homebrewing

The Friday Mash (Juneteenth Edition)

One hundred and fifty years ago today, slaves in Galveston, Texas, were finally informed of their freedom–which actually had been granted more than two years earlier by the Emancipation Proclamation. The anniversary, known as “Juneteenth,” is officially celebrated in 42 states.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Mystic, Connecticut, where members of the StoneRidge retirement community are brewing their own beer. Why not? It’s educational, it’s fun, and it’s beer!

Massachusetts has strange liquor laws, one of which bans breweries from donating beer to charity events. Oddly, the ban—enacted by the legislature in 1997—doesn’t apply to wine donations.

“Sweet Baby Jesus” is DuClaw Brewing Company’s flagship beer. However, an Ohio grocery chain has pulled the beer from its shelves after customers complained about the name.

The New York State Brewers Association has created Statewide Pale Ale. The beer, made entirely with in-state ingredients, is projected to raise $20,000 for the association.

What is the link between Magna Carta and the English pint? According to Britain’s Communities Minister, the “London quarter” mentioned in the 800-year-old document is equivalent to two imperial pints.

There are hard-to-find beers, and there are truly rare beers, which make “Pappy Van Winkle seem as easy to find as a can of Coke.” Esquire magazine’s Aaron Goldfarb acquaints you with ten of them.

Finally, DNA meets IPA. Gianpaolo Rando, a European chemist who loves beer, wants to sequence the DNA more than 100 different beers in the hopes of producing an app that will match beers to drinkers’ own hereditary makeup.

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The Friday Mash (Coke No Pepsi Edition)

On this day in 1886, pharmacist John Pemberton first sold a carbonated beverage named “Coca-Cola” as a patent medicine. Pemberton, a wounded Confederate veteran who became addicted to morphine, developed the beverage as a non-opium alternative.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Rochester, New York, where North American Breweries is putting Genesee beer, Genesee Cream Ale, and Genesee Ice in retro bottles. The packaging hearkens back to the 1960s, the heyday of the “Genny” brand.

Sad news from North Carolina. Dustin Canestorp, a 20-year veteran of the Marine Corps, has closed his Beer Army Combat Brewery. He blames state franchise laws that effectively tie a brewery to a distributor for life.

Executives of the nation’s big breweries are getting worried about the amount of discounting going on. The beers you’re most likely to find on sale include Bud Light, Budweiser, and Shock Top.

Craft beer has been susceptible to “the next big thing” mentality. According to Allen Park of Paste magazine, trends that “have more than overstayed their welcome” include waxing bottles, session IPAs, and adjuncts.

Craft brewers are scrambling to comply with a little-known provision of the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” which requires breweries and restaurants to disclose nutritional information, including the caloric content of their beers.

City officials aim to make Toronto the world’s craft beer capital. Measures include creating a craft brewery culinary trail and lowering regulatory barriers to brewery start-ups.

Finally, a growing number of craft breweries are making their recipes available to the public. Some, such as Russian River Brewing Company and Rogue Ales, are working with supply shops to develop kits for homebrewed versions of their beers.

The Friday Mash (Great Gatsby Edition)

Ninety years ago today, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnum opus, The Great Gatsby, was first published by Charles Scribner’s Sons. The novel about the young and mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby, painted a picture of America’s “Jazz Age,” a phrase that Fitzgerald also made popular.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Minneapolis, where Finnegans beer is celebrating 15 years of feeding the hungry. Profits from the sale of Finnegans—half a million dollars since 2000—have been used to buy fresh produce for those in need.

Four of the world’s biggest breweries announced they will disclose calorie counts of the beers they sell in Europe. Americans might soon see calories and other nutritional data on the beer they buy.

Baseball season began this week, and the New York Times’s Eric Asimov and friends marked the occasion by choosing their top ten American lagers from a field of 20.

Friday happy hour will be part of Anheuser-Busch’s interviewing process for its new marketing office in Manhattan. It’s part of an effort to find out how well candidates handle social situations.

Maine governor Paul LePage vetoed a bill that would require a pint of beer to contain 16 ounces. The governor says Maine’s deceptive-practices laws already protect customers from short pints.

Mark Hunter, the new CEO of MolsonCoors, told Wall Street analysts that his company will focus more on craft beer, and that it has a desire to acquire craft breweries.

Finally, Kit Lab hopes to provide homebrewers what Hello Fresh provides home cooks: exact portions of ingredients. The recipes for each kit are supplied by homebrewers, who’ll get a cut of the profits.

The Friday Mash (Iditarod Edition)

Thirty years ago today, Libby Riddles became the first woman to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. “Mushers,” as competitors are called, must brave dangerous cold, blizzards, and whiteout conditions on the 1,135-mile course from Willow to Nome, Alaska.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in St. Paul, where a delegation of Minnesotans—including state lawmakers—made a symbolic beer run to Wisconsin to protest their state’s ban on Sunday alcohol sales.

A group of writers at Fortune magazine took a stab at deciding what your choice of beer brand says about you. For instance, Amstel Light says, “Thank God the beer is free at this office party.”

Rhys Morgan, a student at the University of Cardiff in Wales, figured out how to make a bottle opener out of a sheet of paper. His YouTube tutorial has more than 350,000 views.

