San Diego

The Friday Mash (St. John the Silent Edition)

Today is the feast day of St. John the Silent. So, in the words of Elmer Fudd, we’re going to be “vewy quiet”.

Shhhhh…

We begin in San Diego, where Stone Brewing Company co-founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner have invested $100 million in True Craft, a private-equity firm that will take minority positions in craft breweries that need funding to expand.

Brewery Vivant and the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra have released a collaboration beer, Carmina Beerana. This single-malt, single-hop beer was inspired by Carl Orff’s classic work.

Hopyard, a newly-opened beer bar in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, offers two of the hottest things in pop culture: craft beer and vinyl music.

Jeff Vrabel of GQ magazine unleashed a righteous rant about alcoholic root beer. He believes that root beer belongs to childhood and ought to remain there.

Last Friday, the Bar D’Alsace-tian in London put a team of Alsatian dogs to work delivering cold bottles of beer to customers in custom harnesses in the shape of a barrel.

Starr Hill Brewery is celebrating the Dave Matthews Band’s 25th anniversary with a beer called Warehouse Pils. “Warehouse” is the name of the band’s official fan club.

Finally, Danish beermaker Mikkeller Brewing is bringing its acclaimed Copenhagen Beer Celebration to Boston. The two-day festival, to be held in September, will feature more than 100 craft beers from over 50 breweries from around the world.

In San Diego, 10 Barrel Draws Craft Brewers’ Ire

Forbes magazine correspondent Tara Nurin reports that the San Diego Brewers Guild is asking city planners to turn down 10 Barrel Brewing Company’s application to build a brewpub near Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres baseball team.

Guild members warn that letting 10 Barrel open a pub will drive independent, locally-owned breweries and brewpubs out of business. They point out that 10 Barrel is based nearly 1,000 miles away in Bend, Oregon. Worse yet, 10 Barrel is now owned by Anheuser-Busch In Bev, and is in the process of opening pubs in cities throughout the West.

However, not everyone in the city’s craft beer community is opposed to 10 Barrel. Andy “The Beerman” Coppock, who hosts of “The Business of Beer podcast,” says, “[S]ay what you will about [Anheuser-Busch InBev], their craft brands are very well-made beers. At the end of the day, I want to see people drinking better beer.”

Nurin, who as a television reporter covered planning board meetings, has seen similar protests against letting “big box” retailers such as Wal-Mart come to town. She notes that the big-box companies invariably got their way, and predicts that 10 Barrel will likewise get the go-ahead.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Most expensive beer at a major league ballpark: $8.75 (Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies).
  • Cheapest beer at a major league ballpark: $4 (Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians).
  • Average cost of a beer at a major league ballpark: $5.96 (down 13 cents from last year)
  • Per-household legal marijuana sales in Spokane County, Washington, in 2015: $225.64.
  • Per-household beer sales in Spokane County in 2015: $232.70.
  • San Diego’s brewery count at the end of 2015: 114.
  • Its brewery count at the beginning of 2015: 97.
  • Dollar value of the U.S. beer market: $105.9 billion.
  • Craft beer’s share of the U.S. beer market: $22.3 billion (21.1 percent).
  • Extra large breweries’ (over 6 million barrels per year) share of U.S. brewery population: 0.4 percent.
  • Extra large breweries’ share of U.S. beer production: 84.3 percent.
  • Small breweries’ (under 7,500 barrels per year) share of the U.S. brewery population: 92.8 percent.
  • Small breweries’ share of U.S. beer production: 1.6 percent.
  • Styles in the Brewers Association’s 2016 Beer Style Guidelines: 162.
  • Net change in styles from 2015: +7.
  • Founding Fathers of San Diego Beer

    San Diego has become one of the nation’s premier beer cities, both for the number of breweries and the quality of beer they produce. Its road to craft beer prominence began in 1989, when two friends in Mission Beach, Chris Cramer and Matt Rattner, founded the Karl Strauss Brewing Company. The brewery’s namesake was Cramer’s cousin, who had been trained in Germany as a brewer before World War II and fled before the Holocaust.

    A number of Karl Strauss alumni went on to open their own breweries. Scott Stamp, the original bartender at Karl Strauss, went on to open Callahan’s and the San Diego Brewing Company. Their original cocktail waitress Gina Marsaglia opened Pizza Port Brewery in 1992 with her brother Vince. That same year, the brewery’s original tour guide, Jack White, started Home Brew Mart.

    During Home Brew Mart’s early days, a customer named Yuseff Cherney so impressed White with his knowledge of beer that White hired him on the spot. Cherney later became the chief operating officer and head brewer at Ballast Point Brewing Company. At the same time, Cherney was working with fellow UC San Diego student Chris White, a post-graduate biochemistry student who later started White Labs, one of the nation’s premier yeast laboratories.

    As for Karl Strauss, the brewery ranks 45th in production among the nation’s craft breweries, even though its distribution is limited to California.

