Holidays

Wild Turkeys

Joe Morette, a farmer from New Hampshire, discovered by accident that feeding his turkeys beer instead of water resulted in better-tasting bird. Just in time for Thanksgiving, which is less than three weeks away.

The Friday Mash (Treasure State Edition)

On this day in 1889, Montana was admitted to the Union as the 41st state. Montana, with 36 craft breweries and a population of just over one million, ranks third in number of breweries per capita, behind only Vermont and Oregon. No wonder its nickname is the “Treasure State.”

And now….The Mash!

We begin in San Francisco, where a company called ReGrained is using spent grain from beer brewing to make granola bars. The bars also contain Ghirardelli chocolate and other local ingredients.

Bottle-share parties have gotten much more sophisticated over the years. Portland, Oregon, writer Lucy Burningham sampled rare beer and gourmet food at a high-end gathering in her hometown.

Why are holiday beers already on the shelves? Because early rollouts work. Sales of seasonal beers have risen by 15 percent or more in the past few years.

Cassava is the second most-consumed source of carbohydrates in sub-Saharan Africa. Multi-national breweries are buying the crop from farmers and using it to brew beer.

Japanese baseball players have their version of America’s post-game Champagne celebration: a victory beer fight in which players spray one another. The tradition dates back to 1959.

Craft beer might be the next big tourist attraction in the Tampa Bay area. Four micros have recently opened in St. Petersburg alone, and Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company has a nation-wide following.

Finally, it has been a year since Hurricane Sandy heavily damaged the Jersey Shore. Flying Fish Brewing Company’s “F.U. Sandy” beer has generated $75,000 in donations to a number of New Jersey charities.

The Friday Mash (Valley of Death Edition)

On this day in 1854, during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War, a command blunder sent a British light cavalry force on a frontal assault into a Russian artillery battery. The attack, which resulted in heavy casualties for the British, was immortalized in Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade.”

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Fort Worth, Texas, where the Shake n’ Bake Bacon Brew will make its debut next weekend at the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR race. It’s a bacon-infused beer milkshake.

Miami resident Francisco Rene Marty has filed a class-action lawsuit against AB InBev. Marty alleges that AB deceives customers by representing that Beck’s beer is still brewed in Germany.

The Beer Game is an orientation tradition at MIT’s Sloan School of Business. Players aren’t served beer, but the game teaches them about the non-linear complexities of supply chains.

SteadyServ Technologies has attracted $6.5 million in capital to develop the iKeg, a device that monitors how much beer is left in a keg and warns when it’s is about to run dry.

For the past three years, Arizona resident Evo Terra has celebrated Oktoberfest by going on a beer and sausages diet. Terra loses 14 pounds, and his cholesterol level drops by one-third.

Wynkoop Brewery’s brewers Bess Dougherty and Andy Brown explain how blue gummi bears became an ingredient and what a Rolling Stones song has to do with an English brown ale.

Finally, brewers in Antwerp have revived a beer style that disappeared during World War I. It’s Seef beer (pronounced like “safe”), “a white beer that foamed like Champagne, and went to the head like port.”

Fun Facts

According to Hallmark’s Ultimate Holiday Calendar, today is National Drink Beer Day. You know what to do.

To mark the occasion, Jason English of MentalFloss.com presents 25 amazing facts about beer. Regular readers of this blog are probably familiar with many of them.

Ten Beers for the Fourth

Thursday is America’s birthday, and the fitting way to celebrate it is with an American craft beer. The folks at FoodRepublic.com are here to help, with ten beers for the Fourth of July. There are “some sessionables, PLENTY of IPAs, some Belgians and that canned Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer we can’t stop drinking (clearly).”

Can’t wait until Thursday? Who says you have to wait?

The Friday Mash (Toledo Strip Edition)

On this day in 1836, delegates from Michigan Territory ceded the Toledo Strip to Ohio, meeting a condition laid down by Congress for becoming a state. Michigan’s consolation prize was the Upper Peninsula, which turned out to contain billions of dollars worth of iron and copper.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Deerfield Beach, Florida, where the city fathers have given Chaz Stevens the go-ahead to put up a Festivus pole made of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans.

Next year, Deschutes Brewery will celebrate 25 years in business with a series of collaborative anniversary beers. The collaborators are breweries that, like Deschutes, opened in 1988.

Hurricane Sandy delayed it, but Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s expansion should be complete by the end of next summer. The expansion will increase capacity to 600,000 barrels per year.

A Colorado lawmaker plans to introduce a bill that would let grocery and convenience stores sell craft beer. Currently, these stores are limited to selling 3.2 beer.

