Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 10/7/15

It’s Wednesday. It’s downhill towards the weekend and two days off. The sun is out in the Southeast part of the country after almost two weeks of rain and tropical storms.  Also, another edition of Gravity Magazine is in the final stages of prep for a November 1 release.  Today is a great day, here is some beer news.

  • It is hard to brew beer, even bad beer. It is also hard to run a beer business, especially if it is a gigantic multinational which makes bad beer. For those businesses, it must be strange to be the dominant force in the global beer market, yet seem to be getting eaten to death by thousands of angry gnats. So, on one hand, the proposed ABInbev/SABMiller merger makes sense, it girds both against the coming hordes of small brewers in North America and Europe.  On the other hand the market is fragmenting and I believe the market in North America and Europe will be bifurcated between either very large and very small (small local breweries making just enough for its immediate area). I don’t know if this merger helps these companies survive that.
  • It is hard to believe today, but homebrewing was illegal in the United States until 1978. In fact, Mississippi and Alabama were the last two states to make it legal to home brew in 2013. Without homebrewing, the modern US beer industry would not exist.  Here is a good story about violating the law and making a stand for good beer.
  • A quick story from Washington about the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act and why craft beverage makers like it. It also explains why consumers should like it, meaning cutting excise taxes theoretically will lower consumer prices. I will be interested to see if that is actually the case.
  • Why am I linking to a liver mush burger recipe? Because the town of my birth, Shelby, NC, is hosting the Mush, Music, and Mutts Festival this weekend and part of the festival will be the North Carolina Brew Fest and Chili Cook-off. The thing that interests me is it is only in my lifetime that Shelby has allowed alcohol sales and has used changing alcohol laws to create a nice downtown area and a tourism economy.  This is why I talk about these laws changing around the country. I’ve seen how changing those laws benefit small towns navigating a changing economic world.
  • “All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again.” Ronald D. Moore created one of my favorite shows of all time, Battlestar Galactica, with this as a guiding principal to the direction of the show. Session beers have happened before and are a return to the heart of beer culture, the pub.  In Europe, the idea of going down to the pub or beer hall and drinking for a few hours was the norm.  Men, because women weren’t exactly welcome in pubs at that time, would go down after work and drink low-alcohol beers and hang out never getting too terribly drunk. These session beers are a welcome return to that idea.