H2O Decoded: Sparkling Vs. Still Water

You spent the past hour at the gym working out and are now on the road to recovery. As you go to grab a refreshing bottle of water from the cooler, two different options catch your eye – still and sparkling. Regular water has always been your lifeline, but sipping sparkling varieties is such an enjoyable experience. Then, the question hits you. Are there really any differences between the two? After all, they’re both just water, right? Before you replace your old standby with a bottle of sparkling water, consider the different processes and flavors and how they relate to your hydration needs.

Why Sparkling Water BubblesWater

A satisfying fizzle emerges from a just-opened bottle of sparkling water. Slightly above the water’s surface, tiny bubbles dance in harmony. As you enjoy your fizzy beverage, you wonder, “What makes sparkling water bubble?”

Made by adding carbon dioxide to water under pressure, sparkling water is produced by a process called carbonation. Known by many names, including club soda, seltzer water and mineral water, carbonated water is much the same as regular, still water, except that it contains bubbles and may also consist of other beneficial minerals and additives.

Pamper Your Taste Buds

Sparkling water is an enjoyable alternative to still water. Offering an immersive drinking experience, sparkling water can be found in a variety of thirst-quenching flavors, from lemon-lime to wild berry to coconut pineapple. Like regular water, you can also flavor sparkling varieties with natural ingredients found around your kitchen, such as mint leaves, cucumber, lemon and lime slices and other fresh fruit. With so many delicious and invigorating options to choose from, reaching your daily water intake requirement is both simple and enjoyable.

Meet Your Hydration Needs However You See Fit

Whether you’re cooling off after a long run or quenching your thirst throughout the day, both still and sparkling water serve the same basic purpose – hydration. So go ahead, indulge in your favorite bubbly beverage or stick to plain water. The choice is up to you.

Contact Columbia Distributing to learn more about our selection of still and sparkling water.

 


3 Tips For Engaging Marketing For Your Craft Brewery

Craft Brewery Marketing Image

Upon entering an already crowded field, craft brewers often find themselves surrounded by brick walls when it comes time to market their brand. In order to climb out of the box and into the spotlight, your own cidery or distillery must be able to sell a compelling narrative, advertise efficiently and create effective marketing campaigns while scraping out a niche in the teeming marketplace. As overwhelming as it may seem, improving your marketing presence can be done in just a few simple steps. Consider the following tips to enhance your promotional efforts.

#1: Craft a Convincing Narrative Through Authenticity

According to the brewersassociation.org, there are over 5,300 breweries operating in the United States as of 2016. With a 16.6% increase in U.S. breweries from 2015 to 2016, your own craft brewery may be faced with the question: how do we stand out as the field expands and becomes increasingly competitive?

Authenticity is the key to promoting your business. Because the American craft brewery prides itself on three principles – limited production, independence and tradition – creating a narrative based on what makes your cidery or distillery unique will help give your brewery personality. And if what makes your craft brewery distinct is its ties to the local community, be sure to capitalize on sponsorships, donations and volunteerism to build equity and further enhance your brand’s story.

#2: Use Thoughtful Marketing To Get Your Brand Out There

At the end of the day, you want people to feel at home with your marketing presence – like they can sit down and drink a pint with you. Sounding like a corporate drone and using unfit advertising strategies, like television commercials and direct mail, will only make your craft brewery seem out of touch with consumers.

Traditional marketing techniques, such as placing ads in local newspapers and magazines, are a great way to weave your brewery into the fabric of the surrounding community. However, in the digital age, outreach opportunities will mostly present themselves in the form of social media. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all great platforms to communicate directly with your fans. Capture fun, candid moments on Snapchat or make food pairing videos on YouTube featuring your brews to leave a genuine impression on your audience.

#3: Create An Effective Marketing Campaign

In addition to staying up-to-date on your social media platforms, it’s crucial to develop a marketing campaign. Whether through a link on Twitter or a weekly newsletter, driving people to your website is essential. Once they arrive, your site has to be easy to navigate, simple and polished to increase conversion. When looking to send out e-mails, pick a time and stick with it. Maybe consider publishing a newsletter right before the weekend or during the midweek slump. Just remember: be authentic, consistent and social, and people will follow.


