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Stone Brewing Co. CEO Talks Germany Expansion and New IPAs

Stone Brewing Co. CEO Talks Germany Expansion and New IPAs

You may know Stone Brewing Co. for their bold beers that are heavy on hops, and unique flavors like their double IPA, or their well known, cheekily-named Arrogant Bastard Ale. The Daily Meal also voted them the second-best brewery in America. We spoke to CEO Greg Koch about what’s next for the growing craft brewery.

Congratulations on the move to Germany! Can you tell me about the decision to expand there?

For so long, the reputation of American beer has been very low internationally, it would be the butt of jokes. But as we know, the scene of American beer 30 years ago and today are very different, now we are lauded by other brewing cultures for our creativity. Still there are a lot of people internationally who think of Americans as Coke, Bud, and Michael Bay movies. I feel some sort of duty to help the rest of the world understand the depth, complexity and awesomeness of American brewing movement. As for Germany, German beer culture is challenged; it’s primarily a cheap commodity culture, they don’t have an understanding of special beers, so we want to try to change that.

Can you tell me about any new brews you’re working on?

This is our newest smallest member of our lineup. It’s 4.2 percent, coffee; same ABV as Guinness, but the coffee isn’t too overwhelming. The other one we have is our 35-day IPA. Most brewery IPAs are 90-120 days. It says on the bottle Enjoy by 9/20/14. This is an uber-hoppy beer, very aromatic and flavorful. Not all hoppy beers are created equal, so don’t be afraid! You want to drink this when it’s super fresh, and the distribution is limited. We have a high level engagement with this one with hashtags and whatnot, we monitor the chatter, the places that chatter most bump up their position to get another batch sooner. It goes to the group of people that’s most enthusiastic about it.

How do you maintain the craft brewery feel while growing?

By always remaining faithful to who we are. We are cantankerously independent. As we’ve grown, our attitudes haven’t changed. We are still fighting the revolution against the idea that beer is a lowest common denominator beverage. We have won many battles, but haven’t won the war, and the war is people’s right to have access to decent quality beer. That goes for food as well as drink. We live in this lowest common denominator commodity world, the idea that Cheez-its and a Mountain Dew can be lunch at my nephew’s school is astonishing, it’s not even food. Let’s not pander, or pull any punches, let’s not produce a beer just because it would sell to a mass audience. If I came out with a fizzy yellow beer, well, that’s the kind of beer we make fun of. We would still be able to sell the sh*t out of it, but we aren’t in the business to sell the sh*t out of bad beer.


We Asked 12 Brewers: What’s the Best Triple IPA You’ve Ever Had?

After exploring the emergence of double IPAs with some of the brewing world’s premier names in hoppy beer, it’s only right that we take it to the next level: the proliferating triple IPA.

While the Brewers Association doesn’t recognize triple IPA as an official beer style, the most widely accepted determinant is alcohol by volume, or ABV. Typically, these brazen brews are upwards of 10 percent ABV. They feature greater amounts of malts and hops than double IPAs — designed to deliver heightened flavors and aromas compared to their antecedent.

Triple IPAs can be bitter and piney, or soft and tropical. Some come sour, some laced (or laden) with lactose. Yet ask any brewer what makes a great one, and they’ll likely say that paramount to any characteristic is drinkability — in other words, achieving balance in the face of amplified flavors and alcohol.

Every Beer Lover Needs This Hop Aroma Poster

That aspect is evident in the most popular expression of the style, Russian River’s Pliny the Younger. Since its draft-only debut in 2005, Younger (as well as its almost-as-sought-after sibling, the Pliny the Elder double IPA) has primarily stayed near, and sometimes at, the summit of BeerAdvocate’s top 250 beers — a remarkable feat considering today’s dizzying array of options and capitalism’s unquenchable thirst for new. The beer’s annual release attracts fans from all over the world to Russian River’s Santa Rosa and Windsor, Calif., breweries, generating millions of dollars in revenue for Sonoma County. (Due to the pandemic, this year’s release was held entirely online.)

To help VinePair readers find the best triple IPAs, we spoke to 12 brewers from around the country, including those who produce what are considered to be elite examples of the unofficial style — and all of whom are undeniably ardent lovers of all things lupulin. Here’s what the experts picked as their favorites.

The Best Triple IPAs Recommended By Brewers:

  • Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA
  • Green Cheek Swim Test
  • Altamont Scarcity IIIPA
  • Trillium The Streets
  • Stone RuinTen
  • Boneyard Notorious
  • El Segundo Power Plant
  • Other Half All Green Everything
  • Foam Pop Crimes
  • Other Half Triple Broccoli
  • Dancing Gnome Triple Lustra
  • Grimm Suicide Door

Keep reading for details about all of the recommended beers!


“A few years ago, I had the opportunity to experience my good friend Sam Calagione’s legendary hospitality at Dogfish Head’s original brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, Del. We tasted some of his pilot batches at the brewpub and ended up touring the production facility afterwards, and that’s where I picked up a few bottles of Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA. This beer really stretched my idea of an IPA. It’s big and boozy — varying each year between 15 and 20 percent ABV — and the aroma smacks you in the face with layers of citrus, pine, and malt sweetness. The mouthfeel of 120 is just incredible it’s like hop candy for lupulin lovers. It has rich flavors of toasted grain and the overall impression fluctuates between tangy fruit and dank earthiness. It all comes together with a huge lingering finish, thanks to the alcoholic heft of the brew, and the sensations dance for many minutes on the palate. So much hoppy goodness in one bottle!” — Sean Lawson, Founder and CEO, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Waitsfield, Vt.


“The triple IPA is a tricky style to nail: Retaining huge hop character, juiciness, and minimizing boozy sweetness is difficult any time you’re talking 10 percent ABV or higher. I’ve had more than my share of overly sugary-sweet TIPAs. One of the hallmarks of our hazy double IPAs is that they finish bone-dry, and I’m proud to say we managed to retain that trait with our first-ever hazy triple, Haymaker, which we brewed back in November in honor of our fifth anniversary. More recently, I’ve been impressed by the small but growing number of breweries that have begun perfecting the hazy triple style, and right now my pick for favorite is Swim Test by Green Cheek out of California. Double-dry-hopped with Citra and complemented by Nelson [Sauvin hops], this is a flavor bomb of the highest order. And beyond sneaky at 10.2 percent, this beer will disappear from your glass before you realize what’s happened. The appearance is a bright, beautiful, almost milky yellow — very similar to the color we strive for in our hazy beers — and the rolled oats and unmalted wheat form a soft yet sturdy body that is creamy and juicy without feeling cloying. Swim Test is an outrageously delicious triple, though massively flavorful beers are par for the course for Green Cheek based on the few I’ve been fortunate enough to try.” — Brody Chapman, Owner, SpindleTap Brewery, Houston
Scarcity IIIPA by Altamont Beer Works is one of my favorite triple IPAs. Altamont brews it every year for SF Beer Week so you’ll only see it around from February until maybe early April. It’s always a crowd favorite every year at SF Beer Week Opening Gala and at the Bistro’s Double IPA Fest. Triple IPAs aren’t usually described as ‘balanced’ because of the high ABV and high kettle/dry-hopping rates, so I will describe it as smooth. It uses a lot of Citra hops, giving fruity/citrus aromas with a slight floral note from the Centennial and finishes slightly dry with a touch of warming alcohol, with it being 11 percent ABV. Not overly boozy or cloying like some triple IPAs can be. Steve [Sartori, owner of Altamont] and his crew do a great job with hop-forward beers.” — Dean Roberts, Brewmaster, Knee Deep Brewing Company, Auburn, Calif.
Everything Trillium puts out is high quality, and The Streets is no exception. It’s a well-balanced triple IPA with a citrus nose and taste that can cause a temporary tropical-island fantasy.” — David Smith, Co-owner, West LA Beer Company, Swanzey, N.H.
“Back in the day, it was simple: We homebrewed and enjoyed West Coast IPAs and didn’t fuss too much. Then, shortly after opening our brewery, hazy IPAs became all the rage and that’s all we made, tasted, and drank! Having palate fatigue, we picked up a bomber of Stone’s RuinTen Triple IPA and it was a rendezvous down memory lane with a classic, pleasantly malty hop bomb from the team that got us into brewing. Pine and citrus aromas flooded the air the moment we cracked it open. The first sip brought that old-school resiny bitterness that almost feels like it sticks to your teeth. It finished dank and citrusy and left you wanting another. After the fourth or fifth time buying RuinTen, it disappeared from store shelves and became no more than an exciting memory. Bring that sh*t back, Stone, we want more!” — Justen Foust, Owner and Brewer, Electric Brewing Company, Murrieta, Calif.
This question takes me back to 2016. I remember it well, because this was the year we started brewing at Great Notion. I was at the Hop & Vine in Portland, Ore., and the beer was Notorious from Boneyard Brewing. This is a fantastic example of the style: resinous and dank, and also very fruit forward, like candied fruit. The balance is just about perfect. What surprised me most was the drinkability: Notorious is 11.5 percent ABV but so easy to drink. How is that even possible?! Better ask Tony Lawrence [brewmaster and co-owner, Boneyard Beer]. Even better, just drink this beer.” — James Dugan, Co-founder, Great Notion Brewing, Portland, Ore.
“Power Plant from El Segundo is probably one of the most balanced triple IPAs I have ever tasted, and I always look forward to its February release. The aroma is a fruit cocktail with a balance of Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra, and Amarillo hops. The thing that struck me about this beer is it finishes so dry, at 1.5 Plato. It‘s fermented with a healthy dose of California Ale yeast and gives off clean alcohol aromas without any off-characteristics typical in high-ABV beers. El Segundo has managed to create a well-balanced beer despite being 11 percent ABV.” — Peter Mumford, Owner and Brewmaster, Mumford Brewing, Los Angeles
“All Green Everything is not only one of my favorite triple IPAs, but one of my favorite beers, because it reminds us where we are in beer today and how we got here. It represents our experience, growth, and maturity as craft breweries and beer drinkers over the last six or seven years. I remember when, in the early days of Other Half, All Green Everything came in a printed can and the beer itself was bright and a little boozy. Since then, this beer, and its packaging, have transformed with shifting trends and drinkers’ interests. The printed can became stickered and the triple with more West Coast attributes became what people are going crazy over: a hazy, juicy, fruit salad in liquid form. Beyond the liquid, I think All Green represents how successful breweries and innovative beers lead the industry, and makes me wonder how beer will continue to transform in the years to come.” — Eric Ruta, Owner, Magnify Brewing Company, Fairfield, N.J.
Foam Brewer’s Pop Crimes is my pick. Even though it’s 10 percent ABV, the IPA is balanced and it’s easy to overlook the alcohol strength. The notes of orange, papaya, and grapefruit perfectly round out the boozy bite that sometimes accompanies hoppy beers that are north of 9 percent. A friend of mine once compared it to a strong Mimosa but better, and I couldn’t agree more. I’m lucky enough to live very close to Foam and try to visit as much as possible, and when Pop Crimes is available you can be sure I’ll be leaving with at least a couple 4-packs under my arm!” — Jack Droppa, Owner and Brewer, Weird Window Brewing, South Burlington, Vt.
“The brewery that got me into triples was Other Half, and its Triple Broccoli was the one that stood out. The first time I had it was after a long homebrewing session. A friend brought it over and I remember how big and flavorful it was, but yet smooth, balanced, and dangerously drinkable. Usually with triples my palate gets fatigued and I want to reach for something lighter. But not with Triple Broccoli. This is a beer I could drink all the time.” — Steve Parker, Co-owner and Brewer, Fidens Brewing Company, Colonie, N.Y.
“Triple Lustra from Dancing Gnome begs the question, ‘What’s more than more?’ Well, it’s a triple IPA. The most, mostest hops ever hopped, and the best part is, you can taste every bit of it. With all that Amarillo and Citra crammed into these cans, it’s like a mango-papaya gelato with fresh pineapple slices. Lustra in its various incarnations are bomb*ss bombshells, starting with the small crusher Half-Lustra, but Triple Lustra, just call in sick now because you’re gonna need a day off just to process the experience. It’s hard to describe the experience other than just ‘wow.’ So what is it? It’s the most of everything: all the malt, all the hops, all the everything. Words don’t really capture it, so you’ll just have to try it.” — Brandon Capps, Founder and Head Brewer, New Image Brewing, Arvada, Colo.
I don’t drink a lot of triple IPAs, so that’s why when I had Grimm’s Suicide Door it really stuck with me. Soft, pillowy mouthfeel that hides the 10 percent ABV very well. A lot of stone fruit and tropical aromas which are some of my favorites in a New England-style IPA. Haze was very stable even after some time in the can and the color was reminiscent of orange juice. Being a fan of Lambo Door, its smaller version, Suicide Door hit all the marks. It’s clear to me that the crew over at Grimm will continue to produce some really solid hoppy offerings.” — Jeremy Watts, Brewer, Source Brewing, Colts Neck, N.J.


