Brew News: Higher ABVs and Whole Foods Beer

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Brew News: Higher ABVs and Whole Foods Beer

In this new feature, we’ll look at the news that broke in the world of craft beer during the week. This round takes us all over the country, from bigger ABV beers in Ohio to a new app from the Brewers Association.

Ohio: Sky’s the alcohol limit

House Bill 37 went into effect in Ohio this week, granting brewers license to produce beer greater than 12% alcohol by volume. The cap was lifted back in May, but the first ABV-increased pints were served on Wednesday, August 31. At Hoppin’ Frog Brewery & Tasting Room in Akron, they’re serving a triple oatmeal Russian imperial stout, aka TORIS, and Vino Bellissimo in Lima will mark the occasion by tapping a barrel of Dogfish Head 120 IPA.

Texas: Brewers can get paid to play

A Travis County district judge ruled unconstitutional a 2013 law that prohibited brewers from selling distribution rights. Prior to the most recent ruling, distribution rights were owned by distributors who were not obligated to compensate brewers and could in turn sell the rights for a profit. The decision comes in the wake of a lawsuit brought by three breweries against the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission (TABC). The TABC has 30 days to file an appeal.

Maine: Beer Testing 101

Students at the University of Southern Maine have added incentive to make it to class this semester: a beer-centric Quality Assurance/Quality Control and Research lab. The school offers two chemistry classes revolving around beer and the lab tests beer for local breweries including Allagash Brewing Co. and Rising Tide Brewing Co. The lab provides students the tools and technology necessary to offer a range of tests from alcohol content to contamination at a lower cost – and with a quicker turnaround – than many commercial options.

Southeast: Experimenting with Whole Foods

Craft Beer fans in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina will soon have the chance to sample an experimental line of ales brewed specifically for Whole Foods by Straight to Ale. Offerings will include canned versions of Rumble Seat Citrus Witte and Rumble Seat India Pale Ale along with a draft-only imperial red. Beers will hit the shelves Labor Day weekend. The Huntsville, Ala., brewery recently opened a 45,000-square-foot facility earlier this year.

National: Find your Brew Guru

A new app from the American Homebrewers Association aims to connect tech-savvy beer enthusiasts with local breweries and nearby deals while also increasing a user’s overall beer IQ. “In addition to providing great resources and recipes to help homebrewers improve their beer, Brew Guru provides the very best and easiest to use craft brewery locator, drawing upon the Brewers Association’s comprehensive database,” said AHA director, Gary Glass, via press release. “Wherever you are, Brew Guru will guide you down the path to great beer.” Current AHA members can access the entirety of the app’s features including AHA Member Deals locator, content from Zymurgy magazine and the AHA site and a digital copy of their membership card. Non-members will have a 15-day window to test drive the app.