Moa Brewery

The Friday Mash (Cats Edition)

On this day in 1982, Cats, a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, made its Broadway debut. It was the second longest-running play in Broadway history, behind Phantom of the Opera. Ludwig has a standing offer of a pint for cast member Marlene Danielle, who appeared in all 7,485 performances.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in North Dakota, where the Fargo Brewing Company dipped into pop culture to name its first beer. Wood Chipper, an India pale ale, was inspired by–you guessed it–the famous prop from the Coen brothers’ 1996 film Fargo.

Human males aren’t the only species to suffer “mating failure” when beer is involved. Two Australian biologists discovered that male beetles mistake beer bottles for potential mates. Worse yet, some of the beetles get dragged off by predatory ants.

Minnesota’s Surly Brewing Company is planning to build a $20 million brewery and tasting room, and dozens of Minneapolis-St.Paul-are communities have rolled out the welcome mat, hoping to land the facility and the jobs that come with it.

Did you know that the taste of English ale drinkers differs by region? Northerners like their beer smooth with a tight head and a creamy finish, while southerners prefer a clean, crisp, hoppier finish and a looser, frothier head.

Fittingly for a party town, New Orleans has a rich brewing history. It was once the brewing capital of the South. Sadly, however, the last big brewery closed in 2005.

Do your taste buds–or your tasting notes–need a lift? Let Linnea Covington introduce you to nine unusual beers made with guava, turnips, bacon, and other exotic ingredients.

Finally, if you’re a very patient person, there’s a beer for you. New Zealand’s Moa Brewery just released a bottled lambic which, it says, should be ready to enjoy in about ten years. That’s eight years less than “Cats” ran on Broadway.

The Friday Mash (Halley’s Comet Edition)

On this day in 1656, English astronomer Edmond Halley was born. He’s best known for computing the orbit of the comet that bears his name and–okay, this is a stretch–inspiring the 1955 song “Rock Around the Clock,” which brought rock and roll into the cultural mainstream. Reason enough to have a beer, no?

And now…The Mash!

We begin with the Brewers Association, which rolled out its beer styles for 2011. Two styles have been given new names–say hello to American-Style Brett Ale and American-Style India Black Ale–and several others have new guidelines.

Brooklyn, New York-based Six Point Craft Ales will brew a beer with local wild yeasts wafting around New York Harbor. Some of that beer, which is part of “Mad Scientist” series, will be aged in oak-charred barrels.

Meet Payton Kelly. He’s a “founding father” of Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company and, for more 20 years, he’s designed the brewery’s beer labels.

Van Havig, the brewer at Rock Bottom’s Portland (Oregon) location, has been let go after a 16-year stint at that location. Havig suspects that he was shown the door after criticizing Rock Bottom’s new management for moving to standardize the chain’s beer selections.

Even though it was settled by the Vikings, Iceland is not a world leader in beer culture. That, however, might be changing: craft beer is making an appearance in that country.

Sunday’s New York Times magazine had a long–and very interesting–profile of brewer-turned-governor John Hickenlooper.

Finally, craft beer is about to come to Antarctica. New Zealand’s Moa Brewery is sending three varieties of its beer to New Zealand’s Scott Base.

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