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Six Pack: Beer Buzz of the Week

Six things that have consumers buzzing in the world of beer, wine and spirits as we head into the weekend:

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1. Sam Adams Pays Tribute to Craft Beer Pioneer:Boston Beer Company, the maker of Samuel Adams, is well known for being a pioneer of the craft beer movement. Now the brewery is paying tribute to a brewer who started even earlier. Boston Beer will be brewing New Albion Ale in a limited tine release. The beer is the flagship product of one of the very first craft breweries, New Albion Brewing Company. Founded in Sonoma, California in 1977, New Albion Brewing Company was owned and operated by Jack McCauliff before closing its doors in 1982 after financial hardship. "Jack was brewing craft beer when nothing was easy. Nobody made small scale brewing equipment, nobody wanted to invest, retailers and distributors didn't want your beer, drinkers couldn't understand why the beer didn't taste 'normal.' It was so different from today" says Samuel Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch. The revived New Albion Ale will use the beers original yeast, which has been preserved at the University of California.

Sam Adams Bonus Round: Recently the Six Pack highlighted the release of Boston Beer Company’s Brewlywed Ale and gave details of an event to be held at the Brewery, including the fact fans dressed in wedding wear would be moved to the front of the line. It turns out some fans took it further: three weddingswere conducted during the event, with Boston Beer Founder, Chairman and Brewer serving as a Bridesmaid in two out of the three ceremonies.

2) U.S. Craft Beer A Hit Across the Pond: One of the drawbacks — and attractions — to craft beer is its geographic limitations. A great beer discovered on a trip to Oregon may not be available in New York and vice versa. But American travelers to Europe are encountering an interesting phenomenon: U.S. craft beers that are often unavailable in most of the United States can be found in pubs 3500 miles away. It’s the result of more international distributors seeking out the brews to quench Europeans thirst for U.S. craft beer. In fact, craftbeer.comrecently discovered the Brooklyn Brewery logo in London is a known symbol for pubs that serve “great American beer” and brewery’s neon sign is often sought out by European beer drinkers looking for a U.S. craft beer when out on the town.

3) Songs in the Key of G: Who gets inspired by a subway train? The Teen Commandments, that's who. The songwriting duo made up of Brett Moses and Nick LaGrasta won a contest held by Brooklyn Brewery for the best song dedicated to Brooklyn's G train. They'll be flying to Sweden, one of 18 countries where Brooklyn Brewery beer is exported, at the end of the month to perform their song, “No Burning Headlight,” at the all-Brooklyn music festival being produced by Debaser and Brooklyn Brewery.

4) New Belgium Brewery Releases Environmental Report: Colorado-based New Belgium Brewery is well known for its commitment to the environment. It recently released its 2011 Waste Diversion Report and its appears to be living up to its promise with 94 percent of waste from the brewery being diverted from landfills last year. In total, 90 percent of New Belgium Brewing waste was recycled, 4 percent composted and 6 percent went to the landfill. New Belgium Brewery officials hope to eventually send zero waste to landfills.

5) Heineken Makes The Switch: Heineken is unveiling the latest spot in the brand’s “Legend’s” campaign. In the ad, two consumers enter a remote, grim, dive bar which is slowly transformed into a nightlife hotspot once a round of Heineken draught beers are ordered. The spot, titled “The Shift” was shot on location in Prague with the set and its mechanics specially hand crafted to ensure that all transformations could be recorded live. You can view the ad here.

6) Mondavi Teams Up With Josh Groban: Robert Mondavi Winery is partnering with musician Josh Groban on a new wine and to promote the singer’s next album. Mondavi and Groban will work together on a still-to-be-named Napa Valley wine, made at Robert Mondavi Winery and scheduled for release next year. In addition, the winery will work to advertise Groban’s next album, also scheduled for release in 2013. Downloads of Groban’s newest singles will be made available through Robert Mondavi Winery displays in stores, online and through mobile applications.

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com. Follow Tom Rotunno on Twitter @tomrotunno.

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