Category Archives: News

Sampling Samuel Adams Collaboration Beers, “Brewing the American Dream”

DeanandJim 300x200 Sampling Samuel Adams Collaboration Beers, Brewing the American Dream How do you get your tiny brewery noticed? Try partnering with the big guys. That’s what Sam Adams is doing with a new program called Brewing the American Dream, which invites small brewers to Boston to collaborate on something entirely new. These beers are sold in limited release in California and New York, and at the Sam Adams Brewery in Boston. Here’s more detail on the program:

Samuel Adams today announced the introduction of two new collaboration beers with the first recipients of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Brewing and Business Experienceship, a mentorship opportunity offered as part of the company’s small business micro lending and coaching program.

The new beers are Boston Tea Party Saison, developed in collaboration with Jim Woods, brewer and founder of San Francisco-based MateVeza (www.mateveza.com), and ThreeNinety Bock, created in collaboration with Chris Spinelli and Jon Mervine, brewers and co-founders of Roc Brewing Co. in Rochester, NY (http://rocbrewingco.com). The collaboration beers will have select distribution in California and New York, respectively, and be served in the tour center at the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery.

The beers were the culmination of the two microbreweries’ participation in the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Brewing and Business Experienceship, which like an extended internship, provides one craft brewer annually with hands-on educational and enrichment experiences, and is tailored to the awarded brewery’s business needs. The Experienceship includes a series of trips to the Samuel Adam’s Boston Brewery for extended coaching from various functional areas of The Boston Beer Company such as ingredients procurement, quality assurance, brewing, and sales and distribution, among others. The program also provides access to and funding for industry events.

I got to sample both of the first batch. Some quick thoughts follow.

ThreeNinety Bock (7% abv) is a richly caramel-infused beer loaded with malt and an almost sultry, smoky, woodsy finish. Pleasant, but a little sickly sweet for my tastes. B

Boston Tea Party Saison (7.4% abv) is spicy and fruity, with lots of applesauce, bittersweet orange, and lemon peel. A bit cacophonous, the finish is a bit more inviting, but quite citrus-focused. B

Watch for them — you won’t find beers more unique than these!

Drinkhacker Reads – 07.08.2013 – Samuel Adams Is Not Anti-Religion

crying eagle 300x188 Drinkhacker Reads   07.08.2013   Samuel Adams Is Not Anti ReligionIt seems as if a whole mess of folks were up in arms over the Samuel Adams decision to omit the word “God” from its recent Independence Day advertisements. More specifically, they omitted the phrase “by their Creator” from a script quoting the Declaration of Independence. Of course, there’s been a bit of brew-ha-ha (zing) over the whole affair, with conservative talk shows threatening boycotts of the brand etc. However, had they decided to take a few moments to do a bit of homework, they would find that Samuel Adams was acting in accordance with advertising guidelines adhered to by the Beer Institute’s Advertising Code, which states:

‘Beer advertising and marketing materials should not include religion or religious themes.’

In a response from the company, a spokesperson issued a statement saying, “While we understand your objection to the omission of the phrase “by our Creator” in other circumstances (after all, they occur in the Declaration of Independence which Samuel Adams signed and helped author) we believe it would be outside our industry guidelines to invoke those religious words in a beer commercial.”

So everyone: crack open a can and calm down. [CBS Boston]

Elsewhere in beer-related news, HuffPo breaks down data from a recent Beer Institute report to find out which states are consuming the most beer. Surprisingly, North Dakotans are packing it away faster than any other state in the nation, with an average of 45.8 gallons consumed per person. This would also explain why North Dakota also enjoys a 78% rate of its alcohol-impaired driving fatalities involving high BAC drivers, and 80% of percent of its drivers in fatal crashes featuring repeat offenders. [Huffington Post]

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Drinkhacker Reads – 07.03.2013 – Stag Semen And Other Whipped Delights