Stone Brewing’s Greg Koch On Beer During COVID-19, Music And The Beer Jesus Documentary

BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 04: (EDITORS NOTE This image was created using digital filters.) Greg Koch, . [+] chief executive officer of Stone Brewing, poses at the brewer's 4th of July barbecue on July 4, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. The brewery, built in a century-old gasworks plant, hopes to upturn the traditional German beer market by distributing craft beers brewed in Berlin in that country and around Europe. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Since 1996, California-based Stone Brewing has been at the forefront of the craft beer explosion that’s taken place over the course of the last twenty years in America.

From day one, Stone went about the business of brewing differently, pushing the beverage forward via new flavor profiles at a time when the average beer drinker’s palate was a bit less refined, the product of an era dominated by low quality, mass-produced lagers and pilsners.

Like any visionary, Stone looked ahead at craft beer’s future, refusing to pander to what was expected or accepted at the time, pushing the consumer toward an embrace of something different.

“Test marketing and all of that can only tell you so much. It can only tell you what the current state is, not what the potential future state is. At some point, you can only really tell what’s already been discovered,” said Stone Executive Chairman and co-founder Greg Koch . “If you look back at our history at Stone, test marketing and consumer surveys wouldn’t have told you very much. If you said to people [in 1996], ‘Hey, would you like an aggressively bitter beer? Would you like something that has a flavor profile that’s different from anything you’ve ever experienced?’ How would people even respond to that?”

Today Stone is one of the ten largest craft brewers in the country, operating seven taprooms and two restaurants in addition to breweries in California and Virginia.

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The company’s attempted expansion to Berlin lies at the heart of the documentary The Beer Jesus From America , now streaming via Amazon Prime.

Director Matt Sweetwood masterfully tells a story that’s equal parts humor and heartbreak, tracing the imperfect process from the inception of the idea in 2014 to opening the doors of a new German brewery in 2016 and, ultimately, the sale of the facility just three years later.

But it’s not just the Stone story that The Beer Jesus tells. The film lays out the history of craft beer in America with Koch as its main character, cheerleader and rebellious protagonist.

“It’s awkward and heartbreaking and invigorating and frustrating and everything else - all of the emotional things that I go through when I watch it,” said Koch of reliving the experience during documentary screenings. “I’m really impressed with what Matt Sweetwood did but also how it just takes me on that emotional journey every time.”

As the film explains, one of Stone’s most popular beers, Arrogant Bastard ale , is the product of a mistake and provides a great example of the brewer’s unique approach.

“It was the very first brew we did on a new home brewing kit that Steve purchased specifically with the intent of creating recipes for Stone. And it was about halfway through the brewing process that he noticed a miscalculation,” Koch explained of Stone President and co-founder Steve Wagner’s early efforts. “We decided to go ahead and finish the beer anyway. It was late enough in the day that we couldn’t just start over. Thank goodness. And a couple of weeks later, when it was ready, we were just like, ‘Wow!’”

Koch is a product of the music industry and owns one of the world’s largest rehearsal studio facilities, Downtown Rehearsal in the downtown warehouse district of Los Angeles.

Koch first discovered craft beers like San Francisco innovator Anchor Steam while spending time at infamous, now defunct, L.A. punk rock haven Al’s Bar .

As a musician, Koch is acutely aware of the benefit in accepting mistakes. Just as embracing a mistake made Arrogant Bastard possible, mistakes have also come to define some of rock’s finest, most unexpected moments.

But the comparison between music and craft beer goes much further. The same creativity and desire for something different despite a crowded marketplace that drives craft beer has long characterized groundbreaking music and both feature often striking artwork in an effort to grab attention.

“I think it’s a great analogy between music and what we do at Stone. The bands that have just stood the test of time - whether it’s the Rolling Stones or the Grateful Dead or U2 or Metallica, or even a Jimmy Buffett - what they all have in common is they sort of have done things their own way. They didn’t go after the popular style of the time,” said Koch. “Instead, they just did their own thing. And the people came to them. They just focused on their art. Similarly, what we try to do at Stone, is just do our art. We’ll do our art our way. And we’ve got to believe in it. And if we think it really is great, then eventually people will come on.”

Stone Brewing's Liberty Station World Bistro and Gardens in San Diego, California

Photo courtesy of Stone Brewing Co.

Punk rock has long been defined by its “do it yourself” mentality and music in general often comes from a rebellious place. Unpredictability and change make for the best rock and roll. Stone has collaborated with artists like punk rockers NOFX and metal legend Metallica and all of those ideas influence the way Stone has gone about its business over the last quarter century.

“Music is art. Certainly anybody can agree to that. What a lot of the public didn’t realize until the craft brewing movement is that beer can qualify as art. It’s a very simple thing: art is best when it has a point of view. Serious art that lasts a long time, like seminal albums, that’s stuff with a point of view and it lasts. And it still sells. You put [Pink Floyd’s] Dark Side on now and it’s as good as it ever was. So have a point of view. Don’t try to be for everybody,” said Koch. “If you are thinking something as a brewer - if your tastes are going one way and it seems like the popular tastes are going another - you’ve gotta follow your own tastes. Sometimes you get that 2112 , right?” he continued, noting the 1976 Rush album, a breakthrough for the band despite doubling down on progessive rock with twenty minute tracks at the height of disco. “It’s about differentiation. You’ve got to create a fanbase. I think different is really, really important. And it is harder today in craft beer to be different because there’s so much of everything out there.”

Recent reports indicate that alcohol consumption has seen a 22% increase as Americans observe self-quarantine. And, despite recent cuts to its workforce as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Stone remains in production to meet demand.

“We’ve been continuing to make beer deliveries. That’s how the beer gets to the grocery stores. And we have teams working very, very hard. So I have some thank yous - thank you not just for doing the job but doing it safely and following all of the protocols that we very carefully have set and are following,” said Koch. “We always say the appropriate consumption of beer is a very positive thing - especially good beer. You can get, hands down, some of the best beer that’s ever been created in the history of the world - today, conveniently, right now - delivered to your door in most places. And it’s just part of a well-balanced life. We’ll enjoy good craft beer and keep our social distancing but maybe put a smile on our face along the way.”

Stone Brewing's World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido, California

Photo courtesy of Stone Brewing Co.

In The Beer Jesus From America film , Koch talks about an early distrust of corporate America as an influence on his work. But, approaching its 25th anniversary, the challenge for Stone in 2020 is in continuing to keep things interesting following a progression that’s seen the brewer move from pioneer to elder statesman.

As one of the nation’s largest craft brewers, it can be difficult to avoid falling in line with the status quo and to avoid resembling that which it used to rebel against. With that comes the standard online accusation of “selling out.” But the desire to remain independent and continue to push the boundaries of craft beer seems to be a great equalizer for Koch.

“It gets back to, ‘What’s the underlying ethos? What’s the underlying qualitative standards?’ And we see ourselves at Stone as curators. We like to have that underlying level of creativity,” said the brewer. “When I first started, people asked me all the time, ‘Who’s your competition?’ And I said, ‘My competition isn’t so much one of the big breweries or another craft brewery. My competition has been people’s low expectations for beer - and helping them understand that they should have high expectations for beer.’ Being an entrepreneur is helping elevate the conversation and being part of that. And now, today, the idea of craft beer is commonly understood - even amongst people that aren’t craft beer drinkers, they understand that’s the good stuff. I’m proud to have accomplished that. That’s what Stone has meant to me.”


4. Russian River Brewing Co. Blind Pig

  • Style: American IPA
  • Brewery: Russian River Brewing (Santa Rosa, CA)

Before Vinnie Cilurzo opened up Russian River—the brewery best known for its sought-after Pliny the Elder IPA—he was part of a brewery called Blind Pig. That’s where his experimentation started on what is now Russian River’s Blind Pig IPA.

Today, Blind Pig has evolved into a full-bodied, very hoppy American IPA with notes of citrus, pine and fruit and a dry, bitter finish.


American craft beer goes to the heart of Germany

Stone Brewing Co. CEO and co-founder Greg Koch, center in dark shirt, raises a toast this month with a crowd in Berlin outside what will be the main hall of Stone's first European brewery.

2 of 7 This building, part of a former gasworks plant in Berlin, will be renovated as the main hall of Stone Brewing Co.'s first European brewery. Shown here on July 19, 2014, when the project was formally announced. Stone Brewing Co. Show More Show Less

3 of 7 Stone Brewing Co. CEO and co-founder Greg Koch addresses crowd outside what will be the main hall of Stone Brewing Co.'s first European brewery. Shown here on July 19, 2014, when the project was formally announced. Stone Brewing Co. Show More Show Less

4 of 7 Guests sample Stone Brewing Co. beers in what will be the main hall of Stone Brewing Co.'s first European brewery. Shown here on July 19, 2014, when the project was formally announced. Stone Brewing Co. Show More Show Less

5 of 7 The Stone Brewing Co. logo on display in what will be the main hall of Stone Brewing Co.'s first European brewery. Shown here on July 19, 2014, when the project was formally announced. Stone Brewing Co. Show More Show Less

6 of 7 Overview of what will be the main hall of Stone Brewing Co.'s first European brewery. Shown here on July 19, 2014, when the project was formally announced. Stone Brewing Co. Show More Show Less

7 of 7 Stone Brewing Co. CEO and co-founder Greg Koch, center in dark shirt, raises a toast this month with a crowd in Berlin outside what will be the main hall of Stone's first European brewery. Stone Brewing Co. Show More Show Less

The American craft beer movement, born three decades ago as brewers sought to emulate the traditional styles of Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom, is enjoying what one expert observer calls the "full-circle effect" as it becomes increasingly sought-after - and imitated - around the globe.

U.S. craft exports have grown nearly sixfold over the past five years, including a 49 percent spike in 2013, and the man in charge of the Brewers Association's export program says his international hosts no longer laugh when he tells them the best beer in the world is brewed in places like California and Colorado. Rather, new crafts from Brazil to Australia are opening rapidly and making distinctly American styles.

Now, in the highest- profile example to date of this growing U.S. ascendancy, a popular American craft has announced it will open a brewery in the capital of Germany to slake European demand for hoppier, heartier beers.

Last week, Stone Brewing Co. of Escondido, Calif., kicked off a project to convert a century-old former gasworks plant in Berlin into a brewery, restaurant and company store.

Craft beer heads overseas

California's Stone Brewing Co. recently announced it will be the first U.S. craft to open its own European brewery.

What: The facility will include a brewery and packaging center, a restaurant and a company store.

Where: Marienpark Berlin, a 20-minute drive from the city center.

