ALE Spring 2002 No. 305

Strange But True

Dung problem for Belgian beer

The quality of a famous Belgian trappist beer is being threatened by bird dung.

A chicken breeder in Rochefort is planning to double the number of chickens on his farm from the current figure of 50,000 and produce more waste.

Father Abbott of Saint-Rémy monastery, which brews the beer, complained: "They have no place to store such quantities of dung. The nitrate pollution in the water will alter the taste of the water which will have a bad effect on the quality of the beer."

The mayor of Rochefort has now asked experts at the University of Liège to find a place were the farmer can store the dung without it polluting the water.

[Source: Ananova 23rd January 2002]

Saving a Lager

Wrexham Lager, said to be Britain's oldest lager as dating from 1882, is now owned by Carlsberg-Tetley. They closed the Wrexham brewery in April 2000 after buying it from Allied Domecq and production moved to Blackburn.

Local businessmen and Martin Jones, MP for Clywd South and former chemist at the brewery, have been lobbying Government ministers and C-T to get production moved back to Wrexham as part of a heritage centre.

[Source: BBC News 22-Feb-2002]

Picture-Perfect Pint?

Coors (ex-Bass) has patented a gimmick of printing customers pictures on glasses as pints are poured.

The scheme (which needs further development) is that a digital camera takes the picture then an ink-jet printer beneath the pump nozzle prints the drinker's image on to the glass.

If permanent ink is used, the glass becomes a souvenir.

[Source: New Scientist Feb-2002]

"Sure, I thought I liked vodka till I discovered Smirnoff"

Diageo is trying to push its Smirnoff Ice brand in the USA but is in trouble with Federal regulators.

Apparently it's not uncommon in the US to replace "hard liquor" by a malt equivalent - "malternatives". Diageo have done this but not mentioned it on the labelling.

Similarly, Allied Domecq has teamed up wth Miller to push Stolichnaya vodka to compete in the trendy "Ready To Drink" (RTD) market.

[Source: FT 23-Feb-2002]

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