Tony Budny pens SCREAMING INTO THE VOID and looks at the best in writing and social media conversation around the biggest issues in beer. If you feel something should be included, have a tip, or just want to sound off, feel free to look him up on Twitter @DrinksTheThings or email DCBeer.
I wouldn’t know anything about that, honestly. I’m just here so I won't get fined. Super Bowl memories!
If you were like me and looked forward to the Super Bowl as a cheat day and you have great friends that do things like bring two cases of Aslin over, you probably don’t remember much of the game, which is fine because it wasn’t worth remembering anyway, unless you were a Patriots fan and then you had some fun at the parade afterward.
There was something memorable from the commercials, though. Beer Twitter, being what it is, never forgets. Here’s a brief synopsis:
That’s right, A-B Inbev is at it again. And they've angered the farmers. The ad may have backfired. But as Danner said above, it was three days of talking about Bud Light. And in the American Light Lager category, I doubt too many people are looking closely at ingredients. Though, I do wonder if people who drink Michelob Ultra are concerned about corn syrup in their beer? Because they had an ad, too, and it's somewhat related, though no one seems to be talking about it [ed: except Good Beer Hunting, of course]. And is it really that bad to brew with sugar? Some of your favorite craft or macros probably have it and they taste just fine and you didn’t die.
Also, A-B acquired the remainder of RateBeer it didn't already own.
It’s gonna be a long one this week so settle in. I’ll start you off easy with Phil Runco's draft picks for February, in case you missed it.
Before we get too deeply into the local news, I want to address the most serious news of the week: Multiple women accuse Columbus, Ohio's Actual Brewing founder Fred Lee of sexual assault. Lee has stepped down as CEO of the company despite denying the accusations, saying he’s stepping aside to defend himself, but the damage is done. Most disgusting of all, though, is one instance of assault took place inside the tap room. I would not feel comfortable inside of that room after reading this. It’s a moment many people in craft beer have wondered about, and you have to wonder if there are other such instances that will become public.
Maryland State Delegate Ben Kramer has long been a defender of Montgomery County’s Department of Liquor Control, which has been the subject of years of scrutiny and reforms. Turns out he gets lease payments from a liquor store. Millions of dollars in lease payments. He probably should’ve been more upfront about that.
In better Montgomery County related news, the Department of Environmental Protection Energy Programs is partnering with local breweries to hold lightbulb swaps. Bring in a couple CFL bulbs and get them replaced with LEDs, then drink a beer or two. Also, Maryland is officially in the midst of a brewery boom, despite sometimes unfriendly conditions.
Are you excited for Double Two-Hearted? Well, if you live in Virginia, you should queue up the Curb theme. You’re going to have to go to another state to get that and any other Bell’s beer for the foreseeable future. And you can’t go to Montgomery County, Maryland, either, because they’re also not there. Have fun!
DC Brau has made its first change to its original flagship lineup. Out is Citizen Pale Ale and in is this, a hazy IPA. They note the change comes during hashtag flagship February, which seems like a backhanded way of doing it, but what do I know?
*looks off in the corner at a quivering Citizen* Oh don’t worry little buddy, you’ll be back in no time.
While we’re on the subject of flagshipuary, let's read about some and maybe drink one. Or, maybe don't drink one? I don’t know, man, just drink the beer already and stop asking questions.
Does this count as a flagship?
Don’t hurt yourself chasing THAT truck or anything.
Naptown Pint explains its absence. Mental health is always important.
The Veil is eyeing a second location in Richmond, because you can never have enough haze. You just can’t. Remember to drink fresh, which this study confirms.
The DC Brewer's Guild will hold its Hopfest on March 9. Tickets available in the link.
Fritz Hahn dives into the current trend of bars with video games and pinball machines.
Getting outside the region, Anchor Brewing employees have announced they will seek unionization.
The burgeoning non-alcoholic market gets a wake up call, as Coca-Cola enters the fray.
And in brewery expansion news, Wicked Weed is doing…. Something in Atlanta. Good luck figuring out what that is. Sierra Nevada has made its first acquisition. And Tree House has spent some serious money.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this, an extra-long Void, for another week. I would invite you back next week, but we all know you’ve just hung out in the Void all week. You’ll be here anyway.