Exports of Belgian beer are doing well.
But despite that there is a new trend
which is causing concern among
representatives of the Belgian beer
"Apparently, we're victims of our own
success," said association president
Philippe Buisseret. "Every country
offering Belgian beer, whether it's Great
Britain, Italy, France or the United
States, tries to imitate our manner of
brewing. Local beer producers see that
the typical Belgian beers are selling well
and try to make their profit from that."
He went on to say that some pubs
abroad are offering beers with the label
"Belgian beer", without there being any
connection with Belgium whatsoever.
"An even bigger problem is that many
beer makers are offering their beer with
the label "Belgian style" without there
being any Belgian connection."
Belgian MP Sven Gatz (Flemish liberal)
has launched a campaign to tackle the
problem. He has also written to other
Belgian MP's to make them aware of the
problem. As for now he's
recommending that beer drinkers around
the world look for "Made in Belgium" on
the label and to stay away from anything
that uses the word "style".
The battle over shelf space in the beer industry is about to heat up with the entrance of a new
brand to the refrigerators at 7-Eleven. And it's the nearly 6,000-strong convenience
store chain that is making the private label brew, called "Game Day". As the third-largest
beer retailer in the U.S 7-Eleven hopes to hit a sales bonanza with its new brew.
Game Day comes in two varieties. Game Day Light is 3.9 percent alcohol by volume
and 110 calories per 12 ounces. Game Day Ice is 5.5 percent alcohol and 155 calories.
7-Eleven might not know a lot about brewing -- it's reportedly leaving that to City
Brewing in LaCrosse, Wisconsin -- but it does know beer, given that a huge chunk
of industry sales in the USA take place at convenience stores. Convenience store beer buys
dropped 4% in 2009, a steeper decline than seen in other outlets. But sales of below-premium
beers have held up and have even seen a slight lift. Average price for a Game Day beer
12 pack is $8.99 while a 24 oz. can will sell for $1.79
7-Eleven has a history of dabbling in this arena. Remember Santiago? (You probably don't.)
The chain launched the brew in 2003 to get a piece of the imported beer craze,
but like a lot of private beer labels struggled to get a foothold in the market.
Game Day beer follows the introduction of the Yosemite Road private-label wines in
7-Elevens last year. The idea of the home of Slim Jims and Slurpees turning sommelier
had some scoffing. But Skinner said the launch has gone well, with the wines holding
the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the chain's wine sales.
Whether people are ready for 7-Eleven beer remains to be seen.
|Drink, Don't Study
Students who take exams the morning after a night of heavy
drinking do not end up with lower marks, according to a
new study. A team of researchers, from Boston University
School of Public Health and Brown University, tested 193
university students, aged 21 to 24. Over the course of four
days one evening and the next morning, and then a second
evening and morning a week later volunteer participants
received either beer or nonalcoholic beer. They received the
opposite drink the second time they were tested.
The morning after, participants were given the practice
versions of a university exam, as well as a mock quiz on an
academic lecture they received the previous afternoon.
Students were monitored overnight by a medical technician.
The study found that participants scored no differently on
the test, or on the quizzes, whether they had consumed
alcoholic or non-alcoholic beer.
However the study noted that binge drinking could affect
other types of academic performance, such as essay-writing
and problem-solving requiring higher-order cognitive skills.
Twenty-five years ago this month, a consultant turned
entrepreneur began selling a new beer to Boston bars out of a
station wagon. Jim Koch hoped he could build a modest local
business with a high-priced brew that was heavier on hops
and malt than most domestic beers. Today his Boston Beer
Co., the maker of Samuel Adams Boston Lager, is now a
publicly traded company with a market capitalization of about
$790 million. Congratulations and thanks to Mr. Koch,
chairman of Boston Beer Co., for helping foster a revolution
in small-batch American brewing.