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Friday, August 26, 2011

Pints for Prostates

Pints for Prostates is a grassroots campaign that uses the universal language of beer to reach men with an important health message. Founded by prostate cancer survivor Rick Lyke in 2008, the campaign raises awareness among men about the need for regular health screenings and PSA testing by making appearances at beer festivals, social networking and pro bono advertising.

We at the Bohemian are trying to help by spreading awareness. Join us and share the link or just tell someone about it.

Pints for Prostates has registered as a 501(c)3 charity and 100% of all funds raised by the group go to fighting prostate cancer and assisting men with the disease. Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network, a 501(c)3 charity that works to support, educate and advocate for men with prostate cancer and their families, is a recipient of Pints for Prostates financial support.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Beer 101 - Nitrogen capsules

Nitrogen capsules ("widgets")

The term widget can also be used to refer to a laser-etched pattern at the bottom of a beer glass which aids the release of carbon dioxide bubbles.[2] The pattern of the etching can be anything from a simple circular or chequered design to a logo or text.

The widget in the base of a beer glass works by creating a nucleation point, allowing the CO2 to be released from the liquid which comes into contact with it, thus assisting in maintaining head on the beer.

While glass widgets work on any carbonated beverage, the result is considerably less noticeable with bottled or canned drinks, with the best results produced in draught lager or cider. Czech and German glass makers would use beer to show how perfect their handblown glass was allowing very little imperfection to create this nucleation point for the CO2.

Guinness introduced the nitrogen capsule, commonly known as the widget, in cans of Guinness Stout in the late 1980s. Subsequently, this device has caused many shirts and shoes to be soaked with beer as people discover for themselves the magic of nitrogen draft flow systems. Guinness served on draft acquires its creamy head when nitrogen bubbles are flushed through the beer at the time of serving. The widget is a small plastic capsule containing pressurized nitrogen gas that rushes out of a pinhole when the can is opened and the internal pressure is lowered. Widgets have now found their way into bottles as well as cans and have jumped species from Irish stouts to other ales, though not necessarily with the same levels of critical acclaim.

Why Nitrogen?

Some canned beers are pressurized by adding liquid nitrogen, which vaporises and expands in volume after the can is sealed, forcing gas and beer into the widget's hollow interior through a tiny hole—the less beer the better for subsequent head quality. In addition, some nitrogen dissolves in the beer which also contains dissolved carbon dioxide. It is important that oxygen be eliminated from any process developed as this can cause flavour deterioration when present.

The presence of dissolved nitrogen allows smaller bubbles to be formed thereby increasing the creaminess of the head. This is because the smaller bubbles need a higher internal pressure to balance the greater surface tension, which is inversely proportional to the radius of the bubbles. Achieving this higher pressure would not be possible with just dissolved carbon dioxide, as the greater solubility of this gas compared to nitrogen would create an unacceptably large head.

When the can is opened, the pressure in the can quickly drops, causing the pressurised gas and beer inside the widget to jet out from the hole. This agitation on the surrounding beer causes a chain reaction of bubble formation throughout the beer. The result, when the can is then poured out, is a surging mixture in the glass of very small gas bubbles and liquid.

This is the case with certain types of draught beer such as draught stouts. In the case of these draught beers, which before dispensing also contain a mixture of dissolved nitrogen and carbon dioxide, the agitation is caused by forcing the beer under pressure through small holes in a restrictor in the tap. The surging mixture gradually settles to produce a very creamy head

The Third Annual Beehive Brew-off

We sent off some swag for the home brewers who entered in this years event. We're happy to announce the winners:

The Third Annual Beehive Brew-off has come and gone and this year saw a record number of entries. Nearly 500 entries were submitted covering just about every style under the sun.

