Government Shutdown Affects Breweries
The partial shutdown of the U.S. government is running into its second week. With many friends, family, and co-workers currently furloughed, we see the impact here in DC more than many areas of the country.
Brewers around the country are also affected by the partial shutdown. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau suspended all non-excepted operations.
We were wondering what this meant, so we went to our local brewery friends for some answers. Dave Coleman, President of 3 Stars Brewing Company, says, "TTB being closed means that no new beers or labels are currently being approved, which will put delays on new beers being released into our markets. I don't think we will see any impact on the importing of hops or malt since most of that stuff is already in the country as the hop harvest happened in the fall. All in all, not a great situation to say the least, so hopefully they can work around some of the issues that are standing in the way of our government actually conducting business."
Port City founder Bill Butcher concurs, "With the government shutdown, TTB won't be reviewing recipes or labels, which means that any packaged beer that still needs approval will have to be held until the Federal agency reopens." He is thankful that they already have approval for all the labels needed for the first quarter of 2019, like their 8th anniversary doppelbock COLOSSAL® 8. For that reason, they shouldn't have to adjust their release calendar any time soon. "However, many craft breweries who planned on working with a normal TTB approval timeline may have to push off release dates. And since we're not sure when TTB will reopen, it makes it that much more difficult to plan for new releases," he says.
Butcher explains that it also has downstream effects. "We work hard to get ahead of our business and this just wrecks our plans. If we can't get our new labels approved in a timely manner, then it affects our entire operation. It hurts our employees, our farmers who provide our grain, our hops suppliers, our label printers, our box manufacturers and ultimately our distributors, retailers, and beer drinkers. This is a failure of government to do its job! Everyone suffers from the shutdown by slowing our business after we have busted our tails planning. It is inexcusable that this should happen."
We join everyone in hoping there is a resolution soon. During the shutdown we will be offering a 5% discount to furloughed federal emloyees (and contractors). Just show your government ID at checkout.
Uinta, pronounced you-in-tuh. Or as we like to ask people, "you-in-ta beer?"
Now that we have that important PSA out of the way, Uinta Brewing Company was founded in 1993 in an old mechanic's garage in Salt Lake City. It's named after a mountain range in Utah.
In 2001, Uinta became the first 100% wind-powered business in Utah. They later added solar panels and now the entire brewery is powered by wind and solar energy. In 2015, Uinta became the 38th largest craft brewery in the US, capable of producing enough beer to fill more than 11 olympic-size swimming pools.
From their Baba Black Lager, to Golden Ale Park series (to raise awareness for America's National Parks), to Detour Double IPA, Uinta aims to create craft beers to accompany you on your adventures, whatever they may be. Come explore the Uinta lineup during our tasting on Saturday, January 12th.
When you hear ‘strong lager’ you probably think Doppelbock -- arguably the most popular of them -- but the world of strong lagers also includes Dunkles Bock, Helles Bock or Maibocks, Eisbocks and Baltic Porters! All of these beers are true malt showcases.
Bock beer, also known as Dunkles Bock is a stronger, dark beer style generally 6.3% ABV and above. It is believed to have originated in the town of Einbeck, Germany.
Doppelbock literally means “double bock” and while it isn’t truly double the strength, it is a bit stronger. Brewed to help sustain the monks during fast, they are dark amber to dark brown and most are in the 7-8.5% ABV range. Paulaner brewery in Munich claims to be creator of the Doppelbock style with Salvator. It is common to see other breweries making Doppelbocks with the "-ator" sufﬁx for them, in homage.
Helles Bock or Maibocks are the lightest of these malty gems. Mai means “May” in reference to the fact these beers were often brewed in the Winter, and stored until they were tapped in the Spring.
Taking a Doppelbock and using a special technique on it- freezing it- results in an Eisbock. Only the water freezes, the beer is concentrated when the ice is removed. Pronounced like “ICE-Bock”.
Often confused for an ale, probably because its history and tradition overlaps with Imperial Stout. British porter (made stronger and hoppier) was exported to the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea. Soon the people in these countries started to make their own dark, strong beers, and thus we have the bottom-fermented Baltic Porter. Think of these like soup-ed up Schwarzbiers.
WHY THE GOAT?
So, why the goat iconography on bock beers? Bock literally translates to ram or billy goat in German. So it began as a visual pun and has now become the symbol of bock beer.
Friday, Jan. 4 - Port City (VA) - 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 10 - Strong Lagers - 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 11 - 3 Stars (DC) - 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 12 - Uinta (UT) - 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 17 - Hermit Thrush (VT) - 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 18 - Peak Organic (ME) - 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 19 - Republic Restoratives (DC) - 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 25 - Two Roads (CT) - 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 26 - Brooklyn (NY) - 1:00-4:00 p.m.