New Belgium Brewing and Deschutes Brewery — two of the nation’s biggest and well-respected craft brewers — have plans to move into Ohio.
New Belgium, known for its best-selling Fat Tire Amber Ale, will expand distribution to the Buckeye State later this year, likely in December.
The Fort Collins, Colo., brewery is the third largest craft operation in the U.S., behind only Boston Beer Co. and Sierra Nevada.
“We’ve been hearing from folks in Florida and in Ohio for probably the longest and loudest,” New Belgium spokesman Bryan Simpson said. “And we were fortunate enough to open Florida this year and Ohio is coming soon. We’re excited to come there and be part of that craft beer community.”
New Belgium is meeting with potential distributors now, he said. Further details about the move into Ohio haven’t been finalized yet and will be released later.
Meanwhile, Oregon brewer Deschutes is eyeing a move into the state next year.
“Our fans in Ohio have been asking us to bring our beers there for many years,” Jeff Billingsley, marketing director for Deschutes, said in a statement. “While nothing is definitive yet, we do have our eye on expanding there next year.”
Deschutes began as a brewpub in downtown Bend and later opened a second pub and a production brewery. It’s now the fifth largest craft brewery in the U.S. Its best-selling beers include its flagship Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Pale Ale.
Meniru beer available
The Meniru Meadery, 5866-5868 Fulton Drive NW, Jackson Township, has officially expanded into beer-making.
The meadery, winery and now nanobrewery started serving its own beers earlier this month. There are eight Meniru brews on tap, including an India pale ale, sweet stout, porter and hefeweizen. (I wrote extensively in May about the business launching its brewery.)
“Customers had good words for the beer styles,” owner, brewmaster, winemaker and mead-maker Dr. Godwin Meniru said about the initial feedback. “I’m very happy with the opening. It’s been a very good experience.”
The Meniru tasting room is open from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday. The beer is available in samplers, 16-ounce glasses and 32-ounce growlers.
For more details, go to www.menirumeadery.com/.
Great Lakes Brewing Co. made the list of the Daily Meal’s “25 Best Breweries in America.”
The website asked experts to nominate breweries across the U.S. and then readers chose their favorites.
Great Lakes ranked 24th and was the only Ohio brewery in the list. The top five were: Dogfish Head, Stone, Boulevard, Founders and Cigar.
To read the full report, go to www.thedailymeal.com.
A new Gallup Poll says beer continues to fall out of favor with Americans who drink alcohol, especially those ages 18 to 29.
The annual poll shows that beer had a 20 percent advantage over wine in 1992 as the preferred alcoholic beverage in the U.S., but that has shrunk to 1 percent now.
In the poll, U.S. drinkers — 60 percent of Americans say they drink alcohol occasionally — were asked whether they most often drink beer, wine or liquor. Thirty-six percent cited beer as their drink of choice, while 35 percent said wine and 23 percent said liquor.
But there’s been a major shift since 1992 for those ages 18 to 29, Gallup says. Seventy-one percent in that age group favored beer in 1992, but only 41 percent do now.
Those young adults have moved to wine (14 percent in 1992 to 24 percent now) and liquor (13 percent to 28 percent).
To read more on the poll, including a breakdown by race and gender, go to www.gallup.com/.
Craft beer sales
Craft beer continued to show strong growth in the first six months of the year, even as overall beer sales in the U.S. slumped 2 percent, the Brewers Association says.
The Boulder, Colo.-based trade group reported that dollar sales rose 15 percent and volume was up 13 percent.
About 7.3 million barrels of beer were sold by craft brewers, up from 6.4 million barrels over the first half of 2012, the group said.
The association reported that there were 2,538 breweries operating in the U.S. as of June 30, an increase of 446 from a year ago. The group also said there were 1,605 breweries in planning stages.
• The Columbus Beerfest is Friday and Saturday at the LC Pavilion. For details, go to www.columbusbeerfest.com/.
• The Chardon BrewWorks in Chardon is expanding and moving around the corner. The brewpub will close at its current site Aug. 24 and hopes to reopen at 200 Center St. by Sept. 14.