Wheat’s The Deal? – A Rundown Of Wheat Beers

Light wheat beer and a bunch of wheat

You’ve just left your nine-to-five. Before heading home for the day, you decide to hit up your favorite watering hole. As you peruse the menu during happy hour, you notice the classification under your preferred brew reads, “Wheat Beer,” but what exactly does that label mean?

Cracking The Code: Wheat Beer Defined

Wheat beer, otherwise known as a weizenbier, is a brew that’s derived of at least 50% malted wheat. From American pale wheat to Hefeweizen to Berliner Weisse, wheat beer is highly effervescent with a light, refreshing flavor that’s perfect for spring get-togethers and summer barbecues. Many wheat beers also feature fruity notes, such as vanilla, clove and classic banana flavors. Because of the traditional yeast strains, this type of beer retains a remarkable head, creating an enjoyable, distinctive drinking experience.

Explore Your Palate

If you’re new to the world of craft beer, odds are you don’t know all that much about the different types of wheat beer. Whether you enjoy a fruity, refreshing brew paired with a rich dessert or prefer a dark, heavy beer made for sipping, the spectrum of wheat beer offers various flavors, carbonation levels and acidities to suit your palate. Here are some common types of wheat beer:

Lambic – The beer born wild. Top-fermented by multiple wild yeast strains in a process known as spontaneous fermentation, Lambic features unusual, unique flavors and is often brewed with fruits, such as raspberries, apricots and grapes, toning down the tartness.

Berliner Weisse – The refreshingly tart beer. With a sour, acidic taste and almost no hop bitterness, Berliner Weisse is pale in color and low in alcohol content, making for a smooth, light drinking experience.

Hefeweizen – The original wheat beer. Hefeweizen is unfiltered and contains a small amount of hops, high carbonation and a signature banana flavor.

Dunkelweizen – The darker version of Hefeweizen. Delectably creamy with notes of vanilla, banana, clove, bubblegum and/or nutmeg, Dunkelweizen is brewed with caramelized or roasted malts, contributing to its dark, sometimes chocolaty nature.

Bockbier – The beer made for sipping. Because of its high alcohol content of 6% or more, Bockbier has a distinct, rich malt flavor that balances sweetness with nut-like notes.

Weizenbock – The middle ground between Bockbier and Hefeweizen. Generally made with bold fruit and complex malt flavors, Weizenbock tends to taste spicy due to its high ABV. It’s creamy and refreshing – but comes with a kick.

Thirsting for more? Contact Columbia Distributing to learn more about the domestic and imported beers, craft beers and other alcoholic beverages we distribute.


Mocktails To Add To Your Menu

6 Mocktails To Add To Your Menu

Although traditional cocktails will always have a special place on your menu, the growing trend of non-alcoholic mixed drinks, otherwise known as mocktails, might make you think twice about your restaurant’s beverage options. Accommodating non-drinkers, creating a more inclusive environment and ultimately boosting sales, mocktails help diversify your specialty drink list. In need of some inspiration? Sift through the recipes below to help craft your own mocktail menu.

Strawberry soda that tastes delicious and refreshing.

#1: Virgin Moscow Mule

An alcohol-free twist on a fan-favorite cocktail, the virgin Moscow mule combines lime juice, ginger beer, simple syrup and to create a refreshing, citrusy drink with a spicy edge. Serve in a copper mug and garnish with a slice of lime and ginger for a classic touch.

#2: Cran-Apple Cider

As the leaves turn to shades of deep burgundy, crimson and fiery orange, patrons may be in the mood for a delicious mocktail inspired by autumn. This cran-apple cider recipe consists of two basic ingredients – cranberry juice and apple cider. For an enticing look, rim the glass with sugar and add a seasonable apple slice.

#3: Roy Rogers

Although the Roy Rogers mocktail is named after Hollywood’s most famous cowboy, its flavor profile closely resembles that of a Shirley Temple. Simply fill a highball glass with cola, add a splash of grenadine and finish with a maraschino cherry.

#4: Shirley Temple

Speaking of Shirley Temple, this traditional non-alcoholic drink is a staple in the world of mocktails. The sugary sweet Shirley Temple contains lemon-lime soda and grenadine and is topped with a maraschino cherry for good measure.

