Two hundred years ago today, the state of New Jersey awarded the first-ever railroad franchise to Colonel John Stevens III, the inventor who constructed America’s first steam locomotive.
And the bar car is open!
Fore! We begin at the 16th hole of the Phoenix Open, where rowdy spectators celebrated Francesco Molinari’s hole-in-one by showering him with beer and other flying objects.
A Minnesota brewery found out that it can’t sell “Rated R” beer. Not because of violence or sex, but because the Motion Picture Association of America trademarked the phrase. Molson’s XXX is, presumably, still in the clear.
MillerCoors has installed 10,000 solar panels at its Irwindale, California, brewery. The new system will generate enough electricity to brew seven million cases of beer each year.
Blank Slate Brewing Company joined forces with Oskar Blues Brewery to brew “Cincy 3-Way Porter.” The beer contains cumin, coriander, allspice and cinnamon, which are found in Cincinnati-style chili.
Researchers in China have discovered that xanthohumol, a substance found in hops, contains anti-oxidants that may delay or even prevent the onset of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline.
Ontario’s government plans some changes to its relationship with The Beer Store, the province’s quasi-monopoly. However, those changes won’t bring beer into convenience stores.
Finally, Yeti Coolers has invented a super-luxury koozie. The Colster, which retails for $30, wraps a beer in a stainless steel, double-walled, vacuum-insulated enclosure; and its “No Sweat” design prevents condensation from forming.
On this day in 1649, King Charles I of England was beheaded for high treason. His execution ushered in the Interregnum, during which Oliver Cromwell and later his son, Richard, ruled the country.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Colorado, where Oskar Blues has given its session ale a marijuana-themed name: Pinner, which is slang for a joint with low THC content. Above the Pinner logo is the question: “Can I be blunt?”
Carlsberg Group is developing the world’s first fully biodegradable bottle for its beverages. The “Green Fiber Bottle” will be made from wood fiber or paper pulp, and will be lighter than a glass bottle.
Yahoo Food profiles Chris Loring, whose Massachusetts-based Notch Brewing specializes in session beers. Loring reminds us that these beers have existed in America for 100 years.
An unidentified man in Brooklyn has trained his girlfriend’s pet rabbit, Wallace, to bring him a beer. The animal puts its paws on the beer cart, pushing it forward.
A trip to a The Alchemist brewery not only netted MSNBC TV personality Rachel Maddow some Heady Topper IPA, but also revealed how New England’s economy is booming.
Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs’s most impressive statistic might not be his 3,010 career hits. Legend has it that Boggs put away 64 beers while on a cross-country trip during his playing days.
Finally, don’t scoff at the idea of beer brewed with sewer water. Washington County, Oregon’s Clean Water Services claims that its purification system makes sewer water even cleaner than tap water. One homebrewer uses the water, and calls his beer “sewage brewage.”
On this day in 1719, the Principality of Liechtenstein was created within the Holy Roman Empire. A couple of fun facts about this tiny country: it is the world’s leading producer of false teeth; and its capital, Vaduz, is one of only two in the world that ends with the letter “z”.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Pennsylvania, whose incoming governor turned down an offer of free Yuengling for his inauguration. A state senator says the governor snubbed the brewery because of its CEO’s political views.
MillerCoors plans to offer a gluten-free beer. The beer, Coors Peak Copper Lager, will be brewed with brown rice and protein from peas instead of barley.
A New Hampshire lawmaker wants to repeal a Liquor Commission rule banning pictures of children from beer labels. Founders Breakfast Stout’s label features a baby eating cereal.
The Pair O’ Dice Brewing Company in Clearwater, Florida, wanted a really distinctive tap for its Fowler’s Bluff IPA, so it hired Tangible Labs, a 3-D printing company, to fashion one.
A new South Carolina law that allows breweries to sell pints has given the state’s economy a $13.7 million boost. Twelve breweries have opened in the state since the law took effect.
Grease from that slice of pizza you just ate can kill the foam on your beer. It lowers the surface tension on the foam, which tears apart the structure of the bubbles and releases their gases.
Finally, an outcry from angry beer fans forced Lagunitas Brewing Company to drop its trademark suit against Stone Brewing Company. Lagunitas claimed that Stone’s logo for Hop Hunter IPA was too similar to the Lagunitas IPA logo.
