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The legend of Miller Chill grows

Brew Blog, sponsored by Miller Brewing, reports “Anheuser-Busch appears set on creating a brand to fight Miller Chill, according to Beer Business Daily.”

BBD reports that A-B appears to be conducting Internet market research surveys to gauge consumer interest in brands with Latin influences. These bear more than passing resemblances to Miller Chill.

There’s no disputing Chill’s success:

Miller hopes to sell 400,000 barrels of Chill in its first year. That would put Chill on roughly the same sales level as Foster’s Lager, Miller’s biggest import.

In supermarkets, Chill is outselling such established brands as Dos Equis, Michelob Light, Heineken Light, Beck’s, Blue Moon White, Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Rolling Rock, according to data from AC Nielsen. Supermarkets account for around 20% of U.S. beer sales.

Meanwhile, A-B already has Bud and Bud Light Chelada in the marketplace.


Smallest brewery back in business

A brewery in Wales – just five square feet – that claims to be the smallest in the world has reopened, the BBC reports.

Bragdy Gwynant brews ale for just one customer – the Tynllidiart Arms next door.

Margaret and Mark Phillips, who own the Tynllidiart Arms and the brewery, said the beer had a secret recipe.

“The previous owner of the pub moved out two years ago and up until two weeks ago the pub was closed and the brewery was too,” said Mr Phillips, who moved in just two weeks ago.

“We thought it would be nice to brew our own local beer and luckily we had a brewer living a few doors down who was able to help.”

The brewery used to be an outdoor men’s toilet.


A reprieve for the British pint

The British pint and mile are safe forever after the European Commission announced a policy change.

The European Union executive said British and Irish pubs may go on serving beer in pints after 2009, when such measures were due to be phased out.

A spokesman said the proposal, which must be rubber-stamped by member nations, would also help trade with the United States by extending indefinitely the right to use dual measurement in labeling in the metric and imperial systems.


Great American Beer Festival larger still

GABF logoJust in case 1,600-plus beers to choose from at the Great American Beer Festival in 2006 wasn’t enough for you, here are the numbers for this year:

– The GABF’s beer list has grown to 1,884 beers, a boost of 230 beers beyond last year.
– 34 breweries have also been added to the GABF beer list, upping the brewery tally to 408.
– In the GABF beer judging, the number of beers risen by 380 to a total of 2,806.

“The GABF’s expanded beer list is a reflection of America’s love of craft beer,” says festival director Nancy Johnson. “At this year’s registration deadline, we realized the beer totals were huge, bigger than our anticipated growth. And we kept getting requests from breweries wanting to serve more beers, and new breweries wanting to pour beer at the festival. So we raised the cap on beers and bought more draft gear.”

You can have all kinds of fun with these numbers. For instance, if you drank two bottles a day it would take you three days and 10 months to work your way through 2,806 beers.


Always a parade when Fat Tire comes to town

Fat Tire and two other beers from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing go on sale in Iowa this week, and some people figure that is good reason for a parade.

The Iowa Press-Citizen reports on two fans who drove over from Des Moines to ride their bikes and drink the beer.

About an hour later, they biked in a procession led by an Elvis impersonator who was riding a red Fat Tire cruiser to deliver a ceremonial first case of Fat Tire to John’s Grocery, 401 E. Market St.

Fat Tire, with its quirky label that displays a red bike with swollen tires, has made a mark amongst cyclists, college students, craft beer lovers and environmentalists, among others.

Starting when the parade arrived and then throughout the dreary, rainy Monday, John’s sampled the three varieties of the company’s beer that now are being sold in the state – Fat Tire Amber Ale, a light Belgian-style beer with mild hops and malt; 1554, a black ale; and Mothership Wit, an organic Belgian wheat – and collected entry forms for the red bicycle giveaway.

“I am just happy I will not have to keep telling people why they can’t have Fat Tire,” John’s Grocery “Bier guy” Doug Alberhasky said while pouring for the early morning crowd.

Initially Iowans will be able to buy only those three beers and in 22-ounce bottles. In about three months, kegs and six packs also will be distributed.


‘We Don’t Serve Teens Week’

“We Don’t Serve Teens Week” begins today and Anheuser-Busch is placing ads in Newsweek, TIME and US News & World Report as well on nearly 900 billboards.

