Sunday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1950. This ad was made for the Rheingold Brewery, which was founded by the Liebmann family in 1883 in New York, New York. At its peak, it sold 35% of all the beer in New York state. In 1963, the family sold the brewery and in was shut down in 1976. In 1940, Philip Liebmann, great-grandson of the founder, Samuel Liebmann, started the “Miss Rheingold” pageant as the centerpiece of its marketing campaign. Beer drinkers voted each year on the young lady who would be featured as Miss Rheingold in advertisements. In the 1940s and 1950s in New York, “the selection of Miss Rheingold was as highly anticipated as the race for the White House.” The winning model was then featured in at least twelve monthly advertisements for the brewery, beginning in 1940 and ending in 1965. Beginning in 1941, the selection of next year’s Miss Rheingold was instituted and became wildly popular in the New York Area. In this ad, Elise Gammon is announced as the new Miss Rheingold for 1951. She was born in Miami, Florida in 1930, though I was unable to find her birthday, it’s not even mentioned in her obituary when she passed away in 2014. She attended Florida State and Harcum College in Pennsylvania, before moving to new York City to pursue a modeling career. At the end of 1950, she married Edward Ory of Louisiana. The pair met on the television show “Blind Date.” As far as I can tell that marriage didn’t last very long because in her obituary, it only mentioned she later moved back to Miami and met and married Fatio O’Hearn Dunham, I think around 1964, and they had four children together, eventually settling in Lakeland in 1980. Elise received over 8 million votes.
Today is the birthday of Herman Alfred Uihlein Jr. (November 29, 1917-February 27, 2008). He was the son of Henry Uihlein II, and was the great-grandson of Henry Uihlein, who for many years was the president of the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company early in the 20th century. Herman Jr. served on the board of Schlitz for 40 years
Here’s an obituary of Uihlein from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Uihlein, Herman Alfred Jr. Of Mequon. Passed away on Wednesday, February 27, 2008, age 90. He was born in Milwaukee on November 29, 1917 and maintained homes in Mequon and Naples, FL. He was a third generation descendant of the founders of the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company and a grandson of Henry Uihlein, who was President of Schlitz from 1875 to 1917. Mr. Uihlein served on the Schlitz Board for 40 years. He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Nancie Dauer Uihlein, in 2005. Surviving are their children, Herman A. III of Del Mar, CA, Peter (Pam) of Mequon, George (Susan) of Grafton and Linda of Charlottesville, VA. He is also survived by four grandsons, P. Timothy, Mattson, Justin and G. Andrew. Further survived by his sister, Virginia U. Martin of Bozeman, MT and his brother, Henry H. Uihlein of Milwaukee. Mr. Uihlein was President of Ben-Hur Mfg. Co. and Vice President of QuicFreeze, Inc. in Fond du Lac, WI. from 1940 to 1950. During WWII he converted Ben-Hur to the manufacturing of supply trailers and fire engines for the military. Following the war both plants reverted to the production of domestic freezers and refrigerators. In 1954, Mr. Uihlein retired from both companies and joined the brokerage firm of Thomson & McKinnon as a partner for 30 years. He was active in supporting the Boy Scouts of America, the Easter Seals Society, the American Red Cross and the Community Fund. Mr. Uihlein attended Milwaukee Country Day School and graduated from Cranbrook School of Bloomfield Hills, MI. and attended Cornell University where he was a member of Chi Psi Fraternity. He enjoyed many years of skiing, hunting, fishing, golf and travel.
Today is the birthday of John Gorrie (October 3, 1803-June 29, 1855). He “was a physician, scientist, inventor, and humanitarian,” and most importantly, is credited with creating one of the very first refrigerators, an important development for the brewing industry.
Here’s one brief account, from a history of refrigeration on The Sun:
The man credited with developing the first actual “fridge” was an American doctor, John Gorrie, who built an ice-maker in 1844 based on Evans’ work of decades earlier. He also pioneered air conditioning at the same time, since his idea was to blow air across the ice-making machine to cool hospital patients suffering from malaria in Florida.
Gorrie did not make the fortune he deserved. His business partner died and his leaky machines were mocked by the Press and the ice-producing firms to whom he could have been a threat. He died sick and broke aged 51.
Here’s his story from his Wikipedia page:
Since it was necessary to transport ice by boat from the northern lakes, Gorrie experimented with making artificial ice.
