Cheers March 2015

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 47 of 59 48 • March 2015 Tenute Collesi, Birra del Borgo and Birra Memabrea. "Italians love food and seem to put more crazy ingredients in their beers—green peppers, fruits and chestnuts," explains Trueman. "We get beer geeks coming in looking for these unusual beers only made in Italy." The most popular is My Antonia, an imperial pilsner that's a collaboration between Birra del Borgo and Dogfi sh Head—perhaps, says Trueman, because customers recognize the Dogfi sh Head name. Another collaborative is Ama Bionda, a golden ale made by Amarcord Brewery of Marche, Italy, and Brooklyn Brewery. "Our customers see us as a destination for Japanese craft beer," says head bartender Jon Moncavage at Zama restaurant in Philadelphia. The sushi and sake restaurant sells "a ton of Sapporo, Asahi and Kirin, but sales for the Japanese craft are defi nitely trending up." The list currently includes six to eight Hitachino Nest microbrews from Kiuchi Brewery (priced $12 for a 330-ml. bottle). When Zama gets in a rare keg from Japan, a few dozen customers will stop by just to try the beer, Moncavage says. One brew was made from salted plums and another from sweet potatoes. "That's pretty cool," he notes. FREIGHT AND TARIFF Beers from across the oceans can be more diffi cult to source than uber- local brews, especially with kegs for draft service. Whether bottle or barrel, more red tape is involved in importation. "Sometimes it can take up to three months to get these Italian craft beers," says Trueman. The small production of the breweries and logistic hurdles exporting them to the U.S. are challenges. "My distributor reps will bring in new imports for me to try," says Chris Blackburn, general manager of the Tampa, FL, branch of the four- unit Taps Restaurant, Bar & Lounge. Each store has a different line-up on 24 handles, based on the general manager's discretion. At the Tampa restaurant, imports compose 30% of drafts, 25% of the bottles. Most are from Belgium and Germany, including Radeberger and Palm, as well as Krusovice Cerne from the Czech Republic and Guinness, ranging in price from $6 to $8. "I visit Europe every year, go to the source," says Lane at Winking Lizard. He has cultivated relationships with many of the venerable Zama restaurant in Philadelphia currently offers several Hitachino Nest microbrews from Kiuchi Brewery in Japan. WORLD CLASS Heineken Rolls Out BrewLock System To improve the freshness, fl avor and aromas of its beers on draft, Heineken USA has launched the BrewLock System, a small- format keg for its Heineken and Newcastle Brown Ale brands. BrewLock uses forced air between the outer wall and inner container of the cylindrical keg. This compresses the inner container and forces beer out of the keg and into the tap line. The key advantage is fresher beer at optimum carbonation, since the brew isn't exposed to air or compressed gases. What's more, the BrewLock keg's smaller format accommodates accounts that don't have much storage space, says Patrick Libonate, Heineken USA's commercial marketing director, on-premise. BrewLock kegs hold 20 liters of beer, while the traditional steel Heineken and Newcastle Brown Ale kegs hold 50 liters. The 100% recyclable containers weigh less than the typical steel kegs and can also be stored horizontally when not in use. Heineken USA began the fi rst test-market installations in May and started the national rollout in July, Libonate says. BrewLock is now available in all major markets in the U.S. (pricing varies by market), and used by variety of on-premise accounts, ranging from local sports bars to cruise lines to chain operators such as Buffalo Wild Wings, he adds. BrewLock is being introduced in multiple markets across the globe.—MD

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