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Monday beer links: Beer & weed, The Beer Monopoly, and ‘enter the chairs’

MONDAY BEER & WINE LINKS, 12.05.2016

Legal marijuana is affecting the beer industry’s memory.
Killer lead from Jason Notte: “Marijuana’s disruption of short-term memory apparently applies to the argument about its effects on the beer industry. Folks are still saying weed is bad for beer, but nobody seems to remember any of the evidence to the contrary.” And it is followed by a solid takedown of “this purple haze of half-truths” and a report from investment bank Cowen and Co. maintaining that legal marijuana is driving down beer sales. Notte concludes, “It isn’t marijuana harshing the beer industry’s mellow: It’s some harsh truths about where the industry is headed.” [Via MarketWatch]

London’s next beer revolution has begun.
[Via Craft Beer London]
Texas’ Deep Ellum Sells Stake to Storied Craft Breweries.
[Via Brewbound]
The Riddle of Scarcity in New England.
[Via All About Beer]
In the first story, Will Hawkes concludes, “The implications for independent London breweries are obvious. The advantage from being local only goes so far: those who will thrive over the next few years will do so because their beer is consistently good.” In the second, a Dallas brewery intent on growing apparently much larger, sells majority interest in the operation to an investment group. In the third, Jeff Alworth examines the choices breweries that brew passionately loved beers make related to producing and selling those beers. You may parse all this information differently. But it seems to me that stories about how many breweries is too many breweries overlook that a fundamental shift. Some owners — well, lots of them — have written a business plan based on ongoing growth. But the way some others measure success has changed, and there is room for plenty more local breweries whose founders have realistic expectations.

Does Belgium Have an “Intangible Cultural Heritage” of Beer? Does Anyone?
Beer from a place. [Via Beervana]

Frightening rise of Mega Brew.
[Via Protz On Beer]
How AB InBev ended up as the most powerful beer company in the world.
[Via financialmail]
Two takes on The Beer Monopoly, a book it appears I need to read. I was immediately struck when Roger Protz chose to quote this from the book: “In the past century, brewers took great pride in the volumes of beer they produced, as if they rendered a public service by quenching customers’ thirsts. They strove to be profitable too, but this would have been a secondary consideration to their main objective: raising their beer sales and outperforming their rivals.” I’m not sure that the beer barons of the nineteenth century would have become beer barons had they not put profit first.

Chairgate 2016: A New Low for Beer Consumers, Hilarious New Peak for Beer Releases.
I do not undrestand this world. Can somebody explain it to me? [Via dontdrinkbeer]

Last drinks: Closing time for the great Australian pub.
There is this somewhat romanticized view we all love: “I think the pub, as a social institution, is critical, and certainly historically it’s been of such importance to the development of Australia; it was one of the first things, you know, you get a pub, you get a school, you get a courthouse, and you’ve got a town.” And, as this story points out, there is the rest. [Via City Mag, h/T Tim Holt]

WINE/SENSORY/ETHICS

Why I write about wine (apart from the free wine).
“Unfortunately for the general reader, many writers feel the need to demonstrate their education. I have a great advantage here of not knowing that much.” [Via Henry Jeffreys]

Why You Should Teach Yourself to Be Better at Smelling.
“Beauchamp argues that having the necessary vocabulary, more than any innately superior perceptual ability, is what allows members of (certain) industries to smell what others miss: ‘These people are remarkable, but what they’re remarkable about is, they can take something complicated and name it.'” [Via New York Magazine]

Wine: Beyond Good and Evil.
About morality and ethics. Spoiler alert. Skipping right to the concluson: “If our questions about how to live include questions about how to drink – to which there are good and bad answers – then wine is a subject for ethics, but not for morality.” [Via Times Literary Supplement]

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