Posted on May 15, 2012 in Random by Josh
Charlie Papazian, world-famous beer lover, recently wrapped up his 2012 BeerCity USA poll. What he ended up with was BeerCities USA, a statistical tie between Asheville, NC and Grand Rapids, MI.
Voting for the annual BeerCity USA poll is over. From the start it was clear that communities from several areas of the United States intended to make a run for winning the honor of becoming 2012 BeerCity USA. Facebook, Twitter, other community networks and local media were active throughout the 13-day polling period. With 55,926 votes cast for 31 different American cities the results clearly indicated that both Asheville, North Carolina and Grand Rapids topped the poll with a statistical tie.
We’ll be a slight voice of dissent and say 1) who cares? Craft beer is inherently regional/local, and comparing two cities seems fairly useless. It’s like being named the city with the most popular meteorologists — unless you live there, it doesn’t matter. But 2) assuming you’re really trying to rank-order cities, it doesn’t seem very logical that Grand Rapids would end up tied with Asheville, which is quickly becoming the place where western breweries open their second locations.
But either way, congrats to both, and to Cleveland, Chicago, Denver, Portland, and any other city that is working to develop their beer culture.
Posted on May 2, 2012 in Business by Josh
Could Budweiser be making your Hopslam next year? Due to a business dispute, it’s possible. From Bell’s founder Larry Bell:
“Unfortunately with the growth and the size the company has gotten to, the alarms are going off to where we have to figure it out or do something else,” Bell said. “I don’t want to sell, but it’s a great time to sell if I had to. There are many willing buyers.”
“If it was just a family business, there would be legal maneuvers we could make that would facilitate that kind of transfer across generations. With its current structure, I’m not able to do those sorts of things. It would basically leave us in the position of selling the company upon my death.”
Bells wants to keep the brewery in the family, which is admirable. But he may have to sell, and it may have to happen as early as the fall. Could Bells end up like Goose Island, swallowed up by a big brewer? Maybe, or maybe they’ll find a way to work it out.
Posted on February 28, 2010 in Events by Josh
One of the great things about summer and fall are the huge number of beer events across the country. But after Oktoberfest season winds down, you’re usually out of luck until May or June. The Michigan Brewers Guild filled that gap for Michigan-based beer enthusiasts yesterday with their Winter Beer Festival. Held outside in Detroit, 5,000 still showed up. That’s impressive.
It also raises a larger question: success for a local beer event is fantastic, but why doesn’t something like this happen more often? Breweries have plenty of time to show off their pilsners and wheat beers at events all summer, and malty Oktoberfest beers get some attention as the season winds down, but winter beer festivals happen far too little. Yes, it’s cold, but if 5,000 people will show up for something like this in the Michigan winter, I’m sure it can be replicated elsewhere. Events like this raise awareness of different, often more complex styles of beer, and they help strengthen the beer culture in cities who hosted them. This can and should be a new trend in craft beer — proving that just because it’s cold, it’s not too cold to get together and experiment with beer brewed to warm you up.
Photo thanks to Emery Co Photo