When: Projected to open late 2015-early 2016.

American craft beer goes to the heart of Germany

"For generations, the United States has been scoffed at by the rest of the world," Stone CEO and co-founder Greg Koch said in a telephone interview this week. "Now we get to share our beer with people who are keenly interested in our beer."

Koch has been talking publicly about an overseas expansion for about five years and visited 130 sites in nine countries after putting out requests for proposals. Berlin, he said, is the "European cultural capital of cool." The gasworks plant fit the brewery's criteria for finding a historic building with Old World character and room for expansion, in an area that already attracts a lot of visitors.

The company has secured $25 million to get the brewery running by late next year or early in 2016, Koch said. Stone also has begun a crowd-funding campaign on indiegogo.com to raise an additional $1 million to speed the process and generate interest. By Thursday night, the effort had raised about $150,000 in chunks as small as $30 and $45 for special beers, T-shirts and glassware.

Stone, the 10th-largest U.S. craft with production of 213,000 barrels last year, also announced that it will build a second U.S. brewery, in an as-yet-unannounced location east of the Mississippi River, that is expected to boost domestic production by more than 50 percent.

The company earned $137 million last year as it continued a torrid growth streak that began when it opened 18 years ago. It employs 932 people, and Koch stressed that the overseas addition is not costing any American jobs.

Koch also said the company conducted no market research before embarking on the expansion project, but he is confident in European demand. He said the new brewery would focus on Stone-style India pale ales and other brews, which are noted for their abundant use of bittering hops.

Stone won't make traditional German styles, he said. "We're going over there to be Stone," said the famously un-shy Koch. He added, "People who are open to liking good things will be open to our beer."

Brock Wagner, founder of Houston's Saint Arnold Brewing Co., agreed that even with their deeply rooted beer culture and reticence about breaking with tradition, Germans are likely to embrace American-style craft beer.

"I think it's a brilliant idea," Wagner said. "It's something I personally looked into and thought there were some real opportunities there, especially in Germany."

He said that country's beer industry "needs a shot in the arm" and a well- executed incursion like the one Stone is embarking on could help provide that.

"My hat is off to them," he said.

Bob Pease, chief operating officer of the Brewers Association, began the trade group's export development program in 2004. Last year, aided in part by a record $600,000 in export-assistance grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a relative handful of American craft brewers shipped nearly 300,000 barrels abroad. About half of that went to Canada, with Sweden and the U.K. the next biggest customers.

Federal grants and the association's efforts may help, Pease said, but the increase in exports is driven primarily by consumer demand. When he visits countries from Brazil to Australia, often to help their craft brewers' groups organize, he is struck not only by the respect U.S. brewing has gained in recent years but also by the growth in craft breweries in countries like Italy and even in the famously beer-proud city of London.

U.S. craft exports are constrained by a few key factors, he added. For starters, shipping is expensive and long travel times are not good for a product that is best served fresh.

He noted that some local crafts are starting to form partnerships with overseas breweries to get their beers into market there. Green Flash Brewing, for example, just announced an alliance with Belgium's Brewery St.-Feuillien to brew and ship its West Coast IPA to European distributors.

Also holding back exports, Pease said, is that the U.S. craft industry is growing so rapidly that breweries simply don't have time or capacity to do more than fill domestic orders.

He cited Karbach Brewing Co. as an example. The Houston brewery began selling beer just three years ago and already has begun a massive expansion project, even as it slowly increases distribution to other regions of Texas.

"No doubt there's demand for their beer in the international marketplace," Pease said. "But they are struggling to meet demand in their home market."


Stone Brewing's IT chief Brian Andrews on cloud, scaling, and business collaboration

Stone Brewing bet on ServiceNow to revamp its processes as it doubled its beer production and rapidly expanded.

By Larry Dignan for Between the Lines | September 2, 2016 -- 10:00 GMT (03:00 PDT) | Topic: CXO

Stone Brewing is best known for its IPAs and extensive menu of beer, but there's a lot of cloud computing and management involved in doubling from 150,000 barrels a year to 300,000 and expanding rapidly.

Stone Brewing's Brian Andrews

That scaling exercise -- San Diego-based Stone added a brewing facility in Richmond, VA and a bistro in Berlin at the same time -- meant the mid-sized company had to become more efficient, ditch manual processes and pick a cloud platform that could be managed by a lean technology team in concert with business decision makers inside the company.

Ultimately, Brian Andrews, vice president of IT, picked ServiceNow as an automation platform for multiple parts of Stone's business and its various outposts. We caught up with Andrews to talk shop, scaling, and Stone's beer portfolio:

What's the approach to the cloud? "We'd like to have every application we can run in the cloud," said Andrews. "We don't want client servers and customized software, server maintenance and version updates. We want to hand that to cloud providers." Nevertheless, Stone had to customize a bit on ServiceNow until the company could create the modules the company needed.

Line of business meets tech buying. When Andrews arrived at Stone, many business groups were evaluating software packages. The marketing team had a system for sales. The facilities team had their pick. "We saw all the needs of the business and every group wanted to buy what they liked," said Andrews.

Special feature

As far and fast as cloud computing is embedding itself into the enterprise, there remain many cloud-resistant applications and services.

The catch was that the IT group couldn't support disparate suites and platforms. Andrews called a time out to see if there was one platform that could meet 80 percent of the business unit needs. "Some groups didn't have any systems and were relying on Excel and email for metrics," said Andrews. Andrews said he started with the business groups first with ServiceNow and then will do IT help desk. What makes ServiceNow interesting is that it's a cloud platform that can be used to automate multiple business processes. "We're a midsized company with a small IT team. We just can't support five applications that were 80 percent as the same as others," said Andrews.

What was most critical system to move to cloud? Andrews said Stone's expansion abroad and on the east coast made its maintenance system automation project critical. "We were going to two shifts and 24/7 so we had to track equipment and needed planned maintenance," he explained. "Any downtime is painful."

Another key process that had to be automated was safety tracking and hazards in the workplace." Previously, Stone had a manual tracking system. Facilities also needed a system to track business needs. After all, Stone was expanding in Berlin, Germany and in the U.S.

What advice do you have on scaling? Andrews said that companies need to focus on an IT strategy that enables you to scale. Roughly speaking, that approach means you put in a core set of tools and hardware that can scale rapidly with cloud computing. With applications, scaling means "choosing a limited set of features for core functions and then using as broadly as you can," said Andrews.

How does the IT agenda look? Next up for stone is a project management system via ServiceNow to manage the 30 new beers that roll out a year. Stone has about a dozen core brands that are brewed each year, but the 30 beers are completely new. "These beer releases are collaboration releases and seasonal," said Andrews. "Some of them we may not see again. We also do collaborative beers with celebrities." With 30 new beers, there are a lot of moving parts. Core Stone brews are accounted for under daily planning. Tasks were previously doled out via Excel spreadsheets and each department had its own list. ServiceNow will be the platform, but Microsoft Project Manager has more features. The goal is to get 80 percent of the project management features from a core platform. Human resources has potential for a rollout in the next year and Andrews will ultimately automate more IT processes.

And the return on investment? Andrews didn't have to stretch to justify the ServiceNow projects. He said going with a single platform means that each department doesn't have to spend $250,000 a year on hardware, licensing and labor. "These savings are ongoing year after year," said Andrews. Another example is that the brewery operations team saw a 55 percent reduction in unplanned downtime. "Now instead of being reactive, we're are planning downtime," said Andrews. There was also a 71 percent reduction in unplanned equipment interruptions. In addition, safety issues were down by 45 percent because having a tool to report problems beat manual tracking. Another perk is that the cloud aligns with Stone's environmental sustainability goals.


Escondido’s craft brew giant Stone announces plans for a Berlin expansion

Stone Brewing Co., the Escondido-based 10th-largest craft brewery in the country, has announced plans to invade Europe with an ambitious new brewery in Berlin.

The fan-favorite will break new ground in the world of craft beer when it becomes the first American brewery to independently establish and operate a brewery in Europe, according to the news release. (In 2013 the Brooklyn Brewery announced it would open a brewery in Stockholm in a partnership with D. Carnegie & Co. and Carlsberg Sweden.)

Stone’s estimated $25-million investment will convert a historic German gasworks plant into a destination outpost encompassing a production brewery, a packaging and distribution center, a World Bistro & Gardens restaurant and a company store.

The new brewery is projected to open in late 2015.

In the statement announcing the new project, Stone president and co-founder Steve Wagner says, “Stone’s future European home will serve as the company’s international hub a central location promoting goodwill and quality craft beer spanning the globe. With this expansion comes our commitment to brewing bold, aggressive, hop-forward beers in a country with a long history rooted in the art of brewing.”

The 18-year-old brewery has been trying to open a beachhead across the Atlantic for several years it first released a request for proposals for a European brewery in 2010.

Stone CEO and co-founder Greg Koch says, “This is a historic moment for Stone. I’ve wanted to say these next words for many years now: We’re coming to Europe. We’re coming to Germany. We are coming to Berlin!”

“Once open, we will bring Germany and the rest of Europe a taste of our craft beer vision, and look forward to sharing the unique beers that we have spent the last 18 years brewing.”


Travel Advisory

If you’ve pub-crawled in the United Kingdom, you know Greene King. With 2,700 pubs across Old Blighty, this 220-year-old brewery was as British as afternoon tea and crumpets.

Since Monday, though, that tea may have been lapsang souchong. Sold to Kong Kong’s CKA for $3.3 billion, Greene King is the latest reminder that the international beer industry is undergoing a massive consolidation. After all, it was just a month ago that Fuller’s, the British brewer dubbed “the Pride of Chiswick,” sold its beverage line to Japan’s Asahi.


AleSmith Brewing Company and Stone Brewing Unleash Dual Exposure IPA

SAN DIEGO — Two San Diego breweries are at it again with AleSmith and Stone Brewing’s latest collaborative brainchild, Dual Exposure. This bodacious brew is hitting shelves this week, teeming with both breweries’ esteemed expertise in the double IPA game. Citrus flows through the body of this frothy concoction, melding hops with drinkability to yield a supremely covet-worthy beer to please the discerning masses while it lasts.

“We were really excited to partner with Stone on a new brew for 2021, and Dual Exposure is the perfect way for both breweries to merge our skill sets and shared passion for beer,” says Ryan Crisp, Head Brewer/Director of Brewery Operations at AleSmith. “The creative and collaborative process of developing recipes with their brew team is always an enjoyable experience that we look forward to. I mean, Stone and AleSmith working together – it doesn’t get any better!”

The result of this powerhouse partnership is an easy-drinking double IPA infused with notes of hibiscus, orange and lime peel, all packed into a light-bodied brew brimming with tropical citrus and fruit from huge amounts of Citra, Strata, HBC 592 and Amarillo. When these two breweries join forces, there’s no escaping the “dual exposure” tasting experience that accompanies a brew of this caliber.

Greg Koch, Stone Brewing Co-Founder, says, “I’ve been enjoying AleSmith beers since before I’ve been drinking Stone beers! This isn’t our first collaboration, but it might be our best. Our combined team of brewers brought their A-game loading up on the hops and refining this double IPA with hibiscus and lime peel for something really memorable. I have so much respect for the AleSmith team, and of course mad respect for our own team at Stone, so I’m super stoked for this dream team collaboration!”

Head to AleSmith’s Beer Finder to track down this limited-release brew before it’s gone. Dual Exposure will only be available during the month of February in four-packs of 16-ounce cans at select stores and online.

