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HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Talk about a Cinco de Mayo party: Police in central Pennsylvania are searching for a missing beer trailer loaded with about 1,800 cases of Corona. The trailer was stolen from a distributor sometime just before May 5. Ironic? You betcha. Now revelers will have to choose a better beer? Here at the Celebrator, we celebrate Cinco or Swimo, the first successful crossing of the Rio Grande. Good beer required…

The Burnside Brewing Company in Portland, Ore., offered a limited-release imperial wheat ale flavored with Indian spices and Scotch bonnet peppers. The beer is called Kali-ma because of its Indian flavorings. The Hindu community was not amused. The response included strenuous objections from Hindu spokesman Rajan Zed, who called the beer with goddess Kali on the label “inappropriate.” The goddess Kali is usually portrayed as having anywhere from four to eight arms, with a scimitar in one hand, a freshly severed head in another, and sometimes a cup in the hand below the severed head to catch the blood. A thoughtful gesture, to be sure, but obviously inappropriate for a beer label. Maybe an Indian-spiced whiskey?… Meanwhile, the Hindu god Genesh (only four arms but with the head of an elephant) continues to adorn the label of Indica IPA from Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka, California…

Scotland’s BrewDog, the sassy brewer of the highest-alcohol beer ever to be stuffed into a hedgehog, got a bit of a shock while attending an awards dinner in Scotland. The company was there to accept an award for its very successful and innovative pubs. Surprise, surprise, the award went to another pub company. One of the judges for the award, who happened to be sitting at the BrewDog table said, “That’s not possible!” Ooops. It seems other forces not favorable to the BrewDog ethos intervened and demanded that the results be changed. When the announced company went up to get the award, the trophy was already engraved to… you guessed it… BrewDog. What scandal! It seems drinks giant Diageo’s Guinness company was accused of using its huge commercial heft to deprive BrewDog of the Bar Operator of the Year award (which Diageo sponsors!). Then all social media hell broke loose. Diageo saw its name being dragged through the blogosphere mud and Twitter users lampooning it under the hashtag #AndTheWinnerIsNot. The fixer boys at Diageo claimed a “serious misjudgment” by “overzealous” staff. Yeah, right. Ah, well, every BrewDog has its day, eh?…

Mamas, don’t let your beer drinkers grow up to be gamblers: It seems that drinking and gambling really don’t mix. The latest player stats released by the leading online live casino indicate that the world’s top beer-drinking nations also have the worst success rate at their suite of online casino games. CastleCasino.com announced the countries with the best and worst gamblers and the payout rates from 60 countries compared with the average liters of beer consumption per capita. Worst performance was the Czech Republic, followed by Germany, Ireland, Poland and Australia. This syncs nicely with the average beer consumption per person, with the Czech Republic, again in first, followed by Germany, Ireland, Poland and Australia. Perfect correlation! Best performing payout rates went to the lowest beer-consuming countries of Sweden, the Netherlands, Hungary, Bulgaria and Spain. Beer is our friend, but not when the chips are down…

A Budweiser advert has been banned for linking alcohol to sexual success. The radio spot featured an American football coach giving a motivational talk before a lads’ night out, with the coach saying, “You were conceived on a night like tonight.” The Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint about the ad against A-B InBev, the British-based brewer of the American lager. A-B denied suggesting that its beer led to sexual success and insisted it was “fully committed to the responsible marketing of its products.” The company could have played Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s the Night”…

Actors to the rescue! Sir Ian McKellen and Stephen Fry appear to have been successful in their campaign to save a British pub called The Hobbit, and they have offered to help the owners pay a yearly fee to keep the place open. Lawyers representing the Saul Zaentz Company, the American firm that owns the copyright to a number of J. R. R. Tolkien’s works, ordered the owners of the Southampton pub to change the name or face legal action. The pub has been trading as The Hobbit for more than 20 years, and landlady Stella Mary Roberts insisted she didn’t have the funds to fight the legal threat. McKellen, who played the wizard Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings movies, and Fry, who will appear in the upcoming adaptation of The Hobbit, threw their support behind a campaign to keep the bar open. Now the pair have promised to pay the license fee (reportedly about $100 per year) needed to prevent further legal issues. More than a Tolkien gesture, to be sure…

No Bull! Denver’s Wynkoop Brewing Company just released its Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, made with bull testicles. The brewery did so on April 1. Not sure if this was a coincidence, but I’m bullish on Wynkoop…
 

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