Mark and Leslie Henderson founded Lazy Magnolia to bring better beer to their home state. Although Mississippi now has 10 breweries statewide, theirs was the first packaging brewery to carry the torch for craft brewing, and did so for seven years under previously restrictive state regulations.
Largely the province of beer marketing companies in the past, today’s contract brewers take myriad forms, and with the vast expansion of craft breweries comes new creative opportunities. It’s time to rethink our once strong dislike of contract or guest brewing.
Few contract brewers start out intending to sell the hapless beer drinker subpar suds. In fact, most contractors have the same dream as every other brewer: to build their brand, win over consumers and open facilities of their own.
Brew Hub’s first brewery partners look forward; New York City’s beer industry angered over suggested beer tax increase; two Massachusetts nanobrewers join forces; Hindu advocate criticizes Asheville Brewing over Shiva IPA; and Maine breweries join Brewers for Clean Water.
Like all good fairy tales, the story of Grimm Artisanal Ales starts with a moment of enchantment. One night in Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University students Lauren and Joe Grimm attended a talk on wild fermentation that left them spellbound.
Founded by several former Anheuser-Busch InBev executives, Brew Hub’s plans include opening five facilities throughout the United States, and with more than $100 million of venture capital being poured into the company, many beer advocates are questioning just how craft-oriented Brew Hub will be.
Many companies that make beer in offshore US locations want to grow and bring their local products to consumers on the mainland. And for breweries in Hawaii, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, distributing bottled beers stateside sometimes means relying on the oft-debated practice of contract brewing.
Better beer was born “outside the box,” and continues to evolve removed from the mainstream today. The result has been an industry of rebels and renegades who defy classification, like David Anderson, who is quietly making curious and interesting beers at Dave’s BrewFarm in Wilson, Wis.