Hey, don't blame us! We've nothing to do with all this. We're not the ones brewing up new product lines or planning for all this expansion! It's all we can do to keep up with yesterday's news let alone today's.
You guys just don't know to back off – So, it's best that we move on to this week's Rumor Mill - Your guide to Industry News, Gossip & Innuendo . . .
PROCLAMATION FROM THE BEER INSTITUTE! (Washington, D.C.) - The Beer Institute (there's a beer institute?) announced today that retail beer sales rose more than 2 percent in 2011, highlighting beer's continued strength within the alcohol beverage sector. According to market research company Nielsen, the increase in sales revenue can be attributed to the high-end beer business. The sale of imports, crafts and above-premium beers sold off-premises was up nearly 3 percent.
AND THANK GOD FOR HER! (Grand Rapids, MI) - Founders Brewing has released the next in its Backstage Series, Curmudgeon's Better Half. Better Half is a re-branding of the beer formerly known as Kaiser's Curmudgeon, which has only been served at Founders' taproom and in extremely limited draft distribution. Curmudgeon is an old ale brewed with molasses and aged on oak; it becomes Better Half after aging — for 254 days — in bourbon barrels that have more recently been aging Michigan maple syrup. As a result, Curmudgeon's Better Half is a bit sweeter than her miserly counterpart. Appropriately, the beer label depicts her holding a pitcher of syrup for the Curmudgeon's breakfast.
WORLD TANK-DIVING FEDERATION ANNOUNCES NORTH AMERICAN COMPETITIONS (Brussels) - Noting the unprecedented growth of craft beer in America, the World Tank-Diving Federation (WTF) is announcing that it's in the planning stages to bring competitive tank diving to the United States. Extreme Brew Tank Diving, which originated in the less regulated regions of Eastern Europe, has grown in popularity over the last decade and is now a major sporting event all over Europe. Belgium's Trappist Tank-Diving Competitions are now sold-out events with a ravenous following. The growth of this extreme endurance sport is un-paralleled and its popularity in Europe second only to the World Soccer League!
The WTF is currently in talks with interested US cities and will be visiting several major brewing regions this year. And although San Diego, Denver, and Chicago have all expressed serious interest in hosting the North American competitions, the WTF remains uncommitted at this point.
A GAGGLE OF GOOSE ISLAND HAPPENINGS (via Hopcast) - In this recent video, Goose Island's John Laffler laid out all kinds of stuff! He said that they'll be quadrupling the barrel program this year, filling 900 barrels with Lolita in the next couple of months and have an additional 100 beers being planned. (Whew!)