• 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/

  • Olympic Beer is Made with Substances Banned for Athletes

    With the Summer Olympics in full swing, I thought it would be fun to post about a beer the Olympians can’t drink.  It’s made by a BrewDog and is called “Never Mind the Anabolics”.  What can’t the Olympians drink this beer?  It laced with substances banned by the Olympics.

    Scottish craft brewery, BrewDog has today unveiled a limited edition beer it hopes will undermine global sponsorship deals for this summer’s games, called Never Mind the Anabolics. Designed to ‘unmask the corporate beast’ of the world’s biggest sporting event and highlight the shallow nature of sponsorship, the new beer contains creatine, guarana, lycii berries, kola nut, Gingko, matcha tea, maca powder and steroids – all of which are banned for professional athletes.

    • Never Mind the Anabolics is available today from BrewDog.com
    • A percentage of the proceeds going towards a new surfboard for surfing dog called Abbie, an added snub to professional sports sponsorship
    • The new IPA contains a total of 8 ingredients that are banned for professional athletes due to performance enhancing effects
    • BrewDog has utilised social media by publishing a video, hoping to achieve tens of thousands of views, and has embarked on a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #FakeTheStage inviting its 23k followers to joke about tenuous sponsorship opportunities the games has yet to tap into
    • This isn’t the first time the brewery has taken to social media to bring down the establishment, having previously launched the #andthewinnerisnot campaign targeting global giant Diageo

    James Watt, cofounder of BrewDog commented:

    “It seems a beer laced with performance enhancing ingredients isn’t actually illegal, but it is definitely frowned upon. However, we don’t think Never Mind the Anabolics is as absurd and obnoxious as the tenuous sponsorship deals from fast food chains and global mega breweries that seem to define the people’s games. A burger, can of fizzy pop and an industrial lager are not the most ideal preparation for the steeple chase or the dressage (for human or horse). So we decided to give the athletes something that was going to make them happier and better. A way to relax before a big event and at the same time, increase your chances of winning.”

    This is a well done PR stunt for sure, but I’d love to taste the beer and see if it’s any good, after all, I don’t think I have to worry about getting tested by the International Olympic Committee.
  • 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

  • Sierra Nevada Finds Rich Water Source

    As I have discussed here before, water is a very important part of beer production.  Any well established brewing company will go to great lengths to secure and protect its water supply.  It turns out that Sierra Nevada brewing is sitting on a water gold mine.

    Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has learned it can supply most of the water the brewery will need from a well on its property in Mills River.

     

    In January, the California-based company announced it was building an East Coast expansion facility in Western North Carolina, and initial plans called for the company to purchase water from Asheville, whose water lines serve the site.

     

    After the announcement, Sierra Nevada decided to drill for water at Ferncliff Industrial Park, where the company has purchased 100 of the park’s available 262 acres for development. On the second attempt, officials tapped into a dream water source.

     

    According to Stan Cooper, who will co-manage the Mills River plant, the well will generate about 160 gallons of water per minute, which is roughly 50 gallons a minute more than Sierra Nevada needs for the brewing process.

    The water source is a good, pure one, and Sierra is going the extra step to protect the well.

    Sierra Nevada has lined the well, which is only about 500 feet from where the main building of the facility will be, with stainless steel — an expensive process but one that ensures higher quality water over time.

     

    “We have probably one of the only stainless steel-cased wells in Western North Carolina, or North Carolina,” brewery co-manager Brian Grossman said. “It’s encased down to 75 feet.”

    It’s good to see that they are doing this with an eye towards conservation, as well.

     While the brewery appears to have plenty of what it needs with regard to water supply, it will place great emphasis on conservation.

     

    “It’s going to take a lot of water to make beer,” Grossman said, “but this brewery will be very, very efficient.”

     

    He said Sierra Nevada estimates it will churn out about 1 gallon of beer for every 2½ to 3 gallons of water it brings in during brewing, compared to the 10- or 12-to-1 ratio of some other breweries.

