spent grain

The Friday Mash (Heisman Trophy Edition)

On this day in 1935, the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy, later renamed the Heisman Trophy, was awarded for the first time. The winner was halfback Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago who, despite being a number-one draft pick, never played pro football.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Wisconsin, where you’ll get a beer chaser with your Bloody Mary. The state’s taverns have a long-standing tradition of serving chasers with cocktails.

The Jewish Museum of Montreal has joined forces with a nearby craft brewery to re-create a beer brewed by brothers Ezekiel, Moses, and Benjamin Hart in 1796.

Is there a beer aficionado on your Christmas list? Forbes magazine writer Tara Nurin can help you. She’s written mini-reviews of 18 worthy beer books.

The latest gizmo for beer snobs is That Ultrabeer Thing, a vibrator that emits ultrasonic waves that break up carbon dioxide bubbles, creating a creamy foamy head.

San Francisco’s ReGrained is collecting spent grain from three local breweries and turning them into susatinable granola bars. The company’s slogan is “Eat Beer”.

A market analysis firm has found that beer sales are “underperforming” in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. Recreational marijuana is legal in all of those states.

Finally, the stereotypical craft beer drinker is a bearded white male. However, craft customers are becoming more diverse, and the industry is making efforts to get customers of color to drink their product.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Average price of a 1/3-liter draft beer in Lausanne, Switzerland: $17.60 (highest in the world).
  • Average price of a 1/3-liter draft beer in New York City: $9.22.
  • Average price of a 1/3-liter draft beer in Bratislava, Slovakia: $2.80.
  • Average cost of a pint of beer in 2016: $3.99.
  • Average cost (adjusted for inflation) of a pint of beer in 1952: $5.93.
  • Craft beer’s sales growth in the first half of 2016: 6 percent.
  • Imported beer’s sales growth in the first half of 2016: 6.7 percent.
  • Grams of carbohydrates in a bottle of Michelob Ultra: 2.6.
  • Grams of carbohydrates in a bottle of Bud Light: 6.6.
  • Pounds of spent grain produced by New Belgium Brewing at its Fort Collins, Colorado, brewery: 73 million.
  • Spent grain’s share of brewery by-products: 85 percent.
  • Style categories in this year’s Great American Beer Festival competition: 96.
  • Estimated number of beers expected to be entered in this year’s GABF competition: 7,000.
  • Beers to be poured at this weekend’s Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival: 1,107.
  • Breweries that will pour at the MBG Summer Beer Festival: 125.
  • Spent Grain Attracts Federal Regulators’ Attention

    Breweries across the country have informal agreements to send their spent grains to local farmers to feed to their livestock. It’s the proverbial win-win: the brewery gets rid of a by-product they can no longer use, and the farmer gets free food for the animals.

    However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering new rules that would require breweries to take additional steps to ensure that spent grain is safe for animals to eat. Complying with those rules would make it too expensive and time-consuming for small and medium-sized breweries to continue giving the grain away.

    The Brewers Association, Beer Institute, and other brewing organizations have come out against the proposed rules and asked that the brewing industry be exempted. The FDA has extended the public comment period to next Monday, and brewers and farmers are watching closely.

    The Friday Mash (”Going Once, Going Twice” Edition)

    On this day in 1765, James Christie reportedly held his first auction in London. The company he founded has become an art business and fine arts auction house which, every year, sells billions of dollars worth of paintings and other valuable works.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Kano, Nigeria, where police enforcing Sharia law destroyed more than 240,000 bottles of beer that were confiscated from supply trucks and Christian shopkeepers.

    In Florida, beer in standard 64-ounce growlers remains illegal thanks to bottle laws passed many years ago. Oddly, it’s legal to sell beer in 32- and 128-ounce containers.

    Remember Todd Ruggere, the man who drank a beer in every town in Massachusetts to raise money for cancer research? His next stop is Connecticut, which has 169 towns.

    New Belgium Brewing Company is rolling out its tenth year-round beer: Snapshot Wheat, an unfiltered wheat beer with citrusy aroma from Target hops. It checks in at a sessionable 5 percent ABV.

    LiveScience’s Stephanie Pappas explains the science behind a common party foul: the foam explosion out of a bottle of beer when you tap it. The tap creates waves which, in turn, create bubbles.

    Another item from the world of science. Bricks made with five percent spent grain are nearly 30 percent better insulators, and just as strong as traditional bricks. The drawback? They smell of fermented grain.

    Finally, some are defending an Amsterdam organization’s policy of paying hard-core alcoholics in beer to clean up city parks. The workers are healthier and better-behaved now that they’re being treated like humans.

    Going Against the Grain

    We’ve run across plenty of stories about breweries that send their spent grain to local farmers, who in turn feed it to contented cows. The Alaskan Brewing Company isn’t one of them. There aren’t many farmers in the state; and because Juneau is inaccessible by road, the cost of shipping the grain out of state is prohibitive.

    What Alaskan Brewing did instead was send the spent grain to itself. It landed a $500,000 grant from the federal Rural Energy for America Program, then contracted with a North Dakota company to build a steam boiler system that uses the spent grain as fuel for an energy recovery system. The brewery estimates that the new boiler will cut its yearly energy costs by 70 percent–a not inconsiderable $450,000 a year.

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