Beer, Bars & Brewers in September, 2015

Welcome back to this month’s news concerning everything beers, bars and brewers. This week with Rügen’s very own craft beer brewery and Heineken’s partnership with Lagunitas.

Giffard Alkoholfrei

If you’re in Berlin this Friday, hop on over to Coronado’s tap takeover at the Monterey Bar. Located further south? No problem, Coronado is also taking over Munich’s Camba Tap House this Saturday. Both events are co-hosted by Bier-Deluxe.

1) Rügen’s very own Craft Beer Brewery

The Berlin Beer Academy is well worth a visit, but if you can’t make it there in person – subscribe to their newsletter! Last week’s edition, in which the Bier Inseln were introduced, was particularly interesting. Brewmaster and beer sommelier Markus Berberich thinks that beer needs to be fun, this was the driving force behind him opening his own “creative brewery” on the island of Rügen two years ago. The brewer only makes beers that are top and open fermented, aged in bottles, and a pleasure to drink. Twelve recipes are currently in production, from historic beer styles to solid individual creations. The Insel Brauerei’s beer garden and tasting space has been open since July. Craft Beer on Rügen, who would have thought?

2) Crowdfunding for Craft Beer

Using a crowdfunding campaign to kickstart your business isn’t exactly news in the craft beer world. Sometimes though, things don’t work out quite as planned. Despite a heavy stream of press, Brewcifer’s Startnext campaign is currently stuck at 15.000 of its 55.000 Euro goal with only 34 days left to go. The Bierothek’s campaign is going even worse, having achieved only 975 Euros of their 50,000 Euro goal, with one day of the campaign left. The original goal was to use the money to fund an expansion of Bierothek stores in Germany. Maybe it’s time to start looking at other money making schemes.

3) Marketing Manager Christoph Klischan now Stakeholder at Bier-Deluxe

Bier-Deluxe’s marketing manager Christoph Klischan has a reason to celebrate this weekend: He’s just secured his new position as stakeholder in the company. In an exclusive statement to MIXOLOGY he says “Bier-Deluxe, as well as the complete craft beer scene, isn’t just a job for me. It is my passion. By becoming a partner I’m able to steer Bier-Deluxe’s direction, and its positioning in the craft beer market, more actively. This was an obvious choice because I want craft beer to reach its place value within Germany, and I’m willing to fight for that. Both in my career and in my private life”.

Together with the company management, Klischan has gotten to the point where the online shop is debt free. The complete managing board and key positions are now staffed by stakeholders and the shop is planning a complete relaunch at the beginning of October. Watch their “First Time” ad here.

4) Heineken Enters into Partnership with Lagunitas

Last week Heineken announced that it acquired 50% shareholding in the Lagunitas Brewing Company. Even though more and more craft brewers are, let’s call it: “merging” with large breweries this news still came as a surprise to many. James Watt tweeted that Brewdog will no longer be serving Lagunitas beers in their bars, a move that prompted many a reply. Paulaner’s export manager Johannes Weiss would like to remind the beer drinking public that “Don’t forget though: You can get distribution without selling half of the company”. True words. Benzinga reports that “Lagunitas will continue to be led by Tony Magee, its founder and Executive Chairman, alongside the existing management team and the company will continue to operate as an independent entity”.

The boundaries between micro and macro breweries, and “establishment”/”anti-establishment” breweries are becoming blurrier by the minute. Keep in mind, even Anheuser-Busch InBev has a 32.2% stake in the Craft Brew Alliance. Earlier this year the American Brewers Association, “the not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers”, had put Lagunitas at sixth rank in their annual Top Fifty Breweries of 2014 list.

5) Two Giants Unite

Not so much craft beer news, but beer news nonetheless. The Guardian reports that the world’s largest brewing cooperation Anheuser-Busch InBev (them again) want to grow even bigger, by buying their rivals SABMiller.

There’s been no official offer and no numbers are being put on the table yet. In what seems like a power play, AB InBev stated that the possibility of not making an offer does exist. If this deal does goes through, it would have huge consequences on the beer market. Together the world’s largest breweries would be worth around 250 billion dollars.


Foto: Smiling Brewer via Shutterstock.

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