     

    Sierra Nevada also plans to have an anaerobic wastewater digestion system on site, recovering bio-gas — a natural byproduct of the process — as an energy source for the brewery. It also has tentative plans for a unique rainwater utilization program.

     

    “We definitely want to be good stewards” of the land, Grossman said.

    Source: http://www.blueridgenow.com/

  • Beer Laws in Pennsylvania in Need of Being Overhauled

    Anyone who has lives in or has visited Pennsylvania knows about the odd beer sales laws in the state.  When going to a beer store you can only buy cases of beer.  If you want less than that, a six pack for example, you need to go to a bar, not the beer store, to purchase such a small quantity.

    The booze business in Pennsylvania is peculiar. Beer isn’t available at state liquor stores. Under current law, distributors can sell only by the case or keg; other take-out outlets are restricted to 192 ounces.

     

    All that could change, however, as the legislature considers reinventing the system. One bill, on hold for the moment, would permit distributors to sell beer in any quantity, along with wine and liquor.

    This may sound like a good idea for the consumer, but it doesn’t bode well for the business owners who have come to depend on the sales of small beer products to help offset their other business sales.

    That would endanger the six-pack and quarts markets traditionally left to the taprooms, bar-restaurants, and small take-out shops that have proliferated in the last decade.

     

    In the last two years, 900 such businesses have gone under, said Amy Christie, executive director of the Pennsylvania Tavern Owners Association, a lobbying group. If the state allows distributors to sell six-packs, she said, 1,000 more of the 11,738 licensees might go out of business.

     

    Martin and others in the take-out trade say they would have to compete for sales with the very distributors from whom they must, under state law, buy their beer.

     

    That, they contend, would put them at a distinct disadvantage. They say they have no choice but to charge more than distributors because their pricing is governed by what distributors charge them and by the local taxes levied on take-out beer – 17 percent in Philadelphia.

     

    With their businesses already staggered by economic conditions, fundamental changes in drinking habits, and the arrival of new purveyors of carry-out beer such as Wegmans and Whole Foods, they say there is hardly a worse time to undercut their sales.

     

    “It’s not a game-ender,” said Martin, who estimated take-out constitutes 10 percent to 15 percent of his revenue. But “it’s another nail in the coffin.”

    But this change in law goes beyond just the simple sale of beer.  A license to sell beer under the current law will become devalued with the new law in affect.

    The take-out people are also crying foul because they say they bought their licenses – at costs up to $250,000 – under a given set of rules. Changing them now could seriously dilute the licenses’ resale value.

     

    Licenses are sold on the open market and aren’t state regulated.

     

    “I got into the business based on what I knew then, and now they’re talking about total upheaval,” Martin said.

    So what are your thoughts on the old and new laws?  Are things fine the way they are, or is it time for change?

    Source: http://www.philly.com/

  • Free Logo Glass from Newcastle

     

    Want a free pint glass?  Just hope over to the link below and fill out a short survey.  Of course, if a free glass isn’t your kinda thing, they’re willing to pay you $2 instead.  Just make sure to have a picture of you and a Newcastle beer ready to publish on Facebook.

    https://www.facebook.com/newcastle

  • IKEA Beer: No Assembly Required

    IKEA, the land of assemble it yourself furniture, has officially launched a dark lager beer called Öl Mörk Lager.  No assembly is required for this beer, and for now is only available for purchase in the IKEA stores in the UK.  The bottles will be selling for about £1.75 or about $3 each.  Maybe soon in the US while your shopping for that must have NÄSUM basket or set of HÅBOL boxes you can do so while enjoying the cool, refreshing in-house IKEA brand beer.

