Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Great Northern Hosts Hop Swap September 18

Great Northern Brewing Company wants your hops.  For the second year, Great Northern invites all Flathead Valley residents to bring in their locally grown hops and trade them for vouchers redeemable for products at the Black Star Draught House.  The hops will be used in the 2012 version of Frog Hop Pale Ale.

The hop swap will be held on Tuesday, September 18, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the brewery on Whitefish's Central Avenue in conjunction with the evening Farmer's Market.  The amount of the voucher depends on the volume of hops traded by each grower.

Here are the details from Great Northern on the quality of hops they're seeking:
Since Frog Hop is a “wet-hopped” beer, the hops must be picked within 24 hours of the September 18th event. They must be whole leaf green hops with little to no browning. All stems and leaves should be removed. Great Northern Brewing Company reserves the right to accept or decline hops based on appearance.
My own hops are coming along nicely and should be ready soon, if mother nature helps out.  It looks like I'll have plenty to share, so if you're local to Missoula and want some fresh hops, let me know (alan @ missoulabeerweek.com). 

Monday, August 27, 2012

August Run Wild Missoula Beer Run Heads to Elbow Room

Faithful readers (that's you, right?) know we're big supporters of Run Wild Missoula's beer runs. Why? Because loving great craft beer is not mutually exclusive with an active, healthful lifestyle. It's true. You can have the best of both worlds. It's entirely possible to exercise regularly and also enjoy fantastic craft beer.

So here's the deal.  Run Wild Missoula has a monthly beer run. (Heard this before? It's okay, pay attention anyway.)  Show up, run, walk, or drag yourself for approximately five miles, and then socialize with fellow active, beer loving friends with an adult beverage of your choice. Not up to five miles yet? That's okay, do what you can, cut it short and enjoy the experience with fellow beer runners.

For August, the beer run takes place at the Elbow Room at 1855 Stephens Ave. in Missoula at 6:00 p.m. The weather is forecast to be great this time of year, with temperatures in the upper 70s. Not sure I'll be able to make it - on account of preparations for awesome camping over Labor Day - but i can guarantee it will be fun for all. Below is the map for this month's beer run.  Not up for running? Show up anyway and enjoy the time drinking with fellow beer runners.  Catch the buzz.

 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Why is Montana No. 2 in Breweries Per Capita?

I thought I was done with statistics for a while until an article titled The Geography of Craft Beer crossed my path.

You might recall I recently mentioned I wasn't too impressed with the "craft breweries per capita" statistic that now has Montana as No. 2 in the U.S.  It's one of those statistics that doesn't mean much until you actually do something with it, like attempt to determine it's causation. 

The article specifically disclaims any attempt to explain causation, but nevertheless takes the craft brewers per capita statistic a step further.  The authors took a look at how the concentration of brewers per capita correlates with certain state demographic and economic characteristics.

For starters, they found no correlation with income or wages. Thus, affluence doesn't appear to have much of an effect.  They did find a correlation with education, showing higher concentrations in more highly educated states.  That's curious since I've always thought affluence follows education levels. They also found that craft brewing is more closely associated with higher levels of happiness and well being.

Duh.  Though we may have a chicken and egg thing going on there.

Craft breweries are less likely in conservative states, as well as in highly religious states, a factor which provided the strongest correlation of all.

As interesting as some of these statistic may be - hold the "nerd" comments - my base question remains.  What is it about Montana that drives up the number of breweries per capita? What's causing it?

There are two factors which come to mind right away. 1. culture; 2. geography.  In my nearly two decades of living in Montana it's been clear Montana's trends, leanings, and whatever you want to call them in the world of arts, music, food, etc., align much more with the pacific northwest (read Seattle and Portland) than our neighbors to the east and south.  If you're not familiar with Montana, you might be rather surprised at our near obsessiveness with finding good coffee.  I think there's a correlation there with seeking out good beer.  There's quite a craft to both.

Then there's geography.  At the risk of understating it, Montana is a big ass state. Spread out doesn't begin to describe it.  By my calculations, it's a 10.5+ hour drive between the farthest-flung breweries.  Our seven "large" cities are separated from each other by hours-long drives, significant mountain passes, or both.  Our smaller cities and towns are dispersed, often in places one might generously call "remote."  Thus, population centers are fairly separated, lending both a decreased level of competition and an increasing need or desire for a local, hometown brewery, given the whole culture thing.

