20081030

Mmmm, North Carolina sake

Asheville, NC. America's sake capital?

That may be stretching possibilities, but you have to start somewhere. So, Asheville brewer Mike Karnowski is setting out to make a variety of sakes, seasonal and otherwise.

Karnowski, assistant brewmaster at Green Man Brewing, has a background that includes rum making as well as beer. Sake seems a good next step since some regard the rice-based drink of Japanese origin as as wine, some as beer.

The details are here, on the Asheville Citizen-Times newspaper's Web site.

SakéOne, an Oregon operation, claims to be the only American-owned and -operated sake maker in the country.

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20081026

Poppy beer brew-ha-ha, Part 2

Back in September, I shared a story from the San Jose, CA, newspaper about a local graduate student who was arrested for using poppies in making some home brew.

Here is the outcome of that case in court.

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20081021

Coney Island line adds seasonal lager

The latest beer in the sideshow-inspired line of Coney Island Craft Lagers from the Schmaltz Brewing Co. is here. It's Coney Island Freaktoberfest Blood Red Lager, timed for Halloween.

The gimmick-centric brewer, which styles its products as "He-Brew, The Chosen Beer," says "Proceeds help Coney Island USA, a 501(c)(3) Arts Non-Profit fulfill its mission to defend the honor of lost forms of American popular culture in Brooklyn’s historic Coney Island neighborhood."

Normally I don't like to automatically parrot a company's line explaining its products, but these guys try so hard it's a shame to rewrite them. For example:

"A tasty treat for Octoberfest through Halloween, Coney Island Freaktoberfest is artfully crafted to lure the spirit’s deepest rapture, conjured to exorcise the grim horrors of the armies of soulless Lagers everywhere."

The new brew has been supplied in a limited supply of 22-ounce bottles to specialty shops and select bars nationwide.

Shmaltz’s next seasonal brew, Coney Island Human Blockhead Tough-As-Nails Strong Lager, will be released in January. Its line includes three year-round products: Coney Island Albino Python White Lager, Coney Island Sword Swallower Steel Hop Lager, and its flagship Coney Island Lager.

Shmaltz Brewing Co. was established in San Francisco in 1996. Production then was moved to the Mendocino Brewing Co.’s Saratoga Springs, NY, brewery.

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20081017

The annals of gluttony

Forget the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest. That's peanuts by comparison to what just went on at Denny's Beer Barrel Pub in Uniontown, PA.

Brad Sciullo, who works at an Italian restaurant, became the first person to conquer the Beer Barrel Belly Bruiser, a 15-pound hamburger with 5.2 pounds of toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, banana peppers and a cup each of mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and relish.

It took him 4 hours, 39 minutes to chomp it all down. Onlookers raised mugs of beer in salute to the feat.

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20081013

Iconic Peruvian beer reaches US, or part of it

Talk about a small test market. MillerCoors has chosen Rhode Island as the entry point for Cusqueña, the Peruvian beer that is one of Latin America's favorites.

"Consumers around the world have embraced Cusqueña and we're eager to get this product in the hands of American beer connoisseurs who are intrigued by Cusqueña's interesting origins," Mike Browne, a MillerCoors vicepresident, said in a statement.

"Cusqueña isn't like anything beer drinkers in the U.S. have tried before. We're sure that the beer's quality and crisp flavor will create a demand that will reach beyond Rhode Island in a short amount of time."

The brew is an all-malt lager that is the best-selling premium beer in Peru. It is known for using Saaz hops and pure glacier water from a source at 18,000 feet in the Andes Mountains.

The brand was created by German entrepreneurs who founded the Cervesur Brewery in 1908 in Cusco, seat of the ancient Incan empire. The brewery is located near Machu Picchu. It is brewed in accordance with German Purity Law. Only water, malted barley, hops and yeast are used, and there are no additives or preservatives.

Cusqueña received gold medals at the Monde Selection, Selection and Quality Awards in 2007 and 2008 and is a seven-time winner of superior award ratings in international taste competitions, including the "Superior Taste Award" given by the International Taste and Quality Institute of Belgium.

It is being sold in six-packs of 11.2-ounce bottles. It has 130 calories per 11.2-ounce serving and 4.8% alcohol by volume.

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Beer Fest hands out 222 medals

The 27th edition of the Great American Beer Festival that drew 46,000 attendees over the three-day weekend in Denver produced 222 medals for beers in 75 style categories.

In addition, individual breweries and brewpubs were selected for awards.

• Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year: Anheuser-Busch Inc., Doug Muhleman.
• Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year: Pyramid Breweries Inc., Simon Pesch.
• Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year: AleSmith Brewing Co., AleSmith Brewing Team.

• Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year: Rock Bottom Brewing, Rock Bottom Brewing Team.
• Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year: Redwood Brewing Co., Bill Wamby.

