The Friday Mash (World Elephant Day Edition)

Today is the sixth annual World Elephant Day, an observance created by Canadian filmmakers Patricia Sims and Michael Clark. Its purpose is to increase awareness of these animals’ urgent plight.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Beaver, Pennsylvania, where local officials want to stop a restaurant from selling beer-infused waffles. The restaurant has a license to sell beer, but some believe the waffles abuse the privilege.

Oh no! A shortage of pumpkin puree might endanger this year’s pumpkin beer releases. The culprits are unprecedented demand and drought conditions in pumpkin-growing regions.

Vice.com’s Ilkka Siren, who grew up in Finland, went home to get better acquainted with sahti, a temperamental—and much-misunterstood style—that Finns have homebrewed for centuries.

History buffs in Golden, Colorado, want to convert the Astor House hotel into a beer museum with brewing classes, tastings, food and beer pairings, and a look at Colorado brewing history.

Defying the Standells’ song “Dirty Water”, six Massachusetts and brewing beer from the banks of the River Charles. The water is treated, of course.

Craft beer is getting more expensive, for a variety of reasons: costlier raw materials, such as hops and water; higher wages; and bigger utility bills.

Finally, Alabama’s craft brewers are crying foul over a proposed regulation that would require brewers to collect the name, address, age, and phone number from anyone who buys carry-out beer. The rule is aimed at enforcing the state’s limit on purchases.

Up and Coming Beer Cities

Not long ago, you had to hop on a plane or take a road trip to find a city that’s rich in good beer. For most people in North America, that’s no longer the case: cities large and small have significantly stepped up their beer game.

Thrillist.com correspondent Meredith Heil has identified “ten untapped beer cities poised to blow up”. Four of the ten—Birmingham, Durham, Louisville/Lexington, and Memphis—are in the South, craft beer’s last frontier. Birmingham’s presence on the list is especially remarkable; it wasn’t that long ago that homebrewing was illegal in Alabama and archaic laws imposed an ABV cap on beer.

Salt Lake City is another surprise. Even though Utah eased some of its restrictions on alcohol, serving flights of beer is still a no-no and there’s a 4-percent limit on beer sold in stores. Brewers have to be creative to survive in that environment.

And we’re happy to see Toronto get a mention. It’s one of our favorite road-trip destinations, and we’ve been partial to Canadian beer ever since we cracked open our first Molson Export Ale. The city is highly walkable, and some of our best memories involve sipping pints on long summer evenings.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Vietnam’s beer production in 2015: 2.89 million barrels.
  • Increase over 2014: 4.7 percent.
  • Amount of beer exported by Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar in 2015: 765,000 barrels.
  • Increase over 2014 exports: 10.5 percent.
  • Countries to which Budweiser Budvar is exported: 73.
  • British pub count in 1982: 67,800.
  • British pub count in 2015: fewer than 54,000.
  • Alaska’s brewery count: 26, with 5 in planning.
  • Brewery openings in Alaska in 2015: 5.
  • Average price of a pint of bitter in Great Britain: £3.10 ($4.40 U.S., for a 20-ounce pint).
  • Average price of a pint of lager in Great Britain: £3.26 ($4.63 U.S.).
  • States where homebrewing is illegal: 0 (Alabama and Mississippi were the last two to legalize, in 2013).
  • States where breweries can’t sell pints on premises: 2 (Georgia and Mississippi).
  • Value of legal marijuana sold in the U.S. in 2015: $3.5 billion.
  • Value of beer sold in the U.S. in 2015: $101 billion.
  • The Friday Mash (World Anesthesia Day Edition)

    On this day in 1846, William T.G. Morton first demonstrated ether anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Each year the medical community honors this breakthrough with World Anesthesia Day. If ether “isn’t right for you”, we suggest having a beer instead.

    And now….The Mash! 

    We begin in Iowa City, where the informal University of Iowa “Beer Band” has suspended itself—at least for the time being—after townspeople complained abou X-rated song lyrics.

    Beer author John Holl interviewed Dr. Chris White, the founder of yeast provider White Labs. Topics include sour beer, brewer education, and White’s new facility in North Carolina.

    Chicago restaurateur Rick Bayless is introducing genuine Mexican-style beers. He’s opened a brewpub, and has also formed a brewing partnership with Constellation Brands .

    Years ago, graphic designer Harvey Shepherd fell in love with beer packaging. He’s turned his avocation into the recently-published Oh Beautiful Beer: The Evolution of Craft Beer and Design.

    Business consultant Chip Martella has good news and bad news for craft brewers. The dreaded industry shakeup has arrived, but a scrappy craft brewer can still succeed in this environment.

    Carla Jean Whitley of AL.com details the revival of brewing in Alabama. Now that lawmakers have eased many Prohibition-era restrictions, the state’s brewery count has risen to 28.

    Finally, declining sales of American light beer have forced breweries to rethink their advertising strategies. Their new ads will stress product quality, and will carry more woman-friendly messages.

    The Friday Mash (Captain Cook Edition)

    On this day in 1770, sea captain James Cook formally claimed eastern Australia for Great Britain, calling it “New South Wales.” Cook’s fleet carried four tons of beer, which were gone within a month of heading out.

    And now….The Mash! 

    We begin on U.S.-Canadian border, where Detroit’s Batch Brewing Company and Windsor, Ontario’s Motor Craft Ales are collaborating on Canucky Common, a Kentucky common ale.

    The beer fad of 2015 is alcoholic root beer. Products such as Not Your Dad’s Root Beer look and taste much like the soft drink, but the leading brands carry close to a 6-percent alcoholic punch.

    Blue Bell ice cream, beloved by southerners, is about to go back on the market. Carla Jean Whitley of AL.com recommends five pairings of Blue Bell and Alabama-brewed craft beer.

    South Korea’s parliament has made it easier for craft breweries to enter the market, but those breweries still struggle to comply with a host of other regulations.

    In addition to carnival rides a parade of presidential hopefuls, this year’s Iowa State Fair featured subfreezing draft beer. Air bubbles keep the liquid moving to keep the beer that cold.

    New Jersey-based Cape May Brewing is making a beer to celebrate Pope Francis’s visit to the United States this fall. It’s an India pale ale called YOPO (“You Only Pope Once”).

    Finally, the slogan “breakfast of champions” takes on a new meaning. General Mills, which trademarked it, is collaborating with Minneapolis’s Fulton Beer to create a beer called HefeWheaties.”

    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.
  • The Friday Mash (NASCAR Edition)

    Sixty-six years ago today, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing was formed in Daytona Beach, Florida. Today, NASCAR is second only to the National Football League in television ratings and has more Fortune 500 corporate sponsors than any other sport.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in western North Carolina, where the new Sierra Nevada brewery has started brewing IPA. It will start shipping to distributors this spring, and open to the public in August.

    It looks like a stout, but Morning Beer by a Sacramento roaster is actually a nitrogenated coffee. It’s alcohol-free, so you can enjoy it on your way to work.

    Think you’re the ultimate beer geek? If so, send a video to the Firestone Walker Brewing Company. The lucky winner will get four VIP tickets to the sold-out Invitational Beer Festival.

    The All-American Food Truck & Craft Beer Rally took place in Huntsville, Alabama, on Wednesday. Food trucks are showing up at more and more festivals on our calendar.

    Your purchase of Flying Dog Ales’ Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout helps fund the brewery’s effort to plant oysters in Chesapeake Bay. Flying Dog expects to plant two million this year.

    It’s almost Mardi Gras season in New Orleans. If you’re going, local writer Nora McGunnigle tells where you can find good beer in the Crescent City.

    Finally, we recently told you about beer concentrate. Now the folks at Gizmodo.com have tried it straight, and say it “bombards your taste buds with a rotting symphony of flavors not meant for consumption.”

    The Friday Mash (Cal Ripken Edition)

    On this day in 1995, Cal Ripken, Jr., of the Baltimore Orioles played in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking a 56-year-old record set by Lou Gehrig. Ripken’s streak ended at 2,632 games, a record that many fans think will stand for all time.

    And now…the Mash!

    We begin in Auburn, Alabama, where fans of the visiting Washington State Cougars drank Quixote’s Bar dry, forcing it to close four hours early. Unfortunately, WSU lost the game, 31-24.

    San Diego’s Museum of Man has an exhibit titled “BEERology”, which runs until next summer. Erin Meanley of San Diego magazine reviews it.

    People have gotten married at the Great American Beer Festival, but this year, St. Arnold Brewing Company will have a wedding chapel on the festival floor.

    Italy’s latest culinary invention is a beer that can be spread like chocolate cream. There’s no American distributor–yet–but the UK’s Selfridges will ship it to you for $51.

    For years, big breweries have argued that mergers lower prices. However, researchers have found that the 2008 merger creating MolsonCoors resulted in a short-term price spike.

    Drinking Buddies, starring Olivia Wilde, is a romantic comedy about craft brewery workers. It was shot at Revolution Brewing, and other Chicago microbrews make cameo appearances.

    FInally, Seattle Seahawks fans should rejoice. TheDailyMeal.com has ranked Century Link Stadium’s craft beer selection best in the NFL, and Yahoo! Sports ranks the Seahawks number-one.

    When Homebrewing is Outlawed…

    Meet Keith Blackwood, America’s least probable criminal. He’s a self-styled libertarian, a cigar aficionado, and “somewhat of a foodie.” He’s also an assistant prosecuting attorney in Mobile County, Alabama.

    Unfortunately, Blackwood is a admitted homebrewer who happens to live in what will soon be the last state to repeal homebrew prohibition. Even more unfortunately, Blackwood made the mistake of tweeting about it. Eventually, his homebrewing came to the attention of his boss, Ashley Rich. She told an AL.com reporter that Blackwood was “disciplined,” but wouldn’t specify what the punishment was.

    The Friday Mash (Buy Low, Sell High Edition)

    Forty-two years ago today, the NASDAQ stock exchange was founded by the National Association of Securities Dealers. Once the home of lowly over-the-counter stocks, it’s now the exchange where companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are traded.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Britain, where health officials would like the beverage industry to disclose the number of calories in their products. They hope that people will drink less to avoid getting fat.

    Add the Morrow Royal Pavilion in Henderson, Nevada, to your list of beer landmarks to visit. It’s made from recycled beer and liquor bottles–more than half a million of them.

    The latest environmentally-friendly innovation is The Crafty Carton, a paper growler that holds one quart of beer and, according to Foodbeast.com, is suitable for origami.

    Here’s a beer pairing we’ve never seen before. Dr. Greg Zeschuk, a video game industry veteran and craft beer aficionado, chooses the right beer style for the genre of game you’re playing.

    World of Beer, which serves craft beer in a tavern-like setting, could be coming to your town. The chain has 36 locations in 11 states, and company CEO Paul Avery wants to take it nationwide.

    Glyn Roberts, The Rabid Barfly, unleashes a rant about people who decide to go on the wagon during January, which is the quietest time of the year for British pubs.

    Finally, will this be the year that Alabama and Mississippi finally legalize homebrewing? They’re the only two states where it remains illegal.

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