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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 »

Beer for the next generation?

The sale this week of Kansas City standout Boulevard to a Belgian firm (no worries, purists – this Belgian firm is Duvel, not InBev) has raised once more the question of what happens next for the early generation of breweries who led the craft beer revolution in the 1980s and ’90s. Already, we’ve seen Fritz Maytag sell his Anchor brewery, and New Albion founder Jack McAuliffe is long retired. Goose Island‘s John Hall decided to sell his Chicago brewery to… 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 »

World’s most refreshing can?

Last I checked, the thing in the package was the point, not the packaging itself. But of course, certain beer manufacturers disagree. Observe MillerCoors, which has been out front in creating and marketing fancy packaging: ink that changes color to tell you when your beer is cold (saving you the trouble of, say, touching it to find out), or Miller Lite’s “Vortex” bottle, which added rifle-like grooves to the neck to make sure the beer is extra swirly when it… Read More »

Craft beer: Boom or bubble?

Draft magazine has an article this week that has generated a lot of beer chatter. It asks of America’s beer boom: “Will it fall?” This is not an idle question. The industry’s first boom, in the early 1990s, hit the skids pretty hard in less than a decade, leaving lots of bankrupt brewers in the wreckage. The craft industry remembers that massacre with the kind of horror that Germans retain for inflation after the post-World War I economic fiasco of… Read More »

Craft or crafty?

Bloomberg had a fun article this week about Blue Moon, the popular wheat beer that just happens to be a branch of the MillerCoors empire. After years of taking a beating from beer purists, who complain that Blue Moon is a stealthy intruder by the big boys into the craft beer market, the makers of the beer are barking back. Their argument boils down to Who Cares? “We should be proud to make beers that grow and are popular —… Read More »

Region’s breweries ranked (by size this time)

Our friends at the North Bay Business Journal (owned by the same people, located across the hall from the PD) have an interesting list this week: the region’s breweries ranked by size. They list the 14 craft breweries they could identify and get information out of and the results give a wonderful snapshot of the huge span of the craft beer industry in America today. At the top, of course, is the Big Man on Campus in Sonoma County, Lagunitas,… Read More »