Beehive Brew Off 2011 Results
August 20-21st 2011
Sponsored by The Beer Nut/ZZHops
482 Entries
1 Light Lager (9 Entries)
Mike Johnson Standard American Lager 1B Standard American 1
Scott Hunt Mow my lawn bitch 1B Standard American 2
James Nicodemus Stella 1C Premium American 3
2 Pilsner (15 Entries)
Scott Hunt Cup Czech Pils 2B Bohemian Pilsner 1
Vince Stuart G.P. Lite 2B Bohemian Pilsner 2
Marti Dana Pile Driver Pils 2B Bohemian Pilsner 3
3 Euro Amber Lager (13 Entries)
Bryan Van Winkle Vee Dub Vienna 3A Vienna Lager 1
Travis Grimm Festbier 3B Oktoberfest 2
John Hansen Autumn Rush 3B Oktoberfest 3
4 Dark Lager (12 Entries)
Tracy Johancsik Dawn's Dunkel 4B Munich Dunkel 1
John Hansen Celestial Swartzbier 4C Schwarzbier 2
Vince Stuart Wagner Wobble 4C Schwarzbier 3
5 Bock (12 Entries)
Mike Mirabella The Crushinator 5C Doppelbock 1
Travis Grimm Detonator 5C Doppelbock 2
Scott Hunt Flocculator 5C Doppelbock 3
6 A,B,C Light Hybrid (16 Entries)
Alex Lemieux and Tory Clayton K-Beer 6C Koelsch 1
Alex Lemieux and Tory Clayton Summer Blonde 6B Blond Ale 2
Andrew Swan Centennial Blonde 6B Blond Ale 3
6D American Wheat/Rye (13 Entries)
Matt Lewis Rye Know Why 6D American Wheat or Rye Beer 1
Mike Mirabella The Why of Rye 6D American Wheat or Rye Beer 2
Tom Shivers American Wheat 6D American Wheat or Rye Beer 3
7 Amber Hybrids (9 Entries)
John Knoop Munich Lager 7C Dusseldorf Altbier 1
Rob Phillips Steam Bound for CA 7B California Common Beer 2
Alan Burnham Session Common 7B California Common Beer 3
8 English Pale Ales (14 Entries)
Scott Hunt Tigershark esb 8B Special/Best/Premium Bitter 1
Sean Meegan ESB Easy as 123 8C Extra Special/Strong Bitter (EPA) 2
Robert Glenn Wanker ESB 8C Extra Special/Strong Bitter (EPA) 3
9 Scottish and Irish Ale (14 Entries)
Kyle Callister Dressing up Scottish Scottish 80/- 1
Matt Walker Biscuits For Smut Strong Scotch Ale 2
Michael Goode and Allison Truong Snowshoe Heavy AleStrong Scotch Ale 3
10A American Pale (25 Entries)
Justin Kingsford JPA (Justin Pale Ale) 10A American Pale 1
Aaron Smith and Izaak WiermanWhipping Post Pale 10A American Pale 2
Eric Brauser Kickback APA 10A American Pale 3
10B American Amber (16 Entries)
Trent Bangert Angus Ale 10B American Amber 1
Justin Kingsford Amber Ale 10B American Amber 2
Josh Van Jura Abolishian Amber 10B American Amber 3
10C American Brown (6 Entries)
Paul Gailey Trip One 10C American Brown 1
Trent Bangert Yep, Yep, Yep, Yep 10C American Brown 2
Michael Brown YAJB 10C American Brown 3
11 English Brown Ale (8 Entries)
Travis Grimm Mental Mild 11A Mild 1
Dallas Barlow Rated X 11A Mild 2
Doug Kirchner Celtic Mild 11A Mild 3
12 Porter (23 Entries)
Mike Johnson Robust Porter 12B Robust Porter 1
Andrew Jensen Baltic Porter 12C Baltic Porter 2
Dave Watson Porter Starboard 12A Brown Porter 3
13 Stout (19 Entries)
Steve Furse Strongman Stout 13C Oatmeal Stout 1
Weston Barkley Building Blocks 13A Dry Stout 2
Connor Papineau Aesthetics of hate 13E American Stout 3
13F Russian Imperial Stouts (6 Entries)
Trent Bangert Court of Catherine Russian Imperial Stout 1
Ricky Hansing and Quinn Eskelsen Trojan Horse Russian Imperial Stout 2
