Monthly Archives: April 2016

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 4/29/16

Today will be a quick and dirty Five Articles.

  • The Reinheitsgebot is an interesting thing. First, it is a tax law created to protect the use of bread making grains.  Second, I believe it is a good guide in how to make beer.  It reminds you to use simple ingredients and use them well.  Third, I think the strict adherence to any law or rule in a creative endeavor eventually stultifies any potential growth to that endeavor.  While I think German brewers need to move past the law, I also think they should remember it and use it as a guiding force going forward.
  • For some reason, I thought this case was already adjudicated. It is an interesting look at the Canadian constitution through a beer lens.  There are similar laws in the United States (including North Carolina and South Carolina), however, I don’t remember ever hearing anyone getting arrested for smuggling alcohol from one state to another.
  • There are not going to stop this pub from being built. Maybe all the noise they make will make it harder for the pub to gain traction, but it will be built and lots of people will drink there.  The San Diego craft beer community needs to move and beat AB by making better beer and being cooler people.  Provide a better and more organic atmosphere then you will get at a big corporate pub.  You can tell the difference when going into a locally owned bar and a corporate franchise.  Make that and a much better beer selection your selling points.
  • Here is how a few simple changes in state laws can goose an industry into profitability. New York has done a lot to change its alcohol laws in the past few years and they are starting to see the fruits of those changes.  It is a model many states should emulate.
  • This is something happening in small towns all across the state of North Carolina. Many of these towns are trying to attract tourists from in and outside of the state.  They are attempting to make themselves destinations for people to spend long weekends relaxing in the clean country air.  That is why it is interesting to watch the clash of these small towns with the people they are trying to attract. Again, this is why I don’t think the people who passed HB2 though past the immediate bump from their voters about what they were doing.  Not all the tourists you are trying to attract fit into your traditional definition of a couple or a family.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 4/28/16

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
2 get through this thing called life

That is one of the best openings to any piece of music or fiction you will ever read.  I’ve been listening to a lot of Prince the last week like everyone else and that opening and that song are things I can never get enough off.  Anyway, let’s talk about stupid laws and other beer related stuff.

  • There are a lot of stupid and unnecessary laws strewn at the state and local levels throughout this country. This is one of them.  I have feeling this was a law most people either didn’t know about or completely ignored.
  • Staying in the theme of stupid and unnecessary, this is the thing that galls me most about HB2 (besides the blatant discrimination): The people responsible for its passage have touted themselves as pro-business since they got elected.  That was in part how they got elected.  Yet, at every opportunity, they have managed to do things that have hurt bringing businesses to North Carolina with this being the crown jewel.  Of course, they will say this is what the people wanted.  Whenever I hear that, I remember the people of 1956 North Carolina would have said segregation was good, so I don’t care what the “people” want if they are advocating discrimination.  But what do I know, I just write about beer.
  • “…we picked the wrong time to be bad at things.” I think a lot of breweries will be making similar comments in the years to come.  There are too many breweries and too much competition to be mediocre now and just because you were everybody’s darling 3 years ago doesn’t mean you will be 3 years from now.
  • And the choir sang hallelujah. That isn’t even because I’m a huge New Belgium fan. It’s just that we have all been waiting for this thing to open for a long time.  Yeah, I think I’m going to have to go up there soon to visit this taproom.  I’m planning on taking a long weekend in August, I just don’t know where I want to go.  Right now it is down to Richmond or Asheville.  In other words, Stone or New Belgium.
  • This is a good article on the joys of homebrewing. People who are drawn to homebrewing are people who love process.  They love breaking things down into steps and following the process obsessively making tweaks here and there to get exactly what they want.  Brewing is the perfect avenue for people like that because the effects of your tweaks are easily seen and enjoyed.  However, the part about this article that got me wasn’t the article itself.  It was the temperature at the top of the page that said 35 degrees.  While I prefer cold weather, I couldn’t live in a place where it is 35 degrees on April 28.  That is just wrong.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 4/27/16

Today, I feel much better.  I restarted my meditation practice last week and it is starting to have an effect on my life.  My mind is gaining clarity and I am little more relaxed. I’ve also started The Artist’s Way, but before I start my first week of work with it, I am doing the 3 pages.  That has also helped me warm up and clear out all the clutter before I start writing.  I also plan to move by the end of May which will make my commute easier and give me back at least an hour a day.  I love days when it is easy to find five articles that interest me.  Here they are.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 4/26/16

You know there is a point where you figure out, you are getting old.  The amount of sleep you need and your ability to sleep through the night is one area.  There used to be a time where I could go to bed at 2, get up 7, and be fine.  I try that now and my sleep patterns are screwed up for a week.  Needless to say, I may have to catch another hour of sleep before I go into work today.  Anyway, here are the Five Articles.  Good stuff today.

