Friday, August 31, 2007

A Beer Tragedy

I wish I could report that this is a staged Hollywood scene, but it isn't. This is a real-life tragedy in which thousands of bottles of the Dutch beer Grolsch were scattered across a highway. I cannot say exactly where this happened; I found the photos with a brief description which placed the accident in Minnesota. After researching the subject, I found two incidents involving trucks losing their loads of beer, but neither one included bottles of Grolsch. No matter, but it does seem that the beer truck drivers in Minnesota tend to be bit careless with their prized cargo.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Beer @ the Burger King

Yes, believe it or not, in many places around the world, beer is available in fast food restaurants such as McDonald's and Burger King. San Miguel is a beer brewed in Spain and is Spain's leading exported beer. This sign was spotted in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


That's Russian for beer, ПИВО. Vodka will always be the national drink of Russia, but beer is becoming more and more popular. Some have questioned the quality of the beer to be had in Russia, and this foto has obviously been inspired those questions.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Girl of St. Pauli Girl

Every year, St. Pauli Girl chooses a "spokesmodel" to represent the beer on its well distributed poster art and during promotional appearances. The 2007 St. Pauli Girl is Bobbi Sue Luther, who is also a host of Junkyard Mega Wars on The Learning Channel.

Monday, August 27, 2007

St. Pauli Girl

St. Pauli Girl is an export only lager style beer brewed at the Beck's Brewery in Bremen, Germany. The primary export market for St. Pauli Girl is the US, and today, it is reportedly one of the leading-selling German beers on the American market.

The beer's original brewery, which was founded in the 17th century, was supposedly built on the site of a monastery named in honor of St. Paul, which gives the beer the first part of its name. The St. Pauli "Girl" was invented in the 19th century with the advent of bottling beer. The brewery needed a symbol to emblazon its bottles and the image of a barmaid was selected.

My complete review can be read HERE>>>

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Gambrinus is one of the leading selling beers in the Czech Republic. It's from the same town of Plzen that has given the world Pilsner Urquell and is usually sold as the "cheaper sister" at every Pilsner Urquell pub in the country. In Prague, Gambrinus is actually more popular than Pilsner Urquell. It is not only 15-20% cheaper on average, its quality is more consistent. Unfortunately, it is not exported beyond Central Europe.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Lion's Bar: for Stags in Prague

The Lion's Bar is not for everybody. That is to say that The Lion's Bar in Prague specifically caters to a specific clientele, and that clientele is British Sports fans and their mates. Or, to put it another way, The Lion's Bar is considered a "stag bar," whose clientele is almost completely comprised of visiting stags.

Many pubs in Prague deny patronage to stag groups, so it is highly recommended that stag groups coming to Prague come with a full itinerary before arriving.

That said, The Lion's Bar is a highly recommended place for any stag group coming to Prague from Britain. They have 15 plasma televisions and two large projection screens on which all the important football, cricket, rugby union, and rugby league matches are shown. The Lion's Bar is, after all, a sports bar! So you won't miss any of the games from back home.

To read my complete review, click HERE>>>

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ottakringer Girls

Ottakringer is one of Austria's largest breweries, and its leading selling beer is a style called helles, which is a style that is little known outside of Bavaria and Austria. It is similar to Czech pilsner, but with less hops and more malt. Ottakringer is brewed in Vienna, and the brewery is easily accessible via public transport. Tours of the brewery feature the obligatory free samples of the product.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Kozel: the Czechs' Leading Export Beer

You can walk the streets of Prague for blocks and then kilometers before finding a pub that sells Kozel. It is a brand that is well known in the Czech Republic, but it's simply not that popular with Czech beer drinkers. That said, Kozel is the Czech Republic's leading export beer, selling more beer abroad that Staropramen, Budweiser Budvar, or even Pilsner Urquell. Finland and the United Kingdom are at the top of the export list. Which I guess accounts for all those English-language web entries proclaiming Kozel as the the greatest Czech beer.

For the record, the name of the brewery is
Velkopopovický Kozel and it was opened in 1874. It is located in the city of Velké Popovice, which is located about 20 miles southeast of Prague. Kozel translates into English as a male goat or "billy goat." The brewery was purchased by Pilsner Urquell in 1999, which was later purchased by SABMiller.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Czech Pub Grub

Beer drinkers, of course, cannot live on beer alone, and the Czechs have their own way of doing pub grub. Probably the most popular beer-drinking dish is called Nakládaný hermelín. Hermelín is a soft cheese that is simiar to the French Camembert, and nakládaný means pickled. It is most commonly served with onions and peppers and is marinated in oil.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Beer Congregational Church

When I first encountered the Beer Congregational Church, I thought it was a clever homage to the beer gods and their followers, the product of a deft hand with access to photoshop software, but this is not the case. The Beer Congregational Church is a very real church located in the town of Beer, a very real-life coastal village in south-west England. According to wiki, the town of Beer takes its name from the Anglo-Saxon word "bearu," which refers to the abundance of trees in the region. The latest census counts 1381 inhabitants in the town of Beer.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Negra Modelo

Negra Modelo is an excellent example of a rather obscure type of beer known as Vienna lager. It is brewed in Mexico and is part of Grupo Modelo, which is the largest brewer of beer in Mexico whose best known product is Corona Extra. Negra Modelo is one of Mexico's oldest beers, and its origins are presumed to be related to the reign of Maximilian I, the Viennese born Austrian who came to Mexico to serve as its Emperor in the 1860s.

