Last Call: BrewDog Vows to Build Border Bar; Minhas Sues Big Beer

BrewDog Announces Plan to Build Craft Beer Bar on US-Mexico Border

Never one to shy away from a good publicity stunt, Scottish beer maker BrewDog has announced plans to build a craft beer bar that will straddle the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

The company believes the new project will “promote collaboration and inclusivity” in the face of the President Trump’s long-stated objective to build a border wall.

“We will request official permission from the local authorities to put it there and adhere to any red tape stuff, but I guess it would make it more difficult to build a wall if there’s a BrewDog bar in the way,” BrewDog co-founder James Watt said in a press release. “We’re planning on putting the bar there anyway until someone tells us to move it.”

BrewDog is calling the project “The Bar on the Edge,” with half of the bar located in Texas and the other half in Chihuahua, Mexico.

BrewDog said it would serve beers from Mexico on the U.S. side of the border, and U.S. produced beers on the Mexico side (and, of course, BrewDog’s portfolio of craft beers being brewed at its new production facility in Columbus, Ohio). The plan is to build the bar from old shipping containers, making the bar “a temporary mobile building.”

BrewDog, which began producing beer at its new Ohio production facility in July, also recently announced plans to build a brewery in Australia.

Minhas Sues Anheuser-Busch InBev and Molson Coors

Mountain Crest SRL LLC, which operates the Minhas breweries in Wisconsin and Calgary, Canada, has filed a federal lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch InBev and Molson Coors claiming the global brewing giants conspired to block U.S. beer companies from selling products in Ontario, Canada, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

The company reportedly claims the two conglomerates violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by forging a secret arrangement with the government-owned Liquor Control Board of Ontario to restrict imports and sales of beer from U.S. companies in the province from 2000 to 2015. The agreement was exposed by a whistleblower in 2014 in a Toronto Star report.

Mountain Crest claims its growth and sales were stunted by the secret arrangement between the two companies along with ABI and Molson Coors’ 98 percent ownership of The Beer Store outlets, the Journal reported.

Minhas Craft Brewery, which contract brews for a variety of other brands and was ranked as the 12th largest Brewers Association-defined domestic craft brewing company in 2016, is seeking lost revenues as well as $200,000 in punitive damages. Read the full story here.

Yazoo Selling Brewery and Taproom Property

Nashville’s Yazoo Brewing Co. has put the 24,250 sq. ft. building housing its brewery and taproom up for sell, with a $9.75 million asking price, according to the Tennessean. The company is reportedly trying to cash in on the popularity of the redeveloped Gulch district while also finding a larger home for its brewing operations, which the company plans on announcing in the next two months.

“We never expected we’d outgrow our first home in Marathon, and we did,” Yazoo founder Linus Hall told the outlet. “And we never expected to outgrow this Gulch location, and we have. Now it is time for a location we can call home for good.”

California Allows Student Brewers to Sell Beer

Beginning next year, California brewing students will no longer have to drain pour their creations. A new state law signed last week by Gov. Jerry Brown will allow college students enrolled in instructional brewing programs to sell their beers, according to the North Bay Business Journal. The state already allows colleges and universities to raise money by selling wine created as part of an educational program.

“California is an internationally recognized leader in the production of wine and beer. Many of these products are made by students who learned their trade in our public colleges,” state Sen. Bill Dodd told the Business Journal. “We need to ensure that we are able to meet the future workforce demands of the California and teach students practical skills.”

Montana Raises Production Cap

Last month, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock signed House Bill 541, which will raise the state’s production cap from 10,000 barrels annually to 60,000 barrels, while preserving on-premise taproom sales, according to the Missoulian.

Under the old law, breweries exceeding the 10,000 barrel cap lost the right to sell beer directly to consumers in their taprooms.

Lookout Farm Hard Cider Gets into Beer

Massachusetts’ Lookout Farm Hard Cider Company is expanding its offerings to include beer. The Natick-based brewery will begin selling five different beers on September 8, according to the Metrowest Daily News.

“The catalyst was really because the taproom has done tremendous business. It was up 70 percent last year from the year before,” owner Jay Mofenson told the outlet. “We have had a lot of requests, ‘Why not beer?’”

Lookout Farm’s brewing team includes head cider maker Aaron Mateychuk, the former head brewer of the now-shuttered Watch City Brewing Company, and assistant brewer Will Morris, who previously worked at Barleycorn’s Craft Brew in Natick.

“Beer is right in Aaron’s wheelhouse, and we’re really comfortable with Will,” Mofenson added. “It is a great opportunity for people to enjoy the property, and it was a natural fit to add beer to what we already do here.”

Evolution Craft Brewing Co. Adding Green Space

Evolution Craft Brewing Co. is expanding its Salisbury, Maryland-based operations with the addition of a five-barrel pilot system for the creation of small batch beers, according to Delmarva Now. Additionally, later this month the brewery is adding a new green space featuring fire pits and cornhole games along with a stage for entertainment and a food truck.

“We want to maintain our local identity, our strong hold as a small craft brewer, but as our demand gets bigger, our brewing gets bigger, which gets less personal,” marketing director Austin Widdowson told the outlet.

In other Evo news, the brewery has entered into a partnership with Five Good Inc. to export its beer to Japan.

Aeronaut Brewing Releases The Lights Out’s Album on Beer Can

A Boston craft brewery and indie rock band are collaborating again to release an album on a beer can. The Lights Out and Aeronaut Brewing Company in Somerville are releasing another batch of “T.R.I.P.”, which doubles as an imperial session IPA as well as the band’s sci-fi concept album.

Here’s how it work: Consumers buy the beer and tweet the band with a hashtag printed on the can. The band then replies with a link to the album.

Aeronaut has made 150 more cases of the beer, which uses a new strain of yeast with European origins that the brewery cultivates in-house, co-founder Ben Holmes told Brewbound in an email.

“It creates a sweeter, smoother beer which blends the hop character very nicely,” he wrote. “This substitution is part of a long series of research-based tastings and recipe design projects we’ve been developing under the banner of our feedback flight program, where the brewers share experimental recipes with visitors in the taproom. We’re getting a ton of great feedback on this strain, especially as it interacts with the Galaxy hops that create the juicy, tropical flavor backbone of the beer.”

See more in the band’s sizzle reel.

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