The Friday Mash (Social Security Edition)

Today is the 80th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of the Social Security Act. More than 50 million Americans, most of whom are retirees, receive Social Security benefits. That number will grow as members of the Baby Boom generation reach retirement age.

And now (can I see some ID, please?)….The Mash! 

We begin in North Korea, whose government is looking for foreign investors for a brewery in Wosnan. The country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, wants to turn the port city into a tourist attraction.

Jim Koch, the CEO of Boston Beer Company, blames high U.S. corporate taxes for acquisitions that have left foreign firms in control of 90 percent of America’s brewing industry.

The oldest known receipt for beer is a more than 4,000-year-old Sumerian tablet in which a scribe acknowledges receiving approximately 4-1/2 liters of Alulu the brewer’s “best beer.”

At New Belgium Brewing Company, Kim Jordan is turning over her CEO duties to another woman, Christine Perich, the chief operating officer. Jordan will head the brewery’s board of directors.

The Los Angeles Times’s John Verive decodes seven words—clean, dry, phenolic, creamy, hot, soft, and light—that are often found in reviews of craft beers.

White Bull beer, a symbol of South Sudan’s independence, is on the endangered list. Armed conflict has left White Bull’s brewer short on foreign currency it needs to import fuel and materials.

Finally, “Biscuit,” who works at the Sun King Brewery in Indianapolis sneaked “Tom Brady Sux” next to the “born-on” date on 20,000 cans of Wee Mac Scottish Ale. His future work will have to be approved by his higher-ups.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Breweries represented at this year’s Great American Beer Festival: 578.
  • Increase over 2011: 110 (23 percent).
  • China’s Snow Beer production in 2011: 50.8 million barrels (number one in the world).
  • Budweiser production in 2011: 38.7 million barrels (number three in the world, behind Snow and Bud Light).
  • Taxes’ share of the cost of an American beer: 45 percent.
  • Annual U.S. tax revenue generated by beer consumption: $10.8 billion.
  • Economic output of the U.S. brewing industry: $223.8 billion.
  • Brewing industry’s share of U.S. gross domestic product: 1.5 percent.
  • People employed by the U.S. brewing industry: 1.8 million.
  • Economic impact of California’s craft brewing industry: $3 billion.
  • People employed by California craft breweries: 22,000.
  • Minutes an average American must work for a beer: 5 (cost of a beer: $1.80).
  • Minutes an average Canadian must work for a beer: 11 (cost of a beer: $3.20).
  • Breweries in the U.K.: more than 1,000.
  • U.K. breweries opening in the past year: 153.
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