Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Tale of Two Beers

With apologies to Charles Dickens, here's my tale of two parts of the beer business.  Let's start with craft brewing.  The Brewers Association has once again totaled up all their statistics for the growth of craft brewing in the last year and presented it in a very cool infographic. Let's look at the highlights.

Craft brewing has finally cracked the 5% volume share of the US beer market; this is even as the total US beer market's volume decline 1.32%.  A growing number of people realize that what's important about beer is flavor and quality, not slick ad campaigns and cheap prices.

Craft beer also continues to grow its retail dollar sales; craft retail sales hit $8.7 billion, which is a 15% growth over last year.  Some of that is due to the general inflation in the economy (the price of everything is going up, thanks to the Federal Reserve's money printing), but not all of it.  Once again, we see that craft beer lovers don't mind paying a little extra for quality.

The volume of craft beer brewed has also continued to increase, jumping another 13.2% since last year, with just under 11.5 million barrels being produced.

 The number of breweries has also hit a new record high, with 1,989 in the US, 1,938 of which are craft breweries or brewpubs.  Openings greatly outnumbered closings, with 250 of the former versus only 37 of the latter, which is more good news.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly in today's economy, small brewing companies employed 103,585 people, a not inconsequential contribution to local economies.

That's the first tale of beer, the tale of craft.  Now let's move on the the second tale of beer.

Reuters reports that because AB-InBev managed to cut its corporate debt two years ahead of schedule, executive bonuses totaling $1.33 billion dollars were triggered. Among the 40 executives who will receive a part of this bonus, Chief Executive Carlos Brito is scheduled to receive over $133 million dollars.  To put that number into perspective, this one executive will receive a bonus that is greater than the entire gross revenue of Stone Brewing & Brooklyn Brewing (two of the largest craft breweries) combined.

Sorta puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

Moving from the global perspective back here to Alaska, there's a pretty cool beer event taking place this weekend in Talkeetna.  Starting at 5 PM on Friday, March 30, and continuing through 1 PM on Sunday, April 1st, Talkeetna Beer Trippin' 2012, the "Dark Side of the Brew" will take place.  This event is organized by the Twister Creek Restaurant, Denali Brewing Company and the Great Northern Brewers of Anchorage, but it is open to the general public.  There are beer and music events scheduled throughout the weekend, so if you can make it to Talkeetna, you should really check it out.

Here's a schedule of events; click on it to enlarge:

In more local news, Kenai River Brewing will be releasing their nationally-known Gummi Bear Tripel this Friday, March 30.  I'm not kidding when I say nationally-known; this beer has gotten press (mostly good but some pretty hostile) from coast-to-coast.  Google it if you don't believe me.  Hard to believe no one's ever done it before commercially.  They will also have a new Single Hop IPA on soon; Joe Gilman told me the hop, but I neglected to write it down and now I can't remember it.  Speaking of Joe, he now has his arm brace off and is back to brewing; if you see him, ask him to show you his crazy scar.  Looks like somebody unzipped his arm, which I guess is essentially what they did.  Glad you're back in the game (brewing, not curling), Joe!

Out at Kassik's Brewery, they have a new beer on tap: Vanilla Bean Cream Ale at 5.5% ABV.  Word is, it's pretty popular, so if you're out their way, stop by to give it a try.

I wrote last week about the new brews at St. Elias Brewing Company, Red-Headed StepChild Imperial Red and Brass Monkey ESB.  There's another beer waiting in the wings, name unknown, but it's a barrel-aged Old Ale, with some unique properties.  Stay tuned for more information when it's actually released.  Plus, next Friday, April 6, I'm hoping we'll see a cask of Brass Monkey ESB on hand pump. Definitely not to be missed!  

Finally, a couple of beer reviews.  First, the return of a perennial favorite, Midnight Sun's Arctic Devil Barley Wine, 2011 vintage.  This is one of the top barley wine's in the world, IMHO, and this year's version does not disappoint.  It poured a deep, translucent chestnut, with a cream-colored head.  The aroma was heavy on caramel-malt elements, then oaky notes from the barrel aging and a bit of alcohol.  On the palate, this is definitely an English-style barely wine, with the hops (Challenger, Cascade, & Fuggles) playing back-up to the huge malt flavors, but with a surprisingly dry finish.  At 13.4% ABV and 20 IBUs, this is a huge beer, but it's surprisingly drinkable.  Finishing a 22 oz bottle in 2 or 3 hours after dinner was no struggle.  I made sure to purchase a couple of bottles to cellar, as it's sure to age well.  Another excellent beer from the folks at Midnight Sun!