In what could be described as “perfect timing”, Consumer Reports has announced its list of top microbrews right before the U.S. holiday weekend. Stone IPA, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, and Samuel Adams Hopology Collection Latitude 48 IPA all took home top honors, with Shock Top Wheat IPA, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Lagunitas IPA, Widmer Bros. Hefeweizen, and Widmer Bros. Drifter Pale Ale rounding out the top lists. Backlash and discontent from beer lovers is already rolling, with no signs of slowing down any time soon. [LA Times]

Now for something completely different: people in New Zealand are paying $15 for the opportunity to indulge in a shot of stag semen. Really not sure what else to add to this entry. I think that pretty much covers it. [Stuff]

In bourbon news, a long dormant brand is about to start producing once again. The Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company is relaunching in downtown Louisville, with operations expecting to commence in March of 2014. Their headquarters will be located on 10th street in downtown Louisville, and will be expected to produce anywhere from 10-15 barrels per day. A brief overview of the brand’s history can be found here. [Courier Press]

And finally today, congrats to former Navy lieutenant and current artist Brandon Montgomery, whose chess set was the grand prize winner in Patrón tequila’s “Art of Patrón” contest. Collecting 52 empty Patron bottles, Montgomery crafted a chess set straight out of our dreams and received $10,000 for his efforts. Other notable entries included a Patrón bottle floor lamp and a chandelier with bottle globes. [UT San Diego]

Drinkhacker Reads – 07.01.2013 – Homebrewing Now Legal Across the United States

Theses days it seems people have been losing faith and confidence in their government’s ability to pass effective, bipartisan legislation. However, the American Homebrewer’s Association announced this morning that new homebrewing laws in the state of Mississippi go into effect today, making it the 50th and final state to allow homebrewing. What better way to celebrate Independence Day than making your own IPA? Hop to it! [Brewer's Association]

Another day, another announcement of a bourbon distillery expansion. This time, Brown-Forman has announced a $35 million expansion of its Woodford Reserve distillery in order to keep up with the growing demand for the brand worldwide. Plans to develop three new warehouses and three new copper pot stills are already underway, with ground being expected to break shortly. The expansion is also expected to create roughly 15 new jobs over the project’s history, which is good news for the local Kentucky economy. [Brown-Forman Press Release]

Forbes spirits writer Seth Porges files a report on a most peculiar private testing of Glenlivet he recently had in New York City to promote the release of its newest, anonymous expression Glenlivet Alpha. The concept is interesting, but raises questions about the price tag and whether or not people are willing to take a leap of faith and purchase something with no extra information from the distillery. [Forbes]

In other Scotch news: Ardbeg, creator of that most tasty Ardbog we enjoyed this past weekend, is now offering an excellent destination getaway for the Scotch obsessive in your life: Ardbeg’s Seaview Cottage has been renovated and is a functioning cottage right in the heart of its distillery. Guests will be treated to a tour of the distillery and local attractions, and can enjoy many of the little quirky things to be found in the luxury cottage. More information on how to go about booking your trip can be found at the company’s website. [Ardbeg]

NPR reports on the rise of Moscato in the African-American and Latino communities (bewilderingly all clumped together in the headline as “brown”), and how it is allegedly becoming a “gateway wine” for the uninitiated to exploring different varietals. Warning: a giant photo of Nicki Minaj will greet you if you click through. [NPR]

And finally today in science news: researchers at the University of Florida have proven what rats and college freshman both have in common, besides twitchy, sleep deprived faces: they both like Jello shots. [Discover]

Drinkhacker Reads – 06.26.2013 – Knob Creek Maple For Autumn

Aside from a folksy anecdote about Booker making maple syrup, not much else in terms of date or price was really unveiled in a recent press release, other than the fact that Knob Creek will be introducing a smoked, maple flavored bourbon to be released sometime this autumn. No doubt a tasty sample and review will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. [via Press Release]

Elsewhere on the flavored whiskey tip, The Atlantic’s Rebecca Greenfield chimes in with a small essay on flavored whiskey, its growing popularity and longstanding history. [The Atlantic]

In lieu of a recent article published saying that wine tasting was basically junk science, The Guardian took additional time to present a history of science debunking wine tasting, critics, and everything involved with the practice. A great summary piece, but those who have been reading these article for years will find nothing new, really. [The Guardian]

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Drinkhacker Reads – 06.24.2013 – Is Bigger Better?

