A Big Merger May Flatten America’s Beer Market

ANHEUSER BUSCH-INBEV, the world’s largest brewer, recently made headlines by announcing that it would temporarily rename Budweiser, one of its best-selling beers, as America. It’s a curious name choice, not only because AB-InBev is based in Belgium, but also because of what the new name stands for: independence.

As Anheuser-Busch InBev looks to finalize a $107 billion merger with SABMiller, the world’s second-largest brewer, federal antitrust authorities need to weigh what this means for the growing number of small brewers and independent distributors who are driving the industry. Recent reports say that antitrust authorities are likely to approve the deal by the end of the month. If they do so without adequate protections, the merger could stifle consumer choice and choke off America’s beer renaissance.

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Women in Beer: A Portraiture Series

Unfortunately a lot of uncovered women brewers here-PGA

The craft beer industry, a notoriously male-dominated sphere, is experiencing a major shift in demographics. Not only are more women enjoying beer, but increasingly they are becoming the brewers themselves.

After reading an article about Local Brewing Co., a brewery owned and operated by two women, San Francisco photographer Natalie Jenks was inspired to create a portraiture series celebrating women in beer. She began this journey in July 2015, becoming increasingly impressed with the various jobs that females were holding in the industry. From her subjects, she quickly discovered that women were occupying positions across the craft beer industry spectrum, fulfilling roles such as brewery owner, brewer, lab manager, beer delivery and marketing coordinator, among others.

In creating these portraits, Jenks desired to emphasize the role of each individual female within the context of her workplace. Interestingly, she learned from her subjects that, unlike many other largely male fields, the craft beer industry is truly one of collaboration, not competition. Women in beer are quickly becoming less of an anomaly, and as Jenks states on her website, “The hope is that we get to a place where it’s not about being a woman, it’s just about making great beer.”

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The Fool’s Semi-Annual, Self Destructive Throw-Down on Self-Reliance

TPFThis post was motivated by a recent and frenzied convergence of dozens of people with whom I have an online relationship, writing things that are rooted deeply in some antiquated notion that there are Universal Absolutes that apply to all evaluation of their beers, wines, or booze faves. I participated in a discussion, last week, in which a notable and respected beer writer opined that he was put off by all these different kinds of beers; all the stylistic variations and what he considers wrong-headed misinterpretations of styles. He took specific aim at the Black IPA, otherwise known as the CDA – Cascadian Dark Ale. He never mentioned the CDA but claimed that calling something “Black” as attached to a style of ale properly called “India PALE Ale” makes no sense. And, in one sense, he’s right. Maybe some name like “India Dark Ale”  would fix his problem but somehow I suspect it wouldn’t. Most people who waste valuable air, blood, and minutes bitching about well established things they have zero hope of influencing wouldn’t consider the problem fixed unless they could summarily waive it totally out of existence. I can’t speak for him, of course, but as the conversation centered on the idea that we don’t need all these different styles of beer, I feel safe in saying that he wishes the whole notion would just…go away.

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