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DECEMBER 2001/JANUARY 2002 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Just how important can something like beer be after the events of 911? First on the e-mail trail were the eloquently unpolished soul-searching observations of our publishing cohort Tony Forder of Ale Street News, who questioned how he could even consider brewing and writing about it in the context of watching the horror taking place across the Hudson River from his vantage point on the Jersey Turnpike. Probably everyone in the country questioned the importance and viability of their own personal Idaho on that day. If you weren’t in public safety, you were not vital to the task at hand, and anyone not vital was sadly redundant. After days and, in some cases, weeks of stupefying helplessness and a sense of abject futility, the idea began to develop that maybe it was our collective diversity of contributions that made up the worth of our existence…

There is some consolation in the fact that no matter how bad your personal situation is, someone else has it worse. Consider the 45-year-old brewery in another part of the world a little closer to the source of the madness. The Ferida Brewery, founded in 1956 by an unlikely consortium of Christian and Muslim investors, has been out of operation only once in its history — during the Gulf War in the early 1990s. The brewery is located in Baghdad, Iraq. But religious “issues” and a severely weakened economy have driven the Ferida Brewery to the brink of closing. Sort of between Iraq and a hard place…

Are you “board” with Monopoly? Know all the answers to Trivial Pursuit? Maybe it’s time you played “BrewMaster: The Craft Beer Game.” Now you can be in charge and call the shots in running a microbrewery and being successful in a competitive market against other players. According to the maker, “The game places the players into the role of brewers seeking to create award-winning beers and crowd support.” This is done by designing and successfully marketing the beers and avoiding traps on the game board. The game retails for $29.95 and was designed by twin brothers Chris and Mike White. Chris (that’s Dr. Chris to you) is a lecturer at UC San Diego and is president of White Labs Inc., a San Diego–based company that manufactures yeast for microbrewers and homebrewers. Mike White is a professional journalist and beer fan. The two were aided by dozens of brewers (hello, Tom and Tomme) and beer fans who tested the game at beer festivals, airports and bars across the country. Check it out at brewmastergame.com

Attention, All Police Officers: Mt. Hood Coffee Roasters is now producing "Beer Donuts" at its shop in Welches, Ore. Beer Donuts are made with Ice Axe IPA from Mt. Hood Brewing Co. — not too amazing, considering that the donut maker is also the brewer at Mt. Hood. Brewer Jon B. Graber said that out of curiosity he poured some fresh draft Ice Axe IPA into the dough. “The results were good… very good. In fact, even I have eaten two or three. (I'm really sick of f***ing donuts, personally.)” Chocolate, maple or vanilla iced, with an assortment of toppings. Or try the cinnamon sugar (the best, according to Jon). Sadly, you have to go to Welches, Ore., to get ’em.

On October 27, the Washington Brewers Guild held its second annual Cask Beer Festival, which featured 40 breweries pouring traditional cask-conditioned ales. This joyous conglomeration of alcoholic bliss was held at the appropriately named Alki Room at Seattle Center. Alki Room?…

The California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena held its Oktoberfest Food and Beer Festival benefiting the school's in-house student beer brewing club (are you ready for this?) called Le Cordon Brew Society! For more info, speak to the school's receptionist at 626-403-8490…

Barb Miller, La Femme de Marketing for Midnight Sun Brewery in Anchorage, Alaska, said, “If you've not attended the Great American Beer Festival, you must do so before your liver ceases to function properly, which reminds me of the best t-shirt I saw during my stint in Denver: The liver is EVIL and must be PUNISHED.” We bet someone who is called La Femme de Marketing knows how to punish a liver…

“Hooters' Waitress Sues Eatery” screamed the headlines. (Bet you think I just make this stuff up…) Well now, an AP story out of Panama City, Fla., recounts the sad tale of a Hooters waitress who won a beer-selling contest where the top price promised was a new Toyota. When she was led blindfolded to the parking lot in front of the staff to get her new “Toyota,” the manager presented her with a toy Yoda. “So, a waitress you want to be,” we assume the toy Yoda said. The employee has retained a lawyer and is suing for misrepresentation and loss of dignity. We are pleased to learn that a Hooters waitress can have dignity…

In an Olympic moment, the Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission proposed to allow alcohol advertising as long as the ads did not carry a religious theme. The Wasatch Brew Pub, in the heart of ski country, considers the new rule an attack on one of its ad campaigns. Six months ago, the brewery ran a series of billboards calling its beer "Utah's Other Local Religion," including the phrase "Baptize Your Taste Buds." The brewery has contacted the American Civil Liberties Union with questions about how the new rule may affect the business's First Amendment rights. It could be worse; they could be brewing in Iraq…

 

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