On this day in 1314, Scottish forces led by Robert the Bruce scored a decisive victory over the English at the Battle of Bannockburn. However, England wouldn’t recognize Scottish independence for another 14 years.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in New Jersey, where the Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing Company has rolled out an ale that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Matawan Creek shark attacks. A brewery co-owner describes 1916 Shore Shiver as—you knew this was coming—“a beer with bite”.
According to a recent Harris poll, craft beer drinkers consume less alcohol than non-craft-beer drinkers. They also exercise more often and pay greater attention to nutrition labels on food.
Scientists in Belgium have found that the music you listen affects your perception of the beer you drink. For instance, a “Disney-style track” caused people to rate beers as tasting sweeter, while deep, rumbling bass made beer taste more bitter.
ESPN has a video featuring “Fancy Clancy”, who has worked as a beer vendor at Baltimore Orioles games for more than 40 years. Clancy has sold more than 1 million beers, and considers Opening Day his Christmas.
The Lumbee Tribe, the largest Native American tribe east of the Mississippi, has sued Anheuser-Busch and a local Budweiser distributor. The suit alleges that the distributor used the tribe’s logo and slogan without permission.
If you’re visiting Milwaukee this summer, you can sign up for a Beer Titans History bus tour or a Beer Capital of the World history and beer tour. Or both, if have the time.
Finally, Australian researchers have isolated the yeast from a bottle of beer that survived a 1797 shipwreck, and re-created beers using recipes from two-plus centuries ago. The yeast is the only known strain to pre-date the Industrial Revolution.
On this day in 1579, Sir Francis Drake claimed a land he called Nova Albion (better known as modern-day California) for England. Nearly four centuries later, Jack McAuliffe opened New Albion Brewing Company in Sonoma, California. That started America’s craft beer revolution.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Detroit, where Stroh’s Beer was last brewed more than 30 years ago. Pabst Brewing Company, which owns the Stroh’s brand name and original recipe, has made a deal with Brew Detroit to revive the “European-style pilsner” with 5.5 percent alcohol by volume.
A new Colorado law will allow grocery stores to sell full-strength beer, along with wine and spirits. However, grocery chains are upset that it will take 20 years for the law to take full effect.
With summer looming, Gawker’s Alan Henry offers a tip for travelers staying in cheap hotels. Those old-school air conditioners that sound like jet engines are great for chilling beer in a hurry.
Japanese ballparks don’t have peanuts or Cracker Jack, but they do have biiru no uriko aka beer girls. These young women, who carry 30-pound kegs, work for beer companies, not ball clubs.
Breakthrough or April Fool’s joke? Karmarama, a London firm, has designed glassware for MolsonCoors’s beer called Cobra. It calls the glass “the biggest innovation in pouring since gravity”.
During the 1950s the U.S. government studied the effects of an atomic bomb blast. It found that beer a quarter mile from Ground Zero was “a tad radioactive”, but “well within the permissible limits of emergency use.”
Finally, Special Ed’s Brewery in California learned a lesson in branding. The public objected loudly to its use of slogans such as “Ride the Short Bus to Special Beer” to promote a new beer, and labeling a beer ” ‘tard tested, ‘tard approved”.
On this day in 1977, the Apple II, one of the first personal computers, went on sale. This PC, whose original list price was more than $5,000 in 2016 dollars, remained in production until 1981.
And now…The Mash!
Serious Eats magazine is hosting the Great American Beer Brawl. Visitors to the website are invited to vote for one of seven cites—or cast a write-in vote for a city not nominated by the magazine staff.
If you’re looking for a new summer beer, or an alternative to ubiquitous hoppy IPAs, give saison a try. The style pairs well with food; and it’s complimented by summer flavors like citrus, arugula, and fresh herbs.
Global Beverage has released three high-gravity beers in honor of the video game Mortal Kombat X: Sub-Zero Imperial IPA, Raiden Imperial Saison, and Scorpion Imperial Stout.
Wal-Mart has joined the craft beer party. A brewery in New York State is contract-brewing four private-label beers for the giant retailer. They’re available in nearly half of Wal-Mart’s stores.
Grow Pittsburgh is planting hop rhizomes in the city’s vacant lots. The hops will be harvested in the fall and used to make a local beer. Part of the proceeds from the beer will be donated to the community.
The Belgian Brewers’ Association has released a set of 60 beer emojis in order to “move the classic beer mug aside” for iOS and Android users. They’re downloadable on iTunes and Google Play.
Finally, Jack Horner, the paleontologist who inspired the Jurassic Park film series, credits the Rainier Brewing Company for advancing his work with dinosaurs. In 1979, the brewery donated 100 cases of Rainier beer to Horner and his research team.
