2015: The beer in review… and preview

On the final day of 2015, I’m still not certain which was the worst beer development of the year: that sickly sweet root beer posing as an ale or a beer made with, I kid you not, semen.

Swallow hard: Here’s my year in review… and my predictions for 2016.


  • Anheuser-Busch InBred, I mean InBev, releases Bud Light Mixxtail Firewalker, a high-alcohol premixed cinnamon-and-apple cocktail designed to be poured over ice. Coming next: Bud Light Syringe.
  • Stone Brewing pulls the plug on its poor-selling low-alcohol Levitation Ale. Coming next: The end of the stupid session beer fad.


  • Desperate to hold off State Store reform, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board suddenly decrees that – after 82 years on the books – the law requiring distributors to sell 24-bottle cases actually means they can carry popular 12-packs. Coming next: The LCB announces the “C” stands for “Cash.”
  • A 64-year-old New Orleans man shoots his best friend with a shotgun for bringing him a Busch instead of a Budweiser. Coming next: Damn straight, it’s gonna be a Bud.


  • Duquesne Brewing unveils Joe Paterno Legacy Series beer. Coming next: Chip Kelly Beer. It costs $40 million, but it doesn’t give you the runs.
  • In a protest over Donald Trump’s anti-Mexican remarks, a Chicago brewery renames the house beer it made for the Trump-owned Rebar restaurant, calling it Chinga Tu Pelo – Spanish for “F— Your Hair.” Coming next: President Trump reintroduces Prohibition in Chicago.
  • Carlsberg launches a line of men’s grooming products, including shampoo and conditioner all made with beer. Coming next: Dogfish Head and Shoulders.


  • Navel-gazing craft-beer purists gulp down thousands of bottles of Not Your Father’s Root Beer, a fizzy, artificially flavored, factory-made alcohol-delivery device that tastes nothing like beer. Coming next: Four Loko Double IPA.
  • Lululemon, the yoga-apparel retailer, introduces its own line of beer. Coming next: Corona issues a lawsuit claiming, “Yo, we own the copyright on overpriced see-through beer.”


  • A Colorado brewery says it will begin selling Sativa IPA made with cannabis. Coming next: Sativa Session IPA, Sativa Black IPA, Sativa Belgian IPA…
  • A New Zealand pub begins selling a “milked” stout made with deer semen. Coming next: No, you can’t get it in the can.


  • After selling half of his Lagunitas Brewing Co. of California to Heineken International, owner Tony Magee issues a 2,200-word Tumblr post, with references to Nietzsche and Heraclitus, denying that he’s sold out and calling the deal “a wide staircase to the sky.” Coming next: Magee appointed LCB chairman.
  • Taco Bell begins selling Dos Equis at one of its Chicago locations. Coming next: Mop-wielding fast-food workers demand $15 an hour, plus combat pay.
  • Numerous local brewers produce special papal beers for the historic visit of Pope Francis. Coming next: It doesn’t work; they’re all going to hell.


  • The world’s largest brewing conglomerate, Anheuser-Busch InJustice, I mean InBev, buys SABMiller, the second biggest. Coming next: Everyone digs deeper.
  • * Anheuser-Busch InCubus, I mean InBev, agrees to pay Beck’s beer drinkers up to $50 each because the “imported” German beer is actually made in St. Louis. Coming next: Beck’s drinkers blow their winnings on Red Stripe, an “imported” Jamaican beer brewed in Latrobe, Pa.


  • Importer Constellation Brands, with more money than God, shells out an obscene sum of $1 billion for California’s smallish Ballast Point Brewery. Coming next: A high-priced hooker slips Constellation’s CEO a roofie and steals his Rolex.
  • Sierra Nevada adds low-alcohol Otra Vez gose-style ale to its year-round lineup. Coming next: Joe Sixpack bashed for predicting the end of the stupid session beer fad.
  • Victory Brewing opens a new brewpub at its Parkesburg brewery. Coming next: Once-sleepy West Sadsbury Township announces property-tax rebates following a spike in traffic-fine collections.


  • Macro-brew extremists at Anheuser-Busch ISIS, I mean InBev, expand their craft-beer caliphate by taking over three small breweries in five days. Coming next: The Yuengling sisters, heirs to America’s oldest brewery, are forced to wear burqas.
  • Thirty years after industry consolidation pushed the number of American breweries to under 100, the U.S. brewery count reached its highest level ever – 4,144 and counting. Coming next: Anheuser-Busch InControl – I mean – oh never mind…