A Press Democrat Blog

Beer Country

A digest about that other famous beverage

Washington messes with the brews

As we told you back on the first day of the federal shutdown, the impasse on Capitol Hill has put the kibosh on federal alcohol licensing activities, including permits for new facilities and approval of new labels. That implies all kinds problems for brewers, winemakers, distillers and cideries, from stalling long-planned openings and expansions, such as Petaluma’s HenHouse Brewing, which is afraid it’s pending move may be blocked by the shutdown, to the delay of new products, including the lucrative… Read More »

Government shutdown stalls beer labels

Despite the fact that beer is liquid bread, it is in fact regulated at the federal level not by the Food and Drug Administration but by  the Department of the Treasury. The Treasury office known as the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or the TTB for short, keeps a tight watch on breweries, going so far as to require every single label to be reviewed and approved in advance. This is a major headache for brewers, particularly for… Read More »

World’s most refreshing can?

Last I checked, the thing in the package was the point, not the packaging itself. But of course, certain beer manufacturers disagree. Observe MillerCoors, which has been out front in creating and marketing fancy packaging: ink that changes color to tell you when your beer is cold (saving you the trouble of, say, touching it to find out), or Miller Lite’s “Vortex” bottle, which added rifle-like grooves to the neck to make sure the beer is extra swirly when it… Read More »

One man’s trash is another man’s art

  As beer drinkers, we probably don’t pay much attention to bottle caps – it’s usually nothing but the last barrier between our lips and the liquid we want. At best, the caps wind up in the trash, at worst, they tossed out on the ground to rust. Many brewers, however, spend a great deal of effort on crafting just the right cap, sometimes even tucking hidden messages on the underside (Oregon’s Deschutes Brewing congratulates drinkers on opening a bottle… Read More »