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Stuff to talk about on our four-mile pub crawl

There will be no beery links here Monday. A busy Saturday will be followed by two days of birthday (not mine) travel. On Saturday I’ll be taking a stroll along Manchester Avenue with Lew Bryson and Joe Stange. Some walking, more drinking of beer, probably even more talking. I expect that, among other things, we’ll be discussing topics that came up in two posts that would be in the Monday links were there to be Monday links.

1) Imports in the Age of Local. Set aside a little time, because Bryan Roth has more than 3,000 words to say about this at Good Beer Hunting. Both Joe and Lew have written, or co-written, several guidebooks. These are reminders that people travel to drink local. Makes sense to me. For centuries beer has also traveled to meet drinkers. But the business of selling it might have changed.

2) The Dreary Reality Of Those Disclosures. It will easier to follow what Alan McLeod has to say if you subscribe to Boak & Bailey’s newsletter (scroll down and look on the to sign up). This is a topic I might think about too much, over think, and make too complicated. Alan and I discussed this after Boak & Bailey wrote about it in their May newsletter and I included some of the thoughts last week in the keynote speech at the Beer Bloggers Conference in Tampa. The bloggers heard the fourth rewrite of the keynote, and it needed at least four more.

But I’m OK with Julia Herz’s takeaway: “Journalists need to be held to a higher standard.” (And that means holding ourselves to a higher standard.) Self righteous? Probably. Certainly more explanation is needed, and maybe Joe and Lew will help push me past the tipping point that will result in the addition to the mission statement here.


Session #113 (Observations) roundup posted

The SessionBoak & Bailey have posted the roundup for The Session #113. A pretty good turnout, including one “observation from outside the European-American axis.”

Lots of good reading, so head that way for the links.

Spoiler alert, here’s what they learned (from this admittedly small sample):

1. Vaping in pubs, which we saw lot of in Newcastle and a bit in Birmingham, isn’t as universal as we’d expected.

2. Pubs are pubs are pubs — there’s nothing in the descriptions above that made us think we’d be unable to cope with any of those venues, even Suzuki Drink, which sounds the farthest from our experience.

3. A major football tournament doesn’t necessarily dominate pubs even when they’re showing it.

4. That looking closely at even the most familiar pub can reveal intriguing details.

5. Observations without narrative can seem rather dry… But anyone looking back on these in a hundred years time (digital decay and pending apocalypses permitting) will find plenty to enjoy in every entry.


When an economist analyzes brewery names


Hopportunity Cost: Craft Brewers Brawl Over Catchy Names as Puns Run Dry.
Maybe, maybe not. But this story does present an opportunity to show this slide Lester Jones, NBWA economist, displayed during his presentation at the Beer Bloggers Conference in Tampa. Photo courtesy Sean Jansen. (Disclosure: As the keynote speaker I had my way to the conference paid.) [Via Wall Street Journal]

Brewery names

How Craft Brewers Advance Science, and Make Better Beer.
The blurb on Twitter that pointed me to this story mentioned hop genome sequencing (which Hopsteiner and others have been working for some time), so I headed there expecting something in the way of new information about that. Didn’t happen. So perhaps it is my disappointment typing, but to write Paul Mathews — who is scary smart — “is to hops what John James Audubon was to birds” is ludicrous. How hard would it have been to discover what E.S. Salmon accomplished a century ago? [Via The New Yorker]

Bits we Underlined In… How To Run a Pub, 1969.
This book “is a product of its time: it is addressed entirely to men, women are a problem to be dealt with, and the language around race might shock some modern readers.” Of course, that it offers such a candid look at its time is what makes it so interesting. [Via Boak & Bailey’s Beer Blog]

‘Heaven’s water’: the launch of Amsterdam’s first rainwater beer.
I feel like I should have known this: “It seems like a disruptive idea, but when we researched it, in the Middle Ages, [Dutch] breweries set up near churches and cathedrals to catch rainwater runoff from their roofs.” [Via The Guardian]

The Foundations of a Great American Brewery: The Early Architecture of Anheuser-Busch.
The first installment in what apparently will be several posts. For additional reading I recommend ordering a copy of Brewery History 155: “Approaches to the history of American brewery architecture.” [Via St. Louis Magazine]

Ich bin ein Berliner (Weisse) – A beery tour of Germany’s capital.
And more suggested additional reading: Joe Stange writes about Berlin in the current issue of DRAFT magazine (in print, no link). [Via Beeson on Beer, h/T Matthew Curtis]

This brewery is using cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence to engineer the perfect beer.
Not intended as a political statement, but were I to come up with a beer brewing algorithm I would not call it ABI. [Via Digital Trends]


Yes, this is my tweet, but several of the responses were delightfully clever (click on the date to see them).


2016 hop crop still looking good & other lupulin news

Catching up on hop news from various outposts:

– The Barth-Haas Group has released its 2016 Hop Market and Crop Development Report, and the news continues to be pretty good.

“Growing conditions in all regions has progressed as planned, with most countries expanding their hop acreage for 2016. Specifically, Australia alone has increased their acreage from 488 ha in 2015 to 545 ha in 2016. A total change of 57 ha (an 11.7% increase). [1 hectare=2.47 acres]

“The US has now become the largest hop producer in the world, adding a total of 3,110 ha in 2016. China is the only country amongst the larger hop producers with a declining acreage, estimated to be down by 324 ha from 2015 due to local industry conditions.”

– Hopslist founder Julian Healey sent me a copy of his Kindle book, The Hops List: 265 Beer Hop Varieties From Around the World. It is astonishingly comprehensive, including varieties I had not heard of. It’s going to take me a while to get through it. As Healey explains at his website, he’s “not a hop farmer and he’s certainly not an agricultural scientist. He’s just a 32-year-old guy that really loves brewing his own beer.” He’s a digital marketing consultant and writer by trade who has mined the internet for a surprising amount of information about these varieties. He also keeps a list of the most popular varieties at his website.

Because it is a Kindle book he’ll be able to update it more easily. You may be thinking “new varieties” but I am thinking additional information, like 4MMP content and the percentage of geraniol, linalool, etc. (once, of course, hop scientists better understand which of the 500-plus compounds in hops are a precursor to various aromas and flavors).

– This would appear to be a sign of how interested brewers are in finding just about any aroma new and different. YCHHOPS is selling eight varieties of experimental hops. One of these, previously known as HBC 291, recently got a name. Expect to see a lot more of Loral by the end of the teens.

Michigan hop scouting report. Remember, growing hops is agriculture. Reacting to Michigan State University Extension’s report that “Japanese beetles have begun emerging in hopyards as far north as west central Michigan” is all in a days work.

– One of the challenges for would-be hop growers outside the Northwest is infrastructure. Michigan, New York and Wisconsin reached that tipping point a few years ago. Now Minnesota is as well.

Hydroponic hops? Beer Advocate had a story on this as well. It works for marijuana, but isn’t that more of a cash crop?


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