Win 2 tickets to the Brunswick Wine & Chocolate Walk

One of the classier events in my adopted hometown of Brunswick, Maryland is the Wine & Chocolate Walk. This year’s event is on September 22.

In 2011, Brunswick Main Street debuted the Wine and Chocolate Walk. Attendees enjoyed fine wine and fair trade chocolates as they strolled through downtown. The 2011 festival featured wine from Black Ankle Vineyards, Fabbioli Cellars, Hiddencroft Vineyards, Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyards, Knob Hall Winery, North Gate Vineyards and Boordy Vineyards.

Main Street decided to grow the festival for 2012 offering 30 beverage and food tastings at 12 venues in the historic downtown.

Of course, Real Women Drink Craft Beer will point out that not all women prefer wine over beer (or, at least, they enjoy both). So last year they set up a tent downtown and gave away barbecue and a selection of (mostly local) craft beers. Since it went over so well, the women behind RWDCB have been asked back to do it again.

Since I’m friends with the RWDCB crew (and, yes, they are Real Women™), I have a pair of tickets to this year’s event to give away.

If you’d like my extra tickets, simply send an e-mail message to contact@hop-talk.com at let us know if you prefer wine, beer, or enjoy both. Please get your message to us by September 19, when we’ll pick one person at random to get the tickets.

You can get details about buying tickets at the WnC site. When you come to the Walk be sure to stop by the beer tent and say hi.

Congratulations Patty Smith! You get our tickets!

Beer may cause infertility

Researchers in Cambridge have found that beer, red wine, peanuts, and coffee, along with other foods, contain certain hormone-like chemicals which, when consumed in large amounts, reduces sperm counts.

It is found that when drinks are consumed along with nuts, it causes more damages than consumed separately. A lot of items were analysed using sensitive chemical procedures. The levels of oestrogen like chemicals, lignansa, and isoflavones were measured.

Coffee, wine, nuts, beer may cause male infertility

I guess it’s a good thing I’ve already had two kids and am not looking for any more. Maybe it’s the price we pay for the heart-healthy they offer.

July 26 Event at the Flying Barrel, Frederick, Maryland

The Flying Barrel is a homebrew and winemaking supply shop as well as a Brew-on-Premise located in Frederick, Maryland. On July 26, 2008 they are having an open house of sorts.

Plan to be Here
Saturday, July 26, 2008
10:30-3 PM
3 Great Reasons

BEER: Brian Gruner, the Best of Show winner at the Great Frederick Fair will be here doing an all-grain batch of beer demonstration! Bring all your brewing questions.

WINE: MDCrush‘s Rob will be here to take orders for this year’s Californian grapes and giving samples of his wine, made from the grapes he imports.

MEAD: Dave Pugh and Buck Reed, two long-time mead makers will be here with samples of their mead and related honey beverages. National Mead Day is August 2nd. We’re a week early.

Directions

Grape vs. Grain

Charles Bamforth, the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Brewing Science at the University of California – Davis has written a book with the idea of illustrating that beer is just as sophisticated, complex, and valuable as wine.

Mike Dunne recently interviewed Professor Bamforth about the book.

Arguing the merits of beer versus wine

Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the interview:

Are you sure you want beer to be seen as more sophisticated than it is?

“I don’t want to alienate the existing market, but I want to make the point that there are many beers suitable for many occasions. When I go into a restaurant I would like to see a good beer list as well as a good wine list.”

Yes! I’m getting really tired of going to restaurants and being presented with a long list of wines with poetic descriptions and a beer list that usually reads “Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite, Heineken, and Corona Extra”. That may be why I’ve been dragging my family to brewpubs more often. (That and kids eat free on Sundays.)

New direct wine shipping bill in Maryland

We’re usually about the beer here, but applaud any effort to create more sane alcohol legislation. And since this is for my adopted home state…

From Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws:

Wine Direct Shipping Bill to be Introduced this Week

Urge Your State Senator and Delegates to Co-sponsor Raskin/Hucker Bill

A wine direct shipping bill is going to be introduced this week in the Maryland General Assembly. Now we need Marylanders to take action!

