Fifty-five years ago today, the Century 21 Exhibition aka the Seattle World’s Fair opened. It was the first World’s Fair in America since World War II. Surviving structures from the fair include The Space Needle, the Seattle Monrail, and Seattle Center.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Boston, where Daradee Murphy unveiled a novel strategy for tackling the Boston Marathon’s infamous “Heartbreak Hill”: beer instead of water as her hydration drink of choice.
Once a hot trend, black IPA lost its mojo last year. However, Bryan Roth of All About Beer magazine says that the style is down but not out: several breweries are rolling out new versions.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has announced the dates and cities for Beer Camp on Tour 2017. This year Beer Camp collaborative series will feature six domestic and six overseas craft breweries.
Five years ago, a startling archaeological discovery in modern-day Turkey provided evidence that it was beer, not agriculture, that led human beings to abandon their hunter-gatherer ways and begin living in communities.
Vijay Mallya, India’s “King of Good Times”, is under arrest in England. Mallya, who inherited United Breweries of Kingfisher beer fame, faces fraud and money-laundering charges in his home country.
The former head of a global recruitment firm says it’s time to get rid of the “beer test” for new hires: it leads to poor hiring decisions, discriminates against non-drinkers, and makes the workplace less diverse.
Finally, women’s advocacy group FemCollective is sponsoring an all-female beer festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. FemAle will highlight female beer experts and brewers from across the country, and men as well as women are welcome to attend.
Last Thursday, Bo McMillan wrote a column in All About Beer magazine which featured “presidential beers” that have been revived by modern-day breweries. Perhaps the best-known beers are Yards Brewing Company’s “Ales of the Revolution”. Production began in 1999, after Philadelphia’s City Tavern asked Yards to brew a series of authentic colonial-era beers. Yards not only used the same ingredients as the colonials did, but also brewed the beers using bricked-in kettles and open flame. Ales of the Revolution are available at City Tavern, and at select stores in the Philadelphia area.
Starr Hill Brewing Company, located 30 miles from Monticello, is brewing an ale inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s notes on brewing. Jefferson used hops and grain grown at Monticello to brew his beer; and because barley was scarce, he used corn instead. Monticello Reserve Ale is the historical site’s official beer.
Robbie O’Cain, Starr Hill’s brewer, is working on an even more authentic version of what was served at Monticello when Jefferson lived there. Brewers of that time didn’t understand the fermentation process, and the original Monticello beer was likely a Virginia wild ale brewed from resident microflora.
The Reinheitsgebot, aka Germany’s beer purity law, turns 500 in April. The law is familiar to beer lovers but, according to Joe Stange of All About Beer magazine, is widely misunderstood. To begin with, it wasn’t the first German law that regulated ingredients. It wasn’t called a “purity law” until 100 years ago, and it was more concerned with keeping beer and bread affordable—and curbing brewers’ use of wheat, which bakers needed—than with keeping beer pure. It didn’t apply across Germany until 1906; and when it did, the law killed many regional beer styles. And the law has been tweaked since 1516.
All that said, the law remains on the books, and is known in English as “The Provisional Beer Law”. Even though it no longer bans the importation of non-Reinheitsgebot beer, thanks to various free-trade laws and treaties, a German brewery still can’t market non-compliant products as “beer”.
On a recent trip to a Munich beer bar, Stange deliberately ordered a non-compliant beer, a milk stout brewed by the bar’s parent company, a brewery called Camba Bavaria. The barman explained to Stange that it wasn’t available due to “legal troubles with the Reinheitsgebot”.
Stange contacted the brewery for an explanation of the “legal troubles”, which began with the milk stout. According to the brewery: “officials told them (1) they can’t call it beer, since it has lactose (milk sugar); (2) they can’t call it ‘milk’ anything since there is no milk in it; (3) they can’t call it Klim Touts [‘milk stout’ spelled backwards] either, by the way, because don’t be cheeky; and oh (4) you’ll have to go ahead and pay taxes on it as if it were beer, even though we say it’s not beer, because ‘milk stout’ is clearly an established international beer style, even though you can’t call it that.”
