20070930

Regional breweries reaching out

There still are plenty of craft brewers who self-limit the geography of their markets, but there is an increasing number of regional breweries trying to stretch its boundaries.

Terrapin Brewing Co. of Athens, GA, is one such. The company came into existence five years ago, sells its beer in six Southeastern states, and is opening its own 45,000-square-foot brewery just outside Athens. It had been getting its beer made under contract in Frederick, MD.

Its latest brew is an 8.3% alcohol seasonal Imperial Red Ale. It also has three year-round products -- India Style Brown Ale, Rye Pale Ale and Golden Ale. Not bad for a company that doesn't have its own brewery.

Meanwhile, Iron City Brewing Co. has begun the first of its two planned major upgrades to its plant outside Pittsburgh in Lawrenceville, PA. Production will, thus, be limited for at least several weeks.

Iron City Brewing last week completed the purchase of the former Pittsburgh Brewing Co., which went bankrupt. The 146-year-old brewery now is owned by a team of investors.

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Top Bulgarian brew U.S.-bound

It probably is not a brand that comes readily to the American beer drinker's mind, but a Bulgarian brewer has crept into the top 10 sellers in the world.

Zagorka, Bulgaria's No. 1 beer, has risen to No. 9 in sales, according to the Britain research firm Plato Logic Ltd.

Zagorka, which is part of the Heineken company, brews in Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria. It is planning to launch an export line by the end of thsi year for markets in the United States, United Kingdom and Spain, according to Jan Derck van Karnebeek, general manager of Zagorka Brewery SA.

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20070923

Breweriana in Indiana

"Modern" is the last word anyone attending the 2nd annual Breweriana Trade Show in Indianapolis on Sept. 29 will want to hear.

The event, sponsored by the South-Central Indiana Brewers chapter of the Brewery Collectible's Club of America, will showcase collectors, dealers and others interested in antiques dealing with the brewing industry. Such things as containers (like the 1937 cone-top Hoosier Beer can shown here), brewery signs, advertising items, labels, coasters and more will be on display and up for swap or sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 2100 E. 71st Street.

Why Indianapolis? Says SCIB charter member Chip Viering: "Indiana played a key role in the advancement of beer and ale brewing in America, beginning as far back at the 1870s. Every one of our key cities had a local brewery and some of those pre-Prohibition era brewery items are very scarce and desirable to collectors."

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20070921

Chinese beer gaining on the leaders

For $100, what is the top-selling beer in the world?

Right. It's Budweiser.

Now, for $1,000, what is the second-best selling beer?

A trick question, perhaps. At this very moment it's the Belgian brew Skol. But, says part-owner SABMiller, the Chinese brand Snow is about to overtake it.

Snow is owned 51% by China resources Group Ltd. and 49% by SABMiller. It rose to No. 4 in sales worldwide last year, and in the first six months of this year experienced a 77% increase in sales over '06. At that rate it would quickly overtake Skol and current No. 3 Corona.

Even with no growth in the second half of this year, Snow still would sell 4 billion liters, compared with Skol's 3.6 billion liters in 2006.

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