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Jul 31, 2014

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RBPMail 5.04, April 1999

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 Often, links you will see are out of date, and businesses referred to may also be long gone.

In this issue:


If you like what you read here and want more every week, subscribe to BEERWeek. Much of the content within is digested from BEERWeek, the paid subscription supported industry email newsletter. Get your free sample today at

http://www.beerweek.com

TOP CZECH BREWERS TO RAISE PRICES

Two top breweries in the Czech Republic, Pivovar Radegast AS and Pivovar Velke Popovice AS, units of Radegast Group AS, plan to raise beer prices by about 6 percent this month. The decision was announced just weeks after the Czech Anti-Monopoly Office approved a merger of Plzensky Prazdroj AS (Pilsner Urquell), the Czech Republic's largest brewer by market share, and Pivovar Radegast, the second-largest, both controlled by Nomura of Japan through related companies.

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GERMANS' AGGRESSIVE EXPORTS COUNTER DOMESTIC SLOWDOWN

In light of a slowdown in the German brewing industry -- 100 breweries have closed during the 1990s -- many brewers have turned to exporting their beers to survive, while others simply shut down or merged with their more powerful rivals. German brewers now export about three times more beer than the country imports, and have found a friendly market in the United States. U.S. consumption of German beer rose 15% from 1994 to 1997. Beck's North America Inc., Beck's U.S. subsidiary, sold $127 million worth of beer in 1997-98 fiscal year.

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CARLSBERG CLOSES HONG KONG BREWERY

Danish brewer Carlsberg will discontinue production at its Hong Kong brewery on the last day in April. Carlsberg Brewery Hong Kong Ltd, 51% owned by Carlsberg and 49% owned by Swire Pacific, indicated that it was discontinuing its production on the island because of high costs, especially high wages. The brewery will supply its Hong Kong customers from another of its breweries.

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MEXICAN GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATES BEER MONOPOLY

The Mexican government is investigating whether its two main beer companies -- Grupo Modelo and Fomento Economico Mexicano -- are involved in monopolistic practices in certain parts of the country. The investigation will look at distribution and beer sales countrywide and is expected to take about three months.

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CO-FOUNDER BUYS BACK ROCK BOTTOM RESTAURANTS

A "new day" is dawning at Rock Bottom Restaurants -- same as the old Day. Rock Bottom Restaurants, Inc., announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by RB Capital, Inc., a newly-formed corporation organized by the company's chairman, president and chief executive officer, Frank B. Day. Day is one of the company's co-founders and a significant stockholder of the company. Based in Louisville, Colorado, Rock Bottom Restaurants, Inc. owns and operates 62 restaurants -- 39 Old Chicago restaurants and 23 brewery restaurants operating under the names Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Chop House & Brewery and Walnut Brewery.

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MALLYA REPORTEDLY INTERESTED IN BUYING FULL SAIL BREWERY

The Portland Business Journal reports that Vijay Mallya has taken aim at acquiring the Full Sail Brewery in Hood River, Ore. Mallya is the Indian liquor and beer entrepreneur who pulled the plug on Jim Bernau's Portland-based Microbreweries Across America and acquired Mendocino Brewing Company and other distressed brewing properties. The report says that Mallya "has vowed to get a piece of Oregon's craft-brewing business," and Full Sail is "exploring a possible sale because some of its original shareholders wanted 'liquidity' for their shares."

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WASHINGTON LAWMAKERS PROPOSE .02 BAC

The State of Washington is considering legislation that would make driving with a .02 BAC (blood alcohol concentration) a crime. Washington only recently changed its blood alcohol level from .10 to .08. Under the proposed bill, drivers over 21 found guilty of operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of at least .02 but less than .08 would be have their license suspended for 30 days and have to pay a penalty of $500.

