The Friday Mash (Casey at the Bat Edition)

On this day in 1888, the poem “Casey at the Bat” was first published in the San Francisco Examiner. You probaby remember that the mighty but overconfident Casey let two pitches go by for strikes before swinging at—and missing—the third strike, which led to “no joy in Mudville”.

And now…Play Ball!

We begin in Cleveland, where the Indians recently staged a “$2 Beer Night”. One creative group of fans built a 112-can, 11-level-high “beer-a-mid”. Major League Baseball offered a one-word comment: “Wow”.

In Madison, Wisconsin, the Black Marigold wind ensemble commissioned composer Brian DuFord to write a suite of movements inspired by the area’s craft beers. One local craft will brew a special beer for Black Marigold.

SodaStream, which sells machines that carbonate water, now offers an instant-homebrew device called the Beer Bar. Adding a package of “Blondie” concentrate to sparkling water produces a three-liter batch of 4.5-percent ABV.

Talk about a hasty departure. A driver in China’s Henan Province was caught on video chugging a beer at the wheel—this, while dragging his IV drip outside the car with him.

Here’s a new way to evade open container laws. A new invention called the Lolo Lid snaps onto the top of your can of beer, which you can then insert into a medium or large-sized paper coffee cup.

A Boston Globe editorial called on state lawmakers to make it easier for small breweries to terminate their agreements with distributors. North Carolina passed similar legislation in 2012.

Finally, the High Heel Brewing Company has come under fire for naming one of its beers after a shoe style and using pink and purple in its packaging. CEO Kristi McGuire said in her brewery’s defense, “We didn’t want to make a gimmick…We didn’t make the beer pink.”

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Top ten brewers’ share of the craft beer market in 2015: 3.8 percent.
  • Their share of the craft beer market in 2009: 5 percent.
  • People employed by Ohio craft breweries: 2,500.
  • Ohio’s current craft brewery count: 190.
  • New York State’s brewery count in 2015: 240.
  • Its brewery count in 2012: 95.
  • Craft brewing’s impact on New York State’s economy: $3.5 billion (fourth-highest in the U.S.).
  • Boston Beer Company’s (ticker symbol: SAM) closing price on May 13: $150.04 a share.
  • SAM’s highest price during the past 52 weeks: $266.62.
  • Calories in a 12-ounce can of Budweiser: 145.
  • Calories in a 12-ounce can of Bud Light: 110.
  • Bud Light’s share of the world beer market: 2.5 percent (third overall).
  • Snow beer’s share of the world beer market: 5.4 percent (first overall).
  • Cost of a liter of Snow beer in China, its home country: $1.
  • Growth in Snow’s sales volume since 2005: 573 percent.
  • The Friday Mash (Roller Coaster Edition)

    On this day in 1989, the Cedar Point amusement park opened Magnum XL-200, the first 200-plus-foot-tall roller coaster. Tomorrow, the park will unveil its 17th coaster: Valravn, the tallest, longest, and fastest of its kind in the world.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in eastern Quebec, where convenience stores were mobbed by New Brunswick residents after a court struck down that province’s law against bringing liquor across the border. Beer is almost twice as expensive in N.B. than in Quebec.

    In Wisconsin, three fishing buddies pulled up a six-pack of Budweiser cans that, according to Anheuser-Busch, are more than 60 years old. Unfortunately, the cans were empty.

    First “beard beer”, now this. Australia’s 7 Cent Brewery is using yeast from brewers’ belly-button lint to brew a special beer for an upcoming festival.

    British regulators take short pints seriously. So seriously that they brought a pub owner before the local magistrate for serving a pint that was six teaspoons less than a full pint.

    Broadway actors Mark Aldrich and Jimmy Ludwig are launching a series of beers based on Broadway shows. Their first is “Rise Up Rye”, inspired by the hit musical Hamilton. Rye was the mainstay grain of colonial American brewers.

    On June 2, the Asheville Tourists baseball team will take the field as the “Beer City Tourists”. It’s the team’s way of honoring the city’s brewing community—and taking part in Asheville Beer Week.

    Finally, Taedonggang beer, from North Korea’s state-owned brewery, has turned up in stores in some Chinese cities. It’s high-quality beer, but its price—a 22-ouncer costs the equivalent of more than $3 U.S.—is too high for the average Chinese consumer.

    The Friday Mash (Apple Edition)

    Forty years ago today, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne founded what became Apple, Inc. Today, the Apple brand is considered the world’s most valuable, worth close to $120 billion.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Fort Worth, where fans of Louis Torres’s “beer can house” have just days to get a last look at it. Torres sold the house, which is likely to be leveled by developers.

    A federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled that Anheuser-Busch InBev can sell beer with up to 0.03 percent less alcohol than advertised and still be in compliance with the law.

    The World of Beer chain of beers is taking expansion to a new level. It has granted a franchise to Chinese investors, who plan to open three locations in Shanghai.

    According to the UK’s Local Government Association, one way of curbing alcohol abuse is to make lower-alcohol beverages—i.e., beer—more widely available to drinkers.

    Neal Ungerleider of Fast Company magazine reports on the status of Stone Brewing Company’s brewery in Berlin, and Stone’s effort to sell IPA to Germany’s conservative beer drinkers.

    A couch potato’s dream happened in I-95 in Melbourne, Florida. A semi-trailer carrying Busch beer slammed into the back of another truck loaded with Frito-Lay products.

    Finally, the owner of a Belgian beer bar in Philadelphia had these words for those who carried out the terror attacks in Brussels: “Heaven is an afterlife of Belgian beers, chocolates and frietjes that the terrorists shall never know.”

    Beer…By the Numbers

  • U.S. brewery count as of November 2015: 4,144 (the highest total on record).
  • Previous high brewery count: 4,131 (set in 1873).
  • California’s brewery count: 600, as of December 3, 2015.
  • Percent increase over last year: 18.
  • Rate at which new breweries open in California: 2 per week.
  • U.S. sales of Guinness beer in 2014: 2.4 million barrels.
  • U.S. sales of Guinness beer in 2006: 3.3 million barrels.
  • UK households expected to buy beer online this month: 1 million.
  • Increase over December 2014: 200,000.
  • Flavored malt beverages’ share of the beer market: 3.25 percent.
  • Growth in flavored malt beverage sales over last year: 9.5 percent.
  • Years since Dogfish Head Brewery opened: 20. (At the time, it was America’s smallest brewery.)
  • Dogfish Head’s curret rank, by sales, among craft breweries: 13th.
  • Number-one selling Snow beer’s share of China’s beer market: 23 percent.
  • Number-two selling Tsingtao beer’s market share: 18 percent.
  • The State of Beer in China

    This summer, the financial pages have run stories about the woes surrounding China’s economy. But Patti Waldmier, a correspondent for the Financial Times, observes that middle-class Chinese are still spending on high-end items, including local craft beer. What makes craft’s success even more amazing is that small breweries exist in a gray area of Chinese law.

    Many Chinese consider their beer choice an expression of national pride. They prefer beer made from local ingredients and brewed for local palates. For example, a Nanjing brewer named Gao Yan has combined his master’s degree in chemistry with the know-how of traditional Chinese medicine. His best-selling is jasmine tea lager, and has also brewed beer using sweet potatoes, purple rice, chili peppers, and sweet osmanthus flowers.

    The Friday Mash (Tiffany’s Edition)

    On this day in 1837, the retailer now known as Tiffany’s was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and Teddy Young in New York City. The founders called their store a “stationery and fancy goods emporium.” However, Tiffany’s didn’t serve breakfast, let alone Founder’s Breakfast Stout.

    And now….The Mash! 

    We begin in Sacramento, where the inaugural California Craft Beer Summit took place. This two-day festival attracted the biggest names in craft brewing, who talked about the state of the industry.

    Listen up, class. Sylvester Schneider, the owner of Zum Schneider in New York City, has prepared a video to show you how to pour wheat, pilsner, and lager beer like a German.

    A boarding school in Zimbabwe has slapped a ban on breakfast cereal. Students mixed it with brown sugar, water, and yeast, then left it in the sun to ferment into beer.

    The recipes for New Belgium Brewing Company’s dubbel and trippel Belgian-style ales are getting a makeover. The changes, which include a different yeast strain, will make the beers more authentically Belgian tasting.

    A video of six Scottish men, drinking beer at the bottom of a swimming pool while on vacation in Florida, was viewed more than 1.8 million times on YouTube in the week after it was posted.

    Greg Koch, the founder of Stone Brewing Company, is stepping down as CEO. He’ll stay on as executive chairman, and he promises not to sell out to one of the big breweries.

