The Friday Mash (QWERTY Edition)

One hundred and forty years ago today, E. Remington and Sons in Ilion, New York, began production of the first practical typewriter. Even though few of us use typewriters anymore, the familiar “QWERTY” keyboard design, invented in 1874, is still with us.

ASDF…The Mash!

We begin in Massachusetts where Todd Ruggere, a Waltham resident, is drinking a Sam Adams in each of the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns. He’s raising money for cancer research.

We all know that higher-gravity beers are able to conceal hop bitterness. With that in mind, Jay Brooks recently posted an original gravity to hops ratio graph on his Brookston Beer Bulletin.

In 1953, an Aussie named Bob Hawke set a world record by downing a yard of ale–more than two pints–in 11 seconds. He was later elected that country’s Prime Minister. Coincidence?

Good news for beer lovers in Manhattan. The Hudson River Park Trust will open a 6,000-square-foot beer garden overlooking the river at Pier 62. It will serve craft beers and specialty food.

Kegasus, the beer-guzzling centaur that advertises the Preakness InfieldFest, will likely be scratched from this year’s race. But there will be live entertainment, and plenty of beer.

Pro tip: it’s not a good idea to drink to excess before designing beer labels, because you might come up with something like this disturbing Belgian ale label.

Finally, congratulations to Warren Monteiro, a writer, beer traveler, and homebrewer from New York City, who was named Beerdrinker of the Year at the Wynkoop Brewing Company.

Much Ado Over a Label

We ran across an interesting story about a beer label in BeerNews.com. It involves Hangin’ Frank India Pale Ale, a product of Short’s Brewing Company of Bellaire, Michigan.

Like many beer names, Hangin’ Frank is derived from a local legend. In this case, it’s Frank Fochtman, the former owner of the City Park Grill in Petoskey, who hanged himself a century ago. It is said that Fochtman’s ghost, Hangin’ Frank, haunts the establishment to this day.

The label, which depicts a hanging man, stirred up a hornets’ nest at BeerAdvocate.com after “Aesopsgato” claimed that Frank looked like a lynching victim. Other BAers jumped in and, after the thread drew more than 250 replies, forum moderators locked it.

Short’s quickly reacted to the outcry, announcing that it had redesigned the label to make Frank look Caucasian. Whether that design change ends the controversy remains to be seen.

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