I can still remember reading this dude’s book for the first time. I remember distinctly that it felt like a call to action, but even so, I think that year’s edition of MD would have had a hard time imagining what a seismic, life-changing decision that fateful first five gallons of Extra Pale Ale wort actually represented, charting a course and starting a common thread to run through the next couple-three decades and connecting me with a network of like-minded deviants (Summit Brewing founder Mark Stutrud’s term, not mine; but I wear it with pride) all over the world. 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 →
Partly because I’m a sentimental git, but mostly (I tell myself) because the selected Czech strain was still a couple propagations away from prime time, and also because there was a raging pitch of 2042 just sitting there with a gleam in its collective eye, this – and not the forthcoming Czech dark lager – was the first batch with Brew Dog 2.0.
It’s a revisit to, and slight revision of, the first recipe brewed in the absence of Brew Dog 1.0: a straight-up north German-style Pils with a blend of noble hops. 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 →
There I was, citizens: I was enjoying the last gasps of Minnesota summer while brewing outside, I was drinking something from Maine Brewing Co., I was trying out some new hops and new yeast, I was smelling the roast happening at the coffee shop downwind, I was gristing some malt and heating some water and ruminating on a recent conversation with friends. Continue reading →
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.
Back in my day, when we had a gold-to-amber colored hoppy ale that was about 4.5% abv, we didn’t call it Session IPA. We called it “pale ale.” It was bitter but balanced, reasonable about its alcohol content, and it smelled like grapefruit and pine trees and cat piss … and we liked it that way. Continue reading →