• GoDaddy Attack Takes IndyBeers.com and HashtagBeerpon.com Offline

    GoDaddy took a huge hit today thanks to the Denial of Service (DoS) Attack initiated by AnonymousOwn3r.  We use(d) GoDaddy for DNS only (our sites are hosted with linode.com).  For several hours this morning our sites, along with potentially millions of others, were inaccessible because the DNS name could not be resolved.  Millions of dollars to small business were lost.  This is inexcusable.

    I considered switching from GoDaddy last year after their initial (but later recanted) support for the police-sate-inducing SOPA, but ultimately stayed with them for no other reason than I was too lazy to make the switch.  That is no longer the case.  The domains are (as I write this) in the process of being moved to namecheap.com.  If you can’t get to the site during that time, we’re sorry, but it is for the better.

    Here’s to hoping this type of DoS attack happens less, not more, in the coming years.

    Beer drinker, beer lover.

  • New Belgium: Burn Restoration Critical to Prevent Beer from Tasting Like Wildfire

    With the wildfires in Colorado there are a lot of things that need to be looked after when the fire is finally put out, and water source is one of those things.  We’ve talked a lot about water here before on Indy Beers, and this is another story in which water is the chief interest.

    Runoff from the burn area is likely to alter the flavor of tap water taken from the Poudre River, and the beer brewing process isn’t able to filter those flavors out of your Fat Tire.


    New Belgium Brewing is entirely at the mercy of Fort Collins’ water treatment plant when it comes to the viability of its business, and the speed with which the High Park Fire burn area is restored is vital to the brewery’s future, said Jenn Vervier, New Beligum’s director of sustainability and strategic development.


    “The health of the watershed equals the quality of our beer,” she said.


    Rain runoff from the burn area has caused a spike in iron and manganese in the river, and because of those and other pollutants and treatment for increased algae in the river water, there’s a risk the taste and smell of the city’s tap water could change once the city begins taking some Poudre River water sometime in the next month, she said.


    In terms of your Fat Tire or 1554, New Belgium’s chemists have identified six compounds in Poudre River water that could affect the flavor of your beer, Vervier said.


    Rainstorms cause turbidity in the Poudre to spike, leading to the change in the water’s flavor. So, to detect those changes, the brewery has set up a regular water tasting regime to determine if the brewery is receiving off-tasting water.


    “The most accurate test for compounds is just to taste the water,” Vervier said.


    Every time ill-tasting water is detected, the brewery will have to completely shut down for about 24 hours while the water treatment plant mixes more water from Horsetooth Reservoir into its system, providing clearer water to local taps.


    The brewery will have to wait at least nine hours for clear water to flow from the city’s treatment plant to New Belgium, and then the brewery will have to flush its entire system out with the clearer water before it can start brewing again.


    New Beligum has chosen not to purchase a $1 million filter that could strip out all the bad flavors, she said.


    Without the city’s conscientious water treatment efforts and access to Horsetooth Reservoir water, New Belgium could not survive in Fort Collins, Vervier said.


    The best way to ensure long term good-tasting water is to restore the watershed, she said.

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

  • Anheuser-Busch Selling Its Craft Beer Nationwide

    Last year Anheuser Busch (InBev) bought Goose Island, a Chicago based craft brewery.  Using typical big beer methods, it was easier to buy an existing product with an established, dedicated following than it would be to develop something in-house (i.e. Bud Platinum).  AB paid $38.8 million dollars for the deal.  Now, it an effort to further dominate as many markets as they can, AB will start distributing the Goose Island beers to all 50 states.  Back in 2000 Goose Island could only be found in the Chicago area.

    Goose Island will be available in all 50 states by the end of November, placing it alongside Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada as craft brands with national footprints — even if Goose will produce significantly less beer than those larger breweries, at least for now.


    The move will continue remarkable growth for what began as a small brewpub in its current Clybourn Avenue location in 1988, and has arguably become the beer most synonymous with Chicago. But a national reach also seemed inevitable once brewery founder John Hall sold the company to AB at a time when craft beer sales were soaring and macro breweries were struggling to enter the marketplace.


    Goose’s Chicago brewery on Fulton Street will continue to be the sole source of the company’s higher-end brands, like Bourbon County Brand Stout, Sofie and Matilda. There are no plans to export production of such beers to AB facilities, Goose Island said.

    I’m not surprised about that last sentence.  Why would AB brew more of one brand of craft beer when they could just buy a completely different craft beer to help push the small guy out of the market.  Goose Island may have once been a beer only available in Chicago, but now that they have joined the ranks of big beer, they’re also big beer, no matter how small they stay.

    Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/

  • Cows Fed Beer Grain Burp Less Methane

    Beer may give you gas, but the grains used to produce beer, when fed to cows, reduces methane output of by cows up to 20%.