Have you ever seen a bearded guy dressed as monk at a beer festival? Chances are, his name is Woody Chandler, a noted beer and whisky writer.
The folks at All About Beer magazine persuaded Chandler to write the Ten Commandments for Drinking at a Bar. We suspect Chandler didn’t require much persuasion, as he loves to write (often in Biblical verse) and says he’s “routinely nonplussed by the lack of bar etiquette demonstrated by modern imbibers.”
The commandments include the obvious (don’t talk politics in a loud voice, and don’t get into fights); what should be obvious (don’t wave your hands to get the bartender’s attention); and what you might unwittingly violate after a few drinks (keep your hands on your side of the bar, don’t tear bar mats into confetti).
Chandler also advises you to learn bar lingo, including these three terms: flagged, which means you’ve been cut off and asked to finish up and leave; 86’d, which means you’ve been flagged and failed to leave soon enough; and blackballed, which means you’ve done something so egregious that you’re never allowed back under penalty of trespass. Needless to say, you should avoid these at all cost.
In an All About Beer article titled “The Most Influential Brewery You Probably Never Heard Of”, Jeff Alworth introduced his readers to a French brewer named Daniel Thiriez, who has been making farmhouse ales since 1996 at his brewery in Esquelbecq, France. Alworth credits Thiriez’s version of saison as the inspiration for those brewed in America.
First, however, Alworth discusses Dupont, which he says is to saison what Pilsner Urquell is to pilsner. Dupont, which was instrumental in reviving the style, made its version with “a finicky strain of yeast” that most other brewers don’t want to deal with. The beer has “a stiff mineral profile, strange esters, herbal hops, explosive effervescence and a desert-dry finish.”
Even if they could replicate Dupont–a fiendishly difficult job–American brewers wanted something different. They preferred versions with less assertive, more familiar esters. That is the kind of beer Thiriez makes. The yeast he settled on is Wyeast 3711, the “French Saison” strain. It’s a strain well known to American brewers, who began using it in their saisons.
Eighty years ago today, the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary was launched. She was retired in 1967, after taking well-heeled passengers across the North Atlantic, and is now a hotel and a tourist attraction in Long Beach, California.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Bavaria, where the Munich 1860 football team is selling Oktoberfest-themed uniforms complete with lederhosen and Bavarian blue-and-white gingham shirts.
C. Dean Metropolous sold Pabst Blue Ribbon and other “nostalgia” brands to Oasis Beverages, a Russian-based brewer and distributor. Metropolous reportedly got $700 million for the brands.
Crikey! After being attacked by a crocodile, a hunter in Australia’s Northern Territory drank beer to deaden the pain while he waited for an ambulance to take him to the hospital.
Growlerwerks LLC is developing uKeg, a pressurized growler that should eliminate flat beer from growlers. The pressure comes from carbon dioxide cartridges, which cost about $1 apiece.
Louisiana senator Mary Landrieu, who’s facing a tough fight for reelection, helped a fan do a keg stand while tailgating at last weekend’s Mississippi State-LSU football game.
All About Beer magazine has a new owner. Daniel Bradford has sold the 35-year-old publication to a newly-formed corporation, All About Beer LLC, headed by Christopher Rice.
Finally, New Holland Brewing Company is celebrating Carhartt, Inc.’s 125th anniversary with a new beer called Woodsman and a “The Road Home to Craftsmanship” tour which will wind up at the Great American Beer Festival.
Earlier this month Will Hawkes, an award-winning British beer journalist, wrote about an American invasion of Britain in All About Beer magazine. These Yankees don’t carry weapons (unless boots and tap handles count), but they are taking on British institutions, including big breweries’ control of pubs and even the Campaign for Real Ale’s insistence that beer be served from casks rather than kegs.
