Old Dominion announcement near

The Washington Post reports the long-expected sale of Old Dominion Brewing could be announced any time.

Sale would involve Ram’s Head Tavern, a Maryland brewery chain, and beer giant Anheuser-Busch.

“We have signed a letter of intent with someone, but we are not confirming or denying any of the other stuff,” said founder Jerry Bailey, adding that he was selling the company in order to liquidate his equity.


Santa’s Butt beer un-banned

And the award for best headline on the last story we have to send you about the banning of Santa’s Butt goes to the International Herald Tribune: Santa’s Butt, women’s breasts OK on beer labels after all, U.S. state says.

Maine’s beer sellers are now free to put Santa’s Butt beer on their shelves. The essentials:

The brew, along with two beers with labels depicting bare-breasted women, had been off shelves after the Maine Bureau of Liquor Enforcement blocked a beer importer from selling them.

State officials worried the Santa’s Butt label might appeal to children. It has a rear view of a beer-drinking Santa sitting on a “butt,” a large barrel brewers once used to store beer.

But the state’s actions were reversed after the state attorney general’s office determined beer importer probably would win the lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union filed on its behalf last month.

Don’t you feel better?


A-B sales up in 2006

From the press release:

“Anheuser-Busch, Inc., the U.S. beer subsidiary of Anheuser‑Busch Cos., Inc., increased U.S. shipments to wholesalers to 102.3 million barrels in 2006 – up 1.2 million barrels or 1.2 percent over 2005, it was announced today by Anheuser-Busch Cos., Inc. president and chief executive officer, August A. Busch IV.”


Because of “success of its initiatives to grow core brands, led by Bud Light, and by expanding its portfolio of products including the addition of the Rolling Rock brands, and imports Grolsch and Tiger.”


World’s largest pint

PintThe world’s largest pint will be “poured” in:

a) Disney World
b) Dublin
c) Portland, Oregon
d) Las Vegas

Where else other than Las Vegas?

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Standing 85 feet tall from the bottom of the pint to the top, the glass and steel structure is meant to be an attraction for a lounge that is to open soon “inside the pint,” said Paul Hennessey, owner of both Hennessey’s Tavern below and the lounge.

“We want this to be iconic. If you’re in Las Vegas, you’ll need to get a picture taken with it,” he said.

To make the structure look like a giant glass of Bass ale, complete with bubbles and a moderately foamy head, it will be wrapped in vinyl, similar to the technique used to wrap buses in multicolored graphics. It is to be completed within two weeks, Hennessey said.

And sorry, St. Patrick Day revelers, there won’t be any alcohol or other liquid inside of it. Instead, the innards will be the Brass Lounge.

Cynics could point out that a pint is, by definition, only 16 ounces. But Hennessey has a comeback for that.

“There’s the regular pint, which is 16 ounces. There’s the British imperial pint, which is 22 ounces. And then there’s the Las Vegas pint, which is much, much bigger. How big, I have no idea.”

This would seem to rank up there with the world’s largest six pack and the world’s largest hop cone.


Redhook, Widmer discuss merger

The Seattle Times reports that Redhook Ale Brewery and Widmer Brother Brewing plan to start merger talks.

The Times’ story points out why this makes sense: “Redhook brews Widmer beer on the East Coast, and they share a sales and marketing operation in the West. More than a third of each company is owned by megabrewer Anheuser-Busch of St. Louis.”

Interestingly, the possible merger was revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by Anheuser-Busch on Wednesday. The Anheuser-Busch filing says it anticipates Redhook would be “the surviving company in any transaction” with Widmer.

Redhook and Widmer considered a merger in 1996, Redhook founder Paul Shipman says in the story, but it “didn’t come together.”

“If you name breweries around the Pacific Northwest,” he says, “it wouldn’t take long before you named one that we had discussions with along the way.”


When Sideways meets Arrogant Bastard

A rather unusual blog post built around a tour of Stone Brewing.

Hot Knives is basically a food blog hosted by Los Angeles Alternative. The authors present themselves this way: “Alex Brown and Evan George are former line-cooks who used to use hot knives for more illict purposes, but decided to turn their lives around so that others may start eating properly and drinking better beer.”

None of this background may prepare you for their trip, so sit back and relax.

PS – And from another post: “On another note, look for some 7-Eleven’s to start carrying entire catalogues of excellent craft breweries. Our local store now boasts two entire fridges of microbrews.”

How about that?

[Found via Hedonist Beer Jive]


Voters bring back Sam Adams Honey Porter

Samuel Adams Honey Porter is back, this time based on voting in the Beer Lover’s Choice contest conducted by Boston Beer Co.

Beer drinkers tasted both the Honey Porter and Samuel Adams Smoked Lager in nearly 800 tasting events across the country late last summer, then voted for the beer they preferred. Honey Porter won, 8,206-5,984.

Honey Porter is brewed in the style of an English porter, with Scottish heather honey included. Boston Beer The beer was previously brewed by Boston Beer and captured awards at several larger beer competitions before

It will be featured in Samuel Adams Brewmaster’s Collection, a 12-pack available nationwide, and also offered by itself in six-packs starting in January.


Ben Franklin: Wine snob

Must we throw away our T-shirts with “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” and an attribution to Benjamin Franklin plastered across the back?

Mid-Atlantic News documented that Franklin was talking about wine in a story more than a year ago. But that’s not online, but details from author Bob Skilnik are at Beer & Food: An American History, a site he has created to promote his upcoming book of the same name. The book is already available for order and should be in stores next month.

Skilnik quotes from a letter in which Franklin wrote: “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”

That was in 1779. Who knows what he might have written about some of today’s craft beer? Probqably something worth putting on a T-shirt.


Wine grabbing Gen Xers, Millennials

The following information was posted at

New findings presented by the Wine Market Council during a trade event in New York City last week indicate that a whopping 14 percent of all wine consumers are drinking either less beer and less spirits (or both) but at the same time are drinking more wine.

Curiously, the research indicates that these are largely younger consumers. The conventional wisdom has been that older consumers eventually cut down on beer and spirits consumption while drinking more wine. Fifty-two percent of the “trade-off” consumers making the switch are under 42 years old, as they are either part of the Gen X or Millennial generations, according to the data.

The information was obtained by surveying wine consumers, and bills itself as “The Home Page for the Winde Industry” so keeps those things in mind. And remember that when they write beer they mean all beer, not craft beer.


Large brewers hope to mimic Stella success

Brandweek reports that mass-market brewers aiming for the high-end beer market are basing their strategy on the success of Stella Artois.

Some of the things Stella has done:

– Instead of using babes and sports in advertising, owner Inbev has promoted signature beer glasses and proper beer care.

– Appealed to foodies by hosting Belgian dinners and landing editorial mentions in Bon Appetit and Gourmet.

– It became the badge beer for the independent film community through release-party sponsorships at Sundance and other film fests.

“Discovery” has been a key element of Stella’s plan, one that Anheuser-Busch will likely continue as it takes over distribution of Stella this year, and one that Miller and Coors are emulating with brands of their own.