Play Ball With Bud

Anheuser-Busch Inc. has reached a new
sponsorship agreement with Major
League Baseball and dropped the lawsuit it
filed against the league in November,
2010. The multi-year agreement
designates Budweiser as the official beer
sponsor of MLB.

The U.S. arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev
NV, the world's largest brewer, sued the
league's licensing arm in a New York
federal court claiming that it reneged on a
multiyear renewal of the sponsorship
rights and demanded "exponentially
higher" fees.

The Budweiser brewer has sponsored
Major League Baseball for more than 30
years and is the official beer sponsor for
26 of the league's 30 teams.

In May, Anheuser-Busch announced that
its Bud Light brand would be the official
beer sponsor of the National Football
League in 2011, replacing rival Coors
Light, which is brewed by
MillerCoors LLC.

The deal was reported to be valued at
$1.2 billion over six years which
translates into a lot of beer fans have to
drink to make the deal worthwhile.

Zero Calories, Zero Alcohol Beer

Kirin is taking things just about as far as they can go - selling an alcohol-free beer
in the West Coast of the U.S.  This isn’t your average low-alcohol concoction. Kirin describes
the brew, Kirin Free, as the first “0.00%-alcohol beer” in the world (while drinks labeled
“nonalcoholic” may be found in stores in the U.S., these can include up to 0.5% alcohol by
volume, according to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives).

Kirin plans to test-market the 334ml bottle at 1,000 restaurants in cities on the West Coast of
the U.S. beginning March.   Japan’s No. 2 brewer by number of cases shipped last year,
actually began sales of Kirin Free in Japan last year, selling 5.2 million cases in 2010.

While regular, alcoholic beer product sales have been sliding in Japan for a long time –
volumes decreasing by 20% between 1994 and 2010 – nonalcoholic beer sales are still a drop
in the ocean compared to the regular beer market: Overall sales of nonalcoholic beer are
expected to be about to 12 million cases this year, only a tenth of sales of beer
king Asahi’s most sold beer, Asahi Super Dry.

Potential U.S. drinkers may be encouraged to give Kirin Free a try by the knowledge that the
product has only approximately 54 calories in a 334ml bottle, much less than the original
alcoholic Kirin beer’s 137. But if cutting calories is the aim, Japan’s ever-inventive drinks
makers already have a product for that too: step forward Suntory with All-Free, a beer that
not only has no alcohol, it also has no calories and no sugar.  

Did I hear anyone say water?
Feature News  
Edited by Jim Attacap
the crossroads of the beer world

Bottoms Up!

The Bottoms Up beer dispenser can
pour up to 44 pints a minute, with just
one person using it. Add a few helpers
and it can reach 56 pints per
minute, not far off one per second.  
The machine fills them from the bottom!!
Obviously, the cups have holes, but how do they reseal?        
Magnets. The plastic glasses have a floppy fridge-magnet
inside, a circle which sticks itself to a corresponding donut-
shape strip around the filling-hole.

So, the Bottoms Up pumps are fast, can hook up to any keg
and – provided you have the rest of your gear clean and
properly adjusted – you won’t waste beer via foam. But there
is an obvious problem: waste of those glasses. Instead of a
glass glass, which can be re-used over and over, these are
designed to be disposable, to the extent that the little magnetic
discs are pushed as an advertising opportunity:

A magnet on the fridge of the American household gets 20
impressions per day per person in the household, making this
ad space the most viewed souvenir taken home from a venue.
That also means it is taken home from the venue!

GrinOn Industries, the Montesano, Wash., is the company
behind the speedy system and Josh Springer is the man who
came up with the idea.  Josh said  he hoped his invention
might someday put an end to long stadium beer lines and help
sports fans get a beer and get back to their seats without
missing a single pitch.The system, which is used in about 30
stadiums and arenas across North America, launched at the
Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Tuesday night.

Watch it in action