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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pints for Prostates Expanding Efforts in 2009 to Reach Men Using the Universal Language of Beer

Pints for Prostates, a campaign that uses the universal language of beer to encourage men to take charge of their health, is expanding its presence in 2009. The grassroots effort will appear at more than 20 events during the year and is increasing its pro bono advertising blitz to reach more people.

“Pints for Prostates is just a year old, but the campaign is starting to gain traction. We’re being contacted by people who want to help out by hosting events, donating ad space and getting involved in other ways,” said Rick Lyke, a 48-year-old Charlotte, N.C., marketing executive and drinks journalist who had successful prostate cancer surgery in April 2008. “The fact is that nearly 4,000 men a week in the U.S. hear the words ‘you have prostate cancer.’ The key for these guys is detecting the disease in its early stages when treatment is nearly 100 percent successful. That’s what Pints for Prostates is all about.”

In its first year Pints for Prostates reached approximately 25 million people through a combination of donated advertising, news articles, appearances at beer festivals, and coverage on websites and blogs. The campaign’s goal is generating awareness for PSA testing and regular checkups so that men can detect the illness before it has progressed.

All funds generated by Pints for Prostates benefit the Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network, a 501(c)3 charity that works to support, educate and advocate for men with prostate cancer and their families. Us TOO was founded in 1990 and has a network of more than 300 local chapter support groups that help men dealing with the disease.

So far in 2009, Pints for Prostates has already held two events each in North Carolina and South Carolina, and one event each in California and Illinois. In the coming months the group has confirmed participation in the following events:

June 7th: The Great Flanagan’s Beer Festival, Louisville, Kentucky.
June 20th: Green Dragon Bistro Brewpub, 928 SE 9th Ave., Portland, Ore.
June 20th: Rogue Ales Public House, 748 SW Bay Blvd., Newport, Ore.
June 20th: Eugene City Brewery, 844 Olive St., Eugene, Ore.
June 20th: Issaquah Brewhouse, 35 W. Sunset Way, Issaquah, Wash.
June 20th: Rogue Ales Public House, 637 Union St., San Francisco, Calif.
June 20th: Hub City Brewing Co., 11352 40th St., Stanley, Iowa
June 21st: Falls Tap Room, 5009 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh, N.C.
June 25th: Thirsty Thursday, Visalia Rawhide, Recreation Park, Visalia, Calif.
July 2nd: Rogue Ales Public House, 100 39th St. (Pier 39), Astoria, Ore.
July 23rd-26th: Oregon Brewers Festival, Tom McCall Park, Portland, Ore.
July 24th: Rogue Distillery & Public House, 1339 NW Flanders, Portland, Ore.
Sept. 17th: The Pub at Polaris Fashion Place, Columbus, Ohio
Sept. 24th-26th: Great American Beer Festival, Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colo.
Oct 2nd: World Beer Festival, Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Durham, N.C.

Additional events are being booked and information will be listed shortly at www.ustoo.org/pints. Pints for Prostates also has a presence on Facebook and Twitter.

“The growth of Pints for Prostates has been encouraging to watch,” said Thomas Kirk, President and CEO of Us TOO International, which is based in Downers Grove, Ill. “Our mission and program goal is to educate and empower men and their family members so men and their loved ones can take an active role in their health care. We are able to reach a whole new group of men with a critical health message. The more men we reach, the more lives will be saved.”

A Molson Might Again Own the Montreal Canadiens

We in the middle of some pretty amazing hockey as we near the Stanley Cup finals, but the team that has won the most cups -- the Montreal Canadiens -- made an early exit thanks to a sweep handed out by the Boston Bruins.

Now media reports in Canada have surfaced that say George Gillett Jr., the American owner who also lists the English Premier League's Liverpool soccer team and an ownership position in Richard Petty Motorsports in NASCAR, might be preparing to sell the Canadiens. The buyer could just end up being familiar to hockey fans and beer drinkers.

Geoffrey E. Molson says he is preparing a bid on behalf of several family members to acquire the team. At the moment Molson Coors Brewing Co. owns 19.9 percent of the hockey team. Two other potential bidders are also on the scene: Quebecor and BCE, both Quebec-based companies. For his part Gillett has stopped short of saying the team is for sale, noting he is reviewing options.

The Molson family owned the Montreal Canadiens from 1957 to 1971. Molson Breweries bought the team in 1978 and owned all shares of the club until selling a majority interest to Gillett in 2001.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Arkansas Group Tries to Block Private Clubs from Serving Alcohol in Dry Counties

A group calling itself the Dry Counties Coalition is criticizing the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board because that group has been following the law in granting liquor permits to private clubs.

