Local authorities on the Aland Islands in the Baltic Sea say a local brewer will begin producing a beer inspired by bottles found in a 19th century shipwreck three years ago. Five bottles of beer, along with 168 bottles of champagne, were pulled from a submerged schooner that experts believe sank in the 1840s.
More >> Yahoo! News.
(Dogfish Head President, Sam Calagione, reasons, “We do beers with raisins and maple syrup, so why not algae?” Alas, the beer didn’t quite take off. Calagione hasn’t been able to make it since, because Dogfish’s production capacity is maxed out. But he says a brewery expansion this summer should allow him to have the green stuff back on tap next year.
More >> Esquire.
Center of the Universe Brewing Co. and Hardywood Park Craft Brewery have signed on with Old Dominion Mobile Canning, an upstart portable canning operation in Richmond. Ashland-based Center of the Universe will can 220,000 beers, split between its Ray Ray’s Pale Ale and Main St. Virginia Ale. Co-owner Phil Ray said that, if the cans are a hit, the young brewery might eventually invest in the equipment to do it in-house.
More >> Richmond BizSense.
Brewing equipment is in short supply these days, given the number of new breweries that are going into business in Colorado and elsewhere, so when Nunns put the tanks up for sale on probrewer.com, he says he got almost fifty replies within 24 hours. "James has been a regular of ours, and he stopped in and said he’d take them," Nunns says.
More >> Cafe Society.
But then, these same lifesaving social instincts didn’t readily lend themselves to exploration, artistic expression, romance, inventiveness and experimentation — the other human drives that make for a vibrant civilization. To free up those, we needed something that would suppress the rigid social codes that kept our clans safe and alive. We needed something that, on occasion, would let us break free from our biological herd imperative — or at least let us suppress our angst when we did. We needed beer.
More >> New York Times.
(Austin, TX) – Austin Beerworks would like to publicly voice our support for SB 515-518. The bills are the product of nearly 2 years of research and negotiations between the Texas Craft Brewer’s Guild, distributors, consumer groups, and state legislators. We feel these bills will enact the most positive change for the Texas craft beer community that is currently possible through legislative efforts.
These bills will:
- Increase the annual production limit of brewpubs from 5,000 barrels to 10,000 barrels.
- Allow all brewpubs to sell to wholesalers.
- Allow brewpubs who only sell alcoholic beverages made onsite to self-distribute up to 1,000 barrels per year from a single location, and up to 2,500 barrels per year from all locations owned by the same licensee.
SB 516 & 517
- Create a new Brewer Distributor permit, which grants production breweries who produce less than 125,000 barrels per year to distribute up to 40,000 barrels per year.
- Allow production breweries who produce under 225,000 barrels per year to sell up to 5,000 barrels per year to ultimate consumers for on-site consumption.
Attached to these bills is SB 639, which was filed on behalf of the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas and has received a great deal of criticism.
The bill will:
- Prohibit “reach-back pricing”, which means a manufacturer cannot retroactively adjust their wholesale price to a distributor based on what that distributor charges a retailer.
- Prohibit a manufacturer from accepting payment from a wholesaler in exchange for territorial distribution rights.
- Set forth language that allows a manufacturer and wholesaler to enter into a contractual agreement allowing for marketing and advertising budgets and financing relating to the brewery.
- State the TAB code does not prohibit a wholesaler from selling territorial rights of a manufacturer to another wholesaler.
Although we do not endorse this bill, we feel it is less detrimental than others have made it out to be.
The most common complaint we have encountered is against the clause which prevents payment from a distributor to a manufacturer in exchange for territorial distribution rights. It has been estimated that some Texas breweries’ distribution rights are currently worth millions of dollars. To have that value legislatively reduced to zero would indeed be cause for alarm. But that is not the case.
The bill specifically allows contractual partnerships between distributors and manufacturers wherein the former can assist with the advertising, marketing, and expansion expenses of the latter. It simply prevents a direct lump sum payment in exchange for distribution rights, which the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has long considered a legal gray area.
We would prefer SB 515-518 pass on their own, but that will not happen. The bills are inseparable. So we have to weigh the pros of SB 515-518 vs the cons of SB 639.
