Two years ago, a pair of Seattle-based breweries, Fremont Brewing Company and the Center of the Universe Brewing Company, collaborated on Homefront IPA. The beer was a fund-raiser for Operation Homefront, a charity that provides emergency assistance to military families. Since then, seven more breweries have joined “Hops for Heroes.” Also taking part are the makers of Louisville Slugger baseball bats. They’ve contributed maple bats on which the IPA is aged.
Stone Brewing Company, one of the collaborating breweries, hosted several members of the San Diego Padres. Proving the old adage that to be good, “you’ve gotta have a lot of little boy in you,” the players licked the hop residue off the maple bats; and one of them went back for seconds. They went on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals that evening.
On this day in 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah, railroad tycoon Leland Stanford drove in the Golden Spike and completed the First Transcontinental Railroad. The 1,907-mile line, built by three railroad companies, cut travel time for a coast-to-coast journey from six months to a week.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Milwaukee, where investor David Dupee is planning to launch the Craft Fund. Once the SEC gives the go-ahead, Dupee will use crowd-funding to provide capital to small breweries.
Not only must Mets fans endure losing baseball, but New York City’s finest are issuing $25 citations to people caught drinking beer in Citi Field’s parking lots.
How does a koozie keep beer cold? It prevents condensation from forming on the outside of the can. Condensation will raise the temperature of your beer in a hurry.
It appears that the British government’s decision to cut the beer tax is helping the country’s pub trade. The JD Wetherspoon’s chain reported that sales increased by six percent in the past quarter.
Brett VanderKamp, the co-founder of west Michigan’s New Holland Brewing Company, has written a book about his craft-brewing experiences. It’s titled Art in Fermented Form: A Manifesto.
Researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia have cultivated a new type of barley which, thanks to a genetic defect, will keep beer fresher.
Finally, the New York Post found most of 15 bars they visited poured less than 16 ounces in their “pints” of beer. That really hurts, since some NYC bars are charging $8 for a pint these days.
On this day in 1785, John James Audubon was born. His major work is a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America. You might want to toast the great naturalist–or birds in general–with a Duck Duck Goose by Lost Abbey, one of the world’s top-rated beers.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Minneapolis, where the city’s last “3.2 bars” cling to life. Craft beer, changes to liquor laws, and Minnesota’s indoor smoking ban are killing off these venerable establishments.
Yuck! Student researchers at Clemson University examined balls used in beer pong games, and found them riddled with nasty germs including e.coli, salmonella, staph, and listeria.
This week’s craft beer fun fact: India pale ale accounts for 25.2 percent of all beer sold in Oregon. That’s all beer, not all craft beer.
In Sweden, the label for “Lust” beer ran afoul of regulators because it featured an anime image of a naked woman in a pool. It’s part of a “Seven Deadly Sins” beer series.
BeerHunt will reward you for drinking beer. The app, described as “a kind of Foursquare for beer,” will give you points, and ultimately prizes, for drinking craft, rare, and exotic beers.
Finally, an item from the Department of Acquired Tastes. A Japanese beer called Black Ivory Coffee is brewed from beans chewed up and pooped out by elephants. It’s style? A stout.
You’ve got to envy fans of the San Francisco Giants. Not only has their favorite team won the World Series–and for the second time in three years–but the Giants’ home, AT&T Park, is ranked first for craft beer selection by AMOG magazine. Here’s why: their lineup card includes Lost Abbey, Highwater Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, Russian River, North Coast, Alesmith, 21st Amendment, and Green Flash.
Rounding out the top five are Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia; Petco Park, San Diego; Safeco Field, Seattle; and PNC Park, Pittsburgh.
Today is the 110th anniversary of the birth of Eliot Ness, whose Prohibition agents in Chicago were so honest they were called “The Untouchables.” Even though Ness fell upon hard times later in life, he and his men have been immortalized in American popular culture.
And now…The Mash!
We begin at the Masters Golf Tournament, where Tiger Woods not only got penalized two strokes for an illegal ball drop, but also landed a tee shot in a fan’s beer. Fortunately, beers are only $4 at Augusta National.
The “Craft Beer Destination” concession stand at Yankee Stadium has been given a new name after writer Amanda Rykoff reported that all of its offerings were MillerCoors products.
No, it wasn’t your imagination. You were attracted to beer because its aroma and taste trigger your brain’s reward system and keep you coming back for more.
Jason Gardenhire has opened a microbrewery in Mexico, and is importing the beer to his home state of Colorado. Baja Brewing Company, based in Cabo San Lucas, is one of only a dozen or so Mexican micros.
A canning line costs more than $150,000, but craft breweries that don’t have that kind of money can hire a mobile canning line created by two west Michigan entrepreneurs.
Harry Kim and his friends tried to build a brewery in North Korea. Even though there was plenty of demand, the venture never got the final go-ahead from bureaucrats in Pyongyang.
Finally, California Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro has introduced legislation that would allow refilling another brewery’s growlers. The refilling brewery would have to place a sticker over the old brewery’s logo.
We’ve had nasty weather this week, but it pales in comparison to conditions atop Mount Washington, New Hampshire, on this day in 1934. The world’s strongest-ever wind gust, 231 miles per hour, was recorded there.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Oregon, where lawmakers may designate Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the official state microbe. It’s also used to make bread, cheese, and craft distilled spirits, all popular Oregon products.
