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Weekly Growler Fill | National Beer News Roundup

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Craft beer tourism is booming in Grand Rapids, a beer startup exploits a loophole, and a new law loosens social media restrictions for breweries in California. You’ll be getting details on all of these stories as well as more news from the AB InBev/SABMiller deal. Yes, there is even more news about that deal. Keep reading to find out more in this edition of the Weekly Growler Fill.

Craft Beer Tourism Boasts $12M Economic Impact in Grand Rapids, Study Says

Grand Rapids Beer
The Brewsader coaster, part of Experience Grand Rapids’ Beer City Passport program

A recent study out of Grand Rapids, MI reports that craft beer tourism has brought about a $12.23 million dollar impact to the city. This money is being generated by the 42,000 beer tourists visiting the city each year. Grand Rapids is home to breweries such as Founders Brewing and Grand Rapids Brewing Co., so it’s no wonder that beer nerds are flocking to visit. Experience Grand Rapids, the marketing group that conducted the study, also reports that 14,000 hotel nights were utilized as a part of craft beer tourism and that out of the hoard of tourists, 12,000 visited at least five breweries during their stay. See what happens when cities promote the craft beer industry? Good things! To encourage even more beer tourism, Experience Grand Rapids, will be hosting a new program: Beer City Passport. The passport will be available at 23 participating breweries as well as on Experience GR’s website

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Craft Beer Startup Exploits Liquor Law Loophole

Barrel Backers
Photo Credit: Barrel Backers Homepage

A new startup called Barrel Backers is exploiting a loophole in the three-tier system in order to bring good beer to its patrons. Essentially, Barrel Backers is a like shopping online for beer but the website is the distributor and you are the retailer. To avoid breaking the law, the company has to ship in bulk. To accomplish this, beers on their website must reach a certain amount of pre-orders before they can get shipped. If they don’t hit their mark, they will not get shipped and customers will not be charged. If the beer does reach its pre-order quota, customers will receive a pack of three to eight bottles or cans that they have chosen. The site’s selection seems somewhat limited but it does feature breweries such as Almanac and Founders so there is definitely some good beer to be had. We’ll see how long this venture lasts before the hammer of the law comes crashing down.

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AB InBev and SABMiller Ink $104B ‘in principle’ Deal

Never have I ever written about the same story so many times in a row. It seems that AB InBev and SABMiller have reached a deal ‘in principle’. They must have realized time was running out. Under British mergers-and-acquisition legislation, the two beer giants have until October 28th to seal the deal since their headquarters will be based in Belgium. If the terms are formally agreed upon, a new series of events will most likely unravel: anti-trust reviews in both the U.S. and the European Union. So even if AB InBev and SABMiller decide to become the biggest controller of beer in the world, the countries in which they work may decide that this monopoly is a no-go and the whole thing could come crashing down. It looks as though I’ll be writing about this merger for many months to come…

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Amid Craft Beer Boom, New Law Loosens Social Media Rules for Breweries, Wineries

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A new kind of law is opening doors in California. Assembly Bill 780 will be loosening the restrictions on social media for craft breweries and wineries. The bill, introduced by Governor Jerry Brown, allows breweries to indicate where their products are sold within social media posts. Right now, the makers of delicious beer and wine can post pictures of their products but they cannot give out information about retailers that sell said products. Clearly, this hurts business. Starting January 1st, Instragrammers of Cali will be able to make their beer dreams become reality when they are able to locate retailers carrying craft products through the brewery’s social media accounts. This new law seems to be one more step in the right direction for the craft beer movement. Cheers California!

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The D Las Vegas and Golden Gate Tapped to Offer ‘Not Your Father’s Root Beer’

Not Your Father's Root Beer
Photo Credit: Small Town Brewery

I’ve been hearing about this product non-stop since it came out and now it looks like even more people are going to get to try it. Not Your Father’s Root Beer is a craft product from Small Town Brewery. As you can probably guess, it tastes like root beer but it is also alcoholic. Ringing it at 5.9%, this is not the same soda you used to throw back with your friends in 3rd grade. After constantly selling out at various taverns across Chicago, the company decided it was time to expand. Now, Not Your Father’s Root Beer will be available at the D Las Vegas and Golden Gate Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you’re visiting Sin City, swing by one of these locations because they will be the only ones on Fremont Street serving up some cold, delicious NYFRB.

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