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.
When the folks at HBO went looking for a craft beer partner for their popular fantasy series Game of Thrones, they made the right call. The call went to Brewery Ommegang and, as it turned out, several brewery employees–including the company’s director of marketing–were fans of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire novels, on which the TV series is based. So began Ommegang’s Game of Thrones series.
Ommegang agreed to produce two themed beers per year. The first two were Iron Throne, a golden ale, and a stout called Take the Black. On Monday, the brewery released Fire and Blood, the third in the series. Inspired by Daenerys Targaryen and her three dragons, it’s a a Belgian-style red ale–the blood–brewed with anchor chilies–the fire, of course.
The Four Lads once asked the musical question, “Why did Constantinople get the works?” Their answer: “It’s nobody’s business but the Turks’” Eighty-four years ago today, the Turks changed the city’s name to Istanbul. They also changed the name of their capital to Ankara.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Cincinnati, where Listerman Brewing Company is hosting Starkbierfest, a family-friendly version of Munich’s Lenten tradition where potent doppelbock takes center stage.
Yards Brewing Company is brewing a special beer for the popular TV show “Walking Dead.” No humans have been eaten in the brewing process, which involves smoking goat brains.
Colorado governor John Hickenlooper has installed craft beer taps at his official residence. The first keg he tapped was Silverback Pale from Wynkoop Brewing Company, which he founded.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Fortune magazine writers tried MillerCoors’s new Fortune beer and gave it a thumbs-up–and not just for its name.
While visiting Belgium, Jay Brooks discovered a new organization, the Belgian Family Brewers. Its members have been brewing for at least 50 years, and have been family-owned all that time.
Purists are up in arms about it, but three Seattle-area homebrewers have developed the PicoBrew Zymatic, a “set-and-forget” system that can be controlled from one’s laptop.
Finally, Florida craft brewers learned that campaign cash trumps free enterprise. The State Senate president admitted that he’s against legalizing half-gallon growlers because a big beer distributor is a major contributor to his party.
On this day in 1827, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was incorporated. Can you name the other railroads on the Monopoly board? Time’s up. They’re the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Reading Railroad, and the Short Line.
We begin in Brazil, where the Polar brewery has an invention that will make it easier to converse in bars. It’s a beer cooler that cuts out GSM, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G, and 4G signals.
California’s drought could make your Lagunitas IPA will taste different. The Russian River, which provides Lagunitas with its water, is drying up, and brewery might have to find another source.
Beer was the headline ingredient in last Sunday’s “Chopped” competition on the Food Network. The show, with Stone Brewing Company’s Greg Koch as a judge, airs again on Sunday evening.
Higher zymurgical education awaits in the form of Joshua Bernstein’s new book, The Complete Beer Course. It contains a series of “classes” devoted to families of beers.
On Tuesday, when he was in Chicago to announce the award of a federal manufacturing grant, President Obama put in a plug for Goose Island Brewing Company’s “superior beer.”
A Korean romantic comedy in which the female lead makes chimek to celebrate winter’s first snow has Chinese viewers clamoring for the dish, which is Korean for “fried chicken” and “beer.”
Finally, a gathering of 490 Yelp members at Santa Anita Race Track might set a new Guinness record for beer tasters. We hope they bet on Ambitious Brew, who won the $100,000 Sensational Star stakes race.
On this day in 1497, in Florence, Italy, Savonarola presided over history’s most famous “bonfire of the vanities.” Anything he considered a temptation to sin went up in flames. That’s enough to drive anyone to drink.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Grand Rapids, home of HopCat, America’s top-rated beer bar. Owner Mark Sellers plans to open 12 to 15 more HopCats throughout the Midwest over the next five years.
Gotcha! Firas Habli, a beer store owner in Ohio, was shamed on social media after he was seen trying to buy a grocery store’s entire allotment of Bell’s Hopslam.
In Maine, liquor inspectors are telling bars that it’s agains the law to post the alcoholic content of beer. The law was passed in 1937, long before the arrival of high-gravity craft beer.
In Washington State, Un-Cruise Adventures is offering a beer-themed whale-watching cruise. The itinerary includes two brewery tours, and beer experts will be pairing craft beers with dinner.
Researchers in Spain have created an electronic “tongue” that can recognize beer styles and differences in alcohol content. It’s said to be accurate more than four out of five times.
Instead of shelling out millions for a Super Bowl ad, Newcastle mocked the big game’s hype in a stealth campaign that featured Anna Kendrick in a “Behind the Scenes” YouTube video.
Finally, the early favorite for Beer Trend of 2014 appears to be beer-focused cocktails. To get you started, the Food Network staff has put together a 13-drink slideshow, complete with recipes.
On this day in 1830, the Kingdom of Belgium declared its independence from The Netherlands. Since then, Belgium has acquired quite a reputation for its beer.
And now…the Mash!
Raise the price of beer and people drink less of it, right? Not at Oktoberfest, where per capita consumption went up even though the price of beer rose much faster than the rate of inflation.
According to Zoosk.com, people who drink microbrews are more likely to have one-night stands. They’re also more likely to prefer outdoor adventures on a first date.
Beer and books? Yes, please. Atomic Books and Red Emma’s, two independent bookstores in Baltimore, plan to serve beer along with their hardcovers, paperbacks, and comic books.