Civil engineer Dave McWilliams won first prize in a home brewing contest. And what a prize it was: the opportunity to brew a batch of IPA at Anheuser-Busch’s pilot brewery in St. Louis.

Tap beer is served at 38 degrees. That’s fine for mass-market lagers, but it’s too cold for craft beers, which should be served at temperatures between the mid-40s and the upper 50s.

Beer is expensive in New York City, but an app called Price Per Pint can help find the cheapest drinks, as well as specific happy-hour times and daily specials at hundreds of establishments.

Finally, staffers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation brewed up a beer protest of the National Security Agency’s “three-hop” surveillance program. Their beer is called “Stormbrew” and yes, the recipe is available to the public under a Creative Commons license.

Want to Win GABF Tickets?

As you probably know, tickets to this year’s Great American Beer Festival sold out in minutes. However, the American Homebrewers Association is offering some lucky winner a trip for two to the festival. The prize includes tickets to all sessions, plus airfare and three nights’ hotel stay.

To enter the drawing, join the AHA or renew your membership this month and use coupon code “GABF14″ when checking out.

Tomorrow, Take Part in The Big Brew

Every year, on the first Saturday in May, the American Homebrewers Association celebrates National Homebrew Day with the AHA Big Brew.

Hundreds of bars, breweries, shops, and clubs across the country will take part in a national, same-day homebrewing session. And at noon Central time, homebrewers and beer lovers are encouraged to raise a glass of homebrew in a simultaneous toast to the more than 1.2 million Americans who brew their own beer.

When Homebrewing is Outlawed…

Meet Keith Blackwood, America’s least probable criminal. He’s a self-styled libertarian, a cigar aficionado, and “somewhat of a foodie.” He’s also an assistant prosecuting attorney in Mobile County, Alabama.

Unfortunately, Blackwood is a admitted homebrewer who happens to live in what will soon be the last state to repeal homebrew prohibition. Even more unfortunately, Blackwood made the mistake of tweeting about it. Eventually, his homebrewing came to the attention of his boss, Ashley Rich. She told an AL.com reporter that Blackwood was “disciplined,” but wouldn’t specify what the punishment was.

The Friday Mash (Buy Low, Sell High Edition)

Forty-two years ago today, the NASDAQ stock exchange was founded by the National Association of Securities Dealers. Once the home of lowly over-the-counter stocks, it’s now the exchange where companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are traded.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Britain, where health officials would like the beverage industry to disclose the number of calories in their products. They hope that people will drink less to avoid getting fat.

Add the Morrow Royal Pavilion in Henderson, Nevada, to your list of beer landmarks to visit. It’s made from recycled beer and liquor bottles–more than half a million of them.

The latest environmentally-friendly innovation is The Crafty Carton, a paper growler that holds one quart of beer and, according to Foodbeast.com, is suitable for origami.

Here’s a beer pairing we’ve never seen before. Dr. Greg Zeschuk, a video game industry veteran and craft beer aficionado, chooses the right beer style for the genre of game you’re playing.

World of Beer, which serves craft beer in a tavern-like setting, could be coming to your town. The chain has 36 locations in 11 states, and company CEO Paul Avery wants to take it nationwide.

Glyn Roberts, The Rabid Barfly, unleashes a rant about people who decide to go on the wagon during January, which is the quietest time of the year for British pubs.

Finally, will this be the year that Alabama and Mississippi finally legalize homebrewing? They’re the only two states where it remains illegal.

The Friday Mash (HP Edition)

A hundred years ago today, David Packard, the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, was born. In 1938 Packard and William Hewlett went into business together. They established their company in a garage, with an initial investment of $538. Today, HP’s market capitalization is more than $33 billion.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Rochester, New York, where the Genesee Brewery will hold a grand opening ceremony tomorrow for its new brewhouse and pub. There will be a free concert, brewery tours, and tastings.

The latest in Stackpole Books’ Breweries series is Massachusetts Breweries, by John Holl and April Darcy. Gary Dzen of Boston.com reviews the book.

British scientists have found that the shape of your beer glass may determine how fast you drink. Subjects with curved glasses took a third less time to finish their beer than those with straight glasses.

Players on Spain’s national soccer team, which won their second straight European championship this summer, were given their weight in beer by the Cruzcampo brewery, a team sponsor.

Obama’s homebrew honey ale recipes got good reviews overall, but Stan Hieronymus at Appellation Beer has question for the president: why aren’t you using American-grown hops?

Cold War-era scientists prepared a paper titled “The Effect of Nuclear Explosions on Commercially Packaged Beverages.” They concluded that canned beer stood up quite well to a nuclear bomb blast.

Finally, it’s Week 1 of the National Football League season. Evan Benn and Sean Z. Paxton of Esquire magazine suggest a craft beer pairing for all 32 NFL teams. And Ludwig reminds us that the Detroit Lions are still undefeated in regular-season play.

Homebrewers Petition Their Government

Ludwig prefers to keep politics off his blog, but this story was too good to pass up. On the White House’s website, “John L” of Washington, D.C., has started a petition calling on President Obama to release the recipe for his home-brewed honey ale. If the petition attracts 25,000 signatures by September 17, the White House will deliver an official response–perhaps in the form of the presidential recipe.

Update. Someone has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the recipe.

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