Ludwig is on Christmas break, and won’t be back until January 4. In the meantime, Maryanne and Paul are filling in for him.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Richmond, Virginia, where it’s been a banner year for craft beer. Four new breweries and a meadery have opened their doors; and Stone Brewing Company will start up next spring.
Anheuser-Busch is giving Bud Light cans a makeover. Alissa Walker of Gizmodo.com says the can’s new design signals an end to the brand’s frat-boyish “Whatever” campaign.
Responding to a new Indonesian law banning beer sales in convenience stores, Diageo is brewing a non-alcoholic version of Guinness to be sold in that country. It’s called “Guinness Zero.”
More than 30 Arizona breweries are collaborating on an all-female-brewed beer. It’s a red IPA, and proceeds from its sale will go to Go Red for Women, an American Heart Association charity.
Despite Zimbabwe’s economic collapse, people are finding solace in beer. Observers say that bars in the capital city, Harare, are packed with holiday revelers.
Manhattan resident Leif Nelson has sued Miller Brewing Company for falsely representing that Foster’s is brewed in Australia. Brewing operations were moved to Texas in 2011.
Finally, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania found that people drink more on days when they exercise more. Perhaps they’re drinking to extend the “buzz” that physical activity brings.
On this day in 1271, Kublai Khan of “stately pleasure dome” fame renamed his empire “Yuan,” officially marking the start of the Yuan dynasty of Mongolia and China. The yuan is modern-day China’s monetary unit.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Japan, where a local firm has teamed up with an Amsterdam-based renewables company to develop eco-friendly plastic beer bottles. They’re made from plant sugar rather than fossil fuels.
As competition grows more fierce, breweries are hiring artists, graphic designers, and even branding firms to create packaging that wins shelf space and attracts customers.
“Beer before whiskey” is risky, but not for the reasons you think. People drink faster as intake increases, whatever the beverage; and whiskey’s higher alcohol content compounds the effects.
Last weekend, Vancouver’s Storm Brewing unleashed its Glacial Mammoth Extinction beer. It’s Canada’s first beer above 25 percent ABV, and it isn’t cheap: a bottle will set you back C$1,000 ($730 U.S.).
Craft brewing’s success has created a problem: a shortage of cans, especially the 16-ounce cans that many crafts prefer to distinguish their product from national-brand beer.
Debrett’s, a British etiquette authority since 1769, has published a guide to proper beer-drinking. Among other topics, it covers proper pouring and tasting and how to behave decorously at the pub.
Finally, James Grugeon of Brisbane, Australia, is crowd-funding a brewery with a social purpose. Half the profits of his Good Beer Company will be donated to a conservation society trying to save the endangered Great Barrier Reef.
Sixty years ago today, Walt Disney unveiled his theme park, Disneyland, on national television. The “Magic Kingdom” has attracted more than 650 million guests—more than any other amusement park in the world—since it opened.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Asheville, North Carolina, where the sold-out Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference is taking place at the Four Points Hotel. Ludwig couldn’t attend, but he’ll be there in spirit.
21st Century Fox, which owns The Simpsons franchise, has licensed Duff beer. For the time being, Duff will only be available in Chile, where bootleg versions of the brand have been turning up on store shelves.
Lawmakers in a number of states passed beer-friendly legislation this year. Mike Pomeranz of Yahoo! Food explains what happened in Florida, Georgia, Iowa, and West Virginia.
Oh, the agony of defeat. Australia’s cricket team was so frustrated by its 169-run defeat at the hands of England in a Test match that it refused the host country’s offer of post-match beers.
Illustrator/animator Drew Christie has created a four-minute-long history lesson titled “The United States of Beer”, in which he offers a modest proposal: a cabinet-level Secretary of Beer.
Here’s another reason to book that trip to Honolulu. Maui Brewing Company will open a brewpub in Waikiki. It will be located in the Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber.
Finally, Kathy Flanigan and Chelsey Lewis of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel take you on a beer tour of Wisconsin’s Driftless Region. It includes plenty of history, and features a visit to “The Troll Capital of the World.”
For more than 40 years, the Beer Can Regatta has been an annual event in Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory. It’s a multi-event competition involving boats that use beer cans—and only beer cans—for flotation. Needless to say, engineering skills are a plus.
The regatta has changed somewhat since the 1970s. The introduction of lighter-weight aluminum beer cans in the 1980s forced organizers to ban outboard motors, which can puncture boats. The regatta has also become more sober and family-friendly.
Participants are expected to abide by the “Ten Can-mandments,” the first of which is “get out there and have fun.” The Can-mandments also include “Thou shalt not drown” but oddly, don’t mention saltwater crocodiles, which inhabit the local waters.
On this day in 1845, the Naval School–later renamed the United States Naval Academy—opened in Annapolis, Maryland, with a class of 50 midshipman students and seven professors. Since then, the entire campus has gained recognition as a National Historic Landmark.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Australia, where a feral hog stole three six-packs of beer, got snorting drunk, and got into an altercation with a cow. The hog was seen the next morning sleeping off a nasty hangover.
It’s October, which means the pumpkin beers are flowing. If you like them, Playboy magazine has done you a favor. After tasting a slew of them, they’ve ranked America’s best pumpkin beers.
