Miller Chill includes lime, salt in bottle

Miller ChillTired of messing around with lime and salt every time you want to drink a Corona?

Miller Brewing wants to make your life easier. Aiming at the Hispanic market, Miller is introducing a beer already flavored with lime and salt.

Miller Chill, modeled after a popular style of Mexican beer called a “chelada,” will be test marketed throughout Florida, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and San Diego, said Pete Marino, a spokesman for the Milwaukee-based brewer. The company hopes to eventually expand the line nationwide, he said.

The lime green bottles feature green and silver modular designs reminiscent of Aztec art, with the word “Chill” in bold black letters across the front and “Chelada style” below.

Update: Miller Chill goes national.


AleSmith brews romantic ale

Looking for something different for Valentine’s Day?

AleSmith’s latest beer is called My Bloody Valentine. From the San Diego brewery’s newsletter:

“With Valentine’s Day approaching, the romantics at AleSmith decided to brew a very special ale. My Bloody Valentine Ale is a mildly sweet, malty, and full bodied, cardiac-red ale. My Bloody Valentine pulsates with fresh hop aromas and flavors, and finishes with a wonderful malt and hop aftertaste. My Bloody Valentine will be available at select bars and restaurants during February and at the brewery for 1/2 gallon growler fills.”

Romantic indeed.


Drinking to the ‘other’ New Year

Tsingtao Pure DraftFile this one between Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day: Chinese New Year, actually a month-long celebration starting just after Valentine’s Day and running into March. 2007 is the Year of the Boar.

Tsingtao makes it easier for us less than familiar with Chinese tradition to celebrate, including a primer for hosting a party as well as downloadable party invitations.

The good news: “Guarantee your good fortune in the New Year by assembling a centerpiece made from fresh flowers, oranges and tangerines, all symbols of good luck and wealth.”

The not so good news: “According to ancient tradition, every corner of your home should be swept and cleaned in preparation for your New Year’s celebration.”

Not surprisingly, Tsingtao suggest serving its beer – the No. 1 branded consumer product exported from China – at the party. Last summer the brewery began sending Tsingtao Pure Draft to the United States as well as its Lager. The company introduced the beer to the high-end Chinese market in 1999.

Pure Draft if filtered, but not pasteurized. Light in color and body, it opens with a bit of bready sweetness and mild spicy hop aroma, with more hop bitterness arriving at the end. Smooth, with gentle carbonation and an underlying soft (the yeast?) texture.


Bud.TV is on the air

Anheuser-Busch has launched its Bud.TV website.

“We’re following the consumer in many ways,” said Tony Ponturo, vice president of global media and sports marketing at A-B’s domestic brewing company. “Because this consumer group is so intrigued by the Internet, it makes sense.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains:

Some A-B commercials are “content” in their own right — considered by viewers to be attractions rather than interruptions.

Executives believed A-B could “stretch this concept beyond the 30-second” commercial, said Ponturo, who is leading the online venture. “We understand how to provide relevant content. … We came to the conclusion that it was worth the old college try.”

As previously announced, another thing different about this site is that users will not be allowed in based on the “honor system” A-B uses at other of its sites (as do most beer companies).

Potential users seeking to enter Bud.TV first must register, providing a name, birth date and home ZIP code. Washington-based Aristotle Inc. will verify each person’s age by immediately checking the information against databases, such as drivers license records and voter registration lists.

If Aristotle can’t confirm an age of 21 or older, the person won’t be allowed access to Bud.TV.


A Beer for Hope

Beer for HopeOld friends have reunited to brew a new beer with a name that reflects their purpose. “Reunion – A Beer for Hope” is an organic imperial brown ale based on early recipes from Pete’s Wicked Ales founder Pete Slogberg.

Slosberg and Dan Del Grande brewed the beer at Bison Brewing Company’s organic brewery in Berkeley, Calif. It will be sold in 22-ounce bottles via SBS-Imports distributor network in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, and Illinois. All profits generated by SBS from the sale of the beer will benefit The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research in Los Angeles.

Alan Shaprio, president of SBS-Imports, suggested brewing the beer after he and Slosberg learned that Virginia MacLean had been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. Shapiro and MacLean joined Sloberg at Pete’s Wicked in 1989 and helped him turn the company into what was briefly the second largest craft brewery in the country. All then went on to other businesses.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the effort to raise funds for this worthwhile organization,” Slosberg said of the project.

“Virginia has been a close friend from the day we met at Pete’s back in 1989,” said Shaprio. “I wish I was a great scientist who could help find a cure – but at least I can make a small contribution by raising both funds and awareness for this disease. I
have met Dr. Berenson’s team at IMBCR and have seen their work in progress. I know the funds we raise will help make a difference.”


Shiner headed to Chicago

What’s to happen to The Gambrinus Co. now that is is no longer importing Corona or Moosehead beers?

Well, for one thing, expect to see the Texas-based company put more resources behind the Shiner brand. Shiner beers will roll out in Chicago in April,director of marketing Charlie Paulette told the San Antonio Express-News.

“This is huge. We’ve had people asking for it there for years,” Paulette said.

Paulette also reported that BridgePort Brewing sales climbed 10% in 2006 and Trumer Pils skyrocketed 60%.


Strong Beer Month in San Francisco

Strong Beer Month is underway at Magnolia Pub and Brewery and 21st Amendment in San Francisco, blending nicely with Toronado’s Barleywine Festival and Celebrator’s Beerapalooza.

For Strong Beer Month, beer are served in a commemorative 13.5 ounce glasses. Drink all twelve strong ales (six at each brewery) and the glass is yours. Commemorative 2007 Strong Beer Month T-shirts are also available. The brewpubs will also have special library strong beers from years past presented throughout the month and special food dishes paired with the strong beers.


Joe Sixpack’s state of beer advertising

Don Russell, aka Joe Sixpack, prepares us for the Super Bowl with his 5th Annual State of the Sleaze.

What happened to the babes?

As the 2006-07 beer commercial season draws to a close on Super Sunday, it’s become obvious that chicks – and I use that term with all due respect for the talented, young, toothy, breast-enhanced blondes paid to bounce and giggle on cue – are a thing of the past.

Budweiser gets his top rating for a spot in which the Stadium fans flash placards to animate a poured beer.

Of course, it all changes Sunday when Anheuser-Busch rolls out its new commercials during the Super Bowl. The Wall Street Journal reports in one Bud Light spot a game of rock, paper, scissors goes painfully awry.


Super Bowl holiday

For obvious reasons, this is a big beer weekend in the Indianapolis area.

So beer distributor Monarch Beverage Company has decided to give all of its 600 employees a paid day off Monday.

When they clock out for the weekend they’ll also receive a Super Bowl T-shirt and a six-pack of beer. This is an Indiana distributor who handles Coors products.

Think they are going home with Coors Silver Bullet?

Nope. Blue Moon White Ale.


Mad River learns to pay the toll

Mad River Brewing founder Bob Smith loves living in Humboldt County, but it does pose unique challenges for his brewery.

With restrictions on the length of trucks that can travel in and out of the county, Mad River is forced to ship its products out on 48-foot trucks, only to have the loads re-packed onto the 54- or 56-footers that serve the rest of the country. These changeovers add dramatically to shipping costs, limiting the microbrewery’s ability to reach other markets.

”It’s like being the shortest guy in a basketball game,” Smith said.

The Times-Standard in Eureka profiles Smith and the brewery. He started homebrewing in high school and was inspired to open Mad River after buying homebrew supplies from Ken Grossman when Grossman was still operating Chico Home Brew Shop and working on the business plan for Sierra Nevada Brewing.