Weekly Mix Pack: Whistle Blowers, B Cups, and Bottle Opening Teeth

By Brett Vanderbrook - Six fresh stories for you to crack open and enjoy!

This week saw the return of Master Brewer Michael Ferguson in the season two premiere of Beer Geeks. It has been a whirlwind of a week, and we're excited to bring these new adventures to you! In our Mix Pack this week, we present stories of breweries getting their own distributors in trouble, rugby players replacing their teeth with bottle openers, and Blue Moon being called out for trying to market itself as "craft." The world of craft beer is never boring, and we're certainly thankful for that!

1. Craft Brewer Blows Whistle, Gets Own Distributor in Trouble
"Pay to play" is the terminology used in the craft beer world when a bar owner takes cash or freebies from a brewery or distributor in exchange for putting certain beers on tap. Pretty Things owner Dann Paquette decried the practice last fall on Twitter, which has since prompted an investigation by the Massachusetts' governing body into the doings of Pretty Things own distributor, Craft Beer Guild.

2. B Cups: Proper Craft Beer Plasticware
Red Solo Cups are the ubiquitous glassware of summer barbecues and frat parties. While lightweight and disposable, they rob craft beer of its aroma compounds, and are therefore ill-suited for the task. Enter B-cups, lightweight plastic cups inspired by the Spiegelgau IPA glass. They're more expensive than their red cousins, but are sturdier and reusable.

3. The Magnificent Multitude of Beer
This isn't technically an article, but worth sharing all the same. We can only imagine the tiresome amount of research and effort that went into creating this image, which, as far as we can tell, includes basically every style of beer known to man, including the proper glassware for each. Unfortunately, its creator is unknown to us, but if we find him/her, beers are on us.

4. Beer Co. Replaces Rugby Players Teeth with Bottle Openers
Rugby can be a rough sport that results in broken bones and missing teeth. Teeth can be replaced, but why would you get a boring fake tooth when you could opt for an implant that doubles as a bottle opener? That's the question being asked by Argentinian beer company Salta, that has sponsored the creation of said implant. If rugby players didn't already have the reputation of being a tougher breed, this will certainly help solidify that view.

5. MillerCoors Slapped with Class Action Suit
The definition of "craft beer" has been malleable in recent years, and the topic of fierce debate. As small brewers grow larger, the BA has amended the definition to allow for more growth. However one man in San Diego feels like the line has to be drawn in the sand somewhere, and that MillerCoors has crossed it by deceptively marketing (and pricing) Blue Moon as craft.

6. From the Other Side of the Counter
In the world of beer nerdom, hard to find beers are known as "whales" drawing inspiration from Herman Melville's iconic novel Moby Dick. Fans will line up days before a release, or otherwise pay a premium in order to obtain these rare bottles. This article is written from the perspective of the bottle shop owner, and offers some insider advice on how you can increase your chances of obtaining whales from your local bottle shops.

Join us tomorrow as Beer Geeks season two continues at Noble Ale Works in Anaheim, California. Michael will be brewing beer with tea, and it's every bit as delicious as you can imagine.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

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