In The News .....


Grain Belt beer sign that has been a Minneapolis landmark since the 1940's but dark for almost 20 years apparently may soon be lit again. August Schell Brewing Co., which acquired the Grain Belt brand in 2002, announced it will buy the sign and the Nicollet Island land it sits on and donate it to the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. The organization plans to raise money to light and maintain the sign. "People love the sign," Schell president Ted Marti said. Schell, located in New Ulm, is the second oldest family owned brewery in the country. Minneapolis Brewing Co., which brewed Grain Belt until selling the grand to Schell, originally leased the sign from the Eastman Family. It was moved to its current location on the Mississippi River in 1950 after first sitting atop the Marigold Ballroom. The Eastman Family Trust currently owns the sign.


The Maine Brewers' Guild has partnered with its member breweries and allied members to launch a series of events to promote Maine's craft beer industry. The goal of its Beer School is not to train people how to brew beer or work in our industry, but rather to serve as a theme to tie together a series of events that take place around the state, led by member breweries and promoted by the Guild, that give beer enthusiasts one-of-a-kind experiences to learn what's behind the beer, and get an insiders' perspective on what happens in and around our breweries. The profit from Beer School events help further the Maine Brewers' Guild mission to promote and protect Maine's craft beer industry.
30 YEARS AND 18,000 PUBS LATER .....
It has been declared the world's longest pub crawl and two friends have celebrated in the appropriate way -- with a pint. Peter Hill, 59, and John Drew 61, have visited 18,000 pubs during 30 years of traveling together, and promised to keep going "until our livers give out." They began their journey in 1984 as part of a group called The Black Country Ale Tasters (when a pint cost 64p), but now the original group is down to just these two. Wearing waistcoats fashioned from old beer towels, they've traveled to pubs around the entire coastline of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Last year they completed a seven-year quest to visit every pub in Wales after stopping off at all 3,905 of them.
The numbers are in from the Brewers Association in Colorado. "It's remarkable to see how beer has evolved in the past century. Year over year we're seeing tremendous growth in the craft beer sector and 2014 proved that craft beer is moving into the mainstream, "Bert Watson, BA chief economist said for a press release. "Consumers are making a conscious choice to buy and try the plethora of options produced by small and independent craft brewers." The BA recap: - U.S. brewery count returns to historic levels. In November, the United States passed the mark of 3,200 brewers in the country and the number of brewery licenses reached the highest ever, topping 4,500 in the first six months of the year. Thirteen states (CA, CO, WA, OR, MI, NY, PA, TX, FL, WI, IL, NC, and OH) now have more than 100 breweries each. - Breweries are opening at a rate of 1.5 per day. In addition, there are more than 2,000 breweries in planning. - Craft brewers were the growth point in the overall beer industry. Through June of 2014, craft brewers enjoyed 18% growth by volume. Numerous data channels are showing continuing double-digit growth for craft in the second half of the year. - India Pale Ales (IPAs) remained the most flavored craft beer style. According to retail scan data, IPA is up 47% by volume and 49% by dollar sales, accounting for 21% volume share of craft and 23% dollar share of off-premise beer sales. Additionally, the style was the number one entered category at the Great American Beer Festival. - Variety packs had a a strong year with craft beer lovers. Retail data also indicates that variety parks are up 21% by volume and 24% by dollar sales, equating to nine percent volume share of craft and seven percent dollar share. - Craft beer fans are becoming as diverse as craft beer itself. Data indicated that 38 percent of households bought a craft beer in the last year versus 29 percent in 2010. Additionally, women consume almost 32% of craft beer volume, almost half of which comes from women ages 21-34. Hispanic populations are demonstrating increased craft engagement as well.