On this day in 1883, the first regularly-scheduled Orient Express, a long-distance luxury train, left Paris for Vienna. The Orient Express’s route and rolling stock changed many times over its lifetime, but the train has become synonymous with luxury, intrigue, and a famous fictional murder.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Pennsylvania, where Jonathan Cooper has developed “Thinking & Drinking,” a card game that encourages players to explore local breweries through conversation-starting questions.
Inventor Staton Lorenz has developed the “Growler Collar,” a plastic device that screws onto the top of growlers and lifts them off the counter to allow for proper air circulation and drying.
In the May 28 New York Times, Dr. Daniela Lamas describes how she and a medical student offered comfort to a terminally-ill cancer patient in the form of a cold bottle of Guinness.
The fantasy-league craze has extended to craft beer. Tyler Moss of Paste magazine describes his league, in which team owners submit beers from their roster for a competitive tasting.
In California, Lagunitas Brewing Company’s popularity has municipal officials struggling to handle traffic. Lagunitas will spend $30 million to up production and make its headquarters easier to visit.
Entourage star Adrian Grenier has launched his own brand of beer, the Churchkey Can Company. Why “Churchkey?” Customers have to use a traditional can opener to open the retro-design cans.
Finally, Soweto, in South Africa, is best known for apartheid and poverty. It’s also the home of uBuntu Kraal (”Togetherness Ranch”), South Africa’s only majority black-owned brewery, whose Soweto Gold is aimed at the emerging black middle class.
The staff of Mental Floss magazine sifted through the Brewers Association’s sales figures for craft breweries, and identified the largest brewery in each state. Some of them are obvious—Boulevard is Missouri’s largest, for example—but others provide good material for bar trivia. Can you guess the largest brewery in these five states?
(e) Rhode Island.
Time’s up. The answers are (a) Core Brewing Company, (b) Two Roads, (c) Backpocket Brewing, (d) Ellis Island Casino & Brewery, and (e) Trinity Brewhouse.
Bar trivia, the American version of the British pub quiz, has enjoyed a surge of popularity in recent years. One of the more successful trivia quizmasters is Geeks Who Drink, a Denver-born group that was founded in 2006 and now operates in 31 states.
Daliah Singer of 5280, The Denver Magazine, caught up with GWD’s head, John Dicker, to find out how what made the games so popular and what he drinks to jog his trivia brain. It certainly helps that GWD has a full-time editor who’s a six-time Jeopardy champion.