Kalamazoo Beer Exchange

The Friday Mash (Merry Pranksters Edition)

Fifty years ago today, Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters invited the Hells Angels to Kesey’s California estate. The party introduced psychedelic drugs to biker gangs, and linked the hippie movement to the Hell’s Angels. The Pranksters could have avoided this had they served beer instead.

And now….The Mash! 

We begin in Englewood, New Jersey, where Agnes Fenton became of the few people on Earth to celebrate a 110th birthday. Her secret? Three cans of Miller per day.

Miami Dolphins punter Brandon Fields is not only a Pro Bowler, but he’s also an all-Pro homebrewer. Fields, whose wife bought him a kit seven years ago, recently took up all-grain brewing.

Five weeks after a tornado devastated the town, the residents of Portland, Michigan, came together at a beer festival. The logo for one beer, Portland Strong Strawberry Stout, featured a red tornado.

Svalbard, an island in the Norwegian Arctic, is now home to the world’s northernmost brewery. Last year, the island lifted a decades-old ban on brewing.

The Fat Cat Pub in Norwich, England, has named a beer in honor of Cecil the lion, who was killed by an American dentist. Its name, “Cecil’s Revenge,” was chosen by the pub’s customers.

Last Sunday marked the 50th anniversary of Fritz Maytag’s acquiring majority ownership of the Anchor Brewing Company. Tom Rutonno of CNBC recaps this now-famous brewery’s history.

Finally, technology and the growing popularity of craft beer has created new legal issues. Kalamazoo Beer Exchange has filed a trademark infringement suit against the developer of an app for beer collectors. The parties use the same handle on social media.

Buy Low, Sell High

During the dot-com stock bubble, it seemed that every bar had the television tuned to CNBC and half the clientele looked like they’d skipped work to play the stock market. Then the bubble burst, and the TVs went back to ESPN. But in Michigan, the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange has put quotes back on the big screen. Not for stocks, but–pun intended–more liquid assets. Here’s how it works:

Let’s say that one of those beers is a pint of Bell’s Amber Ale for $3. Depending on what the demand is for a pint of Short’s, the price could shoot up to 15 percent of the average price per pint or drop up to 50 percent. The prices, displayed on several large monitors around the dual-level bar, change every 15 minutes.

Once in a while, the Exchange’s owner, Jim Flora, announces a market crash with an ear-splitting blast from an air horn. For five minutes, customers can buy their favorite beer at its all-time low price.

Paul can’t help himself. He wonders if a doppelbock called Speculator is on the beer list.

Powered by WordPress