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/// HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
 
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2001 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Busch-League Advertising Dept.: Ever since Anheuser-Busch wrenched the Goodby, Silverstein & Partners advertising agency away from Pete’s Wicked Ales, Bud Light has had some of the funniest ads on television. Credit (blame) GS&P for the national mania of “Waassuup!” A newer spot has a young dude trying to break open an “honor” bar in a hotel room while his paramour waits patiently. Cut to another couple in the next room hearing his banging on the wall with cries of “I want it!” Edgy stuff and very funny. It almost makes the Super Bowl worth watching. One wonders where GS&P would be today if they had stayed with Pete’s — advertising hell?…

And what happens when the 800-pound gorilla meets the sleeping dragon? A-B found out when a shipment of cans of Budweiser to China was rejected. Seems the Chinese government objected to the slogan “World’s best-selling beer” in Chinese on the can. Budattorneys’ protests have been to no avail (so far). Maybe Tsing Tao has plans that don’t include Bud? It’s a New Brew World, after all…

Connecticut Yankee Gregg Glaser and fellow YAHOOS (Yankee Association of Homebrewers Objecting to Organized Societies) celebrate an annual holiday meeting/party and so-called Silli Bière competition. “We all make (or doctor up) silly beers — strange names or labels and/or ingredients,” sez Gregg. One year a member used a syringe to suck the liquid filling out of chocolate balls and then refilled them with his porter! Someone once made Lawn Mower Beer by putting freshly cut grass (from the lawn, silly) in a light lager. You should have tasted the Frozen Russian Imperial Stout Popsicle Sticks! Gregg doctored a Penn & Teller recipe called “Bleeding Heart Gelatin Dessert” as follows. The mold consists of strawberry jello with unsweetened evaporated milk (for the color of freshly skinned flesh, of course) and a homebrewed Belgian Triple. A plastic sandwich bag is filled with light corn syrup, grenadine, a tube of red food coloring and some homebrewed strong Belgian ale. It's a thick, blood-like mixture. When the outer mold is cut (with a flourish and an appropriate speech) with a large, sharp carving knife, the plastic bag is pierced and the wonderfully gooey center spills out onto the serving dish. It’s a “Triple Strong Belgian Bleeding Heart!” Happy holidays, Gregg. Now go to your room…

Malt Advocate publisher John Hansell reports that a study published in the December issue of New Scientist suggests that drinking makes you smarter! Duh! We knew that… or thought we did. We can’t remember. The report stated that, on average, men who drank moderately (defined as less than 540 milliliters of saké or wine a day) had an IQ that was 3.3 points higher than men who did not drink at all! Women drinkers scored 2.5 points higher than female teetotalers. The type of alcohol didn't influence the results. The volunteers drank a variety of beverages ranging from beer and whisky to wine and saké. According to the article, the study was part of a wider research project geared toward finding out why brain function deteriorates with age. (Hey, watch it! — Ed.) Hansell thinks the real question is: “Does drinking make you smarter, or is it just that smarter people drink?” You go, John!

Perhaps the most appropriate way to celebrate a life that has just passed is via the Irish tradition of the wake. But do you know how the name came to pass (so to speak)? In the “olden daze,” lead cups were used to drink ale and whiskey. The combination of lead and alcohol would sometimes knock drinkers out for literally several days. When they were discovered, friends and family would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days, and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait to see if the person would “wake up.” Hence the custom of holding a “wake.” And now you know the rrrest of the story!…

Richard “gak” Stueven czechs in with some new brews coming later this year: “a Belgian abbey-style ‘single’ (Enkel Biter) and Toil and Trubbel Dubbel to go along with our Abbot Pennings Trippel,” according to the gak-ster. “Also on the schedule are Czech Out This Pils! and Who the Helles Chuck?” More silliness from gak at beerismylife.com. Everyone likes a well-turned Enkel…

Bob and Angela Coleman, San Francisco’s beer-loving lovebirds, have a suggestion for beer choices for Valentine’s Day. “The following beers, while perfectly sound the rest of the year, should be carefully considered before being offered on the big day,” according to B & A. What does a Unic Bier (Brasserie Gigi, Belgium) say to your significant other? Is a Coq Hardi (Haacht, Belgium) a bit bold? Can you ask, “Dear, did you remember the Con Domus?” (Domus, Belgium) with a straight (but safe) face? A Butcombe Bitter (Butcombe, England) might be just the thing with the leather crowd. Brewer's Droop (Marston Moor, North Yorkshire, England) is to be avoided at all costs. “Dear, I’ve got an Eddie McStiff” (Moab, Utah) might get you new dental work (or some quick action!). "Doggie-Style" Flying Dog Classic Pale Ale (Broadway Brewing, Denver, Colo.), Big Butt Doppelbock (Leinenkugel, Wisconsin) and Old Bawdy Barleywine (Pike Brewing, Seattle, Wash.) are just asking for trouble. Bob and Angela suggest that if you do blow it and wind up alone on Valentine’s Day, you might consider the Palm Speciale (Palm, Belgium). Ya gotta hand it to them…

 

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