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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (Dec 1995/Jan 1996)

Dear Editor:
Love the Celebrator; usually pick it up at Buffalo Bill's [Hayward, CA]. My wife and I were even on the cover for the Beer Train article (back turned, Triple Rock shirt). Any chance the Celebrator gang can get the wonderful mag on the Web in a more timely fashion? Anyway, keep up the good work!

Fred Fahrbach

Dear Fred:
Thanks for the kind words. Re: the Celebrator Web page — we're so busy trying to get the paper version (the one with the paying ads in it) to the printer that we can't keep the Web page (the one with no paying ads) as fresh as we'd like. Any volunteer help greatly appreciated, cover boy. — Ed.

Dear Celebrator:
It is with horror that I realize that my subscription to the world's greatest brewspaper has expired. Please can you do the honours and get me back on the mailing list for the ridiculously low sum of U.S. $26. As a working brewmaster/beerophile/absolute enthusiast for all things malt and hops, who will be, by the time you get this, brewing beer in a beautiful copper brewhouse, because I'm moving from Fremantle to the Redback Brewery in Melbourne, I have to keep up with what's happening in the brewing world at large - plus the Celebrator is a damned fine read, so keep up the good copy!

Yours in Beer,
Ken Duncan
North Melbourne, Australia

Dear Ken:
Thanks for the note and renewal. Congrats on the new gig in Melbourne! Please tell us about your new brewery. Since you think $26 is such a good price for the Celebrator, would you like to buy some stock, mate? Cheers! — Ed.

Dear Mr. Dalldorf:
I am a loyal reader of the Celebrator Beer News as well as a patron of the microbrewing industry. You have a fine publication, and I consider your organization to be the ultimate information source in the microbrew industry, which is why I am sending you this letter. I plan to visit Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, within the next two weeks, and I was hoping that you or your Canadian correspondents could provide some guidance as to what brewpubs and/or microbreweries exist in these cities. Could you find some time to drop me a quick e-mail list of the local watering holes? I appreciate your help.

Gary Burns
Costa Mesa, CA

Dear Gary:
I e-mailed you info from our Associate Editor Steve Beaumont's new book, Great Canadian Beer Guide. He recommends Big Rock in Calgary and Drummond in Red Deer. Let us know what you think. — Ed.

Dear Editor:
We live just south of historic Alexandria. This is a place that, to our thinking, is begging for a brewpub. A mile north of the historic area, Mick Fleetwood has opened up Fleetwood's (naturally) — a restaurant and music club (but not known for its beers). If he can get going here, maybe somebody else from California can look east 3,000 miles and start something here, too. Beer for thought? Renew us again — it's a great paper!

Ed & Dorcan Hindman
Alexandria, VA

Dear Ed & Dorcan:
We heard "Rumors" that Mick would "Go Your Own Way." But "Don't Stop Thinkin' About Tomorrow," the "Dreams" "Don't Stop." Microbrew lovers are "Never Going Back Again." — Ed.

Dear Editor:
I started reading your newspaper because I am thinking about starting a brewpub. Even though your newspaper seems to cover the West Coast and South and my venture will be on the East Coast, I find it very helpful. Please send me six issues. I just mailed a check to you for $26.00. Do you know of any good brew newspaper, like yours, that covers the East Coast? I am interested in the DC, NY and Philly areas. I would appreciate your e-mailing me.

Janice Kopits
Hankoczy, Hungary

Dear Janice:
Welcome to the wacky world of microbrewing! Thanks for your kind words about the Celebrator - from Hungary, no less! Be sure to follow up on the information I sent you about BarleyCorn and Ale Street News. I think you're covered, beer-babble-wise. Cheers! — Ed.

Dear Editor:
If your readers feel as I do that the consumer is the ultimate customer, then a tidal wave of voices crying "Foul!" will wash up on the shores of the Great American Beer Festival and the leadership that makes important decisions on how the judging is to be conducted.

High standards must be established for all brewers, not just the craft brewers. I'm not talking about dictating taste. That is the marketing dance between the manufacturer and its customer. I'm talking about setting reasonable and realistic benchmarks for all the American brewers to strive for - mass-market brewers as well as craft brewers. Creating separate categories for the big guys just so that they can win awards cheats the customers, cheats all the breweries and cheats the GABF.

It cheats the customers because, while they are striving to learn about standards and qualities of great beers, they are misled into believing that a Red Dog or Red Wolf is in the same class as a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

It cheats the breweries, both big and small. The big breweries continue to set their standards to the lowest common denominator by "winning awards," and this allows them to put off their responsibilities of providing the consumer with real quality choices. The small breweries are cheated because their awards, dearly earned, are diluted in meaning.

