–Take Craft Back, Seeking $213 Billion, Is Largest Crowdfunding Campaign Ever–

America’s Small and Independent Brewers Aim to Buy Anheuser-Busch InBev


–Take Craft Back, Seeking $213 Billion, Is Largest Crowdfunding Campaign Ever–


Boulder, Colo., October 16, 2017—It’s official: The Brewers Association (BA), the not-for-profit organization that represents America’s small and independent brewers, has announced the craft brewing community’s intent to Take Craft Back from Big Beer. The #TakeCraftBack campaign—launched at TakeCraftBack.com—seeks to crowdsource the funds to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev, the international conglomerate that has been busy acquiring small breweries across the country.

Over the past several years, Big Beer has been attempting to buy their way into the craft beer movement by acquiring small breweries at a rapid rate and using their acquisitions to invent craft brewing bona-fides.

The Take Craft Back campaign features a not-yet-superstar, Andy—an avowed lover of craft beer—who has stated that his affinity for craft beer makes him highly qualified to serve as a campaign spokesperson.

“Since 2011, Anheuser-Busch InBev has quietly acquired 10 small and independent breweries, but they won’t tell you that on their packaging,” said Andy. “Just try to name all 10 without Googling…exactly. Big Beer creates an ‘illusion of choice,’ but we are presenting them with a reality check—and hopefully, at the end of the day, with a real check too.



 Watch the launch video here

“Independent craft brewers refuse to be muscled out by Big Beer,” Andy continued, “And we are uniting on an unprecedented scale to take on Big Beer and their efforts to make it harder for beer drinkers to find their favorite independent craft beers at their favorite bars, liquor stores and restaurants.”

 Anheuser-Busch InBev, which is worth an eye-popping $213 billion, represents the biggest—and the most powerful—of Big Beer, so Take Craft Back aims to make them an offer they can’t refuse.

For full details on the campaign and how to contribute, visit TakeCraftBack.com. Pledges will only be collected after all $213 billion has been secured. Until then, free swag will be distributed to all contributors and perhaps a few toasts will be raised along the way.

 Beer lovers everywhere can spread the word with hashtags #TakeCraftBack and #IndependentBeer.



About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 4,000-plus U.S. breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the World Beer CupSMGreat American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food ExperienceHomebrew ConNational Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer® magazine, and Brewers Publications™ is the largest publisher of brewing literature in the U.S.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association and the free Brew Guru™ mobile app. Follow us on Facebook and 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.


293 Professional Medals Awarded to 266 Breweries

Brewers Take Home Top Honors at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival®

American Stout : Wild Wolf Brewing Co.: Nellysford, VA: American-Style Stout 2017

The Ferguson : Studio Brew: Bristol, VA : Oatmeal Stout 2017

Mermaid's Scorn :  Benchtop Brewing Co.: Norfolk, VA : Leipzig-Style Gose or Contemporary Gose 2017

Powers of Observation :Ocelot Brewing Co.: Dulles, VA: Baltic-Style Porter 2017

‘Photo © Brewers Association’

‘Photo © Brewers Association’

Boulder, CO • October 7, 2017— The 2017 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 293 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals to teams of homebrewers paired with professionals. Presented by the Brewers Association (BA), GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and the premier symbol of brewing excellence.


View the 2017 winners or download a PDF list of the winners.


Overview: Great American Beer Festival Competition

In a ceremony at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, award-winning breweries received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 98 beer categories covering 161 different beer styles (including all subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the country.

Winners were chosen out of 7,923 competition entries from 2,217 breweries in 50 states plus Washington, D.C. (a 15 percent and 24 percent increase respectively from the 7,301 entries and 1,783 breweries in 2016).

The competition took place in six sessions over a period of three days and was judged by 276 beer experts from 13 countries, including the U.S. In addition to commercial brewery entries, the judging panel also evaluated 118 Pro-Am entries. The competition was made possible with the help of 365 volunteers.


