Weekly Mix Pack: Black Markets, Double Digits, and Hallertau

By Brett Vanderbrook - Six fresh stories for you to crack open and enjoy

St. Patrick's Day has come and gone, and I can only imagine many of you are nursing workplace hangovers today. I hope you did as I asked, and avoided the green beer. While I don't have a cure for that pounding headache, I do have some stories to share from this week that will hopefully take your mind off of your pain. Pop an Advil, dim the lights, and enjoy some beer stories from around the web!

1. Lager Enjoys a Renaissance
Ales dominate the craft beer scene. Whether it's a hop-bomb double IPA, or 12% imperial stout it's the top fermenters that get the bulk of the spotlight. But there are definitely times whenyou don't want something that's too heavy or high in alcohol. That's where the classic American lager comes in, and Eric Asmov at the New York Times thinks it's high time for lager to experience a comeback.


2. The Most Popular Beer in Every Country
Craft beer is at the peak of popularity. Every year its numbers climb as it slowly but surely chips away at the overall beer market. However, while it currently has 11% of the US market by volume that leaves the other 89% to the macros and imports. This map from Vinepair which shows the most popular beer in every country is a sobering reminder that although craft has taken incredible strides in recent years, macro still reigns supreme.


3. Let's Talk About Black Market Beer
Heady Topper is one of the most sought-after beers on the East Coast. The popular double IPA from VT flies off shelves, and can be incredibly difficult to find, especially in areas where the beer isn't legal to sell. Black market sales of Heady are common outside of Vermont, generally at inflated prices. Chris O'Leary from Brew York discusses the implications of beer bought and sold on the black market, and how it hurts both the brewers and the consumers.


4. Homebrewer brews IPA at Anheuser Busch
If you asked any homebrewer what would be his or her dream brewery to work with, it's doubtful many would say "Anheuser Busch." But for Dave McWilliams, that's exactly what he got to do, thanks to winning the STL Hops Homebrew Competition. McWilliams earned the chance to brew his IPA at AB's pilot brewhouse, and had a party in his honor where the beer was served.


5. Craft Beer Volume Share Reaches Double Digits
The Brewer's Association released the numbers for 2014 craft beer sales, and the news is good. Craft beer saw its volume sold increase by 18% from 2013. and has finally cracked double digits in overall beer volume sold in the US at 11%. The numbers climb every year, and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight!


6. Hoofing it in Hallertau
Session IPAs are becoming increasingly popular as craft beer drinkers look to find a balance between great tasting beers, and beers that are lower in alcohol. Firestone Walker's Easy Jack uses two relatively new strains of hops called Mandarina Bavaria and Hull Melon, both from Germany. FW Head brewer Matt Brynildson tells his story of traveling to the Hallertau region of Germany to seek out these unique little green flowers.

That's it for this week. Tune in next week (same beer time, same beer channel) for another dose of beer bloggy goodness. And while you're at it, leave a comment below, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. Season 2 of Beer Geeks is just around the corner, and you wouldn't want to miss out!

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

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