20070731

Tapping into beer cocktails

Ever hear the term "beer cocktail"?

Such drinks fall into two categories: those made by combining two types of beer (a black-and-tan is the best-known example), and those made by adding either spirits, fruit or vegetable juice or a non-alcoholic carbonated drink to beer.

That's according to an interesting story published in The Oregonian of Portland. The main story and several sidebars, in particular one on summer beer cocktails, make for thirst-inducing reading.

The Oregonian, however, isn't alone in reporting on such drinks. Try here, here and here, for example.

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20070717

Argentinian beer headed for U.S.

If you've heard of Patagonia beer, chances are you're a traveler who stays off the beaten path or you're one heck of a beer maven.

The Argentinian brew, named for the stark, sweeping swath of South America, has been distributed only in very limited spots worldwide -- primarily southern South America, Saudi Arabia and parts of Europe. Now, it's being introduced to the U.S. market.

It's an additive- and preservative-free beer, brewed by Cerveceria Patagonia Primitiva in a plant established in 1884. The 100% malt brew is a blonde beer that, says the company, "perfectly responds to the current beer market demand, putting the accent in the quality and its character and taste that differentiates it from all the others."

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20070710

Newcastle anniversary bridges the years

Newcastle Brown Ale, the No. 1 premium packaged ale in the United Kingdom and a popular import on the U.S. market, has come up with a new limited edition bottle label to mark its 80th anniversary.

The brewery is located in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, a community that has been in existence since the days of Roman rule and a center for the English coal mining industry -- as in "coals to Newcastle."

The label, which will appear on bottles beginning next month, uses not only the company's blue star motif but both the iconic Tyne Bridge and the Millennium Bridge that has spanned the Tyne river between Gateshead and Newcastle since the turn of this century.

“The new label celebrates the history and modernity of a unique beer that was created in Newcastle in 1927 to satisfy the hard-earned thirst of local miners and shipbuilders and went on to garner universal acclaim and strong sales in more than 40 countries around the world,” said brand manager Doug Cook.

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20070709

Upstate NY city gets commemorative brew

When the city of Glens Falls, NY, begins its centennial celebration on New Year's Eve this December, chances are a lot of people will be vying for one of the limited number of bottles containing a special commemorative beer.

Cooper ’s Cave Ale Co., a local microbrewery, is planning to put out about 1,000 22-ounce bottles of a specialty cream ale, to be released New Year ’s Eve. The bottles will sell for $4 each, with $1 of that going to charities the centennial committee will select. The bottles will have a souvenir label.

Cream ale was selected because it was a popular drink when Glens Falls -- located just south of tourist-favorite Lake George about an hour's drive north of the state capital in Albany -- moved from village to city status on March 13, 1908.

Cooper's Cave, located at Sagamore Street and Dix Avenue in the city, is accepting bottle reservations now. The brew will beging being aged in October.

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20070703

Homebrewers competition draws 5,052 entries

The 29th annual National Homebrew Competition drew a record 5,052 entries, up more than 500 from last year's record field, continuing to make it the world's largest beer competition.

The competition divided entries intpo 28 categories. The top three finishers from 10 different regional competitions moved on to the main event in Denver, from which gold, silver and bronze medalists were chosen.

The competition also presented five major awards:

(1.) Ninkasi Award (Winningest Brewer): Jamil Zainasheff, Elk Grove, CA, QUAFF.

(2.) Homebrewer of the Year (Best-of-Show Beer): Richard Skains, Rocky River, OH.

(3.) Meadmaker of the Year (Best-of-Show Mead): Steve Fletty, Falcon Heights, MN, Saint Paul Homebrewers Club.

(4.) Cidermaker of the Year (Best-of-Show Cider): Joseph Franconi, Red Hook, NY, Hudson Valley Homebrewers.

(5.) Homebrew Club of the Year: Saint Paul Homebrewers Club, Saint Paul, MN.

