Most readers of this blog are familiar with the role women once played in brewing, and how the rise of commercial brewing pushed them to the sidelines. But times are changing. Slowly but surely, women are raising their profile in the craft brewing industry. Krystal Baugher, writing in Atlantic magazine, explains why this is happening:
Thanks to the “good food” movement, a push to recognize local, organic, and high quality-flavored food and beverages, there has been a steady increase in craft beer at the expense of large-scale facilities. Because of its emphasis on creative flavors, food pairings, and the DIY hobby culture it steams from, craft beer gives women slightly more opportunity for inclusion.
That said, Baugher concedes that many men still don’t take their female counterparts seriously. She points out that Colorado has 154 breweries, but only ten women are known to be part of the main brewing process. There’s work to be done.
Two years ago, Minnesota lawmakers passed the “Surly Bill,” which allows the Surly Brewing Company and other breweries to open tasting rooms. Last week, Surly broke ground on its much-awaited “destination brewery” in Minneapolis.
The $20 million complex is located on an “environmentally challenged” site near the light-rail line and TCF Bank Stadium. In addition to the brewery infrastructure, the complex will include a full-service restaurant, a 300-seat beer hall and beer garden, and an event center. Construction is expected to be completed by late next year. Surly intends to keep its present location open and brew a range of experimental beers there.
The recent news that Duvel Moortgat, a Belgian brewery, will acquire majority ownership of Boulevard Brewing Company has rattled the craft beer community. Brad Tuttle of Time magazine suggests there’s a double standard at work here. In most industries, when an entrepreneur builds a business over many years, then sells it for tens of millions, it’s cause for celebration. However, when a craft brewer like Boulevard’s John McDonald cashes out, for an estimated $100 million no less, he’s made the proverbial deal with the devil.
Tuttle notes that McDonald will continue to be involved with the brewery, and that no recipes will be changed under the new ownership. His article also points out that Boulevard is more the exception than the rule. It quotes author Tom Acitelli, who asserts that owning a craft brewery “is not now and never has been a traditional path to wealth creation,” and goes on to warn that it’s much easier to start a brewery than to keep one going.
On this day in 1854, during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War, a command blunder sent a British light cavalry force on a frontal assault into a Russian artillery battery. The attack, which resulted in heavy casualties for the British, was immortalized in Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade.”
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Fort Worth, Texas, where the Shake n’ Bake Bacon Brew will make its debut next weekend at the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR race. It’s a bacon-infused beer milkshake.
Miami resident Francisco Rene Marty has filed a class-action lawsuit against AB InBev. Marty alleges that AB deceives customers by representing that Beck’s beer is still brewed in Germany.
The Beer Game is an orientation tradition at MIT’s Sloan School of Business. Players aren’t served beer, but the game teaches them about the non-linear complexities of supply chains.
SteadyServ Technologies has attracted $6.5 million in capital to develop the iKeg, a device that monitors how much beer is left in a keg and warns when it’s is about to run dry.
For the past three years, Arizona resident Evo Terra has celebrated Oktoberfest by going on a beer and sausages diet. Terra loses 14 pounds, and his cholesterol level drops by one-third.
Wynkoop Brewery’s brewers Bess Dougherty and Andy Brown explain how blue gummi bears became an ingredient and what a Rolling Stones song has to do with an English brown ale.
Finally, brewers in Antwerp have revived a beer style that disappeared during World War I. It’s Seef beer (pronounced like “safe”), “a white beer that foamed like Champagne, and went to the head like port.”
“Franchise” is a dirty word for many in the craft beer community. But don’t tell that to Scott Zepp, a former baseball coach from Pensacola who co-founded the highly-successful World of Beer chain of beer bars.
After a hurricane destroyed his home in 2004, Zepp decided to buy a liquor store in Tampa. The store lost money, so Zepp sold it and went to work for the new owner managing it. He expanded the store’s beer selection to include micro products. Next, Zepp went to work for another retailer that carried hundreds of craft beers. There he came up with the idea of an laid-back beer bar with a huge beer selection. Together with a friend, Matt LaFon, Zepp opened World of Beer with 30 rotating taps and hundreds of bottled beers.
Today, World of Beer has 44 locations in 14 states, and Zepp and LaFon has sold a couple of hundred more franchises. The original plan was to limit the menu to snacks, which allowed franchisees to concentrate on selling beer and avoid the headaches that come with running a restaurant. However, locations will soon roll out a limited menu of inexpensive, beer-friendly food items.
On this day in 1836, Houston, Texas, was founded. The city, named for the famous statesman and general, is the home of the Texas Medical Center and NASA’s Johnson Space Center, as well as St. Arnold Brewing Company, the oldest craft brewery in Texas.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in St. Paul, Minnesota, where for the second straight year, the State Fair will host a Land of 10,000 Beers exhibit devoted to the state’s craft-brewing industry.
Boston Beer Company’s Alchemy & Science Division has quietly acquired the rights to Shmaltz Brewing Company and its Coney Island line of award-winning beers.
Californians love avocados, so it was inevitable that someone would come up with a guacamole-flavored beer. It’s a product of Los Angeles-based Angel City Brewing.
