The Friday Mash (Apple Edition)

On this day in 1976, the Apple I–the ancestor of the computer on which this blog is published–was created by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. It went on sale three months later for $666.66 because Wozniak “liked repeating digits” and besides, it represented a one-third markup on the $500 wholesale price.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in North Carolina, where the Mellow Mushroom restaurant chain had to close down its Beer Club after liquor regulators ruled that the club illegally “incentivized guests to drink”

Certified Cicerone John Richards, who’s based in South Carolina, introduces us to ten of the best beers you probably never heard of. (Hat tip: Joanna Prisco, ABC News).

WIsconsin politicians are concerned that a trade agreement between the U.S. and the European Union might force American producers to find a new name for “Oktoberfest” beer.

Tailgate heaven! Texas Tech alumni Jane’t Howey and Sheryl Estes, have created “boxGATE”, a structure made from shipping containers and fitted out with everything fans need.

He hasn’t quit his day job as CEO of Bell’s Brewery, Inc., but Larry Bell plans to attend all 81 Chicago Cubs home games this season–which is the 100th season of baseball at Wrigley Field.

Joel Stice of has compiled a slideshow of the 20 best fake brands of beer in popular culture. The brand seen most often is Heisler, which has appeared in numerous movies and TV shows.

Finally, San Jose’s Hermitage Brewing Company has become Silicon Valley’s craft beer incubator. It contract-brews for a number of local micros, some of which don’t yet have the capital for their own facility.

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The Michigan Beer Film Trailer

“The Michigan Beer Film,” a documentary directed by Kevin Romeo of Rhino Media Productions, explores the growth of Michigan craft beer. Here’s the trailer for the film, which premieres next Thursday at the Fillmore Detroit:

The Michigan Beer Film Trailer from Rhino Media Productions on Vimeo.

The Friday Mash (Cal Ripken Edition)

On this day in 1995, Cal Ripken, Jr., of the Baltimore Orioles played in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking a 56-year-old record set by Lou Gehrig. Ripken’s streak ended at 2,632 games, a record that many fans think will stand for all time.

And now…the Mash!

We begin in Auburn, Alabama, where fans of the visiting Washington State Cougars drank Quixote’s Bar dry, forcing it to close four hours early. Unfortunately, WSU lost the game, 31-24.

San Diego’s Museum of Man has an exhibit titled “BEERology”, which runs until next summer. Erin Meanley of San Diego magazine reviews it.

People have gotten married at the Great American Beer Festival, but this year, St. Arnold Brewing Company will have a wedding chapel on the festival floor.

Italy’s latest culinary invention is a beer that can be spread like chocolate cream. There’s no American distributor–yet–but the UK’s Selfridges will ship it to you for $51.

For years, big breweries have argued that mergers lower prices. However, researchers have found that the 2008 merger creating MolsonCoors resulted in a short-term price spike.

Drinking Buddies, starring Olivia Wilde, is a romantic comedy about craft brewery workers. It was shot at Revolution Brewing, and other Chicago microbrews make cameo appearances.

FInally, Seattle Seahawks fans should rejoice. has ranked Century Link Stadium’s craft beer selection best in the NFL, and Yahoo! Sports ranks the Seahawks number-one.

The Friday Mash (Dance Fever Edition)

On this day in 1834, French artist Edgar Degas was born. Degas was famous for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He is especially identified with dancers, who accounted for more than half of his works.

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

We begin in Oak Park, Michigan, where City Council legalized beer and wine sales by the drink. The city voted itself dry in 1945.

No, it’s not your imagination. Mosquitoes love to attack beer drinkers Just one beer could make you more attractive to those pesky insects.

The way the Chicago Cubs are playing, their fans need a few cold ones. Fortunately, there’s an army of beer vendors to serve them. Wrigley Field ranks first in the major leagues for beer sales.

Now that Hogwarts graduates are old enough to drink something stronger than butterbeer, has come up with Harry Potter beers they wish were real.

According to the Washington Post, the nation’s capital is becoming a craft beer Mecca. One reason: D.C.’s liquor laws allow bars to buy directly from the brewery.

Comic-Con is underway in San Diego, and Stone Brewing Company has teamed up with actor, author and homebrewer Wil Wheaton to make a pecan-laced imperial stout for the event.

Finally, Redhook Ale Brewery and a Seattle-area micro are celebrating Washington State’s legalization of marijuana with Joint Effort Hemp Ale. Its tap handle looks like a giant yellow bong.

Craft Beer: A Hopumentary

Hat tip: Jay Brooks, keeper of the Brookston Beer Bulletin, who says:

Here’s an interesting video on craft beer by a Jeremy Williams entitled Craft Beer–A Hopumentary. What’s cool about it is that it features Ron Lindenbusch from Lagunitas, Craig and Beth from City Beer Store, Andy French from Southern Pacific Brewing, Zeitgeist, and homebrewer Nathan Oyler. My favorite factoid: craft beer represents 7% of the market, but employs 50% of the employees in the industry.


One Thumb Up

Don Russell, who writes the Joe Sixpack column for, saw the documentary Crafting a Nation. He gives it something less than a rave review. On the positive side, Russell calls the film “well-researched, beautifully photographed and set to the meaningful strum of an acoustic guitar.” He praises it for presenting craft brewers as hard-working businessmen who overcame money woes and regulatory red tape to make a high-quality, local product.

