Green Mountain Coffee completes $250 million sale to Lavazza, SEC requests documents

first_imgGreen Mountain Coffee Roasters finally acquires Diedrich Coffee …May 12, 2010 … Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc has announced that it has acquired Diedrich Coffee, Inc. (NASDAQ: DDRX) for $35 per share of common … Green Mountain Coffee ranks #2 on Fortune’s global 100 fastest …Aug 19, 2010 … For the second consecutive year, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR), of Waterbury, Vermont, has been ranked on Fortune’s … Green Mountain Coffee declares three-for-one stock split, earnings …Apr 28, 2010 … Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a three-for-one stock split to … Green Mountain Coffee Roasters sees sales soar | Vermont Business …Jan 15, 2010 … Green Mountain Coffee Roasters ‘ based in Waterbury ‘ had a fairly …Also purchased this year was Timothy’s World Coffee from Toronto for … Green Mountain Coffee Roasters announces $250 million common stock …Aug 11, 2010 … As a leader in the specialty coffee industry, Green Mountain CoffeeRoasters, Inc. is recognized for its award-winning coffees, … According to a Form 8-K report to the Securities & Exchange Commission Tuesday, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc completed a sale of 8,566,649 shares of its common stock, par value $0.10 per share, to Luigi Lavazza S.p.A., an Italian corporation, for an aggregate purchase price of $250 million. The Waterbury company employs 1,010 in Vermont and more than 2,000 system-wide. It has been in a buying spree lately on the West Coast and in Canada as its stock price has climbed and sales of Keurig-brand single cup serving systems has taken off. The company reported in the same filing that the SEC had requested certain documents, which GMCR believes is related to ” certain revenue recognition practices and the Company’s relationship with one of its fulfillment vendors.” It declined to comment further on the SEC request, other than to say it was cooperating fully. However, its stock price fell on the news 16 percent to $31.06. Its 52-week high is $37.97 and its 52-week low is $19.85. I was at $31.30 late Thursday. http://investor.gmcr.com/stockquote.cfm(link is external)The sale of the Shares to Lavazza was effected pursuant to the Common Stock Purchase Agreement, dated as of August 10, 2010, by and between the Company and Lavazza. The execution of the SPA was previously reported by the Company in its Current Report on Form 8-K filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 11, 2010, and the full text of the SPA was filed as Exhibit 10.1 thereto. In connection with the closing of the sale of the Shares, the Company and Lavazza entered into a Registration Rights Agreement, dated as of September 28, 2010 (the ‘RRA’).Pursuant to the terms of the RRA, after the first anniversary of the date of the RRA or the earlier occurrence of specified triggering events, Lavazza will have a demand, Form S-3 registration right with respect to the Shares then held by Lavazza and other Common Stock or other securities convertible into or exchangeable for Common Stock acquired by Lavazza in accordance with the terms of the SPA (collectively, the ‘Registrable Securities’). In addition, after the first anniversary of the date of the RRA, Lavazza will have a piggyback registration right to have the Registrable Securities then held by Lavazza included in a Company-effected registration, other than a registration relating to employee benefit plans or resulting from other specified corporate events. Lavazza’s demand and piggyback registration rights are subject to the limitations and conditions set forth in the RRA, including, with respect to underwritten offerings, customary underwriter cutbacks. The RRA also provides that all expenses (other than underwriting commissions, transfer taxes, fees of Lavazza’s counsel and similar fees and commissions) incurred in connection with any registration that is subject to the exercise of Lavazza’s registration rights will generally be borne by the Company, and contains other customary provisions, including those relating to indemnification.Item 2.02 Results of Operations and Financial Condition.The information in Item 7.01 of this Current Report on Form 8-K is incorporated by reference into this Item 2.02.Item 3.02 Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities.To the extent required by Item 3.02 of Form 8-K, the information contained or incorporated in Item 1.01 of this Form 8-K is incorporated by reference into this Item 3.02. Exemption from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the ‘Securities Act’), for the sale of the Shares to Lavazza was based on Section 4(2) of the Securities Act.Item 7.01 Regulation FD Disclosure.In connection with its acquisition of LJVH Holdings, Inc., or