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Dense Smog Leads to Booze Deals in Beijing; the Hanson Brothers Have a Beer Company

And, Dogfish Head claims to have brewed the hoppiest beer ever.

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

— Beijing's massive smog problem is resulting in some creative marketing among the city's bars and restaurants. With people warned to stay indoors when clouds of pollution settle in, establishments like craft beer bar Jing A have to offer incentives to draw patrons. That being the case, the bar has been pouring "Airpocalypse" beer that gets cheaper on a sliding scale as the smog gets worse and Beijing's air quality index increases.

"We have eight air purifiers pumping and close all the doors," Jing A co-founder Kris Li told The Guardian. "It's not enough to offset the loss smog causes but people do come looking for it. They show us their phones with AQI apps, asking for discounts."

Another local bar, The Distillery, attempts to use cleaner air to bring in customers, too. Owner Bill Isler breaks out air purifiers that reduce AQI indoors to roughly a third of outside levels. Isler sends an appropriate message to the bar's contact list: "Kill your liver, not your lungs, breathe clean air while you drink."

— Hanson, the '90s heartthrob band that topped global charts, has moved on from pop tunes to the booze business. The former teen sensations, who are in their 30s these days, are still making music, but now they also have their own line of craft beer, adorably called "Mmmhops."

"We traveled the world as kids and we got turned on to great beer," oldest brother Isaac Hanson told the Associated Press. "At some point you decide to take something you really like and turn it into a business you love."

That business is based out of Tulsa, Okla., and because the Hanson bros are too squeaky clean for their own good, 10 percent of all proceeds go toward digging clean water wells in Africa. Mmmhops is a "full-bodied delicious pale ale, with a unique toasted malt signature and a refreshing hoppy finish," according to the official website.

— How much is too much when it comes to hops in beer? Iconic Delewar brewery Dogfish Head is trying to find out. Using an experimental hop called "Alpha Beast" with Simcoe, Warrior, and Amarillo hops in CO2 extract, the company has claims to have concocted the hoppiest IPA ever.

The beer, dubbed "Hoo Lawd," checks in at 658 international bittering units. For comparison, the average IPA rates between 40 and 60 IBUs. Dogfish Head founder and president Sam Calagione tells The Drinks Business his brewery has "learned a lot about pushing the outer limits of hop dosing volumes and techniques."

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