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DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
The Mouse That Roared Dept.: Empire Brewing in Syracuse, N.Y., has been brewing a beer called Strikes Bock for seven years. The Disney legal beagles, now owners of George Lucas’s Lucasfilm and the Star Wars dynasty, have filed notice to force Empire to just stop it. “The thing is, the beer is called ‘Strikes Bock,’ not ‘Empire Strikes Bock,’” Empire owner David Katleski told a local newspaper. Disney may have a tad more money than tiny Empire Brewing, which may go the way of the planet Alderaan if Darth Disney has its way…

Best/worst/hilariously inane beer names from this year’s GABF (as aggregated by our esteemed beer colleague and super blogger Jay Brooks): Nightbeer Before Christmas, Alameda Brewing; Stupid Sexy Flanders, American Brewing; The Kimmie, the Yink and the Holy Gose, Anderson Valley Brewing (it helps if you are familiar with the Catholic version of Boontling); Rabid Beaver Rye IPA, Belching Beaver Brewery; Horny Goat Barrel-Aged Porter, Elevator Brewing; Keep It Copacetic, Middle Brow Beer Company; Naughty Sauce, Noble Ale Works; Sit Down or I’ll Sit You Down, Peticolas Brewing; The Big LeBarrelski, Pinthouse Pizza Craft Brewpub (Dude!); and I Like the Way She Moos, Storm Peak Brewing. The craft beer industry — keeping it silly since 1978…

Now here’s a different way to celebrate an anniversary. Ska Brewing is releasing a comic book chronicling its first 20 years. Tales of the Legion of Ska is part David vs. Goliath, part Archie and Veronica and part influential business book, according to Bill Graham and Dave Thibodeau, who founded Ska in Durango, Colo., in 1995. The Ska team signed copies of the comic at its official release party on Halloween…

Beer Drinkers and Virility: A study of men whose partners were undergoing in vitro fertilization at Massachusetts General Hospital found that those men who drank the equivalent of a pint of beer a day had the best chance of creating conception. Men who consumed an average of 2.7 alcohol units each day had a 57 percent chance of the process ending in pregnancy — double that of those whose intake was lower. Health experts have attributed this to alcohol’s ability to temper stress levels, and for those consciously trying for a child, removing some of the pressure during sex could be the key to aiding conception. Yet another contribution of good beer to mankind…

The Times of India reports that villagers “swarmed” onto a truck and helped themselves to free beer after the truck overturned in a remote part of India, sparking an impromptu roadside party. According to reports, locals helped free the truck driver and his brother, who had received minor injuries during the crash, from the wreckage before turning their attention to its cargo. There is such a thing as karma, you know…

Mark Will-Weber, author of Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking, told FoxNews.com that America’s first President loved his beer. Old letters show that Washington loved a particular Philadelphia-based brew called Porter Beer. (A modern-day version is currently brewed by Yards Brewing Company.) According to Will-Weber, “He loved it and mixed molasses with it, which may explain why Washington’s teeth were not that great, but it was just enough sweetness and thickness to add to the authentic porter that they used to get from Britain before the war.”…

Ninkasi Brewing Company in Eugene, Ore., has joined forces with the Civilian Space eXploration Team (CSXT), which, back in 2004, was the first amateur rocketeer group to successfully launch a rocket into space. The team did it again 10 years later, carrying a very special payload — 16 strains of Ninkasi’s brewer’s yeast — above Earth’s atmosphere. “NSP [Ninkasi Space Program] is a very serendipitous project,” said Nikos Ridge, CEO and cofounder of Ninkasi. “I don’t think you could have planned a more perfect pairing of beer and space geekery.” Longtime Portland beer devotee Jon Reid, who formerly worked for the Horse Brass Pub and currently works for beer distributor Maletis Beverage, introduced Ridge and Ninkasi cofounder Jamie Floyd to Bruce Lee of CSXT. The idea was born then but fermented for over a year. In July 2014, the NSP launched the yeast in a specially designed payload container built by a 3D printing company in Portland to carry the 16 yeast strains past the Earth’s atmosphere and back to solid ground. But when the payload carrier was made, another compartment was added for other special items. One of those was a small container of legendary Portland publican Don Younger’s ashes. We can only imagine the founder of the venerable Horse Brass Pub saying, “Now the whole world can kiss my ash.”…
 

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