This Issue of Beverage Master Magazine

Product Management: The Complicated Integrated Job Role you have Left Unfilled

Product Management is all about effectiveness, and craft producers want their work to be as effective as possible. They need to make every moment count in a competitive and dense market that is expensive to operate in. Craft producers may have never heard of this job title, a critical position in the Silicon Valley tech community, but if they do not have an active Product Manager, they are missing out. A Product Manager must train for the skills needed for the job, have a practical understanding of production, collect and analyse feedback from the market, serve as a leader, and pull all this together to create a product roadmap. Ultimately, they help craft the company’s brand management. To understand a […]

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Going Organic: Use of Organic Ingredients in Craft Beverages

Ask any young woman 18–to–34 if she buys organic products, and she’ll list off everything from baby lotion to shampoo, juice boxes to pastured chicken, bed linen to yoga mats. According to data from the Organic Trade Association, many people in this demographic are focused on living organically—particularly parents, who intend to create more healthy lifestyles for their children. But when these parents have a date night, are they drinking organic adult beverages? In Jeremy Kempter’s experience, people sometimes forget the importance of purity in what he calls “sin” products. “Distillation and fermentation intensify the potency of ingredients. So it stands to reason the concentration of chemicals in non-organic ingredients will increase, too,” Kempter told Beverage Master Magazine. “We want […]

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St. Elmo Brewing Company: A New Mecca for Craft Beer in Austin

Craft beer fans — and there are millions today — have their favorite haunts for a variety of reasons. Some visit a brewery for the specialty beers. Others may be part of a beer-loving group that meets at a particular pub. Still, others might go for the food or the entertainment. In this Golden Age of craft beer, some lucky patrons may stumble across a brewery that offers all of the above, a total experience that celebrates the passion, authenticity, creativity and camaraderie of American craft beer. St. Elmo Brewing Company in Austin, Texas is one of these breweries. St. Elmo is a 15-barrel brewhouse founded in 2016 by Bryan Winslow and Tim Bullock. It has it all: a small […]

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Craft Beverages Truth in Labeling Regulatory Law

You have heard of “Clean labeling,” “transparency,” “all natural ingredients,” “non-GMO,” “no artificial ingredients,” “organic,” “incorporates botanical ingredients,” “gluten-free,” “caffeine-free,” “sugar-free,” “alcohol content,” and on and on and on. These are terms which have taken center stage in the court room this decade. Their meaning is often blurred and occasionally inconsistent depending on which US Government agency you listen to, or trade association that you belong to. However, the regulatory law applicable to labeling is clear based on case law. A product label must truthfully represent its contents. CONTEXT Consumers now expect detailed information about the food and drink that they put into their body, the air they breathe, and the chemicals which touch their skin before consumed or used. […]

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Automation Now Making a Splash in Distilleries

Worlds seem to be colliding, as tradition-conscious craft distillers look for ways to build modern efficiencies into their businesses. For an increasing number of proprietors who deem themselves artisans as well as entrepreneurs, technology is the means to that end. H.E.J. (Odin) van Eijk is one such entrepreneur. Van Eijk said he saw the need for more automated systems years ago, so he started developing a robotized approach to distillation and launched a line of automated tools under the iStill banner in Amsterdam, Netherlands. iStill’s automated distillery systems are catching on, van Eijk told Beverage Master Magazine, noting that they currently have about 50 systems operated in the U.S. Those systems, with capacities ranging from 26 to 1,300 gallons, can […]

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With Great Beer Comes Great Responsibility

We had an amazing, whirlwind experience at this year’s Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. Every year GABF serves as the premier venue for beer enthusiasts, representing the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served by way of a public tasting event and a private competition. We tasted some delicious craft beers from breweries around the country and spoke to the people in charge of making them. In the process, we noticed a few common themes and found out that this diverse group thinks about the risk management concerns associated with starting, running and maintaining a brewery almost as much as the insurers who cover them do. Much like your favorite caped crusaders, these pioneers of the pint have […]

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Your Credit Score And How To Protect It