Brad Williams Russian Imperial Stout Russian Imperial Stout 3
Jeremy Geiger Risky RIS Russian Imperial Stout 3
14 India Pale Ale (29 Entries)
Lawrence Ostroski Rose Park IPA 14B American IPA 1
Scott Hunt IPA 74 14B American IPA 2
James Mancuso and Connor Forbes Drop it Like it is Hop American IPA 3
14C Imperial IPA (9 Entries)
Chris Detrick Jack Morman Rye IPA 14C Imperial IPA 1
Travis Grimm Infirmary Double IPA 14C Imperial IPA 2
Phillip Davis Imperial IPA 14C Imperial IPA 3
15 German Wheat and Rye (15 Entries)
Ed Scott Weizenbock 15C Weizenbock 1
Dallas Barlow Kick Ass Wedding Wheat 15A Weizen 2
Kyle Callister At Night Weizen 15B Dunkelweizen 3
16A Witbier (7 Entries)
Don Gladfelter None 16A Witbier 1
Sarah Nelson Wit 16A Witbier 2
James Mancuso and Connor Forbes Garcon Blanc 16A Witbier 3
16 C,D Saison & Biere de Garde (19 Entries)
Alex Lemieux and Tory Clayton Biere de Mars 16D Biere de Garde 1
Dallas Barlow In the Desert Dry Farmhouse Ale 16C Saison 2
Mark Eury C'est L'ete 16C Saison 3
16 B,E Belgian Pale and Specialty (19 Entries)
Dallas Barlow She is a Bit of a Tart 16E Belgian Specialty 1
Daren Wightman Dack Framboise 16E Belgian Specialty 2
Mike Hahn Imperial Orval 16E Belgian Specialty 3
17 Sour Beers (9 Entries)
Dallas Barlow Halten Sie Den Schuss 17A Berliner Weisse 1
Brent Winkler Flanders Red 17B Flanders Red 2
Chris Detrick Berliner Weiss 17A Berliner Weisse 3
18 Belgian Strong (21 Entries)
Dallas Barlow Triple Poules Francais 18C Belgian Tripel 1
Connor Papineau St. Papineau's 18E Belgian Dark Strong Ale 2
Ben Knorr Dubbel Blizzard 18B Belgian Dubbel 3
19 English & American Barleywine (13 Entries)
Mike Hahn English Barleywine 19B English Barleywine 1
Aaron Smith Beast of Burden 19C American Barleywine 2
Rob Kent Grizzly Adams 19B English Barleywine 3
20 Fruit Beer (23 Entries)
Michael Anderson LiliKoi Ale 20A Fruit Beer 1
David Pang and Casey Jones Cherry Vanilla Lager 20A Fruit Beer 2
Cami Kent Veridian Cream 20A Fruit Beer 3
21 Spice, Herb, Vegetable Beer (22 Entries)
Travis GrimmFire in the Hole Chipotle Pale Spice, Herb, Vegetable Beer 1
Trent BangertBANGERT'S BREAKFAST BEER Spice, Herb, Vegetable Beer 2
Casey Ruff Serrano Blonde Spice, Herb, Vegetable Beer 3
22 Smoke Flavored and Wood Aged (10 Entries)
Mike Johnson Cigar-Cedar aged IPA 22C Wood-Aged Beer 1
Sarah Nelson Rauchweizen 22B Other Smoked Beer 2
Trent Bangert Oakdogg 22C Wood-Aged Beer 3
23A Specialty Beer (33 Entries)
Dawn Gray Chocolate Starfish Porter 23A Specialty Beer 1
Rob Kent Old Crepuscular 23A Specialty Beer 2
Hans Groberg Big Brother 23A Specialty Beer 3
24, 25, 26 Meads (16 Entries)
Dirk Howard Peach Mead 25C Other Fruit Melomel 1
Rob and Cami Kent Armfunkel 26B Braggot 2
Andrew Dalton Ginger Metheglin 26A Metheglin 3
27, 28 Ciders (7 Entries)
Tom Shivers Apple Ginger Cider 28D Other Spec. Cider/Perry 1
Travis Grimm Nice Try Cider 27A Common Cider 2
Steve Furse Five O Clock Cider 27A Common Cider 3
Ed Scott Wienbock 15C Weizenbock 1
Dallas Barlow Triple Poules Francais 18C Belgian Tripel 2
Dallas Barlow She is a Bit of a Tart 16E Belgian Specialty 3

