Oddbits: World of beer on Discovery Channel tonight, Drake’s is looking good, vanishing British pubs, best brewers in the world
By William Brand
Thursday, December 18th, 2008 at 11:21 am in Uncategorized.
It’s not news, but I’m a sucker for a horse photo. These are the Budweiser Clydesdales and they’re gonna’ be in the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena on Jan. 1. Who are these horses? A-B answers:
- The Clydesdales became part of Anheuser-Busch in 1933, shortly after Prohibition ended for beer, when August A. Busch Jr. and Adolphus Busch III presented a hitch to their father, August Busch Sr., to commemorate the first bottle of post-Prohibition beer brewed in St. Louis.
And now the news...If you’re into beer, there’s a TV production not to miss tonight. It’s “Beer” from How Stuff Works on the Discovery Channel. It airs tonight at 8 p.m. PST and 8 p.m. EST. A crew roamed the U.S. and the world, talking to brewers and beer experts. They went to hop fields in Washington, went to Pilsner Urquell in the Czech Republic. The show covers all aspects of brewing and homebrewing. Gotta’ be worth watching.
It airs again at midnight tonight, Dec. 18 and again on Jan. 2 at 6 p.m. If you miss it you may be able to watch it online here after it airs.
here’s a video promo… Couldn’t get it to display. But this link works, or cut and paste the coding below.
Moving on... Tom, a reader of this blog and my column and like me a big fan of Drake’s Brewing (San Leandro, CA.), visited the brewery yesterday and found things humming. John Martin, the proprietor of Triple Rock in Berkeley bought Drakes with a partner earlier this year. Here’s what Tom says:
- Hey William I was up at Drakes yesterday for the first time in over a month and it was a wonderful surprise. The place was humming with activity.Fermenters were bubbling away with both Drakes IPA and some beers for Jupiter. The direct sales prices on Drakes kegs of the IPA Amber and 1500 have dropped $10 to $115 and the specialty beers such as the Imperial IPA ( which I picked up for the kegerator ) are $145 + tax. Case prices are also very low. They also have a sales force now. The office area has been cleaned up with all of the awards they have won on display. I’m so happy that my favorite brewery is back at full speed. I sure hope our great beer community will get support Drakes.
Onward…British pubs are dying at an alarming rate, more than 4,000 are expected to close in the next two years as the dear old UK becomes more like us, auto-oriented, home-centered. Fewer and fewer people choose to while away an evening in the local. The BBC aired a fascinating report on the subject on Dec. 12: Last Orders – Calling Time on Pubs. Major reasons: price competition from beer sold in supermarkets, many pubs owned by giant pub companies with the usual corporate, cookie cutter sameness and lack of beer choice.
The BBC has a video online, but you have to be in the UK to view it. Haven’t found a version on Youtube or elsewhere, maybe someone can and post a link or e-mail it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Here’s a link to the BBC’s story on their telecast.
Oh my gawd….the best beer, best pub conflab is heating up again. The Alstrom Brothers, Jason and Todd, the two Boston guys behind BeerAdvocate.com have come up with a list of the best breweries in the world and the best pubs in the world in the latest issue of their Beer Advocate magazine. They note that the listings were determined by popular vote of Advocate posters,
Thanks to Stan Hieronymous of Appellationbeer.com for pointing out how American-cenrtric the list is.
The lists are posted on the Stone Brewing Web site.
- Top Breweries on Planet Earth. 1. Stone, 2. Three Floyds, 3. Ommegang. Russian River is sixth.
- Top Beer Bars on Planet Earth. 1. Ebenezer’s Pub (Lowell, ME.) 2. Brick Store Pub (Decatur, GA.) 3. HopCat (Grand Rapids, MI) Huh. Nope, the Toronado didn’t make the list.