News, Nuggets & Longreads 15/11/2014

Illustration: breakfast reading.

As we hurtle into the weekend like Dave Bowman into the Star Child’s wondrous light show, here are some links for you to read with your breakfast.

→ For Wired, Greg Miller considers why it’s so hard for most humans to meaningfully describe smells:

The people who have the best olfactory vocabularies are those who use their nose to make a living: wine critics, perfume designers, and the like. These experts, too, tend to name odors by connecting them to things with a similar smell (perhaps that Bordeaux was redolent of graphite, black currents, and camphor?). Their descriptions don’t always translate for the rest of us, especially when they reach for abstract terms. When Parker identifies a wine as “austere,” “brawny,” or “decadent,” do you know what he means? (If you think you do, try a blind taste test).

→ Knut Albert Solem is troubled by the fact that the Norwegian craft brewing boom is, at least in part, founded on some laxity with the truth: “The uncompromised nature of Norway in a bottle is their slogan. The problem? The beers are brewed in England.”

→ Listening, not reading, via @RogerProtzBeer: those with access to BBC iPlayer should listen to Evan Davis’s Radio 4 show The Bottom Line which includes Paul Theakston talking about how he came to found Black Sheep. (Theakston has a supporting role in chapter 7 of Brew Britannia.)

→ Saved to Pocket (that is, not yet read): Paste  magazine’s complete history of craft beer vs. industrial faux-craft in America and this 1998 companion piece Stan Hieronymus has unearthed from his archives.

→ One of this week’s flashpoints in the blogoshire was Ed’s post about picking a side in the war between posh craft vs. everyman trad which has prompted, at the time of writing, almost 100 comments.

→ We can’t link to the other flashpoint because it got taken down: a blogger who happens to work for a brewery wrote a rather flourishing critique of Ratebeer and the people that use the site; someone complained to his employers; and he self-censored. Lots to think about there but, on the whole, boo to the snitch!

→ If you have an obsession with beer talk to your doctor to see if Pintiptor™ might be right for you.

→ We want this on a poster:

→ And, finally, a plug for the Kindle book we released this week: it’s c.60 pages, 90 minutes of reading, 13,000 words of history, lager, London and nostalgia, for a mere £2.

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