• Hop Infused Vodka

    What goes with vodka?  Beer, or at least one of the ingredients from beer, namely hops.  I’ve seen vodka made with just about everything, so I’m not surprised to see hops in the mix.

     

    Anchor Distilling president David King had no idea that he was entering the flavored vodka business when he suggested distilling hops, the main flavoring agent of beer.

     

    “It started as a weird curiosity,” he told us. “And then when we actually did it, the resulting product defied categorization; not enough sugar to be a liqueur, not a gin.”

     

    Ultimately, the government decided: When he sent it to the TTB for labeling approval, they deemed it a flavored vodka.

     

    But the spirit, named Hophead ($35 for 750 ml; buy it here), couldn’t be further from the confectionery train wrecks of the same genre.

     

    It’s made with two types of hops, which offer a funky, herbaceous scent that gives way to notes of honeysuckle. Flavors of pine needles and herbs recall gin, while a bitter spine echoes a classic IPA. It is a crossroads for three very different drinking sets: the vodka-eschewing bartender, the gin-fearing drinker and the pint swiller.

     

    Try it first in a Bloody Mary, where the vodka’s savory character augments the tomato and horseradish. Then consider it in a cocktail from Absinthe in San Francisco, where bar manager Matt Conway uses it as the base of a refreshing shandy (see the recipe).

     

    Or do as the brewers at Anchor’s brewery do for double-hop action: Take a shot with an IPA back.

    Source: http://www.tastingtable.com/

     

  • Coors Challenges Budweiser for Super Bowl Viewers

    No Anheuser-Busch

    It seems Coors has found a loophole in Anheuser Busch’s $1 billion dollar exclusive rights as the NFL’s official beer sponsor.

    According to AdAge, MillerCoors bought up ad time in the Great Lakes and Southeast regions to tout its answer to Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Boston Beer Company‘s Twisted Tea brand and the growing hard cider market. While the MillerCoors spot doesn’t target its rivals at A-B, the mere fact that it’s airing is a big score in a year that saw Coors Light dethrone Budweiser’s “King Of Beers” as the nation’s No. 2 beer brand.

     

    Anheuser-Busch has long considered the Super Bowl strictly Budweiser territory and has poured $239 million into Super Bowl ads in the last decade, according to Kantar Media.

     

    While MillerCoors isn’t divulging what it is spending on regional Super Bowl ads, that nearly $67 million spent by Coca-Cola should give it an idea of just how hard it can be to dislodge a competitor from the big game.

     

    MillerCoors is pitching a niche product in spaces small enough to escape A-B’s notice. If its regional ads for Redd’s Apple Ale are successful, though, expect more opponents to exploit that weakness in Anheuser-Busch’s defense and direct fans’ attention to other, closer breweries.

    Source: http://money.msn.com/

  • Six Beer Super Bowl 2013 Ads Coming from Anheuser-Busch

    No Anheuser-Busch

    In its continued marketing dominance to squeeze out the small brewer, Anheuser-Busch has picked up 6 spots for this year’s Super Bowl for a total of 4 and a half minutes.

     

    The Super Bowl 2013 is in 3 weeks and advertisers are getting are busy promoting their expensive Super Bowl ads. Anheuser-Busch announced their Beer Super Bowl 2013 Ad line-up. Again Anheuser-Busch will be again one of the biggest or even the biggest advertiser during the Super Bowl 2013. The brewer bought 4 and a half minutes of Super Bowl advertising this year.

     

    Super Bowl brand icons Bud Light and Budweiser will share the spotlight in this year’s game with Anheuser-Busch’s two newest brands, Budweiser Black Crown and Beck’s Sapphire, both of which will be making their national television debut.

     

    Bud Light, the official beer sponsor of the NFL, will premiere two 60-second ads, “Journey” and “Lucky Chair.” The ads are the culmination of the brand’s successful “Superstitious” campaign, which portrays the traditions and rituals NFL fans employ to help their teams win. Both ads are set in New Orleans, tying the creative closely to the Super Bowl.  The creative agency for these spots is Translation. The iconic Budweiser Clydesdales will also appear in a new 60-second spot, “Brotherhood,” which chronicles the bond a Clydesdale foal shares with his trainer. Partially shot at Warm Springs Ranch, a 300-plus acre farm near Boonville, Mo., home to many of the Clydesdales, “Brotherhood” will take the Clydesdales advertising into new territory by providing a new level of access to their early years.

     

    With two thirty-second ads – “Coronation” and “Celebration” – Budweiser Black Crown is poised to make a big splash during this year’s game. In fact, Budweiser Black Crown has secured the coveted A1 position for “Coronation,” ensuring it will be the first commercial to air following kickoff. Two fifteen-second teasers for Budweiser Black Crown will air during the NFC and AFC Championship games on Jan. 20, one day before the brand hits shelves nationwide. Anomaly is the creative agency for Budweiser and Budweiser Black Crown’s ads.

