Here’s everything that grabbed our attention in the past seven days, from ongoing developments in the discussion around sexist beer branding to the ever-expanding BrewDog empire.
Katie Taylor has an interesting run-down on Moorhouse’s rebranding exercise. Packaging re-designs are usually among the world’s most boring topics but this case sees a longstanding problem solved as poorly rendered ‘sexy’ witches in flimsy frocks are out, replaced by more abstract, modern designs that come with an unambiguous statement of intent:
“When I joined, Moorhouse’s was a strong brand, tied into the provenance of the local area,” said Lee [Miller] when I met with him a couple of weeks ago. “But we are guilty as charged. Our branding was indefensible and really could have happened sooner. What I wanted to make sure of was that when we did this, we did it right. I wanted Moorhouse’s to set out its stall, to bring in a new brand ready for the future. We hold our hands up.”
But the stuff about the temperance influence on their new range of beers is almost as interesting.
Returning to his favourite topic Roel Mulder gives us‘Eight Myths About Lambic Debunked’, with plenty of reassuring references.
Quite a lot is made of the fact that lambic is made out of wheat, today usually 30% to 40%. In the 19th century, that was even more: a 1829 recipe specifies no less than 58% raw wheat.However, at that time all-barley beers were only just starting to gain popularity in Belgium. In fact, at the start lambic was quite modern for not having any oats, spelt or buckwheat in it…. only in the 20th century did it become special for not being an all-barley beer.
A reminder, this, that snappy stories and simple explanations in beer history are usually the work of storytellers and marketing people; the truth is almost always more complicated and, frankly, less fun.