The Friday Mash (Winter’s Tale Edition)

Winter is here! The southern solstice occurred at 11:12 am Greenwich Mean Time. Both ancient and modern cultures have marked the first day of winter, and the lengthening days that follow it, with rituals and celebrations–and the liberal consumption of beer.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Nashville, where country singer Thomas Rhett has stirred up a hornets’ nest with his new single, “Beer With Jesus.” It stands at number 21 on the country charts.

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal will hear a complaint against Earls Restaurants, which serve Albino Rhino beer. Earls says the name is derived from an animal, not people suffering from albinism.

Why did St. Sixtus monastery allow Westvleteren 12 to be sold in the United States? The monastery needed a new roof, and the monks knew American beer geeks would pay big bucks for their ale.

One of the beer world’s trends of 2012 is nanobreweries. These pint-sized breweries (pun intended) require less than $100,000 to start, and their product serves as “a liquid business card.”

From the Odd Couple Department: in La Crosse, Wisconsin, City Brewery is turning biogas into electric power, then sending some of it to Gundersen Lutheran Health System, which is aiming to achieve energy independence.

Ever have problems transporting multiple growlers? Now there’s a solution: Growler on Board, which not only holds three growlers, but also keeps them from bumping into one another.

Finally, the Brewers Association’s definition of “craft brewery” didn’t sit well with the August Schell Brewing Company. The 152-year-old brewery blasted the BA for excluding it because its grain bill includes a small amount of corn.

This just in: Ludwig wants you to know that he’s going on vacation for the Christmas holidays. The lion limo will arrive Sunday, and he doesn’t expect to get back until after New Year’s. In the meantime, keep quaffing those holiday ales.

Beer Geek Meets Girl

Who says that beer bloggers can’t laugh at themselves? As always, the video is free but you’re strictly on your own for food and beverage.

What’s a Nanobrewery?

We’ve seen quite a few stories about microbreweries going over the 15,000-barrel mark which, until recently, was the Brewers Association’s ceiling for a micro. But we’re also seeing a proliferation of tiny microbreweries. Really tiny ones, which are called nanobreweries.

The BA hasn’t come up with a definition of a nanobrewery, but author Lew Bryson has taken a stab. In the latest edition of Pennsylvania Breweries, Bryson defines a nano as “a really tiny production brewery… I’ve set my own arbitrary top limit of a 100-gallon brew size, about 3 barrels.” Bryson also notes that almost all nanos are one- or two-person operations that are not their owner’s primary employment.

Being so small, these breweries fly under the proverbial radar. However, Bob Batz, Jr. of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has tracked down several nanos in Pennsylvania. He’s also located a nanobrewer in San Diego who tracks other nanos on his blog.

“Nanobrewing”: What’s Up With That?

A few years ago, Maryanne and Paul went on a tour of the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins. Along the way, we spotted Jeff Lebesch’s original brewing system in a corner of the brewhouse.

New Belgium isn’t the only brewery that started small and got big. In his book Brewing up a Business, Sam Calagione described the 0.3-barrel system, which he called “the smallest in the world.” That eventually became Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales.

Erik, who blogs at Top Fermented, wonders what motivates the average nanobrewer assuming, of course, that a “average nanobrewer” exists. An interesting read.

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