RBPMail 2.12, December 1995
Real Beer Page Mail (RBPMail) began as a modest update to craft-brew events on the WWW. It evolved into a news digest and sometimes editorial forum. We present its contents here much as they were emailed to subscribers. Often, links you will see are out of date, and businesses referred to may also be long gone.
In this issue:
Holiday Wrap Up
We have an easy way to get around the holiday shopping blues. For those in the U.S., our gifts are made in the U.S.A., so you're not taking jobs away from your neighbors. And they do not exploit peoples in other countries. If you're from outside the U.S., you can tap into the hottest market in the states. We've been working diligently to make your shopping as easy as logging on, so check out the following list of gift ideas for anyone who likes beer. If you're a beer enthusiast, print this out and leave it around in strategic places -- windshields, the bathroom mirror, birdcage, etc. -- as a hint about what you'd like to receive this year...
For the Home and Pro Brewer on Your List
The ultimate gift for homebrewers? Try a 10-week intensive brewer's aprenticeship program from the American Brewer's Guild. It costs $6,950 but everyone who graduated last year is now brewing professionally, so we think it pays for itself. A little more than you were thinking about spending? Try the 2-day advanced homebrewer course for $149.00 or for that special someone interested in opeing a micro or brewpub, the 2-day How-To course complete with business plan for $395.00. Sign up at http://realbeer.com/abg/
If you want a gift that reminds your favorite brewer about your generosity the whole year, we'd like to recommend a subscription to BrewingTechniques magazine. You can order a 1-year subscription for $30 and find the order form at: http://brewingtechniques.com/brewingtechniques/order_form.php
Just online and on time for the holidays is BYO Magazine - Brew Your Own. It's new and you can pick it up in your local homebrew shop or better yet, order it online. Go to: http://realbeer.com/byo/
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Beer Information Lovers
Have beer news delivered year-round right to their door:
West coast focus with editorial across the U.S.: The Celebrator Beer News. 1-year subscription to The Celebrator: $14 Go to: http://celebrator.com/celebrator/
Southeast focus with editorial covering general beer news and homebrewing: Southern Draft Brew News. 1-year subscription to Southern Draft Brew News: $14 Go to: http://realbeer.com/sodraft/
Hawaii coverage and general brew news: Brew Hawaii. 1-year subscrption to Brew Hawaii: $14 Go to: http://realbeer.com/brewhawaii/
Coming soon to the Real Beer Page: Yankee Brew News (and others t.b.a. in the next RBPMail)!
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Beer History and Travels
You can order the Mac or PC version of Michael Jackson's Beer Hunter CD-ROM and discover what his favorite 24 beers are from the U.S. You'll also view video about beer history, the brew process and much more. This is a great way for brew lovers to educate friends and family about why you're so crazy about the stuff. And the English accent somehow makes the whole presentation seem more high-brow. The CD-ROM costs $39.95 and is available at: http://www.realbeer.com/beerhunter/
Brew Travels are covered with richness and depth in Brew Magazine. The highly photographic presentation and chamber of commerce-like travel planning guides almost put you there as they visit 6-7 breweries and events in each issue. Best part of this magazine? Almost no advertising, and they're interested in keeping it this way. 1-year subscription: $30.00, but get two; you'll want a copy yourself.
