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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