Northern Brewer and Midwest Supplies Bought By InBev

Yup, it’s true, Northern Brewer (which also owned Midwest Supplies) was recently purchased by ZX Ventures, a venture capital arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev. There is a lot of buzz in the home brew news and forums this week about what this means, and whether or not this is a sellout.

I’m sure that there are a lot of opinions out there about it, and plenty of speculation about Humongous Beer’s motives, but the folks at NB swear that they remain true to the passion of home brewing.  I’m sure that the good folks that work at NB/MS hope that ZX-Ventures will leave them alone to follow their passion.  I hope so too.  Time will tell.

LHBSFortunately, there are plenty of options out there for those who do not want to line the pockets of A-BI.  First off, remain true and loyal to your local home brew supply shop.  For us in the Itasca County area, that’s Wine Creations.  A shameless plug? No, they have just been there when we needed them, and WC has continued to expand their offerings to include more and more of what we need on a growing basis.

When looking at specialized equipment and items that you cannot source through your LHBS, there are plenty of other independent suppliers out there.

When an Irish Bar is Not an Irish Pub

Jack and I (spouses too) recently spent an evening on the RiverWalk in San Antonio, and we were surprise at the dearth of craft offerings in this so called special hub of nightlife.

We finally found a place, The Esquire Tavern with some good tap offerings and spent a while there enjoying conversation.  Wanting to “spread the weath around a little”,  I suggested heading over to Waxy O’Conners Irish Pub,to try some good Irish beer.  But, the evening was waning, and I was persuaded to try Pat O’Briens Bar and Restaurant instead.  Sounds like an Irish pub, and besides, it was on the way back to our hotel.  Should be a great place to finish off the night.  They had some live music, and a small cover charge, so before ponying up, I asked the bouncer if they had good beer inside.

He asked what I meant by good beer. I inquired if they had some Texas craft beers on tap.  He said they had NO beer on tap.  WHAT! AN IRISH bar that doesn’t even have Guinness on tap?

So I asked the guy if he could recommend a bar within walking distance (bear in mind, we are no wimps when it comes to walking) and he professed to know nothing about craft beer. Hell, I don’t think he even knew what I meant.

Should have hiked back to Waxy’s.  The luck of the Irish was not with me.

Thank goodness they know beer in Austin!

Story of Brewing in America

This week’s America’s Test Kitchen (PRX program) 4th of July special “The Amazing History, Lore and Science of America’s Favorite Drink”.  This year, it’s all about American beer. They speak with historian, author, and self-proclaimed ranter Maureen Ogle about her book Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer. And they taste test beer with expert Lauren Clark.  Here’s the show below:

American Beer Revival

Over the last hundred or so years, the brewing industry in the United States has changed dramatically. From the saloon era through consolidation to today’s flourishing craft beer culture, it’s been quite a ride. Take a look at how the small brewer is making quite a comeback after nearly a half century of decline.