Idaho Wine Commission presents lifetime award to Bill Stowe

Idaho Wine Commission presents lifetime award to Bill Stowe

Bill Stowe, founder of Indian Creek Winery Farm, receives the Idaho Wine Commission’s Lifetime Achievement Award from commissioner Greg Koenig and executive director Moya Dolsby. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

BOISE, Idaho — There were several rounds of applause this week during Idaho Wine Commission’s annual meeting in Boise, but the loudest stemmed from the standing ovation for Bill Stowe, founder of Indian Creek Farm Winery and recipient of the industry’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I’m speechless,” Stowe said. “I thank everybody, and I see another old guy there in Shane Weston. I can think of Steve Robertson and a bunch of other guys.”

Moya Dolsby, executive director of the Idaho Wine Commission, and commissioner Greg Koenig of Koenig Vineyards presented the award to Stowe on the 17th floor of the Zions Bank Building, the state’s tallest building.

“He started a winery in probably the most unlikely place, but through sheer grit and determination was able to keep it going at a time before the local movement took off, before Idaho wines took off, before you could even talk to people to get wine into restaurants and retailers,” Koenig said. “He stuck with it and continued to plant grapes, offer advice and share equipment.”

Last year, Stowe and his family celebrated the 35th anniversary of Indian Creek. In 2008, their winery in Kuna was named Idaho Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest magazine, a publication based in Kennewick, Wash.

“One of the best wine writers in the region at the time, Brooks Tisch, said something so eloquent, ‘This guy is making things that taste like Clos de Vougeot Burgundy that would be a bargain at twice the price,’” Koenig said. “He continued making quality wines, and one of the best wine stories in Idaho is that he was able to pass that to a second generation. His daughter and son-in-law are continuing the tradition of these beautiful wines and creating their own micro-economy of wine club members — and what’s probably Idaho’s only cult winery in essence because people come to this vibrant tasting room year in and year out.”

Koenig long has credited Stowe, a retired Air Force officer, with giving him his start in the industry.

“Look way back in the beginning of the days when it was highly unlikely that a wine industry would even spring up in Idaho,” Koenig said. “There wasn’t much support for local products. There wasn’t much support for alcohol, in general, and these guys were out there building wineries and planting vineyards.”

Dale Jeffers receives Distinguished Member award

Dale Jeffers receives the Idaho Wine Commission’s Distinguished Member Award from commissioner Greg Koenig and executive director Moya Dolsby. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

Dale Jeffers, longtime vineyard manager at Skyline and Sawtooth vineyards, received the commission’s Distinguished Member of the Year award.

“I’ve been at this a long time, and you guys have helped me with making the wine,” Jeffers said. “I remember when this meeting was 20 to 25 people, so it’s been cool to see it grow and see what it’s done.”

NOTES: Several scholarships were awarded during the conference, but the largest gift was made by Kacey Montgomery, owner of Juniper on Eighth in Boise. He presented a $2,000 cheque to the commission to be used for wine education. “I think he carries more wine than any Idaho restaurant,” Dolsby said. “That’s $2,000! That’s unheard of! That’s awesome! Keep going to Juniper because they support us.” Montgomery said that figure represents 100 percent of the proceeds from the Freak Alley event that kicks off Idaho Wine Month each June. … This year’s three-day conference included 17 presentations and featured keynote speakers Mike Veseth of The Wine Economist and Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser.

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Scofflaw Brewing Sets Goal of $10,000 for F*** Cancer! Event

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ATLANTA – Scofflaw Brewing Company has brewed a special release of its popular Basement IPA to raise money for cancer research. The one-off, triple-hopped version ofBeer Styles Basement IPA featuring Galaxy hops will be on tap and sold in specially labeled F*** Cancer! six-packs at the brewery’s tasting room in the Bolton neighborhood of Atlanta’s Westside on Saturday, Feb. 24.

The goal is to raise $10,000 for cancer research. The event is dedicated to Scott Selig, who worked as the president of Selig Enterprises up until his death from cancer Oct. 30.

“We recently lost our friend Scott Selig, a young, talented man that was taken from us and from our community,” said Matt Shirah, the co-founder and President of Scofflaw Brewing. “Scott was often described as a visionary. We are working with Scott’s family business to carry his vision forward and I thought it might be a good idea to leverage our Scofflaw attitude and sometimes attention attracting culture to raise money for this cause on Feb. 24th, which would have been Scott’s 48th birthday.”

