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/// 20 YEARS OF BREWS NEWS
 
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2008
 
20 Years of Brews News
Top Stories from Each of Our 20 Years of Covering the Burgeoning Beer Scene
1988
We interview Michael Jackson for the first time. Our "beer world" consists of 24 breweries and brewpubs and a handful of pubs and restaurants, all covered in 12 pages.

1989
“The Year of Belgian Beer” by Julie Nickels takes us international. CBN hosts its first big event, Summerfest, a sampling of food and beer at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Authors Michael Jackson and Jack Erickson were on hand. We grow to 24 pages.

1990
Article about beer "online" via BBS and CompuServe puts us in the information age. CBN and Cannon Travel start Beer Tours to Dublin/London and Munich Oktoberfest. Vol. 3 No. 5 is first issue with Tom Dalldorf as publisher. Paper now at 32 pages.

1991
Brew Dude Fashion Show at Lyon's Brewery Depot in Dublin featured the first performance of the Rolling Boil Blues Band. Michael Jackson writes our “Beer and Food” feature. Hop Caen beer humor column debuts. Infamous National Enquirer parody for the April Fool’s issue. First CBN full-page four-color ad, for Yebisu from Sapporo.

1992
Beer dinner at Montana's in San Diego starts a revolution. CBN takes over circulation of Cascade Beer News in Pacific Northwest. Celis Brewery opens in Texas. Rogue Ales opens in huge old boat-storage building in Newport, Ore. Up to 36 pages.

1993
Fifth anniversary, beer industry rapidly expanding. Feds bust Grant's Brewery for putting nutritional information on beer labels. Brew-on-premises shops expand from Canada to the U.S. CBN coins the term "stealth micros" to denote big-guy breweries making "micro"-looking beers. Up to 48 pages.

1994
Expanding coverage includes Rocky Mountain region. First two-section issue because of increased page count. Redhook expands, John Hickenlooper is profiled, Fritz Maytag is profiled on the 20th anniversary of his holiday beer releases. Stock offering for Microbreweries Across America starts public investment in breweries. First Toronado Barleywine Festival held. Page count 36+28 in two sections.

1995
Continued expansion of industry is covered. as well as the Bible Belt Beer Boom. Publisher Tom Dalldorf and Michael Jackson spend two weeks on the road in California tasting beer from every brewery producing at the time (became known as the "Iron Liver Tour"). Brewing schools proliferate to fill need for more brewers. Our Brewers Swimsuit parody of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue debuts. More newbies than veterans attend the Craft Brewers Conference in Austin, Texas. Extensive interviews with Michael Jackson. Beer Train to the redwoods of Mendocino debuts. Coverage expands to East Coast. Page count now 36+32.

1996
We become a hybrid magazine/newspaper with staples, trimmed pages and colorful covers. Gordon Biersch sells for $20 million. Eighty-year-old macho jock Mac MacTarnahan rolls out his beer at Portland Brewing. We introduce a cigar column written by a woman, Monica Roseberry. Public offerings of breweries include Mendocino, Redhook, Boston Beer Company, Hart (Pyramid) and Pete's Wicked Ales. Widmer expands. Editorial "This Bud's NOT for You" covers Anheuser-Busch crackdown on micros with their distributors. CBN hits 80 pages.

1997
Coated stock covers give sheen to beer coverage. Craft Brewers Conference in Seattle becomes contentious when Redhook's Paul Shipman chides old regional breweries for contract brewing at expense of micros’ market share. Turns out he was right. We run editorial called “Beer Flood of ’97?” Turns out we were right. Beer stocks tank; Wall Street sours on breweries. Blush is off the hop vine. We list over two dozen companies making brewing equipment. Micros go macro. Wine guys Benziger and Korbel get into brewing. Beer Connoisseur, glossy "mainstream" beer mag, launches and dies after eight issues. Nor'Wester Brewing in Portland goes down. New openings are half the number of previous year. Mendocino Brewing does deal with UB Group from India.

