• To Make Beer, MillerCoors Helps Farmers Save Water

    I’ve written articles before about the importance of water in making beer.  It seems that even the big beer companies struggle with water issues.  When a brewery needs a local water source to brew its beer, it is in the best interest of the brewery to protect that water source.

    “It is not going to be one organization or one company or one government that is going to solve this problem. It is going to take all of us collectively,” said Kim Marotta, MillerCoors director of sustainability.


    MillerCoors acted after an internal assessment showed that three of its eight U.S. breweries, including one in Fort Worth, Texas, faced potential water shortages. The company is working on water conservation at its breweries, but also is identifying large agricultural water users near its breweries and asking to partner with them on conservation.


    “We’re just starting that work,” Marotta said. “You have to start farm-by-farm.”

    I’m glad to see a company like MillerCoors taking an interest in the environment, even if it is self serving.  The initiative is a good start in the right direction and may lead to better brewing processes with less of an environmental impact.  Clean, pure water is a resource that is increasingly difficult to come by in many parts of the world and large corporations are taking notice.

     “You have to do more with less,” said Ken Klaveness, executive director of Trinity Waters, a non-profit conservation group focused on the 512-mile-long Trinity River, which supports water needs for over 40 percent of Texans.


    “If you want your business to be here 15 to 20 years from now, you need to be proactive,” Klaveness said.


    Projects with farmers can range from planting of grasses with deeper root systems that hold water and reduce erosion to installing high-tech monitoring stations in pastures.


    Farmers are being asked to change irrigation techniques and equipment and plant a mix of different crops. Ranchers are asked to alter the ways they rotate their cattle grazing.


    MillerCoors is also working with 800 barley farmers in Idaho to alter their irrigation practices in ways that use less water. MillerCoors will not disclose how much it is spending, but Marotta said the effort was a high priority.

    When water is the largest ingredient in your product, I can absolutely see a need to make saving and protecting that resource a high priority.  Hopefully it will be done in a manner that doesn’t horde that resource and keep others from getting their rightful share.

    Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/

  • Infographic: Prohibition in the 1920’s

    We live in an age when drinking is legal (at least for those over 21), but that wasn’t always the case.  There was a time when drinking was against the law.  So what exactly did the Volstead Act of 1920 do to the good old USA?  Here’s a handy info graphic that explains the troubling times of no drinking.

    Prohibition Did What?
    Via: Rehab International

  • Miller Time: Beer so Bad it’s Free

    When all other marketing attempts fail, why not just give your product away for free?  That is the idea at Miller Brewing.  What’s the catch?  Legal-drinking-age consumers with the first, middle or last name Miller will receive a gift card equivalent to the cost of a case of Miller Lite.

    Consumers located in, or willing to travel to, any of nine cities hosting special “It’s Miller Time On Us” events across the country can show their legal state ID with their first, middle or last name of Miller to pick up their $25 It’s Miller Time gift card. “It’s Miller Time On Us” kicks off this week in Philadelphia and then continues in Charlotte, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Phoenix throughout June and July. Gift cards are limited to one per person and must be collected within the designated hours for the event.

    If you’re really interested in going here are the “It’s Miller Time on Us” events that are scheduled (all times local):

    • Las Vegas – June 29, 1-5 p.m., poolside at The Palms
    • Charlotte – July 11, 5-8 p.m., EpiCentre
    • Milwaukee – July 13, 3-6 p.m., Miller Visitor Center
    • Cincinnati – July 17, 5-8 p.m., Holy Grail Tavern & Grille
    • Chicago – July 20, 4-7 p.m., location TBD (watch Facebook.com/MillerLite for updates)
    • Philadelphia – July 24, 4-7 p.m., XFINITY Live! Philadelphia
    • Pittsburgh – July 24, 4-7 p.m., Station Square
    • Phoenix – July 27, 3-6 p.m., Coach & Willie’s
    • Indianapolis – July 28, 1-4 p.m., Georgia Street (Pennsylvania Street to Capitol Avenue)

    I’ll pass, but if you go, take some pictures and share them with us.  I’d love to see the marketing behind this event because we all know it’s marketing that sells this beer, not flavor.

    Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/

  • Hotels are Branding and Serving Their Own Beer.


