Happy International Women's Day, followers! We came across this super awesome infographic from WineBags.com that takes you on a little journey through the historical relationship between women and craft beer. We're dropping it here for your viewing pleasure, but we encourage you to hop over to the creator's site to download your very own copy. Cheers to bad ass brewsters everywhere!
The most drunken week of the year is upon us, folks, and we've got some fun events cooking over at Covenhoven. Stop by, grab a pint of locally brewed suds and be sure to say hello!
(For non-BL events (but why even?), check out our Events Calendar. We'll keep it updated as new, interesting shindigs turn up.)
Beerded Ladies and Covenhoven are proud to present two exciting NYC Beer Week bashes: Local Beer & Sammy Day (2/22), a pairing menu featuring Finback Brewery, Other Half Brewing, SingleCut Beersmiths and Grimm Artisanal Ales as well as a monster of a tap takeover showcasing the best from Brooklyn’s beloved hopheads, Other Half Brewing (2/26)!
On Sunday, February 22nd, Covenhoven will offer an exciting all day pairing menu to highlight their new cheese and sandwich program, now in full swing. The limited run menu pits four delicious New York City-brewed craft beers against three different locally sourced sandwiches and one artisanal cheese plate. These informal $12 specials will run from 1PM to close, and the collaborative brewers and food purveyors will be in attendance from 3 to 5PM.
Beer & Sammy Day Pairing Menu (subject to change)
- Beer: Other Half Forever Ever & Sandwich: Grilled Pepper Jack with Cilantro and Pickled Apples
- Beer: Finback Barrel Aged BQE & Sandwich: Coffee-Rubbed Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onions
- Beer: SingleCut Jan Olympic White Lagrrr & Sandwich: Grilled Goat Cheese with Meyer Lemon and Ham
- Beer: Grimm Artisanal Ales Color Field & Cheese Plate: An Array of Brooklyn Aged Cheeses (TBD)
On Thursday, February 26th at 6PM, Covenhoven will host a whopper of a tap takeover featuring a full lineup of Other Half Brewing Company’s best beers. The entire Gowanus crew will be inhouse enjoying the hop-heavy fun along with sixteen of their most precious brews for complete draft system domination.
Other Half Takeover Tap List (subject to change)
Hup, Hup, Hup!
All Green Everything
Short Dark & Handsome
Rum Aged Kerstperiode (Aged on Van Brunt Stillhouse Barrels)
Smokescreens & Oil Slicks
Grand Cru (Aged on White Wine Barrels)
Grand Scheme (Collaboration with Threes Brewing)
Laatste Ronde (100% Brett Primary Fermentation, 15% Oak Smoked Wheat)
Absentia Lucia (Aged on Red Wine Barrels)
Green Diamonds (tentative)
The kind folks at Mohegan Sun casino invited us down to check out their Sun BrewFest last month and a great time was had by all. Between the great food, excellent beer and play-till-you-drop Blackjack tables, we're only now recovering from a fantastic weekend.
The fest was wide in scope, featuring big boy macro brands alongside local digs and newcomers. Also: live music, ping pong and even a corn hole competition! The best part? There were plenty of ladies in attendance -- more than most festivals I've seen. It seems that Connecticut, a long underserved craft market, is finally stepping into the limelight.
After many a summer spent traversing our fine country in pursuit of quality craft beer, I've visited dozens upon dozens of craft outlets. And after a few, patterns began to emerge. From the tiniest neighborhood brewpub to the biggest production brewery, these spots share a passion for the craft, a celebrated love for the geek and a curious fascination with cycling, amongst other commonalities. We hop heads are a dysfunctional family of sorts, all drunk uncles gripping our 4oz tasters with ear-to-ear smiles. It's a good life.
So, grab a growler, print out this PDF and spice up your next sudsy outing with a little Brewery Travel Bingo. The first player to reach BINGO wins a round... or a branded carabiner. Whatever floats your boat.
This post originally appeared in an edited form over at American Food Roots, but I liked the lengthy sucker so much, I thought I'd cross-post it over here. Enjoy poetic waxing!
50 States of Beer: Massachusetts
Mystic Brewery's Saison Renaud & Beer-Battered Fish & Chips
I graduated from The New School in New York City in 2007. I was 22, and the whole entire world sprawled out before me. The whole entire (read: frightening and expensive) world. Though I had spent the last few years happily immersed in the city’s riches, those same riches suddenly seemed fleeting, collegiate, inaccessible. By the spring of 2008, I had dropped out of an unpaid internship and taken a job with the Parks Department, driving a Ford F150 pickup truck and tilling the soil in community gardens, housing projects and neglected playgrounds around the Bronx. It was hot, hot, filthy work, and I was drinking my weight in shamefully cheap beer.