#5: Mojito Mocktail

Marked by a distinct minty flavor, this mojito mocktail may just be the refreshing summer drink your regulars have been searching for. Combining fresh mint, lime juice, soda water and sugar, this alcohol-free mojito offers non-drinkers a thirst-quenching concoction for when the warmer weather moves in.

#6: Mock Champagne

Special occasions call for celebratory drinks. This mock champagne recipe can be enjoyed by expectant mothers, abstainers and children alike. Simply combine ginger ale, pineapple juice and white grape juice to craft a light, enchanting mocktail.

For every event, bar and restaurant, Columbia Distributing offers a wide range of non-alcoholic beverages. Browse the brands we distribute, or contact us to see how our selections can accommodate your mocktail menu.


Columbia Distributing’s First Scholarship Winners

Haley Palmer

Help us congratulate our first two recipients of the Stronger, Better, Faster, Together 2017 Scholarship – Haley Palmer and Taylor Hartt!

This year Columbia Distributing came together to create a new in-house academic scholarship to help financially assist families with loved ones in college. Haley and Taylor, along with 9 others completed an online application process with our partner Scholarship America, for the opportunity to receive $10,000 to put toward their educational goals. The finalists were selected based off academic performance, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and Taylor Harttcommunity activities, work experience, a statement of career and educational goals and objectives, unusual personal or family circumstances and an outside appraisal.

Ultimately, Haley Palmer, daughter of Lance Palmer – Operations Manager in Medford, OR and Taylor Hart, stepdaughter of Aaron Patrick – C- Store Sales Rep in Everett, WA were selected as this year’s winners.

Haley is currently enrolled at University of Hawaii and Taylor attends the University of Washington. Congratulations again to you both!

Are you a Columbia Distributing employee and have a child/dependent who is interested in applying for the 2017-2018 scholarship? The application process begins again in October and can be bookmarked here!

 

 


Education Spotlight: The Jack Joyce Scholarship Program

The pursuit of perfection in the fermentation of beer is more than just a noble endeavor; it is the lifetime passion of career fermentation scientists and craft brewers. The Jack Joyce Scholarship honors the founder of Rogue Brewery, now Rogue Ales & Spirits, who embodied this professional devotion to craft beer.

The History

Jack Joyce’s vision and creativity led the pioneer American microbrewery, Rogue Brewery, from humble Portland, OR beginnings to international distribution and industry leadership. American craft breweries today owe much to Jack Joyce, who also actively supported the Portland community as Rogue’s CEO from its founding in 1988 until his death in 2014. Jack Joyce’s dedication to clean, sustainable agri-fermentation is the standard that Rogue Ales & Spirits bears today in his honor. By growing its own supplies since 2008, Rogue Ales & Spirits has worked to conserve the land used by craft breweries in Oregon when they grow their hops, barley, rye, and wheat. Rogue Ales also locally cultivates other delectables for brewing purposes such as honey, jalapeños, and pumpkins.

In 2014, Rogue Ales & Spirits collaborated with Columbia Distributing, a leading national distributor of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages also based in Portland, to launch the Jack Joyce Scholarship Program. The scholarship pays homage to the legacy of Jack Joyce and invokes the model for excellence that Rogue helped set forth for subsequent generations of craft breweries and fermentation scientists.

The Success

Through its awards, the Jack Joyce Scholarship aims to encourage the study and mastery of the art of brewing and to support scientific and professional excellence in the industry. Five awards, totaling $70,000, were conferred in 2016. To date, the three-year-old program has awarded $185,000 in scholarship funds to budding fermentation scientists at Oregon State University—one of the nation’s top brewing programs. This year, the number of awards increased thanks to donations from new partner donors, including the Beer Institute, Crux Fermentation Project, Coleman Agriculture, National Beer Wholesalers Association, Great Western Malting Co., Fremont Brewing Company, Gilgamesh Brewing, Indie Hops, plus other craft breweries and industry leaders.

Apply Today!

All aspiring fermentation science majors at OSU are eligible to apply for annual scholarship awards, some as high as $20,000. To learn more about the program or to apply, please visit our Jack Joyce scholarship page or email JackJoyceScholarship@coldist.com.


