‘Flashbeer’ aims to match ‘Big Ad’

Following up on last year’s “Big Ad” for Carlton, Foster’s has rolled out “Flashbeer.

Half a million people saw “Big Ad” in the first week of its life on the Internet and Foster’s hopes to surpass that figure before the ad launches on TV.

The ad features a prospective Carlton brewer who wins over the brewery’s recruitment panel through the “power of ’80s dance” with his rendition of a scene from the 1983 movie Flashdance.


Sewage problem in Latrobe

The deal to keep Latrobe’s brewing plant – long the brewery for Rolling Rock – open has hit a possible snag.

City Brewing out of La Crosse, Wis., plans to make not only beer in Latrobe, but sports drinks and other beverages like Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Arizona iced tea, drinks containing sugar and other additives that may be too much for some sewage treatment plants to handle.

“The proposed waste that’s coming in from the new facility is approximately five times strong than the existing waste now,” Water Authority consultant Mark Gera told ThePittsburghChannel. “So for them to reach their ultimate capacity, we have to be able to provide treatment capacity for that.”

Brewing officials said the issue is not a deal-breaker.


Beer alert

A new beer (you’ll have to wait; it hasn’t been brewed yet), the return of a seasonal, and wider distribution:

– Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant’s founding partners Kevin Finn, Kevin Davies and Mark Edelson will gather in the brewhouse at their Newark, Del., original location later this week brew their first ever collaborative beer in honor of Iron Hill’s 10th Anniversary. They’ll a Belgian/Trappist-inspired ale, similar to a Rochefort 10, a strong brown ale with an alcohol content of 10% percent or more.

The beer will be bottled and ready for consumption on Nov. 14 for Iron Hill’s 10th anniversary celebration. “After 10 years, I’ve finally convinced my partners to join me in the brewhouse,” said Edelson, director of brewing operations. “It will be a significant occasion, because it’s our first attempt at this type of Trappist ale, and the first time the three of us have brewed together.”

A-B taphandle– Anheuser-Busch begins the second year of its seasonal beer series by bringing back Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale. Previously only available on draught, this seasonal offering will now also be sold in bottles, beginning Wednesday. “Given what a passionate following Jack’s had last year among beer lovers, we’re excited about brewing it for them again,” said A-B brewer Florian Kuplent.

Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale is brewed with two-row, caramel and carapils barley malts and a blend of imported Hallertau and domestic Saaz hops. It is also brewed with seasonal spices and Golden Delicious pumpkins from the Stahlbush Farm in Oregon. Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale is brewed at the Anheuser-Busch Fort Collins, Colo., brewery and has 5.5% alcohol by volume.

– Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company is expanding beyond regional distribution to several new markets. The subsidiary of Miller Brewing is rolling out Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia and Tampa/Jacksonville.

Launched in Spring 2006, Sunset Wheat is already one of the fastest growing craft beers in the country. Leinenkugel’s anticipates Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat will appeal to both male and female consumers.

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Keeping family breweries going

The BBC profiles Bateman’s Brewery, one of the UK’s (relatively) few remaining independent family brewers.

George Bateman, 78, the grandson of the brewery’s founder, gets right to the point.

So why was it so important to keep the brewery as a family concern?

“This is back to the intangible of being a community,” he says.

“In a small town – you might say village – there was a consciousness through the years that I and my father before me and my grandfather before that had depended on the strength of local people.”

The good news is that his grandchildren are already getting involved in the brewery.


Bud TV due after Super Bowl

When we wrote a couple of weeks back about Anheuser-Buisch’s push into providing program content the headline More ‘Bud TV’ seems likely was mostly meant to be flip.

But not according to today’s New York Times (registration required; free), which reports:

. . . as in Bud TV, an online entertainment network that Anheuser-Busch, the nation’s biggest brewer, is preparing to introduce the day after Super Bowl XLI is played in early February.

The network will be on a Web site that will have the address.

This would be no small project. Just a few of the highlights:

– Bud TV would offer six channels of comedy, reality, sports and talk programming created for and by Anheuser-Busch. The tentative names for the channels include Comedy, Happy Hour and Reality.

– A-B in discussions with Joe Buck, the sportscaster, to develop a talk show.

– A seventh channel on Bud TV, tentatively named Bud Tube, will be styled after the popular Web site YouTube , giving consumers a chance to “generate their own Anheuser-Busch ads, comedic in nature,” which can be shared with other computer users.

That’s just the start.

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Vote for a national hop

First California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a measure that would have designated zinfandel the historic wine of California. He said the state produces many fine wines from different grape varietals and that it would be “inappropriate” to single out one for special recognition.

That was followed by this post in the blog called Shiraz:

Breaking News: Late yesterday Australia’s Prime Minister John Howhard announced that his government had passed legislation making Shiraz the national grape. “This decision is not about choosing one variety over another. It recognises Shiraz in its historical role in laying the foundation for the Australian wine industry,” he said.

It was a joke, but maybe there is something in this for the beer industry.

Why not name a national hop?

What would it be? Cascade, which played such an important role in the rise in craft beer? Maybe the fabulously versatile Centennial.

How about Cluster, long the stalwart? Maybe a frsiky newcomer like Simcoe or Summit.

What would you pick?


Brewing boss suggests winter GBBF

Caledonian brewery chief Stephen Crawley said the Great British Beer Festival should be moved to winter.

Crawley also suggested that brewers need to be involved more directly in organizing the event. The Campaign for Real Ale runs GBBF and CAMRA chief Mike Benner was quick to replay to Crawley.

“The question is irrelevant because we had 66,000 people attend this year – 20,000 more than last year,” Benner said. “By holding the festival in August we attract alot of tourists and we have no problems keeping the beer cool.”


A list of lists

– Stephen Beaumont celebrates 10 years of World of Beer by offering lists of the best and worst of the last ten years in beer. “Extreme Beers” make both lists.

– The October issue of Men’s Journal hits the newstands with its list of the “25 Greatest American Beers.” A solid list but the best 25?

– Here’s the way a list should be done. Bryan at Brew Lounge lists his favorite beers of the past 4 months. It’s a snapshot in time.