alcohol-free beer

The Friday Mash (“John Brown’s Body” Edition)

On this day in 1859, militant abolitionist leader John Brown, who had led an unsuccessful raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia, was hanged in Charles Town. Brown is the only person in American history who was executed for committing treason against a state.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Riverside, California, where a liquor store owner set fire to a competitor’s store because the competitor was costing him business by selling cheaper beer. He faces arson and conspiracy charges.

A Wendy’s restaurant in Houston is offering beer-infused hamburgers. The burger alone costs $5.29; a combo with fries and a drink is available for $7.19.

Belgium is asking the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s to recognize its brewing and beer drinking culture as an “intangible heritage” deserving of official recognition.

Anheuser-Busch has randomly seeded 37,000 golden cans of Bud Light in multi-can packs. People who find the cans will be be entered in a drawing, with the top prize being Super Bowl tickets for life.

Thrillist.com is out with its list of the most iconic beers brewed in every state. According to the authors, the list includes both old standbys and “instant classics”.

Buffalo entrepreneur Ken Szal has run a successful pedal pub business. Once the Coast Guard signs off, he’ll offer pedal pontoon boot tours as well.

Finally, major brewers are reacting to tighter regulations and health consciousness by stepping up production of alcohol-free beer. They’re also working on improving the taste of those beers.

The Friday Mash (Smokey the Bear Edition)

On this day in 1944, Smokey the Bear made his debut. He has appeared on radio programs, in comic strips, and in cartoons. The federal government, which owns the rights to Smokey, has collected millions in royalties and used them to educate people about forest fire prevention.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, where booze is a no-no and the young and fashionable are gravitating to alcohol-free beer.

If you missed the Beer Bloggers Conference, New Orleans writer Nora McGunnigle has a full report. She was impressed by the welcome given by local brewers Sam Adams and Harpoon.

The Princeton Review has released its list of top party schools, and the University of Iowa is ranked first, followed by UC Santa Barbara, Illinois, West Virginia, and Syracuse.

The summer has been cold and wet in much of the country, but weather doesn’t fully explain light beer’s drop in popularity. A growing number of drinkers are getting tired of its taste.

Fort Collins, Colorado’s “other” major craft brewery is the Odell Brewing Company. Although it’s the nation’s 33rd-largest, and about to get much bigger, it remains a low-key operation.

The U.S. Postal Service hopes to get badly-needed revenue by shipping beer and other alcoholic beverages. First, Congress has to repeal a 1909 law making it illegal to send booze by mail.

Finally, Martyn Cornell, The Zythophile, serves up five facts about India pale ale you might not have known. Fact number one: a century and a half ago, people drank their IPA ice-cold.

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