20080423

Dept. of Never Throw Anything Away

An extremely rare El-Bart Dry Gin tin advertising sign (right), made in 1905 for the Wilson Distilling Co. Kaufmann & Strauss Co., Lithographers, of New York, sold for $60,500 at the sale of The George Cross Collection in Ann Arbor, MI.

“This was one of the finest collections of its kind in the United States,” said Mike Eckles of Showtime Auction Services. “Nearly everything Mr. Cross owned was in mint or near-mint condition. It was a treasure trove for serious collectors who were attracted to the high quality merchandise and the fact that every lot was sold without minimums or reserves. Everything went, regardless of price.”

Cross, who died several weeks before the auction, had a huge collection that included advertising and country store collectibles, Old West memorabilia, etc. By the end of the weekend, about 1,880 lots had changed hands.

The El-Bart Dry Gin sign, still housed in its original gesso frame, was the sale’s top lot. About 500 people made it to the event, in addition to the nearly 2,000 registered online bidders through eBay Live and iCollector.com. Also, more than 1,000 phone bids and about 1,500 absentee were recorded. The sale grossed about $2.7 million.

Other alcoholic-beverage-related highlights from the sale:

• A Buffalo Brewing Co. tin charger (right) in a gold gesso frame and in near-mint condition, was expected to bring about $12,000, but soared to $57,750.

• A rare Buffalo Brewing Co. reverse glass sign (for Buffalo Beer), near-mint and in a gold leaf gesso frame, brought $50,850.

• An H. Guggenheimer & Co., reverse glass sign (Distillers of Fine Whiskies, Cincinnati, OH; Napoleon Wine Co., Napoleon, OH), possibly a one-of-a-kind and in near-mint condition, with a sepia-tone image of a nude at a dressing table, brought $38,500.

• A rare Henry Hunter Fine Old Rye Whiskey tin sign, titled “East Meets West” (A. Hirschman& Co., Proprietors, St. Paul, MN.; Tuscarora Advertising Co. Lithographers, Coshocton, OH), brought $38,500.

• A Days of 49 Whiskey paper sign (Meyerfield, Mitchell & Co., San Francisco), 43” x 30” overall, in its original frame and in excellent condition, brought $33,000.

• A Cyrus Noble Whiskey paper gambling scene sign titled “Bucking the Tiger” — framed under glass in a period oak frame – went for $28,600.

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20080421

World Beer Cup has some surprises

And a female brewer shall lead them. Well, a lot of them, anyway.

Tonya Cornett (below) of Bend Brewing Co. became the first woman to win “Champion Brewer” honors in the bi-annual Brewers Association World Beer Cup competition just completed in Boulder, CO.

Her entries earned two gold medals to earn the title in the “Small Brewpub” category. The head brewmaster at the Oregon facility is a 2001 graduate of the World Brewing Academy, a partnership between Siebel Institute of Chicago and Doemans Institute of Munich, Germany, and holds an international diploma in brewing technology.

Overall, 644 breweries from 58 countries and 45 U.S. states were up for awards with 2,864 beers entered in 91 beer style categories. The top three entries in each category won gold, silver and bronze medals. In addition the competition gives “Champion Brewery” and “Champion Brewer” awards in each of five brewery categories based on the medals won by each brewery. Brewers from the United States won 185 of the 268 style category awards and four of the five Champion Brewery/Brewer awards.

The major awards:

Champion Brewery and Brewer Awards

• Champion Brewery and Brewmaster / Large Brewing Company: Blue Moon Brewing Co., Warren Quilliam.
• Champion Brewery and Brewmaster / Mid-Size Brewing Company: Privatbrauerei Hoepfner GmbH, Peter Bucher.
• Champion Brewery and Brewmaster / Small Brewing Company: Port Brewing Co. and The Lost Abbey, Tomme Arthur.
• Champion Brewery and Brewmaster / Large Brewpub: Pelican Pub & Brewery, Darren R. S. Welch.
• Champion Brewery and Brewmaster / Small Brewpub: Bend Brewing Co., Tonya Cornett.

