• Go Swimming in Beer

    Starkenberger beer pools-An Austrian brewery castle where you can literally swim in beer

    Presenting the one place in the world where it’s not girly to take a bubble bath: the centuries-old Austrian brewery Starkenberger, who’ve built the world’s first-ever beer swimming pools in the recesses of their brew-castle, and, for a paltry fee, you can take a dip. Here’s the skinny:

    Starkenberger Brewery castle-An Austrian brewery castle where you can literally swim in beer

    Located a few hours outside Munich, the setting for the Starkenberger Brewery castle is pretty ridonkulous, though, with the glory that’s awaiting for you inside, you probably won’t want to spend too much time out there.

    Starkenberger Brewery-An Austrian brewery castle where you can literally swim in beer

    As a brewery Starkenberger’s been at it for more than a hundred years, and is currently (and always has been) run by women. This bearded dude is merely one of their minions.

    Starkenberger Brewery-An Austrian brewery castle where you can literally swim in beer

    Barrels are stored down in their super gothic cellar, which you could see if you dropped $10 on a brewery tour, but totally don’t care about since you came for the beer pools! So, without further ado…

    Starkenberger beer pools-An Austrian brewery castle where you can literally swim in beer

    Residing in the old fermentation brewery, there are seven total pools in a Turkish-bath-like room, each of which are heated and contain 12,000L of water enriched with 300L Biergeläger (remote yeast). Fun fact: ever since the days of ancient Egypt when Cleopatra bathed in beer while Mark Anthony was off conquering empires, beer bath’s have been rumored to have a healing, restorative effect.

    Starkenberger beer pools-An Austrian brewery castle where you can literally swim in beer

    You’ve gotta make reservations in advance but for $298/ pool (and an additional $6.50/ person) this could be you sharing a beer pool with blonde coeds. Your two hours of beer bathing also come with beer crackers and a “Tyrolean meat spread” plus one non-swimmed-in bottle of suds per person; because actually drinking the pool beer would be insane… right??

    Source: http://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/an-austrian-brewery-castle-where-you-can-literally-swim-in-beer

     

    Of course, Starkenberger Brewery doesn’t have the only place to bath in beer.  You can also go to Chodovar Brewery in Czech Republic.

     

  • Build a Craft Brewery, Urban Revival Will Come

     

    Heavy Seas Brewery

    Heavy Seas Brewery

    Craft beer is good for you and your local community.

    To see how a small business can transform a neighborhood, just follow the barrels.

     

    About 30 years ago, beer lovers wanting to create their own drinks started taking over abandoned old buildings in rundown city districts, refitted them with tanks, kettles and casks, and started churning out beer. The byproduct was a boom in craft beer drinkers: Barrels shipped have more than doubled in the past decade, according to trade publication Beer Marketer’s Insights. Craft beer now makes up nearly 7% of the slow-growing U.S. beer market.

     

    But beer drinkers weren’t the only beneficiaries. The arrival of a craft brewery was also often one of the first signs that a neighborhood was changing. From New England to the West Coast, new businesses bubbled up around breweries, drawing young people and creating a vibrant community where families could plant roots and small businesses could thrive.

     

    It happened in Cleveland. Once an industrial powerhouse, the Rust Belt city has been losing residents since the 1950s. Manufacturing jobs disappeared. The city nearly went bankrupt in 1978.

     

    Marred by abandoned buildings and boarded-up stores after several hard decades, the downtown Ohio City neighborhood, just west of the Cuyahoga River, which divides Cleveland, was “perceived as dangerous and blighted” into the 1980s, says Eric Wobser. He works for Ohio City Inc., a nonprofit that promotes residential and commercial development while trying to preserve the neighborhood’s older buildings.

     

    Enter Great Lakes Brewing, which opened in 1988. Over the years, it’s built a brewery and a brewpub from structures that once housed a feed store, a saloon and a livery stable.

     

    “We resurrected all of them,” says Pat Conway, who founded Great Lakes with his brother, Daniel. “We’ve beautified the neighborhood, provided a stunning restoration.”

