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Post is unread #1 Mar 29, 2005, 7:50 pm
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February 25, 2005 - Appalachian Brewery Creates "Abbey Bar" on Second Floor

Appalachian Brewing Company is putting the finishing touches on a completely revamped second floor at its Harrisburg brewery and restaurant, converting the long-time sports pub there to a sparkling new Belgian beer bar.

Named The Abbey at ABC, the pub is modeled on the popular SteelGaarden in the basement of Bethlehem Brew Works in Bethlehem, according to Artie Tafoya, Appalachian's brewmaster and director of operations.

The bar has 14 taps and will feature a 50-bottle selection of Belgian brews.

Another reason for us to take a trip to PA, take a tour of Troegs and goto Appalachian
       
Post is unread #2 Mar 29, 2005, 7:50 pm
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February 22, 2005 - Craft Beer Sales Outpace Imports

U.S. Craft brewery sales increased by 7 percent in 2004. The increase made craft beer the fastest growing segment of the nation's beverage alcohol industry.

"Craft beer volume growth outpaced that of imports, large brewers, wine and spirits in 2004," according to Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association, which released the data today. BA figures showed 2004 sales of 7,023,651 31-gallon barrels by craft breweries, up from 6,563,461 barrels in 2003. The 460,190 barrel increase is equivalent to 6.34 million cases. The import and mass-market segments of the beer industry rose approximately 1.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

"The craft beer segment continues to show healthy and steady growth with many individual brewers enjoying double-digit volume increases," said Charlie Papazian, President of the Brewers Association. "This year the craft segment sold more new barrels of beer than the much larger import segment of the beer market."

Craft beer accounts for just 3.2 percent of the total beer marketplace, while imports hold a more than 11 percent share. This was the second year in a row that craft beer sales increased at a faster rate than did imports.

       
Post is unread #3 Mar 29, 2005, 7:50 pm
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February 25, 2005 - Troegs Brewery, is running a contest to rename it's Bavarian Lager.

The winning name will earn its submitter a set of hand-made glasses. The most suggested names so far have been German influenced but the brewery wants to move in a different direction for the lager, so things are still wide open.

The contest closes on March 15. Email your entries to info@troegs.com.
       
Post is unread #4 Mar 29, 2005, 7:50 pm
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February 27, 2005 Reinheitsgebot lost 10-years fight

The East German brewer Helmut Fritsche, Neuzelle Kloster-Bräu, has won the right to add sugar syrup to his dark brew and still call it beer in Germany.

That means, that the German Reinheitsgebot (purity law) from 1516 is overruled. The old law says that the ingredients in beer only can be grain, hops and water (they did not know about yeast yet at that point).

Helmut Fritsche has fought against the law for 10 years for the right to call his Schwarzer Abt, beer. The beer contains sugar syrup. Now he has succeeded.

This could be the downfall of German brewing, fill the beer up with cheap adjuncts to make more money.

       
Post is unread #5 Mar 29, 2005, 7:50 pm
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Sorry, I found a better version of the article (in English)

February 24, 2005 - East German Brewer Triumphs Over Reinheitsgebot Restrictions

Helmut Fritsche of Klosterbrauerei Neuzelle in East Germany has won a nearly 12 year battle to market his dark beer as "beer" despite the fact that he adds sugar syrup to each bottle prior to capping it, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Adding the syrup conflicts with Germany's Reinheitsgebot purity law which has, for five centuries, mandated that German brewers may use only malted grain, hops, yeast and water and nothing else in creating their beers. Fritsche took over Klosterbrauerei Neuzelle in 1993 and has been fighting, and losing, in local and regional administrative courts ever since.

Germany's Federal Administrative Court overturned earlier court decisions today, on the grounds that adding the syrup after the beer ia already fully brewed is no different from what is done by breweries which add herbs to their beers at the end of the brewing process. They, and now Fritsche, can market their product as a "special beer."

The Reinheitsgebot Purity Law was not really over turned.
       
Post is unread #6 Mar 29, 2005, 7:51 pm
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Bar Buzz
Barroom Free-For-All
You can get free pub grub with your happy hour if you know who's serving it. Twelve bars where the calories come complimentary.

