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Monday beer links: Changing local culture, hops, in defense of pumpkin beers


Dah Dah Doo Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Doo Dah La Ti Mi Fa La So Fa Mi.
At the moment last Monday I saw that John McPhee had written about taking his first drink, even if it wasn’t a beer, I knew what the first link would be here today. [Via The New Yorker]

Hopefully Just An Intermediate Stage.
While I think about what constitutes “beer news” (beyond the revelation they’ve named a hop after Ernest Salmon) I will offer a link to a blog Alan and the rest of you may not be reading (next). [Via A Good Beer Blog]

I’m Just a Girl Standing in Front of a Bunch of Pumpkin Haters, Asking You to Calm Down.
Pumpkin stuff
(Photo courtesy of Naptown Pint)
There’s this photo. And there’s this: “You see, this is also the time of year when a bunch of people who love sucking the fun out of everything swoop in and complain about pumpkin. As if pumpkin were some sort of squash-based food and beverage Antichrist that undermines the basic fundamentals of human decency.” And there’s late Saturday morning at a local grocery store which devotes a significant amount of space to beer and wine. There are stacks of six packs and 12 packs of pumpkin beer. And even though it is still September and we all knew the temperature was going to top 90° F (32° C) I saw people putting two and three different pumpkin beers in their carts.

There have been several stories recently about some breweries cutting back production of pumpkin beers this year. But that’s because they overestimated growth in the past, not because customers are suddenly going to drink none. So first thought is that pumpkin beers are not going the way of Black IPAs. Second is that breweries can overestimate demand (and growth), and just because you see a bunch of strawberry-guave goses on the shelves doesn’t you are out of step if you aren’t drinking them. Look at what people are putting in their shoppting carts. [Via Naptown Pint]

What’s He Building in There? — Pivovar Zhurák in the Czech Republic.
“And that weirdness is helping to change the local culture. In fact, you might say it’s already changed. Today, Falkon, Raven, Lucky Bastard, and an entire generation of Czech brewers are putting out brews in solid American craft styles. None of those brands existed when Baerwaldt moved here in 2008.” There’s that word culture again, not preceded by the word beer but I think that is implied. In this case it makes sense and is easy to understand. But those two words, and ideas about what is meant, are showing up in a lot of contexts that every once in a while I am tempting to pose the question on Twitter: “What do you mean when you write beer culture?” I’m not sure if I am afraid nobody will answer or of the answers that will follow. [Via Good Beer Hunting]

The Full Story Behind Hops, Beer Production and Our Love of IPAs
Bryan Roth declared it “Hop Week” on his blog and delivered on the idea with five posts, the put them together into one long read. I don’t know why it worked out the way it did, or how Founders Brewing came up with the video, but Thursday they delivered a tweet in video form (directly below) that let us know that Sept. 19-24 was indeed Hop Week. [Via This Is Why I Am Drunk]

The past and future of hops.
Yes, it’s always #HopWeek around here. My own midweek post focused more on the agronomic challenges farmers face. Ed Wray reports on breeding efforts in the UK, and while there is the same focus there on “impact” aromas you’ll see it doesn’t matter how great tasting a hop is if it fails agronomically. Lots of slides to give you an idea of what’s involved in breeding. Also news that they’ve named a hop after Ernest Salmon, the man who set hop breeding on its current path more than a hundred years ago. I await the arrival of a beer called “The Importance of Being Ernest” as well as the dry hopped version named “The Importance of Being Earnest.” [Via Ed’s Beer Site

Confessions of a Beer Nerd.
[Via Thrillist]
Craft Beer Is Elitist, But Beer Drinkers Are in Denial.
[Via Washington City Paper]
Worth considering together. The second is from City Paper’s Beer Week issue, which has several articles that take a sideways view of beer.


Dusty Baker sees similarities in his team, wine and baseball.
A stretch? At times, but this thought is totally relevant to brewing: “Winemaking isn’t just about what’s done with the juice in October after the harvest, and baseball isn’t all about the postseason. Both require constant adjustment to changing circumstances.” [Via The Washington Post]


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