Keep up with AleSmith Brewing Company:

Tasting Room Instagram: www.instagram.com/alesmithtastingroom

Keep up with Stone Brewing:

About AleSmith Brewing Company

Founded in 1995, AleSmith continues to be recognized by consumers and critics alike as one of the world’s foremost craft brewing companies, behind accolades which include medals won at prestigious national and international beer competitions. As a three-time winner of the Champion Brewery Award at the San Diego International Beer Competition, they received a Gold Medal in 2019 for Nut Brown English brown ale. Further recognition for individual beers includes a 2016 Gold Medal for Old Numbskull, and a 2017 Bronze Medal for Wee Heavy at the Great American Beer Festival. AleSmith is celebrating its 25th year in business and their state-of-the-art brewery occupies a 109,942 square-foot facility. AleSmith’s range of acclaimed beers, which includes Speedway Stout, Nut Brown Ale, and San Diego Pale Ale .394 is distributed in 28 U.S. states and eight countries.

About Stone Brewing

Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996, the groundbreaking San Diego-based Stone Brewing is the 9th largest craft brewer in the United States. Recognized as an award-winning industry leader, Stone has been called the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine twice. The company operates breweries in Escondido, CA and Richmond, VA, plus nine tap room and bistro locations and the nation’s largest craft-centric beverage distributor, Stone Distributing Co. Stone’s bold, flavorful and largely hop-centric beers are available in all 50 states and more than 40 countries worldwide. To find Stone beers, visit find.stonebrewing.com. For more information on Stone Brewing and its commitment to independence, sustainability, philanthropy and the art of brewing, visit stonebrewing.com or the company’s social media sites: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Here's why IPAs are so ridiculously popular

The India pale ale, or IPA, is without a doubt craft beer's most popular style.

Identified by the signature bitterness imparted by hops, the IPA derives from the pale ale, which was hopped in the early 1800s as a means of preservation on the long voyage to India.

Though some believe the days of IPAs are over, the numbers indicate otherwise. In 2014, sales of session IPAs — that is, IPAs with low alcohol by volume — were up 450% over the previous year. More than 100 new IPA brands were introduced to stores, and now imperial (high alcohol) IPAs are more plentiful than amber ales.

Given the IPA's bitterness, sometimes combined with a high alcohol content, the popularity of the style is a bit surprising, but many "hop heads" are obsessed with the beer — and it's not just about the taste.

IPAs are buzzy

The popularity of IPAs has allowed for a growing trendiness. Craft brewers are increasingly making IPAs a staple of their selection, and bars are increasingly making them a staple of their rotation.

Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver told Business Insider that bars and restaurants without IPAs could be at a disadvantage because so many people want them. The buzz around IPAs is so powerful that it has people calling anything with hops and a strong flavor an IPA.

"Now people are making black IPAs, which doesn't make any sense because the 'P' means 'pale,'" Oliver said. "The thing is that because people know that a lot of people like IPAs these days, putting the word 'IPA' on something that is not an IPA can automatically confer easier marketing."

(Facebook/bigalicebrewing) Big Alice Brewing makes a rye IPA, but generally its beers are less hop-forward and more flavor-forward, like its salted caramel ale.

And it's working, especially for those still unfamiliar with the variety of beers available in the craft world, according to Kyle Hurst, cofounder of Long Island City, New York's Big Alice Brewing Company.

"For people new to craft beer, they start with IPAs because that's where the buzz is," Hurst said. "For the last three years people have been predicting that IPAs are going out and that sour beers are coming in, but that hasn't happened yet. Every year someone predicts a new trend, but it's always IPAs."

Our taste buds are changing

The popularity of bitter, hoppy IPAs could be linked to a larger movement: the changing of taste buds in America.

Americans are growing increasingly fond of bitter tastes, beer included. Mitch Steele, the brewmaster of Stone Brewing Company in San Diego, gave a simple analogy to explain how taste buds can change.

"It's a lot like coffee, I think," Steele said. "If you don't like coffee, which most people don't the first time they try it, you get used to it. It becomes an acquired taste, and then you start enjoying some of the bitter components and things that you find."

(Flickr/allagashbrewing) Hops look like small, green pinecones they are harvested and dried and give beer flavor, aroma, and bitterness.

Now, after all these years, people's taste for beer has evolved.

"As people continued to drink craft beer, I think they acclimated to the point where the bitterness wasn't a problem," Steele continued. "And now, what I get from it, is people in the past couple of years are much more focused on the flavors in the beer as opposed to the bitterness."

Oliver's not entirely surprised by the popularity of IPAs, given that their flavor is among beer's most prominent and identifiable.

"Since craft beer was, to some extent, a reaction to bland mass-market beer," he said, "it's only natural, I guess, that a very flavorful style would be one of the main things to jump out."

There's a machismo in drinking IPAs

"There's a natural sense of competition" when it comes to IPAs, beer sommelier Joanna Carpenter says, "like, how much hops can they handle?" It's similar to the way people compete in hot-wing-eating contests.

(Flickr/sperrobjekt) Brooklyn Brewery's East India Pale Ale is a nod to the origins of the IPA.

Oliver said: "Here and there you see brewers who are out there who say, 'Our beer has this level of bitterness or that level of bitterness,' and they're using it almost as a boast."

To Oliver, hop intensity does not equate to beer quality, noting that he does not think it's a sensible way of thinking.

But above the masochistic competitiveness people feel over their ability to handle spiciness, there's an additional curiosity when it comes to the bitterness and other flavors found in IPAs.

"There's definitely still an exploratory sense to it," Carpenter added, and now, more than ever, "people want to push their palates to the limit."

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Boom in China Firms Listing in the U.S. Comes to Sudden Halt

(Bloomberg) -- At least three Chinese companies have put their plans to list in the U.S. on hold, heralding a slowdown in what’s been a record start to a year for initial public offerings by mainland and Hong Kong firms.A bike-sharing platform, a podcaster and a cloud computing firm are among popular Chinese corporates holding off plans for a U.S. float, put off by recent market declines, souring investor sentiment toward fast-growth companies and lackluster debuts by peers like Waterdrop Inc.Hello Inc., Ximalaya Inc. and Qiniu Ltd. are postponing plans to take orders from investors, even though the three had filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission well over two weeks ago. In the U.S., companies can kick off their roadshows two weeks after filing publicly and most typically stick to that timetable.“The recent broad market selloff, combined with the correction of the IPO market since the beginning of last month when some new issuers tanked during their debuts, may make the market conditions less predictable for newcomers who are ‘physically’ ready -- meaning they have cleared all regulatory hurdles for IPO -- to get out of the door,” said Stephanie Tang, head of private equity for Greater China at law firm Hogan Lovells. “Some participants may choose to monitor the market for more stable conditions.”The delays throw a wrench in a listings flood by Chinese and Hong Kong companies in the U.S. that already reached $7.1 billion year-to-date -- the fastest pace on record -- after booming in 2020. Demand for IPOs surged as a wave of global stimulus money, ultra-low interest rates and rallying stock markets lured investors despite Sino-American tensions and the continued risk of mainland stocks being kicked off U.S. exchanges.READ: Stock Market’s Million Little Dramas Come Down to a Supply GlutThe S&P 500 Index capped its biggest two-week slide since February on Friday amid mounting investor concern over inflation and its impact on tech and other growth stocks. China’s CSI 300 Index remains in a technical correction, having fallen 10% from a February peak, while the Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index, which tracks Chinese companies listed in the U.S., has slumped more than 30% from its high that month.Waiting OnHello, which offers a bike-sharing platform plus electric scooters for sale, has delayed its planned launch and is still undecided on its prospective valuation given rising investor caution about new shares, Bloomberg News has reported. It had been planning to raise between $500 million and $1 billion in the offering, although the final number will depend on valuations, according to one person with knowledge of the matter.Online podcast and radio services startup Ximalaya and enterprise cloud services provider Qiniu have put their listings on hold after beginning to gauge investor interest at the end of April, people with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public.The sounding out of investors, or pre-marketing process, generally comes after filing for an IPO and before formal order-taking in a roadshow. Hello declined to comment while Qiniu didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. Ximalaya’s IPO process is ongoing and the company will seek public listing at an appropriate time depending on market conditions, it said in response to questions.Weak DebutsThe poor performance of recent Chinese debutants has also sapped investor confidence. Insurance tech firm Waterdrop has plunged 38% from its offer price since going public earlier this month. Onion Global Ltd., a lifestyle brand platform, has fallen more than 8% below its IPO price.In fact, almost 59% or specifically 20 of the 34 Chinese firms that have listed in the U.S. this year are under water, data compiled by Bloomberg show, among them the two largest IPOs -- e-cigarette maker RLX Technology Inc. and online Q&A site Zhihu Inc. Of the ones that listed in 2020, just 40% are trading below their IPO prices.The recent volatility in global markets has spooked U.S. companies as well. They have also been delaying floats or facing weak debuts.For some, the current challenges faced by Chinese listing hopefuls are likely to be transitory, with the hotly-anticipated IPO of ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing Inc., which has filed confidentially for a multibillion-dollar offering, set to prove the real test of investor appetite for the China story.Apart from Hello and the two other firms that are said to delay IPO plans after kicking off their pre-marketing process, Chinese road freight transport platform ForU Worldwide Inc., which filed for a U.S. offering on May 13, and online education company Zhangmen Education Inc., which filed on May 19, are waiting in the wings though they have yet to pass the two-week hallmark.“There is a natural strong growth in China which international investors will still want to invest in over the longer term,” said Gary Dugan, chief executive officer at the Global CIO Office in Singapore.(Updates prices throughout, adds more details in the second-last paragraph.)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

PG&E to Sell San Francisco Headquarters for $800 Million

(Bloomberg) -- PG&E Corp. has reached a deal to sell its iconic San Francisco headquarters to real estate joint-venture Hines Atlas for $800 million as the utility giant moves to cut costs after it emerged from bankruptcy last year.PG&E, which plans to move to Oakland next year, needs approval from state regulators to sell the 1.7 million-square-foot (158,000-square-meter) complex, which includes 77 Beale Street and 245 Market Street, according to a statement Monday.The sale comes as office markets around the globe have been battered by the coronavirus pandemic. One broker estimated in 2019 that PG&E’s headquarters could bring in more than $1 billion. The utility giant is one of the most high-profile companies to leave San Francisco for Oakland, a less expensive city located across San Francisco Bay.Nearly a dozen bids were submitted for the property, according to a person familiar with the matter. That level of interest suggests real estate investors are willing to bet on a rebound for office demand in the city.“It’s a fantastic bet on San Francisco,” said J.D. Lumpkin, executive managing director at commercial real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield in San Francisco, who wasn’t involved in the deal. “While San Francisco has taken its lumps through Covid, perhaps more than other cities, there’s a lot of evidence that we will rebound over the next two or three years.”PG&E didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the bids. The company’s shares rose as much as 2.1% Monday.Unlike some other large property sales in San Francisco since the pandemic, the complex will require a substantial amount of renovation. It also doesn’t have a tenant in place, so the buyers will have to fill it in a few years once the redevelopment is finished.Also See: KKR Said to Buy $1.08 Billion San Francisco Dropbox OfficesSan Francisco’s overall office vacancy rate in the first quarter shattered the previous record high hit during the dot-com bust at the turn of the century, according to CBRE Group Inc. That’s pushed rent down and weighed on the value of buildings.The sale price is about $200 million less than expected, Citigroup Inc. utility analyst Ryan Levine wrote in a research note Monday. That raises the prospect that PG&E may need to raise equity this year, he said.Offset BillsPG&E intends to distribute about $400 million from its gain on the sale to customers over five years to offset bill increases as it invests in safety and operational improvements. In an added benefit, most PG&E workers will have shorter commutes to their new office, the company said.CBRE’s San Francisco Capital Markets team brokered the deal.PG&E filed for bankruptcy in early 2019 after collapsing under liabilities from wildfires sparked by its equipment. Though the company exited Chapter 11 last year, it remains burdened by about $42 billion of debt, raising concerns about its financial durability and ability to make the investments required to fire-proof its grid.Hines is one of the biggest private real estate investors and managers in the world, according to its website. Hines Atlas is a joint venture between Hines and another investor, a Hines spokesman said. He declined to name the other investor.(Adds details of bid beginning in fourth paragraph.)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Singapore’s Richest Property Family Warns of Cooling Measures

