Well, That Didn’t Take Long

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.

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The Friday Mash (Oxford Edition)

Today is the 800th anniversary of the granting of a royal charter to the University of Oxford. Alumni include 26 British Prime Ministers, including current PM David Cameron; many foreign heads of state, including President Bill Clinton, a Rhodes Scholar; and 27 Nobel laureates.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Kalamazoo where, for $19, you can take part in a craft beer walking tour. Participants will meet brewery staff; learn about the city’s brewing history; and, of course, sample some beer.

Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors will post their beers’ ingredients online. This comes after a blogger called “the Food Babe” claimed that some beers contained high-fructose corn syrup and other additives.

Brian Dunn, the founder of Great Divide Brewing Company, sat down with Eater magazine and talked about his 20 years in Denver, what urban brewing is like, and the whereabouts of the Yeti.

Move over, bacon beer. The latest food-in-your-beer trend is peanut butter and jelly. Florida’s Funky Buddha Brewery offers a PB&J beer called “No Crusts.”

Purists think beer has no place in a yogic lifestyle, but yoga classes are popping up in breweries. Post-practice beer makes made yoga more social, and persuades men to take it up.

When you travel abroad, what do you get when you ask for “one beer, please”? Not only will the brand and style depend on the country you’re in, but so will the size of your serving.

Finally, any in the beer community maintain that brewing is an art form. Don Tse, writing in All About Beer magazine, agrees. His article explores the close relationship between fine beer and fine art.

The Friday Mash (NBA Edition)

On this day in 1946, the Basketball Association of America, the ancestor of today’s National Basketball Association, was organized in New York City. Fun fact: the first basket in league history was made by Ossie Schectman of the New York Knickerbockers in a game against the Toronto Huskies at Maple Leaf Gardens.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Asheville, North Carolina. The big craft brewers building plants there are trying to be good neighbors to the home-grown breweries, who have welcomed the newcomers.

Beer will be brewed in the Bronx—New York City’s only mainland borough—after a nearly 50-year absence. The Bronx Brewery, which currently contracts out its production, will bring its operations home sometime next year.

The “Bottle Boys,” who play cover songs on beer bottles, are out with their latest: the 1982 Michael Jackson song, “Billie Jean”. Previous covers include Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”

Jacksonville, Florida, is the latest American city to create an Ale Trail for tourists. The trail includes a number of area micros, along with the Anheuser-Busch plant, which offers tours and a beer school.

The Boston Herald profiled Todd and Jason Alstrom, two guys from western Massachusetts who founded BeerAdvocate.com and organized the American Craft Beer Fest. Their motto is “Respect Beer.”

Dr. Paul Roof, a professor at Charleston Southern University, was fired by the school after his hirsute face appeared on cans of Holy City beer for a fund-raiser. CSU found that inconsistent with a Christian university.

Finally, a New Year’s resolution paid off for Justin “Bugsy” Sailor. Four years ago, Sailor resolved to have a beer with Sir Richard Branson. The two entrepreneurs finally clinked glasses last month.

The Friday Mash (Board Game Edition)

On this day in 1911, board game mogul Milton Bradley passed away. His eponymous company—Ludwig’s been waiting to use that word–brought us The Game of Life, along with the ever-popular Yahtzee and Twister.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Utah, where state liquor regulators are cracking down on festivals put on by for-profit groups. One potential casualty of the new policy is Snowbird Ski Resort’s Oktoberfest celebration.

Gilley’s, the Texas honky-tonk made famous in the film Urban Cowboy, closed in 1989. However, a local brewery is making Gilley’s blond ale. A number of retailers in the Houston area carry it.

The Gun, a London pub, recently hosted an all-unfiltered beer festival. “Spring Haze” featured 30 beers from local micros. Fans contend that unfiltered beer not only tastes better, but is healthier.

Craft brewers have invaded Bavaria, the last bastion of brewing tradition. The newcomers’ offerings include Belgian-style wheat bock, a strawberry ale, a Baltic porter, and of course, IPAs.

Now that grilling season is here, scientists suggest that you marinate your meat in beer, which inhibits the development of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that have been linked to cancer.

Taco Bell’s parent company’s is working on a new spinoff chain called the U.S. Taco Company & Urban Taproom, which will serve craft beer as well as beer milkshakes to pair with menu items.

Finally, Two Brothers Brewing Company has created a beer for Chicago’s Field Museum. The white IPA is called “Cabinet of Curiosities,” a name once given to museum collections.

The Friday Mash (Oregon Trail Edition)

On this day in 1843, one thousand pioneers set out from Missouri on the first major wagon train on the Oregon Trail. It would be nearly 140 more years until microbrew pioneers established themselves in Oregon, but they’re certainly made up for lost time.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Cleveland, where Johnny Manziel celebrated being drafted #1 draft by the Browns by treating bar patrons to a shot and a beer. The way the Browns have been playing, fans need a few to deaden the pain.

