The Friday Mash (Peanuts Edition)

Sixty-five years ago today, the Peanuts comic strip, written and illustrated by Charles Schulz, was first published. Peanuts became one of the most popular and influential comic strips in history.

And now….The Mash! 

We begin in Philadelphia, the final stop of Pope Francis’s American visit. Local writer Don Russell, aka “Joe Sixpack,” takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the history of papal influence on brewing.

Israel now has 32 craft breweries. One of them, located in the hills of Galilee, uses chickpeas and dates in its recipe for a gluten-free beer.

Eastern Michigan University can’t win for losing. It latest effort to draw fans for its struggling football team—beer sales—resulted in a $3,000 loss. And yes, EMU lost the game.

After “some extensive field research,” Brent Nunn of the Dallas Observer has compiled a list of ten dumb things light beer drinkers say about craft beer.

Samuel Adams announced that it will introduce a series of nitro-conditioned beers early next year. The first three nitro offerings will be a white ale, an IPA, and a coffee stout.

Two Belgian scientists are making lager beers more diverse by cross-breeding yeasts. The new strains not only ferment more quickly than commercial strains, but are delicious as well.

Finally, blame global warming for pumpkin beers showing up on shelves before Labor Day. For example, persistently hot weather forced Rogue Ales to harvest its pumpkins weeks earlier than last year.

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The Friday Mash (1,500th Blog Post Edition)

We aren’t beginning the Mash with a historical reference because we’re too busy celebrating a milestone. Today’s Mash is the 1,500th post on “Ludwig Roars.” Now excuse us while we refill our pint glasses.

And now….The Mash! 

We begin in the West Bank, where the Taybeh Brewery hosted its 11th annual Oktoberfest. The brewery poured a non-alcoholic beer for festival-goers from neighboring Muslim towns.

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s planned takeover of SAB Miller has advertising agencies worried. Less competition could mean less advertising. That, in turn, could affect the sports industry’s bottom lilne.

A 3,800-year-old poem honoring Ninkasi is also a recipe for Sumerian beer. Brewers have replicated the beer, which tastes like dry apple cider and has a modest 3.5 percent ABV.

Organizers of the Skanderborg Music Festival in Denmark have found an alternative to sleeping in hot tents: giant beer cans that offer a bed with pillows, shelving, a fan, and other amenities.

Jake Anderson, a goalie for the University of Virginia hockey team, was given five-minute major penalty and ejected from the game after chugging a can of Keystone Lite during the second intermission.

Québécois travel writer Caitlin Stall-Paquet takes us a beer-focused road trip through Gaspésie and the Bas-Saint-Laurent. The attractions also include museums, cathedrals, and rock formations.

Finally, Portland beer writer Jeff Alworth, who spent two years traveling and tasting beers, has written The Beer Bible. The 656-page book is accessible, but at the same time, an in-depth exploration of the heritage behind the beers we drink today.

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Beer….By the Numbers

  • Number of Oktoberfests held in Munich (including this year’s): 182.
  • Times since 1810 that Oktoberfest was canceled: 24 (reasons include war, hyperinflation, and cholera epidemics).
  • Cost of a one-liter beer at this year’s Oktoberfest: €10 ($11.34).
  • Increase in the price of beer over 2014: 3 percent.
  • Cost of a pint of ale in the UK’s cheapest university town: £2.10 ($3.20), in Durham.
  • Cost of a pint in the UK’s most-expensive university town: £5.25 ($7.90), in Surrey.
  • Bushels of American barley used to brew beer in 2014: 177 million.
  • Brewing’s share of America’s barley crop in 2014: 75.
  • Stadium with the National Football League’s cheapest beer: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, 36 cents an ounce.
  • Stadium with the NFL’s most expensive beer: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, 71 cents an ounce.
  • Average per-ounce price of beer in NFL stadiums: 46 cents an ounce.
  • Number of Ontario supermarkets that will sell beer under new provincial legislation: 450 (out of 1,500).
  • Daily sales quota for Ontario supermarkets selling beer: 279 six-packs.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev and SAB Miller’s combined share of the U.S. beer market: 70 percent.
  • A-B and SAB’s combined revenue from the U.S. beer market: $250 million a year.
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    The State of Beer in China

    This summer, the financial pages have run stories about the woes surrounding China’s economy. But Patti Waldmier, a correspondent for the Financial Times, observes that middle-class Chinese are still spending on high-end items, including local craft beer. What makes craft’s success even more amazing is that small breweries exist in a gray area of Chinese law.