It cheats the GABF and the Institute by cheapening the value of winning an award at the GABF, making other festivals and judgings that maintain high standards and discipline that much more reputable. I am a great fan of the Institute and the GABF. Without them, I would not be here today, nor would hundreds of other craft brewers. It is because I am a fan that I, along with hundreds of other brewers, need to voice passionately our concerns to the Institute and the judging committee to establish the standards that constitute great beer for all brewers, not a confusing spin of class distinction and grading on the curve between the mass-market brewers and the craft brewers.

W. Scott Griffiths
William & Scott Brewing Co.
Rhino Chasers Beers

We welcome readers' responses to the above letter. — Ed.


[From San Francisco Chronicle Letters, 9/1/95]

Dear Editor:
After two faithful beer-drinking years, we discovered this past weekend that dogs are no longer welcome in our local beer garden. Evidently management got some lame ticket from a public health inspector and then banned dogs completely.

I can almost understand not allowing dogs inside the pub or even inside the main seating area, but banning dogs completely really bites. Thanks and exceptions to those kind beer-serving souls who brought Dany a dish of water while we sipped countless pints of Sir Francis.

Jim Porter
Rebekah Bailey
Berkeley, CA

Dear Jim and Rebekah:
Although you didn't direct your fine letter to the Celebrator, we chose to respond because we support your dog and "beer-friendly" position. Our company mascot, Baron the Rottweiler, has been known to enjoy a particularly fine bowl of water in front of Buffalo Bill's in Hayward, CA, while we assess the characteristics of the latest brews therein. We sympathize with your feelings and hope that your local health cops take a more enlightened view toward our four-legged companions. — Ed.

Dear whoever- is- in- charge- of- helping- a- beer- loving- fellow- torn- from- the- bosom- of- those- fine- malt- beverages- he- loves- find- a- modicum- of- comfort- in- reading- about- that- which- he- cannot- have- here- in- this- heathen- backwater- known- as- Hong- Kong:
A friend of mine recently handed me an article clipped from the New York Times (Sunday, May 28, 1995) which described the growth in number and popularity of beer magazines. At the end of the article, the postscript mentioned that if one was to send a self- addressed, stamped envelope, the nice people at your magazine would send a directory of beer publications. Well, I would really like to get my hands on one of those directories, but I don't have any U.S. stamps with me, and I'm fairly sure that the U.S. Postal Service (motto: "We don't actually shoot all of our supervisors") would be horribly confused by an envelope with Hong Kong stamps on it.

So I am placed in the position of having to throw myself at your mercy and beg that you bend, break or otherwise overlook the rules for me. If this is too much to ask, I will understand and ask my U.S. financial affairs advisor (uh, my brother, that is) to send you the requisite postage. Also, I would like to know more about your magazine, especially what it would cost to get a subscription out here.

P.S. Actually, Hong Kong is getting to be less of a "black hole" for beer lovers, as we just had a microbrewery open here last month. There are now about half a dozen or so brewpubs and/or microbreweries in Asia.

Yours sincerely,
Adam Persson
Hong Kong

Dear Reader-who-obviously-gets-paid-by-the-word:
We will be happy to send you our Directory of Beer Publications even though you failed to include the requisite SASE. Your setup was just too good! We are actually a newspaper (you get your beer news faster and cheaper!) and are available in the mystic East for $26 U.S. a year. For $4 we'll even send you a sample copy (that's what it costs us to send it via those wonderful folks at the Postal Service, who are very hip to foreign stamps). The Celebrator is covering the emerging brewing industry in Hong Kong and mainland China. Stay tuned. — Ed.

Dear Editor:
Please sign me up for a year's subscription. I'm going to move to Denver soon, and I'm very interested in some microbreweries in the area. Coors will only lead me to a slow and painful death! Thank you very much!

Ross Tibbits
San Francisco, CA

Dear Ross:
Welcome to one of the fastest growing beer regions in the country! Expect to find variety, quality, friendly service and cask-conditioned brews on hand-pumps. Just check out the directory for the Rocky Mountains in this issue. One of the newest brewpubs is the SandLot Brewery, located in Coors Field. Try their beer and see if Coors will lead you to an etc., etc. BTW, if you had ponied up the $30 million instead of Coors, Coors Field would be known as Tibbits Field. — Ed.