Please take a few minutes to contact your state Senator and Delegates. Ask them to co-sponsor Sen. Jamie Raskin’s and Del. Tom Hucker’s wine direct shipping bill. This legislation will allow Marylanders to receive fine wines direct-mailed from Maryland wineries, out-of-state wineries, and retailers like wine.com. Find out who your elected officials are and how to contact them here.

In the coming weeks we will be asking you and your friends to write and meet your legislators, testify at committee hearings, and write letters-to-the-editor to support wine direct shipping in Maryland. We also need your donations for our grassroots lobbying efforts. It won’t be easy taking on the powerful interest groups opposed to modernizing Maryland’s wine laws, but we know our members are up to the task. We look forward to working with all of you in making wine direct shipping a reality in Maryland in 2008.

Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws

11-Mar-2008 Update: Unfortunately, while proponents were testifying before the Senate, a House committee was voting to quash the bill. From an e-mail distributed by Marylanders for Better Beer and Wine Laws:

Unfortunately, while we were making our case in the Senate for direct-to-consumer wine shipping, the House Economic Matters Committee was secretly voting to kill our bill. We left the hearing room only to receive the crushing news that the House committee had killed our bill. Needless to say, we were furious. Here’s the Baltimore Sun article about the House committee vote.

Let’s “Spank” the House Committee for Defying the Will of the People

We know that over 700 people have written over 2,600 letters to Maryland legislators in support of HB 1260/SB 616. According to Free the Grapes, Marylanders have sent more faxes to legislators in this campaign than possibly any other campaign they have been involved in. We have to assume that hundreds more people have written thousands of more emails directly to the legislators without our knowledge.

Help me find the source of this quote

I like to “collect” aphorisms. Call me kooky.

One that has been rattling around in my head lately is the following:

In wine there is wisdom.
In beer there is freedom.
In water there is bacteria.

Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to find a reliable source. Google searches show most people are attributing it to Ben Franklin, which can’t possibly be correct.* (Of course, he didn’t say “beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” either.)

So, where is it really from? The first line could be a bastardization of the Latin proverb “in vino veritas” (“in wine, truth”). But what about the rest?

While the quote stands on its own, I’d really like to know who first said it. Or will it be added to the long list of wisdom from that great philosopher, Anon.?

Anybody have a good source?

* While microorganisms were observed as early as the late 1600s, the word “bacterium” wasn’t introduced until 1828, and Pasteur didn’t present his germ theory of disease until the 1860s. Franklin died in 1788.

Beer News Sampler

Pier 55: Wine is less snobby and beer more sophisticated
Cornell University offers a course entitled “Understanding Wine and Beer”. Traditionally women drink more wine than beer and men the opposite, but recently the gap has narrowed to almost nothing. Wine is less expensive and more accessible, and craft brewed beers are becoming more sophisticated. “No longer viewed as the sole province of the barbarian, specialist brewed beer has become the new fine wine.” Even many of the health effects associated with red wine can also be had from your darker beers.

Tale of two brews
When Molson Coors bought Creemore Springs Brewery in 2005, fans of the craft brewer felt that it was like “a death in the family.” But the megabrewer has given Creemore the autonomy to stay true to their roots.

Drinkers take on brewery in beer battle
Regulars at the Lewes Arms in Lewes, England are fans of locally brewed Harveys Best Bitter beer. However, the pub’s been bought by Greene King who want to stop selling it. This has sparked something of a local revolt. Even the local politicians are weighing in.

Police flush 2,500 cans of beer
A tragedy on so many levels, beer and other alcohol confiscated from an illegal establishment had to be flushed one container at a time by police officers. What a waste of taxpayer money. Of police manpower. Of beer.

Professors debate merits of beer, wine
Faculty at University of California – Davis put on a presentation and debate arguing the merits of beer versus wine, including health effects and trivia.

Plasmax makes beer last longer
Plastic bottles coated with “Plasmax” are as good as glass, according to the German brewing institute Versuchs- und Lehranstalt für Brauerei. To me, beer in plastic is just wrong. I suppose the Miller Lite served at the stadium or all those college keg parties with Solo cups have just ruined the idea for me.