RBPMail 2.08, August 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 Often, links you will see are out of date, and businesses referred to may also be long gone.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:
LONE STAR BREWERY CLOSES
The Lone Star Brewery, a San Antonio institution since 1933, will be shutting down in late September. The new owner, Stroh Brewery Co., will be moving production of Lone Star and Lone Star Light to its brewery in Longview, which has three times the capacity. In an era when micro-breweries are the rage, the Lone Star brewery is too big to qualify as a microbrewery, but not big enough to compete with the biggest new operations. The Buckhorn Museum and hospitality facilities, which draw 150,000 visitors a year, will remain open and its 25 employees will be retained. About 170 of the brewery's 230 workers are expected to lose their jobs during the two-month phase-out of the San Antonio plant. (Source: Houston Chronicle, July 27, Saturday, Business; Pg. 1)
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RHODE ISLAND STRIKE WORRIES STATE'S BUD DRINKERS
A strike called July 25th by more than 50 drivers, helpers and warehouse workers, members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, targeted the McLaughlin & Moran Inc. warehouse. The catch is that 20,000 cases of beer a day, half the beer consumed in the state, flows from this warehouse. The strike reminded retailers and consumers of the 38-day walkout against other Rhode Island beer distributors in 1988 when beer supplies ran short. Stuart B. Mundy, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 251, said that the company, a Bud Distributor, has 49% of Rhode Island's beer market, down slightly from 53 percent, due to competition from micro-brewery products. (Source: Brian C. Jones, The Providence Journal-Bulletin, July 27, Saturday, News, Pg. 3A) The strike ended peacefully on July 29th, allowing micro-breweries to continue taking market share from A-B.
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SOUTH CHINA BREWERY MAY LIST ON NASDAQ
The company behind Leeson Lager, a special edition brew named after the rogue trader who brought down Barings Bank, is set to try its own luck on the international financial markets. South China Brewery, which is based in Hong Kong, said yesterday that it was considering a listing on the US NASDAQ exchange to raise capital for expansion. This could include the establishment of micro-breweries in Singapore, Shanghai, and Thailand. The Leeson lager, labeled with a picture of the infamous dealer under arrest at Frankfurt airport, was ordered by Mr Leeson's friends as a limited edition. The lager was described as "US$1.4bn proof", in a reference to the losses chalked up by the Barings trader on his disastrous dealings in Nikkei index futures. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange will only list companies with a three-year profits record. This is one reason why the company is looking to NASDAQ's Smallcap market rather than the HKSE. (Source: John Ridding, July 23, Tuesday The Financial Times, Companies and Finance: Asia-Pacific; Pg. 24)
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MICRO AND HOMEBREWERS SUPPORT LABEL MASCOTS
Idaho Falls homebrewers have a chance to see their recipe made by an eastern Idaho brewery as part of a fund-raiser for a new animal protection group in this area. A Home Brew-Off Benefit and Auction is scheduled Aug. 3, sponsored by Lost Arts, an Idaho Falls pub, and Portneuf Valley Brewing, a Pocatello brewery. Proceeds will be given to the Humane Society of the Upper Valley, an Idaho Falls group that is raising money to build an animal shelter. The Humane Society of the Upper Valley is conducting several fund-raisers in an effort to generate $30,000 this year. The group hopes to begin construction of an animal shelter by May of 1999. (Source: Idaho Falls Post Register, July 18, Feature; Pg. B3)
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******* WEB WATCH *******
************ Hot Summer Beer Sites!!! ************
THE RIGHT STUFF AT GRITTY MCDUFFS
Portland and Freeport, ME are homes to Gritty McDuff's Brewpubs where visitors sense the meaning of the "Cheers" theme song. These are great places to sit down with great faire and beer and feel like you know the folks around you. Some of that atmosphere is captured in their WWW presence, along with their "Brewtiques" featuring some of the more extensive merchandise selections this side of L.L. Bean. Tip your browser to:
HEART OF THE HOPLAND AND COOL RIDES
One of the finest motorcycle rides in Northern California will take you to Hopland, Home of Mendocino Brewing Co., and therefore Redtail Ale and Eye of the Hawk Stout. Take a cruise on the Web to:
DANISH INFLUENCE IN CALIFORNIA BEER
Danse-Skjold (pronounced "Dan's Cold") Brewing develops and markets custom-made, original recipe premium quality beer for a Viking's appetite. Danse-Skjold translates directly in Danish as "Dance Shield" or "Dancing Shield. Set sail for their site at:
STILL GOING FOR THE GOLD IN GEORGIA
Although the Olympics are over, Georgia residents are still hoping for some gold in Black Bear Brewing Company's common share offering. Make tracks for their information at:
LOVECRAFT COLLECTORS GATHER ON WEB
Lovecraft lovers are expanding beyond the literary set at Lovecraft Cider's pages. Appropriately odd, the site offers a monster, monstrous merchandise including heritage beer trading cards and a soon to be available Initial Public Offering. This offering will provide funds for new equipment and capital to meet their national expansion plans. Creep over to:
CRUISIN' THE BREWS
The PORTLAND BrewBus is a weekly four hour bus tour of Portland (Oregon) breweries and brewpubs. You'll tour the following: Portland Brewing Co. (http://portlandbrew.com/portland/), Widmer Brewing Co., Nor'Wester Brewing (http://www.norwester.com/) and Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Co., sample approximately 20 beers, learn in-depth how each beer is made and see highlights of the Portland scene and scenery. Special customized day and evening charters are also available.
