~~ “If I was a kid in school today there’d be a teacher standing 10 feet away with a fire hose dressed in Ebola gear spraying me with Ritalin.” ~ Lagunitas’ founder and owner Tony Magee.
~~ The Lagunitas story is already legendary in our business, but this Mashable article sums up the madness and the crazy path the success in a highly entertaining and well-written short piece. It’s also an insightful summary of craft beer legal issues and the Big Brewer V Small Brewer War.
I am proud to be a part of this great program to support food and beverage startups, Brewing the American Dream. It was founded and is operated by Jim Koch, a great guy and the founder of Boston Brewing Company, maker of America’s favorite macro/micro craft brew, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, as well as the breakout hit of 2014 Angry Orchard Cider.
If you are not familiar with his wonderful program of micro loans and mentorship to F&B startups, read about it here, and for an update on this year’s National Finals, Time Magazine blogged a story 2 days ago.
It has been great to work with Jim and the Boston Brewing team over the years and I look forward to doing much more great business with them, as well as supporting BTAD in any way I am able.
Cheers! — TimTheBarGuy
P.S. – Jim also has a secret to avoid getting tipsy when drinking beer, which he shared with me and also explained in an Esquire Magazine interview. You can read about it and get the Esquire link here.
Congratulations to a Chicago area company I have worked with for many years, as well as my clients, one of the America’s largest privately held companies and largest Latino owned firms. Bravo to Reyes Beverage, on becoming the #1 largest beer distributor in the US!
Reye’s brands include MillerCoors, Constellation Brands, Heineken USA, Diageo-Guinness USA, Pabst Brewing and craft breweries including Lagunitas Brewing, New Belgium and Sierra Nevada Brewing.
Read more about it here in Crain’s Chicago Business.
As Crain’s Chicago Business reports today, Craft Beer brewers are exploring lower alcohol percentages in their beers, closer to what the mass-market premium beers have for alcohol content. Here’s 5 Reasons that’s a great idea (first 2 from the article and 3 from me).
(1) MORE SALES: First, drinkers may be more likely to buy more beer if it’s lower in alcohol.
(2) LOWER BREWING COST: Second, session beer is inexpensive to produce, because big beers require more grain and yeast. Session beers can cut ingredient costs by half compared with a double-strength IPA.
(3) BETTER FOR BAR VIBE: Professionally run bars prefer customers drink regular alcohol “sessionable” beers (5.5 or less) rather than higher alcohol brews not just due to higher sales but also a better social experience that comes from x amount of alcohol consumed over a longer time period rather than x amount drank fast. This is not so much about the level of drunken patrons (you can get drunk on either type of beer) but that gradual drinking encourages sociability, groups, mixed sex groups and collateral purchases such as food and gaming.
(4) MORE DESIRABLE CUSTOMERS: Most customers will never have a taste for heavy craft beers, regardless of trendiness. New regular alcohol level (“lighter” crafts) give the bar a way to market something different that still have wide appeal, including women who are a minority of current craft drinkers.
(5) LOWER PRODUCT COST FOR BARS: Wholesale cost for premium mass market and even small brewery lower alcohol beers is lower to the bar than higher alcohol crafts. The new lower alcohol crafts I’d anticipate to come in at lower cost per keg/case corresponding to their lower production costs and what I believe will be a push to compete toe to toe with majors.
Thanks to Crain’s Chicago business for the report – read it here.