By Leah Black & Joe DeLessio

Alligator Lounge
600 Metropolitan Ave., between Leonard and Lorimer Sts., Brooklyn; 718-599-4440
Drinking on an empty stomach is never a problem at this Williamsburg pizza parlor-turned-bar.
The Deal: Drinks are $1 off from 3 to 6 p.m., but once happy hour ends, the pizza oven warms up: Patrons get a free personal pie with any drink order weekdays from 6 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. and weekends from 3 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Extra toppings will cost you ($2 for the first, $1 for every one after that), but hey, the owner’s gotta make a living.

Blind Tiger Ale House
518 Hudson St., at W. 10th St.; 212-675-3848
This woody, low-ceilinged bar is popular for its extensive beer list.
The Deal: On Mondays at 6 p.m., hot dogs are offered, but there’s a limited supply so don’t be late. The same goes for Wednesday’s free 6 p.m. cheese tasting, with selections from Murray’s paired with beer. Or tote your Times to the bar for a free brunch of bagels and all the fixings weekends at 1 p.m. A weekday happy hour from noon to 8 p.m. features a Brooklyn “draft of the day” for $3.50.

Boxers
190 W. 4th St., between Sixth Ave. and Barrow St.; 212-206-7526
Attracting Greenwich Village locals and students from nearby NYU, this dark and airy Irish pub offers a tasteful selection of beers on tap and a sea of cozy wood tables.
The Deal: Situated on the impressive wood-and-stained-glass bar from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. are two towering egg trees (an Irish tradition), with wire branches cradling hard-boiled eggs for the taking: you need only to crack and peel. They’re perfect accompanied by a glass of cold beer, which, along with wine and well drinks ($5-$6), are buy-one-get-one-free from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the bar.

Hank’s Saloon
46 Third Ave., at Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn; 718-625-8003
If Hank Williams had hailed from Brooklyn, he would have been a regular at this gritty Boerum Hill bar, where the jukebox—or a live band—is always on.
The Deal: This honkytonk barbeques up free burgers, hot dogs, and sausages every Sunday night at 10 p.m. while Kershaw and the New Jack Ramblers provide the live country soundtrack. While you’re enjoying the music, be sure to wash down all the gratis grub with a $2 Pabst.

O’Flaherty’s
334 W. 46th St., between Eighth and Ninth Aves.; 212-581-9366
A warm midtown Irish pub replete with fireplaces, bookcases, and imported tap beer selection.
The Deal: Free, steaming plates of pasta in marinara sauce make their way to the bar when the kitchen closes around 10:30 p.m., Sunday through Wednesday. Happy hour features $3 pints of watered down piss under an AB label (weekdays, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.).

Rocking Horse
182 Eighth Ave., between 19th and 20th Sts.; 212-463-9511
This sleek yet festive Mexican cafe with its large selection of margaritas is a neighborhood favorite in Chelsea.
The Deal: Vats of delicious homemade tortilla chips—both baked and fried—are on the bar all day, everyday, and constantly refilled. They're accompanied by little bowls of roasted tomato salsa (made daily on the premises like the chips). On weekdays from 5 p.m. to close, $15 buys you a flight of three five-ounce margaritas in any flavor or style, from frozen strawberry to mango rocks.

Rodeo Bar
375 Third Ave., at 27th St.; 212-683-6500
This cowboy-themed bar offers free nightly music in its back room for those looking for a little country in the big city.
The Deal: A weekday happy hour in the front room from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. features a free buffet with chicken wings and nachos, in addition to $3 draft beers and $5 margarita pints.

Rolf’s
281 Third Ave., at 22nd St.; 212-473-8718
This cheery German bar and restaurant offers hearty fare from the homeland and plenty of cozy booths in which to enjoy the imported beers.
The Deal: Plates of free finger sandwiches like ham, cheese, and turkey are on the bar everyday at 5 p.m. But get there on time because they go fast. Beer, well drinks, and wine are $5 to $9.