(Bloomberg) -- The Singapore government may step in to introduce property curbs if home prices keep rising, according to the city-state’s richest property family, marking the first time a developer has waded in on the issue.City Developments Ltd. Chairman Kwek Leng Beng “noted that the residential market has been performing well though he cautioned that if property prices continue to rise, there may be a time that further cooling measures could be introduced to control the prices,” records from the company’s annual shareholder meeting show. The gathering was held on April 30, with the notes filed at the Singapore Exchange on Monday.Singapore’s property market has rebounded sharply in recent months, making the sector a bright spot as the economy recovers from the pandemic. Prices of properties ranging from public apartments to private units and luxury bungalows have been rising, with some hitting records.That has prompted growing speculation that authorities may take steps to calm the market and prevent it from running ahead of the economy. But a recent Covid-19 outbreak may test the market’s resilience as the city-state returns to lockdown-like conditions last imposed a year ago.At the shareholder meeting, Chief Executive Officer Sherman Kwek expressed optimism about the prospects of CDL’s residential projects and office properties in Singapore.The number of home units sold in the city-state has recovered to a healthy level despite the pandemic, said Kwek, who is the chairman’s son. Transaction volume last year equaled that of 2019, with close to 10,000 units sold for the entire market. And there’s still pent-up demand, especially among buyers who are upgrading from public to private apartments, he said.“While there is uncertainty surrounding whether the government would implement new cooling measures, the overall residential market remains very stable,” the notes said, citing the CEO’s comments.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Huawei plans to launch new operating system for phones in June

China's Huawei Technologies said it will launch its new Harmony operating system for smartphones on June 2, its biggest move yet aimed at recovering from the damage done by U.S. sanctions to its mobile phone business. U.S. sanctions banned Google from providing technical support to new Huawei phone models and access to Google Mobile Services, the bundle of developer services upon which most Android apps are based. The new HarmonyOS will only go some way to mitigating the impact of the 2019 sanctions that also barred Huawei from accessing critical U.S.-origin technology, impeding its ability to design its own chips and source components from outside vendors.

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Singapore clears LSE deal for Refinitiv after FX pledge

Singapore's competition authority has approved the London Stock Exchange Group's $27 billion acquisition of data and analytics company Refinitiv provided the bourse continues to offer certain foreign exchange benchmarks to rivals. The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS)gave the conditional approval after examining whether the deal, which transforms the 300 year old bourse into a one-stop shop for data, trading and analytics, threatened competition in the currency market. The LSE has committed to making Refinitiv's WM/Reuters foreign exchange benchmarks available to existing and future customers to provide index licencing services or clearing services in Singapore, CCCS said in a statement, adding that the commitment, effective from Monday, was for 10 years.

First Warning Sign in Global Commodity Boom Flashes in China

(Bloomberg) -- One pillar of this year’s blistering commodities rally -- Chinese demand -- may be teetering.Beijing aced its economic recovery from the pandemic largely via an expansion in credit and a state-aided construction boom that sucked in raw materials from across the planet. Already the world’s biggest consumer, China spent $150 billion on crude oil, iron ore and copper ore alone in the first four months of 2021. Resurgent demand and rising prices mean that’s $36 billion more than the same period last year.With global commodities rising to record highs, Chinese government officials are trying to temper prices and reduce some of the speculative froth that’s driven markets. Wary of inflating asset bubbles, the People’s Bank of China has also been restricting the flow of money to the economy since last year, albeit gradually to avoid derailing growth. At the same time, funding for infrastructure projects has shown signs of slowing.Economic data for April suggest that both China’s economic expansion and its credit impulse -- new credit as a percentage of GDP -- may already have crested, putting the rally on a precarious footing. The most obvious impact of China’s deleveraging would fall on those metals keyed to real estate and infrastructure spending, from copper and aluminum, to steel and its main ingredient, iron ore.“Credit is a major driver for commodity prices, and we reckon prices peak when credit peaks,” said Alison Li, co-head of base metals research at Mysteel in Shanghai. “That refers to global credit, but Chinese credit accounts for a big part of it, especially when it comes to infrastructure and property investment.”But the impact of China’s credit pullback could ripple far and wide, threatening the rally in global oil prices and even China’s crop markets. And while tighter money supply hasn’t stopped many metals hitting eye-popping levels in recent weeks, some, like copper, are already seeing consumers shying away from higher prices.“The slowdown in credit will have a negative impact on China’s demand for commodities,” said Hao Zhou, senior emerging markets economist at Commerzbank AG. “So far, property and infrastructure investments haven’t shown an obvious deceleration. But they are likely to trend lower in the second half of this year.”A lag between the withdrawal of credit and stimulus from the economy and its impact on China’s raw material purchases may mean that markets haven’t yet peaked. However, its companies may eventually soften imports due to tighter credit conditions, which means the direction of the global commodity market will hinge on how much the recovery in economies including the U.S. and Europe can continue to drive prices higher.Some sectors have seen policy push an expansion in capacity, such as Beijing’s move to grow the country’s crude oil refining and copper smelting industries. Purchases of the materials needed for production in those sectors may continue to see gains although at a slower pace.One example of slowing purchases is likely to be in refined copper, said Mysteel’s Li. The premium paid for the metal at the port of Yangshan has already hit a four-year low in a sign of waning demand, and imports are likely to fall this year, she said.At the same time, the rally in copper prices probably still has a few months to run, according to a recent note from Citigroup Inc., citing the lag between peak credit and peak demand. From around $9,850 a ton now, the bank expects copper to reach $12,200 by September.It’s a dynamic that’s also playing out in ferrous metals markets.“We’re still at an early phase of tightening in terms of money reaching projects,” said Tomas Gutierrez, an analyst at Kallanish Commodities Ltd. “Iron ore demand reacts with a lag of several months to tightening. Steel demand is still around record highs on the back of the economic recovery and ongoing investments, but is likely to pull back slightly by the end of the year.”For agriculture, credit tightening may only affect China’s soaring crop imports around the margins, said Ma Wenfeng, an analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Co. Less cash in the system could soften domestic prices by curbing speculation, which may in turn reduce the small proportion of imports handled by private firms, he said.The wider trend is for China’s state-owned giants to keep importing grains to cover the nation’s domestic shortfall, to replenish state reserves and to meet trade deal obligations with the U.S.No DisasterMore broadly, Beijing’s policy tightening doesn’t spell disaster for commodities bulls. For one, the authorities are unlikely to accelerate deleveraging from this point, according the latest comments from the State Council, China’s cabinet.“Internal guidance from our macro department is that the country won’t tighten credit too much -- they just won’t loosen further,” said Harry Jiang, head of trading and research at Yonggang Resouces, a commodity trader in Shanghai. “We don’t have many concerns over credit tightening.”And in any case, raw materials markets are no longer almost entirely in thrall to Chinese demand.“In the past, the inflection point of industrial metal prices often coincides with that of China’s credit cycle,” said Larry Hu, chief China economist at Macquarie Group Ltd. “But that doesn’t mean it will be like that this time too, because the U.S. has unleashed much larger stimulus than China, and its demand is very strong.”Hu also pointed to caution among China’s leaders, who probably don’t want to risk choking off their much-admired recovery by sharp swings in policy.“I expect China’s property investment will slow down, but not by too much,” he said. “Infrastructure investment hasn’t changed too much in the past few years, and won’t this year either.”Additionally, China has been pumping up consumer spending as a lever for growth, and isn’t as reliant on infrastructure and property investment as it used to be, said Bruce Pang, head of macro and strategy research at China Renaissance Securities Hong Kong. The disruption to global commodities supply because of the pandemic is also a new factor that can support prices, he said.Other policy priorities, such as cutting steel production to make inroads on China’s climate pledges, or boosting the supply of energy products, whether domestically or via purchases from overseas, are other complicating factors when it comes to assessing import demand and prices for specific commodities, according to analysts.(Updates copper price in 11th paragraph.)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Lim family's global assets on radar after Singapore court move

SINGAPORE (Reuters) -A Singapore court has approved a freeze on up to $3.5 billion of assets of the family behind collapsed Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd, boosting the prospect of debt recovery from the former oil trading empire that counts some of the world's biggest banks among its creditors. Hin Leong was wound up in March after failing in a year-long effort to restructure more than $3 billion in debts after the COVID-19-led oil crash laid bare huge losses. Founder Lim Oon Kuin admitted in a court document last year to directing the company not to disclose hundreds of millions of dollars in losses over several years.


50 Best Beers in America

The 15th annual Best Beers in America survey conducted by Zymurgy magazine was released earlier this month.

The new ranking ended the eight-year reign of Russian River Brewing Company’s double IPA Pliny the Elder as the best beer in America. Pliny the Elder dethroned Dogfish Head's 90 Minute IPA in the 2009 best beer ranking.

This poll was conducted of readers of Zymurgy, a publication of Boulder, Colorado-based American Homebrewers Association. The resulting list includes 50 of the best beers sold in America. They include extremely rare and more commercially available beers brews with a drinkable, low alcohol content, and beers with such a high ABV they might as well be liquor.

50. Three Floyds Alpha King (tied—47th)
> Brewery: 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
> State of origin: Indiana
> Type: American pale ale
> Alc. content: 6.66%

While available year-round, Three Floyds' description of its flagship pale ale screams summer. Alpha King is characterized as both bold and balanced, offering notes of sweet caramel with a feisty citrus hop.

49. Oskar Blues Old Chub (tied—47th)
> Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery
> State of origin: Colorado, North Carolina, Texas
> Type: Scotch ale
> Alc. content: 8.0%

If you’re a connoisseur of dark brews, this strong Scottish ale might be your go-to. Every swig contains a thick blend of malted barley, hints of beechwood-smoked malt, and touches of cocoa and coffee. The brothers from the beer review site at BeerAdvocate rave about Old Chub, “One of the most amazing beers in a can. I'd easily have this beer around all of the time.”

48. New Holland Dragon’s Milk (tied—47th)
> Brewery: New Holland Brewing
> State of origin: Michigan
> Type: Bourbon barrel stout
> Alc. content: 11.0%

If you’re looking to get buzzed and are short on time -- this brew should do the trick! New Holland Brewery’s Dragon’s Milk has a whopping ABV of 11%! Delay the buzz from escalating by accompanying the stout with one of New Holland Brewing’s suggested food pairings such as, red meat, rich cheeses, or even dark chocolate. The hints of vanilla in Dragon’s Milk will mesh well with any of those delicacies.

47. Firestone Walker Union Jack (tied—47th)
> Brewery: Firestone Walker Brewing Company
> State of origin: California
> Type: West coast style IPA
> Alc. content: 7.0%

Union Jack is a brew that punches your taste buds with flavors of grapefruit and tangerine with each sip. The ale gets its name from the British gentleman who co-founded the brewery and refers to the colonial origins of the IPA style.

46. Wicked Weed Pernicious (tied—47th)
> Brewery: Wicked Weed Brewing
> State of origin: North Carolina
> Type: Light golden style IPA
> Alc. content: 7.3%

Let your palate take a trip through the tropics with this golden IPA. The Pernicious offers hints of mango and has a dry finish. The Homebrewers Association survey respondents aren’t the only ones who have a fondness for the beer. In 2015, the ale took home the American IPA Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival.