Returning from a much needed vacation, we were surprised to see an article published in Slate arguing that big name distilleries like Beam and Wild Turkey were just as good as craft distilleries. While there are many valid points to be made for either side, in the end isn’t it a bit like comparing apples and oranges? [Slate]

Perhaps coincidentally, the Chicago Tribune runs an article discussing how big names like Jim Beam and Jack Daniels are getting “crafty” with new expressions. [Chicago Tribune]

While China is putting the chill on European Union wines and spirits because of some international trade issues, they’ve welcomed back with open arms Mexico’s tequila. We’re sure the timing is totally coincidental and has no political agenda whatsoever. [USA Today]

In science-related news, your gin may be in short supply very soon. Unlike the recent forewarnings about bourbon shortages due to supply, this alert stems from a recent outbreak of fungus attacking juniper plants, whose berries are an essential ingredients found in the spirit. Scientists are currently very hard at work to develop a solution to the problem, but so far results are mixed. Try not to get to shaken up over this stirring news. [ABC News]

And finally today, The New York Times talks to Jefferson’s main bourbon man Trey Zoeller about traveling, bourbon, and high-priced escorts he’s had the pleasure to have known. It’s a wonderful life, indeed. [NY Times]

Drinkhacker Reads – 06.09.2013 – Congressman to Introduce Aged Distilled Spirits Competitiveness Act

Good news for bourbon drinkers: Kentucky Congressman Andy Barr is introducing the Aged Distilled Spirits Competitiveness Act, a bill which would eliminate taxes a bourbon distillers must pay on each barrel while the product is aging. As a result, they say, distilleries could increase production, create new jobs, and potentially keep up with the ever increasing international demand. [WHAS]

While oxygen does play an important part in the whole act of wine tasting, there comes a time when the bottle may have to go back on the shelf with a generous amount still left inside. There are many options of wine preservation technology out there, and Wired takes a few moments to evaluate five of them through a quite rigorous process — via our Editor in Chief. [Wired]

Elsewhere in wine news, the New York Times offers a profile piece investigating the proliferation of counterfeit wines; a problem continuing to rise as the demand for higher end wines grows. [NY Times]

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Drinkhacker Reads – 06.06.2013 – Minaj à Trois Moscato And Other News Of The Weird

 Drinkhacker Reads   06.06.2013   Minaj à Trois Moscato And Other News Of The WeirdLouisville, Kentucky…where things seem to be on a roll in the drinking world. Yesterday we discussed the arrival of the Rick Pitino limited edition Maker’s Mark bottle, and today we find out the Kentucky metropolis has been selected as the test city for the new Bud Light vented can. The integrated tab (seen in the photo) reportedly:

“gives consumers the freedom to enjoy the superior drinkability of America’s favorite light beer in a vented can without the inconvenience of needing additional tools or objects to puncture the lid. After opening the mouth of the can, consumers simply give the tab an extra push to activate the vent underneath. This effortless action releases additional air to flow into the can, creating a smoother pour with less “glug.” It’s a design intended to optimize delivery of Bud Light’s crisp, refreshing flavor.”

Miller started the trend in 2012. [PR Newswire]

Nicki Minaj is known for many things: singing, rapping, and annoying Mariah Carey/millions of viewers as a judge on American Idol. However, nothing is more important than her latest endeavor, which could prove to be the best move of her career: winemaker. Minaj is no doubt heading to the vineyards to personally oversee the grapes which will go into her moscato as a partnership between herself and Myx Fusions. In a recent press release the singer said she is “so excited to team with the Myx brand… I have no doubt that it will be number one. It’s a great-tasting, amazing product that people will love. It’s not even a hard sell. Myx Fusions gives us an opportunity to revolutionize the wine industry.”