    Hotels, looking to make some extra money, have started either promoting craft beer, or are re-branding locally brewed beer as their own.  I’ve seen this done several times before at local restaurants.  T-Bonz Grille & Pub’s 33rd street beer is a re-branded beer.  The same applies to all the beers available from Bare Bones Grill & Brewery.  It seems that this venture is not just limited to bars and restaurants now.

    •The Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia this month released Cherry Verbena Saison, its third collaboration with Dock Street Brewing. The beer was brewed with lemon verbena harvested from the hotel’s rooftop garden.


    •Four Fairmont hotels have partnered with breweries to create their own house microbrews using honey from on-site beehives. The Fairmont San Francisco Honey Saison, for instance, was crafted in partnership with Almanac Beer.


    •The Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles International Airport recently appointed a new director of brewer relations, created a beer advisory board and has customized in-room beer fridges.


    •And at Kimpton’s Hotel Solamar in San Diego, Christian Graves, executive chef of the Jsix restaurant, will host “craft beer hours,” during which he’ll provide tips on home brewing.

    This to me is great news.  I love a good craft beer, and I’m happy to see businesses teaming together to make a quality product.  It’s all about the bottom line, and if that money can be kept in the local economy, it’s better for your neighborhood brewer.

    Hoyt Harper, global brand leader for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, credits the social hour for higher food and beverage sales: “It energized our lobbies and brought more guests morning, noon and night.”

    Of course, I would like to see the brewer mentioned, if at all possible.  While it’s good that the local beer is being sold, a cross-promotional marketing campaign would be a great way to further enlighten the traveling beer drinker.  Why not tell the hotel guest who makes the beer and offer discount tours of the brewery or six packs to take home and share with your friends.  That probably won’t happen, but here’s to hoping that when I travel, a good craft beer is never to far from reach.

    Source: http://www.usatoday.com

  • Beer Drinkers are More Likely to Have Sex on the First Date


    Want to increase your odds of getting lucky on a first date?  Find someone who drinks beer.  A new study points to evidence that those who consume alcohol (not necessarily on the date) are more likely to have sex on the first date.

    Both men and women who enjoy a pint are 60 per cent more likely to sleep with someone early in a relationship, statistics show.


    This applies to both gay and straight people, according to Christian Rudder, a Harvard graduate who set up dating website OKCupid.


    After analysing the profiles and interactions of hundreds of millions of users, Mr Rudder found that beer-drinking was the most useful indicator of whether people are likely to have casual sex.  He also found the three questions that best predicted whether couples would actually go on to have a long-term relationship.


    1) Wouldn’t it be fun to chuck it all and go live on a sailboat?
    2) Do you like horror movies?
    3) Have you ever travelled around another country alone?


    The data suggests that compatibility on sensation-seeking may be even more important than more obvious compatibility testers such a date’s opinion on religion, sex, and smoking, observed Psychology Today.

    So there you have it, four questions you can ask your date on your first date to gauge your odds of getting lucky that night.  I would suggest asking if they enjoy beer first, and then perhaps ask the next three questions while enjoying a beer.  If they don’t like beer, well, you’re on your own.

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

  • InBev to buy Modelo

    InBev is at it again.  This time they are looking to buy Modelo.  The deal, which would include Corona, would be worth an estimated 15 billion dollars.  InBev already owns a 50.4% stake in Modelo.

    Mexico is the world’s sixth biggest beer market and the fourth most profitable and is a virtual duopoly between Modelo and Heineken. Analysts say it would be a good strategic deal for AB InBev.


    Modelo has a 50-percent-plus market share of the Mexican beer market, but a relatively low profit margin of around 26 percent which AB InBev would look to push towards the margin of 60-65 percent it earns in Brazil.


    The move would increase AB InBev’s focus on North and Latin America which already accounts for over 90 percent of profits with its half share of the U.S. market and 70 percent of Brazil.


    So it looks like InBev wants to just buy portfolios instead of developing new beers.  Yet another sign of a failing corporate business process.  Why be innovative in the market place when you can just buy an existing customer base.

    Source: http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/06/25/modelo-abinbev-idINL6E8HP3ND20120625

  • Today IPA – Homebrew


    Time to start the weekend with some good beerporn.

  • Beer from the Beard of a Brewer

    Well this is an odd one, how about a beer brewed from yeast that were found in the beard of a brew master for Rouge brewery?  It seems White Labs, a company known for making beer yeast, was looking to make a new yeast strain to sell.

