The Friday Mash (“John Brown’s Body” Edition)

On this day in 1859, militant abolitionist leader John Brown, who had led an unsuccessful raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia, was hanged in Charles Town. Brown is the only person in American history who was executed for committing treason against a state.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Riverside, California, where a liquor store owner set fire to a competitor’s store because the competitor was costing him business by selling cheaper beer. He faces arson and conspiracy charges.

A Wendy’s restaurant in Houston is offering beer-infused hamburgers. The burger alone costs $5.29; a combo with fries and a drink is available for $7.19.

Belgium is asking the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s to recognize its brewing and beer drinking culture as an “intangible heritage” deserving of official recognition.

Anheuser-Busch has randomly seeded 37,000 golden cans of Bud Light in multi-can packs. People who find the cans will be be entered in a drawing, with the top prize being Super Bowl tickets for life.

Thrillist.com is out with its list of the most iconic beers brewed in every state. According to the authors, the list includes both old standbys and “instant classics”.

Buffalo entrepreneur Ken Szal has run a successful pedal pub business. Once the Coast Guard signs off, he’ll offer pedal pontoon boot tours as well.

Finally, major brewers are reacting to tighter regulations and health consciousness by stepping up production of alcohol-free beer. They’re also working on improving the taste of those beers.

The Friday Mash (San Diego State U. Edition)

On this day in 1897, San Diego State University was established. The 35,000 students at SDSU have an amazing selection of craft beer to choose from. At the end of 2014, the county had nearly 100 breweries and brewpubs.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Houston, where the Texas Beer Refinery has opened for business. Its fermenting tanks and brew kettles have been made to look like refinery towers from a distance.

Goose Island Brewing Company’s 20-year-old brewery on Chicago’s Near West Side will start offering tours and tastings later this month. The tasting room will also offer growler fills.

Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company has brewed a beer to benefit James Madison’s Montpelier. Ambition Ale, “a beer with checks and balances,” will be available in central Virginia this summer.

Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen, Oregon’s largest-selling craft beer, is now co-branded with Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers. Both the brewery and the team are Portland institutions.

Goldcrest 51 beer was popular in Memphis until the Tennessee Brewing Company closed its doors in 1955. Beer writer Kenn Flemmons plans to revive the beer this spring, using the original recipe.

A federal appeals court has ruled that Flying Dog Ales can sue Michigan for damages over its refusal to approve the label for Raging Bitch IPA. The state’s decision was overturned in court.

Finally, a new beer from Maine’s Allagash Brewing Company honors cherry farmer Nancy Bunting, who supplied it with thousands of pounds of cherries. Allagash has donated part of the proceeds from “Nancy” to a charity that helps farmworkers with health problems.

The Friday Mash (Board Game Edition)

On this day in 1911, board game mogul Milton Bradley passed away. His eponymous company—Ludwig’s been waiting to use that word–brought us The Game of Life, along with the ever-popular Yahtzee and Twister.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Utah, where state liquor regulators are cracking down on festivals put on by for-profit groups. One potential casualty of the new policy is Snowbird Ski Resort’s Oktoberfest celebration.

Gilley’s, the Texas honky-tonk made famous in the film Urban Cowboy, closed in 1989. However, a local brewery is making Gilley’s blond ale. A number of retailers in the Houston area carry it.

The Gun, a London pub, recently hosted an all-unfiltered beer festival. “Spring Haze” featured 30 beers from local micros. Fans contend that unfiltered beer not only tastes better, but is healthier.

Craft brewers have invaded Bavaria, the last bastion of brewing tradition. The newcomers’ offerings include Belgian-style wheat bock, a strawberry ale, a Baltic porter, and of course, IPAs.

Now that grilling season is here, scientists suggest that you marinate your meat in beer, which inhibits the development of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that have been linked to cancer.

Taco Bell’s parent company’s is working on a new spinoff chain called the U.S. Taco Company & Urban Taproom, which will serve craft beer as well as beer milkshakes to pair with menu items.

Finally, Two Brothers Brewing Company has created a beer for Chicago’s Field Museum. The white IPA is called “Cabinet of Curiosities,” a name once given to museum collections.

The Friday Mash (Fab Four Edition)

Fifty years ago today, The Beatles occupied the top five spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The Fab Four still hold the record for most Billboard number-one hits with 20; and, with more than 600 million records sold world-wide, remain the biggest-selling band of all time.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Houston, where Whole Foods’ Post Oak location will brew its own beer. Other grocery chains sell own-label beer, but they contract out the actual brewing.

A layover might be an opportunity to enjoy a pint at one of America’s best airport beer bars. All nine are outposts of local craft breweries such as Harpoon, Schlafly, and Rogue.

Kudzu beer? The invasive Southern plant is among the “foraged ingredients” that have found their way into new beers. Kudzu, by the way, is said to impart a fruity flavor.

Anheuser-Busch InBev is celebrating this summer’s World Cup in Brazil by introducing Brahma Selecao Especial. Its recipe includes barley grown on the Brazilian national team’s training field.

