Beer…By the Numbers

  • Oklahoma’s share of the nation’s 3.2 percent beer consumption: 56 percent (On Tuesday, Oklahoma voters approved sales of full-strength beer at grocery and convenience stores).
  • Second-place Utah’s share of the nation’s 3.2 percent beer consumption: 29 percent.
  • 3.2 percent beer’s share of national beer consumption: 3 percent.
  • U.S. beer imports in 2005: 26.5 million barrels.
  • U.S. beer imports in 2015: 31.3 million barrels.
  • Craft beer’s share of Brazil’s beer market: 0.8 percent.
  • Annual growth in craft beer sales in Brazil: 40 percent.
  • U.S. craft beer sales in 2005: 6.9 million barrels.
  • U.S. craft beer sales in 2015: 21.9 million barrels.
  • Increase in craft beer sales in 2015 over 2014: 12.8 percent.
  • Increase in craft breweries in 2015 over 2014: nearly 40 percent.
  • Number of beers £5 can buy in Denmark: 1.09.
  • Number of beers £5 can buy in Vietnam: 10.9.
  • Belgium’s brewery count in 2009: 127.
  • Its brewery count in 2015: 199.
  • The Friday Mash (Cubs Win! Edition)

    On this date in 1908, the Chicago Cubs last won the World Series. Managed by Frank Chance of “Tinker to Evers to Chance” fame, they beat the Detroit Tigers, 4 games to 1. Cubs fans are hoping their team can end their 108-year drought in this year’s playoffs.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Detroit, where Ludwig’s beloved Lions will sell $3.50 beers during Sunday’s game against the L.A. Rams. The way the Lions are playing, fans need a few to get them through the game.

    D.G. Yuengling & Son is waging a last-ditch fight against the pending merger of Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller. Yuengling argues that A-B is trying to keep it out of new markets.

    German scientists have found that beer causes less liver damage than hard liquor. The reason? Hops may inhibit the formation of reactive oxygen species, which can damage cells in the liver.

    Ken Pagan, the Toronto-area man accused of throwing a beer can at a player during a baseball game, better have his lawyer warming up. A Canadian attorney discusses Pagan’s legal problems.

    Two Copenhagen men have taken the idea of freeze-dried coffee and applied it to four of their craft beers. They’ve created instant versions of a coffee beer, a fruity IPA, a wild-yeast IPA, and a pilsner.

    After a church in Canyon, Texas, ran an anti-alcohol ad in the local paper, an establishment called the Imperial Taproom offered a discount to customers who brought in a copy of the ad.

    Finally, Fat Head’s Brewery had a very short reign as “Mid-Sized Brewing Company of the Year” at the Great American Beer Festival. Officials revoked the award after concluding that Fat Head’s, which has three locations, had been misclassified.

    Cracking The Beer Code

    Denmark’s TO ØL Brewery has released six beers whose names and labels touched off Da Vinci Code-level sleuthing on both sides of the Atlantic. The beers have names such as “Mr. Blue”, and strange alphanumeric symbols on the label: a letter, a colon, and digits.

    It turns out that the alphanumeric characters represent Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Key symbols used for four-color process printing. For example, Mr. Blue’s C:98, M:8, Y:6, K:0 is the printing “recipe” for the color blue. Other colors in the series include Blonde, Brown, Orange, Pink, White, and a forthcoming Brown.

    The mystery doesn’t end there. The beers’ colorful names are tied to the 1992 film Reservoir Dogs in which the gem thieves adopted the names of colors as their aliases.

    Finally, the brewery’s name is part of the story. In Danish, “ØL” is similar to the English word ale. It’s also an abbreviated adaption of the brothers’ first names. In other words the name signifies, in English, “Two Founders, Two Beers”.

    The Friday Mash (1,500th Blog Post Edition)

    We aren’t beginning the Mash with a historical reference because we’re too busy celebrating a milestone. Today’s Mash is the 1,500th post on “Ludwig Roars.” Now excuse us while we refill our pint glasses.

    And now….The Mash! 

    We begin in the West Bank, where the Taybeh Brewery hosted its 11th annual Oktoberfest. The brewery poured a non-alcoholic beer for festival-goers from neighboring Muslim towns.

    Anheuser-Busch InBev’s planned takeover of SAB Miller has advertising agencies worried. Less competition could mean less advertising. That, in turn, could affect the sports industry’s bottom lilne.

    A 3,800-year-old poem honoring Ninkasi is also a recipe for Sumerian beer. Brewers have replicated the beer, which tastes like dry apple cider and has a modest 3.5 percent ABV.

    Organizers of the Skanderborg Music Festival in Denmark have found an alternative to sleeping in hot tents: giant beer cans that offer a bed with pillows, shelving, a fan, and other amenities.

    Jake Anderson, a goalie for the University of Virginia hockey team, was given five-minute major penalty and ejected from the game after chugging a can of Keystone Lite during the second intermission.

