Shorts Brewing Company now selling outside of Michigan, breaking ‘Michigan Only’ promise

According to an article I found on the Metro Times website, it looks like Shorts Brewing Company is dropping its ‘Michigan Only’ promise and will start selling its beer in the Chicago area and in Pennsylvania.

I feel that this is a smart move for the organization, as it allows them to expand their market and to keep up with the very tight craft beer market. This also allows those of us Michigan beer lovers to brag even more about what makes Michigan beer great!

You go, Shorts, and congratulations!!!

I made the news (sort of) about MBG Winter Beer Festival!


I guess it pays to blog…

On my other blog (The Pridelands), I posted back in 2006 that my best friend and beautiful wife, Jennifer, and I were attended the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival in Lansing, Michigan. It was the first year that they were doing a winter festival, and I remember having a great time (after a ‘false start’ or two).

Garret Ellison from saw it and contacted me to see if I would answer a few questions. Any time I can talk about Michigan beer and the Michigan Brewers Guild, I love it, so I agreed to talk with him.

He wrote a great article about the 10th Anniversary of the MBG Winter Beer Festival, and I hope I did Michigan beer and the Guild proud!

Ironically, I had to give up my tickets this morning for Saturday due to a personal conflict. I was hoping to attend Friday’s session as a media person (I DO have this blog after all), but I didn’t request a media pass.

I apologize to Garret and for my ‘Brian Williams’ moment, but I had all intentions to attending…

Cheers to my family and friends! I hope you all have a great (and safe) time in Grand Rapids! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to the MICHIGAN BREWERS GUILD for 10 FUN AND TASTY YEARS OF FREEZING MY BEHIND!!! (You’re the only reason I’d go out into the snow and cold!)

By the way, the tickets for Friday’s session is still available! Get your tickets NOW by going HERE! ($45 in advance, but $50 at the gate (if still available))

Founders Brewing Co. announces KBS Week – March 9th – 14th

Founders KBSFounders Brewing Co. (link) announces a week dedicated to the release of what has been rated by many as the best beer in the world… KBS or Kentucky Breakfast Stout.

Residents and visitors of Grand Rapids will begin to enjoy this incredible beverage with a week full of events from March 9th – 14th. It is being distributed starting March 30th.

KBS is an imperial stout brewed with coffee and chocolates that is aged in oak bourbon barrels for a year in the caves beneath Grand Rapids.

Last year, Founders made an event of the release, which included special happening in and around the Grand Rapids area (which was at that time named Beer City USA) to much success. This year, they kicked it up a notch. Starting Saturday, February 14th at 11AM ET, they’re using EventBrite to allow you to reserve a spot to pick up bottles of KBS in the Founders Taproom. That magic ticket will allow you then pickup and pay for your bottles from March 10th – 14th. Proceeds from the EventBrite reservations will go to Grand Rapids Whitewater.

They’re also hosting tappings in or around GR at various bars from the March 9th to the 13th, with a main tapping on the 14th at Founders Taproom. You can even enjoy more of Grand Rapids with KBS Week hotel packages with some area hotels!

Get details of all the events and links to everything by going to

I hope to be there… Hope to see you all there too!

American Homebrewers Association Gives Gift Membership to President Obama for the Holidays

Recognition Also Bestowed Upon Departing White House Chef Sam Kass

In a press release posted on December 17th, because of their support and advocacy of homebrewing, President Barrack Obama and outgoing White House Chef Sam Kass were given special lifetime memberships in the American Homebrewers Association.

Placing politics aside, this is really cool! I hope that future U.S. Presidents and White House chefs continue their support of homebrewing. Unfortunately, you probably have to buy your own membership, but you can by clicking on the link HERE.

Brewers Association Press Release – American Homebrewers Association Gives Gift Membership to President Obama for the Holidays

NY brewpub in trademark fight with the Evil Empire of Lucasfilm/Disney over their beer ‘Strikes Bock’

Come on, Disney (now owner of Lucasfilm)… can’t you just be nice for once?

It seems that Empire Brewing Co. in Syracuse, New York, went to get a trademark for a beer they’ve been brewing for 7 years called ‘Strikes Bock’, but Lucasfilm is opposed to it!

This strikes a nerve with me because Disney had Twitter take away my original Twitter account name (@TheLionKing) by saying that I said disparaging things about The Lion King (which anyone who knows me would tell you that I would never do). So, Twitter gave me this name instead (@TheLionKing_) which was a HUGE difference!

