Starbucks

The Friday Mash (Inauguration Day Edition)

Eighty years ago today, Franklin D. Roosevelt took the oath of office, beginning his second term as president. Roosevelt was first the president to be inaugurated on January 20 under the 20th Amendment. Previously, presidents were sworn in on March 4.

And now…The Mash!

We begin at the University of Leuven in Belgium, where scientists have found that brewers “tamed” beer yeasts by reusing them until they adapted to the brewery environment. In fact, brewery yeasts couldn’t survive if reintroduced into the wild.

At age 87, former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke drank a beer while watching the Aussie cricket team take on Pakistan. In college, Hawke set a world record by drinking a yard of ale—that’s three pints—in 11 seconds.

John Laffler, the co-founder of Off Color Brewing, has a confession to make. He’s a fan of Miller High Life, which he describes as light, crisp, technically perfect, and very consistent.

Singer Ed Sheeran dropped 50 pounds in 12 months after giving up beer. Beer is back in Sheeran’s diet, but perhaps he’s switched to these low-calorie offerings.

This year’s 10th annual Philadelphia Beer Week will be part of a year-round celebration called “Philly Loves Beer”. Organizers hope the new format gives local breweries greater exposure and draws more visitors.

Refocusing on daytime business, Starbucks has dropped evening beer and wine sales. However, alcohol may eventually return to the chain’s high-end “Roastery” locations.

Finally, bad craft beer is becoming more common. Reasons include lax brewing standards, under-trained brewers, and intense competition that tempts breweries to bring faulty beer to market rather than dump it.

Cease and Desist

Rule One of trademark law is that one can never be too vigilant in defending one’s mark. With that in mind, Starbucks sent a cease-and-desist letter to a Exit 6 Pub and Brewery, a Missouri brewpub. It told Exit 6 to stop selling a beer called “Frappicino,” which differs from Starbucks’ trademarked “Frappuccino” drink by just one letter.

Exit 6’s owner, Jeff Briton, was amazed that Starbucks’ attorneys found it worth their while to pursue a tiny establishment that sold just three of those vanilla creme and chocolate coffee ale concoctions. He decided to have a little fun at their expense. In a letter directed to “Mr. Bucks,” Briton pled guilty to being a “poor speler” and made amends by enclosing a check for $6, representing his profit on the three offending drinks–which he referred to as “The F Word” to avoid further legal trouble.

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