1. Case against Dutch women dropped
If you had to rank entities getting terrible press last week, FIFA fell right in between BP and Joe Barton. Not only did the lords of soccer have to deal with fallout from a referee robbing the US of a goal, but it was trying to imprison Dutch women for wearing orange dresses provided by a beer company.
Fifa and the police have earned international condemnation for what was seen as a draconian response. The South African ambassador in The Hague was summoned by Dutch officials to explain the arrests. But today Mthunzi Mhaga, a spokesman for South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority, announced the matter had been resolved. "Fifa was not interested in proceeding with the matter," he said.To recap, Bavaria beer pulled a stunt so oblique that it could have garnered no attention for its company unless a fracas ensued. FIFA jumped in, causing the hoped-for fracas, vastly overplaying their hand and in so doing giving Dutch-made Bavaria Beer a week of press and sympathy while simultaneously immersing themselves in the worst kind of PR debacle. FIFA's goal was to hold Bavaria up as an example of what happens if you try "ambush marketing" on their watch; perversely, they did, and Bavaria's little stunt exceeded their wildest dreams.
2. Oregon has Block 15, Washington has Black Raven
This is the kind of statement that catches one's attention: "Black Raven is the best beer producer in Washington state. Its settled, there can no longer be a debate" This is something like when Derek declared Block 15 Oregon's best brewery. Dunno if it's true, but it sure makes you think about things differently. The quote comes from a review of the Washington Brewers Festival at the Beer Blotter. Apparently Black Raven was all the buzz. Okay, I'm intrigued.
3. Belmont Station's Barrel Mondays
A tweet went by yesterday afternoon reminding me of Barrel Mondays, a June special for Belmont Station, which features barrel-aged beers every Monday. Yesterday it was Deschutes, with the Abyss and Black Butte XXI. I scooted down because those anniversary Black Buttes are among my favorite beers in the world. Like liquid chocolate bars, steeped in alcohol. Amazing. We also tried Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge from the very obscure Bockor Brewery in Bellegem, just northeast of Lille. It was not too sharply sour, but funky, and the nature of this particular funk tended toward the diaper. Naturally, I enjoyed it. Anyway, don't miss it next week, when different vintages of Full Sail Imperial Porter and Jubel 2010 will be on tap.
4. Coalition Opens
Given the size of the pub, I'm tempted to tell you Coalition's grand opening is Thursday. Actually, it's Wednesday. You should go on Thursday, though, or at least late on Wednesday. You know, after I've gotten a seat.