I’m backing the Rebels (of Empire Brewing Co.) in this fight with the evil empire of Lucasfilm/Disney!!!

Get the details here:

May the Force be with you, Empire Brewing Co…. ALWAYS!

MBG Detroit Fall Beer Festival News – Saturday Tixs SOLD OUT plus Program is POSTED ONLINE

Looks like if you were waiting to get tickets for Saturday’s session at the Michigan Brewers Guild Detroit Fall Beer Festival, you’re out of luck! Tickets are SOLD OUT! Tickets for Friday’s session is still available, but may go fast now! Go get them from HERE!

(Note: I’ve been to enough of these to know that some people will try to sell their extra tickets at the gate. Also, some people will try to sell extras online, but watch out for scalpers… those tickets will probably be disabled/confiscated.)

Also, they have posted the program online in PDF format for your researching purposes. Get a copy of it from this page – link on the right side.

I got my ticket ready for Saturday… See you there!

(Note to anyone from the Michigan Brewers Guild – This blogger [read as: MEDIA] would appreciate info on getting credentials for Friday’s session PLEASE!!!)

Less than Breaking News – Opening of HopCat Detroit delayed

I don’t know how I missed it, but the opening of HopCat Detroit, scheduled for November 15th, has been postponed until 11AM on December 13, 2014 (11-12-13-14).

They have plans for that day, including the following:

  • World Record tap takeover by Short’s Brewing Co., at least 101 different Short’s beers on tap!
  • Free show in our upstairs venue by Brooklyn’s Pitchblak Brass Band (8 p.m.) 
  • Free Crack Fries every week for a year to the first 200 people in line 
  • Free Crack Fries all day to everyone

This comes as a relief to some, as November 15th is the beginning of hunting season. As for me, I’m more of a beer hunter…

Thanks to for the article:

Aquaman buys Detroit building to open a brewery

From, it looks like actor Jason Momoa, star of “Game of Thrones” and also the ‘all but certain’ guy to play the part of Aquaman in the DC Comics movies, has bought a 100 year old General Motors building in Detroit and is going to open a brewery there. Click on the link for more details:

Winners posted for the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) 2014

The Brewer’s Association just announced the winners from the GABF 2014 (Great American Beer Festival), which was held in Denver, Colorado on October 2-4, 2014. Hopefully they double-checked their math and clerical entries before making the announcements!!! The press release is below…


