MONDAY BEER LINKS, MUSING 06.29.15
Does It Matter Where Your Beer Is Brewed?
This is one of several stories that followed the announcement that Anheuser-Busch InBev has struck a deal to compensate the drinkers who thought they were getting German-brewed Becks when the beer was in fact brewed in St. Louis. It illustrates how business-oriented people think about beer. The way I view it: One of the attractive things about (well brewed) beer from a smallish, local brewery making unfiltered, unpasteurized beer is that it becomes something else when it leaves home, something else not as good. Put another way, to understand the power of local taste the beer where it’s not local. [Via the Wall Street Journal]
Lagunitas to build 3rd brewery in Azusa, CA.
Last week Lagunitas founder Tony Magee announced on Twitter (he is @LaguntiasT) plans to open a third brewery, this one in southern California. On Thursday he added details and context with this post at BeerAdfocate.com. Among (many) other things he writes: “Some serious-minded beer lovers and some brewers have a legitimate idea that growing in a modest way is the ‘correct’ way. But that is pious thinking if it excludes other approaches to salvation. Small is great and big, if done thoughtfully and without compromise, is beautiful too.” He obviously leans toward big, very big. I’ve cited a quote from Peter Bouckaert of New Belgium Brewing more than once, but here you go again. “Brewing is a compromise. You have to take into account so many factors,” he said, in this case talking about the actual brewing process. “It’s an interaction. You need to see any beer you create as a holistic thing.” But to move beyond the brewhouse and to elaborate on the previous musing, brewery owners decide how big they want their brewery to grow and at some point “without compromise” becomes, let’s say, challenging. [Via Beer Advocate]
In Pursuit of Impartiality.
I don’t agree with everything here — as noted above, I don’t think “drink local” is a crock — but credit to Alistair for giving Budweiser an unbiased tasting. Extra credit for not claiming it tastes of corn. [Via Fuggled]
Bavarian Beer Trail Cycle: Gears and beers.
“It’s a ride on which I’ll need to pace myself, not so much on the bike, but in the breweries.” [Via Stuff]
The Story Behind That Photograph.
Part confession and part plea: There are stock photos out there I swear I’ve been looking at for 30 years. I might have gone too far down the rabbit hole. But please publishers, if it appeared in Michael Jackson’s “World Beer Guide” don’t use it. Now to the point, a lovely story. [Via Boak & Bailey’s Beer Blog]
A visit to Orval brewery.
Ed Wray visits Brasserie Orval, takes lots of photos and collects plenty of information. Much has changed since I wrote “Brew Like A Monk.” That shouldn’t be a shock — one of the points I make over and over is that change if constant, if not dramatic, even at Trappist breweries. It might be the use of a different barley variety or a tweak in the process. At Orval, for instance, they changed the way they add Brettanomyces not long after I wrote BLAM, dosing Brett inline at bottling rather than during the secondary fermentation. These days Orval is dry hopped with French Strisselspalt rather than Styrian Goldings (what I saw when I visited). This must be pretty exciting for French hop farmers, because Strisselspalt acreage has shrunk considerably since Anheuser-Busch began dialing back what it bought in 2008. [Via Ed’s Beer Site]
Duluth blasts St. Paul for billboard’s beer boast.
Who can’t love talking trash in Minnesota? One more reason for me to look forward to visiting Duluth next month for All Pints North. [Via Pioneer Press]
Southern Brewing Co. Takes Local to the Next Level.
Ingredient of the week: beets (in a Kölsch). [Via flagpole, h/T @austinlouisray]
Coriander, soap and science
My friend Yvan De Baets has been known to describe beers brewed with too much coriander (cilantro) as “coriander soup.” This video indicates that maybe he should be saying “coriander soap.”