45. Russian River Consecration (tied—43rd)
> Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company
> State of origin: California
> Type: Dark ale
> Alc. content: 10%

The Homebrewers Association survey shows that beer fanatics go crazy for Russian River Consecration, but wine aficionados might just love it, too. Why? It’s nearly a hybrid of the two. Dark ale is aged in barrels that used to house gallons of Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged between four to eight months with black currants, this ale reveals notes of the berry as well as chocolate truffle and spice.

44. Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale (tied—43rd)
> Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery
> State of origin: Colorado
> Type: American strong pale ale
> Alc. content: 6.5%

Oskar Blues Brewery brands this ale as, “A hearty, critically acclaimed trailblazer that changed the way craft beer fiends perceive portable beer.” Given its place among America's best beers, the brewery's description may not be far off the mark.

43. New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red (tied—43rd)
> Brewery: New Glarus Brewing
> State of origin: Wisconsin
> Type: Wisconsin Cherry Ale
> Alc. content: 4.0%

Brewed with cherries, Wisconsin-farmed wheat, and Belgian roasted barley, this fruity ale spends one year in oak tanks. The result is a highly carbonated brew with pungent flavors of cherry. The brothers from BeerAdvocate say of the beer: “There are well over a pound of cherries in every bottle and it's lagered in oak tanks for a year. Not many American breweries are doing that now--let alone ten years ago.”

42. Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (tied—43rd)
> Brewery: Dogfish Head Brewery
> State of origin: Delaware
> Type: Imperial IPA
> Alc. content: 15-20%

With an abundance of hops, this beer has an ABV so high you’ll think it’s a typo -- 15% to 20%, to be precise. This intense IPA is only brewed a few times a year.

41. Stone Enjoy By IPA (tied—38rd)
> Brewery: Stone Brewing
> State of origin: California
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 9.4%

More than a dozen hops comprise this double IPA, and Stone Brewery wants you to enjoy it fresh. That's why the enjoy-by date is clearly printed on the label so that you’ll drink it at its prime hour.

40. Arrogant Bastard Ale (tied—38rd)
> Brewery: Arrogant Brewing
> State of origin: California
> Type: American Strong Ale
> Alc. content: 7.2%

So what makes this ale an Arrogant Bastard? Whatever it is, Arrogant Brewing certainly doesn’t try to hide its reputation with claims like “It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth,” and “Arrogant Bastard Ale openly challenged the tyrannical overlords who were brazenly attempting to keep Americans chained in the shackles of poor taste.” Enough said.

39. North Coast Old Rasputin (tied—38rd)
> Brewery: North Coast Brewing Co.
> State of origin: California
> Type: Russian Imperial Stout
> Alc. content: 9.0%

This 18th century English-inspired brew scored the gold with a total of 94 points at the World Beer Championships in 2014. On brew review website Beer Advocate, the imperial stout scores a 95 overall and a 97 from the site’s founding brothers. The brothers say Old Rasputin is ”very complex, and true to its style.” With such accolades, this brew is undoubtedly worth a taste test.

38. Deschutes The Abyss (tied—38rd)
> Brewery: Deschutes Brewery
> State of origin: Oregon
> Type: American double/Imperial stout
> Alc. content: 11.1%

This dark brew will enable you to unwind while savoring notes of molasses and licorice. Beware of drinking it too quickly because this brew has a dangerously high ABV content of 11.1%.

37. Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter (tied—38rd)
> Brewery: Great Lakes Brewing Company
> State of origin: Ohio
> Type: Porter
> Alc. content: 6.0%

Great Lakes Brewing Company bestowed the name Edmund Fitzgerald to the porter in honor of the legendary sunken freighter. And it’s gotten some attention over the years. Since 1991, the brew has won a dozen medals and even the World Champion title in the World Beer Championships.

36. Oskar Blues Ten FIDY (tied—27th)
> Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery
> State of origin: Colorado, North Carolina, Texas
> Type: Imperial Stout
> Alc. content: 10.5%

With three of its brews among America's best beers, Oskar Blues clearly cranks out some killer beers-- this is the third time one of its brews has been featured on the list. The Ten FIDY is chock-full of decadence, including tastes of chocolate, caramel, and coffee.

35. Founders Backwoods Bastard (tied—27th)
> Brewery: Founders Brewing Co.
> State of origin: Michigan
> Type: Scotch Ale
> Alc. content: 11.2%

Aged in oak and bourbon barrels, Backwoods Bastard has an earthy essence and a smoky flavor that complements notes of sweet caramel. On Beer Advocate, the scotch ale scored in the world-class range with rating of 95.

34. Tröegs Nugget Nectar (tied—27th)
> Brewery: Troegs Independent Brewing
> State of origin: Pennsylvania
> Type: Imperial Amber Ale
> Alc. content: 7.5%

The Nugget Nectar blends pine, resin, and mango into a powerful amber ale. This brew is only available between January and March, because Tröegs doesn’t sell the stuff outside of those months.

33. The Alchemist Focal Banger (tied—27th)
> Brewery: The Alchemist Brewery
> State of origin: Vermont
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 7.0%

The Alchemist is a family-run brewery based out of Vermont that specializes in unfiltered IPAs. The Focal Banger, one of the few year-round ales the brewery produces, is brewed at the Stowe location. Speaking of Stowe, it’s actually home to some of the state’s best ski slopes, so if you can’t afford a ski pass, down a couple of these bad boys and you’ll feel like you’re hitting the slaloms.

32. Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA (tied—27th)
> Brewery: Sierra Nevada
> State of origin: California
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 7.2%

The Torpedo Extra IPA, an aggressive ale, is the first of its kind to be brewed with the help of a dry-hopping device called the Hop Torpedo. The Hop Torpedo controls how much aroma from the hops is imparted into the beer, so that the beer is not too bitter.

31. Russian River Pliny the Younger (tied—27th)
> Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company
> State of origin: California
> Type: Triple IPA
> Alc. content: 10.3%

The year 2005 marked the first year Russian River Brewing Company brewed Pliny the Younger. From then on out, it is only made once a year and for just under two weeks in February. Why? It’s evidently very expensive to make. However, the brew must be unlike any other on the shelf, seeing as it received a perfect overall score of 100 on BeerAdvocate.

30. Odell 90 Shilling (tied—27th)
> Brewery: Odell Brewing Co.
> State of origin: Colorado
> Type: Amber ale
> Alc. content: 5.3%

Odell Brewing is sending a message to its drinkers by naming this amber ale “90 Shilling.” The name derives from the Scottish method of taxing beer -- and only the highest quality beers were taxed that many shillings. Tied for 27th among America's best beers, it seems many would agree.

29. New Belgium La Folie (tied—27th)
> Brewery: New Belgium
> State of origin: Colorado
> Type: Sour Brown Ale
> Alc. content: 7.0%

Get ready to pucker up, not for a kiss but for a sour, malty brew. La Folie unleashes a variety of aromas, including green apple, plum, cherry, caramel, and citrus.

28. Melvin 2×4 DIPA (tied—27th)
> Brewery: Melvin Brewing
> State of origin: Wyoming
> Type: Double IPA
> Alc. content: 10%

This well-loved brew is exceptionally flavorful-- floral, citrusy, and filled with hops. This brew offers a summer-fresh flavor paired with a potent alcohol content. The brewers at Melvin Brewery say, “This is the best . DIPA in the world. So if you were even considering sulking today, think again.” That’s one heck of a statement friends.

27. Fat Head’s Head Hunter IPA (tied—27th)
> Brewery: Fat Head’s Brewery
> State of origin: Ohio
> Type: West Coast Style IPA
> Alc. content: 7.5%

This beer has acquired an impressive collection of awards throughout the years. More recently, the Head Hunter won the silver medal in the American-Style IPA category at the World Beer Cup in both 2012 and 2014.

26. Fat Head’s Hop Juju
> Brewery: Fat Head’s Brewery
> State of origin: Ohio
> Type: Western-style IPA
> Alc. content: 7.5%

The second Fat Head brew to make this list in a row, this beer won the silver award at the World Beer Cup in 2012 and 2014. A western-style IPA, the brewer boasts that Hop Juju is “a punch-you-in-the-mouth brew for those who truly love their hops! Uncivilized? Yes. Aggressive? Absolutely. Award Winning? Hell yes!’’

25. Toppling Goliath pseudoSue (tied—22nd)
> Brewery: Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
> State of origin: Iowa
> Type: American Pale Ale
> Alc. content: 5.8%

Toppling Goliath brewery bills its suds as big beer brewed in small batches. The company also describes pseudoSue as a beer that “roars with ferocious aromas of grapefruit, citrus, mango and evergreen.’’ Chicagobeers.com said the beer’s name is part an homage to the 67-million-year old Tyrannosaurus Rex discovered by paleontologist Sue Hendrickson in 1990.

24. Russian River Blind Pig IPA (tied—22nd)
> Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company
> State of origin: California
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 6.25%

Blind Pig is a limited distribution brew from Russian River, the brewer that makes Pliny the Elder. This full-bodied, hoppy brew has a dry, bitter finish. The beer scores a 96 out of 100 on beeradvocate.com, making it one of the higher reviewed brews on the site.

23. Odell IPA (tied—22nd)
> Brewery: Odell Brewing Company
> State of origin: Colorado
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 7%

Odell says of its IPA “We added new varieties of highly aromatic American hops to create a distinctive bitterness profile and an incredible hop character.” It ranks just outside of the 20 most popular beers in the American Homebrewers Association survey. The beer also can claim the distinction of receiving a perfect 100 score from the bros on beeradvocate.com.

22. Tree House Julius (tied—22nd)
> Brewery: Tree House Brewing Company
> State of origin: Massachusetts
> Type: Ale
> Alc. content: 6.5%

Tree House Brewing Co. calls its Julius “freakishly drinkable.’’ The Massachusetts brewery is a draft only brewery, which gives it freedom to constantly rotate offerings and introduce new ones.

21. Stone IPA (tied—19th)
> Brewery: Stone Brewing
> State of origin: California
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 6.9%

Stone Brewing was founded in 1996, and has breweries in Richmond, Virginia and Berlin, Germany. The company produces many different IPAs, several of which make this list. The brewery’s standard IPA is both crisp and loaded with hops, making it a go-to brew for a hot summer day.

20. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA (tied—19th)
> Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Inc.
> State of origin: Delaware
> Type: Imperial IPA
> Alc. content: 9%

Delaware-based Dogfish Head offers a series of IPAs brewed based on the time the beer spends boiling, with a longer boil resulting in a hoppier, higher alcohol content beer. The 90 Minute IPA falls right between the 60 minute and 120 minute beers offered by the brand. It is also the most well-liked beer offered by the popular craft brewery.

19. Lagunitas IPA (tied—19th)
> Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company
> State of origin: California
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 6.2%

With a nod to pin-up models of the 40s in some of its signage, Lagunitas Brewing Company was founded in 1993 in Petaluma, California in the early 90s. Made with 43 different hops and 65 various malts, Lagunitas advertises the beer as "a well-rounded, highly drinkable IPA."

18. Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro
> Brewery: Left Hand Brewing Company
> State of origin: Colorado
> Type: Sweet Stout
> Alc. content: 6%

While IPAs and other ales dominate this list, they are not the only kind of brew beloved by some Americans. Left Hand Brewing Company’s Milk Stout Nitro claims a milk chocolate fullness and vows to “change your perception about what a stout can be.’’ The company tells how it all started with a small homebrewers kit that one of the founders received as a Christmas present. The rest, as they say, is history.

17. Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout
> Brewery: Goose Island Beer Company
> State of origin: Illinois
> Type: Stout
> Alc. content: 14.2%

Goose Island Brewery’s own Bourbon County Brand Stout won the gold medal at the World Beer Cup awards in 2006. The 2015 edition of the classic stout was brewed in honor of the 1,000th batch at the company’s original brewpub in Chicago. The members of the Goose Island brewing team illustrate the appearance and scent of the stout, “A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel. The nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke.”

