The Friday Mash (Cleveland Rocks Edition)

Two hundred and twenty years ago today, surveyors of the Connecticut Land Company named an area in Ohio “Cleveland” after General Moses Cleaveland, the superintendent of the surveying party. The city’s first “a” later vanished when a newspaper publisher couldn’t fit it on the masthead.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in space, the final frontier. Shmaltz Brewing is celebrating Star Trek’s 50th anniversary with two “collector’s edition” Golden Anniversary beers:”The Trouble With Tribbles” and “Voyage to the Northeast Quadrant”.

“Foraging”—combing local fields and forests for ingredients—is a foodie trend that breweries are just starting to join. VinePair’s Kathleen Wilcox profiles two of them and the people who own them.

Here’s one SEC title the Alabama Crimson Tide won’t be winning: best craft beer city in the conference. The honor belongs to Athens, Georgia, the home of the Bulldogs.

The Beer Institute, whose member companies control 80 percent of the American market, has agreed to put nutritional information—including calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat—on beer labels.

It wasn’t exactly Smokey and the Bandit, but a beer distributor picked up his first allotment of Deschutes beer in Bend, Oregon, and drove it cross-country to Salem, Virginia.

Africa is a challenging market for breweries. They’ve responded by stepping up production of beer using local ingredients and rolling out low-cost alternatives to their flagship brands.

Finally, a London-based company is the first to brew beer using artificial intelligence. It uses an algorithm called Automated Brewing Intelligence to collect customer feedback via a Facebook Messenger bot, then uses the feedback to improve the recipes of its beer.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Increase in imported beer sales, by volume, in the U.S. in 2015: 9.9 percent. Mexican brands were largely responsible for the increase.
  • Increase in Mexican-brewed beer sales, by volume, in the U.S. in 2015: 14.2 percent.
  • Years since the founding of the Campaign for Real Ale: 45.
  • CAMRA membership in May 2016: 179,118.
  • World-wide compound average growth rate for the beer industry between 2008 and 2014: 1.8 percent.
  • Compound average growth rate for Africa’s beer industry between 2008 and 2014: 6.4 percent.
  • Compound average growth rate for Asia’s beer industry between 2008 and 2014: 4 percent.
  • U.S. Brewery openings in 2015: 620.
  • U.S. Brewery closings in 2015: 68.
  • Washington State’s current brewery count: 307.
  • Microbreweries’ share of Washington State’s brewery count: 71.7 percent (220 in all).
  • Industry-wide average price of a case of beer $22.50.
  • Average price of a case of Heineken beer $28.50.
  • Length of Heineken’s contract with Formula 1 racing: 5 years.
  • Estimated amount Heineken will pay F1: £100 million ($145 million
  • Beer…By the Numbers

  • American movie theaters that serve beer: 200 to 400.
  • Percentage of American movie theaters that serve beer: 3.5 to 7.
  • China’s Snow beer’s share of the world-wide beer market: 5.4 percent.
  • Snow’s world-wide rank in market share: 1st.
  • Number of Chinese breweries in the world-wide Top 10: 4.
  • China’s beer production in 2014: 41.6 million barrels.
  • Decline in production from 2013 to 2014: 2.8 percent.
  • Africa’s beer industry’s compound average growth rate since 2008: 6.6 percent.
  • Asia’s beer industry’s compound average growth rate since 2008: 5.9 percent.
  • Tennessee’s highest-in-the-nation beer tax: $1.29 per gallon ($40 per barrel).
  • Other states with a beer tax higher than $1 per gallon: 3 (Alabama, Alaska, Georgia).
  • Brewery openings in 2014: 615.
  • Brewery closings in 2014: 46.
  • Events at this year’s Albuquerque Beer Week: 170, over an 11-day period.
  • Venues participating in Albuquerque Beer Week: 55.
  • Breweries Invest In African Farmland

    Giant breweries such as SABMiller and Diageo PLC have invested heavily in African farmland as part of their effort to use more locally-sourced material—such as sorghum, cassava, and yams—in their beer. The good news is that the breweries are guaranteeing small farmers a guaranteed market for their crops, and that beer made from local crops is as much as 40 percent cheaper.

    However, not all the news is good. With farmers growing more sorghum, they’re growing less food crops. Shrinking food supplies, in turn, mean higher prices, putting staples out of the reach of many families’ budgets.

    The Friday Mash (Treasure State Edition)

    On this day in 1889, Montana was admitted to the Union as the 41st state. Montana, with 36 craft breweries and a population of just over one million, ranks third in number of breweries per capita, behind only Vermont and Oregon. No wonder its nickname is the “Treasure State.”

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in San Francisco, where a company called ReGrained is using spent grain from beer brewing to make granola bars. The bars also contain Ghirardelli chocolate and other local ingredients.

    Bottle-share parties have gotten much more sophisticated over the years. Portland, Oregon, writer Lucy Burningham sampled rare beer and gourmet food at a high-end gathering in her hometown.

    Why are holiday beers already on the shelves? Because early rollouts work. Sales of seasonal beers have risen by 15 percent or more in the past few years.

    Cassava is the second most-consumed source of carbohydrates in sub-Saharan Africa. Multi-national breweries are buying the crop from farmers and using it to brew beer.

    Japanese baseball players have their version of America’s post-game Champagne celebration: a victory beer fight in which players spray one another. The tradition dates back to 1959.

    Craft beer might be the next big tourist attraction in the Tampa Bay area. Four micros have recently opened in St. Petersburg alone, and Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company has a nation-wide following.

    Finally, it has been a year since Hurricane Sandy heavily damaged the Jersey Shore. Flying Fish Brewing Company’s “F.U. Sandy” beer has generated $75,000 in donations to a number of New Jersey charities.

    “Drinking Locally” in Africa

    In Africa, people have been brewing beer for millennia, using native plants such as bananas, cassava, and sorghum. These aren’t conventional ingredients anymore but, as Carolyn Whelan of Fortune magazine explains, multi-national brewing companies are offering locally-sourced beers made with traditional ingredients. It’s part of an effort to tap into Africa’s potentially huge market for beer.

    SABMiller is building microbreweries that rely on micro supply chains to get sorghum from farmers in Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia. Whelan points out that sourcing local ingredients is good business: it not only cuts supply chain price volatility, but also reduces logistics, inventory and import duty costs. The result is a product 20 percent cheaper than beer made with barley. And, perhaps, a product that will pay dividends: SABMiller hopes the farmers will spend some of their new-found wealth on its beer.

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