The Friday Mash (End of Apartheid Edition)

Twenty-five years ago today, South Africans voted overwhelmingly to end the practice of racial segregation called apartheid. The vote followed President F.W. de Klerk’s lifting of the ban on opposition parties and his release of Nelson Mandela after 27 years’ imprisonment.

And now….The Mash!

We begin near Dublin, where, if you have $29.5 million, you can be the new owner of the Guinness Beer Castle. The castle, aka Luggala, has 27 bedrooms and 18 full baths and sits on 5,000 acres of green rolling hills.

Two California drinkers have sued the maker of Kona Brewing Company’s beers. They allege that Kona falsely represented that the beers are brewed in Hawaii, when in fact they’re brewed on the mainland.

If you’re a golfer, this product is for you. “Big Beertha” looks like a driver, but functions as “the original golf beer bong”. It holds 12 ounces of liquid whose consumption can be viewed by onlookers through its clear acrylic shaft.

The Kansas City Royals have named Boulevard Brewing Company the first-ever craft beer partner of a major-league baseball team. Boulevard has been sold at Royals’ games for more than 20 years.

Last weekend at SXSW, Anheuser-Busch announced its “Bud on Mars” project. Challenges on the Red Planet include low gravity, lack of water, not enough sunlight to grow hops, and humans’ diminished sense of taste.

Shares in Japan’s big breweries could get a boost if the government follows through on revising the beer excise tax, which is based malt content. The result has been a flood of beers heavy with adjuncts like peas and soybeans.

Finally, Belgian scientists recently discovered the Trappist-1 system of possibly-habitable Earth-size planets some 40 light-years from Earth. They named the planets after monastic Trappist beers such as Rochefort, Orval, and Westvleteren.

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Guinness to Open Brewery in U.S.

After a 63-year hiatus, Guinness beer will once again be brewed in the United States.

Diageo PLC, which owns the Guinness brand, will expand the historic Calvert Distillery in Baltimore County, Maryland to include a mid-sized brewery as well as a visitors’ center and taproom. Diageo, which calls the facility an American version of the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Dublin, hopes to capitalize on the popularity of beer tourism.

The new brewery will focus on new Guinness beers created for the American market. The iconic Guinness Draught, Guinness Foreign Extra, and Guinness Extra Stouts will still be brewed in Dublin and exported to the United States.

Diageo is hoping to open the brewery this fall to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Guinness exports to the U.S.

The Friday Mash (Epiphany Edition)

Today, Christians celebrate The Feast of the Epiphany. In Louisiana, this means Carnival season is underway. The local tradition is to bake King Cakes; and the person who finds the doll in his or her slice must bake the next cake.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in France, where the Benedictine monks at the 1,367-year-old Abbey of Saint-Wandrille are back in the business of brewing. They’re the country’s only producers of truly monastic beer.

In an interview with Paste magazine, 21st Amendment Brewery’s Nico Freccia talked about the fine art of naming beers, and how the brewery’s odd names has become mainstream.

When Tim Kliegl turned 65, he celebrated in unusual fashion—namely, by running a mile, and trying a new beer, every day for an entire year. And he’s got the notes to prove it.

Staffers at Amazon.com’s Christmas party in Dublin were treated to a special beer from local micro Metalman Brewing. Grainne Walsh, Metalman’s founder, once worked as an engineer at Amazon.

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended lowering the DUI threshold to .05 percent, and a Utah lawmaker wants his state to be first. The current threshold in all states is .08.

Rick Astley, whose song “Never Gonna Give You Up” was part of a popular Internet prank, plans to “roll” out a beer. The lager, which will be brewed by Mikkeller, has yet to be named.

Finally, the The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company will celebrate its 150th anniversary by joining forces with the famous Hofbräu München. The amber-colored, Marzen-style will be introduced in April.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • U.S. Senate sponsors of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act: 51.
  • U.S. House sponsors of that bill: 100.
  • Value of Ireland’s beer exports in 2015: €265 million ($300 million).
  • Increase over 2014: 16 percent.
  • Average cost of a pint of beer in the UK this year: £3.47 ($4.61).
  • Increase over last year: 1p.
  • Licensed premises’ share of UK beer sales in 2015: 49 percent. For the first time in history, it fell below 50 percent.
  • Decline in UK licensed premises’ beer sales from 1980 until 2015: 44 percent.
  • Projected U.S. hop harvest for this year: 92 million pounds.
  • Acres of U.S. farmland on which hops are currently grown: 51,000.
  • Increase over 2011 acreage: 20,000 acres (64.5 percent).
  • Tax revenue from legal marijuana sales in Washington State in 2015: $64.6 million.
  • Tax revenue from beer sales in Washington State in 2015: $30.8 million.
  • Market capitalization of merged corporations SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch InBev: $245 billion.
  • SAB Miller-Anheuser-Busch InBev merger’s rank on the all-time mergers list: 4th. The combined company is the world’s fifth-largest brand.
  • Beer…By the Numbers

