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/// HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
 
JUNE/JULY 1997 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Beer is finally getting some respect from the political front. In ceremonies at the new Pyramid Alehouse, Berkeley Mayor Shirley Dean proclaimed her City's name to change to "Beerkeley" for one day in honor of their SpringFest beer festival and to recognize Berkeley, sorry, BEERkeley's efforts to become the Napa Valley of microbrewing (eight breweries in the city limits)...

Speaking of Berkeley (watch out for the segue), Hempen Ale from the Frederick Brewing Co. is the first-ever US Craft Beer Brewed with Hemp Seeds. Coincidentally, Portland Brewing Co. has just release its Zig Zag Lager. Hummm.... What would you call a blended drink with those two beers? A Captain Tripps? A Mr. Natural? Jim Parker of the IBS suggests "a joint effort!" Bingo!!!... (I tried a Hempen Zig Zag but couldn't get it lit...)

Hank Stewart of New York City sends in the following observation: We know that gout is an affliction normally associated with overweight, overindulgent millionaires, not professional athletes. But when the topic is certain Major League Baseball pitchers, the line starts to blur. The New York Times recently reported that New York Yankees starting pitcher David Wells showed up at spring training with a touch of — you guessed it — gout in his right foot. Wells stands 6-foot-4-inches, tips the scales at 248 pounds and recently signed with the Yankees for a reported $13.5 million. He is also, apparently, quite fond of — you guessed it — beer! "It does a body good," he told the Times, which leads one to believe that should this baseball thing not work out, Wells can always get work cranking out "borrowed" advertising slogans for the beer industry. How 'bout, "If I could walk, I'd get another beer!"

Meanwhile, with all his other problems, legendary beer industry pioneer Bill Owens has (are you ready for it?)... gout!

Clever names for Steam Beer that seem to avoid lawsuits: "Climax California Classic" amber lager from Eel River in Eureka, CA, named for the Climax "Steam" Engines that pulled the big logs from the lumber fields. How 'bout "Eam-Stay Eer-Bay" from Cedar River Brewing Co. in Redmond, WA. Does anyone remember Pig Latin?...

And speaking of avoiding lawsuits, former LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman (remember the OJ trial?) is a regular at the Pend Oreille Brewing Company in Sand Point, ID. He reportedly loves the Hefeweisen and had his birthday party there...

Our Right Coast faithful correspondents Jim Leff and Hubey Plummer went to check out the new Longshore Brewing Company in Garden City, Long Island. They reported being met by swarthy, thick-necked management/security goons — wearing shiny suits and sporting equally shiny hair — at the door. "Gennelmen, will you be dining wit' us dis evening?" "No, we'd just like to have some beer," said our intrepid beer explorers. "In dat case, dere's a tree dollar cover charge," explained goon II. "To drink BEER? Just to drink BEER there's a COVER charge?" "Dat's right," they insisted. Well, it IS Long Island, ferhevensake!...

Meanwhile, our Left Coast curmudgeon-in-training, William Abernathy, suggests we adhere to Schweinheitsgebot — the purity law that sez, "Don't put anything in your beer that a pig wouldn't eat." To your room, William...

From the New York City Beer Page comes a tale sounding very much like a Monty Python sketch. Two homebrewers went to Little Shop of Hops recently and the dialogue went like this (according to the page): US: We need some Fuggle hops. THEM: Sorry, we don't have those. US: OK, we'll take some East Kent Goldings? THEM: Sorry, we don't have those either. US: Then, what do you have? THEM: Saaz and Cascade. US: Why such a limited selection? THEM: Well, the owner only orders the hops she likes. (Can't you just see John Cleese saying, "Well, it's not much of a Hops Shop then, is it!"...

In a continuing attempt to Anglo-ize the American beer scene, certain East Coast Beer Geeks are trying to start their own CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale). All they need is a cause. That and a catchy acronym. How 'bout FLASH CAMRA (Fraternity of Lovers of Ales Served Here). Or CAMRA BAG (Big Ale Group). Now it's your turn...

Miller Brewing sure took an odd approach to "Macro-izing" their advertising. "It's Time Beer Stopped Acting Like Wine," said their ad geeks. "It's time Miller stopped acting like Homer Simpson," said the Celebrator Beer News. Hummmm.... Wasn't it Miller that used to call itself the "Champagne of Bottled Beer?"...

The Crypt of Civilization, recently reported in Newsweek, is a huge potpourri of "every subject of importance known to mankind," covering some 6,000 years of history, and was sealed up at Oglethorpe University in 1940, not to be opened until 8113! (I'm making reservations now!) The custodian revealed that it did contain a quart of Budweiser. He felt that by then "everything would've changed except the beer. Whoever opens it in 8113, that Bud's for them." Geez, if it only had a "Born On" date...

Another nail in the NYC Brewpub coffin — a report in a national magazine that the manager of a popular mid-town bar said, "Kids order a Schaefer because they've never drunk beer out of a can before!" Blimey, it's worse than I thought...

Those of you in and around the Apple Grande on June 20, be sure to stop by the Russell Schehrer Memorial Softball Game in Central Park. I'm trying to imagine what Russell might have worn to the event. He would have been 39...

 

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