Nebraska

The Friday Mash (Red Cross Edition)

On this day in 1863, a group of citizens of Geneva, Switzerland, founded an organization called the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded–now known as the International Committee of the Red Cross.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in England, where festival organizers in two of the country’s most famous beer cities, Norwich and Sheffield, are joining forces to promote their local products and attract beer tourists.

The Norwegian supermarket chain Rema 1000 is feeling the backlash after it took several local breweries’ products off the shelves. Some Rema customers switched to competitors’ stores.

Are you a DIYer who loves craft beer? You might like the Kinkajou Bottle Cutting and Candle Making Kit. You can give the candles to friends—and show off your collection to them.

“Pepper”, a robot from Japan’s SoftBank, has his first job: greeter at the Pyramid Taproom in Oakland International Airport. When not posing for selfies, he’s working on his speech-recognition skills.

A faith ministry in Nebraska has started a fund-raising campaign to buy out four stores that sell millions of cans of beer in a tiny village next to the alcoholism-plagued Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Heroica, a brewery in Brazil, is flavoring its Kuromatsu Kamikaze IPA with branches of bonsai trees, brought over by a Japanese family more than a century ago. Some bonsai trees are worth $20,000.

Finally, Bart Watson, the Brewers Association’s chief economist, told a gathering of brewing professionals that it’s still possible for a microbrewery to grow to regional status, but very few will succeed in doing so.

The Friday Mash (Night at the Opera Edition)

Fifty years ago today, the Metropolitan Opera House opened at Lincoln Square in Manhattan. The opening-night performance was the world premiere of Antony and Cleopatra by Samuel Barber.

And now…The Mash!

We begin on ESPN College GameDay, where Sam Crowder held up a sign last Saturday asking Vemmo users to send him beer money. Within hours, more than 2,000 people contributed.

BBC correspondent Stephen Evans hopped a flight to make a beer run…all the way to Beijing. His Chinese friends had made a trip to the border to acquire “forbidden” Taedonggang beer, which is brewed in North Korea.

Here’s a solution to a problem you didn’t know you had. It’s a beer mug that won’t block your view of the TV when you’re drinking.

Pork roll aka Taylor ham, a New Jersey breakfast favorite, is now a beer ingredient. Flying Fish Brewing Company has released Exit 7 Pork Roll Porter as part of its “Exit Series”.

Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing has rolled out a beer honoring the stereotypical “Florida Man”. The label for this beer, a double IPA, depicts a man wrestling an alligator—and winning.

Beer is more expensive than ever at NFL stadiums, but there’s one consolation: you can now buy craft beer from breweries that Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors recently acquired.

Finally, Nebraska liquor regulators have banned homebrewers from beer festivals. Because homebrewers aren’t licensed, there’s no assurance that they meet health and sanitation standards.

The Friday Mash (Hair Edition)

On this day in 1968, the musical Hair opened on Broadway. Notable songs from the “American Tribal Love-Rock Musical” include “Aquarius”, “Easy to Be Hard”, and “Good Morning Starshine”.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Chelyabinsk, Russia, where a mechanic named Andrey Eremeev persuaded the beer store in his apartment building to let him run a pipeline from a keg in the store’s refrigerator to one of the taps of his kitchen sink.

Theater Cedar Rapids has added beer to its improv comedy classes. According to its education director, beer helps relieve inhibitions that can kill a performer’s creativity.

In Hastings, Nebraska, temperance advocates picketed the Do the Brew beer festival. The protesters, dressed in period garb, were actors promoting the upcoming Nebraska Chautauqua fest.

Israel’s Herzl Brewery made a beer that people might have enjoyed when Jesus was alive. It tasted a bit like honey and berries, but it was flat and cloudier than what we drink today.

Six years ago, Greg Avola and Tim Mather launched Untappd. The app now has more than 3.2 million users, and is so successful that both men quit their jobs to manage Untapped full time.

Frances Stroh has written a book about the Detroit-based brewery’s rise to national prominence in the late 1800s and its downfall amid consolidation and the city’s economic demise.

Finally, Utah liquor regulators may revoke a Salt Lake City movie theater’s liquor license for showing the R-rated film Deadpool. State law forbids a licensed establishment to show nudity. Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds donated $5,000 to the theater’s legal defense fund.

Omaha’s “King of Beer”

Ten years ago, on their way to the to the Great American Beer Festival, Maryanne and Paul stopped for a pint at the Crescent Moon Ale House in Omaha. It’s just a pleasant oasis off I-80, and also a link to Omaha’s brewing history. The walls are decorated with signs for the likes of Storz, Falstaff, and Metz, beers that used to be brewed in town.

Crescent Moon is owned by Bill Baburek. A teenage hobby, collecting beer cans, led him to delve into his city’s brewing history. (His upcoming presentation, “Beer in Omaha: A History,” is booked to capacity.) Baburek’s interest in craft beer eventually led him to buy a bar and build a collection of establishments that also includes Huber Haus, Max & Joe’s, and Beertopia.

What’s next for Baburek? He plans to open a brewery, the Infusion Brewing Company, in Omaha’s Benson neighborhood.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Cheapest beer in the National Basketball Association: 29.7 cents per ounce (Pepsi Center, Denver).
  • Most expensive beer in the NBA: 38 cents per ounce (United Center, Chicago; Prudential Center, Newark, NJ).
  • People who have “fanned” New Belgium Brewing on Facebook: 400,000.
  • What those fans spent on New Belgium beers in 2011: $50.7 million.
  • New Belgium’s social media investment in 2011: $235,000.
  • Population of Whiteclay, Nebraska: 12.
  • Cans of beer sold in Whiteclay in 2010: 4.9 million.
  • Whiteclay’s distance from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where beer is banned: 250 feet.
  • Damages sought by the Oglala Sioux Tribe from brewers and sellers of beer: $500 million.
  • India’s per capita beer consumption: 1.6 liters per year.
  • Annual beer sales in India: $4.5 billion.
  • Cost of a mainstream beer in India: 95 rupees (U.S. $1.90).
  • American Homebrewers Association membership today: over 30,000.
  • Number of AHA members in 2000: 8,483.
  • Increase in AHA membership since 2000: 254 percent.
  • The Friday Mash

    Is it Friday yet? Has to be. The Mash is up!

    Nebraska lawmakers are considering repealing an old law banning drinks with both beer hard liquor. That law makes it illegal to serve boilermakers, which we think is a bit harsh. Purdue fans are a lot less mean than…well, fans of schools that shall remain nameless.

    Add one more to the list of nanobreweries: Healdsburg Beer Company, located smack-dab in California’s wine country. When he’s not brewing beer, owner Kevin McGee works with thoroughbred race horses.

    Celebrity Cruises is offering all-you-can-drink cruise packages. If beer is your favorite tipple, the tab is $34.50 a day. Advice from Ludwig: If you’re considering one of these cruises, do the math. And don’t go overboard.

    Knut Albert found info on this year’s Copenhagen Beer Festival on beerticker.dk, and translated it into English on his beer blog. Thanks, Knut!

    Finally, from the “will work for beer” department: Author Chris O’Brien, who said in his first book, Fermenting Revolution, that Egypt’s pyramids were “built on beer,” comments on scientists’ recent findings that construction workers were paid employees and not slaves.

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