On this day in 1765, James Christie reportedly held his first auction in London. The company he founded has become an art business and fine arts auction house which, every year, sells billions of dollars worth of paintings and other valuable works.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Kano, Nigeria, where police enforcing Sharia law destroyed more than 240,000 bottles of beer that were confiscated from supply trucks and Christian shopkeepers.
In Florida, beer in standard 64-ounce growlers remains illegal thanks to bottle laws passed many years ago. Oddly, it’s legal to sell beer in 32- and 128-ounce containers.
Remember Todd Ruggere, the man who drank a beer in every town in Massachusetts to raise money for cancer research? His next stop is Connecticut, which has 169 towns.
New Belgium Brewing Company is rolling out its tenth year-round beer: Snapshot Wheat, an unfiltered wheat beer with citrusy aroma from Target hops. It checks in at a sessionable 5 percent ABV.
LiveScience’s Stephanie Pappas explains the science behind a common party foul: the foam explosion out of a bottle of beer when you tap it. The tap creates waves which, in turn, create bubbles.
Another item from the world of science. Bricks made with five percent spent grain are nearly 30 percent better insulators, and just as strong as traditional bricks. The drawback? They smell of fermented grain.
Finally, some are defending an Amsterdam organization’s policy of paying hard-core alcoholics in beer to clean up city parks. The workers are healthier and better-behaved now that they’re being treated like humans.
“Franchise” is a dirty word for many in the craft beer community. But don’t tell that to Scott Zepp, a former baseball coach from Pensacola who co-founded the highly-successful World of Beer chain of beer bars.
After a hurricane destroyed his home in 2004, Zepp decided to buy a liquor store in Tampa. The store lost money, so Zepp sold it and went to work for the new owner managing it. He expanded the store’s beer selection to include micro products. Next, Zepp went to work for another retailer that carried hundreds of craft beers. There he came up with the idea of an laid-back beer bar with a huge beer selection. Together with a friend, Matt LaFon, Zepp opened World of Beer with 30 rotating taps and hundreds of bottled beers.
Today, World of Beer has 44 locations in 14 states, and Zepp and LaFon has sold a couple of hundred more franchises. The original plan was to limit the menu to snacks, which allowed franchisees to concentrate on selling beer and avoid the headaches that come with running a restaurant. However, locations will soon roll out a limited menu of inexpensive, beer-friendly food items.
On this day in 1879, Frank Woolworth opens the first of many Woolworth stores in In Utica, New York. He unwittingly inspired the Marx Brothers’ routine in which Rufus T. Firefly suggested that Chicolini be given “ten years in Leavenworth, or 11 years in Twelveworth”; and Chicolini responded, “I’ll take five and ten in Woolworth.”
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Florida, where a 45-year-old law, passed as part of a turf war among big brewers, has the unintended effect of banning the sale of growlers. Lawmakers are trying to fix that.
FirstWeFeast.com has compiled a list of 12 celebrities who ought to be spokespersons for craft beer. They include Kat Dennings, the cast of How I Met Your Mother, and, of course, President Barack Obama.
You can buy a beer at many college basketball arenas, including seven of the 20 largest. Beer sales can bring in money through concession revenues, added ticket sales, or both.
Beer and video games have always gone together, but an arcade fighting game called Beercade goes one step farther. It rewards the winning combatant with a cup of beer.
To celebrate their city’s Beer Week, the San Francisco Brewers Guild has rolled out “Green Death”, a malt liquor inspired by the 50s-60s version of Rainier Ale. Paper bag not included.
Don’t expect Anheuser-Busch to advertise this anytime soon. According to a nationwide survey, beer is the favorite beverage of underage drinkers and Budweiser is their favorite brand.
Finally, if you have a ticket to tomorrow’s Winter Beer Festival in Grand Rapids, John Serba of MLive.com has some friendly advice: dress warmly for 33-degree temperatures and snow flurries.
