Pabst’s Unusual Business Model

Pabst Brewing Company has 2 percent of the American beer market, which puts it in a class with Boston Beer Company and D.G. Yuengling & Son. But under Eugene Kashper, Pabst’s busimess model is much different than that of Boston Beer and Yuengling.

Jason Notte of Forbes magazine, who recently interviewed Kashper, writes that Pabst’s CEO is “also digging into corners of the beer industry where the competition hadn’t tread and using its strengths in marketing, production and scale to take on the big brewers on a much smaller budget”.

Kashper told Notte that his portfolio was “kind of in a sweet spot between big beer and craft” because his legacy brands not only have a following, but also own a library of recipes for craft-like beers that he can sell for less than the going price of craft. Kashper’s success stories include Stroh’s Bohemian, Old Style Oktoberfest, and Rainier Mountain Ale, all of which have strong regional ties.

In addition, Pabst has entered into partnerships with craft and import brewers to enable it to penetrate those segments of the market. Those partnerships emphasize the strength of Pabst’s distribution and grassroots marketing, which Kashper hopes will give it a fighting chance against brewing giants Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors.

No comments

The Friday Mash (National Geographic Edition)

On this day in 1888, the National Geographic Society was formed. The Society’s logo, a bright yellow box, appears on National Geographic magazine, which is published in 40 languages around the world.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Pennsylvania, where the beer police caught up with Travis John Miller, who was selling the contents of his beer cellar on Craigslist. Miller faces a misdemeanor charge of selling alcohol without a license.

Swedish brewer Fredrik Tunedal, who often came home from work covered in malt dust, has released a Shower Beer. Its flavor profile includes a soapy taste, which Tunedal calls “on-point” for his product.

Keurig Green Mountain has partnered with Anheuser-Busch InBev to develop a line of instant beers—and other instant adult beverages—that Keurig owners can make at home.

The CEO of Constellation Brands, which imports Corona and Modelo beer, said that he doesn’t expect President-elect Donald Trump’s trade policy to raise the price of Mexican brands.

Despite a dismal 5-7 record, the University of Texas finished #1 in the country—in beer sales, that is. By season’s end, Longhorns fans spent $5.26 on alcohol for every fan in attendance.

Bart Watson, the Brewers Association’s chief economist, disputes studies showing that beer sales have fallen in states where recreational marijuana is legal. Watson argues that pot is just one of many variables affecting sales.

Finally, in Adelaide, Australia, the woman-owned Sparkke Change Beverage Company is putting feminist messages on cans of its beer. It’s an effort to start conversations in the country’s male-dominated beer culture.

No comments

Beer Tailored to Your DNA

If you have an extra $30,000 lying around, the Meantime Brewery in London will custom-brew a batch of beer that literally matches your DNA. Interested? The first step (assuing you’ve got the money), is to provide a saliva sample to be analyzed by the company 23andMe. The analysis focuses in particular on the gene TAS2R38, which contains oral taste receptors.

The next step is an appointment with Meantime’s brewmaster Ciaran Giblin, who will work with you to perfect the beer. An awful lot of beer—some 2,000 pints worth. Optional add-ons (you’ve got plenty of money, right?) include ad agency time to design your packaging, kegs to send to your local pub, and pint glasses molded to your hand.

Forbes magazine correspondent Leslie Wu, who wrote the article about the brewery’s “Meantime Bespoke” beer, has misgivings about it. She wonders who, even in a highly-competitive craft beer market, would pay that much money for beer. And she warns that personalized beer can lead to a “beer dystopia” where people are unwilling to try anything new.

No comments

The Friday Mash (Epiphany Edition)

Today, Christians celebrate The Feast of the Epiphany. In Louisiana, this means Carnival season is underway. The local tradition is to bake King Cakes; and the person who finds the doll in his or her slice must bake the next cake.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in France, where the Benedictine monks at the 1,367-year-old Abbey of Saint-Wandrille are back in the business of brewing. They’re the country’s only producers of truly monastic beer.

In an interview with Paste magazine, 21st Amendment Brewery’s Nico Freccia talked about the fine art of naming beers, and how the brewery’s odd names has become mainstream.

When Tim Kliegl turned 65, he celebrated in unusual fashion—namely, by running a mile, and trying a new beer, every day for an entire year. And he’s got the notes to prove it.

Staffers at Amazon.com’s Christmas party in Dublin were treated to a special beer from local micro Metalman Brewing. Grainne Walsh, Metalman’s founder, once worked as an engineer at Amazon.

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended lowering the DUI threshold to .05 percent, and a Utah lawmaker wants his state to be first. The current threshold in all states is .08.

Rick Astley, whose song “Never Gonna Give You Up” was part of a popular Internet prank, plans to “roll” out a beer. The lager, which will be brewed by Mikkeller, has yet to be named.

Finally, the The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company will celebrate its 150th anniversary by joining forces with the famous Hofbräu München. The amber-colored, Marzen-style will be introduced in April.

No comments

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Change in seasonal beer sales in the U.S. from 2013 to 2014: Up 13.1 percent.
  • Change from in seasonal beer sales 2015 to 2016: Down 5.4 percent.
  • UK pub closings in 2015-16: 480.
  • Change from the year before: Down 7 percent.
  • UK brewery openings in 2015: 134.
  • Change from the year before: Up 8 percent.
  • Annual growth rate in UK craft beer sales: 40 percent.
  • Oregon’s brewery count in 2016: 218.
  • Its brewery count ten years ago: 76.
  • Barrels of Modelo Especial shipped in the U.S. in 2015: 5.4 million.
  • Increase over 2010 shipments: 135.3 percent (the nation’s fastest growing brand).
  • Japanese tax on a 350-ml can of regular beer: 77 yen (81 U.S. cents).
  • Japanese tax on a 350-ml can of “happoshu” (a lower-malt content beer): 47 yen (40 U.S. cents)
  • Unique beers served by Founders Brewing Company last year: 95.
  • Live acts that performed on Founders’ stage last year: 250.
  • The Friday Mash (Hat Trick Edition)

    One hundred and twenty years ago today, Ernie McLea of the Montreal Victorias scored the first hat trick in Stanley Cup play. His third goal, which clinched the Cup, led Montreal to a 6-5 win over the Winnipeg Victorias.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Oregon, where beer writer Brian Yaeger has come to the defense of McMenamins brewpub chain. Its 17 establishments have gotten nasty reviews from some customers.

