It’s Founders Brewing Company’s version of the Golden Ticket. The brewery is offering tasting tours of its underground barrel-aging caves to ten lucky people. The caves, located in former gypsum mines 85 feet below the surface, are where Kentucky Breakfast Stout and other strong beers are aged. They’re normally closed to the public.
To win a tour, which also includes two nights’ lodging in Grand Rapids, a meet-and-greet dinner with the Founders team, and guaranteed entry to the brewery’s annual Black Party, one first has to join Founders’ “Cadre” enthusiast team. Then the entrant must describe his or her “dream” barrel-aged beer, including ingredients, a name, and label artwork. And did I mention that the package includes a chance to taste KBS?
Entries are due February 24.
Bryan Vu, who handles community outreach at Sunglass Warehouse, sent us an interactive Periodic Table of Beer. With a little help, Vu scientifically mapped out the table using the most recent gold medal winners from the World Beer Cup, in which brewers compete in 96 style categories.
The categories are divided among Hybrids in orange, Ales in green, and Lagers in blue. The different shades of each box represents the regional style varieties within each category. If you click on any of the boxes for a more in-depth look at the specific style, you’ll find the winning beer’s name, the brewery responsible for it, its location, and how much alcohol it contains. Vu has also created a downloadable poster to help your understanding of these award-winning beers.
On this day in 1859, militant abolitionist leader John Brown, who had led an unsuccessful raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia, was hanged in Charles Town. Brown is the only person in American history who was executed for committing treason against a state.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Riverside, California, where a liquor store owner set fire to a competitor’s store because the competitor was costing him business by selling cheaper beer. He faces arson and conspiracy charges.
A Wendy’s restaurant in Houston is offering beer-infused hamburgers. The burger alone costs $5.29; a combo with fries and a drink is available for $7.19.
Belgium is asking the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s to recognize its brewing and beer drinking culture as an “intangible heritage” deserving of official recognition.
Anheuser-Busch has randomly seeded 37,000 golden cans of Bud Light in multi-can packs. People who find the cans will be be entered in a drawing, with the top prize being Super Bowl tickets for life.
Thrillist.com is out with its list of the most iconic beers brewed in every state. According to the authors, the list includes both old standbys and “instant classics”.
Buffalo entrepreneur Ken Szal has run a successful pedal pub business. Once the Coast Guard signs off, he’ll offer pedal pontoon boot tours as well.
Finally, major brewers are reacting to tighter regulations and health consciousness by stepping up production of alcohol-free beer. They’re also working on improving the taste of those beers.
On this day in 888 A.D., the Vikings began a siege of Paris after the city’s ruler, Count Odo, refused the invaders’ demand for tribute. The siege was the most important event in the reign of the then-French king who has an appropriate name for this day after Thanksgiving: Charles the Fat.
And now….The Mash!
We begin on YouTube, where a sunbathing woman texted a neighbor, asking him to send over a beverage. The neighbor obliged, delivering a can of beer to her by mini-drone.
Now that Oklahoma voted to allow full-strength beer sales in stores, a Tulsa newspaper called on state lawmakers to scrap other “puritanical anachronisms” that are still on the books.
Chicago welcomed its first contract brewery, Great Central Brewing Company. Next year, it will open a taproom offering a variety of Chicago-brewed beers.
An alliance called No Patents on Seeds has called on Carlsberg to give up its three patents on mutant strains of barley. The strains provide new enzymes to develop “more distinctive”, flavor-stable beers.
Lifelong friends Collin Poseley and Eggie Foust have created Craft Beer: The Board Game. It takes five minutes to learn, and it can be played while inebriated.
The rapper Ludacris, an Atlanta native, has opened his long-awaited Chicken & Beer restaurant at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Its menu is “Southern to the core”.
Finally, Ayla Bystrom-Williams, the owner of Honeymoon Brewery, beat out 13,000 competitors and won a $200,000 Miller Lite “Tap the Future” award. She’s one of the country’s few black female brewery owners.
On this date in 1908, the Chicago Cubs last won the World Series. Managed by Frank Chance of “Tinker to Evers to Chance” fame, they beat the Detroit Tigers, 4 games to 1. Cubs fans are hoping their team can end their 108-year drought in this year’s playoffs.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Detroit, where Ludwig’s beloved Lions will sell $3.50 beers during Sunday’s game against the L.A. Rams. The way the Lions are playing, fans need a few to get them through the game.
D.G. Yuengling & Son is waging a last-ditch fight against the pending merger of Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller. Yuengling argues that A-B is trying to keep it out of new markets.
German scientists have found that beer causes less liver damage than hard liquor. The reason? Hops may inhibit the formation of reactive oxygen species, which can damage cells in the liver.
Ken Pagan, the Toronto-area man accused of throwing a beer can at a player during a baseball game, better have his lawyer warming up. A Canadian attorney discusses Pagan’s legal problems.
