Our Latest Ramblings
Beer isn't just a beverage. When you're into it, it's really a way of life. That's why we've compiled a list of products and gifts that exist to enhance this perfect way of life. No, you definitely don't need some of the things here, but damn does it sure make beer more fun. From t-shirts to beer soap, theres a gift here for everyone who shares the same love of beer that you do. Check them out below.
Analysis paralysis: it's the state of overthinking a situation to the point that no action is taken. In today's society, we not only have a sometimes infuriating amount of choices, we've also got all the information in the world at our fingertips. This can make it very difficult to make decisions. If you've ever stood in the store Googling beer reviews for 20 to 30 minutes, walking back and forth like some type of maniac, then you know exactly what we're talking about.
In 2015, it was reported that there were about 2 brewery openings per day. At the same time, acquisitions by “big beer” are at an all-time high. In an effort to offset any decline in market share, major brands are adding smaller ones to their portfolios—through acquisitions. This is resulting in some interesting discussions around what is and what isn’t a craft brewery.
Craft beer may be taking over bars, shelf space, and market share, but Budweiser isn't one to back down from a fight. As usual, the brewing giant AB InBev poured massive amounts of money into ad campaigns this year, some of which didn't work out too well.
Two ad campaigns in particular got tons of attention, and not necessarily the kind you want from beer lovers, women, and other huge groups of consumers. Let's discuss below, and then erase them from our minds as we move into 2016.
Budweiser was doing just fine with its horse and dog commercials for the past year, but out of nowhere decided to stir up some major controversy in the craft beer world during last night’s Super Bowl. Its “Brewed the Hard Way” ad depicted a proud American brand that stood by its “macro” approach to mass-producing beer.
In the aftermath of Budweiser's third quarter Hail Mary, craft beer enthusiasts and Bud drinkers have been butting heads like never before--this all happening as craft beer sales have officially surpassed those of "big beer" in several American cities.
See it for yourself here:
“It’s Brewed for Drinking Not Dissecting”
What’s interesting is the ad went out of its way to separate Budweiser drinkers from craft beer drinkers, as if the bustling craft beer scene was some fad created by the mutton-chop and mustache wielding micro-brew-loving hipsters shown over the course of the minute spot. If that was true, we’d like to hear InBev (the company that owns Anheuser-Busch) explain its acquisition of Goose Island, 10 Barrel Brewing, and Elysian.Speaking of Elysian, another thing to point out is the part that said, “Let Them Sip Their Pumpkin Peach Ale.” Barlow Brewing said made a great observation that's been retweeted more than 500 times now:
Budweiser is making fun of pumpkin peach beer. You know who made a pumpkin peach amber? Elysian, the craft brewery AB just bought. — BarlowBrewing (@BarlowBrewing) February 2, 2015
By that logic, InBev is (doing quite a pitiful job at) making fun of people who enjoy beer brewed by companies it owns. The whole thing just doesn't make sense. During the Super Bowl no doubt, we couldn't help but thinking Budweiser was trying to say we should be sticking with old faithful. That all of the stuck-up craft quaffers out there were un-American.
Not according to InBev reps, who were quick to play defense before the big game had even ended. "This is an affirmation of what Budweiser is, not an attack on what it isn't." Budweiser's social media team was in macro-mode as well, doing battle with Bud fans and craft beer lovers alike by replying to hundreds of Facebook posts before the sun had risen…or perhaps they were working directly from Inbev's Belgium headquarters.
What do you think? The commercial has certainly garnered quite a bit of attention by beer lovers of all types, though it remains to be seen whether the resurrected #thisbudsforyou hashtag hits home for those of us who feel that a good beer is worth fussing over, dissecting, and yes--drinking.
As for us, we'll be waiting out the storm while working on a killer recipe for a Pumpkin Peach Ale.
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As lovers of both beer and the internet, we tend to look at the r/beer subreddit just about every day. It’s got news, discussions, blog posts, some beerporn—anything and everything related to beer. We thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the top ten beer news articles for this year, in case you missed some of them. If nothing else, you might find some good talking points for this New Year’s Eve.
A struggling brewpub in Minnesota’s Twin Cities did something even Gordon Ramsay wouldn't suggest on Kitchen Nightmares to save its business—it offered patrons to make a one-time payment of $1,000 in exchange for free beer for life, or as long as the place stays open. The brewpub hit its goal of $220,000 pretty quickly. Read more.
Portland has been a leader in the craft beer market for years, and it’s no surprise to see this news coming from the Northwest. Craft beer sales rose in Q1 of 2014, taking over 45.8% of the retail market, while Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors dropped to a 40.6% share. Keep in mind these are just retail numbers—if draft numbers were included, the spread would likely be even greater. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues in other places around the country in 2015. Read more.
People have complained about beer tasting watered down at sporting events before, but not many have gone so far as to test the actual ABV. KOMO news put the Seahawks on the spot, revealing the following:
5.2% advertised ABV
Redhook Brewery "No Equal":
Craft beer lovers are well-aware of what growlers are—jugs used for transporting fresh beer ranging in size from 32 ounces to a gallon—with the most typical size being 64 ounces. In Florida, it’s legal to fill a 32 ounce growler and a one gallon growler, but filling the 64 ounce growler is illegal. Consequently, bars have to tell growler fillers they can fill up two 32 ounce jugs, but not one 64 ounce jug, which makes people think they’re getting taken advantage of. One bar owner in Florida is suing the state, saying the ban is unconstitutional.
More info here:
Craft beer being served on a plane isn’t all that shocking now, especially with the recent news of Delta expanding its in-flight offering. But Southwest topped the headlines earlier this year, as it became one of the first to take craft beer into the skies. Its massive presence at 30,000 feet coupled with its new partnership with New Belgium Brewing may have changed the commercial airline industry forever. We hope so, anyway. Read more.
First introduced in 1844, Pabst Brewing Company was one of the oldest-running American-owned breweries—that was until Russian brewer Oasis Brewers and a private-equity firm announced intentions to acquire it back in September. This shrinks the already small number of large American-owned breweries left (Yuengling, Boston Brewing Company, and a few more). Read more.
Florida made the news again in 2014, as a bill advanced in the Sunshine State’s senate that would require craft brewers to sell their beer to distributors, and then buy it back to sell at their own breweries. According to the Florida Senate's website the bill seems to have died in May, after a social media uproar by both beer enthusiasts and craft brewers alike. Read more.
As part of a promotion, a pub in Galway decided to reduce the price of a pint by 50 cents for each German goal scored against Brazil in the 2014 World Cup semi-final. Germany got out to a strong start, scoring five goals in the first half, and went on to win seven to one. For the last 11 minutes of the game, customers could purchase a pint for just 50 cents. Apparently customers flocked from nearby bars to get the deal. Read more.
Pizza eaters have been talking about how great it would be to have beer delivered with their pie since the dawn of pizza delivery. Fortunately, it was recently decided that pipedream will soon become a reality in Pennsylvania. Some local restaurants are already projecting to double the volume of their sales. Read more.
The topic of multi-tier distribution for microbrewers was a hot one in many states in 2014, especially because it tends to act as a barrier for smaller brewers trying to make their mark. Michigan took steps to alleviate those pressures, allowing microbreweries making less than 1,000 barrels per year to circumvent wholesalers and sell directly to restaurants, bars, and other retailers. Read more.
Happy New Year from Box Brew Kits!