As you probably recall, last year’s voting for “Beer City USA” wound up a tie between Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Asheville, North Carolina. This year, Grand Rapids is trying to win the title outright, and the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau has gotten into the get-out-the-vote act. Asheville isn’t sitting on its laurels, either. It recently staged a special Beer City music video, complete with an elaborate dance sequence.
By the way, voting is now underway for Beer City USA. The polls close Friday night.
On this day in 1879, Frank Woolworth opens the first of many Woolworth stores in In Utica, New York. He unwittingly inspired the Marx Brothers’ routine in which Rufus T. Firefly suggested that Chicolini be given “ten years in Leavenworth, or 11 years in Twelveworth”; and Chicolini responded, “I’ll take five and ten in Woolworth.”
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Florida, where a 45-year-old law, passed as part of a turf war among big brewers, has the unintended effect of banning the sale of growlers. Lawmakers are trying to fix that.
FirstWeFeast.com has compiled a list of 12 celebrities who ought to be spokespersons for craft beer. They include Kat Dennings, the cast of How I Met Your Mother, and, of course, President Barack Obama.
You can buy a beer at many college basketball arenas, including seven of the 20 largest. Beer sales can bring in money through concession revenues, added ticket sales, or both.
Beer and video games have always gone together, but an arcade fighting game called Beercade goes one step farther. It rewards the winning combatant with a cup of beer.
To celebrate their city’s Beer Week, the San Francisco Brewers Guild has rolled out “Green Death”, a malt liquor inspired by the 50s-60s version of Rainier Ale. Paper bag not included.
Don’t expect Anheuser-Busch to advertise this anytime soon. According to a nationwide survey, beer is the favorite beverage of underage drinkers and Budweiser is their favorite brand.
Finally, if you have a ticket to tomorrow’s Winter Beer Festival in Grand Rapids, John Serba of MLive.com has some friendly advice: dress warmly for 33-degree temperatures and snow flurries.
If you’re of Polish descent, or if you live in the Detroit area, you know what paczki (pronounced “poonch-key) are. If you don’t, paczki is the plural of paczek; and a paczek is a deep-fried pastry with a sweet filling. These are traditionally enjoyed on Fat Tuesday and the days leading up to it.
What beverage goes with paczki? Beer, of course. This combination is rich in calories, but fortunately, there’s a way to burn them off: today’s inaugural Paczki Run in the Polish-American enclave of Hamtramck, Michigan. Despite chilly temperatures, more than 1,000 people turned out for the 5-K race through town.
Fifty years ago today, Dr. No debuted. The first-ever James Bond film starred Sean Connery in the role of Agent 007, and Ursula Andress as the Bond Girl. The current James Bond is British actor Daniel Craig, who played him in Skyfall, as well as in this Heineken commercial.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which has become a destination for beer travelers. It’s the home of many microbreweries, brewpubs, and bars that specialize in Michigan-brewed beer.
Does your choice of beer reveal your political leanings? A recent study suggests that it does. For instance, Heineken drinkers are Democrats, Samuel Adams drinkers Republicans.
All in a day’s work. Jadrian Klinger of Harrisburg magazine accompanied beer blogger Jeff Kupko on a day of beer tasting. Kupko, who has reviewed some 1,800 beers, explained the finer points of beer appreciation.
In Minneapolis, the Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub used a novel strategy to raise capital: free beer for life for those who invested $1,000. Most of the “members,” as they’re called, live within walking distance.
A new book by Jim Merkel got our attention. Titled “Beer, Brats and Baseball, it tells the story of how Germans shaped St. Louis.
John Steinbeck never ate at a Red Robin restaurant, but he wrote about beer milkshakes, which are now on Red Robin’s menu. They’re mentioned in Chapter 17 of his 1945 novel, Cannery Row.
Finally, “The Most Expensive Beer I Ever Had” award goes to Domagoj Vida, a Croatian soccer player. Vida was fined 100,000 euros ($130,000) after he was caught drinking a beer on the team bus en route to a match.
Mayor George Heartwell of Grand Rapids, Michigan, explains what not to do during the ceremonial keg-tapping at Oktoberfest:
Fifty years ago today, Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from Great Britain. This Caribbean island republic is the birthplace of calypso, steelpan, and soca music, chutney, and the limbo. A cold beer would go well with any or all of these.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Hyde Park, New York, where the Culinary Institute of America’s American Bounty Restaurant celebrates its 30th anniversary with a special black ale brewed by Tommy Keegan of Keegan Ales.
