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items tagged with beer

Squeezing the Craft-Alcohol Industry: How Archaic Booze Regulations Hinder Small Producers
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Feature Stories

2014-07-10 11:39:57

Steve Zuidema, the co-owner and brewmaster at Davenport’s Front Street Brewery, called the byzantine state laws regulating alcohol distribution “laughable now. But getting them changed is going to take some lobbying and some money, because I think the distributors have a great lobby.”

He was talking about the Iowa Wholesale Beer Distributors Association, and for proof of that organization’s influence in the state legislature, look at the situation faced by the Mississippi River Distilling Company in LeClaire.

If you’re wondering what beer distributors have to do with producers of distilled spirits, you’re on the right track.

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Who Will Be Crowned Illinois’ King of Beers?
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2011-04-17 11:47:42

Anheuser-Busch has reportedly hired more than a dozen Statehouse lobbyists this spring to protect its interests in a long-running battle to control how it distributes its brews in Illinois.

The St. Louis-based company has, in the past, owned a beer distributorship in Illinois. It sought to buy another one in Chicago but was blocked by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. So the company sued in federal court.

In the process, Anheuser-Busch discovered that two relatively small Illinois “craft brewers” were allowed to distribute their own beer in Illinois, but out-of-state craft brewers weren’t given the same privilege. The brewer’s suit tried to use that contradiction to its advantage.

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The Blue Cat’s “Blue Bastard” on 15 Years in the Beer Business
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Feature Stories

2009-09-16 18:19:01

Brewmaster/Blue Bastard Dan Cleaveland

The Blue Cat Brew Pub opened 15 years ago this year, and given its institutional status in the Quad Cities, it's hard to believe that starting out, its proprietors knew next to nothing about how to brew beer or run a brewpub.

As co-owner and brewmaster Dan Cleaveland tells it, his sister Martha wanted to open a bar/restaurant, and after she learned about the brewpub model, she saw a business opportunity: There were no brewpubs in the Quad Cities.

Dan had never brewed beer. "She thought I'd make a good brewer," he said last week. Why? "I was a scientist, I guess."

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The Can Can: Great River Brewery Debuts Its Beers, but Bottles Aren’t on Tap
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Feature Stories

2009-03-11 18:33:57

Great River Brewery's Roller Dam Red

If you ask brewmaster Paul Krutzfeldt about bottling his beer, prepare to be dismissed.

"Speak of that no more," he said in the "brewer's lounge" of the new Great River Brewery, near the foot of the Arsenal bridge at 332 East Second Street in Davenport.

It's not that Krutzfeldt doesn't want his brews available in stores or bar coolers. It's just that he's a fan of the can.

"Cans are where it's at," he explained. "You have less oxygen tolerances, so the beer won't go bad. No light gets in. And you have a lot more accessibility to take them places - boating, camping. They're more easily recyclable."

Brewmaster Paul Krutzfeldt

He later cites the slogan of the Minnesota-based Surly brewery: "Beer for a glass, from a can."

This is the summary of what Krutzfeldt said is a trend in the suds industry: good beer being delivered in a container that has historically been the marker of bad beer.

He said he's not concerned about the association of cans with bland, watery, mass-produced beer. "What good beer have you had the opportunity to buy in cans?" he asked.

But the can is the wave of the future because of the protection it offers and its portability, Krutzfeldt said: "Cans are becoming king."

Although he said that he expects cans to eventually represent the bulk of his business, for the time being he's filling kegs.

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