Beer In Miniature

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A Japanese photographer, Tatsuya Tanaka, started a daily project back in 2011, photographing a miniature diorama scene every single day, and he’s been at it now non-stop since April 20 of that year, producing (so far) 2,161 pictures. He’s posted them in calendar form, showing a month of thumbnails on a page, at his website, Miniature Calendar. He’s even collected some of them into books, which are available online.

With over 2,000 dioramas created and photographed so far, it’s probably no surprise that some of them are beer-themed. So here’s a sample of some of his photographs. These are not necessarily some of the best ones he’s done, but they’re still pretty awesome, and have something to do with beer. Go over to his website and lose yourself in the rest for a few hours. They’re pretty awesome. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
161102wed

Friday, October 10, 2014
141010fri

Saturday, September 12, 2015
150912sat

Sunday, April 13, 2014
140413sun

Friday, November 27, 2015
151127fri

Saturday, August 10, 2013
130810sat

Sunday, April 7, 2013
130407sun

Wednesday, November 26, 2014
141126wed

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
151028wed

Monday, August 4, 2014
140804mon

Tuesday, November 29, 2016
161129tue

And because life isn’t all beer and skittles, here are two more featuring other passions of mine.

Monday, October 27, 2014
141027mon

Monday, June 22, 2015
150622mon

Hulk Smashes Beer Cans

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Here’s a fun series of photographs by a Japanese photographer who goes by hot kenobi on Instagram. Apparently he likes action figures, especially of super heroes, quite a bit. Both his Instagram and Twitter feed are filled with photos he’s taken of them in all sorts of situations. But lately, several of his works have involved superheroes, mostly from Marvel, having some fun with beer cans and bottles. Enjoy.

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Hulk smashes beer cans.

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Captain America holds a can of Asahi like a punching bag while Iron Man takes a swing at it.

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Spider-Man takes down a beer can with his web.

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Superman easily crushes his can, while the mortal Batman has made only a small dent in his.

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Just to mix things up, Wolverine opens a beer bottle with his adamantium claws, as Spider-Man holds on to it so it won’t fall over and spill.

Beer In Ads #2181: Heineken Refreshes Steel Girders


Wednesday’s ad is for Heineken, from 1977. In the later 1970s, Heineken embarked on a series of ads with the tagline “Heineken Refreshes the Parts Other Beers Cannot Reach.” Many of the ads were in a sequential panel, or comic strip, format and they were intended to be humorous.

In this ad, a two-panel format, a man is carrying a large steel girder, balanced on his head, while carrying a full mug of beer. It’s obviously a poke at Guinness advertising, which had a similar ad with a man carrying a girder. The girder is bent in a curve, essentially drooping in the front and back, as if he was carrying something limp. But in the second panel, after he’s drank some of his beer, the girder has stiffened up and is straight as an arrow. Plus the man has gone from frowning to wearing a smile, but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

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New Beer Words: Snotter

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Here’s yet another new word that should be added to the beer lexicon. Well, it’s not exactly a new word, but has been around at least since 1824, and most likely earlier. It showed up today in my twitter feed, from Merriam-Webster, as part of their Words at Play series. The word is snotter and has several meanings, the most common being nautical — A fitting that holds the heel of a sprit close to the mast — and others along the lines of “to snivel; to cry or sob.” And more recently snotter is used as another word for snot.

But Merriam-Webster today highlighted an older, less-common meaning of the word in their Words at Play piece entitled “‘Snotter’, ‘Groak’, and 6 More Words Associated with Bad Habits.

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Michael Jackson nosing a beer, during GABF judging in 2002.

Here’s the definition that should be folded into our beer lexicon:

Snotter

Definition: to breathe noisily

Snotter is a dialectal British word, and, as is so often the case with dialect words, carries a certain trenchant charm. It also has a variety of closely-related meanings, as it may be used to refer to snoring, sniveling, sniffing, snorting, or simply as another way to say snot.

If you’ve ever been a beer judge, or even were in a room watching other people judge beer, then you’ve most likely encountered a snotter. There’s a whole lot of noisy breathing going on during beer judging, whether it’s one long draw or a series of short, quick sniffs. Frankly, if you’re not a snotter, you’re probably not doing it correctly.

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Beer In Ads #2174: Heineken Refreshes Medieval Tapestries


Wednesday’s ad is for Heineken, from the 1970s. In the later 1970s, Heineken embarked on a series of ads with the tagline “Heineken Refreshes the Parts Other Beers Cannot Reach.” Many of the ads were in a sequential panel, or comic strip, format and they were intended to be humorous.

