The UK’s likely exit from the European Union has far-reaching implications, and beer isn’t exempt from them.
Even though the U.S. isn’t part of the EU, American beer drinkers might soon feel the effects of “Brexit”. In the wake of the vote to leave, the British pound lost more than 10 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar. That might result in cheaper British beer in American stores.
Currently, goods from EU members on the Continent enter the UK duty free, and vice versa. Once the UK leaves the EU, it would be free to impose tariffs on German malt and French cider apples. The UK also might decide to eliminate tariffs on hops from Australia or the U.S. Conversely, EU countries might start charging tariffs on English beers and ciders and on raw materials such as hops.
All of this, however, is speculation. It will probably take two years or more to negotiate the UK’s departure from the EU, and no one is sure of what the terms of Brexit will include.
Roger Barber, the owner of a British winery, can market his sparkling wine as “Champale”. Barber persuaded British trademark authorities that his product’s name wasn’t confusingly similar to French Champagne. French Champagne growers argued that “champ” was the common familiar term for their product, but Barber countered that in England, “champ” was short for champion.
You might be asking yourself, what is a story about wine doing on a beer blog? Because in America, “Champale” doesn’t mean what Barber thinks it means. The American version is a malt liquor that debuted in 1939. Readers of a certain age might remember getting a quick buzz—and an awful hangover—from drinking it. Champale, which has had a succession of owners, is still available, and now comes in four flavors.
Rob Tod, the founder of Allagash Brewing Company, and five other employees of the brewery, arrived at Brussels Airport minutes after terrorists attacked. The employees, who were in Belgium as a reward for five years’ service at the brewery, were able to travel to Paris to catch a flight home.
On this day in 1924, George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” premiered in New York at a concert titled “An Experiment in Modern Music.” Paul Whiteman and his band performed the work, with Gershwin playing the piano.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Zalec, a town in Slovenia’s hop-growing region. The city plans to spend €170,000 ($190,000) to build Europe’s first-ever “beer fountain”. For €6, visitors will be able to buy samples in a commemorative mug for three 10.5-ounce samples.
Craft beer is hard to find in Las Vegas. The reason? State laws which, until recently, allowed brewpubs only to sell directly to customers and imposed hefty license fees on brewpubs.
David Forde, a UK-based executive of the Heineken Company, thinks we should be drinking less because excessive drinking will create a backlash. Heineken’s latest ad campaign is “Moderate Drinkers Wanted”.
Some scientists believe that beer was the reason why our ancestors switched from a hunter-gatherer to an agricultural existence. Beer was more nutritious than beer and, unlike water, was free of pathogens.
New Belgium Brewing Company has narrowed its list of sites for a second brewery to two: Asheville, North Carolina; and the Philadelphia area. The final decision should be made by June.
USA Today’s panel of beer experts have chosen 20 cities for its America’s “best beer scene” competition. Until February 29, you can vote for your favorite—but only once per day.
Finally, Forbes magazine’s Breanna Wilson went to the 16-room Dogfish Inn in Lewes, Delaware. The inn doesn’t sell Dogfish Head beer onsite because it wants guests to wander the town’s restaurants—one of which is Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats.
On this day in 1956, The Million Dollar Quartet—Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash—got together at Sun Studio in Memphis. Years later, tracks from of this impromptu jam session were released as albums in the UK and, later, in the U.S.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in London, Ontario, where Lewis Kent has become the first Beer Miler competitor to turn pro. The 22-year-old University of Western Ontario student signed a deal with Brooks, a shoe company.
Good news for Star Trek fans. Shmaltz Brewery is releasing the latest beer in the officially-licensed Vulcan Ale series. It’s a red session IPA called The Genesis Effect, and unlike Romulan Ale, it’s legal.
Stung by feminists’ reaction to Bud Light’s #UpForWhatever ad campaign, Anheuser-Busch InBev plans to air woman-friendly spots for its beer during next year’s Super Bowl.
George Washington loved his beer—porter, in particular, and occasionally brewed his own. A notebook Washington kept while he was a 25-year-old officer in the Virginia militia contains a recipe for “small beer”.
Journalist Dina Mishev got over her aversion to beer, at least for the time being, after hitting the Bend Ale Trail. The Trail has 16 breweries, all within walking or biking distance from one another.
In Milwaukee, Pabst Brewing Company’s 126-year-old bottling plant is being converted into apartments for college students. Unfortunately, the amenities won’t include free Blue Ribbon.
Finally, Dogfish Head Brewery claims the distinction of having brewed the hoppiest beer on record. Hoo Lawd, an India pale ale, checks in at 658 International Bittering Units. Most IPAs fall in the 40-60 IBU range.
On this day in 1846, William T.G. Morton first demonstrated ether anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Each year the medical community honors this breakthrough with World Anesthesia Day. If ether “isn’t right for you”, we suggest having a beer instead.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Iowa City, where the informal University of Iowa “Beer Band” has suspended itself—at least for the time being—after townspeople complained abou X-rated song lyrics.
Beer author John Holl interviewed Dr. Chris White, the founder of yeast provider White Labs. Topics include sour beer, brewer education, and White’s new facility in North Carolina.
Chicago restaurateur Rick Bayless is introducing genuine Mexican-style beers. He’s opened a brewpub, and has also formed a brewing partnership with Constellation Brands .
Years ago, graphic designer Harvey Shepherd fell in love with beer packaging. He’s turned his avocation into the recently-published Oh Beautiful Beer: The Evolution of Craft Beer and Design.
Business consultant Chip Martella has good news and bad news for craft brewers. The dreaded industry shakeup has arrived, but a scrappy craft brewer can still succeed in this environment.
Carla Jean Whitley of AL.com details the revival of brewing in Alabama. Now that lawmakers have eased many Prohibition-era restrictions, the state’s brewery count has risen to 28.
Finally, declining sales of American light beer have forced breweries to rethink their advertising strategies. Their new ads will stress product quality, and will carry more woman-friendly messages.
On this day in 1837, the retailer now known as Tiffany’s was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and Teddy Young in New York City. The founders called their store a “stationery and fancy goods emporium.” However, Tiffany’s didn’t serve breakfast, let alone Founder’s Breakfast Stout.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Sacramento, where the inaugural California Craft Beer Summit took place. This two-day festival attracted the biggest names in craft brewing, who talked about the state of the industry.
Listen up, class. Sylvester Schneider, the owner of Zum Schneider in New York City, has prepared a video to show you how to pour wheat, pilsner, and lager beer like a German.
A boarding school in Zimbabwe has slapped a ban on breakfast cereal. Students mixed it with brown sugar, water, and yeast, then left it in the sun to ferment into beer.
The recipes for New Belgium Brewing Company’s dubbel and trippel Belgian-style ales are getting a makeover. The changes, which include a different yeast strain, will make the beers more authentically Belgian tasting.
A video of six Scottish men, drinking beer at the bottom of a swimming pool while on vacation in Florida, was viewed more than 1.8 million times on YouTube in the week after it was posted.
Greg Koch, the founder of Stone Brewing Company, is stepping down as CEO. He’ll stay on as executive chairman, and he promises not to sell out to one of the big breweries.
Finally, even though China is a huge beer market, intense competition has made it tough for breweries to make much of a profit. That problem could get worse as the country’s economy slows.
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.