Later this month, Sierra, craft beer’s second-largest company, will release Hop Hunter IPA, a new, year-round offering that brewery officials are hoping will benefit from the growing attention beer fans are paying to wet hop and fresh hop styles. Sierra is betting that its reputation for a mastery of hops, coupled with an intense focus on innovation, will allow it to consolidate leadership in the evolving subcategory of those wet hop beers.
Contract brewing outfit Brew Hub has announced two key hires, one to see through the construction and subsequent operation of its St. Louis outpost and the other to serve in an executive leadership role. Brew Hub has appointed Jim Ottolini, a longtime industry veteran and former Brewmaster at The St. Louis Brewery (best known for the Schlafly line of beers) as its new chief of brewing operations and head brewmaster.
As we enter our 5th year of covering the rapidly evolving craft beer business, we thought it was time to hit the refresh button and give our website a facelift. With the newly redesigned Brewbound, our goal is to improve the reader experience and deliver a news platform more in line with our maturing brand, our core values and our growing audience. That means a website that peels back some of the unnecessary layers and places a greater emphasis on compelling and engaging news content.
To welcome the New Year, Oskar Blues will expand distribution throughout a number of untapped markets in both the Midwest and Northeast. The brewery began shipping its products this week from its flagship facility in Longmont, Colo. to Iowa, Nebraska and downstate Illinois. The brewery will also soon send beer from its second facility in Brevard, N.C. for distribution throughout Maine and Vermont.
We’re less than 48 hours into 2015 and already a pair of legislative initiatives that would impact how craft beer is sold at supermarket stores is grabbing headlines. In Wisconsin and Colorado, grocery advocates are lobbying for changes that would allow supermarket chains greater flexibility when selling beer.
Surly Brewing’s new $34 million facility in Minneapolis will be fully operational within a couple weeks, pending the installation of its packaging equipment, according to a report from MPR News. The facility, the article adds, will enable the Minnesota-based brewery to quadruple capacity from 42,000 barrels per year. Additionally, the new brewery will feature a restaurant that has room for 90 people, a main beer hall that seats 216 more, and an event center.
Central States Beverage Co. has announced year-end sales of 1 million cases of Boulevard beers throughout the greater Kansas City area alone, the most ever by one of the brewery’s distributors in one year. The MillerCoors-affiliated wholesaler has more than doubled sales of the Boulevard brand since first acquiring it in 2007, when it launched with sales of 497,000 cases. In 2013, Central States fell just 40,000 cases short of the 1 million case benchmark.
For the fourth time, members of Congress have filed a bipartisan bill that, if enacted, would dramatically cut the federal beer excise tax that the nation’s small brewers pay on every barrel of beer they produce. The Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act – Small BREW Act for short – seeks to implement a new tax structure to better reflect the evolving nature of the country’s booming craft beer industry, according to a statement from the Brewers Association.
Using the crowdfunding platform Bolstr, an online marketplace where entrepreneurs can access capital from accredited investors, the San Francisco brewery raised $150,000 in less than 24 hours. With the money, Magnolia will purchase additional brewing, packaging and laboratory equipment to expand production, and to roll out a line of packaged beers. To date, Magnolia products have been available only on draft and in growlers.
Featured in this week’s edition of press clips: Boston Magazine suggests craft is moving on without Jim Koch; NPR tackles trend of trademark disputes; Gary Fish, Widmer Brothers opine on the state of the industry and New England Brewing apologizes for ‘Gandhi-Bot.’
Georgia’s craft brewers may have found a couple of allies in the state house. The Georgia Craft Brewers Guild has secured five sponsors for a bill that, if passed, would repeal a number of restrictive, Prohibition-era regulations. Guild members contend that current state laws are stifling the growth of the craft sector and, in an effort to help educate legislators, the guild recently hired Thrash-Haliburton to lobby on behalf of the state’s growing craft beer industry.
2014 was by far the most successful year in Brewbound’s short, four-year history. Readership is at an all-time high and attendance at our annual business conferences is growing faster than ever. As we look for ways to improve our daily coverage of the craft beer industry, we’re asking readers to share their thoughts on our reporting in 2014 and help shape Brewbound’s content in 2015.
2014 was another banner year for craft beer. Now, with the pages of our calendar set to flip to 2015, we take a look back at the years most important — and most read – stories in craft beer. Here are the top 10 stories that the defined craft beer industry in 2014.
One truth made abundantly clear in 2014: Not all cash is created equal. On one side of the equation sit companies like Founders (Mich.), 10 Barrel (Ore.), and Blue Point (NY), all of which were bought out by larger, international beer companies. While those three brands will now be able to use the money and the distribution reach of their new investors and owners to grow, there’s a definitional downside: they’ve left the ranks of the craft realm.