February/March 2003
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Hop Caen

     Top five anniversary anagrams from the letters in "Celebrator Beer News": Noble brews recreate (we try, we try); Create newer slobber (well, isn't that the idea?); Browse an erect rebel (maybe one for the Website?); Celebrate snore brew (NEVER!); and the No. 1 anagram: Raw, erect, serene blob (sounds a bit like our publisher). And many thanks to our ace S.F. reporter Bob Coleman for this bit of indignity.

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Tastes Great, Less Filling Dept.: Miller's marketing weasels are back at it with "new" ads that revisit both the old "Tastes great, less filling" campaign of the '70s AND the discredited T&A bikini-clad bimbos of the same era. The new ad tries to slip in the T&A by having some twenty-something dudes say, "Now who wouldn't like that?" while their disturbed female companions look on disapprovingly. Nicely done, Miller! Who wouldn't like that? -- Our president is definitely a "Tastes great" kinda guy. When Barbara Walters asked George W. Bush in her famous interview why he drank beer in the first place, George W. responded, "Probably because I liked the way it tasted. There's nothing better than a cold beer and Mexican food here, or a cold beer and barbecue, and, and, I, you know, maybe as an escape. Could've been, you know, I might've used it as a crutch. All I know is that it was beginning to compete with my energies and my affections, and I quit." Somebody get that guy a beer --

The BAA's Daniel Bradford sent out a curious communication recently saying that the beer industry is being solicited by The Bachelor Show to help find a very particular man -- one who owns or works in a brewery, brewpub or beer distributorship -- for Bachelor Show No. 3. According to the producers, the candidate must be established in his field, be good-looking, never have been married, have no kids and have a sincere interest in getting married. (He doesn't actually have to marry the final contestant!) He should be in his twenties or thirties and able to take an extended leave of absence to live in a mansion in California for several weeks for the filming. Forward potential candidates to Daniel at the BAA. Fal Allen is not eligible --

Taipei Behavior Dept.: Those wonderful folks at Diageo who bring us booze, Burger King, the "new" Guinness AND Smirnoff Ice got into a bit of a marketing morass in London with an attempt at "humorous" ads. The adverts in the underground for one of Diageo's alcoholic beverages included an ersatz warning that was spoze to be facetious. Taiwan's foreign and economic ministries were hugely unamused: "Warning: This gift will break down on Christmas morning. Replacement parts available from Service Center, Box No. 260, Taiwan. Allow 365 working days for delivery." Diageo had to pull the drink ads after official complaints from Taipei. The world's largest drinks company ran a written apology in several Taiwan newspapers and said it planned to make amends with a successor advertisement extolling the virtues of Taiwan. Talk about putting a chink in the old corporate armor --

Two married buddies are out drinking one night when one turns to the other and says, "You know, I don't know what else to do. Whenever I go home after we've been out drinking, I turn the headlights off before I get to the driveway, I shut off the engine and coast into the garage, I take my shoes off before I go into the house, I sneak up the stairs, I ease into bed and my wife STILL wakes up and yells at me for staying out so late!" His buddy looks at him and says, "Well, you're obviously taking the wrong approach. I screech into the driveway, slam the door, storm up the steps, throw my shoes in the closet, jump into bed, slap her on the ass and say, "Who's horny?!!!" She always acts like she's sound asleep!" --

Out of Their Gourd Dept.: Rather than mimic Elvira and her famous cleavage, Paulaner North America employee Veronica Marvin instead carved the world-famous Paulaner logo into a pumpkin to celebrate Halloween last fall. "The Paulaner monks probably wouldn't appreciate Halloween, but we'd bet that they would be proud of this," said PNA President Jeff Coleman. -- Sure, Alaskans like to brew high-alcohol. Jim Roberts, who writes a beer column in Anchorage and one for this rag, forwards a recent edition of the Anchorage Daily News with a story about the arrest of an Alakanuk man for the production of alcohol in a dry community. The article notes his production of an 18% alcohol substance created with "fruit juice, grapes, potatoes and peaches" AND the color of Pepto-Bismol! Roberts thinks this guy might be a candidate to speak at the Great Alaska Beer & Barley Wine Festival! A local homebrewer up in the frozen north suggested that the AHA create a new category: Alaska Village HAC. Color Range: 18 to 1,000 SRM (depending on degree of pink hue, turbidity and viscosity). Gravity: O.G. 1.200 to 1.300. Taste Profile: This beverage should have a very smooth and thick creaminess, but also have one hell of an alcohol punch. Overall Impression: The true test of this style is how smoothly it comes out your nose during those weary hangover mornings. --

Adam Jones, writing in London's Financial Times, had a headline that read, "Booze purists have one more reason to toast the New Year: Another attempt to mix beer and spirits has gone flat." His gleeful article profiled SABMiller's horrendous problems with its malternative alternative to Diageo's successful Smirnoff Ice. It seems the world's second-largest brewer is having to buy back thousands of bottles of Stolichnaya Citrona and Sauza Diablo from U.S. distributors at an estimated cost of $10-12 million dollars. The concoctions, made in partnership with Allied Domecq (the world's second-largest distiller), failed to gain acceptance in the U.S. market after being launched with heavy promotion in the spring of 2002. The article stated, "They will now survive only in regions where there is demand. Surplus liquid will be destroyed." The BATF is still trying to figure out what to do about regulating the category that pretends to look like booze but can't have any real booze in it. The drinks were popular in bars and nightclubs for a while and had offered high profit margins to distributors. "However, the longer-term growth prospects of the category have been questioned by skeptics who likened its early success to the fad for wine coolers several years ago." Now the question is, who will foot the bill for destroying the unwanted inventory? Allied Domecq claimed inventory management was the responsibility of SABMiller, and the brewer claimed the cost should be shared under their joint venture agreement. I say, ship it to Alaska! (And thanks to Aaron Staines for the story.) --

Copyright 2003, Celebrator No material herein may be reprinted without permission of the Celebrator Distributed On the W3 For personal, non-commercial enjoyment and use only. Cheers!

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