January 12, 2006 Written by RateBeer
Santa Rosa, CALIFORNIA -
On January 17th, Benjamin Franklinís 300th birthday will be celebrated in a special way in 100 locations spread in 35 states. Craft brewers all over America brewed Poor Richardís Ale which will be served on this day to commemorate the anniversary. The recipe, chosen by brewers and historians, was inspired by beers that were made during Franklinís time, with molasses and corn as common ingredients. The name comes from Franklinís well-known publication, Poor Richardís Almanach, which was published in the mid-1700s.
New Belgian beers were recently released in the American market.De Proefbrewerij released four new beers under a series called Belgique. The four beers include Angelique, a 7% abv abbey ale, Diabolique, a strong golden ale, Euphorique, a 6.5% abv fruity abbey blonde ale and Mystique, a 8.5% dark ale. Also, Urthel Hop-It arrived in the states, it is considered as an hybrid between an abbey tripel and an Imperial IPA.
Czech Republic is not know for its strong beers, more for its session strenght pilseners. There are however some Czech brewers that are willing to experiment on strong lagers. Pragueís Micropivovar U Medvidku brewed the strongest beer in the country, X-30, a 11.8 % abv lager that sold out quickly. The recent micro-brewery decided to go further, they are actually brewing X-33 which should have an abv of 12,5 % to 13%. The brewer, Ladislav Vesely, said that it will take seven months of lagering and two types of yeast to produce that much alcohol.
While weíre on the subject of Czech breweries, Pivovar Svijany reported a raise of beer production of 15% in 2005. Not ready to comtempt itself with this raise they are looking to produce even more in 2006. The brewery invested a lot of money in modernisation and expansion to upgrade the production from 178 000 hectolitres to a projected 215 000 hectolitres in 2006.
Laos is preparing to launch globally its sate-owned beer, Beer Lao. Currently Beer Lao has next to 100% of the market share in Laos, of course the competition is scarce and the 40% tax on imported beer helps a lot. But in 2008 Laos will join the Southeast Asian free trade which will abolish the 40% and increase imports, to counter the predicted fall of sales they a planning an emphasis on export. Actually 1% of production is exported but they want to build an additional factory to double the production. Of course an additional factory needs investment, to do so Laos went into a 50-50 partnership with Denmarkís Carlsberg breweries. The recipe for Beer Lao was inspired by Czech beers, they use hops and yeast from Germany, malt from Belgium and France and rice homegrown in Laos. The brewery also began to brew other beers last year, a dark beer and a light beer.
A bill has been introduced by a Senator that would ban the sale of cold beer in Missouri. If the bill is passed, groceries and convenience stores that sell beer that is chilled below 60 degrees would have its liquor licence removed. The intent of the bill is to reduce drunk driving by making it less tempting to open a beer after leaving the store. Of course lawmakers and convenience store trade groups have spoken against the bill and it seems that the chances are slim that it will pass. What is very interesting is that the idea came from a fifth-grade student in Jefferson County who participated in a program whose goal is to teach elementary students about state government.
The Saint Arnold brewery from Texas has begun the distribution of their next seasonal beer. The previous seasonal was Winter Stout, now the Spring Bock is being distributed, itís a bit soon for a Spring Bock donít you think ? Brock Wagner, the founder of Saint Arnold brewery, has an explanation. He said that the original bock style was served as a reward for making through the long, cold, unforgiving winter, but Saint Arnoldís Spring Bock is being released in the beginning of January to reward lovers of bock for surviving the holidays! The brewery uses five different malts to brew the Spring Bock, including 2-row pale malt from Germany and specialty malts from Belgium, also, German hops are used to give some balance.
Brooklynís Sixpoint craft ales are releasing a limited edition bottled beer on January, 19th. Called Bolshoi! Russian imperial stout the beer will be available for 24 hours at Bierkraft. The beer is hand-bottled, hand-capped, hand- diped in wax, hand-numbered and signed. The Bolshoi! name comes from the brewers 3 months stay in Russia when he was honing his craft.