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Beer sentence of the day

a) This story about Narragansett’s “moment in the sun” may or may not end up in next Monday’s beer links, and b) Try as I may I couldn’t condense the quote to 140 characters and do it justice, so here it is in full.

But these days, there’s little that’s authentically Maryland about Natty Boh, a beer brewed in North Carolina under contract to a multinational corporation based in Los Angeles with a Texas post office box as its address.

Got a better one?


Stop me before I link again, a busy week in beer reading


Elysian, Anheuser-Busch, and the Fight for the Soul of Seattle’s Beer.
A profile of Dick Cantwell. “He was the sole nay vote in Elysian Brewing’s sale to Anheuser-Busch. Now the brewer’s legacy is at the center of the battle for the soul of Seattle beer.” Drop it in Pocket, take the time to enjoy it. [Via SeattleMet]

‘What Beer Costs’ — Why we need more flexibility in the market.
It looks to me as if there is a fair amount of flexibility in the market as is, but I don’t see the point of people complaining about the price of any particular beer. As Stephen Beaumont pointed out one of the times this debate popped up years ago there are people out there willing to pay these high-end prices. That’s the bottom line. [Via Good Beer Hunting]

How Brewers Are Churning Out Inexpensive Tangy Sours.
Beware the kettle sour beer.
We begin the sour portion of these links with two views of kettle souring. People get really worked up about this. [Via Denver Post and OBP]

Why Brew Gose Instead of Mild?
During the GABF awards ceremony a week again Saturday Jonathan Cutler from Piece Brewery in Chicago leaned back after he saw that there were 111 entries in the German-style sour ale category and said, “There were about a dozen when I judged them a few years ago.” In fact, there were only 13 entries in 2009. This reflects more interest in brewing Berliner Weiss as well as Gose. [Via Boak & Bailey]

Power Of Sour: How Tart Is Reclaiming Turf From Sweet.
How wild is your beer?
Two more parts to the story of “wild and sour.” Food and what does it mean to call a beer wild? (The second story links back to the NPR one, bringing us full circle – pretty impressive, right?) [Via NPR and All About Beer]

Dear Guinness: Here’s How Not to Debut Your Crappy New Guinness Nitro IPA.
Brilliant. [Via fooboz, h/T Stephen Beaumont]

The story behind first Alabama beer to win a Great American Beer Festival medal in 5 years.
Somewhere Fred Eckhardt is smiling. [Via]

2 Beers 2 Pops – Kids are drinking in Germany.
“Finally, I awakened to this surreal experience going on next to me. The oldest youngster had a beer in front of her bigger than mine, or so it seemed. She looked like she was 14, 15? I have no idea but she was clearly not 21. Kids can drink beer as early as 16 in Germany – and this is the basis for my story.” [Via SommBeer, h/t Joe Stange]

Whalez Bro: A big problem for beer geek culture.
“You will never learn more about beer if you treat it as an item to be collected, rather than a beverage to be enjoyed.” [Via The Portland Phoenix]

Great American Beer Festival versus BeerGraphs.
I’ll cut right to the question in the conclusion: “As much as these are well-respected judges with well-trained taste buds, they come with a much smaller sample than the statistics on our leaderboards. They move faster and can tell you something in a smaller sample, but once you get thousands of people to weigh in on a beer… would you still take the opinion of a small group of judges over thousands of ratings?” But I really like this in the comments: “This is like comparing a baseball players WAR to his fantasy value.” Definitely written from deep in the rabbit hole looking up. [Via BeerGraphs]

Beer as an agent of change.
“It takes bricks and people to build a neighborhood, but don’t forget to bring along the beer.” [Via Joe Sixpack]

And a new game that can be played in the US as well as the UK …


Beer links from outside the GABF bubble


During a brief conversation Saturday morning before the Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony, Saint Arnold Brewing co-founder Brock Wagner said, “We take this view of this business with blinders on. It’s easy for us to see this as the world (itself).” He was talking in more general terms than the madness inside the Colorado Convention Center, but it was a reminder how disorienting GABF can be. So recognizing that more than a billion Chinese were not live streaming the awards ceremony Saturday, this week’s links are GABF free.