2017 Brewery and Brewer of the Year Awards


Very Small Brewing Company and Brewmaster of the Year | <1,000 BBLS

Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group

On Tour Brewing Co., Chicago, IL and Mark Poffenberger & Mark Legenza


Small Brewing Company and Brewmaster of the Year | 1,000 – 14,999 BBLS

Sponsored by O-I

Sunriver Brewing, Sunriver, OR and Sunriver Brewing Team


Mid-Size Brewing Company and Brewmaster of the Year | 15,000 – 6,000,000 BBLS

Sponsored by MicroStar Logistics

Saint Arnold Brewing Co., Houston, TX and Saint Arnold Brew Crew



Small Brewpub and Brewmaster of the Year | <750 BBLS

Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients

Rockford Brewing Co., Rockford, MI and Rockford Brewing Company


Mid-Size Brewpub and Brewmaster of the Year | 750 – 1,500 BBLS

Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group

Moon River Brewing Co., Savannah, GA and Moon River Brewing Company


Large Brewpub and Brewmaster of the Year | 1,500+ BBLS

Sponsored by The Country Malt Group

The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., Austin, TX and Amos Swifty Kim



Brewery Group and Brewmaster of the Year

Sponsored by Beer Institute

Melvin Brewing, Alpine, WY and Melvin Brewing


Overall Competition Highlights

·         Most medals won by a single brewery: Saint Arnold Brewing Co. (3)

·         Top three states by ratio of medals to entries by state:

o   West Virginia – 12 entries, 2 medals

o   Wyoming – 46 entries, 5 medals

o   Connecticut – 39 entries, 4 medals

·         First-time GABF competition entrants (self-identified during the registration process) numbered 584. Of those first-time entering breweries, 36 won medals.


Style Categories


Since 2002, the most-entered category has been American-Style India Pale Ale (IPA), which saw 408 entries in 2017 compared to 312 entries in 2016. The top five entered categories and number of entries per category were:

·         Category 60 American-Style India Pale Ale (408 entries)

·         Category 61 Imperial India Pale Ale (221 entries)

·         Category 58 American-Style Pale Ale (199 entries)

·         Category 59 American-Style Strong Pale Ale (182 entries)

·         Category 29 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (175 entries)

‘Photo © Brewers Association’

‘Photo © Brewers Association’


The winners in the most-entered (that is, the most competitive) categories were:


Category 60 American-Style India Pale Ale (408 entries)

Gold: Prairie Madness, Hailstorm Brewing Co., Tinley Park, IL

Silver: Gold Digger IPA, Auburn Alehouse, Auburn, CA

Bronze: Breakside IPA, Breakside Brewery & Taproom, Milwaukie, OR


Category 61 Imperial India Pale Ale (221 entries)

Gold: Manta Ray, Ballast Point Brewing Co., San Diego, CA

Silver: Lupulin River, Knee Deep Brewing Co., Auburn, CA

Bronze: Chux, Danville Brewing Co., Danville, CA


Category 58 American-Style Pale Ale (199 entries)

Gold: Monterey Street, Central Coast Brewing Co., San Luis Obispo, CA

Silver: Mosaic Pale Ale, Lynnwood Brewing Concern – Production Facility; Raleigh, NC

Bronze: Triple Tail, SweetWater Brewing Co., Atlanta, GA

‘Photo © Brewers Association’

‘Photo © Brewers Association’


Category 59 American-Style Strong Pale Ale (182 entries)

Gold: Hubert MPA, Melvin Brewing, Alpine, WY

Silver: Wolfback Ridge, Headlands Brewing Co., Mill Valley, CA

Bronze: Breakside Stay West, Breakside Brewery + Beer Hall, Portland, OR


Category 29 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (175 entries)

Gold: Hurly Burly Port Barrel Aged Barleywine, Out of Bounds Brewing Co., Rocklin, CA

Silver: Woods Monk, Odyssey Beerwerks, Arvada, CO

Bronze: Barrel Aged Barleywine, Charleville Vineyard & Microbrewery, Sainte Genevieve, MO


‘Photo © Brewers Association’

‘Photo © Brewers Association’

2017 Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition

Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co., The Country Malt Group, Yakima Chief-Hopunion and White Labs

Gold, silver and bronze medals were also awarded in the GABF Pro-Am competition, which pairs homebrewers 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: Just Another Pretty Face, Denver Beer Co., Denver, CO; Brewmaster: Jason Buehler and Denver Beer Company Brewing Team; Homebrewer: Doug Thiel

·         Silver: Lichtenhainer, Black Bottle Brewery, Fort Collins, CO; Brewmaster: Black Bottle Scuba Squad;  Homebrewer: Daniel Tomkins

