MONDAY BEER LINKS, MUSING 12.01.14
The sameness of craft beer. SPOILER ALERT, it is better to start at the beginning, but I’m cutting directly to the conclusion: “So are we necessarily headed for a world where beers taste the same everywhere? Probably we are, at least to some degree, because I don’t really see how anyone today can develop a genuinely local beer culture.”
To “some degree” leaves wiggle room, so I can’t say I simply disagree with this. There is much truth in it, but I see something else happening as well. Friday we were in a newish place in western New Jersey located in a building in which more than one restaurant venture has failed, the last being an “Asian fusion” concept. It was packed. Presumably because it has 40 beers on tap, most of which would be labeled craft, and about as many televisions, all of which were showing various football games. The draft menu included cultish San Diego-style hop-centric beers such as Ballast Point Sculpin IPA and Port Brewing Wipeout IPA (so from 2,700 miles away). There was a handle for Coors Light, a beer I saw plenty of people in their mid-20s drinking. If you wanted a Budweiser you had to buy it by the bottle (and people did). There were also, thank goodness, plenty of regional choices, although none from tiny breweries or beers you’d label “place based.”
So I don’t see beers tasting the same everywhere. Brewers in the Midwest who like hop-centric beers similar to those found on the West Coast are making beers that taste much the same, but there is a difference between exactly the same and broadly the same. The former has a better chance of being boring. One things that struck me at the Beers Made by Walking Festival last October in Denver was the connection attendees seem to make immediately with the beers being served. Granted, people who paid to attend were already predisposed to appreciate these beers. Some were from small breweries, but some were from larger ones. They were delightfully not the same, and most were not scalable. Granted, I’m a cockeyed optimist, but it sure looks like this not-scalable trend has legs.
Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. Read it for a measured report on The Brewers Project at Guinness. Or read it for sentences like this: “St. James’s Gate is a totally sterile plant, no beer leaves alive, not even the made-for-destruction test batches.”
[Via The Beer Nut]
What do beer writers think of beer certifications? Chad Polenz polled people who write about beer about the “expect their brethren to have a certification in order to have credibility.” He also posted a link on his own Facebook page and one on the Beer Judge Certification Program page, and between the two there are almost 200 comments. Exhausting reading.
[Via Times Union and Facebook]
Photo Contest 2014: The What, The How And The Why. Here’s another two-for-one set of links. Alan McLeod rambles a bit about Photo Contest 2014 and blogging in general, with enough length to qualify as a #BeerLongRead the occasional gathering of bloggers hosted by Boak & Bailey. Lots there to add to Pocket.
[Via A Good Beer Blog and Boak & Bailey’s Beer Blog]
Rethinking the tasting note. If it is time to change the way “we” talk about wine, as is suggested here, then maybe it makes sense to reconsider how “we” describe the aromas and flavors in beer.
[Via Grape Collective]