Brewed Beers and Testosterone Boosters – Its Advantages to Men

Brewed beers and testosterone booster are said to be good enough for the enhancement of both physical and mental capabilities of the men. Brewed beers are essential for the digestive systems since it can also provide several advantages towards healthful lifestyle. Same with the brewed beers, testosterone boosters are also beneficial to the individual, especially to those men who are after for great effects on their muscular system and physical appearance. In fact, these testosterone boosters can definitely provide extra energy that boost up their self-confidence and eagerness to do or perform a certain kind of task.

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With these great benefits and advantages that you can get out of these products, you can have the assurance that your lifestyle will be totally enhanced. So, it is also essential if you will sometimes drink some brewed beers and take advisable testosterone boosters so as to improve the way you live for better. You may take a look at the reliable source for more information about the Best Natural Testosterone Booster. [Read more...]

Head music!

Reds-Revos-Real-AleCoins, stamps, trainers, pinball. What else can the memorabilia fanatic spend their hard-earned on? Beer! In a scoop (or four) our lager-than-life Tim Jones reports from the bar

Music and beerage have been inextricably drinked since time immemorial, yet kiss didn’t come up with an ale till 2012 BC. Or was it BP? Either way, they were beaten to the punch by numerous artistes who linked up with brewers for their own-brand beer. The latest off the bandwagon, this March, are Elbow, whose 4.2% Charge pale ale is brewed by Marston’s of Burton-Upon-Trent and is their second set of suds. The first was the 4% Build A Rocket Boys bitter (named after that album), brewed locally in July 2011 by Stockport’s Robinson’s brewery. It’s a golden ale with malty, fruity aroma, while Charge mixes three malts for a biscuity, fruity flavour. It emerged from a tasting session by Elbow and is named after one of their new songs. To promote it, and their new LP, the band staged pub playbacks, and barfly Guy Garvey noted, “we’ve created a craft beer with a spicy American feel but with the class of a traditional British real ale”. And he looks like a man who’d know.

At the same time, Status Quo pitched in with their own album-inspired malty, hoppy, amber Piledriver 4.3% ale, which RC tasted care of Wychwood Brewery, Oxfordshire. Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi were involved in the tasting–with four ales considered–as well as the launch, held eight months later in London. As Francis told RC, “We had a lovely day at the brewery, from what I can remember. They came to us with the idea of a beer, and we couldn’t refuse.” Though most bands’ beers don’t have great investment value, some are limited-runs of a few hundred bottles and/or accompanied by spin-off merchandise, in the case of Quo’s Piledriver, T-shirts, beer mats and cardboard standees.

Other beer-friendly bands include Reverend & The Makers, whose malty, fruity 4.8% Summer Ale made its debut at Bearded Theory in May 2013. It was devised by Thornbridge Brewery of Bakewell by home-brewer/guitarist Ed Cosens, who’d worked part-time in a Thornbridge pub. He approached the brewer for a signature coldy and engaged in tastings for a light, golden, hoppy ale. Their second, a 5% American Brown Ale, was launched with a DJ set at London’s Old Truman Brewery this February to coincide with a UK tour.

Also imminent is Maximo Park’s 5% amber ale, Maximo No 5, produced by local Newcastle Mordue Brewery to highlight their new Too Much Information in February. It’s on sale during their March UK tour, while, concurrently, Super Furry Animals–who never do anything by halves-struck out with their own DJ launch set to herald their 8.5% aptly-named Fuzzy ale.

Ed Harcourt has thrown in his lot with the Signature Brewery of Hackney, London, in time for a tour this May, the brewers producing a 6.8% Dark Heart Edwardian-style brown ale, with a brooding, smoky, oaky flavour, utilising four malts. Also produced by Signature, The Rifles’ 3.9% The General (after the song) was unveiled in June 2012. That lager sold out and could be a future collectable. Still available is Professor Green’s 4.5% Remedy pale ale and Frank Turner’s Believe 4.8% wheat beer, devised in October 2012 with a larger than usual percentage of malts. As Frank reflected, “I learned a lot, got hammered, and ended up with a beer!” In May 2013, Enter Shikari’s sharp, aromatic Sssnakepit 5% lager was unveiled by Signature, heavy with citrus/grapefruit notes. Finally, Mastodon’s Signature special brew of November 2013 is an 8.3% Black Tongue Double Black Indian Pale Ale. Two malts and two hops combine to create a smoky, punchy “palate crusher”. Mind you, they had form in the shape of a self-titled 5.2% hazy, unfiltered lager, from Mahrs Brau of Bamberg, Germany, produced in July 2009 to the rheinheitsgebot (German Purity Law of 1516). It boasts citrus, honey and malt-bread notes, and the band were presented with 200 bottles at Sonisphere that year and consumed the lot before playing! The brauhaus that October also produced Sepultura’s 25th Anniversary 5% Weizen (wheat) beer, with a nose of bananas and cloves.

Borderlands-Brewery-Taproom-21Other rockin’ brews include AC/DC’s sweet, maizey-flavoured 5% Australian Hardrock Premium Pils, debuted mid-2012 care of karlsberg Brewery in Germany, while Motorhead entered the beer market at that juncture with 4.7% Bastards lager (after the 1993 album), brewed by kronleins Bryggeri, Sweden. Kiss offered their own 4.7% LP-inspired Destroyer lager, brewed in Sweden early in 2011, while Suntory of Japan marked the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones in June 2012 with a Stones Bar Rolling Hop 4% beer, with crisp citrus flavour, bitter aftertaste and greater than usual carbonation. Madness’ golden Gladness 4.2% pilsner, concocted by Essex’s Growler Brewery, appeared in summer 2013.

Across the pond, a herbal, spicy 5.6% Foam pilsener was created in May 2009 for Phish by California brewer, Sierra Nevada, and the band added a Hop Stash 6% Indian Pale Ale in June 2011, care of Ithaca Brewery, New York. Kid Rock used his local Michigan Brewing Company for a Bad Ass 4.2% lager in September 2010, and flagged it with promo shirts. At the same time, Upright Brewing of Portland, Oregon, unveiled a hoppy 6.7% pilsener Beer for The Clash, followed in November 2012 by a strong, dark 6.4% Bad Brains Untitled lager, promoted by a T-shirt. The North Coast Brewing Company of Fort Bragg, California, rolled out the Brother Thelonius 9.4% Belgian-style Abbey Ale in March 2013, commemorating Thelonius Monk with a spicy, mahogany-coloured tipple, tasting of nuts, raisins, bananas and apples.

Meantime, in June 2010, Dogfish Head Brewery of Rehoboth, Milton, Delaware, USA, marked the 40th anniversary of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew with a 9% dark ale fusing three stouts and a honey beer with gesho root. May 2011 saw the centenary of the birth of Robert Johnson marked by 10% Hellhound On My Ale, its citrusy hops complemented by dried lemon peel. That October, Pearl Jam celebrated the 20th anniversary of their Ten with a golden 7% Belgian-style ale, with hints of blackcurrant. Two years later, the American Beauty 9% Indian Pale Ale was manufactured for Grateful Dead, 1,500 fans’ recipe suggestions leading to a sweet, toasty product high on organic granola.

