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News, Nuggets & Longreads 28/06/2014


To make up for skipping a week (our trip to London got a bit hectic…) here’s a BUMPER SUMMER FUN EDITION of our regular round-up of links and news.

→ Peter Swinburn, CEO of global brewing giant Molson Coors, gave a fascinating interview to Bloomberg. The headline is ‘Craft Breweries Massively Over-valued’, but we read it as an acknowledgement that ‘craft’ is more-or-less immune to corporate takeover: precisely those things consumers like about ‘craft’ are difficult to maintain at scale.

→ Michael Tonsmeire has shared a long extract about saisons from his new book American Sour Beers: An elementary recipe inspired by Saison Dupont, the archetype of the style, could be comprised of only water, Pilsner malt, and Saaz hops, but many American brewers opt for something more complicated.”

→ The Guardian reports on German brewers’ attempts to prevent ‘fracking’ which they fear will pollute the pure water upon which their beer depends.

→ Last year, we got excited when we noticed ten-sided pint glasses in the trailer for the BBC drama series Peaky Blinders. (Yes, excited. Tragic.) Now, it seems the show, which returns in September, has inspired a vaguely historical Midlands-style mild from Sadler’s.

→ Since they closed their big brewery in Blackburn, there’s been anxiety among fans of Thwaites that this might signal the end for the Lancastrian brewer. They’ve now announced that a new site has been acquired. Phew!

→ Modern Farmer magazine reports on a booming ‘craft beer’ scene in Paris driven by the ‘eat less, eat better’ trend. (Via First We Feast.)

This piece about the mark-up on wine in restaurants seems to us to have resonances with the debate around the cost of ‘craft beer bars’, especially this point about knowledgeable staff: A good sommelier will increase the guest’s pleasure… If you’re getting divorced, do you Google it and do it yourself or do you pay a solicitor £300 an hour?”

Evan Rail’s new ebook, Beer Trails: The Brewery in the Bohemian Forest, turns out to be the first in a series, with entries from Stan Hieronymus and Joe Stange to follow. Interesting.

Lynn Pearson has written a book about brewery architecture for English Heritage.

→ And, finally, here’s another review of Brew Britannia, from Richard ‘Edinburgh Beercast’ Taylor.

Actually, maybe that wasn’t as ‘bumper’ as we’d hoped — did we miss anything juicy?

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