Forty-seven years ago today, President Richard Nixon signed the Public Health Smoking Act. It required the placement of Surgeon General’s warnings on tobacco products, and banned cigarette advertising on television and radio. Those of a certain age still remember the jingles, however.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where the newly-opened Moby Dick Brewing Company pays homage to the city’s whaling industry and especially, the Herman Melville classic.
In Indianapolis, a beer bar called Kingmakers offers a selection of 500 board games to play with friends. Kingmakers’ “board game sommeliers” double as servers and game instructors.
Michigan’s brewery count is approaching 300–which is a lot of competition for shelf space. Representatives of two of the state’s grocery chains explain how they decide what to carry.
Your next layover could be an opportunity to introduce yourself to some new beer. CraftBeer.com has compiled a list of nine American airports that pour beer from local craft breweries.
Growler USA is coming to your home state. The Denver-based beer bar chain has 40 franchised locations under development, and expects to sell another 200 franchises nationwide in 2018.
Can you name the ten oldest beers in America? All ten date back to the 19th century—1829 in the case of Yuengling Lager, the country’s oldest—and managed to survive Prohibition.
Finally, Stone Brewing Company earned rave reviews for its Full Circle Pale Ale. What makes this beer unusual is that it was made with recycled and purified wastewater that had previously been used in taps, toilets and showers.
Jordan Gleason, the founder of Black Acre Brewing Company in Indianapolis, banned a 60-year-old male customer who had made crude, sexist remarks about the women who worked in Black Acre’s taproom. Gleason wrote a long—and sometimes profane—Facebook post explaining why he did so.
First, though, he described the joys of working in the service industry:
I’ve seen wedding proposals, birthday parties, political discussions, deep philosophical debates, neighborhood organization, the absolute works. The best of humanity coming together and bonding. That’s my JAM. It’s one of the biggest reasons I get out of bed in the morning to come in to work day after day.
But he alluded to the industry’s dark side, which included abusive behavior toward female employees. Gleason appealed to his fellow males to take their status as gentlemen seriously:
Men, we often don’t see the level of filth that our friends, sisters, and mothers go through every day. We hope to surround ourselves with people who would never treat a woman like that. We live in a safe little bubble. But the reality of this thing? It’s an insidious disease that’s happening every single day, several times a day and it turns my [expletive] stomach.
Ludwig is on Christmas break, and won’t be back until January 4. Maryanne and Paul will be filling in for him. In the meantime, Ludwig left a plate of cookies, his heartiest Season’s Greetings, and an early version of…
We begin in Chicago, where Patti Wetli of DNAInfo.com takes us back to the Great Chicago Beer Riot of 1855. Hundreds of armed Germans stormed the city’s courthouse to protest the enforcement of liquor laws they considered anti-immigrant.
Queen City Q, a Charlotte-based chain of barbecue restaurants, has taken Anheuser-Busch products off the menu in protest of A-B’s allegedly pressuring distributors to stop handling craft beer.
Long Island’s Barrage Brewing Company has released two beers for Seinfield fans. They’re infused with Snickers and chocolate babka, foods that starred in the sitcom.
In Montreal, some cab drivers are competing with Uber by selling beer and cigarettes to passengers. Those sales are illegal, but the cabbies argue that Uber’s business model is illegal, too.
TravelPulse.com has compiled a scorecard of major U.S. airlines’ craft beer selections. Alaska and Delta Airlines lead the pack, Spirit Airlines ranked last, and Southwest Airlines showed the biggest improvement.
A federal appeals court has upheld an Indiana law that requires convenience stores to sell beer at room temperature. Liquor stores, which bar under-21s from entering, are allowed to sell cold beer.
Finally, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Beer Camp will return next year. The first stop on this six-city national tour will be Tampa on June 4. Sierra Nevada and 30 regional breweries will also brew a series of collaborative 12-packs.
Today is the 80th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of the Social Security Act. More than 50 million Americans, most of whom are retirees, receive Social Security benefits. That number will grow as members of the Baby Boom generation reach retirement age.
And now (can I see some ID, please?)….The Mash!
We begin in North Korea, whose government is looking for foreign investors for a brewery in Wosnan. The country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, wants to turn the port city into a tourist attraction.
Jim Koch, the CEO of Boston Beer Company, blames high U.S. corporate taxes for acquisitions that have left foreign firms in control of 90 percent of America’s brewing industry.
The oldest known receipt for beer is a more than 4,000-year-old Sumerian tablet in which a scribe acknowledges receiving approximately 4-1/2 liters of Alulu the brewer’s “best beer.”
At New Belgium Brewing Company, Kim Jordan is turning over her CEO duties to another woman, Christine Perich, the chief operating officer. Jordan will head the brewery’s board of directors.
The Los Angeles Times’s John Verive decodes seven words—clean, dry, phenolic, creamy, hot, soft, and light—that are often found in reviews of craft beers.
White Bull beer, a symbol of South Sudan’s independence, is on the endangered list. Armed conflict has left White Bull’s brewer short on foreign currency it needs to import fuel and materials.
Finally, “Biscuit,” who works at the Sun King Brewery in Indianapolis sneaked “Tom Brady Sux” next to the “born-on” date on 20,000 cans of Wee Mac Scottish Ale. His future work will have to be approved by his higher-ups.
On this day in 1783, Simon Bolivar, “The Liberator,” was born. Bolivar was instrumental role in making Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela independent of Spanish rule. Toast him with a glass of Polar beer, “The People’s Beer” of Venezuela.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Milwaukee, where Pabst Brewing Company is returning to its original location. Pabst’s owner, Eugene Kashper, says the brewery will new small-batch beers, based on Pabst’s archived recipes, while staying true to its roots.
