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Monday beer links: Beer & weed, The Beer Monopoly, and ‘enter the chairs’


Legal marijuana is affecting the beer industry’s memory.
Killer lead from Jason Notte: “Marijuana’s disruption of short-term memory apparently applies to the argument about its effects on the beer industry. Folks are still saying weed is bad for beer, but nobody seems to remember any of the evidence to the contrary.” And it is followed by a solid takedown of “this purple haze of half-truths” and a report from investment bank Cowen and Co. maintaining that legal marijuana is driving down beer sales. Notte concludes, “It isn’t marijuana harshing the beer industry’s mellow: It’s some harsh truths about where the industry is headed.” [Via MarketWatch]

London’s next beer revolution has begun.
[Via Craft Beer London]
Texas’ Deep Ellum Sells Stake to Storied Craft Breweries.
[Via Brewbound]
The Riddle of Scarcity in New England.
[Via All About Beer]
In the first story, Will Hawkes concludes, “The implications for independent London breweries are obvious. The advantage from being local only goes so far: those who will thrive over the next few years will do so because their beer is consistently good.” In the second, a Dallas brewery intent on growing apparently much larger, sells majority interest in the operation to an investment group. In the third, Jeff Alworth examines the choices breweries that brew passionately loved beers make related to producing and selling those beers. You may parse all this information differently. But it seems to me that stories about how many breweries is too many breweries overlook that a fundamental shift. Some owners — well, lots of them — have written a business plan based on ongoing growth. But the way some others measure success has changed, and there is room for plenty more local breweries whose founders have realistic expectations.

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Monday beer links: Hop inspections, beer lists, BCS & ‘Hard Times’


Unhappy New York Hop Inspection: 1827 to 1835.
Alan McLeod trips happily from one discovery about hop inspecting to another. A couple of passages from the 1973 edition of Steiner’s Guide to American Hops add to the conversation.

(The annual sale of hops) was greatly stimulated by a law passed in Massachusetts in 1806 providing for compulsory inspection and grading of all hops packed for export. Strict standards were set for inspection and sternly enforced with the result that Massachusetts “first sort” brand became known as the finest hops in the United States. The effects of the law were salutary. European customers insisted upon hops which had passed the Massachusetts inspection, and in consequence, such approved hops commanded a premium price.” Production grew from annual sales of 304,377 pounds between 1806 to 1815 to 595,451 between 1825 and 1835. (From History of Agriculture in the Northern United States, 1620-1863.)”

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Monday beer links: Cultural perspective, birthday pics, predictions


The City with a Thorn in its Side — Manchester, England’s Mix of Old and New.
“Manchester is just two hours away from London by train—163 miles. But the gulf between these two cities, from culture to accents, is as vast as the differences between the Florida Keys and the Pacific Northwest. In order to experience these cultural differences, you really need to observe them in person.”

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Monday beer links return, and context still matters


The crawl is on.
Curiosity and the skunk.
The concept — “the crawl is on” — should be enough to suck you in. If you follow John Duffy on Twitter you know he was knocking about the US recently. Last Monday he began chronicling those travels. As always, excellent drinking notes paired with telling cultural commentary. [Via The Beer Nut]

Data Says Women Driving Craft Beer Growth.
A lot here, including that sales data from the big stores are going to overvalue the hard sodas and undervalue the North East IPAs. Leading us to . . . [Via BeerGraphs]

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