Writing in Draft magazine, Zach Fowle told his readers that he was throwing out his considerable collection of growlers. The reason? They’re a terrible way to serve beer, and breweries are wising up to this.
Many breweries have invested heavily in their packaging lines. The technology keeps oxygen levels low and keeps beer product as fresh as possible for as long as possible. Growlers, on the other hand, are what Fowle calls “a glorified pint glass”; the process of filling it introduces oxygen, which over time makes the beer’s quality deteoriate. Growlers are also a pain for breweries, whose employees spend inordinate amounts of time cleaning and filling growlers. Breweries also get unfair online criticism from customers who inflicted bad beer on themselves by bringing in dirty growlers.
The growler’s replacement might be the Crowler. The Crowler machine is a modified soup canner that dispenses beer into 32-ounce cans. The technology was pioneered by Oskar Blues Brewery, which has sold nearly 1,000 of the devices. The Kroger Company is test-marketing Crowlers at one of its locations in Memphis.
One hundred years ago today, Georgia Tech defeated Cumberland University, 222-0, in the most lopsided college football game of all time. Tech coach John Heisman had an incentive to run up the score: back then, football rankings were based on margin of victory, not strength of schedule.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Asheville, North Carolina, where Catawba Brewing has honored a native son, author Thomas Wolfe, with a beer called Wolfeman Kolsch. Its ingredients include hops grown in western North Carolina.
Even though the economy has improved since the Great Recession, beer sales at bars and restaurants have stayed flat. Factors include competition from brewery taprooms and growlers.
In the UK, the brewery count has topped 1,700. An industry analyst says that some of the country’s craft breweries are attractive acquisition targets.
Some in the brewing industry oppose legal marijuana for fear of losing market share. However, that hasn’t happened in Colorado and Washington State, where recreational pot is legal.
Entrepreneur Josephine Uwineza plans to open a brewpub in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. It will not only be Rwanda’s only women-owned brewery but also the country’s first-ever craft brewery.
Finally, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals raised eyebrows by claiming that beer is healthier than milk. PETA contends that beer can strengthen bones and extend life, while milk is linked to obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
One hundred and thirty years ago, German engineer Karl Benz patented the first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine. He and his wife, Bertha, founded Mercedes-Benz, now a division of Daimler AG, headquartered in Stuttgart—the home of Germany’s “other” famous beer festival.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Flint, Michigan, whose water supply in contaminated with lead. Flint’s aptly-named Tenacity Brewery, assures that its beer is lead free—and is donating $1 per pint to the city’s children.
Here are eight things to know about hard root beer, including how it began; who owns the companies that make it; and how many calories (300) are in a 12-ounce bottle.
AC Shilton of Outside magazine has an answer to the beer can shortage: growlers. They environmentally friendly, don’t contain the chemical BPA, and support your local brewery.
Virginia restaurant-goers are allowed to bring their own wine into restaurants if they pay corkage. Now state lawmakers are considering a bill that would give beer drinkers the same option.
Bar owners are negotiating with city officials over the Chicago Cubs’ plan to build a plaza outside Wrigley Field. They’re afraid of losing business, especially if the plaza sells cheap beer.
Brooklyn’s Pop Chart Lab has created 99 Bottles of Craft Beer on the Wall. After sampling a beer, the drinker takes out a coin and scratches off the gilt foil “emptying” the bottle while retaining the label.
Finally, Woody Chandler, the man who shows up at festivals wearing a Rasputin beard and a monk’s robe, has posted his 7,000th check-in on Untappd, including 2,000 in 2015 alone. That translates into more than five new beers per day.
Thirty-two years ago today, Apple Corporation introduced the Macintosh, which popularized the mouse and the graphical user interface. The introduction came in the form of the famous “1984” television commercial during Super Bowl XVIII.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Michigan, where Founders Brewing Company, having filed the necessary paperwork, can once again sell Breakfast Stout with a baby on the label.
In the UK, health officials now recommend that men drink no more than six pints of beer per week. They also warn that drinking any amount of alcohol can cause health problems.
Paste magazine introduces you to seven “ridiculous, but kind of awesome” beer gadgets. They include a CO-2 injection system for growlers and a bottle that imparts an oak taste.