Rudy’s Bar & Grill
627 Ninth Ave., between 44th and 45th Sts.; 212-974-9169
Every hour is happy hour at this dirty dive, where hipsters, young professionals, and local drunkards enjoy dirt-cheap pitchers at the bar or in the shabby, red vinyl booths.
The Deal: The greasy hot dogs spiraling in the ancient-looking machine behind the bar are free, and the bartender will happily hand one over with bun and ketchup or mustard. There's free popcorn, too. No drink specials, but you'll have a hard time finding anything cheaper: a Rheingold is $2.50, a pitcher of watered down piss in a clear bottle Lite, $6.50.

Ryan’s Daughter
350 E. 85th St., between First and Second Aves.; 212-628-2613
Shoot some pool, play some darts, or just listen to the jukebox at this Upper East Side hangout.
The Deal: There may not be happy hour but there is a “Turkey Night”--On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 6 p.m., patrons load up on the free sandwich spread.

The Thirsty Scholar
155 Second Ave., between 9th and 10th Sts.; 212-777-6514
This East Village pub has a daily happy hour from 2 to 8 p.m., with discounted drinks, $5 martinis and half-priced cosmopolitans.
The Deal: A free buffet is unveiled weekdays at 5 p.m., where you’re liable to find everything from french fries and buffalo wings to shepherd’s pie and garlic bread. There’s no weekend buffet, but free snacks are offered while the game’s on.

Tracy J’s Watering Hole
106 E. 19th St., between Park Ave. So. and Irving Pl.; 212-674-5783
This shoebox-shaped bar, a popular after-work destination, is owned by former New York Knicks player Art Heyman. Later in the night, it transforms into a full-fledged karaoke extravaganza.
The Deal: A freeloader’s paradise: You can pile your plate high with pizza, chicken wings, pigs-in-a-blanket, and Caesar salad. Try to grab as much as you can on the first pass: It only lasts from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays, and it goes fast.
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Post is unread #7 Mar 29, 2005, 7:51 pm
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BREW REVIEW

If the lambic's rockin', don't come knockin'

By James 'Dr. Fermento' Roberts

Unless she's a beer drinker like you, your sweetie is probably hard to woo with beer. She'd probably rather have chocolate or sweet things than something she considers bitter and acrid, if my assumptions are correct. There's a way around this if you shop properly, and with any luck, you might end up with a three-way love affair including yourself, your lover, and the beer you love.

Not all beer is bitter. In fact, there are some surprises out there that even non-beer-drinking ladies would appreciate. The resounding, annual Valentine's Day favorite is Lindemans Framboise, which is a raspberry lambic from Vlezenbeek, Belgium. The deep, reddish purple will score easy points with your lady, and it smells of sweet, hand-picked raspberries. This is followed by a very sweet, cloying raspberry concoction that sours appreciably in the end, and only resembles beer because it's got some light carbonation. Framboise drinks more like a soda pop than a beer. It's 4 percent alcohol by volume, so you can woo her with more than one. Lindemans Framboise is considered one of the sexiest beers around by some. The lines that formed to get a shot of the stuff at this year's Great Alaska Beer and Barleywine Festival are ample testimony.

Lindemans also produces a Kriek, or cherry lambic, and a Cassis, which is a blackcurrent lambic. Both are drier and a bit more tart than the Framboise. The Kriek is similar in color to the Framboise, but the Cassis has an incredible deep purple color with a pink/purple head. The Kriek is reminiscent of a tart cherry pie that's sweet underneath. It's luscious, puckering and easy to drink. Of the three, Cassis is my personal favorite. It's deep, brooding, mysterious and impacting. The sour hits first, followed by fruit sweetness that is more complex than the blackcurrant center alone. It's earthy, piney and intense. Kriek and Cassis are just about as popular as the Framboise, and if you're lucky enough to find all three together, especially on tap, you can score the three-punch knock-out with your gal. The proper presentation in a fluted glass and the almost perfume-y smell might take the beer paradigm out of the experience so much that she'll doubt that she's even being poured a beer at all.

These beers are best served as dessert beers because of their intense overall sweetness. My suggestion is to find your favorite beer and food venue that serves this stuff (many finer restaurants and pubs might carry it in the bottle, if not on tap) and plan your evening accordingly. At the end of the meal, when things tend to get romantic anyway, have some of this stuff coming your way and you'll score big points for the rest of the evening.

