RBPMail 2.09, September 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 Often, links you will see are out of date, and businesses referred to may also be long gone.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:


The Adolph Coors Brewing Co. tops the list of Colorado's top ten firms and operations that use and release man-made chemicals that could be reproductively harmful. The list of Colorado manufacturers was attached to a report called "Generations at Risk," a description of widely used industrial chemicals that carry reproductive risks. The report was compiled from state public health records and issued by Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Colorado Public Information Group. Few of the 70,000 toxic chemicals in widespread commercial use today are regulated or have even been adequately studied, according to the report. But several worrisome public health trends, including cancer rates, declining sperm counts and other reproductive health problems are getting worse as the public's exposure to toxins increases, the physicians' group warned. A global study involving 15,000 men in 1992 concluded that the average sperm count in healthy men has dropped by half in the past 50 years. And in the United States, one in nine women develop breast cancer. Researchers blamed undetermined environmental exposures. Coors reported releasing 593,688 pounds of manganese, a metal, and glycol ethers, which are solvents, in 1994, the last full year that statistics were available. Coors spokesman Jon Goldman said the 520,000 pounds of manganese used by Coors is incorporated into the aluminum sheet metal alloy that is fashioned into beer cans in the Golden plant or metal shipped out for recycling. The alloy contains 1.1% manganese, which is just above the regulatory threshold requiring the company to report its use, he said. Coors advocates reduced regulation of manganese as a sheet metal component. Samuel Cole, director of the physicians group's Colorado chapter, stood behind the report. "There's solid evidence that a number of these chemicals are potentially dangerous," he said. "We need to be precautionary." (Source: Joseph B. Verrengia, Rocky Mountain News, August 2, 1996, Friday, Local; Pg. 40A and August 3, Saturday, Local; Pg. 19A)

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Burma's military government surprised dealers with a retaliatory measure banning imports of beer made by the Netherlands' Heineken NV and Denmark's Carlsberg A/S. The companies pulled out of Burma last month following intense lobbying by human rights organizations against Burma's human rights record and the failure of the country's military rulers to allow a democratic government. "Speaking financially, we distributors are going to suffer the outcome the most because we have (beer) in stock," a Heineken distributor said. Beer drinkers are expected to turn to the local Mandalay Beer and Singapore's Tiger brand beer. Mandalay is brewed by a private Burmese firm, Myanmar Yaung Chi Oo Pte Ltd. Heineken and Tiger were the most popular foreign beers sold in Burma, and until now held about 35% and 30% respectively of market share. Mandalay has about 25% market share, and Carlsberg 10%. (Source: The Reuter Asia-Pacific Business Report, August 6, 1996, Tuesday)

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Conventions always have presented a chance for corporations and other interests to lavishly entertain the politically powerful. "A record amount of money is flowing this year," said Ellen Miller, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization that tracks campaign contributions. "There's a reason all of this money is being spent." It wasn't supposed to be this way. Two decades ago, ITT Corp. created controversy when it gave $400,000 to support the 1972 Republican convention planned for San Diego at the same time the company had an antitrust matter before the Justice Department. That inspired Congress to pass legislation in 1974 providing future conventions with public funding to avoid the appearance of relying on regulated industries. This year, each convention received $12.5 million in federal money under that law. The 1974 law was designed to limit the ability of corporations to influence legislators attending conventions. But a simple loophole - designed to allow local companies to promote their hometowns - has been opened wide enough to drive a fleet of limousines through. And in recent years the Federal Election Commission has broadened this definition to allow out-of-state corporations doing business in the home community to contribute as well. There is no hint of a quid pro quo as there was in the case of the ITT scandal, but Miller and her allies say that widening loopholes in election laws undermine gains made by post-Watergate reforms. For $25,000 donations, corporate sponsors were allowed to join Newt Gingrich and other high-level Republicans on a 15-hour train ride to the convention. Donors included a prison guard union, a liquor industry trade group, oil companies and Miller Brewing, a subsidiary of tobacco giant Philip Morris. So it is that the San Diego Republican Convention raised $11.2 million of corporate funding, according to a study completed by the Los Angeles Times. That towers over the previous record: $6.5 million raised for the Democratic party's convention in New York. (Source: Sharon Schmickle; Tom Hamburger; Star Tribune, August 13, News; Pg. 1A)

