Monday, January 25, 2010

Alcopop Taste Test

Humorous rundown of a few hideous alcopop brands from

My favorite quote: "It smells like Sesame Street the morning after the cast discover binge drinking and projectile vomit."

Also this great image:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Union Strike Hits InBev in Belgium

The strike that has been in progress for over a week now is rapidly depleting supplies of Leffe, Hoegarden and Stella Artois in Belgium.

At the heart is AB-InBev's plan to lay off hundreds of workers, about 10% of their Belgian workforce, despite posting global profits of $1.5 billion in the last quarter. It's a conflict of a small group of workers representing some very iconic Belgian beers, who are nonetheless part of a global conglomerate now representing over 200 brands. What may be good for the parent corporation and the stockholders may not be good for the little guys.

Meanwhile the global consolidation of breweries continues.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

History of Bellingham Brewing

Fun article in the Bellingham Business Journal concerning the history of brewing in the city. Like many frontier cities Bellingham historically had several breweries, all of which were killed off by Prohibition. Now it has two: Boundary Bay and Chuckanut. But what two to have! Boundary Bay has won a slew of awards and makes a great IPA. It is also quite large and is a venue for local music.

Chuckanut is only a bit over two years old but took two golds and two silvers at the GABF last year, making it Small Brewpub of the Year. No surprise here, the brewmaster is Will Kemper, erstwhile of Thomas Kemper Brewing and Sodas (bought by Pyramid Brewing in 90's, sold in 2007 to Adventure Funds in Portland) as well as a dozen more breweries that he helped get up and running.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Global Consolidation of Breweries Continues

Heineken is buying Mexico's Femsa for $5.5 billion in stock. I believe Femsa is the second largest brewing conglomerate in Mexico, after Groupo Modelo. This means that Heineken now also controls Dos Equis, Sol and Tecate in the U.S. as well as Xingu in the U.S. and Brazil. This comes on the heels of Heineken's purchase of Newcastle last year, and is further representative of continued consolidation and struggle between the three largest conglomerates, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, Heineken and SAB-Miller for market share in the developing markets of Central and South America.

"In the context of the reconfiguration of the global brewing landscape, scale and geographic diversification are more important than ever," said Femsa CEO Jose Antonio Fernandez Carbajal.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Widmer loses 62,000 pints of beer

Ouch. Due to a power outage in Portland, OR, yesterday, Widmer Brothers lost an entire batch of their new, most expensive, and as yet unreleased Deadlift Imperial IPA. That's 7,750 gallons or around 62,000 pints down the drain.

Fortunately it will be donated to local farmers who will use it as animal feed and fertilizer. The article doesn't mention exactly why the beer couldn't be saved. My guess, since it is going out to animals, is that it was somewhere in the mash or sparge process when the power went out. While it would be hilarious to see a farm full of pigs hopped up on a 9.5% ABV double IPA, I'm guessing they're sending out the unfermented wort and/or mashed grain. Had it been in the fermenting tanks, that volume of beer, in a Portland winter, probably would have held temperature more or less had the glycol chillers cut out, and the beer would be just fine.

I'm sure the batch was probably insured as well.
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The Twentyfirst Amendment Meets the 21st Century by Russell Hews Everett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. The opinions expressed on this page are purely my own, and should not be taken to constitute legal representation or advice.