Here are all the articles and blog posts about beer and pubs that have caught our attention in the last week, from Rheinheitsgebot to rejigging recipes to cope with limited hop supply.
→ Andreas Krenmair, one of the winners in our #BeeryLongreads contest before Christmas, provides some pointed criticism of the German beer purity law as celebrations for its 500th birthday gather momentum:
Brewing with other ingredients, such as juniper, marjoram, thyme, oregano, elderflowers, fir tips, birch tips, rose hips, cream of tartar, honey, ginger, gentian roots, bitter oranges, lemons, cardamom, rice, and salt, was common all over Germany. That was the understanding of beer in much of Germany from the 16th to the end of the 19th century. And it’s a sign of a rich and diverse brewing culture.
→ We’ve already shared links to Lars Marius Garshol’s latest post about Norwegian home brew tasting and feedback rituals but it’s too good not to include here:
Some places, the visitors would make no comment on the beer while in the brewhouse. Late that night, leaving the brewhouse, they would stop on the way home and scream. The louder the screams, the better the beer. In some areas people had fixed places where they’d always stop to do the screaming. If the beer was poor the screaming would be half-hearted at best.
→ For Good Beer Hunting Mike Sardina brings us the story of a brewery that had to change the law in its home state of Texas in order to sell beer beyond the walls of the brewpub where it was based:
“I recognized this going in, and I had it written into the business plan,” [Scott] Metzger says. “There was a line in the plan, big and bold, that read: ‘THIS IS ILLEGAL. We need to change the law.’ It was the dumbest thing I’ve ever written. If you write that into your business plan these days, you better re-write your damn plan. No investor should ever get behind a business plan that hinges on changing the law.”
→ Weird Beard Brewing’s Gregg Irwin gives some insight into the process of tweaking recipes to cope with difficulty in obtaining certain hop varieties:
[A] nice letter informed us that we would only be getting 60% of the Citra we ordered. Damn here we go again. We had just re-brewed the new version of Faceless Spreadsheet Ninja and we did not want to go through the whole variations process again.We also have a history of making changing hop beers (Little Things that Kill and Holy Hoppin’ Hell) so the possibility of adding a 3rd changing hop beer to our roster opened up. So when we relaunch Ninja in March it will be as “Spreadsheet Ninja” a 4.8% single hop, changing hop pilsner. Many of the batches will be the Citra hop as we are only a little short on Citra leaf but expect some other batches to materialise during the year.
→ Aaron Goldfarb’s piece for The Daily Beast about the bad behaviour triggered by limited edition beer releases in the US has an interesting companion piece in this statement from a specialist whisky store explaining how it intends to allocate supplies of a particularly precious product (via @whatjoewrote):
1) Whisky Lovers want to try it
2) Whisky Collectors want to own it
3) Speculators want to flip* it
If you fall into category (1) above – we like you, and you can be in our gang. We want to do everything that we possibly can to help you try the whisky.
If you fall into category (2) above – we do like you – you’re just richer than us, and we’re a bit jealous of you.
If you fall into category (3) above – good luck to you, but we’re not going to go out of our way to help you make easy money.
→ And finally an interesting nugget which may or may not be a sign of things to come: A Portsmouth pub that has spent the last year as a ‘craft beer bar’ has reverted to a more old-school offer. (On a local news site with lots of obtrusive ads unfortunately; Via @PJMcKerry.)