Olympic Games

The Friday Mash (”Old Ironsides” Edition)

On this day in 1812, American frigate USS Constitution defeated the British frigate HMS Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia. That victory earned her the nickname “Old Ironsides”; and an Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.’s 1830 poem of that name saved her from being decommissioned.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Bosnia, where an online post about homebrewing has, in just five years, grown into a flourishing craft-brewing industry—in a country where fruit brandy, not beer, has been the national beverage.

Pyongyang, North Korea, is playing host to its first-ever beer festival. It was organized to promote Pyongyang-brewed Taedonggang beer, which is named after the Taedong River.

Twenty years after the last shakeout in the craft beer sector, writer Lew Bryson sees another one coming. The good news is that the industry will rebound, and emerge stronger than ever.

The Australian spreads Vegemite and Marmite are made from brewer’s yeast extract. Native Australians are using them to make homebrewed beer in towns where prohibition is in effect.

Stone Brewing Company plans to open a beer-centric hotel across the street from its brewery in southern California. It will offer rare beer tappings along with room-service growlers.

Bob Beamon, whose Olympic long-jump record set in Mexico City still stands, offered a free beer to any athlete who broke his record at the Rio Olympics. No one came close.

Finally, MLS Soccer magazine has the rundown on where beer is sold at pro soccer matches. Germany is one of the beer-friendliest countries; you can drink in the stands at a Bundesliga match.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Estimated value of Bud Light’s brand: $8.37 billion (1st worldwide).
  • Change in value over last year: Up 17 percent.
  • Estimated value of Heineken’s brand: $6.06 billion (3rd worldwide).
  • “Likes” on Heineken’s main Facebook account: more than 6.8 million.
  • Heineken’s rank among breweries in number of “likes”: 1st.
  • Cost of a 12-ounce Heineken at this year’s London Olympics: $6.30 ($9.35 per pint).
  • Average price of a 16-ounce pint of beer at a major league ballpark: $6.56.
  • Medals awarded at the 2012 World Beer Cup: 284.
  • Percent of medals won by American breweries: 73.
  • Percent of WBC judges based outside the U.S.: 67.
  • Cost of a lager in Khujand, Tadjikistan: $0.45 U.S. (cheapest in the world)
  • Cost in Tasiilaq, Greenland: $11.70 U.S. (most expensive in the world)
  • XXXX Gold’s market share in Australia: 12.4 percent.
  • Its market-share rank in Australia: 1st.
  • Second-ranked VB’s market share in Australia: 12.3 percent.
  • April 20 (4:20 Edition)

    Today is 4:20, an unofficial holiday celebrating the use of marijuana. Legend has it that 4:20 originated with a group of California high school students in the early 1970s. Why do we mention marijuana on a beer blog? Because Paul is old enough to remember signs in college-town bars that read “Keep Off the Grass…Drink Schlitz.” And he still prefers beer.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Monmouth, Oregon, which was dry from its founding in 1859 until 2002. A local minister warned of disaster if townspeople allowed alcohol to be sold, but little has changed in the past decade.

    An infographic making the rounds of the Internet makes the case (no pun intended, really) for craft beer in cans. (Hat tip: Jack Curtin.)

    Evan Benn, who writes about beer at, among other places, Esquire magazine, has hit the stores and lined up the best beers of 2012. These are definitely not the same-old, same-old.

    The May edition (number 63!) of The Session will be hosted by Pete Brown. This month’s topic is open-ended: “The Beer Moment”. Brown asks, “[W]hat comes to mind? Don’t analyze it–what are the feelings, the emotions?”

    Cor blimey! “Exclusive pouring rights” at the London Summer Olympics have been awarded to Heineken, which forked out £10 million ($15.6 million U.S.) for the privilege.

    Joe Stange, the Thirsty Pilgrim (and the author of Around Brussels in 80 Beers) has an update on the beer scene in the Belgian capital.

    Finally, a brewery in Calgary is taking advantage of the Canadian government’s decision to phase out the penny. It’s offering to exchange a growler full of beer for a growler full of the soon-to-be-obsolete one-cent pieces.

    The Friday Mash (Bitter Cold Edition)

    On this day in 1947, the coldest-ever temperature in North America–81 degrees below zero, Fahrenheit–was recorded in Snag, a village in Canada’s Yukon. That kind of cold creates serious problems, but keeping beer cold isn’t one of them.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Leominster, England, where Andre Marsh claims to own the world’s smallest off-license. It measures only 11 square meters (397 square feet).

    If you’re going to New Orleans, here’s some good news: it’s okay to carry canned beer at Carnival. Abita Brewing will release its version next Monday, just in time for the parades.

    The Boston Beer Company is rolling out a new seasonal, Alpine Spring. Sam Adams Noble Pils, last year’s spring seasonal, is being promoted to the year-round lineup.

    Ginger Johnson, the owner of Women Enjoying Beer, has some advice for breweries: “Make the assumption that all women like flavor, and dash the notion that there’s beer for women.”

    Hoping to avoid rush-hour chaos during this summer’s Olympic games, London officials are asking commuters to have an after-work beer before heading home.

    As New Belgium Brewing Company hones in on a sites for its Eastern brewery, Lew Bryson makes the case for Philadelphia.

    Finally, Pete and Debbie Gibson, pub landlords in Royton, England, had their establishment shut down New Year’s Eve by the Samuel Smith brewery. Their offense? Selling pints that were too full of beer.

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