On this day in 1830, the Kingdom of Belgium declared its independence from The Netherlands. Since then, Belgium has acquired quite a reputation for its beer.
And now…the Mash!
Raise the price of beer and people drink less of it, right? Not at Oktoberfest, where per capita consumption went up even though the price of beer rose much faster than the rate of inflation.
According to Zoosk.com, people who drink microbrews are more likely to have one-night stands. They’re also more likely to prefer outdoor adventures on a first date.
Beer and books? Yes, please. Atomic Books and Red Emma’s, two independent bookstores in Baltimore, plan to serve beer along with their hardcovers, paperbacks, and comic books.
The Esquire Network’s lineup of shows includes Brew Dogs, which stars James Watt and Martin Dickie of Scotland’s BrewDog brewery. Their first episode was filmed in San Diego.
Fast Company magazine has prepared an infographic contrasting the effects of beer and coffee on the human brain. Did you know that beer (in moderation) makes you more creative?
Finally, if you’re going to the Great American Beer Festival, take note: the Ritz-Carlton in Denver is offering 75-minute “ex-beer-iences”, either a massage or a pedicure with Great Divide beer.
On this day in 1995, Cal Ripken, Jr., of the Baltimore Orioles played in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking a 56-year-old record set by Lou Gehrig. Ripken’s streak ended at 2,632 games, a record that many fans think will stand for all time.
And now…the Mash!
We begin in Auburn, Alabama, where fans of the visiting Washington State Cougars drank Quixote’s Bar dry, forcing it to close four hours early. Unfortunately, WSU lost the game, 31-24.
San Diego’s Museum of Man has an exhibit titled “BEERology”, which runs until next summer. Erin Meanley of San Diego magazine reviews it.
People have gotten married at the Great American Beer Festival, but this year, St. Arnold Brewing Company will have a wedding chapel on the festival floor.
Italy’s latest culinary invention is a beer that can be spread like chocolate cream. There’s no American distributor–yet–but the UK’s Selfridges will ship it to you for $51.
For years, big breweries have argued that mergers lower prices. However, researchers have found that the 2008 merger creating MolsonCoors resulted in a short-term price spike.
Drinking Buddies, starring Olivia Wilde, is a romantic comedy about craft brewery workers. It was shot at Revolution Brewing, and other Chicago microbrews make cameo appearances.
On this day in 1856, Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw was born. Shaw was also a journalist, a co-founder of the London School of Economics, and the only person awarded both the Nobel Prize for Literature and an Academy Award, the latter for the film version of his play Pygmalion.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Oxford, Mississippi, which may finally legalize the sale of cold beer. That could end a time-honored tradition: road trips to neighboring counties for a cold six-pack.
Speaking of cold beer, concession stands at Dodger Stadium are selling beer topped with ice-cold foam, which keeps the drink cold for half an hour.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is crying in his beer after his request for a Paulaner biergarten was turned down by the brewery.
The Monte Carlo, a casino on the Las Vegas Strip, sells $95 bottles of beer. The beer is La Trappe Isid’or, a pale ale created by Dutch monks in 2009 to celebrate their abbey’s 125th anniversary.
This year’s trend is session IPAs. Founders Brewing Company, best known for high-gravity stouts, announced that All Day IPA (4.5% ABV) has become its biggest seller.
Consumer alert: Big banks are jacking up the price of your six-pack by manipulating aluminum prices. How they do it is bizarre, and apparently legal.
Finally, Tim Marchman of Deadspin.com marks the passing of actor Dennis Farina by recalling a funny Old Style commercial in which Farina went to his local bar to drive off out-of-towners.
Economic reality forced many brewery entrepreneurs to set up shop in run-down urban neighborhoods where rents were low and residents–if there were any–were unlikely to object. It turns out that some of those breweries have revived their neighborhoods.
One example is Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section, where Brooklyn Brewery opened in 1996. At the time, its neighbors were mostly deserted warehouses and factories. Today, Brooklyn Brewery is surrounded by modern apartment buildings, bars, shops and restaurants. New residents are willing to spend money–a lot of it–to live there.
Cleveland’s Ohio City district, west of downtown, is another. Great Lakes Brewing opened in 1988. Its owners built a brewery and a brewpub from structures that once housed a feed store, a saloon, and a livery stable. Other businesses followed. Ohio City has actually gained population, even as the city as a whole lost population.
Other examples include South Boston (Harpoon Brewery); San Francisco’s SoMa (21st Amendment Brewery); and coming soon, the South Bronx’s Mott Haven section (Bronx Brewery).
On this day in 1810, promoter P.T. Barnum was born. He’s best known for founding Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, but his colorful life story also includes stints as a politician, businessman, reformer, and perpetrator of hoaxes.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Tennessee, where new legislation lessens the tax bite on beer. The old law, which based tax on the price of beer, saddled the Volunteer State with the nation’s steepest tax.
The staff of FirstWeFeast.com has scoured the country to find unsung cheap beers. The list is dominated by regional beers like Point Special, Iron City, and Genessee Cream Ale.
The Festival in Portland, Maine, opened late on account of archaic regulations that bar breweries from pouring their own beer. Organizers scrambled to find volunteers for beer-dispensing duty.
