Perhaps the most startling fact from the Wall Street Journal’s recent report on the state of Budweiser is that, by Anheuser-Busch InBev’s own admission, nearly half — 44 percent — of 21- to 27-year-old drinkers have never even tried the self-proclaimed “King of Beers.” To bring young drinkers back to the brand, A-B InBev, the article adds, plans to trot out some “distinctly un-Budlike” marketing in the next year to appeal to the highly sought after millennial demographic. Though “trot out” may be a bit inaccurate, considering the article claims the famous white Clydesdales will return to the barn this holiday season in favor of TV spots featuring 20-somethings calling on other 20-somethings to share a Bud with friends. (It’s worth noting, however, that in light of that widely circulated tidbit of news, A-B InBev issued a statement, claiming the “Clydesdales are here to stay.”)
Crooked Stave Brings Brewing and Production Under One Roof
After more than a year of gypsy brewing, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is moving its 21.3-barrel brewing system — which to this point has sat dormant in the brewery’s taproom — to its expanded Barrel Cellar, “centralizing brewing and production operations,” according to the Denver Post. Bringing everything under one roof, according to the Post, will enable the brewery to brew in-house by year’s end, while also expanding recipes and offering new beers. Previously, Crooked Stave has contract brewed at Funkwerks, Prost Brewing, River North Brewery, and Epic Brewing. Additionally, the brewery’s distribution arm, Crooked Stave Artisans, has continued to flesh out its portfolio of beers from around the country.
A Day at A-B’s Research Pilot Brewery
Approximately 10,000 barrels of beer will be brewed out of A-B InBev’s St. Louis research pilot brewery (RPB) this year, though the vast majority of it will circle down the floor drain. Though producing on that scale and not selling a drop may sound downright Sisyphean, Men’s Journal recently explained what the RPB is actually good for. To start, it helps the company with quality control. “We brew at a 15-barrel scale because we need to be big enough to scale up recipes developed and perfected at the RPB for our larger brewers,” explained Roderick Read, RPB brewmaster and manager. For instance, the ever-ubiquitous Bud Light was once an RPB experiment. Read is also tasked with testing raw materials to make sure the flavor of Budweiser doesn’t change year over year despite changing the way it’s brewed. Should you be reasonably mindful of how much waste comes from the RPB, the brewery operates an anaerobic digester, which helps “reclaim energy from all waste water and waste beer,” and is used to produce roughly 10 percent of the all the energy used at the St. Louis brewery.
Former Olympia Brewery Space May get new Lease on Life
NW Investment group, a limited liability corporation, has announced plans to purchase Olympia Brewery, which shut down 11 years ago in Tumater, Washington, and turn it into a brewery incubator of sorts. According to The Olympian, NW Investment “envisions a brew pub, retail and office tenants, as well as an educational component for brewing, distilling and culinary arts.” The deal is set to close by the end of this year with the development phase to begin in 2015. “We are excited about the opportunities that such a site offers for the community and business environment, and looking forward to exploring the potential uses and tenants quickly so we can bring the site’s potential to fruition,” NW Investment Group partner Douglas Gray told the website. “It’s been sitting fallow for far too long.”
Narragansett’s hit summer seasonal release, Del’s Shandy, combined two Rhode Island staples: Del’s Lemonade and Narragansett Beer. Similarly, the now available Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout combined, well, Autocrat Coffee Milk and Narragansett Beer. The company’s next collaboration won’t be with an iconic brand, however, though it will still be distinctly Rhode Island. Narragansett president Mark Hellndrung told WRPO the company is entering a “partnership of sorts” with H.P. Lovecraft, the famous (and 77-years dead) writer of horror fiction who was born in Providence in 1890. The beer, called Narragansett Lovecraft Honey Ale, will be available on January 19 (not-so-coincidentally, Edgar Allen Poe’s birthday). The company, Hellendrung confirmed, is working on future collaborations with local institutions as well. Only time will tell if the company decides to pair up with iconic local brands or dead writers of fictitious horror.