Craft Beer Kickball Comes to Savannah

The Savannah Bananas baseball team will be hosting Craft Beer Kickball this spring at its Grayson Stadium headquarters.

Registration opens January 13th.

From the website:

KICK BALLS. DRINK BEER. GO BANANAS.

MARCH 9TH – MAY 4TH

The First Ever Craft Beer Kickball League.

No need to bring beer.  We got you covered.

Free craft beer every night.

Sign up with your friends. Or your enemies. Or ride solo as a free agent.

We are looking for Craft Beer Kickball Legends.

Only 24 teams available.

The league is managed by Savannah Adult Recreation Club.  For more information, use the contact information located on the official announcement.

Red Hare Seeks Savannah Sales Manager

Marietta, GA based Red Hare Brewing Co. is looking for a Savannah, GA sales manager.

You know Red Hare through its year round offerings like Long Day Lager, Gangway IPA and Watership Brown Ale. Seasonal releases like Wabbit Wheat and Sticky Stout are local favorites as well.

If you’re an ambitious young person looking to get a start in the world of craft beer by working in a growing market, this is a great opportunity.

More details and application information are available at the Red Hare website.

State of Craft Beer: 2016

What is there to say about 2016 other than it was a wild ride, in general and in the craft beer world? A lot has happened over the past twelve months so let’s look back

Nationally there were two big stories in the beer world. The first was the merger between two of the macro breweries ,when on July 20th the Justice Department approved the 108 billion dollar merger of Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) and SABMiller. This merger of the two largest breweries created an umbrella company that controls over 350 beer brands including Bud, Bud Light, Miller, Corona, Beck’s, Stella, and Pilsner Urquell among others. All told, that’s around 75% of all beer sold in the U.S.

The interesting result of these mergers and the general trend of craft breweries being purchased by macro breweries was the creation of True Craft, a craft beer investment fund founded by Stone Brewing owner Greg Koch. True Crafts goal is to take minority stakes in small breweries so they can grow but there isn’t the incentive to take money from the big guys.

Statewide, Georgia craft brewing news was mixed.

The same day the AB InBev and SABMiller merger was announced it was also announced that Athens-based brewery Terrapin Brewing was purchased by MillerCoors. This takeover wasn’t wholly a surprise as MillerCoors has held a large stake in the company since 2012. The outright purchase of craft breweries by larger breweries and investment funds was a recurring theme in 2016.

On January 24th, news broke that a compromise on Senate Bill 63 (SB63) also known as the Beer Jobs Bill had been reached. This was after the entire bill had essentially ben scrapped in 2015. The Georgia Beer Wholesalers Association, Georgia Craft Brewers Guild and Department of Revenue issued a statement that new regulations would be released that would:

  • Allow brewers again to sell brewery tours at variable prices based on the kind of beer offered.
  • Allow special events at breweries and distilleries.
  • Let brewers, distilleries and wholesalers use social media to alert the public about where to buy their products or advertise special events.
  • Allow third parties to sell tour tickets.
  • Let breweries and distilleries sell food on site.

This was seen by many as a lousy compromise to what was already a compromise to what would be the best way for breweries to work in Georgia. Georgia is far behind our neighboring states particularly when it comes to brewery direct sales

Locally, Savannah breweries had a lot going on.

Coastal Empire added a new can labeling system to their canning line. The new system allows them flexibility in what they can brew and release. A label system means they can keep blank cans in stock and only have to order labels that are far less expensive then preprinted cans.

Southbound Brewing released their third core beer, Shakedown Street a dry-hopped tart saison. At the end of 2015 they doubled their capacity allowing them to brew several new seasonals beyond Moonlight Drive. The first of these new summer seasonal beers is Transilience an imperial berliner weisse with mango and pomegranate.

Service Brewing has started construction on a new barrel room. It’s a huge and beautiful new space that will allow them to create a whole new range of beer.

With new restaurants opening all the time we’re seeing growth in the interest in craft beer all over Savannah. It’s far easier to find a craft brew when dinning out than it was even a year ago.

There was one sad and unexpected loss to Savannah’s scene. Hops and Barley closed its doors in late November.

The flipside of the loss of Hops and Barley was that Jason and Jocelyn Piccolo opened White Whale Craft Ales on Bull Street a block South of Forsyth. The new store sells bottles and cans of course but also twelve taps for growler fills.

It was an eventful year in craft brewing as as the industry continues to grow we can expect more exciting news in 2017.

Savannah Beer Updates: Nov 2016

Meet Salt Marsh Brewing

Raymond has a nice write up on Bluffton’s Salt Marsh Brewing at Brew / Drink / Run. I made the trip with him and concur, it’s a great spot right across the river from Savannah. You can grab a great burger and an innovative house-made beer. Former River Dog head brewer James Brown is thriving at Salt Marsh. Every beer I tasted was spot-on.

Click here to read his review

Moon River in Bottles

Moon River Brewing Co. has released Dixie Kristal Tripel in bottles. This is the first bottle release from Savannah’s original brewpub and is a direct result of recent changes in state beer laws. You can find bottles of this limited first run at Habersham Beverage.

Bier Dinner at Bier Haus

The Bier Haus is hosting a dinner on December 8 with beers from Savannah Distributing and Liberator Distributing paired with the restaurant’s creative takes on European standards. It’s $60 for a seat which gets you four courses and ten perfectly paired beers. RSVP and more info.

Hops & Barley Closing

The last day to shop at Hops & Barley is Wednesday, Nov. 30. David Barker’s shop has been an institution in the downtown Savannah craft beer scene the last two years and will be greatly missed. Half off all remaining stock through the close date. Stop in, grab some beers and say goodbye.

The Craft Beer Meets Craft Pizza Magic of Your Pie Savannah

Pizza and beer, what could be better? The two local Your Pie locations, one in Sandfly and one downtown, give you the option of not only making your own pizza but providing several craft beer options. Not only is craft beer is served up at both spots but the guys at Your Pie have created events that have brought some of the harder to find craft brews to town. In fact their devotion to craft beer has been recognized at the national level and has helped to push craft beer into the menus of many Your Pie locations.

Paul and Michael Childers are the father and son team behind both Savannah locations of Your Pie. I spoke with them about why they included craft beer in their menu.

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