Summit beer and candy help G8 marketing drive

4th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

4 June 2007, Heiligendamm, Germany (dpa) - A beer brewed specially for the G8 summit is proving a big hit as this Baltic Sea resort gets ready to welcome leaders of the world's major industrial democracies and Russia. Some 10,000 litres of the amber liquid known as bock beer have been produced by a local brewery as the region around Heiligendamm seeks to profit from the summit. Called Summit Bock, or Gipfelbock in German, the beer has an alcohol content of 6.8 per cent, around 40 per cent stronger than reg

4 June 2007

Heiligendamm, Germany (dpa) - A beer brewed specially for the G8 summit is proving a big hit as this Baltic Sea resort gets ready to welcome leaders of the world's major industrial democracies and Russia.

Some 10,000 litres of the amber liquid known as bock beer have been produced by a local brewery as the region around Heiligendamm seeks to profit from the summit.

Called Summit Bock, or Gipfelbock in German, the beer has an alcohol content of 6.8 per cent, around 40 per cent stronger than regular brews sold in Germany.

Half of the production has already been snapped up ahead of the three-day G8 gathering that begins on Wednesday.

"We've sold 5,000 one-litre bottles so far," says Ulrich Langer, head of the Kuehlungsborn Brewery in the small town where the press centre housing the journalists covering the G8 is located.

"Our best customers are the policemen who've come from all over Germany to protect the summit. They're buying the beer to take home as a souvenir," says Langer, who said he'll be brewing more.

Costing 5 euros (6.70 dollars) per bottle, the beer almost got Langer into trouble because of its label showing a billy-goat chewing on the flags of the G8 nations.

"One day the police were at my door because somebody had filed a complaint that the label was supposedly hostile to the summit. Even the intelligence service was involved," he said.

"But I've heard nothing since," said the brewer, one of a number of local manufacturers hoping to capitalize on the summit, the cost of which for the German taxpayer is estimated at 100 million euros.

For those with a sweet tooth, the de Prie confectionery company in the city of Rostock is offering boxes of G8 chocolates.

"We have a wide assortment, ranging from harmless varieties such as butter cream chocolates, to stronger ones with caraway schnapps and chili flavours," says owner Ulrich Deprie.

Rostock was the scene of violent clashes on Saturday between police and anti-globalization protesters. But Langer hopes that peaceful demonstrators will find their way to his store.

"Even G8 opponents like chocolate," he said, adding that they could buy his products with a clear conscience. "The G8 chocolates come from eco-friendly organic production that is in line with fair trade practices," Langer said.

For others, there is a special G8 pack of assorted meats produced by the company that is supplying summit participants with dishes of wild game.

"Our special pack of cold cuts gives the man on street the chance to sample what the heads of state and government will be getting from us," said Rose Stauven, manager of the Mecklenburger Fleischwaren GmbH.

The pack contains slices of wild boar - included because US President George W Bush got such enjoyment from eating roast pig at a barbecue Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted for him when he stayed at Heiligendamm a year ago.

Restaurants in Rostock, 15 kilometres from the summit venue, are offering a range of traditional dishes from the G8 countries - Germany, the US, Canada, Japan, Italy, France, Britain and Russia.

In addition to German bratwurst and sauerkraut, there is fish 'n' chips from Britain and Beef Stroganoff à la Putin from Russia.

But these dishes were unavailable in parts of the city on Saturday when many fast-food stores and restaurants closed because of the violence.

But McDonald's and Subway sandwich bars stayed open and did a roaring trade. Most of the clientele were riot police and protesters who queued patiently together to be served, media reports said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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