30 December 2006

Beer opening Lego Robot

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posted by Jeff Holt at 23:17 2 comments links to this post

28 December 2006

Chief Beer Officer Wanted

Sheraton Hotels Corporation is looking for a Chief Beer Officer. I'm not quite sure what that position entails, but I'm hoping it involves drinking.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 23:07 1 comments links to this post

26 December 2006

Old Dominion Brewery sale on hold

One of my favorite beers is Old Dominion's Oak barrel Stout. Last July, I visited family in Virginia and brought a case and a half home with me. I have four bottles left. I drank them on Christmas Day.

So it's somehow appropriate that I pass along some Old Dominion news. The deal for founder Jerry Bailey to sell the brewery to his management team has fallen through amid rumors that Bailey will sell his brewery to Anheuser-Busch.

Old Dominion, host of the popular annual Old Dominion Beer Festival in the summer, was founded by Bailey in 1989, and was the Washington, D.C., area's first micro-brewery.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:58 0 comments links to this post

24 December 2006

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, a festive Kwanzaa and a Festivus for the Rest of Us.

Cheers!


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:56 1 comments links to this post

22 December 2006

Support your local microbrewery!

Texas' five microbreweries (St. Arnolds Brewing Company of Houston, Real Ale Brewing Company of Blanco, Rahr & Sons of Fort Worth, and independence Brewing Company and Live Oak Brewing Company of Austin) recently traveled to Austin to get the same privilege lawmakers gave to Texas wineries in 2005: selling directly to consumers where the beverage is made.

Since Prohibition, Texas has use a three tier system: The brewery contracts with a middleman distributor, who then sells the beer to the retailer. Microbreweries are allowed to self-distribute while they are small. Following the wineries model would allow a microbrewery to be all three tiers, so to speak, but only on the brewery premesis. Texas wineries are currently allowed to ship product to consumers, but microbrewers would not ask for that right.

Distributors are expected to protest the decision because that will mean people will travel 8 hours from El Paso to Houston to get a six pack of St. Arnold's beer, cutting the distributor and retailer out of the profits.

This would allow the local microbrewery to put a few extra bucks in their pockets. A visitor might buy a six-pack in addition to a t-shirt and pint glass.

If you're a Texas resident, and a beer lover, drop a note to your legislator and ask them to give microbrewers the same rights as wineries.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:32 0 comments links to this post

20 December 2006

Hardys and Hansons in Nottinghamshire brews its last pint

Greene King, a British brewing giant, recently purchased Hardys and Hansons brewery in Kimberley, Hottinghamshire. The old brewery will be closed, 80 people will lose their jobs, and the brewing operations will move to Bury St Edmunds. The last pint of beer ever to be brewed at the Kimberley plant was brewed in early December.

I know this is business and that breweries consolidate, and that small breweries often lose money, but it's still a sad day for the folks in Kimberley.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:27 0 comments links to this post

18 December 2006

Jennifer Aniston Heinekin commercial

Yet another celebrity who won't sell products here doing it overseas.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 16:13 0 comments links to this post

16 December 2006

For sale - One pub 900 miles from nearest city

Like beer?

Like pubs?

Here's your chance to own a world famous Birdsville Hotel and Pub is for sale. Located on the edge of the vast Simpson desert in Queensland, the pub is synonymous with the Australian Outback. Sydney is a mere 897 miles away. Just a jaunt, really.

The locals are concerned that the pub might close. The nearest hotel is 120 miles away, after all. Jo and Kym fort are asking $8 million for the property, which includes 27 guest rooms, two residences and your very own pub.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 15:06 0 comments links to this post

14 December 2006

Fredericksburg Brewing Company's Hoppy Holidays

My cousin stopped by for a visit the other day and we spent a couple of hours at the Fredericksburg Brewing Company. I had picked up a growler of Bock the other day and mentioned it to him, and he had to come. He loves their Bock. I picked up their Hoppy Holidays, made with Simcoe, Chinook and Cascade hops. It's an amber colored brew. The bartender didn't give us much of a head, so it was hard to judge that. Hop aroma dominated the smell, with a slight sweet smell of malt. According to the info at the bar, Hoppy Holidays is 8.2% aclohol. But the alcohol flavor doesn't overpower the malt and hops. The hops dominated the flavor, but I thought it was nicely balanced. I give it 8 out of 10, only because I was hoping for a more spiced beer.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:31 0 comments links to this post

