SweetWater Brewing Company

The Friday Mash (“Don’t Cry for Me” Edition)

On this day in 1946, Colonel Juan Peron, founder of the political movement known as Peronism, was elected to his first term as President of Argentina. He and his wife, Eva Duarte, would later become the subject of the Broadway musical Evita.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Maryland, where craft brewers are concerned about Guinness’ plans to open a taproom at its new brewery. At the same time, retailers worry that raising the cap on how much breweries can sell on-premises will hurt their business.

This year’s beer trends include the “haze craze”: unfiltered and unpasteurized IPAs aka “New England IPAs”. These beers have a shorter shelf life, but are richer in both flavor and aroma.

Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company is paying off a Super Bowl bet by releasing 100 cans of SB51 beer. It’s described as “a soul crushing pale ale that will leave you deflated”.

Tomorrow, Cleveland’s Slovenian community celebrates Kurentovanje, its version of Mardi Gras. Festival-goers will dress up as giant fuzzy animals to scare winter away, and drink beer at the newly-opened Goldhorn Brewery.

Three machinists and designers are about to launch the Kramstein beer stein. This metal stein, which comes in two sizes, is designed to keep the drink cool and the drinker’s hands dry.

Martin Roper, who’s been CEO of the Boston Beer Company for 16 years, plans to step down next year. TheMotleyFool.com speculates on whether Roper’s successor can arrest the company’s recent sales slump.

Finally, the BrewDog brewery offers an unusual perk: a week’s “paw-ternity” leave to employees who adopt a new dog. It also allows employees to bring their dogs to work. The company’s founders worked under the watchful eye of their “brew dog”, Bracken.

What’s With All The Sexist Beer Names?

From the earliest days of craft brewing, breweries have loved to incorporate puns into the names of their beers. Some of the names are clever; some are groan-inducing; and some give offense, especially to women.

Will Gordon, writing in Slate magazine, finds much craft beer marketing to be “astonishingly sexist.” Even though only the top-tier craft brewers can afford a traditional mass-media marketing campaign, many smaller brewers resort to the equivalent of filling the screen with images of attractive young women in bikinis. Which brings us back to beer names.

Choosing a product name is the first marketing decision a business has to make. In Gordon’s opinion, this is where too many craft brewers “embarrass themselves and alienate potential customers.” He’s especially critical of Flying Dog Ales, whose product line includes beers called “Raging Bitch” and “Pearl Necklace,” the latter being slang for a sexual act. Also on his dishonor roll: SweetWater Brewing Company, which earlier this year sent samples of “Happy Ending” ale—complete with mini bottles of skin cream.

The Friday Mash (Captain Cook Edition)

On this day in 1768, Captain James Cook of the Endeavour sailed from England on the first of his three voyages into the Pacific. Cook is famous for his map-making skills and courage in exploring dangerous locations. Even though the captain wasn’t a drinking man, we’re raising a glass in his honor.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in an unlikely locale–namely, Utah, where an annual beer festival takes place despite the state’s legendary alcohol restrictions.

Go green! Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewing Company is building the city’s largest private commercial solar installation.

If you’ve got tickets for Super Bowl XLVI, the Indianapolis Star’s Michelle Pemberton knows where to find good beer once you arrive in Indy.

Think your state’s beer distribution laws are bad? In Canada, even distributing beer across provincial lines is a real pain. That’s a particular problem for small breweries.

Is American ingenuity dead? Joe Sixpack begs to differ. A recent column details oddball beer-related inventions submitted to the U.S. Patent Office.

Molson Coors’s new pink beer for women inspired a righteous rant from Toronto Globe and Mail columnist Katrina Onstad.

Finally, we have good news and bad news for marathon runners. Beer is an excellent recovery beverage, but it’s effective only when it’s non-alcoholic.

The U.S Open…For Brewers

The winners of this year’s United States Open Beer Championships have been announced. The name is fitting because the competition, like its golf namesake, allows both professionals and amateurs to enter and welcomes foreign competitors.

Medals were awarded in more than 50 styles. Hawaii’s Maui Brewing Company, which won nine–including two golds, was named the Grand National Champion. Rounding out the top five were Sprecher Brewing Company (Glendale, Wisconsin); last year’s winner Deschutes Brewing Company (Bend, Oregon); Boston Beer Company; and SweetWater Brewing Company (Atlanta).

How Sweet it Was!

The inaugural “Brew Your Cask Off” is history, and “Ale Sharpton” (love that blog name) lived to write about it. A.S., writing in Beer Connoisseur Online, describes his experience judging some of the 90 entries, all of which were brewed at Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company and served to hundreds of guests at a charity event on March 20.

In addition to the usual grains and hops, contestants’ recipes featured a variety of strange additives. A.S. admitted to using carrots in his beer (it didn’t win). The names were just as unusual as the recipes; they included “The Full Retard,” “Knobzilla Vanilla Oatmeal Stout,” and “Buzzed Bunny.”

If you missed last month’s festival, the top four ales from the competition will be re-created and served at SweetWater’s annual 420 Fest, which will take place this weekend in Candler Park.

A Cask Ale Festival “With a Twist”

On March 20, Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company will host the “Brew Your Cask Off” Cask Ale Festival. There will be 70 or more cask-conditioned ales, and here’s the twist: all of the ales will be brewed at SweetWater “by fortunate folks who are invited or won the chance to brew their own recipe.” Mark Medlin, SweetWater’s brewmaster, will give oversee the effort. He has a couple of base recipes for the brew-your-own contingent, and will also contribute a few casks of his own to the festival. All entries will be professionally judged, and the winners will be announced at the festival.

Hat tip to Sean at the the 2BeerGuys Beer Blog.

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