The Beer Ticker: Industry News & Notes, Unsung Heroes Edition

From Jackson Hole acquisitions to cross-border collabs, here are some recent news and announcements from around the industry.

Brewing Industry Guide Staff Nov 10, 2022 - 7 min read

The Beer Ticker: Industry News & Notes, Unsung Heroes Edition Primary Image

Collaborating brewers from this year’s Together We Brew in Mexico. Photo: Courtesy ACERMEX.

Roadhouse Set to Buy Melvin

One Wyoming brewery looks set to buy another, as a cofounder of Roadhouse Brewing says they have signed a purchase agreement to buy Melvin, the Brewbound site reported. Colby Cox tells Brewbound that they expect to close the deal within a few weeks. Melvin announced in June that they the brewery was seeking a strategic partner to carry the brands forward. Currently headquartered in Alpine, Wyoming, Melvin also owns a brewpub in Eureka, Missouri, just southwest of St. Louis. Both Melvin and Roadhouse got their start in Jackson Hole; the former emerged from the kitchen of Jeremy Tofte’s Thai Me Up restaurant in 2010, while the latter launched from the side room of the nearby Q Roadhouse in 2013, founded by restaurant owner Galvin Fine and then-homebrewers Cox and Adam Chenault.

Hop Butcher Opens First Taproom

Chicago brewery Hop Butcher for the World officially opened its first taproom on November 10. The location is the former Lincoln Avenue home of Half Acre Beer, which sold the 13,000-square-foot facility and equipment to Hop Butcher in May 2021 and consolidated operations at its larger brewery on West Balmoral. Hop Butcher, which got its start making its popular hazy IPAs at other breweries in suburban Chicago, also owns a larger production facility in Bedford Park, Illinois. “Now, we can kick out small batches and get real-time feedback from our most-devoted fans in our own taproom, who will help determine which beers deserve a broader audience,” says cofounder Jude La Rose.

Sycamore Opens Bar at Charlotte Airport

Thirsty travelers flying through Charlotte Douglas International, a key hub for American Airlines, will have a new option for local beer. Sycamore Brewing announced the opening of its new pub in Concourse E at Charlotte Douglas International in early November. The location is Sycamore’s first venture outside its original taproom in Charlotte’s South End neighborhood. The brewery has temporarily closed that taproom while preparing to open a larger space next door in early 2023.

Keurig Buys into NA Beer

Keurig Dr. Pepper announced on November 9 that it had purchased minority stake in the nonalcoholic brewery Athletic with a $50 million investment. Founded in 2017, Athletic was recently named by Inc. magazine as the 26th fastest-growing company in America. According to the announcement about the purchase, Athletic currently claims a 55 percent market share in NA craft beer. Keurig also recently announced the acquisition of Atypique, a brand of nonalcoholic ready-to-drink cocktails.


Seventh Son to Endorse Student-Athletes

Now that the NCAA has paved the way for student-athletes to benefit from deals for their names, images, and likenesses (NIL for short), at least one craft brewery is getting in on the action, aiming to support them as “unsung heroes.” In a news release, Seventh Son in Columbus, Ohio, named seven student athletes in various sports—fencing, softball, track and field (shotput and discus), volleyball, and lacrosse—to serve as ambassadors for its brand. The brewery says the athletes will receive monetary compensation, gift cards, and merchandise, among other perks.

BA’s Latest Diversity Grants Go to Training and More

The Brewers Association has announced the latest round of recipients for its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Mini-Grants Program. They include:

  • the Entrepreneurship and Equity in Brewing (EEB) program, a 10-week training program on brewing, sensory, and business for people from groups underrepresented in the industry;
  • the Beer Culture Summit at Chicago’s Brewseum, highlighting the history of the culture of brewing, with some content focused on diversity and underrepresented groups;
  • Fermenta Michigan, dedicated to educating and empowering women working in the fermented food and drink industries;
  • and the FemAle Brew Fest in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which for six years has been focused on highlighting how women are contributing to the beer industry.

More information about the grants—including deadlines and how to apply—is available at the BA website.

Mexican and U.S. Brewers Join for Unique Collabs

The Asociación de Cerveceros Artesanales de México—the Association of Mexican Craft Brewers, or ACERMEX—recently hosted the fourth edition of Together We Brew, a program that brings together Mexican and U.S. brewers for collaboration beers and as a show of friendship between the two countries. ACERMEX organizes the program in collaboration with the Brewers Association. This year, six American breweries teamed up with six Mexican ones on Together We Brew collaboration beers. The recipes are diverse and often highlight unusual, native ingredients:

  • Haupia, a blonde ale with mango, from Cielito Lindo of Guadalajara and Hawaii’s Maui Brewing
  • La Soberana, a dark lager with agave, from Cerveza Loba of Guadalajara and Three Weavers of Los Angeles
  • San Junípero, a sahti from Crucru of Mexico City and Cevecería Colorado of Denver
  • Midnight Express, a black IPA from Punto Medio of Querétaro and Baxter of Lewiston, Maine
  • Wired, a cold IPA with coffee, from Aguamala of Ensenada, Baja California, and Warped Wing of Dayton, Ohio
  • Deer Slope, an imperial stout from Cyprez of Mexico City and Upslope of Boulder, Colorado

Each year the beers are available at the annual Cerveza Mexico fest, which took place this year from October 21 to 23.

Creature Comforts Launches Beer for Restaurant Workers

The Athens, Georgia, brewery says that 100 percent of its November and December net profits from its new Table Beer will go to Atlanta’s Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit that provides emergency support for food-service workers in crisis. At 4.2 percent ABV, Creature Comforts Table Beer will be available at the brewery’s Athens taproom and in select markets in the Southeast.

Deschutes Releases Cask-Strength Black Butte Whiskey

In cooperation with local craft spirits producer Bendistillery, Deschutes has released a new special edition of its whiskey distilled from a wash of Black Butte Porter. The single-barrel, 125.8-proof Cask Strength Black Butte Whiskey joins the annual release of the five-year-old, 94-proof Black Butte Whiskey.