There are 42 dry counties in Arkansas, but you can buy a drink in all but nine of them by going to a private club. Legislation passed in 1969 allowed country clubs and groups such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars to sell alcohol in dry counties. The law was changed in 2003 to expand the types of groups that could qualify for the special permits. The Dry Counties Coalition claims that the new law is too open and allows restaurants to obtain the permits. One county has seen 120 of these special permits granted.

Attempts to change the 2003 law have failed three times in the past. Supporters of the permits say the 2003 has helped revitalize downtowns and attracted businesses and jobs to these counties.

Tuesday Tasting: 18 Beers from the Cellar

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we join a group of guys in pulling some great beers from the back of our refrigerator for a friendly tasting.

A few weeks back a group of beer fans gathered at the Grapevine in Fort Mill, S.C., with a simple set of guidelines. Bring two interesting beers (bomber-size bottles or larger)to share that you have either been storing for awhile or are extremely hard to find in the Charlotte, N.C., area. People reached pretty deep into their collections and everyone agreed it was one of the best non-festival collections of beer they had ever enjoyed.

Here are the tasting notes for the evening in the order the beers were consumed:

Troegs Troegenator: This Pennsylvania doppelbock is 8.2 percent alcohol by volume. Thin head and amber brown color. Nice caramelized malt flavor. Slight tang of fruit in the finish.

Dogfish Head Theobroma: This 9.0 percent alcohol by volume ale is brewed with honey, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, ancho chile and ground annatto. It was created based on analysis of residue in pottery found in Honduras. There was a nice chocolate nose to this beer. Chocolate and honey base flavor, but balanced by the chili heat in a long aftertaste.

Rogue Captain Sig's Northwestern Ale: Nice firm head from this 6.2 percent alcohol by volume beer. Upfront hop nose. Strong hop character with a subtle hint of pine.

Three Floyds Alpha King: Glowing amber color and floral herbal nose. Hops surround your taste buds with this beer. Dry citrus peels and grapefruit in the finish.

Stone Double Bastard 2005: Starts with a firm head that slowly dissipates. Raisin nose. Good hop base that fades to fig, pineapple and pine notes.

Dogfish Head 120 Minute Imperial IPA: A 21 percent alcohol by volume heavyweight, the first nose on this beer is a little like spray paint. Tarnished bronze color. Maple syrup is forward, rich and round beer. Hops fight the way through and a balancing act dances across your tongue.

Three Floyds Dreadnaught Ale: Golden color and a thin head open the experience with this 9.5 percent alcohol by volume beer. Grapefruit nose and a clean, crisp hop bitterness.

Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter: Chocolate colored head and dark reddish brown color. Slight maple nose in this 9.2 percent alcohol by volume beer. Nice chocolate notes and strong flavor.

Pugsley's Signature Series Shipyard Imperial Porter: Creamy tan head and almost toffee-like nose. Bittersweet chocolate flavor in background and nice malt notes. A bit thinner than expected.

Avery Samael's Oak Aged Ale 2007: This 14.9 percent alcohol by volume beer has a red color and a very thin head. Oak and malty nose. Wonderful figs, raisins and malt come through in the flavor.

Upstream Oak Aged Ebenezer: This ale was brewed in August 2007. Dark brown color, thick head and sweet nose. Sour burnt chocolate taste.

Deschutes 2009 Reserve Mirror Mirror Oak Aged Barleywine: Nice firm head and red color. Slight bubblegum nose and a nice malty flavor, touch of fruitiness with good woody notes showing through.

Firestone 11th Anniversary Ale 2007: Reddish brown color and brown bread nose. Sweet, enticing flavor with rounded malt, cinnamon, fudge and dates.

Bell's Expedition Stout 2007: Thick head with a black purple color. Roasty goodness from the start. Rich and thick brew that has a touch of espresso in the finish.

Stone Russian Imperial Stout 2004: Malt house nose with a touch of chocolate. Dark black color. Rich flavor of chocolate, mocha and dark skin berries.

Rogue Imperial Stout 2006: Thick, chocolate colored head. Bitter notes up front that rolls forward with a thick mocha flavor. Hint of roasted malt.

Founders KBS: This "Kentucky Breakfast Stout" is 11.2 percent alcohol by volume and has a used coffee grounds aroma. There is a ton a cereal notes, coffee, vanilla and wood.

