Blue Moon Brewing, a division of Coors Brewing, has announced the winner of its “Craft the Next Blue Moon” promotional program. The winner is Blue Moon Caramel Apple Spiced Ale and it will be offered in an upcoming Blue Moon variety pack.
Blue Moon started this latest round of competitions just a few months ago, pitting Caramel Apple Spiced Ale against two other craft creations, Dark Chocolate Bacon Porter and Blackberry Tart Ale. Blue Moon fans were asked to taste and judge each beer at designated tasting sessions around the United States. Fans were also asked to comment on ingredients, package design, etc., and then cast their votes. Caramel Apple Spiced Ale beat out its two competitors and has now won the right to be brewed and sold on a larger scale.
Blue Moon Caramel Apple Spiced Ale is brewed using apple juice and spices and the finished product has an alcohol level of 5.8 percent by volume. Look for it in the Blue Moon Variety 12- Pack sometime in August.
MillerCoors may be feeling a little pressure from the craft brewing industry, even if it won’t directly confess its anxiety.
MillerCoors is planning a series of smaller batch beers that it will market and distribute in a way similar to that of the craft brewing industry. The first in this series is Coors Third Shift Amber Lager and it has already debuted in parts of Nevada, Texas, and California. The beer has been acknowledged at the 2012 World Beer Cup and it could signal a new direction for the large macrobrewer, normally associated with bland, undistinguished products.
Coors Third Shift Amber Lager has been described as a craft beer, but official word is that MillerCoors will not describe it this way. Instead, MillerCoors will promote the beer as an “invitation” beer, which, according to sources, is supposed to mean a warm- up to a craft beer; a product that is easier- drinking and priced lower than most craft beer products, making it easier to afford.
Craft beer lovers have had little to celebrate from MillerCoors, either before or after the merger of the two beer- making giants. Coors Winterfest was a good craft beer product and one of only a handful of products from either company to earn a stamp of approval from the craft beer crowd. This new beer, Coors Third Shift Amber Lager, could be the beginning of something worthwhile. It is a longshot, but we will keep our fingers crossed and hope that MillerCoors develops its new series of beer in a more craft- oriented direction.
Texas is a large state with a thriving business community that continues to innovate. The state has met many challenges over the past few years and has fared far better than other states, in large part due to the business- friendly laws and diverse people who are always looking for ways to create new things and improve on existing processes. This is true across many industries, but it is particularly true in the business known as craft beer. Texas’ craft brewing businesses have enjoyed a good deal of growth as of late and one company that has its sights set high is Rahr & Sons Brewing, a business based out of Fort Worth. Rahr & Sons has been around since 2004 when Fritz and Erin Rahr decided to revive a Rahr family tradition dating back to 1847 and while the company is actually more established than other Texas breweries, it continues to look for ways to improve product selection and better serve its customer base.
I caught up with Rahr & Sons president and founder, Frederick “Fritz” Rahr Jr. just recently and had a chance to learn more about his brewing operation, his company’s outlook, and his opinions on the craft brewing business in general. I offered up some questions and he responded with some honest, thoughtful words of wisdom on the business of beer and its future:
Across the United States, the craft brewing industry is enjoying tremendous growth and influence. What is your feeling regarding these trends? Has the industry reached a peak, or is the best yet to come?
I think the growth of craft beer is exciting. I think this growth is more than sustainable as more and more people get (more…)
Alabama beer geeks are closer to a moment that is long overdue: The option to purchase beer in bottles or cans larger than 16 ounces.
Alabama’s state house just recently approved a bill that would legalize beer packaging/sales in bottles up to but not including 26 ounces (750 ml, or 25.4 oz. to be exact). This is well above the present one- pint bottle or can limit and it will open up a whole new door for the craft beer market. Specialty craft beers are often sold in 22 ounce bomber bottles and nothing else. This means that Alabama residents have not been permitted to purchase these products due to the state’s legal limitations.
Why the state of Alabama ever placed such a bizarre law on the books is uncertain, but opponents of the measure have provided some insight, however irrational it may be. Apparently, some are concerned that larger bottles means more drinking and more intoxication. What these naïve individuals fail to stop and consider is that people who purchase beer in bomber bottles usually only purchase one or two. They don’t ponder between a six pack of 12 oz. cans and six 22 oz. bottles. For one thing, larger bottles usually house the more expensive craft beer so it wouldn’t make sense from a cost perspective. Also, people who drink from larger bottle usually stop at one or two, as opposed to those who buy a six pack and down the entire contents.
Alabama is the only state in the nation with a law like this and with a little more effort on behalf of state law makers, it will be the last. More craft beer options await Alabama beer snobs if the law passes and the prospects at this time appear good. Keep your bomber bottles crossed and hope for the best for our beer- loving Alabama brethren.
The World Beer Cup is among the most prestigious beer competitions, attracting entrants from across the globe and spanning a wide range of beer styles. The 2012 World Beer Cup competition is now complete and it has turned out to be the largest, most actively participated World Beer Cup yet, with 54 countries, 799 breweries, and 3,921 beers going head- to- head for the Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals across 95 categories.
Judging is complete and the winners have now been announced for the 2012 World Beer Cup. Here is a complete list of winners taken straight from the Brewers Association/World Beer Cup web site, including the category, style, number of beers entered in the competition, along with the medal winners and their locations: