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Beer Insights Extras

Extra beer business news, thoughts and insights from the publishers of Beer Marketer’s Insights, Insights Express, Craft Brew News, Beverage Business Insights and Alcohol Issues Insights.

BA Beer Pairing Dinner at Union Square Cafe 2-5-19

Beer Marketer's Insights participated in a Brewer's Association dinner on Feb 5th, highlighting how 4 small brewery's selected beers both complemented and were complemented by food pairings.  The beers featured carbonation, yeast, hops and malt.  

Melissa Romano from Lake Anne Brew House shared her only-on-tap Lake Ann Skinny Dip carbonation-focused beer and the story of her small taproom in historic Reston, VA. This offering highlighted the Brewer's Association's new taproom membership class. Rather than get 85 cents per pint through a wholesaler, Lake Anne gets $7/pint at their brew house.  Their company's slogan is "Brewing Beer, Building Community."

Gun Hill Brewery's Dave Lopez introduced the media crowd to Rise Up Rye, with ties to the Broadway musical, Hamilton.  His brewery's location in a difficult to get to area of the Bronx is both "a blessing & a curse."  With a 30 bbl brewhouse he "can't make mistakes -- we have to brew what will sell!"  

Maine Beer's Dan Kleban shared the story of how their flagship beer, Lunch IPA, got its name. They adopted a whale who, as it turned out, was named Lunch.  Maine Beer is committed to giving back to the community. So their $7-$8 bottle beer pricing was reverse engineered to enable them to offer full healthcare coverage and a pension to all employees.

Finally, Leslie Henderson of Lazy Magnolia Brewery sampled her flagship  , the "original pecan nut brown ale."  It's still 65-70%  of sales, but she and husband Mark (both engineers) want to "make Mississippi a better place."  For the 1st 8 years, it was the only brewery in the state.  As local laws gradually became more hospitable to breweries, they "went from crazy people to leaders."

Overall, an enjoyable and delicious experience, highlighting small brewery BA members along with a restaurant whose chef understood what it takes to bring out the beer's features, and visa versa.

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BMI Founder honored with BI Industry Service Award

Founder of Beer Marketer's Insights, Jerry Steinman, was honored at Beer Insititute's annual meeting with the Jeff Becker Industry Service Award. Jerry, age 92, traveled from NY to Portland to accept the award and was joined for this momentous occasion by son Benj (prexy of BMI), grandson David (assistant editor at BMI) along with consultant son Glen, who lives in Hong Kong.


What an honor for Jerry! Thanks, BI.

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Beer and Yoga at Local Breweries

b2ap3_thumbnail_BeerYoga.jpgWhile some yoga purists aren’t too enthused about beer (or any alcohol) drinking, many breweries are hosting yoga classes that bring more men to the events and offer a welcome social component to the yoga practice.

Yoga/beer combinations range from innovator “Happy Hour Yoga with Joe Sixpack” in Philly since 2008 (“a lively one-hour all-levels yoga workshop led by Mrs. Sixpack, followed by a free tutored beer sampling with Joe Sixpack”, to Brew Asanas in CO ( , Bendy Brewski in Charleston, SC, BeerYoga at Port City Brewing Company ( and Detox to Retox held monthly in DC ( ) in the DC area, Hoppy Yoga in San Diego at various local breweries ( and Detox Retox in LA (a 2 mile run followed by a 90 minute strong yoga class and beers, with weekend classes at Golden Road and Angel City breweries ( And more. These classes are popping up at breweries and bars near you.

A recent Washington Post article suggests that pairing beer and yoga removes some of the pretense that can surround yoga.

I enjoy both yoga and beer. So cheers…and namaste; bringing a new level of mindfulness to beer tasting.

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Forbidden Root Botanic Beers Come to NY

Forbidden Root Brewing Company from Chicago introduced its botanic beers to NY at Red Farm's Decoy farm-to-table restaurant last night.

Founder and "Rootmaster" Robert Finkel, brewmaster BJ Pichman, Director of Sales Lincoln Anderson and Director or Restaurant Operations Terry Kane, along with newest member of the team Henry, formerly with The Pony Bar, presented 4 of their beers:

WPA Wildflower Pale Ale - the most subtle and delicate beer in their "flavor-forward portfolio" made with sweet osmanthus, marigold and elder flower, paired with 3 hops.

Sublime Ginger - a light, refreshing wheat-based beer.  They tested over 40 different varieties of ginger and 40 different varieties of citrus to come up with the formula.  They ended up with a blend of 2 types of ginger that offered flavor and roundness without spicy heat, and a key lime without the oil for acidity, with lemon myrtle and honeybush to add a bit of fruity, tropical taste.

Forbidden Root Beer - their flagship beer that started it all.  BJ described: "I like to think of it as a magic trick.  It really fools the senses.  It tricks you into thinking it's going to be something really sweet and soda-like, and it turns into something you've never had before.  It finishes very dry and clean; a very interesting experience on the palate; very complex, ... fun."

And finally, Divine Mud "Heavy Petal" - a big imperial stout with dark bitter chocolate, magnolia flower and pecans.

Robert was inspired to take herbs, roots and spices and design beers around them.  Forbidden Root  beers are in Chicago, with a botanic pub and restaurant coming soon, in Peoria, Champaign and Rockford last week, and now in NY.

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Pre-CBC Portland Adventures

No doubt about it – Portland is a fantastic city.  So many breweries (58 in the city proper and 83 in the Portland Metro Area per the Oregon Craft Brewer’s Guild), loads of great restaurants and food trucks, and more and more cider, too.  Not to mention all of the nearby wineries for those who prefer their alcohol from grapes instead of hops. 

The weekend before CBC we were able to explore without all 11,000 CBC attendees competing for taxis.  And it seemed that some BA folks had a similar idea, since we kept running into them (see pics).

Within a 5 minute walk we visited Cascade Brewing Company, Buckman Botanical Brewery, the Rogue shop (while we enjoyed sampling a Voodoo Donut, we didin’t get the chance to sample Rogue’s beer version), recently opened Common Brewery and Hair of the Dog Brewing Company.  Lots of folks eating and drinking there.

We also visited Deschutes, Bridgeport and McMenamins pub. So many breweries and brewpubs, so little time….


Interestingly, saw a sign in the window saying “Full Sail Research Brewery Coming Soon” next to etched glass saying “Independent Employee Owned Full Sail Brewing Company at River Place,” despite the fact that they sold to Private Equity firm Encore and other investors, ending their ESOP. 


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