    Style: Dark Lager
    Availability: 12 oz bottles, IKEA Stores, UK only.
    4.7% ABV

     

    Source: http://www.ikea.com/
    Via: http://beerstreetjournal.com/

  • Craft breweries represent more than 95% of the breweries in America, but make only 6% of the beer

     

    A map of the states with the most breweries per capita.
    Source: Brewers Association
    Credit: Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

    In non-beer markets there are issues where the vast majority of the companies making a product are only producing a fraction of the actual product in the market place when compared to one or two major stake holders.  This issue, however, is most pronounced with beer.   It seems that while making up 95% of the market place, craft breweries only produce 6% of the beer.

    Three multinational corporations own most of the 20 gigantic, highly industrialized breweries that produce the vast majority of American beer. It’s been a great Wall Street bonanza, but the results are sobering. The largest brewer in the US, Anheuser-Busch, belongs to Brazilian multinational InBev, the largest brewer in the world. American number two, Miller, is part of SABMiller, headquartered in London, the second largest brewer in the world. Coors was acquired by Canadian brewer Molson, now the Molson Coors Brewing Company, fifth largest in the world. As if that weren’t enough deal-making, SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Company formed the joint venture MillerCoors. However, Pabst Brewing Company is still independent.

     

    But craft beer brewers operate in their own micro climate. In 2011, production jumped 13% to 11,468,152 barrels, for a 5.7% share of the US beer market in volume, according to the Brewers Association. With craft beers being more expensive, retail sales jumped 14.5% to a record $8.7 billion—for a 9.1% share of the $95.5 billion US beer market.

    Even with this relativity small market share, big beer is not happy.  They continue to exert their force in the market place pushing their nationally distributed craft beer brands into every corner of the market, forcing out locally brewed beers.

    Big beer knows that nationally produced and distributed beer representing the largest market share can easily be replaced by brewing your own beer or going down to your local brew pub for a beer that was brewed locally.  It is for this reason that they market their product so aggressively.

    That being said, you can make a difference.   Producing your own beer or buying local beer helps keeps money and jobs in a local economy.  So next time you’re out buying your beer remember, think globally, but act locally.

    Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/

  • Beer Boosts Bone Mass

    Today’s article is another one promoting beer drinking for better health.  It seems that drinking beer boosts bone mass.

    Yet in this study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers adjusted for lifestyle factors and showed that among 3,218 women who consumed more than one drink a day of alcohol had a significantly greater femoral neck and lumbar bone mineral density (BMD) than those who never consumed alcohol.

    It seems, however, that not just any alcohol will do, the study states, “neither wine nor liquor intake was significantly associated with BMD —but rather beer.”

    Registered dietitian Elizabeth Brown MS,RD,CPT,CDE, says that beer’s bone benefit is due to its silicon content. “Studies report that dietary silicon intake of more than 40 mg per day correlates with increased BMD; however, the average daily intake of silicon is about 20 to 30 mg.”

    I’m more than happy to have a pint or two of my favorite beer or homebrew for better health.  Maybe the saying should be, “A beer a day keeps the doctor away.”

    Source: http://latino.foxnews.com

  • Samuel Adams and Boston Beer Get a Downgrade

    It seems not even craft beer is immune to a bad economy.  Yesterday the Boston Beer Company’s shares were downgraded from sell to neutral.

    Boston Beer has shown solid growth with new products such as Twisted Tea and seasonal drinks. But UBS analyst Kaumil Gajrawala downgraded his rating on the company’s shares to “sell” from “neutral” on Monday, saying the company’s growth may slow as its innovations age.

    Amidst the news the stock price fell 4.5%.

    The problem, it seems, is that 70% of Boston Beers recent revenue growth has come from Twisted Tea and seasonal products.  It’s hard to maintain that type of growth, and Gajrawala believes they are hitting the top of the market in performance.

    I think what we’re really seeing here is similar to what happens to any company when they get too big and fail to innovate in the market.  This is strikingly similar to the path that the big beer companies have taken.  I’m still a fan of Boston Beer Company’s beers for now, but hopefully they don’t take the path of getting bigger and buying smaller craft breweries to meet share holders expectations in the market.

     

    Source: http://money.msn.com/