Usually Wednesday’s are a bountiful day for beer stories. Wednesday and Sunday are when newspapers have traditionally done their feature stories and food stories. However, this Wednesday is bereft of good content. There is a lot of stuff about the definition of craft beer that I grew tired of rehashing months ago and the silliness of the lawsuit that spawned this round of navel gazing. There are op-eds and stories about the Muslim truck drivers who won a lawsuit after being fired for not delivering beer written by people who don’t understand the concept of reasonable accommodation and the fact that public officials are exempt from the same civil rights protections. Today will be a little different.
If you want to read some really good beer and alcohol writing that gives you the sense of listening to an interesting guy you met at a bar, you should really follow Will Gordon. Here is a link to his page at Drunkspin.
This is exactly the way I feel about IPAs. I like them, but brewer’s attempts to satiate the hoppy appetites of many craft beer drinkers has made brewers go crazy with doubles, triples, quadruples, and quintuples. There are many other beer styles that are great and they should be drunk by beer lovers. Also, the amount of hops available to brewers is going to be limited over the next few years. Brewers should look to this as an opportunity to explore styles outside of IPAs.
Fermentation sciences is one of the newer curriculums at universities. This is a list of 5 of the best of those types of programs. My one concern with the growth of fermentation and brewing science programs is that they may make brewers and their beer more homogenous. Part of the joy of beer is that each brewer has his/her own take on styles creating their own terroir.
This is why the merger happened. The US market was not the primary concern of the two companies. They are trying to take advantage getting into growing markets in Africa and Central and South America.
This is a great time to be a craft beer drinker. It is also an interesting time to be in the craft beer business. I think crat beer is in its adolescence. It is at that point where stuff is growing at a weird and explosive rate and the future is ahead of you. However, it is also a time when you challenge the rules placed upon you to find the outer reaches of your potential and what life can offer.
This is interesting. I think I would rather try the Zymatic because it gives more freedom to make the beer you want, but the Pico is a good starter kit.
I have said this before and I will keep saying it, if you want to read something smart and interesting while you learn about beer you have to read Jason Notte. I learn something new almost every time I read him. He is the best beer writer right now, and you should read this piece on the actual effects of big beer treating beer like a business. We think about the people that work in beer when we go to festivals and talk to a brewer from our favorite local brewery. We forget that these macro brewers we “hate” are staffed by people. These are people with jobs and mortgages and an abiding need to eat. My hope for the workers in Eden who will be let go is that the North Carolina craft beer industry can find places for them.
Is, whatever the name of this new behemoth beer company is, trying to kill craft beer? Speaking of learning something every time I read an article from someone, I usually like The Motley Fool, but this is a regurgitation of already established facts in hopes of predicting a future in a constantly shifting business segment. The beer business may look wholly different in ten years, but I feel pretty confident in saying, it won’t be because local, small breweries went out of business after being crushed by the weight of macro brewers.
It’s Football Saturday. Both kinds and that makes me happy. Also making me happy, is the idea that tomorrow I’ll be able to sit and enjoy a few good beers tomorrow while watching another round of both kinds of football throughout the day. Enough about me, on to the Five Articles. You’ll notice something isn’t being mentioned today which is another thing I’m thankful for this Saturday.
The Smithsonian has a nice article about American craft beer. It’s a good read and you might learn a couple of things. The next to last paragraph is my favorite because expresses an idea that I agree with: breweries will be either really large or really small and concentrating on their local community or at most in their region.
My nervousness about colleges and universities serving beer isn’t that I think they should protect the public or not promote college students drinking. I don’t think allowing beer sales does either for the simple reason that the people who want to drink at college football games are going to whether it is legal or not. As someone who has been to a good number of college football games as a crusty alum and as an underage college student, if I didn’t drink it was solely because I didn’t want to. My objections are just, how will the alcohol effects the atmosphere of the games and can they avoid the drunken idiocy of many professional games. Here is a look at the effects so far this season at University of Texas football games.
Speaking of being environmentally conscious, farmhouse breweries are another important way craft brewing can cut down on its environmental footprint. Farmhouse brewing is interesting, cool, and a throwback to the history of brewing. Many Belgian and French beer style names originated because the beers were made on farms during the down times and drank in certain seasons. This is another segment of brewing that I think will only grow over the next few years.
It’s Friday. What more needs to be said. Go to work then on your way home have a beer and plan your beer drinking weekend.
