20080829

Letters: Can I get Palestinian beer here?

Mr. Dowd:

Do you know if Taybeh Beer from Palestine is available from any distributors in the U.S.?

Thanks, Steve Beikirch

Steve:

I contacted the company, which began brewing in 1999, and was told that although there are no U.S. distributors right now, Taybeh hopes to eventually enter the U.S. market.

The company is run by Nadim Khoury, a native of Palestine who lived for many years in Boston. Thus, he knows a bit about the American consumer market.

Taybeh, which has a line of three bottled beers plus a draft version, is named for the village in which it is brewed; the name means "delicious" in Arabic.

However, given the volatile political climate in Palestine, as well as the usual red tape getting approval to distribute an alcoholic beverage, I'd be hopeful but not expect any immediate results as far as expanding distribution here.

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20080826

NYC Craft Beer Week looms

There's always a lot to do in New York City. On September 12 through 21 there will be even more. That's when Craft Beer Week will be held, highlighted by the good old-fashioned Bar Crawls.

The citywide series will showcase beers of the city and the surrounding region. The crawls are split into nine different neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Manhattan, with four to six bars on each route.

Tickets for the crawls are availabile online.

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20080820

iPhone app showdown: Beer vs. Wine vs. Cocktails

Camper English, a San Francisco drinks writer, often lets his curiosity lead him in interesting directions. The latest started out, he explains, when "I wanted to see what booze applications were available for the iPhone, so I searched for beer, wine, and cocktails."

What did he find? Visit his Alcademics blog and enjoy.

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20080807

Maine brewers pick president

Fred Forsley (right) has been elected president of the Maine Brewers’ Guild.

Forsley, president of Shipyard Brewing Co. in Portland, succeeds Ed Stebbins, vice president / brewmaster of Gritty McDuff’'s, the Portland brew pub.

The guild is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the craft brewed industry in Maine. The state is home to more than 20 breweries which produce more than 100 different brands.

Forsley's company is the largest brewery in Maine. It grew out of the Kennebunkport Brewing Co. and Federal Jack’s Restaurant and Brew Pub which began in 1992.

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20080802

Schlitz: The return of an icon

When I was a teenager, one of our fads was to use a beer tap handle on our car's gearshift lever. Mine said "Schlitz."

That wasn't nostalgic at the time. Schlitz, which called itself "The beer that made Milwaukee famous," was the top-selling beer for much of the first six decades of the 20th Century. In the latter half, some bad business decisions and some tinkering with the recipe spelled disaster for the taste and, ultimately, the brand.

Pabst Brewing Co., which bought the rights to the Schlitz name and original recipe from Stroh's in 1999, is trying for a comeback of the once-icon beer, using the old formula and lots of tips from former brewmasters.

"We believe that Schlitz is, if not 'the,' one of the most iconic brands of the 20th century," Pabst President Kevin Kotecki told the Associated Press. "And there's still a lot of people who have very positive, residual memories about their experience. For many of them it was the first beer they drank and we wanted to give it back to those consumers."

So far, local consumer reaction is strong. Many Milwaukee area stores have sold out of Schlitz, and some are limiting purchases.

For a bit more on the history of Schlitz, go here.

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