Inside Beer - February 13th, 2020

Inside Beer (Feb 13th, 2020)

Using beer's wastewater / Heineken sees strong growth / Low-cal IPAs on the rise

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1. In Bozeman, Montana, the Water Reclamation Facility is using brewery waste very strategically. In a pilot program, the facility took waste from Triple Dog Brewing to feed the treatment plant's bacteria at just the right time in just the right dosage. The yeast, hops and sugar in brewery waste can throw off the microbes that wastewater treatment plants rely on to remove nitrogen and phosphorus if it's added at any old time. But, when added smartly, the bacteria in the wastewater love it. Without the use of the brewery waste, the facility would have to use a chemical called alum at the tune of $16,000 a year. This method is also saving the treatment plant from having to do an upgrade that would have cost it millions. While this treatment could work elsewhere, the cost of transporting brewery waste may keep other facilities from adopting it. -- NPR

2. In Washington County, Oregon, a mobile treatment system has been created to recycle small amounts of water specifically for brewing beer. The Pure Water Wagon uses the highest quality of recycled water in state regulations and subjects it to a treatment train of ultrafiltration. The county started using the system with home brewers but has moved on to craft breweries. At this year's Oregon Brewers Festival, it will provide the purified water for eight breweries while communicating the benefits of the system's use. -- WATER AND WASTES DIGEST

3. Sales of non-alcoholic beer are credited for Heineken's strong sales growth. The company posted an 8.3 percent volume growth for 2019, the best it's had in the past 10 years. The sales of Heineken's no- and low-alcohol drinks climbed 7.6 percent and now account for about 6 percent of the company's sales by volume. Non-alcoholic drinks alone, driven by Heinekin 0.0, climbed to double digits. Heinekin will soon have a leadership change, as chairman and chief executive Jean-Francois van Boxmeer will step down in June and Dolf van den Brink, president of Heineken's Asia-Pacific business, takes his place. -- SKY NEWS

4. AB InBev's recent purchase of the Canadian brewery Banded Peak Brewing in Calgary is causing problems for the region's craft beer industry. AB InBev owns Labatt Breweries, and Labatt announced last month it was acquiring Banded Peak. The brewery had been part of Barley Belt, a craft beer tourism website. Banded Peak owns the trademark for Barley Belt, which means that AB InBev now owns that trademark. The big brand won't relinquish the trademark unless Banded Peak is kept in the Barley Belt partnership. Several breweries associated with Barley Belt have pulled out of the project because Banded Peak is now not craft beer, and its ownership of the trademark and participation in the website "undermines the local, independent nature of the project." -- AMERICAN CRAFT BEER

5. Tastewise, an AI-powered food intelligence startup, shares some beer categories it thinks are on the upswing, based on what people are talking about online. Vegan beer is on the rise as veganism rises. So are local craft beers that emphasize their use of hyper-local ingredients. And chatter about the combination of craft beer and kombucha - and breweries that do both - is also increasing. -- BENZINGA

6. A film and a book are in the works about an audacious Vietnam War beer run. Based on the true story of a young man named Chickie, "The Greatest Beer Run Ever" is about how the US Marine veteran went to Vietnam with beer for his NYC neighborhood buddies and tracked down his friends one by one, often putting himself in very dangerous situations. -- THE BOOKSELLER

7. Molson Coors is doubling down on the seltzer market with Vizzy, which debuts in March. Already in the market with Henry's Hard Sparkling Water, the company's CEO says one brand is not enough since seltzer is here to stay, predicting the category will reach "a couple of billion dollars in sales this year." -- BEVERAGE DAILY

Brewbound is reporting that Texas-based Future Proof, maker of Brizzy hard seltzer, is suing Molson Coors for trademark infringement, saying the Vizzy name “is nearly identical to Brizzy in sight, sound and appearance.”

8. 2020 may go down as the Year of the Low-Cal IPA as breweries recognize the drinkers are increasingly looking for both lower calories and lower ABVs. Bell's Brewery's Light Hearted Ale was recently released, joining other beers in the category such as Odell Brewing's Good Behavior, Firestone Walker's Flyjack low-cal IPA, and Deschutes' WOWZA! that combines the hazy IPA and low-cal IPA styles. -- CRAFT BEER

9. Pairing beer and chocolate WILL happen quite a bit this Valentine's weekend, and Wine Enthusiast has your pairings covered - if that chocolate happens to come out of a Whitman's Sampler box. In its Completely Serious Guide Pairing Craft Beer with Whitman's Sampler, you'll find suitable beer pairings for each of the pieces. That's right. Every single piece gets its own beer. My favorite, the vanilla cream chocolate, is paired with Toast Ale's Toast Pale Ale. -- WINE ENTHUSIAST

10. Fishweir Brewing Company in Murray Hill near Jacksonville, Florida, buys thrift-store shirts and puts its logos on them. Owner and taproom manager Stacey Flores started by embroidering the logo on shirts for the employees. After customers said they'd like to get in on the upcycled action, she started collecting more shirts from thrift stores, embroidering them, and selling them, saving the 2,700 liters of water to produce the cotton needed to make a single T-shirt. -- FIRST COAST NEWS

Robin Shreeves is a wine, beer, spirits and travel writer. She's the wine columnist and restaurant and beverage features writer for the Courier Post newspaper in New Jersey. She holds an Intermediate Sommelier certification from the Wine School of Philadelphia. Her food and drinks writing can be found at Wine Enthusiast, VinePair, Food Network, Spirited magazine, USA Today, Mother Nature Network, Drink Nation, Edible Philly and Edible Jersey. Visit her website and follow her on Instagram at @rshreeves.

Edited by Beth Duckett, staff writer at Inside.

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