End of An Era
Beer Brings Benjamins
Across the country, changing consumer tastes
and changes to state regulatory and tax policies
have created a bull market in booze-related
businesses.  From Colorado to southwestern
Michigan to the District of Columbia, craft beer
continues to expand. Distilleries, are growing in
nearly every state. The farming of hops, is on
the rise. Spirits revenue nationwide — from all
alcohol except beer and wine — increased to
over $60 billion last year from half that in 2000,

It's boom times - the bourbon industry, for
example, has increased its payrolls over 77%
and created about 15,400 jobs. Some 10.6
million barrels of it were produced in the first
six months of 2014, up from about 4.9 million
for the same period in 2010.  Over 72 million
pounds of hops were produced in 2014 a 26%
increase in just under the last decade.
Local government has benefited too
as state alcohol tax revenues rose steadily
between 1 % - 5% .
Anheuser-Busch is planning to cease operations at its
bottling line in Newark, New Jersey, the US.  This
comes in line with the company's strategy to optimize
capabilities of its brewery system to meet consumer
and geographic needs.. The idling of the bottling line
is expected to be completed by the end of the first
quarter, resulting in 60 job cuts. All the bottling
equipment twill be relocated to Williamsburg,VA.

Late  last year, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced that it
was reducing its overall US workforce and consolidating
its sales division due to slump in sales.  Anheuser-
Busch, which employs 15,000 employees in the US,
reported 2.1% decline in earnings before interest, taxes,
depreciation and amortisation in the region for the
first nine months of 2014.

This is also the end of big breweries in Newark, NJ.  At
one time the city was home to companies such as
Krueger, Pabst, Ballantine, Eagle,and Bohemia.
Another Sell Out -   Anheuser-Busch has agreed to purchase Elysian Brewing
in Seattle, Wash., the third craft brewery (as defined by the Brewers Association)
the brewing giant has acquired inside of 12 months ( Blue Point Brewing in New
York and 10 Barrel Brewing in Oregon.)

Buy Bottles, Not Cans-  The United Steelworkers union is setting up pickets
at beer stores in Canada. It wants consumers to choose bottles to put pressure on
can maker Crown Holdings, where members have been on strike since September
2013. The Crown Holdings plant in Toronto produces about 5.5 million aluminum
beer cans every day for companies like Molson Coors and Labatt.

New Beers- Sierra Nevada is debuting two year-round beers in early 2015: the
intensely hop-heavy Hop Hunter IPA and the sessionable Nooner Pilsner. The
brewery will also unveil Beer Camp Hoppy Lager.  Stone will be introducing Delicious
IPA, a citrusy ale dry-hopped with El Dorado hops, their first reduce gluten beer.

Beer To Die For- Authorities in Mozambique say the number of people who
died after drinking contaminated traditional beer has risen to 69.  The beer was
Pombe, a traditional Mozambican brew made from millet or corn flour.  Officials
believe this batch was contaminated by crocodile bile.

For The True Geek

For the truly crazy beer geek here are some things to do that will set
you apart from the run of the mill craft enthusiast.

1. Start strictly using hops-infused toiletries and bathroom products.
Even your pores and follicles should have a palate as sophisticated
as the one in your mouth.
2. Wear logo t-shirts from breweries so arcane, no one has
actually heard of them.  Everyone has a Hill Farmstead and Stone shirt.
But you are the only one with an Ampersand Artisan Ales t-shirt.
3. Befriend a new, local retailer to the point he holds rare stuff “in the back”
for you.  Just don’t befriend him to the point you ever have to have a
conversation with him regarding anything besides new beer releases.
4.  Always sprinkle your beer conversations with indecipherable
abbreviations and slang.“Anyone know why FW18 is shelf-turding in PNW?”
5.  Spend literally every single weekend standing in industrial district
parking lots, waiting for beer releases.
6.  Redefine what you consider a “fresh” IPA.
Ten days is now out-of-date in your opinion, and you wouldn’t dare
pour that malty swill down your throat.
7. Interrupt all private conversations you overhear at the bar to correct minor
misstatements.“Actually, that’s a gueuze. Lambics aren’t blended. (Idiot.)”
8.  Boldly proclaim a highly-acclaimed and highly-coveted beer is officially
not good anymore. Pliny? Weak. Heady? Pshaw. Zombie Dust? Garbage.
Declare even harder-to-get beers are the only ones worth a damn nowadays.
9. Review all 75 beers you drink at a beer festival.  Even if you only had a
one-ounce sample of each and can barely remember most.
10. Become really into an obscure style of beer that hardly any American
breweries make.Gruits, gratzers, and/or kvass should work nicely. Saisons
and bière de gardes have just become so basic.


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Edited by Jim Attacap

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