The Friday Mash (Seven Years’ War Edition)

On this day in 1756, Prussia’s king Frederick the Great attacked Saxony, beginning the Seven Years’ War. The conflict, which took place on five continents and involved most of the world’s powers, is better known to English-speaking North Americans as the French and Indian War.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Germany, where the Mallersdorf Abbey’s Sister Doris has been a master brewer for nearly 40 years. She’s one of Bavaria’s few “ladies who lager”–and Europe’s last beer-brewing nun.

Beer historian Tom Acitelli credits a 2002 cut in the excise tax for the profusion of small breweries in Great Britain. He also credits a 1976 beer tax cut for America’s small-brewery boom.

NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon is a wine lover, but he also has a taste for good beer. Gordon recently showed up at Dogfish Head Artisan Ales, whose 61 Minute IPA really impressed him.

For years, Mexico’s brewing industry had been dominated by two large corporations, but change is slowly coming, thanks to the federal government’s efforts to curb monopolies in key industries.

Iowa officials are pondering what to do with the 150-year-old beer caves underneath I-380 in Cedar Rapids. The forgotten caves were exposed by this summer’s heavy rains.

Barrel-aged beer is becoming more popular, and brewers are looking beyond traditional bourbon barrels. Now they’re starting to age their beer in barrels once used for Scotch, rum, and wine.

Finally, the growth of microbreweries might give rise to a new breed of wholesalers. Yarmouth, Maine-based Vacationland Distributors specializes in craft breweries, especially those that have grown beyond the state’s maximum for self-distribution rights.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Breweries operating in the United States as of June 30: 3,040.
  • Breweries in planning in the U.S. as of June 30: 1,929.
  • Workers employed by American craft breweries: 110,273.
  • Cost of one (legal) marijuana joint in Washington State: $2.71.
  • Cost of one bottle of Bud Light in Washington State: $0.90.
  • Most overpriced beer in the National Football League: $8.50 (53 cents an ounce) at Ford Field, Detroit.
  • Average cost of a bottle of beer at a Detroit-area grocery store: 98 cents (8.2 cents an ounce).
  • Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) colleges that sell beer in on-campus stadiums: 21.
  • Publicly-owned stadiums that sell beer at FBS games: 11.
  • U.S. craft-beer exports in 2009: 46,000 barrels.
  • U.S. craft-beer exports in 2013: 282,500 barrels (about $73 million worth).
  • Number of beer tents at this year’s Oktoberfest in Munich: 14.
  • Capacity of the Schottenhamel beer tent, Oktoberfest’s largest: 10,000.
  • Nepal’s annual beer sales: 84 million bottles.
  • Number of breweries in Nepal: 6.
  • The Friday Mash (Abbey Road Edition)

    Forty-five years ago today, at a zebra crossing in London, photographer Iain Macmillan took the photo that became the cover of the Beatles album Abbey Road. It became one of the most famous album covers in recording history.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin, appropriately, in London, where local officials might stop evening beer festivals at the zoo after festival-goers threw beer at the tigers and a drunken woman tried to enter the lion enclosure*.

    Jim Koch, the CEO of Boston Beer Company, planned to open a brewery in Seattle, where he went to college. But after watching it rain for 45 straight days, Koch and his wife moved back to Boston.

    Germany’s years-long slump in beer consumption was halted by its winning the World Cup. Between January and June, sales rose by 4.4 percent over a year ago.

    Bend, Oregon’s 10 Barrel Brewing Company issued a recall for its popular Swill beer after it learned some bottles were undergoing secondary fermentation, which could cause them to explode.

    California’s continuing drought has craft brewers worried. If the rains don’t come this winter, they might be forced to curtail production, raise prices, or even move brewing operations out of state.

    Elizabeth Daly, who sued the Virginia ABC after over-zealous plainclothes officers wrongly suspected she was a minor in possession, will get a $212,500 settlement check from the state.

    Finally, New Zealand health regulators warned a hotel that its sign, “Pero Says: ‘Free Beer Tomorrow’”, may violate the law by promoting excessive drinking. Haven’t they read about “Jam Tomorrow” in Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking-Glass?

    * Ludwig is not pleased with her.

    Have You Ever Tried Gose?

    One of the more unusual beer styles is Gose (pronounced “go-za”), which is believed to have originated near Leipzig, Germany. Gose’s grain bill contains at least 50 percent wheat; it’s brewed with both yeast and lactobacillus, along with coriander; and the brewing water is lightly salted.