At last week’s Great American Beer Festival, the Brewers Association unveiled its beer and food pairing course. The five-unit course is free of charge, and you can download the course materials.
Watch out for yellow jackets. This is the time of the year when they feast on anything sweet—including your half-finished can of beer. Swallow one, and you’ll be in a world of hurt.
Sometimes distribution can the a bane of craft brewers. On its website, Clown Shoes Brewing tells a horror story about its relationship with its distributor in Georgia.
There’s a YouTube video of Alfred the cat, who appears to be polishing off a beer. Experts caution against serving beer to felines—unless, of course, they’re beer-drinking lions.
Finally, even though beer consumption at this year’s Oktoberfest was down 15 percent from last year’s, everyone had a good time in Munich. The Daily Mail has a photo essay of the festivities.
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.
On this day in 1982, Scott Fahlman posted the first documented emoticons, and , on the Carnegie Mellon University Bulletin Board System. So now you know who to blame.
And now….The (emoticon-free) Mash!
We begin in Israel, where Itsik Levy named his brewery “Isis” after an Egyptian goddess. Now that the Islamic State is using that name, Levy said—tongue in cheek—that he’s considering “a massive lawsuit” against it.
D’oh! Australian regulators ordered Woolworth’s to stop selling Duff beer because the brand’s association with The Simpsons made it too appealing to would-be underage drinkers.
Scientists say that the fastest way to chill beer is to pour plenty of salt into a bucket of water, then add ice, and then drop in the beer. It’ll be cold in 20 minutes or less.
For Ohio to get Stone Brewing Company’s second brewery, lawmakers will have to raise the ABV cap. Some of Stone’s ales exceed the current 12-percent cap and thus can’t be brewed in Ohio.
Britain’s Prince Harry celebrated his 30th birthday by downing a beer at the Invictus Games. He has good reason to celebrate: now that he’s 30, he inherits $17.4 million from his mother, the late Princess Diana.
The Beer Geeks are returning to this year’s Great American Beer Festival. They’re a corps of 3,000 volunteers who are trained by the Brewers Association to tell festival-goers more about the beers they’re sampling.
Finally, Beverage Grades, a Denver company that analyzes the content of beer and wine, offers a “Copy Cat” app which tells where you can find beer with similar tastes to those you like.
Two hundred and ten years ago today, the Louisiana Purchase was finalized at a ceremony in New Orleans. The U.S. paid France 50 million francs for what became all or part of 15 present-day states. The cost of all that land? Less than a Jefferson nickel per acre.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Belgium, where the Abbey of Notre Dame d’Orval can’t meet demand for Orval ale. The reason? The number of monks has fallen from 35 in the 1980s to 12 today.
Fancy a pint? The next beer you order might might be served in a tulip, a chalice, a snifter, or stemware instead of a “shaker pint”, especially if you’re having a high-gravity ale.
Oops! Lehigh University’s Chi Phi fraternity was suspended after members posted a photo of hundreds of cups of beer inside what’s supposed to be a dry frat house.
What happens when you give four Aussie guys beer and a video camera? You get beer-fueled one-upmanship that results in productive content creation for Carlton Dry.
Do you know what “foeder” is? Lauren Salazar of New Belgium Brewing Company explains how these large oak barrels need to be babied before they hold what will become Belgian-style sour beer.
Want a 22-ouncer of your favorite craft beer? In some Sacramento neighborhoods, you can’t get one because single-bottle sales are banned, regardless of the quality of the beer.
Finally, fans attending Miami Dolphins games at Sun Life Stadium can download an app which warns them when beer sales are about to end, and even directs them to a stand with shorter lines.
Today is Friday the 13th, a day dreaded by the superstitious. However, Ludwig and his staff at the Mash agree with baseball (and beer-drinking) legend Babe Ruth, who said, “I have only one superstition. I make sure to touch all the bases when I hit a home run.”
And now…the Mash!
We begin in Chicago, where Old Style beer will end its 63-year run at Wrigley Field at the end of this season. Next year, Anheuser-Busch will become the Cubs’ exclusive beer sponsor.
Shares of Boston Beer Company (ticker symbol: SAM) have appreciated by 1,000 percent in the past ten years, which means the company’s CEO, Jim Koch, is now a billionaire.
Since 1935, Wyoming’s beer tax has been two cents a gallon. State lawmakers are considering raising the tax to help fund substance-abuse programs. The nation’s median beer tax is 19 cents.
East Asian beer lovers can now buy Hello Kitty beer in six tropical fruit flavors. The brewer points out that the beer is aimed at adults who grew up with the cartoon cat, who turns 40 next year.
Good beer in Vegas? You bet! (Sorry, Ludwig couldn’t resist.) Renee LiButti of Blog.Vegas.com offers her list of the five best places in town to get a craft brew.
A feral pig in Australia had a fight with a cow after guzzling three six-packs of beer left out by campers. The pig was later found sleeping under a tree, presumably nursing a hangover.
Finally, three friends have invented the Case Coolie, a lightweight carrier that keeps a 30-pack of beer cold without ice. Just in time for football tailgating.