Store owners shoot congenial, hairy beer customer

Owners of the Marketplace Foods in Hayward, Wis., decided to call in the law when a 125-pound male entered the store and, without bothering anyone, walked to the beer cooler and sat down. The customer then waited patiently for an hour. To this reporter’s eyes it seems clear he was waiting for a staff member to locate his preferred brand, but the brains at the store didn’t feel that way. Acting on the gross and unfair prejudice that because said customer was a black bear and therefore must be a threat (Why must we fear what we don’t understand?) managers called  officials from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources who tranquilized and removed the customer.

This kind of treatment should be reserved solely for executives from Bear-Stearns. (sorry. I had to do it.)

In case you think I am misreading this incident, remember that EYEWITNESSES “say the bear seemed content to sit in the cooler — and they note that he didn’t drink any of the beer.” (emphasis added)

Given the number of breweries which have used bears to sell their beer without recompense (gallery below), I hope they will hire a sympathetic law firm to come to the defense of this cruel victim of bad customer service.


As the astute songwriter Steven Fromholz noted in his song Bears (ably performed here by one Mr. Lyle Lovett):

Some folks say there ain’t no bears in Arkansas
Some folks never seen a bear at all
Some folks say that bears go around eating babies raw
Some folks got a bear across the hall

Some folks say that bears go around smelling bad
Others say that a bear is honey sweet
Some folks say this bear’s the best I ever had
Some folks got a bear beneath their feet

Some folks drive the bears out of the wilderness
Some to see a bear would pay a fee
Me I just bear up to my bewildered best
And some folks even see the bear in me

So meet a bear and take him out to lunch with you
And even though your friends may stop and stare
Just remember that’s a bear there in the bunch with you
And they just don’t come no better than a bear


ursus  russian bear beer 

  big black beer bear-beer280

product_bearbeer  Chocolate_Bear_Beer

ruf0506 lawyer_beer

hamms AW-Root-Bear

karhu thirsty-bear-logo

Drops His Guts Cover


If God is everywhere, why can’t you serve Him a summons … or a beer?

A judge in Nebraska has tossed a lawsuit filed by a state senator against the Almighty because You-Know-Who was never served legal papers.

Just over a year ago Ernie Chambers, the longest serving — and maybe the most powerful — state senator in Nebraska history, sought a permanent injunction against God. He said the Almighty has made terroristic threats against the senator and his constituents in Omaha, inspired fear and caused “widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.’’

In what may be the best legal argument I’ve ever encountered, Chambers said he has already found a flaw in the Judge’s reasoning: “The court itself acknowledges the existence of God. A consequence of that acknowledgment is a recognition of God’s omniscience. Therefore, God would have actual notice of that lawsuit. Since God knows everything, God has notice of this lawsuit.’’

Elsewhere in The Realm of the Unknowable … G-D is making His/Her/Its/Their presence known at this year’s Great American Beer Festival:

  • The Lost Abbey brewery of San Marcos, Calif., has a full line of offerings, including one called Judgment Day. Even better, the company also makes a line of “non-denominational ales.”
  • There is also Schmaltz Brewing, makers of “He’Brew … The Chosen Beer.” Brands include Genesis Ale (“our first creation”), Messiah Bold (“the one you’ve been waiting for”), Jewbelation (“L’Chaim!”) and the seasonally released Rejewvenator.
  • Russian River Brewing Co. seems to offer everything you could want in a religion with brands called Damnation, Salvation, Perdition, Redemption, Sanctification, Deification and Benediction.
  • St. Arnold Brewing Co. has Divine Reserve and for believers of any stripe don’t do the whole alcohol thing they make St. Arnold Root Beer as well. (Also have the best name of any beer I’ve ever seen: Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower)

Beersicles, Mafia wine & other developments in potent potables

Is there any food that’s not improved by adding the words “on a stick”? Once a food has been sticked the only remaining improvement is “deep-fried in batter.” Well, a chef at Rustico’s in DC has gotten beer half-way there. He put a beer in the freezer to get it cold quickly and then forgot about it. The brew froze solid and he ended up eating his booze instead of drinking it. Now the place is sticking a stick in it and selling them. Reports are they are quite popular. You first.


What with the recent demise of Mr. Soprano and America’s obsession with fictional mobsters, it is not surprising that someone has created a Mob-branded wine. What is surprising is that it is an anti-mafia branded wine.

Campo Libero, which means Free Field, is a lightly sparkling white wine made from Trebbiano grapes , and the brainchild of a teetotal charity worker. Dario Campagna, whose Il Gabbiano (“The Seagull”) association provides jobs for drug addicts and former prisoners, has taken advantage of an Italian law that allows property belonging to convicted gang bosses to be used for “social purposes”.

Campagna has taken to growing the grapes for the wine on land formerly owned by Francesco Schiavone, a boss in the Naples mafia.

“At the beginning, local farmers that we’d asked for advice kept missing appointments,” Mr Campagna explained. “But then we discovered that one of Schiavone’s relatives was living nearby and people were simply scared of having anything to do with us.”

