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AUG/SEP 2005 | FEATURES | EDITORIALS & LETTERS

Notes From The Publisher
By Tom Dalldorf

ANTI-ALCOHOL CONUNDRUM

Four California State University at Chico fraternity members were charged with involuntary manslaughter in a hazing ritual that resulted in the tragic death of a 21-year-old pledge. Alcohol poisoning? Actually, the pledge was given a very large amount of water to drink. The unfortunate incident resulted in criminal charges for the perpetrators who showed such poor judgment. In other cases where alcohol was involved in hazing incidents, demands have been made to "ban alcohol" in addition to punishing the culprits who misused the substance. Curiously, there were no immediate demands to ban water on the Chico campus.

A Stanford University study showed that sleepy or drowsy drivers pose the same danger to others as drunk drivers. People afflicted with mild to moderate sleep apnea number over 12 million and may exceed 25 million when the undiagnosed are factored in. Note that sleepy or drowsy drivers who cause accidents rarely are jailed, have their cars confiscated or are confronted with humiliating and costly trials.

In an era of supposed enlightenment, we still are subjected to attitudes of antialcohol apoplexy in dealing with the consequences of poor choices. Often, it is the alcohol that is condemned rather than the poor choices of its users. Let's not forget the millions of our countrymen who savor the flavor of a good beer in a life-enhancing manner without posing a threat to their fellow man. It's the behavior that needs to be corrected, not the substance.

BEER TRAVELS

Our annual Beer and Travel issue should stoke your latent feeling of frothy wanderlust. A visit to Budejovicky Budvar in the Czech Republic surely hits a hoppy high note as Jack Curtin reports on his travels. Don Scheidt tells us why the Berlin Mile is vastly superior to the one-note Oktoberfest drink-a-thon in Munich. Your publisher just returned from malty Montreal, and John Rowling pub-hops around British Columbia while Abram Goldman-Armstrong visits the Okanagan Fest of Ale.
All around the country and, indeed, the world, there are great beers to be enjoyed in wonderful surroundings with stunning accommodations. Hopefully, this issue will inspire your travels in pursuit of a great beer experience.

LETTERS | Our readers in their own write...

Dear Editor:

As a parent of a young daughter, I've often wondered how, when the time came to have those "birds and bees" talks, how I would go about doing it. Well, thanks to the rather shameless and tasteless display of female nudity you provided in your recent issue of the Celebrator Beer News, I can scratch that off my list of concerns.

My 7-year-old picked up a Celebrator in one of our family's favorite pubs the other day and came toddling back to our table with the "spread" in her hands. (She, of course, was picking it up for Mommy and Daddy, because she knows how much we normally enjoy your informative publication.)
We certainly had a time trying to answer all of the questions her inquisitive little mind was spouting forth after seeing the soft porn you chose to exhibit in your usually humorous "swimsuit issue" spoof.

I always thought the Celebrator did a good job of keeping the all-too-prevalent and honestly quite tiring "frat-boy" mentality off its pages, and was welcoming to both women and families who want to make beer a part of their rich home lives.

Best Regards,
Kris Thomas
Via Email

     
Dear Kris:  

Thank you for your well-written and comprehensive response chastising us for some pictures in our Swimsuit issue. What started as a send-up of the Sports Illustrated nonsense seems indeed to have gone over the top. As we looked at the submissions, we wondered about the suitability (or lack thereof) of some of the shots. We thought about our subscribers (who tend to be mostly male professionals over 35) and the pubs and breweries where it would be seen.

Our readership is notably devoid of 7-year-old girls, but the Celebrator's availability to all ages in public venues is certainly something we failed to consider. My sincere apologies to you and your daughter for this lapse in judgment. You are right — our message should be better than something below the level of even the Swedish bikini team. It really is about the beer.

My criterion for running the photos was “What would my 86-year-old mother think?” (She's on the comp list.) The photos did raise at least one eyebrow with Mom, who then laughed it off as she is wont to do in dealing with a changing world.
You may be assured that our brewers swimsuit photos in the future will focus more on brewers and swimsuits. That's a promise. — Ed.

Dear Editor:  

Since you published pictures of Jeanie Rivers in her birthday suit, please publish pictures of her in a two-piece bathing suit so we can see the concealed body areas. Great publication! Keep up the good work. Please add more East Coast coverage if possible.

Gene Rimmes
Mastic Beach, N.Y.

     
Dear Gene:   Sorry those pesky beer mugs got in the way. You'll just have to use your imagination. Please note the extended East Coast coverage in this issue. — Ed.
Dear Editor:  

By the time this is printed, I will be deep in Denton, Texas. Tom, I want to thank you, the Celebrator staff, and the whole California beer scene (north AND south) for giving me a home and teaching me the ways of the brew. You have sculpted a rookie enthusiast into a beer missionary.

There are too many names to thank each individual person, but a few cannot be overlooked: Vic & Cyn and the Bistro staff and regulars, Shane (Lagunitas), Vinnie and Natalie and James (Russian River), Mike Long (Kelley Bros.), and especially Roger and Melissa (Drake’s), the Barclays staff, Kenny Gross, and you, Tom. I could go on, but you all know who you are. I will miss you all dearly and drink to you with love as I continue to educate my generation one pint at a time.

Graham Richards
Last Days in Oakland, Calif.

     
Dear Graham:   And we will miss your humor, charm and musical talent, which lit up the Bistro in Hayward and much of the East Bay! Y'all come back now, hear? — Ed.
Dear Editor:  

I just wanted to compliment you on your publication. Last week, a friend and I went out to Lagunitas Brewing Company and then hopped up to Hopland, where we purloined one of your mags. What an eye-opener. I was not aware of all the variety in our own backyard. I'm using your brew map to map out future travels. Perhaps you can post this mapping on your Web site? I remember when there were fewer then half a dozen pubs in the greater Bay Area. Keep up the good work.

David G. Endom
Concord, Calif.

     
Dear David:   We'll try to get the Hop Spots on the website. Meanwhile, check out realbeer.com for pub and brewery locations. — Ed.
Dear Editor:  

Just wanted to compliment you on the recent revisions you made to the "Hop Spots" listings in the Celebrator. The addition of the "NEW" buttons and "(closed)" listings makes it easy for a brewery junkie like myself to scan what's changed on the brewing scene with just a brief glance. Now if you would just clean out a few more of the defunct breweries from the list (speaking as a Chicagoan, I can tell you that the "Midwest" section needs a little work).

Eric Sorensen
Chicago, Ill.

     
Dear Eric:   Thanks for the props. Jay Brooks did most of the work in getting the Hop Spots hopping. We invite you and other readers to send in openings, closings and corrections. Send to hopspots@celebrator.com. We appreciate your help! — Ed.


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