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Six Pack: Beer Buzz of the Week

Glass of shandy with slice of lemon
Food Collection | Getty Images
Glass of shandy with slice of lemon

Six things that have consumers buzzing in the world of beer, wine and spirits this week:

1. The Beer Election: fter billions of dollars spent, Obama campaign beer stops and one White House home brew recipe later, the 2012 election season is in the books.

Beer figured prominently in the electionright up until the end, when Blue Point Brewing, Long Island's oldest brewery, introduced Entitlement Porter, a beer "brewed for the 47%." The beer was brewed using the White House Porter recipe as inspiration.

Bluepoint Brewmaster and Co-founder Mark Burford said, "We're not big on making political statements but we're big on making great beer and this was a way for us to embrace the spirit of the season."

Meanwhile on Election Day, a number of breweries and brewpubs were hoping to reward those who performed their civic duty with a free pint of beer. A number of places across the country, including the Portsmouth Brewery n New Hampshire, offered a free beer for anyone sporting a "I Voted" sticker. Unfortunately for beer drinkers, it's against federal election laws to offer anything of value in exchange for voting.

2. Hurricane-Relief Efforts: Despite its Long Island location, Blue Point Brewing was spared any significant storm damage, but other brewers in the Northeast were not as fortunate. One of the hardest hit was Oceanside, N.Y.-based Barrier Brewing, hich told Brewbound.com the total extent of the damage could total over $100,000.

Many brewers are among those pitching in to help with relief efforts. Budweiser temporarily shut down beer production at its Atlanta plant in order to create cans of water to send to Hurricane victims and Heineken USA as pledged to match all hurricane-related employee donations five-to-one. Brooklyn Brewery as done a number of hurricane-relief initiatives including a fundraiser and a collection of needed supplies Cooperstown, N.Y.-based Brewery Ommegang has reached out to brewers impacted by the storm offering the breweries assistance.

3. Beer on the Big Screen: Budweiser has a starring role in one of the most popular movies in the nation, but Anheuser Busch InBev is not happy about Bud's Hollywood moment. The Budweiser brand is seen in the new Denzel Washington movie, "Flight" about an alcoholic pilot. ABI has asked Paramount Pictures to blur any Budweiser image in the film. Paramount has refused to comment.

4. Craft Beer a Hole-In-One: Restaurants have learned a larger beer menu leads to increased sales. Now the North County Times reports a growing number of California golf courses are catching on that craft beer offerings can boost their bottom line. Castle Creek Country Club in San Diego saw beer sales go from a few hundred dollars a day to close to $800 by adding more than 20 craft beers to the clubs sports bar.

Greg Koch, the CEO and co-founder of Stone Brewing consulted with San Diego's Maderas Golf Club on its beer offerings. Koch told the paper, "The idea that golfers don't have great taste is an insulting one," he said. "Golfers also enjoy things of quality and character. Consumers, when faced with great options, tend to make great choices."

One craft brewer looking to capitalize on the beer and golf connection is Slammin' Sam Beer Company, named after golfing legend Sam Snead. Slammin' Sam announced this week it would now be available the World Golf Village Resort in Florida.

5. NHL Lockout Puts Molson in Penalty Box: Sports properties are a big part of the marketing for big brewers. Bud Light has enjoyed success as the official beer of the NFL and used the Super Bowl to launch Bud Platinum, one of the most successful brand launches in 2012. On the other end of the spectrum is Molson Canadian, the official beer of the NHL. The league is embroiled in a lockout that has wiped out the first month of games and that is now wiping out some Molson sales.

6. Wine Wars: It was a busy week in wine, first with Wine.com aking a pre-emptive move and launching its Wine.com Marketplace, which will allow smaller domestic and international wineries with limited distribution channels the ability to sell its wines on Wine.com. A few days day later, Amazon unveiled the worse kept secret in wine, announcing it would be taking another run at selling wine via its marketplace. Then there is Yao family wines, the Napa Valley winery founded by the retired international basketball star Yao Ming in 2011. The wine label has received critical acclaim, but up until this week was only available in China. That will change with the announcement it would start making its wines available in the U.S.

Most-Loved Label Update: Thanks to all who have submitted their most-loved labels. In order to process the submissions and to ensure a smooth voting process, we are pushing the start of the vote back a few weeks with a target of the first week of December. In the meantime, feel free to keep sending submissions as we lock the field down.

-By Tom Rotunno, CNBC Senior Editor; Follow him @tomrotunno.

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com.

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