A Press Democrat Blog

Beer Country

A digest about that other famous beverage

In beer, big is really BIG

As excited as we can all get about craft brew, it is humbling to realize just how small a part of the overall beer market it really is. Two reports published in the last week cast that into sharp relief. First, a market report by beverage accountants Frank, Rimerman + Co. takes a look at the possible future of craft beer, particularly in light of the success and “premiumization” of the wine industry. The authors conclude that craft beer is… Read More »

Sonoma County Beer, Cider, and Spirits conference takes shape

Lineup set for first ever conference on Sonoma County’s booming artisan beverage industry.… Read More »

Welcome to Beer City?

  My colleague Kevin McCallum reports today on a new marketing campaign by the city of Santa Rosa to tout itself in major cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland in an effort to tell tourists that we’re about more than wine. One of the interesting elements is to informally brand Santa Rosa as “Beer City,” with a quick montage of images from Russian River Brewing, which is, as we all know, one of the hottest and most sought-after… Read More »

Sonoma County Beer, Cider, and Spirits conference scheduled

In another sign of the growing power of the beer (and cider and spirits) scene in Sonoma County, the county Economic Development Board has set Nov. 12 as the date for the first ever conference on the future of the industry. It will run 1-6p.m. at the Hyatt Hotel in Santa Rosa. Organizers tell me the conference will focus on financing and distribution issues for operations of all sizes, and there will be a discussion of the artisan brand identity… Read More »

Is the Craft Beer revolution complete?

BeverageDaily.com had a report earlier this week that has sent a good-sized ripple around the great Beer Pond. Reporter Ben Boukley reports that Heineken CEO Jean-François Van Boxmeerhas thrown in the towel in the fight against American craft brewers: “Craft beers have been taking the lion’s share of beer market growth over the last decade – practically exclusively,” he told Societie Generale analyst Jamie Norman on a call this morning. “You cannot compete with Heineken or any other brand against the… Read More »

Pliny the Video

In June we brought you the story of the Economic Development Board’s look at the effect of beer, cider, and spirits on Sonoma County’s economy (summary: not nearly as much as wine, but not insignificant. $123 million per year). One thing we didn’t bring you, in large part because this blog wasn’t quite ready to get up and running that week, was the EDB’s video about Pliny the Younger, the cult favorite annual from Russian River. The report found that the beer generates something like $2.4 million per year alone, in direct sales, tourist traffic, and secondary revenue generated thereby.

That may not seem like a lot, at least until you consider that the brewery only makes something like 60 barrels, or just 1,860 gallons of the legendary Triple IPA. That works out to around $160 per pint in economic goodies for the county.

Here’s a little more of the case study, in video form, including co-owner Natalie Cilurzo discussing the beer and the frenzy it generates. The board interviewed several Pliny seekers from all over the country, waiting in line in front of Russian River’s downtown pub. My favorite part is toward the end, the bearded guy from Texas who concludes, “I’ll travel to the ends of the earth if the beer is good.”

That’s my kind of guy.

And here’s the full report for you die-hard economic development fans. We know you’re out there.

- Sean Scully