Great Society

Children of the Sun => Lush => Topic started by: nacho on April 07, 2008, 03:14:51 PM

Title: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 07, 2008, 03:14:51 PM
The sub forum sub thread roundup of booze in the news!

Quote
Hemingway haunt gives discounts to "poor Americans"
Mon Apr 7, 2008 12:40pm EDT

By Philip Pullella

ROME (Reuters) - Harry's Bar, the famed Venice watering hole where Ernest Hemingway held court over hearty food and stiff martinis, is offering a discount to "poor" Americans suffering from a weak dollar and subprime blues.

The decision by the owner of the restaurant, one of the most expensive even when the U.S. currency is strong, underscores the growing concern about the weak dollar among tourism operators in Italy and elsewhere in Europe.

A sign posted outside the restaurant at the weekend reads:

"Harry's Bar of Venice, in an effort to make the American victims of subprime loans happier, has decided to give them a special 20 percent discount on all items of the menu during the short term of their recovery."

When the euro was introduced as the continent's common currency in 2002, a dollar bought about 1.10 euros. Today it gets about 64 euro cents, making prices seem astronomically high for most Americans.

"Since the start of January, we noticed a drop in (American) customers of between five and 10 percent and now that we are in April its looks really frightening," Arrigo Cipriani, 76, Harry's owner, told Reuters by phone from Venice on Monday.

ENIT, Italy's national tourism board, said in a report this month that the "strong devaluation of the dollar compared to the European currency and signs of a recession are currently the greatest obstacle to American tourism toward Europe."

Harry' Bar was founded in 1931 when Giuseppe Cipriani, a barman at a Venice hotel, opened it with money an American named Harry Pickering had given him to pay off a loan.

He named the bar and his first son Arrigo (Italian for Harry) -- the current owner -- in Pickering's honor.

Hemingway made Harry's Bar his Venice headquarters. He mentioned it in "Across the River and Into the Trees," which was published in 1950 and which he wrote on the lagoon island of Torcello while living in an inn owned by the Cipriani family.

Cipriani, whose family company owns high-end restaurants and food shops in New York, Venice, Hong Kong, London and Sardinia, says even well-heeled clients look for discounts.

"You would be surprised how people like to have a discount on their bill whether they are rich or poor," he said, adding that a full meal with wine at his Venice restaurant could set someone back more than 200 euros ($314.5).

Cipriani, who said the discount will apply only to the restaurant part of the tab and not the bar, said Americans in Venice need not bring their passports to his restaurant in order to get a discount.

"We will judge by the accent and if we make a mistake, we will give a 20 percent discount to the English as well," he said.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: fajwat on April 07, 2008, 05:39:45 PM
haha by accent.  and only for the restaurant portion, not the bartab.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 08, 2008, 10:18:49 AM
Oh, god...

http://www.blogaboutbeer.com/2008/04/07/the-sam-adams-bottle-recall/

Quote
By now I’m sure most of you know about the bottle recall from Sam Adams which was issued today. The Boston Beer Company, the 4th largest brewer in the U.S., has voluntarily recalled select 12 ounce glass bottles of its beer. Company officials say the brew could contain small bits of glass. According to the Associated Press,

    The Boston-based brewer says routine quality control inspections at its Cincinnati brewery found defects in some of the beer bottles which were made by a glass bottle supplier.

    The maker of Samuel Adams beer says the defects could cause small bits of glass to break off and possibly fall into the bottle.

How do you know if your bottle is one of the bad ones? The sub par bottles are embossed (at the base) with the the letter “N”, followed by the number “35″, followed by the letters “OI” (so it would appear “N35OI”).

The company released the following statement today via their website:

    During a routine bottle inspection at one of our breweries, we detected possible defects in a small percentage of bottles resulting in the random presence of bits of glass, most the size of grains of sand, but some small slivers in some bottles as well. Based on this sample, we quickly began testing bottles of Samuel Adams at all of our breweries and identified that the problem appeared to be isolated to a single glass plant of the five that supply us.

    We assembled a panel of food safety, medical and packaging experts including a medical doctor who have thoroughly evaluated the samples. People who bite or swallow a fragment could possibly be injured. While the possibility of injury to an individual consumer is very low and the Company has had no reports of any injury, we do know that the risk is not zero, so we are voluntarily recalling all products in bottles from this specific glass plant that we believe could possibly be affected.

It also appears that the affected bottles are not contained to any one Sam Adams brew, so if you have some fresh in your fridge, it might be a good idea to give them a quick once-over. If you do have recalled bottles in your possession, the company promises a full refund. click here to find out how to get your money back.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Matt on April 08, 2008, 01:28:08 PM
Thank God I was drunk; I never felt a thing.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on April 08, 2008, 01:47:40 PM
Thank God I was drunk; I never felt a thing.

Funny.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 08, 2008, 02:03:15 PM
It's going to be a while before I can have a Sam again.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Matt on April 08, 2008, 02:28:06 PM
This all explains why the douchebag co-worker we have on staff picked up a 12 pack during Christmas break and shared some of it with me.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 08, 2008, 04:48:53 PM
Mmm... Glass for Matt!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Matt on April 08, 2008, 10:38:23 PM
He's a fucking tool, but this is far beyond his intellectual capacity to dream up.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 14, 2008, 10:43:33 PM
http://abcnews.go.com/International/Story?id=4385601&page=1

Quote
Buster Martin completed the London Marathon this past weekend in just about ten hours. The 101 year old man set a new record for the oldest person to ever complete the marathon. So, what did he do to celebrate? Have a beer, of course. While it would be logical to assume that, since Martin appears in such great health, he must be a health nut but the truth is actually quite the opposite.

Buster Martin smokes more than a dozen cigarettes and drinks an average of 7-8 full pints of beer — usually at least one during a break in the middle of his daily run — every day. It truly boggles the mind.

    “He smokes, drinks, stays out late, which is probably why he is still alive,”

Charlie Mullins, the managing director of the plumbing company where Martin cleans vans three days a week told ABC News.

Maybe 7 pints a day is the missing link to my physical fitness routine.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: monkey! on April 15, 2008, 10:07:15 AM
Calories....
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Tatertots on April 15, 2008, 03:28:03 PM
There's some dispute about his age. The birthdate he gave to officials pegs him at 94 so now who knows how old he really is.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-marathon12apr12,1,3899136.story?track=rss
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Tatertots on April 15, 2008, 03:33:45 PM
Also, ten hours for a marathon is not running. It's walking. Slowly.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Nubbins on April 20, 2008, 09:58:03 AM
Dude, he's ninety fucking four... cut him some slack.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Tatertots on April 20, 2008, 10:24:02 AM
Slow-ass motherfucker! Hurry the fuck up grandpa, we ain't got all day!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 20, 2008, 10:44:19 AM
Tyson's cold when it comes to marathons.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Tatertots on April 20, 2008, 11:44:16 AM
What are you talking about? My heart is bursting with warm white creamy stuff!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 20, 2008, 04:53:47 PM
Biker Cum?
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Tatertots on April 20, 2008, 05:24:42 PM
Well, no, but thanks for the thought.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: monkey! on April 20, 2008, 10:37:29 PM
White creamy stuff in your heart - cholesterol?
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 21, 2008, 01:48:34 PM
Yay!  I can let go of my glass paranoia.


Quote
They’re portable - perfect for tailgating, camping, golf (ball, or Frisbee), the beach or the kid’s lunch box (I kid, I kid); they’re 100% recyclable; and they block sunlight and oxygen better than bottles. I’m talking about cans, of course.

But canned beer carries a very negative stigma with it - when canning beer became a popular option in the 1960s, the cans were poor in quality and the canning technology was certainly not where it is today. The result was beer that tasted more like aluminum than barley & hops.

Ever since, even though the technology has changed for the better, and canned beer no longer tastes like cans, the only beer commonly found in cans has been 30-racks from the “big 3″. So it’s not hard to see why cans have gotten such a bad wrap. But all of that is beginning to change.

A number of well-known American craft breweries have begun to can their beers - Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing Co. announced last week that they would release their flagship Fat Tire Amber Ale — one of the most popular craft beers in the country — in cans by summer. The 21st Amendment Brewery in San Fransisco will also soon be canning their beers; test marketing cans of their “Brew Free or Die IPA” and “Hell or High Watermelon” watermelon wheat by the 4th of July. And Uncommon Brewers, a Santa Cruz-based brewery which will open its doors this summer, will open having canned all of its beers. According to The Mercury News, the certified organic brewery had planned “to do Belgian-inspired beers and put them out Belgian-style, in corked bottles” but opted for less expensive, 100% recyclable cans after receiving their organic certification.

The craft beer canning revolution was started by Oskar Blues Brewing Co, who began canning their beers in the fall of 2002 as a joke - but that soon changed. Dale Katechis, founder of Oskar Blues Brewing in Colorado, told realbeer.com in 2003 that,

    Right now, our goal is to change the perception in the industry about what you can sell in cans, and with drinkers about what kind of beer is sold in cans.

    We went to the Great Arizona Beer Festival and did side-by-side tastes tests — out of bottles and out of cans. A lot of beer geeks went “What is this?” and they were blown away. The first thing they said is, “This is real beer, this isn’t something that was made just to sell in cans.”

All of the breweries listed above get their cans from the same place - Cask Brewing Systems Inc., based in Calgary, Alberta. Cask Brewing offers craft brewers like Oskar Blues small-scale packaging systems, using cans from aluminum can producer Ball Corp. which have a water-based coating, so the beer doesn’t touch aluminum. Today Cask has nearly four dozen customers canning beer in North America, up from one — Oskar Blues — in 2002.

It may be awhile before craft beer drinkers fully embrace craft beer cans around the country, but I can tell you from personal experience that one can from Oskar Blues and they’ll be signing a different tune. Here’s to the canning revolution!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Matt on April 21, 2008, 01:57:26 PM
I'm still iffy on this. When I find a good can of beer, we'll talk.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Nubbins on April 21, 2008, 03:52:07 PM
I drink beer out of a can all the time, but this shouldn't surprise anyone here.  I'm convinced everyone thinks I'm some kind of slack-jawed yokel anyway.

Would you believe, I don't even have a Southern accent?
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 21, 2008, 04:20:27 PM
Lots of good bear comes in a can... I'm all for it, after the Sam Adams news.  And there's nothing wrong with it. 

Still need to get me some Garde Dog from Flying Dog...
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: monkey! on April 21, 2008, 04:58:39 PM
I just want beer in my mouth, not in a can. What good does it do in a can?

Although - taking about changes in canning technology, the new word on the block are these new-fangled "pression-cans" (their name in French) which have some thing they do that means it comes out of the can as if poured from a barrel-line pump in a bar.

Some of these need ionizer machines to work, others don't.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Nubbins on April 23, 2008, 12:02:49 AM
Lots of good bear comes in a can everyone.  Lots.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Matt on April 23, 2008, 12:03:59 AM
Lots of good bear comes in a can everyone.  Lots.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 23, 2008, 12:07:25 AM
(https://greatsociety.org/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.comedy-zone.net%2Fpictures%2Fimages%2Fanimals%2Fanimal023.jpg&hash=17775fb040548970776f3417223f059585bcd1e2)
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Nubbins on April 23, 2008, 12:09:39 AM
Lots of good bear comes in a can... I'm all for it, after the Sam Adams news.  And there's nothing wrong with it. 

Still need to get me some Garde Dog from Flying Dog...
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 23, 2008, 12:10:50 AM
Yeah, I've been steadily drunk for 13 years.  What can I say?
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Matt on April 23, 2008, 12:11:32 AM
I don't think I'll have an opportunity to get good and fucked up until May 2nd. Sigh.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 23, 2008, 12:16:55 AM
What?  Why?  You're in college!  I started drinking at 8am in college and didn't stop for days.  Every day was Leaving Las Vegas. 

I have to drink in secret now, make sure I'm sober enough to hold down a job, and tolerate my waterhead Jesus-worshiping friends telling me booze is the devil every goddamned day.

And don't give me that responsibility crap.  I graduated with a 3.7.

Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Matt on April 23, 2008, 12:17:54 AM
I'll be lucky to graduate with a 3.2; I did terribly for the past two years. And I live in a fishbowl where my actions are scrupulously watched and observed by supervisors and students alike.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 23, 2008, 12:21:54 AM
Well, time for a transfer.

I think you're a small school guy.  Small schools are fun!  Pot grows on the roof of the dorms, booze flows freely, and the insulated girls are sexual deviants as soon as mommy and daddy drive back to Buttfuck, New Hampshire.

Don't throw away your life man, because it only gets worse.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Matt on April 23, 2008, 12:22:41 AM
Iowa is great because it's a big school with the feel of a smaller school. It's too late to transfer, my career is pretty much set. I like what I'm doing.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: monkey! on April 23, 2008, 12:34:14 AM
I want to cry.

People depress me.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 23, 2008, 12:36:00 AM
DRINK MORE
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Matt on April 23, 2008, 12:40:37 AM
don't cry for me monkey-in-france
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Tatertots on April 23, 2008, 02:46:19 AM
I'm a part-time student from here on out and my fridge is full of beer. I dumped the girl and gained my me-time back. I'm loving life again, man. If I want to go bike all weekend, I've got no women sleeping in until 2pm and then bitching about how I spend all my time biking when, in reality, I'm always back before she even wakes up.

Now I can go kick back with my best friend for four hours and drink pussy beer and watch Gilmore Girls. It's awesome.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Matt on April 23, 2008, 03:56:42 AM
What's "pussy beer"? Mike's Hard? I don't get it; here in Iowa girls just don't drink beer if they don't want to.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Tatertots on April 23, 2008, 04:26:28 AM
Mike's Hard is what I got in the fridge, woman! You'll drink it and like it!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Matt on April 23, 2008, 10:22:35 AM
Ugh. After I downed a six pack of Mike's Hard freshman year when I started drinking more often, I got sick of it. I got a friend of mine who is a lightweight hooked on Mike-arita's, though.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Nubbins on April 23, 2008, 10:57:56 AM
What's "pussy beer"?

I was going to post a link to that story Nach wrote where they drink vagina cocktails and listen to Tori Amos, but I can't find it.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 23, 2008, 11:25:56 AM
What's "pussy beer"?

I was going to post a link to that story Nach wrote where they drink vagina cocktails and listen to Tori Amos, but I can't find it.

http://www.greatsociety.org/fpm/content/view/113/2/
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Matt on April 23, 2008, 11:35:08 AM
I love Tori Amos!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Nubbins on April 23, 2008, 01:05:24 PM
Where are these Eileen and James people anyway?  They seem crazy enough to be here.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: monkey! on April 23, 2008, 07:07:41 PM
Matt loves Tori Amos.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on June 18, 2008, 09:51:54 AM
False pints!  Glad to see that the horrible Romano's is singled out.

http://www.blogaboutbeer.com/2008/06/17/430/

Quote
We all know that the prices of everything — from gasoline, to groceries, to the grains & hops needed to make beer — are on the daily rise; nothing unique there. With the price of beer rising for the breweries, so it rises for the distributors and so on down the line to the bars and eventually you and I.

The bars can only charge their patrons so much for a pint before they start to leave in droves. So instead, a number of bars and restaurants around the U.S. have begun to cheat. Rather than up the price of their pints too much, they’re just giving customers less than a pint of beer and simply not telling them. Some restaurants and bars have reportedly replaced normal 16 ounce pint glasses with 14 ouncers — a type of glassware commonly called a “falsie.”

