News, Nuggets & Longreads 14 January 2017: Spain, Sheffield and Sober Island

There’s been plenty of good reading this week from intelligence on the latest AB-InBev manoeuvring  to memories of 1970s Sheffield via a Sober Island.

First, the news head­lines: AB-InBev have tak­en over Span­ish brew­ery Cervezas La Vir­gen, as report­ed by Joan Vil­lar-i-Martí at Bir­raire:

A rather pecu­liar move, in my opin­ion, if we com­pare it to the Bel­gian brew­ing giant’s recent oper­a­tions, espe­cial­ly in Europe… La Vir­gen was born as a prod­uct designed for the Madrid mar­ket, and until a year ago it was basi­cal­ly focused on it. As a com­pa­ny, it has nev­er quite been in the cir­cles of the nation­al craft move­ment, appear­ing in few fes­ti­vals and with­out a sig­nif­i­cant pres­ence in spe­cialised bars. On the con­trary, it has suc­cess­ful­ly pen­e­trat­ed the mar­ket with a craft-labelled prod­uct that deliv­ers a sim­i­lar expe­ri­ence to the ‘usu­al’ beers.

Fishing boats on Sober Island.
‘Sober Island’ By Den­nis Jarvis from Flickr under Cre­ative Com­mons.

For Mel mag­a­zine Angela Chapin gives an account of the dis­pute over the name and loca­tion of Sober Island brew­ery, which is not cur­rent­ly brew­ing on Sober Island, Nova Sco­tia, Cana­da, as the name might sug­gest:

One of the locals most excit­ed about her plan was [Rebec­ca Atkin­son’s] friend Trevor Munroe. He and his wife run an oys­ter farm on Sober Island, and the 43-year-old thought the brew­ery would be great for the com­mu­ni­ty. Not to men­tion, it was to be a mutu­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial rela­tion­ship: Munroe want­ed to help Atkin­son find land; she want­ed to use his oys­ters in her beer. Bet­ter yet, they planned to team up to attract tourists to the island with tours that would end with cold beer and fresh oys­ters… But the rela­tion­ship began to sour when Atkin­son delayed the con­struc­tion of the brew­ery and start­ed brew­ing beer at her mom’s place instead.

The sto­ry high­lights all kinds of issues around prove­nance, mar­ket­ing, and the mean­ing of local – is Atkin­son exploit­ing the island’s quirky name or is she sin­cere in her stat­ed intent to even­tu­al­ly move pro­duc­tion there?

(Via @PivniFilosof.)

Con­tin­ue read­ing “News, Nuggets & Lon­greads 14 Jan­u­ary 2017: Spain, Sheffield and Sober Island”