New style: IPA meets Hefeweizen

San Juan Brewing Co./Front Street Ale House in Washington has laid claiming to creating a new beer style: Ipa-weizen (prounced Ippa-weizen).

From the press release:

Remember back in the day, when Hefe-weizen was the beer to be quaffing? People’s tastes have changed over the years, now the brew to drink is I.P.A., even extra strength or double hopped IPAs. Not that we dwell on such things, but in a recent conversation about beer and such, an idea floated by, slowed down for a second, and a bit of it stuck. Why not combine the best of a crisp, fully hopped IPA, and the refreshing flavors of the summer’s first hefe-weizen, all in the same glass?

The resulting beer is fermented with Bavarian weizen yeast and hopped generously with both German and English varieties.

They named it


A plea to save Latrobe’s brewery

Pardon the length of this post, but here is a letter sent to the president, vice president, and other board members at Anheuser-Busch Inc.

There’s also an online petitition to save the brewery.

To Whom It May Concern:

It was on Friday May 19, 2006, when I received a phone call from my father Richard Pavlik, who is a 22 year long employee of Latrobe Brewing Company, when I got the news. “The label was bought by Anheuser-Busch for $82 million.” I quickly asked about the future of his job in which he replied, “I have 60 days then I no longer have a job.” Immediately I broke down in tears for many reasons, one of which was my concern for the well-being of my parents and the effect this job loss will have on their lives. I have to admit that along with my sadness, I was very angry. “How could someone do this to, not only my father and the other 200+ employees of Latrobe Brewing Company, but to a whole community whose livelihood revolved around their pride and commitment to Latrobe Brewing Company-more specifically Rolling Rock beer.”

Despite my anger, I understand that Anheuser-Busch’s purchase of Rolling Rock was a decision based on business. However; I feel that this decision was made without an understanding of the devastating impact that the removal of Rolling Rock would have on the people of Latrobe and the surrounding communities. In addition, I feel that Anheuser-Busch may not have thought enough about how keeping Rolling Rock in Latrobe could help their own company from a business standpoint.

Ever since the announcement of Anheuser-Busch’s purchase of Rolling Rock and the plan to move it out of Latrobe, it’s as if a large dark cloud has settled over Latrobe. Not only has this decision gloomed the employees of Latrobe Brewing Company, but it has gloomed those who are also committed to the greatness that Rolling Rock brings to Latrobe. It feels as if someone took something so important out of our lives that we can never get back. I know that I am speaking for everyone who has pride in Rolling Rock when I say that we are truly hurt and devastated for this loss.

I found a noteworthy quote in an article dated March 30, 2006 from Anheuser-Busch. This article was titled ‘Who Would You Have A Beer With?’ Robert C. Lachky, executive vice president, global industry development, Anheuser-Busch Inc. is quoted saying that “Beer is about sharing moments and creating memories with good friends and family.” This quote could not be truer. Rolling Rock beer has allowed us to create these memories with our friends and family here in Latrobe. Though these moments and memories cannot be taken away, the opportunity to create more of them with our loved ones has been.

After Anheuser-Busch’s purchase of Rolling Rock, Mr. August A. Busch IV, president of Anheuser-Busch Inc. hit the nail head on when he was quoted for saying, “We have an ideal opportunity to grow this historic brand. This beer is not like others, and it’s consumer following is EQUALLY DISTINCTIVE.” It is apparent that Mr. Busch and other’s in Anheuser-Busch see Rolling Rock for what it is and for what THE PEOPLE OF LATROBE have made it. While Anheuser-Busch may be able to brew Rolling Rock beer using the same “time-honored” recipes, it is virtually impossible to replicate the committed employees of Latrobe Brewing Company and people of Latrobe, which go hand-in-hand with Rolling Rocks craftsmanship and heritage.
The history of Anheuser-Busch states that in 1864, Adolphus Busch joined the fledgling brewery that later became known as Anheuser-Busch. Though the early years were demanding, Mr. Adolphus Busch continued to have a keen vision for the success of the company. The history further indicates that the distinctive contributions made by each succeeding generations of the Anheuser-Busch family clearly show that the history of Anheuser-Busch isn’t a story about a company-it’s a story about people. People with dreams and perseverance. Like Anheuser-Busch, the story and history of Rolling Rock is not a story about a company, but a story about people. The Tito brother’s wanted a unique beer that could represent the heart and soul of Latrobe. As a result, Rolling Rock beer was introduced in 1939 and since that time, it has become more than a beer and a product of a company. Rolling Rock indeed became the heart and soul of the people of Latrobe. Telling someone that “I’m from Latrobe” is accompanied with an enormous sense of pride.