After 1845, he gave up his medical practice to pursue refrigeration products. On May 6, 1851, Gorrie was granted Patent No. 8080 for a machine to make ice. The original model of this machine and the scientific articles he wrote are at the Smithsonian Institution. In 1835, patents for “Apparatus and means for producing ice and in cooling fluids” had been granted in England and Scotland to American-born inventor Jacob Perkins, who became known as “the father of the refrigerator.” Impoverished, Gorrie sought to raise money to manufacture his machine, but the venture failed when his partner died. Humiliated by criticism, financially ruined, and his health broken, Gorrie died in seclusion on June 29, 1855. He is buried in Magnolia Cemetery.
Another version of Gorrie’s “cooling system” was used when President James A. Garfield was dying in 1881. Naval engineers built a box filled with cloths that had been soaked in melted ice water. Then by allowing hot air to blow on the cloths it decreased the room temperature by 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The problem with this method was essentially the same problem Gorrie had. It required an enormous amount of ice to keep the room cooled continuously. Yet it was an important event in the history of air conditioning. It proved that Dr. Gorrie had the right idea, but was unable to capitalize on it. The first practical refrigeration system in 1854, patented in 1855, was built by James Harrison in Geelong, Australia.
Schematic of Gorrie’s ice machine.
And this account, entitled “Dr. John Gorrie, Refrigeration Pioneer,” is by George L. Chapel of the Apalachicola Area Historical Society in Apalachicola, Florida, which is the location of the John Gorrie State Museum:
Dr. John Gorrie (1803 – 1855), an early pioneer in the invention of the artificial manufacture of ice, refrigeration, and air conditioning, was granted the first U.S. Patent for mechanical refrigeration in 1851. Dr. Gorrie’s basic principle is the one most often used in refrigeration today; namely, cooling caused by the rapid expansion of gases. Using two double acting force pumps he first condensed and then rarified air. His apparatus, initially designed to treat yellow fever patients, reduced the temperature of compressed air by interjecting a small amount of water into it. The compressed air was submerged in coils surrounded by a circulating bath of cooling water. He then allowed the interjected water to condense out in a holding tank, and released or rarified, the compressed air into a tank of lower pressure containing brine; This lowered the temperature of the brine to 26 degrees F. or below, and immersing drip-fed, brick-sized, oil coated metal containers of non-saline water, or rain water, into the brine, manufactured ice bricks. The cold air was released in an open system into the atmosphere.
The first known artificial refrigeration was scientifically demonstrated by William Cullen in a laboratory performance at the University of Glasgow in 1748, when he let ethyl ether boil into a vacuum. In 1805, Oliver Evans in the United States designed but never attempted to build, a refrigeration machine that used vapor instead of liquid. Using Evans’ refrigeration concept, Jacob Perkins of the U.S. and England, developed an experimental volatile liquid, closed-cycle compressor in 1834.
Commercial refrigeration is believed to have been initiated by an American businessman, Alexander C. Twinning using sulphuric ether in 1856. Shortly afterward, an Australian, James Harrison, examined the refrigerators used by Gorrie and Twinning, and introduced vapor (ether) compression refrigeration to the brewing and meat packing industries.
The granting of a U.S. Patent in 1860 to Ferdinand P.E. Carre of France, for his development of a closed, ammonia-absorption system, laid the foundation for widespread modern refrigeration. Unlike vapor-compression machines which used air, Carre used rapidly expanding ammonia which liquifies at a much lower temperature than water, and is thus able to absorb more heat. Carre’s refrigeration became, and still is, the most widely used method of cooling. The development of a number of synthetic refrigerants in the 1920’s, removed the need to be concerned about the toxic danger and odor of ammonia leaks.
The remaining problem for the development of modern air conditioning would not be that of lowering temperature by mechanical means, but that of controlling humidity. Although David Reid brought air into contact with a cold water spray in his modification of the heating and ventilating system of the British Parliament in 1836, and Charles Smyth experimented with air cycle cooling (1846 – 56), the problem was resolved by Willis Haviland Carrier’s U.S. Patent in 1906, in which he passed hot soggy air through a fine spray of water, condensing moisture on the droplets, leaving drier air behind. These inventions have had global implications.
Dr. Gorrie was honored by Florida, when his statue was placed in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. In 1899, a monument to Dr. Gorrie was erected by the Southern Ice Exchange in the small coastal town of Apalachicola, where he had served as mayor in 1837, and had developed his machine.