    Finally, even though China is a huge beer market, intense competition has made it tough for breweries to make much of a profit. That problem could get worse as the country’s economy slows.

    The Friday Mash (Very Endangered Species Edition)

    On this day in 1844, the last two known great auks were killed. These large flightless penguin-like birds, which lived in the North Atlantic, were hunted to extinction because their down was in high demand in Europe.

    And on that auk-ward note…The Mash!

    We begin in China, where designer Li Rongjun has built an office out of 8,500 empty beer bottles. Rongjun has a degree in construction from the Inner Mongolia University of Science & Technology.

    Lagunitas Brewing Company will build a third brewery in Asuza, California. The new plant, with a projected capacity of more than 400,000 barrels a year, is expected to open in early 2017.

    Molson’s Beer Fridge will make an appearance at this month’s Pan-American Games in Toronto. The latest edition will dispense a free Molson to those who say “I Am Canadian” in any of 40 languages.

    Anita Brown, an artist in Los Angeles, has designed beers for each of the books in the Harry Potter series. They include Pilsner of Azkaban, Amber of Secrets, and Deathly Hops (h/t Jay Brooks).

    Queen is the latest rock group to release its own beer. It’s a pilsner that will be called—what else?—Bohemian Rhapsody. The bottle’s design features a crest designed by Freddie Mercury himself while he was in college.

    5 Rabbit Cerveceria has pulled a custom-brewed batch of ale from Chicago’s Trump Tower in protest of Donald Trump’s comments about Mexico. 5 Rabbit’s founder, is a native of Costa Rica.

    Finally, New Orleans is rarely associated with German culture, but Tchoupitoulas Beer Garden, a year-round, Oktoberfest-inspired beer hall, will open this summer in the city’s Warehouse District.

    Beer…By the Numbers

  • American movie theaters that serve beer: 200 to 400.
  • Percentage of American movie theaters that serve beer: 3.5 to 7.
  • China’s Snow beer’s share of the world-wide beer market: 5.4 percent.
  • Snow’s world-wide rank in market share: 1st.
  • Number of Chinese breweries in the world-wide Top 10: 4.
  • China’s beer production in 2014: 41.6 million barrels.
  • Decline in production from 2013 to 2014: 2.8 percent.
  • Africa’s beer industry’s compound average growth rate since 2008: 6.6 percent.
  • Asia’s beer industry’s compound average growth rate since 2008: 5.9 percent.
  • Tennessee’s highest-in-the-nation beer tax: $1.29 per gallon ($40 per barrel).
  • Other states with a beer tax higher than $1 per gallon: 3 (Alabama, Alaska, Georgia).
  • Brewery openings in 2014: 615.
  • Brewery closings in 2014: 46.
  • Events at this year’s Albuquerque Beer Week: 170, over an 11-day period.
  • Venues participating in Albuquerque Beer Week: 55.
  • The Friday Mash (Not Mr. Met Edition)

    On this day in 1872, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in Manhattan. With more than two million works in its permanent collection, “The Met”—not to be confused with baseball mascot “Mr. Met”—is one of the largest art museums in the world.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Turkey, where security guards red-carded a fan for trying to smuggle beer into a soccer stadium. A whole case of bottles, in an outfit he’d designed for that purpose.

    The latest trademark fight pits New Belgium Brewing Company and Oasis, Texas Brewing Company, both of which brew a beer called “Slow Ride”. New Belgium filed its mark ahead of Oasis, but Oasis’s beer hit the market first.

    Vietnam’s robust drinking culture—there is no word for “hangover”—is raising concerns about health as citizens grow wealthier. A glass of beer costs just 30 U.S. cents.

    Screenwriter and director Matthew Vaughn says that Guinness provided the inspiration for Kingsman: The Secret Service. Over pints, Vaughn and comic book maestro Mark Miller came up with the idea of an old-school spy movie.

    The popularity of IPA and other craft beer has forced Iowa lawmakers to revisit the definition of “beer”. Beverages with 5 to 8 percent ABV currently exist in a legal twilight zone.

    An Austin, Texas, company has developed a product called Kube, which combines a high-quality portable sound system and a beverage cooler. It’s designed to be used at parties and outdoor events.

    Finally, Empire Brewing Company is collaborating with China’s Jingwei Fu Tea Company to brew Two Dragons beer. It starts out mellow and woody, and finishes with a sweet tea-like taste. Empire hopes to export it to China.

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