Consumers may be driving the surge, but the craft beer industry wouldn't have been able to respond without changes to the regulation of alcohol. America’s unique system of alcohol regulation was shaped by the 21st Amendment, which not only repealed Prohibition but granted states primary authority over alcohol. This regulatory structure gave rise to the independent three-tier system of distribution, in which brewers must sell to distributors, who sell to retailers, who sell to consumers. Without the three-tier system, NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser says, beer would be sold the way soda is, with supermarkets offering relatively few brand options and Coca-Cola and Pepsi sponsoring restaurants that serve only their drinks. The system helps craft brewers, says Jim Caruso, CEO of Flying Dog Brewery in Maryland, by keeping markets “relatively open” for small producers.
The Daily Brew
The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) is accepting entries until August 1 for the Second Annual Share Your Story Contest for beer distribution employees who have never attended the NBWA Annual Convention. The contest is intended to highlight many of the 130,000 men and women who make up the beer distribution industry, from truck drivers, inventory specialists and graphic artists to sales representatives, warehouse workers and receptionists.
SweetGum Brewing Co. is slated to have its first brew on local shelves by the end of September, according to co-owners Ed Dechert and Cameron Fogle. It's called Standby Red Ale. It's an Irish red beer, one Fogle said is "appropriate for Starkville's market." Earlier this week, they entered into an agreement with Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company in Kiln, a town near the Mississippi Gulf Coast. SweetGum will use that brewery's facility to make its beer, and Clark Beverage Group Inc. of Starkville will be the distributor.
The Cicerone Certification Program launched the first course in their Road to Cicerone series—a study program aimed at helping individuals prepare for the Certified Cicerone exam. Cicerone program Founder and Director Ray Daniels explained the Road to Cicerone courses include readings, but also emphasize hands-on learning. The active learning comes both through exercises outlined in the course materials and also through interaction with others studying the same materials.
U.S. consumer prices rose in June as the cost of gasoline surged, but the underlying trend remained consistent with a gradual build-up of inflationary pressures. The Labor Department said on Tuesday its Consumer Price Index increased 0.3 percent last month, with gasoline accounting for two-thirds of the gain, after May's 0.4 percent rise.
Empty shelves, grumpy customers, long lines at the register: These are just some of the challenges facing Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s new U.S. chief. Greg Foran, who takes charge in August, inherits a chain wedded to an outdated big-box model, struggling to increase sales in its stores and online, and losing customers because it can’t keep stores adequately stocked.
When it comes to beer, we all have our go-to bottles. But if you're looking to expand your repertoire a bit, what beers should you buy? SeriousEats.com asked their crew of beer experts—all Certified Cicerones—for their list of essential beers you really should try. Get your bucket list out and start drinking!