Celebrate the Beer Hunter toast with videos, photos

Real Beer will collect photos and videos from Sunday’s National Toast to Michael Jackson to post at the Beer Hunter website.

You can help. Take a camera with you to whatever Toast you will be attending (or hosting). Capture the moment. We’ll soon post information about how to add your photos and videos to the archive.

We’d really like to have thousands of faces of people who knew Michael, whether personally and on a first name basis, from hearing him speak or simply reading his books and articles.

Here are some of the questions you might ask:

– When did you first meet the Beer Hunter and what do you remember about the meeting?
– What’s you’re favorite Michael Jackson story? (Involving you or not)
– What’s the best question you heard him ask?
– What’s the best advice you heard him give?
– How did he change what you do or how you think?
– How would you describe him in one word?

Finally: What beer will/did you drink in his honor?


The 60-pint hangover

What’s the result of drinking 60 pints of beer during the course of a four-day drinking binge?

A hangover. A big hangover. But not necessarily as big as that of a man in Scotland, who had a non-stop headache for four weeks, blurred vision and didn’t recover for six months.

The story:

When a 37-year old man walked into a hospital emergency room in Glasgow, Scotland last October complaining of “wavy” vision and a non-stop headache that had lasted four weeks, doctors were at first stumped, the British journal The Lancet reported Friday.

The unnamed patient “had no history of head injury or loss of consciousness; his past medical record was unremarkable, and he was taking no medications,” Zia Carrim and two other physicians from Southern General Hospital said in a case report.

When an eye specialist was called in, the fog began to clear, at least for the doctors.

The patient, said the ophthalmologist, had swollen optical discs, greatly enlarged blind spots and what eye doctors call “flame haemorrhages,” or bleeding nerve fibres.

Then the doctors learned the man revealed he had consumed some 60 pints – roughly 35 litres – of beer over a four day period, following a domestic crisis.

Severe dehydration caused the alcohol, the doctors guessed, had led to a rare condition called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST).

It took more than six months of long-term blood-thinning treatment to restore the man’s normal vision – and to get rid of the headache, the doctors reported.


Colorado passes California in beer production

Colorado became the nation’s top beer-producing state in 2006, the first time it has led the nation since 1990.

Primarily because of production at the very large Coors Brewing and Anheuser-Busch facilities in northern Colorado, the state’s brewers made more than 23.3 million barrels of beer according to the Beer Institute.

“It’s true that most of that volume is from Coors and Anheuser-Busch, a very high percentage of it,” said Doug Odell, president of the board of directors of the Colorado Brewers Guild. “But I think the real story is that there are a hundred other breweries in the state of Colorado contributing a great variety of beer styles and beer flavors.”

Odell is an owner and brewmaster of Odell Brewing Co. in Fort Collins, home to fast-growing New Belgium Brewing.

“Our first full year (1989) we sold about 900 barrels,” Odell said. “This year we are going to sell about 39,000.”


Canadian craft brewers call for shake up

Ontario Craft Brewers want to shake up the system in which their beer is sold.

“Ontario Craft Brewers strongly believe that Ontario beer consumers are not well served by the restriction of The Beer Store ownership to only three competitors,” the craft brewers’ president John Hay said.

Together, the country’s three largest brewers control a network of 440 stores that account for 85 per cent of all Ontario beer sales. Founded in 1927 as Brewers Warehousing, The Beer Store used to be a non-profit co-operative owned by all the brewers that used it.

The small brewers say The Beer Store has become a foreign-owned monopoly that serves mainly the interests of the three big multinational beer companies that control it through their ownership stakes in Molson, Labatt and Sleeman.


Bud.TV renewed

Beer in the Hollywood Reporter – who would have thunk it?

Gail Schiller reports that despite dwindling traffic and reports it would be phased out by the end of this year the brewing giant is committed to Bud.TV through 2008.

“We wanted to get through the step of, ‘OK, should we continue into ’08 as we build our marketing plans?’ and that was the decision,” he (Tony Ponturo, vp global media and sports/entertainment marketing) said. “I think it (Bud.TV) is something that could have an ending someday, but I think if we keep learning from it and if we keep seeing assets from it … then it makes sense to continue the site.”

Traffic to Bud.TV has continued to slide from the 250,000 visitors the site had when it launched in February, averaging about 50,000 visitors recently.


