The Camel Crush of hard seltzer
Plus: Taping a flask of bottom-shelf bourbon between your butt cheeks!
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A local fight over a right-wing brewery exposes the limits of “community.” I followed up last week’s FOIA-abetted Fingers special report on the potential tax incentives the commonwealth of Virginia lined up for military pander-brand Armed Forces Brewing Co. with a column this week at VinePair examining the community campaign in Norfolk to pressure its city council into rejecting its application for ongoing permits.
Constellation Brands’ galaxy-brained new take on the FMB market. The Modelo maker this past week announced the release of Shyft, “a first-of-its-kind, patented, flavor-shifting” flavored malt beverage that’s “designed to hit different taste buds at different times.” So like… the Camel Crush of hard seltzer? The subtext here is Wall Street wants to see the macrobrewer develop beer brands that can succeed beyond the halo of its red-hot portfolio of Mexican imports, to demonstrate growth potential. Personally I think Shyft will, uh, not do that, because variety packs already exist, and “I’d like to drink a mood ring” just isn’t something you hear people say lately/ever. But maybe!
Beer’s tax-paid numbers are bleak right now. The Beer Institute’s analysis of the Treasury Department’s September 2023 receipts shows domestic shipments down a substantial 7.4% year-over-year, which Brewbound reports makes the seven straight month of negative growth on this metric. Woof. Yeah, yeah: “Bud Light.” But even Modelo took a beating last month, with beers from south of the border down 12.8%.