I keep dropping away for a reason. I am in the midst of deciding how I want to change this blog, how to do the other writing that interests me, and how to do more freelance writing I other spaces. First, I will keep the Five Articles. It is a good way to warm up for the day and it is a great way to keep up on all the news that goes on in this industry I love. I also plan to do more reviews. I want to post at least 3 reviews a week starting in June. I am going to gain around 5 hours a week starting May 30 by cutting my commute by 30 minutes each way. Also coming soon will be a couple of posts that I have been working on for a couple of weeks. Not because they have been difficult to write, but because I really want them to be more than just blog posts. One, in particular, is something of a manifesto or statement of purpose of what I want this space to be and what I think American craft beer writing should aspire to develop into.
- Things that are not surprising for a $1000, Alex. This $150,000 fine is just the cost of doing business for AB. They’ll pay this and move on to the next scheme. With every story about ABInBev, I always feel the need to point out that it isn’t a brewer. It is a company that sells beer and tries to make the beer as profitable as possible by making it as cheaply as possible, selling it for as much as possible, and selling it in as many places as possible and everything they do is to that end.
- Professor Charles Bamforth speaking truth. Bamforth is literally a professor of beer and has written a library full of books on the science of brewing. However, my favorite of his is Beer Is Proof God Loves Us which is more of a beer autobiography.
- The people who write headlines should actually read the articles and understand them before they make up a headline. This article and this headline have a very tenuous connection. That isn’t saying that the headline missed the deep and important meaning of the article because I can’t quite figure out what the article’s point is, but whatever it is the headline is terribly misleading.
- The explosion of canning has taken firm hold of North Carolina brewers. Since I pour my beers into a glass most of the time anyway I have no opinion on cans except to say that they are easier to store and carry.
- There is a fine line between advocating for good beer and caring about what you drink and belittling those who don’t hold beer in the same light. I always try to be inclusive and bring people towards beer. Now, I do take notes, but I am kind of a professional. As for people who stop drinking a beer once it is bought by a bigger brewer or beer company, I say it is about the liquid. Once the liquid turns bad, then I stop drinking it. That has happened with smaller brewers who for whatever reason changed their recipes as well as brewers bought up by a huge corporation.
Here is a good Tuesday in the middle of May. There is a good group of articles today. I want to discuss some things I was involved with yesterday on Twitter in one of the links below. It was good and informative.
- Sierra Nevada Otra Vez is a nice gose. Not too salty or sour. It is an easy drinking beer perfect for summer and it is good to see it win an award.
- I don’t know if this will have the affects the alderman thinks it will. It may diminish litter, but public drunkenness is a different story. I don’t think it will affect that sort of behavior much. It may keep a homeless person or two from being drunk in public, but I would suspect public drunkenness is more an effect of being one place, getting drunk, and leaving.
- This would have been better if the report told us why the two grocery store chains are holding out from joining the compromise.
- Here is another story explaining craft beer to a new public. I like these stories when they aren’t condescending. This report does not have any of that, “Look at the cute little hipsters drinking that craft beer stuff.”
- This is what I want to talk about. Yesterday, Bryan Roth posted a blog post called “What Is The Brewers Association Doing To Address Gender And Race?” This spurred a discussion on Twitter between Bryan, Jason Notte, Jeff Alworth, and myself. When I read this article my first reaction was bemused confusion. Some of the answers to Bryan’s questions showed a stunning lack of understanding that there is a problem in brewing of inclusivity outside that of gender. It becomes clearer to me after reading the second part, posted today, “What Should The Brewers Association Do To Address Gender And Race?” that it may be the lack of will to do anything about the problem. The Brewers Association and the state brewer’s guilds all have a lot of things on their plate. However, the excuse that we have other problems to deal with that are bigger is a cop out. It is your job to deal with these problems. All of them, not just the ones that are least scary. I am confident that the number of craft beer drinkers of color will rise organically. I am much less confident that the number of brewers, brewery executives, or brewery reps will increase organically without asking those in a position of power to expand the pool of people considered for those jobs. It is important to note that I do not believe this is done out of malice, but because that is the way things have always been done. It’s going to take someone of significance hiring a head brewer of color (outside of Brooklyn Brewing and Garrett Oliver) for people to be able to envision brewers differently.
Normally, the Five Articles aren’t really work. There is usually a good bullpen of stories that I just go through, read, and link. Today was actually like work. Here are five articles.
I’ve been away for two very good reasons. One, I’ll have a new address soon. Two, I’ve been thinking about the focus of this blog. My new address will hopefully help with the second part. More coming in a few days. Onto the Five Articles.
- I know nothing about the Canadian constitution or how each province deals with the other provinces laws, but I do know that if a judge says a law is a violation of any country’s constitution that ruling does not just apply to the one guy who brought the case before the court. Now, that doesn’t mean the ruling shouldn’t be reviewed before it becomes the law of all of Canada, but It takes balls to say this sentence out loud to reporters carrying recording devices, “It is important to note that the effect of the trial decision is limited in theory to Gérard Comeau.” Whenever I read about this case in particular and Canadian laws in general, it always seems I’m looking at US laws through some weird looking glass.
- Change is hard. Particularly change in a law which was the basis for your business model. However, craft brewers and liquor store owners in Colorado were always going to be on the wrong side of opposing a law that would bring craft beer to Colorado grocery stores. If a proposed law makes life simpler and easier for consumers, opposing that law is a losing proposition. A compromise was going to be the only thing these groups could hope for and they are getting it.
- Another state is trying to raise the cap on the ABV of beer brewed and sold there. The fear of people drinking high ABV beer is unwarranted for the most part. If you are worried about people drinking that beer just to get drunk and wreak havoc all over the jurisdiction, I will counter that if they want to get that drunk they already can by buying a bottle of vodka which will be cheaper and much more effective.
- The World Beer Cup is gaining stature every year. Up until about 4 or 5 years ago I knew nothing about it, but now I see how important it is in the craft beer community. Unlike GABF which is only beer brewed in the US, the World Beer Cup brings brewers from all corners of the globe. It has about the same number of beer entered into competition as GABF, but they are from around the globe. It highlights how the craft beer industry is growing in ways that the large beer conglomerates can’t keep up with in the long run.
- It is not a “craze.” It is not some hipster affectation like fedoras and ironic mustaches. Craft beer is an actual business and movement that has real effects on local economies. No clothing conglomerate is throwing billions of dollars at all the hat makers popping up across America and the rest of the globe. The condescending way this story is written belies the underlying story that I’ve seen time and time again since I started doing this most mornings. Municipalities across the country see the value in craft brewing and other small like-minded businesses in increasing their tax revenue and revitalizing blighted areas.