“This is part of a larger fund-raising project,” continued Shirah, “headed by Scott’s niece Jordan Shoulberg and Khaki Loughran.” All profits from the sale of this special release will be donated to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The special addition of Basement IPA features oats in the malt bill to provide extra haze and a creamier mouthfeel for the 7.5% ABV beer. Citra and Galaxy hops in the boil are augmented by a triple dry hop addition of Galaxy. Visitors to Scofflaw can purchase six-packs for $18 as well as order pints of F*** Cancer! from the bar from noon until 9 p.m.

The commemorative can label featuring lettering in pink was created by artist Josh Jameson and just 200 cases will be produced. For those who would like to stop by the tasting room just to make six-pack purchases, additional sales stations will be set up at the brewery. Commemorative F*** Cancer! T-shirts in various colors will be available while they last.

Since opening in August of 2016 Scofflaw Brewing has built a tradition of helping charities as well as individual families in the community. The brewery has previously promoted events on behalf of the Arthritis Foundation, Breast Cancer Awareness, the Georgia Craft Brewer’s Guild, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Bosley’s Place for rescue dog adoption.

About Scofflaw Brewing Co.  – www.scofflawbeer.com

Co-founded by Matt Shirah and Brewmaster Travis Herman, who developed beers on a one-barrel system in the basement of the home of Shirah’s mother-in-law, Scofflaw opened in August of 2016. It has been named by BeerAdvocate, Paste Magazine, USA Today, Craft Beer & Brewing and RateBeer.com as one of the best new breweries in America. Follow Scofflaw on Facebook, Instagram and on Twitter @ScofflawBrewing.

Contact jonathan@scofflawbeer.com or 404-918-6780

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Integrated simulations answer 20-year-old question in fusion research

Integrated simulations answer 20-year-old question in fusion research

To make fusion energy a reality, scientists must harness fusion plasma, a fiery gaseous maelstrom in which radioactive particles react to generate heat for electricity. But the turbulence of fusion plasma can confront researchers with unruly behaviors that confound attempts to make predictions and develop models. In experiments over the past two decades, an especially vexing problem has emerged: In response to deliberate cooling at its edges, fusion plasma inexplicably undergoes abrupt increases in central temperature.

These counterintuitive temperature spikes, which fly against the physics of heat transport models, have not found an explanation — until now. 

A team led by Anne White, the Cecil and Ida Green Associate Professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, and Pablo Rodriguez Fernandez, a graduate student in the department, has conducted studies that offer a new take on the complex physics of plasma heat transport and point toward more robust models of fusion plasma behavior. The results of their work appear this week in the journal Physical Review Letters. Rodriguez Fernandez is first author on the paper.

In experiments using MIT’s Alcator C-Mod tokamak (a toroidal-shaped device that deploys a magnetic field to contain the star-furnace heat of plasma), the White team focused on the problem of turbulence and its impact on heating and cooling. In tokamaks, heat transport is typically dominated by turbulent movement of plasma, driven by gradients in plasma pressure.

Hot and cold

Scientists have a good grasp of turbulent transport of heat when the plasma is held at steady-state conditions. But when the plasma is intentionally perturbed, standard models of heat transport simply cannot capture plasma’s dynamic response. 

In one such case, the cold-pulse experiment, researchers perturb the plasma near its edge by injecting an impurity, which results in a rapid cooling of the edge.

“Now, if I told you we cooled the edge of hot plasma, and I asked you what will happen at the center of the plasma, you would probably say that the center should cool down too,” says White. “But when scientists first did this experiment 20 years ago, they saw that edge cooling led to core heating in low-density plasmas, with the temperature in the core rising, and much faster than any standard transport model would predict.”  Further mystifying researchers was the fact that at higher densities, the plasma core would cool down.

Replicated many times, these cold-pulse experiments with their unlikely results defy what is called the standard local model for the turbulent transport of heat and particles in fusion devices. They also represent a major barrier to predictive modeling in high-performance fusion experiments such as ITER, the international nuclear fusion project, and MIT’s own proposed smaller-scale fusion reactor, ARC.

To achieve a new perspective on heat transport during cold-pulse experiments, White’s team developed a unique twist.

