Ninety years ago today, the “Monkey Trial” trial of science teacher John Scopes began. The trial, famously depicted in Inherit the Wind, made Dayton, Tennessee, the focus of world-wide attention. Beer was not served outside the courthouse because Prohibition was in effect.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in San Diego, where Comic-Con is underway. If you’re taking part, Andre Dyer of City Beat magazine has some suggestions as to where you can taste the local craft beer.
Those hard-to-find beers are becoming more available–if you have money. Even though shipping alcoholic beverages is against the law, the chances of getting busted for it are negligible.
Hailstorm Brewing Company has released Captain Serious #19 Pale Ale in honor of Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. Chicago has won three of the last six Stanley Cups.
Heineken NV and Carlsberg A/S are building breweries in Myanmar. Eighty percent of Myanmar’s adults drink beer, and the country’s largest brewery is owned by current and former military personnel.
Beer shortages loom in Venezuela. Strikes at the Polar brewing company, which controls 80 percent of the market, have shut down half the brewery’s plants and forced others to run at reduced capacity.
Naragansett beer, once a New England favorite, has once again become popular—and not just in New England. What makes its revival even more amazing is that the brewery accomplished it on a shoestring media budget of $100,000.
Finally, a Danish music festival will collect attendees’ urine, which will be used to fertilize barley plants that will be used in a beer to be served at the 2017 festival. Organizers call this—admit it, you saw this coming—“Piss to Pilsner.”
On this day in 1844, the last two known great auks were killed. These large flightless penguin-like birds, which lived in the North Atlantic, were hunted to extinction because their down was in high demand in Europe.
And on that auk-ward note…The Mash!
We begin in China, where designer Li Rongjun has built an office out of 8,500 empty beer bottles. Rongjun has a degree in construction from the Inner Mongolia University of Science & Technology.
Lagunitas Brewing Company will build a third brewery in Asuza, California. The new plant, with a projected capacity of more than 400,000 barrels a year, is expected to open in early 2017.
Molson’s Beer Fridge will make an appearance at this month’s Pan-American Games in Toronto. The latest edition will dispense a free Molson to those who say “I Am Canadian” in any of 40 languages.
Anita Brown, an artist in Los Angeles, has designed beers for each of the books in the Harry Potter series. They include Pilsner of Azkaban, Amber of Secrets, and Deathly Hops (h/t Jay Brooks).
Queen is the latest rock group to release its own beer. It’s a pilsner that will be called—what else?—Bohemian Rhapsody. The bottle’s design features a crest designed by Freddie Mercury himself while he was in college.
5 Rabbit Cerveceria has pulled a custom-brewed batch of ale from Chicago’s Trump Tower in protest of Donald Trump’s comments about Mexico. 5 Rabbit’s founder, is a native of Costa Rica.
Finally, New Orleans is rarely associated with German culture, but Tchoupitoulas Beer Garden, a year-round, Oktoberfest-inspired beer hall, will open this summer in the city’s Warehouse District.
If you bought Beck’s beer, you may be eligible for a refund. Anheuser-Busch InBev has settled a class-action lawsuit which alleged that the brewery deceived consumers by representing Beck’s as a German product when in fact it’s brewed in St. Louis. Beck’s buyers who’ve saved receipts from their purchases can claim a refund of up to $50. Those who can’t produce receipts may be entitled to as much as a $12 refund.
Many other beers associated with foreign countries—including Red Stripe, Fosters, and Killian’s Irish Red—are brewed in the U.S. However, those beers’ packaging identifies them as domestically-made. As part of the settlement, A-B will change Beck’s labeling to identify it as American-made.
The idea of brewing foreign brands of beer in the U.S. was inspired by the auto industry. European and Japanese automakers have moved much of their production to American plants, which resulted in a substantial decrease in shipping costs. Those costs are a concern for breweries because it’s so expensive to transport beer from overseas to the U.S.
On this day in 1914, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers was formed. This performance-rights organization takes in close to $1 billion in licensing fees, most of which it distributes to artists as royalties.
And now (cue the music)…The Mash!
We begin in the Verizon Center in Washington, where the Brooklyn Nets’ Mason Plumlee committed the ultimate party foul. He crashed into a courtside vendor, sending $200 worth of beer flying.
Researchers have found that if you’re seen holding a glass of beer, you will be perceived as less intelligent. It’s called “the imbibing idiot bias”: we closely associate drinking and dumb behavior.
The Louisville Courier-Journal asked local brewers how they name their beers. Just as they brew their beers differently, they follow different processes for naming them.
One beer trend that’s taking off this year is grocery store growlers. For example, several Kroger locations in Virginia are offering 32- and 64-ouncers with a choice of eight different taps.
China’s anti-corruption campaign has been a drag on the brewing indsutry. Government officials are refusing invitations to go drinking out of fear of being accused of taking bribes.
Drinking beer out of cans might endanger your health. Cans are lined with epoxy that contains bisphenol-A, a chemical that’s been linked to a number of serious ailments.
Finally, Scottish brewery Innis & Gunn has released a Fifty Shades of Grey-inspired beer. It’s fortified with ginseng to boost the sex drive, ginkgo biloba to get the blood pumping, and a mild nerve stimulant called damiana.
On this day in 1719, the Principality of Liechtenstein was created within the Holy Roman Empire. A couple of fun facts about this tiny country: it is the world’s leading producer of false teeth; and its capital, Vaduz, is one of only two in the world that ends with the letter “z”.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Pennsylvania, whose incoming governor turned down an offer of free Yuengling for his inauguration. A state senator says the governor snubbed the brewery because of its CEO’s political views.
MillerCoors plans to offer a gluten-free beer. The beer, Coors Peak Copper Lager, will be brewed with brown rice and protein from peas instead of barley.
A New Hampshire lawmaker wants to repeal a Liquor Commission rule banning pictures of children from beer labels. Founders Breakfast Stout’s label features a baby eating cereal.
The Pair O’ Dice Brewing Company in Clearwater, Florida, wanted a really distinctive tap for its Fowler’s Bluff IPA, so it hired Tangible Labs, a 3-D printing company, to fashion one.
A new South Carolina law that allows breweries to sell pints has given the state’s economy a $13.7 million boost. Twelve breweries have opened in the state since the law took effect.
Grease from that slice of pizza you just ate can kill the foam on your beer. It lowers the surface tension on the foam, which tears apart the structure of the bubbles and releases their gases.
Finally, an outcry from angry beer fans forced Lagunitas Brewing Company to drop its trademark suit against Stone Brewing Company. Lagunitas claimed that Stone’s logo for Hop Hunter IPA was too similar to the Lagunitas IPA logo.
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.
Early this morning, Ludwig pulled out his lion phone and texted us. He said he’s on a plane home, and expects us to meet him at the airport. While waiting for his plane, we got caught up on news from the beer world.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Detroit, where Shawn and Aaron Gross will open Windmill Pointe Brewery next year. They’ll rely on bicyclists to provide the power in exchange for beer.
Paperwork is a pain, so the Minneapolis-based Colle + McVoy ad agency gives employees an incentive to turn in their time sheets—in the form of a pint of August Schell beer.
Your friends probably believe at least one of the ten persistent beer myths (myth #1 involves IPA’s origins). Jim Vorel of Paste magazine is here to debunk them.
The Force had better be with New York State’s Empire Brewery. Lucasfilm filed a “Notice of Opposition” to the brewery’s application to trademark “Strikes Bock by Empire.”
British public-health experts want alcoholic beverage labels to disclose the drink’s caloric content. They contend that heavy drinking is a major cause of obesity.
Mystery shopper Kyle Taylor says he earned $4,000 a month as a “beer auditor.” His job was to make sure retailers follow ID-checking procedures. And yes, he was over 21.
Finally, Esquire magazine’s Aaron Goldfarb reflects on the “dad beer” phenomenon. Brands such as Schaefer and Genesee Cream Ale are enjoying a revival thanks to drinkers toasting their fathers and grandfathers.
Fifty-five years ago today, the first episode of the television show Bonanza premiered on NBC. The show, which starred Lorne Greene and Michael Landon, ran for 14 seasons and 430 episodes, second only to Gunsmoke as the longest-running western of all time.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Crested Butte, Colorado, where residents are hopping mad over a clandestine deal to let Anheuser-Busch turn their ski town into a living Bud Light commercial.
John Holl asked some of his fellow beer writers, “if beer were invented today, what would it look like?” The answers may surprise you.
Heavy late-summer rains in Montana and Idaho have ruined much of the barley crop. A disappointing barley harvest could translate into higher beer prices next year.
Are you ready for some football? The folks at Thrillist are, and they’ve picked a local beer for each of the National Football League’s 32 teams.
Add chili pepper-infused beers to the list of craft brewing trends. USA Today’s Mike Snider reviews some popular chili beers, including one made with extra-potent ghost peppers.
Raise a glass to Jake Leinenkugel, who is retiring as the brewery’s CEO. According to a hometown journalist, Leinenkugel has earned a place in craft brewing history.
Finally, Marc Confessore of Staten Island showed us how not to pair food and beer. He got caught trying to sneak four cases of Heineken and 48 packages of bacon out of a grocery store.
Forty-five years ago today, at a zebra crossing in London, photographer Iain Macmillan took the photo that became the cover of the Beatles album Abbey Road. It became one of the most famous album covers in recording history.
And now…The Mash!
We begin, appropriately, in London, where local officials might stop evening beer festivals at the zoo after festival-goers threw beer at the tigers and a drunken woman tried to enter the lion enclosure*.
Jim Koch, the CEO of Boston Beer Company, planned to open a brewery in Seattle, where he went to college. But after watching it rain for 45 straight days, Koch and his wife moved back to Boston.
Germany’s years-long slump in beer consumption was halted by its winning the World Cup. Between January and June, sales rose by 4.4 percent over a year ago.
Bend, Oregon’s 10 Barrel Brewing Company issued a recall for its popular Swill beer after it learned some bottles were undergoing secondary fermentation, which could cause them to explode.
California’s continuing drought has craft brewers worried. If the rains don’t come this winter, they might be forced to curtail production, raise prices, or even move brewing operations out of state.
Elizabeth Daly, who sued the Virginia ABC after over-zealous plainclothes officers wrongly suspected she was a minor in possession, will get a $212,500 settlement check from the state.
Finally, New Zealand health regulators warned a hotel that its sign, “Pero Says: ‘Free Beer Tomorrow’”, may violate the law by promoting excessive drinking. Haven’t they read about “Jam Tomorrow” in Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking-Glass?
* Ludwig is not pleased with her.
If you’re one of the lucky folks who managed to get tickets for this year’s Great American Beer Festival, congratulations on beating the odds! This year’s allotment of public-sale tickets sold out in just 32 minutes.
If you weren’t so lucky, console yourself with a beer (Ludwig suggests something with “Imperial” in its name) and set your sights on next year’s festival. Speaking of which, 30 percent more exhibit space will be available for the 2015 festival. And that could mean a bigger allotment of tickets.