BEERNET

We feel like we’ve seen more Belgian pale ale styles in the marketplace; Simon agreed that it may stem from the need to differentiate in the ever-spawning IPA segment. “We were first out of the gate. There have been other people who have caught on to the difference between a BPA and IPA.” Simon says retailers are now asking, “what’s the difference between that and the 400 other IPAs — and what’s the pricing?”

Boulevard will offer its flagship Unfiltered Wheat Beer and Smokestack Series line of artisanal beers beginning June 4, immediately after the BA’s SAVOR event in D.C. The company has appointed Premium Distributors in D.C., northern Virginia and part of Maryland, and Bond Distributing in greater Baltimore. Other communities in Virginia and Maryland will be added throughout the summer…

“I don’t know if our trajectory and the craft beer industry as a whole are entirely connected,” says CEO Patrick Rue. “While a lot of other breweries see themselves growing to 100,000 barrels and beyond, I don’t see that as a possibility for The Bruery unless we significantly change the beers we’re making. Instead, I find that comparing our trajectory with independently owned, mid-range wineries might be a better comparison when looking at what our ultimate size could be.”

Today, the Western Washington-based Odom Corp. officially announced a new craft/specialty division, dubbed Great Artisan Beverage, Co. Marketing and biz development chief Nick Gagliardi gave CBD the scoop on the newly minted division: Since separating from Southern Wine & Spirits officially at the end of March, he says they’ve hired some 30-plus new “craft” people to mobilize for the new division…

Continuing coverage of Tuesday’s Cali Craft Brewers Association meeting: One session we found especially informative was the state of the union on local craft-facing legislation, by “senior policy advisor” and trade association advocate AKA craft-friendly lobbyist Chris Walker of Nossaman LLP. With Chris on their side and the group’s general organization, we’d argue CCBA is among the savvier state trade associations when it comes to such matters.

Your editor was privy to Tuesday’s California Craft Brewers Association ever-growing meeting, set against the backdrop of the ever-growing Golden Road Brewing Co. Ranks included everyone from the usual venerated California suspects to more recent startups with names like Craft Brewing Company and prospective brewers looking into models like growler delivery (with certain Internet sites, “you’d never have to leave your house,” the would-be proprietor quipped). A sign of the times…

Here’s something you don’t hear about every day: the Utah craft scene. In fact, Uinta VP of sales Steve Kuftinec characterizes it as strong. He cites Salt Lake City SymphonyIRI data, which “should be reflective of whole the state”: YTD, craft has a 16 share of beer dollars, and 10.2. volume share at grocery. “We’ve been brewing for over 19 years now, and I believe there are now 16 operating breweries in Utah,” he says. “The newest brewery to open would be Epic Brewery downtown; that was 2 or so year ago.”

Today, Widmer Brothers will install 2 of 4 new 1,750 barrel fermentation tanks at their Portland, Ore. facility. The additions will increase production up to 140,000 barrels per year, for an estimated total annual capacity of 700,000 to 800,000 barrels. A company release says the additions “will serve the needs of Widmer Brothers Brewing and the Craft Brew Alliance portfolio…

Wednesday we profiled Chicago Beverage Systems. On the other side of the aisle is 125-year old Louis Glunz, Chicago’s oldest distributor with a portfolio that spans Pabst, Minhas, a generous amount of imports, and crafts from Dogfish to Three Floyds…

Or rather, on building them. Three craft brewers — Brooklyn’s Steve Hindy, Golden Road’s Meg Gill, Boulevard’s Jeremy Ragonese — joined moderator Kim Jordan to talk about the evolution of their craft beer branding and marketing during CBC…

“The craft business in Chicago is growing like a weed, depending on how you define it – [but] even without Blue Moon or Leiny,” says Chicago Beverage Systems chief Jim Doney…

What is the future of the 20,000 square foot barrel aging program at Goose? It’s an interesting question that could be answered with a new brewery to accommodate the growing program, John Hall wondered aloud during CBD’s recent visit to the Fulton Street brewery…

CBC’s Sales Business Planning session revealed how some top sales guys in craft optimize and manage their distributor relationships…

CBA Q1 numbers came through today, posting non-contract shipment growth of 10% and depletion growth of 8% for the quarter…

“I can’t tell you how many people are expanding,” says banker Paul Weisbrich, who got into the craft end of advising in ’89 trying to marry Sierra Nevada and Rolling Rock…