In September 2011, Clutch’s 9% Dark Sour Ale poured forth from New Belgium Brewery, Fort Collins, Colorado. Made with 80% stout and 20% dark sour wood beer, it boasts a chocolatey flavour and was unveiled at a show in Washington DC’s Red Palace. Coinciding with a US tour in March 2013, Municipal Waste premiered their creamy, fruity Toxic Revolution 8.5% stout, with notes of chocolate, from Three Floyds Brewery, Munster, Indiana. It was responsible in August 2011 for a limited-run of Amon Amarth’s citrusy, hoppy 8.2% Ragnorak porter, produced with local honey, bottles of which now fetch over $60. Another limited-run followed in March 2012, Pig Destroyer’s golden 10.5% Permanent Funeral Indian Pale Ale, with a citrusy, sweet malty flavour. In January 2013, the Burnt Hickory Brewery, kennesaw, Georgia, delivered a black, malty 9% Imperial Porter for Corrosion Of Conformity, having sat in aged rum-barrels.

Finally, the most popular band beer to date is Iron Maiden’s golden Trooper 4.7% cask ale, launched in May 2013 by Robinson’s with pre-orders of over 300,000 pints. Selected by Bruce Dickinson for its spiciness and hint of citrus, demand was such that Robinson’s had to brew three times a day, six days a week for the first time in its 175-year history, with over 3.5 million pints exported to 180-plus countries by this March. Bruce was presented with a custom-engraved Brewery hand pump, celebrating Trooper as the brewery’s fastest-selling new beer. Clearly, rockers’ appetite for band beers remains undiminished. Rock brews will never die!

Gilligans Brewing Company – One of the Best Providers of Brewed Beers

Are you in a quest for high quality brewed beers or are you looking for the best business online? If you are looking for both of these things, then you may try to find the Gilligans Brewing Company or you can also set up some sorts of business through online business. If you are the owner of a certain brewing company and you are aiming for a business expansion, then you can choose to look for some other products and services which you will deal through online.

Probably, you may utilize the best weed eaters and be able to get into this type of business. So, if you are totally decided to get into this type of business online, then you need to read more reviews first in an online basis. There are numerous product reviews which you can read for good. So, you can have the privilege to explore the best types of and brands of weed eaters in the marketplace. You can check out more here if you wish to end up choosing the best and high quality type of product in the circulation. By checking that link that was provided for you, you can make sure that you can select the ideal type that is suitable for your taste and preferences.

How to Select the Best Providers for Tasteful Brewing Beers

1SU51506-10If you think that gardening tools like weed eaters would be good enough to be one of the products for your business, then you can prefer to promote those products too.  At some point, you may be thinking about the best providers for more tasteful brewing beers. So, where can you find the best and high quality type of brewing beers? What must be the factors to consider in choosing the ideal provider for this product?  If you are asking yourself about these questions, then you are at the right track. It is because this article will give you some hints and tips on how to select the best providers for tasteful brewing beers. Below are the lists of the main factors that you need to consider when choosing an ideal provider for this product:

  • Quality taste of brewed beers – Quality of the tastes should always be on top of your considerations. This factor determines if the brewed beers are high quality or not.
  • Long term for expiration date – One of the considerations that you need to take is its expiration date. It is important to know first its expiration date so that you will be aware if when you will drink thee beer. If you know when it will expire, you can make sure that it will not be wasted but instead, you can drink the brewed beers before the expiration date.
  • Affordable rates – Choose a provider that offers cheaper in price. This is a very practical decision, especially if you want to minimize your budget. If you stick to your budget, then always look for a brewing company that can also give you discounts, especially if you are purchasing in bulk items.

These three main factors that were cited above can greatly help you in looking for an ideal provider who will supply brewed beers for you. You may consider those things if you want to make sure that you will have high quality types of brewed beer to drink.

Brewing Company – How to Find the Best Provider for Brewed Beers

Are you seeking for the best brewing company in the marketplace? Well, you can just easily find the best provider through surfing your internet. There are numerous sites that offer reputable online companies about brewing beers. Just try to read reviews about the different companies related to your concern and you can surely end up choosing the best one. When searching online, you can also have the chance to read some sorts of product reviews that may help you to choose the ideal type of watch for you. And one of these includes the best watch brands reviews which may also give you the privilege to select the ideal watch under a specific brand name. [Read more...]

Gilligans Brewing Company – Looking for the Best Brewing Company

Brewing beers is a great investment if you are the owner of the company. However, if you wish to extend your business and want to expand your investment, then you may also try looking for another sort of business type which can be helpful for you and for your company. You may try to use the best weed eater and get into this kind of business. However, before you get into this kind of business, be sure to look for more reviews online. [Read more...]

Gilligans Brewing Company – One of the Greatest Companies for Brewing Beers

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Are you looking for the best and tasteful beer in your locality? If yes, then the Gilligans Brewing Company is always here to serve you. This company can provide you remarkable services on the different brewing procedures. Also, this company can give you a great satisfaction with regards to the beer outcomes.

In some instances, there are some people who may be thinking to do and produce a home brewed beer. So, if you are one of them who want to the procedures at home, then you should learn first the basics in brewing. Once you already know the fundamentals ways in brewing, then you can have the chance to do the best and quality beer that would be apt for your taste and preferences. In fact, you can gain a lot of advantages out of doing some brewing procedures at home and drinking brewed beer. Here are some of the advantages that you might get out of drinking home brewed beer and even doing this at home:

  • Great quality over the quantity – If you choose to brew at your home, then you can just utilize some standards ingredients and cheap additional elements for brewing procedures.
  • Reduced hangovers – Most of the home brewed beer includes a large amount of yeast that also contains Vitamin B. According to the experts, Vitamin B decreases the natural effects of the hangover.
  • Unlimited variety – Home brewed beer has a wide array of selections when it comes to its usual types. In fact, it gives you the privilege to discover Belgian, English, German and some other styles which an average drinker can rarely access.
  •  Health benefits – According to the studies, home brewed beer can provide significant health benefits to the drinkers. Alcohols, when properly used, can promote health heart condition. Thus, it can produce an overall advantage to achieve the stability of your health status.
  • Only limited time needed – Brewing is really a great hobby, especially for those hobby people. It is because it only requires limited time. So, it will not hinder your scheduled time on some other works that you have.

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Home Brewing and Some Other Related Works at Home

tải xuốngHome brewing would be easier to do once you already know the basic procedures of it. In fact, you can work on some household chores like embroidering, stitching and some others while you are brewing. If you want to embroider while brewing for good, then you should choose the best embroidery machineat linh so as to achieve the best results of the two works. For you to end up choosing the best cheap embroidery machine, it is also advisable to check out some embroidery machine reviews  through online.  There, you can have an assurance that you can do your works successfully while brewing.