Read my full review HERE>>>

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Beer & Fernet Stock

In the Czech Republic, they do boilermakers a little different. The spirit of choice is usually an 80 proof bitters called Fernet Stock from the Czech city of Plzen-Bozkov. Mixing the Fernet into the beer is frowned upon. Shooting the Fernet is optional. The preferred method is sipping the Fernet just before taking a drink of the beer. The Fernet prepares the palette for the beer, intensifying its taste.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Japan's Kirin Ichiban

The Kirin Brewery was established in Yokohama, Japan in 1907, and today, along with Asahi and Sapporo, Kirin is part of the "Big 3" in the Japanese brewing industry. Kirin's premium brand is called Kirin Ichiban and is considered one of the finest beers on the mass market in Japan. It has been available in America since 1990.

In English, Ichiban, means "first," and this refers to the fact that only the first pressing of the wort is used in the brewing process of Kirin Ichiban. This makes the beer less bitter, without having to sacrifice the body of the beer. And this is what gives Kirin Ichiban its distinctive taste.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

U Bulinu Serves Pilsner Urquell

If you're in Prague, and you're looking for an authentic Czech dining experience at real Czech prices, in a conveniently located area, and free from the throng of tourists, you really can't go wrong with Restaurace U Bulinu in the Vinohrady section of Prague.

Like all truly Czech restaurants, finding the dining areas is the task of an explorer. When one first walks in, one gets the impression that U Bulinu is merely a small pub with a bar counter that seats a half dozen patrons accompanied by a half dozen tables that seats maybe two and half dozen. But if you walk past the bar you'll find a dining room, and if you walk past that, you'll find yet another dining room. If you walk through the corridor where the public toilets are located, you'll find yet another dining area, this one an open-air garden. All of this is traditionally Czech.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Brazil's Brahma

Brazil's Brahma dates to 1888 and is not only one of the best selling beers in Brazil, it is one of Brazil's leading export beers. A member of the InBev brew conglomerate, Brahma's advertising has stayed true to its Brazilian roots.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Refreshing Brahma

The idea behind Brahma's award winning ad campaign is to capture the creative spirit of life in Brazil.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Brahma of Brazil

Nobody does advertising quite like the Brazilians. And when it comes to beer, the Brahma Brewery has excelled at marketing their beer. In fact, it has won numerous international awards for its creative and provocative ads.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bluejays Beer

Anheuser-Busch is the official sponsor of Major League Baseball, and given that professional baseball is a billion dollar business, it's not out of line that the de-facto official beer of baseball be Bud Light, the best selling beer of a billion dollar brewery.

There's no point to complaining about it. If you think about it, Bud Light probably describes most of the teams in the National League pretty well.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Old Style Cubbie Style

Old Style, historically, is a Wisconsin beer from La Crosse. But in the 1950s, Old Style became a sponsor of the Chicago Cubs and has been associated with the Windy City ever since. There are at least two generations of Chicagoans alive today who, when they think of baseball, they think of Old Style Beer.

Founded by the G. Heileman Brewing Company in 1902, Old Style is today a part of the Pabst Brewing Company.

In regards to taste, nobody will ever confuse it with Samuel Adams. But Old Style is a great brew for the ballpark or cookout. Best served very, very cold, Old Style is refreshing summer-time beer that is more than capable when it comes to washing down brats and dogs.

Friday, August 10, 2007

70,000 Beer Cans

This is a true story. Though some of the circumstances, in my opinion, are a matter of conjecture. The photos were taken of a vacated residence in Ogden, UT in 2005. The former tenant was reported to have lived there for 8 years, and had accumulated approximately 70,000 cans of Coors Light, which he had not so ceremoniously piled up around his home.

The rest of the story, as explained at the usually reliable website Snopes, doesn't make any sense. Basically, the local Utah media reported that the resident was a raging alcoholic who drank 24 cans a beer a day for 8 years, yet somehow interpreted the man's preference for Coors Light as some kind of recognition on the man's part that he had a drinking problem. Then there are the highly questionable details; the man was the perfect tenant, always paid his rent on time and never complained. The mailman believed the home was empty because he never delivered mail there. The man had been living for some time without water and electricity. Yet, somehow, other than the beer can mess, the home was in good shape. Oh, for the truly gullible, as the story goes, the man, in the end, conquers his alcoholism, gives up beer, finds a job and a new home.