What is it like to ride on the beer train? Scott Rappold of the Colorado Springs Gazette describes his trip on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad’s annual “Rails to Ales” outing.
Another television series will have its own beer. Albuquerque’s Marble Brewery will brew Heisenberg’s Dark, an India black ale named for Walter White’s drug-dealing alias in Breaking Bad.
Hawaii is surrounded by ocean water, and Aloha Brewing Company is using it to brew Gose beer, a style that originated in Goslar, Germany, whose water is naturally salty.
Finally, a Czech hockey team was forced to leave town because of a dispute over beer. The club played in Budvar Arena, but their league was contractually obligated to serve a competing brand.
Throughout North America, today is the summer solstice. This means you’ll have more hours of daylight than any other day in the year. Since it’s Friday, Ludwig highly recommends that you celebrate summer with a beer…or two.
And now….The Mash!
We begin on Memory Lane, with a Forbes magazine story from 1994 about America’s changing beer industry. Much attention is paid to Coors Brewing Company’s new product, Zima.
Brauerei Beck & Co. is celebrating its 140th anniversary with beer bottles that can play music. They’re “Edison cylinders,” which played recorded sound before the modern platter-style disc arrived.
Is beer really cheaper than gasoline? According to Keg Works, that’s true for home-brewed beer, which costs $2.50 a gallon, but not for store-bought beer until unleaded regular tops $5 a gallon.
Ever wonder what it’s like to practice beer law?. Marcus Reed of Cosgrave Vergeer Kester LLP in–where else?–Portland, Oregon, explains what his line of work entails.
Hamm’s, which brewed its last beer in 1997, is coming back to life. Flat Earth Brewing Company will move its operations into two vacant buildings in the Hamm’s Minneapolis complex.
Airline miles burning a hole in your pocket? Spend them on summer beer travel. Jason Notte of TheStreet.com recommends five “hidden beer destinations.”
Finally, if PBR has gotten too expensive at your local bar, Jesse Tigges of ColumbusAlive.com recommends five cheap alternatives. He points out that much-maligned Schlitz has gone back to its classic recipe.
On this day in 1790, in Bourbon County, Kentucky, an American clergyman named Elijah Craig produced the first batch of whiskey distilled from corn. What better excuse to have a beer aged in a bourbon barrel?
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Cambridge, England, where the city’s first Bitcoin transaction recently took place. Andrew Bower bought a pint of beer at The Haymakers for just over 0.02 Bitcoins, or £1.55.
Can’t find a bottle opener? S.E. Smith of Networx.com to the rescue. He has 16 ways to open a beer bottle without one–and without damaging your teeth.
Japanese craft brewers might get a boost from their government’s decision to weaken the yen in an effort to stimulate the economy. A weak yen means higher prices for imported brands.
Fort Collins, Colorado, is one of the nation’s top beer destinations. For your enjoyment, the staff at FermentedlyChallenged.com has compiled a three-day guide to the city’s breweries and bars.
If you’re in the lower deck at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, listen for Mark Reiner, the singing beer vendor. He sings his personalized spiels to the tune of pop songs any fan would recognize.
Crikey! Residents of a Melbourne, Australia, suburb discovered their cellphones weren’t working. The problem? Radio waves emitted by a neighbor’s beer fridge.
Finally, craft beer returns to television this fall. The new Esquire Network will air a show titled “BrewDogs” starring James Watt and Martin Dickie, the founders of–you guessed it–BrewDog.
TheBigGulp.com has compiled an infographic that compares the price of a beer to the team’s projected win total in all 30 major league ballparks.
Chase Field in Phoenix and Angel Stadium in Anaheim offer the best value with winning teams and relatively inexpensive beer.
The worst value is Marlins Park in Miami, where beer sells for an above-average price and the Marlins are on track to lose more than 100 games. On the other hand, Target FIeld in Minneapolis and Minute Maid Park in Houston offer cheaper-than-average beer to help fans deaden the pain of watching bad baseball.
Time magazine’s Brad Tuttle wonders how much longer craft brewing’s run can last. His list of concerns starts with the new definition of “craft brewery”: six million barrels a year hardly fits the image of the indie underdog challenging Big Beer–which, for its part, has rolled out “crafty” beers like Third Shift and Blue Moon.
Then there’s sticker shock. A growing number of craft breweries are putting their high-end beers in 22-ounce bomber bottles. They justify the high price of the product by comparing it to wine, but Tuttle points out that a customer with a bit of math savvy can figure out that the per-ounce cost of bomber beer is twice that of beer sold in six-packs.
Canadian beer writer Stephen Beaumont was taken aback when a Toronto Globe and Mail wine critic called the price of Samuel Adams Utopias ($115) “exorbitant,” “stratospheric,” and comparable to “Rolex watches and Prada purses.”
Beaumont pointed out that the same critic described a bottle of Balvenie 17 Year Old Double Wood ($168) as merely “expensive,” and made no comment about the price ($189) of 15 year old Nikka Miyagikyo. He also did some number-crunching. A bottle of Utopias contains 12 servings–two ounces, given that it has twice the alcoholic content as the average wine. Thus a serving of Utopias costs about $10, “about what one might pay for a glass of ho-hum wine in a restaurant.” Beaumont contends that critics still have a double standard when they compare beer to other beverages.