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    Beer Notes and a Thought or Two

    Over the last week or so the response to my questions: “What is your favorite pub, bar, tavern or restaurant… and why?” and “How do you name your beers?” has been most interesting.

    The following are the answers to those two questions.


    First:  “What is your favorite pub, bar, tavern or restaurant… and why?”


    Hi Peter!


    My local is the Grey Lodge Public House in Philadelphia (6235 Frankford Ave.), some 30 miles from my house (Lawrenceville NJ lacks for decent taverns, just chains have the liquor licenses!)!!


    The Grey Lodge, from the moment you enter the place, is as comfy as a favorite old shoe, with a mix of retirees from the neighborhood, beer geeks from all over the region, families dining upstairs on the excellent gastropub menu, couples canoodling at 2-tops along the wall and in the front windows of the place, and dart players gathering toward the rear of the first floor where the competition if fierce and entertaining.

    The beer selection changes frequently on the craft-only beer menu, a dozen taps and the occasional surprise firkin atop the bar. The bartenders know the beer, but they're not pushy or opinionated about it, and bring samples when a customer is unfamiliar with a style or name. The Lodge is that rare combination of old-school neighborhood corner bar and quirky, sophisticated beer boite, and it has a strong gravitational pull on its patrons.  When you're there, you never want to leave.




    Rich Pawlak


    The answer to the second question: “How do you name your beers?”



    Naming is the fun but also very hard these days. When you create a successful brand you want to tell a story. In that story the brand names of your beers should complete the circle of helping to tell the story and educate the consumer. In the old days you named the beers whatever you wanted and hoped no one else had that name in use, you could pay a lawyer to look it up but most of the time you asked for forgiveness afterwards. Now we live in an information age so with a quick google search you see if anyone else is using that name now. This makes it super hard especially with the massive growth of craft breweries and brands in their houses. I honestly do not think you can come up with another "hop" pun name but yet it seems every month someone does. The only thing I hate is when I see a brewery using a marketing company to give it a name, you can tell because that name does not have the soul of the brewery or the craft movement.


    Claus Hagelman



    It is great to hear from readers and sharing their thoughts on all the fascinating aspects of beer and all that is connected to that timeless elixir of the soul.

    Anyone who cares to debate that is invited to contact me directly…


    Peter LaFrance


    The Original T.G.I. Friday’s

    This is another once upon a time story so listen carefully…

    Once upon a time, in 1976, I moved to Manhattan, NYC. My first apartment was on 65th between First and York Avenue. Two blocks south, at 1152 First Avenue, was a place folks called FRIDAY’S. It boasted a bright blue façade with red and white candy stripe awnings and accents.

    The beer was fresh and cold and the food was inexpensive and lots and lots of eye candy.

    It was a time when the business offices of New York City still needed large numbers of staff to function properly. Both First and Second Avenues in New York City, between 65th and 86th, had plenty of two bedroom apartments availablein the five to six story buildings that lined the Avenues and side streets. The influx of young folks staggered the restaurant, bar and pubs that once catered to an older generation. That soon changed with the likes of “Who’s On First”, Adam’s Apple, Dangerfield’s, Rathbone’s and “Friday’s”.

    My guidebook at the time was a tome by David Yeadon and Roz Lewis called “The New York book of Bars, Pubs & Taverns.” Their story of the origins of FRIDAY’S follows:

     “Friday’s, or to give the correct title T.G.I. (Thank God It’s …) Friday’s, is a landmark on the Manhattan singles scene. It opened in 1965, around the same time Maxwell’s Plum, and is still one of the most popular spots in the “meat rack” zone…

                “The atmosphere is perhaps a little more restrained than in the old party days when gorilla-suited employees would bound across First Avenue stopping cars and literally drag their occupants in for the revelries, or when horse drawn chariots complete with Ben Hurs would reenact the famous chariot race around the block. But there is still life in the old place yet…”

    (I can remember the later but not the former. And I know the reason why…)

                “Alan Stillman, Ben Benson and Ernest Kalman, (Google those names for a history of restaurants in NYC from 1965-1975) the owners of Friday’s (also, Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s, and Thursday’s), are still confused over the success of the place.”

    All I knew was that it was a great bar…

    Where the original T.G.I. Friday’s was located… 1152 First Avenue, NYC



    The White Horse (NYC)

    On a Thursday afternoon recently I had the chance to revisit an old friend.

    The White Horse Tavern on Hudson Street in New York City (Manhattan) is a famous watering hole for a number of reasons and legends. All of them are available on the internet so I will not bore you with a recitation.