Discussing the constitutional right to booze

Civil libertarians are becoming increasingly shrill about what they see as a growing infringement of Americans’ right to get plastered. This, after all, is a country whose anthem is best sung in the Superbowl stadium, a beer in one hand and a hotdog in the other. The 18th amendment to the constitution, which ushered in Prohibition, is remembered as a ghastly, unAmerican mistake on the scale of Vietnam. Yet there are multiplying signs of what is fashionably called neo-prohibitionism.

One such sign was deemed to have occurred last summer. A brewery, G. Heileman, languishing in chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code, launched a new brand of strong beer (what Americans call malt liquor) to revive its flagging sales. The brew, called PowerMaster, had an alcohol content of 5.9%, compared with around 5% for an average malt and as low as 3.3% for the watery beer most Americans drink. Its launch caused outrage.

This happened not just because of its strength. Heileman also sinned by following orthodox marketing techniques. Three-quarters of all malt liquor is drunk by blacks (Heileman already had the biggest selling brand, Colt 45, but its sales were falling). Most malt-drinking blacks live in inner cities. Ergo, Heileman aimed its campaign at inner-city blacks. Result: uproar.

Two priests had themselves arrested on the company’s premises. Another called the marketing “diabolical”, claiming that “PowerMaster will become the slave master of blacks”. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (tellingly, part of the Treasury), having sanctioned the name even though brand names may not refer to strength, later condemned it. Rather than rename PowerMaster, Heileman dropped the drink altogether.

Then in November came a public lambasting of the drinks industry by the surgeon-general, Antonia Novello. She accused the industry, which spends about $1.5 billion on advertising each year, of “unabashedly” seeking teenage customers in a country where the legal drinking age is 21. The criticism was aimed at what have come to be called “lifestyle” advertisements. These may mean anything from a famous sportsman recommending a named tipple after a jog, to a barely-clad girl riding a wild animal.

The surgeon-general’s office has the power to inconvenience the alcohol industry. For the past three years, labels have had to warn pregnant women not to drink (as a result of which, some women have been refused service in bars). This is despite no evidence whatsoever that a small amount of alcohol harms foetuses. Ms Novello is not yet calling for alcohol to be banned, as tobacco is, from television advertisements. But she has warned the alcohol industry that it will be hearing more from her.

And not just from her. In a court filing last month, five women sought damages for sexual and verbal harassment at the Minnesota bottling-plant where they work. The plant is owned by Stroh Brewery, makers of Old Milwaukee beer. The women claim that their ill-treatment at the plant was in large measure caused by Stroh’s sexist television advertisements. In these, the mundane male-bonding-at-the-campsite type of beer commercial is topped by the arrival of five young blondes, known as the Swedish Bikini Team, with fresh supplies of booze. Stroh reacted to the bottlers’ complaints by rushing to provide “sensitivity-training” courses for its male employees. The victimised Bikini Team, meanwhile, did rather well out of the fuss, appearing on the front cover and eight inside pages of january’s issue of Playboy.

In these several ways, the beer industry has, in popular perception, become much more than the dull-as-dishwater business it really is. It has become the target for many social concerns. The cigarette industry provides a cautionary tale of what can happen when disapproval gathers momentum.

The beer industry has in some ways invited this attention. Patrick Stokes, the president of Anheuser-Busch and chairman of the Beer institute, wrote piously to his counterpart at Heileman, expressing “deep concern” at the latter’s decision to launch PowerMaster. The industry is terrified that alcohol will soon be seen as yet another drug to ravage poor inner-city blacks (yet it has not stopped hiring, for its advertisements, popular rappers, whose lyrics are often laced with drug-speak).

Brewers are investing time and money to try to prove themselves “good” corporate citizens. Jeff Becker of the Beer institute says that the industry gives nearly $100m to local do-gooders each year. The Miller Brewing Company is the founder of the Marshall Fund, set up in honour of Thurgood Marshall, a black former Supreme Court justice, to help black colleges. This autumn the drinks industry gave $600,000 to the American Medical Association to help make a film about alcoholism. None of which, of course, saves the sin industry’s hand from being bitten.

One person’s right is another’s wrong

The civil libertarians are right to see that activists’ demands stem from mistakenly-or dishonestly-confusing the use of alcohol with its abuse. Only a small proportion of drinkers are confirmed alcoholics, even though pressure groups are trying to stretch that definition ever more widely. But they exaggerate: a new form of prohibition is improbable and it is unlikely that either Congress or the states will use the powers they undoubtedly have to curtail drinks advertising in a radical way. What is worrying is the rising inclination to tell other people what to do.

Thus the Washington Post, in an editorial last july, dared to lay down what people in “disadvantaged” areas should drink, viz, watered-down malt liquor: “When it comes to regulation, putting restrictions on what sort of mixtures can be sold to customers is far less objectionable than dictating what sort of messages people in certain selected neighbourhoods can be trusted to see.” Maybe, but still objectionable. And remember that bourbon and vodka sell on the nextdoor shelves.

Confused paternalism is rampant in government. The surgeon-general objects to the innocuous-looking packaging for drinks that pack a punch. Yet a 1935 post-prohibition law forbids beers from advertising their alcoholic strength, on the theory that brands would compete over strength. The consumer is left uninformed.

Governments are right to warn people of the risks-and measure the social and personal costs-of alcohol. They go wrong when they address health risks not by maximising the information available but by maximising bossiness. only when there is an informed public debate can people sensibly weigh the costs of booze against its pleasures.

Crazy for brew

IN THE BELIEF THAT SOMEONE HAD TO DO it, this summer I sampled the wares of all the brewpubs in Texas. I judge a brewpub by three standards: the quality of its beer, its atmosphere, and its fidelity to the beer culture. I do not include food because pub food is mostly the same–burgers, pizza, cold cuts, pasta, salads, maybe a chef’s special–and because the beer-culture crowd with which I associate considers food a sort of medication to be taken after soaking up several hours of atmosphere. My guys go to drink and talk. We do not care for music, or noise not of our own making. No big-screen TVs, please. And while darts are okay, being traditional, pinball machines and exotic video devices should be restricted to arcades. Our foremost consideration is the beer–its color, aroma, taste, and aftertaste–but nearly as important is the status that a particular brewpub accords to the brewer’s product on whole, and the place that beer is accorded among the echelon of world values. Beer should rank somewhere below religion and above baseball. A good brewpub is a place where one would look foolish bellying up to the bar and asking for a beer. A pint of bitter or India pale ale, okay, but never just beer. As British author and beer expert Michael Jackson has observed, no one walks into a restaurant and orders a plate of food.

Texas is a latecomer to the renaissance of craft-beer brewing. Forty-one states adopted brewpub laws before our Legislature was moved to act in 1993, but we are catching up thirstily. There are 476 brewpubs in this country and the number is growing rapidly. In the past two years 21 brewpubs have opened in Texas, bringing the total to 31. For those not yet tuned in to the beer culture, a brewpub is a restaurant that brews and sells its beer on the premises, as contrasted to a microbrewery, which is a small brewery that produces beer and packages it for sale at other outlets. The industry defines a microbrewery as one that produces fewer than 15,000 barrels a year. Seven microbreweries have also opened in Texas in the past two years. We are awash in beer, much of it high quality.

