Tag Archives: Beer

Sour Beers for Summertime Refreshment

As pickled and preserved homegrown-foods continue to grow in popularity, it’s only natural that beverages with similar flavor profiles and origins would become more popular, too.

We recently highlighted shrub cocktails, the pre-colonial era, vinegar-based mixers and mixed drinks that are bubbling under the trend radar, but they’re not the only sour offering available at the bar. Sour beer recipes originating from 18th century Europe (and earlier) have a growing fan base among trend-driving craft beer aficionados all across America.

Sour beer served in snifters

“Sour” beers aren’t necessarily sour in flavor. They’re tart, fruity, and crisp, made so by bacteria added after the fermenting process. Before modern, sterile food processing became the norm, wild yeast and bacteria were just part of the beer brewing process. Today, most brewers who create sour beer add select souring agents in a fairly controlled fashion, but there are some who stick with tradition, allowing natural bacteria and yeast to work their unpredictable magic.

The dog days of summer are near, get to know what sour beers are available from your local craft brewers and lock in a selection for your own beer menu. Their crisp flavors, effervescence, and traditionally low alcohol by volume are ideal for craft beer aficionados who like to while away hot summer days at their favorite watering hole. Pilsner glasses suffice for serving sour beers, but flutes can highlight their coolness and carbonation, and snifters can intensify their aromas.

Americans Aren’t Drinking These Beers Anymore

americans-not-drinking-these-beers-anymore
We’ve covered recently how beer just isn’t the best selling drink in the world; that honor goes to soju. Wine and liquor are partners with beer on the secondary list of drinks globally, but for America, it’s clear that beer is easily one of the most popular drinks, fitting everywhere from a case as you watch a football game with friends to a post-work pint with friends at a bar.

USA Today has reported that nine particular beers have started to disappear from the taste buds of Americans. While many of these are iconic for your fridge (or in many cases, the one belonging in your parent’s house) and staples for bars, their drop-off isn’t wholly unexpected.

These beers have had significant drop-off in the past five years.

  • Labatt Blue- Dropped 28.3%
  • Budweiser- Dropped 28.8%
  • Heineken Premium Light- 36.7%
  • Milwaukee’s Best Light- 39.7%
  • Old Milwaukee- 54%
  • Miller Genuine Draft- 56.4%
  • Milwuakee’s Best Premium- 58.5%
  • Budweiser Select- 61.5%
  • Michelob Light- 69.6%

Two trends are relatively clear from looking at these numbers. Bud Light and Bud Platinum, a markedly lighter option and a stronger option, are doing better than the mid-range traditional Budweiser. Notably, Bud Light actually has less alcohol by volume and more calories and Budweiser Select. In addition to this, Milwaukee is no longer particularly strong of a brand when it comes to labeling beers, given that three of the top nine beers losing interest in bars have Milwaukee in the title.

The article goes more into depth on each brand and drink, and why they’re not selling as well anymore. Labatt Blue has also had sales drop in Canada, while Budweiser has been succeeded by Bud Light in the eyes of many, yet Heineken drinkers apparently prefer non-light beers. Michelob appears to be the biggest brand on the downslide, and while Ultra is growing, the others in the brand are being hit hard.

How does this affect you and your restaurant? Many of these beers aren’t exactly targeting the younger and more affluent market; instead, flavored drinks like Redd’s Apple Ale and flavor-infused vodkas are on the rise. Craft beers have become a dominating force when it comes to local markets, as people can grab a bottle of something that was made more lovingly and personably than something from a major manufacturer, and they’re supporting a local business that’s endeavoring to do something creative.

If you can take anything from these downslopes, you might want to look at your own inventory and see if these particular brands haven’t been selling well for you. If they have, there will always be an outlier, but if not, you may want to see about taking these beers off your menu. If they’re not selling, you’re just wasting valuable shelf and storage space and not taking full advantage of the options you have. Try some new beers, and maybe replace Michelob Light with a brand that might have a future.

beer-news

Beer News Your Restaurant Can Use

Admit it; if your restaurant serves beer, that has to be one of your biggest profit-margins. A consistent seller, alcohol is there for the good times and the not-so-good times, whether it be a major sporting event with friends or coworkers having a last beer before one of their own moves off to a new job. Many customers will order more than one, and you’re more than willing to encourage that, as long as they’re staying within limits of sobriety, or have a ride.

If you’re a local restaurant and not part of a chain, you may even pride yourself on your variety of local craft beers available. With the government shutdown, however, you may be limited in your options. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the Treasury Department is the branch of the government that approves new recipes, labels, and breweries is currently quiet, the Huffington Post reports. The agency is continuing to process taxes from existing business, but won’t be taking on any new ones. Big companies have plans long in advance for new drinks, but craft beer companies often release smaller batches more seasonally, catching the “limited availability” publicity.

The Huffington Post reports that people have already been complaining about 75 day waits on applications, which will undoubtedly take much longer now. In some cases, seasonal beers might not be approved until after the season’s well and done.

The government isn’t just slow on approving new beers; they do keep the everyday consumer in mind. At least, Michigan lawmakers have the best interests of the beer-drinking public at heart with a new bill they’ve proposed. According to Gawker, a new bill in Michigan would guarantee that any time any customer orders a pint of beer, it would have to be 16 ounces… the definition of a pint. This amendment to the Liquor Control Act.

It’s hard to imagine this bill proposition not coming from a representative having ordered a beer at a restaurant and finding it lacking under the actual traditional amount that a pint includes. Gawker goes on to report that a similar bill was proposed (but failed) in Oregon six years ago, while the UK regulates the concept of the Imperial Pint. The bill does have its detractors, such as those who say the pint is more of a concept that an exact measurement.

Have you found yourself in a sticky situation because of the government shutdown? Possibly, are you a Michigan bartender who’ll have to order new pint glasses if this law goes into effect? Alcohol is a tightly-regulated industry, and every bar and most restaurants are a necessary part of that industry. Let us know your opinions.