MONDAY BEER LINKS, MUSING 05.26.14
Considering BridgePort at 30. Jeff Alworth “rattles on” — near the end he basically asks for a show of hands from those who might still be reading — but it is worth the time. And it makes a lot more sense if you don’t jump right to the conclusion: “I’ll wrap it up by saying that I think the odd place BridgePort occupies in the beer world will eventually look a lot less odd. It’s a brewery of the future, more corporate and generic, less tied to place.”
If this is true what does it mean for eight or so breweries that will open somewhere in the United States this week?
Understanding the ‘craft beer revolution’ through science. This might be the only link your read from Neuroanthropology this month, so put on your thinking cap. Reading it I reminded me that we need a new Beer Flavor Wheel, because one in current use was designed for brewers to use, and more specifically to identify unwanted flavors and aromas.
Doing my bit for the Surrey hop-growing industry. Hogs Back brewery recently invited journalists and other interested parties to witness, and participate in, the first planting of the Farnham White Bine hop variety in Farnham soil in about 85 years. Martyn Cornell reports from the field. Ed Wray was also there, as was Roger Protz (he’s pictured in Cornell’s post). Last week Protz included a bit from Ali Capper of the British Hop Association urging British brewers to
use more British hops. She refers to the ongoing story about how the popularity of hop-forward beers has led to higher prices for some hop varieties, and in some cases shortages. I could post 10 links to such stories each week, but will wait until there is something with more information than was available in February. It’s shouldn’t be long before we know how many acres farmers planted this year in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
10 ways craft beer is outmaneuvering wine. This comes from Charles Gill, a “30-year wine industry veteran who has worked at every level of the industry.” Seems like some apples and oranges here, beyond the obvious differences between beer and wine, like local versus national/global brands. He mentions “the preponderance of local brewers” and community as an advantage for beer. But in Missouri, where I live, has more than 100 wineries, so twice the number of breweries. Overall, there are more than 8,000 wineries in the United States, way more than twice the breweries.
Nonethless interesting. Particularly the notion of “gatekeepers” (in No. 4 as well as No. 10).
[Via Wine Lists USA]
Shandy-monium: The sequel. Summer Shandy now accounts for 50 percent of Leinenkugel’s total business. The company sold the equivalent of 5.5 million cases in 2013 — easily more than twice the amount of Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA, the nation’s best selling IPA —. And Jake Leinenkugel says maybe half of beer drinkers still don’t know what it is. Seems like the “don’t know” estimate might be low.
Traveler Beer, which is part of Burlington, Vermont-based Alchemy & Science, a unit of Boston Beer, is also betting big on shandy. Founded in 2012, as the House of Shandy, the company’s stated mission is to “combine the European Shandy tradition with American ingenuity.” Alan Newman, its president and founder of Magic Hat Brewing, acknowledges there is still plenty of work to be done in introducing the shandy to the American consumer.
“We recently hired an online survey company to ask Americans ‘What is a shandy?’,” he said. “Eighty-nine percent missed it completely. I think, maybe 7 percent figured it was a beer. So the understanding of the category still has a way to go.”