On this day in 1812, American frigate USS Constitution defeated the British frigate HMS Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia. That victory earned her the nickname “Old Ironsides”; and an Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.’s 1830 poem of that name saved her from being decommissioned.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Bosnia, where an online post about homebrewing has, in just five years, grown into a flourishing craft-brewing industry—in a country where fruit brandy, not beer, has been the national beverage.
Pyongyang, North Korea, is playing host to its first-ever beer festival. It was organized to promote Pyongyang-brewed Taedonggang beer, which is named after the Taedong River.
Twenty years after the last shakeout in the craft beer sector, writer Lew Bryson sees another one coming. The good news is that the industry will rebound, and emerge stronger than ever.
The Australian spreads Vegemite and Marmite are made from brewer’s yeast extract. Native Australians are using them to make homebrewed beer in towns where prohibition is in effect.
Stone Brewing Company plans to open a beer-centric hotel across the street from its brewery in southern California. It will offer rare beer tappings along with room-service growlers.
Bob Beamon, whose Olympic long-jump record set in Mexico City still stands, offered a free beer to any athlete who broke his record at the Rio Olympics. No one came close.
Finally, MLS Soccer magazine has the rundown on where beer is sold at pro soccer matches. Germany is one of the beer-friendliest countries; you can drink in the stands at a Bundesliga match.
On this day in 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field in New York, beginning the first-ever solo trans-Atlantic flight. Five years later, Amelia Earhart became the first female aviator to accomplish that feat.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in the halls of justice, where Flying Dog Ales will fund a “First Amendment Society” with the settlement money the state of Michigan paid it. The courts ruled that Michigan violated Flying Dog’s constitutional rights by denying it permission to market Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA.
The Brooklyn Brewery has signed a long-term lease under which it will build a beer garden, brewing facility, and restaurant on the site of the Brooklyn Navy Yard..
A Munich court ordered the Hofbraukeller beer hall to honor its contract to host an event hosted by a far-right political party. In 1919, Adolf Hitler delivered his first-ever political speech at the Hofbraukeller.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, soon to be the new home of the Atlanta Falcons, will have the cheapest beer in the National Football League: $5. It will also offer $3 hot dogs and $2 Coca-Colas.
Some of the biggest names in Chicago’s beer community have joined an effort to raise funds to build the Chicago Brewseum. It will serve beer made on-premises by guest brewers.
Former major-leaguer Brandon Laird, now playing for Japan’s Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, won himself a year’s supply of beer after hitting a home run off the Kirin Brewery sign at the Tokyo Dome.
Finally, the Saugatuck Brewing Company wasted no time poking fun at Anheuser-Busch’s rebranding of Budweiser as “America”. Its parody beer, “‘Murica”, is brewed in a style America’s founders might describe as “Freedom,” and the process is naturally overseen by 1,776 bald eagles.
There is currently a special exhibit, “Beer is the Wine of this Land: Jewish Brewery Tales” at the Jewish Museum in Munich. The story of Jewish beer culture begins in Egypt, where the enslaved Israelites discovered the beverage and later brewed it when they returned to Israel. For a time, beer was considered a universal remedy that could treat everything from snake bites to leprosy.
The Jews’ connection to Germany dates back to the Middle Ages, when they were expelled from most of Europe’s cities. Some German Jews cultivated hops, and most of the hop farms near Nuremburg were owned by Jews. During the Third Reich, the farms were acquired by German owners in what the museum’s director called a “friendly Aryanization”; they were given back to their owners after the war.
Other Jews in the industry weren’t as lucky as the hop growers. One notable exile was Hermann Schülein, who fled to the United States and became the manager of the Liebman Brewery. Its flagship product was a New York icon: Rheingold lager, which was famous for using celebrity endorsers and staging the annual Miss Rheingold beauty competition.
Rheingold production ended in 1976, but the tradition of Jewish brewing in New York is being carried on by the Shmaltz Brewing Company, whose products include eight beers brewed for Hanukkah.
The Reinheitsgebot, aka Germany’s beer purity law, turns 500 in April. The law is familiar to beer lovers but, according to Joe Stange of All About Beer magazine, is widely misunderstood. To begin with, it wasn’t the first German law that regulated ingredients. It wasn’t called a “purity law” until 100 years ago, and it was more concerned with keeping beer and bread affordable—and curbing brewers’ use of wheat, which bakers needed—than with keeping beer pure. It didn’t apply across Germany until 1906; and when it did, the law killed many regional beer styles. And the law has been tweaked since 1516.
All that said, the law remains on the books, and is known in English as “The Provisional Beer Law”. Even though it no longer bans the importation of non-Reinheitsgebot beer, thanks to various free-trade laws and treaties, a German brewery still can’t market non-compliant products as “beer”.
On a recent trip to a Munich beer bar, Stange deliberately ordered a non-compliant beer, a milk stout brewed by the bar’s parent company, a brewery called Camba Bavaria. The barman explained to Stange that it wasn’t available due to “legal troubles with the Reinheitsgebot”.
Stange contacted the brewery for an explanation of the “legal troubles”, which began with the milk stout. According to the brewery: “officials told them (1) they can’t call it beer, since it has lactose (milk sugar); (2) they can’t call it ‘milk’ anything since there is no milk in it; (3) they can’t call it Klim Touts [‘milk stout’ spelled backwards] either, by the way, because don’t be cheeky; and oh (4) you’ll have to go ahead and pay taxes on it as if it were beer, even though we say it’s not beer, because ‘milk stout’ is clearly an established international beer style, even though you can’t call it that.”
Two hundred and twenty-five years ago today, Rhode Island became the 13th and last of the original colonies to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Even though the state ranks last in area, it has the longest name of any U.S. state: “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.”
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Hamburg, Germany, where the Astra brewery has installed a billboard that uses facial detection to detect one’s gender If a woman passes by, it plays her an Astra commercial.
Last November, Whole Foods Market added a Criveller brewing system to its store in Houston. A month later, it started brewing beer at its store in Emeryville, California.
Dock Beer, a golden saison by Dock Street Brewing, will be aged with an extra ingredient: nonstop music by Wu-Tang Clan, whose bass notes will move the yeast around.
A 2012 law raising the ABV cap on beer has kick-started craft brewing in Mississippi. Hank Sforzini of Paste magazine names five of his favorites.
A man who has been paralyzed for 13 years can once again enjoy a beer, thanks to a mind-controlled robot arm developed by Caltech and its partners.
Finally, Dick and Nancy Ponzi needed another business to generate income for their planned pinot noir winery. That business was the 31-year-old BridgePort Brewing Company, Oregon’s oldest craft brewery.