Van Houtte, a leading gourmet coffee brand in Canada in the home and office channels, and the marketing of the associated $1.35 billion debt financing, the Company hereby furnishes the following information:Intercompany adjustment correctionIn connection with the preparation of its financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter, the Company’s management discovered an immaterial accounting error relating to the margin percentage it had been using to eliminate the inter-company markup in its K-Cup inventory balance residing at its Keurig business unit. Management discovered that the gross margin percentage used to eliminate the inter-company markup resulted in a lower margin applied to the Keurig ending inventory balance effectively overstating consolidated inventory and understating cost of sales. Management determined that the accounting error arose during fiscal 2007 and analyzed the quantitative impact from that point forward to June 26, 2010.As of June 26, 2010, there is a cumulative $7.6 million overstatement of pre-tax income. Net of tax, the cumulative error resulted in a $4.4 million overstatement of net income or a $0.03 cumulative impact on earnings per share.After evaluating the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the error in accordance with applicable accounting literature, including Staff Accounting Bulletins published by the SEC, the Company, with the participation of the audit committee of the Board of Directors, has determined that the correction in the margin calculation represents a correction of an error in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification 250 Accounting Changes and Error Corrections, that the correction was not material to the fiscal years and the respective quarters ended 2007, 2008 and 2009 and that the Company anticipates that the correction will not be material to fiscal year 2010 and the respective quarters of fiscal 2010. As a result, the Company anticipates the cumulative amount of the accounting correction will be made in the quarter ended September 25, 2010.The Company does not intend to provide further updates regarding the correction of this error or the Company’s results for fiscal year 2010 until its fiscal 2010 fourth quarter earnings release and conference call. Additional details regarding the correction of this error will be provided in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 25, 2010.SEC inquiryOn September 20, 2010, the staff of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement informed the Company that it was conducting an inquiry and made a request for a voluntary production of documents and information. Based on the request, the Company believes the focus of the inquiry concerns certain revenue recognition practices and the Company’s relationship with one of its fulfillment vendors. The Company, at the direction of the audit committee of the Company’s board of directors, is cooperating fully with the SEC staff’s inquiry.Note Regarding Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements contained herein are not based on historical fact and are ‘forward-looking statements’ within the meaning of the applicable securities laws and regulations. Generally, these statements can be identified by the use of words such as ‘anticipate,’ ‘believe,’ ‘could,’ ‘estimate,’ ‘expect,’ ‘feel,’ ‘forecast,’ ‘intend,’ ‘may,’ ‘plan,’ ‘potential,’ ‘project,’ ‘should,’ ‘would,’ and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Owing to the uncertainties inherent in forward-looking statements, actual results could differ materially from those stated here. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the impact on sales and profitability of consumer sentiment in this difficult economic environment, the Company’s success in efficiently expanding operations and capacity to meet growth, the Company’s success in efficiently and effectively integrating Tully’s, Timothy’s, and Diedrich’s wholesale operations and capacity into its Specialty Coffee business unit, the Company’s success in introducing and producing new product offerings, the ability of lenders to honor their commitments under the Company’s credit facility, competition and other business conditions in the coffee industry and food industry in general, fluctuations in availability and cost of high-quality green coffee, any other increases in costs including fuel, Keurig’s ability to continue to grow and build profits with its roaster partners in the At Home and Away from Home businesses, the Company’s ability to continue to protect and enhance its intellectual property, the Company experiencing product liability, product recall and higher than anticipated rates of warranty expense or sales returns associated with a product quality or safety issue, the impact of the loss of major customers for the Company or reduction in the volume of purchases by major customers, delays in the timing of adding new locations with existing customers, the Company’s level of success in continuing to attract new customers, sales mix variances, weather and special or unusual events, the impact of the inquiry initiated by the SEC and any related or additional governmental investigative or enforcement proceedings, as well as other risks described more fully in the Company’s filings with the SEC. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s analysis as of the date of this Current Report on Form 8-K. The Company does not undertake to revise these statements to reflect subsequent developments, other than in its regular, quarterly earnings releases. Source: GMCR. September 28, 2010Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to acquire Van Houtte for $900 …Sep 14, 2010 … Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc (NASDAQ: GMCR) announced today that it has executed a Share Purchase Agreement pursuant to which GMCR … For more stories on Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, go towww.vermontbiz.comlast_img read more

Singas: Voters Looked Past ‘Partisan Glasses’ in Giving Her Decisive Victory

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York One day after Nassau County voters handed Madeline Singas a decisive victory in the spirited district attorney race, she said she felt “humbled” by the support from residents in her first successful election campaign.Singas, who has served as acting DA since January, attributed her success to her campaign’s message of prosecutorial experience resonating with voters, whom she said “rejected the notion of a political person, a political being, taking over an office that should remain steadfastly apolitical.”Singas acknowledged that she was the underdog in the race to the more seasoned political operator Kate Murray, but the results tell a different story, one that shocked political observers. She defeated Murray, the Hempstead Town Supervisor who chose to run for DA instead of defending her town seat, by a wide margin, 58 to 42 percent. The two contestants were separated by more than 32,000 votes, according to unofficial election results.“They (voters) wanted the best qualified person to do the job,” Singas told the Press in a phone interview. “And I always really ran this race on the fact that I was a professional and lifelong prosecutor, and that’s what I was bringing to the table.”“People weren’t viewing this through partisan glasses,” she added, “they wanted the best qualified person to do the job.”Singas declared victory shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday. Murray did not concede until after midnight.“I had a very good feeling leading up to Election Day,” she said, “just because I was out there so much and people were approaching me…and just saying how grateful they were to sort of have me in the race and have the experience and just how eager they were to vote for me.“Look, I’ve never been a candidate before,” she continued, “so for me it was something interesting anyway. But I just felt a lot of support out in every community that I went to and it translated into big votes and big numbers. I was very humbled by that.”Singas took over for her predecessor, Kathleen Rice, in January following Rice’s election to Congress. It was Rice who recruited Singas to the DA’s office. Singas eventually built up the Special Victim’s Bureau and was later named Rice’s chief assistant. They worked shoulder to shoulder, Singas said, adding that she was also running on her former boss’s legacy.As she looks forward to the next four years, Singas plans to continue policies dedicated to heroin prevention, such as educating school personnel and parents. She wants to aggressively investigate where the supply is and “choke” it off, while also going after the organizations saturating Nassau with the addictive drug. Her goal is to bolster resources into treatment and provide assistance to people fighting the addiction.“Ultimately,” she said, “if we don’t control the demand we’re not going to be able to control the supply, so that’s a crucial part of the equation.”Singas also reiterated her plan to expand her offices investigation into Nassau’s contract process into the county’s towns and cities, “so we can get a more global picture of what’s going on and make recommendations and figure out if there are other investigations that we need to be pursuing.”“But again,” she added, “I feel that Nassau taxpayers are entitled to know how their money is meted out, who it’s going to, what are the qualifications for the people that are getting these contracts, and if people were giving the contracts for reasons other than efficiency or for the public good. And [if] they broke laws, then they will be held accountable.”Singas declined to say whether or not subpoenas have been issued.And as for the major police unions, including the Nassau Police Benevolent Association, who backed Murray, Singas noted that it’s not in her personality to hold grudges.“That’s not who I am and that’s not what my position is,” she said. “I always said that the rank-and-file officers supported me because right after those endorsements came out I got numerous phone calls and messages and people stopping me in the street telling me how much they support me and how much they respect my experience, and I think that was demonstrated again with the big numbers in the vote.”,Alure cube,Alure cubelast_img read more

