Six-Pack of News: Volume 1

One of the things I always say when I tell people about how to improve this blog is "I want to write about news more." Well, I want to write about news more. I will try to go in-depth about some issues, but I thought this might be a fun way to throw some interesting stories out there, with just a bit of commentary or a witty quip on my part.

I give you...the Six-Pack of News.

My home state of Pennsylvania has finally started to get themselves out of the Stone Age, at least in terms of selling beer. PA Governor Tom Wolf advocated to and gained approval from the Liquor Control Board to allow six-packs of beer and malt beverages to be sold in gas stations, provided there is a separate point-of-sale for such transactions.

This is a couple of weeks old, but it's still frakking stupid: Budweiser is rebranding itself as "America" for most of 2016 in an obvious attempt to cash in on the upcoming Olympics and election season. I have a number of rebrandings I could suggest to A-B InBev, but I want to keep things kid-friendly here.

Speaking of A-B InBev, this blog some time ago noted their attempts to block out other craft brews from distributors' shelf space by offering financial incentives to distributors that stock a certain amount of A-B InBev products, including their ever-expanding "High End" group of former craft breweries (a group that includes Goose Island, Elysian, Devils Backbone, and many more. Well, this incentive program is being investigated by the Department of Justice over A-B InBev's attempted acquisition of SABMiller, though this particular point is not expected to derail the acquisition.

The awesomely-named Brew Studs found a report from the much-less-awesomely-named Research and Markets group that says the craft beer market could be valued at $45 BILLION dollars by 2019 owing to a growing consumer preference for craft beers. With well over 4000 craft breweries (and counting) in the United States alone, this number, while staggering in a vacuum, seems unsurprising.

While in Asheville over the weekend, I noticed a couple of breweries established East Coast operations there. New Belgium is located in the city's River Arts district, while Sierra Nevada is located outside of the city. North Carolina and Virginia seem to be the hotspots for East Coast operation set-ups, and Ballast Point is the latest to join this push, announcing their intent to establish a manufacturing and retail operation in Botetourt County, VA, near Roanoke.

Finally, the journal PNAS reports that Stanford University archaeologists working in China found a complete set of 5000 year-old brewing equipment, with beer remnants found within the equipment. Analysis of the beer remnants yielded a recipe of millet, barley, Job's tears (a tropical fruit from southeast Asia), and...potatoes???