Monday, August 24, 2015

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Quick Hit: Buoy Brewing in Astoria

180 degree panorama from Buoy Brewing - Astoria, Oregon
Astoria has been a popular destination for sweltering Portlanders looking for a respite from the unrelenting heat of the last few weeks.  So popular that when I visited Buoy Brewing on Monday in my own attempt to escape the Portland heat, they were out of about half their beers. Our server said the weekend had been 'nuts.'  Fortunately, she said, they have recently doubled the capacity of their brewery and soon such shortages should be a thing of the past. Nevertheless there was still lots of wonderful beer to be had: their exceptional Pilsner and IPA were on tap as were a nice session IRA and a lavender saison among others.

The space on a quay on the river is second to none, the interior is lovely and includes an amusing glass floor through which to see seals and sea lions (who were not in residence when we were there but we spotted at least six sea lions in the water just out front).  The atmosphere is wonderful in the art of the pub that faces the water and they can open a big sliding door when it is warm enough (as it was for us).  

The beer, the space and the location are all exceptional, but the food is just as good.  From the hot and freshly made pitas that came with their delicious homemade hummus to the salad, to the entrés that were excellent across the span of burgers, fish, and steak.  It was the nicest dining experience we have had in Astoria and anywhere else for a long time for that matter.  

Astoria is now blessed with an extraordinary beer scene and has a great partner to the wonderful Ft. George Brewing, whose outdoor patio on a sunny day cannot be beat, and the good old Wet Dog/Astoria Brewing which is always a great stop as well.   

Consider Buoy Brewing a must if you find yourself in Astoria.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

AB InBev Craft Aquisition Binge Goes Global: AmBev Buys Cevejeria Colorado in Brazil

News from Brazil: AB InBev's Brazilian subsidiary AmBev is buying Cervejaria Colorado, a São Paulo state micro-brewery.  When I lived in São Paulo, Colorado was one of the most available beers in local shops and one I sought out as their Indica (pictured below) was my go to hop fix.  Here is a little review of Indica.

The article is in Portuguese but the script is familiar to followers of the AB purchases of breweries like 10 Barrel: Colorado founder Marcelo Carneiro will continue to run the brewery and the implication is that it will be allowed to continue to run as an independent subsidiary.

AmBev makes some of the most popular beers in Brazil like Brahma and Skol but clearly sees craft as a growing trend in Brazil.  What is most interesting is that this is an even bigger deal in Brazil than the US as in Brazil most bars and restaurants are tied to a major brewery and so it is very hard to find craft beer in Brazil.  Access to AmBevs distribution and network of tied bars and restaurants is potentially a game-changer that could really spark the rise of craft beer.  So it will be interesting to see the reaction among the craft enthusiasts as it has the reek of corporate sell-out but also the potential to really create a growing market for craft beer which currently is very niche.