    Many Chinese consider their beer choice an expression of national pride. They prefer beer made from local ingredients and brewed for local palates. For example, a Nanjing brewer named Gao Yan has combined his master’s degree in chemistry with the know-how of traditional Chinese medicine. His best-selling is jasmine tea lager, and has also brewed beer using sweet potatoes, purple rice, chili peppers, and sweet osmanthus flowers.

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    The Friday Mash (Tiffany’s Edition)

    On this day in 1837, the retailer now known as Tiffany’s was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and Teddy Young in New York City. The founders called their store a “stationery and fancy goods emporium.” However, Tiffany’s didn’t serve breakfast, let alone Founder’s Breakfast Stout.

    And now….The Mash! 

    We begin in Sacramento, where the inaugural California Craft Beer Summit took place. This two-day festival attracted the biggest names in craft brewing, who talked about the state of the industry.

    Listen up, class. Sylvester Schneider, the owner of Zum Schneider in New York City, has prepared a video to show you how to pour wheat, pilsner, and lager beer like a German.

    A boarding school in Zimbabwe has slapped a ban on breakfast cereal. Students mixed it with brown sugar, water, and yeast, then left it in the sun to ferment into beer.

    The recipes for New Belgium Brewing Company’s dubbel and trippel Belgian-style ales are getting a makeover. The changes, which include a different yeast strain, will make the beers more authentically Belgian tasting.

    A video of six Scottish men, drinking beer at the bottom of a swimming pool while on vacation in Florida, was viewed more than 1.8 million times on YouTube in the week after it was posted.

    Greg Koch, the founder of Stone Brewing Company, is stepping down as CEO. He’ll stay on as executive chairman, and he promises not to sell out to one of the big breweries.

    Finally, even though China is a huge beer market, intense competition has made it tough for breweries to make much of a profit. That problem could get worse as the country’s economy slows.

    The Friday Mash (Charlie Hustle Edition)

    Thirty years ago today, Pete Rose, the Cincinnati Reds’ player-manager, broke Ty Cobb’s record for most career hits with his 4,192nd hit. Rose would play one more season, his 24th in Major League Baseball, before retiring.

    And now….The Mash! 

    We begin in Reno, Nevada, where restaurant owner Bill Wall won this year’s Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off. Wall says his secret to success is “just a lot of cold beers and a little bourbon.”

    Texas’ alcohol regulators have ruled that bars and grocery stores can’t sell “crowlers” of beer to go. The 32-ounce containers are cans, and state law provides that only brewers can sell canned beer.

    NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka has built an empire selling everything from steaks to children’s clothes. Now he’s teaming up with South Loop Brewing Company to produce Witka beer, a witbier to be served in his restaurant chain.

    Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, is one of Africa’s leading beer destinations. The country’s first European settlers were Germans, and the Reinheitsgebot is still honored there.

    Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have pinpointed the origin of Saccharomyces eubayanus, aka lager yeast. In 15th century Bavaria, ale yeasts used by the monks “intermarried” with other strains and eventually created a stabilized hybrid.

    Wild hops grow in Park City, Utah. The hop plants, descendants of those brought to the town by immigrants, will be used by Wasatch Brewery in a special-release beer.

    Finally, why did the Kroger Company pay $26 million for 19 cases of Miller Lite beer? The answer is Ohio’s liquor code, which requires retailers to have an “agency contract” with the state. Kroger and other chains are paying top dollar to acquire those contracts from smaller stores.

    The Friday Mash (L.A. Edition)

    On this day in 1781, forty-four Spanish settlers founded El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of Porziuncola) in southern California. The settlement eventually acquired the friendlier name, “Los Angeles.”

    And now….The Mash! 

    We begin in Colorado, where two men got into the beer business without brewing. Last year they formed Inland Island Yeast Laboratories, whose customers include three dozen local micros.

    Japanese beer taxes are steep, but the government is about to give brewers a break. It will also change the century-old definition of beer, which requires it to contain at least two-thirds malt.

    Darrin Wingard, of West Caln, Pennsylvania, has drunk a new beer on each of the last 1,100 days. You can follow his beer adventures on his Instagram account, newbeeraday.

