Six items that have consumers buzzing in the world of beer, wine and spirits as we head into the weekend:
1. North Carolina Sings the Blues: Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery has announced they are expanding to North Carolina. The company says it will open a brewing facility and restaurant/music venue in downtown Brevard, NC. The Oskar Blues announcement follows California-based Sierra Nevada Brewing and Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing announcing they will be opening facilities in Asheville, N.C.
2. Bell’s Brewery To Be Sold?: The future ownership of the seventh largest craft brewer in the country is being negotiated. Larry Bellof Michigan-based Bell’s Brewing says he is in negotiations to buy out 11 of 14 current shareholders. Bell is not ruling out a sale of the brewery if a negotiation cannot be reached.
Anheuser Busch-InBev says U.S. beer shipments rose for the first time in three years, up one percent in the first quarter. Driving much of the increase? Bud Light Platinum, which the company called “the most successful brand launch in the U.S. alcohol industry since 2005, reaching a market share of 1.4 percent.”
4. Dos Equis Takes to the Streets for Cinco De Mayo: The fastest growing premium Mexican beer in the U.S. is rolling out six “Feast of the Brave” taco trucks in six U.S. cities in honor of Cinco de Mayo. The trucks will be serving free tacos with ingredients ranging from pig ear, chicken gizzard and iguana to alligator, crickets and hog stomach. Each taco comes with "bravery points," pitting the cities in a contest "for bravest palate." According to Nielsen, the Dos Equis franchise (Dos Equis Lager and Dos Equis Amber) is up 24.4 percent the last month.
5. Can Beer and Wine Save the U.S. Postal Service?: The U.S. Postal is desperate to save money and generate revenue. One of the ideas on the table? Allow it to ship beer and wine, which it has not been allowed to do since before prohibition. “With the onslaught of e-commerce, as long as [beer and wine] ship legally in terms of states that we’re allowed to ship, I think you’re going to see it take off,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe recently told Time.com.
6. Boston Beer Off to a Booming Start, but Warns on Future: Boston Beer, the largest craft brewer reported increased earnings of 89 percent in the first quarter driven largely by its seasonal beer offering and its Twisted Tea brands. But the company also expressed concern about rising fuel costs, which could impact shipping, packaging and other brewery expenses, but said it was still too early to determine how it would impact the rest of the year.