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Monday beer links: Changing local culture, hops, in defense of pumpkin beers


Dah Dah Doo Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Doo Dah La Ti Mi Fa La So Fa Mi.
At the moment last Monday I saw that John McPhee had written about taking his first drink, even if it wasn’t a beer, I knew what the first link would be here today. [Via The New Yorker]

Hopefully Just An Intermediate Stage.
While I think about what constitutes “beer news” (beyond the revelation they’ve named a hop after Ernest Salmon) I will offer a link to a blog Alan and the rest of you may not be reading (next). [Via A Good Beer Blog]

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Monday beer links: Craft writing reminder & a German drinks in Denver


How the Denver beer scene made a German beer connoisseur realize he didn’t know much after all.
I sure hope there is a follow up from Fabian Reinbold, an editor at German magazine Der Spiegel and right now an Arthur F. Burns fellow at The Denver Post. In this article he writes mostly about beers themselves (within the context of his own palate). I’d really like to read his observations about the settings where they were consumed. [Via Denver Post]

The curious case of sports writers who switch to wine.
[Via Columbia Journalism Review]
Craft Beer and Writing? Not the Unusual Pairing You Imagine.
[Via University of Kentucky News]
I saved the Columbia Journalism Review article a while back because I intended to write about storytelling and selling beer. But because I just did a reset on the mission statement here (which restricts navel gazing to Mondays) and because I want to repeat, while you still have time to make plans, that you’ll have a great time if you head to Lexington for Craft Writing: Beer, The Digital and Craft Culture now seems like the time to consider what the CJR story has to say about writing about sports and writing about alcoholic beverages.

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Monday beer links: Yeast family tree, peaches and ‘selling out’


Beer yeast is tame. Wine yeast is wild. Draw your own conclusions.
[Via The Washington Post]
Why we’re so good at making BEER: Study reveals how humans harnessed microbes to create the perfect drink.
[Via Daily Mail]
Domestication and Divergence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Beer Yeasts.
[Via Cell]
If you are feeling brave you may dive right into the third link (peer-reviewed academic/scientific research). Otherwise opt for the newspaper translations (first two). Quite honestly, this stuff if way above my paygrade. Fascinating, but I need serious handholding from people who know what they are talking about to write about it with any confidence. Chapter 6 of Brewing Local is about foraging for yeast, but is downright basic (written in a way I can understand) when it comes to wild versus domesticated. Nonethless, I would call The Washington Post headline oversimplification. You’ll also note that the researchers sequenced only Saccharomyces cerevisiae (top fermenting) strains, leaving Saccharomyces pastorianus for another paper — although it turns out (page 1398) that 10 of the S. cervevisiae strains were used to produce lager beers.

Analysis of farmhouse yeast (kveik).
And then there is the matter of non-industrial yeast strains.

Muri is identified as either lager yeast (Saccharomyces pastorianus) or its close relative Saccharomyces bayanus. That’s consistent with an earlier analysis White Labs had Accugenix do, but very surprising. How did lager yeast wind up in the innermost arm of Nordfjord, right up under the glacier? Did someone at some point get yeast from a lager brewery? Or is the story more complicated? S. bayanus and S. pastorianus are both cold-tolerant species. Do they live wild in Norway? It seems unlikely, but I’m not sure anyone has ever checked carefully enough to answer with a clear yes or no. (Note: this isn’t the first time lager yeast has shown up where it wasn’t supposed to be.)

[Via Larsblog]

The craft beer project that grew from Masumoto Family Farm’s peach trees.
“Hey, Stan, why isn’t this farmer in Brewing Local?” Sorry, no excuses, David “Mas” Masumoto should have been. [Via Los Angeles Times]

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Monday beer links: Blithe ignorance, farewell IPA, hello Huddersfield



Relationships Still Matter.
How is this for a warning? “Everybody now seems to hopefully say, ‘This time is different.’ From what I saw back then and what I see now, the only difference is people have more tatts. Even the beards are the same. And the blithe ignorance. They know what they know, but what they don’t know they assume doesn’t exist.” [Via Beer Business Daily]

IPA is doomed (well, sort of).
A ton of words here (literally, more than 2,000), rambling from time to time, or as Jon Urch writes, “subjective opinion backed up by minimal research and no meaningful data. This is train-of-thought stuff.” There are two questions that particularly interest me — and ones that can’t be answered definitively right now. a) Is it really necessary to use 5 pounds or more of hops per barrel (20 grams per liter) to provide the aroma and flavor currently in vogue? b) Are aroma/flavor stability and this aroma/flavor itself truly incompatible? These are questions I asked four years ago when I wrote For the Love of Hops (although the pounds per barrel weren’t quite as high and murk was not an essential ingredient in IPA). We still don’t have answers, but we are closer. I think there is every chance brewers will find a way to use smaller quantities of hops and to make beers with longer shelf lives without compromising flavor. We’ll see. [Via The drinking classes]

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