The Friday Mash (Jam Session Edition)

On this day in 1956, The Million Dollar Quartet—Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash—got together at Sun Studio in Memphis. Years later, tracks from of this impromptu jam session were released as albums in the UK and, later, in the U.S.

And now…The Mash! 

We begin in London, Ontario, where Lewis Kent has become the first Beer Miler competitor to turn pro. The 22-year-old University of Western Ontario student signed a deal with Brooks, a shoe company.

Good news for Star Trek fans. Shmaltz Brewery is releasing the latest beer in the officially-licensed Vulcan Ale series. It’s a red session IPA called The Genesis Effect, and unlike Romulan Ale, it’s legal.

Stung by feminists’ reaction to Bud Light’s #UpForWhatever ad campaign, Anheuser-Busch InBev plans to air woman-friendly spots for its beer during next year’s Super Bowl.

George Washington loved his beer—porter, in particular, and occasionally brewed his own. A notebook Washington kept while he was a 25-year-old officer in the Virginia militia contains a recipe for “small beer”.

Journalist Dina Mishev got over her aversion to beer, at least for the time being, after hitting the Bend Ale Trail. The Trail has 16 breweries, all within walking or biking distance from one another.

In Milwaukee, Pabst Brewing Company’s 126-year-old bottling plant is being converted into apartments for college students. Unfortunately, the amenities won’t include free Blue Ribbon.

Finally, Dogfish Head Brewery claims the distinction of having brewed the hoppiest beer on record. Hoo Lawd, an India pale ale, checks in at 658 International Bittering Units. Most IPAs fall in the 40-60 IBU range.

The Friday Mash (College Football Edition)

On this day in 1869, host Rutgers College defeated the College of New Jersey (now known as Princeton University), 6-4, in the first-ever intercollegiate football game. How much beer was consumed before and after the game is lost to history.

And now….The Mash! 

We begin in Richmond, Virginia, which is floating $23 million in bonds to finance the construction of a second plant for Stone Brewing Company.

Pro wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who chugs cans of beer in the ring, has teamed up with El Segundo Brewing Company. The new beer is called Broken Skull IPA.

A start-up company in Belfast has invented a a beer-making machine called the BrewBot, which takes care of temperature and liquid pumping on its own.

Statistician Dr. Nathan Yau, using the website Flowing Data, figured out the most efficient route for taking a beer-tasting road trip around the continental U.S. The itinerary is 12,299 miles long.

Cara, a Canadian beer bar chain, has rescinded a dress code that forced Bier Markt’s female servers to wear revealing dresses. Some believe Cara was violating Ontario’s civil-rights laws.

South Korea’s exports in general have fallen but its beer exports are strong, partly because Iraqi Kurds and young Chinese drinkers prefer a beverage with a lower alcoholic content.

Finally, struggling presidential candidate Lindsey Graham flubbed his stint tending bar before taking part in a debate in Colorado. Graham, whose father tended bar, served up a pint with 15 ounces of foam.

Beer….By the Numbers

  • Number of Oktoberfests held in Munich (including this year’s): 182.
  • Times since 1810 that Oktoberfest was canceled: 24 (reasons include war, hyperinflation, and cholera epidemics).
  • Cost of a one-liter beer at this year’s Oktoberfest: €10 ($11.34).
  • Increase in the price of beer over 2014: 3 percent.
  • Cost of a pint of ale in the UK’s cheapest university town: £2.10 ($3.20), in Durham.
  • Cost of a pint in the UK’s most-expensive university town: £5.25 ($7.90), in Surrey.
  • Bushels of American barley used to brew beer in 2014: 177 million.
  • Brewing’s share of America’s barley crop in 2014: 75.
  • Stadium with the National Football League’s cheapest beer: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, 36 cents an ounce.
  • Stadium with the NFL’s most expensive beer: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, 71 cents an ounce.
  • Average per-ounce price of beer in NFL stadiums: 46 cents an ounce.
  • Number of Ontario supermarkets that will sell beer under new provincial legislation: 450 (out of 1,500).
  • Daily sales quota for Ontario supermarkets selling beer: 279 six-packs.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev and SAB Miller’s combined share of the U.S. beer market: 70 percent.
  • A-B and SAB’s combined revenue from the U.S. beer market: $250 million a year.
  • The Friday Mash (Captain Cook Edition)

    On this day in 1770, sea captain James Cook formally claimed eastern Australia for Great Britain, calling it “New South Wales.” Cook’s fleet carried four tons of beer, which were gone within a month of heading out.

