The Friday Mash (“Don’t Cry for Me” Edition)

On this day in 1946, Colonel Juan Peron, founder of the political movement known as Peronism, was elected to his first term as President of Argentina. He and his wife, Eva Duarte, would later become the subject of the Broadway musical Evita.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Maryland, where craft brewers are concerned about Guinness’ plans to open a taproom at its new brewery. At the same time, retailers worry that raising the cap on how much breweries can sell on-premises will hurt their business.

This year’s beer trends include the “haze craze”: unfiltered and unpasteurized IPAs aka “New England IPAs”. These beers have a shorter shelf life, but are richer in both flavor and aroma.

Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company is paying off a Super Bowl bet by releasing 100 cans of SB51 beer. It’s described as “a soul crushing pale ale that will leave you deflated”.

Tomorrow, Cleveland’s Slovenian community celebrates Kurentovanje, its version of Mardi Gras. Festival-goers will dress up as giant fuzzy animals to scare winter away, and drink beer at the newly-opened Goldhorn Brewery.

Three machinists and designers are about to launch the Kramstein beer stein. This metal stein, which comes in two sizes, is designed to keep the drink cool and the drinker’s hands dry.

Martin Roper, who’s been CEO of the Boston Beer Company for 16 years, plans to step down next year. speculates on whether Roper’s successor can arrest the company’s recent sales slump.

Finally, the BrewDog brewery offers an unusual perk: a week’s “paw-ternity” leave to employees who adopt a new dog. It also allows employees to bring their dogs to work. The company’s founders worked under the watchful eye of their “brew dog”, Bracken.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Craft beer production in 2015: 24.5 million barrels.
  • Increase over 2014: 13 percent.
  • Craft beer’s share of the market, as measured by production: 12 percent.
  • Its market share, as measured by dollar value: 21 percent ($22.3 billion).
  • Percentage of under-30 adults who said beer was their favorite beverage in 1992-93: 70.
  • Percentage of under-30 adults who said beer was their favorite beverage 20 years later: 40.
  • “Pay-for-play” fine imposed on distributor Craft Brewers Guild by Massachusetts liquor regulators: $2.6 million.
  • Craft Brewers Guild’s payoffs to bars and other businesses: At least $120,000.
  • Dollar value of Heineken’s U.S. sales during the 52 weeks ending January 24, 2016: $730.7 million.
  • Increase over the previous year: 1.9 percent.
  • Heineken’s share of the imported beer market: 13.1 percent (down 1.2 percent from the year before).
  • Years since Guinness opened its brewery at St James’s Gate in Dublin: 257.
  • Years remaining on Guinness’s lease for the St James’s Gate brewery: 8,743.
  • Flavored beers’ share of new beer releases in 2010: 15 percent.
  • Flavored beers’ share in 2015: 27 percent.
  • The Friday Mash (Fantasia Edition)

    Seventy-five years ago today marked the premiere of Walt Disney’s Fantasia. The animated film opened to mixed reviews, but it is now considered one of the classic animated films of all time.

    And now….The Mash! 

    We begin in Great Britain, where a 2002 law granting excise tax breaks caused a proliferation of breweries. The country has more than 1,300, and ranks first world-wide in breweries per capita.

    Football fans will soon see something new in Bud Light commercials. The National Football League has changed its rules to allow the use of game footage involving active players.

    In Oregon, the craft brewing and newly-legalized marijuana industries have something in common: a proliferation of start-up businesses.

    Guinness will soon become an all-vegan beer. The brewery will stop using isinglass, a by-product of the fishing industry that’s used to clarify the beer and make yeast settle faster.

    Boston-area entrepreneur Adam Oliveri has started a boutique beer distribution business. His Craft Collective has already signed distribution contracts with 16 craft breweries from the Northeast.

    How dangerous is a “beer belly”? Depends on one’s fat distribution. Otherwise slim people with a beer belly run a much greater risk of serious health problems than obese people with one.

    Finally, San Diego Beer Week isn’t just an opportunity to taste great beer. It also gives new breweries a chance to introduce themselves. More than half of San Diego County’s 115 breweries are less than three years old.

    What Do Those Symbols on Beer Labels Mean?

    Breweries are among the oldest businesses in the world, and their beer labels are full of symbols from their storied histories. In, Nick Green explains the symbolism behind 20 well-known beer labels.