Not to burst your bubble, but it's time for the truth. You may want to hide the following information from your sweetie. Only guys might appreciate the fact that many lambics are produced by running the unfermented beer across shallow steel tubs (coolships) in the attics of old wooden brewery buildings to cool it. The liquid sits in the shallow tubs overnight. The louvers of these brewery tops are opened so that any manner of wild airborne yeast indigenous and exclusive to the Seine Valley in Belgium might drift in to create the signature spontaneous fermentation that, among other things, produces the sour bite at the end of the beer. It might disgust your sweetie to know that spiders, cobwebs, dust and all other victims of gravity that fall from the often centuries old rafters also land in the brew. In simple terms, the beer is as much infected as it is fermented. But believe it or not, this is what makes the stuff so damned good. It just can't be made any other way. This is why it's tough to find spontaneously fermented lambics in the United States.

In Belgium, the Lindemans lambics are considered rather sissy candy lambics. More authentic versions of the style are produced by breweries such as Boon, Cantillion, Hanssen's and Liefmans. These more style-accurate beers are much drier and certainly sourer than the Lindemans, but Valentine's Day is for her, not you, right?

All of these lambics are available at Yukon Spirits in the University Mall. If you're just curious, shop around and see for yourself the sharp contrast between a mass-produced candy lambic and one that's more definitive of the style. For example, pick up an Oude Kriek from Hanssens Artisanaal bvba (Dworp, Belgium). This beer is virtually hand-produced by blending batches of the base kriek of different years. The beer then goes through a second fermentation in the corked bottles. This beer ends up about twice as sour and twice as intense as the Lindemans, with cherries almost in the background of both aroma and flavor. My favorite sensation in this beer is the experience of actually tasting the cherry pits, which yield an almond flavor. It's testimony to the use of fresh fruits and an authentic, caring process. It's also rare, and the word on the street is that what's available now is all we're going to see in town, at least for now. Get it while it lasts.

Valentine's Day heralds the season of love, and if you have a passion for beer like I do, establishing a three-way tryst between yourself, your lover and beer is more than appropriate, but it takes work
       
Post is unread #8 Mar 29, 2005, 7:51 pm
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The fine beer experience
Wednesday, March 2, 2005

By JOHN PETRICK
STAFF WRITER

Neill Acer's ability to pair food with beer has nothing to do with hot dogs and pretzels.

With a zeal that rivals a fine wine aficionado's, Acer selects just the right brew for just the right dish.

"It's a hard concept to get comfortable with," says Acer, brewmaster at The West End bar and restaurant in Manhattan. "When people think of beer, they usually think of a can and a cooler and a stadium."

At The West End's ale-pairing dinners, fine house-brewed beers are associated with six-course gourmet meals. The purpose is simple: Pair each beer with each dish to bring out the best in both, matching contrasting or complementary flavors.

"It's a great way to introduce people to the complexity of beer when paired with food," said Acer, 33, a Waldwick resident.

After studying at the World Brewing Academy in Chicago, Acer went on to win two gold medals from the World Beer Cup and has contributed to similar beer-pairing evenings at such restaurants as Oscar's in Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. "I've done everything from crocodile gumbo paired with a German-style Grolsch all the way to chocolate beers paired with a nice chocolate dessert," he said.

The West End's $60 ale-pairing dinner on a recent Saturday started with an Oktoberfest beer and tiny chicken-stuffed risotto cake hors d'oeuvres served by a roaming wait staff. As patrons noshed and sipped, they socialized in the restaurant's gritty back room, where vintage photographs fill the walls and a big, old-fashioned beer barrel hangs from the ceiling. It was an impromptu cocktail hour in saloon tradition.

Acer poured the first-course beer from behind the bar as he talked with diners about the art of beer-making.

"If you went to get fresh bread, you went to the bakery. What Prohibition did was, it shut down all the bakeries, and all that precious knowledge was gone," he said. "When Prohibition ended, you had stronger breweries that now had technology on their side. They produced beer faster and cheaper than ever before. The wilder, funkier, artisanal beers fell by the wayside."