·         Bronze: Eluxansis, Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins, CO; Brewmaster:  Odell Brew Team; Homebrewer: Mark Boelman


2017 Great American Beer Festival & COMPETITION Statistics

·         36th anniversary of the festival; 31st edition of the GABF competition

·         Over 800 breweries in the festival hall

·         3,900+ beers served at the festival

·         60,000 attendees

·         4,308 volunteers (festival and competition combined)

·         2,217 breweries in the competition from 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

·         266 medal-winning breweries

·         293 total medals awarded

·         7,923 beers judged (not including 118 Pro-Am competition entries)

·         98 beer categories covering 161 different beer styles judged, plus the Pro-Am competition

·         276 judges from 13 different countries

·         Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 81

·         Category with the highest number of entries: American-Style India Pale Ale

·         A gold medal was not awarded in the Fruited American-Style Sour Ale category


The 2017 Great American Beer Festival was sponsored by MicroStar Logistics, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews, CraftBeer.com, Dickie’s and Yard House.

Blue mountain Brewery Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary



Blue mountain Brewery Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary

Blue Mountain Brewery of Afton, Virginia, is celebrating 10 years in business this October. A full slate of celebrations and events surrounding the anniversary will mark the special occasion.

“We took a crazy leap a decade ago,” said Blue Mountain brewmaster and co-founder Taylor Smack. “It was the start of the recession, there were only a handful of breweries in the state, it was not even legal to open a brewery and directly serve customers without also being a restaurant, and the majority of people were still not turned on to craft beer.”

Begun with 8 employees at a single location in 2007, Blue Mountain Brewery now encompasses three brewing facilities and reaches a seasonal high of 160 employees. The family of breweries includes the original restaurant location in Afton, Blue Mountain Barrel House production facility and tasting room in Arrington (also in Nelson County), and South Street Brewery in Charlottesville, which was acquired by Blue Mountain in 2014.

Lunch at BMB - Photo by Matt Goodwyn

Lunch at BMB - Photo by Matt Goodwyn

“The shareholders of Blue Mountain and our whole team feel very blessed to be where we are,” said Smack. “But we certainly don’t want to rest on our laurels. We’ve brought a whole new level of energy to year 10. We have new projects going on at both Blue Mountain locations, and we’ve undergone a complete rebrand to bring our look in harmony with our identity. Our packaged beer, our menu look, our signage and advertising…everything finally reflects the soul of Blue Mountain.”

The brewery was also recently accepted into the Virginia Economic Gardening Pilot Program, as announced by Governor Terry McAuliffe earlier this week. As stated in the press release from the Office of the Governor, the program “targets second-stage, growth-oriented companies that have moved beyond the startup phase by demonstrating a notable increase in revenue or employment.” This pioneering program aims to enable high-growth companies to achieve the next level of success. Blue Mountain Brewery was one of 12 Virginia companies selected for the program.

The events surrounding Blue Mountain Brewery’s anniversary include the release of five new specialty beers in corked 750ml bottles (and limited draft), 10 days of live, local music, and giveaways each of the 10 days. There will also be discounts each day on a selected draft beer. These beers will be focused on original styles from the early years of Blue Mountain. Some of the live music features bands that grew up alongside the brewery, including a few bands no longer playing together who will be reuniting for the anniversary celebration.

Along with the in-house activities at the Afton Blue Mountain Brewery, there are 10 tap takeovers at different venues across the state. All of these events will have at least 10 Blue Mountain beers on draft during the event, with rare beers in each of the lineups.

Photo by: Tarun Sinha

Photo by: Tarun Sinha


“We’re hitting double digits with a bang,” said Smack. “But really this whole commemoration feels more like looking forward than reflecting back. It’s been the creative leadership of our key employees that has become the most rewarding and surprising trait of Blue Mountain as a company. That, along with our independence, makes us who we are. When our leadership team comes to work each day knowing they can steer who we are and shape our evolution, it’s a powerful thing. So now here we are: continuing to blaze our own path and jumping into the next 10 years with more excitement than ever.”

The anniversary events at the Afton-location Blue Mountain Brewery run from October 27th through November 5th.

For more information, visit http://www.bluemountainbrewery.com/calendar or our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/bluemountainbrewery/.