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According to a study by Common Cause, the tobacco industry has given $1.6 million to the GOP this election cycle, and more than $700,000 to the Democratic Party. "It's surprising that Democrats would take the money and it's surprising that tobacco companies would want to be there." said Ellen Miller of the Center for Responsive Politics, which studies political contributions. Philip Morris spokesperson Darienne Dennis said it was a "great disservice" to delegates to think "they are going to be swayed over a hot dog and a beer." She said the company gives money and sponsors parties for both party conventions "in the hopes of getting fair and good government. Philip Morris, like other companies, might not always agree with positions the administration takes but that doesn't mean we're not going to be supporting the political process." The company's Kraft General Foods Inc. subsidiary who gave $100,000 to the convention host committee to underwrite convention activities, is sponsoring a "Family Day" for delegates at the Brookfield Zoo, and produced a special "Donkeys and Stars" edition of Kraft macaroni and cheese for the goody bags given to delegates and media. Miller Brewing Co., another Philip Morris subsidiary, hosted a reception for conservative "Blue Dog" members of Congress Monday and has provided free beer for a number of parties. (Source: Ruth Marcus, Washington Post, August 28, Wednesday, A Section; Pg. A30)

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"If cigarettes today, why not beer tomorrow?" asks Richard Alm of The Dallas Morning News in reference to President Clinton's decree that bans tobacco company sports sponsorship. The government banned tobacco advertising from television more than 20 years ago and last year forced in-stadium signs to stay clear of television cameras, so most sports have already weaned themselves from the cigarette makers' money. Beer is quite another story. Beer companies sponsor nearly every sport - from beach volleyball and World Cup soccer to NCAA basketball and the World Cup of Hockey. John Labatt Ltd. owns the Toronto Blue Jays. Molson owns the Montreal Canadiens. Adolf Coors Co. put its name on the Colorado Rockies' ballpark. Anheuser-Busch sold the St. Louis Cardinals last year, but it is still a sponsor for many of the teams in baseball, football, hockey and basketball. A ranking of advertisers in sports for the first quarter of this year, compiled by Nielsen Sports Marketing Service, shows Anheuser-Busch on top with $42.7 million and Miller Brewing Co. at No. 7 with $18.5 million. "The Clinton administration hasn't yet targeted the connection between beer and sports, but it's hard to see how the mindset that wanted cigarettes out of sports could allow beer to stay in." (Source: Richard Alm, The Dallas Morning News, August 26, Monday, Sports Day; Sports Business; Pg. 2b)

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"Nobody expects beer drinking to come back as strong as it was in the mid-1980s until sometime after 2000," said Peter Reid, editor of Modern Brewery Age. "That's when a significant segment of the population will hit their prime drinking years, 21 to 30. " Curiously, the demographic shift hurting the megabrewers is helping ...specialty beers. In the fiscally priggish 1990s, consumers get their thrills on the cheap, giving up expensive luxury items and splurging in smaller ways. About one in three coffee drinkers, for example, have traded their 50-cent-a-cup of wake-me-up mud for a $1.50 to $2.50 shot of coffee made from gourmet beans. Similar changes have come to ice cream, candy and bread. In all three industries, so-called "premium" brands, most introduced in the past decade, now account for 15 percent to 40 percent of the total market. Beer, many believe, is in the midst of a similar change. (Source: Andre Mouchard, The Orange County Register, August 23, Friday, Business; Pg. C01)

