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The Session #132: Homebrewing conversations

The SessionThe Session, which was not conceived as something that would be around 11 years, wraps up 11 years on Friday. Host Jon Abernathy asks contributors to write about “homebrewing—the good, the bad, your experiences, ideas, (mis)conceptions, or whatever else suits you, as long as it starts the conversation!”*

The topic is timely, even if you didn’t realize it. Last week the Brewers Association and Charlie Papazian announced that next January he will be stepping down from the BA. Papazian and Charlie Matzen, both school teachers at the time, founded the American Homebrewers Association in Boulder, Colo., in 1978. Papazian started the Great American Beer Festival four years later. And the following year, the Association of Brewers was organized to include the AHA and the Institute for Brewing and Fermentation Studies to assist the growing number of new breweries.

And here we are today. Where might we be otherwise?


* Those unfamiliar with The Session can find details about how to participate in Abernathy’s post.


Monday beer links: The future of blogs and hops


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.

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Monday beer links: Do we know where we’re going?

The occasional reminder: Boak & Bailey provide links to News, Nuggets & Longreads each Saturday, Alan McLeod has made Thursday his day for recapping and commenting, Good Beer Hunting offers Read.Look.Drink each Friday, and more sporadically Timely Tipple focuses on history links.


Where is Bass from?
Or that Goose Island IPA in your glass? Or that Night Shift Santilli? Or the Amarillo hops you are so proud to use? Boak & Bailey asked a simple question, and I’m adding a few more related to place. Pardon the earworm but you might consider these Talking Heads lyrics: Well we know where we’re going/But we don’t know where we’ve been/And we know what we’re knowing/But we can’t say what we’ve seen.
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Monday beer links: News, terroir & finding new paths


– Front and center because the “underbelly of misogyny” still lurks. Related: Good Beer Hunting followed up its “What Boyz Like” post with several supporting essays last week, and in addition Austin Ray provided to link to this one with serious “questions of privilege, whiteness, power, and masculinity.”

– Sobering details about the “craft beverage” tax cut. “For every $20 of alcohol tax cuts in the legislation, only about $1 actually goes to the true craft brewers or small distillers.” (I should have spotted this for last week’s links, but important enough to suggest reading anyway.)

– New Zealand has added craft beer to the basket of goods it monitors to measure inflation. Meanwhile DVD players and sewing machines were among items removed from the Consumers Price Index.
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Monday beer links: To diversity and beyond


My take: There are problems to be solved. And changing the conversation by pointing to a different one does not mean the first (or second or third) suddenly isn’t one. Beyond that, there have already been enough words spilled over what was easily the biggest American beer story of the week and little need for any from me. I’ll simply add that the initial post was particularly ambitious, and as ProPublica points out such things are a lot of work. So here you go:

– It starts with this post.

– The posts that followed included this and this.
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