RBPMail 2.01, January 1996

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 Often, links you will see are out of date, and businesses referred to may also be long gone.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:




Drink moderately and live healthier. That's the word from the government, which Tuesday released the fourth edition of "Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans," through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The guidelines dropped wording that alcohol consumption in general is not recommended, and took out a statement from the 1990 guidelines that alcohol consumption has no health benefits, since some health benefits of moderate drinking have been documented.

"If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation, with meals and when consumption does not put you or others at risk," the report said. Moderation is defined as no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. Count as a drink-

  • - 12 ounces of regular beer (150 calories)
  • - 5 ounces of wine (100 calories)
  • - 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits(100 calories).

The Real Beer Page feels the report favors craft-brewers in these recommendations. After all, if you had to choose one beer to consume, would you pick an industrial beer? And craft beers are more tailored to enhance and enrich meals. The report goes on to strongly discourage drinking from under-aged persons, pregnant mothers, recovering alcoholics and those who can not contain drinking moderately. For more about the realities rather than the myths being perpetuated about drinking by neo-prohibitionists, read Dr. Morris Schafetz's book, "Drink Moderately, Live Longer." Dr. Schafetz is President of the Health Education Foundation and Founding Director of National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

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In the December/January issue of the print version of The Celebrator ( on newsstands or available by subscription online now, Jack Erickson describes 1995 Brewery IPOs as "bricks & mortar" or "balloons & bands." The former are offerings where breweries plan to use the money raised to build breweries or brewpubs for expanded production. The latter uses money raised to expand sales, marketing and advertising of a brand of contract brew. Erickson offers the following stocks as examples; we've added some of our own mentions to his list:

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** Bricks & Mortar **

Fish Brewing Company (800) 544.4942, Regulation A direct public offering, seeking to raise funds for draft sales expansion in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho and to begin bottling. Franconia Brewing Company, 800-367-2348, Regulation A direct public offering, seeking to raise capital for a new microbrewery in Wilkes-Barre, PA headed by award-winning brewer .

Hart Brewing (coming to the web in two weeks), HOPS, NASDAQ, seeking $44 million to build a new brewpub/brewery in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1996 and a South-east or -west site TBA in 1997. Last Price: 16 1/4 at closing on 01/02; 52-Week High: 22 1/2; 52-Week Low: 14 Lang Creek Brewing Company (406.858.2200), Regulation A direct public offering, seeks to raise nearly $1 million to add bottling and increase production.

Mendocino Brewing, MBR, Pacific Stock Exchange; raised $3.6 million, building 100- barrel brewery in Ukiah, CA. Last Price: 7 at closing on 01/02; 52-Week High: 13 1/2; 52- Week Low: 7

Nor'Wester Brewing ( raised $15 million in several Regulation A direct public offerings, building breweries in Denver, CO; Seattle, WA; Orange County, CA; Portland and Salem , OR.

Portland Brewing (, Regulation A direct public offering, raised $3.2 million to expand new brewery in Portland, OR.

Redhook Brewery, HOOK, NASDAQ, raised $33 million, pay off Woodinville, WA brewery and build Portsmouth, NH brewery. Anticipate a Midwest brewery in the future. Last Price: 26 1/8 at closing on 01/02; 52-Week High: 35; 52-Week Low: 24 3/4

Rock Bottom Brewpubs (, BREW, NASDAQ, raised $50 million from 1994 & 1995 offerings, built brewpubs in Portland, Minneapolis, Houston, Denver, Chicago, Cleveland and other major urban markets. Last Price: 13 at closing on 01/02; 52-Week High: 29 3/4; 52-Week Low: 11 3/4

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** Balloons & Bands **

Boston Beer, SAM, NASDAQ, seeks to raise $55 million, spent $46 million in advertising in 1994 and had 780,000-barrels contract brewed, about $6.00/barrel. Anticipated production from contract brewers in 1995 is around 1 million barrels. Last Price: 24 at closing on 01/02; 52-Week High: 33; 52-Week Low: 21 1/2

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Pete's Brewing, WIKD, NASDAQ, seeks to raise $51 million, original SEC registration to expand contract brewing; an amended filing said that Pete's would seek to build a brewery of an unspecified destination and capacity on the West Coast. Pete's spent $10.6 million in advertising with contract production at 180,000 barrels in 1994, about $6.00/barrel. Last Price: 15 1/2 at closing on 01/02; 52-Week High: 27 3/4; 52-Week Low: 14.

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Spring Street Brewing Company, Regulation A direct public offering, sought to raise $5 million to expand sales and marketing efforts, raised $2 million with two weeks left in the offering (closes January 15). In 1994, the company spent $350,000 in sales and marketing with contract production of 2,700 barrels for their WIT! brand, nearly $130/barrel. Spring Street gained prominence and press attention by being the first brewery to announce their offering on the WWW. Andy Klien, President, wants to offer online trading of the shares among share holders on their web site.

