On Jan. 1, after years of debate, Colorado’s unusual booze rules are set to change. The state will effectively erase its 3.2 beer law, a Prohibition-era restriction that prevented most general stores from selling full-strength beer.
Among other changes coming into effect.
Via the Denver Post
The idea is interesting — especially considering the pub is in the heart of the London financial district. Fluctuating prices of a beer based on the FTSE financial index. The price of the beer called Hop Exchange goes up as the FTSE 100 goes up. When it has a bad day, the price comes down.
Link: American Craft Beer
Jeff Alworth brings us the sad news that All About Beer has apparently ceased publishing.
But losing All About Beer hurts. As an institution spanning the entirety of the American craft beer era, it functioned as a reflection of the American beer industry. the late Michael Jackson and Fred Eckhardt, writers who helped launch beer journalism, were stalwarts in its pages. All About Beer covered every business story, new style development, personality clash, and all the trends and development in craft beer since its beginning. From mustaches to goatees to lumberjack beards—as well as the increasingly common faces of women who subvert the facial-hair stereotype—AAB captured brewers in all their phases.
It’s truly a sad way for the magazine to end. Folks like Julie Johnson and Daniel Bradford have put decades into the business, and writers and editors sweated out tough stories and late nights making deadlines. Jon Page, the managing editor during its late, greatest phase, added this. “During my time at the magazine, it wasn’t uncommon to meet brewers who were inspired to start their breweries after reading All About Beer Magazine, or to meet readers who had collected years worth of issues. Going back nearly four decades, the magazine’s archives are truly a treasure trove of brewing history and culture.”
A great opportunity for the right candidate, a full-tuition scholarship to the Intensive Brewing Science & Engineering course offered by American Brewers Guild. Application deadline is November 8th.
From Glen Hay Falconer Foundation:
In collaboration with the American Brewers Guild, we are offering a full-tuition scholarship to the Guild’s Intensive Brewing Science & Engineering program.
The Intensive Brewing Science & Engineering course is a 22-week distance education program with a final week of residential instruction. The course is designed for brewers and homebrewers who lack formal training in brewing science and covers all the fundamentals of beer production and quality assurance.
The American Brewers Guild is a premier school for the craft brewing industry dedicated to providing a comprehensive learning experience that focuses on the technical, scientific, and operational matters and issues that brewers face in a craft brewing environment.
The American Brewers Guild is now accepting applications for the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation slot in the Intensive Brewing Science & Engineering course that runs from January 20, 2019 through June 29, 2019 with the final week of on site instruction in Middlebury, Vermont. The full application must be received no later than November 8, 2018. Note: This class is full except for this scholarship slot.
The scholarship is open to professional brewers and homebrewers from the states of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii and California’s northern geographic region (San Francisco/Monterey Bay areas and north). The full-tuition scholarship also includes a $1,000 stipend to help offset travel and lodging expenses for the residential week in Middlebury, Vermont. Full details and scholarship applications are available at www.abgbrew.com.
The Glen Hay Falconer Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities for professional and aspiring craft brewers from the Pacific Northwest to further their knowledge and expertise. For more information on the Foundation please visit www.glenfalconerfoundation.org.
A chuckle rippled through the craft beer industry a couple of weeks ago when one of three people to accept a Great American Beer Festival medal on behalf of Seattle’s Cloudburst Brewing used his 10 seconds of fame to unbutton his flannel shirt and display a salty sentiment to the crowd, both in the auditorium and those live streaming the event at home.
In red letters, below a mischievous grin and a Seattle Mariners cap, his white T-shirt read: “F**K AB-INBEV”
Josh Noel has a great interview up with Cloudburst Brewing’s founder and former Elysian Brewing employee Steve Luke on the now infamous shirt he flashed during the GABF awards. But the interview covers a whole lot more. For those wondering what people have against “big beer” and their tactics, the interview is a great introduction to the independent brewers mindset.
Adolphus Busch V — great-great-grandson of Adolphus Busch, otherwise known as the original Busch in Anheuser-Busch — is launching ABV Cannabis, a Colorado-based startup that sells marijuana vaping pens. “I saw that cannabis is the future,” Busch told The New York Post. He’s the latest heir to an American business empire to turn to weed. In June, Ben Kovler, a descendant in line for the Jim Beam whiskey fortune, took his Chicago-based cannabis cultivator, Green Thumb Industries, public in Canada. “It’s not a coincidence,” John Kaden, chief investment officer of weed-focused hedge fund Navy Capital, told The Post. “Alcohol is the most immediately affected” as marijuana gets legalized by states. T! he U.S. cannabis industry is expected to grow to $75 billion by 2030, according to research from Cowen. By comparison, U.S. alcohol sales totaled about $180 billion in 2017.
Beer writer Jeff Alworth recently surveyed brewers to learn more about how they are compensated, and how they feel about that compensation. He concluded his three-part report (the link is to the third, but read them all) with a balanced overview, letting the participants do the talking. One example: “As long as I am here I know I will never get a single paid day off, livable wage, sick day, 401k or any kind of health benefit and that is insane to me but I enjoy working in the industry and I am learning fast. I just want to learn as much as I can, as fast as I can, so I can move on to a place that actually takes its employees lives seriously.”
