RBPMail 6.06, June 2000
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 Often, links you will see are out of date, and businesses referred to may also be long gone.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:
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
WHITBREAD, INTERBREW FINALIZE DEAL
British brewer Whitbread has completed the sale of its brewing
interest to Belgium's Interbrew, ending more than 250 years as
a brewery. Interbrew will pay £400 million (about $600 million)
for the beer business, which brews Boddington, as well as Stella
Artois under license from Interbrew. It has a 16% share of the
UK beer market. The family-owned Interbrew, which also owns Labatt
and Rolling Rock, said it would finance the purchase from its
own cash surpluses. It is planning a public stock offering at
the end of the year, indicating it may be a serious bidder for
the Bass brewing interests or considering other acquisitions.
Along with Stella Artois, Whitbread also produces Heineken, Labatt,
Hoegaarden and Sam Adams under license in the UK.
CARLSBERG ABSORBS NORWEGIAN BREWER
Danish brewing giant Carlsberg and Norway Orkla plan to create
a joint brewing company that will be the world's sixth largest.
Carlsberg will own 60% of the new venture and Orkla 40%. It will
carry the Carlsberg name. Under the deal, Orkla will transfer
its Pripps Ringnes unit, the leading brewery in Norway and Sweden,
and its 50% stake in Baltic Beverage Holdings to Carlsberg in
exchange for shares in the new brewery. Baltic Beverage Holdings
is the biggest brewery in the three Baltic states. Carlsberg Breweries
will compete heavily in Nordic countries, as well as in Russia,
the Baltics, Ukraine and parts of Asia.
RUSSIANS NEED MALT, HOPS
A lack of ingredients for making beer threatens to slow the fast-
growing Russian brewing industry. "... further expansion is impossible
unless we restore the domestic supply of barley and hops," said
Vyacheslav Mamontov, Executive Secretary of the Russian Union
of Beer and Non-Alcoholic Drinks Producers. Russia imports about
70% of its malt needs and almost all of its hops.
HEINEKEN BUYS 50% OF AFFLIGEM
Dutch brewer Heineken has acquired a 50% stake of Belgian brewer
Affligem Brouwerij (formerly Brouwerij De Smedt). The Affligem
lineup includes several beers that are sent to the United States,
including a dubel, a tripel and the popular holiday seasonal,
Affligem Noel. The brewery mainly produces abbey-style beers for
the Affligem Abbey. The abbey first brewed beer in the 11th century.
Since 1980, Heineken has marketed and distributed the beer to
The Netherlands and France. Heineken also has a license agreement
with the abbey for the rest of the world. The license for Belgium
and Luxembourg remains with the Affligem Brewery.
SAYONARA, VENDING BEER MACHINES
Beer from vending machines may soon be a fond memory in Japan.
For decades the machines have symbolized Japanese affection for
automated conveniences and alcoholic beverages. But concerns about
underage drinking caused the country's liquor stores to adopt
a voluntary ban on the machines. "Today I'm taking all the beer
out - and putting in the juice," Masayuki Murata told the Associated
Press when interviewed at his family's Surugaya Liquor Store in
central Tokyo. The 130,000-member All Japan Liquor Merchants Association
estimated that up to 70% of the nation's 170,000 alcohol vending
machines were shut down by the ban.
STUDY SHOWS BEER CAN REDUCE RISK OF HEART ATTACKS
A new study published in the British Medical Journal contends
that drinking a pint of beer every day can reduce the risk of
heart attacks. A study of Czech men found that those who drank
up to two pints of beer a day had the lowest risk of coronary
heart disease. The men were chosen because they predominately
drank beer and rarely drank wine or spirits. The lowest risk of
heart disease was among men who drank daily and drank between
four to nine liters (eight to 16 pints) of beer a week. Drinking
large amounts of beer led to a loss of the protective effects
BEER FOR DAD
Father's Day is June 18 and Real Beer has plenty of beer-related
gift suggestions for Dad and more. Check out our stories about "Your
father's beer" and "Not your father's beer" before heading to the
Gift Guide to find him a present guaranteed to make him smile.
HOW TO BREW: ONLINE BOOK REVEALS ALL
John Palmer has written some of the most read documents on homebrewing
available on the Internet. He's put his accumulated knowledge in
book form - and the whole thing is available on the Web. He's got
tips for everybody from the first-time brewer to the most seasoned
AMERICAN BEER MONTH CALENDAR
American Beer Month will kick off in a big way July 1, with a Brewers
Rally in Philadelphia and major festivals in Colorado and Florida.
Just as important, you will be able to celebrate the tradition and
innovation of American brewing all month long at a bar, brewpub,
festival or even in a Real Beer Online Tasting.
