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Is it big beer data or beer big data? Either way a big deal


Brewing Records and Why They Matter.
This proposal from Mitch Steele may appear simple. “I’m wondering right now if a concerted effort could be made by the industry to preserve some brewing logs from early craft brewers in a safe place, like a library or a museum, where researchers in the future could go back and learn about the techniques and ingredients being used today.” It is not simple. No surprise, I love the idea and agree how important it is. But I sleep with an archivist, so I understand how difficult finding the right home, then collecting, organizing, and maintaining those records would be. Perhaps an alternative is to remember the local connections beer creates and support regional archives like OHBA. Fact is I think the simple solution might be to clone Tiah Edmundson-Morton. [Via The Hop Tripper]

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Session #124: Remembering that Belgian lemonade

Joe's Gueuze

Where have you gone, Joe’s Gueuze
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you
Wu wu wu

               – With apologies to Paul Simon

There was the time, just after last call went out on a Friday night, that I was standing at the bar at Joe’s Brewery in Champaign, Illinois, and the young person in front of me—who may or may not have using a legal ID card— threw up all over the nicely polished wood surface. So some times were better to visit than others.

Like Tuesday afternoons. We did not witness this ourselves, but John Isenhour, who brewed the gueuze Michael Jackson gave three stars (out of four) in the sixth edition of his Pocket Guide to Beer, said that is when farmers from the surrounding rural area would come in to try what they called “Belgian lemonade.”

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Pay no attention to the man with the big moustache

Jim Boyd, Roy FarmsI apologize, because what follows is strictly American hop industry inside stuff. But I’ve reached the hops section of Miracle Brew: Hops, Barley, Water, Yeast, and the Nature of Beer, which has left me a bit giddy.

In the introduction, Pete Brown writes, “I’ve made it very easy for you to dip in and read first about the ingredient that interests you the most, which is probably hops, but I wouldn’t recommend that.” So I started with barley, read about water, and now I’m surrounded by hops. And page 245 a bigger-than-life character is introduced. Pete never gets around to using his name, but industry types will recognize who it is immediately. And the whole exchange makes me laugh.

Excerpt from

If nobody adds the name in the comments I will in the next day or two.

While you are here, a reminder you might want to sign up for Hop Queries, a newsletter that should appear in your email box once a month. It will contain more useful information than the identity of Giant Moustache.

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Diversity, local, imagination; maybe they are related


It’s Memorial Day in America, so time to crank up James McMurtry and choose you beer wisely.

Local Brewers Defy the Lily-White Craft Beer Scene.
Cultivating Black Brew Culture Through Hip-Hop.
– This, “On May 12, a diverse crowd of around 100 people gather in Goodyear Arts for an exhibit called Mood: BLACK featuring visual art, live music and free drinks. In a back corner, folks gather around a table to try cups of Dat Dere or the Stokely Stout, two beers from Black Star Line Brewing, a black-owned brewing company based in Hendersonville.
     “Cut ahead by a few hours, on the afternoon of May 13, as people pour into a block on Louise Avenue for the opening of a new Catawba Brewing Co. location in the Belmont neighborhood between Plaza Midwood and NoDa. . . . While everyone seems to be enjoying themselves at each scene, there’s one striking difference between the two: despite Catawba’s location in a historically black neighborhood, there’s not a single black person to be seen among the hundreds of people there at around 5 p.m.”
– And this, “So what can Charlotte’s current brewery owners and regular patrons do to help change these preconceived cultural notions attached to Charlotte’s brewery culture? How can they help both budding and long-time black beer enthusiasts see breweries as a space of true leisure and relaxation for all?”
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A few beers no longer lost nor forgotten

Zebulon Artison Ales Biere Blanche du Lovain The most interesting beer (not just in a freak of nature way) I’ve tasted so far this year was Biere Blanche du Louvain from Zebulon Artisan Ales outside of Asheville, N.C. It wasn’t from a full-size batch nor was it packaged, so not a commercial release. But Mike Karnowski sent a couple of bottles, because he used Brewing With Wheat as a starting point for his recipe (which was about process as much as ingredients). I took some to share at lunch during a homebrew competition, and confirmed I’m not the only one amazed how much flavor a beer with 2% alcohol by volume can have. There’s more to say about it, but that’s another time.

Friday Karnowski rolls out what he describes as Zebulon’s most ambitious release yet, which given what he’s made in the first 15 months the brewery has been open and those bottles of Biere Blance du Louvain is setting the bar pretty high. The four pack is called “RELICS! Lost and Forgotten Beer Styles” and is dedicated to the musical “relics” that Ron Pattinson saw play live in the 1970s (Ramones, The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Damned).

Ron wrote about four styles included in a booklet that comes with each of the 400 hand-numbered box sets. He’ll be at the brewery in Weaverville on Sunday to talk about, you guessed it, lost and forgotten beer styles. It may be sold out by the time you read this (and linking to Facebook can be a challenge, but here goes). The four packs will be available at the brewery Friday and Saturday. The beers are:

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