Microbrews and brewpubs like The West End have brought some of that tradition back. Now brewmasters like Acer are teaming up with chefs, such as The West End's Conrado Ramos, to bring fine beer to the dining table.

Patrons - seated for the remaining courses, and a little chattier thanks to the Oktoberfest's kick - sampled Imperial Stout served with a light wild mushroom and fennel soup.

Then came a pale ale, with grilled scallops, roasted corn and red pepper relish. The salad was almost a meal in itself: arugula, Gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, Anjou pears and balsamic vinegar, served with Kero Whack beer. For the main course, a Christmas beer accompanied smoked breast of Muscovy duck in fresh sage and merlot reduction. And for dessert, a dark, sweet chocolate beer came with assorted fresh berries and sabayon sauce.

All that beer and food sound a little intimidating? Not really. The portions are modest so you don't feel bloated. Given there are six courses, you don't leave the table feeling hungry, either. The steady stream of food also tempers the effects of alcohol.

"We're looking to give you a taste experience, not get you loaded like you're at a fraternity party," Acer said, noting that people can, of course, drink as much or as little of each course's ale as they wish.

Wine and food pairings get a lot of attention, but all beverages play an important role at the table by stimulating and refreshing the palate. Beers most often considered food-friendly are those with refreshing acidity that cleanses the palate and prepares it for more flavors.

The process of pairing food with beer is an ethereal one. A lot of it comes down to taste-testing. That, and a little verbal improvisation between chef and brewmaster - just bouncing ideas back and forth, says chef Ramos.

"He's Irish, I'm Mexican," he said with a laugh, noting that their eclectic sensibilities somehow match up perfectly when planning a menu together. "He would say, 'Well, how about a chocolate beer?' I would say, 'I like it, but I don't know if I can serve chocolate cake with a chocolate beer. What about blueberries?' He'd say, 'I like it!'Ÿ" And so on.

"It's wonderful for me, because I can sit down with the chef and talk shop," Acer added. "I'm not a chef, but I've done a lot of cooking. I sit down with him and talk about the different spices, and what the beer has to offer ... it all depends on what you want to bring out of the dish - whether you want to complement, or contrast. If you want, for example, a spicy dish to be cooled by the beer, or if you want that spice profile enhanced by a hoppy beer," he added.

West End co-owner Katie Gardner said the concept was new to her, but she immediately warmed to it.

"We just figured it would be fun, different, and in our minds it would be something original. In some ways, it works even better than wine," said Gardner, whose co-owners are her husband, Jeff Spiegel, and Kirk Michel. The restaurant and bar, located just across from the Columbia University campus, is a 90-year-old institution on the Upper West Side and has been hangout to such legends as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac - for whom a beer is named.

The owners decided about two years ago to start brewing their own beer on the premises as a way to freshen the spirit of the place. The idea of pairing those beers with the menu seemed like an interesting next step, Gardner said.

"To me, it was a very original idea and one that would give us a chance to highlight our food and our new beers," she said.

Gardner admitted she was a little nervous about the debut of the dinner. And though the first round of beer tapped out a bit on the foamy side, getting the night off to an inauspicious start, the event quickly found its tone and the kinks gradually worked themselves out.

The beer dinners, which will be held monthly and feature different menus, are a work-in-progress. Gardner said they had toyed with the idea of having community tables, where strangers would be seated together to add some spice to the evening. While they opted not to do so the first time out, they may have a community table in the future for those looking to discover not only a new dining experience, but new people.

Next up...

The next ale-pairing dinner at The West End in Manhattan takes place on Saturday, March 5, 2005. For information visit TheWestEndNyc.com or call Katie Gardner at (212) 662-8830. The West End is at 2911 Broadway, between 113th and 114th streets.

Pairing principles

Golden or blonde ale, American wheat ale, lightly hopped lagers. Good with super-hot food, such as blackened redfish, Buffalo wings, chili.

Weissbier, dunkelweiss. Stick with delicate foods: cream soup, pasta primavera or light cheeses, as well as lightly flavored vegetarian dishes such as grilled vegetables.

Amber ale. Good all-around beer for savory dishes: sandwiches, hearty soups and pizzas. Also a good thirst-quencher for barbecue or Mexican food.