Am I the only one who doesn't believe this story? Am I the only one who looks at these photos and sees a staged scene?

Aside from the illogic of a person disposing of all garbage except beer related garbage and maintaining an otherwise clean home, all of the beer cans and cartons in the pictures look alike. Even if a person were to take brand loyalty to this kind of extreme, breweries, especially the "big boys" like Coors, do tend to noticeably vary their packaging seasonally.

To my thinking, this is a tenant's practical joke on his landlord. It's also natural to assume that he had collaborators. That said, if one does the math, if you've got 20 buddies buying beer for you, 70,000 cans, that's 145 cases per buddy.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Budejovicky Budvar: a Review

Budvar is a lager brewed by Budejovicky Budvar in the Bohemian city of Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic. It is sold as Budejovicky Budvar in many countries and Budweiser Budvar in others. In the United States and Canada, it is sold as Czechvar.

Brewer, Josef Groll, is credited with having invented the Bohemian style of lager beer in the nearby city of Plzen in 1842. (Today, that beer's brand name is Pilsner Urquell.) This new "Golden Beer" with its light and refreshing taste quickly spread across Europe, eventually making its way across the Atlantic to the Americas. And along the way, this new Bohemian style of cold fermentation was adopted by thousands of different breweries across the world during the 19th century. One of the late-comers was Budejovicky Budvar, which didn't open its brewery until 1895.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Beer Drinkers Fear Sale of Budweiser Budvar

A couple of months ago, an organization called the European Beer Consumers Union (EBCU) held a press conference to denounce the idea of privatizing the Czech state-owned brewery, Budejovicky Budvar, brewer of the popular export beer, Budweiser Budvar (Czechvar in the United States).

Basically, their only argument was that they feared that the quality of the beer may suffer as a result. And why? Because the brewery will clearly be purchased by the American brewing giant Anheuser-Busch, brewer of the beer that much of the world knows as Budweiser, within in the next year or two. Unfortunately, the EBCU doesn't really know what they're talking about.


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

From the Land of Sky Blue Waters . . .

In the 1960s, the Hamm's brewery of St. Paul, MN created a promotional deck of playing cards, which featured their famous Hamm's Bear on the face cards. Today, a deck of the cards can fetch $25 on the breweriana market.

Hamm's may never have been the greatest beer on the market, but I can't see any of today's craft brewers coming up with anything as iconic as the Hamm's Bear.

For those who can't get enough of Hamm's breweriana, check out the website of the Hamm's Club.

Monday, August 6, 2007

20 Questions with a Pub Manager in Prague

Francis Foley is a manager at U Draka, a pub in the center of Prague, and I recently sat down with him over a beer to ask him twenty questions about what it's like being a pub manager in Prague.

You can read the interview HERE>>>

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Baseball & Beer in Japan

Asahi is one of the largest brewers of beer in Japan and it owns the concession to sell beer at the Tokyo Dome, a 55,000 seat stadium that is home to the Yomiuri Giants, the most successful baseball team in Japanese history. The Asahi Beer Girls, who sell beer at the Tokyo Dome, are themselves famous. During the games, the girls carry a sizable beer tank on their backs, as one would carry a rucksack, and walk the stadium's steps providing beer to thirsty baseballs fans. Certainly beats the hell out of the usually surly beer servers at American ballparks.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Kosciusko Beer Mustard

This is no novelty mustard; this is an award winning mustard from Plochman's, one of the world's leading producers of premium mustard. Their Kosciusko Beer Mustard reputedly does contain amber lager. It's great on hot dogs and sandwiches. It can be hard to find, however. Several on-line boutique food sellers offer it, but you can buy it directly from the manufacturer if you wish at Plochman's website.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Beer in Iraq

Believe it or not, the American fighting forces in Iraq are not permitted to drink alcohol. Well, not unless they're officially on R&R. So, instead the army has supplied their men and women with near beer. I guess if it's 120 degrees in the shade, any kind of beer will hit the spot.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Beer Holster

The perfect gift for the busy beer drinker, this leather holster affixes to any belt and features a gun-slinger strap that goes around the leg. It is designed to hold 12oz. bottles and cans.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Beer Street

William Hogarth created this print called Beer Street during what is known as the London Gin Craze of 1751. Beer here is celebrated as a healthy diversion for the working class, standing in contrast to gin, which was at the time associated with alcoholism, thievery and prostitution. Henry Fielding wrote an accompanying verse:

Beer, happy Produce of our Isle Can sinewy Strength impart, And wearied with Fatigue and Toil Can cheer each manly Heart. Labour and Art upheld by Thee Successfully advance, We quaff Thy balmy Juice with Glee And Water leave to France. Genius of Health, thy grateful Taste Rivals the Cup of Jove, And warms each English generous Breast With Liberty and Love!