According to the Wall Street Journal,

    Two of the world’s biggest glassware makers, Libbey and Cardinal International, say orders of smaller beer glasses have risen over the past year. Restaurateurs “want more of a perceived value,” says Mike Schuster, Libbey’s marketing manager for glassware in the U.S. Glasses with a thicker bottom or a thicker shaft help create the perception. “You can increase the thickness of the bottom part but still retain the overall profile,” he says.

Even if they’re lucky enough to get a full pint glass, customers around the country are complaining that bartenders are increasingly putting less than 16 ounces of beer in a pint glass, filling up the extra space with foam. The Journal notes,

    Evidence of short-pouring is hard to nail down, but there are signs the practice is common. Romano’s Macaroni Grill, a national chain, uses the thick-bottomed 14 ouncers in at least some of its locations; a Romano’s bartender in Portland, Ore., volunteered the nickname “falsies.” (A corporate spokesman for Romano’s declined to comment.)

But is two ounces really that big a difference? Archie Gleason, director of marketing for Hooters — which has been noted as serving draft beer in 14-ounce glasses at franchised locations in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee — claims “We can get 20 more beers out of a keg that way”. With the prices of kegs of beer going up at a nauseating pace, 20 extra beers per keg must go a long way.

Many beer advocates are discussing developing stickers to adhere to the windows of bars and restaurants where pints live up to the name. And Oregon legislator Brian Clem is going so far as to take up the issue for the state’s 2009 budget, hoping to fund monitoring of beer portions by the state’s agriculture department.

So, what can you do if you feel you’ve been shortchanged on your pint? The Journal article concludes you,

    Can ask for a “top-off” after the foam on the profit pour settles. That’s what George Collentine did when he was served a beer with almost two inches of foam at an Italian restaurant this month. “I just waited,” says the 38-year-old chemical-company manager from Danbury, Conn. The bartender gave it to him.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on July 14, 2008, 09:11:56 AM
Oh-ho!

Quote
InBev to buy Anheuser-Busch for $52B

 

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (AP) -- Belgian brewer InBev has announced it will buy its U.S. rival Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion to create the world's largest brewer.

The acquisition means control over America's largest brewer, the No. 2 worldwide, moves overseas. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Anheuser-Busch has more than 48 percent of American market share with brands that include Bud Light.

InBev confirmed the details of the purchase of Anheuser-Busch early Monday. It first bid for Anheuser-Busch on June 11.

InBev is the world's second largest beer maker, with brands that include Stella Artois and Becks.

The deal must be approved by shareholders and European and U.S. antitrust regulators. The merger will produce the fourth-largest consumer product company worldwide. iReport.com: What do you think of the sale

Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. did not return messages seeking comment Sunday evening.

The Wall Street Journal said the deal was for $70 a share, a $5 increase over the offer Anheuser-Busch rejected in June.

It wasn't immediately clear how long approval might take from regulators and shareholders. Several Missouri politicians have expressed concerns about the merger -- especially how it would affect the approximate 6,000 people employed by Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis.

InBev has said it plans to use St. Louis as its North American headquarters, and that it will keep open all 12 of Anheuser-Busch's North American breweries. VideoWatch InBev CEO Carlos Brito discuss what the sale means »

InBev SA announced its intent to purchase Anheuser-Busch on June 11. The Anheuser-Busch board initially voted against the merger, calling the initial $65 per share offer too low.

That prompted much squabbling between the companies over the past few weeks. InBev filed a motion seeking the removal of all 13 Anheuser-Busch board members; Anheuser-Busch filed suit calling the InBev effort an "illegal scheme" that threatened to defraud Anheuser-Busch shareholders. Among other things, the suit noted that InBev failed to disclose it operates a brewery in Cuba.

So it was with some surprise when reports surfaced on Friday that the two companies were sitting down for merger talks, reportedly after InBev upped its offer by $5 to $70 per share.

The merger, if completed, will bring to an end to one of the most iconic names in U.S. business and a name synonymous with St. Louis. From college buildings to offices to the stadium where the Cardinals play, the Busch name is virtually everywhere in the Gateway City.

Eberhard Anheuser acquired the Bavarian brewery in 1860 and renamed it E. Anheuser & Co. His son-in-law, Adolphus Busch, joined the company in 1864 and it was eventually renamed Anheuser-Busch.

The company survived Prohibition by selling products ranging from ice cream to root beer.

In addition to opposition from politicians and civic leaders, at least two Web sites sprung up opposing the merger. SaveBudweiser.com claims to have more than 60,000 signatures from merger opponents. SaveAB.com hosted a recent anti-merger rally that drew hundreds to downtown St. Louis.

InBev has not said if layoffs will occur as a result of the merger. But some cutbacks seem likely.

Even without the merger, Anheuser-Busch said last month it planned to cut pension and health benefits for salaried employees as part of an effort to slash $1 billion in costs by the end of 2010. The plan called for offering early retirement to 1,300 salaried workers 55 and older.

The cost-cutting effort -- dubbed "Blue Ocean" by the company -- was part of a strategy to fend off the merger.

The beer industry has been consolidating in recent years amid rising costs for transportation fuel and key ingredients.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Reginald McGraw on July 14, 2008, 12:51:40 PM
Is it just me, or are pensions killing all old American businesses?
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on July 14, 2008, 12:54:34 PM
And over-extension.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: fajwat on July 14, 2008, 03:44:54 PM
pensions aren't killing them.

they had pension obligations

which they then underfunded, leveraged, borrowed against, and played various accounting games with.

at that point "Hey, it's broken!" and they either get their pension bailed out by PBGC or get a judge to change their contractual obligations.

corporate greed just found a weak spot in their pensions for them to slush funds around and overextend themselves.

the huge stock market bubble helped a lot of shady accounting: "look, with the market up 200%, we only need to fund 25% of the pension!" was a legal policy.  After the crash... they'd been invested 25% of what they needed, into the riskiest, most devalued securities.

(I worked briefly for PBGC.)
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Reginald McGraw on July 15, 2008, 12:45:15 PM
That's a good point.  Is that what happened with Social Security too?  Or is that all people living too long.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: fajwat on July 15, 2008, 12:52:02 PM
I think pensions are simpler and less examined by the public eye than social security is.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on August 14, 2008, 08:27:40 PM
I wish they would have done this study while I was in college. Then I would have had an excuse.

"I can't believe you fucked her!"

"Hey man, that last Jager bomb got science working against me."

Quote
People Really Do Look Better When You Drink

For the first time, scientists have proven that "beer goggles" are real - other people really do look more attractive to us if we have been drinking.

Surprisingly, the beer goggles effect was not limited to just the opposite sex among the ostensibly straight volunteers recruited for the study - they also rated people from their own sex as more attractive.

Scientists in England gave 84 heterosexual college students chilled lime-flavored drinks that were either non-alcoholic or given a dose of vodka equivalent in alcohol to a large glass of wine or a pint-and-a-half of beer.

After 15 minutes, the volunteers were shown photos of 40 other college students from both sexes. Both men and women who drank booze found these faces more attractive, "a roughly 10 percent increase in ratings of attractiveness," said researcher Marcus Munafo, an experimental psychologist at the University of Bristol in England.

The researchers also asked volunteers to rate their mood, "and there were no differences on those measures in the alcohol group compared to the no-alcohol group," Munafo added. "This suggests that the effect we observed wasn't due to a general change in mood."

It did not escape Munafo that the results are rather obvious.

"Everyone knows about beer goggles," Munafo said. "But some of our results suggest that there's more going on than we might have thought."

The discovery that the effect is not specific to the opposite sex was surprising. One possibility is that alcohol generally makes us see things as more attractive, but when this occurs in social situations, such as at a bar, "this might become targeted at opposite-sex faces," Munafo said. By repeating the experiment with video clips shot at bars, the scientists hope to recreate those social cues and see what happens.

"The main question is whether these effects are specific to faces, or whether we would rate anything as more attractive after a drink," Munafo said.

Future research could expose people who have been drinking to landscapes or the faces of puppies and other animals, "to see if alcohol has a more general effect on perceiving beauty in the environment."

Low dose

"It's also surprising to see this effect is happening at lower doses than you might think," Munafo said. "We're trying to build up a more complete picture of what happens when people go out for a drink, and we're interested in certain behaviors that are more common after drinking, such as unsafe sex, or violence. If this effect is happening at lower doses than expected, it might be helpful for people who are predisposed to such behaviors to anticipate those situations and prevent them."

The scientists would also want to vary the levels of alcohol that volunteers receive, "but there are practical and ethical constraints around how much alcohol we can give people in the lab!" Munafo told LiveScience.

Munafo and his colleagues detailed their findings online August 6 in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: fajwat on August 16, 2008, 11:13:18 AM
Quote
It did not escape Munafo that the results are rather obvious.
.....

"The main question is whether these effects are specific to faces, or whether we would rate anything as more attractive after a drink," Munafo said.

Future research could expose people who have been drinking to landscapes or the faces of puppies and other animals, "to see if alcohol has a more general effect on perceiving beauty in the environment."

hahahahaha nice
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on March 31, 2009, 03:42:16 PM
Quote

NEWARK, Ohio —  An Ohio man has been charged with drunken driving after crashing his motorized bar stool, authorities said.

Police in Newark, 30 miles east of Columbus, said that when they responded to a report of a crash with injuries on March 4, they found a man who had wrecked a bar stool powered by a deconstructed lawn mower.

Kile Wygle, 28, was hospitalized for minor injuries. He was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated after he told an officer at the hospital that he had consumed 15 beers, police said. Wygle told police his motorized bar stool can go up to 38 mph.

Wygle has pleaded not guilty and has requested a jury trial.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: monkey! on March 31, 2009, 04:02:50 PM
Does Fajwat live in Ohio?
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 01, 2009, 12:07:18 PM
Heh...
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Nubbins on April 05, 2009, 03:17:10 PM
Holy shit... Newark is basically where I went to college.  It was right next to Granville which is where the school was... we spent a lot of time in Newark because it was only about 5 miles away and it had all of the restaurants, Wal-Marts, etc. 
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: monkey! on April 07, 2009, 01:46:14 PM
Jew.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on October 01, 2009, 02:54:33 PM
Quote
A pub landlady is calling in an exorcist to get read of a ghost which she claims is topping up regulars' pints.

Janice McCormack says the spirit is costing her a fortune as it tops up beers.

Mrs McCormack, 60, said: 'I know it sounds very strange. But it happens when customers pop to the toilet or put their pint down for a second or two, and when they turn around there is an extra inch of beer.'

She has nicknamed the ghost 'Reedy' after legendary actor and drinker Oliver Reed and said he has been haunting the Apsley House in Southsea, Hampshire, after she took over the lease ten years ago.

Since January the generous ghoul has been mysteriously re-fuelling regulars' glasses.

Mrs McCormack, who runs the pub with husband Patrick, said: 'My regulars love it but it is costing me because people are drinking less.

'We are getting more people through the door but it seems to be people expecting a cheap, never-ending pint.

'It is all a bit strange and it is driving me round the bend a bit. It makes stock take an absolute nightmare.'

To the disappointment of thrifty drinkers, she now plans to hold a seance to ask the poltergeist to quit, and if that fails, she will seek an exorcist to get him out.

Regular John Sanders, 27, said: 'I will certainly miss old Reedy because he always keeps me topped up.

'It is a novelty but if the pub is going to lose money then perhaps he'll have to move to a different one.

'You were always guaranteed a hangover when you drank in the Apsley - and you'd always have money left in your pocket for a kebab on the way home.'

The Apsley was formally a Victorian girls school before being used by city councillors as their offices and was turned into a pub in the 1960s.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on January 03, 2010, 01:05:19 PM
The Sam Adams Noble Pils is getting lots of press today:

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/35/54904

They won a bunch of awards in late 09, and it's now hitting the shelves.

Quote
This year, the Beer Lover’s Choice Program had the highest number of tasters in its five year history, with more than 68,000 votes casts during more than 1,300 tasting events held across the country over the summer.

The voters response to the new Noble Pils was so enthusiastic, with 37,855 votes, that the brewers have decided to make Samuel Adams Noble Pils the new spring seasonal brew. Samuel Adams Noble Pils, a hoppy pilsner beer brewed with all five Noble Hop varieties, will be available nationwide beginning in mid-January replacing Samuel Adams® White Ale as the spring seasonal and in the Brewermaster’s Collection 12-pack.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 03, 2010, 01:09:02 PM
I've become a Sam Adams groupie, so bring it on!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on January 03, 2010, 01:10:34 PM
Yeah, I avoided Sam Adams after the crushed-glass-in-bottles fiasco. But I've lately been getting into their weird beers.  This ones sounds especially yummy.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Cassander on January 03, 2010, 05:47:31 PM
i haven't had a sam adams in years, but i'll give this a try.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Poppy Propercock on January 15, 2010, 11:41:26 AM
Union protests against InBev in Belgium are threatening the world's supply of EuroBud:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8460815.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8460815.stm)

Everybody panic!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on January 19, 2010, 06:24:36 PM
From blogaboutbeer.com:


Quote
I always had a sneaking suspicion that drinking moderate amounts of beer was good for me. Turns out I’m right. The presence of the antioxidant Xanthohumol in the oils of hop leaves has been known for awhile (I first wrote about it in December of 2007), but this week even more reports and studies on Xanthohumol and its cancer-fighting agents are surfacing. According to the UK Daily Mail,

    Researchers at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg have discovered that beer contains a powerful molecule that helps protect against breast and prostate cancers.

    Found in hops, the substance called xanthohumol blocks the excessive action of testosterone and estrogen. It also helps to prevent the release of a protein called PSA which encourages the spread of prostate cancer.

While that isn’t new news, this is apparently the first test on Xanthohumol which indicated that it may block the ‘excessive action of testosterone’; the antioxidant was previously thought to only affect estrogen.

    ‘Research is still early but in trials we hope to further demonstrate that xanthohumol actively prevents prostate cancer development,’ says Clarissa Gerhauser of the Heidelberg centre. If successful, xanthohumol may one day be developed as a cancer-fighting drug.

As many of you may know, or remember, tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of the day I lost my mother to breast cancer. So the continued research of beer’s cancer-fighting abilities — and the positive results of that research — just goes to show how truly great this passion of mine, of ours, really is. Cheers to beer.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 19, 2010, 07:39:48 PM
The Sam Adams Noble Pils is getting lots of press today:

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/35/54904

They won a bunch of awards in late 09, and it's now hitting the shelves.

Quote
This year, the Beer Lover’s Choice Program had the highest number of tasters in its five year history, with more than 68,000 votes casts during more than 1,300 tasting events held across the country over the summer.

The voters response to the new Noble Pils was so enthusiastic, with 37,855 votes, that the brewers have decided to make Samuel Adams Noble Pils the new spring seasonal brew. Samuel Adams Noble Pils, a hoppy pilsner beer brewed with all five Noble Hop varieties, will be available nationwide beginning in mid-January replacing Samuel Adams® White Ale as the spring seasonal and in the Brewermaster’s Collection 12-pack.

I picked up the latest Sam Adams variety pack last week and it had some Noble Pils in it. S'ok, I guess. Kind of a "bitter bier" aftertaste. Not their best effort. Their Scotch Ale , however, is quite nice. The Brewmaster's pack is worth giving a whirl just to see what they're up to these days.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on January 20, 2010, 07:36:29 AM
That's sad to hear.  I was looking forward to it...