Mystic Brewery in Chelsea, Massachusetts, is honoring Red Auerbach, the legendary Boston Celtics basketball coach, with–what else?–a Rauchbier. Back in the day, Auerbach lit up a cigar to celebrate a Boston victory.
The Sly Fox Brewing Company is the first American brewery to use topless cans. Just pull the tab up, then then peel the lid away, to expose a 1.75-inch-wide opening that allows you to enjoy the beer’s aroma.
Many craft brewers have branched out into spirits, and some familiar names–including Ballast Point, Rogue, and Dogfish Head–have been awarded medals by the American Distilling Institute.
The Four Seasons Resort in Vail, Colorado, has joined forces with Crazy Mountain Brewing, a local micro, to offer “Brew and Renew” treatments. They include foot soaks, body wraps, scalp treatments, and full body scrubs.
Finally, Paste magazine has compiled a list of ten music-inspired beers. It includes “Brother Theloneous” Belgian-Style Abbey Ale; “Smoke on the Water” Porter; and–wait for it–”Dark Side of the Moose,” a dark ale brewed in Wales.
Fourteen years ago today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 10,000 for the first time ever. The milestone prompted a celebration on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, complete with party hats. Probably followed by beers after the market closed.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Chattanooga, whose Beer Board doubled a license suspension for selling to minors because the offending store displayed a sign calling Tennessee’s “card-everyone” law “silly.”
Stratford, Connecticut’s Two Roads Brewing Company has honored aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky with a beer called “Igor’s Dream”. Fittingly, it’s a Rye Russian Imperial Stout.
The Prince Edward Island Liquor Control Commission is looking for a partner for a new beer festival this fall. The commission also intends to ban rival beer festivals on the island.
Baseball writer (and beer snob) Dayn Perry treated his readers to a Cubs logo made of beer containers that “once housed regrettable North American swill.”
State lawmakers can’t figure out how the University of Minnesota lost $16,000 on beer sales last football season, even though it sold $900,000 worth of beer at $7.50 a serving.
Rock star wannabe Adam Dickinson called himself “Hellvis.” His “Hellvis” signature led police to the $30,000 in rare beer he stole from the Avery Brewing Company.
Finally, Canada produces 80 percent of the world’s maple syrup. Some of it has found its way into Canadian beer. The recommended food pairing? Pancakes.
On this day in 1939, Jim Bouton was born. Bouton, who pitched for the New York Yankees and several other clubs, is best known for Ball Four, a tell-all account of a major leaguer’s life. The book, which infuriated the baseball establishment when it was published, has become a classic.
And now…Play Ball!
We begin in Cleveland, where the Indians are trying to attract fans by rolling back the price of beer for the upcoming season. A 12-ounce domestic brew will cost $4. Want a hot dog with your beer? It’ll cost you $3.
Celebrity chef Rick Bayless plans to create a new, Latin-themed beer. He’s working with Crown Imports, the company that distributes Corona and Negra Modelo in the United States.
It’s never too early to plan your beer travel, and Robin Fuchs, the founder of Beer Tours USA, has some suggestions: the five best small-brewery tours.
The 2013 Major League Soccer season is underway, and Portland Timbers fans can cheer their team on with Green & Gold Kolsch brewed by Widmer Brothers.
The Brewers Association has added Adambier and Grätzer to its Style Guidelines. The two newcomers bring the BA’s list of recognized beer styles to 142.
Where is John Hall, the former brewmaster at Goose Island Brewing Company, these days? He owns the Virtue Cider Company in Fennville, Michigan.
Finally, if you’re really lazy, and have $1,150 to blow, GrinOn Industries has something for you: an armchair that refills your beer from the bottom up. You’ll still have to arrange your own trips to the bathroom.
Opera singer Jim Cornelison shatters beer glasses while singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”:
On this day in 1879, Frank Woolworth opens the first of many Woolworth stores in In Utica, New York. He unwittingly inspired the Marx Brothers’ routine in which Rufus T. Firefly suggested that Chicolini be given “ten years in Leavenworth, or 11 years in Twelveworth”; and Chicolini responded, “I’ll take five and ten in Woolworth.”
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Florida, where a 45-year-old law, passed as part of a turf war among big brewers, has the unintended effect of banning the sale of growlers. Lawmakers are trying to fix that.
FirstWeFeast.com has compiled a list of 12 celebrities who ought to be spokespersons for craft beer. They include Kat Dennings, the cast of How I Met Your Mother, and, of course, President Barack Obama.
You can buy a beer at many college basketball arenas, including seven of the 20 largest. Beer sales can bring in money through concession revenues, added ticket sales, or both.
Beer and video games have always gone together, but an arcade fighting game called Beercade goes one step farther. It rewards the winning combatant with a cup of beer.
To celebrate their city’s Beer Week, the San Francisco Brewers Guild has rolled out “Green Death”, a malt liquor inspired by the 50s-60s version of Rainier Ale. Paper bag not included.
Don’t expect Anheuser-Busch to advertise this anytime soon. According to a nationwide survey, beer is the favorite beverage of underage drinkers and Budweiser is their favorite brand.
Finally, if you have a ticket to tomorrow’s Winter Beer Festival in Grand Rapids, John Serba of MLive.com has some friendly advice: dress warmly for 33-degree temperatures and snow flurries.