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Beers from Stone, Yazoo and Ghost River to be served at Brew Movement on Thursday

March 12, 2012 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Events, Homebrew, Memphis

The brewery list is out for the 3rd annual Brew Movement, and the highlights include beers from Stone Brewing Co., Yazoo Brewing Co. and Ghost River Brewing.

The beer tasting event, which benefits the Mid South Chapter of the National MS Society, is Thursday, from 6:30-9:30 p.m., at the Chickasaw Oaks Village shopping center in East Memphis.

In addition to Stone, Yazoo and Ghost River, beers will be served from Boscos, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Red Brick Brewing, Saranac and Woodchuck. On the sweeter side, there will be Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and Lindemnan’s Framboise Raspberry Lambic for “chocolate truffles” and beer floats.

There will also be plenty of homebrew from the Bluff City Brewers & Connoisseurs and the Memphis Brewer’s Association.

The Bluff City Brewers are bringing a Black Lager, Cask-conditioned Bitter, Irish Red, Irish Stout, Orange Dreamsicle and Prohibition Ale. The Brewer’s Association guys will bring an Altbier, American Brown (one batch with American Ale yeast and one with London ESB yeast), American Pale Ale, Rosemary Pale Ale, Piggy Porter (bacon porter) and a Scottish Ale.

The event will feature hors d’oeuvres from Just for Lunch and Ciao Bella. There will also be live music, door prizes and a silent auction.

Tickets, which cost $25, are still available online or in person at Midsouth Malts, 741 N. White Station.

To see photos and a recap of last year’s event from FuzzyBrew, go here

Brew Movement for MS poster

Tennesseans for Honest Ale Taxes seeks changes to state tax code

March 06, 2012 By: grant Category: Beer in the news

Note: An earlier version of the story had the tax rates all wonky.

Tennessean Drew Phillips has launched a campaign to encourage residents to let the legislature know that the tax rate on beer over 4.9 percent ABV is too high.

“The most frustrating aspect is job creation. We’re sitting on our hands while states like North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington are reaping the benefits of an industry that is experiencing an incredible boom.” — Drew Phillips

Phillips cites the difference in taxes on higher alcohol beer – $4.29 on every barrel of beer under 5 percent ABV, and $4.40 a gallon ($136 a barrel) on anything higher – as a disincentive to opening new breweries in Tennessee.

Last year, the legislature passed a bill that would have allowed on-site tasting of big beers and sampling at a tap-room at the brewery. The bill was aimed at enticing Sierra Nevada to open a plant in East Tennessee.

Sierra Nevada backed out, citing concerns with water temperature and humidity rather than taxes, but the measure showed that the legislature was willing to change the law to bring big beer business to Tennessee.

Do you think it’s likely the state will bring equity to beer taxes?

New craft beers arriving in Memphis for 2012

January 11, 2012 By: mike Category: Craft beer, Memphis

To ring in the new year, craft beer distributor Southwestern Distributing is bringing some new beers to town.

Here’s a quick guide to the beers you’ll be seeing in Memphis to start 2012. Look for these beers soon at local retail establishments, as well as bars and restaurants.

Ruthless Rye Name: Ruthless Rye IPA
Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Style: Rye beer
ABV: 6.6%

The Ruthless Rye IPA is the latest seasonal offering from Sierra Nevada. According to Southwestern, the beer is “brewed with rustic rye grain for refined flavors that combine the peppery spice of rye with bright, citrusy flavors of whole-cone hops.” Since it’s a high-ABV beer, the Ruthless Rye will be available only at liquor stores and local bars and restaurants.

Bavik Pils Name: Bavik
Brewery: Bavik Brewery
Style: Pilsner
ABV: 5.2%

Bavik has been brewed in Belgium since 1894. According to globalbeer.com, Bavik “is considered one of the best Belgian Pilsners, and is certainly one that survived the onslaught by Interbrew-Labatt, which tried, and still tries to take over as many Belgian breweries as possible, to shut them down and to stop brewing their beers.”

Wittekerke Name: Wittekerke
Brewery: Bavik Brewery
Style: Belgian witbier
ABV: 5%

According to the book “Beers of the World,” this golden wheat beer was named after a popular Flemish TV soap opera set in a fictional village of the same name. The beer was launched as a promotional tie-in with the series. Wittekerke is brewed “according the time-honored method using a proportion of malted oats, as well as barley and wheat, to give the beer a smoother, fuller body and slightly sweeter flavor,” the book says.

That’s it for now, though more beers will be introduced as the year goes on. According to Southwestern, if you can’t find a beer you like at a certain retail store, find the manager and ask them to carry it.

What beers do you hope to see land in Memphis in 2012? Leave a comment below.

Sierra Nevada rules out Tennessee for new East Coast brewery

November 03, 2011 By: mike Category: Beer in the news, Breweries, Craft beer, Government

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. logoSierra Nevada Brewing Co., which had been eying the town of Alcoa in East Tennessee as a site for its new East Coast brewery, has decided against moving into the Volunteer State.

Representatives from the California-based Sierra Nevada informed Blount County officials in a Friday conference call that they will not build a brewery in Alcoa.

Blount County fell out of contention in part because of environmental concerns related to the brewing process for their beer, Jeff Muir, communications director for the Blount Partnership, told the Knoxville News Sentinel.

It was some natural environmental reasons in this area we couldn’t overcome with what they were looking for in the brewing process,” Muir said. “Some had to do with the natural humidity in the area. It wasn’t conducive to their refrigeration process. Some had to do with water temperature and the fact it varied too much for what they were looking for. It was natural things that occur in this area.” [source]

Virginia’s Montgomery County is also out of the running for Sierra Nevada’s East Coast brewery, the Roanoke Times reported. Meanwhile, according to BeerNews.org, the only rumored location that remains is Asheville, N.C., though Sierra Nevada has contended that several locations are still being considered.

The decision by Sierra Nevada is a blow to the economic development efforts of Tennessee, which changed the law this year to lure the 120 brewery jobs to the state.

In May, the Tennessee legislature approved a bill that allows breweries in Tennessee to make and sell high-alcohol beers, a measure aimed at enticing Sierra Nevada to Tennessee.

At the time, Memphis brewer Chuck Skypeck warned that the tax rate on producing high-alcohol beers under the new law made it “not feasible” for craft breweries in Tennessee to produce those beers.

Asked about that issue by the Knoxville paper, Blount County’s Muir said he didn’t know if the state’s high tax on craft beer figured into Sierra Nevada’s decision not to open in Tennessee.

As far as I’ve seen, Tennessee has one of the highest taxes in the country. I don’t know if that played into it, but that obviously is something to consider. From what I was told in the teleconference on Friday, there were environmental issues that were leading cause,” he said.