After decades of taking hops advice from
foreign brewers, American craft brewers
are beginning to return the favor. Several
are now exporting their beers, and others
are inviting upstart foreign brewers
stateside for a lesson in brewing
"We had no idea we would suddenly need
a Stone employee with 'European
acquisitions' added to his title," said a
Stone spokesperson after the brewery
received more than 75 brewery site
proposals from nine countries.
Boldly flavored American beers have
been influencing a new generation of
cutting-edge overseas brewers.
"When American craft beer got its start,
we were imitating styles from the great
brewing nations like Belgium, Germany
and the U.K.," says Bob Pease, chief
operating officer of the Brewers Assn.,
the Boulder, Colo.-based nonprofit craft
brewers' trade organization. "Now 20 to
25 years later, we've come full circle, and
they're looking to us for inspiration, but
we're really just getting started overseas."
4 "Bits" for a Beer
In the U.S., the "bit" as a designation for money dates from the colonial period, when a
common unit of currency was the Spanish milled dollar. As a way of making change, these
dollars were cut into eight pie-slice shaped pieces which were called "bits". (Each eighth-
dollar bit was then worth 12.5 cents, "two bits" was a quarter of a dollar (25 cents), "four
bits" was a half-dollar (50 cents). Needless to say 50 cents then might have gone a long way,
today it won't even get you a cup of coffee. However, it will get you a beer!
Walgreens is now making beer and selling it cheap. They have just released
“Big Flats 1901,” which it is selling for 50 cents a can, $3 for a six pack.
The product is in 4,600 of the chain's 7,655 U.S. locations.
"In this tough economy, consumers are looking for value and ways to make their money
stretch a bit further," a Walgreens spokesman said. He may have a point as sales for Big
Flats have exceeded all projections since the products began arriving in stores last month. In
response Walgreens has doubled their previous production schedule. Sensing a trend,
Walgreens will debut Colby Red, a red wine, which will join the chain’s Southern Point and
David Stone wines. It will be sold a low price, but definitely not for 4 Bits.
the crossroads of the beer world