    What I will do is offer you a few insights and observations.

    First of all there are two rooms and a large outside patio. The picture below shows the view from the bar towards the back room where Dylan Thomas stares back at you. More importantly, between the rooms there is the WC.

    The picture below I call “White Horse Tavern Ambiance”… it gives a glimpse of the comfortable aura that permeates the place in the early afternoon when regulars gather at the bar and the tourists seek the safety of the tables.

    The beers are not limited to the draft selection. A good variety of both canned and bottled beers representing small breweries and larger breweries are also featured.

    (Above: left to right, Guinness, Anchor Steam, Stella Artois, Hoegaarden Original White Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Lagunitas IPA, Pacifico and Cider.)

    The menu is pub grub and I can attest to the fact that a pint or two of the Lagunitas IPA goes quite well with the chili-dog and potato salad. Or perhaps the bratwurst, sauced with a meaty, not too spicy chili, served on a potato bread bun and creamy potato salad went well with the Lagaunitas IPA.




    Brews News 14 April ‘14


    5th Annual Milwaukee Beer Week Back and Bigger Than Ever

    Celebrate the end to a long winter with the 5th annual Milwaukee Beer Week. In addition to new partners, venues, brands and events Milwaukee Beer Week is also commemorating its fifth year with the launch of a brand new website.  The new site, that went live April 4, was designed to enhance the overall user experience and make it easy for consumers to navigate the 200 (and counting) events taking place in and around the city.

    As in past years, the week of festivities will kick-off with firkin tappings taking place all over the city starting at 4:00 p.m. Saturday April, 26. These unique creations from some of the most notable names in craft beer will be unveiled to enthusiasts at favorite beer bars and retailers all over the city.

    Back this year by popular demand, are the Milwaukee Beer Week Passports. The Passports offer a fun way to visit new pubs, restaurants and other venues, while also having a chance to win awesome prizes, meet new people, and most importantly sample new beers! Passports will be available at all Milwaukee Beer Week event locations following kick-off, but can be picked-up ahead of time beginning Wednesday April 23rd at the following locations:

    Benno’s (7413 W Greenfield Ave, West Allis, WI)

    Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W Oklahoma Ave, Milwaukee, WI)

    Ray’s Wine and Spirits (8930 W North Ave, Wauwatosa, WI)

    Stubby’s (2060 N Humboldt Blvd, Milwaukee, WI)

    Sugar Maple (441 E Lincoln Ave, Milwaukee, WI)

    To view a complete overview of the Passport program, schedule of the week’s events or for any additional details visit the Milwaukee Beer Week site.



    The fourth annual Madison Craft Beer Week hosts more than 175 events celebrating craft beer in and around Madison, Wisconsin.

    Madison Craft Beer Week runs from Friday May 2 through Sunday May 11, 2014 and features a wide variety of events highlighting Dane County’s vibrant craft beer culture. MCBW 2014 will feature beer dinners, festivals, rare bottle tastings, cheese pairings, brewery tours, classes, movies, Friday Fish Fries, and more – there is truly something for everyone, from novice to connoisseur.

    Craft beer week activities may include:

    •Official MCBW Kick-Off Celebration and Cask Ale Festival •Brewery parties and/or meet the brewer events •Beer dinners & beer cook offs •Beer education and/or classes •Cheese & beer, sausage & beer, chocolate & beer pairings •Beer vs. wine night (e.g., beer vs. wine with cheese pairing) •Real ale/bourbon barrel aged/barleywine festivals •Home brewing demonstrations/education •Pub crawls, bicycle tours, historical brewery site tours, scavenger hunt •Great Taste of the Midwest craft beer festival ticket sales on Sunday May 4th

    Learn more @ the official event website


    Sierra Nevada Invites Every Craft Brewery in the Nation 

    To Take Part in Beer Camp Across America Festival Tour


    Chico, CA—April 9, 2014—Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has announced that it has invited every craft brewery in the country – more than 2,700 – to take part in a multi-weekend traveling beer festival this summer. Beer Camp Across America is a celebration for the entire craft beer community, bringing together brewers and the fans who have buoyed their success.

