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JUNE/JULY 1999 » BACK TO HOPVINE INDEX
 
HEARD IT THROUGH THE HOPVINE
Ask Mr. Science Dept.: Scientific evidence continues to verify what we knew all along. The following is from the files of the New Zealand Herald, February 26, 1899: “The taste for alcohol, says the Revue Scientifique, is not the privilege of man alone. It is well known that the horse will eagerly drink a quart of red wine, and that dogs love to lap up beer. Now Medicine Moderne tells us of a demonstration, made by Mr. Tutt, of London, that even butterflies may go on a drunken spree. In a public lecture, Mr. Tutt shut up in a case male and female butterflies with flowers of diverse species. The female butterflies quenched their thirst modestly by sipping a few drops of dew in the calyx of a rose. However, the male displayed quite different behaviour and indulged in characteristic intemperance. They went straight to the flowers whose distillation produced the most alcohol and indulged in their juices until they fell senseless where they stood. The butterflies were dead drunk. To further convince his auditors, Mr. Tutt introduced into the case a glass of water and several glasses of brandy. The male butterflies, without hesitation, went straight for the brandy. Watching male butterflies in a state of freedom, they are often seen attracted by the emanations of a glass of gin, or some other spirit, that has been left on a garden table, and having drunk of it to excess, sleep the heavy sleep of drunkenness.” Poor butterfly… Obviously, it’s a guy thing…

When the Rockies baseball season opened April 12, fans in Denver were able to enjoy a greater variety of high-end culinary offerings along with the game. Additional treats now include Denver Buffalo Company meats (Buffalo Dog, Buffalo Burger, Buffalo Brat, Buffalo Patty and Buffalo Philly) and Rocky Mountain Oysters! OK, who said “Ball one?” … A Lithuanian brewer put his 32-cm-long (12.60 inches) beard to good use when he lifted a 41-kg (90.39 pounds) barrel of his own homemade beer, the daily Lietuvos Rytas, or “Local Rag,” reported recently. Antanas Kontrimas, from the Western town of Telshiai, was already well-known in the small Baltic state for having Lithuania's longest beard. The paper said that Kontrimas steeled himself for the challenge by downing a pint of beer beforehand. He pulled off his feat in front of the cameras of a morning television show…

We are all familiar with “taps” played on a bugle at the end of the military day. Waaay before that, however, at the time of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), the provost visited each military unit at bedtime to tap the bung into every keg and mark it with chalk. The chalk mark was examined the next day to be sure the keg hadn’t been opened after “taps.”…

American Olympic runner Dennis Mitchell tested positive to high levels of testosterone and was banned from competition for two years. He put forward a claim that he had had sex four times and drank five beers the night before. He was cleared on appeal by U.S. authorities but could still be banned by an international council. We still don’t know (a) what kind of beer and (b) whether the sex was an individual or a team effort.

Alaska No Questions Dept.: Just what do those beer-lovin’ loonies do during those long, dark winters in Alaska? Think up new beer names and reasons to drink ’em, natch! This spring featured a promotion to “bare your hairiest side to win a growler of Horny, Hairy Butt Kicker Helles Bock,” according to Barb Miller, VP/La Femme de Marketing and Sales for Anchorage’s Midnight Sun Brewing Company. Obviously, they don’t have the equivalent of the BATF in Alaska…

Fine Beer Moments Disturbed: I had an exquisite hefeweizen from Bear Republic in Healdsburg, Calif., recently at a Bay Area alehouse. The beer had a beautifully phenolic, clovey aroma; a rich, slightly darker, almost amber color; and was served in a tall, traditional German-style glass. Ecstasy! What spoiled the moment, however, was the lemon wedge unceremoniously stuffed in the bottom of the glass. No one asked if I liked lemon in my beer. Actually, I HATE lemon in my beer. And, I don’t drink beer that requires lime!!! Servers of the world unite! Ask about the vegetative matter. You have nothing to lose but your tips!…

Neil Young’s recent solo tour of the U.S. was an artistic success on many levels. Surrounded by nine guitars, a banjo, two pianos and a 100-year-old pump organ, Neil sat and played for nearly three hours with only one break. His only sustenance, aside from the wildly appreciative audience, was his occasional sip from a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. (Only one break?) Now we know why we like Neil — who is to CSN&Y what John Lennon was to the Beatles. He provides soul and intelligence.

In the face of declining beer consumption, German bier lovers are also under fire for enjoying their favorite beverage too loudly. Reuters reported recently that Bavarian beer gardens have imposed a strict noise level after a federal court ordered that they close early. From May 1, noise levels must be kept below 65 decibels within town centers, while residential establishments must keep it down to a whisper at 55 decibels. Complaints about the noise prompted Berlin to impose a 9:30 p.m. closing time. Bavarians, understandably, are furious over the ruling. The lower noise standards are said to be “Berlin-proof.” The Bavarian Environment Minister stated, “This ensures Bavarian beer garden culture will survive into the next millennium.” Drink too loudly, you get the Reinheitsge-boot!…

 

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