Monday, September 29, 2008

Pints for Prostates Reaching Millions of Men with Health Message

The idea of delivering a health message over a pint of beer might be a little unorthodox, but for an organization focused on getting men to have regular PSA tests and share information about the importance of early detection of prostate cancer, it is proving to be highly effective.

The awareness campaign is designed to get a message about prostate health to men in a fun and non-threatening way. So far the campaign has reached more than 10 million people with a simple message: get your PSA (prostate specific antigen) test.

"Pints for Prostates is an awareness campaign designed to reach men through the universal language of beer. Early detection is the key with this disease and we wanted to find a way to get more men to ask for a PSA test from their physicians," says Rick Lyke, a senior partner with marketing communications firm Eric Mower and Associates and drinks journalist who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February. After successful prostate surgery in April at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Lyke contacted Us TOO International about the concept for the Pints for Prostates campaign.

The campaign has taken off from there. A number of beer-related publications have donated ad space, including All About Beer, DRAFT magazine, Beer Northwest, the seven regional Brewing News newspapers, Imbibe, Beer Advocate, Celebrator Beer News, Bartender Magazine, Modern Brewery Age, and Beer. Also donating full-page ads are regional editions of major consumer magazines, including Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, The Week, Sports Illustrated, Details, GQ and Men's Vogue. Several breweries and retailers have stepped forward to make donations and host events for Pints for Prostates, including Rogue Ales, The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, Carolina Beer, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery in Charlotte, Dogfish Head Brewery and others.

As part of the outreach effort during October, Pints for Prostates will have booths at the World Beer Festival in Durham, N.C., (Oct. 4); the Fall Beer Festivals in Austin, Texas, (Oct. 4) and Fort Worth, Texas (Oct. 11); and Great American Beer Festival in Denver (Oct. 9-11). Nearly 60,000 beer fans are expected to attend these combined events.

"This started out as a grassroots campaign and it has been encouraging to watch it grow as people and organizations get involved," Lyke said. "Men can tell you about their favorite IPA (India Pale Ale), but few know about their PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen). Pints for Prostates is helping to bridge that gap and reach men who might not otherwise visit a doctor or ask for a PSA test."

Us TOO Board Chairman, prostate cancer warrior and support group leader Jim Kiefert says, "Early diagnosis is essential. When I was 50-years-old a PSA test was the first step in my successful battle with prostate cancer. Pints for Prostates is helping to reach millions of men and some of Us TOO's 325 local chapters are getting involved with special events held around the country as part of the effort. We are very encouraged by the way the beer industry is getting involved to help get this critical health message to more men."

For more information on the program please visit

There's a whole lotta fresh hopped beer on tap at the Fifth Annual Hood River Hops Fest

As the premier fresh hops beer-tasting event in the Pacific Northwest, the Hood River Hops Fest on Saturday, October 4th features at least one fresh-hopped beer from each of the roughly 25 Northwest craft brewers planning to attend.

The lineup of brewers offering tastes of two beers each include Double Mountain Brewery, Full Sail Brewing, Big Horse Brew Pub, Elliot Glacier, Walking Man, Mt. Hood Brewing and, well, too many more to name.

An expanded menu of food, nearly 20 arts and crafts vendors, a selection of Gorge wines, a robust children's play area, and a day-long lineup of live music will guarantee fun for the entire family.

The event is situated in downtown Hood River between 5th and 7th streets and Cascade and Columbia streets. Admission to the grounds is free. To taste beers, visitors must buy a 14-ounce commemorative tasting mug for $5, and taste-tokens -- $1 for a 3-ounce taste, $4 for a fill. Food and crafts vendors also set prices separately.

"Hops Fest started as a tribute to the great, fresh-hopped microbrews of the Pacific Northwest, and that still is the reason that thousands of people attend," says Charlie Devereux, who is helping coordinate beer vendors for the event, which is organized by and operates as a fund-raiser for the Hood River Downtown Business Association.

Visitors can supplement their tasting with food from Gorge restaurants, including BBQ from Apple Valley Country Store, seafood and burgers from Nora's Fish House, Thai Winds dishes from Thailand, and Mexican food from Michoacan Sport & Grill. As befits beer tastin in October, Johnsonville will be dishing up its savory brats.

Under the coordination or Randy Haines Productions, the day-long musical lineup will include singer/songwriter Colin Spring, traditional Bavarian style sounds from Dieter Nachmann, honkabilly from the Wasco Brothers, and blues notes from the Mt. Kings, Terry Robb and Lloyd Jones.

Separate admission provides access to an expanded play area and climbing wall, a great opportunity for families to help the kids burn off all that renewable energy. Children are welcome from noon until 6:30 p.m., after which the venue will be open to adults only until its close at 9 p.m.

Volunteers are still welcome, to sell mugs and tokens, or help with pouring. Call 541-386-8860 to sign up.

For event updates, go to the Hops Fest web site ( ).

Friday, September 5, 2008

Full Sail Lupulin Fresh Hop Ale Arriving

Full Sail is ready to bust out with its annual fresh hop ale, the Lupulin Fresh Hop Ale. Get all the details below.

Full Sail Brewing Celebrates the Bounty of the Hop Harvest with Lupulin Fresh Hop Ale

Hood River, Or - Full Sail Brewing is proud to announce the release of Lupulin Fresh Hop Ale as part of their Brewmaster Reserve series. Brewing a fresh hop ale to celebrate the hop harvest is an annual tradition at Full Sail. Every year, the Full Sail brewers travel to area hop fields and gather all the fresh hops they can carry to brew this special beer. This year's Lupulin Fresh Hop Ale is brewed with three varieties of fresh hops straight from the harvest: Mt Rainier, Cascade and Nugget.

