On this day in 2000, the Nasdaq Composite stock market index peaked at 5132.52, thanks to investors who bid up dot.com shares to astronomically high prices. Those who didn’t take profits got a nasty surprise: the Nasdaq fell by more than 50 percent by year’s end.
And now….The Mash!
Fittingly, we begin on Wall Street, where big breweries’ stocks haven’t been doing well. According to SeekingAlpha.com, the only company whose shares are trading near their 52-week high is Kirin Holdings Company.
Congress is considering a bill that would cut taxes for small brewers. The bill’s supporters contend that lower taxes would enable breweries to expand production, add jobs, and attract more visitors.
Session IPA is popular, but opinions vary as to its definition. Draft magazine has published a scale which shows how much these IPAs vary in alcoholic strength and, especially, perceived bitterness.
A few years ago, Emily Hengstebeck and her friends partied together at beer festivals. Now employed by a brewery, she found herself on the other side of the table. She describes what it’s like.
More than 7,000 CraftBeer.com readers filled out a survey asking them what was their state’s favorite beer bar, and why they liked it. Without further ado, here are the winners in each state.
It’s still “Miller Time” in Chicago. According to BevSpot, Miller has a more than 8-percent market share in the Windy City, more than twice the brand’s market share nationwide.
Finally, a Virginia brewery will release a beer honoring Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown winner, at a birthday celebration this month. The horse was nicknamed “Big Red”; the beer is an imperial red India pale ale.
Last summer, Draft magazine published its complete guide to “Festiquette”: 30 rules for making your beer festival experience, and everyone else’s, better. The rules include “Eat breakfast”, “Don’t pee on random surfaces”, “Don’t break up”, and—people have actually tried this—“Don’t lie and say you own Draft magazine to get into VIP”.
After a bad experience at this year’s Arizona Strong Beer Festival, Draft has added Rule 31: “Leave the cigars at home”. The magazine’s staff contends that smoking cigars is not only a tacky exercise in conspicuous consumption, but it also ruins the purpose of a festival—namely, tasting and enjoying beer—for others. As they put it, “We liken people who light up at beer festivals to people who microwave fish at work: Sure, you’re allowed to do it, but by doing it, you’re creating discomfort for the people around you.”
Writing in Draft magazine, Zach Fowle told his readers that he was throwing out his considerable collection of growlers. The reason? They’re a terrible way to serve beer, and breweries are wising up to this.
Many breweries have invested heavily in their packaging lines. The technology keeps oxygen levels low and keeps beer product as fresh as possible for as long as possible. Growlers, on the other hand, are what Fowle calls “a glorified pint glass”; the process of filling it introduces oxygen, which over time makes the beer’s quality deteoriate. Growlers are also a pain for breweries, whose employees spend inordinate amounts of time cleaning and filling growlers. Breweries also get unfair online criticism from customers who inflicted bad beer on themselves by bringing in dirty growlers.
The growler’s replacement might be the Crowler. The Crowler machine is a modified soup canner that dispenses beer into 32-ounce cans. The technology was pioneered by Oskar Blues Brewery, which has sold nearly 1,000 of the devices. The Kroger Company is test-marketing Crowlers at one of its locations in Memphis.
Draft magazine saluted craft brewers’ ingenuity by listing ten instances where they turned calamity into opportunity. These brewers suffered mislabeled ingredients, severe weather, and malfunctioning equipment, among other disasters. Instead of throwing out the messy ingredients, they improvised; the result was a popular—and in at least two instances, award-winning–beer.
The most interesting story involves Innis & Gunn Original. It began when Dougal Sharp, then the head brewer at Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh, brewed a Scottish ale for a distillery, which intended to use the ale to season its barrels. Distillery workers, however, loved the beer so much that they sneaked it home in bottles and empty buckets. Sharp, who knew he’d inadvertently brewed a winner, founded Innis & Gunn, which makes the original oak-aged ale to this day.