    Beer Camp Across America will feature seven stops—in cities with thriving craft beer cultures—moving geographically west to east, much like the craft movement has historically spread. The festival schedule is as follows:


    * Sat, July 19th: Northwest Edition at Sierra Nevada Hop Field in Chico, CA, 12-5 p.m.
    * Sun, July 20th: Southwest Edition at Embarcadero North in San Diego, CA, 1-6 p.m.
    * Fri, July 25th: Rocky Mountain Edition at Sculpture Park in Denver, CO, 5-10 p.m.
    * Sun, July 27th: Midwest Edition at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL, 12-5 p.m.
    * Fri, August 1st: New England Edition at Thompson Point in Portland, ME, 5-10 p.m.
    * Sat, August 2nd: Mid-Atlantic Edition at Penn Treaty Park in Philadelphia, PA, 12-5 p.m.
    * Sun, August 3rd: Southeast Edition in Mills River, NC, 1-6 p.m.


    Each festival will feature up to two beers per brewery, food vendors, and live music by the MarchFourth Marching Band spectacle. Tickets are now on sale at and are limited to 5,000 per venue. Tickets cost $65 for general admission, which includes a tasting glass and unlimited tastings (in most locations, see the website for full details). A designated driver ticket is available for $30. Ticket prices are exclusive of taxes and fees, which will vary according to location. 


    Funk Asheville:

    A Gathering of Wild & Sour Beers Scheduled for May 30, 2014

    Presented by Wicked Weed Brewing to Benefit Pints for Prostates


    ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Wicked Weed Brewing is partnering with Pints for Prostates to launch Funk Asheville: A Gathering of Wild & Sour Beers to be held May 30 from 7-10 p.m. as part of the 3rd Annual Asheville Beer WeekTM.  The event will bring some of America’s top brewers of barrel-aged sour beers to Asheville and will create an experience beyond just a beer festival.


    Funk Asheville will be held in downtown Asheville at the Wicked Weed Funkitorium, a new 12,000-square-foot barrel aging facility located at 147 Coxe Ave., just a 3 blocks from the brewery. This will be the first event at the newly-remodeled facility. In addition to barrel-aged, sour and wild beers, Funk Asheville will feature unique entertainment and an art installation, celebrating all things funky in Asheville.


    Tickets for Funk Asheville are $80 with a $5 service charge and go on sale on April 15 at Noon via Etix. A total of 500 tickets will be sold to the public for the event, which will be held on the eve of the popular Beer City Festival.  VIP tickets for Funk Asheville are $100 with a $5 service charge, and will provide access to guests for an hour preview including food provided by Wicked Weed, music, and the opportunity to hang with the brewers.  As part of the event, a silent auction benefiting Pints for Prostates will be held featuring unique beer experiences and collectible items.


    “Our mission is to reach men through the universal language of beer and this is the second year in a row that Pints for Prostates will host an Asheville Beer Week event,” said Rick Lyke, founder of Pints for Prostates. “Our message to men is simple: Get tested. Live longer. Drink more beer.”


    About Wicked Weed Brewing

    Wicked Weed Brewing is an Asheville, N.C., based brewpub that consistently hosts 20+ beers on tap including hop forward, West Coast style ales, open fermented Belgians, and barrel aged sour beers. Opened in December 2012, Wicked Weed is striving towards becoming the largest producer of barrel aged beers in the Southeastern U.S. Wicked Weed Brewing was awarded a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival for 100% Brettanomyces Serenity Farmhouse Ale in 2013. In addition to Serenity, Wicked Weed is known for producing Freak of Nature Double IPA, Coolcumber Ale, Tyrant Double Red Ale, Hopburglar Blood Orange IPA, Dark Age Bourbon Stout and Black Angel Cherry Sour. Most recently, Wicked Weed began small scale statewide distribution of kegs as well as bottles of barrel aged sour beers to major metropolitans in North Carolina. Learn more at and on facebook at


    About Pints for Prostates

    Pints for Prostates reaches men through the universal language of beer to encourage them to take charge of their health. The group was founded by prostate cancer survivor and beer writer Rick Lyke in 2008. The grassroots effort raises awareness among men of the importance of prostate health screenings by making appearances at beer festivals, social networking and pro bono advertising. According to the National Cancer Institute, 233,000 American men will be diagnosed with the disease this year and 29,480 will die from prostate cancer. More information is available at Pints for Prostates also has a presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@pints4prostates).


    2014 World Beer Cup Winners - Denver, Colorado


    The Brewers Association announced the results of one of the largest commercial beer competitions to date, the 2014 World Beer Cup Awards. The awards were presented at the conclusion of Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® in Denver, Colo. Drawing the highest number of entries to date, this edition of the World Beer Cup saw 4,754 beers from 1,403 breweries representing 58 countries—a 21 percent increase in the number of entries from the 2012 World Beer Cup, which had 3,921 entries.

