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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Sometimes it takes a Flying Dog to get a Snakehead, if you know what I mean. Flying Dog was the official beer of the 2011 Potomac Snakehead Tournament, which ran in September of this year at Smallwood State Park in Marbury, Md. The Snakehead fish, an invasive species in the Potomac River watershed, is so nasty that it was dubbed “Fishzilla” by National Geographic. These fish cause massive damage to the area’s ecosystem because they’re a top-level predator with no natural enemies. The tournament is helping to reduce the population of Snakeheads by featuring Snakehead chowder, Snakehead tacos, etc. Chad Wells, executive chef at Alewife in Baltimore, hosted a Snakehead tasting accompanied by Flying Dog beer. Said one attendee, “Mmmm, Snakehead. Tastes like chicken!”…

The University of California at Davis is known for its agriculture department — hence the nickname “Aggies.” Local brewpub Sudwerk Restaurant and Brewery is stepping up to produce Aggie Lager (the brewery specializes in authentic German-style lager beer), and the university expects to generate revenue equivalent to a one-year scholarship for an in-state student athlete. Next they’ll need sweatshirts with “We Drink So Others May Learn” on them.

Most people have witnessed otherwise intelligent people doing embarrassing or stupid things when they are intoxicated, but what specifically happens in the brain to cause such drunken actions? Bruce Bartholow, an associate professor of psychology, found that alcohol dulls the brain “signal” that warns people when they are making a mistake, ultimately reducing self-control. “When people make mistakes, activity in a part of the brain responsible for monitoring behavior increases, essentially sending an alarm signal to other parts of the brain indicating that something went wrong,” said the good professor. “Our study isn’t the first to show that alcohol reduces this alarm signal, but contrary to previous studies, our study shows that alcohol doesn’t reduce your awareness of mistakes — it reduces how much you care about making those mistakes.” Oh, swell; we needed a scientific study to tell us that…

The only app for U.S. beer gardens, Beer Gardens NYC™, just got bigger and better. The newly released 2.1 version adds nine New York City beer gardens and lists more than 1,000 domestic and international beers. There are now 63 beer gardens listed by borough, neighborhood, beers and price range. A better beer life brought to you by your smart phone…

When a friend gave Joey Redner a taste of a beer that had been aged with Spanish cedar — the wood used to wrap and box cigars — he knew it was an idea worth stealing. The aroma and flavor instantly reminded the then–avid homebrewer of his hometown’s hand-rolled cigars. Redner now owns Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Fla. Lots of brewers name their beers for the regions in which they are made. But Cigar City takes it further, using ingredients such as Spanish cedar, guava, Cuban espresso and citrus woods to craft beers that also taste of Tampa’s heritage. The Florida beer scene is definitely smokin’!…

The Wild West legend who founded Cody, Wyoming, is widely honored (and exploited?) in that historic town. There are several hotels with Buffalo Bill Cody’s name on them. There’s a Buffalo Bill museum, and Buffalo Bill souvenirs almost seem to equal the number of buffalo that once roamed the prairies in these parts until Buffalo Bill… well, that’s another story. But there was no Buffalo Bill Beer in Cody until now. This past summer, two local businessmen each launched a brew named after their hometown hero. Now it looks like the town isn’t big enough for both of them. The two entrepreneurs are fighting in court for the exclusive right to sell beer that bears the name Buffalo Bill. Former professional wrestling icon Eric Bischoff hired a small brewer to create a light, spicy rye that he is marketing as Buffalo Bill Cody Beer, “The spirit of the wild, wild West.” Bischoff’s rival is Mike Darby, whose family owns and operates Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel, a historic landmark built by Buffalo Bill in 1902 and decorated with enormous big-game trophies (we’ll guess a few buffalo heads too). The hotel has been selling drinks in Buffalo Bill glasses at the Buffalo Bill’s Bar for years. Darby decided to have a craft brewer ship him crates of lager in blank bottles so he could slap on his own labels and presto, Buffalo Bill Beer! Now there are suits and countersuits about who has the rights to Buffalo Bill’s beer. If these litigious fellows knew anything about the craft beer business, they’d have known about a brewery that opened in Hayward, Calif., in 1983 called Buffalo Bill’s Brewery, founded by Buffalo Bill Owens. Current owner Geoff Harries is now having to step up to protect his long-held trademark. And Harries still has the original buffalo head above the bar. Sorry, Cody, Wyoming. Been there, drank that…
 

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