Virtue Cider

Virtue Cider, founded in 2011 by Gregory Hall provides people with delicious ciders, made the traditional way, where they hand-press their apples and use 100% Michigan apples from local farmers.

Traditional, crisp and all-natural ingredients straight from Michigan, “one of the top producing apple-growing areas in the United States.” Gregory is known for his “20-year tenure as brewmaster at the Goose Island Beer Company, having won 14 consecutive Great American Beer Festival medals,” so he knows his stuff.

He left Goose Island in the spring of 2011 and began a trip through England and France, studying the craft of cider. He brought back his findings and experience to the states and launched Virtue Cider. “In 2013, Hall brought the cidermaking venture as close as possible to  one of the United States’ best apple-growing states of Michigan launched Virtue Cider in Fennville, Michigan.”

Only a couple years back, in 2015 Virtue Cider and Anheuser-Busch partnered together, combining their family of craft brands. They continue to “enjoy independence and creativity” in their cidermaking. All of their operations continue to be led from their original homesteads.

Find a few of their ciders, such as Michigan Apple and Rosé today: bsyl.ink/locator

Holiday Beers

Hoppy Holidays everyone! It’s time to celebrate the holidays with your favorite winter brews and cozy up to the fireside.

We have just the right brews in mind for the perfect holiday night, afternoon, week…so on, really anytime.

The first on our list is Shiner Holiday Cheer, a dark wheat ale, brewed with Texas peaches and roasted pecans. “The malty flavors…are enhanced through the use of malted barley and wheat. And Kräusening ensures a smoothness that makes the subtle peach and pecan flavors all the more satisfying.” We sure think it’s time for some Holiday Cheer!

Another brew on the “Nice List” is Heavy Seas Winter Storm. This Winter Ale is a mix of “pale and darker malts” which give it it’s tawny color and body. “True to the style, Winter Storm’s aroma is nutty malts and earthy hops.” We’d brave the storm for this brew!

We think another great brew to add to your list to try, is Wormtown Brewery Blizzard of ‘78. Their English-Style Brown Ale is created with fresh roasted coffee beans added from “Acoustic Java to give Blizzard of ‘78 a rich,  smooth character.” A good brew to have after a day of shoveling snow.

Winter is the time for staying inside, cozying up with loved ones or even with a good book, and your favorite seasonal brew. What winter brew is your favorite? Let us know in the comments down below.

Find your favorite brews today: bsyl.ink/locator

Welcome Berkshire Brewing Company

Let’s give a warm welcome to the Berkshire Brewing Co. as they join the McLaughlin & Moran family!

Founded in the fall of 1994, Berkshire Brewing Company started in South Deerfield, MA. Their founders “shared a single purpose: to revive a time-honored tradition of high-quality craft brewing in this part of the region.”

Through the people of New England and beyond, whether it be “by word of mouth,” Berkshire’s ales became a success throughout its twenty years of business. Growing from a small microbrewery, that was brewing only seven

barrels at a time to now being “New England’s premier regional craft brewery.”

They distribute a wide range of ales and lagers to locations across the New England area. We’re proud to welcome their brews, such as their Lost Sailor IPA, a “classic British-inspired IPA boasts a well-rounded malt profile, complex floral and citrus aromas, and generous Goldings dry hopping.”

Along with Lost Sailor IPA, comes Cabin Fever, Coffeehouse Porter, Shabadoo, and more.  

Learn more about them here: www.berkshire-brewing.com

Find your new favorites today: bsyl.ink/locator

Store Your Beer The Right Way

Store Your Beer The Right Way

After finding your perfect beer, it’s time to take the necessary steps researching the correct storage to ensure the brew stays fresh and flavorful for as long as possible. Different beers will need to be stored differently and for different amounts of time, but there are still some general rules to follow. 

General Rules of Thumb For Beer Storage

1. Keep it Dark

Natural light sources hitting your beer will interact with acidic hop compounds found in your beer called humulones. And, it doesn’t take long for this chemical reaction (also known as skunking) to happen – after just a half an hour outside in direct sunlight can hurt your favorite brew. While basement and pantries are often a favorite storage location for beers, you must also keep in mind that any light streaming into these spaces could have a negative effect on your beer. 

2. Keep it Cool

Just like direct sunlight, high temperatures can make your beer lose flavor and make it go stale quicker (even in just one day!) But, beer can withstand some moderate temperature swings for short periods of time, so don’t worry about the car ride home from the store just remember to put it somewhere chilly as soon as you’re home! Fridges kept around 34 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit are the best places to keep your beer fresh, longer.

