Gilroy Was Here

If you’ve spent any amount of time in bars, you’ve probably seen the famous Guinness ads featuring toucans, sea lions, and other creatures. The ads, which first appeared in the 1930s, were the work of artist John Gilroy, who’s back in the news thanks to the discovery of his “lost” work.

Martyn Cornell, The Zythophile, has been following the story for some time. In 1971, Guinness’s advertising agency, SH Benson, was sold to another agency. In the process, hundreds of works by Gilroy, who worked for Benson, disappeared. A few years ago, some of the lost works started showing up on the American art market, and sold for tens of thousands of dollars.

The most interesting lost works were a series of parodies of well-known works of art. Intended to hang in the Guinness brewery in London, they were never used, and instead wound up in Benson’s archive. The works included “The Creation of Man,” in which God hands Adam a pint; Vermeer’s “Girl with the Pint of Guinness”; and “Henri ‘Half-Pint’ Toulouse-Lautrec advertises Guinness in the Paris of the 1890s.”

The Friday Mash (World Tourism Day Edition)

Today is World Tourism Day, which was created by the United Nations in 1970. This year’s theme is “Tourism and Water.” If you can’t make it to Munich, where some kind of a beer festival is going on, Ludwig recommends that you take a trip to your local brewery and order a beer–which, of course, is more than 90 percent water.

And now…the Mash!

We begin in Bloomington, Illinois, the home of Beer Nuts. The first batch of the snacks–made with just four ingredients–was created 60 years ago by Jim Shirk, whose family still owns the company.

In Texas, a homebrewer recently got a nasty surprise: brewer’s yeast in his intestines caused him to spontaneously brew beer and get him drunk without warning.

A Reddit user who goes by “psychguy” explained why experienced drinkers prefer strong beer: it’s a combination of “taste fatigue” and peer pressure.

Was Jesus a beer drinker? Did He really turn water into beer at Cana? Stasia Bliss of the Las Vegas Guardian-Review cites historical and biblical evidence which points in that direction.

Savvy beer shoppers are finding bargains at their local Wal-Mart. Bloomberg.com found a Los Angeles-area store that sold Coors and Tecate at just pennies over cost.

If M.C. Escher were a glassblower, he might have come up with this: a glass designed to hold two different beers at the same time. The Dual Beer Glass holds two 1/3-pint portions of beer.

Professor Hong Luo at the Unviersity of Buffalo says the key to a good pour is avoiding that “glugging” sound produced by a low-pressure area formed when beer is poured too fast.

Finally, Scientific American magazine has awarded the IgNobel Prize in Psychology to the scientists who studied “self-beer goggles”: people who’ve had a few are more likely to consider themselves attractive.

Flying Dog Ales’ Pedigree

Every brewery has a story to tell, but Flying Dog Ales has one that tops all the others. In the second of a two-part series, Patrick Renfrow of PopMythology.com explains how three extraordinary talents came together.

The brewery’s founder, George Stranahan, comes awfully close to being a Renaissance Man. He’s earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics, climbed K-2, started a newspaper, owned a bar, founded schools, raised cattle, and–oh yes–started a brewery in Aspen, Colorado. Stranahan was also the owner of Owl Farm, which Hunter S. Thompson rented from him in Woody Creek. The two had an interest in explosives, football, and sticking it to the Establishment.

Enter the “delightfully demented” Ralph Steadman, who collaborated with Thompson on his famous article about the Kentucky Derby. When Thompson introduced him to Stranahan in the mid-1990s, they decided that the artist’s signature style was a perfect fit for Flying Dog. Steadman put the slogan “Good Beer, No Shit” on Flying Dog labels, which didn’t go over well with various liquor regulators. Stranahan, a vociferous defender of First Amendment rights, fought back…and won.

Today, Flying Dog’s CEO is Jim Caruso. He, too, is a defender of free speech; he made a point of getting the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to back down from its ban on Raging Bitch ale. That’s not the end of the story. Caruso is currently the “significant other” of Thompson’s widow, Anita. As we said, this story tops all the others.

The Friday Mash (Reefer Madness Edition)

Seventy-six years ago today, Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act, which effectively made marijuana illegal. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law and in all but two states. Those of a certain age may remember a psychedelic-art poster that read, “Keep off the Grass, Drink Schlitz.”

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Indianapolis, where an ad calling marijuana “the new beer”, scheduled to run during a NASCAR Brickyard 400, was pulled after anti-drug forces complained.

