Entries in beer (15)


Beer Cans Create Puerto Rican Day Parade Controversy

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Critics of Coors Light's participation in New York City's Puerto Rican Day Parade have vowed to continue their protest, despite a call by parade organizers that they stand down.

Complaints by Manhattan politicians and advocacy groups began earlier this week over claims that Coors disrespects the Puerto Rican flag by using it to sell beer.

MillerCoors, a corporate sponsor of the June 9 parade, will sell specially-designed cans of Coors Light in conjunction with the event. Part of the design consists of an apple-shaped emblem overlaid with a blue triangle, white star, and red and white stripes — elements of Puerto Rico's flag. The decoration looks similar, if not identical, to the logo of the parade itself, as displayed on the parade's website.

Two New York City council members and two New York state senators, describing themselves as "proud Puerto Rican elected officials," wrote to the parade's chairwoman, Madelyn Lugo on Wednesday, expressing their disappointment with and opposition to "the continued commercialization and misrepresentation of our culture" by Coors, other parade sponsors, and parade management itself.

"Permitting the placement of our flag, the most sacred and important symbol of our culture, on cans of beer is the height of disrespect," they wrote. "Why the [parade] committee feels compelled to continue to work with sponsors that seem to go out of their way to misrepresent our people is truly beyond us."

Though the parade, according to its website, is sponsored by a variety of companies, including Goya, Banco Popular, Jet Blue and Univision, the letter indicts MillerCoors in particular, calling its participation "nonsensical in a year where the committee has adopted 'Salud' [Health] as a theme."

The writers urged parade management to "stop Coors from including the flag."

How closely the decoration resembles the Puerto Rican flag is open to debate, since it mimics the flag without being an exact reproduction of it. A spokesperson for MillerCoors tells ABC News the decoration uses "elements of the Puerto Rican flag."

MillerCoors, in a statement, says it has been a supporter of the parade for the last seven years, has made contributions to a related scholarship fund, and has been a "strong partner" to various Hispanic organizations. "We've included a variation of the official National Puerto Rican Day Parade logo on our packaging…as a demonstration of our official alliance and support of the organization," the statement continued.

Parade management, in a separate statement of its own, said: "The mark in the promotion of Coors Light is NOT the Puerto Rican flag, NOR the logo of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Inc. It is an artwork created exclusively for this campaign. We call on community leaders to clear this misunderstanding, and stop misguidedly telling the public that the Puerto Rican flag has been posted on beer cans, something the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Inc., would NEVER authorize."

New York City council member Melissa Mark-Viverito, one of the writers of protest letter, says she is not mollified either by Coors' or by the Parade's responses, calling them completely inadequate.

"That it's not disrespect of the flag is ridiculous," she tells ABC News. "There's a flag draped on the bottom of the can."

She calls it one example among many in recent years that demonstrates "poor judgment" on the part of the parade's board. She is more angry with parade management, she says, than with Coors.

"They [the board] need to exercise leadership — to be clear that our flag, our most sacred symbol, should not be commercialized and equated to a can of beer," she added.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Anheuser-Busch Responds to Watered-Down Beer Claims with Ads

Alexander Zemlianichenko JR/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Anheuser-Busch InBev, the maker of Budweiser, has been hit with multiple federal lawsuits, claiming the company is watering down its brew.  The beer maker has disputed the claims, and now, it is fighting back with a new advertising campaign.

The company has taken out full-page ads in 10 newspapers that try to make light of the allegations.  They feature a can of drinking water that Anheuser-Busch donates to disaster relief organizations.

"They must have tested one of these," reads the ad.  "It would have been easy to get because we've done it 71 million times.  That's how many cans of pure drinking water we've donated to the American Red Cross and disaster relief organizations worldwide."

"But in every other circumstance, the Anheuser-Busch logo is our ironclad guarantee that the beer in your hand is the best beer we know how to brew.  We take no shortcuts and make no exceptions.  Ever," it concludes.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Lawsuit Claims Budweiser and Other Brands are Watered-Down

Alexander Zemlianichenko JR/Bloomberg via Getty Images(SAN FRANSISCO) -- There may be some truth to the joke that certain beers are no more than water.

A new class lawsuit claims Anheuser-Busch is watering down its Budweiser and several other brands, and that drinkers are being cheated by lower-than-advertised alcohol content.

The lawsuit is a multi-state endeavor, with claims being filed in federal courts in Philadelphia,  New Jersey and San Francisco.

Josh Boxer, an attorney for plaintiffs in California, said the plaintiffs were tipped off to the overstated alcohol through information from former workers at some of the company’s 13 U.S. breweries.

The lawsuit alleges that watering down of beers began after Anheuser-Busch merged with the Belgian-Brazilian company InBev in 2008, to form the world's largest alcohol producer.

A lower alcohol content means more water, and a cheaper beer for Anheuser-Busch to make, increasing profits and “intentionally short[ing] the alcohol content,” Boxer said in a phone interview.

One of the plaintiffs claims she bought a six pack of Budweiser every week for the past four years and says she feels cheated.