That July, I took a trip to visit a high school friend in Western Massachusetts. In Northampton, I went swimming beneath crystal clear, cold waterfalls, sipped coffee slowly in the pin-drop quiet morning, charmed a girl at a bar and ran laughing through endless flower strewn fields. Suddenly that whole entire world didn’t seem so terrifying. Back in New York, I packed up everything I owned, which amounted to several books of poems a few cut off t-shirts, and high tailed it up Interstate 91. Once there, I reveled in my aimless adolescence, taking a job cooking at a local bakery-cafe and, well, drinking even more beer. But this time, freed of Brooklyn rent and with a few extra bucks in my pocket, this beer was anything but cheap and lousy.
I rented a duplex near the fairgrounds, about a 10 minute walk or 4 minute bike ride from the best beer bar in town: The Dirty Truth. The Dirty Truth had 42 beers on draft, selections that represented the best craft brews in the world. While my parents told everyone I was in Massachusetts “taking some time off to apply to graduate school,” the “dirty truth” of it was I was already beginning my advanced education -- in all things good beer. Each evening, the bar’s messy chalkboard taplist was hoisted off the wall and revised, making room for an ever-evolving list of new brews to research, sample and gulp with unbounded joy. I was home.
Massachusetts has long been synonymous with the big boys of the craft sector, flashy national brands like Sam Adams and Harpoon. While those brands account for most of the state’s brewing profits, they’re only two pieces of a very diverse and deeply rooted regional pie. The people of Massachusetts have been brewing beer for centuries. Why did the Mayflower dock in Plymouth Bay instead of continuing on to Virginia as planned? They ran out of beer. True story -- you can’t make this stuff up.
Today, the Bay State is home to at least 60 breweries and brewpubs, with many more in planning. One of the most exciting microbreweries to make the Dirty Truth’s venerable tap list is Mystic Brewing from Chelsea, Mass, a working class Boston suburb. Mystic Brewing was founded in 2011 by Bryan Greenhagen, an MIT grad trained in the art of fermentation science. Greenhagen, already an accomplished homebrewer, was drawn to the “mysticism” of brewing -- how, given the right circumstances, magical little microbes could literally turn water to wine before his eyes. He dedicated his brewery to this phenomenon, celebrating the wonderfully unpredictable ways of complex wild and Belgian yeast strains, many of which derive from airborne cultures.
Mystic’s lineup cycles through a variety of ales, from wheat wines to Saisons to gruits, an herbal, un-hopped German style popular some 1,000 years ago. The Saison Renaud is a stellar example of Mystic’s ethos and Greenhagen’s passion for farmhouse ales. It’s a relatively simple Saison, drawing from just a single malt and single hop variety. The Pilsner malt provides a clean, crisp backbone and frothy, aromatic head, a quiet balance for the earthy noble Saaz hops. The real star of the show, however, is the house-cultivated yeast, which provides all the characteristic spicy, fruity and floral esters Saison drinkers love.
Though I’ve since left bucolic Massachusetts to attend an actual, accredited graduate school and, years later, even moved back to the city that I once fled so irreverently, I still go back to my old stomping ground, stopping, of course, for a brew and a bite at the Dirty Truth. On a recent visit, a Mystic Saison Renaud paired magically with the house special: beer-battered fish and chips. As soon as that malty, beautifully spiced and incredibly comforting duo was placed in front of me, I was immediately ripped from the whole entire world I had come to call home and transplanted back to that one perfectly pastoral Massachusetts summer.
Makes 2 to 3 servings
Beer batter gives fish a crunchy, flavorful coating while keeping the fish moist and tender. Though cod is the traditional favorite, pollock or catfish are more sustainable. For the batter, choose an effervescent and malty beer such as pilsner or crisp amber ale. Serve the fish with thick-cut french fries and malt vinegar. For best results, have a Mystic Saison Renaud at hand. This recipe has been adapted from the National Fisheries Institute, a trade group.
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup beer, preferably a malty ale with good carbonation
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablepoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound fresh cod, pollock or tilapia fillets
- Vegetable or peanut oil for fryinG
In wide, shallow bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg yolks and beer, mixing with fork or whisk just until smooth batter forms. Set aside.