     

    Other breweries and businesses — a pasta maker, a bike shop, a tortilla factory, as well as restaurants and bars — followed. Newcomers are flocking to the neighborhood, even though Cleveland’s overall population is still declining. The city repaved the quiet street next to the brewery, Market Ave., with cobblestones, and poured millions into renovating the West Side Market, whose origins date back to the 19th century. Today, more than 100 vendors sell produce, meat, cheese and other foods there.

     

    What’s going on in Cleveland is happening across the country. Trendy small businesses like breweries and younger residents have been returning to downtown neighborhoods in many cities across the U.S. The biggest cities are growing faster than the suburbs around them, according to Census data.

     

    Another benefit of the brewery boom: Manufacturers like brewers typically pay workers more than service businesses like restaurants or shops do. That’s good for local economies.

     

    But for some, the bubbles are bursting. In Brooklyn, N.Y., breweries are feeling the heat from rising real estate costs.

     

    When Brooklyn Brewery opened in the Williamsburg section of the borough in 1996, its neighbors were mostly deserted warehouses and factories. Today, Brooklyn Brewery is surrounded by modern apartment buildings, trendy bars, shops and restaurants. There’s still some graffiti, but that hasn’t deterred the influx of new residents willing to spend a lot of money to live there. In the past decade, home values in the Brewery’s neighborhood have more than doubled — up 145%, according to real estate appraiser Miller Samuel.

     

    Rising prices might force Brooklyn Brewery to exit the trendy scene it jump-started. It has two buildings in Williamsburg, the brewery and a building across the street where it stores and ages its beer. Leases are up in 2025, and Brooklyn Brewery’s co-founder and president, Steve Hindy, is already worried that the company will get kicked out of its warehouse. Once an iron foundry, the building, built in 1896, has been bought by developers who Hindy says won’t renew the lease. He suspects that they want to convert the space into apartments.

     

    The landlord, Solomon Jacobs, says he doesn’t yet know what’s going to happen with the lease.

     

    But Hindy is already scouting other, cheaper neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

     

    “We sowed the seeds of our own demise here,” Hindy says.

     

    Gentrification is pressuring at least one other nearby brewer. Kelly Taylor, who owns Kelso, is looking for new space in Brooklyn or the Bronx because he thinks his landlord won’t renew the lease in 2017. In Kelso’s neighborhood, the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn, home prices have almost doubled over the past 10 years, according to Miller Samuel data.

     

    “He’ll tear down and build something more lucrative,” Taylor says speculatively of his landlord.

     

    However, the building’s manager, Fred Sanders, says the lease was just renewed last year for five more years, and he hasn’t had any conversations with Kelso about the future.

     

    Even if the brewery owners don’t have confirmation that they’ll be forced to move, history shows they have reason to be concerned. Winifred Curran, a geography professor at DePaul University in Chicago, studies how gentrification changes cities. She wrote her graduate-school dissertation on how gentrification in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood affected small manufacturers. Small businesses struggled to stay put while developers converted factories and warehouses into lucrative lofts and swarms of wealthy new residents drove up prices, she says. She warns that the appeal of revitalized neighborhoods can decimate small businesses, both old and new.

     

    “You can try to use the establishment of manufacturing businesses to be the wedge that allows gentrification to happen, but then you need to protect those businesses,” Curran says. Otherwise “the market creates this demand for industrial space and then kills the goose that laid the golden egg.”

     

    Outside of New York, costs are lower, and many brewery owners in other cities say they haven’t felt similar pressures from developers. But New York flashes a warning sign for what can happen when neighborhoods become popular.

     

    One brewery, in Boston, is relatively protected. Harpoon Brewery opened on the South Boston waterfront in 1986, when it was surrounded by auto body shops and little else. Now the brewery draws more than 85,000 people a year from tours and tastings. These days, the city is focused on redeveloping the area. New apartment and office buildings, restaurants and a convention center sit nearby. Harpoon recently negotiated a 50-year lease with the city. The rent will rise over time, but generally, long leases provide protection from spikes that can happen when an area becomes so popular that property values skyrocket.

