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Monday beer links: Style tunnel vision & Belgian newcomers

MONDAY BEER & STRAY LINKS, MUSING 01.09.17

Brewmasters Reflect on 2016 and Look Ahead to 2017.
This question pops up about one third of the way into this very long post (drop it in Pocket): What was this year’s biggest surprise in craft beer? And Greg Engert of Bluejacket and the Neighborhood Restaurant Group in Washington, D.C. answers …

I don’t know if I’d call it the biggest surprise, but it has certainly been interesting to watch the craft beer market change as it further enters the mainstream. With more and more drinkers turning to craft, they are mostly turning to two broad flavor profiles, hoppy and crisp. According to the Brewers Association, IPA continues to dominate, accounting for roughly one-quarter of craft beer volume, while sales of refreshing Pilsners, Pale Lagers and Golden Ales are increasing dramatically. We’ve long known that interest in malty British styles, say, or smoky German Rauchbiers had and could likely continue to wane, but I don’t think we expected that stylistic tunnel vision would narrow to exclude the newly vaulted sour ales, along with classic Belgian ales and even roasty Stouts and Porters.

This is not a prediction that choice is going away. Certainly not at Bluejacket. There will be plenty of choice, particularly at the local level. However, although the sour/wild piece of the pie Bryan Roth has assembled (next link) looks pretty impressive does it represent what people are drinking? I don’t think I like the sound of the words “stylistic tunnel vision.” [Via PorchDrinking.com]

A ‘Definitive’ Guide to the Best Beer of 2016.
The big picture. [Via This Is Why I’m Drunk]

Cloudwater and the cask beer ‘craftermath’ – a blog post round-up.
Thank goodness for this roundup, because I had so many of these links saved and no idea which ones to include (but do read Tandleman). I have no idea how this played out on Facebook or in beer-centric forums, but in terms of number of words it feels like when AB InBev bought Elysian Brewing. [Via Brew Geekery]

The emotional cost of social media.
This should not be considered as the fair “cost of doing business.” [Via HardKnott Dave’s beer and stuff blog]

So, what’s Belgium up to these days?
Joe Stange writes about pretty much every one of the new breweries in Belgium, and even allowing that there may be a few others and his definition of a brewery is more rigorous than most (but correct) I see only 18 on the list. More breweries may have opened in Iowa last year. Why is Iowa not getting similar love? [Via DRAFT]

A brief history of London brewing, 2000-2010.
Because, “The Telegraph article’s fundamental inaccuracies – which included a claim that only three other commercial breweries were operating in London when Camden launched – suggest that very recent history in our industry is already being rewritten and forgotten.” And that’s in one city. Imagine what could be aocomplished in a country with 50 states. [Via Stonch’s Beer Blog]

NAVEL-GAZING

Note: if you are new to these parts, navel-gazing is another way to say Inside Baseball. Don’t feel a need to unbutton your shirt.

Michael Kiser of Good Beer Hunting.
It’s long, not particularly easy to read because of the format, and maybe only makes sense if you are a regular reader of Good Beer Hunting and have followed the GBH account on Twitter for a few years. And it is more likely to suck you in if you write about beer. But for me the timing of the discussion is interesting because first there was a question I happen to be asked via email and then there was this Twitter exchange, leading me to reread an American Brewer interview with Owen Barstow, who was Michael Jackson’s assistant for 12 years. Again, mostly of interest if you write about beer, but at least it is shorter. [Via Talk Beer]

Ego is the death to good wine writing.
The same might be said of writing about another drink, because “Ego is the ravine that many writers risk plunging into.” [Via jamie goode’s wine blog]

The Perils of Being the People’s Critic.
About hype and execution. [Via Eater]

SENTENCE OF THE WEEK

“What’s going to eventually happen is a few select remaining Austin musicians will all be transferred to government subsidized housing and given daily stipends, and each evening they will trek out to musical safe spaces peppered throughout the city to play music to people almost like reenactors of what Austin music used to be.” [Via Saving Country Music]

FROM TWITTER

7 Responses to Monday beer links: Style tunnel vision & Belgian newcomers

  1. Alan January 9, 2017 at 6:25 am #

    Not sure how many folk care about an “editorial side” like MK claims as I know no one starts a website and loses 70K. But is nice stuff that explores a range of PR mediums, pushes the positive if a bit “Lives of Rich and Famous” and no one really loses an eye. Not sure if I have learned anything from it.

    • Stan Hieronymus January 9, 2017 at 6:27 am #

      Not learned anything from the lengthy Q&A/discussion or from what you read at GBH?

  2. Alan January 9, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

    From the self-described storytelling of GBH. I have been entertained and irritated by turns but, as seems to be my general complaint for over a year, I don’t seem to be learning from all this plump and very nicely packaged writing. Like eating too much overripe fruit, it can lead to an ache.

  3. Alan January 9, 2017 at 2:41 pm #

    Example. This is a very good explanation of what the aims of the overall project are. They are fine. It’s not that I think its wicked or anything. But, for lack of a better word, I find it a bit shallow. Dreamy and lovely looking and shallow. Maybe that’s because I still don’t love the brewer, just the beer.

    • Stan Hieronymus January 9, 2017 at 2:59 pm #

      To return to the notion that you “don’t seem to be learning from all this plump and very nicely packaged writing,” doesn’t the reality that you’ve been reading and commenting in this space for so long factor in? I certainly feel that way. There are a lot of things I feel like I’ve been many times over that are “gee, look at that, it’s new” to many others.

  4. Alan January 9, 2017 at 5:07 pm #

    That is certainly true and I do not discount it at all but, I mean, knowing me as you do I am sure that I have not reached the end of the potential scope of beer knowledge. I find that less likely given knowing my own incompleteness.

  5. Alan January 9, 2017 at 8:37 pm #

    That all being said, I do hope you have a hopsack jacket.

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