Three Floyds Brewing Company

The Friday Mash (Baseball History Edition)

On this day in 1974, Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s record for most career home runs; and on this day in 1975, Frank Robinson became the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball history.

And now…Play Ball!

We begin in Russia, which is shedding its image as a country of hard drinkers. Younger Russians are developing a taste for craft beer, and an estimated 1,000 breweries have sprung up nationwide.

George Randall, the owner of several liquor stores in the St. Louis area, drives a real attention-getter: a car in the shape of a giant can of Old Milwaukee Light. He bought it for $2,000 on eBay.

Two Wichita men found a use for a gutted old food truck they bought. They installed ten beer taps, hooked them up to refrigerated kegs of local craft beer, and roam the city with a “drink truck”.

Anheuser-Busch InBev faces another consumer lawsuit. It alleges that A-B falsely claims Leffe beer is brewed in a Belgian monastery; it’s produced at the Stella Artois facility in Leuven.

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra is trying to broaden the audience for classical music by offering “Beers and Beethoven”. The price of admission includes samples of Connecticut-brewed beer.

Get ready for a superhero comic book about Three Floyds Brewing Company’s Alpha King Pale Ale. The hero brews a beer so good it attracts the attention of a monster-king and his minions.

Finally, Tom Dalldorf, the editor of Celebrator Beer News, speculates that American beer may go the way of wine: demand for the mass-produced “jug wine” fell, as customers gravitated to higher-quality products from smaller producers. There are some 10,000 wineries in the U.S.

New Pricing Structure for Dark Lord Day 2016

Tickets for this year’s Dark Lord Day at Three Floyds Brewing Compay, will set you back $200. The reason? Three Floyds has switched to all-inclusive pricing. It’s a concept inspired by Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing, which had been plagued by large crowds and disappointed attendees at recent release parties for its Hunaphu’s Imperial Stout.

Those who buy a ticket for Dark Lord Day will be given a four-pack of Dark Lord Imperial Stout, plus a bottle of a Dark Lord variant; admission to the afternoon festival, which features beer from dozens of breweries; a tote bag; and $40 worth of food and drink vouchers. Three Floyds hopes that the new system will shorten lines and make life easier for festival staff.

Tickets go on sale this Saturday.

How Three Floyds Became Number One

How did Three Floyds Brewing Company, a micro located in an industrial park in Munster, Indiana, make it to the top of RateBeer.com’s “best brewery in the world” ratings? One major factor was RateBeer.com itself–or, more precisely, the beer geeks who inhabit sites like that and supply the ratings.

Five years ago, Eric Clemons, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote a journal article that examined how beer ratings predict sales growth. (Yes, business profs seriously study this.) By analyzing hundreds of thousands of reviews, Clemons found that breweries with the biggest gaps between their highest and lowest ratings were more likely to experience sales growth. He concluded, “It is more important to have some customers who love you than a huge number of customers who merely like you–even if your beers are so intense that they turn off a lot of potential customers.”

The Friday Mash (Free State Edition)

Today is Maryland Day, the 377th anniversary of the landing of settlers at St. Clement’s Island in the Province of Maryland. It acquired the nickname “The Free State” in 1923 after legislators refused to pass a state law enforcing national prohibition. Ludwig plans to celebrate with a Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter, which is brewed in Frederick, Maryland.

And now…The Mash!

One of today’s top brewing trends is collaboration beers, and some of the biggest breweries have joined forces to produce limited-edition, high-end beers.

The roster of collaborators includes Three Floyds Brewing Company and Sun King Brewing Company, whose ale is part of a lobbying effort in Indiana. State law bars breweries making over 20,000 barrels a year from operating a taproom, and Three Floyds is about to go over the limit–unless it’s changed.

Lagunitas Brewing Company, which has maxed out its 100,000 barrel capacity, is about to undergo a big expansion that will up its capacity to about 600,000 barrels. That’s how much number-two craft brewer Sierra Nevada currently makes.

Idaho’s Grand Teton Brewing Company is the latest to brew a beer made entirely from in-state ingredients. Jon Abernathy of The Hop Press names a few other “strictly local” breweries.

What’s the best beer bar in the world? According to Massachusetts-based newspaper reporter Norman Miller, it’s Ebenezer’s Pub in Lovell, Maine. Its sister establishment in Brunswick has a name that caught Ludwig’s attention: The Lion’s Pride.

Here’s more evidence that craft beer is going mainstream. The associate editor of The Atlantic interviewed Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione. Before you read it, can you guess what three people Sam would put in the Beer Hall of Fame?

Finally, some claim that St. Benno, the patron saint of Munich, is also the patron saint of bock beer. Not so fast, says About.com’s Bryce Eddings, who did some research and found no connection between Benno and bock.

The Friday Mash (Happy Birthday Edition)

A year ago today, Ludwig launched “Ludwig Roars,” the Beer Festival Calendar blog. So pour yourself a virtual beer (it’s on the birthday boy), and join Maryanne and Paul who’ll lead us in a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday to Ludwig Roars.”

Thank you. And now…The Mash!

We begin with Don Russell, a/k/a Joe Sixpack, who calls the roll of beer-related saints.

Ilan Klages-Mundt of HopPress.com finished a two-week apprenticeship at Fuller’s Brewery. He also attended the London Brewer’s Alliance Beerfest.

For the first time since Prohibition, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout will be sold in the United States.

Josh Noel of the Chicago Tribune reviews the own-label beers on the shelves at your local Trader Joe’s.

Another collaborative beer is on the way. Called Bitch Please, it will be brewed jointly by Three Floyds Brewing Company and Scotland-based BrewDog. The beer will use seven different malts and an all-New Zealand hop mix.

Genetically engineered beer might be coming to a bar near you. Scientists have identified 20 barley proteins, 40 proteins from yeast, and two proteins from corn. Tweaking these proteins might improve beer’s flavor and aroma.

Finally, we couldn’t resist one more Great American Beer Festival story. Ashley Rouston, a/k/a The Beer Wench, handed out a slew of awards to those who showed up in Denver. Few of them appeared to be camera-shy.

Dark Lord Day: April 24

The date for Three Floyds Brewing Company’s annual Dark Lord Day has been announced: it’s April 24. Details to follow on the event website.

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