A great evening drinking beer, and a few great hours of 2009 yet to come.
Cheers! Happy New Year!
Lew Bryson's blog: beer, whiskey, other drinks, travel, eats, whatever strikes my fancy.
One alcoholic-beverage company has made celebrity-oriented drinks the focus of its business model. Drinks Americas Holdings Ltd., Wilton, Conn., has signed joint ventures or other agreements with such celebrities as musicians Dr. Dre and Kid Rock and real-estate magnate and TV personality Donald Trump. Trump Super Premium Vodka, in which Mr. Trump has a 50% stake, sells for about $35 a bottle.Wonder if Kid Rock knows the meaning of schadenfreude?
But Drinks Americas, created in 2002, has struggled. In an SEC filing Monday, it said it faces a shortage of working capital and may be unable to continue operations without additional financing. The company posted a $3.5 million loss for the six months ended Oct. 31.
Snowy Day Specials Today Only at Tria!The Craft Ale House out in Limerick left a tempting post on Facebook: "Have you ever dreamed of being snowed in at a bar? Todays your chance, come on in." Indeed!
Tria Rittenhouse: Give & Sip Gift Card Special -- For each $50 in Gift Cards purchased at Tria Rittenhouse today, you get a $15 Gift Card for you! And you can use your reward right then and there. That's what we call instant gratification - buy a gift, drink some wine (or beer).
Tria Wash West: Special 5 for 5 Happy Hour -- We're offering our new and wildly popular Tria-style happy hour all day and night at Tria Wash West. (This is usually available Monday through Thursday from 5 - 7 pm). 5 great fermented specialties (2 wines, 2 beers and a cheese plate) for $5 each. That leaves more money in your wallet for holiday shopping.
Toast the end of the work week with 12% Fridays in December – a tapping of limited Belgian keg 12% imports, starting at 7P.M. Featured imports include: Eerwaarde Pater Oak Aged Belgian Brown Ale on December 18 and Valier Extra Belgian Pale Ale on December 25. On CHRISTMAS NIGHT (DECEMBER 25th), starting at 7p.m., Devil’s Den will be celebrating by tapping a keg of Mad Elf.Now that is something else. Yards is making Old Barts again after ten years of hiatus -- hurray! -- and they're celebrating with ten days of tappings, starting at their old 'house tap', the Dawson Street Pub, on New Year's Eve at 5 PM.
Join Devil’s Den NEW YEAR’S DAY at 1P.M. for their New Year – New Beer event featuring Yard’s Brewing. Tap a firkin of Old Bartholomew Barleywine. There will be a selection of Yard's beers on draft, along with Yard's food specials.
The campaign, like so many campaigns aimed at drinkers of mass-produced American beer, emphasizes the brew's "drinkability," which can be translated as "wateriness."Now...can you imagine seeing that kind of flippancy in the news ten years ago? I couldn't, so I checked (thanks, Google): Bud Light and watery. The only hits I got were three: a taste test of Bud vs. Budvar in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a piece by my good buddy and fellow beer writer Ron "The King" Givens in the Daily News where he says old-time ballpark suds were "the cheapest, most watery stuff that could be poured into a cup" but doesn't actually tag Bud Light as that, and, well, a piece by St. Michael Jackson about how not all American beers are watery.
Firkins for our Furry FriendsAnd might I remind you: the Sly Fox is a great drinkable session beer, the Fat Dog is an eye-opener, Tavern Porter has that lovely licorice bite...but the Shackamaximum on cask is the absolute shit. 'Nuff said.
Looks like it may be snowing cats & dogs tomorrow, but at the Khyber we've got something special planned. Saturday December 19th -- 1:00pm-8:00pm
A special fundraiser for our friends at P.A.W.S. (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, who care for abandoned and unwanted animals) featuring an array of cask conditioned bartop kegs of quality craft brews. $20 at the door gets you a bottomless cup of these delicious beers: Sly Fox Chester County Bitter, Stoudt's Fat Dog Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Yards General Washington's Tavern Porter, and a vintage PBC Shackamaximum Imperial Stout.