A MICROBREWERY OF YOUR OWN
You've got until Tuesday morning to put in a bid on the original
Three Floyds Brewing Co. brewhouse in an eBay auction. Don't worry,
Three Floyds (http://www.threefloyds.com)
isn't going out of business. The popular Indiana microbrewery has
moved into a bigger facility with a new brewery. It's selling the
old system, complete with the "famous Hammond squares."
*****************REAL BEER PICKS***************
CONTINENTAL DISC CORP.
Continental's Rupture Discs protect brewing tanks against implosion
or overpressure caused by excessive vacuum, hot water or steam cleaning
of tanks, or abnormal process pressure conditions. They are easy
to clean and dual direction, relieving either overpressure or vacuum.
See them at:
MicroPure's segmented design incorporates stainless steel disks,
which direct the flow of the air, gas, or liquid to be filtered through self-sealing
filter media clamped securely between the disks. Take a closer look
at how the filters work and more from MicroPure at:
The folks at Primal Brewer figure that you want to show pride in
your work whether you you brew at home, at an on-premise brew shop
or in a microbrewery. Although they sell a "Brew Naked" T-shirt,
their other products are designed for those who want to brew in
a little more style. They are on display at:
WASHINGTON SUMMER MICROBREW FESTIVAL
The Washington Brewer Guild carries on the tradition of the Herbfarm
Father's Day Microbrew Festival -- which was canceled due to a pending
sale of the property -- with this new event. Beer lovers will still
be able to enjoy a country setting, family-friendly atmosphere,
and great beer June 17-18. Check out all the details:
QUICKIE EMAIL SURVEY
Thanks to all who have been replying to our Quickie Surveys. We
draw one winner each month for a prize. Last month's winner was
Ralph Bacon. He wins a $50 gift certificate from Homebrew Adventures.
LAST MONTH'S QUESTION:
Do you brew beer at home, and how many times a year? Of those
who answered the question via RBPMail, 66% currently brew (and
28% brew 8 or more times a year), while 28% never have brewed.
We asked the same question in the Real Beer Page Voting Booth.
There 50% of the voters currently brew and 44% never have.
*********** Brewed Fresh For You!
The Real Beer Page announces a diverse group of brew websites
to check out:
PEARL BREWERY GETS THREE-YEAR REPRIEVE
San Antonio's Pearl Brewery received a stay of execution this
week when the Pabst Brewing Co. decided to keep the 114-year-old
plant open for at least three more years. That reverses an April
decision to close the brewery, but still means layoffs for about
300 of 340 workers. Pabst will cut production at the plant to
500,000 barrels, about half of what it had been making. The brewery
will continue to produce Pearl and Lone Star, two beers that were
first brewed in San Antonio, as well as (malt liquor) champales.
Production of Old Milwaukee, Schlitz and other Pabst-owned brands
will be made under contract by Miller Brewing in Milwaukee.
GENESEE SALE FALLS THROUGH
Genesee Corp. has terminated its deal with City Brewing Co. to
purchase Genesee Brewing Co. and plans to retain the business,
at least in the short term. "We believe that the interests of
our shareholders will be better served by terminating the agreement,
which will allow management to focus on our brewing business during
the critical summer selling season," said Tom Hubbard, president
and chief executive officer of Genesee Corp.
SLEEMAN, BOSTON BEER MAKE STRATEGIC DEAL
Sleeman Breweries of Canada and the Boston Beer Co. of the United
States -- the two largest craft breweries in their respective
countries -- have entered into a two-way agreement intended to
make the beers of both breweries more widely available in North
America. As part of the strategic partnership, Sleeman will immediately
begin representation of Samuel Adams products in several key markets
in Canada. Boston Beer will conduct market research in the United
States to identify potential markets for Sleeman brand products
and assist Sleeman with brand development and selling strategies
if sufficient market potential is identified.
BOSTON BEER CREATES UNIQUE AMNESTY PROGRAM
A unique Beer Amnesty Program instituted by The Boston Beer Co.
adds new meaning to the phrase "put a little Sam Adams in your
tank." The company informed 450 distributors that it would buy
back all out-of- code Samuel Adams for the month of March -- that
is beer beyond the "freshness date" on the label. Such cost is
usually absorbed by the distributor. The brewery expects to spend
up to $2 million in the buyback. It says no other brewery has
ever done this. So far, more than two million bottles of Samuel
Adams have been recycled -- the glass, the packaging and even
the beer, which was superheated into ethanol, an additive for
MICROBREWERY OWNERS WIN BIG JACKPOT
A suburban Chicago couple who own a microbrewery were winners
of half of last month's record setting $363 million Big Game jackpot.
Joe and Sue Kainz, who operate the Wild Onion Brewing Co. in Lake
Barrington with the help of their children, said they have no
plans to retire and will use some of the jackpot to invest in
the microbrewery. The family also owns a medical supply company.
