Thirty-five years ago today, Namco released the classic arcade game Pac-Man, which became a staple of 1980s popular culture. Over the years, Pac-Man machines have gobbled up some 10 billion quarters, making it one of the highest-grossing video games of all time.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in the Atacama Desert in Chile, where the Atrapaneblina brewery relies on water collected from fog nets to make its Scottish ale. The brewery’s name is Spanish for “fog-catcher.”
Better late than never for this article. John Hendrickson of Esquire magazine had an interesting interview with Blue Moon brewmaster John Legnard at this years South by Southwest.
With summer just around the corner, Meghan Storey of CraftBeer.com has assembled a slideshow of the best seasonal beers in your part of the country.
Yet another reason to consider San Diego for a beer vacation: craft breweries are opening south of the border in Tijuana.
Kalamazoo has so many breweries that the city and a tour company have teamed up to offer downtown craft beer walking tours.
Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon.com says that beer ads are becoming less sexist. SABMiller and Heineken want to broaden their appeal beyond young men getting sloshed on Saturday night.
Finally, the shape of your glass can influence whether you wind up having too many. Straight glasses and those with the amounts marked are less conducive to over-indulging than curved and unmarked glasses.
Seventy-five years ago today, Richard and Maurice McDonald opened a fast-food restaurant in San Bernardino, California. Businessman Ray Kroc bought out the brothers’ equity, and turned it into a world-wide franchise operation.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Greater Detroit, where Griffin Claw Brewing Company has brewed an amber ale for the Detroit Zoo. It hopes to distribute the ale statewide, with part of proceeds going back to the zoo.
Can Belgian beer help you lose weight? Professor Tim Spector of King’s College London contends that it contains bacteria that keeps people slim. Junk food, on the other hand, kills these bacteria.
Many craft beer lovers hold Blue Moon in low regard. However, investment firm executive Charles Sizemore believes the beer is a winner for MillerCoors: it appeals to high-income casual drinkers who want a beer or two after work.
Munich’s Hofbrauhaus is franchising another American location. The latest is a historic dining hall in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, which will be given the HB look and feel.
In her ad for [redacted] Beer, comedian Amy Schumer unleashed a snark attack on beer commercials. Fair warning: the video in this link is not safe for work.
The next-to-last episode of Mad Men showed Don Draper in an Oklahoma watering hole, listening to veterans telling war stories while drinking Lone Star beer and other adult beverages.
Finally, YouTuber Dave Hax shows you how to turn a box of tall-boy beer bottles into a picnic cooler. Cut open the top of the box to make a lid, pull all of the beer out, line it with a plastic bag, and put the beer back in. Add plenty of ice…and voila!
No, this isn’t an episode of Bizarre Foods. The Diet of Worms was an assembly that, on this day in 1521, put Martin Luther on trial for heresy. After the trial, a supporter offered Luther a silver tankard of Eimbeck beer, which he gratefully drank.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Durham, North Carolina, whose minor-league stadium, the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, will soon have a brewery. Fans will be able to buy beer and watch the brewing process.
Delaware’s liquor store owners are worried about losing business if Pennsylvania loosens its restrictions on beer sales. As it is, the Keystone State offers a wider selection of beer.
Carlsberg Breweries, which is known for offbeat advertising campaigns, put up a giant beer-dispensing billboard in London’s Brick Lane. Stay tuned: the brewery is planning more promotions.
Despite heavy taxation and domination of the market by the Singha-Chang duopoly, craft beer is making inroads in Thailand. However, home brewing is still against the law.
Sexist marketing isn’t just an American phenomenon. A Japanese brewery has it marketing a beer called Precious to women. It contains two grams of collagen, a protein that makes skin look younger.
If your beer is boring, a company called Hop Theory is here to help with flavor-enhancing teabags. Their first product, Relativity, contains orange peel, coriander, and Cascade hops.
Finally, Tricia Gilbride of Mashable.com picks the best beers to drink in the shower. She prefers IPAs because “it makes sense to select a hoppy beer when you hop in the shower.”
Earlier this month, Anheuser-Busch InBev launched a new digital campaign called “Let’s Grab a Beer.” The campaign is unusual in that it carries almost no branding. According to E.J. Schultz, a correspondent for Advertising Age magazine, it’s aimed at persuading drinkers to choose beer over spirits, which have been aggressively promoted in recent years. If overall beer consumption rises, A-B InBev—which ranks first in U.S. market share—stands to gain the most.
