As you probably recall, last year’s voting for “Beer City USA” wound up a tie between Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Asheville, North Carolina. This year, Grand Rapids is trying to win the title outright, and the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau has gotten into the get-out-the-vote act. Asheville isn’t sitting on its laurels, either. It recently staged a special Beer City music video, complete with an elaborate dance sequence.
By the way, voting is now underway for Beer City USA. The polls close Friday night.
On this day in 1936, Gone with the Wind was published. Author Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for the book. Three years later, it was adapted into an Academy Award–winning film starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. Ludwig recommends that you celebrate with an Atlanta-brewed micro–420 Extra Pale Ale, for instance.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in South Africa, where campers at the OppiKoppi music festival will be able to order drone-delivered beer. The drones are currently hand-guided, but will eventually fly on a GPS grid.
Here’s yet another reason to visit southwest Florida: craft brewing. Two breweries and a brewpub recently opened, and two more breweries are planning to open.
Why do so many bars serve peanuts? Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t because the nuts make you thirstier. Rather, the salt in peanuts helps counter the bitterness in beer, making it easier to swallow.
Ashley Rouston, The Beer Wench, is once again accepting nominations for the 2013 Most Eligible Bachelors of Beer. Nominees must work in the craft-brewing industry and must not be married or engaged.
Higher zymurgical education is coming to Colorado State University. The will build a microbrewery, and will also offer a major in fermentation science and technology.
The Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant chain is teaming up with Redhook Ale Brewery to brew its own beer. And yes, it will pair will with BW3’s wings.
Finally, beer yeast can be engineered to produce artemisinic acid, the most effective anti-malaria treatment in existence. Until now, that ingredient was both expensive and hard to find.
Even though spring is slow in coming this year, it’s almost time for American Craft Beer Week. And that means another election for this year’s Beer City USA.
Last year, Asheville, North Carolina, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, were declared co-winners. Both of those cities, along with 16 others, are already on the ballot for 2013. Beer lovers are invited to nominate other deserving cities in a “primary election”. Cities that get at least 400 votes will be added to the ballot, and voting closes at 11:59 pm (Mountain Standard Time) tomorrow.
One hundred and forty years ago today, E. Remington and Sons in Ilion, New York, began production of the first practical typewriter. Even though few of us use typewriters anymore, the familiar “QWERTY” keyboard design, invented in 1874, is still with us.
We begin in Massachusetts where Todd Ruggere, a Waltham resident, is drinking a Sam Adams in each of the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns. He’s raising money for cancer research.
We all know that higher-gravity beers are able to conceal hop bitterness. With that in mind, Jay Brooks recently posted an original gravity to hops ratio graph on his Brookston Beer Bulletin.
In 1953, an Aussie named Bob Hawke set a world record by downing a yard of ale–more than two pints–in 11 seconds. He was later elected that country’s Prime Minister. Coincidence?
Good news for beer lovers in Manhattan. The Hudson River Park Trust will open a 6,000-square-foot beer garden overlooking the river at Pier 62. It will serve craft beers and specialty food.
Kegasus, the beer-guzzling centaur that advertises the Preakness InfieldFest, will likely be scratched from this year’s race. But there will be live entertainment, and plenty of beer.
Pro tip: it’s not a good idea to drink to excess before designing beer labels, because you might come up with something like this disturbing Belgian ale label.
Finally, congratulations to Warren Monteiro, a writer, beer traveler, and homebrewer from New York City, who was named Beerdrinker of the Year at the Wynkoop Brewing Company.
Brewing News has announced its fifth Annual National IPA Challenge. Once again, participating IPAs from across the nation will be randomly placed in a single-elimination bracket-style competition. The first round will take place in Buffalo on February 17, with subsequent rounds scheduled for Grand Rapids, Portland, Oregon, and Syracuse, New York. This year’s finals will be held in New York City on March 16.
Here are the winners of this year’s Great American Beer Festival competition. Ludwig congratulates all of them!
