New Belgium’s Asheville Brewery to open for public tastings May 2

Starting in May, beer fans can kick back along the French Broad River in Asheville and sip a Fat Tire in New Belgium’s sparkling new “Liquid Center” tasting room. On May 2 the doors swing open at 21 Craven Street, Asheville, NC. and the public will be able to taste locally brewed New Belgium beers for the first time at the brewery’s new location. Tasting room hours will be Monday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday noon to 8:00 p.m. Public brewery tours will start this summer.

The 6,000 square foot riverside tap room is clad in local artist-made bars, tables and chairs crafted from nearly 14 linear miles of repurposed wood salvaged from the stockyard formerly onsite. A cantilevered deck sits above the new greenway and French Broad River, local food trucks will be on site, and an event lawn will be in place later this summer to host bike in movies and general outdoor fun.

“It feels like home,” said Tyler Foos, Asheville Liquid Center Manager. “When you visit, you’ll recognize us by the New Belgium beer quality and warmth you’ve come to know and love from our coworkers. And, by partnering up with neighboring artists to reuse materials from this site, we’ve added some awesome Asheville charm and history.”

Known for its sustainable business practices, the Fort Collins, CO, brewery purchased the 18-acre urban brownfield property as a targeted, sustainable, urban in-fill development strategy. The east coast locale minimizes the company’s national distribution footprint as they reach remaining east coast states, and enables them to engage with guests in a meaningful way through tastings and award-winning tours.

An August 27, 2016 CeleBEERation in Asheville, will mark their 25th anniversary and Asheville brewery opening. Tickets will be available at www.NewBelgium.com this summer.

New Belgium’s Botanical Imperial IPA blossoms with Spring flavor

botanical-imperialUsing the fresh aroma of the spring landscape as inspiration, New Belgium Brewing’s Botanical Imperial IPA uses a blast of essential oils from backyard botanicals. Basil, sage and juniper help create the freshest IPA around, with Bravo, Cascade, Sterling, and Willamette hop varieties delivering a potent hop punch.

“The essential oils intensify the citrusy, herbal and spicy hop flavors,” noted Ross Koenigs, New Belgium Pilot Brewer. “The idea for a botanical IPA came from our love of both IPAs and gin. So back in 2014, we had our hop chemist run a bunch of gin botanicals alongside different hop varieties and then we started beta testing how those different herbs and spices played with the hops. The result offers notes of citrus, pine, wood, cedar, mint, and a little spice.”

Botanical Imperial IPA comes in at 8.5% ABV with 85 IBUs. It is available on draft now through mid-April. To learn more about the science behind it, check out – https://youtu.be/A94BufiDIyY.

Botanical Imperial IPA
Malts: Pale and Caramel
Hops: Bravo, Cascade, Sterling, and Willamette
ABV: 8.5%
IBU: 85
Draft Only

To find it near you, use the New Belgium Libation Location tool: NewBelgium.com/Beer/Finder or download New Belgium’s Beer Mode app.

Oskar Blues B. Stiff & Sons Old Fashioned Soda Pop announces new flavors

B. Stiff and Son’s Old Fashioned Soda Pop Company – the kid-friendly branch of the Oskar Blues family tree – is introducing four new flavors of craft soda to their product lineup after years of serving the popular B. Stiff & Sons Root Beer, the top-selling local craft Root Beer in Colorado.

The soda was named for Brian Stiff, a Lyons, CO local, bike-riding buddy and father of two, who passed away unexpectedly in February 2012. A portion of soda proceeds continue to provide support for the Stiff family.

The four new flavors of small-batch sodas include: zingy Ginger Beer, citrusy sweet Orange Cream, redonkulously smooth Cream Soda, and sweet-and-tart Black Cherry – old-school flavors that the B. Stiff wizards reinvented with their own creative twists. The original Root Beer recipe is revamped as well, with a 20% reduction in sugar – a change made in response to root-beer loving consumer feedback. All B. Stiff & Sons products are gluten free and caffeine free.

“After years of serving our popular, home-brewed root beer in Oskar Blues restaurants, expanding the flavors and offering it with the advantages of the can package is something unique in craft soda,” said Sales Manager Geoff Hess.

B. Stiff & Sons is proud to offer these new flavors at top independent retailers throughout Colorado, Wyoming, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia; as well as at multiple large grocery retailers starting April 1st. The full line-up will remain available at all Oskar Blues restaurant locations; Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids and Solids, Grill & Brew, CHUBurger, CyclHOPS and the new Denver, CO RiNo locations of CHUBurger and Hotbox Roasters Coffee Shop set to open in June of 2016.

“We’re projecting approximately 643% growth in 2016 based on current success and enthusiasm,” said Hess. “We’ve begun expansion in our brewing facility that will allow us to continue to be inventive with new creations.”

Follow B Stiff & Sons soda via www.oskarblues.com or FACEBOOK & TWITTER.

Oskar Blues Brewery acquires Cigar City

Oskar Blues Brewery announced the acquisition of Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing. Putting months of acquirement rumors to rest, the decision is driven by mutual irreverence, respect and desire to stay true to craft beer roots.

