News, Nuggets & Longreads 24 March 2018: Glitter, Ilford, AK

Here’s everything we’ve read about beer and pubs in the last week that excited us enough to hit the bookmark button, from glitter beer to Kölsch.

And what a week it’s been – a pos­i­tive flood of inter­est­ing writ­ing, lots of it on the hefty side. We’ll nev­er work out the rhythms. It’s just odd that some weeks we post five links and think, well, that’s it, we’re done, and then on oth­er occa­sions… Well, brace your­self.

Madeleine McCarthy (L) and Lee Hedgmon holding glasses of glitter beer.

First, a sto­ry we did­n’t expect to care about but which did some­thing inter­est­ing: it actu­al­ly changed our minds. Glit­ter beer is the lat­est Oh, Sil­ly Craft Beer! trend, easy to dis­miss out of hand, but Jeff Alworth made the effort to go and try some and was won over:

What you can’t appre­ci­ate from still pho­tos is that glit­ter expos­es how dynam­ic a beer is. The tiny flecks ride the cur­rents in bands and whorls, fol­low­ing the con­vec­tion of released car­bon diox­ide or the motion of the drinker’s hand. As you look down into the glass, you see it roil and churn. It’s riv­et­ing. Beyond that, imag­ine drink­ing a green, shim­mer­ing Bel­gian tripel and try­ing to make it track to the taste of, say, West­malle. It’s an object les­son in how much appear­ance fac­tors into our men­tal for­mu­la­tion of “fla­vor.” The slight breadi­ness and vivid effer­ves­cence have fused in my mind with the qual­i­ties that define a tripel; look­ing at Lee’s beer, I was forced to go back to the basics of what my palate could tell me.

We’re not say­ing we now des­per­ate­ly want to drink a glass of spark­ly pale ale but if we see one on sale, we’ll def­i­nite­ly try it, which is not what we’d have said last Sat­ur­day. Con­tin­ue read­ing “News, Nuggets & Lon­greads 24 March 2018: Glit­ter, Ilford, AK

News, Nuggets & Longreads 10 March 2018: Lemondrop, Brewdog, Hardknott

Here’s all the writing about beer and pubs that leapt out at us in the past seven days, covering everything from Pink IPA to Gothenburgs.

First, a blast of pure rav­ing enthu­si­asm to cheer every­one up as Steve The Pour Fool Body wax­es lyri­cal about the “new rock-star flower-bomb” hop vari­ety that “makes your beer taste like Lemon­Heads can­dy”. It sounds good; we want to try it.


Illustration: "No! Bad dog."

Now on to the prob­lem sto­ry of the week, Brew­Dog’s Pink IPA. We con­sid­ered pro­vid­ing a round-up of all the ‘hot takes’ but decid­ed instead to point to one real­ly sub­stan­tial, thought­ful post by Oli (@CraftBeerCommie) guest post­ing at Craft Queer. It express­es a counter view to ours (“the idea itself doesn’t seem so dread­ful even if the exe­cu­tion is ter­ri­bly clum­sy”) and puts this spe­cif­ic inci­dent into a broad­er con­text of Brew­Dog’s behav­iour over the years:

Brew­dog as a com­pa­ny has a long his­to­ry of mis­un­der­stand­ing (some might be so bold as to say abus­ing) social com­men­tary as a mar­ket­ing tool.… [In] the com­pa­ny’s ear­li­er years, the bad humoured, unapolo­get­i­cal­ly offen­sive tone and actions of the com­pa­ny’s founder-own­ers was able to shel­ter beneath the veil of an appro­pri­at­ed rev­o­lu­tion­ary lan­guage and DIY punk ide­ol­o­gy.… After this, how­ev­er, it seems that, as with so many oth­er com­pa­nies, Brew­dog inten­tion­al­ly courts con­tro­ver­sy as a means of mar­ket­ing itself. The search for an ini­tial, per­haps viral reac­tion of offence before the sec­ondary “A‑ha! Here’s the punch­line” is yet again deliv­ered in a man­ner that relies as much on cus­tomer enrage­ment as it does engage­ment.

For more on this sub­ject check out Alco­hol by Vol­ume where the opin­ions of women in and adja­cent to the beer indus­try have been col­lat­ed.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “News, Nuggets & Lon­greads 10 March 2018: Lemon­drop, Brew­dog, Hard­knott”