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.
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.
Today is the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns. It is the traditional day to honor him with a Burns supper, which typically includes haggis, Scotch whisky, and the recitation of Burns’ poetry, and closes with a chorus of Auld Lang Syne.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Rosemont, Illinois, where America’s fourth Hofbrauhaus had a soft opening in the city’s new entertainment district. The other HB locations are Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, and Newport, Kentucky.
The Canadian humor magazine Bite has created a zodiac-like infographic, “What Your Beer Style Says About You.” (Hat tip: Jay Brooks.)
Two cheers for the three-tier system. According to the New America Foundation’s Barry Lynn, distributors are protecting craft beer from the dominance of the nation’s brewing duopoly–at least for now.
Why is beer more likely to go skunky in clear bottles? It’s because light reacts with hop alpha acids to produce a compound similar to one found in a skunk’s defense spray.
On Tuesday Harpoon Brewing, the nation’s eighth-largest craft brewer, will open a $3.5 million beer hall in Boston. It’s located just blocks from Boston Beer Company’s Jamaica Plain facility.
If you haven’t been able to get limited-release beers, Today.com’s Jim Galligan offers tips from the pros. For starters, you should cultivate a relationship with a good beer store in your area.
Finally, Matt Austin, a grad student at Cardiff University, found some interesting parallels between the way Vikings drank in mead halls and the way today’s British college athletes drink.
On this day in 1938, the hallucinogenic drug LSD was first synthesized in Europe. It entered popular culture in the 1960s when Timothy Leary promoted its use, and author Tom Wolfe documented the adventures of Ken Kesey and his acid-dropping band of Merry Pranksters.
Ludwig recommends avoiding this drug and sticking to beer.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Fredericksburg, Texas, where Lee Hereford raised $2 million for his Pedernales Brewing Company by visiting would-be investors’ homes armed with a prospectus and samples of his beer.
Next Thursday is Thanksgiving. If you haven’t decided how to cook your turkey, homebrew chef Sean Z. Paxton has a recipe for “Tipsy Turkey”. You’ll need a good holiday ale for the beer brine.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, the beer brewed by Plymouth Colony Pilgrims might have offended craft beer purists because the grain bill included corn. With good reason: local barley crop often failed.
Canadian beer writer Jordan St. John toured Boston Beer Company’s Jamaica Plain facility, with none other than company founder Jim Koch leading the tour. St. John learned why sour beer and balsamic vinegar are similar.
About ten years ago, someone decided to dress up the gardens of Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium by planting hop bines. Now, dry hops from those bines will be used by Revolution Brewing, a local micro.
Next year, Anheuser-Busch InBev will roll out Budweiser Black Crown, which it describes as a “golden amber lager.” It will carry a 6% ABV alcoholic punch.
Finally, Ludwig would like to introduce Wojtek, a brown bear that fought alongside Polish soldiers during World War II. Adopted as a cub by artillerymen serving in Iran, the bear drank two bottles of beer a day.
In Boxford, Massachusetts, a herd of cows crashed a backyard party and polished off the human guests’ beer. Feel free to supply your own puns:
A recent Jay Brooks column in the San Jose Mercury News explored how the culture of hoppy beer evolved. He offers some fun facts about hops that you might not have known. For instance, the first hops in the New World were planted in Massachusetts and harvested in 1791. New York State’s one-flourishing hops industry was devastated by an attack of aphids. California was next to fall victim, thanks to Prohibition. And by the 1970s, only five common varieties were grown in the U.S. Today, that number is around 50–and that’s just the popular varieties.
Last week, craft brewers in Massachusetts got a scare from the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, which ruled that a holder of a “farmer-brewer” license must get 50 percent of its malt and hops from in-state sources. According to several brewers, meeting that requirement is impossible: local grain is hard to find and there’s only one malting operation in the state. The financial stakes of not meeting it were high because breweries that became ineligible for a farmer-brewer license would have to fork out an extra $9,500 for a manufacturer’s license.
Fortunately for Massachusetts craft brewers–and drinkers–the commission decided not to implement the “50 percent rule.”