Last Call: Ohio Lawmakers Vote to Lift ABV Cap on Beer; Bavaria N.V. to Acquire Palm Belgian Craft Brewers

Ohio Lawmakers Vote to Eliminate ABV Limits on Beer

Ohio’s house of representatives this week approved an act that would eliminate a maximum limit to the alcohol content of beer sold in the state.

En route to Governor John Kasich’s desk, House Bill 37 seeks to lift the state’s 12 percent alcohol by volume cap on beer and instead require products above that ABV to be labelled as “high alcohol beer.”

Initially introduced to permit the consumption of alcohol from open containers at specially licensed markets in Ohio, state senators last week amended HB 37 to include the new provisions and passed the bill unanimously.

House representatives approved the bill on Wednesday with virtually no opposition — voting 79-7 in favor of the new measures.

If signed into law by Gov. Kasich, the new allowances would go into effect in 90 days after his approval.

Dutch Brewer Bavaria to Acquire Belgium’s Palm Brewery


Dutch beer maker Bavaria N.V. this month announced it had acquired a 60 percent majority stake in Palm Belgian Craft Brewers and planned to fully absorb the company by 2021.

“We are proud of this cooperation and the merging of two wonderful family-owned companies that each have a centuries-old history,” Jan-Renier Swinkels, who heads the board of Bavaria N.V., said in a press release.

Swinkels, whose family has owned the nearly 300-year old brewery for seven generations, described the acquisition as a strategic move to make Bavaria “the ultimate portfolio player” — incorporating Palm brewery’s brands and giving them broader international distribution.

“This is an important milestone for us,” Palm brewery owner Jan Toye added. “In order to maximise our international distribution power, we went in search of a strategic partner, and Bavaria immediately felt like a perfect fit.”

Founded in 1686, Palm has an annual brewing capacity of nearly 1 million hectolitres (about 850,000 barrels) and produces a wide variety of brands including Palm, Rodenbach, Brugge, Steenbrugge, Cornet, Arthur’s Legacy and Estaminet.

Bavaria — which already has a distribution network spanning 120 countries — projected the two companies would together produce more than 6.5 million hectolitres (about 5.5 million barrels) of beer in 2016.

Double Mountain to Open New PDX Taproom


Double Mountain Brewery plans to open a new pub in Portland, Oregon this summer.

In an interview with the culinary news outlet Eater, Double Mountain founder Matt Swihart this week announced the Hood River, Oregon-based company had remodeled a vacant retail space in the city’s Woodstock neighborhood and planned to open the new location this July.

The Double Mountain Taproom will feature 34 taps pouring a wide variety of Double Mountain beers and ciders, as well as guest brews and draft cocktails. Offering a full food menu, the new bar will is also be able to seal up to 125 guests indoors and an additional 30 to 40 patron outside.

Double Mountain also plans to make music a major focal point of the new location. Swihart told Eater that the bartenders would be given $500 each to find old records to play at the bar, and will also host a live band every week.

Set to open in a building that has seen two previous bars fold, Double Mountain Taproom is entering an extremely competitive market.

According to a December report from finance technology firm SmartAsset, Portland is home to more microbreweries than any other city in the U.S. It also has the highest concentration of bars per capita — with more than 41 watering holes per 100,000 residents in operation.

Saltwater Brewery Introduces Edible 6-Pack Rings

We’ve all heard the problem laid out to us before: those pesky plastic 6-pack rings frequently end up in the ocean — inflicting a man-made plague on marine life.

Highlighting this very issue in a recent video, Florida-based beer maker Saltwater Brewery introduced it’s own homemade solution: edible six-pack rings.

Working with a team of engineers, the coastal brewer developed a method of converting spent grain into a harmless, organic material that can be used to make 6-pack rings similar to the standard plastic holders. Allowing beach bums and environmentalists alike to kick back and enjoy a guilt-free cold one, even at the water’s edge.

Watch the video below to learn more about how Saltwater Brewery and Enteleqiua Inc., developed the concept.