Brewers Association Lists Top 50 U.S. Breweries of 2014

Boulder, CO • March 31, 2015—The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers—today released its annual lists of the top 50 craft and overall brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume. Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 42 were craft brewing companies*.

“The companies on this list include the vanguard of the craft industry,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “They are exposing new beer lovers to craft, opening new markets and creating opportunities for the entire category. As they continue to grow, so will the availability of innovative and high-quality beers produced for all to enjoy.”

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The Association’s full 2014 industry analysis, which shows regional trends and sales by individual breweries, will be published in the May/June issue of The New Brewer, available in May 2015.

For additional statistics, see the Brewers Association’s craft brewing statistics for 2014.

* An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage 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.

Beer Review – Maple Bacon Coffee Porter – Funky Buddha

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Maple Bacon Coffee Porter – Funky Buddha Brewery

Porter

6.4% ABV

APPEARANCE: Pours a fresh pot of dark roasted coffee black. Hitting the glass it almost look as if a black hole is forming in the center, leaving some wonderful dancing hues of brown to fill in the edges. Produced a billowy head of two fingers in height, before quickly dissipating into a nice brown egg shell colored halo.

 

AROMA: Smells like I just walked into a back country breakfast diner! The inviting aroma of maple syrup freshly being poured over pancakes comes rushing towards you. Deep dark chocolate muffins, a fresh pot of coffee. The coffee smells like when you are tossing the filter out and have nothing but the spent coffee grounds. I’m trying to get bacon, but its not coming out on the bouquet. A slight smokiness that i could assume would be the bacon but the delicious maple syrup and coffee keep crashing in to my nostrils and wipe away any faint aromas of that.

 

TASTE: Boom! I am now Violet Beauregarde but instead of chewing my meal via gum I am drinking it through this beer. Liquid breakfast, maple is the dominate flavor. I can taste in being poured right into my mouth. The sweetness of the maple gives a nice introduction to the the slight bitterness from all the coffee swirling around. The coffee and mid palate maltiness really brings a harmonious balance to the beer. Right as i am thinking i have tasted it all the burnt crispy bacon flavors come rolling in to play. Not smokey which I am happy for, but more of a savory flavor that reminds you of bacon without feeling like you just drank a piece. The layers all blend together very well, a slight cocoa powder dusting floating on top of a coca-cola is present on the end. Really interesting and delicious tasting beer.

MOUTHFEEL: Right on the cusp of being a medium body but hits just bellow. The carbonation is lazy and lovely just the way I like my porters to be. Slight oiliness and slickness that goes well with knowing it has maple and bacon flavors within it. The beer expands while in the mouth giving it a marshmallow fluff creaminess that is very nice. Super drinkable, so much so that I am glad i was selfish and had this all to myself!

 

OVERALL: I can only assume that someones job at Funky is to pour bottles of maple syrup into bottles all day long while this is being made. How else could they get so much immense, rich, sweet goodness into each of these bottles. I thought this was truly an amazing porter, the flavors where amazing and layered well within each other. The only flavor that really didn’t pop was the bacon, but i think that’s what makes this drink so easily. The highlight of this Porter is the aroma, one of the best i have experienced on a beer in a while. I know the actual base porter itself takes a backseat to the additions of the adjuncts, but that’s what this beer is all about. I for one think it was done outstanding!

 

RATING: 4.9/5 Zombie Heads!

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BBA Monsters’ Park Release – Modern Times

Modern Times Beer release the new Monsters’ Park series today. Tickets went on sale from Brown Paper tickets at 10:00 am this morning. I managed to grab one bottle of each. The bottle count was extremely low 600 bottles of each version where made. The coconut and cocoa sold out in under 2 minutes, followed by the coffee variant in under 5 the base version hung around a little longer before selling out in 12 minutes. Looking forward to not only tasting the new beers but having another reason to return to the Modern Times brewery.