But there are also great places to work: “You have a job, full-time, until you decide to leave. Time off and sick leave aren’t tracked too heavily unless it seems someone is taking advantage of them. In slow seasons management finds hours for all employees so there is no seasonal drift in employment. Promotion from within is the norm, management will work to progress you on whatever career path you want within the brewery.” Read all the responses.
Homegrown Distribution, a new distribution company spun off from Massachusetts Beverage Alliance, will begin operations next week. The spinoff will handle distribution for brands including Brewmaster Jack, Grimm, Captain Lawrence, Slumbrew, Lone Pine, Foley Brothers, King’s Highway Fine Cider, and Vermont Craft Mead in Massachusetts. Homegrown will also distribute beers from beyond the Northeast, such as Almanac, Brauhaus Riegele, Coronado, DC Brau, and others. The new distribution company is based out of Massachusetts Beverage Alliance’s 40,000-square-foot facility in Bellingham, Mass.
In case you missed it a couple of weeks ago, we announced that after 26 years we are discontinuing the monthly Real Beer news mailing list.
Instead, we’ll be focusing all our attention on the industry side of our favorite industry. Time flies, and only recently did we stop to realize is has been almost 22 years since we launched ProBrewer.com, first calling it the Professional Brewers’ Page. There were only 1,100 craft breweries at the time, a lot less used equipment, a lot fewer brewers looking for jobs. Nobody talked about canning lines, Cryo hops, or glitter beer.
Sign up now for ProBrewer Mail.
It’s free, will look different from Real Beer news, will be timely and packed with industry news relevant to every aspect of professional brewing.
The Great American Beer Festival just keeps getting bigger. More than 800 breweries poured more than 4,000 beers for approximately 62,000 people attending the festival last week in Denver. The enormous convention center setting took on an atmosphere of part circus, part beer-geek Disneyland and part over-sized carnival. Even the pretzel necklaces took it to a new level; instead of wearing a string of pretzels around their neck many participants had a large BAG of pretzels clipped to their necklaces.
For many brewers, particularly the winners, the highlight was Saturday when 280 breweries collected 306 medals in 102 categories. There were 8,496 entries from 2,404 breweries. View the 2018 winners or download a PDF list of the winners.
We’ll admit it. realbeer.com has been stuck in the aughts since . . . the aughts.
It’s time for change, and you will see that in the coming months.
Meanwhile, the most obvious change will be that we are closing the discussion board. We fondly remember the evening of Oct. 9, 2006 when 3,062 visitors were congregated here. It saddens us that we hear echoes now when we stroll through empty forums. That and practical considerations are why we decided to shut the doors.
We hope when we are done remodeling you’ll find new ones you want to open. For now if you want to get to the forum you can head to http://discussions.realbeer.com/forum.php — but we’ll be taking that down in a little under a month.
During a week in which it closed two brewing facilities, Green Flash brewery has been purchased by a new investor group. The company’s principal lender foreclosed on the San Diego brewery, then sold it to a group of investors called WC IPA LLC.
The announcement of the sale comes just a week after Green Flash closed its Virginia Beach brewery 16 months after opening the East Coast operation. Only a few days later it closed it Poway barrel-aging facility, Cellar 3.
Former Green Flash Brewing Company CEO Mike Hinkley will continue to be part of the leadership team of the new company.
“After a general slowdown in the craft beer industry, coupled with intense competition and a slowdown of our business, we could not service the debt that we took on to build the Virginia Beach brewery, and in early 2018, the Company defaulted on its loans with Comerica Bank,” Hinkley wrote in a note to Green Flash shareholders. “While we took substantial efforts to recapitalize the Company over the past several months, both before and after the bank default, we were ultimately unable to close a transaction.”
A press release stated the Green Flash and Alpine breweries will continue to operate in San Diego and Alpine, respectively. But Green Flash Brewing Company and Alpine Beer, which Green Flash purchased in 2014, will be dissolved.
The number of operating breweries in the United States grew 16% in 2017 and smaller breweries generally fared better than large ones. Total beer sales declined 1% for the year, while craft (as defined by the Brewers Association) beer sales grew 5%. Microbreweries, meaning ones that made 15,000 barrels or less, and brewpubs delivered 76% of craft growth.
“Growth for the craft brewing industry is adapting to the new realities of a mature market landscape,” Brewers Association economist Bart Watson said in a press release announcing the 2017 statistics. “Beer lovers are trending toward supporting their local small and independent community craft breweries. At the same time, as distribution channels experience increased competition and challenges, craft brewer performance was more mixed than in recent years, with those relying on the broadest distribution facing the most pressure.”
Small and independent breweries account for 98% of the breweries in operation. They exemplify what has become known as “the long tail.” In fact, the smallest 75% of breweries make less than 1% of the beer.
“Beer lovers want to support businesses that align with their values and are having a positive impact on their local communities and our larger society,” added Watson. “That’s what small and independent craft brewers are all about. The ability to seek beers from small and independent producers matters.”
Craft breweries produced 25.4 million barrels in 2017 and the value of retail sales grew 8% to and estimated $26.0 billion, representing 23.4% market share.
Breweries continue to open at a faster rate than the market is growing, with 997 new one operating in 2017. About 2.6%, or 165, of breweries closed, but Watson warned that number may increase along with growing competition. “It’s hard to know what a long term rate may be,” he said in a conference call.