“We knew that the plasma rotation, that is, how fast the plasma was spinning in the toroidal direction, would change during these cold-pulse experiments, which complicates the analysis quite a bit,” White notes.  This is because the coupling between momentum transport and heat transport in fusion plasmas is still not fully understood,” she explains. “We needed to unambiguously isolate one effect from the other.” 

As a first step, the team developed a new experiment that conclusively demonstrated how the cold-pulse phenomena associated with heat transport would occur irrespective of the plasma rotation state. With Rodriguez Fernandez as first author, White’s group reported this key result in the journal Nuclear Fusion in 2017.

A new integrated simulation

From there, a tour de force of modeling was needed to recreate the cold-pulse dynamics seen in the experiments. To tackle the problem, Rodriguez Fernandez built a new framework, called PRIMA, which allowed him to introduce cold-pulses in time-dependent simulations. Using special software that factored in the turbulence, radiation and heat transport physics inside a tokamak, PRIMA could model cold-pulse phenomena consistent with experimental measurements. 

“I spent a long time simulating the propagation of cold pulses by only using an increase in radiated power, which is the most intuitive effect of a cold-pulse injection,” Rodriguez Fernandez says. 

Because experimental data showed that the electron density increased with every cold pulse injection, Rodriguez Fernandez implemented an analogous effect in his simulations. He observed a very good match in amplitude and time-scales of the core temperature behavior. “That was an ‘aha!’ moment,” he recalls. 

Using PRIMA, Rodriguez Fernandez discovered that a competition between types of turbulent modes in the plasma could explain the cold-pulse experiments. These different modes, explains White, compete to become the dominant cause of the heat transport. “Whichever one wins will determine the temperature profile response, and determine whether the center heats up or cools down after the edge cooling,” she says.

By determining the factors behind the center-heating phenomenon (the so-called nonlocal response) in cold-pulse experiments, White’s team has removed a central concern about limitations in the standard, predictive (local) model of plasma behavior.  This means, says White, that “we are more confident that the local model can be used to predict plasma behavior in future high performance fusion plasma experiments — and eventually, in reactors.” 

“This work is of great significance for validating fundamental assumptions underpinning the standard model of core tokamak turbulence,” says Jonathan Citrin, Integrated Modelling and Transport Group leader at the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER), who was not involved in the research. “The work also validated the use of reduced models, which can be run without the need for supercomputers, allowing to predict plasma evolution over longer timescales compared to full-physics simulations,” says Citrin. “This was key to deciphering the challenging experimental observations discussed in the paper.” 

The work isn’t over for the team. As part of a separate collaboration between MIT and General Atomics, Plasma Science and Fusion Center scientists are installing a new laser ablation system to facilitate cold-pulse experiments at the DIII-D tokamak in San Diego, California, with first data expected soon. Rodriguez Fernandez has used the integrated simulation tool PRIMA to predict the cold-pulse behavior at DIII-D, and he will perform an experimental test of the predictions later this year to complete his PhD research.

The research team included Brian Grierson and Xingqiu Yuan, research scientists at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; Gary Staebler, research scientist at General Atomics; Martin Greenwald, Nathan Howard, Amanda Hubbard, Jerry Hughes, Jim Irby and John Rice, research scientists from the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center; and MIT grad students Norman Cao, Alex Creely, and Francesco Sciortino. The work was supported by the US DOE Fusion Energy Sciences.

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Cinder Wines buys Tempranillo fruit from famed Abacela

Cinder Wines buys Tempranillo fruit from famed Abacela

Earl Jones, founding winemaker and co-owner of Abacela in Roseburg, Ore., gives Idaho winemaker Melanie Krause a tour of his Fault Line Vineyards. (Photo by Joe Schnerr/Cinder Wines)

GARDEN CITY, Idaho — An Arctic blast and a horrific hailstorm in the Snake River Valley led Cinder winemaker Melanie Krause, one of the Pacific Northwest’s top talents, to the region’s epicenter of Tempranillo — Southern Oregon.

A trip to Abacela Winery during the 2017 crush wasn’t in the plans for Krause a year ago, but her time in the Umpqua Valley with founding winemaker Earl Jones proved to be both a pilgrimage and a way to appease fans of Tempranillo in her hometown of Boise, Idaho.

“I thought, ‘Well, if I can make Tempranillo from any vineyard in the world, which vineyard would it be?” Krause said. “That would be Abacela’s Fault Line Vineyards. I’ve admired Abacela’s wines for years and admire the dedication and experiments that Earl goes about with his vineyard.”

