This Issue of Beverage Master Magazine

Improving Your Business and Protecting Your Workers

How many business owners and business managers really buy into the fact that when you protect your workers you are improving your business? The key factors focused on by most employers are increasing revenue and reducing the operational costs. Of course, this makes sense, however, the operational costs can be affected by increased and frequent worker turn-over, rising workers’ compensation premiums, absence of workers due to injuries, training of new workers, and fines imposed by regulatory agencies for an employer’s failure to protect workers. The purpose of this article is to provide information to help business owners assess how they can take proactive steps to improve their business by protecting their workers. Cost of Worker Turn-over It only makes sense […]

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Hop Farming Extends Beyond the Pacific Northwest

Throughout the U.S., interest in hop farming has expanded beyond the Pacific Northwest. Farming entrepreneurs from California to New York love beer and want to try their hand at growing local hops. They want to discover what varieties will thrive in their soil and withstand regional weather conditions all while creating a local hop source for brewers. What does it take to grow hops? Growing requires three key components: full sun, access to water for irrigation, and moderate-to-well-draining soil. If this is true in the Pacific Northwest, why can’t regions throughout the country also be prosperous? That’s precisely what Eric Sannerud and his partner Ben Boo of Mighty Axe Hops in Foley, Minnesota asked themselves. “There’s really no reason not […]

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Ragged Branch Distillery Releases New Wheated Bourbon

  Virginia company bringing a high-quality, locally-produced product with a smooth, distinctive taste to the spirits market CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Ragged Branch Distillery is releasing its much anticipated Wheated Straight Virginia Bourbon Whiskey with availability in its tasting room on September 1, 2018, and retail distribution beginning September 15, 2018. The smooth taste, flavor and aroma of the company’s new product is everything the makers had hoped for – and more. “It has been tough to be patient waiting for our wheated bourbon to come of age, but now that we have it, it was so worth the wait,” said Alex Toomy, owner of Ragged Branch Distillery. “Once we sampled the final product, its authentic and mature taste was distinct, […]

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Amorada Tequila – the Essence of Passion

For many Americans— as well as others throughout the world — enjoying tequila means downing a shot of the spirit with a dash of salt and a slice of lime. To Terray Glasman, founder of Austin-based Amorada Tequila, the drink is much more than an alcoholic beverage. Rather, it’s a reflection of her culture, with memories of food, love, laughter and celebrations complimented by the special juice from the agave that flourishes in the hills surrounding Jalisco, Mexico. From these memories — and respect for tradition — Glasman created an ultra-premium spirit to be sipped and savored, much like fine wine, packaged in beautiful hand-crafted bottles, each a one-of-a-kind work of art. Born in Mexico City, it was Glasman’s Mexican […]

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Nectar of the Gods. Is Cannabis the Future of Alcohol?

The use, sale and possession of Cannabis (aka Marijuana, Weed) in the United States is illegal under federal law, but some states in recent years have lifted the prohibition by creating state-level exemptions. As of today, 30 U.S. states have decriminalized marijuana for medical use, whereas patients can be prescribed medicinal products derived from, or infused with medical-grade (FDA approved) cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation. Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, and Washington DC went further by also decriminalizing marijuana for adult (21+) recreational use. Definitions of what is legal for residents to use, possess, and transport are cloudy from state-to-state and remain difficult to navigate. Mainly because some states haven’t written their laws yet because they […]

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Technology Makes Its Way Into the Craft Beverage Business

Whoever thought brewing and distilling would become a high-tech pursuit? In a sense, they have become just that. Software is taking over some aspects of brewers’ and distillers’ businesses – areas like accounting, inventory, packaging, purchasing, sales, scheduling, quality control, compliance and mobile apps – and allowing operators to concentrate on what they love: making and selling their dream beverage. Not every craft brewery or distillery employs a software platform, but an increasing number of operators are turning to high-tech help. Technology likely will make its way to Indianapolis-based New Day Craft, producers of modern craft mead and hard cider, said Tia Agnew, co-founder and CEO. “The larger you get, the more organized you need to be to ensure all […]

