On this day in 1968, the musical Hair opened on Broadway. Notable songs from the “American Tribal Love-Rock Musical” include “Aquarius”, “Easy to Be Hard”, and “Good Morning Starshine”.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Chelyabinsk, Russia, where a mechanic named Andrey Eremeev persuaded the beer store in his apartment building to let him run a pipeline from a keg in the store’s refrigerator to one of the taps of his kitchen sink.
Theater Cedar Rapids has added beer to its improv comedy classes. According to its education director, beer helps relieve inhibitions that can kill a performer’s creativity.
In Hastings, Nebraska, temperance advocates picketed the Do the Brew beer festival. The protesters, dressed in period garb, were actors promoting the upcoming Nebraska Chautauqua fest.
Israel’s Herzl Brewery made a beer that people might have enjoyed when Jesus was alive. It tasted a bit like honey and berries, but it was flat and cloudier than what we drink today.
Six years ago, Greg Avola and Tim Mather launched Untappd. The app now has more than 3.2 million users, and is so successful that both men quit their jobs to manage Untapped full time.
Frances Stroh has written a book about the Detroit-based brewery’s rise to national prominence in the late 1800s and its downfall amid consolidation and the city’s economic demise.
Finally, Utah liquor regulators may revoke a Salt Lake City movie theater’s liquor license for showing the R-rated film Deadpool. State law forbids a licensed establishment to show nudity. Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds donated $5,000 to the theater’s legal defense fund.
On this day in 1955, the first McDonald’s restaurant franchised by Ray Kroc, opened in Des Plaines, Illinois. This event is considered the official founding of McDonald’s Corporation, which now has some 68,000 locations in 119 countries worldwide.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Cincinnati, where Queen City Exchanges learned they can’t offer NYSE-like “dynamic pricing” of its beers. Ohio law forbids a retailer to change the price of beer more than once a month.
Federal regulators ruled that the Indeed Brewing Company’s “Lavender Sunflower Date aka LSD Honey Ale”, wasn’t an acceptable name–even though the beer contains no hallucinogens.
Colorado has seen a long-running battle over selling full-strength beer in grocery stores. If the stores win, 3.2 beer will likely disappear from the state.
Author Franz Kafka had a terrible relationship with his bullying father, and the two had almost nothing common–except an appreciation of beer: Czech beer, of course.
More than 30 North Carolina craft breweries are joining forces to brew a special beer to fight House Bill 2, a new state law that rolls back municipal protections of LGBT people.
Sterling, a 150-plus-year-old Louisville-brewed beer, is making a comeback. The brand is known for a 1960-70s series of beers named after Kentucky Derby winners.
Finally, one consequence of the U.S. easing travel restrictions to Cuba has been a run on local beer. Cerveceria Bucanero can’t make enough Cristal beer to keep up with tourist-fueled demand.
On this day in 1974, Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s record for most career home runs; and on this day in 1975, Frank Robinson became the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball history.
And now…Play Ball!
We begin in Russia, which is shedding its image as a country of hard drinkers. Younger Russians are developing a taste for craft beer, and an estimated 1,000 breweries have sprung up nationwide.
George Randall, the owner of several liquor stores in the St. Louis area, drives a real attention-getter: a car in the shape of a giant can of Old Milwaukee Light. He bought it for $2,000 on eBay.
Two Wichita men found a use for a gutted old food truck they bought. They installed ten beer taps, hooked them up to refrigerated kegs of local craft beer, and roam the city with a “drink truck”.
Anheuser-Busch InBev faces another consumer lawsuit. It alleges that A-B falsely claims Leffe beer is brewed in a Belgian monastery; it’s produced at the Stella Artois facility in Leuven.
The New Haven Symphony Orchestra is trying to broaden the audience for classical music by offering “Beers and Beethoven”. The price of admission includes samples of Connecticut-brewed beer.
Get ready for a superhero comic book about Three Floyds Brewing Company’s Alpha King Pale Ale. The hero brews a beer so good it attracts the attention of a monster-king and his minions.
Finally, Tom Dalldorf, the editor of Celebrator Beer News, speculates that American beer may go the way of wine: demand for the mass-produced “jug wine” fell, as customers gravitated to higher-quality products from smaller producers. There are some 10,000 wineries in the U.S.
Forty years ago today, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne founded what became Apple, Inc. Today, the Apple brand is considered the world’s most valuable, worth close to $120 billion.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Fort Worth, where fans of Louis Torres’s “beer can house” have just days to get a last look at it. Torres sold the house, which is likely to be leveled by developers.
A federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled that Anheuser-Busch InBev can sell beer with up to 0.03 percent less alcohol than advertised and still be in compliance with the law.