Confident, hyperbolic praise aside, the press release informs us that Myx is “the next evolution in the wave of moscato mania sweeping the country… Myx Fusions leverages the explosive popularity of moscato wine and improves on the experience of drinking it.”

While the editorial staff here at Drinkhacker HQ are amongst the dozens of people thoroughly unfamiliar with the popularity of Minaj’s music, we know a celebrity when we see one… which gives Miss Nicki the award for CELEBRITY PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT OF THE WEEK. [Press Release]

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Drinkhacker Reads – 06.05.2013 – Rick Pitino Hits The Mark

 Drinkhacker Reads   06.05.2013   Rick Pitino Hits The MarkMaker’s Mark has announced the release of its limited edition Rick Pitino bottle, in celebration of the basketball coach’s recent NCAA championship win this past spring. Pitino seems to be on a bit of a hot streak lately: a national basketball title, a horse in the Kentucky Derby, his son receiving his first head coaching job, and now this honor. The bottles will be in a limited edition of 12,600, with the proceeds going to local charities. [Yahoo! Sports]

A mainstay component of the Grey Goose marketing campaign has been the proclamation that it is the world’s best tasting vodka. And no doubt there has been more than one vodka distiller who has muttered something to the contrary under their breath. However, Swedish vodka Purity is now taking it public; with a new marketing campaign encouraging drinkers to decide for themselves. Between the West 6th/Magic Hat debacle and now this, there seems to be a bit more “beef” in the adult beverages world these days. [The Spirits Business]

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Drinkhacker Reads – 06.03.2013 – Bourbon Shortages And Pretty Bottles

With all of the “sky is falling” press releases lamenting the shortage of bourbon that is about to be upon us, Maker’s Mark adds fuel to the fire by announcing they have a new “state of the art” rinse process which will drain every last drop from every barrel at their new facility. Bourbon authority Chuck Cowdery offers up two “must read” pieces on the story, including a refreshingly candid quote from Beam master distiller Fred Noe. [USA Today]

Lists are always a contentious and objective thing to write and navigate, but the Spirits Business does a pretty good job listing their 10 favorite spirit bottle designs. Some are absolutely gorgeous, while others are questionable at best. [The Spirits Business]

And finally today in tech news, the Kentucky Distiller’s Association has joined the mobile app revolution with its new Bourbon Trail app. Users can sign on and get driving directions, distillery hours, tour information and a bunch more. We downloaded it and took it for a spin. It’s not bad for a free application. But nothing is better than the sights, sounds and smells of actually being there. [Biz Journal]

Drinkhacker Reads – 05.30.2013 – Magic Hatfields vs. West Sixth McCoys, Week 2

hatfield mccoy cartoon Drinkhacker Reads   05.30.2013   Magic Hatfields vs. West Sixth McCoys, Week 2Adding more fuel to the fire in an already contentious and public dispute, Magic Hat filed an injunction to its lawsuit against West Sixth brewery, claiming “a massive advertising effort and social media smear campaign” was enacted to “irreparably harmed Magic Hat’s good will, trademarks, customer and other relationships, and sales” and enacting an “advertising campaign deliberately and with malice in a concerted effort to destroy Magic Hat.”

