Melvin Goes International Just for Fun

DevilCraft Dani

Where the f*&k is Melvin these days, any­way? Maybe you noticed us expand­ing both dis­tri­b­u­tion and brew­pub loca­tions state­side (more big news on this soon) but you might not real­ize just how big we dream. That’s right, your favorite IPA sling­ing ele­phant has been mak­ing seri­ous moves abroad.

Founder Jere­my Tofte wist­ful­ly recalls his days as a sim­ple van-dwelling snow­board bum as he sits at his desk at Alpine HQ, buried in paper­work and end­less emails (and still liv­ing in a van). Back in the glo­ry days, he spent Jack­son Hole’s off-sea­sons (two months in the spring and two months in the fall) trav­el­ing the globe, so it’s only nat­ur­al that this wan­der­lust has trans­ferred to the busi­ness. He explains, “We find every excuse to go vis­it the places we love.”

As a gen­er­al rule, when Melvin spins the globe, IPA’s end up in the lands of deep snow and long left’s, so read on for field notes from our recent adven­tures.

IPA’s and Haze Down Under

Melvin’s own Travis Cook, aka sales nin­ja and Field Hop­er­a­tive, flew to Aus­tralia this spring to rep Melvin at par­tic­i­pat­ing 2x4 Day bars down under. When he wasn’t cud­dling koala bears, get­ting round­house kicked by kan­ga­roos (the nin­jas of the ani­mal king­dom) or explor­ing rain­forests and beach­es, he was turn­ing Aussies on to Wyoming beer. Rea­sons to embrace OZ as a new mar­ket are many: Aussies love a row­dy good time, cities like hip Mel­bourne embrace “beer geek cul­ture,” and the waves and sun­shine are seem­ing­ly non­stop.

Armed with a duf­fle bag of swag, Travis came in hot to Bris­bane first, where Melvin took over Brewski’s 7 taps with Hubert, Melvin, Your IPA, 2x4, Cit­radamus and Hop Shock­er. In Mel­bourne, Travis found plen­ty of new friends and fel­low indus­try folks who were stoked on “hazy IPAs, wild ales, and cof­fee porters.” Last stop on the tour de OZ was Syd­ney, where Travis head­ed to Bit­ter Phew, a laid­back craft beer venue. He says, “There were heaps of Aussies get­ting drunk on beer from Wyoming for the first time…but hope­ful­ly not the last.”

There’s even a ch-ch-cher­ry on top of this out­back adven­ture: Hubert just won a gold medal in the high­ly com­pet­i­tive Best New World Style Pale Ale cat­e­go­ry at the Aus­tralian Inter­na­tion­al Beer Awards. The Melvin IPA took home a sil­ver in the Amer­i­can Style IPA cat­e­go­ry, and 2x4 got anoth­er sil­ver in the Impe­r­i­al / Dou­ble IPA cat­e­go­ry. Bloody fan­tas­tic!

Wyoming + Tokyo Fall in Love

When Dev­il­Craft founder Jason Koehler reached out to us about get­ting some tasty Melvin to Japan, Tofte decid­ed to grab his snow­board and hand deliv­er them dur­ing an epic win­ter sea­son. In the spir­it of new friend­ship and deep pow, they decid­ed to brew a col­lab­o­ra­tion beer: a triple IPA made with African Queen hops.

Years back, Koehler dropped out of an MBA pro­gram to open Dev­il­Craft, one of the only true brew­eries in Tokyo where beer is actu­al­ly made on site. The buzzy city’s sake tra­di­tion has giv­en way to a huge inter­est in craft beer, but this most­ly man­i­fests in beer bars instead of brick and mor­tar brew­eries, at least with­in the con­crete jungle’s huge metro area. The Tokyo drink­ing cul­ture is oh so Melvin– for exam­ple, after quit­tin’ time, 9 to 5’ers aka “salary­men” vis­it drink­ing streets like the Gold­en Gai, where they crush beers and tie their neck­ties around their head. Hey, it’s a small world after all­­– pret­ty sure Thai Me Up has seen the same sort of late night behav­ior.

Tofte and Koehler par­tied like adults, com­pared beards, and began brew­ing, but they soon real­ized that some Japan­ese flair was miss­ing. So, they bought a 25 pound box of rice krispies and dumped them into the tank, adding just the right amount of toasty fla­vor and weird­ness. They named their lovechild Krispofer Hop­pins, and Tofte left Japow vow­ing to return for more mad­ness.

Spin the Globe

Since we are the under­dog tak­ing on big beer aka the evil World­Bev, it’s cru­cial now more than ever to recruit craft emis­saries from around the world to fight the good fight.  

For exam­ple, in Spain, less than 1% of beer sales go to craft brew­eries, leav­ing 99% to big beer. Thank­ful­ly, our friends over at Founders Brew­ing Com­pa­ny have zeroed in on this emerg­ing mar­ket and Spain’s bur­geon­ing craft curios­i­ty, and are mak­ing seri­ous moves. They spear­head­ed Madrid Beer and Music Fes­ti­val this sum­mer and invit­ed Melvin and our famous IPA’s to join the rev­el­ry. Stay tuned for pos­si­ble col­lab­o­ra­tions with Span­ish brew­eries and more across Europe.

Dis­tri­b­u­tion in Viet­nam and anoth­er top secret Asian loca­tion are com­ing soon, so go ahead and spin that globe, hop­head, because you nev­er know where Melvin will pop up next.

See Melvin on tap in an exotic/unexpected locale? Snap a pho­to and tag us @melvinbrewing!