Pabst Blue Ribbon

The Friday Mash (All That Jazz Edition)

Ninety-nine years ago today, The Original Dixieland Jass Band recorded the first-ever jazz record, for the Victor Talking Machine Company in New York. The band later changed “Jass” to “Jazz” and went on to record many classics, most notably the “Tiger Rag”.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Royal Oak, Michigan, where the late Glenn Frey of the Eagles grew up. The Roak Brewery threw a party in Frey’s honor, and brewed a English golden ale called “Lyin’ Eyes” for the occasion.

A beer spa is now in business in Sisters, Oregon. Hop in the Spa, which is partnering with Deschutes Brewing, offers “microbrew soaks” and “hops on the body” treatments.

Ultra-marathoner Jesse Weber employed an unusual strategy for going the 50-mile distance. Along the way, he stopped for a Pabst Blue Ribbon–after fortifying himself with cookies and a quesadilla.

Victory Brewing Company and Southern Tier Brewing have formed a joint venture which, they hope, will allow them to stay independent and stay competitive in a consolidating industry.

Bay area rapper E-40 has released his own brand of malt liquor, which checks in at 10% ABV. Deadspin.com’s Patrick Redford tried a bottle (a 40-ouncer, of course) and gave it a resounding thumbs-down.

World of Beer is looking to hire three people for what it calls “the internship of a lifetime.” Interns will get to travel, drink, and share their adventures with the world—and get paid for it.

Finally, Louisville’s Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse has teamed up with Hi-Five Doughnuts to create a new beer called “Mmm…D’oh! Nuts.” The doughnuts and vanilla glaze—a gallon’s worth—created a smoky beer with a root beer-like sweetness.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Pabst Blue Ribbon’s sales increase from 2008 to 2009: 20.3 percent.
  • PBR’s sales increase from 2013 to 2014: 3.8 percent.
  • Percent of craft beers released in 2013 that were “high ABV” (above 6.5): 25.
  • Percent of craft beers released in 2001 that were high ABV: 7.
  • Square feet added to the Colorado Convention Center for this year’s Great American Beer Festival: 90,000.
  • Expected attendance at this year’s GABF: 60,000.
  • Breweries expected to pour at this year’s GABF: More than 800.
  • Breweries taking part in this weekend’s Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival: 103.
  • Beers these brewers will pour: 923.
  • Total production of Statewide Pale Ale, a beer benefitting the New York State Brewers Association: 100 barrels.
  • Breweries collaborating in making Statewide Pale Ale: 10.
  • Breweries currently operating in Los Angeles: More than 50.
  • Breweries operating in Los Angeles in 2011: 15.
  • Size of Mexico’s beer market, in U.S. dollars: 20 billion.
  • Craft beer’s share of that market: 1 percent.
  • The Friday Mash (Grand Ole Opry Edition)

    On this day in 1925, “Grand Ole Opry” radio show aired for the first time on WSM, a Nashville radio station. The Opry’s home, Ryman Auditorium, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Kalamazoo, where Bell’s Brewery is selling glassware designed for Oberon. It’s called the American Wheat-Witbier Glass, and is made by Austrian glassware maker Spiegelau.

    Mike Nichols is best remembered as a film director, but more than half a century ago, he and Elaine May created and voiced animated commercials for now-defunct Jax beer.

    The Brewers Association has put together an infographic with statistics on the size of each state’s craft beer industry: number of breweries, production, and economic impact.

    As it turned out, Pabst Blue Ribbon wasn’t sold to the Russians after all. The group that acquired it didn’t involve Oasis Beverages, itself the biggest independent brewer in Russia and Ukraine.

    British lawmakers took the first step toward scrapping a centuries-old rule that requires “tenanted” pubs to buy their beer from the brewery that owns them.

    An app called Next Glass has been called ”the Pandora for beer”. Using a mass spectrometer, the Next Glass lab staff use a mass spectrometer to analyze beers sent to the lab by Beer Census.

    Finally, Jay Brooks’s blog linked a 1929 Mickey Mouse cartoon, ”The Galloping Gaucho,” in which Mickey enjoys a beer. Presumably he was outside the U.S., where Prohibition reigned. However, temperance groups couldn’t have been thrilled about a cartoon character drinking alcohol.

