The Friday Mash (Night at the Opera Edition)

Fifty years ago today, the Metropolitan Opera House opened at Lincoln Square in Manhattan. The opening-night performance was the world premiere of Antony and Cleopatra by Samuel Barber.

And now…The Mash!

We begin on ESPN College GameDay, where Sam Crowder held up a sign last Saturday asking Vemmo users to send him beer money. Within hours, more than 2,000 people contributed.

BBC correspondent Stephen Evans hopped a flight to make a beer run…all the way to Beijing. His Chinese friends had made a trip to the border to acquire “forbidden” Taedonggang beer, which is brewed in North Korea.

Here’s a solution to a problem you didn’t know you had. It’s a beer mug that won’t block your view of the TV when you’re drinking.

Pork roll aka Taylor ham, a New Jersey breakfast favorite, is now a beer ingredient. Flying Fish Brewing Company has released Exit 7 Pork Roll Porter as part of its “Exit Series”.

Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing has rolled out a beer honoring the stereotypical “Florida Man”. The label for this beer, a double IPA, depicts a man wrestling an alligator—and winning.

Beer is more expensive than ever at NFL stadiums, but there’s one consolation: you can now buy craft beer from breweries that Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors recently acquired.

Finally, Nebraska liquor regulators have banned homebrewers from beer festivals. Because homebrewers aren’t licensed, there’s no assurance that they meet health and sanitation standards.

The Friday Mash (Dartmouth Edition)

On this day in 1790, Dartmouth College was founded by Reverend Eleazar Wheelock, with a royal charter from King George III, on land donated by royal governor John Wentworth. There’s no truth to the rumor that the first kegger on campus took place that evening.

And now….The Mash!

We begin on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Last Sunday, frigid temperatures at the Atlanta Falcons-Green Bay Packers game caused beer lines to freeze up and fans to complain.

Brewpubs are opening in Beijing. The first ones were opened by expatriates, but homebrewers and brewing school alumni have stepped in, and are making beer that appeals to local tastes.

According to scientists at the University of Sapporo, beer contains humulone, which is effective in fighting a virus that causes respiratory diseases such as pneumonia. The virus is especially nasty in the winter.

For decades, Guatemala’s dominant beer has been Gallo, from the family-owned Cerveceria Centro Americana. However, a beer war has broken out now that Anheuser-Busch InBev has entered the market.

The NBA’s Utah Jazz have are off to a horrible start this season, but their bear-suited mascot turned in a highlight-film performance against a Houston Rockets fan who poured beer on him.

Germany has asked UNESCO to put the country’s Reinheitsgebot on the intangible cultural heritage list. The German beer purity law celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2016.

Finally, Rajan Zed wants Asheville Brewing Company to find a new name for its flagship beer. Zed contends that “Shiva India Pale Ale” disrespects his Hindu faith. The brewery, which has spent 15 years building the brand, won’t rename it.

Micros in Beijing

Jonathan Levine of CNN reports that a microbrewery boom is taking place in Beijing. According to a Westerner who owns a bar in the city, “There’s a whole slew of places that are about to emerge.”

Owning a micro in Beijing is a trip into uncharted legal territory. Laws and regulations are often ambiguous, and one has to use personal connections to get things done. Intellectual property is another concern. A micro owner told Levine, “If you’re not being copied then you’re not relevant. He added, “Sometimes [competitors] come in here and they are taking pictures of the tiles on the wall.”

That said, there should be plenty of room for micros to grow. Twenty million people live in Beijing, and many of them have spent time abroad or have more money to spend on better beer.

Have Festival, Will Travel

Michael Schottenhamel, whose family has sold beer at Munich’s Oktoberfest for generations, is taking the world’s biggest beer festival on the road. And it’s quite a road trip he’s taken.

Schottenhamel is the organizer of the inaugural Beijing International Beer Festival, which runs until August 15 at the Crab Island Resort. (Yes, October is a long way off, but the festival was scheduled to coincide with China’s summer vacation season.) Eight Bavarian-style beer tents, with a seating capacity of over 80,000, have been set up; resort employees are wearing traditional German clothes, and they’ve been joined by 200 German beer girls flown in from Europe for the event.

Of the thousands of events outside Germany that call themselves “Oktoberfest,” Schottenhamel says that none is as big as this.

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