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DECEMBER 2017/JANUARY 2018 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Hold the front page! Beer is good for you!!! Scientists have confirmed what we all knew all along: Drinking beer makes you happy. It’s official! In a study reported in the online journal Scientific Reports, researchers analyzed 13,000 different foodstuffs to find out which were the best at stimulating the reward center in the brain. To their surprise (yeah, right), beer topped the list. It’s all thanks to hordenine, a naturally occurring alkaloid that appears in barley and beer and does a damn good job of cheering us up. Hordenine reacts in a similar way to the chemical dopamine when it interacts with the D2 receptor in the brain, meaning your pint perks you up more than you might think. Take THAT, brewer’s droop! What’s more, the way hordenine reacts with the D2 receptor might even provide a longer positive reaction than dopamine itself. As the great philosopher Homer Simpson famously said, “Mmm… Beeeer…"

Beer Quotes Most Quotable: “You can only drink 30 or 40 glasses of beer a day, no matter how rich you are.” This from none other than Adolphus Busch, founder of the Anheuser-Busch dynasty. “Prohibition makes you want to cry into your beer… and denies you the beer to cry into.” So sayeth Don Marquis. Point taken. “Whiskey and beer are a man’s worst enemies… but the man that runs away from his enemies is a coward!” This from Zeca Palomino, Brazilian song writer. There must be an epic song there somewhere…

Amsterdam, that hotbed of tolerance for vice, has banned beer bikes after complaints about rowdy tourists being drunk and disorderly. A court ruling allowed officials to prohibit the use of beer bikes in the center of the Dutch city, calling the contraptions a “public order problem.” The bicycle-powered mobile bars are a popular way for tourists celebrating group events, such as stag parties, to travel around Amsterdam. The beer bikes are carts that have been modified with bicycle seats arranged around a bar table. Patrons power the bike as they pedal beside the city’s famous canals while drinking beer. The ban came into force recently. In 2016, about 6,000 locals signed a petition calling on the city council to ban the bikes, calling them a “terrible phenomenon.” Sierra Nevada has two of them for visitors touring the brewery. No problems so far…

Can Cans Contain Quality Craft? Boston Beer Company is betting on the humble can to boost sales with the millennial crowd. The New England brewery, maker of Samuel Adams lagers and Angry Orchard Hard Cider, has plans to roll out multiple new beers in the next year, including SAM ’76 and Samuel Adams New England IPA. The company has high hopes for the SAM ’76 brew, which will be sold in a can to appeal to younger demographics. “Craft in cans is growing faster than craft in bottles,” said Boston Beer Chairman Jim Koch. “The can is now pretty well accepted among craft beer drinkers, and this is a beer that has more of the easy-drinking characteristics, maybe, that you associate with something in cans.” Hmmm, is this the same Jim Koch who, a few years ago, laid down the Ten Commandments of Beer, which included “Beer shall not be put in cans”? Welcome to the real world, Jim…

Brewers and craft beer drinkers looking to reduce their carbon footprint are in luck. Lolo Peak Brewing is set to become Montana’s first carbon dioxide–recycling brewery, capturing the CO2 produced in the brewing process to carbonate and serve its beer. Missoula-based COBrew is the company building the recycling system. The technology will be available to other breweries looking to cut their emissions and to spend less on the CO2 needed for carbonation. Some larger breweries, including Alaskan Brewing and Sierra Nevada, utilize similar technology to capture their CO2, but COBrew’s system is tailored toward small- to medium-sized breweries. Lolo Peak’s AlpenGlow Wheat Ale was the first beer made with the COBrew technology, and it will take about two months before all of the brewery’s beers are made with recycled carbon dioxide. Lolo Peak’s beers are a gas, gas, gas…

Any day now, the White House will get a case of beer — free of charge, we might add — from the Scotland-based, punk-inspired brewery BrewDog. On the outside, the beer will seem appropriately branded for the current administration: a slogan derived from “Make America Great Again,” with Donald Trump fighting a polar bear with a machine gun. But really, it’s a huge “up yours” to the White House, courtesy of BrewDog, according to Esquire magazine, which doesn’t take lightly Trump backing out of the Paris climate accord or denying climate change. “Make Earth Great Again” is BrewDog’s new protest beer. It is not subtle. The beer is fermented at the highest temperature of any beer style. Its water is sourced from the Arctic ice caps (responsibly, we’d hope). It is made using Arctic cloudberries, which are doing about as well as the ice caps. The beer will be dispensed at BrewDog’s bars — in the U.K. and outside Columbus, Ohio — through a symbolic, life-size polar bear’s mouth. Proceeds from “Make Earth Great Again” will go to 10:10, a U.K. charity combating climate change at a local level…

Stone Brewing has reached a significant milestone. With the addition of West Virginia, Stone is now distributing to all 50 states, thanks to a significant expansion. Next we take Berlin! Oh, wait, already did that…
 

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