BEER AND WINE LINKS 01.29.18
Earlier this month, The Awl and The Hairpin — neither of them sites to turn to regularly for words about beer — announced they would shut down. Last week, Eater recapped the troubled state of food media — where we can find words about beer (but only if they stay in business). And over the weekend, Jeff Alworth reacted to a suggestion in The New Yorker that blogging is disappearing by suggesting “Beer blogs are far from dead; in fact, one could argue they’re more indispensable than ever.”
I try to spend zero time thinking about “is that a blog (or something else)?” when choosing what to link to here, leaning mostly on rss feeds and secondarily on Twitter. The raison d’être of the exercise the results in almost regular Monday posts here is point to collections of words, usually somehow related to beer, that are worth your time because they provide as sideways view. If one of them was a beer you might tilt that glass, see how the light catches what’s inside, survey the foam, and take another drink. But Alworth also inserted the suggestion that “Blogs will save us” in the midst of this Twitter exchange, which itself offers much to think about.
The latter is not a conversation I am inclined to wander back into — that it was 10 years ago the notion that “A critic’s job, nine-tenths of it, is to make way for the good by demolishing the bad” killed a bunch of bandwidth makes you wonder what has changed in those 10 years. I can fill out a BJCP scoresheet faster than the average bear and during the past 25 years I have written thousands of “drinking notes” for various magazines and books. I sometimes feel like I should apologize for every one, because I think there is far more value in explaining why beers taste like they do. There’s still plenty of room for controversy when it comes to why.
From Western Brewer, Jan. 15, 1880
Hop Vendors Swallow A Bitter Pill As They Confront An Oversaturated Market & Customers Who Can’t Pay.
This story from Tara Nunin landed just as the American Hop Convention was wrapping up. However, Brewers Association economist Bart Watson reported from the meeting that “In all – dealers/growers are less concerned than I expected” and “tone at Convention is much more optimistic than I would have bet 6 months ago.” I’ll comment more about this in the next issue of Hop Queries. And likely more still after the Craft Brewers Conference in the spring.
BEER, LINKS ONLY
– American Beers With a Pungent Whiff of Place.
– Russian River Brewing close to raising $900,000 for wildfire victims.
– Beer City’s first black, queer-owned brewery blames ‘white supremacy’ for shutdown.
– This week in food and drink: What’s brewing in 2018.
Wine’s brewski moment: Canned wine is here, but can it avoid the down-market trap?
“As more players get into the canning game, spurred by encouraging Nielsen data, the risk is that the category can become overrun with bad examples. There are many already: candied rosé from House Wine; excessively buttery Chardonnay from Precept’s West Side brand; syrupy-sweet Moscato from Colorado’s Infinite Monkey Theorem.” An example of how and why to talk specifically about what is bad.
Wine Is a Terrible Investment Because It’s Never Really Liquid.
“Wine is much more democratic now, which means it’s made to be drunk when sold. Agricultural science has improved to the point at which winemakers no longer need to send product out into the world that is tight and flavorless, so they don’t.”
(From the lengthy exchange links above, but I didn’t want you to miss it.)
The fundamental question is are you a critic or a journalist or reporter or a tastemaker or an influencer or a beer or a beer hater or a guy with a social media account.
— Rob Fullmer (@olllllo) January 27, 2018