However, some industry observers are worried that A-B InBev’s campaign will contribute to the “wineification” of beer: placing emphasis on beer styles rather than brands. Schultz explains: “For instance, if more people walk into bars and ask for a ‘wheat beer,’ rather than a Shock Top or Blue Moon, brands become less valuable. And good branding equals profits.”
Ninety years ago today, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnum opus, The Great Gatsby, was first published by Charles Scribner’s Sons. The novel about the young and mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby, painted a picture of America’s “Jazz Age,” a phrase that Fitzgerald also made popular.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Minneapolis, where Finnegans beer is celebrating 15 years of feeding the hungry. Profits from the sale of Finnegans—half a million dollars since 2000—have been used to buy fresh produce for those in need.
Four of the world’s biggest breweries announced they will disclose calorie counts of the beers they sell in Europe. Americans might soon see calories and other nutritional data on the beer they buy.
Baseball season began this week, and the New York Times’s Eric Asimov and friends marked the occasion by choosing their top ten American lagers from a field of 20.
Friday happy hour will be part of Anheuser-Busch’s interviewing process for its new marketing office in Manhattan. It’s part of an effort to find out how well candidates handle social situations.
Maine governor Paul LePage vetoed a bill that would require a pint of beer to contain 16 ounces. The governor says Maine’s deceptive-practices laws already protect customers from short pints.
Mark Hunter, the new CEO of MolsonCoors, told Wall Street analysts that his company will focus more on craft beer, and that it has a desire to acquire craft breweries.
Finally, Kit Lab hopes to provide homebrewers what Hello Fresh provides home cooks: exact portions of ingredients. The recipes for each kit are supplied by homebrewers, who’ll get a cut of the profits.
Sixty years ago today, the American Civil Liberties Union announced that it would defend Allen Ginsberg’s famous poem, Howl, against obscenity charges. Two years later, a California Superior Court judge ruled that the poem was of “redeeming social importance” and thus not obscene.
And now.…The Mash!
We begin in Rhode Island, where Intuit, the tax software company, teamed up with a local brewery to brew a beer for accountants only. It’s called CPA IPA, and it’s just in time for tax season.
Thomas Hardy’s Ale, lovingly described by the author in The Trumpet Major, is set to return after a 16-year absence. Interbrew, an Italian company, is looking for a suitable contract brewer, and has sent a preview edition to beer writers.
It’s been called “the women’s libation movement.” Women around the world are challenging beer-related stereotypes, especially sexist brand names and ads that feature young, half-naked women.
British researchers have found that while most people’s alcohol consumption peaks during young adulthood, frequent drinking becomes more common in middle and old age, especially among men.
Five thousand years ago, Tel Aviv was a party town for expats. At a downtown construction site, archaeologists found fragments of large ceramic basins used by Egyptians to brew beer.
Griffin Claw Brewing Company will release a batch of Beechwood Aged Pumpkin Peach Ale. It’s a pointed retort to Budweiser’s “Brewed the Hard Way” Super Bowl ad poking fun at craft beer.
Finally, The “Bottle Boys,” who play music with beer bottles, have joined forces with the Budapest Art Orchestra to play a medley of epic movie themes including those from Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones.
Anheuser-Busch, whose products have steadily lost market share in recent years, aired a Super Bowl ad titled “Brewed the Hard Way, which made fun of craft beer and the people who enjoy it. The craft beer community wasted no time firing back.
One of the best critiques came from Jim Vorel, Paste magazine’s news editor. He led off by telling his readers that he’d been to the Budweiser Research Pilot Brewery and met the people who work there.
Vorel then opened fire on “Brewed the Hard Way”. A few of his comments:
- “So, what if right after we say it’s not to be fussed over, we IMMEDIATELY trumpet the fact that it’s beechwood aged, something that roughly 1% of our target demographic understands?”
- “Please, if at all possible, try not to taste our beer. If you’re able to disable your gag reflex and just pour it straight down your gullet and into your stomach in one fell swoop while bypassing the taste buds altogether, that would be ideal.”
- “Anheuser is literally mocking the consumers of the COMPANIES THEY NOW OWN. Honestly, how devastating is that for the Elysian brewing team? Your owners think your customers are pretentious hipsters. These are the people who own your business.”
Finally, Vorel notes that the “pumpkin peach beer” A-B made fun of in the ad, and which a company executive called “a fabricated, ludicrous flavor combination,” is being brewed by a company that A-B is in the process of buying. About that he says, “We’re at Irony Defcon 1, people.”
On this day in 1919, the 18th Amendment, which ushered in national Prohibition, became part of the U.S. Constitution. The 14-year-long ban on “intoxicating” beverages, which meant anything with more than 0.5 percent alcohol, had a profound effect on the United States—an effect that persists to this day.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Rhode Island—one of two states that didn’t ratify the 18th Amendment—where Narragansett Beer has launched a four-beer series honoring H.P. Lovecraft, the master of horror fiction who lived in Providence.
In the San Francisco Bay area, the latest trend is “activity bars”, which offer giant basketball Plinko games, oversize Jenga sets, and bowling alleys along with local craft beers.
According to CBS MoneyWatch’s Kim Peterson, plunging gas prices is good news for breweries. The average motorist stands to save $700 this year, some of which might be spent on beer.
Newcastle Brown Ale is back at it, sponsoring a Super Bowl “ambush ad” and inviting other non-“official” brands to join in. Last year’s ad featured an extended rant by actress Anna Kendrick.
Caveat emptor. Fortune magazine’s Brad Tuttle names five “imported” beers that are brewed in the United States: Kirin, Beck’s, Foster’s, Killian’s, and—believe it or not—Red Stripe.
Pennsylvania’s Snitz Creek Brewery is incorporating a local specialty—Lebanon bologna—into one of its beers. Snitz Creek has also brewed beers using local pretzels and opera fudge.
Finally, Anheuser-Busch offers another reason not to over-indulge. In this year’s “Up for Whatever” Super Bowl ad, a Bud Light drinker gets pulled into a life-size Pac-Man game after a night out. Imagine running from Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde while fighting a hangover.
Today is Boxing Day in Great Britain, Canada, much of the Commonwealth, and several countries in continental Europe. The origins of the name are unclear, but one thing is for certain: most people living in those countries get the day off from work. Cheers, everyone!
And now….The Mash!
Fittingly we begin in Canada, where Gerald Comeau is challenging the constitutionality of laws limiting how much alcohol one may bring across provincial lines. Comeau’s legal team thinks he has a good chance of winning.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has approved home delivery of beer by food retailers. The maximum deliverable quantity is 192 ounces, and the beer must be paid for with a credit card while ordering.
Russia’s economic woes could be bad news for beer drinkers. In an effort to keep bread affordable at home, President Vladimir Putin has slapped a tax on exports of barley and other grains.
Jennifer Wiley, a University of Illinois scientist, has found that a person with a BAC near .08 reaches a creative peak because he or she is less able to over-think during a task. A new Danish beer aims to help drinkers reach that intellectual sweet spot.
Dos Equis is America’s fastest-growing beer brand, thanks to ads featuring “the most interesting man in the world.” On the other hand, #2 brand Modelo Especial does very little advertising in English.
Zane Lamprey, the host of National Geographic’s TV show “Chug”, has developed a “drinking jacket”. It has a “beer koozie” breast pocket, a zipper that doubles as a bottle opener, and slip-resistant drinking gloves. And it comes in four colors.
Finally, Modern Farmer magazine answers your burning questions about beer-drinking donkeys. Heading the list: can donkeys get drunk? Answer: Yes*, but because they weigh more than 200 pounds, they require more than the average human.
* Ludwig would like to state for the record that he drinks responsibly.
On this day in 1925, “Grand Ole Opry” radio show aired for the first time on WSM, a Nashville radio station. The Opry’s home, Ryman Auditorium, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Kalamazoo, where Bell’s Brewery is selling glassware designed for Oberon. It’s called the American Wheat-Witbier Glass, and is made by Austrian glassware maker Spiegelau.
Mike Nichols is best remembered as a film director, but more than half a century ago, he and Elaine May created and voiced animated commercials for now-defunct Jax beer.
The Brewers Association has put together an infographic with statistics on the size of each state’s craft beer industry: number of breweries, production, and economic impact.
As it turned out, Pabst Blue Ribbon wasn’t sold to the Russians after all. The group that acquired it didn’t involve Oasis Beverages, itself the biggest independent brewer in Russia and Ukraine.
British lawmakers took the first step toward scrapping a centuries-old rule that requires “tenanted” pubs to buy their beer from the brewery that owns them.
An app called Next Glass has been called ”the Pandora for beer”. Using a mass spectrometer, the Next Glass lab staff use a mass spectrometer to analyze beers sent to the lab by Beer Census.
Finally, Jay Brooks’s blog linked a 1929 Mickey Mouse cartoon, ”The Galloping Gaucho,” in which Mickey enjoys a beer. Presumably he was outside the U.S., where Prohibition reigned. However, temperance groups couldn’t have been thrilled about a cartoon character drinking alcohol.