The Friday Mash (Typhoid Mary Edition)

A century ago today, a cook named Mary Mallon, better known as “Typhoid Mary,” was put in quarantine after infecting more than 50 people with the disease. She would remain in quarantine until her death in 1938.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in space—well, sort of. Ninkasi Brewing Company has released Ground Control Imperial Stout, brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise, cocoa nibs, and yeast that was launched by a rocket to an altitude of more than 77 miles.

Beer and driving usually don’t mix, but here’s an exception: The Hogs Back Brewery in Tongham, England, has fashioned “The Beer Engine,” a motorcycle whose sidecar is a beer keg, complete with spigot.

Madison, Wisconsin, entrepreneur Kimberly Clark Anderson has found success making beer jelly. She recommends it as a topping for a variety of foods, from pork chops to pound cake to toast.

Nostalgic “retro” beers aren’t just an American phenomenon. On May 1, United Dutch Brewers will re-introduce Oranjeboom beer, a brand that was taken off the market a decade ago.

In South Carolina, beer tourism is becoming big business. Proximity to brewery-rich Asheville, and brewery-friendly state laws are the main reasons why.

Consumer prices are actually falling in Europe, including including the price of local beer. That’s especially good news for American tourists, as the U.S. dollar is at a 12-year high against the euro.

Finally, “Florida Man,” a less-than-complimentary description of Sunshine State males who behave bizarrely in public, is the name of a new double IPA from Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company. The beer might have a built-in market: over 250,000 people follow #Floridaman’s Twitter feed.

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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.

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Taps

Watch the staff at Ashley’s, a beer bar in Westland, Michigan, retire the Bud Light tap handle and replace it with one from Michigan-based Short’s Brewery. Ashley’s plans to give the Bud Light handle a decent burial.

Opening Day Snark

It’s Opening Day of baseball season, and Jay Brooks joins the festivities with a snarky beer and baseball team pairing.

A few examples:

  • Houston Astros and O’Douls. “Something technically not a baseball team deserves something technically not beer.”
  • New York Mets and Cobra. “This snake bitten franchise secretly hopes they’re drinking poison.”
  • Tampa Bay Rays and Natural Ice. “By far the best beer bang for your baseball buck.”

Unfortunately, Brooks forgot to include the old joke about the teams who can’t serve beer because they lost their opener.

The Friday Mash (Cream City Edition)

On this day in 1846, Juneautown and Kilbourntown, Wisconsin, combined to form the city of Milwaukee. One of Milwaukee’s nicknames is “Cream City,” given in the late 19th century when millions of cream-colored bricks were made there.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Northlake, Illinois, where Bill Diamond, a train conductor at a distribution plant, is protecting beer from the polar vortex, which has driven temperatures well below beer’s freezing point.

Ever heard of the Andy-Oza Line? Created by Andy Sparhawk of CraftBeer.com, it’s the average ABV of the beer on tap at your local beer bar, divided by 5.9%, the average ABV of American craft beer.

These cases are getting more common. Illinois’ Rockford Brewing Company filed a trademark suit against Michigan’s Rockford Brewing Company. Both claim to they were the first to use the name.

Beer, then whiskey. MillerCoors is rolling out Miller Fortune, a golden lager that gives off a taste of bourbon. It’s aimed at 21- to 27-year-old men, who have gravitated to spirits in recent years.

Heretic Brewing Company responded to California’s new growler law by providing customers with the most detailed instructions we’ve ever seen for keeping growlers clean.

What did James Grant, a New Zealand doctor, do when a shark attacked him? He drove off the shark with a knife, stitched up his wounds, and went to the pub for a beer with his friends.

Finally, umami is a savory flavor at the heart of Japanese food. Now there’s a beer to pair with it. It’s called Wazen, which will be released this spring by Suntory, the Japanese beverage company.

Cease and Desist

Rule One of trademark law is that one can never be too vigilant in defending one’s mark. With that in mind, Starbucks sent a cease-and-desist letter to a Exit 6 Pub and Brewery, a Missouri brewpub. It told Exit 6 to stop selling a beer called “Frappicino,” which differs from Starbucks’ trademarked “Frappuccino” drink by just one letter.

Exit 6’s owner, Jeff Briton, was amazed that Starbucks’ attorneys found it worth their while to pursue a tiny establishment that sold just three of those vanilla creme and chocolate coffee ale concoctions. He decided to have a little fun at their expense. In a letter directed to “Mr. Bucks,” Briton pled guilty to being a “poor speler” and made amends by enclosing a check for $6, representing his profit on the three offending drinks–which he referred to as “The F Word” to avoid further legal trouble.

With Friends Like These…

A group of New Zealand guys hooks up kegs to their friend’s indoor plumbing, so that every faucet–and even the shower–spews out beer instead of water. The guys then mount cameras around the house, sit back, and watch the prank unravel.

The video is seven minutes long, and worth watching in its entirety–preferably with a beer.

Educating Your Friends

If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, there’s a good chance you’re frustrated because your friends haven’t developed the same appreciation for beer that you have. Aaron Goldfarb, writing for Esquire is here to help with tips on throwing a craft beer party.

Goldfarb starts with common-sense pointers, such as making beer non-intimidating to your friends, comparing what you drink to what they do, and teaching proper tasting lingo (because, after all, “being an accomplished beer geek is mostly about lexiconical one-upmanship”). Goldfarb throws in these final words of advice:

Quit trying to influence these normal people into adopting your Trekkian hobbies. Remember, most people go to parties to dance, chat up girls, and recklessly pour alcohol into their faces. Not to sit around with a bunch of bearded fat guys carefully checking in arcane beers on Untappd.

The Ten Types of Craft Beer Drinkers

Oliver Gray of LiteratureAndLibation.com gives us, “distilled from the hot mash of beer culture,” the ten archetypal craft beer drinkers. Gray describes himself as a mix between “The Appraiser,” a person who loves pretty much everything he tastes, “even beers that could potentially be toxic or cause a severe allergic reaction,” and “The Comparer,” a person “who’s on a mission to compile a mental database of every beer ever,” an obsession that makes him tough to hang out with.

Gray’s funniest category is “The Critic,” and we’ve seen our share of them in online beer forums. The Critic is “a roiling mess of negativity, who despite having downed some of the best beer in existence, cannot seem to say anything good about any beers. His rampant criticism of anything and everything beer related makes the people around him wonder if he actually likes beer at all, or if he just really likes to talk about how much he doesn’t like beer.” The Critic has tried more beers than people who say the love craft beer, but “no one has ever seen him actually enjoying a beer. The day he does, the universe might implode.”

What if Beer Were Marketed Like iPads?

In this ad Carlsberg Group, the makers of Sommersby Cider, pokes fun at how Apple Corporation markets its products:

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