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If Alanis Morissette were a beer, [fill in the blank]

Make what you will of this (because the point is not to discuss Alanis Morissette’s music), think of a beer from the 1990s and rewrite the sentence in your head.

Most of the top music from the 1990s, such as say Alanis Morissette, would sound current if released today, a sign of cultural stasis in what was once a highly socially charged and rapidly changing sector.

Untapped: Exploring the Cultural Dimensions of Craft BeerContext: “Once We Listened to the Beatles. Now We Eat Beetles” at Bloomberg, which Tyler Cowen pointed to (“Food has replaced music as culturally central, at least for America’s professional class”) at Marginal Revoluation. Best to read the original article, but the juicy comments are at Marginal Revolution.

More context: I’ve just started reading Untapped: Exploring the Cultural Dimensions of Craft Beer, which is thoroughly engaging and should reframe a lot of conversations about beer, pre-Jack McAuliffe or post. As a journalist I’m not sure how I feel about this from this from the foreword — “As sociologists examine these trends, they bring insights that journalistic interpretations often gloss over” — but the sentence provides a reader with a good idea what to expect.

Premise: Beer is food.

I’ll leave you to consider the question at the top — cultural stasis/beer stasis ~ 1995/2017 ~ “IPA? What’s with all this bitterness?”/”IPA? Where’d all the bitterness go?”

Instead I direct you to Erik’s comments (and not only because he too wonders how current Alanis Morissette sounds).

Music stopped being culturally significant when we stopped listening together and instead had complete autonomy and privacy in our musical choices.

Food is still somewhat aspirational – most of us can’t afford to eat at the best restaurants in the world, or to find authentic versions of traditional foods around the world, nor do we have the skill to perfectly recreate it. That makes food a challenge and makes it the stuff of legend and fantasy. It is also something we still tend to share with others.

Just more to think about as I make my way through Untapped (no that Untappd).

But is ‘juicy’ a flavor?

The best read post here, on an cumulative basis, is “Words to describe the beer you are tasting.” From nine years ago. Quite honestly, readers arrive via a search engine, read that post, check out nothing else here, and leave. The point is they are searching.

Flavor MapThey might be better off forking over $16 (plus shipping) to buy their own Beer Flavor Map. You can read more about it here. It works like this: flavor is broken into three color-coded categories — Taste, Aroma and Mouthfeel. Within each there are sub-categories, so under Spicy you will find licorice, clove, cinnamon, etc.
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Meet me in Kansas City Saturday

We’re headed to Kansas City this weekend. We’ll be eating smoked meat, drinking beer, meeting up with friends, and I am told there might be some shopping.

I might miss most of that shopping stuff to hang out with brewing friends. Feel free to join us.

Stop No. 1 will be at Glass to Grain Grain to Glass at 1 p.m. I’ll talk a little bit about essential oils, including some new discoveries related to hops and how other plants may be used to create hop-like aromas and flavors (with an assist from yeast). Stop by, listen, ask questions, bring any books (preferably ones I’ve written) you’d like signed. There will be books for sale, but that part is strictly optional.

Round No. 2 begins at 3 p.m. at Crane Brewing in Raytown. The brewery was under construction when I was there in the summer of 2015, so I’m looking forward to a tour from Michael Crane.

Under construction - Crane Brewing Co., Raytown, Mo.

I think everybody will be welcome to join in. After that Michael and I will talk about foraging for yeast and brewing with local yeast. We should be around there until about 6 p.m. Once again, bring questions as well as books to be signed. And there will be books for sale — holiday shopping made fun.

Just in case Florida isn’t the next hop powerhouse

Conveniently enough yesterday @BeerAdvocate tweeted to a link to a story I wrote for the magazine not quite two years ago. It began, “The American hop market seldom finds a comfortable equilibrium for very long, simply because as essential as hops are in brewing beer, they serve almost no other commercial purpose.”

Business was booming then and it is booming now. Last week I revisited one of the reasons why, and Bryan Roth is posting about hops every day this week. In addition, last week Good Beer Hunting took notice of how acreage outside the Northwest is growing and All About Beer had a story about an attempt to grow hops in Florida.

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Ava on Saturday; Denver on Oct. 4

Alas, I’ll be elsewhere on those dates, but I’m sure you’ll be happy if you make it to Scratch Brewing’s book release party Saturday in Ava, Illinois, or to Beers Made by Walking’s now annual gathering Oct. 4 in Denver. The basics:

The Homebrewer’s Almanac release party begins at noon in Ava. You should own this book, and in addition they’ve got quite a party planned.

The day will be filled with free events, including book signings, garden and foraging tours, home brew demos. We’ll also have a raffle with tons of great prizes, including tickets to our Oktoberfest (and two handmade Scratch steins); a crate of four of our bottled beers (one which is yet to be released); a beer book pack; a special Chanterelle Biere de Garde home brew kit (with chanterelles!) put together by Windy Hill Hops; and a grand prize SS Brewtech 7 gal Brew Bucket conical stainless fermenter. This is a fantastic opportunity to pick the minds of owner-brewers Marika and Aaron, grab a signed book for yourself or the brewer in your life, and walk away with some great beer prizes. The event is free and will run all day from noon to 10 p.m.

Beers Made by Walking will be held at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science this year.

Over 25 of the beers were made specifically for this event by Colorado breweries that have collaborated with us. Each beer is inspired by landscapes in an area of the brewer’s choosing. Brewers have hiked up 14,000 foot mountains, trekked through lush canyons, camped in national parks, and strolled through community gardens to find inspiration. Additionally, Scratch Brewing (Ava) and Fonta Flora (Morganton, NC) will serve a few specialty offerings from their respective portfolios that include beers with foraged ingredients.

Tickets are $35 and the best deal in Denver during Great American Beer Festival week.

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