Anheuser-Busch, naturally, disputes these claims. Peter Kraemer, the company’s vice president of brewing and supply, called them “completely false,” in an e-mail.

“Our beers are in full compliance with all alcohol labeling laws,” Kraemer said. “We proudly adhere to the highest standards in brewing our beers, which have made them the best-selling in the U.S. and the world.”

If the claims are true, total damages “could be quite significant based on the volume of products that AB produces a year,” Boxer said. The complaints all seek damages over $5 million.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Colorado Company Making Beer with Bull Testicles

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A beer flavored with bull testicles started out as an April Fool's joke for a Denver brewery and restaurant, but thanks to the popularity of the prank, the Wynkoop Brewing Company has officially announced it will be selling its Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout -- in two packs, naturally -- by the end of the month.

Spokesman Marty Jones tells ABC News Radio the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau needed to be convinced the essence of testicles shouldn't be dropped.

"I am not sure they were aware that bull testicles are an actual food and that they are a regional delicacy out West," he said.

For the record, the company says the brew -- which will be sold to beer lovers everywhere through the site -- is, "a luscious, uniquely ballsy stout with notes of roasted barley, coffee and nuts."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Ohio Brewery Creates Beer to Commemorate End of World

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you're worried the world is going to come to an end this Friday, you probably could use a drink.  And what could be better than a nice cold one brewed just for the occasion.

Brewers at The Thirsty Dog Brewing Company in Akron, Ohio, have created a beer to commemorate the end of the ancient Mayan calendar: the Mayan Last Dog.

John Najeway, the co-owner of the company, tells ABC News affiliate WEWS-TV the beer is made with Mayan cocoa nibs and honey.

"It's almost an imperial stout ... as the beer warm up it has a nice chocolatey flavor to it.  Then you can taste the sweetness of the honey," he explains.

While Thirsty Dog only brewed a limited amount of the beer, Najeway says the company has enough to get us to the end of time and hopefully beyond.

"Actually, I think if we get through the end of the world, I think we will have the rise of the Mayans and continue to brew this beer," he says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Big Oil, Big Tobacco...Big Beer?

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Standard Oil was broken up in 1911.  Could the beer industry be next?

A powerful Washington think tank says big beer companies are edging smaller microbreweries out of the market -- and antitrust regulators are paying attention.

The D.C.-based New America Foundation is criticizing Anheuser-Busch Inbev, which is seeking to take control of Grupo Modelo, the maker of favorites like Corona and Modelo Especial.  The Justice Department has lately been quizzing industry leaders about a virtual duopoly of the American beer market, with Inbev and its counterpart, Miller Coors, dominating the U.S. beerscape.

In a new report, the think tank argues for stronger state and local controls, all with an eye toward boosting the panoply of American microbrews.

"The diversity that we see, just in that little 5 percent of the greater than anywhere else in the world," said Barry C. Lynn, director of New America's Markets, Enterprise, and Resiliency Initiative, at a panel hosted at the think tank's Washington offices Wednesday. "It's a result of that marketplace that was put into place in the 1930s."

Despite the post-Prohibition laws that separate brewers, distributors and retail sellers into a three-tier system, New America’s panelists accuse Anheuser Busch and Miller Coors of crowding out independent brewers by pressuring distributors to carry only their products.

"They have a great level of influence on what's supposed to be an independent tier in pressuring those distributors to favor their product," said Dogfish Head Brewery's Sam Calagione, who appeared as a panelist Wednesday.

The beer market appears to be flourishing with independent brews, but it isn't as diversified and variegated as it seems: The two giants own a stable of brands that includes Red Hook, Widmer, Goose Island, Blue Moon, Shock Top and Rolling Rock, having acquired the smaller labels over the years.

"Critics of today's brewers miss the point that small brewers in this country are already enjoying a generous tax advantage over larger brewers and all importers, a policy designed to open pathways to the marketplace,” said Beer Institute President John McClain, in a written statement provided to ABC News. “In fact, the small brewers in this country are experiencing explosive growth -- their dollar sales were up 14 percent in the first half of 2012 – and they represent the fastest-growing segment within the industry.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


For First Time in History, Beer and Wine in Magic Kingdom

Matt Stroshane/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- They say Walt Disney World is the place where wishes come true.

And if you're one of the countless frazzled parents who've wished for a beer or a glass of wine after a long day in the Magic Kingdom, your wish has been granted.

For the first time in its history, beer and wine will be available in the Magic Kingdom. It will be served at the soon-to-be-open Be Our Guest restaurant in the New Fantasyland.

Be our Guest is a French restaurant themed after Beauty and the Beast. The story is set in France.

The announcement was made on the Disney Parks blog.

"As part of the overall theming, we wanted to offer wine that enhances the guest experience and complements the French-inspired cuisine," said Stuart McGuire, Beverage Director, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "The wines focus primarily on France's famous wine-growing regions, including Champagne, Alsace, Loire, Rhone, Burgundy and Bordeaux.

