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Bizzare Stories

Beer Month

Surely you can’t drink that much

A little bit of relevance to Andrew Symonds who was ousted from 2 International One Day Matches recently. He just doesn’t compare with the likes of Boonie.

David Boon was one of the toughest Aussie Cricketers that ever shunted a beer. A member of the Australian cricket team from 1984 to 1996, they called him ‘Stumpy’ because he batted with tree stumps instead of SS Jumbos.

As a drinker he was a legend. In 1988 he spewed on national TV when he was playing at Adelaide Oval. Although Boonie is a short man, he has been known to sink a &^%$load of beer. In 1989 he became an Australian cricketing hero when he put back 52 beers on the way to a cricket match in England. 28 hours = 52 beers! This (ridiculous) feat has been challenged but never bettered and if you tried to drink as much as Boonie you would probably die.

The A-Z of world beer terms

ABW Alcohol by weight, given in percentages. A low-alcohol beer typically has 3.5% abw or less, a medium alcohol beer 3-6% abw and a high-alcohol beer 6% abw and up. To convert to alcohol by volume, multiply the abw by 1.25. ale: “Top fermented” beer; i.e., beer brewed by letting yeast ferment at room temperature and float to the top of the beer. Ales tend to be malty, complex, sometimes fruity. Examples of ales include porter, stout and pale ale. (see also Lager)

altbier Literally, “old beer” in German, referring to way beer was made before the discovery of lager yeast, by fermenting beer with ale yeast and then conditioning it with cold temps. These ales tend to be yeasty, well-hopped and clean tasting – a very lager-like ale.

amber ale A general term used to describe copper-colored ales or lagers, which are more full-bodied than golden lagers, often with a medium maltiness and strong hoppy bitterness. (see Vienna)

barley wine Strong, malty, slightly spicy ale reminiscent of brandy or strong wine. Like wine (and unlike other beers), barley wine improves with age.

Belgian ale Strong, lighter-colored but potent ale. Some people claim they detect “pear notes”.

bitter Crisp, dry, hoppy ale with malty aroma and bitter aftertaste. This is the protypical English pub beer.

bock Complex lager (either light or dark); strong, malty and a little sweet; some people taste caramel or chocolate undertones. Originated in Einbeck, Germany, where “bock” means “goat”, perhaps referring to the beer’s kick. Many breweries produce a spring seasonal bock.

bottom fermentation The new-fangled way of brewing beer – it’s only been around since the Middle Ages. (see Top Fermentation) Occurs when yeast ferments at lower temperatures at the bottom of the beer, producing a lighter, crisper, clearer brew than ale: lager. Process was discovered by medieval brewers who found that storing (“lagering”) beer-in-progress in cool caves helped improve the finished product. (see also Top Fermentation)

brown ale Similar to pale ale, but (surprise) darker and sweeter, with a malty flavor and a “pleasing nuttiness” (sort of like the movies of Monty Python…).

cream ale Light colored, mild ale, lagered at cold temps or combined w/lager.

degrees Lovibond (°L) Measure of the color of the malt.

Dortmunder Pale lager originally from Dortmund, Germany. More body and less hoppiness than a pilsner, with slightly fruity, lightly carbonated edge. Also known as Export beer.

double bock (doppelbock) Lager with twice the alcohol of regular bocks and an intense, malty sweetness and dry finish. Doppelbock was originally originally brewed by monks for Lent and, like regular bock, is still served to celebrate spring’s arrival. Due to their potency, doppelbocks are often named with an “ator” suffix – Dominator, Terminator, etc.

dry beer Invented by the Japanese, dry beer has less aftertaste due to more complete fermentation

dry stout With its malty flavor and dry, bitter finish, this ale is similar to porter, but creamier, darker and more bitter.

extra special bitter (ESB): English-style ale; well-balanced hoppiness and sweet maltiness.

framboise: Dry, almost carbonated ale with raspberry taste and aroma. (See Lambic)

hefeweizen: Traditional German ale; in German, “hefe” means “yeast” and “weizen” means “wheat”. (See Wheat Beer)

hops: Cone-shaped flowers that grow on climbing vines, used to flavor beer. Hops added early in the brewing process impart a dry, bitter flavor to the beer; added later, they add an herbal spiciness. There are dozens of varieties of hops.

ice beer: It sounds like a stereotype, but ice beer really was invented by the Canadians. Ice beer is frozen slightly during the brewing process and the the ice crystals removed, in hopes that the flavor and alcohol content will be more concentrated.

imperial stout: Heavy, complex ale; slightly sweet with hints of coffee and chocolate. Its bitterness comes from roasted barley.