Technologically speaking, bubble hockey hasn’t changed very much. That is, until now. Ontario-based RAMM Design Labs has redesigned the game so that, after the final horn sounds, the table will automatically pour the winner a full cup of cold beer.
RAMM, by the way, is the same company that redesigned the Zamboni in Toronto’s Air Canada Center to look like a gigantic Right Guard stick.
On this day in 1974, President Richard Nixon signed a bill lowering the maximum speed limit to 55 miles per hour in order to conserve gasoline during the OPEC embargo. The unpopular “double nickel” stayed on the books for more than 20 years.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Hawaii, where Kona Brewing is celebrating its 21st birthday by releasing a series of Hawaii-only beers. First in Kona’s Makana series is Aina Brown Ale, brewed with taro root.
New York City’s two largest beer distributors plan to merge. The merger threatens the existence of the city’s 13,000 bodegas, which are small, mostly minority-owned convenience stores.
Craft beer is gaining ground in South Korea thanks to new laws. For years, the country’s beer market has been dominated by two large brewing companies.
A blog post by Bryan Roth delves into the economics of beer-buying decisions. Roth wonders whether price will become a bigger factor in what craft beer drinkers buy.
Outside the United States, non-alcoholic beers are growing in popularity. Reasons include anti-alcohol laws in Muslim countries, fear of a DUI arrest, and better-tasting products.
Is your local beer bar serious about beer? Thrillist’s Dan Gentile tells you what to look for. For example, bubbles on the side of your glass means the glass is dirty.
Finally, Argentina’s Andes Brewery offers a a “Message in a Bottle”. Andes bottles are imprinted with QR codes which, together with a mobile app, allow a person to record a video and assign it to a specific bottle. The recipient scans the QR code and plays the video back.
Today is Boxing Day in Great Britain, Canada, much of the Commonwealth, and several countries in continental Europe. The origins of the name are unclear, but one thing is for certain: most people living in those countries get the day off from work. Cheers, everyone!
And now….The Mash!
Fittingly we begin in Canada, where Gerald Comeau is challenging the constitutionality of laws limiting how much alcohol one may bring across provincial lines. Comeau’s legal team thinks he has a good chance of winning.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has approved home delivery of beer by food retailers. The maximum deliverable quantity is 192 ounces, and the beer must be paid for with a credit card while ordering.
Russia’s economic woes could be bad news for beer drinkers. In an effort to keep bread affordable at home, President Vladimir Putin has slapped a tax on exports of barley and other grains.
Jennifer Wiley, a University of Illinois scientist, has found that a person with a BAC near .08 reaches a creative peak because he or she is less able to over-think during a task. A new Danish beer aims to help drinkers reach that intellectual sweet spot.
Dos Equis is America’s fastest-growing beer brand, thanks to ads featuring “the most interesting man in the world.” On the other hand, #2 brand Modelo Especial does very little advertising in English.
Zane Lamprey, the host of National Geographic’s TV show “Chug”, has developed a “drinking jacket”. It has a “beer koozie” breast pocket, a zipper that doubles as a bottle opener, and slip-resistant drinking gloves. And it comes in four colors.
Finally, Modern Farmer magazine answers your burning questions about beer-drinking donkeys. Heading the list: can donkeys get drunk? Answer: Yes*, but because they weigh more than 200 pounds, they require more than the average human.
* Ludwig would like to state for the record that he drinks responsibly.
On this day in 1972, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ron Evans, and Harrison Schmitt, returned to Earth. The craft’s re-entry marked the end of America’s manned lunar program. Cernan currently holds the distinction of being the last man to walk on the Moon.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in England, where the publishers of Original Gravity, a beer-centric magazine, have put Issue #1 online, free of charge. Enjoy!
The founders of Surly Brewing Company—Omar Ansari, a first-generation American; and Todd Haug, a death-metal guitarist—have done well, both for themselves and Minnesota’s beer drinkers.
Belgian scientists have found a way to keep beer from over-foaming. They applied a magnetic field to a malt infused with hops extract to disperse its anti-foaming agent into tinier particles.
Archaeologists have concluded that Iceland’s Vikings were more interested in drinking and feasting than in pillaging. Unfortunately for them, the Little Ice Age became the ultimate party-pooper.
A pair of brothers have invented something that makes it easier to enjoy a beer while taking a shower. Their Sip Caddy is a portable cup holder that can be attached to the wall.
