For the past five years, the San Francisco-based Seedling Project has given out the Good Food Awards, which recognize of high-quality food made in a environmentally responsible manner. The awards have a beer category. To be considered, a brewery has to recycle water, source locally, and not use genetically modified ingredients; and for a beer to win, it has to taste good as well.
The latest issue of the Sierra Club magazine mentions five Good Food Award-winning beers: Port City Brewing Optimal Wit, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Bear Republic Cafe Racer 15 Double IPA, Victory Helios Ale, and Ninkasi Believer Double Red Ale. Those five would make an awfully good flight of tasters.
Forty-five years ago today, at a zebra crossing in London, photographer Iain Macmillan took the photo that became the cover of the Beatles album Abbey Road. It became one of the most famous album covers in recording history.
And now…The Mash!
We begin, appropriately, in London, where local officials might stop evening beer festivals at the zoo after festival-goers threw beer at the tigers and a drunken woman tried to enter the lion enclosure*.
Jim Koch, the CEO of Boston Beer Company, planned to open a brewery in Seattle, where he went to college. But after watching it rain for 45 straight days, Koch and his wife moved back to Boston.
Germany’s years-long slump in beer consumption was halted by its winning the World Cup. Between January and June, sales rose by 4.4 percent over a year ago.
Bend, Oregon’s 10 Barrel Brewing Company issued a recall for its popular Swill beer after it learned some bottles were undergoing secondary fermentation, which could cause them to explode.
California’s continuing drought has craft brewers worried. If the rains don’t come this winter, they might be forced to curtail production, raise prices, or even move brewing operations out of state.
Elizabeth Daly, who sued the Virginia ABC after over-zealous plainclothes officers wrongly suspected she was a minor in possession, will get a $212,500 settlement check from the state.
Finally, New Zealand health regulators warned a hotel that its sign, “Pero Says: ‘Free Beer Tomorrow’”, may violate the law by promoting excessive drinking. Haven’t they read about “Jam Tomorrow” in Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking-Glass?
* Ludwig is not pleased with her.
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.
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.
It’s been a horrible winter in much of the country, but take heart: today is the first full day of spring. Today is also the first day of the astrological year, being the first full day under the sign of Aries. So break out the noisemakers and funny hats, and order yourself a beer.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Bend, Oregon, which has 80,000 residents and 11 breweries. The breweries issue visitors a “passport” that they can get stamped as they sample their way through town.
Esquire Network’s Brew Dogs are trying to brew the world’s most caloric beer: an imperial stout made with maple syrup and bacon, served with a scoop of beer ice cream and a sliver of bacon. It weighs in at over 525 calories.
According to Outdoor Life magazine, empty glass beer bottles may help you survive in the wilderness. You can make sharp tools out of them, and even use them to start fires.
The Session #86, moderated by “Beer Hobo” Heather Vandenengel, will focus on beer journalism. She invites you to discuss the role of beer writers and talk about your favorites.
In Boise, fans filed suit against the city’s minor-league hockey team after seeing a YouTube video showing that a $7 large beer contained the same amount of beer as a $4 “small” beer.
The environment is a high priority at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s new North Carolina plant, whose interior decor will reflect the natural beauty of its surroundings.
Finally, conservative commentator Phyllis Schlafly has asked federal trademark regulators to deny Schlafly beer a trademark because she doesn’t want her family associated with beer. Her nephew Tom’s Saint Louis Brewery has brewed Schlafly beer since 1989.
On this day in 1876, Scottish-born inventor Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for an invention he called the telephone. Ironically, Bell considered the phone a distraction from his real work as a scientist and refused to have one in his study.
And now…a busy signal!
Almost 600 types of barley seeds have been added to the Svalbard Seed Vault in Norway. This ups the chances that survivors will be able to enjoy a post-apocalyptic beer.
In India, architecture students from Bangalore and Spain used thousands of beer bottles to construct a classroom. The bottles eliminate the need for artificial light inside.
Stone Brewing Company plans to open a second brewery in the eastern U.S., and it appears that Greensboro has been found worthy as a site to brew Arrogant Bastard and other ales.
A London-based start-up company has a remedy for job stress. Desk Beer offers Friday deliveries of local craft beer–provided, of course, the boss approves.
If you plan on some beer hunting, Lindsey Grossman of Paste magazine suggests eight beer-related apps for your phone. They include a “fairly addictive” game called Micro Caps.
Finally, after being served three ales he couldn’t stand, Johnny Sharp unleashed a rant titled “Am I The Only Man in Britain Who Hates Craft Beer? You may find his writing an “acquired taste.”
On this day in 1827, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was incorporated. Can you name the other railroads on the Monopoly board? Time’s up. They’re the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Reading Railroad, and the Short Line.
We begin in Brazil, where the Polar brewery has an invention that will make it easier to converse in bars. It’s a beer cooler that cuts out GSM, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G, and 4G signals.
California’s drought could make your Lagunitas IPA will taste different. The Russian River, which provides Lagunitas with its water, is drying up, and brewery might have to find another source.