In this ad, a three-panel format, it resembles a medieval tapestry. In the first panel, and arrow’s heading straight for our ancient soldier’s head. But in the second, he has a mug of beer, which by the third panel has turned the arrow into a rubber-tipped suction cup arrow, saving his ass and causing him to smile.

Heineken-1970s-tapestry

Baby Beer Names

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A few years ago I wrote an article for the Brewer’s Association I called Papa’s Got A Brand New Beer that was for Father’s Day. It featured a number of names that beer people have given their kids, celebrating their love of beer. My old friend, Adam Lambert — who I’ve known since he was in college and working part-time for SLO Brewing — recently tweeted “I think we need a blog for beer related kid names.” While setting up an entire new blog on that topic seemed too much, at least for me, I figured a page of People’s Beer Names could work.

bizarro-kids-beer-names

I can only assume there are more that I haven’t run across. If you know of any to add to this list, please let me know by commenting here. I’m especially interested in names that parents have already given, so if you know a name that’s already been bestowed on a child, please let me know who (I don’t need exact name, just something like “employee at x brewery/bar/distributor/etc.”) so I can refer to without naming names.

Here are the names I already either know of, or seem possible.


Boy’s Names

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  • Brett: confirmed — Brett Porter is head brewer at Goose Island/ABI, and formerly with Deschutes
  • Brewer: theoretical — appears in baby name books
  • Bud: fictionally confirmed — Bud Bundy, character on Married… with Children, named after Al Bundy’s favorite beer
  • Cooper: confirmed — son of a man with 20 years in the draft dispensing business
  • E.S.B. initials: unconfirmed — rumored story told to Jay R. Brooks for a name like “Ethan Sebastian Brown”
  • Flanders: possible — for the Belgian beer style, Flanders Red
  • Porter: confirmed — son of Jay R. Brooks, and also the son of Chris Graham, COO of MoreBeer
  • Stout: confirmed — A Facebook friend knows one


Girl’s Names

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  • Abbey: possible — for Abbey-type breweries
  • Amber: confirmed — daughter of Geno Acevedo, El Toro Brewing, and middle name of the daughter of Colorado beer write Dan Rabin
  • Burton: possible — for the beer-brewing city in England
  • Cascade: possible — for the hop variety*
  • Crystal: possible — for the malt variety
  • Genny: possible — for Genesee Cream Ale, nicknamed “Genny”
  • Heather: possible — for the shrub used in brewing
  • India: confirmed — A Facebook friends knows a couple whose daughter got her name at least in part because they love IPAs and homebrew
  • Iris: possible — for Cantillon Iris
  • Kate: possible — for Portsmouth Kate the Great
  • Mara: confirmed — daughter of British beer writer Martyn Cornell, Hebrew for bitter
  • Matilda: possible — for Goose Island Matilda
  • Sierra: confirmed — daughter of Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada Brewing
  • Sofie: possible — for Goose Island Sofie
  • Vienna: confirmed — daughter Jennifer Talley, Auburn Alehouse

NOTE: * – I’ve seen many suggestions for different hop variety names, but most seem somewhat forced. Understanding that a name could conceivably be anything, I only want to list names that seem reasonable or have actually been given to a kid by his or her parents. For another example, I’ve seen several mentions suggesting “Bock” or “Lambic” as names, but unless someone’s actually named their kid those, they don’t really seem that likely to me. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of suggestions like that out there on the internet. really more bad suggestions than good ones.

National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

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In case you missed it, today was “National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day.” Not surprisingly, a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters involve beer, such as one of my favorites, “Frothy the Snowman.”

Frothy-the-Snowman

But it’s not too late. There are nine more days until Xmas, plenty of time to pick up your own ugly beer sweater. I found at least thirty different beer-themed ones. You can see them all in the slideshow below. A few of them are t-shirts meant to mimic a sweater, but since their in the same spirit, I’ve included them, as well. Enjoy.

Ugly Beer Sweaters

Gävlebocken

goat
How did I not know about this before? Although it’s not about beer, it is about goats, which is close enough for me. Apparently for the last fifty years Sweden has had their own version of a burning man (sort of), although for them it’s a Gävlebocken, or “Gävle goat.” It’s essentially “a traditional Christmas display erected annually at Slottstorget in central Gävle, Sweden. It is a giant version of a traditional Swedish Yule Goat figure made of straw. It is erected each year at the beginning of Advent over a period of two days by local community groups.”

