Bars and Pubs

The Friday Mash (Boiling Point Edition)

On this day in 1743, Jean-Pierre Christin developed the Centigrade temperature scale, with 0 degrees representing water’s freezing point and 100 degrees its boiling point. However, the scale is named for Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius, who came up with a similar idea independently of Christin.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Chicago, where the Lincoln Park Zoo is collaborating with DryHop Brewers on a new beer that will raise money for polar bears and raise awareness of climate change. The beer, Ursus Mapletimus, is a smoked maple imperial white ale.

Some years ago, a pub owner in England told Arthur Johnson that he’d get free beer for life if he lived to age 100. Johnson reached the century mark, and now he shows up every day for a pint.

Is there a beer without malt or hops? Yes. It’s an alcoholic ginger beer from Ginger’s Revenge, a new brewery in Asheville, North Carolina. The beer is also gluten-free.

Congratulations to Garrett Marrero and Melanie Oxley, who own the Maui Brewing Company. The U.S. Small Business Administration named them “National Small Business Persons of the Year.”

Heineken has launched a zero-alcohol version of its namesake beer. Alcohol-free beers are attractive to brewers because that segment of the market is growing, and beers without alcohol are taxed less heavily.

English heavy-metal band Iron Maiden is coming to the U.S. Also coming to America is Trooper, an award-winning ESB inspired by the band and brewed by Robinsons Brewery.

Finally, Breckenridge Brewing Company has announced the winner of its annual competition to name the official beer of Denver Comic Con. This year’s winner is “I Am Brewt,” a pun on the Guardians of the Galaxy superhero film series.

Why Are So Many British Pubs Closing?

More than a quarter of Britain’s pubs that existed in 1980 have closed their doors. Last year alone, the country lost some 1,100 pubs. What’s behind this trend?

One factor is spiraling real-estate prices, which provides developers with an incentive to convert pubs into houses and apartments. In just the last five years, the average house price has risen by 50 percent.

Another factor was a 2007 law banning smoking in public places.

And then there’s cost. A pint of beer is five times as expensive in a pub as it is in a supermarket. The price discrepancy is due in part to Britain’s tax code, which imposes a higher levy on pub revenue than supermarket revenue; and to higher staff costs in the service industry than in retail.

But there’s some good news for pub lovers. It is now possible to list local pubs as “assets of community value”, which makes development more difficult. Parliament recently scrapped an inflation-linked excise tax on beer, providing some price relief for beer drinkers. Last but not least, Britain’s craft-brewing boom has resulted in a more diverse selection of beer at the “friendly local”.

The Friday Mash (American Bandstand Edition)

On this day in 1957, the pop music show American Bandstand made its national debut. The show was hosted by Dick Clark throughout its run, which ended in 1989. Clark was also the show’s producer, and eventually became its owner.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Florida, where businessman Sammy Ramos has launched the first craft beer to be marketed to Hispanics. Its brand name is “Boriuca”, which means a person of Puerto Rican heritage—of which there are more than 250,000 in Greater Orlando.

In Kent, England, a Shetland pony named Mocha walked into his owner’s pub and started drinking beer out of stray pint glasses. Feel free to make bad puns on “pony” or “horse”.

This fall, Oregon State University will open a beer garden at its football stadium. Last year the Beavers went 2-10 (0-9 in the PAC-12), so fans might need a few beers before watching them play.

Rupert Stadler, the head of Volkswagen’s Audi division, was forced to repay the company €12,000 ($13,950) for a beer-drinking contest for company managers that he put on his expense account.

The metal band Megadeth has tapped Quebec brewery Unibroue to make a beer called “A Tout le Monde”, named for a song from the group’s 1994 album Youthanasia. It’s a Belgian-style saison ale.

Greene King is brewing “Bobby” beer to honor Bobby Moore, the captain of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team. Its alcohol content—4.2% ABV—was inspired by the score of the Cup final.

Finally, a group of Chicago businesses, including two well-known beer bars, are encouraging the public to patronize establishments on the #11 bus route, which they hope will earn back a permanent spot on the Chicago Transit Authority map.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Vietnam’s beer production in 2015: 2.89 million barrels.
  • Increase over 2014: 4.7 percent.
  • Amount of beer exported by Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar in 2015: 765,000 barrels.
  • Increase over 2014 exports: 10.5 percent.
  • Countries to which Budweiser Budvar is exported: 73.
  • British pub count in 1982: 67,800.
  • British pub count in 2015: fewer than 54,000.
  • Alaska’s brewery count: 26, with 5 in planning.
  • Brewery openings in Alaska in 2015: 5.
  • Average price of a pint of bitter in Great Britain: £3.10 ($4.40 U.S., for a 20-ounce pint).
  • Average price of a pint of lager in Great Britain: £3.26 ($4.63 U.S.).
  • States where homebrewing is illegal: 0 (Alabama and Mississippi were the last two to legalize, in 2013).
  • States where breweries can’t sell pints on premises: 2 (Georgia and Mississippi).
  • Value of legal marijuana sold in the U.S. in 2015: $3.5 billion.
  • Value of beer sold in the U.S. in 2015: $101 billion.
  • The Friday Mash…on Monday!