    One of the most common sources of symbols is the brewery’s own history. The eagle on the Yuengling label and the horn on Stella Artois’ harken back to the breweries’ original names. The hometown coat of arms is another source. That’s why there are lions on the Amstel and Modelo Especial labels, and a key on the Beck’s label. Dos Equis resurrected Aztec leader Moctezuma II for its label, and Guinness appropriated the Brian Boru harp.

    Green’s article has some other fun facts. Bass’s red triangle was issued Trademark #1 by the British government; until 1908, the text of the Budweiser label was in German; and legend has it that Miller High Life was called “The Champagne of Beers” because it was released a few days before New Year’s Eve.

    Finally, there’s Rolling Rock’s mysterious “33”. People have offered numerous explanations, but no one knows for sure how and why that number wound up on the label.

    Gilroy Was Here

    If you’ve spent any amount of time in bars, you’ve probably seen the famous Guinness ads featuring toucans, sea lions, and other creatures. The ads, which first appeared in the 1930s, were the work of artist John Gilroy, who’s back in the news thanks to the discovery of his “lost” work.

    Martyn Cornell, The Zythophile, has been following the story for some time. In 1971, Guinness’s advertising agency, SH Benson, was sold to another agency. In the process, hundreds of works by Gilroy, who worked for Benson, disappeared. A few years ago, some of the lost works started showing up on the American art market, and sold for tens of thousands of dollars.

    The most interesting lost works were a series of parodies of well-known works of art. Intended to hang in the Guinness brewery in London, they were never used, and instead wound up in Benson’s archive. The works included “The Creation of Man,” in which God hands Adam a pint; Vermeer’s “Girl with the Pint of Guinness”; and “Henri ‘Half-Pint’ Toulouse-Lautrec advertises Guinness in the Paris of the 1890s.”

    The Friday Mash (Pop Art Edition)

    Today is the 75th birthday of Peter Max, the pop artist who’s famous for his use of psychedelic shapes and color palettes. Max has been the official artist for the World Cup, the Grammy Awards, and the Super Bowl…but, so far as we know, no beer festivals.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Frederick, Maryland, where the Monocacy Brewing Company has released its first Civil War commemorative beer, an English session bitter called Antietam Ale.

    Kendall Jones of the Washington Beer Blog describes a weekend beer getaway in Victoria, British Columbia. Final stop on the tour: Garrick’s Head Pub, which has been serving beer since 1867.

    Congratulations to Brown Distributing Company, of West Palm Beach, Florida, which was honored as the Craft Beer Distributor of the Year by the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

    According to the Beer Institute, New Hampshire ranks first in per-capita beer consumption. Rounding out the top five: North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota, and Nevada.

    From the Department of Higher Zymurgical Education: Arizona State University offers a course called The Cultural and Chemical History of Beer. The course has been rated “challenging.”

    A British microbrewery has developed a freeze-resistant beer for researchers working in in Antarctic cold. The beer, an India pale ale, is packaged in plastic, vacuum-sealed bottles for the journey to the Pole.

    Finally, Scott, who blogs at The Brew Club, serves up 12 Things You Don’t Know About Your Beer. For instance, there are more calories in a pint of Budweiser than in a pint of Guinness.

    The Friday Mash (CNN Edition)

    On this day in 1980, the Cable News Network debuted. After an introduction by Ted Turner, the husband and wife team of David Walker and Lois Hart anchored the network’s first newscast.

    Travel tip: if you’re going to Toronto this summer, do not refer to that enormous tower on the lakefront as the “CNN Tower.” Every Canadian within earshot will give you a dirty look.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Colorado, where the owners of Oskar Blues hope to operate a “beer train” between their Longmont and Boulder locations.

    Sara Dickerman of the New York Times updates us on San Diego’s craft beer scene. San Diego County has more than 50 breweries, and many of the area’s beers can be found far from California.

    India and Pakistan fought three major wars in the 20th century, but beer might bring them closer together. Pakistan’s Murree Brewery will start selling its lager to India for the first time since the two countries were partitioned in 1947.

    In Grayslake, Illinois, four hockey fanatics are starting a brewery. All Light the Lamp Brewery beers–for example, Sin Bin Stout–will have hockey-themed names.

    Tuscany is known the world over for its wine but even there, craft beer is making inroads. The region has more than 30 craft breweries, plus a number of bars that specialize in local beer.

    The term “dive bar” gets a new meaning, thanks to a bar inside a fully functional submarine. The sub recently took guests to the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

    Finally, Martyn Cornell, The Zythophile, identifies some endangered beer species, including some that are critically endangered in his native Britain.

