Updated March 25, 2020
2019 Beer Sales
After combing through several annual sales reports, 2019 overall beer production in the USA remained fairly flat, while craft beer sales continued its modest growth according to a report put out by the IRI (Information Resources Incorporated) market research team. According to the IWSR (International Wine and Spirits Record) research group, when digging into the various segments, craft beer saw an estimated 4.1% increase. Macro beer sales on the other hand saw a 3.6% decline. The flavored malt beverages category, which includes hard seltzers, grew by roughly 43% in 2019. Non-alcoholic and very low alcohol beers grew by an estimated 6.6%. Ciders saw a slight decline, down 3.8% in 2019.
In other news from Brewbound.com, overall canned beer sales continue to make gains over bottles and draft in both off-premise (stores) and on-premise (at breweries and taproom) sales of beer. According to their report, cans gained 2 percentage points in off-premise sales, to 64% of sales, and 6 percentage points of on-premise sales, up to 42% in 2019. According to the Brewer’s Association (BA), in the craft beer segment bottles now account for 53% of overall sales while cans account for the other 47%. The BA’s economist Bart Watson expects craft can sales to exceed bottle sales for the first time ever in 2020.
A story that was featured in the publication Popular Mechanics struck our fancy, about a new book that Oxford University is publishing titled Humans and Alcohol: A long and social affair, which theorizes why humans can process alcohol. According to the book our ancestors, the great apes of Africa, would end up eating fruit that had fallen to the floor of the forest to meet the high demands of their daily caloric intake. Often these fruits would have started undergoing alcoholic fermentation. Our ancestors needed the energy found in the fruit and the researchers claim the fallen fruit were often the same alcoholic strength as a common small beer, about 1–4% ABV. So if only the apes that could tolerate the alcohol in the fallen fruits survived . . . well, that’s natural selection! To read more about the upcoming book: www.popularmechanics.com/science/animals/a30139147/drunk-gorillas-alcohol-tolerance/
2019 North American Hop Harvest
As the 2019 Northern American hop pellets hit the marketplace, we thought folks should know how the harvest fared. According to a report put out by BSG CraftBrewing, a cool and wet fall throughout the Pacific Northwest region of the United States delayed bine growth and stunted newly planted crops. Despite the challenges, the remainder of the growing season was favorable leading to a “good to very good year with decent returns on both oil and alpha.” Crosby Hop Farm reported one of the strongest harvests of Centennial in terms of both quantity and quality, so keep your eyes peeled if you’re a fan.
The Grainfather G70
For those folks who would like to brew bigger batches but want all the convenience of an all-in-one brew system, your prayers have been answered. The new G70 unit allows batch sizes just over ½ bbl (16 gal/60 L) with a conical base for maximum brewhouse efficiency from an all-in-one brew unit. The mash can contain upwards of 37.5 lbs. (17 kg) and contains a counter-flow heat exchanger. LCD controller mounts to the system magnetically for ease of use and the Grainfather app allows you to brew remotely or track fermentation. For more information, visit https://grainfather.com/grainfather-g70/
Monster Brewing Hardware is happy to announce their newest mill, the Geared MM-3Pro. The new mill has added 2-in. (5 cm) gears made of 1215 steel to the end of the top two rollers. The top gap is fixed at 0.070 in. (1.8 mm) with an adjustable gap of 0.028-in. (0.7 mm) up to 0.055 in. (1.4 mm) between the top drive roller and the bottom third roller that are all induction hardened steel. This mill is available with a keyed ½-in. drive shaft for direct drive with their ½-horsepower, 240-rpm gear motor. This is available as an individual mill, individual motor, or combined as a kit. To learn more, see https://www.monsterbrewinghardware.com/stor/pc/home.asp
The Everything Label
A new reusable label from Noontime Labels is perfect for homebrewers. Made of a flexible plastic that won’t rip or tear, you can take it off one bottle and place it on another. The adhesive makes it semi-permanent and easily removable when needed. The label remains securely attached during long soaks in the cooler or when cellaring, but peels right off when ready. No water or scrubbing required for removal, and the label is washable. You can leave the label on the bottle, wash, and sanitize as usual, then reuse the labeled bottle as is. It’s a gloss finish and permanent markers can be removed with rubbing alcohol. Learn more at www.noontimelabels.com