And their Scotch Ale is like the MGD of scotch ales.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on January 24, 2010, 12:46:06 AM
The Sam Adams Noble Pils is getting lots of press today:

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/35/54904

They won a bunch of awards in late 09, and it's now hitting the shelves.

Quote
This year, the Beer Lover’s Choice Program had the highest number of tasters in its five year history, with more than 68,000 votes casts during more than 1,300 tasting events held across the country over the summer.

The voters response to the new Noble Pils was so enthusiastic, with 37,855 votes, that the brewers have decided to make Samuel Adams Noble Pils the new spring seasonal brew. Samuel Adams Noble Pils, a hoppy pilsner beer brewed with all five Noble Hop varieties, will be available nationwide beginning in mid-January replacing Samuel Adams® White Ale as the spring seasonal and in the Brewermaster’s Collection 12-pack.

I picked up the latest Sam Adams variety pack last week and it had some Noble Pils in it. S'ok, I guess. Kind of a "bitter bier" aftertaste. Not their best effort. Their Scotch Ale , however, is quite nice. The Brewmaster's pack is worth giving a whirl just to see what they're up to these days.

So...I like it.  I mean, it's Sam Adams.  So it's a step (a small one) above Michelob Ultra.  But... It's tasty!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 24, 2010, 10:45:42 AM
Well then you're my ARCH-ENEMY from now on!!!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on January 24, 2010, 12:40:48 PM
Hahaha!  At last we meet, Rotting Corpse!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 24, 2010, 03:00:12 PM
You're no match for my SCOTCH ALE!!!!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: monkey! on January 25, 2010, 12:01:09 AM
Excuse me, Gentlemen, but from my most far reaching plantations in l'Afrique, I bring you Mongozo banana beer.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on January 26, 2010, 04:48:35 PM
Quote
The February issue of Maxim Magazine hit the shelves late last week and for once included an article worth reading which wasn’t about hot girls. It was however about beer. The four-page spread was a run down of what Maxim decided are the 25 Best New Beers in America. No real explanation of what “new” means, since some of the beers on the list are decidedly not all together that new but it was a surprisingly good list all the same — especially given the source — and only one of the twenty-five brews is from one of the “big three” breweries. There also doesn’t seem to be any specific order to the list that I can decipher, but here it is:

    * Porkslap Pale Ale – Butternuts Beer & Ale
    * Drifter Pale Ale – Widmer Bros.
    * Hoss (Rye Lager) – Great Divide
    * Hoptober Golden Ale – New Belgium
    * Haywire (Hefeweizen) – Pyramid
    * Helios Ale (Saison) – Victory
    * Noble Pils – Sam Adams
    * Ten Fidy (Imperial Stout) – Oskar Blues
    * Torpedo (Extra IPA) – Sierra Nevada
    * MarzHon (Marzen) – Clipper City
    * Bud Light Golden Wheat – Anheuser-Busch
    * Sexual Chocolate (Imperial Stout) – Foothills Brewing
    * Brew Free! Or Die (IPA) – 21st Amendment Brewing
    * Green Lakes Organic Ale (Amber) – Deschutes
    * Indian Brown – Dogfish Head
    * Upslope Pale Ale – Upslope Brewery
    * Old Stock – North Coast
    * Blue Ball (Porter) – Intercourse Brewing Co.
    * Calico (Amber) – Ballast Point
    * Union Jack (IPA) – Firestone Walker
    * Fat Squirrel (Brown Ale) – New Glarus
    * UFO White  – Harpoon (Boston)
    * Local 1 (Pale) – Brooklyn
    * Tumble Off (Pale Ale) – Barley Brown’s Brew Pub
    * Phoenix (Pale Ale) – Sly Fox

I think it’s interesting to note that five of the twenty-five beers on the list (or a full 20%) were canned beers; certainly speaks volumes to the nationwide trend. What do you think of the list? Anything you’d add or subtract if you were a Maxim intern compiling lists of microbrews while the paid folks were off shooting Amanda Bynes for the cover?
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 26, 2010, 06:33:03 PM
The goal is to try them all, right?
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on January 26, 2010, 06:48:16 PM
I've had the Torpedo (wonderful, and the Indian Brown (yawn).  But, yes, I want all the rest.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 26, 2010, 06:50:13 PM
That UFO White seems familiar, but other than that I don't recognize the rest save for the Sam Adams and Budweiser ones.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Cassander on January 26, 2010, 10:33:03 PM
Bud American Golden wheat?  say what?

Brooklyn's Local 1 is pretty good.  I haven't heard of many of the other breweries, though.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on January 26, 2010, 10:43:46 PM
Maxim Magazine:  Brought to you by Budweiser.  America's leading craft beer!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on February 08, 2010, 09:21:50 AM
My alcoholism makes me INDESTRUCTIBLE!!!!

Quote
Beer May Be Good For Your Bones

If you downed one too many while watching the Super Bowl, here's at least one reason to hold your head high: Drinking beer can be good for your health.

But seriously, a new analysis of 100 commercial beers shows the hoppy beverage is a significant source of dietary silicon, a key ingredient for bone health.

Though past research has suggested beer is chockfull of silicon, little was known about how silicon levels varied with the type of beer and malting process used. So a pair of researchers took one for the team and ran chemical analyses on beer's raw ingredients. They also picked up 100 commercial beers from the grocery store and measured the silicon content.

The silicon content of the beers ranged from 6.4 mg/L to 56.5 mg/L, with an average of 30 mg/L. Two beers are the equivalent of just under a half liter, so a person could get 30 mg of the nutrient from two beers. And while there is no official recommendation for daily silicon uptake, the researchers say, in the United States, individuals consume between 20 and 50 mg of silicon each day.

However, other studies show that consuming more than one or two alcoholic beverages a day may be, overall, bad for health.

The take-home message for the casual drinker: "Choose the beer you enjoy. Drink it in moderation," lead researcher Charles Bamforth of the University of California, Davis, told LiveScience. "It is contributing silicon (and more) to your good health."

Bamforth and his colleague Troy Casey, both of the university's Department of Food Science and Technology, detail their findings in the February issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

The silicon levels of beer types, on average:
Indian Pale Ale (IPA): 41.2 mg/L
Ales: 32.8 mg/L
Pale Ale: 36.5 mg/L
Sorghum: 27.3 mg/L
Lagers: 23.7 mg/L
Wheat: 18.9 mg/L
Light lagers: 17.2 mg/L
Non Alcoholic: 16.3 mg/L

Their research showed the malting process didn't affect barley's silicon content, which is mostly in the grain's husk. However, pale-colored malts had more silicon than the darker products, such as the chocolate, roasted barley and black malt, which all have substantial roasting. The scientists aren't sure why these darker malts have less silicon than other malts.

Hops were the stars of the beer ingredients, showing as much as four times more silicon than was found in malt. The downside: Hops make up a much smaller portion of beer compared with grain. Some beers, such as IPAs are hoppier, while wheat beers tend to have fewer hops than other brews, the researchers say.

"Beers containing high levels of malted barley and hops are richest in silicon," Bamforth said. "Wheat contains less silicon than barley because it is the husk of the barley that is rich in this element. While most of the silicon remains in the husk during brewing, significant quantities of silicon nonetheless are extracted into wort and much of this survives into beer."

(Wort is the sweet liquid that comes from mashing the grains and eventually becomes beer.)

While the researchers are not recommending gulping beer to meet your silicon intake needs, their study does add to others on the potential health benefits of this cold beverage.

The type of silicon in beer, called orthosilicic acid, has a 50 percent bioavailability, meaning that much is available for use in the body. Some foods, like bananas are rich in silicon but only 5 percent is bioavailable. This soluble form of silica found in beer could be important for the growth and development of bone and connective tissue, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Past research has suggested that moderate beer consumption may help fight osteoporosis, a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue.

Another past study involving nearly 1,700 women reported last year in the journal Nutrition showed participants who were light to moderate beer drinkers had much better bone density than non-drinkers. The researchers suggested the beer's plant hormones, not the alcohol, could be responsible for the bone boost.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Cassander on February 09, 2010, 10:03:03 AM
Tomorrow: Red Bull and Vodka Help Fight Alzheimer's!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on March 02, 2010, 08:37:39 AM
Quote
Exclusive - more details about the future of Tetley's
from Pete Brown's Blog by Pete Brown
I've blogged in the past about how Tetley's was my trainer beer, my local pint, and how even though its star has fallen, it retains a special place in my heart.

In 2008 Carlsberg UK announced that the brewery in Leeds would be closing. Today they've announced that from 2011, Marstons will brew Tetley's Cask in Wolverhampton, while Smoothflow will be brewed by Molson Coors in Tadcaster. Carlsberg say they are delighted that most of the volume brewed will be remaing in Yorkshire, and that with cask, they looked into every option for keeping it in Yorkshire but this proved not to be possible.

I've just had a chat with Darran Britton, Carlsberg UK's marketing director, and got a bit more background. I'll scribble down what he said first, and reserve some personal reflections till the end of this post.

The most contentious part of the whole deal is the move of cask out of Yorkshire. Was there really 'no other option?'

"It may not be as fashionable as it once was, but Tetley's is a still a very sizeable cask ale," replied Britton, "it needed somewhere with enough excess capacity. But it also needed someone who is experienced in brewing other people's beers, someone who is technically excellent."

Lots of names have been speculated - Black Sheep, Timothy Taylor's, Heineken (as in John Smith's in Tadcaster) but if you agree with those criteria - and it's hard not to - then it's difficult to disagree with the conclusion, however unpalatable it may be.

So why Marston's?

"They have a great reputation for their ales, and they're an experienced contract brewer. In Wolverhampton they have traditional square fermenters, which Tetley's has always been brewed in. We'll work with them to keep the same recipe, the same ingredients, and we'll continue using Tetley's unique two-strain yeast."

And what about Leeds? What are the plans for the brewery site?

"Production in Leeds will end mid-2011. We'll be transferring the brewing earlier in the year. We're in talks with Leeds council about their plans for the city, but there are no plans for the site yet."

Tetley's - like its counterparts Worthington's, John Smiths and Boddington's - has been in a phase of managed decline for several years now, ceding the cask ale market to regionals and local brewers. Now that cask ale is back in growth - tiny, tiny growth, but growth nonetheless - will this move coincide with renewed support behind the brand? To be clear, Carlsberg is retaining ownership of Tetley's for the foreseeable future, with Molson Coors and Marston's brewing on a contract basis. Despite this, I'm reminded of when Courage brands moved from S&N, who clearly didn't want them, to Well's & Young's, who did. In that case there was a change of ownership, but it saw the beers being revitalised to a dramatic extent. As I said, this move for Tetley's is different, but after reports of new investment and the return of the huntsman to the brand's identity, I wondered if this was a cue for somer kind of relaunch.

Britton refused to be drawn, saying more that this was "business as usual". Rather than there being any renewed energy behind the brand, he insisted that there wouldn't be any less support behind it, that investment will continue, and that there'll be a new sampling campaign later this year.

So there we go.

In my job, I get to see both sides of stories like this. Sometimes I'm with the marketers when difficult decisions have to be made, when the harsh realities of modern business and the demands of shareholders make unpalatable choices inevitable. Other times I get to be a beer fan, and to be able to say "Fuck the shareholders, this is beer we're talking about! A short term view not only betrays the core drinkers of the brand, it actually doesn't make sound business sense in the long view."

In this case, I'm torn. I am grief-stricken at what has happened to Tetley's, appalled that the link between the brand and the city of Leeds will be broken. ("Tetley's will always have a relationship with Leeds", insists Britton, but that relationship will only exist in an abstract, emotional sense). I'm frustrated that Carlsberg as a whole seems unable to make the huge power of provenance and place of origin for one of the biggest beer btrands in the country make commercial sense for them. Lots of people will say that Tetley's can never taste the same if it's brewed in Wolverhampton but I'm not one of them - it'll taste exactly the same. But it's not about that - it's about the story, the soul of the beer.

On the other hand, I feel we have to accept the commercial reality that it no longer makes business sense for big breweries to sit on lots of expensive land in city centres. We don't have to like it. We can rage against it. But that doesn't stop it from being true. It's difficult enough to make money in brewing.

I think that to fairly criticise Carlsberg for what they've announced today, you have to be able to suggest something they could have done instead.

Keeping the Leeds brewery open was not an option. Moving cask to another brewery in Yorkshire was - if we take Britton at his word - not an option.

The one thing I think may have been an option, and which I'm disappointed by, is not keeping a small part of the space in Leeds and continuing to brew cask there. Most of the land is a massive distribution centre, which would be way better somewhere else. It doesn't make much difference at all where Smoothflow is brewed and I'm not sure any0ne cares. But if you sold off all that lot, and kept hold of the old brewery bit or redeveloped a new purpose-built cask ale brewery for a few million quid, this could only have enhanced whatever plans Leeds will eventually have for the space (I'm guessing "luxury apartments" with the odd Starbuck's and panini shop.) It would add heritage, character and romance, something uniquely Leeds in what is sure to be a development that will look identical to any city in the UK. It would have sent the right signals to the ale community, given the city a stake, mollified hardcore Tetley's fans. Maybe they looked at this option and found reasons why it wasn't viable. Maybe not. But the fact that it is not happening is a crying shame.

I have no problem whatsoever with Marston's - they certainly know how to brew beer.

I think Britton is right - it will be business as usual. Nothing will change in the beer itself. And it has always been a decent cask pint, brewed with love and care, no matter what anyone thinks.

But I had hoped that this would be more than business as usual. It's emotional and sentimental because that's what beer is, but when Tetley's cask is no longer brewed in Leeds, I for one will have one less reason to drink the beer. I'd rather been hoping for new reasons to drink it instead. Sadly, I've heard nothing to suggest that there will be.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: monkey! on March 08, 2010, 10:48:46 AM
(https://greatsociety.org/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.telegraph.co.uk%2Ftelegraph%2Fmultimedia%2Farchive%2F01415%2FtetleyTea_1415142c.jpg&hash=cf82a6a2b6ae60aa95a5aab51425b5763d8c2f2b)
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 21, 2010, 04:48:14 PM
Oh yes!  www.moderndrunkardmagazine.com updated.  At long last...

Highlights:

A madman's dream to create a "booze resort": http://moderndrunkardmagazine.com/issues/55/55-boozetown.html

A bit of wonky Roman stuff for the hardcore history geeks: http://moderndrunkardmagazine.com/issues/55/55-blood-and-wine.html

The rise and fall of Ripple (and Zima and Billy Beer): http://moderndrunkardmagazine.com/issues/55/55-dead-end-drinks.html

Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on May 26, 2010, 01:58:43 PM
This only matters to me because I grew up in Kensington, and the "Old Town Market" used to be a 7-11 where I hung out every day reading Heavy Metal and drinking suicide Big Gulps.

http://www.gazette.net/stories/05262010/kensnew210141_32547.php

Quote
When Kensington residents vote in the June 7 town council election, they also will be polled about their views on expanding beer and wine sales in town, a referendum some say could bring new life to small business.

"Absolutely it would help us," said Susie Cooper, co-owner of Old Town Market on Kensington Parkway. "The neighborhood would be able to support us more, and we'd be able to serve the community in a way bigger stores can't."