I hate whales. Not the marine mammals, but the beers whose rarity increase their value among some beer drinkers. These are the kind of beers people will line up at 2 am to get in line to buy. These are the kind of beers people will gladly overpay to buy. If you are a beer drinker who is buying these beers to drink, I can understand. I refuse to pay that much for a beer, but I understand. The people I hate are the same bottom feeders who lurk in every capitalist venture that will buy the beers then auction them off for 10 times what the original insane price was. This is one of the bad parts of craft beer.
If you think about it, the way the Georgia growler laws happened is very logical. The distributors, always one of the most powerful lobbies in state legislatures, worked it so that they would back off their opposition and get a seat at the table to write the law. Of course, the law would make no logical sense. They probably could have done 15 other things to keep the law from passing or to neuter it without making it silly, but they have, in my opinion, overplayed their hand and united the brewers they were trying to screw into a more unified and determined bunch. People who have power, but don’t know how to effectively use it, always manage to shoot off their own foot in the end.
I would love to see the Brewers Association or someone do a survey of every brewer in every state to find out what beers brewers would rank as the best in each state. Instead, we keep getting news organizations regurgitating RateBeer, Beer Advocate, or Untappd rankings and reporting them as news for clickbait. Here is your clickbait photo array of the day.
Thursday has arrived and the week is flying towards its end. The merger is starting to be understood in the context of how it will affect consumers in this country at a lesser rate than consumers in Europe, Africa, and South America. Of course, there are other stories to read about beer and I have a few.
Consumers in Colorado have not had a problem with finding good craft beer, but could brewers have sold more if they were in grocery stores. Will the proposed law change hurt craft brewers? I really have no idea how to feel about this story since I’ve always lived in a place where all beer is available in grocery stores. Also, how will allowing craft beer in grocery stores affect the smaller liquor stores? Will they stop selling craft beer?
This is the place I have a problem with the big brewers. First, they threaten distributors and then they buy distributors. That is the real threat to craft beer. I think if the distribution avenues are kept even and equal across the board, craft beer will get its share of the market. That is why this is a much bigger issue to the beer world than the merger itself.
Here is a nice story about a new beer festival in Shelby, NC. This is my hometown and I am happy beer culture is finally coming to Shelby. Also, this is a lot like craft beer culture becoming bigger in Salt Lake City. Small towns in the south like Shelby have cultures built around the church. The idea of beer culture spreading across the Bible Belt is one of the more interesting parts of this next phase of beer growth in the US.
I’m sorry the Five Articles are late today, I was distracted by Rick Pitino being involved in another sex scandal. Is it possible a coach who wins consistently and has never had a real basketball related scandal get fired for stuff that happens off the basketball court that doesn’t involve academic improprieties? Anyway, onto beer.
Here is a column the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about the merger. As usual I agree with some of what is said and disagree with some of it. While I agree that this will affect smaller craft brewers and not necessarily for the better, I agree that the deal will create a larger differentiation between the craft brewers and the bigger brewers. I think the beer world will always have a place for the smaller more crafted beer the craft brewers offer. That is not going away, but the explosive growth of the last 5-10 years will probably end, but that was always going to be the case.
The Monday Five Articles are here and the story that will not die is still front and center. The merger is still the driver of all the columns and think pieces out there. There are international takes, national takes, and local takes from all across North American and Europe. However, a theme is starting to emerge. While many writers, columnists, and bloggers disagree with the effectiveness this merger will have in the long term, they all agree that this merger smells of desperation and lack of ideas.
The only point on this list that I think is an actual problem is the control of distribution. Maybe I know nothing about business and don’t understand how monopolies work and how this gargantuan beer company will crush all that stand before it. I just know no one knows the future. This merger will affect the beer industry, but while it will affect it in ways we can anticipate, more importantly it will affect it in ways we cannot even imagine at the moment.
It’s Friday. That is enough of a reason to celebrate right there. The Five Articles takes a rather business approach today and gets rather wonky.
After the first wave of the sky is falling or the sky is not falling articles about the merger we are now starting to get articles that go into the wonkier implications of the merger. Here is one of them. This is the kind of stuff I love to read about all the things I love.
Another state is trying to update their distribution laws. I learned something new: only 38 states allow brewers to self-distribute their beer in some ways. I think brewers should be allowed to self-distribute, but I also think if a brewer really wants to expand their footprint, they need to work with a distributor. As in most things in the real world it is possible for two opposing things to be true at once.