News, Nuggets & Longreads 21/02/2015

It’s Saturday and time for our usual round-up of news and interesting reading around the Blogoshire and beyond.

→ For All About Beer, Heather Vandanengel discussed the concept of FOMO and how it relates to beer:

“Why am I doing this?” I asked myself the last time I was 50-people-deep waiting in line to get into a bar serving hard-to-find beers on draft… It was textbook FOMO…

→ Meredith Geil’s piece on the relationship between Brooklyn’s Sixpoint and British brewery Adnams offered some interesting insight into how the J.D. Wetherspoon US collaboration beer project works, and how JDW are perceived by their American partners. (Via @robsterowski.)

→ After Thrillist annoyed everyone by declaring Gose the death of craft beer, at Eater, a food website with occasional clickbait tendencies, Christina Perozzi profiled the style and explained how US brewers are approaching it:

Some are dry-hopping their Gose with big, high alpha-acid American hops, some are adding New World herbs, some are adding Brettanomyces (or Brett) yeast to amp up the funk, some are adding flowers, some are barrel-aging, some are adding Brittany Gray sea salt, smoked sea salt, Himalayan red sea salt. The possibilities seem endless.

→ To mark its 50th birthday, Will Hawkes wrote about Maris Otter malt for All About Beer where it came from, how it nearly disappeared, and why it is so well-loved by brewers today.

→ Jeff ‘Beervana’ Alworth shared the results of an experiment at a bar in Portland, Oregon, which saw customers offered a flight of samples of 12 IPAs and asked to rank them by preference without knowing their names: ‘I’m interested in this experiment because I think it tracks the momentary preferences of Oregonians.’

→ For the Morning Advertiser, Adrian Tierney-Jones investigated how publicans choose which cask ales to offer and how they go about promoting them.

→ Lars Marius Garshol digested an academic paper entitled ‘The Microbial Diversity of Traditional Spontaneously Fermented Lambic Beer’ and translated it (more-or-less) into plain English:

The two Enterobacter species, Klebsiella oxytoca, Hafnia paralvei, and Escherichia/Shigella are all part of the family Enterobacteriaceae. They consume sugar and grow very rapidly, producing lactic acid and flavours which have been described as smoky, mouldy, and vegetal.

→ This looks good, doesn’t it?

News, Nuggets & Longreads 14/02/2015

Roses are red/ Violets are blue/ Here are some Valentine’s day links for you.

→ Raymond Davies (probably no relation) has detailed, UK-specific instructions on how to build a ‘kegerator’ (beer dispense system) out of an old fridge. No, we mean really detailed. (Via @RecentlyDrunk.)

→ Lars Marius Garshol gave us an insight into what the ancestors drank, explaining that it wasn’t perhaps as simple as wine or mead or beer:

The big question, of course, is how this mix of wine, berries, honey, and beer, flavoured with juniper and bog myrtle developed into something we would recognize as beer, and when.

→ Alan McLeod unearthed an interesting nugget: according to one study, people who drink alcohol in professional contexts are perceived as less intelligent than those who stick to softies.

Continue reading “News, Nuggets & Longreads 14/02/2015”

News, Nuggets and Longreads 07/02/2015

It’s Friday night but, because we’re catching an early train to visit the Eden Project, perhaps stopping off at St Austell Brewery to try the new stout and the gose, here’s a premature Saturday morning round-up.

→ For the Guardian, Ben Walters wrote about the declining numbers of gay pubs, and pondered whether this is good news (pubs in general are more welcoming) or bad. (Via @kmflett.)

→ Tandleman evoked a pre-Christmas evening in a Franconian pub:

A couple of accordion playing dudes are giving Deutsche Blasmusik their all, while the crowd – some of them at least –  sing along, or tap their tables enthusiastically. Along the front of the pub, which somehow seems like the back wall, a group are playing Skat – or it could be Schafkopf, both of which are popular German card games of impenetrable rules, that, whichever it is, involve a lot of noisy shouting and table thumping.

