West Virginia University

The Friday Mash (Great Fire of London Edition)

Three hundred and fifty years ago today, the Great Fire of London broke out. The blaze, famously described in the diaries of Samuel Pepys destroyed most of the city’s buildings, including St. Paul’s Cathedral and countless pubs.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Winnipeg, where a man dressed as a hockey goalie broke into a store and made off with some beer. It wasn’t even Canadian-brewed beer; he stole Budweiser. Speaking of the King of Beer, a man wearing a Batman costume swiped two 18-packs of Bud from an Upstate New York store.

Alan McLeod, the keeper of A Good Beer Blog, found a 200-year-old classified ad for a homebrewing machine that made beer without mashing. That sounds too good to be true, and probably is.

According to a poll of more than 100 college basketball coaches, Bob Huggins of West Virginia is the coach they’d most like to have a beer with. University of Kansas coach Bill Self finished second.

Miller Genuine Draft is a dying brand. A Milwaukee Record journalist visited a dozen bars in the city. Nine didn’t carry MGD; one bartender laughed at him, and another was offended that he even asked for it.

Breweries in Portland, Maine, are asking customers to rank the beers they’ve been served. It’s their effort to promote ranked-choice voting, aka instant-runoff, which will be on the November ballot.

Stephen Wilmot of the Wall Street Journal warns that the recent slowdown in craft beer’s growth won’t help the big breweries. One major reason is that wine and spirits—bourbon in particular—are growing even faster than craft.

Finally, a British brewery is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth with a beer brewed using yeasts scraped off of Dahl’s armchair. The beer will be served at the premiere of a stage adaptation of Dahl’s The Twits.

The Friday Mash (Pliny the Elder Edition)

On this day in 79 B.C., Mount Vesuvius erupted, wiping out the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum and killing more than 15,000 people. Its most famous victim was Pliny the Elder, the naturalist whose writings about hops earned him recognition from the Russian River Brewing Company. The brewery’s renowned double IPA bears his name.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Morgantown, the home of West Virginia University, which has reclaimed the number-one spot in the Princeton Review’s ranking of top party schools. WVU also ranks first in the “Lots of Beer” category.

You can’t win ‘em all. Olympic athlete Nick Symmonds came up six seconds short of the world record for running the Beer Mile, in which contestants chug a beer before the race and at each quarter mile.

Australian scientists have found that feeding brewer’s grain to cows can reduce their methane emissions by at least 15 percent. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and cows burp up a lot of it.

With this beer I thee wed? Many couples are substituting craft beer for Champagne toasts at their wedding receptions. Their beer selections often honor the states the bride and groom come from.

Visitors to Fort Collins, Colorado, can now spend the day beer touring on a bicycle. There are six breweries located along three miles of trails, along with a “bike library” that will rent you one.

Boxed wine has been on store shelves for years, but will drinkers buy beer in square bottles? Heineken is experimenting with them.

Finally, a 1940 ad for Schaefer Bock Beer, which looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, inspired the Village Voice’s Eric Sundermann to write a beery version of One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

The Friday Mash (Salem Witch Trials Edition)

On this day in 1692, Bridget Bishop became the first of 19 people to be executed during the Salem Witch Trials. The trials live on as an example of mass hysteria–and in pints of Witch City Red, served at Beerworks in modern-day Salem.

And now…The Mash!

The British newspaper The Independent has come out with a list of the ten best bottled beers. Some of them may surprise you.

The Leinenkugel Brewing Company has come to the aid of the Chicago River which, because of heavy pollution, ranks fourth on the list of the nation’s most endangered rivers.

Couldn’t make it to this year’s edition of SAVOR? Kevin, who blogs at BrewingSomeFun.com, has a rundown.

The Labatt Brewing Company has donated a treasure trove of items, some of which pre-date Confederation to the University of Western Ontario and Museum London.

James Clee of Swansea, Wales, has been named an official beer taster by Anheuser-Busch. He’ll collect 10,000 for six day’s work tasting A-B’s new product, Brew No. 66.

If you’re going to Oktoberfest this fall, you’re going to pay more for beer. The average one-liter mug will cost nine euros ($13.15), almost half a euro more than it did last year.

Finally, West Virginia football fans can buy beer at home games this season. Ludwig thinks fans of these college teams, all coming off terrible seasons, deserve some beer. Actually, lots of it.

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