EU Negotiating For Protected Beer Names

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Apparently in Washington, our Congress is hard at work negotiating a free trade agreement with the EU. Not surprisingly, the EU is asking for protective status of European products that are traditionally from Europe. You can’t really blame them. For instance they’re asking for the names “feta” and “parmesan” only for cheese made in Europe. I don’t know the history of those cheeses, but I’m guessing Greece and Italy do, and believe their cheeses to be the true expressions of them. They’re also asking that “‘bratwurst’ be allowed on only European-produced sausages.” Again, I don’t know the history but given that German and other European immigrants came to America and started businesses making bratwursts a hundred years ago, or more, it seems a tough sell. I likewise assume it was Italians in the U.S. who began marketing parmesan cheese here long before Kraft got in the game.

But according to an article in the USA Today, Senators: Back off our brats, beer, they’re not stopping there. I might have expected that Belgian beer might be part of the negotiations, since Belgian brewers aren’t thrilled about American beers labeled as “Belgian” instead of “Belgian-style.” But it’s “Oktoberfest” they object to. According to the story, “[i]f U.S. negotiators agree to European demands, U.S. manufacturers would have to change product names to “Oktoberfest-like ale.”

But since an “Oktoberfest” beer has certain style parameters that just about any brewer worth his salt could replicate, I can’t see how that one makes sense. I’ve never known German brewers to complain about that the way that I’ve heard Belgian brewers, but maybe I’ve missed that. Can a beer style, once created in a geographic area, sometimes because of the locally available ingredients or water source, only be made in that same place to be considered authentic? I think we can say yes for lambics, but others? What do you think?

There’s also countless local American Oktoberfest events throughout September and October each year, some have been taking place for decades or longer. Does Germany object to those, too?

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Beer Birthday: Pierre Celis

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A true brewing legend, who was treated like a rock star in Belgium where they care about their national beers, Pierre Celis would have been 89 today. Celis single-handedly revived the style witbier in the 1960s when he was a brewer at Hoegaarden. He later moved to Texas to start a microbrewery with his daughter Christine, which was sold to Miller in 1995. More recently, he was making three cave-aged beers under the label Grottenbier at St. Bernardus in Belgium. Unfortunately, Pierre passed away almost three years ago in April. Pierre was a terrific person and his absence is still deeply felt. As I understand it, his daughter Christine is working on a great-sounding project that will honor her father’s memory and also produce some terrific beers, too. Join me in drinking a toast to the memory of Pierre Celis.

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With Pierre at the Craft Brewers Conference in New Orleans a number of years ago.

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At GABF in 2006.

Beer Birthday: Knut Albert

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Today, it’ also the 54th birthday of Knut Albert Solem from Oslo, Norway, who has one of the premiere beer blogs in Scandinavia, Knut Albert’s Beer Blog. Though I’ve never met him in person, we have corresponded a time or two through blog comments and I certainly enjoy his perspective on beer. Join me in wishing Knut a very happy birthday.

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Hoisting a pint (photo nicked from Knut’s Facebook page).

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Knut near water (ditto).

Relative Prevalence Of The Word For Beer In Europe’s Ten Most Spoken Languages

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Today’s infographic graphs is similar to yesterday’s one showing “the relative prevalence of the word for beer in the world’s ten most spoken languages (by # of native speakers),” but instead shows the same metric for Europe. The map was also created by http://www.floatingsheep.org/2011/10/wherever-you-are-just-ask-for-beer.html“>Floating Sheep, and was a follow up to yesterdays.

Because simply mapping references to beer in the world’s most spoken languages yielded a relatively homogeneous result due to the significant number of references to “beer” and “ale” in English, we thought a more locally specific analysis would be appropriate. So we instead mapped references to beer in twelve languages spoken primarily in Europe that were not included in our earlier map. And while this map obviously doesn’t include all of the many languages spoken on the continent, these languages were chosen because of their relative prominence within a larger sample of languages.

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Click here to see the map full size.

Despite the usefulness of this particular grouping, it remains useful to consider how some of the most spoken languages in the world stack up to these more country-specific languages, so in the map below we reintroduce references in English, as well as references in German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, to some of Europe’s more widely spoken tongues.

While this graphic complicates the picture provided by our first map — there continues to be a significant amount of content in the expected, native languages of each country — English remains prominent throughout Europe, especially in reference to beer.

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Click here to see the map full size.

The Essential Map Of Europe & Environs

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Today’s infographic was sent to me last night by my good friend Maureen Ogle, author of Ambitious Brew, and the soon-to-be-published In Meat We Trust. She knows of my love of language and especially beer words. I have my own growing collection of the word Beer in Other Languages, but Feòrag NicBhrìde of Scotland created the Essential Map of Europe and Environs, which is essentially a map showing the various ways in which Europeans refer to beer, helpfully divided by language types or origins.

