Hop Take

Hop Take: Big Beer’s Next Move Is Booze-Free, and It’s Working.

Hop Take: Big Beer’s Next Move Is Booze-Free, and It’s Working.

At least three major brewing companies announced new non-alcoholic versions of their classic brands in 2019: Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Leffe in Belgium; Heineken’s 0.0 in the U.S. (it successfully launched in Europe in 2017);  and Pabst Brewing’s new Pabst Blue Ribbon Non-Alc, and PBR Easy, a lower-cal, lower-ABV version of the original brew. Big Beer isn’t the […]

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Hop Take: Flagship Beers Are Failing Because Consumers Get Bored Quickly

Hop Take: Flagship Beers Are Failing Because Consumers Get Bored Quickly

Off-premise sales of craft flagship brands are in steep decline, according to a recent report from IRI Worldwide. Boston Lager declined more than 14 percent last year. New Belgium’s Fat Tire fell more than 19 percent. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, despite being the second-best-selling craft brand in the country, is also in decline, although that […]

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Hop Take: Why Are Craft Beer Release Calendars Still a Thing?

Hop Take: Why Are Craft Beer Release Calendars Still a Thing?

It’s that time of year when craft breweries unveil their 2019 beer release calendars, alerting beer fans to which brands will be brewed in the coming year. Breweries such as Dogfish Head, Founders, and others recently announced these annual schedules. I’m all for seasonal cheer around beer, but these calendars are outdated.

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Hop Take: The Trillium Controversy Shows Us What’s Broken in Craft Beer

Hop Take: The Trillium Controversy Shows Us What’s Broken in Craft Beer

Last week, a former employee of Trillium Brewing posted a personal statement on BeerAdvocate alleging unsavory practices that occurred at the brewery locations in Boston. These included cutting hourly wages from $8 to $5 (not cool), adding tequila to a beer it claimed was tequila barrel-aged (illegal), and selling growlers filled with trub (basically, end-of-keg […]

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Hop Take: Calm Down Everyone, Craft Beer Prices Aren’t Spiking

Hop Take: Calm Down Everyone, Craft Beer Prices Aren’t Spiking

This week, scary reports warned craft beer drinkers that our pints are about to get more expensive. This, allegedly, is due to snowy weather “[flattening] barley crop” and “[roiling] malt supplies” in Canada, one of the U.S.’s top barley imports. This led to a 12 percent price jump in spot prices for barley grown in […]

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Hop Take: Heineken Heads to China, the World’s Largest Beer Market

Hop Take: Heineken Heads to China, the World’s Largest Beer Market

In a deal worth more than $300 million, Heineken is joining forces with China Resources Enterprise (CRE) and China Resources Beer (CR Beer), the largest beer company in the world’s largest beer market. CRE and CR Beer reportedly acquired seven of Heineken’s businesses as part of a long-term strategic partnership in mainland China, Hong Kong, […]

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Hop Take: All About Beer Is Dying, May Already Be Dead

Hop Take: All About Beer Is Dying, May Already Be Dead

On Tuesday, the award-winning Beervana blog shared sad news: After 39 years, All About Beer is dead. Of course, this being the craft beer community, controversy followed. Beervana’s Jeff Alworth, who was a contributor, said he received a tip that the decades-long-running print publication would soon be defunct. All About Beer publisher Christopher Rice had […]

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Hop Take: Founders Under Fire for Alleged Racism, Homophobia

Hop Take: Founders Under Fire for Alleged Racism, Homophobia

Founders Brewing is being sued for racial discrimination. Former employee Tracy Evans says he was fired as a result of an attempt to make a formal complaint to human resources regarding incidents of racist behavior, including employees using racial slurs and the alleged existence of a “white guy printer” and “black guy printer” in the Founders […]

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