More than a quarter of Britain’s pubs that existed in 1980 have closed their doors. Last year alone, the country lost some 1,100 pubs. What’s behind this trend?
One factor is spiraling real-estate prices, which provides developers with an incentive to convert pubs into houses and apartments. In just the last five years, the average house price has risen by 50 percent.
Another factor was a 2007 law banning smoking in public places.
And then there’s cost. A pint of beer is five times as expensive in a pub as it is in a supermarket. The price discrepancy is due in part to Britain’s tax code, which imposes a higher levy on pub revenue than supermarket revenue; and to higher staff costs in the service industry than in retail.
But there’s some good news for pub lovers. It is now possible to list local pubs as “assets of community value”, which makes development more difficult. Parliament recently scrapped an inflation-linked excise tax on beer, providing some price relief for beer drinkers. Last but not least, Britain’s craft-brewing boom has resulted in a more diverse selection of beer at the “friendly local”.
For the first time in 31 years, Stroh’s beer will be brewed in Detroit. Pabst Brewing Company, which acquired the Stroh’s trademark and recipes, has contracted with Brew Detroit to make Stroh’s Bohemian-Style Beer. It’s a pilsner, based on a Stroh’s recipe from the 1880s. The beer will be released beginning August 22. At least initially, it will be distributed only in Michigan, which accounts for 25 percent of Stroh’s sales nationwide.
And if you’re in Detroit to try Stroh’s, Draft magazine has a rundown on the city’s top places to enjoy beer. Brew Detroit and several other breweries are on the list, along with a number of beer bars—including one, still under construction, that is made from shipping containers.
On this day in 1957, the pop music show American Bandstand made its national debut. The show was hosted by Dick Clark throughout its run, which ended in 1989. Clark was also the show’s producer, and eventually became its owner.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Florida, where businessman Sammy Ramos has launched the first craft beer to be marketed to Hispanics. Its brand name is “Boriuca”, which means a person of Puerto Rican heritage—of which there are more than 250,000 in Greater Orlando.
In Kent, England, a Shetland pony named Mocha walked into his owner’s pub and started drinking beer out of stray pint glasses. Feel free to make bad puns on “pony” or “horse”.
This fall, Oregon State University will open a beer garden at its football stadium. Last year the Beavers went 2-10 (0-9 in the PAC-12), so fans might need a few beers before watching them play.
Rupert Stadler, the head of Volkswagen’s Audi division, was forced to repay the company €12,000 ($13,950) for a beer-drinking contest for company managers that he put on his expense account.
The metal band Megadeth has tapped Quebec brewery Unibroue to make a beer called “A Tout le Monde”, named for a song from the group’s 1994 album Youthanasia. It’s a Belgian-style saison ale.
Greene King is brewing “Bobby” beer to honor Bobby Moore, the captain of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team. Its alcohol content—4.2% ABV—was inspired by the score of the Cup final.
Finally, a group of Chicago businesses, including two well-known beer bars, are encouraging the public to patronize establishments on the #11 bus route, which they hope will earn back a permanent spot on the Chicago Transit Authority map.
On this day in 1984, the Motion Picture Association of America added “PG-13” to its film rating system. The new rating was created after parents and advocacy groups complained about the amount of violence in some PG-rated films.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in South Carolina, where a 20-year-old law forbids breweries to donate beer to non-profit organizations. This law—which state liquor agents are aggressively enforcing—effectively prevents small breweries from taking part in festivals.
In Las Vegas, Pub 365 plans to offer a rotating selection of 365 craft beers, including beer cocktails and a rare beer menu called the Unicorn List. Seasonals will make up one-fifth of the selection.
Market Watch’s Jason Notte writes that craft breweries are resorting to a tactic they once despised: establishing sub-brands for beers that may not fit the character of the brewery’s core business.
Starting next year, beer bikes will be banned from Amsterdam’s city center. Locals complained that the bikes, packed with bachelor partiers, have turned downtown into a drunken theme park.
The Washington Post’s Fritz Hahn has noticed a trend: the 16-ounce shaker pint is giving way to smaller glassware. It’s makes craft beer appear cheape, and it’s a more responsible way to serve high-gravity styles.
Thieves made off with two refrigerated trailers packed with 78,500 bottles of SweetWater Brewing Company’s beer. Police recovered some of the beer in a nearby warehouse—which, ironically, was a shooting location for the 1977 bootleg beer classic, Smokey and the Bandit.
Finally, Untappd, Inc., now offers “Untapped For Business”, which allows retailers to publish beer lists, share their menus with consumers, and notify customers that rare or sought-after beers are going to appear on store shelves.
On this day in 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field in New York, beginning the first-ever solo trans-Atlantic flight. Five years later, Amelia Earhart became the first female aviator to accomplish that feat.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in the halls of justice, where Flying Dog Ales will fund a “First Amendment Society” with the settlement money the state of Michigan paid it. The courts ruled that Michigan violated Flying Dog’s constitutional rights by denying it permission to market Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA.
The Brooklyn Brewery has signed a long-term lease under which it will build a beer garden, brewing facility, and restaurant on the site of the Brooklyn Navy Yard..
A Munich court ordered the Hofbraukeller beer hall to honor its contract to host an event hosted by a far-right political party. In 1919, Adolf Hitler delivered his first-ever political speech at the Hofbraukeller.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, soon to be the new home of the Atlanta Falcons, will have the cheapest beer in the National Football League: $5. It will also offer $3 hot dogs and $2 Coca-Colas.
Some of the biggest names in Chicago’s beer community have joined an effort to raise funds to build the Chicago Brewseum. It will serve beer made on-premises by guest brewers.
Former major-leaguer Brandon Laird, now playing for Japan’s Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, won himself a year’s supply of beer after hitting a home run off the Kirin Brewery sign at the Tokyo Dome.
Finally, the Saugatuck Brewing Company wasted no time poking fun at Anheuser-Busch’s rebranding of Budweiser as “America”. Its parody beer, “‘Murica”, is brewed in a style America’s founders might describe as “Freedom,” and the process is naturally overseen by 1,776 bald eagles.
Today is the feast day of St. John the Silent. So, in the words of Elmer Fudd, we’re going to be “vewy quiet”.
We begin in San Diego, where Stone Brewing Company co-founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner have invested $100 million in True Craft, a private-equity firm that will take minority positions in craft breweries that need funding to expand.
Brewery Vivant and the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra have released a collaboration beer, Carmina Beerana. This single-malt, single-hop beer was inspired by Carl Orff’s classic work.
Hopyard, a newly-opened beer bar in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, offers two of the hottest things in pop culture: craft beer and vinyl music.
Jeff Vrabel of GQ magazine unleashed a righteous rant about alcoholic root beer. He believes that root beer belongs to childhood and ought to remain there.
Last Friday, the Bar D’Alsace-tian in London put a team of Alsatian dogs to work delivering cold bottles of beer to customers in custom harnesses in the shape of a barrel.
Starr Hill Brewery is celebrating the Dave Matthews Band’s 25th anniversary with a beer called Warehouse Pils. “Warehouse” is the name of the band’s official fan club.
Finally, Danish beermaker Mikkeller Brewing is bringing its acclaimed Copenhagen Beer Celebration to Boston. The two-day festival, to be held in September, will feature more than 100 craft beers from over 50 breweries from around the world.
Forbes magazine correspondent Tara Nurin reports that the San Diego Brewers Guild is asking city planners to turn down 10 Barrel Brewing Company’s application to build a brewpub near Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres baseball team.
Guild members warn that letting 10 Barrel open a pub will drive independent, locally-owned breweries and brewpubs out of business. They point out that 10 Barrel is based nearly 1,000 miles away in Bend, Oregon. Worse yet, 10 Barrel is now owned by Anheuser-Busch In Bev, and is in the process of opening pubs in cities throughout the West.
However, not everyone in the city’s craft beer community is opposed to 10 Barrel. Andy “The Beerman” Coppock, who hosts of “The Business of Beer podcast,” says, “[S]ay what you will about [Anheuser-Busch InBev], their craft brands are very well-made beers. At the end of the day, I want to see people drinking better beer.”