Bitter, pale ale, India pale ale, German/Bohemian pilseners. Good matches are fried seafood or anything with vinegar as a main ingredient. They complement smoked, boiled, steamed or broiled seafood. The fruitier pale ales complement lamb, beef, game and liver pâté.

English or American brown ale. Hamburgers and sausages are hearty enough for either of these. English brown matches nicely with smoked fish, while game dishes can stand up to American brown.

Porter, dry or oatmeal stout. These go well with hearty fare: meat dishes with gravy, barbecue, shepherd's pie, stew. Oysters are also ideal. Both these beers and the brown ales stand up to stronger cheeses such as sharp cheddar and blue.

Cream or sweet stout, imperial stout. These are made for chocolate, and imperial stout pairs especially well with dark chocolate. Also chocolate-and-fruit desserts, or something with caramel or pecans.

Vienna lager/Oktoberfest/Marzen, dark lager, bock. The lagers cut the heaviness in sauce-based meat dishes - chicken paprikash, goulash or pork rouladen. Also pair with pretzels and mustard. Sweeter bocks, such as doppelbocks, complement heartier, spicier desserts, such as pumpkin pie or spice cake.

Fruit beers, lambics. Pair with light fruit desserts such as soufflés or chiffon cake, but sour ones will probably overwhelm fruit flavors. Lambics also pair well with dark chocolate and entrées prepared with fruit such as raspberry-glazed duck breast.

Old ale, barley wine. Try with a really strong cheese or a piece of super-dark chocolate.

Source: Beertravelers .com

       
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* BATTLE OF THE BEERS: VOTE MARCH 7

The folks at Real Beer are again conducting the real March Madness tournament--the 4th Annual Battle of the Beers. The contest is modeled on the NCAA Basketball Tournament, with 64 beers battling out 'til only one is left standing. Thanks to your help last year, our (Flying Fish's) Abbey Dubbel came in as an underdog and made it all the way to the Elite Eight, only losing by one percentage point to the eventual champion. This year we have a tough first seed, going up against New Belgium's big-selling Fat Tire Ale. What's it all mean? Not much, but it is a fun way to idle away some time on-line. http://www.realbeer.com

More hoppy voting today

Will there be an upset today in the Battle of the Beers? What's an upset? We're not sure, but Terminal Gravity - a tiny brewery out of Oregon - was a bit of a surprise on Tuesday, as its IPA romped to victory over Mendocino White Hawk IPA.

Voting continues until 9 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. Pacific.

Important things to remember when voting in the Battle of the Beers:

- We're here to be silly and have fun.
- You don't have to have consumed the beers up for voting to cast a ballot. Think of it this way, if you were at a bar would you order one of these beers? Which one?

Vote now.

Here are the first-round results, pairings (or view them in bracket form) :

March 1
Terminal Gravity IPA 60%, Mendocino White Hawk IPA 40%
Arrogant Bastard Ale 56%, Bell's Two-Hearted Ale 44%
Dogfish Head 90-Minute Imperial IPA 74%, Diamond Knot IPA 36%
Anderson Valley Hop Ottin' 67%, Flying Dog Wild Dog 33%

March 2
Southern Tier IPA vs. Great Divide Hercules Double IPA
Sweetwater IPA vs. Bear Republic Racer 5
Lagunitas IPA vs. Three Floyds Dreadnaught
Sierra Nevada Celebration vs. Lost Coast Indica India Pale Ale

March 3
Penn Dark vs. Abita Turbo Dog
Rogue Dead Guy Ale vs. Deschutes Mirror Pond
Huber Bock vs. Capital Autumnal Fire
Moose Drool Brown Ale vs. Magic Hat No. 9

March 4
Shiner Bock vs. Yuengling Black & Tan
Gordon Biersch Dunkles vs. Sprecher Black Bavarian
Troegs Troegenator vs. St. Arnold Amber
Sam Adams Boston Lager vs. Anchor Steam

March 7
Celis White vs. Pyramid Apricot
Flying Fish Abbey Dubbel vs. New Belgium Fat Tire
Heavyweight Biere d'Art vs. Allagash 4
Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza vs. Russian River Damnation

