Samuel Adams

The Friday Mash (Road Atlas Edition)

Ninety years ago today, the first numbering system for U.S. highways was approved. The 21 numbered highways in the initial group included U.S. 60, which ran from Chicago to Los Angeles; it was later renumbered and became the famous “Mother Road”, U.S. Route 66.

And now…The Mash!

We begin at the Samuel Adams brewery in Boston, where hundreds of fans lined up to buy bottles of limited-edition “Big Hapi” beer, brewed to honor now-retired Red Sox slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz.

Beer aficionados reacted furiously to TV food and travel personality Anthony Bourdain’s comments likening the clientele at a San Francisco beer bar to the “(expletive deleted) Invasion of the Body Snatchers”.

A court in Stuttgart, Germany, ruled that breweries can’t use the word “bekömmlich”—“wholesome” in English—in their advertising because European Union regulations prohibit health claims in alcohol ads.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery will start canning its beers later this month. Brewery CEO Sam Calagione is now convinced that canning technology can deliver a consistent, high-quality product.

The YouTube channel Celebrities in Golf Carts is trying to bridge the generation gap between Baby Boomers and Millennials with a new sport called Beer Pong Golf.

Dissatisfied with local distributors, Massachusetts’ Night Shift Brewing created its own distributorship. It’s offering breweries friendlier contracts, more personal attention, and deliveries of fresher beer.

Finally, in 1987, a Heineken retailer spread the untrue rumor that Mexican brewery workers urinated in containers of Corona Extra beer. That resulted in a lawsuit, and a public statement denying the rumor. Ten years later, Corona surpassed Heineken as America’s number-one imported beer.

The Friday Mash (New Moon Edition)

On this day in 1655, scientist Christiaan Huygens discovered Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Huygens didn’t stop with astronomy, either. He also invented the pendulum clock, and published a pioneering work on games of chance.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Bavaria, where the Röhrl brewery has come under fire for allegedly placing pro-Nazi labels on one of its beers. The beer’s name in English is “Border Fence Half”, a reference to Europe’s refugee crisis.

Caught on video: A woman sitting behind the Chicago Bulls’ bench tried to find her seat. She took a tumble and hit the floor, but managed to save her beer.

The Scottish brewery BrewDog has released a beer called Clean Water Lager. All profits from that beer will go toward bring clean water to the 650 million people who currently have none.

Jay Brooks of the San Jose Mercury News has an update on Hawaii’s craft brewing industry. The Aloha State now has 15 breweries, with another eight expected to open their doors.

Indonesian entrepreneurs are capitalizing on a recent ban on convenience store beer sales by purchasing beer from distributors and delivering it to customers by motorcycle.

Global warming is affecting the brewing industry: last year’s drought took its toll on Northwest hops production. Drought also forces farmers to use groundwater, which affects the taste of beer.

Finally, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex, Samuel Adams has the highest “buzz score”. That’s not a measure of the beer’s potency; it’s the percentage of adults who’ve heard something about the brand

The Friday Mash (Peanuts Edition)

Sixty-five years ago today, the Peanuts comic strip, written and illustrated by Charles Schulz, was first published. Peanuts became one of the most popular and influential comic strips in history.

And now….The Mash! 

We begin in Philadelphia, the final stop of Pope Francis’s American visit. Local writer Don Russell, aka “Joe Sixpack,” takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the history of papal influence on brewing.

Israel now has 32 craft breweries. One of them, located in the hills of Galilee, uses chickpeas and dates in its recipe for a gluten-free beer.

Eastern Michigan University can’t win for losing. It latest effort to draw fans for its struggling football team—beer sales—resulted in a $3,000 loss. And yes, EMU lost the game.

After “some extensive field research,” Brent Nunn of the Dallas Observer has compiled a list of ten dumb things light beer drinkers say about craft beer.

Samuel Adams announced that it will introduce a series of nitro-conditioned beers early next year. The first three nitro offerings will be a white ale, an IPA, and a coffee stout.

Two Belgian scientists are making lager beers more diverse by cross-breeding yeasts. The new strains not only ferment more quickly than commercial strains, but are delicious as well.

Finally, blame global warming for pumpkin beers showing up on shelves before Labor Day. For example, persistently hot weather forced Rogue Ales to harvest its pumpkins weeks earlier than last year.

The Friday Mash (Long Gray Line Edition)

On this day in 1802, the U.S. Military Academy opened at West Point, New York. Its alumni include two U.S. Presidents, U.S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower; Confederate President Jefferson Davis, numerous famous generals, and 74 Medal of Honor recipients.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in South Africa, where Garagista Beer Company has declared war on hipsters, which it accuses of giving craft beer a bad image. The brewery’s slogan is “All Beer. No Bullshit.”

Narragansett Brewing Company is bringing back the can from the scene in Jaws where Captain Quint tried to intimidate Matt Hooper by crushing a can of ‘Gansett he’d just finished.

