Bar Business June 2019

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s craft beer continues to disrupt the industry, established brands and new players are inventing fresh ways to delight customers. From cascara to cannabis, here’s what’s new in the beer world. Guinness: Cascara & Beyond Guinness has been around for 260 years—a heritage that’s unique in the beer industry. With its new Open Gate Brewery and Barrelhouse in Baltimore, the company is honoring its history and creating innovative recipes. Since the completed facility opened in August 2018, more than 280,000 visitors have come through its doors. “What we’ve built here in Baltimore is pretty remarkable,” says Ryan Wagner, Guinness Brewery Ambassador. Only two of Guinness’ 50 breweries are dedicated to developing innovative, creative beers. “Our brewers are charged with really pushing the envelope,” says Wagner—both in terms of ingredients and brewing technique. Open Gate’s seven brewers use two different brewing systems. One is a 100-hectoliter brewery, which produces Guinness Blonde for the entire United States. The innovation center is the smaller, 10-barrel brewhouse, which creates new beers featured in the tap room. The brewers have experimented with a wide variety of beers, ranging from Dopplebock and Pilsner to sour styles like Gose. Guinness’s Gose is not a “true” Gose but uses sea salt and grapefruit, mimicking the greyhound cocktail. Among his favorites, Wagner highlights “some of the things that blow you away because they’re so different.” One example is a beer made with an unusual ingredient: cascara. Cascara is the fruity flesh surrounding the coffee seed (more commonly known as the coffee bean). Open Gate’s brewers added it to a Belgian triple and then barrel aged the beer. The new recipe was a hit at last year’s Great American Beer Festival. “Then our brewers took cascara and took it a step further. They brewed a typical kettle sour, but added cascara,” says Wagner, explaining that this beer has the lightly lactic character expected of a sour, but with a fresh gardeny flavor 30

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and a hint of smoke. “Our cascara beer is one that I love introducing people to. “When they try it for the first time, they’re not really sure what to make of it. They like it, but there’s so much going on in that glass. It really opens their eyes to what beer can be.” Guinness has also produced an IPA with just 2.7% ABV that preserves an IPA’s characteristic aroma and body. Wagner notes that health-conscious beverages with lower calorie counts have become more popular. They’re compatible with what he calls “the spirit of the pub.” With a low alcohol beer, guests can extend their experience in a brewery, bar, or tap room, spending more time with family and friends. Each staff member at Open Gate is trained to impart knowledge informally every time they serve a customer. The Open Gate has four different bars, including an outdoor space with a beer garden. Visitors can see the 10-barrel brewery and take a guided tour, which ends with a tasting of four beers: two classic Guinness beers, the Draft and the Blonde, and two innovative beers from the brewery. “We want people to feel like they’re getting a beer education every time they sit at the bar,” says Wagner. HEINEKEN USA: Innovation HEINEKEN® also makes a point to keep its brand fresh with new recipes. “Innovation is critical to driving consumption,” says Jenna Behrer, Vice President of Innovation and Activation at HEINEKEN USA. Some of that innovation is inspired by craft beer. “Craft beer has certainly given a boost to the beer category and is driving consumer demand for authenticity, variety, and quality,” says Behrer. “HEINEKEN has put its focus over the years on these very principles, and so we welcome the renewed interest in beer and the heightened appreciation of great beer taste and premium quality.” HEINEKEN has rolled out new beer products over the last several months. The Dos Equis Mexican Pale Ale debuted in 2018. “With unique citrus hops and a hint of spicy heat on the finish, Dos Equis MPA is a traditional Pale Ale with a Mexican twist,” says Behrer. Another new beer is Tecate Titanium,

Three brands changing expectations in the beer market. By Emily Eckart

which capitalizes on the growth of Mexican imports and the increased demand for higher-ABV products. In keeping with the current interest in health and wellness, HEINEKEN also recently released Strongbow Hard Cider “100-Cal” slim cans, which come in a 12-can variety pack with three flavors: Rosé Apple, Original Dry, and Pear Secco. Non-alcoholic beverages are also a trending product, influencing the development of Heineken® 0.0, an alcohol-free malt beverage with 69 calories per bottle. “The non-alcohol

June 2019

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