Music Composer/Entrepreneur Pairing Craft Beer & Curated Sound At Hudson Valley Events

Joe Chris is a young talented music composer and entrepreneur – a pairing Chris hopes will open doors. Speaking of pairing, Chris, whose real name is Joe Hahnenfeld, is using his entrepreneurial chops to develop a unique alignment – curated musical experiences with food and beer tastings.

What Chris is selling is not just background music designed to enhance a culinary event; rather the arranged music is a custom-designed soundtrack composed to be part of the sensory and immersive pleasure of sipping a specific craft beer. Over the course of these events, known as Sonic Tastings, participants sample four flights of beer and nibble on finger foods while listening to guided compositions for each beer.

Two Ladders Brewing Company in West Nyack will be holding Sonic Tastings monthly; the next event will be held on August 12, and a portion of the proceeds for the ticketed event will go to People to People, the food pantry in West Nyack. Chris has been test-driving the pairings concept at other breweries over the past year, including Industrial Arts Brewing Company in Garnerville, Stony Point Brewing Company in West Haverstraw, and Slate Point Meadery in Poughkeepsie.

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The Pour Fool Budweiser vs. American Craft Beer: An Update

Adolphus Busch

By Stephen Body

What if a good friend wrote you a letter…and in this letter, your friend said that he or she needed your help; would possibly suffer without it? What if that friend was facing a profound injustice. Would you stand up with them and say, “This Far and No Farther!” What if it were even simpler than that? What if they just had their roof damaged in a big windstorm and you wanted to help. Would you grab that hammer, climb the ladder, lend them a tarp, bring a dinner plate so they’d know you’re there for them?

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Once-Booming Craft Beer Market Stalled At 0% Growth In 2022, Brewers Association Reports. Now What?

It was the first year craft beer had not grown market share.

Ignoring 2020, a year when almost every industry suffered anomalous results, craft beer had grown every year for as long as anyone can remember. But when Bart Watson, chief economist of the Brewers Association, took to the stage to present his state of the industry address at the 2023 Craft Brewers Conference, he reported that the streak was over. The Brewers Association, the trade group representing small and independent brewers, had determined that the craft beer achieved 0% growth in 2022.

“We’d certainly seen slower growth even prior to Covid,” says Watson. Craft beer had been growing by double-digit percentages year-over-year for decades, but this had slowed to single-digits since 2016 (in 2020, the industry actually shrank by 10% as the pandemic…

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Brew Biz: Werts and All, Anchors Away to Bikini Bottom’s Graveyard

    You can almost see SpongeBob holding his nose as the now leaky ship Anchor sinks into Bikini Bottom’s graveyard.

    Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Salt City Homebrewers in Syracuse, NY. Former member of Escambia Bay Brewers, Clarksville Carboys and Music City Homebrewers. Ken has been writing on beer-related topics, and interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast, for well over 20 years. Opinions here are not necessarily representative of opinions or education presented by the BJCP or their representatives.

By Ken Carman
    Following the downward path powered by bad business decisions that crushed OceanGate’s Titanic tourism sub, Sapporo‘s bad decisions sank beloved Anchor. Sponge Bob probably held his nose and waved as Anchor sank into Bikini Bottom’s Craft beer graveyard.
    I have had a passion for their Foghorn barleywine for a long time, which has nothing to do with “Leghorn” if I am going to continue with these cartoon metaphors. Foghorn, to me (original recipe), was a TRUE Barleywine. Not the more recent poor attempts by other breweries to turn the barleywine style into just another version of a super hopped, ultra bitter, IPA.
    Sometime after Fritz sold the business, I bought a pack of Foghorn. Horrors! I LOATHE that green rubber hose/Band-Aid phenol and this pack had nothing else but that defect in every bottle. It’s almost like watching a Road Runner cartoon and from the start the coyote dies, end of story. Nothing funny about ruining a product because management doesn’t want to do what they should do keep the business afloat. Why it’s almost as if the Japanese concern could have cared less about Anchor and their customers. Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All, Anchors Away to Bikini Bottom’s Graveyard”

Sapporo USA Will Shut Down Anchor Brewing Co.

