Canadian beer features heavily this week with can shortages and governmental pressure to produce dirt-cheap beer, while American brewing pioneers get a little bit too loud with their bigotry. Germany’s most popular beer revealed plus smoke, fires and hop updates, it’s all here!
Boston Brewing Cuddles Up to Trump
Jim Koch, founder of Boston Brewing, one of America’s pioneering creative beer brands, may have just shown some of his true colours with a few comments he made after receiving an invitation to dinner with President Donald Trump.
After thanking Trump for signing into law excise tax cuts that were included in the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, Koch went on to bemoan “When I started Sam Adams, American beer was a joke, and it pissed me off. And now, American brewers make the best beer in the world. And the tax reform was a very big deal for all of us, because 85 percent of the beer made in the United States is owned by foreign companies.”
Koch then went on to explain that Boston Beer was paying 38 percent taxes while competing against foreign corporations that were paying a 20 percent effective tax rate.
“And now we have a level playing field, and we’re going to kick their ass,” finished Koch, to which Trump responded, “That’s good. We’ve done that. That was a very unfair situation. That’s right. Good job. That’s a really good job.”
Yep, there we go folks! America’s leader with the vocabulary of a teenager bringing out the inner bigot in every American since 2017.
Augustiner Helles Rules German Social Media
In a statistical analysis conducted in recognition of the International Day of Beer (August 3rd), 14.000 social network entries for thirteen German beer brands were analyzed. The study revealed that Bavarian beer brands reign supreme with the beloved Augustiner Helles rated as the most popular followed closely by Erdinger. Outside of Bavaria, it’s Radeberger and Bitburger rated as the best beer brands.
Sadly for Krombacher, regardless of continued efforts to appear altruistic, (quite possibly due to their teaming up with corporate Darth Vader, Nestle), the brewery from the Siegerland is the brand that has received the most negative comment on the internet.
The (Can)ada Problem
As Germany reluctantly embraces more and more canned beer, the Canadian microbrewery scene is suffering an aluminium shortage driven price increase due to the Trump administration’s imposed 10 percent tariff on all foreign aluminum.
Although Canada produces their own cans and is the world’s third biggest aluminum producer, the country also imports more than 2 billion cans annually with the vast majority coming from the United States.
The U.S. aluminium tariff is likely to affect the ability of the Canadian crafty scene to continue canning for the foreseeable future with shortages or price increases already occurring.
The (Other) Canada Problem “Buck-a-Beer”
As the can-loving Canadian indie-beer scene suffers for their conscientious approach to packaging beer, Ontario’s new conservative government could not be more at odds with a recent implementation of one of its signature campaign promises: to drop the price of a beer to a dollar.
Although the decision to price drop or not will be left to the 260 brewers to decide for themselves, governmental pressure through promises of subsidized promotion and advertising to those who join in on the ‘Buck-for-Beer’ initiative is an unfortunate reality for independent breweries.
Predictably, many of Ontario’s micro breweries have opted out of the buck-a-beer plan for obvious reasons (such as beer quality and equitable wages), so here is hoping that the good people of Ontario get behind their indie-beer scene and refuse the ludicrous governmental proposals.
Stone Brewing Embraces Berlin Smoking Culture
They put up an admirable fight to avoid succumbing to Berlin’s smoking culture, but the Stone Brewing team out at Mariendorf in Berlin’s south had to finally budge a little with their recent partitioning off a sizeable chunk of their beautiful beer garden for smokers.
Although it is quite easy to occasionally forget where you are at Stone Brewing, often imagining you may just be in a magical beer utopia, it just wouldn’t be authentic to imagine being in Berlin without copping that occasional waft of ciggie smoke to the nose!
The Weyermann fire
Speaking of smoke, in Bamberg’s famed malting company, Weyermann, a fire broke out in the roof truss last week leading to extensive efforts, which lasted several hours, to get things under control.
The criminal police has commenced an investigation into the cause of the fire, however typically such fires are often induced by glitches with kilning operations. Thankfully, nobody, other than a whopping 30 tonne of delicious malt, was harmed in the fires with damage costs estimated at about 1 million euros.
Californian church plans to open brewery
In California, a self-proclaimed ‘socially progressive’ church pastor who believes that nothing in the bible inhibits the responsible consumption of alcohol, has revealed plans to convert an old bookstore into a brewery that will offer Sunday service.
Chris VanHall, who’s bio on the church’s website states that he “has a passion for innovation in the church that appeals to younger generations”, hopes his novel initiative will encourage a new clientele to his sermons which will allow him to donate 30 to 60 percent of the brewery’s profits to charity.
And last but certainly not least, extreme weather conditions this year will mean an earlier than usual hop harvest. The harvest, which will commence shortly, is greeted with an annual celebration in the hop growing Hallertau region of Southern Germany which kicked off this week.
Early reports from hop farmers are looking like we’re in for an intense, albeit it early, 2018 harvest! Looking forward to brewing and then enjoying some of Germany’s wonderful wet-hop beers soon! Cheers for now!
Photo Credit : Wikimedia commons