Six things that have consumers buzzing in the world of beer, wine and spirits as we head into the weekend:
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2. Molson Canadian Beer Coasters Turn Into Trees:Molson Canadian has found a new way to grow...trees. The company has created seed-infused coasters that when planted will grow into black spruce trees. The coasters are part of a Molson Canadian project dedicated to restoring green spaces across Canada.
3. D.C.-Based Brewery Makes Post-Blackout Beer: Port City Brewingwas one of the many left without power in the recent storm that blew though the Mid-Atlantic. The brewery was left without power for a week, threatening the beers it had fermenting. Thankfully five out of six batches fermented as usual. However the sixth batch fermented at a higher-than-usual temperature. Are they out of luck? Nope. Port City will turn it in a "California common" style beer — think San Francisco's Anchor Steam, a beer also fermented at a higher temperature. Port City will be releasing this tank as a special limited edition brew, "Derecho Common."
4. Oskar Blues Heads to Windy City:Expansion is one of the dominant trends in craft beer in 2012. Now the brewery famous for starting another popular craft beer trend, beer in cans, is spreading out. Colorado-based Oskar Blues has already announced it will build an East Coast brewery in North Carolina. Now, with increased production coming down the line, the company is expanding its distribution reach. The brewery says it hopes to have its year-round beers, including the flagship "Dale's Pale Ale," available in Chicago by the end of the summer.
5. Darden Buys Yard House Chain:Restaurant operator Darden , owner of the Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Capital Grill chains, among others, has announced it is purchasing Yard House USAfor $585 million. The California-based Yard House operates 39 restaurants across 13 states. The chain is known for its selection of craft beers, typically offering more than 130 different beers on tap. Revenue at the Yard House is up 27 percent in the second quarter as compared to last year. Darden execs say they expect to expand the chain to 200 units.
6. French Politician Calls for California Wine Ban:California banned the French-born delicacy foie gras on July 1 . Now a French politician is saying two can play at that game. Philippe Martin, a member of the National Assembly, says a proposed wine ban is a show of solidarity "for our foie gras makers and for all food makers." Unfortunately for Martin, there isn't a lot of California wine to ban as not much is exported to France.