A bi-weekly, non-comprehensive roundup
of news of beer and other things.
26 March - 8 April 2017
- 8 April 2017
Re-brand and prosper: The Brewers Association should dissolve itself and reconstitute as the United States Brewers Association for practical, logical, and historical reasons.
- 7 April 2017
By partisan vote, Neil Gorsuch confirmed to United States Supreme Court, capping a year-long fight by the Republican party to restore a conservative tilt to court —including a year-long refusal to even grant a hearing to President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland— returning court to traditional nine-justice make-up.
—Via Washington Post.
- 7 April 2017
No! Prohibition did NOT end on 7 April 1933. That's 'Fake News.' What did happen was that Congress, constitutionally, redefined the legal meaning of "intoxicating."
- 6 April 2017
Don Rickles, the insult comedian whose aggressive delivery belied his engaging smile, has died at age 90.
Frank Sinatra had his own favourite Rickles story: the comic interrupted his dinner at the Sands in Las Vegas one night to say he wanted to impress his date, who didn’t believe he actually knew the singer. When he’d finished his meal, Sinatra went over to Rickles’s table. “Hi, Don, how the hell are you?” Rickles looked up. “Not now, Frank. Can’t you see we’re eating?”—Via The Guardian.
- 5 April 2017
'Own-premise' sales volume (i.e., at the brewery sales) in 2016 was 2.3 million barrels, or approximately 9.4% of the production volume of small and independent brewers (9.5% of domestic sales volume and about 1% of overall U.S. beer sales volume). Up 2% over 2015, that growth in 'own-premise' sales is coming more from the proliferation of production breweries that begin with onsite as a large portion of their business model rather than a strong shift within existing breweries toward onsite sales.
—Via Bart Watson, chief economist for [U.S.] Brewers Association.
- 5 April 2017
As of 30 March, there were 7,714 breweries with active TTB permits in U.S. (By comparison, there were 2,343 in 2010.)
—Via Lester Jones, chief economist for National Beer Wholesalers Association, at YFGF.
- 4 April 2017
Another canary in the 'craft'-beer-mine? BridgePort Brewing Company, a 30+ year veteran of craft brewing, is cutting about half of its brewing staff "in order to keep pace with the rapidly evolving craft beer market in Oregon."
—Via Portland Business Journal.
- 3 April 2017
Absurd Maryland bill HB 1283: jeopardizes Guinness' move to the state AND harms the state's existing craft brewing industry. As beer author Jeff Alworth tweeted:
This is incredibly asinine. What on earth is Maryland thinking? These laws wouldn't have been defensible in 1985; now they're madness.—Via Baltimore Sun.
- 31 March 2017
William T. Coleman Jr. —who championed the cause of civil rights, was a key member of the legal team that litigated Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark desegregation case in which the Supreme Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for African American and white students to be unconstitutional, served as only second African-American Cabinet Secretary (United States Secretary of Transportation under Gerald Ford)— has died at age 96.
—Via NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
- 30 March 2017
From the moment a brewery is taken over, its beers may cease to exist – or be replaced by inferior substitutes – at any time, and there’s nothing anyone outside the new owner company can do about it. The new owner hasn’t bought beers, it’s bought brands and their market share. If the new owner is genuinely committed to making decent beer, the beer backing up those brands may continue to be good, but even that can’t be guaranteed – and, of course, the new owner can’t actually be held to account by anyone else. Even when the new owner continues to make a particular beer the old way, nobody can tell whether they’re going to start cutting corners or simply stop making it – let alone stop them doing so.—Via Phil Edwards, at Oh, Good Ale.
- 29 March 2017
British Prime Minister Theresa May triggers Article 50, marking the formal start of the United kingdom's exit from the European Union (EU), its so-called "Brexit."
—Via National Public Radio.
- 29 March 2017
Master cellarman Mark Dorber defines cellarmanship:
To promote the most beauty in each cask of beer by developing the most interesting range of sound aromas and flavours; by nurturing wherever possible high levels of natural carbonation consistent with each beer style and, moreover, by serving each beer in a manner and at a temperature that enhances its aroma and flavour profile and creates an appropriate mouthfeel.—Via YFGF.
- 28 March 2017
A craft punk after all, large Scottish 'craft' brewery BrewDog threatened legal action against a London bar planning to call itself "Draft Punk," and this, only a day after the brewery blamed “trigger-happy” lawyers for a similar dispute over a Birmingham pub's name, "Lone Wolf," that sparked a social media backlash.
—Via The Guardian.
- 28 March 2017
President Trump issues executive order which:
- Rescinds Clean Power Plan (which had required power utilities reduce CO2 emissions 32% by 2030)
- Lifting moratorium on federal coal leasing
- Rescinds several restrictions on hydraulic fracking
- Removes requirement for federal agencies to consider climate-change during decision-making.
The era of 18% growth rates is probably over.
The [U.S.] Brewers Association releases its 2016 data showing craft breweries produced 24.6 million barrels in 2016, saw a 6 percent rise in volume over 2015, and realized a 10 percent increase in retail dollar value (estimated at $23.5 billion, representing 21.9 percent market share). By adding 1.4 million barrels, craft brewer growth outpaced the 1.2 million barrels lost from the craft segment, based on purchases by large brewing companies. Microbreweries and brewpubs delivered 90 percent of the craft brewery growth.
—Via [U.S.] Brewers Association, at YFGF.
Republican-controlled U.S. Congress passes joint resolution stripping the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the primary authority for communications law, of its power to protect consumer's online privacy protection. The new law enables Internet providers to sell online history and data without consent.
—Via The Nation.
Millenials have "promiscuous drinking tastes."
Legacy craft breweries are struggling for several reasons, among them, an inability to reach choice-craving millennial consumers whose drinking tastes are more promiscuous than previous generations. And the ubiquitous nature of brands such as Boston Beer Co. and Sierra Nevada won’t make it easy. “The fact that they’re national brands gives them cache that’s offensive to the millennial,” said Mike Mazzoni [a beer industry veteran who has studied the 'lifecycle of brands']. “They want something that’s local. That’s one of the reasons that they’ve fallen off.”—Via Brewbound.
Huge sections of the Great Barrier Reef, stretching across hundreds of miles of its most pristine northern sector, have died, killed last year by overheated seawater. More southerly sections around the middle of the reef that barely escaped then are bleaching now, a potential precursor to another die-off.
—Via New York Times.
U.S. hop growers, dealers, and brewers had 140 million pounds of hop on hand as of 1 March 2017, as compared to 128 million at the same time in 2016, for an increase of 9 percent, according to a report by USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. (Compare to March 2015, when hop stocks were down 2 percent from March 2014. In September 2016, pre-harvest stocks were up 2 percent from the year before and the September before they were down 8 percent.)
—Via Capital Press, at YFGF.
Just now at #craftbeer bar. Me: Is that beer-engine pulling from a firkin? Bartender: No, a firkin is only a unit of measurement.— YFGF (@Cizauskas) April 7, 2017