retro beers

The Friday Mash (Typhoid Mary Edition)

A century ago today, a cook named Mary Mallon, better known as “Typhoid Mary,” was put in quarantine after infecting more than 50 people with the disease. She would remain in quarantine until her death in 1938.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in space—well, sort of. Ninkasi Brewing Company has released Ground Control Imperial Stout, brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise, cocoa nibs, and yeast that was launched by a rocket to an altitude of more than 77 miles.

Beer and driving usually don’t mix, but here’s an exception: The Hogs Back Brewery in Tongham, England, has fashioned “The Beer Engine,” a motorcycle whose sidecar is a beer keg, complete with spigot.

Madison, Wisconsin, entrepreneur Kimberly Clark Anderson has found success making beer jelly. She recommends it as a topping for a variety of foods, from pork chops to pound cake to toast.

Nostalgic “retro” beers aren’t just an American phenomenon. On May 1, United Dutch Brewers will re-introduce Oranjeboom beer, a brand that was taken off the market a decade ago.

In South Carolina, beer tourism is becoming big business. Proximity to brewery-rich Asheville, and brewery-friendly state laws are the main reasons why.

Consumer prices are actually falling in Europe, including including the price of local beer. That’s especially good news for American tourists, as the U.S. dollar is at a 12-year high against the euro.

Finally, “Florida Man,” a less-than-complimentary description of Sunshine State males who behave bizarrely in public, is the name of a new double IPA from Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company. The beer might have a built-in market: over 250,000 people follow #Floridaman’s Twitter feed.

2010: The Year in Review

Another year is about to go into the books. For craft brewing, 2010 turned to be an eventful year indeed. Some highlights:

  • Collaboration beers were all the rage. Sierra Nevada kicked off the year by releasing the first of a four-beer series in which CEO Ken Grossman joined forces with Fritz Maytag, Jack McAuliffe, and Charlie Papazian. By year’s end, Infinium, a joint effort by Boston Beer Company and Weihenstephan, was on the shelves for holiday revelers.
  • Beer Week, which began in Philadelphia two years ago, spread to more than 20 cities, as well as several states. And Oregon has upped the ante, declaring all of July Craft Beer Month.
  • After 45 years at the helm at Anchor Brewing Company, Fritz Maytag sold it to a Bay Area investment company. Maytag is chairman emeritus of the new company.
  • Despite a flat economy, craft beer sales in America showed a substantial increase. Across the ocean, cask ale gained followers, especially among younger and female drinkers.
  • The roster of craft breweries that can their beer continues to grow. There are, by one estimate, more than 100. There is even a festival devoted exclusively to canned craft beer: Burning Can in Reno, Nevada.
  • The year saw the first-ever beer bloggers’ conference, held in Boulder, Colorado. Next year there will be bloggers’ conferences in London and in Portland, Oregon.
  • A couple of beers rose from the dead. Rheingold has been resurrected in the New York City area, while Duquesne returned to western Pennsylvania. And the F.X. Matt Brewery, badly damaged by a fire, enjoyed a phoenix-like revival.
  • The craft brewing industry continued to consolidate. Rochester, New York-based North American Breweries acquired the parent company of the Pyramid and Magic Hat breweries. And three major brewpub chains–Rock Bottom, Gordon Biersch, and Old Chicago have been brought under a single corporate entity called CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc.
  • John Hickenlooper, who went into the brewpub business after being laid off from his job as a geologist, was elected governor of Colorado.
  • Beer labels landed their creators in hot water. Short’s Brewing Company drew charges of racism for putting a picture of a hanged man on the label. Later that year, Lost Abbey offended Wiccans with a label depicting a witch being burned. Ontario nixed the use of Samichlaus because it smacked of marketing beer to children. And Swedish regulators said no to Founders Breakfast Stout, which depicts a baby on the label.
  • Reality TV discovered beer culture. The highlight was Discovery Channel’s new series entitled “Brewmasters,” which starred Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s founder, Sam Calagione.
  • President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron settled a World Cup bet by exchanging local microbrews. Obama gave Cameron a Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat from his hometown of Chicago, and Cameron reciprocated with Hobgoblin, brewed in his Witney constituency.
  • In the ABV wars, Scotland’s BrewDog, Limited, declared victory with the release of The End of History, 55% ABV beer served inside an animal carcass. They were soon topped by a Dutch brewery called ‘t Koelschip which brought out a 60% ABV beer–which is stronger than bourbon.
  • The dreaded Beer Police made their appearance. Pennsylvania cops raided several Philadelphia-area establishments for serving beer that hadn’t been registered with state officials. Local beer writers were not amused.
  • Finally, an item from the “Can You Believe This?” Department: the folks at SABMiller examined how best to run a brewery in a post-apocalyptic future.
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