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/// HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
 
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2002 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Tastes Great! Less Killing. The sale of Bin Laden beer in the Romanian town of Mizil has been banned because local officials found it in bad taste. In the good old U.S.A., we never let a thing like bad taste get in the way of commerce. The local beer fans aren't happy, claiming they are proud of the beer that they think is better than market rivals — and also cheaper! The Bin Laden beer produced by a local brewery was sold only in the town's pubs and bars.

Crisps by the Pint Dept.: English traditions are changing at the local pub. The drinking trend is away from ales, favoring lighter-tasting and highly carbonated lagers. What next, you might ask? How about lager-flavored crisps (potato chips to you yanks)! According to a story from London Reuters, chip maker McCoy's said that its new lager-flavored crisps are made with real brewing yeast and hops, and will be in pubs, wine bars and shops across the country in late August, to coincide with the launch of the new soccer season. "The new 'Lager, Lager' crisps will enable fans to enjoy the taste of beer without suffering any side effects," McCoy's said in a statement. Will the mass absenteeism experienced all over England after the recent World Cup be replaced by pandemic chip-breath?… One wonders if the Surgeon General will warn us about the perils of lager-flavored crisps…

Portland web-ster Lisa Morrison offers an original take on a net standard: If you had bought $1,000 worth of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49. With Enron, you would have $16.50 of the original grand. WorldCom? You’d have less than $5 left. Where is she going with this, you might well ask? If you had invested in $1,000 worth of your favorite craft beer (the actual beer, not stock) one year ago, drank all the beer and then turned in the bottles for the 10-cent deposit, you would have $214! (Half that in California and elsewhere.) Lisa’s investment advice? “Drink real beer and recycle!” Tastes great! Less thrilling (to your investment portfolio)…

The Press Release Read: “Stone Brewing [Arrogant Bastard Ale] announced today that it will be entering the fast-growing malternative market with a new product called Stone Extreme LemonyLime.” Stone CEO Greg Koch stated, “We feel that we have been missing out totally on a segment of the population [who are] drinking sweet flavored alcoholic drinks, and we thought we should get in the race to get their money too.” Like other category leaders in the malternative segment, Stone has made the flavor profile of the new Extreme LemonyLime no more complicated than a typical can of soda. Industry reports suggest that consumers of legal drinking age with the undeveloped palates of teenagers are demanding more and more light, fruity and fizzy alcoholic drinks. The company expects that the core consumer for Extreme LemonyLime will be in the very influential 21 to 21 1/2 age group. “Sure, we could continue just brewing beers that appeal to the educated and sophisticated beer lover, but we decided we should be able to go after the lemming consumer too.” Even though Stone does not have a well-recognized distilled spirits brand partnering with them, the company feels strongly that there is a thirsty market for its new product. The date of the press release was April 1, 2002. Hmmm…

Mark Staples, owner of Alaska’s Midnight Sun Brewery, responds: “Stone has beaten us to market in this new and exciting ‘Superficially Trendy’ market segment.” Mark’s new highly classified product, slated to come out later this year, was called FANCY BOY! “This citrus-infused malt abomination was to feature a small middle-aged man, clad in a purple silk shirt with hot pink bowling shoes and, of course, matching pink wrist supporter. Also appealing to the teenage bad-boy subculture: reading the label backwards and upside down, it will say “We love Satan,” Mark reports. “With Stone's powerhouse move to market, I think it is fair to say that Fancy Boy! will never see market shelves, leaving us to wonder what might have been…” As they say about Alaskan men, “The odds are good, but the goods are odd…”

Longtime Oregon Brew Crewer Noel Blake, who explains the beers of the Oregon Brewers Festival to the attendees, was honored by being selected to design (inspire) a commercial beer to be made by Ommegang in Cooperstown, N.Y. Noel sez the beer is a 9.8% Belgian-style ale and the predominant flavors are figs and raisins, with a touch of pear. Sounds like Anna Nicole Smith’s new Fox “reality” series. “It is medium-bodied with the ‘summery dry finish’ that I requested in my prize-winning entry on realbeer.com,” sez Noel. So, who are the three philosophers? I hate to put Descartes before de horse, but I Kant quite figger this out. I know Noel has a Locke on brewing skills, but let's not Hegel about it. Hume-er me, would you?… For those who need to know, the Three Philosophers are Suction the Epicurean, Quid the Cynic and Sipsop the Pythagorean.

The Third Annual Cask Beer Festival put on by the Washington State Brewers in September will be held in the "Alki" room of the Seattle Center. Can you hear Beavis and Butthead on that one?… Heh heh heh… Next, Bart Simpson will be calling and asking, “Is there an Al Koholic there?”…

Is there any truth to the rumor that Pfizer Corp’s Viagra will soon be available in liquid form and will be marketed by Pepsi Cola as a power beverage called "Mount 'n Do"?… I guess that means it will now be possible for a man to literally pour himself a stiff one…

 

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