The Friday Mash (Very Endangered Species Edition)

On this day in 1844, the last two known great auks were killed. These large flightless penguin-like birds, which lived in the North Atlantic, were hunted to extinction because their down was in high demand in Europe.

And on that auk-ward note…The Mash!

We begin in China, where designer Li Rongjun has built an office out of 8,500 empty beer bottles. Rongjun has a degree in construction from the Inner Mongolia University of Science & Technology.

Lagunitas Brewing Company will build a third brewery in Asuza, California. The new plant, with a projected capacity of more than 400,000 barrels a year, is expected to open in early 2017.

Molson’s Beer Fridge will make an appearance at this month’s Pan-American Games in Toronto. The latest edition will dispense a free Molson to those who say “I Am Canadian” in any of 40 languages.

Anita Brown, an artist in Los Angeles, has designed beers for each of the books in the Harry Potter series. They include Pilsner of Azkaban, Amber of Secrets, and Deathly Hops (h/t Jay Brooks).

Queen is the latest rock group to release its own beer. It’s a pilsner that will be called—what else?—Bohemian Rhapsody. The bottle’s design features a crest designed by Freddie Mercury himself while he was in college.

5 Rabbit Cerveceria has pulled a custom-brewed batch of ale from Chicago’s Trump Tower in protest of Donald Trump’s comments about Mexico. 5 Rabbit’s founder, is a native of Costa Rica.

Finally, New Orleans is rarely associated with German culture, but Tchoupitoulas Beer Garden, a year-round, Oktoberfest-inspired beer hall, will open this summer in the city’s Warehouse District.

The Friday Mash (Broadway Edition)

On this day in 1888, Antoinette Perry was born in Denver. She was a co-founder and head of the American Theatre Wing, which operated the Stage Door Canteens during World War II. The Tony Awards, which honor outstanding achievement in theater, are named for her.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Bavaria, where several villages brew beer communally. The unfiltered lager, Zoigl, is served on a rotating schedule at local pubs; and it is also enjoyed communally.

Good news and bad news for British Columbia beer drinkers. Bars can now offer happy specials, but the province’s new minimum pricing requirement might make happy hour beer more expensive.

After golfer Michelle Wie won the U.S. Women’s Open, she celebrated in style, treating herself and her friends to beer out of the championship trophy—which, by the way, holds 21-1/2 brews.

Yuengling, August Schell, and Narragansett are “craft beers” thanks to the Brewers Association’s decision to allow adjuncts and to raise the production ceiling to 6 million barrels per year.

Indiana’s law barring the sale of cold beer at convenience stores was held constitutional by a federal judge, who concluded that the it was rationally related to the state’s liquor-control policy.

Molson’s Canadian Beer Fridge is back. This time, Canadians will have to demonstrate the ability to sing their country’s national anthem, “O Canada,” in order to get a free cold one.

Finally, beer blogger Danny Spears chugged a 25-year-old beer brewed to honor the Cincinnati Bengals’ appearance in Super Bowl XXIII. Spears’s verdict: “The beer was much worse than expected. Actually, it was terrible.”

A Beer Blogger on “Enemy Turf”

Jordan St. John, a Canadian blogger with strong opinions about the brewing industry, got an invite from MolsonCoors to to tour its giant plant outside Toronto. He was surprised to discover that he’d been booked on a “grand tour,” led by the brewmaster, brewery manager, and director of packaging development. He soon discovered that the brewery wasn’t the Death Star incarnate.

Naturally, St. John’s favorite employees were the brewing staff. He said: “I can’t hate these guys. I respect them too much. They do what I’m learning to do, and they do it well….I can’t praise the beers, but I can praise the brewers.”

St. John offers a helpful hint. If you’re on a macrobrewery tour and get asked “what do you expect to get out of this tour?”, tell your hosts: “Brewing is basically brewing on any scale and that most of the guys who do it are probably pretty much the same guys, doing it for the same reasons.” It worked for him.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Price of a bottle Samuel Adams 2011 Utopias: $150.
  • Utopias’ alcoholic content: 27 percent.
  • Bud Select 55’s alcoholic content: 2.4 percent.
  • What Heineken paid for two state-owned breweries in Ethiopia: $163 million.
  • Annual growth of beer consumption in Ethiopia: 20 percent.
  • Percent of Americans who drink alcohol on a daily basis: 7.
  • Percent of Americans who favor a return to Prohibition: 6.
  • Beer’s share of Russia’s alcohol consumption: 33 percent (spirits account for 63 percent).
  • Its share of France’s alcohol consumption: 17 percent (wine accounts for 62 percent).
  • Canned beer’s share of the American beer market: 52 percent.
  • Its share of the American craft beer market: 3 percent.
  • Germany’s share of world hops production: 35 percent.
  • Washington State’s share of America’s hop production: 77 percent.
  • Years since Molson entered Canada’s beer market: 225.
  • Number of MolsonCoors breweries in Canada: 6.
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