Budweiser Naming Itself ‘America’, America Rolls Its Eyes

Really, A-B InBev?

Ernie's Old Time Saloon

Ernie’s Old Time Saloon, Sitka, Alaska…

Budweiser…  brand has sought approval for new labels that replace the Budweiser name with “America,” according to a filing with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. The labels don’t stop there. They include phrases such as “E Pluribus Unum” and “from the redwood forest to the Gulf stream waters this land was made for you and me,” as well as “indivisible since 1776.”

A-B InBev on Tuesday, May 10, confirmed the limited-edition label change, saying “America” would replace “Budweiser” on the front of 12-oz. cans and bottles. The packaging will run from May 23 through election season in November, the brewer stated. The agency that handled the design change is Jones Knowles Ritchie, New York. The packaging will be accompanied by a summer-long campaign called “America is in Your Hands.” A national TV spot featuring the cans and bottles will premiere on June 1.


(click here to continue reading A-B InBev Looks to Replace Budweiser With ‘America’ on Packs | CMO Strategy – AdAge.)

Honestly, this makes me laugh more than anything I’ve read recently. Maybe I’m not the target demographic, no, not maybe, definitively. Even when I was a young, beer swilling college student without much money, I still didn’t drink Budweiser. Mind you, this was back in the dark ages before the craft beer explosion – which meant if a bunch of us went on a camping trip, or had a party, we’d scrounge together enough money to purchase Shiner Bock, or if we couldn’t swing that, we would buy a case of Carling Black Label, or Stroh’s, or Lone Star, something like that, or frequently, wine. I honestly cannot think of a single time when I had a choice of beverage that I chose Bud. Maybe at some low rent sporting event? 

And also, Budweiser is made in massive factories, probably by robots, and is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, a conglomerate headquartered in Leuven, Belgium. You know, MURICA! Whoo hoo!

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV makes beers such as:

Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois, international brands Beck’s, Hoegaarden and Leffe and local brands such as Bud Light, Skol, Brahma, Antarctica, Quilmes, Victoria, Modelo Especial, Michelob Ultra, Harbin, Sedrin, Klinskoye, Sibirskaya Korona, Chernigivske and Jupiler.

(click here to continue reading Anheuser-Busch InBev – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

and have annual revenues in the neighborhood of $50,000,000,000. So obviously, somebody drinks that swill. A lot of people apparently. But I wonder what percentage of their gross revenue goes to pay American taxes? I’m guessing they are in Belgium instead of St. Louis because the tax climate is friendlier there. 

If you are a Bud drinker, you aren’t really drinking it for its flavor, I’m assuming. Especially in light of:

After the November 18, 2008 InBev takeover, several cost-cutting measures were implemented that negatively affected the flavor of the beer. Whole rice grains were been replaced by broken ones, and the high quality Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hop was phased out. A former top AB InBev executive told BusinessWeek Magazine, in an article published on November 8, 2012, that the company had saved approximately $55 million a year by substituting cheaper hops in Budweiser and other U.S. beers

(click here to continue reading Budweiser – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

Anyway, I’m sure summer sales will be brisk, lots of ironic purchases of six packs that will sit in refrigerators around the nation, collecting dust…

Wine, Beer, and Espresso are good for you

Ode to Dionysus
Ode to Dionysus

Dark wine, hoppy beer, and dark roast coffee or espresso – sounds like my typical day’s consumption!

Excerpt from an interview with Jo Robinson on the topic of phytonutrient intake…

Tom Philpott, Mother Jones:  Now that we’re talking about my favorite stuff, we may as well discuss some of my vices. What wine grape varietals are especially high in phytos?

Jo Robinson: Almost invariably, most of them [wine grape varietals] are higher in phytonutrients than the one we eat fresh, table grapes, and the exceptions would be black and red table grapes, some of them approach the ones that we make wine out of.

MJ: Great. But any differences among them—say, cabernet vs. pinot noir?

JR: Of course, red wines are much higher in phytonutrients than white wines. In terms of reds, pinot noir is kind of middle of the road in terms of antioxidant activity, because in a way you can just hold that bottle of red wine up to the light and the darker it is, denser, the more phytonutrients it contains. So the ones that are really high are cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and Sangiovese. Also, oak-aged wines—oak has a lot of phytonutrients in it which gets into the wine.

