20090523

Alabama beefs up its beer

The beer battle that had been brewing in the Alabama state legislature is over. Pro-choice forces won.

Gov. Bob Riley on Friday signed into law a bill that immediately raises the permissible alcohol limit on beer from 6 to 13.9% by volume. The bill, introduced by Rep. Thomas Jackson, D-Thomasville, won legislative approval last week.
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The new regulation will allow a much wider selection of beers to be sold in stores, restaurants and taverns. However, that should take a few weeks because brewers will have to get distributors lined up and register with the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board before beginning sales.

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20090520

This beer was really on the house

• A former newspaper colleague, Albany (NY) Times Union blogger Naomi Seldin, came up with an offbeat posting with the aid of a local college contact. It begins this way:

Were you working campus construction in 1965 in Albany? The Sage Colleges Libraries found something that might have belonged to you.

Rose Redwood, bibliographic records manager, e-mailed me this great story:

"Our Albany campus library is going through some major renovations. We are completely remodeling the building to put in office spaces on the third floor, and putting in a cafe on the first floor.

"Anyway, our library director came back with a can of beer (1 of a six pack that the construction crew found) that was lodged in the ceiling of the 'new' addition to the library that was constructed in 1965.

"The beer can is in pretty good shape, despite its age. I suppose it’s a vintage can of beer, having twice as much aluminum to it compared to today’s cans of beer. It’s called Utica Club pilsner lager beer."

Utica Club may not ring a bell with many people outside New York these days, but at one time it was one of the state’s premier beers. Its talking beer steins, Schultz and Dooley, were popular commercial icons.

[If you want to hear the Utica Club beer song, just click here.]

[Go here for Naomi's full posting.]


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20090518

Getting ready for summer

These guys like to build things. They also like to drink beer. And, by their own confession, at least one of them is lazy.

So, put all those things together and guess what they've come up with?



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20090517

NY brew pub debuts 400-year beer

TROY, NY -- It's not a 400-year-old beer, thank heavens, but it does celebrate a 400th anniversary.

Brown’s Brewing Co. of Troy had the first keg of its Hudson River Quadricentennial Gold Rye Ale tapped by Mayor Harry Tutunjian on Saturday. It was created to mark the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's exploration of the area.

This year the Capital Region is holding a variety of events to mark the anniversary of the explorer's arrival on the river that now bears his name, an era that led to colonization by the Dutch who later gave way to the English from New York City to hundreds of miles to the north. Troy is located across the Hudson from Albany, the capital city, about 125 miles north of Manhattan.

Brown's was the region's first modern-day brewery/restaurant, founded on River Street in 1993 as Brown & Moran by current president/CEO Garrett Brown, with the assistance of his father, Sid Brown. (Father and son are shown standing in front of the enterprise.)

The brewery now offers more than a dozen brews on tap, and more than 25 styles in its portfolio. It has earned the Matthew Vassar Cup as "Best Brewery in the Hudson Valley," a gold medal for its Pale Ale from the Culinary Institute of America, and a gold medal for its Oatmeal Stout at the World Beer Cup.

The kitchen is headed by chef Tina Marie Clements, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. She won the championship award at last year's 2nd annual Troy Chowder Fest and incorporates many of Brown’s ales and lagers into her recipes.

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20090513

World Expo of Beer on tap

More than 250 beers will be available for the tasting at the World Expo of Beer, set for Friday and Saturday at Heritage Park in Frankenmuth, MI.

The event is hosted by the Frankenmuth Jaycees, and runs from 5 to 10 p.m. the first day and 3 to 10 the second. Admission is $5 and a set of four 4-ounce sampling tickets goes for $5.

Participating breweries:

Arcadia, Atwater, B Nektar, Bell's, Big Rock, Black Forest, Black Lotus, Boston, Hard Core Cider, Chimay, Cider Jack, Dark Horse, Dragonmead, Plank, Amarcord, Belgoo, Lion,
Flying Dog, Founders, Goose Island, Great Lakes, Green Mountain, Bulmers, Harpoon, Hideout, Hofbrauhaus, Inbev, Anheuser Busch, Hoegaarden, Merchant Du Vin, Lindemans,
Samuel Smiths, Michigan, Mike's Hard, Miller, Coors, Quilmes, Peroni, Blue Moon, Leinenkugel, Mt. Pleasant, New Holland, Redstone, Redwood, Right Brain, Rogue, Schmohz, Sherwood, Sierra Nevada, Stevens Point, Stone Brewing, Three Sergeants, Total Beverage, Weihenstephan, Tri City, Twisted Tea, Unibroue, Walldorff, Wolverine.

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20090511

Maine Beer Trail unveiled

Most states have wine trails. Some cooperatively operate a whiskey trail. Maine now has a beer trail.

The Maine Restaurant Association and the Maine Brewers Guild today announced the unveiling of the Maine Beer Trail.

The purpose is to attract visitors to Maine to enjoy the micro- and craft-brewing industry found throughout the state. A brochure (seen at right) provides a guide to more than a dozen of the state's breweries and brew pubs. Brochures can be downloaded and also will be available at Maine Visitor Centers and participating breweries and brew pubs.

Maine ranks fourth in the nation in the number of breweries per capita, with one brewery for every 42,000 residents, according to the Brewers Association.

It is home to New England's first microbrewery, D.L. Geary Brewing, established in 1986 in Portland. Gritty McDuff's opened its doors in 1988 and became the first brew pub to open in Maine since prohibition. It has sites in Portland, Freeport and Lewiston/Auburn.

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20090502

Anchorage brewer doubling size

Alaskans hankering for a bottle of beer from the Midnight Sun Brewing Co. might find it easier to satisfy before long.

The Anchorage brewer is building a new location in the city after 14 years in the original spot on Arctic Boulevard. The new facility is on Dimond Hook Drive.

It will be a 10,000-square foot facility, more than double the size of the present brewery, which will enable Midnight Sun to increases potential brewing capacity from 2,500 to 10,000 barrels a year.

The hew facility also will have a to-go bar on the first floor for customers to buy and fill growlers. In addition, a 36-seat loft will feature 18 taps, four of them for house-brewed sodas such as root beer and sparkling lemonade. Eventually, a kitchen will be added to offer food.

The to-go bar and loft will be opened this month.

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20090501

Today New Yorkers pay up to drink up, perhaps

New York State's increased taxes on beer and wine take effect today.

The state has raised the excise tax on beer by about 28%, from 11 to 14 cents a gallon, and about 58% on wine, from 19 to 30 cents a gallon.

Consumers may have to help vendors, barkeeps and restaurateurs pay that tax hike, although it's not mandatory. Some undoubtedly will pass along the increases, but others have said they'll try to absorb the hit of several cents a bottle.

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