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/// HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
 
DECEMBER 1996/JANUARY 1997 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
What's Mean, Green and no longer Obscene? That would have to be contract brewer Jim Wauldron's "brain child" Bad Frog Beer. Banned as obscene by the good state of Ohio, the brand has none-the-less sold over 3-million bottles and several hundred thousand T-shirts. By removing the "He's mean, green and obscene," from the bottle, the bird-flipping frog now has the approval of the "protectors of decency" for general distribution. The next project is Bad Frog Malt Liquor in 40-ounce bottles! This is sure to light up the inner city demographics. The positive contribution of the enterprise, however, is that now when you flip off a bartender, he hands you a beer...

Exhaustive research has determined that the highest per-capita beer consumption (by state) is in — you ready? — Nevada! And the lowest — come on now, think about it — Utah! Geez, I coulda told you that ... And the national average consumption is 22.05 gallons per person per year. Are you doing your part?...

The inventive folks in Connecticut, home to the second most number of patents in the country, can be proud of James Richardson who invented the radio transmitter tap handle for beer service. When the bartender pulls it, a signal goes off and the eyes of a plastic dog behind the bar light up and the dog barks! Miller now has 6,000 of these installed to promote Red Dog. The beer is golden, the dog is red... and he barks too!...

"Are you fermenting when you should be flossing?" That's the main copy in an ad for a dentist in Brew Hawaii, the ultra-cool "brewspaper" in the islands. Maybe he offers a barley wine in lieu of Novocain or gas?...

Don't be surprised if a certain SF brewery comes out with a proprietary gin. No trade name as yet, but may we humbly suggest "Anqueray?"...

Brian and Tara Dunn of Great Divide in Denver barely got back from their honeymoon in Italy when they found out they were with child! Before you start counting, be advised that they were married two years ago and the brewery kept them so busy they couldn't get away until now. That's their story anyway...

Free Beer Down the Tube Dept: Our pal in beer Paul Roberts checks in by e-mail from England with a note on how Bavarians celebrate good public works. An Underground Festival featuring free beer and free rides was held at the new station in Dulferstrasse to inaugurate a new subway extension. The Munich public transport system (MVV) continues to set the standard in good PR. Try to imagine such a beer fest happening in any major American PC-infused city...

"Drink," said Dr. Alexander Pope, "is the feast of reason and the flow of soul." Of course, he wasn't writing that in the subway...

"Up In Smoke?" London's Daily Telegraph had a story recently about a Swiss brewery called Wadi Brau making a cannabis-flavoured beer called Hanf. They're talking export! Hey, but how do you get the stuff lit?...

An outstanding t-shirt spotted at this year's Great Canadian Beer Fest looked like Volkswagen's "FahrvergnŸgen" logo but on closer look it said "Farfrommpissen!"...

I know you were wondering how to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Elvis Presley mega-hit "Heartbreak Hotel" so how 'bout an Elvis "Heartbreak Hotel" Beer Stein?! The folks at Longton Crown make 'em. Call 800-566-4877 to order yours...

Mickey Spillane said it. "Mike Hammer drinks beer because I can't spell Cognac." Now you know...

Elvira, Mistress of PR? Elvira brought her new beer to the Great American Beer Festival and had two Elvira wannabees with her. The helper mistresses showed rather conservative cleavage but Elvira's down to the navel plunging neckline exposing fully half of her most commercially viable talents was too much for the festival organizers. They have had past problems with the Bikini Team and other Bouncing Bimbos of Lust used to sell beer. Asked to put on a jacket, she refused and was asked to leave. The next day, Elvira was holding a "press conference" on the sidewalk in front of the festival decrying the discriminatory action on the part of the festival. The Celebrator Beer News was there to, uh, document the event for the legitimate beer press. Elvira was not shy about showing off two of Denver's three most prominent landmarks. Celebrator Publisher Tom Dalldorf had to ask her if she had a bottle of her beer to hold while she was posing. A quick look around the limo produced a bottle and the camera flashes began anew. Duh, Elvira... (or Elvira, can you say "Duh?") Elvira, real name Cassandra Peterson, was in a movie called "Working Girls." Four stars, Hop Bob sez check it out!

A special Hoppy Anniversary to the gang at Zip City in New York. The longest continually operating brewpub in the Big Apple turned 5 years old November 21 and that's something in the city! In addition to offering their Blonde Doppelbock, managing partner Kirby Shyre rolled back the price of a pint to the 1991 opening price — $3.75! In New York!!! Better check your frequent flyer miles and get over there now...

Getting right to the point is Banff Brewery in upper British Columbia which boasts "Our beer is so good you won't want to pee."...

Meanwhile, the new kid in SoCal is Ball Park Brewing Co. in Lancaster, situated at a minor league stadium. Their slogan: "Never a bad hop!"...

Plus c'est change, etc. Dept.: BridgePort Brewing, Oregon's oldest brewpub, was purchased by Gambrinus (the folks who bring Corona to the Eastern U.S.). Perusing 100 Years of Brewing, we learn that Louis Feurer founded a steam beer plant in Portland in 1877 and later changed to a lager beer brewery called... (pause for suspense) Gambrinus Brewing Company!...

The Ponzi's meanwhile, who opened BridgePort Brewery, are involved in a new brewpub in Brooklyn, NY. The new operations will be called ??????? and located on the Red Hook harbor. Red Hook? Yep! Go look it up...

"I think the name was Abby something" Dept: Publisher Bill Owens, who has been variously described as a "creative genius" and at times "one can short of a six-pack," was having a little fun when he described a fanciful "Trappist brewpub" in Kokomo, IN. Among those taking up the search was reportedly The Beer Hunter his own self! A stern letter from a D.C. law firm should prompt the required retraction in a future issue of American Brewer magazine. Monks with lawyers. Go figure...

To your "Celeb citings at brewpubs" file add TV's Nash Bridges star Don Johnson who was at Twenty Tank Brewery in San Francisco's SoMa district shooting scenes for an upcoming episode. Maybe if Don would have filmed in brewpubs earlier, Miami Vice would still be on the air?...

New York beer and food writer (and curmudgeon in training) Jim Leff checks in with an anagram for publisher Tom Dalldorf: Dr. Malt Flood! (Jim, you seriously have to get a hobby...)

 

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