Jones agreed to sell Krause six tons of Tempranillo grapes from Fault Line, home to the first commercial Tempranillo vineyard in the Pacific Northwest.

“I’ve said ‘No’ for 20 years,” Jones told Great Northwest Wine. “I’ve never done anything like this. I’ve donated an acre to UCC (Umpqua Community College) or let a friend have juice, but no, I don’t sell fruit.”

Excitement surrounded the opportunity to collaborate with the renowned producer. However, it’s unlikely to be repeated by Krause for a variety of reasons, she said, starting with the nine-hour, 500-mile drive west from Boise to Roseburg.

“We came back loaded, and it was quite hellish — about 12 hours to get home,” Krause sighed. “But we’ll learn from it and have fun with it, even if it’s been really painful.”

Hail shreds prized source in 15 minutes

Six bins from Cinder Wines in Garden City, Idaho., await clusters of Tempranillo grapes from Fault Line Vineyards, the historic planting at Abacela in Roseburg, Ore. (Photo courtesy of Cinder Wines)

A little known feature of the Snake River Valley is that a small yet significant portion of the American Viticultural Area established in 2007 includes the Oregon side of the river. Its promise is reflected in Emerald Slope Vineyard near the tiny farming town of Adrian.

Most vintages, Cinder pulls Tempranillo from both Tim Martin’s Emerald Slope Vineyard and Sawtooth Vineyard, arguably Idaho’s most fascinating vineyard. Last year was different. Mother Nature wreaked havoc on both sites four months apart in two different ways, first in January with an extended stretch when temperatures plummeted to minus-22.

“The Tempranillo in Idaho came through the winter specific to the site and even the clone,” Krause said. “At Sawtooth, one clone died. One clone lived.

“Over in Adrian, Emerald Slope survived and we were looking at almost a full crop. Then came a sheet of hail — two inches in about 15 minutes — that stripped everything and turned the vineyard into pulp.”

As a result of that May 5 storm, Cinder received only two tons of Tempranillo from Idaho from the 2017 vintage.

“I’d say we only got about 30 percent of our normal fruit overall for the winery, and that’s probably fairly representative of the entire state,” Krause said. “Some of the vineyards got completely annihilated, but Sawtooth and some of the Symms (Vineyard) blocks made it through. Emerald Slope made it through the winter, and that’s about 30 percent of my grapes, so that (hail storm) was an enormous blow.”

Juggling multiple vineyards across 3 states

Melanie Krause stands in the parking lot at Abacela Winery in Roseburg, Ore., with bins from Cinder Wines in Garden City, Idaho. (Photo courtesy of Cinder Wines)

A few months before the trip to Abacela, Krause and her team bottled the 2015 Tempranillo, a bi-state product of Two Coyotes Vineyard in Washington state’s Rattlesnake Hills and Sawtooth. Krause said she enjoys collaborating with Phil Cline, who also manages vineyards in the exciting, higher-elevation Naches Heights AVA west of Yakima.

“I like to work with Phil Cline, and the Tempranillo I get from him is similar in style to the Snake River Valley fruit,” she said.

Various losses in Krause’s home region prompted her to seek Cline’s help for white Rhône Valley grapes such as Marsanne and Roussanne. That meant even more time on the road, though.

“I’d never worked with either of those varieties, so it’s another fun project that Mother Nature gave us,” she said. “We thought, ‘We might as well.’ ”

And yet, Krause, one of the Northwest’s top magicians with Riesling, Viognier and Syrah, also has shown a Midas touch with Tempranillo. Her 2014 vintage led to a double gold medal at the 2016 Cascadia Wine Competition in the spring and then a Platinum at Wine Press Northwest 2016 Platinum Judging that fall. That year, Cinder leaned heavily on the Snake River Valley.

The 2015 vintage fell victim to a killing freeze in November 2014, which prompted Krause to create a 53/47 blend of Idaho with Washington fruit. It was helpful, she said, that last year Wine Business Monthly magazine featured Tempranillo during one of its variety focuses. Cinder and Abacela were among the nine Northwest producers involved in the peer-judging of Tempranillo.

“I know Melanie’s wines, and I’ve talked to her before, so we weren’t strangers when she called and asked if there were any Southern Oregon growers who might be able to help,” Jones said. “I told her that I would work with her and try to squeeze out something for her.”