    Brewers from five continents earned awards from an elite international panel of judges at this tenth biennial competition, with brewers from 22 countries—ranging from Australia and Brazil to Taiwan and the United Kingdom—honored. Judges awarded 281 out of 282 total possible awards, reflecting the chance for one gold, one silver and one bronze award in each of 94 beer style categories.

    Diverse Winners Emerge From Largest-Ever World Beer Cup®

    2014 competition saw 4,754 entries from 58 countries

    Boulder, CO • April 11, 2014—The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America's small and independent craft brewers—announced the results of one of the largest commercial beer competitions to date, the 2014 World Beer Cup Awards. The awards were presented at the conclusion of Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® in Denver, Colo.

    Drawing the highest number of entries to date, this edition of the World Beer Cup saw 4,754 beers from 1,403 breweries representing 58 countries—a 21 percent increase in the number of entries from the 2012 World Beer Cup, which had 3,921 entries.

    Brewers from five continents earned awards from an elite international panel of judges at this tenth biennial competition, with brewers from 22 countries—ranging from Australia and Brazil to Taiwan and the United Kingdom—honored. Judges awarded 281 out of 282 total possible awards, reflecting the chance for one gold, one silver and one bronze award in each of 94 beer style categories.

    This year’s event was particularly competitive; the proportion of winning breweries winning one or more awards was 18 percent, compared to 27 percent in 2012. There was a 75.6 percent increase in breweries competing this year versus 2012, which had 799 breweries that entered beers in the competition. A total of 253 breweries took home awards in 2014, a 16.6 percent increase over 2012.

    A detailed analysis of the entries and awards can be found in the 2014 World Beer Cup Fact Sheet.

    North American Breweries Names New Chief Executive Officer

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Florida Ice & Farm Co. (FIFCO), parent-company of North American Breweries (NAB), today announced that Kris Sirchio has been named chief executive officer of North American Breweries, effective April 14, 2014.  In this role, Kris will lead all facets of NAB, including its brewery operations, alehouses, and sales and marketing efforts. 

    In addition to his extensive business experience, Kris has served on several national, state, and local for-profit and not-for-profit Boards. He currently serves as the Board Chair for The Nature Conservancy, Kentucky Chapter, one of the world’s leading conservation organizations. Kris and his wife Wendy are also both WE DAY Ambassadors, helping to bring an innovative service-learning movement for youth to the US.

    Kris will officially start in his new role on April 14, 2014.  He and his family will relocate to the Rochester area. Kris succeeds Rich Lozyniak who resigned from the company at the end of March. 

    About North American Breweries

    North American Breweries is one of the largest beer companies in the United States. NAB brews, packages, imports, markets and sells its branded product portfolio through an independent network of wholesalers throughout the U.S. Brands include: Labatt, Genesee, Seagram’s Escapes, Magic Hat, Pyramid, the Original Honey Brown Lager, Dundee Ales & Lagers and Portland Brewing. NAB also performs contract brewing of beer and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages on behalf of other companies. NAB is also the U.S. importer of Imperial from Costa Rica. Headquartered in Rochester, New York, NAB operates breweries and alehouses across the United States, including its flagship brewery, the Genesee Brewery in Rochester, NY, which is one of the longest continually-operating breweries in the United States For more information, please visit

    North American Breweries is owned by FIFCO, a publicly traded Costa Rican company.  The parent company produces and distributes, through its subsidiaries, food and beverages in Central America and the United States.  Its headquarters are located in San José, Costa Rica, and it has operations in Guatemala and El Salvador. FIFCO has more than 2,700 products including beer, wine, spirits as well as bottled water, juices, nectars, tea, carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, milk, refried beans, tomato conserves, ketchup and bakery products.

    Two Roads Brewing Signs with Massachusetts Beverage Alliance

    Posted by Chris Furnari at 5:07 PM on April 08, 2014

    Massachusetts Beverage Alliance (MBA) today announced it will distribute the fast-growing Two Roads Brewing brand throughout the Bay State. The news comes on the heels after MBA secured the distribution rights to the country’s first Trappist brewery – the Spencer, Mas.-based Saint Joseph’s Abbey — and San Diego’s Coronado Brewing. Two Roads, which is based in Stratford, Conn., will officially launch in Massachusetts on April 28. “We are really excited to work with the five distributors of the Massachusetts Beverage Alliance,” Clem Pellani, Two Roads’ vice president of sales and marketing said in a statement. [...]


