It seems rather trivial to be thinking, reading and writing about beer in the week of a general election but life goes on, so here are the beer-related highlights of the last seven days.
→ For CPL Training, Phil Mellows made an important point in typically measured terms: drinking is normal.
It is possible to drink too much, or at the wrong time or place. Certain boundaries are built into the rituals themselves, others are imposed from outside… But we can’t start by telling people what they’re doing isn’t normal. They’re likely to look at you in a funny way and carry on.
→ Jeff ‘Beervana’ Alworth wrote about historic cocktails and mixes containing beer for All About Beer:
Beer doesn’t need rum and fire to improve it; on the other hand, beer can add something to a cocktail other ingredients can’t. Don’t think of them as adulterated beer; think of them as enhanced cocktails.
→ Beavertown, Camden, BrewDog and Magic Rock have formed the United Craft Brewers’ Association, as reported by Daniel Neilson at Original Gravity and expanded upon by BrewDog here. We don’t know if this is really significant or not – only time will tell – but it certainly makes explicit the existence of an ‘in-crowd’ we all knew was there.
→ Justin Mason continued to shine a light on the brewing scene in his home county with this profile of Ian Chisholm’s Essex Brewing Company:
Not content with an indoor brewery, he wants to have an outdoor brewery too with demonstrations of ‘hot-rock’ brewing on a semi-covered outdoor area also able to stage barbecues and beer festivals.
(Yes, this piece is really an opportunity for a businessman to put across his PR pitch, but every single blog post doesn’t have to be ‘challenging’.)
→ CAMRA veteran Paul Bailey (no relation) asked, first, if it’s worth trying to save mild and, if so, why do it in May? And then, in a follow-up piece, recalled his experiences of drinking mild over the decades, concluding that ‘there is nothing wrong with the basic formulation of mild; just its strength’.
→ Next level home brewing geekery: the author of Sui Generis Brewing blog explained how to use ‘streak plates’ and a microscope to harvest pure yeast strains from contaminated samples.
→ We’re pleased to see our Orval blending experiments from earlier in the year continuing to bear fruit: