Beer, Bars & Brewers #9
We be hoppy! The sun is out, spring has sprung and people are finally happy again. It’s become a long-honed tradition that as soon as the first fledgling greens begin to show their face, Berliners take to the streets – beer in hand. We happily participate and raise our glasses to the glorious season.
In this week’s Beers, Bars & Brewers Budweiser tries to get the world’s attention by renaming its beer America, Greg Koch launches a new beer platform, new records were set at this year’s Beer World Cup, Brlo is set to open its brewery, and Berlin is home to a Italian craft beer bar. Prost!
Budweiser Renames its Beer ‘America’
As American beer sales continue to decline steadily, Budweiser decided to make some publicity for themselves (and who can blame them?) by renaming their beer “America” and changing their tagline from “King of Beers” to “E Pluribus Unum”. Somebody swallowed a huge “‘murica is life” pill. Tosh Hall, the creative director of the beer’s branding firm JKR, told Fast Company “We thought nothing was more iconic than Budweiser and nothing was more iconic than America”. Really Tosh, nothing? Pretty bold claims coming from a beer company.
But Budweiser is right to pull out all the stops, Vox reports that “In 1957 Budweiser … was the best-selling beer in the world. It was the most popular beer in the United States until 1990. But the original Budweiser beer has been losing market share since 1989”. Americans not only drinking more light beers (as seen in this ode to Bud Light by David Chang), they’re also drinking more craft beers than Budweiser, and they’re generally drinking less. So why not go all out in your marketing? We look forward to seeing the results.
Greg Koch to Launch New Beer Platform called True Craft
At the end of April Stone Brewing co-founder Greg Koch announced plans to launch a $100 million fund craft beer investment company called True Craft. At California’s e.g. conference he told the crowd that the new platform will “allow craft breweries to stay craft breweries” and that “They can make their own decisions about their future. They can stay independent. They can get financing and flexibility that they need to flourish, while keeping their soul and control”.
Brewbound notes that the company is described as a craft beer investment company and that their goal is simple: To “give craft brewers another option than selling a majority interest to private equity or selling out to big beer”. This seems like a logical step for Koch, someone who’s eager to protect craft from big beer.
New Records Set at 2016 World Beer Cup
At the beginning of this month the World Beer Cup competition took place during Philadelphia’s Craft Brewers Conference. Time time around 6,596 unique beers from 1,907 breweries competed against each other, according to The Full Pint that’s “a 38.5% increase in entries from the last event only two years ago”. The jury was made out of 253 judges representing 31 countries evaluating 96 distinct beer styles. The American IPA category saw 275 entries, making it the competition’s most popular style. Gold was won by the Californian Noble Ale Works brewery. The biggest prize, the World Beer Cup Champion Brewery, went to the Large Brewpub. “This year’s awards saw a great showing from New Mexico, the UK, Germany and most notably, Japan, an up-and-coming beer market which saw 9 wins for 9.
Another Brewery for Berlin: Brlo Finds a Home
Rumours have been circulating for a while, whispers that Brlo is planning something big. And now that the cat’s out of the bag, we couldn’t be more delighted. The lovely Gleisdreieck park will be home to Brlo Brwhouse – which will include a brewery, bar, beer garden, and restaurant. As many things in life, the brewery is built to be temporary. Those of you who’ve frequented the Korean Street Food Night at the Platoon Kunsthalle, will surely recognize the containers from which the portable brewery will be built (designed by the Graft architectural studio).
The building will accommodate a 20hl brewing plant that will produce Brlo classics like the Helles, Pale Ale, Porter, German IPA and the Berliner Weisse. Though, of course, the brewery has 20 fresh taps which will rotate in their offer. The restaurant will be led under the helm of Ben Pommer, whom many will recognize from Berlin’s Neue Heimat. We couldn’t be more excited for the Brwhouse to open!
An Italian craft beer bar in Germany? It’s the wonderful reality we live in! Late last month Birra opened its doors in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg district. Run by Manuele Colonna, brewer and founder of the Rome-based beer and soccer bar ‘Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fa’ and Alfonso Strianese, founder of the Bir&Fud bar, Birra promises to “not to try and teach Germans how to brew, but to enrich Germany’s, and specifically Berlin’s, beer culture”. The bar’s 16 taps will mainly offer Lambrate, though some of those will be freed up for guest brews every now and then. MIXOLOGY author Dirk Hoplitschek explains this might mean a shift in Berlin’s craft beer scene, bar owners are embracing the niche concept (in this case, not only craft beer but Italian craft beer) and that Berlin might just be able to handle it. Exciting times to be alive.
Foto: Bottles via Shutterstock. Post: Tim Klöcker.