New laws in a number of states have encouraged “farm-to-keg” breweries, which make and serve beer using ingredients grown on site. These breweries operate much like wineries.
Did you get a drone for Christmas? AC Shilton of Outside magazine explains how can you train your new toy to fetch and deliver your beer.
In Australia, Quentin Tarantino was presented with a six-pack of Victoria Bitter in cans specially designed to honor him. He was joined onstage by actors Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson.
Finally, the Craft Brewers Alliance plans to distribute Kona beer in Brazil. It cited “the great synergies between Hawaiian and Brazilian culture, with their amazing beaches and strong water lifestyles.”
Legislation dealing with the brewing industry is inching closer to passage in the Florida legislature. It will ease some restrictions on Florida’s craft breweries but, at the same time, will impose new ones.
It explicitly allows breweries to have on-premises taprooms. Some in the industry contended that the “tourism exemption” under which taprooms operated wasn’t intended to cover small breweries. In addition, the it legalizes beer sales in 64-ounce growlers. On the other hand, the legislation limits the amount of beer breweries can move among breweries, and caps the number of taprooms at eight per brewery.
Josh Aubuchon, the head of the Florida Brewers Guild, says the legislation is “not perfect but pretty darn good.” He points out that no brewery is even close to the taproom limit. However, some breweries are afraid that the restrictions could be tightened by future legislatures. They’re also disappointed that lawmakers haven’t address other restrictions, including the ban on self-distribuition and franchise laws that favor distributors.
On this day in 1914, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers was formed. This performance-rights organization takes in close to $1 billion in licensing fees, most of which it distributes to artists as royalties.
And now (cue the music)…The Mash!
We begin in the Verizon Center in Washington, where the Brooklyn Nets’ Mason Plumlee committed the ultimate party foul. He crashed into a courtside vendor, sending $200 worth of beer flying.
Researchers have found that if you’re seen holding a glass of beer, you will be perceived as less intelligent. It’s called “the imbibing idiot bias”: we closely associate drinking and dumb behavior.
The Louisville Courier-Journal asked local brewers how they name their beers. Just as they brew their beers differently, they follow different processes for naming them.
One beer trend that’s taking off this year is grocery store growlers. For example, several Kroger locations in Virginia are offering 32- and 64-ouncers with a choice of eight different taps.
China’s anti-corruption campaign has been a drag on the brewing indsutry. Government officials are refusing invitations to go drinking out of fear of being accused of taking bribes.
Drinking beer out of cans might endanger your health. Cans are lined with epoxy that contains bisphenol-A, a chemical that’s been linked to a number of serious ailments.
Finally, Scottish brewery Innis & Gunn has released a Fifty Shades of Grey-inspired beer. It’s fortified with ginseng to boost the sex drive, ginkgo biloba to get the blood pumping, and a mild nerve stimulant called damiana.
No Music Day was introduced by Bill Drummond to draw attention to the cheapening of music as an art form. Ironically, it coincides with Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph, which made all that music possible, on November 21, 1877.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Seattle, where a local television station claims the Seattle Seahawks are selling watered-down beer. The breweries deny that the beer has a lower-than-advertised alcohol content.
The East Side Christian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, raised quite a few eyebrows with Sunday Evening Beer and Hymns. Outreach pastor Evan Taylor said, “We like to rattle the cage a little bit.”
Within the MillerCoors LLC’s s State Street complex is a smaller, independent operation whose beer include a chocolate lager and one with pineapple-scentedd hops.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is making a batch of beer with 25 pounds of scrapple. Other ingredients include maple syrup, coffee, and applewood-smoked barley.
Add your liquidity joke here. Bradley Trapnell, a finance guy who’d worked for Fannie Mae, is opening a growler shop in his hometown of Highland Village, Texas. He’ll have 36 beers on tap.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but beer is harder to spill than coffee. According to scientists, it’s because beer contains foam, which acts as a shock absorber: the more foam, the less spillage.
Finally, San Diego’s AleSmith Brewing Company has released .394 Pale Ale. It honors Padres’ Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who collaborated with the brewery before he passed away last June.
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.
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.
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.