MJ: Damn it. I like my lighter red wines. Guess I just have to up my intake! Is it true that hops in beer are excellent for you?

JR: Yes. Hops are bitter—and very high in phytonutrients. So the higher the hop content, the better the beer is for you, and the more bitter it tastes. What’s so interesting in this culture is that we’re very bitter-adverse, which means that we select things that are unusually low in phytonutrients. So the best-selling beer in this country, is Bud Light.

MJ: Red wine, check, hoppy beer, check. Let’s go for the triple crown of my vices. Coffee?

JR: Coffee is very high in something called chlorogenic acid, which is a good phytonutrient, and the darker the brew, the better. Espresso is particularly high, because it tends to be darker roasted.

MJ: Darker roasts are better…really?

JR: Roasting introduces another factor—it caramelizes some of the sugars in coffee, and that caramelization process increases the antioxidant activity. Dark-roasted espresso… is favored throughout many European countries.  

(click here to continue reading Cook Your Berries. Drink Dark-Roast Coffee Instead of Light. Let Your Garlic Sit. | Mother Jones.)

Bengali Tiger
Bengali Tiger

A Salute to Crema
A Salute to Crema

Photo Republished at Two Beers I Don’t Get | Steve’s Personal Blog

312 is golden

My photo was used to illustrate this post

I like very trying new beers. It’s no secret. But recently I had two beers, in a row, that I could not wrap my head around. Don’t misunderstand, these were not bad beers but beers that either fly over my head or I expected too much from. Photo credit: swanksalot The first beer is Goose Island’s 312 Urban Wheat.

click here to keep reading :
Two Beers I Don’t Get | Steve’s Personal Blog

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Brewing Controversy Over Proposal to Make Water Cheaper Than Beer in Czech Republic

Afternoon Pilsner
Afternoon Pilsner

Probably won’t happen, as the Czech are all shook up about this proposal, but still amusing to an American. We are very familiar with a government that wants to control what and how we eat and drink…

PRAGUE—In most restaurants and taverns across the Czech Republic, a mug of beer is, literally, cheaper than water. The country’s health minister wants to change that as he tries to put Czechs on a lower-hops diet.

It won’t be easy. Here in the birthplace of pilsner, beer is known as “liquid bread.” Czechs drink an average of 37 gallons of the stuff per person per year, the highest per capita consumption in the world and more than double U.S. levels.

Pub patrons go through the sudsy amber liquid so fast that the nation’s largest brewer, SABMiller unit Plzensky Prazdroj, maker of famed Pilsner Urquell, delivers beer with the kind of tank trucks used to haul gasoline, and pumps it into bars’ storage vats.

“Beer is like mother’s milk for adults,” said Marek Gollner, a 36-year-old computer programmer and regular customer at the U Zelenku pub in the Prague suburb of Zbraslav. “For a Czech, it’s like wine for a Frenchman or vodka for a Russian.”

Faced with such attitudes, Health Minister Leos Heger’s campaign to make Bohemia a bit less bohemian is starting with baby steps.

He wants to require restaurants and bars to offer at least one nonalcoholic beverage at a price lower than that of the same amount of beer, primarily to offer teens, who can legally drink at 18, an alternative. The easiest thing to do, Dr. Heger said, would be to offer patrons pitchers of tap water.


For at least a thousand years, beer has been a staple in the Czech lands, and the country’s native hops are renowned for being aromatic and bitter. St. Wenceslas, a martyred 10th-century Czech nobleman, is a patron saint of brewing and malting, in addition to being the patron saint of the nation.

When the city of Plzen, about 60 miles southwest of Prague, got its charter in 1295, its people were given the right to brew beer, helping ensure the settlement’s prosperity.

At a typical local pub, a pint—500 milliliters, actually, in this metric-measuring country—costs about $1. A similar portion of water, juice or soda generally costs twice as much. Offering free tap water as at U.S. eateries is extremely rare.

At U Zelenku, a neighborhood institution for more than a century, for instance, a pint of the cheapest beer goes for 99 cents. The same size of soda water is $1.30. At the fancier Kolkovna restaurant in touristy Old Town, a pint is $2.50, while mineral water is $2.29, for a bottle less than half the size.


