Super-rare beer Dave from Hair of the
Dog Brewing was on sale until it sold
out recently with only 12 bottles to sell.
The catch? A single bottle costs $2,000.
The beer, which is one of the rarest
beers in the American craft beer world,
is a barley wine at 29 % ABV, created
by freezing the brewery's Adam beer
three times. What starts off as 300
gallons reduces to 100 gallons by the
end of the process, Dave has been
sold before, since the beer was
produced in 1994. Last year, there was
a silent auction for two of the rare
bottles, starting at $1,400. One of the
bottles,sold for $2,368. The beer is
reportedly mellow and smooth as the
aging removes carbonation, creating a
deep, rich cordial of sorts.
All proceeds benefit Guide Dogs
for the Blind.
Beer and Bike Tours
Beer-lovers are finding a new way to explore the burgeoning craft-brewing world: on bicycles.
From Oregon to New Mexico to Vermont, beer aficionados can now hop on a bike and be
led from one brewery to another. After sampling the latest microbrew, they can then pedal
away all those extra calories. The tours — which range from a few hours to several days — offer a
chance to meet other travellers, learn about the local culture and, of course, sample some great
beer. And each tour has a different strategy for preventing biking under the influence, from
limiting tastes to 4 ounces and providing a back-up van, to saving the swigs for the end of the trip.
Heather Wess Arnold and her husband Josh, owners of Routes Bicycle Rentals & Tours in
Albuquerque, took their love for beer and biking and combined them in a tour in April.
Novice riders will appreciate the bicycle-friendly paths, lanes, roads with light traffic. Beer-lovers
can enjoy visits to at least three breweries. The $45 tours — rental included — are offered the third
Sunday of each month.Every three months, the tour is changed so people can learn about new
neighbourhoods and new beers. The three-and-a-half to four-hour tours cover15 to 25 kilometres
Along the way, bikers learn about the history of brewing in Albuquerque, some local trivia and are
given backroom tours of the breweries, led by the master brewers. Some of the spots even let
bikers participate in the process, adding the hops or stirring the mash.
There are three to four tastings — each 4 ounces — at each brewery. Plenty of water is served
and Wess Arnold says the tour spreads out the drinking to keep bikers under the legal limits of
driving — um, biking — while under the influence. A vehicle follows the group in case anyone
becomes too impaired to bike or just gets tired. The vehicle also offers a way for bikers to
transport any six-packs or growlers of beer, T-shirts and pint glasses without worrying
about juggling the souvenirs on the bikes.
For those looking for a bit more of a challenge, Sojourn Bicycle Vacations offers a Vermont Bike &
Brew tour. The six-day, five-night trip is geared toward more avid cyclists who ride 80 kilometres a
day and includes many hills. The 18-person trip, which goes for $2,195 per person.
No one however has come up with the ideal BeerNexus Bike and Beer tour. First, all
support vehicles have an ample supply of beer - on tap of course. Second, all of the pubs
are less than one mile apart. Third, as the trip progresses each pub stop is longer than the
prior one.Fourth, you can opt to forget about the bikes and just walk, take the train, or get a
cab to reach your designated stops. Hey, you can just do a few push-ups at each place
if you really need the exercise.
the crossroads of the beer world
Crafty Beer Boom
One weapon the big brewers are
using to combat the decline in their
own sales while craft beer sales
continue to increase is to create and market
their own line of pseudo- craft brews often without
indicating their true parentage. To their surprise
these so called "crafty" beers have proved
popular with the general public despite a backlash
from craft brewers and serious craft drinkers.
Chicago-based joint venture MillerCoors’ brands
dominate the list of fastest-growing crafty beers,
making up five of the top six on the list. Seasonals
from Shock Top, ownedby MillerCoors’ main
competitor Anheuser-Busch InBev, rank third.
Fastest growing of all was Miller owned
Leinenkugel Brewing. Its line of Leinenkugel’s
shandy which includes Summer Shandy, Lemon
Berry Shandy and Orange Shandy has grown
nearly 10% of the case volume growth among the
major craft beers this year. None of these brands
qualify as "craft" beers defined by the Brewers'
Association published guidelines.