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MONSTERS’ PARK AGED IN BOURBON BARRELS
Black as oil and thick as blood. A vigorous pour produces a two finger, deep brown head. The mouthfeel is very full, with healthy, prickly carbonation. The aroma pops big time: major notes of bourbon, oak, chocolate, and toasted nuts waft out of the glass. The flavor is very powerful, with bourbon & roast malt leading the charge, followed by vanilla-y oak, caramel, dark chocolate, and those toasted nuts again. The finish lingers for days, with sweet malt and bourbon dominating. A seriously intense but very well-rounded barrel-aged imperial stout. The roasty intensity of Monsters’ Park is a beautiful match for the sweetness of bourbon.

MONSTERS’ PARK AGED IN BOURBON BARRELS W/ COFFEE
We learned from our first experience adding coffee to barrel-aged Monsters’ Park: this beer soaks up A LOT of coffee before it gets to the KA-POW level we’re aiming for. So we added nearly 3 times as much coffee in two separate doses to make it really pop. The coffee aroma leaps out of the glass in combination with the intense oak & bourbon notes. The flavor is drenched in fresh coffee, but not so much that it completely overshadows the amazing, chocolatey base beer. The roasted notes in Monsters’ Park combine with the coffee to produce a markedly intense flavor, like a chocolate covered espresso bean turned up to 11. The finish is coffee & sweet malt all day, with a noticeable vanilla oakiness & caramel hard candy coming through as well.

MONSTERS’ PARK AGED IN BOURBON BARRELS W/ COCONUT & COCOA NIBS
Wow, did this beer ever take a lot of work, but it was totally worth it. We toasted all of the coconut ourselves and went to great lengths to source the perfect combination of cocoa nibs. Needless to say, the results are spectacular & anything but subtle. It pours pitch black with a menacingly dark head that dissipates very quickly due to the fat from the coconut. The flavor and aroma are completely saturated with coconut & chocolate, but blend harmoniously with the strong bourbon & roast malt notes. This beer is explosively flavorful and completely coats the palate with coconut, milk chocolate, toasted bread, dark honey, and roast malt. Truly amazing.

art by Beer Zombies – custom pizza boxes for Pizza Rock

This is a project I did for the new Pizza Rock that just opened inside of Green Valley Ranch Casino. Its 6 24 x 24 custom pizza boxes, done with mixed media. They are hung up inside the restaurant.

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Beer Review – Bairille Aois B.O.R.I.S – Hoppin’ Frog

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HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY!
Bairille Aois B.O.R.I.S
Jameson barrel aged Imperial Stout
9.4% ABV
2013 Vintage

APPEARANCE: Poured a jet black oil slick color, came out thick and gurgling. The hard pour produced a decent sized creamy khaki colored head. Great retention that stuck around through taking pictures all the way until the first drink.
AROMA: Big gooey, delectable fresh baked brownies, fudge and chocolate chip cookies. Nice Jameson barrel notes that have a light floral, spicy wood and vanilla swirl going on. Loads of warm butterscotch, carmel and toffee mixed with coffee and heavy cream. Very reminiscent of a Starbucks latte super inviting.

TASTE: Barrel notes right away, Jameson has a bit of dry sweetness to it and it comes through on the palate. Slightly spicy with creamy vanilla and oak that gives way to big moist chocolate fudge. The sweetness is balanced out by the mild hop bitterness. I do get a solid bit of booze but I think that it is needed to counter act the sweetness that comes through. The base oatmeal makes a entrance and gives a lovely creaminess that really pulls all the layers together.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium plus body with a lazy but present carbonation. The oatmeal gives a silky creaminess that balances out the stickiness from the sweetness. Very long lingering finish that makes you eager for another sip.

OVERALL: Perfect beer for St. Patricks day, I paired this with Mint Moose Tracks ice cream and it was perfect. If you are a fan of Jameson and barrel aged stouts then you are in for a treat. A perfect marriage of the two flavors in a easy drinking high ABV stout.

RATING: 4.5/5 Zombie Heads!

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