Tag Archives: Anheuser-Busch

Old Style in a squeeze play at Wrigley

old_styleSince 1950 the Chicago Cubs have had a relationship with the G. Heileman Brewing Company and Old Style Beer. Next year, if the owners of the team have their way, 63 years of history with the quintessential Chicago baseball club will end when the beer concessions are switched exclusively to Anheuser-Busch brands. The decision has caused a storm of controversy and activity among fans of the beer known as “Chicago’s Beer. “

The history of how Old Style became the preferred beer of Chicagoans began over 100 years before the brew became the sponsor of the Cubs.

In 1848 Wisconsin became a state, just a few years later the future owner and brewer of Old Style, Gottlieb Heileman arrived from Germany and settles in La Crosse, Wis. In 1872, Heileman broke from the La Crosse brewery he had been working at and founded the G. Heileman Brewing Company. The beer that would later be known as Old Style began its life in the 1890sS as Gold Leaf Lager. In 1902 the beer was renamed Old Style began showing up on local grocery shelves. In that same year, the brewery achieved a volume of 160,000. But, it took a bottler’s strike in 1935 for Old Style to cross the state line from Wisconsin to Illinois and become known as “Chicago’s Beer.” Fifteen years later, after firmly establishing itself as the beer of choice in the Windy City, Old Style became a sponsor of the Chicago Cubs and firmly entrenched itself at Wrigley Stadium.

The decision to switch the beer vendors at Wrigley has fans up in arms. Social media outlets have been flooded with negative remarks and tersely worded tirades against the change. The brewery itself has mounted a campaign on their website to let fans sign a petition to “save your tradition.”

According to an article attributed to the AP, the management of the Cubs says the deal means the removal of Old Style signs but not necessarily the beer from the stadium. Only time will tell if the brewery can rally enough support and apply enough pressure to remain in Wrigley.

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Posted by on September 15, 2013 in Beer News


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Lakeland, Fla. to be home to first Brew Hub contract brewing brewery


Florida will soon become home of a new concept in beer brewing – a dedicated brewery for hire facility called Brew Hub. The model is not dissimilar to contract brewing, a practice in the brewing industry of brewing another brewery’s beer using excess capacity. This allows a brewer in another part of the country to break into a market without straining their existing facility to do so.

The new company was founded by a former Anheuser-Busch executive and is based in a western suburb of St. Louis. The first of the company’s planned breweries is planned for Lakeland, Fla. along the I-4 corridor perfectly positioned for easy distribution throughout Florida and the Southeast. The new facility will offer all the amenities of a large commercial brewery with the ability to brew beer to demanding specifications. The company has even hired a brewmaster of impressive pedigree to watch over the process, Paul Farnsworth.

According to the company’s website, the Lakeland brewery is already under construction, but now completion date is listed. It does provide that the plant will have an annual capacity of 75,000 barrels along with full packaging, laboratory, marketing and distribution support.

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Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Beer, Beer News


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A-B accused of watering down beer, lawsuit alledges

anheuser_buschIt’s the news that rocked the beer world, Anheuser-Busch the mega brewer of some of the world’s most popular macro lagers, is being sued by two California residents because of alleged watering down of Budweiser and other beers “significantly” to boost profits. As soon as the lawsuit was announced on Tuesday, February 26, it was all over the Internet’s beer sites and bulletin boards.

The suit raises allegations that A-B has the ability and technology to monitor the amount of alcohol in its products, yet has intentionally injected water into the beers to reduce the amount of alcohol in them. On the heels of a similar watering-down scandal involving Maker’s Mark bourbon, this law suit has an all too familiar ring.

In part, the lawsuit alledges; “There are no impediments — economic, practical or legal — to AB accurately labeling its products to reflect their true alcohol content Nevertheless, AB uniformly misrepresents and overstates that content.”

“The claims against Anheuser-Busch are completely false, and these lawsuits are groundless,” said Peter Kraemer, vice president of brewing and supply for Anheuser-Busch. “Our beers are in full compliance with all alcohol labeling laws.

“We proudly adhere to the highest standards in brewing our beers, which have made them the best-selling in the U.S. and the world.”

The suits plaintifs, Nina Giampaoli and John Elbert, say that once they discovered the beers were watered down they immediately stopped purchasing them. The pair points out Bud Ice, Bud Lite Platinum, Michelob, Michelob Ultra, Hurricane High Gravity Lager, King Cobra, Busch Ice, Natural Ice and Bud Light Lime as the products in question.

With output of more than 10 billion gallons of beer and other malt-based beverages in 2011, the A-B’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, generated gross profits of more than $22 billion. That makes them the world’s largest adult beverage producer.

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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Beer, Beer News


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Goose Island to roll out nationally with both draft and bottled brews

Goose-Island-logoBack in 1988 John Hall set out on a mission to not only educate consumers, but to challenge them as well. Back then, the big brewery’s brands were practically the only beers available. And in the neighborhoods of Chicago, Ill. those brands were embedded deeply into the psyche of beer-drinkers. Hall decided to do something about that. After several trips across Europe, where he enjoyed visiting many brewpubs, Hall decided to open his own brewpub.  Goose Island Brewpub was opened its doors on May 13, 1988.