(click here to continue reading Brewing Controversy Over Proposal to Make Water Cheaper Than Beer – WSJ.com.)

A Battle With the Brewers on Pine Ridge


I have two thoughts regarding this horrific article as reported by Nicholas Kristof:

Pine Ridge, one of America’s largest Indian reservations, bans alcohol. The Oglala Sioux who live there struggle to keep alcohol out, going so far as to arrest people for possession of a can of beer. But the tribe has no jurisdiction over Whiteclay because it is just outside the reservation boundary.

So Anheuser-Busch and other brewers pour hundreds of thousands of gallons of alcohol into the liquor stores of Whiteclay, knowing that it ends up consumed illicitly by Pine Ridge residents and fuels alcoholism, crime and misery there. In short, a giant corporation’s business model here is based on violating tribal rules and destroying the Indians’ way of living.

It’s as if Mexico legally sold methamphetamine and crack cocaine to Americans in Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez.

Pine Ridge encompasses one of the poorest counties in the entire United States — Shannon County, S.D. — and life expectancy is about the same as in Afghanistan. As many as two-thirds of adults there may be alcoholics, and one-quarter of children are born suffering from fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

In short, this isn’t just about consenting adults. Children are born with neurological damage and never get a chance.

(click here to continue reading A Battle With the Brewers – NYTimes.com.)

The Longhorn Saloon - Main Street, Scenic, South Dakota

The Longhorn Saloon – Main Street, Scenic, South Dakota

First, Anheuser-Busch aka InBev has long been a sleazy corporation. You don’t give large amounts of corporate donations to scum like the Heartland Institute unless you are a willing tool of Republican agenda, and Anheuser-Busch is a willing tool of the GOP.

More Beautiful Desolation
More Beautiful Desolation

Second, and this is just wild speculation, what would happen if the Pine Ridge Reservation legalized booze sales, but vigorously controlled the sale? Stop selling to obviously intoxicated people, have a quota for how much beer a particular household could purchase in a month, and so on. Try the drug legalization model, in other words, like Switzerland or The Netherlands do (did?). Of course, the slightly-over the county line store would have to be removed, or incorporated into the plan. But isn’t this just as feasible as a public shaming of corporate scum like InBev?

I don’t doubt alcoholism is a big, big problem on the Res, but perhaps there are other ways to tackle this problem. Heroin junkies in Vancouver are allowed to shoot up, but only under watchful eyes of public health officials.

Just days after Canada’s Supreme Court smacked down the ruling Conservative party’s attempts to close Insite, the cutting-edge walk-in safe-injecting clinic in Vancouver, comes the latest volley from harm-reduction advocates north of the border. Over the next three years a new trial will test whether giving heroin addicts access to free, clean opiates can be an effective way to stabilize hardcore users and ultimately entice them into drug treatment.

SALOME (Study to Assess Longer-term Opiate Maintenance Effectiveness) grew out of the earlier NAOMI (North American Opiate Maintenance Initiative) study. whose conclusions were similar to those of similar trials in Switzerland, Germany and other highly evolved nations: “Heroin-assisted therapy proved to be a safe and highly effective treatment for people with chronic, treatment-refractory heroin addiction. Marked improvements were observed including decreased use of illicit “street” heroin, decreased criminal activity, decreased money spent on drugs, and improved physical and psychological health,” as NAOMI’s authors wrote.

Unlike the earlier trial, the focus of SALOME is not on heroin prescribing. With the Conservative government’s panties already in a bunch over injecting rooms, a less controversial alternative to handing out heroin had to be foundt. The solution?  Hydromorphone (trade name Dilaudid), a legally available painkiller whose effects are almost indistinguishable from heroin—not a surprise given that it is synthesized from morphine. “There’s less of a stigma, less of an aura, around hydromorphone, and it’s legally available,” said British Columbia’s medical health officer, Perry Kendall. “In Switzerland and Germany, they don’t have a problem with treating people with heroin, but here we do.”

(click here to continue reading Junkies Get Free, Clean Heroin Alternative in Vancouver Trial | The Fix.)

What do you think? Could this work for alcohol too? Of course, this is idle speculation, and as long as the GOP is around, public health initiatives will get short shrift.

MillerCoors Cuts Ties With DraftFCB

Miller Coors HQ West Loop
Miller Coors HQ West Loop

DraftFCB sure seems to lose a lot of major accounts.