I also tried a bottle of Avery Brewing's Salvation Belgian Golden Ale that I purchased at La Bodega in Anchorage.  I poured it into my Duvel tulip , and it poured true to style, with a clear gold color and a massive & rocky white head of pinpoint carbonation.  The aroma was primarily the earthy, spicy notes that scream Belgian yeast.  On the palate there was good carbonation and an excellent clean bitterness.  It was not as dry as a Duvel, but was still tremendously refreshing. It also concealed its 9% ABV in a dangerously deceptive way, just like the archetype of the style.  A delicious take on a classic Belgian style from Avery Brewing Company.

Well, that's about it for this week.  I hope all of my fellow Alaskans out there are enjoying break up as much as I am.  Time to trade those snow boots for the Xtra Tuffs.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ken!

Elaine and I happened to be in Anchorage Sunday evening, which turned out to be quite fortuitous.  It seems March 18 was Ken Pajak's 60th birthday, and since we were in town, we were able to make it to his party at Cafe Amsterdam.  We had an early start the next day, so we didn't stay too late, but the food was great, the beers were exotic and plentiful, and a great time was had by all.  Here's to another 60, Ken!

Since the Alaska State Legislature in currently in session -- meaning no Alaskan's Life, Liberty, or Property is safe-- I thought the following graphic might be a timely reminder of just what greedy b******s they are.  Please note which state is Numero Uno when it comes to having the highest excise tax on beer:

Click to enlarge
Now take a look as this graph:
Click to enlarge
Look at all the states we're behind! Hell, I'm brewing more than 40 gallons a year.  This is embarrassing; we need to pick up the pace. I'm doing my part; how about you?

On Monday, I was knocking around Anchorage, doing some shopping, while Elaine attended a conference.  After lunch, I dropped by the Snow Goose to see what Gabe Fletcher was up to.  I found him in the middle of brewing another batch of his Galaxy White IPA; while I was there he finished the boil, whirlpooled it, and started moving it down to his oak foudres.  Speaking of foudres, Gabe is in the process of purchasing four more of these huge wooden vessels; this will give him a total of six.  I guess he will need them, given the popularity of Galaxy; Gabe tells me he expects to bottle 5,200 hundred cases of it this year, plus another 1300 cases of it's big brother, Double Galaxy.  According to Gabe, Double Galaxy will be just like it's namesake, just with lots more of everything: more alcohol, more Galaxy hops, more spices, and more 'quat.  Here are some photos I snapped:

Foudre, awaiting filling.

The other foudre

Wine casks awaiting filling with Love Buzz Saison!

Gabe adding the spice bag to the kettle
Seems to me that Gabe's biggest problem is that he keeps outgrowing his space.  Darned if I know how he's going to shoehorn four more foudres in there, but I'm sure glad he's making such great beers for the rest of us to enjoy!

Also from Anchorage, congratulations to Michael Kiker of Celestial Meads, who brought home more medals from the 2012 Mazer Cup Mead Competition in Boulder, CO than any other meadery in the world!   Celestial earned five medals (two Gold, a Silver, and two Bronzes).  Once again, we see that Alaskans produce some of the highest quality products in the entire world.  Well done, Michael!

Moving on to the Peninsula, I had a chance to taste Kenai River Brewing's soon to be released Gummi Bear Tripel a week ago.  It will not be released until next Friday, 3/30, but I can tell you that this is one fine-tasting tripel.  Doug and the boys used 20 pounds of Belgian candi sugar plus 15 pounds of gummi bears to produce this 9.2% ABV brew.  Tasting it, I have to say that I couldn't find any gummi flavors, just all the wonderful Belgian yeast notes you'd expect from a tripel.  Regardless of what they used to make it, this is a great beer and I plan to grab more as soon as it's released!

