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Craft Beer’s Heath Benefits

POSTED ON July 15th  - POSTED IN Uncategorized


Let me tell you about this amazing, invigorating health drink known as craft beer. For decades, red wine has received nearly all the publicity when it comes to the health benefits of alcoholic beverages, but I’m here to tell you that craft beer has just as many, if not more, health benefits than vino rosso. Please follow along as I explain.

Craft Beer Health BenefitsFirst, let’s get a couple of thing straight. We are talking craft beer here, not the fizzy yellow stuff—mainstream macro beers, American adjunct lagers, lawnmower beers or whatever else you want to call them. Sadly, those beers have had most everything about them that’s good for us removed (along with the flavor). Secondly, we’re not talking about bender and binge drinking. The health benefits of craft beer come into play when we consume in moderation. That means one-to-two beers per day for men and one beer per day for women. Conversely, overindulgence on a regular basis will not only negate craft beer’s health benefits, but create its own host of health issues.

OK, with that out of the way, let’s get started. Fact, craft beer is fat-free. Admittedly, this is a bit of a lay-up, since all beer, wine and spirits are fat-free. So, let me dribble further from the basket and hoist up a lesser known and more impressive stat. Did you know that craft beer can be used as a recovery beverage after physical exertion? As soon as you are done with a workout, have a beer. Craft beer provides a quick means for replacing electrolytes while giving your muscles what they need to rebuild, something that’s especially beneficial for runners and cyclists.

Additionally, studies show that consuming one to two beers per day can help decrease one’s chance of succumbing to blood clots by increasing HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) while lowering LDL levels (the “bad” stuff). These are the same blood clots that travel to the neck and brain and cause Ischemic Strokes. More than 100 studies also show that moderate drinking lowers the risk of heart attacks and death from cardiovascular disease by a whopping 25 to 40 percent.

To be fair, wine is good for your heart…but beer is even better: A Harvard study of 70,000 women ages 25 to 40 found that moderate beer drinkers were less likely to develop high blood pressure (a major risk factor for heart attacks) than women who drank wine or spirits.

Beer Pairing Tips

POSTED ON July 10th  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

Pairing particular beers and foods can be an interesting and delicious experience. There are no absolute rules to proper pairings. The goal, after all, is to satisfy personal taste. Here are some brief descriptions of popular styles of beer and recommendations for making successful food matches:


Dry and light, very fruity beers, sometimes tart. Delicious with pastries and fruit desserts or as an aperitif. Also ideal for dishes with cream or butter sauces.


One of the world’s most popular styles of beer. Smooth, golden beers with a slightly tangy, light flavor and a clean taste. Goes well with fish and strong dishes like curry.

Pale Ale

Lighter-bodied beers. Moderate tang, sometimes caramel or toasted with a spicy aroma. Great with a wide range of food such as soups, salads, pizza or a burger.

Wheat Beer

Crisp, lighter beers with mild flavors. American wheat beers have a distinct, citrus character. Delicious with foods such as salads, sushi or vegetable dishes.

Brown Ale

Smooth and more full-bodied beers with distinctive nutty or wood flavors. Goes well with hearty foods such as roast pork, grilled chicken or smoked sausage.


Strong, heavy beers either sweet or dry, characterized by caramel, toffee and toasted malt flavors. Delicious with game, lamb, heavy sausage or creamy desserts.


Dark ale beers with rich, slightly bitter sometimes sharp taste. Goes well with roasted or smoked foods or strong cheeses.


Drier, intense ales with a coffee-life finish. The roasted coffee and chocolate notes in these beers provide a rich complement to shellfish, meat dishes or chocolate desserts.

How to Choose the Right Beer for Your Favorite Food

There are nearly 13,000 labels of beer available across the U.S., so there is a wide variety of flavors, textures and styles – something for everyone and for every palate.

Beer enhances the flavor of food, but food also enhances the flavor of the beer. There is no better way to learn to appreciate the complexity of hidden flavor within various beers than to pair it with food.

Start by considering the flavor of the beer. Take a sip of the beer and try to determine the prominent flavors. Is the beer yeasty or hoppy? Sweet or dry? Does it have a tangy, sharp taste with a clean finish?

Think about how the beer would best relate to foods, keeping in mind that there should be a balance between the two. The beer should either complete or contrast the food.

If you’re planning a beer dinner with a different beer for each course, plan to serve lighter beers first and progress through the dinner to the heavier, stronger beers. Serve small portions of beer – about four ounces per course – to ensure that guests of legal drinking age enjoy each paired course responsibly.