Monday, August 15, 2011

Facts about recycling cans

Aluminum Recycling Facts

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Aluminum Recycling Facts

Aluminum Recycling Facts


Given the prevalence of curbside pickup and recycling dropoff centers, recycling the aluminum can that contains your soda or the aluminum foil that wraps your brownies often takes only a little effort, but the payoff is big. Because it saves energy, natural resources and money, recycling aluminum instead of consigning it to a landfill benefits consumers, manufacturers and the environment.


Americans do not recycle as much aluminum as they could. In 2008, 48 percent of the aluminum beverage containers that were created were later recovered, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports. For aluminum containers and packaging, that proportion was lower: 38 percent. Every three months, Americans toss out enough aluminum to recreate all the commercial airplanes in the nation, according to the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Energy Savings

The University of Colorado at Boulder notes that making cans from recycled aluminum rather than virgin ore uses 95 percent less energy. You can power a television for three hours using the energy saved by recycling just one aluminum can. For the same amount of energy that it takes to make a single aluminum can from new ore, you can make 20 recycled aluminum cans.


The aluminum recycling process, in which aluminum products from the waste stream are made into new aluminum products, often moves quickly. A can may be manufactured, filled, sold, used, recycled and used to make a new can in as brief a time as six weeks, the EPA notes. An average aluminum can contains about 40 percent recycled metal.


Aluminum is recycled from numerous sources. Soda and beer cans are the most well known, but aluminum from cars, appliances, doors and windows can also be recycled, the U.S. Geological Survey notes. According to the EPA, used beverage containers and other packaging provide the largest volume of aluminum scrap and diecasts from automobile manufacturing the second largest amount.


The process of recycling existing aluminum into new aluminum has been around since the beginning of the 20th century, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. However, aluminum recycling didn't begin to attract widespread public attention until the 1960s, when aluminum can recycling began to take root.

Read more:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Beer 101 - Beer is a Perishable Product

Clear versus colored glass bottles... or better yet, cans?

If you have ever wondered why most beer bottles are amber or green, the answer is simple. The full spectrum of daylight can have undesirable effects on a beer over a period of time. The ultraviolet portion of the spectrum is especially harmful; promoting chemical reactions that produce "off flavors" that will take the edge off the freshness of a beer. Dark glass greatly inhibits this photochemical effect, whereas clear glass leaves the beer within vulnerable to being "light struck." The industry standard is for green or amber glass, but for some unfathomable reason a number of British breweries stick resolutely to their traditional practice of using clear glass bottles, with often undesirable consequences when such beers are left on a retailer’s shelf for any length of time. This is why cans are the best of all. They block out 100% of harmful UV rays keeping your beer fresher, longer.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Women & Beer

Why Women Are a Critical Part of the Future of U.S. Craft Beer

Why Women Are a Critical Part of the Future of U.S. Craft Beer

By Ginger Johnson

Question: Who will help support the future of US craft beer?

A. With our population exploding, there should be plenty of up and coming market share

B. All the existing craft beer drinkers, silly

C. Women

Answer: C

It’s time for more women consumers to engage in American Craft Beer. Why? Well, if you’re a woman who likes beer, let me answer that with a few questions. Do you enjoy American craft brews? Do you know what "craft" means? If you do, how often do you partake? What brands do you support and why? Do you recruit other women to enjoy it too?

You may know that women influence 80 percent of purchases across all categories. What you may not know, is that only 25 – 29 percent of American women of legal age enjoy beer. That’s way too low to really call it the "All American Beverage," when clearly far less than half of the female population isn’t enjoying it. In order to support the health, existence, and growth of the more than 1,700 existing craft breweries and the 600+ breweries in planning, more women will need to engage.

