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Firkin a go-go (01)

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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Pic(k) of the Week: Brumous night

Froggy, froggy night (01)

Brume: "fog, mist."

One of those wonderful borrowed words not used frequently in English nowadays. Merriam-Webster: "French, mist, winter, from Old Occitan bruma, from Latin, winter solstice, winter; akin to Latin brevis short."

In the city evening brume, on 8 February 2020, in Decatur, Georgia, USA.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Innovation in 'craft' brewing.


On 18 February 2020, beer writer Stan Hieronymus hosted the "Ask Me Anything" weekly one-hour broadcast at the Facebook group "Craft Beer Professionals." Technology misbehaved as it often does...with glitches. So, Mr. Hieronymus conducted things in writing rather than via Skype. Well, via Facebook posts, that is.

Early on, he was asked:
The past decade we have witnessed enormous growth in craft beer. What do you believe will be the guiding principle for the next 10 years? Great beer? Great business skills? Innovation?"

He answered:
...The growth in the number of breweries is larger than the growth in sales. Brewing very good, flaw-free beer gets you in the game. Writing a realistic business plan keeps you there. If by innovation you mean novelty, that is overrated. If by innovation you mean taking advantage of what technology has to over, then it is underrated."

Words to brew by.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

And so it has come to this.

In this supermarket, cases of hard seltzer dominate the floor of its refrigerated beer aisle. In just a few years, seltzer has come to dominate beer and 'craft' business to a significant extent.

Hard seltzer for the win

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And so it has come to this.

  • Hard seltzer is taking the US by storm. Sales of the canned fizzy beverages from brands like Whiteclaw, Truly, and Bon & Viv have boomed over the last year. The category, currently worth $550 million, could grow to reach $2.5 billion by 2021, said Sean King, an analyst at UBS. That implies an annual growth rate of 66% and a jump in consumption from 14 million cases in 2018 to 72 million cases in 2021.
    Markets Insider (30 July 2019)
  • Hard seltzer is what it sounds like, a seltzer spiked with alcohol. At their most basic, hard seltzers have three ingredients: carbonated water, alcohol, and flavoring. Many brands infuse their seltzers with alcohol from fermented cane sugar. Some also use malted barley, like the throwback spiked seltzer-like beverage, Zima, which was created in 1993 by Coors. As non-alcoholic seltzer has risen in sales year after year, hard seltzer has skyrocketed in tandem. By 2021, some analysts predict hard seltzer could be a $2.5 billion industry. It’s experienced market growth of 200% so far this year alone.
    Wine Enthusiast (20 September 2019)

  • Hard seltzers have positioned themselves at the nexus of convenience and health. These carbonated water-based ready-to-drink [RTD] cocktails, which are made either from malted barley or fermented sugar, typically clock in at 100 calories or less per serving, compared with heavier beers, wines, or cocktails that have from 100 to 400 calories per serving. They’re low in alcohol as well, ranging from 4.5% to 6% ABV. They’re also gluten-free [...] besides offering the convenience of a shatterproof portable can. [...] Pricing varies, but hard seltzers are usually cheaper than craft beer and definitely less expensive than a mid-range bottle of wine or spirits.
    SevenFifty Daily (12 April 2019)

  • Typical of the bunch is Truly Hard Seltzer in blueberry and açaí flavor, which comes in 12-ounce slim cans, each with 100 calories, 5% alcohol, and two grams of carbs—gluten-free, of course. Truly is made by Boston Beer, whose name belies its recent focus. Beer, including Samuel Adams, makes up just under one-third of estimated company volumes. The rest comes from hard cider, tea, and seltzer. Boston is No. 2 in hard seltzer, with 26% of the market, behind privately held Mark Anthony Brands and its White Claw line, with 59%.
    Barron's (12 February 2020)

  • Sales of hard seltzer have now exceeded $585 million for the 52-week period that ended on March 23, 2019, according to Nielsen. This represents approximately 1.4 percent of the total beer/flavored malt beverage/cider market. In dollar sales, the category grew 185 percent, compared to a year ago, while unit sales grew 196 percent. While seltzer continues to grow its market share aggressively across Nielsen’s measured off-premise outlets, other segments of the market are flattening. During the 52-week period that ended on February 23, 2019, beer/flavored malt beverage/cider sales grew 0.9 percent, according to Nielsen, while wine sales expanded 2.4 percent and spirits sales increased 3.8 percent in the same period.
    SevenFifty Daily (12 April 2019)

As Alan McLeod (of A Better Blog) commented (not so) tongue-in-cheek:
The BA [U.S. Beer Association] just needs to adjust the definition of craft beer to solve this.

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Saturday, February 15, 2020

Pic(k) of the Week: Bye, bye, MoMo

Deluxe flying car

That, in November 2019, became this, in December 2019.

Bye, bye MoMo

From sold to razed in three weeks, a long-time, one-stop combo junkyard, used car dealer, auto repair shop, tax preparer, and money services firm —in English y en Español—is no more. Bye, bye, MoMo.

Urban displacement in DeKalb County, Georgia, USA.

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Saturday, February 08, 2020

Pic(k) of the Week: Third Man postern

Third Man postern

The side stairs, gate, and door to Third Man Records, in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo taken 2 February 2018.

The southern digs of Detroit-based musician Jack White (of the White Stripes), Third Man Records serves as a
record store, novelties lounge, photo studio, live venue with direct-to-acetate recording capabilities, label offices, and distribution center.

...with quite the cool postern.

"I'm gonna fight 'em off.
A seven nation army couldn't hold me back.
They're gonna rip it off,
Taking their time right behind my back.
"
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