Georgia beer thieves strike twice

Beer thieves strike not once, but twice, in Georgia.

According to reports filed with Dougherty County police, Loren Lentz said that sometime between Dec. 21 and Thursday a 2004 Hyundai semi-trailer was taken from the 600 block of McCollum Road.

The trailer contained several kinds of Miller brand beer, the report shows.

In another incident, Don Wilson of Miller Brewing told police that more than 300 cases of beer valued at $6,000 were swiped after a beer-laden tractor-trailer was stolen, reports show.

Proof that Miller Lite really is less filling?


More than beer at ‘SAVOR’ May 16-17

SAVORThe Brewers Association continues to reveal more details about “SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience” May 16-17 In Washington, D.C.

The event will feature “educational salons.” Scheduled speakers include: Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; Jim Koch of Boston Beer; Randy Mosher, author of “Radical Brewing”; Marnie Old, Assistant Dean of Wine Studies at the French Culinary Institute; Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery; and several “savvy cross drinkers” including Lauren Buzzeo, Assistant Tasting Director of Wine Enthusiast magazine; Ray Isle, Senior Editor of Food & Wine magazine; and Ken Wells, Senior Editor of Conde’ Nast Portfolio.

The BA previously announced the 48 breweries that will pour beer at SAVOR.

From the press release:

The public can enjoy three different tasting sessions scheduled May 16th and 17th at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium located at 1301 Constitution Avenue, N.W. in Washington D.C.

Today, American beers are judged to be among the world’s best and have earned a respected place at the table alongside wine. In fact, two-thirds of today’s wine drinkers consume beer. This past summer National Public Radio observed, “Beer has gone from the House of Commons to the House of the Lords.” Additionally, Gallup in July 2007 confirmed beer is still the most popular adult beverage in the U.S.*

To ensure attendees can interact directly with the craft brewers, each session will be limited to no more than 700 consumers. Tickets are $85 each and will include a wide variety of small dishes and appetizers crafted to match the taste profiles of craft beers, a commemorative tasting glass, souvenir program, Craft Beer Taster’s Journal, and 2-ounce samples of specially selected craft beers. Federal City Caterers, which has catered many White House functions and Congressional receptions, will orchestrate the food menu.

The event will wrap up American Craft Beer Week celebrations across the country.


A-B, small Virginia brewery strike distribution deal

Charalottesville, Va., brewery Starr Hill announced “that Anheuser-Busch will become the master distributor for Starr Hill, giving it the benefit of Anheuser-Busch’s logistical expertise in managing distribution, as well as access to more independent and chain retail accounts.”

From the press release:

“We’re proud that our products have been added to Anheuser-Busch’s select list of craft beers offered through its world-class distribution network,” said Mark Thompson, founder and president of Starr Hill Brewery. “Our beers have won twelve awards so far, eleven from the Great American Beer Festival and one from the World Beer cup. This alliance now offers us unparalleled distribution resources and the expertise to distribute our award-winning beers beyond our core base in Virginia. We founded Starr Hill with the mission of sharing great beer with the world, and this represents yet another step towards fulfilling that dream.”

The Daily Progress newspaper reported that “before going nationwide, Starr Hill will focus on selling its beer across Virginia for the first year of the distribution deal.”

“We’re committed to providing new and exceptional beverages to those adult consumers who are looking for specialty products,” said Dave Peacock, vice president, marketing for Anheuser-Busch, Inc. “Starr Hill has already developed a loyal following among craft beer consumers in Virginia, and together with our wholesaler network, we’re looking forward to enhancing the distribution and sales support for these award-winning beers.”

Brewing and marketing decisions will remain the responsibility of Starr Hill and its management. Starr Hill produces 3,161 barrels (31 gallons each) of beer in 2006.


How well do you want your nose to work in a pub?

How did we miss this?

From the San Francisco Chronicle’s look back at 2007:

One of the first victims of Scotland’s recent ban on smoking in pubs was 35-year-old Stewart Laidlaw. In March, Laidlaw was banned from Thirsty Kirsty’s pub in Dunfermline after numerous complaints about his “excessive flatulence.”

The gaseous Scotsman admitted he’s had the problem for years, but apparently no one in the pub noticed until cigarette smoke stopped masking the stench.

Do you think drinking beer was a factor?


Dean Biersch returns to beer business

Gordon Biersch co-founder Dean Biersch plans to return to the brewery restaurant business next year, rolling out a concept the North Bay Business Journal says “could be a new chain.”

Biersch and Dan Gordon opened their first Gordon Biersch brewpub in 1988, turning it into a national chain that they sold eventually sold and a stand alone microbrewery.

Biersch left the company a year ago. A Sonoma resident, he plans to reopen the 105-year-old former electric-rail depot that most recently housed Sebastopol Brewing. He plans to reduce the brewery size to make more room for the kitchen and diners.

HopMonk Tavern will serve a variety of beers brewed elsewhere. That will include a pilsner from Gordon Biersch, but also many seasonal beers and in a variety of styles beyond the German-inspired beers that are the hallmark of GB.

Read more in the Business Journal.


