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Europeans are patriotic when it
comes to enjoying beer – 45% of
Europeans prefer beer brewed in
their own country and only 17%
preferred imported beer.

Czech Republic is the most patriotic
with 91% preferring beers brewed in
their own country.  They were
followed by Belgium (81%) and
Germany (79%).

Sweden is least patriotic with only
18% preferring beers brewed in their
own country.  Next came Italy (19%)
and France (20%)

Patriotism definitely increases with
age – 40% of 18-24 yr olds prefer
local beers, rising steadily across age
groups to 49% of 40-60 yr olds.
There have been reports across the nation that some
watering holes have begun skimping on how much beer is
actually being put into your pint.  A pint is 16 ounces, and
when poured properly, a 16oz glass normally has between
1.5 to 2 ounces of foam (head).  However, some  
establishments are buying pint glasses with a much thicker
glass at the bottom that looks like the same size as a pint
glass yet only hold 14oz of liquid.  And given the same 1.5
to 2oz of head, you're only getting 12oz of beer but paying
for 16oz.  A less reputable drink establishment can squeeze
a couple dozen more glasses of beer out of the same keg
doing this.  Customer beware.  If your beer glass bottom
looks too thick, you may not be getting what you pay for.  
Some pubs are now offering 18oz glasses as their standard
pints.  There you will actually get a full 16oz of beer plus
the 1-2oz of foam.  Remember, a pint is a scientific and
legal measurement!

A Portland University researcher has been testing
suspected short-pouring bars and has noted more than 40  
local area locations using short pours.  He is now urging
state regulators to enforce a 16-ounce rule.
Free Beer For Life!-   Seeking to motivate the Austrian Euro 2008 team, a
brewing company promised free beer for life to any player who scores a goal in the
upcoming matches against Poland or Germany. "After losing the game against Croatia,
we thought about what we could do to help," Sigi Menz, head of the Ottakringer
brewery in Vienna. Sadly, Austria did not score in both games.

Beer Pong - Two engineering students at the University of West Virginia have
build what they call "the world's best beer pong table ... EVER."   You can seethe
construction and use of the table online (http://www.912pong.com/). The table
includes 600 dancing LED lights, an electronic ball washer and the school's
Mountaineer logo. It took about 400 hours of labor and cost more than $1,000 to
build.

Beer Safe From Recession-   Recession or not, we won't give up beer
and candy, but we might give up cigarettes. Financial experts calculated that based
on sales in previous recessions the most recession-proof items are seafood, dry pasta,
candy, and beer. The most recession-vulnerable items are carbonated beverages,
eggs, cups and plates, food preparation and storage products, and tobacco.
Hops Prices Soar

The price of hops, a key bittering ingredient in beer, has gone
through the roof in 2008.  A little more than a year ago, a pound of
hops was selling for $2-$3 a pound.  Today, that same pound is
selling around $26 an ounce! Currently, hop supplies are 10-15%
below demand.  2009 is expected to be worse.  

The good news is that farmers have planted more acres for hops
this year. But yields will be low for the next several years before
plants mature.  Homebrewers and many breweries are starting to
grow their own hops as well.  However, severe weather incidents
have been on the rise over the last decade and are ruining crops.  
Drought, heat and pests were also hurting crops.  

Macro beers (like Bud, Coors and Miller) are still selling cheap as the
big brewers have long standing contracts for maintaining malt and
hop supplies and can avoid or even absorb some of the higher
costs.  The sticker shock becomes more evident as you head out to
the pubs and restaurants.  According to PintPrice.com, the average
price for a pint of beer in the USA as of July 1, 2008 was at $4.10.  


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