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Archive for November, 2009

Too Remote Brewery

langLang Creek Brewery bills billed itself as “America’s Most Remote Brewery” and is was 500 miles east of Seattle, in Marion, Montana.

Perhaps it was too remote. Sadly, it closed a few months ago. The above is one of the last of about 12 approvals over just five months (for the most recent owner of the brewery). It’s a tough business and I suppose it’s even tougher when things like supplies and repairs and visitors are a few hours away. New West explains why the brewery could not carry on, complete with good photos. In the article, Lang’s marketing director confirms:

“The idea was great, the location was awesome — it’s such a gorgeous piece of property. … But business-wise it’s just hard to make a living when you don’t have consumers all around you.”

Was it really America’s most remote brewery? By what measure? What’s the most remote brewery now?

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Cubes of Cachaca

cubes

Here is Leblon Cachaca Ice Cubes. It is Brazilian rum (with flavor), in a 200 ml. pack designed to freeze.

This should be of interest to Camper English at Alcademics, as he is inclined to tinker with all manner of alcohol beverages and ice.

The label says this product is “Made with Glazierepura Natural Freeze Technology.” BevNetwork explains that Glazierepura is a newly patented technology that can “freeze any alcohol and does not affect the flavor profile of the spirit.” Even though this Leblon product is only 40 proof, the technology would allow, for example, making ice cubes out of vodka — or even Single Malt Scotch. The US-Israeli company behind this technology partnered with Leblon for the offical US launch, on April 27, 2009 in New York.

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Morse Code Labels

morse

In the last post we discussed Braille wine labels. Today, Morse Code, as on this Australian wine label.

Morse Code was invented in the 1840s and is an early form of the digital encoding so widespread today. As with many of the Braille labels, the Morse Code label here does not seem to explain the message embedded in the code. Does TTB require it? Should TTB require it? Finally, who can decode this? For the energetic, there is a decoder here.

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alcohol beverages generally, wine


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Braille Wine Labels

brailleAbove is an example of a wine label embossed with Braille. Such labels were virtually unavailable before about 13 years ago. Then, in 1996, M. Chapoutier of France begain using Braille on all its labels. The British newspaper, The Independent explains:

The technique is the same as printing visible labels:  an iron Braille negative is pressed onto the back of the paper label to make the Braille bumps. Mr. Chapoutier decided to use his 40-year-old printing machine to make every one of the 2.5 million bottles of wine he produces each year. They have proved a success … . As fewer than 20,000 of the one million registered blind and partially sighted people in the UK can read Braille, other methods are also being urged including the use of audio-tapes, large print and computer disks.

The article explains that bleach and eye drops are the only other UK products imprinted with Braille.

It would seem that the Braille text should be covered on the TTB label approval, just like English letters, or any other language such as Japanese. And yet we have flipped through quite a few label approvals with Braille and very few mention Braille on the label approval.

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Too Much Rum in the Jumbie

jumbie

August 28, 2009 was a bad day for Rum Jumbie. In a slew of “approvals,” TTB directed Varela Imports to make “rum” much, much, less conspicuous. TTB said:

When new labels are printed, the word “rum” in your trademark name Rum Jumbie cannot appear more prominent than the Class and type. The [statement of composition] and the words Rum Jumbie must appear in the same color print. … No more use-ups will be granted.

That is, Varela must make their brand name and trademark much less conspicuous because this is not “rum” and the actual designation is “Rum with Natural Flavors.” TTB’s point, essentially, is that Varela is putting far too much rum in the Jumbie. This label emphasizes the rum aspect at least four times.

Jumbie has a trademark, and seems to have argued it here, to not much avail. There is little if any chance that the Trademark Office will come to the rescue and persuade TTB that there is not too much rum in the Jumbie. Also, the above image makes it pretty obvious that the product contains flavor.

It is not clear whether Varela has smashed into an aberration, or an evolving policy. On one hand “rum” is quite prominent and it’s not “rum.” On the other hand, back in 2004, a similar label was good enough under similar rules for the prior importer. Beyond that, spiced rum is in the same category (rum specialties) and it is common on such labels to emphasize the rum.

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