Food Service & Agriculture, Marketing, PR & Advertising, and Retail

Beer industry makes waves

December 31, 2015
Print
Text Size:
A A
Atwater Labels
Atwater Brewery labels, designed by Detroit artist Tony Roko. Courtesy Atwater

This month has been a big one in the beer world — even in West Michigan.

The beer industry news was dominated by AB InBev acquiring a variety of breweries across the globe, including ones in Arizona, Colorado and London. It also announced a rebranding of Bud Light.

Meanwhile, also in Colorado, news broke that employee-owned New Belgium Brewing Co., the nation’s third largest craft brewery, was exploring a sale in which it could be valued at more than $1 billion.

Michigan’s beer news was a bit more sedate.

Founders

Founders Brewing Co. got its baby back in Michigan for its Breakfast Stout.

In August, Founders released a new label with a missing baby, as the Michigan Liquor Control Commission had discovered the original label was in violation of a rule by referencing a minor.

On the new label was an empty high chair with a note, including a phone number with a voicemail message.

According to the brewery, more than 1,800 voicemails were left in support of bringing the baby back.

“Thanks to our friends at the MLCC for helping us bring the lil’ guy home!” Founders wrote on its website.

New Holland

New Holland released the first episode of its podcast, “Stop & Taste Conversations.” The podcast is hosted by New Holland’s Fred Bueltmann.

The first episode includes a conversation with Brandon Johns, the chef and owner of Grange Kitchen and Bar in Ann Arbor.

The podcast is available on iTunes.

Atwater

With Detroit-based Atwater Brewery coming to Grand Rapids with a brewpub in 2016, it might be time for the Business Journal to start covering its general news.

Last week, the brewery announced three new beers to be distributed in 2016, as well as a new brand identity with new labels by Detroit artist Tony Roko. The new labels will be featured on 26 Atwater brews.

“Atwater Brewery. Born in Detroit. Raised Everywhere.” is the new brand theme and speaks to the brewery’s business plan of opening satellite production facilities in North Carolina and Texas, as well as brewpubs similar to the Grand Rapids location in 10 markets in the coming years.

The new beers are Going Steady IPA, a grapefruit session ale, Corktown Rye IPA and Tunnel Ram, an imperial bock.

“Craft brewing is becoming a big business but it’s a business about good times. Brewing it and coming up with these new flavors and personalities is part of the fun,” said Atwater Brewery owner Mark Rieth. “We’ve been all about Detroit since we brewed our first German-styled lagers 18 years ago and said we wanted to ‘bring Detroit everywhere.’ We’re now doing that with distribution in 27 states and Canada and still growing. Now we’re focused on making sure people remember us and think about us first, and that’s what these new labels are intended to do.”