Welcome to Early Draught, a weekly newsletter by Kurt Reckziegel about enjoying, selling, and making good craft beer. If you haven’t subscribed, please do!
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I sat outside and enjoyed a beer on the deck in +70° weather in the North East in November because we’re not taking good enough care of our planet. Btw, reading and enjoying Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future.
Mostly reserving this section for some sad news in the beer world this week:
Jason Buehler, head brewer of Denver Beer Co and Cervecería Colorado, died Friday from injuries after falling during a climb at Maroon Bells in Colorado. Read some beautiful words about the husband, father, and award-winning brewer from the Denver Post and Denver Beer Co’s Instagram. (h/t /u/kidbom)
🗣️ Marketing Beer
“Since April 2020, Sol brewed at Zoeterwoude in the Netherlands has been produced using renewable energy from solar power, reaffirming the brand’s sun-inspired heritage and marking an important milestone in the brand’s journey to reduce its carbon footprint.” They’re using it for marketing, but it’s also just good for the planet. 😎
Red yumyums are getting into the spirit with their limited-edition holiday cans 🎄 (h/t just-drinks)
Dixie Brewing Co in New Orleans is switching things up and flipping over to a new name. Naming itself Faubourg Brewing Co “is a tribute to the diverse neighborhoods of New Orleans.”
Firestone Walker is sponsoring this cool new YouTube series called Flow State hosted by Dylan Efron (yes, Zac’s little bro, but also two-time Ironman and sub-3hr Boston Marathon Finisher). “In the series, Efron takes athletes and celebrities on adventures through southern California. He aims to push them outside of their comfort zones while getting to know more about his guests and what drives their passion.” Here’s the first one, with Brazilian professional skateboarder, Leticia Bufoni, where he takes her rock climbing for the first time.
Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Co is promoting a Spotify playlist through their Insta stories that helps you to “switch into Kona mode.” The playlist features some Hawaiian favorites, as well as the full new album from Keilana.
🍻 Drinking Beer
VICE is here to educate you on “how to spot a well-poured pint.” *instructions unclear, beer all over the floor*
Just as we were all getting used to crowlers… *Abbeydale Brewery has entered the chat* with their MINIKEGS!
As case counts soar, COVID restrictions are coming back in the States. Gov Cuomo in NY says, starting today, indoor private gatherings are capped at 10 people, and bars/restaurants/gyms all have to close by 10pm. Good thing I’m usually in bed by 9pm anyway. But seriously, stay safe out there. Mask up. 😷
If you’re looking for coffee alternatives, look no further than… *checks notes*… broccoli? Yup. Exploding Topics says that “broccoli coffee is traditional coffee infused with broccoli powder. Broccoli coffee is just one of many growing coffee alternatives. Global coffee exports have dropped by 2.2% since 2018. Partially due to consumers seeking out caffeine-free coffee alternatives, like turmeric coffee and chicory coffee. What's next: Broccoli coffee is part of the Functional Beverage meta trend. The functional beverage market is estimated to hit $208.1B by 2024. Other examples of this trend include hard kombucha, Four Sigmatic, and pea milk.”
Must read: SevenFiftyDaily’s profile of Tinashe Nyamudoka, the Zimbabwean sommelier reimagining South Africa’s wine industry.
Wine, but make it skincare. Imagine?! Well, it’s real life. Skincare brand, Circumference, has created a nourishing cream that’s made using leftovers of the winemaking process. brb gonna rub welch’s on my face.. 🍇 (h/t Lean Luxe)
Keep an eye on LatAm company, NotCo ($). They just raised $85M and are launching milk and meat alternatives. Their website states that they “combine AI and deep science to create food we love, made with all the plant goodness and a considerably smaller impact on the environment.” 🤖
*I’M A SELTZER, MORTY!* Not a hard pickle seltzer, but a pickle seltzer nonetheless. 🤤 (h/t @WorstBeerBlog)
🤖 Bev Tech
Molson Coors is diving headfirst into the DTC game in the UK with the launch of Revl. They better be ready to duke it out with the likes of Beer52, BeerWulf, BeerHawk, and probably others I don’t know about because I’m just a Canadian living in the States who’s been to London like twice. (h/t @AdamDCollins)
Researchers, brewers, and the Metal Power consortium (it’s a thing) came together to develop the first beer brewing installation using iron power (super-efficient, burning iron fuel only produces rust, which can be sustainably converted back into iron powder). “15 million glasses of beer had been reportedly brewed with the current installation system. It seems that fossil fuels will be needed less and help get the University team closer to their goal of reaching zero CO2 emissions soon.” ⚡ (h/t TLDR)
📲 Follow of the Week
If you want to expand outside the beer world, Mark Gallo (@guhlo) has some really interesting insights into the broader world of beverages. He works at Nor-Cal Beverage Company, and tweets about everything from branding to manufacturing.
📸 Can of the Week
Focal Banger from The Alchemist in Stow, VT. Sipping out of the can while finishing up an eerily relevant season 2 of The Boys.