The Friday Mash (Viking Cruises Edition)

On this day in 888 A.D., the Vikings began a siege of Paris after the city’s ruler, Count Odo, refused the invaders’ demand for tribute. The siege was the most important event in the reign of the then-French king who has an appropriate name for this day after Thanksgiving: Charles the Fat.

And now….The Mash!

We begin on YouTube, where a sunbathing woman texted a neighbor, asking him to send over a beverage. The neighbor obliged, delivering a can of beer to her by mini-drone.

Now that Oklahoma voted to allow full-strength beer sales in stores, a Tulsa newspaper called on state lawmakers to scrap other “puritanical anachronisms” that are still on the books.

Chicago welcomed its first contract brewery, Great Central Brewing Company. Next year, it will open a taproom offering a variety of Chicago-brewed beers.

An alliance called No Patents on Seeds has called on Carlsberg to give up its three patents on mutant strains of barley. The strains provide new enzymes to develop “more distinctive”, flavor-stable beers.

Lifelong friends Collin Poseley and Eggie Foust have created Craft Beer: The Board Game. It takes five minutes to learn, and it can be played while inebriated.

The rapper Ludacris, an Atlanta native, has opened his long-awaited Chicken & Beer restaurant at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Its menu is “Southern to the core”.

Finally, Ayla Bystrom-Williams, the owner of Honeymoon Brewery, beat out 13,000 competitors and won a $200,000 Miller Lite “Tap the Future” award. She’s one of the country’s few black female brewery owners.

The Friday Mash (Wall Street Journal Edition)

On this day in 1889, the first edition of the Wall Street Journal was published. With a total of 2.4 million print and digital subscribers, the Journal is the largest newspaper in the United States by circulation.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in the Bay Area, where David Kravets of Ars Technica magazine reviews Heineken’s new “Brewlock” technology. Brewlock consists of a rubbery bladder that holds the beer inside a plastic centrifuge. Compressed air pumped into the centrifuge forces out the beer before air can mix with it.

In Ephraim, Wisconsin, beer is legal for the first time since 1853, when it was founded by Norwegian Moravians. Efforts to overturn the beer ban failed in 1934 and 1992.

The mayor of Zaragoza, Mexico, says there’s no water for consumption by its residents. He blames Constellation Brands’ brewery, which uses the water to brew Corona and brands of beer.

A Microsoft recruiter messaged a “bae intern”, inviting him or her to an Internapalooza after-party with “noms”, “dranks”, and “Yammer beer pong tables”. A company spokesperson called the message “poorly worded”.

The “world’s oldest payslip,” which dates back 5,000 years, reveals that some laborers in ancient Mesopotamia opted to be paid in beer for their work.

After Wales made it to the semifinals of the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, Budweiser celebrated the team’s success by treating every Welsh adult to a beer.

Finally, Matt Cunningham is growing hops and barley on his farm, a big step toward a beer brewed with all Ohio ingredients. Sounds perfect for Ohio State football games, where beer will be sold stadium-wide this fall.

The Friday Mash (Ponderosa Edition)

Fifty-five years ago today, the first episode of the television show Bonanza premiered on NBC. The show, which starred Lorne Greene and Michael Landon, ran for 14 seasons and 430 episodes, second only to Gunsmoke as the longest-running western of all time.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Crested Butte, Colorado, where residents are hopping mad over a clandestine deal to let Anheuser-Busch turn their ski town into a living Bud Light commercial.

John Holl asked some of his fellow beer writers, “if beer were invented today, what would it look like?” The answers may surprise you.

Heavy late-summer rains in Montana and Idaho have ruined much of the barley crop. A disappointing barley harvest could translate into higher beer prices next year.

Are you ready for some football? The folks at Thrillist are, and they’ve picked a local beer for each of the National Football League’s 32 teams.

Add chili pepper-infused beers to the list of craft brewing trends. USA Today’s Mike Snider reviews some popular chili beers, including one made with extra-potent ghost peppers.

Raise a glass to Jake Leinenkugel, who is retiring as the brewery’s CEO. According to a hometown journalist, Leinenkugel has earned a place in craft brewing history.

Finally, Marc Confessore of Staten Island showed us how not to pair food and beer. He got caught trying to sneak four cases of Heineken and 48 packages of bacon out of a grocery store.

The Friday Mash (Genuine Bell Edition)

On this day in 1876, Scottish-born inventor Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for an invention he called the telephone. Ironically, Bell considered the phone a distraction from his real work as a scientist and refused to have one in his study.

And now…a busy signal!

We begin in Philadelphia, where a beer garden will open across from the Liberty Bell. Philly has other good “hop spots,” and USA Today’s Marla Cimini will show you around.

Almost 600 types of barley seeds have been added to the Svalbard Seed Vault in Norway. This ups the chances that survivors will be able to enjoy a post-apocalyptic beer.

In India, architecture students from Bangalore and Spain used thousands of beer bottles to construct a classroom. The bottles eliminate the need for artificial light inside.

Stone Brewing Company plans to open a second brewery in the eastern U.S., and it appears that Greensboro has been found worthy as a site to brew Arrogant Bastard and other ales.

A London-based start-up company has a remedy for job stress. Desk Beer offers Friday deliveries of local craft beer–provided, of course, the boss approves.

If you plan on some beer hunting, Lindsey Grossman of Paste magazine suggests eight beer-related apps for your phone. They include a “fairly addictive” game called Micro Caps.