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Click here to see the map full size.

Beer Birthday: Anders Kissmeyer

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Today is Danish brewer Anders Kissmeyer’s 57th birthday. He was a co-founder of Nørrebro Bryghus in Copenhagen. I first met Anders through corresponding with him for an article on collaboration beers I did for All About Beer magazine a couple of years ago. Then we met in person at GABF a couple of years ago and judged together at the World Beer Cup in Chicago. Kissmeyer recently left Nørrebro due to economic circumstances, but his mood was upbeat and with his talent will be brewing again any minute. Join me in wishing Anders a very happy birthday.

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Anders with Kjetil Jikiun, from Nogne O, at the Local Option during CBC Chicago.

Finland Beer

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Today in 1917, Finland gained their Independence from Russia.

Finland
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Finland Breweries

Finland Brewery Guides

Other Guides

Guild: Panimoliitto

National Regulatory Agency: National Product Control Agency for Welfare and Health

Beverage Alcohol Labeling Requirements: Follows Eu Regulations

Drunk Driving Laws: BAC 0.05% [Note: 0.12% (aggravated). The penalty is a fine or jail up to 6 months plus license suspension from 1 month to 5 years. For aggravated, also a prison sentence (60 days to 2 years) is possible, usually as a suspended sentence. Routine breath testing without a probable cause is permitted and often practiced. Penalties vary by level of intoxication.]

finland

  • Full Name: Republic of Finland
  • Location: Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia
  • Government Type: Republic
  • Language: Finnish (official) 91.2%, Swedish (official) 5.5%, other (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities) 3.3%
  • Religion(s): Lutheran Church of Finland 82.5%, Orthodox Church 1.1%, other Christian 1.1%, other 0.1%, none 15.1%
  • Capital: Helsinki (Helsingfors)
  • Population: 5,262,930; 116th
  • Area: 338,145 sq km, 65th
  • Comparative Area: Slightly smaller than Montana
  • National Food: Mämmi
  • National Symbol: Lion, Whooper Swan, Brown Bear, European perch, Ladybird; Lily of the Valley; Birch, Silver Birch; Finland’s Lion, Nordic Cross
  • Affiliations: UN, EU
  • Independence: From Russia, December 6, 1917

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  • Alcohol Legal: Yes
  • Minimum Drinking Age: 18 (for possession and purchase of <22% a.b.v.) 20 (for possession and purchase of ≥22% a.b.v.) (18 for all in bars and restaurants) [Note: Age limits apply to purchase and possession. Police may search minors in public places and confiscate or destroy alcoholic beverages. Adults are responsible for alcohol use by minors in private; offering alcohol to a minor is a punishable offense if it results in drunkenness and is inappropriate with regard to the minor's age, maturity and other circumstances.]
  • BAC: 0.05%
  • Number of Breweries: 36

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  • How to Say “Beer”: olut, kalja, pikkutekijä / slang: olvi
  • How to Order a Beer: O-loot moolek kee-tos
  • How to Say “Cheers”: Kippis / Kippis Terveydeksi (“to your health”) / Maljanne (“a toast to you sir”)
  • Toasting Etiquette: N/A

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Alcohol Consumption By Type:

  • Beer: 46%
  • Wine: 23%
  • Spirits: 28%
  • Other: 3%

Alcohol Consumption Per Capita (in litres):

  • Recorded: 9.72
  • Unrecorded: 2.80
  • Total: 12.52
  • Beer: 4.59

WHO Alcohol Data:

  • Per Capita Consumption: 9.7 litres
  • Alcohol Consumption Trend: Increase
  • Excise Taxes: Yes
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Sales Restrictions: Time, location, specific locations, intoxicated persons
  • Advertising Restrictions: Yes
  • Sponsorship/Promotional Restrictions: Yes

Patterns of Drinking Score: 3

Prohibition: 1919 to 1932 in Finland (called kieltolaki, “ban law”) [In 1919, Finland enacted prohibition, as one of the first acts after independence from the Russian Empire. Four previous attempts to institute prohibition in the early 20th century had failed due to opposition from the tsar. After a development similar to the one in the United States during its prohibition, with large-scale smuggling and increasing violence and crime rates, public opinion turned against the prohibition, and after a national referendum where 70% voted for a repeal of the law, prohibition was ended in early 1932.]

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Ireland Beer

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Today in 1921, Ireland gained their Independence by treaty with the United Kingdom.

