West Bank

The Friday Mash (1,500th Blog Post Edition)

We aren’t beginning the Mash with a historical reference because we’re too busy celebrating a milestone. Today’s Mash is the 1,500th post on “Ludwig Roars.” Now excuse us while we refill our pint glasses.

And now….The Mash! 

We begin in the West Bank, where the Taybeh Brewery hosted its 11th annual Oktoberfest. The brewery poured a non-alcoholic beer for festival-goers from neighboring Muslim towns.

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s planned takeover of SAB Miller has advertising agencies worried. Less competition could mean less advertising. That, in turn, could affect the sports industry’s bottom lilne.

A 3,800-year-old poem honoring Ninkasi is also a recipe for Sumerian beer. Brewers have replicated the beer, which tastes like dry apple cider and has a modest 3.5 percent ABV.

Organizers of the Skanderborg Music Festival in Denmark have found an alternative to sleeping in hot tents: giant beer cans that offer a bed with pillows, shelving, a fan, and other amenities.

Jake Anderson, a goalie for the University of Virginia hockey team, was given five-minute major penalty and ejected from the game after chugging a can of Keystone Lite during the second intermission.

Québécois travel writer Caitlin Stall-Paquet takes us a beer-focused road trip through Gaspésie and the Bas-Saint-Laurent. The attractions also include museums, cathedrals, and rock formations.

Finally, Portland beer writer Jeff Alworth, who spent two years traveling and tasting beers, has written The Beer Bible. The 656-page book is accessible, but at the same time, an in-depth exploration of the heritage behind the beers we drink today.

The Friday Mash (Alcatraz Edition)

On this day in 1933, the U.S. Justice Department took control of Alcatraz Island, and turned it into a federal prison. Alcatraz held “the worst of the worst,” including Al Capone; Robert Franklin Stroud, the “Birdman of Alcatraz”; and Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, who holds the record for time served. And no, Jail Ale wasn’t served there.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Detroit, where the MGM Grand Casino has run afoul of the Liquor Control Commission for offering a “virtual pitcher” that pours a pre-determined amount of beer from a metered beer tap.

Munich wasn’t the only city to celebrate Oktoberfest. Last weekend, the West Bank town of Taybeh had its celebration, which drew Palestinians of all factions along with curious Israelis.

OpposingViews.com website has a round-up stories about changing alcohol regulations. Did you know that homebrewing is still illegal in Alabama and Mississippi?

Florida entrepreneur David Brunson is turning old refrigerators into “Pub Hubs” holding two to four kegs of beer. A Pub Hub will cost you between $790 and $1,100.

An Irish journalist offers a beer travel suggestion: head for southern Bohemia. That region of the Czech Republic has fresh beer, inexpensive and reliable transportation, and no drunken stag partiers.

It’s hop harvest season, and Jason Notte of TheStreet.com has compiled his list of the ten best fresh-hop ales. As you might expect, most of these are brewed in the Pacific Northwest.

Finally, the Campaign for Real Ale’s Good Beer Guide reached a milestone: its 40th edition. To celebrate, Chiltern Brewery made a Ruby Anniversary Ale, a one-off beer that blends ancient and modern ingredients.

A Festival on the West Bank

According to Ludwig, more than 30 countries have been represented on the Beer Festival Calendar. Even though he couldn’t find a website for the Taybeh Beer Festival, he considers it newsworthy, if only for its location. Taybeh is a tiny Christian town in the West Bank and, for the past seven years, it has celebrated its own version of Oktoberfest.

The festival atmosphere is German-inspired, and some guests wore traditional Bavarian garb, but there were plenty of touches you won’t find in Munich: Middle Eastern food to enjoy with the beer, and entertainment ranging from Sri Lankan dancers to a Celtic rock band from Spain. But Taybeh has one thing in common with the original Oktoberfest celebration: the beer is brewed in town.

Let’s Hit the Road!

Call your virtual travel agent and start packing:

Homage to Catalonia: Boak and Bailey’s Beer Blog gets us caught up with Catalan beer here and here.

File this under “Underappreciated Beer Towns.” Adrian Tierney-Jones, the author of 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die, puts in a plug for Sheffield, England.

Portland, Oregon’s “Miracle Mile” is an 0.9-mile hike that takes you past Hair of the Dog, Rogue’s Green Dragon, the newly-opened Cascade Barrel House, and the Lucky Labrador.

Last but not least, a beer festival took place in a most unusual locale: the village of Taybeh, in the West Bank. Taybeh is the home of the only brewery in the Palestinian Territories.

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