    Synek, a packaging company, has unveiled a self-contained countertop tap system that dispenses 128-ounce cartridges of beer that will stay fresh for a month. A home version retails for $289.

    Aficionados keep rare beers in their cellar, sometimes for years. However, cellaring might be the wrong thing to do with hoppy beers because hop flavor is the first thing to fade as time passes.

    Last weekend, Brian Harman became the third golfer in PGA Tour history to shoot two holes-in-one in the same round. He celebrated by treating the media to $3,000 worth of beer and whiskey.

    Finally, British writer Pete Brown laments his government’s failure to grasp that people drink to achieve a state somewhere between sobriety and drunkenness. The English language doesn’t even have a word for that state.

    Beer….By the Numbers

  • Beer trademark requests in the United Kingdom in 2014: 1,485.
  • Increase over 2013: 12 percent.
  • Alcoholic content of Samuel Adams Rebel Rouser double IPA: 8.4 percent.
  • Alcoholic content of Rebel IPA: 6.5 percent.
  • Alcoholic content of Rebel Rider session IPA: 4.5 percent.
  • India pale ale’s share of the U.S. craft beer market: 21 percent.
  • Seasonal beers’ share of the U.S. craft beer market: 15-25 percent.
  • Recent price of a barrel of West Canadian select oil: C$30.23 ($22.73 U.S.).
  • Recent price of a 24-pack of Molson Canadian in British Columbia: C$32.35 ($24.32 U.S.).
  • Mississippi’s current brewery count: 10.
  • Mississippi’s brewery count in 2012: 1.
  • Winning men’s time at this year’s Beer World Mile Classic: 5:09, by current world record holder Lewis Kent.
  • Winning women’s time at this year’s Beer World Mile Classic: 6:48, by Caitlin Batten.
  • Increase in organic beer production between 2013 and 2014: 20.7 percent.
  • Organic breweries taking part in this year’s North American Organic Brewers Festival: 36.
  • Good Beer Comes to The Big Easy

    The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina has inspired a spate of stories about New Orleans’ revival. One story, by Nora McGunnigle, describes how her hometown has finally developed a taste for craft beer.

    There are multiple theories as to why craft beer got off to such a slow start, including stringent zoning restrictions, inconsistent state regulations, and, especially, the perception that beer was just a thirst-quencher. What reversed that trend was food, which Louisiana is famous for. People have discovered that good beer not only has flavor, but also pairs well with the local cuisine.

    In the ten years since the storm, breweries have opened across southern Louisiana. NOLA Brewing was the first production brewery to open in New Orleans proper after the storm. The second, Courtyard Brewing, opened last year. Meanwhile, the city’s beer bars have discovered that there’s a demand for good beer, and its restaurants have started to offer beer-friendly menus.

    The Friday Mash (Henry Hudson Edition)

    On this day in 1609, explorer Henry Hudson became the first European to discover Delaware Bay. If you live near Cape May, New Jersey, or Lewes, Delaware, you can celebrate on Saturday at a beer festival held in two different states, but on the same bay.

    And now….The Mash! 

    We begin in North Carolina, where festivals have been the target of a summer crackdown on liquor code violations. Organizers contend that the rules are obsolete and confusing.

    Mitsubishi Plastic has overcome a major obstacle to putting beer in plastic bottles. The company added a thin carbon film, which greatly reduces the loss of oxygen, to the inside of the bottles.

    Joe Stange of Draft magazine has a word of warning: American “session beers” are much stronger than their British counterparts, which means they’ll make you drunker than you think.

    When California’s She Beverage Company applied for a trademark for the “Queen of Beers,” Anheuser-Busch InBev filed a notice of opposition. A-B claims She’s marketing is almost identical to its marketing of the “King of Beers.”

    A Denver-area brewery will serve “marijuana beer” at next month’s Great American Beer Festival. It doesn’t contain THC, which is against federal law, but does include cannabis oil.

    Venture capitalist Robert Finkel has made an unusual career move. His brewery, Forbidden Root, specializes in beer made with botanic ingredients, including lemon myrtle which costs $75 a kilo.

    Finally, a Detroit Free Press correspondent went to a festival where the taps are open all night and attendees can walk to bed. It was the sixth annual Michigan Homebrew Festival, which continues the brewing competition once held at the Michigan State Fair.

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