Three Floyds Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout 2008: The head leaves this beer pretty quickly. It is a thick black color with red around the edges. Amazing combinations of flavors. Molasses, cocoa, malt and dark berries. Chewy, coating and long lasting.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hub City Brewing to Raise Funds to Help Men Fighting Prostate Cancer

Hub City Brewing in Stanley, Iowa, is planning to help raise funds as part of the Pints for Prostates campaign with an event at the brewery on June 20th.

The Hub City Summer Solstice Party will feature three bands — Jason Eastman, The Dalziels and The Ramblers — a pig roast and beer, of course. The event runs from Noon to 9 p.m.

At least two homebrew clubs have confirmed they will be on hand from 1-4 p.m. pouring samples. A free will donation will be taken and you can sample the beers made by the talented homebrewers. All of the money donated with go to benefit the Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Falls Tap Room in Raleigh to Host Father's Day Event to Benefit Pints for Prostates Campaign

The Falls Tap Room in Raleigh, N.C., has signed up to host a Father's Day event to encourage men to have regular prostate health screenings and PSA testing.

You can bring Dad out for a beer along with an $8.99 prime rib special, and make sure he gets the word on the importance of regular health checkups. The Falls Tap Room has a great selection of local craft beers to go along with popular domestics and imports.

Donations to the Pints for Prostates campaign, which go to help the Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network, will be accepted.

The Falls Tap Room is located at 5009 Falls of Neuse Rd. in the Quail Corners Shopping Center.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Tasting: Six Rye Whiskeys

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we try a half dozen rye whiskeys.

The March/April issue of DRAFT magazine includes a Drinking Buddies feature that I wrote about rye whiskey. Rye is in the midst of a pretty amazing revival. Rye is a major blending component for Bourbon, but now many people are looking for ryes to experience them in their own right. It is very flavorful liquor and is great straight or as a cocktail component.

To be a rye, the whiskey must contain at least 51 percent rye whiskey and be aged in new charred oak barrels. Straight rye does not mean 100 percent rye is used, it signifies the whiskey has been aged for at least two years.

Here are some of the ryes tasted for the article:

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac: Part of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Antique Collection this uncut and unfiltered straight rye was aged for more than six years. At 127.5 proof, the copper colored whiskey has bright, spicy nose. Nice wood and herbal flavors mix with an overall nutty quality.

(ri)1 Kentucky Straight Rye: A new 92-proof whiskey with a light copper color, this rye starts off with a herbal scent and delivers a direct wood and hazelnut flavor profile that finishes with just a hint of smoke.

Rittenhouse Famous Straight Rye: Said to be made in a “Pennsylvania style” this 80 proof whiskey has a spicy nose and copper color. There are sweet notes upfront, with a nice amount of oak throughout and a touch of pepper at the finish.

Russell Reserve Rye: A golden color that is lighter than most ryes, this six year old 90 proof whiskey has a mellow, slightly sweet nose. The base of the rye is a mixture of oak, caramel and citrus.

Sazerac Straight Rye: Copper colored 90-proof whiskey that starts off with an attractive sweet nose. The flavor bed has notes of oak and almond, with a light touch of peppery spice in the finish.

Templeton Rye: This 80 proof rye from Iowa is a small batch product said to be made from using a Prohibition-era recipe favored by the Capone gang in Chicago. It has a slightly floral aroma and a sweet, attractive flavor bed.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

American Craft Beer Week Kicks Off on Monday

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
American Craft Beer Week
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFirst 100 Days

What are your plans for American Craft Beer Week?

The Brewers Association is promoting all things craft beer from May 11-17 to highlight the cultural, culinary and economic contributions of craft beer in United States. A total of at least 470 events are being promoted by 195 breweries in various locations across the country.

At first blush you might wonder about the need for something like the Declaration of Beer Independence that is available on the group's website or a Facebook fan page to promote craft beer, but the reality is that the vast majority of beer drinkers having a glass of cold brew right at this moment are consuming bland, fizzy, light, yellow liquid turned out by mega brewers. Obviously, there is a need to introduce more people to craft beer.

Small, independent craft brewers now number more than 1,400, providing nearly 100,000 jobs. In in 2008 craft brewers produced 8,596,971 barrels of beer. The Brewers Association points out that these businesses face rapidly increasing costs for materials and supplies, along with a competition squeeze for retail shelf space.

So if you are thinking beer this week, buy a local craft beer and support someone who cares about the quality of the beer you drink.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tuesday Tasting: Seven Ciders

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we try seven different ciders.

