RBPMail 6.10, October 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 emialed to subscribers. Often, links you will see are out of date, and businesses referred to may also be long gone.
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REALBEER.COM, WINE.COM STRIKE DISTRIBUTION
RealBeer.com and wine.com recently announced an agreement under
which exclusive beers sourced by RealBeer.com will be delivered
to consumers through the distribution network that now fulfills
wine orders placed through wine.com. "The high quality of our
online consumer experience is matched by the high standards of
our order fulfillment system," said Bill Newlands, president and
CEO of wine.com. "This agreement leverages our expertise in managing
a fully compliant system for delivering alcoholic beverages to
American consumers and makes good economic sense for both companies."
"We believe that wine.com has done a great job in developing
a viable delivery system in a challenging environment," said Robert
Imeson, president of RealBeer.com. "This agreement will allow
us to focus our efforts on sourcing the world's most exotic beers
for members of our exclusive club, The Michael Jackson Real Beer
Tour. It will also provide us with the opportunity to continue
to develop a vibrant and exciting e-store that will be stocked
with some of the world's best, yet hardest to find, beers."
GERMAN MERGER FALLS THROUGH
German brewers Brau und Brunnen and BrauHolding have called off
their planned merger to form Germany's largest drinks group because
they couldn't agree on its valuation. The provisional agreement
to purchase Dortmund-based Brau und Brunnen, reached in June,
would have created Germany's largest brewer. BuB's major shareholder,
HypoVereinsbank AG, which holds more than 50%, had agreed the
company should be brought under the umbrella of the Schoerghuber
group, which owns 98% of Bayrische BrauHolding, and was prepared
to reduce its stake to some 20% of the new group. Closer inspection
of BuB's accounts, however, changed the Bavarian holding company's
view. A takeover would have required a far more wide-ranging and
costly restructuring than originally planned. BuB lost DM18 million
in the first half of 2000. Last week it was reported that BuB
plans to cut about a fifth of the 2,690 employees at its beer-brewing
unit by 2002.
INTERBREW SET TO ACQUIRE UKRAINE BREWER
Belgium's Interbrew, the world's second-biggest brewer, is in
talks to buy AT Pyvzavod Rohan, a brewery in Ukraine. "We are
looking at this opportunity," said Interbrew Spokesman Corneel
Maes. "Eastern Europe is one of the areas we are concentrating
on," Maes said. The acquisition would strengthen Interbrew's activities
in Ukraine, where it already owns breweries Chernigov, Mykolayiv
and Simseropol. Ukraine's Anti- Monopoly Committee should decide
by mid-month whether to allow SUN Interbrew Ltd., which was created
last year from Russia's Sun Brewing Ltd. and Interbrew, to buy
80% of Rohan, Interfax-Ukraine.
AMERICANS EMBRACE UKRAINE BEERS
Ukraine's breweries have found a new market -- the United States.
The country's top two breweries -- the Kiev-based Obolon brewery
and Zaporizhya's Slavutych brewery -- both entered the American
beer market in the past year. The companies boast significant
exports -- most of which supply a dedicated following of beer
drinkers with Ukrainian roots. Immigrants of both Ukrainian, Russian
and Jewish descent make up most of the drinkers. Beer from both
breweries currently can be bought in about 20 states -- including
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California --
all of which have large populations of Ukrainian immigrants. Both
breweries say that they will distribute in all 50 states and Canada
by the end of 2001.
MEMBER OF ROYAL FAMILY CRITICIZES OKTOBERFEST
A descendant of the German royal family that launched Munich's
Oktoberfest in 1810 criticized this year's organizers for turning
the event into what he claims is a moneymaking exercise devoid
of its Bavarian cultural heritage. Wittelsbach Prince Luitpold,
a great grandson of the last King of Bavaria, Ludwig III, said:
"If you go to the festival now there is little Bavarian music.