MillerCoors is making major changes to its agency roster, the biggest of which is the brewer’s cutting ties with its longtime lead creative agency, Interpublic Group of Cos.’ DraftFCB. As part of the shift, Publicis Groupe’s Razorfish has lost creative and digital-media duties. Digital and creative for Coors brands will now move to a new multiagency group at WPP. For the Miller Lite brand, the brewer has picked Saatchi & Saatchi as lead creative shop, after giving it a tryout in January. Digitas, however, keeps Miller Lite digital-creative and -media duties.

Andy England “Winning in premium lights [beer] is the centerpiece of our long-term business stragegy, and we’ve determined that some agency changes will give us the best chance to do exactly that,” MillerCoors Exec VP-Chief Marketing Officer Andy England told Ad Age today. “What we are looking for is sustainable, above-the-line excellence with an integrated solution,” including traditional and digital marketing.

The new WPP team will be housed in Chicago (where MillerCoors is headquartered) and draw on talent from JWT, Ogilvy, Y&R and Grey, as well as digital shops.

(click here to continue reading MillerCoors Shakes Up Shops, Cuts Ties With DraftFCB | Agency News – Advertising Age.)


Crain’s Chicago adds:

The decision is a major blow for Interpublic Group of Cos.’ DraftFCB, Chicago, which is still working to regain its footing after losing the global SC Johnson account, a relationship that dates back 58-plus years and was one of the agency’s largest accounts. The agency has had Miller Lite since 2009, and its roots on the Coors brand dates back to 1979, when predecessor Foote, Cone, Belding first started working on the brand.

DraftFCB began losing its grip on Lite in January when the brand brought in Saatchi & Saatchi, New York — already a roster agency — to assist on the “Miller Time” campaign that debuted in late March, which is aimed at lifting the nation’s fourth-largest beer from a long-running slump. The loss of Coors Banquet and Coors Light is an especially tough loss for the agency. Each brand has been growing lately. Coors Light passed Budwieser last year as the nation’s second-largest beer thanks in part to its long-running cold-refreshment messaging.

(click here to continue reading MillerCoors shakes up shops, cuts ties with DraftFCB – Marketing/media News – Crain’s Chicago Business.)

Goose Island No More

312 is golden

InBev aka AnheuserBusch has purchased the iconic Chicago small brewer, Goose Island. I’m saddened, but money talks louder than pride, and I hope John Hall spends his new cash wisely. I will continue to drink Goose Island beer, unless they start cutting back on quality, but it just won’t be the same to drink Budweiser in a fancier bottle. President Obama can now give politicians Bud Light instead of Goose Island without blinking.

Chicago-based Goose Island, one of the nation’s most respected and fastest-growing small brewers with sales concentrated throughout the Midwest, today announced it had agreed to be acquired by AnheuserBusch, its current distribution partner, in a move that will bring additional capital into Goose Island’s operations to meet growing consumer demand for its brands and deepen its Chicago and Midwest distribution.

Goose Island’s legal name is Fulton Street Brewery LLC (FSB). Anheuser-Busch reached an agreement to purchase the majority (58 percent) equity stake in FSB from its founders and investors, held in Goose Holdings Inc. (GHI), for $22.5 million. Craft Brewers Alliance Inc . (CBA), an independent, publicly traded brewer based in Portland, Ore., that operates Widmer Brothers, Redhook and Kona breweries, owns the remaining 42 percent of FSB and reached an agreement in principle to sell its stake in FSB to Anheuser-Busch for $16.3 million in cash. AnheuserBusch holds a minority stake (32.25 percent) in CBA.

Goose Island sold approximately 127,000 barrels of Honkers Ale, 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Matilda and other brands in 2010. To help meet immediate demand, an additional $1.3 million will be invested to increase Goose Island’s Chicago Fulton Street brewery’s production as early as this summer.

“Demand for our beers has grown beyond our capacity to serve our wholesale partners, retailers, and beer lovers,” said Goose Island founder and president John Hall, who will continue as Goose Island chief executive officer. “This partnership between our extraordinary artisanal brewing team and one of the best brewers in the world in Anheuser-Busch will bring resources to brew more beer here in Chicago to reach more beer drinkers, while continuing our development of new beer styles. This agreement helps us achieve our goals with an ideal partner who helped fuel our growth, appreciates our products and supports their success.”


The two Goose Island brew pubs are not part of the deal, but will continue in operation, offering consumers an opportunity to sample Goose Island’s award-winning specialty beers and food selections.

Founded by John Hall in 1988, Goose Island Beer Company is one of the Midwest’s first small breweries. Located at 1800 W. Fulton St., Chicago, Goose Island is acclaimed for creating world-class ales, including 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Honkers Ale, India Pale Ale, Matilda, Pere Jacques, Sofie and a wide variety of seasonal draft only and barrel-aged releases, including Bourbon County Stout, the original bourbon barrel-aged beer.


(click here to continue reading Goose Island Selects Current Partner Anheuser-Busch for Growth Strategy; Chicago Small Brewer, Craft Brewers Alliance to Sell Stakes in Goose Island; Expansion of Chicago Brewery Planned.)

Goose Island Beer Company

John Hall explains

When I first started Goose Island Clybourn in 1988, drinkers were just beginnning to explore new beer styles and “craft beer” was a term that no one had even thought of. I couldn’t imagine the explosive growth that craft beer has had in the last few years, or the amazing creativity of so many new brewers, and the discovery of the amazing possibilities of beer by a whole generation of drinkers.

I am very proud of Goose Island’s contribution too this craft beer movement, of the many awards won by our brewers, our growing number of employees, our support of the communities and life of Chicago, and the friendship of so many beer lovers in Chicago and elsewhere.

Over the past five years our partnerships with Craft Brewers Alliance and Anheuser-Busch have enabled Goose Island to reach a growing number of beer drinkers. This has fueled our growth to the point that demand for our beers has outgrown the capacity of our brewery. Recently, we’ve even had to limit production of some classic and medal-winning styles. To keep up with growing demand from drinkers we’ve explored a variety of paths too secure new capital to support our growth.

Today’s agreement to consolidate ownership of Goose Island under Anheuser-Busch will provide us with the best resources available to continue along our path of growth and innovation.

I am more excited than ever about Goose Island’s future. With the support and financial backing of our new partner, we will continue to brew our authentic classic styles, develop new amazing beers, and serve our drinkers.

Yeah, well, we’ll see.

Landmark status for former Schlitz taverns

Strangely enough, we just linked to the history of these Schlitz sponsored buildings a few days ago.

Schlitz 1995

City officials want to assign landmark status to eight former Schlitz taverns that opened more than 100 years ago, a group of buildings that includes the popular Lakeview nightspot Schuba’s Tavern. Adorned with distinctive Schlitz globes, the structures are reminders of an era when beer makers like Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. owned and operated their own saloons, a foreign concept to barhoppers today.

Built in the late 19th and early 20th century in Queen Anne or Baroque style, so-called brewery-tied houses “convey important aspects of the ethnic, social and commercial life of the city’s neighborhoods,” a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Zoning & Land Use Planning writes in an e-mail. The city Commission on Chicago Landmarks will consider a preliminary recommendation to designate the properties as landmarks at a Thursday meeting. It’s the beginning of a process that could take a year, ending with a City Council vote on the proposal.

(click to continue reading Landmark status on tap for former Schlitz taverns | News | Crain’s Chicago Business.)

Good, I hope the city officials follow through with this initiative. I realize the past is not sacrosanct, but personally am of the opinion that some history of a city, especially a city as architecturally aware as Chicago, should be retained against the onslaught of developers seeking to raze all in their path.

Schlitz on Tap - Bucktown

Abandoned Schiltz Sign on West Grand

Abandoned Schlitz sign on West Grand

Taken with the newish Ina’s 1935 film addition to Hipstamatic. Located on a wall at the southwest corner of the Damen/Grand intersection. There are apparently less than ten of these Schlitz globe signs still existing in Chicago. Most are better preserved than this one. In fact, some might even be given “landmark” status.

The Schlitz brewing company of Milwaukee was the most prolific builder of tied houses in Chicago. Designed by the architectural firm of Frohmann & Jebsen, Schlitz tied houses are generally executed in a revival style such as Queen Anne or Baroque with varying levels of accuracy and detail. One common factor in most Schlitz tied houses are the distinctive globes encircled by a belt, as if Schlitz had a stranglehold on the world. Another common feature is the alternating red and cream face brick which can be found in different patterns.