Two Copenhagen men have taken the idea of freeze-dried coffee and applied it to four of their craft beers. They’ve created instant versions of a coffee beer, a fruity IPA, a wild-yeast IPA, and a pilsner.
After a church in Canyon, Texas, ran an anti-alcohol ad in the local paper, an establishment called the Imperial Taproom offered a discount to customers who brought in a copy of the ad.
Finally, Fat Head’s Brewery had a very short reign as “Mid-Sized Brewing Company of the Year” at the Great American Beer Festival. Officials revoked the award after concluding that Fat Head’s, which has three locations, had been misclassified.
Here are the winners from this year’s Great American Beer Festival competition. We’re pleased to say that our home state of Michigan brought home ten medals.
On Saturday, the fifth annual Virginia Craft Brewer’s Festival will take place at Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company amid controversy.
Devil’s Backbone is being acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev. This means it will no longer qualify as a “craft brewery” making it ineligible to compete in the Virginia Craft Beer Cup, even though its Schwarzbier is a three-time Best of Show winner. In fact, this year’s awards ceremony was pulled from the festival, and will take place at a different venue.
The A-B deal also means that Devil’s Backbone will no longer host the Virginia Craft Brewer’s Festival. The state’s Craft Brewers Guild has decided to stage the 2017 event at a location to be determined. Meanwhile, Devil’s Backbone will host a new event as part of next year’s calendar of festivals and parties. The brewery says that it won’t conflict with the Craft Brewer’s Festival.
On this day in 1834, the Spanish parliament formally disbanded the Inquisition, which was created in 1480 by monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella. It was revived in 1970 by the Monty Python troupe—when no one was expecting it.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Amsterdam, which is having a rainy summer. That’s good new for a group of entrepreneurs who are gathering rainwater and using to brew a pale ale called “Hemelswater: code blond”.
The newly-opened Tilted Mash Brewing got a big boost from judges at this year’s California State Fair. A third-place showing in the competitive Pale Ale category gave the brewery instant credibility.
Beer, then whiskey. Chicago’s Wander North Distillery is distilling beer mash from its next-door neighbor, Northgate Brewing. The first whiskey in the series is called Uncharted 1.
William Turton and Bryan Mengus of Gizmodo.com tried three popular brands of non-alcoholic beer. The best of the three “tasted like carbonated water with some beer flavoring thrown in”, the worst was “disgusting”.
Engineers at Heineken have discovered a way to dispense beer at high altitudes. Once the airline gets the necessary safety certificates, it will start serving in-flight draft beer.
How intense has beer trademark litigation gotten? Twelve lawyers filed challenges to Candace Moon’s application to trademark the phrase “Craft Beer Attorney”.
Finally, two IT consultants from Michigan have developed an app for beer festivals. It allows festival-goers to see what beers are available, develop a customized list, and rate the beers after tasting them.
On this day in 1977, the Apple II, one of the first personal computers, went on sale. This PC, whose original list price was more than $5,000 in 2016 dollars, remained in production until 1981.
And now…The Mash!
Serious Eats magazine is hosting the Great American Beer Brawl. Visitors to the website are invited to vote for one of seven cites—or cast a write-in vote for a city not nominated by the magazine staff.
If you’re looking for a new summer beer, or an alternative to ubiquitous hoppy IPAs, give saison a try. The style pairs well with food; and it’s complimented by summer flavors like citrus, arugula, and fresh herbs.
Global Beverage has released three high-gravity beers in honor of the video game Mortal Kombat X: Sub-Zero Imperial IPA, Raiden Imperial Saison, and Scorpion Imperial Stout.
Wal-Mart has joined the craft beer party. A brewery in New York State is contract-brewing four private-label beers for the giant retailer. They’re available in nearly half of Wal-Mart’s stores.
Grow Pittsburgh is planting hop rhizomes in the city’s vacant lots. The hops will be harvested in the fall and used to make a local beer. Part of the proceeds from the beer will be donated to the community.
The Belgian Brewers’ Association has released a set of 60 beer emojis in order to “move the classic beer mug aside” for iOS and Android users. They’re downloadable on iTunes and Google Play.
Finally, Jack Horner, the paleontologist who inspired the Jurassic Park film series, credits the Rainier Brewing Company for advancing his work with dinosaurs. In 1979, the brewery donated 100 cases of Rainier beer to Horner and his research team.
It’s March, which means it’s time for Madness. CNBC’s “Beer Label Madness”, of course. Last year’s competition was won by Newburgh Brewing Company of New York State, whose labels feature a purple cow.
Newburgh’s president, Paul Halayko, recently sat down with CNBC and offered some tips for small breweries hoping to break into beer’s big leagues:
- If you’re small, you have time to concentrate on marketing.
- Stay fresh on social media.
- Use your “network’s network”; in other words, persuade people in your social network to spread the word to their social networks.
- Cultivate your in-person following. Newburgh turned its taproom into a campaign headquarters for its label.
- Build on your relationships with local media.
- Rally your community behind your campaign.