Beer…By the Numbers

  • Carlsberg’s revenue growth in the first quarter of 2017: 4 percent.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev’s revenue growth in the first quarter of 2017: 3.7 percent.
  • Anheuser-Busch’s investment in U.S. brewing operations since 2011: $2.5 billion.
  • A-B’s expected U.S. investment in 2017-20: $2.5 billion.
  • This year’s expected U.S. hop acreage: 58,148.
  • Percent increase over last year’s acreage: 17.
  • Percent increase over 2012 acreage: 96.
  • Mexico’s share of worldwide beer production: 5.7 percent.
  • Germany’s share of worldwide beer production: 5.2 percent.
  • Approximate 2016 production of Shipyard Brewing Company (#1 in Maine): 118,000 barrels.
  • Approximate 2016 production of Allagash Brewing Company (#2 in Maine): 92,500 barrels.
  • California’s brewery count: 623 (ranks 1st among U.S. states).
  • Breweries per 100,000 adults in California: 2.2 (ranks 23rd; Vermont, with 10.8 per 100,000 adults, ranks first).
  • Mississippi’s brewery count: 9 (ranks 50th).
  • Breweries per 100,000 adults in Mississippi 0.4 (also ranks 50th).
  • The Friday Mash (Gold Record Edition)

    Seventy-five years ago, the first-ever gold record was presented to Glenn Miller for “Chattanooga Choo Choo”. The song was originally featured in the film Sun Valley Serenade (1941).

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Cincinnati, where Urban Artifact is brewing a beer made with yeasts from the historic Union Terminal, which is now a museum complex. The brewery added sour cherries to add tart fruitiness to the beer, a 7% ABV bock.

    If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, Brewery Ommegang has you covered. It will release three beers whose labels bear the sigils of the Houses of Lannister, Stark, and Targaryen.

    Alex P. Davis, who runs the Library Alehouse in Santa Monica, doesn’t think beer lovers should stand in line to taste rare beers such as Pliny the Elder IPA because so many world-class beers are available without the wait.

    Despite being the capital of one of Mexico’s poorest states, Oaxaca City has become destination of hipster tourists—many of from other Mexican states. And it’s developed a lively craft beer culture. explains how Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors are exploiting the three-tier system to keep craft products out of bars and stores. Rather than fight A-B, Craft Brew Alliance entered into in a production and distribution deal with the brewing giant.

    Rochester, New York, is the nation’s unofficial Tater Tots capital. Local journalist Will Cleveland has a few pointers on pairing beer with the tots—and yes, any beer from the Genesee family is a good choice.

    Finally, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has appointed Theresa McCulla as historian to oversee its American Brewing History Initiative. McCulla, who will receive a Ph.D in American Studies from Harvard, also holds a culinary arts diploma.

    The Friday Mash (National Geographic Edition)

    On this day in 1888, the National Geographic Society was formed. The Society’s logo, a bright yellow box, appears on National Geographic magazine, which is published in 40 languages around the world.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Pennsylvania, where the beer police caught up with Travis John Miller, who was selling the contents of his beer cellar on Craigslist. Miller faces a misdemeanor charge of selling alcohol without a license.

    Swedish brewer Fredrik Tunedal, who often came home from work covered in malt dust, has released a Shower Beer. Its flavor profile includes a soapy taste, which Tunedal calls “on-point” for his product.

    Keurig Green Mountain has partnered with Anheuser-Busch InBev to develop a line of instant beers—and other instant adult beverages—that Keurig owners can make at home.

    The CEO of Constellation Brands, which imports Corona and Modelo beer, said that he doesn’t expect President-elect Donald Trump’s trade policy to raise the price of Mexican brands.

    Despite a dismal 5-7 record, the University of Texas finished #1 in the country—in beer sales, that is. By season’s end, Longhorns fans spent $5.26 on alcohol for every fan in attendance.

    Bart Watson, the Brewers Association’s chief economist, disputes studies showing that beer sales have fallen in states where recreational marijuana is legal. Watson argues that pot is just one of many variables affecting sales.

    Finally, in Adelaide, Australia, the woman-owned Sparkke Change Beverage Company is putting feminist messages on cans of its beer. It’s an effort to start conversations in the country’s male-dominated beer culture.