Do you know what LPT1 is? It stands for “lipid transfer protein.” Karl Siebert, a professor of food science in New York State, says it’s the secret to optimal foam in the head of a freshly-poured beer.

Another sign of American craft beer’s popularity overseas: San Diego’s Karl Strauss Brewing Company may invest £1.7 million to develop a brewpub in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Utah is known for teetotaling residents and weird liquor laws, but the state is home to 20 breweries. Best-known is Uinta Brewing Company, which ranks in the country’s top 50.

Esquire magazine’s Aaron Goldfarb cites 13 reasons why bars in movies are totally unrealistic. Reason #12: a customer can ask for “a beer” without naming a brand.

Will Hawkes set out from London on a day trip to Brussels. Stops included Cantillon and several of the city’s famous beer bars, where his group reacquainted itself with the Belgian classics.

Finally, a restaurateur plans to build a Hofbrauhaus beer hall in downtown Buffalo. Meanwhile, another Hofbrauhaus is under construction in Columbus, Ohio.

In NYC, Last Call for Railroad Bar Cars

The bar car, once an institution on commuter rail lines, has reached the end of the line. The last such car on the Metro-North Line, which runs between New York City and New Haven, Connecticut, has aged out of the fleet.

Bar cars were not just a place for commuters to ease job stress but also a place for what we now call social networking—and, according to rumor, the occasional affair. Changing roles of men and women and tough drunk driving laws have made the Mad Men culture of the 1960s socially unacceptable.

Denizens of bar cars put up a good fight. They used social media to make sure they were filled, and even created a website celebrating them. Now that the cars are gone, they plan to designate one car per train as “unquiet,” “with promises of shared six-packs and undiminished cheer.”

The Friday Mash (Good Housekeeping Edition)

On this day in 1885, Clark W. Bryan founded Good Housekeeping magazine. Famous writers who have contributed to it include Somerset Maugham, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Frances Parkinson Keyes, A.J. Cronin, Virginia Woolf, and Evelyn Waugh.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in New Brunswick, Canada, where a Budweiser blimp went rogue. The blimp, which broke loose at a hockey promotion in St. John, wound up in a wooded area northeast of the city.

Authorities in Siberia are investigating a brewery that put images of Soviet World War II heroes on beer cans. Some veterans think the brewery is exploiting the heroes for profit.

Illegal 20 years ago, microbreweries are flourishing in Japan. Ingrid Williams of the New York Times visits several in Osaka, the nation’s unofficial culinary capital.

Meet the Roger Bannister of beer running. James Neilsen ran the Beer Mile in 4:57. A Beer mile contestant must consume a 12-ounce portion of beer every 400-meter lap.

Ty Burrell, who plays the bumbling dad on the TV sitcom “Modern Family,” has opened The Beer Bar, a restaurant and beer garden in Salt Lake City. Its signature dish will be the Reuben brat.

Forget about using Bitcoins to buy beer in Ohio. The Department of Public Safety has concluded they’re too volatile. That, and they aren’t recognized as legal currency.

Boston Beer Company CEO Jim Koch reveals his secret for not getting drunk. Before drinking, he downs one teaspoonful of Fleischmann’s yeast for every beer he intends to consume.

Saving Belgium’s Traditional Pubs

At the same time Belgian beers have won a world-wide following, Belgium’s traditional beer bars have fallen on hard times. In the past two decades, the number of drinking establishments has declined by more than 50 percent. Many existing ones might not stay open much longer.

Associated Press correspondent Raf Casert visited one endangered bar, “In de Welcom” in Dworp. According to Leza Wauters, its owner, the tradition of spending the day in the bar, conversing with friends and playing cards, has largely died out. She also noted that younger people tend to drink at home. Even if they want to go to the bar, there’s rarely one within walking distance, and drunk driving laws rule out driving to one. Belgians are also drinking less beer, thanks in part to the brewing industry’s industrialization and its decision to focus on the export market.

There’s one hopeful sign, however. Belgian microbreweries are trying to save traditional styles and offer hand-crafted beers. In the town of Buizingen, a father-and-son team have opened a brewpub. Their new establishment is thriving.

The Ultimate Beer Festival?

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is taking its Beer Camp on the road this summer. Called “Beer Camp Across America,” it will be a series of festivals to be held in seven cities, starting in Sierra Nevada’s hometown of Chico, California, and winding up at the brewery’s new plant in North Carolina. Sierra Nevada has invited every craft brewery in the country to pour at these events. It has also joined forces with other craft brewers to create a 12-pack of collaborative beers. These, too, will be available at the festivals.

Proceeds from Beer Camp Across America will go to the California Craft Brewers Association.

The Friday Mash (Apple Edition)

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.

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