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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2002 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Are wine drinkers smarter than beer drinkers? A study that started out trying to explain the apparent health benefits of drinking red wine suggests that wine drinkers could be smarter than beer drinkers, as well as better adjusted. John Hansell, publisher of the Malt Advocate, forwards the report, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which confirms that moderate wine drinkers experience better overall health than either abstainers or those who choose other alcoholic beverages. The conventional view, associated with the now-famous French Paradox (which is NOT two French doctors), is that red wine contains compounds that raise good cholesterol levels and reduce the blood's tendency to clot, promoting overall cardiac health. However, those pesky researchers conclude, it may not be ingredients in the wine itself. They argue that it's the higher socioeconomic status, elevated IQ and enhanced personality function of average wine drinkers that are the probable sources of the good health and comparative longevity they enjoy. So, given that some 90 percent of the beer consumed in this country is nasty adjunct sparkling rice and corn water, wouldn’t it follow that consumers of craft beer must be wildly intellectual and just plain brilliant? I didn’t think I’d get an argument…

Internet and Out the Other Dept.: Bouncing around the Internet is this little warning about a new date-rape drug targeting males: “A warning to all male clubbers, party-goers and unsuspecting pub regulars to keep alert when offered a drink from any woman. A new date-rape drug on the market, called "beer," is used by females to target unsuspecting men. The drug is generally found in liquid form and is now available almost anywhere. "Beer" is used by female sexual predators at parties and bars to convince their male victims to go home and have sex with them. After several "beers" men will often succumb to desires to perform sexual acts on women to whom they would never normally be attracted. Men often awaken after being given "beer" with only hazy memories of exactly what happened. At other times, these unfortunate men are stung for life in a familiar scam known as "a relationship." Please! Forward this warning to every male you know. If you fall victim to this insidious "beer" and the predatory women administering it, there are male support groups with venues in every town where you can discuss the details of your shocking encounter in an open and frank manner. They are called "golf courses.”

If It’s Not Scottish, It’s Crrrap! Dept.: Sometimes both, it would seem. Anthropologists (can you dig it?) have discovered ancient brewing vessels in Scotland’s far north Orkney region that were lined with… how can I put this delicately?… dung. Seems to have been a traditional “adjunct” of choice for the hearty inhabitants of that unforgiving place. Naturally, Celebrator readers are quick to help out with some “dung beer” slogans. Don Besemer checks in with “Brown Nose Beer, the choice of middle management.” Bob and Angela Coleman, our brew birds of hoppiness, chime in with “More ad slogans for Dungenbrau: It's Bottom-Fermented!”; “A genuine log-ger"; Now with "flush by" date!”; “Look for the brown can” and “It's the world's number two beer!” Sounds like the sort of thing you might find at Squatters Pub in Salt Lake City!…

Speaking of which, Greg Schirf of Wasatch and Squatters Utah breweries has produced a new beer called Polygamy Porter for his Utah clientele. The mottos are "Why Have Just One?” and “Take some home for the wives.” The brewery tried to put these clever sayings on billboards just in time for the Olympics, but the billboard company refused to run them. "Bad taste" they said. Guess they never had ancient Orkney beer. What’s next? St. Provo Girl Pilsner, celebrating Brigham Young's coeds? Hmmmm…

Three vampires walk into a bar. The barmaid asked, “What would you gentlemen like tonight?” The first vampire said, “I'll have a mug of blood.” The second vampire said, “I'll have a mug of blood, too.” The third vampire shook his head at his companions and said, “I'll just have a glass of plasma.” The barmaid called out to the bartender, “Two bloods and a blood light.”

Bart Simpson Would Be Proud Dept.: This is one of those stories that's been traveling the Internet long enough that we thought it might be an urban legend (i.e., a fabrication). So we tracked it down, found it was reported in the Red Deer Advocate newspaper in central Alberta, Canada, and now feel comfortable passing it along. Last year, 18-year-old David Zurfluh tried to eat his undershorts in the hope that the cotton would absorb the alcohol before he took a breathalyzer test. He had been flagged down by a constable after his vehicle had been seen weaving as he drove. The constable told a provincial court that Zurfluh had ripped the crotch out of his shorts and stuffed the fabric in his mouth while sitting in the back of the patrol car. He was subsequently acquitted of impaired driving because he blew .08% on the breathalyzer, which was within the legal limits. Can’t say what it smelled like, however. Orkney beer?

 

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