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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Russia Goes After Beer As Cause Of Alcoholism...Not Vodka?!

UPDATE: 22JAN2010 - Russia Considers Beer As Food...but politicians there are trying to categorize it as alcohol in the eyse of the law...what? Click here to get the updated details on this issue.

Alcoholism in Russia? No way...oh it's the beer not the vodka! Here is an article from on the subject:

Russia targets beer, not vodka, to tackle alcoholism...
FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- Vodka may be the drink of choice for most Russians, but Moscow is focusing on beer in its attempt to clamp down on rampant alcoholism, a major cause of the country's social ills.

A draft bill under consideration in the Russian parliament proposes a dramatic increase in taxes on beer, provoking an outcry from the mostly foreign-owned brewing industry whose profits are bound to be hurt by the measures.

President Dmitry Medvedev has said alcoholism is "a national disaster" and is leading a campaign against it. On average, every Russian drinks 18 liters of pure alcohol a year, more than twice the level defined as dangerous by the World Health Organization, according to government statistics. Not surprisingly, alcohol is one of main causes of the country's high mortality rate.

"You have the macro environment of Medvedev's anti-alcohol campaign," said Kim Iskyan, an analyst at Eurasia Group. "The other big picture issue is Russia's fiscal situation. They are looking at 6.5%-7% deficit [relative to GDP], so they are trying to raise money any way they can."

The Russian economy has contracted sharply this year, hit hard by the global financial crisis. Against this backdrop, the country's budget deficit is expected to rise to about 7% of gross domestic product.

"It might be politically easier to focus on beer" rather than vodka, Iskyan said, though he added that the Russian beer lobby is "very effective and vocal."

200% tax hike?
A bill proposing to increase excise duty on beer by 200% from next year has been sent to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament. The bill also includes an increase in 2011 of 11% and a 20% increase in 2012.

In the coming weeks, the Duma and the Council of Federation, the upper house of parliament, will discuss and vote on the bill before they send it to President Medvedev for final approval and signing.

The Union of Russian Brewers, the industry's trade group, has been lobbying for a more balanced increase in taxes on beer.

Anton Artemiev, chief executive of St. Petersburg-based Baltika Brewery, says the bill will negatively affect the beer industry as well as Russia's economy, employment, and foreign investment climate.

"I find it very hard to understand the logic behind the disproportionate increase of excise duty on beer compared to strong alcohol, which will inevitably favor the consumption of hard alcohol, including vodka, and is bound to have a negative effect on alcohol abuse in the Russian society," Artemiev said in a recent statement.

The proposed legislation provides for only a 10% increase in the excise duty on strong alcohol like vodka, according to Artemiev. Vodka and other strong alcohol account for close to 70% of total alcohol consumption in Russia compared to 20% and 30% in most markets in the European Union, Artemiev says.

The Russian beer market is the third largest in the world and its growth potential has lured foreign multinationals to buy most of the local brewers in recent years. More recently, however, as the economy deteriorated and unemployment rose, beer consumption in Russia fell 5% in 2008 and 9% in the first half of the year.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

History of Beer: A Timeline

Here is a brief overview of the world's history on the news topic of beer...from the year 4300 BC through July 2009 (it will be updated from time to time)...presented in a timeline format with associated/suggested link topics for your further research enjoyment (includes an exact date where possible):

Ancient History
Historians speculate that prehistoric nomads may have made beer from grain & water before learning to make bread. Beer became ingrained in the culture of civilizations with no significant viticulture. Noah's provisions included beer on the Ark.

4300 BC,
Babylonian clay tablets detail recipes for beer. Beer was a vital part of civilization and the Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian, Hebrew, Chinese, and Inca cultures. Babylonians produced beer in large quantities with around 20 varieties. Beer at this time was so valued that it was sometimes used to pay workers as part of their daily wages. Early cultures often drank beer through straws to avoid grain hulls left in the beverage. Egyptians brewed beer commercially for use by royalty served in gold goblets, medical purposes, and as a necessity to be included in burial provisions for the journey to the hereafter.

Different grains were used in different cultures:

a) Africa used millet, maize and cassava.

b) North America used persimmon although agave was used in Mexico.

c) South America used corn although sweet potatoes were used in Brazil.

d) Japan used rice to make sake.

e) China used wheat to make samshu.

f) Other Asian cultures used sorghum.

g) Russians used rye to make quass or kvass.

h) Egyptians used barley and may have cultivated it strictly for brewing as it made poor bread.

1600 BC
Egyptian texts contain 100 medical prescriptions calling for beer. If an Egyptian gentleman offered a lady a sip of his beer they were betrothed.
Early brewers used herbals like balsam, hay, dandelion, mint, and wormwood seeds, horehound juice, and even crab claws & oyster shells for flavorings. Romans brewed "cerevisia" (Ceres the goddess of agriculture & vis meaning strength in Latin).

55 BC
Roman legions introduce beer to Northern Europe.

49 BC
Caesar toasted his troops after crossing the Rubicon, which began the Roman Civil War. Before the Middle Ages brewing was left to women to make since it was considered a food as well as celebration drink.

23 BC
Chinese brewed beer called "kiu"

500-1000 AD
the first half of the Middle Ages, brewing begins to be practiced in Europe, shifting from family tradition to centralized production in monasteries and convents (hospitality for traveling pilgrims).

1000 AD
By this time Europe had about 50 monastic breweries.
Links: Beer

1671 Apr 22
King Charles II sat in on English parliament after which he gave his Royal Assent to the several Bills that were presented to him, fourteen private Acts, and eighteen public, including an act for exporting “Beer, Ale, and Mum.”
Links: Britain, Beer

The annual 12-day Bergkirchweih beer festival began in Erlangen, Germany.
Links: Germany, Beer

Arthur Guinness began brewing a dark-brown stout in the town of Leixlip, Ireland.
Links: Ireland, Beer

Trappists monks at St. Sixtus in Belgium began brewing Westvleteren beer in order to finance construction of a new monastery.
Links: Belgium, Beer
For online college information, or program details including accredited online history degrees please visit for course details.

John Wagner established Nevada's longest-operating brewery in Carson City during the rush to Virginia City. The Carson Brewing Co. built a new two-story brewery in 1865 in the commercial form of Classical Revival, on the corner of Division and King streets, where it was later turned into an arts and performance center.
Links: USA, Nevada, Beer

William McGillin began opened McGillin’s Olde Ale House in Philadelphia. In 2009 it celebrated its sesquicentennial.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Beer

The first US federal tax on beer was levied to finance the Civil War.
Links: USA, Beer, Civil War (US)

Jacob Leinenkugel, an immigrant from Bavaria, founded Leinenkugel Beer to supply the lumberjack community of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. In 1988 the family business agreed to be acquired by the Miller Brewing Co.
Links: USA, Wisconsin, Beer

The Brooks and Carey Saloon opened on Mission Road, Colma, Ca. It was later renamed the Brooksville Hotel. Frank Molloy purchased the place from Patrick Brooks in 1929 and renamed it Molloy's.
Links: USA, Beer, SF Bay Area, Colma
System Renewal
Optimizing legacy applications

Cassilly Adams (1843-1921), American painter, completed a 9x16 foot painting titled “Custer’s Last Fight.” It was purchased by Adolphus Busch, president of Anheuser-Busch, in 1888. Lithographs of a smaller copy of the work began to be reproduced in 1896. In 1895 Busch donated the work to the US Seventh Cavalry. It was destroyed by a fire at Fort Bliss, Texas, in 1946.
Links: Artist, USA, Beer

In Chicago Louis Glunz set up shop as a wine, beer and spirits merchant at Wells and Division streets. By 2009 the Louis Glunz Beer company represented Chicago-land consumers with the largest portfolio of Micro, Specialty and Import Beers with 665 brands and 172 breweries worldwide.
Links: USA, Chicago, Wine, Beer

Philippine brewer San Miguel began making beer.
Links: Philippines, Beer

Charlie Wacker, director of the World's Columbian Exposition and a friend of Louis Glunz, was instrumental in making Louis a bottler of Schlitz beer for the Chicago Exposition.
Links: USA, Illinois, Chicago, Beer, Expo

The US tax on a barrel of beer was reduced from $2 a barrel to $1.60.
Links: USA, Taxes, Beer
Timelines organized by subjects.

