Beer…By the Numbers

  • Beers entered in this year’s National Homebrewers Competition: 8,172.
  • Increase over last year: 45 percent.
  • Craft breweries in Texas: 98.
  • Their production (including Spoetzl Brewing Company) in 2013: 833,191 barrels.
  • Increase over the year before: 17.3 percent.
  • Full Sail Brewing Company (Hood River, Oregon) production in 2013: 115,000 barrels.
  • States where Full Sail products are distributed: 31.
  • Alcoholic content of Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA: 18 percent ABV.
  • Average retail price of a bottle of 120 Minute IPA: $8.
  • Strains stored in Britain’s National Collection of Yeast Cultures: more than 4,000.
  • Brewing yeast strains at the National Collection: 800.
  • Breweries represented at the first Colorado Brewers’ Festival in Fort Collins in 1990: 11.
  • Breweries represented at this year’s festival: more than 50.
  • Percent of underage drinkers who admit to binge-drinking: 44.
  • Percent of underage drinkers who binge-drink Bud Light: 13.5.
  • Top Ten Myths About Craft Beer

    “Ding” is a middle-aged Englishman who lives somewhere in the South and provides often-tart commentary about beer on his blog. One of Ding’s classics, which appeared in December 2011, took aim at the top ten myths about American craft beer.

    Heading the list of the myths is the belief that one can put any beer in a cask and get a good result. Casks, he contends, bring out the best of a malty, low-gravity beer, but won’t have the same effect with an imperial IPA. He goes on to say that “a huge amount of beer that is being presented in casks…is simply not beer that will showcase the presentation at all well.”

    Other myths that Ding wants to debunk include these:

  • Beers from emerging beer countries, like Italy and New Zealand, must be great. Fawning over expensive, ordinary beer is a symptom of a lack of discrimination.
  • British beer is undergoing a massive revolution inspired by American brewers. Despite the publicity given to breweries like BrewDog, most beer poured in the UK is traditional British beer with relatively low alcoholic content.
  • More breweries, and more beers, are always a good thing. The current level of growth of craft beer is unsustainable, and is resulting in a flood of mediocre–or worse–products.
  • All local beer is good. See above.
  • Session beer is gaining popularity in America. Ding draws the session-beer line at 4% ABV, and finds few American beers with ABVs lower than that.
  • Beer…By the Numbers

  • Czech Republic’s world ranking in per capita beer consumption: 1st.
  • Its world ranking in per capita consumption of all alcohol: 2nd (behind Moldova).
  • Total votes cast this year for “Beer City USA”: Exactly 50,000.
  • Percent of votes cast for Grand Rapids, Michigan: 54.
  • Percent of votes cast by residents of Michigan: 58.3.
  • Value of U.S. craft beer exports in 2012: $49.1 million.
  • Percent increase over 2011: 72.
  • Size of Britain’s brewing industry: £16.5 billion ($24.8 billion).
  • Number of breweries in Britain: over 1,000.
  • Microbreweries’ share of the British beer market: 1.6 percent.
  • Estimated combined value of the Budweiser and Bud Light brands: $20.3 billion.
  • Increase in those brands’ value over last year: 28 percent.
  • Price increase of a “sub-premium” beer since last year: 6.8 percent.
  • Price increase of a Pabst Blue Ribbon since last year: 11.5 percent.
  • Average cost of a PBR at a bar: $2.67.
  • 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