Reportedly born October 3, 1803 in Charleston, South Carolina, of Scots – Irish descent, he was raised in Columbia, S.C. He attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Western District of New York, in Fairfield, New York, from 1825 to 1827. Although the school lasted only a few decades, it had a profound influence, second only to the Philadelphia Medical School, upon the scientific and medical community of the United States in the 19th century. Young Asa Gray, from Oneida County, New York, who by 1848 would be ranked as the leading botanist in the United States, and who in time would become a close friend of Dr. Alvin Wentworth Chapman of Apalachicola, the leading botanist in the South, served as an assistant in the school’s chemical department. In later years, Dr. Gray had distinct recollections of Gorrie as a “promising student.”
Dr. Gorrie initially practiced in Abbeville, South Carolina, in 1828, coming to the burgeoning cotton port of Apalachicola in 1833. He supplemented his income by becoming Assistant (1834), then Postmaster in Apalachicola. He became a Notary Public in 1835. The Apalachicola Land Company obtained clear title to the area by a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1835, and in 1836 laid out the city’s grid-iron plat along the lines of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Gorrie, who served as Vice-Intendant in 1836, and Intendant (Mayor), in 1837, would be an effective advocate for the rest of his life for draining the swamps, clearing the weeds and maintaining clean food markets in the city. He first served as Secretary of the Masonic Lodge in 1835, was a partner in the Mansion House Hotel (1836), President of the Apalachicola Branch Bank of Pensacola (1836), a charter member of the Marine Insurance Bank of Apalachicola (1837), a physician for the Marine Hospital Service of the U.S. Treasury Department (1837 – 1844), and a charter incorporator and founding vestryman of Trinity Episcopal Church, Apalachicola (1837).
Dr. Gorrie married Caroline Frances Myrick Beman, of a Columbia, South Carolina family, the widowed proprietress of the Florida Hotel in Apalachicola, on May 8, 1838. Shortly thereafter, he resigned his various positions in Apalachicola, and the family left the city not to return until 1840. He was named Justice of the Peace in 1841, the same year that yellow fever struck the area.
Mal-aria, Italian, “bad air”, and yellow fever, prevailed in the hot, low-lying, tropical and sub-tropical areas where there was high humidity and rapid decomposition of vegetation. Noxious effluvium, or poisonous marsh gas was thought to be the cause. The “putrid” winds from marshy lowlands were regarded as deadly, especially at night. The specific causes were unknown, and although one had quinine for malaria, the gin and tonic of India, there was no cure nor preventive vaccine, for yellow fever. The legendary Flying Dutchman was founded on the story of a ship with yellow fever onboard.
Malaria would start with shaking and violent chills, followed by high fever, and a drenching sweat. Insidious, it could recur in the victim as well as kill. Yellow fever did not recur; one either died or survived. It came in mysterious, vicious waves, killing anywhere from 12 to 70 percent of its victims. It started with shivering, high fever, insatiable thirst, savage headaches, and severe back and leg pains. In a day or so, the restless patient would become jaundiced and turn yellow. In the terminal stages, the patient would spit up mouthfuls of dark blood, the terrifying “black vomit” (vomito negro), the body temperature would drop, the pulse fade, and the comatose patient, cold to the touch, would die in about 8 to 10 hours. So great was the terror, that the victims would be buried as quickly as possible. Areas would be quarantined, and yellow flags flown. Gauze would be hung over beds to filter air; handkerchiefs would be soaked in vinegar; garlic would be worn in shoes. Bed linens and compresses would be soaked in camphor; sulfur would be burned in outdoor smudge pots. Gunpowder would be burned, and cannons would be fired. And, later, when it was over, the cleaning and fumigating would occur.
It would not be until 1901 in Havana, Cuba, that Drs. Walter Reed, Carlos Finlay and William Crawford Gorgas, with others, would demonstrate conclusively that the Aedes Aegypti, or Stegomyia Fasciata mosquito was the carrier of the yellow fever virus. It would be about the same time that the English physician, Sir Ronald Ross in India, would correctly identify the Anopheles mosquito as the carrier of the malaria protozoa. As early as 1848, in Mobile, Alabama, however, Dr. Josiah Nott first suggested that mosquitos might be involved. The yellow fever epidemic of 1841, and the hurricane and tidal wave, known locally as the “Great Tide” of 1842, destroyed Apalachicola’s rival cotton port of St. Joseph some thirty miles to the west on the deep water sound of St. Joseph’s Bay. Using Florida’s first railway (1837) to transport cotton from the Apalachicola River, St. Joseph had hosted Florida’s Constitutional Convention in 1838.
