Monkeying with the Barrels, 6/12/13 – Newsweek
Freddie Johnson is a traditional guy. His grandfather, James Johnson Sr., served for 52 years as a foreman at the George T. Stagg distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky, driving a Ford Model A truck loaded up with bourbon barrels. In 1936, James’s son Jimmy—Freddie’s father—started doing much the same work, and he continued his association with the distillery until the day he died, in 2011, at the age of 94. Read more!
For Its Latest Beer, a Craft Brewer Chooses an Unlikely Pairing: Archaeology, 6/17/2013 – New York Times
But lately, Great Lakes has been trying to imitate a bygone era. Enlisting the help of archaeologists at the University of Chicago, the company has been trying for more than year to replicate a 5,000-year-old Sumerian beer using only clay vessels and a wooden spoon. “How can you be in this business and not want to know from where your forefathers came with their formulas and their technology?” said Pat Conway, a co-owner of the company. As interest in artisan beer has expanded across the country, so have collaborations between scholars of ancient drink and independent brewers willing to help them resurrect lost recipes for some of the oldest ales ever made. Read more!
Finally, a flavored rum to embrace: Lola Belle cherry-flavored Caribbean rum, 6/14/2013 – Los Angeles Times
I reserve a special loathing for flavored alcohol. Atrocities like pomegranate, cotton candy and melon-flavored vodkas make me want to rip my taste buds out by their roots. And don’t even get me started about flavored whiskey. I have to admit I have discovered a flavored rum I like. It’s called Lola Belle, and it’s a cherry-flavored Caribbean rum that is infused with dark maraschino cherries. Part of the liquor’s charm lies with its bottle, which looks like a vintage ad from the 1930s or ’40s. The rum itself is an attractive, deep red color (close to the hue of my cheeks as I write this admission). But the real secret of its success, at least to my mind, is that it doesn’t taste artificial. In fact, a spokesperson for Lola Belle says that only natural cherries are used to flavor the rum. So it tastes pretty much how a light rum would taste if you mixed it with some not-too-sweet liquid from a maraschino cherry jar. Read more!
The Five Biggest Gin Myths, 6/7/2013 – Liquor.com
Gin has gone through so many ups and downs over the last 400 years, it deserves its own reality show on Bravo. And just like the Kardashians, the liquor seems to engender a very passionate response—both positive and negative—from drinkers. To help end the drama, we enlisted Tanqueray Gin global brand ambassador Angus Winchester to assist us with debunking five of the biggest gin misconceptions. 1. Gin is juniper flavored 2. Gin is a Brittish thing 3. Gin makes you sad 4. Gin was the crack of 18th century London 5. Genever is a type of gin. Read more!
Is a Bottle of $475 Whiskey Worth It?, 6/14/2013 – The Wall Street Journal
Bowmore’s 25 Year whisky should savoured slowly by itself or with rich, dark chocolate truffles says Charles Passy on the News Hub. Read more!
Take Me Out to the Brew Game: The American Association of the 1880s was founded as a beer-soaked rival to the puritanical National League, 6/14/2013 – The Wall Street Journal
The connection is no accident, as historian Edward Achorn makes clear in “The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America’s Game.” The book documents the creation of the American Association, a league of ballplayers ostensibly founded to rival the National League but in fact brought into existence almost entirely as a way to evade Puritan liquor laws in order to sell beer. That guy in the bleacher with the T-shirt that says baseball is his favorite beer delivery system? He’s more right than he knows. Read more!
Constellation Takes Its Crown: Corona: With Mexican Labels, Wine Conglomerate Morphs into Third-Largest Beer Supplier, 6/6/2013 – The Wall Street Journal
When Constellation Brands Inc. STZ +0.44% closes its largest and most-transformative deal ever Friday, one of the world’s largest wine companies will also be the third-largest beer supplier in a shrinking U.S. market. The acquisition of U.S. distribution rights for top import Corona, several other Mexican beers plus a Mexican brewery for roughly $5.3 billion from Belgium’s Anheuser-Busch InBev NV BUD -0.06% is the unexpected byproduct of AB InBev’s larger $20.1 billion takeover of Mexico’s Grupo Modelo GMODELO.MX +0.30% SAB. AB InBev had to divest itself of the assets in order to gain Justice Department approval for its own deal. Read more!