Washington D.C.

Is Competition Hurting “Savor”?

For years, Savor has been the gold standard of beer festivals in Washington, D.C., and one of the nation’s most important festivals. It attracts some of the biggest names in beer—both breweries and craft beer celebrities—and has consistently been one of the toughest festival tickets. However, tickets for this year’s edition of Savor are moving more slowly. As of last Saturday, general-admission tickets to the June 3-4 event are still available.

Fritz Hahn of the Washington Post offers an explanation: Competition from other festivals near the nation’s capital. They include last Saturday’s DC Beer Fest at Nationals Park; May’s Maryland Beer Festival in Frederick; and the Americana Beer Fest in Leesburg, Virginia, in June. Those events don’t boast the beer community’s A-listers, but the price of admission is much smaller.

What can Savor do to remain in the top tier? Currently, Savor uses a random lottery to choose the breweries that will pour. Hahn urges organizers to set aside more invitations to hand-picked breweries. He observes, “As much as a spot at Savor will raise the profile of a tiny brewery in the Great Lakes region, the people buying tickets for the tasting would be more interested in trying something from Minneapolis’s well-regarded Surly Brewing, which was one of the first breweries to run out of beer in 2015 but didn’t get in this year”.

The Friday Mash (ASCAP Edition)

On this day in 1914, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers was formed. This performance-rights organization takes in close to $1 billion in licensing fees, most of which it distributes to artists as royalties.

And now (cue the music)…The Mash!

We begin in the Verizon Center in Washington, where the Brooklyn Nets’ Mason Plumlee committed the ultimate party foul. He crashed into a courtside vendor, sending $200 worth of beer flying.

Researchers have found that if you’re seen holding a glass of beer, you will be perceived as less intelligent. It’s called “the imbibing idiot bias”: we closely associate drinking and dumb behavior.

The Louisville Courier-Journal asked local brewers how they name their beers. Just as they brew their beers differently, they follow different processes for naming them.

One beer trend that’s taking off this year is grocery store growlers. For example, several Kroger locations in Virginia are offering 32- and 64-ouncers with a choice of eight different taps.

China’s anti-corruption campaign has been a drag on the brewing indsutry. Government officials are refusing invitations to go drinking out of fear of being accused of taking bribes.

Drinking beer out of cans might endanger your health. Cans are lined with epoxy that contains bisphenol-A, a chemical that’s been linked to a number of serious ailments.

Finally, Scottish brewery Innis & Gunn has released a Fifty Shades of Grey-inspired beer. It’s fortified with ginseng to boost the sex drive, ginkgo biloba to get the blood pumping, and a mild nerve stimulant called damiana.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Alcoholic content of Guinness’ new Signature Series luxury beer: 9 percent ABV.
  • Cost of a 750-ml bottle of Signature Series: $34.99.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev’s share of the world beer market: 29.6 percent.
  • Second-place Heineken’s share: 17.7 percent.
  • Average cost of a bottle of Bud in a bar: $3.75.
  • Average amount the bar pays for a bottle of Bud: 85 cents.
  • Vietnam’s annual beer consumption: 3 billion liters.
  • Its annual beer consumption per capita: 33.3 liters.
  • China’s current annual per capita beer consumption: 40 liters.
  • Its annual per capita beer consumption in 2001: 18 liters.
  • Average cost of a small draft beer at a National Hockey League arena this season: $7.45.
  • Cheapest beer in the NHL: 33 cents per ounce, Verizon Center, Washington.
  • Most expensive beer in the NHL: 61 cents (U.S.) per ounce, MTS Centre, Winnipeg.
  • Number of Liquor Control Board of Ontario stores: 639.
  • LCBO’s annual sales: C$5 billion (U.S. $4.5 billion).
  • The Lingering Effects of Prohibition

    It’s been 80 years since the 21st Amendment ended Prohibition and left most liquor regulation up to the states. That’s the good news. The bad news is that many states still have strange laws that govern alcoholic beverages. Author Aaron Goldfarb, writing in Esquire magazine, offers his top ten remnants of Prohibition. You’re undoubtedly familiar with some of them, such Sunday blue laws; dry counties; and ABV caps, which still exist in a few states.

    Others are downright weird, such as Pennsylvania’s “case law” (you must buy at least 24 beers at a time), Indiana’s ban on cold beer sales, and bans on Election Day sales in a few states whose politics might drive one to drink. And with Christmas coming up, you should know that in Washington, D.C., it’s illegal to use Santa Claus to promote alcohol.

    The Friday Mash (Sports Illustrated Edition)

    On this day in 1954, the first edition of Sports Illustrated hit the stands, with Milwaukee Braves slugger Eddie Mathews on the cover. Although the magazine is most famous for its swimsuit supermodels, some of the nation’s top sportswriters have written for it.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in London, where the Great British Beer Festival is underway. In case you missed it, this year’s Champion Beer of Britain is 1872 Porter from Yorkshire’s Elland Brewery.

    TheDailyMeal.com gears up for fall semester with a list of America’s 25 best college bars. The picks are based on several criteria, ranging from number of taps to late-night food.

    In Washington, beer geeks and history buffs gathered to taste Christian Heurich’s original beer, first brewed in 1891. Heurich’s brewery, D.C.’s last survivor, closed in 1956.

    There’s an app for that. Pivo offers translations and phonetic pronunciations to help you order a beer in 59 different languages. “Pivo,” by the way, is Czech for beer.

    Founder Sam Walton frowned on drinking to excess, but his heirs are planning to step up beer sales at Wal-Mart in states where they’re legal in supermarkets.

    A beer brewed for Ontario golfers is coming to the province’s golf courses, bars, and liquor stores. It’s called–you guessed it–Triple Bogey Lager.

    Finally, Don Russell has a gig to make us jealous: beer ambassador to Lithuania, where he attended festivals, gave TV interviews, and introduced the locals to American brews.

    The Friday Mash (Dance Fever Edition)

    On this day in 1834, French artist Edgar Degas was born. Degas was famous for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He is especially identified with dancers, who accounted for more than half of his works.

    And now (cue up the dance music)….The Mash!

    We begin in Oak Park, Michigan, where City Council legalized beer and wine sales by the drink. The city voted itself dry in 1945.

    No, it’s not your imagination. Mosquitoes love to attack beer drinkers Just one beer could make you more attractive to those pesky insects.

    The way the Chicago Cubs are playing, their fans need a few cold ones. Fortunately, there’s an army of beer vendors to serve them. Wrigley Field ranks first in the major leagues for beer sales.

    Now that Hogwarts graduates are old enough to drink something stronger than butterbeer, Foodbeast.com has come up with Harry Potter beers they wish were real.

    According to the Washington Post, the nation’s capital is becoming a craft beer Mecca. One reason: D.C.’s liquor laws allow bars to buy directly from the brewery.

    Comic-Con is underway in San Diego, and Stone Brewing Company has teamed up with actor, author and homebrewer Wil Wheaton to make a pecan-laced imperial stout for the event.

    Finally, Redhook Ale Brewery and a Seattle-area micro are celebrating Washington State’s legalization of marijuana with Joint Effort Hemp Ale. Its tap handle looks like a giant yellow bong.

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