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As home to 168 breweries, the Great American Beer Festival, and some of the best craft beer in the country, you wouldn’t think there would be much for Colorado beer drinkers to be unhappy about. However, we are once again having the annual debate about the “Grocery Bill” which would allow full strength beer to be sold where you buy your food. A quick primer if you’re not familiar with it…
Colorado grocery stores and convenience stores cannot sell beer that is higher than 3.2% alcohol by volume. To get “full strength beer”, you must go to the liquor store.
I moved to Colorado from Virginia in mid-2010 and was unaware of this law. A friend nearly dove in front of me to block me from buying beer at King Soopers. I had no idea it was 3.2% beer.
Overall I did OK. I was semi-correct that Asheville would not win BeerCity USA for a fourth time in a row. They ended up sharing the title with Grand Rapids. That NC crew is resilient.
Speaking of North Carolina, I was correct about Sierra Nevada opening a brewery there, although that wasn’t exactly a shocker. AB-InBev never did merge with SABMiller. That was my bold prediction, but I’m not going to renew it this year.
So what does 2013 have in store? I asked my newsletter readers this very question. First, my predictions:
Every time a new beer show hits the TV, I get excited. That’s right – I’m not content just drinking beer. I like to watch it on TV too. And I’m not alone.
What brings up this topic is the recently aired How Booze Built America on the Discovery channel, hosted by Mike Rowe.
It’s about booze in general, but beer plays a hefty role. I saw my first episode last night and thought it was really well done. America’s history is certainly soaked in booze. It also got me thinking of other TV shows and movies about beer. They are popping up all over the place now. Let’s have a look at them.
What do you think you would turn up in Google if you searched “iPhone App Developer” 6 years ago?
The same thing would happen if you looked up “Wii accessories” before 2006.
My point is that with the rise of a new product or industry, there are always beneficiaries outside of the primary ones. When it comes to who benefits from craft beer, you think of the main players – breweries, distributors, beer retailers, and consumers.
But there is another type of business that’s been riding on the coatails of popular brands for years – merchandisers. And although beer merchandise has been around almost as long as commercially produced beer, there’s a noticeable shift going on in what that merchandise looks like thanks to craft beer.
Billy Broas is a craft beer lover, homebrewer, and the founder of
The Homebrew Academy. He lives in Denver, Colorado where he splits his time between imbibing and snowboarding, but often combines the two. Billy's beer philosophy is that we should all be beer geeks but not beer snobs. He'll try any beer once and is currently studying for his BJCP beer judge exam.