Beer, Beer, & Better Beer

Hear the ArtPrize artists performing during the HopCat/WYCE Blue Bridge Music Festival
Troy, Webmaster of the Universe | September 7, 2017

HopCat is sponsoring the second-annual Blue Bridge Music Festival, curated by community radio station 88.1-FM (WYCE) and taking place Sept. 29-30. Taking place on the blue pedestrian bridge across the Grand River in Grand Rapids, the event is the official live-music component of ArtPrize Nine.

Eight Michigan artists will perform during the free festival and are each nominees for ArtPrize Song of the Year, which awards a $1,000 prize by public vote. The songs also are also eligible in the general ArtPrize feild as part of the time-based category. For a schedule of performances, check out WYCE's website, and you can hear all of the nominated songs below, along with their official ArtPrize voting codes.

HopCat, needless to say, will be offering beer and Crack Fries during the event. See you on the bridge!

Jesse Ray & the Carolina Catfish: Two Face Talkin' (Vote code 66652)

The Bootstrap Boys: 90 Proof (66648)

Brad Fritcher Moods: Blackest Eyes (66650)

Watching For Foxes: Breaking Down (66653)

Asamu Johnson & the Associates of the Blues: Crazy About Helen (66651)

The Great Ones: DO IT 4 THE LOVE (66654)

Yolonda Lavender, Favorite Key (66647)

Michigander: Stolen (66649)

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Even More Good Advice From The Inappropriate Cat
| August 24, 2017
Inappropriate Cat

Sit. Stay. And share this f***ing video. Why? Because I'm The Inappropriate Cat and I f***ing said so. Oh, and when I say "share this f***ing video," that means share it with your dog-loving mortal enemies and your dog-loving best friends. When you're done, watch my other videos. They're f***ing awesome. 

Spoiler Alert: Dogs are f***ing dumb and HopCat knows craft beer weirdly well. Me-f***ing-ow. 

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Millennials are not, in fact, killing the beer industry
Troy, BarFly Webmaster | August 23, 2017
Beer, Millennials

Millennials: Will they ever stop killing things!? Judging by how the media covers today’s young adults, anyway, you’d think the only industry the under-35 crowd isn’t trying to snuff out is avocado toast. Googling “millennials are killing...” or “millennials are ruining...” produces a pretty hilarious list of results. To name a few:

And now, apparently, beer? The investment firm Goldman Sachs recently downgraded the stock ratings on shares of the Boston Beer Company and Constellation Brands, both large, publicly traded brewers. (Boston Beer makes Sam Adams and Angry Orchard cider; Constellation owns the Corona family.)

Goldman cited data from Nielsen Research indicating a slight decline in beer penetration of the U.S. alcoholic beverage market since 2016, while wine and liquor held steady. The firm predicted continued declines through the remainder of 2017 – about 0.7 percent overall.

Alarming news reports blamed the downturn on – you guessed it – the millennials! Except...they’re simply wrong.

Here’s what Goldman’s chief analyst wrote in justifying the downgrade: “The cause is younger groups shifting away from beer. The youngest demographic (<35 year olds) overall penetration rates are not increasing. The 35-44 year old cohort shows a shift away from Beer to Wine & Spirits.”

You’d have to interpret that pretty strangely to find a way to pin it on millennials, whose beer consumption is “not increasing,” which is different, obviously, than “declining.” Also, there is some disagreement over whether people currently in their mid-30s qualify as millennials, but zero definitions of that generation have ever expanded its boundaries far enough to include people in their mid-40s.

This hasn’t stopped media outlets from turning anything even remotely millennial-related into content, because people eat that stuff up. Presumably, you clicked on this blog post for precisely that reason (in which case, thanks!!). The biggest outlet to turn this story into Gen-Y clickbait was the Washington Post, which later corrected its headline and story to place the blame where it belongs: people slightly older than millennials. The page now contains a magnificent editor’s note that begins: “An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed the trend to millennials.”

The Weekly Standard looked at the actual Nielsen data, and confirmed that beer consumption among millennials, after declining for most of 2016, has indeed leveled off.

The good news for us, and our customers, is that while mass-produced beer may be in minor decline, craft beer remains strong. The Brewers Association, the trade group for the U.S. craft beer industry, recently released figures that suggested steady and stable growth for the sector in the first part of 2017. 

As far as we’re concerned, millennials – and Gen X-ers, for that matter – aren’t killing anything. Maybe they’re just sick of crappy, mass-produced beer.

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