Minnesota

The Friday Mash (Mickey D’s Edition)

On this day in 1955, the first McDonald’s restaurant franchised by Ray Kroc, opened in Des Plaines, Illinois. This event is considered the official founding of McDonald’s Corporation, which now has some 68,000 locations in 119 countries worldwide.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Cincinnati, where Queen City Exchanges learned they can’t offer NYSE-like “dynamic pricing” of its beers. Ohio law forbids a retailer to change the price of beer more than once a month.

Federal regulators ruled that the Indeed Brewing Company’s “Lavender Sunflower Date aka LSD Honey Ale”, wasn’t an acceptable name–even though the beer contains no hallucinogens.

Colorado has seen a long-running battle over selling full-strength beer in grocery stores. If the stores win, 3.2 beer will likely disappear from the state.

Author Franz Kafka had a terrible relationship with his bullying father, and the two had almost nothing common–except an appreciation of beer: Czech beer, of course.

More than 30 North Carolina craft breweries are joining forces to brew a special beer to fight House Bill 2, a new state law that rolls back municipal protections of LGBT people.

Sterling, a 150-plus-year-old Louisville-brewed beer, is making a comeback. The brand is known for a 1960-70s series of beers named after Kentucky Derby winners.

Finally, one consequence of the U.S. easing travel restrictions to Cuba has been a run on local beer. Cerveceria Bucanero can’t make enough Cristal beer to keep up with tourist-fueled demand.

The Friday Mash (Stanley Cup Edition)

On this day in 1892, Lord Stanley, Canada’s former Governor-General, pledged to donate a silver challenge cup to the best hockey team in Canada. The Montreal Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups, nine more than the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Silver Bay, Minnesota, where the city council banned a local microbrewery’s products from the municipal liquor store after the brewery opposed against taconite mining in the area.

Hops have been used in folk medicine for centuries. Today’s scientists have been working on harnessing hops’ anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.

Releases draw big crowds of beer geeks. Unfortunately, some of them behave badly, pushing and shoving, cutting in line, and abusing breweries on social media when the beer runs out.

The pace of mergers and acquisitions in the brewing industry is picking up, and now craft breweries are taking one another over. Recently, Oskar Blues Brewery has bought Cigar City Brewing.

Tom Osborne and Mike Robb appeared on the television show Shark Tank to pitch The Beer Blizzard, a freezable product that fits on the bottom of a beer can, keeping it colder longer.

A craft brewery in London is attacking the problem of food waste by salvaging heels from bread loaves. The heels—which normally go to waste—are made into a beer called Toast Ale.

Finally, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s Sam Calagione says he got his first taste of the beer business waiting tables at a Manhattan bar. That inspired Calagione to buy a homebrewing kit. On a whim, he added overly ripe cherries…and the rest is history.

The Friday Mash (Iditarod Edition)

Thirty years ago today, Libby Riddles became the first woman to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. “Mushers,” as competitors are called, must brave dangerous cold, blizzards, and whiteout conditions on the 1,135-mile course from Willow to Nome, Alaska.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in St. Paul, where a delegation of Minnesotans—including state lawmakers—made a symbolic beer run to Wisconsin to protest their state’s ban on Sunday alcohol sales.

A group of writers at Fortune magazine took a stab at deciding what your choice of beer brand says about you. For instance, Amstel Light says, “Thank God the beer is free at this office party.”

Rhys Morgan, a student at the University of Cardiff in Wales, figured out how to make a bottle opener out of a sheet of paper. His YouTube tutorial has more than 350,000 views.

Civil engineer Dave McWilliams won first prize in a home brewing contest. And what a prize it was: the opportunity to brew a batch of IPA at Anheuser-Busch’s pilot brewery in St. Louis.

Tap beer is served at 38 degrees. That’s fine for mass-market lagers, but it’s too cold for craft beers, which should be served at temperatures between the mid-40s and the upper 50s.

Beer is expensive in New York City, but an app called Price Per Pint can help find the cheapest drinks, as well as specific happy-hour times and daily specials at hundreds of establishments.

Finally, staffers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation brewed up a beer protest of the National Security Agency’s “three-hop” surveillance program. Their beer is called “Stormbrew” and yes, the recipe is available to the public under a Creative Commons license.

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.

FAA Grounds Beer-Carrying Drones

Minnesota’s Lakemaid Brewery had an ingenious idea: use drones to deliver beer to ice fishermen camped out on the area’s frozen lakes. Unfortunately, beer-carrying drones violate a host of Federal Aviation Administration rules, so agency officials ordered Lakemaid to halt deliveries. The FAA expects to draw up rules for commercial drones sometimes next year, but it’s unclear whether they’ll be in effect before the end of ice-fishing season.

The Friday Mash (Gold Rush Edition)

On this day in 1848, James W. Marshall found gold at Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento. That discovery attracted hundreds of thousands of “Forty-Niners.” By necessity, these early settlers developed a style of beer known as “California Common,” better known as steam beer.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Boulder, Colorado, where a brewery got called for illegal procedure after the NFL learned that it had released a “Brett on the Broncos” ale honoring the AFC champions.

The Washington Post has put together a chart that links beverage choice and political views. The most Democratic beer is Milwaukee’s Best, the most Republican beer is Coors Original.

The maker of Jelly Bellys has added a new Draft Beer flavor to its lineup. Inspired by a Hefeweizen ale, it has a wheaty taste. And no, it doesn’t contain any alcohol.

Ohio lawmakers are considering whether to raise the maximum allowable ABV in beer from 12 percent to 21 percent, which is the state’s maximum ABV for wine.