    Tiny Spanish Town Gets Millions in Beer Money

    As a young man, Antonio Fernandez fled the tiny Spanish town of Cerezales del Condado to escape that country’s civil war. He wound up in Mexico, and became the general manager of Grupo Modelo, Mexico’s largest brewery. Modelo is best known in the United States for its Corona brand, which Fernandez is credited for promoting.

    In Mexico, Fernandez amassed a fortune. He died in August, leaving behind an estimated $200 million or more. Like a number of other Spanish emigrants who who got rich in Latin America, Fernandez carried out philanthropic work in their hometowns. Fernandez’s will left part of his millions to fund the restoration of Cerezales del Condado’s church and other improvements to the town.

    Fernandez died childless, but had 13 siblings. Now, as the lawyers go through his will, they’re finding that he’s left something to all of his many nieces and nephews.

    Beer…By the Numbers

  • Pabst Blue Ribbon’s sales increase from 2008 to 2009: 20.3 percent.
  • PBR’s sales increase from 2013 to 2014: 3.8 percent.
  • Percent of craft beers released in 2013 that were “high ABV” (above 6.5): 25.
  • Percent of craft beers released in 2001 that were high ABV: 7.
  • Square feet added to the Colorado Convention Center for this year’s Great American Beer Festival: 90,000.
  • Expected attendance at this year’s GABF: 60,000.
  • Breweries expected to pour at this year’s GABF: More than 800.
  • Breweries taking part in this weekend’s Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival: 103.
  • Beers these brewers will pour: 923.
  • Total production of Statewide Pale Ale, a beer benefitting the New York State Brewers Association: 100 barrels.
  • Breweries collaborating in making Statewide Pale Ale: 10.
  • Breweries currently operating in Los Angeles: More than 50.
  • Breweries operating in Los Angeles in 2011: 15.
  • Size of Mexico’s beer market, in U.S. dollars: 20 billion.
  • Craft beer’s share of that market: 1 percent.
  • The Friday Mash (Seven Years’ War Edition)

    On this day in 1756, Prussia’s king Frederick the Great attacked Saxony, beginning the Seven Years’ War. The conflict, which took place on five continents and involved most of the world’s powers, is better known to English-speaking North Americans as the French and Indian War.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Germany, where the Mallersdorf Abbey’s Sister Doris has been a master brewer for nearly 40 years. She’s one of Bavaria’s few “ladies who lager”–and Europe’s last beer-brewing nun.

    Beer historian Tom Acitelli credits a 2002 cut in the excise tax for the profusion of small breweries in Great Britain. He also credits a 1976 beer tax cut for America’s small-brewery boom.

    NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon is a wine lover, but he also has a taste for good beer. Gordon recently showed up at Dogfish Head Artisan Ales, whose 61 Minute IPA really impressed him.

    For years, Mexico’s brewing industry had been dominated by two large corporations, but change is slowly coming, thanks to the federal government’s efforts to curb monopolies in key industries.

    Iowa officials are pondering what to do with the 150-year-old beer caves underneath I-380 in Cedar Rapids. The forgotten caves were exposed by this summer’s heavy rains.

    Barrel-aged beer is becoming more popular, and brewers are looking beyond traditional bourbon barrels. Now they’re starting to age their beer in barrels once used for Scotch, rum, and wine.

    Finally, the growth of microbreweries might give rise to a new breed of wholesalers. Yarmouth, Maine-based Vacationland Distributors specializes in craft breweries, especially those that have grown beyond the state’s maximum for self-distribution rights.

    Beer…By the Numbers

  • Events at this year’s Chicago Beer Week: 550.
  • Establishments hosting events at this year’s CBW: more than 350.
  • Breweries in Chicago: 25, plus five in the planning stages.
  • Breweries in the state of Illinois: 81, plus around 30 in the planning stages.
  • Countries to which American beer was exported last year: 107.
  • America’s beer exports to Mexico, the number-one market: 1.3 million barrels.
  • America’s beer exports to Canada, the number-two market: 750,000 barrels.
  • Per-acre cost of a 500-acre aroma hops farm: $30,000 to $40,000.
  • Annual yield from a 500-acre hop farm: 1 million pounds
  • Pounds of hops in an average barrel of national-brand beer: 0.2.
  • Pounds of hops in an average barrel of craft beer: 1.25.
  • Microbrewery openings in the U.S. in 2013: 304.
  • Brewpub openings in the U.S. in 2013: 109.
  • Hispanics’ projected share of the U.S. drinking-age population in 2015: 15 percent.
  • Their projected share in 2045: 25 percent.
  • The Friday Mash (Chili and Frosty Edition)

    No, “chili and frosty” isn’t today’s weather report. Those were once the signature items of Wendy’s restaurants, the first of which opened on this day in 1969. Founder Dave Thomas named after it after his daughter Melinda Lou Thomas, known to her family as Wendy.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Germany, where an official of the national health system infuriated psychotherapists by suggesting that a bottle of beer might be more effective than a trip to the couch.