Bloomington’s Upland Brewing Company plans to revive Indiana’s all-time most beloved beer, Champagne Velvet, which was brewed in Terre Haute during the first half of the 20th century.

There’s a new board game called Beer and Vikings. To win, a character must drink the most beer from the communal barrel. In case of a tie, whoever killed the most opponents wins.

Finally, it’s that time of the year again. Wynkoop Brewing Company has put out a call for entries for its 17th annual Beerdrinker of the Year Competition. The winner will get free Wynkoop beer for life.

“Black Friday” in Milwaukee

Before heading out of town in his lion limo, Ludwig asked us to post this story on the blog. The dateline is Milwaukee, and it’s about Lakefront Brewery’s way of celebrating the day after Thanksgiving. Starting at 8 am, Lakefront will pour its “Black Friday” ale. It’s an Imperial India-style black ale, which the brewery describes as “a huge, dark ale,” with about 10% ABV and “ample pine and citrus aromas.” The beer release is part of Lakefront Brewery’s second annual “Black Friday” event, which includes 12 hours of continuous brewery tours.

The Friday Mash (Acid Test Edition)

On this day in 1938, the hallucinogenic drug LSD was first synthesized in Europe. It entered popular culture in the 1960s when Timothy Leary promoted its use, and author Tom Wolfe documented the adventures of Ken Kesey and his acid-dropping band of Merry Pranksters.

Ludwig recommends avoiding this drug and sticking to beer.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Fredericksburg, Texas, where Lee Hereford raised $2 million for his Pedernales Brewing Company by visiting would-be investors’ homes armed with a prospectus and samples of his beer.

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving. If you haven’t decided how to cook your turkey, homebrew chef Sean Z. Paxton has a recipe for “Tipsy Turkey”. You’ll need a good holiday ale for the beer brine.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, the beer brewed by Plymouth Colony Pilgrims might have offended craft beer purists because the grain bill included corn. With good reason: local barley crop often failed.

Canadian beer writer Jordan St. John toured Boston Beer Company’s Jamaica Plain facility, with none other than company founder Jim Koch leading the tour. St. John learned why sour beer and balsamic vinegar are similar.

About ten years ago, someone decided to dress up the gardens of Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium by planting hop bines. Now, dry hops from those bines will be used by Revolution Brewing, a local micro.

Next year, Anheuser-Busch InBev will roll out Budweiser Black Crown, which it describes as a “golden amber lager.” It will carry a 6% ABV alcoholic punch.

Finally, Ludwig would like to introduce Wojtek, a brown bear that fought alongside Polish soldiers during World War II. Adopted as a cub by artillerymen serving in Iran, the bear drank two bottles of beer a day.

The Friday Mash (Nixon in China Edition)

Forty years ago today, President Richard Nixon began his historic journey to Beijing, where he laid the groundwork for the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with China. “Nixon in China” has become a political catchphrase, and China now ranks number-one in the world in beer consumption.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Mississippi, where state lawmakers will once again consider raising the maximum allowable alcohol content of beer, currently 5.9 percent ABV. Also under consideration: legalizing homebrewing.

Fancy a pint of Kremlin Beer? The Russian government has trademarked that name, along with Kremlin Vodka. Ludwig hopes the beer will be a red lager.

Corner taverns weren’t just places to knock back a few with friends. They were also centers of community life. Sadly, these establishments are disappearing, thanks in large part to yuppification and stricter licensing laws.

The International Trappist Association, which recognizes seven authentic Trappist breweries, might recognize an eighth brewery: the Engelszell Stift monastery in Austria. Commenters on the story suggest that a couple more might be added to the list as well.

Do you review beers? If so, you might fit into a stereotype. Billy Broas, who blogs at BillyBrew, has compiled a list of ten different types of reviews that he’s run across on the Web.

If you’re headed to Canada’s largest city, the staff of Toronto Life magazine has some tips. They’ve chosen the city’s best bars to have a pint (or three). The establishments range from a locovore’s paradise to an authentic Irish pub.

Finally, Monday is President’s Day. Jay Brooks calls our attention to beer and the presidency, from George Washington’s insistence on American-brewed porter to Barack Obama’s homebrewing.

A Very Ludwig Christmas

Dear readers, it’s time for Ludwig to take his annual Christmas vacation, where he’ll get to spend some quality time with his pride.

Before stepping into the lion limo, Ludwig left us a present: a video of the construction of a Christmas tree made with more than 1,000 beer bottles. Enjoy!

Bon voyage, Ludwig; we’ll see you after the holidays!

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