March 8
Ommegang Hennepin vs. North Coast Pranquster
Southampton Cuvée des Fleurs vs. Maudite
Cuvee de Tomme vs. Avery The Reverend
Victory Golden Monkey vs. New Glarus Belgian Red

March 9
Full Sail Old Boardhead vs. Widmer Snow Plow Stout
Edmund Fitzgerald Porter vs. Summit Great Northern Porter
Alesmith Speedway Stout vs. Shipyard Blue Fin Stout
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout vs. Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot

March 10
BridgePort Knucklehead vs. Boulevard Bully! Porter
MacTarnahans Bourbon Blackwatch Cream Porter vs. Smuttynose Imperial Stout
Alaskan Smoked Porter vs. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
Left Hand Imperial Stout vs. Hair of the Dog Adam

You'll notice some familiar beers in the field and some not quite to familiar. One reader sent us this note (and many other expressed a similar opinion): "I suggest you use ALL new beers this year. There are enough beers on the planet where you could use 64 new beers every year and you wouldn't duplicate in 4 generations (over 300 years). The problem with re-using DFH 90 Minute is that it will probably win again or be back in the Finals. That's fine for sports, but for beer, it's good to have some variety and promote some altogether new beers."

We considered at tournament with 64 entirely new beers, but couldn't tell 90-Minute it wouldn't have a shot at three in a row. And the tournament wouldn't seem the same without beers like Arrogant Bastard Ale and Moose Drool Brown Ale. They've provided much of the fun in the first three years.

But we've added plenty of newcomers, some from small breweries. Their reputations extends beyond their distribution areas, so few people have sampled all 64. Remember that our question is "Which beer would you most like to drink?" You can vote without sampling both of the choices. Just pick the one you'd like to order. To make it easier, RateBeer has agreed to provide a link to some descriptive ratings of these beers, written by everyday beer lovers.
       
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March 02, 2005 - Rodenbach Red Will Return to US
BeerAdvocate.com is reporting this morning that Brewery Ommegang/Duval USA will relaunch Rodenbach Flemish Sour Red Ale in the US at a press gathering at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia on April 13, the day before the official opening of the Beer Association's Craft Brewers Conference.
From the release sent to BeerAdvocate:

In April, during the Craft Brewer's Conference in Philly, Brewery Ommegang/Duvel USA will relaunch Rodenbach in the US. We'll put Rodenbach on draft and will follow quickly with Rodenbach Grand Cru. Again, Monk's will be the launchpad, with a press party on Wednesday, April 13 from 4-6:30 pm, followed by public release and lots of happy beer drinkers.

       
Post is unread #11 Mar 29, 2005, 7:52 pm
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Bud Uses Hops! (I found a little more info on what Bud Select is)

Anheuser-Busch has begun test marketing a new watered down piss under an AB label prodict that has, according to new products director Don Meyer, "slightly more hop flavor". No laughter, please.

The new offering will also have lower carbs and calories than any product in the watered down piss under an AB label family, including Bud Light.

The new brew from the watered down piss under an AB label Select division of A-B remains an American style light lager. According to Meyer, "you will get a real good taste upfront, but it is a clean-finishing beer with no aftertaste. There is a real good, full flavored taste profile on the front end that will impress most craft beer drinkers."

Sure it will.
       
Post is unread #12 Mar 29, 2005, 7:52 pm
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Bass Pub Pour (From DB15 web site)

Another British invasion is taking place. This time it's an invasion of British beers with beer delivery systems that replicate a pub pour and beers like Boddington's and Guinness that rely on either gas or widgetry to pour out a creamy head.

The new system will make the Bass Ale exported to the United Statesa "last longer, have a more robust head, and replicates the pub experience," according to a press release from brand owner InBev.

The Bass Pub Pour comes in eight-packs of 16.9-ounce cans. The way this Bass pours from the can is what makes it different from Bass you've had in the past. A jet of nitrogen is introduced into the can before filling. That nitrogen is released when you open the can, making the beer pour with a creamier, richer head, much like what you could expect from a pub with fresh Bass on tap.

"Beer drinkers have told us they view draught beer as more authentic, the way the brewery intended the beer to taste, and they have long wanted to be able to enjoy the same quality and experience at home," says Victor Melendez, director of marketing European brands for InBev USA.

