In our column in the brandy-new 2018 Music Award Winners issue of Motif, we collected intel from Newport Craft Brewing, the Rhode Island Brew Fest, Grey Sail, Shaidzon, the Bacon & Beer Fest, and Foolproof, plus items re: Isle Brewers Guild’s partnership with Johnson & Wales University and Bell’s Brewery arrival in Rhode Island.
In our column in the brandy-new Law Issue of Motif, we collected a baker’s half-dozen of 401 brew news, with intel from Providence Brewing Company, Long Live Beerworks, Grey Sail, Beer On Earth, Shaidzon, Revival, and Foolproof.
And we’re gonna add a wee humblebrag to this edition of “Read all about it”: The feature we wrote about Narragansett Beer and the Isle Brewers Guild, which appeared in the February 2017 issue of Rhode Island Monthly, won First Place in the Business Story category at the Rhode Island Press Association’s 2017 Editorial Awards gala on April 27. Click here to read “Hi Neighbor, We’re Back!” [And mega-thanks to Jamie, Sarah, and the RIM crew.]
In our column in the brandy-new Cannabis Issue of Motif, we set out to assemble a virtual roundtable of 401 brewers. We sent queries about how to improve the local beer scene with more Better Beer Laws, peak beer, and other pressing topics. Alas, most of the brewers were too busy wrapping labels around their 16-ounce cans — by hand! — to take a few minutes to reply, but we did receive valuable input from the mighty Chip Samson at Shaidzon Beer Company. We thank ye, sir! We also have a coupla quick updates re: Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Co., formerly known as Newport Storm/Coastal Brewing, and Providence Brewing Company.
Three years ago [on 4.27.15], we ran the results of a poll which asked, “What brewery would you most like to see in the RI market?” The third-place response was Bell’s Brewery, the Michigan-based company best-known for the storied Two Hearted Ale and Kalamazoo Stout. So, yay, this just in [and huzzah to McLaughlin & Moran for landing the account]:
11 DISTRIBUTORS WILL HELP BRING BELL’S BEER TO NEW ENGLAND AND NEW JERSEY THIS SUMMER
We are proud to announce new distributor partnerships in New England and New Jersey.
Eleven distributors will help bring Bell’s beer to Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey later this summer.
“As we add any new state, it is very important to us that we remind all of our fans about our dedication to quality. Part of the process of selecting new distributor partners is making sure that is a shared passion,” said Laura Bell, CEO of Bell’s Brewery.
“We are all very excited to welcome each of these distributors to our extended Bell’s family and look forward to launching New England and New Jersey with partners who share our commitment to craft beer and quality,” she added.
We launched two new states, Texas and New Mexico, in 2017. Adding six New England states and New Jersey this year, will bring our distribution footprint to 39 total states in addition to Puerto Rico and Washington DC.
Launch celebrations are being planned. Additional information will be announced as details are finalized here at bellsbeer.com and on our social media.
Sales positions for these new states have also been posted. Learn more here.
ABOUT MCLAUGHLIN AND MORAN (RHODE ISLAND):
McLaughlin & Moran, Inc. prides itself in marketing, warehousing and delivering a world class portfolio of beer throughout the entire state of Rhode Island. Founded in 1936 by first cousins John J. McLaughlin and John E. Moran, we are now a third-generation Rhode Island family business committed to providing great products and service to our customers. The owners of the company are proud to be responsible and generous corporate citizens as evidenced by McLaughlin & Moran’s support of scores of charitable organizations. With the wide variety of products within our portfolio, the on and off premise customers that we service on a weekly basis have the ability to source high quality products to satisfy the demands of the consuming public. McLaughlin & Moran takes great pride in everything we do each and every day.
ABOUT LEVINE DISTRIBUTING (CONNECTICUT):
Levine Distributing is a family owned and operated business located in Norwich, CT. Levine has been distributing beer in eastern CT for over 84 years servicing both Windham and New London Counties along with the towns of Old Saybrook and Essex in Middlesex County. Carrying the finest selection of craft, domestic and imported beers, Levine Distributing is highly selective in which brands they sell. Levine is committed to customer service, quality and supplying the best brands possible to their customers.
ABOUT COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTING (MASSACHUSETTS):
Founded in 1935 by Joseph C. Placek in the town of Westfield, Commercial Distributing is now in its third generation of family ownership and has expanded to be the premier beer distributor of Western Massachusetts. CDC employs 125 people and services over 1,000 bars, restaurants and clubs, as well as over 400 package and liquor stores. We are dedicated to our employees who exhibit honesty, pride, passion and professionalism – and are focused on delivering complete customer satisfaction and offering extraordinary products to our valued customers.
ABOUT CRAFT BEER GUILD LLC (MASSACHUSETTS):
Voted consecutively by the Boston Globe as one of the state’s Top 100 Places to Work, Craft Brewers Guild is located minutes from the heart of downtown Boston. As the largest distributor in the state, Craft Brewers Guild services Massachusetts from Boston to the New York border with an extensive portfolio of international, national, regional, and local craft beer brands. Passionate and knowledgeable about the product, all employees are Cicerone trained and certified. As a company, the Craft Brewers Guild is dedicated to supporting the community in which it resides through charitable donations and involvement with organizations including: the Connolly Center of Everett, MGH Hospital, Camp Harbor View, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute through the James Joyce Ramble 10K.
