News from the Mash Tun #20: Bottle Shortages, BrewDog Expansion & Biermeile

News from the Mash Tun #20: Bottle Shortages, BrewDog Expansion & Biermeile

Grab a beer and stay calm everybody – things are scheduled to cool down next week! The environmental repercussions of this heat wave aren’t great, but Germany’s beer sales are on the up and U.K. and American expansions look promising! We’re running out of bottles and beer crates, but the ‘longest beer garden in the world’ is coming to Berlin this weekend!

No Metal but Beer and Rock’n Roll in Wacken

As thousands of metal heads converge over the next few days at the quaint village of Schleswig-Holstein’s Wacken for the world’s biggest open air metal festival, those of us more inclined towards a bit of beer snobbery will have to wait another month. The Wacken Brewery will celebrate their Brauereifest Wacken 2018 beer festival on September 8th where the offer of Germany’s ever increasing indie-beer scene will be ample!

As well as their own beers, the brewery festival will feature Hamburg locals, Kehrwieder Kreativbrauerei, Landgang Brauerei, Elbpaul, as well as Danish brewery Rækker Mølle Bryghus.

Now we just have to wait until the extremely popular Wacken Open Air Festival organisers to adopt the same beer snobbery as the rest of us!

Heatwave Triggers Beer Sales

It’s the longest heat wave in Europe since 1976 with European temperatures nearing or passing all-time records as another heat wave blasts the continent! So quite naturally, in the country of no air-conditioners coupled with a strong beer heritage, beer consumption is one of the only ways to keep cool this summer.

Yeah, that’s great for Germany’s ever dwindling beer sales (beer volume production increased by 0.6% this year as compared to last with 47.1 million hectoliters), but for a country relying on returnable bottles due to a conscientious approach to reusing bottles (the ‘Pfand’ thing), a shortage of bottle and crate returns is becoming quite problematic for many of the countries breweries.

In fact, one brewery from Bochum, Moritz Fiege, has become so stuck that they were forced to make a public cry to their loyal customers through their Facebook page to clear basements of empty bottles and cases waiting to be returned, particularly before ducking off for a summer holiday. Erst Pfand, dann (P)ferien” (First Refund, then Holidays”), stated the Facebook plea from the brewery.

So take heed, readers! Not only does the storage of empty bottles in your kitchen result in plagues of fruit flies. It also prevents the good people of the brewing industry from doing what they love; getting the beer into your belly! Group effort now everybody – let’s return our Pfand!

Modern Times Experiencing Rough Times?

It’s not only Europe in a state of flux with respect to the beer industry, but as we well know, as well as being at the forefront of innovation and leadership, the United States is also burdened with braving the results of pattern changes in the industry. From Smuttynose to Green Flash, it’s been demonstrated that even some of the biggest names in the scene are not immune to the fickle trends of the lowly human being.

San Diego’s indie brewery Modern Times, which has recently opened two new locations in Los Angeles and Portland, has reportedly laid off 16 restaurant employees at their LA location and two in Portland. Although the company denies the cutbacks being any “reflection on the overall health of [their] business, or any of [their] other current or future tasting rooms, breweries, or restaurants”, we can’t help but wonder and it remains to be seen how the brewery’s foray into the restaurant world will unfurl over the coming months.

“We are currently up more than 60% over last year, and that all of our tasting rooms and restaurants are doing more business than we’d hoped” reported a Modern Times Communications Department employee Dan Reed.

Stone Brewing Opens in Three Continents

Meanwhile Stone Brewing is smashing it out of the park with the opening of three new destinations across *wait for it*… three continents… over three months! The three locations, situated in Shanghai, Napa and the Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg are, at the very least, evidence of the company’s conviction in the continued growth of the scene. The opening of the company’s first establishment in China is also a promising sign that the independent beer scene is ripe and ready for the taking in Asia.

“This isn’t just about Stone beers either”, commented Stone Brewing Executive Chairman & co-founder Greg Koch. “It’s about global craft beer. These are destinations for those interested in craft to explore new things and experience the world’s very best just as they were intended to be enjoyed.”

Good on ya, Greg! Keep fighting the good fight! And let’s keep our fingers crossed that these tales are an accurate representation of the overall American indie-beer market at the moment!

Brewdog and Cloudwater Open More Taps

It’s perhaps not surprising to hear that Scottish Brewery, BrewDog, continues in its quest for world domination with the opening of their 37th bar in the U.K – the 70th worldwide. The new location can be found at Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes.

They’re nowhere near BrewDog in size, but the good folk of Manchester based brewery Cloudwater Brew Co has just opened its new brewery tap room, ‘Unit 9’. They’re not alone in their quest to fight for ‘fresh’ beer, but they certainly have been strong advocates of the notion since their inception and Paul Jones, director and founder of Cloudwater Brew Co, nails the notion here: “This takes us a step closer to the taproom of our dreams and allows our customers to enjoy our beer direct from the source, in greater comfort than before”.

Largest Beer Garden of the World Returns to Berlin

Last week it was Berlin Beer Week, this weekend it’s Berlin’s (other) famed beery event, The Beer Mile, or the ‘Internationales Berliner Bierfestival’, as it is has been dubbed! With over 2.2 kilometers, the so-called ‘longest beer garden in the world’ will feature 350 breweries from a representative 90 countries with the promise of 2,400 beers… wow!

That’s all for now folks! Stay cool, stay hydrated, return your Pfand and slip, slop, slap (that’s Australian for stay sun safe)!

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

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