One of the “invaders” is Ryan Witter-Merithew, who brews at Siren in Finchampstead. He isn’t the only one. Hawkes continues, “If there’s nothing from Siren, there’ll be a beer from Moor, the Somerset brewery where Californian Justin Hawke holds sway, or Lovibond’s, the Henley brewery run by Wisconsin’s Jeff Rosenmeier. Then there might be something from Wild Beer Co., the West-Country stronghold of another Californian, the aptly-named Brett Ellis.” All have interesting stories to tell.
Today is the 800th anniversary of the granting of a royal charter to the University of Oxford. Alumni include 26 British Prime Ministers, including current PM David Cameron; many foreign heads of state, including President Bill Clinton, a Rhodes Scholar; and 27 Nobel laureates.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Kalamazoo where, for $19, you can take part in a craft beer walking tour. Participants will meet brewery staff; learn about the city’s brewing history; and, of course, sample some beer.
Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors will post their beers’ ingredients online. This comes after a blogger called “the Food Babe” claimed that some beers contained high-fructose corn syrup and other additives.
Brian Dunn, the founder of Great Divide Brewing Company, sat down with Eater magazine and talked about his 20 years in Denver, what urban brewing is like, and the whereabouts of the Yeti.
Move over, bacon beer. The latest food-in-your-beer trend is peanut butter and jelly. Florida’s Funky Buddha Brewery offers a PB&J beer called “No Crusts.”
Purists think beer has no place in a yogic lifestyle, but yoga classes are popping up in breweries. Post-practice beer makes made yoga more social, and persuades men to take it up.
When you travel abroad, what do you get when you ask for “one beer, please”? Not only will the brand and style depend on the country you’re in, but so will the size of your serving.
Finally, any in the beer community maintain that brewing is an art form. Don Tse, writing in All About Beer magazine, agrees. His article explores the close relationship between fine beer and fine art.
After 43 years of making beer, the Anchor Brewing Company is finally brewing an IPA. That statement might not make sense, but John Holl, writing in All About Beer magazine, sets the record straight: “the golden amber cascade hop-forward ale first introduced in 1975 has won gold medals in the IPA category in beer contests, but the bottle doesn’t say IPA and it’s not always referred to the style when discussed in the brewery.”
Keith Greggor and Tony Foglio, who bought the brewery from Fritz Maytag in 2010, decided to launch Anchor IPA as part of its effort to keep up with the times. The task of brewing the new ale was given to veteran brewmaster Mark Carpenter, who told Holl, “I wanted a beer that I would like to drink.” The beer would not be as heavily hopped as San Diego-style IPAs, and uses non-traditional hop varieties—including an experimental hop that imparts a fresh peach flavor—along with established varieties.
As the number of craft breweries has grown, so has the number of trademark disputes. Some of them have gotten nasty. But according to the experts, many of these disputes are avoidable.
Andy Crouch of All About Beer magazine spoke to attorneys who do trademark work for breweries. Topping their list of advice: protect the mark by registering it with the federal government. Even though a brewery acquires limited trademark protection by putting its product on the market, failure to register invites rival breweries to register first, and leads to disputes over the where the brewery’s territory ends. Before bringing its beer to market, the brewery should also do its homework, paying particular attention to whether similar marks are already registered. It should also invest the time and come up with distinctive marks that are easy to defend–though that job is getting harder as the number of breweries grows.
“Use it or lose it” is a basic principle of trademark law. This means a brewery can’t sit idly by when a competitor brings out a beer with a similar name or appearance. But how should a brewery deal with such a situation? A polite letter to the competitor often solve the problem, since most infringers are unaware that someone else has a better claim. However, some disputes can’t be resolved amicably. In those cases, the worst thing the combatants can do is litigate their case in the social media. All that does is make one side appear whiny and the other look like a villain, and makes both sides look petty to boot.