August Busch Sr.’s vision and determination to keep his company going during the Prohibition resembles the vision of the Latrobe Brewing Company employees and the people of Latrobe. We are determined to keep producing Rolling Rock beer in Latrobe where it belongs. History reports that August Busch Sr. was able to keep many of his skilled workers employed and his equipment up to date during the difficult time of the Prohibition. Obviously, he was able to see the importance of dedicated and skilled employees. I feel August Busch IV would be proud to employ the current workers at Latrobe Brewing Company. They are, indeed, highly skilled and committed to producing Rolling Rock. It is important to note that there has not been a labor dispute at the Latrobe Brewing Company in over 24 years. This is a clear indication of the dedication and loyalty of the employees in this establishment. Also during the Prohibition, Mr. Busch Sr. kept his equipment up to date. Likewise, recent additions and modifications to the equipment at Latrobe Brewing Company have been made to keep up with the demand of the highly sought after Rolling Rock beer in this competitive field.

After researching Anheuser-Busch’s history and values, I feel that a partnership with Rolling Rock, if kept in Latrobe, can be more beneficial for Anheuser-Busch as a company. The employees at Latrobe Brewing Company have these same values and commitment to the product that they make here.

Anheuser-Busch is known for, and prides itself, for their unique commitment to their belief statement, mission, and values. In fact, the Anheuser-Busch web-site relates that these values are “a concern for people, communities, and the environment.” I am asking that you please follow these values and show your support for our people and our community whose lives and passion revolve around having Rolling Rock Beer brewed in Latrobe. Please rethink your decision of taking the pride and passion out of our lives.

Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. Statement of Beliefs includes the following belief: The understanding that well-trained and motivated employees acting with the highest integrity are critical to our success. As a former part-time seasonal employee at Latrobe Brewing Company, I have witnessed first hand how the employees making Rolling Rock beer contribute to the company’s success through the dedication and pride the employees have in their jobs and the product they produce. I’ve also witnessed this dedication from retiree’s, such as Albert Pavlik my grandfather, who is a 35 year veteran of Latrobe Brewing Company.

Finally, The Vision of Anheuser-Busch states: Through all of our products, services and relationships, we will add to life’s enjoyment. We dedicated consumers of Rolling Rock beer and the employees of Latrobe Brewing Company understand how the product adds to life’s enjoyment. Please allow us to work together in Latrobe to accomplish the vision of Anheuser-Busch.

I sincerely thank you for your time,

Christina M. Gumola
Proud daughter of
Richard L. Pavlik-Employee of Latrobe Brewing Company


End of a beer era

icSouthlondon looks at the human side of what happens when a brewery closes – in this case Young’s Ram Brewery in London.

Another father-of-five, who wished to remain anonymous, started at Young’s as a teenager and has worked there for 31 years.

He said: “I’m the wrong side of 50, so I don’t get my shares yet. I suppose the shares are a perk so we can’t really moan, but it would soften the blow if we could get them now.

“Unfortunately, they’re paying out for people’s age, not their loyalty.”

Many of jobs will continue at the Charles Wells brewery in Bedfordshire, but this whole story is a reminder that when it comes to beer that business almost always trumps tradition


archives archives

Guinness giving away home bar

Guinness contestEven if you don’t win, a new sweepstakes from Guinness offers a bit of creative fun.

In the Ultimate Guinness Home Bar contest you can draw your idea of what would make a perfect bar for your home, write an essay about why you deserve the bar and Guinness might build it for you. The winner will be selected by Bill Walton, a hall of fame basketball player and notorious Grateful Dead fan.

The bar comes with a three-keg cooling unit. A press release suggests it is ” ideal for serving the Irish trio of Guinness Stout, Smithwick’s Ale and Harp Lager on draught” but we don’t think the Guinness police will be checking to see what actually ends up on tap. The grand prize winner also will receive three tap handles, mirrors for the back bar, a bar table and four bar stools.

We suspect that Guinness might also send out a draft technician to teach you how to draw a shamrock in the head of a “perfect pint.”


Alaskan Brewing up for business awards

The Alaskan Brewing Company is a finalist in every category it entered in its first year competing for the Stevie Awards. Winners will be announced at the Fourth Annual American Business Awards in New York on June 12.

Citing innovative marketing programs and collateral materials, Alaskan Brewing is a finalist in four categories: Best Marketing Team, Best Creative Team, Best Marketer and Best Corporate Communicator.

Read more.


70,000 cans: Do the math

You may well have seen the story and photos about the man who moved out of his townhouse in Ogden, Utah, and left behind 70,000 beer cans. The landlord said the man had been living in the home for about eight years and never threw away a single can.

The story was posted everywhere and it said all the cans were Coors Light, so there didn’t seem to be much point mentioning it here.

Until we hauled out the calculator. Do you think he drank them all himself? If you’ve looked at the photos you know there wasn’t much room in his apartment for entertaining.

According to our math, he had to go through a case a day – 24 cans – everyday. Tuesdays. Christmas. Easter. His birthday. No letting up.

Could this be real?


