Thursday, June 14, 2018

A growing CANarchy is afoot. Deep Ellum joins the team.

I'll admit that when I saw the multi-day, outdoor CANarchy event in Nashville during the Craft Brewers Conference last month, I thought it was just a marketing play on words to promote an event. Then, after a little extra effort and scrutinizing the participating breweries (Oskar Blues, Cigar City, Perrin, Wasatch, and Squatters), I came to learn that it was the umbrella name for their new company collective.

Now they have one more on Team CANarchy — Deep Ellum. I've drank the beers while elsewhere in Texas, but haven't been to the rollicking Deep Ellum neighborhood in Dallas for nearly 15 years in the time that it was just growing up.

Take it away, press release.

Deep Ellum Brewing Company Joins CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 12, 2018 - Deep Ellum Brewing Company is the latest craft brewery to join the CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective. For Deep Ellum, a craft brewery with rough edges and deep roots in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, the move to join the disruptive collective of independent brewers will immediately provide resources for increased production and distribution.

Founded in 2011 by John Reardon, Deep Ellum Brewing Company quickly grew to become the third largest independent craft brewery in Texas, led by its flagship brews, Dallas Blonde and Deep Ellum IPA. In 2017, Deep Ellum grew 37% to produce more than 45,000 bbls in Texas only, with the vast majority being consumed within 20 miles of the brewery.

“It’s been a hell of a ride for all of us at Deep Ellum and I believe this is just the beginning,” said John Reardon. ”We’ve been looking for the right partner to grow the Deep Ellum brand and I believe we’ve found that with CANarchy. They’re a group of like-minded people that have not conformed to the status-quo and have hit critical mass on the path of coming together and remaining independent. We’re all in.”

CANarchy provides a platform from which rapidly growing craft breweries seeking high level resources can expand and compete in the increasingly competitive craft beer segment, while maintaining independence. The platform is driven by individual brewery culture, giving brewers control of their businesses and brands, while providing resources and support to scale their respective operations.

“Deep Ellum Brewing has created a strong community and now they’re facing next-level challenges that we’ve seen before. Within CANarchy, we can solve those problems in our own way,” said Joey Redner, founder of Cigar City Brewing, who joined CANarchy in June of 2016. After immediately addressing capacity issues, CANarchy was able to assist Cigar City Brewing to expand distribution and increase shipments 43% from 65,000 bbls to 92,000 bbls in 2017.

“CANarchy’s culture thrives on collaboration among craft breweries blazing their own path and doing things their own way. John and the Deep Ellum crew light the fire of craft beer in DFW and will bring that same fire to our collective,” Dale Katechis, Soul Founder of Oskar Blues, said about the new partnership.

“During my time at the University of Colorado I specifically remember my first can of Dale’s Pale Ale, and that experience is part of the reason I’m in this business. Joining a collective of such irreverent and disruptive founders and leaders is exactly what Deep Ellum has been looking for,” said John Reardon.

Deep Ellum is currently undergoing a large expansion, including a 60-barrel brewhouse at the company’s primary facility that is expected to come online within the next few months. The brewery is operating at maximum capacity and is projecting 55,000 bbls of production in 2018. Deep Ellum is also constructing a taproom in Fort Worth, Texas, that will incorporate a 5 bbl Brewhouse and retail space that is scheduled to open in late fall of 2018.

CANarchy was recently ranked #9 on the Brewers Association’s list of the 2017 Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewers as ranked by sales volume. The portfolio includes Oskar Blues Brewery, Perrin Brewing Company, Cigar City Brewing, Squatters Craft Beer and Wasatch Brewery. The collective is the #1 provider of American craft beer in a can and has driven Cigar City Brewing’s Jai Alai IPA and Oskar Blues’ Dale’s Pale Ale to the #1 and #2 sold craft can six packs in U.S. Grocery.

Terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

About Deep Ellum Brewing Company
In 2011, Deep Ellum Brewing Company set up shop in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, Texas - the first craft brewery to open in Dallas in over a decade. Since then, Deep Ellum has become as well known for its innovative brewing and exceptional quality as it has for its healthy disdain for the status quo. Like the notorious neighborhood it calls home, the brewery is bold, fearless, and unapologetic. The idea of “blending in” was never part of the plan - at the bar or on the shelf. With a commitment to staying true to their reckless streak, their rough edges and their roots, Deep Ellum has quickly grown to become the 3rd largest independent craft brewery in Texas and the 65th largest brewery overall. Led by its flagships, Deep Ellum IPA and Dallas Blonde, the brewery has amassed an extremely devoted fan base across Texas and beyond.  @deepellumbrewing #LoveRunsDeep

About CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective
Founded in 2015, CANarchy is a disruptive collective of like-minded brewers dedicated to bringing quality and innovative flavors to beer drinkers in the name of independent craft beer. The portfolio of craft breweries, partially funded by Fireman Capital Partners, including Oskar Blues Brewery, Deep Ellum Brewing, Perrin Brewing Company, Cigar City Brewing, Squatters Craft Beer and Wasatch Brewery and newly added Deep Ellum Brewing Company, is challenging corporate convention to preserve independent craft beer culture. CANarchy is the #1 provider of American craft beer in a can by bringing value to distributors, retailers and beer drinkers. CANarchy was recently ranked #9 on list of the 2017 Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewers as ranked by sales volume. Cigar City Brewing Jai Alai IPA and Oskar Blues’ Dale’s Pale Ale are currently the #1 and #2 sold craft can six packs in U.S. Grocery. The CANarchy platform brewed over 350,000 bbls in 2017, reaching all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., parts of Canada, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Brazil, and South Korea.

© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2018. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A nod to brewing history is back on display in Reading, PA

(photo credit: Brewers of Pennsylvania)

There are casualties during every Philly Beer Week. Often times they are related to missed e-mails and missed events. This one was out in the home turf of my youth, Berks County. Sorry to have missed the unveiling, but still nice to hear of this happening. Cue the press release. (and also, a nice news video from WFMZ)

Frederick Lauer Monument Restoration Complete
Rededication Ceremony Set for Friday, June 8th

HARRISBURG, PA (6.4.18) – After more than two years of committed work, the Brewers of Pennsylvania, the state’s official brewers guild, announces today that the Frederick Lauer Monument in Reading’s City Park has been restored. Lauer, the first national president of the U.S. Brewers Association (BA) is considered to be one of the early driving forces in establishing what would eventually become modern day brewing.

To commemorate the brewing pioneer’s trailblazing leadership and dedication to the local community, the BA constructed a monument in his honor in 1885 and gifted it to the City of Reading. It was the city’s very first statue. In early 2015, the monument was vandalized, and four bronze plaques were removed from its base. In 2016, the BA, the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, donated $25,000 to Reading to restore the statue and the Brewers of Pennsylvania (BOP) collected donations from local breweries for repair work. In 2018, the BOP also donated $3,000 to the restoration project. The final round of fundraising came in the spring of 2018 when members of the Berks Brewers Guild produced a collaboration brew, Lauer’s Fellowship Ale. For each pint sold, participating breweries donated $3.50 to complete the restoration. The group raised over $5,000.

To celebrate the completion of the project, members of the Berks Brewers Guild, including BOP members Broken Chair Brewing Company (West Reading), Chatty Monks (West Reading), Oakbrook Brewing Company (Reading), Saucony Creek Brewing Company (Kutztown) as well as Schaylor Brewing Company (Shillington) will be hosting a free rededication ceremony of the monument on Friday, June 8th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the monument in Reading’s City Park (Washington Street & N 11th Street).

The event will include a Lauer's Fellowship Ale toast for those 21 and over, and a rereading of the speeches from the original monument dedication in 1885. The historic Ringgold Band, formed in 1852 and proud to be one of America’s first community bands, will provide entertainment. The Ringgold Band played at the original dedication in 1885.

“As the state’s official brewers guild, the BOP felt it was our duty to do our part in helping restore the
monument honoring Frederick Lauer, a local and national icon whose dedication to the craft of brewing beer helped pave the way for so many of our members as well as those beyond our Association from coast to coast,” said Chris Lampe, President of the Brewers of Pennsylvania and Co-owner and Production Manager at Weyerbacher. “Those who understand the craft beer industry know we all stick together, and we consider it a privilege to have teamed up with the Brewers Association and the Berks Brewers Guild in restoring this important piece of history.”

The first phase of the restoration project was completed in 2016, and involved replacement of the stolen bronze plaques and preservation work to the statue. This second phase focused on releveling the stone post and pier base, which had settled unevenly over the years, as well as replacement of the soil at the base, improvement in the drainage inside the base, and replanting the area with Sweet Woodruff, which will eventually spread and provide an attractive and low-maintenance groundcover. In addition, decorative stone was set in place to beautify what had previously been unattractive exposed stone aggregate beneath the statue.

