The Friday Mash (Vampire Weekend Edition)

One hundred and twenty years ago today, Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula was published. Stoker didn’t invent the vampire, but his version made it a staple of pop culture—as viewers of The Walking Dead will attest.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Denver, where the opening of Coors Field in 1995 helped turn the city’s Lower Downtown neighborhood into a craft beer mecca. One LoDo establishment, Wynkoop Brewing Company, helped propel ex-owner John Hickenlooper into the governor’s mansion.

Country Boy Brewing celebrated Lexington Beer Week by hosting its fourth annual beer cheese competition. The product, made of beer, sharp Cheddar, salt, and garlic, is found throughout Kentucky.

Most tourists visit Florence, Italy, for its many museums and works of art. However, craft beer has joined the list of the city’s tourist attractions—if you know where to look.

The Brewers Association has released its 2017 Beer Style Guidelines. They’re presented in a concise new format that removes redundant language, is easier to read, and is more user-friendly.

Corey Bellemore told BleacherReport.com how he became the world-record holder for the Beer Mile. It helps that he can hold his liquor; his personal best is 18 beers at one session.

Just in time for summer: Cincinnati’s Rheingeist Brewing Company has team up with United Dairy Farmers to make a beer-flavored ice cream. The beer is Rheingeist Truth IPA.

Finally, Bob’s Place, South Carolina’s oldest continuously operating beer joint, has burned to the ground. Bob’s offered “live music, dancing in the streets, horseshoes, bonfires at night, and tasty food from the road kill grill.”

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Carlsberg’s revenue growth in the first quarter of 2017: 4 percent.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev’s revenue growth in the first quarter of 2017: 3.7 percent.
  • Anheuser-Busch’s investment in U.S. brewing operations since 2011: $2.5 billion.
  • A-B’s expected U.S. investment in 2017-20: $2.5 billion.
  • This year’s expected U.S. hop acreage: 58,148.
  • Percent increase over last year’s acreage: 17.
  • Percent increase over 2012 acreage: 96.
  • Mexico’s share of worldwide beer production: 5.7 percent.
  • Germany’s share of worldwide beer production: 5.2 percent.
  • Approximate 2016 production of Shipyard Brewing Company (#1 in Maine): 118,000 barrels.
  • Approximate 2016 production of Allagash Brewing Company (#2 in Maine): 92,500 barrels.
  • California’s brewery count: 623 (ranks 1st among U.S. states).
  • Breweries per 100,000 adults in California: 2.2 (ranks 23rd; Vermont, with 10.8 per 100,000 adults, ranks first).
  • Mississippi’s brewery count: 9 (ranks 50th).
  • Breweries per 100,000 adults in Mississippi 0.4 (also ranks 50th).
  • The Friday Mash (Boiling Point Edition)

    On this day in 1743, Jean-Pierre Christin developed the Centigrade temperature scale, with 0 degrees representing water’s freezing point and 100 degrees its boiling point. However, the scale is named for Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius, who came up with a similar idea independently of Christin.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Chicago, where the Lincoln Park Zoo is collaborating with DryHop Brewers on a new beer that will raise money for polar bears and raise awareness of climate change. The beer, Ursus Mapletimus, is a smoked maple imperial white ale.

    Some years ago, a pub owner in England told Arthur Johnson that he’d get free beer for life if he lived to age 100. Johnson reached the century mark, and now he shows up every day for a pint.

    Is there a beer without malt or hops? Yes. It’s an alcoholic ginger beer from Ginger’s Revenge, a new brewery in Asheville, North Carolina. The beer is also gluten-free.

    Congratulations to Garrett Marrero and Melanie Oxley, who own the Maui Brewing Company. The U.S. Small Business Administration named them “National Small Business Persons of the Year.”

    Heineken has launched a zero-alcohol version of its namesake beer. Alcohol-free beers are attractive to brewers because that segment of the market is growing, and beers without alcohol are taxed less heavily.

    English heavy-metal band Iron Maiden is coming to the U.S. Also coming to America is Trooper, an award-winning ESB inspired by the band and brewed by Robinsons Brewery.

    Finally, Breckenridge Brewing Company has announced the winner of its annual competition to name the official beer of Denver Comic Con. This year’s winner is “I Am Brewt,” a pun on the Guardians of the Galaxy superhero film series.