ThurstonTalk Seeking Local Writer

first_imgSubmit a resume in Word format to [email protected] 200 words (or less) about why you love your community. To apply: Proven experience creating error-free articles on deadlineAbility to interview and interface with local business ownersInterest in writing advertising and marketing materials as well as business articlesSkills to snap quick photographs during interviews to submit with storiesInitiative to pitch story ideas on a monthly basisSincere passion for sharing the positive stories happening in our community ThurstonTalk is expanding it’s writing team.  Join our 15 paid, professional writers.ThurstonTalk publishes positive stories about people, businesses and organizations doing good things in communities around Olympia, DuPont, Shelton and Elma.  Our stories are published online and distributed via social media to over 25,000 Facebook followers.  Our platform reaches more than 300,000 viewers each month – people that want to know about great things happening around us.Job Requirements:center_img Facebook7Tweet0Pin0 Please address any questions to [email protected]last_img read more

Barbaro still in the race for life

first_img“He’s a real genuine athlete; there’s no doubt about it,” Richardson said. “Even the way he woke up from anesthesia – he was very much the athlete waking up from general anesthesia. “Getting the horse up is a big step, but it is not the last step,” Richardson said. “Horses with this type of injury are very susceptible to lots of other problems, including infection at the site.” Horses are often euthanized after serious leg injuries because circulation problems and deadly disease are common if they are unable to distribute weight on all fours.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“I feel much more comfortable now,” trainer Michael Matz said afterward. “I feel at least he has a chance.” Unbeaten and a serious contender for the Triple Crown, Barbaro broke down Saturday only a few hundred yards into the 1 3-16-mile Preakness. The record crowd of 118,402 watched in shock as Barbaro veered sideways with his right leg flaring out grotesquely. Jockey Edgar Prado pulled the powerful colt to a halt, jumped off and awaited medical assistance. Barbaro sustained a broken cannon bone above the ankle, a broken sesamoid bone behind the ankle and a broken long pastern bone below the ankle. The fetlock joint – the ankle – was dislocated. Richardson said the pastern bone was shattered in “20-plus pieces.” The bones were put in place to fuse the joint by inserting a plate and 23 screws to repair damage so severe that most horses would not be able to survive it. When he came out of surgery, Barbaro was lifted by sling and placed on a raft in a pool of water so he could calmly awake from the anesthetic. When he went back to his stall, he was wearing a cast from just below the hock to the hoof. KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. – Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro underwent more than five hours of surgery Sunday to repair three broken bones in his right rear leg and afterward “practically jogged back to the stall,” the colt’s surgeon said. His survival, however, is still 50-50. At this moment “he is extremely comfortable in the leg,” said Dr. Dean Richardson, who stressed before the marathon procedure that he has never worked on so many catastrophic injuries to one horse. Barbaro sustained life- threatening injuries at the Preakness Stakes on Saturday when he broke bones above and below his right rear ankle. His surgery began around 1 p.m. Sunday at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center for Large Animals. Although the operation was successful, Richardson warned that Barbaro was far from home free. He said it was still “a coin toss” whether the strapping 3-year-old colt would survive what had been termed catastrophic injuries. last_img read more

High in the water