According to Full Sail Brewmaster, John Harris, "Lupulin Fresh Hop Ale is a veritable hop lover's delight. The beer is all about hops. It's wet hopped, kettle hopped, hop back hopped, wet hopped in the fermenter, and dry hopped in the fermenter with 135 pounds of hops per 24 barrel batch. That's 5.62 pounds of hops per barrel! Expect a bold hop aroma of citrus and spice and a nice caramel flavor with a pronounced citrus character." Due to the limited availability of fresh hops, Lupulin is brewed in small batches, so Harris suggests that you enjoy this once a year tradition while you can. Harris goes on to explain that, "This beer is rightfully named Lupulin, as the lupulin glands are the sticky resins inside the hops that carry the bitterness and essential oils of the hops. They are what gives beer its wonderful flavor and aroma." (5.8 ABV 70 IBU)

Lupulin was awarded the coveted 2007 "Satori Award" by beer aficionado/blogger Jeff Alworth. ( Alworth writes, "In Zen Buddhism, satori is the moment of sudden enlightenment when the mind realizes its own true nature. The Satori award, honors the beer that in a single instant allows the drinker to realize the true nature of beer." Full Sail invites you to experience the nature of this year's Lupulin when the brewery will tap the new batch at their Tasting Room and Pub in Hood River, and at their Riverplace Brewery in Portland, on Wednesday, September 10th at 5:00PM. For more information contact the Full Sail Tasting Room and Pub at 541-386-2247 or Full Sail at Riverplace at 503-222-5343.

Full Sail's Lupulin Fresh Hop Ale will be available in limited quantities mid September to November on draught in pubs throughout the Pacific Northwest and at Full Sail's Tasting Room and Pub in Hood River and at their Riverplace brewery in Portland, Oregon. It will also be available at various fresh hop beer festivals throughout the northwest and at a special Oregon Brewer's Guild fresh hop beer tasting at the Great American Beer Festival, in Denver, Colorado this October.

Some Friday Beer News for You

Hello fine Beer Northwest blog readers. I've got your Friday kick off here with a few items of beer news worthiness for you:

  • The Lake Oswego Review reports the Ram Restaurant and Big Horn Brewery on the Willamette River in Lake Oswego has abruptly closed up shop. No word from Ram as to the reason for the closing. Ram's two other Oregon locations remain open.
  • If you happen to be looking for a beer festival this weekend, take note: the latest Widmer newsletter reveals details of the brewery's annual Oktoberfest, set for Saturday, September 6 from 3 to 11:30 pm. The full details are as follows.

    "Get your taste buds ready for some authentic full German fun: bier, pretzels, and sausage with kraut. The 4th Annual Widmer Brothers Oktoberfest celebration takes place this Saturday, September 6, from 3 p.m. - 11:30 p.m., at, where else, our Portland, OR brewery.

    Widmer's Oktoberfest is a tribute to the world-renowned celebration in Munich, Germany, a 16-day festival which draws more than six million people annually. Our version, although smaller in scale, is huge in Oktoberfest spirit. Just like our German friends', the big day will feature a variety of craft beers, traditional German food, yodelers, accordion players, and live music throughout the day.

    The early bird gets the worm, and in this case the "worm" is a preview of our newest beer, a pale ale set to be released in 2009 (and yet to be named). Quantities are extremely limited, so get there quick if you want a taste!

    Admission is free (21 and over only) but a 2008 souvenir stein is required for drinking. Ten bucks will get you the stein and two beers. All event purchases can be made with tokens, which cost $1 each - stock up when you arrive and it will feel like everything's free all night!

    Oh! And if for some bizarre reason you're not familiar with our brewery, we're located at 929 N. Russell Ave in Portland, OR."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Beer Festival Upcoming in Astoria Late September

Happy post Labor Day and welcome to September. Our first item of beer news for this month has to do with an upcoming beer festival in downtown Astoria, Oregon September 26th, 27th and 28th. Read on for the details from Fort George Brewery...

Beer Festival Brewing in Astoria

Summer may be ending, but things are just heating up on the coast! You’ll have a chance to taste some of the best craft beers the region has to offer in Astoria at the 7th annual Pacific Northwest Brewcup this September. Festival organizers aim to have a variety of beers, which are new and diverse to the coastal beer drinking community.

The focus of this year’s festival is to promote handcrafted artisan brews. An estimated three-dozen northwest microbreweries will have beers available for sampling. Root beers and ginger ales will also be available, making this a family-friendly event. There will be food vendors, three days of live music, and an opportunity to vote for your favorite beer.

This year, organizers from the Baked Alaska Restaurant are joining forces with Astoria’s newest brewery, the Fort George Brewery + Public House. The Fort George hopes to make this an especially brewer-friendly event, and is inviting other regional brewers to participate and attend.

Proceeds from the festival will go to the Clatsop County Food Bank. Nearly one third of the county’s residents tapped into the food bank last year to help their families. A new food pantry is in the works to meet the growing need and volunteers are gearing up for a long winter, providing to families in especially tough economic times.

The Pacific Northwest Brewcup takes place in downtown Astoria September 26th, 27th and 28th at the Astoria Public Plaza on Duane between 11th and 12th streets.

For more information log onto or call (503) 325-PINT and ask for Jack or Chris.