30 July 2006

SABMiller to spend $80 Million to refurbish brewery

According to TheMilwaukeeChannel.com, Miller Brewing Company will spend $80 million over the next five years to refurbish and upgrade their Milwaukee brewery. The Milwaukee brewery is the oldest brewery that the company owns. Kudos to Miller! Other brewers might be tempted to simply build a new facility and ignore their history. I like that Miller is maintaining their legacy.

posted by Jeff Holt at 16:31 0 comments links to this post

28 July 2006

Abita Brew Pub

At the tail end of our recent vacation, we stopped at the Abita Springs Brew Pub for dinner. I had a pecan crusted fried catfish with a Cream Ale. The beer poured a nice bronze/gold color, with no head. It was on the sweet side, with a touch of hop flavor to balance it. I thought it was excellent. Unfortunately, I can't get it here in Texas, so I'll just have to remember that beer as one of the best of my trip.

posted by Jeff Holt at 14:11 0 comments links to this post

26 July 2006

Southend Brewery and Smokehouse - Charleston

While visiting my nephew and his family in South Carolina. We spent one afternoon in Charleston, and visited the Southend Brewery and Smokehouse. I had visited the forums at Beer Advocate and read the reviews of the place, but decided to try it anyway. I had ordered a pale ale, hoping for an IPA, and was disappointed that there was no hopiness. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice beer, but I missed the hop flavor. The food was very good and the service was also very good. If you're ever in Charleston, make sure you visit this place!

posted by Jeff Holt at 13:45 0 comments links to this post

24 July 2006

Brief Vacation - Blue and Gray Brewery Review

I just returned from a quick vacation to the east coast. I made a point to stop at some brewpubs along the way, and decided to share my experiences with you. My first stop was in Fredericksburg, Virginia. We stopped at Sammy T's for lunch, and I had a Fred Red Ale brewed by the Blue and Gray Brewing Company. I decided to visit the brewery and take some home with me. When it came my turn to get my growler filled, they had to change the keg. I didn't open the growler for a couple of days, but did store the beer in the refirgerator the whole time. When I finally sampled it, I noticed the beer had off flavors. There was an astringency in the beer that gave it a red wine taste. That flavor definitely not there at the restaurant, or during the beer tasting at the brewery. I can't decide if the flavors were a result of the long lag time in the growler, or if the new keg was bad. I defintely will visit the brewery again, and I'll try the growler again. But I may have to sample it in the parking lot before I go home.

posted by Jeff Holt at 13:25 0 comments links to this post

22 July 2006

Beer Barbecue Sauce

Alex George and Evan Brown published a beer barbecue sauce recip over at alibi.com. It sounds pretty good. Head on over and check it out.

My only problem with the recipe is that it calls for 4 cups of left over beer. I've never had 4 cups of left over beer. I wind up drinking it, eventually.


posted by Jeff Holt at 17:59 0 comments links to this post

20 July 2006

Shotgun Beer Opener

Need to drink your beer quickly? Here's a shotgun beer opener. Used one way, the opener opens your can in the usual way. Used another way, it pokes a hole in the side of the can so you can shotgun the beer.


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:56 0 comments links to this post

18 July 2006

Beer Key

For the last fifteen years, I have carried a bottle opener on my key ring. Why? 'Cause it's handy, mate!

However, it is obvious what it is. If, unlike me, you care about what people think, perhaps you might need a more stealthy alternative. Here's a beer opener that looks like a key!


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:47 0 comments links to this post

16 July 2006

Bottle Opening Fridge Magnet

Tired of hunting for your bottle opener? Don't want to screw one to your wall. Well, here's one that sticks to your fridge via magnets.

Genius. Pure genius!


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:43 0 comments links to this post

14 July 2006

The Chuggler

Billed as the evolution of the funnel, the Chuggler is a 30 ounce beer mug with a hose on the end that will allow you to drink 30 ounces in 1.75 seconds.

But why would you want to?


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:35 2 comments links to this post

12 July 2006

SABMiller to purchase Sparks Energy Beer

Hoping to get into the energy beer market, popular with younger drinkers at clubs, SABMiller announced it would the Sparks and Steel reserve brands from McKenzie River Corp. for $215 million.

Sparks is a caffeinated alcohol malt beverage flavored with ginseng, guarana and taurine and has a citric taste. Steel Reserve is a lager beer. Last year, 270,000 barrels of Sparks were sold.

Sparks and Steel Reserve are already brewed by Miller under an agreement with McKenzie River.


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:28 2 comments links to this post

10 July 2006

Good news for Abita Brewing Company

Hurricane Katrina wiped out 60% of Abita Beer's market, New Orleans, but the Louisiana brewery still managed to increase sales. The 20 year old company is expected to earn more than $9 million this year. As a result, company president David Blossman announced a $3.5 million expansion which will increase the company’s production capabilities from 25 barrels an hour to 40.


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:15 0 comments links to this post

08 July 2006

Herman Weiss & Sons, Texas Brewers

Herman Weiss was working in San Antonio when Galveston was destroyed by the 1900 hurricane. By 1907, perhaps sensing opportunity in the rebuilding city, Herman had moved his family to Galveston, and had opened a brewery there. However, he was competing against the Galveston Brewery. The Galveston Brewery was co-owned by Adolphus Busch and William J. Lemp of St. Louis and Milwaukee, respectively. It was the dominant brewery in the region (having excaped the 1900 hurricane with little damage), and no doubt, the beer barons did everything they could to force Weiss to close his brewery.

In 1909, Weiss decided to move to Shiner, Texas and become the brewmaster of the newly organized Shiner Brewing Association. But, before long, Herman had moved back to San Antonio, where he worked as a brewmaster for the San Antonio Brewing Association.

Thanks to Keith Holt for this information. Keith is Herman's great-grandson. The little boy in front of Herman is Keith's grandfather.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:56 0 comments links to this post

06 July 2006

Friday Afternoon Hammer

Those darn "Honey Do's" are getting too long. Hammering all day can build up a powerful thirst! This hammer is the perfect tool.


posted by Jeff Holt at 19:00 0 comments links to this post

04 July 2006

Miller Beer Blog

Miller Brewing Company launched a blog on June 12. It's aimed at Miller employees, distributors, beer industry media and competitors. It's an interesting insight into the big brewer's world.

One entry bodes ill for fans of Rolling Rock. The post describes Carlsberg's falling market share when Anheuser-Busch imported the brand. A-B promoted the brand for a couple of years, then started replacing the Carlsberg beers on shelves with Bud Light, I guess.

You can even download their employee magazine. I looked at a few issues, and there were a lot of stories about Anheuser-Busch. In a Miller magazine. It has been so long since I have been in the corporate world, I had forgotten how much the biggest competitor features in the second biggest competitor's news letter.


posted by Jeff Holt at 19:12 0 comments links to this post

02 July 2006

SABMiller sponsors Chair of Brewing Science! Science + Beer = Good!

Professor Katherine Smart was named the first scientist to the Chair of Brewing Science at the University of Nottingham's School of Biosciences. The post is funded by brewing giant SABMiller with an initial grant of £167,000. Smart is the nation's leading expert in yeast and fermentation. The announcement signals the beginning of the school's postgraduate program, an MSc in Brewing Science.


posted by Jeff Holt at 17:06 0 comments links to this post