first_imgIn his 1697 book, A New Voyage Around the World, the English explorer William Dampier described a primitive watercraft used by the Tamils on the Coromandel coast. He called it the ‘catamaran’ (from the Tamil kettumaram, meaning ‘logs bound together’). But you could say it was the first stand-up paddleboard,In his 1697 book, A New Voyage Around the World, the English explorer William Dampier described a primitive watercraft used by the Tamils on the Coromandel coast. He called it the ‘catamaran’ (from the Tamil kettumaram, meaning ‘logs bound together’). But you could say it was the first stand-up paddleboard in India, if not the world.This week, it’s the modern version making-or riding-waves, at the second annual Indian Open of Surfing in Mulki, Karnataka. Close on the heels of two third-place finishes in US contests, 17-year-old Tanvi Jagdish will be carving the water in the May 26-28 competition.In the US, Tanvi placed third in the open women’s category at the SUP Surf Pro-Am, and also in stand-up paddle racing at the West Marine Carolina Cup in North Carolina. Last year, she was ranked 16th at the Fiji ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship, out of 247 participants from around the globe.Those wins are important. Stand-up paddling (SUP) and surfing are still very young sports in India. Moreover, it’s especially difficult for young women like Tanvi, given Indian society’s views on girls hanging out with boys, exposing their legs in board shorts and allowing the sun to darken their skin.”I started surfing when I was ten, with my granny’s permission. But my parents did not know,” she says. “When they found out, my mother forbade me from surfing again because she thought it was too dangerous.” For four years, Tanvi honoured her mother’s wishes. But the ocean was just too much fun to deny. When she returned to the water, she discovered stand-up paddling, a lesser-known offshoot of surfing. Falling in love with the paddle, she vowed to one day rank among the top five competitors in the world. Her family’s concerns notwithstanding, the Mulki resident was born in the right place to do it.advertisementA dozen-odd years ago, when there were hardly any surfers in India, the sport found an unlikely ambassador: a 70-year-old American Krishna devotee from Florida named Jack Hebner. Also known as Swami, Hebner co-founded the Mantra Surf Club in Mulki in 2004, along with fellow Krishna devotee Rick Perry (aka Babaji). Dubbed ‘the Surfing Swamis’, they’re still the most colourful and revered names among India’s wave-riders.It was at their club that Tanvi learned to surf. And some of Hebner and Perry’s disciples, such as Rammohan Paranjape, were instrumental in creating the Surfing Federation of India (SFI)-which organises the Indian Open of Surfing and most other similar competitions in the country. “There were just a handful of surfers in India in 2000-2004,” Paranjape recalls. “Not many people were interested or even curious.” That’s changing-fast. Last year, SFI’s Indian Open of Surfing in Mangalore drew about 15,000 people. This year, it’s expected to draw 20,000 or more-including surfers and SUP enthusiasts from all over the world.Among them-the local favourite-is Tanvi, the Surfing Swamis’ most successful pupil so far. This time, maybe her mother will be watching. “She feels very scared when I surf,” says Tanvi.-Jyothy KaratPORTRAITS OF HURTA series of photographs attempts a stark take on the racism faced by Africans in India.Photo: Mahesh Shantaram, Archival Pigment. Print courtesy: TasveerThe 25 images in this forthcoming exhibition from Tasveer, the Bengaluru gallery showcasing Indian photography, are an earnest portrayal of the impact of racism on the psyche of its victims. Done in the formal portrait style-where subjects ‘sit’ for pictures-this is the work of a promising Bengaluru-based photographer, Mahesh Shantaram, who was traumatised by the mob attack on a Tanzanian woman in January last year. With his grief as a filter for his lens, he took pictures of African youths in several cities across India. This, with the intent to draw attention to their individuality and humanity.Shantaram’s pictures have a distinct ability to ‘extract’ and examine his subjects, even in the most chaotic situations-like a garish middle class wedding or a hectic election campaign (subjects of his earlier work). He captures people in a manner that makes them visuals in a larger social comment. This makes him ideally suited to photograph a subject like racism in daily life.He goes close-establishing intimate bonds with his subjects and photographing them in their homes, neighbourhoods and territories of their personal space. Shot entirely at night using harsh light and saturated colours, he pictures lonely faces staring dispassionately into nothingness, to convey alienation and vulnerability. But he doesn’t go any farther than that.Instead of following his subjects in everyday situations as they navigate the discrimination they face, Shantaram repeats the lonely figure with the blank stare as a constant for