It’s been 80 years since the 21st Amendment ended Prohibition and left most liquor regulation up to the states. That’s the good news. The bad news is that many states still have strange laws that govern alcoholic beverages. Author Aaron Goldfarb, writing in Esquire magazine, offers his top ten remnants of Prohibition. You’re undoubtedly familiar with some of them, such Sunday blue laws; dry counties; and ABV caps, which still exist in a few states.
Others are downright weird, such as Pennsylvania’s “case law” (you must buy at least 24 beers at a time), Indiana’s ban on cold beer sales, and bans on Election Day sales in a few states whose politics might drive one to drink. And with Christmas coming up, you should know that in Washington, D.C., it’s illegal to use Santa Claus to promote alcohol.
On this day in 1765, James Christie reportedly held his first auction in London. The company he founded has become an art business and fine arts auction house which, every year, sells billions of dollars worth of paintings and other valuable works.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Kano, Nigeria, where police enforcing Sharia law destroyed more than 240,000 bottles of beer that were confiscated from supply trucks and Christian shopkeepers.
In Florida, beer in standard 64-ounce growlers remains illegal thanks to bottle laws passed many years ago. Oddly, it’s legal to sell beer in 32- and 128-ounce containers.
Remember Todd Ruggere, the man who drank a beer in every town in Massachusetts to raise money for cancer research? His next stop is Connecticut, which has 169 towns.
New Belgium Brewing Company is rolling out its tenth year-round beer: Snapshot Wheat, an unfiltered wheat beer with citrusy aroma from Target hops. It checks in at a sessionable 5 percent ABV.
LiveScience’s Stephanie Pappas explains the science behind a common party foul: the foam explosion out of a bottle of beer when you tap it. The tap creates waves which, in turn, create bubbles.
Another item from the world of science. Bricks made with five percent spent grain are nearly 30 percent better insulators, and just as strong as traditional bricks. The drawback? They smell of fermented grain.
Finally, some are defending an Amsterdam organization’s policy of paying hard-core alcoholics in beer to clean up city parks. The workers are healthier and better-behaved now that they’re being treated like humans.
On this day in 1837, Canadian journalist and politician William Lyon Mackenzie wrote an essay calling for a rebellion against the United Kingdom. During the 1990s, the Upper Canada Brewing Company honored him with an ale called “Rebellion.”
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Hyde Park, Utah, whose heavily Mormon population voted nearly 2-to-1 to allow beer sales. The town’s mayor said it was the most emotional issue he’s ever seen.
Spain’s Catalonia has its own language, customs, and cuisine. If brewery owner Alex Padro has its way, it will soon have its own beer as well.
Sonoma County, California, the birthplace of modern craft brewing, boasts 20 craft breweries. The breweries have a significant economic impact, and have become a tourist attraction.
Heady Topper, a double IPA made by The Alchemist brewery, is so popular that the brewery’s owners had to close their retail store after neighbors complained about rowdy customers.
Patagonia, the outdoor clothing company, is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the California Route Lager. It’s a California common beer made by the New Belgium Brewing Company.
Garrett Oliver talked with the New York Times about his favorite places to drink beer in Sweden. Oliver has teamed up with Carlsberg to start The New Carnegie Brewery in Stockholm.
Finally, two men are raising funds on Kickstarter.com for The Beer Tusk, a device for those who like to “shotgun” their beers. It’s safer than a key, and less likely to make the beer backsplash.
Seventy-two years ago today, photographer Ansel Adams took a black-and-white photograph of a moonrise over the town of Hernandez, New Mexico. The image has been called “a perfect marriage of straight and pure photography.”
And now….The Mash!
We begin in St. Louis, where Busch Stadium beer vendor Patrick Ferris donated all of his tips from Game 3 of the World Series to a family whose seven-year-old son was killed in a house fire.
Hard-line Islamists in Indonesia are pushing for national alcohol prohibition. Many localities in the world’s fourth most-populous country have already banned the sale of alcohol.
Tool time! In China’s Shandong Province, 20 helicopter pilots tried to to open a beer bottle…using bottle openers mounted to the skids of their choppers.
Winchester, Kentucky, is the official birthplace of beer cheese, and the city now offers a self-guided tour of businesses connected with this distinctive Kentucky product.
Now that marijuana is legal in Washington, the Redhook Ale Brewery is teaming up with a Seattle micro to produce a hemp-infused beer called–you guessed it–Joint Effort.
This might win you a bar bet. The nation’s first brewery to can its beer was the Kreuger Brewery of Newark, New Jersey. The cans were so popular that Kreuger took market share away from national breweries.
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.”
Thirty-eight years ago today, Saturday Night Live debuted. The host was George Carlin, and the guests included Andy Kaufman, Janis Ian, and Billy Preston. The show has aired more than 700 episodes, and many of its alumni have gained fame in film, in television, and as writers.
And now…the Mash!
We begin in Hudson, Wisconsin, which has become a popular beer-run destination for Twin Cities residents. The attraction? Beers that aren’t distributed in Minnesota.
Entrepreneurs have raised $100,000 on Kickstarter to manufacture beer-brewing robots. The Brewbot, controlled from an iPhone and compatible with a kegerator, will cost around $3,200.
All aboard! The Sacramento River Train, which runs between West Sacramento and Woodland, California, offers three-hour-long beer tours with beer from local breweries.
A bill in the Michigan legislature would require bars that advertise “pints” to serve 16 ounces of beer. Some bar owners fear that they’ll have to buy new glassware to comply with the law.
In Portland, Oregon, 12 bottles of “Dave” sold for $2,000 each at the Hair of the Dog Brewery. These rare bottle, which date back to 1999, are the world’s most expensive and, according to brewer Alan Sprints, have aged well.
