Pabst Brewing Company confused the hell out of pretty much everyone when they launched PBR Hard Coffee earlier this summer. It’s easy to do when an iconic lager-maker makes something besides… lager. The curveballs keep coming too, with a PBR Whiskey on the way, a boozier version of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and even a hard seltzer. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap your mind around it.
This summer only a handful of markets (like 4 states) got PBR Hard Coffee at the start of July. It was so successful, Pabst is taking the booze-for-breakfast drinking nationwide in 2020.
PBR Hard Coffee is a first for the company uses Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, milk and a touch of vanilla. The finished drink is 5% alcohol by volume. It literally tastes like a boozy yoo-hoo, and you really can’t smell the alcohol on your breath, in case you’re considering a new way to deal with the stresses of your 9-5. (Also, personal editor’s note. Boozy yoo-hoo is the most accurate description I can think of. Some keyboard jockey d-bag called it lazy journalism. That’s fine keyboard jockey d-bag but guess what. That description is pretty damn accurate. This is PBR Hard Coffee, not Shakespeare.)
So if you didn’t get any this summer, 2020 isn’t far away and Hard Coffee will go national. That is if being wired and tipsy is your thing.
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Athens, Georgia based Terrapin Beer Company has formed a partnership with Atlanta’s Cherry Street Energy. Through the partnership, Terrapin becomes the first brewery in the state to purchase solar energy directly at their facility.
Cherry Street Energy installed solar arrays on the brewery’s roof, as well as sunshades in the brewery parking lot. In total, the solar infrastructure will offset nearly 30% of the Terrapin’s energy consumption.
The 30% offset equates to 339 tons of CO2e, saving 362 acres of U.S. forest a year. Think of it like taking almost 70 cars off the road, annually. Cherry Street Energy owns and operates the array, allowing Terrapin avoid steep upfront costs for the panels. CSE will sell the green energy back to the brewery at a competetive rate over their traditonal power utility.
The solar addtion is part of a larger initiatve Terrrapin calls “Terraprint,” which envelops all of the brewery’s sustainability efforts, from water conservation, soil conservation, and energy use.
“Every decision we make at the brewery has an effect. Be it the local waterways we pull from, the energy each shift consumes, the soil we help build through composting, or any of the resources we draw on to manufacture, we choose to be aware of these effects and strive to keep our impact on these resources to a minimum.” – Dustin Watts, President – Terrapin Beer Company
Over the past year, Terrapin has rolled out various sustainability improvements at their Athens facility, including LED lighting installation, steam recapture, waste compost, and the additon of a “no-idling” policy on campus.
Watts is overseeing the Terraprint Initiative. In the many years of interviews with Beer Street Journal, Watts has called for comment everywhere from the brewing deck, to mountain bike trails and hiking trails all over the world. “Sierra Nevada and New Belgium are leaders in brewery sustainablilty,” he says.
“For myself and Terrapin, Terraprint is about what is best for the communities and the enviroment. That’s what matters to us.”
Spanish brewer Mahou San Miguel is taking a majority stake in Founders Brewing.
In late 2014, it was announced that Mahou would be taking a 30% equity stake in the Grand Rapids-based brewery. Now, Mahou San Miguel is upping that equity stake to 90%.
According to MiBiz.com, papers have been filed documents with the Michigan Liquor Control Board, indicating Spain’s Best Beer Company, an affiliate of Mahou San Miguel would be assuming 90% ownership of Founders Brewing.
The remaining 10% stake will be held by co-founders Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers.
Earlier this year, the same entity took a 70% stake in Colorado’s Avery Brewing.
Founders has now released a statement on the majority purchase, shortly after the news broke:
- Mahou will assume the larger stake in early 2020.
- All shareholders in the brewery will be bought out, except Engbers and Stevens
- Founders states no brewery processes will change with this equity purchase
- There are no plans for Mahou San Miguel to purchase 100% of the company
- No Mahou brands are or will be brewed in Michigan
- The is no intermingling or relationship with Avery, other than shared ownership
If you are wondering “why” Founders sold the additional 60%, this is the only comment Beer Street Journal has the moment:
We decided to partner with Mahou Group in late 2014 to help strengthen the legacy of our brewery; to ensure it would last for generations to come. As Spain’s largest and oldest brewery, Mahou Group values legacy above all else and that value was critical in informing our decision to partner with them. Mahou Group has allowed us to grow and thrive as an autonomous partner and, even with their increased investment, the plan is to continue to allow us to pursue our dreams as we always have.
The brewery states the financial terms of the deal are confidential and will not be disclosed.
An email to Mike Stevens has not been returned.
Champion Brewing teams up with Chris Long, the Chris Long Foundation, and Waterboys.Org.
It’s so easy to take clean water for granted. Clean water is always ready to flow from your sink with minimal effort. Everyday you pass at least one if not multiple water fountains with an unlimited supply. Besides absolutely necessary for human survival, water makes up over 90% of that after work beer you’ve been thinking about since the alarm went off this morning.
For most of us in the U.S., clean water is everywhere you look. Unfortunately, not everyone in the world is that lucky.
More than 844 million people around the world don’t have basic clean water access. That’s more than twice the population of the United States. As tragic as this is, there is a way you can help some of those less fortunate, and it very seriously involves drinking beer.
This is the story of Champion Brewing’s Waterboys IPA. It began 6 years ago with 2x Super Bowl Champion Chris Long, climbing the tallest mountain in Africa.
