noon-8 p.m. including FREE Brewery Tours Mon to Thurs at 4p.m. and Fri-Sun 2,3,4,5 p.m.

NYE Grand Opening Celebration – We’ll be throwing down at our New Year’s Eve Grand Opening Hootenanny, open to the public. The party runs from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. and features live music from local rock band Jupiter Coyote as well as the Pisgah Pickers, a side project of the renowned Steep Canyon Rangers. There will be some special release beers brewed with local Riverbend Malthouse malts, food trucks, and trolley bus rides from and to Asheville. Proceeds from the event will benefit Muddy Sneakers ( ), an experiential outdoor education program for school children based in Brevard.

Tickets for the night are available at:

Fate Brewing Company Announces Head Brewer
September 18, 2012 – BOULDER, CO – The anticipation is over, as Owner Mike Lawinski has officially announced that Jeff Griffith will be the Head Brewer for Fate Brewing Company. Formerly Head Brewer for Golden City Brewery, Jeff brings an ideal blend of innovation and expertise to the craft beer world.

Mike Lawinski explains, “Jeff is an incredible asset to Fate, and having him in the picture helped to create the whole vision of such a dynamic concept. I have had experience working with Jeff for a couple of years, and identified him as someone special from the very beginning. The innovative product that Jeff was producing out of such a small infrastructure was nothing short of amazing. We are thrilled to introduce his five core beers this fall, and numerous special releases in the near future. He is an incredible technical brewer and brings diversity, creativity and a passion for his craft. Under his brewing leadership, I am confident that Fate Brewing Company will become a common household name in Boulder and beyond.”

Jeff joined Golden City Brewery in February of 2005, and was the driving force behind Evolution IPA, Stand Up Double IPA, Imperial Stout, Javapeno Imperial Stout and more. Jeff specializes in recipe development and has spent the past eight years producing award-winning craft brews, earning over 30 medals in multiple categories from competitions such as the North American Beer Awards. Jeff obtained his General Certificate of Brewing from London’s Institute of Brewing & Distilling, and has attended several educational forums including the MBAA Malting & Brewing Science course, Hop Union’s Hop School and Rocky Mountain Microbrewer’s Symposiums. When asked what Fate had in store for him, Jeff responded, “This is a great opportunity to take my creativity to the next level. In addition to crafting core favorites, I plan to explore a wide range of original microbrews featuring experimental ingredients, historical styles and barrel aging.”

About Fate Brewing Company

Fate Brewing Company is scheduled to open its 7,000 square-foot restaurant and brewery at 1600 38th Street, Suite 100 in Boulder, Colorado in the fall of 2012. Fate will be a full-service restaurant and full production brewery producing five core beers, numerous special releases and partnered efforts. Founder Mike Lawinski began his career with the Big Red F in 2002 and has a wide-ranging knowledge in the restaurant and craft beer industry.

Embracing the Spirit of Community: Collaborative Efforts Bring Together Brewers and Beer Lovers at 2012 SAVORSM
June 08, 2012 – Washington, D.C.- Connecting small and independent craft breweries and craft beer lovers from across the country, the Brewers Association once again hosts the nation’s premier craft beer and food pairing event: SAVORSM: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience. In its fifth year running, SAVOR offers 4,000 epicurean enthusiasts the rare opportunity to meet the personalities behind their favorite beers from all regions of the country, enjoy a tailor-made menu designed by Chef Adam Dulye, and taste a collaborative beer from two of the brewing community’s heritage craft brewers.

SAVOR’s food pairings represent a collaboration between craft brewing and culinary expression. Crafted by Dulye, Brewers Association culinary consultant and chef/owner of The Monk’s Kettle and The Abbot’s Cellar in San Francisco, the menu was driven solely by the beers each brewery selected to pour. Menu items focused on both comparison and contrast pairings. The menu was planned only after this year’s final beers were selected, at which point a group of chefs and Cicerones were assembled to create a flavor profile for the overall menu, with 42 items and 149 food pairings.

“Craft brewers are a community and SAVOR is the perfect platform to display their attitude of collaboration and cooperation,” said Nancy Johnson, event director for the Brewers Association. “Although these breweries compete, they all work together to further the success of craft brewing as a whole. SAVOR really captures that spirit.”