In the beer tents you hear things like New York, New York, and
there is barely a pair of lederhosen to be seen. How can you get
a taste of typical Bavarian comfort if a table designed for eight
is sold to 14?" Luitpold is also unhappy that his brewery is not
allowed to sell beer at the event. Oktoberfest began Sept. 16
and ends Tuesday. Astrid Ganssen, an Oktoberfest spokesman, said:
"We are on target to pass even last year's record, where 6.5 million
litres of beer and 400,000 sausages were consumed. This year we
hope for more visitors than ever."
BEER AS BRAIN FOOD?
The British Journal of Psychiatry reports research that shows
that cutting blood pressure and drinking moderately, already shown
to promote heart health, may also ward off the mental decline
that comes with age. Researchers found that those whose blood
pressure dropped over time were less likely than others to see
their mental abilities decline. "I must say, this is good news,"
Dr. Jorge A. Cervilla said. Some studies have linked uncontrolled
high blood pressure to mental decline, and some have suggested
moderate drinking protects the brain; however, Cervilla said,
it has been unclear whether these associations hold over the long
term. Subjects in his study had their mental functioning re-tested
9 to 12 years after their original tests.
RESEALABLE BEER CANS TO LAUNCH IN EUROPE
German-owned Falcon Group has entered an agreement with Cetoni
for the marketing rights to Cetoni's patented resealable beverage
can. Falcon is expected to target the brewing industry with its
marketing. The agreement contains several sales targets, the first
of which calls for a signing of a supply agreement with a leading
Western European brewery for a minimum of 200 million resealable
beverage cans per year.
DIVERS RECOVER 120-YEAR-OLD BEER
Divers have recovered 150 bottles of beer that have been on the
seabed for nearly 120 years off the coast of the Dutch island
of Terschelling. The German and Norwegian beer was recovered from
the wreck of the German schooner Lisette, which sank while heading
for Africa and Peru in 1881. The divers say they do not know if
the beer can still be drunk but hope to test it this winter.
WIN FREE BEER FOR A YEAR
You think you know beer? Here's your chance to show it. If you will
be attending the Great American Beer Festival this weekend all you
have to do is pick a few beers you think will capture medals and
you may qualify for Free Beer for a Year from The Michael Jackson
Real Beer Tour.
TUNE UP YOUR TASTE BUDS
For more than 20 years, specialty beer brewers have emphasized its
all about the taste. Stop by for hints on tasting beers, to read
Michael Jackson's Taste of the Tour, to look for recommended beers
and to add your thoughts to the discussion.
WIN A VINTAGE MICHAEL JACKSON AUTOGRAPHED BOOK
Michael Jackson's "The World Guide to Beer" was published in 1977.
This treatise on beer history and styles sparked interest by importers
and homebrewers alike and contributed greatly to the American beer
renaissance. You can own your own copy of this book, personally
signed by the Beer Hunter himself. We'll be giving away a copy to
one lucky winner, randomly selected from the list of everybody who
is subscribed to our weekly Beer Break newsletter by Oct. 31. If
you've already subscribed you are automatically entered. If not,
check out the newsletter at:
DON'T GO CAMPING ALONE!
If you remember how to play Hangman and know a little about the
legend of Blair Witch you are ready for a new game from Moosehead
Beer. Players attempt to answer trivia questions, and with each
wrong answer another piece of an ancient language-rune -- some of
the markings you might recall from the house in the original Blair
Witch movie last year -- appears. A complete "rune" means you're
done for the day and will have to return to try another day. The
stakes for winning are high, so the game is challenging. Those who
solve all four weekly puzzles will be entered in a drawing for a
hometown premier screening of "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" for
50 of their closest friends.
