The Craft Beer Week in Review: Sept 14 – 18, 2015

Craft Beer Forcing Big Beer to Double Down

We shared last week that SABMiller was beefing up to fend of AB-Inbev advances. Then, on Monday MillerCoors announced it was closing a North Carolina brewery and laying off 500 people. You see, beer drinking is down in the U.S., mainly because drinkers (especially young ones) are choosing craft beer and other spirits over the traditional cases of watery macros. The changes in consumer tastes have sent mega beer corporations scrambling to make up for lost revenues. One tactic they have been employing is purchasing successful craft brewers. MillerCoors most recently (last week) purchased a controlling interest in San Diego brewer, Saint Archer.

Apparently, the world's 2nd largest brewer, MillerCoors/SABMiller/WhateverTF you want to call, them wasn't acting drastically enough, because they have found themselves vulnerable to buyout offers from the industry's No.1, everyone's favorite beer giant, AB-Inbev. We must thank the cosmos for injecting its most valuable store of irony into this scenario.

Of course, Miller isn't the only giant beverage company feeling the crunch. The Budweiser parent wouldn't be considering this takeover if not for the sudsy bleed out they have been enduring since the craft beer smackdown began. Both of the global companies have been changing course as of late, focusing on emerging markets in Asia, Africa and in Central and South America. Is it elitist to point out that they are finding themselves best suited to go after markets in developing nations?

We're sure you've read an article or two on this happening already this week - there are only a few thousand by now. So, here is the most appropriate link we could find for further reading.

Update 9-20-15: Members of Congress not liking the idea of an AB-MillerCoors merger

Read this if you hate macros, especially Budweiser.

What to fear, not to fear about the Lagunitas selloff.

Because Oktoberfest

It's that time of year! If you do a Google search for Oktoberfest, you will literally find hundreds of posts from just the past several days about celebrations happening all over America. In Munich, Germany, where the celebration began, they just call it Wiesen, after the fairgrounds where it is held every year. The original Bavarian tradition dates back to the early 1800s and festivals all over the world today model their events after it. One such fest is held in the home of Brew Studs Central, Cincinnati, Ohio.

The annual Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is the largest in the U.S. and is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of attendees over the course of the weekend. The two day event has an addition this year, a row of craft beer vendors. The craft beer has the locals pretty excited, but being that the event is only boasting 40 craft beers the excitement is somewhat contained. You can expect Cincinnati craft beer fans to be shuttling back and forth between Oktoberfest and another annual beer event happening this weekend, Fifty Fest, where you're sure to bump into a Brew Stud.

Something really cool that's happening at this years' Zincinnati: Sam Adams is bringing a rare brew to tap, Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru, a Belgian ale, aged in Hungarian oak casks for more than a year and fermented with Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus and other wild yeasts. It's being tapped at 11 a.m. Sunday in Brewer’s Alley (Booth 1000).

Siebel Institute Announces New Master Craft Brewer Theory Program

The advanced-level Master Craft Brewer Theory (MCBT) program has been specifically designed to give students the knowledge they need to understand the nature of contemporary craft brewing practice. Conducted via web-based instruction, the MCBT program features content designed by the Siebel Institute instructional team that addresses techniques and technologies covering creation of the full spectrum of beer styles in a wide variety of brewery environments. Read More

The Return of Beer Camp: Coming 2016

It started in the home of Sierra Nevada's brewery and headquarters in Chico, California and ended in just outside of Asheville in Mills River, North Carolina. In 2014, it was probably the most talked about beer event next to GABF. To accompany and commemorate the seven-stop tour and opening of their new Eastern brewery, Sierra Nevada released a 12 pack of collaboration brews, each made with a different craft brewery from around the country.

This week, Sierra Nevada announced that the tour will be coming back in 2016 - by popular demand, no doubt. And you know what else they're bringing back? The Beer Camp 12 pack. For the 2016 version, SN is teaming up with 30 different breweries to make six super groups - like rock bands do - to represent 6 regions of the country.

The breweries & beer styles for the mix pack and stops & dates for the tour will be announced at a later date, but you can check back here for updates. And while you jones for 2016, you can check out the video below from last year's tour.

Craft Beer News From Last Week here

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