On one hand, SB 515-518 will grant freedoms that breweries, brewpubs, and craft beer consumers in Texas have been trying to gain for over a decade. They will create new revenue streams for small brewers and increase the options of how and where consumers can enjoy their favorite local beers.
On the other, SB 639 will prevent self-distributing breweries from getting very large checks for their distribution rights. It is worth noting that Austin Beerworks is one of the largest self-distributing breweries in the state. It could be argued that our distribution rights are among the most valuable in Texas. And it’s still an easy decision for us to make.
We have dedicated our lives to making beer because we are passionate about our craft and the community surrounding it. We firmly believe these bills will strengthen that community and that, ultimately, we have much more to gain from a healthy and vibrant craft beer industry than we do from the one time windfall we might receive by selling our distribution rights. We are in this for the long haul, and that is why we support SB 515-518.
Sunday night, we brought Maryland House Bill 4 to your attention. If passed, this bill will allow manufacturing breweries in Maryland, Flying Dog included, to sell beer by the glass at their onsite taprooms. House Bill 4 (HB 4) was scheduled for a closed-door vote in the Economic Matters Committee this past Monday, but was delayed because of the overwhelming response from supporters, along with the submission of last-minute amendments.
More >> Flying Dog blog.
The result is a more complex hop aroma, slightly lighter body, and, overall, a better-balanced beer. Our brewers were able to bring out the most desirable characteristics in each hop variety in this new recipe. As soon as we tried the first pilot batch, we were hooked. We have already began shipping this new recipe for Doggie Style out to our wholesalers, so you’ll see it on shelves soon.
via Flying Dog blog.
Today’s infographic is a funny one, and comes from the Huntsville Beer Week, which took place in Alabama last October. The local paper created a fun poster for the event, entitled Funky Brewers, which anthropomorphized various styles of beer, giving them unique personalities that corresponded to the character of their flavors. It was created by the staff of the Huntsville Times and illustrated by Bethany Bickley, and the whole process is explained in Brewing up something special for the weekly entertainment tab in Huntsville, Ala. at the website of the American Copy Editors Society. To fully appreciate the humor, not all of which works, you really need to see it full size.
Friday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1941. It’s a two-color ad, using mostly red, but it really makes the beer bottle and glass pop. It looks this might only be part of the ad, it feels like something must be missing, and the proportions don’t look quite right, either, providing more evidence that this is only a piece of the original ad.
While I’m firmly in the “beer came before bread” camp in the anthropological debate about what sparked civilization, evidence has been mounting for that view since it was first proposed over a half-century ago. In a new opinion piece in the New York Times by Jeffrey P. Kahn, the CEO of WorkPsych Associates, entitled How Beer Gave Us Civilization, he lays out the case for why “we needed beer” and runs through an overview of early civilization’s introduction of alcohol and why it was so necessary to our development. He also brings into the debate a recent study from the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, What Was Brewing in the Natufian? An Archaeological Assessment of Brewing Technology in the Epipaleolithic, which adds new support for what I call the “beer first” theory.
He unfortunately ends with the long-discredited Benjamin Franklin beer quote, but apart from that gaffe, it’s a good read. Just stop short of the final two paragraphs, and it’s even better. He should have just finished with this sage observation. “Beer’s place in the development of civilization deserves at least a raising of the glass.” Hear, hear.
Illustration by Anders Nilsson.
For a little Friday frivolity, here’s a commercial for the Argentina beer Cerveza Andes, showing the Teletransporter devices they’ve installed in bars throughout South America. Try to ignore the misogynist overtones, and remember it’s meant to be a joke that plays on unfair stereotypes, which doesn’t mean you can’t find it funny. The idea is that Andes built transporters, like from Star Trek — sort of — to help men sneak out for a beer, without getting caught.