Missoula has seven breweries and brewery specific satellite tap rooms, but it isn't anywhere near maxing out its capacity for such things in a city of 100,000.  Montana's brewery laws have unintentionally turned our State's tap rooms into something resembling the pubs of old - community centers where locals catch up on the news and welcome the passers-through like good friends.That community aspect has a lot to do with the relatively small population and relatively high dispersion of those who are here.

What about you? What do you think is driving the high number of breweries per capita in Montana?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Plant Any Beer Gardens Lately?

Mainstream media is at it again.

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times points out that beer is more popular than wine as Americans' booze of choice.  It appears a Gallup poll found 39% of American drinkers prefer beer while 35% favor wine. This doesn't seem much like news as that's been the case for nearly every year in the two decades of the poll.

Depiction of my style preference over time.
If you're curious, this graph (and not the one on the right) shows the spread up to2011 when beer and wine were statistically tied.  Given the sampling error of +/- 4 percentage points, one could argue there's no significant preference expressed in this year's poll either.  What's more interesting - and actually news - is what's causing the fluctuations? I don't know the answer.

Of course, we're talking the total universe of beer here, not just the craft segment. What caught my eye in the LA Times article was this sentence:
Craft varieties, however, have enjoyed double-digit gains amid the growth of beer gardens and a new consumer focus on premium options.
Growth of beer gardens?  That's definitely not a trend I would have predicted.  The link in the sentence takes you to another Los Angeles Times' article from October 2011 describing the opening of several "German-influenced beer gardens" in Southern California.

Hmmm . . . I'm sure these beer gardens are quite the scene, but I hazard a guess they're not responsible for the double-digit gains "craft varieties" have experienced recently.  Overstating things just a bit, are we?  In Montana, I think we call these things patios.

Then again, such overstatements are not reserved for mainstream media.  Food and Wine published an article yesterday quoting Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster Garrett Oliver as saying "[e]ven though craft beer is more popular than wine in the US, every major newspaper has a wine column, and almost nobody has a beer column. What’s wrong with this picture?"

There's no statistic (i.e. retail sales dollars, retail sales volume, etc.) that will support the claim that craft beer is more popular than wine.  His second point, however, certainly rings true and better serves to make his point that craft beer suffers from a lack of education and mainstream press.

Be constructively critical of what you read, my friends.  If you need me, I'll be out planting a beer garden. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

New Belgium's Clips of Faith Rolls Into Missoula Tonight

New Belgium Brewing Co. loves to travel around and spread the good word (about beer, that is) and tonight they're setting up shop in Missoula's Caras Park for Clips of Faith. That's New Belgium's "beer-toting, film-traveling, noprofit-benefiting show" featuring short films created by the brewery's fans and shown on a great big inflatable screen. It's free and open to all ages.

Proceeds from the beer sales benefit Bike/Walk Alliance Missoula, a "non-profit, member-driven organization created to improve the safety, health and enjoyment of the Five Valley area by promoting and enhancing bicycling and walking for everyday transportation and recreation."  Last year, the Clips of Faith show raised $2,532 for Bike/Walk Alliance Missoula.

The event runs from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. with the films beginning at dark.  Beers are available in 3 oz. samples or a 12 oz pour.  New Belgium beers expected to be available include Cocoa Mole Ale, Biere de Mars, Tart Lychee, Somersault, La Folie, Fat Tire, Ranger, 1554, Trippel, Abbey, Blue Paddle, Belgo IPA, Shift.  Food from Blue Bison Grill and Empanada Lady will be available, too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What is Craft Beer? Do We Care?

Craft beer has finally hit the big time.

The great keepers of the English language, Merriam-Webster, have added "craft beer" to the 2012 version of their Collegiate Dictionary.  Man cave, gastropub, and f-bomb were also added.

So now, thanks to Merriam-Webster, we know that craft beer is:
noun: a specialty beer produced in limited quantities: microbrew
Hmm . . I don't know about you, but that's not very helpful.  Fortunately, Merriam links us to a definition of microbrew: 
mi·cro·brew noun \ˈmī-krō-ˌbrü\: a beer produced by a microbrewery
Oh, come on, Merriam, you're killing me here.  Now we need to check out the definition of microbrewery:
mi·cro·brew·ery noun \ˌmī-krō-ˈbrü-ə-rē, -ˈbru̇r-ē\: a small brewery making specialty beer in limited quantities
Anyone else feel like we're going in circles here?

The Brewers Association defines an American craft brewer as one that is small, independent and traditional. Small, by their definition, is annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less.  That number rose dramatically a couple of years ago when it appeared Boston Beer Co. was soon to roll past the previous annual production limit.