From Paste magazine comes the Cheap American Beers Bracket. The magazine’s staff picked Miller High Life number one, but readers made Pabst Blue Ribbon their champion.

“Beer,” by Luke Bryan, currently tops the country music chart. The last number-one country song with “beer” in its title Billy Currington’s “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer,” in 2010.

Finally, organizers of tomorrow’s Beer Dabbler Carnival in St. Paul, Minnesota, are attempting to set a new world record for world’s largest snowball fight. Over 7,000 are expected to take part.

Surly Breaks Ground on New Brewery

Two years ago, Minnesota lawmakers passed the “Surly Bill,” which allows the Surly Brewing Company and other breweries to open tasting rooms. Last week, Surly broke ground on its much-awaited “destination brewery” in Minneapolis.

The $20 million complex is located on an “environmentally challenged” site near the light-rail line and TCF Bank Stadium. In addition to the brewery infrastructure, the complex will include a full-service restaurant, a 300-seat beer hall and beer garden, and an event center. Construction is expected to be completed by late next year. Surly intends to keep its present location open and brew a range of experimental beers there.

The Friday Mash (SNL Edition)

Thirty-eight years ago today, Saturday Night Live debuted. The host was George Carlin, and the guests included Andy Kaufman, Janis Ian, and Billy Preston. The show has aired more than 700 episodes, and many of its alumni have gained fame in film, in television, and as writers.

And now…the Mash!

We begin in Hudson, Wisconsin, which has become a popular beer-run destination for Twin Cities residents. The attraction? Beers that aren’t distributed in Minnesota.

Entrepreneurs have raised $100,000 on Kickstarter to manufacture beer-brewing robots. The Brewbot, controlled from an iPhone and compatible with a kegerator, will cost around $3,200.

All aboard! The Sacramento River Train, which runs between West Sacramento and Woodland, California, offers three-hour-long beer tours with beer from local breweries.

A bill in the Michigan legislature would require bars that advertise “pints” to serve 16 ounces of beer. Some bar owners fear that they’ll have to buy new glassware to comply with the law.

In Portland, Oregon, 12 bottles of “Dave” sold for $2,000 each at the Hair of the Dog Brewery. These rare bottle, which date back to 1999, are the world’s most expensive and, according to brewer Alan Sprints, have aged well.

Michal Bodzianowski, a sixth-grader from Colorado, will be the first person to experiment with brewing in space. His class has designed a beer-in-microgravity experiment for the International Space Station.

Finally, if you’re in Denver for the Great American Beer Festival, look for The Beerliner. The 1974 refurbished bus, equipped with beer taps and a commercial kitchen, belongs to the North by Northwest brewpub in Austin, Texas.

The Friday Mash (Summer Solstice Edition)

Throughout North America, today is the summer solstice. This means you’ll have more hours of daylight than any other day in the year. Since it’s Friday, Ludwig highly recommends that you celebrate summer with a beer…or two.

And now….The Mash!

We begin on Memory Lane, with a Forbes magazine story from 1994 about America’s changing beer industry. Much attention is paid to Coors Brewing Company’s new product, Zima.

Brauerei Beck & Co. is celebrating its 140th anniversary with beer bottles that can play music. They’re “Edison cylinders,” which played recorded sound before the modern platter-style disc arrived.

Is beer really cheaper than gasoline? According to Keg Works, that’s true for home-brewed beer, which costs $2.50 a gallon, but not for store-bought beer until unleaded regular tops $5 a gallon.

Ever wonder what it’s like to practice beer law?. Marcus Reed of Cosgrave Vergeer Kester LLP in–where else?–Portland, Oregon, explains what his line of work entails.

Hamm’s, which brewed its last beer in 1997, is coming back to life. Flat Earth Brewing Company will move its operations into two vacant buildings in the Hamm’s Minneapolis complex.

Airline miles burning a hole in your pocket? Spend them on summer beer travel. Jason Notte of TheStreet.com recommends five “hidden beer destinations.”

Finally, if PBR has gotten too expensive at your local bar, Jesse Tigges of ColumbusAlive.com recommends five cheap alternatives. He points out that much-maligned Schlitz has gone back to its classic recipe.

The Friday Mash (Man on the Moon Edition)

Forty years ago today, Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the Moon, blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The crew members for that flight were Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt, who would later be elected to the U.S. Senate from New Mexico.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Duluth, Minnesota, where the owners of Fitger’s Brewhouse found a good use for their spent grain. They feed it to a herd of cattle, which will eventually provide steaks for their new brewery-restaurant.

Balance was the watchword at Wine Enthusiast magazine, whose staff selected the top 25 beers of the year. A variety of styles and places of origin are represented on the list.

Last month, two states–Colorado and Washington–voted to legalize marijuana. Which means it’s only a matter of time before someone tries to brew beer containing cannabis.

It’s time to make those Christmas lists, and Billy Broas helps you shop for beer lovers with his top five beer books of 2012.

Jim Galligan, the Today show’s beverage correspondent, wasn’t impressed by Budweiser’s “12 Series” beers. He described A-B’s foray into craft brewing as “as forced, stilted and more than a little bit cringe-inducing.”

If you want to sell your beer at the local ballpark, it’s no longer as simple as striking a deal with the concessionaire. In many parks, you have to become a sponsor, which isn’t just costly but might be non-exclusive as well.

Finally, since Ludwig says it’s now okay to start drinking Christmas ale, John Foyston of the Oregonian recommends some of his favorites, and offers advice about serving them.

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