World Beer Cup

The Friday Mash (Mutiny on the Bounty Edition)

On this day in 1789, crewmen led by Fletcher Christian seized control of the HMS Bounty from its captain, William Bligh; and set Bligh and 18 loyalists adrift. Bligh survived, and then began the process of bringing the mutineers to justice.

And now…The Mash!

We begin at the 2017 Craft Beer Conference, where Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe rolled out the red carpet for breweries. The governor said he personally recruited Stone, Deschutes, Ballast Point, and Green Flash to come to the state.

In Birmingham, England, Anheuser-Busch came under heavy criticism from city officials after the company’s guerrilla marketers were caught handing out free beers to homeless people.

Tony Gwynn, Jr., is working at AleSmith Brewing Company, which released a pale ale to salute his father’s .394 batting average in 1994. The younger Gwynn is concentrating on a session IPA.

Draft magazine correspondent Brian Yeagar visited a couple of the world’s most-remote breweries. One is in Ushuaia, Argentina; and the other is on Easter Island, some 2,300 miles west of South America.

Fair warning: If you use swear words inside a Samuel Smith pubs, the landlord has the power to cut you off—or even ban you—under the brewery’s zero-tolerance policy for cursing in its establishments.

In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, golfer John Daly showed he hasn’t changed. Daly entertained fans by teeing off with a beer can instead of a golf ball, then finishing off the can’s contents afterward.

Finally, the Brewers Association is cracking down on sexist beer names. Under the BA’s terms of service, brewers of offending beers will no longer be allowed to advertise that those beers have won a medal at the World Beer Cup or the Great American Beer Festival.

Behold! The Periodic Table of Beer

Bryan Vu, who handles community outreach at Sunglass Warehouse, sent us an interactive Periodic Table of Beer. With a little help, Vu scientifically mapped out the table using the most recent gold medal winners from the World Beer Cup, in which brewers compete in 96 style categories.

The categories are divided among Hybrids in orange, Ales in green, and Lagers in blue. The different shades of each box represents the regional style varieties within each category. If you click on any of the boxes for a more in-depth look at the specific style, you’ll find the winning beer’s name, the brewery responsible for it, its location, and how much alcohol it contains. Vu has also created a downloadable poster to help your understanding of these award-winning beers.

How Craft Beer Became “Craft”

Q. Who invented the term “craft beer”?

A. According to beer writer Stan Hieronymus, Vince Cottone, a beer columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, first used the phrases “craft-brewing scene,” “craft brewery,” and “craft brewing” in the manner they’re thought of today. Cottone’s readers knew what he was talking about, but it took a while for the phrase “craft beer” to establish itself.

Charlie Papazian, the founder of the Association of Brewers, first defined “craft brewery” in New Brewer magazine in 1987. Since then, the craft-brewing industry has established three criteria: small (annual production of 6 million barrels or less; independent (less than 25 percent owned by a non-craft brewer; and traditional (flavored malt beverages aren’t “beers”).

That definition didn’t exactly settle the matter. Some in the industry point out that large companies employ craftspeople to brew their beer, and that well-known craft brands are becoming increasingly industrialized. Others find the term “craft beer” rather meaningless.

There’s the even bigger debate over what “craft beer” is. The industry doesn’t define it, but recently pointed the accusing finger at several beers—Blue Moon and Shock Top in particular—as craft beer impostors.

Some enthusiasts have even higher standards. Jace Marti, the brewmaster at August Schell Brewing Company, told Hieronymus that an attendee at last year’s World Beer Cup refused to taste his beers, which had won two medals. The attendee told him, “You shouldn’t be here. It’s adjunct beer”.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Number of beer distributors in the U.S. in the 1970s: more than 5,000.
  • Number of beer distributors in the U.S. today: fewer than 1,000.
  • Beers entered in this year’s World Beer Cup competition: 4,754 (833 more than in 2012).
  • Breweries competing in this year’s World Beer Cup: 1,403.
  • Countries represented in this year’s competition: 58, from 5 continents.
  • Australian per capita beer consumption last year: 4.04 liters.
  • Years since Australian beer consumption has been that low: 69.
  • Beer’s share of Australian alcoholic beverage consumption: 41 percent (wine is second, with 37 percent).
  • Average cost of a beer at a major-league ballpark: $6.09 (unchanged from last season).
  • Most expensive ballpark beer: 65 cents per ounce (Fenway Park, Boston).
  • Cheapest MLB ballpark beer: 28 cents per ounce (Angel Stadium of Anaheim).
  • World of Beer locations in the U.S.: 57.
  • States with World of Beer establishments: 17.
  • Decrease in German beer sales between 2012 and 2013: 2 percent.
  • Total decrease in consumption between 1988 and 2013: 25 percent.

The King of Craft Beer?

Jay Brooks has a secret to share: America’s most-decorated brewery is the Firestone Walker Brewing Company, in Paso Robles, California. Firestone Walker was named Brewery of the Year in the mid-size category in 2007, 2011, and 2013. It also won that title in 2003 for Nectar Ales, a label it acquired from the former Humboldt Brewing Company. And it won a fifth GABF award: it went to brewmaster Matt Brynildson when he was with SLO Brewing, which now bears the Firestone Walker name. And if that weren’t enough, Firestone Walker won five Brewery of the Year awards between 2004 and 2012 at the World Beer Cup.

The brewery is named for its founders, Adam Firestone and David Walker, whose operation uses a system of linked barrels based on traditional brewing methods in the English town of Burton-Upon-Trent. Firestone, who’s a member of the famous tire-making family, grew up in California’s Central Coast wine region, but he turned his attention to brewing. His homebrewing experiments led to Firestone Walker’s flagship beer, Double Barrel Ale. The Walker half of the operation is Firestone’s brother-in-law David Walker, a transplanted Englishman who wanted better beer choices.

Firestone Walker offers brewery tours, and has added a tasting room with a restaurant. There’s also a Firestone Walker restaurant, which serves all of their beers, in nearby Buellton.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Estimated value of Bud Light’s brand: $8.37 billion (1st worldwide).
  • Change in value over last year: Up 17 percent.
  • Estimated value of Heineken’s brand: $6.06 billion (3rd worldwide).
  • “Likes” on Heineken’s main Facebook account: more than 6.8 million.
  • Heineken’s rank among breweries in number of “likes”: 1st.
  • Cost of a 12-ounce Heineken at this year’s London Olympics: $6.30 ($9.35 per pint).
  • Average price of a 16-ounce pint of beer at a major league ballpark: $6.56.
  • Medals awarded at the 2012 World Beer Cup: 284.
  • Percent of medals won by American breweries: 73.
  • Percent of WBC judges based outside the U.S.: 67.
  • Cost of a lager in Khujand, Tadjikistan: $0.45 U.S. (cheapest in the world)
  • Cost in Tasiilaq, Greenland: $11.70 U.S. (most expensive in the world)
  • XXXX Gold’s market share in Australia: 12.4 percent.
  • Its market-share rank in Australia: 1st.
  • Second-ranked VB’s market share in Australia: 12.3 percent.
  • Point/Counterpoint: Macrobrew

    Jim Galligan, who writes about beer and other adult beverages for, has a bone to pick with the World Beer Cup. He believes that competition organizers do good work overall; but he questions their decision to award medals in industrial beer categories, which are won by large breweries.

    Charlie Papazian of the Brewers Association defends the practice, arguing that a rising tide lifts all boats. He told Galligan, “Winning in a competition is more than a statement of achievement,” he said. “It enhances the image of beer everywhere.”

    Galligan wasn’t convinced. He responded:

    If a wine lover saw the Miller Lite commercial where they crow about winning four WBC gold medals, do you think he or she would be convinced to put down their wine glass and pick up a mug? Or would they simply think that the world of beer must be pretty lame if Miller Lite is the best of the best? If anything, giving gold medals to industrial light lagers sends the wrong message. It lowers the tide for all brewers.

    Beer…by the Numbers

  • Entries in this year’s World Beer Cup: 3,921.
  • Categories in which medals were awarded: 95.
  • Countries represented in this year’s competition: 54.
  • Anheuser-Busch distributors in the U.S.: more than 500.
  • Distributors actually owned by ABInBev: 14.
  • Distributor’s profit on the sale of a case of beer: $4.
  • Most expensive major league park for beer: Fenway Park, Boston (60.4 cents per ounce).
  • Second most expensive park: Busch Stadium, St. Louis (56.2 cents per ounce).
  • Cheapest park: Chase Field, Phoenix (28.6 cents per ounce).
  • American craft breweries that can their beer: 179.
  • Craft beers available in cans: 561.
  • Styles of beer available in cans: 73.
  • Australia’s per capita beer consumption in 2011: 4.23 liters.
  • Years since its per capita consumption has been that low: 65.
  • Its peak per capita beer consumption: 9.2 liters, in 1975.
  • The Friday Mash (Land of 10,000 Lakes Edition)

    On this day in 1858, Minnesota was admitted to the Union as the 32nd state. Its name comes from a Native American word meaning “sky-tinted water.” Small wonder, then, that Hamm’s Brewery advertised its beer as “from the land of sky-blue waters”–a lyric taken from a century-old song written by Charles Wakefield Cadman.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Ocean City, New Jersey, which voted down BYOB beer and wine in restaurants. The town, which has been dry for more than a century, calls itself “America’s Greatest Family Resort.”

    Japan’s Suntory Liquors is producing Rolling Hop beer to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the formation of The Rolling Stones. The hops used to make this 4% ABV brew are infused with citrus.

    Yes, you can find craft beer in the Magic Kingdom. Since 1997, a brewery has operated at Disney’s Boardwalk Hotel. It’s owned by the Big River Brewing Company.

    In case you missed it, here is the list of winners at the 2012 World Beer Cup. They were announced at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego.

    Man’s best friend, indeed. Bes, a Labrador retriever, has been named Australia’s Most Talented Pet. Her talent? She can open the fridge, and fetch her owner a can of beer.

    Ashley Rouston, The Beer Wench, introduces us to ten women in craft brewing who deserve to be celebrated.

    Finally, in Debary, Florida, a bear has wandered the streets near the marina, chugging beers found on back porches and popping in at a local tiki bar. Maybe the bear wanted to be in a Hamm’s Beer commercial.

    World Beer Cup Winners List

    Here they are: the winners of the 2010 World Beer Cup

    Our home state of Michigan gave a good account of itself at the competition, with 11 medals, two of them gold.

    Michigan beers and breweries that made the winners’ circle were Bastone Brewery (Saison du Bastone); Big Rock Chop House & Brewery (Norm’s Raggedy-Ass IPA and Bonnie’s Raggedy-Ass Imperial IPA); The Detroit Beer Company (The Detroit Dwarf); Founders Brewing Company (Centennial IPA, Dirty Bastard, Founders Porter, and Imperial Stout); Kuhnhenn Brewing Company (Fourth Dementia Olde Ale); Redwood Brewing Company (Cream Stout); and Short’s Brewing Company (Black Licorice Lager).

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