All proceeds go directly to P.A.W.S. to help them in their efforts to save Philadelphia’s homeless, abandoned, and unwanted animals. So come in, get warm, and help us help PAWS!
Brews graciously donated by Yards, Philly Brewing, Sly Fox and Stoudt's.
GROCERIES AT THE BREWERY? OH, THE HUMANITY!I do like a brewer with a sense of humor, and Scott's all that and a bag of crisps. Pretty damned good beer, too.
Last month, beer was sold at a grocery store in Western PA, and something remarkable happened... small brewers still survived, local beer distributors that offer better beers haven't closed, and in general civilization hasn't crumbled. Just amazing. But while the long term effects of better access to better beer still remain to be seen, we're going to see if we can shake things up even more and give the folks at Giant Eagle and Wegman's a run for their money... and take the game to their field.
We've already sold through our batch of Rachel Carson Blend Coffee from LaPrima at the brewery, as well as (the beer that we can't call) Eye Opener Coffee Porter. And now our further encroachment into the "Fine Groceries" category continues with our Holiday Season release of our much anticipated Black Strap Stout Cake Mixes. Finally, the return of the best solution for that leftover cup of Black Strap Stout at the bottom of your Growler - make a cake with it! Or maybe that's not a problem for you, and you just need to pick up a second jug?
So, there. Take THAT grocery stores! Now we'll really see if civilization can crumble. I know the cake is nice and moist.
The following is a condensed composite of actual news articles from the Bloomberg news service, BusinessWire, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.I never could figure out why the Inquirer always swallowed Jim Bell's press releases whole, no matter how many times they were burned.
March 24: Shares of Red Bell Brewing of Philadelphia will begin trading on March 27th. Red Bell had about $11.5 million in sales last year and the company will generate $12.5 million to $14 million in revenue this year, said Chief Executive Jim Bell. Red Bell owns breweries at several area stadiums and arenas, including Veterans Stadium, and plans to open a brewpub at Penn State University in July.
April 9: Red Bell announced today that certain inaccuracies were contained in a March 24th article. Red Bell had gross revenues of $514,720 in 2000, not $11.5 million. The article also incorrectly stated that Red Bell would generate $12.5 million to $14 million in revenues this year. Subject to completing, opening and operating its proposed [Short Sips TruthItalics added] Penn State brewpub as well as acquiring and operating at least 2 existing brew pubs, Red Bell could generate $11.5 to $12.5 million in revenues per year. Also, at the present time, Red Bell does not own or operate any brewpub locations [in stadiums or anywhere]. Finally, while Red Bell has applied for the listing of its common stock, Red Bell is still waiting for final approval of the application.
Well, well, well. Some days the news is so damned bizarre we don’t even have to say a word.
This Christmas season, Resurrection Ale House will be celebrating what's great about seasonal beer AND spreading the holiday spirit among those in need. Make no plans for Saturday, December 19, except of course to spend the day drinking excellent Christmas and Winter beers. The lineup includes Scaldis Noel, DuPont Avec Les Bons Voeux, SlyFox Christmas Beer, Ridgeway Reindeer Droppings, Troegs Mad Elf, and many more. All day, $1 from every draft beer you drink goes to Share Our Strength, an organization dedicated to making sure that no kid in America grows up hungry.Good times, good cause. great beers. I know there are more out there: send 'em in!
Crisp, refreshing and smooth as a traditional lager can be. Delivers a nice hit of carbonation at first and finishes with a slight citrus note. This is a highly approachable beer that delivers a bright lager flavor without even a hint of aftertaste. Cascade hops light up the aroma while balancing the brew. Brewed for maximum appeal and slamability. Midwestern malted barley and hard, red winter wheat from Michigan, transform water from the Saginaw Aquifer into a beer that's a true American lager and truly Badass.Doesn't sound like they went totally sell-out, right? Okay, "slamability" is out there, but I think I may have praised slamability once or twice myself.
Allentown Brew Works - This Friday we're putting on the very hoppy West End Red. A West Coast Style Red with loads of Chinook and Cascade hops and a toasty malt backbone to it. At 5.8% ABV this is a great addition to our full lineup.Out in Pittsburgh, my friends at Bocktown Beer & Grill are starting early -- like the shopping does -- with an 8 AM Eggs & Kegs event and going till noon with special prices and menus (and Bocktown items on sale: you can shop!).