3. Keep it Upright

By storing your beer upright, you are minimizing the size of the beer’s surface which is coming into contact with air trapped in the bottle. The less contact your beer has with air, the less oxidation takes place which means your beer will taste fresh longer.

While these rules contribute to the freshness of any beer, different beers can be stored under different conditions for different lengths of time.  

Brews With A High Alcohol Content (8% or higher)

Brews with alcohol contents of 8% or higher are quite resistant so there is no rush to drink them right away. Also keep in mind that sour or smoked beers fall in this category, even if the alcohol content isn’t quite as high. Other high-alcohol beers like imperial stouts, barley wines or lambics can actually improve with age. With these beers, there is no harm done in storing them for a few years in your cool dark basement, as long as they are unfiltered or in bottle condition (information you can often find on the label directly.)

When these high alcohol content beers meet these conditions, there is usually still some active yeast which slowly eats at the beer and causes a positive aging process. Beer experts note that cellaring these beers for around 3 to 5 years can actually cause the brews to develop new levels of flavor complexity like chocolate, leather or dried fruits.

Craft Beers and IPAs

The correct storage is especially important for craft beers and IPAs since they often have a stronger aroma. The longer they sit around, especially in the wrong kind of conditions, the faster they will lose their smell and then their flavor. Keep in mind that these kinds of beers, even with an even higher ABV than 8% still fall in this category.

Bottled Beers

Bottled beers can be tricky to store. A lot of them are very sensitive to direct sunlight especially green and clear bottles. However, brown bottles are slightly more successful in blocking out the harmful rays, so storage is not quite so difficult. But, placing them in the fridge is still your safest bet!

Canned Beers

Beers in cans are pretty durable, especially against the effects of direct sunlight, since the cans can block out UV light entirely. So, whether in your basement, pantry, or in the fridge your canned beer will stay fresh until you’re ready to drink it.

 

Find your favorite brews today: bsyl.ink/locator

Spooky Drinks For This Halloween

Spooky Drinks For This Halloween

Your Halloween party plans may be in full swing, but have you found the right drink for the night of the dead?  We compiled a list of some of our favorite spooky beverages that will go along perfectly with your costume.

All Treats, No Tricks

It’s still fall, so pumpkin season isn’t over yet! Grab some of the last pumpkin treats of the season starting with McKenzie’s Pumpkin Jack Hard Cider. The mix of strong pumpkin flavors and mulled spices is sweet enough to make up for all the candy in the world! One reviewer noted it tastes like pumpkin pie mixed with rum.

If you’re looking for a more classic beer taste Wachusett’s Pumpkin Boo-Yeah is the perfect seasonal ale for you. A caramel malt taste is supported with hints of pumpkin and various spices with a 6.6% ABV.

Half Full Brewery’s Positively Pumpkin is another seasonal selection available from September to October. This medium bodied ale is slightly bitter balanced with pumpkin and notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger.

As your premiere Rhode Island distributor, we can help you locate everything from alcoholic mixes to your next favorite lager and non-alcoholic beers across the state. Take a look at our locator today!

Beer Desserts

Some may think that beer pairs well only with savory meals, but we’re here to prove you wrong. Craving a dessert and a delicious brew? Have no fear, a few of the breweries we distribute for have listed their own recipes that pair perfectly with their brews!

A fan of Bell’s Brewery Pooltime Ale? Also a fan of Cake Pops? Well, they’ve got you covered with a recipe for their Pooltime Cake Pops. Sweeten up your summer days with their Belgian-inspired Wheat Ale.

Looking for something chocolatey? Try Abita’s Turbodog Espresso Brownies, a recipe from one of their customers Delia Davis. Combining a delicious brownie recipe with their dark brown ale, Turbodog.

How about some ice cream on a hot summer day? Give Abita’s Andygator Ice Cream a try! As they say, it’s a “lusciously smooth ice cream…the perfect vehicle to highlight the flavors of sweet, malty beers.” What more could you ask for?

Pick out your favorite recipe or recipes and find the brews using our Locator today. And as always, please drink responsibly.

A History of Anheuser-Busch

Anheuser-Busch’s roots date back to the mid-1800s when many German immigrants came to St. Louis, due to political upheavals in Germany and Bohemia in 1848. With the huge migration of Germans to St. Louis, the main industry in the area soon became brewing. These immigrant brewers presented a new style of beer to the United States: Lager. Lighter, crisper and tougher to brew, Lager beer requires more time and care than other styles of beer. In a short time, Budweiser would go from a local favorite to the king of beers around the globe.

