Beer or Energy Drink?

It's a monster win for a Vermont beer
company. Rock Art Brewery, which
makes the popular Vermonster beer, has
won its legal battle with the large
corporation that makes Monster Energy

In mid-September Rock Art brewery got
a "cease and desist" letter from Hansen
Beverage Company, the makers of
Monster Energy Drink. The letter
demanded Rock Art stop selling ‘The
Vermonster' beer and drop its efforts to
get a federal beer trademark for The
Vermonster.  Hansen claimed it would
lose business since consumers would
easily confuse the two names.

Once word got out about the threat, the
public rallied around Rock Art. Dozens
of liquor stores throughout Vermont
pulled Monster Energy drinks from their
shelves and fans started Facebook pages
calling for a Monster boycott. Hansen
received thousands of angry e-mails.

Public pressure and a likely losing court
decision forced Hansen to give in.  Rock
Art gets to keep ‘The Vermonster' name
as long as it stays out of the energy
drink business.

John Graves, Rock Art representative,
said ""This proves Monster doesn't own  
the English language. It's not the same
name. If we called the beer Monster,
that would be an argument."
The Beer Bottle Weapon

Beer bottles may serve as a weapon but it’s best to use them according to their intended purpose
One of this year’s Ig Nobel awards, the annual tribute to scientific research that on the surface
seems goofy but is often surprisingly practical, was given to scientists who found that empty beer
bottles are much better weapons in a bar brawl than full bottles,

Thanks to Switzerland's Stephan Bolliger of the University of Bern's forensic sciences department,
we learn: "Beer bottles, intact beer bottles, certainly do suffice to break the human skull."

Bolliger says that his research was inspired by a number of bar-brawl cases in which he was called in
for expert testimony. After a brief experiment involving a bathtub and some modeling clay, he
found that the human skull can fracture and suffer "potentially lethal" bleeding
as the result of a bottle assault.

The next time he is called into court to provide expert testimony, he says, he will have his response
ready: "Yes, your honor, beer bottles will suffice in fracturing the human skull and yes, your
honor, empty beer bottles are even more dangerous."  By dropping 1-kilogram steel balls from
different heights, Bolliger and his team found that more energy was required to break the empty
beer bottles. No heads were slammed in the study. They won the Ig Nobel Peace Prize.

This, however, was not the first beer-related research winning the approval of the Ig Nobel jury. In
2002, A German physicist who used beer to teach students about the analysis of experimental data
received the 2002 Ig Nobel prize in physics. Arnd Leike of the Ludwig Maximilians University had
demonstrated that beer froth obeys the mathematical law of exponential decay.
Feature News Archive
Feature News  from
Great American Beer Festival '09

The recently completed GABF competition attracted 132
international beer judges from ten countries. Award-winning
brewers received gold, silver and bronze medals in 78 beer
categories, as the best of each style in the U.S.

Gold, silver and bronze medals were also awarded in the
GABF Pro-Am competition, which pairs amateur brewers
with professional brewers, who scale up the award-winning
homebrew recipes. American Homebrewers Association
member Ben Miller teamed up with Chama River Brewing
Co. in Albuquerque, N.M. to win gold for Herbal Joe's IPA.

The most competitive category was American Style India
Pale Ale with 134 entries. The gold medal went to Firestone
Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA for Union Jack ,
which also won last year. The second most hotly contested
category was Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer with 110
entries. The gold medal went to Arcadia Brewing Co., Battle
Creek, MI for Cereal Killer Barleywine.

Great American Beer Festival 2009 Statistics:
-457 breweries in the festival hall
-2,100 beers served at the festival
-49,000 attendees
-3,000 volunteers
-495 breweries in the competition
-3,308 beers judged in the competition
-78 categories judged + Pro-Am category
-132 judges from ten countries
-Average number of competition beers entered in each
category: 42
-Category with highest number of entries: 134, American
Style India Pale Ale

Browse the official winners list
edited by Jim Attacap