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November 26, 2014 - Just Announced New FDA Calorie Count Requirements May Impact Craft Beer
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruling that requires chain establishments with more than 20 locations to list caloric information on their menus may have left a significant gray area for craft beer.

The new ruling, announced Tuesday, affects both on-and-off-premise establishments, including chain restaurants, movie theaters, vending machines as well as grocery and convenience stores serving prepared foods. It is expected to take effect in Dec. 2015, meaning retailers will have about one year to comply with the stricter regulations.

Yesterday’s ruling reaches beyond food and requires chains to also issue caloric information for alcoholic beverages, which had been left out of earlier drafts of the proposal....[H] ow restaurant operators collect and display that information to consumers could vary greatly...some craft styles that carry a significantly larger calorie load compared with other styles may be listed according to a standardized measure for beer.

Read the complete story here.

November 24, 2014 - Americans Now Drink More Craft Beer Than Budweiser
Here's a very cool graph from today's Wall Street Journal that says an awful lot about America's changing taste in alcohol. Americans now buy more craft beer than Budweiser. (Not Bud Light, mind you. Just Bud.)

The complete article.

November 20, 2014 - Anheuser-Busch InBev Cuts Jobs in U.S.
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV confirmed Wednesday it is cutting jobs and consolidating its sales division in the U.S. after the world's largest brewer posted weak third-quarter results in its largest market.

AB InBev declined to specify how many employees are being laid off. The job cuts affect salaried employees in divisions ranging from marketing and procurement to sales and brewery operations, according to people familiar with the matter. One person estimated hundreds of jobs could be eliminated.

The brewer has about 15,000 employees in the U.S., where sales volumes of key brands like Budweiser and Bud Light have been declining for years. The company reported last month that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the U.S. fell 2.1% in the first nine months of 2014.

Anheuser-Busch Vice President, People Jim Brickey said in a statement that the layoffs follow a "detailed business review" and reductions "were minimized as much as possible." He added, "These are always difficult decisions, but are important in evolving our business and improving our competitiveness.":

Read the whole story.

November 13, 2014 - California Drought Forces Bear Republic to Retreat from Key Markets
It was Halloween, and Bear Republic CEO Richard Norgrove was flying to Boston to deliver grim news to Atlantic Imports, the company’s distributor in the Massachusetts market: he was going to stop shipping beer to the Bay State, its fifth largest market, beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

It was no trick, though: the California drought is taking its toll on the top-50 craft brewer, forcing it to pull distribution.

“The impact the drought has caused has been enormous,” Norgrove told Brewbound during a phone conversation. “We have been impacted more because we are in a small town that doesn’t have major capacity for water. We have made every possible effort, through conservation, having designed and built a wastewater treatment system, but we can only do so much.”

More here.

November 08, 2014 - Annual Philly Beer Week "Win a Trip to Belgium" Raffle Set for Dec. 9
On Tuesday, December 9 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., Philly Beer Week (PBW) 2015 will host their annual Win a Trip to Belgium Raffle at City Tap House Logan Square (2 Logan Square, 215-587-9040). Guests will have an opportunity to select their favorite local brewer, ballot style, upon purchasing a raffle ticket. Participating breweries will also be on hand to answer questions while showcasing some of their extra special beers.

One lucky winner will travel to Belgium with his or her favorite to help brew Philly Beer Week’s annual Belgo Collaboration beer, this year with Head Brewers Andre Janssens and Dries Janssens, from Brouwerij Hof ten Dormaal, a nearly 100% self-sustaining brewery located in Tildonk, Belgium.

Raffle tickets can be purchased for $5 apiece -- or you can buy a pack of five for $20 -- at the event or online before the event at starting on Friday, November 7. Raffle tickets may also be purchased at the following PBW-friendly events and venues in the coming weeks.

“Our annual trip to Belgium -- amazingly now in its fifth year! -- is certainly one of the highlights of the offseason for us,” says PBW Executive Director Kristine Kennedy. “This year’s Belgo Collaboration is going to be even more extra special since half the batch will be on tap in June 2015, while the other half will be barrel-aged and released six months later.”

The PBW 2015 Collaborative Brew will be created in cooperation with Brouwerij Hof ten Dormaal and imported by Twelve Percent Imports, the raffle’s official sponsor. The lucky raffle winner will select their brew partner from a distinguished list of local brewers...The package will include: two roundtrip, coach class plane tickets and two nights of hotel accommodations (winner + brewer). Winners will purchase tickets ahead of travel dates, with Twelve Percent Imports submitting reimbursements within 30 days after travel.

November 05, 2014 - Anheuser-Busch and 10 Barrel Brewing Announce Purchase Agreement
ST. LOUIS and BEND, Ore. (November 5, 2014) – Anheuser-Busch today announced it has agreed to purchase 10 Barrel Brewing Company, located in Bend, Ore. One of the country’s fastest-growing and most innovative breweries, 10 Barrel was one of only four U.S. breweries to win three medals and tied for most medals won at this year’s Great American Beer Festival, the largest beer competition in the world.

“For the past eight years, we’ve been brewing beer, drinking beer and having fun doing it.” said co-founder Jeremy Cox, who will continue to lead 10 Barrel along with his partners, co-founder and brother Chris Cox, and Garrett Wales. “We are excited to stay focused on brewing cool beers, get our beers in more hands, and make the most of the operational and distribution expertise of Anheuser-Busch,” said Cox.

10 Barrel expects to sell approximately 40,000 barrels of beer in 2014. Apocalypse IPA, the brewer’s most popular beer, accounts for nearly half of the company’s total volume.


November 01, 2014 - Iron Hill Ardmore Plans to Open in December
Some essential items were delivered to Iron Hill Brewery’s newest location in Ardmore Tuesday.

Those would be the seven fermenters, eight serving tanks and brewhouse equipment that arrived on two trucks at the restaurant under construction at 60 Greenfield Ave. in the Ardmore Plaza Shopping Center.

Once those elements are installed and permitting completed, the brewing will start, in advance of an early December opening. Company President Kevin Finn, who was on site for the process, said the target date is Dec. 12.

Read the rest.