Source: NBWA

Karl Strauss Claims 16 Medals in June

POSTED ON July 8th  - POSTED IN Uncategorized


karl-strauss-medalsKarl Strauss Brewing Company just wrapped up a busy awards season, taking home a combined 16 medals for its handcrafted beers from three major brewing competitions, including an impressive 16th win for Red Trolley Ale. The company’s recent competition success comes at the height of a record-breaking summer with beer sales up 26% over last year.

“We’ve been brewing nonstop and the beer keeps flying off the shelves,” says Paul Segura, Brewmaster, Karl Strauss Brewing Company. “Winning these medals is great external validation, but the real proof is just how much beer our fans are drinking.”

Karl Strauss’ latest win includes six medals from the California State Fair Craft Beer Competition last week. The company placed gold for its 24th Anniversary Flanders ale and silver for its hop-forward Pintail Pale Ale, in addition to several bronze medals.  There were more than 700 entries from 83 breweries and Karl Strauss tied Firestone Walker and San Pedro Brewing for most medals won at this prestigious competition. “We were stoked to represent so well at the CA State Fair because we know how hard it is to win there,” says Segura. “We’re looking forward to sharing these award-winning beers on tap at our new tasting room when it opens later this month.”

The company is now gearing up for the Great American Beer Festival in October. For more information about Karl Strauss’ winning beers and new tasting room, visit Share it. Cheers.

Girls Just Want to Have Beer

POSTED ON June 28th  - POSTED IN Uncategorized


Historically, nearly everything about American beer seemed to be infused with masculinity — it was manly to love beer, manly to brew it, manly to sit around a table or campfire outside with other manly guys and drink it in a manly fashion while talking about the manly things everyone did that day. Decades of 20th-century television advertising seemed designed to reinforce the stereotype.

However, though it seems to have escaped the notice of some, the 20th century ended a while ago.

iStock_000002547685XSmallIt’s not just socially acceptable for women to dive headfirst into the world of craft beer these days — in many circles it’s encouraged, as well it should be. For a case in point, look no further than Girls’ Pint Out, a national organization created to bring together women interested in learning more about craft beer. With about two dozen chapters nationwide, one of the newest, covering all of New Jersey, was recently launched by Lisa Schmid and Amie Clark.

“While we are still new, we have had so much support from the wonderful people in the industry,” Schmid said in an exchange of emails last week. “We know that when it comes to drinking craft beer, women don’t get much credit. We want to break down that stereotype and prove that women can seek fine beers while understanding the flavor profiles and process it takes to construct that brew throughout the brewing process.”

The new chapter’s activities mostly include hosting casual meetups at craft beer bars and breweries across New Jersey, with the inaugural event held at The Irish Mile in Haddon Township in April and subsequent trips made to the UNO brewpub in Metuchen, River Horse Brewing Company in Lambertville, Tun Tavern in Atlantic City and the Garden State Brewfest in Berkeley Heights.

Schmid says she and Clark want to keep the group open to all manners of beer enthusiasts, from the “Blue Moon girls looking for a different spin on that witbier to the homebrewing queens.” She added that her style and Clark’s are complementary; the former loves homebrewing and turbocharged IPAs, stouts and sours, while the latter is into social media networking and lighter fare such as saisons, fruit beers and hefeweizens.

Better Burger, Better Brew

POSTED ON June 27th  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

By QSR Magazine

Inside Smashburger’s newest Chicago-area restaurant, a hip-looking joint in the city’s trendy Lincoln Park neighborhood, company founder and chief concept officer Tom Ryan holds up the brand’s Windy City Burger as if it’s Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Smashburger cofounder Tom Ryan explains a craft beer and burger pairing at a recent Chicago event.

Smashburger cofounder Tom Ryan explains a craft beer and burger pairing at a recent Chicago event.

Packed with layers of melted Cheddar cheese, haystack onions, lettuce, tomato, and spicy mustard on a pretzel bun, the Windy City Burger is the fast-casual chain’s exclusive offering for the Chicago market and continues Smashburger’s six-year run of creating local burgers across its 209-store national footprint.

“This burger,” Ryan says, “represents the heartiness and boldness that is Chicago.”

In quick time, Ryan turns the floor over to his company’s newest partners from Chicago-based Goose Island, among the nation’s most celebrated breweries. Goose Island’s brewmaster, Brett Porter, and head of education, Suzanne Wolcott, detail how the toasty, caramel malt flavors in Goose Island’s Honker’s Ale complement the Windy City Burger.

