New School National Beer News

It has been a crazy interesting week for national beer news. We try to cover anything nationally relevant or touching upon the Pacific Northwest, but there are some very important stories developing across the country. For this Friday, we thought we would preview some of the national news you might be missing and interested in.

Mollusk’s waffle okonomiyaki. IMAGE: OLIVIA BRENT

Mollusk’s waffle okonomiyaki.

Chef Travis Kukull Leaves Epic Brewing’s Mollusk Gastropub

I just wrote about Seattle’s Mollusk Gastropub for an upcoming BeerAdvocate article and it’s sad to hear that chef and co-owner Travis Kukull has left the innovative expansion of Epic Brewing’s Gastropod. Certainly one of the most pioneering brewpub’s in the country as far as imaginative beer and food pairings that expand the mind and palate. We take some solace in the fact that Mollusk is still alive with a new chef, still innovative and unusual beers, but likely a more run-of-the-mill brewpub menu. Read the full story and interview with Travis Kukull here at The Stranger:

 Hitachino Nest Beer Opening first United States Location 

I love San Francisco and its really cool and different beer scene that seems to be morphing every year. The latest national-level opening will be Japan’s famous Hitachino Nest Brewery, which will be opening its first ever United States location in inner SF between the Tenderloin and Nob Hill in the newly beer trendy area of Mikkeller Bar and Hopwater Distribution. Hitachino will appropriately open an izakaya-style bar/restaurant with exclusive beers from Hitachino, though they will not be brewed on-site. Supposedly the new spot called Hitachino Beer & Wagyu will be open by the end of July. I cannot wait to visit next February for SF Beer Week. A few more details here:

Russian River’s Major Expansion Plans

It’s been pretty major national news for a while now that Russian River will finally expand with a major production brewery to supply the unwashed masses with their beloved Pliny the Elder. SF Chronicle sheds a little more light on the upcoming new facility that will feature a new pub and restaurant and a more thoughtful approach on food with Chef Adam Dulye of Monk’s Kettle and consulting Brewers Association Chef. Read all about the upcoming spot in Windsor, California here:

Krebs Brewing acquires Prairie Artisan Ales

Probably few of you know Prairie Artisan Ales of Oklahoma but it’s an awesome, world-class American Farmhouse Brewery and very small operation. News came yesterday that they are being acquired by probably even less-known-nationally Krebs Brewing Co. Hopefully this will not result in big changes but steady growth and availability. More info on the sale here:



The Alchemist Opening New Brewery in Stowe, VT

Everyone loves The Alchemist and the famous IPA called Heady Topper. Heady is probably the 2nd most talked about IPA in the U.S. after Pliny the Elder and is also one of the beers at the forefront of the current New England/Vermont-style hazy IPA trend. For those falling all over themselves to obtain the brewery’s beers, news that The Alchemist is about to open a brand new brewery in Stowe, Vermont is a very good thing. Read more about it here:

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: