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 BeerAdvocate.com: 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 OCWeekly.com 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. EscapeHere.com 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.

    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.
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