Gavlebocken-1

Here’s the basic history, from Wikipedia:

The Gävle Goat is erected every year on the first day of Advent, which according to Western Christian tradition is in late November or early December, depending on the calendar year. In 1966, an advertising consultant, Stig Gavlén, came up with the idea of making a giant version of the traditional Swedish Yule Goat and placing it in the square. The design of the first goat was assigned to the then chief of the Gävle fire department, Gavlén’s brother Jörgen Gavlén. The construction of the goat was carried out by the fire department, and they erected the goat each year from 1966 to 1970 and from 1986 to 2002. The first goat was financed by Harry Ström. On 1 December 1966, a 13-metre (43 ft) tall, 7-metre (23 ft) long, 3-tonne goat was erected in the square. On New Year’s Eve, the goat was burnt down, and the perpetrator was found and convicted of vandalism. The goat was insured, and Ström got all of his money back.

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And vandalism of the goat has also become part and parcel of the legend each year. Even the Wikipedia page includes a chart of how long the goat lasted each year. Some years, like 2014, it lasted throughout the holiday season and into January. But even then, there were three attempts by arsonists. It’s actually only made it all the way to January intact a dozen times, and one of those years with some damage. This year, it only made it one day, and was burned down on November 27.

Gavle-goat-2016
This was this year’s Gävle goat.

A tourist website for the town of Gävle, VisitGävle, with facts about “the world’s largest straw goat.”

The peculiar story about the Gävle Goat started in 1966. A man named Stig Gavlén came up with the idea to design a giant version of the traditional Swedish Christmas straw goat. The objective was to attract customers to the shops and restaurants in the southern part of the city. On the first Sunday of Advent 1966, the huge goat was placed at the Castle Square. Since then, the Gävle Goat has been a Christmas symbol placed in the same spot every year. Today it’s world famous. The goat is the world’s largest straw goat and made it to the Guinness Book of Records for the first time in 1985.

Worth knowing about the Gavle Goat

  • The Gävle Goat is 13 metres (42.6 feet) high, seven metres long and weighs 3.6 tonnes.
  • It takes a whole truck full of straw from the local village of Mackmyra to create the goat.
  • 1600 meters of rope is used.
  • 12,000 knots are tied.
  • 56 five metre straw mats form the straw coat.
  • 1200 metres of Swedish pine create the wooden skeleton.
  • 1000 man-hours of work are needed to build the Gävle Goat.
  • The Gävle Goat is inaugurated on the first Sunday of Advent every year, in conjunction with the “skyltsöndagen”.
  • The Gävle Goat has friends in more than 120 countries around the world that follow it in social media.
  • In 2015, 420 000 people visited the Gävle Goat, dressed in a flower coat, when it was on tour in the Chinese twin town of Zhuhai.
  • The Gavle Goat has been hit by a cruising car and been subjected to fire and sabotage over the years.
  • Staged hacker attacks and kidnappings have also been planned.

You can also read more about it at Atlas Obscura and the BBC

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Visit Gävle adds. “You can follow the Gävle Goat from the first Sunday of Advent until after New Year or until the sad day that it meets its notorious fate.” For that purpose, they’ve set up a webcam where anyone can keep an eye on the goat, although this year it’s already too late. On the plus side, that’s how they were able to capture it burning on film.

Mickey Mouse In Arabia

mickey-mouse
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. A couple of years ago, I posted Mickey Mouse Drinking A Beer, about when Mickey is seen drinking a beer in “The Gallopin’ Gaucho.”

So for Mickey Mouse’s birthday this year, I thought I’d show a different cartoon, this one a little later, from 1932. It’s maybe the 46th Mickey Mouse cartoon, called “Mickey in Arabia.” There are plenty of racial stereotypes in the cartoon, sadly typical for 1932. And while Mickey doesn’t actually drink in this one, the camel that he and Minnie ride does drink some from a barrel.

mickey-in-arabia-1932

After Minnie is abducted by a sultan and rides off on his camel, Mickey runs back to his camel, who’s apparently been drinking beer the entire time and is obviously inebriated.

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So first he has to chase the drunk camel.

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Finally, catching the camel, now he has to chase after the sultan, who’s taken Minnie.

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And riding a drunk camel is no picnic.

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The drunk camel even passes out at one point but continues on running upside down on its humps!

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Below is the whole cartoon, the relevant beer barrel drinking takes place just after 1:30 into the 7-minute video.