How do you engage in craft beer? Do you buy it and share it? Do your friends get excited (or tired) of you offering new beer suggestions to try? Do you talk about beer with anyone who will listen, or is it a closeted kind of situation? Do you notice or seek out beer education opportunities to learn more about the incredible beverage in your glass?

Women are the future of craft beer in the US of A because they are the seriously under-tapped, misrepresented, and often overlooked market that can be developed to help sustain the entire craft beer community. If you’re a woman, you need to stand up and say, “Yes! I want to know more and drink more American craft beer.” Demand to be heard and respected as part of a viable market share, not some token or niche market. A 50.9% global population segment is hardly a niche.

If you’re a male consumer or professional, chances are you have an important female or three in your life. You too should work to make the demands and changes for equal gender beer involvement, as that would be a natural extension of your affection and respect for those women, yes?

Tell the women you meet in the industry to encourage beer businesses to create specific opportunities to engage women in craft beer. In our ongoing research for Women Enjoying Beer (WEB), we hear from women all across the country who say they enjoy learning with other women, in women-only settings. Lots of women want to learn about beer through totally unconventional ways (read: dashing stereotypes and myths). For example, WEB is planning a fly fishing and beer event.

AMEN!! More accurately, AWOMEN!! The success of craft beer and women has to include the story as well. The story of who, how, when, and all other beery info as it relates to craft breweries. Women love the story—give it to them.

WomenLook at this picture. It’s a women’s beer event that can be held anywhere across the country and it tells the story clearly that women are and want to get into craft beer. Does this look good to you too? And, we haven’t even talked about how a mind blowing and enlightening beer and food pairing experience helps promote craft beer to women!

Women: ask for it by name—women’s craft beer events.
Craft beer community: offer events to women.

Tastings, pairings, tours, events, tappings—there are innumerable ways to ask for beer opportunities if you’re a consumer, and infinite ways to invite women if you’re in the business.

Why will the future of U.S. craft beer depend on women? Because like it or not, they are the market that influences spending, makes the most decisions about what’s on the table and in the fridge, and they are interested in knowing more about craft beer.

Get your female friends involved in beer by holding a beer potluck where everyone brings a six pack to share and taste. Hold a craft beer and food tasting party—they are huge fun and economical for all budgets. Learn how to host a tasting at home.

Insist that your local retailer hold a beer tasting, and be sure to show your support and encouragement for repeating the event by recruiting other women to join you. If you ask, you also have to show proactive support.

I once heard that a handwritten letter to a legislator outweighs a form letter 100 to 1. Be that one woman who speaks up, demands respect, and creates a better relationship with beer. The other 99 women will be glad for it, and in turn will help the future of the U.S. craft beer scene thrive.

Photos © istockphoto and Kate Parks

Ginger JohnsonGinger Johnson is a loud laugher and energetic beer enthusiast. You can hear her enjoying beer and she encourages you to join her. She started Women Enjoying Beer to educate and share the great experience of craft beer with women and men everywhere. She works with consumers directly to find out what women want from their beer and beer businesses to market craft beer to women. She believes in beer diplomacy, education, and in being a geek and not a snob. She can be reached at, via Twitter @womenenjoybeer and on Facebook at Women Enjoying Beer.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beer 101 - Beer is a Perishable Product

Beer is a foodstuff. As with most foodstuffs, beer is perishable-it deteriorates as a result of the action of bacteria, light, and air. However, unlike other food products, packaged beer is not legally mandated to carry a "sell by" date. Nonetheless, some domestic beer sold in the United States does carry a freshness date. The Boston Beer Company was among the first to use freshness dating, as far back as 1985. Anheuser-Busch has followed suit with its much-publicized "born on" dates. There are still many breweries, large and small, which do not send all their beers to market with a freshness date, but the trend is certainly moving in the right direction.


