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HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Living the High Life gets you Younger? The intense desire among the beery set for a taste of the once-a-year-only Pliny the Younger from famed Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa, Calif., took a new turn in beer-savvy Portland, Ore., this year. Usually, if a venue is lucky enough to get a keg of the wondrous elixir, the word gets out and it’s gone like an errant bacteria in a flash pasteurizer. Leave it to Portland tapsters The Beer Mongers at 12th and SE Division Street to put a new twist on the annual insanity. The pub reportedly put the prized Pliny on the board as “Miller High Life.” The tip-off was its price — $7 for 12 ounces! Hmmm… Some clever geeks figured it out, but the house rule kept it real: “No yelping, tweeting, selfieing, facebooking, instagramming, posting and/or whatever else it is you kids do these days.” The kids these days…

Sgt. Moylan’s Lonely Tarts Club Ale: Moylan’s Brewery in Novato, Calif., announced the release of its newest beer, Lonely Tarts Club. It’s a cherry sour made with sweet and sour cherries, fermented with three Belgian yeast strains and soured with Lactobacillus. A light use of specialty hops balances out this Belgian-style sour. Lonely Tarts Club comes in at 5.3% abv and made its debut at the famous Northern California brewpub just in time for Valentine’s Day. It was 20 years ago, I think, Sgt. Moylan taught the land to drink…

Okay, the Seattle Seahawks got lucky with the ’9ers and then seriously humiliated the Denver Broncos in the Stupor Bowl. Because Seattle and Denver are two great beer-making cities, you know there had to be an epic beery bet on the outcome. The bet was between Seattle’s Elysian Brewing and Boulder’s (not Denver, but close enough) West Flanders Brewing. The result was that Elysian’s brewer Kevin Watson headed to Colorado to brew the winner’s beer, Elysian of Boom!!! IPA, at the West Flanders brewery. To add insult to injury, Elysian cofounder Dave “Moose” Buhler flew out a few weeks later to fly the 12th Man flag at the West Flanders brewery. The beer was spozed to stay on tap for two weeks, as per the bet but it didn't last that long…

Brewing in Utah has always been a challenge. The Mormon Fathers (no Mothers allowed?) have a tight grip on alcohol issues. Breweries cannot serve beer over 4% abv for the sake of generations to come. You’ve no doubt heard about a few beers from the sassy Wasatch Brewery with names like 1st Amendment Lager, Polygamy Porter (“Why have just one?”) (take some home for the wives), and Evolution Amber (intelligently designed just for intelligent beer drinkers). Seemingly in response to several of the state’s anti–same-sex marriage ’tudes, Wasatch once again grabbed the media spotlight with yet another controversial new brew. “Live and Let Live is a blonde pale ale built with two beautiful malts and two wonderful hops, all fermented with a pair of yeasts,” says Wasatch brewer Dan Burick. “This pairing of similar ingredients is a first for Utah, and we think it’s way overdue.” The draft-only beer is 4% abv and was offered to select accounts in Utah on Valentine’s Day. Actually, “Wasatch Brewery has been reaping the benefits of a successful civil union for years,” said founder Greg Schirf. “In 2000, we entered into a partnership with another brewery much like ours,” he said with a smile, referencing a partnership with Squatters Pub Brewery. “Our Utah Brewers Cooperative is still happily ‘married’ today.” Don’t tell that to Arizona…

Your Putin Me On Dept.: “Hello, My Name Is Vladimir” is an 8.2% abv double IPA with Russian Limonnik berries and, according to the label, “traces of sarcasm.” The label features an Andy Warhol–inspired collage of Putin’s face wearing makeup and is cheekily marked “Not for gays.” Does this sound like yet another hilarious BrewDog put-on? BrewDog cofounder James Watt said, “It’s been our mission at BrewDog to upend the status quo in whatever form it occurs, whether it’s the stranglehold the megabrewers have had on beer production in Europe over the last 50 years or, in the case of Russia, the sick legislation that discriminates against millions of its citizens.” The BrewDog boys committed to donating 50 percent of profits from the beer’s sale to charities that support oppressed minorities around the world. A case has also been sent to the Kremlin just for Vlad the Imp Brawler…

Why would you trade beer for an alligator? I’ll bite. A man who tried to trade a live four-foot alligator for a pack of beer at a Miami convenience store was cited for charges related to illegally capturing the gator, according to published reports. Fernando Caignet Aguilera was cited after he tried to trade the gator for beer at the Santa Ana Market, according to a Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesman. Apparently, Aguilera found the gator at a nearby park, trapped it and brought it to the store. He approached the clerk with the trade proposal, but the clerk called the cops. The gator baiter baddy got busted, and the alligator was released back into the wild. Or whatever they call Miami…
 

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