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The KegWorks Blog

BREAKING NEWS (Kinda): Beer is an Economic Powerhouse in America

August 29th, 2014 by Caleb Houseknecht

Beer Institute Beer Serves America Map Report

Every other year, the Beer Institute releases the Beer Serves America economic impact study in partnership with the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA). The last report was conducted in 2012, and the 2014 report was released earlier this week.

The results? Astounding. Here’s one of countless crazy stats: one job in a brewery or wholesaler supports 45 jobs outside of it. How awesome is that? Check out the first portion of the Beer Serves America report below…

Beer Institute website

“The Beer Serves America economic impact study is conducted biennially by the Beer Institute and National Beer Wholesalers Association to measure the full impact of beer in the United States.

An indication of beer’s importance is its inclusion in the basket of goods the government uses to calculate the Consumer Price Index.

The combined economic impact of brewers, distributors, retailers, our supply-chain partners and induced industries totaled more than $246.5 billion dollars in 2012. The industry today includes more than 2,800 brewers and importer establishments and over 3,700 beer distributor facilities across the country. Our retail partners are also important contributors – the current official beer outlet count for the industry by TDLinx includes over 576,000 beer selling retail establishments. The industry’s economic ripple effect benefits agriculture, manufacturing, construction, transportation and many other businesses whose livelihood depends on the beer industry.

Directly and indirectly, the beer industry employs more than 2 million Americans, providing nearly $79 billion in wages and benefits. The industry pays over $49 billion in business, personal and consumption taxes.

Beer Jobs infographic

Consumer interest in beers, ales and other malt beverages is growing. Today there are thousands of brands available for consumers in the marketplace. Due to industry growth, there are now more than 2,700 permitted brewers, according to the TTB.

Beer Institute Beer Serves America Map Report

U.S. brewers also continue to develop growing markets abroad, now exporting products to more than 150 countries around the world.”


For a table of U.S. statistics on jobs, wages, and taxes, click the map above to visit the Beer Institute’s website. Once you’re there, you can see the stats on your state by hovering over its place on the map.

When you get to their site, be sure to read the rest of the report. And next time someone challenges your passion for beer, you’ll have a loaded arsenal of intelligent responses. Stay thirsty, friends.

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Texas Brewery Creates World’s First 99-Pack

August 27th, 2014 by Caleb Houseknecht

Austin Beer Works 99-pack of Peacemaker Anytime Ale

You know that cliché saying about everything being bigger in Texas? Well, I’m here to reluctantly support that generalization. Ever heard of Austin Beerworks? I hadn’t until this week.

If you’re unfamiliar, Austin Beerworks is a craft brewery out of – you guessed it – Austin, Texas. They started in May of 2011 and although they’ve been growing somewhat steadily since, they noticed a perception issue with their year-round “Peacemaker Extra Pale.” Consumers were confusing the beer for a more hop-forward pale ale, when really the beer was labeled “extra pale” because of its color.

Austin Beerworks Peacemaker Anytime Ale Description

So the team at Austin Beerworks decided to rename and rebrand the beer by calling it “Peacemaker Anytime Ale.” I love that name. If they had issues communicating the sessionability of this beer before, I think this name-change will clear that up.

Anytime is a good time for a peacemaker

To promote this rebranding, Austin Beerworks created the world’s first 99-pack of beer. No joke. Check out the video below.

This limited-edition pack totals over 7 feet in length and houses 82 pounds of beer. The packs will be placed strategically throughout Austin starting tomorrow. If you live in that area and you’re interested in finding one, follow Austin Beerworks’ Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts over the next few days.

Austin Beerworks Peacemaker Anytime Ale 99-pack

Austin Beerworks Peacemaker Anytime Ale 99-pack

As a quick disclaimer before I end this post, I’d just like to say that I know some of you will view this as a gimmick and therefore dismiss it, but before you do, let me say two quick things:

1.) From everything I’ve heard and read, their beer is damn good. Read about them, take a look at their site. These guys are a great representation of craft beer.