Aristocracy not in Guinness DNA

A plan to prove the depths of its family roots didn’t quite work out as expected for the Guinness brewing family.

DNA analysis as revealed that brewery founder Arthur Guinness’s claim that he was a descendant of the Magennis chieftains of Iveagh, in Co Down, was wrong, and that the family sprang from the subsidiary McCartan clan, a far less eminent family.

The Guinness founder’s act of social climbing is said to have come as a surprise to Patrick Guinness – the five times great grandson of Arthur and father of the supermodel Jasmine Guinness – who has recently written a biography on the St. James’s Gate brewer.

DNA tests to establish the long term claims first made by Arthur Guinness were carried out on the family’s male Y chromosome in Trinity College Dublin at the request of the Guinness family.


Utopias auction benefits Leary Firefighters

Jim Koch and Dennis LearyJim Koch (right) of Boston Beer and actor Denis Leary have put together a charity auction at eBay with a 2007 bottle of Samuel Adams Utopias at the center.

Koch has autographed the bottle designed to look like a brewing kettle and Leary a “Rescue Me” coffee table book. The package also includes a custom made Samuel Adams snifter designed by Reidel. Bidding ends Dec. 20.

There are dozens of bottles of Utopias currently up for auction at eBay, but none quite like this. The proceeds will benefit The Leary Firefighters Foundation, which is dedicated to providing fire departments with funding and resources for the best available equipment, training and technology.

“This auction is a great way to raise money and give beer enthusiasts extraordinary collectible items at the same time,” Koch said. “We have been working closely with The Leary Firefighters Foundation for over five years, and we know it to be a great cause. We are excited to be able to make some beer lover’s holiday a little brighter, while supporting Denis’s Foundation.”

The 2007 edition of Utopias is the strongest beer ever brewed. Just 12,000 ceramic bottles were produced, all of them numbered. Employees of Boston Beer get the first 500 bottles according to their seniority with the company. Koch is autographing and donating his No. 1 bottle.

Samuel Adams conducted a similar auction in 1999, selling bottle No. 1 of Millennium (a predecessor of Utopias) for $4,910 on eBay.


Rogue Astoria goes topless

Rogue Astoria

Posted by Banjo Bandolas

We don’t have hurricanes over here on the left coast, but that doesn’t mean the wind doesn’t blow a bit every now and then. Rogue Ales Public House, Astoria, located where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean, got a first hand look at the power of the Pacific when winds hit 126 miles per hour on Dec. 3.

Housed in the historic pier 39 Bumble Bee Tuna plant building, Rogue Ales Public House Astoria lost its roof to the storm which also closed Interstate 5 in Washington, caused widespread flooding and mudslides, and killed at least 7 people in the Northwest. No injuries were sustained by their staff, thank god, and in true Rogue fashion, their people had generators humming and debris cleared so the residents of Astoria could come in share their storm stories and commiserate over a pint of fresh beer 48 hours after the storm ended.

Sure, patrons had to sit under umbrellas instead of a roof, and rubber boots were recommended since there were a couple inches of water on the floor, but by god they were OPEN and ready to serve our public!

Limited hours are currently being maintained with a skeleton crew, displaced Rogue employees have been offered temporary positions in Rogue locations outside the damage zones to minimize the financial impact on their families while they wait for FEMA’s arrival.

Considering how hard Vernonia, Oregon, Centralia, Washington, and some other communities were hit that might take a little while. Whenever FEMA does arrive, they’ll be there, ready with a beer, to welcome their help, roll up their sleeves and get down to the business of getting Astoria back up and running.

The Olympic Club of the Mcmenamin’s chain in hard hit city Centralia, Wa., weathered the storm and came out unscathed.


UK ban on cheap beer?

The Publican reports Prime Minister Gordon Brown may intervene to stop cheap supermarket deals on alcohol.

The issue has apparently hit home with Mr Brown, after Labour MP John Grogan was called by a senior adviser at 10 Downing Street to discuss his recent criticism of the retail giants.

Grogan had branded Tesco chief executive Terry Leahy “the godfather of British binge-drinking” during a Commons debate, and was asked by the adviser what he would like to see done to stop the deals.

Tesco hit back at Grogan’s comments, branding them “as offensive as they are inaccurate.”

Health minister Ben Bradshaw recently told the Commons the government would be “prepared to change the law” on below-cost selling depending on the findings of an independent review, due to report in April.


After 147 years, Schell’s still growing

After 147 years of doing business, August Schell Brewing Co. in Minnesota has brewed one million cases of beer for the first time.

To celebrate president Ted Marti later took the case of Schmaltz’s Alt to an old horse-drawn wagon, which Schell’s sometimes uses in parades. However, the special case of dark brown beer made the trip to several downtown restaurants and bars in an SUV because the old wagon needs some work and the horses that usually pull it were not available.

Schell’s selected Schmaltz’s Alt for its millionth case to honor Marti’s father, Warren Schmaltz Marti, who was president of the brewery from 1965 to 1986.

Schell’s is the nation’s second oldest operating brewery.


A statistician’s view of beer calories and carbs

Matt Briggs, a statistician by trade, has taken our Calorie and Carbs lists and turned them into a series of charts.