The San Francisco Brewing Company established a facility at 155 Columbus Ave, South San Francisco.
Links: USA, SF, Beer, SF Bay Area

1918 Sep
Pres. Woodrow Wilson ordered all US breweries to shut down on December 1 in order to save grain for the war effort.
Links: USA, Beer, WilsonW

1918 Dec 1
US breweries shut down due to a September directive from Pres. Wilson.
Links: USA, Beer, WilsonW

1934 Feb 20
In San Francisco a fire destroyed the recently opened Anchor Brewing Co. at 1610 Harrison St. The plant specialized in steam beer for which SF was once famous.
Links: USA, SF, Beer, Fire

1935 Jan 24
The 1st canned beer, "Krueger Cream Ale," was sold by Krueger Brewing Co. of Richmond, Va.
Links: Virginia, Beer

Latrobe Brewing of Latrobe, Pa., began making Rolling Rock, a pale lager. It was later acquired by InBev SA. In 2006 Rolling Rock was acquired by Anheuser-Busch, which moved operations to Newark NJ. In 2008 Anheuser-Busch was acquired by InBev SA.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Beer

The Old Milwaukee brand was first brewered by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company of Wisconsin. It was the first beer brand launched exclusively as a “popular” beer.
Links: USA, Wisconsin, Beer

1959 Jan 22
The Adolph Coors Co. of Golden, Colombia, introduced the aluminum beer can.
Links: USA, Colorado, Beer

The West End Brewing Co., producers of Utica Club Beer, began running TV commercials in the Northeast US. The ad campaign included the Schultz and Dooley ceramic mugs based on the ad characters.
Links: USA, New York, Beer

Gablinger’s beer, named after Swiss chemist Hersch Gablinger, was launched by Rheingold Breweries. Joseph Owades (1919-2005, brewmaster, developed the process to remove starch from beer and gave the formula to Meister Brau. The product failed but Meister Brau was sold to Miller Brewing. Miller successfully marketed the beer as Miller Lite.
Links: USA, Beer

Fritz Maytag bought out Laurence Steese and took over the Anchor Brewing Co.
Links: USA, SF, Beer

1988 Peter Bronfman (1929-1996) and his brother Edward Bronfman co-owned the Montreal Canadiens hockey team. Their uncle, Samuel, was the founder of the liquor company, Seagram Co. Ltd. The brothers acquired holdings in Brascan Ltd., a property mgmt. company, Noranda Inc., a natural resource company, and John Labatt Ltd., one of Canada’s 2 biggest brewers.
Links: Canada, Hockey, Beer, Liquor

The SF pub Liverpool Lil’s began operating at 2942 Lyon St.
Links: USA, SF, Beer

The Albion Brewery was declared a SF historical landmark.
Links: USA, SF, Beer

1974 Jun 4
Ten Cent Beer Night was an ill-fated promotion held by the American League's Cleveland Indians during a game against the Texas Rangers at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.
Links: USA, Ohio, Baseball, Beer

1979 Feb 1
US Pres. Jimmy Carter legalized home brewing.
Links: USA, Beer, CarterJ

1980 Sep 26
A bomb attack at the Oktoberfest in Munich killed 13 people.
Links: Germany, Beer

1982 Jun 10
The Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company and the Old Milwaukee brand was acquired by Stroh Brewing Company of Detroit. The Old Milwaukee brand was first brewered by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company.
Links: USA, Michigan, Wisconsin, Beer

1983 Nov 9
Alfred Heineken, beer brewer from Amsterdam, was kidnapped and held for a ransom of more than $10 million. Heineken was freed Nov 30. Cor van Houton, the kidnapper, was shot to death in 2003.
Links: Netherlands, Beer

1983 Nov 30
Police freed kidnapped beer magnate Alfred Heineken in Amsterdam.
Links: Netherlands, Beer

The Mendocino Brewing Co. became the 1st Brewpub in California and only the 2nd in the nation to open since Prohibition.
Links: USA, California, Beer

The Reagan administration, spurred by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) ordered US states to raise their drinking age to 21 or lose 10% of their federal highway funds.
Links: USA, Beer, Liquor, ReaganR

1986 Feb
Eduardo Cojuangco (b.1935), aka Danding and crony capitalist to Pres. Marcos, fled the Philippines. Cojuango had acquired a controlling stake in San Miguel beer using public funds deposited in a bank that he controlled. In 1999 Mr. Cojuango regained his position as head of the board of San Miguel even pending litigation for 'ill-gotten wealth."
Links: Philippines, Beer

1989 Aug 24
British brewery Bass bought the Holiday Inn hotel chain.
Links: Britain, M&A, Beer

In Finland the Wife Carrying contest was initiated to revive a 200 year old tradition from when Ronkainen the Robber tested aspiring members of his gang by making them carry huge sacks on their backs through an obstacle course. Cash prizes and the wife’s weight in beer was awarded to the winners.
Links: Finland, Women, Beer, Sociology, Games

In Germany the Reinheitsgebot law of 1516 was relaxed to allow foreign brewers to sell their beer in Germany.
Links: Germany, Beer

In Tanzania in a privatization drive part of the government stake in Safari beer was sold to a South African company.
Links: South Africa, Tanzania, Beer

South African Breweries (SAB) moved into the China market.
Links: China, South Africa, Beer

Anheuser-Busch Cos. bought the largest brewer in central China and began selling Budweiser in major Chinese cities.
Links: USA, China, Beer

1996 Aug 27
In Indianapolis 4 police officers engaged in a fight outside the city’s Circle Center mall. They were off duty and had just consumed a large amount of beer in the city’s luxury suite at a ball game. They were later tried for battery, disorderly conduct and public intoxication but the 1997 trial ended in a hung jury.
Links: Baseball, Beer, Indiana

In Germany low-tetrahydrocannabinol hemp was made legal and quickly became a fast-growing cash crop. A young Berlin brewer began to add its flowering buds to his beer in violation of the 1516 Reinheitsgebot law on beer ingredients.
Links: Germany, Beer, Agriculture

1997 Feb
Ahmed Zayat, an Egyptian American, took over the Al Ahram Beverages Co. and began to build a state-of-the-art brewery to produce Egyptian Stella and Danish Carlsberg Beer.
Links: Egypt, Beer

1997 Jul 16
Jerold Mackenzie was awarded $26.6M for being fired from Miller Brewing in 1993 for sexual harassment for relaying a Seinfeld episode to a co-worker. Higher courts later threw the entire award out. In 2003 Mackenzie accepted an out-of-court settlement for $625,000.
Links: TV, Beer, Lawsuit

1998 May 2
Police fired tear gas into a crowd of 3,000 students at Michigan State Univ. who were protesting the end of drinking at Munn Field.
Links: Michigan, Beer

1998 Dec 26
President Clinton, in his weekly radio address, urged Congress to lower the blood-alcohol limit for drunken driving nationwide to 0.08 percent to conform with 17 states and the District of Columbia. The other 33 states have 0.10.
Links: USA, Wine, Beer, Liquor, ClintonB
System Renewal

Anheuser Busch paid an estimated $80 million for exclusive alcohol rights to the 2002 and 2006 soccer World Cup tournaments. In 2000 Germany was selected as the host for the 2006 tournament and German fans became furious over the prospect of drinking Budweiser at the tournament.
Links: USA, Germany, Beer, Soccer

2000 Jun 1
Stores across Japan emptied beer vending machines to comply with a voluntary ban on beer vending to help reduce alcoholism.
Links: Japan, Beer

