Fastest Growing Brwery
in the Nation

Oskar Blues Brewery enjoyed its
fourth straight year of significant
growth, increasing its revenues
121% and its beer production by
64% according to newest statistics.

The company -- the nation's first
hand-canning craftbrewery --
makers of canned Dale's Pale Ale,
Old Chub Scottish-Style Ale, Gordon
and other canned and draft beers --
produced 8219 barrels of beer in
2006. In 2005 the company
produced 5000 barrels. (A barrel of
beer equals 31 gallons.)

Oskar Blues Brewery's revenues
grew from $787,000 to $1.7 million.
The company leads the nation's
craft brewery trade, which enjoyed
overall production growth in 2006
of 11.7%.  

First Gas, Now Barley

The price of barley, a key ingredient
in making beer and whisky, is rising
as a result of booming demand for
corn and other feed stocks for
bio-fuels such as ethanol.

In the past year, barley futures
prices have risen 85% and U.S.
production has dropped to its
lowest point since the
Great Depression.

If the notion of NASCAR as a luxury destination seems far-fetched, you obviously haven't
attended a race recently. A new Nielsen Sports survey shows wine consumption among
NASCAR fans is up 22% from last year. Fans can now buy wine in the grandstands, and
this year tracks are offering special wine tastings at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, an
exclusive lounge at Phoenix International Raceway where anywhere from $1,900 to
$4,000 gets you a great view, gourmet foods, and, of course, wine. And at California
Speedway in southern California, a new Wolfgang Puck restaurant with an extensive wine
list. The NASCAR-tied vintages of Bennett Lane, named after the vineyard owned by
Randy Lynch, a former racer with a NASCAR team who was the first to put grapes on a
car, have even received 90+ scores from the prestigious magazine Wine Spectator.

The reason for the business class upgrade? It's simple, at least according to Texan racing
legend A.J. Foyt, who says it's all the big corporate sponsorship money. "It brought in all
those Ivy League boys who like wine. I'm not into that crap. Wine, that's not
A.J., beer is A.J."   Well said, and God bless you, A.J.!
Feature News  from
Don't Think, Just Drink

Good beer is not something you should think about.
Knowing what's in a beer, or who made it, can taint
your taste buds, a new study finds. Past research has
revealed that knowing the brand or other information
about a product can lead to higher consumer ratings.

Leonard Lee of Columbia University in New York and
his colleagues had 388 patrons of a pub taste-test two
types of beer: a regular beer and the "MIT brew,"
which was the regular beer plus a few drops of
balsamic vinegar. The tasters were divided into three
groups. One tasted the samples "blind," with no
knowledge of the secret ingredient. A second group
found out about the vinegar before tasting the MIT
brew. The third group learned of the additive
immediately after tasting the special brew, but before
indicating a preference between the two beers.

The blind group preferred the MIT brew over the
regular beer significantly more than either of the
informed groups. Apparently, vinegar can improve a
beer's taste, the scientists said.

The timing of information made a substantial difference
in beer choice. Patrons with prior knowledge of the
ingredient showed a much lower preference for the
MIT brew compared with those who learned of the
vinegar after drinking it. If the vinegar knowledge had
acted as just another factor--like temperature or
sweetness--in a patron's beer preference, the
scientists would have expected similar results from
both groups. This wasn't the case, suggesting
disclosure affected the actual taste experience.