Why raise the number?  Because there's an important statistic in craft beer:  craft beer's percentage of the beer sales market which reached 5.7%  in 2011 and continues to rise.  Lose a massive producer like Sam Adams and the percentage drops fast and furious. It's a much more important statistic than this one.

Interestingly, the Brewers Association doesn't define craft beer in their beer glossary.  Or even just "beer." But in the vein of Merriam-Webster, I suspect it would be something like:  beer made by an American craft brewer.  Which leaves out and pisses off the rest of the world, so perhaps they'd broaden that up some.

Merriam-Webster says "craft beer" as a term was first used in 1986, a claim backed up by this very interesting post on Stan Hieronymus' Appellation Beer blog.* You'll note that Stan addressed the issue without answering the question of what is "craft beer" in a post from 2007.  Curiously, he linked to the Brewers Association's definition of craft beer, a link which no longer works and a definition which is no longer included on the site.

I suppose even the Brewers Association gave up on the task and reverted to the idea that craft beer is beer produced by an American craft brewery.  (For our international readers, remember, I'm just the messenger here.)  (Actually, I don't think the Brewers Association would exclude the rest of the world from the definition of craft beer.) (Tired of parentheses yet?)

Montana defines "beer" as a malt beverage containing not more than 8.75% of alcohol by volume; or an alcoholic beverage containing not more than 14% alcohol by volume made by the alcoholic fermentation of an infusion or decoction," along with some other details.  That definition certainly includes the big boys and their adjunct lager, so it doesn't work to define craft beer.

So I turn to you, fine readers. How should we define "craft beer?" Does it matter?

 ______________________________________
* Thanks to beerpulse.com for the tip on the link. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

We're No. 2! Montana Takes Second Spot in . . . Blah, Blah.

I noticed the local weekly had a brief story this week about Montana taking over the No. 2 spot in "breweries per capita" based on information from 2011 released by the Brewers Association.* It's a statistic we see thrown around on a fairly frequent basis. Montana keeps trading places with Oregon.  Occasionally Maine sneaks in there, too.

The Montana Brewers Association touts it, newspapers tout it, other blogs tout it . . . hell, even I'm guilty of throwing it around for lack of a better idea for a post. 

But really, it's mostly a filler statistic.  It's what we tout when we don't compare in straight up numbers.  A story in Hood River Biz Buzz humorously points out that Hood River, OR, puts Portland, OR - craft beer mecca - to shame in the number of breweries per capita.

True, it's pretty cool that a town of fewer than 7,200 people has four breweries. To that end, the "breweries per capita" statistic at least has some relevant indication of a pretty happening beer scene.   So maybe that's it. Maybe its an indication of the "interest" in craft beer for a particular location.

Well, Canada has more breweries per capita than the United States. Hmmm . . . . . When Philipsburg Brewing Co. opens soon, Philipsburg will have the third most breweries per capita of all cities and towns in Montana!  Look out Belt (No. 2) and Wibaux (No. 1)!  Each has one. Brewery, not per capita.

At the recent beer bloggers conference I mentioned to another blogger that Montana was the No. 2 state in breweries per capita with 36 unique breweries. "Pfffttt," was the response.  "We have almost 50 in the city of Portland alone," he said.

The point is, no one cares much about "blah, blah per capita" statistics. Actually, that's not entirely true.  Whomever holds down the top spot cares and whomever is poised to take over the top spot cares, but that's about it.  Breweries per capita is an interesting statistic, but it does little more than pique the curiosity.  I'm guessing the casual observer might be surprised to see Montana check in at number two.  Perhaps that curiosity might cause someone to take a closer look. And for sure, that could be a good thing.

Here's a statistic you can take to the bank:  There is a 100% chance I will be having a beer tonight. What about you?

_____________________________________________
* Try as I might, I can't get google to find this info for me, nor can I find it on the Brewers Association's website.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

English and Irish Beer And Cheese Tasting Tomorrow in Whitefish

According to Marcus Food's facebook page there is an English and Irish Beer and Cheese tasting event taking place tomorrow, Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 5:00  p.m. at the Haymoon Downtown Flat in Whitefish.  The tasting includes 10 English and Irish beers along with various cheeses.  No word on the cost.

