NEW: Craft Brewing And Distilling News for July 2, 2012July 2, 2012
•In order to help smaller U.S. brewers cope with an ongoing hop shortage, Boston Beer Co. founder Jim Koch has revived the group’s hop-sharing program. Under the initiative, Boston Beer has pledged to share up to 10,000 pounds each of its surplus Simcoe, Citra and Ahtanum hops, which are used to produce IPAs and other popular, hoppy beer styles. The hops will be sold at cost, priced at $6.50 per pound for the Simcoe and the Citra, and $5.50 per pound for the Ahtanum. Brewers may request a minimum of one box (or 44 pounds) of a single hop variety and a maximum of 10 boxes. If Boston Beer is unable to fulfill all requests, the company will hold a lottery to fulfill the first six boxes of each request. Boston Beer’s inaugural hop sharing initiative, launched in 2008, helped over 100 craft brewers access several tons of hops.
•Shipments of American craft beer to Western Europe grew 52% last year to more than 51,600 barrels, according to the Brewers Association. The U.K. and Sweden were the two largest export markets in the region, with shipments to both countries totaling above 13,000 barrels. The Brewers Association said overseas growth has largely been propelled by the organization’s Export Development Program (EDP), which first launched in 2004 in partnership with the USDA. Globally, American craft beer exports increased 86% in 2011 to 110,000 barrels, valued at an estimated $23.4 million.
•A new law in Mississippi to allow for sales of higher-alcohol beer takes effect this week, providing expanded opportunities for craft and imported brews in the local market. The law, passed earlier this year, allows for beers up to 10% abv (8% alcohol by weight). According to Mississippi Department of Revenue spokesperson Kathy Waterbury, 124 new labels of beer have been approved since Governor Phil Bryant signed the law. Craft beer made up only 6% of 2011 beer sales in a five-state Southeastern region including Mississippi, according to SymphonyIRI. Until passage of the new law, Mississippi was the only state that still limited beer to 5% alcohol by weight.
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