Motley Fool, Private Landbrauerei Schönram, Allagash Beer Giveaway, Lowlander Beer in Amsterdam

“Last year, there were 294 brewery closings, or 34% more than the 219 that closed in 2018, and 78% more than the 164 that shut their doors in 2017.”

That’s the beer market analyst at the Motley Fool financial website. They see stark times ahead for small craft breweries as they attempt to pivot and reinvent themselves during these strange times. Until recently the smart players looked like the small, neighborhood taproom-only joints that could keep a low overhead and not have to worry about fighting for space at Rouses, HEB or Kroger.

Now those little mom n pops are floundering while the bigger players that have shelf-space at grocery store chains are at least surviving. Read the article here Oh, and is it not hilarious that the Fool has a photo of the Funkatorium on a “craft beer” article?

20 years before you could walk into a taproom in Texas and walk out with a growler of handmade beer I was doing exactly that. Back in the 90s I became friends with Steve Anderson at Live Oak Brewing and he routinely filled my growlers for me – on the down low. It was totally illegal but we didn’t give a fuck. Steve knew I had a penchant for their Pilz and they were not doing package yet so we had a nice workaround. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting on my front porch and drinking his world-beating Pilz. I still swoon over a well-craft pilsner.

The Bavarians, you might have heard, drink a lot of beer. Per capita, the Czechs next door are the undisputed champs, drinking about 143 liters (or almost 38 gallons) per person each year. After them, Germans and Austrians are neck-and-neck at about 104 liters.

That sounds like a lot but it’s roughly 300 pints per year (38×8). Maybe I’m jaded but I have plenty friends who drink 3-4 pints a day 7 days a week and have done so for their entire adult life. They are what we call in the business ‘drunks’

Writer Joe Stange visits Private Landbrauerei Schönram to tilt a few pints of their famous lagers where

We have four trucks that do home delivery, like the milkman. You don’t even need to be home. Leave a key with the driver and some euros on the table; they’ll make change, put beer down in the cellar, and take away the empties. See you next week.

What kind of Bohemian utopia is that? Do you ever feel like we live in a blighted backwater filled with rubes and malcontents? I do after reading about such magical lands that seemingly only exist in faraway places.

Read Stange’s piece on how a guy from Wyoming became one of the premiere brewers in all of Germany more

Allagash is giving away beer. Of course you have to live in Portland, Maine, and be willing to drop off “essential goods” at the brewery in exchange for the free brew. Takers? more It’s a 1,616 mile drive from New Orleans if you get that itch.

Vinepair has a good piece on brewers using botanicals in their beers. I’ve earmarked Lowlander Beer in Amsterdam for a potential visit as soon as a semblance of normalcy returns to the planet. more. I remember drinking a ‘gin and tonic’ gimmick beer at Wicked Weed’s brewery in Asheville years ago. I did not have to worry about malaria for the rest of the trip.

And isn’t it weird how Wicked Weed went from industry darling to laughable villain overnight? I hope Walt and Luke Dickinson are riding around in limos and smoking big cigars because I don’t know a single person who has a WW beer in their fridge these days.

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