Dear Celebrator:
Several years ago, my husband and I picked up a copy of your publication at a brewpub in Northern California. We have carried it in our car now for several years until it is yellowed and cracked. We have not found another edition and wish we could. Could you tell us where we might find one or where we could send for one? It has been great having it along. We get to a town and check to see if there is a pub around. We've certainly enjoyed trying the different brews and seeing the different towns.

Thanks for your great work!

Nancy and Gerry Tucker
Vacaville, CA

Dear Nancy and Gerry:
We'd send you a replacement, but then you'd have two "yellow and cracked" issues. Why don't we send you a fresh one! The information is a lot more meaningful, considering all the changes and growth in the last few years. Hint: A subscription would be even better. — Ed.

To Whom It May Concern:
I enjoyed your publication when I attended the California Culinary Academy. I became very interested in brewing and joined the brewing arts council at school. Upon graduation I moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Like California, Colorado is big with microbrews and has a big selection of various styles of beer.

Recently I moved to Dallas, where not only are there only two microbreweries (which are struggling to survive), but there is no comparison to the variety of beers at liquor stores. And the selections that are there are unrefrigerated.

Basically, I'm missing the variety and luxury I used to have. Also, I miss your publication. I came across your address in my address book and was wondering if I could get a subscription.

Thank you,
Kelly Reid Testorff
Dallas, TX

Dear Kelly:
The microbrewing revolution is taking a bit longer in some parts of the country. We have been amazed at the progress in Austin, TX, and Dallas should be coming along soon. Meanwhile, enjoy reading about the craft beer scene in each issue of the Celebrator. And stop moving around. Support your local brewery! — Ed.


Dear Tom:
Congratulations on a very well-run and very well-done conference. From my point of view, it was among the best I have been to with respect to organization, operations and value.

George Johnson
Director, Craft Brewing Business Institute
Professor of Business Administration
Sonoma State University

Dear Tom:
Occasionally moments arise that instantly enshrine themselves as significant and substantive amidst the dizzying craft brew scene. The "Business of Beer" seminar recently hosted by Beer Business Services and the Celebrator was such an event.

Your vision of a focused presentation on the straight-ahead business aspects of the industry was well represented by all of the guest speakers, and the structure and range of topics were outstanding. The opportunity to absorb the collective wisdom and panache of pioneers such as John Hickenlooper was truly precious — the learning curve for attendees planning to open a brewery was tremendously reduced within the span of eight hours. My only suggestion would be to swap a bit of the regulatory agenda with some consumer marketing discussion, especially right after lunch!

Your personal dedication to supporting the industry by providing an excellent product is a continual inspiration to us all. Well done!

Craig Wesley
President, MicroBrew Express

Dear George and Craig:
Thanks so much for your kind words re our first "Business of Beer" Conference. Please see Nico Freccia's story in this issue. — Ed.

Dear Celebrator:
No more! I'm tired of searching far and wide for the Celebrator, so please take my money and help ease my mighty blues for your Beer News.

Mark C. Steenkolk
Boise, ID

Dear Mark:
Always happy to take your money to ease your blues for news. Were life itself so easy... — Ed.

Dear Celebrator:
Some friends and I had the good fortune to go on the first-ever "Beer Train" out of Fort Bragg. I wanted to let you know just how much fun we had. We were able to get out of the city for a while - that's a big plus in itself. We also met some very interesting and fun-loving people while we were on the train- people like "Chilo," the man who makes the Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout, and Loren, Anderson Valley Brewing Company's operations manager.

After the 90-minute train ride into the redwood forest, we stopped to enjoy some excellent beers from different breweries. I was able to get acquainted with a lot of different people who have at least two very important things in common: (1) we all love "REAL BEER," not the fermented dishwater the big companies sell, and (2) we all love to have FUN. My friends and I had such a great time that we have already started making plans for next year's "Beer Train."

Juan J. Leon
Oakland, CA

Dear Juan:
Glad you liked our "Beer Train"! We will be doing it again. We will notify you of the date. See our story on page one of this issue. — Ed.

Dear Celebrator:
My name is Paul Murphy, and I've been an avid reader of your newspaper for three years. I'm writing to share with you my gratitude for being the best publication in the entire brewing industry! I required knowledge of the industry and business of beer in order to work at Bluewater Brewing Co. in Tahoe City, which was my favorite job. I gained the knowledge I needed from reading issues of your paper over and over and from touring breweries on weekends.

In February, things were going great for me and Bluewater, and then Murphy's Law took over. I was skiing with some friends and collected a tree, which in turn snapped my tibia. I was out of work in a full- leg cast, and my only saving grace was being able to get the latest Celebrator.