Dr. Gorrie became convinced that cold was the healer. He noted that “Nature would terminate the fevers by changing the seasons.” Ice, cut in the winter in northern lakes, stored in underground ice houses, and shipped, packed in sawdust, around the Florida Keys by sailing vessel, in mid-summer could be purchased dockside on the Gulf Coast. In 1844, he began to write a series of articles in Apalachicola’s “Commercial Advertiser” newspaper, entitled, “On the prevention of Malarial Diseases”.
He used the Nom De Plume, “Jenner”, a tribute to Edward Jenner, (1749 – 1823), the discoverer of smallpox vaccine. According to these articles, he had constructed an imperfect refrigeration machine by May, 1844, carrying out a proposal he had advanced in 1842. All of Gorrie’s personal records were accidentally destroyed sometime around 1860.
“If the air were highly compressed, it would heat up by the energy of compression. If this compressed air were run through metal pipes cooled with water, and if this air cooled to the water temperature was expanded down to atmospheric pressure again, very low temperatures could be obtained, even low enough to freeze water in pans in a refrigerator box.” The compressor could be powered by horse, water, wind driven sails, or steampower.
Dr. Gorrie submitted his patent petition on February 27, 1848, three years after Florida became a state. In April of 1848, he was having one of his ice machines built in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Cincinnati Iron Works, and in Octobcr, he demonstrated its operation. It was described in the Scientific American in September of 1849. On August 22, 1850, he received London Patent #13,124, and on May 6, 1851, U. S. Patent #8080. Although the mechanism produced ice in quantities, leakage and irregular performance sometimes impaired its operation. Gorrie went to New Orleans in search of venture capital to market the device, but either problems in product demand and operation, or the opposition of the ice lobby, discouraged backers. He never realized any return from his invention. Upon his death on June 29, 1855, he was survived by his wife Caroline (1805 – 1864), his son John Myrick (1838 – 1866), and his daughter, Sarah (1844 – 1908). Dr. Gorrie is buried in Gorrie Square in Apalachicola, his wife and son are buried-St. Luke’s-Episcopal Cemetery, Marianna, Florida, and his daughter, in Milton, Florida.
In an exclusive this morning, Brewbound is reporting that Fireman Capital to Purchase Cigar City. According to Brewbound, “Cigar City, a leading independent brewery based in Tampa, Fla., has agreed to sell controlling interest to Boston-based private equity firm Fireman Capital Partners, which already owns majority stakes in Oskar Blues, Perrin Brewing and the Utah Brewers Cooperative outfit that includes the Wasatch and Squatters brands.”
The overall entity created by Fireman Capital for their brewery acquisitions is United Craft Brews LLC, incorporated in Delaware. The SEC Form D lists Fireman Capital’s address is Waltham, Massachusetts, but information on OpenLEIs lists a registered address in Delaware, but Oskar Blues’ Longmont address as Headquarters for United Craft Brews. Last year, Westwood was still asking Does Oskar Blues Still Own Oskar Blues? This will undoubtedly continue to muddy the waters surrounding the answer to that question.
Rumors had been swirling that ABI was considering Cigar City as their next target for acquisition, and founder Joey Redner confirmed that he’d gotten as far as signing an LOI. But ABI let their exclusivity period pass without executing a formal purchase agreement, leaving Cigar City free to entertain other potential buyers.
Cigar City’s website posted a joint press release about the transaction:
Oskar Blues Brewery Rolls up a Cigar City Blunt
Longmont, CO, & Tampa Bay, FL — Oskar Blues Brewery announced the acquisition of Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing. Putting months of acquirement rumors to rest, the decision is driven by mutual irreverence, respect and desire to stay true to craft beer roots.
The combination stems from the want to take risks, sniff out bullsh*t and grow against-the-grain in an era of increasing competition within craft beer. The collaboration will match years of large-scale growth, expansion expertise and resources of Oskar Blues with the strength of Cigar City’s local following to help both breweries strengthen their future position. Similarly to Oskar Blues, Cigar City’s award-winning brews are well known and respected within the craft community.
“Cigar City is facing next-level challenges and we needed to develop next-level skills and resources to meet them. But, we got into beer out of passion and an unwavering desire to travel our own path. We didn’t want to just shove our round peg into some f*cking square hole and hope for the best. Florida craft beer drinkers want something they can proudly stand behind. These guys get that. They wrote the book on keeping it real,” says Joey, founder of Cigar City Brewing. Joey will remain as CEO of Cigar City following the transaction.
