Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Craft Beer vs. Corporate Beer

While we know that the large corporate beer companies are buying up craft brewers, and we realize that we need to support real craft brewers and not these corporate giants, how do we know which brewery is really craft and which are not? Well, we are happy that you asked. The Brewers Association has created an symbol that small brewers may place on their label to help you identify real craft brewers. The craft beer lover has a right to know when they are purchasing from an independent craft brewer or from big beer and this symbol will help you do exactly that.


Craft brewers who want the seal do not have to be a BA member, but they need to meet criteria. The criteria are:

1. The brewer must fit the BA craft brewer definition:
•Small – Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales).
•Independent – Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled by a beverage alcohol 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. The brewer must have an active TTB license to commercially brew beer in the United States.

3. Breweries will sign a licensing agreement that will cover many bases, including if a brewery sells. If they are no longer a craft brewer, they aren’t allowed to license the seal. They’ll have to remove it from future packaging.

We ask that you look for this label, we ask that you support the small brewer. Cheers, Bon

Thursday, June 1, 2017

TBS Official Beer of Summer 2017

Have you ever tried a beer that you were sure that you were not going to like, but when you tasted the beer you were blown away by how much you enjoyed it?  On a recent jaunt to the beaches we were offered a rather dismal, but not surprising, array of crappy corporate beers .... and TropiCannon, by Heavy Seas Brewing.

In the first part of the surprise, Heavy Seas Brewing from Baltimore, Maryland, is one of those brewers who makes beers that usually don't excite us.  When given a choice of one of their beers vs. other beers, we almost always choose 'other' and while the beers are not usually bad, they usually aren't terribly impressive either. Part 2 of the equation is that we don't particularly like beers with fruit, and while we are not reinheitsgebot (the German beer purity law) purists, we feel that fruit is better used in sissy drinks with umbrellas. 

That is why we are surprised that we liked this beer so much. TropiCannon Citrus IPA (7.25% ABV) is a variation of their flagship Loose Cannon IPA, but with loooooots more citrus.  In this version they added blood orange, grapefruit, mango and lemon flavor, and reduced the piney flavor found in the Loose Cannon, to create a wonderfully refreshing IPA that was so delightful that we now can't get enough of it and actually seek it out. 

While the ABV is too high for this to be a true session beer, we found it very easy to drink several at a time, staggering away from the bar with a satisfied smile.  This is why we have chosen the TropiCannon Citrus IPA as our official Beer of Summer.  Cheers, Bon