    Québécois travel writer Caitlin Stall-Paquet takes us a beer-focused road trip through Gaspésie and the Bas-Saint-Laurent. The attractions also include museums, cathedrals, and rock formations.

    Finally, Portland beer writer Jeff Alworth, who spent two years traveling and tasting beers, has written The Beer Bible. The 656-page book is accessible, but at the same time, an in-depth exploration of the heritage behind the beers we drink today.

    The Friday Mash (Monkey Trial Edition)

    Ninety years ago today, the “Monkey Trial” trial of science teacher John Scopes began. The trial, famously depicted in Inherit the Wind, made Dayton, Tennessee, the focus of world-wide attention. Beer was not served outside the courthouse because Prohibition was in effect.

    And now….The Mash! 

    We begin in San Diego, where Comic-Con is underway. If you’re taking part, Andre Dyer of City Beat magazine has some suggestions as to where you can taste the local craft beer.

    Those hard-to-find beers are becoming more available–if you have money. Even though shipping alcoholic beverages is against the law, the chances of getting busted for it are negligible.

    Hailstorm Brewing Company has released Captain Serious #19 Pale Ale in honor of Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. Chicago has won three of the last six Stanley Cups.

    Heineken NV and Carlsberg A/S are building breweries in Myanmar. Eighty percent of Myanmar’s adults drink beer, and the country’s largest brewery is owned by current and former military personnel.

    Beer shortages loom in Venezuela. Strikes at the Polar brewing company, which controls 80 percent of the market, have shut down half the brewery’s plants and forced others to run at reduced capacity.

    Naragansett beer, once a New England favorite, has once again become popular—and not just in New England. What makes its revival even more amazing is that the brewery accomplished it on a shoestring media budget of $100,000.

    Finally, a Danish music festival will collect attendees’ urine, which will be used to fertilize barley plants that will be used in a beer to be served at the 2017 festival. Organizers call this—admit it, you saw this coming—“Piss to Pilsner.”

    Beer…By the Numbers

  • Cases of beer Americans will drink on Super Bowl Sunday: 50 million.
  • Cost of all that beer: $1.8 billion.
  • Trips to the bathroom necessitated by drinking all that beer: 1.4 billion.
  • Breweries in Denmark (population 5.6 million): 132.
  • Brewery openings in Denmark in 2012: 11.
  • Growth of China’s beer market from 2006 to 2011: 29 percent (just over 5 percent per year).
  • Estimated annual growth of India’s beer market: 15 percent.
  • U.S. beer sales in 2011: $98 billion.
  • Increase over 2010: 2 percent.
  • U.S. retail establishments that sell beer: 547,000.
  • Beer distributors in the U.S.: 3,300.
  • Alabama counties where beer can’t be sold: 1 (out of 67: Clay County).
  • Alabama’s beer tax: $1.05 (second highest in the nation).
  • Kentucky counties where beer can’t be sold: 39 (out of 120).
  • Kentucky’s beer tax: 8 cents per gallon (tied with 3 other states for 4th lowest).
  • The Friday Mash (Berlin Wall Edition)

    On this day in 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. The wall’s demise led not only to the reunification of Germany but also to the fall of Communism in eastern Europe. Feel free to celebrate with a continental Pilsner.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in New Ulm, Minnesota, where a local theater company is putting on The History of Beer, Part I. It’s heavy on audience participation, including traditional German beer-hall songs.

    Many beers are aged in bourbon barrels, but New Holland Artisan Spirits has reversed the process. Its Beer Barrel Bourbon is aged in barrels that once held the brewery’s Dragon’s Milk Stout.

    Matt Dredge, at Pencil and Spoon, believes that IBUs are not the best indicator of how bitter your beer will taste. Instead, he recommends BU:GUs (Bitterness Units: Gravity Units), a ratio first introduced by author Ray Daniels.

    Brewing’s Busch family continues to fascinate authors. William Knoedelseder’s new book, Bitter Brew, was written with the family’s cooperation. Meanwhile, Terry Ganey and Peter Hernon have written an updated version of their 1991 unauthorized biography.

    Another reminder that time flies. Samuel Adams Utopia is celebrating its tenth birthday. Only 15,000 bottles of this year’s extreme (29 percent ABV) beer will be produced.

    Circle next Thursday on your calendar. Belgophile bars, restaurants, and stores across America will take part in the Coast to Coast Toast. November 15 is the 30th anniversary of Vanberg & DeWulf, the New York-based importer of Belgian beer.

    Finally, you missed the ultimate release party. Last Friday evening, bars across Denmark poured free glasses of Julebryg, Tuborg Brewery’s extra-strength Christmas beer.

    Now THAT is a Beer Hall

    The Copenhagen Post reports that Danish archaeologists have discovered a building used by the ancient Viking kings. What was it used for? One possibility is a beer hall.

    Alan McLeod, who brought this archeological dig to our attention, posted a photo of what’s left of the beer hall on A Good Beer Blog, along with his fond wishes that this could have been his friendly local.

    Powered by WordPress