Barack Obama

The Friday Mash (B&O Railroad Edition)

On this day in 1827, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was incorporated. Can you name the other railroads on the Monopoly board? Time’s up. They’re the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Reading Railroad, and the Short Line.

All aboard!

We begin in Brazil, where the Polar brewery has an invention that will make it easier to converse in bars. It’s a beer cooler that cuts out GSM, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G, and 4G signals.

California’s drought could make your Lagunitas IPA will taste different. The Russian River, which provides Lagunitas with its water, is drying up, and brewery might have to find another source.

Beer was the headline ingredient in last Sunday’s “Chopped” competition on the Food Network. The show, with Stone Brewing Company’s Greg Koch as a judge, airs again on Sunday evening.

Higher zymurgical education awaits in the form of Joshua Bernstein’s new book, The Complete Beer Course. It contains a series of “classes” devoted to families of beers.

On Tuesday, when he was in Chicago to announce the award of a federal manufacturing grant, President Obama put in a plug for Goose Island Brewing Company’s “superior beer.”

A Korean romantic comedy in which the female lead makes chimek to celebrate winter’s first snow has Chinese viewers clamoring for the dish, which is Korean for “fried chicken” and “beer.”

Finally, a gathering of 490 Yelp members at Santa Anita Race Track might set a new Guinness record for beer tasters. We hope they bet on Ambitious Brew, who won the $100,000 Sensational Star stakes race.

Best and Worst Beer Presidents

Shortly before the 2008 election (more about that in a moment), beer writer Rick Lyke wrote a column about the best and worst beer presidents. The folks at All About Beer, where the column originally appeared, tweeted it earlier today in honor of Presidents Day.

Heading the “Best Beer Presidents” list is Franklin D. Roosevelt, who campaigned against Prohibition. He’s joined by Jimmy Carter, who signed a bill legalizing homebrewing; James Madison, who promoted beer as a healthier alternative to hard liquor; and George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, both of whom brewed their own. Barack Obama, who won the 2008 election, revived the tradition of homebrewing in the White House.

Warren G. Harding, who supported Prohibition but flouted the law in private, tops the “Worst Beer Presidents” list. Others on the list include Rutherford B. Hayes, whose wife, “Lemonade Lucy” Hayes, banished alcohol from the White House; George H.W. Bush, who doubled the excise tax on beer; Woodrow Wilson, who was against Prohibition but failed to stop it; and Abraham Lincoln, who signed legislation creating the federal beer tax to raise revenue during the Civil War.

The Friday Mash (Five and Dime Edition)

On this day in 1879, Frank Woolworth opens the first of many Woolworth stores in In Utica, New York. He unwittingly inspired the Marx Brothers’ routine in which Rufus T. Firefly suggested that Chicolini be given “ten years in Leavenworth, or 11 years in Twelveworth”; and Chicolini responded, “I’ll take five and ten in Woolworth.”

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Florida, where a 45-year-old law, passed as part of a turf war among big brewers, has the unintended effect of banning the sale of growlers. Lawmakers are trying to fix that.

FirstWeFeast.com has compiled a list of 12 celebrities who ought to be spokespersons for craft beer. They include Kat Dennings, the cast of How I Met Your Mother, and, of course, President Barack Obama.

You can buy a beer at many college basketball arenas, including seven of the 20 largest. Beer sales can bring in money through concession revenues, added ticket sales, or both.

Beer and video games have always gone together, but an arcade fighting game called Beercade goes one step farther. It rewards the winning combatant with a cup of beer.

To celebrate their city’s Beer Week, the San Francisco Brewers Guild has rolled out “Green Death”, a malt liquor inspired by the 50s-60s version of Rainier Ale. Paper bag not included.

Don’t expect Anheuser-Busch to advertise this anytime soon. According to a nationwide survey, beer is the favorite beverage of underage drinkers and Budweiser is their favorite brand.

Finally, if you have a ticket to tomorrow’s Winter Beer Festival in Grand Rapids, John Serba of MLive.com has some friendly advice: dress warmly for 33-degree temperatures and snow flurries.

The Friday Mash (No Smoking Edition)

On this day in 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry released the landmark report Smoking and Health, which linked tobacco use to lung cancer and other health problems. The report led to anti-smoking efforts around the world, which probably include a ban on lighting up at your friendly local.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Bend, Oregon, where Daniel Keeton loves his dog Lola Jane so much that he brewed a beer for her. Dawg Grog is a nonalcoholic brew made with spent grains and vegetable broth.

If you haven’t disposed of your Christmas tree yet, you might want to use it to brew spruce beer. The beverage was enjoyed by the Vikings, and used by the Royal Navy to treat scurvy.

Remember that bottle of White House Honey Porter President Obama gave a coffee shop patron last fall? It fetched $1,200 at a charity auction. The winning bidders shared the brew on stage while the University of Minnesota band played “Hail to the Chief.”

It takes balls–literally–to make this beer. Denver’s Wynkoop Brewing Company has released Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, which is brewed with bull testicles. Fittingly, it’s available in two-packs.