Allegedly over 75,000 comments and complaints were addressed to Magic Hat via its Facebook account, causing great harm to the multi-million dollar brewing company and its owner. West Sixth has agreed to mediation with a judge and a hearing is scheduled within the next few weeks. [Biz Lex]

Elsewhere in Kentucky, Maker’s Mark is expanding its operations and storage capacity, courtesy of an $8.2 million dollar upgrade and expansion. Coming on the heels of a much-covered controversy surrounding supply and lowering the proof on its existing line, this really isn’t too much of a surprise and is in fact a move which has been discussed for quite some time. [Courier-Journal]

The Courier Journal also reports that plans to build a $10 million dollar distillery for Angel’s Envy has been tentatively approved by the Kentucky state legislature. Wes Henderson and his band of merry distillers have been eyeballing several locations in downtown Louisville to establish their permanent home base, but no specific locations have been finalized. Between this and the new Evan Williams visitor’s center slated to open in 2014, downtown Louisville is enjoying a mild bourbon renaissance. [Courier-Journal]

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Drinkhacker Reads – 05.28.2013 – The Fracking Science and Geology of Beer

DBB bockbier Drinkhacker Reads   05.28.2013   The Fracking Science and Geology of BeerGerman brewers have been having a hard time lately. Not only are Germans drinking less beer, but now the German government is going ahead with fracking initiatives for energy. This move has brewers highly concerned, who say it could significantly hurt the quality and “purity” of German beer. This battle still has a long ways towards a resolution, but it will no doubt be an interesting one. Imagine if this was fracking, Kentucky, and bourbon. [NBC]

Elsewhere in the beer world, Grist columnist Deena Shanker examines the world of organic beer, and pontificates on whether or not it’s a permanent fixture in the beer world, a relatively passing fad, or somewhere in between. As well, Gizmodo breaks down the science of non-alcohol beer and its continuous quest to taste like the actual thing.

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Drinkhacker Reads – 05.23.2013 – Alternate Universe Pre-Memorial Day Edition

Much weirdness has infiltrated the world of spirits since our last update: 6′s are now 9′s, hypothetical press releases and other stuff that has left us scratching our heads a bit and accelerated our hope that the weekend will soon be upon us.

Let’s start in New Jersey, where 29 bars were the subject of a recent sting operation (awesomely code named “Operation Swill”) involving owners replacing premium alcohol with cheap stuff, with one bar even mixing rubbing alcohol with food dye and calling it scotch. Over 1,000 bottles have been seized for further testing, and this doesn’t look like it’s going to end well. It also begs the question: How many other bars out there are replicating this hideous practice? [ABC 6 News]

Most devotees of bourbon are well aware that the recent global demand has spiked overall sales through the roof. This has presented a bit of a conundrum in that demand is now outpacing supply. Buffalo Trace has taken it upon itself to issue a press release forewarning folks of the potential and possibility of an impending shortage. In it, representatives pledge not to excessively raise prices or lower the proof on their brands which include the already hard to find Van Winkle and Weller 12 year, but it is also proactively warning folks that there may be shortages just around the bend. While getting in front of the story is always a good idea (and something we applaud), it questions the necessity of putting such a story out when no drastic shortages are occurring. So in sum: everything is okay. For now. But something could happen soon. No one knows just when. [Buffalo Trace]

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Drinkhacker Reads – 05.20.2013 – Spirits Outpacing Beer and Wine in 2012

A new report issued by Technomic finds that spirits outpaced beer and wine in sales last year, with no signs of slowing down in 2013.

  • Vodka continues to be one of the fastest growing categories, along with American whiskey and tequila not too far behind. With its 5.8% increase, vodka now commands roughly one-third of all spirits volume and is the largest category.
  • The smallest category, Irish Whiskey, posted an incredible double-digit gain in sales of 21.6%.
  • Diageo continues its lead as the largest spirit producer, seeing a 1.1% increase in volume to retain a 22% overall market share. Beam continues to hold strong in second place, with Sazerac doubling its market share with a 4.2% increase; jumping ahead of Bacardi and solidifying a third place position.