    “Beer It Forward”

    American Craft Beer Week begins today, and part of this year’s celebration is #BeerItForward. The Brewers Association explains:

    The idea of Beer It Forward is not new–it’s “Pay it Forward,” but with craft beer. Many beer lovers use it to highlight good deeds, like covering the cost of a beer as an act of kindness or someone including more beers in a beer trade than were necessary. Beer it Forward promotes doing good, simply, honestly, without an expectation of reciprocation and with the hope that the act will be passed down the line.

    Many craft brewers exemplify this ideal every single day. They believe in the value of community and giving back, supporting causes from veterans to homelessness to a cleaner environment. That’s why this American Craft Beer Week, the theme #beeritforward is directed to the rest of our fine beer community. How can you brighten the lives of others through craft beer? A random act of kindness could be as simple as buying someone a beer. Not only will you be championing small, authentic craft brewers in celebration of their commitment to us, but you’ll be doing so much more.

    The Friday Mash (Old School Edition)

    On this day in 1364, Jagiellonian University was established in Krakow, Poland; and on this day in 1551, the National University of San Marcos, the oldest in the Americas, was established in Lima, Peru.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Rochester, New York, where Genesee Brewing Company, which is undergoing a $49 million expansion, plans to transport 12 fermentation tanks via the Erie Canal. The tanks are too big to transport by highway or by rail.

    It’s baseball season, and CraftBeer.com would like to introduce you to seven beers brewed especially for minor-league teams. Enjoy them with your peanuts and Cracker Jack.

    Think you can’t sing? Organizers of the Twin Cities Beer Choir want to convince you otherwise. You buy the beer, and the Choir provide you with sheet music and plenty of friends.

    An Indiana gas station owner found a clever loophole to the state’s ban on selling cold beer at convenience stores. He instal

    Why Is A-B Buying Craft Breweries?

    hris Herron, the CEO of Creature Comforts Brewing Company, has an explanation for why Anheuser-Busch is acquiring craft breweries.

    Herron, who worked in finance in the beverage industry, starts by explaining that goodwill—the value of a brand above its physical assets—makes up more than 50 percent of A-B’s assets, $136.5 billion to be exact. However, if A-B’s flagship brands, Budweiser and Bud Light, continue to lose market share, A-B will have to take an “impairment charge” to reflect the brands’ loss of value. That charge would amount to tens of billions of dollars, which would clobber the company’s stock price.

    Impairment charges are looming because A-B positioned Bud and Bud Light as “premium” brands, which commanded a higher price and were perceived as superior to competing brands. However, with the growth of the craft beer sector, Bud and Bud Light are no longer considered “premium”. Nor can A-B restore those brands to premium status by raising prices, because doing so would cause them to lose even more market share, this time to Miller and Coors.

    Back to the craft brewery acquisitions. Herron believes that A-B bought them for two reasons. The first is to capture some of craft beer’s growth and, at the same time, slow it down. The acquisitions help capture growth; meanwhile, A-B’s sheer size allows gives it an advantage over independent craft breweries. It can use its buying power to secure raw materials, push its craft brands through its distribution network, and spend heavily to market those brands. A-B’s second objective is to regain the goodwill associated with the Bud and Bud Light brands. Aggressive competition by A-B’s craft breweries will force independent craft brewers to cut prices; that, in turn, would narrow the price gap between craft and A-B’s brands, and diminish the perception that those brands are no longer premium.

    Herron sums up A-B’s strategy:

    The impairment charges AB InBev could face are worth billions more than any craft brand they have purchased, and those purchases would be a small price to pay to save a legacy brand. These craft brands, whether they realize it or not, may just be pawns in the AB InBev game of chess. AB InBev is not a collaborator, they are a competitor, and a damn smart one. If one of these craft brands they buy is a successful long-term brand, great, but more important to AB InBev, is the vital role they play in the short-term of ensuring that their premium brands retain long-term value.

    Craft Pilsner Comes of Age

    From the beginning of the craft beer movement, pilsener has been a pariah style because of its association with light lager beer that dominated the American market. Brewers reacted to pilsener by making ales, the hoppier the better.

    Today, pilsener accounts for a lowly 1 percent of the craft beer market. That, however, is about to change. In the past year, top-tier breweries such as Founders Brewing Company and regional players such as Captain Lawrence Brewing Company have added the style to their lineup.

    The new pilseners are inspired by European classics, but many have a distinct American accent. For example, Founders’ PC Pils is brewed with Centennial, Cascade, and Chinook hops rather than floral European varieties. For American drinkers accustomed to hoppy beers, that eases the transition to pilsener.

    Pilsener also responds to increased demand for beers that carry a lighter alcoholic punch than American IPAs. There are times—such as on the beach or while golfing—that call for an alternative. And Pilseners are low-maintenance; their appeal is to those who simply want to enjoy a beer, not analyze and review it in depth.

