Esquire magazine

Don’t Try This in Your Home State

Esquire magazine’s Aaron Goldfarb’s adventures in stunt drinking include bar crawling an airline terminal and downing the contents of a hotel mini-bar. His latest adventure was drinking at every brewery in the state—in one day. The only state where that’s possible is Rhode Island—it’s the smallest in area and has 16 breweries—so Goldfarb hopped a train to Providence, where his designated driver was waiting.

Here are the stats for Goldfarb’s day:

  • Beers sampled: 97.
  • BONUS! Whiskies sampled: 7.
  • BONUS! Rums sampled: 3.
  • Miles driven: 93.1.
  • Steps walked: 3,617.
  • Hours spent drinking: 14.
  • How did Goldfarb feel after finishing his odyssey? “I’m surprisingly not too drunk, not even too tired. I’m just really [expletive deleted] sick of beer. It feels like I will never get the taste of beer out of my mouth.”

    Don’t Be a “Sample Hog”

    Aaron Goldfarb of Esquire magazine has some friendly advice for craft beer fans: don’t abuse your sampling privileges. Even though Goldfarb understands the purpose of asking for samples, he comments, “I can’t tell you how much of my life I must sit around thirsty and sober because some yahoo has asked for taste after taste after ceaseless taste of that kölsch (too boring) and then that gose (too salty) and finally that gueuze (too tart!) before simply ordering his old standby.”

    The Friday Mash (Czech Republic Edition)

    On this day in 1918, Czechoslovakia came into existence. Since 1993, after the “Velvet Divorce” from Slovakia, the country is known as the Czech Republic. Different name, but the same great beer.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in New Jersey, the only state that bars amusement games in bars. Lawmakers are considering the “Dave & Busters Bill,” which would repeal the 55-year-old law.

    Bad news for microbreweries: beer drinkers in their 20s are gravitating toward craft beer. The number one reason is that this age group is bored with the taste of mass-market brews.

    They’ve risen from the dead. Schlitz, Narragansett, and four other “zombie” beers are back from “Pabst purgatory”. Interestingly, three of the six are from Greater Cincinnati.

    Not everybody loves session beer. Esquire magazine’s Aaron Goldfarb thinks the idea is dumb. He insists there’s a reason why you don’t see session bourbon or session wine in stores.

    Skol’s new Beats Senses beer comes in a deep-blue-colored bottle, and a Brazilian agency decided the best way to advertise it was to film a commercial underwater–which wasn’t easy.

    Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas features the first-ever sea-going gastropub. It will serve a variety of American craft beers, which are still hard to find aboard cruise ships.

    Finally, Joe Maddon impressed sportswriters at his first press conference as the Chicago Cubs’ new manager. He held it the The CubbyBear, a ballpark bar, and treated the writers to a shot and a beer.

    The Friday Mash (Ludwig Returns! Edition)

    Early this morning, Ludwig pulled out his lion phone and texted us. He said he’s on a plane home, and expects us to meet him at the airport. While waiting for his plane, we got caught up on news from the beer world.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Detroit, where Shawn and Aaron Gross will open Windmill Pointe Brewery next year. They’ll rely on bicyclists to provide the power in exchange for beer.

    Paperwork is a pain, so the Minneapolis-based Colle + McVoy ad agency gives employees an incentive to turn in their time sheets—in the form of a pint of August Schell beer.

    Your friends probably believe at least one of the ten persistent beer myths (myth #1 involves IPA’s origins). Jim Vorel of Paste magazine is here to debunk them.

    The Force had better be with New York State’s Empire Brewery. Lucasfilm filed a “Notice of Opposition” to the brewery’s application to trademark “Strikes Bock by Empire.”

    British public-health experts want alcoholic beverage labels to disclose the drink’s caloric content. They contend that heavy drinking is a major cause of obesity.

    Mystery shopper Kyle Taylor says he earned $4,000 a month as a “beer auditor.” His job was to make sure retailers follow ID-checking procedures. And yes, he was over 21.

    Finally, Esquire magazine’s Aaron Goldfarb reflects on the “dad beer” phenomenon. Brands such as Schaefer and Genesee Cream Ale are enjoying a revival thanks to drinkers toasting their fathers and grandfathers.

    The Friday Mash (Buffalo Wings Edition)

    Fifty years ago today, the first batch of chicken wings was served at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. There are several versions of how this now-ubiquitous dish came into existence, but there’s little doubt that its creator was Teressa Bellissimo, who deep-fried the wings and then coated them with hot sauce for her hungry guests.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Vermont, where Nancy Warner’s Potlicker Kitchen sells jellies made with local craft beers. She recommends pairing them with cheese or charcuterie, or using them to glaze grilled meat.

    Central Michigan University is the latest school to offer a certificate program in brewing studies. The program includes science courses plus a 200-hour internship at a local brewery.

    It appears that Washington’s NFL team is serving bad beer along with bad football. Fans have tweeted pictures of bottles of months-old beer that were served to them at FedEx Field.

    Drinking beer might improve your brainpower. Experiments with mice suggest that Xanthohumol, a flavonoid found in beer, improves cognitive function. And it’s available without a prescription.