Win a (beer) vacation in Brooklyn

Brooklyn Brewery has expanded its Brooklyn Vacation Sweepstakes to include residents from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

There will be 15 winners of the Aug. 26 VIP day in Brooklyn. Each winner can bring 5 friends. A limousine will pick up the winners and their friends at any location in New York City and bring them to the Brooklyn Brewery for a VIP tour with brewery founder Steve Hindy and brewmaster Garrett Oliver.

From the brewery, the group will travel to Coney Island for VIP tours of the New York Aquarium and Coney Island USA and rides of the world famous Cyclone Roller Coaster and Deno’s Wonder Wheel. They then will attend a Brooklyn Cyclones’ baseball game.

Upstate New York winners will be flown to New York by JetBlue Airlines.

At the ballpark, a winner will be drawn from among the 15 winners. The Grand Prize winner will get a Caribbean Vacation on Princess Cruise Lines.


Philadelphia beer hero

Joe Sixpack profiles Joel Derricks, Philadelphia’s best known beer delivery guy, who’s delivered more than a million kegs in 33 years.

“I don’t know if I can ever leave,” Derricks said. “It’s not just a job for me. It’s family. I get introduced to everyone down here – they treat me like one of the family.”

Be sure to check out the accompanying video.


Lagunitas Undercover Investigation

The story behind Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing in California.

What the label says mainly, under the beer’s title, is: “We Brewed This Especially Bitter Ale In Remembrance of the 2005 St. Patrick’s Day Massacre And in Celebration of Our 20-Day Suspension Back in January of This Year!”

“Whatever. We’re Still Here.”

This beer reminds us why we’re glad about that.

Certainly bitter and tilted toward the hop side, but also brimming with rich caramel character bordering on toffee.

archives archives

Great Divide goes ‘small’

HerculesGreat Divide Brewing in Denver recently began shipping some of its bigger beers in smaller bottles. Hercules IPA and Yeti Imperial Stout remain available in 22-ounce bottles, but now also in 12-ounce servings, sold in four-packs.

“For a while now, beer drinkers have been telling us they’d like to see a few of our bigger beers in 12 ounce bottles – so to keep the peace, we’re meeting the request” said Great Divide founder Brian Dunn.

Hercules is 9.1% abv, 85 IBU, while Yeti – a silver medal winner at the 2005 Great American Beer Festival – checks in at 9.5% abv and 75 IBU.

Suggested price for a four-pack of either is $10.99.


Beer festival horror story

The way blogs work, the most recent article goes on top, so you might see this first, but perhaps you should read “On beer festival season” first.

If that didn’t scare you a little when thinking about beer festivals, this will. Donovan Hall of Spirit World describes his effort to get into the Long Island Beer Festival:

When we get to the Huntington Hilton, we can hear the roar of conversation. The convivial banter of hundreds of people in an outdoor space drinking beer. Through the windows I can see wall to wall people inside, jam packed like commuters on a bus at rush hour. My wife and I head toward the door and a bald guy in a blue sport coat steps up making a sawing motion with his hands like some quarter back had just made an incomplete pass. “If you’re going to the beer festival, there’s no more tickets,” he says.

“But I have tickets,” I say. And I hold up my two tickets to prove it.

“Doesn’t matter,” he says. “They aren’t letting anybody else in. There’s too many people inside already.”

“But I paid $90 for these tickets,” I say.

“Too bad,” he says. “Nobody else can go in.”

Hall didn’t get in. He didn’t get a refund. That doesn’t mean he won’t, but don’t you think these promoters would have realized more than 1,000 people were likely to show up?


On beer festival season

Writing in his blog, Brew Confessions Tom Baker of Heavyweight Brewing writes that beer festival season can go on without Heavyweight.

. . . most of even the well-run fests are no longer sampling events. They are merely opportunities to get pie-eyed on 35 dollars. I don’t know, maybe I’ve just gotten grumpier and crotchety in my old age. I just long for the days in my myopic memory, when festival attendees asked about the beers and styles and cautioned me about pouring a small sample so they could enjoy the rest of the fest. Or maybe that was a dream I had last night.

He finds a balance in his post, pointing out that there are still good festivals, and that some of this may be personal fatigue.

But he leaves you something to think about.


Nine good reasons to drink beer

The Publican reports that many health benefits of moderate beer drinking are unique to beer.

At a conference in Brussels, a researcher said: “The media and public tend to focus on wine. However, the emerging evidence is the real benefits are related to the alcohol itself and so the positive story also relates to other drinks such as beer.”

The researchers noted that moderate beer drinking:

– Reduces the risk of heart disease
– Helps keep blood pressure down and reduce the risk of stroke
– Benefits the immune system meaning healthy adults are less prone to get infections
– Has anti-inflammatory effects which contributes to heart health
– Could play a role in the battle against osteoporosis as it
– Improves bone mineral density which contributes to healthy bones
– Helps fight cancer because of compounds in hops called flavinoids
– Decreases the risk of dementia due to its beneficial effect on preserving brain function in old age
– Can protect against type II diabetes.