India pale ale (IPA): Spicy, highly-hopped beer brewed for export from England to the British colonies in India in the 1700s; its high alcohol content helped it survive the long sea voyage from England to Calcutta, and no doubt helped keep British soldiers happy in the heat, as well.

international bitterness unit (IBU): A measure of a beer’s bitterness. Specifically, the IBU is a unit of weight equal to one part per million (ppm) of an alpha acid called isohumulone, the bittering agent in hops, in the finished beer. Different varieties of hops contain and release different amounts of isohumulone. Most beers are in the 16 IBU range, but can be as high as 72.

kolsch: French (from Cologne) ale, similar to altbier, but pale and slightly fruitier.

kriek: This ale wins points for being fun to ask for in a bar. Made with cherries (kreik) and unmalted wheat for a tart, fresh, fruity flavor.

lager: “Bottom-fermented” beer; i.e., beer brewed at cooler temperatures to allow fermentation to occur at the bottom of the beer. Lagers tend to be more delicately flavored, lighter, crisper and clearer than ales. Examples of lagers include pilsner and oktoberfest.

lambic: Dry, tart ale made with unmalted wheat and malted barley; usually has a sweet fruit flavoring such as cranberry, cherry (kriek) or raspberry (framboise). Traditionally fermented with wild airbourne yeast in Belgium’s Senne Valley.

light beer: Beer brewed to have fewer calories and a lighter body. Alcohol, with 7.1 calories per gram, is the major calorie contributor in beer, so brewers add water to reduce alcohol content or use a special enzyme to change the unfermentable dextrins into fermentable sugars, thus allowing the addition of even more water without diluting alcohol content so much. Usually quite bland.

malt: Malt is to beer what grapes are to wine – it gives beer its color, flavor and body. Malt is made by steeping a grain (usually barley or wheat) in water until it starts to sprout and then drying and roasting it to convert the starch to fermentable sugar. The grain and roasting technique used in the malt affect the flavor and character of the finished product – dark beers, for example, use a portion of malt that has been roasted or dried at very high temperatures.

malt liquor: Malt liquors are technically lagers, but the beer is fermented more thoroughly to convert more of the extract to alcohol, producing a strong, smooth, pale beer and a fast buzz.

microbrewery: By strict definition, a “micro” brewery is one that produces fewer than 15,000 barrels per year. For our purposes, the microbrewery genre includes some breweries that surpass that output, but maintain the hand-crafted microbrewery ethic.

Munchner: Lager also known as “helles”, or “pale” lager. Malty, sweet and dark, despite its name. Originated in Munich, Germany.

oatmeal stout:This ale is a variation of sweet stout, with oatmeal added for a smooth texture and warm flavor. Oatmeal stout was once prescribed to nursing mothers in Britain, and is the favorite drink of my 90-pound mother-in-law, proving that stout isn’t just for crane operators and dockhands.

oktoberfest Smooth, drinkable lager with slight malty sweetness. Before the days of refrigeration, oktoberfests were brewed with a high alcohol content so they could be preserved in caves from March till fall.

original gravity (og): A measure of the density of the wort before the yeast is added; shows the fermentable sugar content available to be converted into alcohol by the yeast, which will affect the strength of the final product. An og of 1.020, for example, means there are 20 units of fermentable matter (malt, etc.) in 1000 units of water.

pale ale: Brisk, subtly spicy, hoppy, refreshing ale. “Named in England,” one source says, “in the days when achieving a translucent ale was a novelty.”

pilsner: Dry, carbonated golden lager originally from Plzen, which is now part of the Czech Republic.

porter: Complex, dark, strongly flavored ale which takes its name from the dockhands it was originally brewed for. Similar to stout but without the bitterness.

rauchbier: Lager brewed with malt which has been smoked over a beechwood fire (“rauch” means “smoke” in German), giving it a strong smoky aroma and flavor. Similar to oktoberfest, but smoother and heavier.

