On this day in 1974, Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s record for most career home runs; and on this day in 1975, Frank Robinson became the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball history.
And now…Play Ball!
We begin in Russia, which is shedding its image as a country of hard drinkers. Younger Russians are developing a taste for craft beer, and an estimated 1,000 breweries have sprung up nationwide.
George Randall, the owner of several liquor stores in the St. Louis area, drives a real attention-getter: a car in the shape of a giant can of Old Milwaukee Light. He bought it for $2,000 on eBay.
Two Wichita men found a use for a gutted old food truck they bought. They installed ten beer taps, hooked them up to refrigerated kegs of local craft beer, and roam the city with a “drink truck”.
Anheuser-Busch InBev faces another consumer lawsuit. It alleges that A-B falsely claims Leffe beer is brewed in a Belgian monastery; it’s produced at the Stella Artois facility in Leuven.
The New Haven Symphony Orchestra is trying to broaden the audience for classical music by offering “Beers and Beethoven”. The price of admission includes samples of Connecticut-brewed beer.
Get ready for a superhero comic book about Three Floyds Brewing Company’s Alpha King Pale Ale. The hero brews a beer so good it attracts the attention of a monster-king and his minions.
Finally, Tom Dalldorf, the editor of Celebrator Beer News, speculates that American beer may go the way of wine: demand for the mass-produced “jug wine” fell, as customers gravitated to higher-quality products from smaller producers. There are some 10,000 wineries in the U.S.
Ninety-nine years ago today, The Original Dixieland Jass Band recorded the first-ever jazz record, for the Victor Talking Machine Company in New York. The band later changed “Jass” to “Jazz” and went on to record many classics, most notably the “Tiger Rag”.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Royal Oak, Michigan, where the late Glenn Frey of the Eagles grew up. The Roak Brewery threw a party in Frey’s honor, and brewed a English golden ale called “Lyin’ Eyes” for the occasion.
A beer spa is now in business in Sisters, Oregon. Hop in the Spa, which is partnering with Deschutes Brewing, offers “microbrew soaks” and “hops on the body” treatments.
Ultra-marathoner Jesse Weber employed an unusual strategy for going the 50-mile distance. Along the way, he stopped for a Pabst Blue Ribbon–after fortifying himself with cookies and a quesadilla.
Victory Brewing Company and Southern Tier Brewing have formed a joint venture which, they hope, will allow them to stay independent and stay competitive in a consolidating industry.
Bay area rapper E-40 has released his own brand of malt liquor, which checks in at 10% ABV. Deadspin.com’s Patrick Redford tried a bottle (a 40-ouncer, of course) and gave it a resounding thumbs-down.
World of Beer is looking to hire three people for what it calls “the internship of a lifetime.” Interns will get to travel, drink, and share their adventures with the world—and get paid for it.
Finally, Louisville’s Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse has teamed up with Hi-Five Doughnuts to create a new beer called “Mmm…D’oh! Nuts.” The doughnuts and vanilla glaze—a gallon’s worth—created a smoky beer with a root beer-like sweetness.
On this day in 1846, William T.G. Morton first demonstrated ether anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Each year the medical community honors this breakthrough with World Anesthesia Day. If ether “isn’t right for you”, we suggest having a beer instead.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Iowa City, where the informal University of Iowa “Beer Band” has suspended itself—at least for the time being—after townspeople complained abou X-rated song lyrics.
Beer author John Holl interviewed Dr. Chris White, the founder of yeast provider White Labs. Topics include sour beer, brewer education, and White’s new facility in North Carolina.
Chicago restaurateur Rick Bayless is introducing genuine Mexican-style beers. He’s opened a brewpub, and has also formed a brewing partnership with Constellation Brands .
Years ago, graphic designer Harvey Shepherd fell in love with beer packaging. He’s turned his avocation into the recently-published Oh Beautiful Beer: The Evolution of Craft Beer and Design.
Business consultant Chip Martella has good news and bad news for craft brewers. The dreaded industry shakeup has arrived, but a scrappy craft brewer can still succeed in this environment.
Carla Jean Whitley of AL.com details the revival of brewing in Alabama. Now that lawmakers have eased many Prohibition-era restrictions, the state’s brewery count has risen to 28.
Finally, declining sales of American light beer have forced breweries to rethink their advertising strategies. Their new ads will stress product quality, and will carry more woman-friendly messages.
We aren’t beginning the Mash with a historical reference because we’re too busy celebrating a milestone. Today’s Mash is the 1,500th post on “Ludwig Roars.” Now excuse us while we refill our pint glasses.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in the West Bank, where the Taybeh Brewery hosted its 11th annual Oktoberfest. The brewery poured a non-alcoholic beer for festival-goers from neighboring Muslim towns.
Anheuser-Busch InBev’s planned takeover of SAB Miller has advertising agencies worried. Less competition could mean less advertising. That, in turn, could affect the sports industry’s bottom lilne.
A 3,800-year-old poem honoring Ninkasi is also a recipe for Sumerian beer. Brewers have replicated the beer, which tastes like dry apple cider and has a modest 3.5 percent ABV.
Organizers of the Skanderborg Music Festival in Denmark have found an alternative to sleeping in hot tents: giant beer cans that offer a bed with pillows, shelving, a fan, and other amenities.
Jake Anderson, a goalie for the University of Virginia hockey team, was given five-minute major penalty and ejected from the game after chugging a can of Keystone Lite during the second intermission.
Québécois travel writer Caitlin Stall-Paquet takes us a beer-focused road trip through Gaspésie and the Bas-Saint-Laurent. The attractions also include museums, cathedrals, and rock formations.
Finally, Portland beer writer Jeff Alworth, who spent two years traveling and tasting beers, has written The Beer Bible. The 656-page book is accessible, but at the same time, an in-depth exploration of the heritage behind the beers we drink today.
On this day in 1844, the last two known great auks were killed. These large flightless penguin-like birds, which lived in the North Atlantic, were hunted to extinction because their down was in high demand in Europe.
And on that auk-ward note…The Mash!
We begin in China, where designer Li Rongjun has built an office out of 8,500 empty beer bottles. Rongjun has a degree in construction from the Inner Mongolia University of Science & Technology.
Lagunitas Brewing Company will build a third brewery in Asuza, California. The new plant, with a projected capacity of more than 400,000 barrels a year, is expected to open in early 2017.
Molson’s Beer Fridge will make an appearance at this month’s Pan-American Games in Toronto. The latest edition will dispense a free Molson to those who say “I Am Canadian” in any of 40 languages.
Anita Brown, an artist in Los Angeles, has designed beers for each of the books in the Harry Potter series. They include Pilsner of Azkaban, Amber of Secrets, and Deathly Hops (h/t Jay Brooks).
Queen is the latest rock group to release its own beer. It’s a pilsner that will be called—what else?—Bohemian Rhapsody. The bottle’s design features a crest designed by Freddie Mercury himself while he was in college.
5 Rabbit Cerveceria has pulled a custom-brewed batch of ale from Chicago’s Trump Tower in protest of Donald Trump’s comments about Mexico. 5 Rabbit’s founder, is a native of Costa Rica.
Finally, New Orleans is rarely associated with German culture, but Tchoupitoulas Beer Garden, a year-round, Oktoberfest-inspired beer hall, will open this summer in the city’s Warehouse District.
Two hundred and twenty-five years ago today, Rhode Island became the 13th and last of the original colonies to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Even though the state ranks last in area, it has the longest name of any U.S. state: “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.”
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Hamburg, Germany, where the Astra brewery has installed a billboard that uses facial detection to detect one’s gender If a woman passes by, it plays her an Astra commercial.
Last November, Whole Foods Market added a Criveller brewing system to its store in Houston. A month later, it started brewing beer at its store in Emeryville, California.
Dock Beer, a golden saison by Dock Street Brewing, will be aged with an extra ingredient: nonstop music by Wu-Tang Clan, whose bass notes will move the yeast around.
A 2012 law raising the ABV cap on beer has kick-started craft brewing in Mississippi. Hank Sforzini of Paste magazine names five of his favorites.
