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/// HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
 
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2012 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Major League Baseball hosted its Midsummer Classic, the All-Star Game, this year at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium. Fans watching the Home Run Derby or the All-Star Game may have noticed something not often seen in a major league stadium. No, not a player refusing steroids. Just stop it. We’re talking about signage for a local craft brewery! If you checked out the left field fence, there was a sign that said “Boulevard Brewing Company.” Woo-hoo! Craft beer goes major league. With BBC being the 10th largest craft brewer in the country, we can take pride in its success. Even better, Kauffman Stadium features three Boulevard-branded concession stands, including two Boulevard Grill locations and a Boulevard Pub, located on the concourse directly behind home plate. It gets better. Fans don’t even need to get up from their seats, as half a dozen vendors serve draft pours of Boulevard beer out of specially equipped backpacks. Technology at its best…

Canadian beer names, eh? Surrey, B.C.’s Russell Brewing has a new beer called not IPA but IP’eh! Hey, don’t laugh. Russell won a silver medal in the English-Style IPA class at this year’s World Beer Cup for it, eh?…

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, just down the coast from San Francisco, has long been known for its passion for politics, handcrafted beer and sustainable coastal cuisine. The new commemorative bottles of the brewery’s popular Pillar Point Pale Ale have Mitt Romney on a red-labeled “Romney Ale” and Barack Obama on a blue-labeled “Obama Ale,” both available for purchase. This is the company’s second “Presidential Alection,” in which visitors are invited to vote with their politics and taste buds. Continuing the political pun, visitors to the brewery have the added option of creating their very own “SuperPACK” of four Alection or other Mavericks® Beers & Ales bottles of their choice. The SuperPACK also includes a set of four collectable Alection coasters. HMB Brewing Company cofounder and owner Lenny Mendonca said, “We thought it important that we’re offering our own SuperPACK. Instead of costing $10 million and being full of hot air, the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company Alection SuperPACK is affordable, cold and delicious. We welcome any and all contributions and encourage everyone to vote early and often.” We’ll eagerly be waiting for the returns… In the 2008 Alection, the brewery’s first Obama Ale beat the McCain Ale by four to one and ultimately predicted the eventual real-life champion. Results for 2012 will be posted on election day on Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s website…

Our good bud Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Del., and Brooklyn Brine, a three-year-old pickle company in Brooklyn, N.Y., teamed up to create a new product. Together they created the world’s first Hop Pickle, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal. Calagione, who never sleeps but hangs upside down batlike thinking up new things to do, was eating pickles from Brooklyn Brine while drinking his 60 Minute IPA one day. Who wouldn’t? The merging of the two flavors gave him an idea: a beer-infused picklaboration! After some testing, Brooklyn Brine decided on Cascade hop oil. The pickle company has already made some amazing things, including barrel-fermented pickles made in whiskey barrels. Come on, Sam, go for it!…

Is the Auburn Alehouse Brewery trying to kill Dad? Last Father’s Day, the brewery came up with what it called a “killer breakfast” for the special day. How about chicken fried bacon. Oh, yeah. They start with hearty strips of bacon, dredge them in buttermilk and deep-fry them in batter. Then they are served on an open-face buttermilk biscuit, topped with a fried egg and smothered in rich sausage gravy. Said the restaurant menu: “And okay for Dad to enjoy once per year.”… A little bird (OK, Tim White) told me about the brew-ha-ha over the happy hour prohibition in my former hometown of Hayward, Calif. Yikes! No happy hour? White also mentioned that a few other venues (including Elephant Bar) were grandfathered in. Double yikes! My suggestion to the Hayward bars: Lower your prices to happy hour prices, but have them only during the time of your old happy hour. Then institute Unhappy Hour for the rest of the time, when the prices go up. Problem solved. You’re welcome. Glad to hear that not much has changed at silly hall in Hayward…

Here’s a pisser for you: The Loo of the Year Awards will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year and is receiving a record number of entries for the 2012 competition. The awards are promoted by the British Toilet Association. Bet you didn’t know there was one. “This year we are welcoming millions of visitors into the U.K., and the Loo of the Year Awards recognizes those high-quality toilets and the providers who still have pride in their loos,” says Mike Bone of the British Toilet Association. (You can’t make this stuff up.) Trophies for the best entries will be presented at a special 25th anniversary awards ceremony in December. For more information, go to loo.co.uk. BTW, another Englishman by the name of Thomas Crapper invented the indoor toilet. Just sayin’…
 

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