Here’s the description, from the ad agency that created the ads:
Many beer brands speak to men in a shared tone showing to them that they really understand their needs. Yet, up to now, all intentions were expressed by a message without and action plan. Andes, the leader beer in the Andina Region of Argentina, presents: Andes Beer: Teletransporter — a revolutionary invention capable of doing something almost impossible: men can now go to a bar and share an Andes beer with friends without having any problems with their girlfriends. Andes Teletransporter Booths have been installed at the main bars of Mendoza, Argentina. Einstein mentioned that teletransportation was impossible since objects could not conduct faster than light. Einstein was wrong!
But just watch the subtitled ad below.
While currently impossible, apparently we may actually be getting closer to teleportation, believe it or not. According to zdiaz.com :
In December of 1997, Scientists in an Austrian laboratory destroyed bits of light in one place and made perfect replicas appear about 3 feet away. In 2004 Physicists carried out a successful teleportation with particles of light over a distance of 600 meters across the River Danube in Austria. And in 2006 Physicists demonstrate the first successful entanglement of the quantum states of photons (in a laser beam) with the quantum states of physical matter. Sure this is a long way from having breakfast in Paris, lunch in New York and Dinner in Beijing, but we are almost getting there.
It was reported by the BBC in Teleportation goes long distance and in Teleportation breakthrough made and it was also done successfully in Japan, as reported in Quantum leap: bits of light successfully teleported. And then last year, they broke a new distance record when Physicists Quantum Teleport Photons Over 88 Miles. It may be a very long way off, but who knows. Maybe someday we really can say, “beer me up, Scotty.” Here’s an interesting overview of the science behind teleportation, if you’re interested in learning more about it. And here’s another one by Gary Garrison and also one from How Stuff Works?
Today’s Beers of the World infographic is a Tree of Life design “representing 120 Beers from Around the World.” It’s the work of Aristide Lex , an Architectural designer from Boston. It doesn’t appear to be a universal chart so much as an exercise in organization, and an elegant one at that.
Here’s a description of his Beers of the World:
This poster design combines elements of graphic design and information architecture. A collection of 120 beers is organized in a radial array. Like a tree of life, the information branches outward as it narrows in specificity – continents, countries, cities, and brands. Each beer has an icon identifying coast shape, color, and brew style, and a radial bar graph shows brand longevity. Many trends become evident through the heirarchical display. For example, it’s no suprise that longevity is weighted geographically.
Here’s some close-ups of the chart.
And below is a short 3-second video of how the chart is organized.
I may not be college basketball’s biggest fan, but I do still enjoy March Madness every year. The tournament is usually a fun diversion for a few weeks each year, so for the third straight year, I’ve set up a fantasy game, similar to fantasy football. It’s a bracket game through Yahoo which I call “Märzen Madness.” It doesn’t look like there’s a limit to the number of people who can play, so sign up and make your picks before March 19, which is when the first games take place.
To join Märzen Madness and play the Yahoo! Sports Tournament Pick’em game, just follow this instructions below. You’ll also need a Yahoo ID (which is free if you don’t already have one).
To accept the invitation, just follow this invitation link. For reference, here’s the group information.
Group ID#: 17084
Good luck everybody.
And so he did, and I got too busy to do a proper tasting of it. My apologies, to Robin and to you, because this does deserve your attention. First, it's worth noting that although it's 110° proof/55% ABV, it is easy to drink without water. I'm having it as my first whiskey of the day; I usually need to warm up my mouth a bit to take on a 55% without water. Nicely done.
A few more things: there's no age statement, no "X Years Old," and no real suggestion on that. It's non-chill filtered (whiskeys are often chilled, which causes some proteins to precipitate in a haze, and then filtered; this keeps the whiskey from getting (unappealingly) hazy if it gets cold in shipment or storage, but some of us like the whole thing, protein and all), which is appealing to the whiskey geek in me, and unusual in an American whiskey. Suggested retail is about $50. And it is in the Russell's Reserve line, and we're assured that Jimmy and Eddie are both doing the selection...so you've got continuity. I do not know why it's both "small batch" and "single barrel;" I would think that single barrel would imply small batch! Belts, suspenders, whatever; Jimmy's got a sense of humor!
It is tasty, in a way that is rare in such a big-hammer proofing. The mint is hot, but the sweetness and the the citrus/orange notes smooth it right out. Right nice indeed; well-done!