12 December 2006

Choclate Coconut Stout - 1st tasting

Last time, I mentioned that I took Charlie's Holiday Cheer to our office open house. I also brought along the Chocolate Coconut stout. I knew it wasn't ready, but I thought that maybe, just maybe. . .

The beer was highly overcarbonated, without CO2 hooked up. The head was chocolate milk colored and lasted a long time, until finally collapsing into a dark, glossy, chocolate color, coating the sides of the glass with cocoa streaks that looked like mud. The beer was brown and as it settled, more of the cocoa would settle at the bottom of the glass. The taste was a bit uneven, but held some promise.

Last night, I tried it again. Still overcarbonated. I bled off the excess pressure and poured a slow pint that was half head. By the time the head settled, I had half a glass of beer. My goodness! was the beer tasty. But it looks hideous! When I went back to pour a second glass, I found that I had to bleed the excess gas off yet again!

Bear in mind that the beer was a kit with an addition of coconut extract. The kit called for 1 ounce of cocoa powder to be added to the priming solution at bottling/kegging. The cocoa is too much for me. Next time I brew this--and I will brew it again--I will leave it out and see what happens.

My cousin will be dropping by this afternoon, and I will get his opinion. He and a buddy of his won a regional brewing contest a few years back with their oatmeal stout.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:00 0 comments links to this post

10 December 2006

Charlie's Holiday Cheer - A Hit!

Where I work, we have a party for our main customers, B&B homeowners. Most every year, I make a special Christmas beer and share it with everyone. Last year, I shared Hookarm's Dark Christmas Ale, which was greeted warmly. This year, I brought Charlie's Holiday Ale and it was a hit! They drank about 2/3rds of it. So I'm saving the rest for Christmas.

The beer was so popular, that the boss offered to buy the ingredients next year. So next year I'll brew a Christmas beer for me, and one for the office.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:52 0 comments links to this post

08 December 2006

Brain Teaser

The folks over at Stella Artois have a great game at their site. You have to disarm a lethal trap guarding a glass of their beer. Some of the puzzles are pretty tough!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:21 0 comments links to this post

06 December 2006

Santa's Butt Christmas Porter won't be sold in Maine

The State of Maine has told Shelton Brothers Distributors that they will not be able to sell Santa's Butt Christmas Porter in their state because the label depicting Santa Claus might appeal to children. Shelton has filed suit, but the outlook is grim.

The "Cartoons appeal to kids" argument has been used before, most recently in the Joe Camel Wars. Of course cartoons appeal to kids. That's why Zoloft, Red Bull Energy Drinks, Quilted Northern Toilet tissues and Charmin toilet tissues use animated characters: to get kids to buy their products! Apparently, the clerks in Maine's stores are so clueless that if a kid tries to buy a bottle of beer, they will see a cartoon and say, "Garsh! This must be for kids!" and sell it to them.

Someone needs to let the folks in Maine know that kids are attracted to clowns, which is why McDonald's has one.


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

04 December 2006

The Morning After

I don't miss those days!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 16:27 0 comments links to this post

02 December 2006

Brewery employees donate beer rations to Canadian troops

While alcohol is not readily available in Muslim countries, Canadian troops in Afghanistan are allowed to have liquor on the base three times during the year, including Christmas. Employees at Steam Whistle Brewing Company have decided to donate one week's worth of staff beer rations to soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. The company has vowed to match those donations, so that Canadian troops can expect a little extra holiday cheer under the Christmas tree this year. The gift will contain a limited edition Steam Whistle pilsner holiday 12-pack wrapped in festive colors.

God bless Canada!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 20:39 0 comments links to this post