The World of Beer chain of beers is taking expansion to a new level. It has granted a franchise to Chinese investors, who plan to open three locations in Shanghai.
According to the UK’s Local Government Association, one way of curbing alcohol abuse is to make lower-alcohol beverages—i.e., beer—more widely available to drinkers.
Neal Ungerleider of Fast Company magazine reports on the status of Stone Brewing Company’s brewery in Berlin, and Stone’s effort to sell IPA to Germany’s conservative beer drinkers.
A couch potato’s dream happened in I-95 in Melbourne, Florida. A semi-trailer carrying Busch beer slammed into the back of another truck loaded with Frito-Lay products.
Finally, the owner of a Belgian beer bar in Philadelphia had these words for those who carried out the terror attacks in Brussels: “Heaven is an afterlife of Belgian beers, chocolates and frietjes that the terrorists shall never know.”
On this day in 1888, one of the worst blizzards on record struck the northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada. The storm crippled railroads and downed telegraph lines, leading citis and utilities to move their infrastructure below ground.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Cleveland, where delegates to this year’s Republican National Convention will be able to enjoy UnconventionAle, an American pale ale from the aptly named Platform Brewing Company.
And, by virtue of Ludwig’s Equal Time Rule, here’s a Democratic story. Last week, Zero Gravity Brewing Company released Bernie Weisse to celebrate Bernie Sanders’s presidential run.
Austin Beerworks has created a series of beers for Richard Linklater’s upcoming film, Everybody Wants Some. It’s the “spiritual sequel” to his 1993 coming-of-age classic, Dazed and Confused.
MuscleFood.com, U.K.-based online supplement shop, has created “Barbell Brew”. It contains as much protein as a cut of steak, and has 40 percent fewer calories than a regular beer.
In Singapore, craft breweries are opening in spite of high rents and stiff excise taxes. The city-state has about a dozen micros, four of which opened last year.
When astronaut Scott Kelly arrived in the U.S. after a year in space, Second Lady Jill Biden was there to welcome him. She presented Kelly with apple pie—and beer from the White House.
Finally, documents in Union Beer Distributors’ lawsuit against a competitor shed light on “pay-to-play” tactics in the New York area. Union, which admitted to paying bars to handle its brands, is owned by the same family that owns the distributor which was fined $2.6 million by Massachusetts liquor regulators.
One hundred and fifty-five years ago, Tsar Alexander II issued a proclamation that freed 23 million Russians from serfdom. The emancipated serfs gained the rights to marry without their owner’s consent, to own property, and to operate a business.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Maple Grove, Minnesota, where the owner and manager of a tavern were charged with transporting alcohol into the state for resale. That’s a felony in Minnesota.
Here are the a new video game called “Drink Beer, Neglect Family.” Players assume control of a depressed father who performs various feats of drunkenness while trying to dodge pop-up photos of his relatives.
Adam Teeter of Vinepair.com lists the nine biggest mistakes people make when buying craft beer. They include drinking nothing but IPA, and thinking that only high-gravity beers are legitimate crafts.
CNBC is once again sponsoring a Battle of the Beer Labels. The network will select 64 labels those submitted by breweries, and invite viewers to vote in a “March Madness”-style tournament.
In Montana, tavern owners and craft breweries put aside their disagreements over alcohol regulation—at least for the time being—to push a state-wide “Buy Local Beer Here” campaign.
A Wisconsin jury didn’t buy the defense offered by John Przybyla in a DUI trial: the alcohol in his system came from the beer-battered fish he’d eaten for dinner. The DUI conviction was Przybyla’s tenth.
Finally, a British marketing company mined thousands of Twitter tweets and Facebook posts for “emotional keywords”, then fed those keywords into a supercomputer that created a beer recipe which best expressed the emotions. It’s a cream ale.
Last week, Massachusetts’ liquor regulators slapped the state’s largest beer distributor with a 90-day license suspension. The distributor’s offense: paying some $120,000 in bribes to a dozen bars in return for their devoting tap handles to the brands the distributor carried.
Beer journalist Jeff Alworth contends that the practice of paying bars to carry its brands is hardly limited to the distributor that got caught. What made that case stand out was the distributor blatantly bought tap handles. More subtle corruption is harder to detect because state liquor regulators don’t have the resources to monitor every transaction between a distributor and a bar.
According to Alworth, the recent merger of Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller may lead to even more cheating with respect to beer distribution: “Large companies like [Anheuser-Busch InBev] are already making a big play to control distribution. Smaller companies are going to become desperate to get their beer to market. As more and more breweries come online and more and more consolidation happens at the top, the opportunities to cheat will grow.” While this story won’t dominate the media, Alworth predicts that “it will be one of the most important dynamics driving what happens in beer in the coming years.”