The June 20 beer-and-burger pairing launched Smashburger’s 10th relationship with a craft brewer and helped spotlight craft brews’ continued emergence in the limited-service world.

Once reserved for bars and full-service restaurants, craft beers have pushed into fast-casual eateries around the country, available at spots such as Chipotle, Noodles & Company, and Shake Shack. For most craft brewers, growing entry into the quick-service world is a welcome trend that provides expanded market reach and diversification.

“Craft beer is a 30-year-old overnight success story, and there’s no turning back. Localization of the beer market is in every nook of the U.S.,” says Julia Herz, craft beer program director for the Brewers Association.

BJ’s Restaurants has a lot more locations in the oven

POSTED ON June 24th  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

Glacier Design Systems, Inc. is proud to be a part of BJs national growth plan!



Pizza and beer are a tasty pairing. A profitable one too.

BJ’s Restaurants Inc. specializes in deep-dish pizza and offers its own brand of craft-brewed beer, a combination that has helped it grow from a single restaurant in Santa Ana to 132 locations in 15 states.

After its start in 1978, the Huntington Beach company grew slowly in Southern California. In 1996, it opened its first brewery — at its restaurant in Brea — and began selling beers that carried the BJ’s name. That was also the year it went public.

Today, BJ’s has an expanded menu. In addition to its deep-dish pizza, its restaurants offer hand-tossed pizza, burgers, salads and pasta dishes in an environment it describes as “high-energy, casual dining.”

Three of its restaurants have on-site brewing facilities. It also contracts with outside brewers to produce BJ’s branded beers for the other restaurants. Its beers have been awarded 30 Great American Beer Festival medals.

The latest

The company expects to open 17 new restaurants this year.

“There is a long runway of expansion ahead,” said Greg Trojan, the company’s chief executive. “We continue to believe there is room for at least 425 BJ’s restaurants domestically and that we are one of a few publicly held casual dining restaurant companies with this kind of growth opportunity.”

BJ’s expansion plan targets the East, with restaurants to open this year in Virginia and Maryland.

“We believe the mid-Atlantic region will give us another solid base to build out the BJ’s concept and clustering strategy, and give us a launching ground to eventually begin opening restaurants in the Northeast,” said Gregory Lynd, the company’s chief development officer.


BJ’s sales have more than doubled in the last four years to an all-time high of $708 million last year from $374 million in 2008. In the same time, its profit rose to $31 million last year from $10 million.

The company was recognized last year by the National Retail Federation as one of the 10 fastest-growing national restaurant chains, along with such eateries as Five Guys Burgers & Fries and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Craft Brewing Renaissance Hits College Campuses

POSTED ON June 19th  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

A boom in the craft beer industry combined with an increase in food science programs means that more students are graduating college with a different kind of alcohol education.

Of all the places to find beer on a college campus, the classroom may not be the first one to come to mind.

(Photo: Jessica Hill, AP)

Photo: Jessica Hill, AP

But there are currently about 50 universities in the U.S. that have food science programs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With a handful offering courses in subjects such as enology, viticulture and the fermentation sciences, experts say more students than ever are graduating with a new kind of alcohol education.

“It’s an academic field that is growing like crazy,” says Thomas Shellhammer, a professor in Oregon State University’s food science and technology department.

When OSU’s food science department began in 2001, Shellhammer says there were about 40 students enrolled. Today, that number has more than tripled, and he estimates that it will only grow as time goes on.

“When I was in college, I had no idea there was a degree in food science,” he said. “Now we’re at a point when people in their first year are seeking it out.”

While food science programs in general have been on the rise over the past decade, what has happened in the beer and wine industries may be especially interesting, especially for students seeking work in a lackluster job market. After all, as Shellhammer puts it, alcohol is “relatively recession-proof.”

In the domestic beer world, Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors control about 80% of the market, while craft breweries only have about a 6.5% share, according to the Brewers Association based in Boulder, Colo. While sales from the large corporations have remained stagnant or even declined, craft breweries are growing.

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station Now Open

POSTED ON June 19th  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

Glacier Design Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce our latest Draught Beer System installation at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station


MainRoomStone Brewing Co. is thrilled to announce that its second decidedly eclectic restaurant, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, is (finally!) open in what use to be the Naval Training Center in the Point Loma neighborhood of San Diego.

The brewery restaurant opened its doors May 15 and recently finished construction of its garden, marking the completion of the entire facility.