ABOUT L. KNIFE & SON, INC. (MASSACHUSETTS):
The flagship of the Sheehan Family Companies, L. Knife & Son was originally founded in 1898, with a distribution agreement with Anheuser-Busch signed in 1934. Today, it is the headquarters and workplace for most of the corporate staff. Located in Kingston, MA it services the southeastern part of the state. L. Knife & Son is proud to be part of numerous high profile events in the area, including Martha’s Vineyard Shark Tournament and the Figawi Sail Boat Race Weekend.
ABOUT SEABOARD PRODUCTS CO. (MASSACHUSETTS):
Seaboard Products was started in Salem, Massachusetts shortly after Prohibition ended as a beer, wine, and spirits wholesaler. In 1968, Seaboard Products become the first company to be acquired by the Sheehan Family Companies, formerly L. Knife and Son Companies, and in 1970, moved its headquarters to Danvers, MA. Seaboard Products carries the Anheuser-Busch portfolio as well as a full craft beer portfolio. Seaboard Products is very active in the local community as well, supporting local youth and adult sports teams, charity events such as the Pan Mass Challenge and the Salem Witches Cup, as well as organizations such as the Jimmy Fund.
ABOUT NORTHEAST BEVERAGE CORP. OF CT (CONNECTICUT):
Northeast Beverage Corp of Connecticut is a division of Mancini Beverage, a 4th generation family owned and independently operated beverage distribution business founded in Rhode Island in 1959.
Northeast Beverage launched in Connecticut in 2001 and now represents some of the leading craft and imported beer brands servicing over 5000 customers through a state-wide sales and marketing platform. The Northeast Beverage team is committed to quality customer service, brand recognition and a passion for craft beer.
CRAFT BEER GUILD DISTRIBUTING OF VERMONT LLC (VERMONT):
In 2011, the Sheehan Family Companies brought the Craft Beer Guild portfolio to Vermont. Specializing in a full craft beer portfolio and a sales team of all Level I Cicerones, Craft Beer Guild of Vermont distributes top craft beer, cider and imported brands. Craft Vermont is the only full-service, exclusively craft distributor in the state.
ABOUT CRAFT BEER GUILD DISTRIBUTING OF MAINE LLC (MAINE):
In 2012, the Sheehan Family Companies brought the Craft Beer Guild portfolio to Maine. Craft Beer Guild of Maine, headquartered in Westbrook, brings a portfolio of popular craft brands to the area, as well as ciders and imports.
ABOUT CRAFT NEW HAMPSHIRE:
In 2010, the L. Knife and Son companies founded the Craft Beer Guild in the great state of New Hampshire. With only 2 brands–and no accounts in the beginning– the company has grown considerably, moving three times in the first year. Today, the company has 16 Cicerone Level I certified employees, and is considered the premier craft beer distributor in the state. A state whose population love their beer! Craft New Hampshire boasts a portfolio of craft brews that range from national and local to high end imports.
ABOUT HUNTERDON BREWING COMPANY L.L.C. (NEW JERSEY):
Hunterdon was founded in 1996 by college buddies and fellow beer enthusiasts Michael Short and Dave Masterson.
The company originally started out as a New Jersey contract brewer, distributing their prized Jersey Shore Gold to a handful of loyal customers across the state. Mike and Dave managed the company on their own, working tirelessly as both salesmen and delivery drivers for the first two years. Craft beer in the state of New Jersey was not at all where it is today and getting people on board was definitely a challenge. In 1998, they were able to hire a few salesmen and purchase a couple more vans to make life a little bit easier for the two passionate yet very tired young entrepreneurs. A year later they relocated from their small make-shift office in Califon, NJ that consisted of a sole phone, fax, computer and printer to a warehouse in Phillipsburg, NJ where they would take the business to the next level.
When 2000 rolled around, Mike and Dave realized the need for craft beer representation in the state of New Jersey and decided it was time to make the switch to a full-time beer wholesaler. Some of their first brands included Dogfish Head, Weyerbacher, Yards, Allagash and a collection of unique imports from B.United International. Slowly but surely they began acquiring more craft brands and getting additional sales reps out on the street. Over the next decade, the name ‘Hunterdon’ became synonymous with craft beer in New Jersey and more and more breweries looked to Mike and Dave for help distributing their product in the Garden State.
Today, Hunterdon is proud to have one of the best craft beer portfolios in the country, with over seventy domestic craft beer and spirit brands to speak of. The company also boasts a tremendous line of specialty imports, sakes, meads, wine and ciders from around the world. Hunterdon also has a rapidly growing local portfolio. The Garden State has a diverse collection of breweries, distilleries, cider makers, vineyards, and meaderies. We are thrilled to be able to grow the love of craft with the talented folks of New Jersey.
Now, located in Whitehouse Station, NJ, the company has over 150 full-time employees and more than 40 sales reps on the road each day making New Jersey a great place to drink craft beverages.
