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‘In this fable, corn was evil’

MONDAY BEER LINKS, MUSING 03.08.14

Good morning. This week an international collection of links.

From the United States

The “big” story last week was the Brewers Association revising its definition of “craft brewer” (including that the association does not define “craft beer,” only “craft brewer”). I couldn’t pick just one post to link to, so three:

A corny definition of craft beer. From Don Russell at Joe Sixpack.

The Brewers Association Evolves. From Jeff Alworth at Beervana.

From Canada

The Curious Case Of The Capitulation To Crafty. Same topic as above, adding Alan McLeod’s take on the news. I would not declare the “craft versus crafty” wars over, not as long as there is an app for that. (Not sure I should even include that link, because the idea strikes me as so stupid.) [via A Good Beer Blog]

From England

What closes a brewery? It’s probably the quality of its beer. Excellent analysis from David Turner, who is careful about overstating the value of a limited number of results, and dang interesting. It is very cheering to think this might be true: “Those companies that fail to provide drinkers with quality products are seemingly doomed to fail, while others that excel, innovate and possibly take risks, are more likely to be successful.” [Via Turnip Ale]

From Germany

Ratsherrn Taps The Keg on New Microbrewery. “You can do & brew whatever you want in here, but please don’t forget I still need to be able to sell it!” [Via Brew Berlin]

3 Responses to ‘In this fable, corn was evil’

  1. Gary Gillman March 16, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    On the point of corn, BA basically had to go this route, not because of spice and chocolate – they aren’t adjuncts – but because wheat beers have become more important in the last 20 years and many of these use some unmalted grains in the Belgian tradition. When Suzy Stern was interviewed in 1977, there was no (commercially available) craft wheat beer.

    And then too there was the fact of the old regionals otherwise meeting the craft definition who didn’t qualify – this in a new brewing world BA and its predecessors helped to create – so it had to yield in the face of this new set of facts.

    Also, some beers were using a fair amount of sugar, especially to create strong ales including of Belgian style.

    However, let’s make no mistake. A beer with a noticeable taste of adjunct especially rice or corn isn’t from a gastronomic or best practice point of view a traditional beer. German and Czech lager of repute don’t use rice and corn. British beer before 1845 banned sugar and only later (about 1880) allowed a free mash tun as it was called. That is the tradition, the original one, that Maytag and New Albion were following and very validly.

    We are only where we are, where it is possible to view BA as backtracking so to speak, due to the vision and courage of the new wave of American brewers from the late 70’s on and their trade associations. I include in this the most traditional English breweries (pre-and post-Camra) and Belgian ones with exceptions to be sure for wheat beers made from unmalted grains in part. The rules have changed and so be it but the practice of brewing beer which excludes corn and rice adjunct or very much of it should continue to be bruited by BA, both in line with its own history but also so that in 30 years or so we don’t need a new BA and New Albion etc. and have to start all over again.

    Gary

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