This year, Boulevard Brewing Co. and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. partnered to create Terra Incognita—a collaboration beer exclusively for SAVOR attendees to taste at the event and receive as an exit gift. Named to honor the bold explorers who traveled the California Trail from Boulevard’s home in Kansas City to Sierra Nevada’s in Northern California, Terra Incognita enjoyed a similar journey. The brewing process began with Sierra Nevada’s Estate-Grown pale malt, amber malt, wheat and unmalted wheat. From there, the beer was hopped with Bravo and Styrian Goldings during the boil, and finished by dry-hopping with East Kent Goldings. The beer then traveled the California Trail, in reverse, to reach Boulevard, where it was treated with Brettanomyces (a wild yeast), aged in Missouri Oak barrels and then bottled in time for SAVOR attendees to enjoy.

Terra Incognita is just one of the many collaborative beers that craft beer lovers can taste throughout the year. In 2011, members of the craft brewing community collaborated on dozens of special beers, and the trend of collaboration between craft brewers is only increasing as consumers—and brewers alike—continue to support these projects.

“Collaboration beers are a growing trend among craft brewers. Where most businesses tend to thrive on competition, craft brewers are embracing partnerships with their neighbors and counterparts, and in the process, creating unique, full-flavored craft beers that are in high demand,” added Julia Herz, craft beer program director for the Brewers Association. “The ability of brewers to blend their talents serves to elevate the innovations of the craft beer community.”

Held at the National Building Museum, SAVOR features 74 small and independent craft brewers from 32 states representing every region in the United States. Additional event details are located on the SAVOR website and the calendar on

April 22, 2012 – On April 28th, the 15 year celebration at the Lyons, Co brew pub will feature a full day of family activities including a live petting zoo, live music by local band Interstate Stash Express, specialty canned craft beer & Rootbeer, live crawfish boil, commemorative t-shirts, Oskar Blues race car appearance, photo booth and a local artist gallery from 1pm to 5pm.

Dale Katechis will launch the evening festivities at 5pm that will feature a full-on 15 year pig roast/crawfish buffet and a live musical performance by The Informants (

The day will also serve as the official launch of a few new libations: The 15th Anniversary Abbey Ale in new 16oz cans along with the official CAN launch of B. Stiff and Sons Old Fashioned Rootbeer. Oskar Blues is canning the same Rootbeer that has been served in their restaurants over the past few years named in tribute to Brian Stiff, a Lyons local and father of two who unexpectedly passed away on February 11th.

“Brian was one of our bike riding buddies,” Katechis said. “He lived up in Lyons, and it’s just an awful, awful story.” Stiff died unexpectedly in February. Since then, Katechis said “Our friends in Lyons have been looking for ways to help his widow and two young children and canning the root beer, with a portion of the proceeds going to the family, is our way to do that.”

April 19, 2012 – Denver, CO – Breckenridge Brewery of Colorado added four more 300-barrel fermenters last week, bringing it’s total capacity to 75,000 barrels. This expansion follows the addition of two 300-barrel tanks and a 200-barrel Brite tank in January. With a new kegging line to come this summer, the brewery expects record growth this year as the craft beer industry continues to boom.

Breckenridge Brewery produced 41,000 barrels out of its Denver brewery last year, posting growth of 30% over 2010. The improvements to the brewery this year bring with them ten new positions in sales and production. The brewery now distributes into 33 states. Half of the new positions are in sales, to maintain the brewery’s organic growth in Colorado and its traditional markets while also supporting its 2011 expansion into the northeast.

March 07, 2012 – Ft. Collins, CO, – New Belgium Brewing ( is pleased to announce that its newest year-round offering, Shift Pale Lager, will roll into markets on April 2. Capitalizing on New Belgium’s recently expanded can line, Shift will be available in 16-ounce cans only. In addition, the four-pack cartons are 100 percent recycled content. The beer’s name evokes New Belgium?s tradition of sharing a shift beer at the end of the day to celebrate a job well done.