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Sales are 31-gallon barrels. Company 1995 sales % chg from 1994
1. Anheuser-Busch 87.50 million -1.1%
2. Miller Brewing Co.* 45.00 million -0.4%
3. Coors Brewing 20.31 million -0.2%
4. Stroh Brewery 13.40 million -5.8%
5. G. Heileman** 7.90 million -2.5%
6. Pabst Brewing** 6.30 million -6.7%
7. Genesee Brewing** 1.80 million -5.3%
8. Latrobe Brewing Co.** 1.20 million 9.1%
9. Boston Beer. Co. .96 million 37.3%
10. Pittsburgh Brewing** .92 million -0.4%
* Includes sales of Molson U.S.A. ** Estimated
Source: Modern Brewery Age

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  ********** WEB WATCH **********


****************** Brand Spanking New!!! ******************

Hops Around the Web

Professional and Home Brewers and beer enthusiasts alike will benefit from the wealth of hops-centric information available on the Web. First to the web as a commercial hops provider is John I. Hass. Advertisements from the 1950s American Brewer magazine show these folks have been leading the industry for years. Find a great page at:

Glenn Tinseth has organized an excellent page that includes his hop calculator:

Shakin' Things Up in the Silicon Valley

If you work or travel to the Silicon Valley, here's a brewpub that you have to drop in on: The Faultline Brewing Company. For people in the East Bay Area, things are looking up. Faultline is about to open their doors in Walnut Creek, too. Hit the epicenter at:

Fly Me To The Moon

Greetings, Earthlings. We invite you to orbit the Brew Moon web site. Hit the launchpad and download the moonrections if your coordinates are locked in on Massachusetts. New sites are opening around the Boston area and now around the WWW at:

Beer Nerds Untie - uh - Unite

Back in 1987, when the Northampton Brewery had just opened, one of their waiters recited the list of available beers to a customer. "No thanks" the customer said, "I'll take an American beer." "Well," replied the waiter, going through his list again, "we brew all our beers here. Today we have Golden Lager, Old Brown Dog, Pale Ale..." "That's OK. Just give me an American beer." Thereupon, the waiter pointed to the brewery tanks on the other side of the window and said, "Sir, we brew all of our beers twenty feet from where you are sitting. It doesn"t get much more American than that!" Meet the original beer nerds of New Hampshire's Northampton Brewery at:

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****************** Brewed Fresh For You! ******************

The Real Beer Page announces a diverse group of brew websites to check out:
Beer Is My Life
Black Bear Brewing Co.
Brass Ring Brewing Co.
Danse Skjold Brewing Co.
European Brewery Adventures
Five Star Products and Services, LLC
Great Providence Brewing
Gritty McDuff's Brewpubs
The Hart Brewing Co.
Malt of the Earth
Mendocino Brewing Co.
Real Beer Feedback
The Village Brewery

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The Real Beer Page is proud to present the contributions of one of the craft-beer industry's more outspoken and opinionated S.O.B.s (Scribe Of Beer, of course). Stephen Beaumont, author of two books, one audio cassette and prolific contributor to publications such as the Celebrator, Southern Draft and All About Beer, joins our efforts to bring timely, quality, updated information to you via the 'Net by creating each month a new edition of "World of BeerTM". It's charter is to bring you a highly opinionated, even-handed view of beer happenings from around the globe as they happen to Beaumont. Point of view you might not always agree with, but should consistently challenge your assumptions about the beer world. In this month's edition you will learn that Budweiser is brewed with 65% malt (both 2-row and 6-row varieties) and 35% rice. You'll also read about the world's largest brewpub, the new Labatt Domincan Republic connection, paper made from beer ingredients, select beer events and a beer tasting. Surf the WOB at:
  (soon to be at