     

    On the country’s other coast, the tech boom has made one brewpub’s growth plans more complicated. The 21st Amendment brewery, in San Francisco, is two blocks from the Giants’ baseball stadium, which opened in 2000 and, along with the bustling technology sector, transformed the city’s SoMa neighborhood from abandoned warehouses to hot spot. Now the company wants to build an 80,000-square-foot brewery — but that’s not possible in SoMa.

     

    “The manufacturing element of the business has been priced out,” says 21st Amendment’s founder, Nico Freccia. The company has opened offices in the East Bay, and he’s scouting space there for the brewery, hoping to “help anchor the revitalization” of an Oakland neighborhood.

     

    Similar dreams are fueling a new beer company in New York. Bronx Brewery is setting up shop in the Mott Haven section, next to a lumberyard, a manufacturer and the plant that prints the New York Post.

     

    “We really want to be in the Bronx, be a part of a south Bronx community that’s growing like crazy,” says Chris Gallant, co-founder of the brewery, which will have a space for visitors. “We hope to get as many people there as possible — it’ll definitely serve as marketing,” he says.

     

    About 29% of Bronx residents live in poverty, compared with 15% for all of New York state, according to Census data.

     

    “I think that entire area is going to increase in value,” Gallant says. “That’s great for the south Bronx. But it could put us in a tough spot 10 years from now.”

     

    Source: http://www.usatoday.com/

  • On its 80th Birthday, Beer Can Back in Style

    can vs. bottleLooks like the beer can is once again being elevated to a higher status.

    Nearly 80 years ago Richmond revolutionized the beer world. For it was in this Southern city in 1935 that canned beer — complete with how-to instructions — was first sold.

     

    Krueger’s Cream Ale and its punch-top can became an instant hit, propelling the humble beer can to iconic status. That is, until Americans returned to bottles and the beloved craft brews they contained, a cultural turn that left canned beer looking decidedly low-brow.

     

    But more recently craft brewers rediscovered cans, realizing they weren’t just retro-cool, but with a few tweaks might even be able to kick bottles in the can.

     

    Welcome to the beer can revolution, 2013-style. Technology once again is transforming how Americans drink their beer.

     

    Today, Budweiser sells a bow tie-shaped can that mirrors its iconic logo, Miller Lite sports a punch-top can, drinkers know their Coors Light is cold when the mountains on the can turn blue, Sam Adams Boston Lager comes in cans designed to improve the taste, and now Sly Fox Brewing Co. sells beer in “topless” cans designed to turn into cups when opened.

     

    “It’s not your father’s beer can anymore,” says Jim Koch, founder and owner of the Boston Beer Co., the maker of Sam Adams.

     

    Both craft brewers and craft beer drinkers are coming around to the idea of cans. More affordable supplies and canning equipment also are helping the boom. In 2002, just one craft brewery was using cans. Now around 300 different breweries offer close to 1,000 beers in cans, according to CraftCans.com, a site that tracks the canned beer revolution.

     

    “Craft beer in cans is becoming more mainstream each and every day,” says Brian Thiel, regional sales manager with packaging firm Crown Holdings. “The stigma that has existed continues to get lifted.”

     

    Koch, a self-proclaimed purist, at first “stubbornly resisted” putting Sam Adams in cans. But after spending more than two years and $1 million developing a couple dozen prototypes, the “Sam Can” was born. Koch says that with a bigger lid and a more defined lip, the redesigned can forces your mouth open more and puts your nose closer to the opening, creating a better flavor experience.

     

    Admittedly, it’s “not going to make the angels sing when you drink it,” says Koch, who is allowing other craft breweries to use the redesigned can. “But my experience with Sam Adams since I started it in my kitchen is that slight but noticeable improvements constantly and repeated over 30 years makes a great beer.”

     

    Meanwhile, Sly Fox Brewing Co. decided to go all the way and blew the lid off with its cans — literally.

     

    In April, the Pennsylvania brewery began selling its Helles Golden Lager in cans with a peel-off top (think soup can). While litter laws prevent it from being sold in all states it distributes in, the can is getting noticed. The brewery also sells its flagship Pikeland Pils in the same cans exclusively at Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies.

