Taking cues from the pub and taproom model used by smaller breweries, big players in the beer industry, from 10 Barrel to Blue Moon and Lagunitas, attempt to cash in on the convenience and sense of community of urban outposts.
As craft brewers push to distinguish themselves from Big Beer, revenue from higher-priced premium beers is increasing faster than any other craft segment. Will that make the $8 six-pack a thing of the past?
Goose Island brewpub in danger of closing; B-Side “brewing label” seeks to put fresh spin on contract brewing; hailstorm damage could have destroyed hops from Hallertau; oil cleanup plan concerns Bell’s Brewery; and MillerCoors achieves landfill-free status at flagship brewery.
Anheuser-Busch: brewing your area code?; Sunoco testing growlers to-go in western NY; beloved friend of beer, Ray Deter, passes away; Senate Small Brewers’ Caucus formed; and change in Massachusetts law threatens dozens of small brewers.
As demand increases in newer markets, microbreweries are at a crossroads: take out large loans and expand, or sell stakes to larger brewers and distributors. Factor in that a generation of craft brewing legends is approaching retirement, and these questions become even more complicated.
Illinois breweries fighting to keep right to distribute; Goose Island acquired by A-B InBev; Surly campaigns to change law and build brewery/restaurant; Mexican brewery unveils world’s first beers for the LGBT community; and Indiana state laws may stifle breweries’ growth.
Let’s face it: Beer is business. And those who can’t separate the beer from the business will be in for a very rude awakening in upcoming years, as the industry continues to mature and the natural evolution of business comes into play.
Join us for our annual nod to these badasses as we raise our pints in their general direction, honoring them for their contributions to the beer industry and for giving beer the respect it deserves. Cheers!
Will Straub’s returnable bottles get canned?; Independent Brewers United acquired by North American Breweries; no Christmas this year for Goose Island; and Sierra Nevada teaming up with Trappist monks.
The city’s brewing culture, long rooted in German lagers, has recently taken a turn towards assertive hops and Belgian yeast; that fact, and the tenacity of Chicago’s neighborhood pub culture, makes this a lively time to go drinking your way across the Second City.