“Every time I say it’s a game, you say it’s a business. Every time I say it’s a business you say it’s a game.” This is a quote from the movie North Dallas Forty and it is one of my favorite quotes of all time. It sums up the whole ethos of the movie about professional football in the 1970s centering on a team that is a thinly veiled version of the Dallas Cowboys. it also describes what happens when doing the thing you love becomes a business and not just a past-time. I think about that quote a lot as I watch craft beer go through its growing pains.
- Craft brewers in Colorado are worried that allowing their beer to be sold in grocery stores will kill the growth and variety of beer in the state. In most states, this isn’t an issue, but Colorado is one of 5 states that where beer over 3.2% can only be sold in liquor stores. Wholesalers and retailer want to change the law to let all beer be sold in grocery stores and convenience stores. It is actually interesting to see a situation where it is brewers voicing concern over giving consumers better choices and options instead of the distributors. I’m not saying they are right or wrong, but it is interesting.
- Speaking of 3.2%, counties in Minnesota, one of the other “weak beer/strong beer” states, are starting to allow businesses to hold duel licenses to sell both weak and strong beer at the same establishment. Every day is a new lesson in the labyrinth that is US alcohol laws.
- As someone who is in North Carolina, I think it is important to remember how far NC has come with its beer and alcohol laws. The CEO of Tampa’s Cigar City reminds us in this interview. While NC has come a long way, it still has a few things to change that could help, including raising the cap on how much brewers can self-distribute. It is not that I think a lot of brewers in NC will ever reach the 100,000 barrel limit brewers want, but I also don’t think this will kill distributors. Distributor’s objection is more that they want to be the ones distributing the larger brewers in NC and this change in the law would curb that. I think brewers should have more freedom and more power in how and who distributes their beer.
- One of the unforeseen expenses that brewers are running into is the cost of barrels for barrel aging programs. Barrel aging is a rather new part of craft brewing, but it is growing fast. Finding and paying for barrels is becoming a bigger issue especially for smaller brewers. This program from Jameson where they team up with five American craft brewers seems pretty cool and a pretty good deal for the five brewers.
- Here is a silly little quiz to “help” you find the beer style that best suits you. It is a fun bit of frippery on a Friday.