     

    “There have been a lot of different mini-innovations … but never that important to craft beer,” said Sly Fox brewmaster Brian O’Reilly. “(The new can) is different and interesting to people, but there’s a real benefit because you can smell the beer … it really allows you to appreciate the full character of the beer.”

     

    Sly Fox still cans several of its beers in traditional aluminum cans and defends the polished package as a perfect fit for craft beer.

     

    Its website even has a page that encourages beer drinkers to “respect the cans because the cans respect the beer.” The page lists the benefits of cans — portable, space-saving, faster-cooling, more light-resistant and super-recyclable — and debunks myths that the cans impart a metallic taste to beer, are unsophisticated and don’t store as well as bottles.

     

    The can now used by Sly Fox was first debuted by Crown Holdings at the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa in 2010 as part of a partnership with SABMiller.

     

    While many of the innovations tout a better drinking experience, there is a marketing element to it, too.

     

    “What’s next may be cool, it may be setting themselves apart. But there is a point where it becomes gimmicky and it loses its functionality and its form and its integrity,” Thiel said.

     

    Sam Adams’ Koch agrees: “If it doesn’t make the beer taste better, then don’t do it just to get noticed,” he said. “The customer will reward you with more of their business if you give them a better tasting product than their alternatives.”

     

    Source: http://www.usatoday.com/

  • The Beck’s Edison Bottle

    The first playable beer.  Practical, not even a little but.  Curiously fun, you bet.

    19th Century technology meets 21st Century music over a bottle of beer in the latest extension to the Beck’s Record Label project.

    This time, the art label has evolved, and been replaced by the grooves of Auckland band Ghost Wave. Their new single was inscribed into the surface of a Beck’s beer bottle which could then be played on a specially-built device based on Thomas Edison’s original cylindrical phonograph.

    Making the world’s first playable beer bottle was a formidable technical challenge. The clever people at Auckland firm Gyro Constructivists first had to design and build a record-cutting lathe, driven by a hard drive recording head. Then they reinvented Edison’s original cylinder player, using modern materials and electronics and built to very fine tolerances.

    The Edison Bottle made its public debut at SemiPermanent in Auckland in May to a standing ovation from the assembled media and design community.

  • 10 Healthier Beers (and How to Choose One)

    Beer Belly

     

    With Summer here in the US many of us are wearing tighter fitting or more revealing clothing, like a bathing suit.  With this in mind, you might want a beer that doesn’t pack as many calories.  Here is a list of beers to get you started in that direction without having to drink any of the macro beer swill.

     

    1. Yuengling Light Lager: Looking for a full-flavor lager that’s still light on calories? Search no further. Yuengling managed to combine the health benefits of a lager with a lower carb count. At only 99 calories, this is a solid selection for a healthier classic brew.

     

    Type: Lager Alcohol Content: 3.8% Calories: 99 Carbs: 9 grams

     

    2. New Planet 3R Raspberry Ale: This newer brew skips the gluten and uses sorghum, corn, and raspberry puree malt to create a not-too-sweet, fruity brew with extra antioxidants (from the berries). Perfect for those looking to enjoy themselves while avoiding gluten. Bonus: New Planet donates a portion of sales from this beer to Colorado-based non-profits using the 3R philosophy — reduce, reuse, recycle.

     

    Type: Ale Alcohol Content: 5% Calories: 160 Carbs: 17 grams

     

    3. Abita Purple Haze: Don’t enjoy the bitter taste of beer but still want to reap the heart-health benefits? Have no fear! Abita infused this brew with real raspberries to deliver a fruity aroma and a sweet taste. The berries pack an antioxidant punch and give the beer its namesake purplish hue.

     

    Type: Lager Alcohol Content: 4.2% Calories: 145 Carbs: 11 grams

     

    4. Left Hand Good Juju: Complete with a hint of fresh ginger (one of our favoritesuperfoods!),this unique ale combines unique herbs and spices to bring out a full flavor. This lighter-bodied brew is perfect for those that want full flavor without sacrificing their waistline.

