BEER NEWS

Welcome to RBPMail 15.12, December 2009 Real Beer Page Mail, The Free Monthly Beer News Digest for the Online Beer Enthusia. ********************************************** BEER FOR THE HOLIDAYS The holiday season is upon us and once again "Real Beer for the Holidays" has plenty of tips for shoppers and drinkers alike.
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********************************************** In this issue: * =A0 =A0 Long Trail Brewing to Buy Otter Creek * =A0 =A0 A-B InBev to Keep Beck's Brand * =A0 =A0 BrewDog Releases World's Strongest Beer * =A0 =A0 Bass Brewing Museum Saved * =A0 =A0 NYC Bar Caught Selling Wisconsin Beer * =A0 =A0 Blog Watch =A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0- Noteworthy posts * =A0 =A0 Brewers Association Launches New Web Sites * =A0 =A0 Pete Brown Britain's Top Beer Writer * =A0 =A0 Guinness Lets Drinkers Pour Their Own * =A0 =A0 Smuttynose Brews Top Wood-Aged Beer * =A0 =A0 Americans Grab European Beer Star Awards ********************************************** LONG TRAIL BREWING TO BUY OTTER CREEK Long Trail Brewing Co. has signed a letter of intent to purchase Otter Creek Brewery. Long Trail CEO Brian Walsh said he intends to continue both the Otter Creek and Wolaver's, a line of organic beers put out by Otter Creek, brands. He does not plan to scale back the distribution of Otter Creek, which is sold in 15 states. Walsh said Long Trail produces 76,000 barrels a year and estimated Otter Creek at 25,000 barrels. Both have capacity to grow. A-B INBEV KEEPS BECK'S BRAND Anheuser-Busch InBev has walked away from a planned $2.5 billion sale of its Beck's beer brand to Boston-based buyout firm Bain Capital. The sale of its breweries in nine eastern European countries to CVC Capital Partners in a deal worth about $3 billion eased its debt burden enough to call off the Beck's deal, weekly magazine Wirtschaftswoche reported. Although A-B InBev never commented on which assets it planned to sell, it has sold off $9.4 billion in breweries, plants and theme parks, exceeding its goal of $7 billion. That means the company has concluded its "formal divestitures program," said Marianne Amssoms, an A-B InBev spokeswoman. BREWDOG RELEASES WORLD'S STRONGEST BEER BrewDog, the Scottish brewery that seems constantly surrounded by controversy, has rolled out the world's strongest beer. Checking in at 32% abv the beer called Tactical Nuclear Penguin was produced much like an eisbock, leading to a discussion if it qualifies as a fermented product or a distilled one. "This beer is about pushing the boundaries, it is about taking innovation in beer to a whole new level," said co-founder James Watt. BrewDog has very limited stock of Tactical Nuclear Penguin, making the still-rare Samuel Adams Utopias seem almost abundant, since the 2009 release of the 27% beer includes 10,000 numbered bottles. In part because a bottle of Utopias sells for $150 (and more) you can find more than 500 stories about it in print and online (
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). BASS BREWING MUSEUM SAVED British beer writer Roger Protz reports, "The (Bass) brewing museum and visitor center in Burton-on-Trent has been saved and will reopen in 2010, possibly as early as Easter. This major victory is the result of a sustained campaign by beer lovers, brewery workers, the local MP and the Burton daily newspaper." Molson Coors had announced it would close the museum and historic brewery. The key attraction will be a working 30-barrel brewery. Visitors will see beer being made and the brews =97 all cask-conditioned beers =97 will go on sale commercially. MANHATTAN BAR FLAUNTS LAW TO SELL SPOTTED COW A New York City bar was caught selling New Glarus Spotted Cow, a cult beer not available outside of Wisconsin, mostly to Wisconsin transplants and particularly on days that the University of Wisconsin was playing football. The New York State Liquor Authority said their investigators confiscated 50 cases of Spotted Cow from the Mad River Bar & Grille on Manhattan's Upper East Side. The authority says businesses selling alcohol in New York must purchase alcohol through a wholesale distributor, and the New York City bar could lose its license for selling the beer and not paying the appropriate taxes. To get the news when it happens visit Realbeer.com/blog and subscribe to the rss feed. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/realbeer ******************BLOG=A0WATCH****************** Five noteworthy mostly beer-related posts from the blogosphere: Beer and innovation =A0=A0
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A short history of hops =A0=A0
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Beer pricing: Old Rasputin vs. Old Rasputin XII
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Anchor's Christmas Ale Artwork =A0=A0
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America the Beertiful =A0=A0
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********************************************** BREWERS ASSOCIATION LAUNCHES NEW WEB SITES The Brewers Association has rolled out two new web sites, one for homebrewers and another for craft beer drinkers. Within the first few days of the launch of the American Homebrewers Association site more than 6,000 visitors had registered to participate in the forum. The site features a recipe wiki as well as shout outs to individual clubs, brewers and even brewing systems. The tagline for CraftBeer.com - "Celebrating the best of American beer" =96 telegraphs exactly what to expect. The site has information for both beer newcomers and the beer experienced. =A0=A0=A0=A0
