On this day in 1981, MTV began broadcasting in America. Pay attention to this factoid, because it comes up often in pub trivia: MTV’s first video was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Chicago, where Ian Hughes, a brewmaster at Goose Island Brewing Company, is trying to educate people about the importance of clean water, the main ingredient in Goose Island beers.
Canadian actor Seth Rogan got to fulfill his dream of drinking beer from the Stanley Cup. P.K. Subban, who plays for the Montreal Canadiens, earned an assist for pouring beer into the trophy.
The list of exotic ingredients in beer now includes seaweed. Marshall Wharf Brewing Company adds 66 pounds of Maine sugar kelp to 200 gallons of its Scotch ale to brew a batch of Sea Belt Ale.
In Indiana, a newly-passed law lifts the 67-year-old ban on beer at the State Fair, which opens today. Last call is at 8 pm, and fair-goers will be limited to three 12-ounce beers.
Tech companies in Boston are using craft beer to attract and retain talented employees. Journalist Dennis Keohane decided to investigate the tap selection at some of the area’s leading companies.
In San Francisco, a woman in the outfield seats got a rude surprise: a home run ball landed in her beer. Not only was she soaked with beer and out $8, but someone else wound up with the baseball.
Finally, the Michigan Brewers Guild has responded to heavy demand for tickets to the annual Winter Beer Festival by adding an evening session to next year’s event in Grand Rapids.
Earlier this month Will Hawkes, an award-winning British beer journalist, wrote about an American invasion of Britain in All About Beer magazine. These Yankees don’t carry weapons (unless boots and tap handles count), but they are taking on British institutions, including big breweries’ control of pubs and even the Campaign for Real Ale’s insistence that beer be served from casks rather than kegs.
One of the “invaders” is Ryan Witter-Merithew, who brews at Siren in Finchampstead. He isn’t the only one. Hawkes continues, “If there’s nothing from Siren, there’ll be a beer from Moor, the Somerset brewery where Californian Justin Hawke holds sway, or Lovibond’s, the Henley brewery run by Wisconsin’s Jeff Rosenmeier. Then there might be something from Wild Beer Co., the West-Country stronghold of another Californian, the aptly-named Brett Ellis.” All have interesting stories to tell.
A century ago today, George Herman “Babe” Ruth made his major-league debut. Starting on the mound for the Boston Red Sox, he defeated Cleveland, 4-3. By 1919, Ruth was moved to the outfield so he—and his potent bat—could be in the lineup every day. And the rest, as they say, is history.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Lewes, Delaware, where Dogfish Head Artisan Ales has opened a beer-themed motel. The Dogfish Inn offers beer-infused soaps, logo glassware, and pickles for snacking.
Fans attending next Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Minneapolis can buy self-serve beer. New Draft-Serv machines will offer a choice not only of brands but also the number of ounces in a pour.
Moody Tongue Brewing, a brand-new micro in Chicago, offers a beer made with rare black truffles. A 22-ounce bottle of the 5-percent lager carries a hefty retail price of $120.
Fast Company magazine caught up with Jill Vaughn, head brewmaster at Anheuser-Busch’s Research Pilot Brewery. She’s experimented with offbeat ingredients ranging from pretzels to ghost peppers.
Entrepreneur Steve Young has developed beer’s answer to Keurig. His Synek draft system uses cartridges of concentrated beer which, when refrigerated, keep for 30 days.
Brewbound magazine caught up with Russian River Brewing Company’s owner Vinnie Cilurzo, who talked about Pliny the Elder, quality control, and possible future expansion of the brewery.
Finally, cue up the “final gravity” puns. Amateur rocketeers in Portland, Oregon, will launch a full keg of beer to an altitude of 20,000 feet. Their beer of choice? A pale ale from Portland’s Burnside Brewery.
On this day in 1888, Antoinette Perry was born in Denver. She was a co-founder and head of the American Theatre Wing, which operated the Stage Door Canteens during World War II. The Tony Awards, which honor outstanding achievement in theater, are named for her.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Bavaria, where several villages brew beer communally. The unfiltered lager, Zoigl, is served on a rotating schedule at local pubs; and it is also enjoyed communally.
