RBPMail 7.01, January 2001
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 Often, links you will see are out of date, and businesses referred to may also be long gone.
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BRITISH AUTHORITIES BLOCK INTERBREW-BASS DEAL
British authorities last week rejected Interbrew's £2.3
billion takeover of Bass brewing and ordered the Belgian brewer
to sell the assets. Trade Secretary Stephen Byers said the Competition
Commission advised that only voiding the whole takeover would
prevent the creation of an unhealthy duopoly in the market between
Interbrew and Scottish & Newcastle. The deal would have given
Interbrew a 32% share of the U.K. market and made the Belgian
brewer the second largest in the world. Interbrew said it will
take several weeks to review the order, but thinks that a successful
appeal is possible. Interbrew's head of investor relations, Patrick
Verelst, acknowledged however that no similar competitions commission
decision has ever been overturned. Thus Interbrew faces the prospect
of a forced sale, probably to one of its global rivals such as
Heineken, Carlsberg or South African Breweries.
CARLSBERG'S SWEDISH MERGER APPROVED
The Swedish competition authorities have given conditional approval
to Carlsberg and Orkla ASA to merge their Swedish breweries Falcon
and Pripps as a part of the formation of Carlsberg Breweries.
Carlsberg A/S will own 60% of Carlsberg Breweries and Orkla ASA,
40%. The Swedish authorities have requested that the following
brands be sold: Three Towns, Fat, Arboga, Eagle, Bayerbrau, Starkbock
and Sailor. Furthermore, Falcon and Pripps will have to give up
their rights to distribute the five imported brands, Lapin Kulta,
Warsteiner, Caffrey's, Bass and Staropramen.
ANHEUSER BUSCH BUYS INTO CHILEAN BREWERY
Anheuser-Busch expanded its presence in South America by purchasing
a stake in Chile's leading brewery. The St. Louis-based company
bought a 14% share of Compania Cervecerias Unidas S.A. for $224
million. The company operates primarily in Chile and Argentina,
and holds 90% of Chile's domestic beer market. The two brewers
have been partners for five years in Argentina, where Anheuser-Busch
has an 11% share of CCU's Argentine beer subsidiary. Also, CCU
brews and sells Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser brand in Argentina,
and exports it to Chile and Paraguay.
HEINEKEN BOOSTS STAKE IN NIGERIAN BREWERIES
Heineken has exercised an option that allows it to buy a majority
stake in Nigerian Breweries. By converting a loan to the breweries
into equity, Heineken, increased its share of the ownership from
43.3% to 54.2%. The loan was taken to modernize and extend the
capacity of the brewery to meet growing demand. Nigerian Breweries
has a 52% share of the national market, the second largest in
Africa. Since the foundation of Nigerian Breweries in 1946, Heineken
has rendered technical support and other management services.
MEXICO'S MODELO EXPANDS BREWING CAPACITY
Grupo Modelo, Mexico's largest brewer, reported that it has completed
expansion of its Sonora brewery to double annual production capacity.
Modelo produces its Corona Extra, Modelo Especial, Pacifico and
the Light Modelo brands for its domestic and fast-growing export
markets at the newly refurbished plant. The new capacity will
allow the company to have major presence in the north of Mexico
and continue with its export strategy.
COORS LOSES COURT BATTLE OF BEER NAME
Coors Brewing Co. has lost a bid in federal court to protect
use of a trademark for a Mexican beer it spent $2 million developing.
Coors wanted a judge to rule that its use of the names Mexicali
and Bandido wouldn't violate the trademark rights of the Dumex
Corp., a Mexican- beer distributor based in California that also
claims ownership of the names. U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch
turned down Coors' request and dismissed the complaint in favor
of a related lawsuit pending in California. In that case, Dumex
won the right to keep Cerveceria Mexicana (CerMex), a Coors subsidiary
based in Tecate, Mexico, from using the brand names at least until
a trial, which has not yet been scheduled.
GENESEE CHANGES NAME TO HIGH FALLS BREWING
Genesee Brewing Co. of Rochester, New York, completed its management
buyout, a move that saved 450 jobs. Eight Genesee Corp. executives
bought the company for $25.8 million, $14.8 million of it in cash.
The new company will be called High Falls Brewing Co. and be the
fifth largest beer producer in the United States. The Genesee
name will remain on all the company's beer labels but new specialty
brews will bear the High Falls name.