    One of the few American breweries to tackle this style is the Anderson Valley Brewing Company. Its version is called “The Kimmie, The Yink and The Holy Gose”—more about that in a moment—and part of its Highway 128 Session Series. It’s a session-strength beer, at just 4.2 percent ABV. Brewmaster Fal Allen describes as having “[f]lavors of guava and peach mingle with a light mineral aroma that leads to a dry, effervescent finish reminiscent of a fresh sea breeze. The salt content is lower than other interpretations of the style and complements the lemon sourness and earthy wood undertones, adding to the complexity.”

    As for the beer’s name, it “Boontling” for the Holy Trinity. Boontling—a dialect with words from Scottish Gaelic, Irish, Pomoan. and Spanish—was once widely spoken in the Anderson Valley, where the brewery makes its home.

    Beer…By the Numbers

    • Number of beer distributors in the U.S. in the 1970s: more than 5,000.
    • Number of beer distributors in the U.S. today: fewer than 1,000.
    • Beers entered in this year’s World Beer Cup competition: 4,754 (833 more than in 2012).
    • Breweries competing in this year’s World Beer Cup: 1,403.
    • Countries represented in this year’s competition: 58, from 5 continents.
    • Australian per capita beer consumption last year: 4.04 liters.
    • Years since Australian beer consumption has been that low: 69.
    • Beer’s share of Australian alcoholic beverage consumption: 41 percent (wine is second, with 37 percent).
    • Average cost of a beer at a major-league ballpark: $6.09 (unchanged from last season).
    • Most expensive ballpark beer: 65 cents per ounce (Fenway Park, Boston).
    • Cheapest MLB ballpark beer: 28 cents per ounce (Angel Stadium of Anaheim).
    • World of Beer locations in the U.S.: 57.
    • States with World of Beer establishments: 17.
    • Decrease in German beer sales between 2012 and 2013: 2 percent.
    • Total decrease in consumption between 1988 and 2013: 25 percent.

    Beer…By the Numbers

    • U.S. brewery count at the end of last year: 3,999 (948 more than a year earlier).
    • California’s brewery count (number one in the nation) at the end of last year: 508 (145 more than a year earlier).
    • Mississippi’s brewery count (someone has to be last) at the end of last year: 6 (3 more than a year earlier).
    • Bottles of Deal With the Devil produced by Alaska Brewing Company: 1,000.
    • Bottles allocated to Alaska retailers: 336.
    • Deal With the Devil’s alcoholic content: 17.6 percent.
    • Signature Copper Lager’s alcoholic strength: 5.7 percent ABV.
    • Busch Signature Copper Lager’s alcoholic strength: 5.7 percent ABV.
    • States where Busch Signature Copper Lager is being test-marketed: 12.
    • Germany’s annual per capita beer consumption today: 28 gallons.
    • Its annual per capita consumption in 1978: 40 gallons (43 percent higher).
    • Hours an American minimum-wage employee has to work to afford a beer: 0.4.
    • Hours a Russian minimum-wage employee has to work: 1.6.
    • Hours a minimum-wage employee in the Republic of Georgia has to work: 15.1.
    • Calories from alcohol in a typical 12-ounce serving of beer: 100 (alcohol has 7 calories per gram).
    • Calories from carbohydrates in a typical 12-ounce serving of beer: 50.

    The Friday Mash (Dartmouth Edition)

    On this day in 1790, Dartmouth College was founded by Reverend Eleazar Wheelock, with a royal charter from King George III, on land donated by royal governor John Wentworth. There’s no truth to the rumor that the first kegger on campus took place that evening.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Last Sunday, frigid temperatures at the Atlanta Falcons-Green Bay Packers game caused beer lines to freeze up and fans to complain.

    Brewpubs are opening in Beijing. The first ones were opened by expatriates, but homebrewers and brewing school alumni have stepped in, and are making beer that appeals to local tastes.

    According to scientists at the University of Sapporo, beer contains humulone, which is effective in fighting a virus that causes respiratory diseases such as pneumonia. The virus is especially nasty in the winter.

    For decades, Guatemala’s dominant beer has been Gallo, from the family-owned Cerveceria Centro Americana. However, a beer war has broken out now that Anheuser-Busch InBev has entered the market.

    The NBA’s Utah Jazz have are off to a horrible start this season, but their bear-suited mascot turned in a highlight-film performance against a Houston Rockets fan who poured beer on him.