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The private investment buy ins and buy outs signal for many experts a consolidation in the craft-brew market. The diversity of beers in the brutal retail shelf-wars may continue to expand, but the companies producing them may narrow. Here's a brief list of buy-ins or outs:

  • Celis Brewery, Austin, TX - Miller Brewing Company
  • Bridgeport Brewery, Portland, OR - Shiner Brewing
  • Grant's Ales, Yakima, WA - Stimson Lane, Ltd., a division of U.S.T., Greenwich, CT
  • Shipyard Brewing (, Portland, ME - Miller Brewing Company
  • Gordon Biersch, Palo Alto, CA - Fertitta Enterprises, Las Vegas

If you would like to find out more about Shipyard Brewing and their award winning beers, check out their new site on The Real Beer Page at

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* BrewTravels

Mark Silva, CEO and co-founder of Real Beer Inc., publishers of this newsletter and the Real Beer Page, has been traveling across the U.S. like a Johnny Appleseed of the Web, meeting with breweries and brew-enthusiasts in each state. The travels have included a month in Oregon, two weeks in Washington, several in Montana, three weeks through the Midwest, a couple of months in Pennsylvania that included excursions throughout New England and Maine and then a quick drop down to Florida a hop ahead of winter. In the next several months, you are going to be able to hop aboard vicariously in a new section we're calling BrewTravels. We have over 3000 digital pictures awaiting editorial completion. You can get a preview of the travels at our Oregon Brewer's Festival site. Check out America's largest beer festival in America at It is our New Beer Resolution to add at least one BrewTravels section per week.

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* Home Brew Info

If you haven't seen it yet, we've been rapidly expanding our homebrew offerings. If you're a homebrewer or their hostage, make sure you visit:

It's our New Beer Resolution to add more content depth and robust tools for home and professional brewer's alike.

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* New 'Zine for the Rockies

Midwest Beer Notes proudly rolls out a sister publication, Rocky Mountain Beer Notes, in Colorado and eventually Montana and Idaho.. The expansion doesn't stop with the Rockies, however. Publisher and Iron Man, Mike Urseth, has his eye on creating a web presence in conjunction with the Real Beer Page. Additional Brew 'Zines on the web include:

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Coming Soon: Yankee Brew News, Brew Hawaii and more.

It's our New Beer Resolution to build ever more powerful and qualified content resources to make every search successful. Look forward to some major design changes to our pages as we seek to bring more functionality and tools to the Real Beer Page.

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* BrewTour Expansion

We've added dozens of new breweries to our database in the last month, thanks in part to contributions from readers everywhere. We invite you to try our Brew Tour database and see if there are any breweries in your area that are omitted ( The business is changing quickly as you can see, and there are new openings and some closings every week. We have also made our search database available from personal home pages. If you would like to host a brew-tour search right from your home page, email us at

It's our New Beer Resolution to expand this database to include breweries all across the U.S. and by spring time, all around the world. In return, we hope that you'll visit our retailers and patronize their projects. The only way we can afford to bring you a full-time resource is by accepting industry support. Here are a few that come to mind.

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If you are going to be in the San Francisco Bay Area during Superbowl weekend, you should definitely check out the first annual Big Brew Bowl sponsored by Big 98.1 FM. It will be held at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco on January 28th at 1:00pm. There will be samplings from many microbreweries, big screen tv's, and lots of prizes to win. For up-to- date info on the breweries participating and admission info, check out their web page at or look in our what's new section.

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Over the past year, we've taken the industrial beers to task for bully tactics in marketing and for creating bland, boring beers. All this is changing - slowly - as we see Miller buying into excellent regional craft-brewers and leaving the recipes intact. A-B produced a dark holiday beer that unfortunately fizzed to the last drop. They also produce Elk Mountain and introduced a line of "specialty" beer that were favorably received at the 1995 Great American Beer Festival ( Coors, in our opinion, is pulling a fast one with a line of beers called "Blue Moon" that they are marketing without identifying themselves as the brewers, trying to create brand distance from their legacy fizzy beers (why do you think they want you to disassociate from those products?). Other virtual beers include Plank Road and anything that says it was produced in Debuque. These are contract brews with varying levels of craft-quality and materials to them, but certainly nothing "micro" about them.

We'll continue to watch dog these developments with a critical but fair eye. And it's in this spirit that we get into the heart of this month's editorial. Despite the fun we can have at the industrial beer's expense (favorite bromide: what does Bud, Coors, Miller, Pabst, etc. have in common with lovemaking in a canoe? Both are f**ing close to water), The Real Beer Page has to nip some of the rumors of quality and tampering in the bud. During December there was a flurry of news group and online chat inquiries about "bad bud." We want to set the record straight and go on record with saying that we can disagree with the qualitative aspects of industrial beer, but not with its quality. No one has more stake in creating consistently, high-quality beverages than a mass-produced brand. From product to product, consistency and quality must be identical.

The synopsis of the incident goes as follows:

Ronaldo Dela Cruz Ciriaco, 35, was drinking a bottle of beer at the Jewel City Bowl bar Monday night when he felt a burning sensation in his stomach and throat and suddenly became violently ill, according to police reports. It turns out that in a rare combination of unusual circumstances involving a bottle line jam, an electronic inspection failure and a wad of paper gummed up in a returned bottle, one bottle of Bud Light from the Los Angeles Brewery went out with cleaning solution in it. This was a isolated incident and A-B has taken quick and sweeping steps to ensure that it will not happen again. A-B acted out of an "abundance of caution" in recalling all trade returnable bottles produced at the Los Angeles brewery on the same day. That beer was destroyed. For a period immediately following the incident only new bottles were used rather than filling those that had been returned. Wholesalers conducted survey samplings of returnable bottles at accounts through out the country. Although these situations should never occur, when you consider the quantity of beer that A-B produces, over 29 billion 12 oz. servings per year, their consistent quality record speaks for itself. For the full press release and story, see our what's new section on the Real Beer Page at The reason we're setting the record straight? Ultimately, we're all in this together. One love. One beer. Get the marketing folks and the lawyers out of the business and you'd have brewers who for the most part get a long and respect each other's craft and talents. With the convergence of the industry, we may soon find lines between real beer and industrial beer blurring. At that point we'll feel a bit like the emperor sans clothes if we don't temper our lambasting of corporate beer with journalistic integrity. For the concerned, however, you should be able to tell your canoe jokes for several more years -- the giants won't change overnight.