I have concluded that the best brewpub–in fact, the only one that got everything right–is the Fredericksburg Brewing Company in downtown Fredericksburg. No other Texas brewpub has captured the concept of the Gasthausbrduerei. the small inn with a brewery that is the central meeting place in many German and Czech villages. Unfortunately, when the Texas Legislature hammered out the law permitting brewpubs, it forgot to specify that they are supposed to be social centers, not meat markets, discos, or electronic arcades. The Germans of Fredericksburg seem to know this instinctively. Fredericksburg Brewing Company owners Dick Estenson, Laird Laurence, and John Davies (who is also the general manager and brewmaster) visited regional breweries and inns in Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic before deciding on the theme for their pub and the recipes for their brews. The ales and lagers brewed by Davies are first-rate. His Pedernales Pilsner is world-class, a honey-colored lager brewed in the classic Bohemian style and infused with the fabled Saaz hops grown in the Zatec region of the Czech Republic. The Edelweiss wheat ale also rates among the best ales in Texas.

Housed in a century-old gray fieldstone building on Main Street–the pub shares a common wall with the Admiral Nimitz birthplace, the ancestral home of World War II fleet admiral Chester Nimitz–the Fredericksburg Brewing Company is traditional, folksy, and just pretentious enough to satisfy the urbane tastes of beer connoisseurs. The ceilings are fourteen feet high and made of hammered tin. Not only was this place built in 1890, it feels like 1890. A bar constructed from longleaf yellow pine with a concrete top runs the length of the room, dividing the brewing equipment from the dining area. At the rear is a beer garden with suitably crude benches and tables and a skylight in its tin roof. Upstairs, above the brewery and dining area, are guest rooms, each individually furnished by one of Fredericksburg’s countless antique shops. “B&B” in this instance stands for “bed and brew.” This is the edge that the Fredericksburg Brewing Company has over other quality brewpubs: its concession to the tradition of the Gasthausbrauerei. Guest rooms are not practical for most of the state’s brewpubs, but they are perfect here in the Texas Hill Country.

When I visited Fredericksburg in July, at the peak of the Hill Country’s peach season. the town was thick with tourists. The patrons at the brewpub seemed to be evenly divided between locals and outsiders, with a variety of ages, interests, and ethnic backgrounds in evidence. There was no entertainment: The pubgoers seemed to be having a great time entertaining themselves. I overheard a table of men and women who looked like motorcycle enthusiasts seriously quarreling over the proper specific gravity of brown ale. Members of a Little League baseball team discussed ERAS over pizza and root beer. A baby crawled among the tables. Several plump and jolly women chatted in German. A man with a French accent ordered Wiener schnitzel with red cabbage and spaetzle (a German egg dumpling with fresh herbs), an excellent chef’s special, by the way.

Four brewpubs ranked just below the Fredericksburg Brewing Company on my list. They are the Waterloo Brewing Company and the Bitter End, both located in the thriving warehouse district in downtown Austin; the Village Brewery, Houston’s original brewpub, in the Village Shopping Center near Rice University; and the Houston Brewery, on Richmond Avenue near the Galleria.

Waterloo, the first brewpub to open in Texas, occupies a two-story building that was once a paint store and has the open, no-frills look that a brewpub should have. The dining room and a small bar are on the ground floor. The second floor has a much larger bar and a game room–a very noisy game room, which is the main reason Waterloo ranks below Fredericksburg on my list. Though brewmaster Steve Anderson’s early efforts were disappointing, he has perfected one of the best pale ales in Texas, its spicy, hoppy bitterness nicely balanced with a full, rich body. Waterloo also serves a good porter and a wheat beer that even purists who normally disdain wheat beer will enjoy.

The Bitter End is more upscale than Waterloo but quieter and more pleasing to the connoisseur. Even if the beer weren’t so high quality, this would be a pleasant place to spend an hour or two. The bitter brewed by Tim Schwartz is less assertive than the pale ale, but it has a wonderfully dry, mildly hopped finish and is among the best in its class. Schwartz’s specialty is brown ale, a mild, malty, fruity brew with a nutty finish. The wood-oven pizzas served on Italian sourdough crust are good.

The Village Brewery in Houston may be the best-looking contemporary brewpub in the state with its stucco and mahogany trim, copper tabletops, dark ceilings, and blizzard of overhead fans. Brewer Bryan Pearson specializes in ales: Even the wheat beer is an ale. The pale ale is deep gold with a nice malt character and floral aroma from English-style dry hopping. The Amber Owl Ale is fuller and darker than the pale ale, with a caramel flavor, a fruitiness, and a nice kick of hops. Pearson also brews an excellent black stout–malty, hoppy, and full bodied with roasted grains and coffeelike flavors.

The Houston Brewery is heavy on the traditional pub motif, including dark red brick walls, exposed beams, and an atrium. The brew tanks are behind the bar. The dining room is airy and comfortable, and the food here is better than most brewpub fare. The light ale brewed by Tim Case is the best in its class, golden and slightly sweet, with a body and kiss of hops that reminded me of a good pilsner. The stout had a complex sweetness balanced by fine northwestern hops, and a long bittersweet chocolate finish. When I was there in June, Case’s specialty brew was an excellent steam beer.

Topping the group of also-rans are the Strand Brewery on the Strand in Galveston, the Hub City Brewery in Lubbock, the Hubcap Brewery and Kitchen in Dallas’ West End Marketplace, and Yegua Creek Brewing in the Knox-Henderson area of Dallas. The Strand Brewery occupies a nineteenth-century bayside warehouse with three floors of wraparound balconies and a bird’s-eye view of the Port of Galveston. Brewmaster Michael Griggs has produced an excellent golden lager, lightly hopped and heavily malted, but the other beers served at the Strand are ordinary. If Griggs can improve his craft, the Strand will be one of the best brewpubs in Texas. The Hub City, in Lubbock’s revitalized Depot District, is the coolest thing that has happened to the town since Buddy Holly. Good beer, good food, good atmosphere. The Hubcap in Dallas is a sister brewery of the famous Hubcap Brewery of Vail, Colorado, and uses the same award-winning beer recipes to good effect. The pilsner and the I.P.A. are both among the best that I sampled. Yegua Creek has the small, intimate feel of a jazz club, but it’s noisy and the acoustics are bad. Its pale ale is well balanced and hoppy enough to suit any hophead.

Dallas currently has four other brewpubs, two of them in the suburb of Addison. TwoRows Restaurant and Brewery, in the Old Town Shopping Center on Upper Greenville, is upscale and trendy, a used-brick and glass structure designed to suit the tastes of its young, noisy, and obviously affluent clientele. The wood-fired pizza is good, but the pale ale tastes like porter and the porter tastes like stout, and neither one is worth $3.25 a pint. Hoffbrau Steaks has two brewpubs, one on Belt Line Road in Addison and another on Knox at Cole Avenue. Though the beers brewed at the Hoffbrau are of no interest, the pub does serve fifty excellent imported beers. The Rock Bottom Brewery No. 5, one of a chain of brewpubs based in Boulder, Colorado, is also on Belt Line, a few blocks from the Hoffbrau. The pubs in this chain are honky-tonks frequented mainly by singles on the prowl. They have valet parking–beware of brewpubs with valet parking, especially if the parking lots are empty–and brew cask-conditioned ales that are without distinction. Rock Bottom Brewery No. 3 is in Houston, on Richmond, across the street and a block and a half from the Houston Brewery.

