The Friday Mash (Epiphany Edition)

Today, Christians celebrate The Feast of the Epiphany. In Louisiana, this means Carnival season is underway. The local tradition is to bake King Cakes; and the person who finds the doll in his or her slice must bake the next cake.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in France, where the Benedictine monks at the 1,367-year-old Abbey of Saint-Wandrille are back in the business of brewing. They’re the country’s only producers of truly monastic beer.

In an interview with Paste magazine, 21st Amendment Brewery’s Nico Freccia talked about the fine art of naming beers, and how the brewery’s odd names has become mainstream.

When Tim Kliegl turned 65, he celebrated in unusual fashion—namely, by running a mile, and trying a new beer, every day for an entire year. And he’s got the notes to prove it.

Staffers at Amazon.com’s Christmas party in Dublin were treated to a special beer from local micro Metalman Brewing. Grainne Walsh, Metalman’s founder, once worked as an engineer at Amazon.

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended lowering the DUI threshold to .05 percent, and a Utah lawmaker wants his state to be first. The current threshold in all states is .08.

Rick Astley, whose song “Never Gonna Give You Up” was part of a popular Internet prank, plans to “roll” out a beer. The lager, which will be brewed by Mikkeller, has yet to be named.

Finally, the The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company will celebrate its 150th anniversary by joining forces with the famous Hofbräu München. The amber-colored, Marzen-style will be introduced in April.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Oklahoma’s share of the nation’s 3.2 percent beer consumption: 56 percent (On Tuesday, Oklahoma voters approved sales of full-strength beer at grocery and convenience stores).
  • Second-place Utah’s share of the nation’s 3.2 percent beer consumption: 29 percent.
  • 3.2 percent beer’s share of national beer consumption: 3 percent.
  • U.S. beer imports in 2005: 26.5 million barrels.
  • U.S. beer imports in 2015: 31.3 million barrels.
  • Craft beer’s share of Brazil’s beer market: 0.8 percent.
  • Annual growth in craft beer sales in Brazil: 40 percent.
  • U.S. craft beer sales in 2005: 6.9 million barrels.
  • U.S. craft beer sales in 2015: 21.9 million barrels.
  • Increase in craft beer sales in 2015 over 2014: 12.8 percent.
  • Increase in craft breweries in 2015 over 2014: nearly 40 percent.
  • Number of beers £5 can buy in Denmark: 1.09.
  • Number of beers £5 can buy in Vietnam: 10.9.
  • Belgium’s brewery count in 2009: 127.
  • Its brewery count in 2015: 199.
  • The Friday Mash (Hair Edition)

    On this day in 1968, the musical Hair opened on Broadway. Notable songs from the “American Tribal Love-Rock Musical” include “Aquarius”, “Easy to Be Hard”, and “Good Morning Starshine”.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Chelyabinsk, Russia, where a mechanic named Andrey Eremeev persuaded the beer store in his apartment building to let him run a pipeline from a keg in the store’s refrigerator to one of the taps of his kitchen sink.

    Theater Cedar Rapids has added beer to its improv comedy classes. According to its education director, beer helps relieve inhibitions that can kill a performer’s creativity.

    In Hastings, Nebraska, temperance advocates picketed the Do the Brew beer festival. The protesters, dressed in period garb, were actors promoting the upcoming Nebraska Chautauqua fest.

    Israel’s Herzl Brewery made a beer that people might have enjoyed when Jesus was alive. It tasted a bit like honey and berries, but it was flat and cloudier than what we drink today.

    Six years ago, Greg Avola and Tim Mather launched Untappd. The app now has more than 3.2 million users, and is so successful that both men quit their jobs to manage Untapped full time.

    Frances Stroh has written a book about the Detroit-based brewery’s rise to national prominence in the late 1800s and its downfall amid consolidation and the city’s economic demise.

    Finally, Utah liquor regulators may revoke a Salt Lake City movie theater’s liquor license for showing the R-rated film Deadpool. State law forbids a licensed establishment to show nudity. Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds donated $5,000 to the theater’s legal defense fund.

    Up and Coming Beer Cities

    Not long ago, you had to hop on a plane or take a road trip to find a city that’s rich in good beer. For most people in North America, that’s no longer the case: cities large and small have significantly stepped up their beer game.

    Thrillist.com correspondent Meredith Heil has identified “ten untapped beer cities poised to blow up”. Four of the ten—Birmingham, Durham, Louisville/Lexington, and Memphis—are in the South, craft beer’s last frontier. Birmingham’s presence on the list is especially remarkable; it wasn’t that long ago that homebrewing was illegal in Alabama and archaic laws imposed an ABV cap on beer.

    Salt Lake City is another surprise. Even though Utah eased some of its restrictions on alcohol, serving flights of beer is still a no-no and there’s a 4-percent limit on beer sold in stores. Brewers have to be creative to survive in that environment.

    And we’re happy to see Toronto get a mention. It’s one of our favorite road-trip destinations, and we’ve been partial to Canadian beer ever since we cracked open our first Molson Export Ale. The city is highly walkable, and some of our best memories involve sipping pints on long summer evenings.

    The Friday Mash (Charlie Hustle Edition)

    Thirty years ago today, Pete Rose, the Cincinnati Reds’ player-manager, broke Ty Cobb’s record for most career hits with his 4,192nd hit. Rose would play one more season, his 24th in Major League Baseball, before retiring.

    And now….The Mash! 

    We begin in Reno, Nevada, where restaurant owner Bill Wall won this year’s Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off. Wall says his secret to success is “just a lot of cold beers and a little bourbon.”

    Texas’ alcohol regulators have ruled that bars and grocery stores can’t sell “crowlers” of beer to go. The 32-ounce containers are cans, and state law provides that only brewers can sell canned beer.

    NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka has built an empire selling everything from steaks to children’s clothes. Now he’s teaming up with South Loop Brewing Company to produce Witka beer, a witbier to be served in his restaurant chain.

    Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, is one of Africa’s leading beer destinations. The country’s first European settlers were Germans, and the Reinheitsgebot is still honored there.

    Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have pinpointed the origin of Saccharomyces eubayanus, aka lager yeast. In 15th century Bavaria, ale yeasts used by the monks “intermarried” with other strains and eventually created a stabilized hybrid.

    Wild hops grow in Park City, Utah. The hop plants, descendants of those brought to the town by immigrants, will be used by Wasatch Brewery in a special-release beer.

    Finally, why did the Kroger Company pay $26 million for 19 cases of Miller Lite beer? The answer is Ohio’s liquor code, which requires retailers to have an “agency contract” with the state. Kroger and other chains are paying top dollar to acquire those contracts from smaller stores.

    The Friday Mash (Lamont Cranston Edition)

    Eighty-five years ago, the radio drama The Shadow debuted. The title character, who know “what evil lurks in the hearts of men,” became a major influence on later comic book superheroes, Batman in particular.

    And now….The Mash! 

    We begin in Kabul, Afghanistan, where non-alcoholic beer is popular, and costs only 30 cents a can. Alcohol is banned in this Muslim country–but there’s a thriving black market in beer and spirits.

    Lululemon, the yoga pants company, is using beer to attract male customers. Curiosity Lager, which features hints of lemon drop and Chinook hops, will soon be available at select locations in Canada.

    Heavy Seas Brewing Company will mark the 20th anniversary of Cal Ripken, Jr., setting a new Major League Baseball consecutive-games-played with a retro lager called Fielder’s Choice.

    Vault Brewing Company invented a new way of canning nitro-conditioned beer. Vault adds the nitrogen when the beer is canned, bypassing the famous Guinness “widget.”

    “Session beers”—those with less than 5% ABV—have gained a following among Colorado drinkers. The trend has spread from India pale ales to other styles, such as sour beers and saisons.

    Producers of the zombie drama The Walking Dead have teamed up with Terrapin Brewing Company to make the show’s official beer: a Red India pale ale brewed with blood orange peel.

    Finally, not all Utahns are Mormons, and some stage an alternative to the Pioneer Day state holiday. It’s called called “Pie and Beer Day,” and celebrants are invited to gather friends and family. Beer is optional.

    The Friday Mash (Board Game Edition)

    On this day in 1911, board game mogul Milton Bradley passed away. His eponymous company—Ludwig’s been waiting to use that word–brought us The Game of Life, along with the ever-popular Yahtzee and Twister.

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Utah, where state liquor regulators are cracking down on festivals put on by for-profit groups. One potential casualty of the new policy is Snowbird Ski Resort’s Oktoberfest celebration.