In another shallow bowl, combine the lemon juice, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Cut fillets in half lengthwise and place in the lemon juice mixture.
Pour enough oil into a heavy skillet to reach a depth of at least 1 inch. Heat oil on medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer.
Meanwhile, transfer fish fillets, one by one, from lemon juice mixture to batter and coat thoroughly. Using tongs, add fillets to hot oil, which should sizzle with each addition. Be careful not to crowd the skillet. Fry until golden brown on one side; turn and repeat on other side.
Transfer fried fillet to plate covered with paper towels to drain off excess fat. Serve hot.
So, Hayley and I got wrangled into collaborating with the brilliant minds over at Urban Oyster and Eat This NY for a series of short videos focusing on the burgeoning NYC craft beer scene. Now that we've gathered a critical mass, I'm posting all the silly little vids here in one place. Enjoy these visits to SingleCut Beersmiths, Rockaway Brewing Co., Other Half Brewing, Big Alice Brewing and Dirck the Norseman.
Check 'em out, have a laugh and learn a thing!
Memphis Beer Week, Memphis, TN
Last week, I took a road trip down to Memphis with my girlfriend and our pup, who are relocating down south for work. And... the trip *happened* to coincide with the second annual Memphis Beer Week! What are the odds??
We all know that Memphis is a charming southern city on the banks of the might Mississipp. The music, the culture, the cuisine -- it's all world famous. But did you know they're also host to a budding craft beer scene? True story.
According to Memphis Made Brewing Company co-owner Andy Ashby, three craft outlets have opened in just the last year. Despite a relatively slow start, the local beer community is beginning to thrive in the sleepy Delta town. A ton of businesses are getting in on the craft craze, stocking bottles and kegs of hometown brew, adding lines for grocery store growler fills and hosting tap takeovers, meet the brewer events and beer dinners year round. "Memphis has been a little slow on the trend," Andy explained. "Trends tend to start on the coasts and move in, and we're in the middle of the country. But people really have a taste for it now." 'Bout time.
Here's my quick list of where to go and what to drink, if you happen to find yourself in this tasty little corner of the US. Cheers, y'all!
What to Drink:
- High Cotton Brewing
Just about everything I tried from this little microbrewery was well made and very creative. Highlights include the Belgian IPA and the Biere de Garde, which makes good use of its refreshingly fruity funkiness.
- Wiseacre Brewery
These guys output some great canned options, including a hoppy, bright IPA and a lighter, biscuity Pils that top my list. Their tap room, the first in Memphis, is sunny and inviting. Bring your pup and kick back for the afternoon with a cold one in hand.
- Ghost River Brewing
The O.G. of the Memphis brewing bunch, this pioneering craft outlet opened way back in 2003 and has been churning out brew ever since. They specialize in European styles and are known for their award-winning Riverbank Red, a traditional Irish-style red ale, and their refreshing, German-hopped Golden Ale.
- Memphis Made Brewing
N.K.O.T.B. Memphis Made Brewing Co. gets the award for friendliest little brewery under the Memphis sun. The guys can be spotted making deliveries around town, stopping in to say hello and grab a sip at the Growler or another local fave. The Bent Note IPA is nicely balanced and the richly spiced farmhouse ale, the Junt, is good on a hot day. Their newest brew, the Southern Julep, is a Belgian-style brown ale brewed with fresh mint and aged with American oak. Grab your hat and get ready for the Derby, folks!
- Yazoo Brewing Company
Ok, so these guys are technically based in Nashville, but they were all over Memphis Beer Week just the same. And thank goodness, because they are so, so, so damn good. Check them out, for serious. The Hop Project line of IPAs are of particular interest... because they taste amazing.
Where to Drink:
- The Growler
A brand new bottleshop and taproom in an adorable little neighborhood called Midtown. Flights, pints, growler fills and soon-to-be sandwich bar run by a couple of passionate beer nerds -- my kind of place.
- Central BBQ
As a write this, my mouth is watering. Come for the BBQ nachos and ribs, stay for the well curated selection of thirst-quenching local brews, all served with a smile.
- Tamp & Tap
I totally fell in love with this downtown cafe. For a New Yorker with a mean coffee addiction, locating good coffee in a new town is top priority, and this place has excellent drip, espresso and cold brewed iced coffee. And what else? A fantastic supply of local craft brews with enough bottles and taps to keep you kickin' for hours.