Austin is the epicenter of the brewpub industry. In addition to the two already mentioned, Austin also has the Draught Horse Pub and Brewery on Medical Parkway and the Copper Tank Brewing Company, downtown at Fifth and Trinity, a favorite of college kids in heat. The Armadillo Brewing Company on Sixth Street shut down a year ago, but a new brewpub, Katie Bloom’s, is scheduled to reopen in the old location. The beer brewed at the Copper Tank is good, especially the light ale and stout, and the place sells more gallons of beer than any other brewpub in Texas. Nevertheless, it is a splendid example of everything I hate in a brewpub. The polished limestone arches appear inviting until you wander deeper into the interior and discover that the decibel level from the numerous giant TV screens, foosball tables, and hyper-libidinous chitchat exceeds that of a mortar attack on Sarajevo. The Copper Tank is planning to open a second brewpub in Dallas.

San Antonio is historically the brewing capital of Texas, home of Lone Star and Pearl and two excellent microbreweries, the Frio Brewing Company and the Yellow Rose Brewing Company. But neither of its two brewpubs is worth an out-of-town trip. The Boardwalk Bistro, at 4011 Broadway, has added “Brewery” to its name, but it’s still just a bistro. There are no beer tanks in sight. Joey’s, located in a frumpy building on N. St. Mary’s, looks like a neighborhood bar, not a brewery. I was there on a Saturday evening and the place was almost empty. Yegua Creek of Dallas is planning to open a second brewpub in San Antonio.

The Brazos Brewing Company in College Station and Silk’s Grill and Brewing Company in Amarillo offer good if not particularly distinguished beer. Seven more brewpubs have just opened or will open shortly in the state. They are the Routh Street Brewery and Grill in Dallas, the Galveston Brewery in Galveston, the Bank Draft Brewing Company in Houston, the Padre Island Brewing Company on South Padre Island, Hierman’s Hofbrau in Midland, and Jaxon’s Restaurant and Brewing Company and the Old West Grill and Brewery, both in El Paso.

In the notebook that I carried while touring the brewpub circuit, I repeatedly wrote, “The best beer is the one nearest at hand.” I noted only one exception. On the day that I visited it, at least, the Cafe on the Square and Brewpub in San Marcos had only two beers to offer, a blond ale and an amber ale. I took a sip of each and walked away. I don’t do that often.

For anyone planning a tour of Texas’ brewpubs, here are some pointers. Taste as many beers as your constitution allows. Half-pints (about $2.75) are less cost-effective but more prudent than pints ($3 to $3.50). Many brewpubs offer four-ounce samplerrs, a bargain if you’re not sure which beer suits your taste. Nibbling breadsticks or crackers between beers helps cleanse the palate. Heavily hopped or malted beers such as pale ale, stout, or bitter should follow, not precede, lighter ales and lagers. After that, you’re on your own.

RELATED ARTICLE: A DRINKER-FRIENDLY GUIDE TO CRAFT BEER.

BOTTOM’S UP

The Texans who took on the powerful beer distributors lobby and forced the Legislature in 1993 to allow brewpubs were all rank amateurs. Today these same amateurs are operating the pubs of Texas. Blessed are the amateurs. The craft-beer brewers are producing beer that is, with a few exceptions, up to (and sometimes surpassing) European standards.

Beer is broadly divided into two categories, lagers and ales. Lager is a clean beer with a light hop aroma and flavor (until recently most commercially brewed beer in this country was lager). Most microbrewed beers–bitters, porters, and stouts–are ales. Some craft beers, such as bocks and pilsners, are lagers. Beer-literate Texans know that a bitter is an aggressively hopped English pub beer with a malty aroma and a tangy aftertaste. Porter (so-named because it was said to be the midday picker-upper of English coachmen and porters) is intensely flavored, with dry coffee overtones–a dark beer without the heavy bite of a bitter. Stout is similar to porter though creamier, darker, and hoppier, with a malty flavor and roasted bitter finish. Pale ale or India pale ale–I.P.A. to beer culturists–is amber-hued rather than pale and is similar to a bitter but smoother. Brown ale is medium bodied, with a round maltiness and a lasting finish. Bock is a malty lager, sometimes with caramel or chocolate undertones and a faintly sweet flavor. Pilsner is a bright, dry, golden beer originally from Plzen, Czech Republic, highly carbonated with a floral bouquet from a late-in-the-brewing-process addition of Saaz hops. Steam beer–a crisp, slightly truity beer–is the only truly indigenous American brew and gets its name from the steam power used by California breweries during the Gold Rush. it’s also known as California Common Beer.

One trend that Texas pub brewers in particular seem unable to resist is the production of wheat and specialty brows. These beers get their zest from being brewed with all manner of ingredients: orange peels, coriander, banana, apple, cherries. chocolate, green chiles, cloves, ginger, and maple syrup. Quirky beers are much in demand. Nearly every brewpub in Texas served some sort of raspberry wheat beer this past summer. Once considered the beverage of choice of little sisters and old ladies with floppy hats, they are fast becoming. God help us, traditional.

In the United States craft beers represent a tiny piece of the market, but large breweries have taken note and are moving to imitate them with macho-sounding new labels such as Red Wolf, a product of Anheuser-Busch. Don’t be fooled: These beers are usually indistinguishable from the timidly flavored beverages brewed under the familiar labels of Budweiser, Miller, or Lone Star.

Abstract:

A wide-ranging state tour determines the Fredericksburg Brewing Co brewpub and hotel to be the best in Texas, on the basis of its excellent beers and placid ambience. Too many of the dozens of other establishments visited are marred by video arcades, disco dancing, and singles scenes.

BATTLE IS BREWING OVER HMO PREMIUM DOLLARS

affordable-care-act-hmo-epo-or-ppoWill providers and health plans fight over how next year’s HMO premium dollar is split?

Certainly there are enough reasons for a battle royal: tough market competition, angst over Medicare cuts, volatile provider-health plan relations and a sudden burst of interest in union organizing by physicians (June 28, p. 2).

Add to those the fact that managed-care premiums are expected to jump by as much as 10% in 2000-enough to increase bottom lines significantly-and it’s clear that hospitals and physician groups will be strongly motivated to seek a bigger piece of the pie.

Hospital industry consolidation already has given many providers significantly greater negotiating clout. In Florida, for example, “with the consolidation that has happened in the hospital arena, they’re big enough to just say no,” says Kim Streit, vice president of healthcare research and information at the Florida Hospital Association.