PETE'S TWANA GUARDIANS MAY HELP YOU ALONG THE
Entrants in a new sweepstakes from Pete's Wicked Ale not only have
a chance to win an appearance in the filming of Blair Witch 2 but
as part of entering the contest also receive a set of three Twana
Stickmen Guardians that are all their own. To collect your guardians
and enter the sweepstakes just hit the Twana figure at:
ALL TOGETHER NOW: 99 BOTTLES OF BEER ON THE
Newcastle Brown Ale has designed an engaging twist on the popular,
time-passing roadtrip ditty, "99 bottles of Beer on the Wall," with
an online game and contest. The Shockwave game involves knocking
99 bottles off a virtual wall to reveal trivia questions from 11
fun- filled categories. "99 Bottles of Brown on the Wall" players
are automatically entered into a drawing to fly to Las Vegas for
a mid- December chance at a $150,000 Grand Prize. As in the real
world contest, finalists will choose from one of 99 bottles on a
wall, one of which earns the big bucks. Play the game at:
*****************REAL BEER PICKS***************
AUSTIN HOMEBREW SUPPLY
Austin Homebrew Supply is serious about living up to its boast of
having "the largest selection of homebrew supplies." The choices
-- from recipe kits to grains, from hops to yeast, from equipment
for beginners to big and small upgrades for the advanced enthusiast
-- are impressive, but ordering online is fast and easy.
CASK BREWING SYSTEMS
Cask Brewing Systems specializes in the sale, supply and servicing
of brewing systems for all the small brewing industry -- brewpubs,
microbreweries and brew on premises (BOPs). It also provides expertise
and products at all stages of the project development, offering
quality equipment, complete training and proven brewing ingredients.
FlavorActiV provides sensory training products and services to the
world's brewing companies. They understand that tasting is the only
way to tell a good beer from a bad one. Their courses, training
aids and validation program cover the whole supply chain, from raw
materials evaluation to consumer testing.
LARRY'S BREWING SUPPLY
Larry's Brewing Supply does all it can to make sure that shopping
in its virtual store is like shopping in its physical store. That
way you know which items are seasonal, which ones might make good
gifts, and you can check on items where freshness is a particular
concern. The web site was just redone to make shopping for homebrewing
supplies and other needs even easier.
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 is a
Real Beer T- shirt. Last month's winner was Steve Mason.
LAST MONTH'S QUESTION:
Do you feel that an Oktoberfest celebration can be considered
"genuine" if no German-brewed Oktoberfest-style beer is served?
A whopping 74% of you who answered indicated that it is not necessary
to have German beer for a successful Oktoberfest
*********** Brewed Fresh For You! **************
The Real Beer Page announces a diverse group of brew websites
to check out:
REAL BEER CONTEST WINNERS HEAD FOR DENVER
Two lucky people -- Claudia Cooper and her guest -- are headed
to Denver this week, winners of Real Beer's Win a Trip to the
GABF contest, held during July as part of Real Beer's American
Beer Month celebration. And what better way to celebrate American
Beers, with more than 1,500 beers from almost 300 breweries representing
45 states? The lucky winners will be flown from their hometown
of Seattle to Denver courtesy of Travel sponsor Rock Bottom Restaurant
& Brewery, which has locations in both cities, plus more than
75 restaurants across the country. Accommodations sponsor is Ramada
Inns. Thank you sponsors, and have fun Claudia!
COORS MAY NOT GET ACTUAL FINE FOR FISH KILL
More than 50,000 fish were killed by a 2,500-barrel beer spill
from the Coors Brewing Co. plant into Clear Creek in August, but
the Colorado Division of Wildlife indicates that the company might
get off without a fine. Under state law, the company could be
subject to $1.75 million in penalties, but Todd Malmsbury, a spokesman
for the Division of Wildlife, said the agency would instead try
to work with the brewery to improve fish habitat in the affected
portion of the stream. The Colorado Water Quality Control Division
is also evaluating what kind of penalty to impose against the
company. "We will have an enforcement action," said Carla Lenkey,
an industrial compliance and enforcement specialist in the division.
"Instead of issuing a violation, we'll probably enter into a compliance
order on consent with the company." Malmsbury said 50,422 fish
were killed along 7.4 miles of stream by the spill, which wiped
out virtually every fish in its path.