The gold medalists by category:

• American-Style Cream Ale or Lager: Lone Star, Pabst Brewing Co., Woodridge, IL.
• American-Style Wheat Beer: Pyramid Crystal Wheat Ale, Pyramid Breweries Inc., Seattle, WA.
• American-Style Hefeweizen: Henry Weinhard’s Hefeweizen, MillerCoors, Milwaukee, WI.
• Fruit or Vegetable Beer: Pyramid Apricot Ale, Pyramid Breweries Inc., Seattle, WA.
• Herb and Spice or Chocolate Beer: Russian Roulette, Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery, Minneapolis, MN.
• Coffee Flavored Beer: Java the Hut, CB & Potts Restaurant & Brewery (Flatirons - Westminster), Broomfield, CO.
• Specialty Beer: Red & White, Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton, DE.
• Rye Beer: Roggenbier, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Media, Wilmington, DE.
• Specialty Honey Beer: Honey Lager, Capitol City Brewing Co. - Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.
• Session Beer: Unfiltered Wheat Beer, Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, MO.
• Other Strong Beer: Derail Ale, Durango Brewing Co., Durango, CO.
• Experimental Beer: Arquebus, Cambridge Brewing Co., Cambridge, MA.
• Gluten-Free Beer: Redbridge, Anheuser-Busch, Inc., St. Louis, MO.
• American-Belgo Style Ale: Xtra Gold, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., Pleasantville, NY.
• American-Style or German-Style Sour Ale: The Dissident, Deschutes Brewery, Bend, OR.
• Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer: Old Jack, Ram Restaurant & Brewery (Indianapolis), Indianapolis, IN.
• Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer: Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, Central Waters Brewing Co., Amherst, WI.
• Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer: Beekeeper, Bullfrog Brewery, Williamsport, PA.
• Aged Beer: Alaskan Smoked Porter 2006, Alaskan Brewing Co., Juneau, AK.
• Kellerbier/Zwickelbier: Helles Keller, Fredericksburg Brewing Co., Fredericksburg, TX.
• Smoke-Flavored Beer: Rauch Bier, Sly Fox Brewing Co., Royersford, PA.
• International-Style Pilsener: Session Premium Lager, Full Sail Brewing Co., Hood River, OR.
• German-Style Pilsener: Kaiser Pilsner, Pennsylvania Brewing Co., Pittsburgh, PA.
• Bohemian-Style Pilsener: Pleasantville Pils, Durango Brewing Co., Durango, CO.
• Munich-Style Helles: Himmelbrau Helles, Laurelwood Brewing Co., Portland, OR.
• Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest: Rolling Thunder Dortmunder, Snake River Brewing Jackson,
Jackson, WY.
• America-Style Light Lager: Coors Light, MillerCoors, Milwaukee, WI.
• American-Style Lager or Premium Lager: Olympia, Pabst Brewing Co., Woodridge, IL.
• American-Style Specialty Lager: Hurricane High Gravity, Anheuser-Busch, Inc., St. Louis, MO.
• Vienna-Style Lager: Vienna Red Lager, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - West Chester,
Wilmington, DE.
• German-Style Märzen: Dogtoberfest, Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, MD.
• American-Style Amber Lager: BJ’s Oktoberfest, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery - Chandler, Huntington
Beach, CA.
• European-Style Dunkel: Munich Dark, Redwood Brewing Co., Flint, MI.
• German-Style Schwarzbier: B3K, Wynkoop Brewing Co., Denver, CO.
• Bock: Goat Rancher, The SandLot, Denver, CO.
• German-Style Strong Bock: Capital Autumnal Fire, Capital Brewery Co., Inc., Middleton, WI.
• Baltic-Style Porter: Kick in the Baltic Porter, Bluegrass Brewing Co., Louisville, KY.
• Golden or Blonde Ale: Steelhead Extra Pale Ale, Mad River Brewing Co., Blue Lake, CA.
• German-Style Kölsch: Wind Blown Blonde, Stewart’s Brewing Co., Bear, DE.
• English-Style Summer Ale: Surfer’s Summer Ale, Pelican Pub & Brewery, Pacific City, OR.
• Classic English-Style Pale Ale: Full Sail Pale Ale, Full Sail Brewing Co., Hood River, OR.
• American-Style Pale Ale: Mission Street Pale, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA.
• American-Style Strong Pale Ale: Hop Bomb, Rock Bottom Brewing, Louisville, CO.
• American-Style India Pale Ale: Union Jack IPA, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA.
• Imperial or Double India Pale Ale: Hopnotic 2X IPA, San Diego Brewing Co., San Diego, CA.
• American-Style Amber/Red Ale: Dry Hopped Red, Rogue Ales, Portland, OR.
• Imperial or Double Red Ale: Rock Hopera Imperial IPA, Vino’s Pizza Pub Brewery, Little Rock, AR.
• Bitter or Pale Mild Ale: Drop Top, Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., Portland, OR.
• Extra Special Bitter or Strong Bitter: Bachelor ESB, Deschutes Brewery, Bend, OR.
• Scottish-Style Ale: Highland Courage, Rock Bottom Brewery - Bethesda, Bethesda, MD.
• Irish-Style Red Ale: Red Rocks Red Ale, Rock Bottom Brewing, Louisville, CO.
• English-Style Dark Mild Ale or Brown Ale: Sweet George’s Brown, Dillon DAM Brewery, Dillon, CO.
• American-Style Brown Ale: Kick-Ass Brown, C.H. Evans Brewing at the Albany Pump Station,
Albany, NY.
• German-Style Altbier: The Detroit Dwarf, The Detroit Beer Co., Detroit, MI.
• South German-Style Hefeweizen: Wixa Weiss, Wynkoop Brewing Co., Denver, CO.
• German-Style Wheat Ale: I’m Half the Beer I Used to Be, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery - Chandler,
Huntington Beach, CA.
• Belgian-Style Witbier: Mothership Wit/Organic Wheat Beer, New Belgium Brewing Co.,
Fort Collins, CO.
• French- and Belgian-Style Saison: Saison, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - West Chester,
Wilmington, DE.
• Belgian- and French-Style Ale: Redemption, Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, CA.
• Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale: Lambic de Hill, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - Media,
Wilmington, DE.
• Belgian-Style Abbey Ale: Bishop’s Tipple Trippel, Main Street Brewery, Corona, CA.
• Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale: Darth Delirium, Moose’s Tooth Brewing Co., Anchorage, AK.
• Brown Porter: BlackWatch Cream Porter, Pyramid Breweries Inc., Seattle, WA.
• Robust Porter: Nolan’s Porter, Barrio Brewing Co., Tucson, AZ.
• Classic irish Style Dry Stout:; Blarney Sisters Dry Irish Stout, Third Street Aleworks, Santa Rosa, CA.
• Foreign-Style Stout: Whiteface Black Diamond Stout, Great Adirondack Brewing Co.,
Lake Placid, NY.
• American-Style Stout: Terminal Stout, Rock Bottom Brewing, Louisville, CO.
• Sweet Stout: Cream Stout, Redwood Brewing Co., Flint, MI.
• Oatmeal Stout: Oatmeal Stout, Gella’s Diner and Lb. Brewing Co., Hays, KS.
• Imperial Stout: Boris The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout, Hoppin’ Frog Brewing
Co., Akron, OH.
• Strong Scotch Ale: AleSmith Wee Heavy, AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA.
• Old Ale or Strong Ale: AleSmith Decadence Old Ale, AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA.
• Barley Wine-Style Ale: Treblehook, Redhook Ales Brewery, Portland, OR.