Gold-Medal Beer Awards

• Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverage: Radegast Birell, Plzenský Prazdroj a.s. Pilsen, Czech Republic.
• American-Style Cream Ale or Lager: Special Export, Pabst Brewing Co., Woodridge, IL.
• American-Style Wheat Beer: Crystal Wheat Ale, Pyramid Breweries Inc., Seattle, WA.
• American-Style Hefeweizen: Widmer Hefeweizen, Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., Portland, OR.
• Rye Beer: Rockchuck Rye, Snake River Brewing Lander, Jackson, WY.
• Fruit and Vegetable Beer: Redoak Framboise Froment, Redoak, Sydney, Australia.
• Herb and Spice Beer: Avatar Jasmine IPA, Elysian Brewing Co., Seattle, WA.
• Coffee Flavored Beer, Java The Hut, CB Potts Restaurant & Brewery, Flatirons, Broomfield, CO.
• Specialty Beer: Morimoto Soba Ale, Rogue Ales, Newport, OR.
• Specialty Honey Lager or Ale: Blue Moon Honey Moon, Blue Moon Brewing Co., Golden, CO.
• Other Low Strength Ale or Lager: Firestone Extra Pale Ale, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA.
• Other Strong Ale or Lager: Dark Horizon, Nøgne Ø, Grimstad, Norway.
• Experimental Beer (Lager or Ale): Ichabod, Alpine Beer Co., Alpine, CA.
• Gluten Free Beer: Deschutes Brewery Sorghum Beer, Deschutes Brewery, Bend, OR.
• Wood- and Barrel-aged Beer: Red Brick Barrel Select, Atlanta Brewing Co., Atlanta, GA.
• Wood- and Barrel-aged Strong Beer: Paradox Grain, BrewDog, Fraserburgh, United Kingdom.
• Wood- and Barrel-aged Sour Beer: Cuvee de Tomme, Port Brewing Co. and The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, CA.
• Aged Beer (Ale or Lager): Vintage AleSmith, Old Numbskull, AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA.
• Cellar or Unfiltered Beer: Hoepfner Kräusen, Privatbrauerei Hoepfner GmbH, Karlsruhe, Germany.
• Smoke-Flavored Beer: Alaskan Smoked Porter 2007, Alaskan Brewing Co., Juneau, AK.
• European-Style Low-Alcohol Lager/German-Style Leicht(bier): Waldhaus Light Line, Privatbrauerei Waldhaus Joh. Schmid GmbH, Weilheim/Waldhaus, Germany.
• German-Style Pilsener: Trumer Pils, Trumer Brauerei Berkeley, Berkeley, CA.
• Bohemian-Style Pilsener: James Squire Pilsener, Malt Shovel Brewery Pty Limited, The Camperdown, Australia.
• Münchner (Munich)-Style Helles: Urtyp Hell, Engelbráu Rettenberg, Rettenberg, Germany.
• Dortmunder/European Style Export or German-Style Oktoberfest/Wiesen (Meadow): Luksus, JSC Aldaris, Riga, Latvia.
• Vienna-Style Lager: Vienna Lager, Covey Restaurant & Brewery, Fort Worth, TX.
• German-Style Märzen: Goss Märzen, Brauerei Goss, Deuerling, Germany.
• European-Style Dark/Münchner Dunkel: Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel, Klosterbrauerei Weltenburg GmbH, Kelheim, Germany.
• German-Style Schwarzbier: Shounan Liebe. Kumazawa Brewing Co., Kanagawa, Japan.
• Traditional German-Style Bock: Bock Lager, Elk Grove Brewery and Restaurant, Elk Grove, CA.
• German-Style Heller Bock/Maibock: Hoepfner Maibock, Privatbrauerei Hoepfner GmbH, Karlsruhe, Germany.
• German-Style Strong Bock: Freudenberger Märkator, Brauerei Märkl, Freudenberg, Germany.
• American-Style Light Lager: Old Milwaukee Light, Pabst Brewing Co., Woodridge, IL.
• American-Style Lager: Tooheys Extra Dry, Tooheys Pty Limited, Lidcombe, Australia.
• American-Style Specialty Lager: Steel Reserve, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, WI.
• American-Style Amber Lager: Orlio Organic Common Ale, Orlio Organic Beer Co., South Burlington, VT.
• American-Style Dark Lager: Black Diamond Lager, Bend Brewing Co., Bend, OR.
• Australasian, Latin American or Tropical-Style Light Lager: Anchor Ice, Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd., Singapore.
• International-Style Lager: Ursus Premium, Ursus Breweries, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
• Baltic-Style Porter: Amnesia, Grumpy Troll Restaurant & Brewery, Mount Horeb, WI.
• Belgian-Style White (or Wit)/Belgian-Style Wheat: Hoegaarden, InBev Belgium N.V./S.A., Jupille-sur-Meuse, Belgium.
• Belgian- and French-Style Ale: Brugse Zot Blond, Brouwerij De Halve Maan, Brugge, Belgium.
• Belgian-Style Pale Ale: No gold awarded.
• Belgian-Style Sour Ale: Geuze Boon, Boon Brouwerij N.V., Lembeek, Belgium.
• Belgian-Style Flanders/Oud Bruin or Oud Red Ale: No gold awarded.
