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Beer links, musing 05.08.17: It’s different this time

Sour beer summit in St. Louis

On the Wicked Weed Brewing Purchase.
[Via Jester King Brewery]
What it’s like to work for a brewery that “sold out”
Watch the Hands, Not the Cards — The Magic of Megabrew.
[Via Good Beer Hunting]
If you somehow missed the news last week that AB InBev acquired Wicked Weed Brewing take a moment to google a few of those words. It happened. The reaction was swift, much of it like when AB InBev bought 10 Barrel Brewing, like when AB InBev bought Elysian Brewing, like . . . you know the drill. It’s happened enough that several bars were quicker to announce they’d no longer be serving Wicked Weed beer. At the same time, drinkers across the country asked if it was OK to be excited to think about Wicked Weed’s highly rated beers showing up in their hometowns — just as 10 Barrel and Elysian already have. In addition, DRAFT magazine and Good Beer Hunting posted insider written stories that told us something new. They both come from a point of view.

Something else happened, beginning with Jeff Stuffings at Jester King announcing the brewery would no longer sell Wicked Weed beer or participate in Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium Invitational in July. By the end of the week more than half of the breweries who were to attend had canceled those plans. Good Beer Hunting pointed out, accurately I think, that some of this was peer pressure. I’ve pointed out before than in The Audacity of Hops author Tom Acitelli uses the word “movement” on one third of the pages, because it feels like it should be reserved for things more important tha beer.

It also seems less apropos and the consumer base broadens. But it sure still seems to matter to brewers, and a while back Brooklyn Brewery co-founder Steve Hindy explained why the thinks the word remains relevant. “There was, is, a desire to change the way people think about beer,” he says. “A whole different way of defining beer or characterizing the consumption of beer.” Brewers of sour, or wild, beer — which is what Wicked Weed invitational is about — are further bond by the beer they make or the way they make it. (Exhibit A: Khris Johnson’s post at GBH.)

The picture at the top was taken last July at the “Funky Fifth” Midwest Belgian Beer Festival in St. Louis. That’s Walt Dickinson of Wicked Weed on the right in the back. Earlier he could not stop talking while he poured his beers, describing to drinkers — whether they asked or not — the glorious moment he recognized how aged hops made these beers better. Cory King from Side Project Brewing is talking to Dickinson in the picture; Jeff Stuffings and Brad Fedie from the Funk Factory are in the foreground. Side Project, Jester King (of course) and Funk Factory changed their Funkatorium Inivational RSVPs last week. When I type that looking at this picture makes me feel as if something has been lost I’m not writing about beers from Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin that won’t be poured in Asheville, N.C. Or a movement. It’s a moment that happened last July, and the participants can’t know if it will again.

Craft beer pricing Part II: Is it too high, too inconsistent or just right?
You’ve probably been doing some of this math in your head, but now might do it thinking about what Chris Herron of Creature Comforts wrote. [Via Sacramento Bee]

Despite Craft Brewery Boom, Big Beer Still Rules Maine.
As the headline suggests, some perspective. [Via Bangor Daily News]

The Cream of Manchester: the decline and fall of Boddingtons cask bitter 1974-2012.
“Recently, on social media, there has been nostalgic discussion about Boddington’s Bitter — how good it was, what colour it was, how bitter it was and crucially, when it started to decline in quality. Focus in the debate has been, so far, largely subjective. What follows is a more objective analysis.” Not long after Daria and I started writing about beer a Manchester native told us we needed to seek about Boddington’s on cask when we were next in England. A couple years later, in 1994, we had a chance. We were thoroughly disappointed. It wasn’t terrible, but to quote Joe Ely, we had our hopes up high. [Via Boak & Bailey’s Beer Blog]

Inside a Czech Floor Malthouse.
Whew! After all that business stuff, a little romance. [Via Beervana]

Session 123: The Internet And Craft Beer.
Alan McLeod’s contribution to The Session. This is pretty much true: “All beer is, as a result, properly understood as local and personal. The ecology is small and getting smaller with the return to more naturally scaled micro and happy tap rooms.” And, in my view, that is a good thing. But to avoid inbreeding somebody has to occasionally venture out to interact with other cultures. The internet facilitates that. Trading an email with somebody in Poland is not as good as heading there to learn about Grodziskie, but it is better to be aware than not. [Via A Good Beer Blog]


Bots man we can all have butlers.
“Of course, there are plenty of readers of this column who’ll say ‘people won’t want to trust a robot. They’ll prefer to make their own decisions.’ But that only reminds me of the doubters who argued that people would never trust Wikipedia over a ‘proper’ encyclopaedia.” Sigh. [Via Meininger’s Wine Business International]


Is he talking about us?

One Response to Beer links, musing 05.08.17: It’s different this time

  1. Alan May 8, 2017 at 10:42 am #

    I actually confirmed my feelings about “local” this weekend by going to a tap room for growler takeaway, buying a very mixed bag of 500 ml tins of eastern Ontario craft at the government store then cramming three generations to my family into the packed upper room of the venerable Kingston Brew Pub (born over 30 years ago now) to listen to friends and acquaintances play east coast music washed down with two Ontario saisons. The movement is alive and strong – and fits into the larger community comfortably.

    PS: coming up on a decade of complaining about the price of craft.

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