|A California judge has finally tossed aside a
class action lawsuit against MillerCoors LLC
that alleged the beer company was deceptively
brewing and marketing its Blue Moon Brewing
line of craft products. The judge said that Evan
Parent, a homebrewer and plaintiff listed in the
suit, was unsuccessful in demonstrating that
MillerCoors had misled consumers through its
advertising athat Blue Moon as a craft beer.
Parent had pointed to a series of video
advertisements the said “falsely represent that
Blue Moon is brewed by a small, independent
craft brewery, rather than the second largest
brewing company in the United States.”
MillerCoors pointed out they did not explicitly
state where its beer was brewed or how large
batch sizes were. It also stopped short of
describing the Blue Moon products as craft
beer. At best, they said the advertisements
contains "generalized, vague, and unspecified
assertions that were obviously not sspecific."
|Along with being the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-
Busch InBev is also the biggest beer distributor in the
United States. And in several states, the law allows the
company to distribute its own beer — and most markets
have only one or two distributors. The company has also
recently increased its control over the beer-distribution
industry by purchasing five independent distributors
(acquisitions that prompted a Department of Justice
inquiry last fall). That means that Anheuser-Busch InBev
can focus on building its own brands while effectively,
and legally, shutting out competing craft brands.
The company, which already controls 45 percent of the
domestic beer market, also encourages independent
distributors to focus on selling its brands over craft
brands. The company recently introduced its Voluntary
Anheuser-Busch Incentive for Performance program,
which pays distributors on a sliding scale based on the
share of its beers they sell — which means that if they
sell craft beers, they lose money.
So the next time you don't see a multitude of craft beer
choices in your local store you now know who to blame.
|Legal?- In the first collaboration of its kind, Thorn Street Brewery has teamed up
with Jetty Extracts, a leader in the cannabis industry, to create. OG HighPA Session IPA,
4.20% ABV. The key is terpenes, which are the compounds in both cannabis and beer
hops that give them their unique smells. Although there is no THC in this beer, the
extract gives it a distinct nose that to some is highly recognizable.
Is It Beer?- New Belgium Brewing and Ben & Jerry’s are teaming up to create a
new ice cream - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale, a special release beer to hit the
shelves in the fall of 2016. Some proceeds will benefit Protect Our Winters group.
Crime Wave- Thieves stole two trailers containing nearly 3,300 cases of beer
recently in Georgia. SweetWater Brewing Co. said the trailers had been loaded for
an early morning pickup when they were taken from the company's plant. The
two trailers carried over 78,500 bottles of SweetWater's Summer Variety Pack.
All Cans - Fort Collins Brewery announced that they will be moving their entire
lineup to cans. General Manager Tina Peters said “Being 100% recyclable, cans are
right in line with our commitment to sustainability. Cans are ideal in protecting the
freshness and intregity of beer as barriers to oxygen and light."
While many breweries pair up with local beekeepers to provide honey
for certain beers, others have gone a step further: They’ve brought
hives directly onto the farms where they grow other ingredients used in
brews, like hops, grains, and fruits.
Rogue Ales & Spirits, an Oregon-based brewing company is an
innovator in the farm-to-barrel movement. They began keeping apis
mellifera (that’s the fancy Latin name for honeybees) on Rogue Farms in
Independence, Oregon, beginning in 2012. Today, they have, at last
count, 7,140,289 honeybees that provide the all-important ingredient
for the company’s Honey Kolsch beer and Marionberry Braggot (a
mead-like drink with a history dating back at least to the 1200s.
The honey is also used as a natural sweetener in the company’s line of
sodas. Besides using the pollinators for honey, Rogue says the insects
visit up to 1,500 flowers a day, gathering nectar and pollinating
blossoms. A Rogue spokesperson said "Our honeybees not only
pollinate our marionberries for our Marionberry Braggot, pumpkins for
our Pumpkin Patch Ale, jalapeños for our Chipotle Ale, cucumbers for
our Spruce Gin, and dozens of other ingredients, they also collect nectar
and create a honey that showcases the terroir of Rogue Farms.”
Fruit IPAs Huge Hit
While the growth of India Pale Ales has been widely documented,
the sub-style of fruit- infused IPAs has been growing like gangbusters –
over 800% last year compared to 2014. The fruit IPA segment
is expected to have its highest volume year ever in 2016 and
continue to grow for years to come.
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