Since 2009, Cigar City Brewing achieved a near constant growth pattern reaching nearly 60,000 barrels in 2015, placing the Tampa Bay area and the state of Florida on the craft beer map. The partnership will provide additional investment for Cigar City’s infrastructure growth within Florida.
“What Cigar City has done for the community of Florida craft beer is impressive. It’s important for our culture to do business with people we want to hang out with and Joey and the gang fit,” Dale Katechis, Soul Founder of Oskar Blues, stated about the new partnership.
Oskar Blues Brewery is the funky brewpub that started brewing beer in 1999 in the small town of Lyons, CO and is responsible for starting the craft beer in-a-can movement in 2002 with Dale’s Pale Ale. In 2008, the brewery expanded down the street to Longmont, CO. and added an additional brewery in Brevard, NC in 2012. Oskar Blues brewed 192,000 barrels in 2015 and announced another brewery in Austin, TX scheduled to open in May of 2016.
Terms of the acquisition are not disclosed.
Seriously, this is getting out of hand. Awhile back it was low-calorie light diet beer that was being defended, which is a cause célèbre about as legitimate as the war on Christmas. So this latest one comes from the Orlando Weekly, and is entitled Don’t hate cheap American beer – love it for what it is.
I get why it’s from Florida, and why it was published yesterday, four days after chaos ensued. Everyone’s in a tizzy because of the near-riot at Hunahpu Day at Cigar City Brewing. But jeez, one incident, and the advice of this reporter is to give up, and go back to drinking flavorless swill? One catastrophe and she’s suggesting beer drinkers run back to their proverbial mommies? What kind of advice is that? It’s bad advice, is what it is, and it seems to lack any real perspective, instead opting for giving up.
To be fair, I wasn’t at the brewery during the “incident,” but I’m sure it was a bad scene. I was at Russian River the last year they served growlers, and ran out of a 2-week supply of Pliny the Younger in 8 hours. I was there at a SF Beer Week opening gala where the space we were renting changed the deal with had with them on the spot, leaving many people stuck in the line to get in, with many paid ticket-holders never making it inside. And I’ve been at plenty of festivals where the keg of that rare beer kicked long before everyone got a chance to sample it. So I have seen the darker side of humanity; crowds turning ugly, on a dime. You can almost sniff the sense of entitlement in the air, the wounded egos, the practiced outrage.
From reading over the manic coverage of Hunahpu Day gone wrong (see, for example, All About Beer or the Tampa Bay Times), it’s apparent that Cigar City was caught in a bad situation, much of it not of their making. As far as I can tell, they handled it as best they could. But for most of the people commenting on their own grief, that was nowhere near good enough. I guess they wanted blood, it’s hard to tell. Many seemed to actually take it personally, as if this is the way Cigar City wanted it to go, and they really were picking on people in the crowd. There was certainly no shortage of people telling the world how they would have done it differently. If there’s anything I’ve learned about people on the internet, it’s that they love to complain: live for it, actually. So it was no surprise that many people are unable, or unwilling, to forgive the brewery. But it’s also quite a shame.
I’ve met Joey Redner a couple of times, and we’ve corresponded a few more. He and the folks at Cigar City unquestionably make great beer. They’ve had a big hand in transforming the state of craft beer in Florida. When I used to visit it regularly over fifteen years ago (when BevMo had a few stores in south Florida) it was primarily a beer wasteland. But by all accounts, that’s no longer the case, and Florida today enjoys two beer weeks and nearly nineties breweries.
In a world where fake and half-hearted apologies have become the norm, his seemed entirely genuine and sincere. He honestly appeared as shaken up by the experience as anyone there. He also took responsibility for what happened, a rarity in today’s damage control savvy media world. Redner admitted mistakes were made, even when several of them were out of his control, and he took a number of steps, almost immediately, to try to make the best of a bad situation. For that he should be applauded, but for some it only seemed to anger them more, which I frankly don’t understand. But then there is just no pleasing some people, I suppose. But it sets up an absurd situation in which the brewery can do almost nothing which won’t cause criticism from certain quarters, so all they can do is try their best to move forward, which by all accounts is exactly what they’re doing.
It’s encouraging that there are at least a minority of people online continuing to show their support for Cigar City, and expressing understanding and even sympathy. Hopefully, they’ll be able to move past this.
