Fortune magazine

“Trophy” Craft Beers

Fortune magazine’s Chris Morris bagged his first “trophy beer” by accident when he stumbled upon Mexican Cake, a limited-release beer from a South Carolina brewery, at a local liquor store.

People pay $50 or more for beers such as The Alchemist’s Heady Topper, 3 Floyd’s Dark Lord, and Founders’ Canadian Breakfast Stout. Some do so—and, in many cases, also travel long distances—because these beers are hard to find. Others enjoy the bragging rights that come with getting a hard-to-find beer. And still others buy them to trade for other rare beers.

Morris, whose article mentions several leading trophy beers, points out that it’s sometimes possible to find them at beer festivals. Just one problem: you won’t be able to bring any bottles home.

The Friday Mash (Iditarod Edition)

Thirty years ago today, Libby Riddles became the first woman to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. “Mushers,” as competitors are called, must brave dangerous cold, blizzards, and whiteout conditions on the 1,135-mile course from Willow to Nome, Alaska.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in St. Paul, where a delegation of Minnesotans—including state lawmakers—made a symbolic beer run to Wisconsin to protest their state’s ban on Sunday alcohol sales.

A group of writers at Fortune magazine took a stab at deciding what your choice of beer brand says about you. For instance, Amstel Light says, “Thank God the beer is free at this office party.”

Rhys Morgan, a student at the University of Cardiff in Wales, figured out how to make a bottle opener out of a sheet of paper. His YouTube tutorial has more than 350,000 views.

Civil engineer Dave McWilliams won first prize in a home brewing contest. And what a prize it was: the opportunity to brew a batch of IPA at Anheuser-Busch’s pilot brewery in St. Louis.

Tap beer is served at 38 degrees. That’s fine for mass-market lagers, but it’s too cold for craft beers, which should be served at temperatures between the mid-40s and the upper 50s.

Beer is expensive in New York City, but an app called Price Per Pint can help find the cheapest drinks, as well as specific happy-hour times and daily specials at hundreds of establishments.

Finally, staffers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation brewed up a beer protest of the National Security Agency’s “three-hop” surveillance program. Their beer is called “Stormbrew” and yes, the recipe is available to the public under a Creative Commons license.

The Friday Mash (Istanbul Not Constantinople Edition)

The Four Lads once asked the musical question, “Why did Constantinople get the works?” Their answer: “It’s nobody’s business but the Turks’” Eighty-four years ago today, the Turks changed the city’s name to Istanbul. They also changed the name of their capital to Ankara.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Cincinnati, where Listerman Brewing Company is hosting Starkbierfest, a family-friendly version of Munich’s Lenten tradition where potent doppelbock takes center stage.

Yards Brewing Company is brewing a special beer for the popular TV show “Walking Dead.” No humans have been eaten in the brewing process, which involves smoking goat brains.

Colorado governor John Hickenlooper has installed craft beer taps at his official residence. The first keg he tapped was Silverback Pale from Wynkoop Brewing Company, which he founded.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Fortune magazine writers tried MillerCoors’s new Fortune beer and gave it a thumbs-up–and not just for its name.

While visiting Belgium, Jay Brooks discovered a new organization, the Belgian Family Brewers. Its members have been brewing for at least 50 years, and have been family-owned all that time.

Purists are up in arms about it, but three Seattle-area homebrewers have developed the PicoBrew Zymatic, a “set-and-forget” system that can be controlled from one’s laptop.

Finally, Florida craft brewers learned that campaign cash trumps free enterprise. The State Senate president admitted that he’s against legalizing half-gallon growlers because a big beer distributor is a major contributor to his party.

The Friday Mash (Summer Solstice Edition)

Throughout North America, today is the summer solstice. This means you’ll have more hours of daylight than any other day in the year. Since it’s Friday, Ludwig highly recommends that you celebrate summer with a beer…or two.

And now….The Mash!

We begin on Memory Lane, with a Forbes magazine story from 1994 about America’s changing beer industry. Much attention is paid to Coors Brewing Company’s new product, Zima.

Brauerei Beck & Co. is celebrating its 140th anniversary with beer bottles that can play music. They’re “Edison cylinders,” which played recorded sound before the modern platter-style disc arrived.

Is beer really cheaper than gasoline? According to Keg Works, that’s true for home-brewed beer, which costs $2.50 a gallon, but not for store-bought beer until unleaded regular tops $5 a gallon.

Ever wonder what it’s like to practice beer law?. Marcus Reed of Cosgrave Vergeer Kester LLP in–where else?–Portland, Oregon, explains what his line of work entails.

Hamm’s, which brewed its last beer in 1997, is coming back to life. Flat Earth Brewing Company will move its operations into two vacant buildings in the Hamm’s Minneapolis complex.

Airline miles burning a hole in your pocket? Spend them on summer beer travel. Jason Notte of TheStreet.com recommends five “hidden beer destinations.”

Finally, if PBR has gotten too expensive at your local bar, Jesse Tigges of ColumbusAlive.com recommends five cheap alternatives. He points out that much-maligned Schlitz has gone back to its classic recipe.

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