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APRIL/MAY 2009 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Ride the RAT in England: If you like your train ride “mild,” then consider the Real Ale Train and its tradition of serving real ales from Hampshire and surrounding counties from a restored real ale bar carriage. The railroad selects at least one local brewery to guest for each train, so each time you go, there are different ales to drink! Breweries such as the Hampshire Brewery, Itchen Valley Brewery, Triple FFF, Oakleaf and Harvey’s are featured. Due to its popularity, the RAT is advance booking only, so plan ahead and enjoy. Now let’s get Amtrak on board…

Homer Simpson, cartoon patriarch of television’s first family, has publicly stated that President Obama should make beer production the centerpiece of the economic recovery plan. “If I was President Obama for a day,” Homer said in a recent episode, “I'd order the Treasury to stop printing money and start brewing beer. That would end this Depression pretty damn fast!” But, Homer, what would you buy the beer with? “D’oh!”…

Anheuser-Busch is known for its famous Clydesdale horses pulling a vintage beer wagon. Now it's welcoming two new additions to the team. The newest Clydesdale is a female foal born recently at the Cooper County farm. She's going to be used strictly for breeding, as only males pull the eight-horse hitch. The breeders are also impressed with a new male foal born at the end of February. He has four white socks and a blaze of white on his face. Maybe they should call him Chicago (white socks). Hopefully, the new asset-selling owners of Anheuser-Busch from Belgium and Brazil will not sell the iconic team to Saudi Arabia or China or some such. What would they use for their commercials?…

Recession times call for clever ideas. Beer lover Daniel Brabson has a website that sells, among other things, a pint glass that says “My investments are tied up in Hops and Barley.” Good idea. You can check out his other stuff at recessionjunction.com.

Mt. Begbie Brewing will have a new beer out this spring called Nasty Habit IPA. Owner Tracey Larson says the name comes from terminology used by the younger, cooler employees at the brewery. Their summer seasonal beer, also named by the kids, er, staff, is called “Attila the Honey.” Nice… The SandLot Brewery in Denver has my favorite beer name so far. It’s a rauchbier called… wait for it… Second Hand Smoke.

Dr. Fermento (Jim Roberts) checks in from Anchorage with yet another alcohol-fueled outdoor activity — the annual Running of the Reindeer. “It's not a race; it's a mêlée,” said the good doctor. “The reindeer always win — they can totally haul ass. This event combines purposely badly dressed people in a purposely dangerous situation. Enhanced by alcohol, it's nothing but good, clean fun.” Sounds sort of Hemmingway-esque in a Pamplona sort of way…

The owners of Leon's Full Service (who also own the Brick Store Pub) in Decatur, Ga., auctioned off and sold the first pint of beer for $2,650 to benefit a fund set up for the employees of two local businesses that were destroyed by a fire. There were a ton of great beers to choose from, but in the end, Terrapin India-Style Brown Ale was the one high bidder Marshall Davis enjoyed! Most expensive pint in the world?…

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, the popular food and drink destination with seven East Coast locations, offers guests their own “Economic Stimulus Package”: five times a week, at least one table of guests will be randomly selected to receive a “bailout,” meaning that Iron Hill will buy them their meal. “People are watching their wallets now more than ever, so the least we can do is reward a lucky few with a great meal on us,” says Director of Culinary Operations Kevin Davies. “This is a lighthearted gesture that we hope will make people smile in these trying times.” Someone alert the Obama administration…

Speaking of our new President, he told Jon Stewart during the election campaign that he did not think Fox News pundit Sean Hannity’s fans would much like to have a beer with him. But he found Mr. Hannity a convenient straight man anyway. “With respect to Sean Hannity, I didn’t know that he had invited me for a beer,” the President said to laughter from the crowd. “But I will take that under advisement,” he added in a tone that suggested it might be a long consideration, which prompted even more laughter. “Generally,” Mr. Obama went on, “his opinion of me does not seem to be very high.” More laughter. “But I’m always good for a beer.” Still more laughter. Beer just may heal our nation after all…

 

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