* No, it’s not what you think. Get your minds out of the gutter!
On this day in 1927 the Ford Motor Company ended production of the Model T automobile, which sold 16.5 million models beginning in 1909. Production of its successor, the Model A, began five months later.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Philadelphia, whose city parks will become venues for “pop-up” beer festivals this summer. “Parks on Tap” will send beer and food trucks to the parks; there will also be live music and games.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is introducing a 100-plus-year-old Mexican beer, Estrella Jasilico, to the U.S. market to compete with Corona. Mexican beer imports to the U.S. rose by more than 14 percent.
Whale vomit is the latest icky ingredient in beer. Australia’s Robe Town Brewery used it to make Moby Dick Ambergris Ale. Medieval doctors used ambergris; today, it’s an ingredient in perfume.
Before the Cuban Revolution, La Tropical was the country’s oldest beer. Miami businessman Manny Portuondo plans to bring the brand back to life, this time on the other side of the Florida Straits.
Carnival Cruise Lines’ biggest ship, Carnival Vista, is the first cruise ship to have an on-board brewery. Brewmaster Colin Presby sat down with USA Today to talk about what he’s serving.
The Phillips Brewery in British Columbia has responded to drones by recruiting bald eagles to drop-deliver beer. Budweiser executives must be asking themselves, “Why didn’t we think of this?”
Finally, chemists at the Complutense University of Madrid have created an app that can tell you when a beer has too much of a “stale” flavor. The disk and app look for furfunal, a polymer that imparts a cardboard taste to over-aged beer.
On this day in 1892, Lord Stanley, Canada’s former Governor-General, pledged to donate a silver challenge cup to the best hockey team in Canada. The Montreal Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups, nine more than the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Silver Bay, Minnesota, where the city council banned a local microbrewery’s products from the municipal liquor store after the brewery opposed against taconite mining in the area.
Hops have been used in folk medicine for centuries. Today’s scientists have been working on harnessing hops’ anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.
Releases draw big crowds of beer geeks. Unfortunately, some of them behave badly, pushing and shoving, cutting in line, and abusing breweries on social media when the beer runs out.
The pace of mergers and acquisitions in the brewing industry is picking up, and now craft breweries are taking one another over. Recently, Oskar Blues Brewery has bought Cigar City Brewing.
Tom Osborne and Mike Robb appeared on the television show Shark Tank to pitch The Beer Blizzard, a freezable product that fits on the bottom of a beer can, keeping it colder longer.
A craft brewery in London is attacking the problem of food waste by salvaging heels from bread loaves. The heels—which normally go to waste—are made into a beer called Toast Ale.
Finally, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s Sam Calagione says he got his first taste of the beer business waiting tables at a Manhattan bar. That inspired Calagione to buy a homebrewing kit. On a whim, he added overly ripe cherries…and the rest is history.
Thirty-four years ago, AT&T agreed to be broken up into seven regional phone companies. Over the years, the “Baby Bells” recombined; and Southwestern Bell, the last surviving Baby Bell, renamed itself—you guessed it—“AT&T.”
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Chicago, where Walgreen’s sells Big Flats 1901 for $2.99 a six-pack. The contract-brewed beer has an overall rating of “Poor”—along with some funny reviews—on BeerAdvocate.com.
Kefir beer might be a healthier option for those with stomach ulcers. Scientists in Brazil found that rats that were fed kefir beer were less prone to inflammation than those that were fed regular beer.
Glassblower Matthew Cummings thinks beer deserves better glassware than the shaker pint. His Pretentious Beer Glass Company turns out odd-looking vessels designed for particular styles.
Vilde Haye, an Israeli boutique brewery, has launched a series of beers inspired by an imaginary klezmer orchestra. Each beer in the series has a “mascot,” a shtetel musician with a back story.
Mexican beer is growing faster than craft beer, thanks to America’s growing Latino population. There’s room for more growth as Anglos become aware of brands like Modelo and Tecate.
Brewbound.com lists the top ten craft beer stories of 2015. They include mergers and acquisitions, veteran craft-brewing figures stepping down, lawsuits, and the popularity of hard root beer.
Finally, Frank Winslow, Yards Brewing Company’s Director of Quality Assurance, explains why most beer bottles are brown but some are green, and why Corona might contain hop extract rather than actual hops.
On this day in 1271, Kublai Khan of “stately pleasure dome” fame renamed his empire “Yuan,” officially marking the start of the Yuan dynasty of Mongolia and China. The yuan is modern-day China’s monetary unit.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Japan, where a local firm has teamed up with an Amsterdam-based renewables company to develop eco-friendly plastic beer bottles. They’re made from plant sugar rather than fossil fuels.
