Thalia Hall, a music venue in Chicago, decided to have some fun at the expense of this year’s Chicago Craft Beer Week. It hosted “Crap Beer Day” where, for a $10 cover charge, festival-goers could buy $1 bottles and cans of brands such as Schlitz, Mickey’s, Hamm’s, Old Milwaukee, and Lone Star. In other words, the beers we drank in college because that’s all we could afford.
Crap Beer Day, in turn, inspired the staff of Chicago Reader to take part in a blind taste test of the $1 beers. The panel’s comments were, predictably, brutal. One beer smelled like “a dirty dishcloth that’d been sitting out wet for two days.” Which was an improvement over the beer that smelled “like skunk spray.” A panelist said that another beer “might be a good palate cleanser if you accidentally drank some bong water.”
The tasting’s hosts sneaked a craft beer into the lineup: New Glarus Totally Naked. The verdict? It “still drinks fine long after it should’ve been pulled from the shelf and dumped.”
Eighty-five years ago today, Pluto was officially named. Upon its discovery, Pluto was recognized as the solar system’s ninth planet. However, in 2006 the International Astronomical Union’s formal definition of “planet,” resulted in Pluto’s demotion to dwarf-planet status.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Wisconsin, where the fifth annual Madison Beer Week kicks off today. Co-founder Jeffrey Glazer talks about the growth of Beer Week and how beer culture has changed in Madison.
If you’re on the Paleo Diet, grain-based beer is off the menu. Scientists say it shouldn’t be. Our ancestors were creative enough to turn both grain and fruit into alcoholic beverages.
Nicolette Wenzell of the Palm Springs Historical Society takes us back to the 1950s, when the El Mirador Hotel hosted a weekly Bavarian Night. The event became so popular that local stores stocked lederhosen and felt hats.
Anti-alcohol groups are criticizing Ben & Jerry’s for getting into the beer business. The ice-cream maker is collaborating with New Belgium Brewing Company to make Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, to be released this fall.
Paste magazine assembled a panel of experts to rank 39 American wheat beers. The overall winner was Allagash White.
Notable NBA draft bust Darko Milicic has embarked on a new career in the world of kickboxing. He’s also perfected the art of chugging a beer with no hands.
Finally, the owners of Scottish brewery Brewdog have big plans. They hope to expand their brewery, and add a distillery and a hotel to the operation. Also on the drawing board: opening 15 to 20 Brewdog bars across the U.K.
Twenty-five years ago today, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into low Earth orbit. The telescope, which has had five in-space service calls by NASA astronauts, is still functioning and is expected to last another five years.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, where Krista Dotzenrod caught a foul ball in her beer cup and, at the urging fans, chugged the beer. The hashtag for this is #ChugBall.
“Raising the Bar”, which began last year in New York, is a program in which scholars give lectures in pubs and other venues. Recently, Hong Kong became the first Asian city to stage this event.
Australian prime minister Tony Abbott sent a mixed message about binge drinking when he downed a 12-ounce schooner of beer seven seconds at a Sydney bar.
A bar in Maple Grove, Minnesota, must deal with the dreaded Beer Police. Its offense? Buying kegs of New Glarus Spotted Cow from a Wisconsin liquor store and bringing them across the state line.
The government of Indonesia, a Muslim-majority country, has outlawed the sale of beer at convenience stores. Small retailers account for around 60 percent of the country’s beer sales.
Tomorrow is Dark Lord Day, and host Three Floyds Brewery has something new for festival-goers: Dark Lord-infused hot sauce, made with ancho and guajillo chili peppers.
Finally, Brook Bristow, executive director of the South Carolina Brewers Guild, was presented with the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award at last week’s Craft Brewers Conference. Working pro bono, Bristow’s law firm successfully lobbied for craft-friendly laws in the Palmetto State.
Last week, Indiana governor Mike Pence signed Senate Bill 101, which would prevent state and local governments from “substantially burdening” a person’s exercise of religion unless the government can prove it has a compelling interest and is doing so in the least restrictive means. Critics contend that the law gives business owners a license to discriminate, especially against gays and lesbians.
Businessman Scott Wise, who owns the Scotty’s Brewhouse chain in Indiana, wrote an open letter explaining his opposition to the law. After identifying himself as a born-again Christian, Wise went on to say, “Several of my employees are openly gay, proud and happy” and that “I consider all of them my colleagues and even more so, my friends.” Wise called his guests’ sexual orientation “utterly unimportant in running a business, nor any of my personal business.”
Cyd Zeigler of OutSports.com has asked supporters of LBGT rights who’ll be in Indianapolis for this weekend’s Final Four to join him at Scotty’s downtown location Friday evening at 7 pm. The establishment is just a few blocks from Lucas Oil Stadium, where the games will be played.
On this day in 1899, Bayer AG trademarked the name “Aspirin” for its synthetic version of salicylic acid. Aspirin, an anti-inflammatory drug, is one of the world’s most widely-used medications: 40,000 metric tons are used each year.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Kentucky, which is best known for
snow bourbon. However, a lively craft beer scene has emerged. Fourteen breweries have opened in the Bluegrass State since 2011.
CNBC is bringing back its Most Loved Beer Label contest. For the next week, citizens can nominate labels. The network will reveal the finalists on March 23, and voting will wind up two weeks later.
In Malaysia, non-alcoholic beer for Muslims is unacceptable to the chief halal certifier because he objects to the word “beer” to describe the drink.
Jay Brooks has published an ale-themed parody of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. The closing lines are, “I do so love craft beer at home! Thank you! Thank you, Sam-Cala-Gione!”
CoolMaterial.com created a flowchart to guide people who can’t decide what their next beer should be. The first question is, “Are you looking to get drunk and don’t care about taste?”