Brennan Gleason, a designer from British Columbia, put his resume on a 4-pack of his home-brewed blonde beer, which he called “Resum-Ale.” And yes, it got him hired.

Radler, the German word for bicyclist, is a popular summer drink in Germany. It’s a mixture of beer and lemonade, and it’s becoming more popular in America.

Don’t expect MolsonCoors to acquire any American craft breweries. Peter Swinburn, the company’s CEO, says they’re “massively overvalued” and predicts a shakeout in the sector.

Before you hit the road this summer, check out Thrillist’s America’s 33 best beer bars. To whet your appetite, there’s a photo and a description of each establishment.

Finally, historian William Hogeland explains “brewer-patriot” Samuel Adams’s role in making the Declaration of Independence a reality. Adams hasn’t gotten much credit because he burned his papers lest people find out what he’d been up to.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Nitrogen’s share of the pressurizing gas in a typical “nitro” beer: 70 percent.
  • Carbon dioxide’s share: 30 percent.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev’s share of the U.S. beer market: 47.6 percent.
  • Its share of Canada’s beer market: 40.6 percent.
  • Estimated annual growth in IPA production: 36 percent in 2012.
  • Consecutive years that IPA has been the most-entered category at the Great American Beer Festival: 13.
  • India pale ales entered at this year’s Great American Beer Festival: 252.
  • Breweries competing in this year’s Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers in Chicago: 86.
  • Beers entered in the competition: 214.
  • Breweries competing in this year’s International Beer Competition in Tokyo: 450.
  • Countries represented in that competition: 14.
  • Boston Lager’s share of Samuel Adams sales in 1998: 60 percent.
  • Boston Lager’s share in 2011: 24 percent.
  • Alcoholic content of Snake Venom, the strongest-ever beer: 67.5 percent.
  • Alcoholic content of Armageddon, the previous record holder: 65 percent.

The Friday Mash (007 Edition)

Fifty years ago today, Dr. No debuted. The first-ever James Bond film starred Sean Connery in the role of Agent 007, and Ursula Andress as the Bond Girl. The current James Bond is British actor Daniel Craig, who played him in Skyfall, as well as in this Heineken commercial.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which has become a destination for beer travelers. It’s the home of many microbreweries, brewpubs, and bars that specialize in Michigan-brewed beer.

Does your choice of beer reveal your political leanings? A recent study suggests that it does. For instance, Heineken drinkers are Democrats, Samuel Adams drinkers Republicans.

All in a day’s work. Jadrian Klinger of Harrisburg magazine accompanied beer blogger Jeff Kupko on a day of beer tasting. Kupko, who has reviewed some 1,800 beers, explained the finer points of beer appreciation.

In Minneapolis, the Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub used a novel strategy to raise capital: free beer for life for those who invested $1,000. Most of the “members,” as they’re called, live within walking distance.

A new book by Jim Merkel got our attention. Titled “Beer, Brats and Baseball, it tells the story of how Germans shaped St. Louis.

John Steinbeck never ate at a Red Robin restaurant, but he wrote about beer milkshakes, which are now on Red Robin’s menu. They’re mentioned in Chapter 17 of his 1945 novel, Cannery Row.

Finally, “The Most Expensive Beer I Ever Had” award goes to Domagoj Vida, a Croatian soccer player. Vida was fined 100,000 euros ($130,000) after he was caught drinking a beer on the team bus en route to a match.

The Friday Mash (Bitter Cold Edition)

On this day in 1947, the coldest-ever temperature in North America–81 degrees below zero, Fahrenheit–was recorded in Snag, a village in Canada’s Yukon. That kind of cold creates serious problems, but keeping beer cold isn’t one of them.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Leominster, England, where Andre Marsh claims to own the world’s smallest off-license. It measures only 11 square meters (397 square feet).

If you’re going to New Orleans, here’s some good news: it’s okay to carry canned beer at Carnival. Abita Brewing will release its version next Monday, just in time for the parades.

The Boston Beer Company is rolling out a new seasonal, Alpine Spring. Sam Adams Noble Pils, last year’s spring seasonal, is being promoted to the year-round lineup.

Ginger Johnson, the owner of Women Enjoying Beer, has some advice for breweries: “Make the assumption that all women like flavor, and dash the notion that there’s beer for women.”

Hoping to avoid rush-hour chaos during this summer’s Olympic games, London officials are asking commuters to have an after-work beer before heading home.

As New Belgium Brewing Company hones in on a sites for its Eastern brewery, Lew Bryson makes the case for Philadelphia.

Finally, Pete and Debbie Gibson, pub landlords in Royton, England, had their establishment shut down New Year’s Eve by the Samuel Smith brewery. Their offense? Selling pints that were too full of beer.