all his images. It dilutes the anguish in the images and as a body of work, shows just the discriminated, not the discrimination.advertisement-Bandeep Singh(‘The African Portraits’ by Mahesh Shantaram will be on display at Exhibit320, New Delhi, from June 2-16)Click here to EnlargeHOW TO SEE THE CITY IN A DAY(Clockwise from top left) the Lalbaug spice market; a Bollywood dance class; children at a local NGO.Mumbai may not have the historic charm of Mughal Delhi, but it does offer an interesting mix of art, culture and food-and, of course, it’s home to Bollywood. History comes in the form of British-era buildings, rows of art deco constructions as well as the urban villages where time seems to have stood still.No Footprints, a city-based tour company founded by Harshvardhan Tanwar and Eesha Singh, has devised an eight-hour tour called Five Senses, which offers visitors a sizeable serving of the city’s melting pot of experiences. The tour begins at the Gateway of India, followed by a walk around the Fort area, covering the major landmarks of colonial Mumbai. Aimed at foreign tourists who treat Mumbai as a transit stop en route to Kerala, Goa or Rajasthan, the tour was conceptualised by Singh and is led by Tanwar. “While listening to stories about Mumbai’s history, visitors will also have a chance to watch the dabbawalas making their way through the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. We call this section of the tour ‘Sharada’s Mumbai’, after city historian Sharada Dwivedi, as she unearthed stories of these wonderful buildings and documented them in her book Fort Walks,” says Tanwar.And while visiting landmark sites is worthwhile, a dose of contemporary culture is just as important. So next up is a dose of Mumbai’s sounds, exemplified by a session of Bollywood music and dance. Then, a Konkani thali takes care of taste, while a walk down Lalbaug’s Spice Market is a treat for the sense of smell. “Here, not only can you buy the spices, but also get them dry roasted and ground into the masala mix of your choice. It’s not uncommon to see ladies patiently waiting with bags full of spices and a recipe that has been handed down over generations,” reveals Tanwar. The tour, which begins at 8.30 in the morning, ends at 4.30 in the evening with a visit to a local NGO. “A perfect end to this colourful collage of experiences is to be able to touch people’s lives,” adds Tanwar.-Moeena HalimPASS TIMEThe arrival of June lifts the curtain of snow over the mountain passes between Himachal Pradesh and the Ladakh region of J&K. A trip to Ladakh is now an Indian tourist’s rite of passage. Those who haven’t yet made it to our piece of the Tibetan Plateau will get to envy many a selfie-taken in front of ‘the highest pass’ or ‘the highest motorable road’-decorating social media pages.advertisementWhile the Manali to Leh route isn’t entirely open yet, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) opened the Rohtang pass in the third week of May. Buses have already begun to ply up to Keylong, the tourist town beyond Manali. BRO is working on clearing Baralacha La and Tanglang La as well. These high passes saw snowfall even in the early summer this year, and the snow over Rohtang was up to 30 feet high in some places. Which is why the opening of the Leh-Manali road is a little behind schedule this season.Among other things that Ladakh has plenty of-like mountains and yaks and frozen rivers-is the overwhelming presence of the sky. There is so much sky in tourist photos of Ladakh that the local government could levy a sky tax. Eat your heart out, GST.-Sopan JoshiSLEEPLESS IN THE CITYBill Hayes, the author of Insomniac City.Insomniac City by Bill Hayes is the story of two love affairs running on parallel tracks. The first focuses on the author and the distinguished neurologist, Oliver Sacks, the object of his affections, and the second is the love affair between him and New York City.Hayes is almost fifty when the book begins-with the death of Steve, his partner. Steve died of a heart attack, ironically, on a day when the ‘insomniac’ Hayes was asleep. Unable to bear the heartache, Hayes moves from San Francisco to New York City, where he meets and falls in love with Sacks, a man thirty years his senior, who has ‘no knowledge of popular culture after 1955’ and ‘zero interest in celebrities or fame’ (to the point of asking ‘what is Michael Jackson?’)Sacks is well known to readers as the author of books dealing with psychological disorders, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. But his unique personality comes across through Hayes’ precise, simple descriptions and the lovers’ conversations. ‘Are you conscious of your thoughts before language embodies them?’ Sacks asks. ‘I like having a confusion of agency, your hand on top of mine, unsure where my body ends and yours begins,’ he confesses in a rare erotic moment.The magic of Hayes’ writing lies in its minimalist yet evocative images. As Sacks’ health deteriorates, the modest, self-effacing Hayes focuses so deeply on his partner’s misery that it’s easy to forget it’s a trauma for him, too. There is tenderness without sentimentality, acceptance of what cannot be altered and a strong positive attitude that embraces life in its entirety. This book is not only a fascinating ode to romantic love, but also a profound reflection on life and death. The little ‘vignettes’ are meant to be enjoyed slowly and gradually as sips of fine wine rather than in a single gulp.-Divya DubeyIMPERIAL PINTSCourtesy: Kim JacobsenThe British empire may have forced us to pay for our own oppression but it had its compensations. So as the sun flares over another Indian summer, let’s raise our chilled glasses to the imperialists who begat Indian beer. The pioneer, apparently, was one Henry Bohle who set up businesses in Meerut and Mussourie in 1825. The latter thrived for some years in the hands of the Mackinnon family, seeding a ferment of hill station breweries that stretched from Murree to Shimla, Kasauli and Ranikhet and on to Darjeeling. Edward Dyer, in particular, bought up or established a chain of breweries in the Himalayas and is credited with launching Asia’s first beer brand, ‘Lion’, which was produced in both Murree and Kasauli. Dyer would sire (and later disown) the notorious Reginald Dyer of Jallianwala Bagh-but that’s another story. By the 1880s, another experienced brewer, H.G. Meakin, had set up an extensive empire, buying some of Dyer’s factories as well as establishing new ones as far afield as Dalhousie, Kirkee and Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka. The two firms would ultimately merge as Dyer and Meakin in the 1930s.By 1889, the 25-odd breweries in British India were producing some 5,165,138 gallons a year, (roughly a thousand times less than passes through our national gullets today). And judging by some of the vintage beer labels (yes, it’s a thing) treasured by collectors today, there was a lot more variety back then. The Dyer Meakin breweries, for example, offered a range of light and dark ales, a stout, and several ‘sparkling beers’. Today, the concern known as Mohan Meakin is sustained by the popularity of its house rum, while johnny-come-lately United Breweries (estd. 1857) dominates India’s beer market with bland lagers and knuckleheaded strong beers. Did the British take all the tasty beer with them when they left? Well, the glass may be half empty but look at it this way: they gave us beer, we gave them Vijay Mallya.-JabirBENGALURU BREWERIESPhoto: Nilotpal BaruahCraft beer first hit Gurugram and Pune around 2008. A year later, the first brewpub opened its doors in Bengaluru. Today, the garden city boasts nearly 30 microbreweries with 20 more slated to open over the next two years.What makes craft beer stand out? Without getting into beer geekery, the combination of small hand-crafted batches, high-quality ingredients and innovative brewing techniques result in beers that are superior in taste and quality to their mass-produced cousins. Even with 30 breweries, we’re still new to the art, so only a handful of outlets stand out.ToitOne of the city’s first few brewpubs, Toit now enjoys cult status, and will soon open branches in Mumbai and Pune as well. The brewing philosophy here follows the ‘what you do, do well’ model, with just one special on rotation and five stable house beers-Basmati blonde (light ale), Hefeweizen, (wheat ale), Belgian Wit (wheat ale), Irish Red (amber ale), IPA (India pale ale) and a Stout that’s as close to Dublin as you can get.Windmills CraftworksA microbrewery and jazz theatre rolled into one, this is the ‘Ritz’ of brewpubs. It has four house beers on tap-Helles (light blonde ale), Hefeweizen (German wheat ale), IPA (India pale ale, rich in hops/ bitterness) and Stout (hearty dark ale with roasted coffee and chocolate notes). Specials range from Rauchbiers (smoked) to White IPAs and Saisons.BrewskyPopular for its outdoor deck, this award-winning microbrewery churns out several specials, from cucumber ales and English bitters to smoked stouts and coffee-infused porters. House beers include a Belgian-styled light blonde ale, German Hefeweizen (wheat ale), Belgian Wit (wheat ale with orange peels and coriander), IPA (bitter) , Amber Ale (similar to the IPA but with more caramel notes) and a StoutBiergartenLike a traditional German beer garden with a modern makeover, this bright and airy outfit offers German-styled brews (with a few exceptions) and a different approach to brewing. Every Craft Beer at the Biergarten has been designed to be light and easy drinking (‘sessionable’ to beer geeks). Beers on tap include the German style lager, Dunkel (dark) lager, Hefeweizen (wheat), Pale Ale (similar to an IPA but less bitter) and a special-Mango Wheat Ale.