New Belgium announces Tour de Fat schedule

New Belgium Brewing has announced the Tour de Fat schedule for its 13th season. Most Tour de Fat stops include a costumed bicycle parade, New Belgium beer, entertainment, local food, unusual bike contests and much more. This year the Tour will visit 15 cities.

In 2012, Tour de Fat, which is a free event, will exceed the $2 million mark for money raised for local nonprofits through beer and merchandise purchases. Funds generally go to organizations in the world of bike advocacy.

Each stop now includes a car-for-bike trade. Basically, a person gets up on stage, hands over car keys, and pledges to live one year car-free. Tour de Fat is now seeking volunteers to accept the swapper challenge. Each car-for-bike swapper will choose a local bike shop to help them turn their $2,250 budget into their ultimate car-replacement commuter bike. The cars will be auctioned by Vehicles for Charity, with proceeds to benefit local cycling organizations.

Tour de Fat 2012 will cycle through each of the following cities:

Nashville, TN – June 2 – Centennial Park
Washington, DC – June 16 – Yards Park
Durham, NC – June 23 – Diamond View Park on the American Tobacco Campus
Atlanta, GA – June 30 – Historic 4th Ward Park
Milwaukee, WI – July 14 – Coast Guard Event Area, McKinley Park
Chicago, IL – July 21 – Palmer Square
Minneapolis, MN – July 28 – Loring Park
Boise, ID – August 18 – Ann Morrison Park
Fort Collins, CO – September 1 – Civic Center Park Area
Denver, CO – September 8 – City Park
Los Angeles, CA – September 15 – Los Angeles State Historic Park
San Francisco, CA – September 22 – Lindley Meadow in Golden Gate Park
San Diego, CA – September 29 – Golden Hill Park
Tempe, AZ – October 6 – Tempe Town Lake
Austin, TX – October 20 – Fiesta Gardens


Craft beer sales surge 13% in 2011

The Brewers Association announced that craft beer sales increased 13% in volume in 2011 and that revenue grew 15%.

In 2011, craft brewers represented 5.68% of volume of the U.S. beer market, compared to 4.97% in 2010. Production increased 1.3 million barrels to 11.5 million barrles. The BA estimates the actual dollar sales figure from craft brewers in 2011 was $8.7 billion, up from $7.6 billion in 2010.

2012 Craft Beer Sales

“While the overall beer market experienced a 1.32% volume decrease in 2011, craft brewing saw significant growth, surpassing five percent total market volume share for the first time,” said BA director Paul Gatza. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that with the variety of styles and flavors to choose from, Americans are developing a strong taste for high-quality, small-batch beer from independent brewers.”

The association reported that 250 breweries opened, 37 closed and that 1,989 were operating by the end of the year.

“We saw rapid growth in brewery openings last year, particularly with microbrewery start-ups, and these numbers are poised to rise even more in 2012,” Gatza said. “In February 2012, we already topped 2,000 operating breweries—a truly remarkable milestone. We look forward to even more success and the continued expansion of the craft beer market.”


Iowa brewers seek support for tourism program

Support Your Local BreweryThis call to action is intended for Iowa residents.

The Iowa Brewer’s Guild is asking for your support in opposing certain provisions in Amendment S-5084 to HF 2337 (the specific language we are opposed to begins on line 20, page 14 and runs through line 1, page 16) that has been proposed by the Iowa Wine Growers Association. The wineries are hoping to transfer funding and control of the Iowa Wine and Beer Promotion Board out of the state’s Tourism/Economic Development Department and place the funding (and program) under control of the Midwest Wine Institute at Iowa State University.

We are asking you to act immediately. Please contact the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and ask them to remove these provisions from the amendment before taking a vote. Time is of the essence as the amendment is scheduled for a vote this coming Monday, March 19.

We are asking you to express opposition to these provisions because:

1. The Economic Development Authority has been doing a very successful job of promoting BOTH the wine and beer industries and the proposed amendment will transfer the program to the Wine Institute where there is an unproven record of marketing and promotional efforts. The Wine Institute in Iowa is a higher education authority that may not have compatible goals with the beer industry.

2. The brewing industry hasn’t been a participant in discussions and currently doesn’t believe this is in our best interests. Additionally the Iowa Economic Development Authority has expressed opposition and would like to see this halted until all affected parties can come to agreement. Many wineries have also expressed concerns about this legislation.

3. The Iowa Wine and Beer Promotion Board has spent considerable resources preparing for this year’s programs and promotional efforts. These efforts will be abandoned and wasted if the proposed amendment proceeds. This will be a waste of over $80,000 to the Wine and Beer Promotions Board’s programs.

4. Brewing industry representation on the proposed amendment is assigned by the Wine Institute, not the brewing industry. We feel we are being locked out of support to a legislatively mandated tourism and economic development program that has existed since 1986.

First priority is to contact the senators on the appropriations committee. Here’s the contact information:

Again, ask them to remove these provisions from the amendment.

Second priority is to contact all our state senators. You can look up your local senator here:

Thank you for your support of Iowa Beer!

Dave Coy
President, Iowa Brewer’s Guild