     

    Type: Ale Alcohol Content: 4.5% Calories: 131 Carbs: 12.1 grams

     

    5. Guinness Draught: This dark Irish blend — famous for quenching thirsts on St. Patty’s day — is a classic beverage with a creamy, decadent flavor and a sneakily healthy twist! Packed with phenols, this super-dark staple brings the taste and feel of a stout with fewer carbohydrates and calories.

     

    Type: Stout Alcohol Content: 4% Calories: 126 Carbs: 10 grams

     

    6. Sam Adam’s Light Lager: Creating a light beer that still stands up to the Sam Adam’s taste was no easy task. Brewers stuck to the basics and invented a lighter calorie beer that didn’t sacrifice flavor, making this beer perfect for those looking to stay health-conscious without skimping on taste.

     

    Type: Lager Alcohol Content: 4% Calories: 119 Carbs: 9.7 grams

     

    7. New Belgium Blue Paddle: This brew packs the hops without expanding the waistline, since it’s relatively light in calories. Complete with a fruity, herbal aroma and a slightly bitter finish, this beer delivers a healthy wallop!

     

    Type: Pilsner (Lager) Alcohol Content: 4.8% Calories: 145 Carbs: 14 grams

     

    8. Full Sail Session Lager: This full-bodied, old-school brew is a far cry from bland mass-produced lagers. With a positively measly calorie count and plenty of flavor, this classic beer is perfect for any summer gathering or meal. Plus, it comes in adorable “stubby” bottles with sweet retro labels. What’s not to love?

     

    Type: Lager Alcohol Content: 5.1% Calories: 135 Carbs: 10 grams

     

    9. Butte Creek Organic India Pale Ale: Looking for an organic pale ale that is made free of potentially hazardous pesticides and chemical fertilizers but still tastes great? Look no further! Butte Creek has managed just that with this Indian pale ale.

     

    Type: India Pale Ale Alcohol Content: 6.4% Calories: 201 (22 oz.) Carbs: 1.9 grams

     

    10.Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: Combining a heap of hops with slight hints of orange blossom is no small task. Sierra Nevada pulls it off with this award-winning brew.

     

    Type: Pale Ale Alcohol Content: 5.6% Calories: 175 Carbs: 14.1 grams

     

    *Note: All nutrition facts are based on a 12-ounce serving unless otherwise noted.

     

    Source: http://www.usatoday.com/

  • Beer fridge knocks out mobile network, but still keeps beer cold

    I stocked the fridge with goodies for the non-wine drinking crowd.

    All Craig Reynolds wanted his beer fridge to do was keep his brewski cold, but the machine was capable so much more than that. It took down a mobile network in neighborhoods all over Melbourne, Australia. According to technicians, the fridge’s motor went on the fritz and started emitting electric sparks that created enough radio frequency noise to black out the cell network. Using a tracking antenna named for its creator, Mr. Yagi, the crew followed the interference until they were led to a specific home address. And a specific beer fridge. “I’m going to run and see if my fridge is all right next time there’s a problem with the network,” said an amazed Reynolds, who will at least still have cold beer even if his cellphone’s down.

     

    Source: http://now.msn.com/beer-fridge-knocks-out-power-to-mobile-network-in-australia

  • Bierstick Fires Beer Down Your Throat at 100MPH

    Are wide mouth cans not big enough for you?  Do you find yourself ordering your own personal beer by the pitcher?  Is a beer bong just not fast enough?  It sounds like you need the Bierstick.  From the website:

    “Drink up to 24 ounces in less than two seconds. The Bierstick is crafted from high-quality FDA approved materials. Its durable, compact design makes it very discreet — small enough to fit in a backpack. The friction-fit mouthpiece allows for easy filling and cleaning, leaving zero mess. If you think you can drink, you haven’t seen anything yet.”

    Instructions

    Remove mouthpiece and fill bierstick with beer, or other beverage.

    step 1

    Put mouthpiece back on and push air out of tube.

    step 2

    While holding mouthpiece firmly with one hand, place end-cap against wall or other stationary surface and press to drink when ready.

    step 3

    Source: http://www.bierstick.com/Default.aspx

  • U.S. Challenges Busch-Modelo Beer Merger

    No Anheuser-Busch

     

    When the big get too big there is only one entity that can stop them, the government.  It seems the US government may think InBev Anheuser-Busch may be getting just a little too big.

