Monday Beer News Round-Up

27 04 2010

San Francisco, California- Fritz Maytag, widely seen as the Godfather of the American Craft Beer Scene, has sold his Anchor Brewery to the 21st Amendment Brewery (also of San Francisco) to a venture capital group that specializes in small breweries and distilleries. In the 1970’s, Maytag (of the washing machine and cheese Maytags) bought out the struggling Anchor Brewery in San Francisco. With hard work and his family fortune, he was able to bring the brewery from the brink of bankruptcy to be one of the most popular beers in America. At a time when every one else was brewing lagers, Maytag decided to brew an ale based off of a gold rush era recipe. The Anchor Steam beer is widely considered one of the first American craft beers and one of the few indigenous American beer styles. No details from the sale have been made public yet. This editor wonders what this means for the highly controversial patent that Anchor currently holds on the name “Steam Beer”.

Juba, South Sudan- For more than 2 decades, Sudan has faced the horrors and atrocities of civil war and genocide. And while the peace talks have been slow, progress is coming. In 2005, the Sudanese government has allowed alcohol into the region. The country is alcohol free. But the semi-autonomous region allows beer and wine. This month, it gets its first brewery. SABMiller invested in the brewery as a way to help the region out of poverty. Beer gives the region access to safe and potable water while also providing nearly 300 jobs to the poverty stricken region. SABMiller estimates that as many as 3000 jobs will be created by the brewery within the next few years. The brewery makes a beer called White Bull which has less than 5% ABV and sells for about a $1 a bottle. It has become very popular in less than a month.

LaCrosse, Wisconsin- The 150 year old City Brewery has begun brewing 7-11’s private label of beer. Called “Game Day,” the beer comes in two styles: Light and Ice. The Light beer has 3.9% ABV and 110 Calories per serving. And Ice has 5.5% ABV and 155 Calories per serving. Cans will be sold for about $1.50 each for 24 oz. The beer will be sold exclusively at 7-11’s nation wide. City Brewery is one of the largest contract brewers in America.

Janesville, Wisconisin- Dick Leinenkugel of the Leinenkugel Brewing family has announced his intent to run as the Republican candidate for Congress. Mr. Leinenkugel helped strengthen his family’s brewery during the 1990’s and then went on to be the Secretary of Commerce for the Democratic Governor Jim Doyle. Mr. Leinenkugel challenges Senator Russ Feingold (D) in November.

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