Wednesday, March 31, 2010

15 Creative Sculptures Made Of Beer Cans

Got way too much time on your hands? Wondering what to do with all those empties?

Click on the image to see the slideshow

Thanks to for the link.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Want Your Beer!

Or more precisely, your beer lists. I know there are more than 27,016 beers out there, but that's all I have in the database.

Go to and use the "Search for Breweries" function to find your favorite brewery. Click on "Update", then use the form to send me the list of that brewery's beers. Repeat as necessary.

(Of course, if you want to send me actual beer, I'm all for that too.)


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

HR 4278: Reduce the excise tax for small brewers

The Brewers Association notes:

  • Currently, a small brewer that produces less than 2 million barrels of beer per year is eligible to pay $7.00 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels produced each year. Reducing this rate to $3.50 per barrel would provide approximately $18.0 million per year to help strengthen our nation's smallest brewers and support their efforts to maintain and generate jobs.

  • Once production exceeds 60,000 barrels, a small brewer must pay the same $18 per barrel excise tax rate that the largest brewer pays at over 100 million barrels. Lowering the tax rate to $16 per barrel on beer production above 60,000 barrels up to 2 million barrels would provide small brewers with an additional $26.2 million per year that would be used to support significant long-term investments and create jobs by growing their businesses on a regional or national scale.

  • The small brewer tax rate was established in 1976 and has never been updated. Since then the annual production of America's largest brewery increased from about 45 million to 107 million barrels. The ceiling defining small breweries is 2 million barrels. We support raising this ceiling to 6 million barrels to more accurately reflect the intent of the original differentiation between large and small brewers in the US.

They've posted a page with much more information and tools you can use to contact your elected representatives in Washington. Use those tools to ask your representatives to co-sponsor HR 4278. You just might be helping to save your local brewery in the process.

The Memphis 44 Resurrection Raids: and why you should care

If you live in Pennsylvania, contact your state legislators and get them to fix the circle-jerk that is the PLCB. If you live in a state that requires brand registration, beware, because this could happen to you, too.

This past Thursday the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement and the PLCB carried out three simultaneous raids on Memphis Taproom, Resurrection Ale House, and Local 44. The raids were the result of a complaint that the three bars were selling beers that are not registered with the State. (No one has, at this point, stepped forward to take credit for lodging this complaint; I'm assuming that they're hiding behind "Anonymous.") Each bar was visited by five armed officers -- again, simultaneously, presumably so no one would call the other bars so they could somehow hide cases or kegs -- who proceeded to check beers against the list of registered brands, and confiscated ones they couldn't find on the list. They evidently didn't look too hard: Brendan Hartranft, owner of Memphis, told me yesterday that they seized bottles of Duvel, a beer that's been imported into the US for over 30 years, and is clearly on the list.

So what's this tell us? First, that the PLCB is incompetent.

Second, that the PLCB has no sense of proportion.

Third, the idea that someone -- oh, let's say it: that some rival bar or restaurant owner, or maybe a brewer with their nose out of joint [...] would deliberately rat out another small beer business leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

Fourth: this is clearly a violation of PA liquor law. [...] Well... Why? Why is there a law? [The tax had been paid on the beers in question, just not the registration fees. -RDS]

So let's say it. Brand registration is bullshit.

Lew Bryson rants much more effectively than I do, and he goes into a lot more detail at his Why The PLCB Should Be Abolished blog. Read it, be outraged, and learn.

Boycott UPS For Refusing To Ship Beer

What can brown do for you? Well, they'll ship wine from one place to another and even directly to the consumer, but they've decided to stop shipping beer. What the hell the difference is, I don't know. Why does wine get a free pass, and beer gets thrown under the truck — again?

But essentially, an internet beer retailer — — after 18 months of uneventful UPS shipping asked UPS for a specific contract to ship to other retailers, beyind the regular customers he’d been shipping to all along. Instead, UPS “told him they weren’t going to deliver Brewforia products anymore — no matter if a state allows such deliveries direct to consumers or not — and were not going to offer a contract.”

Their website has an entire page on wine shipments and how they do them. UPS ships wine for countless online wine stores. Beer is mentioned just once, here:

UPS provides service for other alcoholic beverages (beer and alcohol) on a contract basis only. For shipments containing beer or alcohol, shippers must enter into an approved UPS agreement for the transportation of beer or alcohol as applicable, must be licensed and authorized under applicable law to ship beer and alcohol, and may ship only to licensed consignees. UPS does not accept shipments of beer or alcohol for delivery to consumers. UPS accepts shipments of beer or alcohol only among and between selected states.

Read all about it at The Brookston Beer Bulletin.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Beer Spot update

Choo has reminded me that I was a fan of her own personal Beer Spot long before I recently discovered The Beer Spot News. As promised, here's a picture of the Original Beer Spot.

Click on the picture to experience the Beer Spot in all its glory.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Your favorite "import"

A number of recent requests for Asian beers got me your favorite imported beer really imported? Is it really from where you think it's from? So I did some label research on the beers at the store.

  • Sapporo

    Brewed and bottled by Sapporo Brewing Company, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

    (Sleeman Brewing & Malting is owned by Sapporo.)

  • Kirin Ichiban

    Brewed under the strict supervision of Kirin's brewmaster by Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Los Angeles, CA

    (Yes, Kirin's brewmaster undoubtedly spends every waking moment in Los Angeles rather than in Kirin's breweries in Japan.)

  • Kingfisher

    Brewed & bottled by Kingfisher Brewing Co., Saratoga Springs NY under the technical supervision of United Breweries Limited, Bangalore, India

    (Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. is owned by Mendocino Brewing Co. / Kingfisher Brewing Co.)

  • Smithwick's

    Brewed by Guinness & Co., Dublin, Ireland

    Guinness Draught

    Brewed in Ireland by Guinness & Co., St James's Gate, Dublin, Ireland

    (No surprises there, but compare them to the next two.)

  • Harp Lager

    Brewed and bottled by Guinness Brewing Company, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada


  • Guinness Extra Stout

    Brewed and bottled by Guinness Brewing Company, Toronto, Canada

    (Labatt? Molson Coors?)

You get the idea. Is it right or wrong? I've never been a fan of breweries hiding behind fake names: Unibev, AC Golden, Plank Road, etc. If you're proud of your product, you'll put your own name on it. Then again, if a brewery has their beer brewed closer to where it will be consumed, the drinker gets fresher beer.

But in the USA, Sapporo and Kirin are as Japanese as I am.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Beer Spot News

I recently came across The Beer Spot, a blog that is dedicated to announcing new beers. They've become an important source for Beer Me! information, so I just wanted to say thanks and give credit where it's due.

So...thanks, Beer Spot!