Kainz said his grandfather emigrated from Germany in the early
1900s and started a dairy business. When Prohibition was enacted,
he used the dairy equipment to start a clandestine brewery and
supplied the beer to speakeasies in Chicago, Kainz said. He said
the business returned to a dairy, in which both he and his father
MANNEKIN PIS LABEL BAN STANDS
Paulaner North America apparently has lost its long-running battle
with the state of Ohio over the label for Mannekin Pis, a beer
that PNA imports from Belgium. The beer's label features the famous
bronze statue of a small naked small boy urinating. Ohio officials
first called the label "offensive and in poor taste" and banned
Paulaner from shipping the beer into the state. PNA lost its latest
round in appeals court when the court agreed that government can't
legislate taste, but upheld the ban based on an Ohio law that
forbids the portrayal of children on beer bottles.
A-B, OKLAHOMA POLICE PARTNER
The Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police and Anheuser-Busch
have begun a statewide initiative to help prevent underage drinking
among Oklahoma youth. They are distributing educational materials
to 85,000 Oklahoma households with children aged 12-17. The educational
materials, called "Family Talk About Drinking," are designed to
help parents and teens have open communication about alcohol beverages
and the risks of underage drinking. Nationally, underage drinking
is down significantly according to the federal government. Since
1982, teen drinking has declined 45% and teen drunk driving fatalities
have declined 65%. In Oklahoma, there has been a 64% decline in
teen drunk driving fatalities during that time period. You can
vote on how you think we should educate teens and young adults
about responsible drinking in this month's Real Beer poll at:
'WHASSUP!?' WINS MAJOR AD AWARD
Budweiser's popular "Whassup!?" campaign, which turned a greeting
among friends into the nation's hottest catch phrase, earned one
of the advertising industry's most prestigious awards, the Grand
Clio for television. The award, given to the campaign's original
60-second spot, titled "True," was one of 14 garnered by Anheuser-Busch
at last night's 41st Annual Clio TV and Radio Gala. Budweiser's
"Louie the Lizard" campaign received half of those awards, including
a Gold Clio for national radio campaign.
EDITORIAL: SEX, BEER & NEO-PROHIBITIONISTS
You may have seen the story recently that suggested boosting
beer prices reduces sex among youth, and consequently the spread
of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
It had the ingredients -- beer and sex -- that guaranteed good
exposure in newspapers and on local television stations across
First, let's look at the study on which these sensationalized
stories are based. Researchers in the study analyzed state alcohol
policy changes -- either increasing the beer tax or increasing
the drinking age -- between 1981 and 1995. They found that increasing
the tax on a six-pack of beer by 20 cents reduced the rate of
gonorrhea among teens and young adults ages 20 to 24 by an average
of 9%. The report also found that raising the drinking age could
lower the gonorrhea rate by an average of 7%.
Like many of you, those of us at Real Beer with kids grapple
every day with the challenges of sending those children out into
a scary world. We look at these sorts of studies with serious
concern, but if some legislators use this research even to suggest
raising taxes we're ready to protest loudly.
We won't go as far as Beer Institute president Jeff Becker, who
said, "The connection (between beer taxes and gonorrhea) is absurd."
However, we do agree that the suggested action and effect - boost
the heck out of beer taxes, lower the rate of teen sex -- isn't
guaranteed. "Underage drinking is a complex issue that doesn't
lend itself to fixes like raising beer taxes," Becker said.
If somebody actually pushes for higher taxes based on this study,
there will be plenty of assumptions to challenge. The most drastic
reductions in gonorrhea rates came immediately after taxes were
raised. So if "sticker shock" was a contributor does that mean
taxes will have to be raised every year to keep down the STD rate?
The neo-Prohibitionists would love that.
As always, those are the folks we're on the lookout for. They
use stories like this to build their case against alcohol use.
Many neo- Prohibitionists want to see alcohol banned just as much
as their brethren did 100 years ago, but they are smart enough
to realize Prohibition failed miserably last time around. Their
goal now is de facto Prohibition.
Somehow they would justify raising taxes on all styles of beer
for all consumers with the idea that will change the behavior
of a few. That kind of big net thinking by tuna fishermen didn't
work out too well for dolphins. The fact is, neo-Prohibitionists
have helped lower the legal blood alcohol level for drivers below
the threshold many scientists consider necessary (0.12%), yet
drivers with multiple DUI convictions keep their licenses. The
fact is, they've partnered with other special interests to make
it difficult for wine and beer lovers of legal age to order through
the mail or over the Internet. The fact is ... well, you get the
Stories that insinuate beer is bad help them. Beer isn't bad.
Gonorrhea is bad. Let's tackle that head-on instead of trying
some indirect route that we don't really know will work.