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/// HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
 
FEBRUARY/MARCH 1998 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
"Beer-Swilling Packer Fans Victorious Over the Chardonnay-Sipping 49'er Fans!" That could have been the headline when word got out that visiting "Cheeseheads" were consuming mass quantities of mass-produced beer during the tailgate for the NFL Championship game in January. To avoid the tragedy that occurred two years ago (when they ran out of beer, eh!) the tour director for the Packer Fans was quoted as saying, "We told them to order twice as much and then twice as much more!" With that kind of attitude they could also make the "All Madden Team." Now, if we could just get the Cheeseheads to at least start drinking Leinenkugel...

Hopped-up With Hops, Dept: Dr. Holty's Little Beer Company in Redondo Beach, CA, is the result of a medical doctor's hobby getting away from him. Kent Holtrof, MD, started making homebrew in med school and found that fellow medical students, chronically sleep deprived, would just nod off after a few of his brews. By adding herbal stimulants, Holtrof made his brew more of an "upper" than a "downer" and some of the early experiments were well received. And some, Dr. Holtorf admits, were DOA! Now that Dr. Holty has hooked up with "brewster" Stephanie Cartozian, the new Earthquake Lager boasts a blend of botanicals including Guarana, Kola Nut and Ginseng, which the brewers claim makes "the beer that keeps you coming and going all night long!" Hummm, I've got no problem with the latter, let's hope it helps with the former...

Distance makes the heart grow Fonda! An SF Chronicle reporter recently discovered that more than miles and a common language separate Dublin, Ireland, and San Francisco. Sitting in Dublin's famed O'Shea's pub, she noticed the motto: "Prices subject to change according to the customer's attitude." O'Shea's Pub in Ess Eff is infamous for its cheeky sign, "We cheat tourists and drunks." Same theme, different way of expressing it...

"Cigars Bad!" the headline read in a recent "letters to the editor" in a major metro paper. The letter continued, "Getting out of the fossil-fuel-powered car that smells of polyvinyl chloride, carefully adjusting her well-sprayed hair, proud of the designer clothes produced in sweatshops, touching that little bit of gold that took 1,000 acres of land and 1,000 gallons of arsenic to produce, and shifting from foot to foot in shoes made by the shoeless in Indonesia and wearing perfume that's been sprayed into the eyes of rabbits in labs, she cleared her throat and announced that she wanted to outlaw cigars 'which look like doggy doo-doo' in San Francisco because they're just not good for you and they smell. God bless our Almighty Ministry of Health and a Happy New Year to us all!" And God bless the articulate masses wherever they may be heard...

Measure for Measure Dept.: A nit-picking homebrewer in California was responsible for a guerrilla-type assault on the State Dept. of Weights and Measures, resulting in several pubs and brewpubs getting busted for "pint" glasses at less than 16 ounces. The result has been twofold: He is now persona non-grata at several pubs and brewpubs, and some new glassware is now being featured. Among the best are the new 12- and 16-ounce glasses at Buffalo Bill's Brewpub in Hayward, CA, owned by Geoff and Gwen Harries for the last three years. Their glassware is clearly marked with a line and the slogan, "The Buffalo Stops Here!" You go, Geoff!...

And what fan of distilled malt could be without the extraordinary new book by the eccentric English artist and writer Ralph Steadman called Still Life With Bottle. If you're familiar with his The Grapes of Ralph on the subject of wine or his many illustrations for Hunter S. Thompson in Rolling Stone, you already have it...

Essex Brewing, a Niantic, CT micro in business for less than a year, named its product line after a fictional historic figure, S.G. Hooker. They recently received a letter from the Redhook Brewer asking them to stop using the name Hooker and beer citing trademark infringement. Perhaps Redhook has plans to really put the "blue" in their Blueline series with a new brew commemorating the world's oldest profession -- Hooker Hook? A bitter beer with a heart of gold?...

Say it ain't so, Spike! Rumors that Spike Lee may be doing ads for Anheuser Busch? She's Got To Have It – Bud Light?

Something Lost (or gained) In the Translation Dept: By now everyone has a horror story about some company's slogan being mis-translated into another language. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read a Ke-Kou-Ke-La, meaning "bite the wax tadpole." Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux had their first English ad read, "Nothing Sucks Like An Electrolux!" Rocky Mountain brewer Coors put their slogan "Turn it Loose" into Spanish where it was read as "Suffer From Diarrhea." Imagine Ford's surprise when they found out that Pinto was Brazilian slang for "tiny male genitals!"

Shortly after declaring bankruptcy (and avoiding nearly $1 million dollars in judgments against him), brewpub pioneer and photo/savant Bill Owens flew to Paris for a showing of his photos that were recently the subject of shows in San Francisco and New York. That our Bill should be on the receiving end of the French appreciation for art is understandable. They still consider Jerry Lewis to be a cinematic genius... Now please, consider the legal axiom "I'd rather have a small settlement than a large judgment."...

And always, please remember: beer has food value, but food has no beer value.

 

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