J. Wilson

Before Going On That All-Beer Diet…

J. Wilson’s Lenten diet of doppelbock gained him national notoriety and a book deal, and helped him lose more than 20 pounds. But you should think twice before following his lead.

According to Today show’s diet and nutrition editor, Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom, Wilson’s all-beer diet is a bad idea. To begin with, it has “fad diet” written all over it. For people with high blood pressure or diabetes, drinking nothing but beer is a big health risk. And drinking beer on an empty stomach, which what Wilson did, can lead to binge eating and the regret that follows.

Having said all that, Dr. Fernstrom recommends beer for dieters who still fancy a beverage or two. She says, “you can nurse a beer longer than a cocktail, and the bubbles keep you from drinking it too fast.”

The Friday Mash (Dr. Seuss Edition)

On this day in 1904, Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was born. His imagination gave us characters like the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. To honor the good doctor, Ludwig suggests a dinner of green eggs and ham. With a glass of ale, of course.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Denver, where J. Wilson, the Iowa man who lived on a diet of doppelbock last year during Lent, was named Beerdrinker of the Year at Wynkoop Brewing Company.

It’s the first Friday of the month, so it’s time for The Session. Matt Robinson, who blogs at Hoosier Beer Geek, hosts the discussion titled What Makes Local Beer Better?. Feel free to join in.

Job fair alert: New Zealand’s Boundary Road Brewery is looking for 500 “beer intellectuals” to evaluate its new IPA. Applicants must be at least 18 and and demonstrate “a sound knowledge of beer.”

Not only have traditional ales made a comeback, but traditional pub games like darts, skittles, and dominoes are returning to British pubs.

This was bound to happen: a reality show featuring a brewers’ competition. “The Next Great American Brewer” is produced by Main Gate Visuals, which also worked on the “Top Chef” and “Project Runway” series.

Calling Sam Calagione. Construction workers in Ecuador discovered a tomb, dating to pre-Inca days, which contained a previously unknown species of yeast used to brew chicha.

Finally, in Germany, a waiter identified only as “Martin D.” spilled five glasses of beer on the back on Chancellor Angela Merkel. Fortunately, Merkel was a good sport about it.

The Friday Mash (Manifest Destiny Edition)

On this day in 1845, President James K. Polk announced to Congress that the United States should aggressively expand into the West. That policy, which was given the name “Manifest Destiny,” eventually resulted in California, Oregon, and Washington joining the Union. Ask yourself this: where would craft brewing be without those three states?

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Pasadena, California, where the 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade will step off without the Budweiser Clydesdales. It’s the first time since 1952 that Anheuser-Busch won’t be represented.

Now that the members of 1990s boy band Hanson are old enough to drink, they’ve launched their own beer. Its name?None other than “Mmmhop.”

Remember J. Wilson, the Iowa man who went on a doppelbock-only diet during Lent? He not only survived, but wrote a book about his experience. It’s titled Diary of a Part-Time Monk.

The sour beer craze has attracted the attention of Eric Asimov of the New York Times. He and his friends recently evaluated a number of sour beers, and rendered their judgment.

Ohio is “round at the ends and high in the middle,” and about to be populated by nearly a dozen new breweries, bringing the state’s brewery count to 70.

Fat Tire on the East Coast? That’s likely to happen now that New Belgium Brewing Company is choosing a site for its second brewery. Four cities, including Philadelphia and Asheville, North Carolina, are on the short list.

Finally, Adrian Tierney-Jones, who blogs at Called to the Bar, tackles this beery question: What is abbey ale? His conclusion: “I’m still not sure what an Abbey Ale is. Is there such a creature?”

Will Fast for Beer

Legend has it that during Lent, Munich’s Paulaner monks fasted by drawing all of their nourishment from doppelbock. This sounds like an 18th century version of Supersize Me, except that the monks partook of a better product.

How tough was such a diet? Beer blogger J. Wilson intends to find out. He’s teamed up with Eric Sorensen, head brewer at Rock Bottom-Des Moines, to collaborate on a commercial-scale batch of his bock recipe. It’s called Illuminator Doppelbock, and checks in at 6.67% alcohol by volume and 288 calories per 12-ounce serving.

Wilson’s beer-only fast begins on Ash Wednesday, March 9, and runs through Holy Saturday, April 23. To get him through the penitential season, Wilson will call on the services of a doctor and a spiritual advisor. And, hopefully, a designated driver.

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