Prior to 2007, alcohol sales of any kind were prohibited within town limits. That year, state lawmakers — at the behest of the Kensington Town Council — passed legislation allowing the Montgomery County Board of License Commissioners to issue alcoholic beverage licenses to restaurants in the business district.

In 2009, the area where alcohol sales are permitted was expanded to portions of Connecticut Avenue, Howard Avenue, University Boulevard, Dupont Avenue, and several other streets that featured eateries near Town Center.

The town council is considering legislation that would permit off-site alcohol sales in those areas; a measure that would provide for beer and wine stores in Kensington.

"I've heard some pretty strong feelings on both sides of the issue," Councilman Sean McMullen said. "I think most people would like to see it go through if we put some limitations in place."

McMullen said similar to current on-site alcohol sales, which are allowed in certain areas and in restaurants where at least half of their income is generated by food sales, the proposition will include several caveats prohibiting the hours of sales and if it can be refrigerated.

Cooper said she has been lobbying Town Hall for off-site beer and wine sales since she opened the Old Town Market three years ago. She says such sales would boost profits for stores.

"When you're off the beaten path like we are, you have to do have something that brings people in," she said. "That's why we have soft serve ice cream and deli sandwiches; it's a way to compete."

Resident Meredith Fulton said she does not support the move, as Kensington already is served by liquor stores.

"I don't consider this to be a priority right now," she said. "There are a lot of other things we could spend our time on when there's already a place to buy it around here."

Barnesville, Damascus, Laytonsville, Washington Grove and the City of Takoma Park also are noted in Maryland State Law, prohibiting or further limiting alcohol sales within their limits. All sales of alcoholic beverages require a license, issued by Montgomery County's Board of License Commissioners.

The referendum is expected to be attached to ballots during the June 7 election, scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. at Town Hall, 3710 Mitchell St., Kensington. Following a tallying of referendum opinions, town officials said any legislation would have to pass public hearing before proposed to a state representative who can sponsor a bill. The bill would then need approval by the Maryland General Assembly before becoming law.

Referendum question: Should the Town support State legislation that would allow a prospective license holder, only in the geographic area shown below, to apply for a license to sell beer and wine for consumption off-site only, subject to certain conditions, for example; limiting the hours of sale and/or requiring that beer and wine not be refrigerated, with final conditions to be determined by the Council after a Public Hearing and vote before the State legislation is requested.

Voting is 6 to 9 p.m. June 7 at Town Hall, 3710 Mitchell St., Kensington.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on May 26, 2010, 03:28:08 PM
drinking suicide Big Gulps.


Whoa. Flashback.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on November 16, 2010, 10:32:03 PM
I love how most of us reading the forums are drunks and, yet, this is the deadest sub-forum. What, Sirharles and Reggie are the only sober people here, right?  And you can't trust Sirharles after the sun sets and his fiance shows him the Visa bill from the bridal store. 

Anyway...the big booze news here in MD is that the cruel grip of Montgomery County liquor control has been weakened.  There's talk that private companies will be able to sell liquor in 2011... And, gasp, they'll be able to do it at all hours.

I haven't really followed this, but will try to in the coming weeks.  Growing up in MoCo, I've gotten used to government run liquor.  Plus I steal everything from the weddings.  And, when a friend from out of town asks "Where the fuck can I get a beer at 8am in Montgomery County?" (as RC has done to me three times) I just giggle and say, "Blessed are we, the children of Christ."
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on November 17, 2010, 10:13:40 AM
You forget I lived in a group house in MoCo for a year in the late 90s. To get beer, we'd literally drive the extra two miles into DC most of the time because it was easier and more likely to be a successful.

Keep in mind that I very rarely saw the sun in that tenure so a beer run was likely to be "after hours" so to speak.

Also, I seem to remember some "late night" beer store in Bethesda that we'd always try to hit. It wasn't truly late night, just some smart business owner who realized there was money to be made from UofM frat boys and drunk coke heads.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on November 17, 2010, 10:32:33 AM


Also, I seem to remember some "late night" beer store in Bethesda that we'd always try to hit. It wasn't truly late night, just some smart business owner who realized there was money to be made from UofM frat boys and drunk coke heads.

What's late night?  Because there's that old place that's always been there open till 2am... Great place, too.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on November 17, 2010, 10:41:40 AM
I think that's the place I'm talking about.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on December 07, 2010, 04:15:22 PM
Brickskeller's closing! 

http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2010/12/brickskeller-closing-dec-18th/

Of course, their quality has been sliding downhill for years. The last three times I went and ordered weird beers, they'd all skunked.  I'd go through two or three before I found one that was still good. Seems like, even when people have eight million beers to choose from, they always err on the side of caution and stick to the brands they know. Brickskeller, meanwhile, just leaves bottles rotting for years until some fool comes along and orders African Penis Beer or what the fuck ever.

Bah.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on January 05, 2011, 08:23:08 AM
Today's big news is that Sam Adams has been working overtimes behind the scenes at the Brewers Association -- which defines who is a "small" craft brewer and when they move into the big times.

Of course, Sam Adams has the primary marketing campaign that they're small, craft brewed, etc., and not the giant mass-producing conglomerate that they are.

Originally, the definition for a craft brewery was up to 2 million barrels a year. Sam Adams is currently at 6 million barrels, and growing. So now the cap is 6 million.

When you think of a "craft brewery," do you imagine six million barrels a year? Would Sam Adams even come to anyone's mind. We all know they've moved well beyond their origins. It's not like anyone believes the lie. It's just them fucking with the rules so they can maintain their marketing theme.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 05, 2011, 09:27:36 AM
Yeah, I don't see Sam Adam's as a small brewery anymore.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on January 05, 2011, 11:07:28 AM
Well, luckily they have enough money and lawyers to FORCE us to see them that way....and, in the process, open the doors for other corporate brewers to adopt the label.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on February 23, 2011, 06:02:49 PM
Ooh... My Anglophilia may soon have an outlet: Coming soon to H St --

http://www.thequeenvicdc.com/home.html

WARNING: Loud Sex Pistols music as soon as you go to that page.

Not only do they say they're going to be authentic, but they're also going to have "British groceries."
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on February 25, 2011, 06:22:25 PM
Been reading about the MD alcohol "sin tax" that's coming down the pipe...  Flying Dog is organizing against it:

http://www.flyingdognews.com/2011/02/22/special-announcement-maryland-alcohol-tax-alert/

Seems pretty hopeless, though.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on February 26, 2011, 03:35:09 PM
The Puritans are empowered.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 30, 2011, 04:20:47 PM
http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?storyID=119162 (http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?storyID=119162)

Quote
Explicit Flying Dog beer label issue comes to a head

Frederick's Flying Dog Brewery isn't about to take the decision of a Michigan commission lying down.
Denied the right to sell its best-selling beer, Raging Bitch, in Michigan because its liquor board took offense to its name and its label, the Frederick brewery has filed suit in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Flying Dog wants a judge to reverse a ban on its brew. The business also wants the judge to order damages for its lost sales.

No number was specified in the lawsuit filed Friday, said Erin Biles, Flying Dog's public relations manager.

CEO Jim Caruso said Tuesday he has 30 days to identify damages. An economist, he plans to give the judge a thorough report.

In its suit, Flying Dog alleges its First Amendment rights to free speech were violated when the commission denied the company a license to sell Raging Bitch, a Belgian-style India pale ale launched to celebrate the company's 20th anniversary in 2010.

The beer has since become a regular part of the company's lineup, Biles said.

The label includes a drawing of a dog by artist Ralph Steadman, accompanied by language the liquor commissioners labeled as "detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare."

The label reads: "Two inflammatory words ... one wild drink. Nectar imprisoned in a bottle. Let it out. It is cruel to keep a wild animal locked up. Uncap it. Release it ... stand back!! Wallow in its golden glow in a glass beneath a white foaming head. Remember, enjoying a RAGING BITCH, unleashed, untamed, unbridled -- and in heat -- is pure GONZO!! It has taken 20 years to get from there to here. Enjoy!"

Caruso and attorney Alan Gura announced their suit Monday at a news conference at a bar near the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing.

"For months (the bar owner) has had a tap handle waiting for the beer he can't get," Caruso said Tuesday.

The action by the Michigan commission smacks of state censorship, he said.

"We are so passionate about the First Amendment," Caruso said. "This is just wrong, to suppress the freedom of creative expression. When there's smoke under the door, the fire's not far behind with constitutional rights."

He said the liquor regulators had apparently anointed themselves "the thought police."

Sharon Martin, director of licensing for the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, on Tuesday said she could not comment on the suit because "we haven't received anything yet."

One of about 18 beers available through Flying Dog at any given time, Raging Bitch is distributed in 27 states, the District of Columbia and Europe, Biles said.

Depending on what happens in Michigan, the state of New Hampshire could find itself in the doghouse next.

Biles said the lone liquor commissioner in the small New England state chose not to grant Flying Dog a license to sell the beer.

"That's a little bit of a different situation," Caruso said Tuesday. "He just did not reply. I think if we resubmit later, we will be approved."

Flush with calls inquiring about his lawsuit, Caruso said he was shocked by what happened in Michigan, when their application was first denied and when they were denied again on appeal.

"Their blatant personal dislike for totally innocuous language ... it was simply a display of outrageous behavior," he said.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on March 30, 2011, 05:12:00 PM
Flying Dog's in the news!

We have "Backyard Ale" to look forward to this summer...

(https://greatsociety.org/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2FThere%E2%80%99s+nothing+like+a+Backyard+BBQ+with+good+friends%2C+good+food%2C+and+%28of+course%29+good+beer.%3Cbr+%2F%3E%3Cbr+%2F%3EThat%E2%80%99s+why+our+Brewmaster+Matt+Brophy+teamed+up+with+Chef+Bryan+Voltaggio+to+create+Backyard+Ale+-+a+smoked+amber+ale+that%E2%80%99s+the+perfect+complement+to+all+things+grilled%2C+charred%2C+broiled%2C+roasted%2C+and+%28obviously%29+smoked.%3Cbr+%2F%3EWe+brewed+our+first+batch+with+Bryan+today%2C+so+as+the+days+get+warmer%2C+this+beer+will+be+fermenting.+More+details+on+its+release+coming+soon%21&hash=50dcbc740ff348fae097045db2db59a2d11f8027)
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 12, 2011, 03:51:41 PM
The new Modern Drunkard is out...featuring an abridged version of this article:

http://www.brianmclark.com/texts/why_I_drink.html

So, you know, it you're bored like me... There you go.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 13, 2011, 06:00:29 PM
OMG! This is like the Berlin Wall coming down.

Quote
Maryland oenophiles rejoice! Now you don’t even have to leave your house or put on clothes to get your chardonnay or pinot noir. Yesterday, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed House Bill 1175, which allows direct shipment of wine to consumers in Maryland. Maryland wine drinkers can now have up to 18 cases a year shipped directly to their doorsteps, starting July 1st. The measure was largely uncontroversial, having passed the State Senate 47-0 on Friday and the House 135-1 on March 25th.

The measure puts Maryland close on par with the District and Virginia, both of which allow direct shipments of all types of liquor, as well as about 3 dozen other states. Although, as Fedward discussed last week, DC is extremely open when it comes to importing such libations. Critics employed the “think of the children” defense, but faced stiff resistance from both consumer groups and vineyards.

Here's the solitary nay:

http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/06hse/html/msa12285.html
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Cassander on April 17, 2011, 11:46:46 AM
How do they make sure you only get 18 cases a year?  Put big score marks on your front door?
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 17, 2011, 12:45:13 PM
Montgomery County is a Soviet Republic man. You probably go on a watch list or something.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Reginald McGraw on April 19, 2011, 12:15:37 AM
I'm sure it's just so they can nail you if you start a liquor store in your house.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 19, 2011, 07:20:18 AM
Like me!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Reginald McGraw on April 19, 2011, 09:35:40 AM
This really seems like an area where the government could stop regulating.  But hey, I guess they are a little.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on May 05, 2011, 05:10:27 PM
I know it's a stupid gimmick, but I love what Schlitz and, now, Genesee are doing with the "classic packaging" thing.


http://mybeerbuzz.blogspot.com/2011/05/genesee-beer-revives-classic-packaging.html?spref=fb
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 25, 2012, 12:51:43 PM
Like I needed a reason, but okay!

Quote
Drink Alcohol, Live Longer? Works for Worms

Scientists have surprisingly discovered that a mere trace of alcohol doubles the lifespan of a tiny worm that has become a workhorse in biochemistry laboratories around the world.

The dramatic finding by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests that the availability of ethanol -- the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages -- may play an important role in delaying the aging process, at least in the life of C. elegans, a benign worm that is less than .04 of an inch long.

The discovery was described as "shocking" by biochemist Steven Clarke, senior author of a study published in PLoS One, a peer-reviewed journal published by the Public Library of Science.

Clarke, who described the research with the almost giddy excitement of a man who is pursuing a great scientific adventure, admits he doesn't know why alcohol would have such a dramatic increase in the worm's lifespan, but he's certain of one thing -- it didn't take a lot of booze to trip whatever makes this tiny critter live so long.

The amount that worked best was roughly equivalent to a tablespoon of ethanol in a bathtub full of water, he said. Or for beer drinkers, that translates into one bottle of suds diluted with 100 gallons of water.

That's "basically nothing," Clarke said in a telephone interview, but it was enough for the tiny worm. The worm normally lives for only about 15 days, but a trace of alcohol extended that to up to 40 days, according to the study. If that worked for humans, we could sniff a little booze first thing in the morning and stick around for a couple of centuries.

That, unfortunately, is a really long shot. But the possibility is tantalizing, because we have much in common with C. elegans.

First, a word about the hero in this story. Half a century ago molecular biologist Sydney Brenner suggested that the tiny worm could be very useful to researchers, and the creature has since played a big role in science. It reproduces quickly during its short life, so many generations can be studied in a relatively brief period of time. It is a very simple organism, making it easier to study, yet it shares many biological systems with humans.

It has been described as "non-hazardous, non-infectious, non-pathogenic, and non-parasitic," and "transparent," and it has constantly amazed scientists. During one four-month period alone 73 articles about the worm appeared in international science journals.

The worm is particularly useful in the study of aging, and it has been at the forefront in research in Clarke's lab. Clarke and his colleagues -- Paola Castro, Shilpi Khare and Brian Young -- were using the worm to study the effects of cholesterol, which is crucial for humans but dangerous in the bloodstream. The first hint of what lay ahead came when the researchers put C. elegans larvae in a solution of ethanol, which works as a solvent, and cholesterol.

That research led to a paper showing that the cholesterol increased the lifespan of worms. But a phone call from a colleague at the California Institute of Technology introduced the first twist in this scientific journey.
Drinking Linked to Longevity in Worms

How, the colleague asked, was Clarke sure the increase was due to the cholesterol and not the ethanol?

Back to the lab, where the researchers experimented with various concentrations of ethanol, with and without cholesterol. It turned out that the cholesterol wasn't what was making the difference. It was the ethanol. Booze, in today's vernacular.

"We saw that the life extension was entirely due to the ethanol," Clarke said. "That got us going. How could a typical solvent diluted 1,000-fold have this profound effect?

"Then we found that it would work at 20,000-fold dilution," or one part ethanol to 20,000 parts water, he added. "That level was basically nothing."