That refreshing “bite” you get from a cold beer comes from a chemical reaction inside your mouth that turns the beer’s carbon dioxide bubbles into carbonic acid.
The German government is investigating the country’s top breweries for price-fixing. If found guilty, the breweries will have to pay millions of euros in penalties.
Renee DeLuca, the daughter of Jack McAuliffe, plans to resurrect her father’s New Albion beer. It will be made by Mendocino Brewing Company.
Finally, since August is a slow month, we yield the floor to Logan Thompson of Blog About Beer. He brings us a collection of photos of dogs drinking beer.
On this day in 1954, the first edition of Sports Illustrated hit the stands, with Milwaukee Braves slugger Eddie Mathews on the cover. Although the magazine is most famous for its swimsuit supermodels, some of the nation’s top sportswriters have written for it.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in London, where the Great British Beer Festival is underway. In case you missed it, this year’s Champion Beer of Britain is 1872 Porter from Yorkshire’s Elland Brewery.
TheDailyMeal.com gears up for fall semester with a list of America’s 25 best college bars. The picks are based on several criteria, ranging from number of taps to late-night food.
In Washington, beer geeks and history buffs gathered to taste Christian Heurich’s original beer, first brewed in 1891. Heurich’s brewery, D.C.’s last survivor, closed in 1956.
There’s an app for that. Pivo offers translations and phonetic pronunciations to help you order a beer in 59 different languages. “Pivo,” by the way, is Czech for beer.
Founder Sam Walton frowned on drinking to excess, but his heirs are planning to step up beer sales at Wal-Mart in states where they’re legal in supermarkets.
A beer brewed for Ontario golfers is coming to the province’s golf courses, bars, and liquor stores. It’s called–you guessed it–Triple Bogey Lager.
Finally, Don Russell has a gig to make us jealous: beer ambassador to Lithuania, where he attended festivals, gave TV interviews, and introduced the locals to American brews.
On this day in 1944, Smokey the Bear made his debut. He has appeared on radio programs, in comic strips, and in cartoons. The federal government, which owns the rights to Smokey, has collected millions in royalties and used them to educate people about forest fire prevention.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, where booze is a no-no and the young and fashionable are gravitating to alcohol-free beer.
If you missed the Beer Bloggers Conference, New Orleans writer Nora McGunnigle has a full report. She was impressed by the welcome given by local brewers Sam Adams and Harpoon.
The Princeton Review has released its list of top party schools, and the University of Iowa is ranked first, followed by UC Santa Barbara, Illinois, West Virginia, and Syracuse.
The summer has been cold and wet in much of the country, but weather doesn’t fully explain light beer’s drop in popularity. A growing number of drinkers are getting tired of its taste.
Fort Collins, Colorado’s “other” major craft brewery is the Odell Brewing Company. Although it’s the nation’s 33rd-largest, and about to get much bigger, it remains a low-key operation.
The U.S. Postal Service hopes to get badly-needed revenue by shipping beer and other alcoholic beverages. First, Congress has to repeal a 1909 law making it illegal to send booze by mail.
Finally, Martyn Cornell, The Zythophile, serves up five facts about India pale ale you might not have known. Fact number one: a century and a half ago, people drank their IPA ice-cold.
Some industry observers worry that the craft beer market might be getting saturated. Brad Tuttle of Time magazine cites two states where that could be happening. One is Vermont, which despite its small population, ranks 15th in overall craft-beer production and has the most craft breweries per capita in the U.S. However, the state’s beer production fell 2.5 percent from 2011 to 2012. The other is Indiana, where the number of craft breweries has tripled in just four years, and new brewers complain about the difficulty of getting their beers on tap at restaurants and bars.
On the other hand, Bart Watson, a staff economist for the Brewers Association, contends that there’s still plenty of room for growth. He points to Oregon, a mature craft beer market, where production still grew by 11 percent last year.
On this day in 1856, Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw was born. Shaw was also a journalist, a co-founder of the London School of Economics, and the only person awarded both the Nobel Prize for Literature and an Academy Award, the latter for the film version of his play Pygmalion.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Oxford, Mississippi, which may finally legalize the sale of cold beer. That could end a time-honored tradition: road trips to neighboring counties for a cold six-pack.
Speaking of cold beer, concession stands at Dodger Stadium are selling beer topped with ice-cold foam, which keeps the drink cold for half an hour.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is crying in his beer after his request for a Paulaner biergarten was turned down by the brewery.
The Monte Carlo, a casino on the Las Vegas Strip, sells $95 bottles of beer. The beer is La Trappe Isid’or, a pale ale created by Dutch monks in 2009 to celebrate their abbey’s 125th anniversary.
This year’s trend is session IPAs. Founders Brewing Company, best known for high-gravity stouts, announced that All Day IPA (4.5% ABV) has become its biggest seller.
Consumer alert: Big banks are jacking up the price of your six-pack by manipulating aluminum prices. How they do it is bizarre, and apparently legal.
Finally, Tim Marchman of Deadspin.com marks the passing of actor Dennis Farina by recalling a funny Old Style commercial in which Farina went to his local bar to drive off out-of-towners.