I’ve been away for two very good reasons. One, I’ll have a new address soon. Two, I’ve been thinking about the focus of this blog. My new address will hopefully help with the second part. More coming in a few days. Onto the Five Articles.
Another state is trying to raise the cap on the ABV of beer brewed and sold there. The fear of people drinking high ABV beer is unwarranted for the most part. If you are worried about people drinking that beer just to get drunk and wreak havoc all over the jurisdiction, I will counter that if they want to get that drunk they already can by buying a bottle of vodka which will be cheaper and much more effective.
The World Beer Cup is gaining stature every year. Up until about 4 or 5 years ago I knew nothing about it, but now I see how important it is in the craft beer community. Unlike GABF which is only beer brewed in the US, the World Beer Cup brings brewers from all corners of the globe. It has about the same number of beer entered into competition as GABF, but they are from around the globe. It highlights how the craft beer industry is growing in ways that the large beer conglomerates can’t keep up with in the long run.
For some reason, I thought this case was already adjudicated. It is an interesting look at the Canadian constitution through a beer lens. There are similar laws in the United States (including North Carolina and South Carolina), however, I don’t remember ever hearing anyone getting arrested for smuggling alcohol from one state to another.
There are not going to stop this pub from being built. Maybe all the noise they make will make it harder for the pub to gain traction, but it will be built and lots of people will drink there. The San Diego craft beer community needs to move and beat AB by making better beer and being cooler people. Provide a better and more organic atmosphere then you will get at a big corporate pub. You can tell the difference when going into a locally owned bar and a corporate franchise. Make that and a much better beer selection your selling points.
This is something happening in small towns all across the state of North Carolina. Many of these towns are trying to attract tourists from in and outside of the state. They are attempting to make themselves destinations for people to spend long weekends relaxing in the clean country air. That is why it is interesting to watch the clash of these small towns with the people they are trying to attract. Again, this is why I don’t think the people who passed HB2 though past the immediate bump from their voters about what they were doing. Not all the tourists you are trying to attract fit into your traditional definition of a couple or a family.
I think its Wednesday. I lose track of the days and dates and occasionally the year when I’m working and writing. A new blog post will be up sometime today. It may be close to midnight, but it will be up. Onto the Five Articles.
This will be quick and dirty. I woke up late and have beer things to write and Cicerone stuff to study.
As Colorado continues to debate grocery beer and wine sales and as Ontario enacts beer and wine sales, Alberta is beginning its debate. Alberta’s case is more similar to Colorado then Ontario because Ontario is transitioning from a state sponsored (and big beer owned) beer stores. Alberta is just thinking about allowing grocery stores to sell beer. As I have written about the Colorado debate, I have almost always lived in a state where you can buy beer in the grocery store, as well as craft focused bottle shops so I don’t really care one way or the other. I actually buy most of my beer from bottle shops and not from grocery stores.
What I disagree with in this article is the end. Just because you use a distributor doesn’t mean you can’t innovate. That is a false argument. There are many arguments you can make as to why you don’t want to go to a distributor. I agree with many of them. This is akin to distributors using the argument that they are there to protect the health of consumers. While somewhat true, it is like having someone urinate on your shoes and telling you it’s raining. If you don’t want to use a distributor that’s fine. Just don’t B.S. people in order to falsely strengthen your argument.
I had an early morning training to go to yesterday and it lasted all day, so I missed the Five Articles. I do heartily apologize. There are some good articles today. No, I will not link to the 2000th story on a grandma beating her daughter in a beer mile race, because I don’t care about beer mile races. Also, I will not link to any articles about the guy suing Fosters because his was brewed in Texas and not Australia. Again, I don’t care. I do have some interesting articles that keep me entertained and curious. Also, when reading the last bullet point, remember what Battlestar Galactica taught us, “All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again.”
I continue to believe that beer and food pairing along with beer becoming more a part of the dining experience not only as an accompaniment to the meal but also as a part of recipes will become more and more important to the food and beer industries. I think beer’s advantage over wine in this instance is its ability to pair with more foods and a greater variety of foods. Would you ever think to pair wine with cookies?