MILLER BUILDS PILOT BREWERY
Miller Brewing Co. has complete a nearly $4 million pilot brewery
within its Milwaukee Technical Center. The brewery is designed
for producing and testing new products in smaller batches. Currently,
Miller makes new products as part of its normal brewing process,
which can interrupt production of brands. The new brewery is a
10-barrel system, the same size as an Anheuser-Busch pilot brewery
in St. Louis. The new products produced by Miller will be for
testing, not consumer sale, but may be available as free samples
for those who visit the Miller Tour Center.
WHY HE'D RATHER BE IN ALASKA
"I wish I were in Anchorage right now. Alaskans have proper
snow, lots of it, often, and know how to live with it," writes
Michael Jackson. The upcoming barley wine festival might also have
something to do with the way he feels. Read about his trip to Alaska
for last year's festival, including a close encounter with "seven
insanely enthusiastic huskies."
STEPHEN BEAUMONT'S YEAR IN REVIEW
Stephen Beaumont looks back on the year in beer, including the best
beers he tasted and the ones he wishes he hadn't, the most obnoxious
beer ad, trends and more.
DESCHUTES OPENS INTERNET BEER SCHOOL
Oregon's Deschutes Brewery begins an ongoing educational beer series
at its website on Jan. 16. The first in a series of four classes
opens with a close look at porter, with pale ale (Feb. 1), stout
(Feb. 16) and ESB (March 1) to follow. Brewmaster Bill Pengelly
will be answering questions from visitors.
BeerTrips offers high quality, personally designed beer tours
best European beer destinations and U.S. festivals. Packages include
visits to classic breweries, bars, pubs and cafes, events with
beer experts, fine hotels, great beer meals, transportation and
Many trips are available in 2001. Space is limited to 15 travelers
PUB TOURS OF IRELAND
The appeal of Irish pub is so broad that versions of them have popped
all around the world, but to really appreciate an Irish pub you
be in Ireland. Pub Tours of Ireland offers a chance to do that.
trips include plenty of pubs, but also a fair sampling of what else
Emerald Isle has to offer.
QUICKIE EMAIL SURVEY
Thanks to all who have been replying to our Quickie Surveys. We
one winner each month for a prize, which this month is a Real
shirt. Last month's winner was Tom Fleming.
LAST MONTH'S QUESTION:
We asked readers about their Internet experience -- not only how
they've been using only the World Wide Web but also parts of the
Internet that have been around longer, such as email and discussion
groups. Almost 90% of those who answered have at least two years
experience and 41% answered seven years or more
*********** Brewed Fresh For You! **************
The Real Beer Page announces a diverse group of brew websites
to check out:
ALASKAN BREWING COMPANY
Alaskan Brewing's award winning Alaskan Smoked Porter, Amber,
Pale, ESB and Stout are internationally known and loved. Their
Alaskan spirit and quality of life in the last frontier and
breathtaking beauty of Alaska is reflected in their stellar website.
FALLING ROCK TAP HOUSE
The T-shirts at this Denver beer destination read "No Crap
on Tap!" and
the beer list is kept up-to-date at the website. Whether you are
looking for the best of the Rockies, the best from around the
world or the taphandle nobody else in town has, you'll find it here.
FLYING FISH BREWING
Find Flying Fish beers in many fine New Jersey, Philadelphia,
Valley, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia bars and restaurants
well as package stores. Also at Disney World's Flying Fish Cafe!
the brewery at 18 Olney Ave., Cherry Hill for free tours and tastings
each Saturday (1-4 p.m.).
PORTSMOUTH PUB & BREWERY
New Hampshire's original brewpub, established in 1991. Located
heart of historic downtown Portsmouth, the brewery offers fine,
handcrafted lagers and ales and a wide ranging menu of outstanding
food, all served in a lively, friendly atmosphere. Large parties
SMUTTYNOSE BREWING COMPANY
Founded in 1994, Smuttynose Brewing Company is named for one of
Isles of Shoals, a small, rugged archipelago that lies offshore
Portsmouth. Smuttynose beers include Shoals Pale Ale -- recently
by the Boston Globe as "the closest thing to an English ale
American bottled beer" -- Old Brown Dog, Portsmouth Lager,
Porter and the Big Beer Series.
