|World's Strongest Beer - NOT
|$70 per hour Brewery Jobs
|By a large majority, Teamsters at Anheuser-
Busch’s breweries in the US have ratified a new
five-year agreement covering more than 4,500
workers. The contract ensures that Teamsters
will continue to be the highest-compensated
brewery workers in the United States.
The contract is worth more than $2 billion in
wages and benefits and it will take effect
immediately, providing wage increases
retroactive to March 1, 2014.
A-B Teamsters currently earn more than $70
per hour in total compensation – wages, health,
welfare and pension benefits. The new contract
provides more than $24,000 in additional wages
and bonuses for the average employee over the
five-year contract term.
There are 12 A-B breweries in the U.S. employ
members of the Teamsters who brew and bottle
the brands produced by the company. The
brewery locations are: Los Angeles; St. Louis;
Jacksonville, Fla.; Newark, N.J.; Houston; Fort
Collins, Colo.; Williamsburg, Va.; Cartersville,
Ga.; Merrimack, N.H.; Fairfield, Calif.;
Columbus, Ohio; and Baldwinsville, N.Y..
|Armageddon was the supposed world's strong beer at
one time. It catapulted maker Brewmeister to the pages
of national media and international fame. The new truth
of the matter was that the beer is not, in fact, 65% ABV
as claimed. It seems that nobody at Brewmeister actually
knew how strong it was, at all. They simply guessed
and didn't mind stretching the truth to the point of
absurdity. The beer was recently sent out for testing by
a suspicious fan (a competing brewery?) and the
results said it all. The beer came in at an low 16% ABV.
Not too surprisingly none of the mainstream media
confirmed the 65% claims, they just ran with it. The
people at Brewmeister defended their beer at first as
you’d expect. They claimed that the 16% result was
incorrect due to issues related to the specifics of
independent tests such as errors of calibration or
interpretation. The result of this dust up is that
Armageddon has been quietly dropped, and replaced by
the brewery's Snake Venom, the new World’s Strongest
Beer (67.5%). No independent tests on this beer have
been done. Question - how do you make a beer 67.5%
if your 65% beer never even got close?
Hop Prices UP Again
America's growing infatuation with craft beer has changed the farming
business as well. The average price for all hops rose to $3.59 a pound
in 2013, from $1.88 a pound in 2004. For the specialty hops often
preferred by craft brewers, the price increases to around $7 to $10 a
pound.The average beer uses about 0.2 pound of hops in every
31 gallons, but craft brewers can use as much as 1.25 pounds.
Brewer demand seems to be centering around the aroma varieties of hops,
which cost more because they don't yield as much, And farmers are
adjusting their crops to meet that demand.
In Washington state, the epicenter of U.S. hop farming, some 60 percent of
hop acreage is devoted to aroma hops and 40 percent to the alpha hops that
bring more bitterness to beers. Years ago, aroma hops were only planted 30
percent of the time. It's been a struggle for the hop industry to keep up with
the new demand. That stands to hurt the smallest brewers the most, since
they don't have the money to pursue forward contracts with farmers.
That shortage could become especially painful for craft brewers next year
when the multinational beer companies bring their deep pockets to the
negotiating table. The beer industry giants have been snapping up small craft
brewers with amazing speed, and they'll likely want more hops than ever.
You'd think farmers would be jumping into hops to meet the demand, but it's
a bit more complicated than that. The initial investment for a hops farm can
hit $250,000. And then there's the wait -- the plants need up to five years
to hit full production. All and all it's of a lot of work with demand outpacing
supply. All of which means get ready for higher beer
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