Why Would a Bottle Shop Open a Brewery

Katy and I recently announced that The Glass Jug Beer Lab would be adding on a brewery and beer garden this fall. While there has been a lot of press about this move, I wanted to let you all in on my thoughts as to why we're doing it and why I think we will see other bottle shops making similar moves in the coming years.

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Thoughts on the Wicked Weed Purchase by Anheuser-Busch InBev

I know I haven't written anything on the blog for almost 9 months, but the events of May 3, 2017, have inspired me to put my pen to paper once more. However, instead of posting my thoughts here, I wrote the blog as an official response to the Anheuser-Busch InBev purchase of Wicked Weed Brewing on The Glass Jug company blog, where we will hopefully reach a larger audience and, specifically, reach our customers.

I felt this was a topic that we, an independently-owned local craft beer store and bar, needed to take a stance on and explain how we will treat Wicked Weed products in the future.

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Brewing for Social Change

There are many things to love about the industry, but one of the things that I have seen as a growing trend that really sets the craft breweries apart from the macro beer factories is how craft breweries are not just brewing beer to make a profit - they're using their craft and their influence to impact the communities they live in.

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Cloudy is the new Black: The New England Style IPA

Over the past few months, there has been growing chatter about what folks are calling the "New England Style IPA" or the "Vermont Style IPA." I've been hesitant to write much about it, up to this point, because I haven't been lucky enough to sample very many of the fresh juicy IPAs from the northeast. However, now that the style is starting to sweep through NC, I thought I'd share my opinion of what it is and what to keep in mind when purchasing these new cloudy beers.

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Using "Funky" as a Beer Descriptor is a Crutch

The term "funky" has become the default to describe a beer whenever we see the word "brett" or "wild fermented" included on the label or description. It's like we stopped actually using our taste buds and just do a word association: brett = funky. I think we can do better.

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How Big Beer Will Crush Craft Beer...If We Let Them

It's been a while since I last published an article. And in that time, a lot has happened in the world of beer. There is a proposed purchase of SABMiller by AB-InBev, which could result in a single company creating nearly 30-percent of the beer brewed on planet earth (that's over 400 beer brands, including 8 of the top 10 selling brands in the US). Also, there have been a lot of small breweries bought out by the mega corporations. AB-InBev went on a Christmas shopping spree and bought 3 breweries over a 5-day period last week. Since publishing last, all of the following breweries are now part of the mega AB-InBev family: Golden Road, High Peaks, Breckenridge, and London's Camden Town Brewery.

So, what does this mean? How does it impact the end consumer? Is your beer buying and drinking experience likely to change because of these changes? 

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How Anheuser-Busch InBev Will Survive

Anheuser-Busch has been around since 1852, and they haven't survived that long by simply watching the monumental shifts in the beer industry roll by.  They were around in 1873, when there were 4,131 breweries in the US (just slightly more than there are today), as well as in the 1920s, during prohibition. And they were certainly present in the late 1970s when the number of breweries in the US dipped below 100. (see these numbers in a handy chart from the Brewer's Association)

Today's craft beer movement is not going to topple Goliath. If you think otherwise, lay off the crack pipe.

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Seasonal Creep, and Why it Happens...Every Year

One thing that gives me a chuckle each year is, come mid-July, there is always someone saying "man, these fall beers come out earlier and earlier every year!" when in reality, they've been coming out in mid-July since at least 2012 when this article was written.

But why is that?

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Is There a Craft Beer Bubble?

Of course you clicked on this one. "Craft Beer Bubble" has turned into quite the buzz phrase recently and posting about it is just about instant click-bait. So yes, I did stoop to this level.

But let's be honest, as soon as I started writing this blog, you all wanted to hear about this topic. You had to know it was coming. Everyone's been asking about it, and everyone has an opinion on it. So, why not share mine with you?

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Economic Impact of Craft Beer 'Pop the Cap' Legislation in North Carolina

Pop the Cap was the grass-roots campaign that led to the passing of legislation to raise the limit on the percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV) allowed in beer sold in NC. Up until 2005, no beer could be sold that was above 6% ABV. With the passing of this law, the cap was raised to 15%.

At the time, those pushing for this change were doing so on the promise that it would create an estimated 300 jobs at the new breweries that would open up, brewing styles that previously couldn't be made in NC (barleywines, imperial stouts, etc.). However, by more recent projections, we have seen the addition of close to 10,000 jobs at breweries, distributors, and retail stores across the state of North Carolina, since the bill's passage.

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A prediction: Gose will be the beer of 2016

I'll start off by saying I may have jumped the gun. I thought the summer of 2015 would be the summer of the Gose. After the extreme popularity of the Anderson Valley Gose in the summer of 2014 (and subsequent introduction of their Blood Orange Gose in the fall/winter of 2014), I thought more breweries would be fighting to get a piece of that pie this year.

Sure, we have seen the Boulevard Hibiscus Gose, and Victory's Kirsch Gose, and even locally we saw our neighborhood brewery in Carrboro do a Gose, along with a dill spiced Gose (Steel String's Picklemania). But there haven't been near the number of Gose's introduced this summer as I expected. Where is the Stone Gose, the Founder's Gose, or the Bell's Gose?

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Measuring Success for Small Breweries

Let's pretend you are starting your own business. You have a great idea to bring a new product to market that you think everyone is going to love. For the purpose of this exercise, let's say you're making widgets. You pull together the funds, whether it be through loans, investors, or venture capital, and you set off to follow your dream, making the best damn widgets anyone has ever seen.

You work hard at this for 10, maybe 15 years. You're continuing to grow, the business is profitable, but you seem to be hitting a ceiling. You aren't going to make the next leap without a major expansion, which would require more investment and more work. You've saturated your regional market with your widgets, and you want to bring them to the rest of the country, but you don't yet have the capability to do so, without newer, bigger machines, a larger manufacturing plant, and many more employees.

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Whose Root Beer Is It?

Happy Friday! Seems like it's about time to clock out of work, doesn't it? Are you comfy? Do you have a cold beverage in your hand? If not, you may want to grab a seat and a beer, as today's topic may be a bit of a long one. 

When you hear someone say, "Man, I love that beer. It' tastes just like ____!" does that seem odd to you? I'm talking about when people say a beer tastes just like something that is not beer - cream soda or root beer, for example. Does it seem a bit odd? 

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Deep Discounts & the Devaluing of Craft Beer

I hope you're doing well and gearing up for a great weekend full of good times and tasty brews. But before you clock-out, I thought I'd share some thoughts on craft beer pricing and the impact of deep sales on the consumer mindset and understanding of the value of craft beer. This is just my ramblings and thoughts on the situation, but I'd love to hear feedback from others about this, also.

A few weeks ago, a large supermarket chain in the Triangle put Oskar Blues Pinner, a popular session IPA, 6-packs on sale for $4.99.  The everyday price for this 6-pack is between $9.99 and $10.99, depending on where you shop. We sell them at The Glass Jug individually for $1.75 or in a 6-pack for $10.50.

So, $4.99 is obviously a great deal, right?

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Hello World...

Welcome to the first Craft Beer Insider newsletter.

I've created this newsletter (and how a blog) to exist as a separate channel from our official newsletter for The Glass Jug (if you're interested in keeping up to date with events and new beer releases at The Glass Jug, I would encourage you to sign up for that newsletter separately), as what I hope this will provide is a place for me to share my perspective on the ins and outs of the craft beer industry in the US. It's not going to be individual beer reviews - there's plenty of those out there already. But, it will be more of a critique of the happenings and trends that are affecting the craft beer industry.

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