Spaten-Franziskaner Brauerei, producers of the world's first
Oktoberfest beer, have been brewing great beer for over 600 years.
site offers a wealth of facts -- whether you love Spaten, brewing
are just a beer history buff.
THIS CZECH'S FOR YOU
Beer drinkers in Northern Californian can now buy a pilsener
Ceske Budejovice, home of Budejovicky Budvar, the Czech brewer
in a long-running trademark dispute with U.S. brewing giant Anheuser-
Busch for the rights to sell beer under the "Budweiser"
name. The beer,
called Czechvar, uses the same Moravian malt, Czech Saaz hops
well water as Budvar Budweiser. Is it Budvar Budweiser? "I
that," said Mike Cechetini of Wine Warehouse, which distributes
beer. "You can try the beer and say what you want."
Bruzzone's goal is to avoid any trademark wrangling that would
in court instead of out selling a beer that tastes like the one
in love with more than 20 years ago. "We're going to sell
it based on
the beer in the bottle, not the name," Bruzzone said.
COORS, BELGIANS SETTLE LABEL DISPUTE
Coors Brewing Co. has agreed to change the labels on cans and
of its "Blue Moon Belgian White" beer to settle a lawsuit.
filed by the Confederation of Belgian Breweries November 1999,
the packaging on Coors' Belgian-style beer led drinkers to believe
was brewed in Belgium. The group, which represents the majority
Belgian brewers, also alleged that the labels on bottles and cans
saying that the beer is Belgian-style are too small and can be
by packaging of six-packs. As part of the settlement, Coors agreed
increase the size of the label with the words "Belgian-Style
and to place it in prominent places on its bottles, taps and other
JAPANESE STUDY FINDS BEER GOOD FOR BRAIN
A modest amount of alcohol a day is good for the brain cells,
to a Japanese study that found moderate drinking can improve
intelligence. A team from the National Institute for Longevity
tested the IQs of 2,000 people aged from 40 to 79. They found
average men who drank moderately had an IQ 3.3 points higher than
who did not drink. Women drinkers scored 2.5 points higher than
who did not drink. The Japanese scientists defined moderate drinking
less than 540ml of sake or wine a day. They said the type of alcohol
did not influence the results. Volunteers drank beer, whisky,
sake. The scientists also concluded that drinking alcohol excessively
impaired intellectual ability.
OTHERS STUDIES TOUT BENEFITS TO EYES, HEART
Additional research shows that antioxidants in beer can reduce
of cataracts and heart disease. Researchers in Canada and the
States presented results at the 2000 International Chemical Congress
Pacific Basin Societies showing that beer, especially the darker
and stouts, may reduce the incidence of atherosclerosis and cataracts
by as much as 50%. Darker beers have more antioxidants than the
lager beers, according to Canadian researchers John Trevithick,
and Maurice Hirst, Ph.D., of the University of Western Ontario,
Vinson, Ph.D., of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.
Canadian team focused on determining why antioxidants in beer
help reduce the risk of cataracts, especially in diabetics. Vinson
investigated beer's beneficial effect in reducing the risk of
disease. At the University of Scranton, Vinson, a professor of
chemistry, found that giving hamsters the human equivalent of
a day halved their rate of atherosclerosis. "This is a significant
effect," he noted. "Beer has a fair amount of antioxidants
other beverages. There is a definite benefit from the antioxidants
SCIENTISTS PUT BEER ON TAP BEER IN SPACE
Dutch scientists have found a way to serve beer in space, but
three and a half years research haven't quite figured out how
to put a
good looking head on that beer. The British publication New Scientist
reported that researchers at Delft University of Technology cracked
No. 1 challenge: getting the beer out of the barrel. On Earth,
gas such as carbon dioxide is used to force the beer out of a
through the tap. But in space, the liquid would float around idly
inside the barrel, which means that as much gas as beer is likely
come out of the tap. "It has a flexible membrane, which contains
beer, inside the barrel," project supervisor Kajsa van Overbeek
explained. "Normal air is pumped between the barrel wall
membrane to force the beer out." The team tested their invention
conditions near zero gravity. They were surprised to find that
plopped neatly out of the tap in identical, ping-pong ball-sized
amounts. But there was no foamy head on the beer. Gas bubbles
gravity to rise.