For the first time in 31 years, Stroh’s beer will be brewed in Detroit. Pabst Brewing Company, which acquired the Stroh’s trademark and recipes, has contracted with Brew Detroit to make Stroh’s Bohemian-Style Beer. It’s a pilsner, based on a Stroh’s recipe from the 1880s. The beer will be released beginning August 22. At least initially, it will be distributed only in Michigan, which accounts for 25 percent of Stroh’s sales nationwide.
And if you’re in Detroit to try Stroh’s, Draft magazine has a rundown on the city’s top places to enjoy beer. Brew Detroit and several other breweries are on the list, along with a number of beer bars—including one, still under construction, that is made from shipping containers.
Already? Draft magazine is out with its annual list of America’s 100 best beer bars. Seventeen establishments are new to this year’s list. Four of the newcomers are in San Diego County, which continues to solidify its position in the top tier of American beer cities; and three cities with very different beer cultures–Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles–each have two establishments making their first appearance in the Top 100.
On this day in 1885, LaMarcus Adna Thompson patented the first roller coaster. The “golden age” of roller coasters began three decades later, but ended with the Great Depression. However, coasters enjoyed a revival in the 1970s, when they appeared at modern-day theme parks such as Cedar Point.
And now…The Mash!
Fittingly, we begin in Ohio, the home of Cedar Point, where newly-signed legislation eliminates a hefty licensing fee for breweries that wish to open tasting rooms.
Move over, Sam Adams. D.G. Yuengling and Son is now the number-one American-owned brewery in production. Yuengling’s sales rose 17 percent last year, to 2.5 million barrels, putting it about 100,000 barrels ahead of Boston Beer Company.
The Brewers Association has announced that Steve Hindy, the chairman and CEO of Brooklyn Brewery, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Craft Beer Conference in San Diego.
If you like to review beer, Canadian blogger Stephen Beaumont has a few suggestions. Don’t review a beer you’ve had a one-ounce sample of and please, please don’t demand VIP treatment from your bartender just because you’re a reviewer.
Get out your road atlas and check your frequent-flyer mile balances. Draft magazine has released the 2012 list of America’s best beer bars. For the record, Maryanne and Paul have been to 21 of them.
RealClimate.org is trying to educate beer drinkers about global warming by likening the Earth to a can of beer, which will become undrinkable by the second half of this century. (Hat tip: Jay Brooks of the Brookston Beer Bulletin.)
Finally, Chris Schewe broke a world record by downing three bottles of Budweiser, with his hands behind his back, in just 37 seconds. Ludwig advises you not to try this at home–or anywhere else.
Nowadays. most American hops are grown in the Pacific Northwest. However, that wasn’t always the case. A century and a half ago, New York State’s Mohawk Valley accounted for 80 percent of the nation’s hops production. Hops have largely disappeared from the region, but the Northeast Hop Alliance is hoping to bring them back, and is eyeing the craft beer industry as a market for the crop.
Meanwhile, the Hops Trail has been created to celebrate New York State’s hops heritage. Your tourguide for the Trail is Hal Smith of Draft magazine. He’ll take you to hop houses and farms, historic estates, museums, a spa town, a landmark tavern, and, of course, breweries, The tour is roughly 100 miles long, running from Sharon Springs in the east to Bouckville in the west–with a detour in Cooperstown, which has a connection to beer as well as baseball–and then north to Oneida, the home of the annual Madison County Hop Fair. It’s a great ride, even for non-beer drinkers.
Sooner or later, you’re going to bring home a few bottles of beer to put away for that “special occasion.” And when you do, you’ll probably wonder what will happen to your beer while it sits in your cellar. To alleviate your concerns, Draft magazine’s Beer Editor invited “Dr.” Bill Sysak to answer these five questions:
The good doctor’s answers will debunk the cellaring myths you’ve heard. And, perhaps, encourage you to buy a few more bottles to put away for that “special occasion.”
It’s cold out, the sun hasn’t shown its face in days, and you’re suffering the late stages of cabin fever. Which means it’s time to plan a beer trip. The folks at Draft magazine are here to help. They’ve released their list of America’s 100 best beer bars. Over the years, Maryanne and Paul have been to 23 of them, including a couple from their home state of Michigan: Ashley’s (Ann Arbor) and HopCat (Grand Rapids).