COORS GOES TO COURT ON MEXICAN BEER
Coors Brewing Co. finds itself lock in a trademark battle that
has slowed its plans to begin selling a new brand of beer brewed
in Mexico. Coors filed suit in U.S. District Court against, Dumex,
a California company that claims it owns the trademark Coors wants
to use. Coors said it has spent more than $2 million developing
its "Mexicali beer business plan." Coors plans to market the Mexican
beer in the United States under the names Mexicali and Bandido.
Coors' Mexican beer would be produced by Cervacia Mexicali S.A.
(Cermex) of Tecate, Mexico. Dumex first filed a lawsuit in state
court in California against Cermex and a company known as the
Cabo Group. Coors isn't named as a defendant, but Dumex obtained
a court order requiring that anyone "acting in concert" with Cermex,
such as Coors, stop using any of the trademarks relating to Mexicali
and Bandido beer. Dumex's "ulterior purpose for using the state
court proceeding in California is to exact a settlement from Coors,
knowing that Coors is eager to launch and test the Mexicali beer
product," Coors said in its complaint.
FIRES GUT TWO WASHINGTON HOPS WAREHOUSES
Two different fires in less than two weeks in Yakima, Wash.,
destroyed warehouses loaded with bales of hops. The loss of 3.5
million to 4 million pounds of hops when nationwide production
is estimated at about 68 million pounds is significant, but it's
too early to say what effect the fires will have on crop prices,
Doug MacKinnon, director of the Yakima-based Hop Growers of America,
said. "You hate to benefit from anybody else's misfortune, but
this really is an industry that thrives on tragedy. Things like
this cause movements that may benefit other people," he said.
"It seems the prices have reacted positively to recent events."
A Sept. 15 blaze at the Hollingbery and Son warehouse caused $5
million in damage. The second fire at the John I. Haas warehouse
caused at least $2 million in damage, Yakima Fire Chief Al Gillespie
said. The causes are under investigation, but spontaneous combustion
in bales of resin-loaded hops is a storage problem. A year ago,
fire gutted another Haas warehouse.
SOUTH AFRICAN BREWERIES BOOSTS PILSNER URQUELL'S
PRICE IN U.S.
South African Breweries has raised the price of its Pilsner Urquell
beer in the U.S. in an attempt to highlight the quality of the
product. The boost makes Pilsner Urquell 10% more expensive than
Heineken. SAB bought Pilsner Urquell last year and plans a new
marketing push and new packaging for the brand starting early
next year. The company is testing new product presentations such
as twelve-packs, and is "showing a very good return." "The timing
for Pilsner Urquell in the U.S. is tough: Heineken is everywhere,
and if you turn on to any sporting event, all you see is Anheuser-Busch,"
said Paul Kirbabas, GM of United Distributors Inc. of Atlanta.
Nonetheless, Pilsner Urquell sales have risen 35% in the past
PORTLAND BREWING IMPORTS SCOTCH
Portland Brewing Co. is the first craft brewer in the United
States to import a scotch under its own label. The brewery won
approval from the staff of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission
to have MacTarnahan's Scotch listed as a product eligible for
distribution by the state's liquor warehouses and sold in liquor
stores. The 15-year-old scotch will sell for $49.95 per 750 milligram
bottle and $299.70 per six- bottle case. PBC projects it will
sell around 180 cases per six months. It will be stronger -- 46%
alcohol -- than most of its category counterparts, which normally
are 43% alcohol.
IRISH PUB CHAIN MOVES INTO NORTHWEST
Atlanta-based Fado pubs has purchased Irish pubs in downtown
Seattle and downtown Portland from the Ram International group
that runs brewpubs across the country. Ram partner Jeff Chandler
said his company found the Irish bars to be much more complicated
to operate than its casual brewpub concepts. Ram has paired its
Big Horn Brewery with restaurants (usually The Ram, C.B. & Potts
or Humperdinks) in states as far east as Indiana. Fado will rebrand
the Tir Na NOg pubs with the Fado name. Fado currently operates
eight pubs and plans to open another in Philadelphia in December.
