The Friday Mash (Casey at the Bat Edition)

On this day in 1888, the poem “Casey at the Bat” was first published in the San Francisco Examiner. You probaby remember that the mighty but overconfident Casey let two pitches go by for strikes before swinging at—and missing—the third strike, which led to “no joy in Mudville”.

And now…Play Ball!

We begin in Cleveland, where the Indians recently staged a “$2 Beer Night”. One creative group of fans built a 112-can, 11-level-high “beer-a-mid”. Major League Baseball offered a one-word comment: “Wow”.

In Madison, Wisconsin, the Black Marigold wind ensemble commissioned composer Brian DuFord to write a suite of movements inspired by the area’s craft beers. One local craft will brew a special beer for Black Marigold.

SodaStream, which sells machines that carbonate water, now offers an instant-homebrew device called the Beer Bar. Adding a package of “Blondie” concentrate to sparkling water produces a three-liter batch of 4.5-percent ABV.

Talk about a hasty departure. A driver in China’s Henan Province was caught on video chugging a beer at the wheel—this, while dragging his IV drip outside the car with him.

Here’s a new way to evade open container laws. A new invention called the Lolo Lid snaps onto the top of your can of beer, which you can then insert into a medium or large-sized paper coffee cup.

A Boston Globe editorial called on state lawmakers to make it easier for small breweries to terminate their agreements with distributors. North Carolina passed similar legislation in 2012.

Finally, the High Heel Brewing Company has come under fire for naming one of its beers after a shoe style and using pink and purple in its packaging. CEO Kristi McGuire said in her brewery’s defense, “We didn’t want to make a gimmick…We didn’t make the beer pink.”

The Friday Mash (Typhoid Mary Edition)

A century ago today, a cook named Mary Mallon, better known as “Typhoid Mary,” was put in quarantine after infecting more than 50 people with the disease. She would remain in quarantine until her death in 1938.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in space—well, sort of. Ninkasi Brewing Company has released Ground Control Imperial Stout, brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise, cocoa nibs, and yeast that was launched by a rocket to an altitude of more than 77 miles.

Beer and driving usually don’t mix, but here’s an exception: The Hogs Back Brewery in Tongham, England, has fashioned “The Beer Engine,” a motorcycle whose sidecar is a beer keg, complete with spigot.

Madison, Wisconsin, entrepreneur Kimberly Clark Anderson has found success making beer jelly. She recommends it as a topping for a variety of foods, from pork chops to pound cake to toast.

Nostalgic “retro” beers aren’t just an American phenomenon. On May 1, United Dutch Brewers will re-introduce Oranjeboom beer, a brand that was taken off the market a decade ago.

In South Carolina, beer tourism is becoming big business. Proximity to brewery-rich Asheville, and brewery-friendly state laws are the main reasons why.

Consumer prices are actually falling in Europe, including including the price of local beer. That’s especially good news for American tourists, as the U.S. dollar is at a 12-year high against the euro.

Finally, “Florida Man,” a less-than-complimentary description of Sunshine State males who behave bizarrely in public, is the name of a new double IPA from Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company. The beer might have a built-in market: over 250,000 people follow #Floridaman’s Twitter feed.

World’s First Crowd-Sourced Brewery

MobCraft, a brewery in Madison, Wisconsin, has introduced the Crowdsourced Beer Platform, the first of its kind in the world. Every month, MobCraft asks its customers to vote for the beer they want brewed. The winning batch is packaged in a four-pack of 22-ounce bottles, then made available at the brewery or shipped to customers via online retailers.

So far, MobCraft has brewed five crowd-sourced batches including Arabian Date Night, Praerie Fyre Amber Ale, and Most Mobbed 2XIPA.

Where in the U.S.A. is Ludwig?

It’s Thanksgiving and Ludwig has taken the weekend off. We didn’t ask the driver of the lion limo where he’s going, but we strongly suspect he’s at Ford Field watching the Lions game and he’s on his way to Madison to drink beer, eat bratwurst, and watch the Nittany Lions play the Badgers.

He did say he’ll be back on Monday.

The Friday Mash (Hobbit Edition)

Seventy-five years ago today, The Hobbit was published. Author J.R.R. Tolkien drew inspiration for his classic fantasy from the pints of ale he drank in the Rabbit Room at the Eagle and Child pub in Oxford, England.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Founders’ “Stout Season” is underway. The brewery has three million bottles of Breakfast Stout ready for distribution.

Remember Asahi Super Dry beer? Hirotaro Higuchi, the brewery’s president who launched the beer in 1987, has passed away. Super Dry made Asahi Japan’s top-selling brewery.

Chris Hansen, who wants to bring the NBA back to Seattle, bought beers for everybody at F.X. McRory’s to celebrate a favorable vote for a new arena in the Emerald City.

People in Madison, Wisconsin, love their beer, but some residents are up in arms over beer ads on city buses.

How do you celebrate becoming the first person to run the length of Australia’s 5,330-kilometer (3,312-mile) Bicentennial Trail? If you’re Richard Bowles, who accomplished that feat, you order a beer.

Since 1885, steam-powered “Skunk” trains have chugged through California’s Mendocino County. Once a year, Lagunitas Brewery takes over the train for a friends-and-family outing through redwood country.

Finally, Nicholas Kuznetz set out to answer a burning question: How cold does a can of Coors Light have to get before the mountains turn blue?

Circle January 30 On Your Calendar

According to Ludwig’s stats, January is the slowest month of the year for beer festivals. However, that’s beginning to change. Here are two events scheduled for January 30:

The Brewing Network, the East Bay-based craft beer radio company, will hold its inaugural Winter Brews Festival at the newly-opened Linden Street Brewery in Oakland. Organizers expect to have a lineup of seasonal beers from more than 30 world-class breweries.

In Madison, Wisconsin, the Isthmus Beer and Cheese Fest will take place at the Alliant Energy Center. What could be better than indulging in the two products that made Wisconsin famous?

Time Out for Travel

Several travel-related stories landed in Ludwig’s inbox over the weekend. Marika Josephson of the Carbondale Craft Beer Examiner took a day-trip to Charleville Winery and Brewery. The route from Carbondale to Ste. Genevieve runs through Chester, IL, the birthplace of E.C. Segar, who created Popeye and the home of the “Popeye Character Trail.”

Another Beer Examiner correspondent, Halina Zakowicz, takes us to the world’s most expensive pub. After 9/11, the authorities moved the Great Dane Pub in the Madison, WI, airport beyond the security gate. Now a brew will cost you five bucks, plus a $150 (or more) for the plane ticket. The good news is you still don’t need a boarding pass to get into Great Dane’s downtown location.

On the other side of the pond, Boak & Bailey’s Beer Blog explores the pubs in Highgate, in north London. Maryanne and Paul are pretty sure they’ve been to both the Prince of Wales and the Angel Inn, and are busily rummaging through their travel notes to find what ales they had there.

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