Coming to the Hoperatives Happening on July 2nd? Please RSVP!

It’s almost here! Our first ever official Hoperatives Happening is this coming Thursday (July 2nd) at 6:00 pm at the Rock Bottom on Fountain Square! Brewmaster Mitch and manager Keith have space reserved for us and some appetizers too. We may even have some giveaways for the Hoperatives that join us that night. What we need to know now is… how many of you are coming? Just leave us a comment here or drop us a message at both@hoperatives.com to let us know.

Here’s some good news… even before we have the first Happening, we have more planned! August will be at the Party Source in Bellevue, KY. September will be at Dilly Cafe in Mariemount, OH and October will be at Hebron Brewing Company in Hebron, KY. We hope to make this a monthly event that just grows and grows.

Hope to hear from many of you! We’re at 87 Hoperatives right now… we would still love to get to 100 Hoperatives by this Thursday so we can do the drawing that night. Go recruit your fellow beer loving friends and get them to sign up today!

–Carla and Tom

Short Hops: May 28, 2009

Beer Box Bandit — The Ultimate Head Case
So that’s what Bud Light is for!

From a Revered Chef, a Beer That Behaves Like Wine
This very unusual beer is available at Whole Foods markets for $9.99 a bottle.

Beer price overflows for Munich’s next Oktoberfest
Somehow, you have to think that prices are going to go up at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati too.

Action Alert from Beer Advocate – Federal Excise Tax on Beer Could Triple
As Todd puts its, “It is imperative that you call your member of Congress and your Senators, especially if they are on the Senate Finance Committee and weigh-in on the devastating impact ANY increase on the federal excise tax on beer would have on your business.”

● Did you know that Hoperatives is doing all kinds of social media now? Besides the blog and informational web site (where you are right now), you can follow us on Twitter ( http://twitter.com/Hoperatives ) or join our group on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=49280578300 ). You can also check out our PhotoStream on Flickr ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/hoperatives/sets/ ).

● And don’t forget we’re on our way to our 100th Hoperative and our next drawing. We already have some prizes for this next round including $40 gift certificate to Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, a t-shirt from Weasel Boy Brewing Company, a Magic Hat opener and more. Who knows what else we might add by the time we get to 100? Not a Hoperative yet? Just drop an email message to rollcall@hoperatives.com with your name and location to join our ranks and get your roll call number.

● Want to tell the world (or at least the Tri-state) that you are a Hoperative? Check out our Cafe Press store at http://www.cafepress.com/hoperatives!

Short Hops: May 5, 2009

Beer Tap TV’s Beer Blog of the Week
In the category of “You like us! You really like us!”, we just found out that Hoperatives was selected as Beer Tap TV’s Beer Blog of the Week. For a blog that’s only been around since January 1st of this year, that’s quite an honor!  You should watch the whole thing, but since we’re bragging, here’s the clip:

Samuel Adams Boston Lager Glasses
If you clicked on the Beer Tap TV link above, you may have noticed their story on the Hopside Down Beer Glass. Has anyone tried one of those and, if so, how did it do? Our favorite new beer glasses are the Sam Adams Boston Lager Glasses. They really feel great in your hand and they seem to do what they claim. We got ours from their online store, but some of our Hoperatives have reported finding them at their local Meijers store. (Just noticed that the guys at Beer Tap TV are using the Sam Adams glasses!)

Brownings to reopen this month at Louisville Slugger Field
This is great news. We really enjoyed ourselves the last time we hopped in there before a Louisville Bats game. If any Hoperative is heading that way soon (for a game or a beer), please let us know what you think.

Builders brew up a business plan to import Cayman Islands beer
We were lucky enough to get to try CayBrew on our cruise last month. It will be interesting to see how it does in the States.

● Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Raise your favorite Mexican beer high in honor of the day! So what is your favorite Mexican beer any way?

Short Hops: March 20, 2009

● No word on this week’s Friday Night Flights at Party Town in Florence yet. We’ll update this post as soon as we hear. UPDATE: The featured brewery for this evening is Left Hand Brewery of Colorado.

● On the Growler Station at Party Source in Newport: Kasteel Rouge, Goose Island Imperial IPA, Dogfish Head Red & White, Sam Adams Hardcore Cider, Ayinger Celebrator, Avery Maharaja

● On the Growler Station at Party Town in Florence: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Great Divide Hibernation Ale 07, Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA, Great Divide Old Ruffian Barleywine, Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Espresso, Great Lakes Burning River Barrel House Cumberland Pale Ale

● And don’t forget… If you are a believer in better beer and you want to win prizes, then you want to be a Hoperative. Just drop an email message to rollcall@hoperatives.com with your name and location to join our ranks and get your roll call number.

Your Morning-After Report: St. Patrick’s Day 2009

Something a little different this morning.

Did you do anything for St. Patrick’s Day you want to record for posterity? Do anything different?  Make any discoveries? Share it with us in comments.  Just to make things interesting, we’ll pick one comment at random and send you a Christian Moerlein “Friend of an Irishman” poster signed by artist Jim Effler.

For Carla and me it was a quiet day.  We had a pretty full day Saturday (the parade downtown, a really nice Avery tasting out at the Dilly Cafe, then the tapping of Friend of an Irishman) and we’ve got a bunch going on this weekend (Cincinnati Rollergirls, here we come!), so we took it easy.

So help us out by letting us live vicariously through you.

(Also, I’m hoping someone will let us know how the Troeg’s tasting goes at Teller’s of Hyde Park Thursday night.  We have a conflicting commitment and won’t be able to make it, unfortunately .)

