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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE

To ensure a fresh start to the year, pick up a bar of Rail Yard Ale All-Natural Beer Soap. Yes, beer soap! The product is a collaboration of Denver’s iconic Wynkoop Brewing Company and the Sweet Cheeks Soap Company of Lakewood, Colo. According to the label, “It’s handcrafted in small batches from the finest all-natural ingredients.” Hey, just like a fine beer! Make your cheeks sweet with Sweet Cheeks?… A beer named SUE gave Yazoo Brewing its second GABF medal since a 2004 gold. The silver winner is “a full-bodied smoked imperial porter that finishes with slight cherry sweetness.” Founded by Linus Hall in 2003, the craft brewery moved to larger quarters in 2009. Soon Yazoo will be a common name among beer lovers everywhere. A Beer Named Sue for You from Yazoo! How Do You DO!…

Cascade Brewmaster Ron Gansberg in Portland, Ore., is multitalented and a bit of a wordsmith. Gansberg can brew and blend all day and conduct tours explaining the sour beer technique, and then switch hats and hit the stage with his bluegrass-folk band, Black Lodge, with nary a sour note to be heard. Some of Gansberg’s brilliantly named offerings include Bourbonic Plague — a blend of strong dark porters aged in oak, wine and bourbon barrels and then blended with a dark porter brewed with vanilla beans and cinnamon. The blend is then aged an additional 14 months on dates. I’ve had a few dates with age on them, and I recommend them. The effort garnered Gansberg a gold medal in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category at the 2009 GABF. Gansberg also named his Northwest sour beer Vlad the Imp Aler. It is a blend of 23- and 25-degree Plato sour blonde quadrupels and sour bourbon-barrel tripels aged in oak and bourbon barrels and then further blended with spiced blondes. This beer won the silver medal in the same category as Bourbonic Plague. Gansberg is our sourpuss of the year!

Putting the Pedal to the Metal in Germany: The multiperson bike bars have become a central part of many a “hen” or “stag” weekend, allowing revelers to simultaneously drink and tour a city’s sights on wheels. But a German court has issued a clampdown on so-called beer bikes, branding them dangerous and a nuisance to other road users. The bizarre contraptions hail from the Netherlands but are a particular hit in Germany, where they are offered to tourists in 34 cities. Beer bikes, also known as “pedal pubs” or “mobile conference tables,” allow up to 16 drinkers to sit around a beer bar, help themselves to on-tap beer and listen to music while pedaling around the city. They are steered by a nondrinker employed by the operator. More than half of the rentals are for stag parties. A court in Düsseldorf issued a ban following complaints from other drivers about rowdiness. Complainants maintained that the bikes caused traffic jams that intensified the longer a beer bike journey lasted. Really? So, the court is suggesting that the more the revelers drank, the more their pedal power tended to be reduced? Imagine that…

Ami Mesika of New York City–based GM Diamonds is the creator of the most expensive bottle in the world, at $3.5 million a copy. Doubt if there are a lot of copies at that price. The bottle was launched recently in Mexico City for Tequila Ley 925. The artist said, “This bottle was a pure 3.6 kilos of platinum with 6,400 diamonds, for a total weight of 415 ct.” The bottle won the Guinness record for the most expensive bottle in the world. No word yet on the quality of the aforementioned tequila or if it lived up to the name Tequila Ley (get it?). This package would be the complete opposite of the dead animal stuffed with BrewDog Beer. Ya think?…

Rogue Brand Banned in China: For the second year in a row, the Rogue Ales trademark has been refused in China. The Rogue Nation is currently in deliberations as to whether or not to boycott the People’s Republic of China for refusing its trademark due to allegations that Rogues are “… vagrant, idle, sturdy beggars, vagabonds and tramps… detrimental to socialist morals and customs.” Well, duh! The Rogue Nation is still trying to figure out what is so wrong with that. We hope our Rogue brothers stand fast against this silly socialist dismissiveness on the part of the upstanding and thoroughly nonsturdy beggars of the most populous place on the planet. Vagrant vagabonds, indeed…

Everyone Deserves a Happy Ending Dept.: Or so says the always entertaining folks at SweetWater Brewing in Atlanta, Ga. Just released is SweetWater’s new seasonal imperial stout called Happy Ending. Brilliant. Sez the brewery marketing weasel, “This stiffy of a stout is guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face.” Who among us doesn’t like a happy ending?…

 

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