One hundred and fifty-five years ago today, Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state. An impressive 47 percent of the beer poured in the Beaver State is craft beer, most of it locally brewed; and Portland, the state’s largest city, has become a top destination for beer travelers.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Pennsylvania where, after a 29-year hiatus, D. Yuengling & Son is again making ice cream. It’s so popular that the first 100,000-quart run rolled off the line ahead of schedule.
The Stochasticity Project has released its first beer, Grapefruit Slam IPA. The beer, which checks in at 8.2% ABV and 95 IBUs, will be available nationwide.
Bear Republic is the first brewery to buy the Eco-Volt system, which uses microbes to convert dissolved carbon in wastewater into biogas, which can be burned to make electricity or heat.
The Beer Store, Ontario’s provincial retail monopoly, warns that if grocery and convenience stores are allowed to sell beer, consumers will have to pay an extra C$10 (U.S. $9) a case.
Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, who performed as Status Quo, are the latest celebrity beer makers. Piledriver ale, named for their 1972 album, is brewed by Wychwood Brewery of Oxfordshire.
Fans at the Winter Olympics can escape bland food by journeying to the nearby town of Adler, where “Draft Beer & Fish” has 16 beers on tap, most of them locally brewed.
Finally, clear your desk and take out a number-two pencil. John Metcalf of The Atlantic has a ten-point craft beer quiz that emphasizes the strange ingredients brewers are using.
He doesn’t want to nitpick. Really. However, John Thompson of the Baltimore Post-Examiner would like to call your attention to ten things bars, restaurants, breweries, and maybe even you are doing wrong with beer.
Thompson wants better menus, preferably available online, and knowledgeable servers. But his main concern is glassware. He faults bars for not finding alternatives to the ubiquitous shaker glass or worse yet, chilling glasses before filling them–with ice-cold beer. And in his perfect world, the glassware would be “beer clean”: properly washed, rinsed, and sanitized. If the bubbles aren’t clinging to the sides of the glass, then it’s beer clean.
Thrillist’s Adam Lapetina did some digging into D.G. Yuengling and Son’s history, and unearthed 13 facts about the company. You probably know that the company was founded in 1829, and that it survived Prohibition by making near beer and ice cream. But did you know who the “son” is? (His name was Frederick, and his brother David, Jr., was so upset that he started a steam beer brewery in Richmond, Virginia. And you’ll surprised to learn that Yuengling invested in dance halls such as Roseland Ballroom in New York where, in addition to dances, sneezing contests, yo-yo exhibitions, and female prizefights were held.
Brewing News magazine has released the details of its seventh annual National IPA Championship and its inaugural National Imperial IPA Championship. Both follow a bracket-style single-elimination format.
The four-round competition begins this weekend, with the final rounds and championship to take place in Buffalo on St. Patrick’s Day.
Even if you’re not a brewer, you can take part by filling out your bracket at home–or at your favorite licensed establishment. If you’re the top picker, you’ll win a free case of the championship beers.
Kurtis Alexander of the San Francisco Chronicle made the trek to Santa Rosa, where he joined hundreds of IPA fans outside the Russian River Brewing Company. They were there for Friday’s Pliny the Younger release, an event that Alexander compares to Apple product debuts. Release day attracts so many out-of-town visitors that a couple of local hotels offer “Pliny packages.”
Pliny is available at selected draft accounts in northern California until February 20. Then the wait begins all over.
On this day in 1497, in Florence, Italy, Savonarola presided over history’s most famous “bonfire of the vanities.” Anything he considered a temptation to sin went up in flames. That’s enough to drive anyone to drink.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Grand Rapids, home of HopCat, America’s top-rated beer bar. Owner Mark Sellers plans to open 12 to 15 more HopCats throughout the Midwest over the next five years.
Gotcha! Firas Habli, a beer store owner in Ohio, was shamed on social media after he was seen trying to buy a grocery store’s entire allotment of Bell’s Hopslam.
In Maine, liquor inspectors are telling bars that it’s agains the law to post the alcoholic content of beer. The law was passed in 1937, long before the arrival of high-gravity craft beer.
In Washington State, Un-Cruise Adventures is offering a beer-themed whale-watching cruise. The itinerary includes two brewery tours, and beer experts will be pairing craft beers with dinner.
Researchers in Spain have created an electronic “tongue” that can recognize beer styles and differences in alcohol content. It’s said to be accurate more than four out of five times.
Instead of shelling out millions for a Super Bowl ad, Newcastle mocked the big game’s hype in a stealth campaign that featured Anna Kendrick in a “Behind the Scenes” YouTube video.
Finally, the early favorite for Beer Trend of 2014 appears to be beer-focused cocktails. To get you started, the Food Network staff has put together a 13-drink slideshow, complete with recipes.
Three years ago, Chrysler Corporation scored a big hit with its “Imported from Detroit” Super Bowl ad. However, Chrysler’s ad in this year’s game provoked an unexpected backlash from viewers.
Many in the audience were aghast that music legend Bob Dylan agreed to be a spokesman for a car company. But America’s craft brewers were offended by what Dylan said. He told the audience to “let Germany brew your beer” because “we will build your car.” That led Fred Bueltmann, a well-known figure in Michigan’s brewing community, to fire off a strongly-worded letter to Chrysler demanding that the automaker apologize to craft brewers for “dismissing their trade in front of millions of viewers.”
- Visitors who toured Founders Brewing Company in 2013: 2,518.
- Price of a Founders tour: $10 (includes a pint glass).
- Barrels of craft beer sold in 2011: 11,467,337.
- Barrels of craft beer sold in 2012: 13,235,917 (up 9 percent from 2011).
- Cost of a bottle of domestic beer in Hanoi, Vietnam: U.S.$0.44.
- Cost of a bottle of non-alcoholic domestic beer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: U.S.$0.59.
- Cost of a bottle of black-market domestic beer in Tripoli, Libya: U.S.$5.49.
- Change in Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s sales from 2011 to 2012: Up 13 percent.
- 60 Minute IPA’s share of Dogfish Head’s production: 48 percent.
- What Anheuser-Busch InBev paid to re-acquire Korea-based Oriental Brewery: $5.8 billion.
- What A-B InBev sold Oriental Brewery for in 2009: $1.8 billion.
- Sales of number-one selling beer Bud Light in 2013: $5.95 billion.
- Average price of a case of Bud Light: $20.18.
- Percent of Americans who call Budweiser their favorite beer: 51.
- Percent who call Budweiser their least favorite beer: 46.
Minnesota’s Lakemaid Brewery had an ingenious idea: use drones to deliver beer to ice fishermen camped out on the area’s frozen lakes. Unfortunately, beer-carrying drones violate a host of Federal Aviation Administration rules, so agency officials ordered Lakemaid to halt deliveries. The FAA expects to draw up rules for commercial drones sometimes next year, but it’s unclear whether they’ll be in effect before the end of ice-fishing season.
For decades, big brewers have been big advertisers at the Super Bowl, and this year’s game is no exception. However, their products are steadily losing market share, especially among drinkers younger than 30.
Quentin Fottrell, a correspondent for MarketWatch.com, identifies several reasons for Big Beer’s declining popularity. One, of course, is growing popularity of craft beer. If this segment didn’t exist, beer sales would be on a downward course. (And if craft beer didn’t exist, neither would this site, but I digress.) Another factor is competition from the hard liquor industry, which ended its self-imposed ban on television advertising in 1996; and from wine, which has acquired a “halo effect” as a beverage associated with healthier living. Calorie-conscious drinkers have also hurt sales. Non-alcoholic drinks, bottled water in particular, have taken market share away from beer.