Short Hops – March 12, 2009

● This week’s Friday Night Flights at Party Town in Florence will feature a selection from the Stone Brewing Company including: Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, Ruination I.P.A., Smoked Porter, Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, Arrogant Bastard Ale, Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard Ale, and Double Bastard Ale. As the guys at Party Town put it, “Stone is one of the most solid microbreweries on the scene, so don’t miss this one.”

● Are you a believer in better beer? Want to win prizes? Then, you want to be a Hoperative. Just drop an email message to rollcall@hoperatives.com with your name and location to join our ranks and get your roll call number. As soon as we get our first 50 Hoperatives, we’re doing a special drawing from just those fifty people for a Bockfest themed prize package. Those first 50 numbers are going fast!

● Did you know that Hoperatives is doing all kinds of social media now? Besides the blog and informational web site (where you are right now), you can follow us on Twitter ( http://twitter.com/Hoperatives ) or join our group on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=49280578300 ). You can also check out our PhotoStream on Flickr ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/hoperatives/sets/ ).

● Hoperative #36 John Graff sent in information on an organization that he’s involved with called “BeerTrips.com“.

BeerTrips.com offers avid beer and food lovers the opportunity to discover the history and influences of the World’s Best Beer. On our tours we travel to fantastic destinations such as Belgium, Germany, Britain, France, Russia, Poland, the US, and the Czech Republic. Already so rich in culture, cuisine, history, architecture and natural beauty, these historic places are only made better when you add beer to the mix! Discover the role that beer and brewing plays in the history and culture of Europe and North America — and have a really good time, with great people, along the way. Our Prague, Bamberg, Munich’s Oktoberfest trip has been included in the National Geographic Society’s book: The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life! At Beer Trips, we create the ultimate scenarios for beer lovers, introducing you to the history, people, brewing methods, and beer culture of the places we visit. Drink your favorite beers at the breweries. Get behind the scenes and experience the world’s great beers at a local level. Discover and indulge in cuisine a la biere… and visit some of the world’s great cities.

Enjoying Oktoberfest
in the Schottenhamel tent
Enjoying Oktoberfest
in the Schottenhamel tent
Wreath of hops

worn at the Zatec(saaz) hop festival
Wreath of hops worn at the Zatec(saaz) hop festival
Brewery tour at Pilsner Urquell
Brewery tour at Pilsner Urquell

Digging Out, Looking Ahead

So Carla and I picked a heck of a week to leave town.

There was a time when I used to secretly regret missing big winter storms (hey, I grew up in Texas.  They didn’t happen that often).  Then a weird thing started happening.  As I moved around the country, I’d live through the local version of the “Storm of the Century” the first winter I lived there.  It happened three times.  The biggest was 1996 in Philadelphia.  27.6 inches in a 24-hour period.  After that, I didn’t feel so cheated if I missed the big snow.

So while the Ohio Valley was getting pounded with snow and ice, Carla and I were in Nassau, the Bahamas.  I’ll admit to giggling a little when I thought it was just snow.  Then we heard about the ice and it wasn’t a laughing matter anymore.  For what it’s worth, we were thinking of you.  Hope you got through it all safely.

I expect no sympathy for the fact that it was too cool in Nassau to swim the first couple of days we were there.

One of the things we decided for this trip is to go off the grid.  No laptops.  No wi-fi. We left the blog on auto-pilot. If you sent something in, we weren’t ignoring you!

And  now we’re back.  It’s good to be home.  Of course, we have to dig out, but luckily it’s more metaphorical than actual (though we can’t thank the folks at CVG FastPark enough for helping us dig out our car last night!)

The blog will be busy this week.  Hoperative #14 Jared Whalen has contributed a review and has made a fine suggestion regarding our grading scale that should make it easier for everyone to contribute reviews that have some internal consistancy.  Hoperative #13 John Lavelle let us know what was on tap at Dilly Deli, which we’ll update (but is likely already out of date.  Which means we just need another report!).  Carla and I sampled Bahamian beers, and came across a local stout that was out of this world.  And, finally, the Midwinter Beer Festival is almost upon us!  We’ll preview it.

Oh, and have a beer.  You deserve it after the week you’ve had.

A little tour around the new place

So far I’ve been doing most of the posting because Carla has been very busy doing some of the heavy lifting behind the scenes. You’ll notice over there on the left that there’s a navigation menu broken out into a number of categories. I hope you’ve take a look around, because that’s where you’ll find the fruits of her labor: In a short period of time she’s made a great start on creating a resource that we hope you’ll find useful. Want to know what beers your favorite beer store has on tap in their growler program? We’ll have them here, updated with the most recent information we can get our hands on.

(By the way, do you own an establishment that fits into one of the categories? Let us know who you are and what you’re doing. We want this to be as comprehensive a resource as we can make it. We’re making the rounds as quickly as we can, but you don’t have to wait on us.)

The events list to the right will always show the next five events we know about, but you can get a more comprehensive view from the full Calendar link on the left.  One event that I’m already looking forward to with great anticipation is the 2nd Annual Midwest Winter Beer Festival slated for February 6-7 at the Radisson Cincinnati Riverfront in Covington, KY.  In many ways, last year’s event planted the seeds for this blog.  It’s well-organized, an incredible value and benefits an outstanding non-profit organization:  the Big Joe Duskin Education Foundation.  This event is an absolute can’t-miss.  Start making your plans.

In the upcoming week you can expect to see some reviews, including one in a category we’re calling “Yeah, We Tried It.”  That’s where we’ll review beers you’ve been curious about, but don’t want to be seen buying.  This week’s entry:  Budweiser American Ale.

Yeah.  We tried it.

We’ll also take a look at Mt. Carmel’s Copper Ale and probably a couple of others to to kick us off.  And we’ll be at Rock Bottom Thursday evening for the tapping of the Buffalo Gold Ale.

Look for us.  We’ll be the ones with the beer.