     

    Beck’s Sapphire, which debuted on New Year’s Eve, will also make its Super Bowl advertising debut with a new thirty-second ad, “Serenade.”  The ad celebrates Beck’s Sapphire’s sleek, one-of-a-kind black bottle, and features a surprise admirer that is mesmerized by its beauty. The creative agency for Beck’s Sapphire’s ad is Mother.

     

    “The Super Bowl is an unbeatable platform for us to launch our new brands, Budweiser Black Crown and Beck’s Sapphire, and continue building on the long-standing success of Bud Light and Budweiser,” said Paul Chibe, vice president, U.S. marketing. “Not only does the game have the largest television audience of the year, but it’s an incredibly captive one because so many viewers tune in for the commercials.”

     

    The Super Bowl 2013 will take place on Sunday, February 3, 2013 in New Orleans. Super Bowl Ads for Geeks will again offer full coverage about the Super Bowl Ads ahead and during the Super Bowl XLVII. See all confirmed Super Bowl 2013 Advertisers and the latest Super Bowl 2013 Ads announcements.

    Source: http://www.i4u.com/

  • Even Legos Love Beer

    Proof that even legos love beer.

  • Big Beer’s Response to “Craft Beer”

    Brewers-Association

    We previously discussed the Brewers Association open letter to big beer.  As would be expected, big beer has mostly been avoiding the issue.

    While Fort Collins Anheuser-Busch brewery General Manager Kevin Fahrenkrog didn’t directly address the Brewers Association’s allegation that AB is blurring beer lines, he said in an email that the Fort Collins’ brewery brews Shock Top and selected Goose Island brands.

     

    “The growth of beer styles has given rise to hundreds of small brewers and earned our Shock Top, Goose Island and other brands a place in this growing segment,” he said. “Each of our beers has its own identity, but each receives our care and craftsmanship to assure its quality maintains the trust of our consumers.”

     

    Around the same time that the Brewers Association released its statement, Steve Hindy, co-founder, president and chairman of The Brooklyn Brewery in Brooklyn, N.Y., wrote an opinion piece Dec. 12 on CNN.com stating that the purchase of Mexico’s Modelo beer brands by AB is the equivalent of forming a beer “duopoly.”

     

    “Ultimately, with limited choices, the beer consumer loses,” wrote Hindy, who noted if the Modelo deal goes through, Miller and AB would control more than 80 percent of the U.S. beer market.

     

    The fear among small brewers is they will be edged out for shelf and tap space by the big brewers. Craft brewers struggle to get the attention of distributors, Hindy noted.

     

    On Dec. 21, MillerCoors CEO Tom Long fired back with his own CNN.com opinion piece in which he claimed, definitions aside, to brew some of the most popular craft beers in the marketplace. Long asked readers not to confuse the style of a beer with the quality of the beer, defending brands such as Blue Moon and noting that the beer introduces many beer drinkers to the craft beer scene.

     

    Launched in 1995, Blue Moon went on to become the best-selling craft beer in the country, Long wrote.

     

    “We know that no matter what style of beer it is, we will ultimately be judged by the quality of our beers. We like that, because we are confident that the quality of our beers stacks up well versus that of any brewer of any size, anywhere,” Long wrote in his CNN column.

     

    New Belgium Brewing Co. spokesman Bryan Simpson said the company aligns with the Brewers Association in calling for transparency.

     

    Simpson said one of the greatest assets of the craft brewer is its story and ability to connect with a community where its beers are made. The call to clearly label who makes beers is a call to level the playing field, he said.

     

    “I think there will always be a fight for shelf space, share of mind and stomach,” he said. “As long as everyone is in agreement in terms of what tools are used, the consumer benefits.”

     

    Russell Fruits, beer “evangelist” with Loveland-based Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, said an average Joe drinking a Blue Moon wouldn’t know it’s a Coors product.

     

    “These brands, they are hiding,” Fruits said. “It’s smart business because they are losing share to us. If I was a big corporation losing share year after year, what I would do is diversify offerings.”

     

    Fruits said it’s his job to set the record straight for people and educate customers about the quality of beer they drink.

     

    But does the public care?

     

    Fruits said he knows beer drinkers who will stop drinking a brand of craft beer once it is purchased by a macrobrewer.

     

    James Francis, director of the Beverage Business Institute, has ties to both big breweries and craft breweries. He’s not convinced it makes any difference to the average beer drinker who makes the beer.

     

    “I think a small percentage, who would be craft beer snobs, would really care about it,” Francis said. “Otherwise, I think they are more concerned about what is in the bottle and whether or not they like it.”

     

    Francis noted part of the dust-up is the increase in options. He said the new generation of beer drinkers tend to favor several different beers, as opposed to the former generation, which had one or two go-to beers.

