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If Alanis Morissette were a beer, [fill in the blank]

Make what you will of this (because the point is not to discuss Alanis Morissette’s music), think of a beer from the 1990s and rewrite the sentence in your head.

Most of the top music from the 1990s, such as say Alanis Morissette, would sound current if released today, a sign of cultural stasis in what was once a highly socially charged and rapidly changing sector.

Untapped: Exploring the Cultural Dimensions of Craft BeerContext: “Once We Listened to the Beatles. Now We Eat Beetles” at Bloomberg, which Tyler Cowen pointed to (“Food has replaced music as culturally central, at least for America’s professional class”) at Marginal Revoluation. Best to read the original article, but the juicy comments are at Marginal Revolution.

More context: I’ve just started reading Untapped: Exploring the Cultural Dimensions of Craft Beer, which is thoroughly engaging and should reframe a lot of conversations about beer, pre-Jack McAuliffe or post. As a journalist I’m not sure how I feel about this from this from the foreword — “As sociologists examine these trends, they bring insights that journalistic interpretations often gloss over” — but the sentence provides a reader with a good idea what to expect.

Premise: Beer is food.

I’ll leave you to consider the question at the top — cultural stasis/beer stasis ~ 1995/2017 ~ “IPA? What’s with all this bitterness?”/”IPA? Where’d all the bitterness go?”

Instead I direct you to Erik’s comments (and not only because he too wonders how current Alanis Morissette sounds).

Music stopped being culturally significant when we stopped listening together and instead had complete autonomy and privacy in our musical choices.

Food is still somewhat aspirational – most of us can’t afford to eat at the best restaurants in the world, or to find authentic versions of traditional foods around the world, nor do we have the skill to perfectly recreate it. That makes food a challenge and makes it the stuff of legend and fantasy. It is also something we still tend to share with others.

Just more to think about as I make my way through Untapped (no that Untappd).


Monday beer links: Conversation starters and song lyrics


18 Defining Moments in the History of Craft Beer.
[Via VinePair]
I pass this along simply to show you how grown up I’ve become. There was a time I might have written 714 words about how friggin’ stupid many of these choices are. Instead I read it, hummed quietly and listened to the accompanying lyrics in my head.

When it’s time for you to board the train
There are two ways you can go
You can ride the wheels into the sun
Feel the wind upon your face
Or you can laugh into a loaded gun
and you’ll likely lose your place
So I shot ’em down
One by one
Then I left ’em ‘long the rails
– Robert Earl Keen

I don’t intend to do this again, but after that when I picked the links to post here this week I kept thinking of lyrics that seemed appropriate.

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Monday beer links: Owning up to a sexist past; a ‘do over’ for AB InBev in China?

Earthbound Brewing cellar


This Brewer Hired Women Illustrators to Remake the Cringingly Sexist Ads It Used to Run.
There’s a right way. [Via Adweek, h/T Carla Jean Lauter]

‘Pinup versus pin her down’’: Indiana beers stoke controversy.
And there’s a wrong way. [Via Indianapolis Star]

Earthbound Beer’s renovation of the old Cherokee Brewery reveals a lot about 19th-century St. Louis.
When Ron Pattinson drops by St. Louis next month to talk about Scottish ale history the presentation will be at Earthbound Brewing (picture at the top courtesy of St. Louis Magazine). History meets history. [Via St. Louis Magazine]

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A hop by any other name: The un-Chinooking of Chinook

Pioneer Hops Chinook, now called CONNnookPioneer Hops in Connecticut has begun calling hops known as Cascade elsewhere CONNcade and Chinook hops CONNnook.*

Before your knee jerks because you thought you heard the bullshit marketing alarm go off, consider that this might be truth in advertising.

Hop farmers, and of course brewers, in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and now Connecticut have all commented about how less piney and resinous the Chinook they grow are than those from the Northwest. They are more tropical — mango and pineapple are popular descriptors, sometime peach — fashionable flavores these days. Brewers want tropical, but James Altweis at Gorst Valley Hops in Wisconsin says they are confused when they get a whiff of Wisconsin Chinook because the hops are expecting piney. “In the marketplace people are looking for the Chinook they know,” he says. So Gorst Valley renamed the variety Skyrocket.

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Monday beer links: Cultural wars & Stjørdalsøl


Whose Culture?
When I wrote about Cryo hops recently I began with an observation they might not be as big a deal as my Twitter feed would suggest. I was wrong. They are a big deal. Well, based on my Twitter feed the recent heated discussion about Zoiglhaus Zoigl-Kölsch is an even bigger deal. That’s because I follow too many of the folks expressing opinions, so I saw some of the same tweets maybe a dozen times. You can catch up by reading what Jeff Alworth wrote, and get an idea about the vigor of the discussion by continuing to the comments. Nonetheless, I’ll suggest not as many people care about this as will stand in line for the next release at Tree House Brewing.

I do not, however, think it is trivial. To go first to the bottom line, so you can skip the rest and get to the links, I am basically in agreement with John Duffy’s comment. No matter how much we might admire another culture if we think “the correct perspective for an American to have is an American perspective and that’s all that matters” we’ve taken a wrong turn.

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