Monday, May 15, 2017

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 17/18, 2017.

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundup
A bi-weekly, non-comprehensive roundup
of news of beer and other things.

Weeks 17/18
23 April- 6 May 2017

  • 5 May 2017
    Anheuser-Busch InBev is buying 'craft' breweries in order to reduce Budweiser's "impairment charge," that is, reduce the price-on-shelf difference between its Budweiser brands and 'craft' beers.
    —Via Good Beer Hunting.

  • 5 May 2017
    Once again, U.S. 'craft' brewers toss a b*tt-load of hops into a European beer style, and claim kinship. No! It's not a pilsner; it IS a hoppy lager.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 3 May 2017
    The story of how Georgia's oldest extant brewpub, Max Lager (1998), is reviving the state's first 'craft' beer, brewed by Helenbock Brewery (1990-1997).
    —Via Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

  • 4 May 2017
    In 2015, Heineken N.V. purchased 50% of California 'craft' brewery Lagunitas Brewing Company. On 4 May 2017, Heineken completed the aquisition, buying all of the remaining shares. Tony Magee, the founder of Lagunitas, will remain as Executive Chairman of the brewery, which will continue to operate as an independent entity within the Heineken Americas Region.
    —Via Heineken.

  • 3 May 2017
    MegaBrew still hungry. Anheuser-Busch InBev purchases Asheville, North Carolina-based 'craft' brewery Wicked Weed Brewing. The brewery joins the other formerly independent 'craft' brewery members of ABIB's "The High End" division: Goose Island Brewery (purchased 2011), Blue Point (2014), 10 Barrel (2014), Elysian (2015), Golden Road (2015), Four Peaks (2015), Breckenridge (2015), Devils Backbone (2016), and Karbach Brewing Company (2016).
    —Via BeerPulse.

  • Craft brewing produced 128,768 jobs in 2016
  • 1 May 2017
    Happy May Day to all those Americans —all 128,768 of them— who work daily to make 'craft' beer.
    —Via Brewers Association (minus the May Day message).

  • 1 May 2017
    Throughout the United States, throughout the month of May, it's the third annual American Mild Month.
    —Via American Mild Month.

  • 1 May 2017
    President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue remove healthy nutritional standards for 31 million school children's lunches, breakfasts.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 29 April 2017
    The thawing of the Arctic is occurring faster than once expected, threatening environmental catastrophe.
    Atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has now reached 400 parts per million (ppm), up from 280ppm three centuries ago; the Earth is on average 1 ºC hotter than in pre-industrial times. [...] Even if the Paris agreement is implemented in full, the Arctic will warm by between 5ºC and 9ºC above the 1986-2005 average over the Arctic ocean in winter. [...] The thaw is happening far faster than once expected. Over the past three decades the area of sea ice in the Arctic has fallen by more than half and its volume has plummeted by three-quarters. SWIPA [“Snow, Water, Ice, Permafrost in the Arctic,” a report produced under the auspices of the Arctic Council] estimates that the Arctic will be free of sea ice in the summer by 2040. Scientists previously suggested this would not occur until 2070. [...] The dead plants and animals in Arctic permafrost hold about half the world’s carbon stored in soil. As this organic matter thaws it decays, releasing carbon dioxide and methane, another powerful greenhouse gas, and insulating the planet still further.
    —Via The Economist.

  • 26 April 2017
    To survive, Boston Beer Company (brewer of Samuel Adams beers, etc.) must begin to aggressively acquire other, smaller 'craft' breweries.
    Rather than complaining about A-B and other big brewers buying up their craft brethren, more consolidation actually needs to occur. The industry -- and Boston Beer -- is a victim of its own success. The growth and proliferation has attracted even more brewers to the space, and that's diluting everyone's results, big or small. Instead of having a shakeout occur where large numbers of small brewers fail, allowing them to be purchased by bigger ones would be better. Boston Beer might do better for itself and the industry if it began acquiring small craft brewers instead of saying the government ought to make it harder for Anheuser-Busch to do so.
    —Via Motley Fool.

  • 29 April 2017
    President Trump and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt scrub mention of climate change from EPA website.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 27 April 2017
    The American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) has concerns regarding an article appearing in Politico about a possible US withdrawal from NAFTA. Of the $285 million (2012-2016 average) in exports of barley, malt, and other processed products, approximately 63% goes to Mexico and with another 21% to Canada. This is in addition to all the beer and distilled beverages that are traded between the countries. There are also imports of malting barley and malt from Canada that could be impacted. Whether or not this is a bluff, such rhetoric in itself can be damaging to our supply chain.
    —Via YFGF (Facebook)
    As posted to the Brewers Association Brewers Forum (but not necessarily the view of the Brewers Association).

  • 25 April 2017
    For the first quarter of 2017, tax-paid shipments from all U.S. breweries were down 3.4% over the same period in 2016: 1,393,534 fewer barrels shipped this year than in the first quarter of 2016. To illustrate further: If U.S. breweries had shipped all of that only as cases of twenty-four 12-ounce bottles or cans, they would have shipped NINETEEN MILLION, ninety-one thousand, four hundred and sixteen FEWER cases out of their loading docks than during January through March of last year.

    In defense of 2017, there was one fewer day in the first quarter of this year than last year, a leap year. Thus, this February comprised 28 days rather than the 29 of 2016. Doing the math, that means that 1.1% (-15,329 barrels) of 2017's first-quarter shortfall could be blamed on the shorter month. Adjusting for that, the shortfall between the first quarter of 2017 and 2016 would be 1,378,205 barrels. Still, a not insubstantial shortfall.
    —Commentary via YFGF, at Facebook.
    —Data via Beer Institute.

  • 25 April 2017
    Is sour beer too…sour?
    A lot of people bring us samples of sour beer, and it’s tough to drink some of them. I think we’re at the point with sour beers like we were 10 years ago with IPAs, where people were just trying to make the most bitter beer.

    For me, too sour is this: If I can’t comfortably drink a full 13-ounce pour of a beer, and the acidity is at a level where I’m not enjoying it by the end, that’s too much.
    —Via DRAFT Magazine.

  • 24 April 2017
    An Oregon hops grower/supplier finds that U.S. craft breweries are gravitating away from the American craft mainstay hop, Cascade.
    —Via Craft Brewing Business.

  • Clamps and Gaskets is a bi-weekly wrap-up of stories about beer (or wine, or whisky) and other things.
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created for YFGF by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.

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