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A-B considers controversial ads

Adweek reports that Anheuser-Busch is considering running advertisements that tout beer over liquor as an alcoholic beverage of choice.

The notion of promoting beer as a drink of moderation is hardly new. Following World War II, the Brewers Foundation commissioned popular magazine artists to produce a series of 115 paintings using the theme “Home life in America” and showing folks socializing at home with beers at hand.

These portraits appeared as advertising in all the popular publications, noting “perhaps no beverages are more ‘at home’ on more occasions” than American beer. Each included the tagline, “Beer belongs … enjoy it.”

However, the A-B messages would be controversial because “they play up the regret factor of a one-night stand following an evening of consuming too many shots and cocktails.”

In the spot from the woman’s perspective, she wakes up in “Darrellville”—the bedroom of a hairy-chested man in a robe who invites her to “come here and nibble me.”

Both spots conclude with screen text: “Minimize the surprise. Stick with beer.”

Bob Lachky (vp of global industry) acknowledged that the message is risky and has the potential to offend anti-alcohol activists and stir a hornet’s nest within the liquor industry.

The effort should not be viewed as a unilateral attack on the liquor industry. It would be a part of A-B’s two-year-old “Here’s to beer” initiative.

Adweek reports that A-B has not yet decided if it will release the ads.


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.


St. Peter’s plans new brewery

A UK brewing company that recently considered selling the business instead plans to build a new £3 million brewery. Construction may not start for two years.

St Peter’s Brewery at South Elmham, near Bungay, has reached full capacity on its 13th century rural site as the firm’s beers are sold across 22 countries.

“We’re delighted that St Peter’s beers are proving so phenomenally popular, not just across the UK but worldwide,” said managing director Colin Cordy. “Our big challenge though is to keep meeting that demand and the next natural step is to build a completely new brewery. The construction process would take up to a year and our aim is to start production at the new site about two-and-a-half to three years from now.”

St Peter’s was put up for sale with a £20 million price tag in summer 2005 but taken off the market a few months later when directors decided to continue running the business independently.

Founded in 1996 by John Murphy, the award-winning company is based in St Peter’s Hall, a half-moated manor house surrounded by converted outbuildings.


Great Divide opens Tap Room

Great Divide Taproom

Previously the only brewery in Denver without a tap room, Great Divide Brewing will change that Monday. The brewery’s Tap Room, at 2201 Arapahoe St., will be open 2-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-5 p.m. on Saturday.

Brewery tours will begin in the tap room at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays and hourly on Saturday.

Co-founder Brian Dunn said the opening of the Tap Room has come about in response to increased demand for his company’s beers, and a growing number of visitors to the brewery.

“The number of people stopping in for tours has grown steadily every year,” said Dunn. “With the Tap Room we’re giving Great Divide fans a great place to taste our beers, see the brewery and hang out.”

“In the past we’ve been guilty of under promoting our brewery, and we’ve had our hands full just making our beer and keeping up. But our success has provided us with the time and funds to boost our promotional efforts and open the Tap Room.”