2000 Aug 28
Foster’s Brewing of Australia reported a deal to buy the California Beringer winery for some $1.5 billion.
Links: Australia, Wine, Beer

The Firestone Walker brewery relocated from Santa Barbara, Ca., to Paso Robles. The brewers fermented their ales in used wine barrels.
Links: USA, California, Beer

2002 Jan 3
Alfred Henry Heineken (78), builder of a global beer brand, died in the Netherlands. Freddie designed the green bottle and logo. In 1983 he was abducted for weeks and released unharmed.
Links: Netherlands, Beer

2002 Dec
In Uganda Nile Breweries, owned by SABMiller began selling a new kind of clear lager-like beer called Eagle. Industrial enzymes were used to convert starches in sorghum to sugars. It sold well and expanded to other countries in the region.
Links: Uganda, Beer

China surpassed the US to become the world's largest beer market by volume.
Links: China, Beer

South African Breweries bought America’s Miller Brewing for $5.6 billion.
Links: USA, South Africa, Beer

2003 Feb 20
The Station, a Warwick, Rhode Island, nightclub erupted in a raging fire during a pyrotechnics display at a rock concert, 98 people were killed and 200 others injured. Flammable soundproofing was later blamed. In Feb, 2006, Dan Biechele, manager of the band, pleaded guilty to 100 counts of manslaughter in exchange for up to 10 years in prison. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison. In 2008 Anheuser-Busch and a Rhode Island beer distributor agreed to pay $21 million to settle lawsuits brought by survivors of the fire.
Links: USA, Pop&Rock, Beer, Fire, Lawsuit, Rhode Island

2004 Jan 9
The German Neuzeller Kloster Brewery announced plans to introduce its "Anti-Aging-Bier" this year and sell it in grocery and drug stores.
Links: Germany, Beer

2004 Feb 28
In Finland hundreds of trucks prepared to roll onto frozen roads at midnight, stocked with beer and hard cider for a population that eagerly awaits a historic government measure that will cut alcohol prices by nearly 40 percent.
Links: Finland, Beer

2004 Apr 16
After analyzing 730 confirmed cases of gout from among a group of 47,000 men over 12 years, London researchers demonstrated that drinkers are more likely to get gout, and that beer is worse and wine is best. Gout is caused by deposits of crystals of a chemical called uric acid in joints. Alcohol consumption leads to "hyperuricaemia" -- when the body produces too much uric acid.
Links: Britain, Medical, Chemistry, Biology, Beer

2004 Apr 19
Researchers reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine that fairly heavy alcohol consumption appears to moderately increase the risk of cancer in the colon and rectum.
Links: Medical, Wine, Beer, Liquor

2004 May 5
British-based SABMiller launched an unsolicited HK$4.3 billion ($550m) bid for Harbin Brewery, China’s 4th largest brewer.
Links: Britain, China, M&A, Beer

2004 Jun 1
Anheuser-Busch offered HK$5.58 per share for China’s Harbin Brewery Group Ltd. 2 days later SABMiller withdrew its HK$4.30 offer.
Links: China, Beer

2004 Jul 3
Two Estonian students clinched the country's seventh straight wife-carrying world championship on Saturday, winning the "wife's" weight in beer and a sauna.
Links: Estonia, Beer

2004 Aug 27
It was reported that SABMiller was investing $82.2 million to build a brewery in Dongguan, Guangdong province, China.
Links: China, Beer

2004 Aug
An $11 billion merger between Belgium’s Interbrew and Brazil’s largest brewer AmBev formed InBev.
Links: Belgium, Brazil, Beer

2004 Sep 18
Munich's mayor opened the southern city's 171st Oktoberfest festival for a crowd of some 500,000.
Links: Germany, Beer

Billy Gaines and Duncan Carrroll, graduates of Carnegie Mellon Univ., developed a Web site called along with a multiplayer online beer-pong game. Beer pong had gained popularity on college campuses in the 1990s.
Links: USA, Internet, Beer, Games

2005 Feb 7
In England and Wales new laws came into effect that allow pubs, clubs and other drinking venues to apply to stay open 24 hours a day.
Links: Britain, Wales, Beer

2005 Apr 4
In Canada Edward Bronfman, Canadian businessman, died. Bronfman and his brother, Peter, built Edper Investments Ltd. into a business with interests ranging from forestry and mining to banking, beer and hockey to form the core of what is today Brascan Corp.
Links: Canada, Beer

2005 Jul 19
British firm SABMiller announced a $7.8 billion purchase of Grupo Empresarial Bavaria, South America’s 2nd largest brewer. The Santo Domingo family of Colombia were Bavaria;s controlling shareholders.
Links: Colombia, Britain, Beer

2005 Jul 27
It was reported that some Chinese beer makers used small quatities of formaldehyde to improve color and prevent sediment from forming during storage. Major producers said they did not use the additive. The practice was abandoned in the West.
Links: China, Beer

2005 Sep 17
Germany’s 172nd Oktoberfest opened and will run to Oct 3.
Links: Germany, Beer

2005 Oct 3
Munich's two-week Oktoberfest drew to a close, and organizers said more people visited this year but they drank less beer than in 2004.
Links: Germany, Beer

2005 Nov 23
In Britain and Wales the early pub closing times, that had governed drinking in Britain since their introduction during World War I, were set to end at midnight. The laws had required most pubs to close at 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 10:30 p.m. on Sundays. New rules allowed pubs, bars, shops, restaurants and clubs to apply to open any hours they like, although each license must be approved by local authorities.
Links: Britain, Wales, Wine, Beer, Liquor

Vijay Mallya (27) inherited the UB Group of India when his father, Vittal Mallya, died of a heart attack. Sales for UB then grew from $100 million to $1.6 billion in 2003. Import duties on foreign liquor of up to 550% protected his business.
Links: India, Beer, Liquor

In Laos the state-owned enterprise Beerlao, which traces its origins to French colonial times, added dark brew and a light beer to its regular lager this year and went into a 50-50 joint venture with Denmark's Carlsberg Breweries, the world's No. 5 beer-maker.
Links: Laos, Beer

2006 Jan 23
Belgian brewer InBev NV, the world's largest brewery by volume, said it has agreed to buy the largest brewer in China's Fujian province for 614 million euros ($740 million).
Links: Belgium, China, Beer

Maureen Ogle authored “Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer.”
Links: USA, Beer, Books

2007 May 28
Britain’s public health minister said beer, wine and hard liquor packaging in Britain will carry warning labels next year detailing how many units of alcohol each drink contains as well as recommended safe drinking levels.
Links: Britain, Wine, Beer, Liquor

2007 Jul 31
A new study reported that drinking wine or beer every day increases the risk of bowel cancer. The British Daily Telegraph reported 35,000 people are diagnosed each year with bowel cancer and that it kills 16,100 a year.
Links: Canada, Medical, Wine, Beer

2007 Aug 30
Michael Jackson (65), a leading world beer critic, died in London. He praised the brews of Belgium and his books "The Great Beers of Belgium" and "World Guide to Beer" introduced them to many export markets, including the United States.
Links: Belgium, Britain, Beer

2007 Oct 9
Brewers SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing said they have agreed to combine their US operations to create a business that will have annual sales of $6.6 billion and be the second-biggest market player behind Anheuser-Busch.
Links: Canada, USA, Beer

2008 Jan 25
Scottish & Newcastle, the UK's largest brewer, announced it has agreed to be bought by Carlsberg and Heineken, for around 7.6 billion pounds.
Links: Britain, M&A, Beer

2008 Jun 9
Budweiser, US beer brewer, announced that it would go on sale in Vietnam.
Links: USA, Vietnam, Beer

2008 Jun 11
InBev, the Belgian-Brazilian brewing giant, offered $46 billion, or 65 dollars a share, in cash for Anheuser-Busch in a bid to create an unrivaled global brewing giant.
Links: Belgium, Brazil, USA, Beer

