2019 Beer News: IBB collab, TTB closed, Craft Brewers do not have to focus on beer

Indiana Beer Brigade, supported by the Brewers of Indiana Guild, starts the release in of their collaboration from 2018 for 2019: Lindera Barrel-Aged Fruited Sour aged on blackberry and spicebush. Releases are as follows:

• The Upland Wood Shop, Bloomington – Saturday, January 5, 2019, 2-5 pm
• Maidens Brewery & Pub, Evansville – Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 6-8 pm
• New Albanian Brewing Company Bank Street Brewhouse, New Albany – Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 6-8 pm
• Trubble Brewing, Fort Wayne – Thursday, January 17, 2019, 6-8 pm
• Heavenly Goat Brewing, Granger – Friday, January 18, 6-8 pm
• New Oberpfalz Brewing, Griffith – Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 6-8 pm
• Hunter’s Brewing, Chesterton – Thursday, January 24, 2019, 6-8 pm
• Union Brewing Company, Carmel – Monday, January 28, 2019, 6-8 pm
• Tomlinson Tap Room, Indy – Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 6-8 pm
• Scarlet Lane Old Southside Tap House, Indy – Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 6-8 pm
Non members may join online as members will receive four 500mL bottles of Lindera (a $52 value), a 16 oz. Ritzenhoff Sommelier Goblet glass limited to 650 pieces (a $15 value), and an IN Beer Brigade T-shirt (a $25 value). Full pours of the beer will also be available for purchase.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, commonly called the TTB, has been part of the “government shut down.” According to the TTB web site: “Due to the lapse in government funding, only websites supporting excepted functions will be updated unless otherwise funded. Our TTB website, www.ttb.gov, will be available during this shutdown period, and you will continue to be able to file electronic payments and returns for federal excise taxes and operational reports” Thus, breweries and others can pay but they will not get additional approvals and no employees are allowed to work on current projects.

Charlie Papazian officially stepping down from BA. Back a year ago, 1/23/ 2018 Charlie Papazian stated he would retire from the Association (BA), which he founded. He will leave 1/23,/2019 on his 70th birthday and National Pie Day, which he founded. Papazian is a legend in craft and home brewing! Those of us who have met him and been around him have been very fortunate. To list his accomplishments means a long list. Papazian founded the National Homebrew Competition, The Great American Beer Festival, The World Beer Cup. he started Zymergy magazine, and wrote the first book on home brewing most of us every owned. Congrats to Charlie for all he has done! Enjoy the next steps and the next beer!

Craft Brewers no longer must have most business in beer according to the Brewers Association, the trade association for craft brewers. We saw this coming. The makers of Samuel Adams beer no longer primarily brew beer. Boston Beer Company, despite the name, also make and market Twisted Tea, Angry Orchard ciders, and Truly Spiked and Sparkling Water. Boston Beer Company is one of the founding members of the Brewers Association and the new definition of a craft brewer now fits their operation while the previous definition would not.

According to the BA, a craft brewer is: Small – Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to rules of alternating proprietorships. Independent – Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. Brewer – Has a TTB Brewer’s Notice and makes beer.

According to Bart Watson of the BA: The change in the definition involves the removal of the “traditional” pillar, which required a craft brewer to have “a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavors derive from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation.” Now brewers may make other beverages and have a larger percentage of their business in those beverages.