Ninety years ago today, the first numbering system for U.S. highways was approved. The 21 numbered highways in the initial group included U.S. 60, which ran from Chicago to Los Angeles; it was later renumbered and became the famous “Mother Road”, U.S. Route 66.
And now…The Mash!
We begin at the Samuel Adams brewery in Boston, where hundreds of fans lined up to buy bottles of limited-edition “Big Hapi” beer, brewed to honor now-retired Red Sox slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz.
Beer aficionados reacted furiously to TV food and travel personality Anthony Bourdain’s comments likening the clientele at a San Francisco beer bar to the “(expletive deleted) Invasion of the Body Snatchers”.
A court in Stuttgart, Germany, ruled that breweries can’t use the word “bekömmlich”—“wholesome” in English—in their advertising because European Union regulations prohibit health claims in alcohol ads.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery will start canning its beers later this month. Brewery CEO Sam Calagione is now convinced that canning technology can deliver a consistent, high-quality product.
The YouTube channel Celebrities in Golf Carts is trying to bridge the generation gap between Baby Boomers and Millennials with a new sport called Beer Pong Golf.
Dissatisfied with local distributors, Massachusetts’ Night Shift Brewing created its own distributorship. It’s offering breweries friendlier contracts, more personal attention, and deliveries of fresher beer.
Finally, in 1987, a Heineken retailer spread the untrue rumor that Mexican brewery workers urinated in containers of Corona Extra beer. That resulted in a lawsuit, and a public statement denying the rumor. Ten years later, Corona surpassed Heineken as America’s number-one imported beer.
Seventy-two years ago today, photographer Ansel Adams took a black-and-white photograph of a moonrise over the town of Hernandez, New Mexico. The image has been called “a perfect marriage of straight and pure photography.”
And now….The Mash!
We begin in St. Louis, where Busch Stadium beer vendor Patrick Ferris donated all of his tips from Game 3 of the World Series to a family whose seven-year-old son was killed in a house fire.
Hard-line Islamists in Indonesia are pushing for national alcohol prohibition. Many localities in the world’s fourth most-populous country have already banned the sale of alcohol.
Tool time! In China’s Shandong Province, 20 helicopter pilots tried to to open a beer bottle…using bottle openers mounted to the skids of their choppers.
Winchester, Kentucky, is the official birthplace of beer cheese, and the city now offers a self-guided tour of businesses connected with this distinctive Kentucky product.
Now that marijuana is legal in Washington, the Redhook Ale Brewery is teaming up with a Seattle micro to produce a hemp-infused beer called–you guessed it–Joint Effort.
This might win you a bar bet. The nation’s first brewery to can its beer was the Kreuger Brewery of Newark, New Jersey. The cans were so popular that Kreuger took market share away from national breweries.
It’s commonly believed that the first craft brewery to can its beer was Oskar Blues Brewing Company. Not so fast, beer writer Tom Acitelli warns us.
In All About Beer magazine, Aciteilli notes that the distinction belongs to Chief Oshkosh Red Lager. That brand was revived by Jeff Fulbright, the founder and president of Mid-Coast Brewing. Fulbright thought that Chief Oshkosh would become a heartland competitor to Anchor Steam and Sam Adams. But his brand, which debuted in 1991, couldn’t compete with the national brands.
Acitelli also notes that the first craft beer to be canned in North America was Yukon Gold, which first appeared in Canada’s Yukon Territory in 2001. He adds that four other canned craft beers–Pete’s Summer Brew, Capital Brewery’s Wisconsin Amber, Brewski Brewing’s Brewski Beer, and James Page Brewing’s Iron Range Amber Ale—all hit the shelves ahead of Dale’s Pale Ale. However, all of the American crafts that canned their beer in those days went out of business.
But back to Oskar Blues, In 1999, Calgary, Alberta-based Cask Brewing Systems introduced a small, manual machine that could fill two 12-ounce cans at one time. It cost $10,000, far less than the price tag for used canning machines on the aftermarket. Cask’s machine was originally aimed at brew-on-premises retailers but, when that trend fizzled, the company turned to craft brewers.
Oskar Blues was Cask’s first American client. For that, it deserves recognition.
If you’re a fan of craft beer, one name you should know is that of Dale Katechis. He’s the Alabama native who brought his mom’s down-home recipes and a love of beer to Colorado, where he opened Oskar Blues Grill & Brew restaurant in 1997.
Oskar Blues has become famous as the first craft brewery in America to can its beer. A presentation from Cask Brewing Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of canning lines, got Katechis to appreciate the merits of cans; and Ball Corporation helped by agreeing to make a smaller run of cans.
The decision, which Katcechis originally thought “far-fetched,” paid off. Canned craft beer could go places where bottled craft beer couldn’t: golf courses, backpacking, and even on airplanes. Today, more than 200 small breweries can their beer.
What’s next for Oskar Blues in cans? The brewery plans to use Ball’s new 19.2-ounce resealable can, a size that’s common in Europe. These so-called “imperial pints” may soon wind up on the shelves of a convenience store near you.
One thing leads to another. Ray Daniels, the head of the Cicerone program, and Jim Koch, CEO of the Boston Beer Company, exchanged tweets about whether there was a difference between canned and bottled craft beer. (Both men agree.) However, Bill Manley begs to differ. He’s the Product Development Manager at Sierra Nevada Brewing, which recently released its flagship Pale Ale in cans.
Manley’s opinion? “I respectfully disagree with the notion that there is a flavor difference between our bottles and cans. We’ve done extensive (exhaustive?) sensory and analytical analysis that suggests otherwise. In hundreds of double-blind trials we’ve found no statistical or analytical difference in flavors. There is literally no difference between the beer in the can and the beer in the bottle.”
Prediction: This debate is going to go on. For a long time.
Coming soon to San Francisco-area microbreweries: The Can Van, a mobile canning service. The company was founded by five friends who met at Presidio Graduate School in the Sustainable Management MBA program. They hope to get their business up and
running rolling next year, once they raise the last $10,000 for a truck and trailer.
On this day in 1918, the Allied nations and Germany agreed to an armistice that effectively ended World War I. November 11, originally known as Armistice Day, became a legal holiday in the U.S. in 1938. It was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. A good reason to buy a veteran a beer as a thank-you for serving our country.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Toronto, where Black Creek Historic Brewery’s One Mile Beer was pronounced a success. It was brewed using technology from the mid-19th century when there was no electricity, refrigeration, stainless tanks, or bottling plants.
Have you heard of the other St. Louis brewery with Busch in its name? It’s called the William K. Busch Brewing Company, and its eponymous founder is the great-grandson of Adolphus Busch.
Is that special guy on your Christmas list a beer lover and a bibliophile? Evan Benn can help you. His column in Esquire magazine names the new beer bibles every man should read.
Don’t cry in your beer, Argentina. The tap list at a Peronist restaurant in Buenos Aires–yes, there really is one–includes “Evita”, “17 de Octubre”, “Montoneros” and “Doble K,” the latter honoring the husband and wife who each served as Argentina’s president.
Growlers. Ludwig’s staff, Maryanne and Paul, love them. In fact, they literally wore one out. So they were surprised to learn that Garrett Oliver hates growlers.
Sante! Men’s Health magazine assembled a slideshow of America’s best new canned beers. Fun fact: Indianapolis owns the distinction of having two of its breweries’ products on the list.
Finally, Honda’s upgrade to Asimo, its stair-climbing robot, enables it to recognize faces and voices, and even pour drinks. Since Honda also makes cars, we hope Asimo can recognize people who’ve had too many–and take away their keys.