    Saskatchewan homebrew competition features beer from across Canada GLOBAL NEWS  

    Hundreds of homebrewed alcoholic beverages were judged at the Ale and Lager Enthusiasts of Saskatchewan’s (ALES ) 21st annual Homebrew Open ...


    Deschutes Brewery’s Spring Forward: One Resurrection and Two Debuts  
    THREE spring releases from the inimitable Deschutes, each of which stacks up with anything from the US in its style.


    Slater's 50/50 opens Monday in San Marcos U-T San Diego

    Slater’s 50/50, the 5-year-old restaurant chain built on the reputation of its signature burger -- half ground beef, half ground bacon -- ...


    Old becomes new again at planned Gillette meadery Casper Star-Tribune
    GILLETTE – Mead, the honey alcohol of the Middle Ages that is becoming popular among the craft beverage aficionados across the country, will ...


    Diverse Winners Emerge From Largest-Ever World Beer Cup® Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
    BOULDER, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America's ...


    Newcastle's top 10 craft beer pubs The Guardian  

    Newcastle is home to a booming craft-beer scene that offers a range of great real-ale pubs and canny new-wave beer bars Pleased To Meet You ...


    Chef John Howie Opening a Brewpub in Bothell  
    Story by Kendall Jones, via Washington Beer Blog. Story by Kendall Jones, via Washington Beer Blog. When a would-be brewery owner asks me for ...


    Beer Buzz: Upland's new look Nuvo  
    Upland unveils new bottle and tap artwork, and Broad Ripple Brewpub celebrates both Alcohol Awareness and Grilled Cheese Month. by Rita Kohn ...


    Beer Here: Outboard Cream Ale from Milwaukee Brewing Company Isthmus  
    For some, spring starts when the robins arrive or the first tulips push up through the ground. But my spring begins with Opening Day and the ...


    Equal focus on food, beer spurs FATE's effective first year Boulder Daily Camera  
    "We're as much culinary as we are brewers. We pay a lot of attention to the sourcing of ingredients, and we make a lot of things from ...


    Peaking interest in microbreweries and brewpubs in Amarillo KVII 7 Amarillo  
    Some might credit that to laws passed last year allowing breweries new ways to sell their product.

    Raleigh overtakes Asheville: the competition for the title of ‘beer capital’ of North Carolina Technician
    Endless Summer Ale from Boylan Bridge Brewpub. For a long time now, Asheville has been lauded as the “beer capital” ...


    McMenamins seeks investors in Bothell plan Everett Herald  
    PORTLAND, Ore. — The McMenamins chain of brewpubs and entertainment venues is well-known for renovating and reinventing historic sites in the ...


    Microbrew shuffle City Pulse
    Monday, April 7 — Organizers for Lansing’s inaugural Microbrew and Music Festival announced today that the festival will return to its ...


    Lansing Microbrew & Music Festival moved back to Adado Riverfront Park DeWitt-Bath Review  
    LANSING — The Lansing Microbrew & Music Festival is moving back to its original location at Adado Riverfront Park. Lansing officials have ...


    Michigan entertainment company encourages WMU students to apply Western Herald  
    Casey Watts News Reporter The company behind Microbew and Music Festival (MMF) is inviting Western Michigan University students to apply for ...









    Television Beer Advertising: 

    Carlton Draught, Victoria, Australia

    Since 2006 the Carlton Draught organization has made a name for itself world-wide. This is not to say that beer drinkers all over the world are refreshing their taste buds with chilled Carlton Draught.

    The following three examples of video/television advertising show why the brewery is becoming known world-wide.  

    It’s A Big Ad

    The first example is one of the earliest productions featuring a cast of thousands and a rousing rendition of a piece of music with lyrics slightly altered from the original. The rendering of the image of beer out of chaos is amusing but in the end… no sight of the beer.

    Slow Motion/(Nessun Dorma)

    This is one of the most recent examples of the Carlton sense of humor… The premise is that the male oafs of the world, commonly found in the bars and pubs of Australia, can be made to see poetic creatures… when seen in slow-motion, using the powerful score of Nessun Dorma with a slightly altered libretto. Similar to the above…

    Carlton Brings Down The House/(Ode to Joy)

    The third presentation also features a familiar score , Ode to Joy, without the embellishment of amusing lyrics. The sky-diver formations echo the “Big Ad”, the use of familiar classical music echoes the “Slow Motion” but this one actually brings down a house. And you never see the beer.