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Six Pack: Beer Buzz of the Week

Friday, 27 Jul 2012 | 3:25 PM ET

Six things that have consumers buzzing in the world of beer, wine and spirits as we head into the weekend:

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1. London Pubs Hope for Olympic Boost: The summer of 2012 has not turned out the way London pub owners had hoped. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Euro 2012 football championshipwere expected to provide a boost in advance of the Olympic Games. But then came the rains, with London experiencing one of the wettest summers on record, causing many consumers to stay home. London pub owner and brewer Fuller, Smith & Turner says sales in the 15 weeks leading up to July 14 actually fell 1.1 percent from the prior year. The influx of Olympic visitors should certainly provide a boost and pub owners may also receive a bump in sales from local residents: British transportation officials have suggested commuters “stop and have a pint of beer” in order to avoid Olympic delays during the games.

2. Olympic Ale: London first hosted the games in 1908 and U.K. brewer Camden Town Brewery is recreating a beer from that time to mark the occasion. The brewery discovered a recipe from 1908 in its archives and has spent the last year working to recreate it. “We took the 1908 recipe, looked at it and worked out what the ingredients would have been like and found some modern alternatives," Camden Town Brewery spokesman Mark Dredge told Reuters. The result is “1908 Pale Ale,” which features a 1908 Olympic high jumper on its label. About 650 limited edition bottles have been brewed.

3. Brew Dog's 'Performance Enhanced' Beer: It was never a question of "if," only a question of "what." Fans of the Scottish brewery Brew Dog knew the company would brew an Olympic-themed beer. This is after all, the same brewery that has released a number of outlandish themed beers including“Royal Virility Performance,”a beer marketed as being laced with Viagra in honor of Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton in 2011. Now, the brewery is introducing a beer called “Never Mind the Anabolics.”According to the press release, the limited edition IPA-style beer contains “creatine, guarana, lycii berries, kola nut, Gingko, matcha tea, maca powder and steroids — all of which are banned for professional athletes.” On the company’s website, “steroids” is left off the ingredient list, but regardless it’s another masterful marketing ploy for the brewery.

4. London 2012 – The Wine: The 2012 Olympics will break a lot of new ground in areas like such streaming video content and social media. It’s also the first Olympic Games to havea line of “Official Wines.” Three styles of wine are being made available through London-based distributor Bibendum: a red, (Shiraz Tempranillo, from Brazil), a white, (Henin Blanc from South Africa) and rosé a (Stellenbosch from South Africa.) Close to one million bottles are being provided and the wines will be the only wine option available at all official 2012 Olympic venues including the Olympic Park. “Mini-bottles” will cost £4.50 (US$7) A limited amount of full size bottles will cost approximately £20 (US$31.50)

5. A Beer From All Continents:Coca-Colamay want to buy the world a Coke, but UK-based brewer Adnams wants to brew the world a beer. The brewery is getting into the Olympic spirit by creating a limited edition beer using ingredients sourced from the five continents competing in the Olympic Games. Called the Flame Runner, the brew features malted barley from Europe, hops from Australasia and spices from Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Fans of Delaware-based Dogfish Head Brewery will be familiar with the “continent” concept. The brewery has previously released, Pangea, a beer which sourced ingredients from all seven continents.

6. From Free Beer To Olympic Athlete: Viewers of the Olympic Games may wonder what it takes to become an Olympic athlete. In the case of Canadian rower Derek O'Farrell it was the promise of free beer. O’Farrell, who will be competing in his first Olympic games, was a student pursuing a science degree at McGill University when he began rowing. On campus one day O’Farrell was a handed a flyer promising a free beer for anyone that tried out for the rowing team. Motivated by the free beer as much as the curiosity about a sport he had never tried, O’Farrell gave rowing a shot, made the team and the rest is Olympic history.

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com. Follow Tom Rotunno on Twitter @tomrotunno.

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