Nurin, who as a television reporter covered planning board meetings, has seen similar protests against letting “big box” retailers such as Wal-Mart come to town. She notes that the big-box companies invariably got their way, and predicts that 10 Barrel will likewise get the go-ahead.
On this day in 1955, the first McDonald’s restaurant franchised by Ray Kroc, opened in Des Plaines, Illinois. This event is considered the official founding of McDonald’s Corporation, which now has some 68,000 locations in 119 countries worldwide.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Cincinnati, where Queen City Exchanges learned they can’t offer NYSE-like “dynamic pricing” of its beers. Ohio law forbids a retailer to change the price of beer more than once a month.
Federal regulators ruled that the Indeed Brewing Company’s “Lavender Sunflower Date aka LSD Honey Ale”, wasn’t an acceptable name–even though the beer contains no hallucinogens.
Colorado has seen a long-running battle over selling full-strength beer in grocery stores. If the stores win, 3.2 beer will likely disappear from the state.
Author Franz Kafka had a terrible relationship with his bullying father, and the two had almost nothing common–except an appreciation of beer: Czech beer, of course.
More than 30 North Carolina craft breweries are joining forces to brew a special beer to fight House Bill 2, a new state law that rolls back municipal protections of LGBT people.
Sterling, a 150-plus-year-old Louisville-brewed beer, is making a comeback. The brand is known for a 1960-70s series of beers named after Kentucky Derby winners.
Finally, one consequence of the U.S. easing travel restrictions to Cuba has been a run on local beer. Cerveceria Bucanero can’t make enough Cristal beer to keep up with tourist-fueled demand.
Forty years ago today, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne founded what became Apple, Inc. Today, the Apple brand is considered the world’s most valuable, worth close to $120 billion.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Fort Worth, where fans of Louis Torres’s “beer can house” have just days to get a last look at it. Torres sold the house, which is likely to be leveled by developers.
A federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled that Anheuser-Busch InBev can sell beer with up to 0.03 percent less alcohol than advertised and still be in compliance with the law.
The World of Beer chain of beers is taking expansion to a new level. It has granted a franchise to Chinese investors, who plan to open three locations in Shanghai.
According to the UK’s Local Government Association, one way of curbing alcohol abuse is to make lower-alcohol beverages—i.e., beer—more widely available to drinkers.
Neal Ungerleider of Fast Company magazine reports on the status of Stone Brewing Company’s brewery in Berlin, and Stone’s effort to sell IPA to Germany’s conservative beer drinkers.
A couch potato’s dream happened in I-95 in Melbourne, Florida. A semi-trailer carrying Busch beer slammed into the back of another truck loaded with Frito-Lay products.
Finally, the owner of a Belgian beer bar in Philadelphia had these words for those who carried out the terror attacks in Brussels: “Heaven is an afterlife of Belgian beers, chocolates and frietjes that the terrorists shall never know.”
On this day in 1791, Vermont was admitted to the Union as the 14th U.S. state. It is only one of three states that had previously been an independent republic; the others are California (very briefly, and unrecognized) and Texas (1836-45).
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Chicago, where the Field Museum has teamed up with Off-Color Brewing to re-create a purple-corn beer brewed by Peruvian women a thousand years ago during the Wari Empire.
In Europe, drought conditions resulted in last year’s hop harvest being one of the worst in decades. The resulting scarcity drove up prices, which hit small breweries especially hard.
Franchised beer bars may be coming to your town. Growler USA has two locations in Oregon and North Carolina each with more than 80 taps, and plans to open ten more this year.
“Endless Slogans”, an ad for Toronto-brewed Boneshaker Unfiltered IPA, pokes fun at beer ads by mocking every ad cliche from sexual innuendos to bad puns.
A German environmental group has alleged that the country’s most popular beers violate the Reinheitsgebot because they contain trace amounts of glyphosate, an ingredient used in herbicides.
Celeste Beatty is one of the few African-American women to own a brewery. Her Harlem Brewing Company’s beers will soon go on sale at 39 Wal-Mart stores in New York State.
Finally, Anheuser-Busch InBev finds itself in “investor purgatory” after reporting disappointing earnings last week. A-B InBev’s sales are–pardon the pun–flat, and currency volatility has upped the cost of sales.