Finally, after being served three ales he couldn’t stand, Johnny Sharp unleashed a rant titled “Am I The Only Man in Britain Who Hates Craft Beer? You may find his writing an “acquired taste.”

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Number of breweries in the U.S. as of June 2013: 2,514.
  • Increase over a year ago: 422 (20.2 percent).
  • Increase over two years ago: 767 (43.9 percent).
  • South Korean brewers Hite and OB’s combined share of their country’s beer market: 96 percent.
  • South Korea’s beer tax: 72 percent (soon to be cut to 30 percent for small brewers).
  • Percent increase in Belgian beer exports during the last decade: 70.
  • Percent of Belgian beer production that is exported: 62.
  • Years since Boston Beer Company started brewing: 29.
  • Boston Beer Company’s production in 2012: 2.73 million barrels.
  • Beers released by Boston Beer Company in 2012: 80, including 55 released in-house.
  • Recent cost of a bushel of barley: $6.07.
  • Cost of a bushel of barley in 2010: $3.64.
  • Price range for a pound of hops: $5-$25.
  • Price range for a pound of malt: 40-80 cents.
  • Price of a case of 12-ounce empty bottles: $3.50.
  • The Friday Mash (Golden Spike Edition)

    On this day in 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah, railroad tycoon Leland Stanford drove in the Golden Spike and completed the First Transcontinental Railroad. The 1,907-mile line, built by three railroad companies, cut travel time for a coast-to-coast journey from six months to a week.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Milwaukee, where investor David Dupee is planning to launch the Craft Fund. Once the SEC gives the go-ahead, Dupee will use crowd-funding to provide capital to small breweries.

    Not only must Mets fans endure losing baseball, but New York City’s finest are issuing $25 citations to people caught drinking beer in Citi Field’s parking lots.

    How does a koozie keep beer cold? It prevents condensation from forming on the outside of the can. Condensation will raise the temperature of your beer in a hurry.

    It appears that the British government’s decision to cut the beer tax is helping the country’s pub trade. The JD Wetherspoon’s chain reported that sales increased by six percent in the past quarter.

    Brett VanderKamp, the co-founder of west Michigan’s New Holland Brewing Company, has written a book about his craft-brewing experiences. It’s titled Art in Fermented Form: A Manifesto.

    Researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia have cultivated a new type of barley which, thanks to a genetic defect, will keep beer fresher.

    Finally, the New York Post found most of 15 bars they visited poured less than 16 ounces in their “pints” of beer. That really hurts, since some NYC bars are charging $8 for a pint these days.

    Beer…By the Numbers

    Annual beer sales in the European Union: over €110 billion ($155 billion).
    Percent of European-brewed beer that is exported: 17.
    Average price of a case of beer at a supermarket $20.34.
    Annual sales of private label beer at supermarkets: $23.6 million.
    These beers’ share of the beer market: .086 percent.
    Cost of a beer at a West Virginia football game this fall: $6.
    Division I schools, besides West Virginia, that sell beer in the stands: 19.
    Germany’s per capita beer consumption last year: 102 liters per year.
    Its annual per capita beer consumption 20 years ago: 141 liters.
    Coors Light’s sales growth from 2009 to 2010: plus 1.1 percent.
    Budweiser sales growth over the same period: minus 7.3 percent.
    Projected size of this year’s Canadian barley crop: 7.7 million tons.
    Average crop over the past five years: 9 million tons.
    Unofficial maximum ABV for “session beer” in Britain: 4% (ABV).
    Unofficial maximum in the U.S.: 4.5% or 5%, depending on who you ask.

    Amber Waves of Grain

    Welcome to Barton, North Dakota, where Summit Brewing’s founder Mark Stutrud’s cousin grows some of the barley that goes into Summit Pilsner:

    The Friday Mash (Famous Detroiters Edition)

    Two famous people associated with Detroit were born on this day: heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis (born 1914 as Joseph Louis Barrow), the first African American to become a national hero; and singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder (born 1950 as Steveland Hardaway Judkins), whose many honors include an Academy Award and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Frederick, Maryland, where it’s Beer Week. And, for the first time in 100 years, a beer has been brewed there with locally-grown barley. The beer is Amber Fields Best Bitter, and is on tap at Brewer’s Alley.

    The U.S. Army is looking for a brewmaster at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. The pay is $22,000 a year and no, you don’t have to go through boot camp to get the job.

    Roger Protz, the author of a forthcoming book about Burton ale–a beer even older than Bass–has enlisted the Otley Brewery to brew a modern version of the beverage, which will be released this month.

    Would you pair beer and cookies? The owners of South Durham Confection think it’s a classic combination waiting to be discovered.

    Attention investors! If it’s liquidity you’re after, Pittsburgh’s East End Brewing Company has a deal for you. Invest $1,000 toward the brewery’s expansion and you’ll get two years worth of pre-paid beer.

    If you’ve ever wondered what beers pair best with sliders, Michael Agnew has the answer. Agnew’s a certified Cicerone, so listen up.

    Finally, from the Guinness is Good For You Department, we learn that before she goes on stage to sing, Gwyneth Paltrow calms her nerves by downing a pint of Guinness.

    Higher Zymurgical Education

    According to the Oregon Brewers Guild, the state now has 79 brewing companies that operate 110 brewing facilities. However, most of the beer they brew lacks one local ingredient: Oregon-grown barley. Students at Oregon State University are trying to change that by designing and building a malting unit that will soak, germinate, and dry batches of grain. It’s part of a larger effort to create a barley-growing market in the state.

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