|Bilk Fad in Japan
“Bilk” is simply beer plus milk. The idea
to produce BILK (30% milk and 70%
beer) came from a liquor shop owner
in Hokkaido, Japan who created the
beverage to help local dairy farmers
plagued by excessive amounts of
BILK also contains hops and the
process of making it does not differ
much from the production of regular
beer. It looks like beer and has a
strong scent of milk and hints of
sweet fruity flavor. Currently, BILK is
sold only in Japan. However, due to
heavy media attention and high local
demand, the product has become
the fastest growing drink in the nation
with over 200% increase in sales over
the last 3 months.
In a year that saw a 24 percent drop
in The Boston Beer Co.’s stock price
and a 71 percent fall in its net income
the maker of Samuel Adams beer
awarded more than $1 million in
bonuses to its top executives; To his
credit, Chairman James Koch only
accepted $136,475, which was just
50 percent of potential.
The tradition of brewing two distinct beers from one mash has existed for thousands of years,
and for centuries the term "small beer" was used in English to describe the lighter and
weaker second beer. By association, the term came to mean something of little importance.
In the days when sanitation was bad and water dangerous to drink, small beer was served to
servants, field workers, the poor, even the young. The first runnings from a brewer's mash
would go to a stronger beer, the second for ordinary beer. A small beer, taken from a third
running, was probably about 2.5% alcohol by volume. Belgian monasteries, in particular,
produced large quantities of small beer in the Middle Ages.
In 1997, Anchor Brewing in San Francisco began brewing its Small Beer from second
runnings of its Old Foghorn (barley wine) mash. Anchor first bottled the beer in 1998, in
22-ounce bombers (small beer/big bottle) and it quickly became the nation's most
popular and best known"small" beer. It is 3.3% abv.
Technically, most small beers are "ales" because they are made with top-fermenting
yeast. In general the taste is similar to a "bitter".
|Bud Cuts Back
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the brewer created in a
$52 billion merger last year, will step up cost cuts from
the U.S. to China after higher financial expenses
stemming from the takeover drove profit down 41%.
The world’s biggest brewer said today that cost
reductions since the purchase of Budweiser maker
Anheuser-Busch Cos. have “exceeded expectations”
so far, and at least $1 billion less capital spending is
planned this year. AB InBev, which reported full-year
earnings today, will pare $2.25 billion a year in
expenses by 2011, up from the previous $1.5 billion
target through more layoffs and plant closings.
And even worse news in Oregon ...
Oregon has among the lowest taxes on beer in the
nation, but that may soon end. The latest proposal
would turn the current one penny tax into a 15 cents
levy on the cost of a pint of beer.
Christian Ettinger, from the Craft Brewers Association
said "it (tax increase) would represent the single
highest cost to us as a beer producer. Higher than
labor, higher than the cost of ingredients. It would
really impede our ability to grow in this state." he went
on to say that the additional 14 cents of tax could turn
into $1.50 more to the consumer since distributors and
retailers typically mark up the end cost.