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When, and why, Oberon became Oberon

Bell's Solsun - the beer that became Oberon

A quick quiz. What was the original name of Bell’s Oberon?

I thought of this for two reasons. Second, Twitter reminded us that next Monday is Oberon Day.

First, last week Good Beer Hunting reminded us that Sol and Sol Chelada are a big deal.

And I was left remembering that Oberon was once called Solsun. I’ve posted the whole story in this space before, so I won’t again (although I really like the photo at the bottom of license plates at the Eccentric Cafe).


Monday beer briefing: Hyperventilating saliva glands, data dump, and the sorry state of beer publishing


New Mexico cactus
Green chile alert: No links here next Monday. We’ll be visiting friends, human and edible, in New Mexico next weekend.

Brussels beer x Brussels food face-off #4 // Pottekeis.
Before linking to stories about the business of beer, issues of the day, whatever, a reminder that we pay such close attention because of what some people like to call the magic of beer. The aroma, the flavor, and perhaps how a splash of alcohol makes us feel. “Unsurprisingly, the Cantillon accentuates the tang of the ettekeis and of the gueuze, causing my saliva glands to hyperventilate and flood my mouth.”

How hard is it to name a new beer?
And one more for pleasure before getting serious. I would have missed it were it not for
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Monday beer briefing: Diversity, when the moon howls, and the meaning of wild


“I am STILL not the Diversity Police”: Some thoughts on the Division of Labor in Activism and Advocacy in Craft Beer.
When J. Nikol Jackson-Beckman nailed her core values to the Twitter wall last month I did one of those low whistles you save for when you are really impressed. This post is the extended version. There’s a lot to take in, and I suggest reading it more than once. Should you not remember, Dr. J is, among many things, the Brewers Association diversity ambassador.

Related to “prioritizing the development of mutually workable solutions” there is this: The Activist Introducing Intersectionality to Hospitality. Brewpubs and brewery taprooms are clearly part of the hospitality industry, and “inequality is built into the structure of the hospitality industry.”

Widmer Brothers’ Slow Descent.
The descent doesn’t look all that slow from here. Jeff Alworth writes that when he began the research for The Widmer Way (official publication date: March 26) the brewery sold 175,000 barrels of beer. After declining 20 percent 2018 it, sales dipped to less than 100,000. To be clear, Widmer doesn’t look to be going in the way of BridgePort Brewing. Still, not a pretty looking trendline. (More here on Craft Brew Alliance’s fourth quarter report.)
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Monday beer briefing: Authenticity, legacy, and a canary in the coal mine


Huge Beers, Big Ass Beers, and all manor of beers at Mardi Gras

This photo was taken during Mardi Gras in New Orleans in 1996. The ongoing battle of Huge Ass Beers vs. Giant Ass Beer suggests how timeless New Orleans can be.

Reisch family celebrates revival of Gold Top beer with last brewmaster, now 100.
“This is Springfield’s own. It was brewed in Springfield for 117 years. And with the family being instrumental and the last brewmaster turning 100, it was the right time to bring it back.” Profits from the sale of Gold Top will be used to preserve Springfield’s historic sites. There’s something to be said for nostalgia.

Why authenticity is for tourists.
An engaging tale that may cause you to think about what it means to be authentic. Sorry, didn’t mean to give you a headache to begin the week. For a story a few years back about how the words craft and beer began to travel together Mike Kallenberger of Tropos Brand Consulting said, “I’d argue that craft beer as a category has a collective brand identity, and one of the most important values implicit is that identity is authenticity.” And here Will Hawkes writes, “Authenticity appears to be in the ascendancy at the moment because, in my view, there’s only so much worthwhile innovation around before you end up with marshmallows in your beer.”
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Monday beer briefing: Seeing things as they are


Selective Outrage: Does Inclusion Include Us?
I am reminded when we travel, as we did much of last week, that I subscribe to way too many RSS feeds. As a result, when I am playing catch up plenty of good reading gets deleted almost randomly. Likewise, what I see on Twitter is pretty arbitrary. But it was pretty easy to figure out this was the story of the week, at least within a specific bubble. Bubble because when I checked a few days ago I was surprised to see Toni Canada (@craft_curiosity) has only about 3,000 Twitter followers. Seems like the number should be much higher (and this will get confusing if she changes her handle). Meanwhile, this YouTube video in which Michael Tonsmeire discusses the differences between brewing on a homebrew system and a commercial one attracted more than 100,000 views and 140 comments by the time it was a week old. Is this an unfair comparison or does it tell us something?

As repeated often here, beer culture (or kulture) exists within our overall culture. Which is why I suggest reading Could BlacKkKlansman finally snag Spike Lee the Oscar he deserves? He didn’t last night, because Green Book did. If you don’t want to take the time to read the entire story, scroll to the end for a comparison of BlacKkKlansman and Green Book. Or consider this: “BlacKkKlansman is a film that shows how America actually is, Green Book shows what Academy voters often wish America would be.” We need more of the former.
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