Good news and bad news for British Columbia beer drinkers. Bars can now offer happy specials, but the province’s new minimum pricing requirement might make happy hour beer more expensive.
After golfer Michelle Wie won the U.S. Women’s Open, she celebrated in style, treating herself and her friends to beer out of the championship trophy—which, by the way, holds 21-1/2 brews.
Yuengling, August Schell, and Narragansett are “craft beers” thanks to the Brewers Association’s decision to allow adjuncts and to raise the production ceiling to 6 million barrels per year.
Indiana’s law barring the sale of cold beer at convenience stores was held constitutional by a federal judge, who concluded that the it was rationally related to the state’s liquor-control policy.
Molson’s Canadian Beer Fridge is back. This time, Canadians will have to demonstrate the ability to sing their country’s national anthem, “O Canada,” in order to get a free cold one.
Finally, beer blogger Danny Spears chugged a 25-year-old beer brewed to honor the Cincinnati Bengals’ appearance in Super Bowl XXIII. Spears’s verdict: “The beer was much worse than expected. Actually, it was terrible.”
Today is the 800th anniversary of the granting of a royal charter to the University of Oxford. Alumni include 26 British Prime Ministers, including current PM David Cameron; many foreign heads of state, including President Bill Clinton, a Rhodes Scholar; and 27 Nobel laureates.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Kalamazoo where, for $19, you can take part in a craft beer walking tour. Participants will meet brewery staff; learn about the city’s brewing history; and, of course, sample some beer.
Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors will post their beers’ ingredients online. This comes after a blogger called “the Food Babe” claimed that some beers contained high-fructose corn syrup and other additives.
Brian Dunn, the founder of Great Divide Brewing Company, sat down with Eater magazine and talked about his 20 years in Denver, what urban brewing is like, and the whereabouts of the Yeti.
Move over, bacon beer. The latest food-in-your-beer trend is peanut butter and jelly. Florida’s Funky Buddha Brewery offers a PB&J beer called “No Crusts.”
Purists think beer has no place in a yogic lifestyle, but yoga classes are popping up in breweries. Post-practice beer makes made yoga more social, and persuades men to take it up.
When you travel abroad, what do you get when you ask for “one beer, please”? Not only will the brand and style depend on the country you’re in, but so will the size of your serving.
Finally, any in the beer community maintain that brewing is an art form. Don Tse, writing in All About Beer magazine, agrees. His article explores the close relationship between fine beer and fine art.
On this day in 1886, King Ludwig II of Bavaria passed away. Please join our beer-drinking lion in a moment of silence for the “Mad King” who, among other things, commissioned the fantastic Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the area’s leading tourist attractions.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Petaluma, California, where Lagunitas Brewing Company held its annual Beer Circus. Some guests wore top hats and “ironic facial hair,” while others dressed as figures from popular culture.
Just in time for Father’s Day: Criquet, a clothing company, has designed a shirt with a reinforced lining that prevents you from destroying it while using the shirttail to twist a beer bottle open.
Twenty years ago, Lauren Clark quit her desk job to work for a brewery. She then gravitated to writing, and recently published Crafty Bastards, a history of beer in New England.
Gustav Holst’s The Planets inspired Bell’s Brewing to create a seven-ale series, each of which named for one of the planets in Holst’s suite. The first Planet beer will be released in August.
St. Louis, which is celebrating its 250th birthday, has 30 craft breweries–and yes, the Budweiser brewery, too. USA Today’s Wendy Pramick has a beer lover’s guide to the city.
Brock Bristow, a South Carolina attorney, might wind up in the Lobbyists’ Hall of Fame. He persuaded lawmakers to pass the brewery-friendly “Stone Bill”.
Finally, Jeopardy! for beer geeks. Three female beer bloggers host a monthly trivia night at a bar in Brooklyn. Games consist of four rounds: brewing, history, popular culture, and the “hipster trifecta.”
Three years ago, Eric Steen created the Beers Made by Walking program. It encourages brewers to go on nature hikes, find edible plants, and make beer using the ingredients they found. The result has been beers made with native plants such as salmonberry, stinging nettle, wild ginger, vanilla leaf, and spruce trees. Steen’s program has gained a following, especially in the Northwest.
