Monday, April 28, 2014

Have You Heard About the Lime Shortage?

What do poor weather, bacteria and criminal cartels have in common? No, this doesn't have to do with Russia, I'm talking about the factors that are causing a national shortage in limes. 

Let's tackle the bacterial disease first. Up until 2000, Florida has been know to grow about 50% of the US lime supply. That year, following the effect of Hurricane Andrew, limes started developing bumps from a disease called Citrus Canker. The canker disease causes citrus fruits to fall from trees premature to their picking. To quarantine the diseased crop, the state was forced to destroy all trees within a 1900 foot span of the infection. This destruction of US lime production pushed our needs into the hands of Mexican lime growers, now producing approximately 95% of the US lime supply.

This year, Mexico has experienced threatened lime supply by a disease called Huanglongbing, commonly known as citrus greening disease, creating the same production woes that Florida saw in 2000.

So this is where it gets shady... Taking cues from every criminal operation ever, cartels in Mexico decided to exploit a bad situation for profit. Cartel members would raid lime crops and in some cases remove farmers all together in an attempt to control the supply, thus forcing the price of limes to new a new high. A standard case of limes would retail for approximately $20 at the beginning of the year; that price has now climbed to $100 or more, per case.

Depending on where you live, you may or may not notice the effect of the shortage. Ranging from higher prices to reduced menu items, bars and restaurants are handling the shortage in whatever way they can. Economists predict the situation will last about 4-5 months. Until this debacle ends, the thought of Gin and Tonics being made with a lemon wedge keeps us up at night...

Share your thoughts about this story in the comments section, or on Facebook and Twitter!

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Musical Beer Chalice

The minds over at Stella Artois are some of the best around. They can take something like their signature beer chalice and turn it into a musical instrument of epic proportions. Check out the videos below and let us know what you think in the comments section, on Twitter or on Facebook!

Monday, March 17, 2014

LIST: Top 30 US Beer Distributors

Here is the top 30 list of Beer Distributors by volume, via Harry Schumacher and Beer Business Daily:

1. Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
St. Louis, Missouri
Case Volume: 135 million (est.)
Dollar Sales: $3 billion (est.)
Principals: ABI Management

2. Reyes Beverage Group
Chicago, Illinois
Case Volume: 102 million
Dollar Sales: $2.2 billion
Principals: Reyes family
Major Suppliers: MillerCoors, Crown, HUSA

3. Silver Eagle Distributors
Houston, Texas
Case Volume: 48.2 million
Dollar Sales: $987.7 million
Principals: John Nau III
Major Suppliers: ABI, Crown, NAB

4. Ben E. Keith Beverages
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
Case Volume: 39 million
Dollar Sales: $780 million
Principals: Hallam family
Major Suppliers: A-B

5. Hand Family Co.
Clarksville, Tennessee
Case Volume: 39 million
Dollar Sales: $650 million in revenues
Principals: J.R. Hand
Major Suppliers: ABI

6. L. Knife & Son
Case Volume: 35 million (est)
Dollar Sales: $750 million (est)
Principals: Timothy Sheehan 
Major Suppliers: A-B, Craft division

7. Columbia Distributing
Kent, Washington
Case Volume: 35 million
Dollar Sales: $675 million
Principals: Gregg Christiansen
Major Suppliers: MillerCoors, Crown, HUSA, Pabst

8. Manhattan Beer Distributors
New York
Case Volume: 34,210,000
Dollar Sales: $735 million
Principals: Simon Bergson
Major Suppliers: MillerCoors, Crown, Boston Beer

9. Glazer's Family of Cos.
Dallas, Texas
Case Volume: 31 million
Dollar Sales:  $560 million
Principals: Bennet Glazer
Major Suppliers: MillerCoors, Crown, HUSA

10. L&F Distributors, LTD 
The Rio Grand Valley, Texas
Case Volume: 30 million (est)
Dollar Sales: $480 million (est)
Principals: LaMantia family
Major Suppliers: ABI

11. Crescent Crown Distributing
Phoenix, AZ / New Orleans, LA
Case Volume: 28 million
Dollar Sales: $520 million
Principals: James R. Moffett Jr.
Major Suppliers: MillerCoors, Crown, HUSA