    The Friday Mash (Carnegie Hall Edition)

    On this day in 1891, Music Hall in New York City—later known as Carnegie Hall—staged its grand opening and first public performance. The guest conductor that day was none other than Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

    And now (cue up the music)…The Mash!

    We begin in Bozeman, Montana, where Amy Henkle’s Happy Dog Beer Company is brewing “beers” for dogs. They don’t contain alcohol or hops; instead they’re a supplement to be poured on top of regular dog food.

    Thirty-five years ago, Knoxville hosted a World’s Fair. Several city residents have teamed up to brew a beer celebrating the fair. It will be available through October, when the fair closed.

    Sacramento Bee correspondent Blair Anthony Robertson wonders why new breweries price their beer at world-class levels. High prices result in disappointed customers and ruins the brewery’s goodwill.

    If you hold bottled beer by its base, you’re holding it wrong. You should hold it by the neck to prevent the beer from getting warm—just as you should hold a wine glass by the stem.

    When a Finnish brewery released a 100-pack of its beer, rival brewery Nokian Panimo one-upped it with a 1,000-pack of Kaiseri beer. To buy one, you need 2,160 euros ($2,350)—and a truck.

    Researchers in the UK have found that beer is a more effective pain reliever than generic Tylenol. Having three or four beers—resulting in a BAC of .08—reduces pain by up to 25 percent.

    Finally, today is Cinco de Mayo. The Chicago Tribune’s Josh Noel prepared for it by drinking Mexican beers in an effort to find out why they’ve become so popular. The answer is a “complex mix of demographics, marketing, history and nostalgia”.

    Beer…By the Numbers

  • Participants in the 2016 American Homebrewers Association Big Brew event: more than 12,000.
  • Establishments that hosted Big Brew events in 2016: 483.
  • Cities on this year’s Sierra Nevada “Beer Camp on Tour”: 8.
  • Breweries collaborating with Sierra Nevada on this year’s event: 12.
  • Beer’s share of Boston Beer Company’s beverage production in 2010: 88.9 percent.
  • Its share of Boston Beer Company’s beverage production in 2016: 57.2 percent.
  • Twelve-ounce beers in a “keg” (half-barrel) of beer: 165.
  • Growlers in a keg: 31.
  • Beer stores in Whiteclay, Nebraska (population 9) last year: 4.
  • Beer stores in Whiteclay today: 0. Their licenses were revoked by the state.
  • Cans of beer sold in Whiteclay last year: 3.5 million. Most are bought by Native Americans living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which is dry.
  • Japan’s legal drinking age: 20.
  • Japanese brewing industry’s recommended minimum age for actors in beer commercials: 25.
  • Mexican beer’s share of the U.S. import beer market: 70 percent.
  • Mexican beers among the 7 top-selling brands in the U.S.: 2 (Corona Extra and Modelo Especial).
  • The Friday Mash (Mutiny on the Bounty Edition)

    On this day in 1789, crewmen led by Fletcher Christian seized control of the HMS Bounty from its captain, William Bligh; and set Bligh and 18 loyalists adrift. Bligh survived, and then began the process of bringing the mutineers to justice.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin at the 2017 Craft Beer Conference, where Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe rolled out the red carpet for breweries. The governor said he personally recruited Stone, Deschutes, Ballast Point, and Green Flash to come to the state.

    In Birmingham, England, Anheuser-Busch came under heavy criticism from city officials after the company’s guerrilla marketers were caught handing out free beers to homeless people.

    Tony Gwynn, Jr., is working at AleSmith Brewing Company, which released a pale ale to salute his father’s .394 batting average in 1994. The younger Gwynn is concentrating on a session IPA.

    Draft magazine correspondent Brian Yeagar visited a couple of the world’s most-remote breweries. One is in Ushuaia, Argentina; and the other is on Easter Island, some 2,300 miles west of South America.

    Fair warning: If you use swear words inside a Samuel Smith pubs, the landlord has the power to cut you off—or even ban you—under the brewery’s zero-tolerance policy for cursing in its establishments.

    In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, golfer John Daly showed he hasn’t changed. Daly entertained fans by teeing off with a beer can instead of a golf ball, then finishing off the can’s contents afterward.

    Finally, the Brewers Association is cracking down on sexist beer names. Under the BA’s terms of service, brewers of offending beers will no longer be allowed to advertise that those beers have won a medal at the World Beer Cup or the Great American Beer Festival.

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