2008 Jul 13
Belgian-based brewer InBev announced it will buy Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion.
Links: Belgium, USA, Missouri, M&A, Beer

2008 Nov 18
Belgian brewing giant InBev announced it had completed the takeover of Anheuser-Busch to create the world's biggest brewer. Beijing agreed to Belgium-based InBev SA's takeover of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc.'s Chinese operations as part of their global merger, but limited future acquisitions on anti-monopoly grounds.
Links: Belgium, USA, China, Beer

2009 Mar 9
French lawmakers passed an amendment to ban the sale of alcohol to teens under 18, part of an effort to tackle the rise of binge drinking in a country known for a relaxed attitude toward a little libation.
Links: France, Wine, Beer, Liquor

2009 Jul 1
Utah ditched a 40-year-old requirement for bar customers to fill out applications and pay a fee to become a member of a private club before entering a bar.
Links: USA, Utah, Beer, Liquor

2009 Jul 20
In Malaysia Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno (32), Muslim woman, was sentenced to six lashes and a fine of 5,000 ringgit ($1,400) for having a beer in a nightclub. She would become the first woman in Malaysia to be given the punishment under Islamic law.
Links: Malaysia, Women, Beer, Sociology


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Top 10 Chinese Beers

The Market Shares of China’s Top 10 Beer Brands are listed below...In its seventh consecutive year occupying the number one spot in world beer sales, China is home to more than 300 breweries and more than 1500 beer brands...of these 300 breweries, only 20% of them are turning profits, while 32% are hovering around the breakeven point. The three giants leading China’s pack of domestic brewers are Tsingtao, Huaran Snow, and Yanjing. The top 10 beer brands account for 60.5% of the total market:

Rank / Beer Brand / Market Share (2008)

1 / Huarun Snow Beer / 17.79%

2 / Tsingtao Beer / 13.24%

3 / Yanjing Beer / 10.29%

4 / Henan Kingstar Beer / 4.51%

5 / Chongqing Beer / 4.30%

6 / Sedrin Beer / 3.16%

7 / Guangzhou Zhujiang Beer / 2.90%

8 / Kingway Beer / 1.54%

9 / Suntory Beer / 1.51%

10 / Wuhan Budweiser Beer / 1.26%

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Beer Snobbery "The Subtle Art"

As I was surfing the internet the other night on info about one of my favorite entertainment personalities, Jackie Gleason ("The Great One...gifted us with the notion that life is to be lived, and to live it fully you have to take risks. A lot of risks. “A safe life isn’t a life at all,” Jackie noted. “Too many people seem to be saving themselves for their wake.”"), I came across some articles of him on a website named ("standing up for your right to get falling down drunk since 1996"). There was an article in there regarding beer snobbery in America and being the aggregate-study-of-beer-blog this is, I thought it might behoove us all to be a little more enlightened on the subject. So here is what the editor of the site, Frank Kelly Rich, had to say on the topic of the art of beer snobbery in the U.S.:
"While wine snobs have blighted the earth for thousands of years (you can bet there was at least one guy curling his lip at the vintage of Jesus’ first and best miracle), Beer Snobbery is a relatively young art, especially in the U.S.

This is because every beer in the country once tasted exactly the same. Oh sure, there were Bud lovers and MGD aficionados who would swear they could tell the difference, but if you gave them a blind taste test, you’d soon discover they’d just keep asking for another “test taste” until there wasn’t any beer left and they were passed out on your sofa.

Furthermore, beer was considered the balm of the common man, it was not something you swirled in a glass and judged by its “nose.” It was something you swilled from a plastic cup and sometimes shot through your nose.

Then the microbrewery revolution swept the country and soon every abandoned firehouse, bank and shoe factory was outfitted with a vat and turning out every possible form and flavor of beer you could imagine, and some you would rather not.

It was perfectly natural then, with so many different beers to choose from, that a learned cadre of beer experts would appear to explain to the unsophisticated masses what is “good beer” and what “has the nose and character of a harbor-town harlot with a penchant for walking into walls caked with manure.” Thus arrived the beer snob.

Beer Vs. Wine Snobbery

Beer snobbery is less dangerous.
While wine snobs have been around long enough to be nearly universally despised and even hunted for sport in certain parts of the South, beer snobs are so new they’re considered by the general public to be as harmless as those people who carve elaborate sculptures out of Spam—someone to be viewed more with bemusement than with the scope of a high-powered rifle.

The dress is casual.
Wine snobs have a strict dress code involving turtlenecks, glasses designed to sit on the end of one's nose and silk scarves, but a beer snob can pretty much dress anyway he likes. Aside from the snooty expression, a typical beer snob is nearly indistinguishable from your least favorite brother-in-law.

The position doesn’t require a sensitive palate.
In fact, a too-sensitive palate just gets in the way. If a beer snob’s mind is busy trying to decipher a vast array of signals from his tongue, it becomes very difficult for him to think up a clever way to insult a fellow beer snob’s tie.

You don’t need to know what the hell you’re talking about.
The fact of the matter is, no one really knows how to tell a good beer from a bad one. The prestigious Beerophile Digest, for example, will declare McChumley’s Mauled Herring Ale to be “a delightful triumph of art and nature right up there with the pulsating shower head” while the brash Xtreme Brewski Review will assert the same ale to be “the sort of crap drank by hoity-toities who take lots of showers and stuff.”

You don’t have to learn a foreign language.
While a wine snob is expected to speak enough French to enrage a Frenchman, the beer snob only needs to speak enough English to infuriate an Englishman, which only requires slurring, “Hey you remember when we saved your butts from the Germans back in Dubya Dubya Two? Remember that?”

The terminology is simple and straightforward.
For example, the guy who pours the beer is a bartender and not some snooty guy whose title looks suspiciously similar to smellier but is actually pronounced like the cry of a gardener pleasantly surprised while trying to explain the holes in your lawn: “Some mole—yay!”

Enthusiasm and relish are more important than experience and research.
When it comes to rating beers, you don’t need to be able to identify the vintage or know which field the hops were grown in. This would just confuse you. Neither do you need to attend mundane festivals, read a bunch of dreary books or even sample a lot of different beers. All you need is a big helping of enthusiasm and relish, and by that I mean sarcasm and snootiness.

The Wide World of Beers

When you were a teenager you probably thought all beers were just called “beer” or maybe “brewski” if you were feeling technical. But as a beer snob you should be aware that there are many subcategories of beers, in the same way that certain dogs are called “Cocker Spaniels” and “Rat Terriers,” and some large rats are called “Chihuahuas.”

ale: some purists will tell you this English brew is not really beer at all, but these are the same type of people who will tell you that drinking a case of beer in the company of your dog is not a “kick-ass time.”

bitter: this hoppy English stalwart is a favorite among elderly men who smoke pipes, carry change purses and will insist that Field Marshal Rommel was “indeed crafty as a fox, but no match for this cunning English bulldog.”

bock: this German beer is named for the billy goat, because, just like a billy goat, it’s lively, strong and smells like a billy goat.

doppelbock: German for double billy goat. You get the idea.

export: this is a type of beer so awful the locals refuse to drink it, so the brewery ships it off to foreigners who don’t know any better.

fruit: these flavored beers were introduced to appeal to women and certain men who get very defensive when you inform them they are plainly homosexual.

lager: there are those who like to say this light, golden beer is served cold so as to distinguish it from urine, but the truth of the matter is urine also has a much better head.

malt liquor: some will argue this is not beer at all, but let me tell you something: if it tastes like a duck, smells like a duck and makes you walk like a duck, it is probably malt liquor.

porter: this strong beer was named for the rugged laborers who made it popular in Old England and would quite frankly drink billy goat sweat if it got them drunk.

stout: these dark, rich beers are called such because after drinking a dozen of them you will feel stout enough to wrestle all four of the cops by yourself.

trappist: this type of ale is brewed by monks noted for their skill at trapping tourists in their monastery’s overpriced gift shops. They changed their name from trapper to trappist in 1816 when they realized they spoke French and thus needed a fancier title.

