Weekly Mix Pack: Pot Beer, Space Yeast, and Beer! The Musical!

By Brett Vanderbrook - Six fresh stories for you to crack open and enjoy!

Greetings, Geeks! I had a tough time narrowing it down to six links for you this week. There were a lot of great beer stories over the last seven days, so I ultimately had to play a little "eenie meenie" with this installment. It's indicative of the serious amount of press beer has been getting lately, both positive and negative. What a time to be a beer lover!

1. Breweries' Support of DC Voting Rights: Pot Beer
Washington DC recently enacted Initiative 71, which allows for the legal recreational use of Marijuana. Prior to the measure being approved, DC Brau and Oskar Blues collaborated on a beer called "Smells Like Freedom" which, through the use of a blend of experimental hops, smells (and tastes) like weed. It was meant to support Initiative 71, and as a general protest against DC's voting laws.

2. This Beer Was Brewed With Yeast That's Been to Space
The Brewing Wars are ramping up as competition gets tougher and shelf and tap space gets more crowded. Brewers are going to great lengths to out-do each other, and Ninkasi just went to the greatest lengths of all: space. They sent a vial of yeast into space, recovered it, and brewed an imperial stout with it called "Ground Control." Will it change the taste of the beer? Most likely not. But gimmicks abound in today's craft beer market!

3. The History of the World According to Beer
We can learn a lot about the history of the world when we look at the history of beer. It has been a part of our society for thousands of years, and is responsible for many of the advancements in agriculture and society in general. William Bostwick's new book "The Brewers Tale: A History of the World According to Beer" takes a look at that history and takes the author on an interesting journey through human (and beer) history.

4. Founders IPA a "Top-Selling" St. Patrick's Day Beer
While the headline might seem somewhat innocuous, it becomes clear why it's important when you realize that the bar where All Day IPA was a top-seller on St. Paddy's Day was in Dublin, Ireland. American beer is making strides across the pond, as our producer David Page pointed out in his most recent post, and this anecdote is living proof of this up and coming influence.

5. Beer! The Musical!
Imagine being in your favorite bar, and a customer asks to see a menu, and then inexplicably bursts into song about his choices. Seconds later more patrons join in, and before long there is a full-scale musical number unfolding before your eyes, complete with people drumming on kegs. Imbibers at NYC's Houston Hall were recently lucky enough to have this experience, perpetrated by the group that made flash-mobs famous, Improv Everywhere.

6. The State of Craft Beer in America
Craft beer sales by volume are in the double digits, and continue to climb at an unprecedented rate. Big beer is starting to feel the effects of the craft beer boom, and is making attempts to cash in on the craze. Lawsuits over trademarks abound. It's an exciting, tumultuous time in American beer history, and it's fascinating to watch it unfold. Wil McGough from Gear Patrol brings us this thorough story that perfectly captures the current beer landscape.

Other links that were close, but didn't make the cut included a story about a hangover-free beer being developed, an article about the future of barrel aged beers, and this great tutorial from Brooklyn's Bitter and Esters on how to re-use yeast for homebrewers. I hope every week is this teeming with interesting material from here on out. Personally, I'm mostly glad that the fury over the Superbowl ad has finally died down. Enjoy your week! Comment, follow, and like!

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

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