Sixty-six years ago today, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing was formed in Daytona Beach, Florida. Today, NASCAR is second only to the National Football League in television ratings and has more Fortune 500 corporate sponsors than any other sport.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in western North Carolina, where the new Sierra Nevada brewery has started brewing IPA. It will start shipping to distributors this spring, and open to the public in August.
It looks like a stout, but Morning Beer by a Sacramento roaster is actually a nitrogenated coffee. It’s alcohol-free, so you can enjoy it on your way to work.
Think you’re the ultimate beer geek? If so, send a video to the Firestone Walker Brewing Company. The lucky winner will get four VIP tickets to the sold-out Invitational Beer Festival.
The All-American Food Truck & Craft Beer Rally took place in Huntsville, Alabama, on Wednesday. Food trucks are showing up at more and more festivals on our calendar.
Your purchase of Flying Dog Ales’ Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout helps fund the brewery’s effort to plant oysters in Chesapeake Bay. Flying Dog expects to plant two million this year.
It’s almost Mardi Gras season in New Orleans. If you’re going, local writer Nora McGunnigle tells where you can find good beer in the Crescent City.
Finally, we recently told you about beer concentrate. Now the folks at Gizmodo.com have tried it straight, and say it “bombards your taste buds with a rotting symphony of flavors not meant for consumption.”
California is suffering one of the worst droughts in memory and, as Claire Leschin-Hoar of Voice of San Diego explains, the state’s craft brewing industry is feeling the effects. Brewers in the San Diego area are taking steps to conserve water in the beer-making process. The first step is finding out where it’s being wasted. The next is to find ways to use less water and to re-use it–for example, by using reverse osmosis to purify wastewater.
It takes more than three gallons of water to make one gallon of beer, and even more at small breweries which can’t take advantage of economies of scale. However, other beverages have much bigger “water footprints.” It takes 880 gallons of water to make one gallon of milk or one gallon of coffee, and 1,008 gallons of water to make a gallon of wine.
Brewing News magazine has released the details of its seventh annual National IPA Championship and its inaugural National Imperial IPA Championship. Both follow a bracket-style single-elimination format.
The four-round competition begins this weekend, with the final rounds and championship to take place in Buffalo on St. Patrick’s Day.
Even if you’re not a brewer, you can take part by filling out your bracket at home–or at your favorite licensed establishment. If you’re the top picker, you’ll win a free case of the championship beers.
Kurtis Alexander of the San Francisco Chronicle made the trek to Santa Rosa, where he joined hundreds of IPA fans outside the Russian River Brewing Company. They were there for Friday’s Pliny the Younger release, an event that Alexander compares to Apple product debuts. Release day attracts so many out-of-town visitors that a couple of local hotels offer “Pliny packages.”
Pliny is available at selected draft accounts in northern California until February 20. Then the wait begins all over.
On this day in 1848, James W. Marshall found gold at Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento. That discovery attracted hundreds of thousands of “Forty-Niners.” By necessity, these early settlers developed a style of beer known as “California Common,” better known as steam beer.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Boulder, Colorado, where a brewery got called for illegal procedure after the NFL learned that it had released a “Brett on the Broncos” ale honoring the AFC champions.
The Washington Post has put together a chart that links beverage choice and political views. The most Democratic beer is Milwaukee’s Best, the most Republican beer is Coors Original.
The maker of Jelly Bellys has added a new Draft Beer flavor to its lineup. Inspired by a Hefeweizen ale, it has a wheaty taste. And no, it doesn’t contain any alcohol.
Ohio lawmakers are considering whether to raise the maximum allowable ABV in beer from 12 percent to 21 percent, which is the state’s maximum ABV for wine.
From Paste magazine comes the Cheap American Beers Bracket. The magazine’s staff picked Miller High Life number one, but readers made Pabst Blue Ribbon their champion.
“Beer,” by Luke Bryan, currently tops the country music chart. The last number-one country song with “beer” in its title Billy Currington’s “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer,” in 2010.
Finally, organizers of tomorrow’s Beer Dabbler Carnival in St. Paul, Minnesota, are attempting to set a new world record for world’s largest snowball fight. Over 7,000 are expected to take part.
On this day in 1929, Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Segar, debuted in the Thimble Theatre comic strip. Since then, Popeye has appeared in comic books, video games, and a film starring Robin Williams in the title role.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in St. Louis’s Bellefontaine Cemetery, where two adjacent mausoleums on Millionaires’ Row remind us of a rivalry between brewing families, the Lemps and the Wainwrights.