Shift Pale Lager features the newly developed Nelson Sauvin hop, which brings forth elements of citrus and soft fruit alongside specialty malts and lager yeast. Easy to drink, crisp and congratulatory, Shift is ready for a responsible session in the backyard and beyond. Alcohol by volume is 5 percent.

“We’re excited to put a New Belgium twist on pale lager,” said New Belgium spokesperson Bryan Simpson. “The 16-ounce can is the perfect delivery system for this beer and it travels well.”

New Belgium has created a downloadable app that allows users to set a Shift Beer time and announce a clock-out to friends on Facebook and Twitter. The “NewBelgium” app is available for Android and iPhones and will continue to offer fresh content. New Belgium’s Facebook fans can also invite friends to have a Shift Beer and win weekly gear or a local Shift party (

Shift will be available in most New Belgium distribution areas; pricing varies by market. To find New Belgium beers in your neighborhood, use the New Belgium Libation Location tool:

February 23, 2012 – Denver, CO – Breckenridge Brewery of Colorado has been neighbor and friend of Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Distillery since Stranahan’s opened in Denver just a few blocks down Kalamath Street from the brewery. The friendship has blossomed into a collaboration that will bring to market “Stranahan’s Well Built E.S.B.,” an Extra Special Bitter beer aged for 3 months in Stranahan?s whiskey barrels.

Well Built launches February 24 in liquor stores in Colorado. The small batch beer is packaged in 750ml cork and caged bottles and can also be found on draft in select tap rooms in the state. Brewed with four varieties of hops, this ESB is complex, yet balanced with traditional English Ale maltiness. Most evident and interesting in Well Built is the Stranahan’s whiskey flavor that the barrel-aging process lends; a hint of vanilla and oak with a nutty finish.

“We are flattered that Stranahan’s came to us with their idea for a collaboration beer,” says Todd Usry, Brewmaster and Director of Brewery Operations. “This release of Well Built is a tribute to our friendship and is just the first release in our long-term Well Built plans.”

“Working with Breckenridge Brewery on Well Built has been an exciting venture for us,” says Pete Macca, General Manager of Stranahan’s Distillery, “We’re proud to have our name associated with such a great product, and work with our neighbors here in Denver.”

Barrel Aged Craft Beer Coming to Colorado
January 30, 2012 – Poncha Springs, Colorado – Elevation Beer Company, an artesian microbrewery focusing on seasonal barrel-aged beers, plans to start brewing early February. Elevation will start brewing in its brand new 15-barrel system, 7400 square foot facility located just outside of Salida, Colorado in nearby Poncha Springs.

“We are focusing on brewing the type of beers we love to drink,” says Head Brewer Christian Koch. “Our first Black Diamond Series release will be Apis IV, a Belgian Quadrupel made with caramelized honey, and our first Double Black Diamond Series release will be Signal De Botrange, a farmhouse ale brewed with brettanomyces and aged in Napa Valley Chardonnay barrels. We are brewing beers for beer geeks just like us.”

Elevation was started by four friends, Carlin Walsh, Christian Koch, Sheila Bustamante, and Xandy Bustamante, who had a dream of producing some of the world’s best artesian ales and lagers while living in the heart of the Rockies.

Elevation Beer Company will focus on producing three distinct lines of beers based on the ski slope rating system, with it’s easy drinking Blue Square Series, it’s bold Black Diamond Series, and it’s adventurous Double Black Diamond Series of barrel-aged beers.

Both the Black Diamond and Double Black Diamond Series will be available on draft and in 750ml cork and caged Champagne style bottles across Colorado, while its Blue Square Series will only be available on draft in the high country of Colorado.

“We are getting excited to finally start brewing and join the great craft beer community that exists in Colorado,” says Marketing Director Sheila Bustamante. “Look for us at beer festivals or at your favorite beer bar or liquor store starting this spring.”

January 18, 2012 – LONGMONT, Colo. ? Does down-home, hand-planted, home-grown and hand-picked happen anymore? It does with Oskar Blues Brewery’s Hop & Heifers Farm inspired “HGH part DUH” Ale.

