FredFest includes special online beer auction

FredFest gets bigger this year, with an extraordinary charity beer auction planned in conjunction with the annual party in Portland, Ore., to celebrate the birthday of Fred Eckhardt. This year’s event includes the first-ever FredFest Online Beer Auction.

From the press release:

The auction starts at 3 p.m. PDT Friday, May 9 and begins to wrap up at 3 p.m. PDT Sunday, May 11. The auction is designed to run concurrently with FredFest 2008 — a celebration of the 82nd birthday of Fred Eckhardt, the Dean of American Beer Writers, which is taking place May 10 at Hair of the Dog Brewing Co., in Portland.

“FredFest started as a surprise 80th birthday party for Fred, but is coming back around in its third year as a fundraiser in the memory of fellow beer scribe and friend, Michael Jackson,” said FredFest co-organizer Lisa Morrison.

Each year, Eckhardt is asked to choose a charity for FredFest. This year, he chose Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon, a local affiliate of the National Parkinson Foundation. Jackson had been battling complications from Parkinson’s disease when he died last summer.

The first-ever FredFest online auction was the brainchild of Hair of the Dog owner Alan Sprints, Ben Love of Hopworks Urban Brewery and Matt Maples of Liquid Solutions bottle shop.

Here is a sampling of some of the lots up for auction:

-Hair of the Dog Dave 1994 (375 ml)
-Hair of the Dog Adam #1 1994 (12 oz.)
-Full Sail Old Boardhead Vertical: 1998 & 1999 (12 oz.), 2001-2007 (22 oz.)
-Pike Old Bawdy Vertical: 1996-1998, 2006-2007 (12 oz).
-AleSmith: Old Numbskull (750 ml), Grand Cru (750 ml), Horney Devil (750 ml)
-Lost Abbey: Older Viscosity (375 ml) Angel’s Share (375 ml), Lost and Found (750 ml)
-Rodenbach Alexander 1991 (330 ml) and Rochefort 10 1999 (330 ml)
-Westvleteren 12 1997 (11.2 oz.)
-Anchor Brewing Commemorative Michael Jackson’s 60th Birthday Beer (1.5 L)

Other breweries included in the auction are Avery, Midnight Sun, J.W. Lees, Big Time, Fish Tale and more.

An entire list of auction items and more details can be found at:


Another vote on specialty beer in Alabama

The vote on Alabama’s “Gourmet Beer” bill could come as early as tomorrow.

“Free The Hops” is asking for your help: “Because the Gourmet Beer Bill has already passed the State House of Representatives, this is the final step before sending this bill to the Governor. It’s very close, so please contact your senator to express your support.”

When this bill was debated in the House, many legislators spoke of the dozens of phone calls they received from their constituents. Your phone calls and emails really do make a difference and is one of the primary reasons we passed in the House. Let’s do this again!

When you call your senator’s office, you’ll likely speak to a secretary who will only be interested in knowing the bill number and your position. Here’s an example of what to say if you’re not sure:

“My name is (your name) and I’m calling to let Senator (senator name) know that I support HB196, The Gourmet Beer Bill. I would like him/her to vote Yes on this bill. Thank you for your time. Have a pleasant day.”

Visit Free The Hops for details.


Vermont lawmakers give stronger beer a boost

Vermont lawmakers have widened the number of stores that may sell beer stronger than 8% abv.

Last week the Senate followed the House’s lead and approved the measure that allows the beer to be sold at grocery and convenience stores. Previously only liquor stores could sell stronger beer.

Morgan Wolaver, the owner of Otter Creek Brewery in Middlebury, says that currently only 30% to 40% of the state’s 75 liquor stores carry the specialty beers.

He says he plans to launch a stronger brew after Gov. Jim Douglas signs the legislation loosening the distribution restrictions.


Beer O’clock arrives earliest in Denmark

“Beer O’clock” arrives at Denmark 4:41 p.m., but not until 6:14 in the UK. That’s the time they’ll have their first drink at the bar, on average.

An average Frenchman is done at the bar by 8:33, while Germans don’t quit until 10:59 p.m.

Only one British in ten enjoys a pint with lunch anymore, while nearly a quarter of Danes have a lunchtime drink.

Those are some of the facts from a new report examining European drinking habits from SABMiller. The survey of beer drinkers in fifteen countries shows that with volumes of consumption rising in many nations, beer plays a central role in our social lives, as well as facts that may or may not surprise. For instance:

– Italians more than any nationality drink beer in a restaurant.
– Beer accounts for 64% of alcohol consumption in the Czech Republic, and the Czechs are most loyal to their own beer.
– The Polish are least likely to drink on their own.

The full report.