  • Pubs’ share of Ireland’s beer consumption: 67 percent.
  • Ireland’s annual beer consumption: 4.02 million barrels.
  • Beer’s share of Ireland’s alcohol consumption: 47 percent (wine is second, with 27 percent).
  • Economic impact of the Great American Beer Festival on Denver’s economy: $7 million.
  • GABF revenue from ticket sales: $2 million.
  • Alcoholic content of Armageddon, the world’s strongest beer: 65 percent.
  • Price of a single bottle of Armageddon: $52.
  • Price of a single bottle of Samuel Adams Utopias: $190.
  • Beer tax increase proposed by the French government: 160 percent.
  • Expected increase in the price of a beer after the tax hike: 20 percent.
  • Imports’ share of France’s beer market: 30 percent.
  • Calories in a pint of British session ale: 170.
  • Calories in a pint of orange juice: 256.
  • Homebrew shops in existence in the U.S. in 1929, when Prohibition was in force: 25,000.
  • Estimated U.S. homebrew production in 1929: 22.6 million barrels.
  • Craft Beer on the Emerald Isle

    It’s hard to believe that nearly 15 years have gone by since Maryanne and Paul visited the Porterhouse, then a brand-new brewpub in Dublin. They found themselves sharing a table with several of the people who’d been hard at work getting the establishment ready for its grand opening. The beer was outstanding, the conversation even better.

    The Porterhouse is still going strong (in fact, it’s branched out to London, New York, and Shanghai), and so is the craft brew movement in Ireland. The March 26 Irish Times had this to say:

    The micro-brewery movement that swept North America, the UK and Scandinavia never took root in Ireland. There was a false dawn in the 1990s but most of the new companies foundered. However, in the past few years, off-licences and pubs have noted a surge of interest in imported craft beers. Our own craft beer movement has been gathering momentum and finally seems ready to burst forth with a range of eclectic handmade beers offering real flavour. And pubs, thirsty for business, seem ready to try them.

    The Times story features the Porterhouse and a number of other micros throughout Ireland.

    The Friday Mash (Bubble Machine Edition)

    On this day in 1903, Lawrence Welk was born in North Dakota. His big band gained a national audience when The Lawrence Welk Show made its network television debut in 1955. In addition to polkas and waltzes, the show featured an iconic “bubble machine.” Welk passed away some years ago, but the bubble machine lives on. It’s at the Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Tibet, where people celebrated the a new year, the Year of the Iron Rabbit, with home-brewed barley beer. When a Tibetan meets someone who says “Tashi Delek (Good Luck),” he will offer the person a cup of beer and ask him to drink it in three large gulps.

    Beer fuels creativity in more ways than one. Two artistic craft beer lovers from Bend, Oregon, specialize in oil paintings of beer crowns and bottles.

    Call him the “Pub Guy”. Bill Perrie, of Stouffville, Ontario, recently celebrated a milestone when he visited his 2,500th licensed establishment. It’s all in the name of research: Perrie has written seven books about Canada’s pubs.

    New Belgium Brewery is seeking submissions for its second annual Clips of Faith beer and film tour, that will raise money by showing amateur films and pouring beer from the brewery’s hard-to-find Lips of Faith series.

    In Washington, D.C., March means it’s Beer Madness time, the Washington Post’s annual taste-off in which a panel of tasters choose a champion beer out of a field of 64.

    According to a scientific survey, beer drinkers think that Guinness tastes better in Ireland, but there are differing opinions as to why that is so.

    Finally, a Malaysian newspaper profiled a local man who drinks a beer an hour. After reading the story, we’re convinced that he also works as a copy editor at the paper.

    The Friday Mash (Float Like a Butterfly Edition)

    On this day in 1964, 22-year-old boxer Cassius Clay scored a victory by TKO over heavyweight champion Sonny Liston. Clay, who later that year changed his name to Muhammad Ali, became one of the greatest legends in the history of sports–and one of the few to be recognized the world over.

    Being a devout Muslim, Ali abstains from alcohol. However, Ludwig has granted you permission to toast “The Greatest” with a brew.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Boulder, Colorado, where the local school district offers a course in beer appreciation. It’s led by a veteran of Colorado’s craft beer industry.

    Spring training is around the corner, and writer Charlie Vascellaro tells you where to find good beer near Cactus League ballparks. He also explains why baseball is responsible for Bell’s beer’s availabIlity in the Grand Canyon State.

    The Harp, a pub located in Covent Garden, London, was named CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year.

    Lights, camera, action! Draft magazine chooses ten actors who could play leading brewers.

    Green beer? Not the kind served on St. Patrick’s Day, but the kind made in eco-friendly breweries in Calgary, Alberta.

    Now that craft beer is making inroads in Ireland, can proper beer festivals be far behind? The Dublin-based Beer Nut reports on the inaugural Winter & Cask Ale Festival, held earlier this month in Cork.

    Finally, if you’re going to Mardi Gras, Jeremy Labadie of BestOfNewOrleans.com has a long list of establishments that serve good beer in the Crescent City.

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