Oskar Blues Brewery and Old Chicago restaurants will be offering a very limited and exclusive release of the farm raised strong ale born on the brewery’s Longmont, CO based farm. This beer will be released to the public on Wednesday, January 25th on the “I Love Beer” Mini Tour kick-off at all Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, Oregon and Wisconsin Old Chicago locations while the limited brew lasts. For a complete list of Old Chicago locations, check out

Oskar Blues Brewery’s “HGH (Home Grown Hops) Part DUH” is a 7.5% A.B.V and 70 I.B.U. Strong Ale brewed with hops locally grown at Oskar Blues Hops & Heifers farm. The home gown, high-potency, home run hitter is Dry hopped with Amarillo, Double dry hopped with Centennial, Summit and the last of our first crop of whole Cascade Hops. This farm raised strong ale injects more HGH than the 1998 home run race.

The 50 acre Hops & Heifers Farm has been reborn by Dale Katechis and Geoff Hess in an area hosting views of the Boulder’s Flatirons and Haystack Mountain just down the road from Oskar Blues Brewery and their Home Made Liquids & Solids restaurant creating an opportunity for a true farm to table experience. The farm hosts 2 acres of hops plants planted in celebration in May, 2011 by the Oskar Blues employees. The initial Hops & Heifers work day saw 3,500 hop plants laid in on 2 acres of land across 181 hope poles. The hopyard menu includes Centennial, Columbus, Nugget, Chinook, Willamette, Mt.Hood, Cascade and Sterling. The farm also hosts 100% Oskar Blues raised Black Angus cattle, Berkshire Pigs and Goats that are part of the sustainable model. The Oskar Blues cattle are grass fed on our pasture grasses and alfalfa in addition to spent grain and water reclaimed from the OB brewery, while Berkshire Pigs are fed a mix of high protein grain, brewery spent grain and restaurant kitchen scraps.

This is not the first collaboration between Oskar Blues & Old Chicago. In 2011 Old Chicago was the exclusive launch of Deviant Dale?s IPA during the same “I Love Beer” tour. That beer went on to win a Silver Medal in the 2011 Great American Beer Festival American India Pale Category, the most competitive category in that competition’s history with 176 entries. Deviant Dale’s will be released in March as the brewery’s first 16 oz. tallboy can.

In addition, the companies share much in the way of history. Dale Katechis, the heart & soul owner of Oskar Blues gained experience within the Old Chicago group of restaurants & was the General Manager at the Longmont Old Chicago location which is now only a few blocks away from Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids. Dave Chichura, Oskar Blues head brewer, has four years of history with Rock Bottom Brewery, a sister concept to Old Chicago.

Set in the heart of Colorado craft beer country, Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons began canning its beers in November of 2002 with a hand-canning line in the 60- year-old barn next door to their funky little brewpub. Celebrating the brewery’s 10th CANiversary it’s now a full- throttle canning operation that is quickly expanding its cult-like following across the nation.

January 13, 2012 – Denver, CO – Breckenridge Brewery’s Small Batch series, known for its premium ingredients and higher ABV (Alcohol by Volume), is rolling out in 4-packs. The transition to 4-packs starts with its 471 IPA and the re-release of 72 Imperial, a double chocolate cream stout made with dark and milk chocolate from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

“The move from 6-packs to 4-packs in our Small Batch series just makes sense,” says Todd Usry, Brewmaster and Director of Brewing Operations for Breckenridge Brewery. “Consumers are drawn to this packaging for bigger, bolder beers. We like that 4-packs give craft beer drinkers an opportunity to experiment with our big beers at a lower price point.”

According to Jennifer Litz, editor of Craft Business Daily, case sales for 11-12 oz. 4-packs are up 19% vs. roughly 8% for 6-packs, per 4-week data from SymphonyIRI up to Dec. 18. “The 4-packs are growing on a much smaller base, of course,” says Litz, “but people are picking them up more for their comparatively lower barrier to entry, commitment, and price point…trialability, if you will. It’s sort of the same dynamic as what’s driving 750ML and 22 oz. growth, but in yet another format.”

In response to questions about the brewery’s pricing strategy with the new packaging Usry ensures, “We are working very closely with our distribution partners to ensure that our 4-pack pricing on the shelves is comparable, ounce-per-ounce, to our 6-pack pricing for the Small Batch series. Our goal with the new packaging is to make our Small Batch beers more accessible to craft drinkers.”