Monday’s ad is also for Budweiser, again from 1942. This one is quite remarkable, and uses corn syrup and the love of candy by children to make its case. Here’s the thinking. “To the great candy industry of America, corn syrup is a necessary ingredient. Used in other foods as well as candy, it contributes much to the energy and nutrition of the nation.” Thus, A-B’s “Corn Products Division” is as wonderful as their beer business. So drink Bud and “Help a Child’s Dream Cone True.”
Given that today is New Year’s Eve — what I generally refer to as Amateur Drinking Day — I thought this science lesson from Mental Floss on what causes the spins was an appropriate topic. In Why Does Alcohol Cause the Spins?, author Matt Soniak explains that sometimes after an evening’s drinking that the room appears to be spinning out of control. You lie down, but it doesn’t help. No matter what you do, the vertigo persists, causing great discomfort and often the loss of lunch, dinner and everything else that used to be in your stomach. Here’s why.
The spins happen because of an odd effect alcohol has on your ears — specifically, on three tiny, fluid-filled structures called the semicircular canals. Inside each of these canals is a fluid called endolymph and a gelationous structure called the cupula, which is filled with cells covered in fine, hair-like stereocilia.
As you move around, the movement of the endolymph lags behind the more solid cupula, distorting and bending it — and those little hairs. When the hairs bend, the electrical signal they send to your brain is altered, helping you to make sense of the rotations your head experiences on each of the three planes the canals sit on — movements up and down, left and right and backward and forward — and keep your balance.
Booze throws this system out of whack. Alcohol thins the blood, and when boozy blood travels to the inner ear, it creates a density difference between the cupula and the fluid in the canals, and distorts the cupula’s shape. The little hairs bend and send a signal to your brain that tells it you’re rotating when you’re really not, and this illusion of motion makes it seem like the room is spinning.
Some of the things that you most want to do when you’re good and drunk, like lie down and close your eyes, make the sensation worse, since you don’t have any visual or physical cues to counteract the false sense of motion. Looking at a fixed object and keeping your feet planted on the ground can help lessen the effect, but there’s no real way to stop it.
So now you know. The bad news is there’s pretty much nothing you can do about it apart from practicing moderation and drinking plenty of water. If I know I’ll be drinking a lot, I try to eat a hearty meal beforehand, drink a glass of water in between each beer, snack during the party and take some Advil and Vitamin B before going to sleep. Happy New Year everybody.
Maybe this will help; maybe not.
Take a tour of the Suffolk brewery Greene King with head brewer John Bexon hosted by UK beer writer Roger Protz. The video, entitled The Magic of Brewing, the Joy of Beer, runs just under a half-hour and includes a tour of Greene King’s “traditional brew house and fermenting area, taking in the ancient wooden vats where Strong Suffolk is matured.” Enjoy.
Today is the 51st birthday of Mitch Steele, production manager/head brewer at Stone Brewing. Mitch started out at the tiny San Andreas Brewery in Hollister, California but spent a number of years at one of the much larger Budweiser breweries when he brewed for Anheuser-Busch, before finding a home at Stone. He’s obviously a terrific brewer but is also a great person and close friend, too. He was also my roomie for GABF judging earlier this year and recently published IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale. He’s a big advocate for craft beer and always willing to help out a fellow brewer or homebrewer. Join me in wishing Mitch a very happy birthday.
Mitch picking up his 3rd Place award on the floor of GABF 2009 for Stone’s Levitation Ale on cask at a special judging at the Great British Beer Festival in 2009 (and which I had the pleasure to judge).
And no birthday post is complete without a blast from the past. Here’s Mitch’s high school prom photo in all it’s living color glory. It’s from Northgate High School Class of 1980 in Walnut Creek, CA (special thanks to Mitch for updating the old black & white photo with the glorious color one!). Love the powder blue tux.
Like most kids, I read (or had read to me) a lot of fables and fairy tales growing up. But a class I took in college on them reinvigorated my love of the genre, and I’ve continued to be a fan of fables ever since. Today, I have about two long shelves dedicated to collections of fairy tales from around the world, including the complete Brothers Grimm and an annotated volume of their more well-known tales. So I was excited to see the labels for the Grimm Brothers Brewhouse of Loveland, Colorado. The brewery opened in mid-2010 but somehow escaped my notice until recently. I don’t know if any of the brewery owners are brothers, or even named Grimm, but I’m guessing not, because their names are not readily available at the website or their Facebook page. But they’re certainly using the mythology of the Grimm stories to great effect in their beer names and especially the artwork, created by Ten Fold Collective, a local graphic design firm.