- The Green Beetle
This tavern, which dates back to the early 20th century, is a classic dive bar in the best sense of the term. Warmly lit, with doors flung open to the street and Memphis Grizzlies basketball pumping through the speakers, this joint has a surprising number of craft-devoted taps. A great place to catch a game or grab a bit of southern fried goodness.
- Local Gastropub
Ok, so this place is a little cheesy and a little chain-y, which isn't my normal bag. BUT, in my defense, the food is awesome and they offer a Tennessee-brewed flight special for cheap. Worth a try if you're overcome by a powerful thirst while visiting the touristy part of town.
Carton Brewing Company, Atlantic Highlands, NJ
One frigid, hungover Sunday in March, upon strong urging by a certain Augie Carton, I made a blurry trek into New Jersey to check out Atlantic Highlands' Carton Brewing Co. As you might remember, these folks sponsored our January trivia night and killed it on the Springsteen round. But of course.
Their delicious, hand crafted brews range from simple sessionable perfection (Boat Beer) to wild, high gravity experimentation (Regular Coffee). The brewery itself is tucked away on a quiet little street in a tiny town within a mile of where many of the Carton crew were born and raised -- true hometown heros and a very inspiring story. It's no wonder that Augie and the rest of the Carton team are so dedicated to brewing on premises -- their brewery is only a stone's throw away from the tasty water source they all know and love.
"It's the difference between being local and claiming to be local," Augie explains. "It's knowing the water."
The tour begins downstairs in the brewery. Jesse showed us around the place, a brick, 100+ year old building that dates back to a New Jersey far removed from the likes of Snookey and Bridgegate. The original building, they think, was once used to store the tents of traveling revival groups who camped on the shore each summer, spreading the Methodist gospel. Now, however, the building stores a slick 15 bbl brewhouse and a cozy upstairs tasting room that brims with thirsty locals each weekend.
The brewhouse is small but functional, running at full capacity to churn out just enough beer to satiate the tri-state masses. The "Tippy," Carton's pilot system, produces brewery only batches, giving the brewers the space to experiment with new recipes or to learn about the potentials of individual ingredients through the "School of" series, educational beers that focus on a single hop strain. It's worth visiting the brewery just to get a sip of one of these limited Tippy brews.
Deeper into the building, down a twisting basement stairwell, lurks the barrel room -- a real sight to see. Of particular note are the Laird's Apple Jack barrels housing Pumpkin Cream Ale, infusing the spicy-sweet, bubbly brew with notes of sweet apple cider and boozy liquor. The Laird distillery -- the oldest continually operating distillery in America -- is also just a few miles down the road, adding yet another layer of local flavor to the Carton family.
I was struck by how the Carton team's passion for great beer co-mingled so closely with their intense hometown pride. This is craft beer at its best -- a drink for the people, by the people, produced to facilitate conversation, community and lots of love. Bravo.
Upstate New York, once the country’s hops capital, is now overrun with apples, soy, corn and other cash crops. During Prohibition, Farmers from Syracuse to Saratoga were encouraged by changing cultural attitudes and economic incentives to rip out their vines and plant anew, further inhibiting the brewing industry and contributing to big beer’s dominance throughout the 20th century. Fast forward to today: the price of corn is at a three year low, our apples are trucked in from Central America and yet New York is experience a craft beer boom to rival any other state in the country.
Enter cider! Following the lead of neighboring breweries, Highland’s Bad Seed Cider is making good use of the current agricultural landscape, quenching a cultural thirst for sustainable products and boosting a rundown local economy by turning crops into handcrafted artisanal spirits and cider. Last Fall, I grabbed a couple of gluten-free friends and traveled upstate to visit the cidery. I was interested in calling attention to Bad Seed's commitment to working in concert with craft breweries to increase the consumer’s ability and desire to drink local, and I wanted to see how they made just great, beer-inspired cider.
For cider makers Albert and Devin, a couple of farm boys who grew up together on the family orchard, getting The Cider Act passed by the state senate means everything. The Cider Act would allow Bad Seed to take advantage of tourism in the same manner as craft breweries, providing tours and tastings to interested folks on weekend trips Upstate. Though they recently signed a distribution deal with Manhattan Beer, passing The Cider Act would allow the boys to fully enjoy the same exposure as the rest of the taps at the bar.
Good news for cider fans -- Bad Seed Cider will be available in NYC this month! Ask your local bottle shop to stock up on some of their beautiful Belgian bottles. Let's welcome Bad Seed into NY's craft state community in style.