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DRUNK DRIVER WITH SUSPENDED LICENSE HITS MADD CAR

Donald Podzka, 48, driving with a suspended license and with four drunk driving convictions, crashed into a car driven by the Massachusetts executive director of MADD. No injuries were reported, but Podzka was arrested for DWI. His blood alcohol was over twice the legal limit. Four cans of beer were near his car, two open. A witness told law enforcement that Podzka began throwing beer cans into the woods right after the crash. He had been convicted four times for drunken driving between 1981 and 1989.

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****WEB WATCH****

TWENTY-THREE BEERS FROM EIGHT COUNTRIES
Step into Michael Jackson's tasting room and try Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing in Hammond, Ind., Regal from the Simon Brewery in Luxembourg or one of 21 other beers. Discover which strong ale the Beer Hunter describes as, "The beer world's answer to a gin-and-tonic."

http://www.beerhunter.com/documents/19133-000163.php

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BREWMALL MAKES SHOPPING EVEN EASIER
BREWMall has been redesigned a bit to make it easier to locate just what you want from nearly 3,000 items. Now you'll find departments within each of the stores, as well as a list of what other shoppers are buying. Stop by now.

http://www.brewmall.com

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BEER AND WINE HOBBY
Beer and Wine Hobby has moved to a new location, allowing it to expand its warehouse. The store keeps long hours, making it easy to stop by the Woburn, Mass., business to pick up what you need. Farther away? Don't worry, the mail order department is adept at dispatching orders to anywhere in the world. Not only will you find everything you need to brew beer, but also to make wine, make cheese, grow mushrooms, create vinegar, etc.

http://www.beer-wine.com

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*****************REAL BEER PICKS***************

BOHEMIAN BREWERIES INTERNATIONAL
This global, leading equipment supplier earns testimonials like, "It's a whole package deal with Bohemian. You don't just get a piece of equipment and have to go out there and install it. You get a full service application, and that's what we were looking for." The site is full of information about the company's people, products and services. Don't leave without test driving the system size calculator in the resource center. Start the tour at:

http://www.bohemianbreweries.com

UC DAVIS PROFESSIONAL BREWING PROGRAM
"I picked this program because I thought it would be the most comprehensive in the country," notes graduate Jason Oliver. "After completing it, I've definitely found that to be true. You learn about all aspects of the brewing industry." The brewing programs offered through University Extension at UC Davis are world-renowned and the only North American programs accredited by the prestigious Institute of Brewing in London. Find out more about them at:

http://www.universityextension.ucdavis.edu/brewing

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

The Real Beer Page announces a diverse group of brew websites 
to check out:
     http://www.innovativwww.ebrew.com 
     http://www.ommegang.com
     http://www.petes.com
     http://www.newbelgium.com
     http://www.pourperfect.com
     http://www.spartanburgstainless.com
     http://www.newcastlebrown.com
     http://www.bestbelgianbeers.com/beerprd/lagr_st.htm
     http://www.bestbelgianbeers.com/beerprd/whitvill.htm
     http://www.bestbelgianbeers.com/beerprd/abbey.htm
     http://www.bestbelgianbeers.com/beerprd/lambic.htm
     http://www.gordonbiersch.com

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QUICKIE EMAIL SURVEY
Thanks to all who have been replying to our Quickie Surveys. We draw one winner each month for a prize, which this month will be a Real Beer T- shirt. Last month's winner was Ricardo Rojas, who wrote: "I greatly enjoy reading your newsletter every month. My Internet connection at home is a 56k modem, but due to some really silly technical mumbo-jumbo, it can only run at 33.6k. Such a shame. It almost makes me want to go into work on weekends, just to use the Internet ... nearly, but not quite."

LAST MONTH'S QUESTION:
Last month we asked how fast your Internet connection at home is. It turns out that 56% of those who responded connect at 56K or faster.

