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/// HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
 
JUNE/JULY 2014 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Notice the buzz in the air? Could it be a drone heading your way out on a lake near Stevens Point, Wis.? Lakemaid Beer seems to have jumped the FAA gun by airlifting 12-packs of its brewskis to thirsty, isolated ice fishermen. Seems that a six-bladed drone is just right for a 12-pack. The feds were not impressed with the achievement and told the brewery to cancel further flights of fancy froth forthwith. And thanks to longtime contributor Tim White for spotting this…

Sure, there are countless beer festivals happening everywhere all the time. And while most present the same sort of scene — tables, taps, brewery reps and crowds of enthusiastic and thirsty beer nerds lining up to grab a glassful of the latest and greatest suds — here’s one that’s so out of the ordinary that it’s in a class all its own. Maybe it’s because the fest requires its guests to doff their duds before getting the suds. Yeah, you read that right. Nudity is a requirement for Sunny Rest Resort’s annual beer festival, which this year takes place on Saturday, June 28, in Pennsylvania’s Poconos. You’re free to wear a robe, a towel or even pants and a shirt elsewhere at this clothing-optional vacation getaway, but on the site of the annual brewfest, only birthday suits will be tolerated. Excuse me, Miss, but my eyes are up here…

For all you theoretical physics phlox, River North Brewery in Denver, Colo., has a Belgian-style double IPA called the Hoppenberg Uncertainty Principle. The mere act of observing the behavior of the beer alters its flavor profile. Or something. I’ll get back to you on that… Famed aristocratic mathematician Lord Bertrand Russell famously said, “Better Red than dead.” Crux Fermentation in Bend, Ore., has a Better Off Red, a Flanders red ale. I’m liking their thinking. Besides, Lord Russell was a sourpuss without actual sour beers. And that’s just wrong… What’s in a name? Crimea River Russian Imperial Stout has to be the best beer name in a while… and tasty, too. Thanks, Jamie Floyd at Ninkasi in Eugene. Take the rest of the day off…

The Chicago-based Veteran Beer Company aims to help those who have served our country and is employing only U.S. armed forces veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that the country’s unemployment rate for veterans is 20 percent, and for wounded vets, that number jumps to 88 percent. Brewery founder Paul Jenkins, a retired navy pilot, said he wanted to create a company that would be able to help people who had served. “The idea was to come up with a company that could hire as many veterans as possible, as quickly as possible,” Jenkins told Fox News. All of the 45 people who work at the beer company are former military personnel, and the company ultimately hopes to employ 3,500 veterans within five years. Two beers are currently available: Blonde Bomber Ale and The Veteran lager. The company hopes to sell 200,000 cases of beer next year. Jenkins said he believes a lot of people will buy the beer out of patriotism, but the key for success is repeat orders, and for that, the beer needs to be good. Amen and pass the ammunition…

The indefatigable Kyle of Brewing Some Fun is compiling wacky beer laws, and some are beyond wacky. In North Dakota, it’s illegal to serve beer and pretzels at the same time. Whaaat? In West Virginia, you can’t serve alcohol to a minor EXCEPT if you’re related by blood OR marriage. Don’t get caught in Missouri sitting on a curb and drinking beer out of a bucket. It’s illegal! In enlightened California, if a store sells both motor fuel and alcohol, the alcohol cannot be within five feet of the cash register. They have a tape measure, so just watch it. In sociable Indiana, it is illegal for a bar to give you a drink on the house. Really? My birth state of Minnesota is socially aware enough that it specifically states that it is in fact NOT a crime to be intoxicated in public. In Indiana, liquor stores cannot sell cold sodas or soft drinks… they have to be unrefrigerated! Good lord. And it gets HOT in Indiana…

In Nebraska, a bar cannot sell beer unless a kettle of soup is brewing at the time. (Must be left over from the Depression?) In Missouri, the “Show Me State,” if an underage kid takes out the trash and it has even one single empty alcoholic beverage container, the kid can be charged with possession. What? Possession of an empty container? Good luck with your recycling program. And in Iowa, it’s illegal for the refined gentlemen of Ames to have three sips of beer while they are in bed with their wives. Well, that makes sense. She might want some, and then what?…
 

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