A Beer Bestiary

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A Bestiary is an old-fashioned idea, from the Middles Ages, where various animals and other creatures, often fanciful, mythical and fictitious, were illustrated, and then there was a detailed description of each beast, usually accompanied by an allegorical story with a moral or religious teaching. You can see examples of many of these imaginary creatures at the Medieval Bestiary. A Los Angeles illustrator and graphic designer, Ian O’Phelan, has created a modern version, which he calls a “Beer Bestiary.” With just four mythical creatures in his bestiary, his fantastic four you’ll likely recognize, if not individually, at least for what they can become as a superhero team, your next beer.

Barley Beast
OPhelan-barley
Virginal Hops
OPhelan-hops
Water Bear
OPhelan-water
Cockatrice d’Yeast
OPhelan-yeast

Beer In Ads #1380: We Spend More


Thursday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1907. The ad is part of a series from that time highlighting different aspects of the beer’s process, its healthfulness and other factors. In this one, the headline is “We Spend More,” and in the text they talk about the “extremes” they go to, like washing “every bottle four times by machinery.” After going through a list of these, the ad finishes with a question. “Don’t you want it.”

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Beer Birthday: Craig Cauwels

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Today is the 48th birthday of Craig Cauwels, who started brewing at Schooner’s in 2003, when his longtime friend Shawn Burns needed his help, and he continuing brewing there until after Burns sold the brewpub to a new owner. He’s currently brewing at E.J. Phair brewing, and recently went back to brewing at Schooner’s part-time, splitting his time between the two East Bay breweries. Originally a molecular biologist, Craig was running the core lab facility at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University when he gave it all up to become a professional brewer. And that’s certainly been good news for people who love great beer, because he’s a very talented brewer. Join me in wishing Craig a very happy birthday.

Craig Cauwels, from Schooner's, with Vic Krajl
Craig with Vic Krajl at the 2009 Bistro Barrel Aged Fest.

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Craig with Sam Calagione (from Dogfish Head) and Dave McLean (from Magnolia’s) at the Double IPA Festival at the Bistro a couple of years ago.

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Craig with Steve Altimari, from High Water Brewing at the Celebrator’s 18th anniversary party in 2007.

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Craig with Brian Yaeger, the Beer Chef Bruce Paton and me at a Schooner’s beer dinner at Cathedral Hotel in 2008.

Beer In Ads #1379: Reputation


Wednesday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1905. The ad is part of a series from that time highlighting different aspects of the beer’s process, its healthfulness and other factors. In this one, the headline is “Reputation,” and according to the headline, Schlitz “spend[s] fortunes every year — go to the utmost extremes — to maintain it.” Too bad they forgot about that when the bean counters took over in the Sixties.

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Beer in Ads #1378: Beer Is Healthful


Tuesday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1902. The ad is part of a series from that time highlighting different aspects of the beer’s process, its healthfulness and other factors. In this one, the headline is “Beer is Healthful,” but makes the distinction that “green beer” (defined here as “insufficiently aged, half-fermented”) is not, but that you have to keep your beer and packaging clean. Hard to argue with that.

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Mickey Mouse Drinking A Beer

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Today is the day when Steamboat Willie debuted in 1928, the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, the one that made the Disney company the entertainment powerhouse that it is today. But even though Steamboat Willie is the famous one, it actually wasn’t the first Mickey Mouse cartoon created. Plane Crazy was actually the first one made, and The Gallopin’ Gaucho was the second, but both were shelved to work on Steamboat Willie, and specifically to add a synchronized soundtrack, which is what helped make Mickey Mouse so famous.

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But the Gallopin’ Gaucho was notable for one other important reason. In the March 1929 cartoon, four years before the repeal of Prohibition, Mickey Mouse can be seen drinking a mug of beer. And not just drinking it, but really putting one away. But as he as south of the border, at the bar and restaurant called “Cantina Argentina,” he probably wasn’t breaking any laws.

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The original, of course, was in black and white.

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Below is the entire cartoon, though the best version I could find was colorized.

Skunked Beer: Hide Your Shame

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Wired magazine had a short article today giving a basic overview about how beer gets lightstruck, entitled What’s Up With That: My Beer Tastes Like a Skunk’s Bathwater.

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It’s a fairly basic explanation of the process of a beer becoming lightstruck — often called skunky — written after interviewing Roger Barth, author of the textbook, the Chemistry of Beer. The author even takes a little thinly-veiled swipe at Corona. “This could explain why certain clear-bottled brands suggest you squeeze a lime into their beer to mask the skunk before taking a swig.” But it was the final sentence that had me in stitches. “But if you must, for reasons I will never understand, drink a Heineken, I suggest you get it on tap and hide your shame in a dark corner of the bar.”

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Beer Birthday: Peter Hoey

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Today is the 35th birthday of Peter Hoey, who used to be the brewmaster at Sacramento Brewing, then left to launch a new brewery, Odonata Beer Co., with Rick Sellers, which sadly ran into some hurdles that had nothing to do with how good the beer was that Peter was making. He’s also brewed at Sierra Nevada and Bison Brewing, too. These days Peter is working happily at Brewers Supply Group, having taken over Mark Worona’s old job (since he’s been promoted). Peter’s a great brewer and has become a good friend over the years. Join me in wishing Peter a very happy birthday.

Rick Sellers & Peter Hoey of California's Newest Brewery, Odonata Brewing
Former Odonata partner Rick Sellers with Peter at GABF in 2010.

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Peter with his wife Britany, as they take their new baby daughter Lorelai home from the hospital a couple of years ago.

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Peter at the GABF Brewers Reception in 2007, along with Rich Norgrove from Bear Republic and Arne Johnson of Marin Brewing.

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Peter, looking about twelve, and Steve Altimari, from High Water Brewing, at the first Raley Field Beer Festival in 2007.

Craft Beer By State

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The Brewers Association released in an interactive infographic of sorts, showing State Craft Beer Sales & Production Statistics for 2013. Below is California, but there’s a similar chart for each state, with their respective numbers and rankings in a variety of categories. You can also follow links to find breweries within each state, along with specific state laws regarding beer and alcohol.

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