Craft Beer and the Rise of the Celebrity Brewer.
Vanity Fair discovers a topic discussed in the beer blogosphere and on discussion boards for more than a decade. Nonetheless, here is something to think about: “Someone who stops Ken Grossman in the street, however, does so because he or she admires his craft, not his media persona. The connection between brewer and consumer is much more intimate — rooted in the six-pack picked up from the grocery store or the growler handed to the host of a party — than most intangible celebrity/fan relationships.” [Via Vanity Fair]

Locally Grown Barley Means Truly Local Beer.
Skagit Valley Malting is working with Washington State University’s Bread Lab to provide small-batch, locally grown malted barley. I was disappointed that Pike Brewing wasn’t at GABF this year, because I would have liked to have tasted Skagit Valley Alba pale ale. [Via Seattle Magazine]

Why the Purchase of Your Favourite Brewery Doesn’t Matter, and Why it Does!
Perhaps you have seen a T-shirt that reads, “I listen to bands that don’t even exist yet.” Maybe somebody should be selling one that reads, “I drink beer from breweries too small for ABI to consider buying.” [Via Beaumont Drinks]

Yuengling Brewery Chief’s Daughters Work to Become His Successors.
It’s a video. [Via The New York Times]

An American Conquistador — Tony Magee’s Mexico.
A complicated business story, nicely explained. “‘They have a fairly complex system of incentives,’ explains Esteban Silva of Cerveceria de Colima, one of the region’s craft breweries on the Pacific coast at the foot of a volcano. ‘If you sell a certain number of cases of any beer, they give you back cash or free cases. The same is applied to new beers in the portfolio. Lagunitas and all the beers under the portfolio for Heineken will likely be part of the incentive packages of these companies as well.’ In the U.S., this is the definition of pay-to-play, but in Mexico, it’s part of the fabric of the beer industry, and part of why the top two players have controlled it for nearly 70 years.” [Via Good Beer Hunting]

Tips from a first-time (beer) swapper.
Passed along as a public service. [Via BeerGraphs]

The Cask Report 2015: Why Pubs Need Cask Ale Drinkers.
The ninth edition of the Cask Report Pete Brown has written, with some thoughts on what’s happened to the market over the time he’s been doing the report. [Via Pete Brown]

Wine O’Clock, Beer O’Clock and the Changing Language of Drinking.
Wine and beer o’clock are among the pioneers of a new online drinking language, one that speaks to a kind of consumption that happens primarily for show. They’re infinitely hashtaggable (140,000 and 100,000 Instagram results, respectively), and have served as the basis of countless memes, all of which work to turn the simple act of relaxing with a drink into a full-fledged ritual.” [Via Punch]

When It Comes To Book Sales, What Counts As Success Might Surprise You.
“No one likes to see the word ‘poverty level’ on a survey that has anything to do with people you know,” says Roxana Robinson, president of the Authors Guild. “You used to be able to make an absolutely living wage as a writer. You wrote essays and you published them in journals. You wrote magazine pieces and you got paid very well for those. And you wrote books and you got good advances. So being a writer, it didn’t usually mean you would be rich, but it had meant in the past that you could support yourself.”

I pretty much came across as a curmudgeon last year at “Craft Writing: Beer, The Digital, and Craft Culture” when talked a little bit about these challenges (including surprisingly low sales of some beer books), and things obviously haven’t got any better. However, like all things, there is a “traditional” part to the story and an alternative, in this case self publishing. [Via npr, h/T Jacob Grier]


This week: GABF tips (they may apply in real life, too)


OK, that’s enough about last week’s big beer business deal. But one more post about the meganews from the week before:

What, you couldn’t find an actual beer writer to fetishize multinational beer companies?
“Now more than ever, what matters to me is supporting brewers who function as independent local business persons. I know from a quarter-century of experience that these are the folks keeping the ethos real, and the money local, where it recirculates and helps other local businesses.” [Via The Potable Curmudgeon]


GABF | 2015 Fantasy Brewery Draft Picks.
I’ve gone down this geek road before, so I know there is no sure thing. But how the heck does Bagby Beer Company not get taken until the 10th round? [Via]

GABF 2015: Tips to get the most out of the festival (and stay standing).
Essential reading for anybody heading to the Great American Beer Festival. If you scroll to the bottom you’ll find a link to a preview that features only Pacific region beers. Follow that for more regional previews (suggested with the disclaimer I wrote about the Midwest). [Via The Denver Post]

Finding Jack–5th Bloggaversary.
Renée M. DeLuca retells the story about finding her father, New Albion Brewing founder Jack McAuliffe. [Via The Brewer’s Daughter]

The English Pub.
“As L.P. Hartley famously wrote in the opening sentence of The Go-Between, ‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.’ So what has, and hasn’t, changed in the English pub as it was described almost eight decades ago?” [Via When My Feet Go Through the Door]

Seeing the wood for the trees.
“We don’t consume barrels they way we do food and wine, but it’s still an agricultural product, and one that requires transformation for it to become useful, much as grapes must be guided through several stages before they become a finished and enjoyable wine.” Or as the ingredients in beer must be guided through several stages … [Via The World of Fine Wine]

Scientists Predict the Future of Food.
“We want local, fresh, hand-crafted, minimally processed foods and beverages like people had in previous generations. But how do we do that safely for eight or 10 billion people, all while using less resources?” [Via Eater]


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