A new Indiana law classifies retirement communities as homes, so they no longer need a liquor license to serve alcohol to residents. One problem not likely to occur: underage drinking.
Mark your calendars. Next year’s Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference will be held at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina. The dates are July 8-10.
Jackie Speier, a congresswoman from California, announced on her Facebook page that she’s introduced legislation that would allow the U.S. Postal Service to ship alcoholic beverages.
The clever folks at Printsome.com have designed beer labels to match the personalities of Facebook, Google, Nike, and 14 other highly recognizable corporations.
Yes, you can get an India pale ale—along with a host of other craft beers—in India. The subcontinent’s first brewpub, Doolally in the city of Pune, opened its doors in 2009. A slew of others have followed.
Finally, the Buffalo Wild Wings in Tacoma displays a bottle of Corona with a lime slice underneath an American flag. An unidentified woman ordered the Corona and placed it in front of an adjoining seat in honor of her brother, who was killed while on duty in Iraq.
Last week, Indiana governor Mike Pence signed Senate Bill 101, which would prevent state and local governments from “substantially burdening” a person’s exercise of religion unless the government can prove it has a compelling interest and is doing so in the least restrictive means. Critics contend that the law gives business owners a license to discriminate, especially against gays and lesbians.
Businessman Scott Wise, who owns the Scotty’s Brewhouse chain in Indiana, wrote an open letter explaining his opposition to the law. After identifying himself as a born-again Christian, Wise went on to say, “Several of my employees are openly gay, proud and happy” and that “I consider all of them my colleagues and even more so, my friends.” Wise called his guests’ sexual orientation “utterly unimportant in running a business, nor any of my personal business.”
Cyd Zeigler of OutSports.com has asked supporters of LBGT rights who’ll be in Indianapolis for this weekend’s Final Four to join him at Scotty’s downtown location Friday evening at 7 pm. The establishment is just a few blocks from Lucas Oil Stadium, where the games will be played.
On this day in 1888, Antoinette Perry was born in Denver. She was a co-founder and head of the American Theatre Wing, which operated the Stage Door Canteens during World War II. The Tony Awards, which honor outstanding achievement in theater, are named for her.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Bavaria, where several villages brew beer communally. The unfiltered lager, Zoigl, is served on a rotating schedule at local pubs; and it is also enjoyed communally.
Good news and bad news for British Columbia beer drinkers. Bars can now offer happy specials, but the province’s new minimum pricing requirement might make happy hour beer more expensive.
After golfer Michelle Wie won the U.S. Women’s Open, she celebrated in style, treating herself and her friends to beer out of the championship trophy—which, by the way, holds 21-1/2 brews.
Yuengling, August Schell, and Narragansett are “craft beers” thanks to the Brewers Association’s decision to allow adjuncts and to raise the production ceiling to 6 million barrels per year.
Indiana’s law barring the sale of cold beer at convenience stores was held constitutional by a federal judge, who concluded that the it was rationally related to the state’s liquor-control policy.
Molson’s Canadian Beer Fridge is back. This time, Canadians will have to demonstrate the ability to sing their country’s national anthem, “O Canada,” in order to get a free cold one.
Finally, beer blogger Danny Spears chugged a 25-year-old beer brewed to honor the Cincinnati Bengals’ appearance in Super Bowl XXIII. Spears’s verdict: “The beer was much worse than expected. Actually, it was terrible.”
Some industry observers worry that the craft beer market might be getting saturated. Brad Tuttle of Time magazine cites two states where that could be happening. One is Vermont, which despite its small population, ranks 15th in overall craft-beer production and has the most craft breweries per capita in the U.S. However, the state’s beer production fell 2.5 percent from 2011 to 2012. The other is Indiana, where the number of craft breweries has tripled in just four years, and new brewers complain about the difficulty of getting their beers on tap at restaurants and bars.
On the other hand, Bart Watson, a staff economist for the Brewers Association, contends that there’s still plenty of room for growth. He points to Oregon, a mature craft beer market, where production still grew by 11 percent last year.
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.
On this day in 1778, Captain James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii is one of only four states that were independent countries before joining the Union. The others are California, Texas, and Vermont, which was a republic between 1777 and 1791.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Denver where, for the third straight year, Governor John Hickenlooper mentioned beer in his State of the State address. Before entering politics, Hickenlooper owned the Wynkoop Brewing Company.
If you’re in the mood to waste some time, check out SuperBowl-Commercials.org (yes, that’s a real site) and start with a few memorable beer commercials, including one featuring Budweiser’s talking frogs.
The Standard Reference Measurement assigns a number between 1 (lightest) and 40 (darkest) to describe the color of beer. Jay Brooks has posted an SRM chart and other color-related links on his Brookston Beer Bulletin.
The “Big D”–Drewrys beer–might be returning to Indiana. Chicago entrepreneur Frank Manzo has acquired the Drewrys name and is lining up capital for his brewing venture.
Sprecher Brewing Company, which is famous for its root beer, is test-marketing an alcoholic version called Hard Root Beer. It has bourbon and oak flavors, and weighs in at 5% ABV.
Some experts worry that cheap beer is a health problem, and that U.S. beer prices are about to drop because of consolidation and vertical integration in the brewing industry.
Finally, congratulations are in order to Fred Bueltmann, a managing partner at New Holland Brewing Company in Michigan. His book, Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy, will be published this spring.