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Brewed Fresh For You! ************
The Real Beer Page announces a diverse group of brew web sites to check out:
Barley Boys Brewing http://www.barleyboys.com/
Bohemian Brewing Systems http://www.bohemianbreweries.com
Brass Ring Brewing Co. http://www.realbeer.com/brassring/
European Brew Adventures http://realbeer.com/eba/
Five Star Products http://www.fivestaraf.com/
Great Providence Brewing http://www.americanbrewing.com/
Malt of the Earth http://www.maltbev.com
We're looking for your input to improve our pages. Scour your area for new brewpubs and microbreweries and feed them to us. Add any kind of event from your area from beer festivals to homebrew competitions to beer dinners. New URLs (including your own if you would like to earn a link in our Patron's area). Please help us share great information with fellow brew enthusiasts though our new feedback forms at:
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NATION'S LARGEST BEER FESTIVAL TURNS DUST-BOWL
On July 27-28, The Oregon Brewer's Festival fell prey to the worst of natural and bureaucratic disasters. The event, which attracts over 80,000 beer enthusiasts each summer, is held at Portland's usually beautiful waterfront park. The event organizers were not to be blamed for the snafu. This year, the Park District failed to meet the festival date deadline for completion of lawn replacement, much to attendees' dismay and discomfort. In 100+ degree, high humidity weather, heavy foot traffic kicked up choking-thick dust clouds within a tightly pinned area, prompting Celebrator Beer News (http://celebrator.com) publisher, Tom Dalldorf, to call it a "Refugee Camp with beer." When rain fell the second day of the event, he commented, "at least it's not dusty." Making lemonade from the lemons served here were: Celebrator and BrewingTechniques http://www.brewingtechniques.com) who hosted the Guild of Beer Writers (affectionately self-titled GOBs); Hair of the Dog presenting their vertical tastings of 10 numbered-batch, bottle-conditioned beers; and Full Sail with John Harris leading the cigar smoker hospitality for trade professionals. To see what the festival looked like in ideal conditions, check out last year's coverage at http://realbeer.com/rbp/obf/
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ALE-ING OCTOPUSES IN THE NEWS
The following article appeared in the July 8 London Daily Mirror: Two empty Castlemaine XXXX "stubby" bottles are needed to house home-sick Aussie octopuses at Blackpool's Sealife Centre. (Source: The Daily Mirror, July 8, Monday, News; Pg. 5) *Hey -- it was a slow brew news month, so we've scraped the bottom of the barrel to find this tidbit for you...-ed.
THE MAGIC KINGDOM OF BEER SET TO OPEN
The $11 million transformation of the 100-year-old Bavarian Brewery into a multifaceted entertainment complex will be completed in time for the December holiday party season. BrewWorks at the Party Source, will be renovated and open by October or November, During a morning press conference on the ground floor of the cavernous former brewery, Party Source managers unveiled the plans for the BrewWorks, which include a 45,000-square-foot retail store and a 20,000-square-foot entertainment complex featuring a microbrewery, restaurant, gift shop, cigar bar, coffee house, music stage, dance floor and space for meetings and parties. The BrewWorks will employ nearly 200 people and feature dozens of hard-to-find beers, many of which will be made on the premises by the company's brew team of Brewmaster Tim Rastetter, home brew expert Ray Spangler and craft-beer buyer Dave Gausepohl. "We're going to have a 'Geek Bar' where beer geeks and real beer lovers can try all types of unusual and hard-to-find beers," Mr. Spangler said. "We've got some recipes from before prohibition . . . some lost Belgium beer styles from the 1700s and 1800s," said Mr. Rastetter, adding that the beer will flow from more than 40 taps. "Real beer aficionados will just love it." (Source: Patrick Crowley, The Cincinnati Enquirer, July 4, Thursday, Metro, Pg. C03)
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******* FEST WATCH *******
1st Annual San Jose International Beer Festival - August 17-18. Order Tickets online.
3rd Annual Rhode Island International Beer Expo - November 9.
San Louis Obispo Varietal Beer Festival - August 24. Order Tickets online.
Berkeley Beer and Music Festival - September 14-15.