    Gilley’s, the Texas honky-tonk made famous in the film Urban Cowboy, closed in 1989. However, a local brewery is making Gilley’s blond ale. A number of retailers in the Houston area carry it.

    The Gun, a London pub, recently hosted an all-unfiltered beer festival. “Spring Haze” featured 30 beers from local micros. Fans contend that unfiltered beer not only tastes better, but is healthier.

    Craft brewers have invaded Bavaria, the last bastion of brewing tradition. The newcomers’ offerings include Belgian-style wheat bock, a strawberry ale, a Baltic porter, and of course, IPAs.

    Now that grilling season is here, scientists suggest that you marinate your meat in beer, which inhibits the development of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that have been linked to cancer.

    Taco Bell’s parent company’s is working on a new spinoff chain called the U.S. Taco Company & Urban Taproom, which will serve craft beer as well as beer milkshakes to pair with menu items.

    Finally, Two Brothers Brewing Company has created a beer for Chicago’s Field Museum. The white IPA is called “Cabinet of Curiosities,” a name once given to museum collections.

    The Friday Mash (Oregon Trail Edition)

    On this day in 1843, one thousand pioneers set out from Missouri on the first major wagon train on the Oregon Trail. It would be nearly 140 more years until microbrew pioneers established themselves in Oregon, but they’re certainly made up for lost time.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Cleveland, where Johnny Manziel celebrated being drafted #1 draft by the Browns by treating bar patrons to a shot and a beer. The way the Browns have been playing, fans need a few to deaden the pain.

    Do you know what LPT1 is? It stands for “lipid transfer protein.” Karl Siebert, a professor of food science in New York State, says it’s the secret to optimal foam in the head of a freshly-poured beer.

    Another sign of American craft beer’s popularity overseas: San Diego’s Karl Strauss Brewing Company may invest £1.7 million to develop a brewpub in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

    Utah is known for teetotaling residents and weird liquor laws, but the state is home to 20 breweries. Best-known is Uinta Brewing Company, which ranks in the country’s top 50.

    Esquire magazine’s Aaron Goldfarb cites 13 reasons why bars in movies are totally unrealistic. Reason #12: a customer can ask for “a beer” without naming a brand.

    Will Hawkes set out from London on a day trip to Brussels. Stops included Cantillon and several of the city’s famous beer bars, where his group reacquainted itself with the Belgian classics.

    Finally, a restaurateur plans to build a Hofbrauhaus beer hall in downtown Buffalo. Meanwhile, another Hofbrauhaus is under construction in Columbus, Ohio.

    The Friday Mash (Rebellion Edition)

    On this day in 1837, Canadian journalist and politician William Lyon Mackenzie wrote an essay calling for a rebellion against the United Kingdom. During the 1990s, the Upper Canada Brewing Company honored him with an ale called “Rebellion.”

    And now….The Mash!

    We begin in Hyde Park, Utah, whose heavily Mormon population voted nearly 2-to-1 to allow beer sales. The town’s mayor said it was the most emotional issue he’s ever seen.

    Spain’s Catalonia has its own language, customs, and cuisine. If brewery owner Alex Padro has its way, it will soon have its own beer as well.

    Sonoma County, California, the birthplace of modern craft brewing, boasts 20 craft breweries. The breweries have a significant economic impact, and have become a tourist attraction.

    Heady Topper, a double IPA made by The Alchemist brewery, is so popular that the brewery’s owners had to close their retail store after neighbors complained about rowdy customers.

    Patagonia, the outdoor clothing company, is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the California Route Lager. It’s a California common beer made by the New Belgium Brewing Company.

    Garrett Oliver talked with the New York Times about his favorite places to drink beer in Sweden. Oliver has teamed up with Carlsberg to start The New Carnegie Brewery in Stockholm.

    Finally, two men are raising funds on Kickstarter.com for The Beer Tusk, a device for those who like to “shotgun” their beers. It’s safer than a key, and less likely to make the beer backsplash.

    A Beer Festival in Utah

    Despite Utah’s tough liquor laws, you can hold a beer festival in that state. This past weekend, some 4,000 people attended the City Weekly Beer Festival in Salt Lake City. They were able to choose from nearly 90 beers from 23 Utah breweries. The biggest legal problem was a ban on one-price unlimited sampling. Organizers solved that by switching to a token system, similar to that used at many festivals in other states.

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