German Execs Win Rights to Best Beer Name Ever

Written by Kiran Aditham for

Pardon our language for the duration of this post, but let’s begin it with an Upper Austrian village called Fucking, which is the inspiration for a new beer called Fucking Hell. Yes, the common English term for surprise and/or frustration is now a brand name thanks to a German firm which has been granted permission by the European Union’s Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office to brew beer and produce clothing under the name.

According to Spiegel Online, the EU’s trademarks authority seems to have no problem with Fucking Hell and rejected a complaint that it was “upsetting, accusatory and derogatory.” In a statement, the EU office says, “The word combination claimed contains no semantic indication that could refer to a certain person or group of persons. Nor does it incite a particular act. It cannot even be understood as an instruction that the reader should go to hell.” “Hell” in fact is a term for light ale in southern Germany and Austria, so see, it all makes sense.

Still, the mayor of Fucking isn’t too pleased with the notoriety that this beer, which is set to be released in August or September, is going to bring to his town that’s already had 12 or 13 signs stolen over the years. According to Radio Netherlands Worldwide, though, Fucking residents voted to keep the name recently despite the problems caused by tourists who just can’t help but take pics in front of the traffic sign on which the village’s name is printed.

Whatever the case, German marketing executives Stefan Fellenberg and Florian Krause, who own the rights to the brand name, could start a whole empire considering there are also Bavarian towns called Kissing, Petting and Pissing.

Cask Ale: As British as the Royal Family

Britain’s national drink is helping keep pubs alive. Written by Pete Brown for The Independent

Italian food. French wine. British beer and pubs. Our national icons resonate deeply not just because they’re things we’re good at, but also because they reflect our national characteristics. To eat like an Italian is to treat great food with the gusto and relish it deserves. A Margaux reflects centuries of sophistication and refinement. And a pint of ale in a pub… well, it’s a bit more complicated.

Pubs are different from the bars the rest of the world has to make do with. They’re more convivial, more homely, diverse, eccentric, understated and contradictory. They can be a bit intimidating on a first encounter, but get to know them and you’ll never want to leave. Just like the average Brit, really.

That’s why there has never been a successful British soap without a pub at its centre. After the Royal Family, the traditional British pub is the first thing foreign tourists want to see when they come to Britain. And when they’re there, they want to drink a traditional British beer.

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The Technical Edge: Infected Beer? Your Counterflow Heat Exchanger is the Most Likely Culprit

Written by Steve Fried for Pensabrew News

I started home brewing in 1979 and went professional in 1989 when I started working at McGuire’s (Pensacola…. also Destin, FL… Irish theme restaurant/brewpub- Prof. GA) As an extract home brewer from the beginning, I finally experimented with all grain in 1988 and the beer was horrible, my worst ever, and I didn’t know why. It wasn’t until I started brewing at McGuire’s that I was to learn my fatal mistake. The heat exchanger had not been properly cleaned and sanitized. My trainer taught me the proper method I’m about to share with you. I credit this technique, which I followed faithfully for 12 consecutive years, for our clean ales. During that time I brewed 1,500 batches of beer, re-pitching the same yeast culture I started with in 1989. I did not re-culture once during that time.

The technique is to run a hot caustic solution in reverse through your heat exchanger followed by a hot rinse. This removes the reddish brown scale that builds up on the plates or tubes. On brew day and after mashing in, I would heat my sparge water up to 200 degrees F and then transfer it from the brew kettle to my fermenter via the heat exchanger, hoses and pumps that would eventually be used to do my heat exchange into the fermenter. Everything that comes into contact with the cooled wort will have been heat sanitized. Assuming you have a clean yeast, you are well on your way to making a clean beer.
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Beer Profile: Sierra’s Ken and Fritz’s Ale

Image courtesy

Style: Stout
Part of the 30 anniversary series at Sierra Nevada

Profiled by Ken Carman

I kind of figured this is what would happen. You combine Sierra Nevada and Fritz the founder of the whole damn craft beer industry, and what do you get? Damn near perfection. Perfect head that holds for quite a while, obsidian black, holds to the side of the glass as if slightly glued there. Hop, roasted barley, roast nose. Wow. I’d hate to have this in competition: so many good brewers would be pushed to the side, nose-wise. Not a ton: just right.