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YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY

Less than 15 years ago, states in the South US had laws in place making it illegal to sell craft beer to consumers with alcohol content above a certain limit. This restriction radically limited the number of small craft brewers willing to do business in these states and prohibited certain sales of high alcohol content craft beer. As this article will show, the craft brew industry has come a long way in the South US during the past 15 years. In addition to the changes in the above mentioned alcohol content rules applied to craft beers, other rules have changed in the South US to enhance craft brew sales and to transformed breweries from simple warehouses to elaborate tourist attractions […]

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Liquor Liability and Dram Shop Coverage

Recently, I’ve come across several “Craft Beverage” establishments that do not have liquor liability or dram coverage. This is very unsettling, because the chances of a liability claim coming from a tasting room, tap room or local event will more than likely be alcohol related. The absence of liquor liability places you in great risk of claims and possibly litigation, which could severely affect your business and possibly shut it down. Let’s take a look at the definition of Liquor Liability: Liquor Liability Liquor liability insurance is business coverage that protects your business against loss or damages claimed as a result of a patron of your business becoming intoxicated and injuring himself or others. If your business manufactures, sells, serves […]

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Beer and Brands

To stand out in today’s growing craft beer market, a brewery not only has to brew great beer, but must also have a distinct brand.  Consumers are faced with an unprecedented number of choices, and they use brands as a way to quickly cut through the clutter of crowded retail shelves and taps.  A strong and unique brand makes a significant difference. In 2011, there were 2,027 breweries in the United States.  Today, there are more than 6,300 breweries, a staggering 300+% growth in just seven years. And the number of beer brands has increased even more, as each brewery typically brews several beers with different names.  Not surprisingly, the number of trademark disputes involving breweries has also been on […]

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Be a Better Partner

In the ever-changing and often extremely volatile landscape of distributor/supplier partnerships, what adjustments have you made to your business plan or sales and service strategy? What processes can both parties implement to optimize, streamline and improve interactions with the other? These are the difficult questions that often go unanswered by suppliers and distributors proactively as many prefer evolution over a revolution solution. Competition is fierce among brewers as more and more are entering the industry. Distributors are also feeling the pressure of managing their growing portfolios. We all knew there would be a bottleneck with SKU proliferation but didn’t know who would push back first, retailers or distributors. Everyone wants the same thing; strong margins, high gross profit per case […]

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CRAFT VS. CONTRACTORS: VIRTUAL CRAFT AND MASQUERADERS

Most craft brewers are happy to share their story. It often starts with hard work, long hours, starting small and slowly building their business, one batch of beer at a time. Craft brewing has long been linked to artisanal production, with brewers making beer on a smaller-scale using traditional techniques. Recently, not just beer, but controversy is brewing surrounding the definition of craft brewing and whether contractors and ‘virtual beer’ makers can give themselves the title of ‘craft.’ In the U.S. since 2017, a new seal appears on authentic craft beer stating, ‘independent craft beer.’ It both certifies that the beer came from one of the nation’s independently owned and small-scale breweries and signals that these upstarts are fighting back […]

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Bottle Filling Machines: What’s New, Improved, and Considerations

Without bottle filling machines, how would we crack open a refreshing beer on a hot day or experience that slow pour of a craft spirit into a glass? Filling machines are an integral part of the craft beverage production process and used by producers of craft beer, spirits, wine, cider, and a wide variety of carbonated drinks. Bottle filling machines are nothing new, but there are some new developments in this industry that are helping beverage producers innovate and share their products with consumers in exciting ways. Background on Bottle Filling Machines Filling machines have existed since the Industrial Revolution, and by the end of the 20th century, the machines were widely used for various applications. These machines have been […]

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