Another Blue Ribbon for PBR
Big Beer Now In Alabama
The Beer Tasting Institute of North America recently published
the results of a blind taste testing of several top selling macro,
retro, and regional brews.  According to the report  all of the
beers had several elements in common including a strong
crispness on the tongue and a very slight sweet aftertaste.  
The report further noted that  they all tasted best ice cold -
even a few-degrees rise in temperature brought out nasty
flavors led by an unpleasant popcorn aftertaste.

The big winner was Pabst, followed by Old Style (also a Pabst
brand), Budweiser, Leinenkugel, Miller, Point, Bud Light,
Coors Light, Miller Lite and Busch Light.  The most surprising
result  was that the very popular Miller Lite barely avoided last
place, finishing ahead of only Busch Light.

Pabst, the winning beer, is one of the fastest growing beers in
the USA.  It has a huge following in the 30 something
generation.  Interestingly the beer comes from a company
consisting of an office suite in Illinois. Pabst has no brewery
and Miller makes its beers.

Pabst’s business model is also unique. Pabst’s senior brand
manager Bryan Clarke said the former owner died and left the
company to a charitable trust, so whenever you drink a Pabst,
most of the money goes to charities instead of shareholders.
Alabama Governor Bob Riley has signed
legislation today that immediately raises
the alcohol limit on beer from 6 percent to
13.9 percent by volume.
Members of Free the Hops, a grassroots
advocacy group that has been lobbying
for years for the change, said it will allow
the sale of many gourmet beers with a
wide range of tastes.Alabama had the
nation's lowest alcohol limit on beer prior
to the new law.

Ireland's Oldest Brewery Closes
The iconic Beamish brewery in Cork has
closed ending  a chapter in the city's
centuries-old brewing heritage. Beer has
been made at the well-loved South Main
Street site since 1690 but owners
Heineken decided last year to move all
operations to its Lady's Well brewery.  
Heineken, the Dutch brewing giant, said
the closure was the end of an era,
particularly for generations of Cork
families who worked there
NYC Honors Beer Garden-   Between 1820 and 1860, 1.5 million immigrants
arrived in America from Germany, bringing with them their own cultural traditions -- ­
among them outdoor beer gardens. The German beer gardens catered to whole families,
and public drinking was just one of their attractions. The Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden is
New York¹s oldest and most famous beer garden; built in 1910 , and has just been
awarded the title of most authentic European beer garden in New York.

Canada's Most Expensive- You can cry in your beer if you want to -- but it
isn't going be cheap. Alberta, in a mere 12 months, has gone from having the cheapest
beer in Canada to the most expensive suds in the country.  A survey of beer prices from
St. John's, N.L., to Victoria shows Albertans are paying as much as $15 more a case for
the same brew.

Ban the Can-    San Bernardino, CA has cracked down on sales of 40 oz. cans of
beer and malt liquor.  A police spokesperson said the removal of single bottles of beer
and malt liquor are their " newest targets of opportunity in the city's campaign against
The End of the Beer Mat?

The German company that makes 75% of the estimated 5.5 billion beer mats
(or coasters as they are known in the US and Australia) in the world
is near bankruptcy.   The Weisenbach factory takes in the logs and turns
them to pulp before producing lightweight, highly absorbent board which it
then prints, cuts and packages for use throughout the globe.  The factory
can make more than 12 million a year when working a capacity.  

Drinkers flip them, spin them, tear them and scrawl on them, while a small
dedicated group of enthusiasts (called tegestologists) collect them. In Ireland
- where beer mat use is the world's highest at more than 50 per person per
year - the familiar brands they contain, such as Guinness and Jameson
whiskey, mean that tourists pocket them as a souvenir But while they may
have a fond place in people's hearts, ultimately the beer mat is just another
advertising tool.

And the economic climate "has not helped" says company chief executive
Garry Hobson, citing trends in the brewing and pub industries as denting
demand.  Declining beer sales, as people opt to drink at home, have led to
fewer orders while the closure of pubs (especially in the UK where some
estimates put the rate of demise at five a day) mean there are fewer venues
for beer mats to be used.

And the trends among brewers to merge and create even bigger global giants
(for example SAB and Miller, the Heineken, Carlsberg and Scottish &
Newcastle agreement and Budweiser's deal with Anheuser-Busch) have seen
a fall in overall advertising spending, Mr Hobson says.  "A few years ago there
were 10 main brewers worldwide, but the round after round of consolidation
there are just five. That has plunged into economic uncertainty.

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Edited by Jim Attacap