A little bit of a soured mouth sense: are these guys channeling Guinness? Just the right amount of bubble: not heavy… but there.

The problem, if any, is in the taste. This is a stout for those who like stouts and no compromise. Just a bit more of a Extra than a regular Stout. The alcohol is just a bit high. You like this… or you don’t: which to me defines some Extra Stouts. A little less of the roasted barley, more of the dark Black Patent sense than Guinness. I do like this, but I had to take time to adjust: kind of like I did when I first had Guinness Extra in Montreal at Finnegan’s: 1974. It took me a few to fall in love. And by the end of this 25oz champagne-corked bottle I was getting close.

What, no more?

Sniff. Sniff.

If you are beer geekish like me, buy it and make up your own damn mind, No matter what this took talent to do.

Beer label art matches the quirky character of the microbrews

Craft beers use labels to promote their region or maker’s individuality.

Written by Veronique de Turenne for LA Times

True confession: The first bottle of Black Dog Ale I ever bought wasn’t for the taste or the price or even the reputation. What separated that six-pack from hundreds of others in the 40-foot-long beer case was the black Labrador retriever on the box. There he was — the noble profile, those silky ears, his golden eyes gazing into the distance. And to clinch the deal, behind him rolled a tree-filled alpine meadow, backed by snowy mountain peaks.

I didn’t buy the beer, I bought the label. And it’s not just any label. With the detailed drawing of the dog, the idealized depiction of the place, all rendered in rich colors, with an unmistakably retro vibe, it’s the modern-day version of that other icon of advertising— orange crate art.
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Beer Profile: Billy’s Chilies

Image courtesy

Profiled by Ken Carman

You’re going to have to excuse me, I’m doing this one from memory. I had this beer at the Bluebonnet and describing one beer from something like the BB is almost like describing a single drop in a thunderstorm. I type “almost” because this one stood out: not for what it was but what it wasn’t.

You would expect a beer with anaheim, fresno, serrano, jalapeno, habanero peppers in it would be overwhelming: especially one with a light ale body like this. Well, I believe “ale,” but to be honest I’d need another taste minus the thunderstorm to be sure. I can usually tell the difference: ale more fruity, lager variable amounts of a sulfur-like sense.

But, instead of a pepper whack, the spicing here is gentle: subtle; just enough to tingle the buds. No hops evident and aroma is pepper… not much else. The example I had was clear and a little darker than Bud: not dark at all, really.
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Ye Olde Scribe’s VERY, VERY Incredibly Bad Beer Report

(Please refer to #8 for the source of both the following photo and the related story-Prof. GA)

Ever watch “Six Feet Under” when it was on? Someone always dies in the beginning, some ironic some very sad or even funny ways. Scribe LOVES beer. He first started writing ABOUT beer. But just like any alcoholic beverage, to say beer can make be used as an excuse to do stupid things is so much an obvious “duh,” it’s dumber than a Homer Simpson ‘DOH.'” Here are just a few either stupid, or sad, beer and alcohol related deaths Scribe has discovered by visiting Doctor Google. (Hopefully he doesn’t offer certain enemas.) Murder is included. Scribe dares you not to laugh, feel sad or shake your head in wonder. Scribe warns you: some of these are a bit gruesome. If you’d rather NOT, DON’T click.

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Brew Biz: Werts and All

The Blue Bonnet Brew-Off
Dallas, Texas

Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.

The last time we went to Dallas was in the 80s for a wedding. It’s a good 600 miles away from Nashville. For years we had been hearing about The Bluebonnet, and depending on who you talk to, it’s either the biggest or one of the biggest in the country.

We left at 9pm and drove all night, taking turns to sleep. Of course “sleeping well” while “someone else is driving” are often close to antonyms. Luckily I didn’t wake up this time in sheer terror thinking I had fallen asleep while driving. After adjusting some bad directions from the net we arrived at the location of the event: the Westin.

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