A beefy Friday edition of beer notes that had to be split into two parts. Here’s Part I.
New Belgium: Trouble for one of the nation’s top-selling craft brands and one of the reasons that the East expansion will be very important… Craft Business Daily reports, “We’ve heard a lot of concern about craft consumers’ promiscuous palates this week, and industry consultant Bump Williams’ latest client letter just sharpens them. Some of the top craft brands seem to be losing a bit of share — Bump pinpointed Fat Tire shrinking in core markets in particular. And Boston Lager may be going through a ‘maturity cycle more than anything else,’ though Boston is doing well with their seasonals and Brewmaster’s Collection.”
Flying Dog Brewery: In an interview with Chris Spradley, General Partner and CEO, Jim Caruso, says that the Michigan Liquor Control Commission attempted to settle with the brewery out of court over the Raging Bitch lawsuit but the company balked on principal. The brewery wants to see the process through so that other alcoholic beverages containing the word, “Bitch,” in the name are allowed into the state, citing a strong belief in these companies’ First Amendment rights.
He also said that Flying Dog is doing a pumpkin beer this year for the first time and is adding a Christmas beer as well. Not certain whether any changes are coming with respect to K9 Cruiser, a winter warmer.
Victory Brewing: Following the news of Flying Dog easing off its distribution of Raging Bitch due to the hop shortage, Jack Curtin reports that Victory had to make a similar decision with Headwaters Pale Ale. “[Co-Founder Bill Covaleski] said that Headwaters Pale is selling almost as fast as the brewery’s flagship HopDevil Ale, which is to say, very rapidly indeed. The potential problem is that the centerpiece of the beer is Citra hops and, due to its contracts with suppliers, Victory cannot obtain more of those before next October. ‘We still have some Citra in house, but less than we wish we had. We’ve made all the inquiries that we could think of to try and get more, but to no avail.’”
Dogfish Head: Debuting a new beer called Ardent IPA on tap at Rehoboth Beach…”Fortified with sixty pounds of local wildflower honey from our neighbors at S&S Apiaries in Dover, this Brewpub Exclusive is a super-hopped IPA fermented with French Saison yeast. The name is a nod to the enthusiastic and passionate spirit of the team of our wholesale/distributor partners who helped brew this beer…”
Flossmoor Station: From earlier this week, “Also coming along is our Summer of Sours. Mark pulled together a nice blend this afternoon, featuring a sour with over 55 lbs of peaches that has soured away for over 2 years, blended with just a touch of apricot. The sweetness of the fruit helps to balance the tartness, but is mellow enough not to be at all dominating. That’ll be on tap once our Bare Brett kicks, so please come out and tell us what you think!”
Founders Brewing: Bottling Blushing Monk
Half Acre Beer Co.: There was a big line earlier today for the Small Animal Big Machine release. Brewery only and probably* already sold out.
Breaker Brewing: Once again, as reported by Jack Curtin, the brewery is moving to a new home.
Bonus I: Tyranena Brewing provides a great summary (pdf) over what is happening in Wisconsin with potential legislation that could harm small breweries. Think Progress and several other ‘mainstream’ outlets are also reporting on this.
Bonus II: Zythophile rips into CAMRA chairman, internet riot ensues.
Bonus III: The wacky Hahn commercial that has been floating around the beery part of the interwebs this week.