Heineken rejects SABMiller takeover offer

September 15th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Heineken has turned down SABMiller’s offer to acquire the its company and said it intends to remain independent. SABMiller’s bid was rejected by the family that controls Heineken, Bloomberg News reported. The offer, made in the last two weeks, would have made the family one of the combined company’s largest holders, one source said.

“For SAB, a way of preserving their independence is to buy Heineken,” Matthew Beesley of Henderson Global Investors Ltd. told Bloomberg News “It’s easy to underestimate the desire for management teams to be in control of their own destiny rather than to sell their business at a very high price.”

SABMiller has been the subject of speculation that AB InBev will attempt to take it over. Acquiring Heineken would help assure its independence as well as adding more than $25 billion in sales and bolster its presence in emerging markets such as Africa and Mexico.

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Bob Pease promoted to Brewers Association CEO

September 10th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

The Brewers Association announced today that Bob Pease has been promoted to Chief Executive Office from Chief Operating Officer of the not-for-profit trade organization.

A press release states that the “transition to CEO formalizes much of the responsibility that Pease has already progressively adopted. Pease holds responsibilities in the areas of personnel administration, government affairs, export development and oversight of all financial/fiduciary, operational and functional areas of the BA. He will serve as the Association’s key liaison to its board of directors.”

Pease began working for the association in 1993 as customer service manager. He later became operations direction, then vice president in 1999 and COO in 2010.

“I’m honored to receive this promotion,” Pease said for the press release. “And I am excited to lead the Brewers Association forward, continuing our efforts to accomplish key objectives on behalf of our members.”

Charlie Papazian — founder of the American Homebrewers Association and the Association of Brewers (subsequently merged into the Brewers Association) — remains BA president. “Since 1978, I have enjoyed championing the interests of craft brewers, homebrewers and their beers. And I have been fortunate to have a dedicated, talented colleague in Bob Pease, sharing those efforts with me for many of those years,” Papazian said.

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Brew Hub announces St. Louis brewery

September 8th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Brew Hub has announced plans to build its next brewery in Chesterfield, Mo., just west of St. Louis. The brewery will be Brew Hub’s corporate headquarters and the second in a network of five state-of-the-art breweries the company is planning to build. Brew Hub’s first brewery opened last month in Lakeland, Fla.

Brew Hub had introduced what it calls “partner brewing.” It allows craft breweries to brew their beer to exact specifications under the supervision of their own brewmaster, and to package and distribute from Brew Hub. Brew Hub also offers its partners services including sales, marketing, logistics, legal, and government affairs.

“The announcement of our second craft brewery is a huge milestone for Brew Hub, and it’s a reflection of the incredible growth of craft beer over the past several years,” said Tim Schoen, founder and CEO of Brew Hub. “Our objective from the beginning was simply to help craft brewers grow by offering the facilities, brewing and beer industry expertise they need. Our St. Louis brewery is going to allow many more craft brewers to benefit from our model.”

The St. Louis brewery will be located off I-64 in Chesterfield, and will have an initial brewing capacity of 75,000 barrels and the potential to expand its capacity to 200,000 barrels annually. Brew Hub plans to begin construction of the St. Louis brewery by the end of the year and open the brewery in early 2016. The agreement to build Brew Hub’s St. Louis brewery is contingent upon the approval of state and local tax incentives.

“Brew Hub’s decision to build their second craft brewery in Chesterfield is a huge economic win for the entire St. Louis region,” said Denny Coleman, CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.

The brewery will feature a 3,000-square-foot tasting room and biergarten. The brewery also will offer merchandise and free brewery tours. Brew Hub will employ approximately 55 people at its St. Louis brewery in brewing, operations, front office and its tasting room.

“We have had meetings and are negotiating partnerships with some of the top craft breweries in the Midwest,” said Schoen. “Our St. Louis brewery is going to allow these brewers to expand to new states and grow their brands like never before, and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Brew Hub currently has partnerships with several breweries, including Cigar City Brewing, Orange Blossom Pilsner, Green Man Brewing and BJ’s Restaurants. Brew Hub brews beer for all four companies at its brewery in Lakeland and is in discussions to begin brewing their beer at the St. Louis brewery when it opens.

Brew Hub plans to open three more breweries during the next five years. Specific markets will be determined based on demand, but the company is considering strategic locations in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Texas and West Coast. This network of Brew Hub facilities will allow craft brewers from across the country to enter new markets.

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Law will let California host 2015 homebrewers conference

August 27th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

California governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that will will allow the 37th National Homebrewers Conference to be held next June in San Diego as scheduled.

Last year, an amendment added to Assembly Bill 1425 (AB1425) was passed and effectively banned homebrewing organizations — including the AHA and the California Homebrewers Association (CHA) — from hosting events centered around their favorite hobby. As a result, the 24th annual 2014 CHA Southern California Homebrewers Festival was canceled.

The new law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, puts the Southern California Homebrewers Festival and the NHC back on the calendar.

“California has been central to the growth of homebrewing — as a hobby, a business and a community,” said American Homebrewers Association director Gary Glass. The AHA organizes the National Homebrewers Conference. “The passage of AB2609 provides homebrewers the opportunity to continue innovating, learning and sharing their craft through events organized by homebrewers for homebrewers. We’re thrilled to be able to bring the 2015 National Homebrewers Conference to San Diego.”