The government initiated the program in 2006. “We Don’t Serve Teens” provides parents and other adults with tools and information to prevent underage drinking and its negative consequences.

A survey of teens conducted by the GfK Roper Youth Report shows the majority of teens (69%) ages 13 to 17 have consistently cited their parents as the No. 1 influence on their decisions to drink or not.


Budvar could be sold; A-B in the picture

State-owned Budejovicky Budvar could be partially sold off with a strategic shareholder preferably brought in, Czech minister of agriculture Petr Gandalovic said in a debate on the country’s public television network.

And the leading candidate to buy into the brewery?

American Anheuser-Busch, brewer of Budweiser, according to the Financial Times.

Two bankers indicated that Heineken would also be interested in the brewery, but that A-B had better reason to pay the high price the Czech’s are seeking.

Trademark issues surrounding the Budweiser name, the first banker said, constitute grounds for A-B to pay a premium for the company. A-B, he said, would resolve the issue and save the company some $25 million in legal costs per year: “more than the net income of [Budejovicky Budvar].”

A company source at Budvar declined to comment on potential bidders. The company source did confirm earlier reports that the firm is being converted into a joint-stock company. The ministry of agriculture, the company source said, has selected a financial and a legal advisor and is now looking for a Czech auditor. The company source emphasized that the ministry of agriculture the privatization process.

The agricultural minster said these steps would help assure that Budvar’s trademark is protected.


Beerdrinker of the Year search begins

And soon there will be 12.

Hard to believe that when Wynkoop Brewing’s 2008 Beerdrinker of the Year is chosen next Feb. 23 that there will be a dozen in the club.

The call has gone out for entries:

Resumes must include each entrant’s beerdrinking philosophy and details highlighting their passion for beer. Resumes should discuss the entrant’s understanding of beer, its history, and its importance to civilization. And what efforts the entrant undertakes to hip others to the joys of great beer and its culture.

Resumes must be received by Wynkoop by no later than December 31, 2007.

The 2008 Beerdrinker of the Year wins free beer for life at Wynkoop Brewing Company and $250 of beer at their local brewpub or beer bar. They also win apparel proclaiming them The 2008 Beerdrinker of the Year, and they have their name engraved on the Beerdrinker of the Year trophy at Wynkoop.

The rules and details:
• Resumes must include the entrant’s personal philosophy of beerdrinking.
• Do not enter if you are currently employed by a brewery.
• Resumes with rich beeriness and humor are welcomed.
• Resumes cannot exceed three 8 1⁄2″ x 11″ pages and must be written in 12-point or larger font.
• Resumes must include the entrant’s home brewpub or beer bar, and T-shirt size.
• Resumes created in Word can be emailed to Wynkoop Brewing Company (sent as an email attachment) to .

Beerdrinker of the Year resumes can also be sent by mail to:

The Beerdrinker of the Year
Wynkoop Brewing Company
1634 Eighteenth Street
Denver, Colorado 80202


What’s on tap at Whole Foods?

Would you shop some place that offered these beers? In growlers? At these prices?

Brooklyn Brewery Blanche de Brooklyn
Hazy, pale golden wheat beer. Refreshing palate with a fruity zing in the aroma.
$8.99 / 64 oz.

Sixpoint Brownstone Ale
Diverse blend of 11 different malt varieties creates an unmistakable chocolate flavor.
$8.99 / 64 oz.

Kelso of Brooklyn Hop Lager
A pale lager with a full, smooth flavor, spicy hop nose, and a crisp, herbal finish.
$7.99 / 64 oz.

Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold
Aromas of orange, spice and green grass. Clean malt-dominated flavor.
$8.99 / 64 oz.

Ommegang Ommegeddon
Ommegeddon is a strong blonde ale with a sharp citrus flavor and a dry finish.
$17.99 / 64 oz.

Bluepoint No Apologies Double IPA
Huge, earthy, dry hop aroma is followed by a pleasant caramel sweetness.
$9.99 / 64 oz.

This is the current list at the Whole Foods Market Bowery beer room in New York City, which features more than 200 different beers in bottles.

Based upon the comments to several stories at Racked New York the store has tried a variety of “gimmicks” to attract customers.

