Opening Day Snark

It’s Opening Day of baseball season, and Jay Brooks joins the festivities with a snarky beer and baseball team pairing.

A few examples:

  • Houston Astros and O’Douls. “Something technically not a baseball team deserves something technically not beer.”
  • New York Mets and Cobra. “This snake bitten franchise secretly hopes they’re drinking poison.”
  • Tampa Bay Rays and Natural Ice. “By far the best beer bang for your baseball buck.”

Unfortunately, Brooks forgot to include the old joke about the teams who can’t serve beer because they lost their opener.

The Friday Mash (Treasure State Edition)

On this day in 1889, Montana was admitted to the Union as the 41st state. Montana, with 36 craft breweries and a population of just over one million, ranks third in number of breweries per capita, behind only Vermont and Oregon. No wonder its nickname is the “Treasure State.”

And now….The Mash!

We begin in San Francisco, where a company called ReGrained is using spent grain from beer brewing to make granola bars. The bars also contain Ghirardelli chocolate and other local ingredients.

Bottle-share parties have gotten much more sophisticated over the years. Portland, Oregon, writer Lucy Burningham sampled rare beer and gourmet food at a high-end gathering in her hometown.

Why are holiday beers already on the shelves? Because early rollouts work. Sales of seasonal beers have risen by 15 percent or more in the past few years.

Cassava is the second most-consumed source of carbohydrates in sub-Saharan Africa. Multi-national breweries are buying the crop from farmers and using it to brew beer.

Japanese baseball players have their version of America’s post-game Champagne celebration: a victory beer fight in which players spray one another. The tradition dates back to 1959.

Craft beer might be the next big tourist attraction in the Tampa Bay area. Four micros have recently opened in St. Petersburg alone, and Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company has a nation-wide following.

Finally, it has been a year since Hurricane Sandy heavily damaged the Jersey Shore. Flying Fish Brewing Company’s “F.U. Sandy” beer has generated $75,000 in donations to a number of New Jersey charities.

A Video for the All-Star Break

Major League Baseball’s All Star Game will be played Tuesday night. It’s a perfect time to show this video, which was put together by Dave Burkhart, Anchor Brewing Company‘s resdient historian, about the connection between beer and baseball in San Francisco.

The Friday Mash (I’ll Take Manhattan Edition)

On this day in 1626, Peter Minuit bought the island of Manhattan from Native Americans for goods valued at 60 Dutch guilders, a sum equivalent to slightly more than $1,000 in today’s money. Today, the land alone in Manhattan has an estimated value in the tens of billions of dollars.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Milwaukee, where city authorities told the Holler House bar that the bras hanging from the ceiling were a fire hazard. In the end, common sense prevailed: the bras were allowed to stay.

We know that Darth Vader is cold-hearted, but that was a plus for artist Tom Sachs, who made the Star Wars villain into a beer fridge. Comes in black, of course.

Uh, oh. Just 16 percent of Americans approve of “hipsters.” And their favorite beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon, has gone up in price because bar owners now consider it “stylish.”

We’ve got photos from last Sunday’s Trike for Beers event in Seattle. Participants zipped down Queen Anne Hill, then downed a few at Streamline Tavern.

A chronic beer thief in suburban Cincinnati left his victims $140 in cash, along with a note of apology saying that he’d found religion and promised never to come back.

Paul has a book recommendation for beer and baseball lovers: The Summer of Beer and Whiskey, by Edward Achorn. It’s about the 1883 season, which made the game “America’s pastime.”

Finally, with summer just around the corner, Food and Wine magazine names America’s best beer gardens. Topping the list is Sheffield’s, an establishment not far from Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

The Friday Mash (Man on the Moon Edition)

Forty years ago today, Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the Moon, blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The crew members for that flight were Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt, who would later be elected to the U.S. Senate from New Mexico.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Duluth, Minnesota, where the owners of Fitger’s Brewhouse found a good use for their spent grain. They feed it to a herd of cattle, which will eventually provide steaks for their new brewery-restaurant.

Balance was the watchword at Wine Enthusiast magazine, whose staff selected the top 25 beers of the year. A variety of styles and places of origin are represented on the list.

Last month, two states–Colorado and Washington–voted to legalize marijuana. Which means it’s only a matter of time before someone tries to brew beer containing cannabis.

