Blog Archives

Diageo to build Guinness brewery in Maryland

Diageo announced that it’s planning to open a U.S. version of Dublin’s Guinness Open Gate Brewery near Baltimore. Here are some details from the company’s press release:

As currently planned, the company would build a mid-sized Guinness brewery and a Guinness visitor experience with an innovation microbrewery at the company’s existing Relay, Maryland site. This new brewing capability and consumer experience, combined with a packaging and warehousing operation, would bring the company’s investment in Relay to approximately $50 million.

Read the rest of this entry

The Drinkable Week: Craft Brewers Conference Edition

 

IMG_9887

I head to the Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia and share a few of my insights on the state of craft beer industry—or whatever the hell it may end up being called a decade from now. This episode also features a special guest: Victory Brewing Co. co-founder Bill Covaleski.

 

The Year of Drinking Adventurously on (Internet) radio Monday 9/21 at 12pm ET

Hey, on Monday, Sept. 21, I’ll be live on the internet radio show The Hospitality Industry News Network with Steven Nicolle on Voiceamerica, talking about my upcoming book, The Year of Drinking Adventurously (Turner Publishing). It all starts at 12 pm ET/11 am CT/10 am MT/9 am PT. Come listen as I officially kick off the book tour.

Here’s the link to follow:

http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/87290/jeff-cioletti-talks-his-new-book-coming-to-a-bookstore-near-you
bookcover copySep_2015_Ecard_jeff-cioletti-talks-his-new-book-coming-to-a-bookstore-near-you copy

Drinkable Image: Brauerei Fässla, Bamberg, Germany

When it comes to the breweries of Bamberg, German, Schlenkerla tends to get most of the spotlight. And it’s well-earned, especially since it pretty much put rauchbier on the map in the rest of the world. Fässla may not have the international profile of a Schlenkerla, but dare I say, it’s the better brewery (I’m especially partial to the Doppelbock, Bambergator).

Photos: Jeff Cioletti

Photos: Jeff Cioletti

Read the rest of this entry

West Brewery, Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.

“Glaswegian Heart. German Head.” That’s the rallying cry for Glasgow’s West Brewery, which has been producing Scottish beers with a German accent since 2006. Brands include the flagship St. Mungo, which sits at the intersection of a pilsner and a Munich-style Helles, as well West Dunkel, Black premium stout, Munich Red and the Kölsch-inspired G.P.A. Though the brewery in Glasgow’s iconic Templeton building is several hundred miles from the German border, all of its beers adhere to the Reinheitsgebot. This particular shot is from January 2015, so not too much outdoor activity here.

Photo: Jeff Cioletti

Photo: Jeff Cioletti

The Rice is Right

The thing about Portland, Oregon, is that most thirsty pilgrims heading there are after one thing: beer—myself included, admittedly. But you’d be seriously short-changing yourself if you didn’t take a ride about 25 minutes outside the city to Forest Grove and visit one of only a handful of saké breweries on U.S. soil (I think, there might be seven or eight at last count—a far cry from the 2,300-plus beer breweries in the U.S. and 7,000 or so wineries).
IMG_2670
SakéOne started out as an importer in 1992—a JV with Japan’s Momokawa Brewing—but became a producer 15 years ago. It’s best known for its Momokawa line, an homage to the partner that helped it get started.

If you’ve been on a lot of beer brewery tours, you get to a point where they all start to sound the same and you just want to get to the tasting portion of the afternoon. It’s not their fault. They have to tailor the tour to those who have little or no knowledge of brewing.

But unless you’ve traveled extensively in Japan, it’s not likely you’ve toured too many saké breweries. Sure, much of the equipment looks like a lot of the same stuff you’d find in a beer brewery, but I guarantee you haven’t seen a rice mill that polishes the grains down to the requisite percentages for junmai, junmai ginjo and junmai daiginjo.

Okay, you can admit it. It’s really all about the tasting room. Lucky for you, SakéOne’s got one of those (with plenty of saké sets and related gifts for sale. Visitors get to choose from among three reasonably priced flights. The Kura Flight, which costs $3 per person and features samples of four sakés. The Toji Flight, at $5 per person, includes everything in the Kura sampling, plus two additional reserves (including imports). Finally there’s Saké Shock, which pairs five sakes with small bites of food for $10.

When the weather’s good—which is not too often the case in Oregon—sit at a table on the outdoor patio and enjoy a bottle or three you just bought in the gift shop. We were lucky enough to be there in July when it’s generally pretty pleasant. Can’t vouch for the rest of the year though.