I just love the graphics for their labels. All of their packaging just looks amazing. I know that good packaging won’t mask a subpar beer for long, but it will enhance a good beer’s reputation and will help any beer stand out on increasingly crowded retail shelves. If their beer is only half as good as the packaging, it should be terrific. But it’s best to find out. Loveland is only about an hour north of Denver, on the way to Fort Collins. I definitely have to make a point to get out there during GABF week next year.
Snow Drop Honey Wheat Ale
Fearless Youth Dunkel Lager
Little Red Cap Alt Style Ale
Master Thief German Porter
The Griffin Hefeweizen Ale
The Farmer’s Daughter Oktoberfest Lager
And these labels are part of their “Fabled Series.”
The Count Imperial Stout
Big Bad Wolf Sticke Alt Ale
Sooty Brother Gratzer Ale
Weihnachts Bier Weizenbock Ale
Mirror Mirror Imperial Kottbusser Ale
Hare’s Bride Hefeweizen Ale
And this is a special release they did for Valentine’s Day earlier this year.
Bleeding Heart Cherry Chocolate Porter
Here’s a fun little “decision chart” from Faultline helping you figure out which type of Belgian beer to choose, and what to eat with your beer. The info on the chart was put together by Ryan Sweeny from Little Bear, a Belgian beer cafe in Los Angeles. Apart from the chart butchering the spelling of Tripel, it’s a fun, simple, potentially useful chart for the uninitiated looking to enjoy some belgian beer.
What Are You Eating?
How Much Are You Drinking?
Today is 76th birthday of Dr. Michael Lewis, wo ran the brewing sciences department at U.C. Davis beginning in 1962, and became the Professor Emeritus in 1995, when Charlie Bamforth succeeded him, although Dr. Lewis remains active in teaching and in brewing. I recently ran into him and his wife having lunch at the school’s pilot brewery at Sudwerk earlier this fall. He was my instructor, along with Charlie, when I took the brewing short course at Davis a decade or so ago. He’s taught countless working brewers over the years and has greatly influenced the industry as a whole. Join me in wishing Dr. Lewis a very happy birthday.
Michael (at far left) with the gang at Sudwerk Privatbrauerei in Davis (photo from the Davis Enterprise).
- Altan Beer Co.
- Chinggis Beer Brewery
- Gem International
- Khan Bräu Holdings
- MB Beer Plus
- MCS Asia Pacific Brewery
- Mongol Beer Company
- Old Czech Brewery
Mongolia Brewery Guides
Guild: None Known
National Regulatory Agency: None
Beverage Alcohol Labeling Requirements: Not Known
Drunk Driving Laws: BAC 0.02%
- Full Name: Mongolia
- Location: Northern Asia, between China and Russia
- Government Type: Parliamentary
- Language: Khalkha Mongol 90% (official), Turkic, Russian (1999)
- Religion(s): Buddhist Lamaist 50%, Shamanist and Christian 6%, Muslim 4%, none 40%
- Capital: Ulan Bator (Ulaanbaatar)
- Population: 3,179,997; 135th
- Area: 1,564,116 sq km, 19th
- Comparative Area: Slightly smaller than Alaska
- National Food: Buuz
- National Symbol: Soyombo symbol
- Affiliations: UN
- Independence: From the Qing Dynasty, China, December 29, 1911 / Revolution Day, independence from China gained, July 11, 1921
- Alcohol Legal: Yes
- Minimum Drinking Age: 18
- BAC: 0.05%
- Number of Breweries: 8
- How to Say “Beer”: шар айраг
- How to Order a Beer: нэг шар айраг, баярлалаа
- How to Say “Cheers”: таны эрүүл мэндийн тѳлѳѳ
- Toasting Etiquette: N/A
Alcohol Consumption By Type:
- Beer: 29%
- Wine: 8%
- Spirits: 48%
- Other: 15%
Alcohol Consumption Per Capita (in litres):
- Recorded: 1.24
- Unrecorded: 2.00
- Total: 3.24
- Beer: 0.39
WHO Alcohol Data:
- Per Capita Consumption: 1.2 litres
- Alcohol Consumption Trend: Decrease
- Excise Taxes: Yes
- Minimum Age: 18 (off-premise) 21 (on-premise)
- Sales Restrictions: Time, location, specific events, intoxicated persons, petrol stations
- Advertising Restrictions: Yes
- Sponsorship/Promotional Restrictions: Yes
Patterns of Drinking Score: 3
Today is Kurt Widmer’s 61st birthday. Kurt is, of course, one of the bros in Widmer Brothers. He and his brother Rob helped found the Oregon Brewers Festival, created the style American Hefeweizen and are one of the few small brewers that have managed to retain their spirit and reputation as they’ve grown much larger. Join me in wishing Kurt a very happy birthday.