Cinder Wines to showcase 6 clones, 6 lots

Cinder winemaker Melanie Krause begins a nine-hour drive to Roseburg, Ore. The return trip to Garden City, Idaho, took 12 hours because of the bins heavy with Tempranillo clusters. (Photo by Joe Schnerr/Cinder Wines)

In typical Abacela fashion, Jones, head winemaker Andrew Wenzl and vineyard manager Chris Lake collaborated with Krause and turned this into more than a normal grower-winemaker transaction. They talked clones, winemaking research, pick times and logistics. They targeted a selection of clones within certain blocks that would be ready to harvest within hours of each other for cross-state transportation.

“That’s tough to do,” Jones said. “We had to farm them with that intent.”

Abacela brought in about 40 tons that day, with six tons heading back to the Snake River Valley as raw grapes to be vinified by Krause at her Garden City winery.

“She was loaded down and stacked pretty high, so I would have been pretty nervous,” Wenzl chuckled. “If there was a 30-mph curve, I would have been doing no more than 20 (mph) for sure.”

As the winemaker of a 12,000-case company who always wants more to choose from, Wenzl admitted that he wasn’t 100 percent jazzed about giving up a single bin of Tempranillo.

“That’s another 30 barrels that I don’t have in my cellar,” he said.

Tempranillo is planted across 27 acres at Abacela, and Krause received six individual one-ton lots of clones 1, 2, 3, 11, 12 and 13, which includes perhaps Abacela’s three most prized clones.

“I’m looking forward to see how my babies did,” Wenzl said with a chuckle. “The plan was to ferment them and treat them all the same.”

Abacela doesn’t approach all the clones and the blocks the same. During his 20 years in Oregon, Jones and his teams have dialed in their fermentation regimens based on the characteristics of individual blocks, targeting different temperatures and macerating the berries at various lengths.

At a recent workshop on clonal research at the Oregon Tempranillo Celebration in Portland, clone 11 generated considerable fascination among the group of Oregon winemakers.

“Their favorite was clone 11,” Wenzl said. “Abacela can produce a very tannic wine, but I’ve learned over the years what the consumer wants and doesn’t want. I could ferment them at a high temperature and have the (juice) chew on the skins until they have nothing else to give, but those tannins won’t always get resolved in the barrel.”

The development of clone 2, both in the vineyard and the cellar, has been critical to the success of Abacela’s largest production Tempranillo, the approachable and ready-to-enjoy Fiesta. And fruit from clone 1 remains the most prized across the Fault Line Vineyards.

“Clone 1 will almost always make its way into the ‘barrel select’ or reserve program, but it’s not the easiest to grow, and it doesn’t set the highest crop,” Wenzl said.

Krause received clone 1 from the South West Block, which is near the storied South East Block  in Cox’s Rock Vineyard.

Trade publication spotlights NW Tempranillo

The Cinder Wines 2015 Tempranillo is available for purchase beyond the security gates at the Boise Airport. The Cinder 2016 Off-Dry Riesling, chosen as best of show at the 2017 Idaho Wine Competition, also is sold at the Greenbelt Magazine Shop. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine).

Ironically, Cinder’s trip to Abacela came just a few weeks after the September 2017 issue of Wine Business Monthly magazine. Research by reporter Lance Cutler pointed out that while Tempranillo is the world’s fourth-most planted grape, only five percent of the 9,091 wineries in the U.S. produce a Tempranillo. That includes 76 in Oregon, 54 in Washington and six in Idaho.

“We’d love to see more people growing Tempranillo,” said Wenzl, who has been at Abacela since 2003 when he left Silvan Ridge in Eugene. “We’ve been advocates for it all along. We need more opportunities to produce world-class Tempranillo, but we need enough volume of it to move the needle even just a little bit.”

It will be about two years before Krause releases any of her Southern Oregon expressions, but she carries some early impressions.

“It’s difficult comparing the 20-year history of Fault Line Vineyards to five years in Idaho, but I have drawn the conclusion that Idaho will always make less tannic wines than the Umpqua Valley,” she said. “The Fault Line Vineyards wines have enormous body, and in Idaho we have amazing fruit, too, but the wines are less tannic and easier to drink earlier.”

Krause noted that some vintages of Tempranillo grown in the Snake River Valley present more tannin than others, but her fans seem to appreciate the variety’s structure and vintage markers.