This looks more like good business to us than a gimmick.

More: About the Beer Room, Inside the beer room (with photos).


Oskar Blues to open second brewery

Oskar Blues – the Lyons, Colo., brewpub that produced a modest 650 barrels in 2002 before it began to package beers in cans – is taking steps to open a second brewery.

Best known for producing Dale’s Pale Ale, the brewery sold almost 8,500 barrels in 2006 and is on track to produce nearly 15,000 barrels in 2007.

The company will lease an 18,000 square feet space in nearby Longmont. The building will house a 50-barrel brewery, 10 fermenters, other tanks, and a new and faster canning line.

This new brewery will handle the brewing and packaging of all of the canned and kegged beer. Capacity of the new facility will be about 30,000 barrels.

The brewery in Lyons will continue to brew beer for our popular brewpub. This will mean a wider range of beers in the pub.

“These days our made-in-house supplies are limited because we spend most of our time on our three canned goods. Our locals are getting a little testy about it,” spokeman Marty Jones wrote in an e-mail.


Pub battle puts Greene King on hot seat

The Norwich Beer Festival might ban brewing giant Greene King from an upcoming UK festival because organizers are concerned if Greene King is committed to maintaining the traditional city center pub or turning it into a wine bar.

Bosses at the Norwich Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) say they fear the Ferry Boat pub, on King Street, once a thriving live music venue which has stood empty since May last year, could be reopened as a “chic wine bar.”

A spokesman for Greene King said: “The pub is in consultation with the local authority and has plans in to develop a big family pub/ dining experience.”

CAMRA members remain skeptical.

Norwich pub historian Derek McDonald said: “It’s one of the last pubs in King Street and it would be a shame if it doesn’t open up again as a pub. I’m not sure a wine bar would really fit in on King Street.”


What’s your beer pose say about you? offers a list “revealing” what your beer of choice says about you. Stuff like . . . “Stella : I’m a pretentious prick.”

This sent to us the archives to find a 2001 study commissioned by Guinness about what can be learned from how people hold their glasses. Dr. Aric Sigman, a psychologist and biologist identified six basic drinking poses. As you’ll notice, the examples are UK-centric.

The six categories of drinking demeanor found in male drinkers aged 18 to 40:

Pose 1: Libidinous or sex-mad. Exemplified in the “firm erect grip” round the middle of the glass, coupled with an arched back, stretching pectoral muscles and a swaying pelvis, generally making grand gestures with the non pint-holding hand. Example: singer Robbie Williams.

Pose 2: Self-righteous. Glass held aloft, as if toasting a crowd of adoring acolytes (or himself), the spare hand rests limply on the hip. Example: Tony Blair.

Pose 3: Deep thinker. Demands that the drinker stare deeply into the head of the pint, occasionally fondling it gently with his fingers, giving the impression the drinker’s thoughts are elsewhere. Example: actor Jude Law.

Pose 4: Jack the lad. The glass is grasped like a weapon or trigger, the pint arm is outstretched, and the arms are often gesticulating. Lots of spillage. Examples: Oasis stars Liam and Noel Gallagher.

Pose 5: Anal retentive. Cowers protectively over his pint — arms crossed, shoulders hunched and on the defensive. Example: EastEnders character Ian Beale.

Post 6: Henpecked. The drinker holds the pint tilted inwards, near the chin, with the elbow tucked in as if protecting against unwanted advances. Instead of bringing the pint to the mouth, this drinker brings his mouth to his pint. The head remains tilted forward especially if there is an assertive or dominant admirer nearby. Example: David Beckham.


Coors plans more high-end beers

Coors Brewing Co. has created a new subsidiary, AC Golden Brewing Co., that apparently will attempt to take advantage of growing consumer interest in what are generally called craft beers.

“The high end is where it’s at. So it seems logical they would put a lot more focus on the high end,” Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, a Boulder-based industry trade group, said of Coors.

Coors has had great success with its Blue Moon White Ale, which outsells all the craft brands except Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale – and has even topped them in recent weeks.

Coors, a unit of Molson Coors Brewing Co., disclosed its plans for AC Golden Brewing in an e-mail to its employees and distributors that called the new subsidiary a “brand incubation brewery.”