-John EapenThe writer is a Bengaluru-based brewery consultant and beer sommelierHINDUSTANI MOTORSThe quintessential jeep was, and continues to be, a lifestyle thing in Bhopal. Not always connected to the brand, a Bhopali ‘jeep’ could be a Ford GPW, a low bonnet Willys MB, a Willys M606, an M38 A1 or even a later Mahindra equipped with jholas-one attached at the back and a smaller one near the dashboard. Bhopali jeeps are often unpainted, or only have a coat of primer, and continue to find patrons, with owners never having to think about resale values.Arriving in Bhopal as the wheels of choice for Nawab Hamidullah Khan, the early jeeps were mainly used in shikaar. Wealthy farmers also used them to ferry themselves to and from their farms. The jhola at the back carried anything from dead game to beaters to gunny bags, while the smaller jhola mostly held chaalia (the Bhopali word for supari) and paan.”With shikaar gone and farm holdings shrinking, the jeep lost some of its importance, but continues to be a utility thing here,” says Bhopal-based automobile enthusiast and restorer Rajan Deb. “In Bhopal, there are those who use the jeep for work and then there are those who collect original Fords and Willys,” he adds.The jeeps have survived the decades thanks mainly due to ‘doctors’-mechanics who keep them going using jugaad. “The work is not what it used to be but I am happy with what I have done,” says Mohammed Zameer, who uses the takhallus ‘Nirale’ and is one of the better known jeep mechanics in Bhopal. Nirale’s grandfather opened a garage in 1946. Nirale apprenticed with him before starting his own shop in 1967. “You learnt everything on the job; there was no option for training or getting a degree,” he says, adding that the work is still commercially viable. “Bhopali jeeps have great demand. One of my old jeeps is in Canada with a collector,” he says. Prices for original Ford GPWs and Willys MBs range from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh.In the Lal Masjid quarter of Bhopal, more than a dozen garages thrive. Pyare Bhai, one of the owners, says that modern SUVs have taken a toll, but the jeep craze remains. “There are people who spend the entire day with us, seeing how jeeps are repaired,” he says. Expert mechanics have come from the ranks of jeep owners as well. One of the sons of a family of Pathans living at Khandera-Pudhiya-was referred to as an ‘honorary engineer’. Many jeeps bore a ‘designed by engineer Pudhiya’ message on the registration plates. And today, jeeps are no longer an all-male preserve. “Driving a jeep is all about slowing down in life, to appreciate everything that you could miss in a fast car,” says Sonia Rashid, who is married into the erstwhile Bhopal royal family and is the proud owner of a Willys jeep.Just as Nirale is about to close his garage for the day, a customer walks in and admires a parked Ford GPW. Inquiring about the price, he is taken aback at the quote. “Why is it so expensive?” he asks. “Nut, nut par Ford likha hai, miyan (Everything is original-even the nuts and bolts have the Ford ‘F’ emblazoned on them),” replies Nirale.-Rahul NoronhaHAWAI ADDAPhoto: Sandeep SahdevAn Airbus A320, once part of the Air India fleet, has been turned into a 65-seat restaurant called Hawai Adda, in Ludhiana. Transported from Delhi, the plane was modified to create the country’s only such restaurant. Owned by entrepreneur Jaswinder Singh and his cousins, the restaurant serves only vegetarian food and no booze-just like a domestic flight.-Sukant DeepakHOT WHEELSKarun Chandhok, racecar driver, on… racingKarun Chandhok. Photo: Shivangni Kulkarni Q: Apart from doing commentary for Channel 4, what commitments do you have these days?A: The biggest race for me is the 24 hours of Le Mans. I’m also racing in selected rounds of the World Championship and British LMP3 Cup.Q: Which were your best rivalries and which drivers do you most remember racing against?A: I raced with a lot of good drivers- guys like Lewis Hamilton, Nelson Piquet Jr, Bruno Senna, Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Buemi, Maldonado…Q: Any regrets that you missed out on the Indian Grand Prix during the three years it existed?A: That was a real shame-I had a contract with Lotus to do the race and they opted to break the contract for various commercial reasons.Q: What are your predictions for this weekend’s Indy 500 and the Monaco GP?A: Indy is so unpredictable, but Fernando winning would be such a great fairytale story! I’m going to say Sebastian to win Monaco.Q: Do you see yourself on the podium at Le Mans? A: For Le Mans, I’m with a rookie team and a rookie team mate who’s 17 years old! A top 5 finish would be amazing for us.-Yogendra Prataplast_img read more