It's been a month-plus since the last news round-up. But I'm back with a new group of news stories, including a preview of a standalone news and commentary post that will be coming later this week. Let's get to the news.
Multiple sites have reported on A-B Inbev entering into a joint research-and-development agreement with Keurig Green Mountain, makers of the proprietary single-cup hot beverage machines and the accompanying hot coffee, tea, and other beverage pods. Keurig developed a cold-drink system that did not do well in the market, and was discontinued last year. A-B Inbev and Keurig aim to revive the cold-drink technology for development of an in-home alcohol drink system. Brewbound has more details on the agreement.
It's no secret that craft beer sales have taken off like a juggernaut over the last decade or so, but marketing firm IRI Worldwide has noted that industry growth might finally be slowing down, at least in supermarkets. IRI reports that craft dollar sales at U.S. supermarkets grew just 6.9 percent in 2016, the first time in over a decade that this section of the industry failed to reach double digit growth. (Brewbound)
Adding to the concept of flattening craft beer growth is the latest financial news by Motley Fool about Boston Beer Company (aka Sam Adams), which has seen both shipments and sales to distributors decline in 2016, the first year-over-year decline since 2003. I would think that at least a chunk of this decline could be attributed to Boston's Coney Island hard soda brand, as the bubble on the whole hard soda concept seems to have burst after its high a couple of years ago.
One of the great American collegiate rites of passage, or so I've been told, is the concept of the shower beer. Great for pregaming before a night out, or to hair-of-the-dog it the morning after, shower beer is one of those concepts that can be considered both rather juvenile AND rather brilliant. Now, a Swedish brewery and marketing company have come up with perfect beer for just such an occasion. (Tasting Table)
Forgive me, but the back third of this round-up is going to be rather local. Craftbeer.com reports on a nanobrewery that has attached itself to a burger joint in the Old Town district of Bluffton, SC, northeast of Savannah, GA.
And finally, some time ago, I noted the upcoming expansion of Hunter-Gatherer brewpub, which has been a Columbia, SC beer-brewing institution for over 20 years, into a full-fledged production brewery, to be located in a historic airplane hanger at Columbia's Hamilton-Owens Airport. Eva Moore at the alt-weekly Free Times, a Columbia institution in its own right, has all the details on hanger renovations, which must be approved by a committee, due to the historic nature of the hanger.
Now, coming this weekend, I have some things to say about an article from Vinepair that is making out a major national chicken chain to be a craft beer mecca. Is this true or false? Find out this weekend!