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Monday beer links: Sexism, pastry stouts and pickle beers

MONDAY BEER & WINE LINKS, 12.11.17

Adminstrative note: Monday links will be on hiatus until Jan. 8. Get your weekly links fix from Boak & Bailey, consider the not-quite-every-week suggestions from Timely Tipple or Alan McLeod, or wander further afield with Read.Look.Drink at Good Beer Hunting.

– That there are stories like this one about female brewers in Florida does not change the fact there is sexism and sexual harrassment in craft beer that extends beyond objectionable names*. So, as Jeff Alworth suggests, if “we want to change society, we all have to participate.”
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Book report: ‘Beer is for Everyone’

Once you’ve condensed what might be an entire post to a blurb that fits on the back of a book it may not rehydrate easily, not even with a healthy dose of beer.

So this is what I wrote about Beer is for Everyone!:

“The value of a fresh pair of eyes — or in this case a fresh pair of glasses — is apparent on basically every page. The author, who doubles as protagonist, foregoes making beer formidable and instead invites a newcomer to be comfortable. To adapt a line from page 89, ‘This book was meant for fun.’ ” I wish that I had included Jay Brooks’ suggestion that “it won’t be until later that you realize how much you learned about beer.”

But I think what remains most important is that the book is just plain fun. Author/artist Em Sauter is plenty serious about beer, which is obvious when her character speaks objectively about beer and brewing. It is equally obvious when she speaks subjectively. For example, see pages 104 and 105, where she describes Firestone Walker Pivo. “The beer bombards the senses in an utterly wonderful way. Bready. Spicy. Floral. Woody.” (Appropriate artwork accompanies the words.)

She also offers pairing suggestions: “From sushi to swiss cheese.” No surprise there. But then comes this: “Or from karate to knitting.” Not the way I’d think about Pivo, and maybe something that doesn’t even make sense to me. That’s fine. A discussion about the need for different voices broke out a while back. Listen to one of those voices.

The rehydration of thought stops there, but for more about what is in the book, and additional pages, see what Jeff Alworth had to say.

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Monday beer links: Monks, Dixie, and flutes

MONDAY BEER & WINE LINKS, 12.04.17

“I guess we have to talk about Dilly Dilly.” No, actually, we do not. To his credit, Jeff Alworth, points out that we live in little silos. Dilly Dilly has not made its way into mine. This does not bother me.

Mount Angel Abbey brewing equipment

– I am, however, perfectly delighted to talk about construction of a brewery at Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon. Jeff Alworth, again that guy, has plenty of history and new details. One point of order. The brewery tanks (pictured above) haven’t just started arriving. They’ve been sitting a short walk down the hall from where Father Martin brews for almost three years; monastic patience on display.

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Session #130: Ron Pattinson’s dream festival is good enough for me

The SessionYour dream beer festival?

Free admission? Nothing but 100-point rarities you’ve never tasted before? Only local beers? Only brewers pouring? Only eight-ounce servings (or 1 or 4 or 16)? No lines?

Host Brian Yaeger has asked us to write about designing “your dream festival” for the 130th gathering of The Session, providing a list of criteria to consider (size, style, location, you get the idea). And he suggests that we conclude “with a note about why you can see trying to make this fantasy fest a reality or why you’ll never advance this idea of yours beyond the Session post!”

The thought occurs to me that if you dream big you should find somebody else to take charge of execution. Or to phrase that idea as a confession: Part of what makes it a dream beer festival is that somebody else organizes it.

Ron Pattinson has the right idea. He assembled a collection of historic lager recipes he’d like breweries to make and serve at a festival. He found somebody — Florian Kuplent, diploma brewmaster and co-founder of Urban Chestnut Brewing in St. Louis — who thinks this is a good idea. UCBC has recruited breweries from across the country to make beers from these recipes. Planning is ongoing, but 20 to 25 lagers will be poured March 3 at the brewery’s Grove location. Ron Pattinson will be there, and so will I.

This is a better festival than I could have dreamed up. It’s the one I am most looking forward to in 2018; closely followed by Fonta Flora Brewery’s State of Origin Festival in June in North Carolina (one I’ve wanted to get to the last couple of years, but didn’t fit into the schedule). The one I wish I could have attended this past year would have been the Norsk Kornøl Festival in Norway.

That these began as somebody else’s dream is fine with me. I prefer writing about other people’s dreams to revealing my own.

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Monday beer links: In search of the new(s)

MONDAY BEER & WINE LINKS, 11.27.17

South Dakota badlands

Rather than finishing with something from Twitter this week start with this (click on the date to see the full exchange).

Then consider Boak & Bailey’s suggestion to “Refresh You Feeds.” They write, “It’s easy to get stuck in a rut following the same few people you’ve always engaged with since year dot and thus get the idea that Beer Blogging is Dead when some or all of them give up the game. Meanwhile, whole new waves of blogs have come, and maybe gone, and probably been replaced by yet more.”

All true, and it is also fair to consider the comment in the Twitter thread that “these people are starting to sound like my dad reacting to Cobain.” Even if I am not sure if who these people are (or if I might be one of them). I’m not prepared to embrace every new beer “innovation” but I think it would be stupid if we didn’t recognize the need for change or that some people today may view beer differently than just about anybody did in 1957, 1987, or even early in 2017.

But like Boak & Bailey (“we sometimes end up featuring the same names time and again for various reasons”) I know that when I spot something new from particulary people in my RSS feeds I am more likely to end up showing you a link the following Monday. For instance, last week I didn’t even wait to suggest reading Martyn Cornell’s post about Norwegian farmhouse brewing, instead tweeting about it as soon as I saw it. There’s a good chance that when Cornell writes something I will point to it, just as I often end up linking to posts by Lars Garshol, who is prominent in this particular story.

But, no surprise, I’m a lot better keeping track of the topics that interest me — and kveik punches a bunch of buttons, even before I read “landrace yeast” for the first time last week — than I am finding new voices. Typing that, of course, does not excuse me from being open to listening for and to them.

However, to return to the top, I don’t expect you’ll be seeing a lot of links to “more brewers writing.” I follow plenty of brewers on Twitter, but a) I understand they have agendas*, and b) I prefer them 140 chaaracters (I know, stuck in the past) as a time.

– The biggest news of the week was Lefthand Brewing in Colorado suing White Labs for $2 million dollars. The Small Business Administration defines companies with up to $35.5 million in sales and 1,500 employees as “small businesses” and the amount of the suit isn’t the most important thing in the story, but $2 million just doesn’t sound “mom and pop” to me. What is important is quality and taking responsibility for quality.

– Somebody in Colorado is going to consider this news because Peter Bouckaert’s nephew is involved. It is a big deal in Georgia because it is the first brewery in the state not to rely on distributed beer as its primary source of revenue; this was impossible before a recent change in Georgia laws. And in Atlanta itself, it is about the beer. Some days I get up in St. Louis and go to bed in Atlanta, or vice versa. But eventually I’ll be registered to vote in Georgia, so I’m focused on what’s behind the third door. And this may influence what you see showing up here from time to time.

– Following up on last week’s idea for a book: Rural Beer. More fodder. As an aside, we once spent an afternoon in Valentine, Neb., getting our minivan made drivable. It was the summer of 1991. I do not recall beer being involved, but the guy who fixed our car was very friendly. We were on our way home from South Dakota, both the Black Hills and the Badlands (pictured at the top).

– The focus of In Defense of ‘Craft’ is on craft cocktails, but the conversation about becoming a master craftsman, compared to being an artist, is relevant across many categories of food and drink. Full of sound bites, like this one: “There is an art form in our business, but it’s about being the impresario, choosing and creating the experience. That’s art. The chef and bartender enact that experience. That’s craft.”

This week’s terroir sighting. With field blends, vine growers and wine makers blend not to obfuscate the taste of a place but to intensify it.

– It’s been more than 10 years since I posted the first of 10 “New Beer Rules” and more than seven since I came to my senses and quit making them up. So I’m OK with the notion that rules are for suckers, and certainly hope that nobody sees the book “The New Wine Rules” and decides to do something similar to beer.

– Rather than finishing with a tweet, as is usual at the end here, a comment about social media.

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