    Julie Gaglia from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said the Reducing Emissions from Livestock Research Program was part of the Australian Government’s Climate Change Research Program, which is aimed at making research outcomes useful and applicable to industry.


    “The Australian Government is working with researchers, industry and farmers to ensure the science addresses the effects of a changing climate in a way that will help land managers improve their management practices and remain profitable and sustainable,” Ms Gaglia said.


    Associate Professor Richard Eckard, Director, Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre at the University of Melbourne said the project aims to develop practical feeding strategies that dairy farmers can implement to curb methane emissions and maintain profitability.


    “Methane is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. And each grazing dairy cow can burp up to 600 grams of the gas per day,” Associate Professor Eckard said.


    The project has investigated several waste products that are high in oil including whole cottonseed meal, cold-pressed canola meal, brewers’ grains and hominy meal as feed additives for dairy herds.


    “For every one per cent of oil added to a ruminant’s diet it translates to a three-and-a-half per cent reduction in methane emissions,” Associate Professor Eckard said.


    “In the case of whole cottonseed, it not only significantly reduced methane emissions but also increased milk production by 16 per cent, milk fat by 19 per cent and milk protein by 12 per cent.”


    The results show that the most valuable time for the oil to be added is when pasture is limited in quantity and has a low nutritional value.


  • China’s First Collaborative Craft Beer

    China, while I’m not a fan of their global dominance in manufacturing, I always appreciate a country coming into its own with craft brewing.

    As China’s craft beer market begins to take flight, two brewers have teamed up to produce the country’s first collaborative craft beer: Yunnan Amber, a beer that infuses southwestern Yunnan province’s dianhong black tea with domestic and imported hops.


    Carl Setzer of Beijing’s Great Leap Brewing joined forces with Michael Jordan of Shanghai’s Boxing Cat Brewery after they both attended San Diego’s Craft Brewing Conference last May. “Carl and I have known each other for a while, as the brewing circles in China are pretty small,” Mr. Jordan said. “We saw these collaboration brews happening between U.S. brewers and decided we should do one ourselves.”


    The pair began trading ideas, recipes and brewing techniques and eventually chose to make an amber — an ale that is amber or reddish in color — because it was a style of beer both brewers were familiar with producing. They also checked in with a Beijing-based tea consultant, who recommended that they infuse it with dianhong tea, a strong-flavored, red-hued black tea whose floral aroma some liken to tea from India’s Assam region. Mr. Setzer noted that the tea is  ”distinct enough to come through all the other flavors in the beer.”


    When the time came to start brewing, Mr. Setzer traveled to Shanghai, where he and Mr. Jordan worked on their new creation at Boxing Cat’s brewing facility. Mr. Setzer already had two years’ experience working with tea in beer – something Mr. Jordan wanted to learn more about — and together they employed a process in which they steeped the beer in the tea for five days.


    The duo brewed 1,000 liters of the limited-edition amber, which is currently available at Boxing Cat for the next six to eight weeks and was yesterday launched at Great Leap, where it will be served for about two weeks or as long as supplies last.


    Though some might be skeptical of tea-infused beers, Mr. Jordan says the result is smooth and drinkable, with light hops that “allow the tea to come through” and a “floral presence in the finish.”


    Meanwhile, Mr. Setzer said the beer “achieves exactly what we wanted. It has very distinct characteristics of Boxing Cat style, with Great Leap aspects as well.”


    He added, “We’re able to bring a little bit of Great Leap to Shanghai, and a little bit of Boxing Cat to Beijing.”


    As for what’s next, the two plan to team up again in the future. They’re already eyeing a collaboration beer each season, and say that they’re always on the lookout to collaborate with other craft brewers.


    They do have one proviso, however.


    “If you’re not friends, you will not collaborate well,” Mr. Setzer said. “It’s like having too many chefs in kitchen.”

    So how do you feel?  Are you for China joining (and potentially taking over) the craft beer market, or do you prefer western dominance?

    Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/

  • Heineken May Be Out Muscled by Thai Billionaire in Tiger Deal

    We reported a few days ago that Heineken was closing on a deal for Tiger beer in Asia.  It seems that there is now some unexpected competition.  Heineken originally offered $50 per share, but Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi has countered that offer with a $55 per share asking price.

    “We are convinced that our bid is richer and offers more value to shareholders,” said a Heineken spokesman.


    Heineken shares fell to close 2.4 percent lower at 44.38 euros on worries about the prospect of a bidding war with the powerful Thai business family which could be pushing to control APB or just extract a higher price for its stake.


    “With this latest turn of events, Heineken’s current offer will fail. It will have to offer more than S$55 per share to outbid the Thai group, possibly S$60 per share,” said Goh Han Peng, analyst at DMG & Partners Securities in Singapore.

    Either way probably won’t change much in the world of big beer, but it would be nice to see big beer not getting bigger.