“I don’t hear anyone complaining in the tasting room,” she said. “The wines always sell out before the next vintage is ready.”

Fault Line Vineyards provided Krause and her team with those six lots, and plans to keep them separated.

“I have the six experiments running in the winery,” she said. “They were fermented each in the winery with the same treatments, which we hope will provide us some insight into the clonal difference as well.”

‘I want people to nerd out’ about Tempranillo

Melanie Krause eagerly awaits a library tasting in Roseburg, Ore., with Earl Jones, left, founding winemaker and co-owner of Abacela. (Photo by Joe Schnerr/Cinder Wines)

At this point, Krause said she’s considering presenting a three-state comparison that would represent six  clones. She expects the six lots from Fault Line Vineyards will result in 400 cases of 2017 Tempranillo, backed by as many as 500 cases from the Washington vineyards and as few as 100 cases from Sawtooth. That would reflect a small increase from the 2015 vintage.

And Krause looks forward to allowing Cinder fans in her home state of Idaho to experience each lot from the Umpqua Valley individually.

“I don’t see us aging them,” she said. “I want to release them all at the same time. I want people to nerd out about the state-by-state differences.”

Cinder also is conscious about holding its price point.

“That’s a question we’ll have to carefully examine,” she said. “It certainly added to the expense of making the wine, but we’re cautious about raising prices in Idaho. We’re still like the forgotten cousin of the Northwest.”

Krause and her husband, Joe Schnerr relished their time at Abacela, which included a tour of property.

“They are not in the habit of selling grapes, but they agreed to sell to us, which is awesome,” Krause said.

Cinder Wines produces a total of about 8,000 cases of wine each year, with the growth plan to reach 10,000 cases in the next few years. That would be a bit smaller than Abacela, which last year celebrated the 20th anniversary of its first commercial bottling of Tempranillo.

“(Jones) says he thought really, really seriously about the Snake River Valley for Tempranillo, but he thought it would winter through better in Southern Oregon, and it looks as if he’s right,” Krause said. “But this is my hometown, and every region has the potential for frost damage. Besides, look at 2016 for us (in Idaho). It was a huge vintage and the wines were gorgeous.”

Jones and Wenzl look forward to seeing what Cinder does with Tempranillo from Fault Line Vineyards, and they hope to share research.

“Sure, we ended up a little short for Abacela, but Melanie is a nice person and when she reached out to me, I thought, ‘Wow, what an ideal opportunity to scratch deep in our viticultural pockets and share some of the best clonal material we have,” Jones said.

“I also felt like I was helping someone in a time of need,” Jones added. “You can’t believe how many times I get people calling us for fruit, but she represented something special to me – someone who is sincerely interested in Tempranillo. I’ve had her wine, and I know that she knows how to make good wine.”

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RiverWalk Brewing Expands Distribution to Maine

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Newburyport, MA — RiverWalk Brewing Co. launched distribution in Maine via a new partnership with Mariner Beverages in Portland, ME. They began shipping cans and Find a Craft Brewerydraft into Maine on February 12. The initial rollout included three SKUs — IPA, Storm Door Porter and Tricoastal — with immediate plans to increase variety.

Steve Sanderson, owner of RiverWalk Brewing, sees Maine distribution as the next logical next step. “We’re so close to Maine and already have a significant following there. We feel strongly that our worldly view on craft beer will resonate with the Maine beer drinker. Our goal is to bring a lot of rotating variety to the market while maintaining our high standards for quality.”

Tim Wissemann, President and Founder of Mariner Beverages, said his team is ready to roll. “We are excited to bring RiverWalk beers into the state. They are an up and coming local brewery that recently underwent a large expansion allowing them to send cans and kegs to Maine for their fans and all of our customers. This continues our mission of bringing in really good local and regional beers into the market.”

RiverWalk Brewing recently built a new brewery and taproom in Newburyport, nearly tripling their capacity. This will allow them to increase variety, expand their reach and meet demand throughout New England. RiverWalk Brewing currently distributes to Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

About RiverWalk Brewing Co.
Brewing our unique style of craft beer in Newburyport, MA since 2012. Our approach is rooted in history and blended with our worldly vision for what beer can be.

