Iron City Comeback?
9,000 Year Old Beer

Iron City beer, a truly "good drinking beer" according to
popular BeerNexus writer Dan Hodge (
Beer My Way),
may be on the way back from bankruptcy.  A federal
judge has approved a plan for resuscitating  Pittsburgh
Brewing setting the stage for what could be the ultimate
test of its battered Iron City brand.   Creditors holding 99
percent of the $31.6 million in claims against Pittsburgh
Brewing accepted terms offered by an investment group  
who will call the company Iron City Brewing LLC.  They
will  officially take control of the 146-year-old company at
the end of July.

The new owners face an uphill struggle to win back
customers, however the Iron City brand is iconic,
particularly  strong in Western Pennsylvania and eastern
Ohio, which are two huge beer markets.

The brewery lost $3 million last year on sales of $24.5
million. Production was interrupted by the brewery's
failure to pay bills, giving customers an opportunity to try
other brands. Mistrust of management among Pittsburgh
Brewing's 160 union workers continued but, faced with
the threat of losing their jobs, they agreed to give the
new owners $1 million in concessions, including a 15
percent pay cut.
Of the more than 1300 breweries in
the U.S., Dogfish Head Craft
Brewery in Delaware has always
stood out for its uniqueness but
even more now with its newly
released 9,000 year old beer.  
Actually, the beer named Chateau
Jiahu, is freshly made; just the
recipe is ancient.  It's introduction
made headlines in the National
Geographic News and other media.

The ancient brew was rediscovered
in pottery dating back thousands of
years at an excavation site in the
Neolithic village of Jia Hu in Northern
China.  Dr. Patrick McGovern, an
archaeochemist at the University of
Pennsylvania derived the recipe
from residue found in pottery jars.  
Research showed the ancient brew
included rice, honey, grapes and
hawthorn fruit.  

The beer has a buttery profile with
an underlying sweetness, some
honey notes,  with a crisp finish.
Goodbye Guinness- Diageo PLC, the world's biggest liquor company, may
stop making Guinness at a 250-year-old Dublin site after reviewing its brewing
operations in Ireland, where sales of the stout are dropping.  Diageo may move the
brewery to a new site to the north of the city and sell the existing property for as
much as $4 billion.

The St. James' Gate site, near the River Liffey, exports Guinness extract, the
"essence" of the drink, to more than 45 countries. The site, where production began
in 1759, also makes all Guinness for Ireland and the U.K.

Lime Included - Miller Brewing Company's newest product, Miller Chill, launches
nationally this month after a highly successful spring test market. Miller Chill, an
American take on the popular Mexican chelada, is the only light beer brewed with a
hint of lime and a pinch of salt to provide, according to the company, a truly
refreshing beer experience".  Right.

Sorry Michigan -  The deposit on renting a steel keg just tripled.
Large breweries have complained about losing thousands of beer kegs a year
in Michigan because retail beer customers have been selling off the stainless
steel barrels at scrap yards rather than returning them to stores to get their
$10 deposits back. As a result, state alcohol officials have boosted the deposit
from $10 to $30,
Beersicles - the real (frozen) deal!

It  might be one of the great alcoholic innovations of the 21st
century - the frozen beer pop, served by an Alexandria restaurateur
and bar owner in a variety of sizes and flavors.  The the frozen beer
pop can be found at Rustico Restaurant, where executive chef
Frank Morales began selling the treats to customers looking for a
more adult way to beat the heat.

After weeks of testing several hundred beer varieties to find flavors
that taste good on a stick, Rustico finally settled on three flavors:
"Raspbeer-y," made with a Belgian, fruit-style beer; "Plum," made
from a Belgian Lambic brew; and the "Fudgesicle," made with a
stout with bittersweet chocolate undertones. He plans to offer other
flavors on a rotating basis.The beer pops sell for $4 in the six-ounce
size, shaped like a traditional Popsicle, and $6 for
a larger "beer cone."

The company put out a press release, and the Associated Press  
placed a call to the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage
Control, asking whether a frozen beer would pose any regulatory
problems.  Philip Disharoon, special agent of the Virginia ABC, said
beer must be served in its original container, or served immediately
to a customer once it is poured from its original container.

"If we're talking about taking a beer and pouring it from a bottle or a
keg into some sort of mold and freezing it, then that product is not
legal," Disharoon said. He planned to  investigate.

Amber Pfau, a spokeswoman for the restaurant, said  that the
restaurant was researching ways to ensure that the beer pops
comply with Virginia regulations. The products are 100 percent
frozen beer. But Disharoon said he could not envision a way in
which beer pops could be legal. Altering the recipe would not make a
difference, he said, because the rules are designed to ensure that
regulators can track the beer.

Pfau said the restaurant staff is confident that the beer pop will
survive regulatory scrutiny. Many of the restaurant's menu items
are prepared with beer, and they don't see how the beer pop is any
different.  "We are still going ahead with the beer pops," she said.  

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