Black Dog promotes Adopt-a-Dog month

Adopt-A-DogBlack Dog Ale is working with humane shelters across the nation to support Adopt-A-Dog Month this October. Black Dog has set up space at its website to help prospective pet owners to find new dogs and puppies, including searchable listings of local humane society locations.

The Black Dog label prominently features “Chug,” a black lab retriever, on its packaging. Chug was the brewery founder’s pet and the inspiration for the brand’s name and logo, assisting on sales calls and attending special events.

The program continues until the end of October in New York, Indiana, Florida, Louisiana, Nebraska, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Washington.


Hoparama: Hops everywhere we look

HopsFresh hop beers are fermenting away from the East Coast to the West Coast, and we can look for them on tap soon. Most will be available only close to where they are brewed, although Sierra Nevada is bottling its Harvest Ale this year and Deschutes Hop Trip can be found in several states.

The number of fresh hop/wet hop festivals keeps growing as well. Too many to list, so check our festival calendar.

With that in mind, a few hoppy links for your puckering pleasure (and a bonus bit of news about Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner at the end):

Hunt’s Hop Tea. Recipe included (it’s easier with fresh hops).

Pernicious myths and a ban on hops. What really happened in Shrewsbury at the start of the 16th century and were hops not only banned but labeled a wicked and pernicious weed?

Mom grows a bumper crop of hops. A hop shortage ahead? Perhaps mothers across the nation will come to the rescue.

Samuel Adams creates an ode to noble hops. That hop would be Hallertau Mittelfrueh to the tune of 110 IBU.

The Imperial Pislner is on tap at a few East Coast locations:

Boston area
Cambridge Common, Harvard Square, Cambridge
Redbones, Davis Square, Cambridge
McCormick & Schmicks, various

New York City
House of Brews, 302 W51st Street, Manhattan
House of Brews, 363 W46th Street, Manhattan
Dive Bar, 732 Amsterdam Ave, Manhattan
Dive 75, 75th and Amsterdam Ave, Manhattan
Hop Devil, 129 St. Marks Place, Manhattan
200 5th, 200 5th Ave, Brooklyn


Silver Bullet, NASCAR united

Molson Coors Brewing Co., the third-largest U.S. brewer, has outbid Anheuser-Busch for the rights of official beer sponsor of NASCAR auto racing. This means Coors Light – aka The Silver Bullet – replaces Budweiser.

Budweiser had been the official beer of NASCAR since 1998. It also had sponsored Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 8 since he entered the Cup series in 1999. The beer will remain in the top series next year as the sponsor of Kasey Kahne’s No. 9 Dodge.


Winning your weight in beer

A man named Stephen Wood recently was the winner of a Greene King “Win Your Weight In Beer” drawing.

The story doesn’t measure how much he weighted, or won, but in case you wondered how much beer that might be . . .

There are several variables – different beers will vary slightly in weight. But beer is slightly heavier than water (8.3 pounds per gallon), so a man 175 pounds (a guess looking at Wood’s picture) would win about 20 gallons. That’s the contents of almost 9 cases (24 12-ounce bottles) of beer.

Doesn’t “win your weight” sounds like more?


One nose, one beer: Fill in the blank

A Wisconsin man who can drink an entire beer through his nose is headed to New York to try out for the David Letterman show.

Producers from the CBS late-night talk show called Chris Hansen after seeing a YouTube video of him draining a plastic cup of beer at a busy sports bar near Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Hansen, who co-owns The Sardine Can at 128 S. Broadway in Green Bay with his cousin, Boyd Konowalski, has been drinking beer through his nose for more than 30 years.

“Hey, that’s my secret. I can’t have everyone doing it,” he said. “It’s just one of those stupid college pranks that stays with you. I don’t do it every day. To be honest, I hadn’t done it in over a year. But when you’re having fun you just add a little goofiness. I’m just goofy. Everyone will tell you that.”


Deschutes rolls out a traveling beer barrel

Deschutes Beer Wagon

Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery has built a a portable pub in the shape of a giant beer barrel. It will roll through several Seattle neighborhoods over the next few weeks.