(click to continue reading Tied Houses | Forgotten Chicago | Chicago History, Architecture, and Infrastructure..)

Like this one:

Schlitz Trade Mark

Brewing up beer, and community in Chicago

Very much looking forward to the Haymarket Pub and Brewery opening. Sounds like my kind of place, a mix of good beer, Chicago history, arts, and ambitious owners.

Micah Maidenberg of the Chicago Journal reports, in part:

Haymarket Riot Memorial 032

With the location in place, planning for the brewpub started in earnest. Crowley and Neurauter found a chef in Chris Buccheri, who was introduced to the pair by yet another mutual friend and recruited away from Three Floyd’s Brewing Company in Munster, Ind., to work at Haymarket.

The brewpub will be split into three areas. Up front near Randolph will be a dining room, outdoor beer garden and the main bar. The middle section — which Bar Louie and Blue Point used as a shared kitchen — will be opened up to showcase glass-encased beer fermenters, a walk-in cooler and the kitchen.

The back room, finally, will accommodate a second bar, seats and a stage for Drinking & Writing, a theater series that explores the connections between imbibing, creativity and literature through readings, personal narratives and audience participation during approximately one-hour performances.

Drinking & Writing will make the location its permanent home, and program the space with monthly shows, according Sean Benjamin, one of its organizers, including the forthcoming “The City that Drinks,” which will examine Chicago writers and their habits with alcohol.

“I think it’s going to be one of the first brewpubs … in the city that integrates a theater into it,” Benjamin said. During performances, Drinking & Writing will take a door charge, while Haymarket makes beer sales.

The back space could also be used for tastings, private events, televised football games and, eventually, for live music.

Evening Lullaby

As one meanders through the space, the idea is to carry a pint with you, Crowley said, and see the process of creation. In the open kitchen, Buccheri will prepare and plate homemade sausage, rotisserie chicken and smoked brisket. In the brewing rooms, Crowley and helpers will turn different grains into fermented, sudsy alcohol. Expect to see steam rising and water flowing, mashing, boiling, scrubbing and cascades of hops, malts and rye.

At any given time, Haymarket will offer 16 house-made beers on tap, ranging from classic Belgians and American pale ales to a rotating European-style lager and beers that combine different elements and flavors.

“There has been a really cool emergence in the craft brewing world of a crossover — we call them contemporary American styles — that might take some aspects of American beers, say IPAs, which are very hoppy, and making Belgians that way,” Crowley said.

From the basement, imperial stouts, barley wines and beers laced with coffee will age anywhere from three months to one year in at least 60 charred bourbon barrels.

Ten “guest taps,” meanwhile, at the main bar will be reserved for Chicago- and Midwestern-based brewers, and the bar will stock several dozen bottled beers from other microbreweries.

(click to continue reading Brewing up beer, and community in Chicago | News | Chicago Journal.)

Wonder if the owners would want any of my photos of the area or of the Haymarket Riot Memorial to display on the wall? I’ll have to inquire…

PBR 1844


Ok, if you’re doing the math at home, 300 RMB is about $44 US, or looking at this from another angle, about $43 dollars more than a bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon should cost, no matter where you are.

1844 was the year that the Pabst Brewing Company was established in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the US, the beer’s lack of pretension led to a recent upswing in popularity among hipsters.

With 1844, the brand seems to be targeting a different demographic in the Chinese market.

The ad copy (on the facing page) begins with comparisons to the finest of alcohols:

It’s not just Scotch that’s put into wooden casks. There’s also Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer 1844

Many world-famous spirits Are matured in precious wooden casks Scotch whisky, French brandy, Bordeaux wine… They all spend long days inside wooden casks

It goes on to describe how the premium wood and craftsmanship of the casks creates the beer’s wondrous color and flavor, and ends by calling Pabst “truly a treasure among beers.”

Does Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844 truly merit such comparisons? It’ll cost you around 300 RMB to try a bottle for yourself, according to a Beijing Youth Daily article from last November, when the product was launched.