    Germany has asked UNESCO to put the country’s Reinheitsgebot on the intangible cultural heritage list. The German beer purity law celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2016.

    Finally, Rajan Zed wants Asheville Brewing Company to find a new name for its flagship beer. Zed contends that “Shiva India Pale Ale” disrespects his Hindu faith. The brewery, which has spent 15 years building the brand, won’t rename it.

    The Friday Mash (Chili and Frosty Edition)

    No, “chili and frosty” isn’t today’s weather report. Those were once the signature items of Wendy’s restaurants, the first of which opened on this day in 1969. Founder Dave Thomas named after it after his daughter Melinda Lou Thomas, known to her family as Wendy.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Germany, where an official of the national health system infuriated psychotherapists by suggesting that a bottle of beer might be more effective than a trip to the couch.

    A store in Louisville sells hand-rolled cigars seasoned with Samuel Adams beer. They combine the beer’s sweetness and maple and vanilla flavors with a spicy flavor from the tobacco blend.

    In many U.S. states, anti-drunk driving groups have put an end to drive-through beer stores, but they’re still common in Mexico. Some are operated by the Modelo brewery’s parent company.

    Last week, the carrier U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford was launched. Founders Brewing Company, located in Ford’s hometown of Grand Rapids, released a special ale to celebrate.

    Next February, the University of Kentucky will host a one-day seminar on the importance of beer writing to the craft beer industry. Garrett Oliver is the headline speaker.

    Alan Newman, the founder of the Magic Hat Brewing Company, has gone back to basics. His Just Beer Project is a brewery that focuses on traditional beers. His first offering is a session-strength IPA.

    Finally, some gift ideas for the beer lover who has everything. Paste Magazine’s ten best items made out of beer cans include a Christmas tree, a corset, and a World War I biplane.

    The Friday Mash (H-Town Edition)

    On this day in 1836, Houston, Texas, was founded. The city, named for the famous statesman and general, is the home of the Texas Medical Center and NASA’s Johnson Space Center, as well as St. Arnold Brewing Company, the oldest craft brewery in Texas.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in St. Paul, Minnesota, where for the second straight year, the State Fair will host a Land of 10,000 Beers exhibit devoted to the state’s craft-brewing industry.

    Boston Beer Company’s Alchemy & Science Division has quietly acquired the rights to Shmaltz Brewing Company and its Coney Island line of award-winning beers.

    Californians love avocados, so it was inevitable that someone would come up with a guacamole-flavored beer. It’s a product of Los Angeles-based Angel City Brewing.

    That refreshing “bite” you get from a cold beer comes from a chemical reaction inside your mouth that turns the beer’s carbon dioxide bubbles into carbonic acid.

    The German government is investigating the country’s top breweries for price-fixing. If found guilty, the breweries will have to pay millions of euros in penalties.

    Renee DeLuca, the daughter of Jack McAuliffe, plans to resurrect her father’s New Albion beer. It will be made by Mendocino Brewing Company.

    Finally, since August is a slow month, we yield the floor to Logan Thompson of Blog About Beer. He brings us a collection of photos of dogs drinking beer.

    The Friday Mash (P.T. Barnum Edition)

    On this day in 1810, promoter P.T. Barnum was born. He’s best known for founding Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, but his colorful life story also includes stints as a politician, businessman, reformer, and perpetrator of hoaxes.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Tennessee, where new legislation lessens the tax bite on beer. The old law, which based tax on the price of beer, saddled the Volunteer State with the nation’s steepest tax.

    The staff of FirstWeFeast.com has scoured the country to find unsung cheap beers. The list is dominated by regional beers like Point Special, Iron City, and Genessee Cream Ale.

    The Festival in Portland, Maine, opened late on account of archaic regulations that bar breweries from pouring their own beer. Organizers scrambled to find volunteers for beer-dispensing duty.

    What is it like to ride on the beer train? Scott Rappold of the Colorado Springs Gazette describes his trip on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad’s annual “Rails to Ales” outing.

    Another television series will have its own beer. Albuquerque’s Marble Brewery will brew Heisenberg’s Dark, an India black ale named for Walter White’s drug-dealing alias in Breaking Bad.

    Hawaii is surrounded by ocean water, and Aloha Brewing Company is using it to brew Gose beer, a style that originated in Goslar, Germany, whose water is naturally salty.

    Finally, a Czech hockey team was forced to leave town because of a dispute over beer. The club played in Budvar Arena, but their league was contractually obligated to serve a competing brand.

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