The enormous barrel, fabricated by Hollywood designer Eddie Paul, makes its first appearance at the Fremont Oktoberfest September 21-23, then stops at the Red Bull Soapbox Race September 29. During October, the rolling barrel, accompanied by food and music from local bands, opens its taps in Capitol Hill, Wallingford and South Lake Union before returning to the Queen Anne-Fremont neighborhood.

Each Neighborhood Hops event will feature a selection of Deschutes beers, including Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Black Butte Porter and Inversion IPA. A rotation of pre-release beers will also be available, including the new Green Lakes Organic Ale.

Admission to the Neighborhood Hops events is free. Pints of Deschutes Brewery beers and food from local partners will be available for purchase. Proceeds from the events will be donated to a variety of local non-profits including the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance , protecting and preserving Puget Sound for more than 20 years, and Gilda’s Club Seattle.


Thieves drive off with city’s supply of Moosehead

Using two stolen trucks, thieves made off with two trailers full of Moosehead beer yesterday, stealing a total of 114,000 bottles and cans from a Toronto-area loading yard.

Moosehead drinkers in Ontario would be wise to stock up today,” spokesman Joel Levesque said. “We expect it may take until early next week to replenish the stolen beer.”

Levesque said the brewery was scrambling to arrange replacement beer to stock bars and retail stores.

“Our biggest fear is there will be a shortage in the Toronto area. That’s a lot of beer,” he said, before adding a partisan marketing comment. “It strikes us the thieves obviously know what the consumers want.”


Pizza beer finds its way into bottles

Pizza beer, first a homebrew, then a novelty that sparked a joke on the Tonight Show, soon will be sold in the Chicago area in bottles.

St. Charles homebrewer Tom Seefurth told the Chicago Tribune that the beer made with tomatoes, garlic, basil and oregano will begin production at Sand Creek Brewing Company in Black River Falls, Wis., within weeks and should be available by early November.

Formally known as Mamma Mia Pizza Beer, it will likely retail between $7.99 and $8.99 per 6-pack at stores including BinnyÂ’s Beverage Depot.


UK authorities ban Stella, Miller advertisements

UK authorities have banned a pair of beer ads – including one for Miller Genuine Draft they said appealed to children.

The Advertising Standards Authority also told InBev, the brewer of Stella Artois, it can no longer boast that its lager is produced by a family that has been dedicated to brewing for six centuries.

Stella Artois movieThe ruling comes at just as InBev launched a spectacular new Stella Artois website that leans heavily on the 1366 connection using the rich cinematic techniques Stella has long been associated with.

Stella Artois has been brewed in Leuven (Belgium) since 1366, and was bought Artois family in nly since 1717. The ASA said the Artois brand was no longer family-owned and it was untrue to claim that “one family of common ancestry had been involved in the brewing of Stella Artois for six centuries”.

The ruling is related only to advertising in the UK and won’t affect the new website.

To create interest in the site before it went public yesterday representatives of Stella reached out to the blogosphere, shipping bloggers a promotional package with a poster and coasters and offering a sneak preview of the site – which might take several hours to explore. The company’s blog links back to some of the reviews and also has additional information, such as interviews with the creators.

In the Miller advertisement in question a man performs a daring series of stunts on rollerskates to impress a woman, who rewards him with a bottle of Miller Genuine Draft. “We considered that the action of rollerskating, particularly when combined with the effortless cool of the execution of a series of tricks, was likely to appeal strongly to under 18s,” the advertising board stated.

Miller countered that the advertisement was designed to appeal to those over, and script changes had been made to ensure that it was not aimed at the youth market.


OBF donates $10,301 to foundation for blind

The Oregon Brewers Festival made a donation of $10,301 to the Oregon Commission for the Blind Foundation (OCBF) with money raised at the 20th annual Oregon Brewers Festival that took place at Tom McCall Waterfront Park July 27-30.

From the press release:

The $10,000 was a direct contribution from the festival; the additional $301 was raised at the Crater Lake Soda Co. Root Beer Garden through donations from attendees.

OBF Director Art Larrance presented a check on Sept. 11 to Charlene Cook, a teacher and former Commissioner for the Oregon Commission for the Blind (OCB). According to Cook, the money will support the goals set by the OCB, including providing access to technology and education, and emotional and physical support to blind and visually impaired Oregonians.

Larrance selected the organization in honor of his college friend, Steve Hanamura, who is legally blind. This is the second year the OBF has made a donation to the OCBF.