1998
Tenth anniversary. Brewery closings exceed openings. CBN anniversary party held at Pyramid in Berkeley with huge turnout. Wanker Beer girls a hit at National Beer Wholesalers Association in Las Vegas. Go figure. We editorialize against .08 BAC in California. Passes anyway. Pete's sells to Gambrinus for $68 million. CBN raises funds for California Small Brewers Association legislative efforts. First check is for $1,200. Miller and Pabst divide Stroh's brands as consolidation continues. Anti-smoking laws end our lady cigar-writer's column. Page count shrinks to 70.

1999
Sierra Nevada expands with new brewhouse, fermentation tank farms and restaurant/pub. Michael Jackson on Conan O'Brien's show, but frat-boy jokes mock the Bard of Beer. Wine guys drop breweries as money losers. Can Cans Contain Quality Craft? Yes! Micro canning takes off. Guinness holds its final “Win Your Own Pub in Ireland” contest. Our publisher laments lost of free trips to Ireland. Full Sail sells to employees. Sam Adams takes on imports. CBN pulls plug on Beer Train. We average 60 pages.

2000
Interview with billionaire Vijay Mallya — Mendocino Savior? Michael Jackson roast on his 10th year at the University of Pennsylvania's tastings, with industry luminaries as roasters and Publisher Tom Dalldorf as emcee. Interview with Jimmy Kimmel of “The Man Show.” Industry recovering from "shakeout." World Beer Cup moves to NYC — Slow Food Movement introduced to beer industry via Carlo Petrini.

2001
Micro-distiller in the news. CBN proclaims Portland the City of Beer. Pete's Wicked Ales hosts beer writers at the Playboy Mansion in L.A. Bert Grant dies at 73. Horse Brass turns 25. Craft Brewers Conference in Portland; CBN hosts party at Crystal Ballroom.

2002
Legendary beer distributor Jim Kennedy interviewed by CBN just before his death. CBN moves anniversary party to Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Oregon Brewers Fest turns 15 as industry matures. Michael Jackson turns 60.

2003
CBN 15th anniversary party at Great American Music Hall. CBC in New Orleans. Battle of the Brewery Bands at the Rock ’n’ Bowl. Burgermeister John Hickenlooper elected Mayor of Denver. Michael Jackson writes about the most romantic dinner he ever had (up to that time) and how it involved the dread neutral spirit vodka.

2004
Our "Best of" issue names Higgins in Portland, Ore., and Monk's in Philly as having the Best Restaurant Beer Lists; Falling Rock as Denver’s Best Alehouse, and John Hickenlooper as Best Industry Leader. CBN launches Beerapalooza in San Francisco Bay Area. Anchor celebrates 30 years of holiday beers.

2005
Swimsuit issue attains new, uh, level with photo of retired porn star — promises not to do it again. Michael Jackson tours beer sites in Japan and is a huge hit. We report on Budweiser Budvar in the Czech Republic. Beer chef Paton and beer cook Saunders on the cover celebrate beer and food.

2006
Expanding breweries and consolidating distributors dominate the news. CBN picks 10 Best Beer Cities: Portland, Ore., #1. Michael Jackson wins James Beard award for Whisky Writing. Fred Fest for Fred Eckhardt on his 80th birthday. Don Younger celebrates 30 years as publican.

2007
Craft beer continues to be fastest-growing segment of the beverage alcohol business. CBN sponsors Brews Cruise to Alaska. Brewers’ Mardi Gras celebrates CBN 19th anniversary. Editorial cites national media for prejudice against beer. Beer and food go mainstream. Toronado turns 20 — Brickskeller turns 50. Michael Jackson dies at 65. Beer world in mourning.

2008
Best time in history to be a beer lover. But access to raw ingredients will be a challenge in the coming year and prices will rise. Remember, if you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own. (Scoop Nisker said that.)

 

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