40 Parker Street
Newburyport, MA 01950
978.499.2337 (BEER)
www.RiverWalkBrewing.com

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Hot Topics at DistribuTECH 2018: The rise of DERMS, integrated interconnection and DER adoption planning

Hot Topics at DistribuTECH 2018: The rise of DERMS, integrated interconnection and DER adoption planning

Every year we’re inspired at DistribuTECH, where in 2018 more than 11,000 participants from over 70 countries gathered in San Antonio to discuss the latest topics on grid modernization. For Clean Power Research and our customers, there was ample evidence that many of the topics we’ve focused on the past few years are now taking center stage. In keynote sessions, utility presentations and exhibit hall conversations, topics such as distributed energy resource (DER) interconnection and integration, DER planning, and the electrification of transportation were top-of-mind.

The rise of DERMS?

The conference featured healthy debate among utilities and vendors regarding the market readiness of Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS.) The opening statement in this debate occurred at a pre-conference session on Monday hosted by the Smart Electric Power Association (SEPA). At this session SEPA unveiled a DERMS Requirements document that has been under development for two years. SEPA and the SEPA Grid Management Working Group are now inviting vendors and other industry players to comment on the document.

The Grid Management Working Group—an industry collaborative consisting of leading utilities including SCE, PG&E, Pepco, AEP, APS, Oncor, Bonneville Power, PSEG, Xcel Energy, SMUD, ComEd, Avista, SDG&E, Southern Company, Entergy, Orange and Rockland (ORU), and Duke Energy—developed the requirements document to help guide the industry in developing and selecting DERMS applications. Their definition of DERMS centers on grid control and the operational technologies needed to manage a more complex grid due to the rapid rise of DERs.

As the conference went on, DERMS continued to be the subject of much discussion. Most utilities seemed to agree that it may be several years before their utility launched a DERMS procurement. In fact, in spite of the admirable efforts of SEPA and the Grid Management Working Group, there is still not consensus among utilities on the full scope of DERMS. In the meantime, however, many will test and pilot systems that meet subsets of DERMS requirements.

Streamlining interconnection screening through integration

At DistribuTECH, several Clean Power Research customers gave presentations related to DER planning and operations.

Joe White from ORU, Andre Wellington from Con Edison, and Brian Conroy from AVANGRID were the featured panelists in the session “Streamlining DER Interconnection – Lessons Learned from New York.”

Streamlining DER Interconnection Panel Distributech 2018

ORU and Con Edison are both using PowerClerk® today as their Integrated Online Application Portal (IOAP) to meet New York REV requirements. Among other integrations discussed in the session, ORU has built integration between PowerClerk and the Electrical Distribution Design (EDD) DEW/ISM software they use for distribution planning and analysis. In this scenario, PowerClerk manages requests, approvals, roles and communications, and then provides DER specifications to DEW/ISM to automate screens and engineering calculations where appropriate.

Similarly, Brian Conroy described how AVANGRID is working on a NYSERDA funded project that would integrate PowerClerk with software from CYME and Smarter Grid Solutions to create an innovative flexible interconnection capacity system.

The new challenge: Forecasting & DER adoption planning

In another DistribuTECH presentation, “Planning for Customer DER Adoption,” Patrick McCoy from SMUD described how SMUD is collaborating with Clean Power Research to solve the challenges of planning where, when and how the increasing adoption of DERs will impact their distribution systems. For example, which neighborhoods will see the fastest adoption of electric vehicles (EVs)? Does PV adoption correlate to EV adoption? How will adoption rates impact our utility earnings and rate structures?

These are just some of the questions our newest offering, WattPlan® Grid, is being designed to answer. Read more about WattPlan Grid in Utility Dive.

As an added bonus, Patrick’s presentation was captured visually in a sketch sponsored by Sensus that you can see below.

DER Adoption Planning

In the same session, Stephen Steffel’s presentation “Big Data Analytics at Pepco Holdings” focused on the additional challenge utilities face in forecasting the energy production of PV systems at various points on their distribution grids. Stephen explained how Pepco Holdings is using SolarAnywhere®, along with distribution planning software from our partner EDD, to forecast PV output and understand the impact of variability on distribution system planning and operations.

In the sketch below, SolarAnywhere’s time-varying PV historical and forecast data (“sky radiance data” in the upper right) is used in the EDD DEW/ISM software to complete the DER assessment study.

Actionable steps

As seen at DistribuTECH, while implementation of a full DERMS system may be several years away for most utilities, Clean Power Research customers are taking steps today to ready themselves for increased DER penetration.

