3.2 beer

The Friday Mash (Mickey D’s Edition)

On this day in 1955, the first McDonald’s restaurant franchised by Ray Kroc, opened in Des Plaines, Illinois. This event is considered the official founding of McDonald’s Corporation, which now has some 68,000 locations in 119 countries worldwide.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Cincinnati, where Queen City Exchanges learned they can’t offer NYSE-like “dynamic pricing” of its beers. Ohio law forbids a retailer to change the price of beer more than once a month.

Federal regulators ruled that the Indeed Brewing Company’s “Lavender Sunflower Date aka LSD Honey Ale”, wasn’t an acceptable name–even though the beer contains no hallucinogens.

Colorado has seen a long-running battle over selling full-strength beer in grocery stores. If the stores win, 3.2 beer will likely disappear from the state.

Author Franz Kafka had a terrible relationship with his bullying father, and the two had almost nothing common–except an appreciation of beer: Czech beer, of course.

More than 30 North Carolina craft breweries are joining forces to brew a special beer to fight House Bill 2, a new state law that rolls back municipal protections of LGBT people.

Sterling, a 150-plus-year-old Louisville-brewed beer, is making a comeback. The brand is known for a 1960-70s series of beers named after Kentucky Derby winners.

Finally, one consequence of the U.S. easing travel restrictions to Cuba has been a run on local beer. Cerveceria Bucanero can’t make enough Cristal beer to keep up with tourist-fueled demand.

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.

Don’t Forget: It’s New Beer’s Eve

On Sunday, at a minute past midnight, beer lovers can celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Cullen-Harrison Act, which re-legalized “3.2 beer” in the United States. The act of Congress, which raised the upper limit of what was considered “non-intoxicating,” was the first step toward outright repeal of Prohibition, which occurred later in 1933 with the passage of the 21st amendment.

As soon as the new law took effect, the nation’s surviving breweries were ready, with trucks at the ready filled with cases and barrels of beer. Within 24 hours, more than 1.5 million barrels of beer had been distributed. Several of those barrels went straight to the White House and the U.S. Capitol.

Utah’s “Quasi-Prohibition”

Many readers of this blog know that Utah imposes a 3.2% limit on tap beer, outlaws happy hours and drink specials, and even bars the sale of mini-kegs in liquor stores. But, as author and beer aficionado David Sirota discovered, the state’s weird liquor laws don’t stop there.

At the Moab Brewery, Sirota was told that, to get around the 3.2 limit, imperial-strength “select ales” were served–in one-liter bottles. Which prompted him to ask two questions: (1) Why must a brewery be forced to waste bottles to sell its own beer on premises? (2) Just how does serving strong beer in one-liter portions promote sobriety?

Sirota’s experience in Utah also prompted an attack on quasi-prohibition, which included this quote:

Indeed, save for easy-to-understand policies–age restrictions, laws barring open containers in the car, marketing to children, etc.–most of said regulations end up simply making it more annoying to consume what will inevitably be consumed. Or worse, they encourage people to actually consume more or to consume in a dangerous fashion.

April 7 is Session Beer Day

Session beer–which one can drink all evening and not get falling-down drunk–is a staple in British pubs. In the U.S., however, it has been overshadowed by “imperial” and high-gravity styles. For years, beer writer Lew Bryson has been trying to change that. He’s declared Saturday, April 7, Session Beer Day, and is encouraging breweries and beer bars across the country to celebrate it.

Why did Bryson choose April 7? That’s the anniversary of Little Repeal Day when, in 1933, 3.2% beer was re-legalized. For years afterward, many states classified beer of 3.2% or less as “non-intoxicating” and treated it differently than stronger beverages. Ohioans of a certain age can attest to that.

May 11, 1933

Seventy-seven years ago today, Julius Stroh of Detroit’s famous brewing family wrote an article in the Monroe (Michigan) Evening News. His words of wisdom for beer drinkers included these:

Be temperate in your consumption. Whether it’s beer, buttermilk, soda water or pop too much of it might lead to regrets….Never gulp your beer, because it is bad manners….Serve beer in a thin crystal-clear goblet, if you wish to admire its color….All glasses should be cleaned with a scrubbing brush or salt….Beer should never be served at a temperature above 50 degrees and below 45 degrees.

Kevin Nash at Michigan Beer Buzz, who hails from Monroe, speculates on why Stroh wrote that article:

I imagine he wrote these articles for a few reasons: One, it was good publicity. Two, low quality beer is all people had been drinking for the last 15 years and the citizens needed to be educated on properly drinking good beer. Three, it may have been driven by the fear of the future of his business. 3.2 beer was legal in less than half of the states in America, and prohibition was still the law of the land. As of May 11th 1933 (the day the article was printed) only 3 states had voted in the 21st amendment

Stroh’s advice was couldn’t have been more timely because, on May 11, 1933, 3.2 beer became legal in Michigan. The good folks at Michigan Beer Buzz have posted copies of newspaper articles from that landmark date in Great Lake State history.

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