Here’s the beer news and commentary that most interested or amused us in the last seven days.
→ For Belgian Smaak, Breandán Kearney writes at length about a collaboration between Irish and Belgian brewers:
A hard-nosed Belgian farmer arrives at the historical brew house in the Flemish village of Bokrijk on an old Dexta tractor to pick up the spent grain… Rob Hynes makes a bee line for the tractor. “That’s a thing of beauty,” he says. “I used to own one years ago but I sold it. I regret that.”
→ Des de Moor has been exploring the Midlands and wrote a long piece about Black Country breweries for his website, Beer Culture:
The name dates from this period: contemporary accounts talk of a blasted land of spoil heaps and perpetual twilight, overcast by factory smoke in the daytime and lit by furnaces at night. J R R Tolkein, who grew up in south Birmingham, based his chief villain Sauron’s desolate domain in The Lord of the Rings on this landscape. Its name, Mordor, even translates as ‘black country’ in the author’s invented languages.
→ In the age of ‘crowd-funding fatigue’ Seth Fiegerman’s take for Mashable, under the headline ‘Crowdfunding may not create the ‘next Facebook,’ but it’s great for craft breweries‘, is an interesting one. (Via @BeerAttorney.)
→ Martyn Cornell is neither a ‘hater’ nor a member of the cult of BrewDog, and it turns out he has an MBA, so his review of James Watt’s new how-to business manual strikes us as both balanced and incisive.
→ If you tot up the numbers using Richard ‘Beercast’ Taylor’s method how many of your regions breweries would you say are good, dull, passable or bad?
→ Phil Cook asks beer geeks to get over the fear of missing out (FOMO), accept the fact of missing out, and embrace the fun of missing out.
The right door…the left door – the ultimate decision. There is certainly a good explanation for the two separate doors; however, I have yet to hear it.
→ In brewery takeover news, AB-InBev and SAB-Miller have finally, formally agreed their merger. (It feels like we’ve been announcing this every week for the last two months.)
→ And, finally, the Guardian reported this week that China has gone crazy for Greene King IPA in the wake of President Xi Jinping sharing a pint with David Cameron in an Oxfordshire pub. This Tweet is the centrepiece of the story: