Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On-site Sales Bills Dead?

I chatted with Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston (pictured), on the floor of the House yesterday. She said her bill to allow on-site sales for Texas microbrewers bottled up in committee. "I think I have the votes to get it out of committee, but Mike McKinney [lobbyist for the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas] won't let it out."

Once again, the interests of the powerful kill off a really good idea.

Unrelated note: moments ago, the Texas House of Representatives passed a resolution honoring Spoetzl Brewery (makers of Shiner beer) on its 100th anniversary.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spoetzl No.4 Craft Brewer, No.10 Overall

The Brewers Association, the trade association of craft brewing industry, released the 2008 stats on the top 50 brewers in America (two lists, actually — craft brewers and overall brewers). Texas' very own Spoetzl Brewery (the makers of Shiner beers and celebrating its 100th anniversary this year) comes out looking pretty good, ranking 10th in sales (by volume) among all breweries, and fourth among craft (defined by the BA as "small, independent, and traditional" beer makers).

Another of my "hometown" favorites — Boulevard Brewing of Kansas City, where my in-laws live — came in 8th and 16th.

While I'm quite proud of Spoetzl, my Lone Star pride is wounded by the rest of the list. The only other Texas brewer listed is Pete's Wicked, but that's only a technicality — Pete's was founded in California but is now owned by Gambrinus (San Antonio). Yes, Gambrinus also owns Spoetzl, but as far as I know, none of Pete's product is actually brewed in Texas. According to Wikipedia, it's all brewed by contract out of New York. So realistically, we just have one, albeit a powerhouse. (And pretty impressive one, considering that less than 20 years ago, Spoetzl was on the verge of going belly-up.)

I'd dearly love to see some more of our Texas brewers climb into that top 50. On the craft list, California has 11, and Colorado and Oregon each have five. Hmm … maybe if we allowed on-site sales at the brewery, that might happen.

Well, fortunately, you can take direct action to help them out — get out and drink more Texas beer! (My friends and I did our part this weekend, putting away a not-so-healthy amount of Saint Arnold Spring Bock, Live Oak Pilz and Big Bark, and a variety from the Real Ale portfolio.)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hop Crisis Over

The worldwide hop shortage, which had microbrewers crying in their beer last year, has apparently ended, say Southwest Brewing News. According an article in its February/March issue, American crops were better this year and Germany had a very good crop.

I'd love to post a link to the article, but apparently SWBN doesn't put their articles online. (Seriously, guys – get with the times.) Pick up a copy at your local fine beer establishment and read all about it.

The Beer to Have When You're Having More Than One

If you've ever wondered whether that old Shaefer beer slogan was just an old urban legend, here's confirmation that it was indeed real:

Boy, they were really shelling out big money for the celebrity endorsements, weren't they?

Friday, April 03, 2009

Snax in the Statesman!

My buddy Snax (of the Black Star Co-op) was just featured in the Austin American-Statesman's "What's in Your Fridge?" blog feature. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Black Star "Beer Circus" Sunday

Sunday, April 5th
4-9 PM at Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E Segovia St
Celebrating the 3rd anniversary of Black Star Co-op and also benefiting:

Save Our Springs Alliance

Buy Advance Tickets Today!
Please join us this Sunday, April 5th, from 4-9PM for our Birthday Beer Circus, celebrating our third anniversary!

While we still have plenty of hard work ahead of us, we have achieved a lot in three years. In fact, we expect to gain our 1,000th member at the Birthday Beer Circus!

We’ll have circus attractions for kids and adults (including a dunking booth, inflatable jousting, sack races, and more), and live music from Wino Vino, the Killdares, and Hard Proof Afrobeat. There will also be birthday merchandise, food from Boomerang’s and the Hot Dog King, a cash bar with beers from (512) Brewing Company, and in the later hours a special burlesque performance by the Jigglewatts.

Advance tickets are available on our website for $5, or get them at the door for $7.

In addition to the fun and celebration, the Birthday Beer Circus is a great opportunity for the Co-op to gain new member-owners, and you can help by asking your friends to come to the party. Forward this email to your friends and send them to our Facebook event.

See you on Sunday!

Beer from:
(512) Brewing Company

Co-operative do business by the following principles:
Voluntary and Open Membership
Democratic Member Control
Member Economic Participation
Autonomy and Independence
Education, Training, and Information
Co-operation Among Co-operatives

"Brew B Que" Festival Coming in May

Featuring Live Oak, Independence, and (512). Read about it here.

And dig that dirndl!