Born in Germany in 1810, Lauer immigrated to the United States at age 12. He learned the brewing
process at an early age from his father. By age 16, he was foreman for his family’s brewery, and at 25, he became the brewery’s proprietor. For decades to follow, through innovation, hard work and business savvy, Lauer established himself as a brewing pioneer not only locally, but throughout the country.

Lauer’s commitment to pioneering the brewing industry was matched by his devotion to Reading. As
noted by the Berks History Center, Lauer was a key figure in changing Reading from the status of a
borough to a city in 1847. He helped to organize the Berks County Agricultural Society and the Board of Trade. Lauer also helped finance the Reading and Columbia Railroad, and he was a member of several charity groups, including the Reading Dispensary, Reading Relief Society and Reading Benevolent Society. His dedication to civic involvement led him to donate part of his seven-acre lot so that it could made into a park for community recreation.

About the Brewers of Pennsylvania - The Brewers of Pennsylvania is a 501c6 trade association that brings together leaders of Pa.-based breweries in order to promote and protect the brewing industry in the state. The Brewers of Pennsylvania, a strong and influential organization, serves the consuming public of Pa. by encouraging brand diversity in the market. BOP members employ an estimated 10,000 employees earning $296 million in wages and generating $1.1 billion in direct economic benefits to communities throughout the state. Its signature annual event is the popular Meeting of the Malts. #supportPAbeer

© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2018. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Dogfish Head - still going and still growing

While Dogfish Head is on my mind, particularly after dabbling in its Philly Beer Week annual collaboration with a Belgian brewer — in this year's case, it was Browerij De Brabandere — it reminded me to pass along one of the more recent press releases I've received. This one announcing the current status of DFH's growth in its home state of Delaware over the last three years. If you visit Rehoboth Beach, you likely are already aware. If not, read on.

Dogfish Head Celebrates Completion of Three-Year Journey Bringing Together all the Goodness in Rehoboth
Opening of new courtyard, merchandise store and brewing and distilling systems
Rehoboth Beach, Del., May 29, 2018 – After 23 years of serving original beers and spirits, wood-fired food and world-class music, Dogfish Head is embarking on a new era of creating more goodness as they celebrate the completion of a three-year journey at the location where it originally began on Rehoboth Ave.  The beautifully landscaped courtyard, new brewhouse and distillery operations, and Off-Centered EmPOURium store is the final stage in bringing together the downtown restaurants,  Brewings & Eats – an off-centered brewpub, and Chesapeake & Maine – a geographically inspired seafood restaurant, and establishing it as the heart for all things Dogfish.
The project commenced in 2015 when they first began construction on Chesapeake & Maine, then went on to build a new, world-class Brewings & Eats in the former parking area. Dogfish then tore down the original pub to make way for the new courtyard and operational enhancements. “From the world-class stage to the killer brewing and distilling program, guests can truly experience 360° of Dogfish in the same place we first began our story in 1995 as the smallest craft brewery in America,” says Sam Calagione, CEO and founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. “I’m most proud that over the years we’ve been successful in building our Rehoboth restaurant brands as top beer destinations in the Mid-Atlantic region, and by coming together, and connecting our beer, food, spirits, music and merchandise – we can provide a world-class, panoramic, multi-sensory experience for folks to enjoy at our downtown properties.”
The charmingly landscaped, dog-friendly outdoor patio area seats 36 guests and serves as a passageway connecting Brewings & Eats and Chesapeake & Maine. The menu offers a full selection of food and drink offerings from the pub.  With a rustic wooden exterior and large glass windows framing the courtyard, the gathering space offers behind-the-scenes views into the brewing and distilling production areas along with allowing guests to see bartenders and mixologists serving drinks and chatting up customers through the windows of both restaurants.  Nestled in the corner of the patio is a beautiful, 14-barrel mash tun dating from the late 90s.  Handcrafted in the UK, this wooden relic was Calagione’s dream mash tun back in the day when he first opened the doors for business in Rehoboth.  When the opportunity to purchase the brewing equipment became available, Calagione jumped at the chance to bring it home to Dogfish and plans to incorporate it into the off-centered outdoor garden as a beer-inspired rain barrel of sorts.
The new, fully-manual five-barrel brewhouse system includes five fermentation tanks and five serving tanks.  These enhancements allow for increased brewing production capacity enabling Bryan Selders, Dogfish Head Brewing Ambassador, the ability to create a significantly higher volume of ingredient-driven, inventive brewpub exclusives. The new 50-gallon still allows Graham Hamblett, Lead Distiller at Dogfish Head Distilling Co., to experiment with creating culinary-inspired spirits which will be served at the Rehoboth restaurants.
To celebrate the opening, Dogfish Head Distilling Co. is debuting Lemon & Peppercorn Vodka, a spirit that captures the essence of both restaurants as it contains the quintessential seafood seasoning found at Chesapeake & Maine, with a wood fire smoked twist done at Brewings & Eats. Using Analog Vodka as the base, they distill dried lemon peel and a medley of peppercorns. This citrus-peppery spirit is used to macerate hand-sliced, wood-fire grilled lemons from Brewings & Eats. Lemon & Peppercorn Vodka will be exclusively available in the restaurants.
For those looking to take a little bit of the Dogfish Head universe home, guests can swing into the Off-Centered EmPOURium to purchase Dogfish merchandise, including exclusive Rehoboth t-shirts, hoodies and hats. Folks can also find keychains, stickers, coasters and glassware.  Keeping the spirit alive from the original Brewings & Eats, the counter top in the Off-Centered EmPOURium is the old bar top from the 1995 pub.  Bike racks and stroller parking are also available.
For more information about Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, Chesapeake & Maine and the Off-Centered EmPOURium, visit