From their humble beginnings as Jersey Shore Gold salesmen operating with one delivery van, a couple of hand trucks and a ‘fly by the seat of their pants’ attitude, Mike and Dave are proud of where their journey has taken them. And we hope you are too!
In our column in the brandy-new Music Award Nominees edition of Motif, we spill a few details about Long Live Beerworks’ new digs, plus intel about Bucket’s last weekend and goings-on at Revival, Shaidzon, Foolproof, Proclamation, and more.
Pink Boots Society is a nonprofit organization aimed to “assist, inspire and encourage women beer industry professionals to advance their careers through education.” This article by Erika Woodcock, the leader of PBS’ Rhode Island chapter, is part of the pay it forward portion of their scholarship program.
I attended the Pink Boots Society (PBS) 10th anniversary conference. Sitting in a room with so many women — so many powerful, smart, badass brewing professionals — is a bit intimidating. Listening to them speak about topics slightly over my head and seeing the confidence and spirit they exude was inspiring. I wanted to learn more, make more connections, and become one of those influential women.
As soon as I got home, I started on my self-improvement and self-(re)discovery path. I had been brewing professionally for about two years as an assistant brewer at Long Live Beerworks. I basically just did what I was asked without knowing why or how and without digging deeper. After my passion-igniting trip to the PBS10 conference, I set out to change that. I wanted to know more about brewing science and quality control.
The first thing on my agenda was to apply for the scholarships offered by Pink Boots. I was convinced that I would not get it — there was someone out there more qualified, with a better essay and more experience, who deserved it more, etc. But I remembered that Megan Parisi, the head brewer at Samuel Adams and the keynote speaker at PBS10, said something to the effect that women will not apply to anything they don’t feel 100% qualified for but men will just go for it. We need to just go for it. So I put that fear of being underqualified aside and just went for it. One of the first scholarships I applied for was the White Labs Yeast Essentials 2.0 in Asheville, North Carolina. They offered a two-day workshop outlining some specific troubleshooting points on fermentation and yeast, setting up a brewery lab, and a hands-on portion. I thought it was the perfect thing to get me started with my renewed desire to learn more about the technical side of brewing. I have a science background, being a former science teacher, and yeast processes really interested me. I knew I could use this class as a starting point to become one of those badass brewing ladies. A few weeks later I received a call — I was awarded the scholarship. Turns out “just go for it” was a good motto.
The first day of the workshop, I had that feeling of excitement mixed with anxiety that one gets on the first day of school. The session started with a presentation form Chris White, the founder and president of White Labs — a little history of yeast and the company itself. Chris led a discussion on why he thought brewer’s yeast is a domesticated microorganism. We have conditioned it and selected properties to create what we now think of as brewer’s yeast: no phenols, lots of DNA, big cells, no sexual reproduction, flocculation, stress-tolerant. Yeast has been important to humans for centuries, even before we knew it existed. Yeast was the first genome sequenced and is still used in labs around the world. Chris went on to describe the formation of White Labs, which was founded in 1995. What started as a hobby to find better yeast turned into a demand for a company formed out of the need for a better yeast product. White Labs continues to innovate the world of fermentation.
The workshop presentation was led by Karen Fortmann, senior research scientist, and Neva Parker, VP of operations. Neva was one of the awe-inspiring presenters at PBS10. Topics for that day included things that where over my head and a lot of new and useful information. Yeast metabolism included aerobic vs anaerobic, critical metabolic pathways for brewing, yeast nutrition, flavor contribution and aroma contribution. I heard and absorbed issues on fermentation control point, factors affecting fermentation, and fermentation monitoring. Wild yeast and bacteria handling was also another topic. By the end of the day we moved to some hands-on lab techniques. Day one wrapped up and we were off to happy hour.
That evening was great. At happy hour I got to meet and speak to brewers from many different places. There were very small one-barrel breweries, distilleries, nationwide breweries, breweries in planning. There were a few women at the workshop too. I definitely found time to chat them up. As the evening went on, we formed groups and made our way to different breweries in Asheville. Most of the time the groups ended up at the same places. It was great finding that camaraderie among brewers from many different places. At the end of the night virtually everyone ended up at the same BBQ place.
Day two of the Yeast Essential workshop started with Neva talking about troubleshooting common formation problems; many notes were taken. The day continued with a presentation on yeast propagation, collection and storage. Then came the part of the course about setting up a brewery lab. From the most basic setup, a “break room” lab, with a microscope a few other essentials, to a large lab with state of the art equipment. The day ended with more hands-on lab techniques. After the workshop ended we were offed a tour of the White Labs facility and a beer in the White Labs Kitchen and Tap.
I set out to renew my need for knowledge and to become a leader in my field. This experience has set me on the path to be a badass brewing professional. I will apply to any PBS scholarship I think will get me there even if I have doubt if I will get it or not. I encourage everyone to do the same — just go for it.
Get more information on White Labs at whitelabs.com.
And: Long Live Beerworks will be releasing a new brew to benefit the RI chapter of the Pink Boots Society. Riot Girl was made with a special Pink Boots hop. The beer is slated for late March/early April. Get updates at their Fbook page.