ALCOHOL USE AMONG AMERICAN YOUTH DECLINES
A study by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social
concludes that alcohol use among American adolescents continues
decline. It found that: the percentage of teens, ages 12 through
who report having a drink in the last 30 days is 47% lower in
than it was in 1982; the percentage of college freshmen who say
drink beer frequently or occasionally is at its lowest level since
record keeping began in 1966; an that fatalities and crashes involving
drunk teenage drivers, ages 16 through 20, decreased 61% from
BEERDRINKER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
The finalists competing for the coveted title of 2001 Beerdrinker
the Year have been announced, with the winner to be chosen Jan.
at Wynkoop Brewing Co. in Denver. Colo. Among the finalists is
Ciccateri, who publishes the New Mexico Virtual Brewpub
at the Real Beer Page. Other finalists
are Cornelia Corey of Clemmons, North Carolina; and Gary Steinel
White Plains, New York.
LONDON UNDERGROUND BANS BREWERY'S ADS
German-bashing ads from Shepherd Neame's Spitfire beer have once
sparked controversy in Great Britain. The London Underground ordered
Spitfire posters removed from subway trains because they were
considered offensive. Poking fun at Germans became the theme of
ad campaigns from the Kent-based brewery three years ago. One
current posters is titled "enemy identification chart."
A takeoff on
the charts used during the war to spot enemy aircraft, it shows
silhouette of two beer glasses - one a squat British pint and
an elaborate German stein. The pint says "ours," the
"theirs." Some Germans are clearly not amused by the
year, the departing German ambassador, Gebhardt von Moltke, accused
British of "profound ignorance" about modern Germany
and suggested that
history instruction in Britain seems to end with Hitler.
EDITORIAL: THE YEAR (BEHIND, AND AHEAD)
AT REAL BEER
Because of the space we work in and the subject we write
shouldn't surprise you that we find the similarities between the
Internet industry and the specialty beer business particularly
We saw brewers learn hard lessons in the mid-1990s that Internet
entrepreneurs didn't find out about until the last six months.
of "dot-coms" went out of business in 2000, just as
breweries failed in the 1990s while more than 1,000 were opening.
It turns out that Internet is not a magical place where upstart
teen-agers get rich by letting people push buttons to get anything
they want delivered instantly for free. Just as it turned out that it takes
than a few shiny copper kettles and catchy beer names to make
Passion, vision, business basics, commitment to evolution, focus
integrity characterize the brewers who have survived and thrived
microbrew industry. These are the same elements we strive for
business at Real Beer. If the quality of the company we keep --
brewers to authors, publishing partners to employees -- speaks
elements, we're confident we're on the right track. The bottom
beer drinkers and web users: More choices; better choices.
And the bottom line for us: We get to work in both worlds. Every
since Real Beer was founded in 1994 our goals have been to grow
category, the network and resources for beer online. In 2000 we
the final piece of the puzzle -- now we can put some of the great
we've been writing about in your hands.
As those of you who drop by regularly know, Michael Jackson's
was only one of many additions we
made in 2000. Once again, we spent the year expanding the network.
suggest exploring the Real Beer Library or spending a little time
the Spotlight or Destinations areas to get an idea of what we
because the list of what's new is much longer than you want to
Also, we hate to start listing exciting additions such as an
book from John Palmer (How to Brew -- http://www.howtobrew.com)
Bobby Bush's reports (http://www.realbeer.com/library/authors/bush-b)
from all over the country without mentioning that regular updates
publishers like the Celebrator (http://www.celebrator.com)
Your Own (http://www.byo.com)
are just as important.
Not all the changes were in the library. We continue to make
scenes upgrades to make sure each visit to RealBeer.com is enjoyable,
as well as offering new features. In September we launched a weekly
newsletter -- BEER BREAK: Your two-minute beer primer -- that's
than this one and focuses strictly on beer appreciation. We've
discussion boards where you can chat with us and other Real Beer
In 2001? Our goals are the same as always -- "more and better."
the commercial Internet, Real Beer turns six with a continued
the hard job of creating useful electronic tools. We can't predict
there will be a time when we can reach out through the screen
you a beer, but that's a pretty good goal.
In the meantime, we'll do our best to inform you about all your
interests, from beer news to brewing to just plain enjoying beer.