Rhode Island

Don’t Try This in Your Home State

Esquire magazine’s Aaron Goldfarb’s adventures in stunt drinking include bar crawling an airline terminal and downing the contents of a hotel mini-bar. His latest adventure was drinking at every brewery in the state—in one day. The only state where that’s possible is Rhode Island—it’s the smallest in area and has 16 breweries—so Goldfarb hopped a train to Providence, where his designated driver was waiting.

Here are the stats for Goldfarb’s day:

  • Beers sampled: 97.
  • BONUS! Whiskies sampled: 7.
  • BONUS! Rums sampled: 3.
  • Miles driven: 93.1.
  • Steps walked: 3,617.
  • Hours spent drinking: 14.
  • How did Goldfarb feel after finishing his odyssey? “I’m surprisingly not too drunk, not even too tired. I’m just really [expletive deleted] sick of beer. It feels like I will never get the taste of beer out of my mouth.”

    The Friday Mash (Gangland Edition)

    Eighty years ago today, organized crime kingpin Dutch Schultz and three other men were fatally shot at a saloon in Newark, New Jersey, in what became known as “The Chophouse Massacre.”

    And now….The Mash! 

    We begin in England, where Cheltenham Racecourse has teamed up with Arkell’s Brewery to brew a beer honoring a famous racehorse named Arkle, whose daily diet included two bottles of Guinness.

    This fall, Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based Foolproof Brewing Company is bucking the trend by adding peanut butter to its Raincloud Robust Porter. It’s “as far as you can get” from pumpkin ale.

    Niraj Dawar and Charan K. Bagga have put together a graph that illustrates the branding power of the combined Anheuser-Busch-InBev SAB Miller mega-brewing company.

    Congressman Peter DeFazio offers yet another reason to drink American craft beer. The Oregon Democrat contends that buying local craft products helps reduce the nation’s balance-of-trade deficit.

    “No forests, no beer”, says Matt Miller of the Nature Conservancy. Forests are the home of headwaters streams, where most of the nation’s water supply originates.

    Beer, always been a part of Cincinnati’s culture, has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years. Garin Pirnia of Paste magazine offers a comprehensive beer traveler’s guide to the Queen City.

    Finally, the Kansas City Chiefs will reward 800 season-ticket holders who are flying to London to see their team play Detroit on November 1. The Chiefs have rented a pub, and will serve free beer Friday afternoon.

    The Friday Mash (Howl Edition)

    Sixty years ago today, the American Civil Liberties Union announced that it would defend Allen Ginsberg’s famous poem, Howl, against obscenity charges. Two years later, a California Superior Court judge ruled that the poem was of “redeeming social importance” and thus not obscene.

    And now.…The Mash!

    We begin in Rhode Island, where Intuit, the tax software company, teamed up with a local brewery to brew a beer for accountants only. It’s called CPA IPA, and it’s just in time for tax season.

    Thomas Hardy’s Ale, lovingly described by the author in The Trumpet Major, is set to return after a 16-year absence. Interbrew, an Italian company, is looking for a suitable contract brewer, and has sent a preview edition to beer writers.

    It’s been called “the women’s libation movement.” Women around the world are challenging beer-related stereotypes, especially sexist brand names and ads that feature young, half-naked women.

    British researchers have found that while most people’s alcohol consumption peaks during young adulthood, frequent drinking becomes more common in middle and old age, especially among men.

    Five thousand years ago, Tel Aviv was a party town for expats. At a downtown construction site, archaeologists found fragments of large ceramic basins used by Egyptians to brew beer.

    Griffin Claw Brewing Company will release a batch of Beechwood Aged Pumpkin Peach Ale. It’s a pointed retort to Budweiser’s “Brewed the Hard Way” Super Bowl ad poking fun at craft beer.

    Finally, The “Bottle Boys,” who play music with beer bottles, have joined forces with the Budapest Art Orchestra to play a medley of epic movie themes including those from Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones.

    The Friday Mash (Noble Experiment Edition)

    On this day in 1919, the 18th Amendment, which ushered in national Prohibition, became part of the U.S. Constitution. The 14-year-long ban on “intoxicating” beverages, which meant anything with more than 0.5 percent alcohol, had a profound effect on the United States—an effect that persists to this day.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Rhode Island—one of two states that didn’t ratify the 18th Amendment—where Narragansett Beer has launched a four-beer series honoring H.P. Lovecraft, the master of horror fiction who lived in Providence.

    In the San Francisco Bay area, the latest trend is “activity bars”, which offer giant basketball Plinko games, oversize Jenga sets, and bowling alleys along with local craft beers.

    According to CBS MoneyWatch’s Kim Peterson, plunging gas prices is good news for breweries. The average motorist stands to save $700 this year, some of which might be spent on beer.

    Newcastle Brown Ale is back at it, sponsoring a Super Bowl “ambush ad” and inviting other non-“official” brands to join in. Last year’s ad featured an extended rant by actress Anna Kendrick.

    Caveat emptor. Fortune magazine’s Brad Tuttle names five “imported” beers that are brewed in the United States: Kirin, Beck’s, Foster’s, Killian’s, and—believe it or not—Red Stripe.

    Pennsylvania’s Snitz Creek Brewery is incorporating a local specialty—Lebanon bologna—into one of its beers. Snitz Creek has also brewed beers using local pretzels and opera fudge.

    Finally, Anheuser-Busch offers another reason not to over-indulge. In this year’s “Up for Whatever” Super Bowl ad, a Bud Light drinker gets pulled into a life-size Pac-Man game after a night out. Imagine running from Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde while fighting a hangover.

    The Friday Mash (Iliad and Odyssey Edition)

    According to the Greek scholar Eratosthenes, today is the 3,194th anniversary of the sacking and burning of Troy, the event that launched the Trojan War. That war resulted in millions of casualties, most of whom were students who had to plow through endless lines of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Paul says that the mere thought of reading these poems is enough to drive people to drink.

    Speaking of drink, it’s time for The Mash!

    We lead off with irrefutable evidence that Philadelphia has truly arrived as a beer town: the city’s Tourism Marketing Corporation has formed a partnership with Victory Brewing to brew a “Summer Love Ale.”

    Headed to Rhode Island? Angelo at Brewpublic recommends “hop spots” in the Ocean State.

    What would you call an establishment that sells both beer and doughnuts? “The Hole,” of course. It’s located in Denver, and the owner is a graduate of the Johnson & Wales culinary school.

    May I see some ID? An article about craft breweries appeared in, of all places, the latest issue of AARP Magazine.

    The Guardian’s Word of Mouth blog recommends some British summer beers. There are even some dark beers on the list.

    In case you missed it, here are the winners of the North American Brewers’ Association awards.

    Finally, Chris Ballard of BlogCritics.org makes the case that beer is more sophisticated than wine. But he’s probably yanking our chain with the assertion that “Plato’s favorite beverage was an IPA.”

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