[Technomic]

In other spirits news, Pursuitist profiles The Patron Way, a new book detailing the rise of Patron to its position as one of the worlds most recognizable tequila brands. While brands such as Jose Cuervo might take exception with the headline’s tag that Patron currently “dominates” the market, the article does make for some engaging reading. [Pursuitist]

trans Drinkhacker Reads   05.20.2013   Spirits Outpacing Beer and Wine in 2012Memorial Day is coming up soon, and with it the kickoff of the summer travel season. Zagat profiles 8 must-see stops along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and its kindred spirit, the American Whiskey Trail. [Zagat]

Ontario (Canada) police are currently seeking the public’s help in identifying a man who recently “liberated” a bottle of 50 year old Glenfiddich, valued at $26,000. An Ottawa-based Scotch taster summed up things quite appropriately for the Toronto Sun: “It makes you wonder how it could have been stolen”. Oh, Canada! [Fox News]

And finally today in science news, with the uptick and demand for high quality scotch the problems of bootlegging and counterfeiting have also increased. Scottish scientists have devised a new way to check make sure products are actually the real deal, and not something potentially lethal. [Scotsman]

Drinkhacker Reads – 05.15.2013 – Drinking Wine from the Ocean Floor

Last year Jefferson’s Bourbon conducted a wacky experiment involving aging barrels of bourbon at sea to see if the air and water quality had an effect on the final product. As the resulting product was so limited in quantity, few people got to taste the results and final verdict of this project. Along these lines, Mira Winery is about to retrieve four cases of its 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon from a three-month stay in the Charleston Harbor. Their mission? To determine whether or not light, tides, waves and temperature have an effect on the chemical breakdown of wine. They are slated to raise the wine on May 21, wherein they’ll announce the second phase of this experiment. We’ll bring you the latest as soon as news is delivered to us. Stay tuned. [PR Newswire]

The Bourbon backlash has begun! Charleston City Paper makes a case for switching from bourbon to rum when getting your next summer cocktail. Columnist Robert Moss dissects the current bourbon trend, reviews some new rums and samples some new cocktails. From our perspective, there should never be a superior spirit over another. Love all equally.

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Drinkhacker Reads – 05.13.2013 – Robert Parker Does Bourbon, Kenny Chesney Does Rum

Rollins Creek 300x284 Drinkhacker Reads   05.13.2013   Robert Parker Does Bourbon, Kenny Chesney Does RumThe blogs were buzzing these past few days as Robert Parker has made the shift from wine critic to taking a stab at reviewing whiskies. Naturally, opinions on the results have varied; from the measured “wait and see”, to the frustrated and confused all the way down to the flat out irate. Although time will tell on just how much of an impact Parker will have on the whiskey world, reviewing something called “Rollins Creek” (pretty sure he means Rowan’s Creek) and comparing Hudson to Pappy suggest poor form at the start. Stay tuned.

CELEBRITY PRODUCT OF THE WEEK: Renee Zellweger’s ex-husband and country star Kenny Chesney is tossing his cowboy hat and horseshoes into the spirits world. Later this month he’ll launch his own line of rum, Blue Chair Bay. The line will come in white, Coconut, Coconut Spiced, and Chewing Tobacco flavors (just kidding about the last one), and will be promoted via an 18 city tour and numerous tasting events nationwide. It’s five o clock somewhere, y’all… [Blue Chair]

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Drinkhacker Reads – 05.07.2013 – Beam Goes Boffo!

In bourbon news, MSN Money reports that Beam saw a hefty spike in sales during the first quarter of 2013, much of that attributed to the drama surrounding Maker’s Mark and the reduction of its alcohol content. Many theories abound if this was all just a business ploy, or a bad marketing decision, or a really good marketing decision made to look like a bad one. Whatever the case, Beam (which owns Maker’s) brought in the dough to the tune of a 44% sales increase. Not too shabby for something that sort of did but didn’t happen. [MSN]

Everyone coming off a cinco-hangover take note: Tequila is actually good for you. Or so says Forbes, who attempts to make folks feel better by delivering five different reasons tequila can be beneficial to a person’s constitution. [Forbes]

And if tequila or bourbon isn’t your thing, CNN rattles off its list of the best beer towns in America. Is CNN keeping with its recent track record of getting things way wrong (Asheville over Kalamazoo? Really?), or is this list spot on? They report (sort of), you decide. [CNN]

