March 28, 2012

Win Tickets to the River City Brewer's Festival!

That's right folks, up for grabs I have TWO FREE TICKETS to the River City Brewer's Festival in Memphis, TN, this weekend.  It's a $60 value!

The small print:

To enter, all you need to do is submit a few sentences on why you deserve to win the tickets.  You can leave a comment on this blog post, on the Facebook post, or send an email to  I'll pick the most deserving candidate, then send them instructions on how to receive their tix.

In exchange for the free tickets, I'll simply ask the winner to submit some photos and a few comments about their experience to post on the Local Beer Blog.

Good luck!!!

March 24, 2012

March 23, 2012

1st Annual Virginia Cask Ale Festival

Passing along this announcement from the blog Yours for Good Fermentables.

The First Annual Virginia Cask Ale Festival will be held April 21, 2012, at the Capital Ale House in Richmond, VA.

WHO: Devil's Backbone, Hardywood Park, LegendMad FoxO'ConnnorPort CityStarr HillWilliamsburg AleWerksWild Wolf

WHAT: each brewery will bring at least one cask for sampling
WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 2012.  There will be two, 4-hour sessions: 12pm-4pm and 6pm-10pm
WHERE: 623 East Main StreetRichmond, VA 23219 
WHY: The Festival will benefit the Virginia Brewer's Guild

Tickets: May be purchased at Hardywood Park or Capital Ale House
Admission is $20 in advance, and $25 day of fest
Admission includes 8 two-ounce samples and a tasting glass
Additional tasting tickets will be sold at $2 each

(max. 200 people per session)

March 19, 2012

Grist: Taste-Testing Organic Beer

To follow up on last week's post, check out this synopsis of the organic beer market from Grist Magazine.

Several of the organic beers tested by the Grist staff received - at best - lukewarm reviews, and yes, New Belgium is phasing out its organic Mothership Wit.  Nonetheless, the organic beer trend is gaining momentum.  After all, the entirely organic Pisgah Brewing Company is the reigning top local brewery in the 2011 Best of WNC (Western North Carolina) poll.  A nice achievement considering their Asheville competition.  Peak Organic Brewing Company out of Portland, Maine, is also worth a mention.

For all you homebrewers, do you want to brew some organic beer of your own?  Many LHBS's (local home brew supply shops) carry organic malts and hops.  Alternatively, you may want to check out the California-based Seven Bridges Cooperative, which offers the most extensive catalog of organic ingredients I have found.

Any other respectable organic beers out there I should know about?  Please feel free to leave a comment.


March 18, 2012

American Craft Beer Fest: June 1 & 2

WHO: BeerAdvocate & Harpoon Brewery present...
WHAT: The 5th Annual American Craft Beer Fest, the east coast's largest celebration of American beer, featuring over 100 American brewers and over 500 beers!
WHEN: June 1 & 2, 2012 - 3 sessions:

  • Session A | June 1, 2012; 6-9:30pm
  • Session B | June 2, 2012; 1-4:30pm
  • Session C | June 2, 2012; 6-9:30pm

WHERE: Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd, Boston, MA
WHY: Because beer is awesome!
HOW: Tickets

In-between sessions at the 2011 ACBF.
Had a great time at last year's event.  Consider volunteering to save a little $$ and meet some industry folks (you might even get a little free beer out of it!).

March 17, 2012

Imbibe Mag: 6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Irish Stout This St. Paddy's

Some amazing recipes for cooking with your Irish Stout in Imbibe Magazine the other day. I've made Chocolate Stout Cupcakes before using some of my very own homebrew (cerveza casera en espanol) -- they were "pure evil."

Now, for the true beer nerd with too much time on their hands (per NPR):

Everyone have a safe and enjoyable St. Patty's Day!


March 15, 2012

Napa, CA: Napa Smith's Organic IPA

Today we have a guest post from Eugene Kolankowsky, one of the masterminds behind the blog A Tale of Two Brewers.  Bringing us a taste of the West Coast, this is a review of Napa Smith Brewery's Organic IPA.  Which raises an interesting question: Is organic beer any better than non-organic beer?  Well, I know organic is better for the environment (no pesticides, no herbicides, maintains healthy soil), but does it make for a better tasting beer?  In this case, it just might -- Napa Smith's Organic IPA won a Silver Medal for Traditional IPA at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival.  But let's see what Eugene has to say about it...

I had a pleasant surprise the other day. I don't know how many of you know the world of engineering, or office life in general. If you aren't familiar consider yourself lucky. Carpeted walls appeal to two types of people, engineers and the mentally disturbed. I digress. But if you're familiar with that world you know that when lunchtime comes around, the offices empty, and the workers spread like vultures to pray on the local eateries.