But let’s get back to Erin Sullivan’s response in the Orlando Weekly, Where she really loses me, is when she lists her “[f]ive good reasons why it’s perfectly acceptable to drink plain old yellow lager” or “five good reasons you shouldn’t feel bad the next time you sheepishly choose a Stella when your friends are insisting you should drink Swamp Ape.” None of them are actually “good” reasons and a few of them are downright wrong. And the overall idea that this is reasonable at all, especially when she characterizes herself as a “craft-beer drinker,” just doesn’t jibe with me. You hear it from time to time, as if drinking beer with flavor is too much work, and sometimes you want to go back to a time when all beer had no flavor. Who develops a taste for filet mignon, but from time to time craves spam? For most people, I’d say, once they develop a taste for more flavorful beers, it’s downright difficult — if not impossible — to go back and enjoy a flavorless macro beer. Flavor is what people crave, so its opposite — no matter how well it’s technically made — can no longer be satisfying, at least in my experience.
Maybe Sullivan intended it all as a sly joke, a tongue-in-cheek jab at the cognoscenti, many of whom are accused of taking themselves, and craft beer, too seriously. But I’m not seeing any clues to that, no hints peppered through her apologist diatribe celebrating a return to flavorless swill. Of course, much like the war on Christmas, “plain old yellow lager” still holds court in America, in fact continues to dominate the market as it has during all of our lifetimes. People do, of course, freely consume tankers full of mass-produced lager, brewed in tanks the size of Montana. And that’s their right. I disagree with their choices, naturally, and I’ve spent much of my life gently encouraging them to trade up, but in the end, we’re all passionate about different things in our lives. I get that.
But there’s no reason to tell anyone that they should settle for that. I think we can finally lay to rest the long-standing notion that this better beer thing is just a fad, as was so often claimed in the media in the early days. And flavorful food, and other drinks, in countless varieties, have caught up to craft beer so that by now, hopefully, most people understand that there are choices to be made about what to put in your body every time you walk into a grocery store, a bar, a restaurant or even open your refrigerator. Nobody believes that Wonder bread is the best bread available, or that Maxwell House makes the best coffee. The same can be said about “plain old yellow lager,” and it seems like it does no one any favors to convince people it’s not really as bad as they thought, that there’s “no shame in drinking plain old American beer,” even setting aside the argument that a lot of it is brewed by companies who are not, strictly speaking, American (even though they do employ Americans working at breweries located on American soil).
So let’s look at why Sullivan believes that it’s “perfectly acceptable to drink plain old yellow lager.”
1. “Macrobrewed beer is usually cheap.” This is a terrible reason to base your beer choices on. But you hear it all the time. Are there really people who buy the cheapest possible item no matter what it is? Wonder bread is cheaper than a freshly-baked artisan loaf. Kraft singles are cheaper than Maytag Blue. Two Buck Chuck is cheaper than Chateau Margaux. So what? Who wants to live that way? When you shop by price, you’re commodifying the product, essentially saying it’s all the same. It’s not. Beer has certainly been treated that way in the past, when indeed it was mostly all the same. It was that very situation that led to what was then referred to as the “microbrewery revolution.” It was the sameness that people were rebelling against.
I know people have a limited budget to spend on everything they need to live, but there’s living, and then there’s living. Do you want to eat (or drink) to live, or live to eat (or drink)? I know which way I’d vote, and I do so with my wallet everyday. If I can’t afford the (not very much more) expensive beer, then I’m not going to buy the cheaper one with less flavor that I won’t like. Why would I do that? Who would? As the saying goes, “life’s too short to drink cheap beer.” It really is. I’d rather buy an expensive six-pack of something worthwhile than an entire case that “tastes of nothing,” which is how Michael Jackson used to describe many macro beers.
2. “At the risk of sounding like that commercial, it’s less filling.” Not necessarily. Most of the macro lagers she’s championing are around 5% a.b.v. These days it’s not too hard to find a more flavorful session beer made by a brewery who, for lack of a better term, is considered a craft brewery. Almost any session beer would likely have more flavor than than the average mass-produced macro and also be less filling, too. Even Guinness is only a shade north of 4%.
3. “You’ll probably drink less of it.” This argument only works in opposite world. Because the whole point of craft beer is already to drink less, but drink better. The idea that you’d buy crappy beer because it was cheaper but then stop drinking it because it didn’t taste good is absurd in the extreme, and incredibly wasteful to boot. It seems like if that were true, #3 would negate #1, too.
