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Quick Sips - No Swill


Michael Jackson's Top 10 American Beers

Tupper's Hop Pocket Pils (Old Dominion, Ashburn, Virginia).

St. Victorious (Victory, Downingtown, Pennsylvania).

Black Chocolate Stout (Brooklyn, New York).

Dortmunder Gold (Great Lakes, Cleveland, Ohio).

Expedition Stout (Kalamazoo, Michigan).

Belgian-style Red, Cherry Beer (New Glarus, Wisconsin).

La Folie (New Belgium, Fort Collins, Colorado).

Anchor Steam Beer (San Francisco, California).

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (Chico, California).

BridgePort India Pale Ale (Portland, Oregon).




U.S. Is World's Most Valuable Beer Market

Beverage industry analyst Datamonitor reports that at the end of 2002 the U.S. was the world's most valuable beer market, with sales of about $73.7 billion. In terms of per capita consumption of beer, Czech drinkers continue to out drink all others, downing an average of 326 U.K. pints a year. Irish drinkers came in second with 300 pints, followed by Germany, Austria and Belgium. In terms of value per capita, the Irish spent $1,282.00, the Norwegians $657.00 and the British $537.00 each on beer. Norway had the most expensive beer prices in the world, with the average pint costing $5.54. Malaysia came in second in the cost of a pint, $5.18, followed by Japan at $4.47. The Irish, of course, top the list as stout drinkers, quaffing 134 pints per head of population, followed by the British with a much lower seven pints per person, averaged across the entire population.

Malternative Changes?

The Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is seeking public comment on its proposal to change the tax and regulation structure of malternatives. The Bureau recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking limiting the composition of malternatives to include only 0.5 percent of neutral distilled spirits, much less than the make-up of most malternatives on the market today. Such a change in formulation would drastically alter the taste of many malternatives, rendering them more malty -- more beer-like, if you will -- and possibly kill the allure of these drinks for many consumers. If the malternatives were not reformulated and the proposed rule was adopted, they would be re-classified as spirits and removed from the beer distribution system and taxed and regulated as spirits.

Health Claims for Beer & Wine

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has given beer and wine makers approval to make claims about the health benefits of their products, providing they are accompanied by warnings about health risks. All such claims of alcohol-related health benefits must be true and based on scientific research.

Association of Brewers Reports U.S. Craft Beer Production Grows 3.4%

According to figures released by the Association of Brewers (AOB), the U.S. craft beer industry grew 3.4 percent in 2002. "The continued growth trend really speaks to the stability of craft beer in a variety of economic environments it has experienced," said Paul Gatza, Director of the Institute for Brewing Studies, a division of the Association of Brewers. "The quality and diversity of American beer has never been better. It's exciting to think about what tomorrow will bring."

Gathering data from over 900 craft breweries, the AOB reported that in 2002, the craft beer industry produced more than 6.4 million barrels of beer in the U.S., bringing the total U.S. craft beer industry annual retail sales value for 2002 to more than $3.8 billion.

At the end of last year, there were 1,409 craft breweries in the U.S.: 994 brewpubs, 369 microbreweries and 46 regional specialty breweries

Thomas Hardy's Ale to Return

Phoenix Imports has announced the return of Thomas Hardy's Ale, a strong, vintage English ale, out of production for the past four years. "We were devastated, as were legions of Hardy's fans, when the brewery ceased production of this one-of-a-kind beer in 1999," said George Saxon, President of Phoenix Imports. "After much discussion with the Eldridge Pope Brewery on options to resurrect the brand, we reached agreement with them last September to purchase it, along with Royal Oak Pale Ale and Thomas Hardy Country Bitter."

The three beers will be brewed by O'Hanlon's Brewing in Devon, not far from Dorchester, Eldridge Pope's home. Phoenix will also import two O'Hanlon beers: Original Ruby Stout, an Irish-style dry stout, and Original Rye Beer, "a British take on a traditional feature of Russian and German brewing." Both these beers are available in 16.9-oz. bottles. Thomas Hardy's Ale will be packaged in 8.5-oz. bottles.

Alcohol & Health - More Good News

A new seven-year study on the effects of alcohol on the health of people over 65 conducted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston found that if you drink enough, you may not get Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. However, too much alcohol consumption may increase your chances of developing dementia.

The study followed the drinking habits of more than 5,000 people ages 65 and older, collecting information on each individual's weekly consumption of beer, wine and spirits. The researchers eventually concentrated on 373 people who developed dementia and 373 people who showed no signs of senility.

Results showed that people who drank one to six alcoholic drinks a week had a 54 percent lower risk of dementia compared with people who didn't drink at all. Those who had seven to 13 drinks a week lowered their risk by 31 percent. The belief is that alcohol prevents fatty deposits from building up inside blood vessels, creating clogs that can lead not only to a heart attack but also cut down on blood going to the brain, possibly leading to dementia later in life.

