Starbucks wants to Irish up your coffee

And by that, we mean beat you senselessly with a shillelagh. No, no, no, of course we don’t mean that. Well, at least for the most part.

Starbucks, the famous coffee giant, has always been in the flavored coffee business, but now, they’re looking to jump into the flavored coffee with flavor business. Having tested the plan here and there in a few Seattle and Portland stores, locations in Atlanta and Southern California will, over the year, have their menu expanded to include items such as beer and wine. Oh sure, there’ll be new food items as well, but pffft, why fill up your stomach with food when you can fill it up with more booze?

The Octoberfest Report

And now a recap from the world’s second greatest drinking event of the year (right behind the day after Christmas): Octoberfest.

The main event, Munich, was the true success story this year. The 6.9 million visitors set a new record, consuming 7.5 million liters (1.65 million gallons) of beer, or one Shamu tank. That only works out to over 1 liter (or less than a quarter gallon) per person, but some of them were probably children who are famous for getting very drunk on very little.

But even more surprising is that, despite drinking more, there were only 58 recorded brawls in which fighters wielded their giant beer steins as weapons. Looks like their priorities — and hearts — were in the right place.

This year was also the first wet Octoberfest for the small Alabama town of Cullman. Located an hour from Huntsville, the city has anually celebrated Octoberfest since 1977 even though they had never repealed their Prohibition era laws against alcohol. Until this year. We don’t have any numbers from their event, but we can only assume they also had fewer fights with the addition of any alcohol.

That’s just math, people.

Russians drink beer and piss all over it

Russians faced a conundrum that only President Dmitry Medvedev could resolve. Russian law stated that anything with less than 10% alcohol was merely foodstuff, but even then only barely if you didn’t wrestle it yourself.

But then they started importing beer. They served it all hours of the day. They sold it to minors. They marketed as a healthy alternative to vodka and other spirits, just like we’ve been telling you for years. (Except liquor is good for, like, body builders and s@%t.)

So, Medvedev signed a law that officially classifies beer as alcohol with all the rules and taxes that implies.

Oh my god. It was the perfect world. All this time, it was … You finally really did it.

Take me to your brewer

The Space Shuttle program is coming to a close. While a lot of you out there might not care, you should, and here’s why: Not going into space means you can’t enjoy space beer.

We told you about how Sapporo Breweries grew barley from grains taken into space, but now, 4 Pines Brewing, of Australia, has come up with a beer designed for enjoyment by space tourists. They are saying with a straight face that even though zero gravity makes your tongue swell up a bit, affecting your sense of taste, the flavor of the beer will make its way through.

They say the altitude makes you get drunk faster on a plane, so maybe a single beer in space is enough to get smashed.

Editor’s note: Ever feel like all of our “That Whacky Australia” stuff is de facto “Booze News?”

Drink a piece of history

Some time in the early 19th century a ship was sailing across the Baltic Sea, bringing its cargo of champagne to the thirsty citizens on the distant shore. Only something went wrong, and the ship sank, taking the beloved booze with it.

Today, you can own a bottle of the oldest champagne around. The shipwreck was found last fall and bottles of champagne (and beer) were found, and as we called it all those months ago, the hootch is now up for auction! We don’t know about the beer and the other bottles, but two bottles of champagne will be up for auction in June, so get your wallets ready, drunkards.

The end of The End of History

It only took a week, and the reign of The End of History is over.

As we reported last week, the world’s strongest beer had been brewed, mounted in dead animals and sold out in mere hours last week. It broke the 100-proof barrier for beer, clocking in at an astounding 55 percent alcohol.

In a direct response, a Dutch brewer–‘t Koelschip (The Refrigerated Ship)–has pushed the envelope to 60 percent with Start the Future.

Someone somewhere (probably monks in Belgium) is bidding their time, waiting to unleash an 80 percent sipping beer called Future’s History.

And we don’t want to even think about what they’re cooking up in CERN.

Take that, Jäger stag!

Whenever our War on Animals and Booze News coverage intersect, the results are usually tragic, though still hilarious.

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.

And “happy ending” is a fitting description of The End of History, a limited edition beer from Scottish company BrewDog. The beer itself is 55-percent alcohol and each bottle is inside of a stuffed animal.

Not Winnie-the-Pooh-stuffed animals. Taxidermist-stuffed animals.

Unfortunately, if you hoped to snag one to toast the end of the War on Animals, you’ll have to pry it out of the cold dead hands of some beer snob collector. The £500 bottles sold out within hours.

What else are they supposed to do?

In Canada, a controversy brewed when video of a 10-year-old age group hockey team showed several members of the team drinking beer. What’s shocking is that 10 is not the legal age to drink in Canada.

Apparently, the country does not believe that beer after a hockey game is what should be going on for these kids. If it isn’t, then what was the women’s Olympic team doing after they won the gold medal?

Don’t thank heaven quite so quickly

This week, convenience-store chain 7-Eleven announced it would begin carrying its own budget brand of beers, dubbed Game Day. They’ve gotten into the wine business before, but this is new. Is 7-Eleven angling to be your low-cost craft-beer salvation?

Nooooooot exactly. As expected, the decision was driven less by a desire to sell great brews than the bottom line. Beer purchases in convenience stores dipped 4 percent last year, according to research group SymphonyIRI — nearly double domestic beer sales’ 2.2 percent decline.

But the silver lining is that purchases of horrid disgusting loser “sub-premium” beers (Keystone Light, Natural Light) actually ticked up. Customers haven’t stopped drinking. They just want to pay less for a buzz.

Sometimes this gambit pays off, such as the medal-winning Mission Street pale ales and IPAs that California’s Firestone Walker brews for Trader Joe’s. But brand-wise, Trader Joe’s sits on a slightly more elevated plane than a convenience store selling unnaturally glistening, endlessly rotating hot dogs.