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PETE BROWN BRITAIN'S TOP BEER WRITER Pete Brown was tapped as as Beer Writer of the Year at the British Guild of Beer Writers Awards. Brown won the Budweiser Budvar Travel Bursary for his book "Hops and Glory" as well as the overall title, which this year was re-named to honor the late beer writer Michael Jackson. "The fact that, for the first year, the award was renamed in honor of Michael Jackson, makes winning it doubly special to me," Brown said. "I have been writing about beer for six years, but everything seemed to click into place in 2009 and I am over the moon to win this." GUINNESS LETS DRINKERS POUR THEIR OWN The Publican reports that a "pour your own pint of Guinness" experiment in Irish pubs shows higher sales and that the trials could be headed for pubs in the UK. A handful of pubs currently offer Guinness from taps on bar tables, with customers pouring their own pints from the metered units after handing over their credit card at the bar. Diageo's Brian Duffy said the trial was still being evaluated, although the early signs had been very encouraging. SMUTTYNOSE BREWS CHAMPION WOOD-AGED BEER Smuttynose Brewing Co. won Best of Show honors at the 7th Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel-aged Beer in Chicago. The New Hampshire brewery claimed top honors with its its Farmhouse Ale, a saison aged in a neutral oak barrel with Brettanomyces Claussenii. Runner-up was Goose Island Beer Company Bourbon County Brand Stout, an imperial stout aged in 6 to 13-year-old Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. AMERICANS SHINE IN EUROPEAN COMPETITION American breweries won 25 medals, second only to host Germany when the European Beer Star Awards were handed out last month in Nuremberg. Boston Beer (Samuel Adams) grabbed four, including one gold, while Oregon breweries Deschutes and Caldera won three each. Deschutes took gold for Bachelor ESB and Abyss, while Caldera had the top IPA, besting Firestone-Walker's Union Jack (which has been winning everything recently, including this competition in 2008). Sixteen different American breweries, out of 30 that entered, won medals.
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Real Beer Page Mail, The Free Monthly Beer News Digest for the Online Beer Enthusiast. For subscription information, see instructions at the end of the newsletter. ********************************************** In this issue: * =A0 =A0 Rock Bottom, Gordon Biersch Chains Merge * =A0 =A0 UK Raises Taxes on Stronger Beers * =A0 =A0 China's Tsingtao Continues Expansion * =A0 =A0 Spanish Brewer Invests in U.S. Importer * =A0 =A0 Colorado Breweries Announce Joint Venture * =A0 =A0 Warsteiner Exits International Market * =A0 =A0 Blog Watch =A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0- Noteworthy posts * =A0 =A0 Longer takes: =A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0- South Carolina Foul Up Threatens Festivals =A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0- Colorado 'Ban' on Low ABV Beers? ********************************************** ROCK BOTTOM, GORDON BIERSCH CHAINS MERGE Centerbridge Capital Partners announced the formation of CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries, essentially a merger of the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group and Rock Bottom Restaurants, which itself operates both brewery restaurants and the Old Chicago casual dining chain. The companies will be subsidiaries of CraftWorks and will retain their brands. "The combined business becomes the nation's leading operator and franchisor of brewery and craft beer-focused casual dining restaurants with nearly 200 owned and franchised locations across the United States," a press release stated. UK RAISES TAX ON HIGH ABV BEERS, CUTS IT FOR LOW ABV The British government will raise duty on beer of 7.5% abv and above, while reducing it on low strength beers of 2.8% abv and below. The move prompted a mixed reaction from industry groups. Mike Benner, chief executive of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said: "News that tax will be increased on beers above 7.5% abv is disappointing. However we are pleased that this widely expected increase will be counterbalanced by a tax cut on low strength beers. Reduced tax on low strength beers is good news for pub goers at a time when 29 pubs are closing every week. This move will incentivize brewers to invest in producing new low strength real ales packed full of flavor." TSINGTAO ACQUIRES STILL ANOTHER BREWERY The Tsingtao Brewery =97 China's largest =97 has agreed to buy the Shandong Yinmai Beer Co., the third brewery it has taken over in two years. Wang Fan, vice chairman of Tsingtao Brewery, said the deal would consolidate Tsingtao Beer's dominance in the market in Shandong amid fierce competition. Yinmai will continue to make Yinmai beer. This is different from Tsingtao's takeover of two other local breweries of Yantai Beer and Baotu Spring Beer, whose trademark beers disappeared. SPAIN'S S.A. DAMM INVESTS IN IMPORTER S.A. Damm, one of Spain's largest beverage companies, has taken a minority stake in United States Beverage. US Beverage currently imports and markets Estrella