Lance Curran, the co-founder of Chicago’s Arcade Brewery, loves comic books so much that he had comic strips drawn on the labels of its Festus Rotgut black wheat ale.
Finally, a woman attending a Philadelphia 76ers game wound up with a lapful of beer after an errant pass knocked the cup out of her hand. The way the Sixers are playing this season, she–and every other fan–needs some beer to deaden the pain.
This sounds like something straight out of the Shark Tank television show. Sustainable Beverage Technologies, a Denver start-up, is about to introduce BrewVo. It’s a patented process for brewing beer into a liquid concentrate, then mixing it with water using the same dispensing equipment that restaurants use for soft drinks.
The company’s founder, Patrick Tatera, believes there’s demand for technology that cuts costs and makes bars’ and breweries’ operations more efficient. Tatera says he has financial backing, and also has partnerships in place with breweries–which have asked not to be named for now.
Some observers are skeptical of BrewVo. They think the technology is too risky and radical for the brewing industry. Previous attempts to sell concentrated alcoholic beverages also met with resistance from regulators, health experts, and the spirits industry.
Skeptics mention what happened to Palcohol, a powdered alcohol product that was to be sold to consumers in packets and mixed with food or water. Lawmakers urged the Food and Drug Administration to ban Palcohol because it would be too easy to snort, and could be smuggled into places that ban alcohol.
Paul Gatza, the head of the Brewers Association, mentions another problem: breweries will have to get a distiller’s license because of concentrated beer’s high alcohol content.
On this day in 1925, “Grand Ole Opry” radio show aired for the first time on WSM, a Nashville radio station. The Opry’s home, Ryman Auditorium, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Kalamazoo, where Bell’s Brewery is selling glassware designed for Oberon. It’s called the American Wheat-Witbier Glass, and is made by Austrian glassware maker Spiegelau.
Mike Nichols is best remembered as a film director, but more than half a century ago, he and Elaine May created and voiced animated commercials for now-defunct Jax beer.
The Brewers Association has put together an infographic with statistics on the size of each state’s craft beer industry: number of breweries, production, and economic impact.
As it turned out, Pabst Blue Ribbon wasn’t sold to the Russians after all. The group that acquired it didn’t involve Oasis Beverages, itself the biggest independent brewer in Russia and Ukraine.
British lawmakers took the first step toward scrapping a centuries-old rule that requires “tenanted” pubs to buy their beer from the brewery that owns them.
An app called Next Glass has been called ”the Pandora for beer”. Using a mass spectrometer, the Next Glass lab staff use a mass spectrometer to analyze beers sent to the lab by Beer Census.
Finally, Jay Brooks’s blog linked a 1929 Mickey Mouse cartoon, ”The Galloping Gaucho,” in which Mickey enjoys a beer. Presumably he was outside the U.S., where Prohibition reigned. However, temperance groups couldn’t have been thrilled about a cartoon character drinking alcohol.
On this day in 1931, the George Washington Bridge opened to traffic. This double-decker span over the Hudson River connects Manhattan with Fort Lee, New Jersey–a town now famous thanks to “Bridgegate.”
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Kansas City, where Boulevard Brewing Company will kick off its 25th anniversary celebration with the release of a special ale brewed in collaboration with Odell Brewing Company.
Chef David Chang made enemies thanks to a GQ magazine article declaring his hatred of “fancy beer”. Chang contends that craft beer has too intense a flavor to pair with his food.
Two hundred years ago, in London, eight women and children were killed by a flood of beer caused by an explosion at the Henry Meux & Company brewery. The disaster was ruled an “act of God.”
Why not turn your Halloween jack-o-lantern into a beer keg? All you need is a carving knife, a pumpkin carving kit, a Sharpie, a spigot, and beer—which need not be pumpkin beer.
William Bostwick, the Wall Street Journal’s beer critic, has written a book titled The Brewer’s Tale. In her review, Amy Stewart calls Bostwick “the very best sort of literary drinking buddy.”
In Papua New Guinea, which suffers 1.8 million cases of malaria every year, a brewery packs its beer in a box that contains eucalyptus, a natural mosquito repellent.
Finally, should the Great American Beer Festival give medals for best beer puns? CraftBeer.com’s Atalie Rhodes found these doozies on the list of medal winners. Our favorite is “Dubbel Entendre.”