Major League Baseball

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.”

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Most expensive beer at a major league ballpark: $8.75 (Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies).
  • Cheapest beer at a major league ballpark: $4 (Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians).
  • Average cost of a beer at a major league ballpark: $5.96 (down 13 cents from last year)
  • Per-household legal marijuana sales in Spokane County, Washington, in 2015: $225.64.
  • Per-household beer sales in Spokane County in 2015: $232.70.
  • San Diego’s brewery count at the end of 2015: 114.
  • Its brewery count at the beginning of 2015: 97.
  • Dollar value of the U.S. beer market: $105.9 billion.
  • Craft beer’s share of the U.S. beer market: $22.3 billion (21.1 percent).
  • Extra large breweries’ (over 6 million barrels per year) share of U.S. brewery population: 0.4 percent.
  • Extra large breweries’ share of U.S. beer production: 84.3 percent.
  • Small breweries’ (under 7,500 barrels per year) share of the U.S. brewery population: 92.8 percent.
  • Small breweries’ share of U.S. beer production: 1.6 percent.
  • Styles in the Brewers Association’s 2016 Beer Style Guidelines: 162.
  • Net change in styles from 2015: +7.
  • Beer…By the Numbers

  • Texas’ craft brewery count in 2014: 119.
  • Its craft brewery count in 2013: 93.
  • India’s craft brewery count: 45.
  • Craft breweries in Bangalore: 18 (more than any other city in India).
  • Craft beer’s share of the U.S. marketplace, by volume, in 2014: 11 percent.
  • Craft beer production in 2014: 22.2 million barrels (18 percent increase, by volume, over 2013).
  • U.S. brewery count at the end of 2014: 3,464.
  • Brewery openings during 2014: 615.
  • Brewery closings during 2014: 46.
  • Retail locations an Arizona brewery may own, under newly-signed legislation: 7.
  • Maximum amount of a beer an Arizona brewery may produce and still sell food: 200,000 barrels.
  • Cost of a 16-ounce beer at an Arizona Diamondbacks game: $4 (cheapest in Major League Baseball).
  • Average cost of a 16-ounce beer at a major-league ballpark: $5.98.
  • Establishments taking part in this year’s Madison Beer Week: 80.
  • Events scheduled for this year’s Madison Beer Week: 350.
  • The Friday Mash (Sultan of Swat Edition)

    A century ago today, George Herman “Babe” Ruth made his major-league debut. Starting on the mound for the Boston Red Sox, he defeated Cleveland, 4-3. By 1919, Ruth was moved to the outfield so he—and his potent bat—could be in the lineup every day. And the rest, as they say, is history.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Lewes, Delaware, where Dogfish Head Artisan Ales has opened a beer-themed motel. The Dogfish Inn offers beer-infused soaps, logo glassware, and pickles for snacking.

    Fans attending next Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Minneapolis can buy self-serve beer. New Draft-Serv machines will offer a choice not only of brands but also the number of ounces in a pour.

    Moody Tongue Brewing, a brand-new micro in Chicago, offers a beer made with rare black truffles. A 22-ounce bottle of the 5-percent lager carries a hefty retail price of $120.

    Fast Company magazine caught up with Jill Vaughn, head brewmaster at Anheuser-Busch’s Research Pilot Brewery. She’s experimented with offbeat ingredients ranging from pretzels to ghost peppers.

    Entrepreneur Steve Young has developed beer’s answer to Keurig. His Synek draft system uses cartridges of concentrated beer which, when refrigerated, keep for 30 days.

    Brewbound magazine caught up with Russian River Brewing Company’s owner Vinnie Cilurzo, who talked about Pliny the Elder, quality control, and possible future expansion of the brewery.

    Finally, cue up the “final gravity” puns. Amateur rocketeers in Portland, Oregon, will launch a full keg of beer to an altitude of 20,000 feet. Their beer of choice? A pale ale from Portland’s Burnside Brewery.

    Beer…By the Numbers

    • Number of beer distributors in the U.S. in the 1970s: more than 5,000.
    • Number of beer distributors in the U.S. today: fewer than 1,000.
    • Beers entered in this year’s World Beer Cup competition: 4,754 (833 more than in 2012).
    • Breweries competing in this year’s World Beer Cup: 1,403.
    • Countries represented in this year’s competition: 58, from 5 continents.
    • Australian per capita beer consumption last year: 4.04 liters.
    • Years since Australian beer consumption has been that low: 69.
    • Beer’s share of Australian alcoholic beverage consumption: 41 percent (wine is second, with 37 percent).
    • Average cost of a beer at a major-league ballpark: $6.09 (unchanged from last season).
    • Most expensive ballpark beer: 65 cents per ounce (Fenway Park, Boston).
    • Cheapest MLB ballpark beer: 28 cents per ounce (Angel Stadium of Anaheim).
    • World of Beer locations in the U.S.: 57.
    • States with World of Beer establishments: 17.
    • Decrease in German beer sales between 2012 and 2013: 2 percent.
    • Total decrease in consumption between 1988 and 2013: 25 percent.

    The Friday Mash (Leaves of Grass Edition)

    On this day in 1819, Walt Whitman was born on Long Island. He is best known for his epic poem, Leaves of Grass, which he published with his own money in 1855. Whitman, who had strong political views, originally supported the temperance movement, but came to enjoy wine and Champagne later in life. Too bad craft beer hadn’t been invented yet.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Germany, where brewers are worried that extracting natural gas by “fracking” threatens the purity of the water they use to make beer.