The Three Prime Rules of Judging a Beer

1.) Use the proper terminology
Thirty years ago the only terms you needed to express a beer’s character were “tastes great” and “less filling.” The microbrew explosion, however, made it necessary to invent literally hundreds of new adjectives to explain how great or non-filling a beer truly is. Fortunately, you won’t have to memorize most of them because most are fake words that drunk beer experts made up on the spot and probably winced at when they saw them in print later. What else can explain why grown men are using words like Chlorophenolic, Balling Degrees, Sparge and Kräusening to describe something that can be purchased in the form of a Party Ball?

Brewmaster: So, what do you think of our delicious new Squashed Sulfur Beetle Stout?

Drunk Beer Expert: S’at what this is? Thought I axidenally drank from the bar’s fuckin’ soap bucket.

Brewmaster: What was that?

Drunk Beer Expert: I said I really dig its barzfookanzope bouquet.

Brewmaster: Oh! And that’s a good thing, right?

Drunk Beer Expert: Kiddin’ me? Barzfookanzope is Upper Bavarian for chlorophenolic!

Brewmaster: Oh! And that’s a good thing, right?

In fact, the only terms you really need to know are nutty, worty, fruity, hoppy, grainy, mouthy, sulpheristical, pine-needley, and bodacious. What do they mean? No one knows for sure. The important thing it to use as many of them as possible when you rate a beer. For example, you should never just say, “This beer is worty.” Instead you should say, “I find the wortiness of this beer fruity yet mouthy, with pine-needley undertones of sulpheristicallity, bodaciousamentally speaking.”

2.) Employ all of your senses.
If you taste a beer and think, “Gee, that tastes good,” do not say so. Use every pretentious bone in your body to resist even the slightest sign of enjoyment. Just because a beer tastes good does not mean it is good. You must bring into play your other four senses to make a proper judgement.

Sight: Look at the beer’s label. If you can see little gold medals, describe the beer as “a shining avatar lesser beers aspire to.” Do you see foreign words? If they look European, call the beer a “traditional, old-country stalwart.” If the words look like the symbols used in the funny pages in place of curse words, label the beer “an exotic wayfarer with delightful stories to tell.” If the label has a singing fish, dancing moose or any other sort of animal doing something an animal does not normally do, call it “a brash upstart with a lot to prove.”

Sound: Have you heard anyone else talking about the beer? If you have, try to cover your bases by incorporating as many of these opinions into your judgement as possible: “Yes, it’s the one in the green bottle, but on the other hand, it goes for six bucks a sixer at the Liquorama up on Fifth Street, right across the street from the Conoco Station with the hot chick working the register.”

Feel: Do you feel the brewery rep standing nearby will reward a good rating with free stuff? If so, upgrade your evaluation according to how much free stuff you think you might get. Thus, a merely decent beer may become “a mind-boggling triumph,” a bad one transforms into “a powerful new statement” and something that could pass as window cleaner ascends to “a real up and comer.” You don’t have to tell the rep it will be “up and coming” the next time you visit the rest room.

Smell: Does the beer smell foreign, or, in beer expert parlance, skunky? Foreigness is a good thing because foreign countries are farther away and the farther away a brewery is the better the beer tastes. Especially if says Export on the label, because foreigners don’t want to embarrass their country and thus only export the really good stuff.

3.) When in doubt, speak in tongues.
To express an unqualified opinion of a beer is akin to waving a big flag at the enemy, so they know exactly where to shoot. If you are unsure about the quality of a beer because you can’t see the label and are not sure if the rep is going to give you free stuff, you have to deliver an opinion so obtuse onlookers won’t know if you’re complimenting the beer or plan on using it to poison the rats in your cellar.

Instead of saying, “I guess it’s sorta okay,” you should say: “Seems its pompitude has been finely demastered in a congenial sort of way, yet its essence disambiguates the fustification of its mischarateristics to the degree I wonder about the referentialability of the primal dewortnicity, if I may paraphrase famed beer critic Baron Von Troutenmyer.”

It’s hard to disagree with a man you can’t understand, though they might try. If a competing beer snob tries to draw you out from behind your brilliant smokescreen by saying, “Hate to disagree, but I think the dewortitude terrifically interpolative and fusticating with character,” glower at him for an instant and say in a very stiff tone, “Funny, I could have swore I just said that.”

Another safe tactic is to compare the beer with one that doesn’t actually exist. Because the beer ranks swell every week, even the most knowledgeable of beer experts won’t call you out, for fear of appearing “out of the loop.” So instead actually stating an opinion of a beer, say it is “a lot like The Abandoned Shoe Factory Brewery’s new Soothsucker Pine Sap Ale, in the sense that they’re completely different.”

Types of Beer Snobs

Deciding you want to be a beer snob is not enough. You also have to decide what sort of beer snob you want to be.

The Beer Fuehrer
This curmudgeonly gentlemen will declare he would rather guzzle urine than drink what he considers “bad beer.” And by bad he means any beer that comes in a can, has commercials on television, or has been heard of by more than fifty people. He can only pity the poor fools who sit in bars drinking the swill disgorged by the vast corporate vats, when they could be drinking swill produced in much smaller ones.

The Hops Head
The power-crazed Dr. Frankenstein of beer snobs, this wretched soul has descended so deeply into the pit of snobbery he has convinced himself that the vile liquid (he will call it something akin to Super Duper Black Cherry Berry Power Porter) he concocted in his basement is not only non-poisoness, but superior to the stuff it took monks 50 generations to perfect. One caveat: the longer and more grandiose the title of his obscene creation, the more likely it will be good for poisoning the rats in your cellar.

The Beer Geek
The beer world equivalent of a Trekkie, this fan is forever making pilgrimages to far flung festivals and conventions, will belong to any number of beer associations (and wears the T-shirts to prove it) and has never had sex with a woman where there wasn’t money involved. Beards are common and they have a powerful fetish for steins.

The Beer Lover
These are the Rex Reeds of the beer snob community. They have never met a beer that was not “gorgeously fabulous” or “fabulously gorgeous.” The closest they ever come to a bad review is when they mistake the glass of water used to clear the palate for beer, and even then they’ll give it three stars and declare it “a promising new light lager worth keeping your eye on.”

Interacting with Other Beer Snobs
While it’s perfectly fine and extremely pleasurable to rabidly denounce whatever swill your non-beer snob acquaintances are slopping down their gauche gullets, you must carefully weigh each word when amongst your own.

You will probably meet them at a beer club meeting. Beer snobs are generally very eager to form beer clubs, partly to discuss new beers, but mostly because their regular friends won’t drink with them any more.

At these meetings members are expected to present their “discoveries.” A discovery is an exciting new beer you introduce to your fellow beer snobs. If a fellow beer snob introduces a new beer to you, however, it is not called a discovery. It is called a travesty.

When judging another fellow’s travesty, don’t worry about the taste so much as to where the fellow is situated on the Beer Snob Ladder. Those above you should be treated with grudging deference. Those below are to be condescended to in the manner of a weary yet indulgent grown-up patting the head of a simple-minded yet well-meaning mongoloid child eager to show off yet another shiny and utterly worthless object that caught one of his unattractively bulging eyes.

You should save your vast stores of vitriol for those sharing the same rung as you, for you cannot ascend the ladder unless you plant a foot firmly upon their credibility.

When one of your rung mates foolishly encourages you to try one of his new travesties, smile agreeably, take a sip, then act as if a bug just flew into your mouth. After letting your dismay register with the club, turn your head discreetly and spit into your handkerchief. Subtlety is key. Do not behave as if the bug is a giant dung beetle, but rather a common housefly that has spent the day joyfully wallowing in billy goat manure. Deliver the coup de grace by muttering, “Well, that was certainly interesting.” In the parlance of the beer snob, interesting roughly translates into “One large step below Satan’s venereal urine.”