Craft beer in Kyrgyzstan? Writer Chris Rickleton, who lives in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, reports that the local beers aren’t bad at all, and that a couple of micros are open for business.
Three Portland, Oregon, women are planning to write a book titled Hop in the Saddle, a bicyclist’s guide to beer touring their city.
Now that Goose Island is part of the Anheuser-Busch family of beers, they will be available in all 50 states. The high-end Goose Island beers will continue to be made in Chicago.
The Yeastie Boys, a brewery in New Zealand, is a pioneer in open-source brewing. Bottles of its Digital IPA contain metallic blue QR codes which enable customers to brew their own versions of the ale.
Joshua Justice of the Houston Press lists the ten ugliest labels on beers sold in Texas. Some of the labels Justice can’t stand appear on bottles of very good beer.
Finally, iPhone users can play a new game that features bottlecaps from Michigan breweries. When you touch a bottlecap, the game gives you information about that brewery, including its location and a social media contact.
On this day in 1821, Missouri was admitted to the Union. The “Show-Me State,” which has a substantial German-American population, has never enacted statewide prohibition, has no “blue laws,” and expressly prohibits any jurisdiction from voting itself dry. In other words, it’s a beer-friendly state.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Newport, Kentucky, where a local journalist plans to bring back Wiedemann beer, which was brewed in that city for a century before production ended in 1983.
New Belgium Brewing Company has teamed up with Brewery Vivant of Grand Rapids, Michigan, to brew an ale honoring Georges Auguste Escoffier, the legendary chef. The ale is a Belgian-style amber ale with a formidable 9.5% ABV.
Michigan has 118 breweries, with still more under construction. Which makes Rod Kackley of Crain’s Detroit Business wonder where the state will someday have too many breweries.
From the Point/Counterpoint Department: New York Times readers weigh in on the decision by Greenwood Park, a Brooklyn beer garden, to let parents bring their children.
Two seniors at George Washington University have started a PAC whose aim is to encourage politicians of both parties to settle their differences over a few cold ones. No, it isn’t called the Six PAC.
Beers from England’s Lake District impressed the judges at this year’s Great British Beer Festival. Coniston Brewing Company’s No. 9 Barley Wine was declared Supreme Champion of this years’ GBBF competition.
Finally, a company in the Australian Outback is so desperate to hire skilled electricians that it’s offering free beer to qualified new hires. That, plus up to A$50 per hour.
Are you ready for some football? Even if you aren’t, we are. And so are the folks at The Bleacher Report, who’ve put together a slideshow of the best places to have a beer in 50 college towns. Some of these towns have more than one recommended establishment. Paul immediately noticed that there are eight in Ann Arbor–and that doesn’t include the city’s four brewpubs.
On this day in 1941, Martha Kostyra was born in Jersey City. She’s better known as businesswoman (worth over $600 million), author, and television personality Martha Stewart. Earlier this year, Stewart arranged a food and beer pairing for The Today Show hosts. Beer in the morning? It’s a good thing.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Copenhagen, where warehouse workers have gone on strike over Carlsberg’s new company policy that bans on-the-job drinking. Until now, workers were allowed three beers a day.
Timing is everything. Just ask Greg Altringer, who proposed to his girlfriend on Wrigley Field’s scoreboard. Just one problem: she was making a beer run at the time.
Justine Sterling of Food and Wine magazine has put together a slideshow of America’s top beer bars. One surprising pick: the Mitten Bar in Ludington, Michigan, which specializes in beer brewed in-state.
If you’re hitting the road this summer, a new website, BrewTrail.com, will help you locate brewery tours and tastings en route to your destination.
Once you get there, you’ll want to know more about the beer you’re drinking. BeerText.Us has the answer. Text 315-679-4711 with the name of the beer, and you’ll soon receive a detailed profile.
Ontario lawmakers are considering whether to legalize beer sales in convenience stores, but the province’s craft breweries are leery. They’re afraid national-brand brands will crowd micro products off the shelves.
Finally, David Caruso of Vernon, Connecticut, served as a good example of a bad example. He was caught driving with a beer in his hand–by police officers operating a sobriety checkpoint.