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Session #127 announced: Oktoberfest

The SessionHost Alistair Reece has chosen Oktoberfest as the theme for the 127th gathering of The Session.

He writes, “Feel free to dress up for your tasting, dirndls, lederhosen, that Australian backpacker outfit you keep in the back of your wardrobe for special occasions. Hire yourself an oompah band, play the birdy song, and …” you get the idea. Of course, it starts with an Oktoberfest or Festbier or three.

The first Friday of September falls on the first day of September this year (so before Labor Day). All bloggers are invited to participate. Simply drop him a line or leave a comment with a link to your post

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Monday beer links: festivals, witchcraft & independence

MONDAY BEER AND WINE LINKS, MUSING 08.14.17

Farmhouse ale festival 2016.
[Via Larsblog]
An Ounce at a Time — Are Festivals Fatigued?
[Via Good Beer Hunting]
Compare and contrast.

The best kind of beer festival, I’ve found, is where the drinking public is at least as interesting as the commercial brewers and the speakers. And this was definitely that kind of festival. For one thing, farmhouse brewers are not like modern home brewers. They are country people, not hipsters or IT professionals. And the beer enthusiasts who travelled to the festival were not your average beer drinkers, either.

Witchcraft, Alewives, and Economics.

While we may never truly know if alewives were accused of witchcraft simply because they were alewives, it is clear that women who brewed were perhaps particularly vulnerable to the witch-hunts.

[Via braciatrix]

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We might have been wrong about first wort hopping

I haven’t been out there alone, suggesting first wort hopping, a process in which brewers add hops to wort as it is being lautered into the brew kettle, results in beer with a “finer” bitterness. Even though we can’t explain why. But the fact is I did write more than a few hundred words about it in For The Love Of Hops, based on evidence that was anecdotal as much as documented.

So it is with a heavy heart I report that recent research at Oregon State University finds “no perceivable sensory difference between the two treatments at a 95% confidence level.” Christina D. Hahn, a student at OSU, and Dr. Thomas Shellhammer, who leads the brewing science education and research programs there, presented the results as a poster at the International Brewers Symposium on Hop Flavor and Aroma in Beer last month in Corvallis.

That’s pretty much all you need to know. But a bit more about the study, for the record, and then some background. From the introduction:
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Monday beer links: Context for authentic, Anchor, and what’s lost

MONDAY BEER AND WINE LINKS, MUSING 08.07.17

First, thanks to Alan McLeod for getting into the Monday linking business while I was out of it.

How capitalism cornered the market on authenticity.
Christine Sismondo — who wrote the terrific book America Walks into a Bar — tosses some history at a few words in vogue these days, like traditional and authentic.

The call to return to ‘traditional values,’ which includes taking aim at women in the workforce and denying people access to abortion and assaults on same-sex marriage and transgender rights, among other things, is part of the same anti-modern impulse, albeit a fairly extreme expression. Then there’s the current religious revivalism; a nearly obsessive love of medieval fantasy books, films, television and games; an obsession with all things ‘craft’ and the never-ending quest to find the most authentic of everything, from travel destination to taco.

[Via The Washington Post]

What the Anchor Brewing deal means for craft beer.
[Via San Francisco Chronicle]
Anchors up and away.
[Via The Beer Hunter]
The first story I read about Japanese brewing company Sapporo buying Anchor Brewing is still the best I have found. I am waiting for one that polls regular Anchor drinkers or a new interview with Fritz Maytag. Instead, crazily enough, the best historic context (concise and linkable) resides within something Michael Jackson wrote almost 30 years ago.
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Why I’m waiting to write about NEIPA

The SessionThursday was IPA Day. Friday was International Beer Day. It was also the first Friday of the month, so Session Day. You have to pick your spots and this is mine. Gail Ann Williams has told us the topic is Hazy, Cloudy, Juicy: IPA’s strange twist and asking and answering “What’s the deal with these beers? We’re going to find out together.”

I think you are going to have to find out without me, at least for now. Right now I have more questions than answers, and feel a bit guilty about that. I want to know just how hazy these beers need to be to provide the aroma and flavor drinkers expect. How stable the appearance will be. The aroma and flavor. Questions I’ve been asking brewers and other hop smart people for most of 2017.

John Duffy’s Session post makes it evident that first of all we need to identify what they should be looking for. Defining a style — wait, don’t run away — means identifying expecations. I’m on my second pass through Flavor: The Science of Our Most Neglected Sense, which is a fascinating reminder of how much more there is to learn about how our brains turn odor compounds into aroma (and then flavor). The interaction of odor and visual, not to mention sometimes sound “Listen to your beer” – Fred Eckhardt) is astonishingly powerful.

In addition, Friday I talked about hops at Side Project Brewing and those in attendance sampled both bright and hazy beers. To get those beers they had to commit to listening to me ramble on about hops (kind of testing their Lupulin Threshold in a new way). The hazy beers were different, and excellent in their own way. Rather obviously brewers are learning to wring more out of odor compounds in hops and consumers are willing to pay for the experience. There’s more science to be figured out, and then I’ll have plenty to write.

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