Great American Beer Festival Winners

268 Professional Medals Awarded, 461 First-Time Participants Compete

Boulder, CO • October 4, 2014—The 2014 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 268 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals. Presented by the Brewers Association, GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing excellence. In its 28th year, the 2014 competition surpassed all previous participation records.
View the 2014 winners or download a PDF list of the winners.
To accommodate growth, this year’s GABF competition saw its biggest panel of judges ever, with 222 beer experts from 10 countries evaluating 5,507 commercial entries, plus 89 Pro-Am entries, with assistance from some 150 competition volunteers. Award-winning brewers received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 90 beer categories covering 145 different beer styles (encompassing subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the U.S. Winners were chosen from 5,507 competition entries (16 percent more than in 2013) from 1,309 breweries, hailing from 50 states plus Washington, D.C.
2014 Brewery and Brewer of the Year Awards Very Small Brewing Company and Very Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group (BSG)
  • Draught Works
  • Draught Works Brew Team 
Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year Sponsored by O-I
  • Marble Brewery
  • Team Marble
Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year Sponsored by Microstar Keg Management
  • Devils Backbone Brewing Co.—Outpost
  • DB Brewery Team 
Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year Sponsored by Beer Institute
  • AC Golden
  • AC Golden Brewing Team
Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.
  • Bastone Brewery
  • Rockne Van Meter 
Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group (BSG)
  • Brasserie Saint James
  • Josh Watterson & Matt Watterson 
Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year Sponsored by Country Malt Group
  • Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
  • Julian Shrago & Ian McCall
Overall Competition Highlights
Reflecting craft brewing’s surging popularity and sustained excellence nationwide, overall competition highlights include:
  • Fifty-two first-time entering breweries won awards.
  • Four breweries tied for most medals won, with three medals each:
    • 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
    • Barley Brown’s Brew Pub
    • Devils Backbone Brewing Co.–Outpost
    • Left Hand Brewing Co.
  • Top three states by ratio of medals to entries by state:
    • New Jersey: 19% with 16 entries and three medals
    • Alaska: 13% with 16 entries and two medals – tied with – District of Columbia: 13% with 8 entries and one medal
    • New Mexico: 10%  with 84 entries and eight medals
Style Categories
Since 2002, the most-entered category has been American-Style India Pale Ale (IPA), which saw 279 entries in 2014. The top five entered categories were:
  1. American-Style India Pale Ale (279 entries)
  2. Herb and Spice Beer (150 entries)
  3. American-Style Pale Ale (145 entries)
  4. American-Style Amber/Red Ale (140 entries)
  5. Imperial India Pale Ale (135 entries)
The winners in the most-entered (that is, the most competitive) categories were:
1. American-Style India Pale Ale (279 entries)
  • Gold: Breakside Brewery, Breakside IPA
  • Silver: Half Acre Beer Co., Heyoka
  • Bronze: Columbus Brewing Co., Bodhi
2. Herb and Spice Beer (150 entries)
  • Gold: Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant, Basil Beer
  • Silver: 5 Stones Artisan Brewery, Aloha Piña
  • Bronze: Coastal Empire Beer Co., Dawn Patrol Breakfast Stout
3. American-Style Pale Ale (145 entries)
  • Gold: Ballast Point Brewing  & Spirits– Sripps Ranch, Grunion
  • Silver: Peekskill Brewery, NYPA
  • Bronze: Tampa Bay Brewing Co., Reef Donkey APA
4. American-Style Amber/Red Ale (140 entries)
  • Gold: Canteen Brew House, Dougie Style Amber Ale
  • Silver: Capitol City Brewing Co., Amber Waves Ale
  • Bronze: Bootlegger’s Brewery, Rocco Red Ale
5. Imperial India Pale Ale (135 entries)
  • Gold: Columbus Brewing Co., Creeper
  • Silver: Port Brewing Co., Hop 15
  • Bronze: Russian River Brewing Co., Pliny the Elder
The 2014 GABF competition featured three new categories: Belgian-Style Fruit Beer, with 41 entries; Historical Beer, with 12 entries; and Kuyt Beer, which had no entries. There were two categories in which one of the three possible medals was not awarded:
  • English-Style Brown Ale (67 entries): no silver medal
  • Golden or Blonde Ale (90 entries): no gold medal
2014 Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co., Country Malt Group, Hopunion and White Labs 
Gold, silver and bronze medals were also awarded in the GABF Pro-Am competition, which pairs amateur brewers with professional brewers, who scale up the award-winning homebrew recipes. The medal winners, including the winning professional brewers and American Homebrewers Association (AHA) member homebrewers are: Gold: Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Scottish 80 Shilling, Bear Republic Brewing Co. Brewmaster: Team Bear Republic / Richard Norgrove, and AHA Member Michael Kelly Silver: Spencer Pale Ale, Kokopelli Beer Co. Brewmaster: Kokopelli Brew Crew, and AHA Member Daniel Christensen Bronze: I Wanna Rauch!, Springfield Brewing Co. Brewmaster: Ashton Lewis & Bruce Johnson, and AHA member Keith Wallis
Summary: 2014 Great American Beer Festival Statistics
  • 710 breweries in the festival hall
  • More than 3,500 beers served at the festival
  • 49,000 attendees
  • More than 3,200 volunteers
  • 1,309 breweries in the competition from 50 states plus Washington, D.C.
  • 5,507 beers judged (not including 89 Pro-Am competition entries), a 16 percent increase over 2013
  • 90 style categories judged, plus the Pro-Am competition
  • 222 judges from 10 countries
  • Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 61.2 (excludes Pro-Am beers)
  • Category with highest number of entries: American-Style India Pale Ale: 279
2014 Great American Beer Festival Official Sponsors
  • Carhartt
  • DRAFT Magazine
  • Microstar Keg Management
  • Snyder’s of Hanover
  • KBCO 97.3
  • 103.5 The FOX
  • 850KOA
Additional GABF sponsors are recognized on the festival website.


Barbara Fusco, Sales & Marketing Director 303.447.0816 x152

About the Brewers Association The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 75 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®Great American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®SAVOR℠: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers. Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association. Follow us on Twitter. The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.