  1. Collect accurate data on DER interconnections as they happenPowerClerk allows collection of consistent DER system specifications that utilities can integrate with distribution planning tools to complete the analysis. PowerClerk also houses key data on existing DER adoption as a basis for further adoption modeling.
  2. Integrate DER adoption forecasts into system planningWattPlan Grid gives utilities visibility into their customers’ decision processes, providing the input needed for system planning and ratemaking.
  3. Build PV forecasts into system analysisSolarAnywhere provides the accurate solar irradiance data needed for utilities to weather adjust planning and operations.

See you at DistribuTECH 2019 in New Orleans!

It’s not too early to start thinking about the projects and presentations for DistribuTECH 2019. Call for Papers will go out in May 2018. Contact us if you have ideas for collaboration!

Interested in learning more about automating the interconnection screening process? Read our whitepaper: “Resolving the Conflict Between Distribution Planning and Interconnection Processes.”

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The post Hot Topics at DistribuTECH 2018: The rise of DERMS, integrated interconnection and DER adoption planning appeared first on Solar Help.

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Brewery Finance Launches “Better Beer Now” Initiative

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Brewery Finance – the nation’s first craft beer-focused equipment lender — is launching a quality improvement program to help America’s brewers quickly and affordably Beer and Food Courseobtain vital testing and quality control equipment.

For just $99/month for the first six months, craft brewers can fund up to $50,000 in laboratory and quality control equipment through Brewery Finance’s new Better Beer Now initiative.

“High quality beer is crucial for a brewery’s success and the overall future of craft beer,” says Brewery Finance founder Rick Wehner. “Our Better Beer Now campaign enables craft brewers to quickly and affordably get the equipment they need to make better beer.”

“Instead of waiting to save money for this gear,” Wehner adds, “or using up or seeking a line of bank credit, they can get gear in a couple days and put it to use. In fast fashion they get higher quality beer and peace of mind, and they can boost what we call IQUs (Improved Quality Units) for pennies per serving of beer.”

In the Better Beer Now program, a 3000-barrels/year packaging brewery that finances $25,000 of quality improvement equipment over four years would incur an extra cost of just five cents per sixpack.

To apply for the program, brewers complete a short online application form and provide three months of recent bank statements. Funding is typically approved in 24-48 hours.

Better Beer Now provides funding for such things as microscopes, autoclaves, water-testing equipment, dissolved-oxygen meters, carbon dioxide and ATP (adenosine triphosphate) testers and much more. Packaging breweries can obtain can-seam analysis gear, fill-inspection monitors, date coding equipment and other quality management equipment.

For many small and medium-sized brewers, laboratory and testing equipment is out of their budget and frequently cut from a brewery’s initial plans. But operating without this gear is costly.

“The biggest challenge of doing business as a start-up brewery,” says Mary Pellettieri, Quality Instructor for the Brewers Association, “is gaining a customer’s trust. That trust is lost and hard to gain back if there are quality problems up front.”

“The cost of recalling or dumping one batch of beer,” Wehner notes, “can put a small brewer in a financial hole that could be devastating.”

Brewery Finance typically finances beer-production equipment, but created this new campaign in response to the Brewers Association’s continuing push for higher quality beer from its members. “This is a way for us to do our part for the BA’s very important effort,” Wehner says.

“Quality management investments,” Pellittieri says, “pay off in higher quality beer, less waste, and avoiding the cost of dealing with quality issues out in the market versus pro-actively solving those issues in the brewery.”

“Over time,” she adds, “the Better Beer Now program could save a brewery from so many losses it is hard to even quantify how high its value can be.”

To participate in the program, breweries must be in business for at least six months and have qualifying credit. The first six monthly payments in the Better Beer Now program are just $99/month, and subsequent monthly payments are based on the total cost of the equipment.

All participants in Brewery Finance’s new quality improvement program receive a complimentary copy of Pellittieri’s Quality Management: Essential Planning for Breweries, a Brewers Association publication.

Brewers interested in the program can learn more at www.breweryfinance.com/better-beer-now or contact Rick Wehner at rickw@breweryfinance.com.

Members of the media seeking more information on the Better Beer Now campaign and Brewery Finance can contact Marty Jones at 720-289-9345 or marty@martyjones.com .

The post Brewery Finance Launches “Better Beer Now” Initiative appeared first on CraftBeer.com.

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