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HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
The state of Wisconsin's official drink is milk. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) say milk is harmful to humans and is really intended only to nurture calves. Us not being calves, PETA is calling for Wisconsin's governor to change the state's official drink from milk to… beer! Damn fine idea, sez I. Why didn't we think of that a long time ago? Milwaukee, the town that made beer famous, is in Wisconsin! PETA first came up with the beer-for-milk national campaign two years ago, but it was retired after being attacked by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other groups that have no sense of humor. PETA has renewed its campaign, and we're with ’em on this one…

Interstate Commerce Dept.: Beer wholesalers in states that don't allow interstate shipping of wine and beer, thanks to huge payoffs to politicians by beer wholesalers, better watch out! Some 26 states currently outlaw direct-to-consumer sales of beer and wine, despite the Constitution's guarantee of unrestricted interstate commerce. Those clever wine guys are trying to do something about this and have hired Clinton Inquisitor Kenneth Starr as head legal strategist to end the ban on shipping. If I were a beer distributor who was "doing" my secretary, I'd be plenty nervous…

In Finland, a 28-year-old ex-con stole a car and drove for four days, breaking into gas stations and cafeterias and filching beer and cigarettes. The beer guzzler's spate of robberies ended abruptly after he made a getaway jump into the back of a car. Unfortunately for this clever thief, a police officer investigating the thefts was sitting in the front seat! The culprit jumped out of the car but was caught by store guards. A day later, he was back on the road and broke into a pharmacy, a gas station and a store, but police caught him red-handed. I wonder if the cops told him he was finished as a Finnish beer thief?…

Celebrator writer and Portland beer goddess Lisa Morrison posed this question: What would be “reality show” names for OUR Michael Jackson? The top ten Beer Hunter reality show titles are: (10) “MJ and the Beer”; (9) “Mikey Drank It!”; (8) “Iron Gullet”; (7) “Bachelorette Meets the Bard of Beer”; (6) “Survivor: Belgium; (5) “World's Scariest Jackson Videos”; (4) “Around the World in 80 Beers”; (3) “Drink it! The Challenge”; (2) “Who Wants to Be a Beer Connoisseur?” And the No. 1 Michael Jackson reality show: “Michael Jackson's Weird Beer Fear Factor!” CBS could use a hit…

According to Ad Age, it is rumored that Anheuser-Busch is considering the introduction of its own stout, to be called Bare Knuckle. The idea is to compete head-to-head with Guinness in the stout category. Comments from several executives at A-B indicate that they consider this “high-end” market to be critical to their success going forward. Speculation is that marketing the product would downplay its being a product of Anheuser-Busch, since the "brewery is not liked by the target audience beer aficionados." Resignation is a great way to compensate for an image problem…

Talk about your beer bash! Don't mess with Donald Trump Jr. unless you want to hear from his daddy. The billionaire developer (daddy) is way pissed and is "siccing his lawyers on the thugs” who allegedly beaned his firstborn with a beer stein during a performance by Chris Rock at the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. "I'm going to get those m— f—s, that's for sure," the eloquent Trump Sr. was quoted as saying. Trump the younger, who's 24, received 28 stitches after a dispute with the two men who allegedly hurled the mug. While daddy wants to "sue their asses off," the club owner said that Jr. and his boys were being very noisy. "Finally, the manager had to ask them to leave," he said. "Donald Jr. was the noisiest." How many times do we have to remind everyone that steins are for drinking, baseball bats are for hitting…

It's official! Santa prefers ale to sherry! An English national opinion poll survey (commissioned by Marston's Brewery) suggests that Santa is hoping to find a pint of ale on the hearth instead of the traditional glass of sherry. Nearly 40% of men over age 30 said that if they stepped into Santa's boots, they would much prefer ale to sherry (which only scored 17%). Here in America, you're probably thinking, "What’s a hearth?"…

No Commie Wood for Your Scotch Dept.: We may have hot spots around the world as the United States squares off against its alleged foes, but we have Fidel Castro right where we want him: still banned and embargoed. This ban extends even to single malt Scotch made in Scotland but aged in — horror of horrors — Cuban rum barrels! Glenfiddich Havana Reserve has fallen afoul of American legislation banning trade with Cuba, even though the whisky is made and distilled in Scotland. The luxury 21-year-old single malt, which costs £60 a bottle, is produced by William Grant and Sons at its Dufftown distillery in the Highlands, a good 4,000 miles from the corrupting politics of Cuba. One English wag described this odd episode as "the Cuban Thistle Crisis." Gosh, I feel safer already…

 

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