Reinheitsgebot: The German Purity Law of 1516, which decrees that beer should contain only malt, hops, yeast and water (as opposed to rice, corn, chemicals and other things that sometimes find their way into mass-produced beer). Many microbreweries voluntarily brew to these standards.

Scotch ale: Rich, malty ale, full-bodied (almost chewy) and faintly sweet. Also known as “wee heavy”.

seasonal: Beer brewed and sold only at a particular time of year, such as a winter holiday ale or a spring bock.

specialty ale: Ale brewed by fermenting beer with unusual ingredients such as pumpkin, chiles, various herbs and spices, etc.

Standard Reference Method (SRM): Measure of the color of beer.

steam beer: Highly-hopped, foamy lager popularized during the California Gold Rush. The name comes, depending on whom you ask, either from the hissing pressure wooden casks of the stuff made when tapped or from the steam power used in the early breweries. Either way, Anchor Brewing Co. has trademarked the term “steam beer”, so this style is now known as California Common Beer.

stout: This ale is just what its name sounds like – dark, sturdy, and strong. See also dry stout, oatmeal stout and sweet stout.

sweet stout: Dark, thick, soft, sweet ale with hints of chocolate and coffee. “A beer enthusiast’s answer to good port.”

top fermentation: The ancient method of brewing, where yeast ferments at room temperature and floats to the top of the beer. Top fermenting produces ales, which tend to be malty, complex, sometimes a little fruity.

Trappist ale: Strong, fruity, yeasty ale brewed by Trappist monks since the Middle Ages. Only beer brewed at a Trappist monastery can bill itself as “Trappist Ale”.

two-row barley: Type of barley with only two rows of grains on its stem (most barley grown in America has six rows). Two-row barley produces less protein and converts less starch in the brewing process than six-row, resulting in a clearer beer.

Vienna: Reddish, somewhat fruity lager introduced in the 1800s as Vienna’s answer to pilsner. Grandfather of amber ale.

wheat beer: Light, bubbly, spicy ale brewed with malted wheat rather than barley for a fruity flavor. Also known as weisse (white) or weizen (wheat) beer.

white beer (witbier): Smooth, cloudy Belgian ale brewed with unmalted wheat. Some people taste spicy/fruity overtones like orange and coriander.

wort: Sort of the proto-beer, the wort is the mixture of malt, water and hops to which yeast is added before the whole mess is fermented.

Urban Myths & Legends


linkThree Mates decided to drive home in their Toyota Landcruiser last Monday after a few ( too many ) beers – at about 10pm in Katherine ( Western Australia ).

They were pulled over: the driver was tested, failed ( at 0.267 – 5 times the limit ) and taken to the police station. His mates were advised to lock up the car and find an alternative method by which to get home.

Three and a half hours later ( 1:30am ), the second of the team was picked up in the same vehicle. Tested, failed ( 0.11 ) and taken to the station. His mate was left at the car, told to lock it and get home safely.

Half an hour later, you guessed it, the last man standing – or driving – of that small group was pulled over – in the same neighbourhood. Tested, failed (0.162) and taken off to the station. The police say that this is a rarity and they cannot believe that the last guy was so dumb as to drive on after seeing his first 2 mates done fro drink driving.


Some of our parents may remember when Corona stumbled in its fast charge to the top of the import ladder. In the late 1980s, there was a rumor spreading in the West that brewery workers in Mexico were, well…urinating into the tanks of Corona that were destined for the U.S. market.

It was ridiculous, it was revolting, it was racist, but it was effective: Corona sales were seriously affected by the rumor. Barton Brands, the brand’s west-of-the-Mississippi importer, decided they had to take action when stores in Nevada started taking the beer off their shelves.