When it’s your turn to present a discovery, be keenly aware the act is the beer snob equivalent of wagging your testicles between the bars of the Mongoose Cage at feeding time. Rivals will do their level best to defame and discredit you, which is why you must immediately distance yourself as far from your discovery as possible. Act as if it were a hideously deformed orphan you found wandering the streets and, out of the goodness of your heart, are just trying to make a few introductions so it can possibly secure a future position as grave digger or bell ringer. Make sure you damn it to the degree that any response at all will seem unmitigated praise. Then, once you get a fingerhold, start suggesting that your orphan might not only be suitable for a grave digger position, but the head grave digger position.

You: “Don’t be alarmed. It may seem a horrid wretch, but given a chance it might just reveal itself as being merely disgusting.”

Rival Beer Snob: “Well, you’re dead on about its horridly disgusting wretchedness, but I once ate a large beetle that tasted only slightly better.”

You: “Funny you should say that! Because noted beer expert Sir Edward Edwardsbottom declared this very beer to have the potential of an especially large and ambitious dung beetle.”

Rival Beer Snob: “Dung beetle, yes, that makes sense, I—"

You: “Do you really think it that ambitious and promising? I must say, there is something rather large and bombastic about it. Why, you’ve given me a new appreciation of this bold brew. Though perhaps not as enthusiastic as you, I think it may be a real up and comer!”"

Monday, August 3, 2009

Greatest Beer Ads - Beer Goggles

Here is a comedic ad for Tuborg Beer...according to them women get more attractive with each additional brew:

Greatest Beer Ads - Pure Blonde Beer

Ads for Pure Blonde Beer...didn't even know it existed!!!:

Greatest Beers Ads - The Most Interesting Man In The World

So whenever you see these ads run on TV guys for "The Most Interesting Man In The World" many of you wish it were you they were talking about? Imagine and the girls say...this ad campaign was designed for men:


"MostInteresting(the first one)"






Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Greatest Beer Ads - Swedish Bikini Team

Remember the days of summer sipping on Old Milwaukee beer at the beach? If these memories are fading fast take can enjoy the old ads featuring the Swedish Bikini Team...they were eventually pulled due to bad press and sponsors' pressure about these commercials objectifying women...pretty tame stuff by today's TV fact the ads (which ran on TV in 1991) are considered the 2nd most popular beer ad campaign of all time (according to an AD AGE poll)...they were on TV for only 7 months...the names of the original members of the team were Avalon Anders, Suzanna Keller, Heather Elizabeth Parkhurst, Jane Frances and Peggy Trentini (pictured at above-left):




Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Top Chicago Area Beer Gardens 2009

Ahh...nothing like summertime...and Beer is a listing of several of the best beer gardens for the year 2009 that the Chicago suburbs have to sure to check these out:

Alumni Club
Alumni Club in Schaumburg boasts the largest dining garden in the Northwest Suburbs, complete with a stone firepit, an outdoor grill, a basketball court, a sand volleyball court, and a professional built-in Bagz court, all surrounding a massive Tiki Bar bordered with palm trees and a waterfall. Overlooking a pond and acres of beautifully landscaped parkland, the beer garden creates the perfect atmosphere for dining or cocktailing alfresco. On Fridays throughout the summer, weather permitting, Alumni Club will host an outdoor Happy Hour Buffet from 5:30–7:30 p.m. featuring burgers, brats, and hot dogs. On Thursdays, sign up for Bagz tournaments for a chance to win prizes! 871 E. Algonquin Road, Schaumburg. 847-397-3100.

Anyway’s in Oakbrook has a lovely little beer garden—a patio extension to their dining room with complete food menu and bar service. It has authentic Chicago brick walls topped with glass to keep out traffic noise. All tables have umbrellas, and it’s a perfect place to dine alfresco for lunch, dinner, or a late-night snack. 5 East Roosevelt Road, Oakbrook Terrace. 630-932-9323.

Breakaway Lounge
The beer garden at Breakaway Lounge in Villa Park is a great place to hang out and enjoy a drink and a bite to eat. Outside, you can get away from it all – their beer garden is a great break away from your crazy everyday life! 345 North Avenue, Villa Park. 630-833-0081.

Capri Classic Italian Ristorante
Voted #1 Italian Restaurant and Best Chef in the NiteLife Best of the ‘Burbs, Capri should definitely be on your list of places to eat this summer. They have outdoor seating available on their patio, drink specials Tuesday through Thursday, and live music Tuesday through Saturday! Come and have lunch or dinner on the patio!
17 W. 400 22nd Street, Oakbrook Terrace. 630-279-3825.

CD & ME in Frankfort is owned by landscapers, so of course their outdoor space is a true delight! With their beautiful landscaping, waterfalls, firepit, gazebo, and outdoor stage, look no further than CD & ME for your next big event! Their Thursday night concert events are open to the public, with great live artists every week. 23320 S. La Grange Road, Frankfort. 815-469-7315.

Champps Americana
For all of you beer enthusiasts, Champps in Lombard now proudly features a total of 42 beers on draft! Take your pick, and enjoy the great beer variety while taking in a summer breeze on the outdoor patio. Also, check out Champps’ extensive menu filled with burgers and more. This is a great place for a summer evening.
2301 Fountain Square Drive, Lombard. 630-627-3334.

Cubby Bear
The Cubby Bear in Lincolnshire has a huge second-floor outdoor deck! Come outside for some drinking or to grab something off the outdoor grill on Thursday–Saturday. Bagz games are always available, and soon they’ll have pool tables outside, too! This is sure to become your favorite outdoor hangout. 21661 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Lincolnshire. 847-541-4700.

Famous Freddie’s Roadhouse
Head over to Famous Freddie’s in Fox Lake to celebrate their 10th summer all season long! Located on the Pistakee Lake, Freddie’s multi-level outdoor deck offers patrons a scenic lake view, making it the perfect place for dining and cocktailing during beautiful summer days and nights. Freddie’s is equipped with an outdoor Tiki Bar as well as a Frosty Bar featuring frozen drinks. Bagz is available for play as well as Nintendo Wii games, Beer Pong, NTN Trivia, and more. With its one hundred boat slips, a special section for motorcycle parking on the weekends, and entertainment all summer long, Freddie’s is a popular stop for many! 510 S. Park Avenue, Fox Lake. 847-587-9677.

Finn McCool’s
Located off of Algonquin Road just west of Route 53, Finn McCool’s offers guests a fenced-in concrete patio area for meals alfresco on sunny days and Irish beers or cool cocktails on warm nights. A waitress will serve the full Finn’s menu including appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and house specialties to guests dining in the beer garden. Make Finn’s your Friday hang and enjoy an $8.99 Lake Perch Fish Fry. 1941 E. Algonquin Road, Schaumburg. 847-303-5100.

Harry’s Sports Bar and Grill
Harry’s is a huge bar with great daily specials and the perfect beer garden for some fresh air—or to crush your friends at Bagz! This is a great place to watch your favorite sporting events on over 40 TVs and 3 big screens. The menu at Harry’s includes a variety of delicious, homemade appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, pastas, chicken, beef, steak, and pizzas; of course, food service is available outside. They have a great audio system so there’s always music inside and out! 9901 W. 55th Street, Countryside. 708-354-3333.

Hawthorne’s Backyard
Hawthorne’s Backyard in West Chicago should be your go-to place this summer if you’re the outdoorsy type. They have a staggering FOUR ACRES of fun! With sand volleyball, Bagz, horseshoes, bocce ball, a firepit, and of course the huge beer garden, you’re sure to have a great time here. Plus, for all you bikers out there, show up at Hawthorne’s Backyard on your “Hog” any Saturday or Sunday between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and you’ll get a FREE pulled-pork sandwich! 1200 W. Hawthorne Lane, West Chicago. 630-293-6700.