The worms, incidentally, apparently enjoyed the trip. Castro, who is the lead author of the study and is now in the doctoral bioengineering program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, described it this way in releasing the study:

"What is even more interesting is the fact that the worms are in a stressed developmental stage. At high magnifications under the microscope, it was amazing to see how the worms given a little ethanol looked significantly more robust than worms not given ethanol."

In nature, the worms live in the soil and dine on bacteria, mainly from the decay of vegetation. But during the first phase of their lives, there may not be enough bacteria to keep them from starving.

"They are in the soil, no one is making it nice for them, they've got to make it nice for themselves and find bacteria to survive," he said. But it turns out that if there isn't anything there to eat, they can "arrest their growth and just hang out and hope for better conditions," possibly for as long as 10 days.

However, ethanol is frequently present in the soil from the decay of organic material, suggesting that maybe the tiny amount used in Clarke's lab was just enough nourishment to kick-start their lives. Possible, but not likely, Clarke said.

The researches experimented with various amounts of ethanol, but the worms took up only a tiny amount. They didn't pig out on all that was there. Maybe they were like binge drinkers who know they've reached a point where they should stop.

The actual mechanism that extended their lives remains pretty much of a mystery, but one is left with the question: So what? Worms are worms. Will it help us?

Clarke sees a path toward an answer. But it will take years. First, the researchers need to understand exactly how it works in the worm. Then, perhaps, they can move up to a mouse, if there is reason to believe a mouse shares a similar mechanism to that found in the worm. And then, finally, maybe to humans. But that, Clarke emphasizes, is a long shot.

"One of the most dangerous things you can do is try to make extrapolations from one organism to another, especially over this evolutionary distance," he said. But he is haunted by the fact that numerous research projects have shown that a limited amount of alcohol is beneficial to the human cardiovascular system.

That's still under debate, and alcohol is a dangerous drug, so the benefits -- if they are real -- do not come without liabilities. But if the life-extending mechanism can be found, perhaps some other compound, with fewer liabilities, will also work.

"We are excited," Clarke said.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on January 25, 2012, 01:55:52 PM
We don't need worms. Human studies say that moderate drinking reduces the risk of strokes, heart attacks, enlarged prostates, some cancers, and dementia. Of course, moderate = one normal drink a day and no more. But, still...

There's a reason we've been brewing for 10,000 years. The making and consumption of alcoholic beverages predates written language. There are some contingents who believe that the shift to agriculture was more focused on brewing and distilling (primarily for religious purposes) than the pursuit of food. Though that's a heated argument...
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 25, 2012, 01:57:22 PM
Whatever justifies my AM snort of Wild Turkey.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on January 25, 2012, 02:05:29 PM
Well...

But, on that topic, "cocktails" pre-prohibition were breakfast drinks. We still see that lingering a bit (mimosas and bloody marys).

So, if this were the 19-teen's, then...well...we'd still be concerned.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on June 29, 2012, 12:17:16 PM
Inbev buys out Modela (and Corona):

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-06-29/ab-inbev-seals-20-billion-modelo-purchase-to-gain-corona-owner
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on July 12, 2012, 03:15:25 PM
Doesn't take much to get a Brit up in arms, does it?

Quote
Heineken, official Olympic beer, condemned by British politician/pub advocate

London conjures images of crowded pubs, which conjure images of pints of beer, which conjure the taste of … Heineken?

Well, not really. Which is why having the Dutch brewery's lager as the official beer for the London Olympic Games has drawn the ire of Greg Mulholland, a Liberal Democrat MP and chair of the "All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group," whose meetings we simply must attend one day.

Mulholland recently blasted the IOC for its selection of Heineken, claiming it was an affront to the celebration of British culture that are the London Games, saying:

    "Beer is the UK's national drink and the country has a strong and ancient tradition of brewing; by choosing a mass produced bland foreign lager, the committee has ignored all the wonderful, traditional beers that the UK has to offer and instead gone for the company with the biggest cheque book.

    "The Olympic Games is a prime opportunity for Britain to showcase the best of British, including the opportunity to promote its traditional beers and its thriving brewing industry. By opting for Heineken as the official beer, the opportunity has been lost. The decision is completely at odds with the strong positive British identity of the bid and the forthcoming London 2012 Olympics."

Mulholland tabled a Commons motion (essentially a topic for debate) this week that labeled the IOC's choice of Heineken as a "wholly inappropriate decision" with "the UK being one of the world's leading brewing nations."

(The Netherlands, for the record, exports a greater percentage of the beer it produces than any country in the world — 50 percent.)

Facing this type of political pushback, Heineken released this statement via The Drink Business:

    "As the UK's leading beer and cider business, Heineken is proud to have been chosen as an official supplier and partner to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, building on an association that goes back 20 years.

    "We are unequivocally committed to the responsible marketing of our beers and ciders and our long track record of sponsoring international sporting events like the Heineken Cup, Uefa Champions League and the Rugby World Cup bears testimony to this."

It released a short statement to the Guardian as well:

    "In addition to Heineken lager, we will supply London 2012 venues with the nation's favourite ale, British-brewed John Smith's, and the nation's favourite cider, British-made Strongbow."

So Heineken is a Dutch import, but the other two brands offered at Olympic sites are made in the U.K.

But they still aren't the type of brews that symbolize London's love of beer, at least in the eyes of advocates like Greg Mulholland. The IOC should have chosen something like Carling … which is owned by Molson Coors, of course. (Awkward.)

We'll just go ahead and assume that this protest against Heineken has something to do with beer costing 7.23 pounds (or just over $11) at Olympic venues. Because on top of paying that for beer, Londoners are paying that for Dutch beer.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on July 12, 2012, 03:20:28 PM
It's a big problem. The big companies are basically destroying the local pub experience... And have certainly irrevocably changed it already. It's one of those things where the only thing that stands between every pub being a chain owned by Inbev or somebody is an NPO with an aged membership (and me!).

And you should join, too!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaign_for_Real_Ale
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: monkey! on September 09, 2012, 09:41:14 AM
Most 'lagers' taste like shit. A good English ale, or German/Slavic Pilsner should always be chosen.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: monkey! on September 09, 2012, 09:43:28 AM
In Paris there is a chain of English bars, the "Frog" pubs - e.g. Frog & Rosbeef, Frog & Princess - each of which has a micro-brewery serving 4 or 5 of their own beers/ales alongside the mass produced stuff.

Tasty fun for Sunday afternoons.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on September 10, 2012, 11:16:30 AM
In Paris there is a chain of English bars, the "Frog" pubs - e.g. Frog & Rosbeef, Frog & Princess - each of which has a micro-brewery serving 4 or 5 of their own beers/ales alongside the mass produced stuff.

Tasty fun for Sunday afternoons.

And Monday mornings!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: monkey! on September 10, 2012, 11:37:55 AM
They don't open until midday I think.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on September 18, 2012, 10:42:20 AM
Dc has two new breweries -- the first truly local breweries since 1956. So it's time to love them up a bit.

Chocolate City Beer:

http://www.chocolatecitybeer.com

Three Stars:

http://www.threestarsbrewing.com/

Haven't tried either yet...but plan to ASAP!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on September 27, 2012, 04:00:53 PM
http://uncrate.com/stuff/churchkey-beer/ (http://uncrate.com/stuff/churchkey-beer/)

Quote
Believe it or not, beer used to come in cans that required you to put in a bit of work before you could enjoy their hoppy essence. Churchkey Beer ($TBA) is looking to bring that experience back with a flavorful, golden Pilsner that comes in a flat-top can — leaving you only one way to get the sudsy goodness out. Extra points for friends that have a churchkey on hand without you warning them first.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on September 27, 2012, 04:19:52 PM
Each case used to come with a churchkey!

I hate shticks like this. The "canned beer come back" routine is getting silly. Cheaper for them to produce, yet given this pallor of nostalgia that allows them to still charge $7 a beer.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on February 12, 2013, 12:37:01 PM
Ooh...

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/alcohol_abuse_maker_mark_watering_AZ4jgR0ULxevDXLlE6uRRO

Nasty, nasty...

Quote
The distillery behind Maker’s Mark bourbon is reducing the amount of alcohol to meet a rise in global demand, company officials said today.

Maker’s Mark is distilled to 45 percent alcohol by volume — or 90 proof — and, after the change, would go down to about 42 percent ABV or 84 proof.

“Lately we’ve been hearing from many of you that you’ve been having difficulty finding Maker’s Mark in your local stores,” Maker’s Mark executives Rob Samuels and Bill Samuels Jr. wrote in a joint email to clients.

“Fact is, demand for our bourbon is exceeding our ability to make it, which means we’re running very low on supply.”

The bourbon brand — which famously used the slogan “It tastes expensive... and is” in the ‘60s and ‘70s — looked at “all possible solutions” and “worked carefully” to reduce the alcohol by volume of the beverage by 3 percent.

Company execs said the move would ensure there is "enough Maker’s Mark to go around" while it boosts production at its distillery, but the move is sure to leave a bitter taste in the mouths of some drinkers.

"Usually you're going to notice that," Williamsburg bartender Erik Lane, 31, said of the lowering in proof. "If I started putting a half shot of water in the bottom of everyone's beer just to make the keg last longer they'd notice."

"I don't think the proof really matters [for a drink to be enjoyable]. But when that's your reason for doing it, I just think that's a cheap business practice," Lane, an occasional Maker's Mark imbiber, added.

It is unclear when the watered-down beverages will hit the market.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on March 22, 2013, 12:27:40 PM
While we wait for the next issue of Modern Drunkard to be shipped...here's a great op-ed from the editor:

Quote
Congratulations, You Made the Cut
We are all alcoholics. I am not saying this in the same tones as “We are all Columbine,”  “We are all Haiti” and all those other ridiculous statements made by those who, perhaps because they don’t have sufficient tragedy in their own lives, attempt to vampirically co-opt the suffering of those who have recently been dealt too much. No, I am referring to the American Psychiatric Association’s recent guidelines about what defines an alcoholic. They have, to paraphrase Mr. Churchill, “broadened the seas to fit more rowboats.” For example, if you are a college student who binges (drinks one drink an hour for five straight hours) once a month, you are an alcoholic. An addict. And you probably thought you were just having a few beers at the game, but there it is.

I’m certain the real serious drinkers, those who perhaps binge twice or even three times a month, will experience a slight twinge of irritation at seeing all these new pledges (if the study is adhered to, our ranks will swell by 60%) being awarded that hard title so easily. It’s as if the Army’s Airborne school suddenly removed the requirement of jumping out of airplanes and started awarding jump wings for sticking your head out a window that is at least five stories off the ground.

At the same time, it’s good to know the tribe is growing and quickly. Probably not all of the new arrivals will want to actually be identified as alcoholics, at least not in certain company, but they’ll come around. And once the APA lowers the standards to the point that a quarter of the population are alcoholics (and they will), we will become a powerful voting bloc. Soon there will be whiskey coolers in every office, and January 1st will be National Hangover Day, a federal holiday.

Of course, broadening the power of the Alcoholic Party is not the APA’s intention. Quite the opposite. Their intention, and I am one-hundred percent sure of this, is to shame moderate drinkers into not drinking at all. Why? Because (come through the looking glass with me) the APA is nothing more than a front group for Big Pharma, the makers of those expensive psychoactive pills with harrowing side-effects half the population seems to be addicted to. But half is not good enough, and they will not get a crack at the other half until that uncooperative element stops self-medicating with the booze. It’s no coincidence that The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the biggest bankroller of neo-prohibitionist groups, was created by (and named for) one of the high priests of Big Pharma.

Another unintended consequence of lowering the standards is this: when someone who is plainly not an alcoholic becomes defined as an alcoholic, it forces the victim industry to come up with new terminology to describe those of us who “binge” so often that “binge” stops being the right word. If you’re going to start calling house cats tigers, then you’re going to be forced to start calling tigers something like Super Tigerasaurus Rex. In our case, they’ll have to start calling we drunks  supremaholics or  totallyinsaneaholics. Or perhaps an old word will be dug up and put back to use. Like drunkard.

So if you suddenly find yourself standing within the velvet ropes of alcoholism, let me be the first to welcome you to the party. It’s a helluva club, I think you’re going to dig it. You should also be aware we have this long-standing tradition about the new guy buying the drinks.

—Frank Kelly Rich
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on April 28, 2014, 07:31:45 PM
This is big...

http://www.bethesdanow.com/2014/04/28/is-the-end-near-for-county-controlled-alcohol-distribution/

Quote
The debate over Montgomery County’s control of alcohol distribution was reignited on Friday with this Washington Post opinion piece from a member of the county’s Nighttime Economy Task Force and a prominent Silver Spring restaurant owner.

Evan Glass, who served on the Task Force and who is running for County Council in District 5, and restaurant owner Jackie Greenbaum wrote that it’s time to end the Department of Liquor Control’s monopoly on alcohol distribution.
Glass and Greenbaum argued the county’s control model — which dates back to the Great Depression — restricts the variety of wine, beer and liquor county restaurants can acquire. The two argued that this “outdated approach cries for reform,” as it has led to prospective restaurants and other businesses opening up shop elsewhere:
The county could still maintain its stores and liquor distribution for those restaurants and individuals who prefer the status quo, but others who want better inventory management and options would be free to purchase outside the county system. By taking this step, the county can lift a burden from many small businesses and encourage economic growth while increasing consumer options.

Like the rest of the country, the Washington region has experienced a surge of interest in craft beer, small-batch liquor and family-run wineries. But Montgomery County’s top-down system stymies residents and restaurateurs who want to try new products. We know a number of restaurateurs who have chosen to set up shop in other jurisdictions as a result. On the supply side, some producers and importers — especially the small, cutting-edge, boutique or craft makers — don’t sell to the Department of Liquor Control because of its cumbersome procedures and the diminished market for their products in the county.
Kathie Durbin, chief of Licensure, Regulation and Education for the Department of Liquor Control, has a different opinion. Small breweries and wineries in the county can now sell to other restaurants in the county, thanks to state legislation Durbin helped craft.

She said the Department has also worked hard to improve its distribution service and expand the selection of alcohol brands it offers.
“I understand where [Glass] is coming from and what he’s saying. I think a lot of this comes from the fact that people can’t get certain products that they can get in D.C. I don’t think we’d be able to get them even if the Department of Liquor Control didn’t exist,” Durbin said. “There is a state regulation side to this that a lot of people don’t understand. Also, there are some products — small wineries and small batch products — that just aren’t available everywhere.
“The problem is, I think a lot of times we’re comparing ourselves to D.C. I don’t think there’s any market like the Washington D.C. market,” Durbin said. “You don’t want to deregulate so much that there are safety concerns.”
The DLC is projected to make $20.7 million for the county’s budget this fiscal year. That profit has been a major reason why the control model has stuck around.
County Executive Isiah Leggett confirmed as much on Monday, when in an online chat he answered a question about the county’s strict control model of distribution:
This is a unique time in our history to go back and reevaluate the County’s position on liquor control and alcohol distribution. In past studies, the loss of revenue proved to be a difficult hurdle. If there is a model that can feasibly overcome the revenue loss, I am fully willing to consider it. We are looking at commissioning a new study that will address this issue.