The article quoted Ni Chunlin, head of Blue Ribbon Beer, which produced Pabst in China:

“China’s beer market has an annual sales volume of 40 million tons. So why is the price of beer always around 5 or 10 yuan?” … Ni Chunlin said that the release of Blue Ribbon 1844 is aimed at changing consumers’ ideas about beer. “The high-end market is occupied by baijiu and wine. Chinese people can afford to drink baijiu that costs tens of thousands, and I believe that a 300-yuan beer won’t be a problem either.”

(click to continue reading A blue-collar beer goes upmarket.)

Pabst Theater

Obama gives Cameron a decent Goose Island

Maybe the Bud Light schtick was calculated1, but when Obama met British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama gave him a decent local brew.


Cameron is a Conservative, but a moderate presiding over a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats after 13 years of Labor rule, and at least one of Obama’s former aides, Anita Dunn, worked for him during his election campaign.

Goose Island Beer Company

The two leaders have bonded over sports, one of Obama’s signature means of connecting. They culminated their friendly trash talk over the World Cup Saturday.

Seated in dark leather chairs, with the G8 and G20 logo serving as a backdrop in the small room, Obama and Cameron satisfied a wager they had made on the U.S-Britain soccer match.

“Since it ended in a tie, we’re exchanging, by paying off our debts at the same time, this is Goose Island 312 beer from my hometown of Chicago,” Obama said, holding a yellow-tagged bottle of beer.

Cameron then handed his beer to a smiling Obama. “This is Hobgoblin,” he said.

“I advised him that in America, we drink our beer cold,” Obama quipped. “He has to put it in a refrigerator before he drinks it, but I think that he will find it outstanding.”

(click to continue reading ‘Special relationship’ under strain as Obama and Cameron meet – POLITICO.com Print View.)

Beer doesn’t have to be ice cold to be enjoyable, and I’ll have to look for Hobgoblin when2 I’m in London this August.

  1. of course, maybe the craft beer choice could be calculated, and Obama really does drink Bud Light Lime, ewww []
  2. if? []

Reading Around on February 25th through March 1st

A few interesting links collected February 25th through March 1st:

  • Two is better than one

  • Where is The Best Bloody Mary in DC? « brunch and the city – image by swanksalot on Flickr
  • R.J. Cutler: What I Learned From Anna Wintour – Lesson 1: Keep Meetings ShortI work in the film business, where schmoozing is an art form, lunch hour lasts from 12:30 until 3, and every meeting takes an hour whether there’s an hour’s worth of business or not. Not so at Vogue, where meetings are long if they go more than seven minutes and everyone knows to show up on time, prepared and ready to dive in. In Anna’s world, meetings often start a few minutes before they’re scheduled. If you arrive five minutes late, chances are you’ll have missed it entirely. Imagine the hours of time that are saved every day by not wasting so much of it in meetings. It’s not by accident that during the final scene of The September Issue, Anna Wintour is in her office alone, waiting for a meeting to begin, and we hear her voice call out, “Is anyone coming to this run-through except for me?”
  • Haymarket Pub & Brewery Opening this Summer in the West Loop — Grub Street Chicago – Once Extra Virgin, then Bar Louie, now Haymarket Brewery Photo: swanksalot/Flickr

Haymarket Pub and Brewing to open in West Loop

Excellent news reported by Chuck Sudo of the Chicagoist: a delightful pub within stumbling distance of me

extra virgin

Construction is currently underway on Haymarket Pub and Brewing, in the former Bar Louie space at 741 W. Randolph. The project is a partnership between Pete Crowley, senior brewer at Rock Bottom Chicago, and his friend John Neurauter. We’d been hearing rumblings for weeks about Haymarket and Crowley, who’s also president of the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild, was more than happy to fill us in on some of the details.

Crowley said that Haymarket will focus on “classic Belgian and contemporary American ales and lagers paired with hand made sausages, pulled pork, pizza and rotisserie chicken.” There are plans for an outdoor beer garden, full bar, dining area with pool tables and games. About 600 square feet downstairs will be allocated for a barrel room for aging and blending. The centerpiece of the pub will be a walk through kitchen and brewery that leads to a “drinking and writing” theater

[From More Brewing In Town: Haymarket Pub and Brewing – Chicagoist]

Bar Louie West Loop

Let’s hope it has better luck than the several previous occupants of this location (at least five businesses that I can think of have cycled through in the last decade)