Posts tagged ‘marketing’

Big Breweries trying to get smaller, smaller Breweries trying to get bigger!

I wrote an article back about the macrobreweries, namely Anheuser-Busch (AB), Miller and Coors all trying to act smaller with lines of their beer trying to be marketed as craft beer. AB has taken it to a whole new level deciding last month after 111 years that Michelob is now a craft beer! If you watch football at all, perhaps you have seen these new commercials. I think its pretty funny that the big guys are trying to do this and just shows how desired will be even by the big guys, who I originally thought would have no interest in me. The article I read interviews Gary Fish the owner of Deschutes Brewery out in Oregon, whom I have talked to on several occasions, and has advised me well, as well as Julia Herz the Director of Craft Beer marketing for the Brewers Association who is helping me market Gary states that he is not bothered by the big guys thinking small because if they can convert typical Bud drinkers to try other styles then it will be easy to bridge the gap from AB’s Longhammer IPA to a much more delicious Inversion IPA made by Deschutes. You can read the entire article here.

Highland Brewery at Muss & Turners
Last week, I wrote an article on the beer tasting events at Muss & Turners, and I must say that those people are on the front lines of the craft beer industry. They have beer tasting events every week and last Monday, I had the rare treat of a food & beer tasting event. The owner of Highland Brewery in Asheville, NC, Oscar Wong drove down and allowed the head chef of M&T Ryan Hidinger to sample each and every beer and use his expertise to pair it with the food. The results were absolutely fantastic!! Besides Oscar being a fun and interesting man, who interestingly enough was an engineer for 22 years, the pairings complemented themselves far better than I could have tried to do! I will try and remember this the best that I can:

Gaelic Ale paired with steamed mussels (of course, I cant remember what sauce was used but the flavors went very well)

Kashmir IPA which had a very noticible bitter sawgrass flavor (which I love by the way.. I am becoming a total hophead) paired with this most amazing green salad with a creamy aeola dressing

Tasgall ale (scotch-style) that had a very dark and rich flavor paired excellently with Scotch eggs (hardboiled eggs wrapped in a spicy sausage)

I may have these next two confused and I promise to take much better notes from now on. As you can see this is the first time I have really been doing these things, so I am learning what I need to remember and what I don’t, and frankly after I got to this part of the night, remembering specific details became a little more difficult!

Oatmeal porter and the Black Mocha Stout paired with smoked pork and a chocolate cake a la mode with spiced and candied peaches.

Click here for a listing and description of Highland Brewery’s beers.

Soon, when the website is up, I will be taking FAR better notes and I will use a flavor wheel on each beer that I try. I will also be having weekly tastings at my apt, so if you want to drink some free beer and don’t mind adding your thoughts to my website, contact me and I will try and get you in!

Here is a picture of Oscar Wong and me.

Owner of Highland Brewery, Oscar Wong

Site updates:

As you saw in my last post, I got a design spec from Solar Velocity, my web developers. I was a little worried about all the blank space of barley (which a lot of people thought were wheat, or corn btw) and talked to the head of design and he told me that that would be the area where I would have rotating blurbs of featured bars, restaurants, breweries, site news etc etc. I know I asked you guys to tell me your thoughts but there is a lot of things that the picture just did not do justice. For instance they are going to animate bubbles, ever so subtly of the beers on the front page. The background is also going to change with the seasons. I promise to show you everything new as it happens! As for today, I am driving out to Athens, GA to speak with the owner of Terrapin Brewery who I met last Thursday at Muss & Turners to see how we can help each other out. Cheers for now!


Beer prices may go up!!!! Agggghhhhh!!!

Here’s a sad article I found today about shortages around the world causing beer prices to go up due to the increase in price of hops.  Here is the devastating article!

Tightening supply of hops could mean rising price of local beer

Pioneer Press

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Brewer Josh Bischoff empties a 6-pound bucket of hops into a 400-gallon brew kettle at Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis. Bischoff was brewing a batch of Masala Mama India Pale Ale, a beer that uses 40 pounds of five different kinds of American hops. Smaller craft brewers like Town Hall are in a tough spot as the supply of hops tightens and the price increases: They use a lot of hops in their beers and their access to lower-priced supplies is limited. (John Doman, Pioneer Press) (John Doman)

if(requestedWidth > 0){ document.getElementById(‘articleViewerGroup’).style.width = requestedWidth + “px”; document.getElementById(‘articleViewerGroup’).style.margin = “0px 0px 10px 10px”; } Why should Minnesotans care about an Australian drought, European flooding and the increasing use of biofuels?

Because it might drive up the price of our locally made beer.

Take a deep breath (and maybe a slug of that brew):

Beer is made of water, malted barley, hops and yeast. A drought Down Under has sent Australia looking for barley overseas; flooding has Europe calling on the United States to supply it with hops; and biofuels have motivated farmers to grow corn and soybeans instead of hops.

This means a lot of demand for a shrinking supply of beer-making materials – and a likely bump in the price of beer at your local liquor store.

“Don’t be surprised to see everything go up 15, 20 percent,” said Jeff Williamson,

Mike Hoops, the head brewer at Town Hall, holds partially dried hop buds. After they dry, the buds will be pelletized and added to the various beers made at the Seven Corners brew pub. (John Doman, Pioneer Press) (John Doman)

co-owner and brewmaster at Flat Earth Brewing Co. in St. Paul. He plans to keep his beer prices steady for at least the next year.

Read the article here.

Even the Anheuser Busch and the other big guys know the significance of the Craft beer market

I just read a great article today talking about what I was starting to notice: The big guys are making beer and not using their name on the bottles. It is craft beer, but with the distribution channels that all the big guys have, its very easy to get market penetration. Here is some of the article.. and as always you can click below to read the entire article.

Giant brewers think small

Major producers use size to muscle into the craft-beer market.

Wall Street Journal

For years, makers of small-batch “craft” beers have been chipping away at the market share of America’s three beer giants. Now, the big brewers are craftily playing the same game, and winning back much of the momentum.

The major brewers generally avoid using the parent company’s name on the labels for their craft beers. Anheuser-Busch Cos., for example, lists Green Valley Brewing Co. as the maker of its Wild Hop Lager, an organic beer. Sunset Wheat from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., is owned by SABMiller PLC. Blue Moon Brewing Co. is a fully-owned subsidiary of Molson Coors Brewing Co., but the parent company isn’t mentioned on its beer labels.

Through the first eight months of this year, retail sales of craft beers made by those companies or their affiliates grew at nearly three times the rate of independent craft brews, according to market-research firm Nielsen Co.

Sales of craft beers affiliated with the big three brewers in grocery, drug, convenience and major-market liquor stores surged 45 percent to $177 million through Aug. 25 against year-earlier levels, excluding sales at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Nielsen found. (Wal-Mart doesn’t supply sales data to Nielsen or any other data-tracking firm.) Sales of independent craft brands rose 16 percent to $531 million.

Read the rest of the article here