    Source: http://www.coloradoan.com/

     

  • Beer for Dogs? Yeah, and it’s Bad to the Bone.

    Ever wanted to share your beer with your dog but were afraid giving alcohol wasn’t a good idea?  Now there is a non-alcoholic beer just for dogs.

    Dawg Grog, a non-alcoholic mock brew for canines, is the brainchild of Daniel Keeton, 32, who perfected it over the past year with a little help from his seven-year-old American Staffordshire terrier Lola Jane.

     

    It’s made with wort, or spent grain, left over from the process of making real beer at the Boneyard Brewery of Bend, Oregon, where Keeton works in the tasting room when he’s not home-brewing his own suds.

     

    “I’m recycling a spent product that would otherwise go down the drain,” Keeton, contacted by telephone on Tuesday, told AFP.

     

    “I’ve had a lot of people say dogs love human beer,” he added. “But obviously that’s not good for dogs, so I wanted to make an alternative that’s fun to give to your dog as well as a beneficial healthy treat.”

     

    The first batch of Dawg Grog, which comes in 16-ounce (half-liter) bottles in cases of six or 12, went on sale last August in Bend, a beer-loving city of 76,000 in the heart of the Pacific Northwest state.

     

    But a spate of national publicity in recent days has seen Keeton suddenly facing a rush of orders from around the United States, where craft beers from small-volume local breweries have exploded in popularity in recent years.

     

    “It’s sweet and kind of caramelly and malty,” said Keeton when asked how Dawg Grog tastes. He adds that his product — which also has vegetable broth among its ingredients — is best served on its own or poured over dog food.

     

    Source: http://news.malaysia.msn.com/

  • Stone Brewing Planning a Hotel that May Possibly Have Beer Taps in Each Room!

    It’s been a good few weeks off from posting about beer, but it’s time to get back to work.  Today’s story is about Stone Brewing Company.  It seems that they are looking at starting their own hotel.

    The $24 million initial investment will break ground this year, with plans to open by the end of 2014. Once completed, it will be the first hotel in San Diego owned by a local brewery.

     

    “We just thought it would be cool,” said owner Greg Koch in a statement. “Plus we simply need more room for ourselves—the hotel will include a lot of new office space and a barrel-aging room…and more parking.”

     

    The specialty 48-50 room hotel will be located across the street from Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. The space will also house the brewery’s headquarters.

     

    And you can expect the space to look similar to the lush Escondido restaurant, said Stone spokesperson Sabrina LoPiccolo.

    But if I’m staying at the Stone Hotel, I want beer in my room.

    Although nothing is finalized yet, LoPiccolo said a few ideas being thrown around for the hotel include beer taps in every room and a bar where people check in. There will also be two acres of outdoor event space, which could be used as a wedding venue for the ultimate craft beer couple.

    Next time I’m in San Diego I’ll have to make sure an check out the new hotel.

    Source: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/

  • Bouquet? No, BREW-K!!

    Last minute holiday shopping got you in a jam?  Never fear, Brew-K is here!!!!  Of course, if you can’t get the Brew-K, remember that a 6 pack or growler of beer brewed by a local brewery is almost always a great gift for an adult.  Have fun with any last minute shopping you may be doing!!

    Source: http://www.brew-k.com/

  • Lego for Grown Ups: The Construction Kit that Can Make a Beer Serving Robot

    We all love Legos, but what is the coolest thing you ever built?  How about a robot that servers beer?

    Billed as ‘Lego for adults’, a new construction kit is hoping to appeal to grown ups with a mechanical bent by bringing a bit of their childhood  a bit of childhood back for internet users.

     

    However, rather than a spaceship or a castle, Makebot lets you build far more complex, robotic structures – including a beer pouring robot that can be controlled from a smartphone.

     

    The Chinese firm is attempting to raise $30,000 to fund its starter kit – and has more than doubled its target on the Kickstarter site within hours.

    Source:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

     

  • Fight Over Budweiser Name Drags On

    No Anheuser-Busch

    Budweiser is not the ubiquitous brand you may think it to be.  You see, there has been an argument over who owns the rights to the name Budweiser for over 100 years, with no end in sight.  Here’s hoping the little guy wins.

    The dispute appears likely to continue a while longer now, because settlement talks between state-owned Budejovicky Budvar and Anheuser-Busch, a U.S. company now part of AB InBev, have collapsed, according to Budvar’s director general, Jiri Bocek.

     

    The dispute is over exclusive rights — when only one of the companies is allowed to use the Budweiser name in any given country. The larger company, AB InBev, is keen to expand its exports and market its beers under the Budweiser brand. But Budvar says giving up its exclusive rights to the name would threaten to wipe out its own brand.

     

    Budvar recently rejected a proposal for a global settlement by AB InBev, which in turn refused a counteroffer. Bocek said negotiations on these proposals, details of which he could not provide, were over.

