MONDAY BEER LINKS, MUSING, 08.29.2016
THE END IS NEAR
Relationships Still Matter.
How is this for a warning? “Everybody now seems to hopefully say, ‘This time is different.’ From what I saw back then and what I see now, the only difference is people have more tatts. Even the beards are the same. And the blithe ignorance. They know what they know, but what they don’t know they assume doesn’t exist.” [Via Beer Business Daily]
IPA is doomed (well, sort of).
A ton of words here (literally, more than 2,000), rambling from time to time, or as Jon Urch writes, “subjective opinion backed up by minimal research and no meaningful data. This is train-of-thought stuff.” There are two questions that particularly interest me — and ones that can’t be answered definitively right now. a) Is it really necessary to use 5 pounds or more of hops per barrel (20 grams per liter) to provide the aroma and flavor currently in vogue? b) Are aroma/flavor stability and this aroma/flavor itself truly incompatible? These are questions I asked four years ago when I wrote For the Love of Hops (although the pounds per barrel weren’t quite as high and murk was not an essential ingredient in IPA). We still don’t have answers, but we are closer. I think there is every chance brewers will find a way to use smaller quantities of hops and to make beers with longer shelf lives without compromising flavor. We’ll see. [Via The drinking classes]
BUSINESS AS USUAL
Anheuser-Busch’s latest deal means you’ll soon be drinking more Hawaiian beer.
What “Selling Out” Allows a Craft Brewery to Do.
[Via Serious Eats]
The AB-InBev “Why Don’t They Like Us” Tour Continues.
[Via The Full Pint]
First, there is this reality. Kona beer is headed to a lot more markets. Elysian Space Dust is headed to more markets. Golden Road Wild Pup is headed for a lot more markets. This would not be happening if drinkers were not buying those beers. There are a lot words in the three stories above (the second is almost 4,000), and plenty of potential takeaways. But I think what Andy Thomas says in the first is pretty important: “Beer is still a branded category. You’ve got to have a brand that appeals to consumers and to their senses, and you’ve got to have a brew inside that bottle or inside that keg that basically delivers on the promise of the brand and you’ve got to deliver it to market in the most effective way. Those are just some of the fundamentals of the beer market, and as craft evolves and matures it’s going to look a lot more like other segments in respect to those dimensions, and it’s not going to be good enough just to be the local IPA — at least from my perspective.”
I would add that maybe it’s not going to be good enough just to be the highest rated IPA on Beer Advocate, or it’s not going to be good enough just to be the cheapest IPA or it’s not going to be good enough just to be the newest IPA or maybe even it’s not going to be good enough just to be an IPA. What will still matter is the promise a brewer makes.
The Emergency That Changed Wild Heaven Craft Beers Forever.
Another long one (almost 3,000 words and thousands of words worth of photos), full of details about the sorts of decision even a small business must make — the emphasis here on business. [Via Good Beer Hunting]
BUSINESS, BUT NOT QUITE AS USUAL
There Aren’t Enough Breweries!
Brewers Association economist Bart Watson writes at the outset, “Pardon the clickbait title.” And proceeds to argue “that the U.S. actually doesn’t have as many breweries as one might expect given the current level of craft sales.” Maybe, but Watson also make it clear newcomers must be “realistic about the challenge of opening in a crowded market.” He mentions the need for differentiation, so what follows are two examples of breweries doing just that. [Via Brewers Association]
Burley Oak founder reflects on five years of craft beer and helping make Berlin cool.
[Via The Baltimore Sun]
Three Years After: Cesar goes to Boston.
[Via Sketchbook Brewing]
(Almost) Microbrewing in 1919.
“Cottage beer is strong, hazy and a bit chewy. That sounds familiar.” [Via Boak & Bailey’s Beer Blog]
Brü’s Views w/ James Spencer | On Less Traditional Batch Sizes.
So move along if you aren’t a homebrewer. I promise not to continuously plug Brewing Local in this space, but really small batches (like a gallon) make sense when we are learning to use “non-traditional” ingredients. [Via Brülosophy]
Because sometimes it is a good idea to quit talking about beer and just drink it (and maybe think about the flavor).
[Via The Beer Nut]
4 Bourbon County beers are infected, but are they bad? We take a taste.
[Via Chicago Tribune]
Even though I already posted a bunch of hops porn last week …
— Agrarian Ales (@AgrarianAles) August 26, 2016