"The Bass Pub Pour can delivers that draught style and allows a much greater audience to trade up and enjoy the quality pub experience inextricably linked to a legendary Bass," he says.

The company also has launched in a few markets a patented five-liter barrel system that reportedly keeps Bass fresh for 28 days after tapping. Five liters of beer is the equivalent of 10 pint glasses.

You are supposed to be able to tap the keg, stick it in your refrigerator and drink fresh Bass for almost a month with the simple press of a button. The suggested retail price is $19.99.
       
Post is unread #13 Mar 29, 2005, 7:52 pm
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Plastic cups for beer festival
From correspondents in Berlin, 06mar05

AFTER years of battling broken glass and complaining waitresses, a Bavarian beer garden owner plans to break with tradition and experiment with plastic cups at this year's Munich Oktoberfest.

"We cleaned up almost 26 tons of broken glass on the floor of my tent," at last year's beer festival, said Wiggerl Hagn."The waitresses won't have to carry such heavy loads anymore. These cups weigh around a kilogram less than those made out of glass," he said, confirming a report in the Munich TZ newspaper.

Mr Hagn said he discovered the plastic cups during a trip to Moscow, and thought they would make a good replacement for the huge one-litre glasses in which beverages are usually served at the annual Oktoberfest.

However he acknowledged there are drawbacks to the new technology.
A dull "plop", rather than satisfying "clink", is heard when glasses are raised and touched together, and of course "tradition will suffer", he said.

Mr Hagn plans first to try the idea out at his own beer garden before risking it all in Munich in October.

"We'll have to wait and see what the patrons think," he said.



       
Post is unread #14 Mar 29, 2005, 7:52 pm
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From March 9, 2005 Bergen Record

Multi-tap bar joins a select local group
Wednesday, March 9, 2005
By Tony Forder

Bergen County has always been a desert for multi-tap beer bars - at least in the 15 years I've lived here.

Multi-tap isn't the designator of a great beer bar. Think of them like TV channels. How many? How many good ones?

I've seen multi-taps featuring 20 or so mostly mainstream and imported beers - every one with much the same flavor profile.

All of which makes a place like Andy's Corner Bar in Bogota even better. Andy's has only a dozen or so taps, but those taps are forever changing. After Andy's, the discerning beer drinker's options are chain restaurants such as Bennigan's, Houlihan's or maybe The Office in Ridgewood, which does a pretty good job with beer.

Now we can welcome a new, real multi-tap bar: Firewaters opened recently in Hackensack. It has 50 taps, from exotic Belgian imports to home-grown microbrews, with only a modicum of mainstream thrown in. The bottle list features 100 beers.

Firewaters is a spinoff of the Hooters chain. The "beer" concept was started by a couple of Hooters franchisees in the Midwest, who developed a pub called the Beer Cellar adjoining Hooters. The concept took root in Atlantic City on the Tropicana Casino's section of the boardwalk, where a martini bar was added: Firewaters was born. The Hackensack location is where the Ground Round once stood, on Route 4 east past the Hackensack Avenue exit. When you see the Hooters sign, pull into the parking lot.

Firewaters, 41 Route 4 east, Hackensack; (201) 678-0100.

Recent tastings:

Dogfish Head Burton Baton - A two-thread blend of young and wood-aged Imperial IPA, very mellow, muted hops, subtle wood, a strong 10 percent.

MacTarnahans Highlander Pale Ale - A light, Scottish ale, slight citrus, strawberry notes with an enticingly light bittersweet finish.

MacTarnahans Oak Aged IPA - From Oregon, a solid India pale ale, and the oak adds some wood, albeit a little unshaven.

Mahr's Bock Bier - Might look a little light, but this is pure drinking bock. Rare that a beer from Bamberg, Germany, doesn't taste smoky, but this one's well-hidden.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ken Clune
       
Post is unread #15 Mar 29, 2005, 7:52 pm
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Get your growlers out.

Ramstein Maibock will be available at the brewery starting tomorrow, Friday, March 11, 2005.

Ramsteins open house is this Saturday, March 12, 2005, 2-4 PM.
       
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