4. “It pairs well with yard work and wings.” Bullshit. This is another specious argument you hear all the time about “lawnmower beers.” I did an entire newspaper column last year devoted to lawnmower beers, that is beers with a lighter body, that were also still full-flavored. There’s no need to sacrifice taste for a refreshing beer. There are plenty of craft and import beers that will work. And pairing spicy wings with a watery lager does nothing to cut through the spiciness. There are a million better food pairing choices.
5. “Your in-laws (or parents) are coming over.” Really? Show some backbone. If the old farts in your life don’t like the beer you’re giving them for free, let them bring their own damn beer next time. It’s hard to tell if this is a serious one, or she just ran out of already questionable reasons, and needed to pad it out to five. But either way, issues with one’s own parents shouldn’t translate into advice to the population at large, especially when the advice itself is so bad.
Overall, I’d say that if you’re still drinking flavorless beer, it’s going to be hard to convince you at this point. I have a brother-in-law who steadfastly refuses to drink anything with flavor, much to my personal, and professional, shame. I just can’t get through to him, no matter what I try. Sometimes I wonder if he’s so stubborn just because he knows how much it bugs me. But it also shows that the passion that I feel for better beer, along with plenty of others, is not universal. He just doesn’t care that much about his beer. He also wears the ugliest, most garishly colored running shoes, too, so there’s no accounting for taste. Me, I prefer a less stare-inducing pair of plain, comfortable shoes, something like converse all-stars or Adidas tennis sneakers, in black or white.
And that, I think, is what it comes down to, just how much you, or anyone, really cares about beer, or anything. There’s only so much time to think about what to eat, to drink, to wear, what to watch, where to go, what to do, and on and on, and on. Life is a never-ending series of choices. There just isn’t enough time to consider each one with equal weight. So with some decisions we take the easiest path; eat at McDonald’s, watch whatever tops the Nielsens, drink Coke, or Budweiser. Others are more personal, and for whatever complicated reasons deep in our psyche, matter more to us. Mine are numerous, quirky, and even I don’t understand all of them sometimes. But that’s just me, just as you’re just you. Fortune cookie wisdom aside, it really is just how we’re built. I’m passionate about the beer I drink, and I suspect if you’ve read all the way through to here, you are too.
But if you’re one of those people who prefers “plain old yellow lager,” go for it. I may not like it, but I understand it, to some extent. Really, I don’t; but I understand the mechanism that leads to that decision. But having found one of my passions in beer, what I can’t understand, or abide, is trying to talk somebody out of drinking better beer, taking a step backwards, so to speak. Cheap American Beer is still the best-selling kind there is, and nobody really needs to keep defending it. So I’ll keep saying don’t. Make a better choice for yourself. Drink beer with flavor. You’ll be much happier you did.
The annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa, Florida also includes a parade as part of the festivities. The parade takes place this afternoon, and usually features the Budweiser Clydesdales. But this year, instead they had local artist Terry Klaaren create a float using nothing by recycled beer cans. Klaaren called his work “re-cycle-dales” and it’s a sculpture of two life-size Clydesdale head figures that took him about six weeks and 3,000 beer cans to construct. According to a local news story:
“Every beer can was hand flattened with a wooden mallet,” Klaaren said. “We punched a couple of holes in it and then sewed it onto the mesh with stainless steel wire. I found beer cans to be a great sculpture medium.”
Gieseking said the vision for the float was Clydesdales emerging from a wave of water collecting recyclables in the wake.
“Just a nice image of taking the garbage out of the water,” Klaaren said.
Unfortunately, this is the only photo of it I can find. Perhaps there will be more views after the parade takes place later today.
My friend and colleague, Gerard Walen, has an interesting story on CraftBeer.com about a mobile brewery that drove from Florida to Oregon. In Collaboration On the FL-ORegon Trail, Walen details the rolling brewery built by the Dunedin Brewery and its journey to Oregon, and then on to Denver for GABF. Check it out. Gerard can normally be found on Road Trips For Beer, and recently finished the Florida Breweries book in the same series as my northern California guidebook, which will be published this April.
- A1A Ale Works
- Aardwolf Pub & Brewery
- Abbey Brewing Company
- Anheuser-Busch InBev Jacksonville
- Bare Bones Grill & Brewery
- The Blind Tiki Brewing
- Beautiful Brews, Inc.
