Yesterday, Doc sent out an e-mail to the Aleheads asking if any of us had sampled Batch 19 yet. During a recent trip to VA, Doc was half in the bag after tucking into some delicious Bell’s Two Hearted and HopSlam pints. His bartender, taking pity on him, apparently suggested he scale back on his ABV intake by partaking in a Batch 19 instead. Doc said he enjoyed the beer…until the next morning when he discovered that Batch 19 is brewed by Tenth and Blake (the “craft” division of MillerCoors). That didn’t change his enjoyment of the beer from the night before. But it did add some context that made him question the experience.
This morning, the Czar forwarded the rest of the Aleheads an excellent article from the West Coaster (an on-line publication representing the San Diego craft beer scene). In it, the author compellingly argues against the current practice in which Big Beer markets their “craft” products without giving any indication of who is actually brewing the beer. Blue Moon is the best/worst example. Their beers are wholly brewed by Coors, but their bottles claim they’re produced by the “Blue Moon Brewing Company”. Doc had no idea who made Batch 19, and indeed, as the West Coaster author notes, neither the Batch 19 bottles nor the tap handles mention that they are brewed by a huge multi-national. Read the rest of this entry »
Ryan from the Chicago-based blog Guys Drinking Beer checks in to talk about the difficult circumstances Anheuser-Busch InBev now finds itself with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, when it was recently revealed their wholly-owned subsidiary WEDCO (owners of large ABI distributor City Beverage) has never been registered to do business in the state. We speculate on possible repercussions the upcoming decision could have on AB-InBev and the beer distribution landscape in Illinois, talk about the recent influx of exciting new breweries in the state, and get an update from a local on how Goose Island is perceived since they were acquired by ABI.
Beer bloggers love writing about breweries, brewpubs, bars, package stores, and beerfests. But there’s one facet of the beer industry we generally ignore…the wholesalers. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, distribution is an industry based on infrastructure and logistics. In other words, it’s kind of boring. Second, beer distribution is incredibly complex. Different states (hell, different COUNTIES) have wholly different distribution laws. Some allow breweries to self-distribute. Others require all breweries to sign on with a licensed wholesaler. When you combine an industry that is both legally complex AND prosaic, well…it’s no wonder you don’t hear a whole lot about the beer distribution industry in the blogosphere. Read the rest of this entry »