BrewEssence Sensory Training Kits
Liquid-format sensory compounds that mix instantly with beer offering accurate concentrations that can be easily dosed during sensory training. Using sealed glass ampules, the BrewEssence products have excellent shelf life with little loss of concentration over time. Currently there are six distinct kits available, including basic off-flavors, fermentation, brewhouse, draught, expanded off-flavors, and comprehensive. Kits start at $79.99 and are exclusively available at MoreBeer.com
Lallemand WildBrew™ Helveticus Pitch
A ready-to-use dried strain of Lactobacillus helveticus specifically selected for its ability to produce a wide range of sour beer styles. The Helveticus Pitch is noted to produce intense citrus characteristics at warmer temperatures and can bring wort pH all the way down to 3.0. Optimal growth for beer occurs at 100 to 113 °F (38 to 45 °C) with the Helveticus Pitch and can be completed within 2 days (typically 24 to 36 hours). One 10-g sachet can be utilized for up to 1 hL (26 gallons) of wort. https://www.lallemandbrewing.com/en/united-states/product-details/wildbrew-helveticus-pitch/
Barth-Haas Group Incognito™
If you have ever worked with hop extracts, you understand the viscosity of these extracts can be a challenge. The Barth-Haas group went back to the drawing board and came up with a new variety-
specific hop concentrate they’ve named Incognito™, which is flowable at room temperature. It is currently available in Citra®, Mosaic®, Ekuanot™, Sabro™, and HBC 472 varieties and is a 100% all-natural hop product. Currently they come in 2- and 10-kg packaging, and dosing rate is recommended at 59–235 g/bbl or 2–7.6 g/gal. Maximum efficacy of the product is achieved when mixing Incognito™ with hot wort prior to or directly to the whirlpool. https://www.johnihaas.com/incognito/
LalBrew Voss Kveik Ale Yeast
Lallemand has introduced the first commercially-available dried yeast strain of kveik for homebrewers. Voss is a pure strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae traditionally used to brew Norwegian farmhouse ales but truly suitable for a number of beer styles, including many hop-forward beers. This strain is effective all the way up to 100 °F (38 °C) and the company notes this strain, “. . . does not produce off-flavors but instead earthy, estery and citrusy notes.” Ask your homebrew supplier for the strain’s availability.
The Ultimate Guide to Homebrewing
A new book put out by the Harvard Common Press is geared for the nascent homebrewer with easy-to-follow instructions, recipes, and tips. The recipes each come with step-by-step instructions and span a wide range of categories: From popular clone recipes, to experimental beers with spices
and herbs, to historical recipes. The book is photography-heavy, making the instructions easy to follow. The book retails at $27.99 (USD) and can be found at better bookstores and homebrew shops.
Brewer’s Best® Zymosis
The folks at Brewer’s Best® are expanding their line into conical fermenters with the launch of their Zymosis stainless steel conical. Crafted using 304 stainless steel with etched volume markers, the 10-gallon (38-L) tank is perfect for batch sizes between 5–8 gal. (19–30 L). Other standout features include a sampling port and a domed and gasketed lid with spring clamps. The Zymosis features four tri-clamp ports. Tri-clamp accessories are sold separately. If you are in the market for a stainless steel conical, be sure to check this one out. www.brewersbestkits.com
MAY 7 – National Homebrew Day
Be sure to brew or at least raise a homebrew to the occasion. Check in with your local homebrew shop to see if they have any plans, or you can visit: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/aha-events/national-homebrew-day/
JUNE 18–20 – Homebrew Con 2020
Takes place in Nashville, Tennessee this summer. At the time of posting, this event is still to take place. Please direct inquires to the AHA (link below) for concerns or questions.
The 42nd annual convention will feature over 70 seminars and 50 homebrew clubs. You must be a member of the American Homebrewers Association to attend. To learn more, visit: https://www.homebrewcon.org
POSTPONED UNTIL 2021 — BYO Boot Camps
Featuring an expanded itinerary with three full days of learning, two full days of small-class workshops plus a new full day of brewing seminars featuring all our expert speakers! For more information: https://byo.com/byo-boot-camps/