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Archive for May, 2009

Cassava Beer

cassava

BusinessWeek recently reported that SABMiller is looking at several low-cost alternatives to barley. Cassava is one of the most promising. Cassava is the third largest source of carbohydrates for human food in the world. This woody shrub yields more food energy per acre per day, compared to almost any crop other than sugarcane. SABMiller is also looking at sorghum as a much lower-cost alternative to corn and barley, at least in poor countries.

The Hooligan label is way ahead of the trend here, using both cassava and sorghum. It is likely that this Widmer product was too early. Under this 2008 TTB Ruling it is unlikely TTB would re-approve the product, and this may explain why the current status of this label is “surrendered.” TTB requires “beer” to be made with malted barley and hops.

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Fine Swine Wines

swine

There are several pig-themed wine (and beer) labels this year. Maybe they are around every year, but we never quite noticed them until all the swine-induced hysteria. It so happens that the SWINE Festival is coming up next month, smack dab in the center of Iowa. The label says SWINE is nothing less than “Iowa’s premier pork and wine event.” No word yet on whether the flu situation is hurting or not hurting this event. Both the orange label, and the green label, are Iowa rosĂ© made by Madison County Winery of Saint Charles, Iowa.

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Wholesome Brews

breakfast

If you’re getting a little weary of “Toasted Whole Wheat Flakes” it might be time to consider Lancaster Milt Stout. It’s made with lactose and without preservatives according to the label. Wki explains:

Milk stout (also called sweet stout or cream stout) is a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Because lactose is unfermentable by beer yeast, it adds sweetness, body, and calories to the finished beer. Milk stout was claimed to be nutritious, and was given to nursing mothers, along with other stouts, such as Guinness. The classic surviving example of milk stout is Mackeson Stout, for which the original brewers claimed that “each pint contains the energising carbohydrates of 10 ounces of pure dairy milk”. In the period just after the Second World War when rationing was in place, the British government required brewers to remove the word “milk” from labels and adverts, and any imagery associated with milk.

Another choice, and not necessarily a good one, is Jersey Summer Breakfast Ale. It’s made by Cricket Hill Brewing of Fairfield, NJ. Their blog describes it as:

A breakfast ale as fresh and full with flavor as a day down by the shore. … Pairs as well with bacon and eggs as it does with a back yard barbecue, and a delicious accompaniment to your morning coffee and a wonderfully refreshing alternative to your watery yellow lawnmower beer.

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Beer & Bowling Like Astaire & Rogers

Click for COLA

It must be bowling season because these two beers went to TTB one day apart, in January of 2009. We liked the graphics on the the Nefarious Ten Pin Porter. It is made by Ska Brewing Company of Durango, Colorado. Ska has a good looking website but it doesn’t explain the brand name here. The Icehouse Beer is made by MillerCoors at breweries around the US.

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Double Caffeine

double

Not content with simply adding coffee flavor to vodka, Vincent Van Gogh went further, all the way to “Double Caffeine.” Not so long ago, it was not clear that TTB would allow caffeine to be added to alcohol beverages, let alone to double it up and proclaim it on the label.

Van Gogh coffee flavored vodka is one of about 18 flavored vodkas made in Holland and imported by Luctor International of Orlando, Florida. The other caffeinated spirit above is Volta. It is Vodka Infused with Caffeine, Guarana, Taurine & Yerba Mate, made by White Rock Distilleries of Lewiston, Maine.

Van Gogh Double Espressso is easy to find at retail, but Volta is less easy to find. All the extra caffeine may have gotten this retailer a bit over-excited; IWS describes it this way:

Double Intensity. Experience the finest tradition of Venice with the high art of great taste. … Delivers a wealth of flavor for those who expect more from their coffee – powerful yet sophisticated, with the stronger and richer character demanded by the espresso lover’s highly developed palate. Here is all the smooth brilliance of great caffĂ©, in the only FDA-approved vodka on the market today with the bold touch of double caffeine.

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distilled spirits specialty, flavored vodka


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