First off is a big legislative change in the state of Colorado, where on January 1st a law took effect permitting “full strength” beer to be purchased in the state’s grocery stores. Previously, grocery stores were limited to selling malt beverages that were 3.2% alcohol or less. Wine and hard liquor must still be purchased in separate liquor stores. There are still a few states with the alcohol limit—Utah, Kansas (law will permit full strength come April)—begging the question: why the hell is 3.2% beer still a thing in 2019? (Post Independent and Citizen Telegram)
File this next one under “missing the mark”: Keeping in line with the ever-growing number of corporate sponsorships surrounding various sports leagues and sporting events (does the NFL really need an official car?), the Kentucky Derby has selected its official craft beer. Yes, the official “craft beer” of the Kentucky Derby and the exclusive beer of Churchill Downs is…Blue Moon. Blue Moon. The one owned by MillerCoors. Is the official craft beer of the Kentucky Derby. Got it. (Beer Street Journal)
In deference to the wishes of it’s namesake creator, Disneyland park in Anaheim, CA has been and continues to be a dry theme park (a tradition partially broken some years back at the Magic Kingdom in Florida’s Walt Disney World). The REST of the Disneyland Resort is a different story, and starting next week the numerous restaurants and shops of the Downtown Disney district will be joined by a Ballast Point Brewing Company brewhouse and taproom. The brewery will sport a full menu along with dozens of Ballast Point’s beers, including some produced in and exclusively available at the Downtown Disney location. The brewery opens January 16 (Food and Wine website)
It would be an understatement to say that inclusion and diversity are key pillars for virtually any business, and the craft beer industry is no different. To that end, the Brewers’ Association, craft beer’s trade association, has released a 5-part series to serve as a guide to help brewers and breweries embrace diversity in all aspects of their business.
The folks at Vinepair sure like their lists, and their Top 10 Beer Destination list for 2019 is no exception. The list isn’t as esoteric as last year, when they were sending you to Madison, Wisconsin and Richmond, Virginia. But some lesser-known cities like Rochester, New York and Raleigh, North Carolina join locations like Paris, Berlin, and New Orleans.
Finally, the state of California spent a lot of 2018 being devastated by wildfires. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is doing their share to help the state get back on its feet, and has enlisted many of its craft beer friends to add their support. Late last year, Sierra Nevada released Resilience Butte County Proud IPA, with proceeds from the beer going to the Camp Fire Relief Fund (the Camp Fire being the later wildfire that burned over 150,000 acres, destroyed 13,000 homes, and impacted many of Sierra Nevada’s employees). SN then took things a step further by releasing the Resilience recipe and having their suppliers provide ingredients at no charge to ANY brewery that signed up and committed to making the beer for free and sending any proceeds from the beer’s sales to the Camp Fire Fund. Over 1,400 breweries (SN has the full list in the link above) signed up. You may have already started seeing the beer at your local brewery, or it may be coming very soon.