"We'll also offer the leading French beer, Kronenbourg 1664," he said. "And, staying in the general region, we'll also offer Belgian beers."

The beer and wine will only be available during dinner. The restaurant will feature three dining rooms and will seat over 500 guests. Items like Croque Monsieur and pommes frites will be served at lunch; charcuterie plate or mussels in wine are on the dinner menu. Lunch will be quick service, while dinner will be table service.

Reservations for Be Our Guest are being taken now, even though the restaurant doesn't open until Nov. 19, the same day New Fantasyland opens for previews.

New Fantasyland's official opening date is Dec. 6. It marks the largest expansion in the park's history and comes just in time for the holidays -- one of the busiest times of year for the theme park. During previews, guests will have a chance to experience some of the new attractions, but operating hours will be limited.

Park expansion will continue into 2014 with additional attractions. Princess Fairytale Hall, a place where the Disney princesses will greet guests, and The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a musical rollercoaster, are two highlights.

To make a reservation at Be Our Guest, call (407) WDW-DINE or book online at

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


From Food to Breweries to Candles, Businesses Embracing Pumpkins

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Once reserved for the holiday pie and jack-o'-lanterns, America is embracing the pumpkin in a huge way.  From lattes to beer to candles and car deodorizers, there's scarcely a product line that doesn't include the giant gourds, which supporters say can even improve your love life.

It's not clear how and where the pumpkin craze began, but Starbucks was certainly an early mover.  Eleven years ago, the world's largest coffee chain rolled out its Pumpkin Latte, though recently the chain has upped the ante on its pumpkin products.  A promotional Facebook page on the drink reportedly crashed shortly after it was launched last month.

Chains featuring pumpkin on their menu have increased 38 percent since 2010, according to the Menu Monitor Trend-Tracking tool by Technomic, a food research and consulting company.

Dunkin' Donuts is offering pumpkin cream cheese and pumpkin muffins, to go with its glazed pumpkin cake donuts and pumpkin coffee.  At Einstein Bros., there are two types of pumpkin bagels and a new pumpkin scone.  And frozen custard brand Culver's is rolling out three new desserts with pumpkin flavoring mixed in.  Sonic even has a pumpkin pie shake.

First seen as an offbeat entry into the drink marketplace, it seems as though it's the rare coffee outlet that doesn't include pumpkin on the menu.  Caribou Coffee's newest pumpkin line, which it calls Pumpkin Perfected, includes pumpkin white chocolate mocha, pumpkin bread and pumpkin chai tea.

Pumpkin beers seemingly hit stores earlier than ever before, with some being spotted in late July.

Pumpkin and fermented yeast were combined in the late 1980s when California-based Buffalo Bill's Brewery debuted its Pumpkin Ale.  Since then, more than 100 breweries have followed with their versions, including the big boys.

Anheuser-Busch InBev's Shock Top and MillerCoors' Blue Moon both have pumpkin beers.  The popular seasonal beer category even saw an entry by Sam Adams this year, which made a small batch of a brew called Fat Jack, made with 28 pounds of real pumpkin in each barrel, the company says.

And then there's the alleged amorous properties of pumpkins.  Seattle's Best Coffee held a nationwide contest in August to create its next drink. The winner was Eileen Gannon, whose coffee included caramelized bacon and pumpkin spice flavors.

Gannon called the drink "How to Win a Guy With One Sip," citing a study that found that pumpkin pie scent was an aphrodisiac for men.  The study, conducted last year by the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation of Chicago, said that the smell of pumpkin got 40 percent of the subjects aroused.

And there's no problem finding that smell should you need some. Scent producer Yankee Candle makes its spiced pumpkin scent in candles, room spray and car deodorizers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sam Adams Creates Ale for Newlyweds

Boston Beer Company(BOSTON) -- Newlyweds now have a little something else to celebrate other than their nuptials: a new beer from Samuel Adams.  Newlywed Ale, a limited-edition pale ale, will only be available Thursday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the brewery’s Boston location.

“Brides, grooms, couples, recently engaged and recently married” are invited to the event, which will feature wedding experts from and a justice of the peace to perform impromptu ceremonies.  (Wedding license not included.)  Couples can also enter for a chance to win up to $1,000 for their rehearsal dinner.

The site describes the beer as a “limited release Belgian-style pale golden ale.  A distinct and complex brew, Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale offers layers of flavor including fruit and honeysuckle notes from the Belgian yeast, sweetness from malt and citrus character from hops.”

Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Sam Adams, describes the beer as the color of a golden wedding band.

The 750mL bottles are $14.99 each and can be purchased in a case of 12.  Only 350 cases of the beer have been brewed.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Heineken Offers to Buy Asian Brewer for $6 Billion

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Heineken, the world’s third biggest brewer, bid $6 billion for complete control of Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd., according to Bloomberg.

Although Heineken owns 42 percent of APB, they would like to buy out Fraser and Neave Ltd., who own the other large percentage of the company at a 40 percent stake.

Further negotiations of the business proposal will be discussed between the two interested parties before any official statement will be release about the buyout.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio