Craft brewing veterans Firestone Walker and SLO Brewing Co., announced an interesting deal last week, in which Firestone Walker will acquire SLO Brewing Co.’s Cali-Squeeze brand.
“SLO Brew is more than a craft brewery – it is an innovative incubator of brands. Cali-Squeeze has been a great win for us, and in a short space of time has become a runaway success on the West Coast,” said Hamish Marshall, Co-owner of SLO Brewing Company. “Our talented team of brewers and marketers know how to capture the spirit of the times, creating new and exciting types of beverages for the evolving marketplace. This sale provides a significant opportunity for us to invest in what we do best – developing and building up new, groundbreaking brands, including Tio Rodrigo craft micheladas, Porch Pounder and Rod & Hammer’s SLO Stills whiskey.”
Since its founding in 1996, Firestone Walker has grown to become a leading California craft brewer with brands such as 805, Union Jack and Mind Haze, along with its storied vintage ale program. Firestone Walker is confident that its state-of-the-art brewing facility and distribution platform will help propel Cali-Squeeze to the next level while making some new friends along the way. Cali-Squeeze will retain its own identity while bringing a new beer style and brand proposition into the Firestone Walker family.
No details of the transaction were disclosed other than the deal should be final by July 1 2021.
Hoplark Water is straight up hop-infused water (and it’s delicious)
Hoplark is trailblazing brewer of hop-forward non-alcoholic beverages crafted with simple, clean, plant-based ingredients. Last week they announced the launch of Hoplark Water, a line of refreshing, crushable hop-infused sparkling waters in three flavors: Citra Hops, Mosaic Hops, and Sabro Hops.
I admit I was skeptical about this one. I am not that into non-alcoholic beers, and I rarely drink flavored water. But this was different. I was converted immediately upon cracking one in the afternoon while still working. It tricked me into thinking I was having fun!
Hoplark Water is a health-conscious way to imbibe without the alcohol and is made with only two clean ingredients – sparkling water and aromatic hops. The variety of hops used to create these new beverages offer a delightful variety of floral, fruity, and citrusy tropical notes that are perfect for spring and summer.
“Hoplark started over a beer, or more literally a lack thereof,” said Dean Eberhardt, co-founder and CEO of Hoplark. “While taking a month off from drinking, I realized that I wanted to find a way for myself and friends to enjoy the ritual, familiarity, and camaraderie of craft beer, without the alcohol or calories that traditionally come with it. We love everything about craft beer, but wanted an option for all the other times when we don’t feel like drinking alcohol. Hoplark Water is a result of our deep passion for bringing new flavor experiences to the market for people who love that complex hoppy taste but don’t want to compromise healthy choices. When creating Hoplark Water, we wanted to showcase how a single ingredient – hops – can turn water into something complex, vibrant and refreshing. We chose the Lark bird as our logo, but gave it ridiculously long legs to signify breaking the mold of normal, extract-laden beverages and a movement forward towards health.”
Wolf’s Ridge bringing pub exclusives to retail in new series
Many brewers pivoted by transferring brews set for kegs into cans as bars across the country closed – a trend that has continued throughout the pandemic. Fast forward to 2021, and Wolf’s Ridge Brewing in Columbus has heard overwhelmingly positive feedback and increased desire from customers for small, exclusive batches of beer to continue in cans. So, they’re launching a new line of cans dubbed the “Pub Series” that will give customers just that.
The Pub Series will feature an ongoing array of experimental, small batch brews throughout 2021, each brewed in the small brew system at the downtown location as opposed to the production facility where most batches are brewed. Their most recent release, Essential IPA, uses cashmere and waimea hops.
The labels will feature individual rollers into brush strokes to symbolize the creativity of the brewery team in creating these small batch beers. The color of the brush strokes will change with each beer, but the schemes will be based off of a foundational focal point at Wolf’s Ridge downtown location – a roller brush arch in the stairwell/entry to the restaurant that has set the color palette decisions for the brewpub since inception.
Ninkasi Brewing pub fav Stratascope gets wide release
Ninkasi Brewing Company is excited to launch Stratascope IPA, a new limited-edition beer for spring and summer 2021. Stratascope IPA strongly features the strata hop and is available now on draft, in 6-packs and 12-packs of 12oz. bottles, and in a 19.2oz. can throughout Ninkasi’s distribution footprint.
Stratascope IPA is just one recent success from Ninkasi Brewing’s new 5-barrel Pilot system. This beer was originally brewed on their innovative small-batch system in February 2020 and then scaled up to production levels for this release throughout their distribution channels.
“Our pilot brewing system has allowed us to innovate in new ways,” said Director of Brewing Operations Dr. Daniel Sharp. “It’s fun to experiment with these new hops to create some delicious new beers with the complex aroma and flavor profiles they emit.”
Guinness debuts Nitro Cold Brew Coffee beer
Guinness is back with another nitrogenated creation: Guinness Nitro Cold Brew Coffee beer. Sweet-smelling with a distinct rich coffee aroma, Guinness Nitro Cold Brew Coffee beer is the perfect balance of bitter and sweet with a roast coffee flavor. Brewed using cold brew coffee extract and coffee flavors, it has a rich, smooth and creamy palate with hints of espresso, chocolate and caramel.
At 4% ABV, Guinness Nitro Cold Brew Coffee beer is best enjoyed straight from the can or poured into a clean glass to fully activate the widget inside the can. The widget infuses nitrogen into the beer upon opening and re-creates the signature surge and settle effect you get from a Guinness Draught on tap or in a can. Guinness Nitro Cold Brew Coffee beer is a permanent addition to the Guinness portfolio and began appearing on U.S. shelves in March, with expansion now happening nationwide.
AleSmith brews a tribute to Sublime
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Sublime’s iconic self-titled album, AleSmith Brewing Company is releasing a batch of limited-edition cans of Sublime Mexican Lager featuring new artwork from the band’s OG sun artist, Opie Ortiz. The Sublime and AleSmith partnership was forged in 2017 through similar track records and longevity within their respective industries.
“The band members are all big fans of this style of beer,” says Peter Zien, Owner and CEO of AleSmith. “We created our thirst-quenching version of a traditional Vienna-style lager (famously brewed by the Mexican breweries) that showcases a grainy, malt-forward sweetness and easy drinkability. Clean and crisp with subdued hop bitterness to balance, makes Sublime Mexican Lager the go-to beer for hot summer days or pre-concert tailgating.”
Earnest Brew Works teams with Toledo Zoo to raise awareness for endangered species
South Toledo brewery Earnest Brew Works and the Toledo Zoo have announced a partnership to help raise awareness for an endangered species that has lived at the zoo for the past half decade. Four-packs of 16-ounce cans of the new “Red Panda” Irish Red Cream Ale will be available for sale starting Saturday, May 15. EBW will donate a portion of sales directly to the Toledo Zoo’s Wildlife Fund.
The can features a photo of one of the zoo’s red pandas along with information about the 5.3% ABV Cream Ale made with malt that gives the beer a toasty red hue. Classified as endangered, there are fewer than 10,000 red pandas in the wild with the largest threats listed as poaching and loss of habitat. It’s estimated that there’s been a 40% decrease in numbers over the last 50 years alone.
@GuinnessUS @FirestoneWalker @NinkasiBrewing @AleSmithBrewing @earnestbeer @WolfsRidgeBrew So they… https://t.co/YMLYULewX2