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Significant beer digits iii

Courtesy of CityLab (with a h/T to Tim Holt) a terrific map of “Liquordom in New York City” in the 1880s and these numbers:

– One 32-block section of what’s now the Lower East Side had 242 “lager-beer saloons” and 61 “liquor saloons.”

– There was one saloon to every twenty five families in the city.

– 63% of all the criminal arrests were for intoxication and disorderly conduct.

– Food sellers — butchers, bakers, and grocers — totaled 7,197. Liquor sellers totaled 10,075.

– Twelve of the 24 aldermen of the city were liquor dealers.


Monday beer links: Yeast genetics & trouble in Beervana


Mosaic Canyon, Death Valley National Park
We spent our weekend in Death Valley National Park (too early for wildflowers; great for exploring canyons) but here’s what hit my radar before we left the Midwest. Or I rushed to add Sunday evening with a minimum of musing.

Chris White of White Labs and Sequencing Yeast Genes.
A discussion of genetically modified (GM) yeast appears well into the story. Not likely happening short term, but White suggests it may eventually. About three years ago, when the project was just getting rolling, a scientist in one of the Belgian labs involved said, “Right now we have a few hundred genetically modified yeast strains patiently waiting in our laboratory’s freezer.” Having taken the temperature of brewers around the world, the Belgians changed their approach, working at breeding new strains just as other scientists have cattle and peas in the past. (In the current “Future of Beer” issue of All About Beer I compare and contrast this with Bootleg Biology). Putting aside the not so civil war that spins around genetic modification, it all makes me pause. Brewing science marches ahead all the time, whether it is a matter of finding more efficient ways to lauter or breeding higher alpha hops. But how “easy” should scientists make it to brew beer?

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Peachy keen, & not so peachy, Monday beer links


Warning: The first several links may leave you with the impression that not everything is peachy keen in the world of alternative beer.

The Big Issue: Exploitation.
Perhaps coincidentally there was other chatter, not altogether pleasant, this week about the phrase “beer people are good people.” Feel free to pursue that discussion elsewhere. Granted, this reads a little sensational: “Yet, for some who try to build a life in the craft beer industry, that narrative is quickly lost as they find themselves at the will of employers cutting corners, underpaying staff or intimidating them into staying quiet about unethical or even illegal treatment of employees.” But this is an in-depth report (3,500 words or so) from Australia. Don’t think it is confined to that continent. Further reading: “Labor of Love” in Beer Advocate. [Via The Crafty Pint]

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Headlines matter – the sky is falling; no, it’s not

Brewers Associaton economist Bart Watson talked numbers yesterday at the Ohio Craft Brewers Association’s annual conference. Headlines on two stories that resulted set a different tone.

Beer economist: For somebody to grow, somebody has to shrink

Economist says there’s room for new breweries in Ohio

Storm clouds

The stories themselves contain most of the same facts, but the first has more and Watson saying, “There’s still growth out there, but it’s harder to find.” (It’s also from the USA Today network, so you have to answer three questions to read the whole thing.) Both headlines can be true. Craft Beer Brew News recently reported that “up to half of 36 brewers over 100K bbls declined.” But smaller breweries, those producing less than 100,000 barrels, did better. Beer Marketers Insights estimates their sales increased 14% (still not as good at 2015, when sales were up 25%). Thus it is likely there will be more breweries in Ohio, more breweries in lots of place, and more stories with headlines that read It’s 1997 All Over Again or It’s Different This Time.


Monday beer links: They aren’t always pretty


Who lives
Who dies
Who tells your story?

From Hamilton, An American Musical

I don’t care who tells a story as much as I care about the story. There is lot of excellent ones this week, but before getting to those a few thoughts provoked mostly by the rollout of a new beer website called October. It kicked up quite a ruckus in my Twitter feed (one example, and another) and inspired at least one righteous blog post, mostly part because the site has been “co-created with beer giant AB InBev.” And that is something to think about seriously (and maybe even talk about how this is different, or not than A-B’s Here’s to Beer campaign 10 years ago — but not here today).

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