The barrels are bad. Boston Beer has a solution


As bars and restaurants remain closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Boston Beer turns millions of dollars of expired beer into ethanol to recover some of its lost sales.

Beer sales increased 11.6% in the week ended April 11, according to Nielsen data, with consumers drinking more at home. But the peak does not benefit artisanal brewers as much as they depend on sales in restaurants and bars. Changing consumer trends have led to the expiration of kegs for many craft beer manufacturers.

The disruption in the supply chain caused by the pandemic has led farmers to throw away milk and crush eggs, even though grocery stores are struggling to keep much-needed food in stock.

Boston Beer, Sam Adams’ parent company, takes a less unnecessary approach to the $ 5.8 million of beer returned by retailers and distributors in its first quarter.

Company founder and president Jim Koch said on CNBC’s The Exchange on Friday that he will distill the beer returned in ethanol so that it can be blended with gasoline. According to the Brewers Association, the company, the second largest craft brewer in the country, has been recycling stale beer like this for decades to ensure freshness, but has recently increased volume.

The brewer also adapts to the crisis by making a hand sanitizer. The Dogfish Head craft brewery, which merged with Boston Beer last year as part of a $ 300 million deal, has gone on to manufacture the product using high-strength ethanol.

Dogfish Head produces between 200 and 400 gallons of hand sanitizer per day and donates all proceeds to help restaurant workers. His home state of Delaware is his first client, according to Sam Calagione, founder and president of Dogfish Head.

“Today, we make enough hand sanitizer per week at our facility to clean over half a million hands,” said Calagione.


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