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 (Roller Coaster Edition)

On this day in 1989, the Cedar Point amusement park opened Magnum XL-200, the first 200-plus-foot-tall roller coaster. Tomorrow, the park will unveil its 17th coaster: Valravn, the tallest, longest, and fastest of its kind in the world.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in eastern Quebec, where convenience stores were mobbed by New Brunswick residents after a court struck down that province’s law against bringing liquor across the border. Beer is almost twice as expensive in N.B. than in Quebec.

In Wisconsin, three fishing buddies pulled up a six-pack of Budweiser cans that, according to Anheuser-Busch, are more than 60 years old. Unfortunately, the cans were empty.

First “beard beer”, now this. Australia’s 7 Cent Brewery is using yeast from brewers’ belly-button lint to brew a special beer for an upcoming festival.

British regulators take short pints seriously. So seriously that they brought a pub owner before the local magistrate for serving a pint that was six teaspoons less than a full pint.

Broadway actors Mark Aldrich and Jimmy Ludwig are launching a series of beers based on Broadway shows. Their first is “Rise Up Rye”, inspired by the hit musical Hamilton. Rye was the mainstay grain of colonial American brewers.

On June 2, the Asheville Tourists baseball team will take the field as the “Beer City Tourists”. It’s the team’s way of honoring the city’s brewing community—and taking part in Asheville Beer Week.

Finally, Taedonggang beer, from North Korea’s state-owned brewery, has turned up in stores in some Chinese cities. It’s high-quality beer, but its price—a 22-ouncer costs the equivalent of more than $3 U.S.—is too high for the average Chinese consumer.

The Friday Mash (Typhoid Mary Edition)

A century ago today, a cook named Mary Mallon, better known as “Typhoid Mary,” was put in quarantine after infecting more than 50 people with the disease. She would remain in quarantine until her death in 1938.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in space—well, sort of. Ninkasi Brewing Company has released Ground Control Imperial Stout, brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise, cocoa nibs, and yeast that was launched by a rocket to an altitude of more than 77 miles.

Beer and driving usually don’t mix, but here’s an exception: The Hogs Back Brewery in Tongham, England, has fashioned “The Beer Engine,” a motorcycle whose sidecar is a beer keg, complete with spigot.

Madison, Wisconsin, entrepreneur Kimberly Clark Anderson has found success making beer jelly. She recommends it as a topping for a variety of foods, from pork chops to pound cake to toast.

Nostalgic “retro” beers aren’t just an American phenomenon. On May 1, United Dutch Brewers will re-introduce Oranjeboom beer, a brand that was taken off the market a decade ago.

In South Carolina, beer tourism is becoming big business. Proximity to brewery-rich Asheville, and brewery-friendly state laws are the main reasons why.

Consumer prices are actually falling in Europe, including including the price of local beer. That’s especially good news for American tourists, as the U.S. dollar is at a 12-year high against the euro.

Finally, “Florida Man,” a less-than-complimentary description of Sunshine State males who behave bizarrely in public, is the name of a new double IPA from Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company. The beer might have a built-in market: over 250,000 people follow #Floridaman’s Twitter feed.

The Friday Mash (Dr. Seuss Edition)

On this day in 1904, Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was born. His imagination gave us characters like the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. To honor the good doctor, Ludwig suggests a dinner of green eggs and ham. With a glass of ale, of course.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in Denver, where J. Wilson, the Iowa man who lived on a diet of doppelbock last year during Lent, was named Beerdrinker of the Year at Wynkoop Brewing Company.

It’s the first Friday of the month, so it’s time for The Session. Matt Robinson, who blogs at Hoosier Beer Geek, hosts the discussion titled What Makes Local Beer Better?. Feel free to join in.

Job fair alert: New Zealand’s Boundary Road Brewery is looking for 500 “beer intellectuals” to evaluate its new IPA. Applicants must be at least 18 and and demonstrate “a sound knowledge of beer.”

Not only have traditional ales made a comeback, but traditional pub games like darts, skittles, and dominoes are returning to British pubs.

This was bound to happen: a reality show featuring a brewers’ competition. “The Next Great American Brewer” is produced by Main Gate Visuals, which also worked on the “Top Chef” and “Project Runway” series.

Calling Sam Calagione. Construction workers in Ecuador discovered a tomb, dating to pre-Inca days, which contained a previously unknown species of yeast used to brew chicha.

Finally, in Germany, a waiter identified only as “Martin D.” spilled five glasses of beer on the back on Chancellor Angela Merkel. Fortunately, Merkel was a good sport about it.

The Friday Mash (Road Rally Edition)

One hundred years ago today, the first Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo took place. The race, which kicks off the annual road rally season, is a demanding test for automobiles and, especially, drivers, who have to face harsh weather and bad roads. Hey, that sounds like driving in Michigan, which is enough to drive anyone to drink.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in San Luis Obispo, California, where Cal Poly professor Raul Cano has brewed a beer with 45 million year-old yeast. Cano’s operation is, fittingly, known as the Fossil Fuels Brewing Company.

Matt Goulding and Matt Bean did some beer traveling in Belgium. They sampled Cantillon’s gueuze, hoisted a few in Bruges, and visited the home of Westvleteren 12.

Is warm beer is better for the environment? The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation thinks so. It found, for instance, that “cool zones” where chilled beer is stocked, contribute 15 per cent of the corporation’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Beer writer Josh Berstein got a big surprise in Mexico. No, not Montezuma’s Revenge, but hefty bottle deposits: the equivalent of 50 cents or more on a one-liter bottle of Sol.

From the Better Late Than Never Department: the Russian Parliament is about to classify beer as an alcoholic beverage.

With another Super Bowl fast approaching, Sports Illustrated’s Steve Rushin takes the brewing industry to task for beer ads that portray men as idiots.

Finally, South Africa’s Kruger National Park is considering a ban on alcohol to cut down on drunk driving, disorderly behavior, and–something that really upsets Ludwig–abuse of animals.

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