The researchers agreed that the benefits of alcohol apply only to those who drink in moderation. People who drank more than 14 drinks a week had a 22 percent higher risk of dementia.

A-B v. Budvar -- Round ????

Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar has won the legal right to continue to use the trademark "Bud" in the U.K., according to a ruling by the House of Lords, the U.K.'s highest court. U.S. brewer, Anheuser-Busch, has fought for years to deny Budejovicky Budvar the ability to market its beer as Bud in countries around the globe. The U.K. is the only country in which both companies can simultaneously use the "Bud' and "Budweiser" name.

Elsewhere in the world, Budejovicky Budvar has lost court cases to A-B in Switzerland, Hungary, Italy, Australia, Argentina, Denmark, Finland, Italy, New Zealand and Spain, but won in several other countries, such as Australia, Japan, South Korea, Greece, Portugal, Denmark, Finland and most recently, Sweden.

Budejovicky Budvar is the only brewer to make its beer in the town of Ceske Budejovice (known as Budweis in German). In the U.S., the beer is sold as Czechvar. Overall, Budvar is sold in over 60 countries on five continents. A-B sells Budweiser, the world's largest selling beer brand, in more than 80 countries. A-B began using the Budweiser name in 1876, nineteen years before the formation of Budejovicky Budvar, but the Czechs claim that the name was commonly used to refer to beer brewed in the area of Ceske Budejovice for hundreds of years.

Joseph Coors Sr. Dies at 85

Joseph Coors Sr., one-time head of Coors Brewing and political conservative who helped create the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, died on March 15 at the age of 85. Coors died in his sleep at home in Rancho Mirage, CA, from lymphatic cancer. Joseph Coors and his brother Bill turned Coors Brewing, founded by their grandfather, into the nation's third-largest brewer, brewing more than 20 million barrels of beer per year. When they took over the business, Coors was producing about 300,000 barrels a year. Joseph Coors is credited with helping develop the "cold-filtered" process, which has become a cornerstone of Coors' brewing procedure. Along with his brother, Coors Brewing also began the country's first large-scale recycling program of aluminum cans in 1959.

The Brewing Bachelor

The third installment of the ABC reality television series The Bachelor featured Andrew Firestone, sales manager of Firestone Walker Brewing of Paso Robles, CA. Firestone, 27, is the great-grandson of tire entrepreneur Harvey Firestone. Firestone Vineyards was founded in 1972 by his grandfather and father, and Firestone Walker Brewing was founded in 1996 by his elder brother Adam and brother-in-law David Walker.

U.S. Beer Drinking Team Captain Fakes It on TV

"Chicago Bill" Krejci, a 35-year-old sports and beer lover and local captain of the U.S. Beer Drinking Team, a national organization of beer lovers, appeared in a segment of Faking It, a new reality TV series from The Learning Channel. The program features stories of people who spend several weeks learning an entirely new profession and then attempt to fool a panel of experts in that profession with their newly-acquired abilities. In Krejci's case, he spent several weeks learning to be a wine sommelier before competing with three experienced sommeliers before a panel of judges, all oblivious to the fact that Krejci wasn't a pro.

F.X. Matt Commemorates Repeal

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition, F.X. Matt Brewing of Utica, NY, has brought back a replica of their 1933 beer label. The words on the retro label read: "Utica Club XX Pure Pilsner Lager Beer." In the lower right-hand corner is the additional wording: "First beer sold in the United States after Prohibition." Today, F.X, Matt is best known for their Saranac line of craft beers and as being a contract brewer for many other craft beers.

Laurelwood Public House and Brewery Certified Organic

Laurelwood Public House & Brewery, in Portland, OR, has received Organic Certification from the Oregon Tilth. The craft brewery produces Range Red and Organic Tree Hugger Porter, the only certified organic beers brewed in Oregon, using malts and hops grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.

The Lion Is Also Organic

The Lion Brewery of Wilkes-Barre, PA, has achieved organic certification, the first Pennsylvania brewery to be so named by the USDA.

Brewpub Owner Runs for Mayor

John Hickenlooper, owner of Wynkoop Brewing in Denver, CO, is running for mayor of the Mile High City.



Danish brewer Carlsberg had raised its ownership in Pirinsko Pivo to over 97.5%.


Japan's Asahi Breweries will build a new brewery in Beijing in time for the 2008 Olympic Games. Beijing Beer Asahi will operate the new brewery. Asahi currently owns five breweries in China, all through joint ventures.


Carlsberg Okocim is now 75% owned by Denmark's Carlsberg.

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