More than a quarter of Britain’s pubs that existed in 1980 have closed their doors. Last year alone, the country lost some 1,100 pubs. What’s behind this trend?
One factor is spiraling real-estate prices, which provides developers with an incentive to convert pubs into houses and apartments. In just the last five years, the average house price has risen by 50 percent.
Another factor was a 2007 law banning smoking in public places.
And then there’s cost. A pint of beer is five times as expensive in a pub as it is in a supermarket. The price discrepancy is due in part to Britain’s tax code, which imposes a higher levy on pub revenue than supermarket revenue; and to higher staff costs in the service industry than in retail.
But there’s some good news for pub lovers. It is now possible to list local pubs as “assets of community value”, which makes development more difficult. Parliament recently scrapped an inflation-linked excise tax on beer, providing some price relief for beer drinkers. Last but not least, Britain’s craft-brewing boom has resulted in a more diverse selection of beer at the “friendly local”.
Today is the sixth annual World Elephant Day, an observance created by Canadian filmmakers Patricia Sims and Michael Clark. Its purpose is to increase awareness of these animals’ urgent plight.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Beaver, Pennsylvania, where local officials want to stop a restaurant from selling beer-infused waffles. The restaurant has a license to sell beer, but some believe the waffles abuse the privilege.
Oh no! A shortage of pumpkin puree might endanger this year’s pumpkin beer releases. The culprits are unprecedented demand and drought conditions in pumpkin-growing regions.
Vice.com’s Ilkka Siren, who grew up in Finland, went home to get better acquainted with sahti, a temperamental—and much-misunterstood style—that Finns have homebrewed for centuries.
History buffs in Golden, Colorado, want to convert the Astor House hotel into a beer museum with brewing classes, tastings, food and beer pairings, and a look at Colorado brewing history.
Defying the Standells’ song “Dirty Water”, six Massachusetts and brewing beer from the banks of the River Charles. The water is treated, of course.
Craft beer is getting more expensive, for a variety of reasons: costlier raw materials, such as hops and water; higher wages; and bigger utility bills.
Finally, Alabama’s craft brewers are crying foul over a proposed regulation that would require brewers to collect the name, address, age, and phone number from anyone who buys carry-out beer. The rule is aimed at enforcing the state’s limit on purchases.
- Worldwide Trappist brewery count: 10.
- Trappist breweries’ annual production: 387,000 barrels.
- Leading Trappist brand Chimay’s share of that total: 40 percent.
- U.S. beer sales in 2013: 200 million barrels (down 1.4 percent from 2012).
- U.S. craft beer sales in 2013: 14 million barrels (up 9.6 percent from 2012).
- Average craft drinker’s annual spending on beer: $181 (11 trips to the store).
- Average “economy beer” drinker’s annual spending on beer: $252 (18 trips to the store).
- Cost of a six-pack of Heineken in Oklahoma City (cheapest among cities surveyed by NerdWallet.com): $7.33.
- Cost of a six-pack of Heineken in Chicago (most expensive among cities surveyed): $12.99.
- Brewery openings in Colorado in 2013: 57.
- Colorado’s brewery count at the end of 2013: 217.
- Anheuser-Busch InBev’s share price in March 2014: $103.75.
- A-B InBev’s market capitalization in March 2014: $166.83 billion.
- Cost of a ticket to Three Floyds’ annual Dark Lord Day: $30.
- Number of tickets sold: 6,000.
February 15, 1971, was Decimal Day in Britain. From that day forward, the pound sterling was worth 100 pence; and shillings, half-crowns, florins and other charming coinage passed into British history.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Australia, where that country’s governing body for cricket is combating the dreaded beer snake created by fans stacking thousands of cups through the grandstand.
John Schreiber of Manhattan Beach, California, has come up with beer pairings for Girl Scout cookies. For example, Thin Mints call for an old ale, like North Coast Brewing Old Stock Ale.
Jay Brooks has posted a new Periodic Table of Beer Styles at his Brookston Beer Bulletin. Credit for the table goes to a Reddit user named “Delirium Tremens.”
Something old, something new. The Epiphany One Puck will recharge your phone with a cold beer. The devices uses a Stirling engine, which turns heat disparities into energy.
NerdWallet.com scoured the country for the city with the cheapest beer. It’s Carlsbad, New Mexico, where a six-pack of Heineken costs $7.25. Most expensive? New York City, where the same sixer carries a $12.63 price tag.
Why has Sam Adams Alpine Spring been on the shelves for weeks? Jim Koch, Boston Beer Company’s CEO, explains that “in New England, we tend to look forward to next season.”
Finally, Bavarian glassmaker Spiegelau, with help from Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head, have developed a glass designed for drinking IPA. Its ridges at the bottom bring out flavor by creating more foam.