While I was at Kenai River, I finally got some shots of their new Taproom.  Here they are:

This is a great place to hangout and have a beer or two.  There's no food service, but the brewery is happy for folks to bring food in from any of the surrounding restaurants or fast-food joints.  So be sure to stop by and check it out if you haven't already.  Also while I was there, I finally picked up a quart of their excellent Russian Imperial Stout; here's my formal review:

It poured totally opaque, with a nice tan head.  The nose was of caramel and coffee, with a little more emphasis on the former than on the roasty coffee aromas.  On the palate there was good mouthfeel, with the degree of chewiness that I like in a big imperial stout.  The rich flavors of caramel and roasted malt were superbly balanced, with just a touch of alcohol heat around the edges, and a long, lingering finish.  Several of my friends have said they think this is the best beer they've ever had from Kenai River.  As for me, my heart still belongs to their Skilak Wee Heavy, but this Russian Imperial  Stout is a close second.  Nice job, guys!

One last piece of Kenai River news: Odie's Deli in Soldotna is getting a beer and wine license and will be offering Kenai River beers both on tap and in the can.  Besides Skilak Scottish and Sunken Isle IPA in cans, look for two brews on tap, Peninsula Brewers Reserve and another (possibly rotating) selection.  There is also talk on monthly beer dinners; I should have more info on these soon.

Over at St. Elias Brewing, Zach Henry has two new beers on.  One is a return of regular spring visitor, his Brass Monkey ESB.  Besides the standard draft version, Zach has filled his casks with some dry-hopped versions of this brew, so we should all be able to enjoy it on hand pump before too much longer.  This year Zach went back to using exclusively English hops, including Fuggles and East Kent Goldings.  This makes for a beer a little less aggressively hoppy than last year's, which included Amarillo hops.  This year's ESB is also darker, showing a deep ruby color in the glass and has a rich malt backbone for the hops to hang off of.  Very nice and I can't wait to taste it from the cask!

The second new brew is Red-Headed StepChild, an Imperial Red Ale aged for six month in Hungarian oak red wine barrels. The resulting 9% ABV beer is a slightly cloudy, dark red ale with a lovely cream-colored head.  The aroma is fairly hoppy (Citra, I think but I did not confirm this).  On the palate, there's good carbonation and nice mouthfeel, with the bitterness arriving first, followed by some caramel, then a touch of wood.  No perceivable alcohol heat, but this is definitely a sipper not a session brew.  This beer should be particularly attractive to the red wine drinkers out there.

Moving on to bottled beer reviews, Here are a few new beers I tried since my last blog:

Southern Tier Brewing's Imperial Chokolat Stout.  I picked this bottle up at Country Liquors in Kenai.  It poured perfectly opaque with a small tan head.  The aroma was pure dark chocolate, and I mean absolutely pure.  This beer had more chocolate aroma than any other beer I've ever had.  On the tongue the chocolate was a little more restrained than in the nose, but it was still very forceful, balanced by some roastiness from the malts used.  Great mouthfeel and a touch of heat from the 10% ABV on the finish.  If chocolate stouts are your thing, you'll go crazy over this one.

Alaskan Brewing's Birch Bock, latest in their Pilot Series.  This doppelbock made with birch syrup a dark honey-amber with a small, fast-dissipating head.  The aroma is clean caramel, nothing else.  On the tongue, this one expresses as a very clean lager, with good mouthfeel and sweetness from the syrup, falling away gradually to a nice finish.  The 8.5% ABV is well hidden, making this one dangerously drinkable.  A very nice doppelbock, with the Alaskan-made birch syrup very nicely integrated into the flavor profile.

Bridgeport Brewing's Raven Mad Imperial Porter.  I picked this one up at Fred Meyer, with an eye toward recommending it to my friend Curt.  He loves big, whiskey-barrel aged brews, and the label said that 50% of this beer was such, blended with the other 50% aged on oak sans whiskey.  It poured nicely, dark with a big khaki head.  The nose was of coffee and vanilla notes (likely from the oak), but no whiskey.  On the palate, I was a bit disappointed, as the whiskey element was pretty non-existent.  Usually with beers like this, my problem is with too much whiskey, rather than too little.  I like the beer to dominate, and the spirit to play second fiddle.  Here, the whiskey was so far in the background, I couldn't really find it at all.  That being said, the beer had good carbonation, nice mouthfeel, and plenty of roasty flavors.  As a 7.5% ABV imperial porter, it wasn't bad; as a whiskey-barrel aged one, it was a little disappointing.