That was evident this spring when Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., with 56 hospitals in Florida, and Humana faced off over contract rates in the state. Humana ultimately backed down and gave Columbia a reported 15% increase. As a result, Humana, which has 1.3 million enrollees in Florida, had to write off $50 million in first-quarter premium revenues.

The situation “reflects the changed dynamics of our industry,” Gregory Wolf, Humana’s chief executive officer, said in a written statement issued after the dispute was resolved.

Next year’s rate increases for managed-care plans are likely to range from 8% to 10%, says Robert Hoehn, a healthcare analyst at ING Baring Furman Selz in New York. Kaiser Permanente has stated publicly that it hopes to increase premiums by 9% to 10% next year as it tries to rebound from heavy operational losses in 1997 and 1998.

“It’s pretty clear that when providers see these increases, they’re going to want commensurate increases themselves,” Hoehn says.

Other industry analysts agree that a battle is brewing over who will get the lion’s share of those increases.

“Medicare margins are decreasing, and (providers) are going to try to get it back (from HMOs),” says John Bertko, a principal at Reden & Anders, a San Francisco-based managed-care consulting firm. But he cautions that overcapacity in many regions will mitigate hospital campaigns for a bigger premium share except when particular provider systems play a dominant role.

Further, Moody’s Investors Service warns in a recent report that managed-care companies may have less of an advantage than in the past in negotiating with providers-“a trend that could become a credit factor for managed-care companies over time,” the New York-based credit agency noted.

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Providers have been consolidating aggressively, “hoping to build the local strength needed to win back some leverage,” says Diana Lee, Moody’s vice president and senior credit officer, and author of the report.

Lee cites successes such as the recent Columbia-Humana battle and the experience of Sutter Health and other California provider groups, which last summer won better-than-expected contract terms from Blue Cross of California. The latter victory came after a standoff in which both sides threatened to walk away from their expiring contracts (Aug. 10, 1998, p. 62).

Lee predicts deteriorating financial conditions and providers’ increasing contracting clout in some mature markets will fuel similar battles at many hospitals and medical groups.

“It’s a better pricing environment than it’s been in many years,” says Harry Anderson, a spokesman for Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. “That should be good news for us.”

In a likely signal of things to come, the California Public Employees Retirement System decided in mid-May to award rate increases averaging 9.7% to the managed-care plans that cover its more than 1 million state and public agency employees, retirees and their dependents (See chart). It had approved an average rate increase of 7.3% for 1999.

Many in the industry consider CalPERS, the second-largest healthcare purchaser in the country after the federal government, as a bellwether because of its size and aggressive attempts in recent years to control premiums. The organization processes about $1.7 billion in annual premiums.

In May, however, CalPERS reluctantly awarded an 11.7% rate increase for next year to Kaiser Permanente, the largest health plan on its roster, with nearly 350,000 enrollees. Health Net, with about 219,000 CalPERS enrollees, won a 9.9% increase. PacifiCare Health Systems, with 106,000 enrollees, renegotiated an earlier multiyear agreement to get a 6% increase. The three giant health plans account for more than 80% of CalPERS’ enrollment.

Overall, the year-2000 increases are the highest CalPERS has accepted since 1991.

In response, CalPERS, which has squabbled with Kaiser over rates several times in recent years, complained that Kaiser and Health Net failed to offer “a competitively priced plan” and suggested that enrollees might want to “look very carefully” at their choices during open enrollment this fall.

Given Kaiser’s market clout in California, the Oakland-based managed-care organization doesn’t appear to be quaking over the implied threat. But non-Kaiser hospital systems in the state will likely threaten to take their business elsewhere if players such as Health Net and PacifiCare don’t loosen their purse strings.

Sutter Health, for example, is gearing up for another tough negotiating season with managed-care plans in Northern California.

“It’s going to be appropriate for a majority of that premium increase to go to those providing medical care,” says Sarah Krevans, senior vice president of managed care for the 26-hospital system. “And I’ll be looking for that to be the outcome of our negotiations on behalf of our hospitals and affiliated physicians.”

An American storm brewing in the UK

BUDWEISERBudweiser is the highest-profile American beer in the UK, thanks to its huge marketing budget. Now Miller has a shorter name and a new campaign, but it will have a tough time beating Bud.

Last summer’s “Whassup?” catchphrase may have committed the ultimate advertising sin of eclipsing the brand it was intended to promote, but for most of the UK’s beer drinkers Budweiser is still the archetypal American lager.

But that could be about to change. Scottish Courage last week announced it is dropping the “Pilsner” tag from its Miller Pilsner brand in an attempt to emphasise the beer’s American roots (MW last week).

Miller Lite, as it is known in the US, is the third best-selling beer in its home country (behind Budweiser and Bud Light), and indeed in the UK Miller is the second-biggest selling American beer, with sales about half those of Budweiser in both the on- and off-trade sectors.

AC Nielsen’s survey of the top 100 drinks brands by retail sales value, published in June this year, showed Budweiser, with sales of [pound]104.6m, to be the third best-selling beer brand after Stella Artois and Carling. Miller Pilsner is in eighth place with sales of [pound]49.9m. In the on-trade the figures were [pound]320m for Budweser and [pound]115m for Miller Pilsner.

Both Budweiser and Miller target the same 18- to 25-year-old, predominantly male market, so why has Miller not been able to repeat the success of its rival in the UK?

One insider points to the fact that while Budweiser’s owner, Anheuser-Busch, has its own UK operation, Miller is distributed and marketed in this country by Scottish Courage.

He adds that Miller is actually performing remarkably well given that Scottish Courage has only put [pound]2.5m of ad support behind the brand, against the [pound]18m A-B spent on advertising Budweiser last year.

Scottish Courage brands director for lagers John Botia says the brewer decided to drop the “Pilsner” tag to build on the brand’s appeal to young drinkers, who appreciate the “less hoppy beer that Americans tend to brew”. The Pilsner tag also conjured up Czech associations, detracting from the brand’s US roots.

Botia claims that if you add the total volume sales of Miller and the bottled premium lager Miller Genuine Draft (MGD) together, the brand as a whole is actually bigger than Budweiser in the UK.

“Miller outsells Budweiser by about ten to one on draught in the on-trade. It is not as straightforward as people think to say that Budweiser is bigger,” says Botia.

He adds that while Budweiser’s advertising tends to emphasise the brand’s heritage and its position as an American classic, Miller aims to be more contemporary and urban. This is demonstrated in the most recent ads for MGD, created by Rainey Kelley Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, which feature New York band the Fun Lovin’ Criminals and the strapline “Bring it on.”
In the US, Miller sales are larger than the entire UK beer market. The phrase “Miller Time” has become part of the American language meaning it’s time for a relaxing drink with friends.

But when the brand was first introduced in the UK in 1985 — under its US name Miller Lire — many UK drinkers erroneously thought the “Lite” tag referred to low alcohol content rather than low calories.

The brand was relaunched as Miller Pilsner in 1991, and a year later MGD was launched to fill a perceived niche in the premium packaged lager market. In the mid-Nineties the brand introduced ads, also created by Rainey Kelley, featuring a fictional talk-show host called Johnny Miller talking to celebrity guests such as Alice Cooper and Patsy Kensit.

