Brooklyn

The Friday Mash (Get Vaccinated! Edition)

Sixty years ago today, Elvis Presley received a polio vaccination on national television. That single event is credited with raising immunization levels in the United States from 0.6% to over 80% in just six months.

And now…The Mash!

We begin on the Formula 1 racing circuit, where in the early 1980s, Gordon Murray’s inventive pit crew rigged up a fuel system using pressurized beer kegs that could pump 30 gallons of fuel into a car in just three seconds.

A North Carolina judge was convicted of bribery after offering a deputy sheriff two cases of Bud Light in exchange for his wife’s text messages. The judge later upped his offer to $100.

Two employee-owned breweries, Harpoon Brewery and Odell Brewing Company, have collaborated to brew a beer called EHOP. It’s an oatmeal pale ale.

Vietnam’s government will sell off two state-owned breweries which have a 60-plus-percent market share. Vietnam, with 93 million people, is one of Asia’s top beer-drinking countries.

This week, Britain’s smallest pub—which has room for just three—is offering free beer, but there’s a catch: you can’t use your mobile phones inside the pub.

Indianapolis-based Central State Brewing has something for Harry Potter fans: a sour ale called “Polyjuice Potion”. Its ingredients include plums, elderberries, and “magical bits and bobbles”.

Finally, Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewery is making two beers to be enjoyed with single-malt scotches from Highland Park, a distillery in the Orkney Islands. The beers are Rune, a golden oat ale; and Sköll, a roasty ale.

The Friday Mash (Luxury Car Edition)

One hundred and thirty years ago, German engineer Karl Benz patented the first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine. He and his wife, Bertha, founded Mercedes-Benz, now a division of Daimler AG, headquartered in Stuttgart—the home of Germany’s “other” famous beer festival.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Flint, Michigan, whose water supply in contaminated with lead. Flint’s aptly-named Tenacity Brewery, assures that its beer is lead free—and is donating $1 per pint to the city’s children.

Here are eight things to know about hard root beer, including how it began; who owns the companies that make it; and how many calories (300) are in a 12-ounce bottle.

AC Shilton of Outside magazine has an answer to the beer can shortage: growlers. They environmentally friendly, don’t contain the chemical BPA, and support your local brewery.

Virginia restaurant-goers are allowed to bring their own wine into restaurants if they pay corkage. Now state lawmakers are considering a bill that would give beer drinkers the same option.

Bar owners are negotiating with city officials over the Chicago Cubs’ plan to build a plaza outside Wrigley Field. They’re afraid of losing business, especially if the plaza sells cheap beer.

Brooklyn’s Pop Chart Lab has created 99 Bottles of Craft Beer on the Wall. After sampling a beer, the drinker takes out a coin and scratches off the gilt foil “emptying” the bottle while retaining the label.

Finally, Woody Chandler, the man who shows up at festivals wearing a Rasputin beard and a monk’s robe, has posted his 7,000th check-in on Untappd, including 2,000 in 2015 alone. That translates into more than five new beers per day.

Brooklyn: Ghosts of Breweries Past

Once upon a time, Brooklyn, New York, was a claimant for the title of the nation’s brewing capital. During the 1850s, Meserole Street was “Brewers Row,” with at least a dozen breweries; and the brewery owners built grand homes for their families on Bushwick Avenue.

Two breweries, Schaefer and Rheingold, dominated Brooklyn—and the New York area’s brewing industry–in the 20th century. Then came Prohibition, labor unrest, and industry consolidation. Both breweries closed in 1976, though Schaefer is still brewed under contract by Pabst. Today, little remains of the Schaefer and Rheingold brewery complexes. The last of the Schaefer buildings are being demolished to make way for Brooklyn’s modern-day growth industry: housing.

A small-scale brewing revival might be coming. Braven Brewing, whose beers are brewed upstate, hopes to acquire space in Brooklyn and open for business next year. And Steve Hindy, the founder of Brooklyn Brewery, is already looking for new facilities in the borough, even though the brewery’s current lease doesn’t expire until 2020.

The Friday Mash (”Off With His Head!” Edition)

On this day in 1649, King Charles I of England was beheaded for high treason. His execution ushered in the Interregnum, during which Oliver Cromwell and later his son, Richard, ruled the country.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Colorado, where Oskar Blues has given its session ale a marijuana-themed name: Pinner, which is slang for a joint with low THC content. Above the Pinner logo is the question: “Can I be blunt?”

Carlsberg Group is developing the world’s first fully biodegradable bottle for its beverages. The “Green Fiber Bottle” will be made from wood fiber or paper pulp, and will be lighter than a glass bottle.

Yahoo Food profiles Chris Loring, whose Massachusetts-based Notch Brewing specializes in session beers. Loring reminds us that these beers have existed in America for 100 years.

An unidentified man in Brooklyn has trained his girlfriend’s pet rabbit, Wallace, to bring him a beer. The animal puts its paws on the beer cart, pushing it forward.

A trip to a The Alchemist brewery not only netted MSNBC TV personality Rachel Maddow some Heady Topper IPA, but also revealed how New England’s economy is booming.

Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs’s most impressive statistic might not be his 3,010 career hits. Legend has it that Boggs put away 64 beers while on a cross-country trip during his playing days.

Finally, don’t scoff at the idea of beer brewed with sewer water. Washington County, Oregon’s Clean Water Services claims that its purification system makes sewer water even cleaner than tap water. One homebrewer uses the water, and calls his beer “sewage brewage.”

The Friday Mash (King Ludwig Edition)

On this day in 1886, King Ludwig II of Bavaria passed away. Please join our beer-drinking lion in a moment of silence for the “Mad King” who, among other things, commissioned the fantastic Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the area’s leading tourist attractions.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Petaluma, California, where Lagunitas Brewing Company held its annual Beer Circus. Some guests wore top hats and “ironic facial hair,” while others dressed as figures from popular culture.

Just in time for Father’s Day: Criquet, a clothing company, has designed a shirt with a reinforced lining that prevents you from destroying it while using the shirttail to twist a beer bottle open.

Twenty years ago, Lauren Clark quit her desk job to work for a brewery. She then gravitated to writing, and recently published Crafty Bastards, a history of beer in New England.

Gustav Holst’s The Planets inspired Bell’s Brewing to create a seven-ale series, each of which named for one of the planets in Holst’s suite. The first Planet beer will be released in August.

St. Louis, which is celebrating its 250th birthday, has 30 craft breweries–and yes, the Budweiser brewery, too. USA Today’s Wendy Pramick has a beer lover’s guide to the city.

Brock Bristow, a South Carolina attorney, might wind up in the Lobbyists’ Hall of Fame. He persuaded lawmakers to pass the brewery-friendly “Stone Bill”.

Finally, Jeopardy! for beer geeks. Three female beer bloggers host a monthly trivia night at a bar in Brooklyn. Games consist of four rounds: brewing, history, popular culture, and the “hipster trifecta.”

A Brewery Grows in Brooklyn

Economic reality forced many brewery entrepreneurs to set up shop in run-down urban neighborhoods where rents were low and residents–if there were any–were unlikely to object. It turns out that some of those breweries have revived their neighborhoods.

One example is Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section, where Brooklyn Brewery opened in 1996. At the time, its neighbors were mostly deserted warehouses and factories. Today, Brooklyn Brewery is surrounded by modern apartment buildings, bars, shops and restaurants. New residents are willing to spend money–a lot of it–to live there.

Cleveland’s Ohio City district, west of downtown, is another. Great Lakes Brewing opened in 1988. Its owners built a brewery and a brewpub from structures that once housed a feed store, a saloon, and a livery stable. Other businesses followed. Ohio City has actually gained population, even as the city as a whole lost population.

Other examples include South Boston (Harpoon Brewery); San Francisco’s SoMa (21st Amendment Brewery); and coming soon, the South Bronx’s Mott Haven section (Bronx Brewery).

IPA Fatigue

Joe Pappalardo, a writer for Esquire magazine, recently went on a quest to drink every beer poured at the two-day Great GoogaMooga beer festival in Brooklyn, New York. Fifty-four beers in all.

By his own admission, Pappalardo violated basic tenets of hardcore beer reviewing: drink full beers instead of tasters; don’t review products served at festivals; and don’t get wasted. With that in mind, he presented his work as “visceral impressions of the beers” and “a chronicle of my deteriorating condition.” The latter might explain the amusing typos in the article, such as Coney Island Brewing Company’s “1-galleon still.”

Pappalardo’s “deteriorating condition” also might have inspired the following rant about India pale ales: “I once wandered the galleries of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. The paintings on the walls radiated power, grace and drama. Slices of incalculable living history. Yet, staring at dozens of them, room after room, all I could see were just another image of a dead saint or Madonna. That’s how I feel about IPAs now. Smutty Nose could have one that cures cancer and I’d dump it into the grass after a mouthful.”

Best Bars for Canned Craft Beer

According to CraftCans.com, more than 600 craft beers from over 200 breweries are sold in cans, and there is a growing number of bars that specialize in these beers. Their staff has chosen 15 “cantastic” establishments, including a bar attached to the Oskar Blues Brewery, which was one of the first to can its beer.

CraftCans’ choices also include the Full Circle Bar in Brooklyn, New York, which features several Skee-Ball alleys; a bar inside the Whole Foods Market in Chandler, Arizona; and the Star Bar, which is within walking distance of Denver’s Coors Field.

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