Beer festivals attract people dressed as court jesters, ballerinas, superheroes, and even giant chickens. MLive.com’s John Serba offers five ridiculous, but practical costume suggestions.
Finally, Eleanor Robertson stirred up a hornets’ nest with an op-ed condemning craft beer. Robertson hates its taste, can’t stand beer snobs, and would rather talk to her friends than her beer.
Seventy-five years ago today, Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discovered carbon-14, a radioactive isotope. It’s the basis of the radio-carbon dating method that determines an object’s age. However, bartenders still have to use ID cards to determine the age of their customers.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Barlioche, a Patagonian resort town that has become the craft beer capital of the Andes. It’s home to 15 breweries, which join forces for a beer festival in December.
Last weekend, more than 100 people played whiffle ball in the snow in a Milwaukee-area park. Leinenkugel Brewing Company hosted the tournament to promote its Summer Shandy.
Experts aren’t sure why this happens, but recipients spend more on beer when food stamps are distributed on the weekend—even though the stamps can’t be used to buy beer.
The Brew Kettle, a Cleveland-area brewery, is rolling out an ale for Cavaliers basketball fans. “All For One” session IPA will be available at the brewery and at Cavs’ home games.
Hellboy, the character created by comic-book artist Mike Mignola, turned 21, and Rogue Ales celebrated his big birthday by releasing Hand of Doom Red Ale. It sold out in a hurry.
This month’s “Session” asked beer bloggers the question “Festivals: Geek Gathering or Beer Dissemination?” Joan Villar-i-Martí, who blogs from Barcelona, has rounded up the best responses.
Finally, thousands of whiskey barrels have found their way to craft breweries. Now, Heavy Seas Brewing Company has returned the favor, sending its brewhouse tanks to a distillery.
On this day in 1917, Father Edward Flanagan, a Catholic priest in Omaha, opened a home for wayward boys. That home is now a National Historic Landmark; and Boys Town’s slogan, “He ain’t heavy, mister–he’s my brother,” has become part of our popular culture.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Austin, Texas, where Lance Armstrong quit after one lap during qualifying for the inaugural Beer Mile Championship. Armstrong said he’ll never again run a Beer Mile.
Dave Lieberman of OCWeekly.com got a sales pitch for the “Sonic Foamer,” which creates a 5-millimeter head on your pint of beer. He doesn’t seem the least bit impressed with the product.
Oktoberfest tops the list of Germany’s beer festivals, but it’s not the only one. EscapeHere.com runs down the country’s top ten, some of which are hundreds of years old.
A sealed bottle of Samuel Alsopp’s Arctic Ale sold for $503,300 on eBay. It’s considered the world’s rarest bottle of beer because the the original seller misspelled the name “Allsop’s”.
The Sriracha craze has spread to beer. This month, Rogue Ales will release a limited-edition Rogue Sriracha Hot Stout Beer. Suggested pairings include soup, pasta, pizza, and chow mein.
Last weekend, MillerCoors LLC teamed up with a start-up called Drizly, and offered free home delivery of Miller Lite to customers in four cities.
Finally, David Kluft of JDSupra Business Advisor reviews this year’s beer trademark disputes. Maybe these cases will inspire someone to host a Disputed Beer Festival next year.
Today is the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake, which killed more than 60 people in the San Francisco Bay Area. Because it occurred minutes before Game 3 of the World Series, it became the first major earthquake to be broadcast on national television.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Melbourne Beach, Florida, where a house inspired by beer bottles is on the market for $2.95 million. And it’s built to withstand hurricanes.
Louiville mayor Greg Fischer wants beer to join bourbon as a tourist attraction. He’d also like a bourbon-barrel beer festival and the revival of Kentucky common beer.
Are you a beer aficionado? James Grebey of Buzzfeed.com has compiled a list of 21 warning signs. Warning sign #6: You have a very, very deeply held opinion about pumpkin beer.
Now that legal marijuana is gaining momentum, economists are looking at legalization’s effect on the beer industry. Some think higher spending on pot will mean less spending on beer.
The Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project is blowing the whistle on Boston-area bars that take bribes from breweries. The practice is illegal, but violators are rarely punished.
Jason Momoa, who played Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, wants to brew beer in Detroit. He bought a 100-year-old former General Motors building, part of which will house his own brewery.
Finally, scientists have discovered that fruit flies love brewer’s yeast. A gene in the yeast releases a fruity smell that attracts the flies which, in turn, spread the yeasts to new habitats.
On this day in 1845, the Naval School–later renamed the United States Naval Academy—opened in Annapolis, Maryland, with a class of 50 midshipman students and seven professors. Since then, the entire campus has gained recognition as a National Historic Landmark.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Australia, where a feral hog stole three six-packs of beer, got snorting drunk, and got into an altercation with a cow. The hog was seen the next morning sleeping off a nasty hangover.
It’s October, which means the pumpkin beers are flowing. If you like them, Playboy magazine has done you a favor. After tasting a slew of them, they’ve ranked America’s best pumpkin beers.
At last week’s Great American Beer Festival, the Brewers Association unveiled its beer and food pairing course. The five-unit course is free of charge, and you can download the course materials.
Watch out for yellow jackets. This is the time of the year when they feast on anything sweet—including your half-finished can of beer. Swallow one, and you’ll be in a world of hurt.
Sometimes distribution can the a bane of craft brewers. On its website, Clown Shoes Brewing tells a horror story about its relationship with its distributor in Georgia.
There’s a YouTube video of Alfred the cat, who appears to be polishing off a beer. Experts caution against serving beer to felines—unless, of course, they’re beer-drinking lions.
Finally, even though beer consumption at this year’s Oktoberfest was down 15 percent from last year’s, everyone had a good time in Munich. The Daily Mail has a photo essay of the festivities.