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/// HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
 
APRIL/MAY 1999 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Our friends at Back Bay Brewing in Boston made national news recently with the announcement of a new beer release. Its name? Boston Strangler Stout! Seems memories in those parts are long and feelings still strong about the brutal murders — facts that make asking for “a Boston Strangler, please” in a pub still a bit touchy. If, indeed, time heals all wounds (except for those of the ones who actually died of them), it is possible that other breweries will take up the challenge for wacky new beer names. Other mass murderers who could be commemorated with beers might include Jeffrey Dahmer Doppelbock (don’t ask what it goes with), Charles Ng Triple, Richard Speck Pils, Nightstalker Porter, Son of Sam Boston Lager… Hey, these should be served at Alcatraz Brewing Company! After all, its motto is “Best beer behind bars!”…

While Boston still has more than its share of Irish pubs, another one bites the blarney in Healdsburg, CA. Say goodbye to Molly Malone’s… welcome the new Mexican-themed pub called Tamale Malone’s! (Somebody get me a Guinness, quick!)

And watch out, St. Patrick’s Day, here comes Purim! That wacky Jewsploitation brewer, Jeremy Cowan (owner of Shmaltz Brewing, maker of He’Brew, the Chosen Beer), is pushing yet another excuse for a day of celebration — Purim! “Celebrate the miraculous escape of the Jewish people from Babylonian near-destruction,” Jeremy implores. “Raise a glass of the World Famous Crow Bar Original, the Sammy Davis, Jr.!” This curious concoction is a He’Brew black and tan poured with Guinness and He’Brew. “Such delicious fun,” sez Jeremy, “and at a discount, no less!” Oy… (Shouldn't this have an eyeball floating in it?)

The story by now is legendary — Japanese businessmen drinking a Suiso beer with nitrogen gas and singing karaoke to new highs… and shooting blue flames! Sounds weird? The story has been taken for fact around the world according to Barbara and David P. Mikkelson, who wrote the book Urban Legends. Reported as fact was a statement from a karaoke club after an alleged incident: "The Tike-Take bar takes no responsibility for the subsequent internal combustion, rupture of his stomach lining, nor the third-degree burns to his esophagus, larynx and sinuses as the exploding gases forced their way out of his body. His consequential muteness and loss of employment are his own fault." The authors maintain that “there's still no Suiso beer, no Asaka Beer Corporation, and certainly no such lawsuit.” This newest version of the hoax, reports Bryan Harrell from Japan, makes more of a story out of the tale, turning what purported to be a staid news article about a karaoke innovation into a bemusing report about yet another silly lawsuit. Merely the mental picture of a drunken Japanese man hurling blue fireballs at the judges who'd passed him over is enough to keep one entertained for hours. “Karaoke is weird enough without anyone having to blow blue flames as part of it,” said Harrell.

Get ready for a new round of FDA warnings for alcoholic beverages. If they really wanted them to have meaning, perhaps they should consider these: WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like an asshole. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at 4:00 in the morning. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol is the leading cause of inexplicable rug burns on the forehead…

You had to look quick! Eugene queen brewster Teri Fahrendorf was given national attention in a short segment on CBS’s This Morning TV show on Wednesday, March 10, around 8:22 a.m. Picture Teri in her Willie Wonka white Oompa Loompa suit complete with brewer’s boots, pretending to stir the kettle at the brewery for a network audience. Teri said that the 10- to 15-second shot was called a "bumper," but we did get to hear her say the word "yummy" on national television. (Teri insists that it was their word, not hers.) Who’s going to be first to get her autograph?…

A little factoid that all beer drinkers should be aware of: What common, everyday occurrence is composed of 59% nitrogen, 21% hydrogen and 9% dioxide? That, sir, would be your ordinary, common, garden-variety fart. Let us now consider the researchers who had to document the data…

 

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