Last year someone cut the wires holding up the vines causing Campagna’s group to lose half their crop.

The vines were replanted. And now 10,000 bottles of vino bianco are waiting to be drunk. “I don’t drink alcohol but those that have tasted Campo Libero say it’s a solid wine,” Mr Campagna said.


Everyone knows that alcohol can lead to ill-fated romance, now a French vintner is hoping the interweb will remove the ill-fated part of the equation.

The ‘Soif de Coeur’ (A Thirst for Romance) bottles of rosé, red or white wine contain a unique code in their labels that you tap into the website in the hope of finding your perfect match.

Go to the site, type in your age, sex and the sex of the person you would like to meet and the site will link you up with someone who also bought a bottle of the wine and registered on-line. And there’s no risk that you will ever be asked to appear in one of those creepy eHarmony ads.


Not only can you drink yourself into the gutter, now you can advertise there as well. Quoth the NYT: In the June 15 issue of Wine Spectator, Newton Vineyard purchased a series of ads on a narrow slice of the page that is known picturesquely as “the gutter” — the space, normally blank and white, between the binding and the first column of text. Maybe AA should consider it.


madonnaMadonna may not have wanter her papa to preach but she doesn’t have any problem with his selling wine with her name on it. Tony Ciccone, recently decided to advance his winery business by releasing Madonna Wine, which is available in five varieties: Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay.  The label on each bottle features a colorful picture of Madonna, with whom he consulted beforehand to make sure his daughter approved of the idea. Those of you wondering what wine made in Michigan tastes like can go here to order some.

Early pick in the Ig Noble Awards race: Scientists discover secret to beer foam

Writing in the prestigious British science journal Nature, an elite scientific duo say they have devised an equation to describe beer froth. The breakthrough will not only settle the vexatious lager vs. stout debate, it will also help the quest to pour a perfect pint every time.

This easily equals last year’s winner in the physics category for research into why, when you bend dry spaghetti, it often breaks into more than two pieces.

I hope this year’s awards will include a special PT Barnum citation for Eli Lilly which just got FDA approval for Reconcile, a drug that treats separation anxiety in dogs.

Scary news is brewing: Companies set to market brewskies based on beer, milk

Add this to the ever expanding list of reasons I’m glad I don’t drink anymore:

  1. A brewery in Hokkaido, Japan, has started selling a low-malt beer made with milk. The product, with the wonderfully perfect name of Bilk, is made by the Abashiri Brewery which also makes the equally appetizing Purple Ale pictured at right. Bilk “reportedly has a fruity flavor that its brewers hope will be popular among women.The idea for the drink was conceived after dairy firms threw out a huge amount of surplus milk in March last year.” I’m not getting drunk, I’m fighting off osteoporosis. Suddenly the Mongolian national booze Ayrag — fermented mare’s milk — sounds … every bit as gross as it did before. (Anyone ever explore the connection between Mongolian cuisine — care for some mutton boiled in tea  — and their desire to conquer the world? Maybe they were just looking for a decent nosh.)
  2. Coca-Cola is looking to produce kvass in Russia, a traditional beverage made from fermented bread that is also sweet and fizzy. NB: Coke is just playing ketchup, er catch up, here: PepsiCo, has catered to Russian tastes via white-mushroom-and- sour-cream-flavored potato chips and sukhariki, a traditional snack food made from dried brown bread.

Bilk is sounding better by the minute.

Now that dogs have beer, Washington state wants to make sure they have a place to drink it

A sure sign that Washington state has solved all of its real problems: Sen. Ken Jacobsen (a Democrat, like you couldn’t have guessed) has introduced a bill to allow bars and restaurants with liquor licenses to welcome dogs — er, Canine-Americans — as long as they accompany their owners and remain leashed.

As someone who spent at least one evening in the company of a very charming golden retriever who actually drooled less than I did by closing time, I still think this is an incredibly stupid piece of legislation.

Markets you never knew existed: Woman invents beer for dogs

In my day, we called it Haffenreffer but apparently today’s pooch is too good for the Green Death. So Terrie Berenden, a pet shop owner in the southern Dutch town of Zelhem, created a beer for her Weimaraners made from beef extract and malt. We here at Collateral Damage praise Ms. Berenden for adding yet another weapon to fight the growing scourge of animal anorexia. Kwispelbier (kwispel is Dutchlandish for wagging a tail), now stands proudly beside hand-made dog treats and lazy owners in our effort to promote more obese fauna. (Also it turns out that a “kold Kwispy” is easier to serve than global warming.)

Remember, there is one key question we all need to ask ourselves when approaching a member of the animal kingdom: Does it make me look thin?

Police Brand Beer Glasses

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Eager to combat drunken driving during the holidays, police are distributing pint glasses embossed with the logo of the Bennington Police Department to bars and restaurants.

The campaign is the brainchild of Lt. Paul Doucette. Dear Lt., don’t give up your day job.

