The excellent beers of Oskar Blues coming to Ohio

Longmont, Colorado’s Oskar Blues Brewery announced today that they’re expanding to Ohio and Northern Kentucky. If you’re not familiar with them, Oskar Blues started the craft beer canning beer renaissance ten years ago. I’ve only had the chance to try their great beers when I’ve been out West at Interbike and for other events, so it’ll be great to be able to walk down to the corner store and pick up some.

You ask me, some of the bigger distributors in the region really missed the boat one this one (that’s a poke in the ribs to my brother-in-law).

Here’s the full press release:

(Longmont, CO) – Ten years ago funky little Oskar Blues Grill & Brew started the “Canned Beer Apocalypse” by stuffing their voluminously hoppy Dale’s Pale Ale in a can. Today, Oskar Blues announced a partnership with Stagnaro Distributing (Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky) & Superior Beverage Group (Columbus to Cleveland) to expand their line of boundary busting canned beer to the burgeoning craft beer scene of Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

“This CAN easily be the biggest craft beer launch Ohio has ever seen,” said Mike Stagnaro, President & CEO Stagnaro Distributing.

This announcement follows record setting releases in the Alabama and Chicagoland markets over the previous two months by the brewery. Oskar Blues’ passion play announcement to open an additional brewery in the beer and outdoor centric mountains of North Carolina has allowed the rapidly growing brewery to create capacity to open new markets for the first time in three years. The North Carolina brewery is on pace to begin brewing beer in December of 2012 and produce 40,000 barrels in 2013.

Oskar Blues grew from 13,000 barrels (2007) to 59,000 barrels (2011) in five years while craft beer in-a-can has come of age. America’s first craft brewery to brew and can their beer is projected to produce 90,000 barrels in 2012.

Last year Oskar Blues began “The Oskar Blues Ordeal” bus trips and claimed three medals at the GABF. This year during GABF the brewery will be releasing 16oz. cans of the 2012 World Beer Cup Gold Medal winning G’Knight Imperial Red IPA, a second collaboration beer with Sun King Brewery in the Ball Corporation Alumi-tek Can and a yet to be announced revolutionary NEW package to craft beer.

Panera Breads Pink Ribbon Bagel Campaign in Cincinnati

Panera Bread kicks off the 11th Annual Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign with “Pink Ribbon Bagel Day” on Monday, October 1 to support the American Cancer Society of Southwest Ohio and breast cancer research as part of a month-long campaign. Panera will donate 100 percent of proceeds from its signature Pink Ribbon Bagel sold on Oct. 1 to the American Cancer Society as part of the company’s commitment to the Cincinnati community. For the remainder of October, Panera Bread will donate ten cents of the proceeds from each Pink Ribbon Bagel sold.

Shaped in the form of the iconic pink ribbon, the Pink Ribbon Bagel features cherry chips, dried cherries and cranberries, vanilla, honey, and brown sugar, and is baked fresh each morning by Panera’s bakers at each bakery-cafe. Sue Stees, one of Panera Bread’s first franchisees and a breast cancer survivor, developed the Pink Ribbon Bagel in 2001 as a way to help support breast cancer research. Last year, Panera Bread donated $38,013 to the American Cancer Society of Southwest Ohio. To find participating Panera Bread bakery-cafes in Southwest Ohio, visit www.panera-ohio.com.

“The Pink Ribbon Bagel has been a customer favorite for over a decade, in part because it’s a tasty way to add flavor to the day and because each bagel sold helps support the fight against an illness that touches so many,” said Craig Flom, President, Breads of the World LLC, franchisee of Panera Bread in Southwest Ohio. “Panera Bread is thrilled to partner with the American Cancer Society of Southwest Ohio to help raise money for such a worthy cause .”

“Pink Ribbon Bagels give hope to those affected by breast cancer,” said Terry Music, Chief Mission Officer, American Cancer Society. “Panera’s commitment not only builds awareness but it supports a real solution with the funds necessary for continued cancer research.”

Rivertown Brewing sees huge growth

In the midst of a larger article about Oktoberfest, Cincinnati.com talks with my local brewery – Rivertown – about their huge growth in a city known for its brewing history (by the way, I call Rivertown my “local” because they are probably less than a mile from my house).

“I thought we’d do 500 barrels a year. We did 1,500 the first year, now we’re doing 500 a month,” Roeper said.