Before his Lombardi Trophy wins with the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, you found Long playing for the Saint Louis Rams. For Chris, the desire to help others meant doing something “out of the box,” but he didn’t honestly know what that entailed. Sometimes life just reveals that on its own.
In the winter 2013, Long convinced Rams teammate James Hall to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. During the climb and time in Tanzania, both were stuck by the beauty and resiliency of the country. While celebrating the climb in a his hotel bar, Long bumped into Joe Buck and Doug Pitt (Brad Pitt’s brother). Pitt was in town as a Goodwill Ambassador building a sustainable water well. Buck was there assisting Pitt. That evening they spoke about the country’s scarcity of clean drinking water.
After such an amazing experience, Long didn’t want to simply come home and have that experience there and do nothing for the country. A little internet research yielded World Serve International (WSI), an organization that has been building clean water wells in Africa for decades. WSI does all the ground work for locating clean water and digging the wells. Water is indispensable to living creatures and this country needed more access to it. Long found his calling off the field.
In May 2015 Chris launched the Chris Long Foundation to help raise money for the Waterboys.org Initiative, dedicated to raising money to dig those all-important water wells.
Instead of simply writing a check in support, Long opted to engage players around the league to raise both awareness and involvement. Leading up to the 2015 Foundation launch, the goal was to fund and dig 32 wells, each representing the 32 NFL teams. That goal was finally achieved in February 2018.
As of today, the Long Foundation with the support of numerous pro players, have funded 62 water wells, with a long term goal of building enough wells to serve 1 million people (roughly 133 wells).
Your ability to help is just a 6-pack or a pint away.
Long and his wife Megan O’Malley were married in Champion’s hometown in 2013. Nearby was Hunter Smith, founder of Champion Brewing in Charlottesville, Virginia and incidentally a New England Patriots fan. When Nicole Woodie with the Chris Long Foundation reached out to Hunter about a beer with Waterboys in mind, she had no idea Smith was had already been following Chris Long’s career and knew of the foundation. According to Hunter, a collaboration like this was a no brainer. “Brew a beer with Chris Long, putting the importance of clean water in focus, with part of the proceeds Waterboys.org. I couldn’t be more excited,” he said.
Chris Long is no stranger to beer. We’re told Sierra Nevada Torpedo is frequently found in his fridge and was the inspiration for Champion Waterboys IPA.
This American IPA sis build on Vienna and Munich malts, with hop-stars Summit, Mosaic, Huell Melon, Simcoe (plus some experimental varieties in the dry-hop). The goal was to create an IPA that was both tropical and juicy yet approachable. Think of it falling somewhere between a West Coast IPA and the new juicy, hazy beers.
Champion Brewing Waterboys IPA is hitting shelves and taps now for a limited time in 12-ounce cans and draft across the brewery’s entire distribution footprint.
Yeah, there are 8,000 breweries out there now, with many making some great beer choices. Champion Brewing and Chris Long combined a passion for hops and helping people in one place. All you have to do is pour.
Count your blessings and drink in good health.
Hops: Mosaic, Huell Melon, Summit, Simcoe
Malts: Vienna, Munich
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Aug-Oct
Debut: August 2019
Short’s Brewing Company has partnered with Green Peak Innovations (GPI) to produce a line of cannabis edibles and infused beverages.
The announcement was made today at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference. GPI will be creating marijuana infused products that mimic Short’s beers, including gummies that taste like Soft Parade, and vape pens that taste like Huma Lupa Licious.
Additionally, the two companies plan on developing a line of marijuana infused sparkling waters, cold brew coffees, teas, and “mocktails”.
THC and cannabis products have been part of our innovation development discussions for years. Short’s Brewing Company. We’re S”toked” to be working with the team at Green Peak so we can bring some of our next level products and concepts to the market. – Joe Short, Short’s Brewing President
Current state laws prohibit adding THC to alcoholic beverages. When and if the laws change, Short’s plans on expanding into marijuana and CBD infused beers. Additionally, breweries are prohibited from selling THC products on premise.
The first release of the GPI/Shorts products are expected by the end of 2019.
Chicago’s Goose Island teased this on social media yesterday, and now we have confirmation. Goose Island Double Barrel Bourbon County will be among the variants this year.
This Double Barrel edition is aged in 11-year Elijah Craig bourbon barrels, then another year in 12-year Elijah Craig barrels. According to the brewery, the layering of the vintages along with an extended aging time really brings out something special with the imperial stout.
Goose Island Double Barrel Bourbon Country Brand Stout will be an extremely limited release on November 29th, 2019, aka “Black Friday”.
Image: Goose Island
Pabst Blue Ribbon Stronger Seltzer debuts this month, hot on the heels of the Pabst Hard Coffee in July.
Hard seltzer is eating the alcoholic beverage industry alive. Boston Beer/Sam Adams owned Truly, as well as White Claw Seltzer is dominating the market. Pabst Blue Ribbon, known for over a century for their lager, is expanding their own portfolio in 2019. First, it was a high alcohol by volume Pabst, known as Pabst Extra. In a weirder portfolio expansion, it was Hard Coffee debuting in July.
Now, Pabst Blue Ribbon Stronger Seltzer debuts in a handful of test markets this month.
Stronger Seltzer is an appropriate name for this seltzer, which touts a bold 8% ABV. Consider it an “imperial hard seltzer”. Only one flavor is available at product launch – Lime, sweetened with sugar alternative Stevia, and containing on one gram of sugar.
“Stronger Seltzer is a fun and innovative new drink that delivers big on taste, and gives our customers something different to enjoy.” – John Newhouse, PBR Brand Manager