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Monday beer briefing: Workplace culture, buying rounds & hops as grapes

Brauerei Spezial, Bamberg


Ballast Point Dulling.
This was the culture at Ballast Point Brewing: “We built camaraderie among employees and just had a phenomenal culture of showing up to work, kicking serious ass, having a couple of beers with each other, and repeating the next day. We all felt very blessed to be able to do this for a living.” Sounds great, doesn’t it? When a business — any business, not just a brewery — considers what it means to be sustainable, and how that relates to sustain its company culture, things get more complicated.

The unwritten rules of round-buying.
“In practice, of course, all of these rules or customs are understood without being spoken, and possibly completely unconsciously. We moderate our behaviour based on the group we’re with, our knowledge of people’s financial situations, or their capacity for alcohol.” I thought about how this bit of culture is different than elsewhere when I read David Berg’s comment on Twitter that “It’s probably too much to ask, but maybe someday beer will once again be about this” with this being, “I honestly don’t care what beer you drink. It’s just good to be around friends.” In traveling recently from Munich to Poznan and back I was reminded how different all things related to beer look in the wild than the do on Beer Twitter. The picture at the top was taken on a Sunday at Brauerei Spezial in Bamberg. A few moments later the man on the left turned his empty ceramic mug on the side and rather quickly a server appeared with another round. No words were needed.

What Beer Should You Drink Based on Your Wine Preference?
Seventeen years ago I wrote about Beer for wine drinkers for an All About Beer “how to” issue. It was a very different story than this one. At the end I recited a list of suggested beer types for various wine types that Michael Jackson had compiled. This story instead lists specific hop varieties for lovers of particular wine — for instance a beer made with Nelson Sauvin hops for a Sauvignon Blanc drinker (an easy one). The approach is one more example of how much has changed since 2002: four of the seven hop varieties listed were not available to brewers (and Nelson Sauvin had just been released to the New Zealand market).

Little Beast’s Liquid Feast.
When I was in Portland last October, Little Beast is one of the places Jeff Alworth (and my friend, Bill Aimonetti) drank a few beers, and Jeff wrote about it at the time. In promoting this longer post via Twitter, he wrote, “Which American brewery is currently making the best mixed-fermentation beers? It’s an unanswerable question, but Little Beast should be in the discussion.” Brewers will learn something reading about Porter’s approach; drinkers as well.

Czech brewers put modern pubs on tap to court hipster crowd.
That’s one depressing headline, don’t you think?

Dr. John’s Reverent Subversion of New Orleans Cliché.
File this thought away next time a “selling out” discussion shows up. Dr. John said he made his best money from writing jingles for brands like Oreo and Scott, the tissue company. “But he never got less weird. In The Last Waltz, Martin Scorsese’s film of The Band’s 1976 farewell concert, Dr. John is one of the most memorable guests. Wearing oversize sunglasses, a beret, and a narcotized leer, he delivers a performance of ‘Such a Night’ that somehow manages to out-swamp Muddy Waters, out-lech Ronnie Hawkins, and out-mystic Van Morrison, all of whom also appeared at the concert.”

The Slow Rise and Fast Fall of NYC’s Most Anticipated Craft Brewery.

The quest to make a bot that can smell as well as a dog.
I hope you are able to read this long article from Wired magazine (it may depend who many times you have visited if you are not a subscriber – which I am). The mysteries around olfaction are just so dang intriguing. “Scientists are still piecing together the basics of how we sense all those volatile compounds and how our brains classify that information. ‘There are more unknowns than knowns,’ says Hiroaki Matsunami, a researcher at Duke University.”



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

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