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Beer links for ‘honest beer’ drinkers and geeks alike


The Problem with “Craft”
[Via Beaumont Drinks]
What is an “honest” wine?
[Via Steve Heimoff]
The story of the week was “$1 Billion” or maybe just “B” — because the amount that Contellation Brands paid for Ballast Point Brewing was a bigger deal than another used-to-be-small brewery being acquired by a very large company. (Although whether a writer comments “x sells to y” or “x sells out to y” says as much about the commenter as the commentee.)

At All About Beer Jeff Alworth writes “fuller-flavor lagers and ales (what we used to call ‘craft beer’)” because in the magazine and at the website AAB favors letting the word beer stand on its own. I endorse that philosophy, but I also understand that “craft beer” can be a useful term, a point Stephen Beaumont makes quite well. Curiously, although we can blame the “C” word on America it is important to take a non-Americanized view of how it has become used elsewhere. Because he’s recently been to a lot more countries than you and I go ahead and trust Beaumont on this.

But as Steve Heimoff reminds us, semantics can be painful. I know what Ron Pattinson means when writes about honest beer, but I don’t want to start seeing the term used in just about any other context.

Golden Road Relationship Status: It’s Complicated (If you care).
Item 7. “Golden Road is pumping 25 million dollars into the city of Anaheim and will employ over 100 people.” Makes you think about the relationship between “local impact” and “local ownership.” [Via OCBeerBlog]

St. Louis Zoo proposes buying Grant’s Farm; Billy Busch makes competing offer.
Ulysses S. Grant, the Busch family, free beer, and a zoo. This story has it all. [Via St. Louis Post-Dispatch]


Traditional malting in Morgedal.
[Via Larsblog]
Bright Brewer’s Yeast calls for beer ‘wish lists’ as it develops yeasts through selective breeding.
[Via Beverage Daily]
Watch an Electronic Tongue Taste Wine.
[Via Eater]
Sometimes when the “big picture” questions wear you down it is nice to curl up with a bit of technical stuff.


Wine media and the internet: are we drowning in a sea of mediocrity?
[Via jamie goode’s wing blog]
Wine Needs Curmudgeons Now More Than Ever.
[Via Fermentation Wine Blog]
And to bring this week’s links full circle, Tom Wark writes: “Worrying about consolidation among the big wine brands makes no sense. And if you are a discerning wine drinker, you could care less. There are more wines and wine brands and wineries on the market today than ever before in the history of the world.”


A gose. w/ cactus. in a can. from Sierra Nevada.

Sierra Nevad Otra Vez

Remember back in the day when you said “We’ll see Ballast Point sell for a billion bucks before Sierra Nevada releases a gose-style beer made with prickly pear and grapefruit and packages it in a can?”

Put that prediction in the loss column.

Otra Vez will be available year round beginning in January. In case you are curious, it means “another time.” And I thought it meant “alternative universe.”

(Photo courtesy Sierra Nevada Brewing)


The most wonderful time of year: Xmas Photo Contest season

Good Beer Blog photo contest - Craftsman Brewing, Pasadena

Alan McLeod has posted everything you need to know about his Xth annual Christmas Photo Contest, which this year comes with a bonus beer writing contest.

I’ve had my hopes and dreams crushed many times in past years. I meant to enter the photo at the top (taken in April of 2014) last year, but apparently neglected to. Maybe that’s why it didn’t win.


Sometimes beer is only part of the story


7 Paths to Development That Bring Neighborhoods Wealth, Not Gentrification.
Think about this in the context of breweries and beer drinking establishments. Or don’t. Either way, it is important. [Via Yes!, h/T Roger Baylor]

Do People Realise Breweries Have Gone?
Boak & Bailey accurately conclude, “Hardcore beer geeks like us obsess over details of ownership and history but, barring the odd scandal, most people don’t, just as we don’t keep tabs on who owns which car firms these days, or which chocolate bar brands.” And that’s OK. But where beer and community intersect both may benefit. [Via Boak & Bailey’s Beer Blog]

Back in black: living beer heritage in the West Midlands.
“As the US-inspired craft beer revolution sweeps the old beer countries of Europe, I’ve found myself hoping again and again that beer drinkers and brewers will come to appreciate both worlds and everything in between, recognising the threads that, despite appearances, link them together. Indeed if it hadn’t been for the Bathams and many other old-established European brewers sticking to styles and methods that well merit the label ‘craft’, we would likely not be enjoying the current abundance.” Related, I think, to both the previous posts. [Via Beer Culture]


How pot and hippie beer explain the future of the American economy.
[Via The Washington Post]

Best-selling business advice from a BrewDog.
[Via Zythophile]

Will craft brewers ever make ads as good as their beer?
[Via Hey Beer Dan]

Yes, The Future of Craft Beer Is In Question. Don’t Panic.
[Via Paste]


New wine film ‘Somm: Into the Bottle’ is ambitious, dangerously selective.
[Via SF Gate]

What It Takes to Be a Master Sommelier.
[Via The New Yorker]
So where are the TV shows and movies about Cicerones?

Why Do Most Languages Have So Few Words for Smells?
[Via The Atlantic]

Why does wine smell?
[Via Palate Press]


And the difference between beer marketing and story telling is what?


More links than musing this week, and not really a full week’s worth. Sorry for any abundantly linkable items I missed over the weekend, but we left for New Mexico on Thursday. I’m confident we are having a good time.

Poppa Don’t Preach: Do We Need ‘Craft Beer Evangelists’?
[Via This Is Why I’m Drunk]
The Cult of Craft.
[Via Literature & Libations

Oliver Gray’s reaction (the second article) to Bryan Roth’s question (in the first) provides a lot to think about, but it is different than mine. Roth writes, “Evangelism is about marketing, but more so, it’s about stories.” Here’s the thing, journalism is not just about stories, but it is certainly about stories. Find a good story, write it well, and you end up doing a marketer’s work. This should give writers pause. I’ve rambled on about this before.

A Reader Asks, I Answer: Lagunitas and Heineken.
In case you were looking for the “us against them” dialogue mentioned in the first two links, here is an example. [Via The Pour Fool]

Drink while you can…these bars are closing quickly.
I missed this when it first appeared (h/T BeerGraphs), but that neighborhood bar’s decline has coincided with a surge in craft beer drinking is troubling. “If you think about the neighborhood pub, it’s not really in a position to offer 35 beers on tap,” (Mario) Gutierrez said. “That tends to be a specialized establishment.” That “bars” and “eateries” are classified differently complicates matters. In our neighborhood a lot of places where you can find good food, a dozen or more beers to choose from and enjoy conversation have benefited from selling a wider variety of beer that costs a little more. [Via CNBC]

Why it is OK to say “Their Beer Sucks”…
“A critic’s job, nine-tenths of it, is to make way for the good by demolishing the bad.” – Kenneth Tynan [Via Pivní Filosof – Beer Philosopher]

The New Wine Democracy.
The word “snob” is back for a second straight week. [Via Wine Spectator]

Wrecking Bar(n) — How a Georgia Brewpub Bought the Farm.
A “lifetime project.” [Via Good Beer Hunting]

Down the drain: A brewpub fails in just 4 months
Reality check. [Via Joe Sixpack]

And then there was this, which was still happening Thursday afternoon, the retweets and comments piling up Click on the date to see what I mean.


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