All were built by the Irish Pub Co., importing fixtures from Ireland.
The Irish Pub Co. has built several other similar pubs -- with
a variety of names, including Tir Na NOg -- across the country.
UNIVERSITY RECREATES 2,700 YEAR-OLD BREW
University of Pennsylvania archaeologists have recreated an ancient
brew of the Phrygians, a recipe that dates back 2,700 years. The
beer - - called "King Midas Golden Elixir" -- "tastes like hard
cider and sparkles like champagne" and is made by mixing fermented
grape juice and beer, honey mead, herbs and spices. The Phrygians
lived about 2,700 years ago in what is now Turkey. In 1957 archaeologists
discovered the tomb of Midas, legendary king with "the golden
touch," complete with his skeleton. A leftover libation from his
funeral feast was discovered among the debris. Chemical analysis
of the dregs in a leftover cup found in the tomb led to the recipe
used to brew the beer. Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head brewery in
Delaware helped the archaeological team with the brewing. "I was
scared out of my pants," said Calagione. "There was no benchmark
or precedent for this project -- anyone who'd had a benchmark
for this brew was long dead." He gathered the ingredients from
California, England, Italy and India, and made a test batch.
GUEST EDITORIAL: ANOTHER WAY OF THINKING
Earlier this year our monthly poll at RealBeer.com asked
readers, "What's the best way to educate teens and young adults
about responsible drinking?" Four out of five voted for education
in the home. In fact, 71% indicated that education should include
sampling. Thus, when we received Stephen Beaumont's Monthly World
of Beer Update a couple of weeks ago we thought we should pass
it along to you.
We recognize that no single solution works for everybody -- and
urge you not to overlook the part that reads "set limits appropriate
to age and development" -- and as with all guest editorials we
add this disclaimer: The views presented here are not necessarily
those of Real Beer, Inc., and are presented here to provide perspective
from throughout the beer world.
Now, here's what Stephen wrote:
An unexpected insert arrived recently in a mailing I received
from the Brewers Association of Canada. It was a well-produced,
official-looking pamphlet entitled "A New Way of Thinking About
Drinking," and much to my surprise, it made a lot of sense.
"The majority of people who drink, drink responsibly," the pamphlet
says in its introductory paragraph, "That is to say, 95 percent
of those who drink understand that responsible drinking is the
difference between drinking enough and drinking too much."
Now, that's a good start. But even so, I was still bracing myself
for a moralistic message about keeping beer and other alcoholic
beverages away from kids, or some other related theme. Imagine
my surprise, then, when I got to the fourth paragraph:
"When relaxing after a day's work, without fuss or self-consciousness,
share a sip of beer with your child should he or she ask. When
having a glass of wine with dinner, let your child have a small,
Brilliant! Some organization is actually advocating in print
the common-sense approach I have espoused for years. Who, I wondered,
are the people responsible for this fresh approach? The brochure
was attributed to the Health Education Foundation, so I sent off
an email to them and received a speedy reply.
According to Lila Campos, program manager for the Health Education
Foundation, the HEF is a "non-profit tax-exempt organization (supported
by) the general public and several industries, including the alcohol
industry." They are also the people behind the development and
administration of TIPS, a two-decade-old training program for
service industry workers involved with the sale of alcohol.
I would encourage anyone with children to get a copy of this
intelligent brochure, or even arrange to get a box of them for
your school or community centre. As the final paragraph says:
"Remove the mystery, defuse the allure, break down barriers,
set limits appropriate to age and development. Then young people
will learn to view the use of alcohol less as a dangerous, forbidden
substance -- and more as a social part of life."
Contact the Health Education Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org
or The Health Education Foundation, Inc., 2600 Virginia Avenue,
NW, Suite 502, Washington, DC 20037.
Editor's recommendation: To receive Stephen's informative free
updates every month used the subscription form at http://www.worldofbeer.com.