    The Friday Mash (Parkinson’s Law Edition)

    Nineteen years ago today, British civil servant C. Northcote Parkinson passed away. He is best known for Parkinson’s Law, which states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Parkinson’s Law explains why you’re at your desk, reading this blog, and waiting for 5:00 to come so you can grab a beer.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Louisville, where Churchill Downs Racetrack has entered into a multi-year agreement under which Stella Artois will be the official beer of the Kentucky Derby.

    Soldotna, Alaska’s Kenai River Brewing Company is making a Belgian-style trippel whose ingredient list includes 15 pounds of gummi bears, or about about 2,565 bears to the batch.

    Beer tastes on a Champagne budget? Kupros Bistro, a restaurant in downtown Sacramento, charged its customers $45 for a burger and a 12-ounce glass of Pliny the Younger. The burger alone costs $14.

    A court in Lithuania has enjoined a threatened strike by Carlsberg brewery workers, calling beer as vitally essential as medicine. The brewery workers’ union plans to appeal the ruling.

    New Jersey hasn’t been a friendly environment for craft brewers, but a bill before the State Senate would eliminate some the legal hurdles would-be breweries now face.

    Maybe these guys inspired the “Occupy” movement. In 1937, a group of 40 drinkers in Bend, Oregon, protested a 100-percent increase in the price of a beer by staging a sit-in at Anton Grohar’s tavern.

    Finally, German scientists (who else?) conclude that the “beer belly” is a myth. Although people who guzzle lots of beer get bigger waistlines, the rest of their body expands at the same rate.

    The Friday Mash (Last Hurrah Edition)

    On this day in 1918, novelist Edwin O’Connor was born. O’Connor, who wrote about Irish Americans, won the Pulitzer Prize for The Edge of Sadness. Among political junkies, however, he’s best known for The Last Hurrah. Its protagonist, Mayor Frank Skeffington, represented constituents who enjoyed a beer or two.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Portland, Oregon, where one of the headline events of next month’s PDX Beer Week will be the world premiere of “For the Love of Beer”, a documentary about women in the brewing industry.

    Barack Obama wasn’t the first president to brew his own beer. That distinction belongs to George Washington, who left behind his recipe for small beer for modern-day homebrewers.

    Tiger, Tiger. A Baton Rouge microbrewery has teamed up with Louisiana State University to produce LSU Beer. The brewery, which grew out of LSU’s small business incubator, will also host fermentation classes this fall.

    Bubbles really do flow downward in a pint glass of Guinness. Scientists from Stanford University and the University of Edinburgh explain why this happens.

    A showdown is brewing in Cody, Wyoming, where two breweries have gone to court over the name “Buffalo Bill.” A judge ruled that neither side had established a trademark, leaving both free to keep brewing.

    Wine lovers speak of terroir, but does that concept apply to beer? According to Jimmy Mauric, the brewmaster at the Spoetzl Brewery, the answer is yes.

    Finally, it’s only July, but we’ve got the understatement of the year. After deciding to discontinue a lemonade edition of Miller Genuine Draft 64, MillerCoors said in a statement,”not every innovation will succeed.”

    The Friday Mash (Famous Detroiters Edition)

    Two famous people associated with Detroit were born on this day: heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis (born 1914 as Joseph Louis Barrow), the first African American to become a national hero; and singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder (born 1950 as Steveland Hardaway Judkins), whose many honors include an Academy Award and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Frederick, Maryland, where it’s Beer Week. And, for the first time in 100 years, a beer has been brewed there with locally-grown barley. The beer is Amber Fields Best Bitter, and is on tap at Brewer’s Alley.

    The U.S. Army is looking for a brewmaster at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. The pay is $22,000 a year and no, you don’t have to go through boot camp to get the job.

    Roger Protz, the author of a forthcoming book about Burton ale–a beer even older than Bass–has enlisted the Otley Brewery to brew a modern version of the beverage, which will be released this month.

    Would you pair beer and cookies? The owners of South Durham Confection think it’s a classic combination waiting to be discovered.

    Attention investors! If it’s liquidity you’re after, Pittsburgh’s East End Brewing Company has a deal for you. Invest $1,000 toward the brewery’s expansion and you’ll get two years worth of pre-paid beer.

    If you’ve ever wondered what beers pair best with sliders, Michael Agnew has the answer. Agnew’s a certified Cicerone, so listen up.

    Finally, from the Guinness is Good For You Department, we learn that before she goes on stage to sing, Gwyneth Paltrow calms her nerves by downing a pint of Guinness.

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