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Beer links, musing 05.01.17: Blue collars & beer

Vinnie Cilurzo, Sam Calagione

Beer and Blue Collar Cities.
A scholar somewhere is probably getting close to publishing a related thesis. The premise of “working cities” is tricky, because weren’t all metropolises working cities when they were born? I’m not sure I ever thought of Chicago as a glamorous city (or to lean on Carl Sandburg: Hog Butcher for the World/Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat/Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler/Stormy, husky, brawling/City of the Big Shoulders) but the yuppie/hipster and beer question question Jeff Alworth poses continues to be provocative.

In 1985, Philadelelphia Inquirer food editor Gerry Etter wrote, “Today, beer is invited everywhere. It hobnobs with vintage wines and attends formal parties, it slides effervescently into crystal glasses held by long-gowned hostesses.” This caused another writer for the Inquirer to counter, “I’ve never hobnobbed in my life (and if I did, it was only once and with a consulting adult), and I don’t intend to start now. One doesn’t hobnob while drinking beer, one shoots the bull.” Thirty years later this has not been resolved.

The picture at the top was taken in 2003 at an event where Sam Calagione (on the right) sought to channel Woodie Guthrie; a champion of hard workers (and those who would have been were they able to get a job) as well as social justice. Note that Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River is also wearing a working shirt. I thought about this picture when I saw Tyler Cowen recommend Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy,. The jobs are bartender, distiller, barber, and butcher and “these new elite manual labor jobs give men — mainly those of a certain race and social class standing — the chance to use their bodies directly in their work, as men did in the industrial era but do so less often today.” I’m looking forward to reading the book. [Via Beervana]

How to avert a crisis at Samuel Adams owner Boston Beer.
How to make Boston Beer Company great again — or less favorably, what’s wrong with Sam Adams — was much discussed last week and before in the beer blogosphere and within my own (obviously limited) twittersphere. Jason Notte provides a few links as well as this intriguing suggestion: “But there are tools at Boston Beer’s disposal that can help Sam Adams stay relevant and bolster sales without forsaking its history and identity. While Samuel Adams brands were brewed at Miller, Blitz-Weinhard, Pittsburgh Brewing and other facilities early in its career, Boston Beer has never opened full-time taprooms or brewpubs at its Boston, Cincinnati or Lehigh Valley facilities. There are plenty of excuses not to do so, but with MillerCoors’ Blue Moon getting its own room in Denver, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Goose Island and others sporting their own pubs and the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau noting that more than 1.9 million barrels of beer were consumed on brewery premises in 2016 (up from only 532,000 in 2011), it’s a fairly simple way to ‘go local.'” Not sure where this fits in. [Via MarketWatch]

You Want Better Beer? Good. Here’s a Better Barley Genome.
“Brewing as a business has its ups and downs, but 2.1 new brewing startups open every day (net) in the US—many of them looking for all-malt beers or specialty malting. So the business needs good malt. ‘First it was the growth of the craft brewing industry, and now we have growth in the craft malting industry,’ Mike Davis, president of the American Malting Barley Association. ‘Have you heard the term ‘locavore?'” Bonus sentence, and answer to that question, “As a journalist who sometimes covers food and booze in San Francisco, I am required to have a tattoo of that word.” Additional reading. [Via Wired]

Toast Ale, From Recycled Bread, Is Now Brewed in New York.
I think @larsga’s comment is sufficient: “Quite an achievement to write an entire article on beer from recycled bread without ever mentioning kvass.” [Via New York Times]

Inside Craft Beer-Themed Literature.
a) Evan Rail’s Triplebock: Three Beer Stories belongs on this list. b) This appears at The Beer Necessities. I vaguely remember an announcement about the birth of the site — created by The High End, a division of Anheuser-Busch — but it arrived more quietly than October. Now I’ve added it to my rss feed list. [Via The Beer Necessities]

Brewer Profile: Austin Jevne of Forager Brewery.
Forager was just getting up and running when I talked with Jevne for what amounted to a several paragraphs in Brewing Local. I’m pretty sure I need to get back, particularly because at the Craft Brewers Conference another Minnesota brewer told me “he is killing it.” [Via The Growler]

Pop Culture Conference 2017: Beer Culture.
Tiah Edmunson-Morton filed nine dispatches from the Pop Culture Conference. This is the fourth year of a “beer culture track,” which has become a permanent part of the conference. You can start with the last entry and use previous to get to the others. I have know idea what the total reading time might be, and was not altogether impressed by some of the panelists, but still plenty to think about here. [Via Brewstorian]


Is Terroir Real?
Sorry, I can’t resist stories about terroir. [Via Food & Wine]


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