On this day in 1939, Jim Bouton was born. Bouton, who pitched for the New York Yankees and several other clubs, is best known for Ball Four, a tell-all account of a major leaguer’s life. The book, which infuriated the baseball establishment when it was published, has become a classic.
And now…Play Ball!
We begin in Cleveland, where the Indians are trying to attract fans by rolling back the price of beer for the upcoming season. A 12-ounce domestic brew will cost $4. Want a hot dog with your beer? It’ll cost you $3.
Celebrity chef Rick Bayless plans to create a new, Latin-themed beer. He’s working with Crown Imports, the company that distributes Corona and Negra Modelo in the United States.
It’s never too early to plan your beer travel, and Robin Fuchs, the founder of Beer Tours USA, has some suggestions: the five best small-brewery tours.
The 2013 Major League Soccer season is underway, and Portland Timbers fans can cheer their team on with Green & Gold Kolsch brewed by Widmer Brothers.
The Brewers Association has added Adambier and Grätzer to its Style Guidelines. The two newcomers bring the BA’s list of recognized beer styles to 142.
Where is John Hall, the former brewmaster at Goose Island Brewing Company, these days? He owns the Virtue Cider Company in Fennville, Michigan.
Finally, if you’re really lazy, and have $1,150 to blow, GrinOn Industries has something for you: an armchair that refills your beer from the bottom up. You’ll still have to arrange your own trips to the bathroom.
Already? Draft magazine is out with its annual list of America’s 100 best beer bars. Seventeen establishments are new to this year’s list. Four of the newcomers are in San Diego County, which continues to solidify its position in the top tier of American beer cities; and three cities with very different beer cultures–Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles–each have two establishments making their first appearance in the Top 100.
On this day in 1938, the hallucinogenic drug LSD was first synthesized in Europe. It entered popular culture in the 1960s when Timothy Leary promoted its use, and author Tom Wolfe documented the adventures of Ken Kesey and his acid-dropping band of Merry Pranksters.
Ludwig recommends avoiding this drug and sticking to beer.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Fredericksburg, Texas, where Lee Hereford raised $2 million for his Pedernales Brewing Company by visiting would-be investors’ homes armed with a prospectus and samples of his beer.
Next Thursday is Thanksgiving. If you haven’t decided how to cook your turkey, homebrew chef Sean Z. Paxton has a recipe for “Tipsy Turkey”. You’ll need a good holiday ale for the beer brine.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, the beer brewed by Plymouth Colony Pilgrims might have offended craft beer purists because the grain bill included corn. With good reason: local barley crop often failed.
Canadian beer writer Jordan St. John toured Boston Beer Company’s Jamaica Plain facility, with none other than company founder Jim Koch leading the tour. St. John learned why sour beer and balsamic vinegar are similar.
About ten years ago, someone decided to dress up the gardens of Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium by planting hop bines. Now, dry hops from those bines will be used by Revolution Brewing, a local micro.
Next year, Anheuser-Busch InBev will roll out Budweiser Black Crown, which it describes as a “golden amber lager.” It will carry a 6% ABV alcoholic punch.
Finally, Ludwig would like to introduce Wojtek, a brown bear that fought alongside Polish soldiers during World War II. Adopted as a cub by artillerymen serving in Iran, the bear drank two bottles of beer a day.
On this day in 356 B.C., Alexander the Great was born. He built one of the ancient world’s largest empires and is considered one of history’s best generals. He also inspired this line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “So why can’t someone plug a beer barrel with the dirt that used to be Alexander?”
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Victoria, British Columbia, where journalist Lisa Monforton travels that city’s Ale Trail. One stop on the trail is Spinnaker’s, Canada’s first brewpub, which opened 30 years ago.
The site of Detroit’s Stroh Brewery, which closed during the 1980s, is now the location of a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the first one ever to be located outside of Washington, D.C.
Ari Bendersky, an editor of Eater Chicago, updates us on Chicago’s craft beer boom, which shows no signs of letting up.
From the Department of Silly Beer Laws: Pennsylvania liquor regulators informed the Iron Hill brewpub chain that its ten-year-old mug club promotion violates the liquor code. The reason? It entitles members to larger servings at the same price non-members pay.
The Alchemist, a Vermont-based brewery, has gone retro, releasing a double IPA in 16-ounce tall boy cans. Tall boys were introduced by Schlitz in 1954.
Alan McLeod, the publisher of A Good Beer Blog, has written a review of Philadelphia Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Cradle of Liberty. The author is Rich Wagner.
Finally, this year’s Minnesota State Fair will sport a bigger craft beer selection, along with a Minnesota Brewers Guild booth. The fair’s expanded food lineup includes bacon ice cream, fried lamb testicles, and other yummy treats.
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.
Just after 5:00 this morning, Eastern time, the autumnal equinox took place; and you probably missed it. Ludwig is willing to forgive you for being such a sleepyhead, but on one condition: that you have a seasonal beer this evening. Being German American, he recommends an Oktoberfest.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Chicago, where Melanie Gravdal gave her townhouse extra curb appeal by offering $1,000 in beer at the bar across the street to the person who buys it.
In the Pittsburgh area, two breweries are trying to revive Fort Pitt Beer. Problem is, there’s only one trademark and both breweries claim it.
Did you miss Zwanze Day? If so, add it to your 2012 calendar. That’s the day a special lambic from Cantillon gets released at 21 sites world-wide, ten of them in the U.S.
Some experts think declining beer consumption is aggravating Europe’s economic woes. When people drink less, bars and restaurants let workers go.
Goodbye to all that. Britain’s Good Food Guide has banned the word “gastropub”, which it finds unpalatable in these tough economic times.
In Seattle, the Redhook Ale Brewery celebrated its 30th birthday in style with an 80s concert starring Tom-Tom Club, The Psychedelic Furs, and Devo.
Finally, “Joe Sixpack,” who calls Philadelphia America’s best beer-drinking city, also thinks his hometown’s bratwurst can’t be beat. Especially, Ludwig adds, during football season.
Eighty-five years ago today, blues guitarist B.B. (short for “Blues Boy”), King was born in Mississippi. Rolling Stone magazine ranked King the third-greatest guitarist of all time, adding that he influenced nearly electric blues guitarist who followed him. The blues lend themselves to beer drinking, which is why there are dozens of blues-themed beer festivals on our calendar.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Konopkivka, Ukraine, where a health spa offers therapeutic beer baths–one of many unconventional treatments available in town.
The business website 24/7WallSt.com has a list of “eight beers Americans no longer drink”. All of them are macrobrews that have suffered a significant loss of market share.
Beer writer John Holl recently contributed to a Wall Street Journal article on heartland travel, offering a craft beer and pub grub trip that takes in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison.
Here’s a new way to recycle beer cans. Jerry Stone of the Discovery Channel shows how an empty can will boost your wi-fi signal. Don’t try this after drinking.
If you’ve got a winning Powerball ticket lying around, cash it immediately, then buy some of the world’s most expensive beers.
Why did the creators of “The Simpsons” call that beer “Duff”? Ex-Guns ‘N Roses bassist Duff McKagan claims that he inspired its name.
Finally, British beer drinkers have good reason to sing the blues. A study shows that since 1987, the price of a pint has risen much faster than prices in general.
Travel + Leisure magazine readers have voted Chicago the nation’s number-one summertime city. The city’s seasonal attractions include Lake Michigan beaches, outdoor dining, and the Navy Pier. You can add good beer to the list as well.
Ludwig has invited the Chicago Tribune’s Josh Noel back to his blog to give us a rundown of Chicago’s newest micros. He says that “The world of Chicago-made beer is expanding so quickly–at a rate unseen in the lives of modern-day beer lovers–that new entries arrive almost monthly.”
On this day in 1692, Bridget Bishop became the first of 19 people to be executed during the Salem Witch Trials. The trials live on as an example of mass hysteria–and in pints of Witch City Red, served at Beerworks in modern-day Salem.
And now…The Mash!
The British newspaper The Independent has come out with a list of the ten best bottled beers. Some of them may surprise you.
The Leinenkugel Brewing Company has come to the aid of the Chicago River which, because of heavy pollution, ranks fourth on the list of the nation’s most endangered rivers.
Couldn’t make it to this year’s edition of SAVOR? Kevin, who blogs at BrewingSomeFun.com, has a rundown.
The Labatt Brewing Company has donated a treasure trove of items, some of which pre-date Confederation to the University of Western Ontario and Museum London.
James Clee of Swansea, Wales, has been named an official beer taster by Anheuser-Busch. He’ll collect 10,000 for six day’s work tasting A-B’s new product, Brew No. 66.
If you’re going to Oktoberfest this fall, you’re going to pay more for beer. The average one-liter mug will cost nine euros ($13.15), almost half a euro more than it did last year.