Consumer Nation

Six Pack: Beer Buzz of the Week

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

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1. Beer Geeks + Comic Book Geeks = Comic Book Beer. Forest Hills, Queens may be home to Peter Parker, aka Spiderman, but now Brooklyn is getting a superhero of its own. Only this superhero is a hoppy amber IPA, named "The Defender." The beer was made in conjunction with the comic-book convention Comic-Con hitting NYC. DC Comics logo designer Milton Glaser designed the label and the Defender hero was created by cartoonist and author, Tony Millionaire. Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster and rumored sci-fi geek Garrett Oliver took care of the contents inside of the bottle. Its not the first time beer geeks and comic book geeks have joined forces. Breckenridge Brewery made a special brewwhen Comic-Con came to Denver in June.

2. Happy Hoppy People? If you've ever thought it would be cool to work for a brewery, this next item will do nothing to change your mind. The Craft Brew Alliance , which is comprised of Widmer Brothers, Redhook Brewery, Kona Brewing and Ommission Beer has been selected a top workplace by The Oregonian.  The employee survey, done in conjunction with research firm Workplace Dynamics, looked at such areas as work environment, company benefits and job satisfaction. CBA was selected as one the top five mid-sized companies in Oregon.   

3. Hoppy Holidays from Boulevard Brewing. You know a brewery is popular when it can open a pop-up store for the holidays — that doesn't even sell beer. Such is the case with Kansas City based Boulevard Brewing which has opened a pop-up store at a Kansas City shopping destination called Country Club Plaza. The store will sell Boulevard-themed items such as T-shirts and glassware as well as items from other Kansas City companies which will offer items ranging from jewelry to art prints. The one thing you can't buy? Boulevard beer, as the company didn't want to compete with nearby bars and restaurants that already sell its products.

4. Heineken Find Its Groove: Heineken is tweaking its iconic green bottlefor first time since 1946. The new bottle will have a taller, thinner shape and an embossed thumb groove that “improves grip and encourages people to hold the bottle at a lower point, keeping the beer colder.” The revamped bottle will start appearing in New York City this fall in advance of a national roll out in January.

5. Wine with a View:  Renting has become more common option in the wake of the recent housing bust. Now a Tokyo apartment complex is giving renters a reason to wine.  A Japanese developer has broken ground on apartment complex that will have full-time sommelier available for tenants. That’s a good thing because they’ll need his/her help to navigate the 10,000 bottle wine cellar.  There will also be a ground floor wine bar and bistro. The 18 apartments will be rent only.

6. Vintage Hefner: Sure it’s famous for the pictures, but we know you buy Playboymagazine just for the articles. Now Playboy Enterprises is giving you something to sip while you “read.” It has launched the Playboy Wine Club, an online wine club that will offer "wine aficionados exclusive selections from around the world sourced from boutique vineyards."  

-By Tom Rotunno, CNBC Senior Editor

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