Bethlehem Brew Works - Black Friday we release BLACK FRIDAY, a bourbon barrel-aged Wee Heavy which comes in at a big 7.5%! Rich maltiness, and full-bodied. A solid beer that smooths out with the oaky vanilla nose from the barrel aging.
As way to say "Thanks" that you'll truly appreciate, on Wednesday November 25, Resurrection Ale House is offering the whole draft list for just $2 from Noon-2pm followed by $4 draft beers from 2pm-2am. (They're closed on Thanksgiving.) We're continuing the warm and fuzzy holiday mood on Friday, November 27, with BRUNCH from Noon-3pm and more $4 draft beers (all day and night). Consider it our version of a Black Friday Sale.I was surprised to see the Grey Lodge does not have an event planned for Black Friday. They do, however, have a bountiful supply of Dogfish Head Punkin Ale for Wednesday and Thursday nights. (The night before Thanksgiving is traditionally -- surprisingly -- the busiest night in the bar business after New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day.)
“We were in there over the weekend, painting and cleaning out some tanks,” Pastorius said Monday evening. “And I think we’ll be brewing beer within two weeks, maybe as soon as next week.” (from the Times)Get the draft rolling and the restaurant back in business, and a lot will be forgiven and forgotten. Questions remain -- are the staff still available and willing to jump back in? How soon will bottling begin? What's the wholesaler situation? -- but the big one is answered: will Penn survive? Yeah. Yeah, they will.
"It's going to be a rough few months while we repair the damage done to the brands and replace the bottling equipment that was sold. We ask for the patience and support of our many loyal fans." (from the Post-Gazette)
Bob promises more tomorrow. Until then..."finalized a deal" would imply that the brewery being at Troy Hill & Vinial is set (and that's an update in my story to clarify the situation). That would be a major accomplishment, and would put Penn Brewery -- and Pastorius's group of investors -- right where they ought to be: where Tom started the brewery over 20 years ago. Where it belongs. Cross your fingers, folks, and if you believe in breweries, clap your hands.
Tom Pastorius and a group of investors have finalized a deal to buy Penn Brewery on the North Side, which he founded. The group plans to resume brewing beer there and reopen the restaurant, which closed in August.
Since the beginning of this year, Penn beers have been brewed at the Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre.
On Friday, the Urban Redevelopment Authority approved a $300,000 loan to Mr. Pastorius' group, who'd made buying the business from Birchmere Capital contingent on the property having a new owner, not E&O Partners. (Note: this last line was updated in the online story to clarify the situation, i.e., Pastorius and co. have purchased the business named Penn Brewery; the site is still owned by E&O but it will be sold; the new owner of the building may or may not be Pastorius and his investors. Got all that?)
Two decades later the globalised market now looks like a two-horse race, with Anheuser-Busch Inbev leading SAB Miller, and Heineken and Carlsberg trailing behind. Many have made fortunes - the only real doubt is whether consumers have benefited.That said, Mackay politely refused significant comment on whether SABMiller was interested in buying FEMSA, which is clearly up for acquisition. A guy's got to keep his hand in, after all.
Mackay is adamant they have. "It's resulted in better-quality products and more choice. People talk about the dead hand of globalised brand uniformity, but I don't think that's true in beer. Stonking great global brands haven't worked. Heineken is the most global brand and that's under 25% of its owner's volumes." [Bear in mind: despite having a number of large brands, neither SABMiller nor ABIB have a single dominant brand.]
And now, he predicts, consolidation will slow as the key players circle each other. "What stops the biggest groups consolidating is the desire of their owners. Most are in family hands. We are unusual in having an open share register."
The festivities will be from 2 o'clock - 5 o'clock on Saturday November 28th. Santa will be here along with Delco Nightingale playing classic Christmas favorites and DJ DNA. We will also be debuting our new Winter Ale! In the spirit of the season we will be asking for donations for Flat Iron Wildcats - $$, cat food, fleece blankets, etc.