growlers

The Friday Mash (Istanbul Not Constantinople Edition)

The Four Lads once asked the musical question, “Why did Constantinople get the works?” Their answer: “It’s nobody’s business but the Turks’” Eighty-four years ago today, the Turks changed the city’s name to Istanbul. They also changed the name of their capital to Ankara.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Cincinnati, where Listerman Brewing Company is hosting Starkbierfest, a family-friendly version of Munich’s Lenten tradition where potent doppelbock takes center stage.

Yards Brewing Company is brewing a special beer for the popular TV show “Walking Dead.” No humans have been eaten in the brewing process, which involves smoking goat brains.

Colorado governor John Hickenlooper has installed craft beer taps at his official residence. The first keg he tapped was Silverback Pale from Wynkoop Brewing Company, which he founded.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Fortune magazine writers tried MillerCoors’s new Fortune beer and gave it a thumbs-up–and not just for its name.

While visiting Belgium, Jay Brooks discovered a new organization, the Belgian Family Brewers. Its members have been brewing for at least 50 years, and have been family-owned all that time.

Purists are up in arms about it, but three Seattle-area homebrewers have developed the PicoBrew Zymatic, a “set-and-forget” system that can be controlled from one’s laptop.

Finally, Florida craft brewers learned that campaign cash trumps free enterprise. The State Senate president admitted that he’s against legalizing half-gallon growlers because a big beer distributor is a major contributor to his party.

The Friday Mash (”Going Once, Going Twice” Edition)

On this day in 1765, James Christie reportedly held his first auction in London. The company he founded has become an art business and fine arts auction house which, every year, sells billions of dollars worth of paintings and other valuable works.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Kano, Nigeria, where police enforcing Sharia law destroyed more than 240,000 bottles of beer that were confiscated from supply trucks and Christian shopkeepers.

In Florida, beer in standard 64-ounce growlers remains illegal thanks to bottle laws passed many years ago. Oddly, it’s legal to sell beer in 32- and 128-ounce containers.

Remember Todd Ruggere, the man who drank a beer in every town in Massachusetts to raise money for cancer research? His next stop is Connecticut, which has 169 towns.

New Belgium Brewing Company is rolling out its tenth year-round beer: Snapshot Wheat, an unfiltered wheat beer with citrusy aroma from Target hops. It checks in at a sessionable 5 percent ABV.

LiveScience’s Stephanie Pappas explains the science behind a common party foul: the foam explosion out of a bottle of beer when you tap it. The tap creates waves which, in turn, create bubbles.

Another item from the world of science. Bricks made with five percent spent grain are nearly 30 percent better insulators, and just as strong as traditional bricks. The drawback? They smell of fermented grain.

Finally, some are defending an Amsterdam organization’s policy of paying hard-core alcoholics in beer to clean up city parks. The workers are healthier and better-behaved now that they’re being treated like humans.

Beer in the Legislatures

These items caught Ludwig’s attention:

In Indiana, the state’s convenience store association has gone to court to overturn a state law that prohibits them from selling cold beer. Liquor stores are the only sellers allowed to do so.

Beer is back on the agenda North Carolina. A bill that would allow grocery stores, restaurants, and other retailers to sell and refill growlers passed the House by a wide margin.

Both houses of the Illinois General Assembly have passed a bill that would require Anheuser-Busch to divest itself of a minority interest in a Chicago-based distributor.

The Friday Mash (The Untouchables Edition)

Today is the 110th anniversary of the birth of Eliot Ness, whose Prohibition agents in Chicago were so honest they were called “The Untouchables.” Even though Ness fell upon hard times later in life, he and his men have been immortalized in American popular culture.

And now…The Mash!

We begin at the Masters Golf Tournament, where Tiger Woods not only got penalized two strokes for an illegal ball drop, but also landed a tee shot in a fan’s beer. Fortunately, beers are only $4 at Augusta National.

The “Craft Beer Destination” concession stand at Yankee Stadium has been given a new name after writer Amanda Rykoff reported that all of its offerings were MillerCoors products.

No, it wasn’t your imagination. You were attracted to beer because its aroma and taste trigger your brain’s reward system and keep you coming back for more.

Jason Gardenhire has opened a microbrewery in Mexico, and is importing the beer to his home state of Colorado. Baja Brewing Company, based in Cabo San Lucas, is one of only a dozen or so Mexican micros.

A canning line costs more than $150,000, but craft breweries that don’t have that kind of money can hire a mobile canning line created by two west Michigan entrepreneurs.

Harry Kim and his friends tried to build a brewery in North Korea. Even though there was plenty of demand, the venture never got the final go-ahead from bureaucrats in Pyongyang.

Finally, California Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro has introduced legislation that would allow refilling another brewery’s growlers. The refilling brewery would have to place a sticker over the old brewery’s logo.

The Friday Mash (Tom McCall Edition)

Today would have been the 100th birthday of former Oregon governorTom McCall. He’s best known for environmental initiatives, including the nation’s first returnable bottle bill. The Oregon Brewers Fest takes place every July at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in York Haven, Pennsylvania, where Jeff Lebo has built a house for his collection of 83,000 vintage beer cans. His Brewhouse Mountain Eco-Inn offers overnight accommodations.

Serving miners? Krogh’s Brew Pub of Sparta, New Jersey, is storing casks of Imperial Stout in an old iron and zinc mine. They’ll be tapped at next year’s celebration of Krogh’s 15th anniversary party as a brewpub.

Iron Maiden, the heavy metal band, has teamed up with the Robinsons brewery to brew its own beer: Trooper, named after one of the band’s most popular songs.

Victory Brewing Company and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery are hosting “Amber Waves,” an exhibition of beer and the art promoting it at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference.

After Thomas Knight of Key West got caught stealing from an airport bar at 5:40 am, security handed him a trespass warning. At least he isn’t on the no-fly list.

Homebrewer Robert Scott has invented the Tapit Cap, which keeps growlers of beer fresh and carbonated. He’s trying to raise $80,000 on Kickstarter to bring his device to market.

Finally, a toast to Mark and Mandie Murphy, who have opened a baseball-themed brewery in Ontario. The Left Field Brewery’s lineup includes the wonderfully-named 6-4-3 Double IPA.

The Friday Mash (Five and Dime Edition)

On this day in 1879, Frank Woolworth opens the first of many Woolworth stores in In Utica, New York. He unwittingly inspired the Marx Brothers’ routine in which Rufus T. Firefly suggested that Chicolini be given “ten years in Leavenworth, or 11 years in Twelveworth”; and Chicolini responded, “I’ll take five and ten in Woolworth.”

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Florida, where a 45-year-old law, passed as part of a turf war among big brewers, has the unintended effect of banning the sale of growlers. Lawmakers are trying to fix that.

FirstWeFeast.com has compiled a list of 12 celebrities who ought to be spokespersons for craft beer. They include Kat Dennings, the cast of How I Met Your Mother, and, of course, President Barack Obama.

You can buy a beer at many college basketball arenas, including seven of the 20 largest. Beer sales can bring in money through concession revenues, added ticket sales, or both.

Beer and video games have always gone together, but an arcade fighting game called Beercade goes one step farther. It rewards the winning combatant with a cup of beer.

To celebrate their city’s Beer Week, the San Francisco Brewers Guild has rolled out “Green Death”, a malt liquor inspired by the 50s-60s version of Rainier Ale. Paper bag not included.

Don’t expect Anheuser-Busch to advertise this anytime soon. According to a nationwide survey, beer is the favorite beverage of underage drinkers and Budweiser is their favorite brand.

Finally, if you have a ticket to tomorrow’s Winter Beer Festival in Grand Rapids, John Serba of MLive.com has some friendly advice: dress warmly for 33-degree temperatures and snow flurries.

The Friday Mash (Buy Low, Sell High Edition)

Forty-two years ago today, the NASDAQ stock exchange was founded by the National Association of Securities Dealers. Once the home of lowly over-the-counter stocks, it’s now the exchange where companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are traded.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Britain, where health officials would like the beverage industry to disclose the number of calories in their products. They hope that people will drink less to avoid getting fat.

Add the Morrow Royal Pavilion in Henderson, Nevada, to your list of beer landmarks to visit. It’s made from recycled beer and liquor bottles–more than half a million of them.

The latest environmentally-friendly innovation is The Crafty Carton, a paper growler that holds one quart of beer and, according to Foodbeast.com, is suitable for origami.

Here’s a beer pairing we’ve never seen before. Dr. Greg Zeschuk, a video game industry veteran and craft beer aficionado, chooses the right beer style for the genre of game you’re playing.

World of Beer, which serves craft beer in a tavern-like setting, could be coming to your town. The chain has 36 locations in 11 states, and company CEO Paul Avery wants to take it nationwide.

Glyn Roberts, The Rabid Barfly, unleashes a rant about people who decide to go on the wagon during January, which is the quietest time of the year for British pubs.

Finally, will this be the year that Alabama and Mississippi finally legalize homebrewing? They’re the only two states where it remains illegal.

