It was the great Al Einstein who once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them … So, let’s start drinking.”
We take that quote seriously around these parts, especially on Fridays, where we head to the Craft Brewing Business fridge, grab a cold craft beverage and talk about the week that was. What news was interesting? What were the best ideas? Who was solving problems with the same thinking we used to create them? … What exactly IS a black hole anyway? … When you think about it, does the concept of the space time continuum make sense within the prospects of string theory? … Who wants another one?
Anyway, that’s how we like to spend our Friday afternoon, and we hope you will join us. Feel free to take to the comment section or to Facebook or to Twitter and let us know what stories compelled you, or what craft beer issues are driving you nuts. And, of course, let us know what you are drinkin’.
Chris Crowell, editor:
Before starting here at CBB, I had a conversation with a local bar owner that always stood out to me. This guy is into craft beer and has really worked to beef up his inventory and promote new beers. Anyway, he relayed a story about one local brewery’s reps that came in to discuss getting play in his fridge, and he was taken aback by their presentation. They were arrogant and borderline rude with how they went about their business. It was a horrible meeting, and to this day, even though this brewery is starting to ramp up more locally, this bar owner will not work with them or carry their beers. Sometimes, business just comes down to relationships, and as you start to grow and expand your own footprint, locally or globally, it pays to consider your presentation and your distribution partners. I started to reach out to some sources this week for a feature on distribution, and I’d be curious to hear any advice, questions or anecdotes you, dear reader, might have on this topic. What distributors are high on your list? How did one give you problems? Feel free to email me at [email protected] with any feedback.
Craft choice: 21st Amendment Bitter American
Keith Gribbins, editor:
Beer and government have a long love relationship that stretches back to our forefathers. William Penn, the Quaker founder of the Pennsylvania colony had a brewery on his estate. Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, James Madison and Samuel Adams encouraged legislation to promote the American brewing industry, and even George Washington, whose recipe for beer can be found in the New York Public Library, was an established homebrewer.
Today, government still has an enormous influence on the success of beer. In July, homebrewing was made legal in Mississippi and thus in all 50 states, continuing the rich tradition of amateurs brewing beer — a big contributor to the economics of localized beer supply chains and the craft beer scene as a whole. The Small BREW Act, S. 917, which is currently circulating congress, supports craft and small-scale breweries around the United States shrinking the excise tax for certain-sized breweries. And this week, the United States Association of Cider Makers (USACM), the national trade association of the cider industry, introduced the bipartisan “Cider Industry Deserves Equal Regulation Act,” or CIDER Act (H.R. 2921).
According to CBB editor Chris Crowell’s story: “We are extremely excited to be working with Congressmen Blumenauer and Collins on this very important legislation for our industry, and are deeply appreciative of their leadership on this matter,” said Mike Beck, president of the USACM. “Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Chris Collins deserve great credit for recognizing that America’s cider industry is primed for continued strong growth, and that we can increase our competitiveness in international markets and create jobs here in the United States if this legislation is enacted.”
While not exactly beer, the cider industry is an up-and-coming craft beverage segment that we cover. The legislation above (like the Small BREW Act) is really about updating the tax laws to reflect the realities in today’s alcohol beverage marketplace. We see all of this legislation as increasingly important to the competitiveness of the craft industry as it grows and creates more jobs. We are hopeful that the U.S. government will continue to spearhead these forward-thinking ideas, and we’ll keep you updated on each one here at Craft Brewing Business.
Craft Choice: Great Lakes Brewing Co.’s Oktoberfest