→ Ahead of this year’s General Election, James Nicholls, Susanne MacGregor and Virginia Berridge offered a helpful summary of the main UK political parties’ stances on alcohol and the problems of national alchol policy:

Historically, Tory support for market freedom and connections with the brewing trade have clashed with moral conservatism and the desire to be tough on social disorder; Labour’s traditional instinct for business regulation risks looking like an attack on popular cultural activities when it adds to the cost of a pint.

→ For the New York Times, Ian Mount talked to US brewing industry figures about the likelihood of an imminent end to the ongoing craft beer boom. (Via @agoodbeerblog, whose commentary is here.)

→ An interesting development: a London bar focusing exclusively on Italian craft beer. We can see this being (a) really hip and (b) starting a trend for regionally-specific craft beer bars.

→ Jeff Pickthall dug out a craft beer manifesto his brother, Steve, wrote on Usenet back in 2002. (Contemporary with their running of Microbar in South London described in Chapter 12 of Brew Britannia.)

→ We don’t live in America and we don’t identify as Craft Beer drinkers (capital C, capital B, face tattoos, T-shirts) so the Budweiser Superbowl advert controversy left us cold, but, for the record, Stan Hieronymus has rounded up some of the many, many responses here. Our favourite discovery, though, was this resurfaced and newly-relevant 2013 piece by Tom Acitelli about an earlier run-in between Anheuser-Busch and the ‘craft community’ back in 1996.

→ Mwahahahahahahaha!

News, Nuggets & Longreads 31/01/2015

It’s Saturday morning and time for our usual round-up of beer-related news and links from around the internet.

→ Are pubs closing because there are more Muslims in Britain? Patrick Worrall at Channel 4 News’s ‘Fact Check’ reckons, on balance, probably not:

[A] rising Muslim population would only affect the national pub industry if it meant there were a lot more non-drinkers around, but it seems that there are more drinkers in Britain than there were 30 years ago. And economics, not demographics, appear to explain the ups and downs best.

(Via @melissacole.)

→ The Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moore’s University published a report into role of Facebook and other social media (SNS) in young people’s drinking habits, a handy summary of which is here:

Displaying Facebook alcohol content was a normal and routine aspect of young peoples’ drinking experiences and such content was popular among peers, receiving positive feedback and appraisal. Crucially, SNS appear to act as an extension of the space in which symbolic meaning can be created from the display of cultural drinking capital through SNS content such as photographs and statuses.

(Via @jamesqnicholls.)

→ The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has announced that British beer sales are up for the first time in a  decade, increasing by 1.3 per cent in 2014.

Continue reading “News, Nuggets & Longreads 31/01/2015”

News, Nuggets & Longreads 24/01/2015

There’s no better cure for a hangover than reading loads of blog posts and articles about beer — prose concerning the dog that bit you and all that.

→ Dave West was the founder of Eastenders Cash’n’Carry in Calais, where Brits could fill vans with cheap booze for (ahem) ‘personal consumption’, but just before Christmas, he was murdered in his Mayfair flat. For Off Licence News, Nigel Huddleston provided this fascinating profile-cum-obituary:

West made no bones about the fact that he was selling to gangs who were breaking the law by driving back van loads of booze to the UK to sell on the cheap and without a licence on the streets of Britain’s housing estates. West was always careful to point out that in doing so he had kept within the letter of the law, citing himself as a “modern day Robin Hood”….

(Via @philmellows.)

→ One for Pocket: Jack Highberger has written another extremely long but thoughtful piece on the trajectory of a craft beer drinker’s tastes:

[A] pub owner could probably take my craft beer trajectory above, convert it to a bar graph, and use that for inventory purposes. He should probably stock fewer sours and saisons than IPA’s, but more of those than the average lager… [And that’s] a problem for Jim Koch: no matter how rich and well-balanced your lager is, it’s still a lager.

Continue reading “News, Nuggets & Longreads 24/01/2015”