However, Russell points out that Crafting a Nation “manages to almost completely miss the key attraction of craft beer: It tastes good.” It wasn’t until the 73-minute mark that he saw anyone actually taste a beer. Russell is also disappointed that the craft brewers portrayed in the film were, almost without exception, white, male, and bearded. Worse yet, they seemed to speak in the same platitudes–including the hoariest of beer ad slogans, “live life to the fullest.” The latter prompted Russell to write, “I swear, you could take any 30 seconds of this film, add Clydesdales, and you’d have a Budweiser commercial.”

The Friday Mash (I’ll Take Manhattan Edition)

On this day in 1626, Peter Minuit bought the island of Manhattan from Native Americans for goods valued at 60 Dutch guilders, a sum equivalent to slightly more than $1,000 in today’s money. Today, the land alone in Manhattan has an estimated value in the tens of billions of dollars.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Milwaukee, where city authorities told the Holler House bar that the bras hanging from the ceiling were a fire hazard. In the end, common sense prevailed: the bras were allowed to stay.

We know that Darth Vader is cold-hearted, but that was a plus for artist Tom Sachs, who made the Star Wars villain into a beer fridge. Comes in black, of course.

Uh, oh. Just 16 percent of Americans approve of “hipsters.” And their favorite beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon, has gone up in price because bar owners now consider it “stylish.”

We’ve got photos from last Sunday’s Trike for Beers event in Seattle. Participants zipped down Queen Anne Hill, then downed a few at Streamline Tavern.

A chronic beer thief in suburban Cincinnati left his victims $140 in cash, along with a note of apology saying that he’d found religion and promised never to come back.

Paul has a book recommendation for beer and baseball lovers: The Summer of Beer and Whiskey, by Edward Achorn. It’s about the 1883 season, which made the game “America’s pastime.”

Finally, with summer just around the corner, Food and Wine magazine names America’s best beer gardens. Topping the list is Sheffield’s, an establishment not far from Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

Bond. James Bond.

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the Heineken commercial starring Daniel Craig, who plays 007 in Skyfall:

The Friday Mash (Wizard of Oz Edition)

On this day in 1939, the film version of L. Frank Baum’s classic story, The Wizard of Oz, opened at Loew’s Capitol Theater in New York. The film won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture; and, thanks to its re-introduction to the public on television in 1956, became the most-watched motion picture in history. Ludwig, however, has panned the film for its depiction of lions.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Philadelphia, where the American Beer Blogger documentary has been nominated for an Emmy in Mid-Atlantic region’s Entertainment/Program-Special category.

In an effort to boost sales in a flat economy, some Czech brewers are committing beer blasphemy by brewing Radlers, beers mixed with drinks such as Sprite and lemonade.

Stereotypes die hard, especially when gender is involved. Naomi McAuliffe, writing in The Guardian, calls on British women to demand their pint of Real Ale.

“Craft beer” has earned a place in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. Feel free to enjoy it in a “man cave” while compiling your “bucket list.” Both of those terms have also been added.

A “blue moon”–a second full moon in the same month–will occur on August 31. MillerCoors, the makers of Blue Moon beer, will celebrate the rare event with a special-edition Caramel Apple Spiced Ale.

San Francisco’s Toronado beer bar opened 25 years ago today. Russian River Brewing Company will celebrate with a special sour beer, to be served at the legendary establishment.

Finally, here’s your invitation to predict the future. The topic for Session No. 67 will be How Many Breweries in 2017?. Derrick Peterman, who blogs at Ramblings of a Beer Runner, is your host.

The Friday Mash (Hurray for Hollywood Edition)

On this day in 1923, the iconic “Hollywood” sign was officially dedicated in the hills above Hollywood, California. It originally read “Hollywoodland ” the name of the housing development it advertised. The four last letters disappeared when the sign was renovated in 1949.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Livermore, California, where the First Street Alehouse has more than 6,000 beer cans on permanent display. It’s North America’s largest collection, assembled over 36 years by local resident David Goett.

The world premiere of “The Cincinnati Beer Story”, a documentary chronicling the history of beer-making in the that city, will take place at Mecklenburg Gardens in Cincinnati. Several members of the film team are scheduled to speak.

A power outage caused by last week’s freak windstorm resulted in part of Port City Brewing Company’s beer being fermented at a higher-than-planned temperature. The Virginia-based brewery decided to release it as a California common beer called Derecho Common.

Evan Rail updates us on London. Once derided as Britain’s worst beer town, it has experienced a revival, with over 20 breweries in operation and several more on the way.

Call it “glass-roots politics.” Lobbying by beer lovers and media coverage prodded Alabama’s liquor regulators to rescind their ban on Founders Dirty Bastard and Backwoods Bastard.

Regents of the University of Minnesota voted to allow beer sales at TCF Stadium, the home of the Golden Gophers’ football team. The way that team has been playing, fans need a few to get them through the game.

Finally, Ben Davidson, a defensive lineman for the Oakland Raiders who starred in a Miller Lite commercial with John Madden and Rodney Dangerfield, passed away at the age of 72.

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