Glass and Greenbaum, who owns Jackie’s and Quarry House in Silver Spring, said the millions the county makes in distribution doesn’t take into account “the economic energy that would be freed by easing control, which would attract new business and expand the county’s tax base, and a fee structure could be imposed to recoup some of the lost revenue.”
Durbin said as a Silver Spring resident and former bartender in Bethesda, she understands what restaurants face. The DLC has been behind a number of alcohol law changes for Montgomery County that because of state law, must be passed in Annapolis.
This year’s General Assembly passed measures to allow microbreweries in Montgomery County and allow those microbreweries to sell directly to other restaurants in the county. The county has licensed two such new facilities so far — Baying Hound Aleworks in Rockville and Denizens Brewing Co. in Silver Spring.
The law would also allow existing restaurants that brew their own beer — such as Rock Bottom in Bethesda — to sell their products with growlers or even six-packs.
Durbin said it’s unclear if there’s a market for such products.
She also said DLC is unveiling an improved online ordering system that will make it easier for restaurants and alcohol sellers to see what the county has available in its warehouse. DLC this year lowered the cost of special orders.
“With any type of alcohol laws that are state laws, it’s difficult to keep up with the trends that are constantly moving,” Durbin said.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on May 23, 2014, 01:33:34 PM
Ah...the People's Republic of Montgomery County. A dry county, with absurd liquor regulations. Everyone must buy from the county liquor board -- citizens, companies, restaurants...

A short while ago, Drybar, a Bethesda hot spot that charges foul neo-yuppie scum $20 for a blow dry, successfully lobbied for the right to serve beer and wine. This, of course, had been verboten on every level in MoCo... Drybar's success was shocking...and it was the first brick knocked out of the pseudo-prohibition wall.

Since winning their case, Drybar has actively been endorsing candidates who are opposed to the county liquor laws and, one by one, those who are not against the laws have been falling into line.

Most experts agree that the Department of Liquor Control's days are numbered...
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on May 23, 2014, 01:45:22 PM

Most experts agree that the Department of Liquor Control's days are numbered...

Because it's not 1922 anymore.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on May 23, 2014, 02:32:11 PM
An interesting flipside to the argument against the DLC is what will the county do with the sudden revenue loss? Annual sales to the licenses (the restaurants) alone equal a quarter billion. That's not including sales to individuals.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Reginald McGraw on May 23, 2014, 04:21:15 PM
Oh please. They'll just recoup that in liquor licenses.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on May 23, 2014, 04:26:44 PM
And, no doubt, a huge sin tax.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on May 28, 2014, 01:02:38 PM
Esquire's Best Bars in America is a little saccharine... They have trouble getting off the Left Coast, and their taste of NOLA doesn't extend past the Quarter... But at least we get one hit for DC!

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/food-for-men/best-bars-in-america-2014#slide-1
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on June 19, 2014, 11:48:52 AM
The battle for booze in the People's Republic of Montgomery County gets another win:

Quote
Those who failed to closely read the listing for Republic’s First Annual 4th of July Freedom Fest in Takoma Park may have missed a particularly interesting tidbit beyond the fun sounding event. The press release notes that the barbecue/beer/freedom festival will celebrate the “passage of [a] new law enabling microbreweries to self-distribute in Montgomery County.” Montgomery County is notable not just in the area but nationwide for its stringent alcohol distribution laws, but a new state law that goes into effect July 1 should go a long way toward making some craft breweries’ (and also some wineries’) lives easier.

Maryland House Bill 132 was signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley on May 15. Far from a maze of legalese, the three page piece of legislation is more or less to the point. Starting July 1, holders of certain licenses and permits (both in- and out-of-state) will be legally allowed to “sell or deliver its own beer to a county liquor dispensary, a restaurant, or any other retail dealer in Montgomery County,” and conversely, these entities will be legally allowed to buy that beer. This is what is known as “self-distribution,” where a brewer skips the middle man and sells directly to retailers. This scenario is not unheard of; DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) allows breweries within the District’s borders to self-distribute, and brewers like 3 Stars Brewing Company and Right Proper Brewing Company both do so.

To put into perspective why this a big deal, here is a short crash course on how alcohol distribution works in Montgomery County. Recall that the three tier system has producers (read: breweries), distributors, and retailers. Breweries sell their beers to distributors. Distributors then turn around and sell these beers to bars, restaurants, and bottle shops/liquor stores, who then sell to consumers.

Montgomery County is what is known as a “full control jurisdiction,” and, “is the only jurisdiction in the United States that controls the distribution of the big three—beer, wine, and liquor—and it’s been handling this puritanical duty since late 1933, when the county decided the best way to limit the supply of fire water to its residents was to put the government in charge” (to read more, check out Tim Carman’s great 2007 article). In Montgomery County, the distribution tier is not quite the same as elsewhere. Instead of distributors selling directly to retail establishments, they prepare a brewer’s portfolio for sale to Montgomery County’s Department of Liquor Control (DLC) and coordinate the logistics of getting beer to the DLC. The DLC operates a countywide warehouse from which bars and restaurants place orders. The county then delivers the product to the retail establishments.

The complete set of merits and demerits of the “full control jurisdiction” is a topic for another post, but trust that complaints are common from brewers, distributors, and retailers (again, Tim Carman’s 2007 post has more). Here are just a few of the reasons for this: beer deliveries from the DLC are less frequent; the DLC’s mark-up for handling the product (in addition to the state’s excise tax on alcohol) makes products more expensive; and special order beers that are not regularly stocked by the DLC both take longer to process through the system and can get lost between the two different distributors’ warehouses they need to go through. This last is a serious problem because the DLC warehouse essentially becomes a fourth tier in the system. This additional step opens up more opportunities for unfortunate things to happen to beer, e.g., fresh IPAs going stale, which is especially possible since, according to Robison, the DLC does not store beer in refrigerators.  (To read the county’s defense of being a “control jurisdiction” you can read this, um, somewhat biased FAQ.)

Tim Liu, beer director for Scion Restaurant’s two locations (Dupont Circle and Silver Spring) and Crios Modern Mexican (Dupont Circle) has experienced life under both distribution schemes and the problems described above. “The biggest difference for me was the delivery schedule. In DC, you place an order and receive the product the following day. Compare that to [Montgomery County], where it can take 1-3 weeks for delivery. Only the largest, high volume brands are available for same week delivery.” On product selection, he adds, “When it comes to availability, Montgomery County has most of the same major breweries. The difference is in the specialty beers, most of which never see Montgomery County,” but if they do they “are significantly more expensive.”

The new law coming online allows for some breweries to bypass the DLC warehouse process and self-distribute to the bars, restaurants, and liquor stores that will ultimately sell beer to consumers. Self-distribution in this case will help to correct each of the grievances above. For example, if a brewery wanted to make sure that certain rarities were only received by certain venues (because the brewer and the beer director have a good working relationship, for example), a brewery could now self-distribute these beers directly into the hands of specific retailers. Further, because of an approximate two week lag between a beer's arrival at the DLC and its delivery to a venue, needed kegs could get to a retailer much quicker if need be (say for an event). An even bigger advantage is that by avoiding the DLC mark-up, these self-distributed kegs could (keyword: could) also be offered at a substantial discount to the retailer. Of course, whether that discount would be passed on to consumers remains to be seen. Worth noting is that the change is not “all-or-nothing;” brewers can self-distribute the beers they choose to when they choose to and distribute the rest of their product via the normal tiered system.

The keyword in the paragraph above is "some," as the new law only applies to breweries with a certain class of license or permit (specifically Class 7 microbrewery or wholesaler’s licenses in-state and nonresident brewery permit owners out-of-state). In Maryland, Class 7 microbreweries are those that produce 22,500 BBLs of beer or less annually (for reference, DCBrau's 2013 barrelage was over 12,000 and Port City's was 9,000). Class 7 breweries are permitted to self-distribute up to 3,000 BBLs of beer per year in Maryland. Some of the larger craft breweries in Maryland (e.g., Flying Dog, Heavy Seas) are Class 5 licensees and are not permitted to self-distribute under the new law.

Still, for those breweries eligible to take advantage of the law change, this is good news. “I think it is a boon to both small brewers and MoCo consumers,” says Volker Stewart, co-owner of The Brewer’s Art in Baltimore, “It is a huge step in loosening MoCo, which had one of the more challenging sets of rules for small brewers.”

Bill Butcher, founder of Alexandria’s Port City Brewing Company, which is eligible to self-distribute under H.B. 132, echoed these sentiments. “We see this as a positive development. This will make it easier for our customers, the bars, restaurants and retail stores that carry our beer, to get our products in stock and available for sale,” says Butcher. “It won’t replace the county’s distribution system, but it will reduce the friction that we see between our accounts and the DLC. We are not a large producer, and our small quantity items can get lost in the system. This will allow us to get our beers to our customers more quickly and efficiently.”

Republic’s Brett Robison says that brewers are “the big winners” while “prudent retailers” have gained a “significant victory” and “consumers” a “mild” one “with some unintended consequences.” He foresees “an inevitable surge in the local craft beer scene and a progressive disengagement in regional craft and big beer” by the public because of having access to “more options at a lower price and fresher beer.” His fellow beer director, Tim Liu, adds, “If what I've heard is correct, I think it is a huge advantage for young, local breweries. One of the obstacles for a young brewery is choosing the right distributor for their brand. I think it gives the brewery much more control, without forcing them to commit to a specific distributor.”

The impetus for this bill came from the coming-this-summer Denizens Brewing Company in Silver Spring. Brett Robison tells DCBeer, “Emily Bruno and Jeffrey Ramirez did a bunch of research and case compiling which Julie Verratti then presented to MD ABC / Montgomery County DLC.” Bruno, Jeffrey, and Verratti are all owners of Denizens. “Julie went before several different rounds of politicos and put the state of affairs into a frightening matter of fact sense for legislators,” continues Robison. Verratti says that when she and her partners were looking for a place to start a brewpub, recent legislative wins attracted them to Montgomery County: “We chose Montgomery County because the state had just recently (as of July 1, 2013) passed laws allowing class 5 breweries to sell pints without food in MoCo and allowed for self distribution in almost all counties in the state other than MoCo,” she explains. “The county had also recently created a Nighttime Economy Task Force to look at potential law or policy changes to create a better climate for social industries, including alcohol. We took this as a sign that the county was open to new ideas and ripe for change, so we jumped on the opportunity.”

Once MoCo was identified as moving progressively on alcohol regulations (mindbogglingly to anyone who has followed it over the years), the Denizens team met with Montgomery County councilman Hans Riemer. From there they testified in front of the aforementioned Nighttime Economy Task Force and submitted legislation to Maryland’s Montgomery County delegation in Annapolis. Their argument was one that emphasized the economic and jobs boost that more lenient regulations would have, and even the county DLC bought into the idea. “We worked directly with Kathie Durbin at the DLC and Delegate Sam Arora to craft the legislative language. This led to county and state officials from every level and office not only supporting, but directly advocating for allowing breweries to self-distribute,” says Verratti. Was changing the regulations in one of the staunchest and most stringent counties in America difficult? Surprisingly not, Verratti tells us: “From an economic development and job creation perspective changing this law was a no brainer.” (For those readers voting on the basis of beer support, other legislators who were helpful, according to Verratti were Delegate Tom Hucker, currently running for council in MoCo, and state senator Jamie Raskin.)

Now that they can self-distribute, we should expect to see craft breweries with the appropriate licenses going bar-to-bar like IPA milkmen (and milkwomen) daily selling $1 DIPAs, right? Not so fast. Remember that there would be a lot of overhead and infrastructure required to cut both traditional distributors and the DLC entirely out of the process. Taking, filling, delivering, and accounting for orders are just some of the tasks that a brewery would be required to take on themselves through self-distribution. This means that in most cases more personnel would need to be hired and fuel and vehicle costs incurred, among others. Multiple breweries we spoke with said they just didn’t have the infrastructure to make that work and would continue, for the most part, to use the extant process.

Port City’s Bill Butcher notes, “I can only speak for ourselves, but obviously if we start our own limited self-distribution, this puts us in the role of a wholesaler. This role carries its own overhead and business challenges. It will not affect our prices. We see it as a convenient option for our customers to get our products more efficiently.”

The Brewer’s Art’s Volker Stewart says of the price question, “Without having a concrete plan just yet, I can say without hesitation that kegs coming directly from us will be substantially cheaper for the retailer than they were paying the DLC.” Don’t expect this to completely reform the cost structure of beers in MoCo, however. Cheaper prices on whichever kegs (and it sounds like it will be a very small percentage of the overall volume in the county) are self-distributed won’t turn the tide completely. Even Robison, who is optimistic about the legislation, writes that, “Kegs will be cheaper and order will be significantly easier (assuming many breweries adopt self-distribution.)”

From the retailer’s side, Scion’s Tim Liu says, “I don't see any reason for breweries to charge less than [they] do in other markets. But if they did, we would probably pass along those savings. Our pricing is strictly based on the cost of goods, not the scarcity, demand, or any other factors.”

And what of the benefits for the firebrands behind this legislative change? Why rock the boat when you haven’t sold your first pint yet? Julie Verratti from Denizens points out that

Being able to self-distribute will allow us to get our product in the door at many more bars and restaurants than prior to the law change. As other breweries know, this is so important when you are just starting out. If we had to sell our beer to the DLC ahead of time we wouldn't have as much control over quality, quantity, or even timeliness in delivery. When you add all of those factors up it is nearly impossible for a start-up brewery to sell in the system. We want our beer to be accessible to anyone and having more channels to sell it only makes that easier.This change has solidified for us that we made the right choice when we chose Montgomery County, MD over DC.

Even brewers who are not affected by this change see it as a benefit. “We view wins for any individual or type of brewery as a win for the overall industry,” says Flying Dog’s Chief Marketing Officer Ben Savage. “While we're all growing strong, craft is still a marginal percentage of the overall beer market, so what is good for a small segment of craft is most often good for all craft breweries… We support most initiatives that further the availability and exposure of craft beer in the State of Maryland.” Aside from the sentiment of camaraderie, Savage also points out that Flying Dog isn’t a good candidate for self-distribution anyway: “...at our size, self-distribution (and all of the logistics that come with it) is not an option for us nor something we plan on pursuing.”

From a craft beer angle, the consensus from the craft beer community is that the passage of H.B. 132 is both an unexpected and positive development. With a new brewpub coming in, political representatives who seem responsive to the realities in the market and eager to attract more of the buzz of the craft beer segment, retailers who want their beer menus to someday rival those we enjoy in the District, and consumers seeking out ever more delicious suds, the Montgomery County craft beer market, long thought to be stodgy and pseudo-prohibitionist, all of a sudden looks adaptable and progressive (at least compared to its former self). As Julie Verratti concludes, “We only see good things on the horizon for the DMV beer scene coming out of this new legislation.” Surprisingly, we agree.

The author is grateful to Chris Van Orden, Jacob Berg, Brett Robison, and John Fleury for their assistance in the writing of this article.

- See more at: http://www.dcbeer.com/news/new-law-signals-big-beer-changes-montgomery-county#sthash.kYfA9mqA.dpuf
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on July 01, 2014, 03:55:58 PM
Today's the day the Drybar Bill kicked in! There are many other changes, as well. Slow progress...


Quote
The so-called “Drybar Bill” went into effect Tuesday, which the Bethesda Row location of the hair salon chain celebrated with a proclamation from Gov. Martin O’Malley.