  • The idea that a compromise was possible in Colorado was a tad more hopeful than sensible. The reasons are articulated perfectly in this article.  One side is being asked to give up part of their business model and the other side is being asked to give up winning a ballot initiative that will give them everything that they want.  At this point, the liquor stores need to figure out what their business model will look like after this thing passes.
  • This is a really light article. Not that it wasn’t well written or bad, just light.  It felt like eating cotton candy.  It is the kind of piece that is well written but you won’t remember what it was about 20 minutes after you read it.  Do consumers prefer cans or bottles?  Most honestly don’t care.  For a retailer, cans are easier to store and last longer on the shelf.  Also, you should never drink out of the can if at all possible.  Beer always tastes better if poured into a glass.
  • Sometimes you see the headline of an article and think, “I agree with that.” Then you read the article and something about the writer’s tone annoys you and his path to the conclusion annoys you and you begin to think maybe I’m wrong with my position.  This is that article for me.  For some reason, I also don’t think the writer truly believes what he is writing and that is the greatest sin a writer can commit.
  • This is a good article on what to look for in a good IPA. There are too man IPAs right now.  Mostly, because they are the easiest style to brew.  That doesn’t mean all of them are good.  Most of them are drinkable and some of them are good and a few are great.  One thing the article didn’t mention is to beware of IPAs whose recipes have changed without the brewer telling anyone.  It is getting harder and harder to get hops in the quantities needed to make IPAs, DIPAs, and triple IPAs.  Your favorite IPA might not be the IPA you fell in love with.
  • Here is a tight little article about the beer of Western NC that doesn’t focus on Asheville solely.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 4/25/16

Sorry, I’ve been absent again, but working 12-14 hours a day, on your feet, for 4 days in a row takes its toll and I really needed to sleep.  Anyway, there are three blog posts coming in the next 2 weeks.  One of which will probably be a multipart post because it is a big subject I am going to try and tackle.  The other are a continuation of my fascination and exploration of creativity and a fundamental question about everything I’m writing about on this blog.

  • Many if not most states in the union are in the midst of changing many of their alcohol laws. Most of these laws are left over from Prohibition and some even date back to when the country was still a group of colonies. Most of these changes are slapdash and piecemeal. Look at how most of the laws concerning growlers are not part of a larger look at beer is sold in a state, but just a law to fulfill a niche in a market.  New York is the first one that I’ve noticed take a hard and systematic look at its laws and how they should be changed.
  • Here is another case of brewers wanting to change the law specific to brewers. You know what would be great? If this state’s brewer guild took a few months and came up with a list of 5-10 legislative items and presented them to sympathetic state legislators telling them that if you can pass most if not all of these laws, we can guarantee a strong business segment that will generate tax revenue.  I’m just kind of tired of reading stories about brewers upset that they can’t sell growlers or sell beer in their taprooms.  These are all part of the same problem. Of course, a legislator in Oklahoma is trying to do that and she keeps getting hit in the face with 2x4s from self-interested lobbyists.
  • How much is too much when giving incentives to businesses to move to your state? That is a question NC has been trying to answer for years now in all business segments, not just beer.  I became interested in this topic a few years ago when a few professional sports teams moved because they couldn’t convince the cities and states they were in to pay to build them a new stadium.  Basically, the owners want cities and states to put up all the money for construction and infrastructure for a stadium the teams would control, including all the profits from ticket sales, parking, concessions, etc.  They would spout off about all these pie in the sky jobs created by the stadium, which had no basis in any economic fact, and hold cities ransom.  So, I have mixed feelings about states and municipalities giving away too many incentives for any business.  I think luring businesses with tax breaks is great up until the point where the municipality is no longer making money off the venture.
  • Here is look at the alcohol industry in Michigan. It is interesting to think about craft beer as a part of a larger craft alcohol business segment.  Again, instead of just trying to get growler and crowlers legal or getting the state to allow sales in brewery taprooms, it may help to position these things as part of a larger business segment that can have good tax revenue implications.
  • You know, I’ve felt like a character on Game of Thrones who goes around telling anyone who will listen, “Winter is coming.” I’ve been reading articles for almost 2 years now telling us that a hop shortage is coming and I’ve been writing about those articles in this space.  Yet, the craft beer world, by which I mean craft beer drinkers have been going along like this bounty of hoppy beer will continue without end. Here is another article explaining what is and what will probably happen.  What will probably happen? The price of your favorite double IPA is about to go up in the next few months if stays available at all.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 4/21/16

It’s Thursday.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 4/20/16

The thing I find interesting about meditation is what thoughts float through my mind as I concentrate on my breathing.  It isn’t the important things in my life that float through my head that bother me.  That is expected.  It’s the silly things.  Why am I thinking about a television show I haven’t watched in 5 years?  I didn’t even like it when I was watching it.  Anyway, here are the Five Articles.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 4/19/16

Tuesday and it is going to over 80 degrees today.  I predict a busy afternoon and evening for me.  Onto the Five Articles.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 4/18/16

Monday morning.  I really need a Bojangles biscuit.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 4/17/16

I love beer (I have a blog dedicated to it so that seems rather obvious).  Outside of the beer, there are a couple of things surrounding craft beer that really interest me. One is the idea of brewing as a creative art that should be critiqued and studied as such (I’m working on a couple of bigger pieces that explores this).  Two is the confluence of beer with business and law.  The second interests me because alcohol has such an interesting place in society and its perception is so different across different parts of this society.  Among other things, with craft beer you can look at how governments treat business and how the treatment of drinking culture changes from generation and socio-economic strata.  Anyway, here is a bunch of articles about beer that are more about business and law than actual beer.