Prior to bottling, a typical commercial ale or lager will undergo some form of stabilization to extend its shelf life. The two primary forms of stabilization are sterile filtration, in which the beer is passed through a microporous filter that will not let through any "crunchy bits" larger than 0.5 microns; and pasteurization, whereby the beer is heated briefly to kill any microbial wildlife. Both approaches are widely used, though a number of brewers have noted that sterile filtration strips some hop flavors from their ales. A third, traditional option for preparing a beer for its journey in a bottle to your glass, "bottle conditioning," is dealt with later.

Freshness period: The drinking window

The length of time it takes for a beer to become stale (a papery note, dulled hop character, or other off flavors) is determined by the alcoholic strength and hopping level of the beer. Both alcohol and hops help preserve beer. Thus hoppier, stronger beers keep for longer. Typically, the freshness period for a lager is four months; for stronger craft-brewed ales, five months. High-gravity, high-strength beers such as doppelbocks typically carry a six- to twelve-month freshness period. All of the preceding assumes proper handling of the beer.

How can you determine the "drinking window" of a beer? It depends on the dating system used by the brewery. Taking a typical example of Boston Beer’s Samuel Adams brands, the freshness period is the time between shipment from the brewery and the freshness date, or "consume by" date, marked on the label or capsule. In the case of a beer with a "born on" date (Anheuser-Busch products, for example), the freshness period is approximately four months after the date on the label.

Imports: A note of caution

Imported beer can have a rough ride on its way to your local retailer. First, it must undergo a sea voyage, hopefully in temperature-controlled containers, or "reefers," in industry parlance. After sitting in the bonded customs warehouse (hopefully, air conditioned), it must pass through an importer’s warehouse and then be shipped to a wholesaler’s warehouse. In the best case, the local wholesaler will have temperature-controlled storage and an efficient stock

control system, although this is an area of commerce that is not renowned for sympathetic handling of product or startling efficiency with stock. One thing is for sure-at any moment of time in the Byzantine system of beer distribution in the United States, a prodigious amount of imported beer is sitting in warehouses slowly undergoing the inexorable effects of aging.

This is not to suggest that many imported beers do not find their way to us in perfect condition. However, one is not reassured by the reluctance of virtually all beer importers to put freshness dating on the wares that they import. Beers produced for consumption in European Union countries are mandated to have an expiration date on the packaging. When the same breweries produce a batch for export to the United States, too often, off comes the expiration dating and on goes the Surgeon General’s warning.

It must be said that some imported beers do carry a freshness date, but they are vastly outnumbered by those that do not. Thus a consumer purchasing a six pack of imported Czech pilsner or English bitter may have no idea as to how long the product has been in the chain of distribution. In both examples freshness is as important as with any domestic ale or lager. Dust or label discoloration may give a clue that a beer has been too long on a retailer’s shelf, but even these are not always reliable indicators. At the Beverage Testing Institute it has been noticed that a number of bottles purchased at retail have failed the freshness test, sometimes to the point of being undrinkable. Ultimately, market pressure will be the only factor that will promote wide-scale introduction of useful freshness dating for imported beers. Until such time, consumers can use the following commonsense approaches to avoid being shortchanged with stale imported beer.

  1. Try to purchase imports from reputable specialty stores with enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff.
  2. Check the crown cap seal (if it is a bottled product) to see if there has been any seepage. If there has, then the bottle most likely has been subjected to heat abuse.
  3. Dusty, discolored labels should not inspire confidence.
  4. Always insist on returning skunky, out-of-condition beer for a refund (see our article on beer faults to know what to look for). This should be no problem if you heed the first point.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Can there be too many breweries?

Today we find ourselves in a brewing boom in the United States. The Bohemian has only been around for about 10 years (founded in and opened our doors in 2001) and we still feel like a new coming to this industry among others like Sierra Nevada who have hit 30 this past year. Now, we're not owned by deep pockets or some midwest corporation so our growth has been steady but humble all done with our own capital. No investors or outside partners. Just a mom & pop shop. Literally. The popularity of consumers switching from macro beers to craft beers is refreshing. But with this turn in popularity you start seeing dollar signs in peoples eyes. We find our selves in a funny situation asking the question; "Can there be too many breweries?"

