Surly Brewing Company

The Friday Mash (Man on the Moon Edition)

On this day in 1972, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ron Evans, and Harrison Schmitt, returned to Earth. The craft’s re-entry marked the end of America’s manned lunar program. Cernan currently holds the distinction of being the last man to walk on the Moon.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in England, where the publishers of Original Gravity, a beer-centric magazine, have put Issue #1 online, free of charge. Enjoy!

The founders of Surly Brewing Company—Omar Ansari, a first-generation American; and Todd Haug, a death-metal guitarist—have done well, both for themselves and Minnesota’s beer drinkers.

Belgian scientists have found a way to keep beer from over-foaming. They applied a magnetic field to a malt infused with hops extract to disperse its anti-foaming agent into tinier particles.

Archaeologists have concluded that Iceland’s Vikings were more interested in drinking and feasting than in pillaging. Unfortunately for them, the Little Ice Age became the ultimate party-pooper.

A pair of brothers have invented something that makes it easier to enjoy a beer while taking a shower. Their Sip Caddy is a portable cup holder that can be attached to the wall.

Lance Curran, the co-founder of Chicago’s Arcade Brewery, loves comic books so much that he had comic strips drawn on the labels of its Festus Rotgut black wheat ale.

Finally, a woman attending a Philadelphia 76ers game wound up with a lapful of beer after an errant pass knocked the cup out of her hand. The way the Sixers are playing this season, she–and every other fan–needs some beer to deaden the pain.

Surly Breaks Ground on New Brewery

Two years ago, Minnesota lawmakers passed the “Surly Bill,” which allows the Surly Brewing Company and other breweries to open tasting rooms. Last week, Surly broke ground on its much-awaited “destination brewery” in Minneapolis.

The $20 million complex is located on an “environmentally challenged” site near the light-rail line and TCF Bank Stadium. In addition to the brewery infrastructure, the complex will include a full-service restaurant, a 300-seat beer hall and beer garden, and an event center. Construction is expected to be completed by late next year. Surly intends to keep its present location open and brew a range of experimental beers there.

The Friday Mash (Cats Edition)

On this day in 1982, Cats, a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, made its Broadway debut. It was the second longest-running play in Broadway history, behind Phantom of the Opera. Ludwig has a standing offer of a pint for cast member Marlene Danielle, who appeared in all 7,485 performances.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in North Dakota, where the Fargo Brewing Company dipped into pop culture to name its first beer. Wood Chipper, an India pale ale, was inspired by–you guessed it–the famous prop from the Coen brothers’ 1996 film Fargo.

Human males aren’t the only species to suffer “mating failure” when beer is involved. Two Australian biologists discovered that male beetles mistake beer bottles for potential mates. Worse yet, some of the beetles get dragged off by predatory ants.

Minnesota’s Surly Brewing Company is planning to build a $20 million brewery and tasting room, and dozens of Minneapolis-St.Paul-are communities have rolled out the welcome mat, hoping to land the facility and the jobs that come with it.

Did you know that the taste of English ale drinkers differs by region? Northerners like their beer smooth with a tight head and a creamy finish, while southerners prefer a clean, crisp, hoppier finish and a looser, frothier head.

Fittingly for a party town, New Orleans has a rich brewing history. It was once the brewing capital of the South. Sadly, however, the last big brewery closed in 2005.

Do your taste buds–or your tasting notes–need a lift? Let Linnea Covington introduce you to nine unusual beers made with guava, turnips, bacon, and other exotic ingredients.

Finally, if you’re a very patient person, there’s a beer for you. New Zealand’s Moa Brewery just released a bottled lambic which, it says, should be ready to enjoy in about ten years. That’s eight years less than “Cats” ran on Broadway.

Capital Capsules

In many states, the legislature is in session. Some of their work will affect craft beer lovers.

The “Surly bill” is now law in Minnesota. No, it doesn’t mandate nice behavior. It allows craft breweries to sell beer by the pint on premises. And Brooklyn Center’s Surly Brewing Company is just one brewery that plans to take advantage of it.

Free the Hops, Alabama’s craft beer advocacy group, is on the verge of a partial success this year. The Brewery Modernization Act will make it easier to open a brewpub in the state and allow microbreweries to open tasting rooms. The governor said that he will sign it.

Ohio lawmakers are considering whether to raise the ABV cap on beer to 18 percent from its current 12 percent.

Connecticut lawmakers have given final approval to the creation of a Connecticut Beer Trail.

A bill introduced in the Michigan House would allow homebrew tastings at licensed breweries and brewpubs for activities such as club meetings and competitions.

And a new Illinois law that allows small brewers to self-distribute has gone into effect. However, the law doesn’t provide much relief to brewpubs, which must establish a production brewery in order to self-distribute their product.

Unfortunately, not all is rosy on the legislative front. In Wisconsin, small brewers are up in arms over proposed legislation that would prevent breweries from owning distributorships. Backers of the legislation include MillerCoors, the Wisconsin Beer Distribution Association, the Tavern League of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Grocers Association.

The Friday Mash (Starkbierzeit Edition)

The people of Munich practice an interesting form of Lenten self-denial. It’s called Starkbierzeit, or “strong beer season.” The city’s top breweries brew extra-potent doppelbocks and serve them amid the Bavarian pageantry of beer halls. It’s an event you have to experience at least once.

And now, The Mash…

Ted Mott, Portsmouth Brewery’s brewmaster, has a video with the details about Kate the Great 2010. Release day is Monday.

The Brewers Association’s new website,, was officially launched yesterday morning.

Free Our Beer, a website devoted to making Ontario’s distribution system friendlier to craft brewers, details the red tape involved in “importing” Garrison Imperial India pale ale from Nova Scotia.

Four people from the world of brewing are semi-finalists for a James Beard Foundation award in the “Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional” category. They are Larry Bell, Sam Calagione, Jim Koch, and Garrett Oliver.

Sticker shock! A can of Surly at the Minnesota Twins’ new ballpark, Target Field, will set you back $10.

Jay, who blogs at Hedonist Beer Jive, found two establishments in Barcelona that specialize in craft beer. Their names: La Cerveteca and Cerveceria El Flabiol.

Finally, the collaboration trend continues. In Madison, WI, Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company and Capital Brewery have joined forces to brew a 14-percent ABV “dessert beer”. It’ll be served in five-ounce brandy snifters.

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