Well I was out with some of my fellow vultures the other day. Coming out of the burger joint I noticed a sign saying "craft beer sale." Craft beer? Sale? I'm all over that like a chick on Coach. I walked into a little place called "Wine Styles." Truth be told I usually avoid wino's. They tend to fall into the same category as your standard Beer Snob. Well after I walked around clueless for a minute, I was able to chat it up with one of the winos, Lynzie (nope, that's spelled right). The selection of craft beer is small, but diverse. And Lynzie, unlike your typical wino, is extremely friendly and is just as willing to learn about things as she is to share information. In asking about the selection of craft beer she informed me that she's always ordering different stuff, so keep on checking in. I couldn't help but shamelessly promote my blog, and handed her a card. She was very excited about the card and told me how she couldn't wait to check it out. Lynzie, if you think complements will work on me, you are absolutely correct. Flattery gets you everywhere in this world.

Which brings me to my first beer review purchased from this store! Napa Smith Brewery: Organic IPA. From Napa, California (what a guess), this IPA weighs in at a hardy 7.1% ABV, which is hovering at the upper end of the style guidelines. It comes in a thick brown glass bottle, with label artwork much alike wino's artwork... conservative. Which is fine, but certainly doesn't make some of the crazy statements like Flying Dog does. And it's organic! Organic is always good. Let's rock.

The beer pours an almost opaque sandy brown color. If this beer is supposed to be filtered, someone better call the mechanic. A golden layer of head with great retention floats above the beer. A potent aroma of hops is present, which fills the nose and remains even while I finish writing this sentence. First sip smacks you in the mouth much like a good hoppy beer tends to. Probably a variety of good ol' American hops, but light on the Cascade. Honestly, Cascade is really the only one I'm good at recognizing, oh well. After a few consecutive sips and swirls, the IPA certainly has some subtle fruity backgrounds, mostly citrus (could be from hops or actual fruit). The mixture of hops and citrus is very long lasting, and may even last just as long as the buzz from the 7.1%. A good beer with some unique tastes to it. Definitely come back to this one.

Anyone out there have this? What do you think? Post a comment!

March 12, 2012

More Craft Beer Events

Coming up, two events to combat some pretty detrimental diseases.  Fight 'em both with beer!

Find these events and more on the Craft Beer Events page of this blog!

BreastFest at Terrapin! - 90% of money raised in Athens, STAYS in Athens for breast health programs through the St. Mary’s Women’s Diagnostic and Imaging Center
March 24, 2012
12pm - 7:30pm
Terrapin Brewery, Athens, GA

More info and buy tickets here.
Going?  RSVP on Facebook and tell your friends here.

Pints for Prostates - The tasting event, which benefits the Pints for Prostates campaign, features pale ales from a dozen Oregon breweries and a dozen breweries from around the globe.
July 25, 2012
5:30pm - 8:30pm
Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, OR

More info and buy tickets here.

March 9, 2012

Sweetwater Event Tomorrow!

TOMORROW, March 10th, Sweetwater Brewery will be hosting its Brew Your Cask Off Cask Ale Festival at it's Atlanta facility.  The event runs from 6pm-10pm and will feature 90 unique cask ales from 90 special guest brewers.  The night also features SweetWater's award-winning lineup of "lip-smackin" brews, live music, and tours of the brewery.  Sounds like an event not to be missed!

More info here:

Buy your tickets 

($35 in advance/$40 day of event)

March 7, 2012

Tickets on Sale for the River City Brewer's Festival

For those of you in the South, there's a great opportunity coming up to try over 100 different beers AND to support a good cause.  The 3rd Annual River City Brewers Festival will benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis.

Tickets can be purchased from the festival website ($30 for one session or $55 for both).  Or, for anyone interested in volunteering, you can sign up here. I volunteered at the 2010 event and had a great time working the Dos Equis tent.

Here are the event details:

Date: Saturday March 31, 2012
Time: SESSION A: 12N – 4PM, SESSION B: 6PM – 10PM
Location: Handy Park, Beale Street, Memphis, TN

March 6, 2012

Panama Brews Part 2: The Imports (or Are They?)

Panama City, located on the Southern access of the Panama Canal, is considered by many to be the economic hub of Latin America. Each year, roughly 14,000 ships pass through the Canal, which in 2011 generated some $1.7 billion in revenue for this developing country. These numbers will surely increase with the ongoing Canal Expansion Project. Not surprisingly, economic activity like this attracts international attention -- which translates directly to the selection on the beer aisle.