New  Beers

Boston’s Harpoon Brewery and Nova Scotia’s Big
Spruce Brewing have teamed up on a new seasonal
beer, From Nova Scotia With Love. The 9% ABV
holiday brew is an abbey-style ale, brewed with oak
and cherrywood smoked malts and spruce tips, and
aged in Glen Breton Single Malt  Whiskey barrels.
Gas and convenience store chain Sheetz has rolled
out a doughnut flavored beer called “Project Happy
Hole-idayz” North Carolina-based Wicked Weed  It is
made with one-pound of Sheetz Glazed Vanilla
Donut holes per barrel. now at all 432 Sheetz shops.
The idea of a breakfast stout (a beer containing
many breakfast staples) is a done thing, but no one
has done it like Funky Buddah's new Maple Bacon
Coffee Porter now in distribution.
More New Beers

First Magnitude Brewing in Gainesville, Fla., has
just debuted a beer inspired by — and allegedly
tasting like — the popular Dole Whip treats served
at Disney parks, the Dole Plantation in Hawaii and
select other locations. Dole Whip Sour, as it’s
called, is brewed with “actual Dole Whip mix,” from
the Dole Food Company. The recipe also calls for
pineapple puree and milk sugar, and results in a
beer that tastes “just like” a Dole Whip soft serve.
A beer release meant to support Michigan Gov.
Gretchen Whitmer sold out 6 minutes  just on pre-
orders online of “Big Gretch: The Return,” a petite
sour saison, which was a follow up to a hard seltzer
it released earlier.“Wow!” said  owner Josh Rake .
Governor Whitmer called to congratulate him.
Jan. 2021

U.S. brewers shipped 12.3 million barrels of beer in December 2020, a decline of
0.8%.  Predictions were for more of a decline because of Covid restrictions.
The temporary federal excise tax cuts enjoyed by brewers and importers over the
last three years have been made permanent. Congress has included language
from the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) in the $900
billion COVID-19 relief package just passed.
Brooklyn Brewery co-founder Steve Hindy, one of the famed “Class of ’88” pioneers
of the craft brewing, has announced his retirement, effective 1/1/21.
Distributors expect the hard seltzer segment to end the year with 155% growth
and come close to doubling in 2021 with much of the increase coming from White
Claw (Mark Anthony Brands) and Truly Hard Seltzer (Boston Beer Company
Two of the largest beverage alcohol producers in the country are teaming up.
Pabst Brewing Co. and Jack Daniel’s maker Brown-Froman announced a
partnership in which Pabst will produce, sell and distribute Jack Daniel’s Country
Cocktails, the whiskey brand’s line of flavored malt beverages.
The nation’s supply of carbon dioxide is expected to be able to meet brewers’
needs, even as the dry ice industry’s demand increases for the shipment and
storage of COVID-19 vaccines.
Edited by Jim Attacap
Anheuser Busch Challenged

In early December 2020 Anheuser-Busch announced an agreement to acquire key assets of
65-year-old Ace Beverage in Los Angeles, Calif., for an undisclosed amount. Already an A-B
distributor, Ace supports territories from East LA to West LA from Hollywood and Inglewood to
Monterey Park and Huntington Park. A few weeks before, Anheuser-Busch sold its Colorado
distribution operations to Georgia A-B wholesaler Eagle Rock. This transaction is notable
because it resulted in 400 people being permanently laid off in Colorado.

A watchdog group called Alcohol Justice sent a letter to California Attorney General Xavier
Becerra requesting a full-scale investigation into the Ace transaction. Alcohol Justice cited
California’s Cartwright Act, federal antitrust statutes and a bunch of other stuff. Among many
things here are just a few parts of what they said -
“The monopoly power potential of ABI in California is already great. With significant control in
the distribution network as well, ABI can potentially get inside information on retail activity at
nearly every store, on-sale ABC licensee, or small producer.Lower and raise beer prices at
will.  They offer generous promotions and swag to retail tier purchasers to force out
competitive brands.  They make it difficult for craft brew producers to get onto their trucks,
while under lock-down conditions the craft brew industry is already suffering great economic
stress.: They  make it difficult for craft brew producers to get onto their trucks, while under
lock-down conditions the craft brew industry is already suffering great economic stress.
They diminish distribution market share for any remaining independent distributors, forcing
them out of business or forcing them to sell their assets and routes to ABI at deep discounts.”

While most craft beer enthusiasts focus on the efforts of Anheuser-Busch InBev taking over
small, independent breweries like Elysian Brewing, Goose Island Brewing and others,
establishing monopolistic control of the wholesale distribution chain is arguably more
damaging to the craft beer industry. This is not the first time industry analysts and insiders
have expressed concerns about ABI’s ongoing efforts to gain greater control over the
wholesale market in California and other states. This is merely the latest chapter in an
ongoing saga.  So far the Attorney General has not decided on a course of action.  Whatever
the outcome it will have far reaching effect across the nation.