Here’s your usual jumbo breakfast round-up of news and links. You want any sauce?
→ Dave Bailey of Hardknott Brewery explains why his view of bottle-conditioning has changed over the years:
I think the people want great beer, consistently and without bits. We have changed now to a process that drops the beer bright in tank, carbonates in tank and then we put through a rough (nominal 5 micron) filter just for security. There may well be traces of yeast get through, but we do not guarantee a cell count. What we are looking for is minimal secondary fermentation in bottle, as the carbonation levels are exactly as we want them at bottling.
(Interesting comments on this post, too.)
→ Bryan Roth has looked in detail at Zymurgy magazine’s 2015 readers’ ‘best beers’ list and noted that once much-loved and still perfectly decent beers such as Bear Republic Racer 5 have nonetheless dropped down the rankings every year since 2010:
Per usual, this information reinforces many of our general assumptions about the beer consumer: they’re looking for new, they value specific styles and ABVs and they most likely buy into hype surrounding more famous products.
→ In this piece on recreating pre-19th century historic medicinal beer recipes, Dr Annie Gray makes an observation that suggests a gap in the market: ‘No one seems to produce a proper replica ale (I.e. an unhopped beer) anymore.’
→ Hop broker Barth-Haas has published its Hop Market and Crop Development Report, summarised with commentary by Stan Hieronymus here:
As promised, German growers have planted more of the three new varieties with “New World” aroma character that so many brewers (and presumably drinkers) want. Mandarina Bavaria acreage is up 109%, Hallertau Blanc 127%, Huell Melon 82%.
→ There’s plenty to pick out of this long piece by Devin Leonard for Bloomberg Business about AB-InBev and its recent acquisition of several smaller US breweries. It focuses in particular on Andy Goeler, the firm’s ‘CEO of craft beer’, who, at one point, refers to AB’s ‘600 craft employees’. And this statement by Larry Bell is, we suspect, going to get quoted a lot: ‘We are in the middle of the end of the beginning of craft beer.’ (Via @totalcurtis.)
→ In the US on June 11 Senator Ron Wyden proposed ‘The Craft Beer Modernization and Tax Reform Act 2015’ which, if passed, will in effect legally define craft brewers as those producing less than 60,000 barrels of beer each year, much like the progressive beer duty (PBD) introduced in the UK in 2002. (Jason Notte for MarketWatch, via @allanpint.)
→ An interesting story in the wake of the story that bottled Sharp’s Doom Bar has been brewed not in Cornwall but in Burton-upon-Trent since 2013: American drinkers who bought American-brewed Becks lager thinking it was made in Bremen are now entitled to claim compensation up to $50 each.
→ Brülosophy has advice for home brewers on how to get finished beer more quickly, assuming they have the means to control fermentation temperature with some accuracy. The post is called ‘Pitch — Ramp — Crash’ which is a pretty good summary of the content.
→ And finally, offered without comment: