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Starting with the last word, and returning to a favorite book



Notes from a beer-travelling man.

The craft beer revolution – meaning the global demand for more interesting well-enough made beer – has become the first strongly affirmed objection to the pointless globalisation of the food and drink business, or any other business come to that.

It is more important than it at first appears.

It represents the gradual triumph of individual aspiration over corporate convenience. It is the expression of one desire of humankind as it is, rather than as it is projected to be.”

[Via Tim Webb]


This is how Terrapin quietly sold out to Big Beer and betrayed its fans.
[Via Atlanta Magazine]
When Your Favorite Winery Is Sold To A Large Outfit, What Questions Should You Ask?
[Via Forbes]
Fill in the blanks.
[Via Beervana]
OK, we’ve got that out of the way. But seriously, it matters when it happens to you.

Bartenders in D.C. are learning how to stop sexual assault, and so far, it’s working.
It reads and looks like an advertisement, but that doesn’t make Safe Bars less important. [Via Upworthy]

Defining a ‘Classic Pub’
An abstract idea, agreed, but yes to a quality that “goes beyond mere function, and to which the drinker has a reaction deep in the soul.” Thinking about this I grabbed Ken Wells’ marvelous book, Travels with Barley, off the shelf. A search for the Perfect Beer Joint is at the center of his narrative, but it’s really about what the subtitle — “A journey through culture in American” — says. My Sunday morning started to disappear as I scanned familiar parts of the book. The only way to move on to other things was to put the book in the pile beside my reading chair in the living room. [Via Boak & Bailey’s Beer Blog]

Q&A: Is There a Beer of the Somme?
And the rest of Sunday morning disappeared when this post popped into my feed reader. But a beer from a place question … I can never resist. [Via Boak & Bailey’s Beer Blog]

On the IPA Cutting Edge…
Maybe Breakside Brewery is “doing more to push the evolution of IPAs forward” and maybe not. But, with considerable help from Ben Edmunds, Jeff Alworth pulls back the curtain to reveal the how and what behind Breakside’s Back to the Future IPA. Science has a little catching up to do when it comes to the why. [Via Beervana]


Winemakers may be able to select cork according to its phenolic content.
“A cork in a bottle will release slow amounts of compounds into a wine that will react with the wine and produce complex compounds that probably have a role in colour stabilization and reducing bitterness and other roles we don’t know.” [ViaThe Drinks Business]

Can you “train” a palate?
Thoughts about “Taste memory” and parlor tricks (among other things). [Via Steve Heimoff]



Asheville, Australia, Cape Girardeau & a free book

If you’d like to hear me talk about brewing and/or get a book or four signed in the coming months here are a few opportunities:

– Two incentives to sign up for an American Homebrewers Association (AHA) membership by midnight Sunday. 1) You may buy Great American Beer Festival tickets during the member pre-sale on Aug. 2, with one option a ticket to the members only session on Oct. 8. 2) You will receive a copy of “For the Love of Hops” (which you may bring to the members only session, where I will sign it). This is the way I understand that it works. When you sign up through a link provided to homebrew clubs (this is the St. Louis Brews link) you use the code ILOVEHOPS at checkout to get the book. You must be an AHA (or Brewers Association) member at midnight Sunday to buy GABF tickets on Aug. 2, and the deal on my book runs through July.

Asheville Homebrewers Conference, Aug. 13. I’m looking forward to hearing Mike Karnowski of Zebulon Artisan Ales talk about “murk,” Todd Boera of Fonta Flora Brewery (who contributed a recipe to “Brewing Local”), and Michael Tonsmeire, “The Mad Fermentationist.”

Australian National Homebrewing Conference, Oct. 13-15. I’m headed to Australia directly from Denver (GABF). Plenty of talks have my attention, but I’m already beguiled because they call the pauses between presentations “hot breaks.”

Midwest Regional Homebrewers Conference, Cape Girardeau, Mo., Nov. 5. This event is still coming together.


Stuff to talk about on our four-mile pub crawl

There will be no beery links here Monday. A busy Saturday will be followed by two days of birthday (not mine) travel. On Saturday I’ll be taking a stroll along Manchester Avenue with Lew Bryson and Joe Stange. Some walking, more drinking of beer, probably even more talking. I expect that, among other things, we’ll be discussing topics that came up in two posts that would be in the Monday links were there to be Monday links.

1) Imports in the Age of Local. Set aside a little time, because Bryan Roth has more than 3,000 words to say about this at Good Beer Hunting. Both Joe and Lew have written, or co-written, several guidebooks. These are reminders that people travel to drink local. Makes sense to me. For centuries beer has also traveled to meet drinkers. But the business of selling it might have changed.

2) The Dreary Reality Of Those Disclosures. It will easier to follow what Alan McLeod has to say if you subscribe to Boak & Bailey’s newsletter (scroll down and look on the to sign up). This is a topic I might think about too much, over think, and make too complicated. Alan and I discussed this after Boak & Bailey wrote about it in their May newsletter and I included some of the thoughts last week in the keynote speech at the Beer Bloggers Conference in Tampa. The bloggers heard the fourth rewrite of the keynote, and it needed at least four more.

But I’m OK with Julia Herz’s takeaway: “Journalists need to be held to a higher standard.” (And that means holding ourselves to a higher standard.) Self righteous? Probably. Certainly more explanation is needed, and maybe Joe and Lew will help push me past the tipping point that will result in the addition to the mission statement here.


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