An example of how the target audience will respond to this can be found across the border in neighboring New Hampshire. There “police said they tried pulling over Patrick Allain, 35, on Bridge Street on Monday night but he refused to stop. Officials said that when police finally did stop Allain, they found him drinking a 40-ounce bottle of beer, which he continued to drink as officers confronted him.

Hard to imagine a police logo getting noticed, let alone discouraging consumers this dedicated to the product.

Latest developments in the war against Christmas

  1. Only outlaw airports may now have Christmas trees … SeaTac airport has banned the tannenbaum. Update, trees now back at the airport. I love the smell of victory in the morning. Smells like … pine trees. And holly.
  2. Was Jesus a Bud fan? … Someone replaced baby JC in a manger scene with an EMPTY beer can. No mention as to what brand.
  3. Global warming wreaks havoc on gingerbread home-building industry. “Sweet-toothed Swedes who have spent hours constructing edible Christmas gingerbread houses are seeing their creations collapse in the Scandinavian country’s unusually damp winter.”
  4. Father Christmas barred from church. Damn pagan.

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Two dangers of capitalism

  1. That must be some good beer: Ronald Zimmerman was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree criminal use of a firearm after an argument over who should get the last beer. When Zimmerman and Terell Martin could not agree on who this Bud actually was for, Zimmerman pulled a handgun on Martin and went through his pockets, taking cash and a cell phone, police said. I have not yet been able to ascertain the brand of the beer in question but is this not an ad that writes itself? Except that the two guys will be played by women in bikinis.
  2. And some good shoes… A person was shot in the foot during a riot at a shoe sale in Karabuk, Turkey. The incident occurred after people overloaded a two-story retailer that was selling pairs of shoes for as little as $6.  Y’know I have many friends who wouldn’t  think twice over shooting someone at a shoe sale. And for Manolo’s murder would not be out of the question.

Potent potables for $500, Alex

  • Beer ad was mistaken for a bomb … and no, I don't mean those Miller Lite commercials. A bartender in Plymouth, Ind., thought a red light from a beer ad was a bomb and called police who evacuated the hotel he was working at. Source of said light (bombs have lights?) turned out to be part of  Pabst Blue Ribbon ad suction-cupped to the window of the Sam Snead restaurant. From this we can surmise that the bartender had been sampling his own wares.
  • Lead of the day: A wine with a whiff of "cat's pee on a gooseberry bush" has transformed Marlborough's Wairau Valley from scruffy farming country into New Zealand's wine capital in just three decades. New Zealand has apparantly taken the place of Australia in wine making circles: "A lot of people in this country pooh-pooh Australian table wines. This is a pity, as many fine Australian wines appeal not only to the Australian palette, but also to the cognoscenti of Great Britain. Of the sparkling wines, the most famous is 'Perth Pink.' This is a bottle with a message in, and the message is BEWARE!. This is not a wine for drinking — this is a wine for laying down and avoiding." — Monty Python.

Wear the brand, be the brand, use the brand

Quoth Reuters: "Middle-schoolers who sport alcohol-branded T-shirts and caps may start to drink sooner than their peers, according to a new study. The findings, researchers point out, are similar to those of studies from the 1990s that linked cigarette-branded merchandise to a greater risk of adolescent smoking. It's uncertain whether clothes or bags with beer logos encourage some kids to start drinking."

I'm not sure but I think kids were drinking before the advent of clothes or bags with beer logos. Just saying …
ramones shirtBTW, we have applied a similar idea in our family and that's why EVERY SINGLE PIECE of CollateralDamage Jr's wardrobe has The Ramone's logo on it. Gabba, Gabba & Hey, attorneys at law. 

Beer needs its image buffed?

Stretching the definition of provocative to new lengths: "If you could have a beer with anyone, who would it be? Renowned filmmaker Spike Lee has teamed up with the beer industry to ask adult beer drinkers this provocative question." — From a brewski industry release touting its new "grassroots campaign to elevate the image of beer."

OK, how many of you said Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith? 

This effort will focus on (and God I wish I could have made this up):

  • Reminding consumers of the social value of beer — it brings people together in an unpretentious way. Around urinals.
  • Romancing the product and the art of brewing — reinforcing beer's refreshment, all-natural ingredients and the beauty of its liquid. Splashing around urinals
  • Encouraging consumers to view beer differently — giving them new ways to enjoy beer … on their way to the urinals.

Not only can you not get drunk in a bar in Texas, but in Canada you can’t even be seen to have a beer. IN CANADA!

The Aussies continue to have good luck getting free PR. Turns out the Canuck ad authorities not only wouldn’t let them use the word hell in the ad, they had “to remove a shot showing a half-full glass of beer.” Oh, Canada…

Aussie tourism boss Fran Bailey continues laughing all the way to the bank on this one. “I still find the decision astonishing. What this decision shows is that Canada lags behind Americans, Brits and even Germans in the sense of humour stakes.” OOOOH, that hurts — less funny than the GERMANS? Canada has taken this insult seriously and announced they are sending all of their armed forces not currently serving at the Tim Horton’s in Afghanistan to invade Australia. Adding economic clout to this military threat, the Canadians say both of those people will fly on an airline that is not Qantas.