The results are in. Nearly 30,000 people voted for America’s top beer bar, a competition sponsored by the Brewers Association’s CraftBeer.com. The overall winner was Mekong Restaurant in Richmond, Virginia. HopCat in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the runner-up, and The Thirsty Monk in Asheville, North Carolina, finished third.
In 1752, the British Empire–which then included the American colonies–adopted the Gregorian calendar. This was done because the old Julian calendar over-estimated the length of a year by 11 minutes–a discrepancy that added up over the centuries. So September 2 was followed by September 14, putting the calendar back in sync with the seasons.
Ludwig’s calendar says it’s Friday, which means it’s time for…The Mash!
We begin in Traverse City, Michigan, where Pastor Brian Berghoef of the Watershed Church leads theological discussions at the Right Brain Brewery. Berghoef says, “Some of the most important moments in the history of the church took place in the pub.”
One event on tap at Toronto Beer Week is a brewing competition for beer writers. Each participating writer was paired with a local brewery, and helped develop a recipe and brew the beer.
In Smithsonian magazine’s blogs, Alastair Bland leads his readers on an unofficial tour of northern California breweries.
The Griffin, a pub in Warmley, England, has a loyal patron. A very loyal patron. Arthur Reid has been a regular there since he became old enough to drink, 72 years–and 30,000 pints ago.
Darla Guillen, a Houston journalist, spent a day pouring beer at a brewery booth at a festival in Galveston. Her stint left her with a greater appreciation for festival-goers’ beer sophistication.
Evidently, R2D2 has found gainful employment after Star Wars. He was spotted in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, dispensing beer to tailgaters at the Washington-LSU football game.
Finally, did you know that in 1809, President James Madison proposed a national brewery and a cabinet-level Secretary of Beer? It was part of his program for protecting the domestic beer market.
This is an election year, and Martin Cizmar of Willamette Week decided to mark the occasion with a “President of Beers” competition featuring “the flagship craft beer” from each of the 50 states. Beer distribution laws being what they are, Cizmar and his friends engaged in creative lawbreaking to obtain beers not legally available in Oregon. He explains:
It wasn’t easy. Favors were called in from friends back East and hundreds of dollars were spent to buy and ship cheap lagers available at the grocery store in their native land. And we bootlegged–a lot.
Some of the beers we sampled for this project were smuggled out of their home state as “live yeast samples.” One was mailed as a “tap handle” while another came stuffed inside a teddy bear.
Cizmar has assembled a 12-person tasting panel, which will give each beer a score between zero and 100. The beer with the highest average score will be declared the President–no recounts, no hanging chads. Over the next few weeks, the scores will be posted on Willamette Week’s website, with the winner announced on October 3.
On this day in 79 B.C., Mount Vesuvius erupted, wiping out the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum and killing more than 15,000 people. Its most famous victim was Pliny the Elder, the naturalist whose writings about hops earned him recognition from the Russian River Brewing Company. The brewery’s renowned double IPA bears his name.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Morgantown, the home of West Virginia University, which has reclaimed the number-one spot in the Princeton Review’s ranking of top party schools. WVU also ranks first in the “Lots of Beer” category.
You can’t win ‘em all. Olympic athlete Nick Symmonds came up six seconds short of the world record for running the Beer Mile, in which contestants chug a beer before the race and at each quarter mile.
Australian scientists have found that feeding brewer’s grain to cows can reduce their methane emissions by at least 15 percent. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and cows burp up a lot of it.
With this beer I thee wed? Many couples are substituting craft beer for Champagne toasts at their wedding receptions. Their beer selections often honor the states the bride and groom come from.
Visitors to Fort Collins, Colorado, can now spend the day beer touring on a bicycle. There are six breweries located along three miles of trails, along with a “bike library” that will rent you one.
Boxed wine has been on store shelves for years, but will drinkers buy beer in square bottles? Heineken is experimenting with them.
Finally, a 1940 ad for Schaefer Bock Beer, which looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, inspired the Village Voice’s Eric Sundermann to write a beery version of One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.