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Monday beer links: Craft writing reminder & a German drinks in Denver


How the Denver beer scene made a German beer connoisseur realize he didn’t know much after all.
I sure hope there is a follow up from Fabian Reinbold, an editor at German magazine Der Spiegel and right now an Arthur F. Burns fellow at The Denver Post. In this article he writes mostly about beers themselves (within the context of his own palate). I’d really like to read his observations about the settings where they were consumed. [Via Denver Post]

The curious case of sports writers who switch to wine.
[Via Columbia Journalism Review]
Craft Beer and Writing? Not the Unusual Pairing You Imagine.
[Via University of Kentucky News]
I saved the Columbia Journalism Review article a while back because I intended to write about storytelling and selling beer. But because I just did a reset on the mission statement here (which restricts navel gazing to Mondays) and because I want to repeat, while you still have time to make plans, that you’ll have a great time if you head to Lexington for Craft Writing: Beer, The Digital and Craft Culture now seems like the time to consider what the CJR story has to say about writing about sports and writing about alcoholic beverages.

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Beer history geek alert. Monday. Boulder.

Nestor's Cup, Avery BrewingThis press release from Avery Brewing in Colorado just landed in my inbox:

Did the Greeks brew beer? Our Beer Archaeologist and Special Projects Brewer, Travis Rupp, believes they did! Join us this Monday, September 19th at 6:30 pm for an examination of Bronze Age Brewing paired with Ancient Greek foods. During the dinner Travis will present and discuss evidence for brewing in the Minoan culture through a recreation of Mycenaean beer, Nestor’s Cup, the first in Avery’s Historical Ale Series!

This inaugural guided tasting will be paired with a series of Nestor’s Cup beer. Monday, September 19th at 6:30pm. Tickets are $30/person in advance and include three versions of Nestor’s cup beer served with three Greek influenced plates. Order tickets below. Call 303-440-4324 for more information for this special event.

The dinner is at the brewery in Boulder. Ticket details.

Travis spoke immediately before I did at Ales Through the Ages last March in Williamsburg, Va. Pro tip: If you find yourself making a presentation an event where Travis is also on the agenda ask for a spot other than directly after him. He killed it, as he has in two seminars at the National Homebrewers Conference.

The only thing that could have made them better is some recreated beer. And now Avery has remedied that.

Not if an American brewer is adding the hops

Hallertau hop harvest

Reading this passage in “an alternative beer pilgrimage in Bavaria” I had to haul out my calculator (well, use the app on my phone), because nine million pints really does seem like a lot from one little patch of ground.

There are several moving parts, so I won’t share my math lest you can tell me what I did wrong. We are talking hectares (2.47 acres), metric tons (2,200 pounds), UK pints, hop varieties that yield different amounts per acre, and hop varieties with different percentages of alpha acids.

But it seems to me those would be nine million pretty un-hoppy pints. You’d definitely be at the left end of this chart showing the amount of iso-alpha acids if various beers (from Brauwelt, using numbers German hop broker Barth-Haas compiled about half a dozen years ago).

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Monday beer links: Yeast family tree, peaches and ‘selling out’


Beer yeast is tame. Wine yeast is wild. Draw your own conclusions.
[Via The Washington Post]
Why we’re so good at making BEER: Study reveals how humans harnessed microbes to create the perfect drink.
[Via Daily Mail]
Domestication and Divergence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Beer Yeasts.
[Via Cell]
If you are feeling brave you may dive right into the third link (peer-reviewed academic/scientific research). Otherwise opt for the newspaper translations (first two). Quite honestly, this stuff if way above my paygrade. Fascinating, but I need serious handholding from people who know what they are talking about to write about it with any confidence. Chapter 6 of Brewing Local is about foraging for yeast, but is downright basic (written in a way I can understand) when it comes to wild versus domesticated. Nonethless, I would call The Washington Post headline oversimplification. You’ll also note that the researchers sequenced only Saccharomyces cerevisiae (top fermenting) strains, leaving Saccharomyces pastorianus for another paper — although it turns out (page 1398) that 10 of the S. cervevisiae strains were used to produce lager beers.

Analysis of farmhouse yeast (kveik).
And then there is the matter of non-industrial yeast strains.

Muri is identified as either lager yeast (Saccharomyces pastorianus) or its close relative Saccharomyces bayanus. That’s consistent with an earlier analysis White Labs had Accugenix do, but very surprising. How did lager yeast wind up in the innermost arm of Nordfjord, right up under the glacier? Did someone at some point get yeast from a lager brewery? Or is the story more complicated? S. bayanus and S. pastorianus are both cold-tolerant species. Do they live wild in Norway? It seems unlikely, but I’m not sure anyone has ever checked carefully enough to answer with a clear yes or no. (Note: this isn’t the first time lager yeast has shown up where it wasn’t supposed to be.)

[Via Larsblog]

The craft beer project that grew from Masumoto Family Farm’s peach trees.
“Hey, Stan, why isn’t this farmer in Brewing Local?” Sorry, no excuses, David “Mas” Masumoto should have been. [Via Los Angeles Times]

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645 residents; 2 breweries

It turns out Ava, Illinois, population 645 in 2013, really isn’t big enough for two breweries. Too bad, because when a town has one brewery per 322 and a half residents that pretty well ends the breweries per population discussion (Asheville would need 270 to keep up, Portland, Oregon, 1,890).

Carbondale Craft Beer Makers of Little Egypt

Alas, two bits of truth here. First, neither Scratch Brewing nor Carbondale Craft Beer, Makers of Little Egypt is located in Ava. Second, Little Egypt is moving to West Frankfurt. It was fun while it lasted.

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