Cider is a drink that has sustained farmers and rural residents for centuries. Relatively easy to make, it was also inexpensive -- traditionally made from windfall apples that might have otherwise been used for animal feed or left on the ground to rot. It also proved to be a cash crop, while solving the issue of shipping a difficult to transport and perishable crop.

In the United Kingdom and parts of France and Spain, cider is a strong category and has a loyal following. In the United States, cider has tagged along with craft beers during the last twenty years grabbing a tap here and a shelf facing there. Easy and pleasant to drink, it has a healthy image because it comes almost directly from the orchard.

Greg Failing, senior cidermaker at Woodchuck Draft Cider, has spent 20 years working with apples. He started making apple wines, then switched to cider when Woodchuck founder Joseph Cerniglia decided the category had a chance of developing in the U.S.

"Our customers are 60 percent female and 40 percent male," Failing says. "Our marketing is really word of mouth and people showing friends our product."

Woodchuck markets a range of ciders, ranging from Dark & Dry 802, which is less sweet and more tart to appeal to beer fans, to Granny Smith, which is fairly dry and is almost wine like. "I actually made the Woodchuck Amber to be as apple juice-like as possible. It is sweet and fresh, with some carbonation and alcohol," Failing says.

Magners is an imported cider from Ireland that national sales manager Mark Woodard calls "an historic alternative to beer." He says that where wine coolers and flavored malternatives come and go, cider has been around for centuries.

"It still amazes me when I go to a food show that people don't know what hard cider is," Woodard says. "Everyone has a story about a Grandfather on the family farm making a very strong cider. In reality that was likely more like an applejack than a cider."

Cider's continued growth since the 1990s means that more trial is taking place in the market, which is sure to generate more cider fans. The product range is growing a bit in the U.S., so people are now finding brands that better fit their personal tastes.

Even though cider has been around for centuries, this tasting of seven different varieties suggests the best may be yet to come.

Aspall Organic Suffolk Cyder: I had the chance to enjoy this brand at the World Beer Festival in Raleigh at a tasting conducted by Henry Chevallier Guild, whose family has been making cider in the United Kingdom for eight generations. This light colored cider has a nice level of sweetness at the start that is balanced by a good level of acidity. This would be an excellent summer cocktail party pour.

Harpoon Cider: Made from New England-grown apples, this cider is 4.8 percent alcohol by volume. This cider is a pale yellow color with a slight effervescence. Good level of acidity.

J.K.'s Orchard Gate Golden Scrumpy Hard Cider: Bruce Wright was nice enough to bring me a couple of bottles of this cider from the family-run organic orchard in Michigan. Cider has helped save the orchard, which has seen its juice business slashed by cheap imports. Cloudy, orange color it is 6.0 percent alcohol by volume and comes with a flavorful punch. More mouth feel and aroma than the other ciders in this tasting. The Northern Spies pressed for this cider give off a round sweetness. It is sort of the IPA of this tasting.

Magners Original Vintage Cider: This Irish cider has plenty of bubbles when it is poured, similar to a champagne, but it settles quickly. Light golden color with an apple peel aroma. Crisp and dry with 4.5 percent alcohol by volume. They use 17 varieties of apples in the blend of this cider.

Samuel Smith's Organic Cider: At first pour, this cider from the United Kingdom appears more beer-like than any of the others tasted. The head on this one hangs around a bit. Bright gold color, it is 5.0 percent alcohol by volume. The aroma has floral notes, while the flavor is overall crisp and fresh.

Woodchuck Granny Smith Draft Cider: If it were not for the carbonation you might think you were drinking a sauvignon blanc. This Vermont cider is 5.0% alcohol by volume and has a crisp, tart flavor that matches well with food.

Wyder's Dry Apple Cider: This Canadian cider pours bubbly, but quickly settles. There is a hint of fruit in the aroma. At 5 percent alcohol by volume, it is very smooth. Nice level of acidity to balance the sweetness.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Raleigh Beer Fans Support Pints for Prostates

Pints for Prostates was at Saturday's World Beer Festival in Raleigh, N.C. Thanks to festival sponsor All About Beer magazine, we had a booth to talk to men about the need for regular health check ups.

Pints for Prostates also accepted donations and raffled a kegerator to raise funds for the Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network. The lucky winners were Scott and Samantha Domes of North Raleigh.

Special thanks go out to Phil and Joan Harris, Greg and Susan Bavisotto, and Darrin Pikarsky for helping to staff the booth.