Barton hired private investigators to trace the rumor to its source. The seemingly hopeless objective struck paydirt: the rumor had been created and spread by a Heineken wholesaler in Reno! Barton sued, and settled when the wholesaler agreed to print a full-page ad admitting their part in the rumor and denying that it was true. Barton quickly got the news out, company executives hit the talk-show circuits, and the damage was controlled.

THE METALLICA CONCERT ( 1998 Urban Legend )

(1996) Police in George, WA issued a report on the events leading up to the deaths of Robert Uhlenake, 24, and his friend, Ormond D. Young, 27, at a Friday night Metallica concert.

Uhlenake and Young were found dead at the Gorge Amphitheater after the show. Uhlenake was in pickup that was on top of Young at the bottom of a 20-ft drop. Young was found with severe lacerations, numerous fractures, contusions, and a branch in his anal cavity. He also had been stabbed and his pants were in a tree above him, some 15 ft off the ground, adding to the mystery of the scene.

According to Commissioner-In-Charge Inoye Appleton, Uhlenake and Young had tried to get tickets for the sold-out concert. When they were unable to get any tickets, the two decided to stay in the parking lot and drink. Once the show began, and after the two had consumed 18 beers between them, they hit upon the idea of scaling the 7-foot wooden security fence around the perimeter of the site and sneak in.

They apparently moved the truck up to the edge of the fence and decided that Young would go over first and assist Uhlenake. They did not count on the fact that, while it was a 7-foot fence on the parking lot side, there was a 23-foot drop on the other side.

Young, who weighed 255 lbs. and was quite inebriated, jumped up and over the fence and promptly fell about half the distance before a large tree branch broke his fall and his left forearm. He also managed to get his shorts caught on the branch. Since he was now in great pain and had no way to extricate himself and his shorts from the tree, he decided to cut his shorts off and fall to the bushes below.

As soon as he cut the last bit of fabric holding him on the branch, he suddenly plummeted the rest of the way down, losing his grip on the knife. The bushes he had depended on to break his fall were actually holly bushes, and landing in them caused a massive number of cuts. He also had the misfortune of landing squarely on a holly bush branch, effectively impaling himself. The knife, which he had accidentally released 15 feet up, now landed and stabbed him in his left thigh. He was in tremendous pain.

Enter his friend Robert Uhlenake.

Uhlenake had observed the series of tumbles and realized that Young was in trouble. He hit upon the idea of lowering a rope to his friend and pulling him up and over the fence. This was complicated by the fact that Uhlenake was outweighed by his friend by a good 100 lbs. Happily, despite his drunken state, he realized he could use their truck to pull Young out. Unfortunately, because of his drunken state, Uhlenake put the truck in reverse rather than into drive. He broke through the fence and landed on Young, killing him. Uhlenake was thrown from the truck and subsequently died of internal injuries.

“So that’s how a dead 255 lb. man with no pants on, with a truck on top of him and a stick up his ass, came to be” said Commissioner Appleton.

DUMB DRUNK ( Feb 2001 )

A woman in Connecticut USA arrested on a drunken driving charge made an odd choice when calling a for a ride home. Sandra called on Mike, her drinking companion prior to her arrest, who was visibly drunk when he staggered into police headquarters.

Mike failed a sobriety test. More surprisingly, a routine background check revealed that Sandra had previously obtained a restraining order against him. Sgt. Alan Fournier said, “We can’t allow him to come into contact with her, even if she says it’s okay.” Mike was charged with violating a restraining order and driving while intoxicated.

One question remains — was Sandra or Mike more foolish?

THE SMOKING GUN 2002 Darwin Award Nominee

Two drunks were goofing around, when one challenged the other to shoot him with cigarette butts “to see what it would feel like.” His friend obligingly loaded a gun with three cigarette butts, placing ammunition behind the butts to make sure they left the barrel of the gun. He then shot his friend from a distance of seven feet. The friend who issued the challenge died of two cigarette butts to the head, and one to the heart.