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/// HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
 
FEBRUARY/MARCH 1997 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Our man in London, Paul Roberts, checks in with an update on contract brewing over there: "The tendency is for 'badge beer' products brewed in the UK under license to be nothing remotely like their originals. There are so many 'continental' lagers brewed by Whitbread, Scottish Courage and Bass in this country that are pure chemical formulae and bear no resemblance to the originals -- Stella Artois, Lowenbrau and Grolsch being three prime examples. Even UK produced Budweiser, Miller and Coors are far worse than the USA originals!" Perhaps Anheuser-Busch should ask Boston Beer Company for advice on assuring the quality of its contract-brewed products?

Seasonal Thinking Dept.: Beer production has historically had various styles of beer to coincide with the changing seasons. The more creative types have expanded the usual styles in recent years. Pete's jumped into the seasonal specialty category with their Wicked Mardi Gras special brew. Not to be outdone, those rascals from Rogue Ales in Oregon are offering two new brews including Hazelnut Brown Nectar (A Valentine for Beer Nuts) and Rogue's Cran-n-Cherry for Washington's birthday. This is in addition to their Wild Irish Rogue for St. Patrick's, Mexicali Rogue for Cinco de Mayo (which this year falls on the 5th of May!), Maierbock for Spring and Mogul Ale for ski season. Let's see, we still need something for Ash Wednesday and a show stopper for Lincoln's Birthday...

If you've had a wild hair up your whatever to start a brewery, welcome Wild Hare Brewing Company of Hamilton, MT. Just to let you know that as we approach 1,000 breweries in the United States we haven't run out of names, check these out: Your Father's Mustache, Buffalo, NY; Beer Belly's, La Jolla, CA; Reckless Abandon, Santa Clara, CA; Titanic Brewing Co., Coconut Grove, FL; Luftwaffe Brewing Co., Ft. Mitchell, KY; Big Dick's Home Brewed Lager, Hyannis, MA; Lightning Boy Brewery, Bozeman, MT; Big Silly Brewing Co., New York, NY; and Dog Bone Brewing Co., Olympia, WA. Now are you inspired?...

Don't be surprised if a certain San Francisco brewery known for distilling comes out with a proprietary gin. No trade name as yet, but may we humbly suggest "Anqueray?"...

Six months ago the Celebrator ran an editorial titled "This Bud Distributor's Not For You." The January 13 Newsweek did a cute write up on the popularity of Brew-U-Own shops called "This Bud's Not for You." Could it be that Newsweek is cribbing from the Celebrator? Cool!...

For those of you wanting to work off last year's excesses, don't forget the very useful "how-to" book Exercise with Alcohol: The Ultimate Fitness Guide for Today's American Drinker by Bruce Clifton. Sounds like my kinda workout!...

Sadly, the Rockridge District in Oakland, CA, has lost another great pub — the E-line (named for the super efficient streetcars that gave post-war Oakland one of the best transit systems in the country) has closed and former owner (and former brewer at Twenty Tank in Ess Eff) is in Dublin (the one in Ireland, silly) working on an American-style brewpub due to open in the spring! What will a "One Beer" culture make of such goings on?...

Pete! Are you real? Advertising Age, the "Celebrator for the ad geeks," recently stated that, "A new print and radio campaign for Pete's Brewing Co. puts the brewery's fictional founder on the road... " FICTIONAL FOUNDER! Geez, Louise... I've had dinner with the dude! If Pete is fictional, how 'cum he picked up the check once?...

Culture comes to Phoenix Dept.: McFarlane Brewing Company is very proud to announce that their outdoor pub at the Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts will be located directly across from Hooters on 5th Avenue! Fun in the sun and fresh brew too!...

It has been determined by scientists that beer in ancient Egypt was similar in flavor to Chardonnay wine! Next thing you know we'll find out that the ancient Egyptians were 49'er fans...

Stephen Mallery of Brewing Techniques checks in: "With all the attention given to Tickle-Me-Elmo, my brother thought it would be a great idea to put one in a jar of brine on the counter of a bar; you know, like the eggs and sausages you often see. The barkeep could call it his 'Pickle-Me-Elmo.'" Go to your room, Stephen...

Moose: "Hey Rocky, watch me pull a brewery out of my hat!" Squirrel: "That trick never works!" Stoopid Moose Brewing Co. in Temecula, CA, just got the "Cease and Desist" order from a much larger Moose in Canada. We sure wouldn't want the general beer-loving public to confuse a large lager producer with a tiny SoCal ale micro. Stoopid Moose indeed...

And while we're on the subject, the Canadian beer wars are heating up with Molson trying new ad campaigns to regain some of their lost turf to the now Belgian-owned Labatt's. Picture denizens of a sweaty hot mosh pit saying, "Let's talk about aroma!" "What makes our beer smell a whole lot better than a night in a stinking hot pit? Hops!" You can thank the copywriters at BBDO Vancouver for that!...

Creative Master brewer Don Gortemiller of Pacific Coast Brewing Co. in Oakland, CA, found a new way to celebrate the birth of his first child — a Cohiba knock-off cigar band on a high-quality cigar that sez, "It's a girl! Leslie Juan Gortemiller, 12/14/96." We can hardly wait 'till she's hand rolling her own brand for dad! Don, meanwhile, knows that she will eventually join the ranks of America's lady "brewsters"...

Bock to Basics Dept.: Steve Beaumont thinks he's finally traced the origin of the misinformation regarding the making of bock beer. His mom gave him an old set of cookbooks from the 1950's. "Much to my shock, here is what I found written by Alec Waugh on page 32 of the Wine and Spirits book: 'In the United States, there is also a sweet potation called bock beer. It is made by using the sediment collected from the fermenting vats when they are cleaned in the spring of each year.'" So THAT's where that notion came from!...

Talk about your "blind dumb luck," Hansen's Times Square Brewery in Midtown Manhattan just got a huge amount of national publicity due to the British Airways sign on their roof. The world's largest model airplane, a half-size replica of the airline's flagship Concord, was placed atop the brewery with massive media exposure... not quite as much, fortunately, as the allegations against them of improper hiring practices, racial discrimination and sexual harassment!...

 

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