    The Friday Mash (Sailing in Style Edition)

    Eighty years ago today, the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary was launched. She was retired in 1967, after taking well-heeled passengers across the North Atlantic, and is now a hotel and a tourist attraction in Long Beach, California.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Bavaria, where the Munich 1860 football team is selling Oktoberfest-themed uniforms complete with lederhosen and Bavarian blue-and-white gingham shirts.

    C. Dean Metropolous sold Pabst Blue Ribbon and other “nostalgia” brands to Oasis Beverages, a Russian-based brewer and distributor. Metropolous reportedly got $700 million for the brands.

    Crikey! After being attacked by a crocodile, a hunter in Australia’s Northern Territory drank beer to deaden the pain while he waited for an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

    Growlerwerks LLC is developing uKeg, a pressurized growler that should eliminate flat beer from growlers. The pressure comes from carbon dioxide cartridges, which cost about $1 apiece.

    Louisiana senator Mary Landrieu, who’s facing a tough fight for reelection, helped a fan do a keg stand while tailgating at last weekend’s Mississippi State-LSU football game.

    All About Beer magazine has a new owner. Daniel Bradford has sold the 35-year-old publication to a newly-formed corporation, All About Beer LLC, headed by Christopher Rice.

    Finally, New Holland Brewing Company is celebrating Carhartt, Inc.’s 125th anniversary with a new beer called Woodsman and a “The Road Home to Craftsmanship” tour which will wind up at the Great American Beer Festival.

    The Friday Mash (Gold Rush Edition)

    On this day in 1848, James W. Marshall found gold at Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento. That discovery attracted hundreds of thousands of “Forty-Niners.” By necessity, these early settlers developed a style of beer known as “California Common,” better known as steam beer.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Boulder, Colorado, where a brewery got called for illegal procedure after the NFL learned that it had released a “Brett on the Broncos” ale honoring the AFC champions.

    The Washington Post has put together a chart that links beverage choice and political views. The most Democratic beer is Milwaukee’s Best, the most Republican beer is Coors Original.

    The maker of Jelly Bellys has added a new Draft Beer flavor to its lineup. Inspired by a Hefeweizen ale, it has a wheaty taste. And no, it doesn’t contain any alcohol.

    Ohio lawmakers are considering whether to raise the maximum allowable ABV in beer from 12 percent to 21 percent, which is the state’s maximum ABV for wine.

    From Paste magazine comes the Cheap American Beers Bracket. The magazine’s staff picked Miller High Life number one, but readers made Pabst Blue Ribbon their champion.

    “Beer,” by Luke Bryan, currently tops the country music chart. The last number-one country song with “beer” in its title Billy Currington’s “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer,” in 2010.

    Finally, organizers of tomorrow’s Beer Dabbler Carnival in St. Paul, Minnesota, are attempting to set a new world record for world’s largest snowball fight. Over 7,000 are expected to take part.

    The Friday Mash (Summer Solstice Edition)

    Throughout North America, today is the summer solstice. This means you’ll have more hours of daylight than any other day in the year. Since it’s Friday, Ludwig highly recommends that you celebrate summer with a beer…or two.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin on Memory Lane, with a Forbes magazine story from 1994 about America’s changing beer industry. Much attention is paid to Coors Brewing Company’s new product, Zima.

    Brauerei Beck & Co. is celebrating its 140th anniversary with beer bottles that can play music. They’re “Edison cylinders,” which played recorded sound before the modern platter-style disc arrived.

    Is beer really cheaper than gasoline? According to Keg Works, that’s true for home-brewed beer, which costs $2.50 a gallon, but not for store-bought beer until unleaded regular tops $5 a gallon.

    Ever wonder what it’s like to practice beer law?. Marcus Reed of Cosgrave Vergeer Kester LLP in–where else?–Portland, Oregon, explains what his line of work entails.

    Hamm’s, which brewed its last beer in 1997, is coming back to life. Flat Earth Brewing Company will move its operations into two vacant buildings in the Hamm’s Minneapolis complex.

    Airline miles burning a hole in your pocket? Spend them on summer beer travel. Jason Notte of TheStreet.com recommends five “hidden beer destinations.”

    Finally, if PBR has gotten too expensive at your local bar, Jesse Tigges of ColumbusAlive.com recommends five cheap alternatives. He points out that much-maligned Schlitz has gone back to its classic recipe.