• Belgian-Style Dubbel: Allagash Dubbel, Allagash Brewing Co., Portland, ME.
• Belgian-Style Tripel: Affligem Tripel, Affligem Brewery, Opwijk, Belgium.
• Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale: La Fin du Monde, La Brasserie Unibroue, Chambly, Canada.
• Belgian-Style Dark Strong Ale: Salvation, Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, CA.
• Other Belgian-Style Ale: Upstream Grand Cru, Upstream Brewing Co., Omaha, NE.
• English-Style Summer Ale : Gold Rooster's Yorkshire Pale Ale, Rooster's Brewing Co. Ltd.,, Knaresborough, United Kingdom.
• Classic English-Style Pale Ale: MacTarnahan's Amber Ale, Pyramid Breweries Inc., Seattle, WA.
• English-Style India Pale Ale: Wild Goose IPA, Wild Goose Brewery, Frederick, MD.
• Ordinary Bitter: Cutthroat, Uinta Brewing Co., Salt Lake City, UT.
• Special Bitter or Best Bitter: Snake River Pale Ale, Snake River Brewing, Jackson, WY.
• Extra Special Bitter or Strong Bitter: Standing Wave Pale Ale, Kannah Creek Brewing Co., Grand Junction, CO.
• Scottish-Style Ale: McGarveys Scottish Ale, Oggi's / Left Coast Brewing Co., San Clemente, CA.
• English-Style Mild Ale: Crusader Dark Mild Ale, Dragonmead Microbrewery, Warren, MI.
• English-Style Brown Ale: BridgePort Beertown Brown, BridgePort Brewery, Portland, OR.
• Brown Porter: Porter, Bell's Brewery Inc., Galesburg, MI.
• Robust Porter, People's Porter, Foothills Brewing, Winston-Salem, NC.
• Sweet Stout: Left Hand Brewing Co. Milk Stout, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, CO.
• Oatmeal Stout: Sless' Stimulating Stout, Iron Springs Pub & Brewery, Fairbax, CA.
• Strong Scotch Ale: Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 4, Saint Arnold Brewing Co., Houston, TX.
• British-Style Imperial Stout: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, The Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY.
• Old Ale: AleSmith Decadence, AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA.
• Strong Ale: Outback X, Bend Brewing Co., Bend, OR.
• Barley Wine-Style Ale: Old Diablo, Schooner's Grille & Brewery, Antioch, CA.
• German-Style Kölsch/Köln-Style Kölsch: Wind Blown Blonde, Stewarts Brewing Co., Bear, DE.
• German-Style Brown Ale/Düsseldorf-Style Altbier: Alt and in the Way, Squatters Pub Brewery, Salt Lake City, UT.
• South German-Style Hefeweizen/Hefeweissbier: Freudenberger Hefe Weizen, Brauerei Märkl, Freudenberg, Germany.
• German-Style Pale Wheat Ale: Distelhäuser Kristallweizen, Distelhäuser Brauerei Ernst Bauer GmbH, Tauberbischofsheim, Germany.
• German-Style Dark Wheat Ale: Schneider Weisse Original, Schneider Weisse, Kelheim, Germany.
• South German-Style Weizenbock/Weissbock: Plank Heller Weizenbock, Brauerei Michael Plank, Laaber, Germany.
• Irish-Style Red Ale: Samuel Adams Irish Red, Boston Beer Co., Boston, MA.
• Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout: Blarney Sisters Dry Irish Stout, Third Street AleWorks, Santa Rosa, CA.
• Foreign (Export)-Style Stout: Zonker Stout, Snake River Brewing, Jackson, WY.
• Golden or Blonde Ale: Alaskan Summer Ale,Alaskan Brewing Co., Juneau, AK.
• American-Style Pale Ale: Widmer Pale Ale, Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., Portland, OR.
• American-Style Strong Pale Ale: Organic IPA, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Portland, OR.
• American-Style India Pale Ale: IPA, Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins, CO.
• Imperial or Double India Pale Ale: Hopnotic IPA, San Diego Brewing Co., San Diego, CA.
• American-Style Amber/Red Ale: Hop Head Red, Green Flash Brewing Co., Vista, CA.
• Imperial or Double Red Ale: Behemoth, Three Floyds Brewing Co., Munster, IN.
• American-Style Brown Ale: Doryman's Dark Ale, Pelican Pub & Brewery, Pacific City, OR.
• American-Style Sour Ale: No gold awarded.
• American-Style Stout: Terminal Stout, Rock Bottom Brewery, Chicago, IL.
• American-Style Wheat Wine Ale: Winter Wheatwine, Rubicon Brewing Co., Sacramento, CA.
• American-Style Imperial Stout: Gonzo Imperial Porter, Flying Dog Brewery, Denver, CO.
• International Pale Ale: Winter Storm, Clipper City Brewing Co., Baltimore, MD.
• American-Style Stout: State Pen Porter, Santa Fe Brewing Co., Santa Fe, NM.