This month’s [pound]8m relaunch of Miller Pilsner as Miller will be supported later in the year by a TV and print campaign, also created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R. Details of the ads are being kept under wraps, but it is understood that the tagline “It’s Miller Time” will remain.

Some sources liken the relationship between Budweiser and Miller to that between mainstream giants such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s and the “younger”, quirkier “challenger” brands, Pepsi and Burger King.

Like McDonald’s and Coke, Budweiser is supported by virtually constant advertising and promotions. The brand’s iconic advertising, adapted for the UK by BMP DDB, has made an impact: the “Bud” frogs, the “Whassup?” guys and the new “American Heroes” campaign aim to establish Budweiser as the all American genuine article.

“There is only room in the UK beer market for one big US brand, and Budweiser is the authentic American beer,” says one insider, “Miller is number two, and it will stay there unless it can find a unique position that is different from other small US brands such as Coors and Rolling Rock. As Miller Lite it was very specifically positioned, but of course that never really took off in the UK because consumers thought it was low-alcohol.”

The insider argues that the introduction of MGD fragmented the Miller brand, and is potentially confusing for consumers.

“Dropping the Pilsner is chopping and changing again. It may be confusing for consumers at first, but it may be a good thing in the long run if it makes the brand more focused.”

Miller and Budweiser will soon face increased competition from Coors, the third-largest brewery in the US. It is about to introduce Coors Light to the UK with the backing of a [pounds]10m marketing campaign.

thumbTo avoid the fate of Miller Lire and Bud Light (which was axed earlier this year after failing to dent the UK market) the brand will be known as Coors Light 4.5 per cent in the UK, to emphasise that it is a full-strength lager.

Unlike Bud Light, which flopped despite a [pound]5m ad campaign through BMP DDB, Coors Light will not be marketed as low-calorie, but as a full-strength beer designed to be drunk in larger quantities.

It is being test-marketed in Scotland and Ireland, where TV and poster ads created by Banks Hoggins O’Shea/FCB use the strapline “Full strength goes down easy”.

But Botia argues that Coors Light has a tiny market share in Scotland (0.4 per cent) compared to Miller and MGD (13.65 per cent and 8.4 per cent respectively).

“Coors is putting a lot of money behind this.., but we have seen that ‘light’ beer does nor appeal to drinkers here,” says Botia.

Scottish Courage is convinced that there is an opportunity to increase the market for US draught lager. While Miller will probably never enjoy the same cult status as Budweiser, Scottish Courage will be hoping that UK drinkers decide to set aside a bit more “Miller Time” in the future.

you can read more about Gilligans Brewing Company at here.

Working with Your Projects while Drinking Brewed Beers

Drinking Brewed BeersDo you know that working with your projects with the use of some specific tools like air compressor while drinking brewed beers can definitely help you to become active, dynamic and strong resistant? Also, it helps you to perform some particular tasks without any worry. In fact, provides great energy and speed/enhance mind -functioning since it boosts up your intellectual capability because of the effects of alcohol. With this factual information, it is also desirable if you will work on your DIY projects at home while zipping brewed beers even in a little amount.
Of course, it is very crucial to have the best portable air compressor so as to easily finish your works in a timely manner. Make sure to find or choose the ideal type of it so that you will have the benefits or advantages that you are seeking for. In seeking for the high quality type of it, you may refer to the different product reviews online. Through online, you can also find the best provider of the brewed beers which you may taste for good. So, don’t hesitate to surf your browser and explore everything which you need for your daily lives.
Probably, one of the best brewed beer providers that can find via online is the Gilligans Brewing Company. This company will provide you great assurance when it comes to taste and aroma of brewed beers. Aside from that, you can have a full guarantee on its quality since it was manufactured by one of the reputable companies in the world of manufacturing industry. So, if you wish to take some brewed beers that are tasteful, then you have to check it out on the best provider. For you to know if the company is the best provider for the brewed beer, then you may consider the following criteria:

  • Pleasant taste and aroma when zip and smell – One of the very first things that you may consider is its taste and aroma. At first, you can say that it is really of high quality if you smell it and you have found out that there are no other bad odors aside from its good aroma. Also, an indicator that is of high quality type is its taste itself. Of course, for you to know it has a good savor, you have to taste it for good. Only choose a brewed beer that is good for your taste or preferences and that would satisfy your sense.
  • Reasonable price in commensurate to the products and services they offer – Of course, a good provider will not give you higher offer, especially if you are a loyal customer to them. Make sure that the price of the brewed beers is suitable for the quality of it. For this, the satisfaction occurs when the taste of it satisfies your tongue in despite of its expensiveness or higher price.
  • Popular ones with a good reputation in selling industry – You can never rebuff the veracity that a nice provider is also popular due to its great products and services being offered in the market. So, you can easily find useful reviews relevant to the best brewed beer providers through online.

These criteria or standards would help you to end up selecting the ideal provider for the brewed beers that you are craving for. Just always consider the essential things before placing an order whether that is in an offline or online basis.

Former journalist’s frothy beer story; Outsourcing, self-distribution key

Former journalist's frothy beer story; Outsourcing, self-distribution keySteve Hindy has come quite a distance from offering six packs of Brooklyn Beer from the back of the white GMC van. The brewery he co- last year started two decades previously bought over 1 million cases, and Mr. Hindy expects this year 10% to improve

“It’s a good time to be in the beer business,” he says.

Well, at least it’s a good time for Mr. Hindy, who now owns

One of the most successful small brands in the industry. Looking for a fresh challenge after a career as a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press, Mr. Hindy decided to become an entrepreneur.

The first thing he had to do was persuade his downstairs neighbor, Tom Potter, to quit his job as a loan officer for Chemical Bank to start a beer business.

“Tom thought I was nuts,” says Mr. Hindy, who spent nearly a year wearing down his friend’s resistance. “He was my first sale.”

With Mr. Potter in charge of finances and Mr. Hindy handling marketing, the two found a master brewer with a family beer recipe. They then turned their attention to packaging. After weeks of phone calls, Mr. Hindy finally talked legendary Milton Glasercreator of the “I Y New York” campaigninto designing the company’s logo.

Production was outsourced to an upstate brewery, which meant that Messrs. Hindy and Potter could concentrate on finding customers. They made the rounds of bars and bodegas, wooing retailers with their dream of bringing brewing back to Brooklyn. They made five sales the first day.

Rather than share profits, the partners chose to distribute the product themselves. They set up a distribution arm and named it the Craft Brewers Guild. As it turned out, the operation was so adept at getting Brooklyn Lager on shelves and behind bars that 15 other microbrews became customers.

“You can make the best beer in the world, but you have to be able to get it on the market,” says Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, a national trade group.

Amber lining

In 1994, Mr. Hindy hired a new master brewer with the ability to make more ambitious products.

