The Friday Mash (MSG Edition)

On this day in 1908, the Japanese food company Ajinomoto—“The Essence of Taste”–was founded. Ajinmoto’s founder, chemist Kikunae Ikeda, discovered that a key ingredient in kombu soup stock was monosodium glutamate, for which he was given the patent.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Marshall, Michigan, where microbrewery owner Aaron Morse and his family have landed a reality-show gig. They’ll appear on The History Channel’s “Dark Horse Nation.”

Tin Man Brewing of Terre Haute has released Klingon Warnog. This officially-licensed beer follows the Prime Directive: “to unite both Star Trek and Craft Beer fans.”

Dogfish Head Artisan Ales is the most famous brewery in the Delmarva Peninsula, but it now has plenty of company, and that’s good news for local beer drinkers.

A new California law will allow students younger than 21 to sample alcohol as part of their beer and wine studies. Oregon and Washington have passed similar laws.

The Jurassic Park of beer? Probably not, but Jason Osborne of Paleo Quest and microbiologist Jasper Akerboom of the Lost Rhino Brewing Company are working with a 45-million-year-old yeast strain found in a fly entrapped in fossilized amber.

Philadelphians are upset at state legislators who want to close a loophole which allows pop-up beer gardens to operate without having to shell out six figures for a liquor license.

Finally, Bart Watson, the Brewers Association’s chief economist, says we’re not in a craft beer bubble. The nation’s 3,000 breweries is well below the saturation level; and besides, factors such as the variety and quality of local beer determine whether a market is saturated.

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The Friday Mash (Long Gray Line Edition)

On this day in 1802, the U.S. Military Academy opened at West Point, New York. Its alumni include two U.S. Presidents, U.S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower; Confederate President Jefferson Davis, numerous famous generals, and 74 Medal of Honor recipients.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in South Africa, where Garagista Beer Company has declared war on hipsters, which it accuses of giving craft beer a bad image. The brewery’s slogan is “All Beer. No Bullshit.”

Narragansett Brewing Company is bringing back the can from the scene in Jaws where Captain Quint tried to intimidate Matt Hooper by crushing a can of ‘Gansett he’d just finished.

Brennan Gleason, a designer from British Columbia, put his resume on a 4-pack of his home-brewed blonde beer, which he called “Resum-Ale.” And yes, it got him hired.

Radler, the German word for bicyclist, is a popular summer drink in Germany. It’s a mixture of beer and lemonade, and it’s becoming more popular in America.

Don’t expect MolsonCoors to acquire any American craft breweries. Peter Swinburn, the company’s CEO, says they’re “massively overvalued” and predicts a shakeout in the sector.

Before you hit the road this summer, check out Thrillist’s America’s 33 best beer bars. To whet your appetite, there’s a photo and a description of each establishment.

Finally, historian William Hogeland explains “brewer-patriot” Samuel Adams’s role in making the Declaration of Independence a reality. Adams hasn’t gotten much credit because he burned his papers lest people find out what he’d been up to.

The Friday Mash (Board Game Edition)

On this day in 1911, board game mogul Milton Bradley passed away. His eponymous company—Ludwig’s been waiting to use that word–brought us The Game of Life, along with the ever-popular Yahtzee and Twister.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Utah, where state liquor regulators are cracking down on festivals put on by for-profit groups. One potential casualty of the new policy is Snowbird Ski Resort’s Oktoberfest celebration.

Gilley’s, the Texas honky-tonk made famous in the film Urban Cowboy, closed in 1989. However, a local brewery is making Gilley’s blond ale. A number of retailers in the Houston area carry it.

The Gun, a London pub, recently hosted an all-unfiltered beer festival. “Spring Haze” featured 30 beers from local micros. Fans contend that unfiltered beer not only tastes better, but is healthier.

Craft brewers have invaded Bavaria, the last bastion of brewing tradition. The newcomers’ offerings include Belgian-style wheat bock, a strawberry ale, a Baltic porter, and of course, IPAs.

Now that grilling season is here, scientists suggest that you marinate your meat in beer, which inhibits the development of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that have been linked to cancer.

Taco Bell’s parent company’s is working on a new spinoff chain called the U.S. Taco Company & Urban Taproom, which will serve craft beer as well as beer milkshakes to pair with menu items.

Finally, Two Brothers Brewing Company has created a beer for Chicago’s Field Museum. The white IPA is called “Cabinet of Curiosities,” a name once given to museum collections.

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 Uproxx.com 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.

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. TheDailyMeal.com 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, Foodbeast.com 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.

Enjoy!

One Thumb Up

Don Russell, who writes the Joe Sixpack column for Philly.com, 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.

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