Michal Bodzianowski, a sixth-grader from Colorado, will be the first person to experiment with brewing in space. His class has designed a beer-in-microgravity experiment for the International Space Station.
Finally, if you’re in Denver for the Great American Beer Festival, look for The Beerliner. The 1974 refurbished bus, equipped with beer taps and a commercial kitchen, belongs to the North by Northwest brewpub in Austin, Texas.
Today is Friday the 13th, a day dreaded by the superstitious. However, Ludwig and his staff at the Mash agree with baseball (and beer-drinking) legend Babe Ruth, who said, “I have only one superstition. I make sure to touch all the bases when I hit a home run.”
And now…the Mash!
We begin in Chicago, where Old Style beer will end its 63-year run at Wrigley Field at the end of this season. Next year, Anheuser-Busch will become the Cubs’ exclusive beer sponsor.
Shares of Boston Beer Company (ticker symbol: SAM) have appreciated by 1,000 percent in the past ten years, which means the company’s CEO, Jim Koch, is now a billionaire.
Since 1935, Wyoming’s beer tax has been two cents a gallon. State lawmakers are considering raising the tax to help fund substance-abuse programs. The nation’s median beer tax is 19 cents.
East Asian beer lovers can now buy Hello Kitty beer in six tropical fruit flavors. The brewer points out that the beer is aimed at adults who grew up with the cartoon cat, who turns 40 next year.
Good beer in Vegas? You bet! (Sorry, Ludwig couldn’t resist.) Renee LiButti of Blog.Vegas.com offers her list of the five best places in town to get a craft brew.
A feral pig in Australia had a fight with a cow after guzzling three six-packs of beer left out by campers. The pig was later found sleeping under a tree, presumably nursing a hangover.
Finally, three friends have invented the Case Coolie, a lightweight carrier that keeps a 30-pack of beer cold without ice. Just in time for football tailgating.
On this day in 1836, Houston, Texas, was founded. The city, named for the famous statesman and general, is the home of the Texas Medical Center and NASA’s Johnson Space Center, as well as St. Arnold Brewing Company, the oldest craft brewery in Texas.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in St. Paul, Minnesota, where for the second straight year, the State Fair will host a Land of 10,000 Beers exhibit devoted to the state’s craft-brewing industry.
Boston Beer Company’s Alchemy & Science Division has quietly acquired the rights to Shmaltz Brewing Company and its Coney Island line of award-winning beers.
Californians love avocados, so it was inevitable that someone would come up with a guacamole-flavored beer. It’s a product of Los Angeles-based Angel City Brewing.
That refreshing “bite” you get from a cold beer comes from a chemical reaction inside your mouth that turns the beer’s carbon dioxide bubbles into carbonic acid.
The German government is investigating the country’s top breweries for price-fixing. If found guilty, the breweries will have to pay millions of euros in penalties.
Renee DeLuca, the daughter of Jack McAuliffe, plans to resurrect her father’s New Albion beer. It will be made by Mendocino Brewing Company.
Finally, since August is a slow month, we yield the floor to Logan Thompson of Blog About Beer. He brings us a collection of photos of dogs drinking beer.
On this day in 1784, delegates from eight counties in what was then western North Carolina voted to secede from the state and form the independent Republic of Franklin. The tiny republic, which was denied statehood by Congress, lasted only four years.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in St. Martin, Austria, where the Hofstetten brewery has resurrected a beer brewed in the town’s castle in 1720. The beer contains emmer as well as barley and wheat.
Big brewers are having second thoughts about Russia, whose beer market has gone flat thanks to high taxes, a ban on late-night and kiosk sales, and other restrictions.
If you couldn’t get a ticket to this year’s Great American Beer Festival–it sold out in just 20 minutes–the Denver Post has a calendar of other beer events in town around festival time.
Here’s a way to get your brand noticed. A brewery in Dayton, Ohio, calls itself the Toxic Brewing Company, and its logo is a skull and crossbones. Local bars are clamoring for the brew.
Good news for athletes: when electrolytes are added, beer can hydrate you faster. The bad news: the hydration comes at the expense of alcohol content.
The “beer wars” are on again. Anheuser-Busch has filed a complaint with the Council of Better Business Bureaus over Coors’s claim that it has “the world’s most refreshing can.”
Finally, TheBleacherReport.com reviews new products that allow football fans to sneak alcohol into the stadium. They include iPhone look-alikes, booze-filled “binoculars,” and fake beer bellies.
On this day in 1944, Smokey the Bear made his debut. He has appeared on radio programs, in comic strips, and in cartoons. The federal government, which owns the rights to Smokey, has collected millions in royalties and used them to educate people about forest fire prevention.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, where booze is a no-no and the young and fashionable are gravitating to alcohol-free beer.
If you missed the Beer Bloggers Conference, New Orleans writer Nora McGunnigle has a full report. She was impressed by the welcome given by local brewers Sam Adams and Harpoon.
The Princeton Review has released its list of top party schools, and the University of Iowa is ranked first, followed by UC Santa Barbara, Illinois, West Virginia, and Syracuse.
The summer has been cold and wet in much of the country, but weather doesn’t fully explain light beer’s drop in popularity. A growing number of drinkers are getting tired of its taste.
Fort Collins, Colorado’s “other” major craft brewery is the Odell Brewing Company. Although it’s the nation’s 33rd-largest, and about to get much bigger, it remains a low-key operation.
The U.S. Postal Service hopes to get badly-needed revenue by shipping beer and other alcoholic beverages. First, Congress has to repeal a 1909 law making it illegal to send booze by mail.
Finally, Martyn Cornell, The Zythophile, serves up five facts about India pale ale you might not have known. Fact number one: a century and a half ago, people drank their IPA ice-cold.