The Friday Mash (“Long Live the King” Edition)

On this day in 1603, James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England and Ireland upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I. The kingdoms of Scotland and England remained sovereign states, with their own parliaments, but both were ruled by James in personal union.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Vancouver where last week, the Railtown Pub advertised its St. Patrick’s Day celebration with a Guinness glass filled to the brim and literally losing its head. That caught the attention of the Irish Independent newspaper, which called the pour “sacrilegious”.

Now that the Chicago White Sox’s partnership with MillerCoors has expired, the ballclub has formed a new partnership with Constellation Brands, which will open “Casa Modelo” at the ballpark.

While on spring break in The Bahamas, a frat boy used the teeth of a beached shark to puncture a beer can so he could “shotgun” it. His video of the stunt prompted a swift—and angry—backlash on social media.

Portland, Oregon, is about to get a beer bar devoted to session beers. Its name, naturally enough, is Sessionable. The bar will pour 30 beers, all with ABVs ranging from 2.5 to 5 percent.

Neil Patrick Harris, who the spokesperson for Heineken beer, says that he has a Heineken Light tap in his bar at home. He adds that unlimited beer at home “is as awesome as it sounds”.

According to a recent survey, one out of four beer drinkers said they would switch to marijuana if it became legal in their state. If they do switch, brewers will suffer $2 billion per year in lost sales.

Finally, asked eight brewery owners in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area whether the craft beer industry is in a bubble. They don’t think so, but some admit that the market is getting tougher for new entries.

The Friday Mash (Popcorn and Beer Edition)

On this day in 1907, Orville Redenbacher was born in Brazil, Indiana. Even as a youngster in 4-H, he was determined to make the perfect popcorn. His efforts paid off: popcorn made him both rich and famous; and nearly 15 years after his death, Orville Redenbacher remains the number-one selling brand.

If all this talk about popcorn made you thirsty, fear not. The Mash is coming your way!

We lead off with this year’s international Beer Challenge, where the Supreme Champion was Samuel Adams Utopias 2009.

Karl Ockert, the founding and long-time brewmaster at Portland, Oregon-based BridgePort Brewing Company, will leave the brewery on July 30. Ockert, who is credited with turing Portland into “an IPA town,” will become Technical Director at the Master Brewers Association of the Americas.

Duquesne Beer, a Pittsburgh-area favorite a generation or two ago, is coming back. The reincarnated version will be brewed with pricier hops–Saaz and Hallertau varieties from Europe, and hops from Washington State–as well as two-row malt.

Bobby Don Johnson, the Lafayette Craft Beer Examiner, offers his take on what makes a beer “drinkable”, and how “drinkable” differs from “sessionable.”

Legislation in Congress that would cut small brewers’ taxes continues to pick up support on Capitol Hill. According to the Brewers Association, 17 senators and 87 representatives have signed on as co-sponsors.

Finally, from the Department of Ancient History: a story in the April 10, 1988, New York Times attempted to distinguish micro-brewers, craft brewers, and “pub brewers.” Hat tip: Alan McLeod of A Good Beer Blog.

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