Eberhard Anheuser Meets Adolphus Busch

Eberhard Anheuser, who left Germany in 1843, qualified as a soap manufacturer, eventually going on to own the biggest soap and candle corporation in St. Louis. Although he had no brewing knowledge, he became part owner of the Bavarian Brewery, which had first opened its doors in 1852. By 1860, Anheuser had purchased the other investors and the brewery’s name was altered to E. Anheuser & Co.

Adolphus Busch was born in 1839, the second youngest of twenty-two children. At age eighteen, he made his way to St. Louis via New Orleans and the Mississippi River. Adolphus began working as a counter clerk on the riverfront and by the time he was twenty-one, he had a partnership in a brewing supply business. It was through this enterprise that Adolphus Busch met Eberhard Anheuser, and soon Adolphus was presented to Eberhard’s daughter, Lilly. In 1861, Adolphus Busch and Lilly Anheuser were married, and shortly after that, Adolphus went to work for his father-in-law. He later accepted half ownership in the brewery, becoming a partner. By the mid-1800s, there were more than fifty breweries in the St. Louis area. At that point, most beer in the United States was sold in the community in which it was brewed. Adolphus was determined to make a brand that would exceed the tradition of local brews and please the tastes of a variety of different people. In 1876, he and his friend, Carl Conrad, created an American-style Lager beer that exceeded everyone’s expectations. Adolphus invented the label “Budweiser,” a name that would appeal to German immigrants like himself, yet could be effortlessly pronounced by Americans. Budweiser was a hit and eventually became the company’s flagship brand.

Early Innovations

In the early 1870s, Adolphus Busch became the first American brewer to use pasteurization, which made it possible to ship beer long distances without decaying. By the mid-1870s and early 1880s, he presented artificial refrigeration, refrigerated railcars and rail-side ice houses. These technological innovations allowed the company to grow and distribute beer across the country. Budweiser was the first national beer brand, announced in 1876. To market his beers, Busch used traditional, proven selling methods but in a far more organized and deliberate manner than his opponents. He pioneered the use of gifts and premiums, and used his brewery as a showplace for the public to visit.

In addition to being innovative in the technical development of the brewing industry, Adolphus Busch was an expert at advertising and promoting his brands. In 1879, the company was renamed the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association to recognize Adolphus’ labors. The following year, upon the death of Eberhard Anheuser, Adolphus became president of the brewery. In 1901, the company broke the one- million barrels of beer sales mark for the first time, making it one of the nation’s leading breweries. Adolphus Busch passed away in 1913 and was succeeded by his son, August A. Busch, Sr., who became president of the brewery in 1913.

Surviving Prohibition

The brewery’s bleakest period began at midnight on Jan. 16, 1920, when national Prohibition became law. Rather than close its doors, as more than half of the nation’s breweries did, Anheuser-Busch expanded and remained in business. Under the leadership of August Sr., the company marketed more than twenty-five different non-alcohol goods such as soft drinks, truck bodies and ice cream. To prepare for the Prohibition, Anheuser-Busch released Bevo, a non-alcoholic cereal beverage, in 1916. On April 7, 1933, beer was legalized again.

Recovery from Prohibition was slow but steady under Adolphus Busch III, who became president of the company in 1934, upon the death of his father, August Sr. Economic conditions caused by the Great Depression also restrained growth, but, thanks in part to the introduction of the metal can in 1936, sales began to increase. By 1938, Anheuser-Busch hit the two-million-barrel mark. During World War II, the company diverted a lot of its operations in support of the war effort, voluntarily relinquishing its West Coast markets to conserve railcar space for war materials shipments.

An Era of Growth

Following World War II, both America and Anheuser-Busch experienced an era of progress and prosperity throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In 1946, August A. Busch, Jr. became president of the company following the death of his brother, Adolphus III. Beginning with the opening of the Newark, N.J. facility in 1951, August Jr. created a national network of nine breweries.

Because of his leadership, beer sales increased from three million barrels to more than thirty-four million barrels, and corporate diversification was prolonged to include family entertainment, industrial products, real estate and can manufacturing. In 1957, Anheuser-Busch became the leading U.S. brewer, a position it still holds today.