    The 2006 film Beerfest popularized the Bierstiefel or boot-shaped drinking vessel. According to, the custom of drinking beer out of footwear might be thousands of years old.

    Emily Price of Esquire magazine offers ten things to do with beer besides drink it. But why would you?

    Finally, a group of journalists are playing a brewery version of fantasy football. They held a “draft” of breweries competing in this weekend’s Great American Beer Festival, and will earn points based on the medals their selected breweries earn.

    The Friday Mash (Oregon Trail Edition)

    On this day in 1843, one thousand pioneers set out from Missouri on the first major wagon train on the Oregon Trail. It would be nearly 140 more years until microbrew pioneers established themselves in Oregon, but they’re certainly made up for lost time.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Cleveland, where Johnny Manziel celebrated being drafted #1 draft by the Browns by treating bar patrons to a shot and a beer. The way the Browns have been playing, fans need a few to deaden the pain.

    Do you know what LPT1 is? It stands for “lipid transfer protein.” Karl Siebert, a professor of food science in New York State, says it’s the secret to optimal foam in the head of a freshly-poured beer.

    Another sign of American craft beer’s popularity overseas: San Diego’s Karl Strauss Brewing Company may invest £1.7 million to develop a brewpub in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

    Utah is known for teetotaling residents and weird liquor laws, but the state is home to 20 breweries. Best-known is Uinta Brewing Company, which ranks in the country’s top 50.

    Esquire magazine’s Aaron Goldfarb cites 13 reasons why bars in movies are totally unrealistic. Reason #12: a customer can ask for “a beer” without naming a brand.

    Will Hawkes set out from London on a day trip to Brussels. Stops included Cantillon and several of the city’s famous beer bars, where his group reacquainted itself with the Belgian classics.

    Finally, a restaurateur plans to build a Hofbrauhaus beer hall in downtown Buffalo. Meanwhile, another Hofbrauhaus is under construction in Columbus, Ohio.

    Educating Your Friends

    If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, there’s a good chance you’re frustrated because your friends haven’t developed the same appreciation for beer that you have. Aaron Goldfarb, writing for Esquire is here to help with tips on throwing a craft beer party.

    Goldfarb starts with common-sense pointers, such as making beer non-intimidating to your friends, comparing what you drink to what they do, and teaching proper tasting lingo (because, after all, “being an accomplished beer geek is mostly about lexiconical one-upmanship”). Goldfarb throws in these final words of advice:

    Quit trying to influence these normal people into adopting your Trekkian hobbies. Remember, most people go to parties to dance, chat up girls, and recklessly pour alcohol into their faces. Not to sit around with a bunch of bearded fat guys carefully checking in arcane beers on Untappd.

    Best Beers of 2012

    It’s never too early to compile a “Best Beers” list, especially if you’re Esquire magazine beer writer Evan Benn. His more than 20 picks are divided into categories: The Hoppy Ones, The Best Use of Beer Lemonade, The Funky Beers, The James Bond Lager, The Mellow Beers, Gluten Beer That Doesn’t Suck, and Brewers Without a Home.

    One of these beers is an early favorite for best beer name of 2012: Green Flash Palate Wrecker. It’s a “triple IPA” that Benn describes as “a rollercoaster of floral and biscuit-y aromas, followed by a wallop of piney hops.”

    The Friday Mash (Record Book Edition)

    On this day in 1925, Ross and Norris McWherter were born. Their names might not be familiar, but their work certainly is. They’re the authors of The Guinness Book of World Records, which first appeared in irish pubs in 1954. Intended as a promotional giveaway, the book went on to become the world’s largest-selling copyrighted book–and the one most often stolen from public libraries.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin with one for the record book in Brooklyn, New York, where the Coney Island Brewing Company claims to be the world’s smallest brewery.

    in England, breweries are working on new low-alcohol beers because starting in October, the excise tax will be cut in half for beer with less than 2.8 percent ABV.

    Attention sessionistas. Esquire magazine invited Evan Benn to assemble a slideshow of nine top session beers. All but one are brewed in the U.S.A.

    Starting today, you can party like it’s 1913 at Hoboken, New Jersey’s Pilsnerhaus, an Austro-Hungarian biergarten.

    Beer writer Bryan Yeager has gone all-in for ale. Not only have he and his wife moved to Portland, Oregon, but they’ve opened an inn where guests are greeted with a six-pack of local brew.

    We all know that Munich’s Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival, but what’s in the number-two spot? It’s the Bergkirchweih Festival, which takes place in late spring in Erlangen, Germany.

    Finally, a fire department in Oregon has a converted beer truck on standby for mass casualty incidents. It’s equipped with a variety of emergency medical equipment but, so far as we know, no beer.

    Required Reading for Festival Fans

    Don’t let $4-a-gallon gas get you down: it’s time to start planning your summer beer travels. To get you started, Esquire magazine has asked Evan Benn to choose nine of America’s best beer festivals. The Great American Beer Festival is an obvious choice, but some of his other picks might surprise you. And to keep them a surprise, we won’t reveal them. You’ll have to look at the slideshow.

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