  • Market capitalization of China Resources, brewers of Snow Beer: 60 billion yuan ($9.6 billion).
  • Market capitalization of Tsingtao Brewing: 50 billion yuan ($8 billion).
  • Germany’s annual per capita beer consumption in 1976: 151 liters.
  • Its annual per capita beer consumption today: 106.6 liters.
  • Its present consumption compared to the U.S.: 33 percent higher.
  • Dollar value of U.S. craft beer exports last year: $49.1 million.
  • U.S. craft beer exports to Canada last year: 68,180 barrels (Canada is the number-one market).
  • U.S. craft beer exports to western Europe last year: 56,204 barrels (Sweden and the UK rank second and third).
  • Value-added tax on beer served in British pubs: 20 percent.
  • British pub closings per week: 18.
  • Attendance at this year’s Barcelona Beer Festival: 10,000 (twice the attendance at last year’s inaugural festival).
  • Number of beers poured at the festival: 300.
  • Beers from Catalonia poured at the festival: 55.
  • Green Flash Brewing Company’s investment in a second brewery in Virginia Beach: $20 million.
  • Projected annual capacity of the Virginia Beach facility: 100,000 barrels.
  • The Friday Mash (Buy Low, Sell High Edition)

    Forty-two years ago today, the NASDAQ stock exchange was founded by the National Association of Securities Dealers. Once the home of lowly over-the-counter stocks, it’s now the exchange where companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are traded.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Britain, where health officials would like the beverage industry to disclose the number of calories in their products. They hope that people will drink less to avoid getting fat.

    Add the Morrow Royal Pavilion in Henderson, Nevada, to your list of beer landmarks to visit. It’s made from recycled beer and liquor bottles–more than half a million of them.

    The latest environmentally-friendly innovation is The Crafty Carton, a paper growler that holds one quart of beer and, according to Foodbeast.com, is suitable for origami.

    Here’s a beer pairing we’ve never seen before. Dr. Greg Zeschuk, a video game industry veteran and craft beer aficionado, chooses the right beer style for the genre of game you’re playing.

    World of Beer, which serves craft beer in a tavern-like setting, could be coming to your town. The chain has 36 locations in 11 states, and company CEO Paul Avery wants to take it nationwide.

    Glyn Roberts, The Rabid Barfly, unleashes a rant about people who decide to go on the wagon during January, which is the quietest time of the year for British pubs.

    Finally, will this be the year that Alabama and Mississippi finally legalize homebrewing? They’re the only two states where it remains illegal.

    The Friday Mash (Robbie Burns Edition)

    Today is the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns. It is the traditional day to honor him with a Burns supper, which typically includes haggis, Scotch whisky, and the recitation of Burns’ poetry, and closes with a chorus of Auld Lang Syne.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Rosemont, Illinois, where America’s fourth Hofbrauhaus had a soft opening in the city’s new entertainment district. The other HB locations are Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, and Newport, Kentucky.

    The Canadian humor magazine Bite has created a zodiac-like infographic, “What Your Beer Style Says About You.” (Hat tip: Jay Brooks.)

    Two cheers for the three-tier system. According to the New America Foundation’s Barry Lynn, distributors are protecting craft beer from the dominance of the nation’s brewing duopoly–at least for now.

    Why is beer more likely to go skunky in clear bottles? It’s because light reacts with hop alpha acids to produce a compound similar to one found in a skunk’s defense spray.

    On Tuesday Harpoon Brewing, the nation’s eighth-largest craft brewer, will open a $3.5 million beer hall in Boston. It’s located just blocks from Boston Beer Company’s Jamaica Plain facility.

    If you haven’t been able to get limited-release beers, Today.com’s Jim Galligan offers tips from the pros. For starters, you should cultivate a relationship with a good beer store in your area.

    Finally, Matt Austin, a grad student at Cardiff University, found some interesting parallels between the way Vikings drank in mead halls and the way today’s British college athletes drink.

    The Friday Mash (Teddy Ballgame Edition)

    On this day in 1960, Hall of Famer Ted Williams hit a home run in his final at-bat at Fenway Park. His performance was chronicled in John Updike’s essay, “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu”, one of the best-ever pieces of American sportswriting.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Ted Williams’s hometown of San Diego, where the first Craft Beer Debate recently took place. At issue: whether the city should build a publicly-financed stadium.

    As Maine goes, so goes the nation? The state’s beer production has jumped by 50 percent since 2009. By the way, Maine’s largest brewery is Allagash Brewing Company.