    I’m back in town after spending some quality time with my pride and fighting a snowstorm. This weather is enough to drive a lion to drink. Speaking of which, I think I need another Lion Stout.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Davis, California, where Professor Arthur Shapiro has a pitcher of beer waiting for you if you collect 2014’s first cabbage white butterfly in the Sacramento area. Be aware that Shapiro himself is looking for this creature.

    In England, pubs continue to close despite the popularity of Real Ale. Reasons include cheap carry-out beer, smoking bans, and “pubcos” that profit at the expense of pub operators.

    In Egypt, researchers discovered the 3,000-year-old tomb of Khonso-Im-Heb, who apparently was the royal court’s head of beer production. He brewed in honor of Mut, Egypt’s mother-goddess.

    The Seattle Seahawks’ winning season was good news for Hilliards Beer. The Seattle micro made more than 10,000 cases of “12th Can,” a beer named after and brewed for the team’s noisy fans.

    HuffingtonPost.com has posted a time-lapse video of 400 barrels of Sierra Nevada beer fermenting over a six-day period in one of the brewery’s open fermenters.

    In 1866 David Yuengling, the founder’s son, opened a brewery in Richmond, Virginia. The state is trying to add his James River Steam Brewery to the National Register of Historic Places.

    Finally, Garrison Brewing Company of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is using discarded Christmas trees to brew spruce beer, which was once so popular that even George Washington brewed it.

    The Friday Mash (Buy Low, Sell High Edition)

    Forty-two years ago today, the NASDAQ stock exchange was founded by the National Association of Securities Dealers. Once the home of lowly over-the-counter stocks, it’s now the exchange where companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are traded.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Britain, where health officials would like the beverage industry to disclose the number of calories in their products. They hope that people will drink less to avoid getting fat.

    Add the Morrow Royal Pavilion in Henderson, Nevada, to your list of beer landmarks to visit. It’s made from recycled beer and liquor bottles–more than half a million of them.

    The latest environmentally-friendly innovation is The Crafty Carton, a paper growler that holds one quart of beer and, according to Foodbeast.com, is suitable for origami.

    Here’s a beer pairing we’ve never seen before. Dr. Greg Zeschuk, a video game industry veteran and craft beer aficionado, chooses the right beer style for the genre of game you’re playing.

    World of Beer, which serves craft beer in a tavern-like setting, could be coming to your town. The chain has 36 locations in 11 states, and company CEO Paul Avery wants to take it nationwide.

    Glyn Roberts, The Rabid Barfly, unleashes a rant about people who decide to go on the wagon during January, which is the quietest time of the year for British pubs.

    Finally, will this be the year that Alabama and Mississippi finally legalize homebrewing? They’re the only two states where it remains illegal.

    Beer…By the Numbers

  • Pubs’ share of Ireland’s beer consumption: 67 percent.
  • Ireland’s annual beer consumption: 4.02 million barrels.
  • Beer’s share of Ireland’s alcohol consumption: 47 percent (wine is second, with 27 percent).
  • Economic impact of the Great American Beer Festival on Denver’s economy: $7 million.
  • GABF revenue from ticket sales: $2 million.
  • Alcoholic content of Armageddon, the world’s strongest beer: 65 percent.
  • Price of a single bottle of Armageddon: $52.
  • Price of a single bottle of Samuel Adams Utopias: $190.
  • Beer tax increase proposed by the French government: 160 percent.
  • Expected increase in the price of a beer after the tax hike: 20 percent.
  • Imports’ share of France’s beer market: 30 percent.
  • Calories in a pint of British session ale: 170.
  • Calories in a pint of orange juice: 256.
  • Homebrew shops in existence in the U.S. in 1929, when Prohibition was in force: 25,000.
  • Estimated U.S. homebrew production in 1929: 22.6 million barrels.
  • Beer…By the Numbers

  • Liters of beer poured at last year’s Oktoberfest: about 6,000,000.
  • Liters of beer poured at the first Oktoberfest: 0.
  • Barrels of Bud Light sold last year: 40,000,000.
  • Number of Olympic-size swimming pools required to hold all that beer: 1,900.
  • Pub sales’ share of British beer in 2010: 51 percent.
  • Its share during the 1970s: about 90 percent.
  • Cask ale’s share of the British pub market: 15 percent.
  • Annual per capita beer consumption in Bolivia: 35 liters.
  • Bolivia’s annual per capita milk consumption: 30 liters.
  • Beer’s share of Canada’s alcoholic beverage market in 2000: 52 percent.
  • Its share of Canada’s market in 2010: 46 percent.
  • Decline in Canadian beer production between 2008 and 2010: 10 percent.
  • Breweries represented at the first Great American Beer Festival: 24.
  • Breweries represented at this year’s GABF: 466.
  • Tickets sold to this year’s GABF: 49,000.
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