For those of you who can't get enough of medal news, go to Rick Lyke's blog for every silver, bronze, aluminum, zinc or other medal result.

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20081008

Is Slurm headed your way?

The parade of drinks moving from fiction to reality apparently is flowing unabated. This is the third time I've been able to report on such possibilities.

• The first was Pawtucket Patriot Ale from the animated TV series "Family Guy."

• The second was Booty Sweat, the energy drink created in the film "Tropical Thunder."

• Now, Slurm (motto: "It's Highly Addictive"), the official soft drink of the 31st Century, might move from the animated TV series "Futurama" to our very own dimension. Twentieth Century Fox has filed for the "Slurm" trademark which would cover (prepare yourself) "carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks; fruit drinks; fruit juices; mineral and aerated water; bottled drinking water; energy drinks; syrups and powders for making soft drinks and other beverages, namely soft drinks, fruit drinks and tea; coffee-flavored soft drinks; Ramune (Japanese soda pops); powders used in the preparation of isotonic sports drinks and sports beverages."

I'll keep you posted as any, or all, of these dreams come true.

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20081004

A celebri-quote: Dave Peacock

Dave Peacock is vice president for marketing of Anheuser-Busch, recently purchased by Belgian brewing giant InBev in a controversial deal. He has to market American products from Budweiser but also has to oversee the company's wine and spirits marketing efforts. Advertising Age thinks there's a problem there, and asked Peacock about it specifically.

Q: "You have been dabbling more in spirits, picking up a number of boutique brands. But in (a recent) speech ... you called wine and liquor "the enemy." You said specifically that you could not be "outromanced by wine" or "outfunned by liquor." Those didn't sound like the words of someone who wants to play in that space."

A: "We started looking at liquor and wine a long time ago because of the emerging macro trends [of wine and liquor gaining share from beer]. And we really did believe we owed it to our shareholders to do this [because of consumer trends increasingly favoring spirits].

"We tested some things in liquor. But we started making the decision back in the first quarter of this year that we were probably going to disentangle that. It didn't work really well at the wholesale level. Those brands are marketed very differently than beer. The category is much more fragmented. And, frankly, we see upside in beer. We've seen beer have a little bit of a resurgence."

[Go here for more Celebri-Quotes.]

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