On this day in 1924, George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” premiered in New York at a concert titled “An Experiment in Modern Music.” Paul Whiteman and his band performed the work, with Gershwin playing the piano.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Zalec, a town in Slovenia’s hop-growing region. The city plans to spend €170,000 ($190,000) to build Europe’s first-ever “beer fountain”. For €6, visitors will be able to buy samples in a commemorative mug for three 10.5-ounce samples.
Craft beer is hard to find in Las Vegas. The reason? State laws which, until recently, allowed brewpubs only to sell directly to customers and imposed hefty license fees on brewpubs.
David Forde, a UK-based executive of the Heineken Company, thinks we should be drinking less because excessive drinking will create a backlash. Heineken’s latest ad campaign is “Moderate Drinkers Wanted”.
Some scientists believe that beer was the reason why our ancestors switched from a hunter-gatherer to an agricultural existence. Beer was more nutritious than beer and, unlike water, was free of pathogens.
New Belgium Brewing Company has narrowed its list of sites for a second brewery to two: Asheville, North Carolina; and the Philadelphia area. The final decision should be made by June.
USA Today’s panel of beer experts have chosen 20 cities for its America’s “best beer scene” competition. Until February 29, you can vote for your favorite—but only once per day.
Finally, Forbes magazine’s Breanna Wilson went to the 16-room Dogfish Inn in Lewes, Delaware. The inn doesn’t sell Dogfish Head beer onsite because it wants guests to wander the town’s restaurants—one of which is Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats.
The Reinheitsgebot, aka Germany’s beer purity law, turns 500 in April. The law is familiar to beer lovers but, according to Joe Stange of All About Beer magazine, is widely misunderstood. To begin with, it wasn’t the first German law that regulated ingredients. It wasn’t called a “purity law” until 100 years ago, and it was more concerned with keeping beer and bread affordable—and curbing brewers’ use of wheat, which bakers needed—than with keeping beer pure. It didn’t apply across Germany until 1906; and when it did, the law killed many regional beer styles. And the law has been tweaked since 1516.
All that said, the law remains on the books, and is known in English as “The Provisional Beer Law”. Even though it no longer bans the importation of non-Reinheitsgebot beer, thanks to various free-trade laws and treaties, a German brewery still can’t market non-compliant products as “beer”.
On a recent trip to a Munich beer bar, Stange deliberately ordered a non-compliant beer, a milk stout brewed by the bar’s parent company, a brewery called Camba Bavaria. The barman explained to Stange that it wasn’t available due to “legal troubles with the Reinheitsgebot”.
Stange contacted the brewery for an explanation of the “legal troubles”, which began with the milk stout. According to the brewery: “officials told them (1) they can’t call it beer, since it has lactose (milk sugar); (2) they can’t call it ‘milk’ anything since there is no milk in it; (3) they can’t call it Klim Touts [‘milk stout’ spelled backwards] either, by the way, because don’t be cheeky; and oh (4) you’ll have to go ahead and pay taxes on it as if it were beer, even though we say it’s not beer, because ‘milk stout’ is clearly an established international beer style, even though you can’t call it that.”
One hundred and thirty years ago, German engineer Karl Benz patented the first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine. He and his wife, Bertha, founded Mercedes-Benz, now a division of Daimler AG, headquartered in Stuttgart—the home of Germany’s “other” famous beer festival.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Flint, Michigan, whose water supply in contaminated with lead. Flint’s aptly-named Tenacity Brewery, assures that its beer is lead free—and is donating $1 per pint to the city’s children.
Here are eight things to know about hard root beer, including how it began; who owns the companies that make it; and how many calories (300) are in a 12-ounce bottle.
AC Shilton of Outside magazine has an answer to the beer can shortage: growlers. They environmentally friendly, don’t contain the chemical BPA, and support your local brewery.
Virginia restaurant-goers are allowed to bring their own wine into restaurants if they pay corkage. Now state lawmakers are considering a bill that would give beer drinkers the same option.
Bar owners are negotiating with city officials over the Chicago Cubs’ plan to build a plaza outside Wrigley Field. They’re afraid of losing business, especially if the plaza sells cheap beer.
Brooklyn’s Pop Chart Lab has created 99 Bottles of Craft Beer on the Wall. After sampling a beer, the drinker takes out a coin and scratches off the gilt foil “emptying” the bottle while retaining the label.
Finally, Woody Chandler, the man who shows up at festivals wearing a Rasputin beard and a monk’s robe, has posted his 7,000th check-in on Untappd, including 2,000 in 2015 alone. That translates into more than five new beers per day.