Bye-bye State Stores

With their finances on the rocks, states
that control the sale of liquor to the
public are looking at handing the job to
private enterprise, a move that could
raise revenue, streamline government
and prove a boon to the spirits industry.

Virginia, North Carolina, Washington
and Mississippi are all weighing
proposals that would reduce the
powerful role they play in sales of liquor,
and in some cases wine, via state-owned
distributorships and/or retail outlets.

The effort could take months to play out
because lawmakers have to show how
privatization would deliver significant
revenue and cost benefits.

Is That Name Legal?

Flying Dog Brewery has launched
RAGING BITCH, a Belgian-style IPA, to
celebrate its 20th Anniversary. Raging
Bitch, both the beer and the art that
graces its label, are, according to the
,intentionally,  edgy and
provocative. The beer itself, an
American IPA fermented with Belgian
yeast, with alcohol at 8.3% ABV.

Some distributors and retail accounts
have covered up the name since they
find it offensive. Flying Dog was  
selected as Mid Sized Brewing Company
of the Year at this year's GABF.
Design a Label for Newcastle Brown

For a limited time a Newcastle Brown Ale microsite includes an application allowing visitors to
create their own personalized beer labels. Final concepts are also added to an online gallery
for fans to vote for their favorite design.  Check it out and good luck in the contest:

All Water Is Not The Same

Making beer without water is like eating a hot dog without mustard or the bun yet water is the most
diverse ingredient in beer. Elemental differences in water provide hidden flavors and assist the
brewer in achieving specific flavors; it's often the most difficult ingredient of brewing to replicate.

In Munich, the water gains alkalinity from carbonates in the natural environment. This leads to
superb malt flavor when the beer is complete and limits the potency of the hop flavor. Think of your
favorite Irish Stout and the ability of the bicarbonates to bring out malt flavors are incredibly clear.

Similar to Munich, the native water in Dublin is naturally high in carbonates. Contrast this with the
high sulfate levels in Pilsen, Czech Republic, where the malt flavors are depressed and hop flavor and
aroma is drawn out. Therefore, it would be difficult to brew a stout in Pilsen and a Pilsner in Dublin
simply because of the impact that water has on the sugar extraction from the grain.
The waters of Burton in England contain gypsum, which benefits making pale ale to such a degree
that brewers of pale ales will add gypsum to the local water in a process known as Burtonisation.

Don't worry about your local water, today, almost any water can be chemically adjusted to create the
exact style of beer desired, although pure water supplies are still prized greatly.
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It's a Green Magic Hat

Breweries employ a number of strategies in disposing of the
grain left after the sweetened liquid, or wort, is filtered
before brewing; it cannot simply be dumped down the drain.
At Harpoon Brewery’s Boston brewery, the spent grain goes
to an area farm for feed.  Magic Hat Brewing  has decided to
go a different, more green, route.

Magic Hat has partnered with Purpose Energy Inc. in
constructing a 2 billion BTU digester adjacent to the brewery
in South Burlington, Vt., where it will take the remnants of
the beer fermentation process and break it down into
methane that can power a brewery’s boiler and other
systems that traditionally run natural gas.

The technology is a way to help breweries increase
sustainability and cheaply dispose of beer byproducts as well
as help breweries become more energy independent.

“The cost for them to remediate this by-product can be
about as expensive as the cost of energy itself. With an
anaerobic digester they can get a two-fer, producing methane
for energy and breaking down the grain." said Eric Fitch,
CEO of Purpose Energy. After a successful pilot with
Yuengling’s brewery in Florida in 2006, Fitch said he wanted
to construct his first commercial-scale digester at a brewery
within driving distance producing at least 50,000 barrels of
beer per year. Of the five breweries that met the criteria, he
came upon Magic Hat and quickly made a deal.

Purpose Energy broke ground on the site adjacent to the
brewery in February, leasing it from Magic Hat for $1 a year.
Magic Hat pays Purpose Energy to take its waste grain and
turn it into biogas and then sells that gas back to the brewery
at below-market rates. Fitch said he hopes to use any profits
from the Magic Hat operation to finance similar digester
developments at breweries of similar size.
edited by Jim Attacap