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Monday beer briefing: Ted, Harvey’s & Afro.Beer.Chick


1) Racist email sent to Chicago beer writer leads to positive international Twitter response: #IAmCraftBeer.
The disclaimer: Chuck Klosterman commented on a podcast recently that journalists tend to overrate the importance of what they see on Twitter, and I certainly understand the world does not look like my Twitter feed. I follow @afrobeerchick
and @jnikolbeckham so I watched this unfold, first seeing familiar names/faces in my feed, then new ones as awareness increased. Change is a process, and I think it is OK to be optimistic this will speed the process. I recommend (again) you also read what Afro.Beer.Chick wrote after Fresh Fest, and listen to Garrett Oliver on the Drinking Partner podcast.

2) Beer Culture Summit.
Read the agenda and plan accordingly.

3) Cream of the crop.
4) Inside Harvey’s.
Jeff Alworth teases us with beautiful pictures in 4), promoting an upcoming podcast interview. While waiting, consider the questions The Pub Curmudgeon asks about why Harvey’s has found favor with the craft fraternity. “Going back forty years, they were just a small curiosity in the roll-call of independent breweries, to be be filed alongside the likes of Burts and Paines. According to the 1978 Good Beer Guide, they had a mere 24 pubs, of which only half sold real ale. They also provided beer to the 26 pubs of their erstwhile local rivals Beards, who had closed their own brewery in the early 1950s due to a yeast infection, but only half of these had real ale. Yes, their beer was good, but in the South-East south of the Thames Gales, King & Barnes, Youngs and Shepherd Neame were more highly regarded.”

5) Chicago craft pioneer Golden Prairie returns 20 years later. Has its time passed or finally arrived?
Yes, there are young brewers who will tell brewers who were making beer 25 years ago that their beers are irrelevant. There is every chance they will be wrong. Because, “Ted was the artistic one.”

6) How the Hell is White Claw Hard Seltzer Outselling Budweiser?
Selztergate is official. Lew Bryson chimes in. And asks: “So, will hard seltzer be around next summer or even this winter?”


7) 10 Picks from Burnt City & Omega Yeast’s Inaugural Kveik Fest.
I had hoped to find a recap of the festival that was about more than a few of the beers, but this list is an excellent reminder that kveik has a value well beyond trying to recreate Norwegian farmhouse ales. I do wish, though, there was more detail about how using kveik made the beers different than they would have been were they fermented with a different yeast strain.

8) Muri: A Mystery Solved.
“It has nothing to do with Norwegian farmhouse ale, and was just an honest mistake by someone trying to rescue an old family yeast.”


9) How the Orange-Wine Fad Became an Irresistible Assault on Pleasure.
10) Orange wine is not ‘an assault on pleasure,’ it’s a window into our changing tastes.
So much fun. “New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov called the article ‘the equivalent of a mad Yelp review.’ It was ‘largely uninformative, slightly misleading,’ according to Rachel Signer, editor of the natural-wine magazine Pipette. ‘Without context these trend pieces perpetuate cultural erasure and undermines a subject people obviously care about,’ wrote Whetsone magazine founder Stephen Satterfield. So what was the point?”



ReadBeer, every day.
Daily newsletter: Inside Beer.
Alan McLeod, most Thursdays.
Good Beer Hunting’s Read Look Drink, most Fridays.
Boak & Bailey, most Saturdays.


Monday beer briefing: The future we choose


1) Forecasting the Future of Craft Beer.
2) Beer Town: The future of brewing in Atlanta isn’t what it used to be.
Alan McLeod wrote kindly about the pungent minimalism of last week’s links, so let’s do that again. Except for this quick thought. Josh Bernstein writes about the big picture and Bob Townsend about the scene in Atlanta, which happens to be where we live.

These are stories about the business of beer. It appears there are 2,000 or so breweries in planning across the country. They should know going in that Brewers Association economist Bart Watson forecasts that about 500 to 700 will close in the next two years. They better have a good business plan. But I am still bothered by the implications of this from this argument on #1: “Beer companies looking more like beverage companies is a step in the right direction.”

