On this day in 1642, the French established a colony at Ville-Marie. It became modern-day Montreal, Canada’s second-largest city. Montreal has become the home of a thriving craft beer culture, and is the site of the 20th Mondial de la Biere, which gets underway May 29.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Krakow, which has long been famous for its history and culture. It has recently become Poland’s craft beer capital with more than 50 bars specializing in regional microbrews and beers from foreign independents.
There’s at least one thing congressional Democrats and and Republicans can agree on–namely, the BEER Act, a bill that would cut the federal tax for small breweries.
The Odell Brewing Company has brewed a special beer for a butterfly that lives on Colorado’s Front Range and loves hops. Proceeds from the beer will go to scientists studying the rare creature.
Now that Western countries have lifted economic sanctions on Myanmar (a/k/a Burma), brewing giants are planning to enter the country, which has 60 million people and a per capita consumption less than one-tenth of China’s.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has yet another way to expose beer drinkers to the arts. It’s teamed up with a San Francisco a cappella group for an evening of classic drinking songs and Dogfish Head beers.
In Michigan, which dominated this year’s Beer City USA voting, the Economic Development Corporation is touting the state’s microbreweries in its “Pure Michigan” tourism commercials.
Finally, a Labrador retriever named Frank lives up to his breed’s reputation by fetching beer for his owner. Man’s best friend indeed.
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.
North Korea is known primarily for saber-rattling, concentration camps, and a line of dictators named Kim. But the country has a surprisingly large range of beers and a thriving microbrewery culture.
It was beer that lured Josh Thomas, an American who lives in Hong Kong and works in the advertising industry, to North Korea. He found that North Korea’s citizens love beer as much as we do, and that they’ve been able to brew a quality product in spite of embargoes and supply shortages. Ales and steam beers are common because electricity is in short supply, making it impossible to provide the refrigeration that lager beers need. Much of North Korea’s beer is microbrewed because fuel scarcity and the lack of paved roads make it difficult to ship beer. The best beer Thomas had during his stay was a wheat beer at the Paradise Microbrewery, whose equipment “would rival any US microbrewery.”
Thomas has some advice for would-be beer travelers to North Korea: Don’t go there unless you have a deep understanding of the country’s culture and are prepared to digest big portions of Communist dogma with your brew.
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.
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.
Carillon Historical Park in Dayton, Ohio, is set to become the first American museum to make its own beer using equipment and techniques from the mid-19th century. The $3 million brewery, to be housed in a new building in the museum’s Kettering Family Education Center, will turn out a variety of both ales and lagers. The brewery will be tended by costumed actors. There will, of course, be a brewer in charge, and the museum is looking for someone who will not only make the beer but also help design the facility.
If all goes well, Carillon’s brewery will be operational by year’s end.
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.
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.
The Anderson Valley Brewing Company website uses the phrase “bahl hornin’” to describe its products. That means “good drinking” in Boontling, the distinctive dialect spoken in the valley since before the Civil War. Its several thousand residents coined some 1,500 words–some derived from people’s names, others from twisting English nouns–and created a language that was unintelligible to outsiders.
Sadly, Boontling is on the verge of dying. The valley’s remaining speakers are getting on in years, and younger residents haven’t learned it. Its demise will leave the Anderson Valley culturally poorer. As one local resident put it, “One day it will be like if you looked out there and saw there were no more lilies, or no more oak trees.”
Today is the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns. It is the traditional day to honor him with a Burns supper, which typically includes haggis, Scotch whisky, and the recitation of Burns’ poetry, and closes with a chorus of Auld Lang Syne.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Rosemont, Illinois, where America’s fourth Hofbrauhaus had a soft opening in the city’s new entertainment district. The other HB locations are Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, and Newport, Kentucky.
The Canadian humor magazine Bite has created a zodiac-like infographic, “What Your Beer Style Says About You.” (Hat tip: Jay Brooks.)
Two cheers for the three-tier system. According to the New America Foundation’s Barry Lynn, distributors are protecting craft beer from the dominance of the nation’s brewing duopoly–at least for now.
Why is beer more likely to go skunky in clear bottles? It’s because light reacts with hop alpha acids to produce a compound similar to one found in a skunk’s defense spray.
On Tuesday Harpoon Brewing, the nation’s eighth-largest craft brewer, will open a $3.5 million beer hall in Boston. It’s located just blocks from Boston Beer Company’s Jamaica Plain facility.
If you haven’t been able to get limited-release beers, Today.com’s Jim Galligan offers tips from the pros. For starters, you should cultivate a relationship with a good beer store in your area.
Finally, Matt Austin, a grad student at Cardiff University, found some interesting parallels between the way Vikings drank in mead halls and the way today’s British college athletes drink.