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ANHEUSER-BUSCH TESTS PLASTIC BOTTLES

Anheuser-Busch is selling Budweiser and Bud Light beer in 16-ounce plastic bottles in a test in Dallas and Phoenix following a similar test last summer in New York. Miller Brewing Co., the nation's No. 2 brewer, has been selling beer in plastic bottles in similar market tests since October. Dan Hoffman, director of Budweiser marketing for Anheuser- Busch, said last year's test in New York showed that consumers preferred plastic bottles at places like beaches and pools, where glass is prohibited. "We will determine the long-term recycling viability of the bottle," as part of the Dallas and Phoenix tests, Hoffman said. Miller has come under attack from environmentalists who charge that its plastic bottles are not easily recycled.

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OREGON BREWERS GUILD PUSHES FOR SELF-DISTRIBUTION

The Oregon Brewers Guild and the Oregon Restaurant Association recently introduced a bill in the Oregon State senate to allow brewpubs to self distribute limited amounts of beer themselves. Currently, holders of microbrewery licenses can self-distribute, but not holders of public house (brewpubs) licenses. The proposed law would allow brewpubs to distribute up to 500 barrels of beer a year.

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COMING SOON TO A STATE NEAR YOU: A HOPS BREWPUB

Hops Restaurant Bar & Brewery recently opened its first brewery- restaurant in Connecticut and 50th in the United States. "I'm looking forward to the future growth of Hops as we expand beyond a regional base and establish our brand nationally," said chief executive officer, president and Hops co-founder Tom Schelldorf. The chain began operating in Tampa, Fla., in 1988, and began serious expansion after becoming a subsidiary of Avado Brands in 1997. It has grown from 18 restaurants to 50 in 25 months and plans to open 20 Hops restaurants this year while expanding into eight new states.

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IDAHO LEGALIZES HOMEBREWING

The state of Idaho has legalized homebrewing, now affording homebrewers the same rights as home winemakers. "Jennifer Graham spearheaded the effort completely," said Paul Gatza, director of the American Homebrewers Association. "The AHA supported her effort in a minor way with a letter and email campaign to AHA members in Idaho. Cheers for Jennifer and all Idaho homebrewers."

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LABATT USA INTRODUCES BELGIUM'S STELLA ARTOIS TO NYC

Labatt USA has begun marketing Stella Artois, the best-selling Belgian lager in the world, into the New York market. Stella Artois has a heritage that stretches back to 1366 in the town of Leuven, where it is still brewed today.

http://www.bestbelgianbeers.com/beerprd/lagr_st.htm

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TIPS FOR VISITING THE DARK SIDE

While some were wondering what non-green beer to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with, Stephen Beaumont had some advice for readers of World of Beer Update, a free monthly newsletter that contains information not available at his website. Although St. Patty's day has passed, his recommendation remain worth considering:

- Porter House (Dublin, Ireland) Wrasslers XXXX Stout: An intense hop- and-roast nose leads to a generously roasty body with pleasingly discernable hop and plum notes. A lingering finish with fading hop notes ends this excellent dry stout.

- St. Ambroise (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) Oatmeal Stout: Tasted fresh, this is one of the finest oatmeal stouts I have ever had the pleasure of coming across; rich, silky smooth and with just a hint of sweetness.

- Jamtlands (Jamtland, Sweden) Porter: With a full, roasty, smoky nose and a dry-ish, faintly fruity body with perhaps a note or two of nuttiness, this a very fine porter deserving of its style name.

- Guinness (Dublin, Ireland) Extra Stout: No, not the nitro-poured draught stout, but the more intense bottled version available only in Ireland. When I visit the Emerald Isle, I like to drink draught stout during the day and switch to this much roastier, sharper brew around dinner time.

To sign up for the newsletter, visit:

http://www.worldofbeer.com

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'STRANGE BREW' SEQUEL IN THE WORKS

Plans are in the works for a sequel to the McKenzie Brothers' 1983 film, "Strange Brew." There's talk that Dan Aykroyd will appear with Dave Thomas (Doug McKenzie) and Rick Moranis (Bob McKenzie). The McKenzie Brothers, of course, began life on the comedy show SCTV, drinking beer, eating donuts and back bacon sandwiches and discussing all things Canada. The new film reportedly will be "about a bunch of losers who try to launch their homemade beer as a major brand and (louse) everything up."

