Crack open a cold one and we'll fill you in on all the brew news.
The beer world moves fast: With about two new breweries opening every day in America, important beer news constantly spills down the drain. Each week, I’ll go find it, highlighting all the interesting stories you may have forgotten to consume responsibly.
VERMONT IS THE CRAFTIEST STATE IN NEW ENGLAND.
The craft beer market, including all 5,000-plus breweries, sold $23.5 billion in beer last year. Meanwhile, Bud Light—a single brand—had sales of over $2 billion. So I guess we shouldn't be surprised when the point-of-sale system company Toast presented data to the Boston Business Journal showing that even in America's crafty Northeast, the top-selling brands in restaurants are owned by big beer companies, not independent brands. According to Toast, Vermont was the only state in the region (which also included Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island) to not have its list of best-selling beers in restaurants dominated by brewing conglomerates like AB InBev and MillerCoors. Instead, Vermont's list included brews from Fiddlehead, Switchback, The Alchemist and 14th Star Brewery. Although it's also worth noting that the Green Mountain State has more craft breweries per capita than anywhere else in the country.
COLLEGES IN NEW MEXICO HAVE A NEW CRAFT BEER RIVALRY.
Any college worth its salt has a bitter in-state rival. You hate their sports teams. You hate their mascot. You hate their... proprietary beer brand?? Not long ago, schools seemed to be trying to get brews off college campuses, but at least in one state, getting a beer branded for your university could be a growing trend. The University of New Mexico recently announced it was teaming up with the nearby Kellys Brew Pub to release Lobo Red, a beer set to be packaged in cans featuring the school's logo. Not to be outdone, New Mexico State University announced it had partnered with its local Bosque Brewing to create Pistol Pete's 1888 Ale—named after NMSU's mascot and founding year. Your move Eastern New Mexico University.
UK BREWERY SELLS BEER AT 1992 PRICES TO PROTEST TAXES.
For one day only, the Hogs Back Brewery in England's Surrey county is celebrating its 25th anniversary by selling pints of its first beer, T.E.A., for the same price it debuted at in 1992—£1.30 (or about $1.66 at the current exchange rate). But the brewery has an ulterior motive: Managing director Rupert Thompson points out that, compared to 25 years ago, UK drinkers today pay more in taxes alone, £1.36 per pint, than an entire beer used to cost. "[It] serves to highlight the high taxes charged on beer and we're sure will gather drinkers' support for the brewing and pubs industry's request for a cut in beer duty at the next budget," he said. Yes. Also, give me another pint quick before the price goes back up.
CALIFORNIA PUNK BAND PENNYWISE GETS A BEER.
Colleges aren't the only ones trying to cash in on the popularity of craft beer. Plenty of bands have also tried to parlay success from the stage to the bar. This week, Southern California punk rockers Pennywise have announced they're teaming up with Lost Coast Brewery for a Session IPA called "Pennywiser." Though Pennywise might seem like a bit of an obscure choice, the band has put out 11 albums since debuting in the late '80s and nearly all of those albums have charted. According to band members, they've also been trying to partner with a brewery for a beer for nearly a decade. Whether the bands past success translates to beer sales is yet to be seen, though I've certainly bought a beer more recently than an album.