Want to head out on the brew travels path yourself? Make sure you use our brewtour database at http://realbeer.com/rbp/brewtour.php. And if you want a hard-copy with a map of the area, order Coops Maps. They're just $3.95 per region or $24.00 for 6 maps that cover the whole U.S. Check them out at http://realbeer.com/coops/
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Beer Wear and Collectables
We're pleased to bring you over 60 brewpub and microbrewery tee-hirts from all across the U.S. **as well as the Great American Beer Festival shirts -- if you're looking for labels or beer images for your screensavers, you're in heaven when you hit these pages. Use our electronic shopping cart to order several tee-shirts or sign up for the brew-tee of the month club. The recipient will receive a new beer tee shirt each month, perfect for the ones who spill on themselves a lot. Prices range from $12.95/tee and up in 3, 6 or 12 month formats. Shop 'till your modem drops at: http://realbeer.com/brewtees/
Another beer lover one-stop shop is Beer Master's Tasting Society. From their pages you can order glassware, tee-shirts, caps, newsletters, BMTS membership and more. The society is open to all who enjoy beer and can be found at: http://beermasters.com/beermasters/
You can also order beer merchandise right from the brewers at the following urls:
Flying Fish http://realbeer.com/flyingfish/
Ship Yard http://realbeer.com/shipyard/
Tied House http://realbeer.com/tiedhouse/
Twenty Tank http://realbeer.com/20tank/
Triple Rock http://realbeer.com/3rock/
And of course, you can get a tee shirt with that smiling Duke of URL himself, the Real Beer Page guy at:
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They Can't Give it Away: Brewpub Raffle Fizzles
The owner of Riverwalk Brewery, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who solicited
worldwide for people to send $100 to enter a raffle to win the brewpub, has
locked the doors and canceled the contest. Not enough entries were received
to cover all the debt he had incurred in the 18 months he owned the brewpub,
Mr. Stasinos told the Miami Herald. He said entry checks were returned to their
senders uncashed. Edward C. Hill Jr., an assistant attorney general in
Tallahassee, Fla., said Florida statutes do not specifically address what
happens if someone advertises a prize for an essay contest and doesn't
deliver. "We were $200,000 short of paying the bills," Stasinos said."I've
lost everything. I didn't take anything out of there. The bottom line is
we're losing $1,000 a day average." Makes you wonder how the winner
would have turned it around.
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On Nov. 7 Pete's went public with an initial stock offering at $18 per share.
The stock leaped nearly 30 percent during the first day it was offered
climbing to a $25.50 close. (Thus putting to rest online rumors of a Miller
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Shipyard Brewing company allowed Miller to acquire 50% interest in the
brewery. This follows the trend we have seen with Miller's acquisition of
Linenkugels and Cellis: Miller invests in regional breweries with brick, mortar
and strongly branded quality craft brews. As with the other acquisitions, Shipyard
is looking forward to stronger sales, marketing and distribution resources while
maintaining the integrity of the brewed product. Follow the story yourself at http://realbeer.com/shipyard/
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Porker-Picture Fight Settled
Hog's Breath Lager has reached a compromise with the University of Arkansas
in their logo fight, but the brewery lost its president and board chairman in
the process. Over a year ago the university demanded Providence Brewing Co.
cease using its Hog's Breath beer logo, contending the design was a copyright
infringement on the university's logo. Both logos depict fierce-looking pigs,
from which the university's athletic teams draw their Razorbacks name.
Skip Chernov, president and board chairman of the Rhode Island brewery,
induced the university to drop its complaint when he agreed not to distribute
the beer in Arkansas. When he later began distributing there, the university
threatened to sue the brewery. The company's shareholders stepped in at that
point, forcing Chernov to resign. Peace returned after a new pledge from the
company not to distribute in Arkansas. Chernov told Southern Draft he will
launch his own beer company. (from Southern Draft Brew News - http://realbeer.com/sodraft).
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Brewer Calls It Quits: Editorial
While covering the whole culture and industry of craft-beer we end this month's RBPMail on a down note. With all the great news about industry growth and beer stock offerings, we can sometimes overlook the risks small brewers assume. Based on our research, the failure rate for microbreweries is lower than most small businesses (small businesses failed at a 50% rate in 1993), but when it happens we take the losses personally. Recently, microbrewer Mark Fienberg of Devil's Mountain Brewery in Northern California, an industry innovator, champion and companion, chose to close their doors. What struck us as unusual was that this wasn't a bankrupt or poorly managed business. He just decided the situation wasn't profitable enough and wasn't going to get better. Which raises some flags for the direction microbrewing is headed. Fienberg said that at $7 a six-pack -- a price he needed to ask based on the scale of production, quality of product, cost of materials, taxation, overhead *and new regulations* -- he could not compete with regional brewers such as Sierra Nevada that can afford to ask under $6 or their beer/six-pack. In a related story, there are new bills being introduced into legislation currently by neo-prohibitionists and by distillers concerned about declining sales to raise taxation from $7/barrel to anywhere up to $45/barrel. If these bills are passed expect more local businesses and fine craftspeople to follow the way of Devil's Mountain. What can we do? Support your local craft brewers: buy their products; evangelize their work with friends and in news groups if you like it; call, write or visit them and let them know you care. The intrinsic value of your support can help brewers see around the challenges we inevitably face. We know -- the Real Beer Page remains committed to bringing you brew information on the Internet as a result of all of your encouragement and support. And the idea of having the web look like shelf-space in mainstream America with big brewer's controlling the space is too hard for us to swallow. Go forth and spread the word and support of craft-brewing.