Damm, INEDIT and Daura in the United States for Damm. "Group Damm's goal is to be the leader in each sector in which we compete," said Jorge Villavecchia, CEO, S. A. Damm. "In looking for access to the lucrative US market, we wanted to find the right partner, with a proven track record for building great brands. US Beverage has proven through their performance that they are the ideal partner for us in the US." COLORADO BREWERIES ANNOUNCE JOINT VENTURE The parent companies of two Denver-based breweries, Wynkoop Holdings and Breckenridge Holding Co., announced they will enter into a 50-50 joint venture early next year. Spokespersons emphasized that Wynkoop, which owns the Wynkoop Brewing Co. and six other restaurants, and Breckenridge, which operates Breckenridge Brewery and five brewpubs, will not merge their identities, their brands or their staffs. The new joint venture will have one board of managers overseeing it. The agreement will allow the companies to leverage each other's facilities and expertise as both look to expand certain aspects of their businesses. WARSTEINER EXITS INTERNATIONAL MARKET German brewer Warsteiner has ended its direct involvement in the international market by selling its Argentinean subsidiary Isenbeck =96 founded in 1994 =96 to British beer giant SABMiller. The sale marks the end of the privately held company's push to shed its foreign operations, especially in regions subject to political volatility. In 2008 it turned three production facilities in Africa over to the French Castel group. Warsteiner beer will still be available around the world through licensing agreements with other brewers. The global market for beer is largely pinned down by large companies like, SABMiller, InBev, Heineken and Carlsberg. To get the news when it happens visit Realbeer.com/blog and subscribe to the rss feed. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/realbeer ******************BLOG=A0WATCH****************** Beer-related posts from the blogosphere and Twitter: Brewing in 19th-century India
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What do craft brewers do that industrial brewers don't?
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The taste of beer
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Beer review: 'Dethroning the King'
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********************************************** SOUTH CAROLINA SNAFU THREATENS BEER FESTIVALS South Carolina lawmakers hope to introduce a joint resolution at the beginning of January's legislative session to fix the damage they caused by accidentally barring businesses and individuals from applying for temporary beer and wine permits. The law was intended to make it easier for nonprofits to apply for permits to sell beer and wine at special events. Instead, language added by a subcommittee means the entire existing temporary permit law now applies only to nonprofits and political parties. That means event promoters, festival organizers and other for-profit businesses that set up special events will not be able to sell beer and wine at locations that don't have a permanent alcohol license. At least one major event is in jeopardy under the new law: Charleston's second annual Brewvival, co-hosted by local small businesses Coast Brewing Company and the Charleston Beer Exchange, is scheduled for Feb. 26. The specialty beer-tasting event is held in an open field across from Coast's brewery and requires a special-event beer-and-wine permit, according to one of the owners of Coast. It's highly unlikely the House and Senate would both be able to move a bill through in fewer than three months. So instead, Rep. Jim Harrison (R-Richland), who chairs the Judiciary committee, says he hopes to introduce a joint resolution telling the Department of Revenue to ignore the offending parts of the new law. COLORADO LAW BANS LOW ABV BEERS FROM BARS, RESTAURANTS Colorado tavern owners and craft brewers are upset over the enforcement next year of a Colorado law that bans low-alcohol beers from bars and restaurants, The Denver Post reports. The restriction follows a three-year battle between liquor and convenience stores over the right to sell full-strength beer. Once enforced, taps featuring lighter beer from many brands will be shut off (the light versions of Coors, Bud, and Miller contain "just enough alcohol to remain flowing," notes the Post). Technically, bars, restaurants, and liquor stores in Colorado are not now allowed to sell lower-alcohol beers, as their licenses allow them to sell spirits, wine and beers that fall into the "malt liquor" category, which is defined as beer stronger than 4 percent alcohol by volume or 3.2 percent by weight. However, the law to-date has not been enforced. Convenience stores and grocery stores are restricted to selling beer only at or below that threshold, the result of a law aimed at restricting the flow of alcohol within the state. Stymied for years in their efforts to sell stronger beer, convenience store advocates amended a bill in Colorado's legislature last spring that will now require the state to enforce license restrictions. "Either stop selling the product we sell, or let's stop having this false delineation on beer," said Jason Hopfer, a lobbyist for a group of convenience stores. "Let's let beer be beer." SUBCRIBE **********************************************
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