Friday, November 26, 2010

Man fights for beer bottle pledge

I pledge allegiance to the can...oh, wait.

Don Sessions, 75, founder of the Oklahoma City-based Ol'Glory energy drink company, said he is expanding his business into Ol'Glory beer but he has run into a hurdle with the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which told him a federal statute prohibits use of images and statements related to the U.S. flag, The Oklahoman reported Tuesday.

Read the whole short story at UPI.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nebraska beer anniversaries

Happy birthday to three icons in the Nebraska beer scene:

Congratulations to all! We'll swing by to celebrate this afternoon.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Vertical Epic: Thanks, TABC, For Keeping A Coveted Beer Out Of Texas

WTF, Texas? It's beer, unless it's ale or malt liquor, in which case you not only can't label it "beer", you can't even refer to it as "beer"? Your labeling laws are stupid, archaic, confusing, and destructive to the marketplace.

Stone Brewing Company's Vertical Epic, which has a once-a-year release and is part of a very important beer plan, was sitting in a warehouse in Houston waiting to be sent to stores, according to Austin Tefteller, a beer manager at Spec's.

That's when TABC agents stepped in and decided the beer had to be shipped back to California. [Update: Vertical Epic 10.10.10 is available in kegs in Texas, but not in bottles.]

The problem, according to Tefteller, was on the label. The Vertical Epic contains more than 5 percent alcohol (quite a bit more), and in Texas, you can't call that a beer. And somewhere on Stone's label, it said the word "beer."

"That's the reason a lot of craft brewers don't come to Texas," [Stone regional manager Jason] Armstrong says. "There are some amazing Belgium beers that don't come to Texas. You can get them in Louisiana, you can get them in New Mexico, but not Texas. What brewer or monk is going to change his label he's had for 500 years?"

Read the whole stupid story at Houston News.

Rock Bottom Restaurants and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group Combine to Become CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries, Inc.

Apparently, big mergers aren't restricted to big breweries.

Chattanooga, TN (November 15, 2010) – Centerbridge Capital Partners, L.P. and its related entities ("Centerbridge"), formed CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc. (“CraftWorks”) by closing on concurrent acquisitions of Rock Bottom Restaurants, Inc. (“Rock Bottom”) and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group, Inc. (“Gordon Biersch”) today. The companies will operate as subsidiaries of CraftWorks and will retain their brands. The combined business becomes the nation’s leading operator and franchisor of brewery and craft beer-focused casual dining restaurants with nearly 200 owned and franchised locations across the United States. CraftWorks’ primary concepts include Old Chicago, Rock Bottom and Gordon Biersch.

CraftWorks is led by Frank Day and Allen Corey. Frank Day, founder of Rock Bottom, serves as Chairman of the Board and brings over 45 years of restaurant experience to the newly formed company. Allen Corey, an original investor and 13 year CEO of Gordon Biersch, is the President and CEO of CraftWorks and brings over 18 years of restaurant experience to the position.

Read the whole press release at the CraftWorks site.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Photoreport from festival ALE FestivAle 2010 in Brewery Kocour (Tomcat) in Varnsdorf , north Bohemia, Czech republic

Czech correspondent Libor Vojáček traveled to a beer festival in Varnsdorf, Bohemia, a couple of weeks ago; here's his report:

Hello my dear beer friends,

On October 30 . 2010 (yesterday) in Brewery Kocour (Tomcat) in Varnsdorf City (north Bohemia, Usti n.L. region, Czech republic) took place beer festival ALE FestivAle 2010 . I am bringing you short photoreport . See attached. CzechBeerMan was (of course) there .. Event was a "child" of spiritual father of this brewery who
is mr.Jan Kocka (Cat) ... and I thank him very very much for that . If we have not such a people willing to do something, we have nothing at all. If there are not such a beer fanatics like like, nothing is coming up. So : Thanks Jan ! Festival took place inside of old ceramic tiles plant (it suppose to be soon bottle filling station of Kocour brewery) , but it could be taken outside as well ... it was beautiful , a bit windy, autumn (fall) sunny day. Starting at 11 AM , finishing about 8 PM. Event was dedicated to ALE beers (top fermented beers) so all exhibitors (breweries) cares not to "spoil party" by seling lager ... haha. Ales, stouts, wheats , all those beers were on sale . Some ales were really really delicious. As those from Trebonicky rukodelny pivovar (Trebonice Handcrafted Brewery ) and their 14° Otmar or 15° Bohatyr ( Heroine . . hero , not heroin ... haha) . I guess some 10 - 15 czech microbrewries took part , like Brewery Coutryard Zvikov, Famiyl Brewery Velky Rybnik (Watersprite) , local Kocour , of course with their excellent EPA (English Pale Ale ) Samurai ...... you can see there few shops with foreign beers (from Scotland, England , Belgium, The States) .... .... generaly : event was very succesfull and good, and I am sure I will see you there in 2011 !! Positives were much bigger than its negatives (bad singning and direction to event !) . Refreshement was great .... grilled sausages, meat , potatoes, simple and tasty bread slices with lard and pork cracklings !! .... food in brewery pub was decent and tasty (goulash inside bread for 75 CZK , beef goulash with fair amount of meat and 4 czech dumplings for 75 CZK (Czech Crowns) .. glass of beer around 30 CZK. .... glass cleaning station ready ..... all simple and good !!! And that I like ...... everybody knows criticise , but few know to act and do something . I am happy for such a beer events . Thanks Jan again , thanks to all organisers, .... and if you are near Varnsdorf City ( .... in english and german too) ... do not hesitate to taste out "Tomcat" .... welcome ! As the
logo of brewery ( is saying : "Tomcat - by little cat hair better beer" ....
Pivovar Kocour - celkový pohled
Kocour Brewery - overview

Browar Brackie - Cieszyn, Polsko
Brackie Brewery - Cieszyn, Poland

Třebonický rukodělný pivovárek
Trebonicky handcrafted brewery

moment z festivalu
a moment at the festival

ve 4 odpoledne bylo již pěkně plno
at 4pm it was already pretty crowded

venkovní občerstvení
outdoor refreshment

zdravím od Kocoura
to the health of the Cat

moment z festivalu
a moment at the festival

varna . Pivovar Kocour
Kocour Brewery's equipment

pípa v restauraci
tap in the restaurant

ukázka domácí plničky lahví
example of a homemade bottle filler

před pivovarem
the brewery

celkový pohled na festival
overall view of the festival

plné petky připravené být koupeny
ready to be purchased

pivovarská hospoda
brewery pub

nashledanou příští rok u Kocoura
see you next year at the Cat

p. Jan Kočka (v černém) v rozhovoru
interview with Mr. Jan Kocka (in black)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Beer Lubricated the Rise of Civilization, Study Suggests

Brian Hayden, an archaeologist at Canada's Simon Fraser University, is working on research that links the brewing of beer to the birth of civilization.

"In traditional feasts throughout the world, there are three ingredients that are almost universally present," he said. "One is meat. The second is some kind of cereal grain, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, in the form of breads or porridge or the like. The third is alcohol, and because you need surplus grain to put into it, as well as time and effort, it's produced almost only in traditional societies for special occasions to impress guests, make them happy, and alter their attitudes favorably toward hosts."

The brewing of alcohol seems to have been a very early development linked with initial domestication, seen during Neolithic times in China, the Sudan, the first pottery in Greece and possibly with the first use of maize. Hayden said circumstantial evidence for brewing has been seen in the Natufian, in that all the technology needed to make it is there — cultivated yeast, grindstones, vessels for brewing and fire-cracked rocks as signs of the heating needed to prepare the mash.

Read the whole story at

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Raise Your Glass: 10 Intoxicating Beer Facts

LiveScience gives us a few details on these ten beer facts:

10. What's in a glass?
9. Hop to it!
8. Who drank beer then...
7. And who drinks it now
6. Alternative uses for beer
5. Brewers are unwitting yeast geneticists
4. Light makes beer go bad
3. Beer is good for the bones...
2. ...But bad for the head
1. What floats down...

Get all the facts at