    This summer, Rachel Dean of Cincinnati will be offering guided tours of her hometown’s microbreweries. Her tours will also include tasting and sensory education.

    Philly Beer Week kicks off this evening, and SeriousEats.com has ten places to drink beer in the City of Brotherly Love.

    After two years of delays, the 1990s boy band Hanson finally has its own beer. It’s called–what else?–Mmmhops, and it makes a cameo appearance in the film Hangover 3.

    Fat Head’s Brewery, which has gained national acclaim, will build a brewpub in Portland, Oregon’s Pearl District. It will sell local micro products as well as its own beers.

    A clever German, who apparently had a lot of time on his hands, has invented a device that can open 24 beer bottles at once.

    Finally, ESPN’s DJ Gallo has a remedy for the less-than-hygenic conditions found in ballparks: drink beer, which might contain enough alcohol to kill those nasty bacilli.

    Beer…By the Numbers

  • Days until Philly Beer Week opens: 17.
  • Number of events at this year’s Philly Beer Week: over 600.
  • Estimated number of Beer Weeks worldwide: over 100.
  • Beer’s share of total spending on alcoholic drinks: 47.7 percent.
  • Wine’s share of total spending: 39.7 percent.
  • Average cost of a beer at major league ballparks: $6.09 (down 1 cent from 2012).
  • Average cost of a beer at National Basketball Association arenas: $7.08.
  • Breweries within the Portland, Oregon, city limits: 52.
  • Breweries in the Portland metropolitan area: 69.
  • Breweries in all of Oregon: 124 (4th in the nation).
  • Federal beer tax on the first 60,000 barrels of annual production: $7 per barrel.
  • Federal beer tax on each barrel above 60,000: $18.
  • Years since the last beer tax increase: 22.
  • Price of one share of Boston Beer Company stock (ticker symbol SAM): $146.48.
  • Closing price of SAM on March 11, 2009: $18.33.
  • Beer…By the Numbers

  • Czech Republic’s expected hop harvest this fall: 4,500 metric tons.
  • Last year’s Czech hop harvest: 6,088 metric tons.
  • World-wide beer production in 2011: 192.7 billion liters.
  • Increase over 2010: 3.7 percent.
  • Consecutive years that world-wide beer production has increased: 27.
  • Consecutive years that Budweiser has been a sponsor of Major League Baseball: 33.
  • Major-league teams of which Budweiser is a sponsor: 23 (out of 30).
  • Percent of Democrats who had a beer in the last 30 days: 39.
  • Percent of Republicans who had one: 40.
  • Percent of adult Americans whose favorite alcoholic drink is beer: 39.
  • Percent whose favorite alcoholic drink is wine: 35.
  • Breweries in the United Kingdom at the end of 2011: 945.
  • Craft beer’s share of the UK market: 2 percent.
  • Craft breweries in British Columbia: 64.
  • Increase in B.C. craft beer sales in the past year: 14.8 percent.
  • Boulevard Brewing Goes Major League

    Craft breweries, an American institution, have waged a lengthy battle to become part of an even older American institution: our national pastime. Tomorrow evening’s All-Star Game in Kansas City will show the nation just how far these breweries have come.

    Before the season began, Boulevard Brewing Company signed a deal with the Kansas City Royals under which it became one of the team’s three beer sponsors. The brewery also operates three branded concession stands at Kauffman Stadium, and has a large Boulevard sign behind the left-field fence. The sponsorship deal has also meant many more tap handles at the ballpark, along with added publicity for Boulevard’s beers.

    The Friday Mash (”Czech, Please!” Edition)

    On this day in 1918, Czechoslovakia gained independence after being part of Austria-Hungary for centuries. Unfortunately, Czech citizens still had to endure Nazi occupation, then 40 years of Communism. Is it any wonder that they rank first in the world in per-capita beer consumption?

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in England, where the Ember pub group rolled out a fresh-hop ale that took just 100 hours to go from the hop field to the customer’s glass. The beer debuted during the NovEmber Ale Festival.

    The Great Lakes Brewing Company plans to bring out a holiday double feature: its Christmas Ale; and Mitchell’s Christmas Ale Ginger Snap ice cream, which will be made from residual Christmas Ale.

    Australian regulators busted a liquor store that hiked the price of a case of beer by 20 percent, then blamed the higher price on a new Aussie tax on carbon–which won’t take effect until next July.

    Here’s a story that gave Paul a law school flashback. In England, a Staffordshire terrier that bit a young boy faces the death penalty under the Dangerous Dogs Act. However, the dog’s owner asked for clemency on the grounds that a relative fed it a bottle of Stella Artois.

    Water makes up 90 percent or more of most beers, but it’s getting scarcer in much of the United States. The prospect of shortages is forcing breweries to make more efficient use of water.

    After reviewing this year’s major league baseball season, Eli Marger of The Bleacher Report r compared all 30 ballclubs to a brand of beer–a beverage that almost got banned from major league clubhouses before cooler heads prevailed.

    Finally, Ludwig salutes the Cairngorm Brewery in Aviemore, Scotland, which brewed Wildcat Ale to raise funds to save the Highland Tiger, an endangered feline whose numbers have been reduced to around 400.

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