On this day in 888 A.D., the Vikings began a siege of Paris after the city’s ruler, Count Odo, refused the invaders’ demand for tribute. The siege was the most important event in the reign of the then-French king who has an appropriate name for this day after Thanksgiving: Charles the Fat.
And now….The Mash!
We begin on YouTube, where a sunbathing woman texted a neighbor, asking him to send over a beverage. The neighbor obliged, delivering a can of beer to her by mini-drone.
Now that Oklahoma voted to allow full-strength beer sales in stores, a Tulsa newspaper called on state lawmakers to scrap other “puritanical anachronisms” that are still on the books.
Chicago welcomed its first contract brewery, Great Central Brewing Company. Next year, it will open a taproom offering a variety of Chicago-brewed beers.
An alliance called No Patents on Seeds has called on Carlsberg to give up its three patents on mutant strains of barley. The strains provide new enzymes to develop “more distinctive”, flavor-stable beers.
Lifelong friends Collin Poseley and Eggie Foust have created Craft Beer: The Board Game. It takes five minutes to learn, and it can be played while inebriated.
The rapper Ludacris, an Atlanta native, has opened his long-awaited Chicken & Beer restaurant at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Its menu is “Southern to the core”.
Finally, Ayla Bystrom-Williams, the owner of Honeymoon Brewery, beat out 13,000 competitors and won a $200,000 Miller Lite “Tap the Future” award. She’s one of the country’s few black female brewery owners.
No Music Day was introduced by Bill Drummond to draw attention to the cheapening of music as an art form. Ironically, it coincides with Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph, which made all that music possible, on November 21, 1877.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Seattle, where a local television station claims the Seattle Seahawks are selling watered-down beer. The breweries deny that the beer has a lower-than-advertised alcohol content.
The East Side Christian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, raised quite a few eyebrows with Sunday Evening Beer and Hymns. Outreach pastor Evan Taylor said, “We like to rattle the cage a little bit.”
Within the MillerCoors LLC’s s State Street complex is a smaller, independent operation whose beer include a chocolate lager and one with pineapple-scentedd hops.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is making a batch of beer with 25 pounds of scrapple. Other ingredients include maple syrup, coffee, and applewood-smoked barley.
Add your liquidity joke here. Bradley Trapnell, a finance guy who’d worked for Fannie Mae, is opening a growler shop in his hometown of Highland Village, Texas. He’ll have 36 beers on tap.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but beer is harder to spill than coffee. According to scientists, it’s because beer contains foam, which acts as a shock absorber: the more foam, the less spillage.
Finally, San Diego’s AleSmith Brewing Company has released .394 Pale Ale. It honors Padres’ Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who collaborated with the brewery before he passed away last June.
On this day in 1788, South Carolina ratified the Constitution, becoming the eighth state to join the Union. The Palmetto State is home to first-rate barbecue and has miles of beautiful beaches, both of which will be fine accompaniments to a beer this holiday weekend.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Tulsa, where the pop group Hanson staged a free concert at the Hop Jam Beer and Music Festival. The beer list included Hanson’s own Mmmhops pale ale.
Dartmouth University inspired Animal House and claims to be the birthplace of beer pong. But school president Phil Hanlon thinks the partying has gotten out of hand, and vows to curb dangerous drinking on campus.
The folks at Kona Brewing Company thinks mainlanders work too hard. The brewery’s “Dear Mainlander” ads propose a new schedule: one “sad hour,” and 23 happy hours.
Jeff Baker argues that Vermont has its own distinctive style of IPA. It’s bright golden and hazy in appearance, soft in mouthfeel, dense with hop flavor and aroma, but only moderately bitter.
In Olympia, Washington, a new partnership wants to bring back brewing at the historic Tumwater complex. The complex was part of the Olympia brewery, which closed in 2003 after nearly a century of making beer.
Two entrepreneurs have opened a “brewnuts” shop in downtown Tremont, Ohio. For the uninitiated, brewnuts are “craft beer inspired donuts” that are popular with the late-night crowd.
Finally, New York City’s Irish pubs are becoming an endangered species. Bar owners can’t afford skyrocketing rent, and younger drinkers are looking for something more adventurous than Guinness, Jameson, and pub grub.
On this day in 1863, the London Underground opened between Paddington and Farringdon stations. Today, it consists of 11 lines and serves 270 stations. Ludwig reminds passengers to mind the gap, especially after a few pints at the pub.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, where the Verallia North America glass plant is celebrating 100 years of making beer bottles. On a busy day, it turns out over three million.
Miami New Times correspondent Kyle Swenson roamed south Florida looking for a $1 draft beer. After a long journey that took him to the region’s grungiest bars, he finally succeeded.
In Texas, an off-duty firefighter came to the aid of a truck driver whose vehicle had caught fire. He used 16-ounce cans of beer from the truck’s cargo as makeshift fire extinguishers.
Beauties, eh? Labatt Brewing Company unveiled its U.S. Olympic commemorative can series. The cans are modeled after Team USA’s hockey sweaters from past Olympics.
With 33 breweries, New Hampshire ranks second in breweries per capita. All of them can be found on a new map created by the state’s tourism office and brewers’ trade group.
Now that it’s legal in Colorado, some wonder about marijuana’s impact on beer sales. A leading member of the state’s craft beer community believes it’ll have little effect.
Finally, the Border Town Bar and Grill in North Dakota used recycled beer bottles as a main component to sealcoat its new parking lot. They’re more expensive, but don’t contain toxic silica sand.
Krebs, Oklahoma, a town of about 2,500, is an unlikely place for the revival of long-lost beers. But that’s exactly what’s happening with Gratzer, a beer style native to Poland. Gratzer means “from Gratz,” the German name for the modern-day Polish town of Grodzisk. It was a clear, smoky, golden wheat ale; and, a century ago, when Poland wasn’t an independent country, it was considered a Polish national beer.
Commercial production of Gratzer ended in 1994, but the brewing team at Krebs’s Croc Brewery rounded up the beer’s distinctive ingredients–which include wheat malt smoked over oak, and a yeast strain not available in America–and started producing Gratzer. It’s part of Croc’s Signature Series, which also includes a revival of the German Gose style.
Monday, May 24, is Queen Victoria’s birthday, a holiday that marks the unofficial start of summer in Canada. For obvious reasons, Canadians refer to the Victoria Day long weekend as “May two-four,” Canadian slang for a case of beer.
In the Queen’s honor, we lead off the Mash with a couple of items from north of the border:
There was an upset winner at the Ontario Brewing Awards: Lawn Chair Classic Weisse, a product of the Hop City Brewing Company, which is owned by Moosehead.
And on the West Coast, the first-ever B.C. Beer Awards were handed out during Vancouver Beer Week.
Asheville, North Carolina, holds the early lead in Beer City USA voting. Portland, Oregon, and San Diego round out the top three.
Jesse Hughey, who blogs at the Dallas Observer, names breweries whose best-known beer is their least interesting.
The “world’s most potent beer” title once again belongs to Franconia Schorschbock, which checks in at 43.38% ABV.
Don Russell, a/k/a Joe Sixpack, offers five places to drink beer before you die. Wrigley Field is on his list. We think that all of Wrigleyville belongs on that list. The way the Cubs have been playing, fans require a post-game pint or two.
Martyn Cornell, The Zythophile, draws this musical analogy: cask ale is to live music what bottled beer is to CDs. Hmm.