Earlier this year, Matt Wagoner of the Forest Park Conservancy and brewer Dan Hynes of Thunder Island Brewing went hiking in the forests near Portland. There they harvested wild yeast from several locations, including the base of a 500-year-old Douglas fir. The beer made from those yeasts didn’t necessarily taste better than mainstream craft beers, but they did taste different and did remind of the forest. Beer writer Lucy Burningham said of them, “What’s unique is the place that we’re standing and the sounds I’m hearing as I’m tasting these beers…There’s all these invisible things that are part of the forest that have now shown up in the beer.”
Steen has several more beer hikes planned for Forest Park this summer. The beers made with ingredients from the trail will be served at a tasting event in October.
On this day in 1946, the Basketball Association of America, the ancestor of today’s National Basketball Association, was organized in New York City. Fun fact: the first basket in league history was made by Ossie Schectman of the New York Knickerbockers in a game against the Toronto Huskies at Maple Leaf Gardens.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Asheville, North Carolina. The big craft brewers building plants there are trying to be good neighbors to the home-grown breweries, who have welcomed the newcomers.
Beer will be brewed in the Bronx—New York City’s only mainland borough—after a nearly 50-year absence. The Bronx Brewery, which currently contracts out its production, will bring its operations home sometime next year.
The “Bottle Boys,” who play cover songs on beer bottles, are out with their latest: the 1982 Michael Jackson song, “Billie Jean”. Previous covers include Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”
Jacksonville, Florida, is the latest American city to create an Ale Trail for tourists. The trail includes a number of area micros, along with the Anheuser-Busch plant, which offers tours and a beer school.
The Boston Herald profiled Todd and Jason Alstrom, two guys from western Massachusetts who founded BeerAdvocate.com and organized the American Craft Beer Fest. Their motto is “Respect Beer.”
Dr. Paul Roof, a professor at Charleston Southern University, was fired by the school after his hirsute face appeared on cans of Holy City beer for a fund-raiser. CSU found that inconsistent with a Christian university.
Finally, a New Year’s resolution paid off for Justin “Bugsy” Sailor. Four years ago, Sailor resolved to have a beer with Sir Richard Branson. The two entrepreneurs finally clinked glasses last month.
Word spread quickly through the craft beer world that Jack Joyce, the founder of Rogue Ales & Spirits, passed away at the age of 71.
The brewery issued the following statement, which Jay Brooks posted earlier today on his Brookston Beer Bulletin:
Following a career as both a small town attorney and Nike executive, Jack and some friends founded Rogue in 1988 in Ashland, Oregon. From the outset, Jack set Rogue on a path of innovation, creativity, and rebellion. Rogue made hoppy, flavorful beers and was told that no one would drink them. Rogue made a wide range of beers and was told no one wanted variety. Rogue sold 22oz bottles of beer and was told no one would pay a premium for a single serve beer. Rogue opened multiple pubs and breweries and was told that it would be wise to follow a more efficient and logical business plan. Rogue took the road less, or perhaps never, travelled. Rogue was the first U.S. craft brewer to send beer to Japan. Rogue won 1,000 awards for product and packaging excellence. Rogue worried about getting better, not bigger. Rogue began distilling. Rogue began farming. Rogue remained dedicated to its small town roots and made sure to give back to its local communities. Rogue started a Nation. This was all vintage Jack.
He was the true Rogue and will be missed by us all.
After 43 years of making beer, the Anchor Brewing Company is finally brewing an IPA. That statement might not make sense, but John Holl, writing in All About Beer magazine, sets the record straight: “the golden amber cascade hop-forward ale first introduced in 1975 has won gold medals in the IPA category in beer contests, but the bottle doesn’t say IPA and it’s not always referred to the style when discussed in the brewery.”
Keith Greggor and Tony Foglio, who bought the brewery from Fritz Maytag in 2010, decided to launch Anchor IPA as part of its effort to keep up with the times. The task of brewing the new ale was given to veteran brewmaster Mark Carpenter, who told Holl, “I wanted a beer that I would like to drink.” The beer would not be as heavily hopped as San Diego-style IPAs, and uses non-traditional hop varieties—including an experimental hop that imparts a fresh peach flavor—along with established varieties.