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Coors Brewing Co. quietly changed the recipe of its Original Coors beer as part of a marketing strategy emphasizing the brand's heritage. The company confirmed that it returned to a 100% rice- based adjunct recipe - the recipe that the company abandoned in the mid-1970s. Coors began using corn starch in the mid-70s because of "volatility" in the rice market, causing concerns about price, quality and availability. Taste-test panels determined that the company could employ corn starch without "affecting the taste," said Dave Taylor, the brewer's corporate communications manager. Hoping to reverse the brand's 20-year sales decline, the Golden brewer announced in the spring that it redesigned the packaging, devised a fresh advertising campaign and improved the quality. Coors debated the wisdom of publicizing the formula change in the spring, deciding to de-emphasize it with the help of the "improved quality" euphemism. "We didn't want to create the perception that we were making radical changes," Taylor said. "Consumers might not notice the difference in the recipe." (Source: Steve Caulk, Rocky Mountain News, August 29, Thursday, Business; Pg. 1B)

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Milwaukee is abandoning their Blue Ribbon, as labor and financial troubles flatten Pabst sales in its home city. Anheuser-Busch Inc. has replaced Pabst in the No. 2 sales spot in the Milwaukee area for the first time while Miller remains an overwhelming No. 1, also gaining market share at Pabst's expense. Case sales for Pabst in Milwaukee fell 22.2% during a four-week period ending July 12 according to the report by Information Resources Inc., a Chicago company that tracks supermarket sales. And those figures don't even reflect the angry consumer reaction expected to Pabst's announcement last month that it plans to eliminate health benefits for 750 (all past and present) retirees as of Sept. 1. In June, the NLRB filed an unfair labor practice complaint against Pabst for signing a contract with G. Heileman Brewing Co. to brew 60% of the beer that had been brewed at Pabst's downtown Milwaukee plant. The movement of work to Heileman led to the loss of about 200 local jobs, leaving just 160 active workers. John Sheehan, president of Beechwood Distributors, predicted that Pabst sales troubles would continue. "In the past, a lot of people bought it to support local jobs." Roman Makarewicz, who retired from Pabst 13 years ago, said many of the brewery's retirees are boycotting Pabst products since learning their benefits were being dumped. "I'll never drink Pabst beer again." The grocery sales report shows Anheuser-Busch's market share rose to 13.4% in the latest four- week measuring period while Pabst's share for all brands slipped to 13.2%. Milwaukee's Miller Brewing Co. remained well ahead of both with a 53.1% share. (Source: Mark Savage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 22, Thursday, News Pg. 1)

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In what local media officials call a surprising move, Miller is dropping its local TV sponsorship of the Bears, which includes the preseason games, as well as sponsorship of coach Dave Wannstedt's weekly show, in what is considered to be about a $1 million to $2 million effort in this market. Miller officials said the decision will allow the brewery to focus more of its effort on its national NFL push and pointed to its recent announcement that it is extending its NFL sponsorship for three more seasons. It also will continue local Bears-based bar and store promotions for its brands. But Chicago is the key market for Miller and one of the most hotly contested beer markets in the country. Miller bucks national trends in the Chicago market, with its Lite and Miller Genuine Draft brands commanding the top two sales positions in supermarkets according to data from Information Resources. Nationally, Anheuser-Busch is the No. 1 brand by almost a 2-1 margin. But nationally, Miller lost ground to A-B in the second quarter, with operating profit declining 3.6% to $159 million, from steep declines in its Red Dog brand and under performance of its new Miller Beer brand. Insiders said A-B probably would fill the space vacated by Miller, but a spokesman for the brewery declined to comment. (Source: Jim Kirk, Chicago Sun-Times, August 19, Sports Final, Pg. 45)

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Shipyard ales were being served at several functions at the Republican convention in San Diego. Denise Sposato, marketing director for the Portland, ME -based microbrewery, said the opportunity came through Miller Brewing Co., a subsidiary of which owns part of Shipyard. (Source: Jeff Smith, Portland Press Herald, August 13, Tuesday, Business Tuesday, Pg. 2C) See Shipyard online at

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The Real Beer Page hosted a WWW-based survey from May 15 - July 15. We will be publishing the results as they are compiled by PSTAT ( First action item upon completing the survey was selecting a winner for our Grand Prize drawing trip to Belgium and Holland with European Brewery Adventures (

