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Who said brewing couldn't make you a tycoon?

Who said brewing couldn’t make you a tycoon?

Getting rich brewing beer isn’t a phenomenon which started in the twentieth century. Brewers have been minting coin for centuries.  The stakes have just grown larger.

Nearly all of America’s most notable early rich brewing magnates started out as Germans. Eberhard Anheuser (of later Anheuser-Busch fame) wasn’t even a brewer. He ran a successful soap factory and invested some of the profits in the Bavarian Brewery in the early 1850’s. He eventually acquired the brewery in lieu of the debts owed to him.

Adolphus Busch, the other part of the Anheuser-Busch empire, married into the brewing business by hooking up with Eberhard’s daughter Lily. Eighteen years after they tied the knot, the company became known as Anheuser-Busch. 

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Categories : Beer
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Every beer seems to have its own type of glass.   Does it make a difference?

Every beer seems to have its own type of glass. Does it make a difference?

Visit a college bar or pub and you’ll probably see every beer, regardless of brand or style, poured into an identical glass. Go anywhere more up class and there’s a more than fair chance that your beer will be poured into a very specific one.

How much of this is a marketing gimmick?

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Categories : Beer
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Jan
18

Focus On: Beers Of Germany

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Like the rest of Germany, they’re solid, reliable, but somewhat predictable

Like the rest of Germany, they’re solid, reliable, but somewhat predictable

Ask any casual beer drinker which country makes the best brews and Germany is bound to be one of a few countries most commonly given in reply. Ask the same drinker to name four ultra popular German export brands, he’s hard put to name anything beyond Becks.

Becks is, indeed, one of the more popular German brews, along with Krombacher, Warsteiner, and Bitburger. Once you name these four, few but diehard German beer lovers can give you the names of any others. 

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Categories : Beer
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Is it really a craft revolution or is the market just returning to an equilibrium state consumers were always happiest with?

Is it really a craft revolution or is the market just returning to an equilibrium state consumers were always happiest with?

The press is constantly abuzz with news of the great craft beer revolution.   In late 2014, the big scoop was that craft beer had passed up Budweiser, America’s third most popular brew. Let’s ignore that this was the sum total of everycraft beer produced in the USA compared to just a single beer. The Brewer’s Association in the USA reported in 2015 that there were 3,739 breweries in operation, a jump of 699 breweries in just the prior year, with another 1,755 breweries planned for the coming year. 

For the same year, the UK could count 1,424 breweries, the highest since the 1930’s, a jump of 204 breweries from the previous year. This was more than 10% growth for three years running. That’s a total of over 11,000 real ales, which puts the UK in the position of having the most breweries per capita and the greatest range of beers on the planet. 

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Categories : Uncategorized
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Is barleywine about to take the world by storm?  Probably not.

Is barleywine about to take the world by storm? Probably not.

There are more breweries today than there have been in the last 90 years. With them come a whole range of new or revived styles that most people are just finding out about for the first time. Welcome to barleywine, one of the ‘new’ styles few of us have ever tried. 

The name intrigues. Barleywine? Is it wine made from barley? Is it regular fruit-based wine with barley added? Is it a type of wine named after its creator, such as an alcohol-loving industrious brewer named Timothy Barley, but which contains no barley at all?

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Categories : Beer
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Other nations may be nipping at France's heels, but none have any serious worldwide bite in comparison

Other nations may be nipping at France’s heels, but none have any serious worldwide bite in comparison

In 1976, a nascent Californian wine industry had its red Cabernet Sauvignons and white Chardonnays pitted against French Bordeaux and Burgundy in a blind taste test in Paris conducted by eleven judges. The organizer of the event, a British expat running a wine school in Paris, considered it a rigged contest. He, like everyone else, expected French wines to decimate their Californian rivals. 

The results were shocking. The nine French judges were the who’s who of France’s oenophiles and yet the California whites took three of the top four spots and a Californian red took the top spot. 

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Categories : Beer
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Is a Christmas beer the variety Santa Claus would drink?

Is a Christmas beer the variety Santa Claus would drink?

The month of December brings festive drinks we’ve come to intimately associate with the holiday season. Americans and Canadians are fond of eggnog, a dairy beverage made with sugar, cream, some kind of spirit like brandy or rum, and a garnish of cinnamon and nutmeg.  The Europeans’ drink of choice is mulled wine, usually red mixed with spices, served hot or cold. The Brits make mulled cider, too. In the Germanic countries, glow-wine (glühwein), is the traditional holiday tipple and has been since at least 1420. Glow-wine is red wine mixed with spices like cinnamon, cloves, aniseed, sugar, citrus, vanilla.  The Nordics have gløgg (spelled slightly differently depending on the Nordic nation) which is, again, wine with spices, this time with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and bitter orange. It really doesn’t matter one iota what European nation we select. The name for the beverage and the spice blend changes, but the essential drink remains the same. 

Nowadays, there’s another drink associated with the holidays. Beer.   We’re not talking about macro breweries pushing green and red colored bottles of their typical offerings, as you’d see with green and red colored M & M’s. We mean beers specifically brewed with the Christmas season in mind.

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Categories : Beer
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Calculating the value of a brewery isn't so straightforward

Calculating the value of a brewery isn’t so straightforward

It’s old news by now that established macrobreweries have been guzzling up craft breweries to get a piece of the exploding craft brewery market in the face of shrinking market share. One of the more prominent buys was beloved Goose Island from Chicago by Anheuser Busch InBev (AB InBev). AB InBev later slurped up breweries from around the nation: Blue Point Brewing in New York state, 10 Barrel Brewing in Oregon, and Elysian in Washington.  A lot more are surely on the way.

Then, there are the stories where the macro only sipped up a share of the micro. AB InBev holds a 49% stake in Old Dominion and Fordham and a 32.2% stake in the publicly traded Craft Brew Alliance.  Terrapin Beer Company at one point sold a less than quarter interest to Miller Coors.  The largest craft deal in recent memory is Heineken snapping up a 50% stake in Lagunitas. 

The multi-million dollar question, literally, is: what exactly is a brewery worth? 

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Categories : Beer
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Dec
08

Kaiserdom Dark from Germany

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Kaiserdom Dark:Germany

Kaiserdom Dark:Germany

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Oettinger Export:Germany

Oettinger Export:Germany

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