Dogfish Head:
Dogfish Head has proudly been focused on brewing beers with culinary ingredients outside the Reinheitsgebot since the day it opened as the smallest American craft brewery 23 years ago. Dogfish Head has grown into a top-20 craft brewery and has won numerous awards throughout the years including Wine Enthusiast’s 2015 Brewery of the Year and the James Beard Foundation Award for 2017 Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional. It is a 300+ coworker company based in Delaware with Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, an off-centered brewpub and distillery, Chesapeake & Maine, a geographically enamored seafood restaurant, Dogfish Inn, a beer-themed inn on the harbor and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, a production brewery and distillery featuring a tasting room and food truck.  Dogfish Head supports the Independent Craft Brewing Seal, the definitive icon for American craft breweries to identify themselves to be independently-owned and carries the torch of transparency, brewing innovation and the freedom of choice originally forged by brewing community pioneers. Dogfish Head currently sells beer in 42 states and Washington D.C. and will expand into additional states in 2018. For more information, visit, Facebook: @dogfishheadbeer, Twitter: @dogfishbeer, and Instagram: dogfishhead.

© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2018. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at

Friday, June 01, 2018

Philly Beer Week 2018. But, first, a look back on the Top 10 Greatest Hits of the last 10 years

(If you know me well enough, you know how uncomfortable I am putting this picture of me up top, front and center. But, I very rarely do this and, well, I kind of like the picture)

From year to year, Philly Beer Week (really, it should be called an imperial beer week because, you know, it's ten days, not seven) looks much the same, tied together with a dizzying lineup of beer events from simple tastings to educational experiences to creatively raucous events to extravagant food pairings. This year, though on smaller scale with less participating establishments and less overall events, will likely be no different.

At this point, you're probably counting the minutes until the end of your work day so you can get out 'n' about chasing the Hammer, or meeting up at events scattered through the city, including Opening Tap later tonight. Or maybe you're already out there in the soup. Don't forget to hydrate; it's gonna be a tough one out there today.

Follow along here long enough and you should know you can count on me to check in both here and on the socials as I make my way through my own custom-built PBW schedule. Since it's never possible to take in everything, or even everything you begin the day expecting to see in person, each person's view of PBW is a rather personal one.

With ten years of PBW under our belts now, and with me there every step of the way both writing about it and attending (and, of course, if you know your Philly beer scene, you know I don't confine myself just to PBW, but the year-round "event" that is Philly beer), here is my own version of a Top 10 list that I've witnessed from 2008-2017. Will there be anything to add to the list after June 10. Time, and beer, will tell.

#10 - You know what? I came up dry on a #10. So you tell me from your experience, what has been one of the most memorable, the most important, the most identifiable aspects of Philly Beer Week?

#9 - Philly Beer Run
I'm often told I don't toot my own horn enough. Prior to the first PBW, I conducted fun runs in conjunction with area breweries in both the city and suburbs. In 2008, I conducted a PBW running event that began at the Art Museum and ended at Dock Street. No one else did such a thing at that time and some in the beer world derided me for mixing the two. Around 25 people showed up. It was free and Dock Street donated their space, pizza, and beer. The following year I did another event and attracted 52 runners. So did Bishop's Collar, which attracted Adam Avery, Steve Beaumont, Sam Calagione, Brian O'Reilly, and Tom Kehoe (on moped!). Fishtown Beer Runners was founded around the same time. I got a little sappy after my 2010 event. I continued to conduct these running & beer events during PBW in the form of races, scavenger hunts, simple fun runs, and peaked in 2012 with a real, bona fide 5-k race starting and ending at Dock Street. 400 people showed up and paid $40 each on a brutal 90+ degree day. It was pretty damn epic if I do say so. I took the show to San Francisco Beer Week too, conducting beer runs with local breweries. These days, beer is found in countless fitness forms from running to yoga to can jam, etc. I don't claim to have started the phenomenon, but I am beyond proud of being a part of the "movement" that took place during PBW over the years.