As competition grows more fierce, breweries are hiring artists, graphic designers, and even branding firms to create packaging that wins shelf space and attracts customers.
“Beer before whiskey” is risky, but not for the reasons you think. People drink faster as intake increases, whatever the beverage; and whiskey’s higher alcohol content compounds the effects.
Last weekend, Vancouver’s Storm Brewing unleashed its Glacial Mammoth Extinction beer. It’s Canada’s first beer above 25 percent ABV, and it isn’t cheap: a bottle will set you back C$1,000 ($730 U.S.).
Craft brewing’s success has created a problem: a shortage of cans, especially the 16-ounce cans that many crafts prefer to distinguish their product from national-brand beer.
Debrett’s, a British etiquette authority since 1769, has published a guide to proper beer-drinking. Among other topics, it covers proper pouring and tasting and how to behave decorously at the pub.
Finally, James Grugeon of Brisbane, Australia, is crowd-funding a brewery with a social purpose. Half the profits of his Good Beer Company will be donated to a conservation society trying to save the endangered Great Barrier Reef.
Five centuries ago, German brewers used a hybrid strain of yeast, and wound up making lager beer—which attracted a world-wide following. They didn’t know it was a hybrid because they didn’t know what yeast was, let alone what role it played in the brewing process.
Today, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are developing hybrid yeasts. They accomplish this through the use of plasmids, or circles of DNA that can manipulate DNA in cells. The plasmids express a natural protein that allows two different species of yeast to “mate.” (This isn’t possible with industrial yeasts, which are incapable of producing spores that can be bred into new hybrids.)
The UW scientists believe they can produce a large amount of hybrid yeasts, which in turn will produce new flavors of beer. And, they say, they can generate new hybrids within a week.
It’s Thanksgiving weekend, which means that Ludwig, our beer-drinking lion, is spending quality time with his pride. His first stop is, of course, the Detroit Lions game at Ford Field. Then, after he and the other lions feast (on zebra and all the trimmings, of course), he’s going to take a long nap. He’ll be back next Friday with the regular edition of…
We begin in Chelsea, Massachusetts, where The Field hosted its annual Pub Debate over whether marijuana should be legalized. The debate was conducted under British parliamentary rules, and both drinking and heckling were encouraged.
Chris Bosh of the NBA’s Miami Heat hosted a block party for his neighborhood. Bosh, an avid homebrewer, included a growler of his beer with each invitation.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has launched the Alpha Hops Society. For a $250 annual fee, members will receive a quarterly release of small-batch experimental brews.
Last month’s mega-merger between Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller has put midsize brands such as Carlsberg and Heineken in a squeeze between a goliath with one-third of the industry’s market share and a growing craft sector.
The “Flux Capacitor” is back from the future. Treadwell Park, a beer hall in Manhattan has installed the device, which lets bartenders control the carbonation and temperature of each beer.
Here’s evidence that beer pong can be educational. Alex, from QuickSolar.com, hosts a two-minute video in which he uses the game to explain the solar photovoltaic effect.
Finally, beer, then whiskey. Rhonda Kallman, co-founder of the Boston Beer Company and a craft beer legend, has started a new venture, the Boston Harbor Distillery. It makes whiskey out of—you guessed it—Sam Adams beer.
On this day in 1869, host Rutgers College defeated the College of New Jersey (now known as Princeton University), 6-4, in the first-ever intercollegiate football game. How much beer was consumed before and after the game is lost to history.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Richmond, Virginia, which is floating $23 million in bonds to finance the construction of a second plant for Stone Brewing Company.
Pro wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who chugs cans of beer in the ring, has teamed up with El Segundo Brewing Company. The new beer is called Broken Skull IPA.
A start-up company in Belfast has invented a a beer-making machine called the BrewBot, which takes care of temperature and liquid pumping on its own.
Statistician Dr. Nathan Yau, using the website Flowing Data, figured out the most efficient route for taking a beer-tasting road trip around the continental U.S. The itinerary is 12,299 miles long.
Cara, a Canadian beer bar chain, has rescinded a dress code that forced Bier Markt’s female servers to wear revealing dresses. Some believe Cara was violating Ontario’s civil-rights laws.
South Korea’s exports in general have fallen but its beer exports are strong, partly because Iraqi Kurds and young Chinese drinkers prefer a beverage with a lower alcoholic content.
Finally, struggling presidential candidate Lindsey Graham flubbed his stint tending bar before taking part in a debate in Colorado. Graham, whose father tended bar, served up a pint with 15 ounces of foam.