    And now….The Mash! 

    We begin on U.S.-Canadian border, where Detroit’s Batch Brewing Company and Windsor, Ontario’s Motor Craft Ales are collaborating on Canucky Common, a Kentucky common ale.

    The beer fad of 2015 is alcoholic root beer. Products such as Not Your Dad’s Root Beer look and taste much like the soft drink, but the leading brands carry close to a 6-percent alcoholic punch.

    Blue Bell ice cream, beloved by southerners, is about to go back on the market. Carla Jean Whitley of AL.com recommends five pairings of Blue Bell and Alabama-brewed craft beer.

    South Korea’s parliament has made it easier for craft breweries to enter the market, but those breweries still struggle to comply with a host of other regulations.

    In addition to carnival rides a parade of presidential hopefuls, this year’s Iowa State Fair featured subfreezing draft beer. Air bubbles keep the liquid moving to keep the beer that cold.

    New Jersey-based Cape May Brewing is making a beer to celebrate Pope Francis’s visit to the United States this fall. It’s an India pale ale called YOPO (“You Only Pope Once”).

    Finally, the slogan “breakfast of champions” takes on a new meaning. General Mills, which trademarked it, is collaborating with Minneapolis’s Fulton Beer to create a beer called HefeWheaties.”

    Beer…By the Numbers

  • Days until American Craft Beer Week opens: 11.
  • Facebook “likes” for American Craft Beer Week: more than 65,000.
  • Attendees at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference in Portland, Oregon: 11,500.
  • Exhibitors at this year’s CBC: 600.
  • Craft beer’s market share in Oregon retail stores: 36.7 percent.
  • Oregon-made craft beer’s share of the state’s beer market: 20 percent.
  • New York State’s brewery count in January 2015: 207.
  • Its brewery count in 2012: 95.
  • Craft brewing’s estimated economic impact on New York State: $3.5 billion.
  • Recommended maximum number of drinks per week for men in the U.S.: 21.
  • Recommended maximum for men in Australia: 35.
  • Beer Store outlets in Ontario: 466.
  • Ontario grocery stores that will be permitted to sell six-packs of beer: around 500.
  • Total production of Bell’s Pumpkin Peach Ale: 48 bomber bottles.
  • Cost of a bottle of Pumpkin Peach Ale: $20.
  • The Friday Mash (Railroad Tycoon Edition)

    Two hundred years ago today, the state of New Jersey awarded the first-ever railroad franchise to Colonel John Stevens III, the inventor who constructed America’s first steam locomotive.

    And the bar car is open!

    Fore! We begin at the 16th hole of the Phoenix Open, where rowdy spectators celebrated Francesco Molinari’s hole-in-one by showering him with beer and other flying objects.

    A Minnesota brewery found out that it can’t sell “Rated R” beer. Not because of violence or sex, but because the Motion Picture Association of America trademarked the phrase. Molson’s XXX is, presumably, still in the clear.

    MillerCoors has installed 10,000 solar panels at its Irwindale, California, brewery. The new system will generate enough electricity to brew seven million cases of beer each year.

    Blank Slate Brewing Company joined forces with Oskar Blues Brewery to brew “Cincy 3-Way Porter.” The beer contains cumin, coriander, allspice and cinnamon, which are found in Cincinnati-style chili.

    Researchers in China have discovered that xanthohumol, a substance found in hops, contains anti-oxidants that may delay or even prevent the onset of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline.

    Ontario’s government plans some changes to its relationship with The Beer Store, the province’s quasi-monopoly. However, those changes won’t bring beer into convenience stores.

    Finally, Yeti Coolers has invented a super-luxury koozie. The Colster, which retails for $30, wraps a beer in a stainless steel, double-walled, vacuum-insulated enclosure; and its “No Sweat” design prevents condensation from forming.