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BREWERS FROM HAWAII, LAS VEGAS SQUARE OFF

Brewers at Las Vegas brewpub have challenged those from Hawaii to compete head-to-head April 24 in the Main Event Beer Festival in Las Vegas. BJCP-certified judges will conduct a blind judging and overall points will determine the winner. All seven Las Vegas brewpubs will be on hand, while Sam Choy's Breakfast, Lunch & Crab of Honolulu is expected to be joined by more Hawaiian breweries. Such a competition makes sense because 80 percent of guests at the California Hotel (a sister property of festival host Main Street Station) are from Hawaii. For information call 702-798-8345.

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SHINER'S SPOETZL HOSTS BIKE RIDE

1,500 bicyclists from throughout Texas are expected to ride approximately 90 miles May 1 to Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas, for the first annual Kiwanis International Shiner B.A.S.H (Biking from Austin, San Antonio and Houston). The ride, sponsored by Spoetzl Brewery and Sun & Ski Sports, will benefit the Austin, San Antonio and Houston chapters of Kiwanis International. The ride coincides with Spoetzl's 90th anniversary.

http://www.shiner.com

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MORE UPCOMING BEER EVENTS

For up-to-the-minute event listings of your area and wherever you may travel, check out:

http://realbeer.com/rbp/rbp.events.php

April 10, - Athens, Georgia
4th Annual Classic City Brew-Fest
Contact: (706) 254-2739

April 18, Chicago, Illinois
Real Ale & Real Beer History. The events features cask-conditioned ales from Chicago area breweries.
Contact: (414) 821-8004 or 1-800-GooseMe

April 23- 24, Durham, North Carolina
6th Annual Brews & Blues & Southeastern Microbrewers' Invitational Conference
Contact Phone: (919) 484-1128

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EDITORIAL: WHY THE BOTTOMS WON'T FALL OUT OF THIS MARKET

Later this month, industry movers and shakers of the U.S. will gather in Phoenix for the National Craft-Brewers Conference and Trade Show. When they leave the exhibition hall many will make it to Leinenkugel's Ballyard Brewery, an expansive brewpub next to Ball One Ballpark. There they'll settle in on the barstools made to look like major-league bases, with square seats and white leather upholstery.

Also later this month, hundreds of thousands of music lovers will descend on New Orleans for the Jazz and Heritage Festival featuring hundreds of musicians and beer from one brewery -- Miller Brewing. After a day of music many will make it to the Rivershack Tavern in Jefferson in search of Real Beer. They may grab a seat outside on barrels with metal footrests and cupholders or wander inside to check out the "Home of the Tacky Ashtray." As well as truly tacky ashtrays and 20 beers on tap, the Rivershack has stools with carved legs that look to be human. They depict a golfer, a shrimper, a cowboy, a woman in high heels and others from below the knees. Conversation comes easy here.

Perhaps your favorite barstools are the brass tractor seats at Anderson Valley Brewing's Buckhorn Saloon. You may prefer the padded tree stumps at Chilkoot Charlie's in Anchorage, Alaska, or the communal picnic benches at Berkley Front in Berkley, Mich. At the Rhinoceros in Missoula, Mont., the barstools next to the tall tables are screwed to the floor. Then there's the Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago, where the classic standup bar has no stools at all, a reminder of when the bar area was for men only.

Every one of these places serves beer with character, which is one excuse to find an interesting stool and be close to the taps. Quite often we find that there are more reasons. Any place that goes to the trouble to make hand-crafted beer available is still in the minority and deserves credit. The ones that are special do even more -- having bar stools that are out of the ordinary is one example. They make sure the beer is served right, offer a setting for civilized conversation, live music, excellent food, good wines and spirits, etc.

If you want these pleasures to continue to be available then encourage the places that offer them with your patronage. Not only will they stay in business but they'll be joined by others.

Grab a bar stool and take it for a spin.

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