F.X. Matt Brewing is celebrating its 125th anniversary by giving customers a free beer. The brewery is adding a can of its new Legacy IPA to variety 12-packs of its Saranac beers.

Houston, we have a tourist attraction: a house made of beer cans. Construction began in the 1970s, when owner John Milkovisch used old beer cans as makeshift aluminum siding.

Lovell, Maine, an hour’s drive west of Portland, has landed on the craft beer map thanks to Ebenezer’s, which has been named America’s best beer bar.

Move over, Goose Island. Lagunitas Brewing Company will soon become Chicago’s biggest brewery. Its new facility in the Douglas Park neighborhood will have a capacity of 250,000 barrels a year.

Levi’s Field, the future home of the San Francisco 49ers, is developing an app to address fans’ biggest complaints: lines at beer stands and the inevitable next problem, lines at restrooms.

Finally, New Jersey’s beer hasn’t earned many accolades, but Aaron Goldfarb of Esquire magazine says the local brew is improving. He recommends Carton Brewing Company and Kane Brewing Company.

Beer Labels in Motion

Trevor Carmick has literally brought beer labels to life with a series of animated GIFs that he created for some of his favorites. You can follow Trevor on Twitter @beerlabelmotion.

The Friday Mash (Feathered Friends Edition)

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.

Shane Battier of the defending NBA champion Miami Heat said that he has a pre-game ritual: downing a Bud Light. The brewery has rewarded his loyalty by presenting him with a truckload of the 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.

The Great Wall of Bottlecaps

It took two months and 60,000 bottlecaps to build this work of wall art. See it get built in two minutes:

The Friday Mash (Tom McCall Edition)

Today would have been the 100th birthday of former Oregon governorTom McCall. He’s best known for environmental initiatives, including the nation’s first returnable bottle bill. The Oregon Brewers Fest takes place every July at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in York Haven, Pennsylvania, where Jeff Lebo has built a house for his collection of 83,000 vintage beer cans. His Brewhouse Mountain Eco-Inn offers overnight accommodations.

Serving miners? Krogh’s Brew Pub of Sparta, New Jersey, is storing casks of Imperial Stout in an old iron and zinc mine. They’ll be tapped at next year’s celebration of Krogh’s 15th anniversary party as a brewpub.

Iron Maiden, the heavy metal band, has teamed up with the Robinsons brewery to brew its own beer: Trooper, named after one of the band’s most popular songs.

Victory Brewing Company and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery are hosting “Amber Waves,” an exhibition of beer and the art promoting it at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference.

After Thomas Knight of Key West got caught stealing from an airport bar at 5:40 am, security handed him a trespass warning. At least he isn’t on the no-fly list.

Homebrewer Robert Scott has invented the Tapit Cap, which keeps growlers of beer fresh and carbonated. He’s trying to raise $80,000 on Kickstarter to bring his device to market.

Finally, a toast to Mark and Mandie Murphy, who have opened a baseball-themed brewery in Ontario. The Left Field Brewery’s lineup includes the wonderfully-named 6-4-3 Double IPA.

The Friday Mash (QWERTY Edition)

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.

ASDF…The Mash!

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.

The Friday Mash (Trinidad and Tobago Edition)

Fifty years ago today, Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from Great Britain. This Caribbean island republic is the birthplace of calypso, steelpan, and soca music, chutney, and the limbo. A cold beer would go well with any or all of these.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Hyde Park, New York, where the Culinary Institute of America’s American Bounty Restaurant celebrates its 30th anniversary with a special black ale brewed by Tommy Keegan of Keegan Ales.

Craft beer in Kyrgyzstan? Writer Chris Rickleton, who lives in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, reports that the local beers aren’t bad at all, and that a couple of micros are open for business.

Three Portland, Oregon, women are planning to write a book titled Hop in the Saddle, a bicyclist’s guide to beer touring their city.

Now that Goose Island is part of the Anheuser-Busch family of beers, they will be available in all 50 states. The high-end Goose Island beers will continue to be made in Chicago.

The Yeastie Boys, a brewery in New Zealand, is a pioneer in open-source brewing. Bottles of its Digital IPA contain metallic blue QR codes which enable customers to brew their own versions of the ale.

Joshua Justice of the Houston Press lists the ten ugliest labels on beers sold in Texas. Some of the labels Justice can’t stand appear on bottles of very good beer.

Finally, iPhone users can play a new game that features bottlecaps from Michigan breweries. When you touch a bottlecap, the game gives you information about that brewery, including its location and a social media contact.

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