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Monday beer links and musing remains on hiatus, but here are a few “just the links” — because breweries are small businesses and what is written about wine is often true about beer.

Remember when a glass of wine a day was good for you? Here’s why that changed.
What Millions of Retiring Small Business Owners Could Mean for Cities.
America’s Newest Monastic Brewery Opens in Oregon.
The wonder of the fresh hop: How Washington’s special autumn beer gets made.
Fifth Hammer Brewer Chris Cuzme Would Take Orval and John Coltrane to a Desert Island.
Metallica Talk Top-Secret Distilling Process Behind New ‘Blackened’ Whiskey.


Gose: Balancing tradition and innovation

Stephen Beaumont tweet

I was already thinking about the speed at which beer seems to be barreling ahead when this tweet from Stephen Beaumont showed up in my Twitter feed early (he’s in Italy) yesterday. The reason being that I’ve just finished reading Fal Allen’s Gose: Brewing a Classic German Beer For The Modern Era. Allen had never heard of the style months before Anderson Valley Brewing made its first one in July 2013. Now he’s written a book about it that fills 221 pages.

Gose: Brewing A Classic German Beer For the Modern EraThat he knew nothing of it is a bit humbling, given that it one of the “wheat beers from the past” I wrote about in Brewing With Wheat, which was published in 2010. Later that year I provided a “how to” guide on how to brew a gose for The New Brewer, the magazine for members of the Brewers Association. The point was that gose was a oddity. Now it is everywhere and includes beers that go well beyond your basic sour German ale with a bit of salt and coriander.

This allows Allen to dig into the history of the beer — yes, I’m jealous — while, as the title suggests, also placing it in a modern context. Are you drinking gose, and a lot of people are, and want to know all about it? This is a book for you. Want to learn everything about how to brew it from somebody who is really good at it. Again, the book for you.

One example. Goslar, where there style originated, was once a brewing center, with 300 breweries in 1500. As Allen writes, the gose origin story “has it that the salinity of gose once came from the mineral-laden water of the Gose river.” Later, as beers from Goslar gained in popularity other brewers added salt to emulate their character.
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Kveik: Time to think outside the farmhouse?

Kveik paparazzi
Joe Stange posted the photo above on Twitter, captioning it “Kveik and the paparazzi.” That’s Lars Marius Garshol on the left and me on the right. The photo below provides a close up look at kveik, but maybe not as clear a picture as we got today with the release of a paper in frontiers in Microbiology titled “Traditional Norwegian Kveik Are a Genetically Distinct Group of Domesticated Saccharomyces cerevisiae Brewing Yeasts.”

Kveik - just waiting for the wort to finish boiling
Backing up just a bit, not long after I landed in Norway two weeks ago I posted a short video of foam pouring out of an overcarbonated beer that have been fermented with kveik. That prompted this question: “Doing research for a future book, I hope?” The answer is that I am not working on a book involving Norwegian farmhouse beers, kveik, farmhouse beers from other regions, or other ancient drinks. Garshol has that under control, and although it seems the research part never ends (because it really doesn’t ever end) the result will be a book from Brewers Publications in 2020.

I was in Norway at the invitation of organizers of Bergen Ølfestival, a two-day event featuring more than 40 Norwegian breweries in the stunningly beautiful city of Bergen. I gave a rather technical presentation about hops to brewers the evening before the festival started, then a less technical one for the public on the first day. Of course, one of the ways Rolv Bergesen convinced me to make the trip was a chance to visit Norwegian farmhouse breweries. We (Daria, who arrived a few days after I did, Stange, and Garshol) headed to the Dyrvedalen valley south of Voss the day after the festival, and Sjur Rørlien took us to two farms where beer is still made. I will have details in a future issue of Zymurgy magazine.

Now back to kveik.

Lars Marius Garshol
Although Garhol’s presentation at the festival was in Norwegian the graphics made it easy to follow, and he laid out much of the information published today. He also posted an excellent summary in his blog, although this doesn’t really summarize easily.

At a geek level there is this: “The results were quite surprising: kveik belongs to Beer 1. This is the group that has Belgian/German strains on one side, and UK/US ones on the other.” Too geeky? If you are looking for background, I wrote about the family tree of yeast for All About Beer magazine last year.

At a disrupting the beer landscape level there is the fact that kveik ferments at much higher temperatures than other yeast strains without creating off flavors and it isn’t wild. It may have resulted from a beer from Beer 1 mating with a wild yeast, but it is POF- rather than POF+ (again see the family tree story).

When kviek started showing up in the United States less than two years ago brewers I talked to were interested in using it in “farmhouse” beers because it came from a farmhouse. They expected saison attributes because too often, d incorrectly, saison and farmhouse are used as synonyms. The brewers who will be creating new and interesting beers fermenting them with kveik are the ones who appreciate it for its difference. What might a porter made with kveik taste like, or a brown ale, or a beer made with two-row malt and three types of basil?


Ales Through the Ages canceled

Ales Through the Ages in Colonial Williamsburg has been canceled.

Scheduled for Oct. 19-21 in Virginia, ticket sales by the end of August did not meet a level that would guarantee the event would be successful.

The program looked as strong as somebody interested in beer history could hope for, but it would appear I might be wrong. That those who had signed up to attend were notified almost two weeks ago and that little conversation followed beyond some exchanges on Twitter also suggests (taking a deep breath) an overall lack of interest in beer history.

On a personal level, I am disappointed because I enjoy the company of the speakers who were to be there. As important, it is a learning opportunity lost.


Monday beer links: Institutional amnesia?


Aministrative note: Monday links will be on hiatus for, well, I’m not quite sure how long. Upcoming travel and work plans don’t align with collecting links and posting them on Mondays. I hold out hope that I will have time for an occasional post (and those have been rare, to be honest) from Norway and other destinations. After I mentioned last week I wasn’t finding much new of note recently Alan McLeod commented I was starting to sound like him, but that’s not the reason for the hiatus. (And I might point out there are other curmudgeonly voices chirping away too.) Before I begin packing, just one bit of musing this week, before some more links as thanks for showing up.

It’s Lit — The Unfortunate Trend of Exploding Cans in Craft Beer.
Craft Beer Was Built on an Us-Versus-Them Ethos. Now It’s Tearing Us Apart.
This one-two punch left me thinking about community. No, not beer community. Community. I had a wonderful rambling conversation with Mark Jilg at Craftsman Brewing about this a few years ago, some of which made it into Brewing Local. He talked about the symbiotic relationship that develops when beer is consumed locally. Brewers care about what their friends will be drinking, and consumers take pride in consuming beer made by people they know. In such a setting a beer that might blow up cans would not be served, would be served on draft, or a brewery would go to the trouble and expense of acquiring and using bottles guaranteed to withstand higher carbonation.
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