O’Malley proclaimed July 1 “Buttercup Day,” in reference to Drybar’s yellow blow dryer mascot.
The business opened in October 2012 at 4840 Bethesda Ave., where regional manager Courtney Barfield realized employees weren’t allowed to serve customers complimentary glasses of champagne — a Drybar staple.
“We just weren’t willing to accept that,” Barfield said. “There was no license available whatsoever.”
Barfield and Drybar worked with District 16 Del. Ariana Kelly to push legislation in this year’s General Assembly to allow for Montgomery County hair salons to provide complimentary wine, beer and champagne. It was one of many changes to loosen alcohol regulations in Montgomery County.
O’Malley signed the bills on May 5 in Annapolis.
“It’s part of our overall experience. Women want to come here, they want to relax and they want to be pampered,” Barfield said.
Tuesday marks the first day hair salons can apply for the special license, so Drybar won’t actually be able to serve bubbly for about 30 days.
Other alcohol bills for Montgomery County that take effect Tuesday concern many of the issues discussed by the county’s Nighttime Economy Task Force. Starting Tuesday, the required alcohol-to-food gross sales ratio for county restaurants is 60-40, more lenient than the 50-50 requirement before.
Restaurants will be required to sell 40 percent food at a minimum only until 9 p.m. County delegates led a charge to allow an extra hour of alcohol service, so last call will be 2 a.m. on weeknights and 3 a.m. on weekends and the nights before certain federal holidays.
One law will allow microbreweries to distribute their own beer — meaning those entities don’t have to distribute through the county’s Department of Liquor Control.
Another microbrewery law removes the restriction that requires microbreweries to be fully licensed restaurants before being able to sell beer.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on December 23, 2014, 05:41:45 PM
This is priceless. Posting the whole thing got weird, so click through to read the actual missive.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2878870/Pub-landlord-posts-hilarious-list-rules-year-Christmas-drinkers-abide-bar.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2878870/Pub-landlord-posts-hilarious-list-rules-year-Christmas-drinkers-abide-bar.html)

Quote
Don't order cranberry juice and hot girls get served first: Pub landlord posts hilarious list of rules for once-a-year Christmas drinkers to abide by in his bar
-Pubs braced for huge spike in trade as people head to bars for Christmas
-But landlord has pointed out that the boom in business is not trouble-free
-He endorses set of rules which call on festive drinkers to respect regulars
-They demand newcomers order in rounds and don't 'cajole' bar staff
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 07, 2015, 09:07:25 AM
Who knew this was going on?

http://www.baltimoremagazine.net/2015/3/6/flying-dog-wins-six-year-raging-bitch-case (http://www.baltimoremagazine.net/2015/3/6/flying-dog-wins-six-year-raging-bitch-case)

Quote
Flying Dog Wins Six-Year Raging Bitch Case
The United States Court of Appeals ruled that a liquor commissioner was violating the brewery's freedom of speech.

Frederick-based Flying Dog Brewery is known for its unconventional beer names and crazy label art, drawn by Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas illustrator Ralph Steadman. Probably the most provocative out there is its Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA.

Well, back in 2009, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission prohibited the beer from being sold in its state, deeming the Raging Bitch label "detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the general public."

After a six-year long process of appeals, denials, and lawsuits, the United States Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that the commission can be held accountable for violating Flying Dog Brewery's First Amendment rights.

"This ruling is invigorating," says Flying Dog CEO Jim Caruso. "It's taken a few years, but now appointed bureaucrats are accountable for imposing their personal agendas and prejudices on the public, and for committing the crime of violating Flying Dog's right to freedom of speech. This is refreshing, and I hope this Federal Court ruling benefits breweries, wineries and distilleries in other states, as well."

The ruling will allow Flying Dog to recover damages from the loss of sales during the ban, which Caruso plans to use to establish a Freedom of Speech Society in Frederick.

We think Hunter S. Thompson would be proud.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on March 08, 2015, 01:21:14 PM
I knew about it! I even went to a Raging Bitch dinner at the Dish to support the cause.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on March 11, 2015, 10:51:53 AM
RC and I have been commenting for a while at how our alcohol consumption has gone down... Now science steps in!

http://io9.com/booze-consumption-changes-pretty-dramatically-over-a-pe-1690661900

Quote
in men especially, total alcohol consumption decreases with age, but frequency of consumption actually increases, as our drinking habits become less of a weekend-binge thing and more of a glass-of-wine-at-dinner thing.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 11, 2015, 11:44:36 AM
Tell that to bottle of Scotch I'm nursing while drawing storyboards.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on March 11, 2015, 12:11:00 PM
Tell that to bottle of Scotch I'm nursing while drawing storyboards.

That's depression-related, not age-related.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 11, 2015, 12:18:17 PM
Tell that to bottle of Scotch I'm nursing while drawing storyboards.

That's depression-related, not age-related.

That made me snarf my coffee.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: monkey! on March 18, 2015, 03:04:05 PM
Geez... it's increasing for me. At least 40 pints of Guinness, and a handful of bottles of red this last week or so, plus shots of liquor.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on March 18, 2015, 04:13:04 PM
You're still young. The dark days are all ahead of you!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: monkey! on March 26, 2015, 02:19:43 PM
I'm just glad I no longer keep bottles of peat-cask scotch in my apartment.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on June 13, 2015, 02:40:17 PM
The battle rages on in MoCo!

Quote
The Montgomery County Council committee examining ways to reform the county’s Department of Liquor Control (DLC) focused in on one option Friday—privatizing special orders.

Special orders are types of craft beer, small production wines and non-mainstream liquors that are not regularly carried in the department’s stock inventory. Unlike the stock items that are typically ordered from producers—such as Miller, Budweiser and Smirnoff Vodka—special order items are ordered from wholesalers.

The extra layer in distributing special orders has led to a number of problems involving private-owned beer and wine stores as well as restaurants, which  have complained about prices and that they can’t get the items they want, when they want them.

By taking special orders out of the hands of the DLC and opening the business to the many private alcohol distributors that operate in the state, the council committee hopes these problems will be resolved.

However...

Quote
Also, the move wouldn’t result in a significant decline in the department’s approximately $30 million in profits as special orders only generate an estimated $5 million to $7 million of the department’s profits.

Ummmm... That's a significant decline, idiots...
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Reginald McGraw on June 15, 2015, 04:01:09 PM
What's 20-25% among friends??
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on June 29, 2015, 11:31:26 AM
Here we go!

Quote
County Council to introduce Department of Liquor Control reform resolution

The Montgomery County Council is scheduled to introduce legislation Tuesday to reform the Department of Liquor Control’s “special order products” process, which primarily involves the purchase and delivery of craft beer and limited production wines. The resolution asks that the state pass legislation allowing the county to privatize the sale of specific beer and wines so private alcohol distributors can market and sell the products in the county. An ad hoc liquor committee examined issues surrounding special order products as part of a broader examination of distribution and delivery problems at the DLC. The county plans to charge the private distributors a fee to distribute the alcohol to offset revenue lost through the privatization plan, according to the resolution.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on June 29, 2015, 11:34:35 AM
Maryland strikes me as being vaguely fascist in all aspects of governance, not just booze.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on June 29, 2015, 01:37:11 PM
Maryland strikes me as being vaguely fascist in all aspects of governance, not just booze.

Fascism: Centralized, authoritarian, nationalistic, and right-wing.

Maryland is semi-socialist -- From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on June 29, 2015, 05:51:51 PM
You're not arguing that Maryland is some socialist Utopia, are you? If you mean Orwellian socialist, I might give it to you.

They have more prohibitory laws on the books than any other state in the union, including all their stupid booze laws.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on June 30, 2015, 07:51:11 AM
You're not arguing that Maryland is some socialist Utopia, are you? If you mean Orwellian socialist, I might give it to you.

They have more prohibitory laws on the books than any other state in the union, including all their stupid booze laws.

No. Not saying it's a Utopia at all. I would think our modern history has showed us that there is no Utopian socialist state.  You see no menace in the "to each according to his contribution" part there? That rang alarm bells in 1890 with people who actually felt and cared about the world, and has ever since.

As for the DLC, though, I don't see it as too prohibitive. It's a money grab, pure and simple. They even admit to this. It's also worth noting that 32 states have a DLC. 18 of those 32 do what Maryland does, the remainder operate behind the scenes and control the issue of licenses, which, in all cases, are limited. All of those 32 states have an equally prohibitive control over booze. You may just not always notice it because only 18 of those 32 states have created a monopoly (in that hard liquor is only available through government outlets). Also worth noting is that, in Maryland, only Montgomery County does this. The DLC is the brainchild of the county government, though it is using state laws.

MoCo's DLC spearheaded the "direct sale" aspect in the 1950s. MoCo is, essentially, an extension of the state licensing board. The goal was to create a government monopoly on the sale of hard liquor so that the revenue, generated by the community, could be returned to the community. The intent was for proceeds to go to public works and social programs. Thus..."socialism," in a loosely defined way. If it were fascism, then liquor would be banned entirely and not available (temperance often walked hand-in-hand with fascist governments... The Nazis curtailed drinking and created prohibitive laws, and had more regulations against the tobacco industry than we do today).
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on June 30, 2015, 08:26:10 AM
Oh, and, I should also point out that, without the DLC, this is who would be in charge of alcohol in the US (as is the case in those states who do not have a DLC):

http://ithinkaboutbeer.com/2015/01/27/ab-inbev-why-it-matters-who-owns-the-brewery/

http://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/inbev-warns-wholesalers-not-to-distribute-craft-show-loyalty.8951/page-6

http://www.reddit.com/r/beer/comments/17ofyt/list_of_inbev_brands_in_case_you_would_like_to/

InBev and the conglomerates are going to (have done?) destroy the beer industry. Government regulation in America is actually very progressive in terms of using the DLC's to foster local, craft brews (as is the case in Minnesota but, sadly, not in Maryland). The MoCo DLC's refusal to fly the flag for the craft beer industry is one of the sticking points, actually, that may spell its demise. This is less about refusal and more about typical Maryland machine politics and the inability to adapt and change.

But if your argument is that there should be no government regulation, then just spend a little while today reading about Inbev.   
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on June 30, 2015, 11:10:25 AM
I'm fine with government regulation. I'm a pinko commie socialist, remember?

Also remember I live in the Commonwealth where alcohol regulation is lax and anybody who wants to make and sell beer can do so as long as they can afford the gear, have the insurance, and can pay the business taxes. I also understand that the DLC is about money more than it is control which is really why it rubs me the wrong way. (I feel the same why about traffic cameras, also spawning exponentially in Maryland.)

Side note. I've been watching Ken Burns Prohibition series and was shocked to discover that Maryland  was one of two states that never adopted any federal Prohibition laws.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on June 30, 2015, 11:38:58 AM
Yeah, Maryland's weird.

And don't get me started on traffic cameras! Did you know the bulk of the fines go to the corporation that owns the camera and not the cops? That should be illegal!

Now, I find your Commonwealth reply mystifying. Virginia's ABC is a larger, much more dynamic (and state-wide) beast than MoCo's sad little DLC. The ABC has a stricter and more punishing hold on liquor licenses and operates under the same language as Moco's DLC. Unlike in Maryland, the ABC employs armed special police and works closely with the state police. I find Virginia's liquor control laws to be far more insidious and controlling than Maryland (excepting Montgomery County, which is just skewed generally).

Craft brewing is not outlawed in MoCo, nor is it actively discouraged. The DLC's nefariousness comes in the form of controlling distribution. And, again, that was a misstep that has resulted in closer government scrutiny and will probably prove their undoing.

Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on June 30, 2015, 11:55:35 AM
Virginia's ABC is a larger, much more dynamic (and state-wide) beast than MoCo's sad little DLC. The ABC has a stricter and more punishing hold on liquor licenses and operates under the same language as Moco's DLC. Unlike in Maryland, the ABC employs armed special police and works closely with the state police. I find Virginia's liquor control laws to be far more insidious and controlling than Maryland (excepting Montgomery County, which is just skewed generally).

When it comes to hard liquor, the VA ABC is indeed pretty damned Draconian. You want a vodka gimlet on a Sunday? Good luck, my friend. That comes from prohibition thinking too. When western VA and the rest of Appalachia was moonshine still central. Also I feel like VA has that weird teetotaling Jesus cult that is a little bit restrained in Maryland. As a whole, Maryland is far more politically liberal than Virginia. I mean it's not even close. I'm insulated from it because I live in NoVA. So yes, when it comes to hard liquor. VA is pretty stupid.

However when it comes to beer and wine, the regulations are far more lax, and that's ultimately my point here. Hell, I lived in SS and getting beer was a pain in the ass. In Va I can walk into any grocery store, 7-11, or kid's clothing store with a liquor license and pick up a six pack and a bottle of cabernet.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on June 30, 2015, 12:07:09 PM

However, when it come stop to beer and wine the regulations are far more lax, and that's ultimately my point here. Hell, I lived in SS and getting beer was a pain in the ass. In Va I can walk into any grocery store, 7-11, or kid's clothing store with a liquor license and pick up a six pack and a bottle of cabernet.

And that's what's changing. This weekend, actually, is the one-year celebration of the first bricks in that wall being smashed. By next year, the wall will be down. You can buy beer and wine at any number of non-DLC outlets now, and you can get a vodka gimlet whenever you want. My money is on the DLC being entirely dismantled by the end of 2016.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: Reginald McGraw on June 30, 2015, 05:13:17 PM
By the way, in the rest of Maryland you can buy beer, wine, liquor at any liquor store any day of the week.

But not grocery stores or convenience stores.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on June 30, 2015, 05:21:47 PM
Wait so it's just the elites Bethesda Lifestyle people who run the planet Earth that enforce weird Draconian booze laws?!
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on July 01, 2015, 08:52:32 AM
By the way, in the rest of Maryland you can buy beer, wine, liquor at any liquor store any day of the week.

But not grocery stores or convenience stores.

Wait so it's just the elites Bethesda Lifestyle people who run the planet Earth that enforce weird Draconian booze laws?!

That's what I've been saying! It's Montgomery County only!


 I find Virginia's liquor control laws to be far more insidious and controlling than Maryland (excepting Montgomery County, which is just skewed generally).


You're not arguing that Maryland is some socialist Utopia, are you? If you mean Orwellian socialist, I might give it to you.

They have more prohibitory laws on the books than any other state in the union, including all their stupid booze laws.

Also worth noting is that, in Maryland, only Montgomery County does this.


Etc... I've noted this in almost every post on this topic.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: RottingCorpse on July 01, 2015, 11:13:15 AM
I can't find a South Park "It doesn't read!" clip.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on July 01, 2015, 12:05:40 PM
That's okay. I'm going to stop trying to argue my points or presenting ideas and just talk about how horrible Falling Skies is from now on.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on July 14, 2015, 10:49:01 PM
Well...our greatest champion against the DLC just fucked up:

Quote
Update - 5:50 p.m. - State Del. Ariana Kelly was arrested last month in Bethesda and charged with indecent exposure and trespassing, according to online court records.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that charging documents state Kelly, 38, was dropping off her children at the home of her ex-husband, Barak Sanford, when she became angry that Sanford’s fiancée was inside the home.

At that time, according to the Post report, Kelly started ringing the doorbell repeatedly and banging on the door. The paper reported a charging document states Sanford “played a cell phone video for police that showed Kelly ringing the doorbell ‘numerous times,’ exposing her breasts in the direction of Sanford’s cell phone camera, and then ‘with one breast in each hand [shaking] them up and down.’”

Responding police asked Kelly to leave, according to the report, but she asked them to arrest her.

