I swear to Crom that as soon as I clean out some kegs and get a day to myself there will be another brew day writeup, citizens – maybe even some how-to pieces – but for now, some gentle pontificating.
Recently, Collin at Brewed for Thought wrote about the problematic notion of “best” breweries or beers, as promulgated by those “Top 10” clickbait lists you see everywhere:
“The whole reason we have 3000 breweries in this country is because we, the beer drinking public, have rejected the Highlander, there-can-be-only-one conception of breweries.”
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Malibu Hamish, farming a bowl cut
It’s been a long spring full of travel and new beers in distant places, but it seems like just a couple weeks ago I was in an auditorium at the CBC listening to Brewers Association director Paul Gatza address thousands of craft brewers: Continue reading →
“Should the best stay small?” was the title of the response piece to the New York Times article. It was in reference to Hill Farmstead Brewery capping production at 5000 barrels a year; and it wasn’t a rhetorical so much as an unanswered question.
Far be it from me to deny the Interwebs more vitally important bloviation on the sacred cows of craft beer: onward, citizens. It’s answerin’ time. Continue reading →
“For several years now, beer hijacking has been an issue for small and independent commercial brewers. They’ve been working hard to differentiate themselves from very large brewing companies that offer special beers and would prefer that beer drinkers believe that their beers come from small and independent breweries. Speaking for myself, this is a turnoff. The beer is probably great quality, but the marketing is deceptive and erodes the perception of credibility.”
“I’m the only thing standing between the death of Irish music and … and … the life of Irish music. Hss hss hss hss!”
One of these is a quote from an op-ed piece in the New Brewer on the need for a clear, commonly-understood definition of “craft beer,” and the other is a quote from the Shane MacGowan biopic If I Should Fall from Grace. Continue reading →
So I was in Austin for a Master Brewers Association of the Americas conference, and in between seminars I went to some places … great city for beer and barbecue, and I have photographic proof.
“Thus, it is known that the preparation of some native beers that used cereals as a source of extract involved a step where the grains were masticated by the brewer. In so doing, the addition of saliva, which contains the amylase, ptyalin, would partially degrade the starch content of the grain and thereby increase the fermentability of the wort. It is interesting to conjecture as to the train of empiricism that culminated in this process!”
Boulton & Quain, Brewing Yeast and Fermentation
It’s absolutely true, but you know, I never thought about all the misfires and shuffling steps (spits?) that had to’ve led to that discovery.
Here are my notes – jetlagged and sleep-deprived though they be – filtered through three straight days (four, if you count setup and the Brewers’ Gathering on Wednesday) of the Great American Beer Festival. Continue reading →
Reader Carl wrote:
I was recently at Surly’s taproom and tried both You’re in (Urine) Trouble and Misanthrope and was surprised by how much I liked them. I have not had any Brett beers before and now want to expand my tastes; do you have any suggestions for what I should try that are available in our (MN) market?
Help me out, citizens: what should Carl drink? I’ll go first:
MN-specific, two other beers I’ve had in the past year from local brewers that stand out in my mind were Surly Brett Liquor IPA and Pour Decisions St. Whatshername Tripel. They’re both limited-release, so keep your eyes peeled.
And you can’t go wrong with the classics: Cantillon, Boon, Hanssens, Rodenbach, Bockor Cuvee des Jacobins, Orval, Liefmans …
Citizens, in the last several months your author has seen a number of stories about new, contract-brewed brands built almost purely around a marketing concept or narrow demographic target that seem to be, to put it as objectively as possible, all hat and no cattle. What a lot of folks in the fall of 2012 might have considered “getting into brewing for the wrong reasons.”
My knee jerk reaction was uncharitable and unfavorable. Deep, internet forum-grade butthurt, scandalized like a Victorian lady. My second, more considered line of inquiry was to dig a little deeper. Join me in examining my feelings.
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Anheuser Busch, a giant global brewer, has demanded that a tiny London microbrewery changes its name for fear people will confuse Belleville Brewery with their Belle-Vue fruit flavoured beer.
Nobody tell them about this place. Or this place across town, that also apparently puts out fruit flavoured beer.