College Sports & Beer

The NCAA announced that beer and wine will
be sold in general seating areas for the first
time this year at the College World Series in
Omaha and the Women's College World
Series in Oklahoma City.

The Division I Board of Directors approved a
waiver to the longstanding policy of no
general alcohol sales at championship events.
This will be a one-year pilot program to allow
the NCAA to comparie alcohol-related
incidents this year to previous years at the
Omaha and Oklahoma City events. Alcohol
sales are becoming more common in college
sports. The NCAA said schools that sell
alcohol at events report a decline in
alcohol-related incidents in their venues.

Theories suggest that making alcohol
available in the stadium prevents incidents of
binge drinking before events and
discourages people from attempting to bring
outside alcohol into the venue,'

Russia Goes Craft?

Russia, of course, is known for vodka rather than beer, and a popular saying holds that “beer
without vodka is throwing money to the wind”. According to the latest World Health Organisation
data 51% of alcohol consumed in Russia was spirits and only 38% was beer. This vodka culture
has had deadly consequences for Russian men, whose average life expectancy of just 64 years
lags behind that in European countries due, according to som,e to heavy drinking and tobacco use.

Now a new generation of “beer geeks”, as they dub themselves, is working to change Russians’
approach to beer – and to drinking in general. With a focus on savouring the taste rather than
drinking to get drunk, at least two dozen craft bars have opened in Moscow in the last year serving
Russian and foreign microbrews. They’re getting so numerous that the cultural magazine
Afisha declared that it was “refusing to write reviews of the craft beer bars since there's always
a new one opening seemingly every week"..

Few expect beer to displace vodka as the national drink, especially after the government
reduced the minimum price of the spirit in 2015 amid economic troubles. But there’s a long tradition
of homebrewing in Russia, and the growth potential of craft beer is huge thanks to
its relative affordablity; local craft brews typically sell for between 200 and 300 roubles (£2-3)
a pint. Moreover, it’s easy to start a craft bar: no liquor licence is required if an establishment
serves only beer, and startup costs are minimal, since a large staff, kitchen and lavish
interiors aren’t typically necessary. As a result, craft bars are spreading from Moscow
and St Petersburg to the regions.

Many trace the start of the trend, ironically enough, to Russia’s largest beermaker, Baltika in
St Petersburg, which began brewing experimental batches with the foreign craft breweries
BrewDog, Mikkeller and Jacobsen.. Two Baltika employees, along with a third friend, began
making their own beer under the name AF Brew in 2012. (The AF stands for “anti-factory”.)
It has since become one of Russia’s most celebrated craft breweries..

Feature News  
Edited by Jim Attacap
the crossroads of the beer world
It's Really Good For You

A craft beer made with ingredients from kefir —
a fermented milk drink that resembles yogurt—
may sound a little gross but drinking it could
bring great health benefits,according to  a new
study done in rats. Moreover, the researchers in
Brazil found that the "kefir beer" seemed to
reduce inflammation and stomach ulcers.

.  To make the kefir beer, the researchers added
kefir grains — white or yellowish gelatinous
clumps that contain bacteria and yeast — to a
barley malt. The beneficial effects of the kefir
beer may have something to do with the
combination of individual health benefits
associated with its respective main components.

Previous research has suggested that nutrients
called polyphenols, which are found in beer,
may have anti-inflammatory qualities among
other health beneifits.

The study also suggested that kefir may have
antimicrobial and wound-healing properties.