6 Scrumptious Pizza and Beer Pairings

Nothing goes better with a slice of pizza than a cold beer. Before making the usual purchase from the local beer distributor, discover the ideal brew to pair with pepperoni and other favorite toppings.

Pepperoni Pizza

Margarita and Pale Ale

Those who like to keep it simple with sweet tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and savory basil should opt to wash their pizza down with a pale ale like Sierra Nevada. The light taste will balance the acidity and brightness of the sauce without overshadowing the delicate flavor of the cheese.

Pepperoni and Black IPA

Since pepperoni is a spicier meat, it needs a strong beer to stand up to the taste. The dark, bitter roast of an IPA pairs perfectly, cleansing the palate for the big flavors of the slice without overwhelming the senses.

Hawaiian Pizza and Fruity Ale

While this pineapple and ham-topped pie might be a more exotic choice, this pairing can make it anyone’s favorite. Choosing a beer or cider with a fruity flavor, such as Redd’s Apple Ale, contrasts the salty meat while providing a harmonious note with the sweet, juicy fruit profiles.

Mushroom Pizza and Earthy Ale

Pair this pizza with an earthy, hoppy beer. English ales are an excellent choice since their earthiness is tinged with a sweetness that helps brighten up the mushroom flavor. Similarly, the rich sweetness of a milk or chocolate stout is another good pairing choice to grab from the beer distributor, as it is both bold and delicate like the mushrooms themselves.

Meat Lovers and Scotch Ale

An indulgent pizza deserves an indulgent beer. The caramel in this powerful beer plays well with the natural sweetness of smoked meats like sausage. Meanwhile, the herbal flavors from the pizza bring out the peaty notes in the beer, offering a nice balance.

Classic Cheese and Wheat Beer

Some may think that any beer matches well with the classic cheese pizza. However, a wheat beer like Blue Moon is light enough to not overshadow the flavors of the pizza, allowing this favorite meal to shine.

Stock the fridge with one of these selections from a local beer distributor next time Friday night rolls around. These pairings are ideal for a date or a night out with friends.

 

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Health Benefits of Coconut Water

Of the many wellness drinks available, coconut water has captured the attention of many people due to its numerous health benefits.

Coconut Water

Nutrient Content

Coconut water comes from young fruits, and if the fruits ripen, the water changes into solid coconut meat. The water is 94 percent liquid with just traces of fat. This beverage is also rich with minerals, as it contains magnesium, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C.

Weight Loss

The low fat content of coconut water makes it an ideal part of a weight loss regimen. It’s a low-calorie way to still feel full while dieting.

Digestion Aid

Just as many people swear by kombucha or other wellness drinks for digestion, the high fiber content of coconut water makes it useful as a digestion aid. It may also help with acid reflux and indigestion symptoms.

Hydration

A high potassium content and low sugar content make coconut water a natural energy drink that’s healthier than its artificial competitors. These hydrating properties also make coconut water a natural hangover remedy after consuming too many alcoholic beverages because it helps replenish lost fluids while settling the stomach.

Blood Pressure

When electrolyte levels are skewed, people may experience high blood pressure. The minerals present in coconut water can stabilize electrolyte levels and have a positive impact on blood pressure.

Antioxidants

The antioxidants present in this beverage can have a beneficial impact on free radicals, which cause damage to cells and deplete collagen production. Several laboratory studies have shown a decrease in rats’ free radical activity when they were given coconut water.

Blood Sugar Levels

Studies have also shown a reduction in blood sugar levels among diabetic rats given this drink. The same rats also showed a reduced amount of hemoglobin A1c, which is a long-term measurement of blood sugar control. The magnesium present in coconut water can also have a positive impact on insulin sensitivity for people with type 2 Diabetes.

The low caloric content and high nutritional content of this beverage make it a worthy addition to a list of wellness drinks.

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Six Unique Kid-Friendly Beverages for Birthday Parties

A child’s birthday party is the perfect time to get creative. Many parents coordinate decorations, food, and tableware to match a theme, but they may overlook a fun opportunity—the drinks! Here are six unique beverages to serve at a kid-friendly party.

Homemade summer cold raspberry beverage with crushed iced and raspberries.

Shark Bite

This delicious drink is sure to make a splash at any summer-themed party. Mix some pineapple juice, Body Armor sports drink – Mixed Berry flavor, and 7-UP together. Pour into individual glasses, and just before serving, add a splash of grenadine (a thick cherry-flavored syrup). To truly sell the theme, drop in a gummy shark.

