Stray thoughts and links for a Wednesday:
- Chicago. Forty-eight breweries? No wonder there are something like 48 stories this week.
* The Battle for Chicago. As somebody who started buying mimeographed copies of Bill James’ Baseball Abstract in the 1970s (yes, Bill James predated Sierra Nevada Brewing) I really need to write something about this concept of “Beers Above Replacement.” Having a problem wrapping my head about the pale ale/first baseman analogy.
* Craft Beer Boom Embraced in Chicago’s Neighborhoods. And now Jonathan Cutler is an elder statesman.
* Chicago’s brew future: new breweries on the horizon. There are fourteen more about to open (suburbs included).
* Man, We’re Gonna Have A Lot of Breweries. The guy who wrote the previous story (for Time Out Chicago) has more to say.
- Paragraphs I could never write, which is probably just as well. From Ben McFarland’s article, “Raising a glass to Britain’s craft beer heroes,” in The Telegraph:
Citra, Oakham Ales, 4.5%
In a derelict warehouse somewhere in Peterborough sits the Citra hop, its arms strapped behind its back, its feet shackled to a chair built from pale malt and wheat. Surrounding it, their eyes a maniacal mix of menace and madness, are Oakham’s brewers going to work with hacksaws and hammers in each hand, the Citra squealing gooseberry, greengage and grapefruit. A superb single-hop beer.
There are more, just as fun.
- A point of order. When you put the word “unique” in the headline my first thought should not be “but what about [fill in the blank]?”
The headline in the Boston Globe: “Beer bistro owner plans unique brewing facility.” The nut: “[Daniel] Lanigan is preparing to build what he says will be the country’s first brewery entirely devoted to contract brewing: the making and packaging of beer to meet the exacting specifications of commercial clients.”
That it will be the first must be news to the investors who’ve put $100 millions behind Brew Hub, which I understand will be open by next summer.