    A store in Louisville sells hand-rolled cigars seasoned with Samuel Adams beer. They combine the beer’s sweetness and maple and vanilla flavors with a spicy flavor from the tobacco blend.

    In many U.S. states, anti-drunk driving groups have put an end to drive-through beer stores, but they’re still common in Mexico. Some are operated by the Modelo brewery’s parent company.

    Last week, the carrier U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford was launched. Founders Brewing Company, located in Ford’s hometown of Grand Rapids, released a special ale to celebrate.

    Next February, the University of Kentucky will host a one-day seminar on the importance of beer writing to the craft beer industry. Garrett Oliver is the headline speaker.

    Alan Newman, the founder of the Magic Hat Brewing Company, has gone back to basics. His Just Beer Project is a brewery that focuses on traditional beers. His first offering is a session-strength IPA.

    Finally, some gift ideas for the beer lover who has everything. Paste Magazine’s ten best items made out of beer cans include a Christmas tree, a corset, and a World War I biplane.

    The Friday Mash (The Untouchables Edition)

    Today is the 110th anniversary of the birth of Eliot Ness, whose Prohibition agents in Chicago were so honest they were called “The Untouchables.” Even though Ness fell upon hard times later in life, he and his men have been immortalized in American popular culture.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin at the Masters Golf Tournament, where Tiger Woods not only got penalized two strokes for an illegal ball drop, but also landed a tee shot in a fan’s beer. Fortunately, beers are only $4 at Augusta National.

    The “Craft Beer Destination” concession stand at Yankee Stadium has been given a new name after writer Amanda Rykoff reported that all of its offerings were MillerCoors products.

    No, it wasn’t your imagination. You were attracted to beer because its aroma and taste trigger your brain’s reward system and keep you coming back for more.

    Jason Gardenhire has opened a microbrewery in Mexico, and is importing the beer to his home state of Colorado. Baja Brewing Company, based in Cabo San Lucas, is one of only a dozen or so Mexican micros.

    A canning line costs more than $150,000, but craft breweries that don’t have that kind of money can hire a mobile canning line created by two west Michigan entrepreneurs.

    Harry Kim and his friends tried to build a brewery in North Korea. Even though there was plenty of demand, the venture never got the final go-ahead from bureaucrats in Pyongyang.

    Finally, California Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro has introduced legislation that would allow refilling another brewery’s growlers. The refilling brewery would have to place a sticker over the old brewery’s logo.

    The Friday Mash (For the Birds Edition)

    Today is Bird Day, established in 1894 by a Pennsylvania school superintendent named Charles Babcock. It was the first holiday in the United States dedicated to the celebration of birds. With that in mind, the highest-ranked beer on with a bird name is Duck Duck Gooze, brewed by The Lost Abbey in San Marcos, California.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Brevard, North Carolina (whose state bird is the cardinal), where Oskar Blues will build a brewery and restaurant. It will be up and running by the end of this year.

    Will Germany take the “pub” out of public transit? Alcohol-fueled rowdiness on trains in Berlin and other cities has lawmakers pondering a ban on alcohol consumption on mass-transit systems.

    Craft beer, brought to you by bicycle? Portland, Oregon’s Old Town Brewing Company will soon deliver its products by pedal power. Its sister company, Old Town Pizza, has been delivering pies by bike for some time.

    This sounds impossible, but McLean’s magazine reports that several Canadian campus pubs lose money selling beer to students.

    Groupon’s CEO Andrew Mason told employees that the company–which recently raised $700 million in an initial public offering–needs to “grow up.” He made that remark while swigging from a bottle of beer.

    A recent blog post by Alan McLeod touched off a spirited discussion about reviewing bad craft beer. The bad brew falls into two categories: badly-made beers, which are now rare; and “bad-idea” beers, about which opinions differ.

    Finally, tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates Mexico’s victory over French invaders at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Jay Brooks reminds us that Mexico’s traditional beer style is Vienna lager.

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