15. Walgreens’ Big Flats and the surge in private label beers
Walgreens announced the release of Big Flats 1901 last January…
Big Flats 1901 offers consumers a premium beer at an affordable price. Comparable in taste and quality to the top-selling national brand beers, Big Flats 1901 is available in six-pack cans for $2.99 and 24 cans for $11.49 at Walgreens stores nationwide, except for California which will launch later this year. Prices in some areas may vary based on distribution costs and beverage alcohol taxes.
$3 for a 6-pack! The beer even made its way onto a segment of The Colbert Report.
Looking at the larger picture, private label beers surged in 2011 and will continue to grow through 2012. Walgreens, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods…they’re all doing it.
14. Hanson Brothers announce development of IPA called MMMhop.
And you thought Founders Canadian Breakfast sold out fast. Just the announcement of this beer became a national story. Per Express…
The lads are famed for their 1997 track MMMbop – the song X Factor hopeful Janet Devlin forgot the words to – and brothers Taylor, 28, Isaac, 31, and Zac, 26 have used it as the inspiration to name their new beverage, MMMhop, an Indian pale ale due out early next year.
What will be interesting to see is if this beer actually hits retail or if it will be tied in with music events.
13. Beer enthusiasts create IPADay to celebrate popular beer style.
In August, those using Twitter wielded their social media power with the introduction of #IPADay, a one-day event that celebrated the hottest beer style in the country.
International #IPADay is a grassroots movement to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers, and brewers worldwide through social media. On Thursday August 4th, craft beer drinkers across the social sphere and across the globe will raise pints in a collective toast to one of craft beer’s most iconic styles: the India Pale Ale. This celebrated style represents the pinnacle of brewing innovation with its broad spectrum of diverse brands, subcategories, and regional flavor variations – making it the perfect style to galvanize craft beer’s social voice.
Did everyone partake or agree with the idea? Not necessarily. That said, the one-day event, spearheaded by Bison Brewing’s Ashley Routson and Karl Strauss’ Ryan Ross, became a trending topic on Twitter in multiple cities. That’s a pretty good indicator of ‘Mission Accomplished.’
12. Sierra Nevada announces that it will release Pale Ale and Torpedo IPA in cans
Sierra Nevada Brewing announced in 2011 that it would start canning a couple beers. Per the brewery’s Bill Manley on Beer Advocate…
Cans will only be a small part of our output, but we’re excited to see how they’re received.
There are so many places where you can’t or won’t bring glass…up here in the foothills it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to bring a bunch of bottles with you in your backpack! This is really the reason we’re going for this.
The cans are slated to debut in January.
Larger picture…every brewery seems to be adding cans at this point. If it isn’t already the case, I’d be surprised if more than half of the top 50 craft breweries don’t have cans by the end of 2012.
11. White House brews beer
The Obamas are making beer! News broke in early 2011. From CBSNews…
It was — the White House’s own brew, made with equipment the Obamas bought with their own money — the first beer ever made at the White House, according to historians.
It is White House Honey Ale.
It was the first beer served at the Super Bowl party. A very small batch — 90-100 bottles — all consumed that day.
The White House chefs have been brewing since, a little at a time. There was some for St. Patrick’s Day, another batch in June, and the beer served to Sgt. Meyer.
Unfortunately, a few states still outlaw homebrewing. Here is to hoping that will change in 2012.