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Brazil in 3 photos

I posted several photos from IV Congresso Tecnico Cervejeiros Caseiros in Florianpolis, Brazil, on Twitter and Instagram last week. Beer has fast forwarded a lot more than three years since I spoke there in 2014, so a few thoughts about that one of these days. Don’t expect a travelogue like at Experimental Brewing or The Mad Fermentationist; instead this sort of minimalist approach.

Inside the brew kettle


Brazilian sunset

Beer links, musing 04.17.17: Categories vs. appellations

What's the next beer style on the rise? CBC 2017Monday musing and linking began in 2008 as a way to stay in touch during our semi sabbatical, but there hae often times I am not sure what reality I am in touch with. So rather than force the issue, next Monday there will be no links because I will be in Brazil. And I understand that because most of this week’s links were collected while I was in the midst of the rather insular experience of the Craft Brewers Conference they might look different in bright sunlight.

Gonzofest literary contest winner: The Great American Smoker.
Larry Bell said Monday he’s not sure when he last missed a Chicago Cubs’ home opener (which was Monday), but he thought it was important to be at CBC even though the company hums along fine with a minimum of intervention on his part. There are a lot more parties at CBC (and the Great American Beer Festival) these days, bigger, sometimes more lavish, more everything. Well, maybe not more fun. [Via Leo Weekly]

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Significant beer digits ii

This is not new. The numbers get tossed into conversations every once in a while, a reminder that when we talk about small breweries we really are discussing small businesses.

@Josh Noel ran this up the flag poll today on Twitter: “We think of craft as having grown so large. It has. But there’s some stat out there: 90% make less than 3k bbls — or something like that.” Then he suggested it would be better if he could quote a number a little more authoratively.

Brewers Association economist Bart Watson replied rather rapidly:

– “Just looked up the 2015 TTB data. 91.8% (of brewers who made at least 1 bbl) made less than 7,500.”
– “They don’t break out between 1K-7.5K, but our figures have 90% around 5K, which makes sense with that TTB data.”
– “The smallest 3,000 breweries in country made less than Sierra Nevada in 2015 & Sierra Nevada makes ~1% of what AB makes in the US.”
– “That’s all 3,000 collectively. So 3,000 breweries together make less than 1% of AB’s US production. Small breweries are small.”

Diversity, St. Louis style

Yesterday Jeff Alworth filed a dispatch from Bend, Oregon, headlined “American Palates: 82% IPA.” He reported a definite lack of diversity at the brewery taprooms he visited, leading him to write, “The point of all this? Hoppy ales have taken over American brewing, and we’re never going back.” And, “When a country develops its own beer culture, diversity declines.”

Perhaps this means Oregon is more advanced than we are here in the Midwest, because we have not yet developed a similar beer monoculture. (The caveat being, as Alworth points otu, that we are talking about everything outside of industrial pale lagers.) To make reassure myself I’ve rounded up what’s on offer at six of the seven breweries within two and a half miles of our house.

I’m not saying where we live (near that small green park left of central on the map) is typical of St. Louis, Missouri, the Midwest, whatever; just telling you what’s nearby. That Twitter asks if it should translate the menu board at Side Project Brewing from French or tweets from Urban Chestnut Brewing from German may be a sign we don’t fit in quite anywhere.

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Compare and contrast

Late last month I tweeted this compare and contrast after Alan McLeod suggested we could use a “Tree Of Brewing Traditions.” (A fine idea, by the way, so waiting for somebody to step up and do the work.) So you’ll understand why when I first saw the interactive beer wall at Schlafly Bottleworks last week I thought immediately of the ceiling at Strefa Piwa Pub (Beer Zone) in Krakow.

So Bottlesworks at the top, Beer Zone below. The Schlafly map is a work in progress, but right now you can tap one of those circles and details about the beer will pop up on the screen in the center. Wondering what the hops are in American IPA? There they are. Stephen Hale, whose title really is ambassador brewer, says that in a later version customers will be able to tap on any of the hops in that beer, say Amarillo since it is in APIA, and find out what other beers are brewed with that hop.

Of course, I immediately suggested more refinements. Like listing other beers fermented with a POF+ yeast strain when you tap the saison button. This is why I don’t get asked out much.

Interactive beer wall at Schalfly Bottleworks

Ceiling at Beer Zone in Krakow

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