Don't get us wrong. Competition is always good for business. And the more craft the merrier is what we like to say. As long as someone is drinking quality over quantity we're on the right track. Right? Today I read a press release by the Brewer's Association (below) and found an alarming number of breweries being planned for production. What does this mean? Is this sustainable? Is this the beer equivalent of the yogurt craze in the 90's and now the similar craze with frozen yogurt and berries? Will be be doomed to the same fate as wine? Is it a fad? Will big beer die? Will craft come out on top?

Realistically there are only so many beer drinkers out there. You can get new drinkers simply with the coming of age. With craft it's more like growing up and enjoying a beer rather than getting plowed off of beer. You also loose them due to age, diet and other personal reasons. Craft has been converting people to purchase a quality 6 pack over a cheap 12 pack. Drinking beer instead of wine with a meal. But what happens if you have too many choices (gulp - did I really say that?).

For the off premiss side of things think of it this way. I always equate craft beer to dairy or specifically milk. Sure beer won't go bad as fast as milk but it does have a limited shelf life and limited shelf space. If you go to a c-store you see maybe 7 or 10 brands of milk (in urban areas) including Soy. But typically you see 4 at the most. Now milk is something a lot of people drink. Babies all the way to the Elderly. The age window for a beer drinker is arguable much smaller. They also drink a lot more and more often. But yet you don't see 155 types of milk at the store. What happens with you get too many beer options? Sure, the bad beer will get weeded out eventually but after causing how much damage? But what happens to the large craft players do they feel the pinch as the macro breweries do right now? What about the small regional craft breweries? What about all breweries? Does everyone simply throw away half of their product because it expires on the shelf due to too many options and product not moving?

The future looks to hold a lot of beer. Hopefully good, no - great beer. Until then we watch the growth with optimism and caution.

BA release below:


Brewers Association Reports 2011 Mid-Year Growth for U.S. Craft Brewers

Dollar growth up 15% in first six months of 2011; U.S. sees rapid growth in breweries in planning

Boulder, CO • August 8, 2011 - The Brewers Association, the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, has released strong mid-year numbers for America's small and independent craft brewers¹. Dollar sales were up 15 percent in the first half of 2011, excluding brewers who left the craft segment in 2010². Volume of craft brewed beer sold grew 14 percent for the first six months in 2011, compared to 9 percent growth in the first half of 2010.

Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first half of the year are an estimated 5.1 million barrels. Despite many challenges, the mid-year numbers show signs of continued growth for craft breweries. The industry currently provides an estimated 100,000 jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.

"Craft brewers continue to innovate and brew beers of excellent quality," noted Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. "America's beer drinkers are rapidly switching to craft because of the variety of flavors they are discovering. And they are connecting with small and independent craft brewers as companies they choose to support."


Download a high resolution version of this graphic

The U.S. now boasts 1,790 breweries—an increase of 165 additional breweries since June 2010. The Brewers Association also tracks breweries in planning as an indicator of potential new entrants into the craft category, and lists 725 breweries in planning today compared to 389 a year ago. Additionally, the count of craft brewers was at 1,740 as of June 30, 2011.

"There is a growing interest in establishing new breweries," Gatza added. "It seems like every day we are hearing about a brewery in planning. Will they all make it? No, but many will if they produce high-quality, interesting craft beers and can get them to market through self-distribution and beer wholesalers and beer retailers."

¹ The definition of a craft brewer as stated by the Brewers Association: An American craft brewer is small, independent, and traditional. Small: Annual production of beer less than 6 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition. Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.
2 Three former craft brewing companies left the segment in the second half of 2010 when transitions led them to no longer meet the Brewers Association's definition of independence.


Paul Gatza, Director, 303.447.0816 x122

Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program Director, 303.447.0816 x113


The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®, Great American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®, SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience and American Craft Beer Week. The BA publishes The New Brewermagazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today's craft brewers and homebrewers.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at and about homebrewing via the BA's American Homebrewers Association. Follow us on Twitter.