    The Friday Mash (Monkey Trial Edition)

    Ninety years ago today, the “Monkey Trial” trial of science teacher John Scopes began. The trial, famously depicted in Inherit the Wind, made Dayton, Tennessee, the focus of world-wide attention. Beer was not served outside the courthouse because Prohibition was in effect.

    And now….The Mash! 

    We begin in San Diego, where Comic-Con is underway. If you’re taking part, Andre Dyer of City Beat magazine has some suggestions as to where you can taste the local craft beer.

    Those hard-to-find beers are becoming more available–if you have money. Even though shipping alcoholic beverages is against the law, the chances of getting busted for it are negligible.

    Hailstorm Brewing Company has released Captain Serious #19 Pale Ale in honor of Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. Chicago has won three of the last six Stanley Cups.

    Heineken NV and Carlsberg A/S are building breweries in Myanmar. Eighty percent of Myanmar’s adults drink beer, and the country’s largest brewery is owned by current and former military personnel.

    Beer shortages loom in Venezuela. Strikes at the Polar brewing company, which controls 80 percent of the market, have shut down half the brewery’s plants and forced others to run at reduced capacity.

    Naragansett beer, once a New England favorite, has once again become popular—and not just in New England. What makes its revival even more amazing is that the brewery accomplished it on a shoestring media budget of $100,000.

    Finally, a Danish music festival will collect attendees’ urine, which will be used to fertilize barley plants that will be used in a beer to be served at the 2017 festival. Organizers call this—admit it, you saw this coming—“Piss to Pilsner.”

    Bugs As a Beer Ingredient?

    Melanie Pierce, the founder of San Diego’s The Brewbies Fest, collaborates with local breweries to brew pink beers for her festival, which raises money for breast cancer awareness. The problem with pink beers is that pink doesn’t fit into established color spectrums. Pierce has come up with an unconventional alternative: ground-up insects.

    She uses insects called cochineal, which are native to Latin America and have been used for centuries to create textile dyes. The creatures get their color by drinking the crimson juices of the prickly pear cactus. When they’re crushed, the resulting product is a pigment called carmine.

    If using insects as a beer ingredient sounds nasty, you might be surprised to learn that cochineal were used until recently to create the red color of the liqueur Campari.

    America’s Top Beer Cities

    This “Top” list is a cut above the ubiquitous Internet slideshow article. Thrillist’s Andy Kryza has drawn up a list of America’s top 16 beer cities. For each city, Kryza gives a short description, along with its major breweries, beer bars, and “tradition.”

    For the record, the top five are Portland (Oregon, that is; its Maine namesake ranks 14th); San Diego; Denver; Seattle; and Chicago.

    Paul’s favorite line: “Like a breakdown of Jimmer Fredette’s college stats, it’s impossible to NOT talk about Asheville’s size in a conversation about its beer scene.” He loves obscure sports analogies.

    The Friday Mash (”No Music Day” Edition)

    No Music Day was introduced by Bill Drummond to draw attention to the cheapening of music as an art form. Ironically, it coincides with Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph, which made all that music possible, on November 21, 1877.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Seattle, where a local television station claims the Seattle Seahawks are selling watered-down beer. The breweries deny that the beer has a lower-than-advertised alcohol content.

    The East Side Christian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, raised quite a few eyebrows with Sunday Evening Beer and Hymns. Outreach pastor Evan Taylor said, “We like to rattle the cage a little bit.”

    Within the MillerCoors LLC’s s State Street complex is a smaller, independent operation whose beer include a chocolate lager and one with pineapple-scentedd hops.

    Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is making a batch of beer with 25 pounds of scrapple. Other ingredients include maple syrup, coffee, and applewood-smoked barley.

    Add your liquidity joke here. Bradley Trapnell, a finance guy who’d worked for Fannie Mae, is opening a growler shop in his hometown of Highland Village, Texas. He’ll have 36 beers on tap.

    It sounds counter-intuitive, but beer is harder to spill than coffee. According to scientists, it’s because beer contains foam, which acts as a shock absorber: the more foam, the less spillage.

    Finally, San Diego’s AleSmith Brewing Company has released .394 Pale Ale. It honors Padres’ Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who collaborated with the brewery before he passed away last June.

    Your Guide to San Diego Beer

    Ian Anderson, a correspondent for Paste magazine, insists that San Diego, not Portland, is America’s craft beer capital. To make his case, he’s assembled a comprehensive guide to his city’s flourishing beer culture.

    Anderson’s article leads off with the top breweries (San Diego has 75, so one has to draw the line somewhere), and segues from there into the brewpubs, beer bars, and bottle shops worth a visit. If your travel plans include “America’s Finest City,” consider this required reading.

    Your Guide to San Diego Beer

    Ian Anderson, a correspondent for Paste magazine, insists that San Diego, not Portland, is America’s craft beer capital. To make his case, he’s assembled a comprehensive guide to his city’s flourishing beer culture. The article leads off with the top breweries (San Diego has 75, so one has to draw the line somewhere), and segues from there into the brewpubs, beer bars, and bottle shops worth a visit.

    If your travel plans include “America’s Finest City,” consider this required reading.

    Powered by WordPress