12. Gold Coast Beverage Distributors Inc.
Miami, Florida
Case Volume: 27 million
Dollar Sales: $648 million
Principals: Frank Schwiep
Major Suppliers: MillerCoors, Crown, HUSA

13. Andrews Distributing Cos.
Dallas, Texas
Case Volume: 26,635,145
Dollar Sales: $587,102,371
Principals: Barry Andrews
Major Suppliers: MillerCoors, Crown, HUSA

14. JJ Taylor Companies
Jupiter, Florida
Case Volume: 26.5 million
Dollar Sales: $495 million
Principals: John J. Taylor III
Major Suppliers: MillerCoors, HUSA, Boston Beer

15. DBI Beverage
San Francisco, CA
Case Volume: 25,979,763
Dollar Sales: $497,321,075
Principals: Jeff Skinner
Major Suppliers: MillerCoors, HUSA, Boston Beer

16. Topa Equities, Inc. (Anderson)
Los Angeles, California
Case Volume: 20 million (est.)
Dollar Sales: $420 million (est.)
Principals: John Anderson
Major Suppliers: ABI, Crown, Boston Beer

17. RA Jeffreys
North Carolina
Case Volume: 20 million (est.)
Dollar Sales: $360 million (est.)
Principals: Robert A. Jeffreys
Major Suppliers: A-B

18. Hensley Beverage Co.
Phoenix, AZ
Case Volume: 19,978,123
Dollar Sales: $372 million
Principals: Robert Delgado, the McCain family
Major Suppliers: A-B

19. Origlio Beverage
Philadelphia, PA
Case Volume: 19 million
Dollar Sales: $365 million
Principals: Origlio/Honickman
Major Suppliers: MillerCoors, Yuengling, Pabst  

20. Superior Beverage Group
Columbus, Ohio
Case Volume: 18 million
Dollar Sales: $339 million
Principals: John M. Antonucci
Major Suppliers: MillerCoors, Crown, HUSA

21. The Banko Family
New Jersey 
Case Volume: 17 million (est)
Dollar Sales: $240 million (est)
Principals: Mary Ellen (Banko) Racz
Major Suppliers: MillerCoors, Crown, HUSA

22. Heidelberg Distributing
Case Volume: 16,614,779
Dollar Sales: $296,193,860
Principals: Vail Miller Jr. 
Major Suppliers: ABI, Crown, HUSA

23. Standard Sales Co., LP
Colorado Springs, CO
Case Volume: 15.6 million
Dollar Sales: $310 million
Principals: Lanny Layman
Major Suppliers: A-B

24. Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Co.
Pittsburgh, PA 
Case Volume: 15,460,439
Dollar Sales: $242,378,905
Principals: Frank Fuhrer II 
Major Suppliers: A-B, Boston Beer, Crown

25. Monarch Beverage
Indianapolis, Indiana
Case Volume: 15,056,274
Dollar Sales: $254 million
Principals: Phillip A. Terry
Major Suppliers: MillerCoors, Crown, HUSA

26. West Side Beer Distributing
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Case Volume: 15 million (est.)
Dollar Sales: $290 million (est.)
Principals: Don and Keith Klopcic
Major Suppliers: A-B, Boston Beer, NAB

27. Gulf Distributing Holdings
Case Volume: 13,574,000
Dollar Sales: $249.5 million
Principals: Elliot Maisel
Major Suppliers: MillerCoors, HUSA, Crown

28. The House of LaRose
Brecksville, Ohio
Case Volume: 11.8 million
Dollar Sales: 182 million
Principals: LaRose family 
Major Suppliers: ABI

29. Houston Distributing Co.
Houston, Texas
Case volume:  11 million
Dollar sales:  $210 million
Major Suppliers:  MillerCoors, HUSA, Gambrinus
Principal:  Bo Huggins

30. Clare Rose 
East Yaphank, New York
Case Volume: 10,950,000
Dollar Sales: $210 million
Principals: Sean Rose
Major Suppliers: ABI, HUSA

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

KATZ Gets Interactive at SXSW!

Check out the Interactive Coasters that KATZ Americas have on display in the Blippar tent at this year's SXSW Festival!

Let us know what you think in the comments below or on our Twitter and Facebook pages!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Best Beer Bars in New Orleans!