    Our Drink Locally award goes to beer blogger Pierre Lachine, who has pledged to drink only Ontario beer for the next year.

    An e-petition calling for a review of Britain’s beer tax has gotten more than 100,000 signatures, enough to trigger a possible House of Commons debate on how the tax is calculated.

    Denver mayor Michael Hancock got a crash course in brewing at the Denver Beer Company. The beer he helped make, a pumpkin ale, will debut at next month’s Denver Beer Fest.

    The topic for The Session #68 has been announced: it’s Novelty Beers. Tiffany, who blogs at 99 Pours, will host the discussion; and, as always, you’re welcome to join.

    Finally, Ken and Steph Newbury of St. Peters, Missouri, turned their wedding reception into a beer festival. They stocked the bar with many of Ken’s favorite micros, many of which were brewed in-state.

    The Friday Mash (Triskaidekaphobia Edition)

    Today is Friday the 13th, which is bad news for the 20 million Americans who suffer from triskaidekaphobia. Some are so terrified of today that they won’t even get out of bed. But the truly intrepid will celebrate by attending Friday the Firkenteenth, a cask ale festival that takes place at Philadelphia’s Grey Lodge Pub every Friday the 13th.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Toledo, where Tony Packo’s, the hot dog joint made famous by M*A*S*H’s Corporal Klinger, is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a special, locally-brewed ale.

    Two economists theorize that beer was the key to The Netherlands’ independence. Seventeenth-century Dutchmen drank lots beer, and the government gradually hiked taxes on it to finance their decades-long revolt against Spanish rule.

    Budweiser has run afoul of British regulators, who turned thumbs-down on an ad in which a football coach promised success with women to men who drank Bud.

    Add Lagunitas Brewery to the list of western craft breweries planning to open a second plant. It will be located in Chicago, where founder and owner Tony Magee is from.

    San Francisco’s iconic Hamms Brewery sign was demolished long ago, but local artist Dan McHale has brought it back to life with a series of paintings, “36 Views of the Hamm’s Brewery.”

    Could beer be “brain food”? Scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that after drinking two pints, men performed better on brain-teasers than those had nothing to drink.

    Finally, Governor Phil Bryant has signed a bill raising Mississippi’s ABV cap to approximately 10.1% ABV. Mississippians can now enjoy 70 percent of the world’s top 100 beers.

    The Friday Mash (Major Medical Edition)

    Today is Doctors Day, a day set aside to honor physicians. It marks the date in 1842 on which Dr. Crawford W. Long of Jefferson, Georgia, administered ether to a patient before removing a tumor from his neck. The patient said he felt nothing and wasn’t aware the surgery was over until he awoke.

    And now….The Mash!

    What would Jesus brew? They’re answering that question in Wilmington, North Carolina, where church-based homebrewing teams are facing off in the Heavenly Homebrew Competition of Churches for Charity.

    Opening Day is almost upon us, and that happy prospect inspired the New York Times’s Eric Asimov to write about baseball and his favorite springtime beer–namely, porter.

    In the Southwest, “beer run” refers to someone who grabs a case of beer at a convenience store, then walks out without paying. El Paso, Texas, the nation’s beer run capital, reported 2,876 such thefts last year.

    Jeff Alworth, who blogs at Beervana, has a troubling thought. Young men aren’t joining monasteries; so if the monks can’t replenish their ranks, could we face the extinction of Trappist ales?

    Watch out, beer bloggers. Boak and Bailey, who also blog, have figured you out. They’ve arranged you on a spectrum, and only three of their seven blogger categories are labeled “We like.”

    Someone with GIF skills, and access to behind-the-scenes footage of Star Wars, invented a scene in which Princess Leia hands Luke Skywalker a beer. If you’ve blown up the Death Star, you’ve earned one.

    FInally, Pete Brown isn’t a doctor, but knows a misdiagnosis when he sees one. He recently gave British anti-alcohol campaigners an earful over their blaming beer for an increase in liver disease.

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