Archive | May, 2009

Beer in Italian wine country

Birrifcio

The May/June issue of DRAFT magazine has hit newsstands, though none I’ve seen. So now you can read the rest of the story from when I reported on beer in Italy back in October and December. Since I haven’t seen the print edition I don’t know what photos appeared with my words.

Perhaps the one at the top, taken at the bar at Birrificio Troll in Vernante.

You can read the story online, but DRAFT would rather you grab a copy from a newsstand or subscribe. Seems fair to me.

 

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What if Robert Parker were a beer writer?

Beer critics?Today’s Wall Street Journal reports on a topic that’s been simmering in the wine blog and wine discussion board world for a while: the ethics of wine writing, centering on Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

Read it, and check out blog entries from Dr. Vino and Wine Enthusiast columnist Steve Heimoff.

Now to beer (and a couple more wine links). More than a year ago in looking for an excuse to use a lovely quote from Kenneth Tynan (“A critic’s job, nine-tenths of it, is to make way for the good by demolishing the bad”) I tossed up a post that generated a silly number of comments, leading to a discussion about the ethics of beer writing.

That probably doesn’t need to be revisited. But there is something else to think about. During the course of the Parker flap, the author at winesooth.com asked several prominent wine writers a variety of leading questions. Good reading. But if you check out just one response make it Jancis Robinson’s.

She answers questions not asked, including the issue of writing about people who turn into friends. She writes, “I cannot think of a single wine writer who has managed the sort of hermit-like existence that would be required of them if they were to ensure that they had no real human contact with anyone in the wine trade.”

The discussion about wine junkets and samples of ridiculously priced wines makes it pretty apparent how wine and beer continue to differ (thank goodness). But friendship, that’s universal. It’s one of the joys of writing about beer. Something for me to remember when I write and you to remember when you read.

By the way, if you read this far I applaud you. Despite the lengthy discussion’s at Parker’s website and all the words typed on wine blogs this is a subject I’m not sure how many wine or beer drinkers give a good burp about. Witness the rather meager 11 comments at winesooth.com.

 

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#37 – Where in the beer world?

Where in the beer world?

Think you know where in the beer world this photo was taken?

Please leave you answer as a comment.

This is what happens when you have two guys with cameras in a place that serves beer. Yes, the photographer is using the glass as a tripod.

Where in the beer world?

I figure there’s a good chance somebody can name the city; the spot may be a little tougher. The second photo, of my beer, provides a tiny hint.

 

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Bad news from Lambic Land

Joe Stange at the Thirsty Pilgrim posts troubling news from Armand Debelder at Drie Fonteinen.

Because of a busted thermostat, excessive heat ruined about 100,000 bottles of lambic and gueuze in storage last weekend. He said that represented about a third of his annual revenue, so it is a serious blow to his business. It is not a fatal blow—he is determined to survive and keep going—but it is serious nonetheless. For example, there will be virtually no 37.5 cL bottles of gueuze on the market this summer.

Curioiusly, Debelder could end up distilling the ruined lambic into a liquor.

Go read the whole story.

 

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Celebrating one year on the road

Firestone Walker Union

One year to the day after we left home on this rather pleasant family journey I found myself wandering about Firestone Walker Brewing in Paso Robles, Calif. And checking out the brewery’s patented union system up close and personal.

That probably makes it hard for you to believe it when I keep saying “This really isn’t a beer trip.”

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