A-B InBev can’t get EU trademark for Budweiser

The European Court of Justice had rejected Anheuser-Busch InBev’s request to register its Budweiser beer brand as a European Union wide trademark.

The Dow-Jones news wire characterized this as the “final blow in AB InBev’s decades-long battle with Czech competitor Budejovicky Budvar to gain control of the Budweiser name in Europe.” AB InBev had sought to have an earlier decision by the European General Court overturned.

Both Anheuser-Busch, which was acquired by InBev in 2008, and Budejovicky Budvar have used the Budweiser name dating back to the late nineteenth century.

AB InBev already uses the Budweiser, or Bud, name in 23 of 27 European countries, including the United Kingdom, where courts have ruled both companies can call their beer Budweiser. However, Budvar retains exclusive control of the name in Germany.


Monstre Rouge, Stingo and other new beers

Shmaltz Brewing is set to release the third incarnation of Rejewvenator, brewed with organic Concord grape juice and this year to a new recipe described as “half dopplebock, half Belgian-style Dubbel hybrid lager/ale – a truly unique brewing performance.” The beer checks in at 8.2% abv. The official Bay Area launch of Rejewvenator will take place July 29 at Bender’s Bar & Grill in San Francisco.

Black Is Back– San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery has released Back in Black, the first black IPA in the USA in a can. “Our Black IPA (6.8% abv, 65 IBU) is a declaration of Independence from the tyranny of the expected,” co-founders Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan said for a press release. Black IPA is the newest official style in American craft beer, recently recognized by the Brewers Association with its own category for the upcoming 2010 Great American Beer Festival. The can is decorated with a modern-day Paul Revere bellowing out his call from the seat of a motorcycle. Alongside the graphics, the copy reads, “Inspired by Paul Revere’s midnight ride we rebelled against the British style IPA, embraced the more aggressive American version, then recast it in bold, brave defiant black.”

– The latest collaboration between an American brewer and De Proef in Belgium has arrived in the United States: Monstre Rouge. Terrapin’s Brian “Spike” Buckowski and De Proef Owner-Brewmaster Dirk Naudts brewed the beer this past March at De Proef in Lochristi, Belgium. Monstre Rouge (Red Monster) is loosely based on Terrapin’s Big Hoppy Monster with a Belgian twist. It is an Imperial Flanders Red Ale of 8.5%, fermented with brettanomyces and aged with toasted American oak. The malt profile includes a range of crystal malts, Munich and Terrapin’s signature Rye. A blend of American hops results in 55 bittering units. SBS Imports of Seattle, Washington imports the annual collaborations that began in 2007.

– The 2010 edition of Samuel Smith’s Stingo should be hitting beer shelves beginning next week. The 9% abv beer is brewed from British malts and multiple hop varieties, Stingo is fermented in Smith’s famous open-topped stone Yorkshire Squares, then aged over a year in oak barrels that previously held cask-conditioned ale. Supplies will once again be limited.


BridgePort’s Ockert leaves for MBAA post

Karl Ockert, the original brewer at BridgePort Brewing in Portland is leaving the Oregon brewery to become the technical director for the Master Brewers Association of the Americas.

The MBAA Technical Director selection committee is pleased to announce that Karl Ockert has accepted the position of Technical Director for the Master Brewers Association of the Americas and will start on September 1, 2010. Karl will be expanding the role of MBAA Technical Director from its current part-time duties to a full-time role. He will assume full responsibility as Technical Director when Ray Klimovitz, current MBAA Technical Director, retires in December 2010. Karl Ockert has been the brewmaster of the BridgePort Brewing Company in Portland, OR, which he helped found and build, since 1984. He earned his B.S. degree in fermentation sciences from the University of California at Davis in 1983. Karl’s brewing career has covered the spectrum of brewing plants, from brewpubs to the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Newark, NJ.

Long active in the MBAA, Ockert has served as chair of the MBAA Technical Committee and editor of the MBAA Practical Handbook for the Specialty Brewer series – books that occupy shelves in small breweries across the country.

Oregon Live
offered this email from Ockert:

“The new job will run the educational programs at the MBAA, editor of the Technical Quarterly, some new book writing projects, and their new outreach on-line programs we are working on. It will be a lot of fun and after almost 30 years of running breweries, I am ready for something new. I will be commuting all the way downstairs to my home office and making the occasional trip to run classes or go to meetings, but I do get to stay in Oregon which was an important consideration. I will still be involved in the Oregon beer scene but in a ‘non-denominational’ role.”


Rogue breaks ground on own floor maltings

Rogue Ales will soon be able to produce its own malt from barley grown on its own farm. Or as the company puts it in a press release: “The Rogue Nation Department of Agriculture has broken ground on the Rogue Malt Floor located on the Rogue Micro Barley Farm in Oregon’s Tygh Valley Appellation.”

The Malt Floor will be a Heritage-malting operation in which Rogue Farm barley will be soaked, floor-germinated, hand-raked on the malt floor, roasted in a brick hearth, and bagged in small batches. Rogue brewmaster John Maier plans on developing four to six varieties of floor malt that will be used in the brewing and distilling of Rogue beers and whiskies.

More from the press release: “Floor malting began in the 19th century but was gradually replaced by automated equipment that helped reduce labor costs. With the establishment of the malt floor, Rogue joins a select handful of floor maltsters in Germany, England, and the Czech Republic that continue to carry on the heritage malting method.”

The Malt Floor will be complete and operational in August — in time for the Rogue Farm barley harvest.