Marcus Foods, located just before the bridge over the railroad tracks leading out of Whitefish toward Whitefish Mountain, is by far the best retail selection of craft beer in the Flathead Valley.  They've got a nice mix of Belgian, English, and Irish beers to go along with some very good American ones.  They're one of the few places in Western Montana to get the recent collaboration from Deschutes and Hair of the Dog.

The Haymoon Downtown Flat is at 419 Second St. in Whitefish above the Wasabi Sushi Bar & Ginger Grill.  Sounds like a great event to try a variety of beer and cheese and meet some fellow craft beer lovers.  If it was this weekend, I'd definitely give it a go, but work in Missoula calls tomorrow.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bayern Brewing Celebrates 25 Years With Party Today

1987 was a good year.  Gas cost $0.89 a gallon. A pound of bacon would set you back $1.80. We mailed stuff back then for $0.24. Lethal Weapon and Dirty Dancing were top films. The Simpsons made their debut on television. U2's Joshua Tree album was a bit hit.

And well before the craft beer boom caught fire, Bayern Brewing started producing "microbrew" in Missoula, Montana. 

Think about that for a second.  We take it for granted that today we can go into most large cities and many small ones in Montana and find a brewery or two to explore.  In 1987, Jurgen Knoller, a German Master Brewer, became the first in Montana to start up a brewery in the modern age, well before craft beer was cool. For that bold effort, we raise a glass in toast today in celebration of Bayern Brewing's 25th Anniversary.

Today, Saturday, August 4, 2012, from noon to 10:00 p.m., you can celebrate with Bayern at the brewery at 1507 Montana Street, Missoula, just a block west of Russell.  Live music, food, fun and, of course, beer will be on hand all day long.  There's even a drawing for a kegerator give-away. 

Prost!

Friday, August 3, 2012

FLBC to Debut Montucky Mondays at Meet the Brewer Event

This Monday, August 6, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. at the pub in Missoula, Flathead Lake Brewing Company will tap a keg of Montucky Sour Cherry Brown Ale - a beer available only on Mondays while it lasts. Brewer Tim Jacoby will be on hand as a guest bartender to answer all your questions about this interesting concoction.

To create Montucky Sour Cherry Brown, FLBC began with a brown ale grain bill, added the souring "critters" (in this case, a blend of Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus - say that three times fast), put the concoction into an oak cherry port wine barrel with some Certified Organic sweet cherries from The Orchard at Flathead Lake, and let the beer do it's thing.  For quite a while.  Ten months, actually, at a temperature ranging in the mid 70's.  Once ready, FLBC naturally carbonated the beer using Champagne yeast. 

Montucky Sour Cherry Brown Ale took the bronze medal at the 2012 Norh American Beer Awards in the Flanders-Style Red or Brown Ale category.  According to the Brewers Association's Beer Style guidelines, a Belgian Style Flanders Brown Ale is characterized by a fairly strong sourness and fruity (typically cherry) flavors along with "a cocoa-like character from the roast malt" and potentially some light roasted malt flavors.

Anyone who has brewed a few batches of homebrew - or one really bad one - knows how important sanitation is.  Preventing various critters from entering the beer and creating a funk of a mistake is crucial. 

Souring beers isn't a failure of sanitation, but an intentional act of adding some of these wild and funky critters into a beer to create an acidic, tart taste.  It's a practice that requires skill and a strong degree of care to keep the souring beer from infecting the others at the brewery.  The fruit and sour characteristics will continue to develop and increase over many years (so long as the beer isn't pasteurized, a practice sometimes used for quality control).

My journey into sour beers has just begun and I find them to be a fascinating paradigm bender for what we think of as "beer." I've somewhat unintentionally stumbled into opportunities to try them at some of America's best (Cascade Barrel House and Goose Island) as well as a chance to sample decades old Cantillon offerings.  Big Sky Brewing Co. is the only Montana brewery I'm aware of to offer a sour beer in bottles, their Kriek Ale which, in various years, has been very good. 

I'm quite interested in trying FLBC's Montucky Sour Cherry Brown Ale and appreciate them giving us a local opportunity to push our beer paradigms.

The Session No. 66: The One Beer to Rule Them All!

Today is the first Friday in August and that means it's time to take part in The Session.  As we first noted back in May 2011, The Session is a collective effort of beer bloggers around the world to write on a common topic once each month.  I'd planned to take part as often as possible but . . . . well . . . . let's just take it up from here with the same idea.

