Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Beer News

We read two interesting items in the June/July issue of the Mid-Atlantic Brewing News that we'd like to share. First Vermont's Magic Hat Brewing Company purchased Pyramid Breweries, producers of one of our favorite Hefeweizens. The rational behind the purchase is that it allows Magic Hat to expand marketing territory on the west coast and gives a financial boot to Pyramid - which possibly lost $1.8 million in the 4th quarter 2007. At that rate it would take Pyramid 3 years to burn through the $25 million sale price.

The second item pertains to the current hop "crisis" that we wrote about earlier this year. See Hops & Barley Shortage article. The Boston Beer Company, makers of The Samuel Adams Beer, evaluated their hops inventory and chairman Jim Koch decided to sell part of that inventory to other craft brewer at cost. They started a "Hops Sharing Program" and donated 10,000 pounds of Tettnang Tettnanger (German) and 10,000 pounds of East Kent Goldings (English) to the program. Other craft brewers with surpluses also contributed and the communal inventory was allocated to other breweries based on a lottery. This process allowed dozens of craft brewers to retain beer recipes without eliminating them altogether or altering their composition. The craft brew industry and consumers are most fortunate. Thank you Jim Koch and The Boston Beer Company.

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