The Friday Mash (Ogden Nash Edition)

On this day in 1902, Ogden Nash was born. Nash, a writer of light verse, is best known for surprising, pun-like rhymes–sometimes with words deliberately misspelled for comic effect.

And now….The Nash!

We begin in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, where Mike Pinto popped the question to his girlfriend, Dawn Rebodillo, in the middle of their tour of the Samuel Adams brewery. She said yes.

Planning a beer trek to Colorado? Journalist Ed Sealover has made your travels easier with his new guidebook to the state’s 100-plus breweries. And yes, he’s been to all of them.

FedEx Field in Washington, D.C., has upped the price of a beer to $9, prompting this comment from Washington City Paper’s Dave McKenna: “shouldn’t you also be able to buy a lap dance at an establishment where drinks are going for that price?”

Upon returning to civilian life, army veteran Mike McCreary started the Cavalry Brewery in Connecticut. It turns out five English-style ales, all named for his team in Iraq.

Jon Abernathy, who blogs at The Beer Site, has the roundup from Session #54, which was devoted to sour beer.

Scientists at the University of Valladolid in Spain have found that dark beers contain more iron than light-colored beers. Ludwig wants to know whether they performed an analysis of Iron City Light.

Finally, from the Not Just for Breakfast Anymore Department. Cris Carl of Networx.com has 14 household uses for beer, including humanely killing mice and loosening rusty bolts. Full cans are good insulation material, too.

The Friday Mash (Good King Wenceslas Edition)

On this day in 1271, Wenceslaus II of Bohemia was born. According to the Radio Prague website, “King Wenceslas convinced the Pope to revoke an order banning the brewing of beer, which may explain why he’s called Good King Wenceslas. It was a small step up from there for breweries to start hawking their wares to the general public as well, and so the Czech beer industry was spawned.”

And now…The Mash!

We begin with a New York Observer profile of Alex Hall, the Englishman who sold New York City on Real Ale.

A pub crawl by remote? The Guardian chooses the five best pubs depicted on television shows. Paul is upset that Pommeroy’s from Rumpole of the Bailey didn’t make the list.

The pub might be endangered, but Britain is seeing “a staggering increase” in the number of new breweries. According to CAMRA, the national brewery count is four times what it was in 1971.

Take a world beer tour without leaving New Jersey. Peter Genovese of the Jersey Journal found beer from 34 different countries at local liquor stores.

BeerConnoisseur.com’s Chris Gigley wonders if hard cider is craft beer’s next big trend. He also serves up a six-pack of craft ciders to get you started.

What happens to Sam Adams Longshot competitors? Some of them start breweries. Jason Roeper, a finalist in 2009, teamed up with Randy Schiltz (how’s that for a name?) and started Rivertown Brewing Company in Cincinnati.

Finally, from the Department of Trivial Trivia: the world land speed record for a barstool is 53.557 miles per hour.

Jim Koch on Craft Beer

Normally, Beer Business Daily is hidden behind a subscription wall, but “jesskidden,” a contributor to BeerAdvocate.com’s discussion forums, ran across a rare no-subscription article. It’s an interview with Jim Koch, who needs no introduction here. His Boston Beer Company has had a great year, with sales up 13 percent over last year despite the flat economy.

Koch is always good for a few soundbites, and he didn’t disappoint. On his brand’s appeal to young adults, he said:

I think that 20-somethings are much more into indie culture. They seem to be less susceptible to mass marketed and mass produced products, unless the product has some visible heart and soul, like Apple does.

He also thinks craft beer can go head-to-head (sorry about the pun) with wine and spirits:

So a consumer can trade out of a $9 top shelf margarita or a $7 glass of wine down to a $5 pint of Sam Adams, and they can still feel like they’re getting something special and well-made. The rise of craft beer has given the beer industry a winning weapon to combat the image of wine and spirits.

And if Sam Adams doesn’t get him there, maybe this will:

Together we [Boston Beer Company and Weihenstephan] developed the first new style of beer in Germany in a hundred years. It’s the Opus One of beer….

It’s unique in the same way that Sam Adams Utopias is unique. Infinium combines elements of Dom Perignon, Noble Pilsener, Chateau d’Yquem and Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen.

Some beer geeks might roll their eyes at the the prospect, but…

There will probably come a day when Sam Adams will be in cans. Can makers have continued to improve the quality of the package….I’ve been watching it since the late 1980s and the quality of the liners keeps better. So there will come a time, I think, when we can put Sam Adams in a can without compromising our standards for the quality of the beer.

And finally, Koch offers this bold prediction:

I think it’s realistic that Better Beer can get to a third of the beer market, imports and crafts and domestic specialties….Craft can be a third of that third, which is 11%, up from about 5% today. So if we hold our share of craft beer we’ll more than double.

We wouldn’t bet against him. Twenty-five years ago, the odds against his company becoming the number-one American-owned brewer were astronomical.

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