We've known in Ohio that this was coming since June, when Kroger received licenses to serve at five Buckeye State locations. This week we find out that the nation's largest grocery chain - with brands in every time zone - is making a national push to add in-store beer stations and tastings in stores in Ohio, Georgia, Virginia and a few other key markets. “Wine and growler bars are a natural evolution for our adult beverage departments — by adding growlers, we are able to introduce our customers to new and emerging breweries that are only available on draft,” said Jason Milburn, Kroger’s national beer coordinator. Along with on premise tastings, the craft beer stations will fill 32 and 64oz growlers for take home consumption. Read More
Okay, in the craft beer world it's not called a light beer. It's called a session ale, and in this case, a session IPA. However, the jury is still out on whether Founders Brewing Co. will be considered a craft brewery going forward after selling a portion of its ownership to a Spanish beer company in 2014. All that aside, Founders is undergoing a massive $40 million expansion and it is mostly in part because of the spectacular success of All Day IPA.
They call it that because, compared to most other IPAs (other craft beers for that matter), you could drink the session ale for a considerable length of time before getting too buzzed to function like a "normal" person. The beer clocks in at 4.7% ABV and is sold in 35 states. In 2014, sales of All Day IPA were up 138% over 2013."We knew we had something extraordinary when we launched it, but I don't think any of us really could have forecasted its success and momentum," said Mike Stevens, CEO of Founders. "It's really hitting an under-served market."
After completing a 56,500 square foot addition, Founders' brewing capacity will be 900,000 annual barrels. The expansion will also include a new cellar, new brewhouse, new bottling and packaging line, shipping and receiving areas, grain storage space and other manufacturing facility accruements. Read More
The Cicerone Certification Program recently announced that it would be offering a new "Advanced" course for beer entrepreneurs and enthusiasts. This week it added downloadable syllabi to its website for that course and the other three that it offers. The new Version 3 syllabi will prep any test takers for testing beginning Jan 1, 2016. So, study away. The Advanced Cicerone title may not be as hard as the Master to attain, but you're probably going to need some practice. The Download Page
Rumors are swirling that the world's second largest beer company may be beefing up to defend itself against the current heavyweight champion, AB-Inbev. SABMiller, based in London, owns brands Fosters, Grolsch, Miller, Peroni and Pilsner Urquell, and it has operations in 80 countries across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. If a takeover were to happen, quite obviously, it would have major, global implications on the future of beer brewing and distribution. We'll be keeping a very close eye on this story and providing updates as they happen. Read More
30 new bars? Damn, son. Cheers to HopCat! The craft beer bar chain announced this week that it will be investing $25 million to open new locations throughout the Midwest. The cash is coming from a Texas lender, who will claim a small stake in the company. The investment will allow HopCat to double its growth rate and open six new bars over the next five years. Lexington, KY will be the site of the next HopCat, which is expected to open this Fall. Read More