It’s time to make those Christmas lists, and Billy Broas helps you shop for beer lovers with his top five beer books of 2012.

Jim Galligan, the Today show’s beverage correspondent, wasn’t impressed by Budweiser’s “12 Series” beers. He described A-B’s foray into craft brewing as “as forced, stilted and more than a little bit cringe-inducing.”

If you want to sell your beer at the local ballpark, it’s no longer as simple as striking a deal with the concessionaire. In many parks, you have to become a sponsor, which isn’t just costly but might be non-exclusive as well.

Finally, since Ludwig says it’s now okay to start drinking Christmas ale, John Foyston of the Oregonian recommends some of his favorites, and offers advice about serving them.

Buy Me Some Peanuts and…Beer!

It’s taken a while, but local craft beer has gotten into the lineup at major league ballparks. The staff of has noticed this trend, and assembled a slideshow of beer offerings at 12 parks.

While we’re on the subject of ballparks, Ludwig wants to why the song lyrics refer to “peanuts and Cracker Jack” when peanuts are one of the ingredients in Cracker Jacks. At least both pair well with beer.

The Friday Mash (Dance Fever Edition)

On this day in 1374, one of the first outbreaks of St. John’s Dance swept what is now Aachen, Germany. Victims experienced hallucinations and began to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapsed from exhaustion. Manic dancing is said to have killed thousands over the span of several centuries. Moral of the story? Avoid dancing. Drink beer instead.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in St. Petersburg, Russia, where Pete Brown arrived after sailing from England to Russia aboard a ship carrying imperial stout. Brown made the trip to rekindle interest in the style.

Paul O’Connor of the Winston-Salem Journal has good news for travelers. He discovered that the Great American Beer Desert–that vast area west of Asheville, North Carolina–is shrinking

Last August, Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Company flipped the switch ona 228-kilowatt photovoltaic system, which means that the Sun will produce 60 percent of the electricity for the brewery and pub.

Charles Kenny, writing in Foreign Policy magazine, offers a politically incorrect argument: “beer in particular, and the beer industry that surrounds it, may be as good for growth as excess sobriety.”

Martyn Cornell describes, in hilarious detail, the worst beers he’s ever tasted. As bonus picks, he adds a couple of American beers from the 1990s that, he says, were not just bad but stupid to boot.

Another reason to enjoy a beer at the ballpark: your beer cup might attract a foul ball. Hey, it happened to a gentleman at Fenway Park the other night.

Finally, a pop quiz.
Q. Where is the world’s largest pub?
A. Brisbane, Australia. The historic Eatons Hill Hotel has been upgraded (at the cost of A$30 million), and has a capacity of 7,500. The hotel also has 100 tap handles, so you’ll have no problem avoiding dancing.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

It’s summertime, which means it’s time for Maryanne and Paul to hit the road and take in some baseball at the old ballpark. Not to mention a cold beer or two. Over the weekend, they stumbled upon an article by Kristine Hansen of Wine Enthusiast magazine. She knows where to find craft beer at major league parks.

Of course, no trip to the ballpark is complete without a trip to the concession stand, and that’s where David LaHuta comes in. LaHuta, who writes for Travel + Leisure magazine, directs us to the best ballpark eats. The best of the best, by the way, can be found at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Top Ten Beer Jingles…With a Baseball Bonus!

Paul just had to include this one: the Brookston Beer Bulletin has compiled a list of  the Top Ten Beer Slogans. Topping the list: the Schaefer jingle. Back in the day, every sports fan within a 50-mile radius of Manhattan knew it by heart, and tuned in to “another major event in your Schaefer circle of sports.”

Today, Jay Brooks, the publisher of the Bulletin, provides us with a bonus post: a 1950s-vintage, 78-rpm medley of the Carling Black Label jingle with different arrangements of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”–a song, by the way, that was written in 1908 by two men who had never seen a game in person.

Baseball and Ballantine

Long before Paul was old enough to legally consume the stuff, the jingles for local brews (he grew up in the New York area) were hard-wired into his brain. One of them was “Baseball and Ballantine.” Which is why he had to post Don (”Joe Sixpack”) Russell’s story about the gigantic Ballantine scoreboard that the Yankees sold to the Phillies in 1955. In case you haven’t heard, those two teams are facing off in the World Series.

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