Tag Archives: America

The Moscow Mule is Older than You Think…

Have you ever had an idea that you were sure would pan out? Well Russian citizen Sophie Berezinski thought in 1941 that cute little mugs made out of copper would be a hit, so she used her father’s copper factory to get 2,000 of them fabricated.

When nobody in all of Russia wanted a stupid copper cup, Sophie emigrated to America to try and sell her 2,000 mugs. Apparently, Los Angeles did not have much interest in copper drinking vessels, either.

After passing the point of despair in hoping to ever find a profitable home for her copper mugs, fate caught up with Sophie at the Cock ‘n’ Bull pub. There she met two other failing entrepreneurs. John Martin’s Smirnoff distillery was floundering, and the Cock ‘n’ Bull’s proprietary ginger beer was also not selling.

Thus, as the three of them sat down and made a cocktail combining products from their 3 near-bust businesses, the Moscow Mule was invented in 1941, and the damn copper mug served no purpose but a marketing ploy.

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An American First: Mr. Hare’s Porter

In the early 1770s as tensions ramped up between Colonial America & England the colonists throughout the New World increasingly turned away from buying British goods, whenever possible.

Robert Hare started brewing America’s first homemade Porter around 1773, and its success catapulted him to riches.

So popular was “Mr. Hare’s Porter” that George Washington would later have it shipped to him at the front lines of the Revolutionary War.

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Where did Americans Drink Before We Built Bars?

Have you ever happened upon a small bar that looked like it had originally been someone’s house? Originally, this was common place.

Before the Revolutionary War bars & taverns were convered from homes. It was not until after the war that buildings were built to be bars from the get-go.

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Surviving Prohibition: The Anheuser-Busch Edition

For 13 years between 1920 – 1933 it was illegal to make alcohol in America. While over 1,000 breweries went out of business, several found ways to retool their facilities and keep making money.

Not content with slipping into bankruptcy, Anheuser-Busch switched from making beer to amphibious cars. While I have never seen them in any of John Wayne’s WWII movies, apparently they saw action with the army & navy in the second world war.

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Illegal Highland Whiskey in Virginia?

If you make whiskey in America, it is illegal to print the word Highland on the bottle.

Just like France protects the word Champagne from applying to any bubbling wine made outside of the Champagne region, Scotland fiercely defends Scotch Whisky from foreign impersonators.

The Scotch Whisky Association is currently suing the Virginia Distillery Company for its use of Highland on one of its bottles. While the Virginia-based booze-maker transparently points out on its label that it is a blend of Virginia & Scotch whiskies, it is still in violation of U.S. federal regulations.

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What was Ameria’s First Whiskey?

As a crop Rye is difficult to harvest, and even more difficult to make into booze. However, the tenacity it displays allows Rye to be planted in late fall, survive harsh winters, and be the first grain ready to harvest in spring.

Corn, Wheat, Barley, and Rice were domesticated by humans between 9,000 – 10,000 years ago. Our ancestors did not cultivate Oats until 4,500 years ago. The last of the cereal grains to be domesticated was Rye: only 2,500 years ago.

Even though it showed up late to the party, Rye made America’s first whiskey. Settlers of New England tried growing wheat & barley, but these crops do not like the poor weather & soil conditions found throughout New England.

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Craft Beer Diplomacy

If you are American you may be pleased to know that U.S. Ambassadors have been hard at work drinking our craft beer abroad. If you are not, then you may soon see the fruits of their labor at nearby markets!

It has become a regular thing for U.S. officials to host dinner parties with American craft beer pairings in order to showcase what our nation’s brewers are putting out these days. To really sell the event owners and founders of companies like Sierra Nevada and Maui Brewing have attended.

In 2017 U.S. beer exports were up 3.6%—which is worth $125.4 million.

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