Beer Blockade
How Low Can You Go?
Germans may be famous for their
beer, but domestic sales of the amber
nectar slumped last year to their
lowest level in the last twenty years!
Sales dropped to just under 2.2 billion
gallons in 2009, a fall of 2.8 per cent
on the previous year.

The German Brewers Federation,
believes the World Cup in South
Africa this year will spur Germans to
enjoy a few more ales. The
Federation blamed the decline on
both the economic situation in
Germany and  the trend towards less
manual work and more office-based
employment which they believe
reduced Germans' after-hours thirst.

Japan joined in the downturn as their  
beer shipments fell 2.1% to 472.51
million cases in 2009 The volume
marked the fifth-straight year of
decline. A shrinking population and
weak economy continued to pull down
domestic demand, while changing
consumer tastes hurt sales abroad.
A blockade that threatened to strangle supplies of top Belgian
beers to home and neighbouring European markets has just
ended  after management and unions reached a compromise
on job retention.  The settlement comes two weeks after
workers first barricaded Stella Artois, Jupiler and Hoegaarden
breweries, in protest at owners Anheuser-Busch InBev's plans
to cut 10 percent of its European workforce.

The blockade of beer began after management announced
that it planned to cut around 800 jobs in western Europe.
In Belgium, 263 of the 2,700 jobs at AB InBev, the world's
biggest brewer, were slated to go.

The blockade achieved its initial goals, leading to shortages in
large supermarkets -- and a spike in guerrilla sales tactics from
rival brewers. France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands were
also threatened by critically low levels of stocks for bars tied
through distribution deals.

AB InBev produces around 60 percent of the beer consumed
in Belgium's bars and cafes, according to the national hoteliers
and restaurants federation. Anheuser-Busch InBev was formed
in 2008 when Belgium-based InBev bought Anheuser-Busch,
the owner of Budweiser, and the largest brewer in the US.
Legal Boilmakers?-  Nebraska's liquor cops want to wipe a 70-year-old
ban against mixing booze and beer off the books, saying the original intent of
the law that makes drinks like boilermakers illegal disappeared long ago.  
Nebraska is the only state with such a ban But anti-drinking activists suspect
another motive: they say it's all about so-called "alcopops" like Mike's Hard
Lemonade and Smirnoff Ice which are not currently available in Nebraska  If they
are allowed in this change it the law would mean they can be taxed as beer.  
Classifying the beverages as hard liquor could ban them from beer-only stores,
such as supermarkets and mini-marts a move supported by anti-drinking groups.

Beer Perfume-  NA beer powered perfume is now on tap. Chemists from
Seattle's Blue Marble Energy have made a perfume made from the waste
products of a local organic brewery. The waste products - black sludge, rancid
beer grains, green slimey stuff - are supposedly  good for the earth and you.
The grains replace petroleum in the process make this perfume completely
carbon neutral. The local, handmade perfume by sweet anthem does smell nice,
comes in both masculine and feminine versions

Solar Beer Bottles-  A Beer bottles can heat up water Yanjun, a farmer in  
Shaanxi province in China, has built a solar water heating system using empty
beer bottles. The reason he did it, was to allow his 73-year old mother to take a
warm bath every day, the farmer said.  Since there was no warm water in the
area and he couldn’t afford a hi-tech solar panel, Ma had to be innovative so
instead of photovoltaic panels he used dozens of beer bottles.
Blood for Beer

A Tacoma (WA)-based blood center offers donors a deal:
Give a pint of blood, get a pint of beer.

Cascade Regional Blood Services says the promotion has worked so
well at six Tacoma pubs and breweries, it's expanding its "Give blood,
get beer" offer to its bloodmobile for pubs in the entire city.

Cascade's director of donor resources, Dan Schmitt, says it's a fun
way to get more donors, and it's good for the restaurants as well.
The News Tribune of Tacoma reports donors who are at least 21 years
old are given a coupon for a free pint of beer.

The pub must wait at least four hours after the blood drive ends
before donors can cash in on their free pint.

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Edited by Jim Attacap