Ireland
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Ireland Breweries

Ireland Brewery Guides

Other Guides

Guild: Irish Brewers Association; Beoir (consumer group)

National Regulatory Agency: Food Safety Authority of Ireland

Beverage Alcohol Labeling Requirements: Follows Eu Regulations

Drunk Driving Laws: BAC 0.05% [Note: 0.05% generally or 0.02% for learner drivers, newly qualified drivers (those who have their license for less than two years) and professional drivers, and those who do not have their driving license on them when stopped by the Gardaí (police). Police do not need a reason to request a breath sample. Being convicted of drunk driving usually carries a 2 year ban as well as a €1500 fine.]

ireland

  • Full Name: Ireland (Eire)
  • Location: Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain
  • Government Type: Republic, parliamentary democracy
  • Language: English (official, the language generally used), Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official, spoken mainly in areas along the western coast)
  • Religion(s): Roman Catholic 87.4%, Church of Ireland 2.9%, other Christian 1.9%, other 2.1%, unspecified 1.5%, none 4.2%
  • Capital: Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath)
  • Population: 4,722,028; 119th
  • Area: 70,273 sq km, 120th
  • Comparative Area: Slightly larger than West Virginia
  • National Food: Colcannon, Irish Stew
  • National Symbol: Irish Wolfhound, Irish Setter, Irish Elk; Shamrock; Sessile Oak; Celtic harp called a cláirseach (official), harp on coat of arms etc. (official), Celtic Cross; Harp
  • Affiliations: UN, EU
  • Independence: By treaty from the UK, December 6, 1921 / Declared, April 24, 1916 / Ratified, January 21, 1919

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  • Alcohol Legal: Yes
  • Minimum Drinking Age: 18 [Note: It is illegal for minors to buy alcohol, to attempt to buy it for minors or to consume alcohol in a public space in Ireland. Those under 18 may consume alcohol in a private residence when permission is given from a parent or guardian. It is illegal to purchase alcohol for anybody under the age of consent without permission from their guardians. Alcohol can be sold in stores only between 10:30 and 22:00 on weekdays and Saturdays or 12:30 and 22:00 on Sundays.]
  • BAC: 0.08%
  • Number of Breweries: 20

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  • How to Say “Beer”: beoir / leann (lionn)
  • How to Order a Beer: Byohr awoyn, lyeh doh hull
  • How to Say “Cheers”: Sláinte / Guid forder! (“good luck”) [Ulster-Scots]
  • Toasting Etiquette: Common Toasts

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Alcohol Consumption By Type:

  • Beer: 53%
  • Wine: 20%
  • Spirits: 19%
  • Other: 8%

Alcohol Consumption Per Capita (in litres):

  • Recorded: 13.39
  • Unrecorded: 1.00
  • Total: 14.39
  • Beer: 7.04

WHO Alcohol Data:

  • Per Capita Consumption: 13.4 litres
  • Alcohol Consumption Trend: Stable
  • Excise Taxes: Yes
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Sales Restrictions: Places, intoxicated persons
  • Advertising Restrictions: Some
  • Sponsorship/Promotional Restrictions: Some (sales promotions)

Patterns of Drinking Score: 3

Prohibition: None

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Albania Beer

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Today in 1912, Albania gained their Independence from the Ottoman Empire.

Albania
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Albania Breweries

Albania Brewery Guides

Other Guides

Guild: None Known

National Regulatory Agency: None

Beverage Alcohol Labeling Requirements: Not Known

Drunk Driving Laws: BAC 0.01%

albania

  • Full Name: Republic of Albania
  • Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece in the south and Montenegro and Kosovo to the north
  • Government Type: Parliamentary democracy
  • Language: Albanian (official: derived from Tosk dialect), Greek, Vlach, Romani, Slavic dialects
  • Religion(s): Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%
  • Capital: Tirana
  • Population: 3,002,859; 137th
  • Area: 28,748 sq km, 145th
  • Comparative Area: Slightly smaller than Maryland
  • National Food: Tavë Kosi
  • National Symbols: Double-headed eagle; Red Poppy; Olive; castle of Kruja, Crown of Skanderbeg
  • Affiliations: UN, NATO
  • Independence: From the Ottoman Empire, November 28, 1912

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  • Alcohol Legal: Yes
  • Minimum Drinking Age: None
  • BAC: 0.05%
  • Number of Breweries: 14

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  • How to Say “Beer”: birrë
  • How to Order a Beer: Një birrë, ju lutem
  • How to Say “Cheers”: Gëzuar / Shëndeti tuaj
  • Toasting Etiquette: N/A

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Alcohol Consumption By Type:

  • Beer: 33%
  • Wine: 19%
  • Spirits: 47%
  • Other: 1%

Alcohol Consumption Per Capita (in litres):

  • Recorded: 4.58
  • Unrecorded: 2.10
  • Total: 6.68
  • Beer: 1.61

WHO Alcohol Data:

  • Per Capita Consumption: 4.6 litres
  • Alcohol Consumption Trend: Increase
  • Excise Taxes: Yes
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Sales Restrictions: No
  • Advertising Restrictions: Product placement
  • Sponsorship/Promotional Restrictions: Sales promotions

Patterns of Drinking Score: 3

Prohibition: None

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