Victory Brewing's Prima Pils.  This is one of the top craft pilsners in the US, and a beer I've been wanting to try for some time.  I finally picked up a couple from La Bodega during my trip to Anchorage last weekend.  However, when I pulled them out to drink later in the week, I found I'd made a rookie mistake and failed to check the Best By date.  We're a long way from anywhere up here in Alaska, and getting beers in a timely manner is often a problem.  I drank these beers on March 22, exactly two months past their Best By date of 1/22/12.  Given how critical freshness is for pilsners (perhaps more so than any other style), it wouldn't be fair for me to really review this beer based on the samples I drank, so I will limit myself to saying that even two months past due, they were still quite good, and I look forward to grabbing some fresher examples in the future.  If you are reading this somewhere where you can get Prima Pils fresh and you like pilsners, I suggest you give it a try.

Well, that's it for this week.  Stand by for me to share a pretty exciting piece of news next week.  Until then, keep searching out those good craft brews.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Here Comes St. Patrick's Day

It's Spring Break Week here at KPC.  I have to wonder why we call it "Spring" Break; I'm thinking "Still Winter Break" might be a better choice.  It was 5F this morning, there's about 3 ft of snow on the ground, and another inch or two forecast for tonight.  If this is spring, we've got problems!

On a national note, many folks lately have been saying that beer is cheaper than gas.  Given how expensive gas in here in Alaska, I'd be tempted to believe it.  However, the folks at actually went to the trouble to calculate it out.  Check out this graphic:

They decided that the only way to have get beer cheaper than gas was to brew it yourself. Recalculating for Alaska, gas is about $4.45 a gallon here in Soldotna, and a 15.5 gallon keg of Kenai River's Peninsula Brewers Reserve will set you back about $115, or $7.42 a gallon. So we've still got quite a ways to go before beer is cheaper than gas.  Unless you homebrew, otf course...

Lot's of interesting beer news.  First off, I've been hearing rumors that there was a brewpub on the way in Seward at the old Elk's Lodge.  This weekend, I met a nice lady from that town, who gave me some more information, including a name, the Seward Brewing Company, and a website.  Check it out here. I'm told that the owners behind the project are Gene and Sandy Minden, former owners of Chinooks Restaurant at the Seward Boat Harbor, and I hope to get in touch with them at some point for more information.  Meanwhile, check out the website for some very interesting photos.

Next, Pam Hatzis, the owner of La Bodega in Anchorage, has announced that the shop will be moving out of their current hole-in-the-wall place at University Center Mall to a new and much larger location.  The new store will be located on E. Benson, in the same strip mall as Cafe Amsterdam, in the space the formerly housed the Keyboard Cache.  The new store will be much bigger (3,000 square feet) and boast special LED lighting and treated windows to protect the beers from being light-struck by UV radiation.  Best of all, there will be a growler bar, with between 10 and 16 beers on tap at any time.  Look for them to make the big move in late April.  Meantime, they will be having a celebratory Cider & Irish Beer Tasting this Friday (March 16) from 6 to 9 PM at Kinley's Restaurant. Word is it will be casual, buffet style food and plenty of it, along with the beer and cider.  Tickets are on sale at La Bodega, so if you'll be in Anchorage this Friday, you won't want to miss it. (Much of the foregoing info was lifted from my good buddy Jim Robert's most recent Anchorage Press column; read the whole thing here.)

Speaking of beer dinners, Alaskan Brewing will be holding one at Simon and Seafort's in Anchorage next Wednesday, March 21, at 6 PM.  The menu sounds delicious:

Portobello and Crimini Wild Mushroom Soup
Apple wood Smoked Pan-Fried Oysters with tobiko and warmed brie
Cedar Roasted Seafood with Shallot Beurre Blanc
BBQ Wild Boar Spare Ribs with a Citrus-Honey Porter Sauce
Warm Smore with House-made Marsh mellow, Chipotle Brownie, and Triple Sec Chocolate Sauce

As good as the food sounds, the beer choices sound even better, as the will be doing a vertical tasting of the odd years of Alaskan Smoked Porter, from 2003 to 2011. All this for only $65.  Reservations can be made through Michelle Aldana, via email at  If I was going to be in Anchorage next week, I would definitely be there!

