The Friday Mash (Inauguration Day Edition)

Eighty years ago today, Franklin D. Roosevelt took the oath of office, beginning his second term as president. Roosevelt was first the president to be inaugurated on January 20 under the 20th Amendment. Previously, presidents were sworn in on March 4.

And now…The Mash!

We begin at the University of Leuven in Belgium, where scientists have found that brewers “tamed” beer yeasts by reusing them until they adapted to the brewery environment. In fact, brewery yeasts couldn’t survive if reintroduced into the wild.

At age 87, former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke drank a beer while watching the Aussie cricket team take on Pakistan. In college, Hawke set a world record by drinking a yard of ale—that’s three pints—in 11 seconds.

John Laffler, the co-founder of Off Color Brewing, has a confession to make. He’s a fan of Miller High Life, which he describes as light, crisp, technically perfect, and very consistent.

Singer Ed Sheeran dropped 50 pounds in 12 months after giving up beer. Beer is back in Sheeran’s diet, but perhaps he’s switched to these low-calorie offerings.

This year’s 10th annual Philadelphia Beer Week will be part of a year-round celebration called “Philly Loves Beer”. Organizers hope the new format gives local breweries greater exposure and draws more visitors.

Refocusing on daytime business, Starbucks has dropped evening beer and wine sales. However, alcohol may eventually return to the chain’s high-end “Roastery” locations.

Finally, bad craft beer is becoming more common. Reasons include lax brewing standards, under-trained brewers, and intense competition that tempts breweries to bring faulty beer to market rather than dump it.

The Friday Mash (Magic Kingdom Edition)

Sixty years ago today, Walt Disney unveiled his theme park, Disneyland, on national television. The “Magic Kingdom” has attracted more than 650 million guests—more than any other amusement park in the world—since it opened.

And now….The Mash! 

We begin in Asheville, North Carolina, where the sold-out Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference is taking place at the Four Points Hotel. Ludwig couldn’t attend, but he’ll be there in spirit.

21st Century Fox, which owns The Simpsons franchise, has licensed Duff beer. For the time being, Duff will only be available in Chile, where bootleg versions of the brand have been turning up on store shelves.

Lawmakers in a number of states passed beer-friendly legislation this year. Mike Pomeranz of Yahoo! Food explains what happened in Florida, Georgia, Iowa, and West Virginia.

Oh, the agony of defeat. Australia’s cricket team was so frustrated by its 169-run defeat at the hands of England in a Test match that it refused the host country’s offer of post-match beers.

Illustrator/animator Drew Christie has created a four-minute-long history lesson titled “The United States of Beer”, in which he offers a modest proposal: a cabinet-level Secretary of Beer.

Here’s another reason to book that trip to Honolulu. Maui Brewing Company will open a brewpub in Waikiki. It will be located in the Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber.

Finally, Kathy Flanigan and Chelsey Lewis of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel take you on a beer tour of Wisconsin’s Driftless Region. It includes plenty of history, and features a visit to “The Troll Capital of the World.”

The Friday Mash (Penny Wise Edition)

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.

Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

Carlton and United Breweries, which makes Fosters, Kronenbourg, Corona, and Carlsberg in Australia, said that it will buy a beer for every adult in the country if the Australian cricket team defeats England in the upcoming Ashes series, which opens on Thursday.

If the Aussies win, the brewery will print coupons in five Australian newspapers that can be redeemed for a bottle of its beer. The promotion could cost Carlton and United as much as $20 million Australian ($19.5 million U.S.).

Ludwig thinks the Detroit Lions should do the same for their long-suffering fans. The way that team is playing, fans need to down a few before kickoff.

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