Is it? Isn’t it ok to be “just” a brewery? I can’t help but think about something the late Greg Noonan said more than 20 years ago (and I’ve cited here before): “When the homebrewers stop entering the profession, and the backyard breweries are squeezed out, then it will become stagnant. You gotta keep getting the guys who say, ‘Cool, I can sell the beer I make. I can do it.’ ”

3) Community-Minded Craft Brewers Are Reviving Time-Honored Table Beers.
4) Dangerous Stouts and Dad Metal — An Afternoon With Mastodon Drummer Brann Dailor.
5) What Are the Best Trends in Beer Right Now?


6) White Claw shortages have millennials in a panic.


7) Wine study: 28% of Brits think ‘terroir’ is a breed of dog.


8) The Hopeless Hunt for the Perfect Wine.
9) Why a Wine’s Alcohol-by-Volume is Lying to You.



ReadBeer, every day.
Daily newsletter: Inside Beer.
Alan McLeod, most Thursdays.
Good Beer Hunting’s Read Look Drink, most Fridays.
Boak & Bailey, most Saturdays.


Monday Beer Briefing: The links and nothing but the links


Have a good Labor Day holiday.

1) The ‘I was a teenage under-aged drinker’ 50th anniversary pub crawl.
2) What White Claw Obsession Says About Our Changing Relationship to Alcohol.
3) A note on South Africa’s drink driving problem.
4) Goon of Fortune — The Enduring Shelf Life of Bag-in-Box Beer.
5) The Right Way to Bring a Baby to a Bar.
6) Down Times for Upstate NY — Iconic Breweries Face Closure, Financial Hardship.
7) Here’s What’s Killing Craft Beer: Us.
8) Owners Of Philadelphia’s Oldest Homebrew Shop Blame Changing Demographics And Attitudes For Their Closing.


9) Regarding Wine, Writing and “Influencers”
10) Is The Future Of Wine In The Can?



ReadBeer, every day.
Daily newsletter: Inside Beer.
Alan McLeod, most Thursdays.
Good Beer Hunting’s Read Look Drink, most Fridays.
Boak & Bailey, most Saturdays.


Monday beer briefing: Broken styles, bras & buyouts


1) IPA is broken. Can brewers please fix it?
The Beer Nut posted this title on Twitter, and it is the one I am sticking with. Plenty of tweet-size nuggets here, such as, “I didn’t expect to get such a cliché of everything wrong with the concept of ‘milkshake IPA’ but here it is. If this is what you wanted beer to be in 2019, fill your boots.

2) A Conversation with Nicole Erny of Alvarado Street Brewery.
Lots of beer smarts here, but also some life smarts: “I actually have a degree [in what’s] basically journalism—I graduated college in 2007 and it was not a great time to try to enter the journalism field. It was kind of like, ‘If you want to do this, write for free.’ I wasn’t particularly inspired to do that.”

3) Why the Coors Light “bra ad” is groundbreaking.
Kate Bernot was asked if this ad wasn’t pandering. Pick another beer commercial and pick a man. Would you ask him the same question?
Continue Reading →


Monday beer briefing: Is the beer world starting to look like the real world?


1) Fresh Fest so much more than a beer fest.
2) Fresh Fest 2019: The Ultimate Family Reunion.
3) Drinking Partners Podcast| Garrett Oliver | Live from Fresh Fest
4) Drinking Partners Podcast #220 – FRESH FEST.
After the festival, Garrett Oliver tweeted: “A beer festival that actually LOOKED LIKE AMERICA. Black folks, white folks, all kindsa folks, queer folks, straight folks, womenfolk, menfolk. Folk folk.” He repeated the thought and added plenty more during a podcast that was recorded live during the festival, and thus immediately became part of what looks like history in the making. When somebody gets around to writing the next big history of craft beer they should not overlook that Dames + Dregs and Beers With(out) Beards also attracted enthusiastic drinkers on Aug. 10, 2019.

5) Brewers Association Report Shows Lack of Diversity in Hires, Offers Path Forward.
It’s going to take more than one festival, or three.
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