The Beer Ticker: Industry News & Notes, the Crisp and CRISPR Edition

From the latest Anchor twist to hazy genes, here are some news and announcements from around the industry.

Brewing Industry Guide Staff Jul 21, 2023 - 5 min read

The Beer Ticker: Industry News & Notes, the Crisp and CRISPR Edition Primary Image

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Black Is Beautiful, Vol. 2, Ready to Drop

Weathered Souls Brewing in San Antonio and the recently launched National Black Brewers Association (NBBA) have announced a new edition of the Black Is Beautiful campaign. Volume Two of this open-source collaboration is based on a new hazy IPA recipe from Marcus Baskerville, cofounder and head brewer at Weathered Souls and a member of the NBBA board of directors. For this edition, 100 percent of the proceeds—from a pledge of $1 per beer—will go to the NBBA, which aims to make the industry more equitable and inclusive while increasing the number of African-Americans who work in brewing. For more information, see the Black Is Beautiful website.

Anchor Employees Say They Want to Buy Brewery

A group of 40 union workers at Anchor Brewing in San Francisco have sent a letter to ownership saying they’re interested in buying the 127-year-old company. That letter came about a week after Sapporo announced July 12 that it had failed to find a buyer and that it would cease operations and liquidate. “We are not asking for a handout or charity,” the letter says, according to VinePair. “All we want is a fair shot at being able to continue to do our jobs, make the beer we love, and keep this historic institution open.” Some workers have criticized Sapporo, which bought Anchor in 2017, for mismanaging the craft-brewing pioneer.

Walmart to Require Unique UPCs for All Beer

Beginning in March 2024, Walmart says it will require all beers sold in its stores to have unique UPC codes. It’s long been an accepted practice for breweries to re-use those codes on rotating items such as seasonal beers and variety packs. However, Walmart says the policy is to help ensure that the growing number of online shoppers receive exactly the products that they order, instead of being surprised by the wrong beverage. The National Beer Wholesalers Association says this will also be a headache for distributors, who may need to change their backend systems to allow for the new UPCs.

Omega Says It Has Found a Haze Gene

Calling it HZY1, Omega Yeast says it has discovered a gene that makes beer hazy. “Using a combination of classic genetics and next-generation sequencing, the R&D team was able to identify genetic changes to a novel gene that made haze-positive strains hazy,” the lab says in its announcement. Omega used the CRISPR gene-editing technology to prove that deleting this gene from hazy strains would produce clear beer. “Brewing yeast have been so extensively studied, we never thought we would be the first to identify a new gene for haze,” says Laura Burns, Omega’s director of R&D. “Now that we have a gene, there’s no denying that yeast play an important role in promoting haze in beer.”

Canadian Company Acquires Crisp Malt

The Canada-based food-processing company Richardson International says it has acquired Anglia Maltings Holdings, which owns Crisp Malt. “For quite some time, we have actively been seeking an opportunity to enter the malting industry in a significant way,” says Richardson CEO Curt Vossen in the announcement. “We see malting as a natural extension of our food-processing business.” Crisp Malt, which supplies Maris Otter and other British malts to brewers around the world, began as a maltings in Norfolk, England, in 1870.

Pre-Orders Open for YCH Veterans Blend

Yakima Chief Hops (YCH) says that pre-orders are open until August 28 for this year’s Veterans Blend of hops. This year’s blend includes Citra, HBC 638, Talus, and Sabro, for a profile of “bright citrus, including lime and grapefruit, with subtle herbal notes and pine,” YCH says. A contribution of $3 per pound this year goes to Homes for Our Troops, which donates customized homes to severely injured veterans. For more info or to order, see

Uhl’s to Close with a Party

Uhl’s Brewing in Boulder, Colorado, announced in July that it would have to cease operations. Founded by head brewer Aaron Uhl in 2020, the brewery said it would host a closing celebration for patrons on August 5. “We have kicked and clawed our way out of so many difficult situations these last three and a half years, which is why it’s hard to accept that the problem presented to our little brewery simply cannot be fixed,” Uhl said in the announcement.