Brewing in brief: News you need to know from the craft beer world
U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet both declared victory last week in the fight to revise the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s proposed rule for spent brewers’ grain disposal, which threatened to hurt Colorado’s brewers and farmers.
In a blog post published on Thursday, April 24, titled “Getting it right on spent grains,” Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for food and veterinary medicine, said the FDA had no intention of disrupting or discouraging the recycling of spent grains as animal feed by imposing additional food safety standards.
“We understand how the language we used in our proposed rule could lead to the misperception that we are proposing to require human food manufacturers to establish separate animal feed safety plans and controls to cover their by-products, but it was never our intent to do so. … We will take the necessary steps to clarify our intent … so there can be no confusion.”
The FDA’s decision will help ensure Colorado’s brewers and ranchers can continue to work together to dispose of brewers’ spent grains. The grains, whose sugars are fermented to make beer, are an economical and high-protein food source for beef and dairy cattle, as well as other livestock.
“I am proud the FDA has heeded my call to ensure its rules on brewers’ spent grains work for Colorado’s innovative and job-creating beer producers,” Udall said. “This decision is something brewers and ranchers alike can raise a glass to, and I was proud to champion their shared concerns.”
“This was a classic case of the unintended consequences and confusion that can sometimes flow from well-meaning policies and language in Washington,” Bennet said. “Sometimes, by the time it gets here to Colorado, it doesn’t make much sense.”
According to a 2013 Brewers Association survey of its members, brewers currently re-sell or give away nearly 90 percent of their spent grain as livestock feed. The FDA’s proposal could have forced brewers to dispose of these spent grains at landfills, forcing small breweries to incur an average cost of nearly $43 million per year — which could be passed on to consumers in higher prices or hindered job creation.
To read Taylor’s full blog posting, visit http://blogs.fda.gov.
Odell Brewing makes new Footprint
On Saturday, April 19, Odell Brewing celebrated the return of Footprint RegionAle, its latest Cellar Series release beer made with ingredients sourced from each state in the brewery’s distribution footprint.
“We added a new state to our footprint this year, so we had to add a new ingredient,” said Brent Cordle, pilot brewing and barrel aging manager. “Texas grapefruit was a scrumptious addition to this year’s beer.”
First brewed in 2012, Footprint is a medley of regional flavors from each of the 11 states in which Odell Brewing distributes, blended together to make one unique, harmonious beer. The indigenous ingredients include hops and barley from Colorado and Idaho, Arizona prickly pear juice, wheat from Kansas and Wyoming, Minnesota wild rice, Nebraska corn, New Mexico green chilies, South Dakota honey, oak staves from Missouri and, new this year, Texas grapefruit. The final blend boasts a floral-citrus nose with bright grapefruit up front on the pallet and just a hint of green chili and fruit from the prickly pear in the finish.
Footprint RegionAle will be available in 750-milliliter cork and cage-finished bottles as early as next week at Dillon Ridge Liquors, Antlers Discount Liquors in Frisco, City Liquors and Skee Vue Liquors in Breckenridge and Locals Liquors in Silverthorne and on tap at Kenosha Steakhouse in Breckenridge. Other Summit County establishments may also choose to carry the beer.
For more information and updated locations where Footprint will be available, visit https://odellbrewing.com.
Avery Brewing Co. to release Rufus Corvus
After countless barrel evaluations, blending sessions and blind tastings over three months, the Avery Brewing Co. recently announced the upcoming release of Rufus Corvus, a blended sour beer that is No. 19 in the Barrel-Aged Series. With 858 cases produced, Rufus Corvus is Avery’s largest blended sour beer to date, combining eight different beers from 40 oak barrels.
“While many of our barrel projects are single batches of beer from start to finish, this is a different monster,” said Andy Parker, Avery’s chief barrel herder. “On these blended beers, we spend months tasting, re-tasting and overtasting barrels with a single goal in mind: to combine multiple beers from a selection of barrels to come up with a final blend that is greater than the sum of its parts. Rufus Corvus features lactic acid, acetic acid, Brettanomyces influence, some red wine aroma, oak tannins, malt structure and a lot of awesome.”
