Well, I'm back to work after a week's vacation in the mountains of West Virginia, where I had very limited access to the Internet, so there's a ton of news to catch up on. Here are some interesting beer stories:

-- The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports on the first tapping of the season of Great Lakes Christmas Ale. "We think it's a Cleveland treasure," Don Paulson, whose family won a contest to get the first taste, told the newspaper. "The first pour is really smooth, and the flavors blend well." To read the full story, click here.

-- The website Drink Up Columbus reports that Hoof Hearted Brewing and the rock band EYE have collaborated on a new brew called Cultrider Black Rye IPA. "A couple of our beers were already inspired by heavy metal music but we wanted to take it a step further and work directly with a band that we really admired," Hoof Hearted tells the site. To read the full story, click here.

-- The Cleveland Jewish News reports that the new Granite City Food & Brewery restaurant plans to open Nov. 6 at Legacy Village in Lyndhurst, a Cleveland suburb. To read the full report, click here.

-- Samuel Adams in Boston and Schlafly Beer in St. Louis are betting on the World Series. The Boston brewer (which has a brewery in Cincinnati) has wagered two cases of Boston Lager and a lobster dinner against Schlafly Pale Ale and ribs. To read more about the bet, click here.To -- --

-- The Florida Times-Union asked local beer judges to sample the new Budweiser brews, including the one made in Columbus. The response was underwhelming. To read the full report, click here.

-- The Huffington Post reports on a beer called Snake Venom that is 67.5 percent alcohol by volume, making it the world's strongest beer. It's made by Brewmeister from Scotland. To read the full report, click here.

-- CNBC reports on the sale of Boulevard Brewing to Duvel. "The reality for many craft brewers is that after years of work and growth, their equity is still tied up in the brewing facilities and infrastructure they have worked so hard to build," the news channel says. To read the full story, click here. 

-- A company has launched beer-flavored ice cream called Frozen Pints. "One pint of Frozen Pints ice cream is equal to one pint of beer -- so you would have to eat a lot of ice cream to get drunk," founder Ari Fleischer says. To read the full story, click here. 

-- The Baltimore Sun reports on a former French sheep herder who now brews at the Peabody Heights Brewery. "The smell of the barn, the muffled sounds of the herd resting at night and the peaceful feeling of taking good care of my animals was my reward," Patrick Beille told the newspaper. "But I surely needed some more palpable rewards to live off." To read the full story, click here.

-- The Herald Sun in Melbourne, Australia, reports on five alcohol myths, including the one that says if you drink coffee, it'll sober you up. To read the others, click here.

-- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on a beer vendor at Busch Stadium who is donating his tips during the World Series to the family of a 7-year-old boy who was killed in a house fire. To read the full story, click here. To donate, click here.



o T--