Looking a bit further ahead up in Anchorage, on Friday, April 6th, from 6:30 to 9:30 PM at the Performing Arts Center, the 4th Annual Chemistry of Beer, Wine & Sake event will be a taking place. This is a fundraiser for the Alaska Museum of Natural History.  Tickets are available, starting at $45.
There was a very interesting interview with Gabe Fletcher from Anchorage Brewing Company by the blog Embrace the Funk; read the entire interview here. One of the more interesting things Gabe talked about was his upcoming collaboration brews: a wild ale with Mikkeller and and a Belgian Imperial Stout, aged in used cognac barrels with Gigantic Brewing Company. Also, the second batch of Whiteout Wit should be showing up on store shelves anytime now.  So if you missed it the first time round, here's another bite at the apple.
Locally, the date and location of the 2nd Annual Kenai Peninsula Beer Festival has been confirmed.  It will take place on Saturday, August 11, 2012, from 4 to 10 PM, at the Soldotna Sports Center.  You can check out my blog of 8/17/2011 for details of last year's festival.  If you'd like to be a part of this year's event, either as a brewer, a vendor, or an entertainer, contact Matt Pyhala at  Last year was a fantastic time and I expect this year will be even better.

It's not exactly beer news, but what the heck.  I finally made contact with Felicia Keith-Jones, one of the people behind the High Mark Distillery, a project being developed in Sterling, not far at all from where I live.  I hope to have much more information in the near future, but I gather they'll be producing several types of spirits, including Arctic Ice Vodka, Nickel Back Apple Jack, and Blind Cat Moonshine.  Not sure about that last one; growing up in the South, I learned to be a little wary of 'shine, as that stuff packs quite a punch.  I think it's great that we'll soon have a local distillery here on the Peninsula to compliment our breweries, meadery, and winery.

In other news, as I reported last week, Kenai River's new Taproom is now open.  I hoped to have some photos of my own of it by now, but when I pulled out my camera last week, the battery had died.  So you'll just have to take my word for now that it's a great place to drop in for a brew.  That's especially true right now, as their new Russian Imperial Stout is on tap.  I had some last week and it's excellent, but I don't think it will last too much longer, so you'd better get it while you can.  Photos next week, I hope.

St. Elias Brewing is celebrating St. Patrick's Day with a week-long special on their Mother's Milk Irish Stout, so stop by and grab a growler before Saturday. Late Addition: There will be live music at St. Elias from 7 to 9 PM on St. Patrick's Day and there's a new beer on tap: Red-Headed Stepchild, an imperial red ale, aged for 6 month in Hungarian red wines casks!

Pushing on to reviews, I actually only have one to offer this week: Lectio Divina from Saint Somewhere Brewing Company of Tarpon Springs, Florida. This beer is from a brewer that doesn't distribute in Alaska (Florida's a long way from here), but I managed to acquire a bottle from a friend in the Lower 48. It's a hard beer to peg stylistically, being something like a dark saison crossed with a gueuze.

The beer poured a cloudy amber or honey color, with a big beige head.  The nose on this beer was amazing; hard to believe it came from Florida rather than Flanders, with such a characteristically Belgian aroma.  There were tart, acidic notes like you'd expect from a lambic, dark cherries, caramel, spiciness from the yeast and hops, not to mention some horse blanket funk from the use of Brettanomyces in the bottle.  On the palate, this same amazing complexity continues, with traditional gueuze sourness intertwining with fruity notes (apples, pears, strawberries), all hanging from a substantial caramel backbone and warmed by the 8% alcohol.  This is one extremely complex beer and a real triumph by the brewers at Saint Somewhere; I've had some pretty tame American interpretations of Belgian-style brewing over the years, but this beer certainly isn't one of them.  If you are lucky enough to live somewhere that receives shipments of this brew regularly, be sure to try it.

Well, that's it for this week.  More news and reviews when next we meet.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Some Long-Promised Beer Reviews

Now that I'm finally over my long running illness (I finally rolled out the big guns and got a prescription for some antibiotics), I can do some serious beer tasting again.  So let's jump right in to some beer reviews.