Get ready to start hearing more and more stories like this. Breweries are going to start closing over the next two years. I think more than any other industry brewing attracts people who don’t have the correct combination of skills. On one hand you get the home brewers who saved up some money and started a brewery with no business skills whatsoever. On the other hand, you have the guys with money who like beer and decide it would be fun to open a brewery while knowing nothing about brewing. There is bound to be a raft of casualties along the way. I have a book I bought in college in the early 1990s called America’s Best Beers. It is a listing of what were then called microbreweries in each state. Of the NC breweries, only one is still in existence and it changed its name from Spring Garden to Red Oak and is now only a production brewery.
Happy Monday morning folks. No soliloquies on creativity this morning. I’m putting it in a separate blog post. Today’s Five Articles slog through the latest information on the merger and takes a trip to Canada for a couple of stories.
Here is a better look at the hearings from someone who understands antitrust laws. It does have an unfortunate and unnecessary Star Wars reference. It is also refreshing to read an article about the merger that doesn’t solely focus on the number of brands that this gargantuan company will have, and sees the distribution and retail strategy of this company as the real problem. They could sell all this crap as one brand, Budweiser, and the real problem would still be how they are trying to limit the distribution avenues of smaller breweries. Of course, most of these senators will focus on the size and forget about the details.
This is exactly the way I feel about IPAs. I like them, but brewer’s attempts to satiate the hoppy appetites of many craft beer drinkers has made brewers go crazy with doubles, triples, quadruples, and quintuples. There are many other beer styles that are great and they should be drunk by beer lovers. Also, the amount of hops available to brewers is going to be limited over the next few years. Brewers should look to this as an opportunity to explore styles outside of IPAs.
Fermentation sciences is one of the newer curriculums at universities. This is a list of 5 of the best of those types of programs. My one concern with the growth of fermentation and brewing science programs is that they may make brewers and their beer more homogenous. Part of the joy of beer is that each brewer has his/her own take on styles creating their own terroir.
This is why the merger happened. The US market was not the primary concern of the two companies. They are trying to take advantage getting into growing markets in Africa and Central and South America.
Happy Saturday. It’s Saturday and I’m over here getting all serious about beer. If you’ve followed this space for any length of time, you will know I am fascinated by the patchwork mess that is the North American beer law system. I say North American because the laws in Canada and Mexico are just as screwed up as the ones in the United States. So today’s Five Articles are a bunch of law and business stories for your pleasure.
Let’s start with this damn merger. If the worse thing to befall craft brewers because of this merger is that some of their international expansion plans are curtailed in Latin America and Africa, they will have won this merger. However, this article does highlight my major problem with most distribution laws as currently written: Getting out of distribution contracts is harder than getting out of a gang or the mob.
Speaking of the merger and the companies directly involved, Labatt is purchasing a Canadian craft brewer. Labatt is owned by ABInbev and is one of the 3 owners of Ontario’s The Beer Store which at the moment is the only place you can buy beer for off-site consumption in Ontario. The other two owners of this silliness are Molson Coors and Sapporo. I told you beer laws were crazy all over.
A state senator in Oklahoma has been trying to change one simple beer law for 10 years. The law written in 1959 makes it illegal for any store except liquor stores to sell beer over 3.2% ABV. The other thing the senator has found in just trying to change this law is how inconsistent and unfair to retailers and consumers the whole of the alcohol laws are in Oklahoma. Which is actually the same story in every state once people start trying to update even one law. It is like pulling a string on a sweater. Fixing one law unravels the whole thing.
The US craft beer world is still recovering from the GABF as the final “local brewery does good” articles are published. Here are today’s Five Articles. I apologize in advance. I am in a foul mood today and you will be able to tell when you read some of the bullets. I’m usually more circumspect in my criticism of bad writing.
Why didn’t they just publish the GABF press release? It was better written then this piece. I’ve read the press release and that is simply all this story is anyway. Also, if you are going to talk about how great an accomplishment it was for Maine beer, you might want to interview someone from the Maine craft beer scene. Just a thought. Or was it too hard to find someone from Maine since they weren’t listed on the press release this shoddy piece was based on?