The AHA and CHA mounted a campaign for the passage of AB2609, with more than 150 individual homebrewers from across California submitting letters to the state government in support of the measure. The bill unanimously passed both the Assembly and Senate.

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Timothy Taylor’s Boltmaker British champion

August 12th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Timothy Taylor’s Boltmaker has been crowned the “Best Beer” in Britain at the Great British Beer Festival, which opened today in London. Citra from Oakham Ales won the silver and Salopian’s Darwin’s Origin capture bronze.

“I’m speechless. We work very hard to produce great beers and we really believe this is the best beer we can brew – so to have it acknowledged in such an important competition is absolutely fantastic,” head brewer Peter Eells said after the awards were announced.

Overall
Gold – Timothy Taylors, Boltmaker
Silver – Oakham, Citra
Bronze – Salopian, Darwin’s Origin

Mild
Gold – Bank Top, Dark Mild
Silver – Branscombe Vale, Mild
Bronze – Castle Rock, Black Gold

Bitters
Gold – Timothy Taylor, Boltmaker
Silver – Mighty Oak, Captain Bob
Joint Bronze – Flowerpots, Flowerpots Bitter & Sambrook’s Wandle Ale

Best Bitters
Gold – Salopian, Darwin’s Origin
Silver – Red Willow, Directionless
Joint Bronze – Purity, Mad Goose & Langton, Inclined plain bitter

Golden Ales
Gold – Oakham, Citra
Silver – Hawkshead, Cumbrian Five Hop
Bronze – Salopian, Hop Twister

Strong Bitters
Gold – Church End, Fallen Angel
Silver – Blue Monkey, Ape Ale
Bronze – Loch Ness, HoppyNESS

Speciality Beers
Gold – Saltaire, Triple Chocoholic
Silver – Offbeat, Way Out Wheat
Bronze – Peak Ales, Chatsworth Gold

Champion Bottled Beer
Gold – Marble, Chocolate Marble
Silver – St Austell, Proper Job
Bronze – Spire, Prince Igor Imperial Russian Stout

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Stone Brewing announces plans to build Berlin brewery

July 20th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Stone Brewing Co. has announced plans to open a production brewery and expansive destination restaurant in Berlin, Germany. Stone is making an initial investment of more than $25 million to renovate a historic gasworks complex in Marienpark Berlin, a two-acres (9,290 square meters) of indoor and outdoor space. Stone Brewing Co. – Berlin will encompass three components: a brewery and packaging hall, a Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens restaurant and a Stone Company Store. It is expected to open in late 2015 or early 2016.

Here are photos taken at the announcement.

And here are the details from a press release:

“This is a historic moment for Stone. I’ve wanted to say these next words for many years now: We’re coming to Europe. We’re coming to Germany. We are coming to Berlin!” said Stone CEO and co-founder Greg Koch. “It has been a long time coming and I couldn’t be more proud to say that we are finally on our way to being the first American craft brewer to own and operate our own brewery in Europe. Once open, we will bring Germany and the rest of Europe a taste of our craft beer vision, and look forward to sharing the unique beers that we have spent the last 18 years brewing.”

“Stone’s future European home will serve as the company’s international hub; a central location promoting goodwill and quality craft beer spanning the globe,” said Stone president and co-founder Steve Wagner. “With this expansion comes our commitment to brewing bold, aggressive, hop-forward beers in a country with a long history rooted in the art of brewing.”

The company will transform the setting into a one-of-a-kind destination that includes:

– A spectacular, historic, red brick main hall built in 1901 measuring 43,000-plus square feet (3,994 square meters), featuring a vaulted ceiling that will house a custom-built, stainless steel brewhouse, an eclectic farm-to-table restaurant, and retail store featuring specialty Stone beers and merchandise.

– A second 20,775-square-foot (1,930 square meters) building that will be utilized for brewing operations and house fermenters, bright tanks, and packaging equipment and materials. Ultimately, the company’s signature ales will be packaged and distributed throughout Europe from the facility.

– A third 1,300-square-foot (120 square meters) building, situated in what will be the expansive gardens, to be utilized as event space.

The property’s brewhouse will produce year-round and special-release Stone beers to be packaged, kegged and enjoyed on site and eventually distributed. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Berlin will highlight locally grown, organic food that complements the harmonious nature and seasonality of the location’s surroundings. As proud supporters of the international Slow Food movement, Stone will ensure that every dish is made from ingredients adhering to Slow Food’s principles of good, clean, fair food. An ambassador of the craft beer movement, Stone will serve an extensive array of exceptional craft and specialty beers from other breweries in Germany, Europe and across the world, both on tap and in bottles.

Additionally, the company launched an Indiegogo crowd-participation campaign today, so fans can participate in the venture by purchasing special collaboration beers to be brewed with award-winning, renowned craft brewers from around the world at Stone Brewing Co. – Berlin once the facility is operational.

The announcement, and particularly the crowd-funding campaign, created multiple conversations at Facebook, on Twitter and other virtual locations where people gather.

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GABF tickets on sale July 29

July 14th, 2014 | Posted by Real Beer

Great American Beer Festival tickets go on sale July 29 for members of the American Homebrewers Association and Brewers Association.

The general public sale begins (and ends) the next day. Remember, the festival has sold out each of the past six years, and in a matter of minutes in 2013.

Sales begin each day at 10 a.m. Mountain time (noon Eastern, etc.).

More information.

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