16. Deschutes Black Butte Porter
> Brewery: Deschutes Brewery
> State of origin: Oregon
> Type: Porter
> Alc. content: 5.2%

Named after Oregon's volcanic butte, Black Butte Porter offers chocolate and coffee notes. Deschutes Brewery also lists many recipes that use the brew as an ingredient, from cupcakes and cookies, to mac and cheese and gumbo.

15. Cigar City Jai Alai IPA
> Brewery: Cigar City Brewing
> State of origin: Florida
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 7.5%

The Jai Alai IPA is a homage to the Spanish fast-paced ball game once popular in Tampa. The company says of their IPA, “An intense bouquet of tangerine and candied orange peel entice the nose while flavors of clementines, Valencia orange and subtle caramel provide counterpoint to an assertive bitterness and rich malt character.”

14. Lawson’s Finest Liquids Sip of Sunshine (tied—13th)
> Brewery: Two Roads Brewing Co.
> State of origin: Vermont
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 8.0%

Lawson’s Finest began in 2008 by owners and founders Sean and Karen Lawson at the time it was a one barrel brewery. The brewers urge those about to indulge in the Sip of Sunshine to “Pour mindfully, inhale deeply and enjoy a tropical vacation in a glass.’’

13. Founders All Day IPA (tied—13th)
> Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
> State of origin: Michigan
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 4.7%

You can always tell if there's a fellow Founders Brewing beer drinker around. The brewery encourages imbibers to check-in when they drink one of the brews. The brewery lists many awards for its eight brews and, as of this year, they can say that achieved a very respectable rank of 13 among America's best beers. The fellow brewers at Founders say the IPA, “Keeps your taste satisfied while keeping your senses sharp.”

12. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (tied—11th)
> Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
> State of origin: California
> Type: Pale Ale
> Alc. content: 5.6%

According to the Sierra Nevada brewery's site, founder Ken Grossman used the last of his money to try and produce the taste of the Pale Ale, going through 10 batches until he was able to recreate the classic flavor.

11. Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale (tied—11th)
> Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company
> State of origin: Missouri
> Type: Farmhouse Ale
> Alc. content: 8.5%

The brewers at Boulevard Brewing tried to recreate a Belgian farmhouse ale and Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale is what they devised. They had just the right mix of elements in fermenter number seven. The result? Fruity aromas complemented by hoppy-grapefruit notes.

10. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
> Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing Company
> State of origin: California
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 7%

Ballast Point Brewing Co. foundations date back to 1996 after founder Jack White was tired of commonplace beers that line the shelves of stores and that were provided at keg parties in college. Driven by his intrinsic desire to create something legendary, Jack and his roommate Pete began home brewing in their apartment at UCLA. Today, one of their many creations, the Sculpin IPA, clocks in the top 10 on America’s best brews. The brewers say it’s, “A trophy beer that’s a testament to our homebrew roots.”

9. Sierra Nevada Celebration (tied—8th)
> Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
> State of origin: California
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 6.8%

Come one, come all to the celebration! Celebration Ale was first brewed in 1981, which makes it one of the first American-style IPA’s. The brew received a score of 97 from the founding brothers of BeerAdvocate. One remarks: “Dreamy. So smooth. So rich. So fortified with malt goodness.”

8. Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA (tied—8th)
> Brewery: Deschutes Brewery
> State of origin: Oregon
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 6.4%

Deschutes Brewery describes the Fresh Squeezed IPA as having a “juicy citrus and grapefruit flavor profile. As if fresh Citra and Mosaic hops were squeezed straight into the bottle.’’ Can you imagine sinking your teeth into a fluffy cupcake that’s infused with the robust IPA? We promise, it’s not too good to be true. Check out the recipe, here.

7. The Alchemist Heady Topper (tied—6th)
> Brewery: The Alchemist Brewery
> State of origin: Vermont
> Type: Imperial IPA
> Alc. content: 8.0%

The Alchemist’s own Heady Topper was named America’s most coveted beer by Men’s Journal in 2015. First brewed in 2003, the ale was kept exclusively on tap for eight years in their original brewpub in Waterbury, Vermont. Just eight years later the brew was canned, and as a result, became a hot commodity. Cases of it popped up for sale on Craigslist, with a four-packs costing up to $45. Talk about a black market product.

6. Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) (tied—6th)
> Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
> State of origin: Michigan
> Type: Stout
> Alc. content: 11.8%

The Kentucky Breakfast Stout, another palatable entry from Michigan's Founders Brewing Company, is brewed with coffee and chocolate, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year. The stout’s bourbon undertones must be irresistible because it received a perfect overall score of 100 on BeerAdvocate.

5. Bell’s Hopslam
> Brewery: Bell’s Brewery
> State of origin: Michigan
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 10.0%

Another top beer hailing from Michigan, this time from Bell’s Brewery, Hopslam consists of a heaping malt bill, as well as, a lavish dollop of sweet honey. The brewers at Bell’s Brewery suggest that you pair the IPA with with pork and rib-eye steak, grilled asparagus and fennel bulbs.

4. 3 Floyds Zombie Dust
> Brewery: 3 Floyds Brewing Company
> State of origin: Indiana
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 6.2%

The creators of Zombie Dust have quite the imagination. They explicitly claim that this brew will be one’s only way to recover from a dreaded zombie apocalypse: “This intensely hopped and gushing undead Pale Ale will be one’s only respite after the zombie apocalypse.” Until that day, consumers have clearance to leisurely sip the beverage.

3. Founders Breakfast Stout
> Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
> State of origin: Michigan
> Type: Stout
> Alc. content: 8.3%

Pumping out delicious beers for two decades, Founders Brewing Company’s Breakfast Stout scores the second spot on this list. If you’ve been diligently reading along, you’ll notice it’s the fourth beer from Founders to have made the cut in the country’s best brews. The founders of Founders, Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, have created the perfect concoction of coffee and beer with this particular stout. The company says of their prized stout, “Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and two types of coffee, this stout has an intense fresh-roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever.”

2. Russian River Pliny the Elder
> Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company
> State of origin: California
> Type: IPA
> Alc. content: 8.0%

Not far behind the top beer stands Russian River’s own Pliny the Elder, a brew that the founding brothers at BeerAdvocate award a perfect score of 100. They say a, “Hint of nutty yeast and a big handful of biscuity malt are thrown at the palate and actually shows that this beer has balance.” Aside from the ale’s epic flavor, the beer’s name also holds richness-- specifically, historical significance. Pliny, the man, lived in the first century- 23 to 79 A.D. According to our brewing references, he and his contemporaries either created the botanical name or at least wrote about Lupus Salictarius, or hops, currently known as Humulus Lupulus.

1. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
> Brewery: Bell’s Brewery
> State of origin: Michigan
> Type:: IPA
>Alc. content: 7.0%

Finally, the moment you’ve all been patiently waiting for. The top beer in America according to the American Homebrewer’s Association is --drum roll please-- Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. Curious about the name? The brew’s named after the Two Hearted River in Northern Michigan and it solely consists of Centennial hops, which is sourced from the Pacific Northwest.

Detailed Findings and Methodology:

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, a Michigan-born brew made by Bell’s Brewery, was selected as the best beer, taking Pliny the Elder’s top spot. Bell’s got its start in 1985 when Larry Bell opened the brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His daughter Laura is the chief executive officer today.

“We got our start as homebrewers — that’s how my dad got going — so we really identify with the homebrewing community,” said Laura Bell. The brewery is located in Comstock today. “We take a lot of that spirit into what we do today,” said Bell.

Bell’s began selling beer out of state in 1990 and now sells the potable in 31 states, according to its website. Growing sales led to the opening of a 35,000 square foot brewery in 2003.

Other beers in the top five after Pliny the Elder are: Founders Breakfast Stout, Three Floyds Zombie Dust and Bell’s Hopslam.

Michigan breweries captured the top two places for top-ranked breweries -- Bell’s Brewery Inc. and Founders Brewing Co. of Grand Rapids. The rest of the top five are Russian River Brewing Co. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Stone Brewing.

To identify the best beers in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the results of the American Homebrewers Association’s annual poll of Zymurgy magazine readers. The poll results reflect the most popular beers over 2,185 survey responses (each person only allotted one vote) collected over a three week period. 24/7 Wall St. then retrieved the state of origin, the type of brew, and the ABV content of each beer from the website of each brewery.

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(Bloomberg) -- At least three Chinese companies have put their plans to list in the U.S. on hold, heralding a slowdown in what’s been a record start to a year for initial public offerings by mainland and Hong Kong firms.A bike-sharing platform, a podcaster and a cloud computing firm are among popular Chinese corporates holding off plans for a U.S. float, put off by recent market declines, souring investor sentiment toward fast-growth companies and lackluster debuts by peers like Waterdrop Inc.Hello Inc., Ximalaya Inc. and Qiniu Ltd. are postponing plans to take orders from investors, even though the three had filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission well over two weeks ago. In the U.S., companies can kick off their roadshows two weeks after filing publicly and most typically stick to that timetable.“The recent broad market selloff, combined with the correction of the IPO market since the beginning of last month when some new issuers tanked during their debuts, may make the market conditions less predictable for newcomers who are ‘physically’ ready -- meaning they have cleared all regulatory hurdles for IPO -- to get out of the door,” said Stephanie Tang, head of private equity for Greater China at law firm Hogan Lovells. “Some participants may choose to monitor the market for more stable conditions.”The delays throw a wrench in a listings flood by Chinese and Hong Kong companies in the U.S. that already reached $7.1 billion year-to-date -- the fastest pace on record -- after booming in 2020. Demand for IPOs surged as a wave of global stimulus money, ultra-low interest rates and rallying stock markets lured investors despite Sino-American tensions and the continued risk of mainland stocks being kicked off U.S. exchanges.READ: Stock Market’s Million Little Dramas Come Down to a Supply GlutThe S&P 500 Index capped its biggest two-week slide since February on Friday amid mounting investor concern over inflation and its impact on tech and other growth stocks. China’s CSI 300 Index remains in a technical correction, having fallen 10% from a February peak, while the Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index, which tracks Chinese companies listed in the U.S., has slumped more than 30% from its high that month.Waiting OnHello, which offers a bike-sharing platform plus electric scooters for sale, has delayed its planned launch and is still undecided on its prospective valuation given rising investor caution about new shares, Bloomberg News has reported. It had been planning to raise between $500 million and $1 billion in the offering, although the final number will depend on valuations, according to one person with knowledge of the matter.Online podcast and radio services startup Ximalaya and enterprise cloud services provider Qiniu have put their listings on hold after beginning to gauge investor interest at the end of April, people with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public.The sounding out of investors, or pre-marketing process, generally comes after filing for an IPO and before formal order-taking in a roadshow. Hello declined to comment while Qiniu didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. Ximalaya’s IPO process is ongoing and the company will seek public listing at an appropriate time depending on market conditions, it said in response to questions.Weak DebutsThe poor performance of recent Chinese debutants has also sapped investor confidence. Insurance tech firm Waterdrop has plunged 38% from its offer price since going public earlier this month. Onion Global Ltd., a lifestyle brand platform, has fallen more than 8% below its IPO price.In fact, almost 59% or specifically 20 of the 34 Chinese firms that have listed in the U.S. this year are under water, data compiled by Bloomberg show, among them the two largest IPOs -- e-cigarette maker RLX Technology Inc. and online Q&A site Zhihu Inc. Of the ones that listed in 2020, just 40% are trading below their IPO prices.The recent volatility in global markets has spooked U.S. companies as well. They have also been delaying floats or facing weak debuts.For some, the current challenges faced by Chinese listing hopefuls are likely to be transitory, with the hotly-anticipated IPO of ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing Inc., which has filed confidentially for a multibillion-dollar offering, set to prove the real test of investor appetite for the China story.Apart from Hello and the two other firms that are said to delay IPO plans after kicking off their pre-marketing process, Chinese road freight transport platform ForU Worldwide Inc., which filed for a U.S. offering on May 13, and online education company Zhangmen Education Inc., which filed on May 19, are waiting in the wings though they have yet to pass the two-week hallmark.“There is a natural strong growth in China which international investors will still want to invest in over the longer term,” said Gary Dugan, chief executive officer at the Global CIO Office in Singapore.(Updates prices throughout, adds more details in the second-last paragraph.)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