- Big Bear Brewing
- Big River Grille and Brewing Works
- Bold City Brewery
- Brewer’s Pizza
- Brewzzi Brewing
- Brooksville Brewing
- Charlie and Jake’s Brewery & BBQ
- Cigar City Brewing
- Clevelander Brewery
- Cocoa Beach Brewing
- Cold Storage Craft Brewery
- Corner Cafe & Brewery
- Dunedin Brewery & Public House
- Engine 15 Brewing Company
- Fantasy Brewmasters
- Florida Beer Company
- The Funky Buddha Lounge and Brewery
- Gordash Brewing
- Gordon Biersch Brewing
- Green Room Brewing
- Hops Grillhouse & Brewery
- Inlet Brewing
- Intuition Ale Works
- Karibrew Brew Pub & Grill
- Kelly’s Caribbean Bar & Grill
- Lagerhaus Brewery & Grill
- Lagniappe Brewing Co.
- Liquid Bakery Craft Brewery
- Little Giant Brewery
- Mad Crow Brewing and Grill
- Marco Island Brewery
- Market Street Pub
- McGuire’s Irish Pub & Brewery
- Mount Dora Brewing
- Native Brewing
- Orange Blossom Pilsner
- Orlando Brewing Partners
- Peg’s Cantina & Brew Pub
- Pensacola Bay Brewing
- Ragtime Tavern Seafood and Grill
- River City Brewing
- Saint Somewhere Brewing Company
- Sarasota Brewing
- Seven Bridges Grille & Brewery
- Shipyard Emporium
- Swamp Head Brewery
- Tampa Bay Brewing Company
- Titanic Brewery & Restaurant
- Unique Brewers
- Yuengling Brewing Company of Tampa
Florida Brewery Guides
Guild: Florida Brewers Guild
State Agency: Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco
- Capital: Tallahassee
- Largest Cities: Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Saint Petersburg, Hialeah
- Population: 15,982,378; 4th
- Area: 65758 sq.mi., 22th
- Nickname: Sunshine State
- Statehood: 27th, March 3, 1845
- Alcohol Legalized: December 5, 1933
- Number of Breweries: 47
- Rank: 11th
- Beer Production: 13,892,233
- Production Rank: 3rd
- Beer Per Capita: 23.4 Gallons
- Bottles: 46%
- Cans: 42.9%
- Kegs: 10.6%
- Per Gallon: $0.64
- Per Case: $1.44
- Tax Per Barrel (24/12 Case): $19.80
- Draught Tax Per Barrel (in Kegs): $14.88
Economic Impact (2010):
- From Brewing: $2,122,566,036
- Direct Impact: $5,467,349,123
- Supplier Impact: $3,776,962,846
- Induced Economic Impact: $3,052,520,250
- Total Impact: $12,296,832,219
- Control State: No
- Sale Hours: State law prohibits selling of alcohol between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m., unless the county chooses to change the operating hours later; such as for Sunday morning; Ormond Beach stays open until 7pm on Sundays. Miami-Dade County liquor stores may operate 24 hours a day.
- Grocery Store Sales: Yes
- Notes: Sale, processing, or consumption of any liquor or spirit of greater than 153 proof is illegal. (FSS 565.07)
Supermarkets and other licensed business establishments may sell beer, low-alcohol liquors, and wine. Liquor must be sold in dedicated liquor stores which may be in a separate part of a grocery or a drug store. Beer must be sold in quantities of 32 or fewer ounces or greater than 1 gallon. Forty- and 64-ounce beverages are illegal.
Data complied, in part, from the Beer Institute’s Brewer’s Almanac 2010, Beer Serves America, the Brewers Association, Wikipedia and my World Factbook. If you see I’m missing a brewery link, please be so kind as to drop me a note or simply comment on this post. Thanks.
For the remaining states, see Brewing Links: United States.
I don’t want to make light of this, or even make too much out of it, because everyone makes mistakes. Hell, even the head of the OLCC resigned after getting a DUI in April 2006. But I still feel it has to be pointed out (and thanks to Rob for the tip).
The Gainesville Sun is reporting that Debra Oberlin was arrested last week and charged with a DUI. Oberlin is the former President of the Gainesville, Florida chapter of the neo-prohibitionist Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). She was the President of the local chapter for three years in the 1990s before it was disbanded for “lack of financial support” in 1996.
But she didn’t just go a little bit over the line, she sprinted past it. Like most states, Florida’s BAC level is 0.08. Oberlin blew a .234 and a .239, while claiming to have had just four beers. The police report indicates she was observed “driving erratically on Northwest 19th Street, swerving and crossing lanes.” That’s the type of drunk driver even the most ardent supporter of alcohol doesn’t want on the road.