Beer….By the Numbers

  • Anheuser-Busch InBev’s latest offer to buy SABMiller: $108.2 billion.
  • Increase over A-B InBev’s initial offer: 14 percent.
  • Attendance at this year’s Oktoberfest in Munich: 5.9 million (down from 6.3 million last year).
  • Beer consumption at this year’s Oktoberfest: 7.3 million liters (down from 7.7 million last year).
  • Stolen beer mugs confiscated by Oktoberfest security: 110,000 (down from 112,000 last year).
  • Beer-to-gold ratio in 1990 (60-year peak): 227 ounces of beer = 1 ounce of gold.
  • Beer-to-gold ratio in 1970 (60-year low): 48 ounces of beer = 1 ounce of gold.
  • Increase in craft lager beer sales this year over 2014: 123 percent.
  • Increase in craft sour beer sales this year over 2014: 60 percent.
  • Craft beer’s sales growth in 2014: 17.6 percent.
  • The entire beer industry’s sales growth in 2014: 0.5 percent.
  • Settlement amount approved by the court in the Beck’s Beer deceptive-packaging litigation: $20 million.
  • Estimated number of households eligible for compensation in that litigation: 1.7 million.
  • Ohio’s current ABV cap on beer: 12 percent.
  • Its ABV cap on beer before 2002: 6 percent.
  • Beer….By the Numbers

  • Number of Oktoberfests held in Munich (including this year’s): 182.
  • Times since 1810 that Oktoberfest was canceled: 24 (reasons include war, hyperinflation, and cholera epidemics).
  • Cost of a one-liter beer at this year’s Oktoberfest: €10 ($11.34).
  • Increase in the price of beer over 2014: 3 percent.
  • Cost of a pint of ale in the UK’s cheapest university town: £2.10 ($3.20), in Durham.
  • Cost of a pint in the UK’s most-expensive university town: £5.25 ($7.90), in Surrey.
  • Bushels of American barley used to brew beer in 2014: 177 million.
  • Brewing’s share of America’s barley crop in 2014: 75.
  • Stadium with the National Football League’s cheapest beer: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, 36 cents an ounce.
  • Stadium with the NFL’s most expensive beer: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, 71 cents an ounce.
  • Average per-ounce price of beer in NFL stadiums: 46 cents an ounce.
  • Number of Ontario supermarkets that will sell beer under new provincial legislation: 450 (out of 1,500).
  • Daily sales quota for Ontario supermarkets selling beer: 279 six-packs.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev and SAB Miller’s combined share of the U.S. beer market: 70 percent.
  • A-B and SAB’s combined revenue from the U.S. beer market: $250 million a year.
  • Beer…By the Numbers

  • Average cost of an 11.2-ounce beer (standard European size) in Geneva: $6.32.
  • Average cost of a standard European-size beer in London: $4.52.
  • Average cost of a standard European-size beer in Berlin: $2.58.
  • Cost of a one-liter mug of beer at this year’s Oktoberfest: 10 euros ($12).
  • Increase over last year: 3 percent.
  • Germany’s annual inflation rate: 0.5 percent.
  • California brewery count, as of March 2015: 554.
  • California’s breweries’ annual production: 3.4 million barrels.
  • U.S. imported beer sales in 2015’s first quarter: 7.46 million barrels.
  • Increase over 2014’s first quarter: 13 percent.
  • Corona beer’s rank in U.S. sales: 5th.
  • Corona’s average rating on 2.33 out of 5 (39th worst).
  • Corona’s 2015 sales increase over 2014: 16 percent.
  • Percent of adults aged 21-35 who consider local origin an important factor in buying beer: 53.
  • Percent of adults of all ages who consider local origin an important factor: 45.
  • The Friday Mash (Little Rhody Edition)

    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.

    Beer…By the Numbers

  • Bangkok’s brewery count in 2014: 20.
  • Its brewery count in 2013: 4.
  • West Virginia’s craft brewery count: 7.
  • Craft brewing’s impact on West Virginia’s economy: $118 million (46th in the nation).
  • Arrests at Oktoberfest 2014: 720 (39 fewer than at Oktoberfest 2013).
  • Lost objects at Oktoberfest 2014: 3,346 (including 2 wedding rings, a mobile cat carrier, and a German Federal Cross of Merit 2nd-class medal).
  • Founders Brewing Company’s production in 2014: 190,000 barrels.
  • Founders’ projected capacity after expansion is completed: 900,000 barrels.
  • Alcoholic content of All Day IPA, Founders’ largest-selling beer: 4.7 percent by volume.
  • Lagunitas Brewing Company’s production in 2014: almost 600,000 barrels.
  • Increase in Lagunitas’ production over the year before: 60 percent (it opened a second brewery in Chicago).
  • Dos Equis’ sales in 2013: 1.57 million barrels.
  • Increase in Dos Equis’ sales between 2008 and 2013: 116.6 percent (number-one in the nation in sales growth).
  • Most expensive beer in the National Basketball Association: 60 cents an ounce (Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland).
  • Cheapest beer in the NBA: 33 cents an ounce (Chesapeake Arena, Oklahoma City, and Phillips Arena, Atlanta).
  • The Friday Mash (Boys Town Edition)

    On this day in 1917, Father Edward Flanagan, a Catholic priest in Omaha, opened a home for wayward boys. That home is now a National Historic Landmark; and Boys Town’s slogan, “He ain’t heavy, mister–he’s my brother,” has become part of our popular culture.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Austin, Texas, where Lance Armstrong quit after one lap during qualifying for the inaugural Beer Mile Championship. Armstrong said he’ll never again run a Beer Mile.

    Dave Lieberman of got a sales pitch for the “Sonic Foamer,” which creates a 5-millimeter head on your pint of beer. He doesn’t seem the least bit impressed with the product.

    Oktoberfest tops the list of Germany’s beer festivals, but it’s not the only one. runs down the country’s top ten, some of which are hundreds of years old.

    A sealed bottle of Samuel Alsopp’s Arctic Ale sold for $503,300 on eBay. It’s considered the world’s rarest bottle of beer because the the original seller misspelled the name “Allsop’s”.

    The Sriracha craze has spread to beer. This month, Rogue Ales will release a limited-edition Rogue Sriracha Hot Stout Beer. Suggested pairings include soup, pasta, pizza, and chow mein.

    Last weekend, MillerCoors LLC teamed up with a start-up called Drizly, and offered free home delivery of Miller Lite to customers in four cities.

    Finally, David Kluft of JDSupra Business Advisor reviews this year’s beer trademark disputes. Maybe these cases will inspire someone to host a Disputed Beer Festival next year.

    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.

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