The Friday Mash (Viking Invasion Edition)

On this day in 793 A.D., Vikings kicked off their invasion of England by raiding the abbey at Lindisfarne. Most people think that the Vikings were bloodthirsty savages who drank ale out of the skulls of defeated enemies. Historians say that isn’t true. Their drinking cups were called “skals” (the origin of the Scandinavian toast, “Skol!”), a word terrified Englishmen thought was “skulls.”

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Hudsonville, Michigan, which until recently was one of the state’s few dry towns. It now has two breweries, White Flame Brewing Company and Pike 51 Brewing Company.

Juxtapoz.com has put together a slide show featuring the 25 best classic beer labels of all time. Also from that site: the 25 best modern beer labels.

The Journal, an Irish publication, staged a Euro 2012 competition–for beers, not football teams. The winner of the 16-country single-elimination tournament was Poland’s Zywiec, which defeated Russia’s Baltika in the final.

It sounds counterintuitive, but scientists have discovered a molecule in beer that may prevent obesity. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the molecule is extremely small and difficult to reproduce.

Check out this classy commercial for a Lithuanian brewery. It uses the interior of an animated watch to depict the steps involved in making beer. (Hat tip: “Dabitch” at AdLand.com.)

Nowadays we take growlers for granted, but in 1905, regulators in Washington, D.C., considered banning them. Temperance groups argued that cheap beer in large quantities was a recipe for disaster.

Finally, a second chance for candidates who lost in Tuesday’s California primary. The Four Points by Sheraton at LAX is looking to fill three positions on its Beer Advisory Board. Any California resident, 21 or older, is eligible to apply.

April 20 (4:20 Edition)

Today is 4:20, an unofficial holiday celebrating the use of marijuana. Legend has it that 4:20 originated with a group of California high school students in the early 1970s. Why do we mention marijuana on a beer blog? Because Paul is old enough to remember signs in college-town bars that read “Keep Off the Grass…Drink Schlitz.” And he still prefers beer.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Monmouth, Oregon, which was dry from its founding in 1859 until 2002. A local minister warned of disaster if townspeople allowed alcohol to be sold, but little has changed in the past decade.

An infographic making the rounds of the Internet makes the case (no pun intended, really) for craft beer in cans. (Hat tip: Jack Curtin.)

Evan Benn, who writes about beer at, among other places, Esquire magazine, has hit the stores and lined up the best beers of 2012. These are definitely not the same-old, same-old.

The May edition (number 63!) of The Session will be hosted by Pete Brown. This month’s topic is open-ended: “The Beer Moment”. Brown asks, “[W]hat comes to mind? Don’t analyze it–what are the feelings, the emotions?”

Cor blimey! “Exclusive pouring rights” at the London Summer Olympics have been awarded to Heineken, which forked out £10 million ($15.6 million U.S.) for the privilege.

Joe Stange, the Thirsty Pilgrim (and the author of Around Brussels in 80 Beers) has an update on the beer scene in the Belgian capital.

Finally, a brewery in Calgary is taking advantage of the Canadian government’s decision to phase out the penny. It’s offering to exchange a growler full of beer for a growler full of the soon-to-be-obsolete one-cent pieces.

The Friday Mash (Veterans Day Edition)

On this day in 1918, the Allied nations and Germany agreed to an armistice that effectively ended World War I. November 11, originally known as Armistice Day, became a legal holiday in the U.S. in 1938. It was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. A good reason to buy a veteran a beer as a thank-you for serving our country.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Toronto, where Black Creek Historic Brewery’s One Mile Beer was pronounced a success. It was brewed using technology from the mid-19th century when there was no electricity, refrigeration, stainless tanks, or bottling plants.

Have you heard of the other St. Louis brewery with Busch in its name? It’s called the William K. Busch Brewing Company, and its eponymous founder is the great-grandson of Adolphus Busch.

Is that special guy on your Christmas list a beer lover and a bibliophile? Evan Benn can help you. His column in Esquire magazine names the new beer bibles every man should read.

Don’t cry in your beer, Argentina. The tap list at a Peronist restaurant in Buenos Aires–yes, there really is one–includes “Evita”, “17 de Octubre”, “Montoneros” and “Doble K,” the latter honoring the husband and wife who each served as Argentina’s president.

Growlers. Ludwig’s staff, Maryanne and Paul, love them. In fact, they literally wore one out. So they were surprised to learn that Garrett Oliver hates growlers.

Sante! Men’s Health magazine assembled a slideshow of America’s best new canned beers. Fun fact: Indianapolis owns the distinction of having two of its breweries’ products on the list.

Finally, Honda’s upgrade to Asimo, its stair-climbing robot, enables it to recognize faces and voices, and even pour drinks. Since Honda also makes cars, we hope Asimo can recognize people who’ve had too many–and take away their keys.

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