“Live Oak Brewing Company, along with two others in the state filed suit against the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Commission in 2014. Chip McElroy has been brewing beer for nearly two decades His Live Oak pilsners and Hefeweizen are all brewed, canned and kegged in Austin.
While that part of the process is fine, it is the other side of his business, distribution, which McElroy said state lawmakers are messing with. For years distributors paid for the right to distribute his products, but that changed in 2013.
‘They made a law saying we have to give it to them for free,’ said McElroy.” — Time Warner Cable News, David Cawton.
“John Cochran, who last month sold Terrapin Beer Company to MillerCoors, is diving headfirst back into the beer business with a new craft brewery venture in Asheville, North Carolina.
Using proceeds from the sale of Terrapin, Cochran said he has purchased the assets of Altamont Brewing and will rebrand the company as UpCountry Brewing.”
“A growing number of breweries are establishing relationships with beekeepers or installing their own hives. Service Brewing Company has a small apiary at its brewery in Savannah, Georgia, sourcing honey for Old Guard Biere de Garde.”
And with meaderies (aka honey wine manufacturers) on the rise, bees will be playing a major role in the craft beverage sector.
In the past three weeks, MillerCoors has announced three agreements to purchase craft breweries: Oregon’s Hop Valley and Georgia’s Terrapin Beer Co. and now Texas’ Revolver Brewing.
A reporter recently asked me: Is the MillerCoors-Terrapin deal a sign that Georgia is getting a bigger name in the craft brewing world nationally.
My thought is no.
Georgia is absolutely getting a bigger name in the craft brewing world nationally (and even internationally); however, I don’t think the MillerCoors/Terrapin deal has much to do with that or is a reflection of the growth of Georgia craft beer.
Rather, GA breweries are winning medals all over the country for their beers – that’s what is putting them on the map in the craft brewing world, not to mention the press surrounding Georgia brewers’ efforts toward passing fairer laws…laws that 48 other states currently have on the books in some form or fashion.
That said, MillerCoors’ purchase of a majority ownership interest in Terrapin most certainly brings a great deal of attention to the craft beer industry in GA.
But I think MillerCoors’ desire to purchase Terrapin stems more from consideration regarding annual barrel production, a 12-state distribution network, and a lot of goodwill behind the Terrapin name that has been built up over the past 14 years by the Terrapin founders and team.
“In just a few years, Southbound Brewing has gone from a small beer producer in Savannah to one of Georgia’s most exciting beer makers. As with everything in the Peach State’s beer scene, though, it didn’t come easy. Carly Wiggins and partner Smith Mathews have been friends since they were kids in Statesboro, and attended Georgia Tech together as well, but it was working at SweetWater Brewing Company where they got the bug to open a place together. In 2013, Southbound was born.Creative Loafing caught up with Wiggins to talk about how their business has grown, the challenges they’ve faced, and what the future might hold.” — Austin Ray, Creative Loafing
“What’s more, because they are judged events with multiple breweries and awards, the emphasis is on educating your palate, rather than filling your gut. And you can even feel good about the ticket price, as a portion of the proceeds go to the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild — the primary organization working for revisions to Georgia’s beer laws.” Bob Townsend – for the AJC