PG&E to Sell San Francisco Headquarters for $800 Million

(Bloomberg) -- PG&E Corp. has reached a deal to sell its iconic San Francisco headquarters to real estate joint-venture Hines Atlas for $800 million as the utility giant moves to cut costs after it emerged from bankruptcy last year.PG&E, which plans to move to Oakland next year, needs approval from state regulators to sell the 1.7 million-square-foot (158,000-square-meter) complex, which includes 77 Beale Street and 245 Market Street, according to a statement Monday.The sale comes as office markets around the globe have been battered by the coronavirus pandemic. One broker estimated in 2019 that PG&E’s headquarters could bring in more than $1 billion. The utility giant is one of the most high-profile companies to leave San Francisco for Oakland, a less expensive city located across San Francisco Bay.Nearly a dozen bids were submitted for the property, according to a person familiar with the matter. That level of interest suggests real estate investors are willing to bet on a rebound for office demand in the city.“It’s a fantastic bet on San Francisco,” said J.D. Lumpkin, executive managing director at commercial real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield in San Francisco, who wasn’t involved in the deal. “While San Francisco has taken its lumps through Covid, perhaps more than other cities, there’s a lot of evidence that we will rebound over the next two or three years.”PG&E didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the bids. The company’s shares rose as much as 2.1% Monday.Unlike some other large property sales in San Francisco since the pandemic, the complex will require a substantial amount of renovation. It also doesn’t have a tenant in place, so the buyers will have to fill it in a few years once the redevelopment is finished.Also See: KKR Said to Buy $1.08 Billion San Francisco Dropbox OfficesSan Francisco’s overall office vacancy rate in the first quarter shattered the previous record high hit during the dot-com bust at the turn of the century, according to CBRE Group Inc. That’s pushed rent down and weighed on the value of buildings.The sale price is about $200 million less than expected, Citigroup Inc. utility analyst Ryan Levine wrote in a research note Monday. That raises the prospect that PG&E may need to raise equity this year, he said.Offset BillsPG&E intends to distribute about $400 million from its gain on the sale to customers over five years to offset bill increases as it invests in safety and operational improvements. In an added benefit, most PG&E workers will have shorter commutes to their new office, the company said.CBRE’s San Francisco Capital Markets team brokered the deal.PG&E filed for bankruptcy in early 2019 after collapsing under liabilities from wildfires sparked by its equipment. Though the company exited Chapter 11 last year, it remains burdened by about $42 billion of debt, raising concerns about its financial durability and ability to make the investments required to fire-proof its grid.Hines is one of the biggest private real estate investors and managers in the world, according to its website. Hines Atlas is a joint venture between Hines and another investor, a Hines spokesman said. He declined to name the other investor.(Adds details of bid beginning in fourth paragraph.)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Singapore’s Richest Property Family Warns of Cooling Measures

(Bloomberg) -- The Singapore government may step in to introduce property curbs if home prices keep rising, according to the city-state’s richest property family, marking the first time a developer has waded in on the issue.City Developments Ltd. Chairman Kwek Leng Beng “noted that the residential market has been performing well though he cautioned that if property prices continue to rise, there may be a time that further cooling measures could be introduced to control the prices,” records from the company’s annual shareholder meeting show. The gathering was held on April 30, with the notes filed at the Singapore Exchange on Monday.Singapore’s property market has rebounded sharply in recent months, making the sector a bright spot as the economy recovers from the pandemic. Prices of properties ranging from public apartments to private units and luxury bungalows have been rising, with some hitting records.That has prompted growing speculation that authorities may take steps to calm the market and prevent it from running ahead of the economy. But a recent Covid-19 outbreak may test the market’s resilience as the city-state returns to lockdown-like conditions last imposed a year ago.At the shareholder meeting, Chief Executive Officer Sherman Kwek expressed optimism about the prospects of CDL’s residential projects and office properties in Singapore.The number of home units sold in the city-state has recovered to a healthy level despite the pandemic, said Kwek, who is the chairman’s son. Transaction volume last year equaled that of 2019, with close to 10,000 units sold for the entire market. And there’s still pent-up demand, especially among buyers who are upgrading from public to private apartments, he said.“While there is uncertainty surrounding whether the government would implement new cooling measures, the overall residential market remains very stable,” the notes said, citing the CEO’s comments.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Huawei plans to launch new operating system for phones in June

China's Huawei Technologies said it will launch its new Harmony operating system for smartphones on June 2, its biggest move yet aimed at recovering from the damage done by U.S. sanctions to its mobile phone business. U.S. sanctions banned Google from providing technical support to new Huawei phone models and access to Google Mobile Services, the bundle of developer services upon which most Android apps are based. The new HarmonyOS will only go some way to mitigating the impact of the 2019 sanctions that also barred Huawei from accessing critical U.S.-origin technology, impeding its ability to design its own chips and source components from outside vendors.

Stocks Move Higher As Bullish Momentum Remains Strong

Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies rebound after weekend sell-off.

Singapore clears LSE deal for Refinitiv after FX pledge

Singapore's competition authority has approved the London Stock Exchange Group's $27 billion acquisition of data and analytics company Refinitiv provided the bourse continues to offer certain foreign exchange benchmarks to rivals. The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS)gave the conditional approval after examining whether the deal, which transforms the 300 year old bourse into a one-stop shop for data, trading and analytics, threatened competition in the currency market. The LSE has committed to making Refinitiv's WM/Reuters foreign exchange benchmarks available to existing and future customers to provide index licencing services or clearing services in Singapore, CCCS said in a statement, adding that the commitment, effective from Monday, was for 10 years.

First Warning Sign in Global Commodity Boom Flashes in China

(Bloomberg) -- One pillar of this year’s blistering commodities rally -- Chinese demand -- may be teetering.Beijing aced its economic recovery from the pandemic largely via an expansion in credit and a state-aided construction boom that sucked in raw materials from across the planet. Already the world’s biggest consumer, China spent $150 billion on crude oil, iron ore and copper ore alone in the first four months of 2021. Resurgent demand and rising prices mean that’s $36 billion more than the same period last year.With global commodities rising to record highs, Chinese government officials are trying to temper prices and reduce some of the speculative froth that’s driven markets. Wary of inflating asset bubbles, the People’s Bank of China has also been restricting the flow of money to the economy since last year, albeit gradually to avoid derailing growth. At the same time, funding for infrastructure projects has shown signs of slowing.Economic data for April suggest that both China’s economic expansion and its credit impulse -- new credit as a percentage of GDP -- may already have crested, putting the rally on a precarious footing. The most obvious impact of China’s deleveraging would fall on those metals keyed to real estate and infrastructure spending, from copper and aluminum, to steel and its main ingredient, iron ore.“Credit is a major driver for commodity prices, and we reckon prices peak when credit peaks,” said Alison Li, co-head of base metals research at Mysteel in Shanghai. “That refers to global credit, but Chinese credit accounts for a big part of it, especially when it comes to infrastructure and property investment.”But the impact of China’s credit pullback could ripple far and wide, threatening the rally in global oil prices and even China’s crop markets. And while tighter money supply hasn’t stopped many metals hitting eye-popping levels in recent weeks, some, like copper, are already seeing consumers shying away from higher prices.“The slowdown in credit will have a negative impact on China’s demand for commodities,” said Hao Zhou, senior emerging markets economist at Commerzbank AG. “So far, property and infrastructure investments haven’t shown an obvious deceleration. But they are likely to trend lower in the second half of this year.”A lag between the withdrawal of credit and stimulus from the economy and its impact on China’s raw material purchases may mean that markets haven’t yet peaked. However, its companies may eventually soften imports due to tighter credit conditions, which means the direction of the global commodity market will hinge on how much the recovery in economies including the U.S. and Europe can continue to drive prices higher.Some sectors have seen policy push an expansion in capacity, such as Beijing’s move to grow the country’s crude oil refining and copper smelting industries. Purchases of the materials needed for production in those sectors may continue to see gains although at a slower pace.One example of slowing purchases is likely to be in refined copper, said Mysteel’s Li. The premium paid for the metal at the port of Yangshan has already hit a four-year low in a sign of waning demand, and imports are likely to fall this year, she said.At the same time, the rally in copper prices probably still has a few months to run, according to a recent note from Citigroup Inc., citing the lag between peak credit and peak demand. From around $9,850 a ton now, the bank expects copper to reach $12,200 by September.It’s a dynamic that’s also playing out in ferrous metals markets.“We’re still at an early phase of tightening in terms of money reaching projects,” said Tomas Gutierrez, an analyst at Kallanish Commodities Ltd. “Iron ore demand reacts with a lag of several months to tightening. Steel demand is still around record highs on the back of the economic recovery and ongoing investments, but is likely to pull back slightly by the end of the year.”For agriculture, credit tightening may only affect China’s soaring crop imports around the margins, said Ma Wenfeng, an analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Co. Less cash in the system could soften domestic prices by curbing speculation, which may in turn reduce the small proportion of imports handled by private firms, he said.The wider trend is for China’s state-owned giants to keep importing grains to cover the nation’s domestic shortfall, to replenish state reserves and to meet trade deal obligations with the U.S.No DisasterMore broadly, Beijing’s policy tightening doesn’t spell disaster for commodities bulls. For one, the authorities are unlikely to accelerate deleveraging from this point, according the latest comments from the State Council, China’s cabinet.“Internal guidance from our macro department is that the country won’t tighten credit too much -- they just won’t loosen further,” said Harry Jiang, head of trading and research at Yonggang Resouces, a commodity trader in Shanghai. “We don’t have many concerns over credit tightening.”And in any case, raw materials markets are no longer almost entirely in thrall to Chinese demand.“In the past, the inflection point of industrial metal prices often coincides with that of China’s credit cycle,” said Larry Hu, chief China economist at Macquarie Group Ltd. “But that doesn’t mean it will be like that this time too, because the U.S. has unleashed much larger stimulus than China, and its demand is very strong.”Hu also pointed to caution among China’s leaders, who probably don’t want to risk choking off their much-admired recovery by sharp swings in policy.“I expect China’s property investment will slow down, but not by too much,” he said. “Infrastructure investment hasn’t changed too much in the past few years, and won’t this year either.”Additionally, China has been pumping up consumer spending as a lever for growth, and isn’t as reliant on infrastructure and property investment as it used to be, said Bruce Pang, head of macro and strategy research at China Renaissance Securities Hong Kong. The disruption to global commodities supply because of the pandemic is also a new factor that can support prices, he said.Other policy priorities, such as cutting steel production to make inroads on China’s climate pledges, or boosting the supply of energy products, whether domestically or via purchases from overseas, are other complicating factors when it comes to assessing import demand and prices for specific commodities, according to analysts.(Updates copper price in 11th paragraph.)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Lim family's global assets on radar after Singapore court move

SINGAPORE (Reuters) -A Singapore court has approved a freeze on up to $3.5 billion of assets of the family behind collapsed Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd, boosting the prospect of debt recovery from the former oil trading empire that counts some of the world's biggest banks among its creditors. Hin Leong was wound up in March after failing in a year-long effort to restructure more than $3 billion in debts after the COVID-19-led oil crash laid bare huge losses. Founder Lim Oon Kuin admitted in a court document last year to directing the company not to disclose hundreds of millions of dollars in losses over several years.


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