    Spain’s recent boom in craft beer has been good news to the town of Villanueva del Carrizo, which grows 99 percent of the country’s homegrown hops.

    A new device being pilot-tested in Britain allows pub customers to avoid lining up for beer. A credit card, a debit card, or Apple Pay will get it to auto-dispense a pint.

    In California, the proliferation of businesses selling alcohol—supermarkets, bookstores, and even nail salons—has public health advocates concerned about the potential for abuse.

    Bisphenol A (BPA), which is linked to health problems, has been banned from sippy-cups and baby bottles. But it’s still used in beer cans because the government thinks it won’t harm adults

    In 2012, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom ended a 41-year-long ban on alcohol. Last week, the park expanded beer and wine sales to four more of its sit-down restaurants.

    Finally, Montreal-based Kris Mychasiw might be the world’s smartest sports agent. He’s turned beer-milers Lewis Kent and Corey Bellemore pro, even though the sport doesn’t yet have a governing body.

    Raise a Glass to Santa Claus

    The legend of the man we call Santa Claus stems from Nicholas of Myra, a bishop of a small town in Greece during the 4th century. Nicholas was known for protecting children and, at least once, saving them from human traffickers.

    Nicholas became St. Nicholas and, eventually, Santa Claus. In addition to becoming the patron saint of children, he became the patron of brewers. Santa Claus fell out of favor during the Protestant Reformation in favor of darker figures such as Krampus. But during the 19th century, Christmas regained its jolliness and Santa was on his way to becoming the jolly, pipe-smoking man in the red suit.

    Advertisers have used Santa Claus to hawk a variety of products—including beer. The latter didn’t sit well with neo-prohibitionists, who persuaded policy makers to declare Santa off-limits to beer ads. The brewing industry fought back, and successfully argued that the bans violated the First Amendment. Ironically, many of the same states that banned products like Bad Elf India Pale Ale allowed a strong German lager named Samichlaus—can you guess what that means in English?—to be sold.

    Maryanne, Paul, and Ludwig wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Beer Traveling Back to the 1850s

    Carillon Historical Park, in Dayton, Ohio, provides an opportunity to taste beers from the 1850s. One of the park’s 30 buildings houses the Carillon Brewing Company, which uses historically accurate, mid-19th-century techniques. Visitors can enjoy traditional German food and other offerings at the brewery’s restaurant; while eating, they can watch employees and volunteers feed the fires, ladle the beer, and fill the barrels.

    Carillon’s ales, made using techniques that predate refrigeration and mechanization, have a traditional sourness that some will consider an “acquired taste.” (Those who like the beer can buy growlers to take home.) The brewery’s flagship product is a coriander ale made from an 1830s recipe. Another Carillon beer, a porter, is made with malt hand-roasted over the fireplace coals; and because yeast strains vary seasonally, it will taste different throughout the year.

    The Friday Mash (Hail Fredonia Edition)

    One hundred and ninety years ago today, Benjamin W. Edwards rode into Mexican-controlled Texas and declared himself ruler of the Republic of Fredonia. Edwards is not to be confused with Rufus T. Firefly.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Germany, where the Bayern Munich football team treated Ingolstat’s players to sausages and beer. Ingolstat upset Leipzig, enabling Bayern to move into first place in the Bundesliga.

    A former NASA biologist has developed a genetically engineered strain of yeast that makes beer glow under a black light. His “fluorescent yeast kit” contains genes from a jellyfish.

    MobCraft Beer, a Milwaukee brewery that lets the public vote on new products, was was heavily criticized after “Date Grape” was one of the finalists. The brewery has apologized for the sexual assault reference.

    Writer Jay Brooks tells the fascinating story of the Americas’ first Western-style brewery. It opened near Mexico City in 1544, with a team of brewers imported from Flanders.

    Country music artist Sunny Sweeney’s song “One More Christmas Beer” celebrates family dysfunction. Sweeney says that the lyrics are inspired by actual events.

    Next month, Chicago’s Field Museum will start serving PseudoSue, a pale ale brewed by the Toppling Goliath Brewing Company. The ale celebrates “Sue”, the museum’s beloved T-Rex skeleton.

    Finally, Colorado’s craft brewers are engaged in soul-searching. This year, they’ve had to contend with Anheuser-Busch’s takeover of Breckenridge Brewing Company and a legislative battle over selling full-strength beer in grocery stores.

    A Woman on a Quest

    Emily Bennett, the “Mitten Beer Girl”, has made one hell of a New Year’s resolution: “In the year 2017, I’m going to visit every place in the state of Michigan which is a) utilizing a license to brew beer and is b) open to the public.”

    She’s got her work cut out for her. According to our latest count, there are 266 breweries in operation in the state, with another 58 in the planning stages. Those numbers are conservative because some brewery openings aren’t picked up by the local news media.

    You can follow Emily’s beer pilgrimage through her website, Mitten Beer Quest 2017; on Facebook; on Twitter (hashtags #MBQ2017 and #MittenBeerGirl); and on Instagram.

    All of us at Ludwig Roars wish her good luck, and safe travels.

    Powered by WordPress