Monthly Archives: July 2008

News: City Brewing plans some layoffs in Latrobe

Tough day for big brewery works all around. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, is reporting that City Brewing Co. plans to lay off some workers at the former Rolling Rock brewery in Latrobe later this year.

According to the report:

The LaCrosse, Wis. company says the layoffs will occur so it can attract more business and upgrade the brewery’s equipment. The brewery employs about 100 people.

City Brewing bought the Latrobe facility after Belgian brewing giant InBev SA sold the Rolling Rock brands to Anheuser-Busch. Anheuser-Busch stopped making Rolling Rock in Latrobe in July 2006 when it moved production of the beer to Newark, N.J.

City Brewing has been making Samuel Adams beer at the Latrobe brewery for about 14 months under a contract with Boston Beer Co. But Boston Beer has since bought a brewery in Lehigh County where it can also make Sam Adams.


News: Brewer SABMillers sees lager fall

According to the Associated Press Brewer SABMiller PLC recorded a 1.6 percent fall in lager consumption from existing businesses in the first quarter as consumer cut back spending in some countries, chief executive Graham Mackay said Thursday.

The drop followed an extraordinary high growth of 13 percent in the same period in 2007, lower sales in China and “the moderation of consumer spending in some markets,” Mackay said in a statement.

If SABMiller’s newly acquired businesses are included, the group, which makes Miller, Grolsch and Peroni, recorded a 1.5 percent growth in lager sales in the three months ending June 30, 2008, the trading update said.

In China, sales were down 5 percent, affected by the Sichuan earthquake on May 12 which killed nearly 70,000 people, consumer price inflation and higher beer industry prices. In the previous year, sales had grown in China by 25 percent.

News: Denver brew pubs prepare for the DNC

‘Chipper’ Dave Butler has an interesting piece on how Colorado breweries and beer pubs prepare for DNC on

Butler explains how Great Divide, Avery, Breckenridge and others are rolling out new beers or beefing up their eating establishments in time for Obama-mania.

He concludes by writing:

If you look through the big list of corporate sponsors for the DNC, you’ll find a couple of familiar names on the list.  Companies like Argonaut Wine & Liquor are DNC Host Committee Founder sponsors. The Mayor Hick’s Wynkoop Brewing Company is a Host Committee sponsoring Member. According toCharlie Papazian‘s column, Wynkoop will be offering up a special “Obamanator” Maibock strong brew just for the DNC.   Apparently breweries and liquor stores have strong foundations in forging this great country of ours!

Review: Samuel Smiths Organic Ale

A Bitter brewed by
Samuel Smith


Poured from the bottle a light orange into a pint glass. Had a very small head and little lacing. Aroma is very grainy and slightly sweet almost citrus like. I was picking up slight butterscotch or caramel aromas. The taste was smooth but under carbonated and nothing that really stood out. It was also just a bit acidic with a stagnant taste following. It was OK is the best I can say.

My score: 3.1

News: German beer sales down

The German Federal Statistical Office reported Wednesday that beer sales declined in the first half of this year as price increases and newly introduced restrictions on smoking in bars and restaurants added to a long-term decline.

Read about it here.

News: Bringer of the Irish pub in a box to the suburbs dies


Restaurant chains Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and stores owned by its parent company will shut their doors. From the Associated Press:


The companies owned by privately held Metromedia Restaurant Group of Plano, Texas, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday in the Eastern District of Texas, less than two months after Metromedia said it was not preparing to do so. It wasn’t clear whether franchisee-owned restaurants would be closing as well.

While I could say something snippy here I’m guessing Bennigan’s brought plenty of Sam Adams and Guinness and other mid-level craft beers to some far flung areas. Maybe it opened a few people up to craft beer. We all have to start somewhere. I personally have never eaten at one.

Review: Narragansett Lager Beer

A Pale Lager brewed by
High Falls Brewing Company

Rochester, New York USA

I took the bait. This has been around in every beer store near me – both good and bad – on sale at a crazy price. I held off for a few weeks but with a few non beer drinkers coming by I decided to give it a go. It says they have been around for 120 years. I haven’t heard a good – or bad – word about them. Why golly gee, I wonder why? I pour: piss yellow with a foamy head. Smell: Corn, other grains. Taste: Hmmm, better than Bud, does that mean anything. No, it tastes like a sugary water with a skunk like grain taste.  I went back the next day and had another: On a very warm day it wasn’t quite as bad as I reviewed it above. I must have been in a pissy mood. The appearance seemed just slightly better then on first take and it sat a little better (read: less skunky).

My score: 1.8