Who decides to visit Maine in late November, a time when temperatures drop to Planet Hoth levels and tourist hot spots lay barren and empty, dreaming of the warmer months? What kind of maniac plans a birthday weekend away to the coldest corner of the country? This guy.
For beer lovers, Maine is a veritable mecca. The state is known for phenomenal craft beer -- from Alan Pugsley's legacy of English-style open-fermented ales to innovative and deliciously aged Belgians to hopped-up ambitious young brews. Drive through adorable downtown Portland and you're bound to see at least a dozen brewpubs, beer bars and full fledged production breweries, churning out barrels upon barrels of the good stuff for tourists and locals alike.
Click through the photos below for a peek into my Maine adventure and start scheduling your own visit today (a summer trip is highly recommended...).
Happy Lager Day, beer geeks and gals!
Today we join together to celebrate Lager Day, the annual holiday honoring the bottom fermented brew enjoyed for generations upon generations. As soon as the Germans brought lager bier to the US in the mid-19th century (lager means "storage" in German), Americans fully embraced the beverage, cranking out barrels upon barrels of the stuff. Lighter, more refreshing and lower in alcohol than ale, its British predecessor, lager cooled the mouths and warmed the hearts of entire families, leading to a boom in beer consumption and production throughout the country. In New York, breweries popped up by the dozen, dotting the avenues of Brooklyn from Bushwick to Flatbush. The brewing industry was pulling in upwards of $8 million in revenue per year by the 1870's, all thanks to crisp, bubbly lager.
Bavarian beer gardens attracted tourists and local families alike, providing relief from cramped tenements and helping recent immigrants to adjust to their new home while still preserving the cultures they left behind. German-style saloons quickly became the standard drinking venue, continuing the tradition of "free lunches" -- salty sausages, pretzels, mustards and pickled vegetables that no doubt encouraged a thirsty palate. These saloons, like the Colonial-era taverns before them, also served as a meeting place for Eastern European immigrants, many of whom were intellectuals escaping political repression. As the 1800's gave way to the 1900's, there were countless pamphlets written, protests organized and ideas debated over steins brimming with golden lager.
But that was the past. Today, most of the lager (Hell, most of the beer, period) we consume is of the watered down, corn and rice fueled, "American Light" variety, enjoyed not over a heated political discussion but alone, in front of the blaring television. Blech. To celebrate this venerable drink and right the wrongs of lager's 20th century turn for the gross, we're listing a few of our favorite craft lagers (in no ranking order). Follow the links to view their Beer Advocate ratings, then track them down, crack one open and, in the spirit of our rabble-rousing foredrinkers, step on that soapbox add your own two cents to the forum. Cheers!
- Prima Pils by Victory Brewing Company (PA)
A lesson in German simplicity with an American hop twist. A thing of pure beauty.
- El Steinber by Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Roasty, chocolately and toasty. A well-crafted winter lager.
- Pandamonium India Pale Lager by Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
A real win for the Speakeasy crew, as well as for the lager's bat-wielding Giants namesake. Big, bold and crisply drinkable.
- Shift Pale Lager by New Belgium Brewing
Bisquity malt and subtle hop aroma make this canned lager a perfect outdoor adventure companion.
- Session Lager by Full Sail Brewing
Clean, smooth, refreshing and comes in adorable stubby bottles from a 100% worker-owned Oregon brewery.
- Krampus Imperial Helles Lager by Southern Tier Brewing
Warn your taste buds... the Krampus is coming! Juicy, hoppy and boozy, this imperial pilsner packs quite the punch. Great for snowy nights by the fire.
- Baba Black Lager by Uinta Brewing Company
Smoky, with a hoppy bite and clean finish. A nice, sessionable choice for a chilly Autumn evening.
- Jan Olympic White Lagrrr by SingleCut Beersmiths
This American pale is rich with peppery spice and sweet orange blossom. A choice brew for Belgian, Hefe and Saison lovers looking for something lighter.
- Narragansett Lager by Narragansett Brewing Co.
Come on, who doesn't love a tallboy of 'Gansett?? My favorite of the American light lagers, this good ol' boy is best enjoyed ice cold on a hot day.
Today, December 5, marks the 80th anniversary of Prohibition's repeal. Initiated at the federal level by Representative Andrew Volstead (R, MN), Prohibition lasted for an excruciating 13 years, 10 months, 19 days, 17 hours and 32.5 minutes, from 1919-1933. The repeal of the Volstead Act was marked by raucous parties throughout the country, brewers tapping barrels in the street and more champagne toasts than my slightly hung over brain can compute.