Old Style beer will be sold in Wrigley Field this season after all. The Cubs’ concessionaire plans to sell it, along with Goose Island, at the park’s concession stands.

Brooklyn Brewing Company founder Steve Hindy wrote a New York Times op-ed calling for reform of franchise laws that keep small breweries from getting their beer on the shelves.

Finally, scientists at Johns Hopkins University have created the first synthetic yeast chromosome. Since the yeast genome consists of 16 chromosomes, there’s still plenty of work to be done.

The Friday Mash (Reefer Madness Edition)

Seventy-six years ago today, Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act, which effectively made marijuana illegal. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law and in all but two states. Those of a certain age may remember a psychedelic-art poster that read, “Keep off the Grass, Drink Schlitz.”

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Indianapolis, where an ad calling marijuana “the new beer”, scheduled to run during a NASCAR Brickyard 400, was pulled after anti-drug forces complained.

F.X. Matt Brewing is celebrating its 125th anniversary by giving customers a free beer. The brewery is adding a can of its new Legacy IPA to variety 12-packs of its Saranac beers.

Houston, we have a tourist attraction: a house made of beer cans. Construction began in the 1970s, when owner John Milkovisch used old beer cans as makeshift aluminum siding.

Lovell, Maine, an hour’s drive west of Portland, has landed on the craft beer map thanks to Ebenezer’s, which has been named America’s best beer bar.

Move over, Goose Island. Lagunitas Brewing Company will soon become Chicago’s biggest brewery. Its new facility in the Douglas Park neighborhood will have a capacity of 250,000 barrels a year.

Levi’s Field, the future home of the San Francisco 49ers, is developing an app to address fans’ biggest complaints: lines at beer stands and the inevitable next problem, lines at restrooms.

Finally, New Jersey’s beer hasn’t earned many accolades, but Aaron Goldfarb of Esquire magazine says the local brew is improving. He recommends Carton Brewing Company and Kane Brewing Company.

Ballpark Beer: What It Will Cost You

TheBigGulp.com has compiled an infographic that compares the price of a beer to the team’s projected win total in all 30 major league ballparks.

Chase Field in Phoenix and Angel Stadium in Anaheim offer the best value with winning teams and relatively inexpensive beer.

The worst value is Marlins Park in Miami, where beer sells for an above-average price and the Marlins are on track to lose more than 100 games. On the other hand, Target FIeld in Minneapolis and Minute Maid Park in Houston offer cheaper-than-average beer to help fans deaden the pain of watching bad baseball.

100 Best Beer Bars

Already? Draft magazine is out with its annual list of America’s 100 best beer bars. Seventeen establishments are new to this year’s list. Four of the newcomers are in San Diego County, which continues to solidify its position in the top tier of American beer cities; and three cities with very different beer cultures–Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles–each have two establishments making their first appearance in the Top 100.

The Friday Mash (New Albion Edition)

On this day in 1579, Sir Francis Drake landed on the coast of what is now northern California. He called the land “New Albion” and claimed it for England. Four centuries later, Jack McAuliffe resurrected the name New Albion as the name for his microbrewery. It only lasted five years, but it changed American beer forever.

And now…The Mash!

We begin near Aix-en-Provence, France, a region we nowadays associate with wine. Scientists have also found evidence that the locals brewed beer 2,500 years ago.

The Heights in Houston, Texas, is the home of Live It BIG’s Beer Camp. Nicholas L. Hall of the Houston Press came home a happy camper, thanks to all the great beer he sampled.

What is “the mysterious Australian Ale”? Martyn Cornell, the Zythophile, concludes that it was most likely “No. 3 grade” Burton Ale, a sweetish, high-gravity beer exported to Australia during the late 19th century.

Dan, who blogs at The Full Pint, runs down the current trends in craft beer. Topping the list: 750ml corked and caged bottles.

Charlie Papazian revs up his time machine and travels back to 1980, where he unearths a Zymurgy magazine article about the Boulder Brewing Company. It’s part of the Small Breweries Revive series at Examiner.com.

In New York City, bars are earning the Good Beer Seal. Participating establishments must be independently owned, have 80 percent of its beer consist of craft domestics or special imports, employ a knowledgeable staff that’s committed to presenting beer properly.

Finally, Session #53 has been announced. This month’s host is John Holl, and he’d like to hear from about Beer Redemption–that is, beers that with which you once had a bad experience, but later came to appreciate.

The Friday Mash

Boak & Bailey’s Beer Blog reports on a promising new pub in Stratford, England, the home of William Shakespeare….The American Don at The Beer Brotha catches us up on the Houston beer scene, which he describes as “ratcheting up.”…At Hoosier Beer Geek, Gina reports back on her visit to Bell’s Brewing, with pictures of both the brewery and Bell’s Eccentric Cafe….And finally, the Thirsty Pilgrim, a/k/a Bussels-based writer Joe Stange, leads us Around Antwerp in a Couple of Beers.

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