Beer was the headline ingredient in last Sunday’s “Chopped” competition on the Food Network. The show, with Stone Brewing Company’s Greg Koch as a judge, airs again on Sunday evening.
Higher zymurgical education awaits in the form of Joshua Bernstein’s new book, The Complete Beer Course. It contains a series of “classes” devoted to families of beers.
On Tuesday, when he was in Chicago to announce the award of a federal manufacturing grant, President Obama put in a plug for Goose Island Brewing Company’s “superior beer.”
A Korean romantic comedy in which the female lead makes chimek to celebrate winter’s first snow has Chinese viewers clamoring for the dish, which is Korean for “fried chicken” and “beer.”
Finally, a gathering of 490 Yelp members at Santa Anita Race Track might set a new Guinness record for beer tasters. We hope they bet on Ambitious Brew, who won the $100,000 Sensational Star stakes race.
Sixty-six years ago today, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing was formed in Daytona Beach, Florida. Today, NASCAR is second only to the National Football League in television ratings and has more Fortune 500 corporate sponsors than any other sport.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in western North Carolina, where the new Sierra Nevada brewery has started brewing IPA. It will start shipping to distributors this spring, and open to the public in August.
It looks like a stout, but Morning Beer by a Sacramento roaster is actually a nitrogenated coffee. It’s alcohol-free, so you can enjoy it on your way to work.
Think you’re the ultimate beer geek? If so, send a video to the Firestone Walker Brewing Company. The lucky winner will get four VIP tickets to the sold-out Invitational Beer Festival.
The All-American Food Truck & Craft Beer Rally took place in Huntsville, Alabama, on Wednesday. Food trucks are showing up at more and more festivals on our calendar.
Your purchase of Flying Dog Ales’ Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout helps fund the brewery’s effort to plant oysters in Chesapeake Bay. Flying Dog expects to plant two million this year.
It’s almost Mardi Gras season in New Orleans. If you’re going, local writer Nora McGunnigle tells where you can find good beer in the Crescent City.
Finally, we recently told you about beer concentrate. Now the folks at Gizmodo.com have tried it straight, and say it “bombards your taste buds with a rotting symphony of flavors not meant for consumption.”
One hundred and fifty-five years ago today, Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state. An impressive 47 percent of the beer poured in the Beaver State is craft beer, most of it locally brewed; and Portland, the state’s largest city, has become a top destination for beer travelers.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Pennsylvania where, after a 29-year hiatus, D. Yuengling & Son is again making ice cream. It’s so popular that the first 100,000-quart run rolled off the line ahead of schedule.
The Stochasticity Project has released its first beer, Grapefruit Slam IPA. The beer, which checks in at 8.2% ABV and 95 IBUs, will be available nationwide.
Bear Republic is the first brewery to buy the Eco-Volt system, which uses microbes to convert dissolved carbon in wastewater into biogas, which can be burned to make electricity or heat.
The Beer Store, Ontario’s provincial retail monopoly, warns that if grocery and convenience stores are allowed to sell beer, consumers will have to pay an extra C$10 (U.S. $9) a case.
Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, who performed as Status Quo, are the latest celebrity beer makers. Piledriver ale, named for their 1972 album, is brewed by Wychwood Brewery of Oxfordshire.
Fans at the Winter Olympics can escape bland food by journeying to the nearby town of Adler, where “Draft Beer & Fish” has 16 beers on tap, most of them locally brewed.
Finally, clear your desk and take out a number-two pencil. John Metcalf of The Atlantic has a ten-point craft beer quiz that emphasizes the strange ingredients brewers are using.
On this day in 1929, Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Segar, debuted in the Thimble Theatre comic strip. Since then, Popeye has appeared in comic books, video games, and a film starring Robin Williams in the title role.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in St. Louis’s Bellefontaine Cemetery, where two adjacent mausoleums on Millionaires’ Row remind us of a rivalry between brewing families, the Lemps and the Wainwrights.
The Spencer Brewery in Massachusetts, has become only the tenth brewery to to be recognized as Trappist. Its ales are brewed by the monks–Trappist, of course–of St. Joseph’s Abbey.
Germany’s Federal Cartel Office levied $150 million in fines on five breweries for conspiring to fix prices. The whistle-blower was none other than Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Has extreme beer gone too far? The Icelandic brewery Steojar was blasted by conservationists for brewing a beer with whale meat. A treaty signed by most nations bans commercial whaling.
Sam Samaneiego, the “Beer Nazi,” has passed away. His Stuffed Sandwich restaurant in San Gabriel, California, has been introducing customers to better beer since it opened in 1976.
Thailand’s Singha beer found itself embroiled in political controversy after brewery heiress Chitpas Bhirombhakdi accused rural Thais of lacking a “true understanding” of democracy.
Finally, festival organizers are having second thoughts about glassware. Some higher-end festivals give attendees fancy keepsake glasses instead of plastic cups or mini-shaker pints.