New beers from “local” breweries

There are a couple of new beers coming from “local” breweries. I say “local” because one is from Samuel Adams, and while the company is headquartered elsewhere, could definitely be brewed here.

I’ll do the truly local one first: Triple Digit‘s Rum Barrel-aged Aftermath Scottish Ale. It’s a Scottish Wee Heavy that uses a combination of 2 row, crystal, Victory and Chocolate malts, Brewers Gold hops and Ale yeast. It has a fairly mellow IBU of 25, but a butt-kicking ABV of 10.5%. It will be available in 22 oz.bottles and limited release draft.


Samuel Adams is soon to release their Cezzane Ale. The label has been approved, but it’s not yet on their website. I figure that it will come out as one of their Barrel Room, Specialty or Limited Release beers.

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

“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, 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,, 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.

Number of U.S. Breweries Exceeds 1887 numbers

In what is good news for all lovers of good beer, the Brewer’s Association announced last week that the number of breweries in the United States has reached 2126, a number that exceeds 1887 numbers, when anyone really started tracking these things. The count back in the days of your great great grandparents’ day was 2011, and that high water mark had dropped to 1179 just before prohibition put an end to the heyday of brewing in America.


While there were no (legal) breweries during prohibition, the industry recovered fairly quickly, growing back to 703 beer makers not too long after the ban on alcohol production was lifted. The low water mark came around 1978, when industry consolidation and the growth of a St. Louis based mega brewer sounded the death knell for most local breweries. At that time, there were just 89 breweries operating nationwide.

I don’t think that its a coincidence that the growth of the homebrew movement in the early 1980s led to the resurgence that we are still experiencing. It seems that craft brewing is succeeding despite falling sales numbers for beer as a whole:

Dollar sales were up 14 percent in the first half of 2012, while volume of craft brewed beer sold jumped 12 percent during that same time period.

Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first six months of 2012 are an estimated 6.0 million barrels. Despite a number of challenges, including decreased overall beer sales, the mid-year numbers show signs of continued growth for craft breweries.

As I said earlier… more beer is more good. I’m sure that there will be some shaking out in the craft beer world and not every startup will survive, but its good to see that more people are turning to small breweries for beer.

More Good Beer is More Good reports that the number of new breweries in planning continues to rise.

The number of breweries in the planning stages have jumped from 915 at the end of 2011 to more than 1200 as of publication.

Here in Cincinnati, I was pleased to read recently that yet another brewery called Blank Slate had opened their doors recently. They’re a keg only operation so far, but I hope to check out their products soon. Blank Slate joins Mt. Carmel and Rivertown (as well as Sam Adams and Christian Moerlein) on Cincinnati’s impressive list of brewers. We’re no Portland, but there’s no shortage of good beer in Cincinnati, The City That Loves to Drink (I mean Sing).

Back in the saddle again

There’s nothing like the feeling of going for a ride on your own bike. Let me explain.

As a (recovering) bicycle journalist, I get the opportunity to ride a good number of other bikes. It’s not as though I have six road bikes in the basement to choose from, but there are generally always temptations available to me. I do still have a very nice Blue Axino with full Dura Ace that I’ve been enjoying, but last night, I went for a fast and furious ride on my trusty Giant TCR Advanced. There’s a lot to be said for a bike that you know like the back of your hand. I can do things on the Giant that I wouldn’t dare on other bikes, and with comfort and confidence comes an extra dose of speed.

And can I put a big thanks out to Light and Motion for some hella bright lights to make my nighttime training a whole lot safer? The new Seca 800 light was on duty last night and significantly expanded how far I can see down the road. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a whole heck of a lot more visible, too. Like with the bike, more comfort and convenience, more speed.

Outside of familiarity breeding speed, it’s just nice getting back to my night time training routine. It’s a far better use of time than sitting in front of the TV (or the computer for that matter), and my wife knows that a Rinaldo that rides is a happy Rinaldo, so she is all for it.

I also had the opportunity to get in some miles with some friends on Friday. Different scene (bike path), different bike (singlespeed ‘cross), different feel (casual and jovial). We still got in about 25 miles, but it was all in the interest of fun. The ride was followed up with pizza and beer at The Works, all served up by our favorite waiter who still can’t figure out how to divide by three.

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve ridden with Dave and Tom and there was plenty to catch up on. New jobs for two of us. A daughter turning eighteen (not mine, thank God), vacations, music and movies. Plenty to talk about and never a dull moment.

So, here’s what this is all about

I really, really love to ride bikes.

My love of riding bikes got me into blogging, which got me into building a website about bikes and cycling that more or less became a huge animal that consumed all of my time and kept me from riding my bike. Beyond that, I just want my evenings back to play with the kids and occasionally have a grown up conversation with my wife. It would be nice to not have to turn the computer on every night.

It was time to simplify. I’m turning the reins over to someone else that loves bicycle racing as much as I do and is willing to give Bike World News the love and content that it deserves. I’m confident that she will be a good steward of it and will cover much of the same topics that I did.

So what’s La Phlegm Rouge? It’s… wait for it… a blog about riding bikes. But that’s it. Me. Riding Bikes. With my friends. A little pizza, a little beer, some good times and so on. I don’t care to be looking at Google Analytics every day to monitor my traffic. This site is for me and hopefully for some like minded people.

So, way fewer press releases (unless its something I personally use and find to be very cool). No stage by stage race coverage (though I won’t ignore racing). No ads (more of a visual blog roll).

It just occurred to me that this whole seven year process that brought me here started with a Blogger site called We Love Bikes. Guess what? I still love bikes. I hope you do too. If you do, join me on my journey.

The name? A (hopefully humorous) take on la flamme rouge. French for the red flame and in racing terms, the last kilometer.