It’s Saturday morning and time to get your bifocals on to take in the juiciest links in the world of beer.
→ American consumers who bought Kirin Ichiban thinking it was brewed in Japan are to receive refunds, a judge has ruled.
→ At Port 66, there’s yet more clear and confident home brewing advice from James ‘Kempicus’ Kemp, late of Fuller’s, Thornbridge and Buxton breweries: this time, it’s about the nuts and bolts of cropping yeast in a domestic setting. (Features lots of graphic shots of Tupperware.)
→ A worrying report from the field: Matt ‘Total’ Curtis tasted Goose Island IPA at the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado, where much of it is now brewed, and found it extremely disappointing. (Interesting comments on this piece, too.)
→ Minesweeping is the practice of wandering through a party, bar or pub necking the dregs of drinks left in other people’s glasses, and Tandleman has observed this arcane ritual being enacted in the wild.
→ Stan Hieronymus has uncovered evidence of a fascinating type of ‘beer’ popular in New Orleans in the 19th century, one of the key ingredients of which was ‘magic’.
→ One of our local breweries, Harbour, is looking for a new head brewer:
— Harbour Brewing Co (@HarbourBrewing) January 6, 2015
The Status of Sam Adams Lager
Last week’s Wall Street Journal piece on Jim Koch and the disdain in which Sam Adams Lager is now held by many has prompted a flood of interesting writing.
→ Pete ‘Man Walks Into a Pub’ Brown, lays down the law: if you turn your nose up at Sam Adams just because it’s not cool, he argues, you’re betraying your lack of discernment as surely as if you drink heavily-marketed, fruit-flavoured, cider-style leisure beverages.
→ The ever-eloquent Lisa Grimm makes reference to Steven Sondheim and gives us the phrase ‘shiny unicorn status’ to play with — even Coors was once the shiny unicorn, too, she points out, because it was unpasteurised. (via @lewbryson)
If you go to a craft beer bar and see a dude in Oakleys with a Tommy Bahama shirt and a Nextel cell phone clipped to his cargo shorts, you just found your Sam Adams consumer base, unshakeable and fully ready to extol the virtues of Ranger IPA at length, muttering “RESPECT BEER” and blanket “DRINK LOCAL” statements with careless abandon.
(Is this the US equivalent of a BrewDog acolyte dismissing CAMRA members as bearded sandal-wearing bores?)
In the real world
→ Devotees of Viz comic and their long-running CAMRA satire The Real Ale Twats (we think it started in around 2000) will want to pick up the latest issue, in which the RATs discover their favourite pub has become popular with hipsters: ‘I remember when it was just we three who cared about real ale… the hours we spent demonstrating outside this very pub back in the 1970s…’