Live Mardi Gras vicariously through our blog with our top 6 Craft Beer Bars in New Orleans! 

6) Crescent City Brewhouse
Not a craft bar as much as it is a brewery with a restaurant attached, CCB makes the list mostly because their house brew is crafted in small batches, and conforms to the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516. Also, the guy that makes it is a German dude named “Wolfram,” which you have to admit is pretty rad.

5) d.b.a.
Okay, so d.b.a. might have started off in Yankeeville New York and migrated down to New Orleans. Big deal. It's been nativized now, and this town is the better for it. Their draught selection may not be as impressive as some of these other spots (hence it's in at five), but it’s got a solid 20 taps, not to mention the fact that it's one of the best places in the city to catch a live show.

4) Abita Brew Pub
One of the best and largest homegrown breweries, any list such as this couldn’t ignore the Brew Pub in Abita Springs because you can uniquely sample draught versions of all of their offerings -- from favorites like Amber, Turbodog and Purple Haze to seasonals and harvest ales -- in one spot. Plus, they brew up some good food, too.

3) Cooter Brown’s Tavern
Cooter’s has always been a great place to knock back some raw oysters, but their vast beer menu takes it from a good spot to a great spot, with a stunning variety of international brewskis ranging from Slovakian Golden Pheasant, to Brazilian Xinghu, to Canada's Elephant Red, which ironically can make you forget.

2) The Bulldog
Say what you will about the jocular nature of the crowd at the Bulldog (as well as their dogs... and there are always dogs), it takes the number two spot here. Not just because of the selection (which is vast, at 160 and counting, incl. vaunted rarities like Mikkeller, and Clown Shoes), but because their draught beer never touches air until it reaches your glass, since the lines are pumped with CO2 and nitrogen. Not to mention the fact that they use a $5000 dishwasher & a detergent specifically designed to clean pint glasses.

1) The Avenue Pub
Easily taking the blue ribbon is the Avenue, the sine qua non of craft beer temples in the city, if not the state (and we’ll throw in Mississippi and Arkansas, too. And Delaware, because what are they gonna do about it?). With 40 brews on draught and more than triple that by the bottle, you’d be hard-pressed not to find something to satisfy even the nerdiest of beer nerds. Do they have Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break? Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout? Green Flash Citra Session? Yes, yes, and yes.

Thanks to for the content in this article.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Beer With a Side of Ice Cream

Yuengling, the company behind one of America's most popular lagers, has stepped beyond the hops, grains and barley into the realm of cream, sugar and vanilla. Yuengling has re-entered the supermarket shelves with a new ice cream product, separate to the production of the beer products. Unfortunately, Yuengling will not be offering beer flavored ice creams. 

Yuengling has a history in the dairy business, as the company used to make ice cream up until about 30 years ago. Yuengling used the ice cream as a way to get past prohibition woes, and then continued to make the dessert well after as an additional revenue stream. 

The new incarnation of Yuengling’s Ice Cream is reportedly a separate company with no connection to the brewery. However, it has already capitalized on that famous name as the initial run of 100,000 quarts rolled off the production line ahead of schedule because of high demand, fueled by nostalgia and the popularity of the eponymous beer.

For more on this story, head over to

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Beer Captains of the Big Game

Are you ready for some football?!?

Well, we are. And we're ready for some beers too. Check out our list of each Super-City's beer captains to get inspired for the big game, cheers!


       1: Pyramid Hefeweizen

       2: Redhook ESB


       1: New Belgium Fat Tire

Have a favorite or an honorable mention that we missed? Let us know in the comments section, Facebook or Twitter!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Beer Flavored Jelly Bellys?!?

Of all the things we love in the office, beer and candy are near the top. So when we heard that Jelly Belly was debuting a new Beer flavored jelly bean, it's safe to say that we got a little excited...

The draft beer flavored Jelly Bellys are an iridescent gold and were inspired by German Hefeweizen. Apparently, beer is a flavor that consumers had requested for decades, the company said. According to a release, the jelly beans have an “effervescent and crisp flavor .... Beer connoisseurs will find the flavor profile to be clean with notes of wheat and a touch of sweetness. The aroma is mildly bready.”

Sounds like a winner to us, unlike that buttered popcorn flavor...

Share what you think on Facebook, Twitter and in the comments!