Kid-Friendly Sangria

Bring some class to the party with this age-appropriate twist on an adult favorite. Mix a juice of choice (cranberry juice works well for this), Canada Dry ginger ale, and sliced fruit and berries like oranges, limes, pineapple, strawberries, and cranberries. Just like sangria, the longer it sits, the fruitier the flavor it’ll punch.

Raspberry Sparkle

Fizzy beverages are always a hit with kids. Combine raspberry sorbet, raspberry juice, and carbonated water for a fruity twist on a classic party punch. As a bonus, this is easily adaptable to almost any other flavor for children who may not like raspberry.

Extra-Special Shirley Temple

Mixing grenadine and 7-UP is the easiest way to make this old-timey drink. Put a unique twist on it by freezing cherries and throwing them in. They’ll keep the beverages cool without watering them down!

Horchata

Having a piñata? Serve horchata along with it! This is a Mexican rice and cinnamon drink that the kids will love. Blend uncooked rice and water together and let it sit for several hours. Then, strain and throw away the rice. Add sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon sticks to the rice water, then chill and serve over ice.

Color-Changing Drinks

This is perfect for younger children who love a fun surprise. Put a few drops of food coloring in the bottom of a glass and let it dry. Before serving the drinks, fill the cups with ice. Let the kids pour their own beverages (a clear soda works best), and then watch in awe as the food coloring magically changes the color of the drink!

Be sure to follow @ColumbiaDistributing on Facebook for more seasonal drink recipes and the latest drink trends!

 

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The History of MillerCoors Beer

The MillerCoors Company is the consummation of two immigrants who never met, but who grew up working in European breweries. In 1855, Frederick Miller, from Germany, bought an abandoned brewery in a Wisconsin valley near clear waters and the raw materials of neighboring farms. In 1873, Adolph Kohrs, a former stowaway from Prussia, bought a ramshackle brewery in Colorado. By the 1950s, each company’s beer distributors were selling more than a million barrels a year. By 2008, Miller and Coors were partners in a global brewing conglomerate. In 2015, it sold for $107 billion.

Photo of an old Miller Lite neon for a bar window

The Innovators

Since their inception, Miller and Coors have been leaders in experimentation. Miller was one of the first breweries to pasteurize beer, and both were pioneers in mechanical refrigeration. Miller made the first American ice-brewed beer, while Coors was first to sell wide-mouth cans. Coors and its beer distributors launched a national recycling revolution by offering a penny for every can returned, and Miller ignited the low-calorie beer wars with its infamous Miller Lite product.

Great Taste! Less Filling!

The thought of America’s first light beer occurred in the early 1970s in Munich, Germany, where Miller’s president, John Murphy, was dining with a friend who was trying to lose weight. When the waiter recommended a “diät-pilsener” (a low-sugar, pale lager for diabetics), Murphy ordered for himself. After a few sips, he said, “There’s room for something like this in America.” Before long, Miller Brewing had discovered a recipe that broke down higher-calorie starches. After tweaking it to produce, in the brewery’s words, “A low-calorie brew that tastes like beer,” the birth of Miller Lite spawned a new generation of beer drinkers, beer distributors, and a “light” revolution in American drink and food.

Craft Beers

Amid the burgeoning popularity of craft beers worldwide, all the major breweries scrambled to contend with the competition while chasing demand. After joining forces, Miller and Coors poured more marketing dollars into online and social media and even created new brands like Blue Moon. Next came a new corporate division, Tenth and Blake Beer Co., which orchestrated such operations as Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., the Blue Moon beers, others created by Coors, and imported brands like Pilsner Urquell.

Millions to a Billion

In 1969, Philip Morris bought Miller for $130 million from Frederick Miller’s heirs. In 2002, Philip Morris sold Miller to South African Breweries (SAB) for $3.6 billion in stock and $2 billion in debt to form SABMiller. In 2005, Coors merged with Molson to form Molson Coors Company. In 2007, SABMiller and Molson Coors formed a joint venture called MillerCoors. And finally, in 2015, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced its acquisition of competitor SABMiller for $107 billion.