“This project was a monster, however, we were able to bring to fruition an epic concept that we are really proud of,” said Stone CEO and Co-founder Greg Koch. “We have created a restaurant and brewery that offers our fans and guests a truly unique experience unlike any other.”

“We’ve anticipated the opening of this restaurant for quite a while, and I’m glad we finally made it to the finish line” said Stone President and Co-founder Steve Wagner. “It has been rewarding to see our fans and new guests enjoy the various aspects of the restaurant, and the terrific new beers we’ve brewed on site.”

Glacier Design Systems, Inc. Adds Triton Tabletop Drink Dispenser to Expanding Product List

POSTED ON June 12th  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

The Triton Tabletop Drink Dispenser Distributed by Glacier Design Systems, Inc.





Glacier Design System, Inc. is now a proud distributor of the Triton Tabletop Drink Dispenser. The Triton is used to serve beverages (beer, soft drinks, cocktails, wine…) to groups of drinkers in bars and restaurants, holding more drink capacity (3 liters or 5 liters) than a typical pitcher. It is portable and can be taken out to the tables, creating a fun focus point for a party of customers. In business terms, the Triton will increase drink turnover,  free-up bar staff for other tasks and provide excellent P.O.S. promotion.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADesigned with the bar professional in mind, the Triton Tabletop Drink Dispenser is manufactured from food-safe and impact-resistant plastics. Due to the insulating properties of the FDA polycarbonate used, the drink will not noticeably warm or fizz up within the recommended usage time of approximately one hour. It is a durable and easy-to-use dispenser designed specially for heavy-duty use in bars and restaurants.

Benefits of the Triton Tabletop Drink Dispenser

  • The Triton has 3 TAPS allowing for simultaneous dispense.
  • The Triton has an integrated cooling block, keeping the drink ice cold.
  • The Triton has generous capacity and can hold more drink than a typical pitcher.
  • The Triton has stackable components for easy storage.
  • The Triton has P.O.S. branding on lid, taps and tray, creating excellent brand visibility!
  • The Triton is durable and impact resistant, made from 4mm polycarbonate vessel material.


Operators Talk Craft Beer Strategy

POSTED ON June 4th  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

More restaurants are tapping into expanded craft-beer programs as the popularity of smaller brewers has increased along with the number of those brewers.

Keystone CovingtonKY

The bar at the Keystone Bar & Grill in Covington, Ky. offers a selection of craft beers.

From players who have their own on-site breweries to casual-dining chains, the segment is growing. And craft beer continues to turn consumers’ heads, research shows.

“Outpacing its competitive beer segments of domestic and imported beer brands, craft beer has kept an upward trajectory throughout the economic downturn and subsequent slow recovery,” said Jennifer Zegler, beverage analyst with the Mintel market research consultancy in a December report.

As of June 30 last year, the United States had 2,126 breweries, and 2,075 of those were craft brewers, according to the industry’s Brewers Association trade group.

Mintel research found that craft and craft-style beer sales were on pace to nearly double between 2007 and 2012 — increasing from nearly $5.7 billion in sales to just short of $12 billion in 2012. The report noted that those gains were impressive, as the rest of the beer category had shown flat to declining performance in the wake of the recession.

“Fueling the growth has been changing alcohol consumption patterns in which consumers, especially Millennials of legal drinking age, prefer to drink a variety of beer, wine and spirits,” the report said.

4 Best Beers For The Beach

POSTED ON June 3rd  - POSTED IN Uncategorized
best beach beers

Source: iStock

In some parts of the country, there’s been doubt that summer would actually come this year, but beach season is nearly here — finally. And with the unofficial start to summer upon us, we need to start thinking about the beach — what we’ll put in our beach bag, which swimsuit we’ll wear, and what beers we’ll toss into our beach coolers. Well, we can help you with that last question.

Typical beach-bum beer drinkers go for weak and watery light beers that lack in quality what they also lack in flavor. But we’d encourage you to make a higher quality choice and opt for craft beers that will shake things up on your beach blanket.

In general, we’re looking at summery brews. This includes a lot of wheat beers but also pilsner and a collection of lighter ales. Anything you’re going to drink for an extended period in the sun should also be relatively low in alcohol to keep you from getting too tipsy to walk in the sand. So we’re sticking to beers around 5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). We also want to avoid leaving broken glass in our trail so we’re going for beers in cans — and there are a lot of great beers available in cans these days.

Given these criteria, here are our top picks for the best beach-ready beers: