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Is it big beer data or beer big data? Either way a big deal


Brewing Records and Why They Matter.
This proposal from Mitch Steele may appear simple. “I’m wondering right now if a concerted effort could be made by the industry to preserve some brewing logs from early craft brewers in a safe place, like a library or a museum, where researchers in the future could go back and learn about the techniques and ingredients being used today.” It is not simple. No surprise, I love the idea and agree how important it is. But I sleep with an archivist, so I understand how difficult finding the right home, then collecting, organizing, and maintaining those records would be. Perhaps an alternative is to remember the local connections beer creates and support regional archives like OHBA. Fact is I think the simple solution might be to clone Tiah Edmundson-Morton. [Via The Hop Tripper]

Additional reading: Feminism and the Beer Industry Pt. 1: History and Representation. Via thebrewstorian
Ale and The Apocalypse. Via braciatrix

Anheuser-Busch InBev Acquires Minority Stake in RateBeer…in 2016.
The top line question here is: Why does this matter? That’s not going to be answered immediately. More accurately, there will be plenty of answers put forward, but we won’t know which ones are correct. Meanwhile, thinking about big beer and big data and what order we put the “b”s in, I pass along this curiousity: BeerGraphs uses data from Untappd, and now October “prints” BeerGraphs ratings, and — take a deep breath — October is a supported by ZX Ventures, A-B InBev’s “disruptive growth organization” that bought into Rate Beer. [Via Good Beer Hunting]

I bio-engineered glowing beer and it hasn’t killed me (yet).
You may recall discussions about GMO yeast after research that produced a family tree of beer yeast was published. Commercial breweries aren’t inclined to go down that path, but if they were CRISPER (“clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats”) would make it pretty dang easy. Creating a yeast that glows is pure fun, but the implications should be obvious. [Via engadget, including photo]

Michael Doucet
Laissez les bonnes bières rouler.
Martyn Cornell reminds us of the simple pleasures of travel, food, beer, and music. And gives me an excuse to show you a picture of Michael Doucet taken about 25 years ago. [Via Zythophile]

Why Oakland should stand up to AB InBev’s proposed Golden Road beer garden.
The saga of Golden Road in Oakland continues. A call to action from Sayre Piotrkowski: “Those of us who labor under banners like ‘local,’ ‘slow,’ ‘independent’ and ‘craft’ tend to pat ourselves on the back for doing so. When we ask neighborhoods like North Oakland to welcome us, we often talk about the virtues of local ownership and the interdependent economics of small companies. However, if our work serves only, or even in part, to provide a blueprint for a rapacious multinational to follow, are we any better than them? If we want our work to be more than the coat of primer that precedes thick layers of boring corporate beige, we must defend it in the face of an encroaching monopoly.” [Via San Francisco Chronicle]


Cannabis Terpenes: Getting into the Weeds.
When I give presentations about hops I’m no longer surprised to get questions related to cannabis. Yes, the plants are related, and more important they produce some of the same essential oils. So from Avery Gilbert, who wrote What the Nose Knows, pretty essential reading if you want to understand aroma: “To me, ‘standardized cannabis varieties’ conjures up more intriguing possibilities, such as branded fragrance and flavor profiles aimed at different segments of the recreational market. Large-scale production will require strains that have consistent aroma, flavor, and potency. Some will no doubt view this as sell-out to corporate agribusiness, a betrayal of traditional cannabis folkways. But it will also bring economies of scale and the high level of safety and quality that consumers expect in branded products. Dedicated hemp-heads will always appreciate the boutique hybrid strain, but a national market will also need to appeal to the casual user who wants a reliable product.'” [Via First Nerve]

Are we potentially much better at smelling than we realise? The curious case of andrestenone.
When Jamie Goode writes think about it be prepared to make you head hurt. Here goes. “Think about it: why is that some molecules smell and others don’t? Is it simply because of the specific olfactory receptors that we have? Or is there a lot of information available at the receptor space that is ignored in later processing, as our brain examines the various patterns of receptor activation and extracts the useful information out of them?” [Via jaimie goode’s wine blog]

How Two Missouri Distillers Have Resurrected Historic Varieties of Native Corn.
Today, 96.83 percent of corn grown in the U.S. is yellow No. 2, and the big four American distilleries – Jim Beam, Four Roses, Jack Daniels and Maker’s Mark – all use that same corn. “In the distilling industry, [it’s like] we’re still stuck with Concord grapes; what would happen if the whole wine industry in this United States [only] used Concord grapes?” Wood Hat Spirits owner Gary Hinegardner asks. [Via Feast Magazine]


2 Responses to Is it big beer data or beer big data? Either way a big deal

  1. Alan June 5, 2017 at 5:56 am #

    I suspect the last point is the right one. I wondered over the weekend about how similar ABI was acting compared to Mr Putin. Distribution of disrepution through disseminating distrust. Kremliny. Unfortunately for craft scribblers now, there was a bit of making of the bed what with the junkety stuff and the palsy walsy with the brewery PR staff leaving us all wondering what is real and what is fed. I am sure I am casting a wary eye upon some who are innocent – but how do you tell anymore? Thank God I am old enough to have lived through the Cold War, listening to number stations in bed at night on shortwave, so I trust that this is normal.

  2. Lars Marius Garshol June 6, 2017 at 4:57 am #

    Actually, sharing a collection of brewing logs need not be that hard. You need to define a data format for the logs, but once that’s done the main difficulty is having people enter the data. You can then store the raw data in Github, for example, or some other similar solution.

    Of course, this will mean that you need IT skills to access/display the data, but at least it’s possible.

    I’ve been pondering doing something similar with accounts of farmhouse brewing in order to overcome the language difficulties. I can collect Finnish, Latvian, and Estonian accounts, for example, but I can’t read them. A data-sharing solution of this kind would solve my problem provided I can find people willing to enter the data.

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