Competition in Craft Brewing?

The Press Herald has interviewed the keynote speaker at this week’s New England Craft Beer summit as part of an article on growing competition in the local beer market.

[Bart] Watson says every brewery in Maine will eventually feel the competition. As the Portland market matures, brewers might be forced to look to rural markets to sell their beers.

“There are challenges,” Watson said. “One of my takes is it doesn’t mean there is no growth happening. There’s a lot of growth out there. Rural areas have not been converting (to craft beer) as quickly, so local production has been slower than in metro areas. There’s still a lot of untapped markets.”

The article also reports that Portland’s newest brewery Battery Steele hopes to open next week serving an imperial stout, a saison and an india pale ale.

Interview with Rob Tod

All About Beer has interviewed Allagash Brewing founder Rob Tod for their After Two Beers series.

The two discuss how Tod moved from keg washer to brewery owner, and how he came to appreciate and brew beers in the Belgian tradition. Tod talks about some of the beers that influenced him along the way, including one in particular that inspired him to brew Allagash White, a beer that now accounts for around 75 percent of the brewery’s production.

Brewers Pursue Legal Changes to Support Growth

The Press Herald reports Maine brewers testified at the Maine State House yesterday in support of legal changes to help Maine breweries continue to expand.

Among other law changes, brewers want to be able to transfer their own ales and lagers between multiple breweries and tasting rooms without fear of violating state law. Other bills before the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee would allow more specialty food stores to hold occasional taste-testings and sample offerings and double the amount of beer, wine or hard alcohol a producer or distributor can provide to a retailer for samples.

D.L. Geary Being Sold

The Press Herald reports that D.L. Geary Brewing is slated to be sold to Alan Lapoint.

D.L. Geary Brewing Co. is being sold to a Freeport businessman who has taken over the management of Portland’s first craft brewery and intends to complete the acquisition before the end of the year.

Kelly Lucas, whose parents, David and Karen Geary, co-founded the brewery in 1983, identified the buyer late Thursday evening as Alan Lapoint of Freeport.

4th Annual Maine Beer Madness

Round 1 of the Maine Beer Madness tournament has kicked-off.

It’s finally here, the true Big Dance: the 4th Annual Maine Madness Beer Tournament, where 64 Maine beers compete for glory in a month-long bracketed tournament voted on by the public.

This year’s field of competitors is the best we’ve seen, and it’s all thanks to the hard work of everyone involved in making Maine’s beer scene world-class.

Cast your vote in round 1.

Allagash Bottle Release: Map 40

Allagash is releasing their coffee/beer collaboration, Map 40, today at 10 am. The beer is a “Belgian-style stout blended with cold-brewed coffee from” Speckled Ax. It has a “light nuttiness that accompanies tastes of chocolate, raisin, and coffee”

Best New Breweries: Foulmouthed Brewing

Beer Advocate has highlighted Foulmouthed Brewing in a list of “34 of the most promising newcomers” as selected by readers from among the 861 breweries that opened last year.

One standout is their take on a wheat Saison named Iron Goddess, brewed with honey and tea. For 2017, “we just started our barrel-aging and bottling program and are planning to set up a solera array for blending Brett Saisons,” Craig Dilger says. “But for now we are draft-only, serving the vast majority of our beer right over the bar in the brewpub.”

 

Sleek Machine Distro

Thursday’s Press Herald includes a report on Sleek Machine Distro, a new beer distributor set up to distribute Bissell Brothers beer.

It might not look like much, but Schlesinger’s tiny company represents change in Maine’s craft beer industry. While there has been explosive growth in breweries – the state counts at least 84 – there wasn’t any change in how locally crafted beer was distributed until Schlesinger and the Sleek Machine hit the streets.