    Beer…By the Numbers

  • Czech Republic’s world ranking in per capita beer consumption: 1st.
  • Its world ranking in per capita consumption of all alcohol: 2nd (behind Moldova).
  • Total votes cast this year for “Beer City USA”: Exactly 50,000.
  • Percent of votes cast for Grand Rapids, Michigan: 54.
  • Percent of votes cast by residents of Michigan: 58.3.
  • Value of U.S. craft beer exports in 2012: $49.1 million.
  • Percent increase over 2011: 72.
  • Size of Britain’s brewing industry: £16.5 billion ($24.8 billion).
  • Number of breweries in Britain: over 1,000.
  • Microbreweries’ share of the British beer market: 1.6 percent.
  • Estimated combined value of the Budweiser and Bud Light brands: $20.3 billion.
  • Increase in those brands’ value over last year: 28 percent.
  • Price increase of a “sub-premium” beer since last year: 6.8 percent.
  • Price increase of a Pabst Blue Ribbon since last year: 11.5 percent.
  • Average cost of a PBR at a bar: $2.67.
  • The Friday Mash (I’ll Take Manhattan Edition)

    On this day in 1626, Peter Minuit bought the island of Manhattan from Native Americans for goods valued at 60 Dutch guilders, a sum equivalent to slightly more than $1,000 in today’s money. Today, the land alone in Manhattan has an estimated value in the tens of billions of dollars.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Milwaukee, where city authorities told the Holler House bar that the bras hanging from the ceiling were a fire hazard. In the end, common sense prevailed: the bras were allowed to stay.

    We know that Darth Vader is cold-hearted, but that was a plus for artist Tom Sachs, who made the Star Wars villain into a beer fridge. Comes in black, of course.

    Uh, oh. Just 16 percent of Americans approve of “hipsters.” And their favorite beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon, has gone up in price because bar owners now consider it “stylish.”

    We’ve got photos from last Sunday’s Trike for Beers event in Seattle. Participants zipped down Queen Anne Hill, then downed a few at Streamline Tavern.

    A chronic beer thief in suburban Cincinnati left his victims $140 in cash, along with a note of apology saying that he’d found religion and promised never to come back.

    Paul has a book recommendation for beer and baseball lovers: The Summer of Beer and Whiskey, by Edward Achorn. It’s about the 1883 season, which made the game “America’s pastime.”

    Finally, with summer just around the corner, Food and Wine magazine names America’s best beer gardens. Topping the list is Sheffield’s, an establishment not far from Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

    Beer…By the Numbers

  • High bid for two bottles of Hair of the Dog’s “Dave” at a recent auction: $4,526.
  • Cost per ounce for the high bidder: $187.
  • Ontario craft beer sales this past year: $22 million.
  • Increase over the previous year: 45 percent.
  • Increase over 2004: 1,000 percent.
  • Beer Stores operated by the province of Ontario: 440.
  • Years since Pabst Blue Ribbon beer debuted: 168.
  • Years since PBR won the blue ribbon at the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago: 119.
  • PBR’s average rating on RateBeer.com: 1.79 (out of 5).
  • Westvleteren 12’s average rating on RateBeer.com: 4.64.
  • Cost of a Westvleteren 12 gift set (six bottles, two glasses): at least $50.
  • Westvleteren 12’s alcohol by volume: 10.2 percent.
  • Days until the Michigan Brewers Guild’s Winter Beer Festival: 72 (tickets sold out in 13 hours).
  • Breweries represented at last year’s festival: 61.
  • Beers poured at last year’s festival: 452.
  • The PBR Blues

    All is not well with the Pabst Blue Ribbon brand under new owner Dean Metropolous. According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, more than two dozen Pabst executives have left the company since the change of ownership.

    Some of them have taken the unusual step of speaking out. Bryan Clarke, the former vice president of marketing, said of the new owners, “I hope they lose every dollar they have. If our core PBR drinker knew that what they were drinking is owned by guys like these, it’s the last beer they’d want to drink.” Clarke and other former execs were especially critical of the Metropolous sons, Daren and Evan, for wanting to recruit celebrities and cut prices, the opposite of what Pabst’s previous owners did to make the PBR brand successful, and for their abrasive management style.

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