The Esquire Network’s lineup of shows includes Brew Dogs, which stars James Watt and Martin Dickie of Scotland’s BrewDog brewery. Their first episode was filmed in San Diego.
Fast Company magazine has prepared an infographic contrasting the effects of beer and coffee on the human brain. Did you know that beer (in moderation) makes you more creative?
Finally, if you’re going to the Great American Beer Festival, take note: the Ritz-Carlton in Denver is offering 75-minute “ex-beer-iences”, either a massage or a pedicure with Great Divide beer.
On this day in 1810, promoter P.T. Barnum was born. He’s best known for founding Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, but his colorful life story also includes stints as a politician, businessman, reformer, and perpetrator of hoaxes.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Tennessee, where new legislation lessens the tax bite on beer. The old law, which based tax on the price of beer, saddled the Volunteer State with the nation’s steepest tax.
The staff of FirstWeFeast.com has scoured the country to find unsung cheap beers. The list is dominated by regional beers like Point Special, Iron City, and Genessee Cream Ale.
The Festival in Portland, Maine, opened late on account of archaic regulations that bar breweries from pouring their own beer. Organizers scrambled to find volunteers for beer-dispensing duty.
What is it like to ride on the beer train? Scott Rappold of the Colorado Springs Gazette describes his trip on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad’s annual “Rails to Ales” outing.
Another television series will have its own beer. Albuquerque’s Marble Brewery will brew Heisenberg’s Dark, an India black ale named for Walter White’s drug-dealing alias in Breaking Bad.
Hawaii is surrounded by ocean water, and Aloha Brewing Company is using it to brew Gose beer, a style that originated in Goslar, Germany, whose water is naturally salty.
Finally, a Czech hockey team was forced to leave town because of a dispute over beer. The club played in Budvar Arena, but their league was contractually obligated to serve a competing brand.
On this day in 1790, in Bourbon County, Kentucky, an American clergyman named Elijah Craig produced the first batch of whiskey distilled from corn. What better excuse to have a beer aged in a bourbon barrel?
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Cambridge, England, where the city’s first Bitcoin transaction recently took place. Andrew Bower bought a pint of beer at The Haymakers for just over 0.02 Bitcoins, or £1.55.
Can’t find a bottle opener? S.E. Smith of Networx.com to the rescue. He has 16 ways to open a beer bottle without one–and without damaging your teeth.
Japanese craft brewers might get a boost from their government’s decision to weaken the yen in an effort to stimulate the economy. A weak yen means higher prices for imported brands.
Fort Collins, Colorado, is one of the nation’s top beer destinations. For your enjoyment, the staff at FermentedlyChallenged.com has compiled a three-day guide to the city’s breweries and bars.
If you’re in the lower deck at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, listen for Mark Reiner, the singing beer vendor. He sings his personalized spiels to the tune of pop songs any fan would recognize.
Crikey! Residents of a Melbourne, Australia, suburb discovered their cellphones weren’t working. The problem? Radio waves emitted by a neighbor’s beer fridge.
Finally, craft beer returns to television this fall. The new Esquire Network will air a show titled “BrewDogs” starring James Watt and Martin Dickie, the founders of–you guessed it–BrewDog.
It started with a friendly bartender who, by trial and error, helped Kevin Jamieson identify which of his establishment’s 40 beers he’d fallen in love with the night before. That exchange led him to develop an app that maps a beer using six “dimensions.”
Mark Wilson of Fast Company magazine explain Jamieson’s map:
Just like you might place a point on a 2-D or 3-D grid, Jamieson actually arranges traits of a beer–from very specific text descriptions he’s scraped from reviews, like “grapefruity” or “piney,” to very hard, scientific measurements of maltiness and bitterness–into six simultaneous dimensions. From the proximity of all these diverse data points, Jamieson can reason complex relationships of the beers based upon a multitude of interrelated criteria at once.
The good news: the map covers a universe of 200,000 beers. The bad news: human minds aren’t very good as visualizing six dimensions. So Jamieson simplified his map by limiting the user to two traits at a time to compare.
On this day in 1962, President John F. Kennedy delivered a speech that led to passage of the Consumer Bill of Rights. The president declared that consumers were entitled to a choice of safe products, information about what they buy, and the right to be heard. So if someone serves you a pint of ailing ale today, don’t be afraid to send it back.
And now…The Mash!
Meet Arnie, the smart beer vending machine. He lives at Arnold Worldwide’s offices in Austin, Texas, and dispenses beer that was home-brewed by company employees.
In London, the brewers of Sol beer offer a new form of recycling. Feed the machine one of your unwanted ties, and it will issue you a coupon good for a free bottle of beer.
A new season of Game of Thrones debuts on HBO on March 31, and Brewery Ommegang has brewed a special ale in collaboration with the cable network. Paul Schrodt of Esquire reviews the beer.
It’s only eight years old, but Milwaukee’s Old German Beer Hall has gained national attention for its genuine Bavarian atmosphere. The beer, and the flour used to make pretzels, are imported from Munich.
Does your company’s perks include a free beer on company time? Advanced Medical in Port Orange, Florida, rolls out the beer cart on Friday afternoons.
Finally, Dr. Amanda Ellison of Durham University (UK) debunks “beer goggles”: People don’t look more attractive to you after a few too many; you’ve simply lowered your standards. Caveat emptor.