#8 - T.T.U.D.
Fergie's plays a big part in the year-round celebration of great beer and great times in Philly with its wonderful atmosphere, events, and consummate host, Fergie Carey. The T.U.D. (totally unnecessary drink) event became a real thing in 2008 (or was it 2009) where countless fans of great beer joined up with brewery personnel and descended after their last day's events concluded to unwind with unnecessary beers and unnecessary, but incredible, karaoke.

#7 - Philly Beer Geek
Every industry has its know-it-alls, but let's admit that beer geeks are right up there with the fiercely-knowingest of them all. The PBG competition lasted for quite a few years and attracted some of the brightest individuals who may know more than some certified cicerones. And the judging panels were usually an enlightened bunch of beer personalities (except in 2010, the year that I was on the panel), which made the event all the more fun.

#6 - Fritz Maytag at Four Seasons
The Four Seasons was part of the city's beer scene for a little while, hosting events with Dock Street during the year and, in 2009, hosting one of the most celebrated and important figures in American Craft Brewing history — Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing in San Francisco. My unscientific feeling is that this was a time when beer began finding its way to places and on to menus previously inconceivable.

#5 - Throwdown in Franklintown
For many years, Kite & Key was a integral part of PBW, typically requiring more than one stop during the ten days because of the events and the beers and the guests. One of the signature events was the Throwdown In Franklintown. Street closure and the occasional police participation added to the over-the-top spectacle of brewery personnel battling each other in raucous events. K&K still does its thing very well throughout the year and is probably worth a stop when you're in the neighborhood for PBW.

#4 - The Brewer's Plate
When PBW was held in March in 2008 & 2009 (pause, sigh, sip, roll eyes, sip, repeat), it also included The Brewer's Plate, which still goes strong in March and is now at The Kimmel Center. What a fantastic cornerstone event this was to be part of PBW.

#3 - Visitors from near and far
PBW, particularly in its early years, attracted not only consumers from around the country and world, but also brewers too many to count. "Rock star" brewers were everywhere in the city (and the suburbs occasionally) and the crowds followed, no doubt elevating Philly's already strong and credible beer scene as a legitimate beer destination. As you can see below, Curt Decker (then of Nodding Head, now Second District) was often at the center of it all.

#2 - Hammer of Glory
The Hammer of Glory became synonymous with PBW in 2009 and has been carted around the world, been hijacked, been recovered, been polished, used for mayoral tappings, and been in the hands of thousands more. It has its own tour around the city on the first day of PBW each year and has worked well year-in and year-out to generate enthusiasm and recognition for the country's first 10-day Beer Week.

#1 - Monk's dinners
I mentioned "rock star" brewers before. It's not a term used so much anymore but there was a time 10-15 years ago when you couldn't not hear it. Monk's beer dinners through the years have always been, or at least bordered on, epic. No need to spell out the well-documented role that Monk's (and its famed back room, particularly late at night) and its proprietor, Tom Peters, has continued to play in this city's, and country's, beer scene. But, maybe no better way to illustrate it and see the intersection with PBW than captured in this picture below of he and business partner Fergie Carey with three of Belgium's most celebrated brewing figures and where I had captioned it at the time — "three Belgian brewers who had never previously dined together". Thereby solidifying the draw of Monk's and power of Philly Beer Week.

Want to see more of what I've documented through the years of Philly Beer Week? Warning, there's quite a bit behind each of these links below (but they do link to a "master index" for each year to make it easier to navigate) but it sure is a fun trip down memory lane. Fyi, I more/less took off 2014 and 2015 from my obsessive documentation of PBW to write and sell my book Beer Lover's Mid-Atlantic.....hence the missing years. And, last year, for reasons both known and unknown, I never did fully wrap up the days and week as I had in previous years. Maybe I'll atone for that shortcoming this year. Stay tuned, and stay thirsty.

*2008* --- *2009* --- *2010* --- *2011* --- *2012* --- *2013* --- *2016* --- *2017*

© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2018. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at