St. Louis

The Friday Mash (King Ludwig Edition)

On this day in 1886, King Ludwig II of Bavaria passed away. Please join our beer-drinking lion in a moment of silence for the “Mad King” who, among other things, commissioned the fantastic Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the area’s leading tourist attractions.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Petaluma, California, where Lagunitas Brewing Company held its annual Beer Circus. Some guests wore top hats and “ironic facial hair,” while others dressed as figures from popular culture.

Just in time for Father’s Day: Criquet, a clothing company, has designed a shirt with a reinforced lining that prevents you from destroying it while using the shirttail to twist a beer bottle open.

Twenty years ago, Lauren Clark quit her desk job to work for a brewery. She then gravitated to writing, and recently published Crafty Bastards, a history of beer in New England.

Gustav Holst’s The Planets inspired Bell’s Brewing to create a seven-ale series, each of which named for one of the planets in Holst’s suite. The first Planet beer will be released in August.

St. Louis, which is celebrating its 250th birthday, has 30 craft breweries–and yes, the Budweiser brewery, too. USA Today’s Wendy Pramick has a beer lover’s guide to the city.

Brock Bristow, a South Carolina attorney, might wind up in the Lobbyists’ Hall of Fame. He persuaded lawmakers to pass the brewery-friendly “Stone Bill”.

Finally, Jeopardy! for beer geeks. Three female beer bloggers host a monthly trivia night at a bar in Brooklyn. Games consist of four rounds: brewing, history, popular culture, and the “hipster trifecta.”

The Friday Mash (Popeye Edition)

On this day in 1929, Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Segar, debuted in the Thimble Theatre comic strip. Since then, Popeye has appeared in comic books, video games, and a film starring Robin Williams in the title role.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in St. Louis’s Bellefontaine Cemetery, where two adjacent mausoleums on Millionaires’ Row remind us of a rivalry between brewing families, the Lemps and the Wainwrights.

The Spencer Brewery in Massachusetts, has become only the tenth brewery to to be recognized as Trappist. Its ales are brewed by the monks–Trappist, of course–of St. Joseph’s Abbey.

Germany’s Federal Cartel Office levied $150 million in fines on five breweries for conspiring to fix prices. The whistle-blower was none other than Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Has extreme beer gone too far? The Icelandic brewery Steojar was blasted by conservationists for brewing a beer with whale meat. A treaty signed by most nations bans commercial whaling.

Sam Samaneiego, the “Beer Nazi,” has passed away. His Stuffed Sandwich restaurant in San Gabriel, California, has been introducing customers to better beer since it opened in 1976.

Thailand’s Singha beer found itself embroiled in political controversy after brewery heiress Chitpas Bhirombhakdi accused rural Thais of lacking a “true understanding” of democracy.

Finally, festival organizers are having second thoughts about glassware. Some higher-end festivals give attendees fancy keepsake glasses instead of plastic cups or mini-shaker pints.

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 (Coronation Street Edition)

On this day in 1960, Coronation Street debuted. The British drama, set in the fictional Manchester-area town of Weatherfield, is the longest-running soap opera of all time. Coronation Street’s characters often hung out in a pub called The Rovers Return Inn, which became a free house in 1996.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in New Glarus, Wisconsin (population 2,200), which has one renowned brewery and 12 licensed establishments, all of which serve New Glarus beers. The Chicago Tribune’s Josh Noel hit as many as he could responsibly handle in one evening.

Actor Will Ferrell has offered his services as a spokesman for Old Milwaukee beer–for free, no less. He even produced several commercials, which will run locally in the Davenport, Iowa, area.

Just in time for Christmas, the Battle of the Elves is over. Troegs Brewing Company and Bethlehem Brew Works agreed to settle their dispute over the elf logos on bottles of their high-gravity holiday ales.

A hundred years ago, the Griesedieck Brothers Brewery opened for business in St. Louis. Two members of that family, Ray Greisedieck and his son, Bob, are once again brewing beer.

One person you need to know is Chris Crabb, the woman behind the Oregon Brewers Festival and two other events. Beervana wouldn’t be the same without her.

It’s a no-no for breweries to make health claims about their product, but a 12-pack of Coors Light was a life-saver for an Alaska man who got himself stuck in a snowdrift for three days.

Finally, British singer Adele is no fan of beer brewed on our side of the pond. On her last American tour, Adele banned North American beers from her tour bus.

Craft Brew in St. Louis

Last week, the St. Louis Cardinals–a wild-card team that got into the playoffs on the last day of the regular season–won the World Series. Fans are still celebrating, and many of them are lifting a pint at one of the city’s 11 craft breweries. Most of these breweries opened their doors in the past few years, and Joe Stange of the New York Times gets us caught up with what’s brewing in the city best known for the Budweiser Clydesdales.

One intriguing establishment mentioned in the article is The Civil Life. It’s a two-level pub with nooks, and the beer lineup leans heavily toward lower-strength session ales. In other words, a perfect place to spend the evening talking baseball–or anything else–with friends.

A Six-Pack of New Breweries

Six new breweries are in the fermentation stage, and all of them are located in two Midwestern cities.

Evan Benn of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tells us that in a two-week period, there were three new-brewery announcements in the St. Louis area.

Meanwhile, in Grand Rapids, three siblings announced plans to start a new brewpub called the Harmony Brewing Company. Two other establishments–Brewery Vivant and the Beatnik Brewery Company–also expect to be up and running sometime next year.

Beer Week Roundup

It’s Craft Beer Week in St. Louis, which features unusual events like a Beer Prom, beer bingo, and a Tweetup. The week-long celebration overlaps the St. Louis Microfest in Forest Park this weekend.

Atlanta joins the growing list of North American cities celebrating Beer Week. The dates are May 16-22.

And the state of Alabama has “hopped” on the bandwagon as well: the inaugural Alabama Beer Week is scheduled for June 4-13. It will kick off with the fourth Annual Magic City Brewfest in Birmingham.

And north of the border, Vancouver Beer Week is May 10-16, and Ontario holds its province-wide celebration June 20-26. Here’s some video to get you in the mood for these two celebrations:

Powered by WordPress