On this day in 1957, the pop music show American Bandstand made its national debut. The show was hosted by Dick Clark throughout its run, which ended in 1989. Clark was also the show’s producer, and eventually became its owner.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Florida, where businessman Sammy Ramos has launched the first craft beer to be marketed to Hispanics. Its brand name is “Boriuca”, which means a person of Puerto Rican heritage—of which there are more than 250,000 in Greater Orlando.
In Kent, England, a Shetland pony named Mocha walked into his owner’s pub and started drinking beer out of stray pint glasses. Feel free to make bad puns on “pony” or “horse”.
This fall, Oregon State University will open a beer garden at its football stadium. Last year the Beavers went 2-10 (0-9 in the PAC-12), so fans might need a few beers before watching them play.
Rupert Stadler, the head of Volkswagen’s Audi division, was forced to repay the company €12,000 ($13,950) for a beer-drinking contest for company managers that he put on his expense account.
The metal band Megadeth has tapped Quebec brewery Unibroue to make a beer called “A Tout le Monde”, named for a song from the group’s 1994 album Youthanasia. It’s a Belgian-style saison ale.
Greene King is brewing “Bobby” beer to honor Bobby Moore, the captain of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team. Its alcohol content—4.2% ABV—was inspired by the score of the Cup final.
Finally, a group of Chicago businesses, including two well-known beer bars, are encouraging the public to patronize establishments on the #11 bus route, which they hope will earn back a permanent spot on the Chicago Transit Authority map.
Ludwig is on Christmas break, and won’t be back until January 4. In the meantime, Maryanne and Paul are filling in for him.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Richmond, Virginia, where it’s been a banner year for craft beer. Four new breweries and a meadery have opened their doors; and Stone Brewing Company will start up next spring.
Anheuser-Busch is giving Bud Light cans a makeover. Alissa Walker of Gizmodo.com says the can’s new design signals an end to the brand’s frat-boyish “Whatever” campaign.
Responding to a new Indonesian law banning beer sales in convenience stores, Diageo is brewing a non-alcoholic version of Guinness to be sold in that country. It’s called “Guinness Zero.”
More than 30 Arizona breweries are collaborating on an all-female-brewed beer. It’s a red IPA, and proceeds from its sale will go to Go Red for Women, an American Heart Association charity.
Despite Zimbabwe’s economic collapse, people are finding solace in beer. Observers say that bars in the capital city, Harare, are packed with holiday revelers.
Manhattan resident Leif Nelson has sued Miller Brewing Company for falsely representing that Foster’s is brewed in Australia. Brewing operations were moved to Texas in 2011.
Finally, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania found that people drink more on days when they exercise more. Perhaps they’re drinking to extend the “buzz” that physical activity brings.
Eighty-five years ago, the radio drama The Shadow debuted. The title character, who know “what evil lurks in the hearts of men,” became a major influence on later comic book superheroes, Batman in particular.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Kabul, Afghanistan, where non-alcoholic beer is popular, and costs only 30 cents a can. Alcohol is banned in this Muslim country–but there’s a thriving black market in beer and spirits.
Lululemon, the yoga pants company, is using beer to attract male customers. Curiosity Lager, which features hints of lemon drop and Chinook hops, will soon be available at select locations in Canada.
Heavy Seas Brewing Company will mark the 20th anniversary of Cal Ripken, Jr., setting a new Major League Baseball consecutive-games-played with a retro lager called Fielder’s Choice.
Vault Brewing Company invented a new way of canning nitro-conditioned beer. Vault adds the nitrogen when the beer is canned, bypassing the famous Guinness “widget.”
“Session beers”—those with less than 5% ABV—have gained a following among Colorado drinkers. The trend has spread from India pale ales to other styles, such as sour beers and saisons.
Producers of the zombie drama The Walking Dead have teamed up with Terrapin Brewing Company to make the show’s official beer: a Red India pale ale brewed with blood orange peel.