Finally today, some crafty folks have developed a contraption which (in theory) allows a thirsty individual to open an entire case of beer at once. While the accuracy rate isn’t exactly stellar, the enterprising ambition most certainly is present and so is the potential to make a nice sum of money off this thing. We’ll drink to that. [Huffington Post]

Drinkhacker Reads – 05.02.2013 – 2012 Is Record Year for Kentucky

The Kentucky Distiller’s Association has announced that bourbon production topped over 1 million barrels in 2012. The 1,007,703 barrels filled tops the previously recorded record of 1,004,877 barrels filled in 1973, according to the article published in the Lexington Herald-Leader. Bourbon production is up 120% since 1999, with absolutely no signs of slowing down. This comes on the wings of an announcement earlier this week that the Kentucky legislature is attempting to find new ways to generate tax incentives for bourbon distillers. [Herald-Leader]

 Drinkhacker Reads   05.02.2013   2012 Is Record Year for KentuckyWith the trend of bourbon barreled beer showing no signs of slowing down, Anderson Valley Brewing Company and Wild Turkey Bourbon announced yesterday that its has begun bottle production of Anderson Valley Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout. This once draft-only product was released in the fall 2012 as part of an exclusive partnership between the two companies. [PR Newswire]

Elsewhere in the trend file the Washington Post files a report that while Germans are drinking less beer, the beer they are consuming is coming from elsewhere. Craft brewers in the United States are getting a bigger reach into the German home market due in large part to their non-traditional and unfamiliar flavors, with more German microbrewers attempting to emulate them as a result. [Washington Post]

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Drinkhacker Reads – 04.29.2013 – Frank Thomas Replaces Home Runs With Beer

BHB 281high Drinkhacker Reads   04.29.2013 – Frank Thomas Replaces Home Runs With BeerOne of the most intimidating hitters in major league baseball is trading bats for hops, as retired Chicago White Sox great Frank Thomas is getting poised to move his Big Hurt Beer into the big time. Crain’s Chicago catches up with five-time all star, two-time MVP to talk about his adventures in the craft beer world. [Crain’s Chicago]

This week features two of our favorite holidays literally back to back this week: the running for the roses in the Kentucky Derby this Saturday, and Cinco De Mayo on Sunday. Of course we’ll be giving recipe suggestions later this week for all of the fantastic parties you’ll be throwing. But just a heads up for those collectors looking for the Four Roses limited edition Secretariat decanter: it’s just not happening. Four Roses has cancelled this year’s decanter because the quality wasn’t up to standards. Folks who have already paid for one will be entitled to a full refund. [WHAS]

Two bottles of rare whisky salvaged from the shipwreck of the SS Politician in 1987 were put on the auction block last week. The shipwreck inspired a book and comedy by the name of Whisky Galore, according to the BBC. If interested, you may place your bid over at Scotch Whisky Auctions but a bit of caution: the whisky is not thought to be safe to drink. It’s more of a novelty piece. [BBC]

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Drinkhacker Reads – 04.26.2013 – World’s Oldest Japanese Whisky Available For $19,000

Karuizawa1 300x300 Drinkhacker Reads   04.26.2013   Worlds Oldest Japanese Whisky Available For $19,000The world’s oldest and rarest Japanese whisky is now available to the general public for a cool $19,000. Bottled in 1960, this 52-year-old Karuizawa was aged in sherry oak and comes in a case fashioned with pieces from the original cask’s head. It’s available in an extremely rare edition of 41 and only at four locations around the world. Time to get that second paper route. [via press release]

ABC News runs an interview with Crystal Head Vodka CEO/Conehead/conspiracy expert Dan Aykroyd, in which he discusses mass quantities of topics such as Saturday Night Live, Crystal Head Vodka, UFOs, Ghostbusters 3, and the possibility of Crystal Conehead Vodka. [ABC News]

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