Many historians consider Prohibition to be one of the defining factors of the development of the 20th century in the US. The ban deeply effected all areas of American society, from immigration, politics and religion to culture, women's rights and common cuisine.
In honor of this joyous holiday, I traveled back to the source of the 19th Amendment and put together a list of famous teetotalers so we can all point at them, raise a drunken fist in the air and say IN YOUR FACE , LOSERS! (or in the case of Susan B. Anthony, "I respectfully see why you made those choices and thanks for the rights and all but ease up on the beer hating, ok? Thanks")
Prohibition grew out of the Temperance Movement, an organized political and religious ethos that preached total abstinence from alcohol as way to improve your social standing, health and family. While there were many leaders amongst the Temperance advocates, I find these to be the most interesting of the bunch.
Susan B. Anthony
Some Temperance advocates saw Prohibition as a women's cause. While women had very little power (they couldn't vote and faced serious barriers to owning property, seeking higher education and economic independence), they're primary responsibility was to maintain their families -- not an easy feat when your husband is drinking away the weekly paycheck only to come home drunk and aggressive. Banning alcohol was seen as a means to end rampant domestic and sexual violence against women, and thus Suffragette Susan B. Anthony joined in on the cause. I can't really blame her on that one.
Connecticut Minister Sylvester Graham was a strict observer of Temperance... and he also invented the Graham cracker, every toddler's favorite snack! This total freaking weirdo was so observant that he followed Temperance's most rigid interpretation, including no meat, no coffee, no alcohol of any kind, no spices, no warm showers or hot food, no masturbation and no more than once-a-month reproductive sex. Sounds like a total blast.
This insane individual from a small Kansas town claimed that God Himself instructed her to attack bars and liquor stores with a hatchet. A HATCHET. Also, she called these divine instructions "Hatchetations," which, I have to say, is pretty clever. To show their disdain, bemused saloon owners and patrons alike began to hang banners stating "All Nations Welcome, Except for Carrie." Watch this video for more on this crazy -- you gotta see it to believe it.
Mabel Walker Willebrandt
President Harding named Mabel Walker Willebrandt Assistant Attorney General of the United States in 1921, putting her at the head of Prohibition enforcement. He thought the sallow faced, visibly serious woman would garner the brand new women's vote while also applying her shrewd brain and ironclad will to curtailing illicit alcohol production throughout the land. According to some sources, this tough broad was the most famous American women aside from movie stars. The real kicker? Willebrandt wasn't even a Temperance supporter before her political appointment -- she enjoyed a drank on occasion -- but as soon as she was tapped by the big boys, she gave up drinking and fought to make everyone else give it up, too.
Today, Maine produces some of the country's best craft beer. From Allagash to Maine Beer Co. to Atlantic to tiny Rising Tide, our northern neighbor has long been at the forefront of the beer boom. Bud did you know Maine was actually the first state to ban alcohol on a state level, some 70 years before the Volstead? Yep -- all thanks to this dude, Mr. Neil Dow, nicknamed the "Napoleon of Temperance." As the mayor of Maine's largest city, Portland, he gathered thousands of signatures on a petition to ban the good drink. He also lead raids on bars, liquor stores and breweries. Keep on rolling in that grave, sir.
Yes, the circus man himself was once a prominent leader in the Temperance movement. Ringling Brothers founder P.T. Barnum signed a the "teetotal pledge" after being so moved at a popular anti-alcohol lecture. In his autobiography, he details his indoctrination:
I arose from my bed, and feeling that as a man I could not persist in a practice which I could not conscientiously and logically defend, I took my champagne bottles, knocked off their heads, and poured their contents upon the ground.
Barnum went on to deliver anti-alcohol lectures himself (though some say it was just to get out of debt), put on Temperance plays and even owned a museum where the sole beverage option was ice water. Laaaame.
As an extra treat, check out this podcast from the Leonard Lopate Show. The venerable Dan Okrent is the guest, talking about his incredibly comprehensive book, The Last Call. It's a great read and heartily recommended. (P.S. Dan Okrent is also a baseball expert and one of the founding members of Fantasy Baseball... The guy rules.)
Beer Geek Trivia Night returns, now hosted at the fantastic & brand new Brooklyn craft beer hot spot, Glorietta Baldy! Grab your brainiac buddies and join us for another round of the good stuff, including tap specials by local fellas Singlecut Beersmiths & lots of rad prizes. Cheers, nerds!
Hosted by Beerded Ladies.