    The U.S. Justice Department is trying to keep Budweiser and Corona apart.

     

    Justice is challenging the proposed $20.1 billion buyout of Mexico’s Grupo Modelo, brewer of Corona beer, by Anheuser-Busch InBev, brewer of Budweiser.

     

    Anheuser-Busch inBev owns 49% of Grupo Modelo, this deal would give it the rest.

     

    The government, though, says the merger would put too many top beer brands in the hands of a single company, limiting competition. The concern is especially high in 26 U.S. cities. The suit has been filed in federal court in Washington D.C.

     

    Investors reacted negatively to the news. Industry consolidation has been rampant in the beer and spirits industry and is viewed as a way for companies to boost profit by cutting costs.

     

    Shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev were down $5.58, or almost 6%, to $88.56 Thursday.

     

    Budweiser and Corona are among the most dominant beer brands in the country. Bud Light is the best-selling U.S. brew, while Corona Extra is the No. 1 selling import.

     

    Shares of Constellation Brands, a top spirits maker with brands like Robert Mondavi, fell $6.77, or 17%, to $32.40. Constellation is the U.S. top beer importer through its distribution joint venture with Grupo Modelo.

     

    Constellation stood to benefit from the proposed merger of Grupo Modelo, though, with Anheuser-Busch InBev and potentially suffers if it falls through, says Ken Perkins, analyst at Morningstar.

     

    Back in June 2012, when Anheuser-Busch InBev proposed the buyout of Grupo Modelo, it created a deal with Constellation to manage anti-trust concerns, Perkins says. As part of the deal, Anheuser-Busch offered to give Constellation a long-term deal to control the joint venture with Grupo Modelo, replacing the current deal that expires at the end of 2016, Perkins says. That would have given Constellation a long-term deal giving it the rights to distribute Grupo Modelo products in the U.S.

     

    Now, with the Anheuser-Busch buyout of Grupo Modelo in question, investors, too, worry that constellation could lose those distribution rights at the end of 2016.

     

    Regulators are apparently worried that even if Constellation has U.S. distribution rights for Grupo Modelo products, it will still be Anheuser-Busch InBev calling the shots when it comes to pricing.

     

    Lacking that competition, Anheuser-Busch would be able to boost beer prices, says Bill Baer, assistant attorney general for the department’s antitrust division.

    Source: http://www.usatoday.com/

  • Bud Dud: Big Beer Isn’t Recession-Proof

    No Anheuser-Busch

     

    I reported two days ago about how craft beer seems to be recession proof.  Well, the same doesn’t seem to hold true for big beer.

    The thing you pick up pretty quickly in just about any discussion of craft beer is that beer people are geeks: obsessive, opinionated, passionate, pedantic human beings who spend hours mulling every drop of their industry.

     

    We discovered this firsthand last week when some folks at the Beer Institute, a beer industry organization based in Washington, pointed out an alternative theory behind our post about how craft beer beat the recession. The Beer Institute found that craft’s gains came at the cost of overall industry losses. As Beer Institute spokesman Chris Thorne put it, “Beer isn’t recession proof.”

     

    “What you had was guys who build roads, hang drywall and deliver appliances out of work. These are guys who drink premium and premium light brands, because it’s affordable and that’s what middle class Americans drink,” Thorne says. “Meanwhile, Wall Street bankers, lobbyists and other well-paid professionals survived the Great Recession just fine, and continued to plunk down big bucks for high-end beer, thereby growing their share of market.”

     

    To illustrate that point, the Beer Institute provided a chart of average unemployment rates compared to average monthly beer shipments during the same period. Overall shipments began decreasing steadily in 2009 and continued through June of last year in direct correspondence with job numbers.