This month's Session is hosted by Craig at Drink Drank, "a beery blog dedicated to great beer and other notions."  He writes:
We all have our favorite brews—even if you say you don't; deep, deep down we all do. From IPAs to Pilsners, Steam Beers to Steinbiers, something out there floats your boat. What if we took that to another level? What if you were to design the perfect brew—a Tolkien-esque One Beer to Rule Them All. The perfect beer for you, personally. Would it be hoppy and dark or strong and light? Is it augmented with exotic ingredients or traditionally crafted? Would your One Beer be a historic recreation or something never before dreamt of?  . . . . . However you want to come at this, it's your ultimate beer, your One Beer to Rule Them All!
Ryan and I decided to take up the challenge.

Ryan's One Beer to Rule Them All

Creating “One Beer to Rule Them All” would be a little like creating the fountain of youth, right? If it existed no one would drink anything else, and that would be a travesty in the beer world. It’s exactly because we have thousands of creative breweries and brewers out there that craft beer enthusiasts keep trying new ones and exploring the depths of what’s possible with malt, hops, water and yeast (along with a few adjuncts). But in the spirit of this post, I’ll allow myself to dream up what that “perfect” beer is for me.

For one, it would need to be something I could drink often and year-round. Therefore I would need to rule out the Russian Imperial Stouts (which I love) and IPAs, as they tend to be on the extreme ends of the scale. I would also need it to be a lower ABV, a “Session” beer of sorts. Perhaps something about 4-4.5% ABV would sit right with me.

I would stay away from lagers just because I prefer the complexity of ales. I’d also have to say “no thanks” to Belgian yeasts and wild yeasts (no gueuzes, lambics or Brett beers). And no barrel-aging necessary. I’m looking for beer, not whiskey.

I also need some color to my beer, so I’m thinking along the lines of a porter, even a robust porter (which can have 4.8-6.5% ABV according to the BJCP guidelines). It’s stronger than a brown ale but not quite a stout. And though I like hops, I don’t need to kill the malt with them. Just enough to provide some aroma and small bite would be fine. I also love things like chocolate and coffee in my beers, but it would probably be too much for a session beer, but I could envision playing up the nutty side of a porter.

And the last major component of my perfect beer would be that it comes in 16 oz. cans. Why? Because they are lighter than bottles, can be taken on rivers and provide exceptional protection against oxygen and light.

I guess I need to name this beer too. After careful consideration, I would probably call it “Grey Street,” after the Dave Matthews Band song:

Using colors bold and bright
But all the colors mix together
To grey


A beer that blends all the colors of my favorite things would, in essence, turn “To grey.” I’d probably like this beer, a lot, but I believe there’s a different beer for every reason, season and song, so let’s go find them.

Prost!

Alan's One Beer to Rule Them All

To kick this off, I'll tell you something about Ryan you probably didn't know.  He's never rated a beer on untappd as a five-star beer (the highest rating).  That's not because he hasn't been blown away by a variety of beers.  It's because he's afraid if he does, the search for the one beer to rule them all comes to an end.  Thus, it didn't surprise me at all when he designed a session beer that would be "perfect" but not the "ultimate."

Me? I've met a number of five-star beers.* They are beers that immediately stop me in my tracks with unusual depth and interest.  Three star-beers are good beers I'll buy again.  Four-star beers are exceptionally good beers I'll stop and savor and certainly put away for cellaring when they're suitable for such treatment.

That's the beauty of beer.  As varied as personal palates and rating systems are, we can gather around the bar stool and both be right.

Unlike Ryan, I have no trouble with the idea of creating the fountain of youth of beers - that beer that tops them all.  I've already got beers in the cellar that come pretty darn close and I don't drink them every day to the exclusion of others.  They're huge beers that deserve a place and time of special significance and when that moment comes, they complete the scene in a marriage of friends, family and beer.  

Where I have trouble is in the design.  I'm not a good homebrewer.** But I do know what direction I'd take.  My five star beers run the gamut from Belgians to stouts, but there's one style I'm sure to grab when I see it on tap, at the bottle shop, or for a special occasion:  coffee stout.  A big one. One with complexity. One with depth. One to rule them all.

The base of the beer would a robust imperial stout.  It would have lots of bite from highly roasted caramel malt, roasted barley and black barley.  I'd probably throw in some black patent malt for an earthy, charcoal addition. It would check in around 10 to 11% abv, but would never be sweet. 

I'd take about 10% of the beer and age for a short while in a whiskey barrel.  One that held a rich, full bodied whiskey in a European oak cask so it picked up a hint of smoke while avoiding the strong vanilla flavors that come from American oak.  I'd blend this back in to pick up traces of flavors that keep you guessing.  Do I taste whiskey? Am I getting smoke?

