To help kick off American Craft Beer Week on May 13, Green Flash is hosting the California premiere of Crafting A Nation, a new film bridging beer and the economy. Here’s a clip from the press release:
“Crafting A Nation is a feature length documentary and new media project about how the American craft brewers are rebuilding the economy one beer at a time.
Despite the economic downturn currently in America, a new exciting industry is on the rise. The American Craft Brewers are truly rebuilding the economy from the ground up. They are creating great beer while also creating jobs, tax revenue, and a drive that cannot be stopped for creating a better tomorrow.
This documentary follows several of the key players in the industry as well as many breweries that are only known within their communities. The characters that we follow in this film all display a common thread of creating a product that stands for something while maintaining true to their local roots.
This principal photography was shot nationwide. We have selected different states that represent different sections of the United States: Oregon, California, Colorado, Texas, Missouri, Minnesota and North Carolina. Each state was selected for a particular purpose. We could not go to all 50 states.
Crafting A Nation features breweries, small businesses, and individuals that are growing because of the rise in the American craft beer movement. The characters that have been selected for this film are all picked for their passion, and dedication. Our characters are striving to not only create unique and American-made but they are also committed to the improvement of the quality of life despite the odds faced by the economic downturn.”
Doors open at 6 p.m. and the film starts at 7 p.m., followed by a Q & A with director Thomas Kolicko. Tickets are $5 at this link.
PubQuest, a San Diego-based mapping company founded in 2005, launched their new mobile app for free at the Apple App Store today. The location of every craft brewery, brewpub and brewhouse in the U.S. and Canada is listed, complete with directions and the ability to share visits via Facebook and Twitter.
Green Flash is hosting a launch party for the mobile app tomorrow, February 5, from 5 – 9 p.m.
#StoutDay is today!
Not surprisingly, there are several SDBW events that include Stouts:
- GF Double Stout, plus four more beers in this dinner pairing @ Grant Grill – seatings from 5 – 10:30 p.m.
- Societe Brewing’s The Butcher Imperial Stout plus six more Societe beers and five from The Bruery @ URGE Gastropub – 5 p.m.
Remember to mark your calendars for these other International Beer-y Days:
- IPA Day - Established 2011, first Thursday in August (August 1, 2013)
- International Beer Day – Est. 2007 in Santa Cruz (August 5, every year)
- Sour Beer Day – Est. 2012, second Saturday in September (September 14, 2013)
The majority of beers out there are meant to be consumed relatively fresh. Sure, there are some exceptions — big, boozy imperial stouts and barleywines come to mind, but in general the fresher the better. This is why many brewers date stamp their beers; consumers want to know if the IPA they’re about to buy was bottled a few weeks ago or a few months ago. One thing standing in the way of fresh beer: long trips from the brewery to the retailer, sometimes under less than ideal conditions. With more breweries distributing to more states farther and farther away, some beer travels a long way before you or I pick up a six pack and crack open a bottle. The problems inherent with distributing beer long distances are causing some breweries to look into opening second facilities on the other side of the country.
Locally, Green Flash Brewing Company, which just last year moved into their new brewery in Mira Mesa, is constrained by their current facility with a maximum of 100,000 barrels per year capacity. In order to continue increasing production once they reach that point, a second brewery would be needed. Green Flash is currently searching for a location for a second brewery on the East Coast, as founder Mike Hinkley explains, “To build a second brewery we had the opportunity to build it anywhere, so it made sense to get closer to our customers and deliver fresh beer on both coasts. Quicker and closer to market means fresher beer, lower price to the consumer, and a smaller carbon footprint.”
A ‘West Coast IPA’ brewed on the East Coast might seem like a bit of a misnomer, but Green Flash is doing everything they can to ensure the same quality beer comes from both coasts, with the East Coast brewery being as similar to the San Diego brewery as possible. “Our biggest concern is having beer quality from the East Coast brewery be exactly the same as on the West Coast,” Hinkley says. “We are contracting all the same equipment builders and using the same software solutions. Of course, Chuck Silva will be the Brewmaster overseeing all operations and we will have a head brewer to manage production at each facility.” Green Flash’s East Coast facility is expected to open in 2015.
Earlier this year, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium, the second and third largest craft brewers in the country by sales volume respectively, both announced that they would be opening facilities in North Carolina. Sierra Nevada plans to build a brewery, restaurant and gift shop in the town of Mills River, about 12 miles north of Asheville. The initial yearly capacity is expected to be 300,000 barrels. To put that number into perspective, their Chico, CA facility has an annual capacity of approximately 1 million barrels per year. Sierra Nevada cited a need for additional capacity, the quick shipment of beer to East Coast consumers as well as favorable water quality in the region as reasons for the expansion. Much like an East Coast-brewed ‘West Coast IPA’, beer that is labeled ‘Sierra Nevada’ yet brewed more than 2,500 miles away from the iconic California mountain range does seem a bit strange, but chances are good that Sierra Nevada will do everything in their power to ensure that their flagship ‘Sierra Nevada Pale Ale’ tastes identical whether it’s brewed in its namesake mountains or out east. The projected timeline for the new brewery to be operational is late 2013 or early 2014.
New Belgium’s current brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado has an annual capacity of around 850,000 barrels per year, which they plan to increase by 400,000 barrels per year with the addition of a Asheville, North Carolina brewery set to open in 2015. New Belgium prides itself on sustainability, releasing a report on their environmentally friendly efforts each year. Opening a second brewery on the East Coast will cut down on shipping costs as well as the time it takes to get beer into the hands of consumers.
Lagunitas Brewing Co., the ninth largest craft brewery in the country, has also announced plans to open a second brewery far away from its original location. By the end of 2013, the Petaluma, CA-based company plans to have a 250-barrel brew house, identical to their current setup, fully operational in Chicago, Illinois. Tony Magee, founder and owner of Lagunitas, has cited distribution costs and diesel emissions from shipping beer as two main reasons for the expansion. The current plan is to have all Lagunitas beer sold east of the Rocky Mountains brewed at the Chicago location.
Currently it seems it’s all Western U.S.-based breweries opting to expand to the East Coast, it will be interesting to see if any Midwest or East Coast-based companies decide to expand out west. I know there are certainly a few I would welcome here.
This column was originally published in the September 2012 issue of West Coaster.