I've left Tahoe (and the brewery) and moved back home to Southern Cal, where they sell Sam Adams as an import beer, and I'm still addicted to reading your newspaper. Please go monthly with your publication. I love it and everything in it!

Paul Murphy
Ventura, CA

Dear Paul:
If going monthly will speed your recovery, we'll do it! How 'bout after the first of the year? — Ed.

Dear Celebrator:
Thank you for a wonderful two years. Please find my check for two more. Your comprehensive information has made my travels to the West even more fun. I have also been well and enjoyably informed about beer issues by the Celebrator.

We in the South are just beginning to have access to better beer. Prohibition is still very much alive here. Travel to the western U.S. is like going to beer heaven, and the Celebrator is a wonderful guide.

Keep up the good work!!

Dale Bolt, D.M.D.
Hamilton, AL

Dear Dr. Dale:
I hope you have paid close attention to Steve Johnson's extensive chronicling of the beer boom in the "Bible Belt." Let us all rejoice that there is good beer everywhere. — Ed.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:
A friend of mine from Florida sent me a few copies of the Celebrator, which I really love to read. Compared to our German brewing newspaper, it is quite funny but still very interesting. My name is Christian Müller. I am 27 years old and will soon be a fully qualified German brewmaster. In 1988, I started three years of apprenticeship as a brewer in Cologne (Germany). Then I worked three years as a qualified brewer in a pub-brewery in Hamburg. In August 1998, after two years of studying, I will graduate as a brewmaster at Doemens, a well-known and famous brewmaster school in Munich.

After school I would like to experience how beer is brewed in the United States and maybe give my American brewing friends some hints and tips. Thank you very much and PROSIT!

Christian Müller
Stockdorf, Germany

Dear Christian:
Funny? You think this is FUNNY?! (That's for all you "GoodFellas.") Seriously, we hope you get hooked up with a brewery in the U.S. and tell us about your experiences. (Anyone interested can contact Christian through his classified ad in this issue.) — Ed.


Dear Editor:
Maybe it's good fortune that my Celebrator subscription expires with the issue that featured the word "smegma" in three places, twice in bold type.

A decision is now at hand: Should I send my $14.95 to the local cable TV company, so "Beavis and Butthead" can serve me a regular helping of such stomach-turning juvenile "humor," or should I instead send the money to you, in the hope that if I renew my subscription, you will return to the good taste which formerly characterized your publication?

Kenneth J. Rogers
St. Joseph, MI

Dear Celebrator:
I love you! Please send 12 issues of your brewspaper. Since I moved up here to Alaska, I've been somewhat depressed by the lack of quality beer journalism.

Jeff Byles
Anchorage, AK

Dear Folks at the Celebrator:
As a faithful subscriber for several years now, I still enjoy your comprehensive coverage, now covering most of the States, it seems. As craft brewing has exploded, I have watched your newspaper grow and grow. Your coverage of my area, the Pacific Northwest, keeps me and my friends abreast of the latest developments. Larry Baush does a fine job (I'm an MAS [Microbrew Appreciation Society] member and I'm fond of his Pint Post as well). Of course I'll renew my subscription!

Cheers to a group of professionals dedicated to communicating the latest information on craft brewing to lovers of the science and art of beer!

Dr. Chad Kuipers
Gig Harbor, WA

Dear Pamela:
It was quite a surprise to get your phone call last Friday. Your friendly and helpful attitude towards "just another beer guy" was very refreshing and typifies why the Celebrator is the publication that I await so eagerly every other month. Please also extend my thanks to Mr. Dalldorf, without whom you wouldn't have gotten my inquiry and the Celebrator would not have grown into the increasingly fine periodical that it has, and continues to, become.

If you or any Celebrator associate should visit Southern California, I'd be honored to buy you a pint at my favorite local hangout — Hollingshead's Delicatessen, one of the quirkiest places I've found in the course of brew tours of California, Washington, Oregon and parts of British Columbia (always using the Celebrator as my tour guide, of course!).

Larry Draus
Huntington Beach, CA

Dear Editor:
Once again, another year has come and gone, and it's time to renew my subscription to your paper. For the past three or four years, your mag has grown into a fine hopbud indeed. Please give some credit to the circulation department, for no matter how many times I've moved in these past years, they've found me. I've never given a change of address, nor have I seen one of those U.S. Postal Service yellow labels requesting a change be sent.

P.S. Thanks for the fine years and memories.

Ken Parker
Ft. Worth, TX




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