Beer…By the Numbers

  • Great Britain’s brewery count: 1,424 (up from 745 in 2009).
  • France’s brewery count: 663 (up from 332 in 2009).
  • The Netherlands’ brewery count: 401 (up from 117 in 2009).
  • Breweries participating in this year’s Grand Rapids “Beer Passport”: 32.
  • Passport holders who earned “Brewsader” status by visiting eight breweries: 4,200.
  • Percent of craft brewery CEOs who are female: 17.
  • Percent of craft brewery executives who are female: 21.
  • Change in Craft Brew Alliance’s share price since January 1: Up 86 percent.
  • Change in Anheuser-Busch InBev’s share price since January 1: Down 15 percent.
  • Height of the Genesee Beer Keg Tree: 26 feet.
  • Number of kegs on the Genesee Beer Keg Christmas Tree: 430.
  • Number of beers sold at Ohio State home football games this season: 122,000 (about 17,000 per game).
  • Ohio State’s revenue from this season’s beer sales: $1.1 million.
  • Attendees at this year’s Holiday Ale Festival in Portland, Oregon: 14,000.
  • Number of ales and ciders served at this year’s Holiday Ale Festival: 53.
  • The Friday Mash (Seven Years’ War Edition)

    On this day in 1756, Prussia’s king Frederick the Great attacked Saxony, beginning the Seven Years’ War. The conflict, which took place on five continents and involved most of the world’s powers, is better known to English-speaking North Americans as the French and Indian War.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Germany, where the Mallersdorf Abbey’s Sister Doris has been a master brewer for nearly 40 years. She’s one of Bavaria’s few “ladies who lager”–and Europe’s last beer-brewing nun.

    Beer historian Tom Acitelli credits a 2002 cut in the excise tax for the profusion of small breweries in Great Britain. He also credits a 1976 beer tax cut for America’s small-brewery boom.

    NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon is a wine lover, but he also has a taste for good beer. Gordon recently showed up at Dogfish Head Artisan Ales, whose 61 Minute IPA really impressed him.

    For years, Mexico’s brewing industry had been dominated by two large corporations, but change is slowly coming, thanks to the federal government’s efforts to curb monopolies in key industries.

    Iowa officials are pondering what to do with the 150-year-old beer caves underneath I-380 in Cedar Rapids. The forgotten caves were exposed by this summer’s heavy rains.

    Barrel-aged beer is becoming more popular, and brewers are looking beyond traditional bourbon barrels. Now they’re starting to age their beer in barrels once used for Scotch, rum, and wine.

    Finally, the growth of microbreweries might give rise to a new breed of wholesalers. Yarmouth, Maine-based Vacationland Distributors specializes in craft breweries, especially those that have grown beyond the state’s maximum for self-distribution rights.

    Women Return to Brewing

    Most readers of this blog are familiar with the role women once played in brewing, and how the rise of commercial brewing pushed them to the sidelines. But times are changing. Slowly but surely, women are raising their profile in the craft brewing industry. Krystal Baugher, writing in Atlantic magazine, explains why this is happening:

    Thanks to the “good food” movement, a push to recognize local, organic, and high quality-flavored food and beverages, there has been a steady increase in craft beer at the expense of large-scale facilities. Because of its emphasis on creative flavors, food pairings, and the DIY hobby culture it steams from, craft beer gives women slightly more opportunity for inclusion.

    That said, Baugher concedes that many men still don’t take their female counterparts seriously. She points out that Colorado has 154 breweries, but only ten women are known to be part of the main brewing process. There’s work to be done.

    The Friday Mash (Captain Cook Edition)

    On this day in 1768, Captain James Cook of the Endeavour sailed from England on the first of his three voyages into the Pacific. Cook is famous for his map-making skills and courage in exploring dangerous locations. Even though the captain wasn’t a drinking man, we’re raising a glass in his honor.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in an unlikely locale–namely, Utah, where an annual beer festival takes place despite the state’s legendary alcohol restrictions.

    Go green! Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewing Company is building the city’s largest private commercial solar installation.

    If you’ve got tickets for Super Bowl XLVI, the Indianapolis Star’s Michelle Pemberton knows where to find good beer once you arrive in Indy.

    Think your state’s beer distribution laws are bad? In Canada, even distributing beer across provincial lines is a real pain. That’s a particular problem for small breweries.

    Is American ingenuity dead? Joe Sixpack begs to differ. A recent column details oddball beer-related inventions submitted to the U.S. Patent Office.

    Molson Coors’s new pink beer for women inspired a righteous rant from Toronto Globe and Mail columnist Katrina Onstad.

    Finally, we have good news and bad news for marathon runners. Beer is an excellent recovery beverage, but it’s effective only when it’s non-alcoholic.

    The Friday Mash (The Sun Also Rises Edition)

    On this day in 1899, Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois. He won the Pulitzer Prize (1953) and the Nobel Prize (1954) for literature. Hemingway is credited with these friendly words of advice: “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”

    And now…The Mash!

    Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal had an interesting story about beer tasters. Turns out that women might be better at the job because they’re more sensitive about the levels of flavor.

    Alan McLeod, of A Good Beer Blog, reviews 500 Beers by Zak Avery.

    Pete Brown is still scratching his head over A-BInBev’s latest product, Stella Artois Black–which, of course, is golden-colored.

    Shannon Armour, writing in the Phoenix New Times, lists Ten Beers That Go Great for Breakfast. Heading the list: What else? Founders Breakfast Stout.

    Readers of Zymurgy magazine once again voted Pliny the Elder the Best Commercial Beer in America.

    The latest issue of Raconteur, a special section of the British newspaper The Times, was devoted to beer. Some of the U.K.’s best beer writers contributed to it.

    Finally, a story just in time for Independence Day. A New York Times tasting panel rates American pale ales. Best in show: Flying Dog’s Doggie Style Pale Ale.

    Wine Beer and Women

    Tammy Tuck and Bruce Falconer of the Washington City Paper have put together a quick list of women in beer. The list is a true an all-star team, with both talent and depth in brewing, the media, uber-geekery, and other skilled positions. We were pleased to see Julie Johnson, editor of All About Beer magazine on the list. Maryanne and Paul, who write the “Beer Traveler” column at AAB, have had the pleasure of working with her for the past six years.

    Speaking of beer and women, Ginger Johnson, the owner of the Women Enjoying Beer consulting group, is in the midst of a cross-country “Home Free Tour”. Ginger, her husband, and their two dogs are sharing pints and conversation with beer lovers–and any collaborative business opportunities that might come her way.

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