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/// HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
 
APRIL/MAY 2002 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
The Brickskeller tossed a major beer-laden party for the Bard of Beer, the Beer Hunter himself, Michael Jackson, who defied modern medical assumptions to reach the ripe young age of 60 on March 27 at the famed beer emporium in Washington, D.C. The Brick, as it is lovingly called, will soon be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records, not for all the Guinness it has served, but for the depth and breadth of its staggering beer collection. I use the term "staggering" advisedly. No doubt the eloquent and erudite Mr. Jackson should also be entered in that august tome for having personally consumed every one of those beers (not on the same night, silly). Of all the gifts, accolades and recognition Michael received, perhaps one of the best-kept secrets and most unusual was the special label bottling of magnums of Anchor Steam with a new Anchor label (a first!) dedicated to Michael's birthday. He was handed the bottle and a "hot off the press" copy of this rag with the congratulatory label on the cover. Stealth AND timing! Happy birthday, Michael…

The music world may have been saddened by the passing of the Beatle who wrote "All Things Must Pass," but the aforementioned Anchor Brewing Company did something about it. In his memory, the brewery flew the Union Jack at half-staff in place of Old Glory. George is finally out of the shadow of his glorious bandmates and into the glow of eternity.

To promote his new book titled Boonville, noted nouveau author Robert Anderson (hey, Anderson Valley, get it?) has been doing readings around the West Coast. To help bring people the flavor of the secluded hamlet of Boonville, Anderson brought along a few kegs of the locally made brew Boont Amber ale. "Boont" is the Boontling word for Boonville. What's Boontling, you ask? Well now, in the early part of the last century the town of Boonville was so remote it developed its own local language called Boontling (short for Boonville lingo). The dialect was so perplexing to outsiders that the U.S. Army actually used it as code during World War I. You might still hear few old-timers speaking the mysterious dialect (or “harpin the ling,” as they like to say), but mostly today it is confined to place names and roadside attractions. The book Boonville has been number one on the S.F. Bay Area bestseller list for many weeks now, and it will be released nationally this spring. Get a copy of Boonville and a six-pack of Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s Boont Amber ale. Taken together, each makes more sense…

This just in from Tom Schlafly, owner of The Saint Louis Brewery (the second largest brewery in Saint Louis): “I encourage everyone to read River-Horse by William Least Heat-Moon. It contains an account of the author's visit to The Saint Louis Brewery. He describes listening to bagpipe music while eating white-bean chili and drinking cask-conditioned ale as a thunderstorm raged outside. The rest of the book is also worth reading.” Thanks, Tom…

This just in: Big Belly Brewery in Weston, Fla., has closed. Hmm… you don’t spoze it had anything to do with the name, do you?…

Can genetic engineering eliminate the beer belly? That's what researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston are wondering as they try to ID the specific enzyme in fat cells that causes them to cluster around the abdomen. Aside from sheer vanity, this is the kind of fat that is most associated with a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and certain cancers. Ultimately, this research could lead to a trim and buff Homer Simpson. Think about it!

As the winter Olympics fade, I hope you caught Bob Costas’s interview with the bartender from T&C's Family Restaurant in Vermont. Long story short: Kelly Clark won the Women's Halfpipe competition, and Costas commented that they must be buying a round for everyone at her family's restaurant. Well, everyone in the bar heard Bob's comment, and news got back to Costas that because of the blue laws in Vermont, the bartender had to pay for the tab out of his own pocket! During the bartender's on-air interview, Costas said, “Well, hopefully they were buying the cheap stuff and not Courvoisier.” The savvy bartender said, “Actually, we only serve the local craft brews on tap. Most people ordered Long Trail, Otter Creek or Magic Hat.” Ya can’t pay for publicity like that!…

Speaking of publicity, would you blow your 15 minutes of fame jumping to the defense of the hideously demented attack-dog-owning lawyers in the infamous fatal dog-mauling case? Star defense witless — er, witness Allan Paul of the San Francisco Brewing Company did just that. Can’t wait to hear his report when the couple’s adopted son, Aryan prison gang leader “Cornfed” Schneider, shows up for a beer…

Jim Leff, the alpha dog of chowhound.com, checks in with a note that he had rave reviews on his Northwest boards for something called Chernobyl Imperial Stout. How positively radiant, I thought. Um… made me melt down? Left a glow for 25,000 years? A beer with a half-life? Your turn…

Historically Challenged Dept.: Heineken, whose single contribution to the beer world was the green bottle, spent mightily on ads during this year's GRAMMY awards, dragging out reruns of its campaign showing the source of various fads to be connected somehow with a Heineken bottle. Inventing the peace sign ordering beers (1969), stadium concert lighters held high as the result of some doofus dropping his beer (1978), and hip-hop DJ scratching by spilling Heineken on the turntable (1982) are all sadly misdated. Almost as sad as the beer that caused it…

 

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