Selected Digest – May 2019

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May 2019: The Best of the beverage industry.

the rise of “Luckin Coffee,” the Chinese answer to Starbucks; the serious slip-up on the set of Game of Thrones; the brewer who struck a wrong note; arsenic-laced Dr Pepper; California’s undrinkable tap water; and the whisky that is worth much more than its weight in gold...



It Wasn’t Me!


In case you missed it, a Starbucks cup was apparently “overlooked” during filming of an episode of the famous series Game of Thrones. All the actors are currently passing the (Star)buck for this blunder, the blame for which should perhaps more fairly be laid at the door of stage managers or script supervisors.

Still, it’s worth remembering that this kind of incident happens quite a lot in the world of film and TV, and the magic of the seventh art is quite capable of erasing the anachronistic intrusion during postproduction ... the question currently being asked in specialist circles is: was it actually a huge publicity stunt for the American takeaway coffee giant? For the actors accused of being negligent, there’s just one clear answer: it wasn’t me!


The Chinese “Starbucks” Making Waves for the Original


We’re all familiar with the Chinese propensity to imitate everything ... and we’re far from unaware that the Chinese market is on its way to becoming one of the biggest in the world. Luckin Coffee, a takeaway coffee chain that’s one of Starbucks’ competitors, has set up in its homeland, China, and is seriously ruffling the American giant’s feathers. Some of you might be wondering why. Do we need to remind you that the Chinese always prefer the (Chinese) copy to the (foreign) original? It all just comes down to economic patriotism ...


The Brewer Who Struck a Wrong Note


If you thought an international rock group would let you brew a beer in its name without a murmur, it’s perhaps time to acknowledge your lack of business sense. Guns N’ Roses, the famous American rock group have started legal proceedings against the Canarchy Craft Brewing Collective who thought they could bring out a beer called “Guns ‘N’ Rosé” without anything to fear by way of legal thunderbolts from the band, made up of Axl Rose (singer), Slash (lead guitarist), and Duff McKagan (bassist), who see it as causing significant harm to their image.


Arsenic-Laced Dr Pepper


Could the famous drink, Dr Pepper, be poisoning its customers with arsenic? A worrying report has shown that bottles of water stamped with the logo “Keurig Dr Pepper” seem to contain an excessive level of arsenic. They apparently come from bottling plants in Mexico. The firm has indicated that it will conduct its own investigations and stop production for two weeks.


To Your Good Health!


The contaminated water affair in the US has taken a new turn. A Californian study suggests that the various contaminants found in tap water in the state of California may be a contributory factor in more than 15,500 cases of cancer. Besides arsenic and a number of chemical elements, it seems the US public water supply contains hexavalent chromium (which is extremely toxic) as well as radioactive elements, such as radium and uranium.


Game of Thrones’ Wine Is French


A fan of the series living in the Bordeaux region wanted to recreate Tyrion Lannister’s favourite tipple: “Dornish Wine.” Although the series producers congratulated the winegrower on his initiative, he has been ordered to stop production; he has, however, been given the go-ahead to sell his existing stock.

The actors and the author of the book the series is based on were still able to taste the vintage, as the French winegrower was good enough to send them the last bottles, which have now become collector items for the cult series.


The Dude Builds Bridges


Jeff Bridges is the Dude, the one, the only, the real deal. During the last Superbowl, Big Lebowski fans thought they were witnessing the Dude’s return to the big screen when they saw him praising the qualities of a well-known Dutch beer and abandoning the “white Russian” (a vodka-based cocktail) that fans of the Coen brothers’ cult film know he usually favours. This time, Jeff Bridges is using his own name to declare his liking for Amstel Beer. “Bridges,” the bridge ... Watch the clip and you’ll understand!


A Glass of Whisky Worth More than Gold


If this whisky could be turned into gold, it would be worth much more than its own weight in the precious metal. A bottle of The Dalmore L’Anima sold for $140,000. The rare item had been aged for almost half a century ... And, let’s not forget that all profits from the sale, organized by the famous Italian chef Massimo Bottura and Scotland’s master distiller Richard Paterson, go to an international organization fighting hunger and food waste.


The Whisky of the Future


Microsoft, known for its many mainstream software programs and operating systems, has decided to turn its hand to distillation using digital vapours. Artificial intelligence is going to discover the algorithm that can find the ultimate  spirit mix from a selection of 70 million possible alcoholic combinations. If predictions about artificial intelligence end up fulfilling the worst fictional scenarios, we can only hope there will be enough humans left on earth to properly appreciate the final nectar.  

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