Wood-Aged Beers: Are Their Days Numbered?
Well, maybe only in Sunny California. That state is considering legislation that would force brewers to prove that barrel-aged beers are not distilled spirits if they can’t prove that their barrel-aged beers have less than 0.5 percent alcohol from the barrels. A tax will be imposed if the proof isn’t positive. Looks like the brewers are going to have to explain to the lawmakers that barrel-aged doesn’t mean that gallons of spirits are added to the beer.
Beer Distributors: Consolidation
There has been an onslaught of beer distributor consolidation in the United States. Beer distributors are the unseen leg of the so-called “three-tier system” of beer sales in the U.S., mandated by federal law since the repeal of Prohibition. These legs are the breweries (or importers), the distributors and the final sellers of beer (stores, restaurants, bars).
Why does this matter to you? Joe Lipa, of the pioneering beer import business Merchant du Vin, said this consolidation will greatly affect the craft and specialty import segment. His worries?
Will the new mega-distributors drop some of the smaller breweries because they don’t meet volume expectations?
Will the new mega-distributors pair down the number of styles of beers offered by these respective breweries?
Will the new mega-distributors only want to deal with the top tier of specialty importers?
Will the present A-B distributors who presently sell craft/specialty lose interest after the InBev merger?
Will we see a return of the small craft/specialty distributor?
Lipa believes that in three to five years, the new mega-distributors will pare down to one or two national crafts brands, one or two regional crafts, one or two local crafts and two to four of the top specialty importers.
Coors closed the Bass Museum in Burton-on-Trent in the United Kingdom. Coors acquired Bass several years ago in one of the big international buy-sell-close brewery deals.
Costco lost its court case in Washington State. Costco sued the state over its alcohol laws, which prohibited Costco from buying beer directly from breweries.