Lagunitas Brewing Company

The Friday Mash (B&O Railroad Edition)

On this day in 1827, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was incorporated. Can you name the other railroads on the Monopoly board? Time’s up. They’re the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Reading Railroad, and the Short Line.

All aboard!

We begin in Brazil, where the Polar brewery has an invention that will make it easier to converse in bars. It’s a beer cooler that cuts out GSM, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G, and 4G signals.

California’s drought could make your Lagunitas IPA will taste different. The Russian River, which provides Lagunitas with its water, is drying up, and brewery might have to find another source.

Beer was the headline ingredient in last Sunday’s “Chopped” competition on the Food Network. The show, with Stone Brewing Company’s Greg Koch as a judge, airs again on Sunday evening.

Higher zymurgical education awaits in the form of Joshua Bernstein’s new book, The Complete Beer Course. It contains a series of “classes” devoted to families of beers.

On Tuesday, when he was in Chicago to announce the award of a federal manufacturing grant, President Obama put in a plug for Goose Island Brewing Company’s “superior beer.”

A Korean romantic comedy in which the female lead makes chimek to celebrate winter’s first snow has Chinese viewers clamoring for the dish, which is Korean for “fried chicken” and “beer.”

Finally, a gathering of 490 Yelp members at Santa Anita Race Track might set a new Guinness record for beer tasters. We hope they bet on Ambitious Brew, who won the $100,000 Sensational Star stakes race.

The Friday Mash (Reefer Madness Edition)

Seventy-six years ago today, Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act, which effectively made marijuana illegal. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law and in all but two states. Those of a certain age may remember a psychedelic-art poster that read, “Keep off the Grass, Drink Schlitz.”

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Indianapolis, where an ad calling marijuana “the new beer”, scheduled to run during a NASCAR Brickyard 400, was pulled after anti-drug forces complained.

F.X. Matt Brewing is celebrating its 125th anniversary by giving customers a free beer. The brewery is adding a can of its new Legacy IPA to variety 12-packs of its Saranac beers.

Houston, we have a tourist attraction: a house made of beer cans. Construction began in the 1970s, when owner John Milkovisch used old beer cans as makeshift aluminum siding.

Lovell, Maine, an hour’s drive west of Portland, has landed on the craft beer map thanks to Ebenezer’s, which has been named America’s best beer bar.

Move over, Goose Island. Lagunitas Brewing Company will soon become Chicago’s biggest brewery. Its new facility in the Douglas Park neighborhood will have a capacity of 250,000 barrels a year.

Levi’s Field, the future home of the San Francisco 49ers, is developing an app to address fans’ biggest complaints: lines at beer stands and the inevitable next problem, lines at restrooms.

Finally, New Jersey’s beer hasn’t earned many accolades, but Aaron Goldfarb of Esquire magazine says the local brew is improving. He recommends Carton Brewing Company and Kane Brewing Company.

Craft Beer: A Hopumentary

Hat tip: Jay Brooks, keeper of the Brookston Beer Bulletin, who says:

Here’s an interesting video on craft beer by a Jeremy Williams entitled Craft Beer–A Hopumentary. What’s cool about it is that it features Ron Lindenbusch from Lagunitas, Craig and Beth from City Beer Store, Andy French from Southern Pacific Brewing, Zeitgeist, and homebrewer Nathan Oyler. My favorite factoid: craft beer represents 7% of the market, but employs 50% of the employees in the industry.


A Vintage Beer Journey

About ten years ago, Paul flew out to California to visit Napa and Sonoma Counties. Not for the wine, but for the local microbrews which, even then, were good enough to rate a pilgrimage. Since then, the local micros have gotten better and more plentiful, and…we’ll let Stephen Wallis of the FInancial Times take it from there.

Wallis’s northern California beer journey began at the Legendary Boonville Beer Festival (don’t even think of driving there alone). He also paid a visit to Bear Republic, Russian River, and Lagunitas–a beer travel trifecta that’s hard to match anywhere in the country–and hit a few smaller breweries on his way back to San Francisco.

Oops! Paul just left the room to check his calendar and frequent-flyer mileage.

The Friday Mash (Buy Low, Sell High Edition)

On this day in 1932, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its lowest level of the Great Depression: 40.56, an 89-percent drop from its pre-1929 crash high. Those steep losses would have left investors crying in their beer but, unfortunately, Prohibition was still in force.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Toronto, where a more recent market crash forced lawyer Dmitri van Kampen to start a new career as the founder of Spearhead Brewing Company. Its flagship beer is Hawaiian Pale Ale.

Across the pond, a modern-day War of the Roses is brewing. Samuel Smith has gone to court to stop a local micro, the Cropton Brewery, from using Yorkshire’s iconic white rose on its beer labels.

“May I see some ID?” Eighty-two-year-old Dale Schneck was surprised to hear that phrase from the clerk at a supermarket in Pennsylvania that has adopted a “card everyone” policy.

A new attraction for visitors to Maine is the Maine Beer Trail. Those who visit all 25 breweries on the trail get a prize pack of Maine brewery merchandise.

Instead of entering the ministry, Bible college graduates Mike Reinhardt and Nate Watson are starting a brewery. They’ve also started a blog called Thank Heaven for Beer.

Mario Rubio, who brews at Brewed for Thought, updates us on Lagunitas Brewing Company’s expansion. When it’s completed, the brewery will be able to turn out 900,000 barrels a year.

FInally, let’s raise a glass to brewery founders Greg Koch, Deborah Carey, and Rick Doyle, who were named American finalists in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year program.


April 20 is unofficially National Smoke Pot Day, which is an appropriate time to learn about beers with cannabis-themed names. Jesse Hughey of the Dallas Observer offers his favorites, the most blatant of which is Dark Horse Brewing Company’s Smells Like Weed IPA. Because that ale is only served at the brewery, federal and state regulators haven’t gotten the chance to reject the name on a label. However, regulators did force Mt. Shasta Brewing Company to drop “Legal Weed” from its beer (which was brewed in Weed, California; it’s now called Lemurian Lager). They also gave a thumbs-down to Lagunitas Brewing Company’s The Kronik, which was renamed “Censored.”

The Friday Mash (Free State Edition)

Today is Maryland Day, the 377th anniversary of the landing of settlers at St. Clement’s Island in the Province of Maryland. It acquired the nickname “The Free State” in 1923 after legislators refused to pass a state law enforcing national prohibition. Ludwig plans to celebrate with a Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter, which is brewed in Frederick, Maryland.

And now…The Mash!

One of today’s top brewing trends is collaboration beers, and some of the biggest breweries have joined forces to produce limited-edition, high-end beers.

The roster of collaborators includes Three Floyds Brewing Company and Sun King Brewing Company, whose ale is part of a lobbying effort in Indiana. State law bars breweries making over 20,000 barrels a year from operating a taproom, and Three Floyds is about to go over the limit–unless it’s changed.

Lagunitas Brewing Company, which has maxed out its 100,000 barrel capacity, is about to undergo a big expansion that will up its capacity to about 600,000 barrels. That’s how much number-two craft brewer Sierra Nevada currently makes.

Idaho’s Grand Teton Brewing Company is the latest to brew a beer made entirely from in-state ingredients. Jon Abernathy of The Hop Press names a few other “strictly local” breweries.

What’s the best beer bar in the world? According to Massachusetts-based newspaper reporter Norman Miller, it’s Ebenezer’s Pub in Lovell, Maine. Its sister establishment in Brunswick has a name that caught Ludwig’s attention: The Lion’s Pride.

Here’s more evidence that craft beer is going mainstream. The associate editor of The Atlantic interviewed Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione. Before you read it, can you guess what three people Sam would put in the Beer Hall of Fame?

Finally, some claim that St. Benno, the patron saint of Munich, is also the patron saint of bock beer. Not so fast, says’s Bryce Eddings, who did some research and found no connection between Benno and bock.

Celebrating American Lager

Ever since Jack McAuliffe brewed his first batch at New Albion, people have associated microbreweries with ale. But lager has definitely taken its place in the craft beer movement. In fact, according to Eli Shayotovich, this year’s Craft Lager Festival in Manitou Springs, Colorado, attracted some 5,000 beer lovers. It’s now the state’s second-largest festival behind the Great American You-Know-What.

Shayotovich adds that this year’s ticket sales were almost double last year’s, and that festival organizers ought to be looking for a new, larger venue. He also has a list of the festival’s best beers. It’s headed by Lagunitas Brewing Company’s Czech-Style Pilsner, which grabbed Best of Show honors.

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