The combination stems from the want to take risks, sniff out bullsh*t and grow against-the-grain in an era of increasing competition within craft beer. The collaboration will match the years of large-scale growth, expansion expertise and resources of Oskar Blues with the strength of Cigar City’s local following to help both breweries strengthen their future position. Similarly to Oskar Blues, Cigar City’s award-winning brews are well known and respected within the craft community.

“Cigar City is facing next-level challenges and we needed to develop next-level skills and resources to meet them. But, we got into beer out of passion and an unwavering desire to travel our own path. We didn’t want to just shove our round peg into some f*cking square hole and hope for the best. Florida craft beer drinkers want something they can proudly stand behind. These guys get that. They wrote the book on keeping it real,” says Joey, founder of Cigar City Brewing.  Joey will remain as CEO of Cigar City following the transaction.

Since 2009, Cigar City Brewing has achieved a near constant growth pattern reaching nearly 60,000 barrels in 2015, placing the Tampa Bay area and the state of Florida on the craft beer map. The partnership will provide additional investment for Cigar City’s infrastructure growth within Florida.

“What Cigar City has done for the community of Florida craft beer is impressive.  It’s important for our culture to do business with people we want to hang out with and Joey and the gang fit,” Dale Katechis, Soul Founder of Oskar Blues, stated about the new partnership.

Oskar Blues Brewery is the funky brewpub that started brewing beer in 1999 in the small town of Lyons, CO and is responsible for starting the craft beer-in-a-can movement in 2002 with Dale’s Pale Ale. In 2008, the brewery expanded down the street to Longmont, CO. and added an additional brewery in Brevard, NC in 2012. Oskar Blues brewed 192,000 barrels in 2015 and announced another brewery in Austin, TX scheduled to open in May of 2016.

Road to Rio Olympics for beach volleyball players runs through Cincinnati

The road to Rio travels through Cincinnati, Ohio this summer as the top ranked beach volleyball teams in the world attempt to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.  The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) and the Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) Tours come together to bring the only 2016 Olympic Qualifier in the United States to Cincinnati, May 17th – 21st for the AVP/FIVB Cincinnati Open.

The AVP/FIVB Cincinnati Open will be the third stop on the AVP’s 2016 schedule and the only stop hosted and operated by the AVP as part of the FIVB World Tour. In order to qualify for an Olympic berth, internationally ranked teams must compete in and earn points at 12 FIVB tournaments.  Thus, the Cincinnati Open comes at a critical time for Olympic contenders earning their spot in Rio and building momentum towards the Games.

Among the teams already committed to play at the event are three time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and her partner April Ross (an Olympic silver medalist in 2012).  Walsh Jennings could be competing for her record 4thOlympic Gold Medal for the USA, should she and Ross qualify for the 2016 Games.  2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Phil Dalhausser and reunited partner and best friend Nick Lucena will also compete.  Dalhausser has won at least one AVP title annually since 2005. Powerhouse teams from countries as varied as the Netherlands, Mexico and Vanuatu are already signed up to compete, bringing an international, Olympic flare to Cincinnati.

Donald Sun, Managing Partner for the AVP, recently said, “Cincinnati has been a mainstay of the AVP domestic tour every year since 2005.   I am truly excited that this great city has earned the added excitement of hosting an Olympic Qualifier through its continued loyalty and passion for beach volleyball. We are thrilled to bring so many world class athletes to the Queen City, giving our fans a sneak peak at the teams competing in Rio just a few months later.”

The AVP/FIVB Cincinnati Open will feature the top 32 men’s teams and the top 32 women’s teams competing in four days of main draw play preceded by a one day qualification tourney.  The tournament will take place on four courts built at the world-class grounds of the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, OH. In addition to the world’s best volleyball talent, the event doubles as the ultimate beach festival with interactive activations, music, food and more.

The AVP/FIVB Cincinnati Open is one of eight tournaments on the AVP’s 2016 schedule, which also includes stops in New Orleans, Huntington Beach, Seattle, New York City, San Francisco, Manhattan Beach, and Chicago.

The women’s and men’s finals will be broadcast on NBC and NBC Sports Network.

VIP premium seating for the event is now on sale through the AVP.  General admission is free at the gate.

For more information on ticket availability and competition schedule, please visit www. AVP.com.

2016 AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Schedule

April 15-17 – New Orleans Open, Laketown, Kenner, La.

May 6-8 – Huntington Beach Open, South Side of Pier, Huntington Beach, Calif.

May 16-21 – *FIVB Cincinnati Open, Lindner Family Tennis Center, Mason, Ohio

June 3-5 – Seattle Open, Lake Sammamish State Park, Issaquah, Wash.

June 17-19 – New York City Open, Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 and 26, Manhattan

June 24-26 – San Francisco Open, location TBD

July 15-17 – Manhattan Beach Open,  South Side of Pier, Manhattan Beach, Calif.

September 2-4 – AVP Championships at Chicago, Oak Street Beach, Chicago

*ONLY FIVB Olympic qualifier in the U.S.  in 2016