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of 11,000-year-old beer brewing troughs at a cultic feasting site in Turkey. Some believe that prehistoric beer busts brought groups of people together and fueled the rise of civilization.

In 1880, Mark Twain visited the University of Heidelberg. Twain witnessed no duels, but did observe the student princes’ competition for the title of Beer King. (Hat tip: bloggers Boak and Bailey).

Finally, Boston Beer Company has resurrected New Albion Ale. The beer, which was made by craft-brewing pioneer Jack McAuliffe from 1976 to 1983, will be distributed nationwide. Proceeds will go to the now-retired McAuliffe.

The Friday Mash (Thriller Edition)

Thirty years ago today, Epic Records released Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the biggest-selling album in history. It was a pioneer in using music videos as a promotional tool, and seven singles from the album reached Billboard’s top ten. If you’re thinking, “hey, wrong Michael Jackson!”, you’re our kind of blog reader.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine district, where Christian Moerlein beer will be brewed in a 19th-century brewery building. Before Prohibition, Christian Moerlein was Ohio’s largest-selling brand.

Ry Beville’s love of craft beer has developed into an occupation. Beville, a native of Virginia, publishes Japan’s only bilingual craft beer magazine, the Japan Beer Times.

John Hall is stepping down as CEO of Goose Island Beer Company, along with COO and founding member Tony Bowker. The Chicago-based brewery will continue to brew Goose Island’s “Vintage Series.”

Deb Carey, the president of New Glarus Brewing Company, was invited to the White House to discuss small business-related issues. She traded beer with the president: two bottles of her Serendipity ale for three bottles of White House Honey Ale.

Can you get a couple of sixers in Iraq? Yes, provided you find a shopkeeper who sells it “under the counter”…and leave the store before attracting attention.

Rogue Ales is rolling out a “novel” beer: White Whale Ale, made with a few pages from a copy of Moby Dick. The beer, an IPA, honors Portland, Oregon, bookseller Michael Powell.

Finally, tomorrow is Zwanze Day. Thirty-six select locations around the world–16 in the U.S.–will be pouring Cantillon Zwanze, a rhubarb lambic.

Red States, Brew States

The one and only Joe Sixpack (real name: Don Russell) has come up with an interesting analysis of the upcoming presidential election. For each of the states he computed the number of breweries per square mile. In 2008, Obama carried 24 of the 25 states with the highest brewery density. His opponent, John McCain, carried 21 of the 25 states with the lowest brewery density.

This year, most of “battleground states” are in the top 25, which bodes well for the president’s re-election chances. It also explains why he has focused so much on beer drinkers on the campaign trail.

The Friday Mash (HP Edition)

A hundred years ago today, David Packard, the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, was born. In 1938 Packard and William Hewlett went into business together. They established their company in a garage, with an initial investment of $538. Today, HP’s market capitalization is more than $33 billion.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Rochester, New York, where the Genesee Brewery will hold a grand opening ceremony tomorrow for its new brewhouse and pub. There will be a free concert, brewery tours, and tastings.

The latest in Stackpole Books’ Breweries series is Massachusetts Breweries, by John Holl and April Darcy. Gary Dzen of Boston.com reviews the book.

British scientists have found that the shape of your beer glass may determine how fast you drink. Subjects with curved glasses took a third less time to finish their beer than those with straight glasses.

Players on Spain’s national soccer team, which won their second straight European championship this summer, were given their weight in beer by the Cruzcampo brewery, a team sponsor.

Obama’s homebrew honey ale recipes got good reviews overall, but Stan Hieronymus at Appellation Beer has question for the president: why aren’t you using American-grown hops?

Cold War-era scientists prepared a paper titled “The Effect of Nuclear Explosions on Commercially Packaged Beverages.” They concluded that canned beer stood up quite well to a nuclear bomb blast.

Finally, it’s Week 1 of the National Football League season. Evan Benn and Sean Z. Paxton of Esquire magazine suggest a craft beer pairing for all 32 NFL teams. And Ludwig reminds us that the Detroit Lions are still undefeated in regular-season play.

Here They Are: The White House Ale Recipes

Earlier today, White House Assistant Chef Sam Kass released the recipe for White House Honey Ale and Honey Porter. Kass wrote, “With public excitement about White House beer fermenting such a buzz, we decided we better hop right to it.”

The same blog post also contained a video that provides a behind-the-scenes look at homebrewing in the White House:

Homebrewers Petition Their Government

Ludwig prefers to keep politics off his blog, but this story was too good to pass up. On the White House’s website, “John L” of Washington, D.C., has started a petition calling on President Obama to release the recipe for his home-brewed honey ale. If the petition attracts 25,000 signatures by September 17, the White House will deliver an official response–perhaps in the form of the presidential recipe.

Update. Someone has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the recipe.

Beer on CBS’s “Early Show”

Beer grabbed the attention of CBS’s “Early Show,” which featured White House Honey Ale, the first beer brewed by an American president, along with a sampling of German beers just in time for Oktoberfest:

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