Indian Lakes Resort
After you’ve played 18 holes of golf on Indian Lakes’ championship course, unwind on Master’s Patio overlooking the water. After enjoying the great outdoors, take a dip in the pool with your family before a delicious meal at one of Indian Lakes’ fine restaurants, followed by an evening of entertainment, wine-tasting, sports—or more golf! 250 West Schick Road, Bloomingdale. 630-529-0200.

Jambalaya at Pheasant Run
At Pheasant Run, the Midwest’s largest entertainment resort, you have plenty of options for enjoying the great outdoors. Enjoy 36 holes of championship golf. Create a splash in three pools. Experience a night of live theater, music or comedy. And get ready for the taste of New Orleans at Jambalaya! 4051 East Main Street, St. Charles. 800-4-PHEASANT.

John’s Buffet
They say “There is no buffet at John’s Buffet!” What they do have, besides an extensive array of tasty treats and a huge beer and wine selection, is a great beer garden on the east side of the building with an outdoor café. Come out to John’s Buffet! 27W482 Jewell Road, Winfield. 630-752-2000.

Maple Avenue Pub
Enjoy the spring sunshine in the beer garden at Maple Avenue Pub in Lisle! In the summer, play some Bagz on the patio—and have you planned your 4th of July festivities yet? Come to Maple Avenue Pub, because they have a great view of the fireworks! The beer garden features a full menu—including appetizers, sandwiches, and pizzas—and music every day and night. 1227 Maple Avenue, Lisle. 630-971-8730.

Maxum Bar and Grill
Maxum in Hinsdale features a great, covered beer garden which makes the perfect outdoor hangout to drink and enjoy Maxum’s yummy entrées. This is not your typical bar cuisine! And don’t forget to try one of their Daily Drink Specials, from buckets of beer to shots and bombs. 9300 S. Kingery Highway (Route 83), Hinsdale. 630-789-6800.

Mickey Finn’s Brewery
Mickey Finn’s in Libertyville is well-known for its awesome beer and live music, but have you checked out their beer garden yet? It’s a cozy patio with umbrellas and full food service – a great place to kick back with one of Mickey Finn’s truly unique, flavorful ales and lagers. 412 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Libertyville. 847-362-6688.

Moretti’s Ristorante & Pizzeria
The garden at Moretti’s Ristorante & Pizzeria in Bartlett makes for a very enjoyable outdoor dining experience, with its stone firepit, two-sided fireplace, and outdoor grill situated on a large deck surrounded by sculptured landscape. Enjoy dinner and lunch in this comfortable beer garden. 1175 W. Lake Street, Bartlett. 630-837-4992. In Schaumburg, Moretti’s has a large patio surrounding the outside of the building, overlooking a lushly landscaped garden area perfect for summer dining and enjoyment. Guests will be treated to the full menu on the patio, where they can choose from pizza, Italian, and American favorites. It’s great for a family meal, a work lunch, or even a few happy hour cocktails after work. Enjoy Moretti’s Mini Martini Flight in the sun and choose three to sample including the Pomegrantini, Limon Drop, Razz-Tini, Cosmo, Fuzzy Naveltini, Blue Moon Martini, and Apple Martini. 1893 Walden Office Square, Schaumburg. 847-397-4200.

Pete & Johnny’s Tavern and Grille
Pete & Johnny’s in Lisle has a large, comfortable outdoor beer garden for all of your dining and drinking needs! They pride themselves on their great service, quality dishes, and reasonable prices; make sure to stop by the beer garden this summer to enjoy a daily drink special… or even to take Pete’s Challenge!
2901 Ogden Avenue, Lisle. 630-848-1900.

Ray’s Evergreen
Ray's Evergreen Grille is the home of the famous outdoor Tiki Bar, the western suburbs’ best outside full-service bar. Sit outside and watch the Cubs or the White Sox on their huge plasma TVs and enjoy the best drink specials in town. Join one of the Bagz tournaments every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night on the grass under the lights – with prizes provided by Ray's. And you can't miss College Night every Monday! Bring your school i.d. and take advantage of $0.50 draft beers and shot specials. Make this summer special and enjoy the outside while it lasts! 1400 W. Main Street, St. Charles. 630-584-3535.

Rolling Lanes
Enjoy the summertime with outside drinking and dining at Rolling Lanes. Of course, you’ll also want to try their Daily Drink Specials, Karaoke, or superb live entertainment in the 10th Frame Lounge! With Candlelight Bowling, Cosmic Bowling, and parties galore, Rolling Lanes is the place to be! 6301 Joliet Road, Countryside. 708-352-7262.

Rooster’s Barn and Grill
Check out Rooster’s – “The Hot Place for Cool Meals” and spend some time in their beer garden patio! They’ll take reservations for any size party at any time, so bring your friends and try one of the over 500 hot sauces to sample (or purchase, if one of them hits the spot). Rooster’s serves up great lunches and dinners daily, and breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays. Plus, they have all-you-can-eat crab legs on Thursday and Saturday! 122 W. Lake Street, Bloomingdale. 630-307-9995.

Ryans Public House
The beer garden at Ryans is a lovely, intimate space that you should definitely check out. Narrow and running the length of the building, with brick walls, hanging lights, and umbrellas, the Ryans beer garden has a great urban feel not usually found in the suburbs. Enjoy one of their delicious menu items with full service outside, and bask in the summer sunshine! 8942 W. Ogden Avenue, Brookfield. 708-485-7400.

Shark City Sports Bar & Billiards
The beer garden at Shark City delivers a South Beach experience right in Glendale Heights, featuring a beautiful waterfall and private cabanas! Munch on their great appetizers, delicious sandwiches and burgers, or healthy salads and wraps while enjoying tunes from the DJ or live entertainment from Thursday to Saturday. 2240 Bloomingdale Road, Glendale Heights. 630-893-9346.

Two Rivers Bar & Event Center
Two Rivers is building a huge firepit in the middle of their large beer garden! Enjoy the music and the relaxed and pleasant atmosphere in the beer garden while you savor their special skewer menu, featuring pork, beef, lamb, chicken, fish, and vegetables. Or order off their regular menu for Eastern European and American favorites, plus delicious homemade burgers. Yum! 10997 S. Archer Avenue, Lemont. 630-257-8187.

Villa Sofia
Come to the brand-new beer garden at Villa Sofia! It’s a beautiful red-brick outdoor space under a large wooden awning and table umbrellas. In this 1500 square foot beer garden, you can relax with one of the options from the bar or the full menu. And what a menu it is! Gourmet dishes with pheasant, wild boar, venison, wild duck, quail, and many more – Villa Sofia offers the best wild game recipes around. What better place to experience these dishes, live music, and karaoke than in the beer garden? 26400 N. Rand Road, Wauconda. 847-526-2112.


And here are a links to Chicago downtown beer gardens listed by neighborhood:
Downtown, Near North, Near West & Near South
North Side – Lincoln Park and Old Town
North Side – Lakeview
North Side – Far North & Northwest
West Side
South Side


Monday, July 13, 2009

Top 10 Italian Beers

Here are what I deem to be the top ten Italian beers available out there...

Birra Morena
Type: Pale Lager
ABV: 4.6%
Bottle Size: 330ml

Birra Moretti
Type: Pale Lager
ABV: 4.6%
Bottle Size: 330ml

Type: Pale Lager
ABV: 4.8%
Bottle Size: 330ml

Nastro Azzurro
Type: Premium Lager
ABV: 5.2%
Bottle Size: 330ml

Peroni Gran Riserva
Type: Dortmunder/Helles
ABV: 6.6%
Bottle Size: 330ml

Peroni Red
Type: Pale Lager
ABV: 4.7%
Bottle Size: 330ml



Dreher (owned by the Heineken group)


Others to consider:
• Ichnusa (owned by the Heineken group)
• Birra Messina
• Poretti (owned by Carlsberg Italia)
• Splügen (owned by Carlsberg Italia)
• Theresianer
• Raffo Beer

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Top 10 Weirdest Beers For 2009

Here is an article grabbed from a site called "" (by the authors of The Man Who Scared A Shark To Death and Other True Tales of Drunken Debauchery)...apparently they have found the weirdest beers that are currently out on and be amused:

"These days, there is a trend towards making alcohol-related products taste like something else – hence the rise of alcopops and various other beverages that are commonly ordered by girl drink drunks [see excellent Kids in the Hall sketch of the same name] The weirdest alcoholic beverages we’ve ever consumed—whiskey distilled with a snake in it (Laos), hot pepper paprika pálinka (Hungarian brandy derived from the Slav, ‘to burn’), pumpkin ale and that shitty fake absinthe sold all over the Czech Republic that looks like what an army barber would use to clean razors—look positively benign in comparison to these brews.

