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Monday beer links: In search of the new(s)


South Dakota badlands

Rather than finishing with something from Twitter this week start with this (click on the date to see the full exchange).

Then consider Boak & Bailey’s suggestion to “Refresh You Feeds.” They write, “It’s easy to get stuck in a rut following the same few people you’ve always engaged with since year dot and thus get the idea that Beer Blogging is Dead when some or all of them give up the game. Meanwhile, whole new waves of blogs have come, and maybe gone, and probably been replaced by yet more.”

All true, and it is also fair to consider the comment in the Twitter thread that “these people are starting to sound like my dad reacting to Cobain.” Even if I am not sure if who these people are (or if I might be one of them). I’m not prepared to embrace every new beer “innovation” but I think it would be stupid if we didn’t recognize the need for change or that some people today may view beer differently than just about anybody did in 1957, 1987, or even early in 2017.

But like Boak & Bailey (“we sometimes end up featuring the same names time and again for various reasons”) I know that when I spot something new from particulary people in my RSS feeds I am more likely to end up showing you a link the following Monday. For instance, last week I didn’t even wait to suggest reading Martyn Cornell’s post about Norwegian farmhouse brewing, instead tweeting about it as soon as I saw it. There’s a good chance that when Cornell writes something I will point to it, just as I often end up linking to posts by Lars Garshol, who is prominent in this particular story.

But, no surprise, I’m a lot better keeping track of the topics that interest me — and kveik punches a bunch of buttons, even before I read “landrace yeast” for the first time last week — than I am finding new voices. Typing that, of course, does not excuse me from being open to listening for and to them.

However, to return to the top, I don’t expect you’ll be seeing a lot of links to “more brewers writing.” I follow plenty of brewers on Twitter, but a) I understand they have agendas*, and b) I prefer them 140 chaaracters (I know, stuck in the past) as a time.

– The biggest news of the week was Lefthand Brewing in Colorado suing White Labs for $2 million dollars. The Small Business Administration defines companies with up to $35.5 million in sales and 1,500 employees as “small businesses” and the amount of the suit isn’t the most important thing in the story, but $2 million just doesn’t sound “mom and pop” to me. What is important is quality and taking responsibility for quality.

– Somebody in Colorado is going to consider this news because Peter Bouckaert’s nephew is involved. It is a big deal in Georgia because it is the first brewery in the state not to rely on distributed beer as its primary source of revenue; this was impossible before a recent change in Georgia laws. And in Atlanta itself, it is about the beer. Some days I get up in St. Louis and go to bed in Atlanta, or vice versa. But eventually I’ll be registered to vote in Georgia, so I’m focused on what’s behind the third door. And this may influence what you see showing up here from time to time.

– Following up on last week’s idea for a book: Rural Beer. More fodder. As an aside, we once spent an afternoon in Valentine, Neb., getting our minivan made drivable. It was the summer of 1991. I do not recall beer being involved, but the guy who fixed our car was very friendly. We were on our way home from South Dakota, both the Black Hills and the Badlands (pictured at the top).

– The focus of In Defense of ‘Craft’ is on craft cocktails, but the conversation about becoming a master craftsman, compared to being an artist, is relevant across many categories of food and drink. Full of sound bites, like this one: “There is an art form in our business, but it’s about being the impresario, choosing and creating the experience. That’s art. The chef and bartender enact that experience. That’s craft.”

This week’s terroir sighting. With field blends, vine growers and wine makers blend not to obfuscate the taste of a place but to intensify it.

– It’s been more than 10 years since I posted the first of 10 “New Beer Rules” and more than seven since I came to my senses and quit making them up. So I’m OK with the notion that rules are for suckers, and certainly hope that nobody sees the book “The New Wine Rules” and decides to do something similar to beer.

– Rather than finishing with a tweet, as is usual at the end here, a comment about social media.

7 Responses to Monday beer links: In search of the new(s)

  1. JEff Alworth November 27, 2017 at 9:20 am #

    Could you give some more context on that first item? Sometimes these conversations are so insidery that even this supposed insider has no idea what’s going on.

    • Stan Hieronymus November 27, 2017 at 9:24 am #

      You mean the tweet? If you expand the thread you know as much as I do.

  2. Jeff Alworth November 27, 2017 at 9:46 am #

    Yes, I did expand it, but it was an obscure reference to something I couldn’t excavate. This is one reason I spend only about ten minutes a day on Twitter. I so often have no idea what’s going on, and I don’t have the additional ten minutes to try to chase he thread back to the object—when it may be entirely pointless anyway. But I was hoping that since you led with it, I might learn more.

  3. Bailey November 27, 2017 at 9:57 am #

    Based on timings Jess and I read it as a reference to Andy Crouch’s article for Beer Advocate but such is the nature of the subtweet that we may never know for sure.

  4. Bailey November 27, 2017 at 10:00 am #

    Oh, and also to this post from Cloudwater (“a producer of those beers sharing their own view”).

  5. Stan Hieronymus November 27, 2017 at 10:24 am #

    Thanks for adding context, Bailey. Interesting, Jeff, but although I am happy to see the (possible) context in this case what was there tapped into the seed of a thought Boak & Bailey planted about the value of considering new voices. But, then, I had to comment on brewers blogging. Brewers obviously have valuable thoughts to offer, but they also have a rooting interest and that should always be taken into account.

    • Jeff Alworth November 27, 2017 at 6:40 pm #

      Agreed. And I have to put in a word for writers. Like brewers, not all of us are great, but the ones who are do a specific, different thing than brewing beer. Writers and journalists provide balance, context, background. And like brewers, they’re often *trained* to write. It is a skill, after all.

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