Lincoln's Zipline Brewing Co. has signed a distribution agreement with Global Distributing Inc. of Sioux Falls that will make its beers available in South Dakota for the first time. Zipline Co-founder Tom Wilmoth said, "We couldn’t find better partners than Global, who really know craft." South Dakota will be the second state outside of Nebraska where Zipline is available. Zipline beers have been available throughout Iowa since March.
The Daily Brew
Cases of beer fill H. Cox & Son's warehouse in Traverse City, where they are carefully lowered by forklifts and transported to bars, restaurants and stores in Northwest Michigan. "When people think of H. Cox & Son, they might think Anheuser-Busch, but we have such a big portfolio," said Ryan Ribel, vice president of the company. "We're also local. We've been part of this community since 1933." Co-owners Ryan and Mark Ribel's great-great grandfather started the business after Prohibition was repealed, and the business continued to be passed down through the family.
Milwaukee Brewing Co.'s annual volume has reached nearly 12,000 barrels following an expansion of their brewing capacity. The extension of their distribution reach into Minneapolis boosted demand for their 19 varieties. Beechwood Sales and Service handles distribution for the craft beer-maker. "It really is remarkable to think that just over four years ago we sold less than 3,000 cases of beer for the entire year and Beechwood now sells more than two-and-a-half times that much in one month," said Co-owner Jim McCabe.
A switch to all-can production at Anheuser-Busch Co.'s Newark brewery means the loss of 60 jobs, but also a change in the tradition of one its brands produced there. Newark is the only one of four Anheuser-Busch breweries where Rolling Rock is brewed that uses glass-lined finishing tanks for its beers, a celebrated component of the Rolling Rock brewing process. Once the bottling line at Newark is idled, single-serving containers of Rolling Rock finished in glass-lined tanks will only be available in cans, the company says. Rolling Rock in 12- and 7-ounce bottles will still be produced at Anheuser-Busch's Baldwinsville, New York; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Los Angeles, California, breweries.
The U.S. convenience store count increased to 152,794 stores as of December 31, 2014, a nearly 1 percent increase from the year prior, according to the 2015 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count. Convenience stores account for 33 percent of all retail outlets in the United States, which is significantly higher than the U.S. total of other retail channels including drug stores (41,799 stores), supermarket/supercenter (41,529 stores) and dollar stores (26,572 stores).
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has cleared the merger of supermarket operators Safeway Inc. and Albertsons, creating a larger competitor to rival chain Kroger. But there is one caveat. The FTC agreed to the deal only after Safeway and Albertsons agreed to sell 168 stores to address the FTC's competition concerns.
While the beer can turned 80 years old last week, a new Green Fiber Bottle was unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as part of a three-year project with packaging company ecoXpac. Carlsberg posted an image on its Instagram depicting what its future bottle line could look like. Made from sustainably sourced wood-fiber, all materials used in the bottle, including the cap, will be developed using bio-based and biodegradable materials.