Whenever you apply for a loan your credit history will be pulled and the lender’s decision will be based on what it says. You CAN protect your credit score for better results when you need to borrow money. No matter what kind of financing you are looking for, unless you are a large business with a fair number of employees and a long track record, approval for a loan, lease or real estate mortgage is going to come down to your personal credit score. Unfortunately, credit reports are notorious for being inaccurate. If you haven’t seen your credit report recently, you’re first step should be to look at your credit report and see if there are any errors. If there […]

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If You Build It, They Will Come

Released in 1989, Kevin Costner’s character in the movie “Field of Dreams” plows his cornfield to build a baseball field motivated by one of the most iconic movie lines of all time; “If you build it, he will come.” Investing all his family’s savings into the infrastructure, he built something that not only had a special meaning to his community but drew in people from all over. The parallels to the growing craft distilling industry are striking. Aspiring distillers share the passion for building something special and making an investment in their community that will draw a crowd. After the corn is plowed and the lights installed, here are some ways craft distillers can bring in foot traffic. Every state […]

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How Do You Like Them Apples…and Pears and Hops?

  Let Us Introduce You to BC Tree Fruits Cider Co. For generations, Canadians have recognized the little green leaf sticker on many of the fruits found in their lunchboxes, refrigerators and grocery stores. This iconic symbol of BC Tree Fruits was a sign that the apple, peach or pear (just to name a few) you were about to enjoy had been grown and harvested close to home, using natural and sustainable methods. It doesn’t get much fresher than that. As they asked on their website, bctree.com “Do you ever wonder where your food is coming from? Are you concerned that it’s better traveled than you are?” Orchards started popping up in the Okanagan Valley region of southern British Columbia […]

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Craft, Crafty, & Craft-ish

In 2016, after several years of double-digit volume growth rates, U.S. craft beer grew at the slowest pace since the recessionary downturn of 2008. Yet one key segment of the market, microbrewers (those brewing 15,000 or fewer 31-gallon barrels per year), demonstrated that some of what once looked like the quintessential characteristics of craft beer still resonate with beer drinkers. Specifically, small, independently owned and operated companies were by far the fastest moving component of the craft beer category, handily outperforming the relatively low number of craft brewers with national distribution (e.g. Boston Beer, Sierra Nevada and a few others), regional brewers (with presences in some but not all states, like Deschutes Brewery and Bell’s Brewery) and even brewpubs, which […]

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Improving Brewery Rep Efficiency and Effectiveness

Ways to Improve Brewery Rep Efficiency and Effectiveness: Brewery reps are typically the largest investment in sales support amongst craft beer suppliers. Most distributors require feet on the street as part of the market plan prior to taking on new suppliers. It is one of the most important resources to build brands if done correctly, but is often under-utilized. Especially as the craft industry evolves, with growth decelerating and the supplier count continuing to increase, brewery reps are proving to be increasingly vital. How do you sharpen and strengthen this investment? Consider the following tips to tap further into your current resources: • Define roles and responsibilities • Ensure your training and education plans evaluate and address the needs of […]

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Two Worlds Collide: Brewing and Distilling Are Growing Closer in the Artisan Marketplace

The old adage, “Beer before liquor…” may need an update. In the craft beverage market today, distillers and brewers are working together in increasingly more inventive ways. Historically, the two professions have seen little crossover. Just a few years ago, the only interaction between these two producers was typically seasonal barrel-aged beers where brewers rarely—if ever—met the distiller. This distance is somewhat perplexing, particularly when one considers that the essential ingredients of water, malt and yeast are the same for brewing and the majority of artisan distilling – particularly whisk(e)y. One of the first shifts came in 2003 when Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales added a distillery to their Milton, Delaware brewery. The spirits produced were small-batch and, for the […]

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Using New, Reused & Recycled Barrels in the Brewery

Barrels are one of the hallmarks of the wine industry, and commonly associated with the craft spirits industry; however, they play an essential role in brewing beer as well. Breweries utilize barrels and kegs in a variety of ways, and, depending on the purpose, will seek out specific vessels, whether new, used or recycled barrels, or stainless steel kegs. History and Use of Beer Barrels The history of the barrel dates back thousands of years to when English monasteries produced and stored brewed beer in wooden vessels. Early brewers made wooden casks from vertical strips of oak that were held together with steel hoops. Over time, the process improved, ensuring the barrels were water-tight, easily transportable, and able to enhance […]

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