The winner is Jason Bennett, a graduate student at Tulane pursuing his MSPH in Tropical Medicine. Jason's been homebrewing for the last couple of years and heard about the Real Beer Page from BrewingTechniques magazine ( while at the annual AHA conference in New Orleans earlier this year. If that sounds like a long way around to the prize, the prize also takes Jason a long way around to places of his youth. Jason will be traveling from September 6-16 to the Artisan breweries of Holland and Belgium. His father was in the military and so Jason traveled extensively as a child. The tour's Maastrict destination brings him just 15-minutes from where he spent grades 5-7 in school. Jason will have as his guide Larry Bausch, Publisher of the Pint Post, founder of the Microbrew Appreciation Society (206.634.1433), and long-time columnist of North by Northwest for the Celebrator ( Several other beer luminaries are rumored to be in attendance. When asked about his reaction to winning, Jason said, "Beer me!"

Were you holding out from booking your trip to see if you won? If you've got a passport and wild hair to travel this weekend, there's still room to join Jason. Call 800.424.7289 to make your reservations and plans ASAP!

If your vacation time is booked for this year but you want to be on the mailing list to receive next year's catalogues, call European Brewery Adventures at 800.424.7289.

Thanks to all who participated in our survey. We will be sharing results from our survey over the next several months. We hope that Jason will take lots of pictures so we can all accompany him vicariously on the Web. Stay tuned.

Second-prize winners will receive a copy of Michael Jackson's "The Great Beers of Belgium" distributed by Vanberg & DeWulf (607.547.8184) and some great Real Beer Merchandise ( Winners include:
  * Stanley Babb, Tulsa, OK
  * Mark Sharp, Seattle, WA
  * Ken Howen, Richmond, VA


Of the 3500+ survey respondents, 37% will pay $7.00+ for a six pack for themselves. When buying beer for friends, only 28% are willing to pay over $7.00!

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Asahi Breweries Ltd. and Miller Brewing Co. of the U.S. beginning next month will market a low-calorie beer targeted at women, Asahi officials said. The new First Lady brew, which the companies developed together, will be sold in Japan and the U.S. under the Asahi brand, the officials said. It is the first product of the partnership the two brewers announced in July 1995. Asahi and Miller have reduced both the calorie count and the bitterness of First Lady by about 20% compared to Asahi's other beers. The two target sales of 1.5 million cases in Japan and the U.S. within this year. Miller's Los Angeles brewery will produce First Lady. (Source, The Nikkei Weekly, August 12, Industry Digest; Pg. 10)

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A Miller Lite beer commercial featuring young people reveling in the city has angered some residents, and the brewing company has agreed to pull the ad from local radio stations. "It's just like trying to say, 'It's in your face, Newport,"' said Arthur Palmer, 39, of the commercial. Palmer is among residents who have said young people who rent summer houses and make noise late at night have disturbed the peace of their neighborhoods. The advertisement, which was played on local stations, featured the voices of women who say, "We're at The Landing in Newport and life is good because 18 of our best friends are here with us partying for the summer in one house, drinking Miller Lite." City zoning ordinances prohibit more than five unrelated people from living together in one dwelling unit. In recent years, residents have become increasingly upset with young people who rent summer homes and party late into the night. (Source: The Patriot Ledger, August 10, Saturday, News, Pg. 17)

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"Psoriasis is an incurable disorder that lasts a lifetime," explained The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) when Miller's Red Dog Beer advertising campaign had the unintended effect of making psoriasis seem laughable. The brewer halted its Red Dog radio ads after learning that psoriasis affects 5 million people in the United States, is painful and can disable, and has life-threatening forms that can be fatal. In a letter quoted in the July/August issue of the NPF's membership journal, the Bulletin, a Miller spokesperson assured the NPF that "We never intended to be perceived as being insensitive to those battling psoriasis." The Red Dog promotion included "the heartbreak of psoriasis" among lighthearted references to commercial slogans of the past. The phrase, used in ads for an over-the-counter skin and dandruff remedy, has not been used in print since 1981 or on television since the 70s. Miller spokespersons said the ad campaign meant to poke fun at the advertising community. The ads mentioned psoriasis along with "a bad hair day" and other trifling tribulations.