Update: At 4:44am ET on 7/12/2023, roughly 12 hours after this story was published, Anchor Brewing Company issued a press release announcing it will cease operations and liquidate its business. VinePair will be updating reporting throughout the day.

Today at 9 a.m. local time, employees of Anchor Brewing Co. will gather at the historic San Francisco firm’s plant on Potrero Hill for an all-hands meeting with leaders from its parent company, Sapporo USA. There, they’ll be told that the storied company will cease operation and be liquidated, ending 127 years of production.

A representative for Anchor Brewing Co., Sam Singer, issued a press release early on the morning of July 12 announcing the closure. VinePair first reported yesterday on the imminent possibility that Sapporo USA would shutter the iconic brewery, which it acquired in 2017. Now, America’s first craft brewery and the maker of the Bay Area-born Steam Beer will be sold for parts.

It’s an unceremonious demise for the famous brewery. Anchor and Sapporo USA declined multiple requests for comment in the run-up to this watershed decision. In the release, Singer attributes the decision to a mix of familiar factors: “the impacts of the pandemic, inflation, especially in San Francisco, and a highly competitive market left the company with no option but to make this sad decision to cease operations.”

Current and former workers cite another factor: Sapporo USA’s ownership itself. Over the past few years, they tell VinePair, the Japanese conglomerate’s United States’ subsidiary has been deferring necessary plant maintenance, picking fights with its union, and investing in costly automation equipment in hopes of retrofitting the urban manufacturing landmark into a facility that could handle its lager-based ambitions. A controversial 2021 rebrand caused anguish among workers and drinkers alike who viewed the vivid packaging and slick logo as an affront to Anchor’s singular, artisanal aesthetic. Continue reading “Sapporo USA Will Shut Down Anchor Brewing Co.”

A Beer Judge’s Diary

Our Topic- When Craft Beer is Bad

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman

    What exactly do you do? Tell the server every beer is crap? Be more sensitive about it? Do what we did, be polite, pay and leave?
    I am not going to tell you the name, or where we were city/village-wise. Please don’t tempt me by guessing: I have no desire to destroy anyone’s business. It’s just a damn shame such places give craft a bad name.
    I had been here once before, but it was closed and the hours didn’t work for me. This time we came into town to buy something else, so…
    We bought the sample tray, filled with an oatmeal stout, a brown, a red, and a fruit Kolsch. We sampled dark to light. We agreed about all 4. The best was the stout, but seemed rather thin, needing more oatmeal. We went down the line and down hill from there: literally and figuratively. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary”

When Beer Goes Flat

America has fallen out of love with beer, the story goes. Sales are down. Market share is shrinking. Spirits-based drinks are ascendant. And for breweries, a storm is coming.

That story is incomplete, at the very least. A seismic shift really is occurring within the beer industry, which weathered a pandemic that kept Americans out of bars and, before that, withstood the Trump administration’s trade war that put a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports, and which now faces intense competition from hard seltzers like White Claw and Truly. Today American consumers have the most diverse array of alcoholic options, from the most diverse array of producers, in the country’s history. And while this may be great news for drinkers—especially those who don’t like beer-flavored beer—it may not be for brewers.

The overall business picture of beer is that it’s in decline. But the decline is not a free fall. Beer is still, by far, the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage by volume. In fact, overall alcohol consumption had actually increased in the past couple of decades leading into 2021. So, when alcohol industry analysts say beer is falling, they’re talking about beer losing market share of retail dollars. In 2022 spirit sales amounted to 42.9 percent, and beer accounted for 41.2 percent—its first year in second place.

Beer has actually been losing market share for some time. From 2011 to 2021, for example, Anheuser-Busch InBev—the conglomerate behind Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob, Stella Artois, and more—fell from 46.9 percent of the market to 38.6 percent. But now Americans’ changing taste in alcohol has reached an inflection point, and it isn’t the Budweiser bottle that’s sweating. If your brewery is very large—or, perhaps surprisingly, if it’s very small—you’ll likely find comfortable shelter from the storm coming for the beer market.

It’s the brewers in the middle—the craft-beer makers that have a regional or national footprint, the non-Buds, the non-Millers, what you probably think of as the good beers—that could get soaked.

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