Thailand

The Friday Mash (Diet of Worms Edition)

No, this isn’t an episode of Bizarre Foods. The Diet of Worms was an assembly that, on this day in 1521, put Martin Luther on trial for heresy. After the trial, a supporter offered Luther a silver tankard of Eimbeck beer, which he gratefully drank.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Durham, North Carolina, whose minor-league stadium, the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, will soon have a brewery. Fans will be able to buy beer and watch the brewing process.

Delaware’s liquor store owners are worried about losing business if Pennsylvania loosens its restrictions on beer sales. As it is, the Keystone State offers a wider selection of beer.

Carlsberg Breweries, which is known for offbeat advertising campaigns, put up a giant beer-dispensing billboard in London’s Brick Lane. Stay tuned: the brewery is planning more promotions.

Despite heavy taxation and domination of the market by the Singha-Chang duopoly, craft beer is making inroads in Thailand. However, home brewing is still against the law.

Sexist marketing isn’t just an American phenomenon. A Japanese brewery has it marketing a beer called Precious to women. It contains two grams of collagen, a protein that makes skin look younger.

If your beer is boring, a company called Hop Theory is here to help with flavor-enhancing teabags. Their first product, Relativity, contains orange peel, coriander, and Cascade hops.

Finally, Tricia Gilbride of Mashable.com picks the best beers to drink in the shower. She prefers IPAs because “it makes sense to select a hoppy beer when you hop in the shower.”

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Bangkok’s brewery count in 2014: 20.
  • Its brewery count in 2013: 4.
  • West Virginia’s craft brewery count: 7.
  • Craft brewing’s impact on West Virginia’s economy: $118 million (46th in the nation).
  • Arrests at Oktoberfest 2014: 720 (39 fewer than at Oktoberfest 2013).
  • Lost objects at Oktoberfest 2014: 3,346 (including 2 wedding rings, a mobile cat carrier, and a German Federal Cross of Merit 2nd-class medal).
  • Founders Brewing Company’s production in 2014: 190,000 barrels.
  • Founders’ projected capacity after expansion is completed: 900,000 barrels.
  • Alcoholic content of All Day IPA, Founders’ largest-selling beer: 4.7 percent by volume.
  • Lagunitas Brewing Company’s production in 2014: almost 600,000 barrels.
  • Increase in Lagunitas’ production over the year before: 60 percent (it opened a second brewery in Chicago).
  • Dos Equis’ sales in 2013: 1.57 million barrels.
  • Increase in Dos Equis’ sales between 2008 and 2013: 116.6 percent (number-one in the nation in sales growth).
  • Most expensive beer in the National Basketball Association: 60 cents an ounce (Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland).
  • Cheapest beer in the NBA: 33 cents an ounce (Chesapeake Arena, Oklahoma City, and Phillips Arena, Atlanta).
  • 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.

    Thailand’s “Beer Bottle Temple”

    Drinking alcohol is inconsistent with the Buddhist belief system, but that didn’t stop a group of monks in Thailand from building an entire temple out of used beer bottles.

    The construction project began in 1984, when the monks started gathering bottles. The project not only attracted tourists, but also resulted in a flood of donations. A million and a half green Heineken and brown Chang bottles later, the “Beer Bottle Temple” became a reality.

    The Daily Green, which ran the story about this temple, said that the interior “draws every last bit of light in and reflects it throughout, creating a warm glow unmatched by electrical lighting. Imagine how a stained-glass church looks–now imagine the incandescence of an entire building arising out of glass, with reams of sunlight stretching from wall to wall.”

    And the monks’ work continues. They’re still collecting bottles, which they plan to use to build more shelters and temples.

    Powered by WordPress