    White Labs — a company that produces yeast for brewing — initially tested three samples from the Oregon-based Rogue Brewery’s hopyard, and none of them were suitable to be brewed.

    With their unsuccessful venture, they decided to go looking somewhere else at Rogue’s brewery, specifically, the beard of head brew master John Maier.

    The researchers allegedly took nine follicles of Maier’s beard and placed them on separate petri dishes. Voila, they got themselves some yeast. Rogue’s blog says the company will use the new yeast strain created from the beard to make a new beer called “New Crustacean.” It will be released early 2013, apparently.

    This certainly would be interesting if it actually happens.  I’d love to try the yeast in one of my own batches of beer!

    Source: http://rogue.com/rogue-wire-service/blog/category/general-news-info/
    Via:  http://blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/2012/06/21/beer-brewed-from-a-beard-is-this-a-real-thing/

  • Cans: A Can-Do Attitude


    Cans, they seem to be in the news a lot right now, and today is no different.  It seems that Bloomberg has posted a chart showing that cans are on a continued upswing of growth.

    The CHART OF THE DAY shows almost 53 percent of the beer consumed in 2011 was served in an aluminum can, up from a low of 48 percent in the years leading to the economic slump that began in December 2007. After peaking at 60 percent in 1991, the container’s popularity gave way to bottles and glasses amid growing demand for foreign brews.

    I’m really beginning to be won over by the can movement.  Once decanted I feel the beer from a can holds up just as well as its bottled brethren.

    “The image of beer in cans has changed,” said Charlie Papazian, president of the Boulder, Colorado-based Brewers Association. Since the recession, “two segments have done well, the below-premium budget beers and the high-end craft beers,” he added. “Historically, budget beers have been packaged in cans, and have been priced ridiculously low.”

    I’ll just make sure to stick with a beer that doesn’t involving me cutting a hole in the top to drink it.

    Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/

  • How to Get a New Beer to Market Fast? Be a Celebrity.

    It must be nice to get free media attention to pitch your new beer, a beer, mind you, built on a gimmick.  The new beer is from Churchkey Can Co. and the gimmick is the beer requires a chuch key, like the one pictured above, to open the can (the pointy side, not the bottle cap opener side).  Nothing says hipster like using an antiquated piece of technology that most of us did away with years ago.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I used the pointy side of the church key to open anything.  Maybe a can of Juicy Juice in the late 1970’s or a can of oil for my car in the mid 1980’s.

    So how did this beer come to be?  This is the beer of Adrian Grenier, most known for his role as the character Vincent Chase on Entourage.  I can only image it now, a few Hollywood folks with money sitting around talking about how to make more money and someone says, “What if we made a beer that you couldn’t open? What if we forced you to have a certain type of opener to get at our medicore beverage?  The hipsters are going to love this, and my publicist can get us on the front page of anything.  Heck, Forbes might even do an article on us.”

    Well, to quote Forbes:

    Speaking of inspiration, or rather deinspiration, to how Churchkey wants to sculpt its brand – Grenier cited the all-too-often seen standards of corporate America: “turning their backs on people and pumping out crap which doesn’t provide any value beyond getting an immediate fix.” They wanted “deeper values than just mass marketed consumer products” which have a “spirit beyond the product,” for their microbrewery.

    What kind of BS is that? “…spirit beyond the product…”  A beer that doesn’t have a built-in method to open it…what is the spirit of an un-open-able beer?  Even bottles with caps the don’t twist off can be popped off with just about anything you can find.  Check out this video, for example:

    With so many new breweries starting up, and so many beers trying to make their mark, it seems a little ridiculous that this beer would somehow end up in the limelight.  I have read tons of reviews of little known beers, and sampled lots of beers myself, but I find it funny that not one article talks about the taste and flavor of the Churchkey beer.  The best I can find is marketing fluff from Grenier himself:

    The clue is in the motto “It’s worth the effort.” Grenier says: “We weren’t talking about the can being worth it, it’s the beer.” The can creates a point of distinction, but it’s the beer/taste that will continue to drive sales, and that customers will come back for. “It’s a combination of a distinguished product and packaging with a superior beer that people can rely on.”

    I won’t be going out of my way to try this beer, and hopefully this type of contrived beer won’t last long in the market.

    Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/languatica/2012/06/20/its-worth-the-wait-build-a-brand-like-a-superstar/