• 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/

  • Petition to Release the White House Homebrew Recipe

    Last week we reported that President Obama had gone public with the fact that beer was being brewed in the White House.  Now there is a petition on https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/ to have the recipe released.

     Following in the footsteps of great men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, Barack Obama has reportedly been enjoying the rewards of home brewed beer. Recent reports from news outlets like the Washington Post (August 15th, 2012) have stated that Obama has been drinking a White House home brew Honey Ale while on the campaign trail.


    In keeping with the brewing traditions of the founding fathers, homebrewers across America call on the Obama Administration to release the recipe for the White House home brew so that it may be enjoyed by all.


    “I think it’s time for beer” -Franklin D. Roosevelt (March 12, 1933)

    So if you’re a home brewer and want to try brewing the White House Honey Ale, make sure to check the link below and sign the petition.

    Source: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/

  • 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/

  • Obama Beer

    While there are plenty of breweries out there that may make a gimmicky beer during election, this is not one of those beers.  Instead, this is the beer brewered by the president himself (or more likely his staff for him).

     …it was revealed Tuesday that the White House brews its own beer, and that the presidential bus is stocked with bottles of that beer.


    The revelation came incidentally, when a man at the Knoxville coffee shop where Obama stopped today somehow got the president onto the subject of beer, and Obama noted that a sample of the White House’s home brew was just outside.


    Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that Obama gave the man a full bottle of said beer, retrieved from the bus.


    In a press gaggle a short time later, White House Spokesman Jay Carney took several questions about the beer, some which he could answer, others he could not.


    The beer comes in two varieties, light and dark, Carney said. He has personally sampled the lighter brew, and declared it “refreshing.”


    “It is superb,” he said. “It is quite good.”


    Does the president himself drink the beer? Indeed he does, Carney said.


    And why wasn’t the ultra-local ale served at the famed beer summit at the White House in 2009? Because that was before the brewing began he said.


    And who, finally, is the beermeister in charge of brewing it all up?


    “I have exhausted my knowledge of this subject,” Carney said. “When someone hands me a beer I don’t ask how it was made, I just drink it.”

    While it might not be a deciding factor in the vote this Fall, it’s still cool to know that even The President is into home brewing.

    Source: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/

  • “Craft Beer” is Added to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

    Every year Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary adds new words and removes old ones.  It seems that this year “craft beer” has the dubious distinction of being added to the dictionary.  Craft beer is finally getting the recognition it deserves.  The entry can be found here:

    Definition of CRAFT BEER

    : a specialty beer produced in limited quantities : microbrew

    First Known Use of CRAFT BEER



    Next Word in the Dictionary: craftless
    Previous Word in the Dictionary: craft (transitive verb)
    All Words Near: craft beer
    Curious what other words made the list?  Well a few are:
    • brain cramp
    • bucket list
    • cloud computing
    • energy drink
    • f-bomb
    • man cave
    • sexting

    For more information check out Merriam Webster’s site:

  • [Infographic] The Case for Beer

    A fun infographic on Beer from visual.ly on some basic facts of beer and some excellent recommendations for food pairings.
    The Case for Beer
  • 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/