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  ********** FEST WATCH **********

Great American Beer Festival. Denver, CO. September 26-28. Watch us cover the event or visit our booth (first ten to bring a page of this newsletter to us at the show win a nifty prize). Brewers, brewery owners and personnel, and industry professionals are invited to our annual Stogie and Stout Smoke Out (cigars and non- smoking space available) on Thurdsay night. Call or email us to get on the guest list: 415.387.4356.
Berkeley Beer Festival

Brews By The Bay

Festibiere de Chambly. Chambly, Quebec. September 5-8. Chambly is a Montreal suburb that hosts the largest festival in Canada each year. 514-658-8133.

The Belfast Beer Festival. Belfast, Northern Ireland. September 17- 20.Call 011 44 1820 671 452

For more festivals, homebrew competitions, beertastings and more, check out the Real Beer Page events section at:

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The Church of the Latter-Day Saints on Wednesday condemned a proposal to name a new hockey facility near Salt Lake City "Coors Arena." "Should this proposal be accepted, the (West Valley) city officials would be in the position of officially sponsoring the sending of a negative message..." reads the Mormon statement. "Alcohol is a leading contributor to homicides, suicides and traffic fatalities... Naming the arena for such a product would perpetually promote consumption and negatively impact the health and safety of the community." Coors Brewing Co. countered, "Coors has no serious interest in naming rights for this arena and never has had any interest in it." (Source: Steve Caulk; Rocky Mountain News, August 29, Thursday, Business; Pg. 3B) Coors dealt with naming controversy six years ago over the fieldhouse at the University of Colorado at Boulder the Coors Events Center. In that case, it was the Coors Foundation that donated $5 million for the CU athletic facility, not Coors Brewing Co. Some opponents of using the Coors name on the fieldhouse said it would encourage alcohol consumption by those who are not legally permitted to drink. But in November 1990, CU students overwhelmingly approved the Coors Events Center name in a campus referendum. Coors Brewing's purchase of naming rights for Denver's new baseball stadium was not controversial; it was merely a business decision. The company paid about $10 million for the naming rights to Coors Field and later boosted its total investment in the Colorado Rockies to about $30 million when the company became a limited partner in the ball team. (Source: Jeffrey Leib, Denver Post Business Writer, August 17, Saturday, Business; Pg. D-01)

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This year major brewers pushed ambitious marketing programs targeting what still remains a refuge of brand loyalty as general- market consumers get increasingly fickle in their allegiances. Luz de Armas, chief creative officer and managing partner at Saatchi & Saatchi's Conill Advertising unit in New York, says "Hispanics are very loyal consumers for those who offer original and relevant creative and take time to understand the market." De Armas cited Anheuser-Busch for breakthrough ads for Bud Light that reflect the ways in which the Anglo and Hispanic cultures are increasingly intermingling. Recent spots breach a longstanding taboo by featuring Anglo characters speaking English (with Spanish subtitles): two guys pick up enough words from a TV lesson to order Bud Light in Spanish at a trendy Hispanic nightclub. "Excuse me?" replies the bartender. "The Hispanic experience has been in vogue. We wanted to take an approach that honored that Hispanic experience and show that the general market is willing to immerse itself in our Hispanic experiences," said Alejandro Ruelas, A-B senior manager for ethnic marketing. "But it's not demeaning, and it's consistent with the general-market strategy that people are willing to do anything to get a Bud Light." (Source: Gerry Khermouch, Brandweek formerly Adweek Marketing Week, August 5, 1996, Ethnic Marketing; Pg. 22)

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Rogue Ales/Oregon Brewing Co. has placed its original brewpub in Ashland, OR for sale. The property -- much of which is deck seating with park and creek views -- includes the 150-200 seat brewpub lease, a "top-end," 10-barrel JV Northwest system and formulations for the Siskiyou beers brewed at the site. Rogue President, Jack Joyce, says "The brewpub is 5-6 hours away from us and we've been there since 1988. It's a great location with a year-round 16- 20,000 person community and huge tourist trade. But it really needs some local attention. It needs someone on-site to manage it." Asking price is around $400,000.