     

     

    In 2011, the last full year for which numbers were available, the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau indicated that overall U.S. beer shipments decreased 1.4% after dropping 0.7% in 2010 and 1.9% in 2009. Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD 0.00%) and MolsonCoors (TAP 0.00%), the nation’s two largest brewers, each saw shipments slip 3%. Heineken shipments also fell 4%.

     

    It’s part of the reason Anheuser-Busch InBev pushed its premium Bud Light Platinum brand at the Super Bowl last year and is throwing weight behind its Budweiser Black Crown during the big game this year. It’s also why A-B acquired craft label Goose Island last year and MolsonCoors continues to push premium brands like Blue Moon and Leinenkugel’s.

     

    Results have been mixed. Early indications from industry trade publication Beer Marketer’s Insights show A-B with a 0.6% gain in 2012, thanks to both premium beers and a dwindling unemployment rate. Improved jobless numbers helped boost U.S. shipments 1.5% in 2012, based on preliminary figures, but it hasn’t been an even recovery. Higher-paid college graduates have seen most of the benefits, while those with a high school education or less continue to lose ground. As a result, MolsonCoors’ MillerCoors U.S. division saw shipments drop 1.8% last year as drinkers unsure about buying 30-packs of Miller or Coors in an unstable economy cut back.

     

    Though the Beer Institute asserts that dividing brewers up into different categories only detracts from a thriving industry that boasts more brewers than at any time in U.S. history, beer spending patterns indicate that those fractures have already formed. Beer geeks can use whatever labels they want to describe it, but the only labels that matter are the ones on the beer cans and bottles each side of the unemployment divide can afford.

    Source: http://money.msn.com/

  • How Craft Beer Beat the Recession

    up-and-down-graph

     

    While nothing is recession proof, craft beer is making a strong case for that point.

    The craft beer industry has no problem telling folks how fast it’s growing, but now a market research firm says that small brewers’ recession-era growth should make Budweiser and Coors beware.

     

    The research organization Mintel reports that sales of craft beers, including Boston Beer Company‘s Samuel Adams brand, the Craft Brew Alliance’s Widmer Brothers and Chico, Calif., mainstay Sierra Nevada, more than doubled from $5.7 billion in 2007 to $12 billion in 2012.

     

    About 24% of beer drinkers told Mintel that they drank more craft beer sold at stores in 2012 than they did compared to 2011, while 22% upped their craft beer drinking in bars.

     

    The Brewers Association craft beer industry group has been crowing about that growth for the last few years, and says craft beer expanded 13% by volume and 15% in sales back in 2011 alone. Meanwhile, the total number of breweries in the U.S. rose from 1,793 in 2010 to 2,336 at the end of December. That easily surpasses the 2,011 breweries operating here in 1887, when brewing hit its peak with help from European immigrants who brought their home countries’ brewing traditions along for the ride.

     

    Existing craft brewers are seeing huge growth as well. Boston Beer’s production has increased 25% since 2007 and surpassed 2 million barrels for the first time in 2009 — at the peak of the financial crisis — according to Beer Marketer’s Insights. Sierra Nevada saw sales increase 23% during that span and announced plans last year to expand operations to an East Coast brewery in Asheville, N.C. New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colo., which has increased production 33% since 2007, will be joining Sierra in Asheville and bulking up its brewing capacity as well. Meanwhile, Lagunitas Brewing Company, out of Petaluma, Calif., has more than tripled its output since 2007 and has plans to open a new brewery and tap room in Chicago this year.

     

    Craft beer is a tiny pour in the beer industry’s $78 billion stein, but its take is rising. The Brewers’ Association says craft beer accounted for 5.7% of all beer by volume in 2011 while bringing in 9.1% of the industry’s sales.

     

    That’s pretty small, considering one out of every five beers sold in the U.S. is a Bud Light, but Anheuser-Busch InBev and MolsonCoors’ combined 76.5% share of the U.S. beer market is dwindling. The big breweries dropped production 3% apiece in 2011 as craft beer sucked up market share, and both are putting more emphasis on craft-style brands like Leinenkugel’s, Goose Island and Blue Moon. Drinkers seem just fine savoring the craft brewers’ slow-building results.

    Source: http://money.msn.com/