On this day in 1836, delegates from Michigan Territory ceded the Toledo Strip to Ohio, meeting a condition laid down by Congress for becoming a state. Michigan’s consolation prize was the Upper Peninsula, which turned out to contain billions of dollars worth of iron and copper.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Deerfield Beach, Florida, where the city fathers have given Chaz Stevens the go-ahead to put up a Festivus pole made of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans.
Next year, Deschutes Brewery will celebrate 25 years in business with a series of collaborative anniversary beers. The collaborators are breweries that, like Deschutes, opened in 1988.
Hurricane Sandy delayed it, but Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s expansion should be complete by the end of next summer. The expansion will increase capacity to 600,000 barrels per year.
A Colorado lawmaker plans to introduce a bill that would let grocery and convenience stores sell craft beer. Currently, these stores are limited to selling 3.2 beer.
Bloomington’s Upland Brewing Company plans to revive Indiana’s all-time most beloved beer, Champagne Velvet, which was brewed in Terre Haute during the first half of the 20th century.
There’s a new board game called Beer and Vikings. To win, a character must drink the most beer from the communal barrel. In case of a tie, whoever killed the most opponents wins.
Finally, it’s that time of the year again. Wynkoop Brewing Company has put out a call for entries for its 17th annual Beerdrinker of the Year Competition. The winner will get free Wynkoop beer for life.
On this day in 1785 the University of Georgia, the nation’s first public university, was established. The list of people who went to UGA includes Colonel Charles Beckwith, creator of the Army’s Delta Force; actress Kim Basinger; Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker; numerous Georgia governors; and the members of R.E.M.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Frederick, Maryland, where Flying Dog Ales plans to roll out 20 beers over the course of the year. One of them, a saison called Wildeman, is the first addition to the brewery’s year-round lineup since Raging Bitch hit the shelves in 2009.
The Houston Astros have announced that they’re reducing the price of beer at Minute Maid Field this coming season. The way the Astros are playing–they had the worst record in the majors last season–fans will need a few to get them through the game.
John Close of RacingNation.com insists that beer is “the official fuel of NASCAR”, pointing out that beer and auto racing have gone together for decades. Close says that the only beer-soaked event that draws more fans than NASCAR races is Munich’s Oktoberfest.
The Washington Beer Commission has announced that the second annual Washington Beer Open House will take place February 25. Among other things, participating breweries will offer food pairings, rare barrel tastings, and new seasonal releases.
If going to next month’s San Francisco Beer Week, Zambo, the head brewer at 21st Amendment Brewery has beer and restaurant recommendations. He also recommends the quirky Coit Tower.
The folks at Liveability magazine have compiled a list of the ten best “unexpected beer cities”. Expect to find good brew in unheralded places like Akron, Boise, and Chattanooga.
Finally, some good news for spring breakers headed to Florida. Cigar City Brewing Company will open a pub at Tampa International Airport in March. It’s part of a $6 million concessions upgrade.
One hundred years ago today, Georges Claude, a French engineer and inventor, presented neon lighting at the Paris Motor Show. During the 1920s and 1930s, neon was used extensively in advertising and signage; and today, it’s recognized as an art form, with several American museums devoted to it.
We’d like to celebrate with a toast, not just to neon but to the rest of the noble gases.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Westport, Massachusetts, where Just Beer has released a 12-part detective story on the back of the label of its IPA. The first part of the story is online, but you’ll have to buy the other 11 bottles to read the story in its entirety.
After an absence of more than half a century, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is returning to America. Joe Sixpack discusses the beer’s distinguished pedigree.
Is Britain’s wave of pub closures coming to an end? Pete Brown sees signs that the worst is over.
Florida is known as a beer wasteland, but craft breweries are sprouting up across the Sunshine State.
Beer for Fido? A Dutch brewery is making alcohol-free Dog Beer, which is made from a blend of beef extract and malt.
Finally, an Oklahoma-based brewery has gotten the government’s permission to put the Pledge of Allegiance on cans of Old Glory Lager.