For more festivals, homebrew competitions, beer tastings and more, check out the Real Beer Page events section at:
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BEER, THE MAGAZINE FOR SALE
After 3-years of publishing the glossy, consumer-oriented Beer, The Magazine, Bill Owens is prepared to turn over property to the highest bidder. "I've plateaued and it's time for someone else to drive it up to the next level. I'll continue to focus on the business of beer with the trade journal, American Brewer. A consumer publication has much greater potential, but it takes money to make money." Owens points out that beer is a $52-billion business and has only one other such consumer publication in All About Beer magazine; cigars are a $1-billion industry and have two consumer magazines. "The opportunity is tremendous for investors with publishing know-how and vision." The magazine has had runs as high as 40,000 and a subscription-base of 6,000. The publisher has been plagued by internal challenges, which included a messy divorce from a creative director/editor and paper costs escalating by 100%. Owens intends to sell the corporation -- which includes the trademark, distribution channel, subscription base, advertising, distribution and contributor's databases and back issues -- through sealed bids by early September. For inquiries about the publication (or for collector's back issues -- hint, hint) Owens can be contacted at 510.538.9500
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GLOBUS GROUP MAY BUY FLORIDA MICRO
Globus Group Enterprises Inc. (OTC BB:GBUS) announced Friday the signing of a letter of intent to purchase Beach Brewery, a microbrewery in Orlando, Fla. The brewery is the oldest of its kind in the state. The transaction, which is valued at over $600,000, is expected to close by Aug. 31, 1996. The investment is earmarked for a bottling line, which Globus feels is essential to growing the microbrewery. Globus Group Enterprises Inc. is an Internet marketing and management company engaged in the business of developing distribution, franchising, labeling and licensing agreements for emerging companies.
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REAL BEER IN REVIEW - EDITORIAL
Real Beer Page Mail usually reserves the editorial area to talk about issues that have significance to Real Beer consumers. Conspicuously absent from the monologue has been a discussion of what we do and why. We'll take this space to review where we've gone and where we're going.
We started the Real Beer Page as an experiment in communications in this medium. Quickly the experiment became a vocation as several companies within the industry invested their WWW strategies with us. In turn, the money we raised from craft-beer customers allowed us to get greater bandwidth, more programming and more content. In April of 1995 we officially spun the Real Beer Page away from And Communications, with RBP principal architect, editor and designer, Mark Silva, and partner Pat Hagerman, heading up Real Beer Inc. We no longer have any association with And, but think they're great guys to do web pages with if you're a non-beer company. If you still have and.com in your bookmark or see pointers out there with it in the URL, have them update it to www.realbeer.com.
One of our intentions from the start was to create the largest area on the WWW for craft-beer so that this medium would not be "bought" by the industrial brands as is the case with nearly every other medium and retail space. We believe we've been successful in achieving this.
Over the last year we've added seven more beer publications to our library in addition to The Celebrator, Brew and Southern Draft. You can now also search the contents and back issues of Brew Hawaii, BrewingTechniques, Brew Your Own, The Malt Advocate, Midwest Beer Notes, Rocky Mountain Beer Notes and Yankee Brew News. And, we have several more publication in the works. The importance of these relationships is that our server is growing by at least 50 articles each week as we archive back issues of all these publications. Imagine how vast the information will be five years from now. Or fifty years from now. If you haven't tried it yet, give our keyword search engine a shot and see all the information you can learn about your favorite craft-brewer or subject. All are available at http://realbeer.com/rbp/rbp.news.php
Another objective we've had is to create a large community of people who share our passion for craft-beer. Communities actively support their members and passion. We eventually want to provide tools for you to be able to actively change legislation that keeps craft-brewers from competing fairly with the larger brewers. Stay tuned for this development.
We've received lots of recognition in Trade, Mainstream and Internet press for our work that we appreciate. But it's the feedback we get from you that keeps us going. Our commitment has been bolstered by the 150+ emails we get daily thanking us for creating the resource and encouraging us to continue publishing. We will continue, and you can help: rather than just bookmarking the Real Beer Page, put our URL --http://www.realbeer.com -- in your general browser preferences as your start-up page. Your hits will send a message to the big guys that we're active and united as a community.
Our mission is to continue to educate and evangilize about the craft-beer movement. We do this as beer enthusiasts and as consumer advocates. We create features that we like and that we think will serve you better. In the next six months you can anitcipate:
Expanded Events Listings
Legislative Lobbying Tools
Chat Resources and Tools
and much more.
Thank you for your support and loyalty. We wouldn't be here if it weren't for you
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REAL BEER PAGE ADDTION
Please join us in welcoming Randy Mosher as our newest representative and partner. Randy is an experienced graphic designer who has done much of his work for the microbrewing industry. He has also done work for companies in the publishing, healthcare, restaurant, specialty coffee, software, metalworking and other industries. He has had 20 years of experience in the design and advertising business, and will bring that experience to The Real Beer Page. In addition to working with us in his design capacity he will also represent us in the Midwest. Read about his company, Randy Mosher Design at http://www.realbeer.com/artforbeer/.