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Holiday / Winter 2014, Issue 17

Holiday / Winter 2014, Issue 17

While in Denver for the Great American Beer Festival, one item mentioned at the media luncheon by the hosting Brewers Association caught my attention. There was a reminder that the BA issued a best practices statement in September on date lot coding. 

It seems to me fresh beer is one of the keys to the success of craft brewers’ bold commitment to creative and unique flavors. It’s also an important component in the recent debate about the rapid increase in the number of new independent breweries, which includes hand-wringing in some quarters about how many is too many?

In this issue, our story about nano and microbrewers along Colorado’s Front Range includes an important perspective. Until we all live within easy distance from fresh-brewed beer, says Strange Craft Beer Company’s Tim Myers, the American market can accommodate more brewers and taps.

In this light, we applaud the BA for issuing a call for universal adoption of “Best by” type of information on packaged beer. If craft brewers want to continue to grow, fresh packaged beer is crucial when it comes to pours out of bottles and cans as well as from all the new tap rooms, brewpubs, growler shops and beer bars.

Freshness was a key element during the upheaval of the mid-1990s when the “born on date” advertising by August Busch IV and the Budweiser brand was launched. Why shouldn’t craft brewers take a page from the success of that campaign and insure that distributors and consumers know their craft beer is fresh?

What goes on in the world of major brewers often has an effect on the entire beer market. That’s why in addition to reporting on nanos and micros in Colorado we sat down with Pete Coors just prior to the doors opening for the GABF. We wanted to know what one of the chief architects behind MolsonCoors and MillerCoors thinks about his brands as well as his perspective on what’s happening in craft.

As Coors observes, the beer market is not likely to expand, meaning all brewers must find new paths forward for growth, which now includes some interesting experimental small batch brews coming out of Golden, Colorado, the home of Coors Brewing Company. 

The major brewers may make beers with low flavor profiles, but they are clean, crisp and predictably fresh. The BA and its craft segment propose to have 20 percent of the U.S. beer market by 2020. If so, craft will have to be hitting all the key components, including packaged beer always delivered as fresh as the beer from the major brewers. 

It will be interesting to see how this struggle for market share develops. As our Holiday/Winter Issue attests, from nanos and micros to the largest of brewing operations, we are following all aspects of the industry to bring our readers the ongoing story of beer. 

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Innovators Series: Gary Fish of Deschutes Brewery
He may not have welded it together, but restaurant veteran Gary Fish built a brewing powerhouse on the banks of the Deschutes River. 

Pete Coors Talks Craft
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High Points of the Great American Beer Festival - 2014
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Holiday Desserts Paired with Craft Beer
Pair baking and beer for friends and family.

Beer Bar Spotlight: The Porter
Fine dining raises this bar in Atlanta.



Brazilian Brothers Brew Without Boundaries

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