Rufus Corvus started with a pair of projects: a 6 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) red sour in fresh Cabernet barrels, code name Ginger, and a 6 percent ABV dark sour in fresh Cabernet barrels, code name Raven. While Ginger and Raven were solid beers individually, Parker assessed they were even better blended together. Ginger brought more red wine flavor and big oak tannins, while the Raven brought a higher level of lactic acid and malt character.
Seeking even more complexity in the beer, Parker and his crew went back to the Barrel-Aging Cellar for further tasting, making a list of dozens of “orphan” barrels to potentially blend into the Ginger-Raven combination. After three months, a series of six blind tastings and countless barrel re-evaluations, it was decided that just 14 of the barrels enhanced the project. These 14 were blended with the 26 barrels of Ginger and Raven and resulted in a beer that the panelists in the blind tastings repeatedly and unanimously picked as exceptional.
Rufus Corvus is one of at least nine beers that will be released from Avery’s barrel program this year, constituting about 1,500 barrels of barrel-aged beer by Avery in 2014, a tenfold increase over last year. Bottles of Rufus Corvus will be available at Dillon Ridge Liquors, Antlers Discount Liquors in Frisco and City Liquors in Breckenridge, as well as Kenosha Steakhouse in Breckenridge, and will go quickly.
New Belgium reveals 2014 Tour de Fat schedule
New Belgium Brewing recently announced that its 15th annual Tour de Fat, a national tour of traveling bicycle advocacy, would stop in 10 cities from May to October. These daylong festivities are free in every city, but the proceeds from beer sales go to local nonprofits. Since its inception, Tour de Fat has raised more than $3 million and raised $500,000 last year alone.
The events kick off with a costumed bicycle parade that winds through city streets, ending in a city park. That’s when eclectic entertainment takes over, from musical acts to yo-yo performers, bike contests and even vaudeville acts. This year will also include some brewing education and feature a “Bicycle Revival” to inspire festivalgoers to believe in the power of two-wheeled transportation.
“Here at New Belgium, we’re all about giving people who love bikes (and those still warming up to bikes) a chance to get together in their local park,” said Matt Kowal, New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat impresario. “It’s such a fun day for so many different reasons — we not only bring people together but also teach them about great beer and how to make a difference in their community. And the fun part is you get to come as your alter ego. We all have regular jobs, but who are you at your core? This is the day to show up as that person. We say it every year, but if everyone’s weird, then no one is weird!”
During each tour stop, New Belgium tries to leave as little of an environmental imprint as possible. Tour de Fat hosts green vendors, has compost and recycle stations and festival trucks that operate on biofuel sourced from recycled waste oils.
The Tour de Fat will make Colorado stops in Civic Center Park in Fort Collins on Saturday, Aug. 30, and City Park in Denver on Saturday, Sept. 6. See http://www.facebook.com/tourdefat for the tour credo, schedules and videos and to submit an entry to swap your gas-guzzler for a fancy new bicycle in 2014.
Fort Collins Brewery bids farewell to 1900 Amber
The Fort Collins Brewery, along with Gravity 1020 Modern Tavern, has officially announced plans to retire its 1900 Amber Lager, ending its production by June 2014. While the brewery’s current headquarters was being built in 2009, 1900 Amber Lager was created and introduced to the full-time lineup as a way to remember its old location at 1900 Lincoln Ave.
“We started out predominantly as a lager house at our old location, and 1900 was originated to really symbolize where it all began,” said Tina Peters, Fort Collins Brewery general manager.
1900 received a gold medal in 2009 and a bronze medal in 2011 at the U.S. Open Beer Championship (USOBC) and placed second at the Craft Lager Festival in 2012.
“We’re definitely sad to see it go, but as a craft brewery that strives to always better ourselves, we felt as a company it was more important to shift focus away from 1900 and to the present and the future direction of FCB,” Peters said.
For more information, visit fortcollinsbrewery.com or call (970) 472-1499.
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