Today, Christians celebrate The Feast of the Epiphany. In Louisiana, this means Carnival season is underway. The local tradition is to bake King Cakes; and the person who finds the doll in his or her slice must bake the next cake.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in France, where the Benedictine monks at the 1,367-year-old Abbey of Saint-Wandrille are back in the business of brewing. They’re the country’s only producers of truly monastic beer.
In an interview with Paste magazine, 21st Amendment Brewery’s Nico Freccia talked about the fine art of naming beers, and how the brewery’s odd names has become mainstream.
When Tim Kliegl turned 65, he celebrated in unusual fashion—namely, by running a mile, and trying a new beer, every day for an entire year. And he’s got the notes to prove it.
Staffers at Amazon.com’s Christmas party in Dublin were treated to a special beer from local micro Metalman Brewing. Grainne Walsh, Metalman’s founder, once worked as an engineer at Amazon.
The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended lowering the DUI threshold to .05 percent, and a Utah lawmaker wants his state to be first. The current threshold in all states is .08.
Rick Astley, whose song “Never Gonna Give You Up” was part of a popular Internet prank, plans to “roll” out a beer. The lager, which will be brewed by Mikkeller, has yet to be named.
Finally, the The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company will celebrate its 150th anniversary by joining forces with the famous Hofbräu München. The amber-colored, Marzen-style will be introduced in April.
On this day in 1914, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers was formed. This performance-rights organization takes in close to $1 billion in licensing fees, most of which it distributes to artists as royalties.
And now (cue the music)…The Mash!
We begin in the Verizon Center in Washington, where the Brooklyn Nets’ Mason Plumlee committed the ultimate party foul. He crashed into a courtside vendor, sending $200 worth of beer flying.
Researchers have found that if you’re seen holding a glass of beer, you will be perceived as less intelligent. It’s called “the imbibing idiot bias”: we closely associate drinking and dumb behavior.
The Louisville Courier-Journal asked local brewers how they name their beers. Just as they brew their beers differently, they follow different processes for naming them.
One beer trend that’s taking off this year is grocery store growlers. For example, several Kroger locations in Virginia are offering 32- and 64-ouncers with a choice of eight different taps.
China’s anti-corruption campaign has been a drag on the brewing indsutry. Government officials are refusing invitations to go drinking out of fear of being accused of taking bribes.
Drinking beer out of cans might endanger your health. Cans are lined with epoxy that contains bisphenol-A, a chemical that’s been linked to a number of serious ailments.
Finally, Scottish brewery Innis & Gunn has released a Fifty Shades of Grey-inspired beer. It’s fortified with ginseng to boost the sex drive, ginkgo biloba to get the blood pumping, and a mild nerve stimulant called damiana.
Here’s another sign that the craft brewing industry is experiencing growing pains. With more than 2,000 breweries doing business in America, unique beer names are getting harder to come by. As a result, brewery owners are finding out–sometimes the hard way–that someone is always using that name and thus owns the trademark. While most disputes over beer names are resolved without a lawsuit–the copycat brewery simply chooses a new name–some say that tougher competition for market share has made people less cooperative.
American craft brewers love to rummage through mythology for names for their beer. There are brews named for Ninkasi and Osiris, Dionysius and Odin. The list of legendary creatures includes centaurs, griffins, unicorns, krakens, sirens, and the three-headed dog Cerberus, not to mention Bigfoot and Yeti.
Why do so many beers have such names? Philadelphia Weekly’s Eric San Juan offers a partial explanation: “From Egyptian gods to hidden beasts seen only in fleeting glimpses, we attach a level of EPIC to our brews that no other beverage can match. The idea of Odin’s Beard coffee or Serpent’s Tail orange juice would strike us as silly, but when it comes to beer, it just seems natural.” San Juan adds: “beerlike beverages go back at least 9,000 years, predating recorded human history. In a sense, they have been with us for as long as there has been an ‘us’.”
Pull up a chair. Pour yourself a beer. A big beer. We’ve got lots to talk about.
Dr. Fabulous, who blogs at Make Mine Potato, explains how he livens up his tasting notes in an amusing reflection called “Beer Vocabulary.”
Maxim magazine’s “The Best 25 New Beers in America” met with some biting criticism in the beer blogosphere. Stan Hieronymus rants with style about what’s wrong with Maxim’s list.
Boak and Bailey, a pair of beer bloggers from England, offer some pub recommendations for Canterbury.
Here are seven reasons to visit Brewery Ommegang this year. The brewery plans to release a new beer every two months. That makes six. The seventh reason? The Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, of course.
King me! Draft magazine has a list of the Top Ten Beers Named After Royalty.
Swedish college students staged a tongue-in-cheek protest over the Carlsberg brewery’s failure to build a 60-plus-mile beer pipeline to their student union.
Finally, the guys at The Lazy Brewer held an exploratory Amtrak pub crawl from California’s Central Valley to Sacramento. Ah, research.