The Spencer Brewery in Massachusetts, has become only the tenth brewery to to be recognized as Trappist. Its ales are brewed by the monks–Trappist, of course–of St. Joseph’s Abbey.
Germany’s Federal Cartel Office levied $150 million in fines on five breweries for conspiring to fix prices. The whistle-blower was none other than Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Has extreme beer gone too far? The Icelandic brewery Steojar was blasted by conservationists for brewing a beer with whale meat. A treaty signed by most nations bans commercial whaling.
Sam Samaneiego, the “Beer Nazi,” has passed away. His Stuffed Sandwich restaurant in San Gabriel, California, has been introducing customers to better beer since it opened in 1976.
Thailand’s Singha beer found itself embroiled in political controversy after brewery heiress Chitpas Bhirombhakdi accused rural Thais of lacking a “true understanding” of democracy.
Finally, festival organizers are having second thoughts about glassware. Some higher-end festivals give attendees fancy keepsake glasses instead of plastic cups or mini-shaker pints.
Zephyr Adventures, the organizers of the Beer Bloggers Conference has compiled a list of the world’s 20 most influential beer sites. The ratings are based on four factors: Alexa rating, incoming links, Facebook likes, and Twitter followers.
Heading the list is Heineken, followed by Beer Advocate, New Belgium Brewing, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Ludwig Roars checks in at number….oops, we can’t find it on the list!
By the way, this year’s North American Beer Bloggers Conference will take place August 22-24 in San Diego.
Fifth Third Ballpark in the Grand Rapids area sustained extensive damage in a fire. The ballpark is the site of the annual Michigan Brewers Guild’s Winter Beer Festival.
This evening, the Guild released the following statement:
“We have been in contact with our friends at Fifth Third Ballpark since the unfortunate fire which damaged a portion of the property and we are happy to report that all ballpark staff are safe and unharmed. We have also been assured that as they work through the rebuilding process they will be ready to host the Winter Beer Festival February 22, 2014 as planned. We wish them all the best.”
No, “chili and frosty” isn’t today’s weather report. Those were once the signature items of Wendy’s restaurants, the first of which opened on this day in 1969. Founder Dave Thomas named after it after his daughter Melinda Lou Thomas, known to her family as Wendy.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Germany, where an official of the national health system infuriated psychotherapists by suggesting that a bottle of beer might be more effective than a trip to the couch.
A store in Louisville sells hand-rolled cigars seasoned with Samuel Adams beer. They combine the beer’s sweetness and maple and vanilla flavors with a spicy flavor from the tobacco blend.
In many U.S. states, anti-drunk driving groups have put an end to drive-through beer stores, but they’re still common in Mexico. Some are operated by the Modelo brewery’s parent company.
Last week, the carrier U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford was launched. Founders Brewing Company, located in Ford’s hometown of Grand Rapids, released a special ale to celebrate.
Next February, the University of Kentucky will host a one-day seminar on the importance of beer writing to the craft beer industry. Garrett Oliver is the headline speaker.
Alan Newman, the founder of the Magic Hat Brewing Company, has gone back to basics. His Just Beer Project is a brewery that focuses on traditional beers. His first offering is a session-strength IPA.
Finally, some gift ideas for the beer lover who has everything. Paste Magazine’s ten best items made out of beer cans include a Christmas tree, a corset, and a World War I biplane.
On this day in 1889, Montana was admitted to the Union as the 41st state. Montana, with 36 craft breweries and a population of just over one million, ranks third in number of breweries per capita, behind only Vermont and Oregon. No wonder its nickname is the “Treasure State.”
And now….The Mash!
We begin in San Francisco, where a company called ReGrained is using spent grain from beer brewing to make granola bars. The bars also contain Ghirardelli chocolate and other local ingredients.
Bottle-share parties have gotten much more sophisticated over the years. Portland, Oregon, writer Lucy Burningham sampled rare beer and gourmet food at a high-end gathering in her hometown.
Why are holiday beers already on the shelves? Because early rollouts work. Sales of seasonal beers have risen by 15 percent or more in the past few years.
Cassava is the second most-consumed source of carbohydrates in sub-Saharan Africa. Multi-national breweries are buying the crop from farmers and using it to brew beer.
Japanese baseball players have their version of America’s post-game Champagne celebration: a victory beer fight in which players spray one another. The tradition dates back to 1959.
Craft beer might be the next big tourist attraction in the Tampa Bay area. Four micros have recently opened in St. Petersburg alone, and Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company has a nation-wide following.
Finally, it has been a year since Hurricane Sandy heavily damaged the Jersey Shore. Flying Fish Brewing Company’s “F.U. Sandy” beer has generated $75,000 in donations to a number of New Jersey charities.