Category Archives: Booze in the news

Czechs Ban Liquor

A strange story this weekend: the Czech Republic on Friday announced a full, national ban on any alcoholic beverage over 20% abv — namely, any hard spirit. The problem, which began a couple of weeks ago, is with bootleg liquor, some of which contains methanol, which is toxic to humans. So far, 20 people have died, and 36 are in critical condition.

I can’t quite understand the rationale for a blanket ban; the government says that bootleg spirits are often sold as legitimate product, which would mean it’s hard to know the true quality of that bottle of Absolut you just bought at a Prague shop. Here’s a telling detail, though:

The BBC’s Rob Cameron in Prague says that with the number of reported deaths slowing, attention is focusing on saving those who survived drinking the tainted alcohol and finding those who bottled it in the first place.

So the idea is: prevent future poisonings, care for those afflicted, and track down the culprits. A full ban still seems like an overreaction to me, though.

The ban is expected to be temporary, but no Czech officials are speculating yet as to when it may be lifted.

Poland has now taken the step of banning spirits imports from the Czech Republic.

Thus far, police have failed to locate the source of the tainted hooch.

Hundred Year Hooch in Man’s Attic

Century-Old Whiskey Bottles Found in Missouri Man’s Attic

To save money on the installation of central air-conditioning in his St. Joseph, Mo., home, Bryan Fite began replacing the wires in his attic, prying up the floor boards on the rafters. Along with possible savings, he found a treasure beneath the floorboards: 13 bottles of century-old whiskey.

[Warning: there's an Auto-Play video at the link; very annoying]

Ads of the Week: Beeeeeeer

I meant to post this just prior to Mother’s Day, but you know how life can be…

The New-York Historical Society Museum and Library is hosting an exhibition on the history of brewing in New York. Prior to Prohibition, NY had a thriving brewing industry, with vast plants in Brooklyn (we lived down the street from a former brewery site in Bushwick), Queens, and even Manhattan.

The museum’s Tumblr is posting images from the exhibit, including some great old advertisements. For more on the exhibit, here’s a piece from the WSJ.

The exhibit opens today, May 25, and runs through September 2.

L.I.R.R. to Ban Alcohol on Late-Night Weekend Trains

The notion of enjoying a cold one aboard a rush-hour commuter train leaving Manhattan may seem like a time-honored tradition, evoking visions of communal bar cars or perhaps a cocktail hour spent in solitude at one’s seat. But after midnight on weekends, the specter of alcohol aboard Long Island Rail Road trains carries a far more malevolent overtone; passengers described them as the “drunk trains,” characterized by fights and boisterous behavior. In March, passengers were accused of attacking two conductors.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/24/nyregion/lirr-to-ban-alcohol-on-late-night-weekend-trains.html