Of course we'd have the coffee. Espresso actually. It sounds cooler and I love the sharp bite and deep aroma.  It would smell like you'd just pressed a cup through a high-end Italian machine of beauty.  Given I'd age this thing for a bit, I'm not sure how to preserve the aroma. Perhaps we'd need to blend the espresso in before bottling.  

Hops? There would be a surprisingly high IBU level, but only to keep the beer from becoming cloyingly sweet.  It would make you wonder whether the bite you sensed came from the sharp roast of the malt, or the bitterness in the hops.  I'd use earthy, bitter hops like Chinook or Northern Brewer.  No citrus here, please.

Ultimately there would be no exotic ingredients, but the result would have complexity, richness and depth in a package that contained roasted dark chocolate flavors, sharp espresso aromas, a touch of smoke and charcoal, an earthy quality and such a slight whiskey note that you'd spend all night debating whether it was there or not.  The pour would be black as . . . well . . . espresso and the head would be a dark tan color.

You'd take your time with this one.  You'd want to pair it with a raspberry/blackberry cobbler or maybe a fudge brownie with vanilla cream cheese frosting. You'd sit outside in the cool evening as the sun sets and tell stories about beer.

So, what to call it.  I'm not big on clever names.  I don't need much more than some indication of the style of beer, if not a simple "Imperial Stout" on the label to go with a basic description. Thus, I don't find it a cop out to go with "Dark Roast Imperial Stout."  Which, I discovered after writing it, has already been used in the beer world.  I'll keep working on it.

So there you have it.  Two takes on the One Beer to Rule Them All.  What's your One Beer to Rule Them All? 
_______________________________________
* As it stands, 15 out of 554 unique check-ins during the past year, though fully explaining my personal system would take an entire blog post and bore you to death.

** Yet.  I'm holding out hope I someday take it seriously.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

IPA Day is Thursday, August 2

We enjoy beer nearly every day.  It's what we turn to after a day of work, for a lazy float on the river, after a good hard run, to pair with our meal, and all manner of routine and not so routine activities. We put bottles away for that special occasion and we reach for the great stuff for important celebrations.

Every once in a while we stop and celebrate beer itself.

There's National Beer Day on April 7, marking the repeal of prohibition. All manner of craft beer weeks are popping up around the nation, including our own Missoula Craft Beer Week.  The Washington State legislature even created the Washington Beer Commission specifically to promote the State's craft beer.

I'll admit I don't take much notice of the made up beer holidays/celebrations other than to note their presence if you're in need of an excuse to crack one open. That said, IPA Day is one I like.

I like it because the event was created to celebrate communication as much as any particular style of beer.  Given Growler Fills exists primarily in the social media realm, that's an effort we highly endorse.  Here's a description of IPA day in the founder's words:
Founded in 2011 by beer evangelists and social media personalities Ashley Routson (@TheBeerWench) and Ryan Ross (@RyanARoss), IPA Day is a universal movement created to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers, and brewers worldwide, using social media as the common arena for connecting the conversation.

IPA Day is not the brainchild of a corporate marketing machine, nor is it meant to serve any particular beer brand. IPA Day is opportunity for all breweries, bloggers, businesses and consumers to connect and share their love of craft beer. It is an opportunity for the entire craft beer culture to combine forces and advocate craft beer through increased education and global awareness.
IPA as a style was picked due to its overwhelming popularity.  No style had more entries at the 2012 World Beer Cup and it's a rare brewery that doesn't have an IPA on tap (though there are two in Western Montana).

Want to take part in IPA Day?  Of course it's as easy as cracking one open, but I encourage you to join the other part of the celebration by communicating with others about craft beer.  Here are some suggestions from the founders:
  • On August 2, share your photos, videos, blog posts, tasting notes, recipes, and thoughts on IPA with the world. Be sure to tag your posts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and other social media platforms with the #IPADay hashtag.
  • See what other people are saying on Twitter by searching #IPADay. Follow the conversation closely by adding an #IPADay search column on your Tweetdeck.
  • Become a craft beer steward in your community. Encourage non-craft beer drinkers to take a break from their normal beverage routine and join the collective toast on August 2. Set the goal of converting at least one person, if not the whole world of drinkers, to IPA lovers!
Let us know what you're doing by including GrowlerFills on your twitter action (@GrowlerFills) and commenting on our facebook page.  For more information about IPA Day visit www.IpaDay.org.