Aaron Goldfarb

Don’t Try This in Your Home State

Esquire magazine’s Aaron Goldfarb’s adventures in stunt drinking include bar crawling an airline terminal and downing the contents of a hotel mini-bar. His latest adventure was drinking at every brewery in the state—in one day. The only state where that’s possible is Rhode Island—it’s the smallest in area and has 16 breweries—so Goldfarb hopped a train to Providence, where his designated driver was waiting.

Here are the stats for Goldfarb’s day:

  • Beers sampled: 97.
  • BONUS! Whiskies sampled: 7.
  • BONUS! Rums sampled: 3.
  • Miles driven: 93.1.
  • Steps walked: 3,617.
  • Hours spent drinking: 14.
  • How did Goldfarb feel after finishing his odyssey? “I’m surprisingly not too drunk, not even too tired. I’m just really [expletive deleted] sick of beer. It feels like I will never get the taste of beer out of my mouth.”

    Wet Hop Beer Year-Round?

    Last fall, one of the local breweries released a fresh-hop ale. I had several growlers, and pronounced it the best beer the brewery has made in its ten-year history. Now I learned that fresh-hop ale might become available year-round.

    Ken Grossman, the founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, has dealt directly with hops farmers in Washington State. One of the farmers also grows mint, and he built a device that extracts oil from the mint leaves. Grossman asked the farmer whether that device works for hops oil as will. It does.

    Grossman asked the farmer friend to build him a similar device, and now he has a supply of fresh hops oil. That’s the good news.

    The better news is Sierra Nevada has made a new beer, Hop Hunter IPA, with the fresh hops oil. Aaron Goldfarb of Esquire magazine, who got to review the beer, gave it a rave review: “Like most wet hop beers, Hop Hunter is extraordinarily floral and aromatic, like sticking your nose into a freshly-picked plant or flower bouquet. It’s not really bitter-tasting either, certainly not as bitter as your typical IPAs.”

    Hop Hunter will be released on February 1. Mark your calendar.

    The Friday Mash (Czech Republic Edition)

    On this day in 1918, Czechoslovakia came into existence. Since 1993, after the “Velvet Divorce” from Slovakia, the country is known as the Czech Republic. Different name, but the same great beer.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in New Jersey, the only state that bars amusement games in bars. Lawmakers are considering the “Dave & Busters Bill,” which would repeal the 55-year-old law.

    Bad news for microbreweries: beer drinkers in their 20s are gravitating toward craft beer. The number one reason is that this age group is bored with the taste of mass-market brews.

    They’ve risen from the dead. Schlitz, Narragansett, and four other “zombie” beers are back from “Pabst purgatory”. Interestingly, three of the six are from Greater Cincinnati.

    Not everybody loves session beer. Esquire magazine’s Aaron Goldfarb thinks the idea is dumb. He insists there’s a reason why you don’t see session bourbon or session wine in stores.

    Skol’s new Beats Senses beer comes in a deep-blue-colored bottle, and a Brazilian agency decided the best way to advertise it was to film a commercial underwater–which wasn’t easy.

    Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas features the first-ever sea-going gastropub. It will serve a variety of American craft beers, which are still hard to find aboard cruise ships.

    Finally, Joe Maddon impressed sportswriters at his first press conference as the Chicago Cubs’ new manager. He held it the The CubbyBear, a ballpark bar, and treated the writers to a shot and a beer.

    The Friday Mash (Ludwig Returns! Edition)

    Early this morning, Ludwig pulled out his lion phone and texted us. He said he’s on a plane home, and expects us to meet him at the airport. While waiting for his plane, we got caught up on news from the beer world.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Detroit, where Shawn and Aaron Gross will open Windmill Pointe Brewery next year. They’ll rely on bicyclists to provide the power in exchange for beer.

    Paperwork is a pain, so the Minneapolis-based Colle + McVoy ad agency gives employees an incentive to turn in their time sheets—in the form of a pint of August Schell beer.

    Your friends probably believe at least one of the ten persistent beer myths (myth #1 involves IPA’s origins). Jim Vorel of Paste magazine is here to debunk them.

    The Force had better be with New York State’s Empire Brewery. Lucasfilm filed a “Notice of Opposition” to the brewery’s application to trademark “Strikes Bock by Empire.”

    British public-health experts want alcoholic beverage labels to disclose the drink’s caloric content. They contend that heavy drinking is a major cause of obesity.

    Mystery shopper Kyle Taylor says he earned $4,000 a month as a “beer auditor.” His job was to make sure retailers follow ID-checking procedures. And yes, he was over 21.

    Finally, Esquire magazine’s Aaron Goldfarb reflects on the “dad beer” phenomenon. Brands such as Schaefer and Genesee Cream Ale are enjoying a revival thanks to drinkers toasting their fathers and grandfathers.

    The Lingering Effects of Prohibition

    It’s been 80 years since the 21st Amendment ended Prohibition and left most liquor regulation up to the states. That’s the good news. The bad news is that many states still have strange laws that govern alcoholic beverages. Author Aaron Goldfarb, writing in Esquire magazine, offers his top ten remnants of Prohibition. You’re undoubtedly familiar with some of them, such Sunday blue laws; dry counties; and ABV caps, which still exist in a few states.

    Others are downright weird, such as Pennsylvania’s “case law” (you must buy at least 24 beers at a time), Indiana’s ban on cold beer sales, and bans on Election Day sales in a few states whose politics might drive one to drink. And with Christmas coming up, you should know that in Washington, D.C., it’s illegal to use Santa Claus to promote alcohol.

    Educating Your Friends

    If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, there’s a good chance you’re frustrated because your friends haven’t developed the same appreciation for beer that you have. Aaron Goldfarb, writing for Esquire is here to help with tips on throwing a craft beer party.

    Goldfarb starts with common-sense pointers, such as making beer non-intimidating to your friends, comparing what you drink to what they do, and teaching proper tasting lingo (because, after all, “being an accomplished beer geek is mostly about lexiconical one-upmanship”). Goldfarb throws in these final words of advice:

    Quit trying to influence these normal people into adopting your Trekkian hobbies. Remember, most people go to parties to dance, chat up girls, and recklessly pour alcohol into their faces. Not to sit around with a bunch of bearded fat guys carefully checking in arcane beers on Untappd.

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