Democrats

The Friday Mash (Stormy Weather Edition)

On this day in 1888, one of the worst blizzards on record struck the northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada. The storm crippled railroads and downed telegraph lines, leading citis and utilities to move their infrastructure below ground.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Cleveland, where delegates to this year’s Republican National Convention will be able to enjoy UnconventionAle, an American pale ale from the aptly named Platform Brewing Company.

And, by virtue of Ludwig’s Equal Time Rule, here’s a Democratic story. Last week, Zero Gravity Brewing Company released Bernie Weisse to celebrate Bernie Sanders’s presidential run.

Austin Beerworks has created a series of beers for Richard Linklater’s upcoming film, Everybody Wants Some. It’s the “spiritual sequel” to his 1993 coming-of-age classic, Dazed and Confused.

MuscleFood.com, U.K.-based online supplement shop, has created “Barbell Brew”. It contains as much protein as a cut of steak, and has 40 percent fewer calories than a regular beer.

In Singapore, craft breweries are opening in spite of high rents and stiff excise taxes. The city-state has about a dozen micros, four of which opened last year.

When astronaut Scott Kelly arrived in the U.S. after a year in space, Second Lady Jill Biden was there to welcome him. She presented Kelly with apple pie—and beer from the White House.

Finally, documents in Union Beer Distributors’ lawsuit against a competitor shed light on “pay-to-play” tactics in the New York area. Union, which admitted to paying bars to handle its brands, is owned by the same family that owns the distributor which was fined $2.6 million by Massachusetts liquor regulators.

The Friday Mash (007 Edition)

Fifty years ago today, Dr. No debuted. The first-ever James Bond film starred Sean Connery in the role of Agent 007, and Ursula Andress as the Bond Girl. The current James Bond is British actor Daniel Craig, who played him in Skyfall, as well as in this Heineken commercial.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which has become a destination for beer travelers. It’s the home of many microbreweries, brewpubs, and bars that specialize in Michigan-brewed beer.

Does your choice of beer reveal your political leanings? A recent study suggests that it does. For instance, Heineken drinkers are Democrats, Samuel Adams drinkers Republicans.

All in a day’s work. Jadrian Klinger of Harrisburg magazine accompanied beer blogger Jeff Kupko on a day of beer tasting. Kupko, who has reviewed some 1,800 beers, explained the finer points of beer appreciation.

In Minneapolis, the Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub used a novel strategy to raise capital: free beer for life for those who invested $1,000. Most of the “members,” as they’re called, live within walking distance.

A new book by Jim Merkel got our attention. Titled “Beer, Brats and Baseball, it tells the story of how Germans shaped St. Louis.

John Steinbeck never ate at a Red Robin restaurant, but he wrote about beer milkshakes, which are now on Red Robin’s menu. They’re mentioned in Chapter 17 of his 1945 novel, Cannery Row.

Finally, “The Most Expensive Beer I Ever Had” award goes to Domagoj Vida, a Croatian soccer player. Vida was fined 100,000 euros ($130,000) after he was caught drinking a beer on the team bus en route to a match.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Czech Republic’s expected hop harvest this fall: 4,500 metric tons.
  • Last year’s Czech hop harvest: 6,088 metric tons.
  • World-wide beer production in 2011: 192.7 billion liters.
  • Increase over 2010: 3.7 percent.
  • Consecutive years that world-wide beer production has increased: 27.
  • Consecutive years that Budweiser has been a sponsor of Major League Baseball: 33.
  • Major-league teams of which Budweiser is a sponsor: 23 (out of 30).
  • Percent of Democrats who had a beer in the last 30 days: 39.
  • Percent of Republicans who had one: 40.
  • Percent of adult Americans whose favorite alcoholic drink is beer: 39.
  • Percent whose favorite alcoholic drink is wine: 35.
  • Breweries in the United Kingdom at the end of 2011: 945.
  • Craft beer’s share of the UK market: 2 percent.
  • Craft breweries in British Columbia: 64.
  • Increase in B.C. craft beer sales in the past year: 14.8 percent.
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