A man who has been paralyzed for 13 years can once again enjoy a beer, thanks to a mind-controlled robot arm developed by Caltech and its partners.
Finally, Dick and Nancy Ponzi needed another business to generate income for their planned pinot noir winery. That business was the 31-year-old BridgePort Brewing Company, Oregon’s oldest craft brewery.
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.
Jay Brooks recently wrote a column in the San Jose Mercury News about the season we refer to as “fall.” That word is a short form of the 17th-century English phrase, “fall of the leaf.” Fall is also the harvest season—Germans call it Herbst, a derivative of the Old Norse word for “harvest”—and it’s the time of the year to bring in the hops and barley crops.
This is where where John Barleycorn takes the stage. During the 16th century, a folk tale about him made its way around England. Brooks describes it as “an allegorical story of death, resurrection and drinking. The main character, the eponymous John Barleycorn, is the personification of barley, which is attacked, beaten and eventually dies–or as we prefer to think of it, grown, reaped and then malted.”
The most famous modern version of this song was recorded by Traffic, co-founded by Steve Winwood and Dave Mason and featured on their 1970 album, John Barleycorn Must Die.
On this day in 1886, King Ludwig II of Bavaria passed away. Please join our beer-drinking lion in a moment of silence for the “Mad King” who, among other things, commissioned the fantastic Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the area’s leading tourist attractions.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Petaluma, California, where Lagunitas Brewing Company held its annual Beer Circus. Some guests wore top hats and “ironic facial hair,” while others dressed as figures from popular culture.
Just in time for Father’s Day: Criquet, a clothing company, has designed a shirt with a reinforced lining that prevents you from destroying it while using the shirttail to twist a beer bottle open.
Twenty years ago, Lauren Clark quit her desk job to work for a brewery. She then gravitated to writing, and recently published Crafty Bastards, a history of beer in New England.
Gustav Holst’s The Planets inspired Bell’s Brewing to create a seven-ale series, each of which named for one of the planets in Holst’s suite. The first Planet beer will be released in August.
St. Louis, which is celebrating its 250th birthday, has 30 craft breweries–and yes, the Budweiser brewery, too. USA Today’s Wendy Pramick has a beer lover’s guide to the city.
Brock Bristow, a South Carolina attorney, might wind up in the Lobbyists’ Hall of Fame. He persuaded lawmakers to pass the brewery-friendly “Stone Bill”.
Finally, Jeopardy! for beer geeks. Three female beer bloggers host a monthly trivia night at a bar in Brooklyn. Games consist of four rounds: brewing, history, popular culture, and the “hipster trifecta.”
On this day in 1946, the Basketball Association of America, the ancestor of today’s National Basketball Association, was organized in New York City. Fun fact: the first basket in league history was made by Ossie Schectman of the New York Knickerbockers in a game against the Toronto Huskies at Maple Leaf Gardens.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Asheville, North Carolina. The big craft brewers building plants there are trying to be good neighbors to the home-grown breweries, who have welcomed the newcomers.
Beer will be brewed in the Bronx—New York City’s only mainland borough—after a nearly 50-year absence. The Bronx Brewery, which currently contracts out its production, will bring its operations home sometime next year.
The “Bottle Boys,” who play cover songs on beer bottles, are out with their latest: the 1982 Michael Jackson song, “Billie Jean”. Previous covers include Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”
Jacksonville, Florida, is the latest American city to create an Ale Trail for tourists. The trail includes a number of area micros, along with the Anheuser-Busch plant, which offers tours and a beer school.
The Boston Herald profiled Todd and Jason Alstrom, two guys from western Massachusetts who founded BeerAdvocate.com and organized the American Craft Beer Fest. Their motto is “Respect Beer.”
Dr. Paul Roof, a professor at Charleston Southern University, was fired by the school after his hirsute face appeared on cans of Holy City beer for a fund-raiser. CSU found that inconsistent with a Christian university.
Finally, a New Year’s resolution paid off for Justin “Bugsy” Sailor. Four years ago, Sailor resolved to have a beer with Sir Richard Branson. The two entrepreneurs finally clinked glasses last month.