2.) If they do hope and intend to grow, this campaign is a great way to do so. They’re garnering national attention, watching their social followings sky rocket, and blowing their original goal (promoting the rebrand of Peacemaker) out of the water.

If anyone gets their hands on a pack, please send us some pictures! Cheers.

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Today is Whiskey Sour Day

August 25th, 2014 by Collin Wittman

Friends, today is National Whiskey Sour Day. Ain’t that sweet?

Now, maybe a Whiskey Sour isn’t your favorite cocktail. Maybe you spent one too many evenings guzzling down sickly sweet Whiskey Sours from clear Solo cups at some sticky-floored dive or another. We get it. You feel like you’ve grown and matured and moved beyond this cocktail staple.

But, trust us, such a thing as a good Whiskey Sour truly does exist. You just need to upgrade your ingredients. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place.

At KegWorks, we carry three different mixes that will give you the perfect balance of sweet and sour you need for a top-notch Whiskey Sour. Grab yours today and mix up a Whiskey Sour that doesn’t suck.

1. Whiskey Sour Bar-Tender’s Instant Cocktail Mix


2. Fee Brothers Sweet Tart Cocktail Sour Mix


3. Powell & Mahoney Lemon Sour with Bitters Vintage Cocktail Mixer


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#ALSIceBucketChallenge Meets Craft Beer

August 22nd, 2014 by Collin Wittman

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 2.36.45 PM

Do you live under a rock? No? Oh, then we’re sure you’ve heard of the #ALSIceBucketChallenge, the viral video phenomenon featuring your friends, neighbors, bridge club, knitting group, curling team, Verne Troyer, and just about everyone else dumping water over their heads to raise awareness of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). This thing is friggin’ everywhere.

Undoubtedly, it’s for a good cause, and it has raised an impressive sum of money to date. But, at some point, it largely begins to feel like if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Another day, another bucket of ice cold water dumped on someone’s head. Wash, rinse, repeat. Yawn.

Someone needs to break the cycle. Someone needs to do something different. Someone needs to do the challenge with a whole bunch of beer.

Oh wait, the team at Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland, Ohio did just that? Now, THIS, I have to see…

I love how they nominated other notable breweries (and that they themselves were nominated by the venerable brewing institution that is Great Lakes). I love how they will be donating a $1 for each pint of Hop Session IPA sold this weekend to help fund ALS research. I love how excited everyone in this video is. In short, I just love everything about this. Well done Market Garden.

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5 Reasons You Should Build A Wedding Bar

August 21st, 2014 by Caleb Houseknecht

Last weekend, I stood up in the wedding of two of my greatest friends. Everything about it was amazing – the food, the band, the venue, and especially, the beer. The wedding was in Ithaca, NY, where my friends currently live, so they had two kegs of Green Trail IPA from Ithaca Beer Co. and two kegs of Ommegang Witte, one of my personal favs.

The best part of all of this? The bar pictured below. My friends, Sarah and Travis (bride and groom), built that bar, with the help of yours truly – all of the draft beer equipment provided by KegWorks. After seeing the finished product, and watching all of their guests drool over it, I was left with a strong urge to tell you all about it.


But more than just saying, “Look at this cool thing my friends did,” I want to tell you why this is a great idea for your wedding as well. Here are my top 5 reasons.

1.) It’s the Ultimate Accent

My friends had a barn wedding with a folky feel. So they went with a really simple design on the bar, but it fit the entire atmosphere wonderfully. In fact, the addition of the bar really set off the rest of their accents. No matter your theme, you can make your bar fit.

2.) Money Savings

Look, weddings are expensive enough. Between the food, facility, band, photographer, and whatever-the-heck else, the bills stack up quickly. Now, for most of us – at least those reading this blog – alcohol is a must at a wedding. Kegs are just cheaper. Cut out liquor, and you’ll save even more money.