Five years ago, the partners sold Craft Brewers for $12 million, and Mr. Potter cashed out. As a result, Mr. Hindy is coping with the recession solo and last year had to scrap plans to hire more staff and raise prices.

But the downturn has had an amber lining: Brooklyn Brewery’s landlord in Williamsburg recently canceled a major rent hike and is close to extending the lease for 15 years. Additionally, the company is about to score 15,000 square feet at a good price in a neighboring building. The extra space would allow it to produce more of its high-end brews in the borough.

Mr. Hindy likens life as an entrepreneur to his experience covering wars, saying, “You never know what you’re going to run into.”

Special Supplement: Nigeria – The Hard Sell – A Global Campaign Is Under Way To Persuade People To Rethink Their Negative Perceptions Of Nigeria

Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) chairman Kola Daisi believes his country gets unfair press in the international media. “If the truth is told about Nigeria and Nigerians,” he says, “it is a very a different story. We have some tremendous success stories and when people get to see what is happening on the ground, when they understand the changes that are happening, they leave with a very different opinion.”

Nigeria’s Information and National Orientation minister, Chukwuemeka Chikelu, has initiated a global campaign to address negative perceptions and enhance Nigeria’s reputation abroad. The three-year, N600m ($4.6m) project will focus on outstanding Nigerians at home and abroad.

“There will be various stages to the campaign to expose the whole world to our rich culture, tourism, sports, economy and business, and all other sectors that our people have excelled in and continue to excel in all over the world,” he said when he launched the campaign.

Nigeria: A Big Beer Industry

The idea is to persuade people to rethink their preconceptions and assumptions. Notable figures who might be featured in the campaign include mathematician and Nobel nominee Gabriel Oyibo Omojadi, writer and Nobel laureate for literature Wole Soyinka and soccer player Jay Jay Okocha, captain of Nigeria’s national team and of English premiership team Bolton Wanderers.

Commenting on the campaign, President Olusegun Obasanjo said it was frustrating that although progress had been made on national reconstruction, much of the work and the sacrifice of many Nigerians was being tainted and in some cases overshadowed by the sheer weight of negative publicity and unfair reports about Nigeria and Nigerians.

“The number of Nigerians that are making substantial and impressive contributions to the growth and development of countries around the world far outnumbers the handful that are involved in illegal activities often highlighted in the media,” the president said at the campaign launch. “The majority of Nigerians, irrespective of class, gender, ethnic and other social differences, are proud, hardworking, creative, patriotic and God fearing.”

Campaign aims

A key objective of the campaign for Mr Chikelu is to point out that only a minuscule minority of Nigerians are involved in the notorious advance fee or 419 fraud, the scam that asks victims to pay an upfront fee for a stake in promised riches. Having spread to all parts of the world, indeed just about anyone with an e-mail address, it has hardened a perception of corruption.

The campaign’s objectives resonate with many Nigerians who, as one newspaper columnist wrote, are all too familiar with difficulties in obtaining travel visas or being subject to more rigorous searches at airports. More importantly, however, Nigeria’s poor image affects investor perceptions, heightening perceived risks of doing business in Nigeria or with Nigerians, and it keeps tourists away.

Ready or not?

Is Nigeria really ready for rebranding? Does it not create a false impression in foreigners’ minds only to find out to their cost that the reality is quite different?

One person who does not need convincing is Festus Odimegwu, managing director and chief executive officer of Nigerian Breweries, which is majority owned by Heineken. Business is booming for the brewer of Nigeria’s favourite beer brands, with volumes having more than doubled in the past five years. “I call it the democracy dividend,” says Mr Odimegwu. “People are happy, they are confident and they are spending.”

He rejects official government data putting GDP at $260 per capita. “I can tell you that it is a lot higher. There is a huge informal economy and large sums of cash outside the banking system; this is business activity that is not being recorded. I have seen results that would not be possible if GDP per capita was only $260.”

Mr Odimegwu’s pride and joy is the company’s Ama Brewery, a state-of-the- heart facility that began production late last year. It was described at the time as the most modern, technologically advanced brewery in the world, and Mr Odimegwu delights in relating how its construction and subsequent operation has confounded the sceptics. “Every Heineken person who comes to the brewery cannot believe they are in Nigeria. But I tell them to look at the signposts: this is Nigeria.”

The $300m brewery had to overcome numerous obstacles, not least to be entirely self-sufficient for water and electricity. It has also had to overcome logistical challenges. But one of the biggest challenges was convincing Heineken that Nigeria and Nigerians could handle the most technologically advanced brewing equipment available.

Show of faith

sHaving invested more than $500m in the country, Heineken has shown faith in it and recognises the tremendous potential. Nigerians consume on average 4.6 litres of beer per capita per year – the Dutch drink 137 litres.

Mr Odimegwu is full of praise for Mr Obasanjo, his reform team and the reform programme. “They are creating a future for Nigeria. A lot of Nigerians are not yet aware of what the president is doing so it is to be expected – in fact, it is a positive feature of our democracy – that there will be some resistance. But he is showing leadership, being patient, explaining and making people understand why reform is necessary. And he has made it clear to the different vested interests that they have no place in the new Nigeria. With his personal aversion to corruption and commitment to economic development, I am sure Nigeria will succeed,” says Mr Odimegwu.

“How can I not believe this when I see the strong numbers from my own business?”

Mobile inroads

Another company that has benefited from reform in Nigeria is MTN, the South African mobile phone network operator. It reported profits of $720m in the first six months of this year, more than any of Nigeria’s other leading companies. It was first to launch mobile services in the country following deregulation of the sector in 2001. With two million users (40% market share), robust growth and high average revenue per user ($57/month), MTN’s performance in Nigeria is easily outstripping growth in the company’s saturated home market.

Nigeria is the fastest growing and most exciting cellular phone market in Africa. And the success story offers a tantalising taste of what deregulation and liberalisation in other sectors might offer.

MTN leads a South African charge into Nigeria, with more than 50 companies investing in the country. Hospitality group Protea Hotels plans to open a further eight hotels in Nigeria, adding to the six it already runs and reinforcing Nigeria’s position as the hotel group’s biggest operational area outside of South Africa. Johnnic Communications, owners of South Africa’s largest business daily, recently acquired a newspaper in Nigeria; and petrochemicals group Sasol has taken a stake in a gas-to-liquid project that is under construction.

Profits are rising

The NIPC chairman points out that it is not just newcomers that are converting Nigeria’s potential into profit. Long-established multi-nationals, like Unilever, Nestle, Cadburys and Coca Cola, as well as the likes of local conglomerates the Dangote Group, are seeing profits rise.

Though the number of companies that are delivering healthy, risk-adjusted returns is still relatively few, they are testament to Nigeria’s potential and the fact that risks can be managed. No-one, including senior government figures and those with an interest in spinning a positive image of Nigeria, suggests that the country is without its problems. In fact, many local Nigerians and emigres contend that the country is still in a desperate state. But those close to the reform process, who can vouch for the commitment and resolve of the reformists, are convinced there is progress. And they are confident that Nigeria is almost far enough down the road of reform that no- one and nothing can turn it back.

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