News, Nuggets and Longreads 13 April 2019: Peroni, Pricing, Perceptions

Here’s everything that struck us as interesting or readworthy in the past week, from notes on enamel signs to news of the CAMRA AGM.

First, a sug­ges­tion for a dif­fer­ent way of think­ing about beer from Stan Hierony­mus:

What if we tast­ed beer in some sort of his­toric reverse? That is, start­ing with a par­tic­u­lar type of beer as it is brewed today, and fol­low­ing it with pre­vi­ous episodes of the same beer… I ask this, and ask it this way, because the Game of Thrones returns Sun­day, and like Zak Jason I didn’t start watch­ing the series when it debuted in 2011 and haven’t since.


Enamel Orval signs.
SOURCE: Eoghan Walsh/Brussels Beer City.

At Brus­sels Beer City Eoghan Walsh has turned his atten­tion to an aspect of Bel­gian beer cul­ture we’ve been aware of with­out real­ly think­ing about – who makes all those enam­el signs you see in bars?

Email­lerie Belge is the last enam­el advert pro­duc­er in the Low Coun­tries, and it has been mak­ing ad pan­els for Bel­gian brew­eries for almost a cen­tu­ry… The com­pa­ny sur­vived a tumul­tuous 20th cen­tu­ry and sev­er­al flir­ta­tions with bank­rupt­cy. Now under new man­age­ment, it’s work­ing to recap­ture the glo­ry days of the enam­el ad indus­try, bet­ting that its small scale, cus­tom, and high qual­i­ty out­put can suc­ceed against low-cost, indus­tri­al enam­el pro­duc­ers.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “News, Nuggets and Lon­greads 13 April 2019: Per­oni, Pric­ing, Per­cep­tions”

The lager spectrum

Advert for Stella Artois.

All com­mer­cial lagers sit some­where on a spec­trum.

On said spec­trum, Becks might act as the zero point, with its more-or-less neu­tral flavour. We can take it or leave it; it doesn’t actu­al­ly taste unpleas­ant; it’s bet­ter than noth­ing. Maybe that’s where Per­oni lives, too.

Above that point, there are many good, very good or even excel­lent com­mer­cial lagers. Estrel­la Damm, for exam­ple, might not be remote­ly like a craft beer, but it’s good. We enjoy drink­ing it, and even find it a lit­tle mor­eish. It has a cer­tain some­thing.

But, head the oth­er way, beyond the Becks neu­tral zone, there is the murky world of the nasty lager.

Nasty lagers aren’t just bland or bor­ing: they actu­al­ly offend the taste­buds. We’d rather drink water than San Miguel, even on a hot day in Spain. What is that flavour? Onions burned in but­ter? Stel­la Artois is in the same boat, with a taste that sug­gests some­one has bunged a bit of lighter flu­id in to pep it up.

What are your can­di­dates for the nasty end of the spec­trum?