August A. Busch III was elected president of Anheuser-Busch, Inc. in 1974, and the next year succeeded his father, August Jr., as chief executive officer, becoming the fourth generation of the family to lead Anheuser-Busch. August III ran the company to build four additional breweries and expand and diversify operations. In 1982, the company created Bud Light nationally, which progressed quickly in popularity and today is one of the world’s best-selling beer brands. In 2008, Anheuser-Busch and InBev joined to become Anheuser-Busch InBev. The new corporation is the world’s largest brewer and one of the top five consumer goods companies in the world. Now, Anheuser-Busch continues to satisfy diverse tastes by marketing more than one hundred varieties of beer and alcohol beverages.

What’s the Difference Between Beer and Cider?

Beer is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages around the world, but cider, a staple in Britain, is growing in popularity in the states. Most cider and beer lovers have a hard time differentiating between the two. Here are a couple of differences you should be knowledgeable of.

Ingredients

Beer is made from malted barley while cider is made from fermented apple juice. There are several beers that contain fruit and other ingredients, but the core is always malted barley. No true cider contains malted grains.

Color

Beer comes in a variety of colors from pale to very dark depending on the malt. Ciders are often yellow, orange or brown. Ciders may also vary in cloudiness and sediment due to the fermentation process and filtering.

Sugar Content

The amount of sugar in beer compared to cider is the biggest difference. Beer contains a larger amount of complex sugars post fermentation which aids in balancing bitterness and rounds out the mouthfeel. Beer and Cider both can have sugar added to it in order to dry it out or even to increase the sweetness. Sugar is not used post fermentation to sweeten beer while with cider it can be used pre or post filtering to balance the acidity or mouthfeel. Cider contains a higher quantity of sugar and varies per brand. Dry ciders allow the yeast to feed on the natural sugars to create a less sweet and higher alcohol content. As well as the difference in fermentation, beer is boiled while cider is more often than not, not boiled.

Health Benefits

The fruit juice in ciders contain antioxidants including polyphenols. According to one study, these antioxidants have been linked to protecting against certain types of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Naturally occurring polyphenols are present in hops and malts, but brewers often remove it during the beer-making process because it makes the beer cloudy. In a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, beer does contain flavonoids (a type of polyphenol compound) that may be good for your heart.

Alcohol Content

Beer and cider have a similar alcohol content, but in America cider can be alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic. In most English speaking countries, cider is synonymous with alcoholic apple fermented products and apple juice encapsulates all of the other varieties of non-alcoholic apple beverages. Beer always contains alcohol.

These differences don’t make one better than the other. Some may say people who aren’t beer drinkers should start off with ciders and work their way to beer. Regardless of preference, there are a variety of ciders and beers to choose from. If you would like to taste the difference between a cider and beer, try McKenzie’s Hard Cider and Stella Artois Cidre.

The Evolution of Devil’s Purse Brewing Company

Matt Belson and Mike Segerson started brewing together in 2010. What started off as a hobby, quickly evolved into a passion. After weekly gatherings to brew and talk about beer, the pair came up with the idea for Devil’s Purse Brewing Company and their goal to open a craft brewery in Cape Cod, became a reality.

Belson and Segerson improved their craft by traveling to a variety of breweries and obtaining advice from professional brewers. After several site visits, they found a wonderful location to open their brewery in the town of Dennis. On Jan. 1, 2015, Belson and Segerson received their permits and their first test batch of beer was brewed on Feb. 27, 2015.

After years of brewing in their home kitchen, tasting their first beer brewed in their new commercial system was, “truly satisfying, especially when it tasted delicious,” said Belson.

Throughout the years, Devil’s Purse Brewing Company has evolved into producing a variety of beers, including Surfman’s Check™ ESB and Pollock Rip™ IPA. Due to their love of creativity and experimentation, they feature rotating and seasonal beers including Cuddy Queen™ American Pale Ale, Shiso Berry Ale, Dock Lizard™ Imperial Spiced Ale and Sevenstones™ Double IPA.

The journey to opening Devil’s Purse Brewing Company was filled with incredible experiences, trial and error, and many laughs.

“Starting Devil’s Purse Brewing Company has been and remains an incredible journey,” said Belson. “We could not have come this far without the support of our families, friends, and positive guidance from incredible people along the way.”

Belson and Segerson are devoted to brewing their beer with the finest ingredients. Having the opportunity to share their handcrafted beers with the public is a dream come true.

“We continue to be inspired by the tremendous craft beers that are being produced around the country,” said Segerson. “We are excited to share them with our awesome Cape Cod community and for all lovers of craft beer to enjoy.”