Finally, not all Utahns are Mormons, and some stage an alternative to the Pioneer Day state holiday. It’s called called “Pie and Beer Day,” and celebrants are invited to gather friends and family. Beer is optional.
The Great American Beer Festival opens tomorrow, and the folks at Paste magazine have addressed the top ten myths about the event. For those who’ve been to GABF, some of the myths are obvious: volunteers don’t know about the beer they’re pouring; Saturday night’s session is a drunken frat party; and if you don’t have a ticket, there’s nothing for a beer drinker to do in Denver.
Paste also tries to set the record straight about gold medals: “A gold medal means that a particular entry perfectly meets the standard for that style–period. In the 2013 competition, Anheuser-Busch InBev won a gold medal in the American-Style Lager or Light Lager category for Budweiser Select, a technically well-done brew, but not exactly something a craft-beer aficionado would seek out.”
But one myth is true: the Silent Disco is hilarious to watch.
New Belgium Brewing Company turns out 800,000 barrels a year at its Fort Collins, Colorado, location. It’s operating at max capacity there, and is building a second plant in North Carolina that will make it a true national brand.
What makes New Belgium’s story even more amazing is how and where it began. Hillary Jones of Bizjournals.com explains:
Jordan and then-husband Jeff Lebesch launched New Belgium in 1991 after taking out a $60,000 second mortgage on their home. They brewed the beer in the 12-by-22-foot basement while Jordan raised a baby and worked four days a week as a social worker.
On the fifth day of the week, Jordan would round up customers’ beer orders, pack up the family station wagon and drive around making deliveries. At night, she finished up the day by making posters to advertise New Belgium.
Jordan said she wasn’t afraid of taking risks, and if the brewing business didn’t work out, she’d go back to her day job. She never had to.
The Brewers Association is out with its 2014 Beer Style Guidelines. This year’s guidelines represent what the BA calls “the largest revision and reorganization to date.” Several new styles join the list, including Australian-Style Pale Ale, Belgian-Style Fruit Beer, Dutch-Style Kuit, Historical Beer, and Wild Beer. A number of other styles have been consolidated or revised.
When Prohibition ended in 1933, only a handful of breweries in the United States were still operating. Nick Green of MentalFloss.com explains how these breweries survived a 13-year period during which their main line of business was illegal.
To begin with, brewery owners knew well in advance that Prohibition was coming, and thus had time to think of alternatives. The most common was “near beer,” which the Volstead Act defined as having less than 0.5 percent alcohol. Brewers had experience with low-alcohol beer, thanks to a World War I emergency measure that outlawed beer with an alcohol content higher than 2.75 percent.
Breweries got into numerous other lines of business. Ice cream was one. Anheuser-Busch owned a fleet of refrigerated trucks, and put them to work carrying a different product. Adolph Coors mass-produced ceramic tubes and rods for the military, along with lines of dinnerware. Many of the big breweries sold malt extract “as a cooking product” which was in fact used for homebrewing, then prohibited by the Volstead Act. Other breweries converted their equipment to dye-making: the transition was easy, and a shortage of imports created a postwar “dye famine.”
In 2005, Miguel Delgado, a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, was seriously wounded by a roadside bomb in while serving in Iraq. The injury forced him out of the Corps and into a situation many veterans face: medical problems and underemployment.
Fortunately, Delgado was hired by a new Chicago microbrewery, the Veteran Beer Company, as a brand ambassador. The brewery’s policy is to hire as many veterans as possible and provide them with both employment and camaraderie with others who had served.
The Veteran Beer Company was founded by Paul Jenkins, a retired Navy fighter pilot who also suffers from a disability. Disturbed by high rates of unemployment among veterans, he set out to do something about it–namely, start a brewery. Jenkins assembled a team starting with Eric Rine, a retired Marine Corps officer, as brewmaster.
The brewery’s Veteran Amber Lager and the Blonde Bomber American Blonde Ale are available in the Chicago area and Indiana. Rine has ambitious plans for the future: from his Chicagoland base, he plans to “advance and hold territory.” And hire more veterans as the brewery grows.