The gold medalists in the 28 categories:

• Light Lager: Kristen & Orsolya England, Saint Paul, MN, Munich Helles, Saint Paul Homebrewers Club.
Pilsner: Greg & Liz Lorton, Carlsbad, CA, Classic American Pilsner, QUAFF.
European Amber Lager: Jason Green, Reno, NV, Oktoberfest/Märzen, Washoe Zephyr Zymurgists.
Dark Lager: Steve and Dan Munch, Portland, OR, Schwarzbier (Black Beer), PDX Brewers
Bock: Jamil Zainasheff, Elk Grove, CA, Doppelbock, QUAFF.
Light Hybrid Beer: Ramon Astamendi, San Diego, CA, Kölsch, QUAFF.
Amber Hybrid Beer: Philip Denlinger, Monsey, NY, Düsseldorf Altbier, Hudson Valley Homebrewers.
English Pale Ale: Joseph Formanek, Bolingbrook, IL, Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale), Urban Knaves of Grain.
Scottish and Irish Ale:Kristen & Orsolya England, Saint Paul, MN, Scottish Light 60/-, Saint Paul Homebrewers Club.
American Ale: Bob Barrett, Kim Barrett, Ann Arbor, MI, American Pale Ale, Ann Arbor Brewers Guild.
English Brown Ale: Jamil Zainasheff, Elk Grove, CA, Southern English Brown Ale, QUAFF.
Porter: BJ Haun, St Paul, MN, Robust Porter, Saint Paul Homebrewers Club.
• Stout: Rob Beck, Pancho Luna & Philip Leonard, Kansas City, MO, Russian Imperial Stout, Kansas City Bier.
India Pale Ale (IPA): Paul Long, Newberg, OR, American IPA, Strange Brew Homebrew Club.
German Wheat and Rye Beer: Rodney Kibzey, Liz Lerch, Lombard, IL, Weizenbock, Urban Knaves of Grain.
• Belgian and French Ale: Gordon Schuck, Steamboat Springs, CO, Saison.
Sour Ale: Jamil Zainasheff, Elk Grove, CA, Flanders Red Ale, QUAFF.
Belgian Strong Ale: John Applegarth, Grand Rapids, MI, Belgian Strong Dark Ale, PrimeTime Brewers.
Strong Ale: Bob Daugherty, Rob Kolacny, Pearland, TX, American Barleywine, Foam Rangers Homebrew Club.
Fruit Beer: Greg Fowler, Hamilton, MI, Apricot Wheat.
Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer: Kevin Presson, Abingdon, MD, Strong Scotch Ale with Roasted Jalapeño Peppers, Libation Association of Northern Maryland.
Smoke-Flavored and Wood-Aged Beer: Brian St. Clair, Cincinnati, OH, Oak-Aged Flanders Red, Bloatarian Brewing League.
Specialty Beer: Richard Skains, Rocky River, OH, Specialty Beer, Alder Smoked Bock with Chipolte Peppers.
Traditional Mead: Edward Walkowski, Dalton, PA, Orange Blossom Mead, S.A.A.Z. (Scranton Area Amateur Zymologists).
Melomel (Fruit Mead): Steve Fletty, Falcon Heights, MN, Pyment (Grape Melomel), Saint Paul Homebrewers Club.
Other Mead: Byron Burch, Santa Rosa, CA, Lime and Spearmint Mead, Sonoma Beerocrats.
Standard Cider and Perry : Joseph Franconi, Red Hook, NY, English Cider, Hudson Valley Homebrewers.
Specialty Cider and Perry: Gary Awdey, Eden, NY, Cider with Spices.

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Even Rednecks get the brews

The Schilling Bridge Winery & MicroBrewery certainly isn't aiming for a more upscale consumer base.

The Pawnee City, NE, brewer has just introduced Git-R-Done beer, named for the catchphrase of Larry the Cable Guy.

Comic Dan Whitney, 44, who created the character, grew up in Pawnee City.

Mike Schilling, who runs the winery with his wife, Sharon, says the light beer is of the highest quality because "rednecks love quality, too."

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