Craft beer sales increased 8% in 2017, up to $26 billion. Craft beer now accounts for more than 23% of the $111.4 billion U.S. beer market. – Brewers Association

Female leadership is sparse in the craft beer industry – just 17% are CEOs and 21% are executives. Tanisha “T” Robinson talks about breaking the glass ceiling as the female CEO of BrewDog’s U.S. operations. Robinson says there is a huge demographic opportunity to draw in more women and people of color to the industry. “If craft brewers could figure out how to authentically connect to women and people of color, they could sell a lot more beer,” she said. “That’s something that I highly doubt most craft brewers are talking about or thinking about, but it’s something that is important to me — that craft beer should be open and accessible and authentic and approachable for everyone.” She says partnerships, events and collaborations are a great step.

Read more (MarketWatch) (Photo: BrewDog)

Two scientists have a patent pending on a brewery invention that detects the wild yeast contaminant Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus. The wild yeast causes secondary fermentation in beer production, fermenting unfermentable sugars and overcarbonating brews. A contamination costs brewers millions in recalled product, lost sales and decreased market share. The patent is by a University of Sciences director and his 20-year-old undergrad researcher. The microbiological medium would be marketed for professional and home brewers.

Read more (Philadelphia Business Journal)

The latest special edition of TIME magazine featured a familiar cover star: beer. In “The Story of the World’s Most Celebrated Drink,” TIME attributes the drink’s popularity largely to a social factor. People like to drink beer in social settings – it has far less alcohol, it’s a staple at sporting events and people who frequent pubs have a wider social circle. And great news for local, craft brewers – today, beer drinkers prefer local breweries over bars. (TIME) https://goo.gl/ra98Bk

Are brut IPAs a trend that will fade or a movement that will stick? Started in San Francisco, brut IPAs are a beer style that is dry, crisp and heavily carbonated like champagne. The unique flavor is thanks to the fermentation process, where an amyloglucosidase enzyme is used to “ferment sugars that wouldn’t break down with yeast alone, which leaves them totally dry,” according to the LA Times. Brewers and hopheads are excited about brut IPAs, leading to many breweries offering brut IPAs on their menu.

Read more (LA Times)

Should big beer brands be allowed to patent barley? In Europe, a major win for a group of small brewers who were suing Heineken and Carlsberg. The European Patent Office allowed the brewing giants to patent several kinds of barley. Heineken and Carlsberg say they invented the barley strains. Critics of the patent, though, say the barley naturally occurs and it’s based on fermenting science that brewers have used for thousands of years. In the first of three hearings, the patent office says the big beer brands could only have patents to barley with a specific genetic mutation.

Read more (The Times)

“The world’s oldest alcoholic beverage has suddenly become new again,” the New York Times writes of mead. The fermented honey drink (also known as honey wine) is featured in a new book “Mead: The Libations, Legends and Lore of History’s Oldest Drink.” According to the American Mead Makers Association, mead is more popular than craft beer, with a new meadery opening in the U.S. every seven days.

Read more (The New York Times)

Spontaneous fermentation is seeing a big surge among breweries. It’s a method beer, cider, wine and liquor makers should consider because spontaneous fermentation is a sign that the brewer is confident in their technique, willing to trust the uncontrolled aspects of the fermentation process and having fun, says Bon Appetit magazine. Also known as hands-off, natural or traditional fermentation, it’s the oldest form of fermentation, used before fermentation could be controlled and regulated.

Read more (Bon Appetit) 

New product BrewMonitor System integrates the Internet of Things (IoT) with craft beer production. BeerMonitor is a high-tech device that sits in fermentation tanks and takes real-time measurements. Brewers can then monitor tank conditions from their smart device, without ever opening the tank. Created by Precision Fermentation, a biochemistry technology provider, BeerMonitor will launch next month with the tagline “If your tanks could talk.”

Read more (PR Newswire)

JuneShine – the world’s first hard kombucha brewery – was started by surfer friends who wanted a transparent, healthy alcohol brand for active people. The organic kombucha has 6% ABV, and launched their brand in May by opening a permanent tasting room in San Diego.

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