USA! USA! I’ve seen every match of the US Men’s National Team since the Trinidad and Tobago match that sent the US to the 1990 World Cup. John Brooks performance last night was maybe the best defensive performance (non-goalkeeper category) that I’ve seen. Onto Sunday’s Five Articles.
It’s Friday and your week is almost over. Have a beer.
Flying Dog fought the state of Michigan and won. In order to celebrate they have started a nonprofit named the 1st Amendment Society which teams with the Frederick County Public Library to highlight banned books. This is a short article on the first of those events.
Beer styles are at best a snapshot in time. As brewers evolve their recipes and consumers tastes change, so do the styles evolve and change. Along with taste, aroma and appearance also change and shift. For instance, though not a separate style (yet?) Northeast/Vermont style IPAs have a distinctive almost orange juice appearance. At some point, this will be added to the IPA canon or will be spun off into its own category.
Thursday is here and the week is almost done. This is my Wednesday because my days off are shifted a day off of everyone else’s.
Let’s start with pairing food and beer. When I try to come up with content for this blog (which I’m in the midst of doing going into the second half of the year) I start with what interests me and what do I want to write about consistently. What I know I will do is write more reviews (at least one a week). I have been really thinking about what the second weekly post will be and I keep coming around to beer and food pairings (or something).
Advertising for people not male and not white is hard for people who are white and male to figure out sometimes. The key is to respect your audience. Don’t talk about “the minorities” or “the women” and treat them like fully developed human who are slightly different from you.
I like taxes. Taxes are how we pay for stuff like roads, schools, hospitals, police, firefighters, EMTs, etc. So I have no problem with governments charging taxes on luxury items such as beer. However, I also know that if you want to spur growth in an industry you cut the taxes to make it easier for businesses to expand. The British government may not have gotten that memo when it comes to beer. The writer of this piece makes the point that in the US the tax on a pint is 3 cents and in the UK it is 70 cents. It is important to point out that is the US federal excise tax and does not include all the state and local taxes brewers have to pay, but the point is still well made. For British brewers to continue to grow, the taxes must be shaved a little.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ohio is seeking to increase the ABV limit on beer. I agree with Kevin Loftis of Mother Stewart’s Brewing how is quoted in this article. Increase it if you want to, most brewers won’t brew anything over 12% because it is rarely worth drinking. Too much of a booze taste. Also, for a brewer anything that big is expensive as hell to make and would only be some kind of special one-off. No one is going to put into regular production a 12% beer much less a 15% beer.
There is actual science behind why certain foods work with certain beers. You don’t need to know the science if you are just a person trying to find a good beer to pair with your chipotle black bean burger. However, the chef at the craft beer-centric restaurant you want to go to has to know it when he is putting together his menu. Knowing not only what tastes work together is important, but knowing why is important because it lets the chef surprise you with a pairing that you wouldn’t expect.
Now, an ode to the hop. As much as I decry the overuse and over-reliance of hops I love what they add to beer. Also, I think they are misunderstood by most of the general craft beer drinking public, especially those who want to get in on the craft beer thing.
I am growing into liking sours. They are beer that doesn’t taste like what most people in the US consider beer, but unlike using concentrated fruit (peach, watermelon, pineapple, grapefruit, etc.) these are beers with interesting fruity and barnyard flavors created with natural beer fermentation. Here is a look at new Virginia brewery that is concentrating on sours.
My favorite beer stories are the ones that look at American craft beer as a business and not just a hipster affectation. Beer as a jobs and revenue generator is why I believe this is not going to go away. Here is a story from Maine.
There is a distinct to the Five Articles today, and it is a familiar one. One of the cool things about the United States is it is in a constant state of evolving into the more perfect union it purports to be. People are constantly fighting to expand the rights this country professes to love. Sometimes it is just about allowing consumers to buy beer and sometimes it’s about treating people who are different than you, whom you may not completely understand fairly.