Rivertown is likely about to outgrow its Lockland building, having expanded from their original 2500 sq. ft. space to 12,000 sq. ft. in their industrial warehouse park space. Personally, while I’d love to see them stay close by, their existing space is more than lacking in aesthetics. There’s plenty of industrial space in town that they could expand into, so hopefully they’ll be able to stay in the neighborhood.

I need to keep better track of what they’re making over there. According to the article, quite a variety of beer styles are being made there:

Right now, they’ve switched out summer beers like Hefeweizen or Wit Ale for darker, richer beers you might think of as the weather gets cooler, such as Dunkel, their Roebling Porter and Oatmeal Stout. Other special beers, such as their lambics, sours, or their Belgian Geuze – a spontaneously fermented mix of old and young beers – are released in bottles only at different times of year.

My curiousity is also piqued by mention of a new microbrewery called Triple Digit. Their website is nothing more than a landing page at the moment (hey guys, if you need a website done, give me a call), but the promise of a Scottish Ale is something to look forward to.

By the way, cincinnati.com, you missed Mt. Carmel, Blank Slate and Fifty West. Plenty of new beers to love and check out in Porkopolis.

Guiness guilty of bringing snakes back to Ireland?

From the BBC via BeerPulse:

A snake has been recovered from St James’s Gate in Dublin after apparently arriving in a container of empty Guinness kegs from Texas. Guinness Brewery called the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after the snake was discovered.

Poor Saint Patrick worked so hard to get all of the snakes out of Ireland, only to have one sneak back in from Texas.

I blame Rick Perry.

Two new artisanal hard ciders coming from Angry Orchard

Just in time for fall, Boston (by way of Cincinnati)-based Angry Orchard announced two new artisanal hard ciders.

From Beer Pulse:

The Angry Orchard Cider House Collection is made with heirloom varietals that showcase complex flavors. After carefully experimenting with European apple blends, wood aging, and fermentation methods, this resulting collection is a balance of ingenuity and craftsmanship.

Our ciders are comparable to wine because we carefully selected a wine yeast that brings out our apples’ exceptional flavors. The terroir, (which loosely translates as “sense of place”), where our apples grow is unique to cider making the same way a vineyard is to winemaking. The Angry Orchard Cider House Collection blends Italian culinary apples from the foothills of the Northern Alps and French bittersweet apples from Normandy.  This combination produces two rich, complex and wood- aged ciders that are finished in 750mL, corked bottles – perfect to share with a friend over dinner.

Angry Orchard® Iceman (10.0% ABV; $14.99 per bottle)

  • Inspired by the traditional ice ciders of Quebec, Angry Orchard Iceman combines crisp apples with notes of caramel and toffee for a cider that’s sweet but not syrupy or cloying.  Aging the cider on oak adds a smooth, vanilla character.
  • Iceman is medium-bodied, leaving a smooth finish with rich flavor and lingering sweetness on the palate.
    • Pairing suggestion: This well-balanced cider pairs best with the sweet flavors in pork and enhances the tender, delicate flavors in foie gras. Its earthy finish compliments sharp cheeses while its caramel and toffee notes enhance sweet, savory and buttery desserts.

 Angry Orchard® Strawman (10.0% ABV; $14.99 per bottle)

  • Angry Orchard Strawman’s ripe apple, vanilla and honeysuckle flavors impart an earthy character complimented by a distinct aroma of ripe apples, wood, dark fruits and sweet citrus.
  • Inspired by centuries-old farmhouse cider making techniques traditionally found along the English and French countryside, Strawman balances a distinct blend of culinary and bittersweet apples juices which are then aged on oak.
  • Strawman’s wine-like characteristics leave a smooth, fruity and effervescent finish with lingering notes of wood and apple that are crisp off the palate, refreshing and flavor
    • Pairing suggestion: Notes of caramel, toffee and vanilla give Angry Orchard Strawman a unique sweetness that matches up well to rich meats like pork and desserts like cheesecake. Its smooth, crisp taste also makes it an exceptional seafood pairing.

Now, the first bottles of Angry Orchard that I picked up made it seem like the brewery was based here in Cincinnati and that their ciders were being produced here. If that’s still the case for these two concoctions, there is no justice in the fact that they will only be available in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and California.