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/// HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
 
APRIL/MAY 2000 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Barb Miller, La Femme de Marketing and sales for Midnight Sun Brewing Company, checks in with her “SorTa FroZeN BrEw NeWs” from Anchorage. “OK… so we FINALLY get our beer on tap in Girdwood, then we AVALANCHE the only [high]way between there and Anchor-town, cutting off the peninsula from the big city for a week! The Anchorage Daily News reported that folks were in need of ‘food, medicine, fuel, beer and diapers.’ I'd say not necessarily in that order. At our house, we can go a lot longer without food than we can without diapers… or beer, for that matter! I'm sure our taps are off to a running start with a little help from La Madre Natura. The current freeze-thaw trend is expected for another week. This means get yer growler to-go and sit on yer couch. Stay off the streets. It's an ice rink derby and you don't want to be in front of me, Baby! (Just ask my insurance agent)”…

Czech this out! Beer Bottles Green with Envy? Have you seen the Bud commercials where they use an "import" to revive a guy passed out on the floor? The Bud spots, like some earlier Sam Adams adverts, are targeting Heineken and others for using green glass bottles, which offer less protection against ultraviolet light, which turns beer “skunky.” Sadly, one of the greatest “pilsner” beers of the world, Pilsner Urquell, still uses the green bottles because they have that “import” look, says Don Van Valkenburg of Steinfillers homebrew shop in Southern California. Maybe now that the company has been bought by South African Breweries (welcome to the global brewing scene), the new owners will take a closer look at packaging?…

Meanwhile, our friends at Miller are complacently claiming the whole cache by using the tag line “Taste a true pilsner.” In advertising, words mean nothing. Tom Schlafly notes in his recent The Schlafly Growler that the Miller message is an oxymoron. “Michael Jackson defines light beer as an ‘American low-calorie beer in a watery interpretation of the Pilsener style.’” We rather doubt that Miller will change its ad campaign to “Taste a true American low-calorie beer in a watery interpretation of the Pilsener style.” Too many words and WAY too true…

Word from the tastefully programmed UPN TV network was that its “Smackdown!” wrestling “show” would undergo a Tonedown! Sure enough, a recent edition of “WWF Smackdown!” was a model of decorum — relatively speaking, anyway. No one grabbed anybody's crotch. No superstars made an entrance spewing beer. Wonder what that will do to ratings? Maybe if they had them spewing good beer?…

If you had a homebrew club in Green Bay, Wis., what would you call it? The foamy fermenters in those parts call it the Green Bay Rackers…

And just when you thought all that Millennium Madness was behind us… enter Brendan Moylan of Larkspur and Novato, Calif., with his Marin Brewing Company’s “Marinnium Ale” (ouch!) and his Moylan’s Brewing Company’s “Moylannium Ale” (double ouch!). Brendan, go to your room. But leave a few cases behind… you know, for samples…

Twenty Tank Brewery in San Francisco had to be closed on a Wednesday evening last month. Seems Don “Miami Vice” Johnson in his alter ego “Nash Bridges” needed the hip SOMA (South of Market) brewpub as a location for his TV series. Plenty of Red Top for the cast and crew, according to the staff. The “Tank” returned to its usual hours the next day.

Dave Letterman’s speedy recovery from recent heart surgery was almost too quick for the CBS staff. Newsweek reports that the producer of “The Late Show” with David Letterman complained that now he had to “pick up all the beer cans.” Gosh, we thought people at a classy show like David’s would drink beer from a bottle…

Imagine walking into your local pub and ordering a beer, only to find out it’s the 5 millionth pint poured and you just won a free growler a month for a year! That happened to Joseph Jonstone, who frequents the Front Street Pub at the Santa Cruz Brewing Company in Santa Cruz, Calif. The venerable pub and brewery have been open since 1985…

And the good news is: Ounce for ounce, the least fattening alcoholic beverage is… beer! I think I’ll have one now… part of my diet, you know…

Our rabidly misguided friends at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have launched a “Drink Beer, Not Milk” campaign to get college kids to lay off the exploitation of cows. As much as we like the “Drink Beer” part, to “save a cow’s life” by not drinking milk is patently absurd. All those un-milked cows would swell up with milk and explode in horrible pain. It would be an udder disaster! Meanwhile, our rabidly misguided other friends at MADD are decrying the program because “beer is a gateway drug” and will lead to more drug abuse among young people, as well as more drunk driving. Well, now, guess you just can’t enjoy a beer anymore without “being hooked” or getting drunk. It’s so comforting to know that the zealots are out there protecting us from ourselves…

 

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