Beer manufacturers are adding ingredients to their brews to excite the Budweiser-deadened taste buds of your average guzzler, and, in some cases, to test their gag reflexes as well. Here then, is a run-down of the Top 10 Weirdest Beers we can find.

1. Pizza-flavored beer seems like the type of unorthodox brew that would do the latter, as, up until this point, the only pizza-flavored beer familiar to the recreational boozer has been the end of the night palette clearing, known in some circles as “bending and sending” (which results in “pavement pizza”). However, according to this review from the Fairfield County Weekly, Tom Seefurth’s Mamma Mia Pizza Beer is actually quite quaffable, if not actually the most authentic-tasting beer. While the brewers do include oregano, basil, tomato and garlic in the mix, it isn’t exactly a slice of pie crammed into a beer bottle. According to the reviewer, “…it resembled the taste of pizza-flavored Combos or Pringles… rather artificial, kind of like the Baco-Bits of the alcohol world.” The reviewer, a Shark Guy in spirit, scoffed at the pizza beer’s low alcohol content (4.5 percent) and said that he’d “just as soon knock back a beer-flavored beer.” [Editor's note: We should mention that we take no responsibility for sickened stomachs. Also, this next one is not meant for humans, but like those sad stories of senior citizens on fixed budgets being left to dine on the Alpo, there is nothing to stop you from trying it out for yourself].

2. Steak-flavored beer for dogs: Who among us hasn’t emptied out the odd pint into Rover’s bowl just to see what would happen when he got a little tipsy? One of our favorite tales in the animals section of our book, The Man Who Scared a Shark to Death and other True Tales of Drunken Debauchery, concerned a footman to the Queen of England who was fired for putting whiskey in the water bowls of the royal corgis [Word had it the pooches liked it 'neat' and have since straightened out] The beer we’re talking about here though, the Dutch Kwispelbier – “tail-wagging beer” is non-alcoholic, and tastes like beef. The beer has recently gone on sale in the UK. According to the distributors of the canine brew, while little Fido may not end up as hammered as his owners, he’ll at least be drinking in solidarity with them: “It means pets are even more a part of family life as they can enjoy a beer, too.”

3. Banana Beer. A garden hose and a g-string away from being a Budweiser marketing executive’s wet dream, unfortunately this brew is going to have to stay in the realm of the subconscious for now as these suds are predominantly brewed in Kenya. According to Howtopedia, which is like Wikipedia without the citations (perhaps not the best source for launching a home bootlegging business), banana beer is made using the fermented juices of sorghum and, if you haven’t guessed it by now, bananas. “Come, Mr. Tally Man, tally me banana / Daylight come and me wanna go home” (where I won’t be sipping on this)

4. Beer and Milk Makes Bilk: According to the good folks over at PETA, beer is actually better for you (not to mention poor ole’ Bessie the cow) than milk. “Beer in moderation is good for you, while even one glass of milk supports animal abuse and harms your health,” says a PETA spokesperson. But for those of us not quite ready to throw dairy out the door and embrace the joys of soy, the good news is that the salutary effects of both milk and beer can be found in one ingeniously named Japanese product: Bilk. The brewer, dealing with an oversupply of milk due to lower consumption in Japan, decided to use surplus to create a beer that is 30% milk. According to Reuters, “apart from a slight milky scent looks and tastes like ordinary beer”. Currently, Bilk is available only in the region where it’s produced, Hokkaido, and by mail order. The manufacturer said that further distribution would depend on how the initial beer fared in local markets, and we’re guessing the lack of reports following on from its introduction last year tell us pretty much all we need to know about how that went.

5. Tomato Beer / Kidsbeer. First, this perennial, grown in your front and backyard if you’re Italian [would make a great addition to those, You Know You're Italian If lists, right alongside your nono's fig tree]. Marginally more masculine than a Bloody Mary or a Caesar (though it still won’t grace any Superbowl tailgates any time soon) it’s red enough so that if it comes up after a night on the town you’ll seek admittance to the nearest ER. According to sources, “the beer seems to act as an antioxidant and has plenty of vitamin E, more than 1000 times that of regular beer”, which might be “zero”, it didn’t say. "A half pint for the little man" The tomato is actually South American in origin, specifically Peru. It is theorized that Cortez brought it back from the New World along with syphilis and it’s safe to say Europe has not been the same since.
Neither has Asia. It’s actually the Japanese who are responsible for this Sunday Gravy brew, unsurprisingly, given their penchant for
squid ice cream and Pepsi Ice Cucumber drink, not to mention a non-alcoholic beer marketed at children, Kidsbeer!. According to the New York Times, the potable, “which comes in a brown bottle and is advertised with the slogan “Even kids cannot stand life unless they have a drink,” (Editor’s note: probably not the best slogan to use in a country with one of the world’s highest suicide rates) is lager-colored and foams like beer, but tastes like cola.”

6. Champagne Beer: Champagne tastes? Beer budget? Willing to drink anything we suggest? Well boy do we have the beer for you. The Krait Prestige Champagne Lager, the US name for the UK Cobra Beer, claims to be the world’s first champagne lager and the only lager to be re-fermented in the bottle, a process usually reserved for Trappist ales (drinking Trappist ales, incidentally, is probably the only good thing about being a Trappist monk). The bottle is made to look like a champagne bottle, and offers a combination of the two products inside (throwing into complete chaos standard rules such as “beer after wine, you’ll do just fine”). Whether such a mix would appeal to you depends on whether you enjoy champagne. If you are of a mind with the journalist Christopher Hitchens who once said, “The four most over-rated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex and picnics” then this may not be the product for you.

7. Chocolate Donut Beer: Brewed by Shenandoah Brewery in Alexandria Virginia, which, we shit thou not, offers a major discount for law-enforcement officials (the discount doesn’t specifically apply to the donut beer, but still…) comes the Chocolate Donut Beer. This begging-for-a-Homer-Simpson-reference beer is in league with pizza beer in terms of giving you something to drink to remind you of the unhealthy things that you like to eat. The beer overwhelmingly positive feedback on Beer Advocate, including an A+ rating from a guy who said it smelled “Like you just opened a pack of those cheap waxy corner store chocolate gem donuts”.

8. Chipotle Beer / Chili Beer. Fully ripened smoke-dried jalapeno beer, perfect to wash down a plate of nachos at your local dive. Mixed reviews on this one:
“Starts out spicy, mellows with a very faint hint of toasty malt before developing much more heat and finishing with an intense, peppery bite”,
“Way too much black pepper”
“Roasted malt, roasted spicy pepper, very small amount of caramel sweetness”
and the always unappetizing…
“Kind of feels like its leaving a coating on my mouth”

9. Japanese Yellow Protein Beer. The less said about this the better. We’ll leave it to one reviewer, who opined: “Feels like I’ve just woken up and need to brush my teeth”. Don’t forget to floss…and finally…

10. Creme Brulee Beer. To close, as a way to cleanse the palette in dessert fashion, Crème brûlée Beer. Because when you think vanilla custard, cream and caramel…Do not light with a blowtorch, not because you could blow yourself to smithereens (we frankly don’t care), but because you need at least 100 proof to be flammable.
Bottoms up."