Budweiser

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.”

What Do Those Symbols on Beer Labels Mean?

Breweries are among the oldest businesses in the world, and their beer labels are full of symbols from their storied histories. In MentalFloss.com, Nick Green explains the symbolism behind 20 well-known beer labels.

One of the most common sources of symbols is the brewery’s own history. The eagle on the Yuengling label and the horn on Stella Artois’ harken back to the breweries’ original names. The hometown coat of arms is another source. That’s why there are lions on the Amstel and Modelo Especial labels, and a key on the Beck’s label. Dos Equis resurrected Aztec leader Moctezuma II for its label, and Guinness appropriated the Brian Boru harp.

Green’s article has some other fun facts. Bass’s red triangle was issued Trademark #1 by the British government; until 1908, the text of the Budweiser label was in German; and legend has it that Miller High Life was called “The Champagne of Beers” because it was released a few days before New Year’s Eve.

Finally, there’s Rolling Rock’s mysterious “33”. People have offered numerous explanations, but no one knows for sure how and why that number wound up on the label.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Visitors who toured Founders Brewing Company in 2013: 2,518.
  • Price of a Founders tour: $10 (includes a pint glass).
  • Barrels of craft beer sold in 2011: 11,467,337.
  • Barrels of craft beer sold in 2012: 13,235,917 (up 9 percent from 2011).
  • Cost of a bottle of domestic beer in Hanoi, Vietnam: U.S.$0.44.
  • Cost of a bottle of non-alcoholic domestic beer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: U.S.$0.59.
  • Cost of a bottle of black-market domestic beer in Tripoli, Libya: U.S.$5.49.
  • Change in Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s sales from 2011 to 2012: Up 13 percent.
  • 60 Minute IPA’s share of Dogfish Head’s production: 48 percent.
  • What Anheuser-Busch InBev paid to re-acquire Korea-based Oriental Brewery: $5.8 billion.
  • What A-B InBev sold Oriental Brewery for in 2009: $1.8 billion.
  • Sales of number-one selling beer Bud Light in 2013: $5.95 billion.
  • Average price of a case of Bud Light: $20.18.
  • Percent of Americans who call Budweiser their favorite beer: 51.
  • Percent who call Budweiser their least favorite beer: 46.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Breweries operating in the U.S. at the end of June 2013: 2,538 (98 percent of which are craft breweries).
  • Breweries in planning at the end of June 2013: 1,605.
  • People employed by craft breweries: 108,440.
  • Low-end beer’s share of the Chinese market: 85 percent.
  • Cost of a bottle of Tsingtao beer in Beijing: $0.32 U.S.
  • Cost of a bottle of Budweiser in Beijing: $0.96 U.S.
  • SAB Miller’s share of Colombia’s beer market: 98 percent.
  • Its share of Peru’s beer market: 94 percent.
  • American Homebrewers Association membership as of June 30: 38,347.
  • Percent increase over last year: 16.2.
  • India pale ales entered in last year’s Great American Beer Festival: 203 (the number-one category in number of entries).
  • Imperial IPAs entered last year: 128 (the number-two category).
  • Alcohol’s current share of America’s food budget: 13 percent.
  • Alcohol’s lowest share of America’s food budget since 1890: 5 percent, during the early years of Prohibition.
  • Its highest share since 1890: 20 percent, during the early 1890s.
  • 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 (Five and Dime Edition)

    On this day in 1879, Frank Woolworth opens the first of many Woolworth stores in In Utica, New York. He unwittingly inspired the Marx Brothers’ routine in which Rufus T. Firefly suggested that Chicolini be given “ten years in Leavenworth, or 11 years in Twelveworth”; and Chicolini responded, “I’ll take five and ten in Woolworth.”

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Florida, where a 45-year-old law, passed as part of a turf war among big brewers, has the unintended effect of banning the sale of growlers. Lawmakers are trying to fix that.

    FirstWeFeast.com has compiled a list of 12 celebrities who ought to be spokespersons for craft beer. They include Kat Dennings, the cast of How I Met Your Mother, and, of course, President Barack Obama.

    You can buy a beer at many college basketball arenas, including seven of the 20 largest. Beer sales can bring in money through concession revenues, added ticket sales, or both.

    Beer and video games have always gone together, but an arcade fighting game called Beercade goes one step farther. It rewards the winning combatant with a cup of beer.

    To celebrate their city’s Beer Week, the San Francisco Brewers Guild has rolled out “Green Death”, a malt liquor inspired by the 50s-60s version of Rainier Ale. Paper bag not included.

    Don’t expect Anheuser-Busch to advertise this anytime soon. According to a nationwide survey, beer is the favorite beverage of underage drinkers and Budweiser is their favorite brand.

    Finally, if you have a ticket to tomorrow’s Winter Beer Festival in Grand Rapids, John Serba of MLive.com has some friendly advice: dress warmly for 33-degree temperatures and snow flurries.

    The Friday Mash (Pop Art Edition)

    Today is the 75th birthday of Peter Max, the pop artist who’s famous for his use of psychedelic shapes and color palettes. Max has been the official artist for the World Cup, the Grammy Awards, and the Super Bowl…but, so far as we know, no beer festivals.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Frederick, Maryland, where the Monocacy Brewing Company has released its first Civil War commemorative beer, an English session bitter called Antietam Ale.

    Kendall Jones of the Washington Beer Blog describes a weekend beer getaway in Victoria, British Columbia. Final stop on the tour: Garrick’s Head Pub, which has been serving beer since 1867.

    Congratulations to Brown Distributing Company, of West Palm Beach, Florida, which was honored as the Craft Beer Distributor of the Year by the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

    According to the Beer Institute, New Hampshire ranks first in per-capita beer consumption. Rounding out the top five: North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota, and Nevada.

    From the Department of Higher Zymurgical Education: Arizona State University offers a course called The Cultural and Chemical History of Beer. The course has been rated “challenging.”

    A British microbrewery has developed a freeze-resistant beer for researchers working in in Antarctic cold. The beer, an India pale ale, is packaged in plastic, vacuum-sealed bottles for the journey to the Pole.

    Finally, Scott, who blogs at The Brew Club, serves up 12 Things You Don’t Know About Your Beer. For instance, there are more calories in a pint of Budweiser than in a pint of Guinness.

    Beer…By the Numbers

  • Breweries represented at this year’s Great American Beer Festival: 578.
  • Increase over 2011: 110 (23 percent).
  • China’s Snow Beer production in 2011: 50.8 million barrels (number one in the world).
  • Budweiser production in 2011: 38.7 million barrels (number three in the world, behind Snow and Bud Light).
  • Taxes’ share of the cost of an American beer: 45 percent.
  • Annual U.S. tax revenue generated by beer consumption: $10.8 billion.
  • Economic output of the U.S. brewing industry: $223.8 billion.
  • Brewing industry’s share of U.S. gross domestic product: 1.5 percent.
  • People employed by the U.S. brewing industry: 1.8 million.
  • Economic impact of California’s craft brewing industry: $3 billion.
  • People employed by California craft breweries: 22,000.
  • Minutes an average American must work for a beer: 5 (cost of a beer: $1.80).
  • Minutes an average Canadian must work for a beer: 11 (cost of a beer: $3.20).
  • Breweries in the U.K.: more than 1,000.
  • U.K. breweries opening in the past year: 153.
  • Beer…By the Numbers

  • Czech Republic’s expected hop harvest this fall: 4,500 metric tons.
  • Last year’s Czech hop harvest: 6,088 metric tons.
  • World-wide beer production in 2011: 192.7 billion liters.
  • Increase over 2010: 3.7 percent.
  • Consecutive years that world-wide beer production has increased: 27.
  • Consecutive years that Budweiser has been a sponsor of Major League Baseball: 33.
  • Major-league teams of which Budweiser is a sponsor: 23 (out of 30).
  • Percent of Democrats who had a beer in the last 30 days: 39.
  • Percent of Republicans who had one: 40.
  • Percent of adult Americans whose favorite alcoholic drink is beer: 39.
  • Percent whose favorite alcoholic drink is wine: 35.
  • Breweries in the United Kingdom at the end of 2011: 945.
  • Craft beer’s share of the UK market: 2 percent.
  • Craft breweries in British Columbia: 64.
  • Increase in B.C. craft beer sales in the past year: 14.8 percent.
  • The Friday Mash (”What’s Up, Doc?” Edition)

    On this day in 1940, The Wild Hare, a Warner Brothers Merrie Melodies production, was released. The eight-minute cartoon, which was nominated for an Academy Award, depicted Elmer Fudd pursuing the much smarter Bugs Bunny.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in London, Ontario, whose minor-league baseball team, the Rippers, folded after being refused permission to sell beer. Ironically, the Rippers played their home games at Labatt Park.

    While much of America is suffering from drought, torrential rains in northern Europe have slowed the maturation of grain crops. The forecast is for higher grain prices and, ultimately, more expensive beer.

    The iconic “R” sign, placed atop Rainier Brewing’s Seattle brewery in 1953, will be re-lit at the Museum of History and Industry. The brand’s owners are also bringing back the Grazing Rainiers, those mythical beer bottles with legs.

    Jim Galligan, drinks correspondent for MSNBC.com, offers five reasons why you should brew your own beer.

    The brewery staff at Budweiser has been experimenting with small-batch beers. Once they dedide on which three of the original 12 beers are the best, they’ll package them in special six-packs to be sold at retail this fall.

    The Travel Channel serves up its list of top seven beer destinations. Instead of the usual suspects, their picks are up-and-coming places you might not have thought about.

    Finally, the Bad Training Regimen Award goes to Tyler Bray, a quarterback at the University of Tennessee. Bray decided to limber up his throwing arm by lobbing beer bottles at parked cars.

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