    Source: http://money.msn.com/

  • World’s Beer Production Hits Record High, with China Leading the Way

    Tired of seeing China as the number one country in the world for medal count at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games?  Well it seems they are also number one in beer production, too.  In a recent report by the research arm of a Japanese brewery the rise was attributed to the increase in demand in Asian countries.

    The report commissioned by Kirin Holdings said 192.71 million kiloliters (50.9 billion gallons) of beer were produced last year, up 3.7 percent from 2010. China was the world’s largest beer producer — accounting for about 25 percent — for the 10th straight year.


    The United States saw a slight decrease in production from the year before but still ranked second at 11.7 percent, followed by Brazil and Russia.

    It seems China is slowly becoming the super power they have always dreamed of being, but will it hold?  Here’s to hoping of seeing fewer things “made in China”, not more.

    Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/

  • Heineken Moves Closer to Buying Asian Brewer

    One of the largest beer brewers in the world has been looking to become larger, and it seems an agreement has finally been reached between Heineken and the Asian brewing group which makes Tiger beer.

    “The deal has been agreed by Heineken and F&N’s management, and the agreement will now go for approval by the F&N board and then be announced officially,” said one of the sources.


    Heineken already owns 42 percent of APB, which runs 24 Asian breweries, and taking F&N’s 40 percent stake will help the Amsterdam company to defend its turf against Thailand’s second-richest man.

    I’m not a fan of seeing big beer get bigger as it almost always tends to be more about the money than for the love of brewing good beer.

    By winning APB, Heineken gets full ownership of Tiger, Bintang, Anchor and other brands of beer plus two dozen breweries in 14 countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. Around 30 percent of APB’s volumes are for the Heineken beer brand.


    The deal is vital for Heineken in the fast-growing Asian market. For the world’s third-largest brewer, control of APB is set to raise the proportion of profits it gets from Asia to 15 percent from 6 percent, analysts said, boosting the growth rate of the whole group.

    So there you have it, the world’s third largest beer brewing doing what it can to keep pace with InBev and MillerCoors and helping to ensure mass produced, flavorless beer will be available for everyone.

    Source:  http://money.msn.com/

  • Bastards are OK with Alabama

    Alabama is in the beer news again, this time, however, it’s a good thing.  It seems that previously there was a ban on beers that included the word “bastard”.  This was pretty ridiculous seeing that a wine named Fat Bastard was allowed to be sold in the state.

    After taking a second look at the attention-grabbing names of Dirty Bastard and Backwoods Bastard beers, the state’s liquor control agency lifted its ban on their sale in Alabama.


    David Engbers, co-founder of Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, Mich., said the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board didn’t give a reason for reversing its position on the two beers when it sent the company a letter recently approving their sales. Dirty Bastard, the most popular of the two beers, is distributed in 23 states. Alabama was the first to raise an objection to the name, Engbers said Wednesday.


    ABC Board attorney Bob Martin said the board’s licensing director originally rejected the names last spring. The decision was based on a state law that says no ads for alcoholic beverages can show a person “posed in an immodest or sensuous manner” and they can’t contain profanity or offensive language.


    Because of an outcry from Founders Brewing and from craft beer enthusiasts in Alabama, the ABC Board created an employee committee to review brand names and labels when the enforcement director has a concern. In its first meeting, that committee decided to approve Dirty Bastard and Backwoods Bastard.

    So now you can enjoy a larger suite of beers next time you’re visiting the bastard state of Alabama.

    Source: http://www.businessweek.com/

  • New York Governor Signs Legislation to Strengthen Craft Brewing Industry

    It’s good to see local governments getting behind the craft brewing industry.  New York recently signed legislation that will help small business owners, but more specifically will help brewers and the farmers that support the brewing process.  The bill works by easing tax burdens on small breweries.

    The package of laws will keep a tax benefit for small breweries intact and exempt them from paying an annual State Liquor Authority fee. Breweries that produce 60 million or fewer gallons of beer in New York will be eligible for a refundable tax credit applied against State personal income and business taxes. In addition, breweries producing brands of 1,500 barrels or less annually will be exempt from paying the $150 annual brand label fee.


    “In addition to producing some of the finest beer in the world, New York’s craft breweries are creating jobs, supporting our state’s farmers and hops growers, as well as bringing in tourism dollars in local communities across New York,” [Governor] Cuomo said. “The legislation demonstrates that the new New York is truly working for small business, as this law will allow breweries and wineries the opportunity to invest in new opportunities and expand their operations.”


    The legislation also includes the creation of the new “Farm Brewery License,” which encourages small breweries to diversify their business in the same way that much of the wine industry has, by allowing them to add retail outlets, open restaurants, hold tasting sessions, and sell beer-related products. The stipulation is that until the end of 2018, the beer must be produced using at least 20 percent locally grown hops and 20 percent of the rest of the beer’s ingredients must be grown or produced in New York State. These percentages are slated to increase in the future.


    Source: http://www.buffalorising.com