The Six Pack: Beer Buzz of the Week

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

1. Maker's Mark Wax Seal Deserves Trademark: A U.S. appeals court has ruled that Beam's Maker's Mark Bourbon is allowed to enforce its trademark on the well-known dripping wax seal on its bottles. Citing bourbon's "unique place in American culture and commerce,” the court said the company could stop rival companies from using similar decorative seals.

2. Three Floyds Warns Against Black-Market Sales: Limited-release craft beers are becoming a cult-like phenomenon and brewers are now facing an increasing problem: limited supply is outpacing rabid demand. Munster, Indiana-based Three Floyds brewer took to their website to warn against black-market sales of its Russian Imperial Stout beer, which is released on the last Saturday of April each year and sells out the same day.

The Brewery said: “We do not condone black-market sales of Dark Lord, DLD tickets or any other beer that is purchased at our facility. The best way to ensure that black-market sales do not happen is for consumers to not patronize the illegal sellers, (this also goes for retailers who engage in price gouging.) If you find Dark Lord for sale on a day other than Dark Lord Day and other than at the brewery, please understand that without exception, the sale is not legitimate.”

3. Opera Star Andrea Bocelli Launches Wine Line: Italian Tenor Andrea Bocelli, who has already sold 70 million CDs worldwide is now introducing a new line of wines with his brother. The Bocelli family has made small batches of wine on the family estate since 1881 and the current generation has partnered with the August Wine Group to increase production and sell the wines globally. Bocelli Prosecco and Bocelli Sangiovese will retail for $19.99. ?

With cider one of the fastest growing segments of the alcohol market, Anheuser Busch is rolling out its first cider. Michelob ULTRA Cider hit shelves nationwide this week. It is the first cider by the beverage giant to be produced and distributed in the U.S. The company says the cider has one-third fewer calories (120) and a “more mellowed sweetness” than traditional ciders and is an alternative to white wine, champagne and heavier ciders. According to SymphonyIRI, cider sales jumped 25 percent from October 2010 to October 2011.

5. Brooklyn Brewery Co-Founder to Sell Shares: Brooklyn Brewery President and Co-Founder Steve Hindy shocked the craft beer community when he announced he’d be selling his shares in the brewery he founded 25 years ago. On the last day of the Brewers Association Craft Brewers Conference, Hindy announced he’d be selling his 50-percent stake in the brewery to the Ottaway family, who already owns the other 50 percent of the brewery. Hindy tells that he will remain the company's president.

6. Flying Dog Partners On Chesapeake Bay Project: Maryland-based craft brewer Flying Dog, is partnering with the Oyster Recovery Partnership to benefit the Chesapeake Bay. Flying Dog is releasing its popular and previously limited release, Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout, for year-round distribution . Proceeds from the beer will benefit the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP), a nonprofit organization working to restore oysters back into the Chesapeake Bay. The goal is to enable ORP to plant at least 1 million baby oysters back into the Chesapeake Bay through proceeds from Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout. The oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay is a currently at 1 percent of its historical peak.

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