The St. Louis-Dispatch is reporting that Anheuser-Busch is spinning Michelob Brewing Company off as its own unit, giving them more autonomy and creative license to introduce new beers. The first new brews expected from the spinoff will be Michelob Dunkel Weisse, which was previously only available in Colorado, and Michelob Pale Ale, which will now be available year-round.
There are also reports that other beers in the work include: Michelob Brown Ale, Michelob Red Ale and Michelob Bohemian Pilsner. These are initially expected to be available as kegs, but there is no word plans to make them available in bottles as of yet.
These will join Michelob’s current family of beers, which includes: Michelob, Michelob Light, AmberBock, Porter, Marzen, Wheat, Honey Lager and seasonal brews such as Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale, Sun Dog Amber Wheat and Beach Bum Blonde Ale. In an interesting move, Michelob Ultra will remain part of Anheuser-Busch.
“For every one that might make it to market, we’re playing with a great deal more than that” — perhaps 10 or 20 beers —Nathaniel Davis, brewmaster at Michelob Brewing Company, told the St. Louis-Dispatch. “It’s a very experimental place; it’s a playful place,” he said of A-B’s Research Pilot Brewery in St. Louis, which will come under the purview of Michelob Brewing. A-B is “delivering on a really wide range of beers. … It’s about the permission to play.”
I’m a big fan of everything pumpkin: pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks, pumpkin bread from Trader Joe’s and, my favorite, Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale. In fact, after the first time I had it, I made my wife go with me on an all-day tour of every liquor store in the area searching for a case to buy. (She wasn’t happy and neither was I, as every store was sold out…)
So, when I was walking down the aisle at the local Canal’s Liquor Store the other day, you can imagine the look on my face when I saw a lone bottle of Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale sitting on the shelf. Pumpkin ale in March? That’s better than Christmas in July! And, at $5 for 22oz, that’s not a bad deal at all.
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I’ve been reading dribs and drabs about the hops shortage for months, but it looks like the story could be getting bigger as the demand for craft beer continues to increase while supplies are reportedly at a low not seen since the 19th century.
For the uninitiated, you need four things to make beer: water, malted barley, yeast and hops. Hops contain acids, which give beer its bitterness, as well as oils that give beer some of its flavor and aroma. Adding hops to beer also helps keep beer from spoiling.
Marketwatch has a great article and clip about the situation:
So, we’re looking at a classic supply-and-demand situation, where craft brewers with smaller hop reserves are now forced to buy them for as much as five times what they went for only a year ago. For beer lovers, that could mean an extra $1 – $2 for a six-pack in the short-term as brewers pass expenses along. In the long-term, it’s an issue that will eventually work its way up the pole to the big brewers like Anheuser-Busch, Molson and Miller, who have yet to feel the effect of higher hop prices thanks to their vast supplies. It could also make it harder for smaller breweries to compete for hops in the future as the bigger breweries and larger craft brewers, such as the Boston Beer Company, flex their purchasing power to ensure they maintain their hop supplies.
Definitely something I’ll be keeping an eye on in the coming months, as this situation couldn’t come at a worse time for the craft beer brewers. Last year, sales reportedly jumped 16% and walking down the beer aisle has become a real adventure with rows and rows of unique and fun beer to choose from. While this won’t set us back to the world of the Pine Hill Tavern near my house, where they only have Bud, Miller and Coors on tap, it could knock a few of the smaller, quirkier beers off the shelves.
This sort of feels like a rum and coke, a bit of an upper and a downer.
First, the good news: A study from the University of California-Davis, found small amounts of beer helped men and women decrease their risk of heart attack and stroke by nearly 40 percent. The reason? Like red wine, small amounts of beer increase the body’s levels of HDL, or good cholesterol, and lessens the risk of a blood clot forming inside an artery in the heart.
And, the bad news: Beer guts linked to dementia. Results of a new study conducted by Kaiser Permanente shows that having a big belly in middle age appears to greatly increase one’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia decades later. Their study tracked 6583 people in northern California for an average of 36 years starting when they were ages 40 to 45. Their abdominal size was measured at the outset of the study. A total of 1049 of them – nearly 16 percent – went on to develop Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia by the time they reached their 70s. Those in the upper 20 percent in terms of belly size in middle age were almost three times more likely to develop dementia than those in the bottom 20 percent of belly size, the researchers found.
So, drinking beer will decrease your chances of having a heart attack to help you live longer and forget more as you get older? Hmm… I’ll concentrate on the first part for now and hope there’s a better study later that contradicts the second part before I forget what it is.
Pizza and beer taste great together, but what about pizza beer? If you’re in the Illinois area and feeling a little adventurous, you can find out for yourself with Tom Seefurth’s Mamma Mia Pizza Beer. And, believe it or not, there are actually real pieces of pizza stirred into the mix.
The home-brewed beer begins with Seeforth and his wife creating a tomato garlic puree and baking up the pizza. Then, they add oregano from their back yard for flavoring. Seefurth grinds his own wheat and add other spices to taste, but won’t reveal all the ingredients.
Even with adding a couple slices of pizza to the wort, Pizza Beer is reportedly a debris free drink as the margarita pizza used is put into the mash & steeped like a tea bag. The pizza spices are washed off and filtered into a brewpot, where it is boiled. During the process, hops & spices are added in a cheesecloth type bag. Once cooled, the liquid is trasnferred into a 6-gallon jug to ferment to two weeks.
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