Foreign news and imports

Black hops is top of the pops: Black Hops Brewery, on the Gold Coast of Queensland, has topped Beer Cartel’s 2020 Australian Craft Beer Survey. Some 17,000 craft beer drinkers were surveyed. Balter Brewing Company, also based on the Gold Coast, was rated second, followed by Canberra- based Bentspoke. The survey found craft beer drinkers had changed their beer purchasing behaviour during covid, buying more Australian craft beer in place of other beer types, such as mainstream beers and international craft beer.

A sustainable future: OneCircle, the global specialist in PET kegs, has dramatically increased its presence in the US and Canada with the appointment of Country Malt Group as an official reseller of KeyKeg and UniKeg. The announcement is a vital part of OneCircle’s global growth plan as it consolidates its position as the market leader in sustainable packaging.

Think Pink: Yakima Chief Hops has released its fourth annual Pink Boots Blend, in collaboration with the Pink Boots Society, an international non-profit supporting women in beer as well as fermentable and alcoholic beverages. Since 2017, Yakima Chief Hops and Pink Boots Society (PBS) have partnered to create an annual hop blend that empowers women in the brewing profession. The blend is available to commercial and home brewers and a portion of the proceeds benefit the PBS scholarship funds. This year, the blend comprises Cashmere, Ahtanum, Citra, Loral, and Sabro brand hops.

A collaboration between Crown Bevcan Europe and Middle East, Efes Georgia (part of Efes Breweries International), and graphic artist David Matchavariani, has brought an epic Georgian history story to life on a limited-edition series of beverage cans for Georgia’s leading beer brand, Natakhtari. The striking designs are already receiving recognition across Europe, having won gold in the beverage two-piece category of the Cans of the Year Awards and coming first in the best packaging design/label category of the World Beverage Innovation Awards.

Musa collaboration: Cockburn’s and Musa Beer, a Portuguese craft beer company, have collaborated to make two beers, one of which is aged in port casks. The two beers are Original, a Belgian blonde ale, and Remistura, a Belgian golden strong ale. Original is unaged, and Remistura has been aged in Cockburn’s casks.

GABF medals

Virtual GABF: The Brewers Association awarded 272 medals to 240 breweries across America for the 2020 Great American Beer Festival competition. Read more

Communicating about cider: A pair of researchers from Virginia Tech’s Department of Food Science and Technology and Cornell’s Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences are teaming up to investigate America’s cider market. Funded by a $500,000 award from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Jacob Lahne, assistant professor of food science at Virginia Tech, and Clinton Neill, assistant professor of population medicine and diagnostic sciences at Cornell, are embarking upon a four-year, multi-state research project that aims to create a common descriptive sensory language to help American cider producers communicate their products to consumers. “The average consumer knows that an IPA and a lager taste different, and they know what to expect if they order one or the other,” Jason explained. “But that doesn’t exist for cider.”

Adjustment to Grolsch recipe: Grolsch is back as a 4% ABV beer, answering the call from UK consumers, retailers, and publicans alike, the maker says, for a product that delivers great refreshment at a slightly lower ABV, while retaining its distinctive depth of flavour. Grolsch Premium Pilsner achieves this through its ‘double-brew’ process — a double-decoction mash, using two hop varieties for bitterness and aroma, blended with two types of Dutch malt, and Enschede’s original Dutch spring water. Grolsch is part of Asahi.

Continental BrewDog: BrewDog has agreed a franchise deal to open ten bars in Germany. It is working with Bruton Capital to open the venues over the next three years.

Budvar packaging

Sustainable packaging: Budweiser Budvar UK is trialling Smurfit Kappa’s TopClip, a newly-designed cardboard beer can packaging solution, as the Czech beer brand works to reduce plastic waste. The branded packaging, holding six 330ml cans of Budweiser Budvar Original Czech Lager, will be available in 168 Waitrose shops. Made from sustainably sourced paper, it is 100% recyclable, and will eliminate an estimated metric tonne of single-use plastic waste in its first year of use — the equivalent of a quarter of a million plastic bags.

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