     

    “Any new deal proposed by Anheuser-Busch wouldn’t be working for us,” he told The Associated Press in a rare interview with a major foreign news organization. AB InBev declined to comment on details of the talks.

     

    The brewers last agreed on a global settlement in 1939 in a pact that gave Anheuser-Busch sole rights to the name Budweiser in all American territories north of Panama. But the peace did not last long as the two companies expanded exports to new markets.

     

    Though AB InBev is far larger than Budvar — it produces 270 times more beer — the Czech company has been punching above its weight in the legal arena. It won 88 of 124 disputes between 2000 and 2011 and holds exclusive rights in 68 countries, mostly in Europe, preventing AB Inbev from selling its Budweiser brand in some key markets, including Germany.

     

    When the companies do not have exclusive rights to the Budweiser brand in a country, they resort to using slightly altered names. AB Inbev sells its Budweiser as Bud in many European countries. Budvar sells its lager as Czechvar in the U.S.

     

    One of the issues, Bocek said, is that AB Inbev is not satisfied with sharing the brand name.

     

    “Their goal is to gain exclusivity for their Budweiser all around the world,” said Bocek, who as head of Budvar the past 21 years has raised the heat on the larger rival.

     

    Co-existence is possible, however. In fact, the two companies already share the Budweiser name in Britain.

     

    Both brewers were granted the right to use the name in 2000 after a British court ruled that drinkers were aware of the difference between the two beers. An appeals court this summer rejected AB InBev’s request to have Budvar’s trademark declared invalid.

    Let us weep crocodile tears for InBev.

    AB InBev is not happy.

     

    “Our concern is that coexistence on the U.K. market with the Budweiser brand will lead to consumer confusion,” said Karen Couck, the spokeswoman for AB Inbev. “We want to make sure that when our customers order a Budweiser that they receive the clean, crisp taste of the global brand we have created.”

     

    But most beer drinkers would easily spot the difference, says Iain Loe, former research manager for Britain’s Campaign for Real Ale, a consumer rights organization.

     

    Budvar has “a full bodied taste” while “AB’s Budweiser has little taste, or in the words of AB InBev, a clean taste,” said Loe. “Customers know which beer is which.”

     

    The companies’ claims to the Budweiser name are built on two main arguments — geography and history.

    Who was first?

    Budejovicky Budvar was founded in 1895 in the southern city of Ceske Budejovice — called Budweis at the time by the German-speaking people who formed about 40% of the area’s population. Beer has been brewed here since 1265 and has been known for centuries as Budweiser.

     

    Budvar argues that only beer brewed in this corner of the Czech Republic can be called Budweiser.

     

    The founders of Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis used the name for their product because it was so well-known. The brewer, founded in 1852, began producing Budweiser, America’s first national beer brand, in 1876 — 19 years before Budvar was founded.

     

    The two companies have been in a legal battle since 1906. Today, the dispute is being waged through 61 lawsuits in 11 countries.

     

    Budvar has some leverage in the dispute in that AB InBev may be missing out on a larger bulk of sales until a settlement is found, since its operations are so much bigger. It brewed 349.8 million hectoliters last year compared with Budvar’s 1.32 million hectoliters. That’s the equivalent of 73.9 billion pints against 279 million pints.

     

    “Budvar blocks the markets where AB InBev, due to its trading power, marketing and distribution potential, would likely gain significantly more,” said Karel Potmesil an analyst at stock brokerage Cyrrus AS. “The dispute limits the development of the brands that the company considers the most valuable in the industry.”

     

    If the issue is frustrating AB InBev, the company is not showing it.

     

    “The dispute has not hindered our global expansion,” said Couck, the spokeswoman.

     

    She cited figures showing AB InBev’s global sales were up 3.1% in 2011 and 6.2% the first nine months of 2012. The U.S. Budweiser is brewed in more than 15 countries and sold in more than 80 others. Its key markets are the United States, China, Canada and Britain.

     

    Budvar holds rights for Germany and other European markets as well as 11 Asian countries, including Japan, Korea, China and Vietnam.

     

    “It’s certainly quite unpleasant for AB InBev that it cannot sell the well-known brand it has developed on some key markets, especially in Germany, which is the most important market for Budvar,” said Potmesil.

     

    Budvar is also being hurt by the legal standoff: because of the legal issues, it takes seven to 10 years for the company to enter a new market.

     

    But Potmesil noted Budvar does not gain much by entering new markets. It has a smaller marketing budget and its beer typically costs more, which hurts sales in lower-income countries like China.

     

    In the end, the dispute mainly provides Budvar with protection against competition from AB InBev. Against such a large rival, Bocek said, it is essential that Budvar use all the legal leverage it can. “We have a right to exist,” he said.

    Source: http://www.usatoday.com/

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