In the years since, Goose Island brews have become the stuff of legends. Thirsty Chicago beer-lovers soon discovered the little brewpub and in just seven years, the demand had grown to such a point that Hall began looking for a larger brewing facility. In 1995 he found a suitable place and began brewing and bottling his beers for the greater Chicagoland area. But, once again, demand outpaced production and Hall once again began a search for more production space. Where he finally settled was a location just an out-of-park home run from the cathedral of many Chicagoans, Wrigley Field.

Over the years, Goose Island has made its mark on the beer industry. Not only was Goose Island one of the pioneers of the craft beer industry, the booming brewery introduced beer-drinkers to styles that set their taste buds and hearts on fire. The brewery’s legendary Bourbon County Stout recently won accolades as one of the 20 most influential beers of all time as the result of a poll of beer experts conducted by website First We Feasts.  The brew consistently scores among the very top brews on beer rating websites like Rate Beer and Beer Advocate. The barrels used to create the first batch of the stout are said to have been Elijah Craig 18 Year Old Single barrel bourbon, the oldest Single Barrel Bourbon in the world at 18 years. Other accounts say that they were 25-year old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels.

In 2011, it was announced that Goose Island would sell its operations and brands to Anheuser-Busch. Shortly after the announcement, AB declared its intent to take the brand national. Just last week another announcement was made concerning the roll-out.

“As a native Chicago line of brands, the national launch will bring one of the Windy City’s most acclaimed creations to consumers across the country,” said Andy Goeler, Goose Island CEO and president. “Throughout the craft segment, Goose Island’s beers are recognized, respected and loved, maintaining a passionate and knowledgeable fan base over many decades.”

The four brews to go national will be:

  • 312 Urban Wheat Ale
  • Honker’s Ale, an English-style bitter.
  • India Pale Ale (IPA)

And a seasonal rotating brew that will include:

  • Mild Winter (In 2013: February, November – December) an American mild ale.
  • Summertime (In 2013: March – August) a kölsch brewed in the traditional German fashion.
  • Harvest Ale (In 2013: September – October) a copper-colored extra special bitter (ESB) made with Cascade hops and the richest Midwestern malts.

According to a press release from AB, the beers will be brewed at the company’s Fort Collins, Colo. and Baldwinsville, N.Y. breweries. All the beers will be available on draught. Additionally, all will be available in bottles later this spring.

Watch for these highly acclaimed beers to appear at your favorite bars as well as on the shelves of your beer purveyor soon.


Posted by on February 12, 2013 in Beer, Craft Beer Brewery


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Bud debuting new Budweiser Black Crown with Super Bowl commercial

Black Crown six-packIn a little less than two weeks the nation and world will focus their attention on one of the most watched events of the year – the Super Bowl. This year the gridiron action will be played out in New Orleans between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. But, for many, the commercials are just as much a part of the show as the game itself. Traditionally one of the biggest advertisers for the game has been Anheuser-Busch. This year, the brewing company will be introducing a new beer that has sprung from their Project 12 that began a year ago.

The goal of Project 12 was for each of the brewmasters at Anheuser-Busch’s breweries to add their own twist to the traditional Budweiser recipe. The top three of the resulting brews were released in November of 2012 in a special limited release 12-pack. From those three brews the company asked its consumers to select their favorite. The winner was the brew created by Los Angeles brewmaster Bryan Sullivan in collaboration with Fairfield, Calif., brewmaster Scott Ungermann and Houston brewmaster Dave Cohen to perfect the recipe. The brew was the crowd favorite among the more than 25,000 adult drinkers from coast to coast who participated in the brand’s Project 12 sampling initiative.

Called Budweiser Black Crown, the new beer is brewed with caramel malts to give the beer its deep amber color and amped up body. The hop character of this brew is also pumped up a bit through the use of four varieties of hops. The aroma is of Budweiser with a slightly more pronounced malt characteristic. The flavor is that of an amber lager through and through with sweet caramel malts and a tease of hops at the end. The finish is classic Bud; crisp and clean with a slight, lingering sweet aftertaste.

In a press release, Rob McCarthy, vice president of Budweiser said, “It didn’t matter where in the United States we asked, this is the beer that consistently drew the best feedback, and overwhelmingly so.”

McCarthy also said Budweiser Black Crown will debut a TV spot during the Super Bowl XLVII broadcast. “We’ve set our sales-to-retailers date for Jan. 21 so we’re fully ready for sales on Super Bowl Sunday.

The new brew features a slightly higher alcohol content than Budweiser and a distinctive new taste. “As brewmasters we spend most of our time in the brewhouse.” Sullivan said. “Project 12 gave us a chance to hear firsthand from the people we brew our beers for. Budweiser Black Crown is a great beer and it is a thrill for our whole brewing team to see it launch with a Super Bowl spot.”

If your Super Bowl party plans call for a easily accessible American lager, Budweiser Black Crown could be the brew for you. It is familiar enough to your Bud-drinking guests that it will not run them off and yet is different enough to be unique.

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Posted by on January 24, 2013 in Beer, Beer Styles


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