The complete list of all medal winners in all categories is available online here.

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20080414

Sam Adams beer recalled

Check the code on the bottom of your Samuel Adams beer before you chug.

The Boston Beer Co. has recalled some bottles because they could be contaminated with pieces of glass. It says its inspectors found a problem with 12-ounce bottles at the Cincinnati brewery, however it said there have been no reports of injury.

The serial code is the letter "N" followed by the number 35 and the letters "OI."

Owens-Illinois Inc. has gotten involved in the recall, pulling back the glass involved because of alleged defects in the bottles.

O-I said its investigation found the bottles met its usual standards, but it said it would continue the look into the probelm. The bottles are believed to come from from O-I's Auburn, NY, plant, which supplies about 25% of Boston Beer’s bottles.

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20080412

Extreme beers getting really ... extreme

"Extreme" craft beers are popping up all over the place.

Some have higher alcohol content than the mainstream. Some have unusual ingredients. All have a lot of attitude.

Think not? How about beers aged in toasted oak barrels? Beers cointaining Jim Beam bourbon? Or blueberries? Or adorned with unrepentently cringe-making names?

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an update on the trend here.

In it, says writer Jeremiah McWilliams:

"Like genius, extreme beers defy easy classification, but you know them when you see them: barley wines ranging above 10 percent alcohol by volume, ultra-hopped ales and wood-aged beers — the traditional turf of wine and whiskey. Although "extreme" beers often have been linked to strong alcohol content, brewers say the label also applies to offbeat ingredients and zany brewing and aging processes."

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20080401

If it's Gluek, it has to be ... changed

The largest brewery in Minnesota is located in Cold Spring, not in Gluek.

So, the Gluek Brewing Co. has changed its name to Cold Spring Brewing Co. Why?

Said CEO John Lenore in a statement, "The new name better reflects our company's strong connection to the Cold Spring community and our new line of craft beers under the same name."

The brewery, founded in 1874, also produces non-alcoholic beverages and energy drinks, and is releasing a craft beer line including ebony wheat and honey almond weiss.

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