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Real Beer, Inc. publishers of the Real Beer Page and this RBPMail proudly announce the hire of Carrie Sue Weston as Executive Vice President of Operations. Carrie Sue brings over 15 years of high tech, recruitment, corporate and brand communications experience to Real Beer, Inc. and its growing list of clients. "Our clients have challenged us to deliver a broader range of services, and we believe that Carrie Sue brings these new capabilities to our company," said Real Beer president, Pat Hagerman. Ms. Weston comes to Real Beer from Bernard Hodes Advertising (, where much of her past two years were occupied with managing client Web projects. While at the agency, she supervised the account service of clients from the Silicon Valley such as Tandem, Symantec and National Semiconductor.

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Considering the election-year climate in the U.S., it's probably not surprising that the editorial content will shift towards politics. As consumer advocates, we find that labor and environmental issues inevitably edge into the conversation about practices that affect our communities. If we as consumers stay true to our praxis and communities, then the debate should also inform our consuming habits.

On a recent visit to New York, we visited with the good people from the New York City Beer Guide (, who shed some light on some consumer attitude there:

"We have the best of everything from around the world here in New York, so we may not be as appreciative of local product that doesn't reach world-class status." said one of the NYCB editors. "You'll be hard-pressed to find local product in the most popular tap-houses."

My disapproval that followed was misdirected, as NYCB consistently supports local craft brewers and I was simply being told about a larger force at work in the area. So, I realized that the challenge is not one of having believers, but having these passionate few influence the debate.

"So many people can, but don't" says the late Charles Bukowski ( in a poem about a prize fighter unwilling to finish an opponent. Our recent survey showed that 90% of Real Beer Page viewers have college degrees. That means we have the ability to articulate our politics about beer, and too often we discuss preference over politics. "This is my favorite beer" instead of "This beer was made by a brewer serving the immediate community."

Media coverage and market analysis of the craft beer segment talks about diversity and aging of demographics. What most fail to note is the political aspect of the specialty beer market. Part of the enthusiasm and passion coming forth from this segment can be described as reactionary to the over-standardization and over- production of industrial goods. The predictable, manufactured product drives consumers toward an authentic, crafted experience. We believe that the growth of hand-crafted goods is as much an eschewing of industrial imposition as it is a natural process of exploration and discovery, along with their attendant risks and responsibilities.

Some of the pride of the segment comes from knowing those that produce the product. We know that microbrewed and brewpub beer consumed near the brewery is fresh and produced with local labor and resources. And we prefer to support the businessperson in the community over sending money to a corporate officer sitting thousands of miles away.

Part of the enthusiasm comes from the discovery of an entirely uniquely crafted beer that may be cost-prohibitive on a mass- production scale. And another part of the fervor derives from the lack of adjunct materials and industrial-scale processes from which most microbrewers steer clear. These materials and processes create byproducts of waste within ecological, labor, economic, political, consumer and distribution systems.

How does this play into the politics of beer? Craft brewers are creating for their communities. Many have production limits imposed by anti-competition legislation effectively maintained and supported by larger breweries and their lobbyists. They are not creating excess, pollution and stagnating free trade with anti- competitive legislation.

Each informed consumer possesses the responsibility to articulate the politics of supporting local crafts-persons to their spheres of influence. They have a responsibility to try new products and return ones that fail to meet expectations. And invest in the risk of trying the local craft-brewer's product again should this happen.

This election year, you don't have to worry about a single day of selecting a candidate that closest represents your views -- you can vote every time you go to your local tavern or grocery store to pick up some beer. Vote with your pocket book.