Assembling the wedding bar

two tap wall mount refrigerator conversion kit

This is the kit my friends used to make the bar

Assembling the Sawdusty Saints Wedding Bar

3.) It’s Low Maintenance

Forget constantly stocking bins, tables, and coolers with canned and bottled beers. Hook up your kegs, ice ‘em down, and enjoy the party while the beer flows freely.

4.) You’ll Own That Bar Forever

After the wedding, the bar is yours. Keep it in your house, your garage, your basement – wherever.

K&K beer bar by Glen Hawk

Another wedding bar built by KegWorks customer, Glen Hawk

5.) It’s a Conversation Starter

Beyond people simply seeing the bar and asking about it, it’s a magnet for smaller, more private gatherings and a great way for guests to get to know each other.


If you’d like to learn more about building a bar or outfitting a draft system for your wedding, give us a call – 877.636.3673.

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Welcome Back Ballantine Beer

August 19th, 2014 by Collin Wittman

If you’re a beer drinker, you probably have a go-to brew. Maybe you’re a Macro Man who appreciates a smooth pull on a frosty can of classic Budweiser or Coors. Or perhaps you’re a hop head with a particular passion for some craft brew or another. It doesn’t really matter what your go-to beer is, it just matters that you have one.

"This beer sure tastes fly homies."

“This beer sure tastes fly homies.”

Now, can you imagine being told that your favorite brew will no longer be available? Oh the horror. I mean, what a horrible, horrendous buzzkill. Would you survive? Sure, but you wouldn’t be happy. Who likes having their comfort zone rocked to its core? No one.

Well, that’s what happened when Ballantine beer went dark in the 1960’s. It had been a vibrant brand, producing an exceptional IPA for decades. In other words, it was likely the go-to brew for a whole bunch of people. And then, one day, it was gone.

But friends, we live in a glorious age. And Ballantine is coming back!


That’s right, the long defunct brand has been owned for over 40 years by Pabst. With their recent ascension to the highest reaches of hipster refreshment, the Los Angeles (by way of Milwaukee)-based brewer decided it was time to diversify their offerings with something new, even if that something new is actually something very old.

“The greatest challenge was doing the historical research,” said Gregory Deuhs, Pabst’s Master Brewer. “We had to go back and read first-hand accounts of the ale’s flavor.”

If you’re hankering to try this historical brew (and Pabst sure is hoping that you are), start scouting your store shelves in September. Let’s get excited!

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Introducing Mangrove Jack’s Craft Series Hard Cider Pouches

August 14th, 2014 by Collin Wittman

Newsflash: we love beer. Yeah, shocker, right? Of course we love beer. It’s the best. It offers endless variety and pretty much all of those varieties taste like a cross between magic and sunshine. Hell, we love it so much that we’ve decided to start offering all of the fresh ingredients and dependable equipment one could possibly need to launch themselves into a successful home brewing habit. That’s dedication friends.

But sometimes, you’re ready to take just a little bit of a left turn. Spread your wings a little bit. Explore the world of fermentables a bit deeper and see what else is out there to enjoy. We get that. And we decided to do something about it.

Enter Mangrove Jack’s Craft Series of Hard Apple Cider Brew Pouches. Yeah, that just happened.

These pouches contain all the high-quality ingredients you need to create a Traditional Hard Apple Cider, Pear Cider, Mixed Berry Cider, or Strawberry & Pear Cider. Each flavor brings the sweetness you expect from a hard cider, but it’s not as sugary as many of the pre-bottled versions available at your local beer store.

So come on, try something different. Brew up some hard cider and savor each sweet, tart sip!

1. Mangrove Jack’s Craft Series Apple Cider Pouch


2. Mangrove Jack’s Craft Series Pear Cider Pouch


3. Mangrove Jack’s Craft Series Mixed Berry Cider Pouch


4. Mangrove Jack’s Craft Series Strawberry and Pear Cider Pouch


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