Back in November of 2010, I reviewed a couple of beers from the Three Musketeers Microbrewery in Quebec.  Recently, I was lucky enough to get my hands on another of their brews, a bottle of their Porter Baltique.  At 10% ABV, this is one serious brew.  It poured absolutely opaque, with a nice tan head.  The aroma was exceedingly complex, with notes of dark fruits, chocolate, caramel, woody vanilla notes, and a touch of smoke.  On the palate, it was a thick, chewy beer, with hints of molasses, coffee, brown sugar, and more woody notes, falling away to an excellent finish.  This is easily one of the best Baltic Porters I've ever had, and an excellent after dinner sipper on a cold winter's evening.  If you get a chance to snag a bottle of this beer, don't hesitate.  In fact, grab all you can afford.  It's that good.

The latest releases from Gabe Fletcher's Anchorage Brewing Company are available in Kenai at Country Liquors (unless they're sold out when you happen to stop by).  First up, there's his Galaxy White IPA.  I've written quite a bit about this brew in the past, mainly because I was fortunate enough to be asked by Gabe to write the back label for it.  In order for me to do so, he described the beer to me before its release.  I got to try it in January in Anchorage during Alaska Beer Week, but circumstances were such that I never had the chance to do a formal review.  Then I got sick.  Finally last weekend, I sat down, opened a bottle, and did a real tasting and review.  Here it is:

The beer poured a crystal clear pale gold into the glass, with a big, rocky white head.  The spices added to the beer were evident in its nose, with the kumquats being especially noticeable.  I also picked up the littlest hint of funk from the brett.  The beer was very light on the palate, with excellent carbonation and a very refreshing balance of bitterness and spiciness.  The brett again makes its presence felt on the finish, though it is still pretty subtle (at least until the beer spends more time in the cellar).  An excellent example of the White IPA style, and one I plan to taste again at regular intervals to monitor the impact of time on its flavor profile.

Next, I opened a bottle of Gabe latest release, the 2012 Fur Rondy Brew, his Running of the Reindeer Saison.  If you're not from Alaska, the name probably makes no sense, so if you're unfamiliar with Anchorage's answer to running with the bulls in Pamplona, you can check out the 5th annual installment here.  But on to the beer.

The saison poured a slightly cloudy gold with a massive white head.  The aroma was full of bright, citrusy hops and a fair amount of brett funk (more than in the Galaxy White IPA).  The beer was nice and dry (the way I like my saisons) and light in the body, with wonderful bitterness and a nice amount of funkiness from the brett.  Quite refreshing and one of the best saisons made with brett I've tasted.

Turning to other beer news, the 2nd Annual Bering Sea Beer Fest will take place at 2 PM on Tuesday, March 13th. It will be held on the sea ice just outside Nome near the Iditarod finish.  If you happen to be in town for the race, this would be a unique chance to drink various beers while standing on the frozen ocean.  Wisely, the organizers suggest that you "bring a coat".

Over at Country Liquors, Sierra Nevada's 2012 Bigfoot Barley Wine has made its annual appearance on the shelves, as well as the latest beer from Alaskan Brewing's Pilot Series, their new Birch Bock, which I wrote about in my last blog.  I haven't had a chance to drink the Bock yet, but I had a Bigfoot the other night and I can confirm that this year's batch is wonderful, just like it always is.

Moving to local breweries, I finally got some of St. Elias Brewing's Vanilla Bean Porter from the cask on Friday, February 24.  I never fail to be impressed with the difference cask conditioning makes in a beer's carbonation, and the extra vanilla flavor from "dry hopping" beans in the cask made this beer particularly delicious.  Zach's got some interesting new beers waiting in the wings to release as soon as some of his current brews tap out.  Also, look for a special price on Mother's Milk Irish Stout next week, in honor of  St. Patrick's Day.

Kenai River Brewing has the biggest news, however.  First, they have brewed a new Abbey-style beer, using Gummi Bears among other things.  It's still working away, but Doug tells me that it smelled delicious going into the fermenter.  Even more exciting, their new tap room is officially open!  As you can see from the photo (which I borrowed from their FB page), it looks gorgeous.  After Kassik's big expansion last year, Kenai River was our only local that lacked a decent place to sit and have a brew, so it's great that they have finally rectified that shortcoming.  The extra room should also makes things go a bit easier on the brewery side, as it will allow them to set up their canning line permanently, rather than having to break it down to get it out of the way after each canning run.

Well that's about it for this week.  Look for more reviews next week, as I work my way through the backlog of interesting beers that I wasn't able to taste, due to being sick.

Until Next Time, Cheers!