2. Beer 101: For many students, college and beer go hand in hand. But while coeds may spend time drinking beer, there aren't a lot of places to learn about making it. Auburn University is looking to change that. Auburn has announced it will be just the second university to offer a program in brewing science. (The University of California-Davis was the first.)
Auburn officials said the 18-hour, distance-learning program will be geared towards "people who are working in the industry who would like to move up the career ladder." Auburn already counts Dale Katechis, founder of Oskar Blues Brewery, among its alumni. The school said it hopes to start the program early as 2014.
3. Casual Restaurants Need to be Crafty: A recent study indicated a larger beer menu leads to increased sales. Now an industry analyst says casual restaurants aren't doing enough to leverage the growth in craft beer. According to GuestMetrics, a hospitality industry consultancy, craft beers accounted for 20 percent of beer sales in casual restaurants, versus 22 percent in bars and 28 percent in fine dining restaurants.
"While casual restaurants obviously need to have a balanced offering in the beers they carry, we believe there could be a positive halo effect on overall beer sales from dialing up their focus on craft beers," said Peter Reidhead, vice president of Strategy and Insights at GuestMetrics.
In addition to a lower share of beer sales from craft beers, GuestMetrics analysis indicates casual restaurants appear to be leaving additional money on the table by not keeping pace with the price increases in craft beer. According to GuestMetrics, the average price charged by casual restaurants for craft beers is $5.09, compared to $5.53 in bars and $6.16 in fine-dining restaurants.
"While it may not be feasible for casual restaurants to charge the same amount as fine dining, there should be room for closing the price gap relative to what bars are realizing," said Bill Pecoriello, CEO of GuestMetrics.
4. The Ultimate Pub Crawl: You might call it Todd Ruggere's ride. The Massachusetts resident is bar hopping his way through the Bay State. Ruggere said he plans on stopping in all 351 of Massachusetts cities and towns and drinking a Sam Adams while he is there. He's doing it to raise money for Dana Farber and the Jimmy Fund to help with children's cancer research. He plans on hitting one town every day until he is finished and will have a picture taken of himself in each city. Ruggere told Boston's WHDH he will improvise if the town doesn't have a bar. "When I was in Plympton, it's all farms, I couldn't find anything, so I found a home that had llamas in it," jhe said. "So I knocked on the woman's door and said you got to let me take a picture with your llamas, so she was happy to do it." So far he's raised $2,000.
5. 80-Proof Goof: Chivas Brothers, the producer of a whiskey brands such as Chivas Regal, Ballantine's and The Glenlivet, said workers have accidentally dumped thousands of gallons of Scotch whisky down the drain. The company told NBCNews.com, "the amount of whiskey spilled was less than the approximately 5,000 gallons reported earlier in other media, but declined to give exact figures." Perhaps the only good news to come out of the incident? The company said they do not expect any shortages as a result of the accident.