Kelly, when reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, said she couldn't comment on the case and directed questions to her attorney.

Kelly’s attorney, former State Del. Luiz Simmons, told Bethesda Beat Tuesday afternoon that Kelly plans to dispute the allegations in court.

“Ariana is vigorously disputing the allegations,” Simmons said. “We will be in court in the next month. Divorce is very painful and punishing, even for members of the General Assembly. This arose out of a private dispute between Ariana and her ex-husband... and unfortunately it’s now where it is.”

Kelly and Sanford divorced in Nov. 2014, according to online court records.

Kelly was reelected for one of three District 16 delegate seats last year. The Bethesda native has served the area as a delegate since 2011.

Del. Shane Robinson, the chair of the Montgomery County House delegation, said he is supporting his colleague. Kelly was elected as the delegation's caucus chair when Robinson was chosen for the chair position in December.

"From my perspective," Robinson said, "it's a private family matter and I expect it's going to be resolved appropriately."

Robinson said the initial reports about the case lack context about Kelly's divorce from Sanford.

"It's a very private matter we're talking about," Robinson said. "Readers have no background on any of that information, I think that's the unfortunate thing."

He said Kelly has been a strong advocate for Maryland families in the General Assembly and called the charges "a distraction."

"I think she's an excellent person that has Maryland families at heart and has done a lot of work in the legislature to advance our goals of making this state a better place for families and children," Robinson said. "She's a great member, she's done a lot of good work and for me that's hugely important."
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on July 31, 2015, 12:57:24 PM
It all happens on Tuesday!

http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Bethesda-Beat/2015/Seven-Things-to-Know-about-the-Countys-Plan-to-Partially-Privatize-Liquor-Distribution/
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: monkey! on August 02, 2015, 04:15:24 PM
In a couple of days I'll be in a German beer heaven.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on November 29, 2015, 09:20:00 AM
This is turning into a brutal battle.

Also, William Frick's mom worked with my mom to convince me that I was going to be abducted by aliens when I was 8 years old.


Quote
Montgomery County has been in the alcohol business since Prohibition ended in 1933. And business has been very good for Maryland’s most populous county.

It makes about $22 million a year as the exclusive wholesaler of adult beverages. That means the restaurant where you’re having a drink or the store you visit for beer and wine is required by law to buy its products from the county’s Department of Liquor Control. If you’re looking for a bottle of Jack Daniels or Stolichnaya and don’t want to travel outside the county your destination will be one of 25 county-owned retail liquor outlets.

But the long, lucrative monopoly could be coming to an end. A bill sponsored by Del. C. William Frick (D-Montgomery) would ask voters to decide, through a referendum on the county’s 2016 ballot, whether establishments that sell alcohol can bypass the liquor control department to buy directly from private distributors. State Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) has said he intends to file similar legislation for the upcoming General Assembly session.

Frick and Franchot said they are responding to years of complaints from consumers and businesses about liquor control’s late deliveries and limited supply. While the agency has no trouble moving plenty of Miller Light and Kendall Jackson from its Gaithersburg warehouse to customers, owners say, it takes too long with fine wines and increasingly popular craft beers.

[Franchot op-ed calls for end to “Prohibition-style” monopoly]

The lack of availability, poor service and high county markups drive customers — and their dollars — to neighboring jurisdictions, such as the District or Virginia, detractors contend. State data shows Montgomery County with significantly lower per-capita rates of alcohol consumption than neighboring Howard, Prince George’s and Frederick counties. That’s not because Montgomery residents are uncommonly abstemious, those in the industry argue.

“I can’t run a business properly if I don’t know what’s coming and when it’s coming. And the prices are uncompetitively high,” said Justin McInerny, owner of Capital Beer and Wine in Bethesda. “Someone comes in and says they have a rehearsal dinner in six weeks and they have to have this wine that they drank when they met. Six weeks later, it doesn’t show up.”

Frick called the system “a relic” that has reached last call. “It’s a system that isn’t serving the public. For a top-flight market, we should have top-flight service,” he said.

A public hearing on the bill is scheduled Monday evening in County Council chambers in Rockville.

Liquor control director George Griffin acknowledges the problems but said there have been significant improvements in the past eight to 10 months.

The proposed bill has also touched off a larger political scuffle involving big money, union jobs and accusations of conflicts of interest.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) and nearly all County Council members contend that revenue loss resulting from privatization would be ruinous. It also would effectively put the liquor control department out of business, endangering more than 250 union-wage jobs for members of the politically influential United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1994 (MCGEO), who work in the warehouse and retail stores.

Leggett said last week that he is not opposed to getting out of the liquor business, as long as there is a plan to make the county whole.

[Why fallout from Wynne decision will fall hardest on Montgomery]

“And no plan has come forward. I think there is an irresponsibility on the part of some who say, ‘We can just make that up.’ No, we can’t just make that up,” said Leggett, citing new drains on the county budget, including millions of dollars in income tax refunds it faces as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in the C0mptroller v. Wynne case. The court ruled 5 to 4 that some Maryland residents with out-of-state earnings had been illegally double-taxed under state law.

About a third of the states, including Virginia, exert some form of direct control over the distribution and sale of alcohol. But Montgomery County is an outlier in Maryland, the legacy of a powerful local temperance movement.

Montgomery went dry in the late 19th century, and after the repeal of Prohibition, the state legislature established the basis for the county’s regulatory system.

As late as 1955, hard liquor was available only in country clubs and a handful of restaurants, according to the Montgomery County Historical Society.

In the view of civic leaders who aspired to see the county grow into a prosperous suburb, tight control of alcohol was a must.

“We think of our county as a bedroom community rather than a center of revelry,” William R. McCaullum, president of the Allied Civic Group, explained in 1962.

That elite consensus remained largely undisturbed until a couple of years ago, when county leaders, concerned about the higher concentrations of younger residents in Arlington and the District, started looking for ways to goose Montgomery’s placid night life.

A task force that included Council member Hans Riemer (D-At Large) recommended a series of measures, including legislation seeking state permission to modify liquor laws so that bars and restaurants could buy “special order” items — rare wines, craft beers — from private wholesalers.

[Montgomery County looks to get hip]

The council voted in July to seek state action. But an unintended consequence was renewed interest among county businesses and industry groups in pushing for full privatization.

Frick’s bill has frustrated county officials. Liquor money supports more than $100 million in revenue bonds issued for road construction and other services. If revenue flowing from the liquor control department dries up, the county must find other funds for an estimated $11 million in annual interest payments. Revenue bondholders could sue for breach of contract, the county’s bond counsel warned.

Proponents argue that a $30 million loss can surely be absorbed by a $5 billion annual operating budget. But Leggett points out that more than 80 percent of that money is already earmarked for schools, police and fire protection, and debt service. He has warned that he is likely to include a major property tax increase in his next proposed budget this spring.

Council member Marc Elrich (D-At Large), who served with Riemer on an ad hoc committee that studied county liquor control, said the bill amounts to a brazen money grab.

“If these are Republicans doing this, dismantling something in government that actually made money and then handing it over to the private sector, I’d get that,” he said. “But these are not Republicans. This is just beyond the pale to me.”

Council member Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda), the lone member in support of Frick’s bill, said the current system imposes a significant hidden tax on Montgomery consumers and ultimately hampers the county economy.

“I ask myself three fundamental questions,” Berliner said. “Is this a core government responsibility? Do we perform it well? And is it in our best interest long term? And I believe the answer to all three is an emphatic ‘No.’ ”

Questions have also been raised about the influence of the liquor industry on county and state officials. David Trone, co-owner of Total Wine and More, the huge Bethesda-based retailer, is a major contributor to Democrats, including Franchot. A study this year by the Center for Public Integrity found that alcohol distributors employed at least 315 registered lobbyists at the state level nationwide.

Opponents of Frick’s bill have also pointed out that his wife, Bethany Frick, is a national accounts vice president for international liquor giant Diageo, which makes Johnny Walker, Crown Royal and other major brands. The couple’s financial disclosure forms show holdings of at least $20,000 in Diageo North America stock.

MCGEO President Gino Renne called last week for an investigation by the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics, contending that Frick would directly benefit from passage of his bill. State Sen. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Montgomery), chairman of the committee, declined to comment Friday, citing a policy of not discussing matters pending before the panel.

Frick said Renne’s allegations, based on his own financial disclosures, are without merit.

“The entrenched interests can’t defend this system on the merits so they are trying to use intimidation and baseless personal attacks to preserve the status quo,” Frick said. “The voters deserve to be heard.”
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on January 30, 2016, 11:32:18 AM
The Director of the DLC just got dumped, and state legislators are wading into the fight on the side of the anti-DLC people. This looks like it may happen.
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on March 04, 2016, 11:48:26 AM
And...the DLC wins. Also, this guy's mom abused me when I was a kid.

Quote
A state bill that could have led to the end of Montgomery County’s alcohol monopoly is dead for this year after it was withdrawn from consideration by this year’s General Assembly.

Del. Bill Frick (D-Bethesda) Thursday withdrew his bill calling for a referendum to allow voters to decide the fate of the county government’s monopoly on the distribution of all alcohol and the retail sale of all liquor.

“We didn’t have the votes so it seemed the most constructive way forward is to work with the county executive,” Frick said Friday morning, referring to County Executive Ike Leggett’s plan to create a task force to study possible ways to privatize the county’s Department of Liquor Control (DLC). “I didn’t want to put it to a vote and force people who have mixed feelings about it to commit against it… I’d rather hold off now and hopefully win them over before next year.”

Frick’s bill seemed to gain momentum after it was proposed in October. Local restaurateurs and small beer and wine shop owners frustrated with the problem-plagued DLC lined up to support it. The Washington Post also mentioned the bill as a possible solution to the county’s liquor control issues in a December editorial that called for the end of the unique monopoly.

County officials, including all but one County Council member and Leggett, cautioned that ending the county’s monopoly would force the closure of the DLC. The officials warned that the loss of the department’s more than $30 million in annual profit could affect the county’s capital budget and school construction projects because the funds are used to back more than $100 million in county bonds. They lobbied hard against the bill and were joined by the local labor union—UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO—representing more than 350 DLC employees. Union workers regularly attended key meetings surrounding the issue, wearing bright yellow T-shirts.

On Feb. 26, dozens of DLC employees appeared at the county’s House delegation meeting in Annapolis,  where the delegation’s members decided not to vote on proposed legislation concerning the DLC and instead voted to send a letter to Leggett instructing him to set up a task force to study the department’s problems and how to fix them.

Leggett had previously sent a letter to the presidents of four local Chambers of Commerce in January that said he would support the creation of an expedited task force to develop possible privatization options—but only if its recommendations address the financial issues faced by the county. The task force’s work could result in legislation proposed before the 2017 General Assembly session, which begins in January. Patrick Lacefield, a spokesman for Leggett, said Thursday the task force is in the works, but there’s currently no timeline for setting it up.

Frick also withdrew a bill that would have enabled the county to sell off its DLC retail stores, warehouse inventory and beer distribution franchise rights as well as a provision to direct sales tax revenue back to local jurisdictions. Frick introduced that bill to attempt to address the revenue shortfalls the county could face if the DLC were unable to compete with private distributors without the monopoly in place.

Frick, however, encouraged those interested in significant change in the county’s alcohol policy to continue to follow the process.

“I know there are a lot of consumers interested in changes,” Frick said. “I need them to stay engaged. If we’re going to prevail, we need those folks to be committed and communicate with their elected officials and stay vocal, because that’s an essential part of the process.”
Title: Re: Newsday: Booze
Post by: nacho on July 29, 2016, 11:55:00 AM
!!!

http://spectator.org/marylands-soviet-liquor-county/

Quote
Maryland’s Soviet Liquor County


ryland’s Montgomery County is a nice place. Its western border runs along the Potomac River, and its southern territory abuts Washington, D.C. Many folks who work in the district settle in Bethesda and other parts of Montgomery County, as the schools tend to be better and the property prices lower. It is Maryland’s richest county, and boasts many attractions.

But Montgomery County is a case study in the peril of allowing the government to enter the drinks business. In short, once the government gets in, it is very hard to get it out no matter how badly it performs.

Maryland has a local control law that gives counties great discretion in deciding how they want to regulate alcoholic beverages. Montgomery County uses this authority with unabashed gusto. Its Department of Liquor Control, whose very name is telling, operates in two of the three tiers of the drinks system. The DLC has a monopoly on liquor retail sales, and it also is the sole wholesaler for beers, spirits, and wines. No other Maryland county government, excepting Somerset, has so deeply sunk itself into the drinks business.

So, if you want to buy a bottle of liquor, you must trek to one of the DLC’s liquor stores. If you operate a restaurant or run a store that sells drinks, you must purchase your drinks from the DLC.

Which is a nightmare.

Greta Weber of the Washingtonian recently detailed the sort of debacles that are commonplace.

In the last week of 2015, a familiar disaster struck Brickside Food & Drink in Bethesda. The culprit: the Department of Liquor Control. From two days before Christmas until two days before New Year’s Eve, the DLC — an 80-year-old government entity that maintains a monopoly on the county’s alcohol supply — missed its deliveries to Brickside, shorting the Woodmont Triangle eatery by more than ten kegs of beer and about 50 cases of wine, liquor, and bottled beer.”\
Some 50 other businesses had the same problem that week. How did this happen? A “clerical error” by the DLC. They just mis-tallied how much product they were to deliver. Which is exactly the sort of mistake that one regularly makes when one is a monopolist.

DLC’s director resigned, but the crummy service continues, Andrew Metcalf of Bethesda Magazine reports:

Pinky Rodgers, co-owner of Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape in the Kentlands, took issue with comments from county officials that the department’s operations have been improving since it began implementing an action plan about a year ago. The department controls the wholesale distribution of alcohol and the retail sale of all liquor in the county. In the past 30 days, eight of the nine deliveries to her business have had problems that ranged from incomplete orders to broken bottles and moldy boxes, she said. Rodgers also brought photos of rusty DLC delivery trucks that she says leak, resulting in the delivery of soggy packages to her business.
A DLC executive responded to Rodgers’ complaints, “I apologize if there are actual issues but our data doesn’t show that.” The DLC went on to claim 85 percent of its deliveries were just fine. No private company in a competitive market could cock up 15 percent (about one out of every six or seven) of its deliveries and stay in business long.

Thanks to DLC’s shabby business practices, Montgomery County’s residents often cross into the District to buy drinks. This is why the DLC liquor store on the border of DC was shuttered — because it lost money. Per capita liquor sales in the county are 33 percent below the nationwide average, but the District’s sales are twice the national average, according to an analysis by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

Selling and distributing beer, wine, and spirits, essayist Martin Morse Wooster rightly notes, is not a proper function of the government. And plenty of voters in Montgomery County want the government out of the business.

But the DLC endures. For decades one politician after another has tried unsuccessfully to ease the government out of the drinks business. Reform efforts continually fail because DLC’s unionized government employees lobby to keep the monopoly (and their jobs). The county government’s long-serving executive, Democrat Ike Leggett, opposes privatization and claims financial doom will ensue because the DLC turns a profit of $30 million which is used to keep up roads and schools. (Note: the $34.4 million the DLC provided in FY2016 amounts to 0.7 percent of the county’s $5 billion operating budget.)

All of which means the county’s 800 restaurants and drinks retailers and 700,000 or so residents who can legally drink remain stuck with this Soviet dinosaur until they vote in reformists.