    Bubble Hockey Just Got Better

    Technologically speaking, bubble hockey hasn’t changed very much. That is, until now. Ontario-based RAMM Design Labs has redesigned the game so that, after the final horn sounds, the table will automatically pour the winner a full cup of cold beer.

    RAMM, by the way, is the same company that redesigned the Zamboni in Toronto’s Air Canada Center to look like a gigantic Right Guard stick.

    Collusion in Ontario’s Beer Market

    This week, the Toronto Star exposed a collusive agreement between the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, which has a monopoly over liquor sales, and The Beer Store, a privately-owned quasi-monopoly that controls 80 percent of the province’s beer sales.

    In the confidential document from 2000, the LCBO agreed not to compete aggressively against The Beer Store. Specifically, the LCBO agreed not to sell beer in packages larger than six-packs, and to refrain from selling major-brand beer directly to bars and restaurants.

    The Beer Store is a favorite target of criticism by Ontario beer drinkers: beer is expensive; and the stores have a Stalinist look and feel, with service to match. The province’s taxpayers also have reason to complain. The Beer Store currently takes in about $1 billion a year—most of which goes to the big breweries—which could go instead to the provincial government via the LCBO.

    So why hasn’t this 14-year-old collusive agreement been torn up by the current government, which is now headed by a different party? The answer is lobbying. The breweries have lined up an impressive array of lobbyists, many of whom have ties to the party now in power.

    The Friday Mash (Oregon Edition)

    One hundred and fifty-five years ago today, Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state. An impressive 47 percent of the beer poured in the Beaver State is craft beer, most of it locally brewed; and Portland, the state’s largest city, has become a top destination for beer travelers.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Pennsylvania where, after a 29-year hiatus, D. Yuengling & Son is again making ice cream. It’s so popular that the first 100,000-quart run rolled off the line ahead of schedule.

    The Stochasticity Project has released its first beer, Grapefruit Slam IPA. The beer, which checks in at 8.2% ABV and 95 IBUs, will be available nationwide.

    Bear Republic is the first brewery to buy the Eco-Volt system, which uses microbes to convert dissolved carbon in wastewater into biogas, which can be burned to make electricity or heat.

    The Beer Store, Ontario’s provincial retail monopoly, warns that if grocery and convenience stores are allowed to sell beer, consumers will have to pay an extra C$10 (U.S. $9) a case.

    Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, who performed as Status Quo, are the latest celebrity beer makers. Piledriver ale, named for their 1972 album, is brewed by Wychwood Brewery of Oxfordshire.

    Fans at the Winter Olympics can escape bland food by journeying to the nearby town of Adler, where “Draft Beer & Fish” has 16 beers on tap, most of them locally brewed.

    Finally, clear your desk and take out a number-two pencil. John Metcalf of The Atlantic has a ten-point craft beer quiz that emphasizes the strange ingredients brewers are using.

    The Friday Mash (Ansel Adams Edition)

    Seventy-two years ago today, photographer Ansel Adams took a black-and-white photograph of a moonrise over the town of Hernandez, New Mexico. The image has been called “a perfect marriage of straight and pure photography.”

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in St. Louis, where Busch Stadium beer vendor Patrick Ferris donated all of his tips from Game 3 of the World Series to a family whose seven-year-old son was killed in a house fire.

    Hard-line Islamists in Indonesia are pushing for national alcohol prohibition. Many localities in the world’s fourth most-populous country have already banned the sale of alcohol.

    Tool time! In China’s Shandong Province, 20 helicopter pilots tried to to open a beer bottle…using bottle openers mounted to the skids of their choppers.

    Winchester, Kentucky, is the official birthplace of beer cheese, and the city now offers a self-guided tour of businesses connected with this distinctive Kentucky product.

    Now that marijuana is legal in Washington, the Redhook Ale Brewery is teaming up with a Seattle micro to produce a hemp-infused beer called–you guessed it–Joint Effort.

    This might win you a bar bet. The nation’s first brewery to can its beer was the Kreuger Brewery of Newark, New Jersey. The cans were so popular that Kreuger took market share away from national breweries.

    Finally, British Columbia government is considering whether to allow beer sales in supermarkets. Meanwhile, Ontario’s premier says she opposes supermarket beer sales.

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