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.

The Friday Mash (Leaves of Grass Edition)

On this day in 1819, Walt Whitman was born on Long Island. He is best known for his epic poem, Leaves of Grass, which he published with his own money in 1855. Whitman, who had strong political views, originally supported the temperance movement, but came to enjoy wine and Champagne later in life. Too bad craft beer hadn’t been invented yet.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Germany, where brewers are worried that extracting natural gas by “fracking” threatens the purity of the water they use to make beer.

This summer, Rachel Dean of Cincinnati will be offering guided tours of her hometown’s microbreweries. Her tours will also include tasting and sensory education.

Philly Beer Week kicks off this evening, and SeriousEats.com has ten places to drink beer in the City of Brotherly Love.

After two years of delays, the 1990s boy band Hanson finally has its own beer. It’s called–what else?–Mmmhops, and it makes a cameo appearance in the film Hangover 3.

Fat Head’s Brewery, which has gained national acclaim, will build a brewpub in Portland, Oregon’s Pearl District. It will sell local micro products as well as its own beers.

A clever German, who apparently had a lot of time on his hands, has invented a device that can open 24 beer bottles at once.

Finally, ESPN’s DJ Gallo has a remedy for the less-than-hygenic conditions found in ballparks: drink beer, which might contain enough alcohol to kill those nasty bacilli.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Days until Founders Brewing Company releases Kentucky Breakfast Stout at its tap room: 28.
  • What Founders charges for a 12-pack of KBS: $62 (includes the $5 charge for a release ticket).
  • Highest reported bid on eBay for a release ticket: over $500.
  • Beer brands owned by AB InBev and SABMiller: 210.
  • Countries in which those brands are headquartered: 42.
  • Number of monks at St. Sixtus Abbey in Vleteren, Belgium: 21.
  • St. Sixtus’s annual production of Westvleteren 12: about 4,200 barrels.
  • Price of a six-pack of Westvleteren at the abbey: $27 U.S.
  • Percent of Myanmar’s males who call themselves “drinkers”: 50.
  • Percent who say they have five or more drinks daily: 25.
  • Germany’s beer consumption last year: 82.3 million barrels.
  • Percent of that beer that was served with cola and juice: 4.5.
  • Estimated cost of the Michigan Brewers Guild’s Winter Beer Festival: $175,000.
  • Cost of the beer itself: $90,000.
  • The Guild’s profit margin on the festival: 30 percent.
  • Beer…By the Numbers

  • Anheuser-Busch InBev U.S. market share: 39 percent.
  • Miller Coors U.S. market share: 26 percent.
  • Grupo Modelo (Corona et al.) U.S. market share: 7 percent.
  • Last year’s craft beer production: 13.7 million barrels.
  • Increase over 2011 production: 12 percent (1.5 million barrels).
  • Boston Beer Company’s 2012 production: 2.2 million barrels.
  • Its share of the U.S. craft beer market: 15.7 percent.
  • Breweries in Germany (population: 80 million): more than 1,300.
  • Brewery closures in Germany since 2000: 223.
  • German “Big Six” breweries owned by multinational corporations: 5.
  • Percent of college freshmen who said they drank beer in 2012: 33.4.
  • Percent who said they drank beer in 2007: 41.2.
  • Percent who said they drank beer in 1982: 75.1.
  • Attendance at the 2008 Craft Brewers Conference: 2,200.
  • Expected attendance at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference: over 5,000.
  • The Friday Mash (Miami Dolphins Edition)

    On this day in 1930, Don Shula was born. Shula coached the Miami Dolphins to two consecutive Super Bowl victories. The first, in Super Bowl VII, completed the first and only undefeated season in the history of the National Football League.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Ostbevern, Germany, where a hotel has created a room with a two-person bed made from a beer barrel. The barrel, which dates back to the 19th century, was used as recently as 1995.

    Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has enlisted surviving members of The Gratetful Dead to help make its American Beauty pale ale. It’s also asking Deadheads to suggest ingredients for the beer.

    Last spring’s freakishly warm weather wiped out the cherry crop in the Great Lakes region. Which explains why cherry beer has been so hard to find lately.

    Iraq and Afghanistan vet Jake Voelker has launched a beer tour business. Pennsylvania Brewery Tours will run trips to breweries that are “slightly out of reach,” with Voelker providing history and color en route.

    Russia begins 2013 with a new law that classifies beer as alcohol rather than food. It also puts an end to beer sales at street kiosks and 24-hour convenience stores.

    With the help of the folks at Sierra Nevada, the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux have raised $7 million to restore a Trappist monastery that William Randolph Hearst shipped from Spain in the 1930s.

    Finally, journalist Evan Benn sat down with Dan Kopman, the CEO of Schlafly Bottleworks, who talked about expansion, festivals, and Schlafly in cans.

    Why Craft Beer Can Save America

    American consumers are driven by the lowest price–a marketing approach pushed relentlessly by companies such as Wal-Mart. But author David Sirota sees a different approach. He points out that beer consumers are choosing quality over cheap, mass-produced American beer:

    Produced through the macrobrews’ low-price, high-volume process, they don’t contain high-quality ingredients, they don’t contain much alcohol and, thus, they simply don’t taste good. Knowing this, the macrobrews have logically designed their marketing campaigns to focus on everything (the can, the type of people who drink it, the logo, etc.) but the actual product. Indeed, if there’s one ubiquitous reference that macrobrewing companies make to the beer itself, it’s usually one telling you how cold the beer is or should be–a temperature that, quite deliberately, helps hide just how bad the beer actually is.

    By contrast, craft brewers, which are mostly independent small and medium-size businesses, know they can’t compete on a volume. They therefore promote quality and diversity.

    Sirota believes that the David-versus-Goliath competition goes beyond the brewing industry, In the years to come, in a variety of products, consumers will choose between China’s “Wal-Mart” model–low prices, cheap labor–and Germany’s “craft brew” model–high quality and high performance.

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