What he finds may not surprise you.

Overall, the fact that in lager beers there is higher chance of having lower alcohol, carbs, or calories is expected. Many mass-market lager beers are designed, marketed, and brewed to have just these characteristics. And of course alcohol has its own calories, so as alcohol increases, so too should the overall number of calories.

But the visual lesson is undeniable.


Flying Dog moves all production to Maryland

Flying Dog AlesFlying Dog Brewery will close its Denver brewery and move all production to Maryland, where it has operated a brewery since 2006.

Eric Warner, president and CEO of Flying Dog, announced that the company is concentrating its brewing operations at the state-of-the-art facility in Frederick that it acquired from Frederick Brewing. Warner also announced that the company recently raised $3 million in capital to fund continued development of its brands.

Flying Dog Brewery in Denver will produce its last beer in January 2008. The company will maintain its corporate headquarters in Lower Downtown Denver, and Flying Dog’s 13 craft beers will continue to be distributed throughout Colorado.

Increased costs of raw materials, including hops and malt, combined with the loss of contracts from smaller craft brewers were a significant factor in the decision, Warner said.

“By concentrating the brewing operations in Maryland, we will become a more efficient business, which is very important given the extremely competitive conditions in the craft beer industry,” he said.

“Aside from the concentration of production, we’re proud to say that our customers won’t notice a difference,” Warner said. “We are committed to providing our customers in Colorado and throughout the country with the highest-quality craft beers that they’ve come to know and love.”

The Maryland facility, where 70% of Flying Dog’s beers are already being brewed, has more modern brewhouse equipment and a more spacious warehouse and cooler.

“The building our Denver brewery is in is old and needs a minimum of $1 million in infrastructure improvements to keep up with our increasing production levels and product quality standards,” Warner said. “This year alone, we saw a 20 percent unit growth – our strongest yet. Concentrating our operations at the Maryland facility will allow us to the meet the growing demand by surpassing current production levels.”

There will be no layoffs as Flying Dog Brewery’s Denver production team will all be offered jobs at the Maryland brewery including relocation packages.


Brewery lineup for ‘SAVOR’ announced

The Brewers Association has announced the lineup for “SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience” May 16-17 in Washington, D.C.

The BA notes: “Tickets for each of the three sessions are limited to the first 700 ticket purchasers. The $85 ticket includes a commemorative tasting glass, souvenir program and Craft Beer Taster’s Commemorative Journal, fabulous food and craft beer pairings, seminars, and 2- ounce samples of specially selected craft beer.”

The participating breweries were chosen in a random drawing designed to represent all the country’s regions. They are:

21st Amendment
Abita Brewing Co
Allagash Brewing
Avery Brewing Co
Blackfoot River Brewing Co.
Boscos Brewing Co
Boston Beer Co
Brooklyn Brewery
Clipper City Brewing Co
Deschutes Brewery
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Florida Beer Co
Flying Dog Ales
Foothills Brewing
Four Peaks Brewing Co
Free State Brewing Co
Full Sail Brewing Co
FX Matt Brewery*
Great Divide Brewing Co
Great Lakes Brewing Co
Harpoon Brewery
Heiner Brau Microbrewery
Hoppy Brewing Co
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Legacy Brewing Co
Montana Brewing Co
Natty Greene’s Brewing Co
New Albanian Brewing Co
New Belgium Brewing Co
New Holland Brewing Co
Otter Creek Brewing
Pelican Pub & Brewery
Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey
Rock Art Brewery
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery – Des Moines, IA
Rogue Ales
Russian River Brewing Co
San Diego Brewing Co
Sierra Nevada Brewing
Smuttynose Brewing Co
Southampton Bottling
Sprecher Brewing Co
Stoudts Brewing Co
The Saint Louis Brewery
Troegs Brewing Co
Two Brothers Brewing Co
Williamsburg Alewerks



Few taste difference between light, regular beer

A research center in Canada reports most of the drinkers it polled couldn’t tell the difference between low and-regular strength beer, and has recommended that the British Columbia government make lower alcohol content beers cheaper to encourage their consumption.

That seems more reasonable than boosting the tax on stronger beers.

The University of Victoria Center for Addictions Research found most of the 34 participants equally enjoyed the two ales, the fun they had drinking it with friends and the perceived buzz they got from the beer.

However, some drinkers did notice a “small difference” in the taste, preferring the 5.3% abv beer over the lighter 3.8% abv beer.

Beers with less than four per cent alcohol occupy only 0.2 per cent of the B.C. beer market, say researchers.


Boston Beer makes it official: No new brewery

Boston Beer Co. has made it official that it will not build a new brewery in Free Town, Mass.

The brewer of Samuel Adams beers sent a letter to officially end its relationship with Freetown, eight months after the brewer accepted tax incentives from the town and announced plans to invest about $200 million to build the brewery.

Instead of building a new facility in Freetown, Boston Beer bought Diageo North America, an existing brewery in Lehigh Valley, Penn., for $55 million. The brewer plans to spend another $50 million to renovate the plant, and will start operations there next summer.

Boston Beer will write off $3.4 million in capital investments, including engineering, for development of the Freetown property.